You know those times in your life when you would rather be an ostrich? When your life gets so heavy that you legit would take the blue pill and stick your head in ground just so you can take a minute to breathe? That is how I have spent the entire month of January. Not sure if that is entirely normal after losing both your parents but you know what?

I am just going to do me and do the best that I can.

As a mother of three babies, boozing it up to cope isn’t exactly an option for me, so I read. I read until my eyes feel like sandpaper, into the wee hours of the night while my littles are sleeping and my husband is snoring beside me. No matter how exhausted I am in the morning and how shady my hair looks, I sacrifice my sleep for me time.

The books below are all finds on Kindle Unlimited or Amazon. I chose to subscribe because my book habits are ridiculous and I would literally be solely responsible for global warming and killing the rainforests if I purchased a paper copy of every book I read. I would have to purchase a second home to hold them all. Don’t get me wrong, I love the smell of a worn book and the way the pages feel but I love being married more! My book hoarding tendencies would not allow for me to sell them.

It is a real Smeagol-Gollum situation y’all.

Below is what I found in the first half of January, most are paranormal, young adult, fantasy or somewhere in between. I will give you the skinny on each and just some basics. The one featured under ” Impressed & Obsessed” is my favorite and my new mini-obsession. Shout out to Zoe Parker, the Facets of Feyrie series is beyond awesome. Outside of Zoe’s awesome series, the books are split into two other categories. Those listed under “Impressed” are those that I finished and looked for additional books in the series and those listed under “Did Not Finish” are books I didn’t like and stopped reading for whatever reason. There are several that I completed but didn’t find all that amazing that will be included in my next post.

Impressed & Obsessed

Elusion by Zoe Parker

Description:

Pretend Ma told me the terrible things done to me were for the greater good. That I would be a hero and fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.
I’m not so sure about that.
I am sure about that my time in this world is drawing to a close. I’m okay with that. I even wish for it, some days. Then I meet HIM. Mr. Glowy Eyes.
I’m also sure I’m a monster, and I’m CERTAIN that he’s so much worse than that. But he also shows me something important. Very important. Do you want to know what it is?


Are you still waiting?
I can’t tell you, silly rabbit. Who gives something like that away?
Mr. Glowy Eyes is waiting, too.
In the dark…
Under the bed…
I can’t promise he won’t eat you…
But I can promise you won’t mind when he does.

My Thoughts:

Ok, so seriously I am pretty sure I know what you are thinking. I will be completely honest, I chose this book on reviews and ratings alone. The description provided was interesting but is pretty vague and the writing style seems a bit different, right? Not to mention the cover is kind of difficult to make out and seems a little bit more anime than books I normally read. This book series is EVERYTHING. This story is written for people tired of typical heroines, way past over-done love stories, over alpha males that are beautiful with raging hormones and are looking for something completely UNIQUE. Elusion has everything I love to see in a story and contains so many things I never expected. Our heroine isn’t a dainty little beautiful thing that swoons on command, has to be saved and owns untouched lady parts that are ripe for the picking. She is a monster. A resilient, passionate, scary as hell, all giving, protective momma beast that owns her darkness and let’s it out to play. The male lead is dangerous, terrifying and written in such an original way that you are drawn to his point of view like a moth to a flame. ( I usually dislike male POV’s because I find them distracting.) The action is continuous, twisted and the violence is graphic and unforgiving. I just cannot express how much I dig this series in words alone. Just go read it, seriously. You won’t regret it.

Impressed

The Griever’s Mark by Katherine Hurley

Description:

Astarti’s master controls her through a Leash, a bond of energy anchored deep within her. Despite being one of the few remaining Drifters, able to manipulate the energy world, she cannot break free. She knows her fate: she will serve until she dies, at which point her master will harvest her energy to augment his own.

Oh, yes, she’s done some bad things in her master’s name. She’s not asking for forgiveness. She expects you to hate her.

What she doesn’t expect is Logan, a man meant to be her sworn enemy. A man with secrets as dark as her own.

My Thoughts:

The world building in this one is well done! The heroine is conflicted and strong but needs saving as well. She isn’t weak but has to rely on other’s for her safety. The antagonist is well-built and instills a certain amount of discomfort in the reader because Astarti’s situation really blows. The pace is good, action continuous and the character’s decisions are consistent with their personalities. I haven’t read book two in this series yet but it is on my list.

Blood Oath by Raye Wagner & Kelly St. Clare

Description:

Everything I know is a lie.

I’m an ordinary mortal girl. Lord Irrik is a depraved dragon shifter. King Irdelron is an immortal tyrant.

In the disease ridden land of Verald, life is mapped out much like the established rings of our kingdom. Everyone has a role…
Me? I’ll be uselessly serving potato stew for the rest of my life because I can’t make anything grow.

But starvation brews rebellion.

When the king strikes, I’m captured by Lord Irrik. Instantly, I’m embroiled in a deadly game. One where I’m desperate to understand the rules.

Because nothing makes sense anymore.

Now, I’m not only fighting for my life . . . but a love that could be the key to my freedom.

What if the truth means you’re not who — or what — you thought you were?

My thoughts:

Blood Oath was intriging for me because I enjoyed the overall experience of reading it. It isn’t life changing but has all the necessary elements and got me invested. Dragon themes are still fairly new to me, most of the shifter stuff I read is of the wolf variety, so this was a nice change. Well written and not cheesy, I appreciated the dynamic between main characters and the slow developments in their relationship. With a well-built heroine, an interesting world concept, and a good antagonist, Blood Oath maintained a steady pace that kept me interested and never faltered. I enjoyed the ending, sort of expected it but not completely. I am waiting on the second book to be released and will definitely read it.

Fantasy of Frost by Kelly St. Clare

Description:

I know many things. What I am capable of, what I will change, what I will become. But there is one thing I will never know…

The veil I’ve worn from birth carries with it a terrible loneliness; a suppression I cannot imagine ever being free of.

Some things never change…

My mother will always hate me. Her court will always shun me.

…Until they do.

When the peace delegation arrives from the savage world of Glacium, my life is shoved wildly out of control by the handsome Prince Kedrick who, for unfathomable reasons, shows me kindness.

And the harshest lessons are learned.

Sometimes it takes the world bringing you to your knees to find that spark you thought forever lost.

Sometimes it takes death to show you how to live.

My Thoughts:

This book contains some mystery to it and that is always something I am keen on finding because with as much as I read, it only happens once in a blue moon. The writing is detailed, too detailed in some parts and the book a good length. The terminology can be confusing if you aren’t paying attention, so speed reader’s beware! You can’t skim as much with this book as you can with others. I enjoyed Olina. She is weak and frustrating at times but she did manage to maintain her backbone so that salvaged her character in my eyes. I did enjoy the well described view of politics and relations between Glacium and Olina’s home land and I loved King Jovan’s character. The biggest bonus is that I didn’t see the ending coming which always makes a book for me. There are several more books in this series, I have moved on for now but may revisit later.

Mother Of Shadows by Meg Anne

Description:

Helena’s life had always been quiet. In fact, she liked it that way. When her childhood friend returns home and tells her that she is the prophesied ruler of the Chosen, those blessed with the gift of magic, her quiet life goes up in flames.

Suddenly Helena finds herself surrounded by a circle of protectors, each having sworn their loyalty to her since her birth. All except for one: her Mate.

It’s not enough that she learn how to use her magic and undergo a trial to prove her worthiness; in order to claim her title, Helena must also find the man who carries the other half of her soul.

Exiled due to a past he had no part in, Von is the last man the Chosen expect Helena to select. Despite their protests, his soul calls to hers and there’s no denying that he was made for her. But the prophecy stands and all isn’t as it seems.

There’s an enemy lurking within plain sight who will stop at nothing to destroy her

My Thoughts:

I have been waiting on the second book in this series because I enjoyed the first so much and I just figured out it has been released so I am stoked! Mother of Shadows is full of unique ideas. When I first started reading this I was hesitant because I am not a big fan of reverse harem books. I get it is all the rage right now but I don’t fancy sharing my man and I like him protective, so the idea a man would share his woman willingly doesn’t really do it for me. However, I was pleased to see that although she is surrounded by multiple protectors, they weren’t all dipping in the pool if you get my drift. I like the leading lady in this book. Helena is a feisty one and although she is written almost too strong ( there is a lack of time between her moments of weakness and the explosion of her power, it too quick for my taste in places) she takes care of business and doesn’t take any crap. I like the dynamic between her followers and I love the respect they have for her. The antagonist is a bit corny and overly obvious but sometimes I don’t want to have to follow the bread crumbs ya know? I just want it all spelled out for me, so in this case I didn’t mind. Von is flawed and I like that. I like he isn’t a typical love interest. Over all I enjoyed this one and look forward to the next.

Skyborn by Leia Stone

Description:

Alone, on the run, and fighting for her life.

Sloane Murphy thought hiking the Grand Canyon alone after graduation would be an awesome adventure. Until she slips and starts to plummet to her death. Then the unthinkable happens.

She transforms into… a dragon.

After flying to safety and trying to convince herself she isn’t having a mental breakdown, the hunters come for her. She runs, somehow managing to stay one step ahead of them. Until her luck runs out. Now the hunters have her and they intend to kill, not capture.

That’s when he comes for her.

Logan Sharp is the last dragon shifter alive. Or so he thinks, until he gets word that the druids are hunting a red headed female. His team takes her in, sheltering her because there is a truth she must learn: if the skyborn die out, then so does humanity.

But Sloane is hiding a dark secret that she doesn’t even know yet. A secret that could change everything.

My Thoughts:

This book is cute. Despite having some serious action, it isn’t super heavy and bogged down by teenage angst. The relationship between Logan and Sloane isn’t insta-love and grows at a steady pace. The characters blend together well and are decently built. I really enjoy Leia Stone and I am a big fan of the Ash Trilogy. I enjoyed the plot and even though I could see the ending a mile a way, I enjoyed it anyway. All in all this is just fun to read and I am waiting on the next book to come out

Keystone by Dannika Dark

Description:

Raven Black hunts evildoers for fun, but her vigilante justice isn’t the only reason she’s hiding from the law. Half Vampire, half Mage, she’s spent years living as a rogue to stay alive. When a Russian Shifter offers her a job in his covert organization hunting outlaws, dignity and a respectable career are finally within her grasp. The catch? Her new partner is Christian Poe – a smug, handsome Vampire whom she’d rather stake than go on a stakeout with.

They’re hot on the trail of a human killer who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. One misstep during her probationary period could jeopardize Raven’s chance at redemption, and her partner would love nothing more than to see her fail. Will Raven find the courage to succeed, or will she give in to her dark nature?

Dark secrets, unexpected twists, and a blurred line between good and evil will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Crossbreed is a powerful new urban fantasy romance series that will captivate your imagination. Follow Raven on her journey through a perilous world of secrets and lies. This series will contain romantic elements, so if you like a slow burn and not insta-love, look no further.

My Thoughts:

I really dug this series! Not only did I PAY for the first installment, I paid for the the entire series! For those of you that aren’t familiar with my blog, I am pretty cheap and rarely actually buy books anymore. I prefer to obtain ARC’s or use my Kindle Unlimited subscription. What really caught my attention is the words ” slow burn”. I am a total sucker for a love story that starts out as hate at first sight. Something about watching the steady development and progression of a fiery relationship really keeps me interested and I find myself not really caring about anything else other than that particular dynamic a lot of the time. This series has it all and I really enjoyed it. I expect I will re-read this series many times!

Did Not Finish

Hot Bloods by Bella Forrest

Description:

One last adventure. That’s all Riley wants before heading off to college and parting ways with her two best friends. Spending their last summer together on a Texas farm in the middle of nowhere isn’t quite as exciting as they’d planned…

That is, until they stumble upon secrets no human should know.

Men who appear and disappear.

A giant wing hidden in the creek.

Screams in the dead of night.

Every oddity seems connected to their strange–and alarmingly attractive–new neighbors, led by the stormy-eyed Navan. For reasons she can’t explain, Riley feels drawn to him and the story of his past.

But Navan has a monstrous side, one that grants him incredible powers that are not of this world…and ashen skin that feels like fire to the touch.

When events take a dangerous twist, Riley is determined to protect her friends at all costs, but as she unravels each thread of the mystery, she finds herself entangled in a supernatural conquest that is far bigger than Texas… and even Earth itself.

My Thoughts:

I have no idea why this has such high ratings. This was pretty terrible. I got right to the part where the vampire alien’s ship was stolen and gave up. I know some people love Bella Forrest but honestly I did not enjoy this book or her Shade Of A Vampire series. The writing is basic and there is little to no build up in relation to romance. The characters are one-dimensional and the plot up until the point is returned it is, for lack of a better word, silly. This one just didn’t do it for me.

Mated to the Werewolf King by Alena Des

Description:

As war looms between the two species, the Demon Lord is determined to find Annabelle – little does she know, the truth behind his sinister actions is about to unravel.

When Annabelle discovers that she is not the true daughter of the Alpha in her pack, her world, as she knows it, comes crashing down and she finds herself running to hide from the tyrannical Demon Lord who is hell-bent on finding her.

Despite her objections, she is taken to the court of the Werewolf King. He’s arrogant, stubborn and discerning of her very being, but willing to defend her… for now.

Will the Werewolf King yield to the Demon Lord’s ultimatum and give her to the enemy or will she be the cause of a looming war between the two species?

More importantly, what does the Demon Lord want with Belle? She’s only a werewolf… isn’t she?

My Thoughts:

Eh, this story was just too much. The Werewolf King is supposed to be one of those arrogant, charming, a-hole alpha types that slowly draw you in and make you love them when they finally give in to their love and instinct.. blah blah blah. Not so much. This character was terribly written. He was too angry, too mean, too arrogant and the dialogue and dynamic between him and the female lead is awkward and unbelievable. I quit somewhere between about the thirty to forty percent mark. I am all for an alpha with a hesitant love and then a slow fuse that blows up into something sexy but this book did not offer that. Not to mention, Annabelle is completely clueless which is like throwing fuel on the fire. I like my leading ladies with girl balls and a backbone.

Guardian by A.J. Messenger

Description:

A “must-read romance” featured in USA TODAY
Eighteen-year-old Declan Jane is just trying to make it through senior year in San Mar, the Northern California coastal town she’s lived in all her life. Perpetually under the radar, she’s surprised by the pull she feels to a mysterious and attractive new student, Alexander Ronin. Despite all the girls vying for his attention, Declan is the one he’s drawn to, and she finds herself returning his interest. As the intensity of their attraction builds and she discovers the truth behind his appearance in San Mar, he reveals the danger she’s in and why their relationship holds deadly consequences. But as Declan overcomes her fears and fights for her life, the connection between the two lovers may be the only thing that can save them both.

Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, this story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned

My Thoughts:

Tricky, tricky! This book caught my eye because not only is the cover simple and elegant, the whole featured in USA TODAY line, despite my better judgement, caught my eye and made me take notice. After reading the description I am all into it right? The whole must read, “deeply romantic” vibe it gives off has me drooling. This book felt way more immature than I expected. I get that it is set in high school but it just didn’t hold any real emotion in it. It was every story written since the Twilight craze about a teenage girl and her paranormal savior. I will admit I didn’t get very far because I lost interest very quickly. If this was one I received an ARC for I would have hammered it out and bled my way through it but on a reading binge I do not force myself to finish something that can’t keep my attention.

Alright y’all! I hope you enjoyed the fruits of my labor! Have a wonderful Monday!

-Jill