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Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Blog Tour: The Sky Weaver (Iskari #3) by Kristen Ciccarelli

45149353. sy475 The Sky Weaver (Iskari #3) by Kristen Ciccarelli
Release Date: November 12th, 2019
Publishers: Gollancz
Genre: YA, Fantasy 
Source: For Review
Pages: 400
Goodreads: Add to TBR
 
Lavish, romantic and magical, The Sky Weaver is a new standalone story set in the world of The Last Namsara - one that fans of Leigh Bardugo, Holly Black and Laini Taylor will flock to. 

At the end of one world, there always lies another.

Safire, a soldier, knows her role in this world is to serve the King of Firgaard-helping to maintain the peace in her oft-troubled nation.

Eris, a deadly pirate, has no such conviction. Known as The Death Dancer for her ability to evade even the most determined of pursuers, she possesses a superhuman ability to move between worlds.

When one can roam from dimension to dimension, can one ever be home? Can love and loyalty truly exist?

Then Safire and Eris-sworn enemies-find themselves on a common mission: to find Asha, the last Namsara.

From the port city of Darmoor to the fabled faraway Sky Isles, their search and their stories become threaded ever more tightly together as they discover the uncertain fate they're hurtling towards may just be a shared one. In this world, and the next.

The Review: There are no words for how amazing the Iskari series is! The Last Namsara and The Caged Queen were two of my favourite reads from last year so I have been dying to get my hands on the finale, The Sky Weaver. And as much as I have been dying to read it, turning the very last page in this book was such a bittersweet moment because I am so not ready to say goodbye to these characters and captivating storytelling. 

The Sky Weaver tells Safire and Eris’s story – one being the Commandant to the King of Firgaard and the other, a deadly pirate and thief. Two of the most unlikely of characters to be thrown together on the same journey: finding Asha, the last Namsara who is being sort out by dangerous criminals. But not everything is as it seems as Safire and Eris begin to unravel of huge web of lies with some very startling revelations. 

The book is told from both character’s points of view and chapters telling the back story. This is such a fantastic way of telling a story, where both past and present are so important to the storyline. The different chapters helped me to separate the past and present so they didn’t get lost in the other story being told. And while the focus of this book was on Safire and Eris, their story was connected to the other character’s stories and we were able to see how their stories ended.   

I’ve always liked Safire so having her as the main character this time around just made me like her even more. She is such a strong and honourable character that it’s hard not to like her. Eris is a new character altogether and her story brought many unlikable characters with it, but she was a really likable and relatable character. The romance between the two was very sweet as well and I couldn’t help rooting for them. And Sorrow was such a perfect addition to Safire’s story! 

In all, I am very sad to see this series go because Kristen Ciccarelli’s spellbinding and powerful writing is truly magical to read but I am also very eager to see what she comes up with next. 

Thank you to  Gollancz for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 


                                                                        Rating: Really Liked It - 4 Flowers 

Friday, 8 November 2019

Blog Tour: The Shadow Prince (A Mortal Enchantment Novella) by Stacey O'Neale


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The Shadow Prince (A Mortal Enchantment Novella)
By Stacey O'Neale 
Release Date: March 25th 2014
Publishers: Phoenix Reign Publishing
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Pages: 100
Goodreads: Add to TBR
 
Prequel novella to the award-winning YA fantasy series Mortal Enchantment. Discover a world of elemental powers, courage, duty, sacrifice, forbidden romance and a war for the very elements of life.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan is an elemental prince. Banished to the mortal world, he doubts he will ever return to Avalon and claim the fire court throne. Until he receives a challenge from his estranged mother. If he slays Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental, princess of the air court, she will abdicate her throne. Is he capable of completing such a heinous task? And what price will he pay if he refuses?

Perfect for fans of Holly Black and Sarah J. Maas.

"Filled with betrayal and intrigue, The Shadow Prince is a dark and twisty novella from an exciting new author!" Katee Robert, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

The ReviewFast paced, intriguing and enchanting, Stacey O’Neal’s introduction to her new series, Mortal Enchantment was definitely right up my street.

The Shadow Prince follows Rowan, the son of the fire court Queen. Rowan has spent most of his life living amongst mortals, while trying to learn to control his fire element. Rowan’s never been shown any love from his mother, who believes love is a weakness, but when she announces she will be stepping down from her throne and he she wants Rowan to take her place, he’s more than surprised. However he knows his mother and he knows she will not give up her throne without wanting something in return. She wants Rowan to kill, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king. But can Rowan complete a task that goes against everything he believes in?

I really enjoyed this prequel novella. At only 100 pages, it’s short, but definitely leaves you wanting more. I thought it was a great introduction, to which I believe will be a very promising series by a talented debut author and this novella gives you a lot of insight on what’s to come. 

I really liked Rowan. I found him honest, loyal and very open. I enjoyed the whole set up of the courts and found myself enthralled by them. It kind of reminded me of how I was when I first read Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series. 

In all, Stacey O’Neal has proven this series has a lot of potential with The Shadow Prince and I can’t wait to read more in Mortal Enchantment.


                                                                        Rating: Really Liked It - 4 Flowers 

Monday, 7 October 2019

Review: The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renée Ahdieh

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The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1)
By Renee Ahdieh
Release Date: October 8th, 2019
Publishers: Hodder Books
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Source: For Review
Pages: 448
Goodreads: Add to TBR
 
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she's forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city's glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group's leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien's guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

The Review: Anyone who knows me knows that my love for reading first came from reading paranormal books.  Over the years, my reading tastes have changed and while I do now favour fantasy books over all others now, I’ve never forgotten about paranormal stories. It’s honestly been so long since I’ve read a good vampire story until I read The Beautiful which if I may say, may even be my favourite read of the year. 

Set in 1872, the story follows seventeen year old Celine Rousseau who moves to New Orleans after fleeing from her home in Paris following a terrifying encounter. It’s in New Orleans Celine wishes to start to a new life for herself where she can try and make a name for herself a dressmakers. But it’s not long after her arrival that Celine gets tangled up with the La Cour des Lions after catching the eye Sebastien Saint Germain, the leader of the group. La Cour des Lions is a dark and mysterious place that Celine cannot help become intrigued by. It’s there one night that a girl is murdered and all signs point to Sebastien, however New Orleans’s streets are full of terrible and dangerous creatures.

This book is phenomenal and so unputdownable. The world that Renee Ahdieh has created is captivating and enthralling. The plot was very original and although a little slow at times, I was still hooked and didn’t want to put it down. I’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans and the author describes the city beautifully, it’s made me want to visit even more. I honestly felt like I was walking the streets while Mardi Gras was happening. 

The characters are unforgettable and very likeable. I love that Celine is such a strong character, one that definitely stays true to self and one that could be a role model. Bastien is mysterious and dark and really enjoyed getting to know the real him. The romance between Celine and Bastien is a slow burn but one full of tension which I absolutely loved. 

There are plenty of secondary characters for you to fall in love with as well. And while I’m still trying to figure some out, I cannot wait to see how the story goes for these characters. And the vampires are something else. It’s definitely unique and something I’m very intrigued to read more about. 

I honestly just want more of everything. This book was over way to quickly and I really wish I had taken my time with it because it was a fantastic read and one I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. 

Thank you to Hodder Books for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

                                                                                    Rating: 5 Flowers - Amazing

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Blog Tour: The Wrong of Side Kai by Estelle Maskame

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The Wrong Side of Kai
By Estelle Maskame 
Release Date: September 19th, 2019
Publishers: Ink Road
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 304
Goodreads: Add to TBR
 
Vanessa Murphy doesn't do relationships.

With a father who doesn't notice her, it's easy for her to sneak around with her latest fling, Harrison Boyd. But when an explicit video of Vanessa hooking up with Harrison is leaked the morning after she ends things with him, her life is thrown into chaos.

And Vanessa wants payback. Enter Kai. With his own vendetta against Harrison, Kai proposes revenge, and the two pair up to ruin Harrison Boyd's life. At first, they are nothing more than an illicit partnership. Teammates working towards the same mission.

But – between late-night stakeouts and crime committing – Vanessa is drawn into Kai's life. And, as the two grow closer, she finds herself letting Kai into hers.

Extract from The Wrong Side of Kai

There’s a few minutes until first period, so everyone is milling around in the hallways, a constant buzz of voices as everyone talks about the killer weekend they just had. My guess is that Madison Romy’s party is the hot topic. Half the senior class was there, and those Westerville Central football players turning up and kicking off a brawl definitely makes for some serious gossip.

But I notice something is off. As I squeeze my way through bodies, I can feel it. The pressure of a thousand eyes on me. I keep my head down, trying my best to ignore it, pretending I’m imagining it.

But no, I’m seriously not.

I slow down, lifting my gaze to look around. Even so, it’s not immediately obvious. People are moving around, pushing past me, groups of friends leaning against lockers lost in their own conversations. But I still catch the quick glances. The subtle sniggers. The one group of junior guys that busts out into laughter as they all turn to look at me. What the hell?

I give myself a quick once over just in case I’ve been walking around with my bra on show or the zipper of my jeans open – at least that would explain Malone’s weird remark – but nope, nothing. Did news spread that Harrison and I are done? That he kicked me out of his truck and left me behind at Heritage Park? Sure, it’s gossip, but it’s not that big of a deal. It’s not like we were actually dating, and I didn’t think people cared that much about Harrison and me.

I keep my head down and continue along the hallway to my locker. My heart is beating faster than usual as I fumble with my combination. I taped a mirror to the back of my locker door in freshman year, and it’s always been a lifesaver. I scan my appearance once more, but my hair is fine, my makeup is fine, my clothes are definitely fine, everything is fine. So why the hell is everyone looking at me so weird? And now that I think about it, why have I walked the entire length of this hallway without anyone talking to me?

“Looked like you had fun at Maddie’s party,” a deep voice says from behind.

I spin around so fast my elbow clunks against the metal lockers and I find myself face to face with Anthony. Noah is by his side, a few other guys from the team huddled in close behind them, pretty much trapping me against the lockers. It’s suffocating, but I’m not surprised. They’re Harrison’s friends. They’re going to taunt me the same way they did when I first cooled things down with Noah. That’s what guys do – it’s that dumb pack mentality they have.

“Um, yeah, I did actually,” I say, and they all snicker, their laughter ringing hollow in my ears. My eyebrows furrow as I watch them exchange knowing looks, rolling their eyes and generally behaving like the dicks they are. I’m not sure what’s so funny.

“How come you never once gave me a striptease?” Noah asks, leaning in close as he juts out his lower lip like a kid feeling left out. He places a hand on my hip, and the smile he gives me is gross. “I would have been cool with that, you know.” Anthony and the guys cackle, their laughter howling down the hallway so loudly that it echoes.

I grit my teeth and shove Noah’s hand off me. Fucking Harrison telling all his friends about our business. It’s not like I don’t know guys talk about this stuff. Hell, I do the same with Chyna, but still. The thought of half the football team knowing what gets me off makes my stomach churn.

Slamming my locker shut, I push my way around Anthony’s bulky frame and walk away from them, my pace quick. My heart is thumping too hard in my chest. I’m freaked out.

“Oh, come back, Vanessa!” Noah calls after me. I know most of the people in this hallway are listening at this point, and my cheeks are scorching red with heat. “Anthony wants his turn on the Murphy-Go-Round! He’s heard it’s a great ride.”

Assholes. I hate what they’re insinuating. Sure, I like to fool around, but what’s so wrong with that – besides inevitably dumping any guy who ends up asking for more from me? It’s fun. I can take my pick of the hot guys. I like the excitement. The guys act as if I have a list with a hundred different names on it, when the reality is there’s only a few. I’m pretty sure Noah has hooked up with too many girls in this school to count, including me, so to hell with him and his double standards. Those standards aren’t mine, but I’ve learned to accept that they’re just the way things are. I make sure the remarks I get every once in a while don’t bother me anymore.

But they bother me today.

As I push my way down the hall, I hear that stupid word: Slut.

I don’t catch who says it. Some girl, but I don’t even try to pinpoint who the voice belongs to. My mind is in a whirl. Something’s going on. Something bad. I can feel it in the air. An odd sense of me versus the world, like everyone in this goddamn school is against me. I feel powerless, exposed; my skin is as thin as tissue. What’s worse is, it’s usually the exact opposite. I don’t know where this feeling has come from, but suddenly I want to curl into a ball, making myself as small as I can be, and hide.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Feature Post: Bookwork Candles & Crafts - Autumn Themed Candles



I know how much you guys love autumn, so I thought it would give me the perfect opportunity to show you a selection of autumn themed candles by my favourite handmade candle companies, Bookworm Candles and Crafts.

Stars Hollow Inspired Candle - The Gilmore Girls
With the ultimate coffee scent, the Stars Hollow notes are loving bonds, strong coffee and home. And it comes in a jar decorated to match the perfect autumn weather along with a lovely warm peach tone with glitter. Available in 4oz and 8oz there is also a third option for adding the Lorelai and Rory Gilmore magnetic bookmark set.


Hocus Pocus Inspired Candle
Who else loves this movie? Well if you do, this candle is the perfect addition to your movie watching night. With a lovely plum, rose and patchouli scent, the Hocus Pocus notes are sistership, spells and immortality. The candle comes with a collar of green ribbon, along with a witchy charm and a marble green, purple and grey wax. Available in 4oz and an 8oz candle jar.


The Owen Sisters Inspired Candle - Practical Magic
If you love margaritas then this candle is perfect for you! With a warm orange scent with hints of amber, just like a margaritas, The Owen Sisters notes are blood bonds, midnight margaritas and spells. The candles comes with all the touches and has an orange coloured wax with a blue shimmer running through. Available in 4oz and an 8oz candle jar.

Lothlorien - Lord of the Ring inspired candle
The first middle earth candle is here and inspiration has been taken from the Elven Realms with a warm woody scent of patchouli, sweet orange and pine. The wax will be a redwood colour with a gold shimmer running through it along with a ribbon collar and a gorgeous golden tree charm to match. Available in 4oz and an 8oz candle jar.


Fraser's Ridge - Outlander inspired candle
In Drums of Autumn we were introduced to Fraser's Ridge along with the location full of trees and hills and this is where the inspiration for this candle comes from. The scent of the candle is a smokey wood with warm ember undertones. The notes for this candle are foothills, homestead and warm embers. The wax will be a green colour with a golden glitter along with a green tartan coloured collar and a Scottish thistle charm on the larger candle. Available in 4oz and an 80z candle jar.

If you wish to purchase any candles from Bookworm Candles Store, you can save 20% by using DONNABOOKWORM20 on all purchases.

Click this link here to be taken to Bookworm Candle and Crafts Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Bookwormcandlescraft






Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Review: Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Till Death
By Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: February 28th, 2017
Publishers: William Morrow
Genre: Adult, Thriller, Suspense
Source: Bought 
Pages: 400
Goodreads: Add to TBR
 
In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s gripping new novel, a young woman comes home to reclaim her life—even as a murderer plots to end it. . .

It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.

First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.

But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last.

The Review: It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by Jennifer and I’ve honestly been feeling so guilty because she is one of my favourite authors and whenever I do pick up her books, I absolutely love them and Till Death was no exception.

Till Death is a standalone adult romantic suspense/thriller novel and follows 29 year old Sasha Keaton who is still trying to get over the horrible events that happened to her 10 years ago. It’s when she moves back home to West Virginia that the past won’t stay in the past and everything that Sasha is trying to forget, the killings suddenly starts happening again and once again Sasha’s life is in danger.

This was such a good read. As soon as I started it, it was impossible to put down so much that I ended up going in between the paperback copy and the audiobook, just so when I was doing day to day chores I wasn’t missing out on the story. 

Sasha and Cole were such fantastic characters to get to know. I immediately liked them and was rooting for them from the start. And with everything going on, Sasha remained such a strong character throughout the novel. 

The story was interesting and exciting and I was fully engrossed in who the killer was. I have to say I did work it out before the big reveal but it didn’t stop me enjoying the story any less. 

All in all, Till Death is a fantastic read and one I’m so glad I read and I am looking forward to reading another one of Jennifer’s book very soon.

                                                                                     Rating: 5 Flowers - Amazing

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Review: The Girl the Sea Gave Back (Sky #2) by Adrienne Young

42867937The Girl the Sea Gave Back (Sky #2)
by Adrienne Young
Release Date: September 3rd, 2019
Publishers: Titan Books
Genre: YA, Fantasy 
Source: For Review
Pages: 336
Goodreads: Add to TBR
 
The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

The Review: I absolutely adored Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young so I was thrilled to hear she was writing a companion story, The Girl the Sea Gave Back which is set years later. This time the story follows Halvard, Fiske’s younger brother who is in training to become the next chief and Tova, a Truthwitch from the Svell camp and a new character to the story all together. 

I really enjoyed being back in this world, even though it took me a while to get to know Halvard and Tova. Do I wish the story was about Eelyn and Fiske? Yes I do. But I can understand why it wasn’t and it didn’t stop me from enjoying Adrienne Young’s beautiful writing. It’s one of the reason I fell so in love with Sky in the Deep because of just how well the author writes and how compelling it is to read. 

I was pleased to see the story all come together. It was great getting to know Tova. Her story definitely bought something new to the story which I’ve honestly never read about. And it was very interesting to discover a Truthwitch’s ability and how it fit within the Viking world. 

I think my only gripe with the story was it did take a while for the characters to meet and when they do they have very little interaction. The romance is more from a distance and they meet at the end. As reader who loves her romance, I definitely wanted and needed more of it in the story but it didn’t stop me enjoying the story. 

In all, there definitely needs to be more Viking stories in the world and Adrienne Young did a fantastic job bringing this one to life. I for one will definitely be reading more of her work in the future. 

Thank you to Titan Books for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 


                                                                        Rating: Really Liked It - 4 Flowers 

 
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