New to You (16): Morgan Reviews The Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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Next up for New to You is Morgan from The Bookish Beagle. She will be reviewing a long time favorite of mine, The Kiss of Deception! I know Morgan loves a good fantasy so  this was a perfect option for her. Let’s see what she had to say about it.

New to You (16): Morgan Reviews The Kiss of Deception by Mary PearsonThe Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
on June 2, 2015
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She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia escapes to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

The Kiss of Deception is one of those books that had Morgan written so clearly on it that I preordered it back in 2014…. and promptly read it this year, at Andi’s urging. Darn those pesky TBR piles! Luckily it was worth the wait and I’m eager to continue the series. Mary Pearson’s writing style is detailed and engaging- I was afraid of getting bogged down in worldbuilding but she does it so well that it was easy to keep reading. The opening scene with Lia’s wedding kavah (such a beautiful sounding tradition akin to henna) sets everything up perfectly. And I always love getting glimpses of fictional history and hidden stories.
Lia is a character I loved rooting for; a lot of her actions could definitely be seen as selfish but she knows what she wants and she doesn’t go out of her way to be cruel. I was surprised that there were POV chapters from the assassin as well as the prince, but it really added to the mystery of their identities while also allowing a glimpse into their psyche. Reading a scene from all three POVs was so neat! It’s so fascinating to see what the different characters pick up on. Of course I had a ship in this triangle and if you thought it was the one where they constantly argued you’d be right haha. I didn’t love the references to barbarians and savages- it feels racially charged even if it wasn’t meant that way- but there is plenty of action, magic, intrigue, and romance to go around in The Kiss of Deception. The reveals and twists pile up quickly in the last act and it absolutely leaves you wanting more!
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Thanks Morgan for signing up for New to You! I’m so happy you enjoyed you introduction to The Remnant Chronicles.

Have you read anything by Mary Pearson?

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Blog Tour: Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

As a huge fan of Mary Pearson and her Remnant Chronicles series I was so excited to be asked to join the blog tour for Dance of Thieves (seriously ask someone. I emailed back a nonsensical email in about 30 seconds). I was given the opportunity to ask Mary a question and let me tell you this is harder than you think. I had so much I wanted to ask her about this world she created and how she managed to expand it and make me love it even more. But I finally decided on a question and I’m really happy I asked what I did.

Before we get to that though, let me share a little about the book with you. Also if you haven’t read The Remnant Chronicles, you don’t *have* to read them before reading Dance of Thieves. But as I have told anyone that has asked me, I highly recommend you do because 1) they are FANTASTIC and 2) you will be spoiled on stuff that happens in that series. So I recommend taking the time to read the other three.

Okay, on to a little about Dance of Thieves:

Blog Tour: Dance of Thieves by Mary E. PearsonDance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1) by Mary E. Pearson
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
on August 7, 2018
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A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty's resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.

Question

Andi: Kazi, from Dance of Thieves, is an amazingly strong female character. She is mysterious and can be cunning when it comes to getting what she wants, much like Lia, from The Remnant Chronicles. But what I loved most about Kazi was her likeability behind it all. How do you balance keeping the character true to herself but making sure your readers can see what is behind the mask? 

Answer

Mary Pearson: I think most everything always goes back to motivations. Why does a character do what she does? I tried to lay that groundwork—those “behind the mask” moments—so even when Kazi is stealing something as simple as oranges, we understand why she is doing it, from both her present circumstance and her past one.  I think understanding that motivation allows us to root for her.

Most of the time, even when Kazi is doing something questionable, she is grasping for some kind of justice, to tip the balance of power just a bit, and I think justice is something we can all root for.

I’m glad you found her lovable. I have a huge soft spot for her and what she’s been able to accomplish in spite of her horrific beginnings. She is a very different kind of hero from Lia.  Lia had to give everything up to achieve her goals, but Kazi never had anything to begin with—not even a home or family.  Instead, Kazi was a survivor, and learned to make use of what she had—her drive, her hunger, and her ingenuity—and she turns those things into a powerful force to help herself and others. And she learns to tell a good riddle too ; )

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About Mary E. Pearson

Mary E. Pearson is the NYT bestselling and award-winning author of eleven YA novels and one novella. Her works include the completed trilogy, The Remnant Chronicles, which in a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly called “masterfully crafted.” Her favorite activities as a child were climbing tall trees imagining she was a hero in some fantastical world, or running along fence tops and roofs pretending she was a spy with a bagful of amazing gadgets. She was rarely herself. Amazingly, she never broke a bone until she caught a basketball in gym class. Catching real balls was not her forte. These days she continues to live in make-believe worlds she creates in her books. Her latest 2-book series, Dance of Thieves, allows her do all kinds of dangerous things without breaking any bones. So far.

Have you read any of Mary’s amazing books? (spoiler alert…DO IT!)

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New to You (15): Margaret Reviews I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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Next up for New to You is Margaret and she’ll be reviewing I’ll Meet You There. Margaret mentioned to me that Bad Romance was a top read for her last year so I had no choice but to give her a book I have read twice just this year. There is something about I’ll Meet You There that makes me constantly come back for more and I’m excited to have someone new read it. Let’s see what she had to say about it.

New to You (15): Margaret Reviews I’ll Meet You There by Heather DemetriosI'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
on February 3, 2015
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If Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing separating Skylar from art school is three months of summer…until Skylar’s mother loses her job, and Skylar realizes her dreams may be slipping out of reach.

Josh had a different escape route: the Marines. But after losing his leg in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be.

What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and, soon, something deeper.

Compelling and ultimately hopeful, this is a powerful examination of love, loss, and resilience.

 

“And maybe some people are like collages – no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered.”
― Heather Demetrios, I’ll Meet You There

 

I’m a longtime fan of Heather Demetrios. I normally read fantasy, so I started with her YA fantasy trilogy (loved), eventually gave her contemporary Bad Romance a try (loved), and then delayed far too long in reading I’ll Meet You There (loved).

Do you notice a trend here?

I love everything Heather writes, even the things that I wouldn’t normally pick up.

I’ll Meet You There falls solidly into that camp. Being set in a small town, far from anything interesting, surrounded by clones of the same people, doing the same things they’ve always done…reminds me far too much of where I come from, and not in a good way. But I trusted Heather and I trusted Andi, knowing neither of them would steer me wrong.

So I wasn’t surprised I couldn’t put this book down. There’s something about Heather’s books that sucks you in, the incredible prose she uses to bring their worlds to life, it holds on to you. I spent days with the phrase “party decay” echoing in my mind, amazed at how it perfectly describes the downhill turn of partygoers that have stayed too long and drunk too much.

But most of all, Heather makes you FEEL things. She makes you squirm with embarrassment or brings tears to your eyes. She shows you the broken pieces of the boy come home from war and the desperation of the girl who wants to escape a hard home life, she puts them on the page in a way that feels real and true.

I related to the characters in this story more than I wanted to, but in the end, I loved every second of it. I fell in love with Josh and Skylar.

To be honest, I’m already reading I’ll Meet You There for the second time.

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Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 23, 2018. It is US ONLY!

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Thanks Margaret for signing up for New to You! I honestly can’t tell you what this book means to me so I’m truly happy you loved it too.

If you would like to follow Margaret on Twitter you can do so HERE.

My review of I’ll Meet You There. Also my styling of Skylar from the book.

Have you read I’ll Meet You There or is this your first time hearing about it?

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On My Radar – June Releases (11)

Summer weather is slowly starting to show up all over the country. In Boston is has been 90+ the past couple of days (it will be back to normal this weekend). With summer around the corner it means summer months are going to be starting which means new releases.

Currently there are 15 books I am excited for in June. Some I have already read and others I’m excited to check out. With June a week and a half away I thought I would highlight a few of the books I’m really excited to either read or see out in the wild

On My Radar – June Releases (11)Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
on June 6th 2017
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A young, street-savvy runaway looking for a place to call home realized he might have conned his way into the wrong family in this fast-paced and thrilling novel from award-winning author Cristin Terrill.

When ten-year-old Daniel Tate went missing from one of California's most elite communities, he left no trace. He simply vanished.

Six years later, when he resurfaces on a snowy street in Vancouver, he's no longer the same boy. His sandy hair is darker, the freckles are gone, and he's initially too traumatized to speak, but he's alive. His overjoyed family brings him home to a world of luxury and comfort he can barely remember. In time, they assure him, he'll recover his memories; all that matters now is they're together again.

It's perfect. A miracle. Except for one thing.

He isn't Daniel Tate.

He's a petty con artist who accidentally stumbled into the scam of a lifetime, and he soon learns he's not the only one in the Tate household with something to hide. The family has as many secrets as they have millions in the bank, and one of them might be ready to kill to keep the worst one buried.

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On My Radar – June Releases (11)Once and for All by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers
on June 6th 2017
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As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

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On My Radar – June Releases (11)The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber
Published by Thomas Nelson
on June 6th 2017
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Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel--Earth's charming young playboy--the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.

From the award-winning author of the Storm Siren Trilogy, step into a diverse cast of characters spanning from the electric metropolises of earth to the chilling alien planet above, in a story of re-finding yourself in the midst of losing the one thing you love. Before it all evaporates.

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On My Radar – June Releases (11)Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
on June 13th 2017
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Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape.
Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

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On My Radar – June Releases (11)Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
on June 6th 2017
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Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.

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On My Radar – June Releases (11)Salvaged by Jay Crownover
Series: Saints of Denver #3
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
on June 20th 2017
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Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancée who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He’s tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He’s set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he’s ever seen hook him in right away. Wheeler can see Poppy’s pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes.

Poppy can’t remember a time when she didn’t see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy’s determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Wheeler’s sexy grin and rough hands from hours restoring classic cars shouldn’t captivate her, but every time she’s with him, she can’t help being pulled closer to him. Though she’s terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out—and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him.

The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she’s convinced he’s the only man with the tools to fix it.

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And I just realized most of these come out on June 6th. OOPS. Hope you are ready to get your read on.

If you are looking for other books on my radar you can check out my June shelf on Goodreads HERE.

What’s on your radar in June?

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On My Radar: 2017 Wish List (4)

There are a lot of really fantastic books coming out in 2017 that I am so excited to read. Some of my favorite authors have new books that I just need to gets my hands on desperately. With that said there are some I just really want more than others, so much in fact I stalk Netgalley and Edelweiss for them and I’m not ashamed of this at all. What are those books? Funny you should ask. I have a handy list right here:

On My Radar: 2017 Wish List (4)Corruption by Jessica Shirvington
Published by HarperCollins
on March 7th 2017
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The thrilling finale to bestselling author Jessica Shirvington's Disruption series.

How do you live with yourself when you've deceived the one you love?
How do you move on when the person you've been fighting to save betrays you?

Two years ago, Maggie Stevens began the hunt. Four weeks ago, Maggie's world fell apart, when she finally found what she'd been looking for. And when Quentin, who had blindly trusted her, unraveled her web of lies.
Now, Maggie lives in the dark. But she's not about to stay there. Not when she still has to bring M-Corp down. Not when there is still a chance she could win him back.

In the exhilarating conclusion to Disruption, Maggie must do whatever it takes to show the world the truth. And the price for her quest? Everything.
But for who?

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On My Radar: 2017 Wish List (4)The Adjustment by Suzanne Young
Series: The Program #3
Published by Simon Pulse
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How do you go back to a life you can’t remember? Find out in this follow up to the New York Times bestselling The Program and The Treatment.

Tatum Masterson never went through The Program. She never had her memory stripped, never had to fight to remain herself. But when Weston, her longtime boyfriend and love of her life, was taken by handlers, she hoped he’d remember her somehow—that their love would be strong enough.

It wasn’t.

Like all returners, Weston came back a blank canvas. The years he and Tatum spent together were forgotten, as well as the week when he mysteriously disappeared before The Program came for him.
Regardless of his memory loss, Tatum fights to get Weston to remember her. And just as they start to build a new love, they hear about the Adjustment—a new therapy that implants memories from a donor. Despite the risks, Tatum and Weston agree to go through the process. Tatum donates her memories from their time together.

But the problem with memories is that they are all a matter of perspective. So although Weston can now remember dating Tatum, his emotions don’t match the experiences. And this discrepancy is slowly starting to unravel him, worse than anything The Program could have done.

And as the truth of their life together becomes clear, Tatum will have to decide if she loves Weston enough to let him go, or to continue to live the lie they’d build together.

Prepare for your Adjustment.

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On My Radar: 2017 Wish List (4)The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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From acclaimed author Emery Lord comes a vibrant, compelling story of love, loss, faith, and friendship.

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

Emotionally-charged and unforgettable, Emery Lord’s storytelling shines with the promise of new love and true friendship, even in the face of life’s biggest challenges.

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On My Radar: 2017 Wish List (4)In a Perfect World by Trish Doller
Published by Simon Pulse
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From critically acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a gorgeous, hopeful, and heartbreaking novel, set in Cairo, Egypt, about the barriers we tear down for the people and places we love most.

Caroline Kelly is excited to be spending her summer vacation working at the local amusement park with her best friend, exploring weird Ohio with her boyfriend, and attending soccer camp with the hope she’ll be her team’s captain in the fall.

But when Caroline’s mother is hired to open an eye clinic in Cairo, Egypt, Caroline’s plans are upended. Caroline is now expected to spend her summer and her senior year in a foreign country, away from her friends, her home, and everything she’s ever known.

With this move, Caroline predicts she’ll spend her time navigating crowded streets, eating unfamiliar food, and having terrible bouts of homesickness. But when she finds instead is a culture that surprises her, a city that astounds her, and a charming, unpredictable boy who challenges everything she thought she knew about life, love, and privilege.

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On My Radar: 2017 Wish List (4)Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Buy on Amazon
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Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

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On My Radar: 2017 Wish List (4)Untitled by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

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What are the 2017 books on your radar?

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