Jun 30, 2021

Review—From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Captivating and action-packed, From Blood and Ash is a sexy, addictive, and unexpected fantasy perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Laura Thalassa.

A Maiden…

Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.

A Duty…

The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.

A Kingdom…

Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.


I finally found time to read Jennifer L. Armentrout’s From Blood and Ash and all I can say is wow! I mean I knew I was going to love it because it’s Jennifer L. Armentrout and she has never steered me wrong with one of her books. I did have a rough start of it but that’s typical of me with fantasies and entering new worlds.

Poppy is not your typical teenager, she’s eighteen and on the cusp of her Ascension. Living in a world with vampires and being beholden to the ones who rescued her and raise her after her parents were murdered by ravenous Craven, she’s lived a event life, if sheltered and over protected because of her Maiden status. Having survived an attack from the Craven with her life has earned her the title, but she would rather be a normal girl.

Things are not all easy in the kingdom though, Poppy is tortured by one her “protectors” and because of his status, it’s allowed and ignored. Then when an attempted kidnapping of Poppy leaves one of her trusted guards dead, she is forced to acquire a new one in Hawke. Who just happens to be the same man Poppy had a brief and borderline innocent tryst with when she managed to sneak out earlier.

Poppy also has a special set of abilities that allows her to sort of manipulate feelings. She can sense what others are feelings when she tries and if someone is in pain, she can take the pain away by making them feel happy and blissful as they die. It’s a process she calls dying with dignity.

There is unease in the kingdom though what with Descenters wreaking havoc on the Ascended—the elite vampires in this world. There’s talk of a dark prince who was banished from the kingdom many years ago and these Descenters are still supporting his ways and old rule.

She Poppy’s life is once again put into jeopardy, she along with Hawke and more guards begin a tremulous trip to go to the city where her Ascension is meant to happen next year, but may be moving up because of all the imminent danger. And naturally, along the way, their journey is filled with even more dangers.

I so miss the days where I could read for hours on end and would’ve had this book completed in two days tops! Lol. As it was I still got through this one faster than anticipated and I truly did love it! I’m still struggling to fully grasp all the politics within the story, I can understand them as I read enough to get through things but now trying to recollect them for a review is proving to be a bit more difficult. I’m also, literally writing this on a road trip too so yeah, motion sickness too!

Anyway, I can definitely see why this series is hoping in the book community. It was another amazing and spine tingling read from the one and only Jennifer L. Armentrout. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book of hers and not loved it. You can definitely expect more of that toe-curling romance in this one. Poppy and Hawke have an odd sort of relationship building, plus the whole Princess/Guard forbidden romance but you know there’s going to be so much more depth to it than that. And seriously, can we say toe-curling romance again? I’m pretty sure my cheeks might have flushed a few times when reading this one. Luckily, no one ever saw me!

The pacing to this one was definitely something different. It does have a bit of a slow start, but it builds up gradually as things move along and it’s never boring or dragging. It’s just a little sedate, but that can be a good thing sometimes too. It allows for some deep character growth too. Poppy is definitely one tough chick. She’s not exactly a warrior princess but nor is she a dainty one in need of rescuing. She’s got skills but can be beaten, she’s not infallible but will fight until she has no breath left.

The ending was something of a shocker too, which I suspected because it’s Jennifer L. Armentrout of course! The reveals that happened came as something of a shock to me,  I had suspicions of some things but I was still taken by surprise by all of the end games! So now, naturally, I’m deviating from my plan and reading the next book now! Lol. That is usually the best part of being behind on Erie’s, you can binge read to catch up!

So if you’re like me and were waiting to find time to read From Blood and Ash, you do you, because you’re going to want to devour this one in one go if you’re able! Jennifer has proven once again why she is one of my favorite authors and I cannot wait to read more in this series!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars






Waiting on 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.


Running a small-town police force in the mountains of New Mexico should be a smooth, carefree kind of job. Sadly, full-time Sheriff--and even fuller-time coffee guzzler--Sunshine Vicram, didn't get that memo.

All Sunshine really wants is one easy-going day. You know, the kind that starts with coffee and a donut (or three) and ends with take-out pizza and a glass of chardonnay (or seven). Turns out, that's about as easy as switching to decaf. (What kind of people do that? And who hurt them?)

Before she can say iced mocha latte, Sunny's got a bar fight gone bad, a teenage daughter hunting a serial killer and, oh yes, the still unresolved mystery of her own abduction years prior. All evidence points to a local distiller, a dangerous bad boy named Levi Ravinder, but Sun knows he's not the villain of her story. Still, perhaps beneath it all, he possesses the keys to her disappearance. At the very least, beneath it all, he possesses a serious set of abs. She's seen it. Once. Accidentally.

Between policing a town her hunky chief deputy calls four cents short of a nickel, that pesky crush she has on Levi which seems to grow exponentially every day, and an irascible raccoon that just doesn't know when to quit, Sunny's life is about to rocket to a whole new level of crazy.

Yep, definitely a good day for chardonnay.


I really liked Darynda's new series last year. I debated about requesting this one for review, but I am dying to get back to my own TBR pile, so my requesting has slowed down a bit these days. Can't wait to read this one though!


TITLE: A Good Day for Chardonnay
AUTHOR: Darynda Jones

PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Press
GENRE: Mystery
July 27, 2021

Jun 29, 2021

ARC Review--Capture the Crown by Jennifer Estep


Bestselling author Jennifer Estep returns to her Crown of Shards world with an all-new trilogy and a bold new heroine who protects her kingdom from magic, murder, and mayhem by moonlighting as a spy. 

Gemma Ripley has a reputation for being a pampered princess who is more interested in pretty gowns, sparkling jewelry, and other frivolous things than learning how to rule the kingdom of Andvari. But her carefully crafted persona is just an act to hide the fact that Gemma is a powerful mind magier—and a spy. 

Gemma is undercover, trying to figure out who is stealing large amounts of tearstone from one of the Ripley royal mines when she encounters Prince Leonidas Morricone of Morta—her mortal enemy. Gemma tries to steer clear of the handsome prince, but when she finds herself behind enemy lines, she reluctantly joins forces with Leo. Also coming to Gemma’s aid is Grimley, her beloved gargoyle.

Despite the fact that Andvari and Morta are old, bitter enemies, a dangerous attraction sparks between Gemma and Leo. Further complicating matters is Leo’s murderous family, especially Queen Maeven Morricone, the mastermind behind the infamous Seven Spire massacre.

The closer Gemma gets to the stolen tearstone, the more deadly plots she uncovers. Everyone is trying to capture the crown, but only one queen can sit on the throne…

I received this ARC during the festivities of Independent Bookstore Day. My review is completely honest and voluntary, I was in no way compensated for this review.


Jennifer Estep returns to the world of Crown of Shards, but this time with a new heroine. Capturethe Crown starts a new series centering around Gemma, the young cousin of Everleigh. This time, it will be up to Gemma to save her kingdom from the enemy.

It’s been awhile since I was last in this world but I found myself easily falling back into it. What made it easier was the whole new cast of characters. I was a bit surprised that Everleigh didn’t make an appearance, but perhaps she will in the next book or two! Gemma is a force to be reckoned with though, she’s very much like her cousin in some ways. She’s not your typical princess and I love that about her.

Gemma was going undercover to figure out why her kingdom’s tearstone seems to be going missing. She disguises herself and add in the fact that she’s a “secluded” princess, not many know her face, so she’s able to pass as a commoner. But when she sees her mortal enemy, Leonidas of Morta show up, she’s ready to take him out…right after she figures out what he’s doing. For there is a past history between Leonidas and Gemma that we don’t quite know yet, but it gets revealed over time throughout the story. I’m more interested in the aftermath of their first meeting that only gets briefly touched on, so hopefully Jennifer will dive into that as the series moves along. Though they met as children and Gemma knew his face right away, it seems Leonidas doesn’t recognize her for her true self and she plans to use this to her advantage.

When Gemma is hurt during her mission, Leo brings her back to his kingdom to be healed. He planned to help her slip out of the castle unseen, but Gemma thinks it’s the perfect opportunity for her to do some more spying to see what Morta plans to do with the tearstone, as she quickly learns Leo’s brother, Milo, is behind it all.

There is definitely a slow building, slow burning romance happening between Gemma and Leo and I am all for it! Gemma is constantly trying to fight her attraction to the man who betrayed her years ago, and isn’t doing such a great job of it. There’s mostly heated moments between them riddle with tension and ohhh when these two finally get together—because we all know they will—it’s going to be explosive!

The pacing to this one was done just right. It was like a constant buildup to more and more exciting things with all this deception and tension along the way. Everyone is always deceiving someone in this world. It’s enough to make your head spin! I’m still trying to figure out what Maeven’s endgame is because she’s still scheming after her bout with Everleigh!

Capture the Crown was filled with action, tension, suspense, and deceptions. It’s a book that will have you constantly turning the pages and add in some heated slow burn romance, it’s a book that you won’t soon forget! If you’re looking for an intriguing new fantasy read, I would highly recommend this one! And though you don’t have to have read the first fantasy trilogy of this world, that one too was still an amazing and exciting read, but you could easily dive into this one and enjoy it without that prior knowledge. Capture the Crown is a book to devour in one sitting and leave you aching for more by its end! Though I will say the cliffhanger wasn’t too horrendous…and now the countdown to next year begins!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars


Capture the Crown releases July 6, 2021






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.


"Only the gods knew what lived in these woods. Knowing my luck, probably a cantankerous family of very large, very hungry bears. I've never seen a bear before, though, so that would be kind of an amazing sight to behold right before it chewed off my face. But at least I doubted--

The snapping of a branch stopped me as I climbed over a fallen tree." p 47





TITLE: A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
AUTHOR: Jennifer L. Armentrout

PUBLISHER: Blue Box Press
GENRE: Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: September 1, 2020

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 Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2021


*in no particular order


10. KINGDOM OF THE CURSED by Kerri Maniscalco--can only hope that I get blessed with an ARC like last year! Lol!
9. HORSEMAN by Christina Henry--looove her book and this one sounds super good!
8. THE WOODS ARE ALWAYS WATCHING by Stephanie Perkins--super excited for this one (again!)!

7. SHADOW OF LIGHT by Molly E. Lee--the first book really blew me away and I can't wait for the second one!
6. MARY, WILL I DIE? by Shawn Sarles--his first thriller was really good and by the looks of this cover, I might be truly chilled with this one!
5. COURT by Tracy Wolff--I mean obviously!

4. THE RIGHTEOUS by Renee Ahdieh--dying to continue this series!!
3. THE BURIED by Melissa Grey--I'm going to have sooo many awesome picks for my Halloween giveaway this year!
2. ALL THESE BODIES by Kendare Blake--cannot wait for a new book from Kendare!!

1. ONCE UPON A BROKEN HEART by Stephanie Garber--I mean obviously! Lol! As of writing this post I've 4 copies preordered and am debating the merits of ordering more UK ones to gamble with covers or wait until it's released...it's a conundrum!