Book Review: Once Upon A [Stolen] Time by Samreen Ahsan

26876204Title: Once Upon A [Stolen] Time by Samreen Ahsan
Genre: Fiction – Fantasy Romance
Length:  221 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication Date:  December 1, 2015
Rating – 4/5

2015…
All her life, Myra Farrow has been obsessed with medieval castles—and the kings and princes who once inhabited them. Now, wealthy videogame designer Steve Bernard wants her to model for a princess character in his new game. Myra can’t resist his offer, especially when she learns that Steve plans to film inside the mysterious Hue Castle—a cursed, barren, colorless place forbidden to visitors for centuries. But unknown to Myra, her soul is bound to Hue Castle by blood and sorcery. When she enters its doors, she awakens dark powers that will reach through time—stealing her past, torturing her present, and rewriting her future.

1415…
Edward Hue, the last of the Hue royal bloodline, has never stood in the sunshine or held a living flower. Cursed from birth to live in darkness and bring death to all he touches, he is at the mercy of his cruel, tyrannical father, who will not rest until he shatters Edward’s soul and makes his son into a diabolical copy of himself. Edward’s one hope is the mysterious woman who haunts his dreams—who will either break his curse and bring him out of the darkness, or destroy him utterly.

For Myra and Edward, past and future collide in a tale of love, obsession, betrayal, and the hope for redemption.

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I’d like to thank the author Samreen Ahsan for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review of it.

Once Upon a [Stolen] Time is an Adult fantasy novel about a young woman who has been obsessed with medieval times and the subject of courtly love ever since she can remember. She swears that she was meant to live in a different time and figure this may be why she has yet to find love. Seeing her situation as somewhat hopeless, her mom and a family friend endeavor to set her up with her family friend’s son who just happens to be handsome and wealthy and has access to a castle that she has longed to visit ever since she can remember. When she gets there though she soon finds that in exploring the castle she is connected to it in ways she could not have imagined.

I haven’t read as much fantasy as I would have liked to this year and it’s my favorite genre so I we particularly excited to have the chance to read this book. This book ended up being a pretty good story, I gave it a four star rating on Goodreads, which by that scale means I really really liked it – and I did!

It wasn’t a retelling but I did get a Beauty and the Beast vibe at times. I think I expected the story to be a lot lighter than it was and was surprised to find that it definitely had a lot of dark themes to it like abuse and torture. It also had romantic and sexual elements as well. I very much enjoyed the blending of the lighter side as well as the darker side of this modernish fairy tale. Without revealing too much I would like to say that I rather enjoyed the time traveling element in this story and can’t wait to experience more of it in the rest of the series. Even though this story is classified as adult, I felt like it could even qualify as YA. At least that’s what it felt like to me.

I am anxious to continue on and see what happens to the characters that we have met, specifically our two main protagonists. They both have a lot of internal and external conflicts to resolve, some of which they will have to do together and wow, I must say that I did not see the ending coming and when I finished the last page I just…couldn’t believe it. I can’t wait to continue. I recommend this to anyone who loves fairy tale inspired stories especially darker ones. You can purchase a copy on Amazon by clicking below!

 

 

Blog Tour Book Review: Along Temptation’s Edge by Nik August

 
Title: Along Temptation’s Edge AKKADIA written Nik August
Genre: Fantasy – Romance
Publisher: Libertine Press
Page count: 309
Format: Ebook (read on Microsoft Surface Nook App)
Rating – 4/5
A sleepy Hamlet on the east end of Long Island… A peaceful
playground, but what lies beneath may change human civilization, even human
evolution… Forever.
Danny, a self-centered playboy, has finally fallen in
love. Or, is he an unwitting pawn in the young woman’s quest to save her
ancient, secret world. How can he be sure of her motives, when even his own
memories are suspect?
Danny, his best friend, Aaron, and Aaron’s girlfriend,
Sarah, get caught up in a tangled web of sexual pleasure and deceit, as they
try to save another society from impending extinction.
 During Danny’s misadventure, many will seek to destroy
him. Others will give up their home world to help him. Yet, will they pay the
ultimate price? A war is imminent, but how can the human race defend themselves
from an unknown enemy?
 

Hello and welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for Along Temptation’s Edge AKKADIA written by Nik August. A big thank you to Nik August and Libertine Press for allowing me to read and review this book!

Along Temptation’s Edge is a fantasy story with a strong romance element. It centers around Ilmartutar and Danny, two unlikely people who find themselves in the middle of a Romeo & Juliet type story – except far more sexy and imaginative. Theirs is an unlikely romance due to the fact that Ilmar is not human but who comes from a race of people that dwell, secretly, within the Earth. Aside from this romance are other small romances throughout the book, as well as the problem Ilmar’s people have of keeping their existence a secret from humans while humans are trying to unravel mysteries that may lead them to discover the hidden race!

As you can see, there is a lot happening in this book which resulted in my literally devouring the book. I really liked this book and I had so much fun reading it. It’s one of those “just like candy” books where I can’t put it down because I’m enjoying reading it so much, the story was so interesting and fun. I really liked learning about Ilmar and her people, their politics and customs. I loved seeing her people go to the surface and attempt to interact with humans, overall I just really liked reading about the relationships between the characters and seeing those develop throughout the book.

The only thing I didn’t like about it is there are a lot of spelling and grammar errors but I liked reading the story so much that this is one of those books that I didn’t really care so much. Sometimes if I’m not enjoying the book as much as I did this one, that kind of thing can irk me, but it wasn’t so with this book. One thing I can definitely tell you is this book is definitely very sexy, which was a good thing! I don’t read very many romances that have a ton of sexy times but I was glad this one did and it happens to be a pretty central focus of the story as well since it’s part of the conflicts between humans and Akkadians.

All in all, I liked reading this book very much! It was a great, fast and entertaining read. I can see it turning into a sexy, yet funny and dramatic film one day and I would be more than willing to read another book set in this world! Fans of fantasy romance may enjoy this book as much as I did!

BOOK BUY LINKS
 
 
AUTHOR INFORMATION & LINKS

 

Feet on the ground, head in the stars.
The first child of very talented parents, Nik spent
the formative years at an advertising agency in Manhattan, along side a father
who allowed and encouraged creative expression. With an affinity for
illustration, Nik spent hours immersed in any form of artistic conduct. Whether
writing and preforming short plays for the family as a child, or memorizing
movie dialog and old radio shows, Nik found imagination could be enhanced
within the pages of books.
Science Fiction held so much mystery and
possibilities,. Nik read and read, until the desire to create the fantasy
worlds became a driving force. Nik created over 40 comic book characters, then
wrote and illustrated 4 original comic books. Some of Nik’s comic characters
were published in a local magazine. Nik’s recent novel writing is a course
change. While writing has been a part of the work throughout Nik’s life, it has
now become a focus. Look for Nik’s work of insane wine infused ramblings in the
DAILY DOSE.
 
 

Book Review: The Space Between by Kristie Cook

17552467Title: The Space Between (The Book of Phoenix #1) written by Kristie Cook
Genre: New Adult – Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Ang’dora Productions, LLC
Page count: 408
Format: Ebook (read on Kindle app for Microsoft Surface)
Rating – 5/5

When Life Falls to Pieces, Answers Lie in the Space Between

Leni Drago can’t make a smart decision on her own, according to her mother anyway–the few times she’s tried resulted in disaster. When her uncle sends her on a dance tour in Italy to find her real self, she returns to an empty home and any evidence of his existence wiped out. Then things get even stranger, like the mysterious appearances of Jeric Winters–inked, pierced and a hit-’em-and-quit-’em type. He’s one decision that should be easy for Leni. Or is he?

Jeric doesn’t do girlfriends. Unless they’re someone else’s. He left the fighting cage and modeling for a reason, and girls who want more than a night of fun are distractions he doesn’t need. Especially when they come with as much baggage as Leni carries. But he can’t shake the gut feeling that he needs to know her. All of her.

To discover the truth behind their connection and their ties to a journal from 1989, they must face painful secrets from their pasts. And they must do so quickly because their own existences are falling to pieces.

Two love stories, one mystery and a paranormal twist that readers call “mind blowing.” This first part of The Book of Phoenix takes you on a heart-wrenching ride as you discover the answers that lie in The Space Between.

I decided to download and read The Space Between on a whim while I was browsing through the free ebooks in the romance section of the Amazon Kindle app. I don’t typically browse these that often but I absolutely fell in love with the cover of this book and was immediately drawn in by the synopsis. This is quite literally the first free ebook I’ve ever gotten off of Amazon (it’s also free on B&N Nook) so  I wasn’t too sure what to expect and I admit at not having high expectations but I am so happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised by what I found within the pages of this book.

The Space Between is a wonderfully unique and beautiful story. It is also wildly romantic, sexy, tragic and suspenseful. I am so impressed by it. For some reason I thought this would be a typical romance book but even though it did have a few romance cliché’s and cheesy one liners, these were very few and far between. I enjoyed these characters and this story so much. It was nearly impossible for me to guess where the plot was going the whole time I read it. The “story within a story” narrative was confusing for me at first but if you stick it out and pay attention that gets cleared up in no time and is something I ended up enjoying. When I first started reading this book I forgot that it was a paranormal romance and the plot twist literally knocked me off of my feet, it’s breathtaking!

If you’re a paranormal romance or fantasy romance fan, you won’t want to miss this book and remember it’s free right now on Amazon and B&N. It is the first book in a series (yes!) and the second book has been released. I can say without a doubt that I will be reading the second book very, very soon because I want more of this romance and I want to know more about these twin flames and what their mission is going to be, what they mean for the world, etc. AHHH, great book!!

 

 

 

Book Review: Lord of the Fading Lands (Tairen Soul#1) by C.L. Wilson

book cover Lord of the Fading Lands by C_ L_ WilsonTitle: Lord of the Fading Lands (Tairen Soul #1) written by C.L. Wilson
Genre: Fantasy – Romance
Published by Harper Collins
Page count: 355
Format: Ebook (read on Barnes and Nobles HD+)
Rating: 5/5
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #34

After a thousand years of living a bitter, lonely life, Rain, the lord of the Fey and the last Tairen Soul finally feels the call of his truemate’s soul. He travels to the distant city of Celieria to find her and it is Ellysetta Baristani, the eldest (adopted) daughter of a woodcarver and his wife whose soul calls out to meet his. Rain begins to court her to win her heart as is custom through Fay tradition and Ellysetta, despite her fear of magic and the Fay, finds herself bewitched by Rain and the seemingly endless amount of love he has for her. But these are dangerous times for Ellysetta and even more dangerous times for the Fay. Rumors of murders performed by the Deilreisen, members of the Fay who have been outcast, echo along the borders of the mortal world and through the cities causing the people of the cities to fear and curse the Fay…the very people whom Ellysetta will soon be part of as their Queen. Tensions abound and danger lurks around every corner as the Lord of the Fay tries to win Ellie’s heart…little do they know that an age old enemy of the Fay has plans of its own.

This book was the June Alternate pick for Vaginal Fantasy Book Club! I read and reviewed the main pick “The Fire Lord’s Lover” early on in June and loved it. This book was no different, I absolutely loved this book as well, I just thought they were really fun books to read.

I gave this book a full 5 out of 5 stars. I thought it was wonderful. I thought the storytelling was wonderful, I thought the story was magnificent.

The story takes place in a fantasy setting where we have Fay, Magic and Mages but even though it’s a fantasy novel there is a very big, romance plot in this book. I feel as though the Romance plot (the Tairen Soul and his mate) overshadows the fantasy plot (the Fay and the Mages) a bit… I’m not sure if this was the aim of the book to be more Romance rather than epic fantasy…I really liked it though. I thought the Romance was fantastic and just wonderfully romantic so if you’re in that sort of romantic mood and you like fantasy novels, you would probably like reading this book. Once I got into this book I had a hard time putting it down, I just really wish that we saw a lot more of the fantasy plot, I really liked seeing the bits and pieces of fighting that we get to see…I wanted more swordfighting and wanted to see more magic and more of the elven vs. mage storyline. I also wanted to know about the Tairen’s and see more of the Tairens. Also we hear a lot about the Fading Lands and it’s really a place I would like to see but we don’t get to go to the Fading Lands in this book so I’m assuming that we may see it in the future books since this is a series.

I will definitely be reading more of this series  (lately I’ve been reading some great books that are the first in a series so I have a kabillion books on my reading list!). I loved seeing the relationship blossom between Ellie and Rain and although we see a pretty big shift in their relationship in this book we don’t see any resolution in their relationship, we see the beginnings of what is supposed to be this unbreakable, magical, ultimate bond and it’s clear that the bond between them will grow into something much stronger. The ending was pretty abrupt so books that end that way just really make me think that I HAVE to read the next one. I am really interested in how they grow with each other, I’m interested in seeing what becomes of this whole Fey/Mage dynamic, I’m interested to see what is in store for the Queen because I hate her lol and I’m interested to see the Fading Lands and learn more about life there and about the Tairens. Yes…I will definitely be reading the next one.

Book Review: The Fire Lord’s Lover (The Elven Lords #1) by Kathryne Kennedy

Title: The Fire Lord’s Lover (The Elven Lords #1) written by Kathryne Kennedy
Genre: Romance – Historical Romance, Fantasy
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Page count: 245
Format: Ebook (read on Barnes and Nobles HD+)
Rating: 5/5
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #29

Once upon a time, not too removed from the present, seven Elven lords defied the rules of their realm and stole seven magical scepters that opened the gate separating the Elven realm from the mortal. Power hungry they separated England into seven kingdoms and instituted the war games in which their champions and armies duel over which Elven lord will gain control over the King of England and thus rule (or in this case oppress) the English people. Over time the Elves has mixed with the people and their children, half human and half Elven, still possess varying degrees of Elven magic. Tired of oppression and the tyranny of the Fire lord of Firehame, Mor-ded, a rebellion grows in the midst of the country.

Not only does the Fire Lord’s tyranny extend throughout England, but it also has a very real presence in his own home. His Halfling son and Champion Dominic has been battling his father’s tyrannical behavior since he was just a boy and has almost succeeded in banishing all human emotion from within himself in order to gain his father’s approval. Having won for Firehame the claim over the King of England in the war games, Dominic hopes to finally obtain his father’s favor. Little does he know that woman he is about to marry, Lady Cassandra comes not only with her own agenda with regards to his father but also with the ability to make him remember what love is again.

I read this book as the main June pick for Vaginal Fantasy Book Club, I will be reading the alt pick later this month!

I really enjoyed reading The Fire Lord’s Lover. I had never read a Romance novel with Elves in it. That was enough to make me interested in the book since I’m a pretty big fantasy fan. I actually read this book in a day, so needless to say it was really, really good. I actually thought it was pretty awesome. I don’t think I would have liked this book as much if it wasn’t about Elves, that just gives it this extra little kick.

The story itself is really interesting though. The very first page gives us the mythology that the story is based on (in this world) with the whole seven Elven lords breaking apart from the rest in search of power and wealth and coming over to the human realm, etc. I thought this idea was really interesting and I liked that the story, when it takes place in our realm (pretty much the entire book except for the mythology blurb at the beginning) takes place in a real place…England which makes it sort of an alternate history type story.

This book is pretty sexy and romantic which I found to be a really good thing in this story. One thing I hate about some romance novels is that sometimes the romance is just either a really small side portion of the story and really awkwardly thrown into the narrative or is the main focus of the book with little to no actual story. This is NOT the case in the Fire Lord’s Lover, there is this really great story with just the right amount of sexiness and romance thrown in.

I really liked our main characters in the story, Dominic and Lady Cassandra. I thought their relationship was interesting and I’m glad that they end up working things out although I did think the ending was pretty awkward at one point but it works out as well. I’d have to say that I would be interested in reading more of this series. I thought it was really fun to read and the romantic parts were just really breathtaking especially the one where he uses magic on her (if you’ve read it you know which one)! One thing I really liked about this book is that the sexy parts tend to be just really sweet and really amazing; they’re never over the top or awkward which I really liked.

I gave this book a 5/5 because I thought reading it was a really enjoyable experience. The fact that I read it in a day (although it definitely did not take the whole 24 hours) shows you how much I loved it and how I couldn’t put it down! It blends romance and fantasy together which ended with a really great result. It was just one of those books where I find myself not questioning anything because I’m having so much fun reading it and I was just along for a really enjoyable ride. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a romantic type fantasy read!