Marriage & Malice by Trisha Wolfe

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Rapture, desire, need – the yearning for our passions is the reason we strive, the reason we breathe. I’ve devoted my entire existence to the pursuit of my passion for dance. Ballet is my escape from the dark underworld I was born in to. As a Carpella and the daughter of a made man, I’ve accepted certain traditions. Yet, having just been promoted to principal within a prestigious dance company, I’m so close to being free…

Until a devil with blood on his hands and an Irish curse inked into his skin tears into my world, now passion holds a whole new, sinister meaning. With ruination in his steel-blue eyes and me in his crosshairs, Lucian Cross traps me in his gilded cage and uses me to deliver his retribution.

Forced to sign a marriage contract to unite two warring families, my father traded my life to save his own. Now I’m bound to Lucian, owned by a monster who swore an oath of pain and suffering to the Carpellas.

Lucian’s passion is revenge.

And because my family destroyed what he loved, he’s vowed to destroy what I love. Every night he forces me to dance until my breaking point. He wants to condition me to loathe the very thing that once gave me hope.

I can’t let him break me, but the closer we get to the wedding date, the more entangled I become in his dangerous, tempting world, and I’m losing myself in this man.

His vow is my pain.

My vow is not to fall for the enemy.

But how can I dance with the devil himself and not be singled by his fire?

•••

• MY REVIEW •

I have never read a romance story with a slow-burn romance that tortured me as badly with how sluggish it developed than this book right here! My gosh, it was like a gradual teasing build-up that led to more teasing and a whole lot of sexual frustration and torture for both protagonists… and *cough cough* me. 🤦‍♀️😅 If you enjoy angsty, SLOOOOW slow-burn mafia romance reads, this story might just be for you!

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Trisha Wolfe is a new-to-me author and this was my introduction to her writing. Marriage & Malice sets a gritty almost squirm-inducing atmosphere right from the opening scene. I was instantly immersed, needing to know what’s to become of Violet and Lucian in this all-out mafia war and enemies-to-lovers story.

Italian mafia vs the Irish syndicate, and caught in the crossfire is Violet who spent most of her life outside of it, training as a ballerina. The premise of the two worlds merging was what initially had me interested in reading this story and it doesn’t disappoint in terms of seeing a nice balance of both elements. There’s an obvious dynamic between Violet and Lucian the minute they meet and it only intensifies the longer they’re in forced proximity.

I did enjoy the build-up to their relationship and the suspense surrounding them. I only wish it didn’t take as long to admit their feelings for one another, and because of that I felt like by the time they were in it for more than the initial arranged marriage and Lucian’s vengeance, the emotions they were feeling wasn’t as in-depth or believable as I was hoping for.

For the most part it was steady-paced storytelling, only occasionally slowing down in certain parts. It’s told from dual POVs and gives you excellent insight into both Violet’s and Lucian’s pasts. Their romance is undoubtedly steamy and their growing attraction for one another is one of the most tantalizing things you can expect to see.

Overall, it had suspense, some unpredictability, and the secondary characters helped create layers in the world-building. It’s a pretty grim and dark atmosphere throughout and putting aside the romance aspect of the story, it has subject matters that may be triggering for some readers. It contains attempted sexual assault, graphic violence, abuse/ torture.

Whilst both protagonists have some character growth, it’s Lucian, in my opinion who had the most development. The further you delve into the story the more you see the subtle changes in not only his demeanor but his mentality towards Violet as he struggles with keeping his revenge. It may be a love story (albeit a dark one), but Lucian is the central character here and the story revolves around his agenda.

As much as I like this book, I do however feel an epilogue is very much needed, whether or not Trisha decides to revisit this world in the future. The ending just didn’t feel complete for a story that’s supposedly a standalone and I was left wanting more for their HEA. 🤔

Nevertheless, I think it’s a great addition to the Underworld Kings. It certainly brings in the darkness, the world of Made Men, along with complexity, villainous characters, and ulterior motives one can hope for in a romantic suspense read. The scenes with Violet dancing were beautiful, and such a contrast to the death and violence that consumed a large portion of the storyline. Lucian is Irish and a real alpha-hole… but for good reason. Violet is thrust back into the world she was born into and discovers she has more grit in her than anyone (including herself) could’ve ever imagined.

If you enjoy reading hate-to-love romances with a dark mafia backdrop to them, give this one a read.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐¾

Thank you Trisha Wolfe and the entire Underworld Kings team for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💜

•••


💀 More reviews for the Underworld Kings! 👑

UnderworldKings_SeriesBanner
📷 Underworld Kings Website

📖 Razor’s Edge by Mila Crawford

📖 Tears Of Salvation by Michelle Heard


•••

Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Protective by K.E. Osborn

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

I always felt different.

Like I never quite fit.

The moment I found the club, it felt like home, even though it was 1600 miles from Jersey.

As the joint SAA for the Houston Defiance MC, my job is to be protective. Keep my brothers at the club safe—be the first line of defense against those who seek to do us harm.

But what happens when those who defend suddenly need protection?

She upholds the law—the club lives by their own.

Never a good mix.

The pull to her is volcanic, seismic, earth shattering.

But there’s darkness surrounding her.

An evil lurking in the shadows.

With an already high enemy count, more mount up every day.

But maybe we can’t see the danger rumbling just below the surface.

When it erupts, all hope might be lost.

When all else fails, will Defiance rise through the ash?

From USA Today Bestselling Author K E Osborn comes the highly anticipated fifth book in the Houston Defiance MC Series.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

Osborn has created another couple in the Houston Defiance MC who sizzles with chemistry. Their romance was angsty with a whole lot of slow-burn build-up that I was instantly anxious to see play out!

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This is the fifth book in the series and I am just as hooked in the Houston Defiance MC as I was when I read the first book. Texas’ and Fin’s relationship was a gradual build-up long before their story was told in Protective.

It’s a sweet, somewhat of a friends-to-lovers story with Texas surprisingly being the biggest sweetheart from all the guys from the MC. I loved that he had the image of an all out brawny alpha, yet had the biggest heart. 😍 It was refreshing to see an alpha type hero who wasn’t pushy. And Fin stayed true to how she’s been portrayed in the previous books—determined, independent, with a fierce attitude!

The first half of the book was well-paced as Texas’ and Fin’s budding relationship gradually heated up, but the story quickly takes on a faster pace in the second half as situations start to amp up around them. Whilst I felt like there was an organic progression in Texas’ and Fin’s relationship, there was an overload of events that transpired in the book that, in my opinion, made the overall story busy. A lot of things happen in this book, some of which flowed naturally with the current situation that Texas, Fin and the MC found themselves in, but others just seemed like they came out of nowhere.

The first half of the book totally hooked me in and I was loving the little banters and moments between Texas and Fin. But putting aside their romance, I felt like the storyline split into different directions along the way leaving the second half of the book underwhelming. Situation after situation popped up only for it to be just as quickly resolved that I was having difficulty connecting with all. It lost the flow along with some of the swooniness from Texas’ and Fin’s relationship as it felt like they were put on the back burner whilst the MC dealt with said issues.

This story however, broaches on one particular topic, that in all honestly I never realized existed, and I admire Osborn for putting some light to a matter that may not be familiar to other readers either. The characters in this series all have their demons, tragic pasts, and issues they deal with on the daily. With Texas, you see the struggles he’s been dealing with for most of his life and how it affects him as a person.

What I like about Texas and Fin as a couple is there’s a sweet balance in their dynamic. They’re complete opposites, yet they connected with each other effortlessly and it didn’t come off stilted. The support, love, care, and admiration they have for one another is evident, long before anything romantic happened. So, when the time came when they decided to take a chance on their relationship, it felt believable.

Besides the romance in the forefront, like the previous books in this series, the addition of the secondary characters heightened the world-building and overall experience of the story. The comradery, family-like dynamic within the MC is one of my highlights. There’s a genuine brotherhood amongst these fictional characters that truly made me feel emotionally invested in them all.

(One secondary character in particular stood out and if it wasn’t for his added comic relief and all around cheery personality, I don’t think this story would be the same). 🙌

Whilst you can technically read each book as standalone, there are lingering storylines in the background that interconnect these books. I would recommend you start from the beginning of the series to really grasp the entirety of their world, although Osborn does a thorough job of giving you the gist of each couple so you’re up to scratch with everyone’s stories so far without having reading any of the previous books beforehand.

There’s equal parts romance to the MC elements. If you enjoy the angst of slow burn romances, then you’re in for a treat with Texas and Fin as they keep you on tenterhooks. If you haven’t read any of Osborn’s MC books, I should point out there can be some dark elements. Her stories (at least within this series) contain matters that may be triggering for some readers. Please note, Protective includes triggers such as graphic violence, displays of intimidation resulting in death threats and stalking, and domestic abuse (displaying the emotional and mental affects it has to those who’ve experienced it). It contains strong mature themes and sexual content intended for readers 18+ only.

Protective is a rollercoaster ride with a lot of twists and turns. It’s unpredictable and at times can be eccentric. Some plotlines I found realistic, whilst at other times a little out there. What I did find consistent and comforting where the relationships (and what I always look forward to seeing from each book in this series). For the most part, the atmosphere of the story was grim and edgy, but Osborn included some well placed light-hearted moments to break up some of the tension. You’re on the edge of your seat from the get-go, and whilst the second half wasn’t what I had expected in terms of plot lines, I still found the overall experience of reading this book enjoyable.

If you’ve read the previous books in the series, then this one is not to be missed, especially since Texas and Fin seemed like a long time coming. It’s suspenseful, action-packed, and like the others, will keep you reading until the end!

And speaking on the ending…. *eep!* 🙊

Osborn’s writing is so favourable! From the books I’ve read so far of hers, not a single one has failed in keeping me intrigued. I’m down for her characters, the stories she comes up with, and the developments. They’re complex and yes, they can be gritty at times, but she has striking characters who are relatable, and her stories are hearty romantic suspense that keeps you guessing. I love that whilst their great swoon-worthy escapism, there’s always substance in her romance stories.

All the books in the Houston Defiance are must reads, and Protective is a great addition to this ever-expanding MC. I’m looking forward to reading the next one!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to K.E. Osborn and The Next Step PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

🔔 Interested in reading Protective? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

•••


Read my reviews for The Houston Defiance MC

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Book One: Explosive by K.E. Osborn

Book Two: Addictive by K.E. Osborn

Book Three: Fugitive by K.E. Osborn

Book Four: Impulsive by K.E. Osborn


•••

Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Kiss To Defy by Anna B. Doe

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

She’s a figure skating prodigy. He’s a guy from the wrong side of tracks.

They belong to two completely different worlds…

After dedicating her entire life to figure skating, Rei Mitchell-Nagasaki is ready for a little bit of normal. And what’s more normal than attending college?

Zane West has had a rough life, but he’s found his way out of Ashton Heights and he isn’t about to lose it all when the demons of his past come knocking at the door.

… that are about to collide on the ice.

Rei has one semester to show her father that she can have it all—a normal life and making it to the Winter Games—but it’s not so easy when there is a broody hockey player standing in her way. Once heated arguments turn into sharing the rink and late-night kisses, neither of them will be able to resist the pull.

Will they manage to defy the odds or was their love doomed from the very beginning?

•••

• MY REVIEW •

Another amaaaaazing addition to the totally addictive college romance series; Blairwood University by Anna! 🙌

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Right from the very beginning this story had me engaged with that zinger of an opening scene between Rei and Zane… 🔥 *phew!*

If you adore sports romances, specifically hockey romances — this series is a must read. You can technically read each one as standalone books, but as someone who’s read them all, I can tell you now, you’ll want to read them in release order. The world-building from the first book sets the atmosphere not only within Blairwood, but amongst the friends, and from there it’s an ever-expanding world as you get to know more and more about each character in length through the books that follow.

Anna has kept it consistent with another character-driven story with well-paced storytelling as it delves into two opposite characters who find themselves having more in common than they first realized. The dual points of view was a perfect choice in sharing their story because you get in-depth insights into their relationship and compare where their heads are at on certain situations. Whilst Anna has already introduced some multicultural diversity when she first introduced these friends in the first book— Kiss To Defy is the first amongst them with leading characters who are POC (person/people of colour).

Although, both the hero and heroine are of colour, their different multicultural backgrounds alone wasn’t necessarily the biggest factor that was in the forefront of the story. If anything, it was mentioned more in passing as their overall social standing was more so the main obstacle in their budding relationship.

I connected with Rei fairly easily just from the description of her appearance alone. 😅 As a fellow Asian and a shorty to boot, Rei simply felt like someone I could relate and be friends with in real life. As the story progresses, you quickly discover with her personality she’s quite a likable character as well. She’s a person who’s ambitious yet yearns for some work/life balance by choosing to divide her time from skating with school and making friendships.

What I love about the books in this series is the dynamics amongst the friends, and this one was no different. It gave it a lot more dimension having all these secondary characters have some participation in creating layers within the story no matter how minor. In my opinion, Zane’s and Rei’s story was somewhat more sombre in comparison to all the previous couples that I found the few lighthearted moments throughout were refreshing breaks from the weighty issues that both Zane and Rei were dealing with. There’s just enough lightness and comic relief to keep their story from going too serious.

Please note this story contains some sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers. It delves into addiction, domestic abuse, and violence. Recommended for readers of age only. 

I do have to point out that whilst I found the majority of the friends in this story very agreeable, I did find one in particular I was not a fan of. I found them to be a little pushy, rude, in-your-face, and at times disrespectful of others’ feelings. I won’t be naming names for a couple of reasons, one being that this is a no spoiler review, and two, this particular character has a book in the works (if sources are correct), so I’m hoping that my annoyance of said character doesn’t go any further than this book and that in my eyes they’ll have some redeeming qualities. 🙏

The entire book was an enjoyable read, but I would’ve preferred more build-up not only in their relationship but in the overall storyline too. Yes, there’s quite a slow burn romance going that kept me on the edge of my seat, but the overall story felt like it lacked a little more oomph that the other books in the series had in spades. I found certain plots started out well enough but fizzled by the end leaving it a little anti-climatic, whilst other plots felt like they came out of nowhere that it left me a little taken aback.

I did however liked seeing no game-playing between Rei and Zane. They both knew they had a bond and it felt very genuine seeing them whenever they were together.

As I said at the very beginning, this is another great addition to the series. I think it’s a must read for those who have come to love the series and invested in seeing each character get their own story. I admit Zane wasn’t on my radar as much as some of the other guys, but after having read Kiss To Defy, I have a newfound respect for him. Despite his difficult upbringing, it’s never discouraged him from wanting a better life for himself and willing to work hard for it. He’s also quite a considerate gentleman— which he proves time and time again with Rei. 😊

What I also enjoyed about this story besides the slow burn romance between the two, is the vivid feature of both Rei’s and Zane’s perspective sports. Especially Rei’s figure skating. Anna has managed to put a lot of detail and sport “lingo” that wasn’t overly done or overbearing to read about. On the contrary, I found it all fascinating and at times felt like I was actually learning a thing or two about each sport. Both Zane’s passion for ice hockey, and Rei’s ambition in her figure skating career were evident and figuratively oozed out of the pages. Right along with the unwavering support they had for one another in achieving their goals.

Their romance was far from easy but it was sweet and, in the end, triumphant. What started out as a misunderstanding between the two ended up being such a solid relationship. They might have had differences, but Rei and Zane are undoubtedly perfect for one another. Anna has written another swoon-worthy couple whom I can look forward to seeing make appearances in future books.

This one in particular had a lot of elements and tropes included. If you like any and all in your romance reads, then I recommend you give this one a try.

  • Opposites Attract
  • Hate to Love
  • Diverse Characters
  • Contemporary Romance
  • College Romance
  • Slow Burn
  • New Adult
  • Sports Romance

I may have had a couple of hang-ups with some plotlines and certain characters in this book, but I can’t deny Anna’s writing style is effortless to follow and gets you invested in fairly early on. I love the consistency in effort and detail Anna puts into each of her books in this series that it’s hard not to want the next one right away.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Anna B. Doe for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💜

🔔 Interested in reading Kiss To Defy? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

•••


🏈 Read my reviews for the Blairwood University Series!

Prequel: Kiss Me First by Anna B. Doe
Book One: Kiss To Conquer by Anna B. Doe
Book Two: Kiss To Forget by Anna B. Doe

•••

Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Lessons In Sin by Pam Godwin

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

There’s no absolution for the things I’ve done.
But I found a way to control my impulses.
I became a priest.

As Father Magnus Falke, I suppress my cravings. As the headteacher of a Catholic boarding school, I’m never tempted by a student.

Until Tinsley Constantine.

The bratty princess challenges my rules and awakens my dark nature. With each punishment I lash upon her, I want more. In my classroom, private rectory, and bent over my altar, I want all of her.

One touch risks everything I stand for. My faith. My redemption. And even my life.

As if that could stop me. I need her pain, and her heart, and she needs my lessons in sin.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

Oh holy book gods, Lessons In Sin was indefinably beautiful in all its forbidden and lustful existence! I thoroughly enjoyed all the books I’d read so far within the Midnight Dynasty but I can’t lie, this book blew all my good sense away!

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Without a doubt, it not only took hold of my attention, but pushed my catholic-raised ways aside and convinced me that this age-gap, totally unbinding romance between just-of-age Tinsley and her much older boarding school headteacher and (off limits) priest was justifiable and despite all odds, is all around meant-to-be.

Genuinely heart-wrenching and soul-crushing, deepest of the deep kind of love — 👏 That is what you can expect to discover from reading this story. It’s a vivid and multifaceted world-building that Pam has created, with impressively well-developed and ever-evolving characters. I’m still in awe of how much emotion this book has evoked out of me. Right from the opening scene with Tinsley’s and Magnus’ first encounter set the atmosphere into intense climates and only expanded from there to suspense, thrill, and giddy excitement. If this was a scene from a movie, you would see little bright sparks fly out of the pages and my face in sheer wonder and delight.

I seriously can’t fault anything about it. Yes, it’s totally sinful, and in reality their situation would absolutely be all kinds of wrong… but that’s the beauty of fictional books, it’s all make believe, and fantasy, and escapism from the daily grind.

In my opinion Lessons In Sin was just that. The perfect escapism!

It had a compelling hero and heroine that oozed out such emotion that I found myself truly invested and saturated in their complexed lives. I loved the contrast and dimension between Tinsley and Magnus. There was definite demonstrations of their age difference throughout with their oh-so entertaining push-and-pull banter that was both perfectly timed and unsuspecting comic relief. But what made their relationship mesh so well was they connected through intelligence and understanding, and all banter aside, maturity levels that exceeded Tinsley’s youth.

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There was plenty of intrigue to effortlessly keep you reading with bated breath. Besides Tinsley and Magnus, there’s a diverse range of secondary characters that all played a role in making this story layered in complexity — from the memorable dynamics of fellow students, to the other priests, to the glimpses of the Constantine tribe.

I’m not going to go into detail about the religious aspects within this story. Please note this is just my opinion, but as an avid reader of dark romance novels (and who happens to be Catholic), I don’t find this story offensive. If I hadn’t already made it obvious, I enjoyed reading this book. Despite its setting and some of the realistic aspects included, at the end of the day it is fictional. The blurb pretty much mentions the forbidden and taboo elements of Magnus being a priest and Tinsley being a student. If after reading the synopsis you take any offence, then you may want to give this one a miss.

It’s a contemporary romance first and foremost but with dark elements. Without spoiling the plot, I will say that Magnus has ghosts that can be haunting to read about (no pun intended). It may not necessarily be triggering content but I don’t want to risk it if you are a reader who has triggers. There is sensitive subject matter that may surprise or catch you off guard. But just know it’s mentioned in passing and not something that actually plays out in the story.

What I realized fairly early on is Tinsley is strong-willed, comfortable in her own skin, and knows what she wants. It’s a big reason as to why I favor her character and in general find her a truly likable young person. She could easily have been the rich, bratty teenager who you’d constantly roll your eyes at, but every emotion and action out of her is calculated and within reason.

I honestly haven’t read a storyline that’s intricate and as well thought-out as this one in a long time. The storytelling was well paced, flowed with ease, and effortless to follow with its first-person dual points of view. There’s constant build-up and plot twists throughout. Not going to lie, there were a couple of instances where I had inklings that proved true but even with those minor predictabilities my excitement levels were still up there in seeing how Tinsley’s and Magnus’ wild journey will wrap-up.

✔ Forbidden

✔ High School

✔ Age-Gap

✔ Taboo

✔ Slow Burn

✔ Angst

I can tell you, this story had tropes I don’t usually go for first in my romance reads, but it proved to be a romance story I didn’t know I needed! All those elements were written in brilliantly that the age difference and taboo of their relationship wasn’t even in the forefront whilst reading it. They had undeniable chemistry and an even more sizzling bond that only escalated as time passed.

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What started out as a bit of diabolical game playing from Tinsley in pushing Magnus’ buttons, and with Magnus ever the strict rule abiding teacher and a man of faith determined to make her fall in line, progressively turned into companionship— to molten desire— to the inevitable forbidden relationship they so desperately wish would never end.

I was either in near tears with chin wobbles or full-on blubbering whilst reading this book. It was hearty, full of depth, and just simply winning. I adored the little friendships, the sibling solidarity, Tinsley’s passion, Magnus’ protectiveness, and all the minor characters—who I shall not name but nevertheless made an impact!

This is my first book of Pam Godwin’s but in no way will it be my last. If her writing style from this one is anything to go by, she has won herself another fan. 😊

Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. I would happily recommend it to fellow romance readers. It’s also a must read for fans who’ve been following the world of the Constantines and the Morellis within the Midnight Dynasty. I admit Tinsley Constantine wasn’t really on my radar as far as Constantine siblings go, but after reading Lessons In Sin she fast became my favourite (sorry Keaton)! An all-consuming love story that honestly rivals some of my all-time favourite classic romance novels. I will be reading this one time and time again.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Pam Godwin, Dangerous Press, and Valentine PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💙

•••


Midnight Dynasty is a brand new world where enemies and lovers are often one and the same.

Continue with the world of the Midnight Dynasty!

💻 Join the Facebook Group! Midnight Dynasty Reader Lounge

📱 Follow on Instagram! Dangerous Press

🔔 Get the latest news! Newsletter Sign Up

•••

Read my reviews of books in the Midnight Dynasty!

👑 Cinderella Trilogy by K. Webster

Book One: Stroke Of Midnight by K. Webster
Book Two: Prince Charming by K. Webster
Book Three: The Glass Slipper by K. Webster

🔥 Hellfire Club by Becker Gray

Book One: Wicked Idol by Becker Gray
Book Two: Callous Prince by Becker Gray
Book Three: Brutal Blueblood by Becker Gray

🧡 Hearts Trilogy by M. O’Keefe

Book One: Stolen Hearts by M. O’Keefe
Book Two: Broken Hearts by M. O’Keefe

🌹 Beauty and the Beast Trilogy by Amelia Wilde

Book One: Secret Beast by Amelia Wilde
Book Two: Hidden Beauty by Amelia Wilde

•••

Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Saint by Nicole James

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Kami—

I’m no longer the little girl he once knew, one who believed in fairy tales.
And he’s no longer the white knight I believed him to be.
How can he be when he shows up on a black Harley wearing leather and biker boots?
I didn’t want this, but the decision is out of my control.
Now I’m his.

I have to remember this is only temporary.
I can’t let the way his predatory gaze sets fire to my body fool me.
Because I’m just a debt he’s paying, and I can’t risk my heart by letting myself believe it can ever be more.

Not with a man like him.
He’s dangerous, and only focused on one thing—securing his place with the baddest MC in town.

He’s no longer the boy I remember when I was nine years old—the one who helped me when I got stuck in a tree. The one who climbed up, wrapped an arm around me and hauled me down to safety, calling me short cake.
He was my savior then—a childish crush—but we’re no longer children.

Now he’s a stranger.

Now he’s my husband.

Saint—

I took her with me because I had no choice.
If I owe a debt, I pay it.

I owed her mother a favor, but I never expected the repayment to include marrying her seventeen-year-old daughter. When she begs me to take Kami with me to protect her, do I have a choice?

Besides, it’s only temporary. Just until she turns eighteen.

Only 90 days to go.

I can resist her that long, right?

•••

• MY REVIEW •

👏👏👏 Nicole James has done it again! Saint is a phenomenal read — one that I will reread over and over again!

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The main thing that stood out the most was the world-building in this story and the further you delve in, the more you get invested in Saint’s and Kami’s story. Not just with the unique situation they both signed on for, but also with their own personal lives. They were heading in completely different directions and all of a sudden they’re thrust into a marriage of convenience. Saint has wanted nothing more than to be a full-fledged member of the Kings of Carnage MC. Having to balance out his duties and loyalties to the club and ensuring Kami is taken care of and protected was what kept me engaged throughout.

Once I started this book it was unputdownable! The storytelling is well-paced and told from dual points of view. I loved witnessing their developing relationship from the instant connection they had to each another. In spite of their situation and the fact that they hadn’t seen each other since they were kids, it didn’t deter from the sense of comfort and familiarity between them, even in the beginning when they first reunite.

I’ve always found James’ writing style to be effortless to follow with her charming (and at times entertaining) characters and hearty plotlines. I just know I’m gonna hunker down and enjoy what’s ahead of me. It’s hard not to get addicted to this book because James has created truly relatable and down to earth characters with a gripping storyline. There’s also a great balance of light and shade within adding comic relief in-between the gritty moments. The atmosphere flowed well from goodness to darkness and back again with ease.

Saint and Kami have a slow burn romance that kept me both in suspense and excitement to see develop. I absolutely adore Kami and relieved to see that although she’s still a teenager, she’s mature and has a sweet nature about her that meshes well with Saint’s personality. He’s got the protective gentlemanly vibes down pat with just the right amount of alpha. To be honest, this entire story gave me such Dirty Deeds vibes, but I think that has a lot to do with the fact that both stories have amazing world-building with a strong and constant structure to its storyline. They both have young, innocent heroines that you can’t hate, and who’ve managed to worm their way into the hearts of these hot-as-sin bikers!

I’m not going to lie when I first discovered how young Kami was, I was a smidge anxious to see how the romance element with Saint would come into play, what level of it I could expect, and how soon? But as I mentioned earlier it’s a slow burn, and whilst I was itching to see them finally reach the romantic stage of their relationship, I adored seeing them get reacquainted first. In my opinion, with Kami being young and Saint only a few years older, the steadiness of their relationship was fitting. It felt substantial and all the more authentic, especially when it came down to their emotions.

Both Kami and Saint grew up in close-knit relationships with their parents, and whilst somewhat of the storyline revolved around Kami’s, I was kind of expecting to see more of those familial moments with Saint’s also — especially considering what they’d ventured into is something his parents have strong values and beliefs over. But nevertheless, I found the conclusion to be a sweet HEA and in my mind, Saint’s family are just as happy as Kami’s with how things played out. 😉

Besides the romance element, there’s a generous amount of the MC side of the story where you get to see Saint’s role in the MC and how much of it consumes his life. As well as meet the rest of the members/ prospects of the club. In comparison to James’ other MC stories, I found this one leaned more towards the lighthearted side of MC romances. There’s some suspense and a few plot twists to keep you on your toes, but I absolutely went nuts for the unexpected but swoon-inducing crossover James has cleverly included into the plot.

This book is part of the Kings of Carnage MC: Prospects series and can be read as a standalone story. It has all the elements I always find winning in MC romances:

  • Lovable characters
  • Vivid world-building
  • Strong storyline
  • Suspense and unpredictability
  • Equal amounts of MC and romance elements
  • Banter and lighthearted humour

JamesFranco_SoGood

I undoubtedly loved it! It’s now one of my fave MC romances of James’ and I highly recommend it to fellow MC romance readers. I found the story of an MC prospect a refreshing alternative from reading one who’s already a member. James provides a cool and detailed description of what is expected of a prospect, and how much trust, commitment, and loyalty it takes to make it as a member in the club. By the end you’ll not only swoon over the romance, but you’ll feel like you have some know-how of the world of motorcycle clubs. It’s a must read!

“Kings forever, forever Kings.”

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you Nicole James for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

•••


Read more of my reviews for Nicole James’ books!

Evil Dead MC Series by Nicole James
Dirty Deeds by Nicole James
Dirty Deals by Nicole James
Dirty Desires by Nicole James
Brothers Ink Tattoo by Nicole James
Club Princess by Nicole James
Wicked by Nicole James
The Biker’s Second Chance by Nicole James

•••

Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

The Patriot by Jennifer Millikin

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

I’m a soldier.
A cattle rancher.
A Hayden.

My family’s legacy is spread out in front of me, just waiting for me to seize it. If it weren’t for one outdated rule, I’d be the owner of the Hayden Cattle Company and my aging father could retire.

When Dakota Wright shows up to buy and develop twenty acres of Hayden land, I see more than a pretty mouth and strawberry blonde hair. I see a way around the decree keeping me from getting what I want.

And, as luck would have it, Dakota has a big problem of her own. We strike two deals: one for the land, and a second that’ll make both our problems a distant memory.

It isn’t too long before I realize I’m in over my head. I’ve convinced myself the ends should justify the means, but everything begins to fall apart when my birthright is no longer all that I’m after.

I never thought there’d be anything I could love more than my ranch and my country.
I was wrong.

Turns out, I want it all.
Including her.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

BradPitt_Cowboy

I’m giddy with enthusiasm… why? Because I’m pretty sure this new-to-me author just caught my attention with The Patriot!

When I initially signed for an advanced copy I assumed (based on the blurb) that it’s a simple contemporary romance set out in the countryside. You know the usual… the cowboy and the city girl meet, fall in love and the rest is history. 🤷‍♀️

Whilst that short summary may be somewhat true, it doesn’t even skim the surface. This story offered so much more than what I had bargained for. The world-building alongside the character development that organically grew throughout is what made this book a phenomenal read in my books. The picture Millikin paints is so vivid and in-depth that I couldn’t help but find myself immensely invested in both Wes and Dakota’s lives.

When they’re first introduced, it seems like they don’t have a care in the world. An initial attraction pulls them towards each other and they have one magical night.

Fast forward to the present day, and that carefree night together seems like a million lightyears away. That is until they unexpectedly see each other again and old feelings and memories come flooding back.

I was hooked from the moment they made contact. Lol. I can’t put into words how much Millikin’s writing was all-consuming, addictive, and realistic. It’s a work of fiction that readers can easily connect with because the troubles that both Wes and Dakota struggle with are relatable and effects so much of our population.

Despite their personal issues, I love that they find solace in one other. They may not necessarily be willing to help themselves per se, but it doesn’t stop them from wanting or even trying to help lift some of the burden the other has on their shoulders. You cannot dislike either one of these protagonists. They’re going through hardships, they’re stubborn, secretive, and even closed off at times (especially Wes), but it’s evident that their good people and their hearts are in the right place.

Such a wholesome, heartwarming love story — and one that’s ingrained with strong family bonds and values. In this day and age (and maybe it’s also a generational thing), I find it almost a dying breed to see people who have still have strong morals and beliefs that have been passed on and taught from their parents and grandparents.

Wes is a pure gentleman. Almost an old soul (but maybe it’s due to the fact that he’s already lived such a life in his thirty-plus years). There’s no bullshitting with him. He’s determined, loyal, protective, and what I found most appealing despite his struggles, is he’s still the type of guy who know will have your back.

Dakota is a lighter personality. She’s dealing with her own issues but for the most part, she’s friendly and understanding, and full of potential she doesn’t know she has. She can be bubbly (but not in the ditzy sort of way), and her internal dialogue is a hoot! 🤭

They work so well together. A balance I found so endearing. If you enjoy reading slow burn romances and/or a fake relationships trope, then I highly recommend you give this book a go. I can tell you now, Millikin’s Hayden Family series is definitely one I’m looking forward to continuing.

There are secondary characters in here that are just as intriguing. The Hayden family are seen as enigmatic royalties in their town. Each sibling having strong personalities of their own. As much as I enjoyed Wes and Dakota’s growing relationship, I don’t think it would’ve been the same feels without either one of their families as supporting characters in their journey (not to mention their banter would surely be missed). 😜

This is my first book of Millikin’s so I don’t have any of her previous books to compare it with, but I found her writing style effortless to follow. It’s well-paced storytelling that constantly kept me engaged. There’s a nice break of light in between the darkness so it doesn’t have that overall heavy emotional feeling.

Wes struggles with mental and emotional scarring that I thought was handled with a lot of care and sensitivity. His story brought awareness to these issues and the struggles men and women can go through when they’ve been in similar situations.

Both Wes and Dakota internally struggle with guilt that they’ve been carrying around with them, and through their journey they gradually share and open themselves to finding happiness again. Aw sigh. It’s a truly heartwarming story of love and healing, with strong family ties and friendships. I couldn’t put it down, and finishing it only made me eager to read the next books in the series.

  • Small Town Setting: ✔
  • Cowboys: ✔
  • Slow Burn Romance: ✔
  • Fake Relationship: ✔

It’s books like this one that make me want to read more contemporary romances. Loved it, and I would happily recommend it to any romance reader looking for a good ol’ fashion happily ever after!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you Jennifer Millikin and The Next Step PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

🔔 Interested in reading The Patriot? Grab your copy here: ​Universal Link


•••

Happy reading, guys! Hope you’re all well. Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Love The One You Hate by R.S. Grey

LovetheOneYouHate_Cover

•••

— BLURB —

Nicholas Hunt is the man I hate.

For good reason.

His opinion of me is tainted by prejudice even before my arrival at his grandmother’s estate, and my first impression of him is just as abysmal.

His arrogance and icy demeanor make it clear that he’s the type of man who’s best handled at a distance.

Fortunately, space shouldn’t be an issue inside this Gilded Age mansion and its lush gardens. If I stick with the servants and he keeps to his sailboat and vintage Porsche, we should hardly cross paths at all. Unfortunately, at Rosethorn, I find that all roads eventually lead to Nicholas Hunt.

Sparks fly as we spar at the dinner table. Fighting words are flung in the shadows of the palatial halls.

We hang suspended in our hatred of one another, painfully oblivious to the heat and tension that build with every moment we’re left alone. We’re liable to kill one another, I think…right up until my eyes land on his lips and a new feeling grips hold of me: lust.

What’s worse?

He knows it.

They say you should keep your enemies close, but when Nicholas tightens his grip on my waist and draws me near, I’m not sure if it’s out of loathing or love.

One thing’s for sure—I intend to find out.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

I’m always up and raring to go when Grey has a new release. Her books always has a way of lightening your mood and is a great escape from the daily grind (even if it’s only for a few hours).

Love The One You Hate is a standalone contemporary romance that has a Cinderella/ Pretty Woman/ Pretty in Pink rolled into one story line.

PrettyWoman_Fairytale

You’re introduced to Maren who pretty much has the worst luck in the world. She’s barely scraping by in the financial department, on the verge of getting fired from her job at an aged care home, and basically has no family to lean on.

But just when she thinks her life is just one big black sucky hole, luck finally throws her a bone in the form of Cornelia Buchanan. Or as I’d like to call her “the fairy godmother”.

Cornelia is pretty much the fairy godmother everyone wishes they had! Kind, thoughtful, giving… and did I mention boatload rich??! Whilst visiting a friend at the home, she sees Maren having a bad day at work and an idea forms out of thin air — Hire Maren to be her personal carer of sorts. Great idea, right?

Enters Nicholas Hunt. Well traveled, classy, a lawyer to boot, and oh yes.. Cornelia’s cold, takes-no-shit, serious grandson. And one look at Maren.. and all he can think is she’s there to take advantage of his grandmother and take her for everything she’s got. Why else would she be there, right?

“It’s like he hated me upon sight. Is that a thing? People drone on about love at first sight, but what about the opposite? Can someone lay eyes on a stranger one time and decide on a whim to hate them forever after?” — Maren    

Whilst I adored the concept of this storyline (who wouldn’t love a Cinderella-esque story where the poor girl, finds love and happiness with a man who can offer her the world?!).. it did feel a little choppy for my liking. There’s quite a few little sub-plots happening within this story but they all fizzled out. I would’ve liked to have seen one or two of those side stories lead somewhere. It almost felt like they were added on as fillers..? A lot of things were left unfinished or quickly settled. Not to mention the epilogue confused me. There was quite a lot of change that I, for one did not see coming at all as there were no hints of it prior. Sigh.

You want unpredictability in your reads? You’ll get it from this one. Hehe.

But there are a handful of positive features in this book. Like Cornelia and Maren’s blooming bond. They have a nice friendship that’s consistent and probably the only stable relationship throughout. I enjoyed reading their time spent together.

Then you have Maren and Nicholas, who are from two different words. She’s considered an outsider, not from the same class, and before coming to stay and work for Cornelia she was pretty much a loner. Nicholas and his family are well known. He’s hanged out with the same circle of people all his life. So saying their relationship is complicated is an understatement, but I couldn’t deny every time they were in the same room, the zing was strong!

PrettyWoman_RedDress

Nicholas was wary, judgmental and a little cold at first but was quick to accept he prejudged Maren and was willing to admit he made a mistake. Maren on the other hand came off as a little rude and standoffish towards Nicholas — which I must say I was a little taken aback considering he is Cornelia’s grandson. You would think she would try to befriend him or at least be civilized, but sadly that wasn’t the case at all. There’s a lot of game playing involved and I found that there was very little about her I did like (besides being a great companion to Cornelia) 😞

In all honestly, whilst there were a lot of parts I enjoyed reading from this book, but it’s not one of my faves from Grey. It fell a little short with little to no real character growth from either protagonists. Whilst there was obvious chemistry between the two, I wouldn’t even call what they had a proper relationship (and based on how it was going, certainly one I didn’t see lasting).

“If you and I hadn’t gotten off to such a rocky start, I think I would have found you very handsome.” — Maren

But Grey is a pro at creating witty banter between her characters and she always knows how to lighten the mood with a little humor. I’m happy to say it’s no different with this one! I may not be a fan of Maren, but there was some secondary characters that I did find appealing and gave this fictional world a little more depth in the sense that you get the gist that Maren is brought into a world of exclusivity and social standing.

All in all, a fairly well-paced story. A nice familial bond with Cornelia really being the link between Nicholas and Maren. A couple of entertaining secondary characters that never fail to make me smile. And a few saucy scenes between our leads. Romance readers who enjoy an enemies to lovers/ hate to love trope will certainly have no problems settling in with this one on a comfy couch! 😉

If you’re an avid fan of R.S. Grey and her books, then you’ll want to add this one to your collection. It’s a modern take on…

PrettyWoman_Cinderella

RATING: ♥♥♥¾

Thank you to R.S. Grey for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy! 🧡

•••


— Love The One You Hate by R.S. Grey —

SaveTheDate

Release Date: May 7, 2020

Add to your TBR: Goodreads

Grab your copy below!

 


— About The Author —


Author_R.S. Grey

R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels. She lives in Texas with her husband and daughter, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga!

Follow R.S. Grey on her Social Media

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•••

If you’re interested in reading my reviews for previous books by R.S Grey — check out the ones below!

Hope you’re all well, friends! Keep safe, and I’ll catch you in my next one! Xo

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Coldhearted Boss by R.S. Grey

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•••

— SYNOPSIS —

I’m desperate and destitute when Lockwood Construction rolls into my small town with an offer too good to pass up: high wages to any able-bodied man willing to join their crew.

Say no more. I throw on baggy clothes, tuck my long hair under a baseball hat, and apply for a job. Unfortunately, my half-baked idea of disguising myself as a guy is flawed from the beginning. As Shakira says, these hips don’t lie.

Still, I like to think I might have pulled the whole thing off save for one thing:

I know my boss.

Last month, we met at a bar, and after a fiery first encounter, it seems we’re destined to be sworn enemies.

Ethan Stone is ruthless and arrogant, a man I never would have crossed had I known how much he likes to toy with his prey.

He should just fire me and be done with it. Instead, he decides to make me his personal slave. Oh right, I think they’re calling it personal “assistant” these days.

It’s torture, all of it—his bad attitude, his ruggedly chiseled face, his desire to grind me into dust.

Every one of our friction-filled battles burns hotter than the last.

A girl can only hold out for so long. Soon, I’m bound to go up in flames.

My objective? Survive the heat long enough to send home a paycheck.

My real objective? Stop having X-rated fantasies about my coldhearted boss.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

Girls_Swoon

*Phewww!* 😛 Another enjoyable romcom from R.S Grey! I love a good enemies to lovers/ hate-to-love romance and this one checked a lot of boxes for me.

I would’ve loved to have given this book a full 5 stars but ugh.. I just couldn’t. So, let’s start with the things I nitpicked over whilst reading it…

First off–I wasn’t expecting a sloooooooooooooooow burn romance. I’m talking about the slowest of the slow! The romance was practically 99% non-existent. It left me on the edge of my seat with anticipation. They didn’t get together until the very last few chapters (and lemme tell ya.. those chapters weren’t very long either).

Phoebe_Madness

But it no way put me off reading it (because I was hooked all throughout with their game-playing).. but I was anxiously waiting for them to finally admit their feelings to each other the entire time — so I kinda felt a little frustrated with that.

But man, was I effing relieved when everything was finally out in the open! Haha.

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There were some things I thought were a little abrupt and had me pulling my chin back in surprise, but other than that, it has your usual R.S. Grey humor.. aka lots of funny moments and one-liners that’ll have you giggling!

R.S. Grey was a new-to-me author earlier this year and I’ve read about a half dozen of her books already. I haven’t come across one I didn’t like, and this one was no different.

A friend mentioned when I asked which R.S. Grey book I should read next, and she recommended this one. She said it was a tamer hate-to-love version of Arrogant Devil–which is my #1 fave book of Rachel’s (so far anyways), so Coldhearted Boss was a no brainer for me.

I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read it yet, but I just had to include one of my fave scenes into this review. It’s a scene I’ve read and reread a few times now. And noooo.. it’s not because they were doing the deed (I mean they were.. but that’s not the only reason why I love it so)..

So. Heads up!

Caution_Spoilers

The cold water soothes my overly heated skin and he keeps me against him, carried like a child in his arms. My arms wrap around his neck and I bury my head in the groove just below his chin. His palms drags down my chest, rinsing me off, and I feel like I’m dreaming, barely able to keep my eyes open after a long day and longer night. None of this feels quite real, which is probably why I feel compelled to pour out my soul, letting him hear the truth I’ve been so careful to hide.

“I’m not perfect, Ethan, but I’m not a bad person either. The truth is, I thought you were the most handsome man I’d ever seen before I thought of my harebrained idea. I wanted you, and not as some potential target. You have to know that.”

“I forgive you,” he says, his brows furrowed angrily. “Taylor, of course I forgive you.”

“And you don’t think I took your money, right?” You believe me about that as well?” I ask, knowing this is my chance to clear this up.

“The money was gone when I got my wallet back.”

I go rigid in his arms. “I didn’t take it! I swear to–“

He silences me with a kiss.

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This scene always gets the butterflies a-fluttering. Taylor’s confession followed by Ethan’s reaction.. and that kiss.. had me melting. I was a mix of anxiousness, relief and happy sigh at that very moment. It was perfect! ♥

Ahhhhh. Swooooon!

•••

Now that I’ve read it, I can happily and 100% say I would recommend this book to friends, fam and you folk who love a good, juicy romcom! Such a feel good read! 😀

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RATING: ♥♥♥♥.5/5

•••

Like this review? I have another of R.S. Grey’s book, check it out below. It’s a modern day fairy tale, second chance romance!

 

Thank you reading! Wishing you all a beautiful day. Catch you in my next one! Xo

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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•••

— BLURB —

Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.

A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

I loved Six of Crows so the minute I finished it I went straight into Crooked Kingdom (which I highly recommend you do so you don’t torture yourself with a cliffhanger).

After Kaz and the crew survived the job at the Ice Court I was relieved! Everyone was alive and together and I was just one happy chappy.. but to find out the job was a scam?!?Ohh I knew Kaz would destroy Van Eck and anyone who was working with and I knew whatever his plan was it was going to be epic!

Janice_OMG

And I was right! Just like Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom did not disappointed in the twists and turns and the unexpected.

If I thought I was on the edge of my seat reading Six of Crows, let’s just say I wasn’t even sitting down anymore for Crooked Kingdom. I was in panic-mode, anxious with sweaty palms reading this book. I was preparing myself for the worst. You guys know what. Death of a beloved character! Yup. It could happen at anytime and it certainly did here. I’m sad to say that I knew they wouldn’t all make it out alive but for one of them to die so suddenly by someone who wasn’t even one of the original bad guys in the book!?

⚠ WARNING WARNING WARNING ⚠

SPOILER ALERT!

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I cried. No wait. I bawled my eyes out when Matthias was shot and he struggles himself back to Nina just so he could see her one last time! Like what?!?!? Why !?!?! 😭😭😭

Why would Leigh Bardugo kill off a character in the way? Why would she kill her readers along with him!? My heart sank. For Mathias and especially for Nina. I felt like I was there with her. Crying and begging for Mathias to stay alive.

What made me cry even more was when she accidently brought him back with her power except it wasn’t really him anymore it was more like his body being commanded by her. It was just one HUGE sad part of the book! 💔

Sure, it was almost the end but still..

And speaking of the end of the book. It’s been 4 days since I finished it and I’m still reeling from the lack of ending. In my opinion anyways. I felt it was unfinished. So many things lingered and left open.

  1. Kaz and Inej were together – but not really. It wasn’t the result I was hoping for. It almost felt like the beginning of something between them rather than the big “fireworks” kiss that we’ve all been waiting for that should have after having gone through all of the things they went through. I don’t know. I just wished for more.
  2. Nina’s exit out of the storyline felt cut off. Yeah her plans were to go back to Fjerda to bury Matias and try and help as much Fjerdan soldiers as she could but I figured at the very end we would at least hear from her. See if she made it. Something? Anything? But there wasn’t, so I felt like if Leigh wanted to she could keep going and write another book in the fabulous story. (Here’s to wishing again!)
  3. Jesper: promising his father he would return to the farm once Wylan was settled back at his old home. But then they seem to be together too so how would that work? Was he just planning on visiting his dad or actually moving back? Because the way he said it to his dad it could be interpreted differently by each reader.
  4. Another thing with Kaz and Inej. Kaz has plans to rule Ketterdam, starting with The Barrel. Inej has big plans to command her own ship and crew and free slaves but yet she asked Kaz to help her. Once again, how will that work? Will he stay at Ketterdam whilst she sails around and they’ll just write to each other? And then there’s the question of her parents. Kaz (that sweety!) had gotten Nikolai (that’s right, he made an appearance!) to help find her parents. Will Inej go back with them first?
  5. The book ends with Pekka Rollins as the final chapter and point of view. This was the guy that Kaz wanted to destroy. I suppose when you look at it from a different perspective Kaz did finally destroy his life but the things he did to Kaz – that made him the way he is now you would think he would just kill Pekka in the end but he didn’t. It just makes you think, you know? Could Pekka return? Eventually?

There’s just so many unanswered questions and things left open. I want to know! It felt like an open ending which is worse than a cliffhanger because at least with cliffhangers there’s another book to read. Crooked Kingdom, as far as I know is IT! The book that was suppose to wrap the story up but I have more questions now than when the story initially began. Frustrating stuff right here! Haha. Or maybe I’m just overthinking everything. But these are questions that popped into my head the second I read the last page!

I love the bits of romance here and there whether between Nina and Mathias, Jesper and Wylan and yes of course between Kaz and Inej. I took whatever I could from those two but I was hungry for more. Lol!

There was the perfect amount of emotional heartfelt scenes, flashbacks and action that I was always hooked.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

This was such an easy read. Beautifully written story that draws you in instantly from start to finish. I’m still surprised how much I ended up loving these books considering The Grisha Trilogy was just average for me. If you haven’t fallen in love with each of the characters yet during Six of Crows then you would definitely be changing your mind after reading more about them in this one.

EmmaStone_HappySmile

I wish I could give this one full rating like Six of Crows then it would really be a fist-pumping series. But all the questions rattling around in my head really took points of my rating. But I still think this is an unbelievable book. The entire duology has become one of my all time faves now. It’s caused me to have book hangover (not as massive as Maas’ books) but nevertheless I’m having withdrawals.

No Mourners. No Funerals.


•••

Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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•••

— BLURB —

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

If you read my review on The Grisha Trilogy, you would know that I did not love at as much as the majority of readers did. But my friends insisted I read the trilogy first before I read Six of Crows to get a feel for the world and apparently some characters from those books were making cameos in this one so that’s what I did.

I’ll tell you now though. I don’t think it’s necessary for you to read the trilogy first before Six of Crows because it doesn’t affect the storyline or characters in any way. But in saying that, I started reading Six of Crows with a familiarity to the world already and how tough it is so..it’s up to you whether or not you want to start with The Grisha Trilogy first 🙂

•••

WARNING WARNING WARNING

Caution_Spoilers

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Now, onto my review.

This is probably the only place I can let out my opinions and rants in full so if you read ahead, be prepared for spoilers. Giving you a heads up now!

What can I say about Six of Crows? Well.. It was unbelievably phenomenal! There’s only a handful of books/ book series I can say are my total favourites and Six of Crows has been added to that list.

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I knew everyone who ha read it raved on about it but I didn’t want that affecting me because before I read The Grisha Trilogy, everyone was telling me it was that good and that I was going to love it as well…and well I didn’t. So I went into Six of Crows with no expectations except that it was in the same fictional world and that the characters would be similar in a way?

But I have to say it completely blew the trilogy out of the water for me. The characters in Six of Crows were a bunch of misfits that just meshed well together. They are an ultimate crew. The differences in each character, their personalities and the way they interact with one another is what sold this book for me.

The book is written in a point of view format. So each chapter is a character from their point of view. At first I thought it might be a little difficult to follow as there are six main characters here and all with a story to tell but it was very well written. It was easy to follow and it just flowed. I couldn’t read it fast enough and I couldn’t put it down.

You get to know each character, their past and how they came to be where they are now. I fell in love with all the characters. They’re the characters that have gone through the worst of the worst and are trying to get out it.

You have Kaz Brekker. The leader of this crew. The guy who has a plan within plan within a plan and so forth. He is the most complicated guy from them all (and quite possibly from any fictional character I’ve encountered). He’s the most intriguing. He doesn’t open up and when he does it almost seems like it was by accident. That alone kept me turning pages. He’s unemotional, very calculating and gives off that vibe of “this is all business” but the deeper you read the more you realise everything is not what it seems with the guy and you get hooked. I don’t know anyone who’s read this book and did not come away from it not falling in love with him. I know I did!! (Inej is one lucky chick!)

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There’s Inej (Aka Spider. Aka The Wraith). Quite possibly my favourite from them all if I had to choose 😉 She, I can’t help feel for the most. I know they’ve all gone through hell but if I went through what Inej had I would have been dead long ago. She has a strength in her that I gravitated towards from the get go. The thing she has going with Kaz doesn’t hurt the book either. Lol. I only wished there was more of it! Leigh Bardugo really knows how to torture her readers with little crumbs of romance. Haha.. oh sigh.

Then there’s Nina. Who I would say is the closest connection you would have to The Grisha Trilogy because she is a Grisha (or was training to become one) who is just trying to get back to her life but can’t until the mess she got herself into gets fixed. I love Nina. She’s spunky, funny, kicks ass, loves food. She’s very relatable. She’s so sassy. I loved reading her point of view. I love her backstory and the reason as to why she’s with Kaz and the crew.

Mathias. Oh man this guy. This guy is pure soldier. Until you get to read more of him. He may just be the tough yet sweet guy you’d be looking for in this book. The struggle he goes through with what’s right and wrong puts you on edge. I found myself literally talking to “him” whilst I was reading it. I was like “dude, c’mon!” Do you guys argue with fictional characters too? 😜

Jesper is the Sharpshooter and a hoot! He cracks me up with his flirty ways and untimely jokes and comments. I’m giggling just thinking about him now. He’s definitely the comedic relief in certain parts of the story where things are getting a little heated or problematic. He’s just a one of those guys who could cheer you up and he does. His friendship with Inej throughout this book had me smiling,his brotherly-like relationship with Kaz had my heart and his budding relationship with Wylan was one I did not see coming until later but I’m rooting for them!

Wylan is the kid in the group. Well they’re all pretty young in age but I see him as the baby of the group. Just because he seems like the naive, innocent, lost one from the crew. You almost think he’s a bit useless at the beginning (especially since he doesn’t know how to fight) but doesn’t mean he is. He is a Brainiac. I would keep an eye on him. He may just be the slyest of them all. 😉

I was surprised to read that the characters were only 16-18 years old which isn’t young (considering it’s a YA book) but when you read it you would never have guessed. I pictured them more to be in their early 20’s at the most but it doesn’t affect the experience one bit once you get your head around it.

The storyline is clever. So many twists and turns. I felt like I couldn’t pinpoint where the story was heading at all. Nothing was predictable. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥/5

I wish it was longer than a Duology. This is a YA Fantasy fiction reader’s dream book!! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND SIX OF CROWS!! I will shove people into bookstores, get them to buy it online, whatever! This is a must read! Full rating and more from me!!

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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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