REVIEW | The Wickerlight (The Wren Hunt #2) by Mary Watson

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Title: THE WICKERLIGHT

Author: MARY WATSON

Released: 30TH MAY 2019 by BLOOMSBURY YA

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FANTASY

TWs: Death, talk of divorce, talk of adultery, parental separation, abuse, torture – physical and mental.


Zara’s family moved to Kilshamble for a new beginning. But everything changed the night her sister was found dead on the village green.

Two months later, Laila’s death is a riddle that nobody wants solved. Where were her injuries? Why was she so obsessed with local folklore? And what does all this have to do with David, the boy who lives at the big house?

As Zara delves deeper into her sister’s secret life, she becomes entangled in an ancient magical feud. All too unwittingly she is treading the same dangerous path that led Laila to the village green.


I HAVE BEEN AWAITING THIS SINCE I FINISHED READING THE WREN HUNT LAST YEAR!! Set not long after the close of The Wren Hunt, we find a new family has moved to Kilshamble and one of them has stumbled upon a deadly secret. I love everything that is fantasy and set in Ireland, so it was no surprise that I loved this as much as I did. It was equal parts mystical, dark, and beautiful. Chock full of Irish mysticism with a little South African detail!! I highly enjoyed that Mary Watson utilised her own background to develop the main family in this story.

I adored Mary Watson’s writing style in The Wren Hunt and she did not let us down in The Wickerlight! Her ability to invoke such immediacy for the reader has only improved from The Wren Hunt to now. As I started reading, I was completely lost in the world of judges and augurs once again. The world building and character development is (…out of this world? 🤣) unreal – so freaking good! Mary Watson is a writing ninja and I love her!!

I found The Wickerlight to be slightly more interesting only because we get more into the judges and their community, rather than only focusing on the augurs. It nearly felt like the augurs were the villains in this story, but truly villainy nearly always depends on the narrator, doesn’t it? We readers really get a lot more information about the feud, etc. in this companion. Plus, the mystery of the introductory death adds a bit of excitement and enigma to this world that wasn’t quite there in The Wren Hunt.

I highly recommend you pick this beautiful story up with some gin spritzes and read it as soon as you can! Read The Wren Hunt first, though! They’re connected, even if The Wickerlight isn’t a direct sequel. You’ll love Kilshamble and its inhabitants.


Thank you to Bloomsbury UK for this review copy.

five stars

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY | ARC REVIEW | The Beckoning Shadow by Katharyn Blair

HAPPY RELEASE DAY, KATHARYN BLAIR!!

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Title: THE BECKONING SHADOW (THE BECKONING SHADOW #1)

Author: KATHARYN BLAIR

Released: 2ND JULY 2019 by KATHERINE TEGEN BOOKS

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FANTASY | CONTEMPORARY

TWs: Anxiety, violence, death/murder, house fire


Vesper Montgomery can summon your worst fear and turn it into a reality—but she’s learned the hard way that it’s an addicting and dangerous power. One wrong move and you could hurt someone you love.

But when she earns a spot in the Tournament of the Unraveling, where competitors battle it out for a chance to rewrite the past, Vesper finally has a shot to reverse the mistakes that have changed her forever. She turns to Sam Hardy, a former MMA fighter who’s also carrying a tragedy he desperately wants to undo. However, helping heal Sam’s heart will mean breaking her own, and the competition forces her to master her powers—powers she has been terrified of since they destroyed her life.


Before I tell you how I found The Beckoning Shadow, let me first say that I did NOT realise this was not a standalone… It is only a duology, but I wanted to let you all know before you pick it up. Especially because book 2 probably isn’t out until at least next year. I definitely thought it was worth the read!

I’m going to be really honest here… I only chose this because I loved the cover. I mean, a badass girl fighter (plus, the colour scheme) says great things about what’s inside the pages, right? Well, I was pretty spot on! I mean, Supernatural Fight Club, amirite? I received this awhile ago and when I picked it up I had mostly forgotten the synopsis. So, I decided to jump straight in since publication was coming up and I was not disappointed. I devoured it in 2 days, and the only reason it took me that long was because I had to work full days! In a word, unputdownable!

I really enjoyed the action and world building in this novel. It was a story set in San Francisco, which made me nostalgic for my college years.. By turns, seedy and classy, we see a multi-faceted city with depth and heart. it flows so well, and we can clearly see Katharyn Blair is a master wordsmith in the way her descriptions tug at heartstrings along the way. We get so much backstory without it being information overload, so that we are able to see a fuller picture of how Vesper arrives at the beginning to this novel. The characters nearly jumped off the page they were so full of life. Vesper (a very distinctive name) has her flaws, but still wants to forge relationships with the people she meets, even when she actively tries to push them away. Sam surprised me in a lot of ways, which I can’t explain without spoilers!! So, enjoy him. And the other Oddities – Sapphira, Aldrick, and the others they meet along the way – are so interesting! I loved this found family! I appreciated the sheer amount of abilities involved in the story. I’m not going to regurgitate the plot here, but suffice it to say I loved it! It was well constructed and unique, if not entirely original. Ultimately, I was hugely satisfied with this story, and would have been happy with the ending had it been a standalone. So, no, there’s no major cliffhangers here, but I imagine we’ll all want to stick around for the resolution!


Thank you to Harper 360 YA UK for this ARC.

MID-YEAR FREAK OUT BOOK TAG

I’ve been meaning to write this for at least a week now! Oops! Life has only recently slowed down a little so I finally have some time to blog again… So, here we go:


What is the best book that you’ve read so far in 2019?
If I can only choose one, it has to be How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow. I have read a whole lot of really great books this year, though!


What has been your favourite sequel of the first half of the year?
The Wickerlight by Mary Watson (technically a companion, but close enough)! Magic, age old feuds, and finding courage in one’s self ❤


Is there a new release that you haven’t read yet but you’re really excited to?
The Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos. I’ve been meaning to read it for ages!


What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK WHICH ONLY ARRIVED TODAY.


What is your biggest disappointment so far?
Never-Contented Things hands down. I was utterly revolted by it and let down on the magical side of it.


What is your biggest surprise so far?
How to Make Friends with the Dark and How it Feels to Float. Also, The Truth About Keeping Secrets. They were all books from genres I don’t read much of, and I was surprised by how much each of them stuck with me after reading..


What is your favourite new to you or debut author?
Rory Power. Her writing style has made her one of my auto-buy authors from here on out.


What is your favourite fictional crush from this year?
Um….great question! I really loved Noah Gallagher from The Irish Lottery and Noah Becker from On the Rocks… Plus, Kunal from The Tiger at Midnight! Swoon..


What is your new favourite character?
Oh, no way I can choose one. I’m not sure. There are too many wonderful characters!!


A book that made you cry?
How to Make Friends with the Dark and Opposite of Always


A book that made you happy?
My Mother’s Daughter


Your favourite book to movie/tv show that you’ve seen so far?
I really loved Love, Simon. I never read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, but the movie was so touching! I could see myself watching it a few more times.


What is the most beautiful book that you have bought?
Ugh, what’s with the difficult questions!? I think it would have to be Aurora Rising (Illumicrate or Goldsboro)…


What is your favourite post that you have written so far this year?
It would have to be my discussion on books that helped me navigate grief, I think.

What are 6 books that you want to read by the end of the year?
I’m going to do this by month or I’ll never narrow it down to just six…

July – The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

August – All the Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle

September – The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

October – The Never-Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

November – Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

December – This Vicious Cure by Emily Suvada


I’m going to tag:

Bookish Mom

Kat’s Books


Consider yourself tagged if you haven’t yet done this! It’s a lot of fun.

ARC REVIEW | All We Could Have Been by T.E. Carter

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Title: ALL WE COULD HAVE BEEN

Author: T.E. CARTER

Released: 23RD APRIL 2019 by FEIWEL & FRIENDS

Genre: YOUNG ADULT CONTEMPORARY

Rep: LGBTQ+ | TWs: PTSD, anxiety, depression, violence, gore, death/murder.


WOW!

Just wow…

This story has so much soul from start to finish. I found it difficult to put down even to do life things! I read it in bed, in the bath, in the car (but only when I wasn’t driving), and everywhere in between. I was very close to calling into work, but then I just stayed up entirely too late to finish. Have I gotten your attention yet? Basically, you need to read this as soon as you can!

Like the synopsis says, it’s a strong discussion on our assumptions about people based on the way they look or seem. We should be way less focused on how people appear and maybe try to put a little more emphasis on getting to know the heart of people. Lexie has always been harshly judged because she looks and acts differently to her peers, but that’s her way of coping with her PTSD. She feels she needs to do those things in order to get through her life.

The portrayal of Lexie’s anxiety, depression, and PTSD are phenomenal. They are so realistic and don’t shy away from the darker side of those afflictions. The author also keeps the reader in the dark for the first bit of the story, which really added to my interest. I felt like I had to keep reading until the end to find out what happened to make Lexie the way she is, and then to find out her resolution at the end. It’s a massive page turner, but it does have a lot of darkness, too. I found her relationships (and the romance) made it that bit more realistic. While she didn’t have to have the romance aspect to overcome her challenges, I felt the support she had because of it only added to the story.

This has been one of my favourite reads of the year. It’s so emotional and powerfully written. I had to give this five stars without a doubt.


Five years ago, Lexie walked home from school after her older brother failed to pick her up. When she entered her house, her brother sat calmly, waiting for the police to come arrest him for the heinous crime he had just committed.

Treated like a criminal herself, Lexie now moves from school to school hiding who she is—who she’s related to. She struggles with loving her brother, the PTSD she now suffers from, and wanting to just live a normal life. But how can she be normal when she can’t even figure out how to just live?

This is a powerful look at the assumptions we make about people. Lexie’s emotional journey to separate her brother’s horrific act from herself is stunning and heartbreaking. This is Lexie’s story and journey—not her brother’s—and it will stay with you long after you turn the last page.


Thank you to Feiwel & Friends via Netgalley for this ARC.

five stars

ARC REVIEW | On the Rocks by Kandi Steiner

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Title: ON THE ROCKS

Author: KANDI STEINER

Released: 13TH JUNE 2019 by KANDI STEINER

Genre: CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE


These characters had my attention from the off! I really loved Noah and Ruby Grace (well, maybe not Ruby Grace at first, but I came around). The (not so) minor characters are are also strong enough to have a story of their own! Kandi has this way of writing that just draws you in and then you’re addicted until the last drop. She always surprises you, as well. You may think you know what’s coming next, but you don’t –  trust me on this. And that is just part of her charm.

This story is one about whiskey, forbidden love, strong-minded women, and soft-hearted men. It’s also one that burrows into your soul and won’t let you go. You will feel all the emotions while reading this! I love when an author can make me laugh, cry, and want to throw the book (ahem…Kindle) at the wall all in the same story. Kandi does it every.single.time… I highly encourage you to pick this up as soon as you can because I think you’ll love it, even if it pisses you off!


Noah Becker is nothing but trouble.

That’s what Mama told me when I was a kid, kicking his pew in church and giggling at the games we’d play. It’s what the town said when his father died and the Becker brothers went wild.

And it’s on repeat in my mind the day I walk into the whiskey distillery where he works to buy a wedding gift for my fiancé.

He’s trouble.
Dirty, sweaty, rude trouble.

No matter how many times I repeat it, I can’t escape Noah in our small Tennessee town. And the more I run into him, the more he infuriates me. Because he sees what no one else does.

He sees me—the real me.

The me I’m not sure I’m allowed to be.

I’m Ruby Grace Barnett, the mayor’s daughter. Soon to be a politician’s wife, just like Mama and Daddy always wanted.  Soon to fulfill my family’s legacy, just like I always knew I would.

Until the boy everyone warned me about makes me question everything, like whether the wedding I’m planning is one I even want.

Everyone says Noah Becker is nothing but trouble.

If only I had listened.

four stars

ARC REVIEW | The Irish Lottery by Sienna Blake

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Title: THE IRISH LOTTERY

Author: SIENNA BLAKE

Released: 18TH JUNE 2019 by SB PUBLISHING

Genre: CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE


This was my first Sienna Blake novel and I was not disappointed! I was surprised to find she also lives here in Dublin, though! So cool ❤

I wish my Irish story was as exciting as this! Alas, I have a pretty cute, yet bland story of my own. That being said, The Irish Lottery is so cute and worth the read! I really connected with the main character, Aubrey, and loved her connection with Noah. He’s just the best Irish character I think I’ve ever read -swoon-. I would be happy to just read about his daily life.

The plot of TIL was interesting and original, while also being completely unexpected. I couldn’t put it down for the most part. There were a few places I got a tad bored, but that’s probably only because the rest of the story was so good! The secondary characters were also very multi-faceted and I really enjoyed reading about the side relationships, as much as the main ones. I hope there are going to be other stories about the rest of the Gallagher clan! Will have to wait and see!


Keep reading for your chance to WIN!

 

Four hot Irish brothers

ready to play out your ultimate fantasy…

Noah

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Our ma is sick and this lottery is the only way to raise that much money quickly.

But when my best friend in the whole world, the girl I’ve secretly loved for years, turns up as the winner I cannot believe it.

When I read the secret fantasy she’s submitted I almost choke.

She just wants us to give her what she’s never had…

…an O.

This could be the very thing I need to convince her that we should be more than friends. I could give her what she wants—the sexiest night of her life…and more.

I just hope she’s happy when she finds out who’s behind the mask. 

The Irish Lottery is a full-length standalone friends-to-lovers contemporary romance.

Grab The Irish Lottery at this special Release price!

CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR COPY!


About the author

Sienna Blake is a dirty girl, a wordspinner of smexy love stories and an Amazon Top 20 & USA Today Bestselling Author.

She lives in Dublin, Ireland, where she enjoys reading, keeping fit and adding to her personal harem of Irish hotties 😉

Get her bestselling Bound duet as a ‘Thank you’ gift when you join her sexy subscribers: bit.ly/FreeBoundDuet


ENTER TO WIN! 

A paperback copy of The Irish Lottery

A tin of Butlers Assorted Chocolates

A $25 Amazon gift card! 

ENTER HERE http://bit.ly/2MQB27Z

 

four stars

REVIEW | The Forgotten Girl: A Thriller by Rio Youers

Title: THE FORGOTTEN GIRL

Author: RIO YOUERS

Released: 28TH MAY 2019 by TITAN BOOKS

TWs Graphic violence and body horror. Gore; On the page character death, parental death; Behavior and descriptive language akin to self harm, and references to such; Reference to suicide and suicidal ideation.

Genre: ADULT THRILLER | SCI-FI | HORROR


This was an awesome novel! It more than met my expectations and I truly enjoyed it. I’ve never read Youers before, but after this I’ll definitely be adding him to my list of authors to watch! I am so glad I was able to pick this up.

The plot was so interesting and unique. I can’t say I’ve ever read anything quite like this. There is so much life, and death, in The Forgotten Girl. I found myself thinking about this story even when I wasn’t reading, and there were several times I kicked myself for not bringing it along with me to read in my downtime.

The characters were so real and the writing actually made me feel I was in the room with them dodging bullets and engaging in high speed car chases! Even the secondary characters were so well written and captivating.

It is such a page-turner and I urge you to pick this up as soon as possible! It will surprise you in the best way.


“She possesses a unique and powerful ability. Just like we can erase data from a computer hard drive, Sally can erase memories from a person’s mind.”

Abducted and brutally beaten by a group of thugs, street performer Harvey Anderson is convinced he’s a victim of mistaken identity when they demand to know the location of his girlfriend, Sally Starling. Harvey Anderson has been single for years. 

She dominated my dreams. Sometimes as a lover, more often as a scared, lonely girl running from something that slathered and swooped. I woke with her name on my lips, clutching the empty half of the bed, knowing beyond all doubt that she should have been next to me. 

Aided by his thugs, a sinister man known as “the spider” has tracked Sally to Harvey. He has pursued her for nine years, desperate to possess her remarkable talents. Yet emotion runs deeper than memory, and so Harvey goes looking for a woman he loves but can’t remember, and encounters a danger beyond anything he could ever imagine.


Thank you so much to Lydia Gittens at Titan Books for the review copy!