Releases and Recommendations: The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine

It’s Tuesday! The wonderful day that books are released to the world.

Today, I’m anticipating the release of The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine, which will be released on Tuesday, February 14, 2017.

30255943An epic fantasy inspired by the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale, about a bastard princess who must take on an evil fae to save her brother’s soul, from the New York Times bestselling author ofThe Shadow Queen.

The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence that he can’t stop.

Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague, who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.

But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.

I’ve only read one book from this author, Defiance, and I wasn’t totally sold on the writing (nor did I continue the series). However, it’s been many years since then and I’m intrigued by this plot. I did not read The Shadow Queen because I’m sick of snow white retellings, but with each installment being a standalone, I figured I’d give this one a try. Plus, she had me at “bastard twins.” It sounds bloody fantastic!

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First & Then by Emma Mills

First & Then by Emma Mills was such a cute read and a much needed break from the heavy and dark material I’ve been reading lately.

23310751Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them: first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.

First and Then is advertised as Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights. I’d say that’s an accurate statement. I particularly enjoyed the lack of understanding between the heroine and love interest. The tension between them built until the very last page.

This book is a light, high school romance with all the frivolities that comes with it – gossip, football games, and homecoming dances. It was very well done and I never once found myself rolling my eyes. I sometimes worry that I’m “growing out” of YA, but it hasn’t seemed to happen yet.

I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, light read. I know it brought a smile to my face and I gobbled it up in one sitting.

STARS: 4 out of 5

Releases and Recommendations: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

It’s Tuesday! The wonderful day that books are released to the world.

Today, I’m anticipating the release of Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones, which will be released on Tuesday, February 7, 2017.

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Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

I enjoyed the idea of a Troll prince in the Malediction Trilogy so I’m open to a hot goblin king. I’m a sucker for the “forced” marriage trope, and with the added element of music, I’m even more intrigued.

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

Where has this book been all my life?

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins is the epitome of my kind a drama – a fight to the death (possibly) for the princess’s hand in marriage. This trope makes me practically giddy and Higgins pulls it off splendidly.

22428707“Aerity…” Her father paused as if the words he was forming pained him. “I must ask you to sacrifice the promise of love for the sake of our kingdom.”

She could only stare back, frozen.

When a strange beast terrorizes the kingdom of Lochlanach, fear stirs revolt. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

Princess Aerity knows her duty to the kingdom but cannot bear the idea of marrying a stranger…until a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention. There’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.

Paxton is not the marrying type. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast—but the princess continues to surprise him, and the perilous secrets he’s buried begin to surface.

Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, and a princess willing to risk all to save her kingdom.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I was impressed. The slow build of the romance, the steady climb of anticipation, it was effortless. Gosh, it was just such a joy to read.

I particularly loved the duel POV with this story. Aerity is self-sacrificing and loving. Paxton is rough around the edges but loyal to a fault. Seeing their reaction to each other through both sets of eyes made this slow-burn connection work. It was so realistic given the shortened timeline. I also enjoyed Paxton’s fierce protectiveness for his younger brother. That added another layer to Paxton that made me love him even more.

Even though Aerity was the only female up for grabs in this great hunt, it was surprising to see additional romances growing in the wings. I’m not going to lie, I was all for it. I wanted to play matchmaker for each of the young women vying for affections.

The hunt is a huge part of the plot, and it played a big part in the story, which was cool. I loved hearing about the hunting, the anticipation and anxiety, the sharpening of arrows and the preparation to kill the beast. That could easily have been brushed aside but I enjoyed that extra bit of violence.

By the end, I was only disappointed once I’d turned the final page. I wanted more. I wanted to see what happened next. The Great Hunt is the first in a duology, and the next book, The Great Pursuit, won’t be out until March 2017.

If you’re a fan of slow-burn romance and exciting action in a fantasy world, this book is for you.

STARS: 5 out of 5

July Recap and Book of the Month

July was a rough month for me. I read A Court of Mist and Fury and it basically gave me the world’s worst book hangover. I’m still recovering.

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 Book of the Month*

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas  – 5 star review

One of the best books I have ever read. Hands down.

*based on books reviewed this month

July Reviews (Total-5)

Ride Hard by Laura Kaye

Tempting the Best Man by J. Lynn

Dark Prince by Eve Silver

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

June Anticipated Releases

None. Too busy mourning finishing ACOMAF and suffering from a horrendous book hangover.

Upcoming Reviews

Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

 2016 Reading Challenge Progress

2016 Reading Challenge

I have read 75 out of 100 books. (Read 12 books this month.)

Currently Reading

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Boarded By Love by Toni Aleo

I’m not a fan of the cover, but what I’ve read so far is really fun and engaging. I haven’t been wanting to put it down. Plus, I’m on a sports fiction kick, specifically hockey.

Next on my TBR

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This was tough to decide. I’ve been such a mood reader recently and I’m on a New Adult and PNR kick.

Current Bookish Obsession

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Quotes from ACOMAF – The writing is so beautiful. I want to hang choice quotes all over my library.

What I’m Watching

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I’m a HUGE Bachelor/Bachelorette fan, and by the time you read this, the world will know who Bachelorette JoJo picked. However, I’m already excited about Bachelor in Paradise, the spin-off where Bachelor/Bachelorette cast-offs mingle in Mexico to try and find love. Bring on the drama!

What I’m Writing

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I’ve set a personal goal to have my first round of edits complete by September. Wish me luck!