Review: Dance of a Burning Sea by E.J. Mellow

Dance of a Burning Sea by E.J. Mellow
Series: Mousai #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 19th 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

From award-winning author E. J. Mellow comes the thrilling second installment in the Mousai series, featuring a powerful sorceress who finds her loyalties tested by a ruthless pirate lord.

Within the world of Aadilor, there is a hidden place called the Thief Kingdom, where both magic and pleasure abound. There, the Mousai, a trio of deadly sorceresses bound by oath and blood, use their powers to protect the kingdom’s treasures.

Niya Bassette brings the potent gift of dance to the Mousai, but behind her tempting twirls, she carries a heavy secret—that the infamous pirate lord, Alōs Ezra, has been threatening to exploit for years. Now banished from the Thief Kingdom for smuggling, Alōs resurfaces in Niya’s life with a plot to hold her hostage, leveraging what he knows to extort a pardon from the Thief King.

But Niya makes her own deal with Alōs to guard her secret and guarantee her freedom—yet in doing so binds herself aboard his pirate ship, where she must navigate deadly waters, a bloodthirsty crew, and her own traitorous heart. Soon, a simmering attraction between her and Alōs threatens their delicate truce and makes for a tumultuous ride on the open seas. Far from her kingdom, Niya is entangled in a dangerous dance indeed.

Welcome to the world of Aadilor, where dark deeds can mask noble hearts and the most alluring of sways often ends with a burn. Care for a spin?

When I read the first book in the Mousai series, I saw a lot of potential in this fantasy world. I liked the dynamic between our three Mousai sisters and was looking forward to reading more about them. I ended up liking this second book slightly more than the first! I’m still not completely sold on the series, but it’s still an enjoyable fantasy romance. Plus, pirates!

Dance of a Burning Sea is an enemies to lovers romance and reads perfectly fine as a standalone in this series. Niya is the second sister to get her romance – she’s a fire dancer and her romance is with pirate lord Alos Ezra. To say they don’t get along would be an understatement. They constantly go head to head and there’s a lot of great banter between them. They’re forced into some close proximity as they set out on an adventure at sea. I really enjoyed the setting here – I found it a lot more fun and exciting than the first book! Even though it was a bit long for my taste, I was never really bored while I was reading. Niya and Alos get to travel to distant lands, look for lost treasure, and pretty much live the pirate’s dream.

The only thing about this book is that I never truly fell for our main characters. I enjoyed their dynamic but wasn’t quite as immersed in their romance as much as I wanted to be. But if I just focused on the adventure aspect of the story, I had a great time reading this book. So if you prefer your fantasies more on the action and adventurous side, I would definitely recommend this one!


lacey


Reading Order: Mousai series

#1 ~ Song of the Forever Rains: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Dance of a Burning Sea: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Symphony for a Deadly Throne: Ebook • Goodreads (February 14, 2023)


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Review: Triple Threat by K. Webster

Triple Threat by K. Webster
Series: Deception Duet #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 11th 2022
Links: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

I’m a prisoner in a prestigious world.

A perfect princess locked in a tower.

My father will never let me go.

Not that I could leave. I would never abandon my little sister. Hope comes in the form of a devilishly handsome man with dark eyes and darker secrets.

With each encounter, I’m lured deeper into the labyrinth. The danger lurking beneath his surface calls to me, even as it warns me away.

Except there’s a new side of him every time we meet. A different danger each time we touch. It’s as if three different men want to devour me.

He’s not just one villain. He’s three.

I couldn’t believe when K. Webster announced she would be writing a romance for the Terror Triplets from the Cinderella Trilogy. They were nasty, spoiled bullies – but was I still going to read their book? Absolutely.

I shouldn’t have doubted K. Webster because Triple Threat was so good! It’s a reverse harem romance with a heroine and three identical triplet heroes. The Mannford boys have grown up now and they’re not as spoiled and bratty. Sparrow, Scout, and Sully kind of work for the mafia but all they want to do is escape so they can live their own lives. Their uncle gives them one last assignment before they can be free – dupe the daughter of a tech billionaire into believing they’re one man and get close to her so they can find out her father’s secrets.

Landry may come from a rich family, but she lives in terror because of her abusive father. She wants to escape but she stays for her younger, deaf sister to protect her. Landry has never gotten close to anyone but she finds solace in a new, gorgeous classmate named Ford… who at times seems like he has a split personality.

I enjoyed this reverse harem romance so much! Each triplet clearly has his own personality and way of being with Landry, but I still fell for all 3, though I’m going to need more when it comes to the craziest brother, Scout. Landry was a strong heroine who I really felt for. I was on the edge of my seat reading this, just waiting for the moment when Landry would find out the truth about the brothers.

This is the first book in a duet and I am dying for Death Wish already. You can see the cliffhanger coming but it still killed me. Triple Threat is hot but not as steamy as I would expect from this author so hopefully we get more in the sequel!


lacey


Reading Order: Deception Duet

#1 ~ Triple Threat: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ Death Wish: Ebook • AudibleGoodreads (March 29, 2022)


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Review: The Mixtape by Brittainy Cherry

The Mixtape by Brittainy Cherry
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: July 1st 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Since the death of his twin brother, Oliver’s caught between pleasing his fans and finding himself. Emery finds him first.

Emery has never felt more alone. Raising her daughter is both her pleasure and her pain as she struggles to hold on to her job as a bartender and keep a roof over their heads. With no one to help them—no support system—any unexpected expense or late bill could turn their whole world upside down.

Reeling from the death of his twin brother and bandmate, rock star Oliver Smith is trying to drink his problems away. Apparently he isn’t very good at it; they follow him wherever he goes. Also in hot pursuit are the paparazzi, who catch Oliver at his lowest low.

He could have walked into any bar in California, but he walked into hers. Emery helps Oliver lose the crowd, and they find themselves alone: two people whose paths are marked with loss and pain. However, they hold an unshakable hope for healing. They find solace together, but can their love withstand the world?

The Mixtape is a down-to-earth rock star romance between a single mother and one of her rock star idols. It’s emotional and heartbreaking, as with most Brittainy C. Cherry books. I’ve been enjoying her books a lot lately and this one was fantastic in audio. If you’re a fan of rock star romances and books with a ton of feels, you need to read this book!

Oliver is a part of a rock star duo with his twin brother, and when twin dies in an accident, Oliver is left reeling and devastated. Being in the public eye doesn’t help matters either. Everyone and their mother seems to have a negative opinion on Oliver and he can’t deal with his grief and public scrutiny on top of it. He finds himself drunk in the middle of a bar when he meets Emery, a single mom who helps him during this painful time. They form a connection over their trauma and loss and they help each other heal all while falling for each other.

Oliver and Emery’s stories are heart-wrenching. I hurt for both of them, from the loss of the most important person in Oliver’s life to Emery’s hurtful and toxic family. Their romance is sweet and all about healing two broken people. I adored Emery’s daughter Reese, who adds a brightness to the story that’s much needed. The Mixtape took me on an emotional journey and I enjoyed it so much.


lacey


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Release Day Review: Tryst Six Venom by Penelope Douglas

Tryst Six Venom by Penelope Douglas
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: June 3rd 2021
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

𝑨𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝒈𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒔, 𝒃𝒂𝒄𝒌 𝒔𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒔, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒄𝒌𝒆𝒓 𝒓𝒐𝒐𝒎 𝒂𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔… 𝑮𝒆𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒚!

𝘾𝙇𝘼𝙔

Marymount girls are good girls. We’re chaste, we’re untouched, and even if we weren’t, no one would know, because we keep our mouths shut.

Not that I have anything to share anyway. I never let guys go too far. I’m behaved.

Beautiful, smart, talented, popular, my skirt’s always pressed, and I never have a hair out of place. I own the hallways, walking tall on Monday and dropping to my knees like the good Catholic girl I am on Sunday.

That’s me. Always in control.

Or so they think. The truth is that it’s easy for me to resist them, because what I truly want, they can never be. Something soft and smooth. Someone dangerous and wild.

Unfortunately, what I want I have to hide. In the locker room after hours. In the bathroom stall between classes. In the showers after practice. 𝑀𝑦 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑑 𝑠𝑤𝑖𝑚𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑔. 𝑀𝑦 ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑢𝑝 ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑠𝑘𝑖𝑟𝑡.

For me, life is a web of secrets. No one can find out mine.

𝙊𝙇𝙄𝙑𝙄𝘼

I cross the tracks every day for one reason—to graduate from this school and get into the Ivy League. I’m not ashamed of where I come from, my family, or how everyone at Marymount thinks my skirts are too short and my lipstick is too red.

Clay Collins and her friends have always turned up their noses at me. The witch with her beautiful skin, clean shoes, and rich parents who torments me daily and thinks I won’t fight back.

At least not until I get her alone and find out she’s hiding so much more than just what’s underneath those pretty clothes.

The princess thinks I’ll scratch her itch. She thinks she’s still pure as long as it’s not a guy touching her.

I told her to stay on her side of town. I told her not to cross the tracks.

But one night, she did. And when I’m done with her, she’ll never be pure again.

Tryst Six Venom is Penelope Douglas’ very first F/F romance and I have been DYING to get my hands on it ever since she started teasing about it. It’s a bully romance set in high school, and normally I don’t gravitate towards these kinds of reads but I trust Penelope Douglas and I trust her process. TSV ended up being a gripping, entertaining, emotional read – I highly recommend it especially if you love Punk 57 or Bully!

Good girl Clay comes from a wealthy family. Bad girl Olivia comes from the wrong side of the tracks. They hate each other, they’re on the same lacrosse team, and Clay has made Liv’s life hell their entire time in high school. Unfortunately, Liv can’t retaliate since the rich kids at their school don’t experience any kind of repercussions. So she keeps to herself and works hard to survive long enough to graduate and go to an Ivy League out of the state.

The relationship between Liv and Clay is toxic. At least at first. It’s full of turmoil and angst and anger and hurt. There’s so much to unpack between them but underneath it all is also an unwanted attraction. Liv is out and Clay is confused and scared about her sexuality. All she knows is that she just wants Liv.

It’s a roller coaster of emotions when you read TSV. My heart HURT for these two, not just regarding their budding love and romance but also for both of their wrecked homes. Clay’s brother passed away years ago, leaving her parents a mess. Liv and her brothers have lived day by day making ends meet ever since their parents died. I loved the fact that Penelope Douglas was able to make me so invested in the secondary characters! I fell in love with Liv’s brothers (who I wouldn’t mind books for. Especially Macon!!!) and I found myself rooting for Clay’s parents to get back together. It was a fantastic cast of well-rounded, developed characters.

The main reason why I’m not rating this higher is that I did struggle to get into the story in the beginning. The hate was so real and brutal, and I had no idea how Clay and Liv would be able to move past all the hurt and heartache. But I always tell myself to trust in PD and before I knew it, I was hooked. I really enjoyed Clay and Liv and their romance. Their chemistry is insane and I’m always in awe of how PD can unravel her characters and build them back into something even better. If you love your NA romances on the more intense and angsty side, you can’t go wrong with this.


lacey


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Review: The ​Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The ​Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Blood and Ash #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: April 20th 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackHardcoverAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

She’s been the victim and the survivor…

Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.

The enemy and the warrior…

Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.

A lover and heartmate…

But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.

And now she will become Queen…

We’re now three books into this epic fantasy romance series! I’ve enjoyed each book in the Blood and Ash series so far, and this third book was no different. I had extremely high expectations, especially after reading that ending from A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire, and Jennifer L. Armentrout didn’t disappoint. We’ve got all the action, steam, reveals, and more in this newest installment and I already can’t wait for the next one!

It’s hard to talk about this book now that we’re midway through the series without spoiling anything, but I’ll try. It’s finally revealed that Poppy is more that she – or anyone else – ever thought she was, and now she has to navigate this new role alongside her new husband, Cas. In TCOGB, we learn more about Poppy, her powers, Cas’ family, the Ascended, the war between the two kingdoms, the gods…. there’s A Lot. And in the midst of this is our favorite power couple who are now married(!!!) and being all cute and hot as husband and wife. For the Kieran fans, you will be very happy to know he’s constantly by their side.

I wish I could shout about what happened at the end of this book because SO MUCH IS GOING ON, but I will just say I’m so freaking excited for everyone to read TCOGB. It’s another fantastic installment in this fantasy romance series that I just can’t get enough of!


lacey


Reading Order: Blood and Ash series

#1 ~ From Blood and Ash: My ReviewEbook • PaperbackHardcover • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire: My ReviewEbookPaperbackHardcoverAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ The Crown of Gilded Bones: EbookPaperbackHardcoverAudibleGoodreads


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