Friday, May 19, 2017

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1)Red Sister by Mark  Lawrence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! I said it from the first pages of the book and I am still saying it as I get to the end. Red Sister is this magnificent fantasy with seriously kick-butt fight scenes and awesome displays of magic that I was lucky enough to receive a copy of from the publisher via NetGalley. Mark Lawrence has outdone himself. I have his other books on my to be read pile but something struck me about this book that I could not wait. As soon as I had a gap in my calendar for reviews owed by specific dates I jumped into this book, feet, mind and heart first. No mistake, this book can be heart-wrenching. From the beginning of the book when the reader is introduced to Nona Grey the reader is heart sick at how she is taken from her village and moved to what must be nothing but slavery where children are trained from a very young age to fight in pits after having been bought and dragged across lands to be sold to different men who house children to make them fight.
Nona is one inch from death when she is moved to the convent of the Sweet Mercy. What is different about Sweet Mercy is that each of the novices are taught not only about the religion that is prevalent in this world, but, also the craft of being an assassin which comes in many forms. What draws the reader to the convent’s world is a cast of amazing characters, from the diverse personality and gifts of the sisters that are training the girls to each of the novices. In the middle of all the training is the promise that there is a “chosen one” in which rumors have floated across the land and it looks like she may have come to Sweet Mercy. This creates an additional rivalry as the students start vying for their roles not only in the school, but also in the world. Ara is brought to the convent under heavy guard to be protected because the emperor’s sister is known to have tried to have her taken from her family.
The convent is the one place where, like Nona, she can be safe. Nona comes to the convent under a cloud of suspicion and known to be from “peasants”. She is the youngest and smallest when she arrives and initially does not seem to take well to the others, especially after being abandoned by her village. Clera is the first person to take Nona under wing and the second person she calls friend which is of the utmost importance to Clera, so much so it resonates throughout their relationship and especially at the end of this first part of the story and leads me to my most favorite line in the book: “You choose your friends. If you’re going to worship dead people you didn’t choose, then perhaps the bonds of friendship shouldn’t be so easily broken. No?’ At the end of the day, most of us can say we didn’t choose our families, but, we did choose our friends which makes that choice of the utmost importance and something worth protecting. We have to wait until the next book to see how Clera chooses as she seems to always choose economic gain.

Friday, May 12, 2017




A countess flees home—and the family curse requiring her to marry a prince—to hide out in the South Carolina low country. There, she meets a man who’s not quite a prince…but who steals her heart all the same. 

Find out what happens in the fifth installment in Jennifer Chance’s Crowns and Gowns series, CURSED!
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Synopsis:

When the prince she was supposed to marry falls for someone else, Edeena Saleri is done with Garronia's courts, crowns, and family curses. She grabs her sisters and escapes to the nobility-free coast of South Carolina, USA.

Refuge isn't anything like it's supposed to be, however. The family's island vacation home now borders a singles' retreat, which Edeena's sisters embrace all too eagerly. Worse, the private protection firm Edeena hires is run by the most infuriating man she's ever met--a rough-hewn, dark-eyed, charismatic charmer named, of course, Prince. He's not a royal and he's nowhere near noble, so there's no way he can break the family curse. And yet...

Vincent "Prince" Rallis has spent his whole life justifying his name. The son of hardworking immigrant parents, he's hustled for every dime, finally building a personal security firm with the muscle and grit to live up to its promises. He's used to keeping his cool, but when the high-strung, high-class Edeena shuts him down despite her obvious interest, pride demands he fight for her--even if he has to track her back to her glittering court to prove his point. Only once Prince arrives in the seaside kingdom of Garronia, he finds his troubles are just beginning.

Sometimes love in Garronia can be magic. And sometimes you're just
 Cursed.


Available at:  Amazon

Add Cursed  to your GOODREADS TBR stack!




About Jennifer Chance:

Jennifer Chance is the award-winning author of the new adult Rule Breakers series as well as the contemporary romance modern royals Gowns & Crowns series. A lover of books, romance, and happily-ever-afters, she lives and writes in Ohio. In addition to her work in romance, she is also Jenn Stark, urban fantasy author of the Immortal Vegas series, and Jennifer McGowan, YA author of the Elizabethan spy series The Maids of Honor. She is truly NOT trying to become 27 Jennifers, but it's getting a little dicey. 

Connect with Jennifer: Website | BookBub | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon


Cursed (Gowns & Crowns, #5)Cursed by Jennifer Chance
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been a huge fan of this series, but, admittedly missed reading the two previous books. I received a copy from Barclay Publicity in exchange for an honest review. Although there were a couple of references to things I missed, the story still flowed well and was still engaging. Countess Edeena and her two slightly younger sisters have taken a vacation from the home in Garonnia to visit a family property in South Carolina. It was a property that her mother loved and their father insists be sold. I found this interesting given Edeena is in charge of her mother's holdings and the home was part of her mother's properties and not a property from her father, Silas' side of things. I did not get a good feel for why the property was being sold given they did not need the money, and the daughters and the cousin currently living there, love the property.

Silas, and apparently the entire kingdom of Garonnia are an extremely superstitious lot and apparently the Saleri side of the family has been cursed for over 100 years and Silas has specifically groomed Edeena to be the one to break the curse. Where the curse came from was a bit foggy and maybe to come in a future book or when I get a chance to re-read it and all of its predecessors (I love to re-read great books) I will pick up on where the curse came from. The Saleri's, though they are nobility, could have been the ruling family of Garonnia and Silas firmly believes it is the curse that has kept the cousins in charge of the land and the Saleri's at their feet and never ruling. Edeena has everything planned and knows her duty and plans to do it so that he sisters are not forced into trying to break the curse. There are bunch of rules that must be followed, one of which is that the person has to marry royalty or nobility. Another is that the person must bring the Saleris back together as a family. What is clear is that this particular rule was interpreted incorrectly and the person can marry someone who carries themselves with noble deportment and they have to bring the family back together.

Prince is really not a prince, but, happens to carry himself as a noble would so he picked up the nickname Prince as a child. He comes from a huge Greek family that loves hanging out together and a mom that loves being involved in her adult children's lives. Vince owns a security company and has taken on the security of Edeema and her sisters while they are in the U.S., a job that carries him back to Garonnia to see to her safety and as it should be, her happiness. If he can, he would like to protect her from herself as she digs in to break the curse even if it is to her own detriment. I have to admit that I fell for the trap laid by the author where I waited for a miraculous announcement that Vince really was a prince, because, hello, I love contemporary royal love stories. You will just have to read the story to know if this is what happens. I have never visited South Carolina, but, Jennifer Chance writes a story that describes its beauty and things that makes the reader want to go and check it out for themselves. Cursed not only does a great job with scenery but also with character development and a bit of family mystery. I loved the ending, and you will too.

Red Sister by Mark  Lawrence My rating: 5 of 5 stars Wow! I said it from the first pages of the book and I am still saying it as I get to...