Storms (HighTower Fairytales) by Jacque Stevens

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Publisher: sjacquebooks

Date of publication: November 11th 2021

Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Young Adult

Series: HighTower Fairytales

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen—Book 1 (review here)

Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 2

Lone Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 3

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 4

Between Dog and Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 5

Wolves at Bay: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 6

Depths—Book 7

Graves: A Tale of the Little Mermaid—Book 8

Storms—Book 9

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 10 (Review Here)

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 11

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 12

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 13 (Review Here)

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 14 (Review Here)

Purchase Links: Amazon


Goodreads Synopsis:

I once thought I might kill a prince. In another glance, I thought I would marry him. But then came a day I never expected.

The day I would kill a god.

When Arianna freed the soul of the prince from a dark god and shattered the underworld, she assumed she could bring peace to the world above. But there are consequences to the powers she gained and a war brewing between the provinces that will require all her magic and heart.

To master her gifts and save her home, Ari climbs to the top of Olympus and fights a war with gods on either side.


First Line:

The Prince of Solis talked so much, not even death could shut him up.

storms by jacque stevens

I am a huge fan of Jacque Steven’s books. Something about them calls to me. Maybe because she doesn’t add anything extra to the plotline, or perhaps because I can easily picture the characters and plotline in my head when she writes them. Either way, I love her books. So when she sent out the ARC for Storms, I accepted it.

Storms is the 3rd (and final) book that is based on The Little Mermaid. I will warn you that you do need to read Depths and Graves before you read Storms. I didn’t, and I was a little lost at the beginning of the book. She does explain, briefly, the backstory. But, I strongly suggest that you read the first two books first. It will make understanding what is going on in this book a lot easier.

Storms is a relatively short book (127 pages), and because of that, I could read it within a day. It is a fast-paced book, with the storyline progressing quickly. As I mentioned above, the author keeps to the storyline, and there is almost nothing extra going on or secondary characters added at the last minute. That made it a delightful book for me to read.

I wasn’t too sure what to think of Ari during the book. I went between respect and disbelief. I am sure if I had read the previous books, I would have had a better opinion of her. I will say that Ari in siren mode was scary, and I didn’t blame Jonas for running away. I did doubt her humanity at specific points in the book. But once the middle of the book rolled around, her humanity was no longer in doubt. It took a lot of courage to do what she did, and by the end of the book, I was amazed by her.

I wasn’t too sure about the end of the book. On the one hand, I was happy about how Ari’s life turned out. But on the other hand, I did have a “what if” moment when someone made an appearance.

I would recommend Storms to anyone over the age of 16. There is violence, but otherwise is a clean book.

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest (HighTower Fairytales) by Jacque Stevens

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Publisher: sjacquebooks

Date of publication: September 23rd 2021

Genre: Fairy Tales, Young Adult, Fantasy

Series: HighTower Series

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen—Book 1 (review here)

Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 2

Lone Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 3

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 4

Between Dog and Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 5

Wolves at Bay: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 6

Depths—Book 7

Graves: A Tale of the Little Mermaid—Book 8

Storms—Book 9 (review here)

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 10 (review here)

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 11

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 12

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 13 (review here)

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 14

Purchase Links: Amazon


Goodreads Synopsis:

Who is the man who holds her heart?

After playing Robin Hood for months, Marian is starting to wonder how well she knows Robin of Locksley. Her husband could just be depressed, returning from a war that should have claimed his life. He could just be adjusting to their new life in the forest. Marian wants to be patient, but after surrendering Locksley to the sheriff and his men, the villages need Robin Hood more than ever.

When a fight for a king’s ransom costs much more than gold, everything boils to the surface. How can Marian continue to take the name or even stay married to a man she now despises?

And who will wear the hood in the end?

If you like inspirational heroines, unique love stories, and non-stop twists and turns, this action-packed fantasy retelling is for you.


First Line:

Ballads of Robin Hood have spread through the English countryside like wildfire, becoming greater and more fantastic with every pass.

marian’s man by jacque stevens

I enjoy reading fairy tale/myth retellings. Each fairy tale retelling that I have read has been different and exciting. Though, I haven’t read a retelling about Robin Hood and was immediately interested when Robin’s Hood came out. Then I read the blurb for Marian’s Man, and I couldn’t wait to read it!!

Marian’s Man takes place shortly after the events at the end of Robin’s Hood. Rob and Mare have been reunited. Mare is prepared to keep wearing the hood, but Rob doesn’t want her to, and he takes on the Robin Hood persona. While Mare isn’t happy, she understands. During one of her forays into the village, Mare discovers that the Queen will be riding through the village on her way to pay the ransom for King Richard. She also finds that the sheriff and his cronies have a plan to rob the Queen. What will happen? Will Robin Hood come to the rescue? Or will the ransom be taken? And can Rob and Mare reconnect, or will Rob’s demons take over?

Marian’s Man is a fast-paced book that kept my attention the entire book. It is a short book (183 pages), and with the fast pace, it took me a couple of hours (broken up over the day) to read. There was no lag, and the author kept up the fast pace of the entire book.

Marian’s Man is told from both Rob and Mare’s POV. I loved that!! I liked being able to see Rob’s take on everything that was going on. It made the book much more interesting to read.

I felt terrible for Rob. He suffered while in the Middle East. I wasn’t surprised that he was having flashbacks, and I wasn’t surprised when he started to deal with his demons the way he did. I was a little surprised at how much he didn’t want to be Robin Hood. He hated the hood, which was a direct contrast to how Mare felt about it. I also liked seeing how honest he was with himself about how he felt about Mare. It was refreshing to see a man lay it all out.

I liked Mare in Marian’s Man. She was determined to stand by Rob, no matter what. While she was confused by how he acted (the flashbacks made him do awful things), she was there for him. She wasn’t happy about not being Robin Hood. She loved wearing the hood and outsmarting the sheriff. So, I wasn’t surprised by what she did towards the end of the book.

Mare and Rob’s romance was a slow burn throughout the book. I did get aggravated with them during certain scenes. They were madly in love with each other, and then they would act a fool because of jealousy. But other than that, I enjoyed their romance.

This is a clean book. There is no sex, and there is a handful of kissing scenes. The chemistry between Mare and Rob is palpable, and I can’t wait for them to finally get down and dirty.

There is a hint of a love triangle, which I didn’t like. I felt that it could have been left out of the book because it added nothing to it.

The end of Marian’s Man was excellent. While it didn’t take me by surprise, it shocked me a little. I cannot wait to read the next book and see what happens then!!

I would recommend Marian’s Man to anyone over the age of 16. There is no sex (some kissing scenes), but there is violence.

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest (HighTower Fairytales: Book ) by Jacque Stevens

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Publisher:

Date of publication: January 1st, 2021

Genre: Young Adult, Fairy Tale Retelling, Fantasy

Series: HighTower Fairytales

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen (Review here)

Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 1

Lone Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 2

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 3

Between Dog and Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 4

Wolves at Bay: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 5

Depths—Book 6

Graves: A Tale of the Little Mermaid—Book 7

Storms—Book 8

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 9

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 10

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 11

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 12

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 13

Purchase Links: Amazon

Format Read: ARC

Received From: Author


Goodreads Synopsis:

The King of Thieves is dead. Long live the Queen.

Orphaned at five and widowed at sixteen, Marian is the sole heir of Locksley keep and the Earldom of Huntingdon. Her husband, Robin of Locksley, never returned from the crusades, leaving her at the mercy of the sheriff. He chooses her a new husband among his brutal lackeys and taxes her people to rags and starvation.

Marian is sidelined and powerless, but rumors spread of a charismatic thief who could change everything. Clever, brave, and strong, his followers claim that the hooded rogue is Robin’s spirit back from the grave.

Only Marian knows the truth. Her husband is dead, but under his hood, she could be invincible.

ROBIN’S HOOD is the first novella in the High Tower Robin Hood YA medieval fantasy series. If you like strong female characters, friends-to-lovers romance, and non-stop twists and turns, then you’ll love this gender-bent twist on the Legends of Sherwood.


First Line:

I have heard ballads of our adventures already. A few favor the sheriff, saying we’re all cutthroats and devil worshipers, but most speak of the merry outlaws doing clever deeds.

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest by Jacque Stevens

Out of all the fairy tale retellings I have read, I don’t think that I have read a retelling of Robin Hood. So, when I saw that Jacque Stevens had written a feminist retelling of Robin Hood, I was intrigued and I decided to read it. I am glad that I did because Robin’s Hood was a homerun for me.

I liked seeing a woman in the role of Robin Hood. It threw an exciting spin on the myth, one that, truthfully, I haven’t bothered to imagine. I was always stuck on Robin Hood being a man. I never thought to imagine a heartbroken woman who was trying to do what she thought was right in the role. The author was able to do that and more.

Robin’s Hood is set in medieval England, and the book reflects that. Women were often viewed as property and treated as such. So, I wasn’t too surprised to learn that Marian’s guardian decided to marry her, at 5, to his eight-year-old son. He did that to secure his son’s claim to her lands. I also wasn’t too surprised when the Sherriff of Nottingham decided to marry her to his cousin (for the same reason). There are also other examples. A woman was sent to a convent for her “confinement” (women were not allowed to be seen during pregnancy). Marian’s maid was beaten when she refused the advances of the Sherriff of Nottingham.

I enjoyed reading about Marian’s exploits as Robin Hood. I loved how she recruited her band of merry men. That one scene with Little John made me laugh, including how she tried to save him after knocking him into the river. The same goes with her scenes with Friar Tuck. I think he had no clue who Marian was because he was toasted 95% of the time.

The last few chapters of Robin’s Hood did send me into a tailspin. Everything happened so fast!!! But I still loved it. The author wrapped up most of the storylines for this book but left them open enough for the next one.


I enjoyed reading Robin’s Hood. This story was an enjoyable retelling of the myth.

I would recommend Robin’s Hood to anyone over the age of 13. There is mild violence.

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella (HighTower Fairytales: Book 15) by Jacque Stevens

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Publisher: sjacquebooks

Date of publication: January 1st, 2021

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Series: HighTower Fairytales

Winter Falls—Book 1 (review here)

Cry Wolf—Book 2

Lone Wolf—Book 3

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing—Book 4

Between Dog and Wolf—Book 5

Wolves at Bay—Book 6

Depths—Book 7

Graves—Book 8

Storms—Book 9

Robin’s Hood—Book 10

Marian’s Man—Book 11

Lion’s Heart—Book 12

Letters by Cinderlight—Book 14 (Review Here)

Wishes by Starlight—Book 15

Purchase Links: Amazon

Format Read: Published Book

Received From: Author


Goodreads Synopsis:

I, Elya Pavlovna, went to the prince’s Maslenitsa celebration, and I’m still not sure who I am or what will happen next.

After running from a fairy and a prince, Elya is on her own for the first time. The unknown wilds are dark and dangerous, but she knows that if she is found she could be used to destroy everything she has come to love.

But with her sisters asking for her help and her beloved prince in distress, hiding might no longer be an option.

The slipper fits, now will she wear it?

If you like inspirational heroines, unique love stories, and untrustworthy fae, this romantic fantasy retelling is for you! One-click now to start the magic, romance, and heart-wrenching emotional journey!

Wishes by Starlight is the direct sequel to Letters by Cinderlight, a twist on the Cinderella story based in Slavic mythology and full of magical fairies with stories of their own.


First Line:

Elya,

Valiant says you ran, that no one forced you to go.

Wishes by Starlight by Jacque Stevens

I was very excited to start reading Wishes by Starlight. After the cliffhanger ending of Letters by Cinderlight, I needed to know what would happen to Elya and if she would get her happy ending.

Elya’s character had a lot of growth during the course. I loved watching her realize her worth and overcome the trauma of the abuse she suffered. That first started when she stopped local boys from teasing her stepsisters and continued throughout the book. I had tears in my eyes when she finally faced Charming.

Charming was the real MVP of the book. He did what the people of her village couldn’t or wouldn’t do; he stood up for her. He also gave her time (well, kind of) while writing letters in the magical book to Elya. I believe he would have waited forever for her if Lady Mother hadn’t done what she did.

The author ended the storyline with Elya’s abuse in a very satisfying way. Finally, Lady Mother got what she deserved. I cheered when Elya did what she did. Lady Mother deserved it.

The end of Wishes by Starlight was terrific. Finally, everyone got their happy endings. I loved when Lada showed up and validated everything. What she said as she left made me laugh (and made me wonder if she would be a regular appearance in their lives).


Wishes by Starlight was a great book to read. It kept my attention, and I loved seeing Elya find her happy ending.

I would recommend Wishes by Starlight to anyone over the age of 16. There is mild violence.

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella (HighTower Fairytales) by Jacque Stevens

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Publisher: sjacquebooks

Date of publication: May 20th, 2021

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Series: HighTower Fairytales

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen—Book 1 (Review here)

Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 2

Lone Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 3

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 4

Between Dog and Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 5

Wolves at Bay: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 6

Depths—Book 7

Graves: A Tale of the Little Mermaid—Book 8

Storms—Book 9

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 10

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 11

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 12

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 13

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 14 (expected publication date: June 17th, 2021)

Purchase Links: Amazon

Format Read: Unedited ARC

Got Book From: Publisher

Trigger Warning: Child Abuse, Bullying


I, Elya Pavlovna, am a horribly wicked and unfortunate girl.

After her governess is fired for teaching her to read, Elya writes in a secret journal to continue her lessons on her own. Though, as an unwanted scullery maid, she doubts she will ever have much to say.

But when a charming stranger answers her private messages, Elya’s world turns upside down. He calls her sweet. He calls her strong. He challenges her to come to a palace celebration and leave her abusive past behind.

Each small push reveals more risks and hidden heartache. Will the magic of their words be enough to rewrite their story together, or will it all fade away at midnight?

If you like inspirational heroines, unique love stories, and untrustworthy fae, this romantic fantasy is for you! One-click now to start the magic, romance, and heart-wrenching emotional journey!

Letters by Cinderlight is a twist on the Cinderella story based in Slavic mythology and full of magical fairies with stories of their own.


First Line:

The story I have to tell is a sad one, but it is also a mystery.

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella by Jacque Stevens

Review:

I am not one to like fairy tale retellings, and I do not go out of my way to read books that do so. I find that most retellings are boring. So, when I read the blurb for Letters by Cinderlight, I almost decided not to review it. But there was something about the blurb that caught my interest. I am glad I chose to review Letters by Cinderlight. It is one of the more imaginative fairytale retellings that I have read.

I usually don’t do this, but I want to give a heads up on possible triggers. Child abuse is the big one here. Elya is abused in every way except sexually. While most of the abuse scenes are not graphic, the scene where Elya is deliberately burnt in the face by her stepmother is. It was a scene where not only could I feel Elya’s pain, but I could hear her screams and smell the flesh burning. It did trigger me, but I could get through my trigger and continue reading the book.

The other trigger in the book is bullying. Elya is bullied horribly by her stepsisters. There is name-calling, a song that they would sing to her, and they did everything and anything to get her in trouble. They weren’t as graphic as the child abuse scenes, but they could still trigger someone.

Letters by Cinderlight did take a couple of chapters for the storyline to get going. But once it did, it moved fast. There was minimal lag (mainly after Lady Mother burnt Elya’s dress and before Grandmother Lada appeared), but it didn’t take away from the storyline.

I liked that the author incorporated Slavic mythology into the book. There was talk of rusalkas (one talked to Elya at various points in the book) and domovoy. Lada, who is spoken of at the beginning of the book and shows up towards the end, is the Slavic goddess of Spring. It made the book so much more interesting to read.

I loved Charming!! He was unwavering in his support for Elya (even when she was rude to him), and he tried so hard to bolster her self-esteem up. He made Elya rethink why she was being treated the way she was. He even changed the invites so scullery maids would be invited to the ball. I didn’t see him falling in love with Elya until after telling him about what her stepmother did. His response was telling, as was his letter at the end of the book.

Letters by Cinderlight is a very clean book. There is kissing, but I expected it between Charming and Elya.

The end of Letters by Cinderlight drove me nuts. I understood why Elya did what she did. She was scared. She had zero self-esteem and truly believed that Charming couldn’t love someone like her. It was one of the saddest scenes that I have read. That isn’t what drove me nuts. What drove me nuts is that the book ended on a flipping cliffhanger. I HATE cliffhangers!!!


Letters by Cinderlight was an interesting retelling of Cinderella. It was engaging and fast-moving. This is a book that I would read again.

I would recommend Letters by Cinderlight for anyone over the age of 16. This is a clean book with only two kissing scenes towards the end of the book. But there are disturbing scenes of child abuse, with two graphic scenes involving Elya, her Lady Mother, and a candle. There are also scenes of bullying.

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