Dual Reviews: Heart on Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #3)


Shelly’s Review:

This is the final book in the Kingmaker Chronicles trilogy (well, I suspect there will be more books set in the same world, but it concludes the three-book arc). The book begins with a shocking betrayal before Cat and Griffin head off to find a potion to help her unlock her powers, since they haven’t been reliable.

I’m not quite sure how to even properly write this review because I love the world Amanda Bouchet created and using Greek/Roman gods and mythological creatures was fantastic! I love Griffin, Carver, Kato, and Flynn. I love Lycheron, the alpha centaur. I feel like the supporting characters didn’t have much to do in this one. It’s mainly Cat and Griffin.

We spend a LOT of time in Cat’s head, and to be honest, it took a lot away from my reading experience. Cat still has so many doubts, she blames herself for everything, she angsts, she doesn’t trust, she doesn’t believe in herself, etc. etc. And we hear about it. A LOT.

It felt like there was SO MUCH talking. There would be an awesome action scene and then twenty pages of talking. I felt like there were really only about three main scenes in the whole book, a couple love scenes, and the rest was talking.

The scenes with Cat’s mother, the mega villain, were great. But, on the other hand, the ending felt… anti-climactic. I suppose it was fitting, in its own way, but there was no epic battle. The previous books felt to me like there was going to be an epic battle.

“Little Bean” is Cat’s nickname for her unborn baby. I really appreciated that Cat wasn’t “benched” during the book because she was pregnant. She still fought and was in the thick of it all. So that was excellent. What I didn’t like is just that it was used SO MUCH (87 times, I checked).

Overall, I would still recommend this trilogy. Griffin is one of my favorite male leads in romantasy. There are still plenty of stories that could be told in this world – and I would read them! Personally, and unfortunately, I just didn’t love this final installment.

One other thing I would say is that the second love scene was very well done. It was sexy, yet intensely emotional and intimate. I would imagine it’s difficult to capture that balance between alpha and sensitive husband without making it seem cheesy.

My review for A Promise of Fire.★★★★★

My review for Breath of Fire.★★★★


Kira’s Review:

Once again I have mixed feelings. Some things were so good. I love Cat, Griffin, and their friends and family. They didn’t get enough page time together, so it wasn’t as humorous as the other books. Lots of page time was spent in Cat’s head while she wallowed in endless self pity and tried to figure things out. In a way it’s a good thing that Cat doubts her worth because I’d probably hate her if she were the arrogant type. There was a little too much of it. How many amazing things did she have to do before beginning to realize her worth?

To wrap things up Cat had to spend time with some new characters or see old ones in a new way. I desperately missed Beta Team. They were there, but it wasn’t the same. It wasn’t really a group effort to do things; it was all about Cat. The good thing was she was making better decisions and wasn’t as reckless. The character growth was needed, some of which came from her interactions with different characters.

I adore Griffin. The guy is almost perfect, but therein lies the problem. Perfection isn’t always interesting and can be predictable. Griffin is a great character, an excellent book boyfriend, but it was so easy to figure out what he’d do next. He strove to do what was right and fair. That part of him being perfect I liked. It was his constant support of Cat that got on my nerves. When she did really stupid things I wish he wouldn’t have forgiven her so quickly. Sometimes someone other than Cat needed to call her out on her own bullshit.

I didn’t care much about Ianthe or Bellanca. They both popped up towards the end of the last book. Neither of them got enough page time for me to get an attachment to them. Neither of them played much of a pivotal role in the story either. It was weird to me how attached all of the characters were to these two. It made sense that Cat cared for Ianthe since she was her sister, but none of the other bonds seemed realistic.

Little Bean are two words I’d be happy to never hear again. Was it really necessary for a baby the size of a bean to be mentioned so much? The way the baby reacted to things was unusual. The baby didn’t do anything, but still had a strong presence. It was weird.

The end had no big surprises. There were a few bumps in the road on the way to getting there. There were some surprises but none of them feel truly shocking. They didn’t drastically alter what was already known. It’s the characters that made this series, which more than made up for the other areas where it was lacking. Overall, I’d definitely recommend reading this series.

My review for A Promise of Fire ★★★★★

My review for Breath of Fire ★★★★



Shelly’s Best of 2017 Books

It’s getting closer and closer to 2018! This might be the time you start to think back on everything you did (or didn’t) do and start categorizing into likes or dislikes. I was looking at all the books I read in 2017 over at Goodreads and thought I would put together a list. These are all books that were published in 2017 that I read and really enjoyed.

2017 is the year I discovered the reverse harem trope and how much I love it!

I think my most disappointing new release read was The Empress (Diabolic #2). I just didn’t like it as much as the first book. 😦

2017 is the year I finally read the graphic novel series, Saga, and although I found it uneven; overall, it’s pretty awesome.

I hope you have a great rest of the year – and Happy Reading!



December New Releases!

It’s that time again to do our monthly new releases. Most of the books coming out this month aren’t books I’m dying to read. That’s probably for the best for most people. This tends to be a busy time of year. I unlike most people have plenty of time to read this month. It’s very slow for me at work this time of year, and I’m allowed to read books. I take advantage of that privilege. 😀

December 4



Unruly: A Legacy Novel (Cross + Catherine #3) by Bethany-Kris

If you’re looking for an entertaining mafia romance that actually has mafia issues, check this series out. Bethany-Kris’s books aren’t great, but I can’t put them down once I start one.

         December 5



The Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden

If you liked The Bear and the Nightingale, read this. I was given an ARC. It was so much better than the first book although it still has it’s YA moments. Check out my review here.




Year One (Chronicles of the One #1) by Nora Roberts

I personally am not a fan of dystopian novels, but this does sound interesting. I thought I’d add this to the list since it seems like something a lot of people will want to read.





Flame in the Dark (Soulwood #3) by Faith Hunter

I haven’t read this series, but I do love UF. The Jane Yellowrock series was good except for the multiple love interests. This takes place in the same world. I’ll get around to this eventually.




Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane #12.6) by Elizabeth Hoyt

For a little Christmas fun who can resist the latest novella in the Maiden Lane series?


         December 12



Killman Creek (Stillhouse Lake #2) by Rachel Caine

The highly anticipated sequel to Stillhouse Lake. These are mysteries but are not paranormal or fantasy like many of her other books. The early reviews for this have been overwhelmingly positive.


                                          December 19



Chaos Falls (Chaos Rises #3) by Pippa DaCosta

The final book in the Chaos Rises series! It’s a spin-off of The Veil Series. I’ve been dying to read this one! I love almost everything by Pippa DaCosta. This one features Li’el. He’s always fascinated me. I can’t wait!


        December 31



Claimed in Shadows (Midnight Breed #15) by Lara Adrian

Admittedly I am seriously behind on this series. This one features Aric Chase and Kaya. Who can resist PNR with vampires?

October 31st Book Releases

These aren’t Halloween books, but will be released tomorrow. I have read a couple of these by ARC, but others just look really good! Happy Reading!


The fourth book in the Harmony Black series is the best one yet! I loved this! Packed with action and surprises, the pacing is great, there is character growth, surprises. It’s a game-changer.


The long-awaited follow up to The Winter King (which I haven’t read yet), I know a lot of people are anxious to get their hands on this one.


This is the second book in the The Diabolic trilogy. The first one I loved and gave a fangirling five stars. I was lucky enough to score an ARC of The Empress, but unfortunately found it tragically underwhelming. Too much politics and intrigue mixed with religious extremism. :/ But, it’s probably just me and everyone else will love it!


This is a middle grade book, but it looks good. A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world–but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination.”


The company says Otherworld is amazing—like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictive—that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise Otherworld will make all your dreams come true. This looks like something I would read. Or try to read, anyway. 🙂

Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!

Oh, and there is one day left to enter our Godsgrave giveaway!

Godsgrave ARC and Bookish Goodies Giveaway


Guest Blogger: Author Q&A with Stacey Marie Brown!

We have our very first guest blogger, Jessica, who scored an author Q&A with Stacey Marie Brown. Jessica is a member at the MacHalo group at Goodreads and she is awesome. So, without further ado, here we go!


Stacey Marie Brown is an independent writer of urban fantasy/paranormal romance, but to me she is The Abolisher of Mundane Chores (cause that’s a thing!). She’s the reason I’ve ignored dishes, laundry, and sometimes sleep. Tying three series (Lightness Series, The Collector Series, and Darkness Series) together into an even larger story, she has introduced readers to strong female leads, lovable friends and sidekicks, hot men, magic, and lots of fast paced adventure. Her latest book (that will keep me awake – again) is Fall of the King, She carved out some time to answer a few questions and let me geek out and pick her brain. The fabulously badass ladies of Dust Off Your MacHalo gave me a place to share what I’ve learned. Here’s what Stacey had to say.

Jessica: I’m just going to dive in here and say the release of Fall of the King is right around the corner (like, days away! I’m a little excited for this! Questions. Right.). What are you able to share about this installment? How will it fit into the rest of the series? Will we see some old friends?

Stacey: Oooh, I don’t want to spoil the story, but Lars has finally met his match. And it will be a dual POV. You will see a different side to him…a more vulnerable side. I think some who may have not liked him before are going to see the man underneath. The true Lars.

We will definitely be seeing old friends! With every book in the Lightness Saga, I am tying in the Darkness and Collector series for one final bang! Lars is book 3, the next book is the FINAL one in all three series!!

Jessica: The world you’ve created and woven into 3 different series is vast and layered, with intersecting characters, all affecting each other. Did you know ahead of time which characters would be connected and that they would all be part of a bigger story?

Stacey: No! I was dead set against combining the series at first (why you can read Collector Series or the Darkness Series first), but as the story progressed, they decided for me. And it made sense that their paths would all eventually cross.

Jessica: Once you’ve come up with one of your badass story ideas, what’s your writing process like?

Stacey: I really wish I could say I have one. I get my butt in a chair and write. I do a very basic outline and mostly write as I go, so it takes me longer than some other authors. I have an acting/directing background and they play in my head like a movie. I’m just there to tell their story.

Jessica: There is mythology and lore themes in your books. Do you have to do a lot research? What inspires your mythology?

Stacey: I do enough research for me to understand and know the story, but then put my own twist on it…. or, I make it up completely. That’s what’s so awesome about fantasy. You can play with myths and legends.

The Fall of the King (Lightness Saga #3) is released on October 12, 2017.

It’s a steal of a deal for only $0.99 to pre-order now at Amazon.


From Goodreads:

Stacey Marie Brown is a lover of hot fictional bad boys and sarcastic heroines who kick butt. She also enjoys books, travel, TV shows, hiking, writing, design, and archery. Stacey swears she is part gypsy, being lucky enough to live and travel all over the world.

That’s all for now, folks. Stay tuned for more from Jessica.




Godsgrave ARC and Bookish Goodies Giveaway

Bear with us as we attempt our very first giveaway! If we do it wrong, hey, we’re on a learning curve. But, it’s a good one!


The main prize is an ARC of Godsgrave, (the book was released on September 5, just over a month ago, along with a cool engraved HEA stone and “book nerd” pin). Here is our review: Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff.

Since we have never done one of these before, we are going to keep it simple! To enter, follow the link below and fill it out!

I’m sure you’ve seen these before, so enough said and get to entering!


Disclaimers and Legalese Stuff:

* Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. Must be 18 and older and a resident of the United States. The number of eligible entries received determine the odds of winning. The value of the three items is approximately $15 (that is for the bookish baubles; the ARC has no monetary value).

* You must log on to the Rafflecopter widget (at link) in order to enter an email address so we can contact you when you win!

* The giveaway starts midnight Eastern time on Sunday, October 8, 2017 and ends at midnight Eastern time on October 31, 2017 with the winner being announced in a later blog.

** Dust Off Your MacHalo is not responsible for any errors, technical issues, and entry to the sweepstakes waives and releases us from any liability whatsoever. By entering the giveaway, you agree to be bound by the decisions of Dust Off Your MacHalo and these official rules.

Ok, hopefully we covered everything.

The link one more time:



October New Releases!

October 2nd



The Ghostwriter by Alessandra Torre

Genre: Suspense

A suspense novel where a writer has 3 months to live and confesses her darkest secrets in her final book.

October 3rd


Origin (Robert Langdon #5) by Dan Brown

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

I can’t resist a new Robert Langdon novel. This type of novel is not my usual go to genre, but these are entertaining and so much better than the movies.



A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings #1) by Kevin Hearne

Genre: Fantasy

The world is invaded by giants and humans must rely on magical beasts to save them. I liked Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series, so I want to check this out.


The Scot Beds His Wife (Victorian Rebels #5) by Kerrigan Byrne

Genre: Historical Romance

A woman on the run ends up in Scotland under an assumed name. It’s a case of opposites attract when she meets a lord who is also her adversary. This was not one of my favorite books in the series. You can check out my review on goodreads.


Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Genre: Romance

Merit is sick of keeping her family’s secrets. When she decides to leave them she has to tell the truth, which may have consequences for her. Somehow all of this involves a guy that she loves.

October 6th


Gun Shy by Lili St. Germain

Genre: Suspense

Two girls nine years apart have gone missing under the same circumstances. Not sure about this one but I have liked of books of hers. And I love the cover!



Skorpion (Den of Mercenaries #5) by London Miller

Genre: Darkish Romance

I am behind on this series but want to get caught up on it soon. These are pretty good for books about mercenaries.

October 10th


All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

A family is capable of performing miracles. Three of them want to change things, but their miracles don’t go as planned.

October 17th


Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane #12) by Elizabeth Hoyt

Genre: Historical Romance

Good but not one of the best in the series. I liked Dyemore, but Iris was plain and boring. Iris went from disliking him to loving him practically overnight with no reason for the change. It irritated me. Read my review on goodreads.


Ruthless King (Mount Trilogy #1) by Meghan March

Genre: Romance

Lachlan loans money to Keira’s family in their time of need. Now she’s in his debt. I read a series of hers that were extremely angsty, but I couldn’t put ’em down.

October 24th


The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance

Nina was having her debut into society. She was an outcast because of her magic. Hector also had magic. Their relationship was complicated. I got an ARC. It was good but very aggravating sometimes. It had two different love triangles. Read my review on goodreads.


Soulbound (Dark Arts #3) by Bec McMaster

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Sebastian is a sorcerer trying to save his father. He was forced to marry Cleo who has the ability to see into the future. They will either destroy each other or save each other. Sounds really good!


Switchback (Nightshades #2) by Melissa F. Olson

Genre: Urban Fantasy

I read the first book in the series because it’s about vampires although they call them nightshades. It did follow the standard vampire lore. It wasn’t great but I still want to read this one.

October 31st


Cold Spectrum (Harmony Black #4) by Craig Schaefer

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Harmony and Jessie were framed for a serious crime, and they have to prove their innocence. I only read the first book in this series. I’ll probably never read more because I don’t like Harmony. Other people I know love this series, and his other series Daniel Faust of which this is a spinoff is amazing!


The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (Charley Davidson #12) by Darynda Jones

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Reyes has gone evil and Charley has to save the day. I gave up on this series after book 8. The main reason I read it was for Reyes, but he changed after a while. Charley became unbearable. It’s laughable that she is supposed to be some great being. Plenty of people still like this series, so I added it to the list.