House Of Pawns – Plus new releases!

Tomorrow is a big day for books! Tons of great titles are releasing March 8th, Including Ismael Manzano’s  debut novel Soulless and Keary Taylor’s highly anticipated House of Kings. I will be posting reviews for both books over the next few days, as well as a few other titles, so I wanted to write a quick review of the second book in Keary Taylor’s House of Royals Series.

house of pawns

Although I don’t love the cover as much as House of Royals lovely front, the gorgeous raven and great title still grab me. The pictures fits perfectly with the series’  dark, mysterious, yet current themes. It’s a great cover.

But enough about the outside. Let’s get to the part that counts, the inside!

I can’t delve into any plot details because it could easily spoil the surprises Keary places in the nooks and crannies of her work, and this series needs to be enjoyed spoiler free!  However, I will discuss  how I felt about the story, which can be summed up in two words.

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House of Pawns picks up right where its predecessor left off, pulling us directly into Alivia and Ian’s messy, politically charged vampire world. Keary Taylor did an excellent job of maintaining  the story’s flow while also keeping the pacing appropriate for the beginning of a book. She kept it moving right along, and the big bang I always expect from her at the end delivered.

Spectacularly.

It left me scrambling for the next installment, to hell with the time on the clock!  (It was 12:33am). Thank goodness I had the next book primed on my kindle, I needed my fix! I am really thankful for my advance copy from the author!

Keary does a great job of layering plot hooks. She doesn’t reveal the answer to a question without hooking her readers with two new ones. The tension between her characters is hot, messy, and oh so good, but her novels carry more than heat, they carry real story arcs. She expands on the secondary characters and even adds some new characters, and those characters are pretty intriguing.

Especially Raheem.

But wait, I said no spoilers!

The first book was good, the second one was even better. The third book is coming tomorrow, and since I have already read it I will tell you all right now, it’s the best in the series so far!

I can’t give this book 5 stars because there were a few times I felt like the story jumped from a scene or relationship too abruptly. I also loved the next book even more and I save my five star rating for my all time favorites. Guess what my rating for The House of Kings is?

This book deserve a solid 4.25 stars, which is pretty darn awesome! Keary Taylor, you have officially written one of my top three all time favorite vamp series! You do your job well!

Grab your copy of House of Pawns here, and I’ll go ahead and include a link to House of Kings as well. If you have a thing for strong women and broody vamp boys, you are going to need it!

 

Poetry and Lyrics, Grey Light

Take a shot of whiskey just to kiss your precious troubles behindshot of whiskey

Take a breath and count to death and last a little longer this time.

Oh, it’ll drain you of every drop you find.

Mercy is begging to the reaper to steal its time.

 

Take a crack and give it woman-1152610__180back and then pretend you’re falling in line.

Take the day and let if fade and kill that little piece of your mind

Oh, it will haunt you as you fake your sleep.

Darkness is friends with the lovers that you try to keep.

 

Silently darkness is chasing the daylght breaking

Ashes to ashes, the firelight falls to decay

Burgundy hands can’t wash all these remnants away

Grey light breaks through the black night and covers the pain.

Review of A Grimm Curse

Hello everyone, it’s been too long!

No really, it’s been too long. Shame on me. I got a little caught up with my own writing journey (check out my new book page for The Mercy Killers Here ) and I started a few new projects, built a website, it’s tax season…

You get the idea.

But you guys aren’t here to learn about me, you want to hear about BOOKS! I’ve got a fun one for you, a great YA fairy tale twist. I haven’t read a good fairy re-telling in while, so when this popped up on NetGalley I was excited.

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Really excited!

A Grimm Curse is a prequel that ties into the series Grimm Tales by Janna Jennings. It’s cute, original enough to be considered fresh, but stays close enough to it’s Grimm roots to still be considered a solid fairy tale retelling. The story is fun, the characters are relatable, and the cover is realistic with a little hint of magic.a grimm curse.jpg

I have yet to read the other books in this series, so the main characters in this book, Cynthia and Remi, are the only characters I am familiar with. My lack of familiarity with the series wasn’t a problem at all, this book can be read as a stand alone.

I love Cynthia. She is a loose retelling of Cinderella, except with ten times more spunk and a dash of imperfection. Remi is charming, and Janna Jennings did a great job of making the frog prince a believable character, even as a frog.

Overall this book is adorable with a bittersweet ending. How refreshing to read a YA book revolving around fairy tales that possesses such a different sort of end. The ending is right…it just isn’t one hundred percent happily ever after.

The only negative about this book is a few seemingly inconsistencies in the world and the big “reveal” about what the world really is. I won’t spoil it for you, but let’s say the world is a bit dreamy. While the concept was great, the pacing of the reveal is slightly off to me. There are no hints of the big reveal until half the book is finished, which made it a little sudden. It’s a small issue, but still one that stood out.

Overall I give this book four stars. If you are looking for a fun, enchanting read with just enough realistic humanity to keep your feet on the ground,  read this little tale. Thanks NetGalley for the review copy, and thanks Janna Jennings for writing it! I’d love to read the rest of the series too.  A Grimm Curse definitely hooked me! Grab your copy here!

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House Of Royals

I haven’t read a vamp book in a while. Probably because I vamped myself out when I was nineteen ( Oh, hey Twilight!) So when The House of Royals caught my eye, I was surprised. I was even more surprised when I realized the book was a vampire Paranormal read, and I was still interested.

This all boils down to one thing.

     I love the cover!HOUSE OF ROYALS

But we aren’t here to talk about the beautiful red dress and lovely raven that dominate the book’s front. We are here to talk about the inside pages. So let’s get down to business.

The House of Royals starts with  a young city girl named Alivia arriving at her newly inherited Southern Plantation home. Her long lost father left her a mansion…and quite an eye brow raising heritage.  I won’t go into any more plot detail because the books starts out fast and I’d end up spoiling things, but lets just say vampires, slayers, and royal bloodlines are involved.

Oh, and romance. But I’ll get to that later…

The writing is good.  Modern slang with Southern charm. I can’t say the premise is unlike anything I’ve ever read before, but it is a well described, beautiful setting . The vampires weren’t original, but they are vampires. We all know what they are! It’s 2016! Why change what works? The descriptions are good, the characterization is good…

The book is good.

However, nothing really surprised me. The ending does have a plot twist, but I could feel it coming. The beginning of the book felt rushed, and parts of the book seemed to be filler. It was good, but not great.

So, why am I putting the book on my blog? I only talk about books I love! The other reviews go straight to Amazon and Goodreads!

The Romance.

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I love romance!!!!!!

Keary Taylor is a romance writer. Romance is her language, and she can give quite a speech. The house of royals is a romance, so that’s what I’m going to judge it on.  Here is a little taste of Taylor’s style below.

 

“Ian and I have been circling one another in close orbit. We have a gravitational pull on each other that can’t be explained by logic or reason…Sometimes fate deals you the horrible and the incredible. We can’t run from either. I take a step away from him…and millimeter by millimeter, our fingers slip apart.”

I love the energy she creates between two people. She is a pro at tension, and tension is what I love. The tension between Ian and Alivia is thick, and sticky, and oh so not allowed.  Forbidden love, hot guy and beautiful girl who might be destined to be a vampire?

I’ll take it!

I’d highly recommend this to anyone who likes Paranormal Romance. if you love Vamp romance, this is a must read for you.

Four stars for the House of Royals! The second book in this series is already out, and you can bet I’ll read it soon. Put me on your e-mail list, Keary Taylor! I ‘ll be needing the last book in this series as soon as it’s available!

 

Review of The Mark of the Shadow Grove

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Release date, January 15th, 2016

 “The birches- wizening old man arms bursting from the black soil and piercing heaven-  are like the columns of some ancient temple.”

This is not my normal fare for books. However, sweeping lines such as the one above hooked me in, and I am very glad I was caught.

old-spell-book-candle-mood-witch-magic-animated-gifThe Mark of the Shadow Grove is a horror novel telling three separate stories loosely connected by the leading women’s bloodline and the monsters they revolve around. Each ending is left a little open, giving them creepish mystery. I don’t usually like open endings but it worked so well for this book I can’t say anything else would be better. The book explores the dark elements of witchcraft, ancient cults, and necromancy.

Ross Smeltzer has a writing style which could be considered antiquated. His  language architecture often reminds me of Wilde, Emerson and Lovecraft. Part of this may be because the book is set in the past so the language style fits its time period. I think there is more to it. Smeltzer possesses the old talent of creating a captivating setting by using long, flowing descriptions. His style is old fashioned. At the same time he manages not to droll. Many of his strongest lines were simple.

“True evil needn’t be flamboyant about itself.”

The above statement is said in a very colorful setting by a dramatic character. It is one of the most basic lines in the chapter. However, the line caught my attention with it’s simple truth. Smeltzer has similar moments scattered throughout this book and they are my favorite parts of his writing style.

The Mark of the Shadow Grove is not a light read. Its prose sweeps you in and manages to make mundane things come alive with the dark, gloomy mood Smelter casts over his setting. I wouldn’t  recommend it for most readers. This book is a certain style built for a certain taste, but the audience it is written for is sure to love it. People with an adventurous and curious side will love it too. The Mark of the Shadow Grove is a gritty example of gothic horror, and I enjoyed it so much  I think I will start picking up the genre again. When I was little I would sneak-read Rebecca and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by the lowlight coming from my bedroom window. I forgot how much I enjoyed them. This book reminded me.

4.7 stars for The Mark of the Shadow Grove. I took off because I personally appreciate a slightly quicker pace, and there were instances where the scenes jumped around and I was a tad confused. However, these “flaws” have more to do with me than the book, so I won’t take off much, and as you all know…

I round up!

So five stars will be my rating on all of the review sites.

Grab your own copy of Ross Smeltzer’s The Mark of the Shadow Grove here. It is well worth your time!