BOUND BY FOREVER by Samantha Young

Niamh Farren has been burdened by knowledge for most of her life. As one of seven fae children born into the human world with the ability to open the gate to Faerie, Niamh’s mission is to guide her fae brethren to do what’s right. Because Niamh has seen what will happen to the human world if she does not protect the gate. Throughout the years, she’s traveled the world with her brother Ronan, using her psychic visions to find the fae-borne and convince them to stay on the path that will keep the gate from opening. She has sacrificed much … but when she loses her brother to the mission, Niamh begins to lose herself.

For nearly one hundred and fifty years, werewolf Kiyo has wandered the planet as a lost soul. Cursed with immortality, he spends his awful eternity as a mercenary for hire. When the powerful Fionn Mór confides the truth about the existence of Faerie and hires Kiyo to protect one of the fae-borne, he accepts the challenge out of boredom, not heroism. Yet Niamh is unexpected in every way the werewolf can possibly imagine.

Guarding Niamh from her enemies is nowhere near as challenging as protecting the fae woman from herself. If Kiyo is to succeed, he must help Niamh find herself again, and not just for her sake. Ignoring the fierce connection between them may no longer be an option. A new enemy is rising and threatening to rip open the gate between worlds. To remind Niamh of who she really is, Kiyo must make the choice to lower his defenses and give into their bond. Or safeguard his own heart … and in doing so lead the human world to the brink of war.



Title : Bound by Forever
Author : Samantha Young
Series : True Immortality #3
Format : e-ARC
Page Count : 388
Genre : PNR
Publisher : Indie
Release Date : November 17, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3 star review

There’s something about this series that keeps me coming back for more. This penultimate installment in the series had a character I was really looking forward to – Kiyo and he was 100% my favourite thing about the book. He had great character development and that reluctance to care with the soft inside. Niamh was an interesting character but for some reason, I didn’t connect with her that much.

As a couple rubbing along, these two had their fun moments to read about and I did believe their connnection. There’s a but here though, everything between them was a bit to insta and fast for me. However, this was a story told over a shortish time frame, so I guess things were going to happen quickly. I do prefer a relationship that takes time though.

This story and plot development was super fast-paced with lots of twists and turns, maybe a few too many for my reading preference. The story switched on, on page one and didn’t let go until the end. The story had a ‘chase’ feeling as the characters ran from The Garm and The Coven across the globe. There felt like some far-fetched elements but this is paranormal context and I can live with that.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read but the plot didn’t always float my boat. I’ll definitely be back to finish this series though.

Thank you to the author for the early review copy.

DEAR JUSTYCE by Nic Stone

In the stunning and hard-hitting sequel to the New York Times bestseller Dear Martin, incarcerated teen Quan writes letters to Justyce about his experiences in the American prison system.

Shortly after teenager Quan enters a not guilty plea for the shooting death of a police officer, he is placed in a holding cell to await trial. Through a series of flashbacks and letters to Justyce, the protagonist of Dear Martin, Quan’s story unravels.

From a troubled childhood and bad timing to a coerced confession and prejudiced police work, Nic Stone’s newest novel takes an unflinching look at the flawed practices and ideologies that discriminate against African American boys and minorities in the American justice system.


Title : Dear Justyce
Author : Nic Stone
Series : Dear Martin #2
Format : E-ARC
Page Count : 368
Genre : Contemporary YA
Publisher : Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Release Date : October 6, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 5 star review

I wouldn’t have believed it, but this read even surpassed Dear Martin for me and I think that was somewhat to do with the continuation and connection to these characters spinning on from book one. Jus was his epic self but he was a side character in Quan’s story.

Nic Stone wrote realistically, painfully so, transmitting all the feelings and hurt. Quan who I didn’t like all that much in Dear Martin, carved a special place in my heart. Being able to see the world through his perspective, his narrative and reflections, truly was something; something profound.

The journey, the bad decisions that often seemed like the only decisions, the injustices, were all falling off the page. If you like a read with impact, this is it. There were so many lines that touched me, kicked me in the gut and spat me out.

But he was telling me how growing up, he was this real good kid until some stuff happened in his family. So he went looking for a new family. Like a lot of us do.

Nic Stone has that ability to touch me and teach me without preaching to me. This duo of books is on my required reading list now and I have a feeling I will revisit myself and definitely continue to rec the socks off these books.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster UK for the review copy.

SHELTER MOUNTAIN by Robyn Carr

Discover Paige and Preacher’s Story …

In love, some people are worth fighting for …

For the second time in a year a woman arrives in the small town of Virgin River trying to escape the past.

John “Preacher” Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of the wet October night. An ex-marine who has seen his share of pain, Preacher knows a crisis when he sees one and this woman is certainly frightened and in need of help. But Preacher’s instinct to protect is more than an ingrained sense of duty, for Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in him — emotions that he has never before allowed himself to feel.

When Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River and secrets are revealed, Preacher knows his own future hangs in the balance. But if there’s one thing the marines has taught him, it’s that some things are worth fighting for…


Title : Shelter Mountain
Author : Robyn Carr
Series : Virgin River #2
Format : e-ARC
Page Count : 425
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Publisher : Mills & Boon
Release Date : February 1, 2011

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

I could happily binge this series but I’m pacing myself. The second book, Shelter Mountain was Preacher’s story in the main but it had such a great, interwoven continuation of Jack and Mel’s life, that it was pitched so well. I love the sense of family in Virgin River but apart from the scenery, it’s not idyllic and it feels real.

Preacher and consequently Paige’s story was centred on surviving domestic violence; it was a moving start to the story. I felt the emotions of fear and desperation and I couldn’t settle the whole story with that anxious anticipation. Preacher was such a character to be fond of and yet I still felt by the end that I wanted to know him more. Maybe as with other characters, Preacher will be revealed further in future stories. I loved his shyness and lack of confidence. His friends were the epic push to move forward.

There were a bunch of other storylines going on, less in focus, but still important and I do enjoy this writing style, where the main characters aren’t everything. I think Mike is going to be interesting and I’m convinced we’ll see more of Rick.

I can tell this whole series is going to be the perfect comfort read whenever I want that easy, familiar setting and characters. I’ll definitely be back for more.

Rounded up to 4 stars.

Thank you to Mills & Boon for the review copy. This one is already out and has been for 9 years!

CRUSH by Tracy Wolff

Everything feels off—especially me. I’ve returned to Katmere Academy, but I’m haunted by fragments of days I have no recollection of living and struggling to understand who, or what, I really am.

Just when I start to feel safe again, Hudson is back with a vengeance. He insists there are secrets I don’t know about, threatening to drive a wedge between Jaxon and me forever. But far worse enemies are at our doorstep.

The Circle is caught in a power play and the Vampire Court is trying to drag me out of my world and into theirs. The only thing Hudson and Jaxon agree on is that leaving Katmere would mean my certain death.

And not only am I fighting for my life, but now everyone else’s is at stake—unless we can defeat an unspeakable evil. All I know is that saving the people I love is going to require sacrifice.

Maybe more than I’m able to give.


Title : Crush
Author : Tracy Wolff
Series : Crave #2
Format : Hardback
Page Count : 704
Genre : YA Fantasy
Publisher : Entangled Teen/Hodder Books
Release Date : September 29, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ .5


Micky’s 3.5 star review

I knew what I was getting into with this book, lots of drama, angst and quite a teen narrative. Nevertheless, I was glad to be reading the next installment what with that ending of Crave.

What Tracy Wolff did with Crush was not new, of course it had some shades of Twilight, coupled with story arcs we’ve previously seen in Maas’ series. Even so, it had its own brand of uniqueness. I’ve enjoyed these characters across the two stories but I sometimes struggled with the writing style.

Let me tell you about how I felt about the characters firstly. Grace I’ve liked all along, but it was a surprise to me to find the twist in which male character I liked. I’m not going to name names because this twist is the basis for the story in book two, but suffice it to say, I was very satisfied with the final line in the book!

From a writing style perspective, it was very drama orientated and written with a fast pace. I found the endless snark in dialogue a little tiring over time and sometimes I wanted a more serious tone. I really got a little fed up of the long descriptions of the games. All that said, the last 150 pages of the book were absolutely great.

Tracy Wolff has a way of luring you in and then finishing the book on an absolute BAMMMMM. There’s no way I can resist picking up book three.

THE IPPOS KING by Grace Draven

The Wraith King saga continues.

The demonic horde that threatened to devour the world has been defeated, but at great cost.

Plagued by guilt and nightmares, Serovek Pangion sets out to deliver the soulless body of the monk Megiddo to the heretical Jeden Order for safekeeping. Accompanying him is sha-Anhuset, the Kai woman he admires and desires most–a woman barely tolerant of him.

Devoted to her regent, Anhuset reluctantly agrees to act as a Kai ambassador on the trip, even though the bold margrave known as the Beladine Stallion gets under her skin like no other, and Anhuset fears he’ll worm his way into her armored heart as well.

But guilt and unwelcome attraction are the least of their problems. The demons thought vanquished are stirring again, and a warlord with blood-soaked ambition turns a journey of compassion into a fight for survival. When the Beladine king brands Serovek a traitor, Anhuset must choose between sacrificing the life of a man she’s grown to love and abandoning lifelong fealty to the Kai people.

A tale of loyalty and acceptance.


Title : The Ippos King
Author : Grace Draven
Series : Wraith Kings #3
Format : ebook
Page Count : 437
Genre : Adult Fantasy
Publisher : Indie
Release Date : October 6, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3 star review

I’m a sad bunny posting this rating but it is what it is. Anyone who knows me, knows that I recommend Grace Draven and this series left, right and centre but sadly The Ippos King was disappointing to me. This wasn’t a bad book, it was an okay read, but I found it inconsistent in terms of pacing and spark.

Anhuset and Serovek were a couple that Wraith Kings readers have been waiting for. The unlikeliest of pairings but I’ve always imagined them perfectly matched. The best thing about The Ippos King was these two as a couple. However, the tension and build between them wasn’t always there. When it was, it lit a fire and I felt Grace Draven’s spark in the writing.

I struggled with not feeling the story much at all for the first half of the book. It felt like there was some over-lamenting back to previous plots. However, at about 45% in the ebook, the story started to gain some traction for me and it kept going like that until about 75%. So you can see, I felt an inconsistency in the story keeping my attention with plot and pacing.

I definitely liked the ongoing story of the monk element of the Wraith Kings and I look forward to reading more in that vein. I liked some of the side characters and the main characters themselves. I just didn’t get that feeling I normally get with this author’s books.

I will continue to champion Grace and her other books and I’ll still look forward to book four in this series. However, I won’t eagerly recommending this installment.

THE WOLF AND THE WATER by Josie Jaffrey

Some secrets are worth killing for:

The ancient city of Kepos sits in an isolated valley, cut off from the outside world by a towering wall. Behind it, the souls of the dead clamour for release. Or so the priesthood says.

Kala has never had any reason to doubt their word – until her father dies in suspicious circumstances that implicate the city’s high priest. She’s determined to investigate, but she has a more immediate problem: the laws of the city require her mother to remarry straight away.

Kala’s new stepfather is a monster, but his son Leon is something altogether more dangerous: kind. With her family fractured and the investigation putting her life in danger, the last thing Kala needs is romance. She would rather ignore Leon entirely, however difficult he makes it. But when she learns the truth of what really clamours behind the wall at the end of the valley, she faces a choice: share what she knows and jeopardise her escape, or abandon him to his fate along with the rest of the city.

If she doesn’t move fast, then no one will make it out of the valley alive.


Title : The Wolf and the Water
Author : Josie Jaffrey
Series : The Deluge #1
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 268
Genre : YA Historical Fantasy
Publisher : Silver Sun Books
Release Date : October 8, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3.5 – 4 star review

The Wolf and the Water was a complex and fresh historical fantasy told from a Greek mythological context. The characters were YA in age but the themes felt older and I appreciated the story not holding any barrs.

Kala, the protagonist was the newly bereaved and unwanted daughter with a physical disability. Kala was not unused to derision and rejection from her community but with the loss of a loved one, she’d lost protection. Kala was a strong young woman with courage and her tale was compelling.

This was an intricate story, some re-envisaging of elements of Greek mythology tales influenced by Atlantis. Misogyny, slavery and power was on the menu and in reference to my earlier comment about themes, some elements were brutally told. I did lose my stride with a bit of confusion at one point, but I was able to pick up the story again and what was happening.

The story felt unpredictable, the friendships, relationships and allegiences were interesting and the eventual story direction left me wanting to know more. This was the first time I’ve read Josie Jaffrey but I’ll definitely read her work again and follow this series further.

Thank you to the author for the review copy.

THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS by Jodi Picoult

Everything changes in a single moment for Dawn Edelstein. She’s on a plane when the flight attendant makes an announcement: prepare for a crash landing. She braces herself as thoughts flash through her mind. The shocking thing is, the thoughts are not of her husband, but a man she last saw fifteen years ago: Wyatt Armstrong.

Dawn, miraculously, survives the crash, but so do all the doubts that have suddenly been raised. She has led a good life. Back in Boston, there is her husband, Brian, her beloved daughter, and her work as a death doula, where she helps ease the transition between life and death for patients in hospice.

But somewhere in Egypt is Wyatt Armstrong, who works as an archaeologist unearthing ancient burial sites, a job she once studied for, but was forced to abandon when life suddenly intervened. And now, when it seems that fate is offering her second chances, she is not as sure of the choice she once made.

After the crash landing, the airline ensures the survivors are seen by a doctor, then offers transportation wherever they want to go. The obvious option for Dawn is to continue down the path she is on and go home to her family. The other is to return to the archaeological site she left years before, reconnect with Wyatt and their unresolved history, and maybe even complete her research on The Book of Two Ways–the first known map of the afterlife.

As the story unfolds, Dawn’s two possible futures unspool side by side, as do the secrets and doubts long buried beside them. Dawn must confront the questions she’s never truly asked: What does a life well-lived look like? When we leave this earth, what do we leave behind? Do we make choices…or do our choices make us? And who would you be, if you hadn’t turned out to be the person you are right now?


Title : The Book of Two Ways
Author : Jodi Picoult
Format : eARC
Page Count : 416
Genre : Contemporary Fiction
Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date : October 20, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ 


Micky’s 2 – 2.5 star review

This was a very frustrating read for me. I intially liked the story and the concept but over the first half, I became disillusioned with the plot and the over academic approach to the Egyptology storyline. As the title indicates, The Book of Two Ways narrates two diverging stories or possibilities for Dawn.

Dawn was a death doula and having some insight into this role through my professional life, I can say that this aspect of the story was well researched. However, I prefer not to be immersed in death and dying in fiction because it consumes a lot of my day job, so that may explain my dislike in part. I didn’t love the storyline of Win because of the reasons I’ve just explained.

I did enjoy parts of the Egypt timeline/storyline but I think readers will either love or hate this because again, it is written is significant academic depth which isn’t really what you expect of women’s fiction. What I did like was Dawn as a character, a women who’d lost her way and identity. I didn’t always like her choices but I did champion her and Wyatt.

I tend to either love or dislike Jodi Picoult’s books and unfortunately this one was the latter. I’m really interested to hear other people’s thoughts on this though.

CRAZY STUPID BROMANCE by Lyssa Kay Adams

The first rule of book club:
You don’t talk about book club.

Alexis Carlisle and her cat café, ToeBeans, have shot to fame after she came forward as a victim of a celebrity chef’s sexual harassment. When a new customer approaches to confide in her, the last thing Alexis expects is for the woman to claim they’re sisters. Unsure what to do, Alexis turns to the only man she trusts – her best friend, Noah Logan.

Computer genius Noah left his rebellious teenage hacker past behind to become a computer security expert. Now he only uses his old skills for the right cause. But Noah’s got a secret: He’s madly in love with Alexis. When she asks for his help, he wonders if the timing will ever be right to confess his crush.

Noah’s pals in The Bromance Book Club are more than willing to share their beloved ‘manuals’ to help him go from bud to boyfriend. But he must decide if telling the truth is worth risking the best friendship he’s ever had.


Title : Crazy Stupid Bromance
Author : Lyssa Kay Adams
Series : Bromance Book Club #3
Format : eARC
Page Count : 336
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Publisher : Headline Eternal
Release Date : October 27, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

This was my favourite of the series so far. It was the loveliest friends-to-more story with a strong serious theme to underpin the comedy and banter. Noah and Alexis worked so well as a main couple rather than the side characters we’ve seen them as before.

What I enjoyed was that there was no speed in their feelings or relationship development as they’d been doing all that best friend building for the last year. I don’t want to spoil the foundational story but it was emotional and struck more than one gut punch. Despite that, the rom-com elements were kindle-highlighting gold.

The maine coon Beefcake was a low-key sensation, I love when there is pet-personality in a story. Beefcake had personality and more, perfect for October because he was pretty evil.

Noah jogged down the stairs, leaping just in time off the bottom step ton avoid an assassination attempt by Beefcake. The f****** cat hated him. He liked to make himself known in the shadiest way possible.

Alexis’ family was something, a real push and pull of hate and love. But found-family was everything, none more than the Bromance Book Club. The book featured this time ‘Coming Home’, I’m so tempted to read it after its life lessons!

There’s something about this series that keeps me coming back for more. I find the premise for the series and the characters endearing and funny and I’ll be more than happy to read a book four.

Thank you to Headline Eternal for the early review copy.

THE WINTER DUKE by Claire Eliza Bartlett

SHE SURVIVED THE CURSE. NOW SHE MUST SURVIVE THE THRONE.

All Ekata wants is to stay alive—and the chance to prove herself as a scholar. Once Ekata’s brother is finally named heir to the dukedom of Kylma Above, there will be nothing to keep her at home with her murderous family. Not her books or her experiments, not her family’s icy castle atop a frozen lake, not even the tantalizingly close Kylma Below, a mesmerizing underwater kingdom that provides her family with magic. But just as escape is within reach, her parents and twelve siblings fall under a strange sleeping sickness, and no one can find a cure.

In the space of a single night, Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother’s captivating warrior bride, and ever-encroaching challengers from without—and within—her ministry. Nothing has prepared Ekata for diplomacy, for war, for love. . .or for a crown she has never wanted. If Kylma Above is to survive, Ekata must seize her family’s magic and power. And if Ekata is to survive, she must quickly decide how she will wield them both.


Title : The Winter Duke
Author : Claire Eliza Bartlett
Format : Hardback
Page Count : 400
Genre : YA Fantasy/LGBTQIA
Publisher : Titan Books
Release Date : October 13, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3.5-4 star review

I’m rounding this one up to 4 stars.

This was a YA fantasy with a historical feel. It had some foundations in Russian royal history and I enjoyed that element and this was some brutal family right here. The dukedom were out to kill one another for power, and the protagonist Ekata, felt justifiably out of the running as an insignificant daughter about to travel away to university. A curse hit and she found herself in a new position.

“Long live Her Grace.” Impossible, impossible. I was a middle child of thirteen.

This read had some great strong points, it was definitely a feminist tale. The title of Duke was genderless, power could be held equally between men and women but there’s a but. In reality, Ekata was surrounded by men who made her feel like a fool, wielded their power over her and used their gender to quash her thoughts, words and ideas.

All my life, these men had ignored me. It had never bothered me until now.

Those contrasts of what seemed to be equality and in acutality wasn’t, were frustrating for Ekata and the reader but this was the story, how Ekata navigated this. All this happened in the middle of a bride parade and Ekata chose her consort, a young woman. The romance and LGBTQ+ elements were a little weak but the protagonist was only 16 and so that did feel in the background somewhat. I would have liked this to have felt more developed, however.

I enjoyed the worlds of above and below and honestly, I read this over two days whenever I could; it had an unputdownable feel. There were elements to this story that felt unique, the magic was vague, unfathomable and mysterious, which I liked. Overall this was a good read and bonus, it was a standalone.

Thank you to Titan Books for the very pretty hardback review copy.

MY HEART UNDERWATER by Laurel Flores Fantauzzo

After Corazon’s mother catches her kissing her older female teacher, Corazon is sent to the Philippines to live with a half brother she barely knows. There she learns more about loss and love than she could have ever imagined.

Corazon Tagubio is an outcast at her Catholic school. She’s attending on scholarship, she keeps to herself, and her crush on her teacher Ms. Holden doesn’t help anything. At home, Cory’s less-than-perfect grades disappoint her mom and dad, who are already working overtime to support her distant half brother in the Philippines.

When an accident leaves her dad comatose, Cory feels like Ms. Holden is the only person who really sees her. But when a crush turns into something more and the secret gets out, Cory is sent to her half brother. She’s not prepared to face a stranger in an unfamiliar place, but she begins to discover how the country that shaped her past might also change her future.

This #ownvoices story takes readers on a journey across the world as Cory comes to understand her family, her relationships, and, ultimately, herself.


Title : My Heart Underwater
Author : Laurel Flores Fantauzzo
Format : eARC
Page Count : 288
Genre : YA contemporary/LGBTQIA
Publisher : Quill Tree Books
Release Date : October 20, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ .5


Micky’s 3.5 star review

This was a gritty LGBTQIA coming-of-age story that moved from the US to the Phillipines. If you like messy family drama, this one will fulfill that remit. It had an inappropriate teacher-student relationship which I struggled with somewhat but there was a satisfying developing in the main character’s understanding over that element which helped how I felt.

It was a story of two halves for me, a more gripping first half, full of drama but a slower-paced second half that was wonderfully rich with Filipino culture. The main character Cory was bounced around out of her control, forced to travel back to the Phillipines but it proved an positive experience in the end. I have no personal experience of the Phillipines however, but it was brought to life with description for me.

Family drama was the core context to this story and I can’t say I liked any of her family but Bea slowly did grow on me. I felt like almost no-one was fighting Cory’s corner or trying to understand her evolving sexuality or personality. The catholicism was strong in this story and not often viewed in a favourable light.

My Heart Underwater was an interesting read and a solid debut. I welcomed this story’s Manila context and enjoyed a fresh voice from this author.

Please also check out own voices reviewers on this title.

Thank you to Harper 360 YA for the early review copy.