Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Quarantine Release (1)

Welcome to a new feature on the blog! With the ongoing pandemic, I've been thinking about ways to help new books and authors. Many aren't getting the release they expected, from canceled tours to not seeing their book in stores until months after release. This feature will include new releases that I'm personally excited for and books I've seen others mention as excited to read! I will try to be consistent and post on the same day each week, but don't be surprised if I switch around due to the wackiness of life.

Ever Cursed by Corey Ann Haydu

Damsel meets A Heart in a Body in the World in this incisive and lyrical feminist fairy tale about a princess determined to save her sisters from a curse, even if it means allying herself with the very witch who cast it.

The Princesses of Ever are beloved by the kingdom and their father, the King. They are cherished, admired.


Jane, Alice, Nora, Grace, and Eden carry the burden of being punished for a crime they did not commit, or even know about. They are each cursed to be Without one essential thing—the ability to eat, sleep, love, remember, or hope. And their mother, the Queen, is imprisoned, frozen in time in an unbreakable glass box.

But when Eden’s curse sets in on her thirteenth birthday, the princesses are given the opportunity to break the curse, preventing it from becoming a True Spell and dooming the princesses for life. To do this, they must confront the one who cast the spell—Reagan, a young witch who might not be the villain they thought—as well as the wickedness plaguing their own kingdom…and family.

Told through the eyes of Reagan and Jane—the witch and the bewitched—this insightful twist of a fairy tale explores power in a patriarchal kingdom not unlike our own.

Places to Purchase:

The Girl in the White Van by April Henry

A teen is snatched after her kung fu class and must figure out how to escape—and rescue another kidnapped prisoner—in this chilling YA mystery.

When Savannah disappears soon after arguing with her mom’s boyfriend, everyone assumes she's run away. The truth is much worse. She’s been kidnapped by a man in a white van who locks her in an old trailer home, far from prying eyes. And worse yet, Savannah’s not alone: Ten months earlier, Jenny met the same fate and nearly died trying to escape. Now as the two girls wonder if he will hold them captive forever or kill them, they must join forces to break out—even if it means they die trying.

Master mystery-writer April Henry weaves another heart-stopping young adult thriller in this story ripped straight from the headlines.

Places to Purchase:

The Friend Scheme by Cale Dietrich

Part thriller, part romance, The Friend Scheme is another twisty #ownvoices YA novel from Cale Dietrich, author of The Love Interest.

High schooler Matt's father is rich, powerful, and seemingly untouchable-- a mobster with high hopes that his son will follow in his footsteps. Matt's older brother Lukas seems poised to do just that, with a bevy of hot girls in tow. But Matt has other ambitions--and attractions.

And attraction sometimes doesn't allow for good judgement. Matt wouldn't have guessed that Jason, the son of the city's police commisioner, is also carrying a secret. The boys' connection turns romantic, a first for both. Now Matt must decide if he can ever do the impossible and come clean about who he really is, and who he is meant to love.

Places to Purchase:

I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch

For fans of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and Fangirl, I Kissed Alice is a romantic comedy about enemies, lovers, and everything in between.

Rhodes and Iliana couldn't be more different, but that's not why they hate each other.

Hyper-gifted artist Rhodes has always excelled at Alabama’s Conservatory of the Arts despite a secret bout of creator's block, while transfer student Iliana tries to outshine everyone with her intense, competitive work ethic. Since only one of them can get the coveted Capstone scholarship, the competition between them is fierce.

They both escape the pressure on a fanfic site where they are unknowingly collaborating on a graphic novel. And despite being worst enemies in real life, their anonymous online identities I-Kissed-Alice and Curious-in-Cheshire are starting to like each other...a lot. When the truth comes out, will they destroy each other's future?

Places to Purchase:

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

The Hating Game meets Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by way of Morgan Matson in this unforgettable romantic comedy about two rival overachievers whose relationship completely transforms over the course of twenty-four hours.

Today, she hates him.

It’s the last day of senior year. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been bitter rivals for all of high school, clashing on test scores, student council elections, and even gym class pull-up contests. While Rowan, who secretly wants to write romance novels, is anxious about the future, she’d love to beat her infuriating nemesis one last time.

Tonight, she puts up with him.

When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan has only one chance at victory: Howl, a senior class game that takes them all over Seattle, a farewell tour of the city she loves. But after learning a group of seniors is out to get them, she and Neil reluctantly decide to team up until they’re the last players left—and then they’ll destroy each other.

As Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes he’s much more than the awkward linguistics nerd she’s sparred with for the past four years. And, perhaps, this boy she claims to despise might actually be the boy of her dreams.

Tomorrow…maybe she’s already fallen for him.

Places to Purchase:

This is My America by Kim Johnson

Dear Martin meets Just Mercy in this unflinching yet uplifting YA novel that explores the racist injustices in the American justice system.

Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time--her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy's older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a "thug" on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town's racist history that still haunt the present?

Fans of Nic Stone, Tiffany D. Jackson, and Jason Reynolds won't want to miss this provocative and gripping debut.

Places to Purchase:

A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The Craft when modern witches must save teens stolen by an ancient demon in this YA fantasy-thriller debut.

Dan and Liss are witches. The Black Book granted them that power. Harnessing that power feels good, especially when everything in their lives makes them feel powerless.

During a spell gone wrong, Liss's boyfriend is snatched away by an evil entity and presumed dead. Dan and Liss's friendship dies that night, too. How can they practice magic after the darkness that they conjured?

Months later, Liss discovers that her boyfriend is alive, trapped underground in the grips of an ancient force. She must save him, and she needs Dan and the power of The Black Book to do so. Dan is quickly sucked back into Liss's orbit and pushes away her best friend, Alexa. But Alexa has some big secrets she's hiding and her own unique magical disaster to deal with.

When another teenager disappears, the girls know it's no coincidence. What greedy magic have they awakened? And what does it want with these teens it has stolen?

Set in the atmospheric wilds of California's northern coast, Sasha Laurens's thrilling debut novel is about the complications of friendship, how to take back power, and how to embrace the darkness that lives within us all.

Places to Purchase:

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite

When Agatha Griffin finds a colony of bees in her warehouse, it’s the not-so-perfect ending to a not-so-perfect week. Busy trying to keep her printing business afloat amidst rising taxes and the suppression of radical printers like her son, the last thing the widow wants is to be the victim of a thousand bees. But when a beautiful beekeeper arrives to take care of the pests, Agatha may be in danger of being stung by something far more dangerous…

Penelope Flood exists between two worlds in her small seaside town, the society of rich landowners and the tradesfolk. Soon, tensions boil over when the formerly exiled Queen arrives on England’s shores—and when Penelope’s long-absent husband returns to Melliton, she once again finds herself torn, between her burgeoning love for Agatha and her loyalty to the man who once gave her refuge.

As Penelope finally discovers her true place, Agatha must learn to accept the changing world in front of her. But will these longing hearts settle for a safe but stale existence or will they learn to fight for the future they most desire?

Places to Purchase:

Would I Lie to the Duke by Eva Leigh

When an ambitious entrepreneur pretends to be a lady of means, she catches the eye—and heart—of a duke... 

Jessica McGale's family business desperately needs investors, and she's determined to succeed at any cost. But she knows London's elite will never look twice at a humble farm girl like herself. Posing as “Lady Whitfield,” however, places her in the orbit of wealthy, powerful people—most notably the Duke of Rotherby. His influence and support could save her company, but Jess never expected the effect he'd have on her.

Society thinks Noel is a notorious, carefree duke who dabbles in investments, but there's a side to him that only his closest friends see. When he crosses paths with Lady Whitfield at a business bazaar, his world tilts on its axis. She's brilliant and compelling, and brings him to his knees like no woman has before. Trust is difficult for Noel, but Jess makes him believe anything is possible...

As time ticks down on her Cinderella scheme, the thought of achieving her goal at Noel's expense breaks Jess' heart. He doesn't just want her now, he wants her forever. But will her secret end their future before it begins?

Places to Purchase:

I hope you enjoyed the first iteration of this post! Are you excited for any of this week's releases? And if you have any thoughts of suggestions about the feature, please leave them in the comments!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Romance Round-Up (3)

It's been a while, but welcome to another Romance Round-Up! Check out some of the backlist and upcoming romance novels I've read recently!

 How the Duke Was Won
Author: Lenora Bell
Publisher: Avon
Release: April 26, 2020
Series: The Disgraceful Dukes
Pages: 384
Review: 5 Stars

This book was delightful! I can't believe I haven't read it sooner! The romance was steamy and the characters great. Charlene is doing what she can to make a life for herself and her sister. That includes fooling James that she's her half-sister Dorothea. James needs to marry someone who will do well in society and raise his daughter. Neither are what the other is looking for, but they are what they need! I loved watching the characters grow as they grew to love each other. They both like each other (or at least lust for each other) pretty quickly, but it takes a while for them to realize that it's something deeper. Charlene's betrayal is a big one, considering she pretended to be someone else, and I think the reveal and subsequent action was done well. This is a great place to start reading Lenora Bell, and I highly recommend checking out all her books!


The pleasure of your company is requested at Warbury Park. Four lovely ladies will arrive… but only one can become a duchess.

James, the scandalously uncivilized Duke of Harland, requires a bride with a spotless reputation for a strictly business arrangement. Lust is prohibited and love is out of the question.

Four ladies. Three days. What could go wrong?

She is not like the others…

Charlene Beckett, the unacknowledged daughter of an earl and a courtesan, has just been offered a life-altering fortune to pose as her half-sister, Lady Dorothea, and win the duke’s proposal. All she must do is:

* Be the perfect English rose [Ha!]

* Breathe, smile, and curtsy in impossibly tight gowns [blast Lady Dorothea’s sylph-like figure]

* Charm and seduce a wild duke [without appearing to try]

* Keep said duke far, far from her heart [no matter how tempting]

When secrets are revealed and passion overwhelms, James must decide if the last lady he should want is really everything he needs. And Charlene must decide if the promise of a new life is worth risking everything . . . including her heart.

You Can Find it At:

 In Bed With the Earl
Author: Christi Caldwell
Publisher: Montlake
Release: March 17, 2020
Series: Lost Lords of London
Pages: 384
Review: 4 Stars

Finally checked this out from the library and really enjoyed it! I absolutely loved Verity. She's whip-smart and ready to take on the world. She does whatever she can to try to take care of her younger sister while also pursuing her passion of journalism. I liked Malcolm, but his motivations seemed... odd at times. This is actually called out by other characters. Like, he resists becoming nobility when most would jump at a chance for life out of poverty. Then, once he is a Duke and has Ducal responsibilities, he still goes down in the sewers. I also didn't really understand why Verity kept trying to write for the same paper that dumped her instead of going to a competitor. She could have made a lot more money breaking her story to practically anyone else, instead of the sexist scum that previously employed her. Despite some character question marks, the book was a fun deviation from the typical historical romance. I always enjoy when books go beyond the wealthy aristocrats typically shown, and In Bed With the Earl does it well.


To solve a mystery that’s become the talk of the ton, no clues run too deep for willful reporter Verity Lovelace. Not even in the sewers of London. That’s precisely where she finds happily self-sufficient scavenger Malcom North, lost heir to the Earl of Maxwell. Now that Verity’s made him front-page news, what will he make of her?

Kidnapped as a child, with no memories of his well-heeled past, Malcom prefers the grimy spoils of the culverts to the gilded riches of society. Damn the feisty beauty who exposed the contented tosher to a parade of fortune-hunting matchmakers. How to keep them at bay? Verity must pretend to be his wife. She owes him.

The intimacy of this necessary arrangement—Verity and Malcom thrust together in close quarters—soon sparks an irresistible heat. But when the charade ends, the danger begins. Will love be enough to protect them from a treacherous plot devised to ruin them?

You Can Find it At:

 Two Rogues Make a Right
Author: Cat Sebastian
Publisher: Avon
Release: June 23, 2020
Series: Seducing the Sedgwicks
Pages: 304
Review: 5 Stars

I love Cat Sebastian! This was a great addition to the world of the Sedgwicks. It's been a while since I read the previous two books, but things came back to me as I re-met the characters. Will and Martin felt like golden retrievers who had been abused by a previous owner but still wagged their tail when they got a new home. Too weird? They just both love and want love so much. It's clear from the beginning how much Will and Martin care about each other. The only thing standing in their way (besides homophobia of the 1800s) was their own reservations about how to make their relationship work long term. Which of course ties into homophobia of the 1800s, as Martin had to wrestle with the expectation that as an aristocrat he should marry and have an heir while also loving Will. I really loved these characters, and I was nice to see some of the characters from previous books, most notably Hartley and a glimpse of Ben. It was sweet to see just how much the Sedgwick siblings care about each other and take care of each other. I hope Cat keeps writing the series, and I hope to someday get a short piece where the Sedgwicks and those they care about can all be together.


Will Sedgwick can’t believe that after months of searching for his oldest friend, Martin Easterbrook is found hiding in an attic like a gothic nightmare. Intent on nursing Martin back to health, Will kindly kidnaps him and takes him to the countryside to recover, well away from the world.

Martin doesn’t much care where he is or even how he got there. He’s much more concerned that the man he’s loved his entire life is currently waiting on him hand and foot, feeding him soup and making him tea. Martin knows he’s a lost cause, one he doesn’t want Will to waste his life on.

As a lifetime of love transforms into a tender passion both men always desired but neither expected, can they envision a life free from the restrictions of the past, a life with each other?

You Can Find it At:

 Would I Lie to the Duke
Author: Eva Leigh
Publisher: Avon
Release: July 28, 2020
Series: Union of the Rakes
Pages: 384
Review: 5 Stars

This was quite possibly my favorite Eva Leigh book yet! Jess is an amazing character, with ambition and drive to put others to shame. Noel is a commanding and powerful duke, but he doesn't fall into the alpha hero trope I dislike. Seriously, no more alpha heroes please and thank you. More often than not a so-called 'alpha hero' is just an asshole. Anyways, Jess and Noel are great. I also felt the book had some solid subplot substance, with the characters of the Bazaar (especially Lady Farris) and Jess working to save her family business.

I'm always a little wary around books where the premise hinges on one character lying to the other, but I think this one worked well! When all was revealed I felt like Jess did an appropriate amount of apologizing and Noel was mad while not being mean. It was clear even when separated that the characters cared deeply about each other, and I think that's part of what made their reunion so believable and worth it.

If you've enjoyed Eva Leigh's previous books definitely pick this one up! It's a fast, fun read with characters to die for!


When an ambitious entrepreneur pretends to be a lady of means, she catches the eye—and heart—of a duke... 

Jessica McGale's family business desperately needs investors, and she's determined to succeed at any cost. But she knows London's elite will never look twice at a humble farm girl like herself. Posing as “Lady Whitfield,” however, places her in the orbit of wealthy, powerful people—most notably the Duke of Rotherby. His influence and support could save her company, but Jess never expected the effect he'd have on her.

Society thinks Noel is a notorious, carefree duke who dabbles in investments, but there's a side to him that only his closest friends see. When he crosses paths with Lady Whitfield at a business bazaar, his world tilts on its axis. She's brilliant and compelling, and brings him to his knees like no woman has before. Trust is difficult for Noel, but Jess makes him believe anything is possible...

As time ticks down on her Cinderella scheme, the thought of achieving her goal at Noel's expense breaks Jess' heart. He doesn't just want her now, he wants her forever. But will her secret end their future before it begins?

You Can Find it At:

 Who's That Earl
Author: Susanna Craig
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Release: August 18, 2020
Series: Love and Let Spy
Pages: 384
Review: 4 Stars

One thing I really enjoyed about this book is that right off the bat both characters knew the other was lying about *something* they just couldn't figure out what. The very beginning of the book is a bit jarring, and I felt it might have worked better as a flashback. I think it is important to know how Thomas lived during is time as a spy, but it's offsetting when starting a romance novel. I was like, what book I am starting again? I also would have liked to see more excerpts from Jane's novels, specifically the ending of the third book in her series after we're left with such a cliffhanger! It was really fun how her writing and the book were intertwined, and I would have liked the book to emphasize that. The writing of Who's That Earl is solid and I enjoyed getting to know the various side characters. We're introduced to a small village with lots of love stories in progress. It's a good start to a new series, even if I am more interested in the love lives of Jane and Thomas's neighbors than of his fellow spies.


Miss Jane Quayle excels at invention. How else could the sheltered daughter of an English gentleman create lurid gothic novels so infamous someone wants their author silenced forever? Fortunately, Jane has taken steps to protect herself, first by assuming a pen name, and second, by taking up residence at remote Dunnock Castle, surrounded by rugged scenery that might have been ripped from the pages of one of her books. Her true identity remains a secret, until one dark and stormy night...

After years of spying for the British army, Thomas Sutherland doubts the Highlands will ever feel like home again. Nevertheless, thanks to a quirk of Scottish inheritance law, he's now the Earl of Magnus, complete with a crumbling castle currently inhabited by a notorious novelist. When the writer turns out to be the woman Thomas once wooed, suspicions rise even as mutual sparks reignite. As danger closes in, can Jane and Thomas overcome their pasts to forge a future together?

You Can Find it At:

 Common Goal
Author: Rachel Reid
Publisher: Carina Press
Release: September 21, 2020
Series: Game Changers
Review: 5 Stars

I mostly read/review historical romance, but I read the occasional contemporary as well. I was approved for an ARC on Netgalley and finished the book hours later! I really enjoyed the book, and I loved checking in with characters from the previous books. Basically every time Eric and Ilya (from Heated Rivalry) interacted, I had to stop and take a moment. Eric and Kyle are great together. There were obstacles towards their relationship, but it was overall low stakes in a way that was nice given the *gestures wildly* not low stakes nature of the rest of the world. It also introduced one of the characters from the next book, and I'm excited for his story!

This is a great book for fans of the first book in the series, Game Changer. The story is satisfying and manages to both stand on its own and support the greater world that's developed in this series. I highly recommend checking out Rachel Reid if you haven't already, especially if hockey romances are your thing!


New York Admirals goalie Eric never thought his friends-with-benefits arrangement with much-younger Kyle would leave them both wanting more…

Veteran goaltender Eric Bennett has faced down some of the toughest shooters on the ice, but nothing prepared him for his latest challenge—life after hockey. It’s time to make some big changes, starting with finally dating men for the first time.

Graduate student Kyle Swift moved to New York nursing a broken heart. He’d sworn to find someone his own age to crush on (for once). Until he meets a gorgeous, distinguished silver fox hockey player. Despite their intense physical attraction, Kyle has no intention of getting emotionally involved. He’ll teach Eric a few tricks, have some mutually consensual fun, then walk away.

Eric is more than happy to learn anything Kyle brings to the table. And Kyle never expected their friends-with-benefits arrangement to leave him wanting more. Happily-ever-after might be staring them in the face, but it won’t happen if they’re too stubborn to come clean about their feelings.

Everything they both want is within reach… They just have to be brave enough to grab it.

You Can Find it At:

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Blog Tour: The Lost City by Amanda Hocking

I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for The Lost City by Amanda Hocking!

 The Lost City
Author: Amanda Hocking
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release: July 7, 2020
Pages: 384
Review: 4 Stars

First Impressions

I knew when I first heard about The Lost City that I wanted to read it. I've read all the previous books set in this world and enjoyed them all, though the first trilogy is my favorite. I went into the book with little background knowledge, only that it was about a new character and would likely have some connections to the previous books. I think that worked well for me, but the one thing I would recommend is checking out the guide in the back of the world to get a lay of the land if it's been a while since you've read the previous books.


The Lost City follows Ulla. She happens to be a nanny for the children of Finn, one of the main characters from the Trylle series. She was abandoned as a baby and wants to learn more about her parents, but all she knows is that she was left at an inn by a woman from the Omte troll tribe who seemed to be a warrior. With her unclear origins, Ulla has a hard time figuring out her place in the world. Being amongst other trolls feels right to her, but many don't accept her heritage of mixed tribes.

There are also a handful of side characters. It's unclear which will be notable characters further in the series, but that kind of worked well. The first major side character we meet is Hannah. She is 12 years old and one of the children Ulla helps care for. Hannah is supposed to spend the summer with her grandparents, but ends up tagging along Ulla's adventures. Perhaps my favorite side character is Eliana. Her origins are even more mysterious than Ulla's, and she has a bit of a memory problem. A larger part of the plot is helping her figure out what's going on. There's also Panuk, who Ulla works with. He seems nice and is set up as the love interest, but I have to say, I'm more intrigued by a certain mystery guy Ulla keeps running into. I'm curious to see where all that goes.

World Building

The Lost City builds heavily on the world of the previous two trilogies. I highly recommend reading those books before diving into the new series! The world of the clones with their five tribes is highly complex, but Ulla (and Hocking) does a good job of explaining pertinent information in the moment. If you're willing to just roll with whatever isn't explained, you should avoid any world building headaches.

Final Thoughts

This is a great addition to the world Amanda Hocking has created! The Trylle trilogy will hold a special place in my heart as my favorite, but this will definitely appeal to fans of the previous books. I read the book in practically an afternoon, so it's a fun, fast read. And for readers just getting introduced to these book, there are six great ones to check out right now (including an awesome bundle of the entire Trylle series as one book)!


Amanda Hocking, the New York Times bestselling author of The Kanin Chronicles, returns to the magical world of the Trylle Trilogy with The Lost City, the first novel in The Omte Origins—and the final story arc in her beloved series.

The storm and the orphan

Twenty years ago, a woman sought safety from the spinning ice and darkness that descended upon a small village. She was given shelter for the night by the local innkeepers but in the morning, she disappeared—leaving behind an infant. Now nineteen, Ulla Tulin is ready to find who abandoned her as a baby or why.

The institution and the quest

Ulla knows the answers to her identity and heritage may be found at the Mimirin where scholars dedicate themselves to chronicling troll history. Granted an internship translating old documents, Ulla starts researching her own family lineage with help from her handsome and charming colleague Pan Soriano.

The runaway and the mystery

But then Ulla meets Eliana, a young girl who no memory of who she is but who possesses otherworldly abilities. When Eliana is pursued and captured by bounty hunters, Ulla and Pan find themselves wrapped up in a dangerous game where folklore and myth become very real and very deadly—but one that could lead Ulla to the answers she’s been looking for.

You Can Find it At:
Barnes & Noble

Early Praise for The Lost City:

"Hocking’s fast, engaging fantasy will draw in new and seasoned fans of the genre... [She] keeps the surprises coming, [leaving] readers eager to know more"
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Author Bio:

AMANDA HOCKING is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

You Can Find Her At:

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Top Ten Authors I've Read the Most Books By

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and The Artsy Reader Girl. Goodreads used to have a feature that actually showed your most read authors, but since it's been discontinued, I did some deep diving to try to figure it out!

1. Jennifer L. Armentrout (37) - including under pseudonym J. Lynn

2. Rick Riordan (22)

3. Margaret Peterson Haddix (19) - mostly read when younger

4. Gena Showalter (19)

5. Cassandra Clare (18) - counting novella bind-ups, not each novella

6. Meg Cabot (15)

7. P.C. and Kristin Cast (14)

8. Ally Carter (13)

9. Richelle Mead (13)

10. Sophie Jordan (12)

Honorable Mention: Katie McGarry (12) - tied for 10th

Honorable Mention: Sarah J. Maas (12) - tied for 10th
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