Book Review: “Highland Vengeance” by Melanie Karsak

Hello!

It is finally time to talk about the third book in the Celtic Blood series, by Melanie Karsak. If you would like to check out what I had to say about the other two books, they are Highland Raven and Highland Blood. This post will include some spoilers down below, so in case you want to read the entire set (it’s free on Kindle Unlimited right now!) you may want to ditch this review!

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get started on discussing what went on in Corbie’s next stage in life.


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Everything Gruoch loves has turned to ash. With Gillacoemgain gone, Gruoch rides north with her newborn son and a broken heart. While she desperately clings to hope, Gruoch’s new alliance with Macbeth proves more challenging than she ever anticipated. Only her unexpected reunion with an important person from her past offers solace. All may yet be well, but the raven’s wary eyes cannot help but notice clouds gathering on the horizon.

taken from Goodreads.

There were a lot of things I absolutely loved about this book, but it was definitely bittersweet!

When we come to this book, you see the cycle of being a woman of medieval times and I instantly felt horrible for her. However, she isn’t a young girl anymore; she was the raven, a widow, mother of two beautiful babies and she really took control of her life. She returns to Cawdor with only Lulach and they begin on this new journey, and the first thing she does is make the decision to seek out Macbeth instead of her cousin Duncan (for obvious reasons!), and although it was strange to choose the man who may have killed her husband, there would have no way in hell of going with option #2. Unfortunately, this marriage isn’t exactly the happiest for her but I liked the fact that she basically said, forget it! I don’t want no part of this anymore and focused her attention to raising Lulach as the successor of Moray.

“This is the sad reality we must accept. I am Gruoch, Daughter of Boite and Lady of Moray. I am the mother of Lulach, son of Gillacoemgain. You must know me as such.

On top of that, we see a familiar face come back into her life. As much as I really liked Gillacoemgain and how he treated her as both a woman and wife, especially since history has a way of showing the worst in men and when it comes to the line of succession, alliances have to be made and sometimes they don’t work out as you will see in this one, but it was nice to see another person so devoted to Corbie come back into her life. This person is a supporter of Macbeth with Jarl Thorfinn of Orkney, as they will lead the northern party against the king and Duncan.

The only thing I had an issue with was what happens starting on Chapter 42, because Melanie jumps through the years and we are told that they will be a war near the end, we are only centered around the final battle. Corbie joins everyone on the field and embraces the dark goddess, her magic and the raven for this one moment, and she was such a badass! I was proud of her throughout these books, but this was everything to me! She was finally able to get their revenge and it was so glorious!

As we enter the final book, I am slightly unsure of what could happen and basically everyone else close to her. She becomes Queen, but she only has this title because of Macbeth. I think she will have to make some even harder decisions about what she wants for not only herself but children too. I already know I will be crying because I know there will be more deaths and they are going to be hard on my heart as much as Corbie, but I’m ready to finish her story before the summer is over.

Have you read this book or any of the others in the Celtic Blood series? If you have, which one is your ultimate favorite of all time? What were thoughts after finishing “Highland Vengeance” too?

Book Review: “Mountain Darkness” by Vanessa Vale

Hello!

I really didn’t think I would have a Friday post, but yet I’m here…

I have been going through a book slum and I’ve had a slow couple of weeks where I am choosing to take a nap in the afternoon over reading my books and it has drove me absolutely crazy! I want to read but nothing has made me get out of this indecisive mood brewing inside, until Vanessa Vale posted that the first book of the Wild Mountain Men series was free and I was, like, “OH THANK GOD!” So, I hope you enjoy what I had to say about this story below.


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If you liked Bridgewater County, you don’t want to miss this hot new series full of wild mountain men!

We want Kit Lancaster. We’ve wanted her for years. Both of us. Me and Donovan. It might not be normal for two guys to claim a woman together, but we live in Cutthroat, Montana and we’ll do what we want.

And what we want to do is Kit.

What could get in the way? Oh yeah, a little thing called murder. And since I’m the lead detective and Donovan’s the prosecutor, it might not be the smartest thing to bed the prime suspect.

As if that would stop us
.

taken from Goodreads.

I have to say, it was really nice to be back reading Vanessa’s stories again. I enjoy the mixture of both series, the suspenseful drama behind all of the sexiness that is definitely hard to resist, but I am especially difficult when it comes to erotica writers. I thought I only loved the inked, bad boy, rock stars and sort of superficial responses of daily life but she is definitely pulling me into the world of having two good men falling for the same girl and have it completely normal in these small towns As hot as this story is and relatable in the thinking of Kit’s thinking was, there are a few things that I was sort of ignoring while reading it, so I need to address those to you before you get this book.

The first thing I need to say is, you might need to read the book I did last year called, Ride Me Dirty as it explains the ins and outs of this lifestyle, where you have three characters: two guys and one woman in a relationship. It is pretty interesting to explore this world in that series but unfortunately, it is considered more like an afterthought in this book, which is why I wanted to share that book because Vanessa does dive in and explain to you about what means to be in this kind of love triangle.

I was a total slut. And I was loving every minute of it.

The guys are not gay by any means (although that wouldn’t be such a bad idea!) and even though they are upfront about having feelings for this woman and feel protective over her, I feel like it is quite unfair that they do not express any jealous towards each other. There is one point in this book, where it presents itself but is knocked out pretty quickly. And I will say I did not have these thoughts while reading RMD, but it definitely crept into my mind for this one as I couldn’t wrap my mind around it, but in the author’s defense, I’ve only read the first books of each series, so maybe it is mentioned in the next couple of books?

Despite my thoughts above, I honestly loved the story. It was hot and loving all at the same time, so in a way I don’t have much to complain about, other than the fact that this one was much shorter in length. A part of me was thinking that I was only reading fast to get to the good stuff but once I finished, I was kind of stunned with myself but again I think it helped me kick the slump a little bit because it made me excited again to continue reading it. All I wished was that the rest of the series was listed as free on Amazon too, so I wouldn’t have to wait ages to see what else happens because I am more curious with this series than the other one. It had a great cliffhanger and now all I want is more of it, or in this case, Kit, Nix and Donovan!

Have you read the “Wild Mountain Men” series or any other books by Vanessa Vale lately? If you have read this story, what did you love and/or hate about it the most?

Book Review: “A Touch Of Ruin” by Scarlett St. Clair

Hello!

Well, I am back with my third review of a Scarlett St. Clair book.

If you didn’t know I have already read A Touch Of Darkness written with Persephone, as the main focus, and A Game Of Fate told in Hades’ point of view of the same plot. This one continues Persephone’s story following the events at the end of both books. Scarlett is releasing A Touch Of Malice in May 2021 and A Game Of Retribution sometime next winter. I know it seems very confusing but that’s just how I read both series and will as the rest of the books are released.

I really tired during the last week of January to change up what was next on my list but I couldn’t leave it alone and honestly, I think it was the best thing I could have done because now I can officially move on from the story of Hades and Persephone and read other genres, like nonfiction, and be fully committed to it.


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Persephone’s relationship with Hades has gone public and the resulting media storm disrupts her normal life and threatens to expose her as the Goddess of Spring.

Hades, God of the Dead, is burdened by a hellish past that everyone’s eager to expose in an effort to warn Persephone away.

Things only get worse when a horrible tragedy leaves Persephone’s heart in ruin and Hades refusing to help. Desperate, she takes matters into her own hands, striking bargains with severe consequences.

Faced with a side of Hades she never knew and crushing loss, Persephone wonders if she can truly become Hades’ queen.

taken from Goodreads.

I think the best way to describe this story is, it was a roller coaster of different emotions. I was proud, envious, in love, sad, and God help me, aroused throughout much of the book. Sorry to any family members out there who are reading this post and wishing I hadn’t shared that little tebibit.

“I just need a mental health day,” Persephone said.

Anyways…

There are a lot of things in this story. We talk about the ultimatum that Demitri gave her in the beginning, the ins and outs of Apollo and Sybil’s relationship, how the Goddess of Spring is dealing with her new found powers, and eventually we get on to Lexa. On top of all of this, we have the new relationship with Hades and the prospect of becoming his wife and eventually Queen of the Underworld.

As much as I saw Persephone as a strong woman in the first book, I didn’t really see her like that here. There are a few parts where she comes out like a total badass, but I find with this one, she is more whiny than anything else. Whenever she was posed with going back and forth between the Underworld and Upperworld, you as the reader could clearly see her juggle more than she could really handle and even though I admired her for wanting to being present in both worlds with her friends she never really found a way to find a steady solution until the end of it. Of course, now that I mention it on here, that was probably the point of the whole story in the first place.

Despite the fact that the story is stretched out in three parts, every single chapter had a lot of information that I am still trying to digest because I know the next book is going to be even more difficult. I am looking forward to checking it out but I am also in need to meditate with Hecate as well or hang out with Hermes, either one would be a blessing in disguise!

Have you read this series yet? What were your thoughts on this installment of the saga of Hades x Persephone? Were your emotions all over the place like mine?

Book Review: “Three Dark Crowns” by Kendare Blake

Hello!

I have seen this book on BookTube a lot in the last year or so. It is a very popular read among the fantasy lovers out there, but I have also seen some mixed reviews too. Some people think it’s too slow in parts and a little cliché. So, when I saw it on Prime Reading, I was sort of confused on whether or not I would give it a chance. Since it was free, I knew in my head that I could always return it and move on to the next, but the opening line pretty much washed away every inch of doubt in my mind. I will share it with you too.

Three dark queens, are born in a glen, sweet little triplets will never be friends. Three dark sisters, all fair to be seen, two to devour and one to be Queen.

At the time I started reading this book, I was caught up in a troubling situation. I was reading another book in a totally different genre but I wasn’t feeling it anymore. As much as I was originally enjoying it, somehow I lost the will to continue with it. Once I found this, I was refreshed and back to reading again. However, within about four days later I went back to another book in the same genre, and I was SO worried that I would feel burnt out after reading a similar story, but so far I feel fine to keep going with it.


055c57b555c80ebe15494ad70ad84e24Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose … it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest … but she may be the darkest.

taken from Goodreads!

Okay, I want to start this by saying that I have never met a book–much less in the fantasy genre–with the most gorgeous names for their characters! I still haven’t figured out how to pronounce Arsinoe but I think I’m close and I feel that’s good enough for now! Anyways, I’ve always been really critical about the mixture of regal and unique names together, but I felt like everyone fit perfectly with each one! I adore them so much that I even started to add a few into my monthly favorites on my naming Instagram account!

Now that I have that out of the way, I can move on to the actual review and we have lots to talk about, but I will try to keep as many spoilers out of this post as I can. No promises though!

We start off meeting each Queen, first it is Queen Katharine. She is a poisoner and lives with the Arron family.  The family as a whole has enjoyed their blessings as they have seen a poisoner Queen on the throne three times. Katharine is a bit of an intervort in the beginning. She doesn’t want to disappoint anyone especially her mentor Natalia Arron, who has been teaching her how to handle various posions both physically and mentally since she was a child. After her, we move on to Arisnoe. She is a naturalist and lives with the Milones. Her most trusted friend is Jullienne Milone or Jules for short and her familiar Camden, which is a mountain lion. We meet the two of them trying to channel Arisnoe’s gift to call on nature for everything. The girls are brave and of course stubborn, and they fill the story of adventures. And finally, our last is Mirabella. She is an elementist. She can control every element and has been in control with her abilities for a long time. Her popularity is so large that support for her sisters is only extended to their foster families and islanders.

I was a bit hesitant when I first started though. I was reminded back to when I read The Ring and The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz a few years ago; it also had more than one point of view going on all at once but for that book, I wasn’t able to keep up with every character. However, for some reason I was able to stay focused on everybody’s stories for this, I was even seeing what was going on in my head. I could imagine Queen Katharine’s birthday with the fabulous Grav Noir, and Queen Arisnoe discovers Madrigal doing something she shouldn’t and the scene where Queen Mirabella finds Joseph and “warms” him up. Everything was very detailed so it wasn’t a big deal for me to form vivid images of everything going on and I absolutely loved it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to the end. There were certainly chapters that were slower than others, but I really loved seeing each character grow and how the whole thing worked in its own little way! I’m hoping to get back into this series around November, so it’ll be a nice fantastical birthday present for myself!

Have you read the first book, “Three Dark Crowns” by Kendare Blake yet? If you have, who was your favorite Queen? Besides the triplets, maybe tell me your favorite secondary character(s) too?

snowflake

 

Book Review: “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio

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Howdy!

In February, I read only three books.

Ride Me Dirty by Vanessa ValeJane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone and Wonder by R.J. Palacio

My tastes in books at the moment has been very interesting, I’m not really sticking to one genre but then again if you know anything about me, you’ll know this is completely normal because I can be completely at peace when my music is on shuffle. I figure going this route will help me stay motivated to read more and maybe keep it entertaining and so far so good!

This book was my final “disability” read on my list and I’m glad I read it, but I am somewhat surprised by the fact that I gave it a four star rating on Goodreads. I enjoyed reading it. I thought it was really good, but I just didn’t think it deserved five stars.

Hmmm…


13510287“I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.

WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

taken from Goodreads.

The story of August “Auggie” Pullman was beautiful! I loved his attitude and surprisingly his hobbies like Star Wars. Although, I have to say, I don’t know anything about that fandom. Honestly, I am more into the “newer” Star Trek world of Captian Kirk and Spock. Anyways, I loved that there was still a silver of a young child in him, but as you continue reading the book, you also discover there’s a mature side wanting to come out too.

It was a bit difficult to see him as a middle schooler, because where I’m from, when you become a fifth grader, you’re still in elementary so I had to get it into my brain to not create this avatar character younger than he is in the book. Another part of this process was when the term “dating” come up and oh my gosh, I had so many flashbacks going on, it was nuts! I fully agreed with Summer’s mother, fifth graders are too young to start dating or anything else in that realm.

We talk about Auggie’s life in his perspective first, but then we come to a stop and there are a few parts for some of the close characters that August is surrounded by and I feel like these were my favorites because of course, everybody is going to have another perspective of a certain person, but you never get to really know what they are thinking about them in real life. So, the fact that we see Via, Jack Will, Justin’s telling us their thought process made it more interesting for me. It actually brought me back to the time when I first met my friend Haley in kindergarten, because for me this was the first time I was around a group of kids all day long, so they were allowed to get to know me but the only person I remember who had a good experience was Haley. She thought I was the coolest thing in the world and I still appreciate everything she ever did for me back then.

One of the other things that is discussed is these precepts in Mr. Browne’s English class. I thought it was only right to end this post with one of my own. Actually, this is a quote that I used for my senior year in high school to go underneath our pictures in the yearbook. It was:

Why be different when you can be so much more?

At this point in my life, I wasn’t comfortable with my body, disability at all. So, I still don’t fully understand why I would come up with such a thing. I came up with it on the spot too! It was crazy, but the real question is now that 10 years have passed, do I believe it? In a way, yes I do. I am different, but I am more than my disability. I am a woman, who thinks for herself and enjoys things like any other person. I am just me. I think Auggie could believe it too. He is more than what is going on with his face. He is more than what other people may think of him. He is just himself.

I think I might’ve figured out why I gave it four stars. At the end of the book, Auggie does understand that he is just an ordinary guy and is perfectly fine with it. He is also looked upon others as an inspiration. He did do an extraordinary thing and even though he was happy about it, as the reader I didn’t much care for the ending of the story. It was exactly like it was supposed to be, a happy ending with a greater reason behind it. I expected it to happen and I’m sure others did too, but because of that, I was immediately offended. So, I left out a star and I know, people will say something about it, but this is what I feel and what entered me emotionally while I was reading it.

How you read the book “Wonder” yet? What were your thoughts on it? Let me know below! 

snowflake