Review: Evanescent by Gabriella Lepore

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“Then it is settled,” Felix declared. “Come hell or high water, when this is all over, at least one of us here will not make it out alive.”

When Bronwen Snow is pulled from her cottage in the middle of the night, she finds herself seeking the help of three mysterious boys who reside in an abandoned castle deep in the hillside. With only a hasty handwritten note and a vague sense of dread to guide her, Bronwen is forced to put her trust in the eccentric and willful Felix Cavara and his eternal curse – immortality.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

If anyone wants to see a perfect example of snark and sass with sweet romance, I’m shoving this in your face. This book was wonderful, even if the ending did leave me pouting a bit. A loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, it’s one of those I’ve wanted to read for awhile, so when the freebie promotion came around, I couldn’t resist.

The plot:

This book is a pretty quick read, about two and a half hours-ish. I kind of wanted more expansion on the nature of the magical, who had made the magical weapons, who had sent the Severan (can’t remember if this was explained or not), etc. On the other hand, this story really didn’t need to be bogged down with details, it flew just fine on its own.

The characters:

Like I said, great sass. Bronwen and the boys were utterly adorable and the immortality jokes were especially funny. I kind of wish this was a series, just because I enjoyed it so much.

This story is one of immortality about the downsides. The boys have lived for around two hundred years and have wanted to die for about a hundred and eighty. (On a side note, I think it’s interesting that people keep writing these stories about the drawbacks of immortality when it has been the dearest wish of people generations and ages over. Anyway.)

A fun read and I am now very curious about the author’s other works. If I ever get my demented Amazon account sorted, I’ll have to visit her author page.

Find Evanescent on Goodreads

Find Evanescent on Amazon

 

Friday Freebie #39 Before Midnight (Blood Prince #1) by Jennifer Blackstream

This week I have for you a werewolf/Cinderella retelling that is glaring incriminatingly unread from the depths of my Kindle.

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Loupe always dreamed of getting married. She yearned for a caring husband who would take her away from her servant-like existence at home with her stepmother and two stepsisters, a man who would love her forever. Those dreams ended the day she was bitten by a werewolf. Now she’s a mindless beast on the night of the full moon—a condition that forever prevents her from sharing a marriage bed. Not even the attentions of a handsome and endearingly strong prince can convince her that the life she wants is still possible.

Etienne is a prince in need of a werewolf. A werewolf himself from birth, Etienne and his family have protected their kingdom with tooth and claw—literally—for thousands of years. Unfortunately, the spell of a well-meaning witch is slowly turning him human. Only the bite of a cursed werewolf, one who was not born with the beast inside, can save him from becoming human. He has no time for anything that will not lead him to a cure for the curse. Not even the beautiful maiden whose gentle nature soothes his soul can take his mind from his goal.

Love cares little for the best laid plans or the impossible. A grand ball. The stroke of twelve. A magic “slipper.” All kinds of things can happen when you don’t leave the ball…Before Midnight.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

Download Before Midnight for free! (perma-free)

Review: Land of Shadows (The Legend of the Gate Keeper #1) by Jeff Gunzel

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The gorgeous lands of Tarmerria are full of magic and beauty. But the virtually lawless cities contain no shortage of darkness and greed. A land where daily survival in the harsh realm takes priority over all else. But the world is about to change. The ancient prophecies, written during a time long forgotten, just might be true after all.

Join in as unlikely companions from completely different worlds set out on the adventure of a lifetime. A search for answers. A search for the truth.

This book is intended for mature audiences

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

3.5 out of 5 stars
Great idea, great premise, interesting execution, dire need of editing. I liked this book enough to say I’m curious about the rest of the series, but it’s more than a little disappointing because I think if a few things were fixed I could love it.

The third person perspective was close in some places and omniscient in others and that irritates me in any book. There were three or four perspectives that could have been cut altogether and not been missed. In some places the author tells instead of showing and I think there were a lot of opportunities for good scenes that were missed. Mr. Gunzel came up with a fantastic idea, I just feel it wasn’t followed through.

The plot:
The plot was decent. It didn’t drag and for the most part was pretty focused. I saw most of the twists coming, but that’s forgivable. The world building was measured at about just right and I don’t recall any holes in the storyline.

On a side note, it is definitely for mature reader as the blurb states. There wasn’t detailed description of certain things, but this is still not something I’d hand to anyone under fifteen.

The characters:
It has been some time since I have read a warrior-girl type who I not only liked, but who was my favorite chracter. This is one thing Mr. Gunzel must be credited with—writing a human, sympathetic virago. I adore Jade and if I read any more of the books, it will be to find out what happens to her.

I didn’t like Eric so much. He was okay and the early development of his character was pretty good, there was just this thing at the end of the book that has kind of colored my judgment since.

There is a demon hybrid with exceptional villain potential and his puppet master with even more. The more I think about it, the more I consider downloading the next book.

I did yearn for a fat red pen when reading this book. I saw lots of ingredients for a good fantasy, there are just a plethora of flaws that badly need weeding. This is one I hope the author will consider reediting and re-releasing, because it really has potential.

Find Land of Shadow on Goodreads

Find Land of Shadow on Amazon

Find Land of Shadow on BN.com

Friday Freebie #38 Song to Wake to (Levels, #1) by J.D. Field

This is a book I read and loved a few months before I started posting reviews on here. It tells the Arthurian legend from the angle of what happens when Arthur actually is reborn in modern-day England. Now you really want to read it, right? Right?!

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 The boy you love is a legend.
Literally.

Now he says that you’re one too. 

Blurb and cover from Amazon

Download Song to Wake to for free! (perma-free)

Friday Freebie #37 Land of Shadows (The Legend of the Gate Keeper #1) by Jeff Gunzel

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The gorgeous lands of Tarmerria are full of magic and beauty. But the virtually lawless cities contain no shortage of darkness and greed. A land where daily survival in the harsh realm takes priority over all else. But the world is about to change. The ancient prophecies, written during a time long forgotten, just might be true after all.

Join in as unlikely companions from completely different worlds set out on the adventure of a lifetime. A search for answers. A search for the truth.

This book is intended for mature audiences

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

Download Land of Shadow for free! (perma-free)

A sort-of writing update and an apology

This summer has been consumed with creative expansion (watching Merlin), social networking (wasting time on the internet), mind feeding (pretending to study), and writing/editing (staring at the screen for hours on end and occasionally typing). It has been hectic to say the least.

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Especially when you throw in this whole divorce debacle and the stuff that comes with it. (Adult children aren’t supposed to get caught up in this thing, but because I’ve been live in nanny for two years, that sort of happens by default.)

Despite all that, I have completed the bajillionth round of edits on the Daindreth’s Assassin book. Remember Daindreth’s Assassin? The one I was supposed to finish editing over the summer before I started on Argetallam six? More than a year since I first started writing it, the story is off to my first beta reader. I am left with the first 1,500 words of Argetallam six and the first 105,000 words of the third book in the Daindreth’s Assassin series.

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Right now the statistics of my thought processes are something like this:

7% Merlin

30% Worrying about family

5% Random internet memes and fandom references

1% Origins of the universe

50% Daindreth’s Assassin

7% Guilt over books I haven’t read

That last part brings me to the apology portion of this post—the lack of reviews for the past two weeks. There are no reviews because, well, I haven’t been reading. :O I’ve been devoting my spare time to either watching Merlin with my brother or writing. Plus, I really just haven’t found a story that I wanted to finish lately, I’m in another one of those slumps.

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I have one or two reviews that I haven’t yet posted which should be appearing soon, but I may fall behind more on my reading challenge and on my weekly reviews.

Of course, if I just cut back on the internet, things could work out…

Bear with me! Things might be getting worse as I start taking four different college classes this upcoming semester, but I just ask that you be patient with little me and keep in mind that I have not forgotten about you guys or my writing.

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