Genre: Fantasy

Review: Chosen by K.F. Breene

Posted June 11, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Chosen by K.F. BreeneReviewer: Holly
Chosen (The Warrior Chronicles, #1) by K.F. Breene
Series: The Warrior Chronicles #1
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: July 15, 2014
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 412
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three-half-stars

It is said that when war threatens the world, one individual will be selected by prophecy to lead the Shadow Warriors out of the Land of Mist and reclaim the freedom which has been stolen.

Shanti has grown up under the constant threat of war. Since she helped her people defeat a raiding party by using a special power, she's been a hunted woman. Carrying rare abilities and an uncanny fighting aptitude, Shanti is the only hope of salvation for her people. The problem is, she doesn't believe in her own divinity, and when she flounders, she nearly fails in the duty hanging so heavy on her shoulders.

It seems like any other day when Sanders and his band of misfit boys find a foreign woman clinging to life in the wastelands. Oblivious to the weapon they now have in their possession, they are content to harbor the mysterious woman until she is well enough to continue her journey. But when the war spreads its arms and lands on her borrowed doorstep, Shanti has no choice but to reveal her secrets, plunging her saviors into danger.

If they band with her, they will face certain death. But to trade her to Xandre, the warlord desperate to add her to his war machine, would be to give up their entire way of life.

I read and enjoyed the Fire and Ice/Magical Mayhem series by K.F. Breene. When I saw this series on KU I figured I’d give it a try. It’s darker than the previous books I’ve read by the author, but I enjoyed the world and the main characters.

Shanti is a badass warrior. Her people have all been murdered and she’s trying to get to her extended family to fulfill the prophesy that will reunite her people and bring peace to the land. When she’s found half-dead and brought to a new land, she’ll have to fight to get her strength back up and try to earn the trust of the Captain so he doesn’t turn her over to her enemies.

I really enjoyed Shanti and her interactions with her saviors. The story did drag on quite a bit in the middle, but the anticipation of what was to come kept me reading. There’s potential for a romance that really worked, and I’m curious to see what happens with Shanti’s quest in the future.

3.5 out of 5

Warrior Chronicles

three-half-stars


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What Are You Reading? (+ Fantasy Giveaway)

Posted May 11, 2018 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 6 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: This week as a been a no-go for me. I made it to chapter two of Order of Protection by Lexi Blake. I adore Lexi’s books, but I’m thinking about putting this one aside and moving onto something else for now. I’m in a paranormal mood right now, but can’t seem to find anything that catches my eye.

Holly: I read about half of Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope this week. I’m still working on it, but I may set it aside and pick it back up later. I don’t think it’s the book. I’m just not really in the mood. I read Not Quite Crazy by Catherine Bybee. The overall theme was problematic for me (there’s a legal issue that makes no sense to me) and I took issue with some other things. I’m still deciding how I feel about it as a whole.

I’m currently listening to Burn for You by J.T. Geissinger. I’m only about 3 chapters in, but I’m really loving it.

Rowena: This week has been a binge-watching new to me TV Shows kind of week so my week was taken up mostly Iron Fist and Luke Cage. I did manage to get two books read though. The first book that I read and enjoyed the heck out of was Hooked on You by Kate Meader. Bren and Violet were a great couple and their romance was a lot of fun to jump right into. I enjoyed seeing my Chicago Rebels fam and I really enjoyed seeing Violet grow closer with not just Bren but with Bren’s children too.

The other book that I read was a re-read for me. I read Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G and it was just as fabulous this time around as it was the other times that I read it. I seriously love Carter and Arizona. Their story is just fantastic. I’m so ready for book club on Monday.

Now, I’m going to jump into Speakeasy by Sarina Bowen because…yay for May!! I can’t wait to jump into this book. After this one, I’ll be reading Making Up by Lucy Parker and that’s just more goodness that I know I’m going to love.

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, in support of Kevin Kneupper’s efforts with #cockygate, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Fantasy Giveaway)They Who Fell (They Who Fell, #1) by Kevin Kneupper
Series: They Who Fell #1
Published by Amazon Digital Services
Publication Date: July 2, 2014
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 247
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They say that long ago, there was a rebellion in Heaven. That an army of angels sought to seize the throne, and were cast down into the pits of Hell in punishment. Those are the affairs of angels, and everything would have been fine if they’d kept them to themselves. But there’s been another uprising, and another Fall. Cast down to Earth, the rebel angels ravaged the globe in an orgy of sin and violence as they indulged in their newfound freedoms. Their new home is the Perch, a black, towering monstrosity that blights what’s left of the New York City skyline.

Life inside the Perch means you watch your tongue, if you’re a servant. Jana has lived there since she was a child, and now she’s found herself thrust into the middle of angelic politics. Some of them want to torture her, just for the fun of it. Others say they want to protect her. And Rhamiel, a charismatic and powerful angel with one of the few faces that wasn’t burnt and scarred by the Fall, is relentlessly pursuing her affections.

Life outside can be just as dangerous. Strange things fell with the angels and wander the countrysides. The roads are filled with Vichies, cringing humans who’ve thrown their lot in with their oppressors and won’t hesitate to take advantage of the weak. But some are still fighting, including William Holt. He leads a small cell of fighters, searching for a way to strike back against the angels without getting themselves killed in the process. And all around, the fallen angels inflict their savageries on the dwindling remains of humanity, enjoying every vice they’d been forbidden during their long centuries of service.

They Who Fell is the first book in a trilogy.

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What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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Sunday Spotlight: Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope

Posted May 6, 2018 by Holly in Features | 3 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I’ve been hearing a lot about Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope lately. It sounds amazing. I’m excited to share an excerpt with you today.

Sunday Spotlight: Song of Blood and Stone by L. PenelopeSong of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles, #1) by L. Penelope
Series: Earthsinger Chronicles #1
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 384
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A treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a war between two powerful rulers.

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive--an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.

Jack's mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagamiri is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and it's people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda's Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps.

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.

The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

 

CHAPTER TWO

Jackal and Monkey stood at the edge of a wide canyon. Monkey asked, If I leap and make it to the other side, was that my destiny or merely my good luck?

Jackal replied, Our destiny can be taken in hand, molded, and shaped, while chance makes foolishness out of whatever attempts to control it. Does this make destiny the master of luck?

—collected folktales

Jack had found himself in a great many hopeless situations in his life, but this one was the grand champion—a twenty­two­year rec­ ord for dire occurrences. He only hoped this wouldn’t be the last occurrence and sent up yet another prayer that he might live to see his twenty­third year.

The temperature had dropped precipitously. His spine was as­ saulted by the rocky ground on which he lay, but really that was the least of his discomforts.

His vision had begun to swim about an hour ago, and so at first he thought the girl looming above him was a mirage. She peered down at his hiding spot behind a cluster of coarse shrubbery, her head cocked at an angle. Jack went to stand, years of breeding kick­ ing in, his muscle memory ofended at the idea of not standing in the presence of a lady, but apparently his muscles had forgotten the bullet currently lodged within them. And the girl was Lagrimari— not strictly a lady, but a woman nonetheless—and a beautiful one, he noticed as he squinted into the dying light. Wild, midnight curls floated carelessly around her head, and piercing dark eyes regarded him. Her dress was drab and tattered, but her smooth skin was a confectioner’s delight. His stomach growled. When was the last time he’d eaten?

Her presence meant he was still on the Lagrimari side of the mountain range bordering the two lands and had yet to cross the other, more powerful barrier keeping him from his home of Elsira: the Mantle.

The girl frowned down at him, taking in his bedraggled appear­ ance. From his position lying on the ground, he tried his best to smooth his ripped uniform, the green fatigues of the Lagrimari army. Her confusion was apparent. Jack was obviously Elsiran; aside from his skin tone, the ginger hair and golden honey­colored eyes were a dead giveaway. And yet he wore the uniform of his enemy.

“Please don’t be scared,” he said in Lagrimari. Her brows rose toward her hairline as she scanned his supine and bloodied body. Well, that was rather a ridiculous thing to say. “I only meant that I mean you no harm. I . . .” He struggled with how to explain him­ self.

There were two possibilities. She could be a nationalist who would turn him in to the squad of soldiers currently combing the mountain for him, perhaps to gain favor with the government, or

she could be like so many Lagrimari citizens, beaten down by the war with no real loyalty to their dictator or his thugs. If she was the former, he was already dead, so he took a chance with the truth.

“You see, I was undercover, spying from within the Lagrimari army. But now there are men looking for me, they’re not far, but . . .” He paused to take a breath; the efort of speaking was draining. He suspected he had several cracked or broken ribs in addition to the gunshot wound. His vision swirled again, and the girl turned into two. Two beautiful girls. If these were his last moments before traveling to the World After, then at least he had something pleas­ ant to look at.

He blinked rapidly and took another strained breath. His mis­ sion was not complete; he could not die yet. “Can you help me? Please. I’ve got to get back to Elsira.”

She stole an anxious glance skyward before kneeling next to him. Her cool hand moved to his forehead. The simple touch was soothing, and a wave of tension rolled of him.

“You must be delirious.” Her voice was rich, deeper than he’d expected. It eased the harsh consonants of the Lagrimari language, for the first time making it sound like something he could imagine being pleasant to listen to. She worked at the remaining buttons of his shirt, pulling the fabric apart to reveal his ruined chest. Her expression was appraising as she viewed the damage, then sat back on her haunches, pensive.

“It probably looks worse than it is,” he said. “I doubt that.”

Jack’s chuckle sounded deranged to his own ears, so it was no surprise that the girl looked at him askance. He winced—laughing was a bad idea at this point—and struggled for breath again. “The soldiers . . . they’re after me. I have to get back through the Mantle.”

“Shh,” she said, peering closely at him. “Hush all that foolish­ ness; you’re not in your right mind. Though I’ll admit, you speak Lagrimari surprisingly well. I’m not sure what happened to you, but you should save your strength.”

She closed her eyes, and suddenly his whole body grew warmer, lighter. The odd sensation of Earthsong pulsated through him. He had only experienced it once before, and it hadn’t been quite like this. The touch of her magic stroked him intimately, like a brush of fingers across his skin. The soft vibration cascaded over his entire body, leaving him feeling weightless.

He gasped, pulling in a breath, and it was very nearly an easy thing to accomplish. Tears pricked his eyes. “Sovereign bless you.”

Her expression was grave as she dug around in her bag. “It’s just a patch. You must have ticked someone of real good. It’d take quite a while to fix you up properly, and the storm’s coming. You need to find shelter.”

She retrieved a jar filled with a sweet­smelling substance and began spreading it over his wounds. The Earthsong had turned down the volume of his pain, and the cream soothed him even more.

“What is that?”

“Just a balm. Helps with burns, cuts.” Her hand paused for a moment. “Never gunshot wounds, but it’s worth a try.”

He laid his head back on the ground, closing his eyes to savor the ability to breathe deeply again. “A quick rest and I’ll be back on my way. Need to keep moving, though. Need to get back.”

“Back through the Mantle?” Her tone vibrated with skepticism. “And away from the Lagrimari soldiers chasing you?”

“Yes.” Her palm met his forehead again. She thought he was delusional. He wished he was. Wished the last few weeks had been nothing but the imaginings of an impaired mind.

EarthSinger Chronicles

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

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Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

L. Penelope

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK |

Leslye Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She is an award-winning author of new adult, fantasy, and paranormal romance. She lives in Maryland with her husband and their furry dependents: an eighty-pound lap dog and an aspiring feral cat.


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Review: Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn Sparks

Posted May 4, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn SparksReviewer: Holly
Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced, #3) by Kerrelyn Sparks
Series: The Embraced #3
Also in this series: How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days (The Embraced, #1), So I Married a Sorcerer (The Embraced, #2), So I Married a Sorcerer (The Embraced, #2), Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced, #3)
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 448
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Goodreads
three-stars

From the brilliant imagination of Kerrelyn Sparks comes a bold new fantasy romance series in which passion and magic collide. Behold the Embraced…

Gwennore has a talent. An Elf able to track down the cause of an illness and heal it, she’s a valuable asset to her people. When the kidnapping of a young girl thrusts Gwennore into the very heart of the realm of the dragons, she discovers not only a place of power and magic, but also a haunted land, plagued by an ancient curse that all but ensures extinction to the royal family. But when she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, they strike a bargain—save the country from its cursed illness, and he will return the kidnapped girl. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon, but never did making a deal with the devil feel so good…

Silas has no way of curing the family he’s loyally served for years. But when a beautiful elf, long considered the enemy of the dragons, comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to passion and desire in a way he’s never felt before. But can he trust a sworn enemy to save the very existence he holds dear? And can their love survive those that threaten to tear them apart?

Gwennore was raised with 5 other women – her adopted sisters – in a convent on the Island of Moon. They were abandoned by their family’s because they were born Embraced (with magical powers). Gwennore is an Elf who can magically sense illness in others. She’s been training as a healer, but she isn’t as knowledgeable as she’d like to be. Still, when she’s accidentally kidnapped and realizes the realm is suffering under a curse, she agrees to help figure out the cause. General Silas Dravenko, aka General Gorgeous – has nothing to do with that. Really.

Silas is immediately attracted to Gwennore. He’s willing to do whatever he has to do to keep her close. The truth is, he needs her help. His Queen is being poisoned and his family is living under a curse. If Gwennore can help him figure out what’s really going on, he can’t pass that up. If he gets to spend time with her in the meantime? All the better.

I really liked Silas. He was such a great character. His jealousy was cute and I loved how he kept trying to get Gwennore to admit he was just as awesome as her favorite dragon. I also really liked the 8 rules for dating a dragon.

I wanted to like Gwennore just as much, but I didn’t really connect with her the way I did the previous heroine. She rarely used her talent and not much was explained about it. She constantly waffled, suffering from major bouts of self-doubt and angst, then standing up for herself. Her constant back-and-forthing got old, fast. The romance between them moved very slow. I wanted to see them get together, but honestly by the end I wasn’t very invested in them.

The end was too rushed and I really struggled with a lot of inconsistencies in the story. None of the major conflicts of the books were resolved to my satisfaction. I don’t want to include spoilers, but I will say I was highly dissatisfied with the brief paragraph in the epilogue that magically fixed everything. There wasn’t enough dragon in this for me, either. I’d have loved to see more.

There were parts I enjoyed (mostly Silas and his struggle with Gwennore’s love for the dragon), but overall I was underwhelmed. I definitely didn’t enjoy it as much as the previous book.

3 out of 5

The Embraced Series

three-stars


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Guest Review: Kelpie Blue by Mell Eight

Posted May 2, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Kelpie Blue by Mell EightReviewer: Tracy
Kelpie Blue by Mell Eight
Series: Out of Underhill #1
Published by Less Than Three Press
Publication Date: March 21st 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: M/M, New Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 228
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Goodreads
four-stars

Mama always said, don't go near the lake. Rin already knew the forest was filled with dark things, but aside from Mama no one had warned him about the lake. One day, Rin wanders off to the lake, where a beautiful blue horse asks him to go for a swim, and Rin learns too late it may not be a swim he survives.

Kelpie Blue is an enchanting little story about Rin and his kelpie boyfriend Blue.  It follows along with their lives, but it also gives us an insight into how they met, etc., by having Blue read Rin’s diary (and add his own commentary which is pretty damned funny). We get a taste of Underhill in this story as we find out the truth about Rin’s father and those who would hurt Rin, Blue and Mama to get what they want.

I loved this story.  I really liked just about everything I’ve read by Mell Eight and this was just a fun, lovely story.  Rin and Blue were so damned cute together and I loved that Rin didn’t even have a thought about not falling in love with Blue just because he was a kelpie. Blue cracked me up with his comments in the diary as well as his thoughts and words throughout the book.

I wish we’d gotten to spend a little more time in Underhill in the book, but I understood why it was necessary not to do so.  I’m incredibly curious to see what the next book will bring us.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Out of Underhill

four-stars


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