Book Review: The Dark Awakening by D.L Blade

If you like romantic plots that are kind of messy, this book is for you. I found the constant choices between all the guys for Mercy to be sort of long-suffering and a little dull, but I’m not big on overarching romantic plots.

What I did like, however, and why I rate this book highly: is the plot. The Salem Witch plot is something I have always found overdone and, frankly, a little irritating, but D.L Blades spin on this left me wanting more. There are so many players in this book and people beyond the shadows pulling Mercy’s strings that it left me hungry for more.

I really wish the plot would’ve been focused on more instead of making Caleb a cocky romantic interest. He was much more interesting as a mysterious love from Mercy’s past where they couldn’t be together. Then, when Dorian showed up I was more than happy to entertain some romantic subplot, but eventually, that too became a huge pain point for me.

There were a lot of times I ended up being pulled out of the narrative by choppy or short sentences or phrases that made me stop and pulled me out of the story, but the nuggets of intense prose and excellent writing pulled me back in. Though I will say this, I wish the plot with Mercy’s mother had gotten more attention. I felt like that got resolved a little too easily.

Plus, there was a lot of slut-shaming and bullying of girls not in the character’s immediate friend group and that really turns me off in a lot of books. I stuck through it, however, and I’m glad I did.

Let’s talk about the ending. I won’t spoil anything for anyone reading my review, but I will say that the ending was AMAZING. When I read it I immediately knew I was going to read the second book in the series. So I have to say I’m very interested in where this series is going.

Overall rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…
(3/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈ
Plot: 🧹🧹
Characterization: πŸ§™β€β™€οΈπŸ§™β€β™€οΈ
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

More about The Dark Awakening

I stepped quickly to the side to walk by him, but he moved into my path, blocking me from going any further.

β€œMercy, relax. I’m not going to hurt you.”

Everything around me froze in place and my heart stopped in its tracks. He knows me.

How did he know my real name?

β€”

Just as Mercy pieces her life back together after a vicious attack, she notices a stranger lingering in the shadows, and watching her every move.

Mercy isn’t certain if what she’s seeing is real, but when Mercy crashes her car on the side of the road, she’s rescued by a handsome and mysterious man named Caleb, who she finds herself both drawn to, and afraid of.

Caleb reveals to Mercy that she’s strongly linked to an ancient coven; the roots slowly dragging her back to Salem. He also claims to be in love with her, but can she trust him?

This story takes you on a journey of magic, secrets, betrayal, and abduction, in a world filled with witches, vampires and werewolves, which Mercy and her friends never knew existed.

Mercy must discover who she truly is, and find the powers within her to save mankind.

Book Review: Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

This book was so sweet and so cute. I absolutely love books that are in a series, but aren’t completely related to one another. I don’t know why, I’m just a total nerd for these types of books.

That said, I didn’t read the first book in the royals series. Mostly because it wasn’t LGBT and I’ve really been on an LGBT kick lately. BUT

This book. Was ADORABLE.

Millie and Flora are basically my endgame. When Millie was wasting her time with her friend Jude or whatever in the beginning of the book I literally wanted to punch her in the face. Like Go to Scotland and find your true love, Millie!

Flora in the beginning was high key annoying, but once she stopped being such a jerk to Millie I was like “Oh no she’s just prickly because she doesn’t trust people easily!” and honestly, same. I can totally relate.

This book was so sweet and cute and such a fun read. I did wish there was more of it. I don’t really like it when books end on the “We’re together!” part. And while this one didn’t technically do that, it sort of felt that way.

Millie and Flora have so many cute moments in the book, but I felt like their story needed more to really feel wrapped up at the end. Because there were a lot of people that opposed their relationship, including Flora’s own mom and that never really got resolved, so that sort of felt up in the air at the end.

Other than that, and a few minor complaints (Like how did Flora NOT know the animal of Scotland was the Unicorn when she is LITERALLY the princess of Scotland? Like I know that, Flora. And I’m an American. Yes, I know my family is Scottish & I’m first gen. Don’t @ me.) I thought this book was FANTASTIC.

I hope to read a lot more cute books by Rachel Hawkins!

Overall rating: β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜…
(4/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ‘©β€β€οΈβ€πŸ‘©πŸ‘©β€β€οΈβ€πŸ‘©πŸ‘©β€β€οΈβ€πŸ‘©πŸ‘©β€β€οΈβ€πŸ‘©πŸ‘©β€β€οΈβ€πŸ‘©
Characterization: πŸ‘­πŸ‘­πŸ‘­πŸ‘­πŸ‘­
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

More About Her Royal Highness

Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.

Millie can’t believe her luck when she’s accepted into one of the world’s most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute.

The only problem: Mille’s roommate Flora is a total princess.

She’s also an actual princess. Of Scotland.

At first, the girls can barely stand each other–Flora is both high-class and high-key–but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn’t a fairy tale . . . or is it?

Get your copy here on Amazon.

Book Review: I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

I really liked this book, but the writing style was actually really hard for me to get into. So it took me quite a long time to read it because of this.

The romance was really sweet, I thought Ben and Nathan meshed really well together. And Ben really needed some good in their life after what happened with their parents after they came out. Like that for SURE broke my heart.

I wish Ben had a better relationship with their sister. I did really enjoy their relationship with their best friend, Miriam. Who was also my favorite character in the entire book.

I felt like a lot of the other characters outside of Nathan, Miriam, and Ben were very flat. Which makes sense since they were only supporting characters, but considering side characters always end up being my favorites in a book, I was a little sad about this.

And I don’t know if it’s because I listened to the audio book instead of reading an ebook or print book, but I really genuinely had a hard time getting into the story. It was very, very good, but I did struggle a little bit.

I felt like the narrative was a little lacking. The story was good, it was a very good queer story. And I loved how Ben spoke about being bisexual for males and other non-binary people because it is so rare to see people actually understand bisexuality.

Overall rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
(4/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: πŸ₯³πŸ₯³πŸ₯³πŸ₯³
Plot: πŸ’…πŸ’…πŸ’…πŸ’…
Characterization: πŸ‘―β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘―β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘―β€β™‚οΈ
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

More About I Wish You All the Best

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.

Get your copy here on Amazon.

Book Review: Firstlife by Gena Showalter

The pining between Ten and Killian was kind of drawn out for a little too long, but other than that I really enjoyed this story.

I picked it up because the cover looked like one I’d done sketches of for a book I wrote. Plus, I love YA so reading about Ten and her fight against her parent’s wishes was right up my alley. Right out of the gate, this book is entertaining as heck!

I think my favorite part was the song Ten’s Aunt Lina sings and how that helps her later in the story. I knew it would come back to do something awesome and I was not disappointed. Ten is totally awesome in this story and I’m really glad Showalter didn’t opt for an Archer/Ten/Killian love triangle because I would’ve DNF’d this book so fast.

Instead of relying heavily on romance, Showalter tells a story worthy of her heroine. It is dark, intricate, full of action, and full of glittery beasts (done right, of course).

This was an excellent read!

Overall rating: β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜…
(4/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:

Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
Characterization: β˜€οΈβ˜€οΈβ˜€οΈ
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

I’m struggling through the second one right now, so I wish book 2 was a little better, but book one definitely held my attention very well!

Review: Never Letting Go by Liv Devereaux

This was very, very short and read like an unedited Wattpad story. I really like that Devereaux continues to write f/f and LGBT fiction, but I can’t help but think that this sort of writing is a little detrimental to the community.

As an LGBT author myself, I am all for supporting other people who write for the community and Devereaux is not a bad author. On the contrary, I do enjoy a lot of their work, but I find myself wishing they could be a little better.

This story was over in the blink of an eye, though I did like the narrative of two estranged lovers coming back together, I wish Devereaux would have explored this further in a longer story. I know we get the explanation toward the end as to what happened between them and how they ended up like this, but it all felt really flat.

I fully believe Devereaux has an incredible talent that they have yet to explore fully and will continue to read and advocate for their books with a little bit of constructive criticism thrown in. Keep writing, Devereaux, you’re out here fighting the good fight and filling the world with so much needed wlw representation.

I look forward to the next project I read by you.

Overall rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…
(3/5 Stars)

Rating breakdown:
Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
Characterization:
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

I would like to see better characterization and prose writing from Devereaux in the future.

Review: Not Your Villain by C.B Lee (Audible)

I got this title on audible like I do most of my traditional publishing reads and as much as it pains me because I adored the first one, I’m going to have to DNF book 2.

I love Bells and I would have loved to follow his story especially his whole Chameleon thing, but C.B Lee doesn’t do anything interesting with him. Most of the book he pines over Emma in the most annoying way possible.

Then he whines when she gets a boyfriend and starts acting like a bad friend. Which was so annoying to me and made even more annoying by the voice actor they had reading the book that I had to stop listening.

Not to mention, Lee completely mischaracterizes Jess. It’s like this book was written by a completely different person. In book 1, Jess loved running and training and she wanted to be a hero. In book 2, Jess is a whiny lazy grump who is useless on most missions.

This turned me off so badly because I really genuinely loved Jess and seeing her stripped down to a whiny comic relief archetype was horrible.

You’re better than this, C.B Lee and I really agonized over giving this book a bad review because I loved the first one so much, but I cannot continue to struggle through reading this.

Overall rating: β˜…
(1/5 Stars – DNF)

Rating breakdown:
Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„
Characterization:
Boredom meter:

I really hope the next novel C.B Lee puts out is better than this.

Review: The Poison Within by R. M. Pearcy

This is the second book by R M Pearcy that I have read and it was AMAZING.

I loved the worldbuilding and the map and almost all the characters. Plus the descriptions? were fantastic. I got so lost in the story I felt like I was there and that’s all I ever want out of a book.

To be honest, though, I wasn’t a huge fan of Cam because she was kind of just blah, buy Rya, Norell, and Thane? I LOVED them. I was a huge fan of the love story between Cam and Rya mostly because of how different they were and how Cam threatened to kill an assassin to save her.

Though I just had a really hard time connecting with Cam throughout the story.

Rya, though. Rya’s my girl. As someone who has been through physical and emotional abuse, I really understood her. I understood her choices and all of the seemingly bad things she did. I too am not a bad person, but people view me as such because of my no tolerance policy for bullies, abusers, and bad people. I get it, Rya. I see you.

I really didn’t like Norell in the beginning, but she grew on me. Especially when she met up with the Ebez, but I really would have liked to see her stay behind and learn from them. I get that her life was in the Ashen Forest, but she could’ve stayed for a little while to connect with family after they brought Rya to the Obsidian Isles.

I think the only thing I really had a huge issue with was the ending. It kind of ends really abruptly and I feel like I would’ve liked an Epilogue if this is going to be the last we see of these characters. Other than that, this book really was truly great. I would recommend it for anyone who is interested in F/F romance and fantasy worlds.

Overall rating: β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜… β˜…
(5/5 Stars. )

Rating breakdown:
Prose: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ πŸ‘
Plot: πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
Characterization: πŸ‘ΈπŸ‘ΈπŸ‘ΈπŸ‘Έ
Boredom meter: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Very excited to see what R. M. Pearcy comes out with next.