Book Review: About A Rogue

cover-about a rogueTitle: About A Rogue [Desperately Seeking Duke 1]

Author: Caroline Linden

Genre: Historical Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

AmazonButtonGoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

It’s no love match…
Bianca Tate is horrified when her sister Cathy is obliged to accept an offer of marriage from Maximilian St. James, notorious rake. Defiantly she helps Cathy elope with her true love, and takes her sister’s place at the altar.

It’s not even the match that was made…
Perched on the lowest branch of his family tree, Max has relied on charm and cunning to survive. But an unexpected stroke of luck gives him an outside chance at a dukedom—and which Tate sister he weds hardly seems to matter.

But could it be the perfect match?
Married or not, Bianca is determined to protect her family’s prosperous ceramics business, even when Max shows an affinity for it—not to mention a dangerous ability to intrigue and tempt Bianca herself. And when Max realizes how beautiful and intelligent and desirable Bianca is, he’ll have to prove he’s no rogue, but the passionately devoted husband she craves…

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I loved About A Rogue by Caroline Linden, this was a new author for me, and I dare say, now one of my favorites. The book was exceedingly well-written and well-paced. The characters had depth, the romance was both achingly sweet, turbulent at times, and sinfully spicy. It was nice to have a male lead that was a bit of a rake without being a jerk, and a female lead that though from a small country town wasn’t necessarily a simpering, naïve maiden. Bianca was fiery and strong-willed, and willing to admit her mistakes. I loved them both.
 
If you are looking for a strong historical romance to sink into, I highly recommend this one.

Book Review: The Summer I Drowned

cover-the summer I drownedTitle: The Summer I Drowned

Author: Taylor Hale

Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

GoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

Five years after almost drowning, Olivia Cathart returns home to Caldwell Beach determined to face her fears and take some risks―not just by swimming, but by opening her heart. Hoping to rekindle her friendships, she’s excited about a carefree summer with her best friends Keely and Miles. But life in the sleepy town has changed, and no one and nothing is as it seems.

When a series of startling crimes threaten Olivia’s fragile state, she is plunged into a terrifying game of cat and mouse. Her only solace from the chaos is West, Miles’s disowned and ruggedly handsome brother, but even he can’t answer the question on everyone’s minds―is Olivia really in danger or is it simply all in her head?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

The Summer I Drowned by Taylor Hale was a captivating read from a new author, and I couldn’t be happier with my experience reading it. The book was well-written; the narrative was clean, easy to read, flowed well, and moved along at a good pace. The characters were fantastically complex and real in the way they were portrayed, down to the terrible decisions that teens sometimes made, and the misunderstandings that came between them. The romance was subtle but believable. The terror and suspense of the plot drove the story forward; an ever-present sour note that made me tense as I read on.
 
If you enjoy Young Adult Thrillers, Suspense, or Mysteries, I highly recommend you give this book a try. It was an absolutely striking debut novel.

Free Fiction Friday #189

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Free Fiction Friday! For those of you who are new to this blog, or who may have missed out on the previous Free Fiction Fridays—every Friday I post an article containing 10 fiction e-books that are 100% FREE on Amazon at the time of posting and an additional 5 that are roughly of the same genre, and on sale for less than $5.

I try my best to make sure they are all 4+ stars, have over 40+ reviews, and are 100 pages minimum—so you can have a hand-picked list of the best-of-the-best to choose from and enjoy over the long weekend (while I do more important things, like laundry). I try to switch up the genres every week, and this week our theme is:  Science Fiction & Fantasy!

THE FREE

fff-1fff-2fff-3fff-4fff-5fff-6fff-7fff-8fff-9fff-10

THE BARGAINS

bar-1bar-2bar-3bar-4bar-5

Book Review: Herb Magic

cover-herb magicTitle: Herb Magic: An Introductions to Magical Herbalism and Spells

Author: Patti Wigington

Genre: Religion & Spirituality, Non-Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars

AmazonButton

Description/Synopsis:

Herbal magic is a powerful method of inviting protection, love, health, and wealth into your life—it can even aid you in finding guidance through divination. Perfect for fresh and seasoned herbalists alike, Herb Magic is your easy-to-digest guide to magical herbalism, introducing you to the spiritual side of herbs and how to use them in folkloric spells and rituals.

Dive into magical herbalism with a reader-friendly overview of this old-world magic belief system, including advice on the best time to practice, building an altar, and setting intentions. Learn about the healing properties of dozens of sacred herbs, how to unlock their power, and magical uses before exploring 75 easy-to-follow spells and rituals, including simplified magic for the witch on the go.

This magic herbalism book includes:

  • Principles of magic—A simple-to-navigate intro shows you the history of magical herbalism along with help on prepping and planning, as well as some of the preparations you’ll be working with.

  • Magic herbs—Understand and honor your herbs to better your magical results with illustrated profiles for 40 herbs, including their magical qualities and benefits.

  • Spells and rituals—Embrace the magic of herbalism every day with spells and rituals for protection, love, healing, wealth, and even divination—plus a handy herb glossary.

Empower and enrich yourself with the magical power of herbalism.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Herb Magic by Patti Wigington is a fantastic, quick resource for beginning herbalists, whether your interest is spurred on by Wiccan practices or otherwise. There is a lot of good, basic information, resources to learn more, and beautiful illustrations of the herbs being described within.

If you are at all interested in learning about herbalism, particularly in rituals and spellwork, this is a good place to start. The book was easy to read and follow and contains an abundance of knowledge.

Book Review: Modern Wicca

cover-modern wiccaTitle: Modern Wicca: Beliefs and Traditions for Contemporary Life

Author: Rowan Morgana

Genre: Religion & Spirituality, Non-Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars

AmazonButtonGoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

Lighting the Wiccan path for the modern practitioner. The magickal practice of Wicca centers devotion to nature, promotes peace and balance, and embraces self-determination. Walk down the divine path with Modern Wicca, an up-to-date overview of the principles of the faith. Whether you’re just starting out or have already begun your journey, this inclusive guide can help you focus your intentions and claim your personal power.

Learn the history of Wicca, and find out how it has evolved into the modern day. Get acquainted with common deities of the Wiccan traditions, observe the spiritual significance of the holidays, and celebrate the full moon’s monthly cycles. Details for creating altars, gathering tools, and spellcasting offer plenty of possibilities to adapt and enrich your worship.
Inside Modern Wicca, you’ll find:

* Diverse traditions―Explore the variety of belief systems, and examine the pros and cons of joining a coven or practicing Wicca solitarily.

* The power of spells―Harness spell casting for positive change with 8 spells for protection, house purification, healing, and more.

* Rituals and rites―Learn 8 key rituals to foster connection with the moon and sun, Goddess and God, and Mother Earth throughout life.

Step into the light of the Wiccan way with the guidance of Modern Wicca.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Modern Wicca by Rowan Morgana was an eye-opening and intensely thought-provoking read for me – someone not of the Wiccan faith. I have never been a religious person and classify myself as something akin to an Athiest or Agnostic dependent upon my place in life… but after reading this book, I can say that IF I were to ascribe to a system of belief, it might very well lead me towards Wicca.

The Wiccan belief system, which centers around nature, inclusivity, and the idea of balance between our actions and their consequences spoke to me on a very human and basic level. Though the idea of altars, rituals, spells, and magick may seem silly to the casual observer, it was fascinating to see the underlying currents of real thoughtfulness and awareness that went into the physical acts of ritual and spellcraft. There is a sense of patience and understanding in what Wiccan practitioners do that goes beyond the surface level things we see and hear about Wicca in the media.

I hold a certain respect for Wiccans after having delved this little bit into their world and am certainly interested in reading more. (Author, hit me up if you need more reviews!) This book was well-written, well-organized, and came across as both thorough and unbiased in the way the author portrayed information. If you are interested in learning about Wicca, I’d say that this is an excellent place to start.

Free Fiction Friday #188

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Free Fiction Friday! For those of you who are new to this blog, or who may have missed out on the previous Free Fiction Fridays—every Friday I post an article containing 10 fiction e-books that are 100% FREE on Amazon at the time of posting and an additional 5 that are roughly of the same genre, and on sale for less than $5.

I try my best to make sure they are all 4+ stars, have over 40+ reviews, and are 100 pages minimum—so you can have a hand-picked list of the best-of-the-best to choose from and enjoy over the long weekend (while I do more important things, like laundry). I try to switch up the genres every week, and this week our theme is:  Young Adult Mystery, Thriller & Suspense!

THE FREE

fff-1fff-2fff-3fff-4fff-5fff-6fff-7fff-8fff-9fff-10

THE BARGAINS

bar-1bar-2bar-3bar-4bar-5

Book Review: Cyber’s Change

cover-cyber's changeTitle: Cyber’s Change [Sapiens Run 1]

Author: Jamie Davis

Genre: New Adult, Science Fiction

Rating: 3 Stars

AmazonButtonGoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

She was raised to fear them. But now she’s become her own worst enemy…

America, 2055. Cass is equal parts excited and nervous to leave her Sapiens Movement enclave. Stepping away from her technologically-conservative family for the first time, she sets off for college with dreams of saving humanity. But as the Sapiens girl falls for her cybernetically-enhanced roommate, her deeply programmed beliefs begin to glitch…

Confused in a world that no longer makes sense, Cass barely registers the horrific accident that leaves her near death. When she wakes up, she discovers the same technology she’s always hated is the only thing keeping her alive. No longer purely human, Cass questions everything she thought she knew about good and evil.

As tensions between man and machine head for a meltdown, Cass must choose a side before the conflict turns deadly…

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

There were some things about this book that I really liked, and then others, not so much. On the one hand, the writing was clear and easy to read. The narrative voice flowed well and there weren’t any noticeable typos. For the most part, I enjoyed the plot and characters – but that isn’t to say there weren’t flaws.

The romance between Shelby and Cass didn’t feel genuine or even like a romance at all. Although I applaud the author in being progressive, it felt more like a gimmick than anything real. In a way, it served to showcase that the major struggle of the plot was really just a thinly veiled approximation of the LGBTQ+ struggle vs. conservative extremists. It may have been switched out to technology vs. the anti-technology groups, but it was very much the same battle. Having Shelby and Cass’s relationship throw into that dichotomy just made it obvious in a way I’m not sure did the plot any favors.

Overall, the book was okay. There were parts I liked, parts that nearly lost my interest, and parts I wish had more depth. If you enjoy science fiction, you may enjoy this.