Posted in Book Review

Ruthless by Gena Showalter

Read Dates: April 2, 2022 – April 8, 2022
Expected Publication Date: July 26, 2022 (hardback & paperback) August 9, 2022 (kindle/ebook)
Source: ARC via Naomi Lane/Gena Showalter for honest review

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From Goodreads:
Forbidden. Powerful. Ruthless. 

Micah the Unwilling, fae King of the Forgotten, can tame even the most violent of beasts. Forged on the battlefield, this iron-willed warrior considers his soldiers his family, and he will stop at nothing to reclaim their dispossessed land. Gearing for war with a sadistic enemy, he is disciplined and focused—until a feral beauty he encountered long ago wanders into his camp. 

Viori de Aoibheall wields a terrifying ability to sing monsters to life. Having spent her childhood in a forest, raising herself and her frightening creations—the only friends she’s ever known—she’s ill prepared for the scarred royal and his fearsome brutality. Not to mention the ferocity of their connection and the carnality of his touch. But the real problem? Her brother is Micah’s greatest foe. And though the sensual king makes her burn, she must stop him, whatever the cost.

Immortal Enemies

Book 1: Heartless
Book 2: Ruthless

Do no harm to the innocent. Protect what’s yours. Always do what’s right. Never be without a backup plan.”

This book is available to pre-order right now wherever you buy books!

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First of all, if you haven’t read Heartless, you should go do that.

I must say, Kaysar (from Heartless), wasn’t really my cup of tea. But Micah? Holy moly. Micah is definitely my cup of tea.

I have read many Gena Showalter books and I’ve met many couples I absolutely adore. This one is now in my top three. Easily.

It looks like it took me 7 days to read this book if you consult my Goodreads account but, nay. I read this in two nights. The night of April 2nd and the night of April 8th. It was INCREDIBLY hard for me to put it down that first night. I was immediately entranced by this story and its characters.

Viori and all her wiles and mischief had me from the start. I was intrigued by the life she lived. Running in the wilds being protected by monsters. The fierce protectiveness they had for her and she had for them. Not to mention when she lets out her RAGE. Her past haunts her and she wants nothing more than to make up for it. She’s just not sure if she can. What she’s done is unforgivable in her mind. I was drawn in by her loneliness but also her resilience. Any foe she befell… fell. All except one….
Micah has had a rough upbringing. He was left in a basket in the middle of the woods as a baby and found by a chimera, like himself, who ended up dying to protect Micah. A young Micah stumbled upon a young Viori sleeping in the forest, but he was unaware of her monster protectors. He carries the scars of the attacks those beasts doled out to protect their fiery, beloved Viori when Micah dared to get too close to her as she slept. Now he’s stumbled upon Viori again, years later. He’s the King of his village. Micah the Unwilling. Micah: the one whose chimera makes people want to literally rip their faces off. He has never been wanted. He’s never felt loved. But he’s continued to protect his people from the monsters that dared attack his village and he’s always kept their best interests at heart. His people come first. He’s relentless and willing (despite his nickname) to do whatever it takes to extinguish any threat to his people.

My heart literally just breaks for Micah. He deserves so much better than the life he was dealt. He deserves better than the reluctance he gets from his people. Ugh. I have such a soft spot for him. I think he’s just become my favorite male lead Gena has ever written. I loved him so much. He’s brutal but he’s kind. He’s relentless but he’s loyal. He is willing to protect any innocent. Vanquish any evil. He’s just… ughh.. I just love him, ok? Leave us be.

If you’ve read Heartless, you know the connection between Viori and Kaysar and the event that we all held our breath for that never came at the end of Heartless like we hoped it would. This book was even better than anything I could have ever hoped for. I laughed. I cried. I got unreasonably angry. Sometimes even unreasonably frustrated. I loved this book so much. I fell in love with these characters and I really fell in love with Micah. I’m going to have to rearrange my book boyfriend list.

Pride said, You mustn’t be the one to initiate contact. He must. But more and more she suspected pride was a buffoon. She wanted what she wanted – him – and she wanted it now.”

There were so many elements to this book that kept me on my toes. Viori’s abilities. Micah’s political issues with a particular neighboring kingdom. Side characters that I couldn’t bring myself to fully trust. I so enjoyed this book! (Did I mention that Micah and I are dating?)

Fight for what’s right, no matter the cost, or you’ll be forced to live with the wrong.”

If you love a good paranormal romance with monsters and wild abilities and heart-wrenching romance, this is it. I was feeling all the feels right there with the couple. My husband walked in while I was sitting here balling like a baby at one point in the book. (Don’t worry, he’s used to it.)

Ugh. Gena. Does it. Again.

Alright, Gena, who’s next? Jareth?? It’s Jareth, isn’t it? Can it please be Jareth?

BRB while I go figure out where exactly in my top 3 this couple has landed. I believe they might have topped the charts. 💛✌

Posted in Book Review

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Dates Read: March 27, 2022 – March 29, 2022
Date Published: May 5, 2016
Source: Owned paperback

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Feyre is a huntress.

She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price…

Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy’s kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor’s body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked – but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre’s feeling for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she’s been told about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows.

Feyre must find a way to break a spell, or lose her heart forever.

Oh hello there. Welcome to my new obsession!

I went into this book not knowing if I was going to hate it or love it. Let me just say, I DON’T KNOW WHERE I’VE BEEN. This book came out in 2015 and the fact that I’m just now reading it is an absolute disgrace. I nearly killed myself staying up nights just to finish this book. I couldn’t put it down! The world-building and the characters and the m a g i c. My goodness, I can’t believe I slept on this series for so long. I’ve got book two on my nightstand awaiting its inevitable doom. Or… I guess… my inevitable doom. Because I’m about to stop sleeping for a few days, I’m sure.

Feyre
What an amazing heroine we have. She steps up to the plate to help keep her family fed when they fall into poverty. Poor girl didn’t deserve the life her mother bestowed upon her but I understand that her mother knew, of all her daughters, Feyre was the only one who would be able to keep her family alive. She’s strong, sharp-tongued, resilient… she’s just such a likable character.

Tamlin
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a crush on this fictional hunk of a man. He’s so quiet and unsure. He’s such a loose cannon. He’s the perfect fit for Feyre, honestly. I enjoyed reading scenes when the two of them finally became acquainted with each other. Tamlin just wants his lands to find peace. He wants to keep the people of his lands safe and fed and cared for.

I love you,” he whispered, and kissed my brow. “Thorns and all.”

Lucien
Who did I enjoy reading more than Feyre and Tamlin? Feyre and LUCIEN. I loved their back and forth banter. I just loved Lucien and his fierce loyalty to Tamlin and his cause. The way you could tell something had broken him earlier on in his life but you weren’t sure exactly what plagued his thoughts. Ok, maybe I had more of a crush on Lucien. I enjoyed every single page with Lucien’s name on it. I can’t wait to see more of him in book two. And three… and… four?? *nervous laughter*

I cannot leave here without mentioning Rhysand. He doesn’t really show up or remain constant in the book until nearly the end but… look… I have a thing for the bad boys and I can tell he’s going to be one. I can’t wait to see where his story goes in the coming books. I need more Rhys!

This world is so much bigger than I could have imagined. The last time I met a book with a world and a plot so grand was when I first read Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone series which bled into her Six of Crows series… which bled into her King of Scars series. Those were some of my favorite books and it seems that this series I’ve finally unearthed from Sarah J. Maas is going to do the same that Leigh Bardugo’s books did for me. Every second I’m not reading more of Feyre and Tamlin and Lucien, I’m itchy with anticipation to get back into their story and find out what happens next.

These are those books that I can get absolutely lost in. I lose all sense of time and forget who I even am and what realm I’m sitting in. I love when a book can transport me into its world and make me feel like I’m a part of it and this series has done just that so far.

There are fae creatures galore. All of them are different than the last and more frightening than the last. Courts of High Fae loom on the borders, some more evil and atrocious than the others. A higher power oversees them all, dishing out an unsettling sense of dread that bad things lie ahead. This book had all the things I love in a fantasy book. Including romance. Sorry. I like those. Sue me.

I will say, the “new adult” label is the most accurate. This book had a couple explicit scenes. In case anyone was wondering.

GO. READ. THIS. BOOK.

And then grow obsessed like I have and immediately order the rest of the series so you never have to wait to read another page of the series ever again.

Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”

✌💛

Posted in Book Review

Unmissing by Minka Kent

Read Dates: March 15, 2022 – March 16, 2022
Publication Date: February 15, 2022
Source: Owned paperback

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Merritt Coletto and her husband, Luca, have the life they dreamed of: a coastal home, a promising future, and a growing family. That dream ends with a late-night knock on the door.

Weak, broken, and emaciated, it’s Luca’s first wife, Lydia. Missing for ten years, presumed dead, and very much alive, she has quite a story. Her kidnapping. A torturous confinement that should’ve ended with her dead. And finally, escape. Racked with guilt over the beautiful life they’ve built, Merritt and Luca agree to help get Lydia back on her feet—it’s the least they can do.

But the more enmeshed Lydia becomes in Merritt’s family, the more questions Merritt has. What is it about Lydia that’s especially unnerving? Why hasn’t she gone to the police with her harrowing tale? What does she really want of them? The answers, when they come, are terrifying.

Because Lydia isn’t the only one with secrets.

Buckle in. This book made me want to rip all my hair out and I’m about to tell you allllllll about it.

Let me start with this: these are my opinions and takeaways from what I read. You might pick this book up and think I’m a complete psycho in need of brain therapy because this book may be a 5-star homerun hitter for you. I never like writing a review that’s going to be negative because I don’t want someone to avoid a book just because I didn’t like it and I have nothing too terribly nice to say about it. I’ve seen plenty of 4 and 5-star reviews for this one.

That being said…

I feel like every passive-aggressive comment comes after those three words… “That being said…”

Anyway. I have many issues with this book. Let’s break them down.

  1. NONE of the characters were likable and I did not connect with anyone.
  2. There were a few inconsistencies that I couldn’t ignore.
  3. The plot was boring. A little bit of drama but eh. Not interesting enough to hold my attention.
  4. It’s a Minka Kent book! I’ve never met one I didn’t like until right now! And this makes me sad…

So. I guess let’s start from the beginning. None of the characters were likable. Legit not a single one. Not even the crazy old lady who takes in Lydia. I didn’t give two craps about a single character. I didn’t have a chance to. Maybe that was the point? None of the characters were supposed to be likable? I don’t know. But this point alone made it incredibly hard for me to trudge through this book.

There were multiple inconsistencies. The biggest, of which, was the characters. Mainly Luca and Merritt. I don’t want to spoil anything here but there’s a moment in the book where their roles TOTALLY swap. Which would have been fine except for the fact that the Merritt I was being sold by the end of the book did not match up in any way with the Merritt from the beginning and middle parts who wouldn’t have been acting the way she was or saying the things she was or doing the things she was. It. Didn’t. Make. Sense. Neither did Luca. I’m supposed to believe that he was able to act as the decision-maker? The guy in charge? The guy whose words were law throughout the first three-quarters of the book? Because the guy at the end was an absolute pansy who didn’t know how to do anything without being told. I’m sorry, but you cannot tell me this same guy was the one actually calling the shots and making people believe it in the beginning. (This one was the most annoying inconsistency for me, can you tell?) I was actually rolling my eyes at the end of the book. That’s how utterly unbelievable the entire thing was.

The plot was boring. I’m pretty sure this exact story was on the news the other night. Classic case of “missing person comes back after everyone they knew has already moved on”. It’s the same old song and dance. This is only the second book I can think of that I’ve read with the same basic plotline. And yet… this one did nothing extra to hold my attention. The first chapter was very interesting. From there I was lost until I got to the end… and then I was just annoyed.

THIS IS A MINKA KENT BOOK. For heaven’s sake, there’s never been a book by Kent that I haven’t liked! The Stillwater Girls was one of the best books I have EVER read. So when I saw this one, I immediately bought a physical copy because that’s how much I trusted her. I read this book in a day and for once it wasn’t because I was loving the Minka Kent book in my hands. It was because I wanted to get it over and done with so I could move on to something else.

It’s literally making me sick to my stomach saying all these negative things about this book but *sigh* this is my honest review. I will, however, stay loyal to Minka and I will continue to read her books as I always have. One bad apple isn’t enough to chop down the whole tree. Or something along those lines.

And for the eight hours that follow, we lie in bed – a married couple pretending to sleep, pretending our life isn’t falling apart or changing in ways we never could’ve anticipated. Feigning, in deafening silence, that everything is going to be perfectly fine come what may.”

As always, I IMPLORE you to read this for yourself if you’re even the slightest bit interested in the synopsis. You never know! What was my least favorite of her books might be your most favorite. You. Just. Never. Know.

✌💛

Posted in Book Review

War by Laura Thalassa

Read Dates: February 6, 2022 – February 23, 2022
Publication Date: July 11, 2019
Source: Owned paperback

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They came to earth – Pestilence, War, Famine, Death – four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.

The day Jerusalem falls, Miriam Elmahdy knows her life is over. Houses are burning, the streets run red with blood, and a traitorous army is massacring every last resident. There is no surviving this, especially not once Miriam catches the eye of War himself. But when the massive and terrifying horseman corners Miriam, he calls her his wife, and instead of killing her, he takes her back to his camp.

Now Miriam faces a terrifying future, one where she watches her world burn town by town, and the one man responsible for it all is her seemingly indestructible “husband”. But there’s another side to him, one that’s gentle and loving and dead set on winning her over, and she might not be strong enough to resist.

However, if there’s one thing Miriam has learned, it’s that love and war cannot coexist. And so she must make the ultimate choice: surrender to War and watch humankind fall, or sacrifice everything and stop him.

We’re back, baby!

Another GEM of a story by Laura Thalassa.

(1) Bend the rules – but don’t break them.
(2) Stick to the truth.
(3) Avoid notice.
(4)Listen to your instincts.
(5) Be brave.
Five simple rules that, while not always being easy to follow, have kept me alive for the last seven years.”

I’m honestly so glad my best friend picked up Pestilence and tempted me to join her in reading these books. I am two books deep and I am NOT disappointed. Pestilence and War have BOTH scored a 5-star rating from me. I’m excited to read Famine and especially… DEATH. *shudders* I’m willing to bet he’s going to be my favorite.

I will say, I teetered between a 4.5 rating and a 5 because I didn’t like these characters as much as I liked Pestilence and Sara. I ultimately decided that I definitely liked all the characters in War and there was no reason to deduct just because I connected with one couple more than the other. I tell ya what I did connect with… that cover art. *drools*

So you would think this book would be no different from Pestilence but… this book had its own feel and its own plot and resolution. I admit I was trying to figure out how Thalassa could concoct four totally different stories that held up by themselves and weren’t full of recycled content from the previous book(s). So far, that has not happened. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized I had no idea where she was going to take these two characters and the many supporting characters in the story.

You are the one He sent me.
“You are my wife.”

Miriam is a strong-willed young girl from Jerusalem who has lost her family and is all on her own. Until War crosses her path. War claims that Miriam is his fated and calls her his wife, holding her within his camp and having his subjects tend to her and guard her.

My favorite thing about Miriam was how real she was. She tried to get away from War at every turn… as most would do when a man is reanimating the dead and allowing them to kill thousands and thousands of innocents.

War gave me some serious Khal Drogo vibes and I was absolutely here for it. Did I mention the cover art? I mean, c’mon.

War is duty-bound. He is driven, much like his brother Pestilence, to carry out the task he was created for. But Miriam challenges him. She throws him curveball after curveball causing him to rethink his entire existence. What follows is heartbreaking and beautiful and soul-crushing and maddening and frustrating and so so touching. This book takes you through it all.

You are painfully human. Your bones want to break, your skin wants to bleed, your heart wants to stop. And for the first time ever, I am desperate for none of those things to happen.”

I’m not gonna lie, I cried. Which, I guess, these days isn’t saying much. Since having a kid I’m a big ol’ emotional wreck.

Another thing I feel I should mention, which I think I mentioned in my review of Pestilence, the author doesn’t romanticize these horsemen of the apocalypse. You are taken through gut-wrenching scenes where the reality of what they are on Earth to do… is done. I, for one, love that about these books. At first, it hurt me. It hurt me deeply. The old couple in Pestilence’s book… omg. But I was more prepared in War’s book and it hit just as hard regardless.

I do highly recommend these books! I can’t wait to start Famine. However, I have found myself newly obsessed with Sarah J. Maas and I must continue on to A Court of Mist and Fury before I totally lose my mind wondering what is going on with Tamlin and Feyre. And… Lucien. *Does a little eyebrow wag*

Anyway, until next time! (Which will be soon because I’m catching up on reviews as we speak!)