Archive | December 2018

Fantasy & Fairy Tale Book Fair + $100 Giveaway!

Add Clouded by Envy to Goodreads

Clouded by Envy, as well as many awesome others, is part of the Fantasy & Fairy Tale Book Fair! Take a look at all the pretty covers here!

Enter the $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Enter Here!

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Which cover was your favorite from the book fair?

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Review: The Replacement

Title: The Replacement

Author: Brenna Yovanoff

Date of Publication: September 21st, 2010

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Goodreads Summary:

Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

My Review:

I love weird, and I love horror vibes with romance thrown in! So this was all of my cups of tea! Peppermint included! The whole idea of a weirdly, sick, creature baby getting switched with a human one was pretty freaking awesome!

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Mackie may just be one of my favorite MCs ever! He was sweet and relatable. At first he didn’t want to get involved with things. And to be truthful, I wouldn’t either! Especially when there is all kinds of craziness going on below ground! Seriously loved all the side characters, especially Roswell! And I can’t forget about Emma, Tate, or the twins!

Yovanoff has wonderful descriptions that aren’t bordering anywhere near tiring. I could feel and see everything she described. Seriously loved this story! And I just threw my money out the window to order the rest of her books!

 

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Two Thousand Years Release Day Blitz

 

I am so excited that TWO THOUSAND YEARS by M. Dalto is available now and that I get to
share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by
Author M. Dalto, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $15 Amazon
Gift Card, International, courtesy of M., The Parliament House Press, and
Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the
Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
About the Book:

Title: TWO THOUSAND YEARS
Author: M. Dalto
Pub. Date: December 11, 2018
Publisher: Parliament House Publishing
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 310
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooks

Two thousand years ago, the Prophecy of
Fire and Light foretold the coming of the Queen Empress who would lead the
Empire into a time of peace and tranquility. But instead of the coming of a
prosperous world, a forbidden love for the Empress waged a war that ravaged the
land, creating a chasm between the factions, raising the death toll of innocent
lives until the final, bloody battle.


Centuries later, Alexandra, a twenty-two-year-old barista living in Boston, is
taken to an unfamiliar realm of mystery and magic where her life is threatened
by Reylor, its banished Lord Steward. She crosses paths with Treyan, the
arrogant and seductive Crown Prince of the Empire, and together they discover
how their lives, and their love, are so intricately intertwined by a Prophecy
set in motion so many years ago.


Alex, now the predestined Queen Empress Alexstrayna, whose arrival was foretold
by the Annals of the Empire, controls the fate of her new home as war rages
between the Crown Prince and Lord Steward. Either choice could tear her world
apart as she attempts to keep the Empire’s torrid history from repeating
itself. In a realm where betrayal and revenge will be as crucial to her
survival as love and honor, Alex must discover whether it is her choice – or
her fate – that determines how she survives the Empire’s rising conflicts.

Excerpt:
1
The streets were quiet for a
Friday night in the city. Alexandra Ross clenched her collar tighter around her
neck as the wind began to pick up, unseasonably cool for so early in Boston’s
September. Her heels clicked along the damp cobblestones of the old sidewalks
as she headed towards her apartment. She had to take extra care while walking
in her four-inch heels.
Especially when she knew she
was being followed.
The city had been her home
for three years now, so the late-night trek home remained familiar, almost a
comfort. In the now twenty-two years of her life, maintaining her independence
was as much of a priority as the switchblade in her jacket pocket was a
security. There was a part of her that truly enjoyed the peaceful solitude these
walks could bring, but she wasn’t stupid enough to do it without protection.
She was aware he remained a
short distance behind her ever since she left Faneuil Hall.
This evening was no
different, except that she was celebrating her twenty-second birthday, which
also may have involved too much alcohol. Perhaps it was the intoxicated
appreciation of her city within the quiet of the early morning hours that
distracted her from her surroundings.
Even the reflections in the
familiar storefront windows she passed by reminded her of the fact she that
wasn’t alone.
Either way, her attention
was focused anywhere but where it belonged. It wasn’t until her heel caught in
the sidewalk, and a hand grabbed her arm to keep her upright, that she realized
she tripped and started to fall.
And that the one she
believed to be a stalker turned out to actually be a rescuer.
His grip remained firm as
his other arm wrapped around her waist to steady her on her feet. As she
composed herself, trying to clear her head, her hand went towards the knife in
her pocket while she glanced towards the individual who just saved her from
needing a nose job.
The stranger’s hair was dark
under the streetlights, side swept and held loosely in a ponytail at the nape
of his neck. He was dressed casually: wearing a dark, button-down shirt over
clean denim jeans and sensible dress shoes as if he, too, had just emerged from
the bustling social atmosphere that brought so many to Boston’s Faneuil Hall
Marketplace.
His features were thin with
chiseled cheekbones beneath skin too tanned to be local, but then she looked
into his eyes. They were the most piercing blue she had ever seen—almost too
blue, especially without the sunlight’s shining assistance. They radiated with
their own luminescence; which was odd at first, but the color was as though
they were refractions off of the ocean’s waves. As she continued to stare, the
more familiar they seemed. Looking up and into his eyes felt as if she had
stared into those eyes before—been lost within them too many times to count.
The feeling was almost
nostalgic, though she was certain she’d never met him before. She would have
remembered those eyes, regardless of how many cosmopolitans she may have drank.
By the time she realized she
was staring, he had already released her from his grasp.
“I—” She blinked, struggling
for words as her grip tightened around her knife.
“A simple ‘thank you’ would
suffice.” His words purred with a foreign accent—familiar, but she couldn’t
place it. Irish? Scottish? Perhaps Welsh, she thought to herself, though she
wasn’t even certain if it was European at all.
“Oh,” she spoke, clearing
her throat. “Thank you.” She moved to smooth out the short, black dress she
wore, awkwardly running her hands over her legs, her ass—anything she could do
to avoid his gaze. “I didn’t even hear you behind me.”
“I know.” He smirked. Again,
that sense of nostalgia clenched at her chest, her stomach, lower. Before she
could inquire further, or at least find out where he came from, he had already
moved past her, continuing on his way down the street.
“Happy birthday, Alex.” He
waved back to her without another glance.
How did he know?
“Hey, wait!” she called
after him, her voice laced with panic, but he disappeared out of sight as
quickly as he arrived.
Deciding she had had enough
excitement for one birthday, Alex slowly, and far more cautiously, finished her
walk home. Occasionally, she would chance a glance behind her to ensure she
wasn’t followed again. He was just some creep who must have been too close for
comfort while they were drinking the bar, she convinced herself as she turned
the corner onto the street that led to her apartment. Or merely a lonely
someone who overheard her saying her goodbyes to her friends on the way out and
thought he’d get lucky.
She came to the gate that
barred the walkway leading to her apartment, the skin on her neck prickled and
the hairs on her arms stood on end. Something was off. The familiarity of home
felt wrong, like a lost memory, just within reach moments ago, now nowhere to
be found. Her hand had been stuffed into her jacket pocket ever since her
encounter with the dark-haired stranger, and she continued to grip the knife
tightly as she opened the gate and she headed down the final stretch.
Her apartment was situated
in one of the older colonial row houses within Boston’s North End that later
converted into apartments and condominiums as the years went on and the economy
grew. She rented out the bottom floor of the building, with her ground-level
entrance beneath the building’s main stairway barred behind a wrought-iron
gate. Taking another look around her surroundings, she approached her door as
her other hand managed to find her keys, but nearly dropped them as she stopped
to survey the scene before her.
The light from a nearby
street lamp shone on the damage that had been done. The gate was bent in a
fashion that looked as though a gorilla took a bar in each hand and spread them
apart. Through the warped iron, she could see the lock to her apartment had
been destroyed, the surrounding door blown apart with it, shattered beyond easy
repair.
“Fuck,” she whispered,
taking a step back to as she glanced to see if there was anyone around, but not
a soul was in sight. With a shaking hand, she reached for her phone. Did she
call the police on the off-chance her father’s colleagues would report back to
him and have to hear another lecture from her about the horrors of living in
the city? Or hell, ensure the potential of seeing any of them the next morning
while she was at work, having them remind her of her over-exaggerations while
she served them their overpriced coffee?
No. No, she did not. So, she
rang her best friend instead.
“Hello?” Crystal answered on
the third ring.
“Crystal!” Alex whispered
harshly into her phone. “Someone’s broken into my apartment!”
“So, call the police,”
Crystal reminded her lazily, her tone muddled by the evening’s inebriation.
“You know I can’t do that,”
she snapped. “Besides, what if they’re already gone? It would be a waste of
time and effort.”
“And your pride?”
“That too.”
“What if they’re not?”
Crystal queried. “Your father will be pissed, and your mother—”
“You are no help; do you
know that?”
“You’re the one calling me,
thinking someone broke into her house!”
Before Alex could continue
to interrogate her friend, the slightest sound of movement from the other side
of the door caught her attention, and her knife was out of her pocket and at
the ready, her heart pounding.
“Crystal, I’ve got to go,”
she murmured into the phone.
“What? Wait—” Alex hung up
before Crystal could finish her sentence.
Reaching the warped gate,
she slowly pushed open the ruined door that led into her apartment. She
listened again, waiting for a repeat of movement, and quietly stepped through
and into the mudroom once she decided it was safe to do so. Everything was dark
and quiet, just as she left it, which gave her even more cause for concern.
Whoever was there, whether they remained or not, they weren’t there with
robbery as their intention…not that she had much to steal, anyway, beyond an expansive
collection of epic fantasy books and Harlequin romance novels.
Liquid courage—that was
stupidity. At least that’s what she convinced herself as she tiptoed through
the kitchen, her ears still perked when she heard a subtle creak of a
floorboard and she tightened her grip on the knife. Peeking around the corner,
she noticed a dull light emitted from her living room, appearing as though a
flame flickered in the darkness.
Except Alex’s fireplace was
only decoration and never once actually contained a fire.
Despite the nauseating
curiosity that gripped her and tightened her stomach into knots, she approached
the living room, lingering just outside the entryway. The flickering light made
it difficult to adjust her eyes to the darkness, but she was certain she could
hear bits and pieces of a conversation within an unknown language between two
individuals whose voices she didn’t recognize.
Holding her breath, Alex
glanced into the living room. Crouched before the fireplace was a figure in
black with its back turned to her. Male in appearance, he was too focused on an
orb floating before him to notice her. The swirling red flames neither burned
nor emanated heat as they hovered over the ground, and her attention was caught
upon their pulsating beat as it communicated with her apartment’s intruder,
like the blood flowing through her veins.
And the foreign language,
unfamiliar to her in every possible manner, resounded through her like a
jolt—as though a part of her memory had been previously locked away, and
hearing it again was the key. No different to her mind than English, she could
understand every word they were saying as if it was her native tongue.
“You are certain you’ve secured
the perimeter?”
“Yes, my Lord,” the figure
spoke into the flame-less conflagration. “There’s been no sign of the Empress.
She will be none the wiser that the Key is in place.”
“You best hope so, for where
she will be, the Prince will follow. The Empress must be in my possession
before he can make his next move.”
“Of course, my Lord, but
what shall I do in the meantime?”
“Be patient. Be vigilant.
And so help me, when the Empress returns, do not allow her to leave that
apartment.”
“And the Key?”
“You will wait until it
activates within the next moon cycle. Until then, remember that she will be
your only way home. Do you understand me?”
The figure bowed his head.
“Understood, my Lord. And should the Prince interfere?”
Alex could almost feel the
simmer through whatever allowed such a floating object to exist, and a shiver
trickled down her spin as she watched the dark figure finally stand and turn in
her direction.
Red eyes glowed in the
darkness, like dying embers fighting to remain lit. Being distracted by the
earlier conversation, she hadn’t noticed how far she stepped into the room.
Whatever courage she may have had before entering her apartment dissipated as
those red eyed focused on her. She tried to take a step back, but hit the wall,
jarring her elbow in the process and hissing of pain at the impact.
“Well, it appears my job
just became a hell of a lot easier,” he slurred in English, though drawling
with an accent both foreign and familiar.
Not unlike her would-be
stalker-savior’s.
“Sorry to interrupt,” she
announced as she pushed off from her spot against the wall, remembering the
knife in her hand and willing her fingers to steady themselves as she pointed
it at the head of the intruder. “But I think it’s time you removed yourself
from my apartment.”
“The Empress?” The voice
from the flames sounded pleased, and the orb’s size and power intensified as it
emitted an almost demonic chuckle.
At the words of whatever
master presided on the other side of that communication device, the intruder
rose to his full height as he turned around to face her fully. The amplified
light from the orb finally displayed his features. Other than his eyes, there
was nothing extraordinary about him. Pale in the pulsating red light, with a
shock of black hair and thin lips. He wore unremarkable clothing—a black shirt
over black pants that could have come from anywhere—but still it was his eyes
that held her attention, creating an otherworldly presence about him.
He paused his approach,
however, when he saw the knife, cocking his head to the side as though in
silent challenge. Instinctively, she sliced it through the air in his general
direction, and the unexpected action seemed to surprise him as much as it had
her. Taking a reflexive step back, his legs hit a side table next to her couch,
knocking a lamp to the floor.
The orb ceased its laugher
at the commotion.
“It’s a pleasure, Empress
Alexstrayna,” the voice said while the intruder continued his retreat,
falling into the fireplace as if the orb would give him protection or a quick
escape out of the room.
Alex rolled her eyes at the
intruder’s pathetic attempts to escape through a brick wall, though her
attention was caught at the greeting from the orb. It wasn’t her name, but it
was close, and she didn’t want to know how or why. Before she could inquire,
the voice behind the floating ball of flame seemed to realize he was losing his
local support, and the fire erupted once again. “Where the hell do you think
you’re going? The Prince is following her. Find him before he finds you first!
Do not let the Empress out of your sight!”
The flaming orb allowed his
threat to linger as its flames continued to rant and rave, all while the
intruder composed himself and again began to approach her. The orb’s light now
reflected off of claw-like talons extending from each finger on both hands of
the intruder, and his teeth grew into a predator’s fangs. Every bit of his
deadly intention was focused solely on her.
Alex felt the sweat form on
her brow as her heart beat with a terrified fury. Even as she held the knife up
to defend herself, it shook between her fingers. The intruder merely gave her a
knowing smirk before he reared back on his legs and leaped into the air with
feline grace, lunging across the room with his claws extended, aiming directly
for her over-exposed chest.
Frozen in the spot where she
stood, Alex’s eyes were wide as she watched death approach. She remained where
she was even as a sudden bolt of cold, blue flame shot over her shoulder,
knocking the attacker hard against the wall next to the fireplace. The plaster
splintered on impact, causing the intruder to crumple to the floor, unmoving
once he hit the ground.
Alex thought her heart was
going to pound through her ribcage; she made herself take one deep breath, and
then another before she looked over her shoulder toward the direction of the
flash. In the lingering blue glow stood the stranger who helped her in the
street. Those same cold flames appeared to grow from his right hand as he was
poised in a battle-ready position, preparing for another strike as his
attention focused deeper within the room.
Following his glance, she
saw that the intruder remained still and motionless, remnants of the blast that
sent him there the only movement coming from his body. She wanted to say something—perhaps
she should thank him? Too many questions began to cross her mind as she shifted
towards him, needing to know more, that same pull of nostalgia almost drawing
her in. No sooner had she opened her mouth than did the red orb cease its
ranting to greet the new arrival.
“I was wondering when you
were going to show your face, Treyan. Unfortunately, you’re too late. My Key is
in place, and come the next moon cycle, the Empress will rightfully be mine.”
“Sorry to disappoint you,
Reylor, but my Key has been in place for years.” Treyan walked forward,
outstretched his right hand where again blue flames sprung from it, this time
engulfing the red orb. Not a moment later, it was extinguished. Without delay,
he turned towards her and began to approach her. “I am sorry about all of this,
Alex—”
“You!” She raised her knife
between them, the point hitting his chest before he could move another inch.
“Who are you? What are you doing here?”
Sighing, he brought his hand
to the blade, his blue flames warming the metal to the point of nearly burning
Alex’s hand, forcing her to drop the knife. She moved to run, but he grabbed
hold of her forearm and he pulled her face to him.
Alex caught herself getting
lost in his blue eyes again and he watched her with an enthusiasm that was
unwarranted given their sudden meeting. It was a feeling of intense warmth
throughout her body, akin to the comfort of a lover’s embrace. A feeling she
had met him before but knew their paths had never crossed before in her life.
And yet, some part of her knew him, or knew of him, and that terrified her.
Who are you?
Unfortunately, the question
never left her. Before she could break his intense stare and begin to protest
further, he brought a hand to her face, gently cupping her cheek, and after a
few murmured words, Alex’s world fell to darkness.
About M.:

 

M.
Dalto is a Young Adult / New Adult fiction writer of adventurous romantic
fantasy stories, and her debut, TWO THOUSAND YEARS, won one of Wattpad.com’s
coveted Watty Awards in 2016. She continues to volunteer her time as a Wattpad
Ambassador, where she engages and hopes to inspire new writers, and also
mentors authors through the #WriteMentor program.

As a mentor, MB is on the lookout for YA and NA novels heavy in plot with
the ability to make her fall in love with its characters. Her favorite tropes include
love triangles of all kinds, enemies to lovers, dream sequences, and
prophecies. She always wants villains you can’t help but be attracted to,
redemption arcs or otherwise. She loves novels with deep character development,
a setting where she can get lost, and plot twists that make her want to throw
the book across the room. Give her main characters you love to hate, but can’t
help but hate to love.
She spends her days as a full-time residential real estate paralegal,
using her evenings to hone her craft. When she’s not writing, she enjoys
reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee. She currently
lives in Massachusetts with her husband, their daughter, and their corgi named
Loki.
Giveaway
Details:
1 winner will win a $15 Amazon Gift Card, INTERNATIONAL.
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Author Interview: M. Dalto

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Two thousand years ago, the Prophecy of Fire and Light foretold the coming of the Queen Empress who would lead the Empire into a time of peace and tranquility. But instead of the coming of a prosperous world, a forbidden love for the Empress waged a war that ravaged the land, creating a chasm between the factions, raising the death toll of innocent lives until the final, bloody battle.

Centuries later, Alexandra, a twenty-two-year-old barista living in Boston, is taken to an unfamiliar realm of mystery and magic where her life is threatened by Reylor, its banished Lord Steward. She crosses paths with Treyan, the arrogant and seductive Crown Prince of the Empire, and together they discover how their lives, and their love, are so intricately intertwined by a Prophecy set in motion so many years ago.

Alex, now the predestined Queen Empress Alexstrayna, whose arrival was foretold by the Annals of the Empire, controls the fate of her new home as war rages between the Crown Prince and Lord Steward. Either choice could tear her world apart as she attempts to keep the Empire’s torrid history from repeating itself. In a realm where betrayal and revenge will be as crucial to her survival as love and honor, Alex must discover whether it is her choice – or her fate – that determines how she survives the Empire’s rising conflicts.

Continue reading

New Adult Scavenger Hunt

Hello Everyone! Hope you are excited as I am, because we have less than three weeks until the Winter 2018 New Adult Scavenger Hunt begins!

Here is the Winter 2018 #NewASH team:

The New Adult Scavenger Hunt begins at Noon Eastern Time on Wednesday, December 26th and runs through Sunday, December 30th. For more information, visit newadultscavengerhunt.com.

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Are you going to join in on the search?

Review: Emergence

Title: Emergence

Author: S.G.D. Singh

Date of Publication: January 30th, 2016

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Summary:

Seventeen year-old Asha’s days are spent training in martial arts, attending homeschool classes, and helping in the kitchens of a luxurious Miami resort which she seldom leaves. Until the night her grandfather arrives home mysteriously injured, accompanied by a terrifying stranger. Asha begins to suspect that nothing is what it seems when she is abruptly sent to Punjab, India to live with relatives she never knew she had.

Joined by her best friend, Lexi, and her newfound cousin, Nidhan, Asha is soon drawn to an unusual place where the three of them learn that our World is much more than it appears. And there is a good reason people are afraid of the dark.

Meet The Infernal Guard: Shape-shifting Jodha warriors, Seers of various psychic Talents, Healers, Illusionists, and weapons-creating Tvastars. They are the gifted few who fight to protect our realm from demonic Underworlders escaping the seven lower dimensions of Hindu Mythology’s Fourteen Worlds.

As the next generation of heroes from around the globe gathers to begin training, Asha discovers true love and a family in her friends and instructors. But something in the darkness knows that she alone possesses the rarest Talent of all. Now Asha must find the courage and strength to risk everything she has gained before a devouring evil like no other The Infernal Guard has ever faced destroys our realm’s very existence.

My Review:

I was so thrilled to see a setting in India! I would love to visit there, but for now, doing it through this book was good enough! The cover drew me in but the descriptions made me stay! I loved this unique take on Urban Fantasy!

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There were scenes that had me laughing! I’ve said numerous times that I get annoyed with a lot of female MCs but I loved Asha and being inside her head!! She felt real, strong, and easy to connect to!

This books was full of emotions and romance and wonderful world building! There were a lot of things that had me on the tip of my toes wondering what would occur next! Can’t wait to read book 2!

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If you could travel anywhere where would it be?

Review: The Winter of the Witch

Title: The Winter of the Witch

Author: Katherine Arden

Date of Publication: January 9th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

In the stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, following The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya returns to save Russia and the spirit realm, battling enemies both mortal and magic.

My Review:

Do-do-do-do-do … so I fought back and forth with this book the whole read. I was bored a lot during the first 40%, then things got interesting, then I got bored again, then things were magnanimous. But, Frost Demon, you make every scene you are in worth reading. I seriously think I would have enjoyed it more if he had his own POV. Like we get POVs from a lot of others, but never my boy! Whyyyyyyyy nottttttttt??????????

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At times my issues came with Vasya. I felt sometimes she needed more emotions? I guess? Sometimes, or a lot of the time, I can be a robotic person so I do get that. Also, when it came to Morozko, I would have preferred more of a team effort when it came to certain things. A lot of the time these days, as I’ve said before, authors are making the girls so bad ass and then the guy seems like a pathetic weakling. I want a team effort—equality—not the guy saying, “let’s go hide in a corner,” and then the girl is all like, “I’m going to go win this war!” I don’t get it… Yet there were some perfect scenes between Vasya and Morozko that were so good and swoooooooon!

When it came to the Winter of the Witch, not sure if the right word is political or if the book felt like it had more of an agenda, but when it came to that stuff, I was just like come on already! I want more of the magical feel I first felt! But don’t worry, there are some gorgeous scenes, too.

Anyway, the book was beautifully written. I just miss the whimsical/fairy tale feel of the first book and the intriguing feeling I had while reading the second book. Also Konstantin, the creep, is still crazy! His character is so interesting at times, but I also want to smack him for his insane thoughts. I will say that the Bear is probably one of my new favorite characters—ever. And Sasha I still love more than anything. Overall I did like the way it came to an end, but can a certain character get their own book now???

 

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Have you started this trilogy?