Book Review: Hawk Witch by Ashley McLeo!

Ashley McCleo is such a busy lady! She has been releasing a bunch of awesome books this year, and I’m amazed at what she is getting done! She recently began a new series called The Bonegate Series, which is kind of a companion to The Fanged Fae Series (some characters and stories overlap, which is quite interesting!). In May, I reviewed the book on Goodreads. Here is the blurb:

Blood calls. Soar, surrender, or die.

Lana Shea is a mediocre witch, a lackluster student, and a loner with no clear path in life.

But when a shifter delivers a scroll bearing strange clues to her father’s whereabouts, one thing becomes clear.

She must search for the father she’s never known.

Lana races across Dublin solving the obscure clues until finally, she is transported into a bleak kingdom in Faerie.

A kingdom her father rules.

When asked to participate in the Successional, a violent royal tournament, Lana accepts. As do twelve of her new siblings. To earn her father’s attention, she must win.

Under the tutelage of her handsome guard, Lana learns Faerie is darker than she ever imagined and as a competitor, there is more than just her father’s love at stake. In fact, the fate of fae she’s come to know and cherish may be on her shoulders.

Can she master her magic in time to win? Is Lana willing to spill the blood of her newfound siblings to better her life and help those who need it most?

For fans of Throne of Glass and the Cruel Prince comes Hawk Witch, an epic Faerie tale with a dark twist and slow-burn romance. Warning, Hawk Witch is dangerously addictive and may keep you up late into the night!

And the cover:

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This is my review that I posted on Goodreads:

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! 🙂

The first book in The Bonegate Series, Hawk Witch, begins with the main character, Lana, graduating from college. She’s a bit of an outcast, as she doesn’t have many friends besides her lifelong best friend, Finn, and her trusty hawk, Naela. Lana isn’t really sure what she’s going to do with her life yet. She does possess some magical powers, however- she is an Illuminator, a light witch. The only problem is, she isn’t very good at magic, and she doesn’t practice like she should either!

Her life is practically turned upside down when she is visited by a shifter elf who proposes something peculiar- solve a few riddles and potentially meet her long-lost father! Of course, Lana can’t resist this offer, and enlists the help of Finn to solve the riddles. After they solve the last riddle, they both touch a stone at the same time (a “bonegate”) and are transported into the land of Faerie.

Once in Faerie, Lana learns that she has many half-siblings because her father (the King of Lyonesse) is at war with Queen Pari of Buyan… and he needs strong magical creatures at his side. Um, yeah dude… way to be an absentee father for like 20 years and then go “Oh yeah, help me fight someone.” Pssh, I would’ve been out of there so fast!

Anyway, the King allows Lana and her siblings to train for a couple weeks before they compete in what is known as the Successional. As the name suggests, the Successional will determine who will become general of the king’s army and second in line to the throne. Some of Lana’s siblings are more competitive than others, and they all display a wide variety of magical talents. While in Faerie, Finn discovers that he is actually one of Lana’s siblings as well… and he never knew he had magical abilities!

I felt like the king was exploiting his children by parading them around and by even holding a Successional in the first place. Despite this, Lana and all of her siblings want to stay and fight, which I thought was a little strange. I mean, no one wanted to go back to their old lives?? Not even Lana, who had a close relationship with her mother? Doesn’t make sense to me.

Anyway! No spoilers, but the Successional’s winner was pretty much who I assumed it would be all along. Also, Lana discovers that her hawk is more than just a pet- she is a familiar, so she is really in tune to Lana’s thoughts and emotions. All in all, I enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see what happens next!

I gave Hawk Witch 5/5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: Faerie Blood By Ashley McCleo!

Faerie Blood is the second (and final) book in the Fanged Fae series by Ashley McCleo. I enjoyed reading the first book a lot, so I was excited for this one. I wrote my review for this book on Goodreads back in May. Here’s the blurb:

War is brewing between the fae and the vampires.

Even worse, Mauri’s evil mother, Queen Nyssa, is to blame.

Mauri, a vampire-fae hybrid, disagrees with her mother’s dreams of dominating Faerie and the human realm through blood and fear.

To stop Queen Nyssa, Mauri journeys to Faerie to enlist an army. She soon learns, however, that the fae do nothing for free. And their price may be steeper than she’s willing to pay.

When other attempts to form supernatural alliances fail too, Mauri must choose the lesser of all evils to align herself with and do it fast.

Because Queen Nyssa has already thrown her plans into action.

And Mauri is the only one powerful enough to stop her.

Faerie Blood is the final book in the Fanged Fae series. It’s a paranormal thriller with cunning vampires, charming fae, sassy witches, and romance.

And here’s the absolutely gorgeous cover of the book:

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Here’s my review!

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review 🙂

Faerie Blood, the second (and final) book in the Fanged Fae series, begins with Mauri getting her vampire essence glamoured before she enters Faerie. Fae are naturally suspicious of vampires and are especially inclined not to trust nosferatu- so for Mauri, it is better to appear as a full Fae!

Mauri and her friends are headed to Faerie to try to convince her grandparents, the King and Queen of Ys, to amass an army to fight her mother, who wants supernaturals to reign supreme over both the human world and Faerie. After all, Mauri’s mother is the one who orchestrated the attack that turned her nosferatu and wishes for them to rule the world together.

While the Queen is quite pleasant, the King is very wary and has more of a haughty demeanor. He agrees to help Mauri, but tries to trick her into exchanging a blood oath, but Mauri will have none of it! She is determined to amass an army on her own. With the help of her friends (including an awesome rogue vampire) she gets an army together.

Mauri’s mother moves fast though, and the battle is a long and tense one. The outcome was a little different than what I expected, which is not necessarily a bad thing!

I really enjoyed this short series! The characters were all well-developed and I enjoyed the way they interacted with each other. I just felt like maybe Mauri needed a little more time to get her act together. I mean, she was turned nosferatu and then a week later she’s fighting her mother? I wish a few more months could’ve gone by so we could see her grow into her powers more. Nevertheless, this was a fun series and I’m sad to see it end already!

I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: Blood Moon Magic By Ashley McCleo!

A few months ago, Ashley McCleo released the first book in her new series, The Fanged Fae series! Titled Blood Moon Magic, this duology centers on a character named Mauri coming to terms with her surprising heritage as Fae royalty- with the added twist that she was bitten by a vampire! I wrote the review for this book on Goodreads back in April. Here’s the blurb:

Mauri always knew she was different.

But exiled fae royalty? She never imagined that.

After a vampire bites Mauri, three hunky fae guardians appear and her secret history surfaces. As does the terrifying truth that Mauri must find the attacker—her vampiric sire—and kill him before the next blood moon.

If she fails she’ll become a lethal nosferatu, a creature totally subservient to her sire and a peon any vampire leader would desire to control.

With the blood moon only days away, Mauri is short on time and battling an increasing craving for blood. And her conflicting feelings toward one of her guardians aren’t helping either.

Can her fae guardians help Mauri find her sire before the next blood moon? Or will she be transformed and unleashed on a supernatural world she’s just beginning to understand and love?

And the cover, which might just be one of the most gorgeous book covers I’ve ever seen:

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Mauri is gorgeous! And the way the red mixes with gold is just beautiful. Anyway, here’s the review I wrote on Goodreads:

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review 🙂

After reading Ashley McCleo’s amazing Starseed Trilogy, I was so excited to start her next series! Blood Moon Magic, the first book in the Fanged Fae series, begins with the main character, Mauri, getting attacked by a vampire in a parking garage as she is leaving work. She awakens later to find three extremely handsome men with otherworldly characteristics telling her she is in danger and they have to protect her!

Naturally, Mauri has no idea what is going on, but she soon learns from the men (who turn out to be her Fae guardians) that she is a Fae princess! Since she was bitten by vampire, she is in danger of turning into a Fanged Fae, or nosferatu. A Fanged Fae is a powerful, lethal creature that is a cross between a faerie and a vampire. The only way Mauri can prevent herself from turning into one is to hunt down and kill her sire, or maker, before midnight of the next full moon… which is easier said than done!

Mauri is not one to give up easily, so she immediately sets out to find her sire, which leads her into dangerous situations. On top of that, she is also trying to hone in on her magical skills as well as her burgeoning vampiric skills in an attempt to defeat him. As days go on, though, she finds herself wondering if she wants to give up her vampire side.

Without giving away any spoilers, a person Mauri never would have suspected set her up so she would become a Fanged Fae. She has to make some difficult decisions and I feel for her!

I really enjoyed this book. Mauri is an excellent character! She is strong and beautiful and kicks ass too! The supporting cast of characters (her Fae guardians, Rowan the witch, and Elizabeth the vampire) are all wonderful as well. I absolutely cannot wait to see where this series goes next!!

I rated this book 5/5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: Phoenix Unleashed By Margo Ryerkerk!

Back in March, I reviewed the final book in The Ardere Series by Margo Ryerkerk- Phoenix Unleashed! Since then, this series has been renamed as the Dark Legacy Series, so that might confuse a few people looking for previous books in the series! Anyways, since this was the 5th and final book in the series, I was really looking forward to seeing how everything ended! Here’s the blurb:

Bahadur has awoken.
His touch will enslave everyone.
Only Sierra can stop him.
Bahadur’s ascension shakes the world. Able to kill with one touch, steal supernatural auras, and turn humans into bloodthirsty henchmen, he’s invincible.

The only person who stands a chance to stop his tyranny is Sierra. Prepared to do whatever it takes to defeat him, she throws herself into danger. Unfortunately, her impulsiveness backfires and puts her in a worse position.

Desperate to undo her mistake, Sierra travels across the world to find the one magical object that might give her a fighting chance against Bahadur.

However, Bahadur is two steps ahead of her and makes a move no one expected.

Will Sierra find a way to triumph over him or will Bahadur succeed and drag the whole world into darkness?

Read it now to unlock the conclusion to the Dark Legacy series!

And the cover:

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Totally gorgeous!! Anyway, here’s my review for Phoenix Unleashed:

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review 🙂

The final book in the Ardere (oops, I mean the Dark Legacy) series is Phoenix Unleashed. Everything Sierra, Gavin and the others have been working to accomplish over the past few months has been compromised with the rise of Bahadur. Now, the focus is on training each of the Ardere factions to fight against him effectively.

At first, Sierra’s attitude really sucks. She seems high and mighty and acts like she is some brilliant war strategist who knows everything. Her haste almost gets people killed, so she kind of has to reel in her attitude a little bit. Even Gavin notices the change in Sierra, and he tells her at one point that her “sense of duty extends to everything but our relationship.”

While Sierra continues to tap into her Fluidus powers and gains power, she is taken captive by Bahadur. Again, she thinks she is more brilliant than him, and is constantly attempting to outsmart him. Bahadur said something I was thinking the entire time: “You think that after 18 years of being on this planet you can stop a plan that had been in the making for over 300 years?”

Without spoiling anything, the ending is pretty much what you would expect. Everything wraps up really neat and tidy. I’m glad the series ended on a good note, because I really enjoyed it as a whole. At the beginning of this book, I felt almost as though some of the characters lost a bit of dimension, but everyone kind of got their spark back by the middle of the book. Sierra’s know-it-all attitude annoyed me for most of the book, because I felt like it was such a sharp departure from how she is portrayed in the rest of the series. I don’t see her as much of a leader, though everyone around her seems to think she is.

Anyway, despite my minor gripes, this was a really good series that I enjoyed very much. I’m sad it’s over and I can’t wait to see what Margo Ryerkerk writes next! 🙂

I gave Phoenix Unleashed 4/5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: The Hansel and Gretel Curse by Margo Ryerkerk!

The Hansel and Gretel Curse is the third and final book in the Cursed Fairy Tale series by Margo Ryerkerk. It wrapped up loose ends from the first two books, and I thought it was a great book to tie everything together!

Here’s the blurb:

A vicious witch.

A dark curse.

A lost kingdom.

After a mysterious woman comes to Gretel’s village, her brother Hansel disappears without a trace. Gretel soon discovers that the traveling beauty wasn’t just any woman, but a wicked witch who steals willpowers, transforming humans into slaves.

Determined to rescue Hansel, Gretel ventures into the lair of the witch, the Black Forest, swearing she’ll either leave with her brother or die trying.

An evil force has befallen General Stefan’s kingdom. The evil witch of the Black Forest is poisoning the royal family and the whole country. She must be brought to justice.

Cloaked in spells, the witch’s forest has consumed countless soldiers and only permits one solider to enter at a time. Unable to bring his army, Stefan must fight this battle alone. Or so he thinks until he meets Gretel. The willful redhead is an unlikely partner and his only ally.

Together, Stefan and Gretel must overcome countless obstacles and trials as well as untangle their terrifying romantic feelings for each other.

Will Stefan and Gretel find a way to outsmart the witch or will they lose their lives and everything they care about?

Buy it now and find out!

Filled with adventure, love, magic, and a strong heroine, this clean YA Fairy Tale is a must-read!

If you liked Kiera Cass, Serena Valentino, and Liz Braswell, you’ll love this!

The Hansel and Gretel Curse is the third book in the Cursed Fairy Tale series. Each book can be read as a standalone. However, for greatest enjoyment, the novels should be read in order.

And the cover:

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Here’s the review I wrote on Goodreads back in January:

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review 🙂

The final installment of the Cursed Fairy Tale series is based off of the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel. I was slightly more familiar with this story than with the previous two tales, and I was pleasantly surprised by the way this story was re-imagined!

Hansel and Gretel are twins who are turning 17. While Hansel is excited to be an adult, Gretel is not excited because for a woman, that means she has more responsibilities. Gretel is a bit of a wallflower and prefers to be left alone working in the library, and I don’t blame her! Hansel is the more outgoing of the twins, and the ladies love him.

The twins have a birthday celebration, and Gretel decides not to attend her own party, because she would rather stay in the library and read! Apparently, Hansel took off with a beautiful blonde and never came home. At first, Gretel and the twins’ adoptive mother, Sabina, think he just partied too hard, but soon they suspect something more sinister is afoot.

Sure enough, Hansel was taken by Roswita, a witch that lives in the Black Forest. Poor Hansel was promised to the witch by his mother, so she claimed him the moment he turned 17. That sucks for him! Anyway, Roswita loves to manipulate and bend people to do her will, so she bakes irresistible sweets for people to eat. Once they do, she takes control.

Gretel decides to go to the queen, who also wants Roswita stopped for her own private reasons. The queen sends Gretel to the Black Forest, and she is soon accompanied by Stefan (of COURSE there is a love interest, haha!). Stefan is kind of shady but Gretel begins to trust him anyway. I won’t spoil the rest of the story, but we find out who the queen and Stefan really are, and that just adds a fun twist to the story that I didn’t see coming at first!

Gretel and Stefan put themselves in a lot of danger, but somehow they manage to blend in and not draw attention to themselves for awhile. Along the way, Gretel makes a couple dumb decisions… again, no spoilers but… the library scene made me roll my eyes!

One last thing… dragons! ❤ ❤ ❤

I really enjoyed this book! This was my favorite entry to the series. Now I’m kind of sad that the series is over, but I’m so excited for whatever Margo writes next!! 🙂

I gave The Hansel and Gretel Curse 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: The Bluebeard Curse by Margo Ryerkerk!

The Bluebeard Curse is the second book in the Cursed Fairy Tale Series by Margo Ryerkerk. Here’s the blurb for it:

A devastating curse. 

A broken soul. 

A fearless girl. 

After finding his sister crouched over their dead parents’ bodies, Nolan turns her in. To cope with his crippling loss, he seeks to forget his sorrows in revelries. But trying to escape his life only creates more problems when two girls, last seen with him, drown.

Unable to bear the town’s accusations, Nolan flees his home.

Five years later, he’s forced to return to the city that calls him Bluebeard and accept his count title. His welcome is anything but warm, friends treat him with suspicion, and the worst is yet to come…

Jolie knows servants shouldn’t interact with nobility, but there’s something about Nolan Bluebeard that makes it impossible to stay away even if being close to him jeopardizes everything she has worked so hard for.

While Nolan desperately tries to rebuild his reputation with Jolie’s help, a devastating curse has women around him falling dead one by one.

Will Nolan and Jolie break the curse, or will they die trying?

The Bluebeard Curse is the second book in the Cursed Fairy Tales series. Each book can be read as a standalone. However, for greatest enjoyment, the novels should be read in order.

Filled with adventure, love, magic, and a strong heroine, this clean YA Fairy Tale is a must-read!If you liked The Siren and The Selection by Kiera Cass, K.M Shea and Melanie Cellier’s work, you’ll love this!

Buy it now and join Jolie and Nolan on their journey to break the Bluebeard curse!

And here’s the cover!

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This is my review, which I published on Goodreads back in December.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! 🙂

First of all, I want to say that I am not at all familiar with the fairy tale this book is based off of! I’ve never even heard of it before, so I basically had nothing to compare it to.

Anyway, this book starts off with us meeting Jolie, a young woman who is a maid for a wealthy count. She likes working for him, but she is nervous when she finds out that his nephew, Nolan, is coming back from a 5 year absence to take back over his estate.

Nolan, unsurprisingly, has a bit of a shady past. His parents were killed and his sister was responsible for their deaths. Then two girls die after a night hanging out with him… so he decides to split for awhile. Oh, and he was nicknamed “Bluebeard” because he used to have a thick, black beard that had a blueish tint in certain lights.

Nolan’s sister, Delilah, was briefly featured in the Nutcracker Curse. Let me just say it right out- she is an awful character! There is not one tiny redeemable quality about her AT. ALL. She is self- absorbed and so full of hatred it’s almost unreal. Normally I can find a way to sympathize with most characters, but not her. She literally is willing to give up 15 years of her life to curse her brother because apparently he is the cause of her “suffering,” when SHE was the one who killed their parents.

Speaking of the curse, this is where the name “The Bluebeard Curse” comes in. It looks like any woman getting close to Nolan a.k.a. Bluebeard better watch themselves, because ladies have a habit of dropping dead around him.

Naturally, Nolan is attracted to Jolie even though she’s of a lower social status. Which… uggh. I find that intolerable. Even though this story was set centuries ago, it still makes me roll my eyes to know that some people care so much about that. Anyway. Jolie becomes a target because she falls in love with Nolan, and she decides that she needs to be the one to break the curse. No one likes to mind their own business I guess! I won’t spoil how the story ends, but ya know… they all live happily ever after and all that jazz.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Margo Ryerkerk’s books very much. I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. Her writing is excellent, but the story of The Bluebeard Curse is not one of my favorites. I did become a little more invested in the characters (except Delilah) by the end of the book, but I didn’t really connect with any of them like I usually do. Nevertheless, I cannot wait for the 3rd book in the series!!

I gave The Bluebeard Curse 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: The Nutcracker Curse!

My God, I SUCK at posting and keeping up with everyone’s posts! My main problem is this horrendous fatigue that doesn’t seem to improve with sleep/rest. Oh, and having to participate in other soul-sucking activities such as going to work, etc. Well, eventually I’ll be caught up on everything, so that’s all the bitching I’ll do. I can only do what I can do! 😉 Anyways…

Before finishing up The Ardere Series that I have been reading and reviewing, author Margo Ryerkerk wrote and released a fun little series called The Cursed Fairy Tale series! She wrote three books, each one based off of a fairy tale that she put her own twist on. Each book kind of tied into one another, which I thought was nice. Though I am not big on fairy tales and am for the most part largely unfamiliar with the stories/plots, I was willing to give them a try! I reviewed the first book in the trilogy, The Nutcracker Curse, back in December. Here’s the blurb for the book:

12 days.

4 realms.

Break the curse.

Or turn into a nutcracker.

Princess Clara thought she knew the main threat to her freedom.

She was wrong.

At seventeen years old, Clara isn’t ready to marry, and yet that’s what she must do as the crown princess of Austria.

However, getting to know the foreign princes visiting her kingdom becomes the least of Clara’s worries when she picks up a bespelled nutcracker and unleashes a deadly curse. She has twelve days to find and feed the nutcracker the magical nut Crackatook. If she fails, her soul will be trapped inside the toy for all eternity and her body will turn to wood.

Instead of relying on her suitors or the king’s men to find the cure, Clara saddles her unicorn and sneaks out of the palace. Her childhood friend Philip notices her leaving and makes her choose between returning to the castle or allowing him to come along.

Reluctantly, Clara agrees to him joining her, and soon, they are off to lands filled with mythical creatures.

Will they survive all trials and find the Crackatook in time? Or will Clara’s soul become trapped in the nutcracker and her body turn to wood?

Filled with adventure, love, magic, and a strong heroine, this clean YA Fairy Tale is the perfect festive read!

The Nutcracker Curse is the first book in the Cursed Fairy Tales series. Each book can be read as a standalone. However, for greatest enjoyment, the novels should be read in order.

If you like K.M Shea, Melanie Cellier, and Kiera Cass, you’ll love this!

And the gorgeous cover:

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Here’s what I wrote about the book on Goodreads:

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! 🙂

Let me preface this review by saying this: I am not really a fan of fairy tales. I don’t even know anything about the Nutcracker fairy tale that this book is based off of. Despite this, I wanted to read this book because I am a huge fan of Margo Ryerkerk’s other books! 🙂

This book switches between the points of view of two characters, Griselda and Clara. They are stepsisters who have been separated from each other for 10 years because Griselda has been imprisoned. Naturally, Griselda can’t stand Clara and wants to seek revenge on her, so she decides to release the Nutcracker Curse on Clara.

Meanwhile, Clara is a princess, and she’s not exactly thrilled with being one. She is restless and wants to do her own thing, but her father wants her to get married and become prepared to be a ruler someday.

When the curse is released on Clara, she is told she has 12 days to break the curse. If she fails, her body will turn into a wooden figurine, and her soul will become trapped inside the nutcracker forever. Doesn’t sound like fun, does it?! Anyway, the only way to break the curse is to find a magical nut called the Crackatook and feed it to the nutcracker. Instead of sitting idly by, Princess Clara decides to take her life into her own hands and find the Crackatook herself.

She goes through a lot of trouble to do so! I won’t give any spoilers away, but she encounters many trials to get to the Mouse King, who is guarding the Crackatook in the Inverse Kingdom. The Mouse King is… terrible, to say the least.

I really did enjoy this book, despite being unfamiliar with the original tale. The book ended in such a way that there is an opening for a sequel, so I can’t wait to see what happens next!

I rated The Nutcracker Curse 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!