Monday, April 29, 2019

Cover Reveal | 'Making Up' by Helena Hunting


Title: 
Making Up

Author: 
Helena Hunting

Genres: 
Adult, Fiction, Romance

Publication Date: 
July 16th, 2019

Publisher: 
St. Martin's Press 




Summary from Goodreads: 
A new standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy by New York Times bestselling author
Helena Hunting.

Cosy Felton is great at her job—she knows just how to handle the awkwardness that comes with
working at an adult toy store. So when the hottest guy she’s ever seen walks into the shop
looking completely overwhelmed, she’s more than happy to turn on the charm and help him
purchase all of the items on his list.

Griffin Mills is using his business trip in Las Vegas as a chance to escape the broken pieces of
his life in New York City. The last thing he wants is to be put in charge of buying gag gifts for
his friend’s bachelor party. Despite being totally out of his element, and mortified by the whole
experience, Griffin is pleasantly surprised when he finds himself attracted to the sales girl that
helped him.

As skeptical as Cosy may be of Griffin’s motivations, there’s something about him that intrigues
her. But sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas and when real life gets
in the way, all bets are off. Filled with hilariously awkward situations and enough sexual
chemistry to power Sin City, Making Up is the next standalone in the Shacking Up world.


Buy Links:
About the Author: 


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of
Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's writes
contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Review | 'The Queen's Rising' by Rebecca Ross

       THE QUEEN'S RESISTANCE
                      by Rebecca Ross

Published by HarperTeen on March 5th, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance 
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
Source: Indigo

Summary from Goodreads: 
The highly anticipated sequel to The Queen’s Rising!

Finally, Brienna is a mistress of knowledge and is settling into her role as the daughter of Davin MacQuinn, a disgraced lord who returned to Maevana to reclaim his house. Though she’d just survived a revolution, one that will finally return a queen to the throne, she faces another difficult challenge. She must prove herself trustworthy to the MacQuinns. But as Queen Isolde Kavanagh’s closest confidant, she’ll have to balance serving her father’s house as well as her country. And then there’s Cartier, a wholly separate but desirable factor in her new life.

Aodhan Morgane, formerly known as Cartier Évariste, is adjusting to the stark contrast between his pre-rebellion life in Valenia as a master of knowledge and his current one as the lord of a fallen house. During his castle’s restoration, he discovers a ten-year-old boy named Tomas, whose past and parentage are a complete mystery. So when Cartier’s former pupil Brienna is as taken with Tomas as he is, he lets his mind wander—what if he doesn’t have to raise him or his house alone?

As the Lannon trial rapidly approaches, Brienna and Cartier must put their feelings aside to concentrate on forging alliances, executing justice, and ensuring that no one interferes with the queen’s coronation. But resistance is rumbling among the old regime’s supporters, who are desperate to find a weakness in the rebels’ forces. And nothing makes a person more vulnerable than deep-seated love.

Buy Links:




Review:

I had such high hopes for The Queen's Resistance

The first book in the duology, The Queen's Rising, was so intricately written and beautifully woven together to create such a unique world and captivating characters. It was because of my high hopes for this book that I was greatly let down in the end. I didn't feel the same spark (of interest) in this book like I did with TQR. Honestly, the characters felt in a way bland and disinteresting. They failed to capture my attention long enough to generally care about the overall scheme that was supposed to be unfolding within the plot. There was also a lack of mystery and suspense of what will occur next. 

With all that being said, it was still an overall okay book to read. I just couldn't find myself getting into the story. Who knows, maybe this is the perfect book for you.



Rating:



About the Author:

Rebecca Ross grew up in Georgia, where she continues to reside with her husband, lively dog and endless piles of books. She received her bachelor's degree in English from UGA. In the past she has worked at a Colorado dude ranch, as a school librarian, and as a live-time captionist for a college. 

Author Links:





Monday, January 28, 2019

Cover Reveal | 'How to Love A Duke in Ten Days' by Kerrigan Byrne


Title: 
How to Love A Duke in Ten Days

Author: 
Kerrigan Byrne

Genres: 
Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance

Publication Date: 
August 27th, 2019

Publisher: 
St. Martin's Paperback 




Summary from Goodreads: 
They call him The Terror of Torcliff

Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, has one purpose. Revenge. To attain that, he must secure a legacy as old as the empire by claiming a wife.

Lady Alexandra Lane has a deadly secret. When the spectre of her violent past threatens to expose her, Alexandra learns just how much she stands to lose.

If she sacrifices her body on the altar of marriage, the terrifying Duke vows to protect her, but she fears he’ll change his mind once he realizes what she’s hiding.

Ever suspicious, Redmayne knows his wife is concealing something, but he soon realizes that the truest terror is losing the woman who’s come to own him body, heart, and soul.



Buy Links:
About the Author: 


Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, USA Today bestseller Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive
Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on
the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Blog Tour | Enchantée by Gita Trelease



36613718
Enchantée
by Gita Trelease
Published by Flatiron Books
Publication Date: February 5th, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: Kindly provided by Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from Goodreads: 
Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians...

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she's playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…
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Review

Enchantée is a young adult novel with a wonderful blend of fantasy and historical fiction. 

Enchantée, told in third person point of view, follows 17-year-old Camille Durbonne. Taking on the responsibility of taking care of her ill younger sister, Sophie, and dealing with her drunken older brother, Alain, she faces the heavy burden of stretching the little amount of money they do have to pay for their rent, food and other necessities. By using her talent, Camille turns whatever metal she can get her hands on into coins. However, she must be careful when doing so since she has to feel and use her sorrow, this can often weaken her if she overdoes it. 

Enchantée had me on the edge of my seat with the constant tension thrust into almost every scene and how high the stakes were. The romance was a nice mix to the story as well. It helps that Camille and Lazare's were characters you couldn't help but root for. Honestly, this was a page turner! Trelease's writing was wonderfully written, it felt as if you were actually walking the very streets of Paris in 1789. I also enjoyed reading about the fashion, the hot air balloon, Versailles and French Revolution, as well as the relationship between the siblings.

It was easy to get lost in this story. Camille, a young woman struggling in the face of poverty to care for those she loves, uses the magic she has to enter the sparkling world of the French Court to help both herself and her family. Camille was an amazing character to read, she faced everything head on and was imperfect in the most wondrous of ways. She had to hold the weight of caring and looking after her younger sister, who dreams of marrying rich, while protecting them both from their horrid older brother, an alcoholic who gambles everything he makes. Pushed to the very edge of poverty, Camille would do anything to protect her sister from living on the streets, so she does the one thing her mother warned her was too dangerous, she opens the mysterious magic box.  

The magical, and dangerous, box has the ability to allow Camille to transform her appearance to fit in with those of aristocracy. She also ends up learning and fully embracing the art of glamour, illusions that ensure that she is able to maintain her character while surround by those of aristocracy as well as change card faces so she may win to provide for herself and her sister. However, Camille learns that the consequence of her magic may be the highest price to pay.

In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed reading and exploring the world of Enchantée as well as the characters in it. I highly recommend you pick this book up and read it today.



Rating



About the Author

Gita TreleaseBorn in Sweden to Indian and Swedish parents, Gita Trelease has lived in lots of places, including New York, Paris, and a tiny town in central Italy. 

She attended Yale College and New York University, where she earned a Ph.D. in British literature. Before becoming a novelist, she taught classes on writing and fairy tales—some of which have seeped into this story. 

Along with her husband and son, Gita divides her time between a spooky old village in Massachusetts and the coast of Maine, where she’s still searching for a secret portal that will take her back to Versailles. 

Author Links:
Q & A

Q: Where did you get your ideas for Enchantée and what was your writing process like?

A: It actually came to me in a daydream! I’d been thinking about writing a story set during the French Revolution, a period that has always fascinated me, when I had a vision of a girl, in beautiful eighteenth-century clothes, sitting at a desk. She was writing a letter with a quill pen, and I somehow knew—the way you do in dreams—that the ink she was using was made from her tears. Wherever she was—to me it looked like Versailles—she did not belong there. All at once, I had a lot of questions: who was she? What was she doing there? What magic was she using, and why? As I explored those questions, the story began to take shape.

Enchantée is my first book and the writing process was…whatever I could think of to move the story forward! I have some perfectionist tendencies that make drafting a challenge, to say the least. When I began writing, I knew the ending and I also had a vague outline I’d created after reading Save the Cat. After that, I wrote the scenes I knew needed to be in the story and for the most part, I wrote them out of order—which is how my brain works, I’ve come to realize. I’ve tried to force it to be otherwise, which sometimes works, but often not. Writing non-linearly means a lot of work in revisions, but it got me writing when I doubted myself, so I count that as a win! I’m lucky to have several terrific critique partners, and they gave me wonderful feedback that I used to improve the story. I probably did seven revisions over two and a half years before querying agents in the summer of 2017. Revisions are how I make the story as rich as I’d like it to be.



Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday {29}

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, Hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that I'm eagerly anticipating. 

41063454Title:
Meet Cute
Author:
Helena Hunting
Publication Date:
April 9th, 2019
Publisher:
                                                Forever




Summary from Goodreads:
The New York Times bestselling author of Pucked and The Good Luck Charm delivers a Hollywood happily-ever-after where a famous heartthrob falls for his ultimate fangirl in this sexy standalone romantic comedy.

Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran - quite literally - into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either...

Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can't help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn's new celebrity client, there's even more at stake than Dax's custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she'll be promoted to partner.

The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?

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Monday, November 5, 2018

Blog Tour | Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean


Empress of All Seasons
by Emiko Jean
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 6th, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, 
Format: ARC
Source: Kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review 

Summary from Goodreads: 
In a palace of illusions, nothing is what it seems.

Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.

Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren't hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast.

Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku in this beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat YA fantasy.
 
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Review

Empress of All Seasons is a young adult fantasy novel that has a Japanese folklore background. 

A contest to choose who the next empress of Honoku will be has three characters making life altering decisions that will not only change them but also shape an entire empire and the fate of its people. Told from the alternating perspectives of Mari, Taro, and Akira. 

Mari is a yōkai, she may appear to look human but hiding behind her face is a monstrous yōkai form. Feared by Honoku, Mari hides who she really is alongside with her village, a clan of Animal Wives yōkai. Animal Wives are strikingly beautiful woman expected to marry, get pregnant, and steal their husband's wealth in order to help support their clan who live in the mountains where yōkai are uncollared and free. However, Mari's mother has a greater goal for her daughter: to marry the prince of Honoku.

Since Mari was born plain, her mother has trained her in combat from an early age, often sending her off to kill others, in order for her daughter to enter the competition to become empress and steal the Imperial fortune. The empress of Honoku has always been chosen among women through a contest, which yōkai are forbidden to enter. If a woman can survive the elements of the four seasonal rooms of the Imperial Palace as well as the yokai contained inside them, then she will gain the title of empress. 

With great rewards comes great risk. In order to possibly win the hand of the Imperial Prince, Mari would have to risk having her true identity possibly being discovered alongside with certain death that would follow. Yokai have been hunted down, killed, and enslaved for years. 

Taro, the prince of Honoku, does not want to become prize to be won nor does he agree with the way his father treats the yōkai or the way he runs Honoku. Happiest left on his own to create unique inventions, Taro can't help but crave and yearn for a semblance of freedom. But even he can't deny the Mari's draw. 

Akira, son of both human and a ghost-yōkai, is Mari's friend who lives just outside of her village. In love with Mari, he follows her into the city where he finds himself learning how to fight and kill, in order to prove himself in hopes of winning her affections. While he is there training, he not only begins to make friends but also finds out information about others that can change the fate of everyone lives.


Empress of All Seasons blew me away! With an amazing plot, relatable characters, engaging narrative, and a wonderfully well-developed world rich with culture, this has got to be one of my top picks for 2018.

I absolutely adored this entire book! I began reading Empress of All Seasons completely overwhelmed with my excitement to be reading but also a sense of curiosity to see how it all will play out. There were many moments that left me dumbfounded by how Jean can capture the character's story, in their point-of-view, and make you feel so many staggering emotions. This book was an rollercoaster to say the least, but one that I definitely didn't want to hop off of. 

The writing was atmospheric and immersive, the world captivates you and the characters draw your attention with every decision and action they make. Jean's ability to give each character their own distinct voice was not only beautifully done but also very necessary in order to avoid any confusion as to who's perspective I was currently reading.

Mari was such an awesome character to read, and also my favourite throughout the book. I enjoyed reading her struggles with hiding the yōkai part of herself as well as the fact that she grew to fully embrace her identity as well as her people. I enjoyed reading Mari's character development, especially when she learned to embrace herself. It truly showed how much she shined and how fierce she is. 

This is a powerful story with such strong aspects such as duty, love, loyalty, family, discrimination, and facing life altering decisions. I highly recommend you pick this book up and give it a shot! 



Rating



About the Author

When Emiko is not writing, she is reading. Most of her friends are imaginary. Before she became a writer she was an entomologist (fancy name for bug catcher), a candle maker, a florist, and most recently a teacher. She lives in Washington with her husband and children (unruly twins). She loves the rain. 

Author Links:
Q & A

When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?

Emiko: I started writing in middle school as a hobby after reading so many fantastic fantasy novels. It wasn't until I was much older and out of college that I decided to seriously pursue writing. The second book I wrote landed me an agent and the rest is history ... sort of.