Fantasy Romance

Read Electric Idol

Read Electric Idol (Dark Olympus, #2)

He was the most beautiful man alive. And if I wasn’t careful, he was going to be my death. *A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Psyche…

This was less risque than the first book, but dark in a different way. The love interest is supposed to kill her. Instead, he suggests they get married. So that’s quite a hurdle to overcome, especially as quickly as they do.

I like how she uses a different type of power to defend herself.

Fantasy Romance

Read Hades

Read Hades (The Court of the Underworld #3) by Alessa Thorn

There’s nothing that Hades Acheron hates more than someone messing with his business. Two members of his Court have already been crossed by the shady and powerful gang Pithos, and the Lord of Styx is ready to take matters into his own hands.

When an informants trail leads back to his business partner Demeter, Queen of Athens and her company ‘Morning Harvest,’ he’s prepared to be as ruthless as he needs to be to find out why she’s decided to double cross him.

If Demeter wants a war, Hades will give it to her, and decides to take the one thing Demeter cherishes over her empire; her daughter Persephone.

Despite appearances, Persephone is no pampered princess. With a curse to create life in one hand and control death with the other, she’s going to make life Hell for her kidnappers.

The Lord of the Underworld isn’t inclined to let enemies go unpunished, and it will take more than the irresistible demigoddess to stop him getting his revenge.

I’m a sucker for a Hades and Persephone retelling, and this was a good one. It started off a little similar to Neon Gods by Katee Robert, but turned different quickly enough. I liked the idea of this one to give her both life and death powers, to give them a bond and connection.

I like books where the heroine and hero decide to be together before the climax and face the final challenge together.

Would really benefit from another round of edits, lots of missing words and incorrect punctuation. The way it showed a continuing piece of speech after an attribution made it seem like someone different was speaking which was confusing.


Read A Spindle Splintered

Read A Spindle Splintered (Fractured Fables, #1) by Alix E. Harrow

It’s Zinnia Gray’s twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it’s the last birthday she’ll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one.

Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia’s last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.

This reminded me a little of Sheri Tepper’s Beauty, except that I hated Beauty and I liked this. I really wasn’t sure how this was going to end, and it took some turns I didn’t expect. I like how it played with the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale and merged it with the multiverse, bringing a modernity to the story.


Re-read Spinning Silver

Read Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, the young woman sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold.

When an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk–grim fey creatures who seem more ice than flesh–Miryem’s fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered. Set an impossible challenge by the nameless king, Miryem unwittingly spins a web that draws in a peasant girl, Wanda, and the unhappy daughter of a local lord who plots to wed his child to the dashing young tsar.

But Tsar Mirnatius is not what he seems. And the secret he hides threatens to consume the lands of humans and Staryk alike. Torn between deadly choices, Miryem and her two unlikely allies embark on a desperate quest that will take them to the limits of sacrifice, power, and love.

This book is so good. I think it’s a better book than Uprooted though I love Uprooted a little more 😉 On first read the multiple POVs were trickier to follow – this read I just got hung up on a couple Wanda chapters towards the end that I thought would be Stepon’s.

History Romance

Read The Magnolia Sword

Read The Magnolia Sword by Sherry Thomas

CHINA, 484 A.D. A Warrior in DisguiseAll her life, Mulan has trained for one purpose: to win the duel that every generation in her famil…

Loved this Mulan retelling! I enjoyed the duel concept as a way to build her skills and confidence in going to war, and that she leverages her abilities to win what she believes will be a safer position. I’ve read several Sherry Thomas romance novels as well, enjoying both those more explicit romances and this story into which a subtle but deep romance is rooted. As is common for YA, this is told in the first person present tense which I liked for this story.

Fantasy Romance

Read A Deal with the Elf King

Read A Deal with the Elf King (Married to Magic, #1) by Elise Kova

Perfect for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses and Uprooted, this stand-alone, fantasy romance about a human girl and her marriage to th…

Enjoyed this Hades/Persephone spin with dark elves and humans with plant magic, I’ll read the next book. This was my first read from Elise Kova. Interesting worldbuilding and magic system, though I would have appreciated seeing a little bit more limitations on it. I liked how the heroine drew out the hero but also that his reasons for acting the way he did became more explicable as she learned about his experience.

Some minor quibbles I had were related to it feeling a little YA, with the heroine acting pretty dumb several times towards the beginning of the book. I was also a little frustrated it took so long for her to come to her senses at the end of the book as well, and feel like it would have benefited from a little bit more of a denouement. The added epilogue chapter from the author’s site helped that.

Fantasy Romance

Read Bitterburn

Read Bitterburn (Gothic Fairytales Book 1) by Ann Aguirre

Amarrah Brewer is desperate and grief-stricken. For ages, the town of Bitterburn has sent tribute to the Keep at the End of the World, bu…

Nice reimagining of Beauty and the Beast, faithful to the original story with dashes of inspiration from the Disney movie.

Reminded me in story but not in tone of Ursula Vernon’s version, Bryony and Roses, with a magical garden and whispering voices and two mysterious forces battling each other for the keep and it’s inhabitants.

The premise reminded me too of Uprooted, but the tone of this was somehow darker. It’s an interesting contrast in retellings, both young women making a meal as their first task at the castle, where in Bitterburn the heroine is deadened to the world with depression and abandonment and settles in to survive with cheerless competence, while in Uprooted the heroine has been torn unexpectedly from her home and family and is convinced she’ll be killed or raped and can barely hold herself together.


Re-read Hold Me

Read Hold Me (Cyclone, #2) by Courtney Milan

Listening Length: 8 hours and 35 minutes Jay na Thalang is a demanding, driven genius. He doesn’t know how to stop or even slow down. Th…

This one is a hard read because the Hero has made some serious mistakes that are rooted in sexism, even if he has reasons for that. But so worthwhile.