Tag Archives: 4 Stars

The Wicked Hour: A Natalie Lockhart Novel by Alice Blanchard – My Review

NEW RELEASE

Title: The Wicked Hour: A Natalie Lockhart Novel

Author: Alice Blanchard

Release Date: December 1st 2020

Genre: Mystery

The day after Burning Lake’s notorious, debauched Halloween celebration, Detective Natalie Lockhart uncovers a heartbreaking scene—a young woman, dead and lying in a dumpster. There’s no clue to who she is, save for a mystifying tattoo on her arm, and a callus underneath her chin. She’s not from around here. No one knows who she is.

As Natalie retraces the young woman’s steps leading up to her death, she uncovers a deeper, darker horror—a string of murders and disappearances, seemingly unconnected, that may have ties to each other—and explain the abrupt disappearance of her best friend years ago.

As she digs deeper within the mind of the hunter, Natalie finds a darkness she could never have imagined. And as she draws closer to the truth, the killer is weaving a trap for her that may prove inescapable.

Right from the start, the story has an eerie and haunting vibe to it. It kicks off with Halloween! I am so here for it. 

We follow Natalie as she investigates a murder, all while dealing with grief she’s been carrying around from previous events. The pacing of the story was great. We had all kinds of interesting characters. I really had no clue who could be the suspect. I was along for the ride. I have to mention that this is book two in a series. I felt it could have been helpful to read book one prior to this. There are certain events and characters that are mentioned and we as the reader don’t know what has happened. That being said, this was a really great read despite not having read book one. I was engaged and the twists kept me guessing. I was surprised at that ending. Bravo Miss Blanchard! 

This is my first book by this author and I will definitely be looking for book one! I really enjoyed her writing style. This is a fabulous start to the series and now I am a huge fan of Natalie Lockhart. More please! I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


And The Creek Don’t Rise by R. M. Gilmore – My Review

NEW RELEASE

Title: And The Creek Don’t Rise

Author: R. M. Gilmore

Release Date: November 24th 2020

Genre: Fantasy

On her twentieth birthday, Lynnie Russell—just a little ol’ thing from down in Havana, Arkansas—falls in love under a full silver moon.

Waking up the next morning naked and caked in blood, Lynnie is faced with a horrifying truth. She’s death incarnate.In a race to unearth what she’s become, Lynnie must hide her beastly thing from those she loves most.

If only to keep them alive.When an unexpected ally offers help, how can she refuse?

The thing with fate or destiny is you can’t change it. What is meant to be will be. Lynnie Reynolds had to learn the hard way. There’s a lot she must endure but in the end, she is a warrior.

The story has a peculiar and interesting take on fae and shifter. The author has added her own twist on fae/shifter folklore and created a world where magic does exist. Secretly but it does exist. I appreciated the little details she added such as the language of magic spoken and names of the other world. The characters were quite entertaining! Mama Lee was one of my favorites. I like the fact that Lynnie had to figure stuff out on her own. Learn as you go. Her choices had consequences. Some of the sayings had me laughing! There were some I hadn’t heard before. I even shed some tears at some heartfelt and crushing moments. Ah good times. 

This is a pretty good read. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. If you’re wanting a different take on fae, magic and shifters, check this book out. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Daughter of the Serpentine (A Dragoneer Academy Novel Book 2) by E.E. Knight – My Review

Title: Daughter of the Serpentine (A Dragoneer Academy Novel Book 2)

Author: E.E. Knight

Release Date: November 17th 2020

Genre: Fantasy, Dragons

As a young dragoneer moves through the ranks of the prestigious Serpentine Academy, her challenges grow greater and her time grows short to draw out a series of deadly threats, in this thrilling coming-of-age fantasy novel.

Sixteen-year-old Ileth is now an Apprentice Dragoneer, with all of the benefits and pitfalls that her elevation in rank entails. But her advancement becomes less certain after she’s attacked by an unknown enemy, and Ileth begins to suspect that someone deadly may be hiding within the walls of the academy.

Outside of the walls there is a different challenge. The Rari Pirates are strangling the Vale Republic. What they lack in dragon firepower, they make up for in the brutality of their ever-expanding raids, making hostages or slaves of the Republic’s citizens. Surrounded by enemies, Ileth will need to learn what kind of dragoneer she wants to be. And as she makes decisions about her future, Ileth will have the chance to uncover the secrets of her past. Both will irrevocably change the course of her life.

Adventurous. Fantastical.

Daughter of the Serpentine is book two in the Dragoneer Academy series. Ileth is now an apprentice. She still is proving herself to everyone there. She isn’t afraid to work hard. Her dream is to be a dragoneer with her own dragon. A lot of obstacles are thrown her way, along with political matters. Ileth must make choices and hope she is doing the right thing.

I was excited to read more about Ileth! She is a survivor and I wanted to know what adventures she would find herself on in book two. The pacing of the story is slow. I had to start and stop numerous times. I struggled through most of the beginning of the book. I felt a lot of the scenes and information were more filler than actually advancing the plot and could have been left out. The story picks up around 60% and I am there for it! There is action and dragons! A bit of romance and of course, some sort of betrayal. I find it interesting how Ileth always seems to find herself in certain situations and always ready for adventure. A brave one she is! 

As a whole, this book is entertaining and a wonderful follow up to the first book. The book is well written and I love the world building along with the characters. Oh and DRAGONS!! I can’t wait for the next adventure Ileth will have! I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


The Girl in the Mirror: An Novel by Rose Carlyle – My Review

NEW RELEASE

Title: The Girl in the Mirror: An Novel

Author: Rose Carlyle

Release Date: October 15th 2020

Genre: Thriller, Psychological

Written with the chilling, twisty suspense of The Wife Between Us and Something in the Water, a seductive debut thriller about greed, lust, secrets, and deadly lies involving identical twin sisters.

Twin sisters Iris and Summer are startlingly alike, but beyond what the eye can see lies a darkness that sets them apart. Cynical and insecure, Iris has long been envious of Summer’s seemingly never-ending good fortune, including her perfect husband Adam.

Called to Thailand to help her sister sail the family yacht to the Seychelles, Iris nurtures her own secret hopes for what might happen on the journey. But when she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean, everything changes. When she makes it to land, Iris allows herself to be swept up by Adam, who assumes that she is Summer.

Iris recklessly goes along with his mistake. Not only does she finally have the golden life she’s always envied, with her sister gone, she’s one step closer to the hundred-million-dollar inheritance left by her manipulative father. All Iris has to do is be the first of his seven children to produce an heir.

Iris’s “new” life lurches between glamorous dream and paranoid nightmare. On the edge of being exposed, how far will she go to ensure no one discovers the truth?

And just what did happen to Summer on the yacht?

Only Iris knows . . .

Twin sisters. Identical but not the same.

The Girl in the Mirror is a suspenseful and twisted read! Lies and betrayal? YES! I love a good thriller and this book delivered. The pacing of the story was slow in some places but I was invested in the story so it didn’t bother me too much. These characters were insane! Some of the choices and actions they made, had my head spinning. It made for a great read though! Twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. I reached the ending and I closed the book and just sat there saying to myself, wooooow.

A wonderful debut! I enjoyed her writing style. Her storytelling style kept me engaged. I look forward to what she comes out with next. Miss Carlyle has a new fan! I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Plain Bad Heroines: A Novel by Emily Danforth – My Review

Title: Plain Bad Heroines: A Novel

Author: Emily Danforth

Release Date: October 20th 2020

Genre: LGBT Fiction, Satire

“Full of Victorian sapphic romance, metafictional horror, biting misandrist humor, Hollywood intrigue, and multiple timeliness—all replete with evocative illustrations that are icing on a deviously delicious cake.” –OTHE OPRAH MAGAZINE

“Brimming from start to finish with sly humor and gothic mischief. Brilliant.”  — SARAH WATERS

Named a Most Anticipated Book by O, The Oprah Magazine • Vulture • Parade • Popsugar • Bustle • GoodReads • Autostraddle • Literary Hub • and more!

The award-winning author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post makes her adult debut with this highly imaginative and original horror-comedy centered around a cursed New England boarding school for girls—a wickedly whimsical celebration of the art of storytelling, sapphic love, and the rebellious female spirit

Our story begins in 1902, at the Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane, the author of a scandalous bestselling memoir. To show their devotion to Mary, the girls establish their own private club and call it the Plain Bad Heroine Society. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths. This is where their bodies are later discovered with a copy of Mary’s book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Less than five years later, the Brookhants School for Girls closes its doors forever—but not before three more people mysteriously die on the property, each in a most troubling way.

Over a century later, the now abandoned and crumbling Brookhants is back in the news when wunderkind writer Merritt Emmons publishes a breakout book celebrating the queer, feminist history surrounding the “haunted and cursed” Gilded Age institution. Her bestselling book inspires a controversial horror film adaptation starring celebrity actor and lesbian it girl Harper Harper playing the ill-fated heroine Flo, oppo­site B-list actress and former child star Audrey Wells as Clara. But as Brookhants opens its gates once again, and our three modern her­oines arrive on set to begin filming, past and present become grimly entangled—or perhaps just grimly exploited—and soon it’s impossible to tell where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins.

A story within a story within a story and featuring black-and-white period-inspired illustrations, Plain Bad Heroines is a devilishly haunting, modern masterwork of metafiction that manages to combine the ghostly sensibility of Sarah Waters with the dark imagination of Marisha Pessl and the sharp humor and incisive social commentary of Curtis Sittenfeld into one laugh-out-loud funny, spellbinding, and wonderfully luxuriant read.

What a strange and interesting read! Very entertaining. Very witty. 

A mash of the past and present. Surrounding a book. A curse or something more sinister? 

I enjoyed reading the chapters that were set in the past. Just something about it caught my interest a bit more than the chapters set in the present. I think it was the combination of the era it was presented in and the added myth surrounding Brookhants. Is it bad that I wanted to visit a place like that? Yes I’m a weirdo. At times the book seemed to lag in some places and I struggled to get past them. The characters from the present chapters were pretty good. I did like Harper right away. Merritt and Audrey took some time but I eventually came around. The whole book has a creepy vibe which I was digging. I do feel like having a book within a book was a huge task and due to that fact, the book was a bit too long. 

As a whole, this is an okay read. I wanted to like it more than I did. I felt let down in a way. You’re expecting something big to happen and kind of give you closure and it didn’t happen. I didn’t get any horror vibes from this book. More suspense. This is a long read. It didn’t bother me too much but some parts I felt could have been left out. The cover is beautiful. I loved that it had a diverse group of LGBT characters. I give this 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


The Hollow Places: A Novel by T. Kingfisher – My Review

Title: The Hollow Places: A Novel

Author: T. Kingfisher

Release Date: October 6th 2020

Genre: Horror Suspense

A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle’s house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel from the author of the “innovative, unexpected, and absolutely chilling” (Mira Grant, Nebula Award–winning author) The Twisted Ones.

Pray they are hungry.

Kara finds the words in the mysterious bunker that she’s discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring this peculiar area—only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts…and the more one fears them, the stronger they become.

With her distinctive “delightfully fresh and subversive” (SF Bluestocking) prose and the strange, sinister wonder found in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, The Hollow Places is another compelling and white-knuckled horror novel that you won’t be able to put down.

I went into this book not sure what I was expecting. Strange portal and terror? Ok I’m in! This book is one twisted ride! As the story went on, it only got creepier and creepier. Some parts were truly terrifying. I found myself fascinated with the mystery of the portal. I got a bit of sci-fi vibes along with the horror. The banter between Kara and Simon was good and had me smiling. Gotta smile even though you’re creeped out right? 

This author is new to me and I enjoyed her story telling as well as her writing style. I will look for more books by her. This was a strange, fantastic and creepy read that will give you the chills. If you’re a fan of those kinds of reads, this book is for YOU! I give this 4 stars!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


I Am Jade (The Jade Sinclair Series Book 1) by Victoria Danes – My Review

Title: I Am Jade (The Jade Sinclair Series Book 1)

Author: Victoria Danes

Release Date: December 7th 2017

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Misery loves company…and monsters.

Secrets have always been a touch away for clairvoyant Jade Sinclair. On a good day, she can read into people’s souls and uncover buried truths long forgotten. To help find three missing teens, Jade uses her gift to assist the local PD in locating them, but soon realizes this is one case she should have turned down because in Misery, Pennsylvania the monsters that used to lurk in the shadows have now come out to play.

For police officer and werewolf, Adrian Kincaid, life has become a tedious routine. But when he’s called to the scene of an accident, he finds himself consumed with the urge to save the unknown female victim. Jade. With seconds ticking by and her life slipping, he does the one thing he’d sworn to never do, bite her, awakening something dark and hungry inside her that could threaten not only the investigation, but everything Jade thought she new about herself.

Can she silence the cravings inside her and bring the teens home before it’s too late? Or will she become the kind of monster she’s searching for?

This book took me by surprise. I’m not sure what I expected but I was blown away at how much I enjoyed it! Jade Sinclair is one of those characters that make no apologies and stands her ground. She’s tough and can handle herself. Do I love her? YES! The story itself was good. The pacing was perfect. There were a couple of scenes that didn’t make sense and I had to go back read them again. There weren’t many so it wasn’t a huge hit to the story. The characters are good as well. The author threw in so many twists that she had me sitting here with my mouth open. Well done Miss Dane!

This is a great and delightful read! I was drawn in right from the beginning and now I need more! I like the author’s writing style and she now has a new fan. I can’t wait to read more! I give this 4 stars.


King of Crows by Nia Rose – My Review

Title: King of Crows *Audiobook*

Author: Nia Rose

Release Date: June 22nd 2020

Genre: Fantasy

The Crows are the noble messengers of the gods. But all the gods have left. The world is baring the mark of their neglect. Slowly, the world is decaying. The Crows are all starving and doing anything they can to survive, but how much longer until there is nothing they can do to live through the undeniable end that is heading their way?

Korbinian, the youngest of the Crows, stumbles upon a sick and dying girl Adira. Can his blessing to her be the thing that saves them all? Or, will they remain tethered to a dying world and share its impending doom?

This story was complete and spectacular surprise! A wonderful read! The story was really creative which flowed into the characters. Korbinian was a mystery to me and that made me want to know more. I felt there was more to him and his part in the story. The narrators voice was great in bringing the story to life. I was left with a feeling of hope and wondering if things remained the same….I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


From the Ashes (Alice Worth Series) by Lisa Edmonds – My Review

Title: From The Ashes (Alice Worth Series)

Author: Lisa Edmonds

Genre: Urban Fantasy

You’re probably wondering how I ended up in jail with no magic. Believe it or not, it started in a used bookstore called McCann’s, just after lunch…

Meet Alice Worth. Mage private investigator, smart-ass, whisky connoisseur. As a PI who follows her own code, Alice has done plenty of things that might have landed her in jail, but she never expected to end up handcuffed to a table in an interrogation room on her day off. The situation goes from merely inconvenient to deadly serious when she discovers nothing about the crime she’s accused of is what it seems.

From The Ashes is a quick short read that features my girl Alice! She suddenly finds herself in a situation that she can’t easily get out of….or can she? I thought this little side story gave us a little more insight into Alice and her past. It makes me wonder if I’ll get another visit from a certain character in one of the other books…. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*

This novella is available exclusively from www.LisaEdmonds.com.


White Ivy: A Novel by Susie Yang – My Review

Title: White Ivy: A Novel

Author: Susie Yang

Release Date: September 8th 2020

Genre: Asian American Literature

A dazzling debut novel about a young woman’s dark obsession with her privileged classmate and the lengths she’ll go to win his love—from prizewinning Chinese American author Susie Yang.

Ivy Lin is a thief and a liar—but you’d never know it by looking at her.

Raised outside of Boston, Ivy’s immigrant grandmother relies on Ivy’s mild appearance for cover as she teaches her granddaughter how to pilfer items from yard sales and second-hand shops. Thieving allows Ivy to accumulate the trappings of a suburban teen—and, most importantly, to attract the attention of Gideon Speyer, the golden boy of a wealthy political family. But when Ivy’s mother discovers her trespasses, punishment is swift and Ivy is sent to China, and her dream instantly evaporates.

Years later, Ivy has grown into a poised yet restless young woman, haunted by her conflicting feelings about her upbringing and her family. Back in Boston, when Ivy bumps into Sylvia Speyer, Gideon’s sister, a reconnection with Gideon seems not only inevitable—it feels like fate.

Slowly, Ivy sinks her claws into Gideon and the entire Speyer clan by attending fancy dinners, and weekend getaways to the cape. But just as Ivy is about to have everything she’s ever wanted, a ghost from her past resurfaces, threatening the nearly perfect life she’s worked so hard to build.

Filled with surprising twists and offering sharp insights into the immigrant experience, White Ivy is both a love triangle and a coming-of-age story, as well as a glimpse into the dark side of a woman who yearns for success at any cost.

After I finished this book, I had to take some time to reflect. The ending and the book as a whole had me feeling conflicted. The story is a well written one. Some parts that had me shaking my head and I think it had to do more with the characters actions rather than the story. The story was really good! I loved reading about how Ivy grew up, her experiences and how they shaped her into the person she ended up becoming. On the other hand, I didn’t agree with a lot of the choices she made and cringed at most of them and I think that’s what had me conflicted. All that being said, this is a great story. The author has a great storytelling style and I think the story challenges us in a way. I highly enjoyed it. I look forward to what Miss Yang comes out with next. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*