Enthralled (The Enslaved Duet #1) by Giana Darling

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“…A parting of night as if Hades himself was breaching the veil from the underworld.”

Friends, first off, this is a very dark and very taboo story. There are so many content and trigger warnings for abuse, sexual assault, and more, that I wrote at the bottom of this review, so please use caution and make sure you are in the right headspace if this looks like something you’d want to pick up. But if you liked The Debt series back in the day, you’ll probably like this dark and twisted tale, too.

Cosima – On her eighteenth birthday she decides to sell herself to pay off her father’s debt. The arrangement is supposed to be only for five years, and then she is free to go or start up a new contract with the man who she is going to make a deal with.

Alexander – A British royal, who is about to become Cosima’s master, and who has calculated this deal (and his secret plan) for a while, because of something in his past that he is hiding.

“Sometimes we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes we are born to bad people and live a bad life. There doesn’t always have to be a reason for misfortune, Cosima.”

Again, this is a dark BDSM romance that will probably have many of you screaming “Stockholm Syndrome” at me, and that’s valid. But I’m going to be honest with you, I was in Hawaii, with sunburnt feet (damn you water-shoes from Hell) and I just wanted to read something that was going to be sexy, out of my comfort zone, and that I could finish in a day, and this completely checked that list.

I really did enjoy this one, and I thought the consensual sex was very sexy, even if this did have a lot of very triggering content along the way. Obviously, there is a huge power imbalance, and Alexander does so many questionable things throughout the entire novel, but I never wanted to stop reading this one. And I cannot wait to see what Giana Darling does next, and where she will take this duology when Enamoured releases. Because the end of this book? Holy shit, what even?

Overall, this is one of those books you read and review based off enjoyment and maybe not the literary merit, if that makes any sense. I feel like I always read and review my erotic romances differently than other books, and this is very much the case for Enthralled! But if you’re looking for an extreme sub/Dom dynamic, with an age gap romance, and also with major enemies to lovers vibes, then I think you should give this a try. Just, please make sure you are in the mood for something extremely dark, and you’re able to suspend your disbelief.

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Content and Trigger Warnings: human trafficking, slavery, talk of eating disorders, talk of loss of a loved one, loss of a child, forced body modifications (piercings), abuse, sexual assault, a lot of abuse, and torture. This is a very dark book, so please use caution and make sure you are in the right headspace.

Dragons & Tea Book Club | June Pick

dragons & tea

Hey, loves! Okay, today we are announcing our June pick for the #DragonsAndTeaBookClub! And most of you know that it is Pride Month, so we really wanted to pick a LGBTQIAP+ book this month! Also, my pan self might have been a little biased with the book we ended up choosing! But not only is the MC of this pick is pansexual, but she is also biracial (Ecuadorian), she is plus-sized, and she has anxiety. And she is discovering her feelings for her best friend, who is Korean and a lesbian. Also, the author is Chinese and queer. And this book just sounds like it is going to be everything I’ve ever wanted! I hope we fall in love with this hard-hitting YA contemporary, with a sapphic f/f romance, together! 💗

And we hope that you all will join us in our Goodreads Group, too! 🐉☕

But we also will be celebrating and talking with you all on Twitter and Instagram using the (hashtag) #DragonsAndTeaBookClub!


But without further ado, our June pick is:

➽ Final Draft by Riley Redgate 

 

The Dates & Breakdown:
June 10th: Chapters 1 – 5
June 11th: Chapters 6 – 9
June 12th: Chapters 10 – 13
June 13th: Chapters 14 – 17
June 14th: Chapters 18 – End

Content and Trigger Warnings:
Anxiety, internalized ableism, loss of someone
(From Elise’s amazing review!)


And if you’d like to be friends with me and Amy on any other platform:
🐉☕ Melanie: BooktubeInstagram | Twitter | Goodreads
🐉☕ Amy: BooktubeInstagram | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Summerathon Announcement | 2019

Hey friends! I am finally home from Hawaii! And I am finally getting back into my normal routine! I promise, I will have lots of content for you in June! And I’ve missed you all so much! But today I am here to tell you about a really exciting readathon next month that my friend Amy created and asked me to cohost with her and some friends!


THE DATES:
June 21 – June 27


THE HOSTS:
Amy @ A Court of Crowns and Quills

Jen @ Pinot and Pages

Heather @ Bookables

Aimee @ Aimee Reads


THE CHALLENGES:
1. A Beachy Read: this can be either a book set at the beach or just a book think would be perfect to read on the beach or poolside.

2. Sunrise colors on the cover: pink, orange, yellow, purple, blue…really, there are so many directions to go for this.

3. Book with a roadtrip, traveling, or vacation

4. Book set in the summer

5. Food on the cover (Or drink! Make it your own!)

6. Drink your favorite summertime drink while reading!


You can totally double up on challenges, or pick whichever ones look most appealing to you! This is a really laid back readathon, and we would just be honored if you joined us! Also, make sure you follow the instagram and twitter and use #summerathon so we can see and boost your photos, TBRs, and wrap ups!

Also, Please also remember that June is Pride Month, so we are really encouraging you all to make your TBRs as queer as possible! Also, there are some really amazing LGBTQIAP+ readalongs and readathons going on in the month of June, too! And you should check some of them out: Eloise, Kathy, & Boston! And there is also Smutathon happening, which I also plan to make my TBR hella queer! 🌈



I’m so excited for all the things happening in June, and hopefully you’ll join us for our readathon! Again, I’m sorry I haven’t been too active in May, but hopefully I’ll be here with consistent content from June on! I love you all, and I hope life is treating you so very kindly! Happy reading!

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May 2019 TBR

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Hey, friends! I am officially in Hawaii are you are reading this! I know, I wish you were all with me! But this month is going to be very busy for me, but in the best way possible! I am in Hawaii for a little over two weeks, and then I am home for two weeks (where I can hopefully get some good reading done) and then I am off to NYC for Book Expo and Book Con! So, I am only going to add eight books to my TBR and hope I get to most of them!

Also, the month of May is Asian Pacific Heritage Month! I always want to be reading ownvoices Asian books, and supporting Asian authors, but especially in the month of May! So hopefully I can incorporate a little more Asian Lit between my travels, too! Also, May 24th is Pan Visibility Day, so I’d like to at least read one book featuring a pansexual and/or panromantic character(s) around then, too!

But here are the eight things that I hope to get to this month:


Gideon the Ninth (The Ninth House #1) by Tamsyn Muir

My most anticipated release of 2019! And I’m going to be buddy reading this one with Madalyn while we are both on different beaches, but pretending we are together!


Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

This is me and Amy’s book club pick for May! And it is a story celebrating ownvoices Korean mythology!


Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

So many of my friends have suggested that I read this! I honestly can’t wait to see if I end up falling in love like they think that I will!


Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

I can’t believe I haven’t read this one yet, but hopefully it is one of the first things that I pick up in May!


Well Met by Jen DeLuca

Ren Faire romance! Do I need to say anything else?


Arranged by R.K. Lilley

RK Lilley has written some of my favorite steamy scenes of all time, so when she dropped this highly anticipated new release, I screamed! I can’t wait to read this one!


Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker

After The Simple Wild, I am now obligated to read everything (and hopefully love everything) by KA Tucker!


Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

This is the bookclub pick for two of my best friends, who honored me so much by asking me to participate in helping host their May book!

Books With Friends
Live show May 18 at 5pm CDT!
With ChloeSpence, & Trinh!



Okay, friends! I think that’s everything! I hope you’re doing well! I hope you’re loving everything that you’re reading! I can’t wait for my blog and my life to be back to normal come mid June! And I hope you all know how much I miss you! Happy reading!

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Top Ten Tuesday | Favorite Book Quotes

TopTenTuesday
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018!

If you know me at all, you know I am such a quote searcher. Lyrical prose is probably my favorite element of reading! So when I saw that this week’s topic was wanting us to showcase some of our favorite quotes, I knew I had to participate! And I hope you all enjoy! (PS – I am very aware that I’m sappy & a hopeless romantic!) 💕


Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear

“It had flaws, but what does that matter when it comes to matters of the heart? We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That’s as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”


Holly Black, The Darkest Part of the Forest

“We love until we do not. For us, love doesn’t fade gradually. It snaps like a branch bent too far.”


J.D. Salinger, A Girl I Knew

“She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.”


Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

“That’s the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”


Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

“Please never forget that the sun rises and sets with your smile. At least to me it does. You’re the only thing on this planet worth worshipping.”


V.E. Schwab, A Conjuring of Light

“Love and loss,” he said, “are like a ship and the sea. They rise together. The more we love, the more we have to lose. But the only way to avoid loss is to avoid love. And what a sad world that would be.”


George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

“We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.”


Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”


Elliot Wake, Black Iris

“I wouldn’t have to explain that I fall in love with minds, not genders or body parts.”


Edwidge Danticat, Breath, Eyes, Memory

“Love is like the rain. It comes in a drizzle sometimes. Then it starts pouring and if you’re not careful it will drown you.”



Ah, my heart! All ten of these mean the world to me. And it was actually really hard to narrow down if I’m being honest. But please, let me know your favorite quote and the book it is from! Also, friendly reminder, while you are reading this: I am in Hawaii, so if I’m slow writing back and/or seeing your favorite quotes, I promise to fix that when I get home! I hope you all are having the happiest of reading! 💖

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April 2019 Book Haul

Haul4
Hey, friends! I am officially in Hawaii as you are reading this! I had such a busy April, but my mail-person also had a very busy April, too! I am so privileged and so honored to haul so many of these books! And if you can’t tell by my ebook purchases, I am very much ready to read all things romance on the beach during this vacation!


PURCHASED BOOKS:

The Strangers
Wicked Saints – ★★★★★
The Goal – ★
The Red Scrolls of Magic – ★★★★★
Descendant of the Crane
Normal People


PURCHASED EBOOKS:


A Lesson in Thorns
Enthralled
Arranged


PHYSICAL ARCS FROM PUBLISHERS (and friends):


Red, White & Royal Blue – ★★★★★
City of Bones (Lily, I love you so much) – ★★★
The Monster of Elendhaven
The Unhoneymooners – ★★★★
Well Met
Say You Still Love Me
Serious Moonlight
Heirs of Fate (Thank you, Bethany!)
Sorcery of Thorns – ★★★★



Okay, friends! I think that’s everything! I truly had such an amazing book haul this month! And I will be forever thankful! I hope you’re all having an amazing end to this April, and I hope you’re having the happiest of reading! 💖

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Top Ten Tuesday | The First Ten Books I Reviewed

TopTenTuesday
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018!

Okay, so even though my blog is only three years old, I have been reviewing on Goodreads for a really long time! I was legitimately a cringey little kid, and I don’t claim any of the reviews I wrote before 2015, but I tried. But these were the first ten books that little Melanie ever attempted to write reviews for!


Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) by Maggie Stiefvater


Marked (House of Night #1) by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast


Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning


Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead


Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1) by Melissa Marr


Wake (Wake #1) by Lisa McMann


The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides


Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale (Modern Faerie Tales #1) by Holly Black


Youth in Revolt: The Journals of Nick Twisp (Youth in Revolt #1) by C.D. Payne


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green



The nostalgia is real, friends. But these ten books, even though some are truly hot messes, really did pave the way for me to start reviewing. And, more importantly, they were the gateway to me connecting with so many people and making so many friends! Tell me what was one of the first books you ever reviewed! And I hope you’re having the happiest of reading, loves!

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