17yo Merit is cursed to be a beast until she agrees to marry someone who her mother approves of. She meets 19yo Tevin, a professional conman, and they strike a bargain. Merit’s mother has set her up with three worthy candidates and Tevin is going to help Merit navigate their intentions because she doesn’t trust her instincts after being jilted by her boyfriend Jasper. Jasper left Merit after her mother offered him money to leave. Merit feels trapped by her mother and she doesn’t feel anything for the three candidates. As she confides in Tevin, the two of them become friends and more. As they work together, they unknowingly walk into danger and discover deception and they’re going to have to rely on each other more than they realize.
Likes/dislikes: I enjoyed the wonderful descriptions of the setting. The humor is cute and funny. I grew to love the charming characters. Mature content: PG for brief passionate kissing. Language: PG for 7 swears and no f-bombs. Violence: PG-13 for bloody death of an animal. Ethnicity: Merit is white, other characters are of mixed ethnicity, including fairy.
The kingdom’s balance is shaken in this duology finale!
The kingdom’s balance is shaken in this duology finale! In the imaginary world of Avantine, Lilac is now married to King Hansen. The kingdom’s citizens blame her for the odd and scary events that take place. They believe she’s a witch with dark magic. Strange deaths shake the balance in the kingdom and when her mother’s palace is destroyed, no one and nowhere feels safe. Cal and his cohorts have to work quickly to solve the problem and help rebuild their kingdom’s safety.
Likes/dislikes: The repeated mentions of past events became tedious. The relationships fell into place too conveniently and quickly towards the ending of the book. I would have liked to have more background on Jander and the demon wreaking havoc in the kingdom because that would have made the world building stronger and the story more interesting. The unwanted marriage between Lilac and the king overshadowed everything.
Mature Content: PG-13 for implied sex, gentle kissing, urgent nondescript kiss. Language: PG for 4 swears and no f-bombs. Violence: PG-13 for bloody deaths by stabbing and falling; messy, bloody death of a horse. Ethnicity: The ethnicity is mixed.
Quirks, romance, and high school antics alongside heartbreak and tragedy!
Cam is still devastated and heartbroken from Allison (Ally) breaking up with him months ago. Now he’s worried she won’t come out of the coma that was the result of a car accident she was in. He’s been injured during sports so he’s out of commission and is prescribed medication for the pain. He starts his pain meds and soon sees Ally. She talks to him. He thinks he must be hallucinating. The conversations began to occur frequently and Ally becomes more real and can physically move things. Cameron’s personality and sense of humor made me laugh. He’s endearing and learns a lot about himself through his hallucinatory conversations with Ally. I enjoyed reading this young adult realistic fiction story full of quirks, romance, and high school antics that also deals with more serious issues like heartbreak and tragedy, 5 stars!
In 1855 Philadelphia, Molly lives at an orphanage until her aunt requests that she live with her. Before she even meets her aunt, she’s told she has to pick up a package first which turns out to be nothing like she expects. Molly is mourning the death of her friend Kitty who drowned in the river. Mother Superior told Molly, with a sneer, that Kitty was pregnant and this made Molly angry because Kitty told that secret in confession and no one else should know except the priest. Tom works for Molly’s aunt Ava and he picks her up from the orphanage, takes her to pick up the package then transports her to Ava’s home. Molly finally meets Ava and is given snippets of information about living there and what she’s required to do to stay. She’s expected to collect bodies for Dr. Lavall’s lectures and usually this requires dishonesty. Molly is eventually allowed to join the lectures and discovers that she wants to become a doctor herself even though she’s not welcomed into the surgical world by society. Molly also becomes deeply entwined in the mystery of The Knifeman and it’s going to take all her cleverness and bravery to keep from becoming a victim herself.
Likes/dislikes: Suspenseful, creepy and frightening story kept me riveted. Molly’s strength overcomes her insecurities from being left in an orphanage by her parents and the abuse she suffered there. I enjoy the diverse characters and Tom’s personality and perseverance. The mystery is interesting.
Language: R for 43 swears and 4 f-bombs. Mature content: PG-13 for premarital sex without details and unwed pregnancy by side characters, kissing with main characters. Violence: PG-13 for grave robbery and stealing parts from dead bodies, such as teeth, an ear and skin, bloody remains, stabbing.
Fi hunts for books and historical artifacts. She’s been given a message to meet someone for a proposition. That someone is Shane, a treasure hunter that’s given up her inheritance to her brother. The two of them search the vacated woods known as the Witches Jewelry Box. Adventure and action make up most of the story along with the flashbacks and memories that build the characters’ backgrounds. Transitions were sometimes abrupt and jarring and the love between characters didn’t feel truly believable. Still a fun read, 4 stars!