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BEFORE I LET GO by Kennedy Ryan

Their love was supposed to last forever. But when life delivered blow after devastating blow, Yasmen and Josiah Wade found that love had its limits . . it couldn’t save their marriage.

Yasmen wasn’t prepared for how her life fell apart, but she’s finally starting to find joy again. She and Josiah have found a new rhythm: co-parenting their two kids and running a thriving business together. Yet, like magnets, they’re always drawn back to each other, and now they’re beginning to wonder if they’re truly ready to let go of everything they once had.

One stolen kiss leads to another . . . and then more. It’s hot. It’s illicit. It’s good – until it starts to hurt again. As old wounds reopen, Yasmen and Josiah wonder if it is too late for them to find forever.

Or could they be even better, the second time around?


Title : Before I Let Go
Author : Kennedy Rynan
Format : eARC
Page Count : 401
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Publisher : Piatkus
Release Date : November 15, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 5 star review

Headlines:
Crazy investment
Feelings on overdrive
Married couple, second chances

First I just need to start off with the how stunning this cover is. This is hands down my favourite romance cover of the year. Now to the delectable inside…

Before I Let Go gave me the kind of heart on the page feelings I got from Ryan’s Grip series. In fact there was a slight similarity in one of the themes but it felt completely fresh in this story. This author has the unusual talent of being able to write romance amongst the worst kind hurt and still bring such palpable chemistry that you’re getting all warm under the collar.

Grief is a grind. It is the work of breathing and waking and rising and moving through a world that feels emptier.

I adore second chances done well and this second chance for Yasmen and Josiah was all consuming. The place these two started in and the journey they took was utterly mesmerising with angst and frustration, then possibility. I have to mention how I adored how Kennedy Ryan wrote Yasmen’s body, a normal woman’s body, appreciatively, sexily and that confidence oozed down the page to me the reader. Pretty powerful stuff! I also found Josiah to be such a man surpassing the average contemporary romance lead that he’s unforgettable.

I lived for this book over the couple of days I read it, it dominated my thoughts and had I not been distracted by family, I could have happily read from front to back. This book is one I’ll re-read, enjoy living the hurt and the triumphs. I remain a huge fan of this author’s talent.

There is only one letter of difference between love and lose, and somewhere along the way, for me they became synonymous.

There are content warnings and these are rightly in the opening pages, as they be raw issues for some.

Thank you to Piatkus books for the eARC.

GLEANINGS by Neal Shusterman et al

The New York Times bestselling Arc of a Scythe series continues with thrilling stories that span the timeline. Storylines continue. Origin stories are revealed. And new Scythes emerge…

There are still countless tales of the Scythedom to tell. Centuries passed between the Thunderhead cradling humanity and Scythe Goddard trying to turn it upside down. For years humans lived in a world without hunger, disease, or death with Scythes as the living instruments of population control.

Neal Shusterman – along with collaborators David Yoon, Jarrod Shusterman, Sofía Lapuente, Michael H. Payne, Michelle Knowlden, and Joelle Shusterman – returns to the world throughout the timeline of the Arc of a Scythe series. Discover secrets and histories of characters you’ve followed for three volumes and meet new heroes, new foes, and some figures in between.

Gleanings shows just how expansive, terrifying, and thrilling the world that began with the Printz Honor-winning Scythe truly is.


Title : Gleanings
Author : Neal Shusterman
Series : Arc of a Scythe #3.5
Format : Physical
Page Count : 432
Genre : Dystopian
Publisher : Walker Books
Release Date : November 10, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Gleanings offers:
Thunderhead insights
Characters connected to beloved and infamous scythes we know
Goddard’s beginnings
Trixie the dog (hilarious)
Unsavouries
Insights into the Cirrus ships future

I absolutely ate up this collection of short stories which is a dream for any fan of the series. The stories were of sufficient length and depth that I felt satisfied with each. They were easy to get into and many of them were unexpected insights with wit, drama and deadish happenings.

The Thunderhead is a favourite character for me, so all things that being fascinated me and I think I’d have liked a full story about them. Trixie the dog had me in agog stitches. Other stories were more serious and I appreciated that too.

These stories were mostly Neal Shusterman but a few were collaborations with other authors but they all felt to have the same narrative voice. I do hope this isn’t the end of this world and that we’ll get future bits and pieces.

Thank you to Walker Books for the review copy.

THE ATLAS PARADOX by Olivie Blake – double review!

Six magicians. Two rivalries. One researcher. And a man who can walk through dreams. All must pick a side: do they wish to preserve the world—or destroy it? In this electric sequel to the viral sensation, The Atlas Six, the society of Alexandrians is revealed for what it is: a secret society with raw, world-changing power, headed by a man whose plans to change life as we know it are already under way. But the cost of knowledge is steep, and as the price of power demands each character choose a side, which alliances will hold and which will see their enmity deepen?


Title : The Atlas Paradox
Author : Olivie Blake
Series : The Atlas (book two)
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 400
Genre : fantasy
Publisher : Tor Books
Release Date : October 25, 2022

Reviewer : Hollis/Micky
Rating :


Hollis’ 2 star review

Boy did this drag.

Look, I know I wasn’t out on the rooftops shouting about book one to begin with but I saw the potential, saw how many directions were open for intrigue and secrets and manoeuvrings, etc, for the books to come but I feel like this one both went off in a bunch of directions but also spun it’s wheels. Where things went, for the most part, felt tedious. Any potential spark? Fizzled. Dead.

Also maybe it’s just me and how I don’t really love mess but there were a few times I just felt tired from all the shifting dynamics and convoluted feelings everyone was having about this person, that person, and on. Maybe it’s supposed to muddle up the end games and keep you guessing but honestly it just headbutts me out of the story. Which is also how I felt every time we had a Reina POV. Talk about a buzzkill character.

Also, I’m now convinced when I reread The Atlas Six I must’ve not actually read the changed up/traditionally published version (and would track considering I was skeptical there had been any changes when I did that reread) because some things were just outright stated in this one, early on, and I felt it came totally out of left field. So either that was done on purpose, for some bizarre reason, or I legitimately missed something (example, Callum and the pain).

With so much tedium, hardly any stakes, and the characters now halfway scattered in various directions, I have no clue what is to actually be expected from book three. I will read it but I have a feeling this instalment may turn out to have been rather unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. That or it’s just typical book two syndrome. Womp.


Micky’s 2.5 star review (ish)

I’m not 100% sure what I just read but I’ve made note of the headlines from the plot. I have to admit this second installment was a struggle of rather epic proportions. It was confusing and convoluted and yet I’m still invested to some degree with certain characters, namely, Libby, Nico, Gideon and Ezra. That’s not to say I like Ezra, I don’t, but that storyline is an interesting one. I continued to dislike Parisa and I started to intensely dislike Reina. Atlas is fascinating.

I will be returning for the third go round for this series with the hope I can recapture the enjoyment I found in book one.


THE HIDDEN BASE by A.E. Warren

She wants to escape the past. Is she doomed to repeat it? In the spectacular sequel to Subject Twenty-One, Elise and her friends have unearthed the truth that has been kept from them their whole lives and escaped the Museum of Evolution – but at what cost?

After a perilous escape, Elise and her companions have made it to the safety of the secret fifth base, Uracil, but her family is still in danger. Desperate to secure them passage and a safe place to live, she makes a deal with the leaders of Uracil – she’ll become their spy, jeopardising her own freedom in the process.

But first she has to help rescue the next Neanderthal, Subject Twenty-Two.

Twenty-Two has never left the confines of the steel walls that keep her separated from the other exhibits. She has no contact with the outside world and no way of knowing why she has been abandoned. With diminishing deliveries of food and water, she has to start breaking the museum’s rules if she wants a second chance at living.

One belongs to the future and the other to the past, but both will need to adapt – or neither will survive.


Title : The Hidden Base
Author : A.E. Warren
Series : Tomorrow’s Ancestors #2
Format : Physical
Page Count : 340
Genre : Dystopian
Publisher : DelRey UK
Release Date : July 1, 2021

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Freedom doesn’t last
Prejudices & plotting
Utopia or Dystopian life in Uracil

I’m still rather enamoured by this dystopian world in the Tomorrow’s Ancestors series. While Elise remained central to this story, Subject Twenty-Two was introduced and these two characters had pretty much alternate chapters.

Uracil remained an oasis in this world but perhaps not as shiny as it was first thought. This story saw the crew travel across the plains to different bases in what turned out to be an incredibly messy mission. Seeing Twenty-Two develop then meeting Kit was interesting, I hope to see more of their friendship develop. I definitely want to see more Elise and Samuel.

There lots of twists and nefariousness in this story. Potiors and those similar just aren’t worthy of trust, the rest of the species seem to have the potential for decency. I’m really looking forward to seeing where book three goes.

If you fancy a really unique YA dystopian world, I highly recommend this series.

HEART OF THE SUN WARRIOR by Sue Lynn Tan

The stunning sequel to Daughter of the Moon Goddess delves deeper into beloved Chinese mythology, concluding the epic story of Xingyin—the daughter of Chang’e and the mortal archer, Houyi—as she battles a grave new threat to the realm, in this powerful tale of love, sacrifice, and hope. 

After winning her mother’s freedom from the Celestial Emperor, Xingyin thrives in the enchanting tranquility of her home. But her fragile peace is threatened by the discovery of a strange magic on the moon and the unsettling changes in the Celestial Kingdom as the emperor tightens his grip on power. While Xingyin is determined to keep clear of the rising danger, the discovery of a shocking truth spurs her into a perilous confrontation.

Forced to flee her home once more, Xingyin and her companions venture to unexplored lands of the Immortal Realm, encountering legendary creatures and shrewd monarchs, beloved friends and bitter adversaries. With alliances shifting quicker than the tides, Xingyin has to overcome past grudges and enmities to forge a new path forward, seeking aid where she never imagined she would. As an unspeakable terror sweeps across the realm, Xingyin must uncover the truth of her heart and claw her way through devastation—to rise against this evil before it destroys everything she holds dear, and the worlds she has grown to love . . . even if doing so demands the greatest price of all.


Title : Heart of the Sun Warrior
Author : Sue Lynn Tan
Series : The Celestial Kingdom #2
Format : eARC
Page Count : 480
Genre : Fantasy
Publisher : Harper Voyager
Release Date : November 10, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Changing allegiances
Family, friends, love & grief
Epically-sized triangle

I feel like my whole reader’s heart has been invested in this duology. I’ve loved the world and it’s complexity, the characters good and bad have been written so well and Xingyin has been a worthy main character.

Heart of the Sun Warrior was a fast-paced sequel that had me on the edge of my seat. Xingyin’s brief status quo with her mother was turned upside down and in an insidious way with a rather evil villain. The cast of characters in this story were full of depth and the nasty charaters were developed as well as the beloved characters. The factions and rulers of this world sure were an egotistical lot in the main, trust was not an option.

This was an emotive story, tense, full of hurt, loss and grief and yet Tan brought those chinks of light and joy that kept you on the right side of hope. I read much of the second half with my heart in my mouth right until the final pages.

Talking of the final pages, I did struggle a little with that ending…I just wanted something more.

Thank you to Harper Voyager for the eARC.

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY – NOVEMBER 8, 2022

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.


Raven Unveiled by Grace Draven wraps up the Fallen Empire trilogy in this first traditionally published works for Draven.

The Last Hero by Linden A. Lewis is the final installment of what has been an epic sci-fi trilogy with war, relationships and twists.



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

RAVEN UNVEILED by Grace Draven

A woman with the gift to speak to the dead—and the assassin pursuing her—may be the only chance a crumbling empire has of holding back true evil, in this electrifying fantasy romance from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Siora has been on the run for longer than she cares to remember, from her past and her gift. Born with the ability to see and speak to ghosts, she has heard their desperate pleas as an otherworldly predator stalks the dead amid the fertile killing fields of the collapsing Krael Empire. The creature’s power and reach are growing with every soul it consumes, but Siora is preoccupied with her own troubles: namely an assassin who has sworn an oath of vengeance against her.

Gharek of Cabast was once the right-hand man of the reviled empress but is now a wanted fugitive. Although his reasons for hunting Siora are viscerally personal, what Gharek can’t anticipate is that when he finally does find her, she will hold the key to saving his world, or what’s left of it. To make good on old debts and protect the vulnerable dead from a malevolent force, Gharek and Siora will both need to make an ally out of an enemy—and trust that will be enough to save each other. 


Title : Raven Unveiled
Author : Grace Draven
Series : Fallen Empire (book three)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 336
Genre : fantasy romance
Publisher : Ace
Release Date : November 8, 2022

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 2 star review

This series hasn’t been a great ride for me. I did enjoy book one, and rounded up on my feelings because of my love for the author, but the sequel ended up with the same rating this finale (I assume it’s the finale..) is getting. Not a great progression.

In some ways, this one was better (at least from my vague recollection; I truly remember nothing concrete about the books that came before, but vague plot impressions, little to nothing about the characters) but in many ways it was equally lackluster. In a positive vein, I enjoyed how the book opened up, one character on the run from the other, assuming he’s after her to kill her. He’s definitely after her but the vengeance he’s after is less murdery despite his initial inclination. Eventually everything gets derailed and they have to band together for reasons involving a side quest and it’s through this bonding time they start to unpack their baggage and connect.

Or so the author wants us to believe. Because this romance? Hard to buy into. In fact, I want my money back because while I could maybe get on board with them being friends, I don’t accept anything more. The moment these two started to lean into that, I started checking out of the story. That isn’t to say it was four star material up until that point but it was better without the forced romance element.

I will repeat my moaning about how sad I am that I can’t shout about the author’s trade published works from the rooftops. Because all I can do is recommend some of the indie works that came before. This series just had none of the magic, none of the excitement, I’ve loved from her before. But having said that, her latest indie, a continuation of one of my favourite series, wasn’t a win either, so. I’m at a loss.

I will probably read on in this series if there’s more to come (#Completionist) but I hope it’s done. I would of course be interested in whatever else is to come from her but my expectations will definitely be a smidge lowered.

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

THE OTHER BELLE by Whitney G

The ‘tale as old as time’ has always been a lie…

There was no such thing as a “beautiful girl who stumbles into an enchanted castle and falls for a beast.”
My older sister is a liar, and she’s always been far more calculated than that.

I don’t blame you for buying into her compelling fairytale, though.
She’s always been an incredible storyteller.

Truth is, deep in The Whispering Woods, far past the Seven Sinful Kingdoms, several secrets remain untold.
They’ve lain dormant for centuries, protecting the true hero of this story, a dominant “villain” destined for Hell…

Until now, until me.
The other Belle…


Title : The Other Belle
Author : Whitney G
Format : eARC
Page Count : 195
Genre : Fantasy Romance
Publisher : Self published
Release Date : November 4, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3 star review

Headlines:
Irreverant retelling
Cameos from many fairytales

The Other Belle starts with a semi-familiar stance on Beauty and the Beast but with some differences. As this story rolled out, it combined and included a number of other fairytales, brief glances of characters outside of this known world. Belle was an abused member of her family but she was also a snarky character with a valid chip on her shoulder.

Gaston was very hot and cold in his behaviour, sometimes noble and caring but often ignorant and dismissive. He and Belle were a strange but sometimes worthy pairing.

I had problems with the pacing and flow of this story. The chapters were short, which is a win, but they sometimes ended abruptly and the next chapter didn’t always seem logically placed to me. That interrupted my investment in the storyline and the characters.

I believed the chemistry between Gaston and Belle but when it came to the heat, it didn’t work for me sadly.

Thank you to the author for the gifted eARC.

CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by Sarah J Maas

Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the king’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all…. And trying to may just destroy her.


Title : Crown of Midnight
Author : Sarah J Maas
Series : Throne of Glass #2
Format : eBook
Page Count : 425
Genre : Fantasy
Publisher : Bloomsbury
Release Date : August 15, 2013

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Colour me surprised I wasn’t spoiled for the massive twist
Unexpected love from me to this book
Truly invested in the characters

Here’s the backlist review no-one asked for.

So a little recap…I read Throne of Glass 3-4 years ago and it left me with a meh feeling and lack of impetus to carry on. Then ACOTAR happened, followed by CC and well, I like this woman’s stories. I decided ages ago to give this series a second chance but it took some prodding from book buddy Amy to make it happen. Clearly she only had my best interest in mind.

I read a recap of book one, launched in and honestly, it was easy to get into it from the off. I call TOG one long world build, whereas this book was more juice in the story, better characterisation. I really liked Celaena as I got to know her and her motivations better. The unfolding magic kept me interested throughout. I totally shipped Celaena and Chaol and I grew to like Dorian more.

I had very mixed feelings about Nehemia, Asher and obviously the king. Mort was fun and the Elena too. Baba Yellowlegs reminded me how good Maas is at writing the creepy, chilling villains.

I cannot believe I haven’t been spoiled for that massive twist we got and I’m so pleased about that, even though I did have a brief thought in the right direction. I’m truly excited to read on.

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY – NOVEMBER 1, 2022

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.


Seasparrow by Kristin Cashore is book five in the series that seems to keep on giving (Graceling) and it features Hava who we met in book four.

The Luminaries by Susan Dennard is a series starter and we love this strapline “Hemlock Falls isn’t like other towns. You won’t find it on a map, your phone won’t work here, and the forest outside town might just kill you.“.

Ocean’s Echo
by Everina Maxwell states it’s a standalone space adventure (LGBTQIAP+) but it looks like it’s definitely interconnected to Winter’s Orbit if you were a fan.

A Restless Truth by Freya Marske is the second installment in The Last Binding series, this time featuring a lesbian coupling in this historical fantasy set on the high seas.



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