Duchess D


ARC Review: Gilded Cage

 

Title: Gilded Cage

Author: Vic James

Series: Dark Gifts #1

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy?

Release Date: February 17, 2017

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Synopsis:Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

 

Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / Kobo

Gilded Cage was a book that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. The premise was intriguing; a servant girl falls for a forbidden boy while uncovering his family secrets and a slave boy fights for a revolution. When I received this book, I thought I was going to get romance, action, and mystery, but I didn’t get that.

Gilded Cage has a well-developed plot. The many complex characters with various motives and goals create an elaborate and complex story. The many moving parts feel more like a movie than a novel. Most books that have more than one POV fail to distinguish between the different voices. That wasn’t the case with this book. Although, the characters were complex enough to recognize, the main characters, Abi and Luke, fell into the background and I couldn’t connect with them at all.

Also, I didn’t understand the purpose of Luke and Abi’s parents. They were present, but never did anything to progress the story. They seemed unnecessary and I felt that if they were removed from the story altogether nothing would change.

On the other hand, my favorite characters were Luke, Renie, and Silyen. Renie was a bold and mighty 12-year-old girl and Silyen felt the most complex. His scenes were always the most interesting. Luke went through the most character development; he went from a weak boy to a fearless rebel through the course of the story.

My biggest problem with the book was the writing technique. The writing itself is good, but too descriptive to the point it became wordy.

“A couple of centuries ago Harding Matravers, heir of an impecunious and obscure line, had decided to put his derided Skill for weatherwork to good use.” (21% of ARC copy, subject to change for final copy)

The entire book is written like this, extremely wordy and unnecessarily long. It’s not too difficult to understand, but it forces you to peruse through the reading rather than get lost in the words. The overall effect is a slow-paced and occasionally-boring read.  

For a fantasy book, there isn’t much action or thrill in this book, but an abundance of political drama. We get a lot of information, some even unnecessary in my opinion and combined with the long, detailed writing the book became a hard book to read.

Lastly, I’m very disappointed with the romance in this book. The synopsis made me think that romance would be a big part, but it’s hardly mentioned at all. Through a handful of interactions, Abi falls for one of the brothers and I don’t understand why. Their relationship resembles more sibling than romantic. Regardless, the relationship itself is so insignificant, it could be eliminated from the book and it wouldn’t matter.

Honestly, I think Gilded Cage would be better for upper YA and Adults, because I can’t imagine a lot the younger readers enjoying this. To be fair, a major problem was I was expecting a different story than the one we got. The lack of action, wordy writing, many POVs, and the absence of romance was not what I was expecting. Then again, now that you know what you’ll get, maybe you’ll enjoy this read.

 

*I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*


Teaser Tuesday: A Boy Like You by Ginger Scott

We’ve got a great teaser for you today! Check out this upcoming Contemporary Romance,

A Boy Like You

by Ginger Scott

 

A BOY LIKE YOU

Ginger Scott

YA Contemporary Romance
Scheduled to release: March 3, 2017

They say everyone’s a superhero to someone. I’m not sure who I’m supposed to save, but I know who saved me.

We were kids. His name was Christopher. And up until the day he pulled me from death’s grip, he was nothing more than a boy I felt sorry for. In a blink of an eye, he became the only person who made me feel safe.

And then he disappeared.

Now I’m seventeen. I’m not a kid anymore. I haven’t been for years. While death didn’t take me that day, the things that happened left me with scars—the kind that robbed me of everything I once loved and drove me into darkness. But more than anything else, that day—and every day since—has taken away my desire to dream.

I wasn’t going to have hope. I wouldn’t let myself wish. Those things—they weren’t for girls like me. That’s what I believed…until the new boy.

He’s nothing like the old boy. He’s taller and older. His hair is longer, and his body is lean—strong and ready for anything. I don’t feel sorry for him. And sometimes, I hate him. He challenges me. From the moment I first saw him standing there on the baseball field, he pushed me—his eyes constantly questioning, doubting…daring. Still, something about him—it feels…familiar.

He says his name is Wes. But I can’t help but feel like he’s someone else. Someone from my past. Someone who’s come back to save me.

This time, though, he’s too late. Josselyn Winters, the girl he once knew, is gone. I am the threat; I am my worst enemy. And he can’t save me from myself.

 

Add to Goodreads

Preorder on Amazon / iBooks /  Kobo / B&N

 

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless and In Your Dreams.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Youtube / Google / Goodreads / Website 


Review: Red Winter Trilogy by Annette Marie

 

The Red Winter (Red Winter #1) by Annette Marie 

In a few short months, Emi’s mortal life will end when she becomes the human host of an immortal goddess. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess—and not once has she doubted her chosen fate.

Shiro is a spirit of the earth and an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can’t match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command—whether she wants him or not.

On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate—but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope … and hope is all she has left.

RED WINTER includes 10 full-page illustrations by award-winning artist Brittany Jackson.

There was a time where every book I read left me unimpressed and frustrated. Not only did I lose my zeal for reading, but I couldn’t even enjoy the little pleasures in life (Bit dramatic I’m afraid, but stick with me). Luckily, the Book Gods looked down at me in pity and revealed a hidden gem on the Amazon website (it’s FREE on Kindle Unlimited!). That book is Red Winter by Annette Marie.

Red Winter is about a young girl, Emi, chosen to host a the spirit of one of the four most powerful spiritual entities, Amaterasu. During a small rebellious act, Emi runs into a Kitsune, Shiro, who  agrees to help her discover the truth… Or does he (dun dun dunnn)?

I’m not going to spoil the book for you so it’s best you just read it for yourself. The story is very unique, I’ve never read any books about Kami’s, Amatsukami, Kamigakari, or any legend in Red Winter. There is so much to learn about this complex world, but it never becomes overwhelming or confusing, even with presence of some of the more particular names. Each character stands on their own and contribute to the overall story in cohesive manner.

Emi was such a delight. I loved her transformation, she went from an obedient slave to a passionate fighter. Although, Shiro was my favorite character. I knew a little about Kitsune’s, because of Teen Wolf (but that was loosely based on the myth), but not to the degree explained in this book. I can’t wait to learn more about Shiro and his mysterious past.

The writing is brilliant. It’s easy to lose yourself in the vivid imagery the author creates, the story flows through one scene to another with almost no effort.

“The hall of worship had two levels and bore a traditional roof in the shape of a shallow pyramid covered in clay tiles, with eaves that curled upward like once-rolled paper that would no longer lie flat.”

And I loved the drawings! There are some images that are drawn in the book that helps the reader picture the scene and they are very talented. It was a nice addition to the story.  

Red Winter was exactly the type of book I was searching for in my reading drought. It had action, suspense, romance, mystery, self-discovery, and so much more. More people should be talking about this book and I hope word spreads, because Red Winter deserves to be acknowledged. I HIGHLY recommend it.

 


 

⊗ WARNING ⊗

 

*If you haven’t read the first book, I suggest you read it BEFORE reading this synopsis, but my review contains no spoilers (just fangirling  lol) so feel free to read the review ONLY.*

 

Dark Tempest (Red Winter #2) by Annette Marie

Emi has dedicated her life to becoming the perfect vessel for the goddess Amaterasu, but the insidious betrayal of another deity has changed everything. Now Amaterasu has charged Emi with an urgent mission: to find and free the earthly gods before mankind is brought to its knees beneath divine tyranny.

At her side is Shiro, the mysterious fox spirit. When she first saved his life, she could never have imagined that behind his cunning and confidence, he was lost—his power bound by a devastating curse and his memories obscured. His veiled history is somehow tied to the missing gods, but he can’t remember how or why.

As their search leads them into the murky depths of the spirit realm, the shadows of Shiro’s past begin to emerge. With each brief awakening of his true self, she loses a little more of him. The fate of the heavens and earth rest in her mortal hands, and she must find the missing gods before time runs out for her world—and for Shiro.

DARK TEMPEST includes 10 full-page illustrations by award-winning artist Brittany Jackson.

This review is more of a rant than a review so take it with a grain of salt. 

SO MUCH IS HAPPENING! I CAN’T CONTAIN MYSELF!

This series is my new obsession and I can’t get enough of it. I want everyone to read it, pet it, hug it, and never let go. It’s so easy to lose yourself in the story, I’m in awe. I’ve read a lot of books (re: A LOT of books), but I’ve immersed myself completely into a story only handful of times and Dark Tempest is one of them.

I picked up the sequel immediately after finishing the first book and I am NOT disappointed. Dark Tempest picks off right where Red Winter ended and doesn’t slow down at all. I think I like this one better than first book, because there was so much happening and we gain a deeper understanding of the characters. We slip through one perilous situation to another without any breaks or relief (I loved it!).

I liked Emi in the first book, but I LOVE Emi in the second book. She’s come a long way to the badass fighter she is now. I’m so proud. And Shiro…Shiro…Shiro. I can’t get enough of him, it’s unhealthy, but I don’t care. I just want to snuggle with that Kitsune. There are a few twists in this book that I didn’t see coming, but WOW. Just WOW.

Please read this series. I want more people to check it out. You will not be disappointed. I can’t wait for the last book in the trilogy, but I feel I must prepare myself. Shits about to go down

 

UPDATE: CLICK HERE FOR REVIEW OF THIRD AND FINAL BOOK OF THE RED WINTER TRILOGY


Cover Reveal: Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

As you’ve probably seen in my Most Anticipated Books of 2017 post, Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel is one of the books I can’t wait to read. I know the release date seems so far away, but at least we have a cover now! 

 

Check out the cover for Meg Kassel’s upcoming release, Black Bird of the Gallows!

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

TADA!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t it a beauty? Sooo pretty ♥

 

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Title: Black Bird of the Gallows

Author: Meg Kassel

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Synopsis: A debut novel about a teenage girl who discovers the new boy next door is a harbinger of death, and who must find a way to survive in a town destined for tragedy.

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full. Harbingers settle in places where tragedy is about to strike, then feed on the energy of the dying. Then, they leave. Off to the next doomed place. No one wants a family of harbingers of death as neighbors, but that’s exactly what seventeen-year-old Angie Dovage gets when Reece Fernandez moves in next door.

Angie knows the mysterious boy is more than he appears, but can’t imagine that his presence heralds a tragedy that will devastate her small community. But her fears run deeper than Reece’s inevitable departure, because where harbingers of death go, grotesque, ruined creatures called Beekeepers follow. And where Beekeepers go, fear and chaos and death follows.

Angie wants to protect everyone she cares about, but stopping the Beekeepers involves a choice that will claim her life or Reece’s soul. She will learn the price of both.
 

 

Links:

Add to Goodreads

Preorder on Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo

 

 

Connect with the Author:

Website / Twitter / Goodreads


ARC Review: Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones

 

Title:  Eleventh Grave in Moonlight

Author: Darynda Jones

Series: Charley Davidson #11

Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Mystery

Release Date: January 24, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis: A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

 

Goodreads / Amazon / B&N

Darynda Jones has proven once again why the Charley Davidson series is one of my favorite books to read. This story holds a special place in my heart, not only because it was one of the first Adult books that I’ve read, but because I can’t get enough of the characters.

You will not find another Charley- trust me, I’ve looked. She is a special character that can make you giggle with her quirky attitude and upbeat sense of humor. She’s also a strong protagonist that can fight her own battles and stand up for herself when the occasion arises. Reyes is another obsession of mine. He is just so compelling and male, but still insecure and a little broken.

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight deals with Reyes’ upbringing and readers get to learn more about his childhood, which tugged at my heart, but I also got a better understanding of him. I must say that he turned out very well considering his sordid past. I might actually be a little in love with him, which doesn’t dwell too good for me since he only has eyes for Charley, but I’ll cure my broken heart by reading more books about him.

Also, I miss Beep and I want to see her grow up and interact with everyone. I want to get to know the child of Charley and Reyes and I hope we get to see more of her in the next installments. I’m still rooting for a spin-off for her (*fingers-crossed*).

And that ending! It’s cruel to leave us with that ending. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book, because you can’t just leave readers with that ending. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t talk much about it, but be prepared…you’ve been warned.

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight incorporates everything I love about the series- the characters, humor, mystery, writing, and pretty much everything else. It would be tragic to miss out on this experience, so I suggest you check it out.

*I received my copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*


Meet Charley Davidson in the very fist book,

First Grave on the Right

This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.
Or a diagram of some kind.
A flow chart would have been nice.

Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can’t she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?

With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.

 

Goodreads / Amazon / B&N


ARC Review & Excerpt: The Neighborhood by Stylo Fantome (+Giveaway)

 

 

It’s Release Day for The Neighborhood by Stylo Fantome!

 

Check out my review and an excerpt!

 

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win $50 Amazon Gift Card.

 

Title: The Neighborhood
Author: Stylo Fantome
Series: Twin Estates #2
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: January 17, 2017
Rating: 3.5 Stars

SummaryThings a bad neighbor can do to you:

1. Have loud parties late at night

2. Refuse to mow his lawn

3. Steal your newspapers

4. Rip your heart out and walk all over it

Katya Tocci is willing to admit that she may have bitten off more than she could chew.

Liam Edenhoff showed her a side of life she’d been missing out on – sex and friendship and tacos. But then he betrayed her.

Wulfric Stone taught her that big surprises can come from unexpected places – like from a surly, aggressive, withdrawn bastard. But then he broke her heart.

Now one of them wants forgiveness, and the other wants forever. And Katya? She just wants to forget.

Who knew neighbors could be so difficult?

This story contains scenes of a graphic sexual nature, multiple uses of coarse language, and quite possibly enough confusion to drive a normal person insane. Reader discretion is advised.

 

99c for a limited time!

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited

The Neighborhood is about Katya, our protagonist, is stuck between two very different, but incredible guys. After the events of Neighbors, Katya feels betrayed, hurt, and a little vengeful. The Neighborhood deals with Katya’s progression through the pain to gaining confidence while contemplating which boy is the right one for her.

This book surprised me. Not only were there some nice twists that I didn’t expect, but the tone of this book is different than the first one. The Neighborhood felt deeper and more profound than Neighbors. Self-reflection, enlightenment, and finding who “you” are is a frequent theme, especially towards the end. We also get a deeper understanding of the characters, their fears and goals, as well as previous experiences that made them who they are today.

Don’t be alarmed though, there is romance in this book. A lot of romance, so you will get your fill of steamy, hot action. The two suitors couldn’t be more different in my opinion. Liam is literally the boy-next-door. He has a fun, joyful, laid-back personality that makes it easy to adore him. But he doesn’t hold a candle to my main man, Wulf (even his name is intense). Wulf is a more toned-down, empathic (well, more emphatic) version of Jameson Kane from Stylo Fantome’s Kane Trilogy. He’s that “manly” man if that makes sense. He’s driven, confident, and demanding. He doesn’t deal with bullshit and always gets what he wants. I mean, what else do you look for in a man?

When it came to our heroine, Katya, I have mixed feelings. Although she learns from her mistakes and begins to transform into a better person, I just didn’t like the way she handled the situation originally. I understand why she did what she did, but it doesn’t make me like her any better.

Despite Katya’s unsavory decision, the journey towards her self-discovery made this book better. I know the romance industry is convoluted with so many books, and it can be overwhelming to choose one, but I highly recommend Stylo Fantome’s books. Give this series a try if you like romances, dominant males, and a strong character development.

P.S. if you haven’t read the Kane Trilogy then I feel sorry for you. You are a missing out on  THE Jameson Kane, A.K.A. Satan.

*I received an ARC from the author for an honest review.*

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Most Anticipated Books of 2017 (Part 2)

So, I cheated. It was suppose to be Top 10 Most Anticipated Books, but my list grew to Top 13. But hey, the original list was close to 25 so I think I did good.

Don’t forget to check out Part 1: Queenie’s Most Anticipated Books of 2017! 

 

*Random order*

 

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

September 12th

“What’s your favorite scary movie?” Come on, this is a dream come true for me.  Ask anyone who knows me- Scream is my favorite movie of all time. OF. ALL. TIME. And now there’s a YA book inspired by Scream?!? This is my most anticipated read of 2017! I’m ready to read this and I don’t even know the synopsis yet. I’m so excited I could SCREAM (Get it? HA!).

 Goodreads Amazon / B&N / Kobo 

 

 

 

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

May 2nd

Who isn’t counting down the days until the release date? Don’t lie- we all are. I need more Rhys in my life. If you haven’t read the previous books, don’t worry, you still have time to catch up before the release of the third book. 

Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / Kobo

 

 

 

The Gatlon School for Vigilantes (The Gatlon Trilogy #1) by Marissa Meyer

November 7th

These are the stories I live for- vigilante stories! Which reminds me, why don’t we have more vigilante books? There’s an untouched niche in the YA world. You’re welcome, future authors.

 Goodreads / Amazon 

 

 

 

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

February 28

Pirates! Just wait until I get my hands on you…ahem, I mean the book. The book. Lucky for us, this one has one of the closer release dates so we don’t have to wait too long. 

Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / Kobo 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

March 7

Another fantasy, you say. Another epic story, I say. This is the sequel to one of my favorite books of 2016. I can’t believe it’s going to be a year since Rebel of the Sands released. Feels like just yesterday I was taking a stroll through the treacherous desert.

Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / Kobo

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty

May 9

Spies? Matchmaking? In a fantasy setting? Where do I sign? I know I’ve listed more than enough Fantasy books, but something about this genre that intrigues me. And a book about a female spy in a complex world will always catch my interest. 

 Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / Kobo

 

 

 

 

Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George

Unknown Publication Date

A historical retelling of Shakespear’s Much Ado About Nothing. Set in the prohibition-era. On Long Island. Am I dreaming? I must be dreaming, because there’s no way such a fantastic book is being released. But, boy, am I excited!

 Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / Kobo 

 

 

 

 

 

A Boy Like You by Ginger Scott

March 3rd

Ginger Scott and contemporary romance go together like marshmallows and hot chocolate. Don’t take this for granted. She writes one of the best romances I’ve ever read and that’s saying something.

Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

September 7

It’s about the boy-next-door. But instead of being the nice kid on the block, he’s a harbinger of death. PLOT TWIST. I’m a sucker for forbidden romances and this feels like one of those. 

 Goodreads / AmazonB&N / Kobo

 

 

 

 

The Wishing Heart by J.C. Welker

Unknown Publication Date

Thieving Protagonist? CHECK. Enslaved Jinni? CHECK. Dangerous mobsters? CHECK. Sounds epic? CHECK.

 Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons) by Leigh Bardugo

August 29

From the author who brought us Kaz Brekker, we will get Wonder Woman! I’m so excited for this book even Superman couldn’t stop me from reading it. Leigh Bardugo + Wonder Woman = Mind. Blown.

Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / Kobo 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The F Word by Kiley Roache

June 27

I haven’t heard much about this book, but that synopsis caught my attention. A feminist girl pledging to join a sexist fraternity to expose their crimes! Stop. Just stop. I can’t handle the awesomeness.

 Goodreads / Amazon /  B&N / Kobo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn

July 18

That cover pulled me in. This looks like a fun a read and sounds like a cute hate-to-love romance- my favorite kind of romance.

Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / Kobo 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want more Anticipated Books of 2017?  If you haven’t seen Queenie’s Top 10 Most Anticipated Books then CLICK HERE.

We love discovering new books, so tell us your most anticipated book of 2017. Although I have more books than anyone needs on their to-reads, I can’t help searching for more. Tell us down below!