Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Monthly Wrap-Up — October 2018

Happy Halloween, everyone! 🎃

October was a pretty good reading month for me. I read a lot of great books. And even got caught up with the Throne of Glass series. I didn't love Tower of Dawn but I got finally ready for Kingdom of Ash and I'm currently reading it now so yay! 

Born, Darkly by Trisha Wolfe —5/5★ {Review}
Born, Madly by Trisha Wolfe —4/5 {Review}
The Lost Sisters by Holly Black —4/5

Breakeven by Michelle Diener —4/5 {Review}
Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas —2/5

Birth of a Killer by Darren Shan —3/5
Rogue in Love by Inger Iversen (audiobook/reread) —4/5
The Jinni's Last Wish by Zenobia Neil —3.5/5★ {Review to come in December}

For a Few Demons More by Kim Harrison —5/5

Favorite book of the month:

Despite dating one vampire and living with another, Rachel Morgan has always managed to stay just ahead of trouble...until now.

A fiendish serial killer stalks the Hollows, and no one living in or around Cincinnati - human, inhuman, or undead - is safe.

An ancient artifact may be the key to stopping the murderer - a mysterious relic that is now in the hands of Rachel Morgan, fearless independent bounty hunter and reckless witch. But revealing it could ignite a battle to the death among the vast and varied local supernatural races.

Rachel's been lucky so far.
But even she can't hide from catastrophe forever.

So this is the fifth book in The Hollows series and it has taken me SIX years to get around to reading it. I'm not kidding. I read The Hollows #4 back in 2012 and I've just been pushing this one back because I was too scared to read it since I know something that would happen that I knew was going to end me. BUT... It was such an amazing book. Definitely my favorite of the series so far and of course it's no surprise that it turned out to be my favorite of October. Even if it broke my heart. My second favorite of October was Born, Darkly. That one also blew me away!

What was your favorite book of October?

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Book Blitz: Breaking Josephine by Brooke Stanton + Giveaway (INTL)

Breaking Josephine
Brooke Stanton
Publication date: November 1st 2018
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

From an award winning and #1 bestselling author comes a “HOT, sexy, and sinfully delicious historical romance!”
Widower Jack Harrington needs a young man to work on his farm, what he gets is eighteen-year-old Josephine Taylor—a spirited young woman from Manhattan. Stubborn and willful, Jo tests Jack’s limits. But soon the struggle between them awakens a passion neither can resist. Giving in to temptation could mean the ruin of Jo socially and the destruction of Jack’s carefully guarded heart. Do they have the courage to fight against the restraints of society and fall into the intoxicating embrace of love…
Jack closed his eyes and took in a long slow breath. But his attempt to regain control failed. In a swift movement, his hands circled under Jo’s thighs and lifted her up, her legs wrapping around his waist.
One of his hands cupped her buttocks, holding her up, while his other sailed up her spine and over her neck. Their lips were a breath apart, and for a moment they stayed like that, breathing each other’s air.
Their heartbeats galloped together under the thin fabric of their clothes, and Jo didn’t know where hers stopped and his began. Her eyelids grew heavy, and she shivered at the temptation that was offered up in his sweet lips so close to hers. How quickly she forgot the inappropriateness of what their kisses had led to in the past. But her mind was a fog of want and desire, and propriety was as far off as the moon.

Her tongue flicked out, grazing his lip, and it was all the encouragement Jack needed. His mouth captured hers, firm and moist, and she sighed. Her tongue moved in an urgent rhythm against the velvety meal he offered up in his sweet mouth.

She felt him harden under his trousers, and Jo’s hands twitched, instinctively wanting to draw his desire out. Jack gripped her under her thighs and carried her across the barn, pressing her against the wall. Confidence lurched in Jo and she slid her legs down to stand.
She satisfied her twitching hands and placed them on top of the bulge that strained the fabric of his trousers. He groaned in her mouth, and the encouragement of his response thrust her desire forward.

Author Bio:
After her own misadventures in New York City, LA, and London, Brooke Stanton now lives in sunny South Florida. She's an award-winning author who has contributed to Natural Awakenings Magazine, wrote a column for, and is the author of The Bloom Sisters series. Visit her website
Get a FREE copy of the prequel, IGNITE, here:


Monday, October 29, 2018

Review: Breakeven by Michelle Diener

Title: Breakeven
Author: Michelle Diener
Series: Verdant String #2
Publication: October 8th 2018 by Eclipse

Genre: Science Fiction
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Rating: 4/5

Dee had been fighting one war, only to find herself caught up in another . . .

When circumstances leave Dee stranded on the Breakaway planet of Lassa, she has to choose--take the easy way out, or stand and fight an enemy much like the one she left behind on her home world of Garmen.

For Sebastian, leading the Lassian resistance has come at a heavy price. Forced to gamble the last of his resources on a risky ploy to get some leverage over the Core Companies that run Lassa, he stares defeat in the face when it fails. There's no backup plan left. Nothing more to work with. And all around him, people are starving, and it looks as if the Cores have entered a deal with a hostile alien force, to enrich themselves even more.

But Dee inspires him. Even though it's his fault she's on Lassa to begin with, her courage and steady calm are the assets he needs, and unbeknownst to both of them, she has with her the key to bringing the Cores to their knees.

Now they just have to turn the lock in time.

I really enjoyed Breakeven, which didn't come as a surprise because I've liked every book Michelle Diener has written. But this one was really good. I was hooked pretty much from the start and dare I say I liked it even more than Breakaway? I think I did! This series is quickly becoming one of my all time favorites.

Breakeven features Dee who we already met in Breakaway. I remember not disliking Dee in the previous book but for some reason I also didn't fully love her, if that makes sense. However, this changed completely with this book now that I could read in her point of view. I really ended up loving her because she kicked some serious ass. I probably said it before in some previous review of a book by this author but she always managed to write heroines who are badass and don't necessarily need a man to help them out. You just have to love that.

We were also introduced to Sebastian. He was a new character and as you can probably guess Dee's love interest. Plain and simple: I also loved him. Also probably more than Leo in Breakaway. Not that it's a contest or anything. I just felt it was worth mentioning. The romance isn't the focal point of these books, which is an aspect that I really like. But there was definitely a lot of chemistry between Dee and Sebastian. I just had to say that. 

As I mentioned in my review of Breakaway the world building in these books is on point. I really enjoy reading about every aspect of this world, even the darker side. And of course I hope to read even more about it in the future.

Breakeven by Michelle Diener is an amazing action-packed scifi adventure and romance that I just couldn't put down. This story will hook you with its fast paced story and various fascinating characters. I loved it.

*Breakeven can be read as a standalone but I'd recommend to read Breakaway first.

Author bio:
Michelle Diener writes historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction. Having worked in publishing and IT, she’s now very happy crafting new worlds and interesting characters and wondering which part of the world she can travel to next.
Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa and currently lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

When she’s not writing, or driving her kids from activity to activity, you can find her blogging at Magical Musings, or online at Twitter, at Google+and Facebook.

Check out my reviews of Michelle's other books:

{Science Fiction)
Sky Raiders (Sky Raiders #1) — 3/5★ 
Calling the Chance (Sky Raiders #2) — 4/5★ 
Shadow Warrior (Sky Raiders #3) — 4/5

{Science Fiction}
Dark Horse (Class 5 #1) — 5/5★ 
Dark Deeds (Class 5 #2) — 5/5★ 
Dark Minds (Class 5 #3) — 4/5★ 

{Science Fiction}
Interference/Insurgency (Verdant String #0.5) — 4/5 & 4.5/5
Breakaway (Verdant String #1) — 4/5
(THIS ONE) Breakfeven (Verdant String #2)  4/5

Breaking Out Part I (part of Entranced Halloween Box Set — 4/5★ 
Breaking Out Part II — 4/5★ 

The Golden Apple (The Dark Forest #1) — 4/5★ 
The Silver Pear (The Dark Forest #2) — 5/5★ 


{Historical Fiction}
The Emperor's Conspiracy (Regency London #1) 5/5
Banquet of Lies (Regency London #2) 5/5★ 
A Dangerous Madness (Regency London #3) —5/5★ 

 {Historical Fiction}

 {Historical Fiction}
In a Treacherous Court (Susanna Horenbout and John Parker #1) 5/5
Dangerous Sanctuary (Susanna Horenbout and John Parker #1.5) 5/5
Keeper of the King's Secrets (Susanna Horenbout and John Parker #2) 5/5
In Defense of the Queen (Susanna Horenbout and John Parker) 5/5

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Stacking The Shelves: October 27 2018

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly bookish feature hosted @ Tynga's Reviews & Reading Reality.

Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost
My copy came early! I'm so excited to read it. Finally a book with Ian after all these years!

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
The Book Depository resend this book because the other one was damaged and it arrived very quickly. Yay!

Stone and Steel by David Blixt
I got this when it was a Kindle freebie. I'm glad I grabbed it when I saw it was free because I know this author is a great historical fiction writer. 

I hope you will all have a great weekend and happy reading! ♥

Friday, October 26, 2018

Book Blitz: Nova Praetorian by N.R. Walker + Giveaway (INTL)

Nova Praetorian
N.R. Walker
Publication date: October 26th 2018
Genres: Adult, Historical, LGBTQ+

Quintus Furius Varus is one of the best lanistas in Rome. Tall and strong in build, fearsome in manner, and sharp of wit, he trains the best gladiators bound for the arenas of Rome. When Senator Servius Augendus seeks personal guards, he attends the Ludus Varus for purchase of the very best. He puts to Quintus an offer he cannot refuse, and Quintus finds himself in Neapolis, contracted as a trainer of guards instead of gladiators.
Kaeso Agorix was taken from his homelands of Iberia and delivered to Rome as a slave. Bought by a senator to be trained as a guard, his fate is handed to the man who would train him. Absent free will, Kaeso knows his life is no longer his own, though he soon realises the gods have favoured him when he learns his new master has a kind heart.
Quintus and Kaeso forge a bond that far exceeds the collar at Kaeso’s neck, and together they discover the senator’s move for promotion has an ulterior motive. Thrown into a world of politics and conspiracy, of keeping enemies close, they move against time to save Rome before traitors and the gods themselves see to their end.
And in doing so, see the dawn of the nova praetorian—the new guard—rise.
Kaeso was again the first to arrive in the training yard, and this pleased Quintus. “I trust the morning sees you well.”
Kaeso acknowledged this with a nod. “And you?”
“Quite.” Quintus held back the smile that threatened his lips and threw a rudis to Kaeso. “Do you favour odds against me when it is us alone? A practice round, perhaps?”
Kaeso caught the wooden sword with ease and smiled. “I have no coin and can wager only pride.”
Quintus grinned at his offer accepted. “Pride is a price we both can afford to pay.”
They stood facing each other, practice swords at the ready. Circling at first, daring to see who made move to strike. Quintus could see strategy in Kaeso’s eyes, and as the smaller man lunged at him, Quintus laughed as he deflected easily, rounding upon him to make contact at his ribs. “Leave your side open for attack like that and your innards will find the dirt at your feet.”
They circled each other again, Quintus seeing every move of foot, every flinch of muscle, every intent in Kaeso’s eyes. They struck again, countered, attacked, and defended, and Kaeso kept favouring a rounded strike. Again and again he made the same move, and just when Quintus was about to reproach him for a foolish tactic, he sidestepped, feigned defence, then moved to attack as Quintus was caught off guard.
He struck the rudis to Quintus’ ribs without force. It was a fair strike. A good strike.
Kaeso stood back, wary and fearful, and he lowered his weapon. Quintus was surprised to be hit, yes. But also pleased. He let out a laugh. “The rabbit shows cunning.”
“You are not offended?” Kaeso asked.
“Offended only at my own mistake.” Quintus’ grin widened as he raised his rudis and resumed position. “Again.”
By this time, the other five guards had appeared. Upon seeing the two men fighting, they were alarmed but soon realised it was only sport. The more the two men lunged and struck, parried and deflected, the more Quintus laughed and Kaeso smiled.
“You hold back,” Kaeso said, easily deflecting a move.
“How so?”
“If you held true concern, you would be absent a smile.”
Quintus lowered his rudis and stood to his full height, their sparring over. “And I would be a fool to think you showed full force in return also.”
Kaeso lowered his head as if to hide the beginning of a smile, but he did so without answering.

Author Bio:
N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance.
She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.
She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things… but likes it even more when they fall in love.
She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.
She’s been writing ever since…


Monday, October 22, 2018

Review: The Neolithic Revolution by in60Learning

Title: The Neolithic Revolution: A Watershed Moment in Human History 
Author: in60Learning
Publication: September 15th 2018 

Genre: Nonfiction, History, Ancient History
Purchase it on: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Smarter in sixty minutes.
Get smarter in just 60 minutes with in60Learning. Concise and elegantly written non-fiction books and audiobooks help you learn the core subject matter in 20% of the time that it takes to read a typical book. Life is short, so explore a multitude of fascinating historical, biographical, scientific, political, and financial topics in only an hour each.
The shift from the Paleolithic to Neolithic periods represents a watershed moment in human history. While many may consider the humans of both stone ages to be unintelligent barbarians, this brief history proves that the humans of yesteryear were just as smart as we are today. Between 10,000 BCE and 2000 BCE, they instituted revolutionary changes in human life. All over the globe, formerly nomadic people began settling into villages, farming, and creating hi-tech stone inventions. Thanks to new research tools, exciting discoveries are popping up all over the world, revealing more about the mysterious early humans behind such wonders as Stonehenge.

When I saw that in60Learning had this new book about the Neolithic Revolution free to read I didn't hesitate to grab it for my Kindle and I knew I was going to read it as soon as I could because this is one topic I'm very interested in and something I always love to learn and read more about. I'm so glad I was definitely not left disappointed but then again I always do enjoy books by in60Learning.

I'm always up to reading about history. Some of you may know I'm a huge history geek but there's something about our very ancient past that just really fascinates me. And this book was a really good read to satisfy my need to read more about this kind of topic. As always with a book from in60Learning I read it in one sitting because for some reason I'm always so into the books that I just have to finish them. Luckily it never takes very long because you can definitely read them in less than 60 minutes. 

For a short book of about 38 pages it does cover a lot of ground about the topic of the Neolithic. You can imagine how much I loved this. For example some of the chapters talk about how the cave paintings in the Cave of Altamira in Spain were discovered, which is known now for their beautiful art of bison. The book also talks about Otzi the Iceman, which was one of the most important historic finds of the 20th century and of course Stonehenge but also other similar sites in Ireland and Scotland.

The Neolithic Revolution: A Watershed Moment in Human History by in60Learning is an enlightening and easy-to-read nonfiction about the Neolithic Revolution. I found it a highly fascinating, thought-provoking and informative read.

5 interesting facts I learned:
  • The Neolithic Revolution took thousands of years to take hold.
  • Most historians consider this revolution to be the most significant period in the history of human development (and I wholeheartedly agree.)
  • Human beings ten thousand years ago, fifty thousands years ago or even two hundred thousand years ago were just as intelligent and just as skilled as we are today.
  • Ötzi the Iceman lived precisely between 3359 and 3105 BCE.
  • Newgrange (Ireland) was built around 3200 BCE by Neolithic people, making it more than 5,000 years old, older than the pyramids of Egypt and older than Stonehenge.

Some pictures related to the book:

Ötzi the Iceman while still frozen in the glacier, photographed by Helmut Simon upon the discovery of the body in September 1991.
{photo is public domain}

A front view of the Newgrange (Ireland) monument taken from outside the grounds
{photo is public domain}

The entrance passage to Newgrange, and the entrance stone (note the megalithic art on the big stone.)
{photo is public domain}

Standing Stones of Stenness in Orkney (Scotland)
{photo is public domain}

Check out my other in60Learning reviews:

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Stacking The Shelves: October 20 2018

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly bookish feature hosted @ Tynga's Reviews & Reading Reality.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
I won this book on a Twitter giveaway by Soknou King. It arrived damaged from The Book Depository with pages that were loose and ripped (wtf) but luckily they're sending me a replacement copy. ^_^ 

How the Dukes Stole Christmas by Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan and Joanna Shupe
I absolutely can't wait to read this but I will try to hold off until December! :D

Absinthe of the Heart by Monica James
Bought for only 99 cents. I love this author!

I hope you will all have a great weekend and happy reading! ♥

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Review: Born, Madly by Trisha Wolfe

Title: Born, Madly
Author: Trisha Wolfe

Series: Darkly, Madly Duet #2
Publication: February 6th 2018

Genre: Dark Romance
Purchase it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

Rating: 4/5

Duet: a performance by two.

But who is acting, and who is devolving?

A buried past is unearthed, and Grayson Sullivan—AKA The Angel of Maine—retaliates against the system who made him, deploying psychological warfare on the woman who initially set him free. Dr. London Noble probes deep into the mind of the killer she’s fallen for, searching for answers, as a copycat killer threatens their unity. Are they partners, lovers, or enemies? One final trap will reveal all.

This duology has been quite the ride for me. I read both books in only one week. Something like this actually never happens so you can say that I really loved them. If you've read my review of the first book Born, Darkly then you know how obsessed I was with it. (if not you can read it here.) My obsession certainly didn't end with the second book. I do have to say I loved the first book a tiny bit more but all in all Born, Madly was definitely a worthy sequel in my opinion. I absolutely couldn't stop reading it.

Born, Madly continued the twisty love story of Dr. London Noble, criminal psychologist and Grayson Sullivan also known as The Angel of Maine killer. This book was probably a little more predictable than its predecessor because I could guess a couple of things that happened but other than that I loved the darkness and slightly disturbing feel that was also present in the first book.

I knew as soon as a copycat killer was mentioned that this was going to be an excited sequel. The first book had it's fair share of suspense but this one probably had a tiny bit more of that. Needless to say I loved this aspect of the story very much. I wasn'r even sure if everyone would survive and I don't want to say if they do or don't but let me tell you I was sweating a little by the end. The suspense nearly destroyed me. 

The romance was as deliciously dark and overpowering as it was in book one. I've got to admit I did have my doubt about London and Grayson as a couple and if this could possibly work but oh they certainly convinced me of that. Nothing about their romance is sweet or even kind but damn it if they haven't grown into one of my favorite couples ever. 

Born, Madly will have your eyes glued to the book to make sure you read every single word of this amazingly dark and scrorching hot book. London and Grayson's story will have you rooting for them even if you didn't think it could be possible. This is one duology that I would so very highly recommend. Go read it now!

Read my review of the first book Born, Darkly here.

About the author:
From an early age, Trisha Wolfe dreamed up imaginary worlds and characters and was accused of talking to herself. Today, she lives in South Carolina with her family and writes full time, using her imaginary worlds as an excuse to continue talking to herself.
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