Book Blitz: The Touch (The Cotiere Chronicals Book 2) - Michelle Bolanger

Alexander Koch lives a life most men would kill for. As the sole heir to his family’s enormous wealth, he enjoys the finer things in life despite the crippling pain that increases with every passing day. Until he meets the one he's intended for. The one whose slightest touch makes the pain vanish. But after a chance meeting at the first Gathering of their kind, the girl runs from him in terror. Now he’s willing to spend every last cent to find her.

Jessalyn Vogt escaped her father’s controlling ways and has settled into a simple life, caring for her horses and brewing coffee for her customers. Until Alexander Koch tracks her down. She wants nothing to do with his arrogance, his money, or the undeniable attraction drawing her to him. But she knows she is the only one who can relieve him of the horrible pain racking his body.

The Cotiere has been reunited, but that was the easy part. Greed and old traditions threaten to tear it apart again. Trust has been compromised and hidden agendas are destroying the fragile truce between parents and children. It’s in the hands of the new counsel to keep it together, even if it means some must be willing to lose everything.

       Fighting to keep the echo of confusion out of her voice, she replied as coldly as she could. "I'll have your pour over right up, Alex, but I have work to do."
     Alexander stiffened, and she flinched harder this time, sure he would raise his voice. His expression grew puzzled. "If you don't mind please, it's Alexander, and I can wait until you have the time." His tone never changed, but there was doubt in his face. He slid a fifty-dollar bill across the counter, his stance softening when she didn't immediately take the offered money. "Keep the change, Jessi."

     Frustrated by her body's response to him, and angry at his ridiculous tip, she gritted her teeth. She swiped the bill off the counter, slapped it into the register, and slid his full change back. Hurt flickered on his face before she turned away and let her echo punctuate her frustration. "I can't be bought." Instead of the anger she expected, she was hit with his confusion. Her own doubt was followed by regret, but she reminded herself who he was. He's just not used to anyone telling him no. He'll get over it.

     Her eyes involuntarily rose to the mirror as she reached for a mug and pour over vessel. Peter was leaning against the far wall with his left foot planted beside the opposite knee. His arms were crossed while he watched them. Peter lifted his chin toward her as a satisfied quirk curled his lip. Unfolding his arms and kicking away from the wall, he took a seat across from Alexander at a table near the counter. Sitting together, they looked like two lions prepared to wait for their next meal. A cold shiver raked Jessi's back at the thought.

My Review:
The Touch is Michelle’s 2nd book, and her writing has just gotten better! I knew from the moment I started hearing about Alexander and Jessi that I was going to love them, and I was 110% correct! This book brought so many goofy grins to my face, and then there were moments where I just had to put the book down and walk away because of the emotional roller coaster.

What I Loved: I’ve already mentioned that I knew I would love Alexandar and Jessi, but really I loved their individual personalities and how different they were. I really enjoyed their banter and emotional dance. The tension between the two was spot on, and leaves you either wanting to throw a bucket of ice on them or screaming “get on with it already.” Both of Alexander and Jessi have uneasy backgrounds, but at this point in their lives they are primed to be ready to move forward and move past their past…but how? Especially when the past wants to come back and bite them.

The back stories in The Touch really made this book interesting. We met Alexander in The Kiss, but to know more about where he comes from, and some of what he’s gone through within The Cotiere really helps to build the backbone of this book. Then you’ve got Jessi’s story, and together it's all a bit of a mess.

Not So Much:
There never seems to be enough book. There’s not really anything I can say here, honestly. I knew I was going to love Alexander and Jess!

The Verdict:

 I wish I could get more people to take a chance on Michelle’s books – they are awesome stories! I would consider these to be clean New Adult books, with a slight paranormal/fantasy aspect – and I highly recommend them.

Author Bio:
Michelle Bolanger has been an avid reader all her life. In 2014 and with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided to take the leap and publish her own books. The Kiss is her first full length novel and the beginning of what is to be a four book series titled The Cotiere Chronicles. Michelle is also a talented vocalist and amateur photographer. She enjoys going on cruises, cheering for her favorite professional hockey team, and falling asleep to the sound of auto racing on TV. Michelle lives in Ohio with her husband and two dogs.
Website: http://www.michellebolanger.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michellebolangerauthor/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MBolangerAuthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mbolangerauthor/


Book Review: Cinder & Ella - Kelly Oram

Title: Cinder & Ella
Author: Kelly Oram

It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder.

Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancĂ©e—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.

My Review:
I have seen and passed up Cinder & Ella multiple times on Amazon.com. It was one of those – eh, I’ll probably like that book but I’m not sure. I’m not totally into the whole Hollywood aspect of the story. However, when a friend and fellow blogger over at Celebrity Readers was reading it and really enjoying the book, I knew I had to get it. (Bonus for being on sale for $.99, but at that point, it didn’t matter – she was raving and I knew I had to have it.) I have not done a ‘book binge’ in a long time, however I started reading this book probably at about 5:30 Friday night, and finished it at 1am Saturday morning. Aaaannnnd I was exhausted all day Saturday (I want to say it’s not because I can’t handle going to bed late, but I lift some heavy weights, and have three kids…so truth is, I can’t handle going to bed late…)

What I Loved:
What didn’t I love? First, it’s loosely based off a fairy-tale. Right there is a winner for me, but that’s obvious based on the title alone. Second, the interaction between Cinder and Ella, which is mainly NOT in person, is so perfect and funny! The banter, I totally fell in love with the banter, and the fact that both of them have this mutual “I really like this person…but I only know them via the internet” stigma; kind of just made it all that much better. It was also nice that the story changed perspectives, and you really got a good idea of what both Ella and Brian (Cinder) were going through.

Third, there were no innocent parties in this book, everyone is a victim of something, everyone has issues. I liked this because this wasn’t a perfect heroine needing rescued. Ella has had a complete life changing experience, and she really has the hardest hand in the entire book – but she is not faultless, she is not flawless (er, I’m speaking internally…). The fact that you’re reading this book and genuinely end up liking almost all of the characters was okay for me. I think that for this book, it really made for a well rounded story.

Fourth, this book felt so incredibly real. I wanted to read The Druid Prince. I wanted see the movie, go to the FantasyCon (I think that was what it was called..) with my new friends. I did not fall in love with Cinder myself, I wanted him so badly for Ella. I wish that I could call my new friends on the phone!!

Not So Much: There really isn’t a lot for me to put here. The one thing I can think of is I didn’t quite understand Rob’s character in the book. I understand he ended up being this great friend, but I was left feeling like he got a really crappy deal over all, especially since he was kind of a great guy. There was a part of me that wanted him to fall for one of Ella’s step sisters, or something just to make it all better.

The Verdict: 
GREAT Book! I will read it again, and probably love it just as much. I have already purchased more books by Kelly Oram because I’m pretty sure that I’m going to love all of her works. Cinder & Ella was clean over all, perfect of YA and NA loves in my opinion! Go grab it now, last I checked it was still $.99!


Book Review: Whisper of the Woods - D.G. Driver

Title: Whisper of the Woods (A Juniper Sawfeather Novel - Book 2)
Author: D.G. Driver

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Juniper Sawfeather seems to have a talent for finding mythological creatures. Or maybe the creatures are finding her.

The mermaids she saved from the oil spill are long gone. There’s no evidence of them, and she’s been branded as a liar and a fake in the media and at school. Her environmental activist parents have moved on to a protest to save Old Growth trees from being chopped down. June isn’t particularly concerned with this cause until after falling asleep at the base of a giant tree she wakes to find herself 40 feet in the air on one of its branches!

From this point on she becomes obsessed with the tree, and it appears the tree is becoming obsessed with her too. Soon, she is trapped 170 feet above the ground, and the magical spirit that resides in the tree isn’t interested in letting her go free or allowing anyone else to save her. Is the tree spirit good or evil? Will Juniper’s feet ever touch the ground again?

My Review:
After reading Cry of the Sea, author D.G. Driver asked me if I might be interested in reading Whisper of the Woods as well. Juniper and her adventure was still in my head when she asked, so I decided to go for it, even though I’m slowing down on accepting review requests and pushing towards my #2016TBRChallenge. I’m glad that I accepted the request, and it’s going to be difficult to get through 2016 (if the book comes out) to wait read the last installment.

What I Loved:
Whisper of the Woods really drawled me into its story, keeping me wondering what was going to happen next – especially the tree itself. ‘Why does it seem to talk only to Juniper, and what is it going to do next?’ were some of the questions I was asking myself while reading. I really enjoyed going on this journey with Juniper and learning more about the legend of the great tree, and it’s tie into the mermaids in Cry of the Sea, especially when I found out at the end that it was based around (I’m sure with creative licenses used at will) a true Indian legend. I was intrigued by the tree’s pull on Juniper from the beginning, how she became obsessed with it and knowing as much information about old trees as she possibly could.

I am also happy to know that while things don’t seem to be exactly great, Juniper’s relationship with her mother seems to be improving from where it left off in Cry of the Sea, and I feel like the third installment of this series will probably be a big one for the both of them.

Not So Much: I was confused by Juniper and Carter’s relationship in this book. Clearly they are in the midst of dating, however it felt like things weren’t going well over all. There was never any real good interactions between them to make it to the end of this book and everything be happy again.

I also felt like there were many times in the story where the tree was manipulating the feelings of Juniper and others who were near or touching it, however that didn’t seem to come up in conversation either. I just feel like things were taken at face value and accepted by the supporting characters: Juniper climbed up a tree, or is she stuck in the tree? There is something weird going on with the tree. Juniper never seems to make a real effort to explain it to anyone believing she wouldn’t be trusted anyway. Even at the end it was glossed over, yet everything is just…okay.

The Verdict:    
I enjoy stories that suck me in, even if after everything is done I still have questions. This book is clean and very YA appropriate, and I love that there are great messages of caring for the earth, and animals and others woven into to the foundation of this series.


Book Review: The Reapers - Ali Winters

Title: The Reapers (The Hunted Series - Book 1)
Author: Ali Winters

Having been a reaper as long as she can remember, Nivian knows that what she does is essential in maintaining balance. After being assigned to a rushed mark she finds that there is more to this human than any other she has encountered.

Kain had been living an ordinary life without a second thought until he meets Nivian who turns his world upside down. He is thrust into a world of hunters and reapers. The keepers of life and death have been feuding for centuries over a reason no one can even remember.

With Kain having been marked for reaping, and Nivian being hunted, they forge a friendship and together must find the truth in order to keep balance in check. Wrong choices could destroy everything. As they journey they discover hidden histories, powers, and lies and truths that have been spun since the beginning of time. The consequence of failure, unimaginable.

My Review: I won The Reapers playing a game regarding author Ali Winters, where I had to answer three questions about her in order to win a copy of her book.  Ali has been one of my Facebook friends for a little while and I was nearly able to answer all of the questions off the top of my head.  So I did…for the win! 

What I Loved:  This is the first book I’ve read about Reapers (excluding On a Pale Horse, which I read in High School as part of a class, and is sort of in the same vein…great book btw!), though I know it’s not the only one out there, but first and foremost I loved being thrown into a world I never even thought to explore.  Ali Winters has created a backdrop that is both interesting and easy to follow.  

Her main character, Nivian, is very easy to like and while a little passive at times, she was also witty and smart.  She was curious about the world that she didn’t actually belong to, and compassionate.  She was exceptionally good at her job, but it wasn’t this ego chip resting on her shoulder.  As her backstory begins to unfold in the book, her character becomes even more interesting.

The Reapers took a few left turns that kept me engaged with the story and wanting to know more.  I’m a pretty big fan of the side characters making the story, and there were plenty of side-characters helping to create the shape of this book nicely.  Camira and Silas were a couple of my favorites.

Not So Much:  I kind of would have liked have seen a little bit more push pull play with the romantic interests in this book.  I get that both Kane and Caspian are very much into Niv, however I feel that while she has feeling for both of the guys, it kind of just feels like physical attraction and surface deep so far.  She is also played as innocent, but I kind of would think that given the way both of the guys act when they are around her – she would have some clue as to what is happening, and how she feels about it.  I hope to see something with a little more foundation grow in the future.

I was also pretty surprised at Kane’s acceptance of the world he was thrown into.  Perhaps it just didn’t seem like there was much “time” for him to accept the new reality, he kind of (metaphorically, not literally) shrugged and went with it.  By the end he was even claiming loyalty ties.  I think I probably would have been kicking and screaming and perhaps outright rejecting everything being thrown my way, despite evidence to the contrary.  He didn’t even have a mild panic attack. 

The Verdict:    
 I believe fans of Paranormal/Fantasy will enjoy this book a lot.  It’s YA, and appropriately labeled, as it is clean, with light romance that is on a constant simmer, however it is not the main purpose of this story.  There are twist and turns that keep the reader engaged with the story.


Book Review: There are No Vampires in This Book - Megan Bailey

Title: There are No Vampires in This Book
Author: Megan Bailey
Genre: NA - Fiction

TARYN HAD NEVER BEEN NORMAL.She wasn't like other girls- not after that night, that thing, took her parents from her. She made it through hospitals, doctors, and therapy by playing by their rules and saying all the things they wanted to hear. But, inside, she held on to the truth.
She knew what she saw.

With her two closest friends at her side, she dedicated herself to a mission. She would train and she would hunt. When the time came, she would be ready. No one she loved would be hurt by one of those monsters ever again

But with high school behind them, new found freedom comes with new responsibilities and new problems. Instead of weapons and self defense classes, she now has jobs and bills. The relation-ship with her best friend was suddenly shifting into new, scary territories. How could she take down bad guys if she couldn’t get her own life in order?

A mysterious stranger who pops up in suspicious places and throws off all sorts of bad vibes. His face now starred in her regular nightmares and plagued her thoughts in the day. Was she overre-acting? Or, was this finally the monster she had been waiting for? As the scars of Taryn’s past rise up to haunt her, she begins to question herself. With her mission faltering and her friendship off kilter, would life ever be the same again?
Would she ever be the same?

My Review:  
This is a book that was recommended by another blogger, and that was chosen by a group of us lovely blogger-people to read together. (You can find their reviews linked at the bottom!) I loved the idea of reading a book together and all posting a review. It’s even better when the book that is picked out is a good one!

What I Loved: I loved that this book wasn’t exactly predictable. I’ve been reading so many books lately that are lovely and wonderful but from the beginning you kind of know where it is going to go. It’s not that books like that are bad. In fact, I find sanctuary in those easy read kind of books at times, but I love it when one jumps out at you and keeps you guessing. I enjoy that it keeps my mind active, ‘what’s going to happen – perhaps this or that.’ This was true all the way up until the last chapters of the book, I was pretty sure I knew what was going to happen – and still yet there was that lingering thought that the author could throw me for a loop.

I loved the friendship bond in this book, and let me tell you it was quite a bond. The three of them were actually quite different people, but their dynamic worked so well. I loved the idea of just hanging out at home eating pizza and being goofy – is that even acceptable anymore? It seems like people always have to be doing something!

Not So Much: At first I had a hard time switching from first person journal entries to third person story – I got over it pretty quickly, but it sometimes had me thinking, ‘wait what?” or “why is she referring to herself…oh that’s right…” While I DID get over it – there is a part of me that wishes that it would have been told in first person, because there were questions regarding her parent's death that I wanted answered as a third person perspective that in first person perspective would have been easier for me to let go.

The Verdict:   
I really, really enjoyed this book. There was sufficient action, and mystery. There was the internal battle without having the sullen or moody vibe about it. I loved Taryn and her desire to do what she thought was right, as well as facing her fears. At the end of the book she said something about how the new her faced her fears, but I felt like she was doing that all along. This book is clean, and I’m not 100% sure if it’s because I was engrossed in the story and forgot to pay attention, or because there just wasn’t any – but I don’t even recall there being any cussing. There is alcohol – but the book is NA, and I recommend it for such. I do look forward to reading more from author Megan Bailey, as I enjoyed the adventure she took me on.

About the Author:
Megan Bailey is a novelist and short story author. When not writing, she loves playing video games for way too many hours and reading everything she can get her hands on. Megan is married to her own wise-cracking, romantic hero. They live in Central Illinois with their two devious/darling daughters and three furbabies: Minna the boxer dog, Logan the black cat, and Gimli the dwarf bunny.


Release Day Blitz: Bound by Prophecy - Stormy Smith

Purchase on Amazon: http://smarturl.it/26jybt
Purchase on B&N: http://smarturl.it/pmop5c
Purchase on iBooks: http://smarturl.it/3yso88
Purchase on Kobo: http://smarturl.it/5k5f40
Amelia Bradbury is finally free from Queen Julia and Cresthaven, but she isn’t safe yet. The Keeper power runs rampant inside her and it will take an ultimate act of selflessness to contain the darkness that threatens Amelia’s sanity and the future of the Immortal race. Aidan Montgomery refuses to give up on Amelia. Once she’s rescued from the Keeper’s hold, he intends to prove his love is more than a side effect of the prophecy, even if doing so leads him away from his pack and on a journey that will irrevocably change them both. When the past and the present collide and the shocking origin of the Immortals is revealed, Amelia and Aidan are forced back to Cresthaven to end a war that never should have started.

Have you read the first book in the Bound Series? Bound by Duty is FREE!
Free on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Q9EGRo
Free on B&N: http://bit.ly/1XGAAp2
Free on iBooks: http://apple.co/1JOoJL5
Free on Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Uo2Tcx
Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she's an Elder, but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control, but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she's betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and doesn't even know his name. Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky southern girl, or fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is, not what she will become. As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head win the battle, or her heart?

Join Stormy Smith and Alys Arden for a LIVE Google Hangout to celebrate their latest releases! Here’s the Facebook event link. They will have ten guest authors, tons of book chat and lots of giveaways!

About Stormy Smith
A word nerd from the very beginning, Stormy Smith has always had her nose in a book or a pen in her hand. From a journalism degree to a public relations career, manipulating words has always been her forte. She never expected her love of stories to translate into writing them, but one day the words were there and couldn’t be stopped.
Stormy lives in Iowa’s capital with her husband and two crazy cats. When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.


Book Review: 99 Days - Katie Cotugno

Title: 99 Days
Author: Katie Cotugno
Genre: YA - Fiction, Coming of Age

Synopsis:  Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

My Review:  
I listened to 99 Days as an audiobook downloaded impulsively from the library.  The cover of this book stuck out to me at first, and I don’t know, I kind of just went with it.  This review is going to be a little bit weird because I both disliked and really liked this book – which makes me not know how to rate it or how to phrase what I want to say exactly.

What I Loved:  The writing in this book is great.  I know this because I was so engrossed in the story and the characters that it was impossible for me to put it down.  Several occasions I wanted to, trust me, I wanted to.  I was so frustrated and annoyed and disappointed in the characters, Molly especially.  But. I. Just. Couldn’t.  So that means it’s a good book, right?

I actually did like some of the flashback scenes, and the relationship between Molly and Patrick before it went off track. Though it made the relationship seem a little one-sided in a way, Molly seemed to be what Patrick needed at a particularly hard time in his life.  They had a  relationship that was cut off from the rest of the world, and they were engrossed in each other.  This is sort of a reflection of my husband and I in those same tender teen years.  We were completely engrossed and entangled with each other for the first couple years of our relationship – and while the book kind of indicated that it is an unhealthy way to be – I do agree that if it continues for years and years it probably is; most of the time teenagers turn into adults who come out of hiding and return to the real world with responsibilities and start interacting with people again.  I know.  I lived it!

Not So Much:  Love Triangle.  …but that’s unfair, right, because reading the description of the book before downloading it to my phone I knew about the triangle.  So it’s really unfair of me to list that here.  

So moving on…Molly as a person bothered me.  She was so engrossed with both Gabe and Patrick, and somehow she had them both wrapped around her little finger (sort of).  Some of the major points of this book, ie: it takes two to tango, rings true of course.  However, to continue to do the same thing over and over and expect different results; that’s insanity.  And I’m over here trying to figure out how she’s going to do the right thing, how this book is going to smooth over all this emo-teen-love junk and an important lesson is learned.  It did, in its way…but I’m not sure I’m convinced that anyone has learned anything, if I’m honest.

Also – I felt like the turmoil in the relationship between Molly and her mother, who is an author and did a horrible, horrible thing when she wrote a book based on her daughters experience, and then ADMITTED to it in an interview.  How could her mother not see how that would make her daughter feel?  I mean, really??  But outside of that,  why did this relationship/sub-plot not really move?  There was a scene where I thought there was going to be a breakthrough moment – where either Molly was going to see the book that was written in a different light, or her mother was going to truly understand the depth of the stupidity of her actions.  Nope, there was a flipped coin (a reference to the book mother had written) and end scene…never to be referred to again.

The Verdict:  
This is why it’s so difficult.  The book overwhelmed me with emotions, just not all the ones I usually like to have when reading.  It wasn’t satisfying in the way that I like stories to be.  But is that a bad thing?  I mean, I admitted already that I wanted to put the book down and be done with it.  I couldn’t.  I couldn’t leave them up in the air like that because my brain would have busted my butt, I would have been utterly distracted until I gave in and finished the stupid book.  I can’t say that just because I was unsatisfied that this wasn’t a good book.

So this book has cussing and talk of sex (no actual scenes), so mature YA would be my stance on this one – I know some look out for this portion of my review, I didn’t want to leave you hanging!

About the Author:
Katie Cotugno went to Catholic school for thirteen years which makes her, as an adult, both extremely superstitious and prone to crushes on boys wearing blazers. She routinely finds herself talking about the romantic endeavors of characters on TV shows as if they actually exist in the world.

Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Broadkill Review, The Apalachee Review, and Argestes, as well as on Nerve.com. Her first novel, HOW TO LOVE, is due out from Balzer + Bray on October 1st, 2013.

The great loves of Katie's life include child's pose, her little sister, and mozzarella and honey sandwiches. She lives in Boston (and in sin) with her boyfriend, Tom.


Cover Reveal: Blood Moon - Kristy Centeno

Blood Moon
Secrets of the Moon Saga #3.5
By- Kristy Centeno
Genre- YA Paranormal
Published By- Inkspell Publishing
Publication Date- December 10th, 2015
Cover Designer- Najla Qamber

The mystery deepens…but the truth slowly begins to unravel.

In the midst of an impending war, comradeships will be forged, relationships mended, and bonds strengthened.

We’re closer to dismantling the alpha’s plan now than ever before, but when tragedy strikes, our commitment to a cause kept alive for the memory of our loved ones will be tested. Our ties tried. Our sanity preyed upon.

Darkness will shadow our lives. A common goal, however, can help us move forward.

Can we pick up the pieces long enough to ensure a future for Marjorie? Or will another loss be the evil that breaks me?


Book Review: A Wicked Thing - Rhiannon Thomas

Title: A Wicked Thing (A Wicked Thing, Book 1)
Author: Rhiannon Thomas
Genre: YA - Fairytale Retelling

Synopsis:  Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.

My Review: It is no secret that I’m a big fan of fairy tale retells, but I can say that Sleeping Beauty is not one that I have read previously.  I think that it really is the tale itself that kept me from it.  The idea of being asleep and woke up to insta-love, it just wasn’t appealing to me. So when I read the description of A Wicked Thing, I thought surely this version is one that I could get in to.
In this Sleeping Beauty rendition, nearly 100 years have passed and the kingdom that Aurora is waking to has changed completely.  She isn't given even  a moment to adjust to this new reality when a century of waiting and expectations falls to her shoulders, yet her instructions are to 'smile and wave, boys...smile and wave.' Okay, maybe not verbatim, but you get the idea...

What I Loved:  The characters were pretty great.  From Aurora and her ability to be both witty and prim and proper princess, to Rodric who was all blushes and shy self-conscious prince, to Finnegan who was full of arrogance yet quite smart and cunning (and fwiw, I'm totally team Finnegan), and Tristan who was charming, fun, and then surprises you completely.  I enjoyed even Queen Iris who was way too proper and seemed to have an agenda that was all her own.  Actually, her character threw me for a loop more than any of the others, I wasn’t really quite sure what to expect from her.  There were points where I think we were almost suppose to like Iris, though overall no.  The king was the least disappointing, and most predictable of them all, he was actually slightly reminiscent of the kings you see in The Throne of Glass and the Defy series.
I felt like the flow of this book was really good - I enjoyed the writing quite a lot.  Despite the fact that Aurora did spend a bit of time locked away (yes even in this version), the book didn’t really feel like it dragged any.  I feel like this is an accomplishment that many authors have struggled with; how to ‘pass time’ in one spot without causing the story to trickle away into the darkness.

 Not So Much:  So I kind of felt like Aurora was too paralyzed by her position and who she was and who she was taught to be throughout nearly this entire book.  It was like she knew something needed to be done, but felt that clearly she wasn’t the one to do it.  She had a ‘fate’ that she didn’t want, but then she didn’t want to leave because that was wrong.  She wasn’t really a mopey or melodramatic character, however her actions indicated that she was playing a victim of her circumstance.  DO SOMETHING besides think about how something needs to be done.  That was frustrating.

The Verdict:   
I most certainly will be sticking around for the remainder of the series.  I have some suspicions about what happens next, and I will have to satisfy that curiosity.  This book is perfect for the YA genre, very clean, very appropriate, and fun.  It does have action and adventure, and despite some main character frustration, it does keep your attention.

About the Author:  Rhiannon Thomas is a recent graduate from Princeton University, where she studied English and Japanese, and smuggled bubble tea into the library on a regular basis. She now lives in York, England.

As well as reading and writing YA fiction, she runs the blog FeministFiction.com, where she discusses TV, books, and all kinds of fannish things from a feminist perspective.

I don't hang out on Goodreads much, so if you want to contact me, please swing by my personal website or message me on Twitter.