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Recent Reviews...

Monday, May 21, 2018

Book Review! The Blood King by Liz Long




The Blood King (The Brighton Duology #1) by Liz Long
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal/Dystopian)
Date Published: April 10, 2018
Publisher: Self

In the kingdom of Brighton, a President-turned-King offers poor teens the chance to join KEY, the King’s Education for Youth. Seventeen-year-old Reina Torres jumps at the chance to be of service to her country, wanting to learn more about Brighton’s history and future through the Media industry.

The King himself takes an interest in Reina, offering private interviews; he soon commands her to marry his cruel son. Reina, however, cannot ignore her growing feelings for Iris, a fellow KEY student, despite knowing the laws. Reina discovers refusal means punishment much worse than death, and why King Magnus hasn’t aged in decades, thanks to his KEY program.


The Blood King is the first book in the Brighton Duology by Liz Long. I liked the premise of this story quite a bit, but there were times when it lagged a bit for me. With that being said, there were parts that sped along a little too fast. I enjoyed most of the characters, but the romances were fast and felt forced to me. So, it was hard to believe in them as actual meaningful relationships. The King was intriguing, and I hate to say that because the dude is evil, but at the same time, it was hard not to pay attention to him. He's a wild card. You just never knew what to expect from him. Aspects of this story certainly were intriguing. I'm curious where it goes. While this book may not have been a favorite, I love this author's work! If you haven't checked her out yet, you really need to!

The ARC of The Blood King by Liz Long was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.



CHAPTER ONE
My grandmother once told me our country used to be a democracy. Years ago, when she was a little girl, a man became president. He loved the power so much he kept it, killed his opponents and dared others to come forward. Those who did lost, and with it, our free will.

The man declared himself a King, vowing to take care of the people who best served him. And he did keep his word–those who were loyal to him stayed in their own places of power, content to take orders from a megalomaniac. There were parties and festivals, food and drink and no expense spared.

The King remained on his throne of gold, the years turning into a decade, then two and three and four. Eventually, the people in his new kingdom grew complacent, adapting to their circumstances. They couldn’t flee because these were their homes, they said, and fighting was out of the question. Families stayed together this way, they said, and they’d surely be rewarded for their loyalty. Many people in the kingdom died waiting.

Eventually people accepted things the way they were, forgot how life used to be. And so the King continued on ruling, content to keep his power over the country. He went to war with other countries who dared threaten us, subduing them thanks to his plans and weapons. Attacks decimated over half of our own country, leaving much of what was once green and fruitful now barren and brown.

He won, thanks to the money he pumped into his military. It was the best in the world, and it only took three years for everyone else in the world to realize it. Over half of the human population, on the entire earth, blown to smithereens. He rebuilt the kingdom on top of our old ruins, promising a glorious new era. Other countries would bow to us and fear his name. He was the King of our country, not the world, but he might as well have been. The smaller battles that broke out across the years never amounted to anything. No one could truly spar with him because they knew he’d bomb their entire civilizations off the map.

It was a folk tale, this story of King Magnus Brighton. Stories our grandparents made up to get through their days, to scare the younger generation into behaving. I knew better, could read the papers and listen to the media. They only had positive things to say about how our King had saved us all, and continued to fight for our prosperity. People had jobs and homes, food on their table, so why would we possibly complain about being able to live our lives?

My own father fought for King Magnus, gave his life to protect his country in the last war. When rebels attacked Brighton a little over a decade ago, my father volunteered, rather than be drafted. I remember the morning he left, the proud look on his face as he kissed my mother and me goodbye. He’d known exactly what he was walking into and still he’d kept a brave face. I hadn’t realized it at five years old, but at seventeen, I knew he’d been willing to die for his country that had given him so much.

As soon as my mother received notice of my father’s death, she packed our things and we went all the way to the other side of what was left of the country. Mama said she couldn’t bear to be so close to the heart of the kingdom, but I knew there was something more. I had no idea what, of course, but I had been too devastated at the loss of my father to question it then and now it just seemed like a waste of time. Things were the way they were, and no amount of questioning or wondering would bring my dad back. I missed him everyday, as much as the day he’d left, but he was never coming back.

My mother was the rule follower, hated it when I bent them by breaking curfew or grumbled about the overbearing soldiers. I couldn’t stand her smothering. The King probably couldn’t even be bothered to reach us way out here, but she didn’t want to take any chances.

I don’t know why she bothered. Everyone out here was too busy working to worry about breaking the rules. It’s not like anyone had any real technology, anyways. We had the newspapers and TV, but no one had those fancy phones city people flaunted in those strange commercials we saw on a staticky TV. The wars had taken technology out in most of the rest of the world, leaving King Magnus once again ahead of the curve in luxury. In our tiny part of the world, most of us felt lucky to have what little we did, and dared not ask for anything more.

Check out my reviews of other books by this author!


author
My name is Liz Long and I’m a USA Today bestselling writer, dog lover, and dessert expert (you can also put “nerdy” in front of all those things). Whether you’re looking for a new fantasy/Young Adult read, need marketing and social media tips, or want some writing advice from an indie author, I promise to provide in the best way possible.

I’m the author of YA dystopian series The Brighton Duology, YA superhero trilogy Heroes of Arcania, fantasy “big sister” The Donovan Circus Series, and two standalones, Witch Hearts and A Reaper Made.

I am lucky enough to have my dream job as an Editor for The Roanoker and bridebook magazines. I love my job and it’s truly the best of both worlds as I share others’ stories and create my own.

In addition, I am the Director of both Roanoke Author Invasion and the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. I’m all about Tribe Vibe for writers and readers, and encourage you to check out these events along with your own local resources!

To learn more about Liz Long and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebook and Twitter.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Book Review! Lovers at Seaside by Addison Cole




Lovers at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers #9) by Addison Cole
Genre: Adult Fiction (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: May 9, 2018
Publisher: World Literary Press


Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers features a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They're sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you'll be begging to enter their circle of friends! 

IN LOVERS AT SEASIDE...
After months of long-distance communication, actress Parker Collins and artist Grayson Lacroux finally plan to reconnect in the seaside town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts. But Parker never shows, and weeks pass without a word, leaving Grayson to believe he’s misinterpreted their budding relationship.

Parker has been running on autopilot ever since she lost her friend, mentor, and the only family she’s ever known, Bert Stein. Armed with junk food, tequila, and her big, lovable dog, she’s prepared to hole up and mourn—and determined to mend a fence Bert had never been able to with his estranged and bitter brother. But Parker didn’t count on the handsome artist she’s been fantasizing about for nearly a year walking in on her grief-induced drunken night.

When Grayson stumbles across Parker, he has no idea what to make of the gorgeous blonde who blew him off despite the chemistry between them. But that doesn’t stop him from feeling protective of the woman who’s consumed his thoughts for months, and when he learns of Parker’s plans to confront an angry old man, he refuses to leave her side. As Parker’s past unfolds, they’re led on an unexpected journey of discovery. Their connection deepens, until good intentions spark painful secrets, threatening the love they’ve found.


Lovers at Seaside is the ninth book in the Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers series by Addison Cole. Their friendship started online, but neither knew how the other really felt about them, so it was fun watching them come together. Grayson is just what Parker needs right now, and they are pretty darn cute together too. Abe was a fun addition to the story. I kinda figured where that was heading pretty early on, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. This series was been a great one. It always gives me just the right amount of "Sweet with heat". I can't wait for more!

The ARC of Lovers at Seaside by Addison Cole was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.


Check out my reviews of the other books in this series!

author
Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

Addison enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups and welcomes an invitation to your event.
Addison’s books are available in paperback, digital, and audio formats.

To learn more about Addison Cole and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.