Book #53: Enlightenment by Reno Ursal

When Dorothy Dizon meets the mysterious Adrian Rosario and his alluring knowledge of Filipino history, her life takes an unchartered detour. Dorothy’s true calling is connected to the hidden history of the Philippines that Adrian must protect to keep her safe from enemies of his beloved secret society.

Together, they experience a confounding journey that tests their beliefs, their choices ultimately affecting the people they love, leading them to the brink of a new enlightenment they both never expect.

Enlightenment, Book One of The Bathala Series explores the forgotten history of the Philippines through the first-person perspectives of Filipino characters who walk the precipice between friendship and love.

I received a copy of this book for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

I was conflicted. On one hand, I want to really like it, but I can’t. I think I should begin at the beginning.

Well, the moment I saw a book with and about Filipino people, I jumped at it. I am a quarter Filipino and I know nothing about the culture or history. I’m not even in with any of the normal inside household things. I wasn’t raised with that. So, when I saw that the book has something I want to learn about, I went for it.

On one hand, I loved that part about this book. The cultural aspects and history inside was great. I didn’t care that we had to learn through a history lesson for Dorothy, because it felt off when we are already given a lot of information without the explanation during Adrian’s POV.

Aside from that, there really isn’t much in action. You get a nice piece when Dorothy is introduced but then it just sort of flat lines until later on. But, what really bothered me was the ending. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s one of those “how did that happen” kind of endings. Upon retrospection, I guess it makes sense, but I felt cheated and disjointed and confused.

All in all, the book isn’t bad, but it’s not for me. I found it to be a bit bland and I honestly tried to enjoy it.

Final Rating: 2/5

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Book #49: Air and Ash by Alex Lidell

Born to privilege.
Trained for command.
Destined for danger.

After a lifetime of training, seventeen-year-old Princess Nile Greysik, a lieutenant on the prestigious Ashing navy flagship, sails into battle with one vital mission–and fails.

Barred from the sea and facing a political marriage, Nile masquerades as a common sailor on the first ship she can find. With a cowardly captain, incompetent crew, and a cruel, too-handsome first officer intent on making her life a living hell, Nile must hide her identity while trying to turn the sorry frigate battle worthy. Worse, a terrifying and forbidden magic now tingles in Nile’s blood. If anyone catches wind of who Nile is or what she can do, her life is over.

But when disaster threatens the ship, Nile may have no choice but to unleash the truth that will curse her future.

I received an Audible code for an honest review via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

I didn’t know I wanted to read Nautical books until I read this one (okay, there is another one but I feel this one follows the nautical theme more). Our main character, Nile, is a strong and stubborn young woman. Despite her royal blood, she is not a stranger to hardwork and proving you belong in a high stress environment. I truly felt a sort of kinship with her. I could see myself making similar decisions in her case and though she would make mistakes, she would try her best to fix them with what she had.

There is a romantic subplot but the bulk of the story is her trying to prove herself once again but with an assumed identity and new hardship. The amount of learning she goes through is enough to see that she will grow as a character, but true to any first book, she is nowhere near she will be in the end of it all. That isn’t to say she doesn’t change in book one, she does, but it is a small change and more of an eye opening realization that the life she lived before, though difficult, is not the way it is for every ship or person.

Since this is a fantasy, there is a magical element to the book that is described like an illness. Each “gifted” person can attract a specific element and that attraction can cause a physical ailment as a side effect. I loved seeing the cultural differences between one country to another when it comes to the Gifted as well as other life related things. It makes the world large and rich. Something the author and reader could revisit in a different series.

In all, I very much enjoyed this book and plan to read the rest of the series. I am invested in Nile and the crew. Each one has a personality of a person you would see in every day life. Ms. Lidell has done a great job.

Final Rating: 4/5

Book #48: If the Shoe Fits by Laura Greenwood


Even Cinderella didn’t have it this hard…When Sadie goes to the royal wedding against her step-mother’s wishes, she didn’t expect to be swept off her feet by the groom’s brother. Leo is everything she could have dreamed of; charming, handsome, accomplished…the only problem is that he’s also a crown prince.Dare Sadie follow her heart?

I received an Audible code via Audiobook Obsession for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

If the Shoe Fits is a standalone Cinderella retelling set in the same world as her ME series (a series of reverse harem romances). This book is not a reverse harem. It is a contemporary story about a lady of the gentry falling for a man who turns out to be a prince.

This is actually not my first Greenwood book, but I do like this one more than the other book. It is a well written and quick read with a good cast of characters. Cinderella isn’t my favorite fairy tale, but there is something about a retelling that hooks me. This book is a retelling but with a sexy twist.

The narrator was a perfect choice. I could see Sadie, Rita, and Enrique. I also saw Leo, but I didn’t hear a difference in accent. That said, his voice was well done and the narrator was able to separate the characters for the listener.

All in all, I do hope Greenwood will write more fairy tale retellings. I love the modern feel and the royalty/gentry side of things. It was a fun read and I do recommend for someone in need for a quick romance with a fairy tale twist.

Final Rating: 4/5

Book #46: Enhancer 3 by Wyatt Kane

Ty Wilcox has leveled up. Unfortunately, so have his enemies. 
Ty is no longer the loser he had once been. He’s gone from zero to superhero, all thanks to a device on his wrist that brings a hidden power out into the light.

Before Ty came along, only a few of the devices existed. But a secretive villain has learned how to make them, and one of New Lincoln’s most dangerous crime lords has a supply of them as well.

And now, superpowered villains even stronger than Ty are stepping out of the dark.

The balance of power is changing, and not for the better.

Does Ty have the power to stop it, even with his growing team of superheroines at his side?

Warning and minor spoilers: “Enhancer 3” is an 18+ book intended for mature readers. It contains sex, violence, and nudity, but it’s all very tastefully done. It includes very light gamelit elements, occasional bad language, and is set in a cyberpunk alternate future. Most of all, you will find an engaging superhero adventure story with a few unexpected twists.

The Enhancer series was written with one thing in mind: fun. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.

I received an Audible code via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

I have been hooked on the Enhancer series since book one. It is geeky, packed with action, and fun.  Enhancer 3 begins where the second one ends. Ty and team are unsure about Lilith. They are also given a new set of villains and have a ton of devices to find.

I enjoyed this one about as much as I enjoyed the second, possibly more. The characters are growing and there are twists I wasn’t completely expecting. I did not care for Ty’s decisions in this book, but I felt it was true with the character and story. I just hope that what he has done doesn’t end up messing things up in the end.

The twists are making me wonder just what The Master does have planned. I’m also interested to see how the team grows.

The narrator, Chris Graves, is great. However, there was a moment where it seemed Lilith sounded too much like Dinah or the other way around. It was enough to make a mental note of it, but doesn’t take away from the story.  Like the other books previously, there are sex scenes, so take note of that if it bothers you. Honestly, the dynamic of all the characters and their personal lives didn’t bother me as much as I might have thought before starting this series.

I feel Wyatt Kane has written a good group of people who are open with each other for the most part. Except for one individual, but it goes with the story and character development. So, I’m okay with that. All in all, I am definitely going to request book four once it is out.

Final Rating: 4/5

Book #44: Shades of Fury by Heather Renee

Taya’s just been named alpha-in-training. First order of business: avenging her twin brother’s death. 

When Cord connected a rival pack to the disappearances of humans, he paid the ultimate price. Now it’s up to Taya to pick up where he left off and find justice for those who have been harmed.

As she closes in on her brother’s murderer, the threats only escalate. He wasn’t the only target, and now everyone she loves is in danger, further fueling Taya’s need for revenge.

With the help of an irresistible shifter named Liam, they set out in search of the only witch coven strong enough to set things right. Only Taya isn’t sure who to trust and if she doesn’t decide soon, she could lose not only her heart, but the people she loves most.

I received an Audible code from the author for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review

Shades of Fury is the first book in the series. It centers around Taya, a wolf shifter, and her mission to protect not only her pack but also humankind. Right off the bat, I was into this story. You may think this is more romance from the blurb, but I felt it as more an urban fantasy with a romantic element.

The writing is well done. It’s engaging and pulls you in. Likewise, the narrator was a great choice. She gave an already well written Taya a voice. Also, she wasn’t bad with her male voices. I didn’t have any trouble discerning who was who.

As a story, it is fast paced and ends on a cliffhanger. I do want to listen to the second book and I do really like Heather Renee’ as an author. I’m going to have to read more.

Final Rating: 4/5

Book #42: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

I was trying so hard not to finish this series. I’ll be honest. I wasn’t ready to leave this world and leave the Raven Boys and Blue behind. But, when I heard about a new series set in this world was coming out, I knew I had to finish so that I could start that one.

I’m both sad and happy to have finished. Sad because it’s the end. Happy because it was a good end. The book series itself has a very Southern fiction feel in the way it is written. It is slow paced, but the world itself grabs you and keeps a hold of you until the end. And I wasn’t expecting it to end the way it did.

I think a part of me would have liked an epic battle or for the reveal of Glendowyer to be a bit different, but this series isn’t about those things. It’s about the journey, the adventure, and the group of people you surround yourself when doing it. Despite me wanting a bit of something, I can’t say it wasn’t written the way it needed to be written. One because the author has that final decision, but two, because I do see how the true ending fits.

And it fits.

For every character, it fits.

I probably gushed about this series to my best friend for days and I gushed about this specific book for the same amount. The narration is perfect, the writing is perfect, and the story itself is amazing. I love every character. I love the world. I hate to see it finished.

Am I going to get the accompanied trilogy that’s coming out? You bet your ass I will be.

Final Rating: 5/5

Book #41: Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick


A SACRED OATH
A FALLEN ANGEL
A FORBIDDEN LOVE

Romance was not part of Nora Grey’s plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.

My friend, Mack, and I decided to try out Hush Hush after we had read Fallen by Lauren Kate. Whereas she was a quick reader, it took me a while to actually finish the book. That said, when you compare the two fallen angel books, Hush Hush is better in my opinion.

Okay. Let me just start by saying that I found Hush Hush more enjoyable for the entertaining factor. Nora was a more engaging and the minor characters had just a bit more to them as well.

The writing is also better. That isn’t to say Fallen was poorly written. I just mean that Hush Hush had more to it in the narrative itself. There are story plotlines I liked in Fallen and there are ones I liked more for Hush Hush.

However, I wouldn’t say that I cared for the ending per se. The ending isn’t bad and it does go well with the rest of the story. I just found it to be a bit busy.

All in all though, the book was fun and there were moments I actively yelled at characters. I do plan on continuing the series and probably comparing the books with the Fallen series. Because, why not?

Final Rating: 3/5

BLOG TOUR (REVIEW): Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (March 19, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765396734
ISBN-13: 978-0765396730

Praise for NEVER-CONTENTED THINGS
“Sarah Porter is a genius. Her language is lush and dangerous, and her books burn with the beautiful, ferocious intensity of a bonfire in the darkest night. Read Never-Contented Things with the lights on. Then read it again.” ―Brittany Cavallaro, New York Times bestselling author of A Study in Charlotte
“Sarah Porter’s Never-Contented Things creates a creepy new world like none I’ve seen before. Eerie, edgy, and filled with mystery, Porter takes us to the depths of the magical and psychological.” ―Danielle Paige, New York Times bestselling author of Dorothy Must Die
Praise for WHEN I CAST YOUR SHADOW
“You’ll never think of your nightmares the same way again. Darkly seductive. Sarah Porter’s writing glitters and her storytelling stuns in this twisted tale of siblings, love, and death.” —Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of CARAVAL
“Sarah Porter’s darkly imaginative WHEN I CAST YOUR SHADOW intrigues from the start. Tragic and engrossing, filled with nightmarish dreamscapes and menacing villains, it also treads the tender terrain of family, and the strange and sometimes dysfunctional ties between siblings. Highly recommended!” —Kendare Blake, New York Times bestselling author of THREE DARK CROWNS


Seductive. Cruel. Bored.
Be wary of…

Prince and his fairy courtiers are staggeringly beautiful, unrelentingly cruel, and exhausted by the tedium of the centuries ― until they meet foster-siblings Josh and Ksenia. Drawn in by their vivid emotions, undying love for each other, and passion for life, Prince will stop at nothing to possess them.

First seduced and then entrapped by the fairies, Josh and Ksenia learn that the fairies’ otherworldly gifts come at a terrible price ― and they must risk everything in order to reclaim their freedom.

You can purchase Never-Contented Things at the following Retailers:

MY REVIEW
I received a copy from the publisher via Jean Book Nerd Tours for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for the review.

Okay. Right off the bat, this book confused me. Wait . . . I should clarify. It confused me because of the narrative format. The book is written in different point of view clusters where in each piece, the reader only gets a taste of what is going on. I love unreliable narrators and there is an unreliability with each one individually. But together, you see the broader picture.

The book is right away dark and weird. It is about the codependency between two foster children who aren’t blood related, but are seen as siblings. You will feel the creeps with their relationship. You will want to put down the book and either let it fester until you need to keep reading or you eventually DNF. Do not DNF. The story is more than that, more than the weird feels, and more than the fae in the book.

Speaking about the fae, these guys aren’t seen all the time. You do meet them, you do get a feel about them, but they aren’t the focus of the story. They are the vehicle behind the emotional and mental roller coaster Ksenia goes through to find a way to heal and not need someone in an unhealthy way.

I felt that this book was very close to old world fae. If you don’t understand what I mean, I mean old world fae where akin to demons. You don’t eat or drink in their world. You could easily be switched with another. A man once killed his wife because he thought she was a fae changeling. Fae are horrifying. And the power they have is scary.

Now imagine that old world with a modern setting. With two young adults who are trying to navigate their feelings, the world around them, and their queer identities. I could go on and on, but I don’t want to let on the rest of this book. Suffice to say, it is about the power of human connection and trauma. It is about getting lost in your own world in order to find happiness, but never really be in touch with reality. It’s about growing up and finding personal resolution.

Seriously, read this book.

Final Rating: 4/5

Photo Content from Sarah Porter

SARAH PORTER is the author of the Lost Voices Trilogy (Lost Voices, Waking Storms, The Twice Lost) in addition to Vassa in the Night—all for the teen audience. For over ten years she has taught creative writing workshops in New York City public schools to students in grades K-10. Porter also works as a VJ, both solo and with the art collective Fort/Da; she has played venues including Roseland, Galapagos, Tonic, Joe’s Pub, The Hammerstein Ballroom, The Nokia Theater, and the Burning Man festival. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two cats.

WEEK ONE
JUNE 3rd MONDAY JeanBookNerd GUEST POST
JUNE 4th TUESDAY BookHounds YA REVIEW
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JUNE 5th WEDNESDAY Rose’s Book Corner EXCERPT
JUNE 6th THURSDAY Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace REVIEW
JUNE 6th THURSDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW
JUNE 7th FRIDAY Movies, Shows. & Books EXCERPT
JUNE 7th FRIDAY Gwendalyn Books REVIEW

WEEK TWO
JUNE 10th MONDAY Wishful Endings INTERVIEW
JUNE 11th TUESDAY A Dream Within A Dream REVIEW

JUNE 11th TUESDAY Bibliobibuli YA INTERVIEW
JUNE 12th WEDNESDAY Lisa Loves Literature REVIEW
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Book #39: Wolf Blessed By Laura Greenwood

Being a runaway princess isn’t always as fun as people think… 

Stuck in the human realm when the world ended, Rhianna just kept on running…until the wolves at her heels caught up and she uncovered a plot to bring back civilisation in the worst possible way. 

All she has to do, is stop the plot before any more innocents end up dead. 

– 

Wolf Blessed is a paranormal apocalyptic reverse harem and Rhianna’s complete story.

I received an Audible Code through a Facebook group called Audiobook Obsession. This was for an honest review and I was not compensated for this review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone.

First, I should state that even though this book is a reverse harem, I wouldn’t worry. And by worry, I mean that this is not a steamy sexy romance. This is a paranormal apocalyptic book where we see the future of the world after a cataclysmic event that is only mentioned. The romance just happens to be in the book and it isn’t really in your face. It’s more like: “a hot group of guys meet a girl and they work together to stop some bad stuff from going down. Oh and by the way, they are mated.”

That isn’t to say that the book isn’t well written. There were some parts that I was hoping there would be elaboration, but it was a fun read. I know the blurb says that this is the complete story, but I can’t help and think that there is more to it than meets the eye. There is a sequel and perhaps we will see more of what is going on.

The world itself is interesting and leads the reader into wondering all the possible outcomes. I personally don’t think Rhiannon’s story is actually complete, but I do like that there is a continuation of the world.

As for the narration, the narrator was chosen well and I could feel the main character. The male voices were well done and no one sounded exactly the same. All in all, it is a quick and fun read that I wouldn’t mind listening more of.

Final Rating: 3/5

Book #38: The Last Vampire Book 3 by R.A. Steffan & Jaelynn Woolf

I never thought I’d see home again.
Now, I almost wish I hadn’t.

After giving myself up to the Fae, I expected to become the latest casualty of a war that should have ended centuries ago. Instead, I ended up inextricably bound to the last vampire on earth.

My life since the Fae marked me has become unrecognizable. Inside, I’m still the 26-year-old waitress who struggled with working two jobs while being serially dumped by a parade of disgruntled boyfriends. Now, I’ve somehow become a figurehead, coveted and despised in equal measure by two warring supernatural races.

Can I trust the fragile bond connecting my heart to the unbeating heart of a vampire? Every instinct I possess tells me to pull back… protect myself… protect him. But every time I try to run away, I end up back in his arms.

Alliances are shifting. Old resentments are flaring. Both my father and I are now chess pieces in someone else’s grand strategy.

No more. I’m done with being a pawn.
It’s time to up my game.

* * *

The Last Vampire is a steamy new urban fantasy romance series from USA Today Bestseller R. A. Steffan and Jaelynn Woolf, co-authors of the Circle of Blood saga. 

Download Book Three today, and enter a world shared by humans, fae, demons, and one very reluctant vampire. It’s a place where the supernatural threatens the mundane, nothing is as it seems, and love will either be the world’s downfall—or its salvation.

I received an Audible Code via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

This is the third book in an ongoing paranormal romance series about a young woman named Zora navigating her now crazy life. Everyone seems to be out to get her and she only wants one thing, the safety of her estranged father.

I have listened to the previous books and writing wise, I liked the first one but wasn’t impressed with the second. This one, however, is more up to par with the first or slightly better. We get to see the way the demons live and get a larger idea of the world. Events of book one are referenced in a twist I should have seen coming, but didn’t.

The narration is still good and I was pulled into the world. As I stated before, the story itself is better in this one than in the second. It doesn’t feel like a long-winded wait fest and I was actually invested in Zora’s journey again.  I definitely want to know what happens in the future and cannot imagine how Zora and Rains are going to get out of the situation they are currently in.

Final Rating: 3/5