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Fantasy Romance Review: Altered by Vicki Stiefel

Altered: The Made Ones Saga (Book #1) by Vicki Stiefel


ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
The Eleutians are dying out, one female at a time. To save their species, the powerful Alchemic Clan conscripts women from parallel worlds, altering them into the perfect breeding stock.
Kitlyn, a retired circus equestrian broken in both body and spirit, awakens on a strange world in her own much-younger body. She has been transformed into a Made One, but the gift of youth and the promise of a new life come at a terrible price.
Rafe, the Wolf Clan's warrior champion, vows to find the cause of the species' decline. He's certain the Alchemics' bid to save the Eleutians is but a thin veneer masking a dark purpose.
That vow becomes hard to keep with the threat of an inter-clan conflict and the arrival of the proud Made One named Kitlyn.
To save herself and those like her, Kit must carve a dangerous path in this new reality and make a choice that may cost her her freedom, her life, and the life of the Eleutian warrior she's come to love.


Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository

7.5/10

* * *
  I always read Vicki's books with great pleasure. They are so vivid, original and incredibly cinematic, I can almost imagine them on the big screen. Altered is no exception.

Contemporary Romance Review: Hooked by Elizabeth Hunter

Hooked by Elizabeth Hunter (7th and Main #2)


ecopy courtesy of the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
She’s in high heels; he wears hiking boots.
Can these two opposites make romance in Metlin work?

Tayla McKinnon is not a small town girl. The fashion blogger moved to Metlin with two goals in mind: help her friend start a book store and have a little fun. A year later, Tayla has made new friends, successfully launched INK, and is ready for a new challenge. Too bad she can’t get a certain rock-climbing, comic book geek off her mind.

Jeremy Allen has been playing the long game with Tayla, even though the avid outdoorsman was certain she was the one from the minute he set eyes on her. They may have different tastes, but their chemistry is undeniable.

When a job opportunity from a new fashion start-up lands in her inbox, Tayla takes it as a sign. She’s not meant for a small town, even though her best friend and her inconvenient crush are trying to convince her otherwise.

Jeremy can’t believe Tayla would be willing to leave her new life behind, but maybe he’s been playing it too cool. Summer in Metlin can sizzle, which gives Jeremy an excuse to turn up the heat.

Hooked is a stand-alone, opposites-attract romance in the Love Stories on 7th and Main series by Elizabeth Hunter, USA Today Bestselling author of INK.


Amazon kindle US/UK

  9/10

* * *
This turned out to be a really cosy, beautiful contemporary romance series, Elizabeth Hunter has started. Ink was lovely, but in my view, as the author started settling in into Meitlin lives, Hooked was even better. I don't know why I'm surprised as it happens with every book from Elizabeth Hunter I read.

Urban Fantasy Review: How to Dance an Undead Waltz by Hailey Edwards

How to Dance an Undead Waltz by Hailey Edwards (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy #4) 


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
Keep a spot open on your dance card. This is one ball you don't want to miss.

Grier is nursing a broken heart after Boaz announced his engagement to another woman, but life goes on. Or it would if vampire assassins would stop taking pot shots at her every time she leaves Woolworth House. Seriously, who sends archers to deliver murdergrams these days?

To protect herself, Grier must pull out all the stops, even if it means revealing her darkest secret. All eyes are on her, and — for the first time — she begins to understand why Linus wears so many masks. But the target isn’t Grier, and when the archers single him out, it feels like one of their arrows might have struck what remains of her heart.


Amazon Kindle US/UK

8.5/10

* * *
I hope you are following this series that way I am, which is bingeing. Because it's worth it. I am worth it. *grins*

March New Book Releases I'm Dying to Read!

Wild Country by Anne Bishop (The World of The Others #2)


In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, humans and the shape-shifting Others will see whether they can live side by side...without destroying one another.

There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.

One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.

But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them.


Add to Goodreads

* * *

Now that I caught up to everything, I can't wait to see what happens in this book. This series is so nail-bitingly intense! 

 A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn


Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell is whisked off to a remote island off the tip of Cornwall when her natural historian colleague Stoker's brother calls in a favor. On the pretext of wanting a companion to accompany him to Lord Malcolm Romilly's house party, Tiberius persuades Veronica to pose as his fiancée--much to Stoker's chagrin. But upon arriving, it becomes clear that the party is not as innocent as it had seemed. Every invited guest has a connection to Romilly's wife, Rosamund, who disappeared on her wedding day three years ago, and a dramatic dinner proves she is very much on her husband's mind.

As spectral figures, ghostly music, and mysterious threats begin to plague the partygoers, Veronica enlists Stoker's help to discover the host's true motivations. And as they investigate, it becomes clear that there are numerous mysteries surrounding the Romilly estate, and every person present has a motive to kill Rosamund...
 


Add to Goodreads

* * *

Another excellent series here. Every time I read about Veronika's adventures I have so much fun!

 A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

 

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn't an accident--or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.

Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan's unceasing expansion--all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret--one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life--or rescue it from annihilation.


Add to Goodreads

* * *

The premise snagged me, and while I know nothing about this author I am willing to try this book.

  The Devil and The Dancer by Elizabeth Hunter


 Sometimes falling is the safest step to take.

Chloe Reardon has a problem, and his name is Gavin Wallace.

Okay, Gavin isn’t exactly a problem, unless you consider a highly attractive wind vampire with dubious intentions a problem. Especially if that vampire is your boss. With an affinity for kilts and excellent taste in music.

But none of that matters because Chloe Reardon has had enough of dangerous men. Danger is overrated. Danger is the opposite of sexy. So Gavin is the last man—or vampire—on earth she needs to let into her heart.

Except what if the most dangerous man you knew was also the one who made you feel the strongest?

The Devil and the Dancer is a paranormal romance novella in the Elemental Legacy series. 


Add to Goodreads

* * *
 I actually have this one as a review copy and looking forward to reading it as I really like Chloe and Gavin.


Urban Fantasy Review: How to Break an Undead Heart by Hailey Edwards

How to Break an Undead Heart by Hailey Edwards (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy #3)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
Grier finally has the one thing she’s always wanted: Boaz Pritchard. Too bad her dream boyfriend is keeping her up nights, just not in a sweaty or fun way. Boaz has dialed down the Southern charm and stopped returning her calls. His job forces him to keep secrets, but his radio silence is cranking up her suspicions. He’s a shameless flirt, but he’s her shameless flirt… right?

Soon an attack on Woolworth House leaves her with bigger problems than he loves me, he loves me not. Vampires are on the prowl, and they aren’t the only predators circling. A new threat has emerged, one with blood rights to Grier. With enemies closing in on all sides, she must choose her allies, and the decision could make or break her… and her heart.

Warning: This book contains a buttload of zombie parakeet poop. Like grab a poncho and thank me later. Watch out, y’all. It’s about to hit the fan. Hearts will break, and heads will roll. Literally.


Audible US | Amazon Kindle US/UK

8.5/10

* * *

So much cool stuff. Each book gives a little bit more juice, and it just becomes a little bit more delicious. I am starting to dread discovering that Linus is a closet villain (so far, he is not), but that boy is just a liiiittle bit too perfect. 

Urban Fantasy Review:How To Claim an Undead Soul by Hailey Edwards

How to Claim an Undead Soul by Hailey Edwards (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy #2)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
Life was simpler for Grier when she was flat broke and a social pariah. Now she's carrying the baggage that goes along with the title of Dame Woolworth, and shouldering that weight is giving her a serious crick in the neck. Her work as a Haint is the one thing that makes her feel normal, but even that's more paranormal than usual.

Spirits are vanishing from well-known hot spots on the ghost tour circuit, and vampires are turning up as shriveled husks. When Grier stumbles across the menace preying on Savannah's supernatural community, what she uncovers is bigger than a few flickering lampposts gone dark. It's a deadly threat unleashed by one of their own, and the cost of saving her city might be her life.


Audible US | Amazon Kindle US/UK

8.5/10

* * *
 It's the second book in series and I am still enjoying the ride. It's a helluva one at that! I think the author is just warming up.

Steampunk Fantasy Romance Review: Mission: Improper by Bec McMaster

Mission: Improper by Bec McMaster (London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy #1)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
Three years ago, London society changed forever, with a revolution placing the widowed Queen firmly on the throne her blue blood husband tried to take from her. Humans, verwulfen and mechs are no longer considered the lesser classes, but not everybody is happy with the new order…

Entire families have gone missing in the East End. When Caleb Byrnes receives an invitation to join the Company of Rogues as an undercover agent pledged to protect the crown, he jumps at the chance to find out who, or what, is behind the disappearances. Hunting criminals is what the darkly driven blue blood does best, and though he prefers to work alone, the opportunity is too good to resist.

The problem? He’s partnered with Ingrid Miller, the fiery and passionate verwulfen woman who won a private bet against him a year ago. Byrnes has a score to settle, but one stolen kiss and suddenly the killer is not the only thing Byrnes is interested in hunting.

Soon they’re chasing whispered rumours of a secret project gone wrong, and a monster that just might be more dangerous than either of them combined. The only way to find out more is to go undercover among the blue blood elite… But when their hunt uncovers a mysterious conspiracy, Byrnes and Ingrid must set aside their age-old rivalry if they have any chance at surviving a treacherous plot.


Amazon Kindle US/UK | Book Depository

8.5/10

* * *

I had a long break from steampunk which means I missed on quite a few of Bec McMaster's books.

Mission: Improper restored my desire to read more in this genre, - it was really vivid, visceral and extremely entertaining. As it's the first book in a spin-off from London Steampunk series, the plot has a long development in making and I can not wait to delve into it even more.

Paranormal Fantasy Early Review: Tree of Dreams by Mel Sterling

Tree of Dreams by Mel Sterling (The River: After Dark #1)


ecopy courtesy of the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
It's said that if you sleep under a willow tree, you'll dream of your true love.

Emma Leighton doesn't believe in fairy tales or monsters until a bolt of lightning from a freak summer storm reveals a glimpse of a river creature so fantastical, she can't be certain he's real.

Stranded by the storm, she spends the night in eerie Willow Cottage where terrified guests check out early, vowing never to return. Emma sees nothing out of the ordinary, but her dreams bring her a secret lover like no other, disturbing and alluring in equal measure. Moss is half man, half water serpent. His kisses are cool and deep as the Columbia River itself, and he's been in love with Emma for a long time.

What begins as a dream becomes flesh, an erotic fusing of hearts, souls and bodies. But when others learn the secret sheltered by Willow Cottage, they'll do anything—including kill—to possess it.

Welcome to The River: After Dark.

First in a new series.


Release date: February 15th 2019

Amazon Kindle US/UK

8/10

* * *
 Tree of Dreams is lovely, peeps. It has this sleepy, dreamy, poetic cadence which makes you enjoy not only the plot and the characters but the way we are told about them as well.

Also, fae sex. LKH, eat your heart out! There was something really magical and gentle about it.

Contemporary Fantasy Review: The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
26-year-old Rachel Monroe has spent her whole life trying to keep a very unusual secret: she can make wishes come true. And sometimes the consequences are disastrous. So when Rachel accidentally grants an outlandish wish for the first time in years, she decides it’s time to leave her hometown—and her past—behind for good.

Rachel isn’t on the road long before she runs out of gas in a town that’s not on her map: Nowhere, North Carolina—also known as the town of “Lost and Found.” In Nowhere, Rachel is taken in by a spit-fire old woman, Catch, who possesses a strange gift of her own: she can bind secrets by baking them into pies. Rachel also meets Catch’s neighbor, Ashe, a Southern gentleman with a complicated past, who makes her want to believe in happily-ever-after for the first time in her life.

As she settles into the small town, Rachel hopes her own secrets will stay hidden, but wishes start piling up everywhere Rachel goes. When the consequences threaten to ruin everything she’s begun to build in Nowhere, Rachel must come to terms with who she is and what she can do, or risk losing the people she’s starting to love—and her chance at happiness—all over again.


Amazon Kindle US/UK | Book Depository

8/10

* * *
 The Secret Ingredient of Wishes was lovely. It reminded me of Amy E. Reichert's books of which I am a big fan, mixed with Practical Magic. A little bit of magic and a whole lot of baking, - what can go wrong?

Friday Mini Reviews: Penny Reid, Holly Black & Cathy Yardley

Kissing Tolstoy by Penny Reid (Dear Professor #1)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
Proceeds for the month of release go to hurricane relief efforts.

What do you do when you discover that your super-hot blind date from months ago is now your super-hot Russian Lit professor?

You overthink everything and pray for a swift end to your misery, of course!


‘Kissing Tolstoy’ is the first book in the Dear Professor series, is 46k words, and can be read as a standalone. A shorter version of this story (28k words) was entitled ‘Nobody Looks Good in Leather Pants’ and was available via Penny Reid’s newsletter over the course of 2017. 


Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository

8/10

* * *
 This was an absolutely delightful read and Penny Reid at her finest. Also, I loved the joke on the cover. It says: "Kissing Tolstoy", but the actual picture is of Pushkin. I found it really funny. Being Russian myself and all that. Honestly, great romantic comedy.  Read it.
* * *
Ну, милейшая книга! Пенни в своем неподражаемом стиле. Особенно порадовала обложка с ее шуточкой. Ведь на ней написано "Целуя Толстого", а изображен Пушкин! Я конечно посмеялась. Короче, замечательная романтическая комедия. Умная и шутливая. Читайте.


The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (The Folk of The Air #1)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
 


Audible US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository

9/10

* * *
This was one of the best books I read last year. I always enjoyed Holly Black's depictions of Fae. They are dark, vicious, very alluring and incredibly complex, so this was dark chocolate ice cream: rich and intense and yummy. Great characters, I would even say, epic. Read it, you would not be disappointed. 
* * *
Одна из лучших книг прошлого года для меня и для многих других читателей. Мне всегда нравились описания фэйри от Холли Блак. Темные, яростные, чарующие и неверояно сложные, прям как мороженое из темного шоколада: богатые по вкусу и очень насыщенные. Прекрасные, даже скажу, эпичные характеры. Читайте, не пожалеете.


One True Pairing by Cathy Yardley (Fandom Hearts #2)


ecopy courtesy of the author

Synopsis from Goodreads

They couldn't be more opposite, the Hollywood actor and the hometown girl, but all they need is a little convention magic to become the perfect ship in Cathy Yardley's One True Pairing.

Jake Reese needs a decoy girlfriend. Fast. The lead actor of the popular TV show, Mystics, is tired of losing his shirt to overeager fans. Literally. Which is why a chance meeting with gothabilly bookworm-slash-barista Hailey Frost seems almost too perfect to be true. Hailey is not impressed with his TV fame and is desperate to save her family's bookstore. It's a match made in Hollywood, but as the two pretend to date, fan fiction becomes reality. Can this OTP become canon?
 


Audible US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK

7/10

* * *
Cute, entertaining and very easy to read romantic comedy. I already mentioned in reviews of book#1  and book #3 how much I like this series. It's geeky and light and really quick to read, so you don't feel like you are committing. Jake is endearing, and Hailey is as bristly as a hedgehog, but their story is lovely and the secondary plotlines are just as interesting. Go for this series when you crave a comfort read.
* * *
Милая, развлекательная и очень легкая романтическая комедия. Я уже упоминала в рецензиях на книгу первую и третью, насколько мне нравится эта серия. Она гиковская, простенькая и читается быстро, особенно когда не хочется тратить время на тяжелые тома. Джейк - очаровашка, Хэйли щетинится как морской еж, но история их симпатичная, да и второстепенные сюжетные линии интересны. Читайте, особенно когда хочется чего-то комфортного.
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KARINA IS READING

READING

The Night Circus
Legacy
Gabriel's Inferno
Touch

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In case of zombie apocalypse

Hey, guys! I feel like I should say this just in case :)
If you'd like to sponsor a fellow book addict who sometimes can't sleep at night worrying that she won't have enough books to read if internet goes down in the event of zombie apocalypse (I'm convinced it's one of the top five ways to go for human race) you can donate through Paypal to olivesandacorns at gmail dot com or buy a book through any of the links provided with my reviews which will send me a small percentage from the sale. All proceeds will go towards my enormous TBR. I will also shelter you on the remote farm in Portugal when zombie apocalypse starts provided you survive getting there. There will be books, yay?
Thank you! Love you all

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