REVIEW //\\ The Messenger Chronicles

Happy April the first, though I don’t think many of us are particularly in the mood for April Fool’s Day. I’m still beta and arc reading at the moment so have dug through my head for a book or series that totally captured my heart, to share with you. The Messenger Chronicles, by Pippa DaCosta, is a slow burn, space fantasy reverse harem series of 5 amazing books.


The story kicks off with Shoot The Messenger, where we meet Kesh, a simple messenger, Marshall Kellee, Sota, an AI ball of fun, and also Eledan, the Dreamweaver. And when the dreamweaver is involved can anyone trust what is real or know what is imagined?



SHOOT THE MESSENGER




“Oh! What A Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice To Deceive”


Pippa DaCosta has woven together sci-fi and fantasy to build the richly complex world in which Kesh, Kellee and Talon reside. As the story builds we gradually learn more and more about Kesh, Kelly, the fae and tek. I preferred this to an ‘information dump’ as it added to the twisty plot, suspense and sense of unease.


The book is written first person and entirely from Kesh’s point of view. Kesh is just a simple messenger, caught up in someone else’s battle, or is she? Oh my word, this is an onion of a book, made of layer upon layer of amazing story, action, adventure and mind-blowing plot twists. The blurb really doesn’t do the book justice BUT that’s to ensure the element of surprise. And there are surprises galore in this book.


It’s one of those stories that is impossible to properly review without giving away spoilers, and I really want to avoid them so that you get the full impact of the book, like I did. If you have read other books by this author then you will know some of what to expect, but this far surpasses any of her work to date. It takes all the best elements of her previous stories, polishes them up, adds extra glitter to them and twists them into something else altogether. If you haven’t read her books (a) why not?  you’re missing some amazing stories and (b) this is really well written, drags you into the story and doesn’t let you go, leaves your head reeling in the best of ways and will have you begging and howling for Book 2 so that you can continue the story.


A standing ovation to the author for this awe-inspiring, mind-twisting, a-m-a-z-i-n-g read. I need to go and lie in a darkened corner to mull over this book and recover from the book hangover I now have.










“Lies aren’t her only weapons against the fae…”

In the Halow system, one of Earth’s three sister star systems, tek and magic—humans and the fae—are at war.

Kesh Lasota is a ghost in the machine. Invisible to tek, she’s hired by the criminal underworld to carry illegal messages through the Halow system. But when one of those messages kills its recipient, Kesh finds herself on the run with a bounty on her head and a quick-witted marshal on her tail.

Proving her innocence should be straightforward—until a warfae steals the evidence she needs. The fae haven’t been seen in Halow in over a thousand years. And this one—a brutally efficient killer able to wield tek—should not exist. But neither should Kesh.

As Kesh’s carefully crafted lie of a life crumbles around her, she knows remaining invisible is no longer an option. To hunt the fae, to stop him from destroying a thousand-year-long fragile peace, she must resurrect the horrors of her past.

Kesh Lasota was a ghost. Now she’s back, and there’s only one thing she knows for certain. Nobody shoots the messenger and gets away with it.

A new space fantasy series where the guys are hot, the perils are many, and one rebel messenger holds the key to the survival of the human race.


Please note this series contains alternative relationship dynamics 




GAME OF LIES





Enter this world at your own risk, for once in you will not want to leave.


Pippa DaCosta has an extraordinary skill for building strange and wondrous new worlds. Add to that her unfailing ability to imbue such life into her characters that they become your friends, and you have a truly magnificent story. The twists and turns of Shoot the Messenger had me spellbound but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that Game of Lies would build upon that foundation and journey me to places I never even suspected could exist. And oh what a fantastical journey it is.



You really need to have read Book 1 of the Messenger Chronicles to fully understand and appreciate this part of the story. The book picks up virtually where Shoot the Messenger finished, with Kesh, Kellee and Talon aiding an escape attempt by the humans who had survived the Fae massacre of Halow. Of course where there’s Fae, there’s usually Kesh, and where she goes trouble follows.


I can’t put into words how much I loved this book. I had some reading commitments but kept finding myself sneaking back to this so that I could read more of it. It’s truly addictive, with plot twists that put a high speed roller coaster to shame. I squealed with glee at having correctly suspected the return of one character, normally being able to guess makes the book feel predictable but the panache and plot pirouettes that the author uses just added another layer of depth and intrigue to the story. The move this character took near the end of the book broke my heart just as much as it did Kesh’s, though I don’t doubt that there are reasons and solutions to this set of events.


This is one of those books where it’s difficult to say anything without giving away spoilers, but I can tell you how amazing the interactions between Kesh and Talon are and how moody and intense
are the scenes between Kesh and Kellee. Oh and Talon in that bath, I admire Kesh’s self control, I don’t think I would have resisted the temptations on offer. I love how as one secret is revealed another mystery blows in, as one problem is solved another emerges to torment Kesh. I loved how Kesh started to believe in herself and her emerging ability to trust others. I’m sure there will be plenty more agony and confusion for Kesh before the truth emerges and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.


Despite being a reverse harem the story has a minimal amount of sexual content, I can’t say I noticed any bad language either. That said it still felt pretty steamy at times and is definitely more ‘lust inducing’ than other work by this author, though I’ve always had a soft spot for Caleb. I recommend this to anyone who wants a really spell-binding story to read and doesn’t mind it being part of a series. 










The Messenger rocked your world, and now she’s back. But have her lies finally caught up with her?

Trust doesn’t come easy for Kesh Lasota. She survived life as a slave, survived the Dreamweaver’s touch, but surviving Marshal Kellee and the mysterious Talen is a whole other game, one she’s not sure she’s ready for.

When the three are captured by a bloodthirsty fae general sweeping through the last of Halow’s human colonies, the only weapons they have left are lies. And so Kesh must pretend to be the gladiator they all expect, while Kellee is forced to fight against her, and Talen is… Well, just who is Talen when he can command soldiers with a glance and move among the fae elite as though he belongs?

Trust doesn’t come easy for Kesh Lasota, neither does love. She must survive both, or everything she’s fought for will be lost forever, including her men.



THE NIGHTSHADE’S TOUCH





Just as things start to look up, just as Kesh and Kellee and Talen and Arran are building bridges you do that to me?!!!


GAH! Those cliff-hangers (because only Pippa DaCosta would be so cruel as to have more than one!) that you left us with. You give with one hand and then not only take with the other but hit us over the head too! The journey Kesh is taking us on is not a simple nor easy one, but it is one that is so very worth the time and effort. I read this book both wanting to know all it held in store for me, and yet not ever wanting to get to the end either.



He had probably been looking for an opportunity to hit Kellee for centuries.
Most people who knew Kellee wanted to punch him.


Oh the secrets we learn, the lies that are told, the plans that are made and remade, the trust that is given or broken. This book has layer upon layer of story that is slowly being peeled away to reveal secrets and truths you would never even have guessed at. The heat level was ramped up, as was the intrigue, mystery and peril.


Oh and Sota – he was just so funny and sarcastic!



“Duly noted. Now can we focus on the Faerie map and not Arran’s buns?”
“Is this a hypothetical question?” Sota asked.
“No!” I laughed.



This isn’t a stand alone book, it can only be understood after reading both previous books. Though be warned this series is massively addictive and so full of mind-f**ks that it has a deliciously dark edge to it too. Whilst this is a reverse-harem book, it most certainly isn’t full of sex and erotica. There are several steamy encounters but they are an organic part of the plot, enhancing the story rather than being the story.


I watched Kellee and Arran spar for strictly professional reasons.



This author’s writing continues to be amazing (and evilly twisted too), her tale held my attention from the very start to the end. You can’t read this half-heartedly, there is far to much happening and far too many Easter Eggs to find, for that. If you haven’t started the series yet, then go do it. This is my top fantasy/sci-fi read of the year.


“How come I’m here and not your entourage of Buns, Dark, and Icy?”
“Buns, Dark and Icy?” I shook my head at her wicked grin. “Never mind, I don’t want to know”…










Be careful which star you wish upon…


The unseelie–banished by Oberon long ago–are stirring awake, and there’s one name on their dark lips: Nightshade.

Kesh is beginning to settle into her role as Halow’s messenger, saving people from the fae with the help of Kellee, Talen, Arran and Sota, but if she has any hope of making her wrongs right, she must trust those around her. Without them, there is no messenger. Friends, lovers, more. But one has a secret. A secret so dark it threatens to change everything Kesh believes in. A secret that could change the fate of Faerie, Halow, and all of humanity.

When the fae abandoned the stars long-ago, they left behind more than fairytales.

They left behind their monsters.


The fae-in-space “mind-blowing” bestselling series continues in The Nightshade’s Touch, Messenger Chronicles #3



PRINCE OF DREAMS





Oh what an ever increasingly tangled web…… but who are the ones trapped in its sticky strands and who is the spider waiting to pounce on it’s captured prey?


Kesh, Kellee, Talen, Sota, Hulia, Arran, Sirius and Eledan return in this penultimate adventure of the Messenger Chronicles. Kesh, Arron and Sirius are on Faerie, playing a game of truth, dare or lie with both Oberon, King of all Faerie, and Eledan, the Prince of Dreams. Heartbreaking promises are made, truths are twisted and hearts are made and broken.


Kesh continues her battle to free all those oppressed by Oberon and the Fae, but without Talen, Kellee and Sota, will she have the strength to resist the temptation Faerie will weave? This is fast paced, action packed, full of intrigue, lies, plots, plans, highs and some shocking lows. Oh Ms Dacosta you are a cruel author who loves to toy with your readers emotions. Not only did she do that but she eviscerated them too.


The world building is phenomenal, the planning and plotting of both the characters AND the author will leave you spellbound. I wish I could say this was a one sit reading, but with its length of well over 6 hours, and the demands of life, I couldn’t manage it in one go. That said, it most certainly held me hostage, living in my mind in between those times where I could immerse myself in this magnificent creation.


I loved getting more of Kellee’s point of view, as well as seeing that the old adage of absence and the heart was true. Though there is yet more skulduggery by Ms D when she cruelly snatches away that which he has so recently only grasped ahold of.


Added into the mix we have some very lustful and steamy scenes that totally added to the emotional impact of this tale. By the end of this I was left feeling as though the Wild Hunt had ridden roughshod over me. I’m almost scared to read the culmination of this tale, not to mention sad that the story will be coming to a hopefully (though you never know with an author who obviously has a very devious and mean streak) happy and blissful conclusion.


But as Kesh has, to her great sorrow, learnt, nothing comes that easily.










“Oh what a tangled web we weave…”


Kesh fled Faerie as a queen killer. Now she returns as the Faerie King’s secret obsession. But on Faerie, nothing is as it seems, not even Kesh herself.

With days to stop Arran’s execution and the stoic guardian, Sirius, as her constant shadow, Kesh must weave her lies deep within Faerie’s courts where magic and whispers combine and conspire. Soon, Kesh learns there is more at stake than Arran’s life. Faerie is dying. Oberon’s reign is crumbling. The time to strike against the fae is now. But with Talen and Kellee a thousand light-years away, Kesh knows she cannot succeed alone…

Beneath the courtly politics, the glittering facades, and the King’s fragile hold on his people, the Dreamweaver is locked in eternal slumber, dreaming of the day his Queen of Hearts will set him free… because he knows, Kesh has no other choice.

Kesh survived the Dreamweaver once before. Now all she has to do is control him.

But Faerie’s Dreamweaver has other ideas for the peoples’ Messenger. He knows who, and what, Kesh really is and he has every intention of using her to make all his dreams come true.

He takes your mind, makes it his, takes your soul, makes you cruel.
Dare you answer the Dreamweaver’s call?
 



HER DARK LEGION





Her Dark Legion is the final book in the series, and it just about destroyed me. You have been warned!


Discovery is worthless without the journey.


This book took me quite a long time to complete, it wasn’t because I wasn’t loving every heartbreaking and soul crushing moment of it. It wasn’t because it didn’t have me riveted by it’s amazing plot, outstanding world building and unparalleled characters. It was quite simply that I wasn’t ready, and indeed am still not ready to let go of this world and say goodbye to Kesh, Sota, Kellee, Talon, Sirius and even Eledan. The conclusion to what has been an epic tale was full of action, adventure, tragedy, manipulation and surprises.



I wanted to cry in her {Hulia’s} arms, but I somehow pushed the swell of emotion down. 

KESH, Her Dark Legion


Well Kesh, at that point you did better than me because I spent a good half of this book either finding a quiet corner to sob in or with tears streaming down my face. The emotion from each and every main character tore me apart. Again. And again. And again. I have tears welling in my eyes even now, and feel a strange mixture of both joy and sadness.


I wanted to hear his voice, one last time. I wanted to feel his touch on my face and his kiss on my lips, and I never would.


With lines like that how HOW am I meant to remain an in-charge capable adult woman? Impossible! Every single time it left me a snivelling mess. This book was everything I wanted and more. So much more. A whole universe full of stars could not shine as brightly as this story, nor would be able to bear adequate witness to do this book justice.


We could make it happen, together, just as he’d always believed. The Messenger really had made a difference.


And those guys of Kesh’s, wow did they pull out all the stops in this concluding book. There was absolutely no doubt about the depth of their feelings for her. Each of them, in their own way, worships the very ground she walks on, loves her to the stars and back and would do anything within their power for her.


“It’s all right.” His knuckles brushed my cheek, then his fingers stroked my hair, setting it right, like he needed everything to be in it’s place.
Nothing was 
all right. I was so tired of the pain, the endless battle.
His lips brushed my forehead. “He took what he thought was most precious to me…” Talen’s warm fingers captured my chin, his gaze fierce. “He was wrong.”


“Where’s your star, Kellee?”
“Right here, in my arms.”
The words broke me open, exposing everything I was and had been.


“Will you love me?” I whispered. “Not the names or the myths and legends, just me? Just Kesh?”
His dark lashes shuttered his eyes, and for a terrible second, I thought his fear had a hold of him again. Then he opened his eyes, and the man was there, his beautiful gaze soft once more.
“Always.”


I mean, talk about *swoon*. But then we had the reminders that all these men were immortal whilst Kesh, with a piece of the Pole Star inside her, was very much mortal. A fact that came very close to breaking those men on more than one occasion.


I needed that for us all, needed a moment with each of them before the moments were all gone.


These impossible males would not be mine forever, but while I had them captured in my mortal hands, I’d love them wholly and completely. No matter what happened after, we would have lived and loved. It would be enough. It had to be enough.


Thankfully there were some wonderful moments of banter and humour to lift the spirits. These usually involved Sota and Kellee, though it wasn’t exclusively their gig. And they just served to make the poignant moments even more touching.


“Hulia has a tail,” I added.
He tripped and caught himself.
“Really?”
“I haven’t seen it, but she’s intimated a few times.”
His eyes widened. “I need to see it. Do you think she can open jars with it?”
I laughed.
His expression switched toward curiosity, then he twisted to catch sight of his own ass, circling on the spot. “Do you think I could get one?”
“Aren’t you content with ten fingers?”


“If that stick were any farther up his ass, he’d be scaring crows,” Sota muttered, sauntering past us.


“You’re going to need a bodyguard who can kick fae and human ass with style and without prejudice.”
“That role’s taken, Sparky.” Kellee stretched his claws.
“With 
style, vakaru. You look like someone’s rabid hound.”


Kellee rolled his eyes. “I liked Sota better when he was a murder ball.”


His gun ports smoked. His tek eye glowed, but his mouth wore a modest smile.
“He was about to launch into a villainous monologue and ain’t nobody got time for that.”


Now whilst I’ve fallen in love with all the main characters, even going so far as to have a soft spot for the much misunderstood (IMO) Eledan, my favourite has always been Marshall Kellee. It’s just something about his wild west lawman ways and his dark good looks.


“Oh really?” he drawled in that smooth voice he liked to unleash on unsuspecting females.


Yep, that’s the guy I’m talking about. The one who only needs to quirk an eyebrow to have the panties of all females in a 20 mile radius melting. Not just the females either! We really got to see all the true depths and many facets of Kellee in Her Dark Legion.


For the first time since I’d met him, his expression was open and raw, letting me see everything on his face.
Marshall Kellee was afraid.
For Me.


The weight behind the blow was enough to topple him. His head struck the banister on the way down, knocking him out cold. Now we had ourselves cargo that didn’t argue.
“That was unnecessary,” Talen remarked.
“Probably,” I cracked my knuckles. “But it felt real good.”


Throughout all the trials and tribulations, intrigue, schemes and manipulations, Kesh continued to battle her way towards the final showdown. Weighed down with the expectations of Fairie herself, the hopes of the saru, the fears of her males, Kesh fought with everything she had. Gave everything she had, prepared to sacrifice everything for those she loved.


Outside, rain pattered on leaves, stirring up the garden’s sweet scent and Talen’s magic. He crushed me close and kissed me like he could save me. If love could save lives, ours would. Just not my life.


I climbed the steps onto the deck and planted myself between Kellee’s simmering presence and Talen’s icy stillness. We watched the fleet and the stars behind, and I wished I had more time with them, just to stand and watch and be in the moment.


Wrapping him in my arms, I held him close and listened to the beat of his immortal fae-heart, to the rhythm of his breathing, committing his soft hardness to memory. Maybe he’d listen to my heart, and hear my breathing, and he’d remember me. Perhaps, in his memories, I could live forever.


I’ve used far too many quotes and I just don’t care. I could have chosen a hundred more. There are just so many lines that punched me in the gut and tore my insides apart. These are ones that I just couldn’t leave out.


I told myself I wouldn’t cry.
And I’d failed within seconds.
This was what he’d wanted. He’d chosen this. I would respect that. I didn’t own him. I didn’t own any of them. They’d always been free to follow me, but Talen …. I’d loved his honest, gentle heart and kind words.
He’d encouraged me when I was low. He’d loved me when I thought I wasn’t worthy. He’d never hurt me and never would. Talen was a better person than any of us.


..his destiny, one I wasn’t part of , called to him. He turned away, and with every step, my heart stuttered. I wanted to call him back. When he paused, I grasped at the idea that he wouldn’t leave, as wrong as it was. He turned, tarnished gold star in hand. He looked at that star, emotion passing over his face, and then he stepped up and pinned it to my coat. Meeting my gaze, he nodded once, assured he’d done the right thing, and then he left.


The next words she muttered almost too softly to hear. “I can’t lose him as well.”
After she’d left, Sirius and Sota lingered with me in the quiet, their thoughts likely along the same lines as mine. There wasn’t enough time left to love her how we wanted.


And to finish, a quote that sums up the current state of my heart.


I almost couldn’t speak, and when I did, the words were just a whisper.
“It felt like goodbye.”










“I’ve come too far to surrender now…”

Eledan’s nightmare has been unleashed upon the worlds and with Oberon gone, only the messenger crew stand in its way.

Kellee, Talen, Sirius, Sota, and Kesh. Together, they are stronger, but there are forces on Faerie who do not want the worlds saved, forces that would see the Messenger and her crew torn apart.

Queen to Faerie’s new king, Messenger and more to the saru, lover to some and a weapon to others, but who is Kesh Lasota really? A guiding light or an unwitting puppet?

Answers are coming.

The time for lies has passed.

And Kesh will soon learn some battles can’t be won alone.

The mind-blowing Messenger Chronicles comes to its explosive conclusion in Her Dark Legion.



REVIEW //\\ Primal Sin



They kissed in the rain on a London rooftop, and Severn knew this memory was one he’d never surrender.

Primal Sin







I’m not sure if I love Ariana Nash or hate her, not after what she did to me, Severn and Mikhail.


We start with lies and betrayal, manipulation and machinations before sliding into the most wondrous, astounding and breathtaking love story until we reach a finale that brings it crashing down around us in the most heartbreaking of ways.




The full force of Mikhail’s shove drove him back. He hit the wall, his breath puffed out of him, and Mihail caught his face, his mouth, his body beneath his. Just tasting the angel had all the frayed parts of Mikhail’s mind coming together again, proving more than ever that Severn was his.




Severn is a man of many secrets, damaged both by the loss of his wings and the hand life has dealt him. A dark soul, conflicted and full of hurt. I very quickly found myself falling for this dangerous saviour. At first it was harder to know and even like Mikhail, this angel had such rigid thinking, blinkered and unfeeling. However seeing the change Severn wrought in him soon had me as captivated by Mikhail as much as his lover was.




He was caught, inexplicably owned, and Mikhail struggled to level his breath and control his heart. Part of him fought to break free and push Severn back, but another part liked the sensation of being held down, being controlled. There was a freedom in it, a relief almost. He didn’t have to be strong now, he could let this happen.




Oh but there was never a truer saying than that of “the course of true love never did run smooth”. That was just so very true for Mikhail and Severn, two polar opposite and yet incredibly similar souls bound by a love to span the eons. Ariana Nash certainly likes to give to her readers with one hand, whilst quickly snatching all the joy back with the other. This book has left me reeling, my emotions torn asunder and my heart pummelled. I desperately need the next book, Eternal Sin , in order to soothe my tattered spirit.




He was lost, fallen for Mikhail in all ways, and he never wanted to be found.


















Fallen for love. Risen for revenge.

Severn knows love. He knows how it feels to fight for love, and have it torn from his reach. He knows that when the killing fields are strewn with the dead, and love is all gone, only one thing keeps his demon heart beating:

Vengeance.

His life is now a web of lies. His act, a perfect one. His enemy, the guardian angel Mikhail, sits beside him, turns to him for guidance, and even loves him.

The time has come to make all the angels fall, beginning with the most powerful of them all.

Severn thought he knew love. But he’s about to discover that love takes no prisoners, and as demons and angels clash over London’s battle-weary streets, love will claim the souls of two destined enemies.

Primal Sin is a dark gay fantasy with a strong love-story. The series is brimming with savage desires, relentless lies and the bite of vengeance and is not for anyone easily disturbed by graphic scenes. 










Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0857GYC5X

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0857GYC5X


Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50926046-primal-sin




Book Review //\\ Fortuna Sworn #1 & #2


Fortuna Sworn by KJ Sutton









Wow I loved this book.

My late teens and early twenties were spent reading sci-fi and fantasy written by the likes of Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, Katherine Kerr, Andre Norton, Julian May and David Eddings. That is were I learnt the patience of waiting for the next installment in a series, where I learnt that a cliff-hanger is not something to be feared but can be a thing of beauty and fell in love with all things fae.


K.J. Sutton is a new-to-me author who has instantly secured a slot on my “must buy” list. The story of Fortuna Sworn reeled me in and kept me on the edge of my seat. It took me a chapter or two to really get into the story, but once I did this became a book that I didn’t want to put down. In fact I became most irate when trivial things like work, kids needing food and sleep got in the way of my reading it.


This is a twisty tale of a Fallen one, a Nightmare, a seemingly normal girl with a hidden ability and her battle to rescue her brother. Damon has been missing for two years, when Fortuna discovers he is being held by an Unseelie fae she is prepared to do anything to win his freedom. That anything involves a mysterious fae who turns out to be a heck of a lot more important and powerful than Fortuna could ever have guessed.


Fortuna will face trials and battles that will stain her soul as dark as the blood she must shed. Those battles of wit, intelligence and cunning are woven into a complex tapestry of a story, one where you can never be sure if the person in front of her is friend or foe. Added into the mix is the mystery of Oliver, who should be just a figment of her imagination but who seems more real than it is possible for him to be.


Whilst Collith seems to be the forerunner as her love interest, there are hints at other possibilities too. The book is fairly slow burn and the sex scenes were fairly tame, making this a suitable read for older teens and upwards. I would recommend this to fans of Pippa DaCosta, Kate L Mary and Lexi C Foss, or anyone looking for a well written fantasy/paranormal story. I LOVED it and will be jumping straight in to reading the next one. I just hope book #3 is finished soon!






Restless Slumber by KJ Sutton










Book #2 of the Fortuna Sworn series and I am now totally invested in these characters.


Goodreads shows the author is planning another 4 books and they can’t come soon enough – though I did see book #3 isn’t due until the end of the year 😭. Please don’t be one of those people that “waits until the entire series is out” to buy them, because authors don’t continue if the books don’t sell. (You can always buy them and wait to read but do buy them!)


I’m not sure if this is shaping up to be RH or not, nor I would care if it did. Let’s face it Collith, Laurie and Oliver are all amazing men and why would you want to choose between them? Not forgetting Finn, who we haven’t really learnt to much about but hopefully that will change in the next book. And that last scene between Oliver and Fortuna? Oh my word I’m welling up again just thinking about it. Is it normal to cry over a fictional character that is also supposedly a figment of another fictional character’s imagination? Though Ms Sutton keeps hinting that there may well be more to the situation than might first be assumed.


I have The Jonas Brothers’ What a man gotta do running through my head whenever i think of Collith and Fortuna. And Oliver and Fortuna. And maybe Laurie and Fortuna too! And didn’t my heart poor heart just splinter into a thousand pieces for Fortuna in this book, especially with the decision she had to take at the end of the book.


Then there are all the other great characters Lyari, Damon, Zara, the cafe crew, Savannah and Matthew etc that just add a richness and depth to the story. Nobody is in this book without a reason, without somehow becoming part of the plot and story. How the author keeps everything straight in her head amazes me.


Oh and one final thing – she had better not be thinking of killing off any of those three men that I have fallen madly in love with. I just keep feeling like that might happen and if it does, well you’ll probably find me rocking in a corner, sucking my thumb and muttering incomprehensibly. Only able to make out the odd phrase such as “how dare she?”, “terrible woman” and “never forgive her”.










Purchase – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082VG2Z37







Ratings
5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.
4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.
3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.
2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.
1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.

Epic Fantasy Excerpt – Reign & Ruin



Today we have the blog tour of J.D. Evans’ Reign & Ruin, the first in her MAGES OF THE WHEEL Series!

Check out the gorgeous release and be sure to grab your copy today! 







Title: Reign & Ruin 

Series: Mages of the Wheel, Book 1

Author: J.D. Evans 

Genre: Epic Fantasy 




About Reign & Ruin: 

“All magic is beautiful,” she said, “and terrible. Do you not see the beauty in yours, or the terror in mine? You can stop a heart, and I can stop your breath.”

She is heir to a Sultanate that once ruled the world. He is an unwanted prince with the power to destroy.
She is order and intellect, a woman fit to rule in a man’s place. He is chaos and violence and will stop at nothing to protect his people.
His magic answers hers with shadow for light. They need each other, but the cost of balance may be too high a price. Magic is dying and the only way to save it is to enlist mages who wield the forbidden power of death, mages cast out centuries ago in a brutal and bloody war.
Now, a new war is coming. Science and machines to replace magic and old religion.
They must find a way to save their people from annihilation and balance the sacred Wheel—but first, they will have to balance their own forbidden passion. His peace for her tempest, his restlessness for her calm… 

Night and day, dusk and dawn, the end, and the beginning.    




Get Your Copy Today! 


Excerpt

“Do you know why mages of the Sixth House are called death mages?” he asked, disappointed when she slid her arm free of his. The coolness of her demeanor and her magic were calming, quieting the restlessness that plagued him. 

“It seems obvious, which suggests to me that I am mistaken,” she replied, examining his face for some clue to the answer. He suspected she was capable of divining a great deal simply by someone’s expression. Air mages. 

“If you believe it is because the Sixth House and destruction are synonymous with death, then yes, you are mistaken. In ancient days, it was common to employ Sixth House mages as executioners. It was a kinder death to have your heart stopped by their magic, or sleep that became death, than to be hanged, or burned alive, or beheaded. It began as mercy,” he said, trying to keep the resentment out of his voice. 

Her soft gaze and rapt silence made him want to bolt. He was not accustomed to that kind of focus. Most people in Sarkum knew he was a Sixth House mage, and a powerful one. They didn’t look at him directly, as if that would somehow unleash his magic. 



“But, as things often are, it was taken out of context. They began by calling only those employed as executioners death mages. Eventually it spread to encompass the entire Sixth House.”

“I have never heard that,” she said, sadly. “I have studied everything I can find, which is not much. Many of the texts were burned after the Sundering. The entire palace library was almost lost.” 

“A historian and a student of law. Admirable.” He grinned to disguise the depth of the emotion behind the comment. “Now I have shared a fact. So, it is your turn.” It would be an easy and pleasant thing to stay exactly where he was, conversing with her for the rest of the day. There were so many questions her statements raised. The most burning of which was why she was studying the Sixth House. If it weren’t for the half dozen of her attendants watching with razor-sharp concentration and trying to appear as if they were not, he might try and coax her to walk with him longer. 

“I am not a Veritor,” she said, “and am glad for it.”

“It could be a powerful tool and weapon to have that capability at your disposal,” Makram said. 

“As with a blade, the edge can cut the wielder just as easily as the opponent.” There was a tone in her voice, a distracted kind of cadence, that suggested she had seen such an occurrence. Her father?

“A wise point,” he said, his admiration and curiosity rising with each word she uttered. 

“In my case it is the lack of that magic that cuts. Every past generation of Sabris have born a Veritor. Neither I, nor my cousin, are one. Some consider that an omen.” She spoke with words devoid of emotion, but her hands tightened together. 

“An omen of what?”

“The end of the Sabri Sultanate.”


About the Author: 

J.D. Evans writes science fiction and fantasy romance and is the author of the novel, Reign & Ruin. After earning her degree in linguistics, J.D. served a decade as an army officer. She once spent her hours putting together briefings for helicopter pilots and generals. Now she writes stories, tends to a tiny human, knits, sews badly, gardens, and cultivates Pinterest Fails. After a stint in Beirut, J.D. fell in love with the Levant, which inspired the setting for her debut series, Mages of the Wheel.

J.D. currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina, though she will always be a Montana girl at heart.

Connect with J.D. Evans: 

Email | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Enter J.D. Evan’s Goodreads or Facebook Giveaway! 

ELLE’S MASQUERADE




Ella’s Masquerade
by Lexi C. Foss


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 of 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 authors amazing writing and getting to know the wonderful universe she has created.





𝓔𝓵𝓵𝓪’𝓼 𝓜𝓪𝓼𝓺𝓾𝓮𝓻𝓪𝓭𝓮

Buy Link: https://geni.us/faua




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 also the prequel to the Midnight Fae Academy Why Choose Trilogy. Tray and Ella are important characters throughout the series.





Buy Link: https://geni.us/faua
Paperback: https://geni.us/ZamB

Release Day – Reign & Ruin




Today we have the release day blitz of J.D. Evans’ Reign & Ruin, the first in her MAGES OF THE WHEEL Series! Check out the release and be sure to grab your copy today! 






Title: Reign & Ruin 

Series: Mages of the Wheel, Book 1

Author: J.D. Evans 

Genre: Epic Fantasy 

About Reign & Ruin: 

“All magic is beautiful,” she said, “and terrible. Do you not see the beauty in yours, or the terror in mine? You can stop a heart, and I can stop your breath.”

She is heir to a Sultanate that once ruled the world. He is an unwanted prince with the power to destroy.

She is order and intellect, a woman fit to rule in a man’s place. He is chaos and violence and will stop at nothing to protect his people.

His magic answers hers with shadow for light. They need each other, but the cost of balance may be too high a price. Magic is dying and the only way to save it is to enlist mages who wield the forbidden power of death, mages cast out centuries ago in a brutal and bloody war.

Now, a new war is coming. Science and machines to replace magic and old religion.

They must find a way to save their people from annihilation and balance the sacred Wheel—but first, they will have to balance their own forbidden passion. His peace for her tempest, his restlessness for her calm… 

Night and day, dusk and dawn, the end, and the beginning.    


Get Your Copy Today! 



Exclusive Excerpt: 

“It’s subtle,” he said, “but I get the sense I’ve upset you.” His midnight eyes were bright and wild with energy from his fighting, his face flushed, his breath still quick. He was close enough to touch, and she clasped her hands in front of her. That was the extent of her self-control, and her gaze slid from his fierce expression to his bared torso. Naime had never been so close to a man who wasn’t fully clothed, outside of Ihsan while he was recovering from his burns. 

She had seen men without their caftans, in the fields, at the docks. But this was wholly different. He was different. A warrior, attested to by the hash-work of scars on his golden skin. Naime wondered at them, a thin one across his chest, a thicker, short line over his ribs, and a long, curved one that disappeared into his salvar. The entire expanse of her skin felt as if it were on fire. 

Naime cut her gaze away from his body and caught sight of the Viziers, huddled just outside the walkway that opened into the main courtyard. They were watching the two of them together, expressions pinched with suspicion.

“Do you have clothes?” Naime said, appalled that she’d been so preoccupied ogling him that she hadn’t considered the fact she was lurking in an archway with a half-naked man. 

“I am wearing clothes,” he said. Her gaze whipped to his, and her shame deepened to see the pleased expression on his face. Of course he was aware of her attention, she had been as obvious in her staring as her handmaids had. 

“More clothes.” Naime tried not to sound desperate, but the weak timbre of her voice gave her away.

“I do.” He reached up to swipe a hand across the back of his neck. A shower of sand fell to the stone floor between them and they both peered down. 

“In the future, wear them. And refrain from such inappropriate displays.” Naime managed to find some composure once she wasn’t looking at him.

“What exactly do you consider an inappropriate display, Sultana?” He almost laughed, but it came out as an impatient exhale instead.

“Tamar is a place of restraint and decorum, Agassi. You are more than welcome to spar with the guardsmen as long as Commander Ayan oversees it”—she pointed to Bashir—“and I would expect that you would not humiliate yourself by doing so half-clothed again. Certainly not in front of the Viziers. It will do you no favors in the Council Hall.”

“Humiliate myself,” the Agassi said, his voice flat with disbelief.

“It is offensive.” Naime gestured at him in a lame attempt to indicate his half-clothed state, then at the lingering Viziers. 

“Only in a place full of weak-bodied, self-important pacifists would sword practice count as humiliating. You find me offensive,” he said, “fine. There are few things I find more tiresome than someone who puts too much stock in pageantry and pretense. And you worship at the altar of pretense.” 



About the Author: 

J.D. Evans writes science fiction and fantasy romance and is the author of the novel, Reign & Ruin. After earning her degree in linguistics, J.D. served a decade as an army officer. She once spent her hours putting together briefings for helicopter pilots and generals. Now she writes stories, tends to a tiny human, knits, sews badly, gardens, and cultivates Pinterest Fails. After a stint in Beirut, J.D. fell in love with the Levant, which inspired the setting for her debut series, Mages of the Wheel.

J.D. currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina, though she will always be a Montana girl at heart.

Connect with J.D. Evans: 

Email | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Enter J.D. Evan’s Goodreads or Facebook Giveaway! 


ALLURE

Allure
by Sansa Rayne, Stella Rising 






A very thought provoking story.

This is a new-to-me author, but I’m glad that I took a chance on reading Allure. The setting is somewhat middle ages, possibly in a dystopian Earth future or based on some other planet. I found it difficult to place in a sub-genre or trope, though it felt more fantasy than paranormal.

I enjoyed the story, finding the plot easy to follow and liking the main characters. Whilst the idea of the heroine (or hero) being an ‘outsider’ is not new the world the author created, along with the detail of the heroine’s resistance to allure and subsequent issues, made this feel quite an unusual read. The writing is good, the story entertaining and the relationship between Cassian and Inara ultimately being very believable.

It may have been me, but at the beginning the story did feel a little directionless. I appreciated that the author didn’t do a huge information dump to world build, but I did find myself waiting for something to happen. Personally I would have liked this time to have been spent building the connection between Inara and Cassian. I’m not a fan of insta-anything, so the fact that their physical relationship went from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye felt a little jarring.

I quite liked that the book didn’t portray virginity as a feminine virtue BUT how this juxtaposed with women being very much the voiceless submissive in any relationship perhaps could have done with being elaborated on a little more. Some really innovative world building but it just needed developing/expanding on a little more to help me understand why sex was ok but then they had to be SO submissive.

There are some quite deep messages within this book around how we judge others and how it is easy to abuse power, and as a result abuse those who are weaker than us. Cassian and Inara are both very different to the norm, but it is easier for Cassian given the patriarchal nature of their society. I loved that he didn’t want to change Inara in any way but that he wanted to forge a partnership with her, you could genuinely sense his respect for Inara.



Inara has never felt the ethereal pleasure of a man’s allure, a manifestation of will that rewards submission. Casting aside the collar of her youth, she attends her long-awaited blossoming ceremony longing to partake in her overdue rite of womanhood. But when she experiences allure for the first time, the celebration spirals into a waking nightmare.


Sensing a need to end his string of flings and take a wife, Sir Cassian sets his sights on the kind and beautiful Inara. A knight reputed for his skills in combat as much as his charm, he will do whatever he must to ensure Inara picks him as her suitor. When she flees her blossoming, inexplicably terrified, he seizes the opportunity to help her – and claim her.
Unable to avoid the sinister effect allure has on her, Inara agrees to pose as Cassian’s new beau. At first hesitant to reveal the whole truth, she submits to his discipline, unleashing the bliss she’s always craved. However, divulging her dark discovery thrusts them into a conflict that will test their commitment to each other and their entire world.


When Inara learns there may be a way for her not to suffer from allure, Cassian vows to find the answer. Yet their search draws the attention of those intent on stifling the truth, no matter who they have to kill. Pursued by zealous assassins, Inara must choose: hide who she is to protect her love, or fight to expose the secret of allure…
For a dark romantic adventure you can’t put down, buy Allure today!


Publisher’s note: “Allure” is a dark, romantic thriller with erotic content, no cliffhangers, no cheating and a HEA. It contains material some may find disturbing. Reader discretion is advised.


US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083JKFHK6/
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B083JKFHK6/
CA – https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B083JKFHK6/
AU – https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B083JKFHK6/

GOODREADS – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49469683-allure

BOOKBUB – https://www.bookbub.com/books/allure-a-dark-romance-by-sansa-rayne-and-stella-rising

SIREN

Siren (Sinister Fairy Tale Collection)
by Hazel Grace



Genre: Dark Fairy Tale Retelling
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46259788-siren



I’m one of the most alluring creatures in the world.
Dangerous.
Beautiful.
Powerful.
A siren.
One of seven princesses of Lacuna.

But I wanted more than that, so much more than the trinkets I stowed in my caverns. I wanted my own piece of the world.
And I got it.
However with that wish came a price, and that price came with secrets.
Two of which should never have been able to set foot on where I reside.

The fate of my heart belongs to Lacuna, but whose heart belongs to me?




Buy Links: Kindle Unlimited
Universal: https://books2read.com/u/bM9gqV
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081HXC2L8
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B081HXC2L8
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B081HXC2L8
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B081HXC2L8


Playlist:  Direct link: https://spoti.fi/2SUnvO1

4 stars

A very slow, shaky start but with an amazing ending that made it all worth while.

The last 30% or so of this book was 5 stars all the way. Sadly the first 40% dragged sooooooooo much that, despite this being an arc read, if I hadn’t agreed to lead a Book of the Month discussion on it I would have DNF’d it. I am SO VERY GLAD that I stuck with the book because the second half was absolutely amazing. This was where we got ALL the steamy action, this is where the plot picked up pace, this is where all the twists turns and shocks occurred (one which was quite foreshadowed but another really was a surprise). I even ugly cried, shedding real tears as the author repeatedly ripped my heart apart.

A couple of short paragraphs would easily sum up the first 8 – 10 chapters. Nothing happens and it felt like wading through molasses. I can’t remember the last time a book dragged so much for me – probably because I’m quite ruthless and delete them from my kindle. I’d suggest the author seriously look for either some new beta readers or a new editor because they seriously let her down by not recognising the terrible pacing and lack of direction at the beginning of this book. You know, the time when you have to be hooking the reader in. I’m not sure if the intention was to character build or develop the connection between the MC’s but it didn’t quite work. Instead we had far too many internalised monologues/musings rather than actual conversations or action.

I’m aware this may seem petty but the word ‘allude’, in it’s various forms, was also not only overused (30 appearances) but repeatedly, incorrectly used as a way to describe speech. There were also another couple of inaccurate word uses, but I did read an arc so they may have been corrected.

eg “We have to go,” Isolde alludes suddenly.
“Then I won’t,” he alludes.
“That mean’s get out .” “I will,” he alludes slowly.

The book is written first person and from 3 alternating point of views, there is a sort-of, almost love triangle but not really. The main pov is the heroine, Davina’s, with chapters also from both Dagan’s and Tobias’ view points too. On reflection I do still feel this is a book I would recommend, albeit with warnings over needing to persevere at first. I quite like that the author left the possibility of a follow up book for a separate couple, as long as it didn’t have the same slow start I’d be up for reading it!



Also Available

Venom (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Dee Garcia
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/32bmFOF
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/31fSncd
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2VC9ns0
iTunes: https://apple.co/32cLzh1

Cold Queen (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by K Webster
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/31XvTxm
Eden Books: http://bit.ly/2Wl4qUN
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2pHdlnt
Apple: https://apple.co/2pSa84x
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2niT07e

Sacrifice (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Isabelle N. Blanco
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2CutWhg
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/36LrPUt
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/34M619f
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2NApwMs

Insolent (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Cynthia A. Rodriguez
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/37BUdc4
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2RuYCaT
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2rmDusW
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2PjmtrD

Madness (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Kailee Reese Samuels
Amazon US: http://bit.ly/SamuelsMADNESS
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/34pNija
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2RUPHjf
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/35qCaDZ



Author Bio: (author photo in drive folder)
Hazel Grace is an avid music lover and hardcore Oakland Raiders fan from the mitten state of Michigan. Her writing goals are “what the f*ck” storylines while enjoying her readers private messaging her to cuss her out. 



Social Media Links: 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hazelgraceauthor
Instagram: www.instagram.com/hazelgraceauthor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/hazelgracebooks
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/hazel-grace

Ratings
5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.
4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.
3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.
2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.
1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.

Elemental Fae Academy

Elemental Fae Academy: Book Three
(Elemental Fae Academy #3)
by Lexi C. Foss & J.R. Thorn

A Brilliant action packed, scorching hot and very satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.


This is a reverse harem series and all three books must be read in order. It builds on events and information from the previous two books and can not be read stand alone.

I loved how all the lose ends from the story were neatly tied up – even ones I hadn’t realised existed. Clever writing ensured that the bond between Claire and her guys, Exos, Vox, Cyrus, Titus and Sol, was convincingly portrayed, it was also great to see the guys forming bonds of their own, especially between those who had struggled to see eye-to-eye with each other in the past.

Whilst I really, really enjoyed the book as a whole and couldn’t have asked for a better plot, I did find the first quarter quite slow moving. The plot really didn’t feel like it moved forward in any significant way. For me there was too much unnecessary sex in this part of the book. I’d already been convinced of Claire’s bond with/attraction to/love for the guys in Book #2 and didn’t need more here.

Once the pace picked up, boy was I totally and utterly gripped by this book. Reading it at any opportunity, not wanting to put it down and loving every word of it. Whilst there weren’t too many ‘bad guy’ possibilities, I preferred that to suddenly finding out it was someone we had never even heard of previously. The build up to the final confrontation was brilliant, with both successes and failures along the way.

This is a fantastic reverse harem series that successfully develop 6 main characters, making them feel like individuals and giving them depth. The story is twisted, fast paced and packed with danger, frustration and struggles, as well as love, support and hope. The writing is excellent and it’s very much a set of books that I happily recommend.

Amazon US: https://geni.us/ZWaq
Bookbub: https://bit.ly/2R215K0
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/37Gz14y

How is a girl supposed to concentrate with five hot fae mentors? It’s not like I have a lot to do or anything.

Royal Coronations.Finals.A Solstice Ball.And a mother hellbent on ruining the fae world.
Just another ordinary day for me, Claire Summers, the halfling fae with access to all five elements.
Everyone is counting on me, even my esteemed mentor, Elana. Because I’m the only one with enough power to take my mother down.
But what if it’s all a lie? What if the bad guy I’ve been chasing all along is the one standing right by my side?
I’m in for the fight of my life with five fae protectors and an ally I never saw coming. It’s up to us to save the Fae Kingdom before it’s too late. And it’ll require giving my heart to all my mates, to guard and to hold, for eternity and beyond.

Note: This is book three of the Elemental Fae Academy trilogy. There’s a lot of heat in this one, and a scene you don’t want to miss between Cyrus, Exos, and Claire.

Ratings
5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.
4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.
3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.
2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.
1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.

A Tale Of Dragons and Elves

THE BLACK PRINCE
by Ariana Nash

Even now, his dragon prince didn’t realise how special he was.

Zane, The Black Prince

GHARRRR!

description

Ariana Nash stomped me into the ground with the story of Akiem “You think you’re not worth loving” and Zane “The bright star in Akiem’s darkness”. She tore into me, giving me false hope before cruelly snatching it all away again.

description

This tale of of love against the odds, of lies, betrayal and secrecy, of two broken souls finding light in the darkness and of a dragon and an elf is, quite simply, one of my favourite reads of the year. Maybe of forever.

In many ways, it had been easier when he had cared about nothing, but he wouldn’t change it. Caring made him feel alive and true and strong.

Akiem, The Black Prince

Every line dripped with feeling, emotion flowed throughout the narrative, yet it never distracted nor detracted from the amazing, layered plot. Ariana Nash’s writing is simply awe inspiring, the story gripping from the first lines to the last. The plot throwing you around like a fairground ride, first leading you in one direction before thrusting you rapidly into a different one.

Not only has this story left me with a huge book hangover, I don’t even want to pick up another book. I don’t want to sully the memory of an elf and his black dragon, don’t want to let go of the emotions running through me, don’t want to admit that they are just characters in a book.

I think I’m just going to rock quietly in a darkened corner, hugging my comfort blanket and dreaming of a bronze eyed dragon and his red haired elf.

It made his body ache when they were apart, as though Zane were the missing piece he’d been searching for his whole life.

How could Zane make him see that he didn’t need to die to prove he had earned the right to live?

In the war-torn rubble of the human world, can a rebel elf and a lost dragon prince find love, or will a dark threat tear them and their world apart forever?

A new land, a new court, a new king, but some things never change.

Broken in all ways, Akiem fled his life as the amethyst prince only to land at the mercy of the beautiful but deadly diamond king, Luceran.

Akiem knows dragons. He knows he’ll die today, tomorrow, whenever Luceran’s executioner brings down his axe, and maybe it’s all he deserves. He’s ready for death, craves it even, like he craves the elf with flame-red hair and a sly smile, the damn elf whose stolen kiss lit Akiem up in ways he didn’t know were possible.

Akiem doesn’t do males and he definitely doesn’t do elves. But some things do change.

Drifter, mercenary, lover — Zane is all those things. He’ll do almost anything for coin. But he doesn’t do dragons and he definitely doesn’t do love.

It’s not such a bad life for an elf. Better than the rest of his kin, living under the rule and whims of King Luceran.

Working as a bodyguard in Bayston should have been quick coin in his pocket before moving on. But King Luceran has a new toy he parades at court. A dragon with eyes of gold and scales as black as night.

He probably shouldn’t have kissed him. Definitely should have killed him.

And now, moving on is the farthest thought from Zane’s mind. Because Luceran’s new toy is not like the other dragonkin. And maybe, just maybe, the terrible, beautiful beast has the key to freeing all the persecuted elves and unlocking Zane’s restless heart.

Zane doesn’t do love and he doesn’t do dragons.

But with the arrival of the Black Prince, everything is about to change.

***

The Black Prince is part of the Silk & Steel world. It can be read as a standalone.

The publication date is temporary and likely to be brought forward to December 2019. The Black Prince will be in Kindle Unlimited on its release.

Please note: This novel contains an m/m love story and adult content. The Black Prince is intended for mature readers.

Ratings
5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.
4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.
3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.
2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.
1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.