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As the winter season comes to a close, I look back on the books I read. Quite a few books were finished, here are my winter book reviews! All my thoughts on each book finished from December through March.
My Winter Book Reviews
Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn
The highly anticipated second book of Deonn’s Ledgenborn series. I waited a full year for this book to come out and she did not disappoint. I had many book hangovers from the series, I never wanted to put them down.
The shadows have risen, and the line is law.
All Bree wanted was to uncover the truth behind her mother’s death. So she infiltrated the Legendborn Order, a secret society descended from King Arthur’s knights—only to discover her own ancestral power. Now, Bree has become someone new: A Medium. A Bloodcrafter. A Scion. But the ancient war between demons and the Order is rising to a deadly peak. And Nick, the Legendborn boy Bree fell in love with, has been kidnapped. Bree wants to fight, but the Regents who rule the Order won’t let her.
To them, she is an unknown girl with unheard-of power, and as the living anchor for the spell that preserves the Legendborn cycle, she must be protected. When the Regents reveal they will do whatever it takes to hide the war, Bree and her friends must go on the run to rescue Nick themselves. But enemies are everywhere, Bree’s powers are unpredictable and dangerous, and she can’t escape her growing attraction to Selwyn, the mage sworn to protect Nick until death. If Bree has any hope of saving herself and the people she loves, she must learn to control her powers from the ancestors who wielded them first—without losing herself in the process.
We see Bree in a new light through the second book. You see her fire, her leadership, and her drive. She has so many battles along the way in this book. People who say who they are aren’t really. She must fight constantly and learn who to trust along the way. We see Alice and Bree’s friendship flourish throughout this book and a new side to Selwyn. Bree learns who she can really trust though out the story. The ending will leave you stunned and on the edge of your seat for book number three.
Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun
Find my full review here: https://wp.me/pdVFEJ-IV
The Never King by Nikki St. Crowe
The Never King is a dark retelling of Peter and Wendy. If you like your enemies to lovers’ romance with hot, ruthless, morally gray love interests, you’ll enjoy The Never King and the Lost Boys. You can expect hate kissing, fighting, bickering, and ‘touch her and I’ll unalive you’ vibes.
The stories were all wrong — Hook was never the villain. For two centuries, all of the Darling women have disappeared on their 18th birthday. Sometimes they’re gone for only a day, some a week or a month. But they always return broken. Now, on the afternoon of my 18th birthday, my mother is running around the house making sure all the windows are barred and the doors locked. But it’s pointless. Because when night falls, he comes for me. And this time, the Never King and the Lost Boys aren’t willing to let me go.
I loved this whole series so much. I would give anything to read these books for the first time over and over again. I honestly wish I was a Darling to be taken away to Neverland and live with the Never King and the Lost Boys. This book is the first one of the series. You are introduced to all the main characters you will be following throughout the series. Winnie Darling, Peter Pan, Vane, Kas, and Bash.
Peter Pan is known as the Never King in this retelling. He has lost his shadow to Tinkerbell, who then hid it. Out of a fury of rage Pan kills Tinkerbell for this action. Why did Tinkerbell cross Pan so badly? She was jealous of a Darling that took the heart and eye of the Never King. Now Pan believes the Darlings pass memories through generations. It’s Winnie’s turn to be taken by Pan and the Lost Boys. But will she be the key to finding his shadow? Read for free with KindleUnlimited to find out!
The Dark One by Nikki St. Crowe
The Dark One is book two in the Vicious Lost Boys series. It is a dark reimagining of Peter and Wendy. If you like your enemies’ to lovers’ romance with hot, ruthless, morally gray love interests, you’ll enjoy The Dark One and the Lost Boys. You can expect hate kissing, fighting, bickering, and ‘touch her and I’ll unalive you’ vibes.
I spent most of my life feeling dead inside — until I met Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. It wasn’t until Pan and Neverland that I finally felt alive. But things are not all full of magic and sunlight on the island. There’s something darker and more sinister haunting the forest. And worse, the fae queen and Captain Hook are ready to fight for control of Neverland and they will stop at nothing to get what they want. Including using the one thing Pan never thought he wanted or needed — me. I’m a descendant of the Darling family and now I belong to him and the Lost Boys. War is brewing — can the Never King get his shadow back and assume his rightful throne? And if he does, where will I fit? Or will all of Neverland be in jeopardy right along with my dark, twisted heart?
As this is the second book we find a twist in the storyline. This book in the series highlights a pivotal point in Vane and Winnie’s relationship. Now just add the two villains, The Fea Queen and Hook, with a war brewing in Neverland. There you have the plot line to The Dark One. I love the fact that we get a closer look at Vane’s dark personality and needs through this book. He was depicted as a rough character in the first book. But just like everyone else in the world he has his issues too. Find out why Vane is called the dark one through book two of the Visious Lost Boys Series, free on KindleUnlimited.
Their Vicious Darling by Nikki St. Crowe
Their Vicious Darling is book three in the Vicious Lost Boys series. It is a dark romantic reimagining of Peter and Wendy. All characters have been aged up. If you like your enemies to lovers’ romance with hot, ruthless, morally gray love interests, you’ll enjoy Their Vicious Darling. You can expect an island with darkness and secrets and no true hero in sight, with a found family atmosphere, and ‘touch her and I’ll get unalive you’ vibes.
The Dark One has finally accepted me…just in time for everything to change. Because Vane’s brother, The Crocodile, has just arrived on Neverland soil and he’s not alone. He’s brought with him members of the royal Darkland family and they want Vane’s Death Shadow back at any cost. Of course, Peter Pan, Vane, Kas, and Bash, they’re all familiar with war. But war isn’t easy when love is on the line. I know those vicious Lost Boys would do anything to protect me. But what if I’m not the one that needs saving? As power shifts on the island and shadows are claimed, all five of us have to let go of who we were, if we have any chance of becoming who we are destined to be.
This is my favorite book out of the series so far. We get to see more of Winnie’s spitfire attitude throughout this book. I resonate with Winnie in that aspect. I love how she stands up for herself and lets everyone know she can care for herself. No boy needs to save her, she can save herself. Their Vicious Darling ends on a cliffhanger. Be ready for book four of the Vicous Lost Boy series The Fae Princes, out in late March on KindleUnlimited.
Queen of Thieves by Beezy Marsh
Find my full review here: https://wp.me/pdVFEJ-LG
The Writers Retreat by Julia Bartz
Find my full review here: https://wp.me/pdVFEJ-M8
Promises and Pomegranates by Sav R. Miller
A book that was put on my radar through social media. Promises and Pomegranates is a full-length, standalone, dark contemporary romance inspired by the Hades and Persephone myth. It is NOT fantasy or a literal retelling. If you’re not a reader of the genre, this book may not be suitable for you. Reader discretion is advised. It is book one of the series Monsters & Muses.
To most, Kal Anderson is a villain.
Harbinger of death, keeper of souls, frequenter of nightmares.
Doctor Death. Hades incarnate.
They say he stole me.
Usurped my fiancé and filled the cracks in my heart with empty promises.
Imprinted his crimson fingerprints on my psyche and tried to set me free.
They’re not wrong, per se.
Except it was my choice to stay.
To most, Elena Ricci is an innocent.
Goddess of springtime, lover of poetry, angel of my nightmares.
Little one. Persephone personified.
They say I ruined her.
Shattered her virtue and devoured her soul like a succulent pomegranate.
Embedded my evil as deep as I could possibly get and tried to set her free.
They’re not wrong, per se.
Except it was she who ruined me.
I love dark romance as much as the next person but I do wish this book followed greek mythology more than it did, which was little to none. Tropes throughout the story definitely aren’t for everyone. They include forced marriage, kidnapping, knife play, and mafia boss/princess. If you get past the tropes and spice, you have a storyline of a man who will do anything for the girl he loves. Kal may not have gone the right way about marrying Elena but in the end, he WILL do ANYTHING for her happiness. Even if that means outing her toxic family’s past.
Spare by Prince Harry
For the first time, Prince Harry tells his own story, chronicling his journey with raw, unflinching honesty. A landmark publication, Spare is full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.
It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow—and horror. As Princess Diana was laid to rest, billions wondered what Prince William and Prince Harry must be thinking and feeling—and how their lives would play out from that point on.
For Harry, this is that story at last.
Before losing his mother, twelve-year-old Prince Harry was known as the carefree one, the happy-go-lucky Spare to the more serious Heir. Grief changed everything. He struggled at school, struggled with anger, with loneliness—and, because he blamed the press for his mother’s death, he struggled to accept life in the spotlight. At twenty-one, he joined the British Army. The discipline gave him structure, and two combat tours made him a hero at home. But he soon felt more lost than ever, suffering from post-traumatic stress and prone to crippling panic attacks. Above all, he couldn’t find true love.
Then he met Meghan. The world was swept away by the couple’s cinematic romance and rejoiced in their fairy-tale wedding. But from the beginning, Harry and Meghan were preyed upon by the press, subjected to waves of abuse, racism, and lies. Watching his wife suffer, their safety and mental health at risk, Harry saw no other way to prevent the tragedy of history from repeating itself but to flee his mother country. Over the centuries, leaving the Royal Family was an act few had dared. The last to try, in fact, had been his mother. . . .
I have always been intrigued by the royal family. Especially Princess Diana. When I saw the raves, reviews, and drama unfold after this book’s release I had to read it for myself. It shines a light on what being royal is like. We all knew the press and paps were horrible to the royal family, but Harry’s explanation throughout the book, the paps and press ruined his life in every aspect. He breaks the book into three parts. Starting from the day of his mother’s death till the day of the queen’s death.
I felt sorry for him throughout the book, and then as he went on it boiled into a rage. No one, absolutely no one should ever go through any of what he went through and is currently going through. He sheds light on how shady and narcissistic his father and brother are. What lies they spread and the constant competition between them. The book makes you think can you really trust anyone? From the press to your own blood relation. Overall I really enjoyed reading Harry’s thoughts and retelling. The royal family is ultimately just like us.
A Dirty Business by Tijan
From New York Times, bestselling author Tijan comes a raw, tempestuous romance between the criminal underworld and a parole officer that paints a thin line between right and wrong.
When Jess Montell meets Trace West at a hockey game, she doesn’t know his name or occupation. What she does know is there’s an instant attraction that’s impossible to ignore—or forget. And forgetting is exactly what she wants to do when she learns he’s not just a successful Wall Street suit but the heir to one of New York’s biggest Mafia families. The last thing Trace needs is a romantic anything with law enforcement, and parole officer Jess has trouble written all over her. Too bad he likes trouble. Especially when it’s a brunette bombshell with attitude and legs for days. She’s an absolute spitfire, and he wants to stoke that flame. Trace didn’t ask for the Mafia life. Jess doesn’t want any part of it. They both know it’s safer to stay away, but the temptation is too hard to resist—no matter how great the danger.
I heard about this book through a literary company I follow on social media, Valentine PR. They push out the best romance novels on all different platforms. When they posted this and the synopsis I had to give it a try. I’m glad I did. Jess and Trace are the love at sight but can’t be together duo. Like Romeo and Juliet. The plot and characters are so well written. You can’t help but love them along the way, except for Ashton. We don’t like Ashton. Trace is my favorite. He is the stereotypical bad boy but will move mountains to make Jess happy and ultimately safe. His main priority. The suspense and temptation in this book will leave you wanting more especially after the ending cliffhanger.
This book includes smut but the plot is not based on smut. I enjoyed that aspect because sometimes a whole book will just be smut with no storyline. This was the best rendition of a mafia setting. It keeps true to everything we know and understands about mafia history. The only thing that left me shocked was how long the book is. It’s towards the ticker end of the spectrum with 439 pages. But don’t let that deter you, A Dirty Business is a five-star read!