Book Review – My Favorite Half-Night Stand

“I should have been more offended. But I only have one emotion, and it’s hunger.”

Title: My Favorite Half-Night Stand

Author: Christina Lauren

Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication date: December 4th, 2018

384 pages

3.75/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

Review

You’re honestly too good for me, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t want you anyway.

Christina lauren, my favorite half-night stand

I’m back with another CLo read! I picked this up from Barnes and Noble because it was one of their half off sale books and I’ve loved all the CLo books I’ve read so far. Whereas this one was not my favorite, I still enjoyed reading it and I will still read everything they have, and will, write!

Millie is a college professor with not a lot of luck with dating. Neither does her 4 best friends, all straight men who also can’t seem to navigate the dating scene. Millie’s never considered any of her friends as possible romances, until she drinks too much wine one night and jumps Reid’s bones. Reid lets it happen, and they both end up confused afterwards. The gang decides to make a pact to use a dating app to find a date to the university’s black tie gala, and they can’t take each other. Millie doesn’t have much luck, so she creates a fake persona on the site and matches with Reid. She tries to play it off so he realizes it is her, but he doesn’t. What started as a fun gag gets out of hand, and Reid is starting to like her alternate persona more than her. What’s a girl to do when her best guy friend wants to date the fake, online version of her?

My major, major critique of this book is the catfish plot. It really doesn’t seem believable that this would happen. Also, Millie was kind of an annoying character as she got bad at Reid for being into the alt version of her… which is still actually her? It got a bit confusing what she was mad about after awhile. While this is happening, the real her is also still sleeping with Reid?? So confused.

The hook up happened too soon, as in the first 2 chapters. We barely have any information on these characters and they are already boning. It’s hard to believe they “never considered it before” when it happened almost immediately.

Frankly, the side characters were scads more interesting than Millie and Reid. I wanted more information on the other 3 guys, and hell even Reid’s parents after the scene where they all visit for Reid’s birthday. The side characters were somehow more fleshed out than the main characters, and I was rooting more for them than Millie and Reid.

Outside of all that, I still love CLo books. I read it all in one day and their books are always easy, breezy books that I don’t have to think so hard about. I love reading them after a heavy Fantasy novel just to come back to earth and real life. But honestly, this book just made me want to read The Unhoneymooners again.

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – Temptress

Title: Temptress (Manhattan Ten #2)

Author: Lola Dodge

Publisher: Ink Monster, LLC

Publication date: November 12th, 2019

126 pages

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

A seductress. A super brain.

She’s an indie operative who only works alone, stealing other super heroes’ powers with a kiss and bringing down the bad guys. Those stolen powers add up to a crazy arsenal, but Temptress isn’t built for super strength and shooting laser beams. Her body is falling apart and a teensy mission slip-up gets her tangled with the Manhattan Ten.

He’s the M10’s leader. The man, the myth, the Mensa-conquering legend. Nothing escapes Thinktank’s calculations… Until a run-in with Temptress leaves him powerless. Superpowers stolen with a kiss can only be returned with a kiss. 

Natural enemies can only get closer. And closer. And closer…

It’s love at first fight in the second volume of the Manhattan Ten Series.

Review

**Thank you to Ink Monster, Netgalley, and Lola Dodge for a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

Temptress is tasked with capturing Steel, a member of the Manhattan Ten accused of sexual assault by the LVPD. With her power she is able to suck other super’s powers out of their body with just a kiss, so she is used often when the police are dealing with a super. She also works at casino’s helping to monitor security situations. She is also able to USE all the others powers – but not without a price. In comes Thinktank, the leader of the Manhattan Ten. She isn’t supposed to steal his powers, but he gets in her way – what choice does she have? Problem is she can’t figure out how to return his powers, the usual quick kiss isn’t working. Guess they’ll have to keep trying…

In the second book of the Manhattan Ten short story series, a new superhero emerges to catch Thinktank’s eye. Temptress, or Jenny for her friends. I loved Ivory, so I knew I needed to get Temptress to continue on in the series – and continue reading the companion stories of the Manhattan Ten. Temptress’ character was so awesome – she was completely bad-ass and totally nonchalant about it. She just walks into a fight without a care. I also like getting to know Tank’s character more than what we got to see in Ivory.

As with the first one, this is an adult short story, so there is sexual content – but I would say less than there was in Ivory. The focus of this story was more about figuring out Temptress’ backstory and eventually saving her from her past. With her ability to steal other super’s powers – she really is a force to be reckoned with and I’m happy she got her ending.

Check this out if you want a super quick, fantasy novel with fun characters and interesting super powers.

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

eARC Review – The Weight of a Soul

Title: The Weight of a Soul

Author: Elizabeth Tammi

Publisher: Flux Publishing

Publication Date: December 3, 2019

320 pages

4/5

Goodreads Synopsis

When Lena’s younger sister Fressa is found dead, their whole Viking clan mourns—but it is Lena alone who never recovers. Fressa is the sister that should’ve lived, and Lena cannot rest until she knows exactly what killed Fressa and why—and how to bring her back. She strikes a dark deal with Hela, the Norse goddess of death, and begins a new double life to save her sister.

But as Lena gets closer to bringing Fressa back, she dredges up dangerous discoveries about her own family, and finds herself in the middle of a devastating plan to spur Ragnarök –a deadly chain of events leading to total world destruction. 

Still, with her sister’s life in the balance, Lena is willing to risk it all. She’s willing to kill. How far will she go before the darkness consumes her?

Review

Hi friends! Back at you with a regularly scheduled eARC review that I received from Netgalley! I’ve been plowing through my Netgalley TBR this month and I’ve read some super awesome books! Thank you to Netgalley and Flux for providing me this ebook in exchange for an honest review!

I found this book super interesting for a super weird reason, but I loved it because of the tie in’s with Marvel movies! I know this wasn’t the case or the inspiration for Tammi, but it is immediately what I thought when they introduced Loki, Hela, and Ragnarok. It was super awesome to read a book that involved these legends. Only was missing Thor!

Outside of this connection, The Weight of a Soul followed the daughter of the clan chieftain, Lena. Her sister Fressa died early in the book and Lena is trying to get her back, refusing to believe that she is gone. She strikes up a deal with Hela that will make Lena compromise everything she believes in.

I found this book to be interesting, with good characters and a solid plot. I believe the timing and pace was a little off for my taste, but it wasn’t a huge point of contention for me. The ending caught me by total surprise and was very sad – but made a lot of sense after I thought about it for awhile.

For fans of Sky In The Deep and Warrior in the Wild, Elizabeth Tammi brings The Weight of a Soul, which makes you question a person’s worth and value in relation to the weight of their soul compared to others. A tale about love, family, and how far one will go to protect their sister.

Happy reading book friends!

eARC Review – The Weaver

Title: The Weaver (The Weaver Trilogy #1)

Author: Heather Kindt

Publisher: The Parliament House

Publication date: August 7th, 2019

238 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Most writers choose the endings to their stories . . . most writers are not Weavers.

Laney Holden is a freshman at Madison College whose life goes from normal to paranormal in a matter of seconds. When the antagonist in the book she’s writing shoves her down the stairs at the subway station, she learns she is a Weaver. Weavers bridge the narrow gap between fantasy and reality, bringing their words to life.

Laney soon meets William whom she also suspects is a character from her book—one she’s had a mad crush on since her pen hit the paper. But he’s in danger as her antagonist reveals a whole different ending planned for Laney’s book that involves killing William. Laney must use her writing to save the people closest to her by weaving the most difficult words she will ever write.

THE WEAVER is the first installment of The Weaver trilogy. It is an NA paranormal romance set in a small town on the north shore of Boston. It will leave you wanting more.

Review

**Thank you to The Parliament House, Netgalley, and Heather Kindt for providing me an ebook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

The Weaver starts a new trilogy that will be similar to the Inkheart series, but for a bit of an older crowd. The MC Laney is in college writing her novel about a couple in eighteenth century America. When the villain from her book attempts to rob and murder her, she starts to think there is more to her story than meets the eye. In comes the love interest of the main character in her book as a fellow student – and she can’t help but fall for him. She falls into the world of Weaving, the gift few people have to bring their stories to life. However, this is very dangerous as the characters who come to life look to change their endings, by any means necessary.

I think The Weaver was a decent book that managed to be different enough from Inkheart to keep it interesting. Laney as the main character and storyteller was good, but some of the other characters leave much to be desired. Her middle school crush, Jason, who can’t decide if he loves her or not comes off as very flaky and rude – he also doesn’t seem to have enough impact on the story (outside of one major event). It’s almost like his character was superfluous. There were other plot points I felt like could have been rounded out, like the group of Weavers she meets to try and figure out what is happening. They just pop into the story and are never talked about again until the end.

Outside of these issues, I really enjoyed reading The Weaver and would like to see how the story continues to unfold. The ending was surprising, with a twist that I did not see coming – which always adds into any book’s appeal for me. I want to know what Laney does after that ending and how her story will continue.

If you were a fan of the Inkheart series, go check out The Weaver, a new fantasy novel where your imagination quite literally comes to life, and tries to kill you!

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

eARC Review – The Throne of the Five Winds

Title: The Throne of the Five Winds (Hostage of Empire #1)

Author: S.C. Emmett

Publisher: Orbit

Publication date: October 15th, 2019

704 pages

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Two queens, two concubines, six princes. Innumerable hidden agendas. Yala, lady-in-waiting to the princess of a vanquished kingdom, must navigate their captors’ treacherous imperial court.

The Emperor’s palace — full of ambitious royals, sly gossip, and unforeseen perils — is perhaps the most dangerous place in Zhaon. A hostage for her conquered people’s good behavior, the lady Komor Yala has only her wits and her hidden maiden’s blade to protect herself — and her childhood friend Princess Mahara, sacrificed in marriage to the enemy to secure a tenuous peace.

But the Emperor is aging, and the Khir princess and her lady-in-waiting soon find themselves pawns in the six princes’ deadly schemes for the throne — and a single spark could ignite fresh rebellion in Khir.

And then, the Emperor falls ill, and a far bloodier game begins…

The Throne of the Five Winds is the first installment of the Hostage of Empire series, an intricate and ruthless East Asia-inspired epic fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of George R. R. Martin, Ken Liu, Kate Elliott, and K. Arsenault Rivera.

Review

**Thank you to Orbit, S.C. Emmett, and Netgalley for providing me a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

The Throne of Five Winds is a new Asian inspired Adult Epic Fantasy series that seems to gain inspiration from George R. R. Martin in political intrigue and battles for thrones. You have several nations, however the Empire of Zhaon dominates the novel, with it’s recent acquisition of neighboring land, Khir. In payment to their new overlords, Khir “Great Rider” sends his daughter, Mahara, to marry the Crown Prince of Zhaon. Yala, her best friend, is sent to serve as lady-in-waiting to Mahara. Both girls are very honorable and take their fate in silence.

The Throne of Five Winds has many characters, so it is hard to pin down a “main” character. There is 1 Emperor, 2 Queens, 2 Concubines, 6 Princes, 2 Princesses, Mahara, Yala, etc. It is very difficult, especially in the beginning to keep everyone straight. This is also due to them having traditional and similar Asian names. The chapters are told by different points of view, but aren’t denoted as such like usual, which makes it difficult to follow along as well.

I have many thoughts about this book. For one, the writing if very beautiful and flowery, but overdone for my taste. However, this is on brand for Asian inspired novels as well as Adult Epic Fantasy. There was very little that happened except pointed conversations and some general court intrigue for the first 70% of this book. I like to think of it like chess, where most of it was used to set up the events of the final quarter of the book, which then sets up the next book in the series. However, this got old at points and it was a struggle to keep interest in this book for that reason.

This being said, the last quarter of the book was fairly interesting. I think the second book will be more exciting because of how this one ended (no spoilers!). I did become invested in the characters, even the ones that were meant to create tension and turmoil by being bad. The ending brought this book up in rating for me, which I was happy to have happen.

I suggest The Throne of the Five Winds for fans of Epic Fantasy, Asian inspired stories, and George R. R. Martin. Readers should have good patience and interest in chess game style novels. Whereas this book was not always my cup of tea, I would suggest it for those who enjoy the above.

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

Book Review – Demon in the Whitelands

Title: Demon in the Whitelands

Author: Nikki Z. Richard

Publisher: Month9 Books

Publication date: September 24th, 2019

300 pages

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

DEMON IN THE WHITELANDS is LET THE RIGHT ONE IN meets INTO THE FOREST, a debut YA novel from Nikki Richard. 

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, some things cannot be explained.

Sixteen-year-old Samuel, son of devout cleric, has endured shame and prejudice his entire life. Although he is destined to become clergy too, he longs for an ordinary life in the whitelands away from demons and holy roots. 

When the mayor claims to have captured a mute demon girl, Samuel is forced to become her caretaker. But as Samuel gets to know the prisoner, he finds her not to be very demonlike. Instead, she is intelligent, meek, and an exceptional artist. Despite her seeming goodness, some more concerning things cannot be explained. Samuel is hard-pressed to reconcile her uncanny strength and speed, missing arm, ambiguous gender, and the mysterious scars covering most of her body.

Samuel forms a deep attachment to the girl with predator eyes and violent outbursts, against his father’s advice. Their friendship could turn into something more. But when Samuel discovers the mayor’s dark intentions, he must decide whether to risk his own execution by setting her free or watch as the girl is used as a pawn in a dangerous game of oppression, fear, and murder. 

Review

**Thank you to Month9 Books and Nikki Z. Richard for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

Demon in the Whitelands takes place in a post apocalyptic world. Samuel is the 16 year bastard of a cleric (and clerics are not allowed to touch anyone physically let alone have a child). Samuel has been training to take after his father a cleric when the mayor of the town captures what he believes to be a demon. The girl doesn’t speak but has unexplainable powers and is very violent when provoked. Samuel is offered the opportunity to become a patrolman instead of be a cleric, which he gladly accepts. Demons in the Whitelands follows his story in watching over the girl and deciding what to do with his life.

I like this book because none of the characters are redeemable. They ALL have their issues and pretty much accept that. There is no perfect character. The religion aspect is interesting, and seems pretty reasonable for a post apocalyptic world. There is some minor political intrigue that drives the plot of the book, but is not the focus of the book.

Overall, I thought this was a decent read. I felt the ending could have done more but I also understand why the author chose to end the story that way. The writing is on the darker side and there is a decent level of violence in this book. There really isn’t much romance, it’s touched on briefly but is not the primary focus of the book.

Demon in the Whitelands is Nikki Z Richard’s debut novel for Month9 Books. Check it out!

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

Book Review – Sky in the Deep

Title: Sky in the Deep

Author: Adrienne Young

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Publication date: April 24th, 2018

340 pages

5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.

Review

We find things, just as we lose things. If you’ve lost your honor, you’ll find it again.

Adrienne young, sky in the deep

Okay, friends. I ordered Sky in the Deep from Amazon because it was on a super sale and I’d heard great things about it on Bookstagram. What I didn’t know, was that it was going to jump up to one of my favorite reads of this years! I’ve never thought I would be into Viking style books, but I’ve read several this year and they were all amazing!

Two tribes, the Aska and the Riki have been at war for decades in order to curry favor with their gods. Eelyn is of the Aska tribe, and she recently became of age to participate as a warrior. During a battle with the Riki, she sees her brother, who was thought dead for several years – fighting for the Riki. When trying to find out how this happened, she was captured by the Riki and turned into a slave for them. Sky in the Deep explores love, friendship, and to what lengths those will go to for their family.

I think Sky in the Deep is a great example of how different factions of people are from each other, but more importantly how similar they are. When a common enemy forces the Aska and Riki to join forces, everything that was once concerned fact is thrown into question.

Eelyn goes through a real journey during this book. It was absolutely fascinating to read and see exactly how her worldview changes based on the events she is living through. Adrienne Young did an amazing job with the characters arcs in Sky in the Deep. It’s normally hard to do as much as she did in a standalone novel, because you just don’t have as much time to take your characters on their journey.

I am now a huge Adrienne Young fan, and she is a new auto-buy author. Definitely go check out Sky in the Deep. There is another book in this world (not sequel though) that just came out a few weeks ago, so I’m going to go get that book and read it too!

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂