Review: Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca

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Goodreads Summary:

Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a supernatural connection. Since her mother discourages these beliefs, Ella keeps her cemetery visits secret. But she may not be the only one with secrets. Ella’s mother might be lying about how Dad died sixteen years ago. Newfound evidence points to his death in a psychiatric hospital, not as a result of a tragic car accident as her mother always claimed. After a lifetime of just the two of them, Mom suddenly feels like a stranger.

When a handprint much like the one Ella left on her father’s tombstone mysteriously appears on the bathroom mirror, at first she wonders if Dad is warning her of danger as he did once before. If it’s not a warning, could her new too-good-to-be-true boyfriend be responsible for the strange occurrences? Or maybe it’s the grieving building superintendent whose dead daughter strongly resembles Ella? As the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, Ella becomes terrified about who—or what—might harm her.

Soon the evidence points to someone else entirely: Ella herself. What if, like her father, she’s suffering from a breakdown? In this second novel from award-winning author Yvonne Ventresca, Ella desperately needs to find answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be.

Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Timesbestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home. 

***I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review***

My Review

I was intrigued by Black Flowers, White Lies from the get-go! I mean look at the gorgeous cover!!  The story pulled me in instantly. First off Ella loves cats and books, so we immediately related! Although she’s definitely a crazy cat lady, not that there’s anything wrong with that! Any who, her life gets turned upside down when her mother remarries and she meets her hot and endearing step brother Blake. However, before she knows it she’s unraveling secrets about the death of her father and soon begins questioning the reality around her. Sinister plots lurk around her from every corner, and she finds herself struggling to distinguish the lies from reality.

Black Flowers, White Lies had a fast plot that was filled with twists and questions on every page. I was falling into the same traps with Ella. I desperately needed to know what was real and what was actually happening to Ella. Certain things however were most certainly predictable, although not everything turned out the way I had anticipated. The suspense was pretty constant.

I flew through this book, however the ending was a bit anticlimactic, so you can imagine that I was a little disappointed that there was no bang! Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the book, I was just expecting more of a big finish. This lead me to the expectation that there would have been a second book, but this book is in fact a stand alone.

If you are looking for a fast thriller that will hook you in from page one, I would most definitely recommend reading Black Flowers, White Lies. Buy it on Amazon here!

Paperback Release Day Launch & Excerpt: The Darkest Torment (Lords of the Underworld) by Gena Showalter

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Gena Showalter’s THE DARKEST TORMENT is now available in paperback! The Queen of Paranormal Romance, USA TODAY bestselling author Gena Showalter, returns with THE DARKEST TORMENT, the eagerly anticipated twelfth novel in her Lords of the Underworld series! Grab your copy today!

 

 

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Order THE DARKEST TORMENT here!

Amazon * Barnes * Book Depository * GooglePlay * iBooks * BAM * Kobo * IndieBound

THE DARKEST TORMENT Synopsis:

Can Beauty tame her Beast?

Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he’s back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, an even darker force, he’s unable to withstand the touch of another…and he’s quickly devolving into a heartless assassin with an uncontrollable temper. Things only get worse when a mission goes awry and he finds himself saddled with a bride—just not his own.

Famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle is forced to marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When she’s taken hostage by the ruthless, beautiful Baden immediately after the ceremony, she’s plunged into a war between two evils—with a protector more dangerous than the monsters he hunts. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them…and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart.

But as Baden slips deeper into the abyss, she’ll have to teach him to love…or lose him forever.

Includes Q&A featuring J. R. Ward, Jeaniene Frost, Nalini Singh and more!

 

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

 

 

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EXCERPT:

Baden reached the keeper of Defeat’s door and knocked hard enough to crack the wood.

Note to self: Buy a new door.

“Coming, coming.” A patter of footsteps rang out and the door swung open, revealing Strider’s mate, Kaia. She greeted him with a dagger in hand, her mass of red hair anchored in pigtails, her eyes bright with fury.

She’s armed…a true threat. Kill her!

Baden did his best to ignore the beast, staring over Kaia’s shoulder. He scanned the room, checking for hidden threats out of habit. Well. Her decorating style could probably be classified as a hoarder died here. “Did you reach your sister?”

“Yep. She’ll meet you at Downfall in an hour.”

“Thank you.”

“Save your thanks and do me a favor.” She gave the hilt of her dagger a kiss. “Next time you’re with Hades, demand to know each of William’s hideouts.”

The urge to protect suddenly overwhelmed him. Protect William? Or Hades?

Both. Destruction snarled inside his head. They are mine, and I will annihilate anyone who even thinks to harm them.

His mouth watered. Her blood, I’ll taste it. His hands itched. Her bones, I’ll break them.

As a predator, Kaia sensed his intentions and reacted accordingly, crouching, readying for attack.

Rational thought intruded: No, no. Not her.

But Destruction had already pulled back his fist to strike. At the last second, Baden regained a semblance of control, raining the fury upon the wall with punches and kicks.

The beast roared as more and more of Baden’s friends sprinted from their rooms, grabbing hold of him to try to stop him.

They dare try to restrain me?

Again, the beast was able to overtake him, flinging one warrior after another across the hall.

He laughed.

“How do we corral him?” someone shouted.

“Keeley.” Torin’s voice poured over the intercom. “You’re needed in Strider’s room. ASAP.”

“No time. We need Katarina,” a female called. “She calms him, I think.”

A handful of warriors rushed him at once, tackling him to the floor, but again, flinging them away wasn’t difficult. Power expanded his limbs, reinforced his bones. He was able to work his way to his feet.

I might fall, but I’ll never stay down.

A grinning blond stepped into his path. The male named Strider. Killing him would be a pleasure.

Baden screamed at Destruction. He’s my friend. They all are!

“Hey! Over here.” One of the women said, “I’m going to rip you a new asshole—in your face.”

Not my friends, Destruction told Badenas he grabbed her by the neck and lifted her off her feet. Anya. Destruction had made of point of learning the identities of the residents. Know your enemy

“No!” Lucien shouted, tackling him from behind.

The goddess of Anarchy twined her legs around Destruction’s neck and, as he stumbled, squeezed with surprising strength.

From the corner of his eye, he spotted Katarina and the one named Ashlyn rounding the far corner. Both females stopped to gap at him. He paused, he wasn’t sure why, giving Baden the opportunity to regain a bit of control. Not enough to claim ownership of the body, but enough to slow him down as their wills clashed. He bellowed to the rafters.

“Run, Ash and take the girl with you,” Maddox demanded. “She’s only making him worse.”

Katarina…leave?

Baden and Destruction worked together to pull Anya off their shoulders and drop her. They sidestepped Lucien and stalked to the woman who’d haunted them. The woman who belonged to them. If only for a little while.

“Go!” multiple voices screamed at once. The warriors were giving chase, trying to beat him to the object of his fascination.

Ashlyn attempted to tug Katarina away, but Katarina shook off her hold and stepped forward. Toward him.

The moment she reached him, she framed his face with her delicate hands. He had to crouch to allow the action, which wasn’t exactly a prime position to mount a proper defense—butworth it.

“What’s wrong with you?” she asked.

He drew in a breath, his usually useless lungs suddenly infused by the sweetness of her scent…as if he were coming back to life. “They are threats.”

“Wrong. There are no threats here.”

“They are threats,” he insisted.

She brushed her thumbs over the rise of his cheeks, gentle, so gentle, and yet still the action stung. But he didn’t pull away. The air between them thickened and crackled with awareness. He liked it.

The others stopped their pursuit and maintained a proper distance, whispering with incredulity.

“Is this really happening or am I hallucinating?” someone asked.

“Does the human have a magic hoo-ha?”

“You have a job to do,” Katarina reminded him, ignoring the others. “Why don’t you go do it, and I’ll take care of the threats here?”

He snorted. “You’re not strong enough.”

That earned a raised brow. “So you’ve told me.”

“Dude. Isn’t she married?” Kaia asked.

He snarled at the Harpy, though his gaze remained on Katarina. She’d lost weight and looked more fragile than ever, and yet her beauty took his breath away.

Breath he now needed to survive?

“Baden,” she said.

“Destruction,” he corrected.

“Since he’s affected by you, I’m willing to bet you’re affected by him. Why don’t I call you Baduction?” She smiled at him, inviting him to play with her. “And a hat tip to you. If your newest job is to stare at me, you’ve got it nailed.”

He didn’t know how to play, but he liked seeing her like this. Happy rather than despondent.

He shouldn’t care what she felt. Caring left him vulnerable.

He scowled at her. “Stay out of trouble today.”

“I will, but not because you ordered it. Because I’m a girl and girls are made of—”

“Sugar and spice,” he interjected, remembering the rhyme. Boys were made of snakes and snails.

“Wrong. Girls are made of vodka and ice. The two combined increase our tolerance for masculine nonsense.”

 

 

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And don’t miss the previous titles in the Lords of the Underworld Series!

THE DARKEST NIGHT

THE DARKEST KISS

THE DARKEST PLEASURE

THE DARKEST WHISPER

THE DARKEST PASSION

THE DARKEST LIE

THE DARKEST SECRET

THE DARKEST SURRENDER

THE DARKEST SEDUCTION

THE DARKEST CRAVING

THE DARKEST TOUCH

 

 

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Author pic- Gena ShowalterAbout Gena Showalter:

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over fifty books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, and the White Rabbit Chronicles. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs. Visit her at genashowalter.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

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Blog Tour: The Lost Codex (The Collectors’ Society #4) by Heather Lyons

THE LOST CODEX (The Collectors’ Society, #4) is LIVE!

Don’t miss the conclusion of this incredible series!

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Book Blurb:

Allies, once inseparable, splinter until they break apart.

An insidiousness carves its way through Wonderland, challenging the land’s very existence.

Battle lines will be drawn as pages, long languishing in darkness, are finally illuminated.

Swords will clash, blood will be spilled, and lives will be lost.

For what is written can still be erased.

Purchase here: 

Amazon US/Amazon UK/iBooks 

My Review

After being with The Collectors’ Society since the very beginning, I was more than excited to see how it would end. Of course it was also extremely bittersweet! I did not want to let these beloved characters go! I also wish I had had the chance to reread The Forgotten Mountain before reading The Lost Codex, because I had to string together the pieces that my forgetful mind had lost.

The Forgotten Mountain ended with an absolutely MIND BLOWING cliffhanger!! I won’t include spoilers, but holy cow it was insane and I needed to know what was going on! Thankfully the story picked up right where it had left off which was in the thick of it all! I was sucked in from the start! Now that Alice has revealed the identity of the piper and his companions, she is more than determined to vanquish him once and for all. She will do whatever it takes to see him come to an end. Even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice.

The Lost Codex was most certainly unexpected! The emotion was the most intense thus far! My heart cried out for these characters in a way it never has before! I felt for every member of the society in new ways, and was utterly devastated by certain events that occurred. One thing that was steadfast throughout was the love and connection that Alice and Finn share. Lyons describes their binary love in such drastic and severe terms that leaves you completely emotionally invested in seeing their relationship succeed!

The action and plot developments were nonstop and the questions I’ve had since the very beginning were finally answered! The conclusion was absolute chaos and entirely astounding! I was utterly shocked by the turn of events, and though I was initially angry by the outcome, by the end of the last page I was left feeling content and wishing for more! The Collectors’ Society is not to be missed; never have I encountered anything like it, these characters, and this story will stay with me for a very long time.

Which Villain Do I Think Should Live in the World of The Collectors’ Society:

Bellatrix Lestrange!

I think this character would be absolute perfection in The Collectors’ Society, I could see her teaming up with the Queen of Hearts which is ironic since Helena Bonham Carter plays her in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. I could see her throwing curses at Alice left and right and Alice responding with all the badassery she’s got!

PURCHASE PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES 

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THE COLLECTORS’ SOCIETY Buy Links: 

Amazon US: http://bit.ly/CollectorsSocietyUS

Amazon UK:  http://bit.ly/CollectorsSocietyUK

iBooks:  http://bit.ly/CollectorsSocietyIBOOKS

Kobo: http://bit.ly/CollectorsSociety1KOBO

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THE HIDDEN LIBRARY Buy Links: 

Amazon US: http://bit.ly/HiddenLibraryUS

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/HiddenLibraryUK

iBookshttp://bit.ly/HiddenLibraryIBOOKS

Kobo: http://bit.ly/HiddenLibraryKOBO

B&N: http://bit.ly/HiddenLibraryNOOK

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THE FORGOTTEN MOUNTAIN Buy Links: 

Amazon US: http://bit.ly/ForgottenMountainUS

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/ForgottenMountainUK

Kobo: http://bit.ly/ForgottenMountainKOBO

B&N: http://bit.ly/ForgottenMountainNOOK

author picAUTHOR BIO: 

Heather Lyons is known for writing epic, heartfelt love stories often with a fantastical twist. From Young Adult to New Adult to Adult novels—one commonality in all her books is the touching, and sometimes heart-wrenching, romance. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website: http://www.heatherlyons.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/heatherlyonsbooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_heatherlyons

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heatherlyonsbooks/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6552446.Heather_Lyons

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hymheather/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/29oQIt2

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/2Lkij

 

 

Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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Goodreads Summary:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.


Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. 

My Review

I am so conflicted over this book!! I listened to it on audio, which is maybe weird for this genre, but oh well! This was also my first Rainbow Rowell read! I don’t really know how to feel about it, I can tell you how I felt immediately after reading it which was 100% pissed! However, now after some reflection/research I might have liked it a little more than I thought.

The story focuses on the perspective of Eleanor and Park as they first meet and encounter one another’s very differing lifestyles. Park lives an easy going life surrounded by parents who love him and friends who value his opinion. Eleanor lives in a poor house with her mother, many siblings and abusive stepdad. Everyone at school makes fun of her and she keeps to herself as much as possible. So when Park seems to pay particularly close attention to Eleanor, she is most certainly not ready for it, and before she knows it, her feelings grow from fascinated friendship to first love affection.

I felt so sad for Eleanor throughout the book! She had such spirit, yet she was constantly suppressed by the people around her! Her relationship with Park was adorable, I absolutely loved their interactions! And let me just say, that Rowell has quite the powerful narration up her sleeve with some epic lines that had me stopping to contemplate my role in the universe!

I wanted so badly for there to be a happy ending!! I was kind of disappointed…the ending was not quite unhappy but not quite happy either! It was super ambiguous which KILLED ME!!  I needed to see things work out in a natural order, but I guess I need to give Rowell props in being very realistic with the way things ended, which was in a way that was best for everyone, even if that was not necessarily best for the reader.

Eleanor & Park was definitely not what I expected, but I’m glad I read it. Give it a go if you’re looking for a sweet yet heart wrenching romance. Buy it on Amazon here!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Book Vs Movie

I’m finally posting my Chamber of Secrets Book Vs Movie comparison now that I was able to finish the next audiobook! Once again, this was not my first time reading it but my first time listening to the audiobook! So much love! Unfortunately, the library doesn’t let you renew audiobooks through Overdrive, so I haven’t been able to finish the third book, since it took it away from me while I was still only half way done! At least I was able to finish Chamber of Secrets on time! So here are my main comparisons in a somewhat chronological order!

WARNING: BOOK/MOVIE SPOILERS AHEAD!

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Movie: Dobby levitates and drops a cake right on top of the wife of Vernon’s boss. 

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Book: Dobby does levitate the cake, however, it crashes all over Harry and the walls. Worse than that, Harry gets accused by the Ministry of Magic for performing a vanishing spell that Dobby used in order to disappear.

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Movie: Ron and the twins rescue Harry from the Dursley’s using the car without entering the house.

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Book: Fred and George physically enter the house and break into the cupboard under the stairs in order to get Harry’s trunk full of his Hogwarts stuff out.

 

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Movie: Harry lands in a sketchy shop in Nocturn Alley using floo powder,gets trapped in a creepy hand, and moves on.

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Book: Harry lands in a sketchy shop that Draco and Luscious Malfoy happen to be in and overhears their conversation with the shopkeeper. 

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Movie: Harry and the Weasleys (+Hermione) encounter the Malfoys after getting their books in Diagon Alley, trade insults and leave thereafter. 

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Book: Mr. Weasley and Luscious Malfoy actually get into a physical fight in the bookstore. CRAZY RIGHT?! 

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Movie: Halloween is not even really mentioned in the movie, however Mrs. Norris is found petrified the night of Halloween.

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Book: Nearly Headless Nick invites Harry, Ron and Hermione to celebrate his 500th death day on Halloween Night (I think it’s 500) which basically just celebrates how long he’s been dead. They go to a party with tons of ghosts and are bored out of their minds. 

 

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Ok so this is a fun fact one, not really a difference in the movie, just a cool tidbit of info! 

Movie: All we know is that Ron just absolutely hates and is terrified of spiders.

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Book: Ron tells Harry the reason he’s so scared of spiders is because when he was little, one of the twins turned his teddy bear into one! 

 

Well there you have it folks, the main differences I thought I would share! I’m hoping to keep posting them as I go through the books again!

Release Day Launch: The Lost Codex (The Collectors’ Society #4) by Heather Lyons

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Today I am celebrating the release of THE LOST CODEX by Heather Lyons. This is the 4th, and final, book in The Collectors’ Society series. Be sure to check out the buy links below for it and the previous books in the series!! You do not want to miss this series!

 

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THE LOST CODEX by Heather Lyons

(The Collectors’ Society, #4)

PURCHASE NOW

Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks

BLURB:

Allies, once inseparable, splinter until they break apart.

An insidiousness carves its way through Wonderland, challenging the land’s very existence.

Battle lines will be drawn as pages, long languishing in darkness, are finally illuminated.

Swords will clash, blood will be spilled, and lives will be lost.

For what is written can still be erased.

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PURCHASE NOW

Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks

 

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PURCHASE PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES

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THE COLLECTORS’ SOCIETY will be FREE till tomorrow:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Kobo

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THE HIDDEN LIBRARY Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Kobo | Nook

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THE FORGOTTEN MOUNTAIN Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Nook

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

heather_front_headshot
Heather Lyons is known for writing epic, heartfelt love stories often with a fantastical twist. From Young Adult to New Adult to Adult novels—one commonality in all her books is the touching, and sometimes heart-wrenching, romance. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon | Newsletter

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Review: And I Darken (The Conquerers Saga #1) by Keirsten White

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Goodreads Summary:

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

My Review

Ok this is a hard one folks. I wanted so badly to like this book,and I just didn’t. I love Keirsten White, her Paranormalcy series was fantastic! So I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this book! There are many possible reasons as to why I didn’t like this story very much. Well for one, I took about two weeks to read it due to my insane exam schedule so the content itself just seemed to drag, but that could also be because it wasn’t super exciting in the first place. It just took so long for something to actually happen between the characters that was genuinely meaningful.

The story follows the perspectives of siblings: Lada and Radu as they suffer through their terrible childhood  while being tossed around like objects by their selfish father. When they find themselves in a city where everyone is a stranger, they accidentally encounter the future sultan and soon become entangled in the politics of the country and the cut throat methods necessary to gain power.

Lada is one of the most infuriating and difficult to like main characters I’ve encountered. From the get-go she is insufferable to everyone around her, including her brother who is the only person who has ever truly loved her. Don’t get me wrong I appreciated her resilience to be herself and defy feminine stereotypes, but to put it plainly, she was a bitch. It was very hard to distinguish genuine emotion from her. Radu’s character didn’t instill anything in me but pity for his very unfortunate situation. And really, his life and hopelessness didn’t improve much throughout the story. Then we come to the romance, in which I essentially felt nothing for! There was no real love there whatsoever!! I just couldn’t grasp on to it.

The conclusion was kind of a cliff hanger, kind of…I’m just not feeling reading the next book. I truly do wish I had enjoyed this story more, but I just didn’t. Sorry for the negative review guys!