The Royal Cleaner #6: Exiled Review

Exiled (The Royal Cleaner, #6)

Seph, Gregor, and Caroline have been exiled from the Demon World. Persephone or Seph has to get used to life in the human world, where she doesn’t have the position of queen that she has prepared for since she was born. This gives her time to deal with feelings that she has been pushing away for years, and face the fact that she might have a crush on someone. Gregor and Caroline no longer have to be fake married, which gives Mina and Caroline the chance to marry one another. Gregor is also free to pursue his own romantic interests, and he might have his eyes on a certain man on Earth.

I am interested in the new couples that were introduced in this installment of the series. I knew that Mina and Caroline would always be together, but I was worried that Gregor would never get the chance to be happy as he didn’t have a secret boyfriend on the side of his political marriage to Caroline, but he had his chance in this book! I also thought that Seph would be important, but I just didn’t see how she fit into the Royal Cleaner series until this book. Without spoiling anything, I am happy with how her story turned out as well.

Honestly, this felt like the shortest Royal Cleaner book I have read so far. I loved it so much that I finished it all in one morning on my way to work and then switched directly to the next book in the series. I think that it was the lack of action that truly drew me into this book. I feel like I never got the chance to get close to the characters in the Royal Cleaner series in this way because the books were so packed with action. This slower-paced story focused more on the domestic side of the characters as Mina and Caroline are still spending time with their children including the young twins while Gregor and Seph have to get used to living like humans rather than Demon royalty.

I can’t wait to review the next book in this series to discuss more spoilers about these characters! Just know that things really start to heat up towards the end of this book.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an adult fantasy novel with LGBT+ and neurodiverse characters.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books.

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Fanfiction Friday: Marvel Cinematic Universe Edition!

Image result for marvel cinematic universe

So I’ve been going through one of my fanfiction stages again, and I have found some really good ones! Specifically, I have been reading a lot of fanfiction about characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

All types of fanfiction have their bad stories, but I find that the MCU fanfiction honestly has a higher volume of poorly written stories. I specifically wanted stories where Tony Stark and Peter Parker had a father/son sort of relationship, and maybe with a bit of angst, and I just got a ton of stories where Peter was just randomly attacked and kidnapped and Tony was just “Oh No My Son Is Gone Whatever Shall I Do?!!” I enjoy stories about kidnapping or angst in that way, but not when they are written like that.

Nevertheless, I found quite a few absolutely amazing stories/series, and I am going to share what I found with you all!

Febuwhump 2019

This story by undeerqueen is a collection of drabbles about Peter Parker and Tony Stark’s father/son relationship. So far, all the one-shots have been great, and I think that they will continue to be updated throughout the month of February. They take place in different universes, so you don’t have to worry about “catching up on” the chapters. They are all standalones.

5 Times Everyone Forgot How Smart Peter Actually Was

I am a sucker for these “5 times” stories, and this one is one of the best that I have ever read. It has Peter Parker and “IronDad” tendencies, but it also includes other characters from the MCU and their interactions with Peter. The fact that Peter was in an advanced science school is barely touched upon in the actual MCU, so this fanfiction about how his book smarts could be applied to the lives of the superheroes was perfect!

Who Watches The Heroes Series

Honestly, the installments of this series feel like full-length books. The 4 stories in the series so far add up to around 230,000 words, so they might as well be! The series starts with the book Long Shadows, which basically explores the idea of “What would happen if Venom infected MCU Peter Parker?” It is just so well-written, and I flew through it in a few days. It isn’t finished yet, but the author went on a break in September. They said that they needed time for school, so they will probably be back this summer. I personally can’t wait!

5 Times Peter Passed Out In Front of Tony + 1 Time He Passed Out Alone

Like I said before, I am a sucker for those “5 Times +1” stories. This one hasn’t been updated for a few months, but the author is still pretty active on Archive Of Our Own. It might be finished someday. Nevertheless, the chapters can all be read as standalones, so you don’t have to worry about being left on a cliffhanger.

Avenging The…Group Chat?

I will let you know that out of 100+ fanfictions that I have bookmarked on my phone, I can count on two hands the number of chatfics that I have. Well, unless you count the number of Twitter BTS chatfics that I have “liked,” but that is a post for another day. This group chat portrays the Avengers as a sort of family, which was truly cute, and I loved every minute of it.

These are just five stories/series, but I will be back with more next week. Thanks for reading!

Harbinger Blog Tour Plus Review

 

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Welcome to my stop on the launch tour for Candace Wondrak’s The Harbinger!

TheHarbinger CoverThe Harbinger (Book #1)

Genre: Reverse Harem/ Fantasy

Expected Publication Date: November 5th, 2018

Synopsis:

The rules of the Second, a list by Faith Blackwell.

One: technology doesn’t work. The Second doesn’t need electricity when it has magic. Two: don’t trust anyone. The Second’s races—the Elven, the Malus, the Ulen and the Dracon—are way too pretty to trust. Three: when someone tells you you’re the new Harbinger, believe them. Bad things happen if you don’t.

Back in the sixties, the last Harbinger permanently opened the gateways between Earth and the Second. Humanity grew accordingly. Faith is in her fifth year at the Academy, with her sight set on joining the Division, the branch of government that enforces what most law enforcement can’t, like smuggling goods between worlds. Following her mother’s footsteps has always been the plan.

Of course, she doesn’t want to follow them to a T. Her mother had awful luck with men, as did her grandma. Faith wouldn’t mind finding out what’s so special about a man that it has her quirky grandma swearing at them constantly. A field trip to the Second is just what she needs.

Being the first female Harbinger in the Second’s history and having to face down the realm’s most dangerous Dracon, also known as the ridiculously-named Dread King? Not what she needs.

Faith isn’t a hero. That sort of responsibility is not what she wants. The perks that come with it—like a sexy but infuriating Elf, a flirty Malus, and a quiet and pensive Ulen—well, maybe for them she’ll make an exception to her grandma’s no-man rule.

Maybe she’ll have them all.

The Harbinger is the first in a slow-burn, reverse harem fantasy series. Expect eventual hot and steamy scenes, coupled with the Chosen One trope, and a heroine who will reluctantly try to save a world that isn’t hers.

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My Review

Even though this was a reverse harem novel, I would still recommend it to those who aren’t necessarily fans of the genre. This first book of the series focuses more on the fantasy elements than the romance elements.

Faith is going on her fifth-year trip to the Second as a part of the Academy. She wants to join the law enforcement team that keeps the peace and order between worlds, but she doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps exactly. If everything goes well, she will get the job she wants. But knowing her luck, nothing is going to go well. Her Elf companion named Light is snobbish and hates her, and she can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Then, everything is turned upside down, and she learns that she might be the first female Harbinger.

It took me around 30-40 pages to get into the storyline, but after I got into it, I was truly addicted. I loved the slight chemistry that Light and Faith had, and for a while, I forgot that there were gonna be more men in the series. Then the others started to appear, I instantly knew that they were going to be fun to meet. They didn’t start appearing until the book was almost over, but I enjoyed the short time that I had with them.

The ending felt a little rushed, but it did end on a cliffhanger to leave us hanging for the next book in the series. I wish that the ending had been stretched out a little more so that I could keep better track of the story. Either way, the middle was the best part of the book for me.

The plot of the book had varying speeds which threw me off a little bit, but it didn’t affect my reading experience all that much. It just made me like the slower parts of the story better than the faster parts. I didn’t notice any grammar or formatting errors that would have thrown me out of the storyline either.

I would recommend this book to lovers of fantasy and reverse harem novels.

I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Excerpt

The three males that had chosen willingly to follow in a hunter’s footsteps for a week were strong enough to string their bows, though their aiming power left much to be desired. On average, they hit their targets about one in…five.

Awful. Terrible. Light was aghast that these were supposed to be humanity’s so-called protectors.

When he was done with the men, he turned toward the final participant in his seven-day extravaganza. She was on her back, laying the sun, one arm draped across her face to shield her eyes from the light.

Was she sleeping?

Light was purposefully as quiet as he could be—which was near soundless—as he picked up the final unstrung bow and dropped it unceremoniously on her, landing it right on her stomach.

She jerked awake, blinking half a dozen times as she stared up at him. Her irises were of a pure, untainted green. They seemed to sparkle in the sunlight. They were only a level or two of intensity away from being exactly like Elven or Fae eyes. Their color…wasn’t ugly.

“That was rude,” she said, grabbing the bow and getting to her tiny feet. How did she walk on those?

“Perhaps you should not have fallen asleep during my lesson,” Light spoke, irate.

“Perhaps your lesson should not have been so boring,” she chimed, running a hand through her hair, which seemed more red than brown in the sun. “It’s memorization, buddy. Not that hard. It’s actually something I’m kind of good at.” She walked away from the two males who sat near her, studying the vellum, past the third who returned to the group after taking out the few of his arrows that made their target. “Now teach me how to shoot.”

Light smiled as he crossed his arms, the leather on his chest tight as he commanded, “I’ve already attached the bottom of the string. All you have to do is finish stringing it. It shouldn’t be too hard, since you seem to be so good at everything.”

Her bright green stare squinted at him, and for a quick moment, her eyes fell to his feet, traveling up him like she studied each part of his appearance. She stared at him too intently for his liking. Turning her back to him, she whispered, “Trust me, I’m not good at everything.” Her words probably had a hidden meaning, but Light did not care to inquire.

He watched her shoulders hunch as she sought to bend the bow—wrongly, of course—and somehow get the string to settle in the handmade notches Light had carved in them. He’d made all of the materials himself—yet another one of his punishments from the Court. That’s how he saw it, anyway.

After he laughed out loud, Light said, “Perhaps the funny one is not as strong as she thinks she is?”

She whirled to him, glowering, though the stern look did not reach her eyes. She didn’t really care about succeeding here, he could tell. “I never said I was strong. And my name—so you can stop calling me the funny one—is Faith.”

Faith.

He’d have to make certain he tried hard to not remember it.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

me

Hey guys! I’m a writer, an office worker, a wife, a mother to two dogs and two cats, and half of a strange pair of young adults who flip the houses they’re living in with the goal of having no mortgage (so that I can eventually focus on my writing career!). Needless to say, I’m busy.

Still, I somehow find time to write, to read, and to enjoy life. Wish there were more hours in the day, really!

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Giveaway!!!

For a chance to win a $10 Amazon GC and a digital copy of Book #2 in The Harbinger Series, called The Fellowship, be sure to enter the giveaway below!

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Marked Review

Marked (House of Night, #1)After a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx and has affinities for all five elements: Air, Fire Water, Earth and Spirit. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is mis-using her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampyre friends (or Nerd Herd, as Aphrodite calls them)

I checked this book out from my local library because they simply had so many of the books in this one series. Many of the other series were spread out amongst all the branches in the city, so this one was easy. I have SO many issues with this book, it isn’t even funny.

Let’s start with Zoe. I was okay with her for most of the book. Then, close to the middle, she is reunited with her best friend Kayla and her ex-boyfriend Heath. When Kayla is showing an interest in Heath, she calls her a “cheating cow” out loud and a slut in her head. She was no longer interested in Heath, what was it to her if Kayla showed an interest in him? Even though he was an idiot and a drunk, if she wants him, what is it to Zoe? She got rid of him. Zoe literally judges everyone she meets, and never judges herself for doing nearly the same thing half the time. Zoe was the one who leads Heath on, just to end up going out with Erik.

Let’s also talk about Erik. She first meets him when Aphrodite is all over him, trying to give him a blowjob in the school hallway, and he is trying to get away from her. How this came off as sexy, I don’t know. All of a sudden, Erik is the man of Zoe’s dreams, and she is willing to go up against Aphrodite to fight for him. I don’t know why he was even sexy to her. Why would he go for a girl like Aphrodite and then jump to Zoe? Zoe doesn’t even know if he is a player or not.

I think that the character I had the biggest issue with was Damien. He was the typical “gay best friend” who was included to give the book “diversity” most likely. But by including him, the story put down all the other gay people at the school. In his description paragraph, Zoe thinks “Actually he was cute. Not in the overly girly way so many teenage guys are when they decide to come out and tell everyone what everyone already knew (well everyone except their typically clueless and/or in denial parents). Damien wasn’t a swishy girly-guy...” When I read this on pages 81 and 82 of my novel, I had to take a moment and reread it. I almost put the book down right then. There is NOTHING wrong with being a gay guy who acts stereotypically “feminine”. People should be allowed to be whoever they want without judgment. You can’t act like you support the gay community, and then say that you don’t like those “girly guys.” They count, and they matter. This makes Zoe no better than people who bully gay guys at school for wearing too many “girly clothes” and things. To have this in a semi-popular YA novel just disappoints me. Damien also proceeds to call the band members “band fags.” Yes, this was the quote. Stevie calls him out on this, saying “isn’t it disrespectful to your gayness to call them band fags” but then he just says dismissively “I’m using the word as a term of endearment.” I’ve never heard a gay person in real life call that word a term of endearment. Ever. Also, it seems to be akin to the in-real-life use of the N-word by black people as a “term of endearment.” It’s almost as if the Casts were trying to put their own spin on a completely different issue, and it just ended up being really tasteless.

This doesn’t stop here though. Stevie also mentions that there are other gay boys at the school, but that they were “too weird and girly” for Damien. This was page 95, if you need proof again. Why couldn’t the author just say that Damien wasn’t interested in the guys? Just because Damien is gay doesn’t mean that he will be interested in every single boy in the school that breathes in front of him. But instead, the Casts try to instill the fact that being a “feminine” gay guy is bad. At this point, I REALLY wanted to just put the book down, but I decided to finish it.

My criticism of the characters is not even done. As a black girl, I am always looking for non-stereotypical representation of black or African American characters in YA books. This book does have black characters, and the main character is supposed to be Cherokee, but none of them are portrayed in a good light.

Zoe has a dysfunctional family with a “gullible” mother and a horrible stepfather. Her grandmother tries to teach her some Cherokee tradition, but this is the only thing that makes her anything other than your typical white YA protagonist.

The only two black characters that I saw were Shaunee and Deino. Shaunee is the stereotypical “loud, angry black woman.” Even though she has a white “Twin,” this could just be being used to cover up how poorly she was written. Her literal first sentence, or sentences, in the novel, are as follows: “Okay, please! Just please. Did nobody….think to bother to wake me the hell up and tell me that we were going to dinner?” Then she playfully threatens to cut off her roommate’s hair in the middle of the night. It’s just, is this the real personality she is going to have for the rest of the series? No one really likes being around these types of “constantly angry” personalities.

Deino’s name means terrible, and she is one of Aphrodite’s crazy best friends. even though she might seem to be more “put together”, she is still a villain in the story.

I don’t know if there are any more characters of color in this story, but as you can see, this novel is truly lacking. I could talk about how the plot is boring and how I didn’t feel immersed in the new world of this story, but that would be another 1000 words for you to read. There’s still much more left to be said, but what I’ve already said has probably put you off of starting this series. Please, do not waste your time with this. I am a little tempted to see the next book to see what other disturbing things I can pick up, but I don’t think I have the time or energy.

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

The Battle is O’er Blog Tour Plus Review!


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Battle is O’er
(The Blue Bells Chronicles #5)
By Laura Vosika
Historical Time Travel, Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 470 pages
March 23rd 2018 by Gabriel’s Horn Press

In the gripping conclusion to The Blue Bells Chronicles, just as Shawn is steadily regaining all he feared he had lost forever—his career, his son, and even Amy’s heart—he learns of MacDougall’s vengeance against Niall, for the act Shawn himself committed. He wrestles with a prophecy and an ancient letter that never changes, a letter that details the fate of his own son, if he cannot stop it—and possibly the fate of the world itself, as he learns of Simon Beaumont’s plan to use his knowledge of the future to destroy it.

Shawn’s selfishness once cost him everything. His newfound selflessness may do the same.

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My Review: 

Even though I am about 70% done with this novel, I am positive that this is a great end to an adventure-packed series. Every single character I have encountered was unique, and character development was also incredible. I read a summary of the other books in this series before starting this one, and Shawn started off being a completely different character than he is now. It is very interesting to read the last chapters of his story, and truly see how much he has grown in the last few books. I won’t spoil anything, as even I haven’t had the chance to read the end, but this one just gets better and better the more I read.

Also, this book constantly switches between the medieval times that the previous books focused on, and then the modern times that Shawn has returned to. This was a little confusing at the beginning as I was still getting used to all the characters and comparing them to the synopses. By the time I got to the middle of the book, I was used to the switches, and the rest of the story flowed smoothly.

The world has been built in the previous four books of this series, but it is still expanded upon now. Especially since Shawn is back in the modern world, he has to remember things from his past life that he hasn’t done for two years. This makes for a very creative storyline.

Even though this was a bit of a comedic fantasy, I didn’t find myself thinking that the storyline was silly or pointless. Rather than this, I enjoyed every bit of plot that I read and could take the storyline seriously.

I would recommend this to lovers of fantasy novels, and now-complete series with complex storylines, characters, and worldbuilding.

 

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Laura Vosika is the author of the beloved series, The Blue Bells Chronicles, a tale of time travel, action and adventure, romance and redemption, ranging across modern and medieval Scotland. She runs Gabriel’s Horn Press, and is active in poetry as a member of the League of Minnesota Poets, routinely performing at local open mics. She has appeared in The Star Tribune, and on WCCO and Channel 12, and hosted Books and Brews with Laura Vosika on AM 950.

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Tour Schedule

June 11th:
Launch
Bri’s Book Nook
June 12th:
Among the Reads
Two Points of Interest
June 13th:
E-Romance News
Hearts & Scribbles
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Andi’s Book Reviews
June 14th:
Paulette’s Papers
June 15th:
Becky on Books
June 18th:
Stacking My Book Shelves!
June 19th:
Daily Waffle
June 20th:
Mel’s Shelves
June 21st:
Koops Konclusions
SilverWoodSketches
June 22nd:
Teatime and Books
June 23rd:
Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

l winner will receive a print copy of Blue Bells of Scotland (book one in the series) and a Team Shawn or Team Angus t-shirt (US only)
1 winner will receive an ebook of Blue Bells of Scotland (open internationally)
– Ends June 27th

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Hang Five Review

Hang Five (Crimson Cove, #5)

This series has officially been the longest series that I have ever binged completely in one day. It took me two days to finally complete all my reviews for it, but this series drew me in completely and wouldn’t let me go as I was reading it. This has been one of the best conclusions to a mystery series that I have ever read.

Even though this series seemed to have a lot of loose ends throughout all of the books, everything is tied up in this novel. This book is the longest book in the series, but it is long for good reason. Nothing is really left for the readers to guess. I couldn’t find anything that I remembered from earlier in the series that had been “conveniently forgotten” as the books went on.

Also, this book was from Rita’s POV sometimes, which I liked as she had been one of the least involved girls in the series. Nevertheless, each girl gets some story time as this is the last chance to see each one. I was a bit disappointed, as I had hoped that this book would be focused entirely on Rita. However, I couldn’t be disappointed too much as the story went on.

I don’t want to spoil too much, but this book has some big twists. I didn’t see half of them coming, and each of them was just as exciting as the one before. The romance is also nice in this book, as every girl but Sage now has a significant other. It really brought the story together as the group comes together in a last attempt to save themselves and their families from the people who are so determined to tear their Grove apart. The action and suspense are at their peak as everything comes to a close. The book is fast-paced as the girls race against time.

My favorite parts of this entire book were hands-down the epilogues at the end. I won’t spoil anything, but they also ended the book on a good note. I wish that we would get more books just like the epilogues, but this series had a rather final note. I doubt that I will get a chance to visit the tarnished Crimson Grove again anytime soon, but I will miss my time there.

I can’t recommend this series enough to lovers of mystery, suspense, thrillers, or horror novels. You simply HAVE to try it, and you will see what I am saying. The characters are unique, some likable and some horrible, but they all come together to create the world of Crimson Grove that drew me in for over 6 hours yesterday.

I received a copy of this book for free and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 6/5