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That's a Wrap: July through September 2016

... And I thought I'd get a lot of reading done this summer. Okay, but to be fair, I did take extra courses during the course of the two months, and had a job. Anyways, I've read a total of eight books this quarter, which I supposed isn't terrible, but I really could have done better.

There's always the next quarter, though I'm genuinely concerned that I won't finish my reading challenge this year :(

Unite Me
This compiles two novellas that accompany the Juliette Chronicles. It was a nice, quick read.

Be With Me
I am super in love with all of J. Lynn's characters. If you enjoy reading new adult romance, I cannot recommend J. Lynn enough!

The Summer that Melted Everything
An excellent, thought-provoking read.

Ouran Host Club, Vol. 1
A cute, fun romantic manga! I've watched the anime, and I've heard that the manga goes more in depth with the plot as well as characters, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Review + Giveaway: Kings or Pawns (The Kings 1) by J. J. Sherwood

Kings or Pawns by J. J. Sherwood
Published by Silver Helm on July 5th 2016
Genre(s): Fantasy, Political
Pages: 383 pages
Format: eBook
Source: Author
The first book in JJ Sherwood's Steps of Power epic fantasy series. The Kings, Book I: Kings or Pawns is a political intrigue that spirals into an action and adventure series as the final events unfold.

8,994 P.E.—The elven city of Elvorium has become corrupted to the core by politics. With his father dead and the Royal Schism at his back, Prince Hairem ascends the throne as king of the elven world on Sevrigel. Young and bold, Hairem is determined to undo the council’s power, but the brutal murders by an assassin loosed within the city threaten to undermine the king’s ambitions.

As corruption and death threaten to tear Elvorium apart from within, the warlord Saebellus threatens the city from without, laying siege to Sevrigel’s eastern capital. With the elven world crumbling around him, Hairem finds himself in a dangerous political balance between peace and all out war.
Here, everything was resilient. Here, everything had learned to survive.
HOLY CRAP. New favourite fantasy book right here. This book surprised me in all the right ways. I honestly did not think I would have enjoyed such a politic-heavy book, but I LOVE this book. The world creation is amazing, the characters are fantastic, and great writing tops it off! This read is a fully fledged five star for me.

Review: A Solitary Romance by Violet Sparks

A Solitary Romance by Violet Sparks
Published May 30th 2016
Genre(s): Romance
Pages: 230 pages
Format: eBook
Source: Books and the Bear

Daydreamer Katrina Crimshaw just met the man of her dreams, again. A chance encounter with Robert LaSalla, the co-worker she admired from afar years before, brings the past alive for the shy auditor. Will she be able to juggle her secret life with her career and changing work situation?

Katrina leads a comfortable life with a loving family and close work relationships. She finds an outlet for her creative side by blogging about her passion for jewelry under a pseudo name. There's no room for romance in her life until she runs into Robert LaSalla, the man who caught her eye when she was just out of college and still stinging from a broken engagement. Although she hasn't seen him in years, he still intimidates her and sets her heart pounding. As unexpected opportunities arise from her blog, she finds herself drawn to a charming British museum director, while unforeseen circumstances throw Robert back in her path and upset her well-ordered life. When passion flares, will she let love slip through her fingers again?

A Solitary Romance is a clean romance that will set readers’ pulses racing.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good drama, and I think this book has just the right amount of it. However, the plot, characters, and writing style were disappointing, generating a one star for this novel.

The story did not give me a great first impression. The novel opened up with a scene of a grown man acting like a Saturday morning cartoon character. Yes, I understand there are characters that are of a more comedic nature, but the whole scene just felt out of place, especially since the plot did not dive further into that particular character's background. Needless to say, it did not hook me in at all. The rest of the plot is underdeveloped. The general story line is there; a romance full of misunderstandings, soul-searching, and trust issues, but I still have lots of unanswered questions.

Review: The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel
Published by St. Martin's Press on July 26th 2016
Genre(s): Fiction, Comtemporary
Pages: 320 pages
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere - a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he's welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he's a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.
WOW. This is a good book if I've ever read one. It's beautifully written, with thoughtful characters, and a captivating plot. I've never read anything like it, which is probably why I'm having so much trouble trying to put my feelings for this book into words.

Here's a short book trailer that I received from the author:

Checked Out (2): Summer Reading

I recently went to the library and picked up a rather large bunch, as you can see. As I am taking summer school (bleh) I do not have an abundance of time to read or anything, but I will get to indulge in all of my bookish pleasures at the end of this month, where hopefully I can get ahead of my reading challenge (YES, Goodreads, I KNOW I am five books behind).

For the most part, they are books that have been recommended to me over and over again, and due to popular demand, I wasn't able to get a hold of them until now. I really, really, REALLY hope I can get through these before school starts.

Without further ado, here is my latest library haul!

Book Tour: The Black Morass by Barbara Devlin (+ Excerpt)

The second part of the Barbara Devlin tour brings you The Black Morass! Released early July, it marks the beginning of Devlin's newest series, Pirates of the Coast. Keep reading to find out more about the book, as well as an excerpt.

Forever glancing over his shoulder, Jean Marc Cavalier is a ruthless pirate with the blood of countless souls on his hands and a price on his head, but he is a lonely man. In exchange for a chance at redemption, pardons for his crew, and a peaceful life, he accepts a pact that could result in liberty or death, if only he can survive the terms, but at least he will be free. When he rescues a young woman in distress, and vows to return her to her family, he is torn between his natural instincts born of violence and the honorable bargain he struck. What will Jean Marc choose?

En route to Jamaica to join her father, after her guardian dies, Lady Madalene Davies departs Boston in anticipation of a new life in a foreign land. When her ship is attacked and set afire, she is left for dead, until an unlikely savior comes to her aid. Brash and bawdy, her flawed hero defies the conventional ideal, as he is no knight in shining armor and seems forever intent on shocking her, yet she cannot resist the lure he presents. What happens when danger lurks in unexpected places, faith is broken, and Madalene must rely on Jean Marc to stay alive?

That's a Wrap: April through June 2016

I'm absolutely terrible with posting wrap ups every single month, so I've decided to do quarterly wrap ups. (Seriously, here I am doing my wrap up five days into July. Sorry!) Well, without further ado, here are all the books I read between April and June!