Ella’s Masquerade Midnight Fae Academy Prequel by Lexi C. Foss
A “blast from the past” review.
Just how did I go from hating Tray to thinking he’s the best thing since sliced bread?
This author’s work never disappoints me. Her stories hold me spellbound, her characters step off the page and become my friends and her imagination just wows me. I really, really enjoyed this story and can’t wait for the Midnight Fae series.
At first, I thought Tray was a real ass, particularly with his talk of “games” and his plans for Ella. However, he soon realised that would never be the correct way to introduce her to her future and I soon found myself genuinely liking him. He continued to tease and torment Ella but he also treated her with respect and love. He really is a swoon-worthy hero. Ella is an amazing heroine, snarky, strong and spectacular as all hell. She’s really got the rough end of the stick but Tray offers her a future she never even dreamed existed.
I totally believed in their connection, they have a chemistry and passion that explodes of the page, leading to some very, VERY, steamy moments. The story is set mainly in the human realm and involved some significant time jumps. Not only were all clearly labelled but they didn’t affect the flow of the story either, instead, they allowed the pace to be maintained and avoided any tedious “fluff and filler”.
This is a wonderful story, one I’m only too happy to recommend, and a great introduction to a new Fae realm. You don’t need to have read any prior books that are linked to the series, and as a stand-alone it’s ideal for sampling both a taste of this author’s amazing writing and getting to know the wonderful universe she has created.
Synopsis Once upon a time, a handsome prince asked the academy wallflower to the ball. She was blinded by the stars in her own eyes and the pitter-patter of her lonely heart. Little did she know this prince was no prince at all, but a villain disguised behind a charming smile.
Ella There are no such things as fairy tales or happily ever afters. Not in my world. My reality is riddled with pain and loss and immense hatred. Until him. Trayton Nacht, the new transfer student at Darlington Academy. Something about his darkness calls to me. The way his eyes glimmer in the night and the cruelty of his handsome smile. With a single glance, he turned my world inside out. And now I can’t get enough. But what if he’s just like the rest of them? What if this is all just another masquerade?
Tray She stole my heart, once upon a time. Three years ago in an alley where she left me with a pair of sodden blue slippers. Her life had been mine for the taking, until I discovered the fae magic lurking beneath her skin. Now it’s time to recruit her, to take her to her fate. But first, we’ll play a little game. One that will end in destruction. Because f*ck fairy godmothers. What Ella needs is a Dark Fae. One who can help her burn Darlington Academy to the ground. A Dark Fae like me.
Author Note: This is a dark Cinderella retelling with strong bully elements. This M/F PNR features a happily ever after ending and is part of the Midnight Fae Academy world. This is the story of how Tray and Ella first.
Donovan’s Girl (The Sacred Omega’s) by Merel Pierce
This hadn’t actually been on my kindle for all that long, though I had pre-ordered it many months ago. However, it is one of those books that I would have promised myself I would read next, but never quite gotten to.
This was a much shorter read than I had realised, it took less than an hour to complete, so it fits the “quickie” bill perfectly.
The price and page length are clear indicators that this is a short book, so I held no high expectations of reading a deep or complex story. What we do get is more of an extended scene, a brief introduction with Donovan and December followed by the main body of the tale.
We only get Donovan’s point of view, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and as far as Alpha’s go he was pretty decent, respectful and caring. If the book had been any longer I would have wanted the heroine’s viewpoint too but I could appreciate why the author chose not to use it on this occasion.
Overall it’s quite a beautiful and touching story, one that definitely left me frustrated and needing more of this pair. Both protagonists are more mature in years, which is always a bonus for those of us who won’t see 35 again! As long as you go in expecting a quick read rather than a layered story you won’t be disappointed.
Synopsis – No one should be alone on Christmas… When Donovan checks in on the widow of a recently-deceased enforcer, he gets more than he bargained for. Liv is alone, grieving, and going into heat. Worried what she might do and unable to resist the instinctive need to care for the sweet, damaged Omega, Donovan decides to stay and see her through it. Whether she likes it or not.
~*~ Donovan’s Girl is a short Holiday story set in the world of The Sacred Omegas. Specifically, December’s world, and features appearances by several characters in the series.
Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted by Jen @That’s What I’m Talking About, where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the questions from Jen’s blog and answer it on your own.
18/1 What have been your most fulfilling blogger/author interactions so far?
I always get in a tizzy as to whether I’m answering questions like this correctly. For me it’s about sharing books, and authors, that I’ve read and enjoyed. This is particularly true for less well-known authors and indie authors. Writers who deserve the same attention and exposure as those backed by the big publishing houses.
I haven’t had any interactions as a blogger with any big author names but I do have a couple of indie authors who regularly share my posts, and who seem to enjoy my content, which is always very rewarding. It’s always flattering and pleasing when authors offer an arc of their books too.
The Rising Wave (#0.5), The Turncoat King (#1), The Threadbare Queen (#2) by Michelle Diener
A princess intent on escape . . . Ava has everything ready for her last chance at escape from her years’ long imprisonment. She knows if she doesn’t succeed this time, she will die. When an injured warlord is thrown into her cell with her, upsetting her plans, she faces a dilemma . . . leave him to die or try to take him with her. A warlord intent on rebellion . . . Luc may lead a rebel army, but now he’s at the mercy of his enemies, and they have no mercy to give. All except the woman imprisoned with him. She not only has mercy, she has a plan to escape. He just has to convince her to let him come along . . . A partnership forged in adversity . . . Unable to leave him behind, Ava includes Luc in her plans, but escaping the castle where her cousin has imprisoned her is only the first step. Hunted by their enemies, she and Luc will have to trust each other, no matter how many secrets they’re keeping.
Well this totally and utterly ensnared me, I shall be immediately jumping into The Turncoat King, book #1 of the series. For such a quick read the author packed in world-building, character development and plot, plot and more plot. I totally fell in love with Ava and Luc and cannot wait to rejoin the adventure and find out what happens next!
Having loved the introductory novella The Rising Wave I had quite high expectations for The Turncoat King and on the whole I wasn’t too disappointed. The story held my attention from start to finish, the pace was excellent and the prose flowed smoothly. What did let it down was how very easily the conflict was resolved at the end, particularly the fact that three men held off a whole city full of people and guards. I also wondered why the author kept making a big thing of Ava’s secrets as no one seemed too bothered by the truth when it was revealed.
Almost too perfect for words, Ava and Luc both still managed to make me adore them and were a big part of what drew me into the story. They are decent people with strong morals and steely determination. I found them immensely likeable, particularly enjoying the scenes where they were together. Neither experience too much in the way of adversity during the timeline of the story, so whilst both were well-rounded there wasn’t much evidence of character growth or learning. The fade-to-black sex scenes didn’t bother me, though the very instant-love nature of their relationship did take rather a suspension of disbelief.
Sara’s review here (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…) hit’s the nail on the head when she says “When the book was good, was in the midst of a scene. I was easily captivated by what was occurring in the story. The author excels at pulling me into the moment and holding my eyes wide open. It’s when I step back and think on the logic of things that this story doesn’t feel as well written.”
Despite all that I still really enjoyed this book. As I was reading I didn’t want to put it down, it fully held my attention. As such I do recommend it and also fully intend to continue with the series.
The Rising Wave pretty much picks up from where The Turncoat King ends. That, along with The Rising Wave, must be read before this book for the story to be fully understood.
Whilst this isn’t quite as gritty, tough or imperfect as my preferences run to, there is something rather captivating and engaging about the author’s voice. Within a few pages I found myself caught up in the story and, unlike other books I’ve read recently, it readily held my attention from start to finish. I very much like Ava and Luc, yes I would rather they not be quite so perfect, but they are still great characters who are easy to understand and get behind.
After the far too easy resolution last time, I did feel as though the author had attempted to make life a little tougher for our protagonists in this book. However, I get the impression that she is far too nice a person to go down that route of killing off a side character or two. This means the books are fairly low angst, but sometimes that is what this reader wants. And with such excellent prose, I find this a very enjoyable and engaging series. I for one can’t wait to read the next book and am happy to recommend this series to others. It’s particularly good for those who hate cliffhangers as each book has its own complete story arc.
A thirst for revenge . . . Ava is committed to vengeance against the man responsible for the death of her parents. The same man, the Queen’s Herald, kept her prisoner for two years, until she escaped with Luc, a warlord bent on vengeance just as fierce as her own. He’s forged a powerful army of people from all through the region, called the Rising Wave, to march on the Kassian royal family and smash its corrupt power under the weight of their anger. But for Luc, just as for Ava, his true motive is a lot more personal. A hidden magic . . . Luc suspects Ava has magical abilities, suspects he’s benefited greatly from them, but he’s no stranger to the burdens of power, and he’s prepared to let her tell him in her own time-after all, she’s his heart’s choice and he will give her all the time she needs. Except time is running out for both of them. As they near the Kassian stronghold, forces from within their own camp and without will use every trick they have to stop both Luc and Ava and tear them apart. A secret laid bare . . . Luc knows Ava has a secret she’s keeping from him-but what he doesn’t realize is she has many. And when those secrets are exposed, everyone will have to grapple with the consequences. Ava is prepared to sacrifice her happiness and even her life to save the Rising Wave and Luc-but she would prefer to use her heart and her head to outwit her enemies instead.
A conqueror’s victory is never assured . . . The Rising Wave may have taken control of Kassia, but hot on the heels of their victory, Luc receives word from one of his spies that the Jatan, emboldened by the Kassian army’s withdrawal, have crossed the border. More worryingly, they haven’t just moved into northern Kassia, but also east to Luc’s home region of Cervantes, and with all the Cervantes warriors with Luc in Kassia’s capital, Fernwell, cementing their hold on power, his home is vulnerable and defenceless. Luc has no choice but to leave securing Fernwell to Ava, gather forces, and head north, to try to push the Jatan back to their side of the mountains. A queen’s safety is never a given . . . Finally, after months of trying, a minion of the Speaker of Grimwalt’s court manages to snatch Ava from under the noses of her friends and allies, off the streets of Fernwell and onto the back roads to Grimwalt. Ava has to struggle against an insidious assault on her vitality and magic, fighting a power that isn’t just strong, but malevolent. And nothing is set in stone . . . As Ava tries to escape her captors and Luc races to defend his homeland, they draw closer and closer to each other, until finally their paths cross, as they always seem to do. As they once again face their enemies together, they will have to use all their strength to salvage the victory they’ve worked so hard to accomplish.
Each Sunday I will be rounding up my week and linking up with The Sunday Post hosted by Kimberley @Caffeinated Reviewer as well as TheSunday Salon meme hosted by the wonderful Deb @Readerbuzz. Do please pop by their blogs and show them a little love 💗.
Life Last Week
We started the week with the sad news that my husband’s aunt had passed away. It wasn’t unexpected but she was much loved and will be missed. The rest of the week seemed to be going well until Wednesday when our washing machine developed a fault. It’s almost 6 years old and is used at least twice a day, so rather than spend good money seeing if it could be repaired we ordered a new one straight away. It won’t arrive until Tuesday but thankfully we have a washing machine at work, so I’ve been able to at least keep us supplied with clean underwear.
Last Weeks Books
Taken was a Netgalley arc and deals with how a couple survive and process the trauma of being kidnapped by sex traffickers. It was a gripping read though it missed some opportunities that would have made it an outstanding story.
A Shot of Sin was a Buddy Read, I had read the book before, many years back. This time around I was not so impressed – the story lacked depth, with too much telling rather than showing. Mastering Her Senses was a quick read that I picked because I just wanted something fairly mindless and easy to get through.
I’m almost finished with this one and already looking forward to reading book #3 (sadly it’s not out yet but is due to be written this year)
Demons. Can’t live without them. Can’t unsummon them.
I tried living without him. I lost my powers. I slogged through days of dust. I couldn’t do it. I called him back and he rose through the Gate on wings of flame. Wings no fire demon has ever had before. I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t know who he is. But I know some very powerful entities do not want us to be together. As above, so below. War is coming, to both our planes.
Publisher’s Note: Blood Yellow is not a standalone. Neon Blue should be read first for most enjoyment. Blood Yellow contains themes and situations that are for mature readers only.
Looking forward to…
… lighter mornings – we had 8 hours of daylight this week, roll on those lighter nights.
… only 20 more get-ups until my next week off.
… my new washing machine being delivered (fingers crossed!).
Blog Posts Worth Reading
Read a great book review from Tessa Talks Books here, Suzy’s Cosy World shares some of her favourite 2021 books here, Dani talks about Book Buying Bans here and Jen has a review of an audio book here.
On the Blog Last Week
Monday – Book Review On A Night Like This by Lindsey Kelk ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Tuesday – 2022 New Year Resolutions with Tell Me Something Tuesday Wednesday – 2021 Favourites Thursday – Throwback Thursday Review Isak & Red by Cari Silverwood ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Friday – Bookish Artwork with Book Blogger Hop Saturday – Book Buying Embargoes with Let’s Talk Bookish