Dastardly deeds aren’t exactly the first things that come to mind when one hears the name “Clementine,” but as the sole heir of the infamous Dark Lord Elithor, twelve-year-old Clementine Morcerous has been groomed since birth to be the best (worst?) Evil Overlord she can be. But everything changes the day the Dark Lord Elithor is cursed by a mysterious rival.
Now, Clementine must not only search for a way to break the curse, but also take on the full responsibilities of the Dark Lord. As Clementine forms her first friendships, discovers more about her own magic than she ever dared to explore, and is called upon to break her father’s code of good and evil, she starts to question the very life she’s been fighting for. What if the Dark Lord Clementine doesn’t want to be dark after all?
Clementine Morcerous awoke one morning to discover that her father had no nose.
The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz
I am always on the lookout for books that my almost 12 year old can read. My son is a voracious reader and will read anything that I give him. So, when I saw The Dark Lord Clementine’s blurb, my interest was caught. I thought to myself: “My son would like this, but I need to read the book first.” I am glad that I did because The Dark Lord Clementine was a great read!!
The Dark Lord Clementine is the story about a girl named Clementine. She lives in a dilapidated castle with her Dark Lord father. One day, Clementine notices her father is missing his nose. That is when she finds out that the Whittle Witch has cursed him. Clementine takes it upon herself to try and find a cure for the curse. She also tries to assume the Dark Lord duties that her father cannot do. With the Whittle Witch waiting to take over the castle, Clementine is running out of time. Can she save her father?
The plotline for The Dark Lord Clementine was evenly paced. The flow of the book was perfect. It wasn’t too fast or too slow. There was no lag in the book or dropped plotlines either, which I enjoyed.
I loved Clementine. She was a timid little girl at the beginning of the book. But as the book went on, I could see her character growth. By the end of the book, she became this confident young woman. I loved it!!
I did feel bad for Clementine. She didn’t have any friends. Well, human friends. She did have the nightmares and the black sheep for company. But other than that, nothing. She longed for friends, even if she wouldn’t admit it to herself. Hiding in the shadows and watching the villagers play said so much. So, when Sebastian and then Darka befriended her, I was happy. Clementine needed it.
I didn’t care for Darka at the beginning of the book. I didn’t like that she befriended Clementine so that she could gain favor and hunt in the woods around the castle. I didn’t like that she was hunting unicorns. But I liked that her story had more depth to it. When it was revealed, I started to pity her. But, it was Darka’s actions at the end of the book that made me love her!!!
I loved the humor in the book. The Gricken is the most notable one. When Clementine was younger, she tried to turn a frog into a chicken. Unfortunately (and hilariously), the spell backfired, and she turned her family grimoire into it. If she wants to learn a spell, she has to wait for the Gricken to lay an egg. There is a hilarious scene where Clementine pleads with the Gricken to lay an egg. I laughed so hard; I had tears in my eyes.
The end of The Dark Lord Clementine was perfect. I am not going to get into it because of major spoilers. I will say that what Clementine did was brave. The way the book ended made me wonder if there was going to be a book 2.
I would give The Dark Lord Clementine a Tween rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is very mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 10 read this book.
I would reread The Dark Lord Clementine. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?
What I am currently reading:
Fans of RaeAnne Thayne and Debbie Macomber will love this USA Today bestselling author’s latest holiday romance about enemies-to-lovers who fall for each other in a small Massachusetts coastal town.
Evangeline Christmas will do anything to save her year-round Christmas store, Holiday House, when high-powered real-estate developer Caine Elliot uses his money and influence to push through his competing property next door. When her last desperate attempt to stop him fails, she gambles everything on a proposition she prays the handsome, blue-eyed player can’t refuse.
Caine agrees to Evie’s bargain because how hard can it be to fulfill three wishes on the Angel Tree at Holiday House? The wishes have him reliving the Christmases of his past and taking part in the holiday festivities of Christmas present. But just when he begins to believe Evie might be his Christmas future, dark secrets from his past are revealed.
Will the last wish on the Angel Tree be enough to give Caine and Evie the happy ending they deserve?
I started Christmas in Harmony Harbor last night but didn’t get far into it. I read about 2-3 pages before falling asleep. But, from what I read, I like it.
Christmas in Harmony Harbor is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review within the next week.
I recently finished reading:
Ilya Dragonovich is no stranger to the dark side. As a safe-house owner for security agency Brute Force, Dragon knows that the battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man―and, sometimes, a beautiful woman…
Emma Jane Preston needs help. After her marriage crumbled, she believed she could get back to a normal, happy life. But her ex-husband moved among some shady characters, and now she needs the kind of protection that comes at a cost―one that only someone like Dragon can provide. But can Emma Jane trust this handsome, undercover operator to keep her safe when she is in danger of falling into the arms of the deeply seductive, fiery Dragon. . .and never letting go?
I had to fan myself after reading Lethal Nights. Talk about steamy!! Plus, I liked the storyline.
Lethal Nights is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review within the next week.
From the author of the multi-million copy bestseller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, comes the new novel based on an incredible true story of love and resilience.
Her beauty saved her life – and condemned her.
Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, in 1942. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival.
After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to Siberia. But what choice did she have? And where did the lines of morality lie for Cilka, who was sent to Auschwitz when still a child?
In a Siberian prison camp, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. But when she makes an impression on a woman doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing. Cilka begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under brutal conditions.
Cilka finds endless resources within herself as she daily confronts death and faces terror. And when she nurses a man called Ivan, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love.
Be prepared to have your heart ripped out of your chest and trampled upon. Cilka’s Journey did that to me. I wasn’t expecting to stay up until 11pm reading this book.
Cilka’s Journey is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review within the next week.
What books I think I’ll read next:
KENDALL’S IN FOR A SHOCK. TWO, ACTUALLY.
Gabe Townsend has a lot of nerve to show up after seven years and book in to her B and B. It hadn’t been easy for Kendall Van Allen to move on after her husband was killed. But she’d persevered, picking up the pieces, running a successful business and raising two girls on her own. She’s put aside the guilt over her part in Carter’s death. But she’ll never forgive herself … or Gabe.
And Gabe hasn’t even told her the whole truth. But the more he’s around Kendall and the children, the more he grows to love them and want what’s best for them. Can he really tell them the truth?
From a USA Today bestselling author comes a heartwarming holiday romance between the a small-town florist and the handsome chief of police. Includes a bonus novel by Miranda Liasson!
Last Christmas was tough for Halona Locklear and her seven-year-old son Theo, who hasn’t spoken a word since his father’s death. This year, Halona wants nothing more than to give him a good holiday and to hear his sweet voice again. Enrolling him in the Mentor Match program might help, but when Theo gets matched with Sweetwater Springs Chief of Police, Alex Baker, Halona realizes that the handsome hero might know secrets about her past that she is determined to keep buried.
Chief of Police, Alex Baker, re-opens his father’s hit-and-run cold case every December, hoping to finally solve it. This year, his plate is full with being a Mentor Match to a young seven-year-old boy as well. His biggest obstacle, however, is fighting his attraction to the boy’s mother, Halona. As Alex gets close to solving his father’s cold case, he learns that those closest to him may be in danger — including Halona. Alex has already lost one of the most important people in his life; he isn’t about to lose her too, even if it means walking away to keep her safe.
Hockey’s resident bad boy is hell on skates. But when he falls in love, he falls hard.
“Tracy Goodwin is an author to watch.”—Kelly Jamieson, USA Today bestselling author of the Aces Hockey series
Nick:As one of the New York Nighthawks, I’ve got it all: fame, success, wealth, plus I’m handsome as hell. As for my relationships? They could be better. I know how to do one-night stands, but I’m starting to crave something more. Then I meet Camille Benetti. She’s sexy, smart, sarcastic—totally my kind of girl. The only problem? Cami doesn’t date hockey players. But she’s never met me. . . .
Cami:Nick George is impossible to resist. Not only is he scorching hot, he’s kind, he’s funny, and he wants me bad. But I learned my lesson the hard way: no jocks. So why do I agree to be Nick’s date to the wedding of the year? One night . . . that’s our deal. He is the best man, after all. But Nick is crystal clear about his intentions. He wants a relationship. And he’s tempting me to break all my rules. . . .
Tracy Goodwin’s seductive New York Nighthawks novels can be read together or separately: ICE HOT • ICE HARD
This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
I’m not an anxious person, but Quinn Draper has always made me nervous.
Okay, so that’s a lie. I am an anxious person. Always have been. And no one reminds me of that more than my brother’s best friend.
He’s the walking, talking opposite of my comfort zone, and he sees through my false bravado. Senses my insecurities. I think that’s why I feel so vulnerable when he’s around. So…under-clothed.
Which is ridiculous. He doesn’t even know me.
Still, every bone in my body senses danger when he’s around. Like he’s always about to push me under a spotlight I’m not ready to squint into, a spotlight that would expose me for the awkward introvert that I am.
Yet he never says more than two words to me. As if he knows that’s the surest way to drive me crazy.
And I hate him for it. Always have.
Author’s Note: This standalone romantic comedy is the first book in a new series by best-selling author Hazel Kelly. If you like feisty women and funny men, you’ll love this forbidden romance about two unlikely roommates and the trouble they get into when big brother stops watching…
An electrifying story of two ambitious friends, the dark choices they make and the profound moment that changes the meaning of privacy forever.
Orla Cadden dreams of literary success, but she’s stuck writing about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Orla has no idea how to change her life until her new roommate, Floss―a striving, wannabe A-lister―comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they so desperately crave. But it’s only when Orla and Floss abandon all pretense of ethics that social media responds with the most terrifying feedback of all: overwhelming success.
Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity―twelve million loyal followers―Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything, even horrible things, to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.
Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.
The next heartwarming and inspirational Christmas story by USA Today Bestselling author, Nancy Naigle.
Growing up, Liz Westmoreland dreamed of taking over her grandparents inn located in the small mountain town of Angels Creek only for it to be sold before she ever got the chance. While browsing the internet, she stumbles upon a listing for what looks to be the picturesque inn and it’s set to go to auction. Liz places a bid, and by a miracle, wins the auction. But when she gets there she finds the property in significant disrepair.
When Matt Hardy narrowly lost the inn and property that butted his land, he just hoped it wasn’t another city slicker coming to make matters worse after the previous owners gutted the place for an art gallery. But the minute he recognized the sweet, freckle-faced girl from his childhood and heard her plans to reopen the inn, he jumps at the chance to help his childhood crush restore a place where he made so many fond memories.
While working on repairs, Liz and Matt discover her grandmother’s collection of angels in one of the cabins. When the angels start mysteriously showing up all over the inn, she begins to look at them as reassurance—that restoring the inn is what she’s meant to do. But when an accident leaves Liz feeling like she made a mistake, will Matt—and the residents of Angels Creek—be able to show Liz that she’s found a home? And possibly true love as well?
A young widow restores a dilapidated mansion with the assistance of a charming, eccentric genius, only to find the house is full of dangerous secrets in this effervescent Gilded Age debut novel
It’s 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren’t as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn’t believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn’t need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam.
Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva’s new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva’s history―and her heart.
Set during the Gilded Age in New York City, The Widow of Rose House is a gorgeous debut by Diana Biller, with a darkly Victorian Gothic flair and an intrepid and resilient American heroine guaranteed to delight readers.
Kit-with-a-small-k is navigating middle school with a really big, really strange secret: When she’s stressed, she turns into a naked mole rat.
It first happened after kit watched her best friend, Clem, fall and get hurt during an acrobatic performance on TV. Since then, the transformations keep happening—whether kit wants them to or not. Kit can’t tell Clem about it, because after the fall, Clem just hasn’t been herself. She’s sad and mad and gloomy, and keeping a secret of her own: the real reason she fell.
A year after the accident, kit and Clem still haven’t figured out how to deal with all the ways they have transformed—both inside and out. When their secrets come between them, the best friends get into a big fight. Somehow, kit has to save the day, but she doesn’t believe she can be that kind of hero. Turning into a naked mole rat isn’t really a superpower. Or is it?
Kit’s Mom had a tattoo that wound around her left wrist.
Naked Mole Rat Saves the World by Karen Rivers
I am always on the lookout for middle-grade books. I have a tween who devours books left and right. My son can’t read them fast enough. So, when I read the blurb for Naked Mole Rat Saves the World, I thought of him. From the blurb, I thought that this would be an excellent book to read. But, after reading the book, I do have some doubts about letting him read it.
The storyline for Naked Mole Rat Saves the World centers around two friends, kit and Clem. kit (always spelled with a lowercase k) lives with her mother above her mother’s beauty salon. kit is dealing with a lot for a girl of 12. Her mother is a famous ex-singer who is agoraphobic (among other things). She never leaves her apartment or beauty salon. That leaves kit shouldering a majority of her mother’s responsibilities.
On top of that, kit is tiny due to being born a micro-preemie, and she suffers from Alopecia Universalis. She has zero hair on her body and is often mistaken for a cancer patient. It is a lot for a 12-year-old to handle.
Clem is kit’s best friend. She and her brother, Jorge, come from a loud, vibrant family. Clem’s family are acrobats, and they are good at it. So good, that they decide to compete on a show like America’s Got Talent. It’s on that show that Clem has an awful accident. That accident has a ripple effect on her and kit’s life.
The plotline for Naked Mole Rat Saves the World was steady. It is perfect for younger kids or adults who like books that are on the slower side. There was some lag, but the author was able to get the book back on track. I also loved the world and character building.
I felt terrible for kit in Naked Mole Rat Saves the World. She was raising herself. She had to deal with a lot for a 12-year-old. Her best friend changed (and not in a good way), her mother was falling deeper into her mental illness, and there was this guy robbing people dressed up as Batman. No wonder she had anxiety. She was alone when she first changed into a naked mole-rat, and it scared the bejesus out of her. There was a point where I wondered if transforming into the mole rat was all in her head (a symptom of her anxiety), but I was proven wrong.
Poor Clem. Her life drastically changed after her accident on national TV. She turned into this Goth/emo girl who was nasty to everyone. She pushed people away (including kit) and acted out. She became fascinated by her biological grandfather, who was one of the victims in the Jonestown Massacre. I was worried about her, and I couldn’t believe that her parents and grandparents weren’t concerned with her drastic personality change!!!!
There were several sub plotlines in the book that were interesting too. Such as Jackson and why kit hated him. I got why she hated him (he shouldn’t have done that). I also understood why he did it. He was hurting and wanted kit to hurt with him.
I didn’t like Samara. I know this is a kids’ book, but I wanted to throat punch her after that one scene. I was MAD. How dare she say that to kit. Not only was unacceptable, but she overstepped her bounds. kit was allowed to have her dreams and wish her mother could do things.
The end of Naked Mole Rat Saves the World was the best part of the book. The author was able to merge all the plotlines. I also loved that kit was able to use her superpower to save her mother’s world!!!!
I do want to include a warning about Naked Mole Rat Saves the World. Several subjects come up that might not be appropriate for younger kids. To name some of them: bullying, Jonestown (and how the people died), depression, mental illness, and anxiety. Now all these as a whole isn’t bad, but kids might have questions about them. Also, some kids might be triggered them. So be prepared to answer questions while reading the book.
I would give Naked Mole Rat Saves the World a Young Teen rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is very mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 13 read this book.
I am on the fence if I would reread Naked Mole Rat Saves the World. I am also on the fence if I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.
Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.
With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.
No one speaks of the grace year.
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
From the minute I read the blurb for The Grace Year, I knew that I wanted to read it. It had all the earmarks of a book that I would love. A strong female main character and a storyline that seems to be fantastic. I am glad that I read The Grace Year. It ended up being all that and then some!!
The plotline of The Grace Year sucked me in. It was well written and fast. Yes, quick. This book took place over the girls 16th year, and it flew. Oh, man, it did fly. I loved it!!
I liked Tierney. She was one of the most influential female main characters that I have read to date. I liked that in a society that viewed women as the lesser sex, she wasn’t afraid to voice her opinion. I loved that she didn’t want a man to make her happy. But I felt that her behavior in the last half of the book contradicted that. But that is what made me like her character so much!!!
Tierney and Ryker’s storyline was interesting to read. I am not going to get into it because there are some significant spoilers. All I have to say is that there were times where I was heartbroken and then times where I was elated. I know, such a contradiction but once you read the book, you will understand.
The plotline with Hans surprised me. I was not expecting him to do what he did. I put the book down and said, “No way.” Then picked the book back up and continued reading. It explained so much. So much!!!
I do want to comment on the women in the village. I thought one thing when I started reading the book. By the end of the book, my view about them changed. Tierney’s mother was a huge one.
The end of The Grace Year made me cry. All I have to say is that it was bittersweet. Because of the way it ended, I am hoping that there is a book 2.
I would give The Grace Year 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 would reread The Grace Year. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
In New York Times bestselling author Nevada Barr’s gripping standalone, a grandmother in her 60s emerges from a mental fog to find she’s trapped in an Alzheimer’s Unit in a nursing home. How does she convince anyone that she’s not actually demented? Her relatives were the ones to commit her, all the legal papers were drawn up, the authorities are on the side of the nursing home, and even she isn’t sure she sounds completely sane.
Rose’s head drops, jerks, and she’s awake.
What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr
I was on the fence if I wanted to read What Rose Forgot. The blurb didn’t give me any insight into the book. What made up my mind was reading other reviews. Either people loved it, or they didn’t. I am glad that I read What Rose Forgot. It was an exciting, action-packed book.
What Rose Forgot plotline was fast. There were a couple of times where the book did lag. The author was able to get the book back on track after the first time it lagged. The second time, though, it didn’t. Weirdly enough, the lag came at almost the very end of the book.
I loved Rose!! I did wonder, for the first half of the book, if she was having issues with her memory. I did think to myself, “Does she have Alzheimer’s?” My question was answered in the second half of the book. I will say that Rose is a tough cookie, too. She took several beatings during the book that would have broken a lesser woman.
I loved Rose’s relationship with Mel. Their exchanges made me smile and added some much-needed humor into the book. I liked that Rose treated Mel with respect. She listened to what she had to say and, most importantly, she didn’t treat her like a kid. She treated her like an equal, and I loved it!!
I was saddened by how her stepsons treated Rose. Unfortunately, it is an accurate reflection of how our elderly get treated today. Put in nursing homes and forgotten about by their family.
The mystery angle of the book was wonderfully written. I thought I had everything worked out, only to have my theory thrown out the window. I wasn’t shocked at who was behind everything, though. There were some significant clues dropped throughout the book. It was the other half of what happened that surprised me.
I wasn’t a fan of the ending of What Rose Forgot. It seemed rushed to me. I can’t get into much without spoiling the ending. So, I will leave it at that.
I would give What Rose Forgot an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread What Rose Forgot. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**