A whole night sky full of stars for this absolutely breathtaking rom-com.
Wow, just, wow this book was just perfect. Chick-Lit with a side serving of very sexy stranger, this was everything I didn’t even know I wanted or needed to read. The author’s entire back catalogue has just shot to the top of my TBR list for 2022. All I can say is that you need to read this, ASAP.
Fran was so utterly adorable, who could help but fall in love with her? And even though we were never meant to be on #TeamStew, I loved that the author also showed us a decent side to him, eventually. Some elements were perhaps predictable and cliched, but how the author included them and just her sheer brilliance at immersing you inside the story made this an absolute page-turner.
Whilst there is a love interest – and boy is he all things tall, dark and ridiculously gorgeous – this was much more Fran’s story. Don’t get me wrong, I adored Evan and was 100% invested in the couple getting their HEA, but I was even more committed to following her journey of personal growth and development. It wasn’t always an easy path, this book definitely played on my emotions and that ending, *sigh*, was so full of feels!
This has just launched itself straight into my Top 10 reads of the year. It’s also left me with a massive book hangover.
Synopsis When Fran Cooper accepts a mysterious temporary job as a PA to a celebrity, she is swept off her feet overnight. Working with internationally famous singer Juliette, Fran is the person charged with getting Juliette to the Crystal Ball, the glittering event when the world’s rich and famous gather on Panarea, a beautiful Mediterranean island, for a night like no other. What Fran doesn’t know is that on this one night, everything will change for her too – that instead of standing on the sidelines, she’ll be putting on the most beautiful dress she’s ever seen and having the most unforgettable night of her life…
Sin & Lightning Demigods of San Francisco #5 by K.F. Breene
A “blast from the past” review.
This left me on such a high that I can’t wait to start the next book – though I’m equally gutted that it’s the last one in the series. I’m not sure if I’m ready to let Lexi, Kieran, Bria, the Six, Daisy and Mordecai go just yet. I was captivated from the first line to the last, sneaking reads in any spare moment I had and reading late into the night to finish it. Of course I instantly regretted not taking my time to savour each moment, regretted not stretching the reading experience out as long as possible. I could live in this world, would live in this world given half a chance.
“Just wait until you consent to taking those cats around with you.” Harding murmured, finally looking away. “You’ll take strange to a whole new level. Death on a pale horse is for losers – give me a cat lady in her pajamas any day. You can ride next to Poseidon’s Demigod on his goldfish steed.”
The complexities of the plot and the sudden twists held me spellbound, every single reveal was totally plausible but I never found myself guessing them because is a master of misdirection, having me look in totally the wrong direction. Lexi’s realisation regarding the “shadow man” at the end was a real shocker, as was the unexpected pronouncement/promise by Magnus. Every mention of Jack still breaks my heart a little and I’m still holding out for some kind of miracle on that one.
I really felt the love between Kieran and Lexi in this one, it was shown in so many little ways. Subtle hints, small gestures, passing touches all built a picture of utter devotion. My favourite scenes were always those that included Daisy and Mordecai, the latter was a little sidelined and I needed more of him, but this pair light up every scene they are in. We also get to meet some great new characters and some heinous villains, all of whom add depth and richness to the story.
“Stop talking or no more phone,” I said through clenched teeth. “I’m already on phone restriction.” “Then no more allowance. No more money. Or nice things.” “Just tell her you’ll pick out her clothes for a week – that’ll shut her up,” Mordecai said. Dylan looked slightly bewildered. We could derail anyone.
Fast paced, exciting and jam packed with a tumultuous range of emotions I don’t think this book could have been any better.
Synopsis One thing has become incredibly clear to Alexis and Kieran, if they hope to last in the arena of Demigods, they’ll need a more robust defense team. They must take two incredibly dangerous journeys, seeking the prized talents other Demigods would kill for. Except, there is a reason other Demigods don’t have these magical workers–they are as ruthless as they are dangerous, and the last thing they want is to be on a Demigod’s team. If that isn’t enough, Alexis has received an invitation from Demigod Lydia, the only Hades Demigod who hasn’t openly declared war. She’s talking like they could be allies, but those of Hades cannot be trusted. A trap is just as likely as a handshake. Still, it’s a chance they must take. Any one of these trips could be their last, but to back down would be the most dangerous of all.
Shadow Lands The Warrior Chronicles #3 by K.F. Breene
Back in the day, the men made the law for their family. Is it so wrong that women have a defense?” Ruisa shifted, sticking out one hip and adopting an expression Marc had already come to realize was stubbornness. “You can use swords and knives and muscles, and we’re supposed to… what, be totally fine in our vulnerability? We aren’t allowed to look after ourselves because we have vaginas, is that it?”
Marc winced at the word—female anatomy was still mostly foreign to him. Even the words embarrassed him.
God I love this series. I really love Shanti, I totally love Cayan and I absolutely love Marc, Leilius and the rest of the Honor Guard. I massively have a soft spot for Marc. These characters have become real people to me, from the slightly mad Burson, to the soft-centred Rohnan and the take no $**! Sanders. Even some of the animals wove their way into my heart. This is one of those books that you want everyoneyou know to read, just so you can fan girl and sigh over it endlessly with someone who loved it just as much as you.
The whole story is rife with humour from the gentlest of touches to the most cutting sarcasm, yet at the same time it has a well paced plot, amazing world building, a cracking story and captivating writing. As soon as I finished this I wanted to immediately jump into book 4, even though I have a TBR of already owned books longer than my arm. Shanti and Cayan’s journey to the Shadow Lands gave me all the feels, it smashed my emotions and left me with a huge book hangover. This took me back to my days of reading David Eddings, Mercedes Lackey, Katharine Kerr, Andre Norton and Melanie Rawn but with more sarcasm.
And have I said yet just how much I loved this or how much you need to read? After you’ve read Books #1 and #2 of course.
Sanders glanced at Marc, red-faced and looking at the ground. The youth said, “S’am always jumps out at us. If you don’t strike first, you get punched really hard.” “And the running?” Sanders asked as he checked his weapons. Marc shrugged. “I was always too slow to get her, so rather than getting thumped after I struck out, I ran.” “Ruisa got the other one.” Tobias threw her a proud wink. “Who says girls are only for cooking?” “Not me. She’s a terrible cook,” Marc mumbled. Ruisa shoved him.
Synopsis ***Book three in the bestselling series.***
In order to finally claim her title of Chosen and lead the Shadow People out of the Land of Mist, Shanti must make it through a century’s old system to test her battle awareness, her fighting skill, and her ability to stay alive. She’s about to enter The Trials, and she must do it alone.
Separated from Shanti on a dangerous island, Cayan must learn to use his mental skill while keeping his men safe from the people set out to kill them. But as more Inkna and Graygual flood the island, Cayan hears of a sinister force deep in the woods, rigging The Trials and killing any who venture too close.
It is now a race against time. The battle to become the Chosen has begun, and the victor is anything but decided.
I think this series is shaping up to be a top read of the year, if not my favourite fantasy series of all time. The book is just jam packed with plot AND great characters. Every single character is complex and layered, unique and wonderful. Shanti has been the hope of her nation almost since she was born and that pressure, alongside seeing so many of her people slaughtered so that she might live, has her riddled with self-doubt and insecurity. Not to mention a soul filled with pain, sorrow and suffering. Yet she still manages to strategize, plot, fight and kick ass brilliantly.
I enjoyed getting to know Cayan a little more in this book. He was still very much an enigma at the end of Chosen, and I suspect we will find out a lot more in Shadow Lands, book #3 of The Warrior Chronicles. I adored his quiet broodiness, his utter conviction of right and wrong and his sheer determination to support, defend and care for Shanti, even when she tries to stand in isolation.
You will not kill yourself if you get taken—you will wait for me to come and get you. In the meantime, you will need to be able to get yourself out from under someone bigger.”
“Is that right…?” Shanti said in a deathly quiet voice. “That’s mighty presumptuous.”
Cayan sat up. Blood dripped down his neck. “Yes. This is non-negotiable. I will protect you if the worst comes to pass, even from yourself, just as I have done since you were carried into my city. I will not lose you, Shanti—you should know that by now. Since they will not kill you, that allows me time. Xandre might be a battle lord, but he is only a man. If he harms you, he will be a dead man.”
“Poetic.” Shanti wiped her face from sweat and stood. “But you have no idea what you’re talking about. He’s not just a man, Cayan, he has elevated himself into a nightmare. One I can’t seem to wake up from. I will not let myself be raped and tortured so you can try to play the hero.”
“I will get my way,” Cayan said easily as he stood.
“In all things, I will get my way.”
Saunders, Rohnan and the Honor Guard boys all add facets to the story that I didn’t even know I needed. Their humour, their insight, their bravery in the face of terror and their love for Shanti made me laugh with joy, cry with sorrow and feel every just about every emotion between. I don’t know how she does it but K.F. Breene writes characters that feel so real you expect to find them standing next to you. It doesn’t harm that many of them have a wicked sense of humour, perfect for adding levity back to the story following some of the darker, more emotionally draining moments. And if all else failed then Shanti’s horse could be relied upon for a little comic relief!
“We can get through this place because we’re a team, Shoolan. And we have the Captain. These other people, they didn’t have the Captain.”
Leilius sounded so sure. The kid was the most trusting, positive person Shanti had ever known.
“Cadet, if you keep talking like that,” Sanders said in a voice that could cut through a monsoon and still reach the intended ear. “People are going to think God scooped out your brains and replaced them with rainbows and horse shit.”Since I know something of leadership,
Hunted is not a stand alone book and the series mustbe read in order for the story to be followed and understood. I’m totally kicking myself for not having read this series before because it absolutely kicks ass and is amazing. I can not recommend this series highly enough.
She turned in her saddle so she could see Leilius. He rode like a sack of potatoes not properly tied on. She really hoped she didn’t look like that.
Synopsis With a new Chosen coming forward, Shanti has lost sight of her duty. With her plans unraveling, she does the only thing she can think of– frees her brother and a mysterious stranger from a Graygual camp before heading back to beg for Cayan’s aid.
Unfortunately, that stranger was precious to the enemy, guarded by one of the elite. A Superior Officer known as the Hunter, this man always catches his prey, and his focus is now on the elusive, violet-eyed girl and the man she ripped from the his hands.
With danger mounting, and one of the best constantly on her heels, Shanti will learn that running will never be enough.
She will unite them with her suffering, and lead them with her love.
Their small party rode ahead. Tobias, knowing nothing about Shanti, couldn’t contain his displeasure at a woman tagging along. He kept his distaste to huffs, however, being a well-versed fighter—he knew better than to piss off the Captain. Shanti, knowing better than to waste time, didn’t punch him in the throat. All in all, they got along.
The only reason this wasn’t read within one or two days was that I had several arc reading commitments to complete at the same time. Quite simply this was a book I didn’t want to put down, one full of tension, angst and peril, with some truly wonderful world building to boot. I adored Shanti, loved her irreverent humour, her toughness, her determination and her willingness to cry. Whilst we get several other view points, she is the main character of this book, and one who easily carries the story on her slender but strong shoulders.
A powerful story with a well thought out and cohesive plot that hooked it’s claws into my soul and didn’t ever let go. It is imbued with so many wonderful moments, some replete with humour, others that are deep, filled with troubled self reflection and yet more where Shanti challenges the pompous males around her with her sharp wit and sparkling repartee. Those quieter moments provided a perfect foil to the more hectic, high velocity, action sequences and gave the story a feeling of balance.
My words simply can’t do justice to this absolutely amazing opening book of what looks set to be an awe inspiring series.
Since I know something of leadership, I can say that the woman in front of me is not thinking with her experience, but instead, with her fear.” With that, Master All-Knowing got up and walked toward the center of the encampment, leaving Shanti to feel hollow and alone. Leaving her to think on her options. To mull over what he had said. It would be really irritating if he was right.
Synopsis It is said that when war threatens the world, one individual will be selected by prophecy to lead the Shadow Warriors out of the Land of Mist and reclaim the freedom which has been stolen.
Shanti has grown up under the constant threat of war. Since she helped her people defeat a raiding party by using a special power, she’s been a hunted woman. Carrying rare abilities and an uncanny fighting aptitude, Shanti is the only hope of salvation for her people. The problem is, she doesn’t believe in her own divinity, and when she flounders, she nearly fails in the duty hanging so heavy on her shoulders.
It seems like any other day when Sanders and his band of misfit boys find a foreign woman clinging to life in the wastelands. Oblivious to the weapon they now have in their possession, they are content to harbor the mysterious woman until she is well enough to continue her journey. But when the war spreads its arms and lands on her borrowed doorstep, Shanti has no choice but to reveal her secrets, plunging her saviors into danger.
If they band with her, they will face certain death. But to trade her to Xandre, the warlord desperate to add her to his war machine, would be to give up their entire way of life.