Weekly Wrap Up: July 19th through July 25th 2020

Books I’ve Read:

Survive

Crossroads

Arrival of the Traveler

Of Lords and Commoners

Smolder

From This Moment On

Free Falling

The Cinderella Arrangement

True Light


Weekly Posts:

Its Monday! What Are You Reading

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday


Reviews I did this week:

Of Lords and Commoners (review here)

Of Lords and Commoners (Lords and Commoners: Book 1) by Lynne Hill-Clark

Of Lords and Commoners: Book 1 (Lords and Commoners Series) by [Lynne Hill-Clark]
Of Lords and Commoners: Book 1 by Lynne Hill-Clark (Amazon cover)

Publisher: Hill, Clark, and Associates

Date of publication: June 21st, 2016

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Series: Of Lords and Commoners

Of Lords and Commoners—Book 1

Of Prince and Dragons—Book 2

Of Gods and Goddesses—Book 3

Format read in: eBook

Goodreads synopsis:

Humans Have Always Had to Fight Plagues …

The only future Vallachia could have imagined, as well as her wonderfully simple life disappears when she finds herself in a struggle to figure out the rules of a strange new world.

She longs for her old life and the one she truly loves remains out of reach, as she embarks on an inconceivable journey.

Vallachia quickly finds herself on the wrong side of a brewing battle for vampire domination. Not knowing who to trust could have fatal consequences … for millions of people.


First Line:

We ran swiftly through the forest.

Of Lords and Commoners by Lynne Hill-Clark

First Impressions:

I am one of those people who’s impressions of books start with the covers. The cover of Of Lords and Commoners on Goodreads wasn’t much to look at. Black that faded to brown with a family crest under the title and gold words. It was very plain and didn’t give any clue about what the book was about. So visually, it was a nope for me. Fortunately, the blurb made me think twice about reading it.

Of Lords and Commoners is set in the Middle Ages. The first half of the book takes place in Vallachia’s village in the Carpathian Mountains. It doesn’t say precisely where but if I had to guess, Romania. Considering what I have read/know about the Carpathian Mountains, it was an excellent location for the first half of the book.

The book did get off to a slow and somewhat dull start. It was a struggle to get through the first couple of chapters. Once I got through them (once Lord Chastellain and Elijah arrived), the book picked up the pace.

I did feel bad for Vallachia. She was being forced into an impossible position: having to choose between Teller and Elijah. Teller was her childhood love. Elijah was the Lord’s son, who she was developing feelings for. But at the same time, I didn’t quite believe that she was allowed to choose who she was going to marry. It was the Middle Ages. Women didn’t get any say in anything. So for her father to have such a progressive view didn’t ring right to me.

The vampire angle of the book was interesting. I liked how the author stayed true to vampires’ fundamental myths and tweaked them a little bit. The author also added small things that made sense, like flying and swimming under the water. Oh, and the whole not being able to enter a church? Not happening in this book. Vallachia was able to enter several churches after being turned.

Speaking of Vallachia being turned, that was a pivotal scene in the book. Everything that happens from then on is connected to what Lord Chastellain did and what Elijah did (or in this case didn’t) do. I couldn’t believe what I was reading!! Of course, Vallachia’s relationship with her father, brother, best friend, and Teller took a significant turn.


Mid-Book Impressions:

Of Lords and Commoners hit some lag in the middle of the book. There was so much going on that the plotline started to stagnant. Fortunately, the author was able to breathe life back into the plot.

I felt terrible for Vallachia during this part of the book. She had to come to terms with being a vampire and getting involved in vampire politics. She also had to deal with her feeling for both Teller and Elijah. She didn’t have it easy at all.

I didn’t agree with Vallachia returning to her home village. I get that she had serious feelings for Teller, but she was protected with Elijah (safety in numbers). I also didn’t agree with her telling Teller that she was a vampire. His reaction was what I thought it would be. Honestly, it made me dislike him. Of course, then Lord Chastellain showed up and did what he did. That, in turn, forced Vallachia to turn Teller, who then did something unforgivable. But even that didn’t end Vallachia’s feelings for Teller. I did a considerable WTF when she still said she loved him. Seriously????

Interestingly, there was a subplot line about vampire rebellion that started in Constantinople. I wish the author had spent more time describing where the vampires live and even the city itself (there were a couple of well-written scenes, but it left me wanting more). It is that plotline that kept the book moving along. When Vallachia went to Denmark and then London (after she turned Teller), there was so much intrigue!!! There was also some LGBTQ+ representation in the book, which I enjoyed.


End of Book Impressions:

The plotline for Of Lord and Commoners worked itself out. There was new life breathed into the plotline by the increased attacks of the vampire revolution. That sent Vallachia, Elijah, and their friends on missions (for lack of a better word) to other countries to recruit allies. Because of that, I felt that the plotline picked up steam and was fast until the end of the book.

I wish that Teller had made an appearance. I was left wondering what was going on with him. Like Vallachia and her friends, I thought that he was behind the strange vampire-like sickness plaguing people. But that was proven wrong. He just poofed, and I wasn’t a fan of it.

I didn’t like how Vallachia’s brother died. Not going to get into it, but it was wrong!!! I was very frustrated at that.

The author did an excellent job of wrapping everything up by the end of the book. But she left enough unwrapped (the love triangle between Vallachia, Elijah, and Teller and the revolution) to read book 2.


My Overall Thoughts on Of Lords and Commoners:

I enjoyed reading Of Lords and Commoners. While the book was slow to start, did lag in the middle, and had the plotline stagnant at times, it managed to capture my attention. I liked the characters (except for Teller). I did think that it was a little progressive for the time it took place in (Middle Ages), but I soon forgot that. It was just an overall good YA book to read.

I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book. There is graphic violence. But it is a clean book. There is no sex and only a couple of kissing scenes.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 20th 2020)

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.


What I Read this past week:

Qualify (The Atlantis Grail, #1)

You have two options. You die, or you Qualify.

The year is 2047. An extinction-level asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, and the descendants of ancient Atlantis have returned from the stars in their silver ships to offer humanity help.

But there’s a catch.

They can only take a tiny percent of the Earth’s population back to the colony planet Atlantis. And in order to be chosen, you must be a teen, you must be bright, talented, and athletic, and you must Qualify.

Sixteen-year-old Gwenevere Lark is determined not only to Qualify but to rescue her entire family.

Because there’s a loophole.

If you are good enough to Qualify, you are eligible to compete in the brutal games of the Atlantis Grail, which grants all winners the laurels, high tech luxuries, and full privileges of Atlantis Citizenship. And if you are in the Top Ten, then all your wildest wishes are granted… Such as curing your mother’s cancer.

There is only one problem.

Gwen Lark is known as a klutz and a nerd. While she’s a hotshot in classics, history, science, and languages, the closest she’s come to sports is a backyard pool and a skateboard.

This time she is in over her head, and in for a fight of her life, against impossible odds and world-class competition–including Logan Sangre, the most amazing guy in her school, the one she’s been crushing on, and who doesn’t seem to know she exists.

Because every other teen on Earth has the same idea.

You Qualify or you die .

Compete (The Atlantis Grail, #2)

It’s one thing to Qualify…
But do you have what it takes to Compete?

With Earth about to be destroyed by an extinction level asteroid, teenage nerd, geek, and awkward smart girl Gwen Lark, and a few of her friends and loved ones, barely Qualified for rescue onboard one of the thousands of ark-ships headed to the ancient colony planet Atlantis.

Now faced with a year-long journey in space, life in a wondrously alien environment, and many tough life choices, Gwen must decide who or what she will become. Fleet Cadet or Civilian? Friend or lover? Average or extraordinary?

Can she make new friends? Can she trust the old ones, such as Logan Sangre, her sexy high school crush and an Earth special operative?

Time and time again, Gwen’s uncanny ability to come up with the best answer in a crisis saves her life and others. And now, her unique Logos voice makes her an extremely valuable commodity to the Atlanteans — so much so that her enigmatic commanding officer Aeson Kassiopei, who is also the Imperial Prince of Atlantis, has taken an increasingly personal interest in her.

Before the end of the journey, Gwen must convince him that she has what it takes to compete in the deadly Games of the Atlantis Grail.

It’s becoming apparent — the life of her family and all of Earth depends on it.

Win (The Atlantis Grail #3)

The Games are Forever!


It’s one thing to Qualify and Compete…

Now she must Win.


Gwen Lark, nerd, geek, and awkward smart girl, is among the lucky ones. She’s one of several million teenage refugees to escape the extinction-level asteroid barreling towards Earth and reach the ancient colony planet of Atlantis.


But Atlantis is a strange new world with higher gravity and a blazing white sun, where nothing is as expected. The new arrivals from Earth will now belong to the majority class of non-citizens who face a lifetime of hard work and limited rights.


To make matters worse, Gwen’s rare and powerful talent, her Logos voice, is viewed as a potential weapon to be exploited by the Imperator, as well as a threat to the Kassiopei Imperial Dynasty and its uncompromising control over the people of Atlantis.


A last-minute heartbreak prior to arrival turns to joy, when Gwen receives a declaration of love from an unexpected source. The Wedding date is set, but before she can be joined with her true love, she is forced to compete in the brutal and deadly Games of the Atlantis Grail to save herself, her family, friends, and everything she cares about. Once again, her intelligence, quick thinking skills, resilience, and creativity are challenged to the breaking point.


The Games are monumental, intricate, lethal . . . and the Games are Forever.


This time Gwen must fight and figure her way through the most difficult and sophisticated contest she has ever faced. Terrifying Ordeals and impossible Challenges, ruthless skilled Competitors, vicious secret assassins, and dubious teammates she must work with but cannot trust, are just the beginning. . . .


Meanwhile, as the Games rage, the fate of two worlds is at stake as a new alien threat looms over Earth and Atlantis.


But Gwen Lark has a secret weapon of her own. It’s not her Logos voice and its untapped power to control orichalcum technology and perpetuate change.


It is Gwen herself.

Survive (The Atlantis Grail, #4)

The End is Here, in a Fiery Cosmic Apocalypse!

Gwen Lark knows how to Qualify, Compete, and Win…
The time has come to Survive.

The Games of the Atlantis Grail have come to a ground-shaking halt and Gwen Lark, nerd, geek, and awkward smart girl, survived the remarkable ordeal, for the time being.

But the worst is yet to come!

Now, both the colony planet Atlantis and Earth are under a threat of annihilation, and everything is up in the air, including dire and stunning wonders in the Atlantean skies.

Will there be a Wedding? Will there be a future for Gwen Lark, her beloved, and all their families, friends, and loved ones?

Is Gwen’s rare and powerful talent, the Logos voice of creation, enough to resolve the greatest mystery of the Kassiopei Imperial Dynasty and its role in the events of deepest antiquity since the dawn of time?

The fate of the entire human species is at stake, and now there can be no respite, not a moment to lose. The final battle is here, and Gwen, and everyone she knows and loves, are in for the greatest fight of their lives.

It is time to survive.


What I am reading now:

Crossroads (The Corax Chronicles Book 1)

The mythological god Raven, the living embodiment of the cautionary tale, is a veteran trickster with a charismatic-yet-erratic style all his own. As Raven has lived firsthand throughout the ages of mankind, he has a great deal of experience in getting into trouble, whether messing about with gods in Ancient Greece or racing across the American countryside on a stolen motorcycle. But when an enemy steals a power that Raven’s been guarding for thousands of years, Raven and his daughter Dora are abruptly thrust into a journey filled with magic, ghosts, gods, and seers in order to recover the irreplaceable thing he has lost.

At the same time, in the wake of three terrible hurricanes that struck the Mississippi River basin, a young shaman named Daniel begins a spirit quest for his lost medicine pouch, stolen from him on the worst night of the storms. When Daniel meets trouble on the road in the form of a woman named Vengeance, the two of them will have to work together to right the wrongs that set them on their shared path.

For all four of them, as they become steadily intertwined by power and circumstance, they are each driven towards a final crossroads that will change all of their lives forevermore.


What Am I Reading Next?

Arrival of the Traveler (Waldgrave #1)

Portraits have been removed from the walls, and areas of the house are off limits. Some rooms even seem to have been walled off completely. No one will talk to her.

It’s been a difficult year for Abilene Collins. Since her father’s death, her whirlwind life of adventure and travel has come to an end.

Now, she’s living with her mysterious uncle. He’s a man with secrets, living almost alone in a ridiculously large mansion that he doesn’t own. He doesn’t like questions, and when Lena starts asking about his job, it isn’t hard to tell that he’s keeping some family secrets from her.

The young and ambitious groundskeeper has become her only friend, and one day he tells her that she was stolen from her mother years before. Lena’s family are all telepathic, and that isn’t all…they’re a religious pillar of the Silenti society. Her grandfather has used his standing to gain political power, decimating his rivals along with anyone who gets in his way.

Suddenly thrust into a life of political plots and religious fanatics, Lena finds herself struggling to navigate her own life. Some people aren’t fond of the Darays, and the family has nearly died out through assassination.

It appears Lena is the latest target.

Of Lords and Commoners (Lords and Commoners #1)

Humans Have Always Had to Fight Plagues …

The only future Vallachia could have imagined, as well as her wonderfully simple life disappears when she finds herself in a struggle to figure out the rules of a strange new world.

She longs for her old life and the one she truly loves remains out of reach, as she embarks on an inconceivable journey.

Vallachia quickly finds herself on the wrong side of a brewing battle for vampire domination. Not knowing who to trust could have fatal consequences … for millions of people.

Smolder

Scarlett Barrington left the small town of Greenshade behind forever, along with unspeakable emotional wounds. She is preparing to begin her dream job when she’s called home to help her estranged mother, a hoarder, clean out her mess or risk losing her house.

Reluctantly returning home, nothing prepares her for the shock of coming face to face with her first love. Brody Finch may have been Greenshade’s glorious football legend, but he is also the man who deserted her a decade ago, when she needed him the most.

As Scarlett attempts to handle her combative mother, she’s forced to come to terms with airing her family’s dirty laundry on the reality TV show, Packrats. Community members with agendas of their own rally to help, harm, or just plain gawk.

Unexpectedly, the cold case murder of her sister comes back into focus, and Scarlett finds her own life in danger as she struggles to discover the truth about what happened so long ago. In the midst of this chaos, a serial arsonist brings the small town to its knees.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Can Scarlett and Finch find the love they once shared and lost? And if they do, will she live through the process?

WWW Wednesday: July 8th 2020

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

The Three Ws are:

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


What I am currently reading:

Control Freakz (Control Freakz, #1)

Memories will haunt you.

Natalie has lost everything but herself, and she’s just one of thousands. After Protocol 00 is enacted, Natalie’s family is taken by the government, along with the families of her two best friends, Hunter and Ethan. With nothing to lose and the threat of government hitmen kidnapping them at any moment, the three must battle to survive in a horrid, post-apocalyptic world run by President Ash and his invasive government.

Risking ruthless leaders, attempted mind control, and her very existence on the planet, Natalie, along with Hunter and Ethan, will stop at nothing in their quest to regain everything they’ve ever known. But there are unrivaled powers working against them, and with impending doom looming at any moment, there is no one to trust and nowhere to hide. In a life devoid of hope, happiness, and safety, Natalie must battle both the darkness lurking inside and out of her in order to regain one fleeting memory of her past that has all but fallen away for good, but it might already be too late.


I recently finished reading:

Blackbird

Miguel was there when the girl that he loved was abducted.

It happened in broad daylight, less than a mile from her home, sixteen years from the day she was born. Left beaten and bloodied, all he could do was watch as the thugs drove away, her hands pressed against the back window, her mouth open in a soundless scream. When the local authorities, her friends, and her family give up on her, he sets off alone on a journey that takes him across the globe.

But Human Trafficking is an industry as old as the human race, built by the most dangerous and merciless of people. And he quickly finds himself swept up in a world that threatens to swallow him whole, where sometimes even death can be a blessing.

In a hole in Mexico City, Adrian Rucker lives out his meager existence, a shell of the man that he once was. An ex-British agent, discarded by his government and long past his prime, he struggles to find meaning in his life, while battling inner demons that conspire to destroy him. Then a teenage boy walks into the bar below his apartment, reeking of desperation and carrying a revolver. For better or worse, from that moment, their lives are linked.

Together, Miguel and Rucker will attempt to do the impossible and track down a single missing girl in a domain where the victims are never found. Together, they will brave the darkness and the monsters within, clinging to the hope that they will still recognize themselves when they emerge, if they emerge at all.

Shallow Graves (The Haunted #1)

Not all houses are made of brick and stone… Robert Watts is having the worst day of his entire life: first he’s laid off, then he finds out that his wife is having an affair… with his boss no less. And that’s only the beginning.

Before the month is out, Robert finds himself alone to raise his daughter with no money, no job, and a house that is minutes from being repossessed. Just when he hits rock bottom, a strange visitor arrives at the doorstep of his soon to be foreclosed house with a letter from an Aunt he didn’t know existed.

The offer is simple: look after Aunt Ruth during her dying days, and in return Robert will be bequeathed the Harlop Estate in which she currently resides. It’s a no brainer and Robert jumps at the opportunity, equally motivated by the prospect of financial security as he is for a fresh start.

Problem is, it only takes a few nights in the Harlop Estate before he begins to question Aunt Ruth’s claims that they are the home’s only inhabitants…

It’s the scratching he hears during the night, the voices that he can barely make out over the constant rain, and then there’s the girl with the rat…

With their house foreclosed and their bank accounts liquidated, Robert and his daughter Amy desperately need a place to live. But the question Robert soon finds himself struggling with is whether living in the Harlop Estate is worth it… and if he can survive until Aunt Ruth passes to collect his inheritance.

Shallow Graves is the first book in the Haunted Series, chilling, gruesome, and truly haunting tales with a twist that you will never see coming.

The Draig's Woman (Draig Clan, #1)

Rescuing the man tied to a tree seemed like a rational decision. Claire is a smart, capable bookkeeper who happens to work at a martial arts academy. She has no idea the door she walked through to save the bound man would leave her trapped in 13th century Scotland. She is unable to regret the night of passion shared with Ian, even though it happened with the threat of death just outside the door. She pretends to be content with Ian’s friendship, knowing his people must come first. Compelled by honor and tormented by desire, is being his woman, while he marries another, enough?

Ian, Laird of the Draig Clan, is a man trapped by fate. Forced by necessity to marry a woman he has never met, her dowry is essential to save his clan. However, he is in love with the woman who saved his life and then spent one night in his arms. Duty prevents Ian from being able to marry Claire as custom, honor, and his heart demand. Drawn to her, believing they share the same desires and dreams in life, he finally offers her the only option available, a place by his side and in his bed.

Claire and Ian are bound together in love and then ripped apart by deception and a plot to destroy the Draig clan. Facing the final battle alone and unarmed, Claire saves them all. The ultimate challenge is forgiving Ian for sending her away.


What books I think I’ll read next:

What Haunts Me - Ghost Killer - Book 1

The ghosts that wander among the living do not haunt in the traditional sense; instead, they plague the innocent with disease, deformity and addiction. And once a ghost finds its victim, it will haunt them for a lifetime… or kill them quickly.

After George gets ill, the dreams begin. Suppressed memories are triggered, allowing him to see ghosts, and a deeply buried instinct emerges. George finds out he can kill these monsters, and heal their victims. The ability to save lives is something George cannot ignore, but it soon becomes an obsession and begins to eat away at his sanity.

His quest for understanding leads him to new friends and allies, and exposes him to enemies he could have never imagined. In the end, can you really ever kill something that’s already dead?

The Grid 1: Fall of Justice (The Grid Trilogy, #1)

A fortress city. A terrifying prison. A survivor determined to beat the odds.

Joe Parsons’ father has just disappeared. Growing up in a post-plague world, he knows that justice is in short supply, but he craves answers. He hacks into the sinister Fortrillium network, but when he’s caught red-handed, he’s in for the shock of his life.

Joe is thrown into The Grid, a prison lined with inhumane cages where the only hope of a trial comes from surviving a series of terrifying challenges. Only one person has ever escaped the deadly, gamified colosseum. Hunted by his enemies and in constant danger, Joe must find a way to survive. What he discovers along the way will change his life forever… if he can manage to escape.

Fall of Justice is a gripping work of dystopian sci-fi. If you like tension-filled suspense, fascinating apocalyptic futures, and characters who come to life, then you’ll love the first book in Paul Teague’s The Grid Trilogy.

Beware the Ranger

Twelve years ago, Kaitlyn Russell had a dream: living happily ever after with Clay Morgan. Except her grandmother had bigger plans for her beloved granddaughter and they didn’t include life in the small town of McKenna Springs as the wife of a young, poor deputy. Kaitlyn’s heart was broken when Clay and her grandmother convinced her to pursue her second love, Broadway stardom.

Texas Ranger Clay Morgan is a widower with a young son to raise. A dozen years before, he had to make the most difficult decision of his life when he agreed to let go of the only woman he’d ever loved so that she could pursue her dreams.

Now, fate and an old woman’s guilty conscience conspire to bring Clay and Kaitlyn back together once more. Will they be able to lay the past to rest and rekindle their love from the ashes?

Qualify (The Atlantis Grail, #1)

You have two options. You die, or you Qualify.

The year is 2047. An extinction-level asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, and the descendents of ancient Atlantis have returned from the stars in their silver ships to offer humanity help.

But there’s a catch.

They can only take a tiny percent of the Earth’s population back to the colony planet Atlantis. And in order to be chosen, you must be a teen, you must be bright, talented, and athletic, and you must Qualify.

Sixteen-year-old Gwenevere Lark is determined not only to Qualify but to rescue her entire family.

Because there’s a loophole.

If you are good enough to Qualify, you are eligible to compete in the brutal games of the Atlantis Grail, which grants all winners the laurels, high tech luxuries, and full privileges of Atlantis Citizenship. And if you are in the Top Ten, then all your wildest wishes are granted… Such as curing your mother’s cancer.

There is only one problem.

Gwen Lark is known as a klutz and a nerd. While she’s a hotshot in classics, history, science, and languages, the closest she’s come to sports is a backyard pool and a skateboard.

This time she is in over her head, and in for a fight of her life, against impossible odds and world-class competition—including Logan Sangre, the most amazing guy in her class, the one she’s been crushing on, and who doesn’t seem to know she exists.

Because every other teen on Earth has the same idea.

You Qualify or you die.

Crossroads (The Corax Chronicles Book 1)

The mythological god Raven, the living embodiment of the cautionary tale, is a veteran trickster with a charismatic-yet-erratic style all his own. As Raven has lived firsthand throughout the ages of mankind, he has a great deal of experience in getting into trouble, whether messing about with gods in Ancient Greece or racing across the American countryside on a stolen motorcycle. But when an enemy steals a power that Raven’s been guarding for thousands of years, Raven and his daughter Dora are abruptly thrust into a journey filled with magic, ghosts, gods, and seers in order to recover the irreplaceable thing he has lost.

At the same time, in the wake of three terrible hurricanes that struck the Mississippi River basin, a young shaman named Daniel begins a spirit quest for his lost medicine pouch, stolen from him on the worst night of the storms. When Daniel meets trouble on the road in the form of a woman named Vengeance, the two of them will have to work together to right the wrongs that set them on their shared path.

For all four of them, as they become steadily intertwined by power and circumstance, they are each driven towards a final crossroads that will change all of their lives forevermore.

WWW Wednesday: July 1st, 2020

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

The Three Ws are:

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


What I am currently reading:

A Letter From America

It is the late 60’s in Tullamore, County Offaly, and life is full of exciting possibilities for Fiona Tracey, as she prepares to leave Ireland to work for a wealthy family in New York.

Fiona’s parents have the local shop and bar, and her younger sisters are already leading independent lives. Bridget is at a convent school preparing to be a nun and Angela has led a life of her own since she was hospitalised up in Dublin for years with childhood polio.

Then, sudden tragedy forces Fiona to postpone her departure for New York. As her mother sinks into illness and depression, her responsibilities mount. When help is offered by her aunt and cousin, Fiona is mystified by her mother’s animosity towards them.

As summer approaches, an American architect, Michael O’Sullivan, takes a room above the bar. Within a short time Fiona finds herself involved in an unexpected and passionate affair.

Then, as a surprising incident threatens Bridget’s vocation, Angela uncovers information which explodes old family secrets.

Before Fiona can embark on an independent life again, perhaps in New York, she must find a new understanding of her family – and of herself.


I recently finished reading:

Immortal Blood (Guardians of the Grail Book 1) by [Stella Wilkinson]

A beautiful witch. A warrior vampire. A journey of desire and danger…

When Lachlan Thorn is entrusted with the task of relocating the Holy Grail, he’d rather work alone. Unfortunately, he requires magical assistance and the only option is Ivy, a gorgeous and feisty witch whose ability to distract him might prove fatal for them both.

Ivy Meadows is new to her inherited magic and had no idea it would draw the attention of vampires. Especially not one who’s a red hot Highlander. She soon learns that while her spells are essential to the protection of the Grail, the success of Lachlan’s mission might be the key to protecting all mankind.

With a horde of enemies literally snapping at their necks, the duo embark on a quest to the mists of Scotland. As passion and peril collide, Ivy is forced back in time, where she connects with Lachlan in the past and discovers the truth about their bond. But Lachlan is tested with an impossible choice. Can he stay resolute in his duty to the Grail even if it means losing the only woman he’s ever truly loved?


What books I think I’ll read next:

A Noble Affair by [Jennie Goutet]

Is there such a thing as Prince Charming?

Chastity didn’t take a teaching job in France to find hers, but a woman can dream, n’est ce pas?

If the father of one of her students—the Viscount Charles Jean Anne Monorie de Brase—is the best local example of princes, Charming or Otherwise, Chastity is ready to put aside any thought of falling in love again.

As much as she would prefer him to keep his distance, it seems there is no avoiding each other. With the ongoing pressure of a repentant ex-boyfriend, a nefarious drug dealer, and an art heist that spans the decades, Chastity and the viscount are thrown together by circumstances she would soon rather forget.

As the intimacy between Charles and Chastity deepens, they must decide if their love is enough to bridge the gap between their disparate worlds, and if happily ever after can exist outside of fairy tales.

Pretty Reckless: A Roommates to Lovers, Tortured Hero Standalone by [Jane Anthony]

I didn’t ask Chase to take me in when my life fell apart. Turns out my BFF has some kind of sick white-knight complex I can’t wrap my head around. He told me I could stay with him under one condition: Absolutely no drugs or booze.

What a killjoy, right?

Despite his bad-boy exterior, Chase has always been my safe haven. The tattooed antidote to my life of crazy. Moving in with him seemed like a great idea but I never expected to start thinking about him the way I have been.

Fantasizing. Lusting. Wondering.

Until a moment of weakness lands him in my bed.

One night of toe-curling, back-bowing passion I’ll never forget. And I’ve tried. It’s impossible.

Chase didn’t fight like hell to get clean and sober just to toss it away on a hot mess like me. I’m a lost cause. Yet, it’s a reckless risk he seems willing to take… even if my salvation means his ruin.

From USA Today bestselling author, Jane Anthony, comes a stunning, standalone masterpiece about addiction, recovery, and reckless, ugly, never-ending love.

**this story is now a full-length standalone

Fatal Desires (Fatal Cross Live! Book 1) by [Theresa Hissong]

Fatal Desires


Fatal Cross Live!


Book 1


For years, I have worked behind the scenes for my cousin’s band, living my life as simply as possible. Running the inner workings of a rock band is the only thing I know to do. My only saving grace is a long vacation soaking up the sun in some exotic locations around the world between tours.


One steamy night on an island with Taylor Vaughn, the guitarist for the rock band Fatal Cross, and my world is turned upside down. When he doesn’t return my calls, I end up going through hell alone. Little do I know, he’s fighting his own personal demons.


When he fills in on my cousin’s tour for a few weeks, I am forced to work with the man who stole my heart months before on a private island. It isn’t easy being around him, but I am determined to keep my head low and pray this tour ends soon, but does anything ever go as planned?

The Recruit: Book One (The Recruit Series: Book 1) by Elizabeth Kelly


The Recruit: Book One (The Recruit Series 1) by [Elizabeth Kelly]

Publisher:

Date of publication: February 19th, 2014

Series: The Recruit

The Recruit: Book One

The Recruit: Book Two

The Recruit: Book Three

The Recruit: Book Four

The Recruit: Book Five

Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy

Purchase Links: Walmart eBooks | Amazon

Format Read in: ebook

Goodreads Synopsis:

Hannah Torrington lives a perfectly normal and ordinary life until the night her sister is murdered by vampires.

Saved by a Lycan named Will and thrust into a world she never knew existed, Hannah is taken to a secret facility that trains men and women to hunt vampires.

Determined to take her revenge for her sister’s death, Hannah joins the recruit program. As she is pushed to the brink of physical and mental exhaustion by the intense training, she fights her forbidden attraction to her instructor Will and struggles to adjust to her new life.

Please Note: This is book one of a trilogy and contains a cliff-hanger ending.


First Impressions:

I wasn’t very impressed with The Recruit when I first started reading it. That first chapter made me think that this was going to be a hot and heavy romance between Will and Hannah with the hunter recruit program somewhat in the background. I did the one thing that I try not to do when reading books. I judged by the first chapter….sigh.

The feelers for the romance between Hannah and Will were laid out there too. Nothing happened though. A couple encounters that raised their sexual tension by almost 100%. But no sex. I was almost glad that they didn’t do anything that first half of the book and I am glad that the author deliberately kept Will being a Lycan a secret (well not exactly a secret, its kind of hard to explain).


Mid Book Impressions:

Remember how I mentioned that I thought that The Recruit was going to be hot and heavy supernatural romance with a secondary plotline about the hunter recruit program? Well, it wasn’t quite like that. The hunter recruit program became the focal point of the book after Hannah joined it. What I liked is that the author didn’t gloss over the training. Instead, she made Hannah suffer through it. My body ached for her during certain scenes. But, Hannah held on and I was happy about that.

Will and Hannah do have sex a few times. Each time was insanely hot. The first time in the training room took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting it to be so emotional and caring. They were found out after an encounter during a full moon and they were forced to seperate. That is when the author revealed the full scope of both Will and Hannah’s feelings. My heart broke for the both of them.

There was a storyline added late in the book that evolved around the mole in the facility. It started after the “babies” (the recruits) were attacked at a bar. What I liked is that the mole was mentioned a few times but no real details were given.

Also, and I found this was interesting, was the amount of hate that Lycans got in this book. The “babies” were horrified to learn that Will was a Lycan. When it was found out that Hannah was sleeping with him, she was shunned. Even the instructors carried that hate with them. And it wasn’t just a human versus Lycan type deal. It was Lycan versus human too.


End of Book Impressions

If I wasn’t a fan of the beginning of the book, I absolutely loved the end. I loved Hannah’s character development. She went from being a loner who didn’t like anyone in her personal space to this kick ass warrior who wasn’t afraid to get into other people’s personal spaces. I was 100% Team Hannah at the end of the book. I do wish that more of her training with Chen was highlighted but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

Will and Hannah’s relationship ran into a huge wall by the end of the book. I am not going to say what but I will say that I wasn’t surprised. I did think that Will approaching Chen in wolf form was a bit much, though. But I understood why what happened happened. My heart broke for Hannah, though. She was truly the loser in that situation. But, I am rooting for them.

OMG, the fight scenes were out of this world!!! If you don’t like blood and gore, than this isn’t the book for you. Because it is bloody and violent.

The book does end on a cliffhanger. I am not a fan of cliffhangers. I would rather my books end resolved than have everything up in the air. But, they do make me want to read the next book. Will I read book 2? Probably.


My Overall Thoughts on The Recruit: Book One

This is a book that I would reread and a series that I could easily get lost in. It has everything that I liked in these types of books: sex, action and danger. The book didn’t truly get started until after Hannah joined the training facility and it gained momentum from there. Will and Hannah’s sexual tension and sex scenes were fantastic, as were the action scenes. I did figure out who the mole was about halfway through (it was obvious). This was a book that I enjoyed reading and, like I said in the first paragraph, one that I badly misjudged.

I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book. The sex scenes and the fight scenes were graphic.

Shorefall (Founders: Book 2) by Robert Jackson Bennett

5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray

Date of publication: April 21st, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Founders

Foundryside—Book 1 (Review Here)

Shorefall—Book 2

Where you can find Shorefall: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

The upstart firm Foundryside is struggling to make it. Orso Igancio and his star employee, former thief Sancia Grado, are accomplishing brilliant things with scriving, the magical art of encoding sentience into everyday objects, but it’s not enough. The massive merchant houses of Tevanne won’t tolerate competition, and they’re willing to do anything to crush Foundryside.

But even the merchant houses of Tevanne might have met their match. An immensely powerful and deadly entity has been resurrected in the shadows of Tevanne, one that’s not interested in wealth or trade routes: a hierophant, one of the ancient practitioners of scriving. And he has a great fascination for Foundryside, and its employees – especially Sancia.

Now Sancia and the rest of Foundryside must race to combat this new menace, which means understanding the origins of scriving itself – before the hierophant burns Tevanne to the ground.


First Line:

“The gates are just ahead,” said Gregor.

Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett

My Review:

I was pretty pumped when I got the email from Del Ray/Random House asking if I wanted to review Shorefall. I had loved Foundryside and was wondering when the next book was going to be published. So, it was a no brainer what my answer was going to be.

Shorefall is the 2nd book in the Founders trilogy. I would highly recommend reading Foundryside first. You would better understand the world, the houses, Sanica, and everything else in the book.

Shorefall takes place three years after the events of Foundryside, and Orso, Sanica, Berenice, and Gregor have founded their scriving business. They have become a sort of Robin Hood to the poor but they give out scrives instead of money. After an excursion to steal one of the remaining Houses lexicons, Sanica is contacted by Valeria. Valeria has a warning. Her Maker is coming, and he is getting ready to destroy Tevanne. Sanica and her crew must prepare to fight Valeria’s Maker. But are they prepared for the toll it will take upon the group? And with the lines between good and evil blurred, will Sanica make the right choice?

Shorefall’s plotline was fast-paced. Seeing that this book takes place within a week or so of Valeria’s Maker arriving in Tevanne, there were no dropped plotlines or characters. The writing flowed beautifully when the book had to change from Sanica. There was no awkwardness either. That alone made me love the book.

It did take me some time to read Shorefall. But, and I want to stress this, it wasn’t because the book was awful and I was putting it off. Nope, it was the complete opposite. I slowed down my reading pace so I could savor this book. The writing, the language, the characters were beautifully written.

I can’t get much into the storyline or characters of Shorefall without giving away spoilers. I will say this; the characters blossomed in this book. And the storyline was fantastic. The details that the author thought to include was terrific.

I will touch upon Clef, Valeria, and Valeria’s Maker. There is a massive twist in the plot that I didn’t see coming that involves them. Looking back, it makes total sense. But when I was reading it, I was shocked. I ended up putting my Kindle down and saying, “No freaking way.

The end of Shorefall made me cry. Again, I can’t say why, but it does involve Orso and Gregor. My heart broke into smithereens during those scenes. With the way the book ended, I am not sure what is going to happen and now will be impatiently waiting for the final book!!


I would give Shorefall an Older Teen rating. There are mentions of sexual situations (no details). There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Shorefall. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy: Book 2) by Emily A. Duncan

Ruthless Gods: A Novel (Something Dark and Holy Book 2) by [Duncan, Emily A.]

3 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books

Date of publication: April 7th, 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Series: Something Dark and Holy

Wicked Saints—Book 1

Ruthless Gods—Book 2

Untitled—Book 3 (expected publication date: 2021)

Where to find Ruthless Gods: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

The stunning sequel to instant New York Times bestseller, Wicked Saints!

Darkness never works alone…

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

In her dramatic follow-up to Wicked Saints, the first book in her Something Dark and Holy trilogy, Emily A. Duncan paints a Gothic, icy world where shadows whisper, and no one is who they seem, with a shocking ending that will leave you breathless.


First Line:

There was a darkness.

Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

My Review:

I was pretty excited when I saw that SMP/Wednesday Books had granted my wish for this book on NetGalley. I hadn’t expected it, though. My wishes never get granted on that site. After my excitement died down, I realized that it was the 2nd book. I was still optimistic about the book, though. Lately, I have been reading books that are 2nd or 3rd in a series, and that was stand-alone. I figured that Ruthless Gods would be the same. Oh boy, was I wrong.

Ruthless Gods had a fast-moving plotline. The author was able to keep the pace up even with the book being split into numerous POVs. That I did like, she marked who’s chapter it was. I had zero issues following along with the book that way. It also worked well with the pacing. Some storylines were left open, and characters that were mentioned but never brought up again. But, considering that this is the 2nd book in the series, I have a feeling everything will be tied together in the 3rd book.

As I mentioned above, Ruthless Gods is NOT a stand-alone book. You do need to read Wicked Saints before reading Ruthless Gods. That way, the backstories/explanation of the different countries/explanation of the religions (which is essential!!) are fully disclosed. I was lost when reading Ruthless Gods because I didn’t read Wicked Saints first.

Another source of irritation for me was the lack of understanding of the different relationships between the character. Nadya and Malachiasz, I got right away. Serefin and Kacper’s was a little muddier. Ostiya, Parijahan, and Rashid’s relationships with each other, and the central 3 was even more mysterious. That is where reading Wicked Saints would have come in handy — now saying that I was impressed with the character growth that Serefin, Nadya, and Malachiasz had throughout the book.

Ruthless Gods had to have been one of the more darker, bloodier young adult books that I have read in a while. The amount of violence was terrific. The author doesn’t even bother to build-up to the first violent scene. It was bam, there you go. Now, that didn’t bother me. I figured by reading the synopsis that it was going to be bloody and violent. But it might bother other people.

I was fascinated by a couple of things in Ruthless Gods. I was fascinated that this book was based loosely in Russia. I do wish that there was some glossary that explained the different terms used in the book. I was also fascinated by the various religions portrayed. I do wish that there was a glossary dedicated to the different saints/terms that Nadya and her fellow monks used. Again, it would have gone a long way to helping me understand everything.

The storylines were well written also. There was almost too much going on in the book at one point, but the author did a fantastic job keeping everything separate. The Nadya/Malachiasz storyline broke my heart. Serefin’s broke my heart too. I couldn’t imagine living like he did and being forced to do the things he did.

The best part of the book was the last part of the book from when Katya was introduced onwards. Everything just snowballed once the group got into that forest. I expected what Serefin and Nadya did. The whole book was leading up to those two crucial things. But, I wasn’t expecting what happened to Malachiasz. That took me completely by surprise. The epilogue was fantastic. I cannot wait to read book three because of what was promised in that epilogue.


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

I would reread Ruthless Gods. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

Weekly Wrap Up: March 1st through March 7th 2020

Books I’ve Read:

Master’s Mistress

For the Win

Hometown Girl

Losing Kyler

The Only Good Indians


Books with Pending Reviews:

The Only Good Indians—Review coming May 19th


Books with Published Reviews:

Losing Kyler—Review Here

You Are Not Alone—Review Here

Queen of the Unwanted—Review Here (DNF)

Starting Over at Blueberry Creek—Review Here

Odriel’s Heirs—Review Here


Author/Publisher Requests:

Tigers, Not Daughters—Algonquin Young Readers

Tsarina—St. Martin’s Press


NetGalley Requests:

Playing Nice


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

DNF: Queen of the Unwanted (The Women’s War: Book 2) by Jenna Glass

Queen of the Unwanted (The Women's War Book 2) by [Glass, Jenna]

0 Stars—DNF

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Del Ray

Date of publication: May 12th, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Women’s War

The Women’s War—Book 1

Queen of the Unwanted—Book 2

Where you can find Queen of the Unwanted: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

In this feminist fantasy series, the ability to do magic has given women control over their own bodies. But as the patriarchy starts to fall, they must now learn to rule as women, not men.

Alys may be the acknowledged queen of Women’s Well—the fledgling colony where women hold equal status with men—but she cares little for politics in the wake of an appalling personal tragedy. It is grief that rules her now. But the world continues to turn.

In a distant realm unused to female rulers, Ellin struggles to maintain control. Meanwhile, the king of the island nation of Khalpar recruits an abbess whom he thinks holds the key to reversing the spell that Alys’s mother gave her life to create. And back in Women’s Well, Alys’s own half-brother is determined to bring her to heel. Unless these women can all come together and embrace the true nature of female power, everything they have struggled to achieve may be at risk.


First Line:

From the moment he’d seen the results of his aptitude testing at the age of thirteen, Jalzarnin Rah-Griffolm had set his sights on one day being named the Lord High Priest of Khalpar, and he had never for a moment doubted his destiny.

Queen of the Unwanted by Jenna Glass

My Review:

I never DNF books. I can count on one hand, in the past 2 years, how many books I DNF’d. I also never DNF ARCs. There were times where I would talk myself through reading books that bored me to the point of tears. I would also talk myself through books that confused the ever living out of me.

But, someone had made a comment on a previous review that got me thinking. Why should I read those types of books? I should read books that I like. Books that give me joy.

Unfortunately, Queen of the Unwanted did not bring me joy while reading it.

Queen of the Unwanted is the 2nd book in The Women’s War series. I found out, rather early on, that you need to read book 1 before reading book 2. I was left wondering who characters were, what their relationships were and wishing that I had read book 1. I am sure if I had read book 1 first, then I would have had an issue reading this book.

So, I am going to put Queen of the Unwanted and The Women’s War on my want to read list. I did like what little I read. I loved that what the author was trying to say. I just need to understand the backstories before I read this book. Hopefully, I will get to read both books one day!!!