Royal Affair (Royals in Exile: Book 2) by Marquita Valentine


Royal Affair (Royals in Exile, #2)

Title: Royal Affair

Author: Marquita Valentine

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: April 18th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 230

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: Royals in Exile

Royal Scandal – Book 1 (review here)

Royal Affair – Book 2

Royal Chase – Book 3

Royal Duty – Book 4 (expected publication date: September 26th, 2017)

Where you can find Royal Affair: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A sheltered princess goes wild—and makes the best mistake of her life—when she falls for a roguish reporter in this fun, sexy romance from the bestselling author of Royal Scandal.

Online muckraker Brooks Walker has a reputation for exposing the political élite. Now he’s set his sights on the Sinclair siblings, who’ve been embroiled in their fair share of drama ever since their exile to North Carolina. But Brooks has never been afraid to get his hands dirty—until he meets a royal wallflower at a charity ball who makes him reconsider everything. Is Brooks feeling guilty because he knows all the sordid details of her family’s history? Or because he’s putting their relationship first, before his journalistic integrity?

As the “spare” twin, Princess Charlotte has always been the responsible one. So when her sister finally agrees to fulfill her duty as queen, Charlotte gives herself permission to break a few rules by flirting with the very off-limits CEO of Walker Media. Brooks is the worst sort of man to start an affair with, but Charlotte just can’t help it. The trouble is since she’s no good at playing games, soon she’s tiara over heels in love. And when Brooks comes clean, Charlotte must decide whether his confession is worth a royal pardon.

My review:

Have you ever wanted to read a book where the villain got his happily ever after and he got it with one of the fairytale characters? Well, read Royal Affair because that is exactly what happens here. Starting off hot and steamy and ending with a very surprising happily ever after, Royal Affair made me run the gauntlet of emotions while reading it. I went from being insanely happy to almost depressed within the same chapter. Now, normally that would throw me off a book, but in this case, it made me like it more.

Royal Affair is also one of those books that eclipse the first book in the series. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved it when I read Della and Colin’s romance. It was just that it was missing something and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I read Royal Affair and went, “Ahhhh, that’s what’s missing.” What was missing was genuine feelings that developed between Brooks and Charlotte. Della and Colin didn’t have that (read my review on Royal Scandal….it is linked above).

I really liked Charlotte. She was so sweet and had an innocence that just made you want to shelter her even more than she had been. She has been through a lot. From the deaths of her parents to finding out who her biological father was (read the book if you want to find out) to being outed by Brooks. she has been through the wringer. It left her with anxiety issues and honestly, as a person who suffers from anxiety, I really liked that the author chose not to make her issues go away. Instead, they were right out in the open and she was dealing with them as a regular, real life person would do.  There are a couple of huge secrets that aren’t revealed until halfway through the book. Both I didn’t see coming….at all and both made me go “No way” when they were revealed. So, slow clap to the author for doing that!!

Brooks, who was made out to be a jerk in the first place, really wasn’t that bad of a guy once you got to know him. He had a razor-sharp wit and he knew how to negotiate a bargin….which is what he did when he first made that deal with Charlotte. He was a business person up until David contacted him with an envelope and some damning information about Charlotte and Imogen. He just couldn’t open that envelope. It was then that I knew he had serious feelings for her.

Besides that two plot twists that I named above, there is one that I saw coming from a mile away. It is my only complaint about the book is that. I really wish that it didn’t go there.

The sex between Charlotte and Brooks were very, very hot and they did the nasty in some pretty interesting areas. Just read the book to find out where 🙂

The end of the book was pretty bittersweet. It was sweet because Charlotte did get her heart’s desire but bitter because Brooks had to take such a personal hit. I loved the epilogue and can’t wait to read Theo’s story!!

I did have a couple of questions:

Was Briggs accident truly an accident? Because with everything that was going on I wouldn’t have been surprised if it wasn’t.

Who sent that text to Brooks? If it wasn’t Charlotte and if it wasn’t Imogene….then who was it?

Why is Davis so darn slippery? He is seriously starting to annoy me

How many stars will I give Royal Affair: 4

Why: Great characters, an engaging plot and hot sex equal a fantastic read

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex, violence, and language

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Yearling (North Oak: Book 2) by Ann Hunter


Yearling (North Oak #2)

Title: Yearling

Author: Ann Hunter

Publisher: Rebel House Ink

Date of publication: October 1st, 2015

Genre: Young Adult, Middle Grade

POV: 3rd person

Series: North Oak

Born to Run – Book 1 (review here)

Yearling – Book 2

Morning Glory – Book 3

To Bottle Lightning – Book 4

Where you can find Yearling: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A new year has come to North Oak and with it a new life for Alexandra Anderson. Will she be able to open her heart to others when it’s still battling demons from her past? Or will she go so deep into herself where no one can touch her, and risk losing Promenade in the Keeneland Yearling Sale?

Don’t miss this sequel to North Oak #1: Born to Run!

On the heels of Joanna Campbell’s beloved Thoroughbred Series, and Walter Farley’s Black Stallion comes a brand new young adult horse racing series that will sweep you away like a runaway Thoroughbred.

EXCERPT:
“I should be happy,” Alex sighed. “These folks, they’re real nice. For the first time in my life, I’m wanted. Well, they say that they want me. I almost feel needed sometimes. I don’t have to steal food anymore, or run away from what I’ve done, I’ve even got a warm bed. But the fact is… when I think of Ashley, I just want her back and nothing else. I want a life she exists in. And wanting that… it spoils what I have. I feel so ungrateful when I think of the life we could have made if we ran away from Haven together like we planned. I feel ungrateful because I would rather have a life on the streets with Ashley than a warm bed and you. I mean who in their right mind wants something like that? There’s something wrong with me.”

My review:

I am always on the hunt for a good middle-grade book for my 9 and 11-year-olds. Mainly my 11-year-old, who is an insatiable reader. So when Ann approached me to review Yearling, I gladly accepted. I am glad I did because this book was fantastic. There was no sophomore slump and honestly, that along with the vivid characters and background is what sold me on the book. Also, what sold me, was that it is a great book for anyone 11 and older (and the main reason I read it).

Alex, I wanted to reach through the book and give her a hug and tell her “It will be alright”. I am glad that the author made her as flawed as she did because it made her more relatable. I also liked that the author showed that traumatic events and losses (if you want to know what…read Born to Run) aren’t magically healed in between books. But, the author also showed how animals, in this case, a yearling named Promenade, can help a person with their healing….along with a support system and people who love unconditionally.

Now, saying what I said above, Alex was a very funny, sarcastic tween. Looking at my tween, I can say that the author is dead on with the mannerisms and attitude that Alex had. Gave me some really good laughs when I was reading. The biggest laugh was when Alex started her monthly and thought she was dying. I was outside and started laughing my butt off. Then when Hilary finds out and finds out that Alex doesn’t know anything about puberty or even had “The Talk“, she goes into Mom mode big time. Which included having Alex watch “A League of Their Own“(which personally is one of my favorite movies) and that becomes a running joke through the rest of the series. Also, Alex’s sex ed lesson was very interesting as was her reaction….lol.

The friendship storyline was fantastic and I like how the author took the time for Alex and Carol to build up their friendship. It went from Alex keeping her at arm’s length to embracing her as a friend and she was willing to do anything to protect her. Which meant standing up to Carol’s bully.

Now, I will be the first one to admit, I know nothing about Thoroughbred racing, racing farms or horses so I loved that the author explained everything in the book in ways that were understandable and interesting. From the stud services (see, I know that much…haha) to foaling to training the yearlings to training the racehorses, everything was explained in a way that never made you go “Eh”. Instead, it makes you go “Oh, well that makes sense”.

The end of the book really didn’t feel like an ending. While certain storylines were wrapped up, new ones were revealed and there are old ones that weren’t wrapped up. There was definitely an opening for book 3 (Morning Glory) and I will be posting my review of that soon!!

How many stars will I give Yearling: 4

Why: A wonderfully written middle grade book that actually brings to mind The Black Stallion series. I loved the plotlines, the characters…everything about the book.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Young Teen

Why: Mild cursing, no sex or violence

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Hot Shot (Last Shot: Book 2) by Kelly Jamieson


Hot Shot (Last Shot, #2)

Title: Hot Shot

Author: Kelly Jamieson

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: May 16th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 235

POV: 3rd person

Series: Last Shot

Body Shot – Book 1

Hot Shot – Book 2

Where you can find Hot Shot: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A former Navy SEAL and current bad boy bar owner learns to trust a free spirit in this steamy novel of unexpected romance from the bestselling author of Body Shot and the Heller Brothers series.

Marco Solis knows that if he gets too close to people they disappear. His parents were deported back to Mexico when he was fourteen, his fiancée married someone else while he was in the military, and now his business partner’s spending more time with his girl than with Marco. For better or worse, that’s how Marco meets Carrie Garner. She’s legitimately model-hot. She’s also a nut—a wild, artsy, unapproachable nut. So why is Marco so interested in cracking her shell?

Although Carrie Garner is a natural in front of the camera, her dream is to make it as a photographer. Soon she’ll be heading to Spain for design school, and she’ll miss her best friend, Hayden, like crazy. She’ll even miss Hayden’s boyfriend, Beck—but she won’t miss Beck’s partner, Marco. Bossy, brooding, and annoyingly sexy, Marco really pushes her buttons, though he obviously wouldn’t mind pushing her buttons in an up-against-the-wall, hard-and-fast kind of way. The craziest part is if Carrie lets him do that, well . . . she may never want to leave.

My review:

Hot Shot is the dreaded 2nd book in the Last Shot series. If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know my feelings about starting off reading 2nd books in a series and how I keep punishing myself by not looking the title up on Goodreads or Amazon before I ask for it from NetGalley. It is not often that I get the 2nd book in a series that actually could be read as a stand alone. Fortunately for Hot Shot, it can be read separately. Which I wasn’t expecting with how heavily the main characters from Body Shot are involved in Hot Shot. 

Marco was such a complex character and yes, I used the word complex in a romance novel. He had some deep-seated issues that I didn’t expect a former SEAL to have. The biggest one is his fear of abandonment, which stemmed from his parents being deported back to Mexico when he was 14, him losing track of his younger sister while being bounced from foster home to foster home and then his fiancé deciding to cheat on him while he was on deployment. So, it was understandable that he was uptight and didn’t trust people outside of his SEAL brothers.

He was also probably the single sexiest character that I have read to date. I seriously wish that I could make him jump off the book pages into my life, that’s how much I loved this character. He was funny (the one liners were hilarious and “Occupying Vagistan” stands out the most even though he didn’t say it), brutally honest about what he wants from Carrie and omg, he talked dirty during sex. Like legit dirty talk, use your imagination…trying to keep this review Amazon PC….lol. Besides that, he was also kind and very fair…..read the book to find out what I mean. So, the perfect man.

In a way, Carrie was just as complex as Marco. Her issues, though, were more that she didn’t feel that she fit into her family. Her brothers and sister were all businesspeople/lawyers, as was her parents. I actually didn’t like Carrie’s mother or sister, at all. The way they talked to Carrie’s grandmother, a free-spirited ex-burlesque dancer, made me fume while reading those scenes. No wonder Carrie felt the way she did about her modeling career and her budding photography career. Ugh, made me so mad.

Out of all the characters in all the books I have read, I think I related to Carrie the most. I loved that the author wrote her as this slightly raunchy girl who wasn’t afraid to go after her dreams…even if it meant leaving loved ones behind. I think, if she was real, I could be BFF’s with her (move out-of-the-way, Hayden…..lol).

Let’s talk about the sex scenes. Oh. My. God. They were beyond hot and I loved that Marco was a dirty talker. But even more, I loved that Carrie wasn’t the type of girl who just laid there and let the guy do all the work. Which made those part of the books burn.

The storyline with Carrie’s niece was pretty sad, not that I think about it and again, my dislike for her sister grew. But, I loved what came out of it and how it was resolved.

I will say that the end of the book had me in tears. I think I ugly cried from Hayden and Beck’s wedding to the epilogue. Oh and by the way, I thought the epilogue was probably the best part of the book. I am looking forward to seeing what Cade’s book is going to be like. Seeing that he is a manwhore, I can’t wait to read his story (the girls showing up at the bar was hilarious…btw).

How many stars will I give Hot Shot: 4

Why: Oh where do I start. This book was funny, sad and sensual….all rolled up into a wonderfully written story. What I wrote in my review doesn’t even begin to explain the book so it would be better if you all just read it instead. The only reason why I didn’t give it five stars is because of Carrie’s family. I couldn’t stand them.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Explicit sex, explicit language. No violence

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Alpha Kaden (Alpha: Book 2) by Midika Crane


Alpha Kaden

Title: Alpha Kaden

Author: Midika Crane

Publisher: Inkitt

Date of publication: May 17th, 2017

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Shapeshifters, Werewolves

Number of pages: 234

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: Alpha

Alpha Landon – Book 1

Alpha Kaden – Book 2

Alpha Grayson – Book 3

Alpha Jasper – Book 4

Where you can  find Alpha Kaden: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

“Lock your doors. Hold them tight. Close your windows. Every night. Don’t go out, if he’s there. Always live in total fear.”

Everyone knows of Alpha Kaden, a man of twisted riddles and cryptic puzzles. His identity is one of them. His touch, another. He is feared throughout all 13 packs for his reputation of stealing young women out of their beds. And tonight he has come to steal Mara to make her a player in his wicked game.

But when Mara discovers the truth behind his sadistic mind games everything changes and she finds herself questioning what is real, and what is not. Mara always assumed her mate would be a man from her own pack. A good man. Not a sadistic, sinful Alpha named Kaden.

My review:

Good werewolf books are hard to come by. Usually, the author chooses to make the books either all about the sex (which isn’t a bad thing…believe me) or all about the violence. I can count on one hand the books that I have read that actually incorporates the two and does it well. So, when I was offered the ARC for Alpha Kaden and read the blurb, I thought to myself “Eh, going to be a typical werewolf book. Either a lot of sex or a lot of violence“. I decided to accept it because there was something about the cover that called to me. I don’t know if it was Mara’s expression or if it was the way that Kaden was glowering behind her. It was like the book said, “Don’t judge me by the blurb, read me“. Let me tell you guys, I am glad that I did because all I have to say is “Wow!!”

What I liked, and what people are going to say “Whaaaaat” about is that the main characters didn’t shapeshift into their wolves very often. But that didn’t take away from their powers. They are able to smell like wolves and the Alpha males definitely came across as Alphas. Kaden’s scenes, especially in the beginning, exuded his Alphaness (is that a word….lol). It was actually refreshing to read a book where they weren’t turning into a wolf every other chapter and it made me enjoy the book even more.

This is a first for the last few books that I have read/reviewed. I absolutely loved Mara. While she was very innocent about the ways of the werewolves outside of her clan, she didn’t let that hold her back. She wasn’t afraid to stand up to Kaden when she met him and every time after that. She also wasn’t afraid to let people know what she felt. Coen, Kase, Amelia, Landon and oh, let’s not forget Kaden. She needled him without even knowing she was.

Let’s talk about Kaden. He was the epitome of the boogeyman. The Purity Clan didn’t let their girls near the windows after dark because he took them. And he definitely did play the part. But little things slipped out. He treated her differently and he was different when he was around certain people. He did give off a dark vibe throughout the book. Very dark but there was light in him too. I felt awful when he told Mara the truth about him. Actually, my exact words were “Holy sh-t!! No way” after their talk.

The romance between Kaden and Mara, at first, really didn’t jive with me. Only because she was his prisoner and I really didn’t like it when the captor and the prisoner fall in love. It always screams Stockholm Syndrome to me. There was a definite attraction but it was kept under wraps until she went to Landon and Amelia’s clan to do a very dirty mission. It was only after Kaden kisses her (she was drunk and passed out) that it is revealed what she is to him and how hard he is trying to protect her. When she realizes what he is to her….Oh. My. God. Talk about an insanely hot, hot, hot sex scene.

Like I said above, Kaden really wasn’t what he projected. But I was surprised at who was behind his reputation and the reasons that this person had for forcing Kaden to do what he did. Put it this way, I wasn’t happy when certain events happened and that person got what was coming to them. Just saying. Wasn’t sad at all.

The secondary characters made the book. While Kaden and Mara were the stars, the secondary characters were close seconds. The author was able to successfully weave these characters into the main and secondary plotlines without them taking over the book. Which I enjoyed….a lot.

The end of the book was a little sad and it left on a small cliffhanger. Which means I have to read book 3 to see what happens with Grayson and Lexie. Not that I would mind.

How many stars will I give Alpha Kaden: 4

Why: I really enjoyed reading Alpha Kaden. It was a truly original werewolf love story that kept me engrossed for the book.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex, language, and violence

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

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**

When The Gods War (Chronicles of Meldinar: Book 2) by S.C. Stokes


When The Gods War (Chronicles of Meldinar, #2)

Title: When The Gods War

Author: S.C. Stokes

Publisher: Unknown

Date of publication: February 13th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy

Number of pages: 243

POV: 3rd person

Series: Chronicles of Meldinar

A Coronation of Kings – Book 1 (review here)

When The Gods War – Book 2

Where you can find When The Gods War: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Drought, desperation, deliverance.

Yaneera is the youngest Empress in the history of Andara. With her land in turmoil, she must use her wit and cunning just to stay alive. Severe drought has brought with it famine, starvation, and death. As her people waver on the verge of open rebellion, Yaneera must deliver them or perish at their hand.

Andara’s struggles have not gone unnoticed. Neighboring kingdoms stand ready to deliver the killing blow.

As chaos erupts across the land a stranger appears in the Empress’ court. Preaching the presence of a new God, Mythos, the newcomer promises deliverance for Yaneera and her people.

Mythos power is not without a price, and Yaneera soon finds herself facing a crisis of conscience. . .

Will she sell her soul to save her people?

If you enjoy action-packed adventure and frantic fantasy you will love S.C. Stokes’ When The Gods War. Grab your copy and enter this exciting new world today.

When the Gods War is the exciting sequel to A Coronation of Kings. It can be read as a stand-alone novel or as book two in the Chronicles of Meldinar Series.

My review:

When I started reading When The Gods War, I was a little confused but a little intrigued. What confused me was that the author chose not include the characters from the first book until about halfway through. Instead, he built up the nations and people of the Sevalorn, who were briefly mentioned in the first book. I am actually glad that he did that because there was so much back story to the nation of Andara, The Plains of Kairon, the kingdoms of Vitaem,  Tres Cidea, and Khashish, the forests of Diadri and the Dwarven Kingdom of the Everpeak. The confusion was because that was a move that I didn’t expect. Honestly, I thought that we would be seeing Syrion, Tristan, and Elaina sooner in the book…not later.

What I also liked was that there were no really bad guys. Yaneera did have a hand in all the drama and war that was started but, in her defense, she did it because she was backed into a corner by Vitaem and she would have done anything to save her people. Even if that meant aligning herself with a newcomer who promises her that he will save her. Just reading Yaneera’s thoughts and how she really didn’t like Jonas but needed him was fascinating. It made for a great read and made me alternately feel bad for her and not like her.

The storyline with Syrion and Elaina was interesting. Interesting because Elaina was trying to restore Marcus back to life (she had his soul that was entrapped in a stone) and Syrion was on a mission to find out who these Disciples are and to stop them from taking over his world. I will say that Elaina’s storyline surprised me the most because I wasn’t expecting for certain people to show themselves. There is a small clue in the beginning of the book that I overlooked but other than that, nothing was mentioned about this person. So yeah, I was surprised

Syrion’s storyline did have its surprises too but I am not going to get into his storyline too much without revealing anything. Let’s just say that it was a very bloody battle and there are certain deaths that surprised me. Like really surprised me to the point where I said “Oh no you didn’t” out loud at 11 pm

The end of the book was very anticlimactic and it ended suddenly. But, with the way it ended, I could see a book 3. The reason I say that is because there were certain storylines there was not wrapped up and I need to know what is going to happen.

How many stars will I give When The Gods War: 4

Why: Like the first book, this book was very engrossing. It was also very fast paced and the characters were 3D.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Older Teen

Why: Violence

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Return to Lan Darr (Heroes of Distant Planet: Book 2) by Anderson Atlas


Return To Lan Darr

Title: Return To Lan Darr

Author: Anderson Atlas

Publisher: Synesthesia Publishing

Date of publication: July 11th, 2016

Genre: Action, Adventure, Young Adult, Science Fiction

Number of pages: 353

POV: 3rd person

Series: Heroes of Distant Planets

Strange Lands – Book 1 (review here)

Return to Lan Darr – Book 2

Immortal Shadows – Book 3

Where you can find Return to Lan Darr: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Surviving Lan Darr not only changed Allan’s life, it rocked him to his bones. On Earth, he’s simply a boy in a wheelchair who got lost in the woods, but across the galaxy, Allan is a hero. He must find a way back there.

Returning to Lan Darr might just kill him. Though Allan’s learned the hard way that he does not die easily.

Back on Earth, Allan’s uncle and his best friend race after Allan without an inkling of how deadly Hubbu travel can be. Chaos ensues, spawning disorder, confusion, and panic as the travelers end up on different worlds at different times and face extreme ecosystems, mysterious enemies and push the clock of death to the absolute breaking point.

The second book of the Heroes of Distant Planet Series cranks up the excitement, the mystery, and even the humor. A perfect and inspiring story for 12 and up.

My review:

After reading Strange Lands, I couldn’t wait to read book 2. I couldn’t wait to get back to Lan Darr with Allan and see what adventures were in store for him. I wasn’t disappointed and was thrilled that different worlds were introduced. I love it when worlds are added in a series that had only one world. It totally changes how I see the book. Return to Lan Darr does this and it makes the book magical.

I felt bad for Allan, in the beginning of the book. He went to a wonderful land, became a hero and when he tells people, they think that he is hallucinating and the therapist discussed with Rubic that he may be suffering from a form of schizophrenia. But the biggest blow came when Laura, his best friend, doesn’t believe him and then steals his diary….only to lose it at school and the pages are photocopied and passed around the school. The humiliation (and the fact that Laura wasn’t allowed to hang out with him), made Allan do something rash. He went back to the mountain to prove to Laura and his schoolmates that he was right. Except, he didn’t land in Lan Darr with the first poof of pollen. Nope, he landed in a place called Peebleland (inhabited by bat people). To get to Land Darr, he has to go through a planet called Katonaay to get the flower for Lan Darr. Katonaay isn’t what it seems and when Allan gets to Lan Darr, he is in for a big surprise. If you want to know what, read the book!!

I did like that Rubic tried to be more of a parent to Allan in this book. He settled down, got a job (with a 401K and health insurance) and was preparing to be a “regular” adult (but is there such thing as being a perfect adult). When Allan disappeared after inhaling the pollen of a purple Hubbu flower, he does the responsible thing and looks for Allan, then Laura when it comes up that Laura is missing also. But evil is coming his way and when Jibbawk, the evil ex-ruler of Lan Darr, makes his appearance at the house, Rubic goes with him…..looking for Allan. Rubic and Jibbawk have their own adventures while searched for Allan on distant planets with the help of multicolored Hubbu flowers.

Laura has a different sort of adventure, and in a way, made up for her stealing Allan’s diary. Not going to go into it, because doing so would kinda ruin her story, but she isn’t as weak or as helpless as you think she is. She also shows great compassion for certain people at certain points in the book.  Again, I really can’t get into her story because there will be spoilers.

I was thrilled that Mizzi made an appearance in the book and  I was even more thrilled that Asantia was featured more in this book. There was a secret that was revealed in the book that I actually guessed in book 1. Not going to say what but I wasn’t surprised when the connection was made.

The end of the book was not what I expected….at all. I liked it because it was different and I usually don’t see these types of endings. It did leave the series open for a book 3, too. Which I can’t wait to read if/when it happens.

How many stars will I give Return to Lan Darr: 4

Why: I really enjoyed reading this book. From the unforgettable characters to the engaging plotlines, this is a book that any tween, teen or adult would love to read.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age Range: Young Teen

Why: mild violence

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**