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!

Book Review: Mr. Ugly!

Back in November, I received a message from a cool dude on Goodreads named Wol-vriey. He asked if I wanted to review one of his newest books, Mr. Ugly! I’m always willing to help authors out, so I agreed! The synopsis for Mr. Ugly is as follows:

SHE RETURNED FROM HER CELL TO GIVE THEM HELL!

When a rotting corpse suddenly appears and starts butchering Raynham’s youths, there’s really only one question that needs answering:

Is this faceless and rotting monster Peter Howard, or isn’t it?

Problem is, Peter Howard died 15 years ago. So how can he possibly be back from the dead and murdering people with such relentless and sadistic brutality?

Peter’s mother Malicia, who’s just been released from the lunatic asylum, may have the answers to the crazy puzzle, but the two detectives investigating the deaths don’t even know the right questions to ask her yet.

Mr. Ugly: It really doesn’t matter if you lock your doors; you simply aren’t safe anymore.

And here’s the cover:

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Ain’t he cute? 😉 This seemed like just the type of book I’d be interested in, so I couldn’t wait to read it! Here’s what I wrote about it on Goodreads:

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

Based on the cover of this book, I figured Mr. Ugly was some type of zombie… but he was so much more than that! I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I’ll try to hit some of the main points of the book.

The first character we meet is Malicia, who was recently released from a psychiatric institution. She definitely is not crazy though…. no, she is powerful, cunning, and very vindictive. Malicia is hellbent on making the people in the town of Raynham pay for their sins. Upon returning home from the institution, she unleashes something very powerful and very deadly.

Gruesome killings begin in the town (and I do mean GRUESOME!). The killings are done by a zombie-like creature dubbed Mr. Ugly because he is so fucked up looking, he barely resembles a man. Soon, it is revealed that Mr. Ugly is actually Malicia’s dead son Peter, resurrected to wreak havoc.

I admit, when it was revealed how Peter died and why Malicia is so upset, I couldn’t help but sympathize with her character. It’s amazing how far she goes off the deep end! I became really invested in the story and I’ll admit, I was kind of bummed when it was all over!

This book had several moments that made me laugh despite its brutality. Wol-vriey has a way of providing vivid descriptors that really place you into the story. Maybe I’m a little bit twisted, but one of my favorite lines in the whole book is “Like a punted football, a man’s severed head was rolling toward them from the main entrance.”

This was a brutal, gory novel that was so much fun to read! Wol-vriey does not hold back from describing even the most awful scenario. He definitely has a talent for the macabre. Great book!!

As you can see, I loved this book. It was unique, grotesque, and had some really fucked up moments in it. I gave Mr. Ugly 5/5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: Rising of Three by Ashley McCleo!

Rising of Three is the final book in The Starseed Trilogy by Ashley McCleo. I posted my review of it on Goodreads back in September, but I’m re-posting it on my blog so I can give the series some extra exposure!

Here’s the blurb from Rising of Three:

Mysterious claimings, kidnappings, and disasters are occurring the world over. Sara McKay knows that can only mean one thing–the fata, magical beings from the planet Hecate intent on ruling Earth, are growing stronger.

With the help of their pneumas, benevolent fata souls residing inside Sara and her sisters Lily and Evelyn, the McKay witches of Ireland prepare for war.

However, with Sara no longer playing peacekeeper between Lily and Evelyn, strong insecurities stemming from Sara’s past make a reappearance in her life. Once the most powerful triplet, she struggles to master the lifesaving skills the pneumas introduce and fully integrate with the supernatural soldiers flocking to Fern Cottage.

Will Sara’s instability help Noro and King Dimia drive a wedge between the triplets the fata forces can exploit? Or will Sara’s issues be just the thing the Triplet Army needs to win an otherworldly war?

And the beautiful cover:

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Here’s what I said in my review on Goodreads:

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

The final book in the Starseed Trilogy did not disappoint! In Rising of Three, Lily, Evelyn, Sara and the rest of their family and friends embarked on the final leg of their journey to defeat Noro and save the Earth from the fata. The sisters have come into their own as far as magic is concerned, and they train hard to be ready for the battle. Because they are starseeds (that is, they have a pneuma living inside them from another time and planet), the fate of the world rests on their shoulders. I don’t want to spoil too much, so I won’t say much more about the pneumas. They are very… weird but interesting!

Rising of Three is told from multiple viewpoints, though we get an extra look inside Sara’s mind this time around. I have to say, I actually did not enjoy her segments very much. She was, for the most part, a complete downer and also a martyr. More than once she either put herself in danger or did things at questionable times because she felt like she needed to. I felt more annoyed by her than anything.

Regardless, I love the way the triplets band together and always have each others’ back, especially considering they did not grow up together. This made me happy because they are three completely different people, but they stick together because they are family.

The final battle was pretty long and intense, and there were a couple deaths that really bothered me. The aftermath of the battle is pretty unique, but again, I don’t want to spoil anything. Let’s just say that the way traitors are dealt with is extremely satisfying!

I’m sad that this book marks the end of the Starseed Trilogy. I really enjoyed this series and can’t wait to see what Ashley McLeo comes up with next!

I gave Rising of Three 5/5 stars on Goodreads!