Design a site like this with
Get started

KINGDOM OF FLESH & FIRE by Jennifer L Armentrout

A Betrayal…

Everything Poppy has ever believed in is a lie, including the man she was falling in love with. Thrust among those who see her as a symbol of a monstrous kingdom, she barely knows who she is without the veil of the Maiden. But what she does know is that nothing is as dangerous to her as him. The Dark One. The Prince of Atlantia. He wants her to fight him, and that’s one order she’s more than happy to obey. He may have taken her, but he will never have her.

A Choice…

Casteel Da’Neer is known by many names and many faces. His lies are as seductive as his touch. His truths as sensual as his bite. Poppy knows better than to trust him. He needs her alive, healthy, and whole to achieve his goals. But he’s the only way for her to get what she wants—to find her brother Ian and see for herself if he has become a soulless Ascended. Working with Casteel instead of against him presents its own risks. He still tempts her with every breath, offering up all she’s ever wanted. Casteel has plans for her. Ones that could expose her to unimaginable pleasure and unfathomable pain. Plans that will force her to look beyond everything she thought she knew about herself—about him. Plans that could bind their lives together in unexpected ways that neither kingdom is prepared for. And she’s far too reckless, too hungry, to resist the temptation.

A Secret…

But unrest has grown in Atlantia as they await the return of their Prince. Whispers of war have become stronger, and Poppy is at the very heart of it all. The King wants to use her to send a message. The Descenters want her dead. The wolven are growing more unpredictable. And as her abilities to feel pain and emotion begin to grow and strengthen, the Atlantians start to fear her. Dark secrets are at play, ones steeped in the blood-drenched sins of two kingdoms that would do anything to keep the truth hidden. But when the earth begins to shake, and the skies start to bleed, it may already be too late.

Title : Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
Author : Jennifer L Armentrout
Series : Blood and Ash #3
Format : ebook
Page Count : 637
Genre : Fantasy/PNR
Publisher : Indie
Release Date : September 1, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★

Micky’s 4 star review

Relationship ups and downs
Being real
Why is this such a long book?

Ahhhhh, I’m left with overall great feels about this book on finishing even though it isn’t a refined journey getting there. I am here with this series for the characters and the plot twists but it does not need to be a nearly 650 page book; there’s a fair bit of blather (talking in a long-winded way) packed in there.

The focus on pretend and real in the MCs relationship had me glued to the page. The way they navigated their feelings, how they found the foundations and growth was so believable and left me greedy to read the emotions. The heat, was well…it was intense. The ‘joining’, yeah I’m gonna need that in book three, heavy on the description please. I had an inkling about some elements of that future joining but I wait to see what is realised.

The world building was pretty good in this book. It layered nicely and played into the twists beautifully. All along you know there’s going to be more to come about Poppy, but you never know what it’s going to be. The end lines were all well designed to keep the reader panting for more.

This is such a clever series, great characters, sterling plot, I just wish it was written a bit more concisely.

LITTLE THIEVES by Margaret Owen

Once upon a time, there was a horrible girl… 

Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother’s love–and she’s on the hook for one hell of a debt. Vanja, the adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, was Princess Gisele’s dutiful servant up until a year ago. That was when Vanja’s otherworldly mothers demanded a terrible price for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back… by stealing Gisele’s life for herself.

The real Gisele is left a penniless nobody while Vanja uses an enchanted string of pearls to take her place. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Then, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to an untimely end: turning into jewels, stone by stone, for her greed.

Vanja has just two weeks to figure out how to break her curse and make her getaway. And with a feral guardian half-god, Gisele’s sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on Vanja’s tail, she’ll have to pull the biggest grift yet to save her own life.

Margaret Owen, author of The Merciful Crow series, crafts a delightfully irreverent retelling of “The Goose Girl” about stolen lives, thorny truths, and the wicked girls at the heart of both.

Title : Little Thieves
Author : Margaret Owen
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 512
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Henry Holt & Company
Release Date : October 19, 2021

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Hollis’ 5 star review

This is a rating that I talked myself into rounding up (initially it was a 4.5) instead of my usual sad panda mope about it being so close, or oh I wish I could round up but blah, etc etc. Because, y’all, Little Thieves? Was so so good. Also it’s December twenty-ninth, it’s been a long year (make that two), and I’ve barely given out any full ratings in what feels like a decade, so. YOLO.

Is there anyone in Minkja you haven’t robbed, swindled, or backstabbed?
I mean, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t funding the extravagance of the nobility through the blood of the commoners the real swindle?

I delayed reading this for a few reasons; mostly fear that Owen would end up a one-hit-series-wonder but also because I saw some mixed reviews which fed into that fear. But I should not have worried because once again I’ve been blown away by this author.

You’re just mad I tossed you in the river.”
I think it’s reasonable to take issue with you nearly drowning me.”
Sure, but you’re not mad because you nearly drowned. You’re mad because you went to all that trouble to set a trap and stage your big triumphant reveal and I still tossed you in the river.”

The synopsis basically tells you everything you need to know about this except the feels you will have while reading it; or the heartbreak and tragedy you’ll experience; or even the many many lines that will make you laugh out loud; and the sheer delight in everything about it all. Except, you know, the bad stuff you aren’t going to delight in, see aforementioned heartbreak and tragedy. Yes, naturally, I did cry. Maybe twice. Who is to say.

I see myself for what I am : a scared girl, alone in a cruel world, abandoned by family and friend, who would rather turn herself to bloodstained stone than let anyone get close enough to leave another scar. A girl who would rather die than serve anyone ever again. Even myself. And it is killing me.

On that note, the author does provide a lovely little passage with some content warnings at the beginning, so keep your eyes out for that if you need it.

I can’t say if you’re a good person or not. But the more I know of you, the more I understand that the world keeps making you choose between survival and martyrdom. No one should fault you for wanting to live.

But yeah, I have so little to say because this is one of those classic “I fucking loved it!” feelings that has left me pretty speechless. I have so many highlights, way more than can fit in this review, and the whole experience was just fantastic. The only thing I’m mad about is that the sequel (!!) isn’t coming out until 2023. Which, wow. Talk about a devastating blow. But if that’s the trade off for yet another banger? I will suffer bravely and with dignity. Cue sobs.

HERE’S TO US by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

In the follow-up to their charming NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, What If It’s Us, best friends Adam Silvera (They Both Die At The End) and Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda) reunite to give Arthur and Ben another shot at true love.

From the creator of 13 Reasons WhyWhat If It’s Us is soon to be a feature film!

Ben has spent his first year of college working on his fantasy manuscript with his writing partner Mario, who is a great Spanish tutor, and an even better kisser. So why can’t he stop thinking about the fact that Arthur’s back in town two years after they called it quits?

Arthur is in New York for a dream internship on Broadway, with a boyfriend back at home that he couldn’t be happier with. But when he comes upon Ben cuddled up with a mystery boy, he starts to wonder if his feelings for Ben ever truly went away. 

Even as the boys try to focus on their futures, they can’t seem to help running into each other in the present. Is the universe forcing them to question if they’re actually meant to be?

Possibly not. After all, things didn’t work the first time around.
Possibly yes. After all, the sparks are still flying.
Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and raise a glass.

Here’s to celebrating old friends!
Here’s to embracing new beginnings!
Here’s to believing in second chances!

Title : Here’s To Us
Author : Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
Series : What If It’s Us #2
Format : Physical
Page Count : 472
Genre : Contemporary YA/LGBTQIAP+
Publisher : Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Release Date : December 28, 2021

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★

Micky’s 4 star review

All the sweet, cute and complicated you need
A web of friendly connections
Second chances

“People don’t warn you that heartbreak is a chronic condition. Maybe it quiets down a little over time, or you can muffle it with distance, but the ache never quite dials down to zero.”

Here’s To Us was the sequel I always needed on finishing What If It’s Us. We needed to know what would happen for Ben and Arthur and this second installment landed the reader a jump onwards.

Albertalli & Silvera managed to age up these two and their crowd of friends and yet it still felt YA. I appreciated the smattering of increased emotional maturity, that is until these two tried to handle their relationships. I really liked Mario and Mikey, the were both stand-up guys and I kind of hated the outcome for them, while wanting the very necessary result. So that sweet also had a slice of bittersweet.

The story was fast-paced, all sweetness and cute with wit and drama added in. The pull of Arthur to Ben and Ben to Arthur was irrefutable. The side characters remained strong in this duet of stories and as well as Mario and Ben, I especially liked Jessie and Dylan.

I felt complete and satisfied on finishing, this sweet and kooky world was fun to inhabit for a second time.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster UK & Pride Book Tours for the review copy.

THE MAID by Nita Prose

Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.

Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.

But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?

A Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.

Title : The Maid
Author : Nita Prose
Format : ARC
Page Count : 304
Genre : contemporary mystery / thriller
Publisher : Ballantine Books
Release Date : January 4, 2022

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ 

Hollis’ 3 star review

I think readers are going to be a bit split on The Maid. For die-hard crime/mystery enthusiasts this might be a bit of a letdown because when it comes down to it.. this is very simplistic. And a bit slow. But it’s both of those things because of our perspective and narrator.

Molly Gray is different. It’s never stated outright but I would maybe judge she’s somewhere on the spectrum? She’s needed her grandmother to guide her through many exchanges or situations throughout her life and now, with her grandmother recently dead, she’s a bit at loose ends. Which makes the fact that she gets caught up in murder rather poor timing, what with the fact that no one has her best interests in mind and she’s seemingly friendless.

What was most interesting, besides Molly herself, was how what we thought to be true of some of the people and dynamics around her was decidedly the opposite. As a reader, some moments were painful, others were just sad, but the way it was done through the use of only one POV was really great. I won’t say more because I enjoyed the reveal but maybe everything I’ve said up until now will give you an idea.

I don’t know if I would classify this as a cozy mystery but it might be somewhere in the same realm. Molly herself inspires both some heartbreak and some warm and fuzzies and there does come to be something of an ensemble in the end and that, too, was warm and fuzzy inducing.

Everything unique about this story was a definite highlight, and the writing was easy to churn through, but for all the unique elements I don’t think this will be particularly memorable. I would pick up the author again, though; and despite the lower rating than I expected to dole out, if this kind of vibe seems like your thing, I would encourage you to pick it up.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


Welcome to the Whitethorn Institute. The first step is always admitting you need help, and you’ve already taken that step by requesting a transfer into our company.

There is another school for children who fall through doors and fall back out again. It isn’t as friendly as Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. And it isn’t as safe.

When Eleanor West decided to open her school, her sanctuary, her Home for Wayward Children, she knew from the beginning that there would be children she couldn’t save; when Cora decides she needs a different direction, a different fate, a different prophecy, Miss West reluctantly agrees to transfer her to the other school, where things are run very differently by Whitethorn, the Headmaster.

She will soon discover that not all doors are welcoming… 

Title : Where The Drowned Girls Go
Author : Seanan McGuire
Series : Wayward Children (book seven)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 160
Genre : fantasy
Publisher : Tordotcom
Release Date : January 4, 2022

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ .5 

Hollis’ 3.5 star review

This is easily my favourite in the series in what feels like a long long time. Since book one, really. And I couldn’t tell you what specifically about this seventh instalment did what the previous five couldn’t. I really have no idea.

Maybe it was finally having a story that featured this other school? The very anti-thesis of the Home for Wayward Children? Maybe it was Cora? Maybe it was all of it.

I’ll admit, I had forgotten most of what preceded this book which was a bit of a problem initially as so much depends on knowing what Cora experienced since returning from her Door. But it is more or less glossed over and hinted at, I just wish I had a better understanding. Regardless, though, the point is less what came before and what Cora wants of her future; mostly, to have one. Which brings her to ask for a transfer to Whitethorn. If only she really knew what she was asking for..

This place hurts people. It makes them crawl into their own hearts to be safe, and then turns those hearts against them.”

Again, I really did love pretty much everything about this one. I’m even almost tempted to round up on it. I don’t imagine we’ll see a continuation of this particular plot/cliffhanger in book eight, as they seem to switch off, but I can’t wait to reunite with these characters and see how they might come back and save those still at Whitethorn. If they do.. who knows!

This has been a strange series for me. One I love in concept but not always in execution; and my relationship with this author, particularly under this penname, has been fraught with this kind of pattern. But it’s books like this one, it’s remembering she’s also Mira Grant, that keep me coming back and refusing to throw in the towel. And I’m so glad for that.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!

As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.

When You Get the Chance by Emma Lord is one that’s probably already on your radar if you love Lord as much as we do!

Where The Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire is seventh in the author’s Wayward Children portal fantasy series.

Reckless Girls
by Rachel Hawkins is “a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set on an isolated Pacific island with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.”

The Maid by Nita Prose is a murder mystery with an unconventional lead at the helm.

Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below! 


An effervescent, endearing, joyful contemporary romance of one young woman searching for her birth mother one summer, by New York Times bestselling author Emma Lord.

Nothing will get in the way of Millie Price’s dream to become a Broadway star. Not her lovable but super-introverted dad, who after raising Millie alone, doesn’t want to watch her leave home to pursue her dream. Not her pesky and ongoing drama club rival, Oliver, who is the very definition of Simmering Romantic Tension. And not the “Millie Moods,” the feelings of intense emotion that threaten to overwhelm, always at maddeningly inconvenient times. Millie needs an ally. And when a left-open browser brings Millie to her dad’s embarrassingly moody LiveJournal from 2003, Millie knows just what to do. She’s going to find her mom.

There’s Steph, a still-aspiring stage actress and receptionist at a talent agency. There’s Farrah, ethereal dance teacher who clearly doesn’t have the two left feet Millie has. And Beth, the chipper and sweet stage enthusiast with an equally exuberant fifteen-year-old daughter (A possible sister?! This is getting out of hand). But how can you find a new part of your life and expect it to fit into your old one, without leaving any marks? And why is it that when you go looking for the past, it somehow keeps bringing you back to what you’ve had all along?

Joyous, heartfelt, and brimming with emotion, WHEN YOU GET THE CHANCE is a novel about falling in love, making a mess, and learning to let go that will have you happy-sobbing and cheering all the way to the end.

Title : When You Get The Chance
Author : Emma Lord
Format : eARC
Page Count : 320
Genre : YA contemporary
Publisher : Wednesday Books
Release Date : January 4, 2022

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★

Hollis’ 4 star review

As much as I was super keen to read more by this author, who is quickly becoming a fave, I was a little worried about some similar echoes to her sophomore debut what with another family-based secret and/or discovery being a main plot point. But honestly this was so different that if you are likewise worried, don’t be.

I’ll also admit (yes, we’re apparently starting off with all the negatives, why not) that Millie took some time to warm up to. And she had her moments (not to be confused with her Millie Moods). But, like all Lord books, the vibes, the warmth, the ensemble, it all just.. works.

I’m not sure this outshines Tweet Cute but it might be on par with You Have a Match. This has a fewer laugh out loud moments but makes up for it by one of the sweetest best-friend relationships and there is some good quality banter between Millie and her love interest.

This made me both long to watch Mamma Mia! (the story more or less follows the plot of the musical) and also cringe in fear at the idea of someone related to me discovering an old LiveJournal (god, so many horrors, yes, I did just do a quick google to make sure I had deleted mine) but, despite how wrong and weird the whole investigative plot went, I really liked how — sneaky underhanded intentions notwithstanding — Millie did it and how it ended up. And much like Millie herself, I actually forgot what the catalyst was that made her finally set out to determine who her mother might be. Sure, it wasn’t the real reason, it wasn’t the only reason, but it was the push. But in doing so it shed light on all the strength and love and greatness she had in her life even without a mother and that.. that was lovely and sweet and yes okay fine I teared up a few times whatever.

I don’t think this contemporary is such a standout that I’ll remember it as vividly as, say, Lord’s debut, but in an era where my YA consumption is going down, and everything feels like it’s already been done to death, this left me feeling really content and delighted and soft and I had a really good time with these characters. With three books under her belt, this author is an auto-read for me and I’m excited to see what she does next.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


As we are seconds away from closing the door on 2021 (which was officially Also The Worst), we got to thinking about all the books set to release next year that we know of (which, admittedly, only really spans the January to June-ish portion of 2022, as usual). But there are so many! And so many still yet to be announced that we will also be excited for. However..

As usual, we are challenging ourselves to narrow down an anticipated list of only ten titles. Yes. Ten. Yes, we know, that’s not even one title per month. It’s a horrible exercise. Let’s begin!

Hollis’ Top Ten Anticipated Releases of 2022 (in order of publication) :
aka the year with very few covers yet released

The Long Game by Rachel Reid | April 26, 2022
Book Lovers by Emily Henry | May 3, 2022
Mad About You by Mhairi McFarlane | May 3, 2022
Ruby Fever by Ilona Andrews | August 26, 2022
Pack of Lies by Charlie Adhara | August 30, 2022
Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir | September 13, 2022
The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik | September 27, 2022
Untitled (Skybriar, book one) by Talia Hibbert | Fall 2022 (date TBA)
Untitled (Iron Widow, book two) by Xiran Jay Zhao | Fall 2022 (date TBA)
In the Lives of Puppets by T.J. Klune | 2022 (date TBA)

Micky’s Top Ten (showing we are sometimes similar) Anticipated Releases of 2022 (in order of publication) .

Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman | January 27, 2022
The Girl Who Fell Beneath The Sea by Axie Oh | February 22, 2022
When Our Worlds Collided by Danielle Jawando | March 31, 2022
Elektra by Jennifer Saint | April 28, 2022
Book of Night by Holly Black | May 3, 2022
Book Lovers by Emily Henry | May 3, 2022
The Blood Traitor (The Gilded Cage #3) by Lynette Noni | June 14, 2022
Ruby Fever by Ilona Andrews | August 26, 2022
The Golden Enclaves (The Scholomance #3) by Naomi Novil | September 27, 2022
Untitled (Iron Widow #2) by Xiran Jay Zhao | Autumn 2022 (date TBA)

We’d love to know what you want to read next year. It is so hard to narrow it down, we know.


To close out each month, we’ll be posting a break down of everything we reviewed, beginning with the reads we loved.. and ending with the reads we didn’t. Not only does this compile all our reviews in one handy summary for you to peruse, or catch up on, it also gives us an interesting birds eye view of the month and our reads. And maybe, even, our moods.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ star reads

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ star reads

A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske — see Micky’s review here (!)
Sea of Ruin by Pam Godwin — see Hollis’ review here
The Arctic Curry Club by Dani Redd — see Micky’s review here
Love Stories: A Novella Collection by Samantha Young — see Micky’s review here
Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce — see Micky’s review here
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman — see Hollis’ review here
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman — see Hollis’ review here
The Righteous by Renee Ahdieh — see Micky’s review here
Seven Days in June by Tia Williams — see Hollis’ review here
If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio — see Hollis’ review here
From Blood And Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout — see Micky’s review here

☆ ☆ ☆ star reads

If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich — see Hollis’ & Micky’s review here
As Good As Dead by Holly Jackson — see Hollis’ review here
Here With Me by Samantha Young — see Hollis’ review here
A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske — see Hollis’ review here (!)
Any Sign of Life by Rae Carson — see Hollis’ review here
Wrapped Up In You by Talia Hibbert — see Hollis’ review here

☆ ☆ star reads

There With You by Samantha Young — see Hollis’ review here
Near the Bone by Christina Henry — see Hollis’ review here
Jingle All The Way by Debbie Macomber — see Micky’s review here
Aurora’s End by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff — see Hollis’ review here
All The Feels by Olivia Dade — see Hollis’ review here

star reads

u n r a t e d


additional reads not reviewed for blog : too many to count…
total reads by Micky : eight plus the zillion mood reads
favourite read of the month : From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout
least favourite read of the month : Jingle All The Way by Debbie Macomber
most read genre : contemporary

total reviews by Hollis : fifteen
favourite read of the month : Seven Days in June by Tia Williams
least favourite read of the month : There With You by Samantha Young
most read genre : contemporary