Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wednesday #Review - Wicked Charm by Amber Hart #YALit #Thrillers #Romance

Series: Standalone
Format: E-Book, 304 pages
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult / Thrillers & Suspense


The haunting southern vibe of Beautiful Creatures meets the thriller of Ten in this romantic page-turner.
They say nothing good comes from living in the Devil's swamp.
Willow Bell doesn't think moving to the Okefenokee is half bad, but nothing prepares her for what awaits in the shadows of the bog, or for the hot boy next door, who might just be the trouble people speak of.
Beneath his wicked sea-blue eyes and the allure that draws girls to him, Beau Cadwell is sinister to the core. Where Beau goes, chaos follows. His lips are full of twisted grins and lies, the girls say. He's evil in disguise, warns Gran.
It isn't until girls wind up dead in the swamp that Willow wonders if maybe Beau's more frightening than she can handle. His riddles tell her that he's someone to be wary of, but his touch tells her that she can trust him. Problem is, which is true? It's hard to tell with a boy like him.



Amber Hart's Wicked Charm is set to the background of the Okefenokee Swamp on the Georgia/Florida Border. With its Southern Gothic vibe, it is a wonderfully creepy setting and the perfect place to write a story about a cat and mouse game between Beau Cadwell, Willow Bell, and a mysterious killer. The shocking part is that the killer is leaving behind girls who have had some sort of connection with Beau. Is Beau the killer? Will Willow be the next victim?

17-year old Willow Bell just recently moved in with her grandmother Old Lady Bell. She has warned Willow to stay away from Beau and the Cadwell's if she knows what's best for her. Beau is the bad boy who not only breaks every girl's hearts, but he is the wicked charmed one as well. One could say that there is an immediate attraction between Willow and Beau. Willow doesn't believe that Beau is inscrutable. 

She believes that he has his redeeming moments. For Willow, Beau is that one thing that is bad for you, but you have to have it no matter what it might cost you because the thrill of the game is so exhilarating. Willow is a strong willed heroine who doesn't take gruff from anyone, let alone the hot bad-boy all the girls crave who lives right across the path from her.

"I think when you find the boy who makes you feel like you're wearing your skin backward, who turns you inside out and heats your blood and sets you on fire with want, it doesn't much matter."

Across the path from Willow lives Beau Cadwell, his sister Charlotte, and their grandfather Parker. After Beau and Willow grow closer, girls bodies are suddenly discovered deep in the swamp. Each of them has had a connection to Beau. Each of them had their hearts broken by Beau. Beau's connections to all the girls who end up dead is why everyone believes that Beau is the Wicked Charmed one who breaks almost all the girls hearts he goes out with. But, is Beau really capable of killing anyone, or is someone out for revenge? 

A curious part of this story are the heads of the Bell and Cadwell families. They've had a running disagreement for years. It reminded me sort of the Hatfield's and the McCoy's, but without all the shooting, moonshine, and killing between families. Wicked Charm is a story that has more than its fair share of angst, suspense, and oh yes, romance. Plus, plenty of gators! 


I received an ARC of this novel via NetGalley and Entangled; Teen in exchange for an honest review. 





Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tuesday #Review - Keep Her Safe by K.A. Tucker #Suspense #Romance

Series: Standalone
Format: E-Book, 448 pages
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Romance / Suspense
Making a Murderer meets Scandal in this story of police corruption, family secrets, and illicit affairs from bestselling author K.A. Tucker, celebrated for her “propulsive plot twists and searing seduction” (USA TODAY).
Noah Marshall has known a privileged and comfortable life thanks to his mother, the highly decorated chief of the Austin Police Department. But all that changes the night she reveals a skeleton that's been rattling in her closet for years, and succumbs to the guilt of destroying an innocent family's life. Reeling with grief, Noah is forced to carry the burden of this shocking secret.
Gracie Richards wasn't born in a trailer park, but after fourteen years of learning how to survive in The Hollow, it's all she knows anymore. At least here people don't care that her dad was a corrupt Austin cop, murdered in a drug deal gone wrong. Here, she and her mother are just another family struggling to survive...until a man who clearly doesn't belong shows up on her doorstep.
Despite their differences, Noah and Gracie are searching for answers to the same questions, and together, they set out to uncover the truth about the Austin Police Department's dark and messy past. But the scandal that emerges is bigger than they bargained for, and goes far higher up than they ever imagined.
Complex, gritty, sexy, and thrilling, Keep Her Safe solidifies K.A. Tucker's reputation as one of today's most talented new voices in romantic suspense.



K.A. Tucker's Keep Her Safe is a tension filled mystery with romance featuring 25 year old Noah Marshall and 20 year old Grace Richards (Wilkes). The story alternates between the present and the past, between Noah and Grace, between Jackie Robinson and Abraham Wilks. As the story begins, we are introduced to Jackie (Noah's mother) and Abraham (Grace's father). Once upon a time, 1997, they were partners before Jackie's rise to the top of the food chain.

They were partners who were supposed to not only have each others backs, but their families spent a whole lot of time together, especially Noah and Abe who taught him more than his real father ever did. Then, something bad happened between the two. Something that has lingered for years. As the story opens, Jackie is feeling guilty. Guilt which apparently leads to suicide.

After Jackie is found dead, Noah struggles to find out why his mother, who seemingly had it all, killed herself. Shortly thereafter, Noah finds a letter telling him to find Grace and give her what's in the bag found in a hidden safe. There is also a warning. "Don't ask questions. Trust me, you don't want the answers." On what might be called the spur of the moment choice, or the white knight rides in to help the flailing young heroine, Noah drives to Tucson, Arizona with the letter and a curious bag to where Grace and her drugged out mother Dina live in a dilapidated trailer park. 

Although their first encounter is extremely hostile, Noah turns out to be the hero when he saves Dina from their burning trailer. When he tries to give her the money, Grace wants nothing to do with it as she believes all the reports of her father being a crooked cop who died in a drug bust gone wrong. 14 years ago, Abe Wilks was killed and labeled a corrupt cop in a supposed drug deal gone badly. His wife Dina and daughter Grace fled Texas for Arizona.

Grace is a very bitter young woman since she and her mother have lived a hard life since her father’s death. Grace works two jobs, her mother is a stoner with no hopes of surviving the future, and then suddenly out of nowhere, Noah Marshall shows up with a large bag of money hoping to save the moment. Noah isn't exactly a welcomed sight considering who is mother was and what he's apparently here to bring her and her mother. But, Noah also may have answers to what really happened to her father.

This is a story where everyone, excluding Noah and Grace, could be guilty of anything. I dare say that I felt heart broken reading Abe's story because he is genuinely a decent man who not only loved his family, but didn't care that he was getting shit about being in an inter-racial marriage. Some would call him a boy scout because he was always looking to help out. Noah is one of those people who Abe helped out. Abe was more of a father figure to Noah than his real father ever was. 

I am normally a supporter of police officers who go to work every single day. They leave their families behind and they do their jobs without puffing out their chests or crossing the line because they feel the badge gives them leeway to get away with crap that you and I would be quickly put in prison for. There are characters in this book that really made my blood boil, and that's a sign of a really good writer. When a writer can make you have a real emotions while reading his or her story, they have done an excellent job of putting together a decent mystery, a plot that really takes you on a roller coaster ride, and a romance that doesn't weigh heavily on the rest of the story and what is happening. 



PROLOGUE


Corporal Jackie Marshall

June 1997

“There’s gotta be a pound in each.” Abe nudges the ziplock bag of marijuana with the tip of his pen. The kitchen table is shrouded in these bags, along with bundles of cash. I’m going to take a wild guess and say there’s plenty more, hidden around this dive of an apartment.

I peer over at the guy we just busted, handcuffed and lying on his stomach, under another officer’s watchful eye, waiting to be transported for booking. He’s a scrawny nineteen-year-old with a temper. “Don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t be beatin’ on my girlfriend if I had all these drugs in my house.” His neighbors heard glass smashing and him making threats of death, so they called 9-1-1. He gave us cause to kick in the door when he uttered a string of racial slurs and then spat in Abe’s face. That’s how we found the bloodied blonde girl and this.

Now the paramedics are treating the gashes on her face, while we wait for Narcotics to swoop in.

Abe smooths his ebony-skinned hand over his cheek. “What do you think this is worth, anyway?”

“Depends how good it is. Ten grand? Maybe twenty?”

He lets out a low whistle. “I’m in the wrong business.”

“You and me both. We bounced our mortgage payment last month.” Blair told me we couldn’t afford that house. I ought to have listened to him. But I also hadn’t planned on getting pregnant when I did. Not that I regret having Noah. I just expected to have earned a few stripes before I was elbow-deep in diapers and formula.

“Don’t worry, you’ll be making the big bucks soon enough, Sergeant Marshall,” Abe mocks with a dimpled grin. He’s been calling me that for months, ever since I passed my test and was put on the promotion list. “Just don’t go forgetting about us beat cops when you start pinning those stars to your collar.”

“You’re ridiculous.” I roll my eyes at him.

“Am I? You are one damn ambitious woman, Jackie, and my money’s on you over half the clowns around here, present company included.” He sighs. “My days won’t be the same, though.”

“I’m gonna miss being your partner, Abe.” After seven years, there’s no one else I trust more in the APD—and in life—than Abe Wilkes.

He lets out a derisive snort. “Don’t worry, you’ll see me plenty enough. Heck, Noah’ll probably be at my house more than yours.”

“Dina’s managing alright, what with a baby of her own? Don’t want Noah to be a burden on her.”

Abe waves off my concern. “Dina’ll steal that kid away from you if you’re not watching. She insisted.”

I can’t be sure if it was Dina or Abe who offered to mind Noah while Blair and I work. I’ve never seen a grown man dote on a little boy as much as Abe dotes on mine. Even Blair doesn’t pay that much attention, and Noah’s his son. “That beautiful wife of yours is a blessing. I wish you’d have knocked her up and gotten married years ago. Would have saved me a ton on daycare bills.”

Abe struggles to keep that booming chuckle of his at bay—it wouldn’t be appropriate given current surroundings. “I’d say we’re movin’ plenty fast, don’t you?”

Pregnant three months into dating and married at City Hall the week after finding out? I’d say so. “Your mom come around yet?” A good Christian woman like Abe’s mother was less than pleased when she found out her twenty-eight-year-old son had knocked up an eighteen-year-old girl. An eighteen-year-old white girl. I’ve met Carmel Wilkes. I don’t believe she has an issue with Dina, per se; she’s more worried about other people taking issue with Dina and Abe together, and the problems that may arise. As progressive as Austin is, there’s still plenty of hate to go around when it comes to the color of a person’s skin.

Abe shrugs. “Slowly but surely.”

“I’ll bet that gorgeous little Gracie is helping.”

It’s inevitable, the second anyone says his daughter’s name, that Abe’s face splits open with a wide grin. He’s about to say something—probably tell another story about how cute she is—when our radios crackle with voices.

“The cavalry’s here.” I pat my stomach. “Good thing, too. I’m starving. Let’s get this lowlife booked and then get some food.”

“Hey . . .” Abe lowers his voice to a whisper. “I wonder, how honest do you think these narc guys are?”

“Honest enough. Why?”

His chocolate-brown eyes roll over the bundles of cash. “Wouldn’t it be easy for one of those to go missing?”

It’s a question you don’t pose, especially not while you’re in uniform and standing in front of a pile of drugs. “Pretty dang easy, I’ll bet.”




Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday #Review - The English Wife by Lauren Willig #Historical #Mystery

Series: Standalone
Format: E-Book, 384 pages
Release Date: January 9, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Historical, Mystery

Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life: he’s the scion of an old Knickerbocker family, she grew up in a Tudor house in England, they had a fairy-tale romance in London, they have three-year-old twins on whom they dote, and he’s recreated her family home on the banks of the Hudson and named it Illyria. 

Yes, there are rumors that she’s having an affair with the architect, but rumors are rumors and people will gossip. But then Bayard is found dead with a knife in his chest on the night of their Twelfth Night Ball, Annabelle goes missing, presumed drowned, and the papers go mad. 

Bay’s sister, Janie, forms an unlikely alliance with a reporter to try to uncover the truth, convinced that Bay would never have killed his wife, that it must be a third party, but the more she learns about her brother and his wife, the more everything she thought she knew about them starts to unravel. Who were her brother and his wife, really? And why did her brother die with the name George on his lips?



Lauren Willig's The English Wife is a twisted story full of family secrets, affairs, alternating timelines, and a shocking murder that will cause a family scandal of epic proportions. As the story opens, it is 1899 in Cold Springs, NY, home to Bayard and Annabelle Van Duyvil. The Van Duyvil's are an extraordinarily wealthy and established family in New York. They are right up there with the Astor's, Vanderbilt's and Carnegie's. The couple is throwing a party called Twelfth Night at their home they call Illyria. 

After missing for most of the evening, Bay's sister Janie (Genevieve) discovers Bay laying on the cold ground with a knife in his chest. She also believes that she briefly saw Annabelle's body floating in the cold waters of the Hudson. Janie becomes immersed in discovering what really happened to Bay and Annabelle. Rumors abound indicate that Annabelle was having an extramarital affair with a noted architect who was paid to bring her former home to life in the States. 

Rumors also abound that it was Annabelle, the so called English Wife, who is responsible for killing Bay and leaving her two nearly 4 year old children behind. Janie decides to put her faith and her trust in an investigative reporter named James Burke. Janie and Burke agree that they will pledge to be honest with each other, and let the pieces fall where they may end up. Burke works for a paper called The News of the World. Some would prefer to call Burke's job scandal mongering instead of investigative reporting. As the investigation continues, Janie discovers some very twisted and very devastating news about her brother and his wife. Information that could shatter the Van Duyvil family name. 

The story alternates between two timelines that end up converging in 1899. The story is told in the alternating narratives of Janie and Annabelle Lacey. Willig moves backwards in time to London 5 years before the story starts. Here we meet Georgie Evans, and shortly thereafter, Bay Van Duyvil who is exploring Europe with friends. There is something curious about Georgie that I won't spoil. There is also a question about Bay that tells a larger story. She and Bay have a curious relationship that ends with the couple getting married and later returning back to the States. 

Will Janie learn the truth about what really happened, or will it be swept under the rug by the family matriarch Ava Van Duyvil? The most curious aspect of this entire investigation is the name that Bay says before dying. Who is this person, and did this person have anything to do with killing Bay? Is anyone in this family really who they say they are, or is someone hiding a deeper, darker secret in order to protect the family legacy and name?

In the end, The English Wife is a riveting mystery that left me guessing until the end. The story is both compelling and heartbreaking. There is plenty of foreshadowing as well as some things you really must pay special attention to. 





Saturday, January 13, 2018

#Stacking The Shelves #269 - Week Ending 01/13/2018


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Thanks for Stopping by!
I received more than I had anticipated this week! 👍👍
Thanks to Harper Collins for most of my lovelies this week!😁
I've linked all books received to Goodreads in case you wish to learn more.
Have a great weekend!
Shelley

This Weeks Reviews: 

Monday - The Nine by Tracy Townsend (Fantasy)

Tuesday - Need To Know by Karen Cleveland (Thriller)

Wednesday - Wolves and Roses by Christina Bauer (YA, Fantasy)

Thursday - Markswoman by Rati Mehrota (YA, Fantasy)



*REC'D VIA Edelweiss, NetGalley & Library*









Friday, January 12, 2018

#Blog Tour/Review - You Won't Know I'm Gone by Kristen Orlando #YALit #Thriller

 

You Won’t Know I’m Gone
Kristen Orlando
(The Black Angel Chronicles #2)
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 16th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, Young Adult

Reagan has to prove herself to an elite group of special agents—and avenge her mother’s death—in the second book in the Black Angel Chronicles from the author of You Don’t Know My Name.
Going rogue in an effort to rescue her kidnapped parents has cost Reagan Hillis her automatic ticket to the Training Academy. But becoming a Black Angel is the only way Reagan will be able to exact revenge on her mother’s merciless killer, Santino Torres.
When Reagan is given a chance to prove that she’s worthy of training to be a Black Angel, she also gets the first chance she’s ever had to be her true self. No aliases. No disguises.
But when her friend Luke joins her at the Black Angels training compound, Reagan finds herself once again torn between the person she was and the person she wants to be. Reagan has to prove that she’s as good as her parents trained her to be, because she’ll never find Torres without the Black Angels’ help.


You Won't Know My Name is the second installment in author Kristen Orlando's The Black Angel Chronicles. 6 months ago, Reagan Hillis made a choice that has ultimately cost her everything that she may have earned as well as her automatic entry into the elite Black Angel Training Academy. 6 months ago, Reagan was ready to turn her back on the Black Angels and escape back a normal life. Reagan has managed to become the girl who broke every rule. She is considered defiant, rebellious, and as well as a rule breaker. 

As the story opens, Reagan is broken. She is out of shape. She continues to wonder if her own actions caused a shocking death, and she wants revenge against a certain Torres Santino for what he did that led Reagan to Columbia. But, before Reagan can put her past exploits behind, and move forward with hopes of regaining her reputation, she has to face inquiries into her actions, face the reality that others now see her in a different light, and finally prove that she has earned her a right to fight for a coveted spot in the Black Angel's next training class.

Passing the Qualifiers is Reagan’s only chance to track down and kill Torres in order to gain her avenge for Columbia. It won't be easy. Especially when Logan suddenly shows up and joins Reagan in the Black Angel's Qualifier where only the best advance to the next step. Because Logan went along with Reagan to Columbia, his own life and his families are at risk from Torres. Because of Reagan's family history, Reagan is expected to be better than anyone else. She is challenged left and right. She faces severe and hard times trying to survive until the final cuts are made and the choices as to who goes forward are chosen. 

If Reagan can get past the fact that she is still suffering from a major loss, while also putting back together a relationship with her own father, she just might have a chance to become a Black Angel. I must say that I am glad that the author gave Reagan some friendly faces in Cam Conley, and Anuka Venkataraman. Each has their own strengths. Each brings a whole lot to help Reagan move forward in rediscovering who she really is and what she really wants. They also make a fine team along with Logan. Reagan's relationship with Logan is not what it was in the first book, and that's because Reagan no longer knows who she is.  

I do admit that Reagan's attitude chaffed me at times, but I will not sit here and say I wouldn't have had the same reactions to the circumstances she finds herself under. Especially with the heart breaking loss that shattered her. Reagan has chosen to walk a certain path, and the ending of this book has actually stunned me into silence. I can't bring myself to say anything but WHY ARE YOU NOT READING THIS SERIES!?!?!




Author Bio:
Writing is one of the great loves of Kristen Orlando’s life and she has been lucky enough to make it her living, first as a television producer, then as a marketer and now as a novelist. Kristen graduated with a B.A. in English literature from Kenyon College. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with the other great love of her life, Michael. You Don’t Know My Name is her debut novel.




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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Thursday #Review - Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra #YALit #Fantasy @HarperVoyagerUS

Series: Asiana # 1
Format: E-Book, 384 pages
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: Edelweiss/Publisher
Genre: Epic Fantasy

An order of magical-knife wielding female assassins brings both peace and chaos to their post-apocalyptic world in this bewitching blend of science fiction and epic fantasy—the first entry in a debut duology that displays the inventiveness of the works of Sarah Beth Durst, Marie Lu, and S. J. Kincaid.
Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, a highly trained sisterhood of elite warriors armed with telepathic blades. Guided by a strict code of conduct, Kyra and the other Orders are sworn to protect the people of Asiana. But to be a Markswoman, an acolyte must repudiate her former life completely. Kyra has pledged to do so, yet she secretly harbors a fierce desire to avenge her dead family.
When Kyra’s beloved mentor dies in mysterious circumstances, and Tamsyn, the powerful, dangerous Mistress of Mental Arts, assumes control of the Order, Kyra is forced on the run. Using one of the strange Transport Hubs that are remnants of Asiana’s long-lost past, she finds herself in the unforgiving wilderness of desert that is home to the Order of Khur, the only Order composed of men. Among them is Rustan, a young, disillusioned Marksman whom she soon befriends.
Kyra is certain that Tamsyn committed murder in a twisted bid for power, but she has no proof. And if she fails to find it, fails in her quest to keep her beloved Order from following Tamsyn down a dark path, it could spell the beginning of the end for Kyra--and for Asiana. But what she doesn’t realize is that the line between justice and vengeance is razor thin . . . thin as the blade of a knife.



Rati Mehrotra's Markswoman is the first installment in the authors Asiana duology. One can definitely call this a post-apocalyptic version of Asia. It is the year 853 of the Kanun and the Orders keep the peace – barely. Armed outlaws roam the Thar Desert, and a young woman seeks revenge for a horrific crime that was committed against her clan. 19-year old Kyra Veer lives in a land called Asiana. Here you will find Five Orders of Peace: Valavan, Zorya, Mar-Su, Khur, and Kali, which is the oldest of them all. 

"None may take a life but those that carry a kalishium blade and are sworn to the orders of peace."

As the synopsis explains, Kyra is the youngest full fledged Markswoman in the Order of Kali. A Markswoman is a combination of a peacekeeper and an executioner. She is the last survivor of clan Veer which was wiped out when she was a child. As a Markswoman, Kyra has vowed to put aside her desire for revenge on those that killed her clan, but that doesn't mean that if her mentor were to send her on a mission to eliminate those responsible, she would have second thoughts. After her mentor, Shira-Man, is found dead, and her adversary, Tamsyn, is named as her replacement, Kyra snatches Shira's kalishium and travels through a transport hub where she encounters the only male order, Khur. 

Here is where we are introduced to the second character who the author uses to narrate her story; Rustan. After Rustan returns from a mission to subdue a supposed guilty man, he finds himself disillusioned that the man may have been innocent. This weighs heavily on his shoulders and his desire to continue with the clan. Soon thereafter, he encounters Kyra, who is the first female that the clan has seen outside of clan gatherings. Kyra is a character who continues to have to prove herself, while Rustan has already made a name for himself as a brilliant fighter.

Kyra is smart, strong, and trying to find her way in a complicated world— the type of heroine that YA and adult readers alike will relate to. As Kyra's desire for revenge against Tamsyn burns, Rustan becomes Kyra's trainer and sometime antagonist. He knows about Tamsyn. Hell, everyone has heard about the dangerous Mistress of Mental Arts. If Kyra has any hope of surviving, Rustan must push her to her upper limits and then push her further than she's ever been pushed before. Kyra is not a Mary Sue character. Even though she makes her fair share of mistakes, she can handle herself.

She has a wonderful relationship with Nineth and Elena who were her fellow apprentices. But, she has issues with others in her clan. Kyra has a hard time with the whole letting the past be what it is, and let the future bring what will. There are some curiosities that are connected to Kyra which will be wonderful if the author breaks them down and explains how she is able to do some of the things she does in this story. This is definitely a curious world. It is a world that was created after a post-apocalyptic event.

It is a world where The Ones left behind ancient technologies that most people don't have a clue how to use. It is a world where the Markswomen and Men are connected on a spiritual level with their weapons called kalishium. I have heard people complain that there is a love at first sight romance in this novel. I disagree entirely. First, Kyra finds herself the object of unwanted affection who later goes a bit too far. No, not that far. Second, the whole romance between Rustan and Kyra grows out of his concern that she will fail in her desire for revenge.

To close out this review, I will say that there is a OH SHIT, HOLY CRAP! Cliffhanger ending. It is an ending that is perhaps my only real negative about this entire story. I could cut down Kyra for certain things she does, but, as I said before, she is not perfect. Rati draws upon the mythology surrounding the Hindu goddess Kali as the inspiration for her Orders. Though it has the immersive feel of epic fantasy, Markswoman is a quick, exciting, and fun read sure to please fantasy enthusiasts as well as fans of dystopian fiction.





Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Wednesday #Review - Wolves and Roses by Christina Bauer #YALit #Fantasy

Series: Fairy Tales of the Magicorum # 1
Format: E-Book, 292 pages
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Monster House Books
Source: Edelweiss
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy

Seventeen-year-old Bryar Rose has a problem. She’s descended from one of the three magical races—shifters, fairies, or witches. That makes her one of the Magicorum, and Magicorum always follow a fairy tale life template. In Bryar’s case, that template should be Sleeping Beauty.

“Should” being the key word. 

Trouble is, Bryar is nowhere near the Sleeping Beauty life template. Not even close. She doesn’t like birds or woodland creatures. She can’t sing. And she certainly can’t stand Prince Philpot, the so-called “His Highness of Hedge Funds” that her aunties want her to marry. 

Even worse, Bryar finds herself attracted to a hottie werewolf named Knox and is under attack by evil mummy-zombies. If Bryar can’t figure out who—or what—she really is, it might cost both her and Knox their lives… as well as jeopardize the very nature of magic itself.





Christina Bauer's Wolves and Roses is the first installment in the Fairy Tales of Malecorum series. Protagonist Bryar Rose wants to attend a regular high school with normal humans. But, she's anything but normal. Her world is filled with three main magical races; shifters, fairies, witches/warlocks. Raised by three fairy aunts, placed under a curse by Colonel Mallory the Magnificent, all she has to do is keep her head down until her 18th birthday while also ignoring the unwanted advances of Philpot to finally gain her freedom.

But that plan gets turned upside down when Bryar Rose meets Knox, the bad boy who’s literally from her dreams. Knox is a powerful werewolf, and his presence in her life changes everything, and not just because he makes her knees turn into Jell-O. 
It's because something inside of her also seems to want to be with Knox. If Bryar can’t figure out who—or what—she really is, it might cost both her and Knox their lives… as well as jeopardize the very nature of magic itself.

In this world, those like Bryar Rose have a scheduled life they are supposed to follow. In Bri's case, her's is that of Sleeping Beauty. She is even cursed to fall asleep if things get to intense in her life. Bri's best friend and sometimes partner in crime is Elle aka Cinderella and there is also a Scarlett, aka Red Riding Hood. Bri and Elle occasionally break in the LeCharme Building where Bri is collecting special papyri that are linked to a ancient book of magic which was said to have been lost several thousand years ago.

I dare say that this is a unique story in the whole living out your life as a fairy tale character. I've read so many books, that I can't remember an author who chose to take this sort of chance with famous fairy tales. This story is filled with snark, and humor, as well as very twisted villains whom the author calls Denarii. One could say that Bri is on her own path to happiness that just happens to get entangled with not only Knox, and Elle, but Alec LeCharme as well. 

There are several friendship angles that actually work. Bri and Elle have each others back, no matter what little secrets they might be holding back. I do hope we get more of a broader look into Elle's life and background soon. Same with Alex and Knox. Best friends since childhood, they are two peas in a pod. Alec and Knox are two of the three Wardens in charge of their respective magical race. 

For the record, the author doesn't just focus on Bryar Rose's story. There are chapters from Knox's narrative plus his inner wolf which were interesting to read. His wolf does not have much in the way of dialogue but I love his tenacity for knowing what he wants. As this is the first story in the series, I was expecting certain story lines not to be wrapped up all at once and I was correct in my assumption. The next installment is called Shifters and Glyph's which will release in the fall of 2018.