Review: Bewitching Mr. Darcy: A Pride and Prejudice Paranormal — by Cass Grix”


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Bewitching Mr. Darcy: A Pride and Prejudice Paranormal

Author: Cass Grix

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 of 5)

Genre / Pages: Paranormal / 99

Summary: Fitzwilliam Darcy has never met a woman like Elizabeth Bennet. He finds her fascinating, irritating, compelling, inspiring, maddening, and absolutely beautiful. If he didn’t know better, he would think he was bewitched.

Bewitching Mr. Darcy is a Pride and Prejudice Variation, a paranormal novella.

Cover Review: I really love this cover! It’s gorgeous!

My review: I received a free copy of this novella in exchange for an honest review. So I’ll be honest: I have watched the Kiera Knightley Pride and Prejudice twice, the Pride and Prejudice: A Latter-day Comedy twice, and I thoroughly enjoyed both films. But I’m definitely not a Jane Austen fangirl (are they called Janeites?) or anything. So, admittedly, I was a bit hesitant when Cass approached me with reading these novellas. But I decided to give this novella a shot, and I was very pleasantly surprised.

It was an absolutely charming (pun totally intended) novella! Cass provides a a refreshing and quirky take on a classic romance. And in case that isn’t enough to convince you, Cass’ writing style is absolutely beautiful. She is a masterful storyteller, and adeptly weaves the magical world with the muggl– erm, non-magical world. She crafts complex characters that I actually care about. I definitely like Bewitching Mr. Darcy better than the original Pride & Prejudice… I think that every story ever written can benefit from a healthy dose of magic.

In this novella, we’re introduced to a mostly hidden world of wizardry during a very formal and conservative time. Some wizards have “come out” and are publicly ridiculed for their delusional practices, but most wizards are, like Elizabeth and her father, secretive and subtle in their magic useage. What happens when the fiercely independent and self-confident Elizabeth Bennet decides that she wants to humble the arrogant and closed-off Fitzwilliam Darcy? Well, you’ll have to buy the e-book HERE to find out ;)

Content AdvisorySome kissing, etc. Nothing explicit. 

To Sum It Up: Bewitching Mr. Darcy  was fun and quick read. I loved this story, and I’m sure that other YA fans of Paranormal Romance would, too!  I highly recommend it to readers 12+.

Review: Aphrodite – By Kaitlin Bevis

Aphrodite
Cover image and summary from Goodreads.com.

Title: Aphrodite (Daughters of Zeus, #4)

Author: Kaitlin Bevis

Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 of 5)

Genre/Pages: Mythology / 204

Summary: Being perfect isn’t easy, but Aphrodite is determined to live up to the ideal. So when Poseidon asks her to investigate strange happenings on several cruise ships, she jumps at the chance to prove herself. Demigods are going missing, and no one remembers them having been on board. Aphrodite charms herself into the best room on the ship, prepared to investigate in style. Unfortunately, the room belongs to the one man immune to her charm.
Adonis.
When Aphrodite realizes that he could be the next target, her investigation gets more complicated. Worse, whoever is responsible for the missing demigods charmed the passengers and armed them with long-forgotten weapons designed to kill gods. When the ship goes dark, Aphrodite and Adonis have to work together to discover who is behind the mayhem before Poseidon decides their ship, and every charmed and armed human on it, are more trouble than they’re worth.

Cover Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ (1 of 5) The first cover was beautiful, the second was breathtaking, and the third was kinda cool. But the fourth cover? I hate it. Well, not the whole thing. The bottom half, though still photoshop, is at least nice looking photoshop. It’s pretty, it matches the other three covers, and it looks really cool. But the top half is horrible. Like, yes, I understand that this is Aphrodite but this IS still a YA novel, and the top half is just ughhh. Also, why do people think it’s okay to cut off heads? I know they’re just trying to draw more attention to her (photoshop generated) body, but it’s dumb and not at ALL aesthetically pleasing. This is not a book I would carry around with me anywhere. Probably won’t even buy a physical copy because I don’t care to have this cover on my bookshelf. Which is sad, because I love Kaitlin’s books.

My Review: But please, don’t judge this book by it’s cover. The book was actually pretty fantastic, and it is not the lovely author’s fault that the cover is bad.  It took two whole years, but finally we got the fourth book! I don’t like how this book ended (it made the book feel more like Part One of Two, rather than a complete book), but it was still thoroughly enjoyable.

Favorite Quote: “Love could be pain and fear and strength and wonder and everything in-between. But it was never poison.”

Hero/Heroine: Aphrodite and Adonis. Though they still aren’t as awesome as Persephone and Hades, the stars of the first three books, Aphrodite and Adonis are both pretty fantastic characters. They are complex, flawed, and fascinating. You really CARE about them, and I thought that was beautifully executed. I also loved the very different take on Ares in this book compared to how you normally see the god of war portrayed. It was wonderful and intriguing to see him as a caring, compassionate kind of person.

Plot: As I mentioned earlier, it didn’t feel like a complete book, but that’s alright because Kaitlin will be writing a fifth book in the series. Though I pride myself on being able to predict plot twists, Aphrodite remained surprisingly unpredictable and very emotional. Reading this book was a whirlwind ride. I absolutely adore this world that Kaitlin has created – I love her new and refreshing take on mythology, and the life that she breathes into these characters. As always, this book was a masterpiece by Kaitlin Bevis!

Content Advisory: This is a story about Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, so that should tell you something… It gets very intense, but never graphic. It deals with heavy topics such as rape, rape under the influence of drugs, and blackmail rape. Most everything happens off-page, but it’s still discussed. Even then, this is what lost Aphrodite the possible 5-star rating. I think there was a lot more than necessary in a YA novel, even though it does help create awareness about crucial issues such as date rape. There is also a massacre (not graphic), and some torture. This book does narrowly maintain it’s YA rating, though. 

To Sum It Up: Kaitlin masterfully weaves each new mythology retelling, and I will continue to read everything she writes. She is a phenomenal author! Aphrodite was a nice addition to the Daughters of Zeus series. It was well-paced,  suspenseful, and full of surprises. If you’ve read the other books in the series, absolutely read this one! But I don’t think it’s the kind of book I desperately want to re-read. I recommend this book to readers 17 years of age or older. 

Book Release! Wednesday Riders (Island Trilogy, #2) – By Tudor Robins

You may recall back in August when I was gushing about Appaloosa Summer in my review. Tudor Robins truly restored my faith in equestrian fiction and contemporary romance in one fell swoop — and I fell madly in love with Appaloosa Summer, hardly able to wait for the sequel. Well, today, I am INSANELY EXCITED to announce that the sequel is available for purchase on Amazon.com. Do you love horses? Romance? A fun, light, novel? Appaloosa Summer became my “Happy book”. I just started Wednesday Riders, and I expect it to be the same. I am SO SO EXCITED. I’m sure this book is going to be just as (if not more) amazing than Appaloosa Summer! And if ALL of that isn’t enough… check out the GORGEOUS cover! It’s to die for!

Cover image from author, summary from goodreads.com. Image links to Goodreads book page.
Cover image from author, summary from goodreads.com. Image links to Goodreads book page.

Summary: The island.
Meg can’t wait to get back. She’s excited to see her new mare kick up her heels in Salem’s old paddock. She’s impatient to run on country roads between breeze-blown hayfields.
Mostly, Meg longs to be back with Jared again.
It’s going to be the perfect summer.
But can real life live up to Meg’s huge expectations?

When Jared makes a heart-wrenching confession, Meg has to re-evaluate everything. If perfection’s not possible, can Meg find a way to build happiness for herself?
Fans of Appaloosa Summer will welcome the return to familiar places and characters, with the chance to be captivated by more of the beauty, romance, and dreaminess of Meg’s summer island life.

In addition to that, Tudor has an announcement to make:

“To show how much I appreciate my readers’ feedback, any reviews of Wednesday Riders posted on Amazon or Goodreads until March 15, 2015 will make the review-writer eligible to win print copies of Appaloosa Summer and Wednesday Riders, as well as my first book, Objects in Mirror.”

Now that’s an offer too great to pass up!

Make sure to buy your copy here! You won’t regret it!

Review: Her Ex Next Door – by Beverly Farr

Cover image and summary from goodreads.com. Image links to Goodreads book page.
Cover image and summary from goodreads.com. Image links to Goodreads book page.

Title: Her Ex Next Door

Author: Beverly Farr

Summary: Ginny hasn’t told anyone about her brief marriage nine years ago — not even her new fiancé. But sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas.

Ginny is planning to get married in six weeks, but then her ex-husband Derek shows up. Derek has always been trouble — too smart, too sexy, too unreliable. Ginny wants nothing to do with him, but now he’s rich, and he has mischief on his mind. Ginny does not want to trade her dreams of happily-ever-after for a guaranteed heartache.

Author’s Note: in this book you will find a late night rendezvous, a wedding, a financial crisis, a sexy millionaire, and brownies.

Her Ex Next Door is a sweet, quirky, clean romance.

Genre/Pages: Sweet Romance/146

Rating: ★★ (4.5 of 5)

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Review: This was the first romance novel I ever read.  Honestly, the plot synopsis made it sound like the type of super cliche book that I would totally hate. But it wasn’t! I was SO HAPPY! Plus, the cover is totally adorable! I read this book during finals week, and it made my life so much easier. Great stress reliever. It was a fun book.

Hero/Heroine: I should’ve hated these characters. They had the making of characters I would hate. Cuz, you see, Lynette Dalley does not like romance novels. And yet… I loved these characters, and this book. Beverly Farr is an amazing author.

Ginny: She was a great character. With an amazing name! She seems very uptight at first, kind of out of her element. Her mother is an wealthy upper class elite who goes through husbands like shoes. As her mother tries to control the preparations for Ginny’s upcoming, you can tell that this isn’t who Ginny is. She feels very out of place, and not altogether happy with the wedding. She has an amazing job, and loves her work. She’s not stupid, and she doesn’t try to lead anyone on. It’s a nice change. 

Derek: Well, well, well… What have we here? When the word “sexy” is used as one of the main descriptors of a male love interest, I usually hate the character, cuz it’s usually just an “eye candy” stupid character who has no actually depth, complexity, or story. Dylan was different. He was real. Yeah, he was super smooth and attractive, but he had an actual story, an actual background. He hides behind his smooth talking, but when you get to know him… he’s a real person.

Plot: This basic story could’ve ended up being very bitter, cliche, predictable, and boring. However, Beverly Farr expanded upon the premise, she created deep, realistic, and lovable characters. As their background and story begins to be revealed piece by piece, you begin to understand everything that’s going on. 

The Ending. I think a lesser author wouldn’t have been able to pull it off. You kind of guess at it from the beginning, but I wasn’t sure how it could be pulled off. Beverly Farr was fantastic. She pulled it off with such style. It just made sense… it was a very satisfying and happy ending.

Content Advisory: As the author herself says: “What you will find in my stories:
1. Sweet quirky romance.
2. Very little swearing. There may be an occasional h*ll or d*mn, maybe even a b***h, but there will be no Lord’s name in vain and no f-bombs.
3. No explicit sex scenes. Characters might discuss sex, but any love scenes are off screen (Think AFRICAN QUEEN).
4. No vampires. At least, not yet.”

To Sum it Up: I LOVED THIS BOOK. It was so fun, and good, and enjoyable. It was what one might even call a “guilty pleasure” book. I’m really liking this new sweet romance genre! I read it in a day, hardly put it down, and yet I didn’t feel like I’d wasted any of my time! It was well worth the hours of happiness this book brought. It was just a genuinely GOOD book. I highly recommend it to 16+.

Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it? 

Review: Corporate Husband – by Beverly Farr

Cover image and summary from goodreads.com. Image links to Goodreads book page.
Cover image and summary from goodreads.com. Image links to Goodreads book page.

Title: Corporate Husband

Author: Beverly Farr

Summary: To inherit her grandfather’s chocolate company, Louisa Brannigan needs a loyal employee to marry her and keep his mouth shut. Justin Reilly seems like the ideal candidate, until he starts changing the rules. Corporate Husband is book one in the Love and Chocolate Series. Each book is a stand-alone sweet romance without cliff-hangers.

Genre/Pages: Sweet Romance/238

Rating: ★★ (5 of 5)

My Review:  

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Hero/Heroine: Obviously, this is fiction. Sweet romance, to be exact. So I wasn’t really expecting a hero/heroine. HowEVER, the two main characters (and love interests — Go figure!) were absolutely amazing characters. They were very detailed, and REAL. Their struggles and dialogue felt so real. It was wonderful. They were real, complex, people with their own problems and fears. It made for a wonderful romance.

Louisa Brannigan: In the beginning, you think you’ve got Louisa Brannigan all figured out. For whatever reasons she has, she is getting married so that she can keep her multi-billionaire company alive. Wow. Seriously? The author does a fantastic job of helping you to jump to conclusions about the characters about a million different times, only  to slowly unravel their story and background. As you came to understand Louisa and where she’s coming from, you come to love her. She was a fantastic character. She was very independent, but she was able to let her guard down, too.

Justin Reilly: Where to start? I wasn’t sold on him from the start. But I did end up loving him. It was the same as with Louisa. You learn not to judge people from first impressions, and you learn to love them from their experiences and actions. He was gentle, understanding, and yet always liked to push the limits, just a little bit. He was wonderful. He was brave. He was flawed. 

Plot: This is the second romance novel I have ever read. I read it during finals week, and it was a welcome stress reliever. It wasn’t a high intensity plot, nor did it require constant focus and thought (i.e. it wasn’t a mystery or crime novel), it was just a wonderful world to go into. To be able to focus on someone else’s life, and not think about finals. So, no, action-wise there isn’t a LOT that happens… but what did happen was perfect. There was just a touch of action, danger, and drama that slowly unraveled until it reached the breaking point. The romance was completely clean, and yet highly enjoyable. It was complex, it was real. There was no insta-love. There was no forbidden love. There was no love triangle. It was a REAL RELATIONSHIP, one that was grown over time. One that slowly progressed. It was beautiful and realistic.

And the plot twist and ending?!?!??! Just when you think it’s just another romance novel… Well, you’ll never see it coming, but you’ll love every second of it. It wasn’t unrealistic, but it was fantastic.

Content Advisory: As the author herself says: “What you will find in my stories:
1. Sweet quirky romance.
2. Very little swearing. There may be an occasional hell or damn, maybe even a b***h, but there will be no Lord’s name in vain and no f-bombs.
3. No explicit sex scenes. Characters might discuss sex, but any love scenes are off screen (Think AFRICAN QUEEN).
4. No vampires. At least, not yet.”

To Sum it Up: This book was GREAT fun. I enjoyed every second of it, and it’s a book that I could definitely see myself re-reading later — probably during finals week again. The characters and dialogue are just so engaging that you can’t put it down. It makes you cry, it makes you laugh, it makes you smile, and is quite near impossible to put down. I LOVED THIS BOOK. I can’t WAIT to read the next in the series! I love happy endings! Real life fairytales! THIS BOOK.

I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone over 16+.

Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it? 

Review: The Iron Queen – by Kaitlin Bevis

Cover image and summary from goodreads.com. Image links to Goodreads book page.
Cover image and summary from goodreads.com. Image links to Goodreads book page.

Title: The Iron Queen (Daughters of Zeus, #3)

Author: Kaitlin Bevis

Summary: Life is hell for Persephone. Zeus will stop at nothing to gain access to the living realm and the Underworld, and as the only living god with a right to both, Persephone’s in trouble. Captured and tortured beyond the limits of her resolve, Persephone must find the power to stand against Zeus. But will she be strong enough?

Meanwhile, Hades contemplates desperate measures to rescue his queen. Persephone never thought of herself as dangerous, but there’s a reason gods never marry for love. A being with the power to destroy all of creation shouldn’t place more value in one individual than the rest of the planet. But Hades…Hades would break the world for her.

To save the world and stop both Hades and Zeus, Persephone must make a difficult choice. One that may cost her everything.

Genre/Pages: Mythology/Sweet Romance/228

Rating: ★★ (5 of 5)

WARNING: Brace yourself! My inner fangirl side may come through overwhelmingly heavy, potentially rambling, and undoubtebly long. You have been warned. It may also be grammatically incorrect at times.


My Review: I was given a copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

First Paragraph: “Watching my wife chase after a human boy was hell. The heavy rain drenched the thin fabric of her clothes in seconds, plastering them to her body in a way that would be appealing…if he wasn’t going to see her, too. I clenched my jaw. She just doesn’t want him to get hurt. It wasn’t as though I wanted any mortals caught in the crossfire when we faced Zeus either. Persephone was just going to charm the boy into leaving the park.”

So, if you remember, a LONG time ago, Kaitlin Bevis contacted me and sent me a copy of her first book, Persephone, which I promptly, read, fell in love with, and REVIEWED. A few weeks ago, I read Daughter of the Earth and Sky, fell in love with it, REVIEWED it, and promptly started The Iron Queen. I read both books in under 24 hours. I don’t know what I would have done if I had had to wait more than 2 minutes to start the final book. That was one KILLER cliffhanger!

Hero/Heroine: This book is narrated by 3 people, with your typical multiple POV approach to keeping track of three different subplots and courses of action promoting the overall story plot. It is narrated by the following:

Persephone: Well, this was kinda obvious, I suppose. Persephone’s character (as in the personality trait) grew tremendously over the course of this novel, not to mention her actual character. Being in her head was hard – and even empathically physically and emotionally painfully – at times, but it was incredible to see her character growth. In the last book she was only just starting her “coming of age,” her transition from teenage girl to goddess, but it wasn’t until The Iron Queen that that transformation is fully completed and Persephone becomes the QUEEN she was always destined to be. And what a queen she is! I was afraid, what with all the torture she is going through (both mental AND physical) that one of two things would happen. Either A) she would pull a Katniss, go completely crazy with PTSD and be completely useless for the rest of forever… or, B) She would have NO PTSD, and thus make the whole thing a completely unrealistic story. I know, I know, Catch 22. I’m impossible to please.

…But I was pleased. Quite pleased, in fact, with how this wonderful character reacts to her situations and circumstances. She is the PERFECT representation of a strong female lead. She has strength, integrity, resourcefulleness, yet she’s not afraid to lean on others for support – men and women alike. She has a strong and healthy relationship, and despite all her circumstances, retains the grace and compassion that make her such a wonderful woman and queen.

Hades: I was absolutely overjoyed at the news that Hades would be narrating a third of this story! Getting to be IN his head, getting to know his character on that level…! Let’s just say, I was psyched. About Hades. Let me put it this way: People say that

Photo Credit: Earth to Yogi: Perfection is a Myth. Check out the article here!

… Well, you know what else is a myth? HADES! Therefore, HADES IS PERFECTION! (Teenager fangirl logic. Don’t you just love it?)

I love him. So much. He is the perfect fictional boyfriend. He’s a little bit of everything. He’s got a dark side (Hello! Lord of the Underworld here!), but he never lets the dark overtake the light. In fact, he’s been known to spout psycho-babble to anyone who’ll listen about the 7 stages of grief, and how to help souls transition to their new life as deadmen. (Sorry, uneccessary fangirl fact. Where was I? Oh, yeah)… He doesn’t hide anything from her, and he doesn’t try to push her away “for her safety” (yawn! That plot gets old fast!). And, honestly, I could go on for HOURS about how he is the best boyfriend EVER, but…

Get this! He’s also a STUNNING (and gorgeous) character OUTSIDE OF HIS RELATIONSHIP. Go figure! He’s an excellent example of a strong male character. He’s flawed, but almost endearingly so. He can be a little headstrong, stubborn, and he likes to be in charge, tends to think he’s right (well, he is, generally), but he has a sweet side, too. A soft side. It may be hard to enter his inner circle, but once you do, he will do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to protect his loved ones. He is a perfect gentleman, with a great sense of humor, and a terrific personality.

Aphrodite: When I saw HER name at the top of the chapter heading. I was shocked. I couldn’t quite understand why Aphrodite had been chosen as our third narrator. I couldn’t see how being in her head would add to the plot at all. I was wrong. She was a confusing character. When you first discover her betrayal, that’s all you see to her. I can’t say anything else, except for: “BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!” Aphrodite is the kind of character I love. A bit naive, a bit helpless, and you can never truly be sure she’s working for your best interests. She’s quite the wild ride of a character, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her story slowly unfold.

Long story short: Kaitlin Bevis’ characters? SPOT ON.

The Romantic Relationship: I’ve gotta say, their relationship just makes me think of the song Amazed – by Lonestar. Especially the whole “I can hear your thoughts, I can see your dreams” line. I think the whole song kinda sums up their relationship, in a way. I can’t say much, except that it is healthy. Perfect equality. Equilibrium. Two halves of a whole. Partners. Lovers. Best Friends. Trust.

Plot: I didn’t love this book quite as much as I did the previous two books, but I think that partially was because SO MUCH happened in book two! Bevis completely destroyed the Second Book Syndrome! A LOT happened, and it covered a long period of time. A few months, maybe longer. And then this book came along – just as stunning as the other’s in most every other way, but it covered such a brief period of time that it FELT like less happened, when in fact, it was the climax of the entire trilogy. After the heart pounding, edge of your seat events of book two, it seemed like book three had suddenly slowed down. Because of the brief time span and the large number of new characters, and regardless of the heart pounding suspense of the events, everything seemed to move slower. The character’s actions were more planned. More precise.  Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, just something I noticed. It was a drastic change.

WOW. This plot. I can’t say much without spoiling, so I’ll try to be brief. The gods all have to come together to meet their goals, but CAN they work together? Will they be in time to save Persephone and the entire mortal world? It was fantastic getting to dive into each of the gods and their specific stories, backgrounds, and getting to see what each of them contributed to the small army. Throughout this book you have the distinct sense of despair. That their is honestly no way to get out, no way to accomplish the mission, and even if they do find a way  that MANY will die in the process. You were feeling what the characters were feeling. For just a moment, you dropped the constant critique and analyzation of how the story was going to end, how it was going to resolve, and just were engrossed in the moment. Dragged along with the characters, unsure of what future laid ahead. You never saw anything coming. Until it hit you.

Content Advisory: A handful of minor cuss words (B-, D-, S-, and H- words). One F-bomb (completely unecessary). There is a lot of intense torture performed on a young woman. Mostly just hit by lightning a few thousand times. It was a disturbing few scenes. You were in her head, experiencing the – detailed – agony of a lightning strike on the human body. There is an implied threat of sexual violence, but it never pans out. It’s all VERY realistic and disturbing. Sort of an Elizabeth Smart type of experience. It’s horrifying, but strictly PG-13. Mentions of, and a few scenes of, making out. Just kissing. Mentions of a cult of surfer girls and guys, the girls in “various stages of undress” throughout the whole thing.

To Sum it Up: I LOVED THIS BOOK. THIS SERIES. Kaitlin Bevis created a masterpiece, a stunning finish to a spectacular series. The one thing that I adore the most about this book is definitely the characters. Bevis creates real people. Everything about the character’s, their emotions, and their story is just SO REAL. You cannot help but fall in love. The world is masterfully crafted, and once you have entered it, you will find yourself constantly wishing to go back.

Oh, and did I mention that l desperately want one of these?: a living, air plant, necklace. :D

Buy one from the Etsy seller, by clicking here!
Buy one from the Etsy seller, by clicking here!

I HIGHLY recommend The Iron Queen to readers ages 16+.

Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it? 

Review: Daughter of the Earth and Sky – by Kaitlin Bevis

Daughter of earth and sky
Cover image and summary from Goodreads.com. Image links to goodreads book page.

 

Title: Daughter of the Earth and Sky (Daughters of Zeus, #2)

Author: Kaitlin Bevis

Summary: Some vows can never be broken. Persephone thought she could go back to her normal life after returning from the Underworld. She was wrong. The goddess Aphrodite is born among the waves with more charm than she can control. Zeus is stalking Persephone and her loved ones, and Thanatos is no longer content with Persephone’s silence. He wants her soul.

Persephone can’t tell anyone about Thanatos’ betrayal, and it drives a wedge between her and Hades. Her mother is still keeping secrets, and Melissa’s jealousy of Aphrodite threatens to tear their friendship apart. Alone, Persephone turns to a human boy for comfort. But will their relationship put him in danger? Sacrifices must be made, and Persephone must choose between her human life and her responsibilities as a goddess. If she doesn’t, she could lose them both. But will either life be worth choosing once Zeus is through with her?

Genre/Pages: Mythology/Sweet Romance/228

Rating: ★★★ (6 of 5)

WARNING: Brace yourself! My inner fangirl side may come through overwhelmingly heavy, potentially rambling, and undoubtebly long. You have been warned.


My Review: I was given a copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

First Paragraph: “I’d been here before. My bare feet glided over the leaf-strewn path, unharmed by the rocks and twigs crunching beneath me. Massive live oaks draped with Spanish moss created a canopy above me, transforming the forest path into a tunnel of speckled sunlight. The air was heavy with humidity. The moist heat pressed against my skin and stole the breath from my lungs. By the time I reached the path’s end, my Eeyore nightshirt clung to my skin.”

Me at this point in the book: “***EEEEEEE!*** OHMYGOODNESS, I missed this world so much! I’m so happy! I  love these characters!” <<< And that basically sums up my feelings/sounds throughout the entire book. Heavy emphasis on the squealing. :P But, seriously, let’s get down to business. THIS BOOK WAS SO AMAZING! So, if you remember, a LONG time ago, Kaitlin Bevis contacted me and sent me a copy of her first book, Persephone, which I promptly, read, fell in love with, and REVIEWED.

After raving about how much I adored her books, she sent me the final two books in the trilogy, and I just hadn’t had TIME to read them until a few days ago. It was 10 PM, and I just thought: “I want a book that makes me happy.” So, I decided to pick up Daughter of the Earth and Sky, and read a few chapters before going to bed. 4 hours later, at 2 am, I endured a horrendous and paining inner struggle. It went something like this:
Rational me: Lynette! You have to be RIDING A HORSE in 7 hours! You need to be rested and alert or else you’ll die!

Fangirl me: Just one more page???  PLEASE???

Rational: NO. SLEEP. SLEEP NOW.

Fangirl: But– but… Hades! He’s so perfect! I love him so much!

Rational: ,’:l

Fangirl: Oh, no you didn’!

Rational: GO TO SLEEP.

Fangirl: I WILL NOT SLEEP UNTIL I READ THE LAST 100 PAGES OF THIS FANTABULOUS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!! If I stop now my life will be OVER!!!

(Everything gets more dramatic and emotional at 2 am.)

Eventually, rational me won out, and I heart wrenchingly put the book down. Throughout the following 20 hours, every second I wasn’t reading either this book, or The Iron Queen (book 3 in the trilogy), I was thinking about them. Non-stop. Obsessively. Kaitlin Bevis is a spectacular author, and there are no words of praise I could offer that would come close to describing how much I loved this book. It’s not like Harry Potter, or Percy Jackson, or Divergent, a book that you can recommend to EVERYONE, because not EVERYONE would love Daughter of the Earth and Sky. It’s an interesting genre, one that many authors have been attempting to fulfill, but I wholeheartedly consider Kaitlin Bevis the reigning champion of  YA Mythological Sweet Romance. And mythology. And romance. And just non-HP YA in general. Kaitlin is the QUEEN! Okay, sorry, the aftermath of such an incredible book is still deluding my rational, professional, review process. #Sorrynotsorry

Hero/Heroine: Hades and Persephone. Don’t even get me started. TOO LATE! There are two parts to this section (again, If you’re still reading this far, thank you!), the characters, and the romance. Let me go over the characters themselves first:

Persephone: Let me preface this by saying that I am an actress, first and foremost. I’ve been in amateur productions my whole life, and often times will find myself critiquing a character based on how well they could be brought to life  on a stage or a screen. In this case, however, I fell in love with Persephone’s character, because she had EVERYTHING I’d always wanted in a character I dreamt of playing. She was REAL. She wasn’t unnaturally intelligent and 5 steps ahead of everyone else, but she wasn’t stupid. She made mistakes. She was a goddess (y’know, little details). Even when she made mistakes, you still didn’t hate her. She had laspses in judgement. She could kick some serious butt if needed. She commanded authority. She was broken. She had a secret that she physically couldn’t disclose. She wasn’t some stupid teenage girl.  She logically considered her actions. But sometimes she blew up at people. She struggled. She thought people could never love her again. But she was strong, she was confident, she was the single most AMAZING female character I have ever read. She inspired me.

Persephone2
Point at You by Justin Moore

Hades: The reason this novel didn’t need to stoop to the level of a love triangle is because Hades is BOTH male POINTS OF THE TRIANGLE. Hades had the dark, greater-good, responsible, side. He also had the sweet, caring, sacrificing, understanding, side. He’s the dark lord of the Underworld, and he’s also the world’s greatest male protagonist. He’s someone that you instantly fall in love with.

Long story short: The character development was perfect. Though each of these characters were great love interests, they were also characters OUTSIDE of their relationship. They actually taught you good morals.

Their Relationship: It was a healthy relationship. They weren’t dependent on eachother, they were equals. I think far to many novels these days are written surrounding “relationships of convenience”. i.e. They’re both in the same situation, they are friends, they are physically attracted to each other, and desperately want a relationship. So they decide to make out. That is not AT ALL how Persephone and Hades’ relationship was handled. It was beautiful. They have a HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP. What a concept in YA novel!

Created on postergen.com.
Created on postergen.com.

 

Plot: This is where it gets real. Though I have classified it as a romance, that’s not how this really is. Yes, there is a romance. Yes, it is incredible, and you adore the characters. But, wait! THERE’S MORE! There was a fantastic plot outside of that romance! The story was so REAL. Everything that these characters went through, everything that happened, was stunning. You never had a Shannon Hale-type of problem where you’re bored and frustrated because you can see the outcome, and don’t want to wait 100 pages for it to get around to FINALLY resolving. (Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE Shannon’s work, but that’s another story.) Even though you KNEW it would resolve, you didn’t see how. You were on the edge of your seat (quite literally), completely engrossed in the story. It wasn’t a predictable story, and Kaitlin Bevis puts a completely new twist on the old mythology. YOU WILL LOVE EVERY SECOND OF IT.

Content Advisory: A handful of D-words, S-words, a few B- words, a fair amount of H-words. THREE F-BOMBS. (Not used lightly, though. In context, I wasn’t TOO upset, because that’s just what the characters would have said in such an extreme situation.) Talk of “second base”, clubbing, making out with random guys, and doing “more than kissing.” (Under a mystical influence). There are two bedroom scenes, one gets to shirts having been taken off (Again, mystical influence), and then they stop. The other is implied as sex, but it’s never talked about or described in anyway. My big thing with these books, and these amazing characters can be summed up like this:

Persephone3

 

And that’s how the (non-mystical influence) relationships were handled. It wasn’t taken lightly, it wasn’t cliche, they were equals (no crazy age difference…not one that mattered, anyway), and it was beautiful, and, GET THIS, a HEALTHY relationship!!! However, it’s still for mature readers. They need to be able to understand. 

To Sum it Up: In case you haven’t gotten the drift yet, I ADORED THIS BOOK AND IT’S CHARACTERS. If you love Mythology, read this book! If you love YA, read this book! If you love sweet, clean, romance, read this book! If you want a book that will make you genuinely happy, READ. THIS. BOOK. It has a great romance, great characters, a great world, and an even greater plot! It’s a heartwarming, laugh-out-loud, edge of your seat, GOOD book.

Oh, and by the end of the book, you will desperately want one of these: a living, air plant, necklace. I know I do! :D

Buy one from the Etsy seller, by clicking here!
Buy one from the Etsy seller, by clicking here!

I highly recommend Daughter of the Earth and Sky to readers ages 16+.

Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it? 

Review: Persephone – by Kaitlin Bevis

Cover image and summary from goodreads.com. Image links to goodreads book page.
Cover image and summary from goodreads.com. Image links to goodreads book page.

Title: Persephone

Author: Kaitlin Bevis

Summary: There are worse things than death, worse people too

The “talk” was bad enough, but how many teens get told that they’re a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn’t until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.

Genre/Pages: Mythology/Romance/237

Rating: ★★★ (6 of 5)

My Review: I was given a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely ADORED this book! In fact, I’m gonna come right out and say, that it’s probably my favorite book, well, ever. Aside from Harry Potter and Ranger’s Apprentice, obviously. The second I finished it (THE ENDING IS PERFECT.) I started freak-out-fangirl texting my best friend. Seriously, I love this book. It’s a romance novel, yes, but even then, I’d still say I liked it more than Hunger Games. Easily. And, y’know, a girl can use a GOOD romance novel every once in a while…

First Paragraph: “Persephone…” I hunched over, doing my best to ignore the sound of my name being whispered on the wind. It curled around me in a sensuous breeze. Once I would have turned around, tried to find whoever said my name. Now I knew better. There was no one there. There was never anyone there.

Hero/Heroine: Hades and Persephone. This was probably my favorite aspect of the book. They were very realistic characters – in a good way! There was never anything about them (or their relationship) that was cliche or boring, which was a welcome relief. None of that oh-so-annoying Hero complex that always results in one person doing something stupid and the other being super mad at them. The lack of the Hero complex was very refreshing. But really, I just love every single scene with the two of them. Their banter, and watching their relationship grow… Oh, I just LOVE it! And Hades? Never thought I’d say this… but he was an AMAZING love interest! He wasn’t perfect – which is what made him perfect. 237 pages in Persephone’s head was not nearly enough. :)

Plot: Well, obviously, I can’t say a lot without spoiling it, but I’ll try to put my love for this book into words. When I picked this up I thought: “Just another Persephone retelling. And, of all the myths, why Persephone?!” But then I read it… Persephone is like no other myth or mythological retelling you have ever read. How the gods work, who Persephone is, the circumstances behind her going to live with Hades – It’s all so very different! I loved every second of it! The book was so perfectly balanced between description, world-building, character building, and moving the plot along that it was nearly impossible to put down. The curve-balls? I never would have seen them coming!

Content Advisory: Threat of sexual violence (this IS Persephone, after all). About 5 or 6 uses of the B-word, and a handful of D-words. Implied speculation (school rumors)  of sexual content, but no truth. 2 people kiss.

To Sum it Up:  I couldn’t get enough of this book! I loved the friendly banter between the members of Hades’ court, and the world absolutely fascinated me! The characters were likable & realistic, and the plot was fast moving without the story ever suffering for it. NO CLICHES! I was on Cloud 9. Kaitlin Bevis has some serious skill as an author and I loved reading her work – the writing was beautiful as the plot was stunning. If you’re looking for a fun, COMPLETELY original modern-day myth retelling/romance then you’ve come to the right place! I highly recommend Persephone to readers ages 12+.

Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it?