Kingdom of Flesh and Fire – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published September 1, 2020

A Betrayal…
Everything Poppy has ever believed in is a lie, including the man she was falling in love with. Thrust among those who see her as a symbol of a monstrous kingdom, she barely knows who she is without the veil of the Maiden. But what she does know is that nothing is as dangerous to her as him. The Dark One. The Prince of Atlantia. He wants her to fight him, and that’s one order she’s more than happy to obey. He may have taken her, but he will never have her.

A Choice…
Casteel Da’Neer is known by many names and many faces. His lies are as seductive as his touch. His truths as sensual as his bite. Poppy knows better than to trust him. He needs her alive, healthy, and whole to achieve his goals. But he’s the only way for her to get what she wants—to find her brother Ian and see for herself if he has become a soulless Ascended. Working with Casteel instead of against him presents its own risks. He still tempts her with every breath, offering up all she’s ever wanted. Casteel has plans for her. Ones that could expose her to unimaginable pleasure and unfathomable pain. Plans that will force her to look beyond everything she thought she knew about herself—about him. Plans that could bind their lives together in unexpected ways that neither kingdom is prepared for. And she’s far too reckless, too hungry, to resist the temptation.

A Secret…
But unrest has grown in Atlantia as they await the return of their Prince. Whispers of war have become stronger, and Poppy is at the very heart of it all. The King wants to use her to send a message. The Descenters want her dead. The wolven are growing more unpredictable. And as her abilities to feel pain and emotion begin to grow and strengthen, the Atlantians start to fear her. Dark secrets are at play, ones steeped in the blood-drenched sins of two kingdoms that would do anything to keep the truth hidden. But when the earth begins to shake, and the skies start to bleed, it may already be too late.


Ok so. Let’s see here. There’s a lot to unpack… 

I’m not sure if rushed is the word I’d like to tag onto to this book, but I feel like it is. I feel like it was mostly just build build build build build and BAM. But the building of the story didn’t really go anywhere…if that makes sense. I felt like there wasn’t a lot of substance between where Poppy ended (location wise) in the first book, and then like a week long trek to Atlantia…SO MUCH could have happened yet nothing did, nothing that impacted the story at least. And then WHAM out of nowhere the last like 10 minutes of the book, this huge thing/reveal happens OUT OF NOWHERE. I’m trying to be really respectful of those who haven’t read this yet. 

But man, I don’t feel satisfied with this book as much as I did with From Blood And Ash. First of all, I feel like Poppy ended up randomly overly violent out of the blue, there was no build up to it, why she decided she needed to resort to violence all of a sudden, I mean I know we see a glimpse of it in the first book but that’s for a legitimate reason. Then, I feel like there was so much depth and amazingness in the Wolven, like…why not spend time on them? I feel like there was so much that could’ve been replaced that was unnecessary that could’ve had some really cool Wolven stuff in it instead. AND THEN. My god, the end. WHY WHY WHY unleash an ending like that when there’s no precursor to any type of power/magic/being like that. We know Gods exist, magic exists, but like…how HOW does that reveal just happen out of the blue? I don’t understand it, unless I’m missing something completely I feel like Poppy went from 0 – 1000 really quickly. 

There was a good amount I enjoyed about this book though. I have to give it to JLA, her writing is just overall great. I love it, I can’t ask for anything better really. It just flows and keeps you hooked. I’ll admit it, I usually read two books at a time, this book was my SOLE FOCUS when I was reading it because I literally couldn’t be bothered with anything else because to me it’d be considered sub-par. Her writing style is just something that HAS TO be mentioned, it can’t be overlooked. THE SMUT SCENES. DEAR LORD. – do I need to say any more? I literally was blushing by the end of some scenes, my goodness. And I love Casteel and Poppy, they’ve quickly become one of my favorite couples. They remind me a lot of Jude and Cardan from the Folk of the Air trilogy. Which I also loved. 

I just think overall, yes it was entertaining but there was a lot that could be worked on. For a 600+ page book, I felt like there was a lot of dead air, in a sense. So hopefully the next book will be better, because I’m still excited to read it! 

3.75/5 Stars

 

Truth or Beard – Penny Reid

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid
Published : July 21, 2015

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my! 

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level-headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. 

His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.

Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?


For some reason I’ve really been wanting to read romance/chick-lit type of books. Which is SO weird for me. I’m not sure why, but I was DYING to read a book like this so it really hit the spot and kept me really satisfied as I read it.

So, I’m not saying I didn’t like this book but it was a bit predictable and/or just cheesy at times. And the writing wasn’t anything amazing, but I have to say there was something about the story and something about Jess and Duane that kept me going. I wish that there were more books about Duane and Jess but it seems like the rest of the books just follow through with the rest of the Winston brothers. I think maybe I’ll just keep reading them but MORE DUANE AND JESS PLEASE.

3/5 Stars

Review: Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker

31208654Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker

Published June 27th 2017

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.

For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?

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I am shooketh.
I was NOT expecting to love this book like I do. I’ve never read anything by K.A. Tucker before and even though I’m a hardcore sports fan, I’ve always hated New Adult books with athletes in them. The athletes are always written to be massive d-bags that sleep around and never put any work into their sport. I’ve never found that to a be realistic portrayal for a majority of professional athletes and it has always been frustrating to me. But K.A. Tucker has renewed my faith in NA writers.
Not only is Brett Madden not a massive d-bag, he’s actually written like a normal human. And he’s totally amazing but that’s not my point right now.
The main character, Catherine, is a bad ass single mom who is so well written and a joy to read about. She’s complex, hard working, and definitely a great example of what a women should be in New Adult books.
I could go on and on about how perfect I found this book. I loved everything about it and I highly recommended it. Until It Fades has become one of the best books I’ve ever read and I can’t wait to read more of K.A. Tucker’s books.
If you’re looking for a NA contemporary along the lines of Colleen Hoover, J. Lynn, Tia Giacalone, and J.A. Redmerski, you need to pick up Until It Fades.

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Recommendation Friday

RecommendationFriday

This week I’ll be recommending a newfound favorite of mine.

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Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She’d been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have…until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast where we discover that there is little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

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Making Faces has all the feels. I laughed, I cried, I had every emotion possible. This book has left a permanent imprint on my life.

The characters in this book are complex, well written, and each of them will teach you something.
Fern has bright red hair and was never highly favored in high school. She wasn’t outwardly pretty and she didn’t have a lot of friends besides her cousin, Bailey. Fern had some amazing character development even though it was subtle. She was an amazing character from the moment she was introduced so for her to have character development and become even better, I thought that was outstanding. Fern loves to read and write romance and there one poem she wrote towards the beginning of the book that has really stuck with me. It resonated with me very deeply and I’ve been thinking about it a lot.
Bailey is Fern’s cousin and best friend. He has muscle dystrophy, which is a disease that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle. For most of the book, Bailey is in a wheelchair and Fern cares of him and helps him a lot. There’s some flash back chapters so we get the chance to see how Bailey’s disease has affected his life and how it’s changed him as a person. Bailey is a one of a kind character. He’s extremely witty, caring, and is fully aware of his future. His voice in this novel is unique and I promise you’ll love him if you read this book.
Ambrose is a star athlete and he’s friends with Fern and Bailey. Ambrose doesn’t take a lot of notice of Fern and he’s caught up in his wrestling. His mother is near the towers during 9/11 and it’s not long after that he and his four best friends decide to enlist in the military. As the synopsis says, “five young men go off to war, and only one comes back”. Making Faces deals a lot with Ambrose’s PTSD, guilt, and pain. I felt like representation of Ambrose’s condition was very well done and much needed.

This book is nothing short of perfect. It’s complex, has outstanding characters, and diverse. Amy Harmon is such an incredible writer and even though I’ve only read two of her books, I’m so glad I have discovered her books. Both books that I’ve read have made a massive impact on my life and I’ll never forget them. Making Faces is a book that comes along once in a life time and I’m so glad I read it. I highly recommend reading Making Faces.

 

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Review: Making Faces by Amy Harmon

27237358Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Published October 12th 2013

Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She’d been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have…until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast where we discover that there is little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

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Dig my grave because this book killed me.

I read one of Amy’s other books, The Bird and the Sword last year and it became a favorite of mine right away. Like, I read The Bird and the Sword three times in a month. I’m obsessed with that book.
I was hesitant to pick up another book by Amy because I didn’t want to hype myself up so much that I let myself down. The Bird and the Sword is very big shoes to fill and I didn’t want to be disappointed because I got my expectations sky high. However, I shouldn’t have siked myself out. Making Faces is absolutely incredible and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Making Faces has all the feels. I laughed, I cried, I had every emotion possible. This book has left a permanent imprint on my life.

The characters in this book are complex, well written, and each of them will teach you something.
Fern has bright red hair and was never highly favored in high school. She wasn’t outwardly pretty and she didn’t have a lot of friends besides her cousin, Bailey. Fern had some amazing character development even though it was subtle. She was an amazing character from the moment she was introduced so for her to have character development and become even better, I thought that was outstanding. Fern loves to read and write romance and there one poem she wrote towards the beginning of the book that has really stuck with me. It resonated with me very deeply and I’ve been thinking about it a lot.
Bailey is Fern’s cousin and best friend. He has muscle dystrophy, which is a disease that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle. For most of the book, Bailey is in a wheelchair and Fern cares of him and helps him a lot. There’s some flash back chapters so we get the chance to see how Bailey’s disease has affected his life and how it’s changed him as a person. Bailey is a one of a kind character. He’s extremely witty, caring, and is fully aware of his future. His voice in this novel is unique and I promise you’ll love him if you read this book.
Ambrose is a star athlete and he’s friends with Fern and Bailey. Ambrose doesn’t take a lot of notice of Fern and he’s caught up in his wrestling. His mother is near the towers during 9/11 and it’s not long after that he and his four best friends decide to enlist in the military. As the
synopsis says, “five young men go off to war, and only one comes back”. Making Faces deals a lot with Ambrose’s PTSD, guilt, and pain. I felt like representation of Ambrose’s condition was very well done and much needed.

Overall, this book is nothing short of perfect. It’s complex, has outstanding characters, and diverse. Amy Harmon is such an incredible writer and even though I’ve only read two of her books, I’m so glad I have discovered her books. Both books that I’ve read have made a massive impact on my life and I’ll never forget them. Making Faces is a book that comes along once in a life time and I’m so glad I read it. I highly recommend reading Making Faces.

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Recommendation Friday

RecommendationFriday

This week I’ll be recommending one of my favorite books of 2016. Even though I read this book in May, I still think about it a lot more often than I probably should.

Fortune by Tia Giacalone

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A painter, a poet, a publicist, and a punk-rock princess… the boys of High Road Divide have no idea that this tour will change everything.

Tommy Fortune hadn’t realized he was looking for something different until he meets Cassandra Ryan. Soon their connection blurs the line between fame and reality, and it doesn’t take long for Cassandra to follow her inspiration into his world, where paint-stained hands and guitar strings become the basis of their future. But nothing is as perfect as it looks from the outside, and even the most exposed still have secrets to keep. When tour life gets complicated, loyalties will be tested on the road, and they’ll both learn that some harsh realities can’t be painted over.

What happens when an artist stuck in black and white falls for a musician who only lives in color?

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I read this book during a really busy couple of days and I had barely any time to read. But every spare second I had, I was reading Fortune. Whenever I had to put this book down, I was so upset because I just wanted to keep reading.

This book was so amazing. I knew that I would love it and I was super excited to read it but somehow this book was even better than I was expecting. This book blew me away.
I loved the characters so much. They’re so well written and developed. I loved how Tommy didn’t droned on and on about Cassandra’s looks. He cared about her as a person and he always put more value on her personality. He appreciated Cassandra no matter how she looked. And the same was for Cassandra. She didn’t go on about how hot Tommy was. Their relationship was so healthy and realistic. The banter and dialogue between the characters was perfect and I normally don’t really notice those things but I did with Fortune and I think that really shows how well written this book is.
I’m so picky with New Adult books because the plots usually suck and the characters and relationships are so problematic. But Fortune, and Tia’s other two books, are perfect examples of the New Adult genre. They showcase everything that this genre is supposed to be about. Every NA author, every author who wants to create incredible characters, should look to Tia’s books as examples because she has done everything right with her characters. I don’t think it gets any better than Tia’s books.

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Review: Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

28161530Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

Published June 14th 2016

The new series is set in Vermont. True North is populated by the tough, outdoorsy mountain men that populate the Green Mountain State. They raise cows and they grow apples. They chop a lot of wood, especially when they need to blow off steam. (Beards are optional but encouraged.)

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the orchard.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago.

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.

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I had bought this book on a whim after I seen an ad for it on Twitter. I thought it was really cool that the book took place in Vermont and I was very intrigued that one of the main characters was a farmer. Having grown up in a farming community, I was curious about how the author would portray farming life. I’m really picky about New Adult books so I didn’t have high hopes for Bittersweet at all. So I was extremely surprised by how much I loved this book.

I loved the characters so much, especially Audrey. She was really well written and was so witty.
I thought she had some pretty good character development.
I found Griff to be relatable and I definitely understood his choices and morals.

I really wish that Audrey and Griff had a better relationship. I know that their relationship was suppose to spawn from casual hookups but I wanted to read about an actual relationship. I felt like it went from sex to serious relationship too quickly and there wasn’t much time for development.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was fun and different and better than 99% of all the NA books I’ve read. I do wish the relationship was different and/or better written but that’s just a personal preference. I’m already looking forward to starting the next book in this series.

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ARC Review: Fortune by Tia Giacalone

IMG_4979Fortune by Tia Giacalone

Published May 31st 2016

A painter, a poet, a publicist, and a punk-rock princess… the boys of High Road Divide have no idea that this tour will change everything.

Tommy Fortune hadn’t realized he was looking for something different until he meets Cassandra Ryan. Soon their connection blurs the line between fame and reality, and it doesn’t take long for Cassandra to follow her inspiration into his world, where paint-stained hands and guitar strings become the basis of their future. But nothing is as perfect as it looks from the outside, and even the most exposed still have secrets to keep. When tour life gets complicated, loyalties will be tested on the road, and they’ll both learn that some harsh realities can’t be painted over.

What happens when an artist stuck in black and white falls for a musician who only lives in color?

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I read this book during a really busy couple of days and I had barely any time to read. But every spare second I had, I was reading Fortune. Whenever I had to put this book down, I was so upset because I just wanted to keep reading.

This book was so amazing. I knew that I would love it and I was super excited to read it but somehow this book was even better than I was expecting. This book blew me away.
I loved the characters so much. They’re so well written and developed. I loved how Tommy didn’t droned on and on about Cassandra’s looks. He cared about her as a person and he always put more value on her personality. He appreciated Cassandra no matter how she looked. And the same was for Cassandra. She didn’t go on about how hot Tommy was. Their relationship was so healthy and realistic. The banter and dialogue between the characters was perfect and I normally don’t really notice those things but I did with Fortune and I think that really shows how well written this book is.
I’m so picky with New Adult books because the plots usually suck and the characters and relationships are so problematic. But Fortune, and Tia’s other two books, are perfect examples of the New Adult genre. They showcase everything that this genre is supposed to be about. Every NA author, every author who wants to create incredible characters, should look to Tia’s books as examples because she has done everything right with her characters. I don’t think it gets any better than Tia’s books.

Overall, I loved Fortune. The characters, the plot, everything was perfect and even though I just finished this book, I really want to reread it. I was so emotionally invested in every aspect of Fortune. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

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Top 5 New Adult Books

I’m a big fan of the New Adult genre. I think it has a ton of potential and is the perfect in-between of Young Adult and Adult. I love how it can explore new settings that YA usually doesn’t. However, I’m very picky with NA and I’ve only read a handful that I enjoyed. So today I’m bring you my top 5 favorite New Adult books. I highly recommend these books and if you’re looking to get into the genre, these books would be perfect to start with.

5.November 9 by Colleen Hoover

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I loved every second of November 9. It was amazingly written and the characters were beautiful.

4.The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski

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The Edge of Never is actually the first NA book I read and it was my love for this book that drove me to explore the NA genre. I love the characters in this book and the plot was so amazing.

3.Wait for You by J. Lynn

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I’ve read this book twice and I still can’t get enough of this book. I fangirled so hard while reading Wait for You.

2.Hey Sunshine by Tia Giacalone

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I loved this book so, so much. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to reread it. I loved the plot and the characters. The writing was amazing. I could gush about this book forever.

1.Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

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Expertly written with an outstanding plot, Ugly Love is one of the best books I’ve ever read.

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Maybe Someday Read Along

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Hey guys,

Hope you’re having a great month so far! Just a quick reminder that we’re still going through with our Maybe Someday read along! Please feel free to join in whenever you please, our goodreads group has it’s discussion boards up and ready for whenever you’re all ready to join with us!

Also remember, if you post to social media use the #bibliomonthlyreads and we’ll be picking a winner for our To All The Boys I Loved Before giveaway! The book we’re giving away is signed by Jenny Han herself!

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