First Year (The Black Mage, #1)

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I won’t say this book is going to be a favorite of mine but I did enjoy the book enough that I want to read the next book in the series. Just maybe not right away… 3 


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Author: Rachel Carter
Published: January 26, 2017
Pages: 320

Stars: 3 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Before the age of seventeen, the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice —pursue a trade or enroll in a trial year in one of the realm’s three war schools to study as a soldier, knight, or mage…

For fifteen-year-old Ryiah, the choice has always been easy. Become a mage and train in Combat, the most prestigious faction of magic.

Yet when she arrives, Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Everyone is rooting for her to fail—first and foremost among them is Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived.

Will Ry survive, or will her dream go down in flames?

Review:
This book is a quick read. I think I finished this book in a couple days. So why did it take me so long to write my review?? In all honesty, the synopsis of the book gives away most of what the book is about. I honestly didn’t know what more I could say…

Because of this, I’m not going to go into too many details. I don’t want to ruin what little surprises are left in the book. With that said, I will say I was highly entertained with Ryiah and Prince Darren’s interactions. There is just something about love/hate relationships that I just can’t get enough of. 

Although Ryiah develops her skills in magic and knowledge, I don’t really see her character grow. By the end of the book she is still the same fierce, slightly emotional, girl who isn’t always confident. At least those are the characteristics I enjoy and her character isn’t exactly boring.  

Prince Daren’s character was sometimes confusing and I don’t think his character was as well developed as Ryiah. But I still enjoyed the slight hidden smiles and the relationship he had with Ryiah.

Overall, the book was enjoyable. The writing wasn’t perfect but it worked. The plot had some gaps, which is always irritating. And some of the conclusions Prince Daren came to, I have no idea how he came to them. It didn’t really make sense. 

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The Immortal Heights (The Elemental Trilogy, #3)

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I have really enjoyed this series! For me, it was one of those hidden gems. And I’ll be honest, my review of this book is not an in-depth one.  I started reading the book and next thing I knew, I was at the end and all I wrote were 3 sentences. That’s how captivating this book is!!


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Author: Sherry Thomas
Published: October 15, 2015
Pages: 432

Stars: 5 out of 5

Series:
The Burning Sky (Elemental Trilogy #1)
The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy, #2)

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Synopsis:
In a pursuit that has spanned continents, Iolanthe, Titus, and their friends have always managed to remain one step ahead of the forces of Atlantis. But now the Bane, the monstrous tyrant who bestrides the entire mage world, has issued his ultimatum: Titus must hand over Iolanthe, or watch as his entire realm is destroyed in a deadly rampage. Running out of time and options, Iolanthe and Titus must act decisively to deliver a final blow to the Bane, ending his reign of terror for good.

However, getting to the Bane means accomplishing the impossible—finding a way to infiltrate his crypt in the deepest recesses of the most ferociously guarded fortress in Atlantis. And everything is only made more difficult when new prophecies come to light, foretelling a doomed effort…

Iolanthe and Titus will put their love and their lives on the line. But will it be enough?

Review:
This book doesn’t miss a beat and picks up exactly where the second one left off. And if you struggle remembering all the details from the previous book, no worries because the author does a fantastic job of reminding you. As normal, the writing style took me a little bit to get used to. But once I did, the book flowed effortlessly.

The heartache Titus and Iolanthe go through is hard to imagine. I wonder how painful it would be to know your loved one will die but not know how to stop it from happening. I’m impressed Thomas followed through and killed some of our most loved characters. Not every author is strong enough to do this. Although when I was reading the book, I was saddened by the loss, I do respect the author for making such a difficult decision. 

 The plot was fantastic, full of romance, black magic, and best yet it was unpredictable. You are going through the book believing one thing to only find out it was something completely different. 

It’s difficult to remember Titus is so young. His character comes off as such a romantic and someone who has experienced a lot in life. As much as his character has grown, Iolanthe as grown that much more. Starting this series as a scared girl, she has transformed into this strong, independent woman.

The ending wasn’t my favorite but overall I found it satisfying. I would recommend this series to anyone who loves Young Adult/Fantasy books.

Breath of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, #2)

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I enjoyed this book but it took me a while to finish reading it and there were a lot of things that bothered me. Overall what does this mean? I think this book killed the series for me. So sad..


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Author: Amanda Bouchet
Published: January 3, 2017
Pages: 432

Stars: 2.5 out of 3

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Synopsis:
SHE’S DESTINED TO DESTROY THE WORLD… 
“Cat” Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat’s tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what’s a girl to do when she knows it’s her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT
Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world-for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin must embrace their fate together. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom…or not at all.

Review:
This story begins full of drama and a roller coaster of emotions. Griffin discovers exactly who Cat is and doesn’t handle the deception well. 

Cat continues to grow in this book and I actually like her more. Griffin’s character kind of rubbed me wrong but I think that has more to do with the plot. Whenever Cat found herself in a dangerous situation with no way out, all it would take is Griffin saying he believed in her, knew she could do it, etc. and she would overcome the obstacle with ease. Where’s the fun in that? Plus, completely not realistic!

The plot flows effortlessly and I felt like I really connected more with the side characters. Which is weird because they aren’t the focus of the book. There was a lot of sex in this book and dare I say it was almost too much. And the amount of support/help the Gods gave Cat was over the top ridiculous. If the gods blatantly favored her this much, then they could have solved all of this without her. 

Overall, I felt like the plot was intriguing but the writing could use some work. The book went in a familiar and predictable pattern. Again, where is the fun or creativity in that? As I mentioned above, this book will be the last I read in the series.. 

A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, #1)

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This book was a little confusing to begin with. But by the end of the first chapter, I was fully emerged in the book. 


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Author: Amanda Bouchet
Published: August 2, 2016
Pages: 441

Stars: 3 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Catalia “Cat” Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods-and her homicidal mother-have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.

Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm-until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin’s fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.

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Review:
The book opens to a world full of gods, magic, and strength. In this world you are either born with magic – magoi, or you aren’t – Hoi Polloi. And not all magic is given equally. For example our heroine, Cat, her powers are as complex as they get. Although she looks harmless, she is as deadly as they come. Not only can she tell when others lie, she can also absorb their powers and use it against them. But as awesome as that sounds, her magic did nothing to save her from her family and the demands of her realm. Forced into hiding and disguised as a member of the circus, Cat is constantly looking over her shoulder. 

That is until Griffin, a warlord and second in command, comes into her life. He’s strong, handsome, and everything Cat doesn’t need right now. But as the story progresses, Cat discovers she isn’t entirely resistant to the warlords charm. The chemistry between Griffin and Cat is intense, even though Cat denies it every step of the way. The banter between them is fun and helps keep the plot moving. 

Cats can sometimes be immature, especially when it comes to her inner thoughts. For example she is in her twenties but says things like ‘yuck’ when kissed. Her inner thoughts are also constantly in turmoil with her actions.  I understand Cat is inexperienced but some of her immaturity in regards to Griffin was a little irritating. 

This is one of those books that is both frustrating and captivating. Frustrating with how much Cat denies her feelings and connection towards Griffin. Even when it’s obvious Griffen was sent to her, she still pushes away. But captivating in how the author provides the right amount of information/details to keep you wondering what will happen next. 

Overall, this book was a fun read. There is so much mystery left at the end of this book that I’m looking forward to reading the second. But at the same time, it felt like the book just ended. Here I was reading, I turn the page and that was that – The end. It’s weird how there wasn’t any closure or warning the book was closing to an end.

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The Hunt (Devil’s Isle, #3)

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This series keeps getting better! The Hunt is book three in the Devil’s Isle series and probably the best one so far. This book dragged so many emotions out of me. I love how the Chloe Neill was able to connect intense emotions with her readers. LOVED IT!!


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Author: Chloe Neill
Published: September 26th, 2017
Pages: 311

Stars: 4 out of 5

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Other books in this Series:
The Veil (Devil’s Isle, #1)
The Sight (Devil’s Isle, #2)

Synopsis:
When bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered that Claire Connolly was a Sensitive and infected with magic, he should have turned her in to be locked up in the prison district known as Devil’s Isle. Instead, he helped her learn to control her power and introduced her to an underground group of Paranormals and humans who know the truth about the war and those who fought it.

Now the weight of Liam’s own secrets has forced him into hiding. When a government agent is killed and Claire discovers that Liam is the prime suspect, she races to find him before the government can. But she’ll discover proving his innocence is no simple matter. Their enemies are drawing closer, and time is running out….

Review:
Claire is a strong woman with conflicting feels about Liam. But when Liam needs her help, she doesn’t think twice about going after him.

When Claire goes looking for Liam, I expected a happy reunion. Maybe hugs, Liam’s famous half smile, something that resembled the affection the two of them once shared. The build up of seeing Liam again had my stomach doing somersaults. And the reality is devastating. Instead of affection, Claire is met with a solid flat wall. Putting myself in Claire’s place, I would be so hurt but also royally mad. It doesn’t help how utterly attractive Liam is and somehow is even more otherworldly masculine and sexy.

The question of Clair’s mother rises early in this book. Again I put myself in her position and wonder, would I want to know the truth of my mother – The possibility she could have been this evil entity? Or the tale her father strung of her early death before the war? Either way, Claire gets forced into the reality every person must eventually face. That moment when your parents fall from the enormously high pedestal you’ve held them at because they aren’t perfect. And in Claire’s case, they are more than flawed. They are this cold, evil stranger. 

Liam’s power is pretty cool. It takes a while before figuring out why he didn’t want to tell Clair about it. And it’s actually kind of sweet. I think I would have done a similar thing. Maybe with a little more communication though. 

I love the chemistry between Liam and Claire. The similarities between Liam and Clair’s father don’t go unnoticed and I wonder if there are any underlining ‘daddy’ issues Claire is compensating for. 

The story ends with the battle between time and Claire’s mother. Claire has shown an enormous amount of strength, clarity, and willingness to make the hard choice and follow through with it in this book. This book has so much love in it. Even though in the beginning it’s difficult to see, trust me it’s there. And it comes in so many forms and from the people you least expect. I’ll admit reading this book, my emotions ran high. But isn’t that the best gift an author can give!

The ending of this book – and I don’t mean the last few chapters, I mean the very end – of this book was ok. I’m somewhere between thinking ok, maybe that would work to yeah that was kind of an easy out. Either way, that was what we are left with and I’m hands down excited for the next book. 

I wish I could say more, dive into every detail of this book. But let’s be honest, that’s not what you want. I’m trying very hard not to give away too much but my hope is I gave you enough to entice you to read more. Although this isn’t my favorite series from this author, I still wholeheartedly enjoyed this book. 

Priceless (Rylee Adamson, #1)

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This book is full of drama, action, and mixed emotions. For some reason, I felt like sexual tension/situations were a constant theme throughout the book. Each character brings something new. And just when you think things couldn’t get worse, the next chapter does just that. I didn’t love the book but I also didn’t hate it, I guess I’m still unsure about this series. But I’m getting ahead of myself.


Priceless

Author: Shannon Mayer
Published: June 2013
Pages: 269

Stars: 3 out of 5

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Synopsis:
“My name is Rylee and I am a Tracker.” 

When children go missing, and the Humans have no leads, I’m the one they call. I am their last hope in bringing home the lost ones. I salvage what they cannot.

I’m on the FBI’s wanted list.

I have a werewolf for a pet, a Witch of a best friend, and have no need for anyone else in my life.

But when a salvage starts to spin out of control, help comes from a most unexpected direction. One that is dangerously dark, brooding, and doesn’t know a thing about the supernatural.

One whose kisses set me on fire.

Review:
Rylee has a special skill that is unique to her in that she is able to find any missing child. Well, almost any. Having a sister go missing ten years ago and an FBI agent determined to pin the crime on her, Rylee isn’t exactly living an easy life. Rylee is also known as an Immune, meaning psychics are unable to see into her past or future, most magic won’t affect her, poison won’t harm her.. You get the idea. 

Rylee is a strong character with a soft heart. She puts everything she has into her job and is quite the fighter. But she carries a lot of baggage around and is constantly haunted by her past.

Liam, an FBI agent hell bent on seeing Rylee behind bars, has found himself in unmarked territory. After a flirtatious kiss, Liam can’t stop thinking about Rylee. But the thing that doesn’t make a lot of sense is that there is zero evidence pinning Rylee to her sisters death/disappearance. Yet Liam has been stocking – I mean investigating Rylee for 10 years. That’s a long time to investigate something, especially without any evidence. 

 Priceless is an easy read, the pages turn quickly as the heroine fights her way to save the life of a child. Although I felt like the plot could have dug deeper (a lot deeper), the book was an enjoyable read.

 But like I said above, I’m still not sure about the series. The plot was interesting and I think there is a good story in there but this book is weighed down by the lack of editing. Ok, maybe not the lack of editing but the book could have used more help in that department. Another thing that really put me off was all the sexuality in this book. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means a prude. I enjoy reading romance books and everything that comes with them. But in this case, I felt like everything was forced and pushed in your face while reading. There was nothing subtle or smooth about Rylee and Liam. Besides, their attraction just doesn’t add up.

Overall, the author has a good imagination and unique plot to work with. I wish there weren’t so many inconsistencies or forced scenes. And the authors unrealistic sexual attraction between her characters is off putting. I’m just not sure if I will continue with this series…

Wild Hunger (Heirs of Chicagoland, #1)

As of today, there are 102 days before this book is released. And I know, it’s not fair but I promise the wait is well worth it! You are going to love this series!

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I was surprised, albeit happily surprised, with how often Ethan and Merits characters showed up in this book. It was a little weird having Ethan and Merit be side characters, being able to hear their words without their thoughts. I almost felt left out, like I was missing something. But I guess that’s how it is with all spinoffs. It’s a good thing I loved Elisa’s character! Otherwise, I think it would be difficult to stick with the series.


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Author: Chloe Neill
Published: August 14, 2018
Pages: 352

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Series: Heirs of Chicagoland

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Synopsis:
As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she’s a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he’s prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of a diplomat brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.


Review:
First off, do not go into this book expecting a miniature Merit. Although Elisa has aspects of her parents, she is no Merit. She is more and so different. And as a side note, I love the parents Ethan and Merit turned out to be.

“My smart and kind and beautiful girl. He (Ethan) liked to say that, had been saying that for years, and had always put ‘beautiful’ last. Whether it was true or not, he’d tell me it was the least important of the three. “You are smart,” he’d say. “You should be kind. And if you are, you’ll always be beautiful.” 

I love this quote because it says so much about their character and values. And again, it shows what kind of parents Ethan and Merit are. I do wish Elisa would have felt like she could have told them her secret. I can’t imagine the weight of having to carry that around with you, not being able to talk to anyone about it.

The prologue was really fun to read. Chloe Neill did a great job at capturing the innocents of a child and the love/hate relationship between two young kids. If you haven’t read Chicagoland Vampire series, then I don’t think you would fully be able to picture the scene described here. Neill doesn’t go into too much description with the characters. For example, you don’t really get the sense of just how big/dominating Gabriel and Ethan presence would be, especially to two young kids. I do love how Elisa refers to Connor as ‘Connor Stupid Keene’.

Elisa’s character is complex. She is 23 and although she is a vampire, she continues to age. Elisa is heroic but at times can become reckless. And although she thinks she has discovered herself in Paris, she still has no idea who she is in Chicago. But no matter where she is, she is unbelievably brave.  Knowing she has to do something, even if it means hurting the ones she loves most because it’s to save the innocent, doesn’t hurt any less. I love the innocence of Elisa’s character. Although She is able to step up to a fight, she is still affected by the loss of death.

The phrase ‘I’m an immortal’ has come from Elisa throughout the entire book. I’m not sure why it sticks out to me, but it does. I can’t help but wonder how and if this might come into play later.

Connor is just as gorgeous as he is cocky. The naked scene was far too short and such a tease. God I loved it!! I love the dominant side of him and I like how he’s honest with Elisa. Even when it’s hard, he tells her not what she wants but what she needs to hear. I like Connor’s take on Elisa’s ‘monster’. I don’t think I would have looked at it that way, but it makes sense.

Connor and Elisa have a very complicated relationship. On the one hand there’s old childhood resentment, then there is their life’s dream – for Elisa it’s being anonymous, earning her way. For Connor it’s being leader of the pack. – and finally, it’s the connection between them, discovering who they have grown to be. But even as the sparks fly between them, the rules are clear and choices will eventually have to be made.

The banter between Connor and Elisa is fantastic but there is definitely a love/hate, are we friends or more, kind of thing going on here.  Some of the scenes between Connor and Elisa are not only intense but they are seductive! Who would have thought having someone grab your hand to prevent you from turning could be so sensual?!?! Chloe Neill does such an amazing job with building sexual tension between the two characters!! She is such a gifted writer and Wild Hunger is no exception.

The side characters are fun to read. I love LuLu’s hidden hobby of running. Finally, a girl that speaks my heart! I love the little details Chloe Neill adds into her books. They make her characters, no matter how minor, seem more real and relatable. Even the side characters are written in such a  personal way, it’s easy to connect with them.

The plot is fun, exciting, and similar to Chicagoland Vampires series yet much more. Elisa has been away from Chicago, developing control, and is returning to support the houses in hosting peace talks amongst the other supernaturals in the world. And as you can imagine, those talks don’t exactly go as expected. One of the things I found interesting is how Cadogan house struck a deal with the mayor to not get involved in supernatural crimes. And part of me gets it – when supernaturals get involved, the city tends to get destroyed. But another part of me recognizes the injustice that is put upon a single race. I can’t help but make a comparison with today’s world and how we look, respond, and treat those of different races.  I’m not sure if that was Neill’s intention or not and it wasn’t like it was an overwhelming theme. Just something I noticed.

Okay, I promise I won’t say more about the plot and characters, don’t want to give too much away 🙂

The end of the book is fantastic! I’m surprised with how much Connor and Elisa’s relationship changes. Connor is going to have his hands full with her! And that darn prophecy! Ah, I love it. This is a book you will want to read. I’ve had it on pre-order from the very beginning and even though I was given an advanced copy, I can’t wait for the book to come. This will be a book I will read again and a new series I am looking forward to starting.


I would love to hear your thoughts about the review and if you are planning on reading this book. Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂