Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, NetGalley, Sci-fi, Suspense, YA

Book Review: Smoke and Key ~ Kelsey Sutton

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Title: Smoke and Key
Author: Kelsey Sutton
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Date of Release: April 2, 2019
Pages: 304
Format: Kindle (NetGalley)

Imagine waking up as you were falling, but you’re different than you remember. The difference… you’re dead. You don’t know how you died, you have no memories. Now, those who were with you are slowly disappearing, and you have to find out why before you’re next.

While this was a bit of a slow start for me, it was still an interesting story.  The characters and the plot kept you guessing. It was interesting to meet some of the characters, such as Smoke, Journal and Ribbon. The story is told from Key’s perspective and the details of the world created was great. There was a romance aspect but it’s wasn’t a main factor. Kelsey Sutton’s writing is stunning. It’s engaging and she tells quite the story. The pace was just a bit slow, which kept this from being a 5-star review. I’m interested to read more of her work.

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Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, HEA, LGBTQIA, NetGalley, Romance, Sci-fi, YA

Release Blitz & Book Review: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Modern Romance ~ Madeline J. Reynolds

THE TIME TRAVELER’S GUIDE TO MODERN ROMANCE BY MADELINE J. REYNOLDS

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Link to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35500906-the-time-traveler-s-guide-to-modern-romance


Purchase Links:

Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Link to Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-the-time-travelers-guide-to-modern-romance-by-madeline-j-reynolds/


Giveaway Details:

  • One winner will receive a $15 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

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The Time Traveler's Guide to Modern Romance by Madeline J. Reynolds 

The Time Traveler’s Guide to Modern Romance

by Madeline J. Reynolds

Publication Date: March 4, 2019

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Elias Caldwell needs more than his life in nineteenth-century England has to offer. He’d rather go on an adventure than spend one more minute at some stuffy party. When his grandfather gives him a pocket watch he claims can transport him to any place and time, Elias doesn’t believe it…until he’s whisked away to twenty-first-century America.

Tyler Forrester just wants to fall hopelessly in love. But making that kind of connection with someone has been more of a dream than reality. Then a boy appears out of thin air, a boy from the past. As he helps Elias navigate a strange new world for him, introducing him to the wonders of espresso, binge-watching, and rock and roll, Tyler discovers Elias is exactly who he was missing.

But their love has a time limit. Elias’s disappearance from the past has had devastating side effects, and now he must choose where he truly belongs—in the Victorian era, or with the boy who took him on an adventure he never dreamed possible?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Madeline J. Reynolds is a YA fantasy author living in Chicago. Originally from Minneapolis, she has a background in journalism and has always loved storytelling in its various forms. When not writing, she can be found exploring the city, eating Thai food, or lost in an epic Lord of the Rings marathon.

Website • Twitter • Instagram • Goodreads


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I thought this was a very endearing story of two different time periods colliding. Elias Caldwell comes from the 19th century where everyone views him as a disappointment. Tyler is from the 21st century and his stepmother is wicked. Elias finds out after a dreadfully embarrassing incident, his grandfather time traveled and now is bequeathing the time travel watch to Elias so he can find his own adventure. I thought this was absolutely adorable. I think Elias may be my favorite character in this story. His personality and curiosity were endearing to read. Traveling from the 19th century where it was frowned upon to be yourself to modern day where it’s basically accepted can be jarring. It was nice to have Tyler there to help Elias adjust. I loved the dual point of views, but I thought the romance aspect was a little lacking. I think it would have been better for Elias and Tyler to be companions. I wouldn’t say the romance felt forced, I could see a relationship developing with a little more time. This was my first story by Madeline J. Reynolds and I’ll be adding her to my list of authors to look for in the future!


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Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, HEA, Romance, Sci-fi, YA

Book Review: Julian ~ Anna Katmore

Julian


Title: Julian
Author: Anna Katmore
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Magical Realism, Romance, YA
Publisher: Wicked Whale Publishing
Date of Release: December 28, 2013
Pages: 411
Format: Kindle (YA Bound Book Tours)

Jona never thought her life would turn out the way it did the day she was dropped at the orphanage at the young age of 5. Now that she’s 17, her life’s about to get a bit complicated. When caught shoplifting, she was faced with two options, go to prison or stay with her mother and family in France until her 18th birthday. Not having a great relationship with her mother, she chose prison… but we wouldn’t have a book if she got her way. Forced to spend time with her mom and family, Jona is determined to not enjoy herself. The problem? Julian… mom’s “caretaker”. He seems to know her every move… before she even makes it! As Julian and Jona get close and get to know each other, each day becomes more complicated. Can anyone find happiness, before it’s too late?

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, my issue is that it took a while to get into. The beginning is a bit slow, but it picks up around chapter 3. It definitely drives home the message of how important forgiveness is and how you never knew what you had until it’s gone. I adored Julian, it wasn’t hard to figure out who he really was… given the cover. I thought Jona was a bit of a brat. Don’t get me wrong… she’s earned that right to be, however… she was so much of a brat you tend to forget she’s turning 18 soon. Overall, the writing was great, with great character development. Definitely worth a read!

Book Review, Book reviews, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, HEA, NetGalley, Romance, Sci-fi, series, Suspense, YA

Book Review: The Darkest Star ~ Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Darkest Star


Title: The Darkest Star (Origin Series, Book 1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: Tor Teen
Date of Release: October 30, 2018
Pages: 358
Format: Kindle (NetGalley)

I’m not even sure where to start! We finally get Luc’s story! And it all starts with a broken promise…

Evie Dasher is probably one of the best friends you can ever have. Not wanting to let her friend, Heidi, go clubbing alone. What she did not anticipate was the club getting raided and meeting Luc, the club owner. Evie can’t explain it, but she is drawn to Luc, not realizing there was something special about her. She makes all types of assumptions about Luc, some are close, but others are way more than even she can imagine. As she gets closer to Luc, danger lurks and she’s closer to finding out the truth. Is it a truth she can handle?

OMG… I loved this story! You get updates from some of your favorite characters of the Luxen series, kinda like a “Where are they now?” situation. Luc is an awesome character. He’s witty, highly intelligent, literally has the best collection of t-shirts, and has a depth to him you don’t get in previous books. It’s interesting how close to reality some of the actions in this story are. You get to meet some interesting characters and some you will just out and out hate. The story doesn’t end with a cliffhanger, but I can’t wait for book 2!

Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, HEA, Sci-fi, series, YA

Book Review: Fate of Elements ~ M. Stratton

fate of elements


Title: Fate of Elements (Skeleton Key)
Author: M. Stratton
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: M. Stratton
Date of Release: June 13, 2016
Pages: 122
Format: Kindle (Lady Amber’s Review)

The prophecy states a god will come through the Skeleton Door and unite the elements: Air, Earth, Fire, and Water. There will be a battle, but in the end, the elements will unite.

Hallet, King of the Fire Element, has been trying to warn the others the prophecy is coming true, and they must unite because they don’t know what’s on the other side of the door. The other king and queens are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their people. The only problem is the unknown…

Raina Owens kept her head in a book… who doesn’t love a girl who reads?! She always lived vicariously through the characters in books in hope of an adventure. She gets the adventure of a lifetime when she finds out about an uncle she never knew about.  She finds a mysterious key, and her adventure starts. She meets Hallet as soon as she passes through the door, and immediately recognizes him from all of the dreams she’s had. Together, she trains for the upcoming battle. Will she be able to unite the elements, or will they all perish in the end?

I tore through this in one sitting. I absolutely adored the kings, Hallet and Erion, King of the Air Element. Naida, Queen of the Water element was extremely likable, however, Dayna, Queen of the Earth element was pretty despicable… which I hate to say given the dedication at the beginning of the book. The only thing I would change, I would make the story a little longer! I enjoyed this story. It’s a part of a series, but I had a hard time figuring out which book is first, as each book is written by a different author. It sounds like an interesting concept, and I would love to read more of it!

Book Review, Books, Fiction, HEA, Suspense, YA

Book Review: Triplicity ~ J. Mercer

triplicity
Title: Triplicity
Author: J. Mercer
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, YA
Publisher: Bare Ink
Date of Release: January 6, 2019
Pages: 226
Format: Kindle (YA Bound Book)

Triplicity: (n) a group or combination of three; triad.

Meet Isaiah, Jesse, and Navy as they adventure to Alaska on a cruise, with their families and each one hiding a secret. As the three get to know each other, things start to go missing. Each one falling under suspicion, can the three of them find the real thief before the ship docks one last time and things get worse?

While I figured out quite early who the thief was, I loved how each character was complexed and their backstories were extremely intriguing… some were heartbreaking and others were just outright complicated. The writing and storytelling kept me on the edge of my seat, needing to know what happens next. Each teen was likable in their own way. However, the majority of the adults didn’t have any redeeming qualities. For some people, that may be a drawback, but it drew me in. It intrigued me to see how the teens would navigate the seven days at sea. It was my first book by J. Mercer, and definitely not my last!

Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Sci-fi, series, Suspense, YA

Book Review: Dream Keeper ~ Amber R. Duell

Dream Keeper

3-and-a-half-stars
Title: Dream Keeper (The Dark Dreams Trilogy, Book 1)
Author: Amber R. Duell
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, YA
Publisher: The Parliament House
Date of Release: January 29, 2019
Pages: 288
Format: Kindle (YA Bound Books Tours)

The Sandman is in danger! In an attempt to save himself, he bound the Weaver to his realm of Nightmares. However, to truly keep himself and the outside world safe, he had to plant the dream of what it took to protect the world in someone else’s head. Enter Nora… just about the only person who believes the Sandman is real. Sandman plants the dream in her and protects her every night. But what do you do when the hold on the Weaver weakens and he’s able to send nightmares after her, making all of her nightmares come true? Create a human form, of course! But unfortunately, there’s only but so much you can do with your human form, and Nora has her own free will. Nora makes a choice that not only affects her but it will affect the Sandman and the Weaver as well, and the consequences, well… they are dire!

This story is told from a dual POV of Nora and Sandman, which I thought was great, however, I found myself loving the chapters of Sandman’s POV. Chapters narrated by Nora slightly dragged for me. I also found her to be a bit frustrating. She made decisions based on how she felt in the moment (as people tend to do), but when you are not in your element, can you really afford to do that? I would have loved a POV from the Weaver. He was witty and engaging. I’m intrigued enough to follow the story, but I would love a book of just the Sandman and the Weaver to get some backstory and interactions!