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)

WWW Wednesday: July 22nd 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:

Of Lords and Commoners (Lords and Commoners #1)

Humans Have Always Had to Fight Plagues …

“This book was exactly what I was looking for. A breath of fresh air, as it tells the tale of a commoner thrust into a world of lords and vampires. It spans many years with many historical events, times, and places not like your average twilight telling in a high school back ground. I would recommend this book to anyone.”
— Sanders

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.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


I recently finished reading:

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.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Walmart eBooks


What books I think I’ll read next:

Smolder by [Desiree Douglas]

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?

Purchase Links: Amazon

From This Moment On (Windswept Bay Book 1) by [Debra Clopton]

Hurt by her failed marriage and dashed dreams, Cali Sinclair returns home to Windswept Bay with her heart wary and closed to the dreams of true love she so desperately wanted. Determined to never again risk her heart, she throws herself into running the family’s small boutique resort on the Florida coast, a place so full of romance that it’s a reminder every day of what she’ll never have. But when renowned artist Grant Ellington shows up to paint a mural on the wall of the resort, she’s swept away by her response to the artist. Suddenly, every time he looks at her, Cali finds it harder than she ever thought possible to keep her heart protected.

Grant Ellington loves his ranch, his horses, and his life as a sought-after artist. But after walking away from a plane crash that killed his best friend and the young pilot, he’s still struggling with survivor’s guilt as he heads to Windswept Bay. Painting a sea life mural at the resort started out as a favor to his neighbor, but one meeting with the beautiful Cali and he feels alive again—and determined to spend time on the moonlit beaches with her in his arms…

But, like him, Cali has her own emotional scars—can they learn to trust the love that sparks between them and move forward from this moment on?

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Walmart eBooks

Free Falling: Book 1 of the Irish End Games by [Susan Kiernan-Lewis]

When David and Sarah Woodson take a much-needed vacation with their ten-year old son, John, their intention is to find a relaxing, remote spot to take a break from the artificial stimulation of their busy world back in Jacksonville, Florida. What happens within hours of settling in to their rural, rustic little cottage in a far-flung spot on the coast of Ireland is an international incident that leaves the family stranded and dependent on themselves for their survival. Facing starvation, as well as looters and opportunists, they learn the hard way the important things in life. Can a family skilled only in modern day suburbia and corporate workplaces learn to survive when the world is flung back a hundred years? When there is no internet, no telephones, no electricity and no cars? And when every person near them is desperate to survive at any cost?

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Audible | Walmart eBooks

The Cinderella Arrangement by [Vanessa Waltz]

Fake Cinderella. Real Romance.

Luke Pardini is many things: playboy, tabloid fodder, ridiculously attractive billionaire. He’s the Prince Charming every woman dreams of.

And he wants me to be his fake girlfriend.

I don’t want a relationship, even a make-believe one, but I do need the money. Writing isn’t paying the bills, and I hardly have time for a second job, let alone a romance. But he’s offering me a dream-come true.

I’ll get the fancy dresses, the formal dinners, the full Luke Pardini experience. I get to be Cinderella for a few weeks, then I’ll trade in the shoes. No problem, right?

Except I don’t have to pretend when he touches me, but he’s made it clear I only get to play his girlfriend for a few weeks. When midnight strikes, our Cinderella Arrangement is over.

He promised the arrangement would be simple.

I promised I wouldn’t fall in love.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | AbeBooks.com | Alibris | IndieBound | Audible | Walmart eBooks

True Light (From the Stars Book 1) by [G. Bailey]

Aura Scott didn’t want to move house, but her father didn’t give her a choice when he wanted an escape after the car accident that nearly killed them both. Trying to survive in a literal ghost town is never fun, but add in the neighbours from hell, well it’s becoming a nightmare.
Maxx and his brother have dark secrets, and Aura might want to run when she finds out the truth.
When two strangers move into Maxx’s house across the street, Aura finds out there is more than just secrets to be frightened of.

When light appears, so does darkness…

Purchase Links: Amazon | IndieBound

Alice Isn't Well (Death Herself, #1)

“There are lots of demons in the sky above London. The problem is, this one came crashing down to earth.”

Ten years ago, Alice Warner was attacked and disfigured by an attacker in her own home. She remembers nothing of the attack, and she has been in a psychiatric hospital ever since. When she’s finally released, however, she starts working as a security guard at an abandoned shopping mall. And that’s when she starts to realize that something is haunting her, keeping just one step out of sight at all times… Meanwhile, seventy years earlier, a little girl named Wendy is left orphaned after a World War 2 fighter plane crashes onto her house. Taken to a monastery, Wendy is quickly singled out by the nuns for special attention. They say she has been possessed by a demon, and that there’s only one way to save her soul. Fortunately for Wendy, however, there’s someone else who seems to know far more about the situation. What is the shocking connection between Alice and Wendy, reaching out across the years? Does a demon really lurk in the girl’s soul? And who is Hannah, the mysterious figure who tries to help Wendy, and who seventy years later begins to make her influence felt in Alice’s life too?

Alice Isn’t Well is the first book in the Death Herself series, about a dark figure who arrives in the night, promising to help deal with the forces of evil whenever they appear.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

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.

Stolen Gypsy by Elizabeth Horton-Newton

Stolen Gypsy by [Horton-Newton, Elizabeth]

4 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: April 15th, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Suspense

Where you can find Stolen Gypsy: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

“Her parents are dead. The government has failed her. Now she doesn’t even know who she is. Terza Blackstone is rescued by handsome Irishman Tristan Devlin and that begins the search for her true identity. When everything you thought was yours has been stolen from you, there’s only one thing to do. Steal it all back. What do gypsies, the Witness Protection Program, a drug cartel, and a young girl running for her life have in common?” 


My Review:

I made the mistake of judging this book but not only the cover but the blurb. I thought that this was going to be your typical young adult/mystery/suspense. I was expecting the usual drama that goes along with a Young Adult novel. So, when I started reading Stolen Gypsy, I was shocked to be proven wrong. This book was nothing like what I thought.

The plot of Stolen Gypsy was simple and then got hard to follow as the book went on. Terza was orphaned when her parents were killed in a car accident. After another car accident, which takes the life of her temporary guardian/lawyer, Terza is rescued by Tristan. She realizes that everything she has been told is a lie. She also realizes that some powerful, dangerous forces want her. One group wants to reclaim her, another group wants to hide her, and the last group wants to kill her. Terza needs to figure out who she can trust and who she can’t. What will happen to Terza? Will she be able to live a normal life? Or will she be on the run for the rest of her life?

I couldn’t help but feel bad for Terza. Her life had been unsettled, and she never formed a real relationship with her parents. Because of that, I could understand why she didn’t feel grief when they were killed. I thought that she dealt with everything that leads up to Tristan, helping her well. But, then again, she didn’t have time to process what was happening to her. Even after that, she barely got time to process the information that was piled on her. I was in awe that she didn’t have a full-fledged breakdown. Because I know I would have. By the end of the book, she wanted everything to end. I didn’t blame her. I would have been tired of dodging cartels and gypsies at every turn. 

Tristan was a huge part of the book. I did think that he was going to have some secret identity as a spy or something. It was the way he acted at the beginning of the book. It was a let down when he was revealed to be an average guy. But that let down didn’t last long. I developed a massive crush on him by the end of the book. If only he were real…sigh.

Peter was also a considerable part of the book. I didn’t know what to make of him for most of it. I thought that he was working either for the gypsies or the cartel at one point in the book. I didn’t care for his backstory with Nora and Tristan, but it gave their relationship an edge that was needed.

I wasn’t a massive fan of a Terza/Tristan romance. She was in high school, and he was older. I know its a double standard for me, but I kept cringing whenever they would almost kiss or exchange significant looks. That’s where the author kept it. Except for one kiss, it was innocent.

The plotline had a few twists in it. A couple, I saw coming. But there were some that I didn’t see coming. Most of those happened at the end of the book, so that I won’t get into it. I will say that I was shocked.

The end of the book was satisfying. Not only because of what was implied but also because there were two alternate endings. I loved both of them!!


I would give Stolen Gypsy an Older Teen rating. There is no sex (there are two steamy kissing scenes). There is violence. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Stolen Gypsy. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

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


Have you read Stolen Gypsy?

What are your thoughts on it?

Let me know!!

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

Losing Kyler (The Kennedy Boys: Book 2) by Siobhan Davis

Losing Kyler: A High School Bully Romance (The Kennedy Boys Book 2) by [Davis, Siobhan]

4 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: March 27th, 2017

Genre: Romance, Young Adult, New Adult

Series: The Kennedy Boys

Finding Kyler—Book 1 (Review Here)

Losing Kyler—Book 2

Keeping Kyler—Book 3

The Irish Getaway—Book 3.5

Loving Kalvin—Book 4

Saving Brad—Book 5

Seducing Kaden—Book 6

Forgiving Keven—Book 7 (Review Here)

Summer in Nantucket—Book 7.5

Releasing Keanu—Book 8 (Review Here)

Adoring Keaton—Book 9 (expected publication date: September 2020)

Reforming Kent—Book 10 (expected publication date: ?? )

Where you can find Losing Kyler: Amazon

Book Synopsis:

Condemned to repeat the sins of the past…

Faye thought losing her parents was the most devastating thing to happen to her, but she was wrong. Her uncle’s scandalous revelation has sent her into a tailspin, leaving her questioning her entire existence.

Everything she believed is built on a lie.

And the one person she shares a passionate, soul-deep connection with can’t be there for her.

Faye and Ky can’t be together. It’s forbidden. Though they are determined to avoid replicating their parents’ mistakes, caving to their feelings is as tempting as the apple in the Garden of Eden.

Ky had sworn off girls until Faye bulldozed her way into his life. Now, she’s his whole world, and their forced separation is crushing him. Once his manipulative ex resurfaces—hell-bent on ruining the Kennedys—he’ll do whatever it takes to protect his loved ones including turning his back on the one person he can’t live without.

Then tragedy strikes and all bets are off.

But is it too late?

When Faye needs him and he isn’t there for her, guilt and hurt threaten to obliterate their love. As they start to rebuild their fractured hearts, another sordid family secret is uncovered, and Faye worries Ky may be lost to her forever.

But can you truly lose someone if they don’t want to be found?

Please note this series is only recommended to readers age 17+ due to mature content and themes.


First Line:

The room spins.

Losing Kyler by Siobhan Davis

My Review:

Losing Kyler is the 2nd book in The Kennedy Boys series. This book is not for teenagers. Again, loud so people in the back can hear, THIS IS NOT A BOOK FOR TEENAGERS. There are mature themes in this book that I wouldn’t be comfortable letting anyone under the age of 21 read. I wasn’t comfortably reading some of the things that went on in this book, and I am 42. Also, this cannot be read as a stand alone book.

The plotline for Losing Kyler is fast-paced and well written. There were a few times where I got overwhelmed with what was going on (there was a lot), but that was just me. The flow of the book was terrific too. There were no dropped characters or storylines.

The plotline with Faye, James, Alex, and Kyler was wonderfully written. I can’t say what I would have done if that bombshell was dropped on me. I want to think that I would have acted like Faye did when she found out. But the truth is, I would have had a nervous breakdown.

I thought Alex and James were incredibly selfish during that plotline. There were more than a few scenes where I wanted to smack one or both of them upside the head. They were the main reason why their kids were rebelling out. I wanted to reach through my Kindle, shake them, and tell them to start acting like parents and the teenagers they aren’t.

The plotline with Kyler, Faye, Brad, and Addison was full of drama. The drama between the 4 of them was almost too much. But it was a ton of fun to read. I loved reading Faye and Addison’s interactions. I kept thinking “Meow” every time they were together.

I did wonder what dirt Addison had on Kyler. I mean, he was adamant that he wanted nothing to do with her towards the end of Finding Kyler. Then to hook back up with her? I wasn’t surprised at what it was. I also wasn’t amazed at her role in everything that happened in the book. I am so waiting for her to get hers!!

The storyline with Kal and the rape trial broke my heart and, later on in the book, enraged me. I didn’t understand why Lana accused him of rape. But when specific details came to light, I understood. All I have to say is what goes around comes around.

The sexual attraction and tension between Kyler and Faye were terrific. Even though they had to keep their hands off each other, there was a lot of sexual tension. I had to put down my Kindle and fan myself. When they finally did have sexual contact, holy moly was it intense.

The end of Losing Kyler is a cliffhanger. I am not a big fan of cliffhangers. But in this case, it worked. I want to know what happens next. I want to know if Kyler and Faye will have their happily ever after.


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

I would reread Losing Kyler. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

WWW Wednesday: March 4th, 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:

Hometown Girl (Suddenly a Parent, #1)

To escape from her hometown, Claire Kendall had to leave her past — and her sister — behind…

Now her sister’s sudden death has Claire going home to confront her past and her orphaned nephew — who blames her for saving herself and not his mother. Complicating matters is Tucker Hall, a man who seems to have a genius for getting in the way when it comes to parenting Nick.

Claire know she’ll be happy only once the town of Monroe is a speck in her rearview mirror, but she can’t go before Nick is ready. In the meantime, she’ll have to see a lot of Tucker and hope that he doesn’t give her any reason to stay…


I recently finished reading:

Losing Kyler (The Kennedy Boys, #2)

Condemned to repeat the sins of the past…

Faye thought losing her parents was the most devastating thing to happen to her, but she was wrong. Her uncle’s scandalous revelation has sent her into a tailspin, leaving her questioning her entire existence.

Everything she believed is built on a lie.

And the one person she shares a passionate, soul-deep connection with can’t be there for her.

Faye and Ky can’t be together. It’s forbidden. Though they are determined to avoid replicating their parents’ mistakes, caving to their feelings is as tempting as the apple in the Garden of Eden.

Ky had sworn off girls until Faye bulldozed her way into his life. Now, she’s his whole world, and their forced separation is crushing him. Once his manipulative ex resurfaces—hell-bent on ruining the Kennedys—he’ll do whatever it takes to protect his loved ones including turning his back on the one person he can’t live without.

Then tragedy strikes and all bets are off.

But is it too late?

When Faye needs him and he isn’t there for her, guilt and hurt threaten to obliterate their love. As they start to rebuild their fractured hearts, another sordid family secret is uncovered, and Faye worries Ky may be lost to her forever.

But can you truly lose someone if they don’t want to be found?

Please note this series is only recommended to readers age 17+ due to mature content and themes.


What books I think I’ll read next:

For the Win (Wynn Hockey, #4)

Harrison Wynn
Even though I’m the oldest player on the farm team, I’m playing my heart out this year to prove that I have what it takes to play in the NHL.
Everyone expects me to live up to my dying hockey hero dad’s legacy, but my chances are receding every season.
What I need is to focus, but the team’s new yoga instructor is a major distraction; I’ve had my eye on her from the first time we met.
Except she’s not interested—okay, maybe actively disinterested—since I accidentally dumped her into the ocean during our paddleboard yoga class.
How can I prove to her—and to the NHL—that I’m worth taking a chance on?
 
Arya Ross
Men are the last thing I need in my life.
Yoga is my priority; it helps me center myself and heal my soul.
But I can’t turn down the once-in-a-lifetime offer to be the personal yoga instructor for the local hockey team.
Sure, there are some cute players—including Harrison Wynn, who seemingly won’t take no for an answer, and whose boyish smile and sexy charm are hard to resist.
He seems genuine, and I wonder . . .
Can I put my past behind me to start a future with him?

Masters' Mistress (The Angel Eyes #1)

A man bound by chains. A woman burdened by regret. Will love set this tortured pair free?

In this nightmarish future where women own men, Bret Masters refuses to serve anyone. But after spending years evading slavers in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, he’s furious when he’s finally caught and sold. So, although his mistress has a pretty face and deliciously tempting curves, he vows to escape.

Angel Aldridge hides her pain behind fences as sturdy and vast as her ranch. And even though her newly acquired slave is a ruggedly handsome cowboy, she’s not about to let her fantasies endanger the people she swore to protect. But between her always-watching enemies and her wounded heart, she’s reluctant to admit she may need him in more ways than one…

As the two toil side by side, Bret is surprised to discover Angel’s vulnerability and her compassionate nature. And the more time they spend together, the harder she finds it to resist her feelings and to soothe her lonely soul. But when they’re stranded alone together, the barriers between mistress and slave may not be strong enough to withstand their red-hot attraction.

Can Bret and Angel overcome their fears to sow the seeds of lasting love?

Masters’ Mistress is the steamy first book in The Angel Eyes futuristic dystopian cowboy romance series. If you like complex characters, gritty western settings, and slow-burning desires, then you’ll adore this enthralling story.

This is a planned six-book continuing series with cliffhangers and comes with trigger warnings for sexual situations and violence.

Odriel’s Heirs (Odriel’s Heirs: Book 1) by Hayley Reese Chow

Odriel's Heirs by [Chow, Hayley Reese]

4 Stars

Publisher: Amazon KDP

Date of publication: March 1st, 2020

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Where you can find Odriel’s Heirs: Amazon

Book Synopsis:

The brave, burning with fire, harnessed the Dragon’s Rage….

As the Dragon Heir, seventeen-year-old Kaia inherited the power of flame to protect her homeland from a godlike necromancer’s undead army. But after centuries of peace, the necromancer has faded to myth, and the Dragon Heir is feared by the people. Persecuted and cast out, Kaia struggles to embrace and control her seemingly useless gift while confined to her family’s farm.

But when the necromancer’s undead terrorize the land once again, Kaia runs away to join the battle.

With the help of her childhood rival, the handsome Shadow Heir, and a snarky, cursed cat, Kaia must figure out how to control both her fire and her confidence in time to save Okarria. If she fails, she will sacrifice her family, her new friends, and the enchanting world she has only just begun to see.

And time is running out.


First Line:

Kaia Dashul wove a ball of fire between her fingertips, feeling the rage simmering beneath a tangle of excited nerves as she watched the festival from the shadowed woods.

Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese Chow

My Review:

Fantasy is one of my favorite subjects to read. It is one genre that I will always read. So, when the author contacted me to read/review Odriel’s Heirs, I accepted. I am glad that I did. Odriel’s Heirs was a great read!!

The plotline for Odriel’s Heirs was fast-moving and well written. There were no dropped storylines or characters. There was a little lag right before the last battle, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book.

I loved the lore in Odriel’s Heirs. Zombies, necromancers, mages, and gods (good and bad) were featured. I did want to know more about the different Heirs and that first battle. But that is a minor thing. I liked that the author took the past events and used them as vital learning tools for Kaia. She also left teasers about the past. I am hoping that she expands more on that in the oncoming books.

I wasn’t a massive fan of Kaia for most of the book. I thought she was impulsive, self-centered, and full of rage. I couldn’t connect with her. But after a specific scene on a mountain, I started to see her character morph and I began to like her. By the end of the book, I was in awe of her. I can’t wait to see where her character goes.

I liked that Kaia was portrayed as a real person. She had real issues (bullying and self-esteem were the main ones featured). Kaia had to work to get to where she was. In one battle scene, she exhausted herself and almost collapsed. Even her changing feelings for Klaus were realistic.

I will say that I wasn’t a fan of how a specific relationship did a 180. I get that romance sells, but in this case, eh. There was too much bad history between those two that made a romantic relationship yucky in my eyes.

I wish that the author had explained what the Shadow Heirs abilities were earlier in the book. I figured it was something to do with shadows and assassins, but it wasn’t fully revealed until Klaus went to rescue Kaia after she was kidnapped.

The secondary characters in this book (villains and heroes) were wonderfully written. None of them seemed out of place in this world, and they all added an extra depth to the storyline.

The end of Odriel’s Heirs was great. I had figured out what happened to the Time Heir about halfway through the book. I knew that Kaia would come into her own during that last battle. But it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of reading those scenes. The last chapter, though, seemed too good to be true. And then came the epilogue. That made me super excited to read book 2!!


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

I would reread Odriel’s Heirs. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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