Review: Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Pub Date: November 2015
Publisher: Kensington
Format: Trade Paperback
Length: 368 pages
FTC: Requested from the library
POV: 1st person, past

I've generally avoided YA because I have a YA in the house and can't handle a ton more drama, but this series has me hooked. My only issue with this book, and it's a biggie, is the tournament. I think Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ruined me for all other tournaments. It's not fair, but there it is. I can't read about tournaments, especially involving magic, without thinking of that book. Or the Court Jester. Yes...I'm weird.

The 2nd book in a series often has a tough job. It's subject to a bit of a sophomore slump, in that it doesn't have to build the world, but it has to move the characters forward. Luckily, that's exactly what happens here. Every character has more revealed about them. Lila, our narrator (in 1st person, past TYVM), has some significant character growth both in maturity and in depth. Her relationships with everyone grow and change, and she seems to be slowly figuring out who she is and what she wants.


TBR Challenge Review: Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pub: Grand Central/Hachette
Pub Date: November 2015
Length: 328 pages
 POV: 3rd/past
FTC: Purchased myself

I'm afraid to say that I've beaten the reading slump that has plagued me for the last few years, but...I think I've finally beaten the damn thing!!!  So I joined the TBR Challenge again, which I'm hoping doesn't jinx it.  It's ok to sign up late if you want to join in!

I'm perpetually behind on the Maiden Lane series, despite the fact that I ALWAYS enjoy them. I'm not sure why this is, except to say that the books are usually quite emotionally draining, and I just can't glom them.Of course, of all of the books I've read so far, this one was my least favorite. Which still isn't all that bad, when the bar is set so high.


Review: Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James

Format: mass market paperback
Pub Date: March 2014
Publisher: Avon
Length: 400
FTC: Received for free at an RT Convention

I'm not really sure why I stopped reading Eloisa James. Part of it was likely just a result of my 18-month-long reading slump, but I really do like her books. I always have. This one has my kryptonite, though: lots of letters. I'm a sucker for an epistolary novel done right, and this one is fabulous.

The setup is classic historical romance: wealthy man needs perfect, well-born bride to buy his way into legitimacy only to discover his perfect bride-to-be is utterly boring. What makes this one shine is the chemistry and wit throughout. There's snappy banter and then there's this book. The barbs are extremely clever...sometimes double or triple layered in meaning.  I mean, so pointed that I was laughing out loud, and not in an easy, slapstick way.


Review: Deadly Spells by Jaye Wells

Format: Trade Paperback
Pub Date: February 2015
Publisher: Orbit
Length: 400 pages
FTC: Ordered through our library's Zip Books program

It took me awhile to convince my poor library to order this book. Primarily because they were convinced it wasn't out yet. New Year's is hard on everyone, librarians included. We're closing in on a year since this book's release, so I'm hoping to hear more about the series. If it's continuing. If this was it. I haven't looked it up yet, but this book does tie up some loose ends, so it may be the finale.