Genre: Fantasy

SONG OF BLOOD AND STONE by L. Penelope

SONG OF BLOOD AND STONE by L. PenelopeSong of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope
Series: Earthsinger Chronicles #1
Published by St. Martin's Press Genres: Fantasy
Source: Publisher

 

 

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive–an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.

Jack’s mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagrimar is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and its people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda’s Earthsong to do it. They escape their vicious captors and together embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps.

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.

The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.

Author L. Penelope has developed a unique and interesting premise with her Earthsinger Chronicles.  The first book Song of Blood and Stone introduces us to Jasminda and Jack. These two come from vastly different backgrounds and therefore have different agendas.  I truly enjoyed getting to know both of them.  It is easy to become emotionally involved in these characters with Ms. Penelope’s highly entertaining, high octane writing style.

Jasminda is a captivating heroine.  She has faced many hardships that have made her a force to be reckoned with.  I found her Earthsinger abilities to be incredibly fascinating.  Jack has all the qualities a girl could ask for in her hero.  He is very easy to fall for and root for! When these two get together you can feel the power on the pages.  They go on quite the journey in Song of Blood and Stone discovering an epic romance along the way!  I don’t want to give anything away but I will tell you things move fast in the best ways.  I was glued to the pages and finished in one sitting.  I am looking forward to the next book in the Earthsinger ChroniclesSong of Blood and Stone is the perfect read for every young adult lover but excellent for us adults as well.

FURYBORN by Claire Legrand

FURYBORN by Claire Legrand

FURYBORN by Claire LegrandFuryborn by Claire Legrand
Series: Empirium Trilogy #1
Published by Sourcebooks Fire Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
Source: Publisher

The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable―until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire's heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world―and of each other.

Author Claire Legrand’s novel FURYBORN is a fantastical novel featuring alluring, tenacious characters and an unforgettable heart-stopping story.

Furyborn is brimming with strong, fiery female characters that will have you cheering even as they do some dangerous and at times despicable things.  I was so taken with the blurb I could not wait to read this novel.  The idea of a story essentially taking place during two different lifetimes was intriguing, add in the fantasy, romance and action elements and I was hooked.  I was not disappointed.  Furyborn is enrapturing from page one.  It’s impossible to miss the life or death tension within the first few scenes.  I could feel my heart beating wildly as one OMG thing after another happened until my mind exploded with understanding of what was going to happen next.

At first, I was afraid that Legrand’s use of a nonlinear narrative would become confusing as I tried to discover how the two plots would sync up and remember the many characters that came with them.  Thankfully, Legrand is quite skillful with her pen. In Furyborn, she creates such unique, memorable characters and plotlines it is easy to keep track of everything.  The worldbuilding within Furyborn is without a doubt one of the most skilled I’ve read.  The imagery and plot make it easy to imagine yourself in the line of fire with the characters.

As a reader you always know going into one of these stories there is a good chance you’re going to find your heart breaking in some manner before it’s over.  In Furyborn, the chances of this happening are double since we are dealing with two heroines.  Rielle and Eliana are fiercely independent women with a passionate need to protect the people they love.  They have lives and ideals of their own, but they are thrown into the middle of a long-foretold prophecy within their kingdoms.  As this prophecy begins to take over their lives they are forced to discover what they are truly made of.  Following them both on their trail of self-discovery is intense and marvelous.  I love the fact that these women are not purely good or evil which is the conclusion other characters would like to draw about them.  Both Rielle and Eliana have many rich layers of personality, conscience and desires that drive them in fascinating ways.  The men in their lives are equally dashing and entrancing.

I did not want Furyborn to end and when it did I was left with a desperate need to discover what would happen next.  I will be counting down the days until the next novel in the Empirium trilogy releases.  I must know what happens to the characters that I’ve become insanely attached to!

Furyborn is a phenomenally haunting novel that will leave you breathless and extremely satisfied.  The remarkable drama, intense action sequences and the bewitching fantasy make Furyborn a Joyfully Recommended Read.

**Furyborn is classified as a young adult novel but due to the age of the main characters, violence and sexual situations I consider it a New Adult.

THE ROGUE QUEEN by Emily R. King

THE ROGUE QUEEN by Emily R. King

THE ROGUE QUEEN by Emily R. KingThe Rogue Queen by Emily R. King
Series: Hundredth Queen #3
Published by Skyscape Genres: Fantasy
Source: Publisher

In the explosive third volume of The Hundredth Queen Series, the queen of fire faces off against a demon of ice.

Despite the odds, Kalinda has survived it all: Marriage to a tyrant. Tournaments to the death. The forbidden power to rule fire. The icy touch of a demon.

That same demon now disguises itself as Rajah Tarek, Kalinda’s late husband and a man who has never stopped haunting her. Upon taking control of the palace and the army, the demon brands Kalinda and her companions as traitors to the empire. They flee across the sea, seeking haven in the Southern Isles.

In Lestari, Kalinda’s powers are not condemned, as they are in her land. Now free to use them to protect those she loves, Kalinda soon realizes that the demon has tainted her with a cold poison, rendering her fire uncontrollable. But the lack of control may be just what she needs to send the demon back to the darkest depths of the Void.

To take back the empire, Kalinda will ally with those she distrusts—and risk losing those most loyal to her—to defeat the demon and bring peace to a divided nation.

**Possible spoilers below**

 

 

 

Our beloved characters are still reeling from the events in The Fire Queen as we leap back into the fantastical Hundredth Queen series.  Kalinda may be more wounded than anyone knows and people they love are missing.  Devon and Kalinda are once again pulled apart by their circumstances.  It’s frustrating but keeps the dramatic tension high.  Kalinda and Prince Ashwin are seeking allies while Devon is on a desperate journey of his own.

The Rogue Queen is visually stunning and features tons of intense action.  The stakes are staggering as we see some of our favorite characters lose their battle against the evil Rajeh Tarek.  It is exciting to be introduced to exciting new characters in The Rogue Queen.  Ms. King keeps expanding the Hundredth Queen world in magical ways.

Kalinda and Devon share a sweet and fiery passion that is stoked higher by the dire situations they often find themselves in.  I really enjoy these two.  They are complex characters facing incredibly dark and dangerous paths. Just when I think Ms. King cannot take things any further she throws a curve ball that turns the Hundredth Queen world upside down.  I’m dying to know what will happen next when we are reunited with the amazing characters once again in The Warrior Queen.

The Rogue Queen is inherently spellbinding with its eccentric world, unique characters and intensely satisfying plotlines. The Rogue Queen is my second Joyfully Recommended Read for 2018!

MATE CALL by Amber Kell

MATE CALL by Amber KellMate Call by Amber Kell
Series: Dragon Men #5
Published by Self Published Genres: Fantasy, MM
Source: Author

 

Colton Lanx was born among the stars.  Knowing of no other life Colt joined the Exploration Guild to become a certified navigator.  He loves to travel through the universe where he believes he belongs.

 

From the moment Colt was assigned to his latest posting the captain took an instant dislike of him.  Passing close to the planet Dragait takes precise calculations which Colt has input.  Apparently, the captain doesn’t trust his calculations and re-enters his own.  Colt’s father was born on Dragait and it seems the son will be dying there as the ship becomes locked in the planet’s gravity field and begins to break apart.

 

An escape pod saves Colt’s life, but it also changes his life in every way possible as he comes face to face with King Zeir Dragonfire.  Suddenly the navigator’s future is no longer among the stars. Colt will be forced to choose between what his head is telling him and what his heart yearns for…

 

Mate Call returns readers to the sensual, stubborn Dragon Men series.  Honorable, intelligent Colt has his life interrupted in ways he’d never imagined while at the same time King Zeir discovers his past was a lie.  Both characters have life altering decisions to deal with in this challenging drama.  The well balanced storyline keeps everyone on their toes.  Extremely satisfying from beginning to end, Mate Call has everything an entertertaining story needs with a complicated romance, hot sex, and a handful of troubles to overcome.  It took awhile for Mate Call to arrive, but definitely worth the wait.

DARK SWAN by Gena Showalter

DARK SWAN by Gena ShowalterDark Swan by Gena Showalter
Series: Alien Huntress
Published by Pocket Star Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Source: Publisher

 

 

Lilica Swan isn’t quite human or otherworlder; she is the best—and worst—of both.

She is willing to do whatever proves necessary to save her sister from the seductive and deadly Alien Investigation and Removal agent, Dallas Gutierrez, even bonding her lifeforce to his by effectively marrying him. But the bond will fade without consummation. Can Dallas resist his insatiable desire for the powerful beauty? Or will she lead to his ultimate downfall?

 

Author Gena Showalter’s Alien Huntress series is back in action! I have loved this series for a very long time and all of that time I have been waiting for AIR Agent Dallas Gutierrez to get his love story.  He’s that character that jumps off the pages of every book and he’s met his match in Lilica Swan.

Lilica and her sisters have been prisoners for most of their lives.  Now they are free and learning how to survive.  Lilica is desperate to find her sister and protect her from AIR.

Lilica and Dallas have an intense attraction in Dark Swan. It’s easy to sympathize with Lilica’s plight.  She’s in an untenable situation and trying to do the right thing by her sisters.  I really enjoyed the story. My only complaint is that the story was too short.  I felt like the complexity of Dallas and Lilica’s deserved more.  It could have been more powerful if their story had been expanded.  Fortunately, as usual Ms. Showalter still gives her readers a sexy and exciting story.

WOLF HOLLOW by Nikki Jefford

Author Nikki Jefford takes readers into a post-apocalyptic paranormal world featuring sexy shifters, heady emotion and lots of pack politics.  Wolf Hollow introduces readers to Tabor the cocky outcast with a chip on his shoulder and Sasha a leader in the making and only pack pureblood shifter. As the last remaining pureblood Sasha is aContinue Reading

THE FIRE QUEEN by Emily R. King

THE FIRE QUEEN by Emily R. King

The Fire Queen begins where The Hundredth Queen left off with Kalinda, Deven and their people running for their lives.  The Rebel Bhuta Hastin has claimed Tarachand and hunts them searching for the powerful Zhaleh. Kalinda and Deven are trying to find the rightful heir to the Tarachand throne Prince Ashwin before Hastin has himContinue Reading

DESERT ICE by Rose Maefair

He was betrayed.  The heir to Seadragon’s Fief was betrayed by his own father.  All because of a beautiful young woman who gave the widowed king a newborn son.  She whispered in her lover’s ear that the firstborn heir was planning treason.   Taken far from his northern home to the desert city of TandirContinue Reading

EXILE by Caleb James

Once a member of fairy Queen May’s court, Liam Summer has somehow ended up in New York roasting to death in an apartment fire.  The fairy fire is ablaze – human firefighters cannot stop it.  At the moment Liam accepts his own death FDNY Charlie Fitzgerald appears and saves him.   As a small childContinue Reading

EQUIPOISE by Kim Fielding

Surviving two mighty magical conflicts Ennek is utterly exhausted and more powerful than ever while his lover Miner worries about the consequences of their actions.  It appears everywhere they go they are forced to alter the lives of those they meet.   Homesick and tired of wandering they decide to return to Praesidium.  The timeContinue Reading

WARLOCK IN TRAINING by T. J. Nichols

The last thing Angus Donohue wanted was to pass his demon summoning class.  Becoming a warlock was not something Angus aspired to.  It was bad enough to have his powerful, arrogant father bullying him into entering the Warlock College.  Angus would love to fail and go into medicine instead.   Unfortunately for the budding warlockContinue Reading

THE SORCERER’S GUARDIAN by Antonia Aquilante

The peaceful principality of Tournai is threatened by a faraway kingdom governed by a power hungry ruler bent on owning the world.  Prince Phillip and his consort Prince Amory have charged their most skilled sorcerer Savarin with charting suspicious weaknesses in the centuries old magical barrier surrounding their land.  They must do all they canContinue Reading

WILD ROSE, SILENT SNOW by Angel Martinez

Brothers Snowden and Rowan Hadley are barely making ends meet at the lake house their parents left them.  The inheritance which would have made life easier is stuck in probate because of some greedy relatives contesting the will.  Without the funds to fight them the brothers are having a rough time surviving.   Bear tracksContinue Reading

MAD LIZARD MAMBO by Rhys Ford

The earth has been thrown into turmoil ever since the human world and Underhill, the home of the light and dark sidhe, Merged.  Monsters and creatures of myth raise havoc which requires licensed Stalkers to handle the situation.  A grizzled Stalker named Dempsey unwittingly saves the life of an elfin slave won in a gameContinue Reading

FLUX by Kim Fielding

Fleeing for their lives Ennek, the ruling Chief’s second son and Miner, a traitor released from Statis, are crossing the seas aboard the Eclipse bound for a foreign coastline.  With his newly discovered wizard powers Ennek is having the time of his life, especially since he has an affinity for water.  Frozen in Statis forContinue Reading

THE SOLDATI PRINCE by Charlie Cochet

Closing up the coffee shop one late evening Riley Murrough is confronted by two men in black who morph into smelly, gooey globs.  As he’s screaming in his head and running for his life three men and a woman appear and morph into huge tigers that destroy the two gooey guys, as well as othersContinue Reading

ON WINGS OF THUNDER by M. D. Grimm

A millennium ago the five most powerful angels gave up their lives in order to save the three realms from their dreaded enemy Asagoroth, the great dragon demon who promised to destroy them all.  History records the destruction of Asagoroth.  However, they were only able to imprison the great dragon.   The angel Trystan isContinue Reading

THE SCHOLAR’S HEART by Antonia Aquilante

Lord Etan, the younger brother of Duke Cathal and cousin to the monarch of Tournai, spends his days assisting Prince Phillip and his consort, Prince Amory.  When he’s not working for them he uses his time researching in the Palace library.  Many subjects fascinate Etan, in particular the family bloodline’s special and secret Talent.  EtanContinue Reading

THE WINTER PRINCE by R. Cooper

In childhood Kisin Bey and Razin were the very best of friends, sharing adventures and mischief in equal measure.  As they grew into men everything changed.  Friendship evolved into something much deeper though neither were strong enough to say the words.   Prince Kisin Bey accepted his responsibilities and became the Captain of the ImmortalContinue Reading

THE ARTIST’S MASQUERADE by Antonia Aquilante

Tournai is a peaceful thriving country ruled by Prince Phillip and his consort Prince Amory.  The recent birth of their son Prince Julien has solidified the family succession.  Known for their exquisite glassmaking, as well as other talents, the Prince is well aware that the Emperor of Ardunn who has gobbled up other small countriesContinue Reading

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