Review: The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

25740412._SY475_Title: The Black Witch

Author: Laurie Forest

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Summary: 

Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of misfits…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to hate and fear.

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Review: F-Stop by Eliza Gordon

45714561._SY475_Title: F-Stop

Author: Eliza Gordon

Series: Revelation Cove

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Summary: Francesca “Frankie” Hawes has felt one click short of a full roll her entire life. Her dad and brother—both world-class photographers—can’t be expected to file paperwork, manage clients, or book their own dental cleanings. So Frankie does it for them. But when they ask her to step in and shoot the Meyer-Nelson wedding in secluded Revelation Cove, BC, they go one bridezilla too far.

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Release Day: Hard Chrome by Vanessa North

Hard-Chrome-Cover-647x1024

Hard Chrome by Vanessa North    

Series (name + # in series): American Heavy Metal, Book 1

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): Ebook Oct. 21, Print Oct. 29

Length (Print & Ebook): 49k words

 Subgenre: Contemporary Romance

 Warnings:

Hard Chrome deals with subjects some readers may find difficult, including domestic violence, animal cruelty, drug use, and teen pregnancy.

Book synopsis:

He’s tough. But she’s tougher.

Tanner Ellis left American Heavy Metal in her rearview mirror. She didn’t see the beauty HC Quote 1.pngbehind the grease stains and the polished chrome until it was too late. Now she’s back, determined to save her father’s legacy—and bring the South’s premier classic-car shop into the new century. Nothing is going to stop her—especially not the sexy tech who refuses to follow her lead.

American Heavy Metal is the only home Duke Wilson’s ever known, and no high-heeled, sharp-tongued princess is going to take it away. He tolerates Tanner’s advice, and it’s fun to push her buttons, but she doesn’t belong in the shop—never has, never will. The sooner she realizes that the sooner he can find his new normal.
When Tanner falters, revealing the pain beneath her bravado, Duke comforts her the only way he knows how. And when violence from his past threatens their future, she’ll be there for him, offering him the one thing he’s always wanted—a shot at a real family. He just has to convince himself to take it.

About Vanessa North:

Vanessa North is a romance novelist, a short fiction geek, and a knitter of strange and wonderful things. Her works have been shortlisted for both the Lambda Literary Award and the RITA© Award, and have garnered praise from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Northwest Georgia with her family: a Viking, twin boy-children, and two large dogs.

 Connect with Vanessa:

All buy links or pre-order links:

Giveaway: Vanessa North is celebrating the release of HARD CHROME with a big giveaway! Three prizes are up for grabs: (2) $10 Amazon Gift Cards and (1) Signed Paperback of Hard Chrome + some serious auto-shop inspired swag!

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Review: Maybe This Time by Kasie West

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, RomanceMaybe This Time Kasie West

Summary:

One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . Fall in love?

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all…

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Reading and Depression

Hello to my few remaining followers.

This might be one of the most honest, and strange posts I’ll ever make.

I haven’t read a book since March. Or at least not consistently.

The reason for that is I’m no longer depressed.

Books were easier when I was depressed,when I had no energy, and no drive to do anything but hide from the world around me.

I lost the…I don’t want to say joy…of reading. But I lost the ability to sit down and bury myself in it the same way I once did.

I miss it though. I miss picking up a good book and devouring what’s inside. So this is my promise to you that my reviews, and hopefully some other content will appear here soon.

After all, I’ve got a list about a mile high.

~Ashley

Review: The Vanishing Staircase by Maureen Johnson

vanishing stairGenre: YA, Mystery, Thriller

Summary:

The Truly Devious case—an unsolved kidnapping and triple murder that rocked Ellingham Academy in 1936—has consumed Stevie for years. It’s the very reason she came to the academy. But then her classmate was murdered, and her parents quickly pull her out of school. For her safety, they say. She must move past this obsession with crime.

Stevie’s willing to do anything to get back to Ellingham, be back with her friends, and solve the Truly Devious case. Even if it means making a deal with the despicable Senator Edward King. And when Stevie finally returns, she also returns to David: the guy she kissed and the guy who lied about his identity—Edward King’s son.

But larger issues are at play. Where did the murderer hide? What’s the meaning of the riddle Albert Ellingham left behind? And what, exactly, is at stake in the Truly Devious affair? The Ellingham case isn’t just a piece of history—it’s a live wire into the present.

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ARC Review: Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

red, white and royal blue

 

Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA+

Release Date: May 14th, 2019

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Summary:

A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him. 

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

My Scattered Thoughts:

How much do I love this book? Oh, let me count the ways.

Alex is one snarky, snarky boy. I love it. He is full of humour, and yes angst and I do enjoy his character quite a lot. He is not flawless, in fact he is never even thought of as infallible and there were a few moments I was horridly embarrassed for him.

Henry. Oh loveable, secretly nerdy Henry ❤ He is so awkward. It is so amazing, and he’s funny, and a bit tragic.

This book is good. It’s liberal, angry, and seeking justice even as it weaves a romantic tale around our two lovely main characters.

It’s mushy at times, heart-wrenching at others, but through it all I just felt good whilst I was reading it. I was also reluctant to leave it behind, wanting to slow my pace almost as much as I was desperate to get to the end.