Roses (Golden: Book 2) by Melinda Michaels

Roses (Golden #2)

Title: Roses

Author: Melinda Michaels

Publisher: REUTS Publications

Date of publication: May 16th, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Number of pages: Unknown

POV: 3rd person

Series: Golden

Golden – Book 1

Roses – Book 2

Where you can find Roses: Amazon (will update once it appears on Amazon)

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

When Poppy Pruette comes home for the summer after her first year at college, she expects it to be just like every summer before it: filled with cookouts, nosy neighbors, town hall meetings and long, hot days.

She never expects a murder. Not in Miner’s Way, Virginia.

But the sanctity of her small town is shattered when Poppy’s widely beloved grandmother, Rose, is brutally killed the night of a neighborhood barbecue. No one knows what to make of it or who might be responsible, least of all Poppy—until Detective Owen Peirce arrives from out-of-town with strange questions and a family history far more sinister than Poppy ever imagined.

Owen believes Poppy was the intended target, not Rose. Now, to save herself, Poppy must go into hiding and learn the truth about her family legacy. What she uncovers will change her life forever.

A grim and delightfully plausible fairy tale retelling, Roses is the story of a young woman contending with the question: what do we owe to our ancestors?

My review:

I enjoyed reading Roses but I had issues with following some of the content. See, Roses is book 2 in the Golden series by the same author and the characters and storylines from the first book are heavily involved in the latter part of the book. Which made it very hard to follow at times because the characters (mainly Owen) would talk about events from the last book. If I had read Golden first and then read Roses, then I would have a better grip on the storyline.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the book. The original retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with shades of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and 1001 Nights thrown in really kept my attention. I also liked the distinctions between the Good,  the Others and the Storytellers(basically the fairy tale characters descendants, the villain descendants and the fairy tale writers descendants). I never gave thought to what happens after the fairy tale ends and there are children on both sides. Also, that both the fairy tale descendants and the villain’s descendants are destined to relive the fairy tale is pretty interesting too.

I felt bad for Poppy but that girl got on my one last nerve. She came across as a childish, spoiled brat who defied Owen at every turn. I mean, someone is out to kill her and she just takes off for New York City to go see her best friend. Doesn’t answer her phone and then acts like a brat when Owen tracks her down. Made me want to tear my hair out or reach through the book and give her a shake. She did grow on me after New York City and I actually liked her at the end of the book.

Owen, I liked and I felt bad for him. He had such a tragic backstory and what happened to him when he was younger did shape him into the person he became as an adult. I also liked, really liked, that he didn’t want to follow his story. He wanted to make his own story and in a way, he did. He did go to California to rescue his princess but came back for Poppy. If I had any doubt about his feelings for her, they were definitely cleared up when they reunited.

The end of the book really had me on my toes. The author did a great job keeping the killer’s identity hidden up until the end of the book. I was a little surprised by who the killer was but it fit perfectly with the book.

How many stars will I give Roses: 3.5 (rounded up to 4 on Goodreads and Amazon)

Why: Roses definitely kept my attention while reading. From the complex characters to a great plot, Roses is on my keeper list. Now, why I gave it a 3.5 rating: It is not a stand-alone book.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Older Teen

Why: This is a very clean book. Some mild violence and language and one kissing scene.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

A Chosen War by Carly Eldridge

A Chosen War

Title: A Chosen War

Author: Carly Eldridge

Publisher: REUTS Publication

Date of publication: April 25th, 2017

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Science Fiction, New Adult, Romance

POV: 3rd person

Number of pages: Unknown

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Nineteen-year-old Maia has spent her life haunted by dreams of a man with uniquely brilliant blue eyes. She never expected she’d actually come face-to-face with him, or that he’d be the harbinger of a chaotic new life. But as shocking as meeting Blake is, it’s less unsettling than her sudden ability to adversely affect electronics and seemingly control—even heal—plants.

Before she can figure out what’s happening, Blake’s cryptic warning about the impending approach of something big manifests as a freak earthquake, destroying Maia’s home and killing her parents. Devastated, Maia has no choice but to turn to Blake, where she learns that the earthquake was not as natural as it seemed. The reigning Terra guardian, or Mother Earth, has gone rogue, wiping out her replacements in a series of orchestrated natural disasters around the world—and Maia is next.

Worse, she’s the only one who can stop the Terra guardian from destroying not just Earth, but the fabric of the universe itself. Now, thrust into a world of celestial beings charged with the protection of the universe, Maia must come to terms with her new powers and the idea that her destiny was shaped long ago. And she must do it all before she faces off with the woman who controls nature itself.

Intelligent and thought-provoking, A Chosen War takes the idea that everything is connected and wraps it in a globe-spanning adventure with just a tinge of romance.

My review:

For those of you who have followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I have recently started reviewing New Adult books. Notice I said reviewing, not reading. I have read them for a while now. Anyways, the genre is growing on me. As with all genres’, you have the exceptional books, the good books, and the bad books. A Chosen War falls somewhere between exceptional and good.  Why does it fall between exceptional and good? Because I didn’t feel that connection with two of the main characters….which is important in books that I review. What also caused this book to fall exceptional and good was that the plot seemed to creep at points.

I think that A Chosen War did fit into the paranormal, fantasy, romance, and New Adult perfectly. I loved that there were guardians (or praeses) of the earth, animals, plants, air, water, and the moon with mythical guardians, called Talis, who guard the Council that watches over them. It was a perfect blend of mythology (angels, demons) and the author’s own imagination. The way that each praeses interacted with their environment was pretty cool. Blake was the praeses of the Sun, Leo was the animals, Reed was the plants, Lana was water, Poppy was Air and Selene was the moon. The ruler of them all was Gaia (Earth). Actually, the Sun ruled them all but Gaia co-ruled with him…if that makes sense. They were like the King and Queen of the praeses.

Maia, I actually didn’t like at first. She was socially awkward, riddled with anxiety and really didn’t want to be the new Gaia. She even kept pushing Blake away. Well until Russia and then she did an 180…which drove me nuts. I understand that her past made her not trust people. Also, I didn’t like that the author started mentioning her past with her abusive grandparents and then just dropped it. Again, something that makes me go nuts.

Blake was too patient, in my eyes. It must have killed him to not say anything and let her find everything out for herself. I am going to say this, I thought his written Australian accent was kinda annoying. The expression “Yeah-nah” drove me absolutely crazy when I saw it. Also, he decided to and go live with Heidi and look how that turned out (read the book)

I did find the romance between Maia and Blake to be very cute but almost too sweet. Actually the romances between Leo and Lana, Reed and Selene, Poppy and Mac were the same way. Saccharine sweet. I did like that they were able to communicate without talking. Which was very helpful when Blake was living with Heidi because she couldn’t read his thoughts.

Heidi was a bad, bad girl. She struck a deal with an unknown man (he wasn’t revealed until the end of the book). She was abusive towards Selene and decided to exterminate her replacements and succeeded until Maia. Put it this way, she was so bad that her powers were voluntarily leaving her and going to Maia….which is something that was unheard of.

The end of the book was a cliffhanger, which I didn’t like. I do want to read book 2 because I need to find out about certain things/events.

How many stars will I give A Chosen War: 3

Why: While I loved the storyline, I couldn’t connect with either Blake or Maia. I also felt that some of the dialogue was a little annoying (like Blake saying “Yeah-nah”….a lot) and that the story did lag between Blake going to live with Heidi and the end of the book. But, saying that, I did like the “treat the Earth right” theme that ran through it and I am interested in reading book 2 when it is published

Will I reread: Maybe

Will I recommend to family and friends: Maybe

Age range: Late teen

Why: Language, violence, and some sexual situations

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

A Soul To Take (Soul Eaters Trilogy: Book 1) by Emily Taylor

A Soul to Take (Soul Stealers Trilogy, #1)

Title: A Soul To Take

Author: Emily Taylor

Publisher: REUTS Publications

Date of publication: April 4th, 2017

Genre: New Adult, Futuristic, Urban Fantasy

Number of pages: 481

POV: 1st person

Series: Soul Stealers Trilogy

A Soul To Take – Book 1

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The world has changed: demons of legend now live among humans, integrated into society through Government programs, wishing for peace.

Elixia Albelin, however, isn’t sold. As an Agent-in-training, she knows firsthand the blood-thirst of demons and isn’t jumping to befriend the monsters plaguing her dreams.
But when a mission sours, Elixia’s sister is caught in the crossfire: taken. Abandoned by those meant to protect her family, Elixia is left with only one option if she wants to retrieve her sister—a taboo option that goes against everything she believes in.

She must sell her soul.

Now, bound to a beast and living on borrowed time, Elixia has to navigate the demonic world to find her sister within a cesspool of human traffickers and serial killers. Enemies control her fate, the simplest truths are questioned, and misperceptions must be shattered. Only one thing remains consistent—Elixia must find her sister before time runs out. Or become the very thing she fears most: a soulless monster.

Gritty, powerful, and exciting, A Soul to Take is a gripping début that explores prejudice, justice, and the consequences one family faces when those two collide.

My review:

I have been on the fence about New Adult books. I have read some that could have been classed as a true Young Adult and then others that made me wonder why it was classed as New Adult. Not that I didn’t like reading those books, I did, but I thought that they were miscategorized. Luckily, A Soul To Take definitely fits into this category.

I really liked Elixia. She just didn’t stop….even when she was told too. She was determined to find Shellie (Sarafina) after Shellie was abducted from their shared apartment by demons. During that same abduction, Elixia was basically killed but brought back and Marked by an unknown demon. Her being Marked had unexpected ramifications. She was put on leave at her job and had to cover the Mark up. She was also reckless and took unnecessary risks. But that is what made the book, in my eyes. She also had a bad temper and was basically persona non grata at any of the events that the noble’s had.

The whole demon aspect fascinated me. To me, the demons acted like vampires. They needed blood to survive, like vamps, but unlike vampires, they could go out in the sun. Actually, according to the book, they loved the sun and had a whole nation in the sunny part of the world (where Elixia lived was kinda like Seattle….always raining and gloomy). They had saved humankind during a war and all they asked was to be fully integrated into human society. Not that they weren’t bad, I mean they are demons after all, but some weren’t as bad as others….if that made sense. The evil demons, called The Network, ran human trafficking rings where children and adults were sold to the highest bidder. All for their blood. These same demons were the same ones who kidnapped Shellie and when Elixia found out, I could totally understand why she was frantic to get her back. See, those adults and children were only used for their blood. They were drained, or Kissed, and discarded. So totally understand Elixia’s fear.

Sebastian/Damien was such a tease during the book and I loved it. I loved how the author kinda strung you along with him. I mean, you know nothing about him except he was a very powerful demon and he worked for Elixia’s Maker. It took until about 40% into the book or so for the author to drop a couple of big bombshells about him (read the book if you want to find out what). I also couldn’t figure out if he had feelings for Elixia or not. I thought I had it figured out when he fed on her but he wiped her memory and the next chapter picked up after she blacked out. Drove me absolutely bonkers but again, I loved it.

The sub-storylines in the book (all of them) were all wrapped up by the end of the book except the one with Angelica and the humanoids. That should make things interesting in the second book because of what the humanoids contain (again read the book if you want to find out what). Angelica was also very interesting and kinda creepy. I am going to go out on a limb and say she will be in book 2, along with the humanoids.

The last part of the book, notice I didn’t say ending, had a few plot twists that I didn’t see coming. A couple of them are huge and I am wondering about those (don’t want to spoil the book!!) and how they will play out in the trilogy.

How many stars will I give A Soul To Take: 4

Why: This was a great, action packed book with an awesome take on demons. While some people might think that it’s too long, its 418 pages, I thought that it was the perfect length. The characters are intriguing (notice I didn’t say likable because some of them weren’t) and the storylines were compelling. Definitely looking forward to reading the next two books!!

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age Range: Older Teen

Why: Violence, some mild language, and one sexual situation

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

The Forgotten Tale (The Accidental Turn: Book 2) by J.M. Frey

The Forgotten Tale (The Accidental Turn, #2)

Title: The Forgotten Tale

Author: J.M. Frey

Publisher: REUTS Publication

Date of publication: December 6th 2016

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Number of pages: 398

POV: Alternating 1st person and 3rd person

Series: The Accidental Turn

The Untold Tale – Book 1 (review here)

The Forgotten Tale – Book 2

The Silenced Tale – Book 3 (As soon as I get an expected publication date, I will update this)

Ghosts – Prequel

Standalone – No

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

Forsyth Turn has finally become a hero—however reluctantly. But now that Lucy Piper has married him and they’ve started a family in her world, his adventuring days are behind him. Yet not all is as it should be. Beloved novels are disappearing at an alarming rate, not just from the minds of readers like Pip, but from bookshelves as well. Almost as if they had never been. Almost like magic.

Forsyth fears that it is his fault—that Pip’s childhood tales are vanishing because he, a book character, has escaped his pages. But when he and Pip are sucked back into The Tales of Kintyre Turn against their will, they realize that something much more deadly and dire is happening. The stories are vanishing from Forsyth’s world too. So Forsyth sets out on a desperate journey across Hain to discover how, and why, the stories are disappearing… before their own world vanishes forever.

In this clever follow-up to The Untold Tale, The Forgotten Tale questions what it means to create a legacy, and what we owe to those who come after us.

My review:

The Forgotten Tales starts off in Canada, with Pip, Forsyth and their daughter, Alis. They are doing alright for themselves.Forsyth does get homesick, once in a while, even though Pip goes out of her way to make his favorite dishes and wants him to write down the nursery rhymes that he sings to Alis.

The only bane in their otherwise peaceful existence is The Writer, Elgar Reed, the author of The Tales of Kintyre Turn. He is trying to for a relationship with Pip, Forsyth and Alis…ever since he found out that Forsyth was actually from the book. Forsyth refuses to have anything to do with him. The reason? Well because Forsyth is unbelievably angry at him for how his character was written in the book. To be honest, even though Forsyth had every reason to be angry at Elgar, I did think he went a little over the edge. All Elgar wanted to be was his friend and wanted to know more about him. But going over the line and stalking him….well, that’s not cool.

While all this is happening, a very angry Deal-Maker named Solinde is going around Hain and causing all sorts of havoc there. She is stealing people’s magic and Words and using them to destroy totems. She is destroying them to get someone she had lost back. But the more totems she destroys, the more upset and angry she gets. She also blames Kintyre and Bevel for her misery and is hatching a plan to get back at them.

As that is happening in Hain, Forsyth notices something very strange happening in his new world. Books are disappearing at an alarming rate and people are forgetting that they even exist. Pip thinks that he is slowly losing it, seeing that she doesn’t remember the books. Seeing that he will have no support in Pip, he makes a phone call the Elgar Reed. And Elgar Reed is seeing the same thing that Forsyth is.

Pip is none too thrilled to have Reed at her house but once she realizes that if Reed’s story disappears, she will lose them both, she changes her tune. Just as Reed offers to write Forsyth back into the book, they are pulled back into the book.

We find out that Kintyre has a son, named Wyndam and the result of a tryst between himself and Isobin, a pirate. Wyndam has called a Deal Maker to summon Forsyth back home so Wyndam can go adventuring with his father. Unfortunately, the Deal Maker that he summons is Solinde and that didn’t go very well.

I am not going to go into the book from this point on. We do see more of Bevel and Kintyre’s relationship (which was awesome to have a LGBT relationship featured so heavily in this book).  We also get a closer look at the relationships that the children (Wyndam and Alis) have with each of their parents and parent’s partners.

There are unexpected allies and a very unexpected villain that shows up. To say I was shocked when the villain made and appearance and took over Solinde’s place would be an understatement.

The ending was fantastic and I loved it!!! The author couldn’t have written a better ending!! And the last chapter really has me looking forward to the next book!!!

How many stars will I give The Forgotten Tale: 5

Why: It is not often that I give the  2nd book in a series a 5 star review. But this book exceeded what I thought it was going to be. I have a feeling that this book  is going to be a classic and it series is already my one of my favorites.

Will I reread: Absolutely

Will I reccomend to family and friends: Absolutely

Age range: Adult

Why: Language, violence, sex

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

The Untold Tale (The Accidental Turn: Book 1) by J.M. Frey

The Untold Tale (The Accidental Turn, #1)

Title: The Untold Tale

Author: J.M.Frey

Publisher: REUTS Publications

Date of publication: December 8th 2015

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Number of pages: 572

POV: 1st person

Series: The Accidental Turn

The Untold Tale – Book 1

The Forgotten Tale – Book 2

The Silenced Tale – Book 3 (expected date of publication: will update with the date and the Goodreads link as soon as I find out)

Ghosts – prequel

Standalone – Yes

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

Forsyth Turn is not a hero. Lordling of Turn Hall and Lysse Chipping, yes. Spymaster for the king, certainly. But hero? That’s his older brother’s job, and Kintyre Turn is nothing if not legendary. However, when a raid on the kingdom’s worst criminal results in the rescue of a bafflingly blunt woman, oddly named and even more oddly mannered, Forsyth finds his quaint, sedentary life is turned on its head.

Dragged reluctantly into a quest he never expected, and fighting villains that even his brother has never managed to best, Forsyth is forced to confront his own self-shame and the demons that come with always being second-best. And, more than that, when he finally realizes where Lucy came from and why she’s here, he’ll be forced to question not only his place in the world, but the very meaning of his own existence.

Smartly crafted, The Untold Tale gives agency to the unlikeliest of heroes: the silenced, the marginalized, and the overlooked. It asks what it really means to be a fan when the worlds you love don’t resemble the world you live in, celebrates the power of the written word, challenges tropes, and shows us what happens when someone stands up and refuses to remain a secondary character in their own life.

My review:

This book took my by surprise. I honestly thought, going into it, that it was going to be your typical fantasy/romance book….which I love, btw, so not knocking those types of books. Oh, no, this book was so much more.

Forsyth is the Lordling of Turner Hall and of Lysse Chipping. His older brother, Kintyre, is the actual heir but he would rather be out doing quests and having adventures with Bevel Dom, his companion and he left Forsyth in charge. Forsyth was a good Lordling and took care of his people. As a result they all loved him.

Unfortunately, Forsyth does not have any confidence in himself. Because of a hard upbringing and a brother that bullied him, his self-confidence and self-esteem is shot. He believes himself to be unattractive, to be fat, to be boring and to be unnoticed by anyone. He has a severe stutter when he is feeling stressed or unsure of himself. He also believes himself to be unlovable….thanks to a woman he was interested in and his brother. Just use your imagination if you want to figure out what happened with that.

What I loved about this book was that it was a story inside a story (think Inception). Lucy (aka Pip)was a regular person who pulled into a book by no fault of her own. In order for her to get out, she needs to go on a quest and she decides that Forsyth is the one to come with her and he is the one to be her hero. Also, I would love to think that Pip wanted to prove to Forsyth that he was good enough, brave enough to be his own hero (if that makes sense).

The romance between Forsyth and Pip was sweet but there were a couple of twists that took me by surprise because, I totally didn’t see them coming. Put it this way, I cried after the scene with the sylph.

The end of the book was very interesting. All of the storylines were wrapped up but the author left it open for a second book!!

How many stars will I give The Untold Tale: 4 stars

 

Why: This story was awesome. From the love story between Pip and Forsyth to the action of the quest to the underlying message (do not be a secondary character in your own life), I loved it. It has become one of my favorite books.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age Range: Adult

Why: Sex and violence.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**