In a Gilded Cage, from Mia Kerick

Good morning, beauties! Welcome to my review for In a Gilded Cage, a lovely Rapunzel M/M retelling from Mia Kerick *–* I received my copy from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review to be posted during their book tour for this title. Thank you so much, guys! It was an amazing experience =D

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Prin is a boy with a mission: to succeed in life. After a childhood with barely enough food to eat, Prin is ready to the next step of life: college, working, getting famous and getting rich. Not necessarily in that order, as he really needs the money as soon as possible.

To make sure he’ll have the necessary funds to move to Boston once he graduates and that he won’t be a burden to his awesome loving parents, Prin arranges a job as the gardener of Damien Gothan’s ridiculously large Estate. With soccer practice, his college classes and assignments and a world of lawn to mow, one would expect Prin to have his head completely focused on his life goals.

Well, Prin had managed to accomplish that until he lays eyes on Lucci, Damien’s heavily guarded son. What began with a giggling and playful race across Gothan’s gardens soon becomes an obsession to Prin. Who is Lucci and why no one seems to know him? Why does Damien guard him so fiercely?

More importantly: How will Prin manage to see Lucci again?

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Me after finishing this book:

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Sugar Season, from Spencer Spears

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(Alternative title: OH MY STARS, THIS BOOK WAS TOO PERFECT FOR MY LITTLE PANDA HEART!)

Hello, romance fans! We’re about to start a really sweet review [haha, I’m so funny] for Sugared Season, from Spencer Spears! I have received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review – again, thanks so much, Spencer! – and the moment is here! Btw, before we start, Happy Book Birthday to Sugar Season ❤ ❤

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Graham lost his husband Joey five years ago and never quite recovered from the experience. He knew he should be grateful for having at least a handful of years next to the man of his life, but the memories had been too much for Graham. How was he supposed to move on when he didn’t have the courage to take his ring off? When he had to drive to Joey’s parents once a year for a depressing and heart shattering ritual?

More importantly: why won’t people allow Graham to suffer alone? The only man he wants is Joey – no one else will do.

Ryan lost his elder perfect brother five years ago and never quite recovered from the experience. After a lifetime of resentment towards Joey, wishing every day for the guy to vanish within air and put an end to their mother’s comparisons, Ryan suddenly saw his wishes coming true in an awful and heart breaking way. Despite knowing that he hadn’t caused the war Joey had been fighting in when he died, Ryan feels responsible for his death. To help matters, Ryan just lost all his money to a con man in New York and was forced to move back in with his parents, enduring twice more the comparisons from his mother.

All Ryan wants is some perspective in life and a minute without listening to any kind of critic to his looks or his choices.

Graham and Ryan worlds’ collide when both men decide to stray from their regular modus operandi and make out in the parking lot of a highway bar. It wasn’t supposed to mean anything… Until they discover just how related they are.

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Me after finishing this book:

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The Merchant and the Clergyman, from Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon

(Alternative title: ALL THE FEELS FOR 184 PAGES IN A ROLLERCOASTER)

Hello, there! In case you haven’t notice before my break and still didn’t get it after my break, I’ll just go and say it: gay romance is my to-go genre when I want to get over any reading slumps or life problems. As I was facing both, you’ll realize that 80% of my read books on this weird period are gay romances. Today’s book is no exception.

The Merchant and the Clergyman, from Bonnie Dee & Summer Dee, was a book that I was crazy to read. They were awesome enough to send me a copy of the book as a gift, as I helped promoting their entry on Kindle Scout, but life happened and it slipped my mind.

SHAME. ON. ME

Then there I was on the bus on Tuesday, going to work, thinking about which book I should start and BAM: The Merchant and the Clergyman, OF COURSE! =O Needless to say that I finished it as soon as I got back home, right? Hahaha! Such a delightful read, it was physically painful to tear myself away and actually work. To be honest, I didn’t expect any less from my divas Bonnie and Summer ❤

But enough blah blah blah. Let’s go to this review! Once again, thanks to Bonnie and Summer for sending me this book ❤ Now you got an honest review in return, haha!

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the story

James Fletcher hasn’t many reasons to complain; fate was good to him. After finishing school, he was able to go back to his hometown, living along with the people that saw him growing up and his family. As a curate, it’s his job to bring spiritual peace and help people to find their own harmony. His only problem is that the God that he so lovingly serves also condemns his most secret wishes. James refuses to fall for sin again and swore he would keep the pervert part of himself locked and buried. Not even the hot and shady stranger that barged into his house would make him change his mind. Declan Shaw would have to seduce some other man into his delicious games.

Declan Shaw hasn’t many reasons to complain; fate also was goo to him. As the most successful member of his family, it’s his job to travel all the world, supervising their business and straightening the wrongs and living adventures. His only problem is the loneliness. As a man who prefers other men, Declan can’t build a life and his own family. He had made peace with this limitation long ago, but laying eyes on the angelic and adorable curate of his cousin’s small town made him questioning everything he thought he knew about himself. Suddenly, all he can think of is how James would taste and feel with his body on his. Declan is sure that if he sets his mind into the matter, he can come up with a satisfactory solution for this impasse. The real question is: will James be willing to go along with Declan’s plans?

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the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

OMG THE FEELS. Seriously, this book made me react so much that made me keep my fame as the crazy girl from the 15th floor, haha! I wanted to read it all the time. If you are looking for a book to read in one sitting, this is your chosen one. YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN ON YOUR OWN! James was adorable and the way that Declan sincerely tried to be better to feel more worthy of James was SOOOO CUTE! *–* Seriously, 5 stars without blinking. Oh, but don’t misunderstand me. This is no sugar tale. Dee and Devon are always very realistic on her romances and life for a gay couple on 19th century was hell. I honestly never know if they will end well until they do – nothing compared to the easiness of an Ava March romance, for example 🙂

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me when the subject is Ava, Bonnie, Summer or Langley

The narrative was third person styled, with switching points of view between James and Declan. Risking sounding like a broken record, this is my favorite kind, so I was easily absorbed by both men’s consciousness. As in all the other romances that I read from this awesome girls, the guys are opposites on personality and that was explicit on their narrative skills. James was the naïve and good hearted one, always trying to believe that the world can be a better place, regardless of his love for God. Declan is the skeptical one, always sarcastic and intimidating people around, more worried about having his way and doing justice than with other people’s feelings. The only thing I have to admit it wasn’t that great was some of the metaphors used on the book on the romantic scenes. I unfortunately didn’t had the mind to take notes, but there were some passages that seriously bordered cheesy and in a really bad way 😦 It was kind of a mood breaker almost every time, oops!

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The plot is simple with a touch of mystery. Besides the obvious romance between the guys, Declan also needs to find out what is happening to his dear aunt, who appears to be sick and not in a natural way. I left this part out of my own made blurb because it’s a weak mystery. Culprits and methods are clear enough, leaving the reader only wondering about the motives, as nothing is clear until the end due to simple lack of information, haha! Even so, I’m not complaining. This is a romance, not a mystery. Consider it a bonus and an excuse for Declan to stick around for so long 🙂 I also wasn’t impressed with the last two chapters, as I felt they were kind of random. I mean, I understand why they are there, but I don’t know. I think I’m spoiled by the other books from those brilliant ladies, oops!

Hmm, I kind of already babbled a bit about characters, so I’ll just say that I love how complex and developed all characters were. So may personality layers, so many small signs. I really love Dee and Devon ❤ ❤ The couple is another one that will be branded on my heart!

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Despite not highlighting any bad moments, I did take the opportunity to highlight the best moments of this book and here are some of them:

~*~

James: I didn’t hit Kip, I, ah, struck him with my knee.

Declan: That’s some muscular Christianity you have there, Mr. Fletcher.

~*~

“Invite me in. You might as well. I’m going to come in, and your invitation will make the situation more civilized.” – Declan

~*~

Oh, what polite gentlemen the pair of them were when the gloves were put back on. – Declan’s thoughts

~*~

Twilight was the most melancholy time of the day, (…) when one questioned if his existence really mattered to the world. – James’ thoughts

~*~

James: I was wrong earlier. You are not a good person.

Declan: No matter. You are good enough for the both of us.

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Declan: always smooth as f*

~*~

Declan squared his shoulders in what James had begun to think of as his “roll up sleeves and get job done” posture.

~*~

And wasn’t that a wonderful though – years of James giving him pained and chiding looks.

~*~

Loving could not be a mistake, even when it ended. – James’ thoughts

~*~

ALL. THE. FEELS.

its so beautiful

So, if you like heartwarming characters, gay romance, historical books, refined humor and light BSDM, this is the book of your life ❤ Once again, thanks to Bonnie and Summer for my copy and sorry it took me so long to read it!

5star

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Okay, I guess that’s it for now. Hope you all are having a great week! Thanks for reading this review and tell me what have you been up to so far in your month reading =D

Love you all and be back soon,

assinatura

27 Days to Midnight, from Kristine Kruppa

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Hi, there! I’m back with a review for a book that destroyed me. Seriously, this book just grabbed my heart, squeezed, stomped on it and left me. Just like that. I’m talking about the painful standalone 27 Days to Midnight, from Kristinne Kruppa!

I’ve received my copy from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

27 days to midnight

summary

Everyone in Dahlia’s world knows when they’re going to die. Except her.

Her father has never shown her the pocket watch counting down the days she has left to live. When he sacrifices himself to save her from her scheduled death, Dahlia abandons her comfortable home and sets off after his murderer to uncover the secrets her father died to protect…and the time research that could bring him back to life.

Then she meets Farren Reed. She should hate him. He’s an enemy soldier, a cowardly deserter, and the most insufferable man Dahlia’s ever met. Still, she needs all the help she can get, and Farren is the only chance she has to find the man who murdered her father. But Farren has only twenty-seven days left on his watch.

In that time, Dahlia must recover her father’s time research, foil a psychotic general’s plot, and learn to survive in a world that will never be the same. But the research holds secrets more dangerous than she had ever imagined. She will have to choose what is most important: revenge, Farren’s life, or her own. And time is running out.

the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

Did I mentioned that this book destroyed me? Seriously, it did. The notion of having your exact lifetime engraved in a watch was so romantic and so creative! I loved the world building, the characters, the narrative style, the humor, the drama, the steampunk element, EVERYTHING! I fell in love with both Dahlia and Farren and I couldn’t get enough of them. The end was so perfect that led me to tears in my second confirmed case of tears due over-perfection. Five stars is not even close to watch this book really deserves: A MILLION INFINITE STARS!

its so beautiful

The narrative style was third person with switching points of view. We follow Dahlia and Farren most of the time, but we can also see the story from the POV of other characters whose identifies will be kept a secret due spoilers. Despite being a mystery book, the switching is very well done and helps the reader to have all the pieces to put together. However, Kruppa waits until the very last moment to give us the glue, haha! You saw what I did there.

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Kruppa’s writing also was wonderful, as the book had a good pace, was packed with feelings, a lot of humorous moments to break the dramatic and desperate scenario of both Dahlia and Farren, and a fluid language that made the reader fly through the pages without noticing it.

The plot was BRILLIANT AND A WORK OF ART! Ahem, ok, I’m controlled. I think. Maybe not. Let’s move on? Hahaha!

I loved how Kruppa slowly eases the reader into her world, without rushes or endless pages of explanations. Each time that she switches POVs, the author manages to bring her own world in a new way, on the way in which that particular character sees it, giving more importance to some elements over others. For example, when we follow Farren’s mind, the nature and the freedom are the main themes, because those are the things that matter for him. Isn’t this magical?

As I already ran myself over, let’s get deep on characters, haha! Talking about Farren: he is one of the sweetest boys ALL TIME and made it to my bookish boyfriends list with ease since his first scene. I love smooth talkers, oops! Also, come on: the guy is gorgeous. You have to give me a break, haha!

he's really really hot

I loved how Kruppa portrayed his struggle to accept his eminent death and how not okay he was about it despite the brave face he put on. Farren gives value to every breath that he has and he honestly loves to be alive, so it makes us think. Would he be like that if he didn’t know how much time he had?

Oh the other hand, we have Dahlia. She didn’t know how much time she had until the incident with her father and she lives as if life isn’t a present, but a granted deal. A scene that really dug on my heart was right on the beginning, when a street lady freaks out because her watch is about to stop and asks Dahlia for help. Dahlia has a very immature and selfish behavior towards the woman and never gave her a second thought. I was so shocked then that I swore I’d hate Dahlia. Well, I didn’t know how much she would grow as a person during her adventure or how much Farren would change her for good. I just wished Dahlia had remembered that woman at some point after her change, to seal it, but I guess she doesn’t need closure as I do, haha!

Also, I thought it amazing of Kruppa to come up with a heroine that wasn’t white. YA books are notoriously in need of more diversity of gender and race without the big drama behind being anything other than straight and white. Double round of applause for Kruppa, that managed to have a non-white heroine and not make a big deal about minorities at the same time!! ❤

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I fell hard for the villain, as he was crazy, sexy and murderous at the same time, haha! Oh, and beautiful. I love beautiful, crazy and very fictional men on those circumstances ;D And he took the final steps into the madness hole for love. I find this so romantic, in a dramatic and gothic way! I may need therapy.

wee i guess i can't hide my crazy

Everything has been wonderful, everybody is happy, the book is perfect and made me cry and I need more. Cool, nice. HOWEVER, I did have some problems with it. As I mentioned above, I’m one of those people that need closure in life, of any sort. It just needs to close, seriously. And there were many loose ends on this book AND THE END SHOT ME IN THE HEART AND KICKED ME IN THE BACK WHEN I FELL ON THE FLOOR. As it is a standalone book, I got really angry and cried more, as I’ll never see this characters again in new situations. I may re-read and find new bits, it’s true, but nothing major. Not straight forward answers. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO LIVE WITH THIS.

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Also, I didn’t like the fact that the chapters had titles. THEY WERE HUGE SPOILERS D: Sometimes, this works in books. This isn’t one of those cases.

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Okay, I’m good now. Let’s go back to the place where this book is all perfect and move to the cover, because I decided to always make a meaningful comment on the covers now. (#what) The cover was what drawn me to this book in the first place. Then I read the summary and was done for, haha! I usually am not a fan of illustrations, but this one was so delicate and romantic and mysterios AND BEAUTIFUL that I couldn’t bring myself to be a bore about it. I just want to hug it, haha! Also, the golden details really matched the blue shades. This one made it to my personal list of beautiful covers ❤ (Yes, I have lists for EVERYTHING. Judge me)

However, despite the dramatic and brilliant title, this book may be misjudged for a children’s book easily, especially the ebook version in which you can’t see how long it is. Just saying.

Now, I took the liberty of selecting some of the most awesome quotes in the book for you to understand how cool it is 🙂

“Dahlia tried to ignore him (as much as anyone could ignore an eight-foot-tall cyborg). She was too busy putting together a few choice phrases to use in her argument once he [the cyborg] quieted down.”

~*~

“The physical wounds were infinitely more manageable than the emotional ones.”

~*~

“He was back at the beginning, more alone than he’d been before he knew what it was like to not be lonely.”

~*~

And this killer dialogue:

Farrren: You okay, sweetheart?

Dahlia: Yes. I was just thinking.

Farren: Ah. Dangerous stuff.

Dahlia: Dangerous, yes, but necessary. It’s a pastime you might want to consider.

Farren: Ouch.

~*~

If you ask me, the strongest points on this book are the steampunk element, the characters construction and the humor behind it 🙂

Overall, this book had some flaws, but nothing that shadowed its perfection. Kruppa made a hell of a job here and I find it hard to believe that this is her debut novel. If you like steampunk, adventure and heart shattering books, you need 27 Days to Midnight in your life. NOW.

5star

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Thanks for reading my review and thanks so much to YA Bound Book Tours for my review copy and spot on this tour!

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TBR of the Week: Black Water Tales: The Secret Keepers, by JeanNicole Rivers

Hi, there! Hope everyone is enjoying the Sunday! Happy Father’s Day for all dads out there! (Here in Brazil we don’t celebrate Father’s Day today, but I’ll make sure to drop a picture of my dad and I when it happens, haha!)

I finished reading Black Water Tales: The Unwanted this week and it blew my mind off – review coming soon, I promise! – so it was only natural for me to stalk JeanNicole and see what else she had written, right? 🙂 It happens that Black Water Tales is a series with standalones – I can testify to that, as I read the “second” volume and never batted an eyelash, haha! So now I want to read the first one too: Black Water Tales: The Secret Keepers!

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BOOK BLITZ: The Fairest Poison, by Lauren Skidmore

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Hi, there! Welcome to the second and last book blitz of the day! I am beyond excited with this new release that YA Bound Book Tours is promoting *–* The Fairest Poison, by Lauren Skidmore, IS A SNOW WHITE RETELLING! *—*

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The Fairest Poison
by 
Lauren Skidmore
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: May 10th, 2016


summary

Princess Bianca returns to her court to find it poisoned from the inside out. Faced with mysterious sicknesses, power disputes, and whispers of impending death, Bianca turns to an unlikely ally—a former assassin—to find the antidote that will save her kingdom. But Bianca quickly realizes that she might not even be able to save her own life in this Snow White story.

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You can find The Fairest Poison in both paperback and ebook formats!

AmazonBarnes & NobleBook DepositorySigned copy @ The King’s English

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GUESS WHAT?! YA Bound Book Tours allowed us to post the FULL FIRST CHAPTER of the book in this blitz! *–* Enjoy!

Chapter One 

My parents were sick.

That was the first news I received when I returned to the palace after nearly six months away. I was Venesia’s princess, and so its ambassador. I was happy to serve . . . but not if it meant coming home to this.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, shedding my cloak and shaking it out before handing it to a servant. It was still damp with seawater from the journey. It hadn’t exactly been a peaceful trip.

“Are they up to visitors now?”

The two handmaidens that had greeted me exchanged glances. “You should rest from your journey first, princess. It’s late, and the details can wait until the morning.”

I frowned. “No. You cannot welcome me back by saying my return may aid my parents’ recovery and then refuse to tell me what’s wrong.”

“We don’t want to worry you, princess,” the other one said, throwing a nervous glance at her companion. She’d been with the palace longer and knew I would not be easily dissuaded from getting what I wanted.

“It’s too late for that.” I sighed. “Where is my brother?”

“Prince Aiden went to speak to the Guard about the successful capture of that Chameleon. He was eager to see the killer in person.”

I braced myself. Aiden was in for a surprise on that front. “Maybe I will go rest after all,” I said, brushing a dark curl behind my ear and adjusting the purple mask I wore across the upper half of my face. I would miss the freedom of not wearing my full Venesian mask while I was away from court. “But don’t think it’s because you dissuaded me from seeing the king and queen tonight. Surely, if they were seriously ill, they’d have ordered you to take me to them right away. I won’t disturb their sleep.”

“Of course, princess.” They both curtseyed.

“Bianca!”

I cringed. Aiden.

“You’re dismissed,” I said quickly to my handmaidens. I didn’t need spectators for this.

They scurried away—though I’m sure to only just around the corner so they could eavesdrop—and I turned to face my elder brother. He came barreling down the dimly lit corridor, his half-cloak billowing out behind him. He wore the emerald green mask he favored when he was out of the palace so no one would bother him as the prince. The pure white masks of the royal family tend to stand out in a sea of blues and green.

“Where is he?” he demanded. The head guard and a young woman in a green mask were just a few steps behind him. Looks like we were going to have an audience after all.

I was tempted to play dumb but knew that would only make him even more upset. And he had good reason to be upset; I couldn’t deny him that.

“Please hear me out,” I began slowly, my voice even and calm.

“You set him free, didn’t you?” He shook his head in disbelief. “Bianca, he killed Evie’s father.” He gestured to the woman behind him, who shifted her weight from foot to foot uncomfortably, a medium-sized brown dog with a fluffy, curled tail at her heels. “He tried to kill me.”

“I know that, but—”

“There is no excuse here! He killed and was willing to kill again. He stole masks and identities. He betrayed the trust of a kingdom who took him in. He is a criminal who needs to pay for his crimes.”

“He saved my life. I owe him,” I explained simply.

That made Aiden pause, but only for the length of a breath before retorting, “One good act does not make up for all the evil he’s done.”

“But it proves there is good in him.”

“Or he is just trying to save his own skin by having you in his debt.”

“He’s not as terrible as you think he is.”

“But you admit he is terrible.”

“Aiden.” I started to truly feel the late hour now and my shoulders drooped. “He deserves a fair trial at the very least.”

“I can’t give him a trial if he is mysteriously set free in the middle of the night.”

“You’re being dramatic.”

“I think I’m being understandably upset. I went from news of my baby sister returning home with the scum I’ve been hunting for the past three months—to finding out that the scum has vanished and has said sister to thank for it! With everything that’s been going on in court, and now with Mother and Father ill—”

“Do you know what’s wrong with them?” I interrupted, both wanting to know and hoping to change the subject. I’d bristled slightly at being called his “baby sister”—there were only two years between us, after all—but was willing to overlook it in the name of the greater good of the moment. His accusations weren’t untrue; he just didn’t know the Chameleon like I did.

I might have been part of the reason he’d been captured, but we had a history. And that history meant that I owed him his freedom.

It seemed Aiden was as tired of arguing as I was. He answered, “The doctors aren’t

sure. It’s not an illness they’re familiar with. Mother and Father are on bed rest now until a cure can be found. They can barely eat and are very weak, and they both have a pink rash all over their bodies. It happened so suddenly, but no one else in court has the same symptoms, so we don’t know where it came from.”

“How long have they been like this? Why did no one tell me?”

“They only just felt sick enough to admit it and seek a doctor, though Father mentioned to me he’d been feeling poorly for several days.”

I sighed. It was just like them to overlook any health problems until they got too serious to ignore. They didn’t want to appear weak in front of the kingdom, and to appear human was to appear weak. In the king’s eyes, at least.

“I’ll go see them first thing in the morning. We all need our rest.” I gave Aiden a meaningful look. “That means you as well.” I was sure his mask hid dark circles under his eyes, one benefit of our country’s tradition. I knew my brother, and he’d been pushing himself too hard. I’d gotten snippets of the unrest that had crept into our court from his letters while I was away, but it was another matter to see him in person.

From what I understood, the court was reluctant to accept him as their next ruler. He had no respect for tradition, they claimed. For generations, the royal family protected themselves behind pure white masks, fine clothes, and strict rules. Aiden wanted to make changes that gave him more personal freedom as well as control over the country.

“We’ll all of us go to sleep, and discuss things again after breakfast.”

“Fine,” he begrudged as he turned, offering his arm to the woman beside him, who looked as tired as I felt, plus awkward after witnessing a royal argument. Evie, he said her name was. He’d written about her. He had proposed marriage to her, and she’d said no.

I was very curious about her.

“I am glad you’re home, though. I missed you,” he said.

I smiled. “I missed you too.” My gaze shifted to Evie, and I opened my mouth to

greet her properly.

“Let’s save introductions for a less unconventional time,” he interrupted before I could say anything. He reached for her hand, tucking it in the crook of his arm. “I’d rather your official meeting be a more pleasant one. Or at least one where we’re not arguing.”

She rolled her eyes at him but offered me a shy smile.

“If you insist,” I replied with a smile for her and a raised eyebrow for him. Its effect was somewhat lessened thanks to my mask, but he knew my expressions well enough to spot it.

He chuckled and shook his head with affection in his eyes. “Until tomorrow,” he said, and we parted ways.

The halls were dim and quiet, but I could have found my way to my chambers in the dark. I rarely left the palace growing up, and walking through these halls now felt like slipping into a warm bath. I loved the palace.

Servants had already brought my trunk to my parlor. Normally, I would need help dressing for bed, thanks to the complex finery of the clothing that comes with royalty, but since I was still dressed in a simple traveling dress, I didn’t bother ringing for a handmaiden.

I’d missed my rooms. It had been a long time since I’d been alone, and my rooms were the one place I was granted my privacy.

For six months, I’d been acting as ambassador to Nishima, a neighboring country we had strong ties with. That meant that for nearly six months, I’d been constantly surrounded by people—if not by the dignitaries I was there to see, then by my own guards who never left my side. Even on the journey home, when we’d been sidetracked by the hunt for the Chameleon, I’d never been left on my own.

But in my own palace, in my own rooms, I was alone. And I felt safe.

I fell asleep almost as soon as my head touched my pillow.

The next morning, I’d barely dressed before I heard insistent knocks at the doors to my suite. I knew it was Aiden even before my handmaiden opened the door to reveal him.

“I said after breakfast, Aiden. I’m still—”

“They’ve gotten worse,” he interrupted me, his eyes grim. “Mother and Father. And another doctor, a specialist from Nishima, has examined them.”

He opened and closed his mouth several times, searching for the right words.

“Just say it. What is it?”

“Bianca . . . they’ve been poisoned.”

the author

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Lauren Skidmore grew up in Kansas, with stints in Ohio and New York, and currently lives in Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned a BA in English Teaching with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese. She then spent a year in Japan teaching and travelling. She hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but it’s on the list and has been to 30 states in the U.S. so far. When she’s not exploring new places, you can probably find her on the internet with fifteen windows open and looking at just one more thing before actually getting something done.

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That’s it, thanks for reading! Just for the record, I love Snow White retellings since I’ve read Poison, from Sarah Pinborough ❤ Sadly, I still haven’t reviewed it over here, sorry!!

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Beneath the Surface, from M. A. Church

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Good morning! Look who is up and shinning so early today, haha! This posts concerns a very special book review, part of the Beneath the Surface blog tour hosted by Bewitching Book Tours ❤ If you’ve been here for a while, you know I’m crazy about gay romances – if you haven’t, well… SURPRISE! Haha ;D Anyway, Beneath The Surface, from M. A. Church, is our star of the moment and you will soon find out why!

Also, I’ve received my review copy from Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an honest review 🙂

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from my Instagram 😀

the story

(Goodreads’ blurb)

A whole different world exists beneath the surface.

The last thing Nisha expects while patrolling his territory is to find his mate, but his instincts tell him the handsome human diving into the surf is the one meant for him. Two bites and Kannon will be joined to him forever. But when Kannon’s father disrupts the mating process, Nisha releases his claim, hoping beyond hope his mate will one day return.

While free diving with his father, Kannon is bitten by a seductive merman. Although he swore to never go near the ocean again, the pull to return to the water and his mystery man remains strong. Finally, after fifteen years away, an impromptu wedding brings Kannon back to the Seychelles, and his destiny.

Kannon only plans to stay on the island for a week, but this time Nisha won’t let his mate go without a fight. Merfolk and human culture collide as the embers of Nisha and Kannon’s mate bond ignite, and Nisha must complete the mating before it’s too late.

the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

Beneath the Surface was my first gay romance involving mermaids and my third overall book involving mermaids in life. I’m fascinated about mermaids – or merfolk, as in this case I’m talking about both girls and boys with tails – so it felt like Church just got some glue and united the best of both worlds for me. I even joked with an offline friend that if the book was set in the 19th century and Kannon was a vampire, this book would have reached the ultimatum perfection for me, haha! As it is, Beneath the Surface is already a pleasant enough read 😉

you get the best of both worlds

Despite my high satisfaction upon ending the book, I must warn you that there are some flaws on it. Some loose ends in the plot, the writing style could become a little rough sometimes, this kind of stuff. And, as I said once before, my reviews are fair and analytical – my rating is totally personal. The book suited me, suited my tastes and was exactly what I was pinning for, so I happily gave it five stars 🙂

The narrative style was my favorite: third person with switching points of view between the main couple, Kannon and Nisha. I laughed had with Kannon, as he was new to the merfolk world just as the reader is – at least, how I am, haha! Three mermaid books in life is hardly a number that can turn me into an expert, right? 🙂 Nisha’s parts were cool because we could understand his reasoning and motives better, but he’s the mainstream tall, dark, handsome and sexy type of guy. He engaged on Kannon’s humor, but rarely started it himself.

The plot was simple and straightforward, with Kannon and Nisha having to work their relationship to a level that is agreeable for both of them. What I really liked about Beneath the Surface is that there is no instalove, not even with the mating deal. Nisha for sure cares about Kannon to the point of stalking and Kannon worries about Nisha, but in not a single moment they say they are in love. In fact, Kannon express that he doesn’t love Nisha yet, but the bound that he feels with the merman for sure can’t be ignored and would easily grow into more over the time. I loved it ❤

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Now, let’s talk for a moment about things that weren’t that good in Beneath the Surface. I wasn’t impressed with the characters overall, I think they were pretty superficial. I know the book is short – practically a novella – but it is possible to construct deep and awesome characters with even less pages than this. Just ask Ava March. I was a little sad to see that there wasn’t anything else beneath the character’s surface (you see what I did there? Haha). Also, there were small loose ends that bothered me a little and some events that sound kind of an excuse for Kannon and Nisha to have sex. Don’t get me wrong, Church can pull off a sex scene like a pro, but the knitting of them with the plot sometimes had me wondering. And, the last problematic point was the writing style. Sometimes, it was fluid, interesting and seat grabbing. Other times, it dragged and turned rough, like I was reading a play rather than a book 😦 Oh, and I won’t even mention all the problems with the cover art.

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Okay, going back to the good vibes: the characters! Unfortunately no one in Beneath the Surface made it to My Bookish Boyfriends list, but I still had a great time with Kannon. He was so funny and optimistic all the time! You know, all the time that he hasn’t scared to death, haha! I wasn’t impressed with Nisha – cool and quiet guys that act as dominant aren’t really my thing. I usually go with funny, relaxed and dorky. But one thing I can say: Nisha is beautiful and no one can deny him that, haha!

he's really really hot

One thing that really stands out on the book is how Church pictures the merfolk. I know I haven’t a lot of experience in the area, but Nisha’s lectures one of the best parts of the book! I loved to learn more about how merfolk function and the details on Nisha’s transformation were breathtaking!

Overall, Beneath the Surface is no deep and complex book by any means, but if you enjoy gay romances, mermaids and quick reads, you totally should give this one a go!

5star

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Thanks so much for reading my review! Bellow you can find information about where to find Beneath the Surface, the author and a lovely giveaway 😀

purchase links

You can find Beneath the Surface in ebook format only 🙂

ARe  |  Amazon |   iTunes  |  Kobo

 the author

M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!

When not writing, she’s exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching her beloved Steelers, or sitting glued to HGTV. That’s if she’s not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two children. She was a finalist in the Rainbow awards for 2013.

For more information on other books by M.A., visit her official website.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

 giveaway

To join me on this chance, just click here and good luck: GIVEAWAY!

That’s it, thanks so much for reading the whole post! And thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for sending me my review copy and selecting me for the tour 😀

assinatura

bewitching book tours host

The Copper, from Bonnie Dee

Hello again! Welcome to the first of what I hope shall be many reviews for today! Last night I started and finished a lovely book from one of my favorite authors in the world: The Copper, from Bonnie Dee. Imagine how much I fangirled when Bonnie was kind enough to send me an ARC in exchange for an honest review and how much I suffered with my own booked bookish schedule (haha) and with the forced await until yesterday. And imagine how much my parents and offline friends suffered while I read the book and laughed hysterically or “awww-ed” or started to tap my feet on the floor in a nervous reflex. If you didn’t know already, I’ll tell you this: it’s a bitch to be near a reading fangirl.

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Before getting this review started, I just want to thank Bonnie again for the kindness and say that you made my night yesterday ❤ Now enough gibber jabber, let’s do this!

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from my Instagram 😀

The Story

Lord Avery Wickersham is the epitome of a carefree wealthy man. He does what he wants when he wants and how he wants. Nothing stays in his way when he sets his mind into something. But not even all his determination is enough to fulfill his empty existence. No matter how many men pass his bed, how many alcohol, opium, money and games. Lord Avery Wickersham is a lonely man without a purpose in life.

Until he’s found in bed with other two men by a police raid.

Connor Tate is the epitome of the fair police officer. He follows rules on the clock, breathes justice and battles for a more equal world, righting all the wrongs he can. Nothing stays in the way of his determination – not even his illegal desire for other men. Connor knows that sacrifices have to be made in life for a greater good and he is very good at his work. No matter how much he craves a mate, intimacy or even just a friend. His duty will always comes first. Connor Tate is a lonely man with a firm purpose in life.

Until he finds Lord Wickersham in bed with two other men in a routine police raid.

As Avery and Connor’s worlds collide, both men realize that they won’t ever be themselves again. Avery doesn’t mind in the slightest that he has to play low to prevent further scandal in society – he was arrested, after all – and Connor can’t ignore all the feelings that a certain lord awoke in him with his noble acts towards his bed mates. And maybe with his winning smile.

But can Avery prove to Connor that they can work out as a couple? Can Connor get past his conscious and allow himself to be happy for the first time in his life?

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The Analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

So, as you may have noticed, I love Bonnie Dee’s works. I have been pinning to read The Cooper since I found out about it in February and I knew it would be a blast. Bonnie knows her business when it comes to writing and character developing, so I knew I was in capable and safe hands. I just didn’t expected to be swept off my feet with the thriller vibes from The Copper. It was so refreshing to read a gay historical romance with this element! Really rewarding ❤ I also loved the dark and down-to-earth tone of the book, very realistic without losing the romance charm, you know? So I’m a satisfied, surprised and delighted fangirl at the moment, haha! I couldn’t give it any less than five stars!!

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The narrative style is third person with switching points of view between Copper and Avery. Have I mentioned that this is my favorite one? Always, I know. Sorry for that. It was so nice to be able to dive deep in the minds of Avery and Copper. Both were such complex and lovely characters! I usually pick a favorite man among my gay couples, but I couldn’t decide between them! Avery and Copper were really like two faces of a coin: the fun, easy-going, wealthy and powerful gentleman that has everything and has nothing versus the serious, reserved, lower-classed and average man that has little money and the world in his head. And they are glued together by fate ❤

The plot had a thriller and mystery tone to it, but it wasn’t complex. We discover all key pieces very soon and the longing for the who is not something that will drive the reader; it’s the why and how to stop it that will. Powerful people are involved in corruption and awful illegal deeds, people that can’t be reached by the regular means of the law in the turn of the 19th London. The kind of people that walks free of punishment to this day because of a name, or money or all together. It’s not hard to guess what will it happen, specially if you, like me, it’s a fan of Dee’s works, so don’t set your standards for a story with a huge twist. You’ll be left wanting.

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it happens, right?

The characters are the strongest point in the book, along with the writing style. As I mentioned, Avery and Connor are very well constructed and so real that it hurts. I really wished I could tell them everything they thought of each other and simply hug them and assure everything would be just fine.

i'm going to hug you and you're going to take it

All of this you already knew, but I never mentioned how well constructed the side characters were. Bertrand, a main side kick, is awesome in his own way – few people would have survived what he endured – and added a lot to the plot. I also enjoyed Barbara to the core (I won’t say who she is due to spoilers) and Avery’s employees. The villains were also something else, all business and danger. Seriously. I love Bonnie Dee.

let me love you

Now, the sex scenes. I have to say that in not a single moment they were sex scenes, that would be a wrong way to call it. Everything that Avery and Connor did was pure love, desire and passion. No frantic releases just because they both liked men. No desperate fucks to relief their hard reality. Every touch, every kiss, every caress was for something more, a feeling that both barely comprehended until much later in the book, but stronger and powerful as few feelings are: love. It was all about love. The love for the freedom of touching, the love for intimacy and their love as a couple. I wouldn’t say that there is instalove in this book, but I understand if some people face it like that. Sometimes curiosity and need are mistaken for love. Sometimes passion is mistaken by love and it is okay. It happens. But not in The Copper. Avery and Connor know that what they have is a mutual curiosity, the result of two different worlds colliding, but they don’t think of love at all. Not even when their feelings develop in such a fashion, for my utter dismay.

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I mean, seriously? Not a single “I love you” at all?

I also enjoyed the historical accuracy of this book, for good and bad. It’s a turn of the century London, in which a reputation is all a man has in the end of the day, no matter his social status. I love historical romances, especially the sugared ones, so a more realistic scenery did wonders to my mind, haha!

Overall, this is another masterpiece on Dee’s resume, with a bit of everything: romance, historical, gay love, mystery, thriller and self-discovery. If you love any of those genres, you can’t miss The Copper, a book that won’t allow you to close it until you reach the end. Seriously. I know, it happened to me, haha!

5star

That’s it, thanks so much for reading! And thanks a lot again to Bonnie Dee for the trust in sending me another of her works ❤ I loved every minute of this reading!!

The Copper will be out tomorrow, so I’ll update the post buying links then 😀

assinatura

BOOK BLITZ: Alone, from Kate L. Mary

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Hi, there! Another book blitz, I know. Not my fault that there are so many good books around here today, haha! ;D But this one is quite special as it is the book birthday of Alone, from Kate L. Mary, brought to you by YA Bound Book Tours! 😀

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Alone

by Kate L. Mary

Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic / Zombie / Romance

Release Date: March 29th, 2016

Summary

A zombie novel.

For the past two years, Jules has floated through life.

When the virus was released it changed everything about the world. Jules lost her mom and her home, forcing her to live with the father she barely knows. Now, even as society works to rebuild, Jules still feels like she doesn’t quite fit in.

Then she meets Roman.

Even before the zombies, he only had himself to depend on. Brooding and rebellious, Roman isn’t anyone Jules would have pictured herself with before the zombies came. But now she finds herself willing to give up everything to be with him.

The attraction is too strong for either one of them to ignore, but Roman and Jules soon discover that the uncertainty of their new world extends much farther than just the zombies. When disaster strikes, Roman must race against the most terrifying clock imaginable to save Jules, or once again end up alone.

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Alone is available in ebook format only, at Amazon 🙂

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I really like zombie books, I don’t know why I don’t read those often! I’ll have to change that, haha! Anyway, here’s an excerpt of Alone for you to have all the ~feelings~ 😀

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EXCERPT

I’m still grinning when we step outside. The wooden porch sags beneath my feet, feeling a little less than sturdy, but that isn’t what makes my heart almost stop. My smile melts away and my feet stop moving, and within seconds I’m shaking like a leaf.

There are three zombies in the yard. Three of them. I haven’t come this close to one since the first few months of the outbreak, and now there are three.

Roman steps in front of me and shoves the shoebox into my hands as he pulls his knife out, all in one fluid movement. “It’s okay.”

It doesn’t feel okay. It feels the complete opposite of okay.

Roman steps off the porch, and one of the zombies spots him right away. The thing groans and moves toward him, chomping his mouth. Gray skin stretches across his face, and the deep gashes that cut across the decaying flesh ooze with black goo. Thankfully, the other two creatures are facing the other way and haven’t caught wind of us yet.

Roman doesn’t seem afraid in the slightest as he walks toward the dead man. His knife is held firmly in his hand, but he’s steady. Sure of himself as he walks in a big arc around the zombie. He was right. They are slow. But it’s still terrifying, and I’m still shaking, gripping the box of batteries so hard the cardboard bows under the pressure. Just as Roman reaches the back of the first zombie, the other two notice him and head his way. My heart jumps to my throat and I reach out like I’m trying to stop them, but no sound comes out when I move my lips.

I try again, and this time his name comes out like a strangled cry. “Roman!”

He smiles like all of this is nothing, then drives his knife into the back of the first zombie’s skull. The thing drops to the ground, and Roman spins to face the others. He charges the second one, a sad-looking woman whose nightgown is stained and tattered, her gray skin barely clinging to her bones. Roman dodges her arms and loops around her back, then jabs his knife into her skull just like he did with the first one.

Two down, but my heart is still pounding wildly.

The third one is so tall that Roman’s head only goes up to the zombie’s shoulders. Next to him, Roman looks like a child. Even worse than his size is the fact that he seems to be faster than the other two. Less decomposed, even, like he’s just recently died.

Roman circles him, but the zombie spins too. His hands reach out to grab Roman, but Roman ducks out of the way. His face tenses, and his eyes dart over to me. I watch, frozen in terror from my place on the porch as Roman tries to get behind the zombie again. He could stab him in a different location, but with as tall as the decaying man is, it wouldn’t be safe. Only no matter how many times Roman tries to get behind the corpse, it doesn’t work. The thing is too fast and too hungry. Determined.

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A blast, right?? And bellow you can know more about the mind behind Alone: Kate L. Mary!

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Award-winning author of WHEN WE WERE HUMAN and the Amazon best-selling BROKEN WORLD series, Kate L. Mary writes everything from post-apocalyptic tales of the undead to new adult contemporary romance. A mother of four and an Air Force wife, her days are divided between keeping her household in order and creating new worlds for readers to get lost in.

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Also, there is a giveaway! I know I didn’t made a scene on the title about it, but it is open onty to United States residents, so you understand my lack of excitement over it, right? Haha!

GIVEAWAY

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Alone by Kate L. Mary

Alone

by Kate L. Mary

Giveaway ends April 07, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 Just click on the banner above to enter if you live in the USA 😀 (Or have someone there that can enter for you, haha!)

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That’s it, thanks so much for reading! And thanks to YA Bound Book Tours once again! Do you like zombie books??

assinatura

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