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Review of Shadow Study

30 Mar 2015

Synopsis

Once, only her own life hung in the balance…

When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia.  Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek. Suddenly, though, dissent is rising. And Valek’s job—and his life—are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive.

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Review

The original trilogy with Yelena and Valek is easily up there in my favourite books ever and though I was slightly hesitant about going back to their world this book was absolutely fantastic. There is a brand new storyline and challenges for the characters to face and alongside all the old faces their is also multiple brand new characters.

I think it would be possible to read Shadow Study without having read either of the other two related trilogies (Poison Study, Magic Study, Fire Study, Storm Glass, Sea Glass, Spy Glass) but I would recommend reading them anyway because 1) they are fantastic books 2) Shadow Study will be a ten times better read if you are already emotionally invested in the characters.

This book is told through a number of different POV's so we get to follow several different and yet interlinked storylines. Yelena is trying to discover what has happened to her magic with the help of Leif and a few other old friends whilst Valek is off in Ixia with Ari and Janco attempting to deal with both smugglers and attempts on his life. My favourite element to this book were the flashbacks where we get to see Valek's childhood and how he became the character he is today.

My favourite new character is Onora as I loved her feistiness, grit and passion. She makes for an interesting addition to the duo of Ari and Janco and their banter is certainly one of the best things about the book.

Valek and Yelena are apart for a decent amount of the book but their romance still gets some good page time. They are by far one of my favourite fictional couples, something about them just works, and Shadow Study is great for seeing where they are a few years after we first met them.

There are a lot of mysteries in Shadow Study and with that comes several surprises at the end of the book! Overall I highly recommend this to fans of Fantasy and Fantasy Romance books. Now I just need to buy this in paperback to add to my Maria V. Snyder collection!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for review consideration, this has not affected my opinions or rating in anyway*

Try it for yourself! Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Laura

Review of Chosen Thief

23 Mar 2015

Chosen Thief

Caroline Jules knows death is imminent. She’s only 22, but as an inmate of Death Row in the most secure Mystical jail, what else could her future hold?

Caro has no idea. Her solitary, transient life is about to get flipped on its head when it is revealed that she is the new Prodigy Elemental, and she has responsibilities and ties that she can’t ever escape. Caro is attempting to run from a brutal past, but the Rulers have other plans for this thief’s future.

But the transition from a self-contained existence to life with the other Prodigies, the Kings and Queens, and even the Elders was never going to be easy, and Caro has secrets she’s loath to share. Suddenly she has friends, mentors, lovers – and they all want to know more about her than she is willing to reveal. Can she learn to thrive in the role of a future leader, or will the obligations scare her into disappearing again – this time forever?  

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Review

I love Scarlett Dawn's trademark blend of paranormal elements, romance, and a kick-ass main character. With the majority of New Adult novels being contemporary romances, Scarlett's books both stand out and fill a gap which fulfils the desires of readers such as myself who want a little more intrigue and action alongside the romance in their New Adult reads. Chosen Thief is just as good, if not better than previous books by the author.

Unlike King Hall which has a less than stellar opening chapter, Chosen Thief is fantastic from the get go. We get thrown right in with a prologue introducing us to Caro and setting the scene for the mysterious nature of the rest of the book. For people who loved the first book Lily and the rest make multiple appearances but at the same time you don't need to have read any of the first three books for this one to make sense.

Like with the first Forever Evermore trilogy, the characters are what makes this book as they all have such big personalities. There is a bit of a love triangle sneaking in but I don't want to go into too much detail there as it is best for you to see for yourself. It is good I promise! This book has so many elements that make it unique and so there isn't much to compare it to.

Caro is fantastic, she has a sharp wit and a snarky personality but the best part about her is how she stands up for those she considers family. Though she is very prickly at the start of the book, as you get to know her more the compassion simply shines through. Chosen Thief overflows with too many fantastic secondary characters to name them all individually - Scarlett Dawn understands the importance of giving even minor characters depth and development that will cause you to get emotionally invested in them.

Chosen Thief has fractionally less action and deep storyline than I would have liked as most of the book seems to be setting the scene and introducing the backstory and the characters so that the true action can kick in for book 2. There was still enough tension and plot to keep this book very interesting though and I know from the authors previous books that she does this formula very well so don't let that put you off!

There are still a lot of questions left unanswered at the end of this book (like what exactly did Caro do to end up in jail and what is so damn mysterious about the Spirits!) but I think there is supposed to be two sequels so we have plenty of time to get answers. It just makes me want the next book that much sooner!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for review consideration, this has not effected my opinions or rating in any way*

Try it for yourself! Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

 
 
Laura

Review of Here Be Sexist Vampires

12 Mar 2015


Synopsis

Sam Parker is a vampire with a gift so strong and substantial that she is invited to partake in a test for a place in the Grand High Master Vampire’s private army. She finds that not only has the army never included a woman, but it has never included a Svent√© vampire; a breed that is regarded by the super strong Pagori breed and the hypnotically beautiful Keja breed to be too tame and human-like. Most refuse to take her seriously, especially a Pagori commander named Jared who she craves in spite of herself.

The Grand High Master, however, sees her potential and offers her the position of Jared’s co-commander to help train the newest squad in time for the impending attack on his home. Sam has to demonstrate to Jared and the squad of chauvinists why it is incredibly foolish to underestimate a willful, temperamental, borderline-homicidal Svent√© female.

Warning: This novel contains an iron-willed female vampire with an energy whip, a sexist male vampire who is determined to have her, explicit vampy sex, and a romance story with real bite.

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Review

Here Be Sexist Vampires is a stellar paranormal romance.  The heroine is strong, funny, smart, and loyal to those who deserve her loyalty.  She has an unpleasant backstory which includes some rather unsettling elements.  She has to go above and beyond to prove herself but she doesn’t shy away from hard work so she has no trouble proving her worth and putting her doubters in their place.  You’ll notice that she has a bit of a “Mary Sue” element as the story progresses in this book and the two subsequent books but I enjoy it as it is balanced by the various struggles she has to deal with.

The hero is…an ass for a decent portion of the book.  He creates numerous roadblocks for the heroine and, frankly, has to do a lot to redeem himself.  His character is the typical philandering, misogynist that is prevalent in novels these days but his character definitely grows on you.  Especially with the segments from his POV that show the shift in his outlook towards the heroine.  And the heroine is no push-over so don’t worry, she puts him in his place repeatedly and makes him earn the chance to be with her.

The main story line of the book is preparation for a large battle.  As such there is a lot of strategizing and training leading up to it, which gives the novel more substance than a simple paranormal romance.  The heroine was an impressive strategist so it was fun to see her apply it to the various challenges she encounters.  The romance is definitely on the steamy side (seriously, steamy) so it made for an enjoyable read as well.  There were lots of side characters that provided added depth to the story but the standout is the heroine.  She is definitely one of my favorite heroines.

As I am writing this review, I have already devoured the two follow up books that focus on the two main characters from this book.  The subsequent books flesh out the hero more, had major story line developments and were good reads as well, but the first book is the standout in the series.

Try it for yourself!  Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Katie

Review of Hero

3 Mar 2015

Synopsis

Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that she and her mother weren't his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.

Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.

Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they're on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again…

Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Review

Hero is a highly enjoyable contemporary romance. I first got introduced to Samantha Young through her Young Adult novels but there is no denying she can also write a great adult romance. From start to finish Hero is emotionally charged and a truly intriguing read.

Our two main characters Alexa and Caine have some awkward history in their families and because of this Caine hates Alexa whilst she feels responsibility for his unfortunate past. Added to this is an instant attraction between them both which leads to some delicious sexual tension.

Alexa is a great character, she is mouthy, snarky and stands up to herself when needed. Whilst some romance heroines can be a bit wimpy and boring, Alexa is one to go full steam ahead after what she wants. Caine has the whole brooding, mysterious millionaire thing going for him which I'm sure most readers will love. Together they are a little bit dysfunctional but only because they are both lying to themselves about what they want and feel.

Whilst Hero does have a few steamy scenes to me the focus of the story was about the growth and romantic development of Alexa and Caine. It is about them both finding a kindred spirit in one another and through that being able to overcome their pasts.

The storyline isn't particularly unique but it is done in a really great way that makes it stand out. Oh and Hero is a standalone which is refreshing to see in a world of seemingly never ending series'! A definite recommend for romance fans.

Try it for yourself! Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK
Laura

February Monthly Wrap Up

1 Mar 2015

On The Blog


This month consisted mainly of my still trying to get into the swing of posting regularly. It has definitely improved from January and I posted several reviews this month alongside a Stacking The Shelves every Saturday/Sunday, several Hot New Releases and some other fun stuff :)

The Most Viewed Posts From February

His Dark Materials Readalong - Announcement
Review of The Fire Sermon
UKYA Extravaganza Blog Tour - Lou Morgan Turns The Tables

Reviews Posted

Four reviews were posted on Bookish Treasures this month.

Becoming Alpha - YA Paranormal Romance - 3.5 Stars
Dark Siren - YA Paranormal Romance - 4 stars
Smokescreen - Contemporary Romance - 5 stars
The Fire Sermon - Dystopia / Fantasy - 5 stars

You can expect even more in March! :D

Personal Things


University has now fully restarted from after Christmas and though it is hectic and hard work at times it is so much fun. We have now started our Children's Writing & Publishing module in which we are working in groups to conceptualise and part produce a picture book and I am loving that so much! I have completely rediscovered my love of picture books. We have also started production & design which is being taught by AMAZING freelance designer Becky Chilcott, she works with top publishers in the UK and has been part of the design team behind covers such as Throne Of Glass, Jacqueline Wilson's books and the new Harry Potter covers! She is an excellent person to be learning from and she is always talking about children's and YA books which is extra fantastic.

The cheerleading competition season has now started for Universities and though our full cheer team hasn't competed yet February saw the debut competition for our two stunt groups and the pom dance team (which I am in) and we left with 3 trophies :) We are now gearing up for a big competition in early April.


February has actually been pretty uneventful :P

Books Read




March TBR


In February I did a terrible job of sticking to what I planned to read so I'm not going to pressure myself too much to read any particular books as I don't think it works for me but at a minimum I would like to read Hero by Samantha Young, Seven Days by Eve Ainsworth, Crow Moon by Anna McKerrow and Love Bomb by Jenny McLachlan.

Feel free to recommend me books to read in March especially as I am feeling uninspired by most of my TBR (I just want Urban Fantasy at the moment!) :(
 
Here's to a hopefully fantastic March!