Hello bookfriends...my goodness it's been a minute since I've blogged. It's cold here today, and will likely stay that way for the next several months. I like sweater season though.
It's been a whirlwind few months with SO much travel and lots of book stuff happening! Let's get into it.
Audiobook Finally Live in many places!
Yesss!!!! The Chimera Bounty audio is finally live on tons of different stores. Take your pick! Audible and Spotify coming soon (hopefully within the next 10 days because omg that's when the big promotional push is happening....)
Brutal Rival hit #1 New Release in Gothic Romance!
It's so exciting I could just about puke! Thanks to all my amazing ARC readers who showed up like badasses, kicking down Amazon/Goodreads doors and leaving reviews for Brutal Rival. Y'all are amazing.
Double thanks to everyone who made a tiktok/instagram post for the release or your review. You guys are so awesome and I love you so much! <3 you make my world go 'round.
The Phoenix Bloodline ARCs released!
The third installment in the Fae Prison: Earth series was such a fun book to write. I explored so many interesting themes and ideas. I resolved several of the open threads left from books 1 and 2, which felt really really good. The series is not done yet, though! There's one more book to go before Maeve's and Dante's stories are complete.
If you've been waiting for your FPE3 ARC, please email me at email@example.com to make sure you've been added to the list!
The Phoenix Bloodline comes out 11/21/2023, just in time for lazing on the couch after eating WAY too much stuffing and mashed potatoes <3
Feral Guardian ARCs coming mid-December
If you've already read everything I've got, have no fear, new stuff is coming! Feral Guardian is book 2 in the Princesses of Ruin series that follows Lily and her guard Alastair on their bloodstained trek to get back home.
A prophecy of ruin binds him to her.
She wants nothing more than to escape.
Lily has never been the delicate flower she was named after. She preferred silly pranks and dirty poetry to needlepoint and politics, which is why the queen sent her off to a “proper” royal academy. Now that her magic is developed and her manners are passable—barely—it’s time for her to return home and attract a powerful man to rule by her side. Except Lily doesn’t want a king or a kingdom. She wants freedom. And nothing feels more freeing than adventuring with her bodyguard, Alastair.
Alastair is an honor-bound knight, tied to a prophecy from his people, and he doesn’t experience desire. At least, that’s what he likes to tell himself. In truth, he wants nothing more than to sweep his ward off her feet and take her away to a dark corner of the world where he can keep her safe from that dark prophecy. There’s just one problem: the prophecy states if Lily doesn’t become queen, the tentative peace in the kingdoms will crumble.
When their journey home from the royal academy lands Lily in the custody of cutthroat pirates, Alastair will stop at nothing to protect his princess. But the biggest danger of all may be Alastair himself, because if Lily doesn't stop trying to make him break his vow of chastity, he may forget about honor and risk everything to have her to himself.
My Top 3 Books of 2023 (so far)
Well, kinda! This is a thing with Book Shepherd, who I really like, but I couldn't add fanfics so of course Manacled and Draco Malfoy and the Mortifying Ordeal of Being in Love aren't on here, but they would be!
Still, here's my non-fanfic favorites of the year: https://shepherd.com/bboy/2023/f/jd-astra
Reading Wrap-up August-October 🥴
August Highest to Lowest
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5) Loved it
This whole series was just incredible. We get more human survivors in this book and it changes the dynamic quite a bit. I liked that none of it felt childish though. Like, there were moments of miscommunication and some "alpha male" BS that made me upset (and Ivy), but once it was all cleared up, the survivors started working together really well.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5) Loved it even more
The finale in this book felt real. It was INCREDIBLE what Ivy was going up against, but the authors pulled it off spectacularly, easily suspending my disbelief.
Some of the steamiest scenes were in book 2, but this one had a good fair few of its own, even though Ivy and Ketahn didn't get a lot of time to themselves. They MADE time, and that was sweet <3
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5) They stayed enemies the whole time...
Like, that's so rare to find an enemies to lovers where they think they're enemies right up to the last 5% of the book. It was REALLY well done. I loved the writing style, and it was obvious Carissa was enjoying the book. The FMC is a serious badass, the MMC is a hot, broody, protective type, and it was great. Will probably read it again one day.
⭐⭐⭐⭐✨ (4.5/5) Fun contemporary with more than I was expecting.
The writing style was really enjoyable in this series. I mean, the cover is not much to look at, and I didn't have high hopes, but the content inside turned out to be really enjoyable.
Injured/differently abled Vet is billionaire boss and little miss typed is working at a strip club to make money to send home to her family.
In retrospect, the drama might make me want to knock off half a star more, but that's kinda what contemporary books are built around...so...yeah whatever.
⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5) STALKING SCENES GOT ME...
Yeah I don't know what I was expecting but my god, he was like in her apartment without her knowledge ALL THE TIME. He followed her everywhere. It was...creepy. But also kinda hot.
The book lacked in the latter half of the second act for me, but it was still cute/fun/good, and pretty spicy 😈 I do love my Tiffany Roberts.
⭐⭐⭐✨ (3.75/5) MORE TIFFANY ROBERTS?!
Yes. More. I was heading to DragonCon and I wanted to get in the dragon-fucking spirit, okay!?
This was short and lacking in some depth. Usually TR has some kind of plot going on, but this one was just dragon erotica. I prefer some plot with my sex, but whatever.
The world is lacking men, so on the red moon, the strongest women will go out to hunt dragons to mate with. It was an interesting concept, just kinda....nothing happened. Lots of spice. That's it.
⭐⭐✨ (2.5/5) What a complete letdown 😭
I was so excited for this second installment and so many things did not hit the mark for me with it. HUGE miscommunication trope that interrupted sexytimes and that was really upsetting, esp because the miscomm anger went on for another 200 pages and that was just exhausting and annoying.
The authors wrote a medieval style castle defense battle but did no do any research whatsoever. The battle scenes had people pausing to fall to their knees and cry while simultaneously being overwhelmed by enemy forces. The writing just wasn't as good, either. Obviously, I'm upset about this one...
September Highest to Lowest
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5) Toxic dynamic duo
8th year post war with traumatized Hermione and Draco who find solace in their toxicity together. It's a great enemies to lovers with incredibly good spice and heart.
The plot is gut wrenchingly sad but beautiful in the end. Almost want to take off .5 stars for the 3rd act breakup that goes one for like two whole chapters and pissed me off.
⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5) Bridgerton meets Harry Potter
This was a cute, short (ish), Dramione where their personalities weren't quite on point because of the time period thing, so star reduction because my personal preference. Still, it was sweet, fun, and a little bit spicy. Very enjoyable.
⭐⭐⭐✨ (3.75/5) It's just porn
There's no plot in this book, it's just lots and lots of sex with different toys and stuff.
He does audio narrations of the things he wants to do to her well before they meet IRL (they're gaming buddies) and then has her listen to them while he does stuff to her. It's pretty hot. Most of it is pretty hot.
DNF - Too Childish
Couldn't get past the 15% marker with this one. The characters, the storyline, the everything was just too YA for me.
DNF - Writing wasn't doing it for me
The FMC was a weak damsel and y'all know how much I hate an FMC with no agency or desire to live.
October Highest to Lowest
⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5) Pushed my boundaries
Yep, so this one pushed me farther than I'd been before in the dark romance genre. The pewpew scene, IYKYK.
There was some fun supernaturalness to it that I enjoyed, and a little mystery plot on the side that was fun to accompany all the stalking.
It's sort of hilarious that the MMC is involved in hunting down human trafficking rings and freeing the women, and then goes on to stalk and dubcon abuse the girl he's obsessed with.
Whatever, very spicy and fun. Enjoyed.
⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5) PUSHED MY BOUNDARIES AGAIN...
Yep, so this one pushed things even farther. On screen, detailed, graphic r*pe of the FMC because she's become human trafficked... good thing her stalker boyfriend hunts these fuckers for a living, right?
I listened to this on audio and was just curled up on my side crying for about 30% of it.
The healing journey that takes place afterwards was really powerful though, and I loved it.
⭐⭐⭐✨ (3.75/5) Catholic Erotica...
Yeah so a hot rich girl escapes her hot rich life and gets wet for buff priest boy.
There's no story other than that. They have lots of sex all over the church, using church stuff sometimes...
There's a third act breakup that went on for WAY too long and upset me, so...yeah.
⭐⭐⭐✨ (3.75/5) Started so strong
This book started off as a 5 star read. I loved it. It hinted at deep world building and an interesting contemporary twist on Greek gods, but then did not deliver.
We got to Act 2 and things started heading down hill. By the back half of Act 2, it was so slow and boring I was very sad.
The resolution with the mini-villain was a huge let down and so anticlimactic...
⭐⭐⭐ (3/5) Another strong starter that fizzled out.
This book had such a great start, fast paced, powerful FMC who's taking charge of her life and not taking anymore shit.
We hit the serious spice at the 50% mark and the story falls apart. When it comes time for the characters to make hard decisions at the latter half of the second act, they wimp out and the plot falls totally on its face.