Thursday, August 31, 2017

Books I can't wait to get my hands on ;) september edition

Hello my lovely people :) can you believe it's been another month? yeah, me neither ;) and even more so... I almost didn't prepare this post in time... I have no idea why, but up until almost the very end, I was absolutely convinced, that the last day of the month, when I usually put these posts up is on friday... and it wasn't until yesterday when I figured out it's actually today... you know... one day earlier than I thought... *sighs* yeah, that should tell you just how crazy my life has been lately, because I am usually much better with all that :) so without any additional delay, let me tell you all about the books I can't wait to get my hands on in september :)

"Archangel's viper" by Nalini Singh is her newest addition in Guild hunter series ;) this is a paranormal / urban fantasy gem and I am still shocked that I was approved for an eARC through NetGalley :) so yeah, I already had the pleasure of reading this one :) definitely not my favourite in the series, but the quality is still there :) for more of my thoughts and opinions, you can check out the full review I already posted on Goodreads -> READ ME <- :)

"Tate" by Ella Frank is the newest addition in her MM series Temptation about the same couple :) and even though this is book #5 and I read just the first one... I still can't wait to continue on with the series... :) it's sexy as hell and hilarious and my sister will kick my ass that I still haven't picked up the sequel yet... ;) but it's just a case of too many books too little time... I use that excuse all the time... but it's true! :)

"Secrets in death" by J.D. Robb, is the newest installment in the In death series, where each book concentrates on another case of a homicide detective, now lieutenant, Eve Dallas :) 40+ books and it's still going strong :) set in the future, but the main difference is just the technology, and it's one of my favourite series of all time... I am almost caught up, but I always enjoy the whole gang... because even though Eve is the main character, there is a whole bunch of strong and interesting secondary characters appearing throughout this series :) I highly recommend it :)

Last but not least, although I'm pretty sure I forgot to mention at least one book ;) is "Temporary" co-written by Sarina Bowen and Sarah Mayberry :) I'm not sure if it's the beginning of a series, or a completely standalone novel, but I will let you know in my review on the release day, because I was lucky enough to get an eARC of it :) and although I've been a huge fan of Sarina's writing style for quite a while, Sarah is a new author to me :) I am very looking forward to see what this duo prepared in this contemporary romance :)



Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Review: "The queen and the cure" by Amy Harmon

Author: Amy Harmon
Main character: Kjell

This was an absolutely fantastic addition to the series ;) after inhaling and loving "The bird and the sword", the first book, I immediately had to start the sequel :) it's a good thing I ordered them both at the same time :) after this whole series was recommended to me many times over in one of the Facebook groups I am a part of, I decided to give it a try... but since it was a brand new author to me, I downloaded the free sample of the first story... read the prologue, and then very quickly ordered both paperbacks :) it was the best decision ever ;) because I was able to dive into this wonderful sequel straight away... if I could, I would read the third book... but it's not out yet, although in one of Amy's newsletters she mentioned who will be the hero... and I am sooo excited :) but for now, let us focus on this particular story :)

It's always hard to write a review for a book that's part of a series, because I have my #NoSpoilers rule... and it's very difficult to say stuff about the sequel without mentioning spoilery things from previous book :) but I will try to do my best to show you how amazing it was without ruining any surprises :) first, I need to say that even though this is a companion novel and not a direct sequel, I would highly recommend you to read the first book before this one :) that way you will have a bigger backstory to all the events, because we are picking up about two years after the ending of that previous story :) so there will obviously be spoilers in this book about everything that happened before... plus, that first book is truly amazing :) so it's not gonna be a chore to read it ;) especially since we met the main hero of this story, Kjell, before :) I was intruigued by him in that first book, so I was more than happy to discover he got his own novel :) if you are not familiar with this series at all, it's a fantasy world where people with magical gifts are hunted down and killed... at least that's how it looks at the beginning of that first novel... because a lot has happened since then ;) again, because of my #NoSpoilers rule, I can't really say anything else... just know, that this story is about Kjell, and a woman he discovers, badly wounded, without her memories... *sighs dreamily* and it was an amazing one :)

I am sitting here, trying to find words I could share with you... some small informations that wouldn't spoil you anytihng, and I have nothing... everything non-spoilery about this book would ruin some major surprising twists and turns from the previous one... so instead I will focus on my thoughts and feelings about it :) to say that I loved it, is not enough... it was soooo different from the first book... the main couple, their story, the overall vibe of the book... and yet, at the same time, it was equally phenomenal :) Amy Harmon has such a unique writing style... *sighs dreamily* she spins the words together, creating worlds and characters so rich and complex, that you are immediately drawn between the pages of her stories... you laugh, tear up, gasp in surprise and kep turning page after page... reading chapter after chapter, until there are none left... no adjectives are truly good enough to describe it, but I can try... mesmerizing, whimsical, enchanting... take your pick :) this series was my first connection to her work, but trust me when I say this... all of her other books are now very highly on my #Wishlist... because I need to see and experience more, just to be sure if I love this world or just her writing style in general... although I think I may already know the answer... ;) so if you haven't already, then definitely give this series a try... give yourselves this amazing gift of being transported completely into the book... and then we can gush about it together ;)



Monday, August 28, 2017

Random ramblings of a bookworm ;) #77

Song of the moment
I have a problem

Hello my lovely people :) I cannot believe that it's the end of august already... :) another week, another #RandomRamblings post, although... I almost skipped it this time... so without any additional delay let me get into the explanation :) and this time we will go with the order of the headlines... ;)

So it's been a hard couple of weeks... both physically and mentally... so when the weekend finally came I was exhausted... and I had a moment when I thought to myself... I'm just gonna skip #RandomRamblings this week... I mean, it's not like something exciting happened or anything, I don't really have anything to share, so maybe I will just write a quick note saying just that and take a break... but when my sister heard about that idea... well... let's just say she shamed me into sitting my ass in front of my computer and writing some more... ;) so you have to thank J for this post ;) now onto the next part :)

For the last couple of days I can't stop listening to one song... which is weird considering that when I first heard it I wasn't the biggest fan... some parts were weird and I wasn't sure what to think about it... then I listened to it for the second time, and though... huh... it's not bad... and by the time I listened to it for the third time, I was addicted ;) #TrueStory :) I'm sure you heard *something* about this song recently, but either way, I'm sharing it with you below :)

Last but not least... let's talk about my problem... my book buying problem, to be exact... :) you may remember that a few months ago... after that giant book haul I did, I decided to take a break from my regular, monthly book buying habit and budget... I figured I have so many unread books on my shelves, that I will get through at least some of them before getting new ones... yeah... so, I lasted longer than I expected, but much shorter than I wanted... I thought I would be able to hold on till late october or something... yeah... that didn't happen :) so let me tell you very vaguely, what I got :) and no, there will be no pics or specifics, until everything will get to me... and then prepare thyselves for the biggest book haul yet :) anyway... :) so first, I got myself a little late birthday gift... I know what you're all thinking... *but you already got yourself books a while ago as a birthday gift* :) and yes, that is correct... but I got something else as well :) I bought 4 book-ish merchandise thingies... :) I use them now constantly and love all of them :) then, a few weeks ago I got 16... well... not books, but something similar :) I know I'm being vague, but that's all you will get for now :) so I thought it's gonna be enough to hold me on for a while... nope :) because a week or so ago I bought another 4 books :) by that time I figured that it's for sure gonna last me a couple of monhts... yeah... poor, naive A... ;) because then this week happened... I'm writing this week, although you will be reading this on monday (or later), so technically it should be *last week* but since I'm writing this on sunday I'm gonna stick to my version... you know what I mean :) and this week was hard... and the next month is not gonna be any better... so I really needed something to cheer me up... so I got 7 books... and then additional 5... and then 4 more... :) *sighs* ;) and if we're being like totally honest... I went and bought 10 more at the very end of sunday... yeah... ;) judge me all you want, cause I don't care :) I could afford it... although I don't really want to do the math of adding all those prices... :) and I really needed it, so I am not sorry :) and it did what it supposed to do, cause I am feeling much better :) the only downside is that I have to wait 2-3 weeks until they get to me... I cannot express how much I am jealous of you guys who have bookstores with books in english available whenever you want to go to them... since english is not my first language, and I don't like reading the translated versions, I have to get my books online and then wait until they are shipped to me... and yes, I could use Amazon and pay extra for fast shipping, but I can't do that every time... so for now just the thought that those books are on their way to me have to be enough ;) although I soooo can't wait to get my hands on all of them... :) the only problem... where to put them?!? ;)

Ok, that is a wrap you guys :) hope you enjoyed my #RandomRamblings this week :) be sure to come back for some fun book recommendations soon and I will talk to you some more later :) also, be sure to leave me a comment here, on my Facebook page or Goodreads account, cause I love talking with you guys :)



Thursday, August 24, 2017

Review: "The hating game" by Sally Thorne

Author: Sally Thorne
Main characters: Joshua "Josh" Templeman and Lucinda "Lucy" Hutton

I found this book thanks to one of the online Facebook groups I am a part of :) I've been hearing nothing but fabulous praises about it, so after a while, I got very curious... and once my sister read it and absolutely adored it, I KNEW that I had to get it for myself ;) after all, she is my ultimate recommender of books... is that even a word? we're just gonna assume that it is and move on ;) we have very similar tastes when it comes to books and authors... and even if we don't love the same stories as much, we can always say if the other one will enjoy it :) so naturally I got this particular one and put it at the very top of my to-be-read #BookMountain :) and now that I finished it... *sighs happily* I can honestly say... all those people were right... it was absolutely amazing :) which was a bit surprising actually... let me explain why... :)

On paper this doesn't really sound like a story I would love as much as I did... :) it's not that I don't enjoy hate-to-love sort of relationships, but they are not at the very top of my favourite tropes ;) but this one... oh, this one was phenomenal :) both Lucy and Josh are executive assistants to co-CEO's of a publishing company that was created after a merger of two separate firms :) and from the very first day, there were games between them.... oh so many games.. ;) for example: The Staring Game ;) I won't go into any more details about all of them, because trust me... all of that is way more fun to discover along the way :) but back to our main characters :) Lucy is petite, nice and likeable :) I adored her... which is surprising, because some of the things she did may be seen as childish or immature... but they didn't bother me in this book at all :) Josh on the other hand, is tall, dark and mysterious... talks very little and can be rude and obnoxious... I loved him as well... ;) and don't you judge me before you actually read the book and know all the details and informations ;) their interactions throughout the whole book were amazing :) first, there was the banter... the witty, more sarcastic back-and-forth... ;) but once certain event occured... and no, I won't say what exactly I have in mind ;) but AFTER, those interactions started slowly to change... :) the more I read this book, the more I was falling in love with this story :) each page, each new chapter added another layer to this amazing book and I never wanted it to end ;)

Yes, I am fully aware I haven't given you pretty much any details about the story... but you don't need them beforehand to enjoy it :) I very highly recommend you guys to check it out :) it's written entirely from Lucy's perspective, and the only thing that would made it better, was if we were able to have some chapters from Josh's perspective as well :) but that is the only complaint I have... if you can even call it a complaint... more like a personal preference / wishful thinking ;) when it comes to my general thoughts and feelings about this book... my main reaction while I was reading it was: *swoons... be still my beating heart* ;) yes, there were times when I wanted to smack one or both of them but most of the time I wanted to hug one or both of them... or make them hug each other... ;) I am especially amazed by how fantastic the writing style was, when you take into consideration fact that this is a debut novel... yep, you read that correctly :) as in I have no other books written by this talented autor to dive into straight away... *sighs* fortunately there is a new one coming next year that I have to look forward to ;) but until that time, you should all read this particular story, so we can all wait impatiently together for another gem from Sally Thorne :) but no pressure, right? ;) I feel like I haven't properly explained my love for this story... sometimes when I adore one as much as it happened this time, I cannot shut up about it... but there are times... like today ;) when the book was sooooo good... so enchanting... that I have some serious problems trying to find the best way... any way really ;) to convey all my feelings into actual words :) so please, don't look at the lenght of this review, and instead try to see my love for this story as the best reason to check it out for yourselvess :) I promise, you won't regret it :)



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: "Heart of fire" by Bec McMaster

Author: Bec McMaster
Title: "Heart of fire" 
Book 1 in series Legends of the storm 
Originally found in the anthology "Myths and magic"
Main characters: Rurik and Freyja

I got an ARC of this story from the author in exchange for an honest review :) ok, it's official people... if there was any doubt before, there are none left... Bec McMaster is definitely an auto-buy author for me... :) because here we have, beginning for yet another series from her... so much different then her other ones, and once again I am absolutely in love... enchanted by the characters and the world she created... *sighs happily* so let me tell you some more about this newest one, and convince you to give it a try, so we can sigh happily together... and then wait impatiently for the sequel ;)

This is a fantasy-ish story set in the late 1800s... we have Freyja, a young woman who is doing her best, taking care of her sick father, living mostly solitary life, because she is... well... different... and it might be too dangerous if many people discovered just how much different she truly is... she lives near a small village near a volcano where one of the dreki lives... and dreki is... how to best describe him... he's *not* a dragon... trust me, they get offended by that comparison, because there are a lot of differences, but think in that direction ;) one night, when the dreki steals her last ram, and Freyja is faced with a very bleak future, it's the last straw... she marches into his lair to demand the return of her animal... you can imagine how well that encounter went... ;) dreki is definitely intrigued by her... her tenacity and courage... but most of all, the mystery of who or what exactly she is... ;) to be honest that's pretty much everything I want to tell you about the plot itself... it's definitely one of those stories, where the less you know the better your reading experience... and I want you to be able to gasp in surprise like I did during the book :) so how about I will jump straight into telling you about all the things I adored in this story ;)

As always, I loved the wrting style... *sighs dreamily* honestly you guys... I don't know how she does it... Bec has a few series out, and they are all soooo different from one another... and yet I fall in love with those worlds and characters every time... she enchants me with her words and I always finish a story wanting more... :) but back to this particular book :) I adored how strong and fearless Freyja was... how brave, even though her circumstances were far from perfect... and don't even get me started on Rurik... oh, how I loved that dreki... *sighs dreamily* :) mind you, none of them were perfect, but they were flawed in such a way that made them much closer to my heart... :) I was very glad, that it was a more slow burn kind of a romance :) because between us... that's my favourite kind :) there were quite a few very interesting secondary characters, that only made me that much more curious about the sequels... because even though the situation between our main couple is resolved, there is a few things... still not entirely explained ;) I am definitely looking forward to getting to know more about this world and those characters... because those few teasers and glimpses into all the possibilities Bec shared with us in this story... damn... ;) it's gonna be good ;) especially since at the end we get a confirmation who will be the main couple in that second story and... *sighs heavily* it's gonna be a loooooooong wait... cause I need this one ASAP :) if you haven't already, then definitely check out this author in general, because you are seriously missing out without her wonderful books in your lives :) I highly recommend this story as well... as with her other ones, it's phenomenally entertaining and will force you to read chapter after chapter, because you simply need to know what's gonna happen next... best proof? I inhaled it in one day... yeah... ;) #TrueStory :) definitely check out this gem :)



Release blitz + Giveaway + Review: "Chasing a legend" by Sarah Robinson

Book 4 in series Kavanagh legends
Main characters: Quinn Kavanagh and Kiera Finley


A topnotch manager and agent, Quinn Kavanagh pictures a life outside of his family’s renowned MMA gym. Beneath his sleek exterior, Quinn has a secret passion for sculpting. But after a nearly fatal motorcycle accident, he’s struggling just to walk again, let alone get back to the studio—and it doesn’t help that the doctor in charge of his physical therapy is his childhood crush. Quinn’s always ready for a fight, but the bittersweet sting of unrequited love has him begging for mercy.

Dr. Kiera Finley is determined to make her medical residency a success. Six years ago, she gave in and shared a single passionate night with Quinn. Now she’s just hoping the cocky lover from her past doesn’t derail her plans for the future. Little by little, though, Kiera gets to know another side of Quinn. She knew he was a family man, devoted to his parents and brothers, but he’s also a free spirit trapped in a cage—and only she has the key. To heal both Quinn’s body and soul, Kiera’s tempted to give him a special kind of medicine.

I got an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review :) this is the fourth installment in this awesome series, but I have to honestly say... I think it may be my least favourite so far... although I still haven't read the first one... yeah, yeah... I know ;) but I started from book #2 and just never got around to reading that first one ;) will do that eventually, but for now, let's concentrate on this story :) especially since they all can be read as standalones, so it really doesn't matter if you are all caught up, or starting in the middle ;) so how about I will tell you a bit more about this new story... especially since I still liked it... just because it's my least favourite one of the series, doesn't mean it was awful and you shouldn't read it ;) I enjoyed it a lot ;)

I have to start with our main couple... Kiera and Quinn... as much as I adored Quinn, Kiera... yeah... wasn't the biggest fan of her... she just kept annoying me with her childish and pushy behaviour... doing whatever she wanted, not really thinking about the consequences, because she thought she was right... I am not a fan of that type of people in real life as well and I react very badly if someone forces me to do something that I am not ready to do, so maybe that's why she bothered me that much... but when it comes to Quinn... *sighs dreamily* I loved him... but I love that whole family and we will get to them in a second :) theirs was a sort of second chance romance... of sorts... there was something between them a few years ago, but it's a more complicated matter and I don't really want to get into all that right now :) but currently, they meet again, when after his accident she is his physical therapist :) because of my #NoSpoilers rule I don't really want to say anything else about them... but it's also partially because I didn't like Kiera, sooooo... why focus on the negative things ;) and of course she wasn't *all* bad, but her good qualities kept being overshadowed by the annoying things :) not only that, but in this particular book, we had some miscommunication that I am sooo not a fan of... I hate when people just assume they know what is going on and make snap judgments and then stick to them for way too long... ugh... so let me change the subject to Quinn... I adored him... he was much more complex that I expected him to be, which was a very nice surprise... I loved seeing his growth as character :)

Besides our main couple, we had plenty of secondary characters in this story :) especially since Quinn is a part of a huge family... and noisy one, I have to add ;) there are five brothers and one *sister* :) and by that I mean that she's technically their cousin, but was raised with them and everyone treat her like baby sister ;) I love that family :) the way they care for one another, supporting each other when it matters most :) we of course got appearances of all our previous couples, plus a few glimpses of who might just be the main characters in those future stories... and I have to say... I can't wait :) if I would want to tell you all about them, we would be here way too long... ;) but if you are already a fan of them, those group scenes and all sort of interactions between different family members will hit you straight into feels :) but if this is your first dive into this series, you will absolutely fall in love with them, and want to go back and read all other available stories ;)

All in all I gave this book 4 stars :) even though Kiera annoyed me, I still enjoyed the story very much :) I am a fan of Sara's writing style in general, and this series of hers is my fave out of all other novels by her I read so far... :) so even though this particular addition is my least favourite, it's still pretty good compared to a lot of books out there ;) especially since you should take into consideration fact that my dislike for Kiera comes from personal preferences :) I am sure that many of you will adore her :) that is why I am still highly recommending you to check out this book, and this series in general, because if you are missing out on the awesomeness of the Kavanagh clan... what are you doing with your lives?!? ;)


“I’m leaving Legends now. My bags are packed, so be ready to go as soon as I get there,” Quinn said into the phone, his thick arm flexing as he twisted it to look at his watch.
“UK, here we come!” his older brother Kane shouted through the line. Quinn could practically see him fist-pumping the air. “You’re the best manager ever, Q!”
“Better believe it, Killer.” Quinn laughed before disconnecting the call and pushing his phone into a small interior pocket of the leather jacket that fit snugly over his chiseled back and broad shoulders.
Straddling his prized possession, a classic Ducati he’d kept in pristine condition for years, Quinn pulled on his helmet and gloves. His shaggy black hair peeked out from under the edges of the helmet, framing his face. Though covered in leather, glimpses of his love of ink showed on his neck and hands. What could not be seen was how the tattoos continued onto his chest and back as well. He loved the images, and each one had a special meaning to him—a falcon across his chest in midflight to symbolize his yearning for freedom, a dragon wrapping his arm to mark the fire in his blood, the Kavanagh family crest and motto in Gaelic on his back to represent family pride, along with phrases and names of people and moments that had made him who he was.
But the small metal bar through his eyebrow, or the piercings in his ear? Those were just for fun.
The motorcycle roared to life beneath him, easily heard from blocks away, as he pulled out onto the main street and headed for his parents’ house to meet his brother. He might not live there any longer, but he’d grown up in that house, and it would always feel like home. The whole neighborhood was his home; he knew everyone there, and everyone knew the Kavanaghs—for better or worse.
Quinn rode past the quaint houses in the Woodlawn area of the Bronx, going through a mental checklist of everything he needed to do before Kane competed next week. The International MMA Championship, held in London this year, was the biggest mixed martial arts competition in the world. Kane had won that championship the last two years, giving him the title of World’s Greatest MMA Fighter. Kane planned to win a third time next week and Quinn was eager to stand by his side when he did.
It’d been three short years since his brother had been thrust into the public spotlight after winning his first U.S. National Championship in Vegas. Quinn beamed proudly at the memory. Even though he wasn’t the one in the cage, he still felt a part of his brother’s success, having managed his entire career from the beginning. Kane’s win was Quinn’s win. It was a win for all the Kavanaghs—something they each really needed after everything the family had been through.
As he approached his parents’ street, he signaled with both his right hand and turn signal that he was switching lanes. A large truck whistled past, completely ignoring his signal. Quinn yanked the bike to the left, narrowly escaping a collision as his heart leapt into his throat.
Taking a deep breath to calm the adrenaline shooting through his body at the close call, Quinn carefully looked around, and once he’d confirmed that the right lane was clear, he again signaled his intentions. Sliding the bike into the right lane, he accelerated, eager to get to his childhood home.
That was his last thought before it happened.
His family.
How happy he was.
How much he loved his life.
A silver sedan parallel-parked against the curb nosed out into the right lane, directly in front of Quinn’s bike. His eyes widened as the air left his lungs, and he attempted to swerve around the sudden obstacle.
But there was no time. There was no space.
The front wheel of his bike slammed into the front wheel well of the sedan, and Quinn was weightless. He barely had a moment to blink before he was twisting through the air—over the handlebars, over his bike, over the sedan.
He heard the impact before he felt it.
His body skidding over the unforgiving pavement as wind rushed past him—a crunching, tumbling screech. Car horns firing, people screaming—or was he screaming? The echoes inside his helmet both muted and deafened.
But then he felt it, and it was fucking hell.
The crack of bones, a searing pain shooting through him. Every nerve ending in his body set on fire at the force of impact, consuming him till he was certain he couldn’t stand another second of it. Sliding across the pavement, his skin burned against the grating asphalt, his leather gear no match for the unforgiving surface.
And then it was quiet.
So fucking quiet as he stared up at the sun and waited . . . for what, he didn’t know.
He wasn’t connected to his body, but somehow trapped inside it. Quinn tried to call for help, tried to get up, but his lungs and limbs ignored his commands.
Just as his eyes began to flutter closed, the pain overtaking him, pushing him beyond what he could ever handle . . . he saw her. Her strawberry-blond hair falling down past her soft pink cheeks, the sun creating a halo behind her. Her fingertips grazed his face, and she whispered to him so softly he barely made out what she said. Light blue eyes, nearly translucent in their brightness, told him to just hold on . . . don’t let go . . . don’t give up.
And then she was gone.
And so was he.

a Rafflecopter giveaway About the author:

Aside from being a Top 10 Barnes & Noble and Amazon Bestseller, Sarah Robinson is a native of the Washington, DC area and has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in forensic and clinical psychology. She is newly married to a wonderful man who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiasts as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescues including everything from mammals to reptiles to marsupials, as well as volunteering and fostering for multiple animal shelters.

Find her online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



Monday, August 21, 2017

Random ramblings of a bookworm ;) #76

Avatar times two
An almost reading slump
I feel a re-read coming... 

Hello my awesome people ;) *sighs happily* you have no idea how happy I am that it's raining outside right now... as in sunday afternoon when I am writing this #RandomRamblings post :) I have nothing against summer and warmth, but I definitely prefer winter and colder temperatures... after all there is only so many things you can take off when you're hot, but when you're cold you can always take another blanket ;) anyway... ;) I see a lovely afternoon in my future, with some hot tea and curling up in my reading chair ;) but for now, let me finish up with this ;)

I've mentioned a few weeks ago that I started watching "Avatar the last airbender" tv show... and recently I finished it :) and then of course jumped straight into "The legend of Korra" which is a sequel set about 70 years after the finale of the original series :) and I honestly have to say... I did not expect to fall in love with these animated series as much as I did :) the first one definitely had a lighter tone... the characters were younger  but I still adored it... but I honestly have to say that the sequel is so far closer to my heart... maybe because all the characters are a bit older, and the overall tone is much more serious... will see how this one will go, but I definitely highly recommend you to check out both of them :) I can also add that after finishing the original series I made some purchases... but you'll have to wait for my next haul to know more ;)

I almost fell into that horrible reading slump we all hate... you know that feeling? when you just can't find anything that you really want to read... you're not in a mood to pick up any book and it's awful... you're just in this... limbo state... ugh... I hate that feeling... and unfortunately I felt myself slipping into it a few days ago... but I was saved by an ARC :) "Heart of fire" by Bec McMaster is the beginning of her brand new series that for now can be found only in "Myths and magic" anthology :) I will have a full review for you tomorrow, but I am writing about this today, because I want you guys to be able to still pre-order it for a really low price :) even if this one novel will be the only one you will read / enjoy from this collection... although I doubt that ;) it will still be worth it :)

Last but not least... for the last few weeks... even months, I've been having this feeling... ;) this mood to re-read Harry Potter series has been growing more and more in me... I think it may finally happen ;) well, not right now, I think closer to the end of the year... probably... :) I definitely have to buy the books first... *cue the gasps* ;) put down your pitchforks people, I own the books, but I have them in translation, and I really want to read them in original language :) especially since it's been years since I last read the series... probably right around the time the last book came out, soooooo... there is a lot of details I don't remember :) I am looking forward to experiencing all of the awesomeness once again :)

Ok, that is a wrap people :) I am off to enjoy my free time :) I hope you will do something today that will make you smile ;) and as always, I love connecting with you guys, so be sure to leave a comment here, on my Facebook page or Goodreads account, and I will talk to you later ;)



Friday, August 18, 2017

Review + Giveaway: "Beard in mind" by Penny Reid

Author: Penny Reid
Book 4 in series Winston brothers
Main characters: Beau Winston and Shelly Sullivan


All is fair in love and auto maintenance.

Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.
Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.
She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.

Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.

The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.

I got an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review ;) *sighs happily* this book... this story... if I could, I would give it much more than just 5 stars, because it deserves all of them... I finished it like half an hour ago, and just like it happened with the last book by the amazingly talented Penny I read... "Dating-ish" if you are curious... ;) I have to immediately after doing that sit down and write my review... I have so much thoughts going on in my mind... not to mention a giant #BookHangover... and I know that I won't be able to concentrate on anything else, until I pour all my thoughts and feelings into words... or try my best... these are the moments when I curse that english is not my first language... because I feel like I can't find words good enough... adequate enough to show how much this book means to me... nonetheless I will try :) it's book #4 in a series, but technically it can be read as a standalone... although I personally would recommend you guys to read them in order... that way you can truly appreciate all the interactions and all sorts of relationships, not only romantic, but friendships and family bonds as well... and how all of that changed over time... :) but having this little explanation out of the way, let me tell you more about our main couple :)

This particular story concentrates on Beau and Shelly... before I get into more specifics, I feel the need to say that a big part of it takes place during the same time as the previous installment... which to be honest, only made me want to re-read it again... :) but this review is not about "Beard science" :) Beau is a mechanic, co-owner of an auto-shop, but since his twin brother will no longer be working with him... and I am not saying anything else about it in case you haven't read all of the books, and I will get to that whole family in a minute :) they need someone else... and that's when we meet Shelly... she is the sister of the main hero in one of Penny's other books, but I will explain that whole situation better in a moment :) I honestly have to say... that I can't remember the last time when I resonated so much, and connected as much to both characters as I did in this case... yeah, there were times when I felt really close to one part of the main couple... or when I adored them both equally, but this time... it was a unique experience for me... because even though I am not that similar to either of them, they both had qualities very close to my heart... Beau is the *happy twin*, since his brother is usually broody and surly... he's always nice and kind, telling jokes and taking care of others... but there was a conversation he has with his sister Ashley at one point, when he admits to feeling stuck... like everyone else in his life is moving forward... their lives changing... and he's... just... stuck... it's scary how close to home that hit me... I had to take a break from reading and just... breathe, becuase it got very real for me... because I know that feeling... all too well... and Shelly... *sighs* I don't suffer from OCD or other issues she's struggling with... and I don't want to be more specific at this moment, but to witness the difference between how she seems to people, how they see her, and what is really going on inside her head, who she truly is as a person... that duality... it's something I am very familiar with... because it happens to me way too often... it's hard for me to share my thoughts and feelings, I have trust issues and some people may mistake that for being shy (which I sort of am) and distant... and it can be frustrated, both for me and people around me... so seeing that in a story I was reading... it made it that much more closer to my heart... but both Beau and Shelly are so much more than the qualities I just described for you... both of them complex like all Penny's characters... I adore that in her books... she writes the most amazing people... all of the flawed and imperfect, which only makes them better in my eyes... they make mistakes and learn from them, growing and changing as characters throughout the story... and it's always fascinating to witness...

When it comes to them as a couple... :) can I just say how much I love the way Penny writes smart romances? I mean, of course I *can* say that, it is my review after all ;) she creates books and crafts stories, bringing to life such complex characters, and each and every one of her novels are unique... this one was no exception :) I adored that Beau was irked by Shelly at the beginning... I loved how he caught her eye from the beginning... but most of all I was enamored when he finally saw her, and his attitude towards her changed... theirs was s slow-but-not-really burn romance... it took a while, and I appreciated that fact so much... because Shelly was honest... sometimes painfully so with Beau about her issues... and they got into that relationship with their eyes wide open :) and it doesn't happen as often as I would like in books... honestly, I have to say that Penny's stories always spoil me... and then I demand more... my expactations are set way higher when it comes to books I spend my time reading... because I know it can be done... it's possible to create smart romances, with people who are coming together but still remember that they are individual human beings... there is one particular metaphor including refrigerators that I am gonna definitely be using in the future :) and that sums up perfectly why I adore this book... and all others written by her :) unfortunately I can't really share it here, because it would contain a lot of explanations and some spoilers, but trust me... it's good :)

As always in her stories, besides the main couple, we have many more people... all of them different and complex :) here is the moment when I will try to explain all the connections between them :) so, Knitting in the city is the original series, with each book concentrating about a different woman from the knitting group :) one of those women is Ashley... she already got her story, and it can be counted as a sort of prequel to this series... because Ash has six brothers... and this is the fourth book in the series about them :) so naturally all sorts of familiar faces appear in this story :) and before I forget, one of Ashley's friend, the heroine of the first book, Janie, is marreid to Quinn, and Shelly is his sister :) like I mentioned before, this book, as usually with her other work, can be read as a standalone, but I actually recommend you to catch up on the previous ones before diving into any new ones :) you don't have to, but it will give you a much better insight into certain connections... plus, they are all amazing so it's not like it's gonna be a chore for you ;) I could try to tell you guys some more about all those secondary characters, but since they are all so wonderfully complicated, it would probably take me days... and we don't have that much time ;) but I will say this: if you already met them, because you are familiar with Penny's books, you will love the little glimpses into their lives and all the different interactions... and if you don't know them... you will fall in love and want to read about them immediately :)

I am still struggling to find the words to really describe how I feel about this book... Penny warned us... as in her readers, that this book is different... that not all of us will love, or even like it... and I have to agree with that... it's not a book for everyone... but Penny is not an author for everyone... she doesn't do fluffy, easy romances... she writes beautifully crafted stories, with complex characters that are flawed, but that is what makes them real... painfully so... you can feel the passion and love behind each of her novels... and that honesty is what I love the most about her work... and if her writing style resonates with you... *sighs dreamily* you are in for another beautiful gem with this story :) when I finish one of her book... and I have to say that she made me cry during that epilogue, so thank you for that Penny ;) I feel inspired... encouraged and empowered to be better... not to expect a magical miracle or other people to do the work for me... but to make changes and be better... for myself :) and that is a unique gift she is bestowing upon me every time with her stories... they inspire me... they make me think without judgement... I just hope, that my review will help you make the decision to give this amazing book, or this lovely author in general if you haven't before, a try... because if you are missing Penny and her stories in your lives... we have to remedy that horrible situation immediately :) please check it out :) I promise it will be worth it :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway About the author:

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

Find her online: Website | Facebook | Twitter



Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review: "Conspiracy" by Lindsay Buroker

Title: "Conspiracy"
Book 4 in series The emperor's edge
Main character: Amaranthe Lokdon

Ever since one of my #BookBesties recommended this series to me... thank you agan for that K ;) I'm in love with it... but before I will go into all the reasons why, I have to explain something... we are finally at that moment in the series, when I no longer can avoid every little spoiler from the previous stories, so this is what we will do this time: I will have the next paragraph totally free from any spoilers whatsoever, for all of you people who are brand new to this series... :) and then we will jump to the part where you need to be caught up with previous stories to avoid ruining any surprises :) so let me tell you a bit more... :)

This is a phenomenal series, a mix of fantasy and steampunk, with witty humor, surprising twists and turns and lots of adventures and action along the way :) we have our main character, Amaranthe Lokdon, who used to be an Enforcer, a police officer of sorts, but now she is on the other side of the law, after some unfortunate misunderstandings, and trying to clear her name :) she cleans when she's nervous, tries her best to stay positive even under the worst circumstances and I adore her :) she may be the main focus of the stories, but the further we are going into the series, the more and more we get to know about other members of her group... because there is a group... ;) and my oh my, they are probably my favourite band of misfits ever :) there's Maldynado, a hilarious man, disowned by his warrior-caste family, who says the most inappropriate things all the time, but is also charming as hell... there's Akstyr, a young guy, angry most of the time, expecting betrayal on every turn, who studies Mental Sciences... or magic as we would call it :) there's Books, a bit older gentleman, with a vast knowledge who talks about the most trivial things when he gets nervous :) and Basilard, scarred and mute, from a different country, I am very curious to know more about him... and of course how I could forget about Sicarius... *sighs* I should not be sighing so much thinking of him, because he is this deadly, mysterious assassin, trained from when he was just a kid to be a merciless weapon... he is dangerous and do not mistake my love for him with total blindness to everything he's done... but there are also moments when we see... just a glimpse, of his other side... and I am swooning all over again... :) so there you have it ;) a few teasers about all of them :) additional information, this is one of those series when you have to read all the books in order... because the same group of people is always at the center of them all, and the stories in each installment are very much connected to one another :) ok, now is the time for all of you who are completely new to this series to skip the rest of my review and just go read the first book :) every one else can proceed :)

Final warning: there will be now some spoilers from the first three books, but not the one I am reviewing today :) ok, you've been warned :) so after the ending of that last installment, I was very curious about this one :) not every day you are asked by the emperor of the whole country to kidnap him :) and that is exactly how that third book ended :) so we pick up a few months later, with the team in their last stages of preparations to do just that :) over all they've been working together for about nine months and are starting to get better at it ;) finally... ;) but of course nothing can go according to the plan they prepared ;) if that will happen at some point, I will be shocked :) shocked I tell ya! ;) I had some troubles getting into the first half of the book, but I think that was more because I was very busy and didn't have the time to read more than chapter or two at a time :) but the other half, when they get to the kidnapping part... damn... that one went by really fast :) and a huge warning, this book ends on a mother of all cliffhangers... seriously, have the next one ready to go... because I had a plan... to read certain books after finishing this one... yeah... good times ;) because after that ending I had to change my plan and went straight into the sequel... and I heard somewhere that the rest of the books end on cliffhangers as well, so it's possible that I will have to finish this series before going into anything else... oh no... poor me... ;) will let you know in future reviews if that's the case :)

I gave this book another five stars, like all others in the series, although I think I enjoyed it the least... don't get me wrong, it was still full of phenomenally entertaining writing style, witty dialogue, hilarious humor and lots of susprising adventures... I guess I can't love them all equally :) I really liked the fact that we got to know more and more about the characters, and I am eager to learn even more... :) because I'm greedy like that ;) the group scenes are always my favourite ones in these books... seeing the camaraderie and all different interactions between them is so much fun :) especially since those bonds get stronger with time... at least in most cases :) the first half is a bit slow, but maybe it was my own fault... like I mentioned before I didn't have the time to really sit down and get into it... but the second is full of action :) trains, explosions, mysterious things happening... :) it was a great read :) if you haven't already I very highly recommend you guys to give this series a try :) it's such a unique experience and I have yet to find a book / series like it... if you are already familiar with this and can give me recommendations as to what may be somewhat similar, I would greatly appreciate it :) in the meantime, go read it... start at the beginning and then we can gush about it together... because more people need to hear about it :)



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Release blitz + Review: "Survivor" by Hayley Oakes

Author: Hayley Oakes
Title: "Survivor"
Book 2 in series Richmore
Main characters: Thomas "Tom" Devereux and Perrie Fraser


I live by one motto - work hard, play harder.

A pro-football player at the top of my game: the Devereux charm, and my skills on and off the field haven't let me down yet.

Whatever I want comes easy to me but when I see the cute, blonde gym instructor with the sensational body, I want her ... but something tells me it's going to take more than my name to score with Perrie Fraser.

Head down, no distractions - it's my new mantra.

As a gym instructor to high-end clientele, all I want is to get through each day without attracting unwanted attention. Even if that attention does come in the form of a drop-dead gorgeous, annoyingly charming pro-football player.

If his ego doesn't send me running, then his playboy image definitely should ... but the more I get to know him, the clearer it becomes that saying no to Thomas Devereux is going to be much harder than I thought.

Sometimes the last thing you think you need becomes the only thing you can trust. 

I got an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review :) this is the second book in Richmore series, but can easily be read as a stadalone, cause there are no spoilers about that first story... yes, the couple appears in this one, but there are no details about their journey :) so even if you are not caught up, you can just dive into this one :) it was my second book by this author, and another emotional read... I am very impressed... I want to tell you all about it, but at the same time I don't want to spoil anything and this is definitely one of those books where the less you know about, the better your reading experience will be :) so I will try to find the perfect balance between teasing you about this phenomenal read and not telling too much :)

Let's start with our main couple :) Tom and Perrie :) Tom is actually the younger brother of Will, the hero from that first book :) but they are like night and day... where Will was angry and moody, Tom is much more easy going and fun... charming as hell as well ;) I adored him :) Perrie was also an amazing character... from the moment I met her, I knew there was a much bigger story with her... why she is so closed off and distant... but again, with my #NoSpoilers rule, I won't say anything else about her... they met at the gym, when he hit on her and she very firmly shut him down... :) she sticks to her decision of not getting involved with him, and so he decides to hire her as his personal trainer... at first it's just a ploy to get closer to her, but it quickly changes when he realizes she made her decision :) so they become friends instead... and I absolutely loved seeing that :) of course, since it *is* a romance novel, things develop into something more, but you'll have to read the book to see how it happens :) long story short, it's lovely to witness :)

This was my second book by this author, and another phenomenal read :) I gave this one 5 stars... it was just such an emotional story... *sighs* I loved every minute of it :) yes, it was hard to read sometimes, yes it broke my heart... but in the end it put it back together... :) written in 2 POVs, which means we had chapters from both our main characters perspectives :) and that's my favourite style :) especially when it is done so phenomenally :) this was such a fantastic book... about fighting with your demons, discovering things about yourself, finding happiness... *sighs dreamily* :) it was a very emptional read, just like the first book in this series, but definitely filled with much less angst ;) a very uplifting story in the end :) now I am even more curious than before about other books by this author... because she charmed me yet again with her story... I highly recommend you this book... especially with that beautiful epilogue... a true cherry on top of this amazing journey :) go get it now :)

Find Hayley online:



Monday, August 14, 2017

Review: "The bird and the sword" by Amy Harmon

Author: Amy Harmon
Main character: Lark

This book... this story... I just... GAH!!! I feel so incompetent right now, becuase you guys... there are no words good enough to describe the awesomeness of this book :) and as a book reviewer I think I should have at least some of them, right? :) but I guess from time to time there are just some stories that resonate so much with you, it's that much harder to express your love for them... nonetheless, I will do my best :)

First of all, I need to share with you guys how I found and then got this book :) I've heard for the longest time nothing but amazing praises about this author AND this series in general in one of the Facebook groups I am a part of... and those people always give the best recommendations, so I decided to give it a try... but since it was a brand new author to me, I wanted to check out a sample first :) I actually highly recommend you guys to do it as well, if you are on the fence with a story :) so I downloaded the free e-book sample through Amazon on my Kindle app... cause I use the free app on my phone :) and after reading the prologue, I fell in love with the mesmerizing and whimsical writing style and promptly after bougth both available books in this series in paperback ;) best... decision... ever :) cause I read the sequel right after finishing this one... but it's a story for another day... and another review ;) so for now, let's concentrate on the first novel :)

This book is a fantasy novel... set in a world where magic is forbidden and people with gifts are hunted and killed... the majority of the story... I think the only exception is the prologue, when it's her mother, is told from Lark's perspective... Lark being our main character of course :) I loved her :) although I feel like that word is not good enoug to express all of my feelings for her :) it's definitely one of those stories where the less you know, the better your reading experience will be... so I kind of don't want to tell you anything... like at all ;) but I know I need to share something :) so I will try to tease you a few things ;) Lark doesn't speak... after the events from the prologue, she can't do it... *shivers* that prologue was sooooo good... :) she's one of the gifted people, and a daughter of a dignitary... she was such complex character... do not mistake her silence for weakness... or think that just because she doesn't talk, she's stupid... she hears everything and is actually very smart :) again, I don't want to say too much, because we learn a lot about her throughout the story, but she is definitely one of my favourite characters I read so far... like ever ;) and before you ask, yes... this is a romance novel... and yes, there is a love interest, but it's a slow burn and I don't even want to tell you guys the name of the person for which Lark falls... it's a much more complicated story... and again, the less you know, the more you will enjoy it... just trust me on that ;) especially since this book is sooooo much more than just a romance novel... not that there's anything wrong with *just* romances ;) but this particular story is about personal growth, getting to truly know yourself, discovering things about you that you didn't really knew were there... *sighs happily* it was wonderful... ;)

I gave this book 5 stars, but I truly believe it deserves much more... my favourite part was the writing style... there are no adjectives good enough to describe it... magical, whimsical, mesmerizing... take your pick... they are not enough... :) that's why I strongly recommend you guys to check out a free sample to see for yourselves how wonderful it is... and once you start reading it... you won't be able to stop... Amy Harmon spins a beautiful tale, full of character development, surprising twists and turns... introducing us to the world and a set of characters that you cheer on from the start... it's an amazing beginnig to a series of companion novels and I already can't wait to know more... the world she created is so rich and full of wonders, there are basically endless possibilities for stories, and I already know... I'm gonna want to read all of them :) so if you haven't already, definitely pick up this gem, so we can swoon how amazing it is together ;)



Random ramblings of a bookworm ;) #75

"Atomic blonde" 
How come I have never heard of THAT movie
Songs of the moment 

Hello my awesome people :) I am super proud of myself, because I've managed to stay on top of my blog related things this past week :) after I finally caught up, I am working very hard to not fall behind again :) fingers crossed ;) I actually had a pretty good week :) although it was hot as hell... but over the weekend we finally got some rain and lower temperatures... lower than the recent heatwave so still pretty summer-ish ;) I watched some TV shows, read some books and just chilled :) *sighs happily* it was awesome ;) but now let us jump into the reason you're here... those headlines :)

I went to the movies with my sister last monday to see "Atomic blonde" :) I was very excited to see it ever since I saw the trailer... will leave it for you guys below :) and fortunately, the movie did not disappoint ;) it was full of action and some twists that I did not see coming... even though I tried to figure some stuff out during the movie, the ending still surprised me :) I am definitely hoping for a sequel, or just generally to see some more movies with such badass female characters :) I am definitely recommending this one for all of you :)

During the trailers before "Atomic blonde" we actually saw one about a movie I have never heard about before... which is quite shocking, because it's right up my alley :) "American assassin" is definitely something we will see next ;) if you haven't heard of it, like me, I have a trailer for you right now :)

And last but not least, I need to share with you guys three songs that's been stuck in my head lately :) I actually heard that first one a while back, but then I had soooo much troubles finding what it is exactly, so now that I succeeded, it's on constant repeat ;) the second one is just such a fun summer hit, that I want to share it with you guys as well :) and the third... *sighs dreamily* I know it's been out for a few weeks, but I just discovered it and I am remembering why I love Lana Del Rey so much... :) enjoy :)

Ok, that is a wrap ;) I know, I know, it's been a bit shorter #RandomRamblings than usual, but we can't have super long posts every week, now can we? ;) either way, I hope you still enjoyed it :) as always, I love connecting to you guys, so be sure to leave me a comment here, on my Facebook page or Goodreads account, and I will talk to you guys soon ;)



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Review: "Try" by Ella Frank

Author: Ella Frank
Title: "Try"
Book 1 in series Temptation
Main characters: Logan Mitchell and Tate Morrison

I first heard of this lovely author when I read a series she co-wrote with Brooke Blaine, PresLocke :) which is awesome and you should read it as well, but those books are not the topic of this review ;) so let us focus on all the awesomeness of the first installment in what's shaping up to be a phenomenal story :) all the books available in this series focus on the same couple, Logan and Tate... originally it was a trilogy, but recently the fourth book came out, with two additional ones in the work :) after reading and thoroughly enjoying this one, this is great news :) but for now, let me tell you more about this particular story :)

So about our main couple... :) I absolutely adored both of them :) I mean, Logan was this super confident, bordering on cocky lawyer, who just always went after what he wanted ;) I really loved that about him :) that no matter who or what it was, once he is interested he goes for it... women, men, it doesn't matter :) so when one evening he encounters a new bartender in his favourite bar that catches his eye, it is on... ;) Tate is straight, or so he thought for all his life ;) he's at the end of a pretty nasty divorce, so he's definitely not interested in any relationship whatsoever... so imagine his surprise when this ridiculously hot guy keeps hitting on him... and oh what an interesting conversations those are... because Logan has no filter... he says the most surprising and inappropriate things :) it's fantastic to read :) their relationship is... well... how can I put it? the best way to describe it in this particular book is hot and explosive :) a big part of the book is about how Logan convinces Tate to admit that he in fact feels the attraction between them and to act on that... and it takes such a long time, because it's a huge, life changing decision for Tate... to try... see what I did there? *wink wink* and see where this thing with Logan can go :) both of them are actually trying something new... because Logan doesn't do relationships... until this thing with Tate grows into something more... :)

I have nothing but praises to say about this book :) the writing style was engaging and entertaining... not to mention hilarious and sinfully hot ;) *fans myself* seriously, this book should come with a warning *do not read in public places* ;) I adored the interactions between our main couple... especially after Tate wrapped his head around the whole idea of him and Logan giving it a try... ;) he turned out to be surprisingly bossy and dominant :) and Logan... oh, the cocky and arrogant Logan shocked me in the best possible way with one of the most vulnerable and emotional words in this book :) I cannot wait to read more about them, especially since my lovely sister J already read all four books available at the moment, and she claims that this one is the worst out of all of them :) as in, things only get better and better... and since I loved this one so much, I am very curious to see how much more awesome future installments will be :) besides our main couple we had a few secondary characters that I enjoyed meeting very much, but again... they didn't play a big part here, so I think I will write more about them in my reviews for future installments... especially since I need to do a little research to check which one of them already got, or perhaps will get, a story of their own :) the one thing you need to take from this review, is that you absolutely have to give this book a try :) it's a super fast read, full of hilarious conversations and interactions, but with some emotional ones that will hit you straight in the feels :) *sighs happily* check it out so we can sigh happily together ;)



Monday, August 7, 2017

Blog tour + Giveaway: "The eldritch heart" by Matthew S. Cox

The Eldritch Heart 
by Matthew S. Cox 
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press


Princess Oona Talomir enjoys the little things that come with her station: a handmaiden, her lavish bedchamber, and scores of fancy dresses―the duty to win a decades’ long war, not so much.
Oh, did I mention assassins?
Seers foretold the conflict would end by her hand. From the moment she drew her first breath, the neighboring kingdom has been trying to kill her so she could not grow powerful enough to destroy them. The king, fearing for his daughter’s life, has kept her confined to the castle grounds for most of her sixteen years. With the tide of war turning against them, the burden of her crown becomes too much to bear, yet one thing lifts her spirits amid the gloom.
Her servant girl, Kitlyn.
Alas, in a kingdom obsessed with the god of purity, she is terrified to confess her forbidden love. When her father makes a demand she cannot abide―marry a prince to forge a military alliance―Oona panics. He is handsome and honorable, but he’s not Kitlyn. Unable to admit why she cannot obey, Oona does the only thing she can think of, and runs away.
Alone and unprepared in the wilderness, she prays the gods will let Kitlyn find her—before the assassins do.


Evor, the groundskeeper’s son, gave Kitlyn a confused look as she collected a wide outdoor broom from the stack of tools leaning against the wall. The boy, a year or so younger, tilted his head at her. He too wore a beige tunic and brown pants to go with his knee-high boots. Kitlyn grumbled. The other servants didn’t ‘misplace’ his shoes constantly. Except for Beredwyn and Oona, it felt as though the entire keep conspired to make her miserable enough she’d want to run away. They didn’t need to know the earth underfoot seemed to charge her with energy; it certainly helped with her tasks. After ‘losing’ three pairs of shoes in one week when she’d been twelve, she stopped bothering to ask for more. It wasn’t worth being scolded. At least they’d left her winter boots be. It seemed they desired to be nasty, not malicious.
“Oi,” said Evor. “What ya doin’ ‘ere?”
“I’m to clear the garden path of seeds,” she muttered.
“Isn’t you the princess’ handmaiden?” He grinned.
A man in the back of the shed laughed. “Not dressed like that she’s not.”
Kitlyn held up the broom and sighed. “Aye, but only Oo―the princess thinks so.”
Both of his eyebrows flared. Most of the upper servants would’ve been appalled at her slip with the name. “I donnae know why ‘ey all treat ya like ‘is. I fink they jealous.”
She laughed. “Jealous? Of me? I’m not even on the social ladder. I’m flat on the ground and the ladder’s on my back.”
“I fink they jealous o’ your eyes.” He stepped closer. “They gleam like em’ralds. You’re beautiful, yanno. ‘Neath alla dirt, an’ them ol’ rags.”
Kitlyn looked away. “Thanks.” Well, this is unexpected. Usually the male servants either sneered at her with the same disdain as everyone else or ignored her. Only the lower ones who worked outside treated her as an equal. Of course, the groundskeeper’s son didn’t stand all that high up the ladder himself; few would’ve batted an eyelash at the idea of the two of them together. Yet, having him look at her like that, seeing the woman under her boys’ clothes, made her feel fidgety and squirmy, and closed the breath in her throat. “I… uhh, need to go before I get in trouble.”
“Awright.” He smiled and moved out of her way. “If’n ye ‘ave time later, p’raps we kin go for a stroll by the lake?”
She swallowed. Evor’d always been friendly, but she couldn’t think of him like that. Still, friendly people here were in short supply, so she forced a smile. “Thanks. I’ll, umm… see.”
He nodded. “‘Ere, use this one.” He picked up a different broom. “Ye’ll be done faster. That one ye got’s bout ta break.”
Glancing down, she gave the broom a slight shake; the head wobbled. Sure enough, it did appear ready to fall apart. Kitlyn offered it back to him and took the one he held out to her. “Thanks.”
His fingers brushed hers for a second, a deliberate gesture. Her gut clenched, though she kept smiling at him. “Thank you, but I’m going to be scolded if I don’t hurry.”
“Let me know if’n ya need ‘elp.”
After a brief nod, she raced off down a narrow strip of walkway between two farm plots where the boy’s father grew rare vegetables, herbs, and spices for the cook staff. She ducked a lumbering bee at the end of the planted row and headed for the corner of the main keep. Grass tickled her toes; the sun warmed her from above like Lucen himself smiled down on her.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway About the author:

Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it. He is also fond of cats.

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