REVIEW: Dangerous Alliance – Jennieke Cohen (ARC)

Title: Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance
Author: Jennieke Cohen
Rating: ★★★★★

ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.

Dangerous Alliance was absolutely DELIGHTFUL. I had such a fun time reading this book! It was witty, smart, full of romance and a little dash of mystery. I’m a huge fan of reading Regency romances, so the fact that this is a YA historical novel coming tropes of a Regency romance + Jane Austen elements + an actual mystery? This was a combination I never knew I needed in my life but I completely devoured this glorious tale.

I’ve read other YA historical fiction books with similar premises, but not that have been written as excellently as Dangerous Alliance, or that have capture my attention as fully. From the very first chapter, we are introduced quickly to both the capable protagonist, Vicky, and the nonstop action. There is a lot of different types of conflict present which kept me constantly turning the page to find out what happened next. And I loved the mystery aspect as well! It kept me guessing until late in the game which made it all the more enjoyable.

The romance aspect was constructed perfectly as well. Some of my favorite tropes from Regency romances were at play: heroine needing to marry quickly to save her family, estranged childhood friend back in town, slow-burn romance. I also think the decision to have both Vicky and Tom’s POV worked extremely well for this book. I was surprised at first, but not necessarily disappointed. One of my favorite parts of reading historical romance novels is reading the mutual angst and tension from both points of views.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction, Jane Austen, the Regency-era, or the fun elements of historical romance books. Dangerous Alliance is a well-crafted, wonderful story full of non-stop action and fun!

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Five Reasons Fireborne Needs to Be on Your TBR

Welcome to my stop on the Fireborne book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host! As soon as I finished Fireborne I knew it was going to be my favorite book of the year. It was absolutely amazing and you can check out my full review here! But if you want a little more convincing, I’ve listed five reasons why this book needs to be on your TBR 🔥


ABOUT THE BOOK

36578543Title: Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1)
Author: 
Rosaria Munda

Release: October 15, 2019
Genre: YA Fantasy

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragon riding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves…or step up to be the champion her city needs.

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Five Reasons to Read Fireborne

🐉 DRAGONS: One of my absolute favorite parts about this book is the presence of dragons! Too often, books are pitched as “dragon” books, and yet these magnificent creatures are hardly ever featured within the story. Fear not with Fireborne: dragons are heavily present in this book! I loved all the dragon-riding action scenes and the unique bonds the dragons have with their riders. For anyone who loved Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion in Game of Thrones, this will definitely appeal to you!

🔥 CHARACTERS: Ann and Lee are amazing protagonists. The two of them come from very different backgrounds, and yet growing up together as war orphans has formed a powerful bond between them. Their characters were so well-written and compelling and the complexity of their relationship was a highlight of the book!

⚔️ PLOT: This book has been described everywhere as Plato’s Republic meets Aegon Targaryen and Hermione, and I am here to tell you how truly accurate that pitch is. The premise of this story is what happens after the bloody revolutions that are so popular in the YA genre. The plot deals with the intricacies of dealing with the aftermath of toppling aristocratic regimes and trying to build a new world. There is a lot of moral greyness throughout these pages that really makes this such a captivating story: the “good” guys sometimes do bad things, and the “bad” guys can be sympathized with.

✍🏼 WRITING: The writing is smart and enthralling. I was awestruck to learn that this is Rosaria Munda’s debut novel. The story is so thought-provoking and full of political intrigue. There were definite nods to Plato’s Republic sprinkled throughout the book and even as someone not familiar with the work, I could really appreciate the cleverness. The world-building was another aspect of the writing that was expertly crafted. The world created felt so authentic and believable.

💕 ROMANCE: Without spoiling too much, this romance slayed me. You all know I’m all about some good romantic tension and angst and this book was filled to the brim with it! The romance was really subtle and took a back set to all the action, which made it just that more enjoyable! It was very slow-burn, to the point that I wasn’t even sure if it was going to happen or just my wishful thinking, and the payoff at the end was totally worth it. There are definitely some roadblocks that the characters need to overcome, but I cannot wait for more in the next books.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

authorRosaria grew up in rural North Carolina, where she climbed trees, read Harry Potter fanfiction, and taught herself Latin. She studied political theory at Princeton and lives in Chicago with her husband and cat.

 

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GIVEAWAY

Win one of two finished copies of Fireborne (US/CAN only).

✨ ENTER HERE ✨


FOLLOW THE TOUR

October 9 | The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club

October 10 | L.M. Durand
October 10 | Becky’s Book Blog
October 10 | Onemused
October 10 | Novelishly
October 10 | Paws and Paperbacks

October 11 | Utopia State of Mind
October 11 | Book Slaying
October 11 | Lost in Storyland
October 11 | Flyleaf Chronicles
October 11| Fictitiouswonderland

October 12 | Luchia Houghton Blog
October 12 | Love, Stars and Books
October 12 | Jrsbookreviews
October 12 | A Dream Within a Dream
October 12 | Once Upon a Time, I Read a Book

October 13 | NovelKnight
October 13 | Here’s to Happy Endings
October 13 | The Reading Chemist
October 13 | Port Jericho
October 13 | Dazzled by Books

October 14 | Wishful Endings
October 14 | Moonlight Rendezvous
October 14 | Library of a Book Witch
October 14 | Artsy Draft
October 14 | Adventures Thru Wonderland

October 15 | Bibliobibuli YA
October 15 | A Court of Coffee and Books
October 15 | The Reading Corner for All
October 15 | Novel Nerd Faction
October 15 | The Book Bratz

REVIEW: 10 Blind Dates – Ashley Elston

43885673Title: 10 Blind Dates
Author: Ashly Elston
Rating: ★★★½

10 Blind Dates is an absolutely delightful book sure to give readers warm and fuzzy feelings. The foundation of this story is family, friendships, and rediscovering yourself. This book is perfect for anyone who enjoys watching those heartwarming, wholesome holiday movies on the Hallmark channel!

My favorite thing about 10 Blind Dates is the large, extended family of the protagonist, Sophie. As someone who comes from a very large Italian family, it was really easy to understand how important the holidays were to Sophie and the chaos that comes with many relations all under the same roof. Growing up, Christmas Eve was always my favorite day and it was amazing to get the same feeling of nostalgia and comfort from these pages.

The blind dates Sophie’s family puts her up to and the betting chart that accompanied the schedule was so fun! You can definitely feel some of the second-hand embarrassment she must have felt being put on the spot by her family. And the main romance that develops was really cute and well-written!

Overall, 10 Blind Dates is a light, heartwarming story about family and friendships perfect for the winter holidays coming up. I definitely recommend this for anyone who enjoys stories full of cheer and happy endings!

Monthly Wrap-Up: September 2019

Hello fellow book lovers! September was a hard reading/blogging month for me. I have been feeling very overwhelmed with the amount of work I have to do for my classes and so unfortunately I just didn’t feel up to reading or writing blog posts 😦 And then I felt guilty and anxious because I felt like I should be. Hopefully October will be a better month and I will get out of this reading rut!


INTO_THE_CROOKED_PLACE6INTO THE CROOKED PLACE: I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves Six of Crows or Ace of Shades! This book has a lot of similar elements that made it enjoyable, and yet it also had a plot that was entirely unique. The story is told through the POV of four characters and while I loved all of the characters, I think it could have lost a POV or two without losing the essence of the story.  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★½

44291755GRAVEMAIDENS: This was really not what I had been expecting. It was necessarily bad, it just didn’t impress me all to much, especially since I think I had really high expectations going into this from all the praise I had seen/heard over it. I tried really hard to like the protagonist, but she treated some of the other characters in the book really poorly and it made it hard to enjoy reading things from her perspective.  ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.  ★★★

40972652THE WALLFLOWER WAGER: You know I’m in a reading rut when I rate a Tessa Dare book anything less than four stars. I was really looking forward to Penelope’s story, but there was just ~something~ missing from this one that usually makes me fall head over heels over Dare’s books. I think there was just not as much of a build-up of tension that I usually look forward to in these books.  ★★★½


36199084._SY475_THE KISS QUOTIENT:
I really wish I had read this so much sooner. This is a book that I had been constantly hearing about, yet it kept getting putting off reading. Let me just say that this book was worth every bit of hype it has gotten. I loved that this is an #ownvoices novel featuring a high-functioning autistic woman and diverse characters. Stella was a fantastic protagonist and I resonated so much with her! It was very easy to root for her and her happy ending.  [review]  ★★★★★

37539001CAPTURING THE DEVIL: Audrey Rose and Thomas have such a special place in my heart and this was a fantastic end to a wonderful series! First of all, this book had so much damn angst and romantic tension throughout the pages it’s like Kerri Maniscalco wrote it specifically for me. I absolutely adore this series and I can’t wait for whatever the author has next up her sleeve!  ★★★★


36321739THE NEVER-TILTING WORLD:
Don’t feel fooled by this rating. I almost DNF’d this literally like five times. It took me almost T E N days to finish this. I was planning to only rate this 2 stars, but I have to give the book credit: things really picked up during the last quarter of the story. I wish the whole book could have been as exciting as that last bit. I went from not wanting to finish this book to looking forward to what will happen in the sequel.  ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.  ★★★

43189874._SY475_WELL MET: This book so so much fun to read. I absolutely cruised through it. This is a contemporary romance that was perfect way to end the summer. From the hate-to-love romance to the RenFaire shenanigans, there was really nothing to dislike about this story. I wasn’t aware that this was the author’s debut novel because it’s so well written and constructed.  ★★★★


42613944._SY475_THE MEMORY THIEF:
This is another book that was taking me forever to get through, except I was so bored that I had to stop. When I dread the thought of reading a book, that’s usually a pretty good sign that I should just quit while I’m ahead. The story itself is okay, although there are so many memory flashbacks that it was becoming extremely annoying and I started to skip over them to get on with the story.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  DNF @ 51%

44131124._SY475_THE PRENUP: This was a cute story! This was a new to me author and I had only happened upon this title from another blogger’s post about new contemporary romances this summer, but I’m glad I did because I enjoyed this! Fake marriage is one of my favorite tropes and I loved how it was handled in this book. My only complaint? Not enough (or any) steamy scenes  🔥 #sorrynotsorry. There was soo much build up in the tension between them and no resolution for us a reader!  ★★★½

OTHER

Contemporary Romances That Had Me Swooning This Summer | The ABC Book Challenge – O

REVIEW: The Bridge Kingdom – Danielle L. Jensen

46356471Title: The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Rating: ★★★★★

This book was 100% worth the wait. Danielle L. Jensen promised a badass heroine, a lushly unique world, and a compelling hate-to-love romance and boy, did she delivered. The Bridge Kingdom is a book I’ve been waiting for ever since it was first announce and it definitely did not disappoint!

The action begins right off the back and it does not hold back! I was hooked from the first chapter, which instantly had me loving the heroine, Lara. The book first portrays her in a certain intriguing light, however, as the chapters go on, readers begin to realize Danielle L. Jensen has purposely deceived them. Lara is strong, intelligent, and manipulative, but clearly has a soft heart under her tough exterior. I really enjoyed reading from her POV and following along with her sneaky plotting.

The setting was so incredibly unique and interesting to read about! I will admit to feeling a bit confused by the geography at some parts, but it wasn’t enough to keep me from enjoying the story. I’m a very visual person so I’m hoping for a map in the future 🙏🏼 The pacing of the book was absolutely perfect. Danielle L. Jensen is an incredible writer and it really shines in The Bridge Kingdom.

This book had everything I was looking for: excellent writing, a compelling story, and a fantastic enemies-to-lovers romance. The Bridge Kingdom is exactly what I wish more NA stories would be. I really loved this and I cannot wait for the sequel!