Book Reviews

Botanical Art Techniques by The American Society of Botanical Artists

Yes, this is totally outside of the realm in which I usually review, but I saw this one on Netgalley and I couldn’t resist (Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an ARC). For the past couple of months I have been playing around with watercolour painting and I thought it would be fun to look through this book. 

First off, I was blown away by the gorgeous examples in this book. They are absolutely stunning. I especially loved being able to see the steps that the artist took to get to the finished product. The final piece may seem nearly impossible to achieve, but by breaking it down into steps that are paired with explanations, the pieces seem more attainable. On that note, though, I would recommend this book for intermediate or advanced painters. I think it would be rather overwhelming for those who have not had time to experiment and become comfortable with their paints and brushes. 

Lastly, I would recommend getting a paperback copy of this book. While the e-book was nice, I would have much preferred flipping through real pages.  

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Reviews of Beautiful Beast

Friends! I already have two reviews on Goodreads for Beautiful Beast! I am beyond thankful to my two gracious readers Emma and Selah. They both left some very kind words and I would love to share those with you. Also, note that they are writers as well and hope to soon publish their own novels.

From Emma:

“I am trapped here in this crumbling realm of magic. And time… I am quickly running out of time.”

Wow, this book was absolutely amazing. Since I have never read a book by E.J. Hill before I didn’t know what to expect. Faerie tale retellings are usually hit-or-miss for me, but I am pleased to confirm that this lovely fantasy exceeded my hopes.

You can read the rest here: Goodreads

*****

From Selah Chelyah:

Tender, thoughtful characters in a lovely and contemplative story. Goes beyond the traditional ideas of romance and fantasy themes to truly stir the mind and heart. Very distinctive and unique focus lends a whole new perspective. Kept me up all night reading it, so beware! 🙂 All in all, an engaging and moving read. Really liked it!

*****

Just a reminder that I am still sending out ARC’s of Beautiful Beast. If you are interested, let me know. 🙂

Book Reviews

Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

I faintly remember reading and enjoying Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, so I thought I would give this one a try. 

I’ll be honest, after the first two chapters, I was a little worried that I would not like it. It started rather slowly and I felt like a ton of names and places and history was just dumped on me. However, I kept reading because I was very intrigued by the whole concept of the Rhatan and Kazi’s secret mission. As Kazi and her cohorts entered the city and ran into Jace and his brothers, things began to pick up. And then Jase and Kazi were kidnapped and chained together. From there, I was sucked in. 

I began to really enjoy the world that this book was set in and also the relationships between the characters. Jase and Kazi had a really sweet relationship which was developed when they were alone in the wilderness together. I loved this time that they were able to spend together; it gave them room to strip back all of those messy layers and see each other’s core. Kazi was fierce and brave, yet also deep down there was fragility within her.Adorable GIFs | Tenor Jase was sweet and a natural leader. And I cannot go by without mentioning the chemistry between Wren and Synove and Jase’s brothers… So cute. 

One thing that I feel that could have been more prominent was Kazi’s Rhatan skills. She spends quite a bit of time hanging around Jase and his family, but I would have loved to see more of her special skills. 

This was not a clean read. There was some profanity, but while Jase and Kazi do kiss and whatnot, it is clearly mentioned that they do not take it that one step further.

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Ta ta for now!

Emma

 

“He turns his face towards me and in his expression, I see nothing but ice and stone.”

Quote from Beautiful Beast

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Book Reviews

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

This was a rather impulsive read and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Overall, I did enjoy it, but let me give you a few more details than that…. Little Mermaid GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

“In my heart, I’m as wild as the ocean that raised me.”

To begin with, this story is rather dark. Once a year (in their birth month) sirens sing to sailors, lure them into the ocean, then steal their hearts. Our main character, Lira, is called the Princes’ Bane because she only steals the hearts of princes. Then there is Elian who hunts the sirens and kills them. Friends, this is pretty bloody. And at first, I was a little grossed out. This book is about monsters? But wait, things change and… and you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out what happens because I don’t want to spoil. However, I’ll say that I did enjoy the characters. Lira goes from a cold killer to a human (quite literally but also figuratively) and this development was well executed and felt quite natural. I loved how this was mirrored in Elian and how they discovered that they were actually quite similar. Also, I absolutely adored the banter between them. Christo managed to pull this off very well. I don’t think I’ve read a book where the two main characters are sassy to each other for so long and it doesn’t get old. This banter was just the nature of the relationship and it worked. 

The world that Christo created was unique and interesting. Although, Elian’s kingdom was a little confusing. I got Egypt vibes, but there were ships and pirates. Which reminds me, this book totally feels like a mash-up between Pirates of the Caribbean and the Little Mermaid. Of course, it has other elements to it, but I was constantly reminded of these two stories. 

Oh, and I must mention Christo’s writing style. It moves to where it needs to move, yet there were flourishes here and there that still made it colourful. 

“Some people burn so brightly, it’s impossible to put the flames out.”

Lastly, I can’t say this was a clean read. There were a few words here and there (it wasn’t teerrrible) and as I mentioned before, with the whole ripping their hearts out thing, it was a little dark. I did enjoy it, though. It was a captivating twist to a famous fairy tale! 

“And the ocean, calling out to us both. A song of freedom and longing.”

Bye for now!Johnny Depp GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Stay safe!

 

 

P.S. Check out one of my recent blog posts: Super Exciting Cover Reveal!!!

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Book Reviews

Pirouette by Kenley Davidson

The Andari Chronicles Boxed Set by Kenley DavidsonI’ve read books #1 (Traitor’s Masque) and #4 (Shadow and Thorn by Kenley Davidson) and I absolutely loved them. Then recently, I read book #2 (Goldheart) and, to be honest, I was a little disappointed. To me, the plot and the characters were just not compelling. However, Pirouette was entirely a different story. (haha)

The first thing that really grabbed my attention was our main character, Ilani. At a young age, it was revealed that she had magic, and since in Caelan this is considered a bad thing, she was terribly punished and left crippled. So often in YA, you get beautiful and strong heroines. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but it was so interesting to see Ilani who was physically weak, be strong in other ways. She was brave and daring as she took on people who seemed to be mightier than she was. Honestly, I wish that we had more time with her. Every time the narrative flipped to Kyril, I found myself wishing we could go back to Ilani again. This flawed protagonist was so intriguing, I wish she had been developed more. Also, I wish we had seen more of her magic. I think that it could have complimented her so well and that as she changed her mind about magic, she learned to wield it too. I’m still not completely convinced about Kyril. Sure, he was nice, but I feel like he could have had more strength. He didn’t really have any talents besides his wit and his good looks, which is mentioned repeatedly, and that kind of turned me off. I didn’t have a reason to really like him. Besides, in the end, it was Brenna who saved the day and not Kyril. 

I did like this change of scenery, though. It was fun to see how Davidson developed Andari and added elements that I know will complement the following books. In addition, the writing was fairly good. Davidson has a nice clean style of writing. I think the only thing is that it felt like we got pieces of a larger story. What I mean by that, is that I wish that Ilani’s story had been expanded and that Brenna got her own book. She was such a fascinating character with such an intriguing background!  

Lastly, this was a nice clean read. 

Bye bye! Talk to you soon. ❤

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P.S. Check out my last blog post: Super Exciting Cover Reveal!!!

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Book Reviews

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

What an amusing read! I was quite entertained by the lightness and perhaps the touch of silliness. Carriger spun a unique and fun story.

Sophronia was spunky, sweet, and above all, fearless. She took on flywaymen, the Pickleman and a huge mechanimal in style with cool precision and courage. I mean, even in that one sentence, I am sure you can catch a glimpse into the world of this book. Sophronia’s little mob was adorable. I liked that they all had different characteristics. A Walk In The Woods 3 Wall Mural by Beatrix Potter | Murals Your WayDimity being in love with jewels and dresses, Sidheage the werewolf, Soap the sooty, and Pillover the evil genius in training. Aah, the names. They are quite interesting! Mrs. Barnaclegoose sounds like something out of a Beatrix Potter book rather a YA novel. Although, there was something about this aspect that I really enjoyed.  

The plot was compelling. It was so fun to follow Sophronia around on her adventures and Carriger spent time where it was needed but did not dwell where it was unnecessary. 15723286

I know there are some less favourable reviews of this book so if you’re interested in it, let me mention one thing. You almost need to change your mindset for this book. It is, in a way, silly, but it is also fun. If you read it with this lightheartedness in mind, I think you will enjoy it much more than if you go in expecting a serious young adult fantasy. Hopefully that kind of makes sense. Haha 

Anyway, stay safe.

Bye for now!      

P.S. I love the cover. It was a touch deceiving because the girl on the cover looks a lot older than Sophronia is, but nonetheless, it is nicely laid out.

Book Reviews

Goldheart by Kenley Davidson

I have read Adari Chronicles book #1 and #5 (Traitor’s Masque and Shadow and Thorn) and I loved them. Davidson is a talented writer who always adds her own unique twist to a fairytale.

Goldheart was no different. It followed the story of Elaine who had been kidnapped in the previous book. She was a sweet character who had been terribly traumatized and this allowed for much character development. She started out frightened and timid, but as the story went along, she became stronger and more defiant. 50227172. sy475 Her daring act at the end definitely warranted applause. However, I did find that her weakness made it difficult to feel drawn to her. I wanted more moments of strength. As for the other characters, I loved Blaise! Honestly, I really wish they had ended up together. They seemed to match and complement each other so well. I also found it hard to be drawn to Will. I mean, to be honest, he didn’t do a whole a lot. He just wasn’t overly compelling.    

I don’t want to go into too much more detail in case I bore you because it is much of the same. While it was an interesting twist, it did not steal my attention and drag me into the Andari world like the other books did. However, I am currently reading Pirouette and am quite enjoying it. 

 

 

Book Reviews

Pawsitively Secretive (Witch of Edgehill #3) by Melissa Erin Jackson

 

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Once again, Melissa Erin Jackson hit the mark! Pawsitively Secretive was a fun and suspenseful read. The entire atmosphere of Edgehill is charming and totally makes me want to live there! A town obsessed with cats?!? Yes, please!

Image result for cat silhouetteOne of my favourite things about this book was the relationships. First off, Chief Brown and Amber were hilarious and adorable. Part of me wishes that he was single so Amber and him could end up together. I think he is absolutely fabulous! But at the same time, I love their friend relationship and that it isn’t complicated by a romance. I really enjoyed the development of Edgar and Amber’s relationship. He may be grumpy, but he is super duper sweet and I kinda like him (despite his strange pizza toppings). And lastly, Kim really came through in this book. She’s a little crazy and talks a lot, but somehow I love her. Also, I’m so glad Amber has a good friend she can rely on. 

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One thing I found, though, was that the pacing was a touch slow. There was this push and pull between the mystery and planning for the Hair Ball and sometimes the planning was a little heavy. Plus, there was a ton of description. It was nice to see the world come alive, but at the same time it slowed things down. 

This was mostly a clean read. There is some mild language, but nothing terrible. 

Lastly, can we talk about the ending!?! Oh my goodness! Like what just happened? Near the end of the book, I started wondering if Alan the PI would end up becoming a love interest, but then that twist at the end and now I have no idea what to think! I thought THAT was over. Anyway, now I cannot wait for book 4! Just three months! Just three months before it comes out. I think I can wait that long….   

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Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC.

If you have been wondering whether or not you should read this series. You definitely should!

Plus, book #1 only has 97 reviews on Goodreads! It deserves more.

 

Book Reviews

My Netgalley TBR

Happy Sunday everyone!

Here is a little peek into what I will be reviewing (hopefully) in the nearish future.

The Navigator (The Wendy #2) 47182853. sy475

NOT EVERY ADVENTURE GOES AS PLANNED …

Wendy’s troubles are far from over. Hook wants her in irons, the crew wants to throw her overboard, and Pan’s magical compass is the only thing standing in their way. But Pan himself is nowhere to be found.

When a new everlost captain appears on the horizon, it will take everything Wendy has to survive.

And a tiny red dragon will set events in motion that could save or doom them all.

I am almost finished this one (and loving it!!), so expect a review very soon.

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Pawsitively Cursed (Witch of Edgehill #2)

The only thing more twisted than a cursed witch is her family tree.46683075. sy475

For the past fourteen years, Edgehill’s resident secret witch, Amber Blackwood, has been haunted by her parents’ deaths. The whole town knows about the tragedy, but the details remain a mystery even to Amber. From her tiny studio apartment above her shop, The Quirky Whisker, Amber can see her partially rebuilt old house out on the edge of town. Although she now has a good life—delighting children with her magically infused toys, concocting healing tinctures for Edgehill’s residents, doting on her cats, Tom and Alley, and sitting on the committee for the town’s annual Here and Meow Festival—she feels stuck in the past.

Amber suspects the fire that killed her parents was set deliberately by a witch from the cursed Penhallow clan, from whom no one has heard even a whisper since the night her parents died. The clan’s sudden disappearance is no coincidence to Amber, but her aunt Gretchen refuses to believe there’s a connection and urges Amber to stop looking for someone to blame. So Amber is shocked when Aunt Gretchen shows up unexpectedly, claiming the Penhallows have resurfaced and that one of them is heading for Edgehill with Amber in his sights.

Aunt Gretchen knows more about the fabled clan than she’s letting on. Amber is determined to find out what her aunt is hiding, and what the Penhallow seeks, before the same treacherous force that took Amber’s parents’ lives claims her own.

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A Love Hate Thing

When they’re stuck under one roof, the house may not be big enough for their hate…or their love.43513793. sx318

When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the wealthy coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares and the feeling of not belonging. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the rough streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything, much less how the rest of his life will play out.

Golden girl Nandy Smith has spent most of her life building the pristine image that it takes to fit in when it comes to her hometown Pacific Hills where image is everything. After learning that her parents are taking in a troubled teen boy, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames.

Now with Trice living under the same roof, the wall between their bedrooms feels as thin as the line between love and hate. Beneath the angst, their growing attraction won’t be denied. Through time, Trice brings Nandy out of her shell, and Nandy attempts to melt the ice that’s taken Trice’s heart and being. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.