Friday, September 8, 2023

Feature Friday ARC Review: The Salt Road by N. Caceres

  *Feature Friday ARC Review is a meme hosted by The Tattered Page to review books not yet released.  

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Publisher: Indie
Release Date: 
September 12, 2023
Pages: 227
Genre: Adult Horror
Source: ARC 

THE STORY:

Can you stomach finding out what makes a villain...a villain?

Few walk the Salt Road unscathed. Here, every wound you inflicted on earth will gouge its place in your skin — shredding your precious, pathetic human shell into ribbons.

Oh yes, you can run from your demons all you want. But in Mictlan they will stalk you, until you fall a writhing prey to their decadent promises.

And Annette Yarbrow? She has juiciest, depraved secrets that the Road longs to scrape from her insides.

And I’m thirsty. We all are. The land of the dead is parched and thrashing with anticipation to slice and claw her sadistic past into its greedy mouth.

By the time we get to the gates of the City of the Dead, I’ll have my answers. I’ll know what drives a creature to become so vile.

But there is still a price to be paid. And Annette’s debtors crave only the most brutal retribution...

The Salt Road is a single POV erotic horror that features deeply disturbing content, an affair that will redefine ‘taboo’, divine retribution, and decadent depravity in the land of the dead.

A full list of trigger warnings is available on the author’s website and in the ‘look inside’ feature. Please read responsibly.
LINK: Goodreads 


RATING

ONE-WORD REVIEW: DEPRAVED

TAG LINE: 
Can you stomach finding out what makes a villain...a villain?

OPENING LINE: The corpse before me had been lying there, twitching from its death rattles for days.


REVIEW:

𝒲𝒶𝓇𝓃𝒾𝓃𝑔: sᴏᴍᴇ sᴘᴏɪʟᴇʀs ᴀʜᴇᴀᴅ!

ʜᴜɢᴇ ᴛʜᴀɴᴋ ʏᴏᴜ ᴛᴏ ɴ. ᴄᴀᴄᴇʀᴇs ғᴏʀ ᴘʀᴏᴠɪᴅɪɴɢ ᴍᴇ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴀɴ ᴀᴅᴠᴀɴᴄᴇᴅ ʀᴇᴀᴅᴇʀ ᴄᴏᴘʏ!

𝒯𝒽𝑒 ð’®ð’¶ð“ð“‰ 𝑅𝑜𝒶𝒹 ɪs ᴛʜᴇ sᴇᴄᴏɴᴅ ʙᴏᴏᴋ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ ғɪʀᴇ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ʜᴏʀɪᴢᴏɴ sᴇʀɪᴇs ᴀɴᴅ ᴏʙsɪᴅɪᴀɴ ғᴇᴀᴛʜᴇʀs ᴍᴜsᴛ ʙᴇ ʀᴇᴀᴅ ғɪʀsᴛ. ғɪʀsᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ғᴏʀᴇᴍᴏsᴛ, ᴛʜɪs ɪs ᴏɴᴇ ʙᴏᴏᴋ ʏᴏᴜ ᴅᴇғɪɴɪᴛᴇʟʏ ᴡᴀɴᴛ ᴛᴏ ᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ᴛʜᴇ ᴛᴡ/ᴄᴡ ʙᴇғᴏʀᴇ ᴊᴜᴍᴘɪɴɢ ɪɴ—ᴇᴠᴇɴ ғᴏʀ ᴛʜᴇ ʀᴇᴀᴅᴇʀs ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴍᴇ ᴡʜᴏ sᴇᴇ ᴛʜᴇᴍ ᴀs sʜᴏᴘᴘɪɴɢ ʟɪsᴛs. ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏᴏᴋ ɪs ᴏɴᴇ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴅᴀʀᴋᴇsᴛ ʙᴏᴏᴋs ɪ'ᴠᴇ ʀᴇᴀᴅ ɪɴ ᴀ ᴡʜɪʟᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ᴡɪʟʟ ɴᴏᴛ ʙᴇ ғᴏʀ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ.

𝒯𝒽𝑒 ð’®ð’¶ð“ð“‰ 𝑅𝑜𝒶𝒹 ғᴏʟʟᴏᴡs ᴀɴɴᴇᴛᴛᴇ “ᴀɴɪᴛᴀ” ʏᴀʀʙʀᴏᴡ (ᴀɴɢɪᴇ's ᴛᴇʀʀɪʙʟᴇ ᴍᴏᴛʜᴇʀ) ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴀғᴛᴇʀʟɪғᴇ ᴀs sʜᴇ ᴡᴀʟᴋs ᴛʜᴇ sᴀʟᴛ ʀᴏᴀᴅ ᴛᴏ ᴀɴsᴡᴇʀ ғᴏʀ ʜᴇʀ ᴄʀɪᴍᴇs ᴀɴᴅ ᴀᴛʀᴏᴄɪᴛɪᴇs ᴀɢᴀɪɴsᴛ ɴᴏᴛ ᴏɴʟʏ ᴏᴛʜᴇʀs ʙᴜᴛ ʜᴇʀ ᴏᴡɴ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ. ᴡʜɪʟᴇ sʜᴇ ᴛʀᴀᴠᴇʟs ᴛʜᴇ sᴀʟᴛ ʀᴏᴀᴅ sʜᴇ ᴜɴᴅᴇʀɢᴏᴇs ʙʀᴜᴛᴀʟ, ᴡᴇʟʟ-ᴅᴇsᴇʀᴠᴇᴅ ᴛᴏʀᴛᴜʀᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ɪ ᴡᴀs sᴏ ᴇxᴄɪᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʀᴇᴀᴅ ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴀғᴛᴇʀ ʀᴇᴀᴅɪɴɢ 𝒪𝒷𝓈𝒾𝒹𝒾𝒶𝓃 𝐹𝑒𝒶𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓇𝓈.

“𝒱𝑒𝓃𝑔𝑒𝒶𝓃𝒸𝑒 𝓈𝑜𝓊𝓃𝒹𝓈 𝑔𝓇𝑒𝒶𝓉, 𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓃 𝓈𝑜𝓊𝓃𝒹𝓈 𝓁𝒾𝓀𝑒 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒶𝓃𝓈𝓌𝑒𝓇 𝓉𝑜 𝒶𝓁𝓁 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝓅𝓇𝑜𝒷𝓁𝑒𝓂𝓈 𝓌𝒽𝑒𝓃 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝑒𝓍𝒾𝓈𝓉 𝒶𝓈 𝓃𝑜𝓉𝒽𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓂𝑜𝓇𝑒 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓃 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝒶𝒸𝒽𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓅𝒶𝒾𝓃.”

ɪᴛ ᴡᴀs ɪɴᴛᴇʀᴇsᴛɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ sᴇᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ғʟᴀsʜʙᴀᴄᴋs ᴏғ ᴀɴɪᴛᴀ ᴡɪᴛʜ ʜᴇʀ ғᴀᴍɪʟʏ, ᴛᴏ sᴇᴇ ᴍᴏʀᴇ ᴏғ ᴀɴɢɪᴇ's ғᴀᴛʜᴇʀ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ᴅʏɴᴀᴍɪᴄ ʙᴇᴛᴡᴇᴇɴ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ.

ᴀɴɪᴛᴀ's ɢᴜɪᴅᴇ ᴏɴ á´›Êœá´‡ sᴀʟᴛ ʀᴏᴀᴅ: ʜᴇʀ ʏᴏᴜɴɢᴇsᴛ ᴅᴀᴜɢʜᴛᴇʀ's ᴄᴀᴅᴇᴊᴏ, ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏʀʀᴏᴡᴇʀ. ᴀ ᴄᴀᴅᴇᴊᴏ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ʜᴀs ʙᴇᴇɴ ᴏʙsᴇssᴇᴅ ᴡɪᴛʜ ʜᴇʀ ғᴏʀ ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴏᴜʟᴅ ᴄʀᴏss ᴀɴʏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏ ʟɪɴᴇ ғᴏʀ ʜᴇʀ. 

“𝒟𝒾𝓋𝒾𝓃𝒾𝓉𝓎 𝓌𝒶𝓈 𝒷𝑒𝓈𝓉 𝓈𝓊𝒾𝓉𝑒𝒹 𝓉𝑜 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓅𝓁𝑒𝒶𝓈𝓊𝓇𝑒𝓈 𝑜𝒻 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒹𝒶𝓇𝓀, 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝐼 𝓌𝒶𝓈 𝓃𝑜𝓉 𝑜𝓃𝑒 𝓉𝑜 𝓈𝓆𝓊𝒶𝓃𝒹𝑒𝓇 𝒾𝓉.”

ɪ ᴅᴏɴ'ᴛ ᴛʏᴘɪᴄᴀʟʟʏ ʀᴇᴀᴅ ᴛʜɪs ɢᴇɴʀᴇ ʙᴜᴛ ɪ ʟᴏᴠᴇᴇᴇᴅ ᴏʙsɪᴅɪᴀɴ ғᴇᴀᴛʜᴇʀs, ɪ ᴛʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ ɪ ɢɪᴠᴇ ð’¯ð’½ð‘’ ð’®ð’¶ð“ð“‰ 𝑅𝑜𝒶𝒹 ᴀ ᴛʀʏ. ᴡʜɪʟᴇ ɪ ᴇɴᴊᴏʏᴇᴅ ɪᴛ ғᴏʀ ᴛʜᴇ ᴍᴏsᴛ, ɪ ᴅᴏ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴏɴᴇ ɪssᴜᴇ. ᴄᴀᴄᴇʀᴇs ɪs ᴀ ʟʏʀɪᴄᴀʟ ᴡʀɪᴛᴇʀ ᴡʜɪᴄʜ ɪs ᴀʟᴡᴀʏs ᴀ ᴘʟᴜs. ʜᴏᴡᴇᴠᴇʀ, ʜᴇʀ ᴡʀɪᴛɪɴɢ ᴄᴀɴ ʙᴇ ʜᴀʀᴅ ᴛᴏ ғᴏʟʟᴏᴡ ᴀᴛ ᴛɪᴍᴇs ᴅᴜʀɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇ sᴛᴏʀʏ. ɪ.ᴇ. ᴛʜᴇ ғɪʀsᴛ ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀ ᴏʀ sᴏ ᴏғ 𝒯𝒽𝑒 ð’®ð’¶ð“ð“‰ 𝑅𝑜𝒶𝒹 ᴡᴀs ᴅɪғғɪᴄᴜʟᴛ ᴛᴏ ғᴏʟʟᴏᴡ ᴛʜᴇ ʟɪɴᴇs ᴀɴᴅ ᴍᴀᴋᴇ sᴇɴsᴇ ᴏғ ᴡʜᴏ ᴀɴᴅ/ᴏʀ ᴡʜᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏʀʀᴏᴡᴇʀ ᴡᴀs ʀᴇғᴇʀʀɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ. ɪ ᴡᴏɴ'ᴛ ᴇʟᴀʙᴏʀᴀᴛᴇ ғᴜʀᴛʜᴇʀ sᴏ ᴀs ɴᴏᴛ ᴛᴏ sᴘᴏɪʟ.

𝒯𝒽𝑒 𝒮𝒶𝓁𝓉 𝑅𝑜𝒶𝒹 ɪs ᴀ ᴡᴇʟʟ-ᴘᴀᴄᴇᴅ ᴅᴀʀᴋ ᴀᴅᴜʟᴛ ᴇʀᴏᴛɪᴄ ʜᴏʀʀᴏʀ ʟᴀᴅᴇɴ ᴡɪᴛʜ ɢᴏʀᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ᴏʙsᴇssɪᴏɴ. ᴀʟʟ ɪɴ ᴀʟʟ, ð’¯ð’½ð‘’ ð’®ð’¶ð“ð“‰ 𝑅𝑜𝒶𝒹 ᴡᴀs ᴀ ᴡɪʟᴅ, ʜᴏʀʀɪғɪᴄ ʀɪᴅᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ɪ ʟᴏᴠᴇᴅ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏ ʙɪᴛ ᴏғ ɪᴛ!



TRIGGER WARNINGS:

✨Cheating 
✨Drugging
✨Explicit content
✨Discussion of drug addiction and recovery
✨Tetratophilia
✨Graphic instances of bodily possession by an outside force in a sexual context
✨Graphic language
✨Intense depictions of child abuse by parent
✨Intense narcissism
✨Murder



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

J. ELLE is the New York Ti. This Author is a swamp goblin who has been irresponsibly released into the wilds of California to run amok, unsupervised. To perceive her is to be cursed with the eldritch knowledge.
Do not perceive the swamp goblin.

Or do…yanno…whatever you want to do with your life. Who am I to tell you what to do? No one. That’s who. Click the shiny buttons at your own peril.


Happy Reading!
 
Friday, August 18, 2023

Feature Friday ARC Review: House of Marionne by J. Elle

 

*Feature Friday ARC Review is a meme hosted by The Tattered Page to review books not yet released.  

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Publisher: Penguin Teen
Release Date: 
August 29, 2023
Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Source: ARC 

THE STORY:

Rich is the blood of the chosen

17 year-old Quell has lived her entire life on the run. She and her mother have fled from city to city, in order to hide the deadly magic that flows through Quell’s veins.

Until someone discovers her dark secret.

To hide from the assassin hunting her, and keep her mother out of harm’s way, Quell reluctantly inducts into a debutante society of magical social elites called the Order that she never knew existed. If she can pass their three rites of membership, mastering their proper form of magic, she’ll be able to secretly bury her forbidden magic forever.

If caught, she will be killed.

But becoming the perfect debutante is a lot harder than Quell imagined, especially when there’s more than tutoring happening with Jordan, her brooding mentor and— assassin in training.

When Quell uncovers the deadly lengths the Order will go to defend its wealth and power, she’s forced to choose: embrace the dark magic she’s been running from her entire life or risk losing everything, and everyone, she’s grown to love.

Still, she fears the most formidable monster she’ll have to face is the one inside.
LINK: Goodreads 


RATING

ONE-WORD REVIEW: DECADENT

TAG LINE: 
Bury your secret or die for it.

OPENING LINE: Yagrin ran a finger along the blade and sucked in a deep breath.


REVIEW:

Huge thank you to Penguin Teen for providing me with an advanced reader copy!

HOUSE OF MARIONNE is a fantastical story that blends feminine rage, forbidden dark powers, and a magical society of debutants. There were also Dark academia vibes and a mystery with a dash of romance. The story follows Quell, who spends her life quite literally on the run from herself with her mother as she tries to keep her illicit deadly powers a secret.

But when her safe haven is snatched from her, Quell is forced to seek refuge at her grandmother’s foreboding estate. There, she must ascribe to the debutante society known as the Order and undertake 3 rites of membership in order to suppress her magic forever. Insert Jordan, her enigmatic and intimidating tutor.

Jordan is our “shadow daddy” extraordinaire. I mean, who doesn’t love a good shadow-wielding hottie? I just wished he was fleshed out a bit more and there was more chemistry between him and Quell.

As for Quell’s mother: the woman kept her on the run and was cryptic as hell. But Quell didn’t bug her with questions?

HOUSE OF MARIONNE is a well-paced YA romantic Fantasy laden with dark Bridgerton vibes. All in all, HOUSE OF MARIONNE was a very enjoyable, interesting read.


TROPES/ELEMENTS:

✨Assassins 
✨Secret magical societies
✨Enemies-to-lovers
✨Deadly magic
✨Dark academia
✨Morally gray characters



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


J. ELLE is the New York Times bestselling author of young adult and middle-grade fantasy fiction and a 2022 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Work for Youth and Teens. Her work has been translated into three languages. The former educator credits her nomadic lifestyle and humble inner-city beginnings as inspiration for her novels. When she’s not writing, Elle can be found on the hunt for new desserts sans Chocolat, looking for literally any excuse to get dressed up, and road-tripping her way across the country with her two dogs in tow.


Happy Reading!
 
Friday, June 23, 2023

Feature Friday ARC Review: The Shadow Sister by Lily Meade

*Feature Friday ARC Review is a meme hosted by The Tattered Page to review books not yet released.  

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release Date: 
June 27, 2023
Pages: 336
Genre: Young Adult Horror/Thriller
Source: ARC 

THE STORY:

Sutton going missing is the worst thing to happen to Casey, to their family. She’s trying to help find her sister, but Casey is furious. And she can’t tell anyone about their argument before Sutton disappeared. Everyone paints a picture of Sutton’s perfection: the popular cheerleader with an entourage of friends, a doting boyfriend, and a limitless future. But Sutton manipulated everyone around her, even stole an heirloom bracelet from Casey. People don’t look for missing Black girls--or half-Black girls--without believing there is an angel to be saved.

When Sutton reappears, Casey knows she should be relieved. Except Sutton isn’t the same. She remembers nothing about while she was gone—or anything from her old life, including how she made Casey miserable. There’s something unsettling about the way she wants to spend time with Casey, the way she hums and watches her goldfish swim for hours.

What happened to Sutton? The more Casey starts uncovering her sister’s secrets, the more questions she has. Did she really know her sister? Why is no one talking about the other girls who have gone missing in their area? And what will it take to uncover the truth?
LINK: Goodreads 


RATING

ONE-WORD REVIEW: CREEPY

TAG LINE: 
She came back. Is it a miracle . . . or a curse?

OPENING LINE: My sister is a bitch, but that doesn’t mean I want her dead.


REVIEW:

Huge thank you to Sourcebooks for providing me with an advanced reader copy of THE SHADOW SISTER!

THE SHADOW SISTER follows Casey, whose sister comes back from the dead. Changed. Still, before Sutton’s strange reappearance, they have a huge fight that left Casey furious with her “perfect” sister. However mean and manipulative Sutton was, though, Casey never wanted her dead.

Now Casey must maintain her family’s image and pretend everything is great again while she tries to come to terms with Sutton’s sudden reappearance and strange behavior. All the while trying to uncover her sister’s secrets. What really happened to Sutton? And who is this creature whose taken her place? But how far will Casey go to find answers? Just how much is she willing to sacrifice?

THE SHADOW SISTER is a creepy, fast-paced YA Horror/Thriller with angst and mystery. The premise is interesting and my kind of creepy. The pacing is just right for the unfolding of the mysterious story, and the characters are dynamic. All in all, THE SHADOW SISTER was quick, interesting, and worth the read.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


I was born and raised in Washington state (the one with coffee, not congress), the second oldest and only girl of four. I like to think I was a cool kid (my mother was an ice cream lady, I mean… come on), but that is debatable. I believe stories have power. I strive to live by the motto of a life inspired by fiction. I come from a background of extreme poverty (I've been homeless twice!) and live with a chronic illness, so I know just how powerful hope can be when you're on a difficult journey. I believe anyone can achieve their own happy ending, no matter how bleak things may currently seem. I'm a passionate advocate of at risk youth outreach and reading programs. My debut novel THE SHADOW SISTER and an untitled second novel will be published by Sourcebooks Fire in 2023 and 2024 respectively. My ultimate career goal is to be hired to write a modern YA reboot of Scooby Doo.


Happy Reading!
 
Friday, June 2, 2023

Feature Friday ARC Review: A Ship of Bones & Teeth by Karina Halle

 

*Feature Friday ARC Review is a meme hosted by The Tattered Page to review books not yet released.  

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Publisher: Self-published 
Release Date: 
May 25, 2023
Pages: 466
Genre: Adult Fantasy Romance
Source: E-ARC 

THE STORY:
A standalone adult dark fantasy pirate romance re-telling of The Little Mermaid from the New York Times Bestselling Author of River of Shadows and Blood Orange.

Princess Maren is a woman with a secret.

Ten years ago, she sold her soul to the sea witch Edonia, giving up a life underwater in exchange for the love of Prince Aerik on land. But after a decade of abuse and misery inflicted by the cruel prince, Maren wants nothing more than to leave him and her royal role behind and find Edonia to reverse the spell.

An opportunity for escape presents itself when the prince and princess are traveling overseas and are taken hostage by a band of notorious pirates, led by the fearsome Captain Ramsay "Bones" Battista. Maren has heard the sordid stories about the infamous pirate--not only is his ship supposedly haunted and crewed by the damned, but that no prisoners ever survive.
 
Fortunately for Maren, she learns that the captain also has a score to settle with the sea witch. With any luck, Maren may be able to get her old life back, even if it's being held in the captain's wicked hands.

But Ramsay gets more than he bargained for when he learns who--and what --Maren is, and that her appetite for revenge, freedom, and bloodlust rivals his.

Meanwhile, Maren finds herself falling for the pirate's dark nature, even as she discovers that Ramsay has a secret more deadly than her own.

When it comes to the high seas, not all monsters lurk beneath the surface.
LINK: Goodreads 


RATING

SPICE RATING: 🌶🌶🌶/5 chilies

ONE-WORD REVIEW: CAPTIVATING

OPENING LINE: There was no moon the day I decided to sell my soul. 


REVIEW:

Huge thank you to Karina Halle and her PR team for an ARC of A SHIP OF BONES AND TEETH!

A SHIP OF BONES AND TEETH was a darkish, gothic, and spicy twist on a beloved childhood fairy tale, and it did not disappoint. The world-building was sweeping and gothic and sucked me in. When I found out Karina was doing a Pirates of The Caribbean and the Little Mermaid mesh-up, I could not have been more excited. When I heard Halle was doing a dark, spicy retelling of The Little Mermaid, I knew I had to read it! And I was totally right! As always, she did not let me down! Just like I could not put this damn book down—I was traveling when I read it for 7 hours straight. Best. Flight. Ever. The story was enchanting and thrilling and dark and didn’t let up. The pacing was perfect, and the balance between action and tension and mystery and spooky vibes and romance was sublime. The characters jumped off the page and stole my heart, the whole morally grey lot of them.

𝒴𝑜𝓊’𝓇𝑒 𝒶 𝒻𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓇 𝒾𝓃 𝓂𝓎 𝓈𝑜𝓊𝓁, 𝒻𝑜𝓇 𝓌𝒽𝒾𝒸𝒽 𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒 𝒾𝓈 𝓃𝑜 𝒸𝓊𝓇𝑒.

Captain fucking Ramsey “Bones” Battista . . . what a hot slab of man beef 🥵. My God, what I would do to take a bite *IYKYK 😉* out of him. He was a possessive and mysterious hunk with a panty-melting mouth.

𝐿𝒾𝓀𝑒 𝓎𝑜𝓊'𝓇𝑒 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓂𝑜𝑜𝓃 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝐼'𝓂 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓉𝒾𝒹𝑒𝓈, 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓇𝓎 𝓉𝒽𝑜𝓊𝑔𝒽𝓉, 𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓇𝓎 𝓃𝑒𝑒𝒹, 𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓇𝓎 𝓌𝒶𝓃𝓉 𝒾𝓈 𝒹𝓇𝒶𝓌𝓃 𝓉𝑜 𝓎𝑜𝓊, 𝑀𝒶𝓇𝑒𝓃.

Maren was the little mermaid in the story, but way less docile—in fact, she was a bloodthirsty badass. But she had to find her way back to herself after decade-long, abusive marriage to the cruel and violent Prince Aerik who she gave up her life as a Syren for. Her character journey was so fun to read as she went from a lost girl to a forceful, empowered, ruthless woman.

Marne and Bones’ chemistry was off the charts from the first encounter. The banter? Loved it. The sexual tension? Delicious.

𝒴𝑜𝓊'𝓇𝑒 𝓂𝑜𝓇𝑒 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒶𝓃𝓈𝓌𝑒𝓇 𝓉𝑜 𝓂𝓎 𝓅𝓇𝒶𝓎𝑒𝓇𝓈. 𝒴𝑜𝓊'𝓇𝑒 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒶𝓃𝓈𝓌𝑒𝓇 𝓉𝑜 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓅𝓇𝒶𝓎𝑒𝓇𝓈 𝒾 𝓃𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓇 𝓀𝓃𝑒𝓌 𝐼 𝒽𝒶𝒹. 𝒴𝑜𝓊'𝓇𝑒 𝒶𝓃 𝑒𝓃𝒸𝒽𝒶𝓃𝓉𝓂𝑒𝓃𝓉, 𝒶 𝓉𝓇𝑒𝒶𝓈𝓊𝓇𝑒, 𝒶 𝓅𝑜𝓌𝑒𝓇𝒻𝓊𝓁 𝒸𝓊𝓇𝓈𝑒 𝒾𝓃 𝒾𝓉𝓈 𝑜𝓌𝓃 𝓇𝒾𝑔𝒽𝓉 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝐼 𝐜𝒶𝓂 𝑜𝓃𝑒 𝒽𝓊𝓃𝒹𝓇𝑒𝒹 𝓅𝑒𝓇𝒸𝑒𝓃𝓉 𝓊𝓃𝒹𝑒𝓇 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝓈𝓅𝑒𝓁𝓁.

One qualm about the smut though: Ramsay was dirty, nasty kinky, and I would have loved to really see that on page. We were only given hints of his darker, kinkier nature, and I was dying to read more.

𝑀𝓎 𝓈𝓅𝒾𝓉 𝓁𝒶𝓃𝒹𝓈 𝑜𝓃 𝒽𝒾𝓈 𝒻𝑜𝓇𝑒𝒽𝑒𝒶𝒹, 𝒶 𝓈𝓁𝒾𝓋𝑒𝓇 𝑜𝒻 𝒻𝒾𝓈𝒽 𝒷𝑜𝓃𝑒 𝒾𝓃 𝒾𝓉. 𝐻𝑒 𝑔𝓇𝓊𝓃𝓉𝓈 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓇𝑒𝒶𝒸𝒽𝑒𝓈 𝓊𝓅 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽 𝒽𝒾𝓈 𝑜𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓇 𝒽𝒶𝓃𝒹, 𝓌𝒾𝓅𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒾𝓉 𝒶𝓌𝒶𝓎. "𝒟𝑜 𝒾𝓉 𝒶𝑔𝒶𝒾𝓃," 𝒽𝑒 𝓌𝒽𝒾𝓈𝓅𝑒𝓇𝓈, 𝑒𝓎𝑒 𝒹𝒶𝓃𝒸𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒹𝒶𝓇𝓀𝓁𝓎. "𝒯𝒽𝒾𝓈 𝓉𝒾𝓂𝑒 𝒾𝓃 𝓂𝓎 𝓂𝑜𝓊𝓉𝒽, 𝓅𝓁𝑒𝒶𝓈𝑒." 𝐻𝑒 𝑜𝓅𝑒𝓃𝓈 𝒽𝒾𝓈 𝓂𝑜𝓊𝓉𝒽, 𝓈𝒽𝑜𝓌𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓂𝑒𝒽𝒾𝓈 𝓉𝑜𝓃𝑔𝓊𝑒, 𝓌𝒶𝓃𝓉𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒾𝓉.

See what I mean? I. Am. Sweating. Over. Here.

All in all, I really enjoyed A SHIP OF BONES AND TEETH  and could not put it down. This is a must-read!



𝒯𝓇𝑜𝓅𝑒𝓈 & 𝒦𝒾𝓃𝓀𝓈
✨Captor/Captive
✨Forced proximity
✨Enemies to lovers
✨Morally grey characters
✨Villain gets the girl
✨Monster heroine
✨Found family
✨High-stakes adventure
✨Hidden identities
✨Dirty talk
✨Sp@nking
✨Bond@ge
✨Br@nding
✨R3v3ng3

𝐸𝓁𝑒𝓂𝑒𝓃𝓉𝓈
✨Kinky f#ckery
✨Spooky vibes
✨Gothic fantasy
✨Magic
✨ Sea witches, mermaids, pirates, & more

𝒯𝓇𝒾𝑔𝑔𝑒𝓇 𝒲𝒶𝓇𝓃𝒾𝓃𝑔𝓈
✨Abus3
✨Murd3r
✨Grief and loss
✨Viol3nc3 and gor3
✨Explicit s3xual scenes

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books. Halle is represented by the Root Literary and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.
Connect with Karina

Facebook: https://bit.ly/3LCSTIw
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vo9pq4
Instagram: https://bit.ly/3LHKB21
Join her Reader Group: https://bit.ly/3wAzpQt
Stay up to date with Karina by signing up for her newsletter here: 
https://bit.ly/3PAEqQy
Website: http://authorkarinahalle.com

Happy Reading!
 
Friday, April 14, 2023

Feature Friday ARC Review: From the Grave by Kresley Cole

  

*Feature Friday ARC Review is a meme hosted by The Tattered Page to review books not yet released.  

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Publisher: Self-published 
Release Date: 
April 6, 2023
Pages: 535 
Genre: Adult Dark Romance
Source: E-ARC 

THE STORY:

Kresley Cole’s New York Times bestselling Arcana Chronicles series comes to a spectacular and fiery conclusion in this final installment.

When even the gods hold their breath . . .

To defeat the Emperor and Fortune, Evie, the great Empress of Arcana, must repair her bond with Death, despite the earth-shattering developments between them.

And danger lurks in every shadow . . .

Their allies—a sea witch, a band of roving warriors, and more than a couple of rogues—overcome terrifying obstacles to help them. But when Jack makes a shocking discovery, the fallout threatens to tear their alliance apart.

One girl could deliver salvation—or doom.

If the Empress and her friends can remain united, will their powers be enough to defeat a catastrophic curse on the world, or will hellfire reign forever? The end looms for us all until the best hand wins. . . .
LINK: Goodreads 


RATING

ONE-WORD REVIEW: BITTERSWEET

TAG LINE: 
When even the gods hold their breath . . . And danger lurks in every shadow . . . One girl could deliver salvation—or doom.

OPENING LINE: I watched the drive long after there was no sign of Jack, the love of my life.


REVIEW:

Huge thank you Kresley Cole and Naomi for sending me an advanced copy of FROM THE GRAVE to review!

𝒜 𝒷𝓁𝑜𝑜𝒹𝓁𝑒𝓈𝓈 𝒽𝑒𝒶𝓇𝓉 𝒸𝒶𝓃'𝓉 𝒽𝓊𝓇𝓉.

 am writing this review with a heavy heart. I am so sad to see THE ARCANA CHRONICLES series come to an end. . . but may what a way to go out! FROM THE GRAVE was so worth the wait, even if it did gut me—I still had a smile on my face as I bled out. Bravo Kresley!

FROM THE GRAVE  picked up right where DARK CALLING ends—so no time jumping or flashbacks—and you’re drawn right into the plot. The stakes were high and the romantic angst was higher. Who will win the games? Which Majors will betray their allies? Will Death sacrifice his life so his wife and child can live? Who will claim Evie’s heart when it’s split between two great loves? 

It was a wild ride!

𝐼 𝓌𝒶𝓈 𝓋𝒾𝓃𝑒. 𝐼 𝓌𝒶𝓈 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓉𝓇𝑒𝑒𝓈. 𝐼 𝓌𝒶𝓈 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓋𝑒𝓇𝓎 𝑒𝒶𝓇𝓉𝒽. 𝑀𝑜𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓇𝒻𝓊𝒸𝓀𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝑒𝒶𝓇𝓉𝒽.

Kresley is such a talented writer. Her ability to have a broad cast of fleshed-out characters who each have their own unique voices and navigate a nuanced plot filled with action, romance, angst, witty banter and more attests to Kresley’s talent. The world-building was above measure—detailed and immersive.

Death was devoted, stalwart, and supportive as ever. Jack was steadfast, protective as ever. Both were also selfless when it came to Evie and the baby.

And Evie was annoyingly indecisive as ever. But also, I get it. How does one choose between two such amazing men??? No matter which she chose she’d still lose out. No one really wins.

𝐼’𝓂 𝓈𝒸𝒶𝓇𝑒𝒹 𝑜𝒻 𝓌𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝐼’𝓂 𝒷𝑒𝒸𝑜𝓂𝒾𝓃𝑔. 𝐼 𝓃𝑒𝑒𝒹 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽 𝓂𝑒. 𝐼 𝓃𝑒𝑒𝒹 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝒜𝓇𝒾𝒸.

All in all, I am obsessed with FROM THE GRAVE  and highly recommend THE ARCANA CHRONICLES to anyone who will listen. Please go read the series if you haven’t, you will not regret it!


TROPES & TRIGGER WARNINGS:

- Love triangle
- Teen pregnancy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the electrifying Immortals After Dark paranormal series, the young adult Arcana Chronicles series, the erotic Gamemakers series, and five award-winning historical romances. A master’s grad and former athlete, she has traveled over much of the world and draws from those experiences to create her memorable characters and settings. Her IAD books have been translated into 23 foreign languages, garnered three RITA awards, a RWA Hall of Fame induction, and consistently appear on the bestseller lists, in the U.S. and abroad. Cole lives in Florida with her family. 
Learn more about Kresley at: www.kresleycole.com & www.thearcanachronicles.com
Email her at: Shanteltessierassistant@gmail.com


Happy Reading!
 
Friday, April 7, 2023

Feature Friday ARC Review: The Sacrifice by Shantel Tessier

 

*Feature Friday ARC Review is a meme hosted by The Tattered Page to review books not yet released.  

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Publisher: Self-published 
Release Date: 
April 6, 2023
Pages: 535 
Genre: Adult Dark Romance
Source: E-ARC 

THE STORY:

HIS LADY

A Lord is to marry after he graduates from Barrington University, an elite college for the rich. A Lady’s job is to help him fit into a world unaware of his secret society. The Lord does not get to choose who he spends the rest of his life with. But there is always an exception to the rule. And I just so happen to be his.

I VOW. YOU VOW. WE VOW.

I was to wed a Lord of my parents’ choosing. Wealth can’t buy you everything, or I would have had freedom years ago. Instead, my strict parents made sure I lived a dull life in a mansion resembling a prison.

But on my wedding day, I was handed over to another man—an even more ruthless Lord that my family hated.

Tyson Riley Crawford only wanted me for his revenge. I’m nothing more than a debt to be paid. I didn’t have a say in the matter. So when I said my vows before the congregation, I knew I’d break them. Consequences be damned.

Too bad I underestimated my husband and didn’t realize he was more determined to punish me than I was to succeed at escaping. He’ll make me choke on those words I used to bind myself to him.

Yet even he couldn’t have seen what our future held. Ultimately, we’re all just pawns in a game that none of us can win unless you’re willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice … and even that may not be enough.
LINK: Goodreads 


RATING

ONE-WORD REVIEW: HOTTTT

TAG LINE: 
Blood is required to solidify their marriage. Only death will release them from their oath.

OPENING LINE: “As a Lord, one must prove to us that we can count on you.”


REVIEW:

Huge thank you Shantel Tessier and Candi for sending me an ARC of THE SACRIFICE!

Shantel Tessier delivers once again!

My first book by Shantel was THE RITUAL and it hit every one of my sweet book trope spots so I was excited to read THE SACRIFICE. And she did not disappoint!

“𝒲𝑒𝓁𝒸𝑜𝓂𝑒 𝓉𝑜 𝒽𝑒𝓁𝓁, 𝓁𝒾𝓉𝓉𝓁𝑒 𝒹𝒶𝓇𝓁𝒾𝓃𝑔. 𝒴𝑜𝓊’𝓁𝓁 𝑜𝓃𝓁𝓎 𝒷𝑒 𝒶𝒷𝓁𝑒 𝓉𝑜 𝒸𝓇𝒶𝓌𝓁 𝒶𝓈 𝒻𝒶𝓇 𝒶𝓈 𝓂𝓎 𝒸𝒽𝒶𝒾𝓃𝓈 𝓌𝒾𝓁𝓁 𝒶𝓁𝓁𝑜𝓌 𝓎𝑜𝓊.” 

Ever since meeting Tyson in THE RITUAL, I was curious about him and couldn’t wait to read his story. Tyson was HOTTT and dark and dominating. He was also possessive and clever and mean.

𝒴𝑜𝓊 𝑒𝒾𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓇 𝓌𝒾𝓁𝓁𝒾𝓃𝑔𝓁𝓎 𝓌𝒶𝓁𝓀 𝒹𝑜𝓌𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝒶𝒾𝓈𝓁𝑒 𝓉𝑜 𝓂𝑒, 𝑜𝓇 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒸𝓇𝒶𝓌𝓁 𝑜𝓃 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝒽𝒶𝓃𝒹𝓈 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓀𝓃𝑒𝑒𝓈 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽 𝒶 𝒸𝑜𝓁𝓁𝒶𝓇 𝒶𝓇𝑜𝓊𝓃𝒹 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝓃𝑒𝒸𝓀 𝓌𝒽𝒾𝓁𝑒 𝐼 𝒹𝓇𝒶𝑔 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒷𝓎 𝒶 𝓁𝑒𝒶𝓈𝒽.

The spice was chef’s kiss! Dark and spicy and plentiful. Well done, Shantel!

Now for some of the bits, I didn’t care for. For the most part, Laiklyn was too meek for me. She literally thought Tyson murdered her sister and then forced her to marry him but yet never raged against him or asked questions. That character flaw drove me crazy! So, when Lake grew a backbone for like two seconds, I literally pumped my fist in the air—wish we got to see more of that side of her.

"𝒟𝑜𝓃'𝓉 𝓊𝓃𝒹𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓈𝓉𝒾𝓂𝒶𝓉𝑒 𝓂𝓎 𝒶𝒷𝒾𝓁𝒾𝓉𝓎 𝓉𝑜 𝒽𝓊𝓂𝒾𝓁𝒾𝒶𝓉𝑒 𝓎𝑜𝓊, 𝒹𝒶𝓇𝓁𝒾𝓃𝑔. 𝐼𝓉 𝓌𝒾𝓁𝓁 𝒽𝒶𝓅𝓅𝑒𝓃. 𝐵𝓊𝓉 𝓇𝒾𝑔𝒽𝓉 𝓃𝑜𝓌, 𝐼'𝓂 𝑔𝒾𝓋𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒸𝒽𝑜𝒾𝒸𝑒 𝑜𝒻 𝒾𝓉 𝒷𝑒𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒶𝓃𝑜𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓇 𝓉𝒾𝓂𝑒 𝒾𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓅𝓇𝒾𝓋𝒶𝒸𝓎 𝑜𝒻 𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝒽𝑜𝓂𝑒, 𝑜𝓇 𝒾𝓃 𝒻𝓇𝑜𝓃𝓉 𝑜𝒻 𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓇𝓎𝑜𝓃𝑒 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝓁𝑜𝓋𝑒."

As for the plot, it was very murky—which is both good and bad. We didn’t know what was driving Tyson to force Lake to marry him. We didn’t know the actual villain’s motive either. And, honestly, a couple of the plot threads didn’t make sense. But it was a fun, hell of a ride trying to make sense of it all—*spoiler alert: like why did Luke and Whitney get married? What was the purpose?* Be prepared for plot twists on top of plot twists. 

Also, some story threads were left untethered—they weren’t followed through. For example, when Lake’s asshole father gave her the cell phone to keep in contact with her about Initiations and whatever other nefarious plans he had for her, nothing ever came of it. It was essentially “cleared up” by saying she simply forgot about it—how convenient.

Lastly, don’t expect the villain's motives to tidy up until the Epilogue. I was confused and annoyed as to why we weren’t told WHY the villain did what they did. I don’t know about you, but I need to know what the driving force of the plot in the book I’m reading is. In my opinion, waiting until the Epilogue to spell it out was too late. 

“𝒮𝑜𝓂𝑒𝓉𝒾𝓂𝑒𝓈 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓋𝒾𝓁𝓁𝒶𝒾𝓃 𝒾𝓈 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝑜𝓃𝓁𝓎 𝑜𝓃𝑒 𝓌𝒽𝑜 𝓌𝒾𝓃𝓈 𝒷𝑒𝒸𝒶𝓊𝓈𝑒 𝓃𝑜 𝑜𝓃𝑒 𝑒𝓁𝓈𝑒 𝒾𝓈 𝓇𝓊𝓉𝒽𝓁𝑒𝓈𝓈 𝑒𝓃𝑜𝓊𝑔𝒽 𝓉𝑜 𝒻𝒾𝑔𝒽𝓉 𝒽𝒾𝓂.”

All in all, I really enjoyed THE SACRIFICE and recommend it to anyone who enjoys dark romance. Please see the tropes and trigger warnings below.


TROPES & TRIGGER WARNINGS:

Non-con/Dub-con
- CNC
- Breath Play
- D3gradation
- Butt play 
- Bondage
- Pun!shment
- Virgin h
- Implied/referenced r@pe
- Graphic depictions of violence & serial unaliving
- Forc3d Marriage
- Forc3d proximity
- Revenge

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Shantel is a USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author. She lives in Oklahoma with her high school sweetheart, who is a wonderful, supportive husband and their two daughters. She loves to spend time cuddled up on the couch with a good book. Although she has a passion to write, her family is most important to her.
Email her at: Shanteltessierassistant@gmail.com


Happy Reading!
 
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