I’m officially casting A Fate of Wrath & Flame as my biggest surprise of the year because, wow, I was not expecting this book at all! K.A. Tucker is an author whose been on my radar for her contemporary romance novels (which I haven’t quite gotten to yet despite their high praise) so curiosity (and all the amazing reviews) got the best of me when I saw this and decided to give it a shot. Let me just say that A Fate of Wrath & Flame has everything you could want in a new adult fantasy book!
The enemies-to-lovers, slow-burn angsty romance between the main character and the love interest and their warring countries reminded me of The Bridge Kingdom, meanwhile the magic and vampiric elements of the world were reminiscent of reading From Blood and Ash. It’s hard not to compare this to FBAA as there are a good amount of similarities. But while I love JLA, there’s no question that FBAA leaves a lot to be desired regarding the worldbuilding and protagonist. The worldbuilding here is incredible. Honestly, one of the best I’ve read in a long time. Everything came together so nicely and organically within the descriptions. I was able to fully understand the politics, the magic system, and the history of the world without getting pages of info dumps.
There were times where I felt like I didn’t know what was going on plot-wise, but only because the protagonist, Romeria, also had no idea what the hell was happening (understandably, given her circumstances). The feelings of confusion resolved over the course of the book as both myself and Romeria became privy to important pieces of information. And speaking of Romeria, I absolutely loved her character! She was resourceful, courageous, and fierce. Her connection with Zander was palpable and the angsty romancethat develops was so freaking amazing. I’m a sucker for a good slow-burn but add some hate-to-love into the mix and we have ourselves a winning combination!
There’s a lot to enjoy in A Fate of Wrath & Flame. The characters, the worldbuilding, the plot. Everything about the book felt extremely well-written, intriguing, and fresh. I’m aching to get my hands on the next book!
It’s finally December and 2020 is almost over! I was really hoping to have read more books this month but overall I felt pretty good about my reading. I’m still on orientation but I was switched to day shift for this month and I finally feel like a real person again! I’m hoping the increase energy I have from having a better schedule will help me read more books. I need to read ten more books to reach my goal for this year! I’m also really behind on writing reviews 🙈 so I’m hoping to have more time for those as well. How is everyone else’s yearly reading goals going?
THE ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES: This was the perfect fall read! It was full of witches and magic and gave off the best fall vibes. I loved how timely and powerful the story was about sisterhood and suffragists. The writing was beautiful and I enjoyed reading through the POVs of all three Eastwood sisters. Unfortunately, the pacing of the book was what killed the momentum for me. This book is long and very slow moving throughout many parts of the book. But otherwise, I enjoyed it! ★★★½ [review]
THE CAMELOT BETRAYAL: I found myself easily falling back into the world of Camelot and King Arthur which made reading this so much more enjoyable. The books is focused more on Genevieve and her character growth than anything else, and since I really like her character I was not upset one bit about it. I liked that the plot moved pretty quickly and that more information was revealed about Genevieve’s background: I cannot wait for all the pieces to fall together in the last book! ARC provided by Random House Children’s through NetGalley. ★★★★ [review]
YOU HAVE A MATCH: I loved this even more than Tweet Cute! This book screams Parent Trap vibes and I loved all the angst and familial drama that filled the pages. I absolutely flew through this book and cannot put it down. I highly recommend this for anyone who loves YA contemporary and stories full of friendships, family, and discovering yourself. ARC provided by Wednesday Books through NetGalley. ★★★★
INTO THE HEARTLESS WOOD: Joanna Ruth Meyer’s standalone fantasies have impressed by a lot thus far (more so than her series). All I needed to know was that this book was a gender-swapped retelling of Beauty and the Beast following an astronomer’s son and a monstrous tree siren and I instantly added it to my TBR. Everything about this was magical: the beautiful writing, the fairytale vibes, the wicked woods and the monstrous creatures within. I loved every second of reading this and cannot wait for more people to read it too. Thank you to Page Street Books for sending me an ARC! ★★★★
A DEAL WITH THE ELF KING: This was my first book by Elise Kova and I was not disappointed in the least. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: we need more NA fantasy/fantasy romance books! Publishers: give the people what they want. The story is a loose retelling of Hades and Persephone and it was perfect. I’m a little bummed that it was a standalone instead of a series (the next book features different protagonists) but I look forward to reading more from this author. Maybe next year will be the year I finally read the Alchemists of Loom series! ★★★
KINGDOM OF THE WICKED: I have been looking forward to this book since it was first announced. I loved the Stalking Jack the Ripper series and had total faith in Kerri Maniscalco with writing a dark story about witches and demons. Thankfully, my trust in her was not misplaced. The plot was fantastic, and I loved both Emilia and Wrath. I had some issues with the pacing towards the end of the book and the fact that it felt like some reveals/plot lines were glossed over, but I’m really looking forward to reading the next book! ★★★★
Happy Halloween! 👻 I hope you all had a great reading month! I can’t believe it’s already November. I’m hoping I’ll have some more time for reading and can get out of this reading slump I seem to be in. I think I just need a really great book to pull me out!
BLOOD & HONEY: While I didn’t seem to dislike this as much as other people, I’m sad to share that it did not live up to my hype and expectation. I was still enchanted by the writing and easily transported in the world. However, you cannot call this book anything other than a filler. This series went from a planned duology to a trilogy and it shows. A whole lot of nothing happens for the majority of the book. ★★★½ [review]
SOULSWIFT: The ending was heartbreaking beautiful and honestly I would expect nothing less from this author. The story follows two characters from opposing sides of a war who reluctantly work together to save their world. I really loved the presence of mythology/religion and the theme of doubts and beliefs. Such a wonderful story with beautiful storytelling. ARC provided by the author as part of the blog tour. ★★★★½
A GOLDEN FURY: Unfortunately, I really didn’t care for this book a whole lot. The plot and writing started out very strong: I was intrigued by the story, the setting, and the protagonist. However, the book started to go downhill very fast after the half-way point. The writing began to fall apart and the plotlines became over-the-top and silly. ARC provided by Wednesday Books through NetGalley. DNF @52%.
CRAZY STUPID BROMANCE: By far my favorite book in the Bromance Book Club series. Noah and Alexis are the shining stars of these books (in my opinion) and their friends-to-lovers romance was nothing short of perfection. Everything about this book works: the characters, the plot, the chemistry, the themes. It was amazing to see Alexis and Noah support each other through thick and thin, and how that support was crucial to their relationship. They work so well as best friends that it was even more satisfying to see them finally admit their feelings for each other. ARC provided by Berkley through NetGalley. ★★★★½ [review]
WINTER, WHITE AND WICKED: This book definitely exudes a Frozen meets Mad Max dystopian vibe that just worked. It was exhilarating, page-turning, and full of non-stop action. I was hooked early on and the story’s forward moving-plot and non-stop action kept me reading page after page. The clear descriptions and vivid imagery throughout easily transported me into the book’s setting. One of the best parts of reading is getting lost in the world, and I was not disappointed. ARC provided by Abrams Books through NetGalley. ★★★★ [review]
Title: The Traitor Queen (The Bridge Kingdom #2) Author: Danielle L. Jensen Rating: ★★★★½
The Bridge Kingdom was everything I had patiently waited for last year, and I’m really pleased that The Traitor Queen was the perfect follow up! The plot picked up right after the cliff-hanger ending of the first book and there was plenty of high-stakes action to propel me through this book.
One of the best parts of this book was Lara. She had tremendous character growth in The Traitor Queen; she spent the entirety of the novel making up for the mistakes she made and attempting to make amends. I was frustrated with some of her choices and rationales in The Bridge Kingdom so I was really happy to see her exhibiting more level-headed decision making.
After the ending of the first book, I was curious how the romance was going to play out. I had absolutely nothing to fear, as the romantic angst and tension was just as good–if not, better–than in The Bridge Kingdom. The hate-to-love aspect was definitely turned up a notch and I could not have been happier.
Danielle L. Jensen is such a talented writer and I wish her books were more popular! I’m loving the increasing trend of new adult fantasy romance and these books are perfect for any reader looking for an excellent mix of the two genres. We need more books like this!
*shy wave* Oh…hello. It’s me, and yes I’m still here. As you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t been active at all this month with my blog. I started my new RN job and transitioning to 12 hour night shifts has been an ~adjustment~ to say the least. I have zero energy to do anything on my days off and I’m really struggling to find the motivation to write reviews, blog posts, take photos for my bookstagram, and to respond to all of the amazing comments I’ve gotten this month. If anyone has any suggestions to help me adjust and get my energy back please let me know! 😩
That being said, I read some really great books this month! I didn’t read as many as usual, but it’s all about the quality and I didn’t read a single book I didn’t enjoy so that’s a huge win!
WELL PLAYED: This was such a good follow-up to Well Met! I really loved the characters, Stacey and Daniel, and I thought their romance was sweet. And once again, the Ren Fair setting was amazing! I was bummed to have to miss out on going this year (thanks, Covid) and reading this gave me my fix, even through all the bittersweet nostalgia. My only issue was that a good chunk of the book was dedicated to Stacey’s online exchanges and therefore there wasn’t much else going on during those portions, causing me to be a little bored. ARC provided by Berkley through NetGalley. ★★★½
QUEEN OF VOLTS: This was the perfect conclusion to the Ace of Shades series! Between new characters being introduced, additional POVs, and higher stakes in the Shadow Game, I absolutely breezed through this book. The writing and pacing were flawless and I loved how everything came together and the conflicts were resolved. This series is so underrated: if you haven’t read this series yet, I encourage you to! ARC provided by Inkyard Press through NetGalley. ★★★★ [review]
TOOLS OF ENGAGEMENT: I liked this one better than Love Her or Lose Her, but still not as much as Fix Her Up. My biggest issue was probably the male lead, Wes, who annoyed me throughout the story and found kind of unlikeable (apart from his interactions with niece). It felt like he spent the majority of the book drooling after Bethany (quite literally) and their connection never felt any deeper than physical. Their relationship began to develop a lot better towards the end, but I needed more than what I was given. ARC provided by Avon through Edelweiss. ★★★½
KINGDOM OF FLESH AND FIRE: I think I actually enjoyed this better than From Blood and Ash. Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of my favorite and most-read authors, and this series reminds me why. I’ve been very adamant that we need more fantasy adult novels geared towards those in their 20s transitioning away from YA (thus the New Adult genre) and JLA is really out here showing us all why those kind of books would not only work, but excel. From the action to the plot twists to the steamy romance, I delved right into this and quickly became absorbed. The ending of this one has me super excited for the next book in the series! ★★★★
THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS: I’ve had this one on my radar for a while and was thrilled when I was sent an eARC! I keep seeing this touted as a Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai and full of gangsters and yearning, oh boy did the author deliver! The retelling aspect was perfectly executed and I’m obsessed with both the Scarlet Gang and the White Flowers. I highly recommend this YA debut come November! ARC provided by Simon Pulse through NetGalley. ★★★★
IN A HOLIDAZE: I haven’t been this in love with a Christina Lauren book in a long time. This is the perfect holiday romance story and had everything I could have wanted and more: family, Christmas magic, romance, angst, childhood friends-to-lovers, mistletoe kisses. This book gave me all the warm and fuzzy feelings! The romance was so sweet and adorable and I couldn’t get enough of the cozy, snowy setting.ARC provided by Gallery Books through NetGalley. ★★★★½ [review]
THE TRAITOR QUEEN: I loved this follow up to The Bridge Kingdom! There was plenty of high-stakes action and lots of delicious romantic angst to propel me through this book. Lara really grew as a character and spent the entirety of this novel making up for her mistakes in the previous one. Danielle L. Jensen is such a talented writer and I can’t wait for more from her! We need more new adult fantasy books like this! ★★★★½