Release Day Review: The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine
Ravenspire #2

An epic, romantic, and action-packed fantasy inspired by the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, about a bastard princess who must take on an evil fae to save her brother’s soul, from C. J. Redwine, the New York Times bestselling author of The Shadow Queen. Perfect for fans of Graceling and the Lunar Chronicles.

The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.

Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.

But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.

I really enjoyed THE WISH GRANTER! Honestly it was a bit of a surprise for me as Rumplestiltskin never really was my favorite fairy tale, but the author has won me over with this retelling. I was fully hooked from page one until the very end. Not one moment felt slow or lagging, which is rather impressive as it's decent sized book. Sure it's not action, action, action the entire time, but there's plenty of time spent building the characters and the story. 

I especially enjoyed seeing how much Ari grew from the start until the end. In the beginning she's uncomfortable in her newfound princess skin, and it really shows. But as time goes on, while she'll never be a traditional princess (NOT a bad thing) she does truly start to find her way. Navigating court politics is tricky enough, without even adding in their troubles with the Wish Granter. Speaking of character growth, Sebastian, the love interest grew an incredible amount as well. He truly was rather admirable, and honestly the perfect match for the new found princess.

All in all, THE WISH GRANTER was a very enjoyable retelling, that kept me hooked from the start. C.J. Redwine is two for two in this fantastic series, and I can't wait to see what fairy tale she'll tackle next!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     The Eater of Books!
     Quite the Novel Idea

Previous Books:
     1. The Shadow Queen

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Kirsten Reviews: Feedback by Mira Grant

, by Kt Clapsadl

Feedback by Mira Grant
Newsflesh #4

FEEDBACK is a full-length Newsflesh novel which overlaps the events of New York Times bestseller Mira Grant's classic Feed and follows a group of reporters covering the Democratic side of the Presidential campaign.

There are two sides to every story...

Mira Grant creates a chilling portrait of an America paralyzed with fear. No street is safe and entire swaths of the country have been abandoned. And only the brave, the determined, or the very stupid, venture out into the wild.

Step inside a world a half-step from our own in this novel of geeks, zombies, politics and social media.

Feedback by Mira Grant, aka Seanan McGuire is the fourth book in the Newsflesh series and picks up the story with an entirely new cast of characters.This isn’t the place for new readers of the series to start, as there are spoilers for other books, but it does connect with previous events, from a fresh perspective.

Following the Rising, there’s been a shift in journalism, that being, it’s now done through blogging. Aislinn, Audrey, Benjamin, and Matt are housemates who all happen to be bloggers. They cover different industries, from makeup to news and fiction. Events start to move quickly when they’re picked to cover the campaign of Susan Kilburn, the blue pantsuit-wearing Democratic presidential candidate. Covering the Republican nominee are the Masons, who readers will remember from Feed.

Of course, no presidential campaign has ever run smoothly, and a zombie outbreak is the kind of disruption that makes more than a few headlines. On top of that, there’s a bigger conspiracy at work, and the bloggers soon find themselves targeted for uncovering and telling the truth.

For anyone who wants to be up to date on the series and the world, start at the beginning of the series, but anyone who doesn’t mind potential spoilers can pick it up here and enjoy a story full of zombies, journalism, and an interesting cast of characters trying to report the news and stay alive.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     All Things Urban Fantasy
     Hot Listens
     Brad K. Horner

Previous Books:
     1. Feed
     2. Deadline
     3. Blackout

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Early Review: The Turn by Kim Harrison

, by Kt Clapsadl

Early Review: The Turn by Kim Harrison
The Hollows #0.1

Can science save us when all else fails?

Trisk and her hated rival, Kalamack, have the same goal: save their species from extinction.
Death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government's new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague takes the world, giving the paranormal species an uncomfortable choice to stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or to show themselves in a bid to save them.

Under accusations of scientific misconduct, Trisk and Kal flee across a plague torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin, but not everyone thinks humanity should be saved.

Kal surreptitiously works against her as Trisk fights the prejudices of two societies to prove that not only does humanity have something to offer, but that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic, and humanity itself can turn to understanding; that when people are at their worst that the best show their true strength, and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found.

Oh. My. Goodness. THE TURN was so incredibly good, I'm going to have a very hard time writing this review without overly gushing like an utter fan girl. This book is everything I've been missing without my latest hollows fix. I have to admit I wasn't sure a prequel could live up to the epicness of Rachel, Ivy, Jenks, and Trent, but oh it does. Trisk is fierce and incredibly determined, but an outcast setting her up to be the obvious favorite, and Kal is a privileged slimeball to say the least making me loathe him at times. However, what made this a truly standout read is that neither character fits fully into those good/bad labels. There's just so much more to either of them, but I won't spoil things, just suffice it to say there's MUCH more than first meets the eye with both of them.

Now onto the plot, which while I knew what the outcome of THE TURN would be, the journey was a pleasant surprise every step of the way. I really enjoyed seeing how everything unfolded and honestly now I want to go back and re-read the entire series to see if some of the details in this book were hinted at in the original books. It definitely won't be a hardship. :)

I have searched everywhere to see if this prequel is a standalone, or the start of a new early Hollow series, but I can't find any info. I truly hope it's the latter because this book was utterly fantastic and I want so much more. Simply put, THE TURN was everything I had hoped for, just an utter treat. Fans of the Hollows should have this on their auto buy list pronto!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Between Dreams and Reality
     Tome Tender
     Hidden in Pages

Previous Books:
     1. Dead Witch Walking
     2. The Good, the Bad, and the Undead
     3. Every Which Way But Dead
     4. A Fistful of Charms
     5. For a Few Demons More
     6. The Outlaw Demon Wails
     7. White Witch, Black Curse
     8. Back Magic Sanction
     9. Pale Demon
     10. A Perfect Blood
     11. Ever After
     12. The Undead Pool
     13. The Witch with No Name

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Blog Tour Release Day Review: The Ghoul Vendetta by Lisa Shearin

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Ghoul Vendetta by Lisa Shearin
SPI Files #4

Men in Black meets Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum in the fourth urban fantasy novel in the series starring seer Makenna Fraser and her fellow agents at Supernatural Protection & Investigation.

The agents of Supernatural Protection & Investigations (SPI) are paid to keep the peace. But that’s not so easy when an endless evil threatens to tear that peace to pieces...

A vampire gangster’s nephew is abducted off his yacht by a bunch of low-rent Creatures from the Black Lagoon. A slew of banks are knocked over by what looks like the cast of Night of the Living Dead. All of this may seem like the movies, but, I promise you, it’s not.

I’m Makenna Fraser, seer for SPI, and I know the culprits aren’t wearing disguises or makeup. They’re real. Deadly real. Especially their leader—an ancient shapeshifter who leaves a trail of chaos and blood in his wake. Now, he’s taken my partner, Ian—and his intentions aren’t pretty.

The worst part? This is only the beginning...

The beginning of the end of the human race.

This series is so much fun, I absolutely love it. Each book is a solid block of entertainment and THE GHOUL VENDETTA was no exception. There's so much humor between the phenomenal cast of characters despite all the very dark things they have to deal with. This time around was a doozy, and yet the story never once lost that sense of levity that I truly enjoy about it. Mac is fierce, but in a focused little engine that could type of way rather than your typical take no prisoners heroine. Her self deprecating humor mixed in with her determination to serve and protect is a breath of fresh air. You honestly never know what she's going to do next, but somehow she always comes out on top in the strangest of ways. She's unpredictable and admirable, and I just adore her for it. The rest of the characters are honestly top notch as well. From Mac's partner Ian, who is the definition of the perfect supernatural cop, to her mischievous lover, Rake, who is still a mystery, but oh so yummy, and to the rest of the SPI crew, simply fantastic.

Speaking of fantastic, man was the plot behind THE GHOUL VENDETTA one heck of a roller coaster ride. I read this book in one setting because I simply couldn't put it down. With each new release, Lisa Shearin has upped her game and brought higher stakes and bigger character developments, but this one takes the cake. Perhaps it's due to the fact that it hits very close to home for the SPI crew, but it just felt so much more intense. I won't spoil things, but trust me when I say you'll be on the edge of your seat while reading this one!

I couldn't have asked for a more enjoyable read. I truly hope there are many more books in this fantastic series to come!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Previous Books:
     1. The Grendel Affair
     2. The Dragon Conspiracy
     3. The Brimstone Defection

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Kirsten Reviews: Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

, by Kt Clapsadl

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
Sorcerer Royal #1

Magic and mayhem collide with the British elite in this whimsical and sparkling debut.

At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, freed slave, eminently proficient magician, and Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers—one of the most respected organizations throughout all of Britain—ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up.

But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, he sets on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain—and the world at large…

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho begins the Sorcerer Royal series slowly, but the book soon picks up and the series should be well-received if it’s as funny and fast-moving as it starts off to be.
Zacharias Wythe is a freed slave and an exceptionally good magician as well as being the Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers—one of the most respected organizations in all of Britain. In spite of this, he is constantly dealing with the insults, bigotry, and even threats on his life leveled at him by the “best” of upper English society. At the same time, Zacharias is not without his own prejudices, as he thinks that women are simply too fragile to handle the raw power of magic - that is until he meets one Prunella Gentleman, a powerful young woman who soon changes his mind, even as she turns his head.

Meanwhile, England’s magical stocks are dwindling, there are powerful witches and others interested in taking advantage of any perceived weakness, and things soon get very exciting, or dangerous, if not both and Zacharias and Prunella have no need to look for trouble, as it’s probably chasing them.

There’s a lot going on in the writing as well as the world-building, and stylistically, this book has a bit of Austen, a dash of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, and even some of Georgette Heyer. All of these comparisons are valid, but the book manages to balance all of that nicely. The story is therefore easily read by anyone who isn’t a huge fan of historical fiction and might otherwise be put off by it, here there’s as much modernity as one can get away with while not ignoring the time period.

Although the book moves rather carefully at first, its pace accelerates to keep things lively and bring all the plotting to an ending that leaves one intrigued at where the story will go in further books.
(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     Rabid Reads
     The Bibliosanctum
     Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda Books

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Review: Phantom Kiss by Chloe Neill

, by Kt Clapsadl

Phantom Kiss by Chloe Neill
Chicagoland Vampires #12.5

In this all-new novella from the New York Times bestselling author of Midnight Marked, Merit, Ethan, and the rest of Cadogan House crew discover that not all undead creatures are kindred spirits…

Vampires generally aren’t afraid of things that go bump in the night, but Merit and Ethan are extra jumpy after a recent attack by a dark sorcerer. So when they learn that someone is messing with graves in Chicago’s cemeteries, stealing skulls and snatching souls, they fear that their powerful foe might be back for even more magical vengeance.

But after a specter begins haunting Cadogan House—and targeting vampires—they realize that they're being taunted by an altogether different sort of monster. A ghoulish villain straight out of the Windy City’s urban legends is on the prowl—and he won’t stop until he’s killed again...

I cannot believe this series is almost over! This novella is perfect for fans like me, who are just not ready to say goodbye to these awesome characters. It's a very quick read, but in true Chicagoland style, PHANTOM KISS is action packed and a lot of fun from start to finish. There's just something about these characters that keeps me begging for more. This time around a ghost is at the helm of the trouble which made for an interesting read, but it was the extra time spent with Ethan and Merit's relationship that I enjoyed even more. I really enjoy the two of them together, and sometimes the frantic pacing of the main books overshadows their relationship, so it was a definite treat to have more focus on them in this novella. Fans of the series will be more than pleased with this fantastic novella!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Goldilox and the Three Weres
     a GREAT read
     Fangs for the Fantasy

Previous Books:
     1. Some Girls Bite
     2. Friday Night Bites
     3. Twice Bitten
     4. Hard Bitten
     5. Drink Deep
     6. Biting Cold
     7. House Rules
     8. Biting Bad
     9. Wild Things
     10. Blood Games
     10.5. Lucky Break
     11. Dark Debt
     12. Midnight Marked

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Kirsten Reviews: Conspiracy of Ravens by Lila Bowen

, by Kt Clapsadl

Conspiracy of Ravens by Lila Bowen
The Shadow #2

Monsters, magic and the supernatural combine in this sequel to Wake of Vultures, in which a young woman must defeat the evil hiding beneath the surface.

Nettie Lonesome made a leap -- not knowing what she'd become. But now the destiny of the Shadow is calling.
A powerful alchemist is leaving a trail of dead across the prairie. And the Shadow must face the ultimate challenge: side with her friends and the badge on her chest or take off alone on the dangerous mission pulling her inexorably toward the fight of her life.

When it comes to monsters and men, the world isn't black and white. What good are two wings and a gun when your enemy can command a conspiracy of ravens?

Conspiracy of Ravens continues the exciting journey begun in Wake of Vultures as Nettie Lonesome discovers that she, and the world, are more than what they seem.

Conspiracy of Ravens is the second installment in author Lila Bowen (aka Delilah S. Dawson's) The Shadow series. The book picks up right where Wake of Vultures left off.

Nettie Lonesome had just realized that she could choose to be who she wants to be, that being transform into both a boy and a giant bird. She jumps off a cliff in order to literally spread her wings, lands as Rhett Hennessy and soon finds another shapeshifter named Earl O’Bannon.

At first there is some antagonism between the two of them, but Earl does tell Rhett a few things, including the fact that there is a railroad owner by the name of Trevisan who likes to cut limbs off monsters that he employs in order to use them in magic rituals. Whether the protagonist be Nettie or Rhett, as the Shadow, they share a stubborn streak that can get them into trouble at times.

Rhett decides that Earl’s story should be investigated and so takes him to the Durango rangers. Along the way, Earl assists Rhett in gaining more insight into his transformation and helps him learn how to remember what he sees as a bird after he changes form back into a man.

Going to see the Rangers gives readers the opportunity to catch up with a few characters from the previous book including Sam, the Coyote siblings Dan and Winifred, and The Captain. The Rangers have taken a commission to hunt down Sand Wyrms and this job will take them far away from Earl and Rhett’s destination. Rhett has to choose between going with the Rangers or act as The Shadow and follow the pull to track down the danger Earl has told him about. Winifred, Sam, and Dan decide to come along with Rhett and Earl and they make quite the troupe of characters.

While Rhett might want to burst into Trevisan’s camp and break up whatever evil scheme is playing out, that’s not the right move and it wouldn’t be as enjoyable as what does happen. The group works together to learn more about Bernard Trevisan, the way he runs his railroad camp, the horrible way he treats his workers as little better than dumb beasts to be used as labor until they give up, and the dynamics between the characters work well. Rhett has learned more about himself and continues to figure out how to use his abilities while also facing a few setbacks throughout the book which help him continue to mature.

The blend of fantasy and western elements give this series a lot of directions to explore and further adventures should continue to give it more depth.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Tenacious Reader
     The Tattooed Book Geek
     Shelf Quest

Previous Books:
     1. Wake of Vultures

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Review: Dragon Spawn by Eileen Wilks

, by Kt Clapsadl

Dragon Spawn by Eileen Wilks
World of the Lupi #13

The New York Times bestselling author of Mind Magic returns as FBI agent Lily Yu gets some very bad news…

Lily learns she was right. Tom Weng—a powerful sorcerer allied with the Old One who keeps trying to take over the world—is still alive. But that's not the worst. Weng is a dragon spawn, the product of a botched hatching given a human form in an attempt to keep him from going mad. A failed attempt.

Meanwhile, Lily’s husband Rule is facing a Challenge to the death. Then there’s the possible reappearance of another sorcerer. But none of that matters when their enemy strikes out of nowhere in the worst way possible. Lily must face a nightmare and return to a place she never wanted to see again. The place where she died…

Wow was this one heck of a whirlwind read. I feel like this series has seriously ramped up and has taken off with a ginormous bang. There's no sign of things slowing down, that's for sure, especially when you consider the almost cruel cliffhanger this DRAGON SPAWN ended with. In so many cases, even in much loved series, by the time you get to the 13th installment things have drastically changed, and it's just dragging on. But that's simply not the case here. So much happens and it's just as fresh and exciting as the first book, if not even more so. Very impressive to say the least. 

Speaking of impressive, I especially enjoyed the balance the characters brought to DRAGON SPAWN. While the action and events continued at an almost frenetic pacing, there still were moments of levity and true depths of emotion to round things out. Gan's outlandishness stole the show for me and I loved how she could make me giggle at the most absurd of times considering what the rest of the characters were going through. Add that to the large and varied cast, and the multiple romances, and it was just a very enjoyable installment. Fans of the series should be more than pleased and I can't wait to get my hands on the upcoming book to see what happens next!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Gizmos Reviews
     The Genre Minx Book Reviews
     Just Talking Books

Previous Books:
     1. Tempting Danger
     2. Mortal Danger
     3. Blood Lines
     4. Night Season
     5. Mortal Sins
     6. Blood Magic
     7. Blood Challenge
     8. Death Magic
     9. Mortal Ties
     10. Ritual Magic
     11. Unbinding
     12. Mind Magic
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Kirsten Reviews: Skyborn by David Dalglish

, by Kt Clapsadl

Skyborn by David Dalglish
Seraphim #1

The first in an all new fantasy series from USA Today bestseller, David Dalglish.
The last remnants of humanity live on six islands floating high above the Endless Ocean, fighting a brutal civil war in the skies. The Seraphim, elite soldiers trained for aerial combat, battle one another while wielding elements of ice, fire and lightning.

The lives of their parents claimed in combat, twins Kael and Breanna Skyborn enter the Seraphim Academy to follow in their footsteps. There they will learn to harness the elements as weapons and fight at break-neck speeds while soaring high above the waters. But they must learn quickly, for a nearby island has set its hungry eyes upon their home. When the invasion comes, the twins must don their wings and ready their blades to save those they love from annihilation.

Skyborn by David Dalglish is the first book in the Seraphim series. In a world where the last of humanity live on six islands that float above the Endless Ocean, people fight war in the sky. Their soldiers are the Seraphim, soldiers who wield elements such as fire, ice, and lightning and being trained in aerial combat.

The last remnants of humanity live on six islands floating high above the Endless Ocean, fighting a brutal civil war in the skies. The Seraphim, elite soldiers trained for aerial combat, battle one another while wielding elements of ice, fire and lightning.

After twins Breanna and Kael Skyborn’s parents are killed in battle they decide to follow in their footsteps and learn how to wield the elements and fight while in flight. These lessons have to be learned quickly as the people on a nearby island are looking to take over their home. Not only that, but as they learn how to be Seraphim, they make friends as well as enemies and must also try and navigate the romantic and political landscape of a world that is undergoing massive changes.

The twins are well fleshed out, but are rather predictable in terms of their characterization and genre tropes. Bree is more impulsive, and while she excels at flight, cannot control her fire element ability while Kael is the typical ice-wielding character and is much calmer.

This book gets off to a bit of a slow start, but the plot and pacing pick up in the second half and brings the story to a satisfying conclusion. Readers who are looking for a lot of world building and stories set in schools with training and magical elements will find this series to be a good fit and want to continue the rest of the series.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     The BiblioSanctum

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Review: Moonshadow by Thea Harrison

, by Kt Clapsadl

Moonshadow by Thea Harrison
Moonshadow #1

Her past is a blank, her future uncertain….

Recovering from a shooting, LAPD witch consultant Sophie Ross leaves her job and travels to the U.K. to search for answers about her childhood. When she encounters a Daoine Sidhe knight of the Dark Court, she becomes entangled in an ancient hatred between two arcane forces.

He has given his body and soul to fight for his people….

Barred from his homeland along with his surviving brother knights, Nikolas Sevigny is embroiled in a conflict that threatens everything he holds dear. Only by uniting his people’s resources can they hope to prevail against Isabeau, the deadly Queen of the Light Court. He will do anything and use anyone to return home to Lyonesse.

When Nikolas encounters Sophie, he sees a tool to be used. The insouciant witch might be the key to unlocking every passageway that has been barred to the knights of the Dark Court, even as a fascination for her takes root in what’s left of his soul.

Sophie has no intention of becoming anyone’s pawn, yet the fierce Nikolas is so compelling, she can’t deny the temptation that endangers her guarded heart.

As magic threatens Lyonesse, Queen Isabeau unleashes her merciless Hounds, and Nikolas and Sophie become embroiled in a race for survival. Meanwhile, the passion that ignites between them burns too hot to be denied and quickly turns into obsession.

Thank goodness they both know better than to fall in love…

MOONSHADOW had all the great things I've grown to love about the main Elder Races books. The rich world behind these books is simply amazing, and I'm practically giddy at the limitless possibilities this new spin off has opened up. With a whole new race and otherland, a new nemesis, and cast of characters I'm utterly delighted at the new path these books are taking.

Hands down without a doubt, enemies to lovers is by far my favorite trope and MOONSHADOW had this in spades. There's just something so very delicious about a hero and heroine completely at odds with each other. Sure Sophie and Nik aren't technically enemies in the truest sense, but as they couldn't stand one another at the start and they bicker nonstop (well other than during the parts that they couldn't keep their hands off each other), that trope holds true in this case. I can't tell you how many times I giggled out loud at some of the incredibly outlandish things that Sophie would say to him. And of course he gave her a run for her money as well. Even as they slowly became a couple of sorts, that combativeness between them only lessened. I'm a word, this couple together were simply, delightfully fun.

What can I say? MOONSHADOW was simply fantastic. I loved every single moment of this book and am so glad Thea is continuing this phenomenal world in this spin off series. I can't wait to see what's in store next. 1-click this one right now! You won't regret it!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     The Book Nympho
     Angel's Guilty Pleasures
     Tome Tender

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