Wednesday, February 28

Triple Review: The Wrath and the Dawn Novellas

The Moth and the Flame (Wrath and the Dawn #0.25)
Renee Ahdieh

Published By: Putnam Books
Publication Date: March 22, 2016
Date Read: January 13, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28574949-the-moth-the-flame
From Goodreads:
It started as playful, if barbed, banter before rising to a fateful wager with a most notorious rake—the Captain of the Guard, Jalal al-Khoury—who may have finally met his match in a lovely, if haughty, handmaiden, Despina. But she, too, seems to have met her match in the handsome Jalal. What begins as a tempestuous battle of will and wit in short order becomes a passionate affair spurred on by tragedy of the worst kind

I've had The Wrath and the Dawn on my to be read list for such a long long time. When I saw these prequel novellas I decided that I would read them before diving in. I am so glad that I did because I really enjoyed The Moth and the Flame.

The Moth and Flame follows Despina, a handmaiden in the Caliph's palace. She finds herself drawn to the Captain of the Guard, Jalal and although he is the epitome of player she finds herself falling for him.

I really enjoyed this short story about Despina and Jalal. I loved their relationship and I have high hopes of seeing them get a happy ending in this series as well as the main characters. I loved them. Alongside their secret love story I loved the hints that we were getting that I'm sure will make more sense when I have read The Wrath and the Dawn. This novella made me incredibly curious and intrigued as to what happened and I absolutely cannot wait to read The Wrath and the Dawn.




 The Crown and the Arrow (Wrath and the Dawn #0.5)
Renee Ahdieh

Published By: Putnam Books
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Date Read: January 12, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28574935-the-crown-the-arrow
From Goodreads:
Seventy-one days and seventy-one nights had come and gone since Khalid began killing his brides. This dawn, Khalid would mark the loss of the seventy-second girl, Shahrzad al-Khayzuran. Khalid didn’t know how many more of these dawns he could take. And there was something about this latest girl that piqued his interest. Not only had she volunteered to marry him, but at their wedding ceremony, she had seemed not the least bit afraid. In fact, what he had seen in her eyes was nothing short of pure hatred. She was about to lose her life. Why wasn’t she afraid? Why did she hate him so? He had never before gone to his wife’s chambers before her death at dawn. Tonight would be different.

After finishing The Moth and the Flame, I couldn't wait to read the other prequel novella. I am, once again, really glad that I read The Crown and the Arrow before jumping into The Wrath and the Dawn. I really enjoyed it, though it was a bit on the short side.

The Crown and the Arrow is set a while after The Moth and the Flame and it is told from the point of view of Khalid, the Caliph. Khalid is just about to meet his new wife and is shocked to find that she volunteered to be his wife. He is overtaken by the thought of this girl not being afraid of him... why would she volunteer to die?

I really enjoyed The Crown and the Arrow. I was really excited to see it was from Khalid's perspective as I knew the 'monster' king in this series was not going to really be evil and I am glad I got the chance to read this before reading The Wrath and the Dawn as I feel I already had an insight into Khalid's character and situation before meeting him properly.

The only thing I didn't like about this novella was that it was very short... I mean, it only took me 10 minutes to read it. I'd have liked for it to go on a little bit longer.


Mirror and the Maze (Wrath and the Dawn #1.5)
Renee Ahdieh

Published By: Putnam Books
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Date Read: January 19, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28668275-the-mirror-the-maze
From Goodreads:
The city of Rey is burning. With smoke billowing, fires blazing and his people fleeing, Khalid races back to defend his city, and protect his queen. But Khalid is too late to do either. He and his men arrive to find the city in ruins, nothing but a maze of destruction, and Shahrzad is gone. But who could have wrought such devastation? Khalid fears he may already know the answer, the price of choosing love over the people of Rey all too evident.

As soon as I finished The Wrath and the Dawn I jumped straight into the novella, The Mirror and the Maze. I seriously can't get enough of this amazing series and after that insane ending of The Wrath and the Dawn, I needed more. I was a little dismayed to realise that this novella was only 11 pages long. It was way too short for my liking.

The Mirror and the Maze is once again told from Khalid's point of view and it tells the story of him racing home during the awful storm that is wrecking havoc on his country to find his beloved wife gone.

I absolutely love The Wrath and the Dawn series and I honestly cannot get enough of this world and these characters but I have to admit I was a little let down by this novella. It really had the potential to show Khalid's love for Sharzhad and his heartbreak and having to let he go for the good of his country. Instead we were given 11 pages with maybe 2 or 3 lines of dialogue between Khalid and Jalal. I really expected more and was really let down.

The Mirror and the Maze was so short I don't really feel like it added anything at all to the series. It could have, but it was so short and really could have been added as a mini-prequel to the next book. It didn't add anything to the characterisation of Khalid, nor did it add anything to the storyline so unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this one as much as the others. However, saying that I cannot wait to jump into The Rose and the Dagger.

Wednesday, February 21

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn (Wrath and the Dawn #1)

The Wrath and the Dawn (Wrath and the Dawn #1)
Renee Ahdieh

Published By: Putnam Books
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Date Read: January 19, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 404
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18798983-the-wrath-and-the-dawn

From Goodreads:
One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

"For nothing, not the sun, not the rain, not even the brightest star in the darkest sky, could begin to compare to the wonder of you."

The Wrath and the Dawn has sat on my shelf unread for so long and I am now well and truly kicking myself for not reading it sooner. I started with the prequel novellas which were good and set the scene for this book perfectly but I was not prepared for how much I would adore this book. I just love everything about it and I am so glad I have the next book already to dive straight into.

Sharzhad's best friend was cruelly killed by Khalid, Caliph of Khorasan. The boy-king who marries a different bride each night only to have her killed by morning. Now Sharzhad is determined to have revenge for her best friends untimley death... so she volunteers to be Khalid's next bride and she does the impossible... she survives to see the next night. Sharzhad spins beautiful stories and tales every night that leave Khalid wanting to see more of his enchanting bride. As the time goes by Sharzhad starts to wonder if Khalid is not as evil as she thought. She is determined to find out why he has so cruelly killed so many women... but as she plots to enact her revenge, Sharzhad finds herself falling for him.

I didn't read this book for so long as around the time it was released there was another book based off the same story that I really didn't like. It bored me so much and so I was worried I would feel the same about this one. After devouring and loving Renee's other book Flame in the Mist, I decided I needed to give this one a go too. I loved The Wrath and the Dawn so so much. It was everything that I adore and love in a book. It has mystery and intrigue, magic and romance... what else could I possibly want?

Sharzhad is without a doubt one of the best protagonists that I have ever read. I absolutely love her. I love her attitude and how real she is. You meet her to find this completely fearless and headstrong woman who will throw herself into danger to get revenge for her best friend. What I love about her so much is that you really see her change and grow and soften as the book goes on. Even when she softens a little she is still so sharp-tongued and won't let any man intimidate her and I adore that.

Khalid... oh my beautiful Khalid. I adore him so much. Since I read the prequel novellas prior to this I went into this book knowing he wasn't actually evil and that something had happened to make him kill a new bride every night... I just didn't know what and couldn't wait to find out. Due to me already knowing this I loved him right from the very start and all I wanted was for he and Sharzhad to get together and fall in love because they are utterly perfect for each other.

The Wrath and the Dawn is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. I loved it so much and the ending well and truly killed me. Talk about a cliffhanger... like I seriously need to read book 2 right now. If you've read other books based on the A Thousand and One Nights and didn't like it, I urge you to give The Wrath and the Dawn a go. It is totally worth it. This is one book that I will re-read over and over again. It's just totally perfect. I loved it and I can't wait to get stuck into The Rose and the Dagger.

“What are you doing to me, you plague of a girl?” he whispered.
“If I’m a plague, then you should keep your distance, unless you plan on being destroyed.” The weapons still in her grasp, she shoved against his chest.
“No.” His hands dropped to her waist. “Destroy me.”


 

Monday, February 19

Moonlight Seduction - Preorder Campaign and First Chapter Reveal

Hi All,
I'm super excited to be announcing the preorder campaign for Jennifer L Armentrout's new book, Moonlight Seduction, the second book in the amazing de Vincent series.

Moonlight Seduction (de Vincent #2)
Jennifer L Armentrout

Release Date: June 26, 2018

The de Vincent brothers are back—and so is the intrigue that surrounds them—in New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s sizzling new novel...

Nicolette Bresson never thought she’d return to the de Vincents’ bayou compound. It’s where her parents work, where Nikki grew up... and where she got her heart broken by Gabriel de Vincent himself. Yet here she is, filling in for her sick mother. Avoiding Gabe should be easy, especially when so much of Nikki’s time is spent trying not to be stabbed in the back by the malicious hangers-on who frequent the mansion. But escaping memories of Gabe, much less his smoking-hot presence, is harder than expected—especially since he seems determined to be in Nikki’s space as much as possible.

Gabriel spent years beating himself up over his last encounter with Nikki. He’d wanted her then, but for reasons that were bad for both of them. Things have now changed. Gabe sees more than a girl he’s known forever; he sees a smart, talented, and heartbreakingly beautiful woman... one who’s being stalked from the shadows. Now, Gabe will do anything to keep Nikki safe—and to stop the de Vincent curse from striking again.

~ Pre-order Campaign ~


Visit the Info by clicking HERE

RULES/INFO:

• Preorder an ebook or print copy of Moonlight Seduction by Jennifer L. Armentrout and get an exclusive de Vincent bonus story sent via email!
• Open Internationally
• You must upload a copy of their preorder receipt of Moonlight Seduction to be eligible.
• The de Vincent bonus story will be emailed after the release Moonlight Seduction (6/26/18)

Where to order from:

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~ First Chapter Reveal ~
 
Chapter 1 

Six years later . . .

It took every ounce of self-control for Gabriel de Vincent to stand back and do nothing. Just stand there and watch him being led away, but that’s what he had to do, because that’s what he’d promised and Gabe tried to be a man of his word. 
Sometimes he failed at that. Failed at that in ways that haunted him late at night, but he wouldn’t go back on this.
He’d promised them three uninterrupted months.
That’s what he was going to give them.
His jaw ached from how hard he was clenching it as the Rothchilds walked back into the restaurant. He didn’t take his eyes off them, not until he couldn’t see them anymore. Only then did he look at the slip of paper.
Looking down at the drawing of puppy on a piece of blue construction paper, he felt the worst mix of emotions. Sadness. Pride. Helplessness. Hope. Fury that he’d never tasted before. He had no idea how one person could feel all of that at once, but he did.
A wry smile tugged at his lips. There was definitely talent in the drawing. Real skill. The de Vincent knack for the arts was still kicking around it seemed.
His gaze flickered over what was written in a blockish handwriting. He’d already read in three times, but couldn’t bear to read it a fourth time. Not right now. He didn’t want to fold the paper and created creases in it, so he was careful as he carried it back to where he was parked.
“Gabriel de Vincent.”
Frowning at the vaguely familiar voice, he turned around. A man stepped out from behind a truck. Dark, square sunglasses shielded half the man’s face, but Gabe recognized him.
He sighed. “Ross Haid. To what do I owe the honor of seeing you in Baton Rouge?”
The reporter for the Advocate gave one of what Gabe assumed was a trademark half grin; the kind that probably got him into a places and events he sure as hell didn’t belong in. “Headquarters are here. You know that.”
“Yeah, but you work out of the New Orleans office, Ross.”
He shrugged a shoulder as he neared Gabe. “I had to come up to headquarters. Heard through the grapevine that a de Vincent was in town.”
“Uh-huh.” Not for one second did Gabe believe that. “And you just happen to hear that I was at this restaurant?”
The smile kicked up a notch as he ran a hand over his blond hair. “Nah. Seeing you here was just luck.”
Bullshit. Ross had been sniffing after his family for about two months now, trying to get to one of them when they were out at dinner or at an event, showing up at nearly every damn function one of them was attending. But back home, in New Orleans, Ross had trouble getting near them. Well, he had troubled getting to the one he really wanted to talk to which was Gabe’s older brother.
Didn’t require any leap of logic to figure out what was going on. Somehow Ross had heard that Gabe was here, and that’s why Ross conveniently ended up here. Normally he could tolerate Ross’ incessant questioning. Hell, he sort of liked the guy, appreciated his determination, but not when Ross was here and something he didn’t want a reporter finding out mere feet away.
Lowering his sunglasses, Ross eyed Gabe’s ride. “Nice car. Is it one of the new Porsche 911s?”
Gabe raised his brows.
“Family business must be going well. Then again, the family business is always going strong, isn’t it? The de Vincents are old money. The one percent of the one percent.” Gabe’s family was one of the oldest, linked all the way back to the days the great state of Louisiana was being created. Now they owned the most profitable oil refineries in the Gulf, coveted real estate all around the world, tech firms, and once his older brother married, they’d be in control of the one of the largest shipping industries in the world. So, yeah, the de Vincents were wealthy, but the car and nearly everything Gabe owned, he bought it with the money he worked for. Not the money he was born with.
“Some say that your family has so much money, that the de Vincents are above the law.” Ross straightened his sunglasses. “Seems that way.”
Gabe really didn’t have time for this. “Whatever you want to say, can you stop beating around the damn bush and get to it? I’m planning to head home sometime in the next year.”
The reporter’s smile faded. “Since you’re here and I’m here, and it’s damn hard to talk to you all any other time. I want to chat about your father’s death.”
“I’m sure you do.”
“I don’t believe it was a suicide,” Ross continued. “And I find it also convenient that Chief Cobbs, who openly and publicly wanted your father’s death investigated as a homicide ended up dead in a freak car accident.”
“Is that right?”
Frustration hummed off Ross about as loud as the damn locusts. “Is that all you got to say to me about this?”
“Pretty much.” Gabe grinned then. “That and you have an overactive imagination, but I’m sure you’ve heard that before.”
“I don’t think my imagination is nearly vast enough to compete with all the things the de Vincents have had their hands in.”
Probably not.
“Okay, I won’t ask you about your father or the chief.” Ross shifted his weight as Gabe opened his driver’s door. “Also heard some interesting rumors about some of the staff at the de Vincent compound.”
“I’m started to feel like you might be stalking us.” Gabe placed the drawing facedown on the passenger’s seat. “If you want to talk about staffing, then you need to have a chat with Dev.”
“Devlin won’t make time to talk to me.”
“That doesn’t sound like my problem.”
“It seems like it is now.”
Gabe laughed, but the sound was without humor as he reached inside, grabbing his sunglasses off the visor. “Trust me, Ross, this isn’t my problem.”
“You may not think so now, but that’ll change.” A muscle twitched along the man’s jaw. “I plan to blow the roof of every single damn secret the de Vincents have been keeping for years. I’m going to do a story that not even your family can pay to keep quiet.”
Shaking his head, Gabe slipped his sunglasses on. “I like you, Ross. You know I’ve never had a problem with you. So, I just want to get that out of the way. But you have got to come up with some better material, because that was cliché as shit.” He rested his hand on the frame of the car door. “You’ve got to know you’re not the first reporter to come around thinking they’re somehow going to dig some skeletons out of our closets and expose us for whatever the hell you think we are. You’re not going to be the last to fail.”
“I don’t fail,” Ross said. “Not ever.”
“Everyone fails.” Gabe climbed in behind the wheel.
“Except the de Vincents?”
“You said it, not me.” Gabe looked up at the reporter. “Some unasked for advice? I’d find another story to investigate.”
“Is there where you’re going to tell me to be careful?” He sounded oddly gleeful by the prospect. “Warn me off? Because people who mess with the de Vincents end up missing or worse?”
Gabe smirked as he hit the ignition key. “Doesn’t sound like I need to tell you that. Seems like you already know what happens.”
Nikki stood in the center of the quiet and sterile kitchen of the de Vincent mansion, telling herself that she was not the same little idiot that almost drowned herself out in the pool six years ago.
She sure as hell wasn’t the same idiot who had spent years making an utter fool out of herself, chasing after a grown man. An act, which resulted in one of the worst ideas she’d ever had in the history of bad ideas.
And Nikki had a remarkable history of making not the brightest of all decisions. Her dad said she had a bit of wild streak in her, taking after Pappy, but Nikki liked to blame the de Vincents for the recklessness. They had this really bizarre talent of making everyone around them stick one toe into Recklessville.
Her mother claimed that most of Nikki’s bad decisions came from having a good heart.
Nikki had the habit of picking up strays—stray cats, dogs, a lizard here and there, even a snake, and humans, too. She was a bleeding heart, hating to see anyone she cared about in pain and she was oftentimes a bit overly affected by the troubles of strangers.
It was why she avoided the TV around the holidays, because they always played those heart-wrenching videos of freezing animals or children left to starve in war-torn countries. She hated everything about New Year’s Eve because of that and spent the week between Christmas and the first of January moping around.
There was a lot of Nikki that was the same as she was the last time she walked through this house. She still got emotionally invested in animals that didn’t belong to her—that was why she volunteered at the local animal shelter. She still couldn’t turn away from someone who needed help, and she still found herself in weird situations but reckless? Wild?
Not anymore.
Not since the last time she’d been in the house, right before she left for college. That had been four years ago and now she was back, and nothing and everything had changed.
“You okay, hon?” her father asked.
Turning to find her father standing just inside the large kitchen, she pulled herself out of her thoughts and smiled widely for him. Goodness, her dad was starting to look his age, and that scared her—truly terrified her. Her parents had her late in life, but she was only twenty-two, and she wanted another fifty years or so with them.
Nikki knew that wasn’t going to happen.
Especially now.
She forced those thoughts from her head. “Yes. I’m just . . . it’s weird being in here after being gone so long. The kitchen is different.”
“It was remodeled a few years back,” he replied. The mansion was constantly being remodeled it seemed. After all, how many times had this place caught fire since it was built? Nikki had lost count. Her father drew in a deep breath, and the lines around his mouth became more pronounced. He looked so tired. “I don’t know if I’ve said this to you or not, but thank you.”
She waved him off. “You don’t need to thank me, Dad.”
“Yeah, I do.” He walked over to where she stood. “You went away to college to do something better than this—better than cooking dinners and running a household. To become something better.”
Offended on his behalf, she crossed her arms and met his weary gaze. “There’s nothing wrong with cooking dinners and running a household. It’s good, honest work. Wok that put me through college. Right, Dad?”
“We take great pride in our job. Don’t get me wrong, but what your mother and I did all these years was so you could do something else.” He sighed. “So, it means a lot that you would come home to help us out, Nicolette.”
Only her dad and mom called her by her full name. Everyone else called her Nikki. Everyone except a certain de Vincent who shall remained nameless. He and only he called her Nic.
Her parents had worked for the de Vincents, one of the wealthiest families in the States and possibly the world, since long before she was born. It was weird growing up in this house, being privy to a lot of strange stuff—things the public has no idea about and would probably pay a large sum of money to learn. And personally? It was like she had a foot in two different worlds, one absurdly wealthy and the other middle working class.
Her father was basically a butler, except she always had a small suspicion that her father had . . . taken care of things for the de Vincents that no normal butler did. Her mother ran the day-to-day functions of the house and prepared the dinners. Both her parents loved working for the family and she knew both had planned to continue to the day they died, but her mom . . . .
Nikki’s chest squeezed painfully. Her mom was not well and it had happened so fast, coming out of nowhere. The dreaded C word.
“Honestly, this is perfect. I got my degree and this will give me time to figure things out.” In other words, figure out what the hell she wanted to really do with her life. Get to work or go for her master’s? She wasn’t sure yet. “And I want to be here while Mom is going through everything.”
“I know.” His smile wobbled a little as he brushed a strand of blondish-brown hair out of her face.
“We could’ve hired someone else to step in while your mother—”
“No, you couldn’t have.” She laughed at the mere thought of that. “I know how weird the de Vincents are. I know how protective you two are of them. I know how to keep my mouth shut and not see what I’m not supposed to. And you two don’t have to worry about someone new not keeping their mouth shut and not seeing what they’re not supposed to.”
Her dad arched a brow. “A lot of things have changed, honey.”
She snorted as she took in the white marble countertops with gray veining. Mom had filled her in on some of those changes during one of her chemo treatments. After all, what else did they have to talk about while she was being pumped full of poison that would hopefully kill only the cancer cells building in her lung?
Things in the de Vincent mansion that had changed.
For starters, the patriarch of the family, one Lawrence de Vincent, had hung himself a few months back. An act that had shocked her because she figured that man would’ve outlived a nuclear bomb. And Lucian de Vincent apparently had a live-in girlfriend and they were about to move into their own place. That was even more insane, the idea of Lucian settling down.
The Lucian she remembered put the play in player. He’d been an incorrigible flirt, leaving a string of broken hearts across the state of Louisiana and beyond.
She hadn’t met his girlfriend yet since they were away on some kind of trip; the rich rarely seemed to have much of a schedule. She just hoped whoever his girlfriend was, she was nice and nothing like Devlin’s fiancé.
Nikki might not have been around the de Vincents in four years, but she remembered Sabrina Harrington and her brother Parker.
Sabrina had just begun seeing Devlin the year before Nikki had left for college and that had been a year’s worth of snide comments and rather impressive disdainful looks. Nikki could deal with Sabrina though. If she was the same woman as she was before, she could be as mean as a cornered rattlesnake, but Nikki normally didn’t even register on her scale of people to pay attention to.
Parker though?
Nikki suppressed a shudder, not wanting to worry her father who was watching her like a hawk.
Parker had often stared at her the way she’d wanted Gabe to look at her, especially when she had grown brave enough to move from a one-piece bathing suit to a two-piece.
And Parker . . . he had done more than look.
She drew in a deep breath. She wasn’t going to think about Parker. He wasn’t worth a single thought.
What happened to Lawrence, and Lucian’s new romance weren’t the only things her mom had told her. She filled Nikki in on the whole sister reappearing and then disappearing again thing. Something that she knew the general public had no idea had even happened. She didn’t know the details around it, but Nikki knew that in typical de Vincent fashion, it had to the most drama-llama-est thing possible.
And she also knew better than to ask questions about it.
Her father stepped back. “The boys are all out.”
Thank God and baby Jesus.
“Devlin should be back this evening for dinner. He likes dinner to be ready at six. I believe Ms. Harrington will be joining him.”
Well, thanking God and baby Jesus lasted all of five seconds. She resisted the urge to roll her eyes and make a gagging sound. “Okay.”
“Gabriel is still in Baton Rouge, or at least, that’s the last I heard,” her father continued, ticking off the brothers’ schedules while she wondered what Gabe was doing in Baton Rouge. Not that she cared. She totally didn’t care whatsoever, but she wondered if it had anything to do with his woodworking business.
The man was talented with his hands.
Really talented.
Her cheeks flushed as an unwanted memory of how his calloused palms felt pierced her straight through the chest. Nope. Not going there. Absolutely not.
There were examples of Gabe’s skill all around the house—the furniture, chair rails, and trim, even in the kitchen. All of the woodwork was designed and created by Gabe. As a little girl, she’d been fascinated with the idea of picking up a piece of wood and turning it into something that was truly a work of art. That fascination had turned into quite the hobby for Nikki.
It had started one long, fall afternoon when she was ten and she’d found Gabe outside, whittling away on a piece of wood. Out of boredom, she’d asked him to show her how he did it. Instead of shooing her off, Gabe had given her small scrapes of wood and showed her how to use a chisel.
She’d gotten pretty good at it, but she hadn’t picked up a chisel in over four years. Nikki refocused on what her dad was telling her.
“We’re a little understaffed right now,” her dad continued. “So there’s a lot of dusting in your near future. Devlin is very much like his father.”
Great.
That was not a compliment in her book.
“Is it the ghosts?” She half joked. “Scaring off the staff?”
Her father shot her a look, but she knew damn well that her parents believed this
house was haunted. Hell, they wouldn’t even come here at night unless it was a dire emergency. None of the staff would and everyone in town knew the legends about the land the de Vincent mansion sat on. And who hadn’t heard about the de Vincent curse more than a time or two?
Being in this house as much as she had been in the past, she had seen some weird things and heard some stuff that couldn’t be explained. Plus she grew up within minutes of New Orleans. She was a believer, but unlike her friend Rosie, whom she met in college, she wasn’t obsessed with all things paranormal. Nikki operated on the whole if- you-don’t-acknowledge-ghosts-they-can’t-bother-you theory and so far it had worked so far wonderfully.
Then again, Nikki had only come here at night once in her life, and that had not turned out well at all. So maybe ignoring ghosts didn’t work, because she liked to think
she was possessed by one of ghosts that supposedly wandered the halls, and that was what provoked her to do what she’d done that night.
Nikki was well aware of how the house was run because she’d spent most of her summer vacations in the house watching her mom, so she got to work pretty quickly once her father left her.
First thing first was tracking down what staff they did have at the house. Understaffed her butt! The only staff they had left was her dad; the landscaper who was constantly mowing grass it seemed or re-mulching; the de Vincent driver; and Mrs. Kneely, an older woman who’d done the laundry services since Nikki was a little girl.
Beverly Kneely actually owed her own laundry business and only came to the house three times a week to take care of the linens and clothing.
According to Bev, whom she found in the large mudroom at the back of the house, packing up clothing that needed to be dry-cleaned, over the last couple of months, nearly everyone had quit.
“So, let me get this straight.” Nikki smoothed back a few strands that had escaped the knot she’d pulled her hair up in. “The waiters are gone, as are the maids?”
Bev’s buxom chest heaved as she nodded. “It’s just been your parents for the last three months. I think all that work was wearing poor Livie down.”
Anger flashed through Nikki. Hadn’t the de Vincents noticed how thin and tired her mom had been getting? How quickly she got out of breath? “Why didn’t the de Vincents hire someone to help?”
“Your father tried, but no one around here wants to come close to this place, not after what happened.”
She frowned. “You’re talking about Lawrence? What he did?”
Bev tied up the bags. “Not like that wasn’t bad enough, but that wasn’t the straw the broke the camel’s back around here.”
Nikki had no idea what she was talking about. “I’m sorry. I don’t think I’ve been updated on all the crazy. What else happened?”
Looking around the room, Bev arched her brows as she headed toward the side door. “Walls got ears. You know that. You want to know what’s been going on here, you ask your father or one of the boys.”
Her lips pursed. She was so not asking the boys.
Bev stopped at the door and looked back. “I don’t think Devlin is going to be happy when he sees what you’re wearing.”
“What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?” It was jeans and a black tee shirt. No way was she going to dress like her mom or her dad. Her willingness to help her parents did not extend to wearing uniforms.
She looked down at herself and saw the hole just below the knee.
Nikki sighed.
Devlin was probably going to have a problem with the hole, but what Nikki wanted to
know was what the hell had happened in this house to drive almost all the staff away?
It had to be something.
Not just because the de Vincents paid extraordinarily well, but also because her father hadn’t told her.
And that meant it was something really bad.


Moonlight Seduction is out June 26th, 2018!

 About Jennifer L Armentrout:


# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications. Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance.

She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her Wicked Series has been optioned by PassionFlix. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. Her adult romantic suspense novel TILL DEATH was a Amazon Editor’s Pick and iBook Book of the Month. Her young adult contemporary THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a 2017 RITA Award Winner in Young Adult Fiction. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

She is the owner of ApollyCon and The Origin Event, the successful annual events that features over a hundred bestselling authors in Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Fiction, panels, parties, and more. She is also the creator and sole financier of the annual Write Your Way To RT Book Convention, a contest that gives aspiring authors a chance to win a fully paid trip to RT Book Reviews.



Wednesday, February 14

Review: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 - 0.5)

The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 - 0.5)
Sarah J Maas

Published By: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Date Read: January 12, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 448
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18243700-the-assassin-s-blade

From Goodreads:
Contains all five novellas.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

The Assassin's Blade has been sat unread on my shelf for what feels like forever. I have already read all of the other books in the Throne of Glass series, barring Tower of Dawn. I absolutely love the entire series and so thought it was about time to read the prequel novellas. Especially since the final book of the series is due out this year. I plan to re-read the entire series this year before the publication of the final book and what better way to start than with the prequel novellas.

Before I go on let me stress once again my love for this entire series. I adore it and it made me fall in love with YA fantasy books. It was one of the first YA fantasy series I read and that is now my fave genre. I love the world of Throne of Glass, the characters everything...

...BUT...

The Assassin's Blade was such a struggle for me to get through. I really wanted to love it because of how much I adore the rest of the series but it took me almost a fortnight to get through this book. Now, I'm quite a fast reader and it usually only takes me a day or two to polish off a 500 page novel so it should not have took me almost 2 weeks to read 5 novellas. I just didn't connect with them as much as the rest of the series. I found the pace slow, I was bored and I just found myself not caring what was happening. The only novella I found I really liked was the final one and that was because it links into the beginning of Throne of Glass and I liked seeing how Caleana ended up in Endovier. It was the only one that got any sort of emotional response. I went from not caring about anything in the others to crying my eyes out when a certain character was killed. Yes... you know the one.

I really wanted to love The Assassin's Blade so much but I just couldn't. It was such a struggle and to be honest if it wasn't for the fact that I had already read the rest of the series I would have just DNF'd it. I only pushed through because I knew what was coming after these slow and boring novellas was epic and awesome. I am super glad I read the rest of the series before these as I probably wouldn't have read them otherwise and it is one of my all time favourite series. After reading the novellas, I don't feel like I have gained any deeper meaning or insight having read them. It was nice to see the guy she loved before the series but if I was to re-read the series again I'd give this one a miss.


Wednesday, February 7

Non-Review: Roseblood

RoseBlood
AG Howard

Published By: Amulet Books
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Date Read: January 1, 2018
Genre: YA - Retelling
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 432
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28818314-roseblood
From Goodreads:
In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

RoseBlood was one of those books that I couldn't wait for. I have read and loved AG Howard's incredible Splintered series and I am a huge fan of The Phantom of the Opera, so this was bound to be amazing. I really, really wanted to love this one but I just... didn't.

I managed to get to around 55% of the book before I just couldn't continue. RoseBlood was incredibly slow and I found elements of it very strange and there was no explanation as to why. I tried to push through so much but I found myself very bored which made me not want to read at all and it's at that point that I usually tell myself it's time to stop reading it and pick something else to read.

Thorn was a very odd character... like why was he wearing a mask if he had no disfigurement? And Rune was just too bitchy and stupid for me to like her. I wasn't invested in the characters at all and found I really didn't care about the story and what happened to them whatsoever.

I really wish I had liked this one as it sounded like the perfect kind of book for me but unfortunately it just wasn't meant to be.


Sunday, February 4

Wrap Up: January 2018


Hey Guys,
Can you believe January is over already? It's gone super quick so far don't you think?

Here is my month in books.

Book Haul:


Bought:

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

For Review:

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
Second Best Friend by Non Pratt

Books Read in January 2018:


RoseBlood by AG Howard - DNF
The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.5) by Sarah J Maas - 3 Stars
The Moth and the Flame (The Wrath and the Dawn #0.25) by Renee Ahdieh - 3 Stars
The Crown and the Arrow (The Wrath and the Dawn #0.5) by Renee Ahdieh - 3 Stars
The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh - 5 Stars
The Mirror and the Maze (The Wrath and the Dawn #1.5) by Renee Ahdieh - 2 Stars

Review Posted in January 2018:


Top Books of 2018:

Now, usually I do a Top 3 Books of the month but I only include books that I rate 4 or 5 Stars. Unfortunately only one of my reads this month fits this so here is my favourite read of January 2018.
What did you read in January?