Until the Storm Passes by Elizabeth Doherty | Exclusive Cover Reveal

September 5, 2017 Cover Reveal 1

Magic, Myth, & Mischief, hosted by me and Bonnie, is a month-long event that celebrates fairy tales and mythological retellings, as well as retellings of favorite classic novels and books featuring mythical beasts such as mermaids, dragons, and fae! Find the schedule of events and other information here.


Today I’m pleased to reveal the cover for Elizabeth Doherty’s upcoming Beauty and the Beast retelling, Until the Storm Passes!

What do you think? It looks cozy and romantic with the snow!


Until the Storm Passes by Elizabeth Doherty
Series: Grimford #1
Cover Designer: Lily Droeven
Self-Published
Release Date TBA!
Add to Goodreads

Isabelle only wanted to take care of her father. Unfortunately, taking care of her father means following him out into what the weather reporters were calling ‘The Storm of the Century.’ When Isabelle’s car slides off the road and wedges itself into a snow bank, she has no choice but to seek help from the illusive Fitzroy mansion, tucked away in the woods on the edge of town. Inside, she encounters Leo, a solemn man with a dark past and a scarred face, who begrudgingly lets her stay after the roads close. She grows increasingly frustrated by his secrets, including the forbidden door that she is not allowed to look behind. At least he has his own personal library for her to browse.

Leo Fitzroy was once the popular son of one of Grimford’s wealthiest men. But after tragedy struck, he locked his broken body away in his mansion, staying away from the outside world that pitied him. He was used to his solitude, and he does not appreciate Isabelle’s special brand of annoyance. He wants nothing more to get her out of the house as soon as the roads are cleared. But when he learns that she likes books and 80s cult classics, he begins to realize that maybe she’s not so bad. Except the longer that she is in his house, the closer she gets to his secret. If she finds out, it will ruin everything.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited to read this book!

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Q&A with Gabrielle Prendergast | Zero Repeat Forever Blog Tour

September 4, 2017 Author Interview, Blog Tour, Giveaway 2

Q&A with Gabrielle Prendergast | Zero Repeat Forever Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop along the blog tour for Gabrielle Prendergast’s Zero Repeat Forever, hosted by Rockstar Book Tours! You might remember Gabrielle from my A Week of Beauty and the Beast event this past March, and I’m so happy to have her back to talk more about her book during this month’s event, Magic, Myth, and Mischief. Read more about Zero Repeat Forever, Gabrielle, and enter to win a signed finished copy and some cool swag below!


1. What makes your book magical, mythical, and/or mischievous?

As science fiction Zero Repeat Forever not exactly magical, but the mythology it taps into is partly the Pinocchio myth (that of a manufactured non-human who wants to be human) and also, of course, Beauty and the Beast. These are two of my all time favorites. As for mischief, the protagonist of Zero Repeat Forever, Raven, is very mischievous, but never for its own sake. Before the aliens invaded she got into a little trouble just having teenage fun, but after the invasion she channels that impulsivity into surviving.

2. What elements of the original Beauty and the Beast tale did you incorporate into your retelling?

The dynamic of their relationship is very similar. Eighth is very taken with Raven from the first time he sees her, while she takes a LOT longer to warm up to him. Books play a part in the development of her trust of him, as in Beauty and the Beast. And they spend time in a penthouse apartment, which is an analog of the Beast’s castle. Some readers have declared Topher to be Gaston and I won’t argue with that!

3. What are some of your favorite novels influenced by fairy tales/mythology? (Besides, of course, your own!)

I love all of Rick Riordan’s books and am super excited about his new project, Rick Riordan Presents, where he’s working with diverse authors to write installment of his series based on multicultural mythologies.

4. If you found yourself trapped in a fairy tale, which would you want it to be?

Beauty and the Beast, obvs. Because I love the beast so much, just the way he is. Also his library.

5. Who are your favorite villains of lore?

Of lore? I love Macbeth, and Lady Macbeth. And Medusa. I can relate to her lifelong bad hair day.

6. If you could live in any fairytale or mythological world, which one would you choose to live in and why?

I mean everyone wants to go to Hogwarts, right? The problem with mythological worlds is that they mostly take place in sort of pre-medieval settings and life really sucked then. I suppose if I could actually have magical powers it might be okay, but there’s the still the whole itchy woolen corset problem.

7. If you turned your life into a fairytale story, what would the title of it be?

Rumpledshirtnskirt is about right.

8. What lesson do you want your readers to learn from your retelling?

Never judge someone by their group membership or their appearance.


Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on August 29, 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Romance, Retellings
Find it: Amazon • B&N • Audible • iBooks • BD • Goodreads

He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.

Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.

His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.

Until a human kills her…

Sixteen year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade, annihilating entire cities, taking control of the Earth. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her friends have only a fragment of instruction from the human resistance.

Shelter in place.

Which seems like good advice at first. Stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless but what choice does she have?

Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other…


About the Author

Gabrielle is a writer, teacher and designer living in Vancouver, Canada.  You can read about her books here. She is represented by Barbara Poelle at the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

In 2014 she was the Writer in Residence at Vancouver Public Library. In 2015 she was nominated for the BC Book Prizes and chosen to tour the province to promote BC Books. In 2017 Gabrielle took part in the TD Canada Children’s Book Week Tour. She has also been nominated for the White Pine Award and the CLA Award.

Gabrielle won the Westchester Award for Audacious. Audacious was included in CBC’s list of 100 YA Books That Make You Proud to be Canadian. A poem from Capricious was chosen for the 2014 Poetry in Transit Program. Pandas on the East Side was chosen as an Ontario Library Association Best Bet for Junior Fiction in 2016. It was also nominated/shortlisted for the Chocolate Lily Award, The Red Cedar Award, the Diamond Willow Award and the Myrca Award.

Website |  Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads


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Tour Schedule:

9/4/2017- That Artsy Reader Girl– Interview
9/5/2017- Read. Eat. Love.– Review
9/6/2017- Novel Novice – Guest Post
9/7/2017- britreadsbooks– Review
9/8/2017- Brittany’s Book Rambles– Interview

9/11/2017- Bibliobakes– Review
9/12/2017- A Dream Within A Dream– Guest Post
9/13/2017- Lattes & Paperbacks– Review
9/14/2017- BookHounds YA– Interview
9/15/2017- Nerdophiles – Review

 


Magic, Myth, & Mischief, hosted by me and Bonnie, is a month-long event that celebrates fairy tales and mythological retellings, as well as retellings of favorite classic novels and books featuring mythical beasts such as mermaids, dragons, and fae! Find the schedule of events and other information here.

 

 

 

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Savage by Nicole Conway | Book Cover Reveal

September 1, 2017 Cover Reveal 1

Magic, Myth, & Mischief, hosted by me and Bonnie, is a month-long event that celebrates fairy tales and mythological retellings, as well as retellings of favorite classic novels and books featuring mythical beasts such as mermaids, dragons, and fae! Find the schedule of events and other information here.


Today we’re revealing the cover for Savage by Nicole Conway, the first book in the Dragonrider Legacy. It’s absolutely beautiful!

What do you think? I love it! 


Savage by Nicole Conway
Series: (Dragonrider Legacy #1)
Published by Month9Books on September 26, 2017
Genres: Fantasy
AmazonBarnes & Noble • Add to Goodreads

Savage begins the Dragonrider Legacy series, a thrilling companion to the international bestselling Dragonrider Chronicles.

Never send a hero to do a monster’s job.

Forty years have passed since Jaevid Broadfeather brought peace to Maldobar and Luntharda. But that fragile truce will be tested as darkness gathers on the horizon. The vicious armies of the Tibran Empire have crossed the far seas and are threatening to destroy Maldobar completely. Not even the dragonriders can match the Tibran war machines. And after an attempt to awaken Jaevid from his divine sleep fails, the fate of Maldobar is looking grim.

Reigh has never known what it means to be a normal human. Raised amongst the gray elves in the wild jungle of Luntharda, he’s tried everything to fit in. But the dark power within him is bursting at the seams—refusing to be silenced. And while his adoptive father, Kiran, insists this power must be kept secret, Reigh knows he’s running out of time.

As Maldobar burns, the world is desperate for a new hero. Destiny has called, and one boy will rise to answer.


About Nicole Conway

Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book. Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school. She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation. Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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First Annual Magic, Myth, & Mischief | Event Information, Schedule, & Giveaway

September 1, 2017 Blog Event, Giveaway 5

 

Welcome to the first annual Magic, Myth, & Mischief event, hosted by me and Bonnie! This is a month-long event that celebrates fairy tales and mythological retellings, as well as retellings of favorite classic novels and books featuring mythical beasts such as mermaids, dragons, and fae! It’s going to be a really fun month of book reviews, blog tours, guest posts, and author interviews, so make sure to join back each day for fun new content!

This post is your go-to spot for all the information about this event. Here you will find the event schedule on my blog (links will be added as posts go live, and additional content will be added as we receive it from authors and guest bloggers), the calendar for the coordinating Instagram photo challenge that we hope you will participate in, an awesome giveaway, and the link-up for anything you’ve posted that fits our event (we want to come visit!).

Our official event hashtag is: #MagicMythMischief

Event Schedule

9/1 –  Event Information, Schedule, & Giveaway
Savage by Nicole Conway | Cover Reveal

9/4 – Interview with Gabrielle Pendergrast | Zero Repeat Forever Blog Tour

9/5 – The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill | Graphic Novel Review
Until the Storm Passes by Elizabeth Doherty | Exclusive Cover Reveal

9/6 – Heather Fawcett Guest Post | Even the Darkest Stars Blog Tour

9/7 – F.M. Boughan Guest Post | Cinderella, Necromancer Blog Tour

9/8 – Everneath by Brodi Ashton | Book Review

9/11 –  Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows | Blog Tour Book Review

9/12 – Top Ten Retellings of Classic Works I Want to Read | Top Ten Tuesday

9/13 – Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale | Graphic Novel Review
Konstanz Silverbow Guest Post

9/14 – Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis | Book Review

9/15 – Rumpelstiltskin’s Daughter by Diane Stanley | Picture Book Review
Combination Station: When Legends Collide by Danielle Shipley | Guest Post

9/18 – The Gift of the Crocodile: A Cinderella Story by Judy Sierre | Picture Book Review
Kaitlin Bevis Interview

9/19 – Tobie Easton Guest Post | Submerged Blog Tour

9/20 – Caraval by Stephanie Garber | Book Review

9/21 – Debut Dish Special Edition with Heather Fawcett and Even the Darkest Stars

9/22 – The Little Red Wolf by Amelie Flechais | Graphic Novel Review
Morgan’s Favorite Fairytale Retellings | Book Blogger Guest Post

9/23 – Favorite Quotes from Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco | HPD Blog Tour

9/24 – The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater | Audiobook Review

9/25 – Top Ten Books Featuring Mythological Creatures | Top Ten Tuesday
Nicole Conway Guest Post | Savage Blog Tour

9/27 – A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas | Book Review

9/28 – Laura Holt Guest Post

9/29 – Beneath a Sapphire Sea by Jessica Bryan | Book Review

Bonnie’s schedule of events can be found here.

(For the most part, we will not be posting on weekends but you’ll still see us on Instagram!)

Instagram Photo Challenge

If you take part in the daily photo prompts, you’ll get bonus entries for the event giveaways!

These themes were designed with your creativity in mind. Interpret them however you wish: super literal or not. We’re really excited to see what you come up with. :)

Make sure you tag your photos with #MagicMythMischief so we can come see!

Giveaway

We hope you will be adding some new books to your TBR as you follow along, and we’re going to let you win some! Two of you will be winning books this month, and it’s international as long as Book Depository ships to you!

If you are the first place winner, you can choose any book that Bonnie, Mandy, or I review or feature during Magic, Myth, and Mischief from September 1-30, 2017!

If you are the second place winner, you can choose any fairytale/mythology themed book under $10!

The giveaway ends October 15th, and there will be many opportunities to enter throughout the entire month.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Join Us!

If you post (or have posted recently) any book reviews, giveaways, vlogs, feature articles, etc. about fairy tales, mythology, or books featuring mythical creatures, link up here so that we can come visit!

All you have to do is link your post below like this: Title of Post (Website).

Thank you for helping us make this event special!

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Top Twelve Hidden Gems In Contemporary YA Lit

August 28, 2017 Top Ten Tuesday 7

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

I’ve been having a lot of trouble with contemporary YA right now. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older and not relating as easily as I used to, or if trends in the genre are shifting and I’m just not as happy with the new direction? I’m not sure. I keep holding out hope, though, and I continue trying books and adding them to my TBR because of hidden gems like these that I’ve loved over the years. And I couldn’t pick just 10, so here’s twelve for you!

Note: I’m defining hidden gem as a book that I don’t remember hearing much about when it came out, or a book that is so backlisted that nobody is really talking about it anymore.


Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams
Reality TV and pizza. What more can a person ask for?

Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson
I was sold when I heard school trip to Italy.

The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Popular cheerleader turns nerd over the summer and falls for a boy in a comic book store. It’s adorable.

Love, Lucy by April Lindner
Summer backpacking trip through Italy! Plus it’s a retelling of A Room With a View!


The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen
Artsy character! And a super cute romance that’s compared to Anna and the French Kiss.

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney
This book was a gift to my inner art historian. It’s about a boy who falls in love with a girl in a Renoir painting, and dances and eats dessert with her on the museum floor each night. So fun!

From What I Remember… by Stacy Kramer
The entire story had a very “Grease” kind of feeling.  Kylie is the valedictorian of her graduating class. She’s smart, and liked by pretty much nobody except her hilarious gay friend named Will. She gets paired up for a last-minute class project with the jock of the school, Max. He’s extremely hard to work with, but she HAS to get a good grade. So she pushes him. In a conglomeration of crazy events, they both find themselves smuggled across the border in a van of stolen electronics. They are in Mexico with no passports, no way of getting home, and graduation day is closing in. Geeky girl turns hard core, and jock notices. So cute!

Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker
Clementine spends her summer on her parents’ sailboat nursing a broken heart. But it might not be the kind of heartbreak your mind just jumped to. She falls in love and spends a lot of time with her family eating disgusting meals made only from canned foods, eating s’mores by blow torch, star gazing, sunbathing, laughing, and bonding. I really loved this book!


Decked With Holly by Marni Bates
I have a big thing for books set on cruise ships… and cute Christmas stories… so this book won in two areas of my bookish heart. It was just as adorable and laugh-out-loud funny as I had hoped.

The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman by Louise Plummer
Adorably quirky heroine who is a self proclaimed writer, witty dialogue, mature word choices (I had to use a dictionary a time or two), tons of glorious 90’s references, a so sparkly and Christmasy story. Kate’s family has this huge traditional Swedish Christmas with lots of yummy food, decorations, great music playing all the time, a TON of snow, Christmas tree shopping and trimming, etc.

The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland
This book warmed me inside and out, and had me smiling like an idiot while I read it. It takes place in a little Outer Banks town that I’d love to visit, the descriptions are dripping with summer, I fell in love with the characters, there’s an amazing family dynamic, and I love the messages of learning who you are and having fun while you do it.

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher
This book shocked me so many times, but how I felt at the end of it shocked me more than anything else.

Did you read and love any of these, too?
Have you added any of these to your TBR?
Any recommendations for other contemporary YA gems that have slid past me?

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Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer | Mini Book Review

August 24, 2017 Book Review, Graphic Novel, Young Adult 0 ★★★

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer | Mini Book ReviewWires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer
and illustrated by Douglas Holgate
Series: Wires and Nerve #1
Published by Feiwel and Friends on January 31, 2017
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 238
Format: Hardcover
Source: From the Publisher
Amazon Add to Goodreads
3 Stars
When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers' leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the series.

I’m a major lover of The Lunar Chronicles and was pretty sad when it was all over. So OF COURSE I was over the moon when I learned about the graphic novels. Anything to get me back in that world!

I kind of knew this would happen, but the story was much simpler that the full length novels. Not as much happened, but I was ok with it because I was back with my favorite characters! I was just so happy to see them, and see them I finally did. Truth be told, I don’t enjoy seeing illustrations of beloved characters because they never look like they do in my head. In this case, though, Iko looked exactly as I pictured, so that was fun! Wolf was a little over the top wolfy for my taste (I never pictured him as such a big hulking, scruffy wolf), but I recognized everyone! It was a pleasant surprise. And I really loved the artwork! I’ve never been much of a fan of the comic book style illustrations, but I like Holgate’s work a lot.

There were lots of cute moments with all our characters, set against Iko’s wolf-hybrid soldier hunting storyline. Cress gets a cold and Thorne has to take care of her. Scarlet and Wolf are on their farm in France, so I we don’t get to see as much of them as I would have liked. Winter is the ambassador to Earth, and it was fun to see her in such a powerful position since we met her when she was pretty useless and imprisoned by her mind. I loved seeing her strength in this graphic novel. Cinder and Kai have never been my favorite couple in this series (they’re actually my least favorite, which is nuts), but it was fun to see what Cinder is up to now that she’s ruling things. Iko’s got a little thing going on with Kinney, Cinder’s royal guard, which I love. I hope she finds love, too!

All in all, this was so much fun an exactly what I needed after still being so hungover after Winter. I love this world and these characters, and I loved being there with them again. A must-have for fans of the series. I can’t wait for the next volume!

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Five School Required Reads I’m Glad I Read & Five I Wish I Hadn’t

August 21, 2017 Top Ten Tuesday 10

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

Unfortunately, school made me hate reading. I loved it as a little girl, but as soon as I hit the age where teachers force you to read “awesome” books and answer packets full of essay questions I hated reading more than I hated eating my vegetables. Many of the books upset me or were just downright boring, and it took me until I was 19 and in college before I rekindled my love of reading. I decided to use today’s topic to share five of the required reads I’m glad I read in school, and five that I’m still upset by today.

I’m glad I read…

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
I read this in elementary school and thought it was both terrifying and very fun.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller
I read this in high school, and my classmates and I all had parts. I played the part of Elizabeth Proctor, and it was so much fun.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This was required reading for my YA Lit class in grad school, and even though it took me two years to finish (because I was so scared of crying), I loved it a lot.

Night by Elie Wiesel
I had to read this for my Ethics and Values class in college, after which we sat in a big circle in our classroom and discussed it. There was no paper, no essays, no tests. We just sat and talked about it and that was our grade. Probably my favorite asignment outside of my major.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
This was also required reading for my YA Lit class, and it was probably going to be the only way I read this series. I’m so glad I did, though, and now I’m working my way through the rest of the series and having so much fun.

I wish I hadn’t read…


Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawl
Dog died. I think this was the beginning of my no tolerance policy regarding animal deaths in novels. I was in 4th grade when I read this, and it crushed me. I can still remember.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
People died. I hate death a lot.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
George. Killed. Lennie. I have a problem with death. I can still remember how upset I was.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
This is a case of me having read this way too young. Instead of getting anything good out of it, I was very upset by most of it. I’d probably feel differently now, but I really wish I had not read this when I did.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I was INSANELY bored by this.

What required reads did you enjoy in school?
Which ones did you hate?
Do we have any in common?

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Ten Book Recommendations for Historical Romance Lovers

August 14, 2017 Top Ten Tuesday 8

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

I love historical romance, and I’ve never really given myself the opportunity to share some of my favorites, to today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was the perfect one for me. I’m not super well read in this genre, but I’m getting there and I’ve found some really great books in the process! I read some of these as a teenager and some as an adult, and I love all of them!


A Week to Be Wicked
by Tessa Dare
Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare
What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long
Honor Bound by Brenda Novak
A Dance Through Time by Lynn Kurland


By Love or By Sea by Rachel Rager
The Charm School by Susan Wiggs
Catherine and the Pirate by Karen Hawkins
Tess and the Highlander by May McGoldrick
Gwyneth and the Thief by Margaret Moore

So, do you have any recommendations for me?
Which historical romance novels do you love?

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Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout | Book Review

August 10, 2017 Adult Fiction, Book Review 2 ★★★★★

Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout | Book ReviewTill Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by William Morrow on February 28, 2017
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
Source: Bought from Amazon
Amazon Add to Goodreads
5 Stars
In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s gripping new novel, a young woman comes home to reclaim her life—even as a murderer plots to end it. . .

It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.

First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.

But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last.

I really, really love romantic suspense and was looking for a great one to read on my cruise a few months ago. Problem is, I’m pretty picky. I don’t like romantic suspense that’s super gory, erotic, or paranormal. I don’t feel like I’m asking for too much here, but apparently romantic suspense isn’t romantic enough if the love interest isn’t a werewolf trying not to eat the beautiful lady. Anyway… I LOVED Till Death. It’s my new favorite romantic suspense, and I’ve been scouring the Internet to try and find other titles like it. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. It’s super scary and creepy and ominous without being over the top and unrealistic. I’ve been reading a lot of mysteries this summer, and they’ve been pretty disappointing as a whole just because they totally would not happen in real life. This would!

2. The characters are so well developed, and I loved them all. Sasha is so strong and well adjusted after suffering at the hands of the Groom. She was the only one of his victims to escape, so obviously she’s resourceful, thinks well under pressure, and is driven to do what needs to be done. I really loved reading about her past and how she recovered and moved on from it. I also liked her best friend Miranda and her mom a lot. And Cole… the sexy FBI agent… I love this man.

3. The story has so many layers and characters that are intertwined. And it’s such a complex plot! I could not read fast enough.

4. I loved the setting. The inn is super cute on the surface, but it just feels unsafe and creepy underneath. The perfect setting for a mystery.

5. I had no idea who the Groom was until we were told. I was completely taken aback by who the culprit was. And that’s all I will say because I don’t want to spoil it.

All in all, this is the book that I will use to judge all other romantic suspense. And honestly, I haven’t found anything that has even come close yet. All those 1-star reviews I’ve been posting recently? Yeah, those were my attempts. I hope Jennifer Armentrout writes more books like this one! She’s got a knack for the genre!

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The Witness by Nora Roberts | Book Review

August 7, 2017 Adult Fiction, Book Review 3

The Witness by Nora Roberts | Book ReviewThe Witness by Nora Roberts
Published by Penguin on April 17, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 492
Format: eBook
Source: Bought from Amazon
Amazon Add to Goodreads
1 Stars
Daughter of a controlling mother, Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever.

Twelve years later, the woman known as Abigail Lowery lives on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she designs sophisticated security  systems—and supplements her own security with a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. But Abigail’s reserve only intrigues police chief Brooks Gleason. Her logical mind, her secretive nature, and her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated. He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something—and that her elaborate defenses hide a story that must be revealed.

With a quirky, unforgettable heroine and a pulse-pounding plotline, Nora Roberts presents a riveting new read that cements her place as today’s most reliably entertaining thriller
author—and will leave people hungering for more.

All I can really say about this book is, “Well… crap.” I love romantic suspense, and I’ve been really hunting for good titles all summer. I found a list of the best romantic suspense books, and this one was rated pretty highly and voted on by like 78 people. It’s got a 4.18 star rating average on Goodreads, with over 49,000 ratings, so I thought I was golden! But guys. This is not romantic suspense! It was hardly romantic, and it was not at all suspenseful. It was a huge disappointment. As always, my main points are bolded.

1. Things start out very interesting, and I was definitely intrigued. The book begins with Elizabeth rebelling against her mother and making huge changes to her life. She cuts her hair, gets a new wardrobe, decides to change her educational and career path, and uses her own homemade fake ID to get into a very exclusive nightclub owned by some very dangerous men. These men set their sights on Liz and her friend, lure them back to an isolated home on the water, and all Hell breaks loose. Liz barely survives, gets put into witness protection, and all Hell breaks loose again. This girl has some pretty terrible luck.

2. Then… we shoot to 12 years later. And I realize rather quickly that I do not like Liz, now Abigail, at ALL. She’s very smart and independent, which is great. But she has no personality. She has isolated herself ever since the events of her youth, and she does not know how to socialize. She has no sense of humor, no emotions, no feelings. She’s very analytical and scientific about things that are neither. And of course I can understand this, given everything she has been through, but she just was not an interesting character to read about at all. I could not connect with her in any sort of way.

3. Brooks is a horrible main character/love interest. Of all the people to un-isolate yourself for and try to connect with, Abigail chose HIM!? Is she just trying to make her life suck more? He pursued and bugged her so much, pushing himself into her life when she so clearly had no interest in having him there. It bothered me so much that he refused to take no for an answer. And then when she wouldn’t let him in, he went and started researching her to try and figure out what she was hiding. Because there just HAD to be a reason for her to not want him around other than he fact that he sucks, right? Because what woman wouldn’t want him?

Brooks is also incredibly condescending and chauvinistic. For example, there is one moment when he pulls Abigail to her feet and demands respect. Then, he tells her she’s insulting him for being concerned that he might not love her if he knew the truth about her past. This woman does not know how to love, she has never been loved or loved anyone in her life and he was SO rude in the face of her legitimate concerns. When she said she was sorry, he said, “Good. You should be.” Then he “yanked” her in for a kiss. In what universe is this romantic? He also has a super dirty mouth and treats Abigail with such clear disrespect. She is his possession. I mean, for goodness SAKES. How many times did I read him refer to Abigail out loud as “my lady”, “my woman”, “my girl”. Grrr!

4. Insta-love. On steroids. You’ve got this awful, pushy man pursuing an extreme recluse who has like a million guns within her reach at all times and a dog that sounds about as big and fierce as a direwolf, yet… she has almost no issue with inviting him in to her place for food and wine and sex. Like… what is happening?? All Abigail’s credibility of being smart and protective of herself went right out the window when she became putty in his hands after a couple days of being talked into not pushing him away. I really felt like Brooks saw Abigail as a challenge to be conquered. A Game to be won. And instead of trying to win the game herself, she just threw in the towel because he’s a big strong man who says nice things to her. UGH.

5. It was SO BORING. By 50%, nothing had happened. There were just so many needless details, many of which were repeated over and over again. Something happens to Brooks at work, we read all about it, and then we read all about it again when he goes home and tells Abigail. We read every. Grueling. Detail again. This book is way too long. For this reason. Just tell the story and get it over with.

6. The writing was annoyingly choppy. It was filled with sentences much like: “Abigail went to the computer, checked her email.” Or “Brooks got in his car, turned it on.” Like, where are the nice, flowing sentences? I almost quit after the first few pages when I saw how often this was happening, but then it got better. And then it got worse. So the author isn’t even being consistent here!

7. The entire story was just so thin. Abigail had been keeping tabs on the bad guys during the last 12 years and anonymously feeding info about them to the FBI to try and take down their crime ring. Finally, she decides she needs to not be anonymous anymore and then everything seamlessly works out. There’s no crazy climax, no suspenseful moment at the end. Just court appearances. Can you hear my eyes rolling? I’m so annoyed I hung in there in the hopes of getting a great moment and it was just easy. I mean, I dealt with pages and pages of hearing the same mindless info about what it’s like to be a police captain. I got to read about everything that happened to Brooks when it happened and then again when he told Abigail about it. But I couldn’t get a satisfying ending as a reward for hanging in there?

So, I guess I’ve got a pretty unpopular opinion here, but I just don’t see any redeeming qualities about this book. The plot was thin, the story was implausible, the characters were awful, and the writing was crappy. Why didn’t I DNF? I’m wondering the same thing. And honestly, I have no idea. It probably had something to do with the fact that it’s NORA ROBERTS and I was giving her too much credit.

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