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Category: Reviews (Page 1 of 5)

Book Review: Nor Iron Bars a Cage

πŸ“š Review time! πŸ“š

πŸ“š Nor Iron Bars A Cage by Kaje Harper

πŸ“š My rating: β­β­β­β­β­

Nor Iron Bars a Cage is a beautifully paced standalone novel centring around the relationship of two men. It’s written in first-person view, from Lyon’s perspective as he is forced to face his demons and leave the safety of his home.

Lyon is a sorcerer, but no longer wishes to be one. He is a young man, but feels as though he is old. He longs for companionship, but wants to be left alone.

After barricading himself in a house made from stone, hiding away for over 15 years, his past comes back to haunt him. Yet, it comes in the form of an old friend, a kind soul, and a man whom he can trust. Or… eventually, at least. The king calls on Lyon for aid in a translation, and Lyon’s old friend Tobin – being one of the king’s Voices – cannot refuse this order. But he doesn’t want to force Lyon to leave the safety of his home, even though he can’t wait to finally be with Lyon again, after thinking he had died in a fire so many years ago.

This is one heartfelt story of a broken character. Two men come together in friendship, understanding, sweet reunion, and ultimately love. It comes in stages, goes back and forth, as trust and feelings build across every page of the book.

There are just so many great characters and story arcs. So many things to enjoy, and not enough space in a review to remotely tell about it.

Lyon’s struggles are beautifully written, both physical and mental. The boundaries that he’s placed in his life are now slowly broken down as the story progresses. Absolutely fabulous! And the tenderness between Lyon and Tobin is to die for.

“He was my safety and my wall, the mirror in whose eyes I somehow looked brave and desirable.”

The descriptions are wonderful, and I loved the magic system with the summoning and transference. Everything was well-thought-out, and the story culminated with unseen twists.

I can’t finish this review without mentioning Xan. His story absolutely broke my heart, and I still need to tell myself it is only fiction, for it upsets me time and again. He will stay with me, just like Lyon and Tobin, for a long while, I reckon. For anyone in the mood for some M/M romance in a fantasy setting, I highly recommend this read.

Book Review: God King Rising

πŸ“š Review time! πŸ“š

πŸ“š God King Rising by Jeffrey L Kohanek

πŸ“šΒ My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

And what a thrilling start to a fantastic series it is!

I’m just going to say it: Hats off!! Because, people – Kohanek does it again!

Following the events of Fate of Wizardoms, God King Rising takes off running, grabs you by the throat, and hauls you through battles, intrigue, magic and more, without ever letting go! Trust me when I say, you are in for a daring ride, full of action, twists and turns, whether you like it or not!

The descriptions are just right, vivid without being distracting, the prose is on point, and the world-building is fabulous. The characters are relatable, distinctly different from each other, and already established ones (from Fate of Wizardoms) team up with new participants on what looks to become another quest to save the world!

With its perfect mix of humour, romance, action, and magic, Fall of Wizardoms has something for everyone. I wholeheartedly recommend it!

Note 1: Although Fall of Wizardoms works as a new entry point into this world by Kohanek, I believe one gets the best experience by first reading Fate of Wizardoms.

Note 2: As this was an audiobook, I will also point out that the narrator Travis Baldree does an absolutely stunning job. My mind was readily blown listening to this volume!

Book Review: Her Badass Bikers

πŸ“š Review time! πŸ“š

πŸ“š Her Badass Bikers by Tirza Schaefer @tirzaschaefer

πŸ“š My rating: β­β­β­β­β­

Her Badass Bikers is a smoking hot and entertaining RH romance!

Ava, a middle-aged woman working as a caretaker, runs into a man she used to babysit as a child – a man who used to, and still does, have a crush on her. And no, there is nothing inappropriate about this relationship since his feelings developed as an adult, but it means he has never quite been able to “let go” of her, despite the fact they never had a relationship.

Having been in and out of prison, this man – Jax – takes Ava on a date, and sparks literally fly off the page! Then, as he brings her to his biker headquarters, a whole bonfire erupts as she meets the rest – Mace, Liam and Snubbs.

But wait! There’s more! This book is fast-paced despite a delicious slow-burn, it has a fabulous cast of characters, and there are plenty of action scenes on top of that! This book really has everything one might want from a romance read, and it is just brilliantly executed. The humour is on point (I laughed out loud several times), the characters are wonderful, and the steamy scenes are sweltering hot! The way Ava’s men take care of her, show their love and attention, yet still are rough and play out their kinks, gives such a great balance to the relationship and how Ava is always the one in charge – the Queen of their MC. Absolutely fabulous!

For anyone looking for a slight reverse age gap, MMMFMM RH contemporary romance, LOOK NO FURTHER! This will satisfy ALL your needs, and then some!

Book Review: Thorn of the Night Blossoms

πŸ“š Review time! πŸ“š

πŸ“š Thorn of the Night Blossoms by JC Kang

πŸ“š My rating: β­β­β­β­

Thorn of the Night Blossoms is a fast-paced, exciting novella, part of JC Kang’s Legends of Tivara.

The story revolves around Jie, a half-elf, and her companion Lilian, who live in the Floating World. There, they are part of a house of courtesans, where most women earn their keep by offering their bodies to men. Jie, however, is yet to be “deflowered,” but she is busy enough with her other trade – as a spy and assassin of the Black Lotus Clan.

As things unfold, Jie finds herself the target of an assassination attempt, and she begins to investigate who might be behind it. And before this novella ends, there is a wicked, well-executed twist. This is an entertaining read, with just the right amount of description to paint the picture of a fabulous Asian-inspired universe, with colours, scents, and sounds included, and it is absolutely gorgeous. The only thing I struggled with a bit was the number of terms thrown at you early on, so I found it a little challenging to keep up initially.

But all in all, a great little read, with plenty of worldbuilding, depth of character, and blood-pumping action!

Book Review: I Shall Return with Winter

πŸ“š Review time! πŸ“š

πŸ“š I Shall Return With Winter by C. F. Welburn @c.f.welburn

πŸ“š My rating: β­β­β­β­β­

I Shall Return with Winter is an intriguing, dark and gritty tale by C.F. Welburn.

Oben, our protagonist, sets off on a journey of revenge after Skalgs ransacked his home and murdered his sister. He is determined to exact vengeance on four leaders of the Skalgs and promises his wife he shall return by winter.

Well, needless to say, things don’t exactly go to plan.

Oben is thrown into the midst of an age-old prophecy, of which he believes none, but he is forced to partake if only to survive. Yet, as the parts of the prophecy are revealed and events play out, his own faith is put to the ultimate test, and the stakes are sky-high.

With a fresh take on The Chose One-trope, I Shall Return with Winter has twists and turns you won’t see coming. The prose is flowing and intricate (no surprise there – all of Welburn’s books are fabulously written), the world-building is fantastic, and everything holds a mysterious quality that only adds to the book’s appeal and immersiveness.

I devoured this book in search of answers, wholly invested in Oben and the other characters. They were all wonderfully depicted and, despite their flaws, highly entertaining (even if they were not always likeable) as they all had their part to play in the prophecy. This was one exciting yet bloody ride, from start to finish.

And even though I Shall Return with Winter is a standalone novel, I’m happy to see Welburn leaves it open for a sequel. I, for one, will look forward to it!

Book Review: A Vampire for Christmas

πŸ“š Review time! πŸ“š

πŸ“š A Vampire for Christmas by Tirza Schaefer @tirzaschaefer

πŸ“š My rating: β­β­β­β­β­

A Vampire for Christmas is the fourth Christmas story by Tirza Schaefer, and just like its predecessors, it is a wonderful, yet exciting read. It is packed with sigh worthy romance, lovely characters and smouldering hot smut!

Sienna is a woman who’s been down on her luck. A terrible accident left her on disability pay and her life was on hold until a distant relative passed away, unexpectedly leaving her a fortune.

Deciding to pack up and start a new life elsewhere, Sienna buys a mansion-castle-absolutely-freaking-awesome-place (no no, I’m not jealous… or anything…) along the British coastline, setting to renovate it to fit her needs. As a hidden cellar is revealed during said renovations, Sienna sets to explore the place on her own, and finds perhaps more than she had bargained for.

Oh, Enzo… *swoon* (after a while anyway, lol!)

Sienna, now a rambling mess, tries to come to terms with what she has found – what looks like a dead man, but is really a myth, a creature that is not meant to exist – yet she also feels a connection to him, something deep-rooted and pure. She wonders if she can save him and, in doing so, find out who and what he is.

With fabulous descriptions, a fast, eventful plot, and relatable, heartwarming characters, A Vampire for Christmas is a wonderful, seasonal read, and I loved every single moment reading it. The sexual tension, the longing and lust, makes you flip the pages faster and faster. And that climax! Literally! Be ready for it, for it is sweltering hot!!

Book Review: Children of Adaban

πŸ“š Review time! πŸ“š

πŸ“š Children of Adaban by R. L. Myles

πŸ“š My rating: β­β­β­β­β­

A simplistic yet wonderfully intricate debut!

Children of Adaban is the first book of R. L. Myles’ Legacy series. It is divided into three parts, with each separate section focusing on its own main character and their journey as they attempt to save those they love.

The first part is about Lesant, a young man training to become a warrior of his clan. Lesant’s world comes to an end as his village is lost due to a natural disaster, and he wakes up in a foreign land. There, he tries to find his way home, but is faced with the problem that no one has ever heard of his homeland. This storyline – like the rest – is fast-paced and holds plenty of action, but it also features many moments to stop and reflect, with great little quotes such as this:

“We are all measured by our actions and not by comparison to each other.”

In the next part, we follow Kira, a young woman cursed to a life alone, away from the rest of her village, as her powers pose a significant threat to their existence. In fact, she is meant to be their leader, but she has never even been told of her heritage due to her abilities. But when their village one day faces an outside threat, she is forced to take a stand. However, more to her past is revealed, and not everything is as it seems. I loved the suspense as this played out, and Kira’s struggles were heartfelt. Also, I’m a sucker for animal companions, so… πŸ™‚

In the third act, we get to meet Sanai; a Seer kept captive by a terrible Lord who plans to one day rule over all the lands. One day, she meets a strange man – seemingly by chance – and her fate is sealed. She doesn’t know it yet, but she will have a hand in something greater than she could have imagined. I won’t divulge more due to spoilers, but needless to say, the finale was something above the rest in this book.

Children of Adaban is written in a unique, uncluttered style that makes for a fast-paced read. Some may call it sparse in detail, but I feel that might be a personal preference. The world-building is fantastic, and the characters are wonderfully fleshed-out. I loved the fact that this isn’t a “chosen one” scenario, but a matter of many people blessed by the gifts of their God – Adaban – and that they are now slowly being Awakened and their powers activated.

I suspect Lesant, Kira, and Sanai will one day meet, as some of them visited the same areas within the span of the book, and people of the land referred to them as unique. And indeed, they were, and I’m intrigued to see how this story unfolds. All in all, a great read!

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