Releases and Recommendations: Manwhore + 1 by Katy Evans

Today is Tuesday! The wonderful day that books are released to the world.

Today, I’m anticipating the release of Manwhore +1 by Katy Evans, book 2 of the Manwhore series, which will be released on Tuesday, July 7, 2015.

23846385Billionaire playboy? Check.
Ruthless businessman? Check.
Absolutely sinful? Check.

Malcolm Saint was an assignment. A story. A beautiful, difficult man I was supposed to uncover for a racy exposé.

I intended to reveal him, his secrets, his lifestyle—not let him reveal me. But my head was overtaken by my heart and suddenly nothing could stop me from falling. I fell for him, and I fell hard.

Malcolm Saint is absolute Sin, and I’ve become a hopeless Sinner.

Now that the assignment is over, Saint wants something from me–something unexpected–and I want this wicked playboy’s heart. But how can I prove to the man who trusts no one that I’m worthy of becoming his plus one?

I was delightfully surprised with the first book, Manwhore, so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next, especially with that cliffhanger. I’m also a little nervous because this sequel will either make or break this series.

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Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye

There’s this wagon with a band on it and I’m huffing and puffing behind it. In short, I’m late to the party for Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye but I’m so glad I found it. Better late than never.

17948528Two strangers…

Makenna James thinks her day can’t get any worse, until she finds herself stranded in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call, the pin-striped accountant catches only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights go out.

Four hours…

Caden Grayson is amused when a harried redhead dashes into his elevator fumbling her bags and cell phone. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he’s terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he’s trapped in his own worst nightmare.

One pitch-black elevator…

To fight fear, they must reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

This novella is the most complex, moving short story I have ever read. Want a lesson in integrating detailed background into a forward-moving story? This is it. I could not believe how much background I picked up on each of the characters that was just filtered throughout the story. It’s like I could see their whole world from one vantage point. Magnificent writing. If I could write like Laura Kaye, I would quit my job today and bang out bestsellers for the foreseeable future. Now, this is the first book I’ve read by Kaye, but you best believe I have the rest of her books on my TBR list. As her first published novel, it came out a while ago (hence the bandwagon comment), and I found out about it through the blogosphere and I wish I could remember which blog it was because I want to send them flowers and chocolates in gratitude.

Hearts in Darkness is the story of two hearts stuck in a pitch black elevator. I loved the way they learned about each other through listening and touch. I loved that they both had image issues that were easily overcome in the dark and I loved that Caden was claustrophobic and Makenna was clumsy.

Their story progressed beautifully in such a short amount of time but it wasn’t rushed. Told in alternating point of views, I loved getting inside both of these character’s heads. Caden has a dark past and wears his tattoos and piercings like armor against the world. Makenna was such an open, relatable heroine. Their chemistry in that elevator was explosive. It was hot without using the overpowering male trope, where it’s just two people expressing themselves, laying bare vulnerabilities and desires. I can never ride another elevator without thinking about this story.

I highly recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a romantic, sexy story filled with humor and facing fears. It’s a short read, but well worth the time.

STARS: 5 out of 5

Releases and Recommendations: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

It’s Tuesday!

The day that books are released to the world. Today, I’m anticipating the release of The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson, which will be released on Tuesday, July 7, 2015.

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Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia’s erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there’s Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny.

I was blown away by The Kiss of Deception. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Releases and Recommendations: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

It’s Tuesday!

The wonderful day that books are released to the world!

Today, I’m anticipating the release of Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas, which will be released on Tuesday, September 1, 2015.

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Sarah J. Maas’s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

I am so ready to see what happens after Heir of Fire. Bring it on!

The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Are you ready for something intense and unexpected? If so, The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh is the book for you.

18798983A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all

The Wrath and The Dawn (TWATD) is one of those books that everyone has been buzzing about and I abused my one-click ordering button from Amazon (Sorry Hubby!) to get it to my front door pronto. It was totally worth it.

The premise for this story is so unique and intriguing, and you really get what you expect. This story delivers by presenting a world where young brides are sacrificed each dawn by the Caliph of Khorasan, Khalid. Shazi is there to get revenge and the pages are filled with heart-pounding moments where the reader is unsure if Shazi is going to live another day.

Something unexpected, but oh-so-needed in the Young Adult world, was the world of Khorasan. It was so vibrant and realistic, where I could feel the sand of the desert across my face and taste the exotic fruits on my tongue. Renee Ahdieh presents a very diverse world, where everything from the scenery to the names to the traditions reflected a completely different culture. I loved it.

The mystery of the sacrificed girls is the center of this story, which is wrapped in the unexpected and intense romance of Khalid and Shazi. I felt like I held my breath through many of the scenes, as I waited to see if Shazi would make it to the dawn. Their relationship is the epitome of tension (what’s more tense than falling for the man who killed your best friend, for seemingly no reason). As futile as it seemed, I cheered the whole time for them to open up to each other and just trust. This book ends with a heart-breaking cliffhanger, so I can’t wait to see what happens next.

This was a beautiful story of terrible secrets and the unexpected arrival of love. After reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, I didn’t think I could read anything that could compare, but this book holds its own.

TWATD is the first book in a series and the sequel The Rose and The Dagger will be released in 2016.

STARS: 5 out of 5

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is one of my favorite reads of 2015, if not the best book I’ve read so far this year.

16096824A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

Sarah J. Maas creates pure magic in this beauty and the beast retelling, and in true Sarah fashion, she makes the beast more mysterious and intriguing, and beauty more badass. I was sucked in from the very first page. It’s like every time I open one of Maas’s books, I fall down the rabbit hole, only to surface out of breath with my mind completely blown.

For a retelling, this book feels incredibly original. Maas’s take on this classic fairy tale is wondrously beautiful, full of gorgeous scenery and dark, disturbing danger. This book had me flipping it’s pages faster and faster as the story unfolded, beginning with the adrenaline rush of the beast’s entrance to the heart-dropping conclusion as Feyre fights for the love of her life.

The relationship between Feyre and Tamlin (the beast) was beautifully done and well-paced. I felt Feyre’s fury and fear as she faced entrapment at Tamlin’s castle, but I also fell head of heels for Tamlin as he, bit by bit, exposed his true kind, loving, selfless self to Feyre. The romance in this book is steamy and I read with bated breath each romantic interaction.

The secondary characters in this book were a treat, Lucien, Tamilin’s right-hand man, was a snarky ass that I loved to hate and hated to love. Rhysand from the night court was unbelievably intriguing; his role in the story is so mysterious and I want more and more and more of him! Plus, the last scene with him left me so bewildered. What does it mean?!? (Seriously, if you know, please enlighten me in the comments. I’m dying to know.)

The first part of this book was amazing, covering all the necessary plot points to be a retelling, but then Maas does the impossible and continues the story throwing in death-defying stunts, sacrificial love and the most excruciating tension I’ve ever experienced reading before in my life. Feyre is a badass and the steps she takes for the love of her life stole my breath and kept me on the edge of my seat. It was so much fun to read! I’m not going to say anymore because the last part of the book is worth the surprise.

This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It has everything I look for in a novel, plus more. I’m a huge fan of Sarah J. Maas and her badass heroines, shirtless heros and kickass storytelling skills. YOU MUST READ THIS!

STARS: 5 out of 5 

Releases and Recommendations: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

It’s Tuesday!

The wonderful day that books are released to the world. Today, I’m anticipating the release of Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, which will be released on Tuesday, January 5, 2016.

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On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

This sounds like an awesome fantasy adventure with some cool powers. I’d love to be able to discern truth from lie. It also sounds like it’ll be action packed with a strong friendships and maybe a romance with a prince? I guess we’ll wait and see.