Review: Vow of Thieves – Mary E. Pearson

Review: Vow of Thieves – Mary E. PearsonVow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
Series: Dance of Thieves #2
Published by Henry Holt
Published: August 6, 2019
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five-stars

Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them―the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor's Watch will be a kingdom, and the two of them will meet all challenges side by side, together at last.

But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and in their rush to return to Tor's Watch, just outside the fortress walls, they are violently attacked and torn apart―and each is thrust into their own new hell.

Unsure whether the other is alive or dead, Kazi and Jase must keep their wits among their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies. And all the while, Death watches and waits.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Reading a book that culminates 5 years of reading is always terrifying. A lot is riding on it. Expectations are high and so are emotions. That is why I was scared to read Vow of Thieves, but I was wrong to be. It was exactly what this story needed and my favorite book by Mary Pearson.

Vow of Thieves picks up where Dance of Thieves left off. Jase and Kazi are making their way back to Jase’s home, Tor’s Watch, but things have changed. The two of them are violently attacked and everything they thought they knew is different. Instead of settling in and making the plans the made happen, they find themselves in a situation where trust means everything and deciding who to trust could mean life or death. They have vowed to do whatever it takes to protect Tor’s Watch and the people they love and they will do just that, even if it means losing everything.

Jase and Kazi are the backbone of Vow of Thieves. They make the tough choices and do the hard things and I love that about them. Everyone loves that about them. But what I want to really talk about is how Pearson creates the heart and soul of the story with her secondary characters. The Ballengers, Wren, Synové, and the characters from the Remnant Chronicles that make appearances, those are the people that add life and love and even more color to the strength of Jase and Kazi and who bring them to life and show what they are made of. It is them they fight for or with and that is what makes Mary’s books so special to me. Everyone is going to remember the main characters but is a talent that makes readers remember the secondary ones and want to know more about their stories. I mean I’m still begging for a book about 2 people in The Remnant Chronicles and I will be begging for books about people in The Dance of Thieves duology.

So, how would I describe Vow of Thieves? Amazing, fantastic, epic, Mary Pearson’s best book to date; that’s how I would describe it.  Since 2014 I have been wrapped up in this world that Pearson created, starting with The Kiss of Deception, and she finished it off perfectly with the final part of Jase and Kazi’s story. Add this to your TBR. You won’t regret it.

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New to Me: Royally Screwed by Emma Chase

In 2018 I had the idea to have readers and friends read my favorite books from years past. I had 20+ amazing people sign up and read some of my all-time favorite books. They took the time out of their busy lives and reading schedules and read books I love and shared what they thought on my blog. It was a lot of fun and I got to see some new takes on old favorites. It actually was a fun experience. If you are interested in the reviews HERE.

This year I decided to give back in a way and asked everyone that signed up to tell me their favorite book (that I have not read) because in 2019 it is time to do NEW TO ME.

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New to Me: Royally Screwed by Emma ChaseRoyally Screwed by Emma Chase
Series: Royally #1
Published by Everafter Romance
Published: October 18, 2016
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four-stars

Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka His Royal Hotness, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant; hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn't bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.

Dating a prince isn't what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There's a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they've traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces, and haven't chopped anyone's head off lately, the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia, Nicholas is worth it.

Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King... or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.

I have had Royally Screwed of my TBR since 2016 and have owned the eBook for just as long. Honestly, I’m not sure why I didn’t read it back then. It is totally my kind of read but something held me off. Well, thanks to all you wonderful voters I was finally pushed to read it and I’m so mad at myself for waiting. Royally Screwed was so fun and entertaining and it made me want to read the rest of the series as soon as possible!

Royally Screwed is the story of Nicholas, the Crowned Prince of Wessco. Nicholas is everything stereotypical about the royal family. He is arrogant and charming, and handsome. And he is used to people bowing to him and falling at his feet. That is of course until he meets Olivia Hammond. She refuses to be charmed by his obnoxious ways. So much so she actually shoves a pie in his face. But as the two get to know each other the sparks begin to fly and suddenly Olivia is brought into the world that is Nicholas’s life. Too bad being the Crowned Prince of Wessco comes with a lot of rules and obligations and Olivia just doesn’t meet those standards. Nicholas may be worth it to her, but is she worth it to him?

Immediately when I finished I thought…that was royally fun! The book flowed naturally and didn’t feel like it was trying to be something it isn’t, like some other royal-themed books I have read. Nicholas and Olivia had OODLES of chemistry and I think that helped with the story. I also loved that Olivia had a backbone and didn’t just sit back and become a wallflower behind the Prince and his life. The friends were all a little over the top for me, but that was just a minor annoyance. all in all, it was so worth the read.

If you are looking for a fast, royal-themed book with a lot of romance and smiles, Royally Screwed is for you. Is there drama? of course, it is a romance after all, but I felt the drama added to the story instead of distracting. Get to reading. Don’t be like me and wait so many years!

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And there you have it, July’s book selection for New to Me. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

 

 

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Blog Tour: Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud {Giveaway}

Blog Tour: Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud {Giveaway}Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud
Published by Point
Published: July 30, 2019
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three-stars

Fiercely independent and smart, Zora Emerson wants to change the world. She's excited to be attending a prestigious summer program, even if she feels out of place among her privileged, mostly white classmates. So she's definitely not expecting to feel a connection to Owen, who's an actual prince of an island off the coast of England. But Owen is funny, charming...and undeniably cute. Zora can't ignore the chemistry between them. When Owen invites Zora to be his date at his big brother's big royal wedding, Zora is suddenly thrust into the spotlight, along with her family and friends. Everyone is talking about her, in real life and online, and while Owen is used to the scrutiny, Zora's not sure it's something she can live with. Can she maintain her sense of self while moving between two very different worlds? And can her feelings for Owen survive and thrive in the midst of the crazy? Find out in this charming romantic comedy that's like The Princess Diaries for a new generation.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I go through phases where I find myself reading books set in certain settings. Sometimes I will read 4 different hockey romances in a month. Some months I will read a group of fantasy books with magic. This month it was all about the royalty. For some reason I found myself reading a lot of books about princes and princess and soon to be kings and queens. And to kick off my royal reading, Truly Madly Royally.

Truly Madly Royally is the story of Zora, a girl that wants to change the world. She finds herself enrolled in a prestigious summer program where she is surrounded by mostly white classmates making it hard for her to fit in. That is until she meets Owen in the library and they immediately click. But what Zora doesn’t know is that Owen is an actual prince. Soon everyone is talking about the two of them and it only gets worse when Owen invites Zora to the wedding of his brother. From private person to gossip headlines Zora has to figure out if her feelings for Owen is worth the scrutiny or if she wants to break his royal heart.

Truly Madly Royally was an entertaining, albeit a light read. I immediately felt the Harry and Meghan vibe as soon as Zora and Owen met. I could see where the author possibly got her inspiration and I liked that. I think YA readers will appreciate that too. A ‘ripped from the headlines’ feel but not in a dramatic way, but in a fun, love story way. Zora is the kind of character that will be relatable to readers. She has a great moral compass and does what she can for her community. (Personally, my favorite part of this book was Zora’s best friend and Zora’s brother. I totally want a book about the two of them. They had such great chemistry.)

If you are looking for a quick read about royalty, then you should pick up this book for sure.

About Debbie Rigaud

Debbie Rigaud was born in Manhattan to a Haitian immigrant family. The third of four daughters, she’s certain her first greeting into this world was, “A girl…encore?” At the time of her birth, her family lived in Brooklyn. But before Debbie could say “Theodore Aloysius Huxtable,” the Rigaud ’rents packed up the fam and headed to East Orange, NJ to break from city living. (Ha!)

Debbie began her writing career covering news and entertainment for magazines, including Seventeen, Twist and CosmoGIRL!. She’s interviewed celebs, politicians, and social figures, but enjoyed interviewing “real” girls the most. Her first work of Young Adult fiction, the novella “Double Act,” was featured in HALLWAY DIARIES/Kimani Tru. Soon thereafter, romantic comedy PERFECT SHOT/Simon Pulse became her first standalone book. Debbie’s non-fiction essays have been published in anthologies IT’S ALL LOVE/Broadway Books and DEAR BULLY/HarperTeen. Her humorous short story “Voila!” is included in the critically-acclaimed book OPEN MIC/Candlewick Press. Look out for her upcoming rom-com TRULY MADLY ROYALLY (Scholastic/Point) releasing July 30th! And HOPE: PROJECT MIDDLE SCHOOL (Scholastic), her Middle Grade debut co-written with activist Alyssa Milano, releases October 1, 2019. Book 2 in the HOPE series is coming April 2020.

Beyond bylines, Debbie has edited Middle Grade and Children’s stories for publisher Just Us Books, and has been a finalist in Bermuda Music & Dramatic Society’s annual playwright contest. For tween girl retail giant Justice, she currently scriptwrites a tween variety show webseries and a magical folktale series. A total Jersey girl at heart, Debbie and her husband live in the Columbus, Ohio area with their preschooler daughter and toddler son in a vibrant home brimming with child safety locks and baby gates. (They have lots & lots of cabinets!)

Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of TRULY MADLY ROYALLY by Debbie Rigaud (US Only)

Starts: 24th July 2019
Ends: 7th August 2019

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July 24th

July 25th

Book Slaying – Guest Post
Book Rambler – Review
The Clever Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes
Bookmark Lit – Review

July 26th

Musings of a (Book) Girl – Review + Favourite Quotes
Wishful Endings – Review
Struck by Stories – Review
Phannie the ginger bookworm – Review + Favourite Quotes

July 27th

Bookishly Nerdy – Review + Favourite Quotes
Confessions of a YA Reader – Promotional Post
Flying Paperbacks  – Review + Favourite Quotes

July 28th

The Layaway Dragon – Review + Favourite Quotes
Andi’s ABCs – Review
Inky Moments – Review + Favourite Quotes
Kait Plus Books – Review + Favourite Quotes

July 29th

The Candid Cover – Review + Playlist
The Reading Faery – Review + Favourite Quotes
Magical Reads – Review + Playlist

July 30th

Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Bibliophile Confessions – Review + Favourite Quotes
Bookish_Kali – Review + Favourite Quotes
A Dream Within A Dream – Promotional Post

 

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New to Me – August Voting

In 2018 I had the idea to have readers and friends read my favorite books from years past. I had 20+ amazing people sign up and read some of my all-time favorite books. They took the time out of their busy lives and reading schedules and read books I love and shared what they thought on my blog. It was a lot of fun and I got to see some new takes on old favorites. It actually was a fun experience. If you are interested in the reviews HERE.

This year I decided to give back in a way and asked everyone that signed up to tell me their favorite book (that I have not read) because in 2019 it is time to do NEW TO ME.

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I’m not actually surprised by the winner in July. This book has been almost winning every month so it was bound to be the one selected. It has also been one that I have been meaning to read FOREVER. And with 63% of the votes my July book is:

Spoiler alert: I already read it and can’t wait to read the rest of the series! A review is coming soon.

Now it is your time to vote again and pick the book I will read in August. I will tell you that August is ARC August and I plan to read a lot of new and old ARCs I have in my possession, so I will try my hardest to read the book selected.  You have until 7/26/19 to get your vote in and tell me what book I should read next!

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Debut Review: The Best Lies – Sarah Lyu

Debut Review: The Best Lies – Sarah LyuThe Best Lies by Sarah Lyu
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: July 2, 2019
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four-stars

Remy Tsai used to know how her story would turn out. But now, she doesn’t even know what tomorrow will look like.

She was happy once. Remy had her boyfriend Jack, and Elise, her best friend—her soulmate—who understood her better than anyone else in the world.

But now Jack is dead, shot through the chest—

And it was Elise who pulled the trigger.

Was it self-defense? Or something deeper, darker than anything Remy could have imagined? As the police investigate, Remy does the same, sifting through her own memories, looking for a scrap of truth that could save the friendship that means everything to her.

Told in alternating timelines, Thelma and Louise meets Gone Girl in this twisted psychological thriller about the dark side of obsessive friendship.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

As soon as I heard about The Best Lies it was immediately added to my TBR. I’m a sucker for a book that is told from alternating timelines and a book with an added thriller/mystery aspect…sold! And boy did Sarah Lyu deliver. The Best Lies was everything I had hoped for and more that I didn’t expect.

The Best Lies starts off with the death of Remy’s boyfriend who was killed by her best friend Elise. Remy is completely torn up on what she should do, what happened, who she needs to protect, and why it happened to begin with. While being interviewed by the police she relives the year of friendship with Elise, meeting Jack, and everything that happened that lead up to that night. As the story unfolds so does the reality of what really happened to Remy’s boyfriend and why.

I can’t fully review this book because I am terrified I will give something away but what happened the night Jack died. What I can tell you is that I loved Jack a lot and my heart broke for Remy. She didn’t have any easy time of things and Jack was her bright stop for a while. It was also super interesting to see how Remy and Elise began and how their friendship was formed.

Basically based on the description for The Best Lies, I knew this debut novel by Sarah Lyu was going to have me on quite the journey. But I never expected the journey to be as intense as it was and man was this book intense. It kept me interested from the get-go and never stopped. definitely one I would recommend picking up. I look forward to seeing what else this debut author will bring to the table.

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