Showing posts with label 4 Stars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 4 Stars. Show all posts

Friday, September 29, 2023

#BookReview: This Poison Heart (This Poison Heart #1) by @KalynnBayron @BloomsburyBooks






Synopsis: Darkness blooms in bestselling author Kalynn Bayron's new contemporary fantasy about a girl with a unique and deadly power.

Briseis has a gift: she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms with a single touch.

When Briseis's aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents decide to leave Brooklyn behind for the summer. Hopefully there, surrounded by plants and flowers, Bri will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they could never have imagined--it comes with a specific set of instructions, an old-school apothecary, and a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world that can only be entered by those who share Bri's unique family lineage.

When strangers begin to arrive on their doorstep, asking for tinctures and elixirs, Bri learns she has a surprising talent for creating them. One of the visitors is Marie, a mysterious young woman who Bri befriends, only to find that Marie is keeping dark secrets about the history of the estate and its surrounding community. There is more to Bri's sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it . . . until a nefarious group comes after her in search of a rare and dangerous immortality elixir. Up against a centuries-old curse and the deadliest plant on earth, Bri must harness her gift to protect herself and her family.

From the bestselling author of Cinderella Is Dead comes another inspiring and deeply compelling story about a young woman with the power to conquer the dark forces descending around her.


Thursday, September 28, 2023

#BookReview: Rising Like a Storm (The Wrath of Ambar, #2) by Tanaz Bhathena @fsgbooks






Synopsis: In the concluding installment to the Wrath of Ambar duology from masterful author Tanaz Bhathena, Gul and Cavas must unite their magical forces―and hold onto their growing romance―to save their kingdom from tyranny. 

With King Lohar dead and a usurper queen in power, Gul and Cavas face a new tyrannical government that is bent on killing them both. Their roles in King Lohar's death have not gone unnoticed, and the new queen is out for blood. What she doesn't know is that Gul and Cavas have a connection that runs deeper than romance, and together, they just might have the strength and magic to end her for good.

Then a grave mistake ends with Cavas taken prisoner by the government. Gul must train an army of warriors alone. With alliances shifting and the thirst for vengeance growing, the fate of Ambar seems ever more uncertain. It will take every ounce of strength, love, and sacrifice for Gul and Cavas to reach their final goal―and build a more just world than they've ever known.


Wednesday, September 27, 2023

#BookReview: Blood Like Magic (Blood Like Magic, #1) by @LiselleSambury @simonteen






Synopsis: An urban fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him.

After years of waiting for her Calling—a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers—the one thing Voya Thomas didn’t expect was to fail. When Voya’s ancestor gives her an unprecedented second chance to complete her Calling, she agrees—and then is horrified when her task is to kill her first love. And this time, failure means every Thomas witch will be stripped of their magic.

Voya is determined to save her family’s magic no matter the cost. The problem is, Voya has never been in love, so for her to succeed, she’ll first have to find the perfect guy—and fast. Fortunately, a genetic matchmaking program has just hit the market. Her plan is to join the program, fall in love, and complete her task before the deadline. What she doesn’t count on is being paired with the infuriating Luc—how can she fall in love with a guy who seemingly wants nothing to do with her?

With mounting pressure from her family, Voya is caught between her morality and her duty to her bloodline. If she wants to save their heritage and Luc, she’ll have to find something her ancestor wants more than blood. And in witchcraft, blood is everything.


Tuesday, September 26, 2023

#BookReview: Solo Passage (13 Questions, 13 Answers) by Glenda Goodrich @shewritespress






Synopsis: In her search to find healing and meaning in midlife, Glenda Goodrich undertakes a series of wilderness quests into the backcountry of Oregon, Washington, and California to discover what the natural world has to teach her about life, death, happiness, spirituality, and forgiveness.

This book chronicles the sacred ceremonies that connected Goodrich to the land, wove her into nature’s web, and transformed her from a woman who worked to please others into a woman who forged her own path. It is a brilliant collection of adventures—the touch of coyote fur, a snake’s kiss, a ceremonial blood offering—and a profound reflection on the healing and restorative power of nature.


Friday, September 22, 2023

#BookReview: Summons to Berlin by @JoanneIntrator @shewritespress






Synopsis: On his deathbed, Dr. Joanne Intrator’s father poses two unsettling 

“Are you tough enough? Do they know who you are?”

Joanne soon realizes that these haunting questions relate to a center-city Berlin building at 16 Wallstrasse that the Nazis ripped away from her family in 1938. But a decade is to pass before she will fully come to grasp why her father threw down the gauntlet as he did.

Repeatedly, Joanne’s restitution quest brings her into confrontation with yet another of her profound fears surrounding Germany and the Holocaust. Having to call on reserves of strength she’s unsure she possesses, the author leans into her professional command of psychiatry, often overcoming flabbergasting obstacles perniciously dumped in her path.

The depth and lucidity of psychological insight threaded throughout Summons to Berlin makes it an attention-grabbing standout among books on like topics. As a reader, you’ll come away delighted to know just who Dr. Joanne Intrator is. You’ll also finish the book cheering for her, because in the end, she proves far more than tough enough to satisfy her father’s unnerving final demands.


#BookReview: Gwen & Art Are Not In Love by @lexcroucher @WednesdayBooks






Synopsis: Heartstopper meets A Knight’s Tale in this queer medieval rom-com YA debut about love, friendship, and being brave enough to change the course of history.

It’s been hundreds of years since King Arthur’s reign. His descendant, Arthur, a future Lord and general gadabout, has been betrothed to Gwendoline, the quick-witted, short-tempered princess of England, since birth. The only thing they can agree on is that they despise each other.

They’re forced to spend the summer together at Camelot in the run-up to their nuptials, and within 24 hours, Gwen has discovered Arthur kissing a boy, and Arthur has gone digging for Gwen's childhood diary and found confessions about her crush on the kingdom's only lady knight, Bridget Leclair.

Realizing they might make better allies than enemies, Gwen and Art make a reluctant pact to cover for each other, and as things heat up at the annual royal tournament, Gwen is swept off her feet by her knight, and Arthur takes an interest in Gwen's royal brother. Lex Croucher's Gwen & Art Are Not in Love is chock full of sword-fighting, found family, and romantic shenanigans destined to make readers fall in love.

This title will be released on November 28, 2023.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

#BookReview: The Dead of Winter by @AriettaCharles






Synopsis: Can someone exist only to seek revenge?

Denya Augustine was left orphaned and alone on the streets of Vondar’s capital as a child after her brother was hanged for stealing from the royal kitchens. The king sought to make her brother an example. She’s spent every moment since plotting how to take as much from the king as he took from her. Her answer? She becomes the Ghost of Vondar. She and her underground network don’t just help the people. As the Ghost of Vondar, she foils the king’s plans and influences politics, through blackmail, theft, and murder, against the king’s most ardent and wealthy supporters.

Denya takes a reckless opportunity to break into a vault where the crown keeps dark objects and its deepest secrets, despite her gut telling her something is wrong. She soon discovers she’s not the only one plotting and scheming from the shadows and quickly learns what it is to confront a faceless phantom out to stop you.

It becomes a race to unmask a hooded figure before they do the same to her. The future of Vondar depends on it. She’ll risk everything to keep the promise she made as she watched her brother swing from the king’s gallows. She’ll protect the people and have her revenge even if it means leaving the darkness for the light.


#BookReview: Dark Moon Shallow Sea by @drslayton @BlackstoneAudio






Synopsis: Raef wants revenge on the knights who killed his goddess, the moon. Her death darkened the night sky, stopped the tides, and left the shades of the dead without a path to the underworld.

Seeking revenge, Raef breaks into the knights’ temple and opens a box, expecting to find gold and jewels among the bones. Instead, he finds a living man, Kinos, sleeping inside.

Raef steals Kinos.

As they run from the knights and grow closer, Raef thinks he’s found a friend, love, and perhaps a secret that may lead to his goddess’s return. If they can’t solve the mystery of Kinos's imprisonment, the moon will never rise again and the world will drown in ghosts.

This title will be released on October 31, 2023.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

#BookReview: The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games, #2) by @jenlynnbarnes @littlebrown






Synopsis: Intrigue, riches, and romance abound in this thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Inheritance Games perfect for fans of Karen McManus and Holly Jackson.

The Inheritance Games ended with a bombshell, and now heiress Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions - including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons.

Thanks to a DNA test, Avery knows that she's not a Hawthorne by blood, but clues pile up hinting at a deeper connection to the family than she had ever imagined. As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture - by any means necessary.

With nonstop action, aspirational jet-setting, family intrigue, swoonworthy romance, and billions of dollars hanging in the balance, The Hawthorne Legacy will thrill Jennifer Lynn Barnes fans and new readers alike.


#BookReview: All Our Hidden Gifts (All Our Hidden Gifts #1) by Caroline O'Donoghue @WalkerBooksYA






Synopsis: Maeve’s strangely astute tarot readings make her the talk of the school, until a classmate draws a chilling and unfamiliar card—and then disappears. 

After Maeve finds a pack of tarot cards while cleaning out a closet during her in-school suspension, she quickly becomes the most sought-after diviner at St. Bernadette’s Catholic school. But when Maeve’s ex–best friend, Lily, draws an unsettling card called The Housekeeper that Maeve has never seen before, the session devolves into a heated argument that ends with Maeve wishing aloud that Lily would disappear. When Lily isn’t at school the next Monday, Maeve learns her ex-friend has vanished without a trace.

Shunned by her classmates and struggling to preserve a fledgling romance with Lily’s gender-fluid sibling, Roe, Maeve must dig deep into her connection with the cards to search for clues the police cannot find—even if they lead to the terrifying Housekeeper herself. Set in an Irish town where the church’s tight hold has loosened and new freedoms are trying to take root, this sharply contemporary story is witty, gripping, and tinged with mysticism.


#BookReview: A Crown So Cursed (The Nightmare-Verse #3) by @ElleOnWords @FierceReads






Synopsis: Alice is doing her best to recover from her last boss battle, but members of her crew start having these... dreams. And they’re all the same dream: visions of a dark past―and an even darker future. It seems the evil in Wonderland may not be as defeated as they’d hoped.

When word spreads of an encroaching army of Nightmares unlike any ever seen, Alice finds she may have to step between the coming darkness and the mortal world once more. But this time is different. This time, the monsters aren’t waiting for her on the other side of the Veil.

They're in her own back yard.


#BookReview: The Last True Templar (Tales of the Lawless Land #2) by @BoydMorrison, Beth Morrison @HoZ_Books






Synopsis: A Perilous Quest. A Deadly Legacy.
Italy, 1351. English knight Gerard Fox and the resourceful Willa have come through a death-defying journey across war-torn Europe. Now looking towards their future together, they must first find a way to reconcile with their difficult pasts.

In a small village between Florence and Siena, Fox and Willa are caught up in a deadly ambush. After rescuing the enigmatic woman who is the target of the attack, they take refuge in her opulent villa and learn her heartbreaking story – a tale of loss, deception... and a burning desire for freedom.

Soon, Fox and Willa are involved in a perilous quest to save her family's legacy... and to do so, they will have to solve a mystery that points the way to the fabled lost treasure of the Knights Templar.


#BookReview: The Lucky List by Rachael Lippincott @rchllipp





 
Synopsis: Emily and her mum were always lucky.

But Emily’s mum’s luck ran out three years ago when she succumbed to cancer, and nothing has felt right since.

Now, the summer before her senior year, things are worse than ever – Emily has wrecked things with her boyfriend, Matt, and her dad is selling the house she grew up in and giving her mum’s belongings away. The only person she has to talk to is Blake, a girl she barely knows since she and her dad moved back to town five seconds ago.

But that’s when Emily finds the list – her mum’s senior year summer bucket list – buried in the back of her closet. When Blake suggests that Emily take it on as a challenge, the two set off on a journey to tick each box and help Emily face her fears over losing her connection to her mum. As she starts to feel closer to her mother, so too does Emily’s bond with Blake deepen into something she wasn't expecting.

And suddenly Emily must face another fear: accepting the secret part of herself she never got a chance to share with the person who knew her best.


Tuesday, September 19, 2023

#BookReview: Follow the Shadows (Tales of Moerden, 1) by Rosemary Drisdelle @GoSparkPress






Synopsis: When Marise Leeson gets her hands on a crystal ball, she believes her knowledge of Wicca is about to expand. The magic, however, goes horribly wrong. In short order, she’s thrown into an alternate world, attacked by a dragon, and rescued by Javeer, a young male dragon in search of a friend.

Marise is desperate to get home alive. Instead of dabbling in scrying and spells, she must now use her Wicca skills to survive in Moerden―navigating rival dragon factions, riding Javeer without falling, and dodging unknown perils of an alien landscape. Through a series of adventures and mishaps, she learns that the dragons face slow extinction from a mysterious disease. Some see Marise as part of the cause. Some hope she’s a key to a cure.

Marise grows up fast as her focus switches from escape from Moerden to saving the dragons. She draws upon her powers, intuition, and some help from home as she and Javeer begin a quest to solve the puzzle of the stagger. If they survive, and if their trust and courage are strong, they may succeed. If they do not, the dragons of Moerden will cease to exist.


Friday, September 15, 2023

#BookReview: A Fragile Enchantment by Allison Saft @WednesdayBooks






Synopsis: In this romantic fantasy of manners from New York Times bestselling author Allison Saft, a magical dressmaker commissioned for a royal wedding finds herself embroiled in scandal when a gossip columnist draws attention to her undeniable chemistry with the groom.

Niamh Ó Conchobhair has never let herself long for more. The magic in her blood that lets her stitch emotions and memories into fabric is the same magic that will eventually kill her. Determined to spend the little time she has left guaranteeing a better life for her family, Niamh jumps at the chance to design the wardrobe for a royal wedding in the neighboring kingdom of Avaland. 

But Avaland is far from the fairytale that she imagined. While young nobles attend candlelit balls and elegant garden parties, unrest brews amid the working class. The groom himself, Kit Carmine, is prickly, abrasive, and begrudgingly being dragged to the altar as a political pawn. But when Niamh and Kit grow closer, an unlikely friendship blossoms into something more—until an anonymous columnist starts buzzing about their chemistry, promising to leave them alone only if Niamh helps to uncover the royal family’s secrets. The rot at the heart of Avaland runs deep, but exposing it could risk a future she never let herself dream of, and a love she never thought possible. 

Transporting readers to a Regency England-inspired fantasy world, A Fragile Enchantment is a sweeping romance threaded with intrigue, unforgettable characters, and a love story for the ages.

This title will be released on January 23, 2024.

#BookReview: Blade of Secrets (Bladesmith #1) by @TriciaLevensell @FeiwelFriends






Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Ziva prefers metal to people. She spends her days tucked away in her forge, safe from society and the anxiety it causes her, using her magical gift to craft unique weapons imbued with power.

Then Ziva receives a commission from a powerful warlord, and the result is a sword capable of stealing its victims' secrets. A sword that can cut far deeper than the length of its blade. A sword with the strength to topple kingdoms. When Ziva learns of the warlord’s intentions to use the weapon to enslave all the world under her rule, she takes her sister and flees.

Joined by a distractingly handsome mercenary and a young scholar with extensive knowledge of the world's known magics, Ziva and her sister set out on a quest to keep the sword safe until they can find a worthy wielder or a way to destroy it entirely.

A teenage blacksmith with social anxiety accepts a commission from the wrong person and is forced to go on the run to protect the world from the most powerful magical sword she's ever made.


Thursday, September 14, 2023

#BookReview: Their Vicious Games by @joelle_welling @simonteen






Synopsis: A Black teen desperate to regain her Ivy League acceptance enters an elite competition only to discover the stakes aren’t just high, they’re deadly, in this searing thriller that’s Ace of Spades meets Squid Game with a sprinkling of The Bachelor.

You must work twice as hard to get half as much.

Adina Walker has known this the entire time she’s been on scholarship at the prestigious Edgewater Academy—a school for the rich (and mostly white) upper class of New England. It’s why she works so hard to be perfect and above reproach, no matter what she must force beneath the surface. Even one slip can cost you everything.

And it does. One fight, one moment of lost control, leaves Adina blacklisted from her top choice Ivy League college and any other. Her only chance to regain the future she’s sacrificed everything for is the Finish, a high-stakes contest sponsored by Edgewater’s founding family in which twelve young, ambitious women with exceptional promise are selected to compete in three mysterious events: the Ride, the Raid, and the Royale. The winner will be granted entry into the fold of the Remington family, whose wealth and power can open any door.

But when she arrives at the Finish, Adina quickly gets the feeling that something isn’t quite right with both the Remingtons and her competition, and soon it becomes clear that this larger-than-life prize can only come at an even greater cost. Because the Finish’s stakes aren’t just make or break… they’re life and death.

Adina knows the deck is stacked against her—it always has been—so maybe the only way to survive their vicious games is for her to change the rules.


#BookReview: Under This Forgetful Sky by @lauren_yero @simonteen






Synopsis: This “heartbreaking and heartfelt” ( Kirkus Reviews , starred review) star-crossed love story follows two teens in a starkly unequal future world who are struggling to find their places.

Sixteen-year-old Rumi Sabzwari has spent his entire life behind the armored walls of St. Iago, which protect citizens of the Union of Upper Cities from the outside world’s environmental devastation. But when rebels infect his father with a fatal virus, Rumi escapes St. Iago, desperate to find a cure.

In the ruined city of Paraíso, Rumi meets fifteen-year-old Paz, who agrees to guide him on his journey. As they travel together, Rumi finds himself drawn to Paz—and behind her tough exterior, she begins to feel the same way. But Paz knows more about Rumi’s father’s illness than she’s saying and has her own agenda. With the powerful forces at play in their cities putting them at odds, can the two learn to trust in each other—enough to imagine a different world?


Wednesday, September 13, 2023

#BookReview: Surrounded by Energy Vampires by Thomas Erikson @StMartinsPress






Synopsis: Vanquish the energy thieves in your life and at work.

Are there people in your life that leave you feeling drained, depleted, and just exhausted? Twenty minutes with these people and you feel as if you’ve just run a marathon. They demand limitless time, emotional support, attention, or affirmation; you dread interacting with them but don’t know how to change the dynamic.

You’ve just encountered a real-life vampire. Dracula has nothing on these ubiquitous social villains who take—time, energy, attention, emotional capacity— without reciprocating, and leave you too exhausted to protest. Energy vampires can be people, situations, or even your own mindset, but in Surrounded by Energy Vampires, internationally best-selling author Thomas Erikson identifies the different types of energy vampires and offers practical tools, fun self-assessments, and relatable stories to help you combat them.

Using the same simple, four-color behavior that made Surrounded by Idiots a runaway bestseller, Surrounded by Energy Vampires will help you slay the energy sucking interactions in your life whether they’re lurking at the office, amongst your friends, or in your own home.

This title will be released on October 3, 2023.

#BookReview: Songs of Irie by Asha Ashanti Bromfield @WednesdayBooks






Synopsis: Perfect for fans of The Black KidsSongs of Irie is a sweeping coming-of-age novel from Asha Bromfield about a friendship struggling to survive amidst the Jamaican civil unrest of the 1970s.

It's 1976 and Jamaica is on fire. The country is on the eve of important elections and the warring political parties have made the divisions between the poor and the wealthy even wider. And Irie and Jilly come from very different backgrounds: Irie is from the heart of Kingston, where fighting in the streets is common. Jilly is from the hills, where mansions nestled within lush gardens remain safe behind gates. But the two bond through a shared love of Reggae music, spending time together at Irie's father's record store, listening to so-called rebel music that opens Jilly's mind to a sound and a way of thinking she's never heard before.

As tensions build in the streets, so do tensions between the two girls. A budding romance between them complicates things further as the push and pull between their two lives becomes impossible to bear. For Irie, fighting—with her words and her voice—is her only option. Blood is shed on the streets in front of her every day. She has no choice. But Jilly can always choose to escape.

Can their bond survive this impossible divide?

Asha Bromfield has written a compelling, emotional and heart-rending story of a friendship during wartime and what it means to fight for your words, your life, and the love of your life.

This title will be released on October 10, 2023.