Monday, June 18, 2018

Double Review: Ōkami and Yumi by Renée Ahdieh

Ōkami by Renée Ahdieh
Book 1.25 of the Flame in the Mist series
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Purchased Kindle copy

Summary (from Goodreads):

At the close of Flame in the Mist, to end a bloodbath between the Black Clan and imperial soldiers, Ōkami allows himself to be taken prisoner by Prince Raiden, Mariko’s betrothed. For someone who doesn’t believe in heroes, it’s a surprising choice: to trade his life for the lives of his friends and the one he loves. For he will surely be killed when he arrives in the Imperial City. But he decides if his life is the cost of love, it may not be too high a price after all.

What I Liked:

This is going to be super short because this short story was super short! Like maybe a chapter's worth of content or less. But I can't complain because (1) it was $0.00 and (2) it's all about Ōkami. This short story takes place immediately after the ending of Flame in the Mist, with Ōkami being captured by Prince Raiden and Kenshin, and Mariko also sacrificing herself and going with them. It's basically one scene that is shared Ōkami's POV, and he reflects on many different things. As you can imagine, Ōkami is not a happy camper, not with being captured, not with his friends dead, not with Mariko agreeing to marry her fiance, Prince Raiden. This short story sets up things nicely (well, "nicely") for Smoke in the Sun. I can't wait to start reading the conclusion!

What I Did Not Like:

Nothing specific!

Would I Recommend It:

Well, this short story is free, and it was quite insightful, so I'd definitely recommend it. I love getting into Ōkami's head and it was really fun to read. The tension and rage is boiling within Ōkami, so you know some sort of showdown is coming, in Smoke in the Sun

Rating:

4 stars. Thank you, Renée Ahdieh and Penguin, for making this short story happen! I really hope that the author writes more short stories (besides Yumi's which I'm about to review next), and there is some sort of novella bindup. Everyone, please "buy" these free short stories!

Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!


Yumi by Renée Ahdieh
Book 1.75 of the Flame in the Mist series
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Purchased Kindle copy

Summary (from Goodreads):

When Yumi receives word of the battle led against her brother and the Black Clan by Prince Raiden and the Dragon of Kai, and of Ōkami’s sacrifice, she resents the bars of her gilded cage all the more. She’s tired of being a sheltered bird, protected in the Hanami. What Yumi really wants is to strike a blow against all the forces that control her life. The time has come.

What I Liked:

Honestly this short story got me even more about Smoke in the Sun than Ōkami’s short story did. This is about Yumi, who is his sister, who he guards fiercely and makes sure that she is well taken care of and out of harms way. But this short story takes place immediately after Flame in the Mist, and Yumi receives a message which details Ōkami’s situation. Yumi has always protected and shuffled around, but now she is going to take matters into her own hands, and write her own fate. Yumi wasn't really a major player in Flame in the Mist, but I have a feeling she will be very important in Smoke in the Sun. This short story hinted at a lot of girl power to come, from Yumi and likely from other female characters. I can't wait!

What I Did Not Like:

Nothing specific!

Would I Recommend It:

Like Ōkami’s short story, this short story is free, and it's also very engaging and worth the read. It may be short - like 8 pages or less - but the scene is worth it. To get into Yumi's head is absolutely worth it. And to get such strong foreshadowing of Smoke in the Sun is also worth it.

Rating:

4 stars. One more short story that would have been neat is Kenshin's! But I'm excited for book two nonetheless. I do hope these short stories (and any others that the author decides to write) will be put into a print bindup edition. Fam, please go and "buy" these short stories from Amazon!


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day! 

I'm thankful to all the great dads out there, who love and support their children. My dad is the best dad in the world. A good dad can (and should) change a child's life, as much as a terrible father can. I'm grateful to have a good one. Thank you, Dad!

On this Father's Day, I'd like to share a list of some fabulous YA that feature an amazing dad. You'll find that in YA novels, dads aren't really around. In fact, parents in general are few and far between, and when you do have a story with parents in the picture, they're rarely around, or perhaps it's only a working single mother, or it's grandparents or an aunt or something. Even in YA contemporary. So this list was actually somewhat difficult for me to come up with. BUT. All of these books feature wonderful dads. I'm so excited to share this list!


All of these dads are present in their child's life (or children's lives, depending on the number of children). I especially love the dad in Sky in the Deep, and Love, Lies and Spies, and Rush, and To All the Boys I've Loved Before, because the dad in each of those stories is a single dad. And that is very special. It was hard enough to think of good dads in YA books, and the fact that some of those good dads are single parents is really cool. I salute all single parents - it can't be easy - but single dads are an specific kind of awesome. Thank you, dads!

Got any additional YA recs for me that include great fathers? Tell me in the comments!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (#286)


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!


So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, June 10th to Saturday, June 16th?


(all links to Goodreads are provided!)


In the mail:

The Life and Death Parade  What to Read and Why


Both unsolicited. Thank you, Disney and HarperCollins!


From NetGalley:

Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1)


I love this cover. I'm hoping I'll like this new series more than the previous series!


Review from this week:

(Click on the cover to go to my review!)


Favorite Instagram post from this week:

A post shared by Alyssa (@theeaterofbooks) on



This week was a tough one! I'm glad it's over. Happy Father's Day, especially to all the dads how read my blog!

Friday, June 15, 2018

My Favorite Adult Romance Standalone Novels

Happy Friday, bibliovores! Today is another day in which I didn't feel like writing/posting a review, but did feel like posting something... so I'm doing another favorites post! You can check out my other favorites posts in a previous posts (for example). 

Here are some of my favorite adult romance standalone novels! It's actually amazing how few true standalones there are, in adult romance. Check it out!

Vampire, Vampire  Degrees of Wrong
            Dark Inheritance: Fallen Empire (Fallen Empire #1)  Spinning GoldThe Game


This list was really hard to make, because most adult romance novels are part of a series, somehow! Whether a continuous series (like the Kingmaker Chronicles) or a companion series (like the O'Malleys series). This list is exclusively standalones (no sequels or companions). I personally love standalones and wish they were more frequent in adult romance!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Swoon Thursday (#281): Slumber by Samantha Young


- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering

- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting


This week, my swoon is from Slumber by Samantha Young!


His breathing grew laboured as he leaned in towards me. I trembled terribly as his lips reached for mine again and I felt his arms flex around me. This time his kiss began a little gentler as I opened my mouth tentatively. When his tongue touched mine I followed it with my own. Wolfe groaned against me and I felt it reverberate through me in delicious waves. I gasped at the feeling taking over me. This must be what Haydyn was always talking about. The kiss grew more frantic and I freed my arms so I could wrap them around him, my breasts flat to his chest, every inch of my body as close as I could get to the heat of his.

- Kindle copy, page 187



I was in the mood to reread this one, and so I had many lovely swoons to choose from! This is one of my favorite books of all time and I reread it often. =)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (#285): Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


This week, I'm featuring:


Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: November 13, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads):

A nobleman's daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods. Tasha Suri's captivating debut is perfect for readers of City of Brass and The Wrath & the Dawn.

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited. Unbeknownst to her, she can manipulate the dreams of the gods to alter the face of the world.

When Mehr's power comes to the attention of the Emperor's most feared mystics, she is coerced into their service, as they are determined to harness her magic for the glory of the Empire. She must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist the mystics' cruel agenda -- and should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance...



This sounds super cool! It's an adult fantasy novel with YA crossover. Plus it seems to have Desi influence which is awesome. I am here for this! (Thank you, Aila!)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday (15)



Happy Tuesday! Today I've decided to participate in Top Ten Tuesday, formerly hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today's topic is: 

Books That Awaken the Travel Bug In Me

Another planet:


Feudal Japan:


Scandinavia:


Regency London:


Scotland:


Somewhere at sea:


South Asia:


Pompeii:


The Sahara (or some desert - it's not specified in this book):


France:



Oh, the places you could go!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Review: Captivated by Tessa Bailey & Eve Dangerfield


Captivated by Tessa Bailey & Eve Dangerfield
Publication Date: June 11, 2018
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Review copy provided by publicity

Summary (from Goodreads):

Secret aspiring comedian Autumn Reynolds is a girl gone...not wild exactly. More like lazy. Since her boyfriend abandoned her in New York City for a bunch of improv groupies she’s had two priorities; sucking the nitrous out of whipped cream cans and making sex comics about her mysterious landlord. 

Blake hates people—and sunlight—with good reason. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself lusting after his upstairs tenant, a sunny, Australian people pleaser down on her luck. Turns out his ability to terrify with a single scowl comes with an advantage. Autumn seems to like it. A lot. As evidenced by the prisoner-captive comic Blake was never meant to see. 

As they embark on a three-date arrangement the rules are clear; filthy, ground breaking sex, no feelings or commitment required. When chemistry is this strong, though, attachment follows. As Blake and Autumn attempt to negotiate their New York romance, their prior histories and secret dreams come to the foreground. How long can these polar opposites remain Captivated, when all signs point to disaster? 

What I Liked:

I love Tessa Bailey's books. I'm part of her fan group and I am always watching eagerly to see what she is writing next. I'd not heard of Eve Dangerfield before, but when I saw that Tessa was writing a book with Eve, I was 100% on board and couldn't wait to read the book. The duo seemed to have a lot of fun writing this book together. As it would turn out, Captivated was a funny, sweet, and very sexy novel. I didn't doubt that I would love it, and I'm glad I wasn't disappointed.

Autumn is having a rough couple of weeks; her boyfriend (who convinced her to move from Australia to New York with him, for his acting career) has been cheating on her with improv groupies, he abandoned her in their apartment in New York, and let's just say that she is unhappy. She has been spending her days at work at the vet, and at home, she's a mess, and constantly fantasizing about The Landlord. He's big and silent and rarely sets foot outside the apartment building. He fits her naughty fantasies perfectly... little does she know that Blake the landlord has been fantasizing about her as well. A trick of fate has them colliding, and it doesn't take long before they decide to do something about the chemistry between them. 

I have to say, there are many great things about this book, but quite possibly my favorite is that it is a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast! Beauty being Autumn, and the Beast being Blake. Autumn is sunshine and happiness, humor and sweetness, and she's a vet - she even brings injured pigeons home and nurses them back to health. Everyone loves her and is drawn to her. Including Blake, the big hulking landlord who lives in the building and rarely comes out in the daytime. Or at all. He walks with a limp and says very little. Autumn has always been intrigued by him, and he has always been intrigued by her.

I liked Autumn immediately; she is a sweetheart with a dirty mind and some x-rated fantasies. Her ex-boyfriend was terrible for her self-consciousness (and just terrible in general), so she has some self-esteem issues, and she's embarrassed about the x-rated fantasies. Especially when Blake finds out that she has included him in her fantasies. But to her surprise, he isn't disgusted or freaked out. Rather, he wants in. 

Blake is the best "Beast" I've seen in a romance novel. He is big and surly and really does not like people. He has a really sad past that made me want to hug him over and over. He has been hurt - physically, but also emotionally - and he didn't deserve any of the pain. He has always had an eye on Autumn, but knew that his tastes were too dirty for an angel like her. But he was wrong.

These two had great chemistry, especially with them being complete opposites. Autumn is light and sunshine to Blake's storm and darkness. Autumn is a chatterbox of opinions and ideas, whereas Blake is a quiet observer who communicates so much without saying a single word. The pair are perfect for each other on so many levels.

This book was hot! X-rated fantasies indeed. In all fairness, I actually expected more x-rated scenes, but that's okay. The book had plenty of sexy times and good buildup of tension. I like that the authors explored this kind of kink without making it seem non-feminist. You'll have to read the story to see what I mean. Consent was always there, and desire.

On top of this book being very hot, it was also really, really sweet. I was struck by how sweet this book was. It wasn't just sex 24/7. The relationship between Blake and Autumn was a thing to behold. They are so good for each other, and good to each other. I loved watching them fall for each other. Blake with his grumpy, silent self, and Autumn with her energetic, sweet self. Towards the climax of the book, I was less concerned with the sexy times, and more invested in the emotional aspect of the romance. It was so sweet!

The climax was a little angsty but in the best of ways. I love how the conflict was presented and I like how it was handled. Blake and Autumn had some things to work out on their own, and together. There is drama, both individually and between them, but it's not unnecessary drama. 

The ending is a very nice HEA! I like the idea of this book being a standalone and I hope that it remains that way. It was a lovely story and I will definitely be rereading it again!

What I Did Not Like:

Nothing specific comes to mind! Perhaps more x-rated sexy times?

Would I Recommend It:

If you enjoy Tessa Bailey's books, this is one that you won't want to miss. The combination of Tessa and Eve is a good one. I've not read any of Eve's solo books but I can clearly see Tessa's writing, and the other half being Eve's writing. The humor of the story is so great, and the tension, and the romance. These two authors wrote a sexy, sweet, heartwarming retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and it is so worth the read.

Rating:

4.5 stars. I am curious to see if the pair will write more books together! It would be neat if they retold other fairy tales, like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. (Perhaps not in a problematic way, but hey, they did a great job with this book in making it not problematic, so I'm down for whatever!)


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Release Day Blitz: Captivated by Tessa Bailey & Eve Dangerfield


Welcome to the release day blitz for Captivated by Tessa Bailey and Eve Dangerfield! This is the duo's debut novel, though each author has written many solo books of their own. I love Tessa Bailey's books, and so it was no surprise that I enjoyed this one as well. You can check out my review in the post above. But here is information on Captivated!


About the book:


Captivated by Tessa Bailey & Eve Dangerfield
Publication Date: June 11, 2018

Official Summary:

Secret aspiring comedian Autumn Reynolds is a girl gone...not wild exactly. More like lazy. Since her boyfriend abandoned her in New York City for a bunch of improv groupies she’s had two priorities; sucking the nitrous out of whipped cream cans and making sex comics about her mysterious landlord.

Blake hates people—and sunlight—with good reason. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself lusting after his upstairs tenant, a sunny, Australian people pleaser down on her luck. Turns out his ability to terrify with a single scowl comes with an advantage. Autumn seems to like it. A lot. As evidenced by the prisoner-captive comic Blake was never meant to see.  

As they embark on a three-date arrangement the rules are clear; filthy, ground breaking sex, no feelings or commitment required. When chemistry is this strong, though, attachment follows. As Blake and Autumn attempt to negotiate their New York romance, their prior histories and secret dreams come to the foreground. How long can these polar opposites remain Captivated, when all signs point to disaster?



About the Authors:

Tessa Bailey

Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.

Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of ten years and six-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Eve Dangerfield 

Eve Dangerfield has loved romance novels since she first started swiping her grandmother’s paperbacks. Now she writes her own sexy tales about complex women and gorgeous-but-slightly-tortured men. Her work has been described as ‘the defibrillator contemporary romance needs right now,’ and not by herself, or even her mum, but by OTHER PEOPLE. 

Eve lives in Melbourne with her boy, a bunch of semi-dead plants and a rabbit named Billy. When she's not writing she can be found making a mess.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Sunday, June 10, 2018

My Favorite YA One-Hit Wonders

Happy Sunday, bibliovores! Today is another day in which I didn't feel like writing/posting a review, but did feel like posting something... so I'm doing another favorites post! You can check out my other favorites posts in a previous posts (for example). 

Here are some of my favorite YA one-hit wonders! Ever read a book, love it, and can't wait for the author to write something new (whether related to the original book or not)? And then years pass and you realize that the author hasn't written a book since? Yeah... that's what this post is all about. Whether a single book, or a series, the books in this post are one-hit wonders. Authors, please give us more! (Or me, at the very least.)

Myra McEntire's Hourglass series
(I don't think I ever read book three. But I loved book one and book two.)

Hourglass (Hourglass, #1)  Timepiece (Hourglass, #2)  Infinityglass (Hourglass, #3)

Carrie Jones's Need series
(Yes, she wrote a book after this. I still consider the Need series a one-hit wonder!)

Need (Need, #1)  Captivate (Need, #2)
Entice (Need, #3)  Endure (Need, #4)

Flynn Meaney's The Boy Recession

The Boy Recession

Elizabeth Norris's Unraveling series

Unraveling (Unraveling, #1)  Unbreakable (Unraveling, #2)

Lisa Cach's Wake Unto Me

Wake Unto Me

Kathleen Peacock's Hemlock series

Hemlock (Hemlock, #1)  Thornhill (Hemlock, #2)  Willowgrove (Hemlock, #3)

Gina Rosati's Auracle

Auracle

Sara Walsh's The Dark Light

The Dark Light

Maurissa Guibord's Warped and Revel
(Throwing in both books, even though they aren't related.)

Warped  Revel


Tell me some of your favorite YA one-hit wonders!