Friday, January 18, 2019

Book Shelf: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she's instead somehow sucked into Rhen's cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


More info on Goodreads......


Review: 

A Curse So Dark and Lonely is Brigid Kemmerer’s latest release and is a unique and delightfully told take on the classic Beauty and the Beast tale, drawing readers into a bewitching world where danger, magic and romance mingle and two very different individuals find themselves drawn together to prevent a war and cure a curse.

Prince Rhen is the heir to the throne of Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress, Rhen is doomed to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year until over and over again until he can find a woman to fall in love with him. Once a charming and charismatic young man, Rhen believed that the curse would be easy to break, but with each failed year where he turns into a brutal monster at the end, Rhen has all but lost hope. With his family long killed by the monster he can’t control, Rhen has watched helplessly as the kingdom fell into disrepair and his monster ravaged his people. Life has never been easy for Harper Lacy. Her father left long ago, her mother is dying from cancer and her brother works for a mobster in order to keep their family afloat. Despite her cerebral palsy, Harper has always been tough which is why when she sees a woman being attacked in the streets, she steps in to help. Before she knows it, Harper is waking up in a land so very far away from her native Washington DC. Dragged into Rehn’s cursed world, Harper doesn’t know what to think of everything she sees, but as she and Rhen attempt to find common ground, will Harper be just the thing to break Rhen’s curse. Or will forces outside their control see the kingdom doomed forever?

Brigid Kemmerer is one of those authors whose novels I always enjoy. Whether she’s writing contemporary or supernatural YA or now fairy-tale retellings, Kemmerer manages to create vivid and compelling stories. A Curse So Dark and Lonely is a prime example of this; darkly vibrant and alluring with likable characters, magic and authentic storyline development. Unfolding through the back and forth perspectives of both main characters, A Curse So Dark and Lonely was a forward moving story that captured my attention from the beginning and didn’t let go until the final page.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely introduces readers to two strong and likable voices in Rhen and Harper. I appreciated the growth both characters undertook throughout the story and felt they were genuine developments that fit the story well without seeming forced. Easy to follow and care about, Rhen and Harper had a compelling relationship that developed steadily over time. Brigid Kemmerer won me over with the lack of insta-love, instead choosing to build on Rhen and Harper’s initial distrust of one another and create a friendship with perfect hints of romantic tension and possibilities.

Rhen himself is a far cry from your ordinary prince; tormented and hopeless who had already come a long way from the spoilt, conceited prince be was pre-curse when the novel kicks off. Rhen is controlling of situations and determined, a by-product of his upbringing and princehood. This is something that sees him clash with female protagonist Harper, but his desire to do the right thing for his people shines throughout the novel as Rhen has his eyes opened to the suffering of his kingdom as the novel progressed.

Harper on the other hand is a naturally tough in effortless way. Harper is a modern teenage girl thrust into a fairytale and I felt that her reactions were authentic and genuine. Brigid Kemmerer gives Harper some substance as a sufferer of cerebral palsy and showcases that disabilities in no way mitigate what a person can do. Harper grows in her time in Emberfall and truly begins to come into her own as she faces different circumstances.

The other important character within A Curse So Dark and Lonely is Commander Grey with Kemmerer writing Grey in a manner that you can’t help but like him straight away. I won’t give away spoilers but Grey plays an ongoing role in the novel and is someone I can’t wait to see more of!

With A Curse So Dark and Lonely ending this chapter of Rhen and Harper’s story beautifully, I for one can’t wait to see a sequel and/or companion novel released to expand on the revelations Brigid Kemmerer made at the end of A Curse So Dark and Lonely as I definitely wouldn’t mind getting lost in this entrancing world once more.

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by publisher via Netgalley (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Kindle copy via Netgalley
Release Date: January 29th 2019
Buy: Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: An effortless retelling, I can't wait to see what happens next.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday #254

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight an upcoming release that you're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on.....
 
Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman 
Releases on: May 9th 2019
 
From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They're not the heroes we deserve. They're just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Thoughts:
Though I'm yet to read to anything by Jay Kristoff (don't hate me!) I love Amie Kaufman and would probably read her shopping list. So in saying that I super duper excited for Aurora Rising. It sounds like a brilliant sci-fi, the kind dreams are made of!
 
What do you think of Aurora Rising?
And what are you waiting on this week?
 
 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Release Blitz: You've Got Male by Lila Monroe

Happy Release Day to You've Got Male by Lila Monroe! The second novel in the Chick Flick Club featuring three different movie loving best friends, You've Got Male was a great read and I'm thrilled to be helping Lila Monroe and Give Me Books Promotions celebrate it's release today!
_________________________________

All's fair in love, war, and breakfast waffles...

Zoey Rafferty dreams of becoming the food truck queen of San Francisco. She's building an empire whipping up delicious brunch treats - until the (annoyingly handsome) Breakfast Bandit starts stealing all her customers with his devious tactics and smoldering charm.

Cam Newsom never backs down from a fight. As far as he's concerned, let the best chef win. And so what if Zoey looks sexy as hell when she's all riled up? He wants a woman he can connect with - not have whipped cream spray fights in the middle of the street. A woman like his mysterious online pen-pal, who shares his culinary ambition, and burns up his screen with her flirty quips.

Soon, their competition is heating up the kitchen - and the bedroom. But when the famous foodie TV show Truck Stop rolls into town looking for a new reality star, all bets are off, as Zoey and Cam compete for the prize. But will their rivalry blow both their chances?

And what happens when they find it's not just their food on the line - but their hearts, too?

Find out in this sexy new twist on 'You've Got Mail', from USA Today bestselling author, Lila Monroe!


Add on Goodreads or check out my review!

Purchase:

Combining her love of writing, sex and well-fitted suits, Lila Monroe wrote her first serial, The Billionaire Bargain, in 2015. She weaves sex, humor and romance into tales about hard-headed men and the strong and sassy women who try to tame... love... tame them.

Visit Lila:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter

Check out the rest of the series here:

Book Shelf: You've Got Male (Chick Flick Club Book 2) by Lila Monroe

All's fair in love, war, and breakfast waffles...

Zoey Rafferty dreams of becoming the food truck queen of San Francisco. She's building an empire whipping up delicious brunch treats - until the (annoyingly handsome) Breakfast Bandit starts stealing all her customers with his devious tactics and smoldering charm.

Cam Newsom never backs down from a fight. As far as he's concerned, let the best chef win. And so what if Zoey looks sexy as hell when she's all riled up? He wants a woman he can connect with - not have whipped cream spray fights in the middle of the street. A woman like his mysterious online pen-pal, who shares his culinary ambition, and burns up his screen with her flirty quips.

Soon, their competition is heating up the kitchen - and the bedroom. But when the famous foodie TV show Truck Stop rolls into town looking for a new reality star, all bets are off, as Zoey and Cam compete for the prize. But will their rivalry blow both their chances?

And what happens when they find it's not just their food on the line - but their hearts, too?

Find out in this sexy new twist on 'You've Got Mail', from USA Today bestselling author, Lila Monroe!


More info on Goodreads......


Review:

You've Got Male is the second novel in Lila Monroe's Chick Flick Club and is anthor funny, romantic and highly enjoyable rom-com perfect for those who like their romance light, entertaining and endlessly sweet. 

Zoey Rafferty has big plans for her food truck, The Little Red Wagon. Classicly trained, Zoey hopes to one day become the breakfast queen of San Francisco with her delicious twists on everyones favourite breakfast treats. And everything is going to plan until a new food truck arrives on the scene and begins to steal all her customers. The Breakfast Bandit is the devilishly handsome thorn in Zoey's side and is determined to give her a run for her money. Cam Newsom has poured blood, sweat and tears into his food truck and he'll be damned if he's going to back down without a fight. So what if riling Zoey up has become his new favourite hobby? Or seeing her angry seems to get his blood pumping? The last thing he needs is to get sidetracked by a woman like Zoey, especially when he finds himself competing against her to be featured on the famous foodie TV show Truck Stop. Better to stick to his mysterious online pen pal who manages to steam up his screen with her quips. Yet as Zoey and Cam find themselves competing against each other, will their rivalery destroy the heat that simmers between them? Or will they find that not only is the food cooking, but love too?


I have to say I really did enjoy You've Got Male. I felt it was a fantastic follow up to the first novel How to Choose a Guy in 10 Days and once more captured me with its effortless writing and entertaining storyline. You've Got Male was a very easy story to get lost in; it was light, funny and sweetly romantic.
Lila Monroe wrote the perfect balance of comedy, sexual tension and chemistry without going too overboard on the sex scenes or physicality of the main characters relationship. 

You've Got Male was told through the dual perspective of both Zoey and Cam with hilarious results as the two characters stumbled through their endearing and adorable romance. Zoey was a solid rom-com female lead while Cam was charming and smart. I thought they were both easy to follow and easy to read about.


The two of them were highly entertaining to witness throughout the story with their banter and chemistry sizzling up the pages as they fought, and ultimately gave in, to the connection between them. Even though they were technically rivals, the food connection between them was a sweet touch and I enjoyed seeing two people who had something in common connect.


Perfect for fans of Penny Reid, You've Got Male was a quick but effective story and leaves me ready to round out the series with Eve's story Frisky Business as soon as it comes out.  


Rating: 
Source: Sent for review by Give Me Books Promotions (Thank you guys!)
Publisher:
Lila Monroe Books 
Format: Kindle ebook
Release Date:
January 14th 2019
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Final Thoughts: Just plain fun, You've Got Male was effortless to read--definitely worth a go!



 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Owl Post #225


Inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox, Owl Post allows us bloggers to showcase the books we've bought, won or received throughout the week and is hosted by Brodie over at Eleusinian Mysteries. We all know that the Owl Post is the fastest way to send and receive mail and they certainly make me happy every time they drop a book off.
 
Hi guys and welcome to another Owl Post for 2019 :)
 
For Review:
 From Pan Macmillan Australia:
- Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian
I quite enjoyed the first novel in this trilogy, Ash Princess and am looking forward to reading Lady Smoke as well. Keen to see what happens to the characters next.
 
....Thanks you team!
 
And that's me :)
What did the owls bring you?
 
 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Book Shelf: Undying (Unearthed #2) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Trapped aboard the Undying's ancient spaceship and reeling from what they've learned there, scavenger Mia and academic Jules are plunged into a desperate race to warn their home planet of the danger humanity's greed has unleashed. From the mountains of Spain to the streets of Prague, the sequel to Unearthed is a white-knuckle ride that will send readers hurtling back to earth, and leave them breathless until the last page.

The earth's fate rests in Mia and Jules's hands in the epic conclusion to New York Times best-selling authors Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner's tomb-raiding sci-fi duology. 


More info on Goodreads.....

Review: 

Undying is the second novel and conclusion to the Unearthed duology by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner and brings the story to earth as protagonists Mia and Jules race against time to find a way to save their planet and those they love from an alien invasion.

Amelia Raddcliffe and Jules Addison discovered a whole new world during their time on Gaia….and lots of problems. As the Undying people prepare to invade Earth, Mia and Jules desperately attempt to get planetside in an effort to raise awareness of the impending invasion. Yet their arrival in Earth does not go well, with government and IA officials refusing to believe the supposed invasion based on the word of a couple of teenagers. Soon on the run, Mia and Jules will have to do the impossible if they want to save their planet. Can they find a way to prevent the Undying from destroying all they hold dear? Or has humanity’s greed already doomed them all?

Having loved Unearthed, I was super excited to read Undying and dived straight into it as soon as I could. While I definitely enjoyed the novel, I did however feel somewhat underwhelmed by it, especially towards the end. In my mind, Kaufman and Spooner were building towards this big Undying invasion and origin revelation, but I feel like it ended up being too easy. The supposed invasion was over too quickly and the origins of this alien race and their connection to Gaia seemed almost cheesy. I don’t necessarily think I ever would have anticipated the truth, so Kaufman and Spooner get props for surprise factor, but other than that I was a tad disappointed.

I still thought Mia and Jules were fabulous characters to follow and enjoyed seeing their relationship face different trials and hurdles now that they were back on earth. They’re still partners in all aspects of the word and complement each other wonderfully. Their vulnerabilities and insecurities (especially Mia’s) were most evident in this novel and I felt that the authors did a great job taking the time to acknowledge that their time on Gaia created a strong bond quickly and swiftly whilst still showing that it had enough strength to survive once the overwhelming danger ended.

There are new personalities within Undying with Jules previously mentioned cousin Neal playing a big role in helping our heroes keep their head above water while on the run. Two Undying named Dex and Atlanta also feature throughout the story and offer a glimpse into the world of this seemingly transcended alien race. Bringing to a close this intergalactic and puzzling duology, Undying was both hit and miss for me, although there was plenty about it to enjoy.

While I don’t think I quite loved this sequel like its predecessor, I will ready anything Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner release and cannot wait to read whatever comes from them next!

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP: $19.99
Release Date: December 1st 2018
Buy: Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: Not as good as the first novel, I was a little let down by Undying, but I'll read whatever this writing duo release.


Friday, January 11, 2019

Blog Tour: Analiese Rising by Brenda Drake- Excerpt & Giveaway


Welcome to the Blog Tour for Analiese Rising by Brenda Drake thanks to YA Bound Blog Tours.
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Half-Blood meets Antigoddess in a thrilling, romantic new series from New York Times bestselling author Brenda Drake.

When a stranger gives Analiese Jordan a list of names before he dies, the last thing she expects to see is her own on it. Not. Cool. Her search for answers leads to the man’s grandson, Marek, who has dangerous secrets of his own. Both are determined to unlock the mystery of the list.

But the truth is deadly. Analiese is a descendant of the God of Death, known as a Riser, with the power to raise the dead and control them. Finding out she has hidden powers? Cool. Finding out she turns corpses into killers? No, thank you.

Now the trail plants her and Marek in the middle of a war between gods who apparently want to raise an army of the Risen, and Analiese must figure out how to save the world—from herself.



Purchase: 
Analiese Rising.....

I take off in the other direction. My Vans pound hard against the cobblestones. Marek is panting behind me.

“Ana, slow down!” he yells.

Only when I go around a corner do I cease running. I grab my side and catch my breath.

Marek eases to a stop beside me, breathing heavily. “I thought you were ditching me.”

“I couldn’t stay there,” I say. “Not with those things around.”

Marek checks the time on the GPS screen. “We need to keep moving. It’s a little after one. The Louvre doesn’t open until nine.”

“What are we going to do?”

“We’re going to keep walking. See Paris. Maybe get coffee when a café opens. Try to get our minds off what just happened.”

“Sounds like a plan.” I shiver. “It’s so cold.”

We walk. Sometimes there’s a bench, and we sit. My face and hands are like ice. My head is throbbing, so are my feet. I need coffee. Or better, a bed.

The quaint backstreets of Montmartre are quiet at almost three in the morning. We reach the square, and I stand on one of the corners. Streetlamps line the block, giving little light, but I recognize the buildings.

“Right here,” I say. “This square is filled with artists displaying their work during the day. My parents took a photograph in this exact spot.”

Marek ambles over and pretends he’s holding up a camera. “Say cheese.”

It takes a second for what he’s doing to register, but when it does, I’m suddenly warm inside, and I flash him a smile.

He clicks the pretend camera.

We make our way up the hill toward Sacré-Coeur Basilica. Its spotlighted facade calls to us. The white stone chapel with its three considerable arches in front, dome roofs, and bell tower overlooks Paris. The city is a black sea at night with beacons of light spreading across its surface. The Eiffel Tower is hidden behind buildings and trees.

I sit on a step. “In one photo, my mother sits here alone. I bet my father took it.”

Marek raises his hands and takes another fake picture. His nose is red from the cold. “How are you holding up?” he asks.

The wind brushes my hair away from my face, and a chill slips down my back. “I’m numb. Can’t feel my toes.”

“We could ride the Metro. Get warm.” He pulls the collar of his coat up and tucks his scarf inside.

“No. We need to eat.”

“You’re tough,” he says.

“We have to budget.” I skip down a few steps. “Tomorrow, after we’re done at the Louvre, we’ll go to the embassy, then I’ll call my grandparents. Have them wire money.”

“Come on.” He grasps my hand and leads me to the side of the chapel.

The wind bites at my skin. I stuff my free hand into my pocket and stare through some trees, and I can barely make out the Eiffel Tower in the dark. Only a few lights and its silhouette can be seen at this time of the morning.

Want more? Analiese Rising is available now online....



Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air Force brat and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

Visit Brenda:
 
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