Tag: 3.75 Reviews

Review: Sarazen’s Vengeance by Isabel Wroth

Posted September 29, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Sarazen’s Vengeance by Isabel WrothReviewer: Holly
Sarazen's Vengeance by Isabel Wroth
Series: Sarazen Saga #2
Also in this series: Sarazen's Claim, Sarazen's Betrayal, Sarazen's Hunt, Sarazen's Fury
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 7, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 153
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Book 1.1 of the Sarazen Saga This book is part of a SERIES. It could be read alone and enjoyed as is. Suggested to be read following Book 1, Sarazen's Claim. There is a happy ending, but as this is part of a SERIES, the ever after part comes later. Not a cliffhanger so much as a continuation.

Having gone from invisible engineering personnel, to one of the few remaining human survivors, Andi Starsong is struggling to acclimate to her new situation. She's been identified as a potential mate by one of the hulking Sarazen warriors, and if that wasn't terrifying enough, he's come to claim her.

Ohlen's little mate is terrified of him. Despite having done everything he can think of to put her at ease, Andi shies from him each time he so much as glances his way. He can no longer deny the roaring of his beast, the instinct that tells him she is in danger. He has no choice. He must claim her.

When the warship reaches Sarazen territory, Ohlen and Andi must navigate their blossoming bond and the danger of the treachery brewing within the pride. Treachery that could destroy more than just their bond.

There is a lot of dark content in this series. Please review the Content Warnings before reading this review and/or the series.

Sarazen’s Vengeance by Isabel Wroth is the 2nd book in the Sarazen Saga. Originally this was listed as a 1.1 novel, but the author updated it recently. This story starts out concurrently with the previous, which means there is a lot of overlap in the story. I felt like we got pretty much everything we needed from the first book, so the overlap was just frustrating. Having said that, I liked Andi and Ohlen enough that I was able to read through it.

Andi has been brutalized her entire life. Every year on her birthday since her 16th, one of her superior officers corners her and rapes her. She is powerless to stop him aboard the Starsong, and being rescued by a giant warrior race isn’t exactly comforting to her. Especially when one of them claims she is his mate. But Ohlen isn’t like the other males she’s known; he’s kind and patient, and makes sure she feels safe and wanted. He’s also able to give her something no one else can – Strength. a transfusion of his blood will allow her to become a shapeshifter, which means she never has to be weak or powerless again.

I really loved how sweet Ohlen was with Andi. The other males were all kind of chauvinists, but Ohlen didn’t try to railroad Andi or keep secrets from her. He was open and honest from the beginning, and wanted nothing more than her to find happiness. I loved how she came to trust him, and how he was available to her at all times, because that’s what she needed.

Despite how cute they were together, I found the first part of the novel to be rather boring, since it was just a repeat of what we’d already read in the first book. Things picked up more when they went planet-side.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Sarazen Saga

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: Sarazen’s Claim by Isabel Wroth

Posted September 27, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Sarazen’s Claim by Isabel WrothReviewer: Holly
Sarazen's Claim by Isabel Wroth
Series: Sarazen Saga #1
Also in this series: Sarazen's Vengeance, Sarazen's Betrayal, Sarazen's Hunt, Sarazen's Fury
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 24, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 306
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

AUTHOR'S NOTE: In answer to all the very important comments, this is the professionally re-edited version, previously released on July 24th. This book is PART OF A SERIES. Not a HEA and not a Cliffhanger...somewhere in between.

One hundred and fifty years ago the most powerful countries of Earth built and launched five ships. Ships meant to carry what remained of humanity out into the space beyond their known galaxy to find a new home. As a third generation botanist, it never occurred to Clary Starborn that she might some day be in charge of anything other than her little lab. That changed the day their ship was attacked by an alien species straight out of myth.

As commander of the Sarazen armada, Tarek had seen some poor excuses for spacefaring vessels. The one currently being attacked by the Na'ah was to date, the worst. So primitive in its design, Commander Tarek was fascinated it had even survived the harsh vacuum of space. Or the time it had taken to launch it. The species was unfamiliar to him, but initial scans suggested the beings within here somewhat intelligent. Though the ship was outside Sarazen territory, it was his duty to eradicate the Na'ah wherever he encountered them. He had not anticipated that by his actions, the course of his life would be forever changed. By a soft, delicate being who studied flowers and trees. One scent, one touch, was all it took to be Claimed.

Clary was born on the Starsong, one of 5 ships launched from Earth with the last of humanity. When their ship is attacked by a snake-like alien species she is able to save a handful of others in an escape pod. They, in turn, are saved by warship Commander Tarek, a Sarazen warrior. The Sarazens are a shapeshifting race of warriors who search their whole, long-lived lives for their one true mate. To the shock of both the humans and Sarazens, Tarek is called as mate by Clary. Several of the other rescued humans are called as mates to the Sarazen Warriors, too.

Even more shocking, when they are given blood transfusions from the Sarazens, the human women gain the ability to shift. Not just the half-form of Sarazen females, either, but the full shift of Sarazen males. Amid this discovery a treacherous plot is uncovered and Clary and the other humans find themselves in grave danger on the Sarazen home planet.

This was an unexpectedly dark sci-fi romance. The tone of the book is somewhat light, and there are some over-the-top themes, but I was surprised by the dark deeds done by the humans and others. Forced sterilization, rape (off-page), domestic violence, eugenics, etc. The pacing was a bit slow here and there, and the book was rather long, but overall I really enjoyed it. I liked how strong Clary and the other humans were, and how adored they were by their mates. There’s a lot going on in this book, and over the course of the series, but I was never bored or impatient while reading.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Sarazen Saga

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Eversworn by Hailey Edwards

Posted September 24, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Eversworn by Hailey EdwardsReviewer: Holly
Eversworn by Hailey Edwards
Series: Daughters of Askara #3
Also in this series: Everlong, Evermine
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third Person, First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 222
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Steal the salt. Bind the grimoire. Escape the male.

When an exchange of stolen goods in the Feriana marketplace turns sour, Isabeau stumbles from the encounter bruised and laden with new orders to complete an even larger heist. With her child’s life at stake, there’s no room for error—or allies.

Armed with a lethal book of spells, she strikes a dangerous bargain with Roland Bernhard. Steal a shipment of salt from the Feriana colony, and she’ll have her freedom—and her daughter. It’s all she’s ever wanted. At least it was…until she runs into Dillon Preston.

Dillon is out of commission after a mine explosion, and itching for a distraction. He gets it when the female who saved his leg arrives at the colony with nothing but flimsy excuses and even flimsier attire. She’s after something, but is it him—or the salt?

Trapped in a desperate bid to gain true freedom, Isabeau is willing to sacrifice her life for her daughter’s, but Dillon has other plans. He wants a package deal, and he’s not willing to lose either female, even if it means the future king of Sere’s head will roll.

Warning: This title contains a heroine desperate to save her daughter and a hero determined to make them a family. It also includes wings, horns and other assorted appendages.

Eversworn (Daughters of Askara #3) by Hailey Edwards is the final book in the series. The plot of this book was my favorite of the three. I liked the setting and the intrigues and court politics. Though this doesn’t end in a cliff-hanger, some things are left unresolved so there may be another book in the future.

When Isabeau was purchased as a slave by a wealthy and powerful man, she thought her prayers had been answered. He was kind and treated her very well, and they quickly fell in love. It wasn’t until she became pregnant that he changed, and she realized he was not her savior at all. For several years, he has kept their daughter prisoner while Isabeau has been the a healer and right hand to Emma, liaison between the freed Avanti slaves and the Askarans. During that time, she has been forced to secretly feed information to him in exchange for proof that her daughter is alive and well. When her master ups the stakes and tells her she must steal the next shipment of a vital mineral, instead of just a small piece, she knows it means the end of her friendships and her time in Askara. Left with no other choice, she travels to a mining outpost with the intention of stealing the salt shipment, using the need to check on her former patient, Dillon, as her reason for the visit.

Dillon knows something is up with Isabeau. She wouldn’t visit for no reason, despite her claims she came to check on him and his injury. She’s either up to something or she finally decided to explore what’s between them. When her treachery comes to light, he knows he can’t let her get away…and not just because she’s a traitor. She’s his true mate, and it’s a compulsion to follow her.

Both Isabeau and Dillon made me angry at times. Isabeau didn’t have a lot of choices in her life, but I really didn’t like how everyone gave her a pass for all she’d done. Yes, they said their trust was broken, but that aside it was shrugs all around and “We get it”. I don’t really believe everyone would be so understanding, especially those who loved her and though of her as a friend. The romance was kind of sweet, except that part where she betrayed him at every turn.

The battle with her master and the political intrigues was much more interesting to me. I really enjoyed that aspect of the book, and as I said, this was my favorite of the three for that alone. While I’ve really loved some of Edwards other books, but this series isn’t my favorite. I doubt I’ll re-read them, and I’m not really interested in another book, if she’s planning to continue the series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Daughters of Askara

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

Posted September 6, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan HeReviewer: Rowena
The Ones We're Meant to Find by Joan He
Publisher: Roaring Brook
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2021 Goodreads Challenge, Rowena's 2021 New to Me Challenge, Rowena's 2021 Review Pile Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars

One of the most twisty, surprising, engaging page-turner YAs you’ll read this year—We Were Liars meets Black Mirror, with a dash of Studio Ghibli.

Cee has been trapped on an abandoned island for three years without any recollection of how she arrived, or memories from her life prior. All she knows is that somewhere out there, beyond the horizon, she has a sister named Kay, and it’s up to Cee to cross the ocean and find her.

In a world apart, 16-year-old STEM prodigy Kasey Mizuhara lives in an eco-city built for people who protected the planet―and now need protecting from it. With natural disasters on the rise due to climate change, eco-cities provide clean air, water, and shelter. Their residents, in exchange, must spend at least a third of their time in stasis pods, conducting business virtually whenever possible to reduce their environmental footprint. While Kasey, an introvert and loner, doesn’t mind the lifestyle, her sister Celia hated it. Popular and lovable, Celia much preferred the outside world. But no one could have predicted that Celia would take a boat out to sea, never to return.

Now it’s been three months since Celia’s disappearance, and Kasey has given up hope. Logic says that her sister must be dead. But nevertheless, she decides to retrace Celia’s last steps. Where they’ll lead her, she does not know. Her sister was full of secrets. But Kasey has a secret of her own.

The Ones We’re Meant to Find isn’t the kind of book that I would normally be interested in but after browsing Goodreads and reading the blurb, I was curious enough to get it for review. It took me three tries to finish this book. I kept putting it down because the first part, through the middle of the story moved super slow for me. Like, at a snail’s pace and I had trouble trying to keep paying attention because I just didn’t care. I almost gave up completely on the third try but I am glad that I finished it because the second half of the book is much better and moves much faster than the first.

This book is about two sisters. Cee is stuck on a deserted island, trying her damndest to get back and find her sister, Kasey. Kasey lives in a dystopian world, in these eco-cities that keeps them safe from living on actual land where there is a number of climate damage and is probably where our earth is headed if we don’t get our shit together. There’s a mystery that is woven throughout the story and I’ll admit that a lot of that shit was lost on me in the first half of the book.

Of the two sisters, I connected more with Cee on that deserted island. Kasey wasn’t a bad character but there was something that kept me from completely loving her as much as I did Cee. Kasey is smart as hell and I did eventually warm up to her character but yeah, I was still Team Cee.

I will also say that there’s a huge twist that I didn’t see coming but when it started coming together, I stood up and took notice. I won’t say what it is but I will say that it surprised me and I was delighted with the twist. There’s an open ending to this book as well that might rub some folks the wrong way but I was surprised, that I was okay with it. I did wonder a bit over Kasey’s last words to Celia in her dreams but I let it go as I was ready to move on.

Overall, this was a solid story. If you make it past the first half then the author rewards you with a very strong second half. Things come together, other things are revealed and both Kasey and Cee’s stories reel the reader in and I’m glad that I finished it. The story highlighted some stuff that I already think about climate change and made me take notice of what I’m doing for my part in trying to clean up our planet. The story really does come together in a satisfying and meaningful way but the slowness of the first half kept this book from getting rated higher. Still, I’m not mad that I read this.

3.25 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , ,

Review: Shifters in the Night by Molly Harper

Posted August 25, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Shifters in the Night by Molly HarperReviewer: Holly
Shifters in the Night by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi, Jonathan Davis
Series: Mystic Bayou #5
Also in this series: How to Date Your Dragon (Mystic Bayou, #1), Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues, How to Date Your Dragon, How to Date Your Dragon, Selkies are a Girl's Best Friend, One Fine Fae
Publisher: Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Plus
Point-of-View: Alternating Third Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Length: 6 hours, 43 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A chance meeting leads to a wild ride in this irresistible audio-first romance by Audie Award-nominated author Molly Harper! 

Lia Doe came to Mystic Bayou for one simple reason: to get her job done. Namely, to build a housing complex for all the new residents flocking to town since word of its supernatural population got out. But from the moment Lia arrives, it's clear that nothing about the job is going to be simple.

First, there's the mysterious guy she meets in the middle of the night while they're both cavorting in their alternate forms. Spending time with shape-shifters is nothing new to Lia, but there's something special about Jon Carmody…and the magical pull she feels whenever he's near. There's also a sense of homecoming and belonging in Mystic Bayou that makes her want to stick around - despite the dangers brewing from mysterious forces.

Will Lia complete her project with her heart unscathed, or will her life shift forever?

Shifters in the Night (Mystic Bayou #5) by Molly Harper brings us back to the magically eclectic town of Mystic Bayou, where magie (magical beings of all kinds) have lived in harmony for centuries. Thanks to the recent outing of magie in the world, people are flocking to Mystic Bayou in droves. As a result, there’s a housing shortage. Lia Doe is the project manager in charge of building a housing complex in town. She’s surprised at how at home she feels in town, considering she’s always been a big-city girl. Meeting local Jon Carmody is just the icing on the cake. Amid weirdness from her boss and putting out fires he creates, she really settles into life in Mystic Bayou.

Ever since a kraken attack left him scarred, Jon has mostly turned into a curmudgeon. His brother, Will, has been trying to get him out and about more, which is how he realizes the beautiful creature he swam with late at night in his lake, and whom he thought was a figment of his imagination, is really the new construction project manager. Determined to get to know her better, she attempts to get outside his comfort zone.

This is such a fun series, I always love returning to Mystic Bayou. I really love the entire town and the cast of characters from previous books. I didn’t love the story as much this time around. I really liked Jon and Lia separately, but I didn’t love the conflict that keeps them apart, or their romance. I really wish they would have just communicated with each other instead of jumping to conclusions. That was a minor part of the story, however, and didn’t run my enjoyment as a whole.

While this wasn’t my favorite book of the series, it was a good listen and I’m always glad to return to Mystic Bayou.

Rating 3.75 out of 5

Mystic Bayou

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,