Recent Reviews...

Friday, April 28, 2017

Tour! A Review of Only a Mistress Will Do by Jenna Jaxon






Only a Mistress Will Do (House of Pleasure #3) by Jenna Jaxon
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal/Fantasy Romance)
Date Published: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Lyrical Press

The man of her dreams . . . belongs to another woman. 

Destitute and without friends, Violet Carlton is forced to seek employment at the House of Pleasure in London. She steels herself for her first customer and is shocked when the man rescues her instead of ravishing her. A grateful Violet cannot help but admire the handsome Viscount Trevor. But she must curb her desire for the dashing nobleman she can never have because he is already betrothed to another . . .

Tristan had gone to the House of Pleasure for a last bit of fun before he became a faithful married man. But when he recognizes the woman in his bed, he becomes determined to save her instead. Now, his heart wars with his head as he falls for the vulnerable courtesan. Unable to break his betrothal without a scandal, Tris resolves to find Violet proper employment or a husband of her own. Still, his arms ache for Violet, urging him to abandon propriety and sacrifice everything to be with the woman he loves. . . 

Only a Mistress Will Do is the third book in the House of Pleasure Series by Jenna Jaxon. The moment Tristan and Violet met, I could feel their chemistry and attraction, but very soon after they proclaimed to love each other, then these crazy and at times unbelievable obstacles kept popping up. I don't know what happened, but somewhere along the way it lost the sizzle for me. A lot of that has to do with Tristan's interactions with his betrothed(who I actually grew to like.. I wonder if she'll get a book). Sometimes I was ready for the plot to move on, and one of those 'obstacles' would happen, and it would slow things down instead. On the other hand, there was quite a bit going on to keep you reading. The story was entertaining and funny. I am curious about the previous two books in this series. I'd like to get to know those characters as well.

Only a Mistress Will Do by Jenna Jaxon was kindly provided to me by Silver Dagger Book Tours for review. The opinions are my own.


Chapter 1

London, November 1761

Shivering in the brisk wind cutting straight through her thin gown, Violet Carlton trudged across the small dirt-packed backyard, littered with tufts of dead grass and scattered brown and red leaves. Teeth clenched to stop their chattering, she mounted the short three steps of the back stoop, straightened her shoulders, and rapped three times on the dull gray door of the silvery clapboard house. Beyond the weathered board fence of   the house next door a dog barked, but no one stirred. No prying eyes to witness her shame.

The door opened a crack, and a lad of about twelve stuck his head out. “What you doin’ ’ere this time o’ day?”
“I would like to speak with Madame Vestry, please.” Perhaps she should have waited until later in the morning. Such an establishment would obviously keep late hours. But the ache in her belly had forced her here as soon as the sun had risen.

“She’s still sleep. Come back later today.” He started to push the door closed but Violet rammed her boot between it and the jamb. The boy kept shoving, squeezing her foot until she winced in pain, but she gritted her teeth, put her shoulder to the door and pushed back. If she didn’t do this now, she wouldn’t have the courage, or the strength, to come back.

“I need to see her now.” She raised her voice, and threw her weight against the rough boards. Despite her small stature, she was stronger. He staggered back and she fell into a narrow back foyer with a row of coat hooks and the devastating yeasty smell of baking bread. Her mouth watered and her stomach rumbled. She hadn’t eaten for days.

Blond hair straggling from under a mobcap, a girl, maybe fourteen, rushed into the room. “What the hell’s going on in here Willie?” She wiped her hands on her apron, streaked with flour and grease. Warily, her gaze shifted from Willie to Violet. “Who are you?”

“I’ve come to see Madame Vestry.” Violet focused on the girl’s narrowed eyes.  “I need to talk to her, please.” Her heart gave a sickening lurch.

In one practiced glance, the girl took in her appearance, from what used to be her second-best hat to the rumpled and stained deep-purple dress to her scuffed black boots, and sniffed. “I see you do.”

The appraisal stung, but was probably fair. She’d come down fast in the months since her grandmother’s death. Her possessions long gone, her wardrobe—reduced to two dresses and a well-worn cloak—had been sold, leaving her with only the dress she stood up in. These clothes wouldn’t fetch a shilling in a secondhand shop now.

The servant girl nodded to Willie. “Close the door before we freeze to death, jingle-brains. Come on.” She led Violet out of the foyer. “I’ll ask if Madame will see you. But she won’t be happy being woke up this early, you can bet your dippers on that.”

The last thing she wanted was to antagonize her future employer. Still, she couldn’t risk waiting until later.
Taking a firm grip on herself, she followed the girl down a shadowy hallway until she motioned her into an equally dim reception room. “Wait here.” The girl turned on her heel and left.

Violet let out the breath she’d been holding. She hadn’t fainted yet, though her empty stomach had tied itself in knots. The pain meant she was alive and by God she intended to stay that way. She strode farther into the room and perched on the red cushioned sofa. Let the woman arrive swiftly to get this over with.

Sitting rigidly, she stared at her hands clenched in her lap, then shook herself. She had better be stronger than this. Determined, she sat straighter. A classical-style painting in a large gilt frame across from her caught her interest. A naked woman lay on a chaise, her legs spread. Oh, good Lord. Her womanly parts were exposed and a swan lay with its beak pressed between her thighs.

Her face heated and she had to look somewhere else, anywhere else but at that painting. The fireplace on her right held two candlesticks, shaped like naked women. Wax had dripped onto the figures, drops hanging from the nipples. Was there nowhere in the room without a lewd image? Violet gripped the end of the sofa. The plush red carpet seemed safe to study. The smooth, polished wood under her fingers had been carved in an oval with folds in the middle. She traced the pattern absently, still unable to get the image of the painting out of her mind. The swan’s long neck lying at the apex of the woman’s open legs. Her forefinger stroked the wooden oval, so similar to the—

“Dear God!” She snatched her hand away and rubbed it against her gown. “Miss Carlton?” A small, dark-haired woman in an exotic scarlet silk robe seemed to fill the room.

Violet jumped to her feet, her heart thudding wildly.

“My maid said you wished to see me?” Madame Vestry’s dark eyes took in every detail of Violet’s appearance. She raised an eyebrow.

On the tip of her tongue to retort of course, she did not wish to see the owner of a brothel, she instead swallowed back her anger. She could ill afford to provoke Madame Vestry. “Yes, ma’am. My brother told me if things went very badly for me I should…” Words stuck in her throat like a fish bone.

“Come to my establishment?”

Face flushing, Violet nodded. “Yes.”

“Who is your brother, Miss Carlton?” A narrowing of the woman’s eyes echoed the suspicion in her voice.

“James Carlton, ma’am.”

Vestry’s head rose slightly and she relaxed. “Ah, yes, Jamie. You are his sister? Then I am sorry for your loss, Miss Carlton.”

“Thank you, Madame Vestry.” Thankfully, her voice held steady, the months since her brother’s death easing the grief to the point she did not weep instantly at the thought. Her current plight was enough to do that.

“And you have now come to that desperate point where you seek employment with me?” The business-like tone, neither condoning nor condemning, stiffened Violet’s resolve.

“Yes, ma’am. As of today, I have nowhere else to go, no one to turn to.” A sickening churn of her stomach that had nothing to do with hunger sent tension through her. “Nothing else of value.”

Except herself.

“You are how old, Miss Carlton?” “Nineteen, ma’am. Almost twenty.”

“Let me see you walk, please.” With a crisp snap, Vestry pulled the curtains open and nodded to the path between the sofa and fireplace.

Violet straightened her skirts as best she could. Suddenly stiff and self- conscious, she concentrated on putting one foot before the other until she came face to face with another obscene painting. She clenched her hands and averted her eyes.
“Turn please.”

Feeling more and more like a horse or a cow at Smithfield market, she did as she was told, hopefully with a bit more grace.

In reward, Vestry gave her a slight nod. “You speak and move as befit your station, Miss Carlton. With a little training, I suspect you will be quite popular with our patrons. I should be able to command a high price for your virginity.”

Violet’s feet tangled in the plush carpet.

The scant approval vanished as Vestry glared at her. “I  assume  you are intact?”

Oh, the shame. How could this woman suggest she had already lain with a man? Bitterness flooded her mouth and her chest ached with mortification. Finally, she managed a curt nod.

“Lie down on the sofa please.” “What? Why?”

“I am not fool enough to take your word, Miss Carlton.” Vestry smiled mirthlessly. “A brief inspection will allow me to assure your buyer he is indeed purchasing a virgin.”

Her cheeks heated at the humiliation this woman suggested. The cold inevitability of her situation rolled over her, engulfing her as though she was drowning beneath a relentless sea. Madame Vestry demanded almost nothing compared to the real horror awaiting her at the hands of her buyer. Still, she had chosen to live. She could no longer afford the luxury of respectability.

Vestry stood immobile, a flicker in her eyes the only hint of interest.

Steeling herself, without word or plea, Violet lay down on the disgusting sofa, raised her knees and turned her head toward the garish red satin cushion. Cool air rushed past her thighs. Hot tears slipped down her cheeks. She hadn’t wanted to cry. The time for weakness had passed.

“You may sit up now.”

Indignant, Violet sat up and raised her chin. “Are you satisfied as to my honesty now?”

“I always was, Miss Carlton.” Madame Vestry stared into Violet’s eyes, her gaze seeming to penetrate to her soul.

“Then why—”

“I needed to test your mettle.”

Rising, Violet scowled. Simply coming to this place should have shown her determination.

“Respectable women often believe they can eschew respectability to save their lives, only to find, in the end, starvation far pleasanter than immorality,” Vestry continued matter-of-factly. “You, however, I believe will do, Cassandra. Come with me.” Motioning her to follow, she headed out of the room.

“Cassandra?” Violet hurried to keep up.
“All of my girls have false names, false identities.” At the end of the hallway, they headed up a flight of stairs.

“The life they lead in the House of Pleasure is just as fraudulent. Cassandra is the mask you will wear to protect a vestige of your self-respect.” When they reached the landing, Madame twitched her silky robe out of the way and turned to her. “Think of it as a role, very like one an actress might take upon the stage. It is not who you are, unless you allow it be.” The vehemence of the last sentence rang in the cramped stairwell.

Violet stumbled back a step. “Why Cassandra?” It was a classical reference she couldn’t quite place.

A peculiar smile curled Madame Vestry’s red lips. “She was a prophet and a spoil of war. A woman men used but dismissed because they could not understand her prophecies, although they came true with a vengeance.” A fire glowed in her cunning eyes as she scrutinized Violet’s body.

More than her earlier examination, Vestry’s calculating perusal made Violet uncomfortable.

“What prophecy will you reveal to your customers, I wonder, Miss Carlton? A promise of pleasure or one of pain?” The light extinguished as quickly as it had come. “This way.” She started down a corridor to the right. “You will have a room of your own on the second floor. Depending on circumstances, you will entertain your clients either there or in one of the ground-floor rooms.”

Violet followed, each step hardening her heart.

“I will see to your training during the next week.” Passion drained from her voice. The businesswoman had returned.

A shiver shot down Violet’s spine.

“I will also inform certain special clients I have an item of interest for them.”

No going back now. She had become a whore. Tears threatened, but she beat them back.

“You can only sell your virtue once and I will make sure you receive the highest price, my dear. Half of those proceeds are yours.”

Violet wavered between fainting and nausea, then steadied. Perhaps thinking of the encounter as a business deal might make the situation tolerable. Madame Vestry showed her into a small, clean room boasting no lewd artwork, only a wide oak bed, a chest on chest, an armchair and table.

“This room is yours as long as you work for me, though should you receive a better offer, I’d advise you take it.”

“A better offer?” Who on earth would want her after this?

“Many of my girls have gone on to become exclusive mistresses to the noblemen who take a fancy to them. Such arrangements are often quite lucrative. With judicious saving one might have enough to start their life over after four or five years.” A mischievous smile flitted across Madame Vestry’s face. “One of the girls who passed through here briefly—very briefly, mind you—ended up marrying a marquess. That smacks more of fairytale than reality. Still the tale is true.”

The animation drained from her face as the brusque woman of business returned. “I will leave you to settle in, although I’ll expect you ready for your first lesson this afternoon. We serve late luncheon at four and supper after midnight. The house opens for clients at dusk.” She looked Violet up and down once more, lingering on her face. “You might want to stay in your room tonight. Just ignore anything you may hear. You’ll get used to the noise rather quickly.” Abruptly, she shut the door.

Violet dropped into the chair as her legs finally gave out, praying to God she could get through this nightmare, if only one moment at a time.

author
Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise—so expect her to incorporate these elements into her work! She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets where she is currently working on the next House of Pleasure book, Only A Mistress Will Do, as well as a Regency series. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage when she writes. Jenna equates her writing to an addiction to chocolate—once she starts she just can’t stop!


To learn more about Jenna Jaxon and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cover Reveal! Blue Bottle Tree by Beaird Glover




Blue Bottle Tree by Beaird Glover
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal)
Date Published: October 24, 2017
Publisher: The Parliament House

There’s no such thing as Voodoo. At least, that’s what most of the Baptists in Bellin tell themselves. But Seven LaVey knows better. 

In a small rural town just outside of Nashville, Voodoo conjures and curses simmer and seethe under the noses of the many who will never know. Seventeen-year-old Seven romanticizes about the meaning of life while held captive as a zombie under the shell of a kiddie pool. He's counting on the strength - and maybe even love - of a certain redheaded clarinet player to save him. But will she?
Filled with betrayal and revenge, two families struggle with a curse that stretches back to Queen of the Voodoos Marie Laveau in this contemporary Southern Gothic adventure. Prepare for a wildly original twist on the paranormal.

Pre-order at: iTunes   Kobo   Barnes & Noble


author
Beaird Glover grew up on a farm in rural Tennessee. He graduated from The Evergreen State College of Olympia, Washington, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing. He then moved to Southern California and wrote Secret Ciphers of the 1876 Presidential Election (Aegean Park Press). He has traveled extensively and lived in eleven of the United Sates, and Taipei and Buenos Aires. His poems have been published in the New York Quarterly and his chapbook of poetry was selected by the Austin Chronicle as one of the Top 10 Best of 1994. More recently, he acquired a Bachelor of Science degree from Long Island University in Brooklyn and has worked as a physician assistant. Beaird now lives in New Orleans with his wife Kim and their cats.

To learn more about Beaird Glover and his books, visit him on Goodreads & Facebook.

Teaser Tuesday! Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard




Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share  doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser this week is from Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard






“Every single thing I did, you stood behind me,” I say. “If I’m turning into a monster, then so are you.”

“Love blinds.”



If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul. 

Do you have a blog? Post a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in the comments.

No blog? Post a Teaser in the comments anyway!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tour! A Review of Don't Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray





Don't Kiss the Messenger (Edgelake High School #1) by Katie Ray
Genre: Young Adult (Contemporary Romance/Retelling)
Date Published: April 10, 2017
Publisher: Entangled: Crush

For most of her teenage life, CeCe Edmonds has been dealing with the stares and the not-so-polite whispers that follow her around Edgelake High. So she has a large scar on her face—Harry Potter had one on his forehead and people still liked him.

CeCe never cared about her looks—until Emmett Brady, transfer student and football darling, becomes her literature critique partner. The only problem? Emmett isblindsided by Bryn DeNeuville, CeCe’s gorgeous and suddenly shy volleyball teammate. 

Bryn asks CeCe to help her compose messages that’ll charm Emmett.CeCe isn’t sure there’s anything in his head worth charming but agrees anyway—she’s a sucker for a good romance. Unfortunately, the more messages she sends and the more they run into each other, the more she realizes there’s plenty in his head, from food to literature. Too bad Emmett seems to be falling for the wrong girl… 

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book involves one fiercely scarred girl who wants the new guy in town, the new guy who thinks he wants the new girl, and the new girl who really isn’t sure what she wants, and the misunderstanding that brings them all together. This modern Cyrano de Bergerac retelling will make you laugh, swoon, and fall in love.

Don't Kiss the Messenger is the first book in the Edgelake High School series by Katie Ray. This is a modern day retelling of the play by Edmond Rostand called Cyrano de Bergerac. I absolutely loved CeCe's character. As much as she hates it, I think the scar is part of what makes her who she is. Her parents and real friends feel the same way. She's intelligent, witty, fun, tough.. I'd love to be her friend. Emmett is a one of a kind dude too. He doesn't follow the jock stereotype that CeCe expects of him. Brynn has all the looks and no brains, and her beauty reels people in. With everything we know about CeCe, I don't know why she would have 'helped' Brynn to begin with. She didn't even like her, especially in the beginning. If it was one of her closer friends like Tuba? Maybe. But when it all started Brynn was a stranger. So, that part of it all didn't really match her personality. However, I completely understand why she got carried away with it and allowed it to go on as long as it did. ... even if I yelled at her a time or two. Overall, this was a fun group of characters. The story was fun and entertaining, and I read the it super fast. The author's writing was clever and addictive. If you enjoyed the movies Roxanne and The Truth About Cats and Dogs, you'll love this book! I'm looking forward to more in this series.

The ARC of Don't Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray was kindly provided to me by the pubisher through NetGalley for review. The opinions are my own.

author
Hi, my name's Katie and I write teen and new adult fiction novels. My latest book, Don't Kiss the Messenger, is published under my new pen name, Katie Ray. I also have six books published under my legal name, Katie Kacvinsky (First Comes Love, Second Chance, Finally Forever, Awaken, Middle Ground, and Still Point).

My books have been nominated for YALSA awards, and First Comes Love was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. My screenplay, A HIGH NOTE, was a semifinalist in the Austin Screenplay Competition. I live in beautiful Ashland, Wisconsin, on the shores of Lake Superior, with my husband, son, daughter, and a very high-energy dog.

To learn more about Katie Ray and her books, visit her blog.You can also find her on Goodreads and Twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Meet the Author! An Interview with Trish Cook, Author of Outward Blonde




In honor of Outward Blonde's release today, I'm very excited to have Trish Cook on the blog. I'll be reading her book soon, and I can't wait to share it with you. Here's a little info about Outward Blonde before we pick the author's brain!
Outward Blonde by Trish Cook
Genre: Young Adult (Contemporary Fiction)
Date Published: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Adaptive Books

Sixteen-year-old Lizzie Finkelstein is a hard-partying socialite who lives a charmed life with her mother in Manhattan. After a public drunken sexual escapade results in both an arrest and an embarrassing viral video online, Lizzie’s parents stage a late night intervention. Lizzie finds herself whisked away to Utah to learn a lesson or two about taking responsibility at Camp Smiley, a wilderness survival program for troubled kids.

Camp Smiley is a far cry from Lizzie’s high society life in New York. Without her stable of luxury hair/makeup items, her teacup Pomeranian, contact with the outside world or access to social media, Lizzie must face the harsh conditions of the outdoors. Grouped with troubled campers in which she’s certain she has nothing in common (except Jack, who’s pretty hot), Lizzie must now learn to dig her own toilet in the woods and build a fire by rubbing two sticks together before the camp will ever let her go back to her former existence. She has a choice: get with the program, or get out of there.

How long have you been writing?
If you mean writing because I love it, pretty much since I could hold a pencil. Growing up, I was always creating new short stories and angsty poetry. But as far as writing fiction, about 15 years now. When I was writing my first book, So Lyrical, my main goal was to create an awesome beach read that captured some of the good times my best friend and I had in high school. Since then, I’ve tried to tackle deeper subjects while still holding on to the fun and humor in my writing.

What inspired you to write Outward Blonde?
For Outward Blonde, the inspiration came from my publisher, Adaptive Books. They have a really unique way of approaching stories: They take unmade film projects and ask YA writers to create novels based on them. Outward Blonde was originally a movie set to star Hilary Duff.  Adaptive came to me with what they call a "spark page"—just the most basic outline of what the story is: A spoiled, rich New York girl gets in trouble and gets sent to wilderness camp. I never read the script for the movie that was never made. I just developed my own story based off the spark page and had so much fun doing it.

What was the weirdest thing you had to google while doing research while writing any of your books?
For my book A Really Awesome Mess (cowritten with my friend Brendan Halpin), I did a bunch of Googling about corn: how fast it grows and how far apart the stalks are planted and how tall it grows and how high it gets to be every month. I was writing a scene about how the main character was running through a corn field with a stolen pig and I wanted to make sure the way I was describing it was possible! But from my search history, my guess is you would’ve thought I was considering becoming a farmer.

Which of your characters do you relate to most and why?
I’d say Lizzie from Outward Blonde. She’d rather appear tough than like she needs anything or anyone at all. I love when she figures out that real, solid, close relationships are built on trust where you show someone your true self,  especially the soft, squishy feelings part. It’s a scary, huge leap but so, so worth it. I spent a lot of time as a teen sad that people had hurt my feelings but not wanting to admit I even HAD feelings so…how could they ever know? It took me longer than Lizzie to truly connect with someone you have to let yourself be vulnerable, but better late than never!

What is a secret about you that nobody else knows?
That I am consistently 15 minutes late because I can never find my phone and bag. No wait… EVERYONE knows that about me.

If your real life as a teenager was a Young Adult book, what would you, the main character, be like?
Oh, I’d be the girl wearing ripped up jeans, Doc Marten’s, and a tee shirt that said something like Aggressive Tendencies, and I’d stomp around and swear a lot. BUT I’d also have a total crush on a smart, sweet, quiet, nerdy guy who was scared of me and preferred his love interests not to swear, stomp around, or wear aggressive shirts. So I’d spend a lot of time alone, in my bedroom, writing sad poetry about him, bemoaning the fact that no guy I ever liked liked me back.

What book have you read too many times to count?
Okay this is going to sound weird, but it’s called The Cheerleader by Ruth Down MacDougall. I was obsessed with the movie Grease and as an extension, the 50s. This book was set in the 50s, and what I loved most about it—even more than the old-fashioned Grease-like setting—was even though that era was supposed to be such an innocent time, and it was so different than how I grew up, the teenagers were still acting like normal teens and doing things teens always do. Mind. Blown.

Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to talk with us! 

 



author
Trish Cook is the author of four YA novels: So Lyrical, Overnight Sensation, Notes from the Blender, and A Really Awesome Mess. Her personal essays have appeared in Graze Literary Magazine and Spittoon, and she is currently completing her memoir, tentatively titled Bret Michaels at the Symphony. When she's not writing, Trish is a runner, rower, music and pop culture fanatic.

To learn more about Trish Cook and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Teaser Tuesday! Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard




Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share  doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser this week is from Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard






“I will never make the mistake of loving you ever again."
"So you choose him?"
That's all this ever was. Jealousy. Rivalry. All so shadow could defeat the flame.



This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

Do you have a blog? Post a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in the comments.

No blog? Post a Teaser in the comments anyway!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Playing Catch Up! This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab




Playing Catch Up has really been helping me through my ever growing TBR list. I'd like to welcome all other blogs to participate too! If you do, be sure to post your links in the comments section. I'd love to see your Playing Catch Up Reviews, and I'm sure others would too!! *wink*

Want to know more about Playing Catch Up? I'll tell you all about it here!

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal/Fantasy/Dystopian)
Date Published: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

This Savage Song is the first book in the Monsters of Verity series by Victoria Schwab. What a world this is with real monsters! My goodness. These monsters were spontaneous creations from the violence of the world. It was such an interesting idea, and the book really carried it out well. There are different types of monsters, and they are being used by the leaders against each other, but something else is brewing behind the scenes too it seems.

 Kate and August are the main characters. Both of them have what they want from life figured out, or at least they think they do. But, it's not that simple. Just like the whole idea of good and evil which is touched on through out this story. These characters are complicated, monsters and human alike. They may not all be evil, and they may not all be good. Just like real life. Everyone has that potential for good and evil, and this story really brings that out.

Kate is a pretty tough girl. She's created a reputation for herself that she's using to survive(and get what she wants). She's got attitude. I liked her quite a bit. August struggles with what he is. He's a quiet guy, and even though he's technically a monster, you want to grab him and hide him away from the mean world. He's extremely lovable. Both characters go through some crazy self discovery from beginning to end.

I'm super impressed with this story, and I can't even begin to guess where the next book will take us, but I can't wait to find out!

author
Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say "tom-ah-toes," "like," and "y'all."

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.

To learn more about Victoria Schwab and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, TumblrYouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Tour! A Review of Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter





Beauty of the Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings #1) by Rachel L. Demeter
Genre: Adult Fiction (Fractured Fairy Tale/Fantasy Romance)
Date Published: March 15, 2017
Publisher: Self

Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.

A BEAST LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS PAST

Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.

A BEAUTY IN PURSUIT OF A BETTER FUTURE

Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice.

* * *

Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.

Disclaimer: This is an edgy, historical romance retelling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. Due to strong sexual content, profanity, and dark subject matter, including an instance of sexual assault committed by the villain, Beauty of the Beast is not intended for readers under the age of 18


Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter is the first book in the Fairy Tale Retellings series. This is a fantastic retelling of Beauty and the Beast, if not one of the best. The book kept the ambiance of Beauty and the Beast, but was its own slightly darker version of the story. Belle was a strong and intelligent main character. She could come and go, so I never felt like this was a Stockholm Syndrome love affair which was nice. Adam has so many layers. He has spent years hiding from people because of how he looks, among other reasons. So, as much as he yearned for some human contact, he feared it too. Both of them have some major issues they need to work out in themselves, but that's part of what made them perfect, and their relationship made for some beautiful reading. It has some naughty bits, so it's not for the younger crowd. Adam is a 'beast" that will make your belly flip while you read, and you know how much I love those belly flipper beasts. All the more reason this was near impossible to put down. Beauty of the Beast is the kind of story(only better) that I was hoping for when I first heard they were making a Beauty and the Beast movie. I can't wait for more retellings in this series!

The ARC of Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.




Arms sprang out from the darkness. They spun her full circle and slammed her body against the king’s portrait. Isabelle gasped, more in shock than from pain, as she stared into Adam’s deformed face. The lantern flickered behind his massive form, casting his cloaked body in silhouette. But she saw enough to know he was far from pleased. Rage and frustration radiated from his body like a palpable force.

“I warned you to stay out of here,” he said, his voice dangerously cold and deep. Those rugged vocals vibrated against her body and seeped into her marrow. “What part of forbidden didn’t you comprehend?” His voice lashed out from the darkness like a hurtled knife, and the word “forbidden” seemed to whisper another meaning altogether. Isabelle tried to answer but failed to find her voice. Indeed, her vocal cords had turned to solid ice, as numb and cold as the blood rushing through her veins. She couldn’t breathe; she felt like she was suffocating.

“My mother gave me that musical box on my fourth birthday,” he said, the sensual lull of his voice causing the fine hairs on her nape to stand erect. “And now your recklessness has destroyed it. Have you nothing to say?”

“I—I’m sorry.” He offered no reply; only the ragged sound of his breathing and the hammering blizzard broke the silence. “Please—I didn’t mean any harm.”

She struggled under the weight of Adam’s colossal body and battled to free herself. He merely gave a low chuckle and pressed her firmly against the portrait. He looked otherworldly at that moment, like an angel of death seeking vengeance. Both beautiful and monstrous, his cool, sapphire eyes overflowed with warring emotions. In spite of his harsh and ruthless exterior, she detected a quaver in his voice and saw that his large, cloaked shoulders trembled. The darkness in his soul cast a shadow that embraced her; as she peered up at him, she knew he was drowning in the turbulent waters of a past time.

“What a disappointment,” he went on, his voice growing deeper still, mocking her words from so many days ago, “You’re like any other woman.”

“I—I’m sorry. Please, Adam. I—” Her gaze shot past his body and over the wreckage of a past life. She thought of her private chamber again—of the stale perfumes and outdated garments.

Her flight or fight instinct seized hold of her. She attempted to scramble free, but he merely grabbed her shoulder and whirled her back against the portrait. Gloves wrapped his hands; his long, silk-clad fingers grasped her shoulder and kept her firmly in place.

He stood intimately close.

Far too close.

As close as Raphael had been that night.

“Going somewhere, ma belle? After you’ve worked so hard to find my East Tower?”

Hands like two steel bands held her wrists in place. Hot breaths, which faintly smelled of wine, seared her cheeks and assaulted her senses. Her breasts flattened against the pressure of his strong chest, and she felt that same chest swell and deflate in perfect sync with her own. One large hand slipped down her elbow and glided across her extended arm. The lush material of his gloves drew a shudder from her heaving chest. His breathing grew more ragged, shallower, and the erratic beat of his heart banged against her own.

Anger and desire warred on his face, twisting his features into a mess of both monster and man. “Find anything of interest, aside from my musical box? Come, come. You went through such great trouble to get here,” he asked, his voice now threaded with both anger and something else.

Yes, Isabelle recognized that something else. It was the same note that had entered Raphael’s voice that night…

She attempted to duck under his arm, but he moved swiftly, capturing her in the crook of his elbow. Reeling her toward him, he emitted a low, haunting chuckle that swelled the eastern tower to its rafters. She was back where she’d started—pinned against the portrait, Adam’s body serving as a flesh-and-blood blockade.

Hunger radiated from him, enfolding her in a current of sizzling power. His silk-clad hand grazed the curve of her breast as it moved down her body in a painfully slow caress. Even more alarming was her reaction to him. Her treacherous body responded with a crush of hot and cold pulsating waves. Then he whispered a taunt in her ear, and his liquid baritone slid down her backbone like honey; it swirled inside her, finding its home in her most intimate area.

He leaned closer still. His face’s uneven skin brushed against her neck, the black waves of his hair tickled her chin... His thick arousal expanded against her, reminding her of what he was capable of—and of her sheer vulnerability.

His lips teased the base of her throat. Cursing her traitorous body, Isabelle gasped at the gentle scraping of his teeth. His tongue and lips tormented her throbbing pulse—just barely, stirring her skin in a mere ghost of a touch.

Also check out my reviews of more fantastic books by Rachel L. Demeter!

author
Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and her high school sweetheart of eleven years. She enjoys writing dark, poignant romances that challenge the reader's emotions and explore the redeeming power of love.

Imagining dynamic worlds and characters has been Rachel's passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mother would record them for her. She holds a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether crafting the protagonist or antagonist, she ensures every character is given a soul.

Rachel endeavors to defy conventions by blending elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness.

Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.

To learn more about Rachel L. Demeter and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebookGoogle+, Pinterest, and Twitter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway