What I've Been Reading
Hello everyone! It's been one heck of a few weeks of reading. My recent reads included everything from a highly anticipated fantasy sequel, a romance standalone by a favorite author in the genre, and a new find along the way. It's safe to say I've discovered so many awesome new reads that I can't wait to talk about in my mini-reviews.
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Title: Blood & Honey
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Genre: YA Fantasy
Description: After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.
To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.
The hotly anticipated sequel to the New York Times and IndieBound bestseller Serpent & Dove.
Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
If you are unfamiliar with me, I am a massive fan of Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin. The first book has easily become one of my all-time favorite reads. I may have been a little behind on the times having only read it earlier in 2020 but I couldn't have been more impressed. The book has a great story and amazing gothic witchy vibes, which is the best combination in my opinion.
I was obviously very excited for the sequel to be released. I desperately needed more of the adventures of Reid and Lou along with their companions. When Blood & Honey came out I even preordered a signed copy because I was that obsessed. I had no chill to put it lightly.
Blood & Honey picks up almost right where the first book left off. There wasn't a massive cliffhanger but it was enough to keep the reader in suspense. I've heard a few mixed reactions about the book from other readers, some saying they loved it and others saying it didn't live up to the first book. While I do agree it is a completely different book in style, I really enjoyed it as a follow up to Serpent & Dove.
Title: Final Serenade
Author: N.N. Britt
Description: A secret affair with your teenage celebrity crush? Yes, please!
Music journalist Cassy Evans believes her career is made when she snags an exclusive interview with rock singer Frankie Blade.
Once a superstar of the generation, Frankie has been a recluse since a freak motorcycle incident sent his career into a tailspin seven years ago. Now that he’s returned to claim back his crown, Cassy hopes to kill two birds with one stone—secure her magazine a top spot in the rankings and meet with the man of her adolescent dreams.
A dinner invitation isn’t what she expects to get out of this interview, but the chemistry between them is undeniable.
With paparazzi watching Frankie’s every move as the two jump into a stormy relationship, Cassy risks her career and her privacy—and possibly her heart—to be with the biggest rockstar on the planet. But is Frankie worth it? Is he the humble man she thinks he is or is he just that good at hiding his demons?
Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)
I was a bit wary about Final Serenade by N.N. Britt after a patch of misses in my romance selections. I wasn't sure if it would help pull me out of my slump or drive me further into it. It took me a couple chapters into it to decide the truth, but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this read.
Final Serenade by N.N. Britt was everything you want in a rockstar romance with the extravagance of fame and the beauty of a blossoming relationship in extreme circumstances. The male lead, Frankie, isn't a stereotypical rockstar character with his sweet gestures and precarious health. I really enjoyed reading about him and Cassy as they felt like genuine people in coincidentally grand settings.
Title: Playing With Fire
Author: LJ Shen
A broken boy on the path to destruction.
A scarred girl without direction.
A love story carved in secrets, inked with pain and sealed with a lie.
Grace Shaw and West St. Claire are arctic opposites.
She is the strange girl from the food truck.
He is the mysterious underground fighter who stormed into her sleepy Texan college town on his motorcycle one day, and has been wreaking havoc since.
She is invisible to the world.
He is the town’s beloved bad boy.
She is a reject.
He is trouble.
When West thrusts himself into Grace’s quiet life, she scrambles to figure out if he is her happily-ever-after or tragic ending.
But the harder she pushes him away, the more he pulls her out of her shell.
Grace doesn’t know much about anything beyond her town’s limits, but she does know this:
She is falling in love with the hottest guy in Sheridan U.
And when you play with fire—you ought to get burned.
Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
I heard L.J. Shen was releasing a new book about a week before it's released and I knew I needed to read it. She is one of my favorite romance writers who puts out pretty consistent books. There is also the added bonus that all of her books are on kindle unlimited which I am a member of so it's very easy to get ahold of a copy.
Playing With Fire in particular was an amazing standalone romance novel. It was quite different than a lot of the romance books I read - for the better. The love story is seared with fire and lined with scars that gape for the reader to view. The book packs emotion in a tragically nostalgic way.
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