Review: The Carnelian Legacy by Cheryl Koevoet

The Carnelian Legacy
Author: Cheryl Koevoet
Publisher: WestBow Press
Genre(s): Fantasy Romance, YA
Sources: BookLook Bloggers
Purchase: Kobo
Rating: fourstar

Marisa MacCallum always believed that the man of her dreams was out there somewhere. The problem is—he’s in another dimension.

After the death of her father, eighteen-year-old Marisa’s life is on the verge of imploding. She seeks comfort on her daily ride through the woods of Gold Hill, but when a mysterious lightning storm strikes, she is hurled into the ancient, alternate dimension of Carnelia where she is discovered by the arrogant but attractive nobleman, Ambassador Darian Fiore.

Stranded in a world teeming with monsters, maniacs and medieval knights, Marisa is forced to join Darian on a dangerous mission to negotiate peace with his archenemy, Savino da Roca. Along the way, she sees his softer side and quickly falls in love. But when she learns that Darian is locked into an arranged marriage, her heart shatters.

When Darian’s cousin Savino falls for her charms and demands her hand in exchange for peace, Marisa is faced with an impossible choice: marry the enemy of the man she loves or betray them both and become the catalyst for a bloody war.

Disclaimer: I received this book courtesy of the author via BookLook Bloggers. In exchange I am giving a honest review that is in no way affected by such.

I will admit that, at first glance, I wasn’t very impressed with The Carnelian Legacy. Judging the book by its cover proved, as it often does, to be a bad idea. Behind the bland cover was a riveting story that I fell into just as quickly and without warning as Marisa falls into the world of Carnelia! Immediately I felt sympathy for Marisa; she’s just lost her father and suddenly she’s entirely out of her element in a world where she is an utter stranger. There’s something so human about her that I couldn’t help but adore her from the very start.

The rest of the cast of characters in The Carnelian Legacy were just as good as Marisa. Cheryl Koevoet has created some fun, interesting characters that are very lifelike and three dimensional – which I always appreciate. Too often the damsel in distress angle leads to weak women and overbearing, aggravating tough guys. I didn’t find this to be the case with anyone in The Carnelian Legacy. They are just as well-rounded as the world Mrs. Koevoet has created. I found myself  loving her setting! It’s such a fantastic world that immerses the reader in the blink of an eye!

And the plot! I love intrigue, especially political intrigue, and she has written an engaging story that had me unable to put the book down! I love books steeped in secrets and that’s what you get with The Carnelian Legacy. Mrs. Koevoet has put her heroine in some tough situations and I loved watching Marisa getting out of them! She was a really great character and the relationship development between her and Darian was really fun to watch develop. He reminds me a bit of Mr. Darcy but in all the best ways!

If you like an adventure with a clean, satisfying romance in a well-developed fantasy world, then The Carnelian Legacy is for you. It’s a fun read and I think Mrs. Koevoet will keep readers satisfied with her work for a long time.

Also, the cover for the next book, The Carnelian Tyranny, is simply gorgeous! Can’t wait!


Waiting On Wednesday: The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost

WoW logo“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. 

The Beautiful Ashes
Series: Broken Destiny #1
Jeaniene Frost
Release Date: 
August 26th 2014
Paranormal Romance, YA

In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…

Ever since reading the first Night Huntress book I have loved Jeaniene Frost’s work! She is a fabulous author with amazing characters who have interesting, complex motivations driving them! And her worlds are a wonderful backdrop to watching the plot unfold! Pretty much I adore her and when I heard about this book I was so excited! I’m interested to see what, if much at all, changes with her working in YA. (Well, obviously there won’t be scandalous scenes like in some of her other books!) But I imagine that it will be fantastic! I have high hopes for this one!

Review: Realm of the Immortals: Truth

Realm of the Immortals: Truth
Realm of the Immortals #1
Authors: Tina Nelson and Deb Gulli
Publisher: Self Published
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Source: Author
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: twostar

Consumed by the visions of a mysterious man that walks in the depths of her dreams, Emily’s desire for him continues to grow. Unknowingly born as the most powerful witch in her family, after finding a box with mysterious items from her past, she embarks on a journey to discover the truth of who and what she is. Fueled by the tragic, gruesome murder of her best friend, her true capabilities begin to surface.
Meanwhile, in an alternate realm, immortal King Darian and his brothers search for their longtime enemies, the Calveri brothers. Having committed a crime of unimaginable proportions, they must be found, but have managed to evade all pursuits thus far. With the continuing efforts to avenge his father’s death, Darian must also find the one called the savior and fulfill his destiny to protect his kingdom and people, as it has been foretold by a prophecy centuries old.
When Emily and Darian collide, will the magic sparks bring them together or rip them apart?

Disclaimer: I received this book as a R2R as part of the Goodreads group Lovers of Paranormal. This does not affect my review and the following is my honest opinion.

I really wanted to love this book. Not that I hate it but I seem to be one of the few who are underwhelmed by it. The premise was extremely interesting to me. A witch with her powers locked away and a demon king who needs them to save his world sounds awesome! Add in some serious love/hate and rival really bad guys and you can count me in! However, the characters and most especially the pacing really did nothing for me.

Almost every character talked exactly the same which left the dialogue extremely flat. When a six year old child is virtually indistinguishable from her great grandmother when they’re talking – forcing me to go back and double check who said what – I find myself struggling to enjoy the plot that was thrown at me. As for the pacing, it felt very rushed. Some scenes lacked any sort of transition whatsoever and while I appreciate the authors wanting to spare us the boring stuff, it needed a little less jumping around to hold my attention. But, there was a lot of action and it did pull me back into the story but each time I grew disinterested when the dialogue fizzled and the descriptions were all but nonexistent. (Except for the garden. That place got a lot of love.)

All in all, I feel it has a lot of potential but could do with another revision. If the dialogue was more varied and the characters less prone to ridiculous mood swings I think I’d have liked this book a lot more. I’m really sorry I didn’t; I had a lot of hopes for it but it just didn’t work for me.

Waiting On Wednesday: Atlantia by Ally Condie

WoW logo“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. 

Author: Ally Condie
Release Date:  
October 28th, 2014
Dutton Children’s
YA, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Dystopia

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

Okay, seriously October what is going on with you? This is the third October release I’m fawning over in the past month! I’m going to get absolutely nothing done that month besides reading! Which isn’t the worst way to spend your time. 🙂

I was drawn in by the cover on this one; I love the ocean and anything sea related has me instantly interested. And then that tag line above the title? I had the brief flicker of some Lovecraftian YA but the synopsis, even lacking eldritch horrors or mermaids, was so exciting! Twins? Dystopian? Under the sea? Twins separated with one stuck in a place that reminds me of Rapture (Bioshock is one of my favorite games!) and another in the wasteland above?

I need this in my life! I am stoked! October can’t come soon enough!

Into the Veil by Jennifer R. McDonald

Into the Veil
Veilwalker Trilogy #1
Author: Jennifer R. McDonald
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Sources: Author
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: fourstar

Life isn’t easy for a teenage veilwalker.

Lyric has been on the run for over a decade. Her brother is her only friend, her father treats her like a soldier, and after an ill-planned trip to purgatory she’s stuck with a bitterly displaced ghost.

Charles Hathor has problems of his own—problems he’s confident can be solved with the aid of Lyric’s realm-crossing ability. As the leader of a powerful coven, he’ll stop at nothing to ensure her cooperation. Kidnapping, extortion, maybe even murder; everything goes in his quest for retribution.

Alongside her twin, Lyric is forced back into the bowels of the magical world. But working for a vengeful warlock is not for the faint of heart. 

Relationships will be tested. Unlikely alliances will be forged. And Lyric will discover enemies closer than she ever imagined. 

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author as part of a R2R in the Lovers of Paranormal Goodreads group. This doesn’t affect my review and the following is my honest opinion.

I’ve really been lucking out with great indie books lately! Into the Veil was a really fun, fast paced read that had me readily engaged in Lyric’s story. Jennifer McDonald has created very vivid, lively characters that are so well-rounded! I just adore when characters are as believable as the cast of Into the Veil! It makes it so much easier to immerse myself in the story and, while the plot itself was fabulous, the characters really made this story stand out for me.

Lyric and Lincoln have such an extraordinary power and one that is so unique! I was very intrigued by the idea of veilwalkers and I think Ms. McDonald created a very appealing protagonist with Lyric. She was a teenage girl with some teenage concerns, yes. But she was also strong and sassy which I adore in a heroine! I also love the way her and Lincoln’s relationship was written. I haven’t read many twins that were, in my mind, well written and they were superbly done! In Lyric Ms. McDonald has crafted a compelling narrator with complicated emotions. A girl that is awkward at times (Which just made her more endearing to me!) and has more on her plate than many people would be able to handle.

The world building and characterization and plot were all fantastic but I think it could have used another once over in the editing department. There were some spelling and grammatical errors that made it a little choppy to read but once I was engaged in the plot, they didn’t really bother me.  Regardless of them I plan to pick up the next Veilwalker book, Through the Gloom, very soon!

The Secret Dead by S.W. Fairbrother

The Secret Dead
Author: S.W. Fairbrother
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Sources: Author
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: fivestar

Vivia Brisk knows about the dead. She should. She’s died enough times. 

Vivia is a hag – or death witch – one of the last of her race, and can die, visit the underworld and return at will. As a consultant with charity The Lipscombe Trust, she has a job she loves — helping London’s most vulnerable supernaturals, even if her colleague Malcolm drives her round the bend on a daily basis. 

Vivia thinks she’s got Malcolm’s measure – sexist, not too bright and generally a pain in the ass, but then Malcolm zombifies and, along with his fourteen year old son Ben, flees the police. 

With a zombie on the loose, London goes into lock down and Vivia is roped in into find them. After all, Malcolm can only keep control so long without fresh flesh, and the risk of the zompocalypse increases the longer he’s on the lam. 

At first what happened seems simple, but then the police find decades-old corpses hidden near Malcolm’s house, and Vivia begins to realise Malcolm’s missing son is in a lot more danger than from just a single zombie on the loose…

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. This does not affect my review and the following is my honest opinion.

I’m not going to beat around the bush with this review: The Secret Dead is flat out amazing! Phenomenal even. S.W. Fairbrother has crafted a rich, interesting world over the modern city of London with such skill and talent that it sucks you right in! From the first page I was immersed in a London where street weasels and shifters were everyday and common. Where the police have the supernatural on staff and, while it might rub a few people the wrong way, they’re valued members of the force. The way the paranormal is so artfully woven with the mundane in the London of The Secret Dead is incredible. S.W. Fairbrother writes so beautifully and so well that it’s hard to believe this is the first in the Vivia Brisk series. Honestly, the storytelling in this book is beyond great!

I was riveted to the page, on the edge and worried for the characters who so easily slipped their way into my heart. Each time I learned another of their secrets I was even more invested and, quite happily so, left wanting to know more. S.W. Fairbrother not only built an immersive, exciting world but populated it with engaging, interesting characters. There’s something so believable, so human, about them all (even the ones that aren’t quite human) that they really came to life in my mind. I have so many questions and was given just the right amount of answers to leave me hungry for the next book. Which, to me, is the show of a truly remarkable author. If I’m sitting there stunned after finishing a book and my heart twisting in remorse for having finished, I know I’ve read something great. And I love this book. Seriously I cannot stop talking about it to everyone I meet. I’ve found one of my new favorite authors and I cannot wait for more! I fear I might be infected after reading this book! I may as well be a zombie from the pages of The Secret Dead with the way I’m going to mindlessly shamble about, waiting for the next installment!

If you like exciting paranormal mysteries with a strong, intriguing heroine, this book is for you. If you like paranormal detective work and a world filled with shapeshifters and undead and trolls and so many other fantastical beings, this book is for you. If you like worlds just this side of safe from a zombie apocalypse, this book is for you.

If you have a pulse, this book is for you. It’s so amazing I’d be shocked if someone didn’t like it.

Interested? You can find out more about The Secret Dead and it’s amazing author on the following sites:
S.W. Fairbrother’s site


Stacking the Shelves [2]

STSmall_thumb2Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Another week of some awesome, generous authors! I even got my first print copy of a book to review! How exciting is that? And I have two more coming next week! Yay! 🙂




photo (3)

That is A LOT of books now! I need to get cracking on my review queue! But I’ve been out of town visiting family and going to be out of town this weekend too! Where’s a girl to find time to read? @_@

Throwback Thursday: The Princess Bride

Throwback Thursdays is a chance for me to share some of my older favorites. Hopefully they’ll earn a place on someone else’s To Read list from it. 🙂

The Princess Bride

Author: William Goldman
Genre(s): Classic, Young Adult, Humor, Fantasy, Romance
Purchase: Amazon

A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts – The Princess Bride is a modern storytelling classic.

As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchmen, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini – the criminal philosopher who’ll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik – the gentle giant; Inigo – the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen – the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.

Have you read this book? Have you seen the movie based off it? If you haven’t close this window and go do so immediately. The Princess Bride is a charming, hilarious tale that stands the test of time. It’s a fabulous adventure story with romantic elements (without being gushy or graphic), exciting conflicts, and sass in spades. The movie was a very good adaptation and if you don’t have the time to read the book, it’s well worth the 98 minutes you’d spend watching.


Waiting On Wednesday: Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

WoW logo“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. 

Stitching Snow

Author: R.C. Lewis
Release Date: 
October 14th 2014
Disney Hyperion
 Sci-fi, Dystopia, Fairy Tales, YA

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back-but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid.

In her enthralling debut, R.C. Lewis weaves the tale of a princess on the run from painful secrets . . . and a poisonous queen. With the galaxy’s future-and her own-in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

Aliens? Fairy tale retellings? Dystopia? It’s like R.C. Lewis knew just how to entice me into reading her debut novel! And what an amazing sounding debut it is! I am a huge fan of fairy tales retold and I’ve never read one set in space! As soon as I laid eyes on the synopsis I was sold.

And then I read the release date.

Why is everything I want in my life coming out in October?! It’s going to be literary Christmas. And I might just die of happiness at the end.

Stacking the Shelves [1]

STSmall_thumb2Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

I was fortunate enough to snag some exciting books this week! Several authors were really generous with copies of their work and I’m grateful for their generosity! It’s really amazing to me that they’re willing to give away their books and I promise to post up reviews as thanks for it as soon as I’m done reading!