“Red Lily” is the final book in the “In The Garden” trilogy and oh how it breaks my heart to see these characters go (which is odd coz I barely remembered them in “Black Rose” but I guess I’ve gotten attached to them). “Red Lily” follows Harper and Hayley as they try to start a relationship together. The two of them have had feelings for each other for a while which they’ve been pushing back. However a short while after their first kiss, the Harper Bride has a temper tantrum and her violent behaviour starts to escalate. She then starts possessing poor Hayley who is no longer sure what is her and what is the Harper Bride. I found it incredibly sickeningly that the Harper Bride would go after Harper as he is technically her family (insert vomit emoji here) however I was also moved by how she was clearly losing her sanity. This was a great read that I devoured in one sitting (although it WAS lockdown so it could have been that too). I loved watching the entire family come together and I was glad to finally see the Harper Bride put to rest.
I loved this book so so so so so much! This follows the last two MacKade brothers- the respectable Sherfiff Devin MacKade who has had a crush on Cassie Connor since forever and Shane MacKade who is determined to be the last MacKade bachelor until he meets a gorgeous academic who changes his mind. Devin wants Cassie but knows that she is still fragile after her divorce from her abusive, scumbag husband. But when rumors start up about the possibility of parole, the MacKades rally to ensure that Cassie remains protected.
Shane MacKade reluctantly opens his home to Rebecca Knight who is studying paranormal activity. He is attracted to her but refuses to commit as he is the last remaining MacKade bachelor, a title he wears well.
These two stories were my favorite from the series. It was sweet and romantic and I couldn’t read fast enough. The only thing that irritated me was that my copy was in tatters (it was secondhand) and pages kept falling out as I read it. Not a fun experience and it definitely took away from the book but I love these pairings and these plotlines.
Jared MacKade pops in to his new neighbor, Savannah as a favor to a friend. Her estranged father has passed away and left her some money. Savannah wants nothing to do with the money or the nosey lawyer who brings her news of it. But when her son starts spending more and more time on the MacKade ‘s land, Savannah finds herself attracted to Jared MacKade.
This was a pretty quick read that I enjoyed. It’s a fun romance and I liked the element of Savannah and her son having trouble trusting Jared. It felt realistic but also it was handled pretty well with a really heartfelt scene. It was also great to see Rafe and Reagan again (They are so cute!) and their tiny but close-knit community. This series might have me craving small town romances. Definitely give this series a go if you’re looking for a quick and sweet read.
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Miss Sophie Kendall is the head of the Debutante Underground, a group of women who come together to discuss their lives and the advice column, The Debutante’s Revenge. Their group needs a new place to meet. Somewhere in town that is busy enough for them not to be noticed but big enough to fit all of them. Sophie finds an abandoned shop that is perfect for her meetings. But she also finds the shop’s insomniac owner, Henry Reese. Henry Reese is instantly taken by Sophie and her bright manner. However Sophie is already engaged to someone else- an engagement she is unable to break as her family desperately needs money. Henry and Sophie make a deal- she can have the shop for her meetings if she spends one night a week with him. Nothing romantic- he just needs her help to sleep. Sophie agrees and sets a few ground rules to protect both her reputation and her heart. But as they spend time together, it is clear that they are both falling for each other. I am going through a bit of a historical romance funk so I was surprised at how easily I took to this novel. Sophie and Henry have a playful sort of relationship which I adored seeing. I kept rooting for them to get together, her family’s finances be damned. This was a great read and I cannot wait to pick up the first two books in the series.
I’ve had this book for about four years and somehow never picked it up (seriously, what AM I doing with my collection of books? Such a waste). “Soundless” tells the story of Fei who lives in a village where the people mine precious metals in exchange for food from a mysterious source down the mountain where they are trapped. When the story begins, people in the village are starting to lose their sight. Once a person loses their sight, there are left to beg for food in the town square. When their food rations are shortened, the villagers are outraged but try to work harder to mine more metals. One night, Fei wakes up and realizes that she can hear. But she is the only one in the village who can. Fei teams up with her childhood best friend in an attempt to obtain more food for her villagers. But along the way, she has to battle treacherous cliffs, corrupt leaders and the fear of her own people. I tore through this book in one setting (which surprised me because like I said, this book has been sitting untouched on my shelf for years). I loved the story of Fei and her village and I especially enjoyed the wonder she experienced once she was able to hear. If you’re looking for a quick fantasy read, this is definitely one to try.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Alyrra is a princess with a cruel family who take delight in tormenting her. When a King comes to visit with the intention of marrying Alyrra to his son, Prince Kestrin. No one understands why he wants stupid Alyrra instead of someone prettier with a richer kingdom. Eager to be rid of her, Alyrra’s family encourage the engagement and plans are made for Alyrra to leave home. On her way to her betrothed’s Kingdom, Alyrra is robbed of her identity by a sorcerer who wants to kill the royal family. Forced into the role of a goose girl, Alyrra is pleased to not have to follow the rules of court. Her days are her own and she can do what she wants with them. However the more time that she spends as a commoner, the more faults she begins to find with the kingdom and it’s twisted view on justice. It isn’t long before Prince Kestrin seeks her out, suspicious about his wife-to-be and her personality which seems selfish and spoiled (not at all like the “honest” woman he had expected). As Alyrra learns more about Kestrin and his kingdom, she is forced to make a decision between her old life and new. I loved that this book was about so much more than romance. Alyrra has to chose to either live the free life she wanted as a goose girl (and risk leaving thousands of people at the mercy of a justice system that does nothing to help them) or take up her role as Princess and make a difference in other’s lives. However as much as I did love that this was more than romance, I was sad that I didn’t get the happy ending that I expected. I loved reading “Thorn” and devoured it in a day, sacrificing sleep and food to finally get to the ending. The writing was good and the world building was brilliant and easy to follow. This book left me wanting more and I really hope that there is a sequel.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review (and then abandoned it for like two weeks when I realised Rhen was going to be a small pawn in this big book. Yes, I’m a fickle reader. Also I didn’t really care about Grey. I found him boring. Please note the past tense). “A Heart So Fierce and Broken” has a brief mention of Rhen and his kingdom before moving on to the two main characters, Grey- who has been in hiding since he found the truth about his magic and Lia Mara, daughter of the bloodthirsty Karan Luran. Circumstances find Grey and Lia Mara on the run together. Lia Mara wants to reunite her kingdom with Emberfall and believes that Grey is the key to doing that. Grey just wants things to be the way they were. He has no desire to rule. However it soon becomes clear that Prince Rhen has a viciousness of his own after Lilith’s curse. Grey can walk away and leave the people of Emberfall in Rhen’s hands or he can stand up and take his place as ruler to the throne. Like I said before, I had no interest in boring Grey or a book that was obviously going to paint poor Rhen as a villian. I love him and he is amazing. However from the first start of the book it is clear that his fear over magic was going to spoil things for him. It took me a while to warm up to Grey and Lia Mara but once I was hooked, I couldn’t stop reading. They are an unusual pair but I loved them regardless. Three stars instead of five because I had a book hangover while reading this and yes I am still a bit sulky at the lack of Rhen in this book. I cannot wait for the next book in this series! #TeamRhenandGrey #TeamRoyalMalesofEmberfall
I’ve said time and time again that nothing in school prepares us for “The Real World.” We don’t have a class to teach us how to save, why we should save and how blowing your entire credit card in one month is a bad idea (though most of us have already heard stories about why we shouldn’t do that last one) “Manage Your Money Like a F#cking Grown Up” is the book we all need. It is filled with useful, practical advice on money, spending and saving. There are some lessons in this book that I have had to learn firsthand for myself and others that I won’t have to thanks to Sam Beckbessinger’s advice. This book is written in normal plain English so there’s no big words that make no sense. This is like sitting down with your older, wiser, more financially mature friend to discuss what you should and shouldn’t do with your finances. While this book is great for anyone who wants to take control of their finances, I strongly recommend it to people entering their twenties or those who are already in their twenties. Trust me, this book is everything we wish we knew about money.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for a free review. While this was not a title I requested, I was instantly intrigued by the synopsis and started reading (and then purchased the Kindle copy so I could read on the go). ‘A Throne of Swans” begins with Aderyn whose dad passes away, leaving her as the Protector of Atratys. In this world, nobles are able to transform into a bird that represents their family house. Aderyn’s bird is supposed to be a white swan. But she has been unable to transform since the night of her mother’s death where she was ripped apart by hawks. Aderyn survived the attack but has been hunting for answers ever since. Hawks were supposed to be extinct. So who would have attacked her and her mother? Aderyn’s quest for answers leads her to the heart of the Citadel where her cruel uncle reigns as King. Despite her father’s warnings that she remain in their land, Aderyn knows that she cannot rest or rule without learning the truth about her mother’s death. Accompanied with a surly advisor (who for some reason I happened to fall in love with at the very first moment he appeared), Aderyn has to navigate court politics and drama all the while hiding that she is flightless- something that could cost her her position as Protector. From the very first moment I was hooked by this novel. The world-building is incredible, the plot is filled with suspense and the writing is captivating. If you haven’t already picked this up, do it now. This is a beautiful novel for fans of high fantasy.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. After the death of his (awful) father, Boone is assigned to investigate a series of murders with Butch, a former homicide cop. Their investigation leads them to Helaine, the female who called in the latest murder and who has lost her sister to the vicious killer. Helaine is determined to catch her sister’s murderer however there are no leads. It isn’t long before Helaine and Boone start a relationship amidst their shared grief over their lost family members. This was the first time I could remember being more excited about a mystery than the romance in the book. From the very first page, the murder mystery drew me in and I almost didn’t care about Helaine and Boone (luckily their relationship was cute so I was eventually invested in it). This was a great read that I did not enjoy as much as I could have because about 100 pages in, I was exhausted (it was 11PM), I had work the next day and so decided to skip to the end. That spoiled the experience for me. HUGE MISTAKE! DO NOT DO THIS! But do read this book.