Cover Reveal: Heartland by Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is back with the next book in her True North series! Heartland tells Dylan and Chastity’s tale and I cannot wait to read it. Check out the cover reveal below as well as a cool giveaway!


Heartland

Series: True North (Book Seven)

Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC

Release Date: January 28, 2020

Goodreads

Synopsis

An emotional friends to lovers romance full of risky secrets and late-night lessons in seduction.

Dylan is my best friend, and the only person in my life who understands me. He doesn’t mind my social awkwardness or my weird history. The only glitch? He doesn’t know that I’ve been hopelessly, desperately in love with him since the first day we picked apples together in his family’s orchard.

But I know better than to confess.

Now that we’re both in college together, I’m seeing a new side of him. College Dylan drinks and has a lot of sex. None of it with me. Until the night I foolishly ask him to tutor me in more than algebra…and he actually says yes.

But the cool morning light shows me how badly I’ve endangered our friendship. And I don’t know if anything will be the same again.


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TBR Time! ~ June 2019

As I’d like to be more intentional with the books I’m reading and to hopefully cut down the stacks of unread books I have on my shelves, I’m doing monthly TBR posts.

TBR Time

May’s reading went well but I still had to carry over two titles to June’s TBR. Let’s see if I can get through all seven of these this month.


For Review

SpintheDawn

Owned

Library

TheSongofAchilles


What’s on your TBR for June? Have you read any of these titles?

Let me know in the comments below!

Mini Reviews: Storm of Locusts & Aru Shah and the Song of Death

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on two sequels with exceptional stories and authors. Check them out below!


stormoflocustsStorm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhoarse

Published by Saga Press on April 23, 2019

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia

Pages: 313 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

It’s been four weeks since the bloody showdown at Black Mesa, and Maggie Hoskie, Diné monster hunter, is trying to make the best of things. Only her latest bounty hunt has gone sideways, she’s lost her only friend, Kai Arviso, and she’s somehow found herself responsible for a girl with a strange clan power.

Then the Goodacre twins show up at Maggie’s door with the news that Kai and the youngest Goodacre, Caleb, have fallen in with a mysterious cult, led by a figure out of Navajo legend called the White Locust. The Goodacres are convinced that Kai’s a true believer, but Maggie suspects there’s more to Kai’s new faith than meets the eye. She vows to track down the White Locust, then rescue Kai and make things right between them.

Her search leads her beyond the Walls of Dinétah and straight into the horrors of the Big Water world outside. With the aid of a motley collection of allies, Maggie must battle body harvesters, newborn casino gods and, ultimately, the White Locust himself. But the cult leader is nothing like she suspected, and Kai might not need rescuing after all. When the full scope of the White Locust’s plans are revealed, Maggie’s burgeoning trust in her friends, and herself, will be pushed to the breaking point, and not everyone will survive.

Dropping back into Dinétah was such a thrilling experience and Rebecca Roanhorse continues to deliver a riveting dystopian fantasy world full of native culture and mythos. The plot was fast paced, the locusts were seriously creepy, and the threat level was incredibly high. While the first book definitely focused heavily on Maggie opening up and her burgeoning relationship with Kai, Storm of Locusts delves deeper into the female friendships of the series. Maggie is responsible for others now and the way it develops her as a character is remarkable. I’ll be anxiously awaiting the next adventure!


AruShahandtheSongofDeathAru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi

Published by Rick Riordan Presents on April 23, 2019

Genres: Children’s, Middle Grade, Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology

Pages: 400 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Aru is only just getting the hang of this whole Pandava thing when the Otherworld goes into full panic mode. The god of love’s bow and arrow have gone missing, and the thief isn’t playing Cupid. Instead, they’re turning people into heartless fighting-machine zombies. If that weren’t bad enough, somehow Aru gets framed as the thief. If she doesn’t find the arrow by the next full moon, she’ll be kicked out of the Otherworld. For good. But, for better or worse, she won’t be going it alone. Along with her soul-sister, Mini, Aru will team up with Brynne, an ultra-strong girl who knows more than she lets on, and Aiden, the boy who lives across the street and is also hiding plenty of secrets. Together they’ll battle demons, travel through a glittering and dangerous serpent realm, and discover that their enemy isn’t at all who they expected.

Gosh I just love Roshani Chokshi’s writing so much and this middle grade series is full of funny, heartwarming moments that left me on the edge of my seat. Aru continues to be a wonderful character and I loved exploring her feelings of inadequacy when it came to her original Pandava counterpart. It was also great to see her friendship with Mini on display and how Brynne and Aiden fit into the mix. I’m also thoroughly enthralled with the mythology of these stories and Chokshi does a phenomenal job of weaving it into the modern world. Obviously I recommend any Aru Shah!


Have you read either of these books? Enjoy books with mythology?

Let me know in the comments below!

Mini Reviews: Rafe, A Scot in the Dark, & The Day of the Duchess

After a busy October where I needed some breaks in posting, I’m back to playing catch up with some romance mini reviews. Check out my thoughts below!


RafeRafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Published by Rebekah Weatherspoon Presents on September 26, 2018

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 235 Format: eBook Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

All Dr. Sloan Copeland needed was someone to watch her kids. What she found was the man of her dreams… 

After a nasty divorce and a thousand mile move, Dr. Sloan Copeland and her twin daughters are finally getting the hang of their new life in Los Angeles. When their live-in nanny bails with no warning, Sloan is left scrambling to find a competent caretaker to wrangle her smart, sensitive girls. Nothing less will do. 

Enter Rafe Whitcomb. He’s all of those things, not to mention good-natured and one heck of a whiz in the kitchen. He’s also tall, and handsome, and bearded, and ripped, and tatted, wrist to neck. 

It doesn’t take long for the Copelands to invite Rafe into their home. Just as quickly, both Sloan and Rafe find themselves succumbing to a heady mutual attraction, neither of them wants to deny. With every minute they spend under the same roof, this working mom can’t help but wonder if Rafe can handle all her needs… 

**This stand-alone romance is fluffy. So fluffy. It’s fluff. Low. Angst. Fluff. featuring a large tatted, motorcycle riding ginger man, who bakes a mean bacon quiche and knows exactly how to wrangle clever six year olds while making their mom feel loved, loved, loved.** 

Honestly Rafe‘s not my typical romance read but apparently I’m really into men as caregivers cuz I absolutely loved this one. Sloan was an engaging heroine; incredibly smart and loving to her children, but with plenty of fears and concerns tying her up. Rafe, the titular character, was a heartthrob; buff, bearded, and an exceptional nanny. The chemistry was super hot with a super sweet romance too. There’s definitely power dynamics at play but they were handled well and the openness of conversation was wonderful. Plus the kids were an essential piece of the story and utterly adorable. I’d totally recommend this for contemporary romance fans!


AScotintheDarkA Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

Published by Avon on August 30, 2016

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Historical

Pages: 400 Format: eBook Source: Library

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Lonesome Lily Turned Scandalous Siren
Miss Lillian Hargrove has lived much of her life alone in a gilded cage, longing for love and companionship. When an artist offers her pretty promises and begs her to pose for a scandalous portrait, Lily doesn’t hesitate…until the lying libertine leaves her in disgrace. With the painting now public, Lily has no choice but to turn to the one man who might save her from ruin.

Highland Devil turned Halfhearted Duke
The Duke of Warnick loathes all things English, none more so than the aristocracy. It does not matter that the imposing Scotsman has inherited one of the most venerable dukedoms in Britain—he wants nothing to do with it, especially when he discovers that the unwanted title comes with a troublesome ward, one who is far too old and far too beautiful to be his problem.

Tartan Comes to Town
Warnick arrives in London with a single goal: get the chit married and see her become someone else’s problem, then return to a normal, quiet life in Scotland. It’s the perfect plan, until Lily declares she’ll only marry for love…and the Scot finds that there is one thing in England he likes far too much…

Oh look, another Sarah MacLean read and surprisingly even with a Scottish hero I wasn’t blown away. I still gave it four stars though since I’m a sucker for historical romance and her writing. Warnick is big, brash, and wants noting to do with the aristocracy and England. Lillian seeks acceptance and a family but her scandal threatens everything. Yes the chemistry and romance were divine but the thing that bothered me throughout this book is the “not worthy” trope being beat to death. It was overwhelming but I’d still recommend this to fans of MacLean’s and people who’ve already started the Scandal & Scoundrels series.


TheDayoftheDuchessThe Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

Published by Avon on June 27, 2017

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Historical

Pages: 400 Format: eBook Source: Library

5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

The one woman he will never forget…
Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one.

The one man she will never forgive…
After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist.

A love that neither can deny…
The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day The Day of the Duchess.

Book Three in the Scandal & Scoundrels series however lit a fire in my heart and wow did it impress. Seraphina and Malcolm’s story is ripe with pain and suffering but the love these two hold for each other is astounding. With Sera’s return and Malcolm’s quest to regain his wife the angst levels were at the highest levels. I have a hard time talking about them separately since they’re wholly wrapped up in the other but I loved seeing Sera’s business dreams on full display. Plus all the Dangerous Daughters page time was magnificent and I’m waiting with bated breath for a Sesily story with a certain American. I absolutely recommend picking this one up and the trilogy as a whole!


Have you read any of these titles?

Let me know in the comments below!

Romance Reviews: Dance Off Duology

Look! Another set of romance mini reviews are just a scroll away. This time it’s all about Alexis Daria’s Dance Off duology which, not surprisingly, I absolutely loved. Check out my extended thoughts below!


TaketheLeadTake the Lead by Alexis Daria

Published by Swerve on October 3, 2017

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 321 Format: eBook Source: Purchased

5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Gina Morales wants to win. It’s her fifth season on The Dance Off, a top-rated network TV celebrity dance competition, and she’s never even made it to the finals. When she meets her latest partner, she sees her chance. He’s handsome, rippling with muscles, and he stars on the popular Alaskan wilderness reality show Living Wild. With his sexy physique and name recognition, she thinks he’s her ticket to the finals—until she realizes they’re being set up.

Stone Nielson hates Los Angeles, he hates reality TV, and he hates that fact that he had to join the cast of the The Dance Off because of family obligations. He can’t wait to get back to Alaska, but he also can’t deny his growing attraction to his bubbly Puerto Rican dance partner. Neither of them are looking for romantic entanglements, and Stone can’t risk revealing his secrets, but as they heat up the dance floor, it’s only a matter of time until he feels an overwhelming urge to take the lead.

When the tabloids catch on to their developing romance, the spotlight threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their careers and their shot at the trophy. Gina and Stone will have to decide if their priorities lie with fame, fortune, or the chance at a future together.

Wow! Wow! Wow! Gina and Stone’s story in Take the Lead stole my heart and made me want to dance for joy. She’s a passionate, driven Puerto Rican dancer yearning to leave her mark on the world while he’s a ripped, reserved mountain man who shies away from the spotlight. The dance competition was definitely fierce and I loved the take on reality TV (the good, the bad, the ugly, etc). From grueling practices to sparkly costumes there was so much attention to detail that added depth to the narrative. Plus the romance was off the charts with a slow build up from partners, to friends, to lovers. I couldn’t get enough of their dynamic which is probably why this pushed into full five star territory. Clearly if you’re a romance fan I absolutely recommend picking this one up!


DancewithMe.jpgDance with Me by Alexis Daria

Published by Swerve on October 3, 2017

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 308 Format: eBook Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Natasha Díaz is having a day. She’s trying to prove she can make it as a professional dancer, but she’s overworked, out of cash, and her roommate has just moved out. When she comes home to find a hole in her ceiling and her bedroom flooded, she’s desperate enough to crash with the one guy she can’t quit. She accepts his offer with one condition: no sleeping together while she’s living with him.

Dimitri Kovalenko has never lived with a woman before. But when Tasha’s in need of a place to stay, he suggests she move in without a second thought. He accepts her condition, hoping she won’t stick to it. They’re good together, both in the ballroom and the bedroom. Since their first dance, she’s never been far from his thoughts. Sure, she’s a pro and he’s one of her show’s judges, but they’re not currently filming, so no one needs to know.

Living in close quarters shows Dimitri a side of Natasha he’s never seen before, and he likes it. A lot. Too bad she’s doing everything in her power to keep him at arm’s length. When an injury forces Natasha to take it easy or risk her ability to dance, it’s his chance to show her that the rules have changed, and she can trust him with her heart.

Daria’s second book, Dance with Me, is a completely different tale but just as enjoyable a read. There’s no competition and Natasha and Dimitri have been friends with benefits for years. After an unfortunate series of events the two end up roommates bringing their emotional baggage under one roof. Dimitri was such a caring guy and Natasha wants to be entirely independent but both of them have kept their feelings close to the vest. While they have history the romance was slow yet still intense and the laid back nature of the story added more dimension and heart. I wish there had been a little more dancing in this one but it was an excellent second installment that I totally recommend.


Have you read Alexis Daria’s Dance Off duology?

Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review: Last Shot by Daniel José Older

Star Wars 'Solo' Comic Books CR: Disney

Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel by Daniel José Older

Published by Del Rey on April 17, 2018

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Science Fiction

Pages: 344 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Even the fastest ship in the galaxy can’t outrun the past. . . .
 
THEN:
It’s one of the galaxy’s most dangerous secrets: a mysterious transmitter with unknown power and a reward for its discovery that most could only dream of claiming. But those who fly the Millennium Falcon throughout its infamous history aren’t your average scoundrels. Not once, but twice, the crew of the Falcontries to claim the elusive prize—first, Lando Calrissian and the droid L3-37 at the dawn of an ambitious career, and later, a young and hungry Han Solo with the help of his copilot, Chewbacca. But the device’s creator, the volatile criminal Fyzen Gor, isn’t interested in sharing. And Gor knows how to hold a grudge. . . .
 
NOW:
It’s been ten years since the rebel hero Han Solo last encountered Fyzen Gor. After mounting a successful rebellion against the Empire and starting a family with an Alderaanian princess, Han hasn’t given much thought to the mad inventor. But when Lando turns up at Han’s doorstep in the middle of the night, it’s Fyzen’s assassins that he’s running from. And without Han’s help, Lando—and all life on Cloud City—will be annihilated.
 
With the assistance of a young hotshot pilot, an Ewok slicer prodigy, the woman who might be the love of Lando’s life, and Han’s best and furriest friend, the two most notorious scoundrels in the New Republic are working together once more. They’ll have to journey across the stars—and into the past—before Gor uses the device’s power to reshape the galaxy.


Continue reading

Mini Reviews: Catherynne Valente Edition

Today I let my thoughts run wild as I reflect on two of Catherynne M. Valente’s most recent titles, The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home and Space Opera.


TheGirlWhoRacedFairylandAlltheWayHomeThe Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home by Catherynne M. Valente

Published by Square Fish on March 7, 2017

Genres: Children’s, Middle Grade, Fantasy

Pages: 320 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased

5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

This final book in the New York Times-bestselling Fairyland series finds September accidentally crowned the Queen of Fairyland. But there are others who believe they have a fair and good claim on the throne, so there is a Royal Race—whoever wins will seize the crown.

Along the way, beloved characters including the Wyverary, A-Through-L, the boy Saturday, the changelings Hawthorn and Tamburlaine, the wombat Blunderbuss, and the gramophone Scratch are caught up in the madness. And September’s parents have crossed the universe to find their daughter.

Who will win? What will become of September, Saturday, and A-Through-L? The answers will surprise you, and fans of the bestselling Fairyland series won’t want to miss this incredible conclusion in The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home, by Catherynne M. Valente.

The finale of the Fairyland series was all I’ve ever wanted and the escapades of September, El, Saturday, and all the rest will live on in infamy! From delightfully bonkers writing to the most endearing characters, Valente delivers a smashing tale for the never truly grown up. There’s a dangerous race, hilarious duels, and every ruler of Fairyland compressed within these pages. Plus the reader finally visits the Great Library! Honestly if you haven’t picked up this series yet I’ve no clue what you’re doing with your life.


SpaceOperaSpace Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

Published by Saga Press on April 10, 2017

Genres: Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 304 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented—something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.

Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for the Metagalactic Grand Prix—part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Instead of competing in orbital combat, the powerful species that survived face off in a competition of song, dance, or whatever can be physically performed in an intergalactic talent show. The stakes are high for this new game, and everyone is forced to compete.

This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick, and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny—they must sing.

A band of human musicians, dancers, and roadies have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of their species lies in their ability to rock. 

Eurovision in Space, need I say more! Well, of course I will. It’s Catherynne Valente after all. Kudos for taking this book to ridiculously outrageous levels while also grounding the story with the question of sentience. Each alien race was incredibly fleshed out with exquisite detail and Valente’s masterful writing was on full display with some of the most outlandish sentences I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeroes, despite being a hot mess, were such a joy to read about and this book will make you laugh and cry all at once. It’s an absolute must read for SciFi fans!


Have you read any of Catherynne Valente’s work?

Let me know in the comments below!

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Umbertouched by Livia Blackburne

Today I’m thrilled to share the cover reveal of Umbertouched by Livia Blackburne with all of you! I absolutely loved the first in the series, Rosemarked, and cannot wait to see what’s to come. Check out all the book details below and keep scrolling for a special giveaway!


About the Book

Umbertouched

By: Livia Blackburne

Series: Rosemarked #2

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Release Date: November 6, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Goodreads

The mission was a failure. Even though Zivah and Dineas discovered a secret that could bring down the empire, their information is useless without proof. Now, with their cover blown and their quest abandoned, their only remaining hope is to get home before Ampara brings the full might of its armies against their peoples.

As Shidadi and Dara alike prepare for war, Zivah and Dineas grapple with the toll of their time in the capital. After fighting alongside the Amparans against his own kin, can Dineas convince the Shidadi—and himself—where his loyalties lie? After betraying her healer’s vows in Sehmar City, can Zivah find a way to redeem herself—especially when the Dara ask her to do the unthinkable? And after reluctantly falling in love, what will the two do with their lingering feelings, now that the Dineas from Sehmar City is gone forever? Time is running out for all of them, but especially Zivah whose plague symptoms surface once again. Now, she must decide how she’ll define the life she has left.

Together, healer and warrior must find the courage to save their people, expose the truth, and face the devastating consequences headed their way.


Cover Reveal

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Umbertouched


Giveaway

Alongside the cover reveal, Livia Blackburne is giving away an awesome multi-book prize pack and all those who enter will also receive some cool freebies. For more details and to enter click below.

ENTER HERE


Are you excited for Umbertouched? What did you think of Rosemarked?

Let me know in the comments below!

December Book Haul ~ 2017

C40C30B8-9060-4BB6-9B54-287085291BAF

Oh look. The Christmas season made my book haul explode. Don’t let that picture fool you.

As far as new releases in December I picked up The Rebels of Gold by Elise Kova, The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden, Ever the Brave by Erin Summerill, and Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills which came in this month’s OwlCrate. I also picked up the illustrated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and my preorder of Chainbreaker by Tara Sim came early.

For TBTB Secret Santa I received Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee, Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, and an arc of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee. I also got The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows during my book club Christmas celebration.

Of course I got sucked in to another Book Outlet sale and picked up eight books. I got Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, Saints & Misfits by S.K. Ali, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, The Reader by Traci Chee, Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire, Internet Famous by Danika Stone, The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi, and Legend: The Graphic Novel by Marie Lu.

Did you buy or receive any books in December?

Let me know in the comments below!

Teaser Tuesday: Renegades

tuesteas

Hosted by A Daily Rhythm, Teaser Tuesday is a bookish meme meant to highlight passages from books you are currently reading.

Here are the rules (as described by A Daily Rhythm):

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

At the moment I’m currently reading Marissa Meyer’s new release, Renegades, and of course super enjoying it. It’s got heroes and villains, found families, and some freaking awesome powers. Check out a couple of teasers below!

“The Anarchists are my family,” she said. “The only family I have left. I won’t be free until you are. I won’t rest until the renegades are punished. For how they treat you. For how the betrayed my family. For what they did to Ace.”

Here’s another:

“Then let’s see if we can’t find what you are looking for.”

Are you planning on reading Renegades? Enjoy Marissa Meyer’s writing?

Let me know in the comments below!