Book Review: Snowspelled

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In nineteenth-century Angland, magic is reserved for gentlemen while ladies attend to the more practical business of politics. But Cassandra Harwood has never followed the rules…

Four months ago, Cassandra Harwood was the first woman magician in Angland, and she was betrothed to the brilliant, intense love of her life.

Now Cassandra is trapped in a snowbound house party deep in the elven dales, surrounded by bickering gentleman magicians, manipulative lady politicians, her own interfering family members, and, worst of all, her infuriatingly stubborn ex-fiancé, who refuses to understand that she’s given him up for his own good.

But the greatest danger of all lies outside the manor in the falling snow, where a powerful and malevolent elf-lord lurks…and Cassandra lost all of her own magic four months ago.

To save herself, Cassandra will have to discover exactly what inner powers she still possesses – and risk everything to win a new kind of happiness.

Pros – Clever escapes, daring do’s and (eventually) proper communication between adults

Cons – villain is somewhat one-dimensional, Cassandra really liked to remind us that Wrexham was her ex-fiance, not a lot about Wrexham outside his relationship to Cassandra

Notes – Recommended to me by the EVER SO CHARMING Samantha, my once and future Sestra. Also I want that coat on the cover.

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Book Review: Drop Dead Gorgeous

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SWIPE RIGHT FOR MR. BITE

Mila Hart’s first experience with the hot new vampire dating site is a complete disaster. Turns out, her date is wanted for murder! But things turn around when she’s rescued by dashing vampire cop Vincent Ferrer. Dangerous and drop dead gorgeous, he’s just the vampire hottie Mila was hoping for.

Haunted by his past, Vincent can’t risk falling in love again, even if Mila charms him more than anyone he’s ever met. But when the killer from Mila’s first date seeks her out, Vincent is the only one who can protect her. Protecting his heart is a different story…

Pros – Communication! These guys excel at communication. Vincent is pretty awesome. I like Mila a whole lot.

Cons – Sigh I don’t know, something about these HEAs just don’t sit well with me

Notes – Sooo…my ARC copy is called “ROMANCING THE UNDEAD” (which is this here). So we’re clear I like that cover better only because the guy on DROP DEAD GORGEOUS looks nothing like the description of Vincent. Also I think the illustrated-like cover suits the light-hearted nature of the book overall.

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Book Review: Through a Dark Glass

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On her seventeenth birthday, Megan of Chaumont discovers she’ll be sold as a bride to the brutish Volodane family—within hours. Her father grants only that she may choose which one of the ruthless, grasping lord’s three sons she weds:

~ Rolf, the eldest: stern, ambitious, and loyal?
~ Sebastian, the second son: sympathetic, sly, and rebellious?
~ Or Kai, the youngest: bitter, brooding, and proud?

As shy, horrified Megan flees the welcome dinner for her in-laws-to-be, she finds an enchanted mirror that will display how her life unrolls with each man, as if she were living it out in a breath. But there is no smooth “happily ever after” in her choices.

Deaths and honors, joys and agonies, intrigues and escapes await her in a remote, ramshackle keep, where these rough but complex men reveal one side and then another of their jagged characters—and bring forth new aspects of Megan, too. But the decisions of one teenaged marriage-pawn reverberate much farther than any of them have guessed . . .

Pros – What If….? Trope with bonus Sliding Doors feeling, realistic “you can’t always win everything”, decent variations between each character’s “door”

Cons – Events until a certain point are repetitive feeling, folk break “Guest Right” constantly

Notes – There are spoilers for each path here. If you would like a spoiler free review, please head to my Goodreads review

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Book Review: Guilty as Sin

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There are secrets. There are guilty secrets. And then there’s switching places with your twin.

Paige Hollander and her identical twin Lily stopped switching places a decade ago. But Lily’s run into trouble, and Paige is on leave from the SFPD, recovering from a traumatic shooting. It’s not like she has anything better to do, and she remembers how to be feminine. Sort of. Anyway, it’s selling lacy thongs in Sinful Secrets and playing Heidi to Lily’s goats for a week or two. How hard could it be?

For Jace Blackstone, idyllic Sinful, Montana, is the perfect escape. In this town, he’s nothing but a reclusive, black-haired stranger with an Aussie accent and a bad attitude. Not the former pride of Australia’s special forces, not a bestselling thriller writer, and not a man with no more faith in women. Right up until the day a mystery fan starts getting much too up-close and personal, and his neighbor comes back from her vacation with a personality change that knocks him sideways.

Suddenly, Sinful is looking downright dangerous. And the biggest danger of all might come in the form of flashing brown eyes, a rear view to stop a man’s heart, and a wit sharp enough to slice him to the bone.

Sinful could be getting serious.

Pros – Jace. Paige. Jace & Paige. Paige trying to be Lily. Twins switching places.

Cons – I’m somewhat uncomfortable with some of the stalker stuff (see below)

Notes – There will be spoilers for the Stalker Angle of the plot. Please see my Goodreads review to avoid those spoilers. Also if the audiobook releases I need Jace to have an Australian accent ok? Ok. And not to be a sourpuss but that cover doesn’t do this book justice at all. Its a nice cover, but it doesn’t give you half the idea of how freaking KICKASS Paige is.

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Book Review: Sufficiently Advanced Magic

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Five years ago, Corin Cadence’s brother entered the Serpent Spire — a colossal tower with ever-shifting rooms, traps, and monsters. Those who survive the spire’s trials return home with an attunement: a mark granting the bearer magical powers. According to legend, those few who reach the top of the tower will be granted a boon by the spire’s goddess.

He never returned.

Now, it’s Corin’s turn. He’s headed to the top floor, on a mission to meet the goddess.

If he can survive the trials, Corin will earn an attunement, but that won’t be sufficient to survive the dangers on the upper levels. For that, he’s going to need training, allies, and a lot of ingenuity.

The journey won’t be easy, but Corin won’t stop until he gets his brother back.

Pros – familiar RPG world mechanics make it easy to understand the plot from A to B, friendship and communication are important here, The Voice of The Tower

Cons – Familiar RPG elements make this a repetitive read, Corin’s at times baffling thought process/leaps of logic, convoluted “bad guy” scheme

Notes – ok this review gets a little long winded and I apologize for that, but the book itself is pretty long (620ish pages / 22 hours audio)

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Book Sale! B&N 2 for $20 on Select YA Titles

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Thanks to the head’s up from Samantha (@SKRandolph) for the head’s up – Barnes and Noble on line (https://www.barnesandnoble.com/) is running a buy 2 for $20 on select YA titles from now til October 22nd. And there are NEW RELEASES amongst the selection. And as long as you have at least two eligible books, all other books are $10 each (so if you want 5 books that’s $50! You don’t need to get an even number to apply the promotion after the initial two).

Let me give you some of my personal suggestions shall I?

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Book Review: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

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When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn’t expecting much. The patched-up ship has seen better days, but it offers her everything she could possibly want: a spot to call home, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and some distance from her past.

And nothing could be further from what she’s known than the crew of the Wayfarer.

From Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the chatty engineers who keep the ship running, to the noble captain Ashby, life aboard is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. That is until the crew is offered the job of a lifetime tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet. Sure, they’ll earn enough money to live comfortably for years, but risking her life wasn’t part of the job description.

The journey through the galaxy is full of excitement, adventure, and mishaps for the Wayfarer team. And along the way, Rosemary comes to realize that a crew is a family, and that family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe… as long as you actually like them.

Pros – Rosemary, the crew at large, the examination of the diaspora that can occur so easily and unexpectedly in some cases

Cons – what ends up happening to one of my fav characters

Notes – I listened to the audiobook for this, so some of my spellings may not be as perfect as they could be. I tried to check them against the hardcopy of the book I have whenever I could

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The Stormlight Archive (Re) Read #LexieSA

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With OATHBRINGER, Book 3 in the Stormlight Archives, coming out on November 14 I thought it was high time to start rereading the series. After all its only about 2100 pages right?

I began on October 1st and barring some delays (totally forgot about NYCC and the exhaustion that entails) I’ve gone at a good clip. If you’ve been following along on Twitter you would have seen me use the hashtag #LexieSA.

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Book Review: Before She Ignites

before she ignites

Before

Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.

After

Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.

Pros – Mira, the entire theme of not being silenced (by yourself or others), dragons

Cons – Plot points brought up and left dangling (I know this is only the first book but still), the format, Mira toddled between realistic in her naivety and unrealistic a bit too frequently for me

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