[Monthly] October ARCs

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kindly provided, in exchange for an honest review.

So much work to do this month! I am trying to bring my ratio up so I kind of have to burry my nose in these books.

1 . The Ninth Circle, Book One: Fire by C.A. Harland

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Tala Morgenstern lives for the hunt, embracing her heritage as a demon hunter. When her younger sister, Hartley, disappears while on the trail of her long-lost father, Tala must seek the help of her other sister Aiva, who has turned her back on the underworld of magic and hunting. Suspecting demonic involvement, Tala and Aiva race to find Hartley before she can be claimed by hell.

Their search takes them deeper into the bowels of Dublin’s criminal underground, where the gangs are led by demons, and the currency is souls. With each Circle of hell bringing new dangers, and new revelations about their own place in the demon hunting world, Tala and Aiva have to rely on each other if they are to stand a chance of fighting their way to the Ninth Circle, and the demon lord who is waiting for them.

2. Firelines by Cara Thurlbourn

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When your blood line awakens, how do you choose between family and freedom?

Émi’s father used to weave beautiful tales of life beyond the wall, but she never knew if they were true. Now, her father is gone and Émi has been banished to the Red Quarter, where she toils to support herself and her mother – obeying the rules, hiding secrets and suffering the cruelties of the council’s ruthless Cadets.

But when Émi turns seventeen, sparks fly – literally. Her blood line surges into life and she realises she has a talent for magick… a talent that could get her killed.

Émi makes her escape, beyond the wall and away from everything she’s ever known. In a world of watchers, elephant riders and sorcery, she must discover the truth about who she really is. But can the new Émi live up to her destiny?

3. Closer (Closer #1) by M.C. Vann

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When Alexandria Summers (Ally) bumps into Henry Pearce during the Sunny Valley Tulip Festival, she never thought she’d see him again in her hometown, the Windy City. Despite several warnings telling her to stay away, Ally finds herself falling deeper for this strange man. But little did she know, their fated encounter is just the beginning of a larger scheme.

This beautiful man was flawed.

He was real … real in a sense that he was human after all.

Fragile. Pitiful. Lonely.

Henry was all of these things — elements that I never could imagine him having.

The more I got to know Henry, the more I realized how much of a mystery he was.

A dark, but beautiful mystery.

*** Trigger Warning: Intended for audiences 18 and older. Contains situations some readers might find objectionable. Ends on a cliffhanger.

4. Ekata: Fall of Darkness (Ekata #1) by Dominique Law

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On Ekata, a utopian world where violence is unthinkable, Asher has been plagued with visions of death and darkness since childhood. On his eighteenth birthday he is confronted with a life-changing prophecy which tells of a threat not only to his world, but to Earth as well.

Alexis has always felt she doesn’t belong. When an extraordinary stranger appears on her doorstep, it raises more questions than answers. If everything she thought she knew about herself was a lie, who is the real Alexis? And how could she possibly be part of an ancient prophecy?

Through startling transformation and grief, the pair defy all expectations. But when everything changes, can Asher’s humanity survive? The fate of both worlds may depend upon it.

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Have you read any of these? Do you have any suggestions on how to improve in Netgalley?

Thank you for reading!

[Review] Fantastical by Kristen Ashley

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Cora Goode has woken up in a fairytale world where she can understand what birds are saying to her, men ride horses and have fluffy feathers in their hats and furniture zigs, zags and whirls in miracles of construction.

The problem is, she thinks she’s in a dream but she’s actually taken the place of the parallel universe Cora and without realizing it, our Cora does something that starts a centuries old curse that will sweep the land if she gets captured by the evil Minerva.

At this point, her dream world becomes a nightmare.

Luckily, hot guy, fantasyland Noctorno is there to save her from the clutches of the grotesque vickrants sent by Minerva to capture her. Unfortunately, hot guy, fantasyland Noctorno doesn’t like the Cora of his world all that much (to say the least) and he thinks our Cora is her. And no matter what our Cora says or does to try to convince him, he won’t be convinced.

But Cora needs Tor to keep her safe and guide her through this fantastical world as she hopes one day to wake up in her not-so-great apartment in her not-so-great life in her world. The problem is, the more time she spends with the gorgeous warrior Tor, the faster she falls in love with him.

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3stars

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I accidentally started reading the third book because I thought it was the first, which is stupid. Thankfully they’re standalones. I gotta say… I enjoyed all the freaking plot holes. I found them amusing actually. It’s one of these books you enjoy reading even though they’re a bit horribly written. Hahaha I really like how awful it is. Can’t explain it.

Writing Style

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So much wasted potential because of the writing style. The book was written in first person POV, which is always what I prefer. I like that I was able to be in Cora’s head but sometimes it was, kind of, too much… I felt like I was reading the diary of a 15 year old girl instead of a book written by an adult…

The fact that the lead was actually in her thirties, made it even worse. What do I mean exactly?

[Another slap on the ass. Serious ouch. God, I hated it when he did that.]

Really? Serious ouch? I expect a better description about how she felt at that time.

[“Put your hands on me”, he commanded, his knee pressing between my legs.
Oh my!
“Um, okey dokey,” I whispered again and slid my hands up his arms and around his shoulders.]

Who writes okey dokey during a sex scene, expecting to take the book seriously? I was facepalming and laughing instead of enjoying reading it.

[Tor’s room were the shit. In fact, his entire castle was the shit. In fact, his entire princedom was the shit.]

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Do you guys understand what I am trying to say? This description was definitely not the shit.

Not to mention ALL the awkwardly written sex scenes… All the awkward talking and questions like “who am I?” and “who are you?” in every single scene. Yes, we get it. He is your prince, your husband etc. and you’re his wife and princess. How many times do I have to skip these kind of scenes to avoid reading the same stuff again and again?

Plot

The plot had so much potential. The world building was actually pretty amazing and unique. There was this extraordinary, magical world with pretty colors and beautiful scenery. Cora was transferred into that world and tried to survive while she had to endure all the things that went wrong because of this change. (Not gonna spoil). So if the book was written in a different way, I would have loved it.

The plot holes frustrated me a bit to be honest but secretly I found them entertaining and I ignored them.

For example when Tor was transferred to Cora’s world, he demanded he drive the car.

[I showed him around the console, explained the basics, he started up the car and away we went. No joke. He was a natural. He even figured out the road signs and traffic signals and only asked what a few of them meant.] 

This can’t be. Nobody can be a natural when it comes to driving, especially someone from an entirely different universe where cars are not even close to be discovered.

Because the number of silly things like this was huge, I decided to ignore them and just focus on the main plot.

Characters

Cora Goodie is not the worse female character out there. Ignoring the fact that she annoyed the hell out of me at some points, she was most of the time a strong female lead. She was opinionated, (kind of) determined, brave, friendly and fought for her rights and her loved ones. I enjoyed the fact that she could be emotional and not ice cold when she had to. Vulnerability is not always a weakness.

She was annoying when she was acting like a teen in front of Tor but I forgave this behavior because she had to do with the other half of her soul. Love makes us all fools sometimes. Plus, adults need a break from adulting.

Tor was not my type of book boyfriend. I accept that he was a prince, taught to order everyone around but I can’t accept how possessive he was. I felt like I needed space. What saved the situation was his sweetness and all the caring. He was rational and smart apart from handsome and well build. He was the voice of Cora’s conscience and thankfully her protector from all the evil out there.

Overal

I pushed the strict side of me away. I was going for one star but because of all the potential and the little details I enjoyed I decided against it. I admit that I had fun reading it, even if it was for the wrong reasons.

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[Kristen Ashley]

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

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Thank you all so much for reading! Can’t wait for your opinion. Have you read the book? What do you think? Would you read it?

[Rant Tuesday] Expectations of a main female character

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Hello my precious people! How was your Monday? Hope it was good cause today’s Tuesday and I am more than ready to rant on main female book characters.

We all love it when the female character is strong, sassy and independent, right? Then what about the weak and defenseless ones?

It is true that when I read a book, I expect the main character to be smart, pretty, rational and all the good qualities a person can have. Well I think I got this all wrong because actually there so many girls out there who’re not that way. Sometimes a main character is allowed to be weak and waiting for help. I am not really talking about being annoying; just weak because not all of us can be strong all the times. I don’t see how it’s bad when you rely on someone and wait for his help. Yes that help might never come and we all have to trust noone and rely mostly on ourselves but I swear there are times that Ι really want to read about the one guy that actually helps the damsel in distress, because it might be genuine and because that girl might really need the help. I don’t even know if I make sense. I am not talking about unnecessary drama or fake weakness just to get the guy to help you. I am talking about an actual weak character with confidence issues and real problems. Yes sometimes that person needs to hear compliments and be shy about them and not act sarcastic because of her badass-ness (ignore the word).

So what I am trying to say is that I super enjoy when the main character is all about trusting herself and have life goals and be focused on her purpose and all, but I do love a character who needs a push; a character who needs someone to show her the way. That’s not bad cause that’s reality.

So this is shout out to all of you who wait for that someone in your life that will show you what it’s like to live. Go out there, find that man because it’s ok to need him. Be yourselves and don’t try to act strong if you’re not just because people like it. Ask for help and at the end if you don’t get it, try harder and be the strong person that people want you to be. It’s all about experiences, failures and disappointments. These things make us all stronger and it’s fine that we are through them. Either someone will make us feel better or we’ll do it on our own.

Be yourself and do not be ashamed of it.

[ARCs of the month] netGalley ARCs

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I was through a really weird phase and I had stopped reading books so I found myself a bit behind schedule. I need to improve my netGaelly ratio even though I am always so close to 80%. I decided not request more books and just read the ones I was already approved to read. When I am done, I’ll request some more.

I even got my first invitation recently and I was really excited about it. I mean I bet many of you have already lots of invitations but still, the first time is always unforgettable, if you know what I mean! 😉

So take a look at the ARCs I have to read this month.

❣  The Thirteenth World (The Corridor #2) by A. N. Willis

I am currently reading this and I am thrilled because it was way better than what I expected.

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Time is running out for Stel Alaster. The Corridor, the only portal between First and Second Earth, is failing and the barriers between all twelve worlds are thinning. Using her unique ability to travel through the multiverse, Stel sets out to save the Corridor . . . and ends up discovering a mysterious new world.

In the sequel to The Corridor, will the thirteenth world hold the key to the Corridor’s secrets? Or will the portal implode and take every last universe down with it?

❣ The Knight’s Bride: Chivalry Lives in 6 Stories from the Middle Ages 

by Tracie Peterson, Yvonne Lehman, Jill Stengl, Pamela Griffin, Dianne Christner

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Take six romantic adventures back in time to the Middle Ages along with five authors including Tracie Peterson, who tell the stories of couples challenged by the injustices of their times. Some couples are pulled apart by wars and feuds, while others have their futures determined by their oppressors. Can a faith be found to keep hope alive and give joy in all circumstances?

❣ Dark Rising (The Archangel Prophecies #2) by Monica McGurk

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Can One Person Upend a Prophecy as Old as Time?

Hope Carmichael is on the run. The only question is, from whom?

The mark on her neck has branded her as part of an ancient prophecy, the Bearer of the Key. But the Fallen Angels have misunderstood and think Hope is their long-awaited way to regain Heaven by force. Now Hope is chasing down the artifact that could open Heaven’s Gates, while seeking to destroy it before the Fallen catch up with her. Will the Triad crime ring track Hope and exact their punishment before she gets the chance? Is the ragtag band of angels surrounding her now there to protect her, or imprison her? And will Michael, the Archangel sworn to defend Heaven at all costs, be forced to deny his love for Hope and take her life, instead, so that the artifact won’t fall into enemy hands?

The epic narrative introduced in Dark Hope continues in Dark Rising as Hope crisscrosses some of the most ancient sites in Europe and plumbs the depths of history in search of the truth about the Key, herself, and love. Exploring themes of identity, fate, jealousy, trust, and forgiveness, Dark Rising’s mythological scope and moral urgency deepen as we come to understand the choices and consequences faced by a young woman determined to follow her heart and chart her own destiny.

❣ Easy Silence by Beth Rinyu

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They say you never forget your first love. No matter how many more come along or how much time goes by, there will always be that one person who will be forever embedded deep inside your heart and soul. For me, that was Jaxson Callahan.
We were complete opposites. I was a senator’s daughter. My parents were always too busy keeping up appearances on the political scene to show me love, so instead they bought my affection.
He was the son of a woman who allowed men to use and abuse her as well as him, just for her next fix.
We became each other’s solace during that summer we met, creating a lifetime of memories in three short months. I provided him with a sense of hope that there was more than just the harsh reality of the life he had grown accustomed to, and he showed me a genuine love that I had been yearning for my entire life. We vowed to be together forever. I loved him and he loved me…. and nothing would keep us apart.
Nothing except the secrets that were hiding in that small seaside town.
Secrets that altered our destiny. We were never given any warning as we watched our future shake, crumble and disappear altogether, leaving us with nothing but memories of a bittersweet past.
Life can be beautiful.
Life can be kind.
And, life can be heartless…..because nothing about our situation was fair.

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Have you read any of them? Do you find them interesting? You know what to do, right?