Review: Lyrics & Curses

Lyrics & Curses
By Candace Robinson

Finished: 12/11/2020

I’m a big fan of Candace’s work, and although this one was slow to get started, the final half makes up for it! I think part of it for me was the focus on the romance during the first half. While I don’t mind romance, I tend to prefer it as a side plot rather than the main plot, and I wanted to dive into the fantastic elements earlier. That’s my own preference though.

The concept of getting trapped in a mirror world and having to watch doppelgängers take over your life is fascinating! I loved the whole world-building and mechanics of that and would have loved to see it explored more.

While this was a great read with some fascinating elements, the slow build at the beginning was a little difficult for me. Folks who love sweet romances with some eerie and fantastic elements will definitely love this book! And as usual, Candace does not disappoint with the finale.

I’m really curious to see where this goes in the sequel!

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars!

Review: Dead Rockstar

Dead Rockstar
By Lillah Lawson

Finished: 10/2/2020

When Stormy decides to do a spell on a record album in a drunken haze,s he has no idea what she’s doing. She never expected the enigmatic rock star heartthrob, Phillip Deville, who had been dead for 20 years, to show up at her door.

What starts as a fun and sexy romp with an amateur necromancer and her hot undead rocker boyfriend turns into a much darker game as they delve deeper into the magic behind the spell. The plot is smart, twisty, fast-paced, and beautifully unpredictable. Stormy and Phillip’s chemistry is undeniable and things definitely heat up.

What I love the most about this book is how fresh and modern the writing is. Stormy is a vegan librarian who drinks on weekends with her BFF. She and her friend talk like real people and it doesn’t feel forced. Author Lilah Lawson has a quick and admirable style with witty dialogue and a pair of heroes who are to die for.

I’m excitedly anticipating the sequel!

My rating: 5/5 stars!

Review: Birthing the Beast

Finished: 4/24/2020

I first heard from Lewis through Instagram where we connected over our mutual love of werewolves and shapeshifters. When his book came out, I was so thrilled to read it!

Lewis has an incredible way of describing characters and setting the mood for a scene. From a brawl that has to be broken up by the local authorities, to a teenage girl running away from her father’s angry outburst, to a stormy night with a werewolf escaping from a castle-like prison. This is an incredible author whose work needs to be appreciated more.

Of course with a werewolf book, it’s important to see if they’re done well. I can happily attest that I absolutely loved the scenes with them! The action is intense and the atmosphere is incredible. The werewolf of this world are powerful, verging on unstoppable, and I absolutely loved it!

If you love werewolves, action, and a sympathetic protagonist, then you’ll love this book!

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Review: Veiled by Desire

Finished: 1/16/2020

Tavarra is a beautiful sea dweller cursed for life, forced to be a beast when the moon is bright. Rhona is a girl with the ability to control water, and her friend, Perin, is a warrior who bears a dark secret. Quil is boy with an easy laugh and a penchant for music. Finally Eza rounds out the main cast of characters as a bat-like creature with a sharp wit and a bit heart.

Together they must seek out the dark pyramid to rescue their village and find the mercurial Stone of Desire who may or may not grant a wish. This tale is filled with action, love, heartache, and mystery with a flair for the surreal and fantastic that I’ve come to love in Robinson’s work. The characters in this story are so lovable and flawed that I couldn’t help but fall in love with them.

But first, I have a confession to make.

I have a weak spot for werewolves. They show up a LOT in my books, even when I try not to let them appear. Tavarra is one of the most original werewolves I’ve read about. Her desire to go on land and leave behind the sea, staying out too long and bearing a horrible curse, and forced to roam the land with only her friend, Eza, at her side. Even her description with her bright orange hair and orange fur down her arms makes her unique.

The magic in this story is really fascinating too, mixing science with the fantastic in a way that had me very intrigued. I loved the dark forest, and how even when everything seemed safe, nothing really was.

I really loved this one because it felt so horrific, and it was refreshing to be in a completely fantastic world. Robinson knows how to keep you reading too, and at the end I had trouble putting it down! I honestly can’t wait to read Book 3 in her Laith series!

My Overall Rating: 5/5

Review: To Dream Is To Die

Sarah Lampkin is another one of my incredible Parliament House Press sisters, and we’ve been fortunate enough to work alongside each other at not one, but two events this year!

(Check out our interview on YA Fantasy and Science Fiction at the Alabama Book Festival below!)

I look like a Batman villain in that preview pic!

Sarah is awesome to work with. She’s also a gym rat and is a big inspiration to hit the gym if you follow her on social media! So I was thrilled to get a chance to review her book, To Dream Is To Die.

Brenna is clearly ready to kick some ghost butt!

Finished: June 5, 2019

First of all, the concept behind The Dead Dreamer series (this is book 1 of that series) is so fascinating! I love the mixture of dreamers, spirits, and portals for demons and fairies. Brenna is a tough-as-nails protagonist and although her pessimistic personality took a bit to win me over, her friends and experiences soften her hard exterior throughout the story.

I also loved the mystery that takes place on a haunted college campus! I mean, technically anywhere Brenna goes is ultimately haunted, but you know what I mean. As someone who works on a campus, this especially appealed to me. I really enjoyed the fast pace and the way each of the characters change and evolve over time. For fans of ghost hunters, conspiracy theories, administrators hiding the truth, and characters with big secrets to hide, this is a novel for you!

I’m really excited to read book two in The Dead Dreamer series, To Wake The Dead, coming in October!

What I consider a 5-star book:

  • Is it a fun read? Although it took a little longer for Brenna to grow on me due to her pessimistic outlook on life, once the story got going I had a hard time putting this down!
  • Would you recommend it to others? If you love ghosts, people who turn into ghosts, or ghosts co-existing with demons and the fae, then this is definitely a book to check out!
  • Does it stick with you? This book has some scenes that will absolutely stick with you for a long time to come!

My overall rating: 5/5

Note: This book follows Brenna in her first year of college and she’s surrounded by party people who drink a LOT, with all the detail of having to puke into trash cans and whatnot. For me, this was triggering, but I’m a little squeamish about that sort of thing. For others, it may not be a problem at all. So just a warning if you’re squeamish like me to tread cautiously!