Set the Stars Alight - Amanda Dykes

Saturday, September 5, 2020


My Rating

★★★★★ - You have bewitched me, body and soul. (More Info)

About the Book
Lucy Clairmont's family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it's Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she's discovered in her family home.

Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.

As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers--and the healing--they so desperately seek. (from Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Join Dash and Lucy as they discover home. Amanda Dykes brings the wonder of the heavens and the mysteries of the sea alive within the pages of this book. Pouring heart and soul into the very depths of this story, the author conveys a message of hope, life, love, and the truth that..."Anything is Possible."

A split time novel that jumps between present day and into the midst of the Napoleonic war in the early 1800s. You'll soon find yourself trying to figure out the connection beteven the two time lines late into the night. And once it hits you... you will be blown away! I loved every page, every character...

this entire story was brought to life in my mind from Page 1. The characters felt REAL, the "villains" believable...and there was a hearty dose of compassion and empathy that accompanied those feelings for these people.
Light and Dark...Hope and Despair...Home.

This story is filled with beautiful descriptions and exciting adventures. A truly beautiful story.

I received a copy of this book as partner of JustRead Tours, LLC. Being a publicity company, JustRead Tours, LLC received money to promote this book. However, this did not influence my review. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author

Amanda Dykes is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales who spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family. She's a former English teacher and the author of Whose Waves These Are, a Booklist 2019 Top Ten Romance debut, as well as three novellas.

Dust - Heirs of Neverland - Kara Swanson

Saturday, May 23, 2020

My Rating

 - You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. (More Info)

About the Book
The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale.

Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real—since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire's desperate search points to London... and a boy who shouldn't exist.

Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins.

The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan—and herself. (from the author's website)

My Thoughts

It's no secret that Peter Pan is my favorite fairytale. It holds such a special place in my heart. And when I saw this book was coming, I jumped at the opportunity to read it. 

Kara Swanson brings us a unique retelling of this beloved tale. Claire and Peter are brought together by forces bigger than anyone knows. Filled with suspense and fairy dust...Watching these two discover their true selves and true potential was truly magical. 

Captain Hook, Nibs, Tiger Lily, and more of your classic favorites can be found between the covers of this book. Forget everything you've known about these characters and dive into a new world.

I can't wait for book 2! We are definitely left with anticipation of what is to come next at the end of Dust. Get ready for an awfully big adventure.

I received a complimentary copy of Dust from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author

As the daughter of missionaries, KARA SWANSON spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. 

Swanson is the award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See and Peter Pan retelling/sequel Dust (Enclave Publishing, July 2020). She helps young writers explore their passions as a faculty member of the Young Writer’s Workshop and also offers her own author coaching services.

Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order.

Storing Up Trouble - American Heiresses Book 3 - Jen Turano

My Rating

★★★★★ - You have bewitched me, body and soul. (More Info)

About the Book
After Miss Beatrix Waterbury suffers multiple mishaps due to her involvement with the suffrage movement, her mother decides a change of scenery is in order for her incorrigible daughter. Banished from New York, Beatrix is sent off for an extended stay with her Aunt Gladys.

Mr. Norman Nesbit, a gentleman and a brilliant man of science devoted to his work, doesn’t have time to be distracted with members of the feminine set. When robbers descend on the train, intent on divesting him from his important research papers, Norman is thrust into Beatrix’s company when she has the audacity to interfere—leaving him no choice but to try to save her from herself.

When Beatrix’s life is put at stake after her arrival and employment as a salesgirl in Chicago, they find themselves propelled into each other’s company again and again. With danger and intrigue dogging their every step, they become surprisingly drawn to each other—until information comes to light that threatens to crush this relationship that’s barely had a chance to blossom. (from the author's website)

My Thoughts

I'm pretty sure I start each review of Jen Turano's books with, "This is my new favorite Jen book!" But it's TRUE! Every book just pulls me in a little deeper and makes me laugh a little harder. 

Norman's unique qualities make him stand out among heroes. His ingenious mind, his quirks, and complete ignorance of what "proper etiquette" entails...just endears him even more. Watching his mind and heart open to his friends and family as he became more aware of the world around him made my heart flutter! (And oh my heart...Chapter 19 anyone?) Beatrix is an heiress in a class all her own. Prone to find herself in...interesting...circumstances, Beatrix has the chance to experience life in a new city and through new eyes. I adore her heart, her determination to see things through, and her loathing for injustice. 

Storing Up Trouble is full of adventure and sprinkled with electrifying kisses. Prepare yourself to laugh, sigh, and hold your breath through this story. 

"I always find it best to gather pertinent information about one's nemesis because you never know when such information might be useful."

I received a complimentary copy of Storing Up Trouble from the publishers as part of the author's influencer team. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author
Named One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO.

Serpent & Dove - Shelby Mahurin

Saturday, May 9, 2020

My Rating

★★★★★ - You have bewitched me, body and soul. (More Info)

About the Book

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou's, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou's most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all. (from Goodreads)

My Thoughts

***This book is general market fiction. There is language and Mature elements***

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I picked up this book a couple months ago. And oh my lands! WHAT a story! I was completely blown away...

This unique take on magic had me enthralled from the first pages. Lou is tenacious and incredible. Her abilities are outstanding and she is just brilliant. Reid is...WOW! Swoonworthy and dedicated....Passionate and maybe a bit conflicted...I really don't want to give away any spoilers...So I'll leave you with this...

If you love stories with magic...You won't want to pass this one up!

I purchased a copy of Serpent & Dove for my personal library. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

About the Author

Shelby Mahurin is the New York Times and indie bestselling author of Serpent & Dove and Blood & Honey. She grew up on a small farm in rural Indiana, where sticks became wands and cows became dragons. Her rampant imagination didn't fade with age, so she continues to play make-believe every day—with words now instead of cows. When not writing, Shelby watches the Office and obsesses over her Instagram feed. She still lives near that childhood farm with her very tall husband, semi-feral children, two dogs, and one cat.

The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

My Rating

★★★★★ - You have bewitched me, body and soul. (More Info)

About the Book

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a magical novel for adults and children alike 'I've stolen a garden,' she said very fast. 'It isn't mine. It isn't anybody's. Nobody wants it, nobody cares for it, nobody ever goes into it. Perhaps everything is dead in it already; I don't know.' After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle's gloomy mansion on the wild English moors. She is lonely and has no one to play with, but one day she learns of a secret garden somewhere in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter. Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed - and a gust of magic leads her to the hidden door. Slowly she turns the key and enters a world she could never have imagined. (from Amazon)

My Thoughts

I have been loving rereading these classics! It's been such a breath of fresh air that brings back all the childhood memories.

As with Little Women, it was so eye-opening reading this story again as an adult. As a kid, I always thought Mary was such a wicked, spoiled girl...And now, my mama's heart aches with the pain and neglect that poor child went through.

Watching her come alive and passing that joy and life to Colin...Wow! So powerful and so encouraging. Also, I'm a little jealous of her green thumb...I can't seem to grow anything properly...unless it requires zero care...ok...maybe a little weeding....but I can't even be trusted with Hens & Chicks! LOL!

If you need a sweet uplifting read, I highly recommend you give The Secret Garden a read. 

I purchased The Secret Garden for my own library. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

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