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Review: Cassidy Blake Series by Victoria Schwab

During my 24-hour readathon with Sarah last month, I binge read the Cassidy Blake series by Victoria Schwab. I decided I wanted to dedicate a whole post to the series to tell you how I felt about them.

City of Ghosts

Rating: 4🎇🎇🎇🎇

One Sentence Synopsis: After an experience with death, Cassidy can move in and out of the Veil with her best friend and they have an adventure in Edinburgh because of that ability.

How I felt: The more I read this book, the more I loved it. It gave me all the same vibes that R. L. Stine’s Fear Street books used to give me when I was in middle school. I devoured this trio of books as quickly as I possibly could. I always enjoy Schwab’s writing so I’m not surprised I liked the way this was written – even though it is much more casual than her works for older readers.

I really enjoyed the friendship between Cassidy and Jacob. I like the way they interact and tease each other. I felt super connected to their characters and invested in their friendship. With the addition of Grim [Cass’s cat] I fell completely in love. I’m always partial to black cats.

One of the critiques I had read prior to picking this up was the confusion of words conversation that Cass has when she goes to Scotland [i.e., chips v. fries v. crisps, lift v. elevator, etc.] being unrealistic/weird – which I whole-heartedly disagree with. My husband and I have these conversations ALL the time playfully arguing whose word is correct or over the pronunciation of words, so for me, her interaction with this felt so relatable.

Favorite Quotation: “Every good story needs twists and turns. Every heroine needs an adventure.” [Cass] & “When I saved you from the river, you saved me from something, too.” [Jacob]


Tunnel of Bones

Rating: 4.5🎇🎇🎇🎇

One Sentence Synopsis: Now in Paris, Cassidy and Jacob attract the ire of a poltergeist and have to figure out how to stop him before he destroys the city.

How I felt: This series seems to get better with each book for me. I absolutely adore the friendship between Cass and Jacob – my favorite thing being their pact to stay together no matter what. The story in Paris felt more sad than scary [at least in relation to the ghost who they’re working to help cross]. This book brought more of Jacob’s backstory into play and the mirroring between him and the poltergeist made for a complex and interesting storyline.

Like with book one, I adore the way Schwab blended the history of Paris in to the book. The way Schwab wove in the history made for an exciting read rather than dulling down the story. As a historian by training, I truly adore when authors bring in the history of a city into their world-building (if they’re writing in the world we live in) – giving their work connection to the real world and almost making it like the book could be happening in this world.

At the end of the book, we’re introduced to what I believed would be the next specter we’d encounter in book three. (Which, I later learned is correct.) I like the cliff-hanger-esque ending to this one because it made me eager to pick up the next one as soon as I could.

Favorite quotation: “It’s important to take care of the past… to revisit it, to study and learn. Understanding the past helps us move through the present and discover the future.” [Cass’s Dad]

Bridge of Souls

Rating: 5🎇🎇🎇🎇🎇

One Sentence Synopsis: Now in New Orleans, Cass draws the attention of something worse than a ghost or poltergeist and the bonds of friendship are tested.

How I felt: Clearly, this one wrapped its arms around my heart – I loved it so much. It’s precisely the kind of book I would have devoured in middle school – heck, I devoured it as an adult. I read through this in two days [and only because I had to go to bed so I could go to work on the second day].

Jacob and Cass’s friendship only gets better in this book and with Lara it’s super sweet. I love their dynamic and how close they get – how loyal they are. My heart almost broke with some of the scenes in this book and I definitely teared up a bit. The way they fight for each other just melts my heart.

I didn’t mind the pop culture references – mainly because they’re references that I would have made at that age, but I can understand why they would annoy others. [They’d been very well established through books one and two, so it just felt consistent to me.]

I adored this book and am very sad that this is where she’s leaving it for now.

Favorite quotation: [comes from Cass’s dad again] “Nothing can predict your future, Cassidy, because futures aren’t predictable. They’re full of mysteries and chances, and the only person who can decide what happens in them is you.” <– I really needed this at the time I read it.

Thoughts on series as a whole:

I already kind of mentioned this, but these books are precisely what I would have checked out of the library over and over when I was in middle school. Even as an adult, I enjoyed them. Like always, Schwab made me feel like I was watching a movie while reading – and no matter if I’m reading her YA, Middle Grade, or Adult, she never fails to disappoint me. I absolutely love her writing [and her as a person!] They are a very quick and fun read and I recommend picking them up if you have the chance.

Until next time,

Leila

*All photos are my own.

May 2021 TBR

It’s been a while! I unintentionally took a small hiatus from blogging during the first part of Ramadan, but realized it benefitted me a ton. I’ve been reconnecting with my faith and myself which has been really rewarding and has helped me reground myself.

All that said, I’m back!

What better way to come back to blogging then to talk about the books I want to read in May?

First, I have Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo which I saved for this month since it’s The Sinister Sisters Book Club pick for the month of May. The Live discussion should be on Instagram around the end of the month, but you can check us out there and follow us to get the official date and time.

I also have a couple of Buddy Reads again this month:

With Sarah from Balancing the Healer and the Human: we’re reading Vicious and Vengeful by V. E. Schwab. Vicious will be a reread for me and I’m very excited to read it again and hopefully annotate it.

Bri from MoonlightBelle Reads and I will be reading The Damned by Renee Ahdieh.

Books on my official:

I hate that I haven’t read it yet, but We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal is definitely one that I want to get to this month.

I also want to finish Hall of Smoke by H. M. Long and House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas [the second was Bri’s and my buddy read for April, but I clearly didn’t finish it].

Shadow Storm by Christine Feehan releases early in May and is definitely going to be devoured sometime during the month.

Julie Kagawa’s The Iron Fey recently came onto my radar and I would love to get to this one, too.

Depending on how the month goes/how busy I get with my day job, I have some other books that are “on my radar” that if I have time to read, I would like to pick up:

  1. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
  2. Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston

Happy May & May the Fourth be with you, Everyone! If you’ve read any on my list, let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Until next time!

Leila

March 2021 Wrap Up – Five 5 Star Reads!

March was pretty much my get back into reading month. I’ve mentioned how I was struggling through the beginning of the year a handful of times on my blog, so I won’t delve too much into it here – but I was hoping that March might help get back to enjoying reading and taking the time to sit down for a book.

I did get to enjoy stepping away from the real world at least for a little while. I ended up rereading some favorites and some new ones. I ended up having a pretty okay reading month compared to what I was accomplishing earlier. I ended up reading 5 books during the month.

I Am Pusheen the Cat (A Pusheen Book): Belton, Claire: 8601404318603:  Amazon.com: Books

My first read was a comic: I am Pusheen the Cat by Claire Belton.

Rating: 5

Genre: comic

One Sentence Synopsis: A cartoon about cats.

How I felt: March marked one year since my sister passed away, so I was having a really hard time. This comic was the perfect feel good read that I really needed. It was cute, made me laugh, and also made me go “that is so my cat! We love cats in this house so I’m not even surprised that this worked to help cheer me up. The art was really cute – I definitely recommend if you just want a really light, fun read.

Next:

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue - Kindle edition by Schwab, V. E..  Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V. E. Schwab

Rating: 5

Genre: Adult Fantasy

One Sentence Synopsis: A girl makes a deal with a god and trades time for her soul, but with the catch that no one remembers her.

How I felt: I wrote a whole review of this book on my blog, you can find it here. I absolutely adored this book, so much. It was emotional, relatable, and beautiful. I still think about it all the time! I adore Schwab’s writing and this book was a masterpiece.

I reread:

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. Both got 5 on the reread – they’re still two of my favorite books.

nerds of a feather, flock together: Microreview [book]: The Six of Crows  Duology by Leigh Bardugo

My last read was another comic:

in Love and Pajamas by Catana Chetwynd

In Love & Pajamas: A Collection of Comics about Being Yourself Together:  Chetwynd, Catana: 0050837441231: Amazon.com: Books

Rating: 5

One Sentence Synopsis: Cute comics about what it’s like living with your partner.

How I felt: This comic was absolutely adorable and relatable. The art style is again cute. I absolutely adored the interaction of the couple in the comics. This was another one of those things I would recommend picking up if you need your day to be just a little brighter.


I also started to read The Blood King by Abigail Owen near the end of the month, but paused in order to include it in my March TBR [which you’ve already seen].

I had a great month when it came to reading! How did everyone’s March go?

Until next time,

Leila

8-Hour Read-a-long with Sarah

In my TBR post, I talked about how Sarah from Balancing the Healer and the Human and I will be hosting a 8-hour read-a-long on April 3rd from 12pm-8pm EST. We’ll each be hosting sprints throughout the day, so if you want to join us, you can find us on Twitter @LeilaPMorgan and @balance_healer [or Instagram for me].

The sprints will be:

12:15-1pm with Sarah

1:30-2:15pm with me

2:45-3:30pm with Sarah

3:45-4:30pm with me

4:45-5:45pm with Sarah

6:15-7pm with me

7:10-8pm with Sarah

My reading plans are to try and knock out City of Ghosts, Tunnel of Bones, and Bridge of Souls by Victoria Schwab. They’re on the shorter end of my reading list, so I’m hoping to get through them pretty quickly.

I can’t wait to spend the day reading with y’all and Sarah. I hope you join us!

See you tomorrow!

-Leila

April 2021 TBR: Mythothon, Buddy Read, & The Sinister Sisters Book Club

I saw this readathon last year, but didn’t end up participating because I was doing the O.W.L.s from Book Roast. I love mythology and am super excited to participate this year! The announcement is over on Foxes and Fairy Tales. The theme is the Arthurian Legend and you can find my reading list below.

I’m 100% team Morgan Le Fay [for obvious reasons such as my last name and my fascination with her :)]. The prompt for that is to read a book with a morally grey or villain story. I’m planning on reading Sea Witch by Sarah Henning – which is a Ursula retelling.

The group pick for mythothon also happens to be The Sinister Sisters Book Club pick for April: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn so that worked out nicely. If you want to join me for one of the reading sprints, I’m hosting the first reading sprint on April 10th at 1pm EST. You can see our full breakdown if you want to read along with us here.

I’ve picked books for each of the rest of the prompts, and will decide during the month which ones I want to read. This way, I have a ton of options to pick up throughout the month so I won’t get stuck in between books wondering what on my shelves I should read next, but also don’t feel the pressure of having to finish the full TBR.

King Arthur: a book about royalty
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Sir Lancelot: a book by a favorite author
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Sir Gawain: a book with green on the cover or in the title
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Sir Percival: a book with a shiny cover
Sailor Moon Eternal Edition: Volume 2 by Naoko Takeuchi

Sir Bors: a sequel
We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal

Sir Lamorak: a book that’s underhyped
Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar

Sir Kay: a book with a significant sibling relationship
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig OR The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black [Thank you Twitter for the back up!]

Sir Gareth: a recent addition to your TBR
Hall of Smoke by H. M. Long

Sir Bedivere: a book with something pointy on the cover
A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

Sir Garahad: a book with a title that starts with “G”
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Sir Tristan: a romance that should be legendary
The Blood King by Abigail Owen

Sir Gaheris: listen to an audiobook or read a book outloud
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo [audiobook]

Camelot: a book set in a place you’ve never been
Bridge of Souls by Victoria Schwab

At some point I plan on reading Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab to bridge the gap between books one and two.

I’m also doing a buddy read with Moonlight Belle Reads to try out House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas.

April 3rd from 12pm EST to 8pm EST, my friend, Sarah, from Balancing the Healer and the Human and I will be doing a little eight-hour read-a-long as we both need and want to catch up on some reading. [And have a relaxing day disappearing into the world of a book]. So that will hopefully help me knock out at least one of the books on my list.

Looks like April is going to busy month for me reading wise – and I cannot wait!

Are you participating in #mythothon? – If so, let me know what you’re reading!

Until next time,

Leila

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V. E. Schwab

*Spoilers will occur later in the post & will be noted prior to them occurring if you wanted to read the beginning but not the end!

Do you ever read a book and both desperately want to know what happens in the end, but also don’t want the book to ever end?

That was this book.

It took me four months to finish it – not because I didn’t like it, but because I loved it! I wanted to savor every last word and let it sink into my bones. This book is everything I expected and more. It 100% deserves the hype it gets.

It’s been nearly two weeks and I still haven’t recovered. I’m still thinking about it.

I suppose it goes without saying by now that I gave the book 5🎇🎇🎇🎇🎇.

Schwab is a phenomenal author – I love everything about the way Addie is written. As someone who doesn’t usually enjoy present tense, I actually really liked it and didn’t get too bothered by it in this story. I’ve grown used to how Schwab writes having read ADSOM, This Savage Song, and Vicious and loved her work then, but this… this was beautiful… stunning. I wish I had the words to truly describe the writing, but it was like she painstakingly picked each word like a painter deciding on the lines of their painting.

She lies there, perfectly still, tries to hold time like a breath in her chest; as if she can keep the clock from ticking forward, keep the boy beside her from waking, keep the memory of their night alive through sheer force of will.

Schwab, Chapter One p. 15

The descriptions of the setting and the emotions of the characters feels so real. It puts you – the reader – right into the story as if you’re experiencing it. Schwab illustrates things in such a beautiful and captivating way – it was so hard to pick out the quotations I wanted to include here.

I found the battle of wills between Addie and Luc very intriguing. I also enjoyed watching how Addies learned how to keep surviving in a very male dominated world. I loved Addie’s spirit, her determination to live life the way she wanted to, to be free and make her own choices. Her plight serves both as a reminder of how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go.

While at first I wasn’t too interested in Henry, I slowly grew to appreciate his story as well. It’s very easy to relate to feeling like you’ve failed and aren’t going to amount to anything – that fear of not being enough. His story touched my heart and soul.

Still, Addie’s story also resonated – sometimes louder. She reminds us of the desire to bel loved and remembered. It’s very much a reminder of the age-old question of what a legacy means – whether it’s what or who we leave behind. She’s very stubborn, which I love to see, but also vulnerable.

I do think it’s important to go into the story knowing that it is very heavy in certain instances. It’s brutally raw and honest about some of the darkest emotions, so if you aren’t in the right headspace, you should wait to pick it up. I’d also recommend looking up trigger and content warnings.


Coming up next are some spoiler-y thoughts! If you haven’t finished the book, stop reading here!

From the very first entry of Luc, I was 100% ready for him and Addie to end up together. As someone – or some being – I figured in giving Addie eternity, he was essentially creating a partner, even if neither of them recognized it at the time. She is a constant in a world ever changing. Because of this, I was never as invested in her and Henry’s relationship.

This means, I was ecstatic when Luc said he loved Addie in New Orleans, and promptly deeply upset when she accused him of toying with her. He plays it off as her catching him and he never really meant it.

And I am still very much confused.

I even wrote in the margins that he might be lying because he is trying to protect himself. Someone like him seems like the type to want to avoid any heartache or pain, so by going with it, he could pretend like he never really felt anything. It certainly seemed that way to me, especially since he came back and continued to convince her to be with him near the end of the book – admitting that he’d known about Henry & Addie from the start, that he’d orchestrated it.

But.

I can also sort of see where Addie doesn’t trust him. As a god, she doesn’t think he can feel.

And yet.

I still wanted them together. Because even when she was with Henry, she recognized missing Luc and the emptiness without him around.

Though, this all might be just because I’m a hopeless romantic.

The ending definitely left me feeling a little bereft, but I’m also not surprised. We’re left with Addie seemingly willingly with Luc, but also not. She ends up thinking of it like another chess match until she gets her freedom while also acknowledging they fit well together [which is such a romance thing to say].

Anyway, I’ll end my rant there.

All of that to say: this book has quickly become an all-time favorite in my collection. And that’s an understatement. I loved everything about it & I still can’t stop thinking about it!

Monday Thoughts & Weekend Book Haul

Happy Monday, everyone!

Today has definitely been a very Monday Monday, if you know what I mean.

For some reason, everything seems to be a bit more of a challenge today than normal. From my coffee maker being temperamental to my wifi not working to the pain in my leg coming back – yeah, it’s been a day.

I wanted to check in before getting to the exciting part of the post, regarding my writing plans that I had for this weekend.

On Friday, I talked about how I really wanted to try and devote some time to just writing this weekend and hopefully coming out of the trenches of the gutter my brain had driven me into. I’m happy to report that I managed to write twelve hand-written pages from Everybody Loves Pirates on Saturday and a couple more on Sunday! Though it’s not a ton of writing, it definitely pulled me back into the world of Cole & Anna and I’m very excited.

I worked out some kinks, figured out that I had to let go some of the original content [from high school age Leila], and made some notes about where I want the story to go/some plot points I’d like to hit. All in all, I’m taking it as a successful weekend.

I do hope to continue the flow, so I’ll probably be using pen and paper for a while because that tends to work best for me when I’m struggling with writing.


Onto some more exciting things!

My best friend and I went book shopping this weekend – and I have a pretty awesome haul I wanted to share with you all.

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Vol 2 by Naoko Takeuchi

in Love and Pajamas by Catana Chetwynd

The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

Queen of Volts by Amanda Foody

Hex Life edited by Christopher Golden & Rachel Autumn Deering

A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashely Shuttleworth

The Starless Sea by Erin Morganstern

The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan

A Queen of Gilded Horns by Amanda Joy

Hall of Smoke by H. M. Long

I also received an online order this weekend which had:

Muslim Women are Everything by Seema Yasmin

The Raven and The Dove by Kaitlyn Davis

Obviously, I’m excited to get to all of these books and hope to put them into my TBR very soon! If you’ve read any of them, let me know in the comments how you liked them.

Until next time, happy reading & happy writing!

– Leila

Writing Update – Hitting a Wall & How I Plan to get out of it

If you’ve read the last few posts on my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been struggling on both the reading and writing fronts lately. For the longest time, I’d been trying to avoid calling it a “slump,” but I think that’s exactly what it is. I don’t know if I just hit that wall that a ton of creatives seem to be hitting during this pandemic, or not. Basically, after my day job, the only thing I’ve been able to do is mindlessly play video games or binge watch TV. [A small thank you to Burn Notice and House to supporting me through this).

At the end of January, I also ended up injuring my leg, which has meant I can’t move around too much – which has affected how I’m coping with all of this.

But I’m desperate to try and get more words on the page in my book, but also just writing in general.

This weekend, I plan to focus entirely on the writing side of my life – outside of the reading sprint I’m hosting for the book club. I want to do some writing sprints where I just turn off everything else – all the other things that are distracting me – and write.

Though I want to work on my novel which I’d hoped to finish at the end of February, if I’m 100% honest, I just want to write anything. If that means bouncing between working on the novel for some sprints and free-writing for others, I’m game. I’m hoping that this will help stimulate the writing muscle again so I can get back into it.

I’ll be tracking my progress in my bullet journal – and if anyone is interested in joining me, I’m more than happy to do writing sprints together on Twitter. Let me know!

Whatever you end up doing this weekend – I hope you have a great one!

Leila

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today, we honor all the women who paved the way for us.

There are so many inspirational women to look up to in the public eye. Some of mine include: Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mariska Hargitay, Demi Lovato, Aisha Tyler, Kirsten Vangsness, and many more. Some of my favorite authors are women: V. E. Schwab, Christine Feehan, Leigh Bardugo, Holly Black, Hafsah Faizal, and so on.

I look up to these and so many more women because of what they’ve accomplished, what they stand for, and who they are. This list could go on for days because it is by no means fully encompassing. Women need to lift each other up to help us all shine and reach our dreams.

But I can’t forget the women who made me:

  • My unofficial-adoptive mama – who has let me cry on her shoulder, dropped everything to come to my Nikkah at the last minute, and is a shining example of what kind of mother I want to be when I [inshaAllah] have kids.
  • My boss – who is infinitely amazing, balancing being a mom, running her house, and getting -it done!
  • My soror’s mama – who took me in, helped me remember what a gift life is everyday, and who has a heart of gold.
  • My best friend’s mama – who let me come over during the school week to flee an abusive situation at home, and is also a pretty amazing person all around.
  • My best friend – who persevered through a ton of challenges to graduate and find the right career that she absolutely loved. Bestie has been around since we were four and I couldn’t imagine life without her.
  • My sorors – who constantly inspire me through their achievements and desire to reach their dreams.

Now that I’ve had my time to gush, I hope you all have an incredible week. ❤

Until next time,

Leila

February 2021 Wrap Up

This month I focused solely on romance novels as part of my TBR. It’s my anniversary month and my friend, Sarah, and I ran a 24-hour readathon at the beginning of the month. All that – you would think – would have led to some great reading. Alas, I did almost all of my reading in the first week of the month and slacked off at the end of the month.

The first book I finished: Inferno by Donna Grant.

Inferno: A Dark Kings Novel (Dark Kings, 18): Grant, Donna: 9781250182951:  Amazon.com: Books

Rating: 3 🎇🎇🎇

Genre: Paranormal/Shifter Romance

One Sentence Synopsis: Dragon King, Con, has set aside his bretheren, but now he wants nothing more than to reconnect with Rhi, but old enemies still threaten both their people.

How I felt: What I realized after starting this book is it is essentially the last book in a much longer series – tying in stories from multiple series. I definitely don’t recommend making the same mistake – I fully recognize I could have avoided this if I’d read the description online. I feel like there was so much of the story that I missed out on by walking into this book by itself. I missed out on truly connecting with the and understanding some of the characters and some of the interactions/what they said about previous events. That said, I think I came in with less mixed feelings about the male and female protagonists by not reading previous books [if the opening author letter to the readers is anything to go by]. What I missed, though, is the connection, challenges, and choices they’ve struggled with over the story arc.

I really liked the story line itself, at least what I got to see of it, and ended up invested/routing for the couple even without having that backstory. I’m a huge fan of dragon shifters so I loved getting to immerse myself in that world and their clan’s history and fight to survive – and, more importantly, how they care for each other. Based on what I’ve read, it seems like many of Grant’s stories interwove in this book, which was pretty impressive. If you’ve read the previous books, this would definitely be a nice way to revisit old favorite characters’ love stories.

The reasons this ended up losing a couple stars isn’t related to my picking it up as a solo book; instead, it largely is colored by some of my frustrations at getting pulled out of the story. For instance, some typos and incongruency with the story definitely became hard to ignore. In that, there was a whole paragraph copied and pasted later in the book – it was also a paragraph about the character’s chipped nail polish. I’m not sure if this detail is super important since I haven’t read previous books, but I found it more annoying since it didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. I think saying it once was enough. The repetitiveness came up again with Con’s emotions – or rather, how he’d hidden his emotions – which I found really annoying after the first two times. At that point, it was redundant and less and less believable.

A small pet peeve of mine which might have an explanation earlier in the series, I don’t know, but the bizarre mix of Southern[US] twang and Irish brogue felt disjointed and weird. Usually, I can overlook this, but having spent so much time worrying over dialects in my own work-in-progress, I noticed it here, meaning I wasn’t losing myself enough in the story to overlook it. [Again, maybe this is explained elsewhere, but it felt inauthentic to me.]

All in all, I did find Con and Rhi’s story sweet. It showed the challenges of being a leader on both sides, as well as the sacrifices one has to make. Both are fiercely independent and loyal to their kind and both have made sacrifices for their people. The story also reminds us that “love gives us hope,” which is always an important take away.

My second finished book: The Rogue King by Abigail Owen

The Rogue King by Abigail Owen, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Rating: 5🎇🎇🎇🎇🎇

Genre: Paranormal/Shifter Romance

One Sentence Synopsis: Despite that they killed her parents, Kasia is forced to turn to a Dragon King to survive against all of her better judgement.

How I felt: Obviously, I loved it. Right from the very beginning of the story I fell in love with Brand and his desire to protect Kas – it was pure and instinctual. [I should mention one of my favorite romance tropes is fated mates.] From the first chapter where he calms her during one of her episode, I was completely drawn in. I became super invested in the characters, meaning I couldn’t wait to keep reading – so much so I stayed up until nearly 5 am reading. The story instantly grabbed me in and I could relate to each of the characters.

I got annoyed by some of the lack of communication – but the book can’t all be sunshine and roses – which it is not.

I truly adored the world building done in this book, setting up the over arching plot between the phoenixes and dragon shifters, the rules Owen establishes, everything. I appreciated how all of it was presented to the reader, sprinkled into the story rather than in an info-dump. The writing itself was easy to read and beautifully done. Everything flowed well and could be believed.

This book came at a perfect time for me. It was exactly the book I both needed and wanted to read at the time. It served as a nice reminder that those connected by destiny always find their way.

Other books that I started during the month of February include:

  • Forgotten Storm by A. R. Vagnetti
  • A short story completed from Once Upon the Longest Night
  • A few pages of White Rage at the end of the month
  • The Blood King also by Abigail Owen

I plan to carry on with The Blood King this month, but will hopefully return to the others at a later date. I really hope that my March reading plans go better than the last couple of months. Since I’m planning on reading some of my old favorites, I’m hoping that’ll fix whatever slump I might be in.

[I’m not ready to admit I’m in a slump, yet!]

I hope you all have a great rest of your week!

Happy reading 😊

Leila