Weekly Wrap Up: June 23rd through June 29th 2019

Clicking on titles under Books I’ve ReadNetGalley Haul,and Email Haul will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on titles under Books with Pending Reviews and Books with Published Reviews will take you to Amazon.

Clicking on titles Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz will take you to that specific blog post.

Clicking on links under Giveaways I’ve Entered will take you to that giveaway

Clicking on the titles under Freebies I Scored will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on the links under Weekly Posts will take you to that specific blog post.


Books I’ve Read:

The Shadowverse

The Truth Behind the Lie

The Bridge of Little Jeremy

Dark Matter

Books with pending reviews:

We Are All Good People Here—review coming August 6th, 2019

The Year I Left—review coming August 20th, 2019

Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy—review coming July 16th, 2019

Books with published reviews:

The Bridge of Little Jeremy—review here

Dark Matter—review here

Rouge Most Wanted—review here

Kingdom of Exiles—review here

Once Upon a Bad Boy—review here

Twisted Family Values—review here

The Rumor—review here

NetGalley Haul:

As Long as We Both Shall Live

T-Minus

Email Haul:

Aelia

The Red Death

Disorder

Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz:

Styx and Stones: Cover Reveal, Release Blitz and Blog Tour dates end of August/beginning of September

Every Love—Blog tour date July 22nd, 2019

Giveaways I’ve Entered:

Goodreads—Book Giveaway For Fallen (Deep Ops, #2)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Theme Thursday

Advertisements

Kingdom of Exiles (The Beast Charmer: Book 1) by Maxym M. Martineau

Kingdom of Exiles (The Beast Charmer Book 1) by [Martineau, Maxym M.]

4 Stars

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Date of publication: June 25th, 2019

Genre: Romance, Fantasy

Series: The Beast Charmer

Kingdom of Exiles—book 1

Where you can find Kingdom of Exiles: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Fantastic Beasts meets Assassin’s Creed in this epic, gripping fantasy romance from debut author Maxym M. Martineau.

Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts on the black market—an offense punishable by death—and now there’s a price on her head. With the realm’s most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes him an offer he can’t refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.

If only it were that simple. Unbeknownst to Leena, the undying ones are bound by magic to complete their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood of assassins…not even to save the woman he can no longer live without.


My Review:

Leena was exiled from her Charmer home. Leena needed to make ends meet and to do so; she started selling off her animals on the black market. That is an offense punishable by death. So she wasn’t surprised when an assassin showed up. After beating the assassin, Leena forces him to take her to the guildhouse. It is there, Leena makes a deal with the guild master of the Cruor, Noc. 4 magical beasts in exchange for her life. What Leena doesn’t know is that there is no way for a Cruor assassin to back out of a contract. While Noc says yes, he knows that in the end, he will have to kill Leena and collect the bounty. But, it soon becomes hard for Noc to consider killing Leena. Enough doubt has been raised about the contract and if it is justified. Will Noc be able to do the unthinkable and break the contract? Or will everything end with Leena being killed?

What drew me to Kingdom of Exiles was the blurb. As soon as I caught sight of the words Fantastic Beasts and Assassin’s Creed. I knew that I needed to read this book. I am a huge Harry Potter and Assassin’s Creed fan, and I was interested in seeing how the author was going to combine those them together. I wasn’t let down. I do want to add in that I also caught glimpses of Pokemon in this novel too. Not in how the beasts were caught but in the battle scenes.


There are three major and several secondary plotlines in Kingdom of Exiles. The first plotline focuses on Leena, her beasts and the reason why she was exiled from the Charmers. The second plot line focuses on Noc, the Cruors, and Leena’s contract. The third plotline focuses on Leena, Noc, and their relationship.

I liked all the main storylines. They were all well written. When the author did chose to bring them together, she was able to do it without interrupting any of the storylines. There were also no dropped storylines.

The secondary storylines were well written. I did think that there was a dropped storyline towards the end of the book. It made me a little aggravated because I wanted to know what happened to a particular character. But, it was brought back up at the end of the book. Which makes me wonder if that is going to be the main storyline for the next book.


Like the plotlines, I thought that the main characters were well written. Now, I will say that both characters a little off put me at the beginning of the book. They both came off as cold people. But as the book went on and I got to know both characters, my opinion of them changed. Their character development featured in my change of opinion.

Like I mentioned above, I didn’t like Leena when I started reading Kingdom of Exiles. She came across as aloof and uncaring. The scene with the buyer of the Gyss is an excellent example. But, then something remarkable happened. That first impression got turned around. My disinterest and disdain for her got turned around into me being invested and admiring her. I can count on one hand how many times that has happened.

Leena was also one of the strongest female characters that I have read to date. She went through a lot in the book, and she didn’t let it beat her down. She learned from those experiences. I loved it!!

Again, as I mentioned above, I didn’t like Noc when I started reading the book. He was cold and aloof. Take any of his scenes at the beginning of the book. Then, as the book went on, the explanations began. By the middle of the book, I understood why Noc had those walls up. He was afraid of his curse. He couldn’t show emotion or his curse would start up. But, like Leena, my first impression got turned around. By the end of the book, I loved him.

Speaking of Noc’s curse, I would have loved to know why the high priestess cursed him. Also, I would have loved to have known who he was before he was resurrected. There were hints but nothing confirmed. Drove me nuts because I have a few ideas of who he was, but nothing confirmed it.

The secondary characters were as well written as the main characters. I loved it. I felt that I got to know Kost, Ozias, and Calem as well as Noc and Leena. I can’t wait to see what book two holds for the secondary characters. I am hoping that the book focuses on either Calem or Oz. They were my two favorites in the book.

The bad guys in the book had my attention from the get-go. Wynn gave me chills. He believed what he was doing was the right, and that was frightening to me. What he subjected Leena to when he held her captive was heartbreaking. Ravenwas an enigma. I had questions that weren’t answered in this book. The most important issue was why? Why did she set those events in motion? I was frustrated by the lack of answers, but I have a feeling that they will be answered in the next book.


Kingdom of Exiles was a great fit in the fantasy genre. Leena’s Charmer abilities alone could have fueled a book. As well as Noc’s curse and his powers. I did find it creepy that he could make daggers out of the shadows.

Kingdom of Exiles was also a great fit in the romance genre. Noc and Leena’s instant attraction had my pulse racing. The back and forth dance that they did was hot. By the time they had sex, it was earth-shattering. I had to put my Kindle down and fan myself; it was that hot. My only complaint about the sex scenes was the use of crease of Leena’s vagina. Once, yes. But every single time, no. It got to the point where I started laughing when Noc was fingerbanging/eating her out, and crease was used.

There was also the point of the Kost/Noc/Leena semi-love triangle. I use semi because Noc didn’t reciprocate Kost’s feelings. But it was set up that way. I loved that the author had an LGBT representation in the book. I do wish that Kost’s sexual preference was made more clear towards the beginning. Because up until that scene with Leena, he came across as kind of a douche canoe. I also loved how Noc handled finding out about Kost’s feelings for him. It was done in such a classy way that I couldn’t help but say to myself “This is how it should be done in real life!!!” I am also eager to see Kost find love. There was a hint of something at the end of the book. Something that I can’t wait to see if the author explores or not.

The end of Kingdom of Exiles was excellent. I also had so many questions about what was going to happen and no answers. The epilogue held the most questions for me. Because of what happened to Noc at the end. What will that mean for him and Leena? I can’t wait to find out.


I would give Kingdom of Exiles an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is violence. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Kingdom of Exiles. I would also reccomend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Kingdom of Exiles.

Book Disclaimer

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read Kingdom of Exiles?

What are your thoughts?

Let me know!!

Weekly Wrap Up: April 21st through April 27th, 2019

Clicking on the link under Books I’ve ReadNetGalley Haul,and Email Haul will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on the link under Books with Pending Reviews and Books with Published Reviews will take you to Amazon.

Clicking on the link under Freebies I Scored (which were free at the time I got them.) will take you to Amazon, BookFunnel, or Prolific Works (I will say which one next to the title).


Books I’ve Read

The Roads to Damascus

No Feelings Involved

Pray for the Girl

Sullivan’s Promise

Then Came You

Books with pending reviews:

No Feelings Involved—review coming April 30th, 2019

Kingdom of Exiles—review come June 25th, 2019

Books with published reviews:

Darwin’s Cipher—review here

The Mother-In-Law—review here

The Stone Mothers—review here

NetGalley Haul:

Twenty-one Truths About Love

Mrs. Everything

The Right Sort of Man

Email Haul:

Waltz of the Crows

Freebies I Scored (Free at the time of posting. Please check the price before purchase!!):

Giveaways/Contests I entered:

The Invited—ReadItForward

Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz:

Own to Obsess—Release Blast

Highland Crown—Excerpt

The Right Sort of Man—Blog Tour Invite

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Weekly Wrap Up: April 14th through April 20th 2019

Clicking on the link under Books I’ve ReadNetGalley Haul,and Email Haul will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on the link under Books with Pending Reviews and Books with Published Reviews will take you to Amazon.

Clicking on the link under Freebies I Scored (which were free at the time I got them.) will take you to Amazon, BookFunnel, or Prolific Works (I will say which one next to the title).


Books I’ve Read

Ten: Part 1

A Light in the Desert

Darwin’s Cipher

Kingdom of Exiles

Sunset Beach

Journey to Territory U

Journey to Territory M

Extinction of All Children

Books with pending reviews:

Sunset Beach—expected publication date May 7th, 2019

The Perfect Wife—expected publication date August 6th, 2019

Books with published reviews:

Journey to Territory U—review here

Journey to Territory M—review here

Extinction of All Children—review here

NetGalley Haul:

Raze

We Are All Good People Here

Jackson

The Perfect Date

Unsuitable

Email Haul:

Dark Matter

An Indigo Wind

Freebies I Scored (Free at the time of posting. Please check the price before purchase!!):

Giveaways/Contests I entered:

Enter to Win Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis—Read It Forward

Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz:

Jackson—Blog Tour Invite

The Perfect Date-–Blog Tour Invite

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

WWW Wednesday: April 17th, 2019

IMG_1384-0

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal:

Miss R: She went to a friend’s birthday party last Friday. She had a blast. Her friend lives in the country and next to a farm. Which meant that there were cows next to her yard. Miss R was in heaven.

Miss B: She went on a band field trip the beginning of the week. The field trip was to LRU (Lenoir Rhyne University…..which is in our city) and to a place called Bo’s in Lenoir. She also had an orthodontist appointment today (which is why this blog post is late). Guess who is getting top and bottom braces next Thursday? Yup, Miss B.

Mr. Z: He also had an orthodontist appointment today. At his appointment he ended up getting spacers and they put an order in for some sort of retainer like thing to be installed in 2 weeks. Then he has to have 4-5 teeth pulled. Yes, you read that right. 4-5 teeth. I am wincing for him.

Me: Nothing special going on here. Besides shuttling kids to appointments and activities.

Reading/Reviews/Blog:

I have been reading my fool head off this week. Knock on wood, but I am way ahead of where I thought I was going to be at this point in the week. So, yay me…lol.

While I am ahead on reading, I am behind on writing reviews. Which is fine by me. I just keep plugging along. I am suffering some sort of writers block when it comes to starting my review. Hate it and hope I get over it soon.

I got a few new followers this week (waves and says “Hey all”). I am fighting the urge to change my blog’s theme again. I must not give in. Saying that, sorry in advance if there is a change….lol.


What I am currently reading:

Darwin's Cipher by [Rothman, M.A.]

click on the picture for the Amazon link

Juan Gutierrez, a cancer researcher, has spent years studying the genome of animals that exhibit immunity to some types of cancer. Over the course of his study, Juan discovers a pattern that allows him to predict the course of a species’ evolution across thousands of generations.

Using the algorithm he’s developed from the pattern, Juan uncovers what he believes to be the key to conquering humanity’s susceptibility to cancer.

Others are interested in using what Juan has dubbed “Darwin’s Cipher,” however, instead of cancer research, they see very different applications for the new genetic algorithm.

Nate Carrington, an FBI forensic analyst has been struggling with several cold cases when he’s alerted to an incident at a nearby ranch. It’s a case of a newborn calf who is found in the middle of a herd of dead cattle. It provides a single link to Nate’s other cold cases: the DNA analysis of the calf doesn’t match anything in the FBI’s database.

Somewhere in a rural hospital in West Virginia, four hospital workers are dead and a newborn child has been transported to the NIH’s level-4 bio-containment unit.

It’s only when the NIH sends out an alert to all hospitals and law enforcement agencies that the world realizes the danger that faces them.

I technically haven’t started reading Darwin’s Cipher. I did download it last night and I meant to start reading it. Then I fell asleep. So, I will start reading it at some point today. Darwin’s Cipher is currently available for purchase.


I recently finished reading:

Kingdom of Exiles (The Beast Charmer Book 1) by [Martineau, Maxym M.]

click on the picture for the Amazon link

Fantastic Beasts meets Assassin’s Creed in this epic, gripping fantasy romance from debut author Maxym M. Martineau.

Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts on the black market—an offense punishable by death—and now there’s a price on her head. With the realm’s most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes him an offer he can’t refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.

If only it were that simple. Unbeknownst to Leena, the undying ones are bound by magic to complete their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood of assassins…not even to save the woman he can no longer live without.

I loved this book. I couldn’t put Kingdom of Exiles down. It was that good. Kingdom of Exiles is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is June 25th, 2019.


What books I think I’ll read next? (click on the pictures for Amazon links)

No Feelings Involved

Can this skeptical player let down his guard long enough to let love into his life, or is this forbidden romance a train wreck in the making?

Ryan James doesn’t believe in love. 

It’s a truth he learned early in life. A truth he carried with him into adulthood. He broke his golden rule one time, but Myndi trampled all over his heart, cementing his belief that love is a lie and not worth the effort.

Now he’s returned to his cynical views and promiscuous lifestyle, racking up more notches on his bedpost than he can count.

Until Summer Petersen comes crashing into his world, threatening to knock down his walls with her tempting body and sunny, sweet personality.

Summer is determined to lose her V-card before she starts freshman year of college, and the hot, older guy with the cute dimples, dazzling smile, and rippling biceps is just the man for the job. Ryan doesn’t take much persuading, and he rocks her world, giving her a night to remember.

When they walk away, there’s an unspoken agreement it was a one-time thing. Ryan doesn’t do feelings, and Summer doesn’t want to be tied down at eighteen.

But when she moves into her brother Austin’s apartment, she’s shocked to discover her new roomie is the guy who recently popped her cherry.

Ryan can’t believe he slept with Austin’s baby sister, and if he finds out, he’ll literally kill him. Keeping their hook up a secret is nonnegotiable. Keeping his thoughts, and his hands, off Summer, less so. Because the longer he’s around her, the more he finds himself catching feelings for the gorgeous brunette. 

Summer doesn’t want to care for her older brother’s best friend, but Ryan makes her feel things she’s never felt before, and she’s slowly falling under his spell.

Embarking on an illicit affair behind Austin’s back has train wreck written all over it, but provided they keep their feelings in check, they can end this before he ever finds out. 

It’s not like either of them is in love.

Right?

A Light in the Desert by [Montgomery, Anne]

A Light in the Desert traces the story of a lonely pregnant teenager, a Vietnam veteran and former Special Forces sniper who, as he descends into the throes of mental illness, latches onto the girl, and a group of Pentecostal zealots – the Children of Light – who have been waiting over thirty years in the Arizona desert for Armageddon. The Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train en route to Los Angeles, is derailed in their midst’s, a deadly act of sabotage. Their lives are thrown into turmoil when local and state police, FBI investigators, and a horde of reporters make camp by the twisted wreckage of the Sunset Limited. As the search for the saboteurs continues, the authorities find more questions than answers. The girl mysteriously vanishes, the assassin struggles to maintain his sanity, and a child is about to be born in the wilderness.

TEN: Part 1 by [Ribbon, Sin]

Is fate a shield against the agony of choice or a force that suffocates free will?

From diverse walks of life and different corners of the globe, ten strangers are being brought together. Prejudice, fallen dreams, loss, and trauma have plagued each of their lives . . . until they find each other, and for once it seems serendipity may heal their collective pain.

But what lurks behind these fated meetings is something far more sinister.

Terrible and elusive forces have endowed the ten with supernatural abilities. Far from a gift however, some are drowning in these overwhelming new powers to the point of possession.

What does fate permit us to do? Are we a product of choice or design? In this urban fantasy adventure, the ten must resist the will of destiny if they wish to carve their own paths. Armed only with camaraderie, they will discover if the strength of their choice is enough to prevent the looming, catastrophic future thrust upon them.

The battle for free will begins here.

Sullivan's Promise: A Bitter Creek Novel by [Johnston, Joan]

Two unforgiving lovers reunite for the sake of their child in this fiery contemporary romance from Joan Johnston, the New York Times bestselling author of Surrender.

Facing the unexpected consequences of a life-altering night of passion with a cowboy she met in a Jackson Hole bar, and with her life committed to protecting endangered species, Victoria Grayhawk does what she believes is the right thing. She hunts down the cowboy, seeking his agreement that their baby should be adopted by a loving family.

Montana rancher Ryan Sullivan has no intention of giving away his own flesh and blood, and takes their son to raise himself. When Vick realizes what a horrible mistake she’s made, and wants back into their child’s life, Rye remains inflexible—because once trust is lost there are no second chances—until an attack by one of the grizzlies Vick has spent her life protecting changes everything and Rye learns that sometimes love can heal all wounds.

The passionate Westerns in Joan Johnston’s Bitter Creek series can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:
TEXAS BRIDE • WYOMING BRIDE • MONTANA BRIDE • SINFUL • SHAMELESS • BLACKTHORNE’S BRIDE • SULLIVAN’S PROMISE

Then Came You: A Laws of Attraction Novel by [Meader, Kate]

In the courtroom, they’re rivals. In the bedroom, they’re . . . divorced. But could the road trip from hell lead to a second chance at love?

Aubrey Gates is the hottest divorce lawyer in Chicago, a barb-tongued stiletto with legs that go on for miles. When her cool gray eyes meet mine across the battlefield, I want her like I’ve never wanted anyone or anything. Then I remember who she is: the woman who brought me to my knees. The woman who destroyed my faith in relationships.

The woman I used to call . . . wife.

And she needs a favor from me, Grant Lincoln.

It seems my ex forgot to mention the demise of our marriage to her dear old grammie, and now we’re both expected to attend her ninetieth birthday party. In Boston. And because it isn’t already awkward enough, Aubrey and I are driving there together from Chicago. That’s more than a thousand miles of tension, heartbreak, and barely concealed lust.

A little piece of paper might say we’re over, but this road trip is the true test. I intend to get my wife back . . . and I won’t stop until “I do.”

Pray for the Girl by [Souza, Joseph]

Joseph Souza, acclaimed author of The Neighbor, brings readers into the dark heart of a small town in this riveting, relentlessly twisting new novel . . .

Lucy Abbott never pictured herself coming back to Fawn Grove, Maine. Yet after serving time in Afghanistan, then years spent as a sous chef in New York, she’s realized her only hope of moving on from the past involves facing it again. But Fawn Grove, like Lucy herself, has changed.

Lucy’s sister, Wendy, is eager to help her adapt, almost stifling her with concern. At the local diner, Lucy is an exotic curiosity–much like the refugees who’ve arrived in recent years. When a fifteen-year-old Muslim girl is found murdered along the banks of the river, difficult memories of Lucy’s time overseas come flooding back and she feels an automatic connection. At first glance, the tragedy looks like an honor killing. But the more Lucy learns about her old hometown, the less certain that seems.

There is menace and hostility here, clothed in neighborly smiles and a veneer of comfort. And when another teen is found dead in a cornfield, his throat slit, Lucy–who knows something about hiding secrets–must confront a truth more brutal than she could have imagined, in the last place she expected it . . .

The Roads to Damascus: A Mystery Novel (Appalachian Mountain Mysteries Book 2) by [McDaniel, Lynda]

Abit is back! Four years after that fateful summer in “A Life for a Life,” Abit Bradshaw faces the biggest challenge of his life in “The Roads to Damascus,” the much-anticipated second book in the Appalachian Mountain Mysteries trilogy. When a family of con artists fleeces his school and casts suspicion on him, Abit, with the support of his friends Della Kincaid and Alex Covington, sets out to find them and get payback. He takes a life-changing journey from Washington, D.C., through the mountains of Virginia, and finally home again to Laurel Falls, N.C. Along the way, he draws on every bit of courage and faith he can muster as he encounters a slew of characters—from sinners to saints—who help him come to terms with his rightful place in the world.

The Scent of Murder: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery Book 1) by [Logan, Kylie]

First in a new series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan, The Scent of Murder is a riveting mystery following Jazz Ramsey as she trains cadaver dogs.

The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She’s thirty-five years old and owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about—Jazz is a cadaver dog handler.

Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry that Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school.

She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale make up is a familiar face.

The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is an old student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.