Posted in Book Review

The Warlord by Gena Showalter

Read Dates: August 10, 2021 – August 12, 2021
Date Published: April 20, 2021
Source: Owned signed and DOODLED hardback

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For centuries, Taliyah Skyhawk has prepared to become Harpy General, leader of the deadliest female army in existence. One of the requirements? Remain a virgin. But, for a chance to save her people, she must wed the fearless leader of the Astra Planeta, Alaroc Phaethon.

The time has come for Roc to sacrifice another virgin bride to his god. There has never been a woman alluring enough to tempt him from his path. No warrioress powerful enough to overcome his incredible strength. No enchantress desirable enough to make him burn beyond reason. Until now.

With the clock ticking, war between husband and wife ignites. Except Taliyah never expected the merciless king to challenge the future she once envisioned. She certainly never anticipated the thrill of their battles turning into games… The problem is, only one spouse can survive.

Love is a battlefield in Showalter’s The Warlord.

Well well well. What do we have here? A new favorite Showalter couple to add to the top of my list? Roc and Taliyah. Who’d have known? I sure wouldn’t have.

I’ve never been a hero. I’ve never wanted to be. I make a better villain.

I honestly thought, before reading this, that I wasn’t going to care for these characters too much. It sounded too much like another couple I had already read and disliked. *cough* William *cough*. Anyway, I was wrong. I liked Roc from the very start. I don’t know what it was about him but he had me. 100% had me. Taliyah was also incredibly enjoyable to read. I enjoyed reading about her history and REALLY enjoyed her spirit. I only rolled my eyes at her like… I don’t know… twice?

“I hear you’re holding auditions for Bloodthirstiest Harpy, and I’m here for my reading.”

The two of them together… even better.

They both learn and grow together so much more fluently than some of the other couples in the series and it made me feel like it was actually a genuine relationship. Some of the others I’ve read felt rushed or like they just straight hated each other and then it all changes at the drop of a hat. This was not that. These two were actually logical people who only wanted to protect themselves and the people they loved. And when they came to realize there was a new “people they loved”, they changed their actions accordingly. Love it. Top notch.

Something else I really enjoyed was the ending. I was reading and reading and realized there weren’t but a handful of pages left and I panicked. So often I find the end coming in a rush and feeling a bit ridiculous… but… THIS ONE MADE SENSE. It was beautiful. I followed it. It was logical. It wasn’t a giant leap and then a sudden crash. It built tension, the tension grew and grew, I realized I had stopped breathing and then BOOM. The climax hit. (For the plot… c’mon get your mind out of the gutter…) But this climax didn’t crash and burn. It hit and it made me read faster. I needed to know how this was going to play out! I needed to know what was going to happen next!

And THAT, my friends, is what I like in an ending. Don’t give me everything in two pages. Build it, work it, let it linger, let it whack me in the face, and then let it plateau for a while. Let the tension stay high for a few pages before you give me my reprieve.

For me, that’s one of the biggest things that set this book apart from most of the other Gena books I’ve read.

If you’ve read any of Gena’s other books, you may be excited to see some other characters you’ve already met. Which ones though?? Hmmmmm? That was a pretty cool part of the book. I must say I get excited when I see people I know. Especially when their stories have already been told and we’re seeing them on the other side of it.

These were two genuinely wonderful characters who played out perfectly and in line with their personality types. I truly enjoyed this book so much.

This book wasn’t so predictable that I could see the ending from the very beginning. I was along for the ride and learning as I went which was another beautiful thing about this story.

I should probably apologize for my tardiness, and I will, just as soon as I’m sorry. As your men are proving with their nineinch salutes, I’m totally worth the wait. Well, he’s giving me ten.” She winked at Silver. “Bravo, sir.”

So, all that being said… there is a second Warlords book coming out February 1, 2022. I have to say, I’m not all that excited for it. I’d rather have had Ian’s story or Roux’s. Even Silver’s! But we’re getting Halo’s. And while I understand why we’re getting his next, I’m not super excited. He was probably my least favorite character throughout this entire story.

Will I end up picking it up anyway? *sigh* Probably. When it comes to Gena I’m like a moth to a flame. I can’t stay away. The little temptress.

I’ll tell ya what I WILL be picking up (as I have already preordered it..) This little diddy:

FINALLY, we get Viola’s book. It’s set to release December 7, 2021, which seems like a LIFETIME away, but I’ll be there for it. I’m a little saddened to see Viola just gets a novella and not a full blown book. I bet Viola would feel the same way, honestly. The keeper of narcissism deserves the biggest book in the series! Am I right?
But regardless, I will be devouring that book the day it hits my kindle. Keep your eyes peeled!

If you’re curious about my mention of a signed and DOODLED copy of The Warlord, let me just boast a moment. So, I never win anything… ANYTHING. But I won this copy of the Warlord from a really hard “find the differences” challenge given to Gena’s Legions by Gena’s tricky little minx of a social media manager, Naomi. I was so excited I SQUEALED when Naomi posted that I was the winner. Here’s a picture of the doodle inside. I will cherish it forever. 💛

✌💛

Posted in Book Hype, Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal: Romancing the Gravestone by Gena Showalter and Jill Monroe (Artwork by Leni Kauffman)

I am so incredibly pumped and honored to be able to bring you guys the cover of Romancing the Gravestone which is set to release September 27th!

Gena Showalter is one of my all-time favorites and this time she is teaming up with Jill Monroe to bring us another sensuous story. These two authors are phenomenal and I can’t wait to see what their forces combined will bring us.

Let’s not waste any time here…

She suspects everyone of everything. Sometimes she gets it right.

Jane Ladling is the sole proprietor of her family’s landlocked cemetery, Garden of Memories. She’s responsible for the, er, guests, but there’s a slight problem. Well, besides her moody cat, Rolex, and her sixty-two-year-old best friend’s unrequited crush on the sheriff. An extra body now rests in Plot #39.

Enter Special Agent Conrad Ryan. He’s gruff, he’s gorgeous, and oh, yes, he kind of suspects her of murder. What’s an innocent—and very single, not that it matters—girl to do? Solve the crime herself. Even if she must turn the small town of Aurelian Hills, Georgia upside down. 

The only line she won’t cross? Falling for the first man to make her heart flutter. Nope, not happening. Not even a little.

Would you LOOK at this cover!?

This amazing artwork is done by the wonderful Leni Kauffman who is no stranger to creating artwork for romance novels. She has created her fair share of beautiful covers as well as her own independent illustrations. To see all of her incredible works, here are some links to her social media outlets and her personal website.
Instagram
Twitter
Personal Website

This book is available for preorder using the following links (more to come!):
Barnes & NobleAmazon
If you’re interested in learning more about the authors or seeing some of their previous works you can find them on
Instagram:
Gena ShowalterJill Monroe
Twitter:
Jill Monroe
Facebook:
Gena ShowalterJill Monroe
Or their respective websites:
Gena Showalter

Happy pre-ordering everyone!
✌💛

One more picture because I loooooooove this one!
Posted in Book Review

Heartless by Gena Showalter

Read Dates: June 29, 2021 – July 2, 2021
Date Published: June 29, 2021
Source: Kindle ebook

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From Goodreads:

Kaysar the Unhinged One, fae King of Midnight, can drive anyone to madness with his song. A ruthless warrior forged in hate, he lives to force his enemies to their knees. He will stop at nothing to succeed—even abducting and seducing his foe’s beloved bride to ensure his own child one day sits on the male’s throne. Except, his prize escapes to the mortal realm before the first kiss, her heart transplanted into a human beauty with dangerous secrets…

Chantel “Cookie” Bardot is a professional gamer girl great at trash-talking, bad at peopling. After a long-awaited surgery, she begins to morph into a powerful fae princess. Catapulted into a strange land ruled by a cruel but seductive villain, she must battle flesh-and-blood monsters and navigate royal intrigues. But the true danger is Kaysar, whose every wicked touch tempts her beyond reason. Should she run…or descend into the darkness with him?

Gena does it again. She creates another round of characters who are completely unique despite the amount of characters she has already created in numerous past books. Not only are these characters unique but they remain true to their ideals the same way all her other characters in all the other universes she has created have done.

Kaysar is a man obsessed with vengeance. Vengeance for the things he has endured and the things he has lost. He cares not who dies by his hand, unless they happen to be someone he deems worthy of survival so that he might torture them for the remainder of their lives.

…the tattoo on his bicep. A snake curled into a figure eight, eating its own tail, with a sword running through its center. His kingdom’s symbol, meaning “eternal war.”

Cookie is a mortal in need of a heart transplant. Once she finally receives her new heart, she finds herself morphing into a fae princess from the very realm Kaysar is from. Cookie has always had a lust for murder and violence but has always kept it at bay since the mortal world frowns upon that sort of thing. However, once in Astaria, that all changes once she meets the murder hungry Kaysar and gets a taste of life in a fae realm where anything goes.

“Oh, Kaysar. Isn’t this amazing?” Never had she felt so giddy. So alive. “My first actual battle. They threatened us, and now I get to kill them all by myself.”

This book was incredibly enjoyable and I think I might be holding back half a star for things I may end up getting in future books, but bear with me.

I was pumped for this book because it was called an “Immortal Enemies” book. So my head immediately went to “enemies to lovers” which is one of my favorite things to read. It wasn’t really that, though. I guess they were sort of enemies in the beginning, like, the VERY beginning, but they ended up teaming up rather quickly with separate end goals in mind. Still, not the enemies I was expecting.

These two fought, like, a lot. Though, I didn’t mind it because it kept them both true to their characters. They’re both very strong willed and hard-headed, so it made sense that they would be at odds with each other at some point or another. And they are. For most of the book. There’s always something going on with these two. 9 times out of 10, it’s hilarious. But the last squabble they had was a bit much for me. Another reason for my deduction of the half star, the last squabble and it’s resolve didn’t really work for me. Someone who Kaysar has been at odds with for 70% of the book makes one small comment and that is the thing that makes Kaysar rethink his anger and causes him to apologize to Cookie. Meh. Not really true to his character there… BUT, I think we’re going to see more of these two in future Immortal Enemies books and I’m excited for that. There were a couple of things that were left unresolved and a thing or two that never gave us a sense of finality. But I think we may end up seeing some of that unravel in the future if this series is going to be anything like the Lords of the Underworld series. Regardless, I’ll be here for it because I love Gena and I love these characters she creates.

Look at her. His Briar Rose, the embodiment of destruction and the most breathtaking sight in all the lands.

Now, the violence, let’s talk about the violence.

I loved it. And not in a way that I was just cheering on every death and never thinking the people maybe didn’t deserve to die. When Gena gives us a new character, she tells us what they’re like, what their morals or lack of morals are and she ALWAYS follows through. In that respect, I loved the violence in this book. Most books will tell you the characters are ruthless and violent but they don’t follow through. Gena’s characters most certainly followed through. Mind you, some were spared, mostly by Cookie. BUT, Cookie dished out some carnage too. It was really fun to read if I’m being honest. (And I am.)

I have to mention Peal Jean!!! And Sugars!! It’s not everyday you find a book with a 26 year old living with a 62 year old who is also her best friend. And Sugars the cat… I love cats, and the fact that Sugars was thrown into this and described as a “panther” made me picture my house panther throughout the book. Those two were a lot of fun to read and just as combative and chaotic as Cookie.

All in all, this was a good read. Gena’s book are written in a way that they seem like they’ve flown by. You look down and realize you’re suddenly 75% of the way through the book when you literally just started it a couple hours ago.

If you like steamy sex scenes, a couple that bickers but always finds their way back together, 62 year old roommates with a great sense of humor, and absolute, total, unrelenting CARNAGE… this is your book. Go get it. Go read it. Go love it. It’s a good one.

“Sometimes you can’t see the end until you get to the middle.” A trick she’d learned sacking digital fortresses. “Imma go get in that middle.”

✌💛

Posted in Book Review

The Darkest King by Gena Showalter

Read Dates: March 12, 2020 – March 26, 2020
Date Published: February 25, 2020
Source: Owned (and signed) Hardback

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From Goodreads:

To become a king of the underworld at long last, William must resist an irresistible beauty—or a curse will ensure his end…

A merciless prince feared by all…

Cursed by a vengeful witch, William of the Dark will die if he ever falls in love—murdered by the woman who steals his heart. His lone shot at redemption is a book filled with indecipherable code. Break the code, break the curse. Now, centuries later, he’s condemned to a string of one-night stands…until he finds the only woman in the worlds able to set him free.

A rare creature of myth and power…

One of the last living unicorn shifters, Sunday “Sunny” Lane works from the shadows as a cryptanalyst, on the run from assassins and poachers. Then the darkly seductive William abducts her, holding her captive in Hell. The closer they get, the more she hungers for his touch…and the stronger a mystical desire to kill him becomes…

But which desire will prove stronger—lust or death? And who will give in first?

When I came to you guys with my review of The Darkest Warrior, I already told you all I wasn’t going to care for this book. Anddddd I didn’t. Look, I went into this with an open mind. I really did try. But William’s character is SO ridiculous. I know some people love him for it but I am the exact opposite.

Sunny, however, was brilliant. For the most part. Of course, like most of these paranormal romance books, she made terrible decisions. That’s to be expected. But I really enjoyed how she was kept true to her character. The species she is is known for their inability to lie and their ability to identify a lie from truth. I did enjoy how that was kept consistent throughout.

When it comes to the meat of the story… there really isn’t any. We go back and forth with this book that has cursed William and Sunny deciphering small parts of it at a time. This book isn’t so much about them deciphering the book and falling for each other. It’s more so a book about two people who enjoy torturing each other and find ways to annoy each other throughout the entire story.

There was a moment really close to the end when I started to gain a shred of hope. I started to feel like things were getting interesting. Everything was all chaos and uncertainty and I was getting really excited…

And that’s when the bomb went off.

The bomb that ended the book.

So here’s my thing… if you like a book about two people whose sexual tension is at an 11 throughout, who also enjoy finding ways to annoy each other, who also enjoy making the other jealous… then by all means, read this.

But if you’re looking for a good romance book with a decent plot and a good ending to bring it all together… well, this isn’t the one.

If you ask me, the book didn’t even matter according to the ending… or… the ending didn’t even matter according to the book. One of those. There was absolutely no point. And you CANNOT tell me that after living with this curse for 100s of years, ol big ego, self destructive Willy wouldn’t have tried to do exactly what they did at the end. It just doesn’t make sense. I’m trying not to spoil anything here but I’m getting fired up again about a book I read MONTHS ago. SOS

Anyway… 3 stars. In summary: I enjoyed some parts. The characters were alright. Not the greatest plot. Terrible ending.

I’ll be taking a break from paranormal romance for a bit until Gena’s next release comes out (Heartless). Now that one sounds like a book I can get behind. Enemies to lovers? Not sure about the heroine’s name being Cookie but we’ll see how it goes. Until then, I am going to try my best to finish my current read which is the latest from Leigh Bardugo (one of my all time favorite authors), Rule of Wolves. My kid just turned one so I’ve been planning parties, making food, setting up parties, and entertaining family who have come into town. And yes. I mean parties as a plural. We had two.

Anyway, until next time! 🙂

Posted in Book Review

The Darkest Warrior by Gena Showalter

Read Dates: February 25, 2021 – March 12, 2021
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Source: Owned paperback

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

He is ice…

Puck the Undefeated, host of the demon of Indifference, cannot experience emotion without punishment, so he allows himself to feel nothing. Until her. According to ancient prophecy, she is the key to avenging his past, saving his realm and ruling as king. All he must do? Steal her from the man she loves—and marry her.

She is fire…

Gillian Shaw has suffered many tragedies in her too-short life, but nothing could have prepared the fragile human for her transition into immortality. To survive, she must wed a horned monster who both intrigues and frightens her…and become the warrior queen she was born to be.

Together they burn.

As a rising sense of possession and obsession overtake Puck, so does insatiable lust. The more he learns about his clever, resourceful wife, the more he craves her. And the more time Gillian spends with her protective husband, the more she aches for him. But the prophecy also predicts an unhappily-ever-after. Can Puck defeat fate itself to keep the woman who brought his deadened heart back to life? Or will they succumb to destiny, losing each other…and everything they’ve been fighting for?

“To save us all, wed the girl who belongs to William of the Dark…she is the key…” “Bring your wife to our lands and lead the dark one here after. Only the male who will live or die for the girl has the power to dethrone Sin the Demented.”

LOOK. I’ve seen a lot of people throw a whole lot of shade at this book because of Puck being a “goatman”. They say “aww Gena, you put Gillian with a GOATMAN?!” Everyone wants to see Gillian end up with William after all these books and their storyline running together all this time but listen… I’m about to drop a super unpopular opinion on ya’ll. I DON’T EVEN LIKE WILLIAM. Seriously. He exudes that big ego energy where he thinks women are a lesser breed. He can never take Gillian seriously. Not ever. Baden’s book. This book. It doesn’t matter. He thinks she’s so helpless even after she becomes a warrior QUEEN who can absolutely kick his butt. He was never worthy of Gillian. Sorry not sorry.

So anyway… this book was pretty good if you ask me. I really enjoyed Gillian finding her man. The one who will fight for her to the death and trusts her enough to fight beside her. The one who treats her as an equal and makes sure she’s always comfortable and her needs are met.

I’ll admit. There were times in the beginning of the book where I was getting really aggravated with Puck as he was treating her like a prisoner and telling her to get over herself. I had to keep reminding myself that this was the harsh reality of housing the demon of indifference. It makes sense and I get it. It just made me sad a few times.

I’ve never really cared for Gillian when I’ve encountered her in Gena’s other books. But in this one… she is finally able to become the person she’s always strived to be. She’s strong. She’s independent. She doesn’t take crap from anyone. I just really enjoyed her personality shift. I also really enjoyed her honesty. Her character cares a lot about honesty and doesn’t like being lied to. I love that when Gena gives a character a trait like that, she follows through and makes sure they uphold the same standards for themselves.

“It was a truth universally acknowledged that a married girl in possession of a dagger would eventually stab her husband,” Gillian muttered, hurrying to keep up with Puck.

Puck. Let’s talk about Puck. I don’t know why but I’ve always liked Puck. Since I met him in Baden’s book even. I’ve just always had a thing for him. Luckily I’m not so shallow as some of these other readers who write him off because of his goat legs… ughh. Whatever. You guys suck. Regardless of the presence of Indifference, he tries his best to meet Gillian’s needs and keep her safe while also acknowledging that she can take care of herself. He’s just such a breath of fresh air. I loved reading his chapters more than I loved reading anyone else’s. He may just be one of my favorite Lords thus far. I think Gillian made off better than pretty much anyone else, honestly. I mean… dang.

Congratulations, lass. You’ve defeated me.”

Anyway, if you’re a Gena fan and you’ve been reading the Lords series for a while and you were iffy on finding out about Gillian and Puck, I recommend finding out. It was a very enjoyable read and from here… I guess I’m going to go ahead and dive into ol’ Willie’s book. Not that I want to… because I really don’t. I’m telling you… I’ve never liked William. Maybe his book will redeem him for me. (I’m highly doubting it.)

“Be warned now,” Puck said. “Let there be no misunderstandings between us. I won’t let you go. I will do whatever proves necessary to keep you, and I will choose you over anything. Life will no longer be about what is best for others or me. Life will be about what is best for Gillian and Puck. We are a team. A family. I will trust you, and you will trust me.”