Genre: Adult


Thursday, October 31, 2019

A Promising Spin Off: Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

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A Promising Spin Off: Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews
Sapphire Flames
Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #4
Genre: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publication date: August 27th, 2019
by Avon

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrew comes an enthralling new trilogy set in the Hidden Legacy world, where magic means power, and family bloodlines are the new currency of society…

In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery.

But behind the scenes powerful forces are at work, and one of them is Alessandro Sagredo, the Italian Prime who was once Catalina’s teenage crush. Dangerous and unpredictable, Alessandro’s true motives are unclear, but he’s drawn to Catalina like a moth to a flame.

To help her friend, Catalina must test the limits of her extraordinary powers, but doing so may cost her both her House–and her heart.
-A copy was provided by Avon for review-

While I was incredibly taken in by the world that Ilona Andrews had built with the Hidden Legacy series, I was still somewhat skeptical about how I’d take to having a new main character at the helm and especially a younger main character (Catalina is only 21!) As soon as I started reading though, all those doubts I had faded away and I instantly fell in love with these characters and the world again. 

I thought I would spend most of the book missing Nevada and Rogan, and while I certainly missed them, Catalina brought something new to the table and I really enjoyed watching her journey unfold. 

Three years have passed since Wildfire and Catalina is now head of house. The three protected years that Baylor house had are coming to an end and the vultures are about to descend on them. Catalina is now head of the house and is shouldering a burden similar to Nevada’s from earlier books. When a case involving a family friend finds Catalina, she finds it hard to say no even when warned about the dangers of taking it on.

It was so easy to fall into this mystery and watching plot points unfold and I was so happy to be reunited with the Baylor gang. I love how supportive this family is of one another and I genuinely want every single one of them to get their own spinoffs.

Catalina is a formidable new main character and I loved that while both her and Nevada had a lot of similar struggles, Nevada’s laid the foundation for hers and Catalina often had to make choices Nevada would never consider making. Both sisters had a strong head on their shoulders and would do anything for their family but sometimes the way they’d go about doing that differed. Basically, while Nevada and Catalina had a lot of similar characteristics, they didn’t read like carbon copies of each other and I appreciated the effort Ilona Andrews put into distinguishing the two from each other. 

I think one of my biggest qualms with this book was that I didn’t quite buy the romance. Alessandro and Catalina had a 15 minute interaction 3 years ago and that is somehow forms the basis of their entire relationship? Idk, it just… didn’t quite fit for me. I think that as individuals, I appreciated both of them a lot and think they work very well together, I just… wasn’t sold on their infatuation based on a 15 min interaction. I do love them both though and hope to see their romance develop more in the sequels.

That said, I am absolutely sold on this spin off series and cannot wait to see where the sequels will lead us. I also wonder if we will see more of certain grandmother and where that could go.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

An Adorable Rom-Com: Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

An Adorable Rom-Com: Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Posted by on 10/09/2019 • 2 Comments

I am not entirely sure what I expected diving into The Unhoneymooners but I ended up absolutely loving it. Christina Lauren’s books are extremely hyped but I never felt a particular need to read them until I saw the synopsis for The Unhoneymooners. My general distrust of hype made me worry I’d end up not liking the book, especially because I had just DNF’d another hate-to-love romance. INSTEAD, I was cackling and swooning and generally having a great time. 

Olive and Ami may be identical twins but are opposites in every other way. Ami is the lucky twin whereas Olive can never seem to catch a break. When, at Ami’s wedding, everyone but Olive (and the bridegroom’s brother, who she hates) gets extreme food poisoning from eating bad seafood, it…

Adorable if Lacking Tension: Well Met by Jen DeLuca

Adorable if Lacking Tension: Well Met by Jen DeLuca

Posted by on 09/27/2019 • 5 Comments

All I heard was enemies to lovers and Well Met immediately had my attention. I dove in expecting some good banter and cuteness and I definitely got a LOT of cuteness. So, Well Met is truly a bundle of softness and cuteness but I also felt like the plot itself wasn’t always gripping?? No I wasn’t expecting an adventure or murder mystery amidst its pages but I felt like even with the plot revolving around the Renaissance Faire, there wasn’t any amount of urgency or tension in that regard. It sort of just felt like we were gently floating through the happenings of the Faire and everything that came with setting it up and running it through.

The romance itself was adorable but I also felt that it was also…

Falls Short: No Judgments by Meg Cabot

Falls Short: No Judgments by Meg Cabot

Posted by on 09/20/2019 • 2 Comments

Ummm, I don’t know about this one frankly. No Judgments has Cabot’s signature humor and promises a good time and yet, I feel like it falls short of being a truly good book?? There are certain plot points that are sort of swooped over and things like sexual assault, which I feel, aren’t handled with care.

We were introduced to Little Bridge in Bridal Boot Camp and while Bridal Boot Camp wasn’t my fav, I was still very excited to read more about this town and meet new characters. When I dove into No Judgments I found myself sucked into this town and immediately enthralled. The threat of a hurricane made things slightly more exciting (plot-wise) and I was really excited to see Drew and Bree pushed together under such…

Characters Worth Dying For: Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

Characters Worth Dying For: Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

Posted by on 09/13/2019 • 1 Comment

I want to preface this review by stating that I love Roger and Dodger so much. I would DIE for these kids. Months ago, when Middlegame had just come out, I saw someone describe this as a story about two superheroes who screw up a whole lot (paraphrased because I don’t remember who said this or even what platform I came across this description on.) That description is absolutely perfect for this boo. Even though there is a LOT of stuff-bigger than both the MCs- going on, at its heart, Middlegame is 1000% a coming of age story. It follows these kids from childhood well into adulthood as the navigate all the pains of growing up. 

My love for the main characters unfortunately did not help the plot or the…

Hits All the Right Notes: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Hits All the Right Notes: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Posted by on 09/06/2019 • 2 Comments

It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything by Nalini Singh but when I saw she was venturing into the world of suspense, I knew I’d have to pick up A Madness of Sunshine. A Madness of Sunshine is exactly I want from a mystery. It has no flashy red herrings, but is still enticing. In fact, once I hit the 33% mark, I read the book in one sitting. Which, I read books in single sittings all the time, but I’ve been struggling a lot with reading lately and this just… it was what I needed. If you love small town mysteries, where secrets bubble underneath the surface, A Madness of Sunshine is exactly what you need too.

By the 20% mark in this book, I trusted no…

An Adventure Worth Reading: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

An Adventure Worth Reading: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Posted by on 08/23/2019 • 2 Comments

It’s been a while since I finished Gods of Jade and Shadow and yet its managed to linger in my mind. I start every single review I’ve written this year of a fantasy book by stating that I’ve been struggling with fantasy lately but I don’t think that statement truly encompasses how much I’ve been struggling. Part of it is my mood but I think a huge part of it is that fantasy these days is just not the kind of fantasy I grew up loving? I love journeys and adventures through foreign lands. I love fantasies that have strong plots driving them forward. I love fantasies that are fairy-tale-esque. 

When Casiopea’s father died, her mother and her were forced to move in with relatives. Of course, in exchange for…

Disappointing: The Toll by Cherie Priest

Disappointing: The Toll by Cherie Priest

Posted by on 07/25/2019 • 2 Comments

I love southern gothic with a dash of horror and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Cherie Priest so when I came across The Toll, I was curious. I ended up being disappointed. Maybe this book never stood a chance because I read it in the midst of an extreme book hangover from finishing Spin the Dawn but here we are.

For one, there are too many different POVs for my liking. Sometimes many POVs work, especially when distinguished. They were not distinguished in this case so the transitions were always sudden and it took me a bit to figure out who I was following. Honestly, it wasn’t until I hit the 33% mark that I was actually able to differentiate the names and the voices of the characters. So for…