A Strange Hymn (The Bargainer #2) – Laura Thalassa

Blurb

Siren and soulmate to the King of Night, Callypso Lillis survived the clutches of Karnon, the mad king, and his twisted prison. But the nightmare isn’t over. Callie wears the physical reminders of her time as a captive, and mounting evidence suggests the Thief of Souls is still out there.

When a fae celebration thrusts Callie and her mate, Desmond Flynn, into the Kingdom of Flora, they take their investigation with them. But under the bright lights and striking blooms of the realm, they find there are more immediate issues to deal with. No place is more uniquely savage than the great fae halls, and no amount of bargains can save Callie from royal intrigues.

Fairies play dangerous games. Some want love, some want vengeance, some want flesh, and some want things too unspeakable to utter. One thing is for sure: no one is who they appear to be. Not even Des, who only grows more enigmatic with every passing secret.

But the Kingdom of Flora has its own secrets, from bleeding trees to branded slaves and missing guards. Something is stirring in the land of all that grows, and if Callie isn’t careful, it will claim everything and everyone she loves—and her along with it.


Stats

Page Length: 324
Publication Year:
2017
Genre: 
Fantasy
Characters:  Callie, Des, Temper


Thoughts

I thought this was a very good follow-up to Rhapsodic. I liked how the story carried on right where the other one left off.

Story

The story begins with Callie still trying to accept her physical changes from her time spent with Karnon. Des begins to train Callie in combat and in a bid to make her feel more at home in his world he takes her on a tour of his kingdom.

After visiting many islands in the Kingdom of Night Des and Callie are called to a solstice celebration at the Kingdom of Flora, this where the story really starts to get interesting.

I thought the storyline of this book was very clever, it did keep me guessing until the end, I was not expecting the Thief of Souls to be who he was.

Characters

The shining light of this book was the chemistry and understanding between Des and Callie. I loved reading the banter between them.

I like to take a moment here and talk about Desmond Flynn, this guy is so swoon worthy it’s ridiculous! For a character who is so dark and badass, he says the most romantic things to Callie. I loved that he treats Callie like an equal and actively trains her himself so that she can defend herself. I also like that he embraced her wings and scales even when she herself couldn’t.

“Seven years apart,” he continues, “and the woman you became was a world away from the girl I met.” He tilts my head so that he can look me in the eye. “That only made me want you more. You were both old and new, familiar and exotic, within reach and forbidden. And I wanted you so badly for so long I was sure it would kill me. “And when I look at you even now—especially now—I see one simple truth.” He stops speaking. I sit up a little. “What was the truth?” In the darkness, I can see him staring back down at me. “You are magic, love.”

I really liked Callie’s character development in that she learned to accept herself. Her Siren side is also an absolute pleasure to read. I like how fearless and independent she is. She doesn’t feel the need to hid behind Des, the way she stood up to Mara (The Queen of Flora) was brilliant! This quote right here is a prime example of what I love about her:

“I wrap my own towel the best I can around myself, accidentally plucking a few of my feathers in the process, my eyes fixed on the Bargainer. I am absolutely creeping on this man right now and I have zero regrets.”

I also loved that we got to see more of Temper (Callie’s BFF) in this book. I really enjoy the fierceness of her character.

Favorite Quote:

stange the hymn-2

Conclusion:

This was a very enjoyable read. If you loved Rhapsodic than this is a must read. I’m super excited that the last book is set to be released this year!

My Rating:  5/5  🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

FIRSTLIFE – Gena Showalter

Blurb

ONE CHOICE.
TWO REALMS.
NO SECOND CHANCE.

Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.

There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…


STATS

Page Length: 467
Publication Year: 2016
Genre: Fantasy/Dystopia/Young Adult
Characters: Ten, Killian and Archer (aka Bow)


Story/ Characters

I liked the concept of this story, I thought it was different. However, I find it very slow going some chapters felt like they went on forever. The story seemed like it was dragged out far longer than it should have been which made me feel a little disconnected to the story. Halfway through the book, I was reading it more to get it finished and not because I was enjoying the story.

To begin with, I liked Ten’s character, she is ballsy and can look out for herself. But towards the end she really started to annoy me, with the whole I don’t know what side to choose, I need more time to make my decision blah blah blah. She has been locked in an asylum for the last 13months surely that’s more than an enough time to make a choice.

I much preferred Archer when he was a girl (Bow), I have no problems with the gender switch but they felt like two different people after the switch.

I can honestly say I felt nothing for Killian. He was an ok character he had a pretty sad background but I didn’t really understand or connect to him at all.

Favorite Quote:

“You saved me from the worst kind of death, as if you breathed into me my very first breath. You, Archer Prince, oh, how you shine. Now and forever, you’ll always be mine. I’ll miss you, dear Bow, for the short time we’re apart.” My chin trembles as I say, “Take care of this gift…for I give you my heart. You are loved, I love you. Because of you, I’ve been made new”

Conclusion:

This wasn’t a bad book, I felt it was actually really well written. I just don’t think it was 100% to my taste, I do like my books to have a bit more romance in them and I think that’s what I missed the most. So if you enjoy a story that focus’s more on the action and drama side of things that this is defiantly for you.

My Rating:  3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Rhapsodic (The Bargainer#1) – Laura Thalassa

Blurb

Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she’s been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she’s received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear.

Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He’s a man who can get you anything you want… at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects.

But for one of his clients, he’s never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first, it’s just a chaste kiss—a single bead’s worth—and a promise for more.

For the Bargainer, it’s more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that’s been awoken.

If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he’ll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one


STATS

Page Length: 326
Publication Year: 2016
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal/ Romance
Characters: Callie, The Bargainer (Des)


Story: 

It’s amazing how you can read a blurb and interpret how you think a story is going to go and then BOOM get blown away about just how epic it is! This is pretty much how this made me feel. I really wasn’t expecting to love this as much as did, I heard a lot of talk about it Facebook when it first came out and so added it to my TBR list.

I loved the storyline, it’s emotionally charged and you can really feel the tension between Callie and Des.

It’s told from Callie’s perspective and is in the first person. The first half of the book is split between past and present, so you get a nice balance of learning the history Callie has with the Bargainer, whilst still being in engaged in the events that are currently happening. I really liked that it was written this way because even though it was all told from Callie’s POV I could easily interpret what the Bargainer was feeling even when Callie couldn’t, which really helped me to connect with both characters.

Continue reading “Rhapsodic (The Bargainer#1) – Laura Thalassa”

Update

Recommended Reading

I’ve just updated my Recommendations Page, I’ve added few more titles that I have read this year. Books on this list are what I consider to be 4 or 5 star reads. Be sure to have a look 🙂

Social Media

I have a few different platforms that I use to share my content:

and I’ve just made a Litsy account, my username is TJ28.  If you don’t know what that is you can find out more info here.

That’s all for now folks, thanks for stopping by!

 

 

Fan Girl – Rainbow Rowell

Blurb

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?


STATS

Page Length: 445
Publication Year: 2013
Genre: Young Adult
Characters: Cath, Wren, Levi


Story: 

hmmm ok time to be constructive! I’ll start by saying that this has got to be the oddest book I’ve read for a while. I liked it 95% of the time despite its oddness. I found the parts that touched on mental health strange and not properly explained. It’s told entirely from Caths point of view, which was ok, but I would have liked to read about what Wren was going through. I didn’t get the Simon and Baz parts and I have to admit that I skipped passed most of it. I think that Cath and Wren’s mom leaving them when they were 8 affected more that what was shown, it explains Caths anxiety and Wrens drinking but the book never divulged this information, I more or less figured it out for myself.

and then there was the ending. Nothing annoys me more when reading a book is poor ending and this one was a corker! The best way I can think to describe is the author got to the end of the paragraph and just stopped writing…. like nothing was tied up. We don’t know if Cath passed her fiction course, or what she and Levi decided to do over summer.

Characters:

Cath is a stereotypical nerd, quiet, introverted and loves books I liked her character for the most part and I definitely felt like I could relate to her. I felt a lot like her when I was in secondary school/college. I think these aspects of her personality truly represents what-what a lot of people go through when a big change takes place in their lives.

Wren is the total opposite but in ways exactly the same as Cath. Wren is outgoing, loves to party and drink, but she also has her bookish side. I would like to have seen more from her as there was a huge chunk of the story where she and Cath aren’t speaking and it would have been interesting to read her thoughts during this time.

Conclusion:

Overall I would say that this was an ok read I can’t say that I’d recommend it because I felt the ending just kinda ruined the whole thing. My rating 3/5

Based – B.B Hamel

Blurb

I can’t stop falling for my daredevil stepbrother.

Lincoln “Based” Carter is an arrogant a**hole and the most famous extreme sports athlete in the world. His idea of fun involves jumping off of skyscrapers and parachuting between buildings.

Until the day he crash lands through a car windshield and shatters both of his legs.

When I come home from college that summer, I’m surprised by the grunts of my hot-as-hell stepbrother working up a sweat during Physical Therapy. All in front of the camera crew that’s filming a documentary about his recovery.

Part of me wants to run, but I can’t stop staring at his tattoos and his ripped body.

We have a history, but we can’t be together. We can’t even be near each other without a camera around. And yet I spend all day fantasizing about his slightly damp white T-shirt clinging to his muscular frame. His constant cocky teasing is driving me crazy.

We may live the same house, but I’m afraid that if I let him get any closer then we’ll both drop right over the edge.

STATS

Page Length: 314
Publication Year: 2015
Genre: Romance
Characters: Aubrey and Lincoln


Story: 

This story is told from the dual perspective of both Aubrey and Lincoln. They have previously met when their parents got married 2 years ago. I think it would have been interesting to have a little bit more about their initial introduction.

I’ve got, to be honest, this book didn’t make me feel anything much. It’s been sat on my kindle for months and I couldn’t remember why I hadn’t read it in the first place so I guess I have my reason now. It’s probably better suited for when you’re going on holiday and want to read something light by the pool.

Characters

I liked Aubrey although I thought it odd that she had no friends back home. It’s obvious that she’s not inexperienced as such but we don’t find out anything much about her previous relationships. There’s nothing that remarkable about her, she spends most of the book thinking about Lincoln and I think that’s why it was hard to connect to her, she didn’t have much personality.

Lincoln, again he’s a fairly bland character that leads an exciting life before his accident. He had slightly more personality as we know his passion is a base jumping and he has traveled a bit.

The chemistry between felt genuine for the most part and they worked well enough together that this wasn’t too much of a laborious read.

Conclusion

This was an ok read, I felt it was a little longer and drawn out than it should have been. It didn’t really have much depth to it. Overall I give it a 2/5.

Off Sides (Off #1)-Sawyer Bennett

Blurb

“I’m not sure what possessed me to do it. Maybe it was the impossible expectations I faced, maybe it was my own self-loathing. But I just knew I needed something different to happen. I needed someone… something… to derail me from my current path. Otherwise, I would become lost… a hollowed out shell of a man. So I did it. I approached her, then I pursued her, then I made her mine. And my life was saved…”

Ryan Burnham is the privileged son of a U.S. Congressman and captain of his university’s hockey team. While he is on the verge of fulfilling his dreams to play in the NHL, his parents want him on a different course. One he is expected to accept for the sake of his family’s public image.

Forced her to abandon her music career after the heart breaking death of her parents, Danny Cross exists on the opposite side of the tracks from Ryan. She is struggling to make her own way, working two jobs, attending college part time and volunteering in a homeless shelter. She is on a mission to build her own success.

With a chance meeting, their vastly different worlds collide, causing each to evaluate whether they are truly on the correct path to self-fulfillment and happiness. Can their relationship survive? Particularly when others are against them every step of the way. A lot can happen in just ten short days…

STATS

Page Length: 167
Publication Year: 2013
Genre: Romance, New Adult, College
Characters: Danny and Ryan

This was a freebie book which I found through BookBub, its actually still free on Amazon at the moment which you  can find here.

This was a relatively quick read for me, it’s a typical rich boy meets poor girl. I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Its told from both Danny and Ryan’s perspectives which I liked.

I enjoyed both the characters, I felt connected to what each of them was going through.

Things I particularly liked were:

  • Ryan’s loyalty to Danny, he stood up to his mum when she tried to break them up.
  • Danny’s back story was really good, all the sadness and loss that she has gone through gave her character a lot of emotional depth.
  • Danny’s roommate/mother figure Paula, she always had Danny’s back and it was nice that Danny had someone there for her other than Ryan.
  • Emily, who is Ryan’s little sister. She is only featured briefly but the next book in the series is about her and I’ll probably read that at some point.

Thins that weren’t so good:

  • Major insta-love! These guys were literally swapping I love you’s after a week!
  • The chapters where Danny loses her virginity are a little cringy. 😏
  • Ryan’s Mother, she is such a bitch! Also he’s not existent father which I found strange.

Overall even though this wasn’t the best book I did enjoy it. If you enjoy college romance, then I recommend this book. My Rating 2/5

Broken God – Nazarea Andrews

Blurb

Power is a strange and broken thing.

He was the sun god, the god of healing and song.
And prophecy.
Apollo has lived alone for centuries, content to spin out the years wandering a new and strange world, lost in the past and endless versions of the future. He has cut all ties with the remains of Olympus and his power, and hidden himself in humanity.
His twin thinks he’s depressed, spending his time in coffee shops, hospital waiting rooms, and concert halls…and nothing matters. Not really.
Until her.
Iris. With her teasing mouth and soulful music and eyes that remind him of the past.
He can’t resist her smile.
A girl as wild as he was, once, with a poet’s tongue and the body of a siren, who for one night makes him forget all the years and everything he gave up.
And he can’t stop fate.
Gods knows he’s tried.
He can’t help taking her.
Even if he knows better.
When Iris wakes up screaming, caught up in visions of the future, Apollo realizes that he didn’t leave his power quite as far behind as he thought.
He’s the god of prophecy and he’s been running from it, for centuries.
Iris is everything he has to avoid.
Now he has a furious Oracle on his hands, his sister trying to fix him, and someone is killing the gods.
It’s not just his tenuous sanity that hangs in the balance this time.
It’s all of Olympus.
Godhood really wasn’t supposed to be this hard.

STATS

Page Length: 162
Publication Year: September 2016
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Characters: Apollo, Iris, Delphi


Ok….. so that was different! I’ve just finished this and I’m not sure how I feel about this book. It was nothing and mean nothing like how I expected it to be.

Firstly it’s told entirely from Apollo’s point of view. I don’t read that many books that are told just from a male point of view so that was a nice change of pace. From the blurb expected this be a fairly light-hearted read but in fact it was the complete opposite. Most of the time it was fairly depressing. Which didn’t really sit well with me, I much prefer my books to have more of a positive vibe to them.

I have mixed feelings about Apollo part of me feels really sorry for him, he is really lonely and has cut himself off from people to try and prevent a prophecy coming true that states his entire family will die, but then I also feel a like he kinda brought all his problems on himself. I don’t know just didn’t completely like him.

I didn’t particularly enjoy the way this book was written either, it had a dreamy like feel to it. Which to me made it seem dull. I also felt like it was missing something, I can’t quite put my finger on what though. It just seemed a bit empty like there could have been more story.

What I did like was the ending because it did seem Apollo got his happily ever after to a certain degree.

Overall I can’t say that I liked or disliked this book, it left me feeling slightly bewildered, but could be due to my lack of knowlege about the Greek gods….

If you enjoy Greek mythology you’ll probably like this. My rating: 2/5