Edelweiss ARC: Serpent & Dove

Jul 18, 2019

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

I am so excited! I have received my first Edelweiss ARC - Thank you to Harper Teen for providing the ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I am so excited for this book! Time to download and enjoy! I have been seeing this everyone and tons of people raving about it.

Goodreads sysnopsis:

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou's, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou's most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.


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Review: Personalized Murder

Personalized Murder Personalized Murder by Jeffrey Holt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thank you to the author for reaching out to me asking to review this and this review is of my own opinion.

I did enjoy the book and it was very interesting to see who the author told this story. The book opens great with a series of deaths. It did strike me as a "CLUE" type book. Like - who done it. It is race against the sickness and disease to make sure they can survive. The concept is very good, and It is a strong 4 strong book. The plot was strong and I did very much enjoy the characters.

If you are looking for a good crime/mystery/thriller book! Try this one out.



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ARC Review: Plagued: The Devil Did It by Shakil Somani

Jul 16, 2019

Plagued: The Devil Did It by Shakil Somani
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thank you to the author for reaching out to me asking me to review this on my free will and I am giving my honest thoughts on this.

This is only 53 pages so pretty much what the Goodreads synopsis say, is the story.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Lukas "Kas" Green, a successful British filmmaker and billionaire living in Los Angeles, takes the wrong girl home one night - she turns out to literally be the daughter of the Devil.

The Devil punishes Kas by overrunning his brain with the creativity his film career has been built upon.
Consequently, anytime Kas even thinks about sex, his mind is overcome with sketches and hallucinations.

Kas attempts to cure himself of this plague of ideas and distractions, whilst balancing his movie-making career, the overpowering sketch-like stories in his mind and of course, trying to rejoin the population of Bonetown.



My Thoughts:

I enjoyed the first section of the book but I did get a bit lost. The scenes just flip to fast for me with out really knowing what was going on. He does later on explain that the Devil his the father. A lot of time I don't read the synopsis of books before I read them so I was lost about him until he stated that later in the book. He also then explained that the guy was having hallucinations which explained the sudden jump in the scenes. I think if he would have made it longer and added more into the details at what was going on, then I would have not felt as lost until I hit a point and was like - oh that is what is going on.

The art was very well done. I am not sure I enjoyed the story myself - I was left feeling like I wasn't sure what I read but I do believe this is his debut graphic novel. So in time, the story may progress and I may like it.



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Down the TBR Hole - July 2019

Jul 12, 2019



I have been searching for book tags to do and I came across this book tag on "Bookmarkyourthoughts" Blog and wanted to give it a try. 


This was created by Lia @ Lost in a Story — she has a new blog though called Sunflowers and Wonder!


The Rules
  1. Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
  4. Read the synopses of the books.
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?
  6. Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next week!
I don't know if I will do this weekly but I may try it monthly. I do need to go on there and see what I have an remove some I don't think I am interested in any longer. I will probably start out with 5 then work my way to more the more I do this.



Signs of a Quiet Heart by Teri McGill


When Robbi Bennett, special education teacher extraordinaire, decided to move from New York to California, it was for reasons beyond trading snowstorms for sunshine and surfing. Following the tragic death of her parents, and several doomed relationships, she craved a fresh start; an opportunity to reinvent herself.

Tyler D’Angelo, bad-boy biker and self-proclaimed man-whore, equates love with weakness. For decades, he has kept his heart on lockdown, but meeting Robbi turns his solitary life inside out as they are inexplicably drawn to each other. Can love be strong enough to overcome a lifetime of fear?

Note: There is a cliffhanger involving secondary characters, which does not affect the romance. The mystery is eventually resolved in Book 2, with the assistance of several new characters.

(This story features deaf and hard-of-hearing characters. The story also involves information related to deafness, deaf education, and American Sign Language.)



This has a 3.5 Star rating


Verdict: Delete


Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . .

This has a 3.73 Star rating


Verdict: Keep (I'm intrigued)


Poison's Kiss by Breeana Shields

A teenage assassin kills with a single kiss until she is ordered to kill the one boy she loves..

Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It's a miserable life, but being a visha kanya, a poison maiden, is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.

Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she's really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.



This has a 3.67 Star rating

Verdict: Keep (I'm intrigued)


Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

The last night of the year. Now the days of winter begin and the Goblin King rides abroad, searching for his bride....

All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They've enraptured her mind and spirit and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesel can't help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.

But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds--and the mysterious man who rules it--she soon faces an impossible decision. With time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

Dark, romantic, and powerful, Wintersong will sweep you away into a world you won't soon forget.
  

This has a 3.57 Star rating

Verdict: Delete


Warcross by Marie Lu

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life.

The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down Warcross players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

This has a 4.19 Star rating

Verdict: Keep

Books Removed: 2
Books Kept: 3

Let me know what you thought of my choices, did I make any mistakes? Which books would you have gotten rid off?
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Review requested by author: The Last Stand by Paris Hansch

Jul 11, 2019

The Last Stand by Paris Hansch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Goodreads synopsis:

A priestess, a dragon god—and a lie that threatens to destroy them all.

-------------------------------------

Celia is about to break her vow.

As the head priestess of the most powerful dragon temple in the empire—Celia is a shining example of knowledge, purity, and unquestioning loyalty to the imperial couple, the legendary dragon gods themselves.

Sworn caretakers of their citizens, the priestesses must awaken the power of the spirit arts in others and guide the next generations.

But all is not what it seems.  Everything they've been taught, everything Celia knows, is wrong.

Following Celia's disastrous visit to the capital, she is trapped amidst a chaotic scheme that spans over a thousand years beyond her lifetime… and now she is faced with the ultimate betrayal.

Her Imperial Highness seeks to destroy Celia and her people—the very same people who serve her empire without question.

As the other dragon temple's refugees pour in, Celia is forced to decide where her loyalties lie.

Will she make a final stand against a dragon god and protect her family, or will her loyalty to the gods last until her final breath?

Perfect for fans of strong female leads, intricate magic, complex epic fantasy plots and of course, dragons.   

The Last Stand is a prequel novella to the Empire of the Dragon Gods Trilogy with Book One — The Dragon Princess coming soon.  Sneak peek inside!





     

Thank you to the author Paris Hansch for reaching out to me and asking to review your prequel.

The Last Stand by Paris Hansch is the prequel to start of a new fantasy series - Empire of the Dragon Gods.

I wasn't sure when I went into this book what was going on but wow. I was completely surprised and how the story was unfolding itself about 40 pages in. Take note, this is a very small e-book. I read this on PDF and the actual reading pages was around 80 or a few over. So it was a fast read.

Chaos, Destruction and Rebirth… the three legendary dragon
gods who rescued their people from certain death and brought
peace to all for two thousand years.
Or so the legends say.


The year is 1760 - Year of the Fey Dynasty.


Celia is the Head Priestess of Anadrieth's Dragon Temple and she is the most loyal priestess of her time but she was about to break her vow putting her entire kingdom at harm.

Celia is a school teacher and she is so supposed to awake the child's spirits arts element.

>b>The legend of the dragon gods, not a bad place to start.

“Two of the three dragon gods took pity on our plight,
Destruction and Rebirth—the two lovers who could never be apart.
They crossed from the spirit realm to take on human forms,
forging the empire in an effort to bring peace.
Since the dragon gods control the balance of nature they
brought the four elemental spirits with them, granting humans
the power of the spirit arts to protect that newfound peace.”

But after doing the unthinkable, Celia struggled within herself to protect her people. After returning to her kingdom, her husband and daughter can since something is not right.

When War begins to break out between kingdoms, she find out the Legend of the 3 Dragon Gods are not as they appear. As the kingdom of Anadrieth decide what they need to do when getting word of the war - things for this kingdom will change forever.

The plot and world building of this prequel was very well done. I am very much looking for to the trilogy this world is set in.

I also really enjoyed the letter that Marie (the daughter of Celia) wrote in the of the book. The plea for the readers And so I turn to you dear reader, with my request. Help us spread
the word of the truth to as many people who will listen. Please leave a review so others will discover our tale and know what truly happened here. Help us fight back.


I highly recommend this and cant wait to see where the author takes this series .


     

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Review: The House on the Hill - a poem (Pulitzer prize winning author!) by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Jul 5, 2019

The House on the Hill - a poem (Pulitzer prize winning author!) (Annotated) by Edwin Arlington Robinson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Goodreads Synopsis:


A short poem regarding a house on a hill.
Edwin Arlington Robinson won three Pulitzer Prizes for poetry for his work.

*** AUDIOBOOK MP3 available to buy: Put B00GXKTH6E (that is the Amazon ASIN) in Amazon search box and click on GO. ***

     

Wow.. I did not like this. It was just repeat of the same poems over and over for like 16 chapters. Each chapter was just read by a different reader.

There is not much to say about this since it was only one poem with about 10 lines. It was written about the "house on the hill" Just wasn't impressed. It should have been several poems about the house for each chapter. That would have been better. Maybe telling the story in the poems?

I will pass. Don't recommend.



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Review: The Witch of the Winter Woods: A Paranormal Christmas Tale by Foxglove Lee

The Witch of the Winter Woods: A Paranormal Christmas Tale by Foxglove Lee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Goodreads Synopsis:


This Christmas, Nicole will meet her girlfriend’s parents for the first time. If she makes it there alive…

Nicole couldn’t be more nervous about shaking hands with Darla’s mother and father. Her own family hasn’t exactly been supportive. But on her way to their house in rural Maryland, she nearly collides with a barefoot old woman standing in the road. From there, strange things start to happen. A chase through the snow, a stone cottage in the woods, a raging fire.

Will Nicole make it out alive? 



     

This was a short story. I did listen to this on Scribd. Not sure what I thought would come from it but It was just ok.

The story had a chance to be really good if the author had developed the story more.

We have Nicole and Darla that are dating. Nicole is on her way to meet Darla's family for the first time over the Christmas Holiday. Nicole doesn't understand how Darla's family can be so accepting of her with them being lesbians.

The story spoke about now Nicole had family issues and past issues but nothing went into details about it. It would have been nice to know more of where Nicole came from.

On the way to Nicole's, and only minutes away, Nicole hits a snow storm and seeing an old lady in the middle of the road. She does sway to miss her and like most scary stories - The person always gets out of the car and follows them. She ends up at an old house where the lady lives and all we know is she becomes sleepy and dizzy and ends up passing.

Later she is found on the door step of her girlfriends families house. She later explains about the lady and the house she seen and they went to see the home. The story is then told of the old lady and her past with the town folks as a witch.

The end was a little blink but I do think she was a good witch in the end?? This is also was not a scary story - so if that is what you are looking for this is not it. It did not give you scary vibes. There was a lot of romance mixed into the plot.

Overall it was okay but could have been a good story if it had been longer and with more back ground for Nicole and The witch.





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Review: I Hate Love by Foxglove Lee

I Hate Love


I Hate Love by Foxglove Lee


My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a very fast listen. I found it on Scribd and wanted to something short before I went to bed. I was only 36 minutes and I listen to it at 2.5 the speed so I was done with in 10 minutes with the book. It only had one chapter.

It was hard to really get a good view of what the book was about. We have Mila and Laura that are best friends and Laura is a lesbian and she always watches her best Mila which always talks about guys. What does Mila think about this?

Jaden is the third BFF in the click and is being questioned by the teacher if he is being sexually abused by an older man based on a conversation he heard Mila and Laura talking about. But the girls did not want to reveal the secret their friend was hiding. This could have been investigated more on the teachers side but it was such a short story that I am sure this would have took longer to explain in the book.

I did give it a 3 star because it did have potential to be a good "Book" but it was a very short - short story that I was hard to get the entire story in there.




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2019 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Jul 3, 2019



Welcome to mid year Rustic Beauties! I can’t believe we are already half way through 2019! I am a few days late on posting this but I have never done this tag and I really want to get into the tag part of the blog world.


So far in 2019, I’ve read only 19 books thanks to major reading slump that hit me for 2 months. But I am feeling my love for books again and I am ready to go. So with that being said, I wont have much to choose from on these questions. But here we go anyway.
Ninth House (Ninth House Series #1) by

Gideon the Ninth (The Ninth House #1) by


Username: Evie (Username #1) by
Isabelle from City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by
I haven't had one!
Finale (Caraval #3) by
Finale (Caraval #3) by



Gideon the Ninth (The Ninth House #1) by 



Ninth House (Ninth House Series #1) by



Okay, I think that’s it! I hope you all enjoyed! This is was my first time ever doing this tag and I look forward to doing it every year! I’m already looking forward to what 2020 is going to bring! I love you all so much! Happy reading!



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