Cry For Me is the second book in the Club Avalon series by Kay Elle Parker.
Everyone, it seems, knows how much she loves Jasper, including the man himself, but that doesn’t stop the pain of the axe falling on her dreams with a sharpened blade. It’s only compounded when—apparently consumed by guilt for not encouraging her to stay away from him—Jasper asks a favor from the biggest Master in Avalon…
Jasper Fairfax is a complex man. Bred to be a killer, raised and trained by a monster, he’s done a lot of bad things in his life. Things he doesn’t like remembering, but can’t let go. Sadism is ingrained within him, nurtured by his father, until it became part of him. Over the years, he’s tried to be a better man, a good man.
Anarchy, his pretty kitten, is the bright light against his darkness. A beacon of hope for a man who believes himself destined to be alone like the monster he’s tried not to become. But what hope does a man deserve when extinguishing that light is his nature?
Letting her go is hard; letting her in is worse.
Especially when his past is no longer content to stay in the past.
I loved reading about Anarchy and Jasper. Anarchy is such an interesting MC with a part of her that she wants to show but in the past it has come back to bite her. Jasper is also an interesting Master and character.
I’m looking forward to the next book in the series
Vow To Protect is by J.L Beck and Monica Corwin.
They call me a monster.
Murderous and hateful.
Beautiful but broken.Nothing can calm the ever raging storm inside of me. As the ruthless leader of the Doubeck family there is a certain standard of brutality, I have to uphold.
Then I meet her.
Beautiful, innocent, and so very afraid.
Valentina is a rival family’s daughter, and the little temptress has purposely tangled herself in my dark web.
She seeks me out, needing my help, but the price for what she wants will be steep.
Since my father’s death, I’ve needed a wife to solidify my family name, and this woman has piqued my interest.
So we strike a deal, intertwining our futures.
I’ll put a ring on her finger, own her body, keep her safe, and kill them all.
I make a vow to protect her at all costs, that is until her secrets come to light, and I’m left with the choice of becoming the monster she’s only ever heard rumors about.
I enjoyed this book. It is a dark mafia romance which ends in with a cliffhanger. Definitely check the triggers for this book.
Within the dark elements of the book, the relationship between Adrian and Valentina is pretty gentle. Adrian is so caring and gentle to Valentina even while his is quite dangerous.
It is a slow burn romance but has me intrigued for the next book.
Chasing Love is the first book in the Dark Love series by Kat T Masen.
He was my first love.
Shattered me, then left without a goodbye.
Eight years have passed, and now he’s back.
But, I’m engaged.
And he will do anything to make sure I’m his…again.
I’ve fought hard to rebuild my life. So when the ever-so-perfect Julian Baker proposes marriage, I’m ready to forget the past and move on with my new love.
In a cruel twist of fate, my past and future collide. I’m forced to face the man who destroyed my heart back in high school.
Lex Edwards, turned billionaire tycoon, is ruthless, cunning, and will not stop until I’m his.
A complicated love triangle was never something I imagined when Julian proposed to me. Especially not involving Lex.
Hearts and egos are bound to be broken.
But whose heart will capture mine when the darkness fades.
I picked up this book as it was being talked about on BookTok. It was really well written but was pretty slow paced. It jumped from the past to the present quite a lot and Charlotte didn’t know who she really wanted to be with.
It is not so much a love triangle but cheating. The POV switches got annoying as it started to repeat the same scene from a different perspective.
I’m not likely to read it again.
Someone You Love is written by Kristen Granata.
Charly Johnson created a bucket list when cancer left her mother with less than a year to live. They didn’t make it all the way through the list before she died, but she made Charly promise to finish it and live her life to the fullest.
Spending the summer in a coastal mountain city in Maine is next on her list. The scenic round is perfect for finding adventure, and the quirky inn owner makes her feel right at home in the guest house. Except for the fact that her new living quarters belong to the owner’s grump of a grandson.
Bryce Holden was a NFL player before sustaining a career-ending spinal injury. The people he thought would stand by his side left him when he was no longer a football star. Now, he prefers to live his life as a recluse, keeping outsiders at arms length where his heart is safe. The last thing Bryce needs is to fall for a beautiful woman who will leave him like everyone else.
But when he sees Charly’s incomplete bucket list, and the bruised heart she wears on her sleeve, he resolves to help her on her journey. Even if it means loosing her at the end of it.
This was done fantastically and was such a tender, sweet romance. It is a great summer romance with adventure. Charly is quirky, funny, relatable and kind which balances out Bryce who is grumpy.
I loved the idea of completing the bucket list and the forced proximity was done really well. Bryce and Charly have such a great relationship which is slow burn by very natural.
I really enjoyed seeing Bryce grow and definitely will be reading again.
Neon Gods is the first book in the Dark Olympus series by Katee Roberts.
Society darling Persephone Dimitriou wants nothing to do with her mother’s ambitions. She has plans to leave the ultra-modern city of Olympus and start her life far away from the backstabbing and politics. But that all goes down the drain when her mother ambushes her with an engagement to Zeus, the dangerous power behind their glittering city’s dark facade.
With no options left, Persephone flees Olympus and makes a devil’s bargain with a man she once believed was a myth…a man who awakens her heart and her body to a world she never knew existed.
Neon Gods is a modern retelling of Hades and Persephone. It was definitely different to the other retelling I have read in terms of the characters no having powers but is similar through the story taking place in modern times. I really enjoyed this new take.
The gods aren’t gods with powers, but are powerful people with influence within the city of Olympus, with the big three being born into the titles and the rest of the Thirteen being able to be voted in. Money is power in Olympus.
Persephone wants to escape Olympus but can’t until she is 21 and has access to her trust fund. I really liked this portrayal of Persephone as she knows what she needs to do to escape. I also enjoyed her fascination with Hades and how they met was very well done.
The relationship and interactions between Hades and Persephone were fantastic and definitely grew in spice as the story went along. This is fifty shades meet mythology, darker and much more erotic. Their trust in each other is absolute and I enjoyed the slow change in their relationship.
Persephone and her sisters are the example of sisterhood. The look out for each other and will do anything to help the other.
This is definitely been one of my favourite reads and will be reading again.
Small Favors is written by Erin A. Craig.
Ellerie Downing is waiting for something to happen. Life in isolated Amity Falls, surrounded by an impenetrable forest, has a predictable sameness. Her days are filled with tending to her family’s beehives, chasing after her sisters, and dreaming of bigger things while her twin, Samuel, is free to roam as he wishes.
Early town settlers fought off monstrous creatures in the woods, and whispers that the creatures still exist keep the Downings and their neighbors from venturing too far. When some townsfolk go missing on a trip to fetch supplies, a heavy unease settles over the Falls.
Strange activities begin to plague the town, and as the seasons change, it’s clear that something is terribly wrong. The creatures are real, and they’re offering to fulfill the residents’ deepest desires, however grand, for just a small favor. These seemingly trifling demands, however, hide sinister intentions. Soon Ellerie finds herself in a race against time to stop Amity Falls, her family, and the boy she loves from going up in flames.
I absolutely loved this retelling of Rumpelstitskin. It is definitely a dark retelling but still has positivity shining throughout the book. Amity Falls is your typical small town which relies on supply runs for some essentials. When things start going wrong, whispers of monsters with silver eyes go around the town. I could really imagine the town and the Downing’s land.
“Rule Number Seven: Enter not the forest deep. Beyond the Bells, the dark fiends keep.” Never has the rule been true this year. The way the book was broken into seasons which shows the passage of time. The Downings are a close knit family, but sometimes even the strongest bonds can break.
Ellerie really wants to help her family and when things go bad, her strength truly shows throughout the book. She is vibrant, resilient, smart, independent, tough and is much more mature than her twin brother Sam. I truly enjoyed Whitaker and his ability to weedle his way into Ellerie’s heart. I enjoyed their story arc and how their relationship changed.
The reveals and twists in this book was fantastic and I would love to read more about the journey Ellerie and Whitaker go on to find her parents. Craig did an amazing job and definitely will be reading again.
House of Eclipses is the first book in a new duology by Casey L Bond. Thank you to Lady Amber PR for the ARC copy.
Noor is the unwanted, unloved third born of the Aten, chosen vessel of the sun goddess, Sol. While she has no chance at inheriting her father’s title, what she truly longs for is peace from his unrelenting hatred. Hope builds that she may finally be able to claim that reprieve when a missive arrives from the House of the Moon.
The new Lumin, chosen of the moon god, Lumos, seeks to broker peace with the Kingdom of Helios for the first time in ages. He envisions open trade routes and an end to archaic rivalries. His dedication to this cause extends to visions of a union between the two families by marrying one of Aten’s daughters, if one of the matches is a fit.
Driven by his own twisted agenda, Noor’s father is willing to sacrifice his daughters as pawns to steal the crown for him to further his despotic reign. But Noor has other ideas. For whomever wears the crown of moonlight, holds the power of the moon itself. With such strength at her command, she could finally defeat her tyrannical father.
Yet this endeavor cannot be accomplished without great sacrifice. As Noor learns more about Lumin Caelum, guilt over her betrayal consumes her, burning hot as the sun itself. If only he wasn’t kind, and selfless, and exactly what she wanted. If only she had greater dominion over her heart…
Can Noor carry out her plan and end her father’s vile reign? Or will unlikely alliances allow a new day to dawn?
I absolutely love Casey’s novels and House of Eclipses definitely didn’t disappoint. The world building and setting allowed me to truly imagine Helios and Lumina with their differing temperatures, environment, culture and leaders who talk to the goddess Sol and god Lumos.
The main characters are all very different, but my favourites were Noor, Caelum, Vada and Beron. The Aten, Noor’s father, is a cruel man and I didn’t like how he treated others. The Sol priests were so kind and caring, Kiran- her friend and Saric- who guides and helps share the truth with Noor. Her sisters, Citali and Zarina, have their own agendas and hate Noor. Noor has the kindest heart and tries her best to help others as the people of Helios don’t have much food as the Aten hoards it.
You truly see Noor’s character at the House of Dusk as she treats everyone with respect and wants to learn more about Lumina while Citali is very rude. I loved her interactions with Caelum and the bonds she forms with Vada and Beron. The relationship that grows between Noor and Caelum was slow but it was great to see their shifting feelings and their enjoyment in the time they shared with each other. I loved the way they told each other their feelings. There were so many reveals and twists that surprised me but I loved how Caelum, Saric, Kiran, Beron and Vada all support her.
It wouldn’t be the House of Eclipses without Sol and Lumos. Their story and how Noor and Caelum have their power is bittersweet. I can’t wait for the next book and definitely will read again.
Unravel the Dusk is the last book in the Blood of Stars duology by Elizabeth Lim.
Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.
But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.
Unravel the Dusk is such a fantastic conclusion to the Blood of Stars duology. The twist ending from Spin the Dawn is now a main challenge for Maia as she battles to remain human as well as using the magical dresses to save the country she loves.
Instead of using her magic to create amazing dresses, she’s using her skills to fight at the war zone or against the empowering demon voices which are about to conquer her mind completely. She is tougher, more powerful, more exhausted, sad, depressed.
Epic war scenes were exciting, heart throbbing, nail biter, seat jumper kind of full with so many powerful action scenes so this book’s pace is faster. We already know all the characters. We know there is a big war not only between the emperors but also between the demons.
I was a bit sad we didn’t see Eden much this book but there was a fantastic reunion between him and Maia. Lim is such an amazing writer and I can’t wait to read Six Crimson Cranes.
Spin the Dawn is the first book in the Blood of Stars duology by Elizabeth Lim.
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.
Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.
And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.
Spin the Dawn blew me away. I absolutely loved Spin the Dawn and the inclusion of Eastern mythology. It was pitched as a project runway meets Mulan and has surpassed the pitch completely in my mind.
The world building was incredible and I immediately was in the world following Maia through her journey. I loved how expansive the world was but everything felt like the right distance between places.
The characters were interesting and complemented each other really well. I loved the interactions between Maia and Eden especially. All the other characters were lovely to meet and see Maia interact with them. I loved the inner strength of Maia to overcome the challenges that were thrown her way along with being female that didn’t stop her from stepping outside her comfort zone to protect her family. Eden is one of the sweetest characters I have met and I really enjoyed his interactions with Maia.
I’m really looking forward to reading Unravel the Dusk.
Lost in the Never Woods is written by Aiden Thomas. This is a stand alone novel by the author of Cemetery Boys.
Something sinister waits within the trees . . .
It’s been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into the light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road . . .
Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, asks for Wendy’s help to rescue the missing kids. But, in order to find them, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods.
Lost in the Never Woods takes place after the adventures of Peter Pan. However, things aren’t right in Neverland and new child earn are going missing, with everyone turning to Wendy for answers. It all started when John and Michael went missing and only she came out of the woods. It is a dark, mystery retelling of Peter Pan, which had me hooked on the plot points of the story. I truly wanted Wendy to find out the truth of what happened to John and Michael and for her to find her inner strength that was buried deep.
I would say that it is a slow to medium paced by the mystery keep me reading. The interaction between Wendy and Peter developed across the story as Wendy slowly remembered Peter. I really enjoyed the mirror to the original story as they try to catch and stop Peter’s shadow. The romance between Wendy and Peter is bittersweet and highlights the importance of savouring every memory and experience you can.
One quote that stood out to me is:
Shadows are made up of darkness. They feed off of sadness and despair. They manifest you’re most scared of and use it is a weapon to feed off your fear.Peter Pan to Wendy
The story while dark, was thought provoking and I truly enjoyed the book and will read again.