DNF this TikTok book

The Deal with the Elf King – Elise Kova

Fantasy, fiction. 

No rating/DNF

From the premise and the hype, I decided to give in to reading this. I didn’t care much for this book and never understood what the hype was. I lost interest after the first fifty pages. 

some more time traveling romance

Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander series Book 2) – Diana Gabaldon 

Historical romance, time travel, fiction.

Rating 8/10

Claire brings her daughter, Brianna, to find out what happened to Jamie with historical texts of a priest. After that encounter, she takes her daughter to the circle of stones and they go back in time. However, Claire reminiscences the moment when she had to go back to the present time because of Jamie. Jamie and Claire go on an adventure together for a lifetime in France and then get banned from France. Brianna doesn’t believe what happened until Claire shows her. 

This novel was good. I really loved it. This is the sequel to Outlander. However, there is a lot of back and forth between the present and the past when Claire returns to her original time to Frank while pregnant with her daughter. Then the novel jumps to the present of what’s going on with Brianna finding out. I feel that this could have been made into two books really. A lot is going on and it felt messy. I loved this though because, in the end, it fixed itself. Or rather Gabaldon made it this way because it’s so binge readable. This book is extremely long and beautifully written though. There are depictions of nature and the way the world looks both in the present and past. Claire’s love for Jamie felt more surreal than her love for Frank. I just suggest taking breaks in between the first book then this book. 

time traveling romance?

Outlander – Diana Gabaldon 

Historical romance, time travel, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Claire was a combat nurse in the year 1945 and later retired from the war to be a wife to Frank. Frank and Claire are on a second honeymoon to the British Isles. Claire stands within some famous stones and then is thrown into the past when Scotland was being torn asunder in the year 1743. She doesn’t understand what happened other than time travel brought her here for a purpose. Claire runs into some bad people and then is rescued by Jamie. Jamie takes her along with him for her safety and protection during these warring times. Claire will have to figure out a way to get back to her time or let her heart keep her to stay in this time. 

I had read this novel a long time ago and found it in my collection as I was trying to decide what I wanted to keep or donate. I loved this novel and I still love it presently. There is the historical fiction stance that I admire as well as the romance that buds between Claire and Jamie. I didn’t really care for Frank so I was excited to see that her heart warmed to Jamie. This was in fact a thick book and I forgot to complete the series so I am going to do my best to finish the series. There are so many books that continue her journeys. I love the descriptive writing and the plot that has so much depth. The characters as well. Can’t wait to find the rest of the series to get and read. 

omg loved this a lot

Return to Grace (The Grace Valley Series Book 1) – Bethany Surreira

Romance, contemporary, fiction. 

Rating 10/10

Leah has reached a peak in her life. She has a dream apartment, a dream job, and a handsome boyfriend. All in her dream place, New York. Her father calls for her to come home for her mother’s funeral and that is when everything comes crashing down. She loses her boyfriend over this and leaves town. When she arrives at Grace Valley she runs into an old flame, her ex-boyfriend Caleb who is now engaged. As she is residing in Grace Valley she slowly learns more about why her mother tried to come to New York as well as how Caleb’s mother felt. Deep down, Leah feels that this is her second chance with Caleb and with Grace Valley.

So this was another novel that was in the Romance Reveal Book Box (not sponsored). I swear whoever is packing my order seems to hit it right on the nose with what I want for a romance. This one was a slow burn but there was mostly plot which I appreciate. I do like reading something with spice but this was plot and wholesome. Leah returning back home felt as if it was her destiny. There are slow moments of the novel hence being a slow burn. The place Surreira describes and the inhabitants of Grace Valley felt so surreal and believable. I felt as if I stepped into this world. I just hated that Leah’s ex-boyfriend showed up after being an absolute arsehole to her and then tried to make a move to prevent her old flame from being cuddly. Caleb’s girlfriend was also a bitch and annoyed me so much. In the end, I was glad he cut things off. I found out the rest of the series is on Kindle Unlimited so I will be reading those.

witches, curses, romance, OH MY

The Ex Hex – Erin Sterling 

Romance, witches, magic, fiction. 

Rating 8/10

Vivienne was heartbroken and drunk which is a horrible combination and to add magic made it deadlier. She jokingly made a curse him. Nine years later, he returns but is having extremely bad luck. All he wants to do is charge the ley lines then leave. However, he runs into Vivienne who helps him go to the location. And that is where everything begins falling apart. Somehow his curse now spread to the entire town. Vivienne has to figure out a way to lift the curse from the town. 

This novel was slightly overhyped but I did like the premise. I loved the characters but the plot was just too crazy but somehow it was fixed. I have no other words besides I did like this novel and appreciated the randomness it had. It had some fantasy aspects which I did also appreciate.

perfect for summer reading

Specter: Circuit Book 1- Lacey Dailey

Romance, young adult, fiction. 

Rating 9/10

It took a long time for Sage to figure out who really rescued her from the drug dealers that held her captive. She opted to give the police all information but neglected to share where she got the hacking experience and assistance from Circuit. She decided to go find some thank you notes to give to them. Wren had been working at Circuit for nearly two years being a hacktivist meaning hacking for a good reason. They get a box but the box is labeled to him. He finds out it was Sage, the girl that they rescued. Sage and Wren’s lives are about to become more chaotic as they grow closer to each other. 

This novel was utterly sweet and very geeky. I loved it. I got this book through Romance Reveal Book Box (not sponsored) because I missed how they were able to pinpoint the type of romance I’d like. I had to do the subscription again and this time they brought more subgenres as options such as young adult fiction. The writing was interesting and the plot is excellent. The interactions with all the characters felt fresh and real which I love when dialogue is more relaxed. It makes the dialogue more believable. This was a really cute romance between Wren and Sage. I enjoyed this novel overall. 

just a fun and scary read

A Flicker in the Dark – Stacy Willingham

Psychological, thriller, fiction

Rating 9/10

Chloe is a successful psychologist and is to be married very soon to the man she loves. Just weeks before the wedding happens a teen girl goes missing. The same exact way that teen girls during their teenage years disappeared. Except the culprit was her father and he had been locked away for a long time. Investigators think it is a copycat and she begins to see a pattern when the teen girls are her patients. Driven to find out who the copycat killer she does her own investigating in the darkness. What she finds is more sinister than she originally thought. 

I loved the premise of the novel and had to immediately grab it. I found myself really invested in the plot and I had speculation about who was the copycat killer. There were so many plot twists that were phenomenal. However, the writing was excellent and I felt that the ending was anti-climatic. Everything else felt natural as far as interactions went. What bothered me was the author didn’t distinguish between what was in the present and the past. It felt very blended together which was oddly distracting. Other than that, this was really gripping and enjoyed reading this novel. 

sweet

Sing Me Home – Ava Hunter

Romance, fiction. 

Rating 8/10

Luke’s wife went missing nine months ago in a plane crash. Everyone thought she was dead until she appeared and called herself Jenny by his brother Seth. She is brought to a hospital after nearly drowning and Luke goes to her. Sal finds out who she really is and that the person who called her Jenny was taking advantage of her since she can’t remember. Sal has to slowly remember everything and Luke is at her side. 

I loved this novel. It is not within my realm of romance because of the fact this novel takes place within the country music genre. It was really sweet and I read it within one sitting because of the fact it’s short and the storyline was perfect. It helped me feel better cause when I read this I was feeling down and sad. The cuteness of this novel helped but I wished it was longer and that the end wasn’t so rushed. Overall, this was one of the books I got from the Romance Reveal Book Box and those people over there understand what I love. This isn’t sponsored by them but it’s a great subscription box.

tiktok made me buy yet another novel

A Broken Blade – Melissa Blair 

Fantasy, fiction. 

Rating 10/10

Keera is the most dangerous assassin and spy who is known as the King’s Blade in all of Faeland.  Keera isn’t perfect and knows it. She makes do with what she can to survive despite the consequences of her actions that led to innocents dying at her hands. The king asks her to find this Shadow who is causing havoc in the kingdom. When she confronts who the Shadow is, she finds the truth of what is going on. Keera decides to switch sides and makes an effort to save lives rather than take them away. She works with the Shadow to take down the Crown and ensure that no more innocent blood is shed. 

I heard about how the author did a clue hunt with this novel and was wanting to get the novel. I had no money at the time and I was anticipating reading it. I’m so grateful to have found a copy and I read it. I purposely left out a lot of details because the book is pretty hefty. Keera goes through some real pain and trauma as well as trying to find herself in this reality that she is placed under. I appreciate a good book about characters with flaws such as alcoholism and trauma because it makes the character have dimension and someone can relate to the character. Keera isn’t some damsel in distress but she is a warrior woman who knows she isn’t perfect but strives to try to better herself. This novel really has a lot of allegories of racism and inner healing portrayed through Keera and the world she is in the real world. Blair had a lot of insight into indigenous culture and colonialism. Especially colonialism and how it impacted indigenous cultures. I felt that the characters all felt real and the way Blair wrote them made me feel that they are real. These people go through real things and are faced with adversaries. This book made me feel so much and I absolutely enjoyed reading this. I want to see more of Blair’s writing because she is such a talented young new author with a passion that is deeply embedded in this literary work.

this was a trip to read

The School for Good Mothers – Jessamine Chan 

Thriller, mothers, institutions, Chinese American, single mothers, science fiction, motherhood,  fiction.

Rating 9/10

Frida decides to go take care of business and left her child at home for an hour and a half. While she is out running errands, she gets a haunting phone call that CPS (Child Protective Services) has her child. She temporarily lost custody of her child until she is proven fit and CPS put surveillance to ensure that Frida is following the rules. After the court ruling, she is sent to a rehabilitation school for bad mothers to be turned into good mothers. While there she learns that she has to fall in line with the system or face the consequences of losing her child. 

I thought this book wasn’t going to mess me up but then it did. This novel spoke about the realities of what POC and or poor mothers go through the scrutiny with CPS and child welfare. Chan really created a dystopia of what it really could be turned into in the future of child welfare, especially with the direction of technology and the increased standards of being parents. This fiction isn’t real but it reflects a lot of reality and it was so scary reading this because there is a lot of points that were made about how to be a mother and what it means to be a mother. I enjoyed reading this because of the realness and the rawness. The characters all had their reason to be at that institute and even though they are background characters, Chan made them important and relevant to the main character Frida and what she is going through. Their voices were as important as the main character. I do recommend this novel for those who are into this type of fiction but be forewarned this wasn’t easy to read either because these characters were made so realistic that I felt that I knew them personally.