Blog Tour: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

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ARC provided by Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.

“Knowledge always has the potential to be dangerous. It is a more powerful weapon than any sword or spell.”

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve been looking for a story all about someone living in a library, surrounded by magical books, while also going on adventure after adventure, for my entire life. And I truly believe that not only did Margaret Rogerson give me that, she is giving the YA literature community a gift from above. I feel like when An Enchantment of Ravens came out most people loved it, but it did seem a little bit polarizing, while I liked it but I never was in love with it. But Sorcery of Thorns captivated me from page one, and I adored it so very much that there was never a moment that I wanted to shut this very magical book and stop reading.

And like I said above, this is a story all about a girl named Elisabeth who has grown up in a library all of her life. She wants to eventually be a Warden, who is a person who protects the library, the people, and the books, because some books in this world are very much alive and are capable of doing some very bad things. But one night, when there is an attack at the library and the surrounding town, she takes it upon herself to defend the only home she has ever known. Yet, this act ends up making her the only suspect in the crime.

“Dreadful things roam the shadows while the human world sleeps.”

So, Elisabeth gets sent away and is forced to travel alongside a nobleman and sorcerer named Nathaniel Thorn, who also has a companion named Silas who happens to be a demon. In this world, the old royal families have all made pacts with demons to give them magical powers, and these pacts are passed down from generation to generation, but at a cost. Also, Silas is easily my favorite character in this book and I would die for him this very instant.

But Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas’s paths all continue to cross while Elisabeth is trying to prove her innocence, while also stumbling upon a conspiracy theory to end all other conspiracy theories about what is really happening to the libraries in this world. And the adventures they go on, the secrets they unfold, and the discoveries they make together, was nothing short of a treat to read.

The thing that I didn’t love about this book, and the reason I am giving it four stars, is because I didn’t love the very vague representation. Obviously, I want authors to write what they want to write and what they feel comfortable with, but this was a little too subtly done for me. Yes, we have a main character that does express attraction to more than one gender, which I am always going to be living for, but we get a very brushed off moment with a very minor character being on the ace spectrum. Also, I think another leading character could possibly also be on the ace spectrum, but the representation in this book is so quiet that you are constantly left second guessing yourself while reading, and it feels bad, even with the excuse that this story is set in a fantasy world because the mentions are so very brief, too.

Overall, I did love this story. It was so unique and so whimsical; I couldn’t resist getting completely swept off my feet. I loved all three characters and their dark backgrounds, while gaining so much hope for their futures. I loved the writing and all the twists and turns that this adventure packed story delivered. I loved the historical setting, which is very reminiscent of The Infernal Devices! I loved the romance even though it was such a slow-burn that I wanted to scream in the best way possible! I just loved it all, and I can’t wait to see what Margaret Rogerson does next! Especially because this is a standalone, but I could totally see more in this world after that last page.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Content and Trigger Warnings: anxiety depiction, anxiety attacks, talk of loss of a loved one, captivity, talk of forced institutionalization, and violence.

Buddy read with Sol, Alexa, Kristin, & Alana! ❤

Arranged by R.K. Lilley

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“He hated me on principle, and he fascinated me in spite of myself.”

If you’ve been reading my reviews for a few years, you’d know that I am utter and complete R.K. Lilley trash. Not only is my favorite sex scene of all-time in Bad Things, but R.K. Lilley proves again and again that she truly is out here writing all the sexiest of scenes in the romance genre. And even though I didn’t love Arranged completely, the sex scenes in this were so fucking hot that I feel like I need a glass of water just writing this review. Seriously, if you’re looking for steam, look no further, and I still think that this was such an enthralling enemies to lovers, age gap, standalone romance that was a treat to read.

Noura – A very young up-and-coming model, who just sold her virginity and promise of marriage to a man she doesn’t know, but for a whole lot of money.

Calder/Banks – The soon-to-be groom, regardless of how he feels about the situation his family has placed him in.

I mean, with a promise like this, you all know what you’re getting into and you know it’s going to be messy in the best way possible. Noura is so sweet and kind, but is pushed to her limits trying to further her career while also playing the part of the perfect wife to a husband who lets her know constantly that he doesn’t want to be in this marriage. Yet, their sexual tension and compatibility are off the charts with each other, so it puts them in a very unique situation that both of them are afraid to approach.

Okay, this paragraph is going to have a spoiler in it, so read at your own risk! As always, I list my content and trigger warnings at the end of this review, but I feel like I need to talk about one of those triggers in a section all of its own; cheating. There is off page cheating that comes out at the very end of this story, and if you’ve read other reviews for this title on Goodreads, then you will know that a lot of people in the romance community are very upset about it, and that’s valid. For me, the cheating wasn’t unbearable because it was off page and because the other character doesn’t easily forgive the adultery. Also, I read and review a lot of new adult romance differently than other kinds of literature, since I’m really reading it to just escape and suspend my disbelief. Like, this is a story about a girl selling her virginity and marrying a guy she doesn’t know; I think cheating is a little believable in a story like this? But, again, everyone’s feelings are valid, but these are just my feelings on the controversy surrounding this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this, and I will continue to read everything that R.K. Lilley writes. I truly hope whatever she does write next will be set in Vegas like so many of her other books, but she set up so many characters in this NYC world to eventually have their own books written about them. But if you’re looking for something a little over the top, but with some of the best written sex scenes 2019 has to offer, then I completely recommend you pick this one up.

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Content and Trigger Warnings: underage drinking, a lot of very triggering talk of eating disorders and restricted eating that were personally very triggering to me, talk of statutory rape of a side character, a lot of very controlling “alpha male” behavior that I know will be too much for many readers, talk of past loss of a loved one, mention of past cancer of a loved one, assault, cheating, and violence.

Buddy read with Paloma! ❤

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

TBR5

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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