book reviews · books

Book Review: Her Soul to Take by Harley Laroux


Her Soul to Take by Harley Laroux 
Series: Souls Trilogy, #1
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | Paranormal
Age Range: Adult
Format: Paperback, 458 pages
Source: My Copy
Published April 9th 2021 by Independently Published
Harley Laroux: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Synopsis:
Leon: I earned my reputation among magicians for a reason: one wrong move and you’re dead. Killer, they called me, and killing is what I’m best at. Except her. The one I was supposed to take, the one I should have killed – I didn’t. The cult that once controlled me wants her, and I’m not about to lose my new toy to them.
Rae: I’ve always believed in the supernatural. Hunting for ghosts is my passion, but summoning a demon was never part of the plan. Monsters are roaming the woods, and something ancient – something evil – is waking up and calling my name. I don’t know who I can trust, or how deep this darkness goes. All I know is my one shot at survival is the demon stalking me, and he doesn’t just want my body – he wants my soul.
Her Soul to Take is book 1 in the Souls Trilogy. Although all the books are interconnected, they are stand-alone and can be read in any order.
Content Warning
This book contains graphic sexual scenes, violence, kink/fetish content, horror elements, drug use, and depictions of hard kink/edgeplay. This book is strictly fictional and is not meant to represent realistic expectations of BDSM or kink.
Kinks/Fetishes Within: consensual non-consent (CNC), breathe play, spit, needle play (body modification fetish), pain play, fear play, public play, bondage, restraint, spanking/impact play.

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Book Review: City of Thorns by C.N. Crawford


City of Thorns by C.N. Crawford 
Series: The Demon Queen Trials #1
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | Paranormal
Age Range: New Adult
Format: Hardcover, 306 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on July 28th 2021
C.N. Crawford: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Synopsis:
I never thought I’d be singing happy birthday to myself in a dungeon. And yet when a sinfully sexy demon crashes happy hour, that’s exactly what happens. He’s known as the Lord of Chaos, he’s mistaken me for my succubus doppelgänger.

Happy birthday to me.

When he tastes my blood, he finally understands I’m mortal. And I realize we have something in common: we both crave revenge. So we make a deal: I can stay in the forbidden city to hunt for my mom’s killer. In return, I’ll help him get the vengeance he craves. I just have to pose as a sexy succubus. One problem–he’s my number one suspect.

And that’s increasingly hard to remember as he teaches me my role: seduction. With each heated touch I drift further into peril. And if I fall under his seductive spell, death awaits me.

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Buddy Read: Kingdom of the Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco


Kingdom of the Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco 
Series: Kingdom of the Wicked, #2
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | Paranormal
Age Range: New Adult
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on October 26th 2021 by Hodder & Stoughton
Kerri Maniscalco: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Synopsis:
After selling her soul to become Queen of the Wicked, Emilia travels to the Seven Circles with the enigmatic Prince of Wrath, where she’s introduced to a seductive world of vice.

She vows to do whatever it takes to avenge her beloved sister, Vittoria… even if that means accepting the hand of the Prince of Pride, the king of demons.

The first rule in the court of the Wicked? Trust no one. With back-stabbing princes, luxurious palaces, mysterious party invitations, and conflicting clues about who really killed her twin, Emilia finds herself more alone than ever before. Can she even trust Wrath, her one-time ally in the mortal world… or is he keeping dangerous secrets about his true nature?

Emilia will be tested in every way as she seeks a series of magical objects that will unlock the clues of her past and the answers she craves…

One sister.
Two sinful princes.
Infinite deception with a side of revenge… Welcome to Hell.

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Buddy Read: Untouchable by Kresley Cole


Untouchable by Kresley Cole 
Series: Immortals After Dark, #7
Genre: Fantasy | Paranormal | Romance
Age Range: Adult Audience
Format: Paperback, 300 pages (first part of Deep Kiss of Winter)
Source: My Copy
Published on September 3, 2013
Kresley Cole: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Contains major spoilers

Synopsis:
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR KRESLEY COLE delivers a breathtaking tale of a brutal vampire soldier about to know love for the first time… and a Valkyrie aching for his touch.

Murdoch Wroth will stop at nothing to claim Daniela – the delicate Valkyrie who makes his heart beat for the first time in three hundred years. Yet the exquisite Danii is part ice fey, and her freezing skin can’t be touched by anyone but her own kind without inflicting pain beyond measure. Can they conquer an agony of frustration and slake the overwhelming desire burning between them?

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Book Review: A Game of Fate by Scarlett St. Clair


A Game of Fate by Scarlett St. Clair 
Series: Hades Saga, #1
Genre: Fantasy | Romance
Age Range: Adult
Format: Hardcover, 372 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on September 18, 2020e
Scarlett St. Clair: Website | Goodread
Might contain spoilers

Synopsis:
Hades, God of the Underworld, is known for his inflexible rule, luxurious night clubs, and impossible bargains. Use to control, he is not prepared to discover the Fates have chosen his future wife and Queen—Persephone, Goddess of Spring.

Despite her attraction to the god, Persephone, an ambitious journalism student, is determined to expose Hades for his cruel and ruthless ways.

Hades finds himself faced with the impossible—proving his future bride wrong. Despite his efforts, there are forces who wish to keep the two apart and Hades comes to realize he will do anything for his forbidden love, even defy Fate.

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Book Review: Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell


Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell 
Series: Simon Snow, #3
Genre: Fantasy | Romance
Age Range: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 579 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on July 6, 2021
Rainbow Rowell: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Spoilers for Wayward Son

Synopsis:
In Carry On, Simon Snow and his friends realized that everything they thought they understood about the world might be wrong. And in Wayward Son, they wondered whether everything they understood about themselves might be wrong.

In Any Way the Wind Blows, Simon and Baz and Penelope and Agatha have to decide how to move forward.

For Simon, that means deciding whether he still wants to be part of the World of Mages — and if he doesn’t, what does that mean for his relationship with Baz? Meanwhile Baz is bouncing between two family crises and not finding any time to talk to anyone about his newfound vampire knowledge. Penelope would love to help, but she’s smuggled an American Normal into London, and now she isn’t sure what to do with him. And Agatha? Well, Agatha Wellbelove has had enough.

Any Way the Wind Blows takes the gang back to England, back to Watford, and back to their families for their longest and most emotionally wrenching adventure yet.

This book is a finale. It tells secrets and answers questions and lays ghosts to rest.

Carry On was conceived as a book about Chosen One stories; Any Way the Wind Blows is an ending about endings. About catharsis and closure, and how we choose to move on from the traumas and triumphs that try to define us.

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Buddy Read: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco


Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco 
Series: Kingdom of the Wicked #1
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | Paranormal
Age Range: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 372 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on October 27, 2020
Kerri Maniscalco: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Synopsis:
Emilia and her twin sister Victoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Victoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to discover who did this, and to seek vengeance at any cost—even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, the outlier among the seven demon brethren, always choosing duty over pleasure. He’s been tasked by his master with investigating a series of women’s murders on the island. When Emilia and Wrath’s fates collide, it’s clear this disturbing mystery will take a bewitching turn…

Kerri Maniscalco introduces her next series, a dark tale of a beautiful young witch, a troubled demon, and their epic romance, set against a 19th century Italian backdrop.

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Book Review: Neon Gods by Katee Robert


Neon Gods by Katee Robert 
Series: Dark Olympus, #1
Genre: Fantasy | Romance
Age Range:
Adult
Format: Paperback, 380 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on June 1, 2021
Katee Robert: Website | Twitter | Goodread

Synopsis:
He was supposed to be a myth. But from the moment I crossed the River Styx and fell under his dark spell… he was, quite simply, mine.

Society darling Persephone Dimitriou plans to flee the ultra-modern city of Olympus and start over far from the backstabbing politics of the Thirteen Houses. But all that’s ripped away when her mother ambushes her with an engagement to Zeus, the dangerous power behind their glittering city’s dark facade.

With no options left, Persephone flees to the forbidden undercity and makes a devil’s bargain with a man she once believed a myth… a man who awakens her to a world she never knew existed.

Hades has spent his life in the shadows, and he has no intention of stepping into the light. But when he finds that Persephone can offer a little slice of the revenge he’s spent years craving, it’s all the excuse he needs to help her—for a price. Yet every breathless night spent tangled together has given Hades a taste for Persephone, and he’ll go to war with Olympus itself to keep her close…

A modern retelling of Hades and Persephone that’s as sinful as it is sweet.

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Book Review: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan


The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan 
Series: Heroes of Olympus, #5
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 516 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on October 7, 2014
Rick Riordan: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
I read the Finnish version, “Olympoksen Veri”. Contains spoilers for earlier books in the series.

Synopsis:
Nico had warned them. Going through the House of Hades would stir the demigods’ worst memories. Their ghosts would become restless. Nico may actually become a ghost if he has to shadow-travel with Reyna and Coach Hedge one more time. But that might be better than the alternative: allowing someone else to die, as Hades foretold.

Jason’s ghost is his mother, who abandoned him when he was little. He may not know how he is going to prove himself as a leader, but he does know that he will not break promises like she did. He will complete his line of the prophecy: To storm or fire the world must fall.

Reyna fears the ghosts of her ancestors, who radiate anger. But she can’t allow them to distract her from getting the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood before war breaks out between the Romans and Greeks. Will she have enough strength to succeed, especially with a deadly hunter on her trail?

Leo fears that his plan won’t work, that his friends might interfere. But there is no other way. All of them know that one of the Seven has to die in order to defeat Gaea, the Earth Mother.

Piper must learn to give herself over to fear. Only then will she be able to do her part at the end: utter a single word.

Heroes, gods, and monsters all have a role to play in the climactic fulfillment of the prophecy in The Blood of Olympus, the electrifying finale of the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.

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Book Review: Grace and Glory by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Grace and Glory by Jennifer L. Armentrout 
Series: The Harbinger, #3
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | Paranormal
Age Range: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 512 pages.
Source: My Copy
Published on June 1, 2021
Jennifer L. Armentout: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Spoilers for The Dark Elements

Synopsis:
Danger, betrayal, and enticing forbidden love clash in book three of #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Harbinger trilogy!
When Angels Fall

Trinity Marrow has lost the battle and her beloved Protector. Even with both demons and Wardens on her side, Trin may not win the war against the Harbinger.

Bringing Lucifer back to the world to fight the Harbinger is probably a really, really bad idea, but they’re out of options—and the world’s ultimate fallen angel is the only being powerful enough to impact the outcome.

As Trin and Zayne form a new and more dangerous bond and Lucifer unleashes Hell on earth, the apocalypse looms and the world teeters on the end of forever. Win or lose, one thing is certain—nothing will ever be the same.

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