Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

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“I understood the weight of promises, and Rafe’s strength as a king mattered more to Morrighan now, than it ever had. It mattered to me. I stared out at the jagged line of forest, feeling the stinging irony of Rafe’s choice: To help me and the kingdom of Morrighan survive, he had been forced to cut out my heart.”

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Title: Beauty of Darkness

Author: Mary E. Pearson

Published: August 2nd 2016 by Henry Holt and Co

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Stars: 5         Content Rating: 4

Synopsis:

Lia has survived Venda—but so has a great evil bent on the destruction of Morrighan. And only Lia can stop it.

With war on the horizon, Lia has no choice but to assume her role as First Daughter, as soldier—as leader. While she struggles to reach Morrighan and warn them, she finds herself at cross-purposes with Rafe and suspicious of Kaden, who has hunted her down.

In this conclusion to the Remnant Chronicles trilogy, traitors must be rooted out, sacrifices must be made, and impossible odds must be overcome as the future of every kingdom hangs in the balance.

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I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday it is you celebrate. Spending time with loved ones and enjoying the season is what makes December so great. I’m sad it is about over but happy to be welcoming the new year as well. I love new beginnings. I have lots of new goals. Wellness and spiritual goals, as well as family goals and of course… BOOK goals.

It has been no secret that I read the first two books of this series before. A long time ago, and I loved them. Kiss of Deception and The Heart of Betrayal were both fantastic but at the time the third book was not out yet and I completely FORGOT about the series. I saw the series again back in … MAY?.. (oh my gosh.. was it really clear back in May?) .. I bought the hardback copies of all and reread the first two and now just finished the final book.

This last book is everything I hoped it would be. I sometimes feel as if I am very vague in my book reviews. I, myself DO NOT like book reviews with spoilers. Why would I read all the spoilers and then read the book. It is one thing to fan girl with others after we have all read it. Which is what my Instagram account is for… If we are not friends on Insta then you should FIND ME THERE @bookwhit However, I set this blog up to recommend books to friends. I’m here to say, “This is the best book EVER. Please read it.” or ” I read it and was not that impressed.”

Beauty of Darkness was so intense for me. I was mad it took me so long to read it. I would start, but with the Holiday’s and other things going on I just couldn’t make time to read. I was legit getting mad at my kids because they wouldn’t leave me alone. Ha ha. Mom life, am I right? I stayed up till about 1am and finished.. and then just sat there. I always do this after a book is done. Especially a series. You have to let it settle in your brain. Connect all the things that you thought you knew or hoped would happen to what DID happen. Mary E. Pearson did not disappoint. The characters were true to themselves. They all sacrificed and made hard decisions. I am not lying when I say it was intense. I didn’t want to put it down. It’s a pretty big book and there are so many twists. The Heart of Betrayal ended with Lia, Rafe and his men trying to escape down the river. .. and from then on out it was not only a fight for their lives and their kingdoms but their hearts. It’s a wonderful trilogy and you should all read it!

I hope you all have a Happy New Year!! Thanks for reading!

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Coral and Bone by Tiffany Daune

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“A Guardian can find you if you get lost, but you have to want to come back.”

 

Title: Coral and Bone  (The Siren Chronicles #1)

Author: Tiffany Daune

Published:  May 9th 2017 by Oftomes Publishing

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Stars:  4                   Content Rating:  2

Synopsis:

 Halen knows the sparks igniting under her fingertips are dangerous. She has spent her entire life trying to quell the tingly feelings that make her destroy things, but now that she is back in Rockaway Beach, where she watched her father drown, the flames have become impossible to tame.

Halen is trying to hold on, but when she is thrust into a mysterious new world, the underwater realm of Elosia, she unravels the secrets of her past and can’t help but ignite. As she explores Elosia, she realizes her life has been a lie. And when those who have deceived her come to her for help, Halen must choose—walk away or unleash the magick that could destroy them all.

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I grabbed this book after I read DarqueDreamer’s review awhile back and I can’t believe I am JUST now getting to it. I was so happy to see the the sequel is out and .. believe you me.. I just bought it and will be diving right back into this story.

I may have been a little generous with my star rating, so let me explain. This is probably  more of a 3 maybe 3.5 star read. . BUT the story was just so interesting to me and I would recommend it to others. The fact that I want all my friends to read it says it must be good and deserving of a 4 star rating. My biggest problem with this one is that there is all this build up and then I feel like whatever it is that we were building up to is over really fast. The twists just happened. I had a hard time following certain things. Things that maybe should have been obvious to me were not and I found myself rereading to make sure I didn’t skip something. I know that maybe this is making you not want to read it but let me get to the good stuff…

It starts out with you trying to figure out what is going on with this girl Halen. I saw it was about mermaids so (since I LOVE mermaids) I’m trying to figure out how they are tied in and what they have to do with Halen. Halen knows she is different but she has no idea how different. When she runs into the ocean to get away from a stranger she gets taken by mermaids (who btw are evil) and then saved by a boy she has been sketching. A boy she has never seen before other than in her head, and his name is Dax. After coming to terms with her new reality she decides to fight instead of running away. You find out that there are 3 realms. Earth being one. Elosia and Etlis being the others. Elosia is the water realm and Etlis is where shifters and the magic come from. To save all the realms Halen must defeat a dark Blue Moon Siren. As it gets more involved with fate, Sirens, Shifters and Soul Hunters, I really started to fall for the characters. The world that Tiffany Daune has created really is something new and exciting. It is so interesting. I love books with magic because I feel like anything can happen. The connection between Halen and Dax and all the secrets and the betrayal.. oh man.. you guys.. the BETRAYAL and the lies.. *sigh*. The author really weaved such an amazing story.  At the end I really wanted more and I loved this book.  I hope you all check it out! It is a pretty quick read and free on kindle unlimited!! Don’t forget the sequel Curses and Ash is also available! The third book is due to come out February 6.. yay!”

I hope you all have such a wonderful Holiday season! Thanks for reading!!

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The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

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“There are no rules in survival.”

Title: The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles Book 2)

Author: Mary E. Pearson

Published: July 7th 2015 by Henry Holt and Co

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Stars: 5 Content Rating: 2

Synopsis:

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia’s life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There’s Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny.

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I am giddy. I had read Kiss of Deception and Heart of Betrayal before, way back when this book first came out in 2015. I had forgotten about them and was not even looking for the third book when I saw it and had to have it. I bought the whole series with the intent of rereading and finally getting the ending and I just kept putting them off! Now, after rereading the first two I get to dive into the last book and see how things turn out and I am GIDDY. I will probably be useless for most of the day!

The first book ends with Rafe, Lia and Kaden all walking into Venda. Prince Rafe, goes from being the farmer to the Royal Emissary of Prince Jaxon (his official name) hoping to buy some time before his men come and get him and Lia out of there. Kaden goes from being a trader to returning home as Assassin and bringing Venda the prize of a First Daughter with the gift. Princess Lia goes from tavern maid to Jezelia and she will do whatever it takes to survie. It’s a game. Who can lie the best to save the others. As secrets unfold and new perspectives take place Lia has to decide who she is and what truth to believe, all while spinning her own web of lies to keep Rafe safe and to escape home. The longer she is in Venda, the more I began to wonder if she might stay. She is the prophecy after all and she has seen the starving people and read the missing texts. She has seen the army and can save many. .. but will she be able to save herself?

You guys. This is such a great book. Book 2 is just adding fuel to the fire and I can not wait to see how it will blow up in the next one. I finished late last night and couldn’t sleep because I was so excited to continue. I had to have a grown up moment and be realistic. I have 3 kids and staying up till 1 and then getting up at 7 (when they do) is never a good idea. I turn into the grumpiest mom ever! Oh man. Sorry kids!! If you want a good series that is a total page turner, give this one a try! I adore the characters and have soft spot for Kaden and sweet little Aster. Oh man.. poor ASTER. I about died. Read it and then lets fangirl.

Enjoy your weekend!

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Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

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“A six-inch blade. I smiled. Did he buy it? It was actually just shy of four—but very nicely weighted—and as Aunt Bernette noted, a little exaggeration was always expected when describing weapons, victories, and body parts.”

Title: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson (The Remnant Chronicles #1)

Author: Mary E. Pearson

Published: July 8th 2014 by Henry Holt

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

Stars:  5                Content Rating: 2

Synopsis:

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

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Hello lovelies! This series is so good. I had read books 1 and 2 and had completely forgot about them until I started seeing the third book around! It had been so long that I decided to reread them and I am so glad I did! (I know.. lots of exclamations !!!!)

Strong story line and characters, CHECK.

Good pace and kept me interested, CHECK.

Would recommend to friends, CHECK.

Would buy and read again, CHECK.

I absolutely love it when I open up a book and there is a map inside. It means that I am going to be discovering a new land. The author is going to be taking me to a new world and I can’t wait to jump in and see what it is like there. This story starts off on Lia’s wedding day. She is First Daughter of Morrighan and as such she is supposed to have “the gift” which she doesn’t and is supposed to marry the Prince of Dalbreck. She has older brothers and has grown up riding and tracking. Sneaking away to play dice and card games with the boys. On her wedding day she decides she escape. She wants a life of her own, to be loved for who she is and she is not afraid to work for it. Her lady’s maid, Pauline, helps her and they runaway to a little coastal town and to freedom.

The Prince has to know who this girl is that would just bail on their wedding. He takes off after her and when he does find her, she is not the kind of Princess he was expecting.

The Assassin is sent to kill Lia (obviously.. haha) to prevent any future plans of uniting Morrighan and Dalbreck. Those two kingdoms together could cause trouble for the kingdom of Venda.

Now here is something funny. The book is narrated by Lia. Then the Prince has his part and the Assassin has his part and it alternates back and forth and through Lia’s narrative you know the names of the Prince and Assassin. Then towards the end you realize who is who and I totally had them mixed up. It was a total shock when I got that far, BUT I think I just missed something earlier on because now that I read it again I wasn’t confused. Still I was like MIND BLOWN.

Through out there are “Songs of Venda” that were sung by first Queen. They thought she was mad but the people liked to here her sing while she sat on the wall. They are stories but when written out they sound more like prophecies. I’m excited to find out how Lia’s story will fit into the crazy Queens verses.

 

As you follow these three characters and get to know them better the more you love them. Which is usually what always happens.. right?  You see the struggle and the growing, things start falling into place and you see more of who they are, and why they are that way.  This book is full of young love, betrayal, with lies, heartache and a wonderment that only a fantasy novel can bring. It has been a crazy adventure so far and I will be starting the next one ASAP!

Thanks for reading!

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Holiday Reading

Hello D E C E M B E R and my favorite readers!

The whole month of December is my favorite. I love the holiday season. The singing and gift giving. I even enjoy the weather. I love coats and gloves and beanies. S C A R V E S. Staying in and being cozy. Reading a good book with some peppermint hot chocolate! It is my favorite!!! To be fair, I do try and find the good in all seasons but .. I mean.. CHRISTMAS is almost here!!

Since it ’tis the season to stay indoors, you might want some book recommendations. Maybe you don’t have time to read that often but now with it being “winter” hours you want a good book to read. I went through my blog and picked my top 5 books this year. I tried to mix it up a little bit. Even thought I read mostly Young Adult, I tried to find a few that I loved in other genres.

Some are S T A N D A L O N E novels and some are a S E R I E S. I will not recommend the series unless they are all out. That way you can binge read the whole thing, in your pajamas.. next to the fire.. watching the snow fall outside..

Recommendation number O N E:

myladyjane

My Lady Jane really might have been my favorite stand alone read of the year. I was so pleasantly surprised that I just fell hard for this story. It is set in Tudor times and based on history… almost. There is a magical twist and quirky humor that just grabbed at my heart strings.

Recommendation number T W O:

Next year I plan on going CoHo crazy. I have both of these books on my blog. She is a great contemporary author. I always feel like she captures the realness in her novels. I have both of these on my blog It Ends With Us and CONFESS. I really don’t think you can go wrong with a Colleen Hoover novel. I know this was more of an author recommendation but still.. I’m always looking for authors that I love. I bet you are too!

Recommendation number T H R E E:

One of my most loved, new favorite series I read this year is The Lunar Chronicles. She takes each “princess” story and turns it into something new. It has been my favorite fairy tale retelling yet! It is a completely new world and if you have some time on your hands you should pick this series up and binge read it this holiday season!

1.Cinder 2.Scarlet 3.Cress 4.Winter

Recommendation number F O U R:

Okay, okay.. This one is for all my romance readers out there! Another author recommendation. I LOVE Lisa Kleypas. I have literally read everything she writes. It’s has all the oomph a good romance needs.. and it is not young adult my friends. Nope. If you are like me and have read all of Lisa’s work then try Julia Quinn! They use each others characters sometimes, which I find so fun! I don’t have any reviews for her books because they are my go to quick reads BUT go check her out on Amazon.

Recommendation number F I V E:

thehousebythelake

The House by the Lake is a great quick read. It alternates between Anna in the present and her grandfather’s past in 1930’s Germany. As she tries to find the answers her grandfather has kept secret for so many years she meets Wil. This is a fun love story, I admired the perspective of the young Max and how hard the decisions were at that time.

There you have it! Some of my top recommendations I read in 2017. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season and enjoy this time of giving and… reading!

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