May 18, 2022

Can't Wait Wednesday

 

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

 


Alice Lawrence is the sole witness in her sister’s murder trial.

And in the year since Claire’s death, Alice’s life has completely fallen apart. Her parents have gotten divorced, she’s moved into an apartment that smells like bologna, and she is being forced to face her sister’s killer and a courtroom full of people who doubt what she saw in the corn maze a year prior.

Claire was an all-American girl, beautiful and bubbly, and a theater star. Alice was a nerd who dreamed of becoming a forensic pathologist and would rather stay at home to watch her favorite horror movies than party. Despite their differences, they were bonded by sisterhood and were each other’s best friends.

Until Claire was taken away from her.

On the first day of the murder trial, as Alice prepares to give her testimony, she is knocked out by a Sidney Prescott look-alike in the courthouse bathroom. When she wakes up, it is Halloween morning a year earlier, the same day Claire was murdered. Alice has until midnight to save her sister and find the real killer before he claims another victim.

 

So excited for Danielle's next thriller! And a new penname to add to her collection! Lol. I've loved all of Danielle's books so far, though I still have a few in my TBR to read that I am excited for as well! This one sounds incredible!

 

TITLE: How to Survive Your Murder
AUTHOR: Danielle Valentine

PUBLISHER: Razorbill
GENRE: YA Thriller
RELEASE DATE: August 30, 2022 

 

 

 


 

May 17, 2022

Review--A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair

 

Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only. The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist.

Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible.

After a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead and the terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever.

The bet does more than expose Persephone's failure as a goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows - and it's forbidden.

Contains mature themes.

 

 

There have been many retellings of the Greek myth involving Hades and Persephone, but none quite like Scarlett St. Clair’s A Touch of Darkness. This was a steamy New Adult tale that took on a very modern day worldview when it came to the Gods and Goddesses of Greek mythology. It’s unique differences helped to shape an intriguing story.

Persephone is the Goddess of Spring yet she hasn’t been able to master her powers. Unlike the rest of the Gods, Persephone has taken to living life on earth in New Athens, much to her mother, Demeter’s dismay. Persephone is in her last year of college and is looking to be a journalist. She even starts an internship working with a newspaper. 

Then one night, her friend Alexa manages to get them into the hottest nightclub, Nevernight. It’s not long before Persephone finds herself playing a card game with the elusive owner, Hades. There’s an intense connection between them that Persephone can’t explain. But the connection is about to be challenged when she unwittingly finds herself in a contract with Hades. She must find a way to create life in the Underworld in the next six months or she’ll be confined to the Underworld forever. 

I found this read to be very intriguing. Seeing the Gods and Goddesses of Greek mythology in the modern day world was a treat! Their stories are ancient so seeing some of these myths come to life in the modern day just fascinated me for some reason. Lol. We even see a few other myths taking place at times.

The romance in this story was intense! I guess the different interpretations that I read of the original myth always made it seem like Persephone didn’t really want to be with Hades and I feel like there were different reasons for why Hades took her as his bride. It always felt loveless to me, but I haven’t read the original myth in years so I could be remembering wrong. Here we get a different foray in romance. Persephone tries to fight her growing attraction to Hades but it doesn’t go well in that regard. Though there are still obstacles these two will have to overcome; trust being a big one.

I feel like there wasn’t too much happening plot wise other than the deal itself. Persephone is trying to create life in the land of the dead essentially, it should be an impossible task. There are a few other smaller conflicts going on; jealous lovers, a scheming mortal, Persephone’s controlling mother, these help to shake things up a bit. 

The ending was definitely the type that makes you wonder if the story is over or if more will come. We since know there’s plenty more to come. I like this almost old school way of ending book one. You’re hooked enough by the story, yet if that was the end, it still leaves you satisfied. Research showed that this first book was older before the sequels started coming and I’m just happy to have plenty more to read! I’m eager to see what new challenges will pop up for Hades and Persephone. 

If you’re a fan of Greek mythology and love modern retellings, then I think you will enjoy this series! I loved seeing all the familiar faces of Mt. Olympus and hope they will be making appearances as the series moves along. This would also be a great read to introduce yourself to Greek mythology and get a steamy romance along the way!



Overall Rating 4/5 stars

 

 

 


 

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

 

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker



Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.

 


"She couldn't tell the color his eyes, but they ignited a fire under her skin, and it was like he knew; his full lips curved into a harsh smile, drawing attention to his strong jaw covered in dark stubble. He was big, well over six and half feet tall, and dressed in darkness from his inky hair to his black suit." p 22


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TITLE: A Touch of Darkness
AUTHOR: Scarlett St. Clair

PUBLISHER: Bloom Books
GENRE: Greek Mythology Retelling
RELEASE DATE: May 23, 2019



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

 

This week's topic is: Top Ten Books I was SO EXCITED to Get [and still am!], but Still Haven't Read (bonus points if you can tell us how long it's been since you got them)

 

*in no particular order

 

10. VALENTINE by Jodi McAlister--obtained 2/14/17
9. WITH MALICE by Eileen Cook--obtained 6/18/16
8. MIND GAMES by Jana Oliver--obtained 11/5/15; I have GOT to get back to this series!



7. THE MASKED TRUTH by Kelley Armstrong--obtained 10/23/15; I just can't seem to get caught up on her books! She writes too fast! Lol.
6. WICKED EVER AFTER by Delilah S. Dawson--obtained 10/9/15; sadly this was an ebook only release so I've forgotten about it too many times! I need to finish this series!
5. THE COLLECTORS' SOCIETY by Heather Lyons--obtained 2/27/15; another series I want to read but keep forgetting about because it's on my kindle!




4. A WICKED THING by Rhiannon Thomas--obtained 2/18/15; I really wanted to read this one despite the mixed reviews. I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
3. SLEEP NO MORE by Aprilynne Pike--obtained 5/4/14; I remember I bought this one to have signed just before I went to RT 2014, I thought I lost it when I got to her signing table, so I picked up another...only to find my copy in my hotel room already signed! Lol.
2. TOUCH OF FROST by Jennifer Estep--obtained 4/16/12; I remember I obtained nearly this entire series except for one book at RT conventions! Still need to read it too! Yeesh!




1. DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY by Terri Garey--obtained 6/11/11; I can't remember if I bought this just before Borders closing sales or in that first week. I went on to buy the rest of the series minus the final ebook only book at the rest of the sales too.






May 16, 2022

ARC Review--Spark of Ash by Molly E. Lee

 

The Seven―the Divine beings meant to protect the world―just declared war. On me. They took Ray, my baby sister, and now they’re using my boyfriend to do their dirty work.

Well, screw that.

I may not be able to wipe them off the face of the earth now, but I know what can.

Thanks to an Ather connection, I know about the Seven Scrolls. An ancient incantation made by the Creator to counteract the Seven’s great power, scattered into pieces across the world.

With the help of my new crew, we’re on the hunt. And with each located scroll, I face new battles, bloodier and harder than I’ve ever known before. But now the stakes are even higher, because Ray has always been my bright light in the darkness, and Draven is my hope when all seems lost, and if I don’t get them back?

Well, then I might just become the scariest legend the world has ever known.

 

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

 

Molly E. Lee brings us an exciting conclusion to the Ember in the Night trilogy with Spark of Ash. In this epic quest, Harley will have to work without Draven on her side as his mind has been taken by Aphian and the rest of the Seven, making them public enemy #1 as Harley will do anything to save the people she loves.

When word gets to Harley that her sister has been kidnapped and Draven was the one to do it, she learns that Aphian has taken control of Draven’s mind and wiped his memories, making him the perfect killing machine. He tells Harley that if she retrieves all seven scrolls than he’ll free them. She has a handful of days to transverse her world and the Ather to find these scrolls and it’s not going to be easy, luckily she’s got friends on her side who are willing do anything to save their friends and the world at large.

What came as a surprise in this book was to get more than one chapter’s worth of Draven’s point of view. While the story is still largely told from Harley’s point of view, we get a little more into Draven’s perspective this time around. Of course, for most of this, he’s under Aphian’s control, so it’s almost like being in the head of the enemy. Except Ray is there with him, trying to bring about the real Draven once more.

Meanwhile, Harley, Cassian, Wallace, Ryder, and Harley’s biological father, Rainier are trying to find all seven of the scrolls, but not to hand over to Aphian as demanded, instead, Harley plans to use them herself to become powerful. She’s definitely growing into her powers in this book folks. The Harley of the first book is gone and in its place is a more confident young woman, who is willing to do anything and everything to rescue the ones she loves. She still has a lot to learn and mistakes will be made, and there will be more trials to overcome before the day is through.

Every now and then in the story, we caught whispers of a traitor being among Harley and her group, that someone close to her is giving all their secrets to Aphian who remains one step ahead of them. I began trying to figure out who it could be. Needless to say, my first instincts were right about the whodunit in this one. My final guess was way off course, but I was actually insanely glad for it, because my guess would’ve led to heartbreak!

Speaking of which, this book was not without that too! I won’t get into the details, but yes, tears were had in the finale of this one! Sad tears, and happy tears too. There was also still a bit of romance as Harley and Draven don’t stay separated for long. It’s for a good amount of time, I will say that, but when these two finally share page time once more, it’s explosive and that’s all I’ll say on that matter!

The ending itself was pretty epic! I mean you always expect something like that from a series finale and Lee does not disappoint with this one! I will say, one aspect of the epilogue had me rolling my eyes a little bit. It just seemed a little over the top, but yet as I write this and reflect back on, it was very practical too. I guess it was just a little too much at the time, because I could definitely see myself wondering how things would’ve happened in that area had the epilogue not included it. Again, I’m being vague for spoiler reasons, even if it may not be 100% spoilery. Better vague than over the top, am I right? Lol.

The Ember in the Night trilogy was an absolute delight! I feel like the demon side of paranormal is not often explored enough! Lee took this topic and blew it clear out of the water! She has a unique take on demon lore and I quite enjoyed her story arc overall in this series! It’s not one to be missed by fans of the paranormal, as there’s a great deal of action, intensity, romance, humor, and overcoming the odds! Harley is a heroine worth rooting for; she started as the underdog, overcame incredible odds and still came fighting back for more! I loved this girl! I cannot wait to see what other paranormal stories Lee will write next as I will continue to keep coming back for more if she does!

 

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

 

Spark of Ash releases May 24, 2022

 

 

 

 


 

 

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.

 

Last Week I Read:

Curse of the Wolf King by Tessonja Odette (5 stars)


Currently Reading:

A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair


What I Plan to Read Next:

A Game of Fate by Scarlett St. Clair


Other Posts of Interest:

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays
Can't Wait Wednesday
Random Thursday
Book Blogger Hop
Stacking the Shelves