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A Dance Like Flame by Tammy Blackwell eARC {5 Stars}

A Dance Like Flame by Tammy Blackwell eARC {5 Stars}

A Dance Like Flame by Tammy Blackwell (Of Magic & Machine #1)
Published by Author on April 4th, 2017
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Romance, Steampunk
Page Length: 403 pages
How I got my copy: Author
Amazon - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

She’s the daughter of an earl with a secret no one can know. He’s a mage who has sacrificed everything to save those he loves. They were born worlds apart, but inside a city drenched in magic, anything is possible.

Unmarried at the age of six-and-twenty, Lady Elizabeth “Bits” Warner has become a burden to her family. Therefore, she isn’t surprised when they pack her on a train bound for Scotland and a fiancé she has never met. She’s not surprised, but she is terrified.

In Corrigan, a walled-off city that serves as refuge to those capable of using the aether to cast spells and concoct potions, Ezra Nash is devoted to healing the sick and injured. Between his work as a surgeon and caring for his sisters, he doesn’t have time for distractions.

When the train Bits is traveling on explodes, she finds herself inside the gates of Corrigan and under Ezra’s care. The two are drawn to one another, but it will take more than attraction to overcome the difference in their stations and the secrets they hide from the world.

5 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of A Dance Like Flame from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh is the sequel to the luscious Thousand Nights retelling, The Wrath and the Dawn. I listened to both on audiobook and enjoyed them, though the focus of this story is clearly more on the romantic relationship and less on the awesome magic for my taste ;-).

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Rose and the Dagger from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
Narrated by Ariana Delawari
(The Wrath and the Dawn #2)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on April 26th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Page Length: 420 pages
Audio Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel makes it clear right from the start that it is a sci-fi romance! It’s got some steamy scenes within the first two chapters, while also introducing a vast space filled with starships and pirates and possibly corrupt governments. I’m becoming more and more a fan of the romantic sci-fi subgenre since there is just something appealing about a sci-fi setting with a strongly character-driven plot.

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Cold Between from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel {Just Hatched}

The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel (Central Corps #1)
Published by Harper Voyager on March 8th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance, Sci-fi
Page Length: 528 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

When her crewmate Danny is murdered on the colony of Volhynia, Central Corps engineer Commander Elena Shaw is shocked to learn the main suspect is her lover, Treiko Zajec. She knows Trey is innocent—he was with her when Danny was killed. So who is the real killer and why are the cops framing an innocent man?

While retracing Danny’s last hours, they discover that his death may be tied to a mystery from the past: the destruction of a Central Corps starship at a wormhole near Volhynia. For twenty-five years, Central Gov has been lying about the tragedy, even willing to go to war with the outlaw tribe PSI to protect their secrets.

With the authorities closing in, Elena and Trey head to the wormhole, certain they’ll find answers on the other side. But the truth that awaits them is far more terrifying than they ever imagined—a conspiracy deep within Central Gov that threatens all of human civilization throughout the inhabited reaches of the galaxy . . . and beyond.

4.5 Stars

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Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

Legacy of Kings is a fantasy romance based loosely on the early life of Alexander of Macedonia, later known as Alexander the Great.  Since he was one of my favorite people of the ancient Middle East, I eagerly volunteered to read and review this book and gave it a solid six chapters before I realized that this is not a book for me.

Published by Harlequin Teen, it fits into the Harlequin Romance genre of bodice rippers.  Every woman in the book is lusting after the closest handsome man, and even young women who start out as strong-willed people with missions of their own are literally chasing after the guy who they turned down within a chapter or two.

For some readers, this semi-historical romance will be a good fit, but I just could not get further in the book to give a final review.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Legacy of Kings from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman {Just Hatched}

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman (Blood of Gods and Royals #1)
Published by Harlequin Teen on August 18, 2015
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Romance
Page Length: 432 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains, and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedon's sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world, but finds himself drawn to a newcomer…

Katerina must navigate the dark secrets of court life while keeping hidden her own mission: kill the queen. But she doesn't account for her first love…

Jacob will go to unthinkable lengths to win Katerina, even if it means having to compete with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince.

And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander's unmet betrothed, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the shocking details of real history, New York Times bestselling author of Sex with Kings Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known, Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

1.5 Stars

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The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh Audiobook {3 Stars}

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights and the start to a new fantasy series. I listened to the audio version of The Wrath and the Dawn, which messed up my reading experience a bit I think, but it also turned out to be still not the right kind of romance to woo my cold cold heart ;-). Really, if the description of The Wrath and the Dawn appeals to you, you’ll probably love it. If not, then you’ll probably be like me and enjoy the lovely writing, but not fall madly in love with the story.

Note: I received an audio copy of The Wrath and the Dawn from the publisher. Listening to the audiobook greatly influences my reading experience.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh Audiobook {3 Stars}

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Narrated by Ariana Delawari
(The Wrath and the Dawn #1)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 12th, 2015
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy, Romance, YA
Page Length: 395 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas {3 Stars}

Crown of Midnight is the second in the much loved Throne of Glass series that I seem to be the black sheep about still ;-). There aren’t any big spoilers to worry about below, so no worries there. I had listened to the previous book and novellas on audio and the narrator really didn’t click for me, so I decided to read Crown of Midnight physically to see if that helped my reading experience with Celaena ;-).

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas {3 Stars}

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #2)
Published by Bloomsbury on Aug. 27th, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Page Length: 418 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie...and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner eARC {4 Stars}

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner is the companion novel to These Broken Stars and is in some central ways similar to the previous book, but in many ways the tone differs. After the completely shocking ending of These Broken Stars, This Shattered World really could never promise the same degree of plot twist. It was therefore lovely to read a story that stands on its own while still expanding what we know about certain whispery creatures and the galaxy-wide coverup going on. I seriously can’t tell you how excited I am for book three now >.>. Don’t miss the giveaway and special pre-order offer (to get a signed copy!) at the bottom of the post!

Note: I received an advanced copy of This Shattered World from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner eARC {4 Stars}

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner (Starbound #2)
Published by Disney Hyperion on Dec. 23rd, 2014
Genres: Romance, Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 390 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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This Night So Dark by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner {3.5 Stars}

This Night So Dark by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner is a connecting between between These Broken Stars (which I loved!) and This Shattered World (which I hope to love soon!). It is free on Amazon, so I figured I’d give it a shot even though I normally don’t read novellas ;-). It is quite short and a fun adventure with a bit of Lilac and Tarver to swoon at, but I ended up not feeling particularly attached to the idea of everyone reading it, though I guess I’ll see if my opinion changes after reading This Shattered World.

This Night So Dark by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner {3.5 Stars}

This Night So Dark by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner (Starbound #1.5)
Published by Disney Hyperion on Oct. 7th, 2014
Genres: Novella, Romance, Sci-fi
Page Length: 109 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Tarver still has nightmares about the night, six months before the Icarus crash, when he rescued a group of civilian researchers being held hostage by brutal mercenaries. Now Tarver and Lilac must reconcile his memories of that fateful night with the truth that they uncovered on a mysterious planet after the Icarus crashed.

3.5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher ARC {4 Stars}

The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher is a romantic sci-fi about a future where humanity’s creations have taken over: human-insect hybrids rule the world now. I’ve always said that I’m not against romance, I just want there to be another plot and the romance needs to be convincing. The Ophelia Prophecy is a perfect example of this done well; I loved the romance and was intrigued by the world and mystery that Asha has set out to solve.

Note: I received The Ophelia Prophecy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Some things may be different in the final version.

This book has adult content.
The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher ARC {4 Stars}

The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher
Published by Tor Books on April 1st, 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance, Sci-fi
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Our world is no longer our own. We engineered a race of superior fighters -- the Manti, mutant humans with insect-like abilities. Twenty-five years ago they all but destroyed us. In Sanctuary, some of us survive. Eking out our existence. Clinging to the past.

Some of us intend to do more than survive.
* * *
Asha and Pax -- strangers and enemies -- find themselves stranded together on the border of the last human city, neither with a memory of how they got there.

Asha is an archivist working to preserve humanity’s most valuable resource -- information -- viewed as the only means of resurrecting their society.

Pax is Manti, his Scarab ship a menacing presence in the skies over Sanctuary, keeping the last dregs of humanity in check.

Neither of them is really what they seem, and what humanity believes about the Manti is a lie.

With their hearts and fates on a collision course, they must unlock each other's secrets and forge a bond of trust before a rekindled conflict pushes their two races into repeating the mistakes of the past.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz ARC {4 Stars}

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz tells three love stories set in a world where Arthurian magic and legends are very much still true and alive at the turn of the 20th century, where a princess doesn’t want to be the queen and a young witch would happily take her place. The setting of The Ring and the Crown is deliciously fresh with elements of steampunk (alternative historical setting), fantasy (magic!), and romance (the feels!!). While I’m not actually much of a romance person  myself, the characters in The Ring and the Crown won me over easily and I found myself very much caring about how all of these relationships (romantic and platonic) would work out.

Note: I received The Ring and the Crown from the publisher for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz ARC {4 Stars}

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz (The Ring and the Crown #1)
Published by Disney Hyperion on April 1st, 2014
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Romance, YA
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve?

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world's only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.

But even with the aid of Emrys' magic, Eleanor's extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen's Guard.

Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie's face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she's always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she's always dreamed of--the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor's court: trust no one.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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