Book Reviews

The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1) by Kaylyn Josephson

The Storm Crow

Title: The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1)
Author: Kaylyn Josephson
Rating: ★★★

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

Thia, our protagonist, is daughter to the queen of Rhodaire. And Rhodaire is home to a special kind of magic…elemental crows. Fire crows, storm crows, earth crows, sun crows, you get the picture. These crows are essential to the daily life of those living in Rhodaire.

crow

Thia, the daughter who wants nothing to do with royalty, starts out the story by riding one of these elemental crows…of course getting into trouble. But, soon, Thia will have a crow of her very own.

But things take a turn for the worst before we know it and the Illucians come and set fire to everything in their wake…including the crows and Thia’s mother. Her sister, Caliza is now the new Queen and in order to save Rhodaire, has promised Thia to Prince Ericen in a marriage proposal.

When all hope seems lost of the revival of Rhodaire, Thia comes across a crow egg amongst the rubble. The only problem is, she has no idea how to hatch a crow egg, it being a secret tradition she just barely missed before the destruction of Rhodaire. Caylus, a cute outcast from another overthrown kingdom may be able to help. But no one can find out that they are hiding a crow egg.

crow1

What will happen to the crow egg Thia found? Will she be able to hatch it? Will Rhodaire be restored? Which guy will she choose?

Let me just say, I’m sick of girls getting promised to other princes as their brides by everyone else. Let’s see some other storyline! And girls, stop picking the guys I don’t want you to pick! Ugh! Give me something new. Love triangles are out! Monogamous relationships are in (at least for me)!

The expected publication date is July 9, 2019.

Book Reviews

Viper (Isles of Storm and Sorrow #1) by Bex Hogan

ViperTitle: Viper (Isles of Storm and Sorrow #1)
Author: Bex Hogan
Rating: ★★★★

Marianne has been training to be the Viper for her entire life – to serve and protect the King and the citizens of The Twelve Isles – but to become the Viper and protect the islands she loves she must find the strength to defeat her father. A new fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas.

He will make me a killer.
Or he will have me killed.
That is my destiny.

Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.

But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.

He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne’s father.

She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves – and perhaps even her life?

A brave heroine. An impossible dilemma. An epic new fantasy trilogy set on the high seas.

This story is a blending of the Greyjoys from Game of Thrones and Hunger Games. The different isles signify different ways of life, but the Viper’s crew members are as ruthless as the Greyjoys, specifically Euron, who is willing to betray blood.

Hogan’s debut novel is the epitome of adventure, lust, and betrayal. The perfect pirate read. I loved her world-building. Not only that, but we see a realistic character, with realistic reactions.

The author even pulled a George R.R. Martin twist by killing off one of my favorite characters.

Viper was a telling tale of deceit, love, and the power of good. The Viper was a terrifying and ruthless character, a definite challenge to our peace-seeking Marianne. What will become of the Viper in the next installment? Who is picked in our always-enticing love triangle? I’m excited to see what is next!

Book Reviews

The Golden Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #8) by Kimberley Woodhouse

the golden brideTitle: The Golden Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #8)
Author: Kimberley Woodhouse
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Can Olivia survive the crime and Gold Rush fever of 1849…and the countless marriage proposals?
A series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

The Daughters of the Mayflower series continues when Olivia Brighton finds herself widowed and working her brother’s restaurant in San Francisco during the height of the rush for gold. Even though she receives at least twenty marriage proposals a day, she will never marry a gold miner. Her brother’s friend Joseph Sawyer has gotten caught up in local politics and the plight of Chinese in forced labor. The more Joseph gets pulled into investigating crime in the city, the less Olivia sees of the compassionate man. And just when she thinks she could love again, a fire threatens to steal all hope.

More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)​
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1836 Battle of the Alamo (February 2019)

After only being married for a short period of time, Olivia finds herself a widow and parent-less. Her only option being to take a dangerous journey (as a woman, too!) to her brother, Daniel, whom she hasn’t seen in a very long time. In a primarily male-dominated community, Olivia finds herself one of a few women in San Francisco during the Gold Rush fever of 1829.

While working in her brother’s restaurants, Olivia constantly finds herself in compromising positions with men who have no other women to look at besides herself. Avoiding endless marriage proposals and handsy men, Olivia learns to stand up for herself and what she believes in.

But, after so much heartache, Olivia finds herself blessed to come into the presence of her brother’s best friend, Joseph, who isn’t bad at look at, either! However, can Olivia’s opinion of miners change when she finds out Joseph is one himself?

A story of deception, justice, and a hint of romance, readers are likely to fall in love with this feisty woman and caring supporting men!

Book Reviews

The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

The Waking Forest

Title: The Waking Forest
Author: Alyssa Wees
Rating: ★★★

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

The premise of this novel reminds me of a blend between Hansel and Gretel and Peter Pan. Rhea, our protagonist, lives with her parents, sister, and pet fox. Dreaming, and unable to know if they are reality or not, she sees this shadow of a boy (reminded me of the naughty Peter Pan) that believes they have met before. Slowly, members of her family start disappearing (but no one else believes they ever existed but her).

In an alternate universe, we come across a witch who is visited by a fox. This witch grants children wishes.

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes.

Eventually, the stories are woven together. I think this is where I got lost. I enjoyed the chapters alternating between characters and them being separate. Also, people dreaming and being involved in different worlds is getting a bit old for me, and I find myself not enjoying those stories as much. I wanted to love it and I felt like there was so much more potential, I just think the execution lost me a little bit.

tenor

Book Reviews

You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

you'd be mineTitle: You’d Be Mine
Author: Erin Hahn
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

Annie Mathers is daughter to not one, but TWO famous parents. Doing everything in her power to not end up like her parents did, she wants no part in the country music lifestyle her parents had. But when an unknown and crush-worthy famous star shows up on her grandmother’s front porch, Annie finds the lifestyle she hated now hard to resist.

And that, boys and girls, is the story of how stone-cold Annie Mathers found her lady parts.

Clay, America’s swoon worthy star, is exactly the kind of trouble Annie has been trying to avoid. This bad boy isn’t all that he seems.

So, she sings like an angel, plays like the devil, pitches championships, and slays amusement park games. Is there anything you can’t do?

Trying to go against all odds, they still find themselves attracted to the opposite. But is there more to each of them than what appears?

This would’ve been just the book I would’ve been looking for in high school. It contains the glamour, the hot bad boy, and the playful love that every teenager wants in his/her life. A perfect summer read for a carefree reader, I can only imagine sipping on some sweet alcoholic beverage by the pool reading this. The audience really gets to know the characters and join in on the country of their character development. This is a perfect read for someone who wants to get swept away and not have a care in the world while reading it!

If I had to choose my favorite, you’d be mine.

Book Reviews

The Alamo Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #7) by Kathleen Y’Barbo

the alamo brideTitle: The Alamo Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #7)
Author: Kathleen Y’Barbo
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Series for Lovers of History, Adventure, Romance, and Ancestry

Will Ellis Lose All at the Alamo?
Ellis Dumont finds a man in New Orleans Grey unconscious on Dumont property in 1836. As his fevers rage, the man mutters strange things about treasures and war. Either Claiborne Gentry has lost his mind or he’s a spy for the American president—or worse, for the Mexican enemy that threatens their very lives. With the men of her family away, Ellis must stand courageous and decide who she can trust. Will she put her selfish wants ahead of the future of the republic or travel with Clay to Mission San Jose to help end the war?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo.

More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)​
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1836 Texas (February 2019)

This reminded me of Pearl Harbor because you had a girl who was a healer and a guy who was in the military (insert googly eyes here). This is probably one of my favorites in the series so far. Ellis was very humble and kind. Clay was very protective. But, probably my favorite character in both protagonists is that they were fiercely loyal. My dream was to marry a Southern gentleman adorned in a military uniform, so this was exactly the kind of book I wanted.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust

-Psalm 91:4

Having never read a novel set during the Alamo (which I previously had no interest in), this historical story caught my attention. The novel was well-written, descriptive, and intriguing.

Book Reviews

Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi

Outrun the Wind

Title: Outrun the Wind
Author: Elizabeth Tammi
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Huntresses of Artemis must obey two rules: never disobey the goddess, and never fall in love. After being rescued from a harrowing life as an Oracle of Delphi, Kahina is glad to be a part of the Hunt; living among a group of female warriors gives her a chance to reclaim her strength, even while her prophetic powers linger. But when a routine mission goes awry, Kahina breaks the first rule in order to save the legendary huntress Atalanta.

To earn back Artemis’s favor, Kahina must complete a dangerous task in the kingdom of Arkadia— where the king’s daughter is revealed to be none other than Atalanta. Still reeling from her disastrous quest and her father’s insistence on marriage, Atalanta isn’t sure what to make of Kahina. As her connection to Atalanta deepens, Kahina finds herself in danger of breaking Artemis’ second rule.

She helps Atalanta devise a dangerous game to avoid marriage, and word spreads throughout Greece, attracting suitors willing to tempt fate to go up against Atalanta in a race for her hand. But when the men responsible for both the girls’ dark pasts arrive, the game turns deadly.

Robin Hood meets Wonder Woman. The story starts out with a bang. Artemis is mad and sends one of her monsters to destroy a kingdom, however, when one of her own huntresses gets in the way, new hope arises out of a country almost forgotten. Atalanta is your typical teenager in some ways: a little cocky, ignorant to her own faults, and insecure at the same time. But, also a monster butt-kicking legend…at least to those who don’t know the truth.

The trees tremble, and it is not from the wind.

I clench my fists so my fingers don’t follow the trees’ example, and reach behind my back, pulling out an arrow and nocking it in a motion so practiced that I don’t need to take my eyes off of the treeline. Sunlight glimmers like a jewel through the shifting leaves.

“It’s here,” Meleager says, his voice solid and unafraid.

As we all know, fame can blind us. People who once were nothing to us suddenly gain interest. And in the limelight of being accepted by those we have always wished, we don’t always see the truth behind the sudden attention. This is exactly what happens to Atalanta.

The story came in hot, but then the middle took a complete 180. All of the action I was relishing turned into love. And while love it nice to have around, it is also nice to have action during the same time, and that didn’t happen for me. There was some disconnect. Almost like an aside from the action. Not only that, but, like always, the author always makes the characters pick the person I don’t want them to. Why can’t they ever pick the super nice ones (Wahh!)?!

crying

If not for the little love aside, I really enjoyed the novel. The action scenes were great and there is so much potential for either a series or other novels based in the same universe.

It’s impossible for us both, I realize. She can’t outrace the world. I can’t stay, and I can’t bear to leave her. We can’t outrun the wind.