The Aureate Spectacles by Eliott McKay

The Aureate Spectacles: A Vampire Romance Novel by [McKay, Eliott]

4 Stars

Publisher: Inkitt

Publication date: December 31st, 2016

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

Michaela was a seemingly normal high school senior, hiding behind a pair of hideous spectacles that masked her true identity. When she’s abducted by an intriguing werewolf, she learns that her father was a powerful vampire, and she has been chosen to protect his city from her predatory kin.

As the situation grows dire, the fate of the city rests in her hands, and she must choose between peace for her people or the man she’s growing to love.

My review:

Michaela has lived with her Aunt Hazel for as long as she could remember. Her parents were killed in a hiking accident when she was three years old, and Hazel had raised her since. Hazel was an icy, uncaring person who ignored Michaela unless she had to pay attention to her. It was a lonely existence made even more so because Michaela had to wear hideous, rhinestone-encrusted, yellow lens spectacles.

The glasses were a bane of her existence. The older she got, the more hideous the glasses got. She was bullied relentlessly and had no friends. By the time Michaela was almost 18, she had somewhat resigned herself to her life until she found a pocket watch with a miniature portrait of a beautiful dark-haired woman in it.

The portrait made her feel loved and filled by looking at it. During this time, she started having dreams of a mossy pond in a courtyard of stone and a voice that called her name, Kayla. She would also hear a song that she couldn’t quite catch and would hum the melody. But once she realized what she was doing, the song would disappear.

Then there came the night that Aunt Hazel woke Michaela from a nightmare. One where she was talking French and calling for Conrad. During Aunt Hazel’s interrogation, the pocket watch was discovered and Aunt Hazel went nuts.

Aunt Hazel freaked out. She fitted Michaela with what she considered a dog muzzle with straps coming out of it. That apparatus was to hold the glasses in place while Michaela slept. Aunt Hazel upped up security around the house to an almost wild pitch. She went as far as to board up Michaela’s windows, made it so the door locked from the outside only and was outfitted with a triple lock. Michaela had no idea why, but she believed that it had something to do with why she had to wear those ugly glasses all the time.

She ends up making a break for freedom after Hazel takes to locking her in her room. Getting rid of the spectacles, she is a hit at school. After school, as she is walking down the street, she runs into a mysterious young man whom Michaela feels that she knows and who knows more than he is letting on.

Returning home, she has a confrontation with Hazel that was a long time coming. She learns that her mother had sent her to Hazel. Her mother believed that she would be safer with Hazel. The man who delivered Michaela to Hazel told her that she would be safer if her eyes were hidden and faked Michaela’s death. Michaela was able to pry out her mother’s name and her father’s name from Hazel. Hazel also told her that her last name was fake. Instead of Morley, it was Mohrlock. Hazel also implies that Julian is still alive.

The next day Michaela was whisked away by a mysterious man. After being out of commission for four days, Michaela wakes up to find herself on a boat in the middle of the Black Sea. What the man tells her, stuns her.

She is the heir to a land called Mons Maledictio Ruwa (rough translation: Cursed Mountain of Thunder), and her name is Michaela Alandria de Mohrlock Comptesse. She is the daughter to Julian Philip Benoit de Mohrlock and Marguerite Emmaline Fitzwallis…both deceased.

It is after she arrives at the castle that her adventures begin. After attempting to escape the castle by climbing down the side (and getting stuck), she is put right away into intrigue. Every year, she is supposed to go to a summit with the people who live on the other side of the mountain. They are called the Sylva, and they have a shaky treaty with Michaela’s people.

Michaela was a hoot to read, and I loved her character. She was loyal, loves deeply, and is willing to do anything to protect her people from the Sylva. I loved her misadventures.

Conrad was such a mystery, and I liked how the author drew out Conrad’s secrets. He was also perfect for Michaela.

The romance between Michaela and Conrad was cute to read. Painful in some parts but very cute.

The secondary characters are what made this book. They were well written and didn’t fizzle off into the background once their storylines ended. The author kept them in the story. When the bad things happened in the book, and yes, some pretty upsetting things happened, these same secondary characters were right there with Michaela and Conrad.

The end of the book was bittersweet. I wish that there was an epilogue that followed up with the characters. Some of the storylines were not wrapped up, including the V and W storylines. I wonder if there will be a second book. I have questions about certain characters that I would like to see answered.

I would give The Aureate Spectacles an Older Teen rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread The Aureate Spectacles. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

King’s Lament by Lilia Blanc

King's Lament by [Blanc, Lilia]

4 Stars

Publisher: Inkitt

Date of publication: December 10th, 2016

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, LGBT

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

Betrayed by his advisors, only the love of two mysterious men can rescue Inea and save his kingdom.

After the death of his father, Inea finds himself the unprepared king of a country at war. When his council forsakes him, and he’s thrown into the dungeons of his own castle, the young man manages to escape only with the help of the intriguing stranger Ansyn.

After one year in hiding, Inea, driven by desire, seeks out Ansyn and discovers that there is more to his savior than he could have ever hoped for. Joined by their new ally Kaedon, passion builds, and they find themselves in a romance that helps fuel their plan to reclaim the throne.

My review:

This book was fantastic and I loved reading it. I usually read at night, after the kids go to bed, but this book got escalated to daytime reading.

I am going, to be honest, I couldn’t stand Inea. He came across as a sheltered, spoiled kid who had no clue how to take care of himself. He was always crying over something. I wanted to reach through the book, smack him, tell him to stop crying and start working on how he was going to get his kingdom back – which he eventually did. He also was constantly getting hurt, which baffled me. You would think, with the experienced men/women around him, that he would have been better at defending himself (because they would have had some sort of lessons with him) or that they would be better at keeping him from getting hurt. But, he wasn’t. I mean, Ansym and Kaedon did eventually teach him to defend himself but still.

He did have some good, redeeming qualities. He cared about his people and wanted to get his throne back from the Queen. He loved with all of his heart. He had to have been the most kind-hearted main characters that I have read in a while. But like I said above, I couldn’t get past how he acted in the first half of the book. Drove me crazy go nuts.

I loved Ansym. He is a badass. He could play the violin like a pro and used that talent to stir up a small amount of civil unrest about the Queen’s rule He was also a trained assassin and I wouldn’t want to be on his bad side. Nope, no way. What he does to his enemies (thinking about the boy, Dae, here) is something I wouldn’t wish on my most hated enemy.

He doesn’t show a soft side in the book until he meets Kaedon. At first, what was between them was just sex but you could just see Ansym falling in love with him. I loved watching his walls come down and seeing him fall for someone. Then Inea was added into the mix and seeing him try to battle his feelings for Kaedon and Inea was heartbreaking. When you find out why then you can understand why he was afraid of falling in love.

I do wish that Kaedon did come clean to Inea and Ansym a little earlier in the book. It could have saved Inea an injury/heartbreak and Ansym heartbreak if he did. But on the other hand, I can see why he didn’t.

The sex between all three men was crazy hot. I thought the first time between Kaedon and Ansym was hot but the threesome between Inea, Ansym, and Kaedon was burning and every sex scene after that was just as hot.

Ansym and Kaedon’s ages were a big surprise. For some reason, my mental image of Ansym was of an older man. It was fueled by how he talked about himself and how the others in the party treated him. So, yeah, I was surprised when he finally revealed his age.

The end of the book was pretty routine and the main storyline (plus the other storylines) got wrapped up in a pretty dramatic way. Giving away a small spoiler here but the last battle scene was fantastic and the way it ended. Let’s just say that I felt very, very satisfied after reading it. I like it when a book makes me feel like that.

I would give King’s Lament an Adult rating. There are explicit sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread King’s Lament. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Esper Files (Esper Files: Book 1) by Egan Brass

Esper Files

4 Stars

Publisher: Inkitt

Date of Publication: October 26th, 2016

Genre: Science Fiction, Steampunk, Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal

Series: Esper Files

Esper Files – Book 1

Esper Files: The Sky Cult – Book 2 (expected publication date: January 25th, 2017)

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book Synopsis:

When an experiment goes wrong in Victorian London, Espers, people with supernatural abilities are created. In order to counter this new potential threat, the Institute is set up to teach Espers how to use their abilities for good and how to hunt down those who want to use their powers for evil.

Gifted with a formidable but self-destructive ability, Nathan is one of the Institute’s top agents. When the evil Baron executes his plan to control the minds of London’s political leaders, peace is dependent on Nathan and his team.

Will he learn to control his powers in time to save the world? Or will he succumb to their self-destructive nature?

My review:

I was so excited when I realized that this was another steampunk novel. I must have missed it in the blurb.

This book is fascinating. It starts with the Professor giving a demonstration on Electro-Magnetic energy at The Oxford Academy of Science to a crowd of people, including some influential Lords. Unfortunately, there was an accident involving a storm that blew up the lab, which was called the Great Storm. But not only the lab was destroyed in the Great Storm. Something was released, and it began to affect 20% of the Earth’s population with paranormal powers and natures. That was the day that the Espers were created.

Fast forward 30 years into the future, and Nathan and James, who are Espers, are introduced. They are about to jump off an airship and use James’s power of teleportation (he can teleport anywhere he has seen once) to the Bank of England, where there is a robbery occurring. After a bloody and fire-filled fight (one of the rogue Espers could control fire), they end up back at the Institute with the rogue Esper, who was robbing the bank.

While Nathan is being healed that it is disclosed that he has a rare paranormal ability. Just by touching another Esper, he gets their abilities and the emotions associated with them. It is while interrogating Firebrand (the rogue Esper), they find out that there is a diabolical plan being set into action by a mysterious Esper named The Baron. The first plan was to rob the Bank of England for a mind-control device. The second plan is to kidnap a 9-year-old Esper called The Siren. The reason the boy is called The Siren is that he has a voice that can hypnotize people, and The Baron needs him for his diabolical plan.

That’s when Freya is introduced. She is The Siren’s (aka Cyrus) older sister and his protector. Freya is also an Esper, but she has repressed her powers until the night that a trio of blood-drinking Espers brutally murders her adoptive mother and father. After that, her brother is kidnapped by The Baron’s assassin.

Freya is rescued from the ice block she made of her house and neighborhood by Nathan and brought back to the Institute. There she is told about the plan to use Cyrus for a nefarious reason. That is when she decides to take action.

I felt terrible for Freya at first, but then she got on my nerves. She didn’t listen and found herself in some pretty dangerous situations while not knowing how to use her powers. I said to my Kindle, “Just listen to Nathan, you silly girl” during the last battle.

I liked Nathan, but I couldn’t imagine the toll his power had on him. What I liked, even more, was that he used Tai Chi to ground himself and to keep his emotions in check after gaining a new power. Plus, he was able to use it in battle at the end of the book when his powers wouldn’t have been able to help him, and I liked that. He was also a sarcastic, cheeky son of a gun, and his mouth did get him in trouble (and made me laugh).

Not going to go into the story from there but man, it was full of action and evil people doing evil things. There is one scene of an Esper taking over another Esper’s mind that freaked me out. Also, The Baron at the end of the book was downright spooky.

Not going to go into the story from there but man, it was full of action and evil people doing evil things. There is one scene of an Esper taking over another Esper’s mind that freaked me out. Also, The Baron at the end of the book was downright spooky.

There wasn’t a happy ending with this book. Some storylines were wrapped up, others were left open, and new ones were started. It paved the way for a second book, which I can’t wait to read


I would give Esper Files an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Esper Files. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

I Was a Bitch by Emily Ruben

I Was a Bitch: A Romance Mystery Book by [Ruben, Emily]

4 Stars

Publisher: Inkitt

Date of publication: October 10th, 2016

Genre: Romance, Young Adult

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

After waking up from a coma, Lacey Jones discovers that she is the ruling queen bitch of high-school and in the middle of a love triangle with two guys. If only she hadn’t lost all memory of it!

When Lacey Jones wakes up after a horrific accident, she realizes that she’s lost all memory of the last two years. In this time, she has turned from a wallflower into the gorgeous and popular Queen Bee of her high school. Adding to the confusion, she is confronted with two guys who claim to love her; her football star boyfriend and the mysterious and attractive Finn.

Now Lacey has to figure out who she can trust as she starts to put her life back together and slowly discovers what really happened on the night of the accident.

Will she be able to resist her developing feelings for Finn and stay loyal to her boyfriend?

My review:

I Was a Bitch is a book that you definitely shouldn’t judge by its cover or title. When I first started reading it, I thought it was going to be a Mean Girls knock-off. What I got, instead, was this excellent book where the main character has to discover not only herself but what happened to her the night got into the accident that led to her 2-month coma.

Imagine thinking that you are 16 again and being told, nope, you are 18 and almost graduating high school. It was a shock to Lacey. The passage where she sees her face was hilarious and a little sad

I had boobs. And my teeth were white and aligned like a model’s. My hair was a chestnut-brown with beautiful waves, framing my-dare I say-perfect face. But it wasn’t the most shocking thing. No, no. The thing was: I looked…way older. Like, eighteen-years-old girl older

When she meets Mel, Claire, and Derek, she can’t believe that these people who look like models are her best friends and boyfriend.

Then she meets Finn and omg, did the sparks fly between them. There was instant chemistry. Finn leaves her his laptop, and she finds out that there is something between them. What, she isn’t sure (remember that the last two years of her memory is gone).

She also realizes that she wasn’t a very nice person before her accident. She figures that out by reading texts and looking at pictures of her drunk at parties. She starts to feel very ashamed about some of the things that she did before the accident.

It isn’t very long for her to realize that there is something up about the night of her accident (Derek wasn’t exactly smooth about his questions). She is determined to get her memory back. When she starts to have memory flashes, she gets closer to what happened and the events leading up to it. Finn was a godsend to her during this time. He tried to jog her memory and was so sweet to her. I did “awwwww” during about 90% of his scenes with her.

Her romance with Finn was sweet, but it did seem to be a little one-sided at first. She kept stringing him along while still going out with Derek, and it bothered me. She was stringing him along before the accident, and she was stringing him along after the accident. In Lacey’s defense, though, she had no memory and people were telling her that she and Derek were still together. They also had no clue about Finn (maybe because he was her side guy).

Derek started nice and then morphed into something else. The comment about Finn’s mother started me down the path of not liking him, and by the end of the book, I couldn’t stand him. I cheered when Lacey did what she did to him. He deserved it.

The ending was perfect, and the epilogue, there are no words to describe it. I cried during it, that is how emotionally vested I got in Lacey’s (and eventually Finn’s) story.

I would give I Was a Bitch an Older Teen rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread I Was a Bitch. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Just Juliet by Charlotte Reagan

Just Juliet: An LGBT Love Story by [Reagan, Charlotte]

Publisher: Inkitt

Date of publication: September 17th, 2016

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Genre: Romance, Young Adult, LGBTQIA

Goodreads synopsis:

The coming out story that will completely change the way you look at love, now available for free on Kindle Unlimited.

Juliet represents the road less traveled. Will Lena take it?

Lena Newman is 17, her best friend’s a cheerleader, her boyfriend’s a football player, and as far as everyone is concerned, her life is sorted. But that’s before she befriends the new girl. Juliet is confident, slightly damaged, drop-dead gorgeous and a lesbian. 

Lena realizes that her interest goes beyond just friendship. She sets off on a path of self-discovery where the loyalty of those closest to her will be tested.

My review:

This book should be THE book a teenager reads if they are questioning their sexuality or want to come out to loved ones. It showcases the good, the bad, and the ugly without glossing anything over. Take, for instance, Scott’s coming out to his parents. For me, that is the worst case scenario. It is the bad and the ugly all rolled into one, and I was in tears reading it. Not to get preachy but you loved your child before he/she was born why should that change because of who THEY love or what gender they identify with? I am in the minority but if my son or my daughters came up to me and said “Hey, Mom, I am gay/bisexual/trans,”I wouldn’t be throwing them out. I wouldn’t be screaming at them “I didn’t raise a faggot or a dyke” or assaulting their SO’s (like Scott’s father did to Lakyn). Like I said above, they are your children. You carried them in your body and molded them into who they are. I can’t understand WHY anyone would choose to act like that to their flesh and blood. Strike that, I do, and it is called IGNORANCE and FEAR.

Ok now that I went off that tangent let’s continue with the review.

Juliet’s father, for me, was the best case scenario. He knew his daughter was a lesbian and could care less. Juliet did explain why he was so tolerant, but you need to read the book to find out why (I know, I’m a shit).

I didn’t connect with Lena, at first. I don’t know why, she didn’t jive with me, at first. It was that while she was very attracted to Juliet, she didn’t know how to express herself to her. But once she did, and oh boy was that scene funny, she got more likable, and by the end of the book, I loved her. Her coming out scene to her parents was bittersweet, especially after Scott told her about how his parents reacted.

Juliet, I loved. She was that girl that everyone stopped to look at because she commanded attention. She didn’t take anything from anyone (the scene at the football game stands out in my mind the most). She was out, proud, and I loved it. While she was more experienced than Lena, she slowed it way down and to it at Lena’s pace.

The secondary characters made the book too. Lakyn, Scott, Lacey. Lacey had me in tears laughing at points in the book. Lena couldn’t have asked for a better best friend.

The ending was great. It wasn’t a HEA per se, but it was close to it.

How many stars will I give Just Juliet? 5

Why? It is just a really well-written book that explores all sides of coming out to parents and friends. It is also a book about first love.

Will I reread? Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes

Age Range: Teen

Why: No sex but some scenes of making out, language.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**