Book Review

#BookReview #Fantasy #Romance // Second Star to the Left by Megan Van Dyke

Second Star to the Left
by Megan Van Dyke


Second Star to the Left is a wonderfully written, captivating, well-paced re-working of Peter Pan. In this one Captain Hook is a gorgeous pirate with a heart of gold, a sexy accent, a curse to lift and a vendetta to win against the true villain, Blackbeard. Tinker Bell is not a small fairy but rather a vertically challenged, somewhat naive pixie who just wants to be able to find her way home. For both to gain their heart’s desire (and you know exactly where THAT one is leading!) they have to complete a quest by working as a team.

Hook and Tink are both very likeable characters and I quickly found myself caught up in this delightful enemies-to-lovers tale – especially with a hero who seemed a mix of Jack Sparrow and Killian “Hook” Jones. The story had a good mix of action/adventure, character development and world-building – not to mention a couple of red hot love scenes too. It was easy to not only feel the connection between Tink and Hook but also to believe in the strength of their feelings for one another.

Depth and colour were added by including a wide cast of well rounded supporting characters. The back story of both protagonists was slowly revealed as we progressed through the book, some of these threw very unexpected curveballs at both the reader and character alike. My only wish would have been for the quest to have not been quite so easily completed, though we did eventually get conflict.

I very much enjoyed this book, with its feel-good vibe, great characters and great story it is one to add to your TBR list.

Overall Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Plot ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ 🤍
Characters ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
World Building ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ 🤍
Writing ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ 🤍
Heat Level 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥


Fantasy Fairy Tale

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58709297-second-star-to-the-left

Synopsis
Tinker Bell, banished from her homeland for doing the unthinkable, selling the hottest drug in Neverland—pixie dust—wants absolution.
Determined to find a way home, Tink doesn’t hesitate to follow the one lead she has, even if that means seducing a filthy pirate to steal precious gems out from under his…hook.
Captain Hook believes he’s found a real treasure in Tink. That is until he recovers from her pixie dust laced kiss with a curse that turns the seas against him. With his ship and reputation at the mercy of raging storms, he tracks down the little minx and demands she remove the curse. Too bad she can’t.
However, the mermaid queen has a solution to both of their problems, if Tink and Hook will work together to retrieve a magical item for her.
As they venture to the mysterious Shrouded Isles to find the priceless treasure, their shared nemesis closes in. However, his wrath is nothing compared to the realization that achieving their goal may mean losing something they never expected to find—each other.

The swagger and adventure of Pirates of the Caribbean meets the sexy banter of The Hating Game with a healthy dose of steam in this retelling of Peter Pan that’s far from the Neverland you know.




Book Review

Release & Review //\\ Zhànshì

Zhànshì by Anna Edwards

Collection: Sinister Fairytales Collection

Release: May 26, 2020

Genre: Dark Fairy Tale Retelling

Whilst I’m not quite convinced that this was quite a 4 star read but it was much closer to that than 3 stars, so 4 it is.


Zhànshì is a well paced, entertaining, has a great heroine, a sexy hero and held my interest throughout. The story is set in modern times, though this is only obvious when modern technology is mentioned. Most of the time it had either an historical or a fantasy feel to it, but that made it more interesting not less.


Whilst this didn’t totally absorb me it did retain my attention and, unlike a couple of other recent reads, I never considered DNF’ing it. I appreciated how skillfully the author wove a tale that really did feel like a darker retelling of the Disney fairytale (as opposed to the original Chinese legend). Lia has always felt like an outsider, uninterested in becoming a warriors wife but rather wanting to be the warrior herself. I liked both her and Jaxon, they both held honour, faith and family in high regard and were prepared to die for their principles.


We all have our own interpretation of dark, so for me it was more that this had dark themes. However it does need a trigger warning as it contains one more detailed scene, and another implied, of sexual assault on the heroine. There are also incidences of physical assault too. However I find my darkness in the psychological effects and emotional impact on main characters but Lia was too strong, too much of a warrior to allow the enemy to break her, so for me it made the dark aspects easier to read. It fitted well with Lia’s strength of character so I had no qualms about her response to Wang’s treatment.


I would have liked just a bit more drama, a touch more angst and not quite such a quick resolution (I won’t say easy because it wasn’t). Not so much plot holes as glossing over the difficult parts. However I still enjoyed this story and read it in one sitting, it’s a decent story.

Blurb:

Lia has known she was different since the age of five when her father taught her the skills of her ancestors. His stories of heroic exploits have fueled her fantasies for years. Little did she know that her expertise would be called upon when two cities, two triads, go to war. Will it be a step too far to think she can hide who she really is? 


Jaxon has known his career path since he was a little boy when his father promised his only son to the leader of the Yu Shi triad. Jaxon doesn’t mind—it allows him to center his chaotic thoughts and fight his opponents to the death. But when he’s partnered with a mysterious new recruit, he begins to question everything he knows. What is the young boy hiding from him? 


Zhanzhi is a modern day retelling of the tale of Mulan for the Sinister Fairytales Collection. Warrior Lia must find her inner strength to defeat a deadly enemy, who’s been left bitter by his quest for absolute power, while at the same time falling in love when she least expects it. Nothing will be as it seems in this dark triad world where a moment’s hesitation can be your downfall.

Buy Links:
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Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3ed9OkQ
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2Zu2b5q
ITunes: https://apple.co/2WYhGkt

Author Bio:

All I am a British author, from the depths of the rural countryside near London. In a previous life, I was an accountant from the age of twenty-one. I still do that on occasions, but most of my life is now spent intermingling writing while looking after my husband, two children and two cats (probably in the inverse order to the one listed!). When I have some spare time, I can also be found writing poetry, baking cakes (and eating them), or behind a camera snapping like a mad paparazzi.

I’m an avid reader who turned to writing to combat my depression and anxiety. I have a love of travelling and like to bring this to my stories to give them the air of reality.

I like my heroes hot and hunky with a dirty mouth, my heroines demure but with spunk, and my books full of dramatic suspense.



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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

Siren (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Hazel Grace
Universal: https://books2read.com/u/bM9gqV
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2v24KhO
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2Os99RT
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2v6rBss
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2UseIDM

Legend (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by M.R. Leahy
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2U6zzeg
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2UwCZbI
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2vTauLr
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3beoEXk

Mirage (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by C.M. Radcliff
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2SFshi7
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2HypsJa
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/38Feg9n
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2P4gKqn

Imprisoned (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by KL Donn
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2mTCt96 
Apple: https://apple.co/2llcIOv  
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2mQTbpD  
Nook: http://bit.ly/2mV7ytb 
Eden Books: https://edenbooks.org/product/imprisoned/

Lock (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Kimberly Knight
Universal (Books2Read): http://bit.ly/2moQVpD
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QklSqK
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/3cZCVYZ
iBooks: https://apple.co/2Wf9qfP
Kobo: http://bit.ly/3d4dwxa

Stealing Cinderella (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by A. Zavarelli
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/34bD6fW
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2xJSyDA
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2wVVEVa
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2xKnYd2

Abducted (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by K.I. Lynn
Universal: https://books2read.com/AbductedKILynn
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3dgX645
iBooks:  https://apple.co/2KSsKIS
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3aTBnO0
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3aXEKDG

Book Review

LEGEND by MR Leahy

Title: Legend

Collection: Sinister Fairy Tales Collection

Author: M.R. Leahy




Release: February 6, 2020

Genre: Dark Fairy Tale RetellingGoodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46260363-legend




A bit (lot?) of a “me not you” situation because technically there wasn’t anything wrong with the technical writing, plot or pace, but this just didn’t engage me emotionally. It’s quite a short read and felt more Lion King than Sinister Fairy Tale but it’s still a decent read and well worth trying for yourself.


It took too long, in my opinion, for the H and h to meet and I know they are fated mates and I know they had dreamed of one another BUT there was no real attempt to develop any other type of connection between them. It was all just very instant (as in next second instant) and I’m just one of those PITA readers who needs convincing of a bond.

The story was nicely written and easy to follow, the world building was decent, though I didn’t care for the overuse of the F word – it didn’t seem to fit the low technology setting. I expect the word in Mafia, MC and even contemporary romance but it felt jarring here. However it’s a fairly minor thing and I’m sure many of you would disagree on that 😊.

Whilst it isn’t a dark read, it is steaming hot (when Karzan and Janey do eventually meet) and entertaining.





Blurb:

Far, far away, hidden on Insula Sacra—Island of the Accursed— lives a forgotten world of man and beast.

Damned by the Gods, and forced to live in everlasting darkness, they continue to fight a war that has long since been buried in time.

With each rise and fall of the cursed moon, they are reminded of all they’ve lost.

Desperate for freedom, they await the night the one true king will rise to power and free them from the curse.

The King, however, cannot rise without his Queen—both blessed with the mark of the Gods, they must end the war to save them all.

Or so the legend says… 



Buy Links (Kindle Unlimited):
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Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2UwCZbI
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2vTauLr
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3beoEXk




Excerpt:

“They abandoned us, cursed us. An endless war, a dying race…the prophecy states that once united, the chosen one, bearing the mark of the gods, will bring forth the one true king.” Balling my hand into a fist, I turn and face the great room. “I will be that King. No matter what it takes, no matter how many people must burn to make it so, we will rise again and this time, not even the Gods will be able to stop us.” 



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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



Siren (Sinister Fairy Tales Collection) by Hazel Grace
Universal: https://books2read.com/u/bM9gqV



Book Review

Dare you fall down the rabbit hole?

MADNESS (Sinister Fairy Tale Collection)
by Kailee Reese Samuels



Release: December 17, 2019
Genre: Dark Romance/Reverse Harem
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46260482-madness
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/SamuelsMADNESSbookbub





MY REVIEW – 3.75 stars

Curioser and curioser indeed

This is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland and boy do you descend into Madness as you fall down the rabbit hole. It’s just as odd as the original both in the characters who inhabit it’s pages and in the reality of what is happening. At times is was somewhat esoteric, though still utterly captivating and enthralling.

Madness is a RH but, whilst I could see the chemistry between the different characters, I didn’t feel an emotional investment in them. This was more due to the style of the book, where the prose was often reminiscent of what I imagine a drug induced psychodelic trip would be like. That is an intentional move by the author, a very successful attempt to mimic the original story whilst also making it a very dark, steamy, adult version of Alice in Wonderland.

It’s a strange read where I sort of knew what was happening but didn’t really know. Even at the end, where many things are revealed and resolved, there is still an element of the unknown, an option to intepret as you please. A different read, dare I say a mind-blowing read? A great addition to the series.







As a starry-eyed child, I wanted to believe my shining prince would ride up on a white horse, present a diamond ring, and carry me away to his castle. His love would be endless and our lives would be the happily ever after all girls dreamed about. I never knew the fairytale was nothing more than a lie.

I was a good girl.

Until one night, one tiny trip, one little mistake, one moment of indiscretion. 

When I fell down the rabbit hole, I stumbled into the absolute fantasy, succumbing to their whims and rituals. As their very naughty girl, I embraced the nightmare and refused to ever leave.

The Darkland is mine. 

And those monsters will kneel before their one true Queen.




Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://bit.ly/SamuelsMADNESS
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/34pNija
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2RUPHjf
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/35qCaDZ


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



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Book Review

Sinister Fairy Tale Collection #3

Sacrifice (Sinister Fairy Tale Collection)
by N. Isabelle Blanco

Release: November 7, 2019 (released early)
Genre: Dark Romance Fairy Tales
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46258935-sacrifice

Review

Whilst this is nominally set in the author’s Ryze world, unlike those books it very much read as a stand alone story. It’s more greek mythology than true fairytale but this story is far too good to ever hold a tiny little detail like that against it. Especially since the world building allows even those pretty ignorant of greek mythology (that’s me by the way) to understand who is who and what their history is.

Talking of history, Meg and Kles have it in spades and it’s not the good type. Certainly not after Kles abandoned her for fame, glory and godhood. A move he almost immediately regretted but by then it was far too late. Never once did I begrudge Meg her anger and hatred of Kles, he might not have known just what was going to happen to her but he didn’t choose her either. However not only has he regretted that choice for almost as long as Meg has, the more he learns about what happened to her, the more torn up about it he is.

I loved both these characters though I rather dislike the fates (or should that be author?) who made them endure so much pain, heartache and suffering as they battled the trials set before them.

Despite being very slow burn, the story fairly crackles with heat and the chemistry between this pair. The sexual tension oozes out of every scene and there is just so much action, adventure and story that I, for one, really didn’t miss the reduced ‘bedroom’ action.

This book is ideal for those who love a real action packed fantasy/mythology based romance, a good angry second-chance story, a well written and highly entertaining book. The series has proved to be a fantastic way to discover new authors, I can happily recommend all three books released thus far.

Blurb:

Releasing as part of the 2019 Sinister Fairy Tales Collection and part of the Dark Paranormal Ryze Series, but can be read as a Standalone!

Megara

We all know the story.

How it ended.

He survived and conquered each task.

Became the hero of all heroes.

And in the end he became a legend.

What no one told you is that I was there. I was helping him . . . and when he ascended, I was left behind to rot.

Herakles never knew I sold my soul for his success—he didn’t need to. Had I been enough on my own, he would’ve chosen to stay.

Instead, he rose to full glory.

I was dragged straight to Hades.

Beaten.

Violated.

Broken.

Eventually, mutated.

I lost track of him for nearly three millennia, but I’ve found him.

I will kill him.

He chose to become a god; I was forced to become a nightmare.

Now it’s time for us to meet again.

Herakles

I abandoned my family mere moments before the Greek pantheon fell.

‘Till this day the whispers accuse me.

Had I been there, perhaps they could’ve been saved.

But I no longer gave a fuck.

Funny how vanity can blind a male to what really matters.

It took less than a year on Olympus before I began searching for her again.

I never found her.

Now, two-in-a-half-thousand years later, here I am.

Alone.

Empty.

An immortal ghost, simply getting by.

I should’ve never left her.

The only thing I had was hoping the last of her mortal days, wherever she ended up, were happy . . .

Joke’s on me.

A darkened, twisted version of my female returns, demanding my head for every one of my sins.

And she shall have it.

But first, I’m saving her from her curse.

I’ll sacrifice every ounce of my sanity left to free her . . . right before I let her end me once and for all.  

Buy Links (Kindle Unlimited):
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Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/36LrPUt
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/34M619f
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2NApwMs

Giveaway ($20 Amazon Gift card):  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e85cc8a141

Author Bio:

N. Isabelle Blanco is the Amazon Bestselling Author of the Allure Series, the Need Series with K.I.Lynn, and many others. At the age of three, due to an odd fascination with studying her mother’s handwriting, she began to read and write. By the time she’d reached kindergarten, she had an extensive vocabulary and her obsession with words began to bleed into every aspect of her life. 

That is, until coffee came a long and took over everything else.

Nowadays, N. spends most of her days surviving the crazy New York rush and arguing with her characters every ten minutes or so, all in the hopes of one day getting them under control.

Sign up for the newsletter at http://bit.ly/2ogIF74 to be the first to know how all these arguments turn out 🙂 

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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