Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday Turns 10!

I’m joining in with That Artsy Reader Girl and her meme, Top Ten Tuesday. It’s a very Happy 10th Birthday to this meme, so the floor is open for the choice of topic.

I was considering using the very first prompt ever, but my childhood was a loooong time ago, and I’m not sure I could remember all of my favourite books, so have decided to pick my favourite 10 books of the year so far.

The Velvet Chair – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2020/06/21/review-the-velvet-chair/
Resistance – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2020/05/09/review-resistance/
Myth of Omega – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2020/04/11/book-review-myth-of-omega-books-1-3/
Missing In Action – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2020/03/30/review-missing-in-action/
Primal Sin – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2020/03/26/review-primal-sin/
Midnight Fae Academy 1 – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2020/02/23/book-review-midnight-fae-academy-1/
Destroyed – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2020/02/13/destroyed-by-eva-dresden-review/
Twilight Seeker – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2020/02/02/twilight-seeker/
The Escape Artist – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2020/01/16/the-escape-artist-by-kitty-thomas/
Sin & Spirit – https://louisesbookbuzz.home.blog/2020/01/11/sin-spirit/

Do you have a top ten to share? Let me know and I’ll come by and comment.

REVIEW //\\ A Savage Debt


A SAVAGE DEBT (Beholden Duet #1) by Zoey Ellis



An interesting start to the story.


This is a very pleasant read with a high heat level and lots of mystery. Whist it is part of a duet, the ending isn’t a dramatic cliff-hanger, more of a natural break point. The author also informs us that this break point is not midway through the story and #2 will be the longer book.


Whilst the story maybe didn’t grip me in quite the same way that the Myth of Omega books did, it is still a very enjoyable read. I didn’t feel my emotions were engaged in as much depth as when reading the trilogies, though I very much enjoyed the world building, character development and overall story telling.


Ana is a very pampered and sheltered Princess, very naive in the truth of life but not spoilt or selfish. Her struggles following the first night were well portrayed, though I personally needed more fear, more anger, more sense of injustice in Ana prior to those events. She felt a little like a characterless doll, and I don’t care how eager to please she was, where was her anger at her parents for failing to protect her?


I really loved the last chapter, from Maddoc’s point of view. I wish we’d maybe had a few more ‘mini chapters’ from him to balance the story a little more, though I can understand why we didn’t. Whilst there are some incredibly steamy scenes between Ana and Maddoc, my lack of emotional connection to him as a character made them feel a little perfunctory at times. They lacked a bit of chemistry and zing, but again I’m expecting that passion to explode once this pair get to genuinely know each other. I interpreted that feeling of slight removal as a reflection of the distance between them at the moment. That said the balance between the smut and the plot was perfect, and the story moved with good pace.


Ana really does undergo some growth in quite a short time, mainly due to the machinations and manipulations (or is it actually support and help?) of Maddoc. She clearly isn’t going to believe what he tells her, so he has to find ways to open her eyes and see for herself. We get inklings and foreshadowing throughout that all is not rosy in the garden (particularly Milly’s ‘fall’) and I’m really looking forward to discovering hidden truths along side Ana. Though that girl certainly needs to wake up and smell the coffee.


Roll on book #2!



3.5 stars


As payment for her father’s debt, he wants:
Her
At his mercy
For three nights


Notorious outlaw Maddoc follows no rules.
When he walks into the palace demanding repayment for a debt no one knew existed, he wants only one thing.
The Omega princess.
Protected and revered, Ana struggles to find control in a life planned for her from the moment she was born.

When she is forced to give three nights to a dark, lawless Alpha, his primal touch turns her world to chaos.
But the more she tries to resist, the deeper she is sucked into the intense savagery he has saved just for her.


A SAVAGE DEBT is the first installment of the Beholden Duet, a fantasy Omegaverse romance that explores themes of justice, punishment, and dark, savage love. For fans of Alpha anti-heroes and sassy heroines. Cliffhanger included. This story features romance and situations of a dark nature.


Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

GooglePlay

iBooks

GOODREADS

Bookbub


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.

IM!WAYR?


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Date. It’s a chance to share the good, the bad and the ugly of your recent reads, as well as looking forward to the reading week ahead.


Books I Read Last Week


I had a real binge reading week – including the incredible Reign Trilogy by Zoey Ellis. The other 4 books were all arc reads that release this week. If I had to pick one to recommend, it would be Black Light: Charmed by Jennifer Bene, though Nathan by Elin Peer is a very close second.


What Am I Currently Reading?





What I Also Hope To Read Soon


REVIEW //\\ Reign Trilogy


MYTH OF OMEGA : Reign Trilogy by Zoey Ellis



Reign to Ruin (Myth of Omega #4)


Whilst this is numbered as book #4 of a series, it is the first book in a stand alone trilogy. However there are references to characters and events from the first trio of books (Crave Trilogy), so you may wish to read those first though it isn’t strictly necessary.




An intriguing and twisty story with some very dark undertones.


This was my second read through of the book and I definitely enjoyed it better. Some of that may well be because I’ve now read book 3 (I’d somehow missed that out last time and only read books 1 and 2). Yes judge me as you want – I totally deserve it ūüėĄ.


For a chunk of this story Malloron didn’t appear to be quite as bad as the very unpleasant character portrayed in the first series of books. Strangely he started off as not too bad – yes he lied to Amara but he was almost respectful in the way he treated her. Well at least in his mind he had treated her really well. I liked how the politics of the region played into his treatment, view and expectations of her and how her naivety of the Western culture made it difficult for Amara to understand him.


In the hope of finding out some of his secrets, perhaps rescuing innocent children and also protecting her fellow omega’s, Amara makes an arrangement with Malloron. An arrangement which gives him use of her body, though really he has ulterior motives in mind. Can Amara find the information she seeks and keep herself safe too?


Unlike the first time I read this, I quickly found myself caught up in Amara’s story. I think I’d left too long a gap between reading the books last time and had lost some of the feel of the world. There are lots of dark elements in this story, though some of this was implied rather than experienced. I’m thinking in particular here about the treatment of the slaves as they were trained for and also served in the pleasure chambers.


Whilst I really liked Amara, there were times when she came across as quite naive. She didn’t believe Malloron over some things, like tainted food, yet at other times totally (and foolishly) trusted him. She also seemed to totally forget her mission at one point, though this was in part due to the manipulations of Malloron.


The chemistry between this couple was intense whilst the sex scenes had an element of BDSM about them. Whilst they weren’t really safe, sane or consensual at first, both parties found them an enjoyable experience – as did this reader! Most of the time Malloron treated Amara fairly well, even when he “punished” her at the end (and this was more mental than physical) he could never truly bring himself to be truly cruel to her. If dark and/or kink isn’t always your thing I’d still recommend the book since they were both fairly mild and minor in this.


Malloron is a deliciously depraved individual, the sort you love to hate to love. I’ve still not made my mind up if he is evil, or makes unpleasant decisions and choices for the greater good. I definitely liked him more by the end of the story than I did at the start, but there is still some way to go before he redeems himself.


There is lots of intrigue in the story and the twist at the end was TOTALLY unexpected. I can’t wait to see how this continues, I can’t even begin to imagine where we will journey next.


Reign to Ravage (Myth of Omega #5)




Zoey Ellis has created one heck of an amazing story with her Reign Trilogy.


She has my emotions ping ponging back and forth, one minute I liked Malloron, then I hated him, then I pitied him, then I sort of understood him then I wanted to throat punch him. Oh my word that man is frustrating, every time he seemed to be turning a corner – bam! – he messed it all up again. And then had the cheek to blame others for his shortcomings and short sightedness. Drocco is a sweet and caring guy next to this alpha-hole.


Amara felt much stronger, more determined in this story. Her suffering and heartache was endless and yet she was so happy too. This poor omega was subjected to so many trials and tribulations and just as she was getting a grip on things – wham! – a wrecking ball swings in out of left field and knocks everything sideways. I had zero idea how the story would progress and was constantly surprised by what DID occur. The tenebris reveal suckerpunched me as hard as it did Amara – all the clues were there but like her I was blind to the truth.


I did find the timeline of events a little confusing and ambiguous BUT I’m fairly certain that was in a large part a deliberate reflection of Amara’s perception and confusion. Her loss of vision and hearing left her adrift and unaware of so many things for quite a while. Along with Malloron’s manipulations of her and her lack of contact with others, it was no wonder she became so lost.


There were some amazing moments where Amara and Malloran connected on a deeply visceral level and I was easily able to believe in the feelings between this pair. Sadly neither of them truly understands or accepts the other yet – we have a long way to go in this magnificent story. I’m diving straight into the final book right now, Malloron needs to really earn some forgiveness!


Reign to Rule (Myth of Omega #6)



A very satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy.


I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve gone from hating Malloron to liking him to hating him again. Knowing some of the awful things that befell him as a child, though, it is easy to understand his lack of trust.


There was just so much story in this book, from the battle with other rulers, to the rescuing of the children, and the betrayal by those who should have been close to the couple, well there was always something happening. Always some mountain to climb. And through it all we had two enemies with trust issues being brought together by the bond of being true mates.


I loved how unpredictable the story was, and I was totally blind to some most of the foreshadowing in the book. I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough, and yet at the same time I didn’t want to ever finish the story. Particularly since Malloran and Amara are my new favourite Alpha/omega couple.


A fantastic omegaverse fantasy story series that I highly recommend.


BOOK REVIEW //\\ Myth of Omega Books 1-3



Crave to Conquer (Myth of Omega #1) by Zoey Ellis





4 Stars


I read this, and the second book, when they first came out, and despite buying book 3 a hectic arc schedule meant I never got around to reading it. This is my year for reading books I already own so I’m going to read that third book, but leaving it two years and more than a few hundred books later meant I needed to do a re-read of this and Crave to Capture. My original plan was to skim read, just flip through and remind myself of some key points that I’d forgotten. Ha! That idea soon dissipated into the ether because within minutes I found myself totally engrossed. So much so that I didn’t put it back down until I’d read the whole thing.


Cailyn is a my sort of heroine, feisty, strong, determined and clever. Drocco – well the jury is still out for him. He was arrogant, conceited, assuming and overbearing. His initial treatment of Cailyn, when he discovered her true dynamic, was horrific. He used some extremes of torture to try and break her down and, as with most M/f omegaverse stories, there was a considerable element of dubious consent. Many would argue that it veered into non-consent, and whilst that becomes an argument of semantics, the book definitely contains a few scenes that might trigger some.


Whilst Drocco did earn back some of my respect and affection when he made an effort to learn more about Cailyn, to try and understand what he had done wrong (duh, big stupid alpha male that he was) and to rectify some of his actions/decisions, his motives for that were still questionable. How much was because he wanted Cailyn to be happy and how much was his obsessive desire to ‘own’ an omega mate? The fact that they¬†could¬†be soul mates only added another layer of complication to the whole situation.


I really enjoyed how this omegaverse incorporated an element of magic, though I’ve loved the fantasy genre since my teens, when I’d read Anne McCaffrey, David Eddings and Katherine Kerr. The world building was good, the author created an interesting setting for her story and managed to develop our understanding of it without a huge information dump, but also in a way that never left us adrift in this new world.


I’m jumping into book 2 today, and find myself still only too happy to recommend this to those who enjoy darker Mf omegaverse.






Crave to Capture (Myth of Omega #2)





4.5 Stars

A fantastic read

My second read of this book, in preparation for finally reading book #3 and completing it. And I’m wondering how I ever left this incomplete. I’d forgotten just how amazing this series is, the writing has me gripped from start to finish, I’ve read the two books in less than 24 hours and will be starting the third book as soon as I’ve finished writing this review.


Drocco, Drocco, Drocco. What am I going to do with you? You travel half way around the world to recover your fated mate and then treat her like crap. Oh you foolish, foolish alpha. So many times I wanted to throat punch him. But then we get those scenes in the cottage where he goes all out to win Cailyn’s heart. Oh and his anguish and heartache when he thinks he has failed – that certainly had me tearing up.


It could have been easy to dislike Cailyn, after all she stubbornly held onto her dislike for an alpha that was clearly bending over backwards to show her his feelings. But this woman has been fed misinformation and half-truths since she was an infant. Discovering those lies opens her eyes to a whole new world of possibilities and I can’t wait to find out what happens next!


I am totally in love with this couple, they are such star-crossed lovers. Although Drocco manipulates the Talent to induce a Haze, and technically what results¬†could¬†be judged as dubious in consent, I still enjoyed every single moment. The writing is fantastic and the pace and complexity of the plot held me spellbound. I’m off to read book 3 now.


I know King Malloron is the hero of books 4 – 6. I’m wondering how Ms Ellis will convince me of that because I really, really dislike him at the moment.





Crave to Claim (Myth of Omega #3)




5 Stars

An outstanding conclusion to this epic and wonderful story.


I only have one regret, and that is how quickly I powered through this third book. I’m sort of wishing I’d forced myself to take me time, savour every word and stretch out the experience as long as possible. But I just needed to find out what happened next far too much to do that.¬†Zoey Ellis¬†has created a wonderful cast of characters and an amazing world for them to live in. The¬†Myth of Omega¬†series is a must read for anyone who enjoys omegaverse stories.


The lies, secrets and manipulations of the Mothers was astounding. What had started off with the best of intentions, a way to protect some of the most very vulnerable of females, had been warped by the bitter memories of an old woman. The last two books have very much been about Drocco’s growth, this time it was Cailyn’s turn, and boy did she have some making up to do to.


Great writing held me spellbound, had me on the edge of my seat with my emotions ricocheting all over the place! Oh my word do Cailyn and Drocco have to fight for their HEA, though thankfully it wasn’t against each other this time. I could feel every emotion, every hope and desire, every triumph and tragedy that beset the pair.


This books in this series have just gotten better and better. Looks like I’m going to be finding out more about King Malloron – even if he does seem like a complete arse.


Compulsion – Zoey Ellis

This is a thoroughly enjoyable novella.

Set in an omegaverse world that is low technology and contains magic (though we don’t experience that aspect in this book) the novella focuses hugely on the two main characters Roclan and Nyan.

I really liked both characters, and the author managed to include some important personal growth for Roclan. Not easy to achieve in a novella. The pair definitely had intense chemistry and overall this felt fairly consensual, so I wouldn’t classify it as dark. It’s a very good book to either try this as a new author or to sample what the MF Omegaverse worlds have to offer, without falling into the darkness of many other books in the genre.

There were times when I would have liked, in fact needed, to be experiencing the other MC’s point of view. Characters made some important decisions and we only saw those as observers, rather than experiencing those decisions via thoughts and feelings. It led to a feel of tell rather than show at times but that is a typical weakness of novellas, there just isn’t the time to tell a complex story, build character depth and convince us of a forever love.

Compulsion¬†is well written and, as I’ve already said, an enjoyable read. I do recommend it if you’re a fan of this author and if you’re looking for a quick, steamy, low angst omegaverse read.




Compulsion on GR – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49511713-compulsion




Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B082XDKQDB/
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B082XDKQDB/
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/compulsion-a-myth-of-omega-standalone
B&N – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/compulsion-zoey-ellis/1135664638?ean=2940163142026
Googleplay – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Zoey_Ellis_Compulsion_A_Myth_of_Omega_Standalone?id=djTFDwAAQBAJ