Tagged: Fantasy

From Chaos Comes Order

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Sam’s Teen Reads Corner tackles Jimi Rodriguez’s From Chaos Comes Order

About the Book

From Chaos Comes Order; Jimi Rodriguez
Young Adult; Fantasy; 338 Pages

Publication Date: December 5, 2018

Surviving in a school of magic and murder is not easy!

Jacob Titus is a forgotten boy from Eslor Island. With an absent father and a mother who battles Alzheimer’s disease, Jacob has long learned to care for himself. When he is discovered by a magical talent hunter, Jacob makes the difficult choice to leave his home and enter the Valcrest School for the Promised.

As his school years go by, Jacob has to spend as much time trying to stay alive as he does finding a cure for his mother. As violence and blood lust at the school escalate, Jacob must learn to figure out who he can trust. All he wanted was to save his mother. Now he must save himself.

For more information about Jimi Rodriguez and his series, From Chaos Comes Order, visit the website at jimirodriguez.weebly.com today! There you can sign up for a FREE exclusive short story never read before.

About the Author

Jimi Rodriguez is an author from Houston, TX. After graduating from The Ohio State University, he became a teacher in his hometown. He went on to obtain a Master’s Degree from Ohio University. He lives in Houston with his wife and two children.

For years, he told his students stories of the characters in From Chaos Comes Order. The characters were a work of friendship, as many major roles in the story were conceived by his friends in writing and life. Finally, he created the series From Chaos Comes Order. Book One: Chaos is his debut novel. From Chaos Comes Order is planned to have four books in total. Book Two: Destroyer is coming soon!

Sam’s Review

Check out Sam’s Teen Reads Corner Livestream.

From order comes chaos, and vice versa. In a world of magic, powers are divided into two halves; chaos magic and order magic. As one boy decides to trade his life as a thieving student for the life of a magic student to help cure his mother of Alzheimer’s, he learns that not all girls want under his blankets, and his world is in danger. With a team consisting of a soul seer, which I believe would describe her the best, and spunky young lady, they try to get the message to others of the coming attack.

I wasn’t as into this book as I normally am. There was a lot going on, and there were way too many time skips going years at a time. I had a hard time finding the main problem until the very middle, and the Point of View changes were a bit much. Would I read this book again? Probably not.

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Sam’s Teen Reads Corner tackles Jimi Rodriguez’s From Chaos Comes Order

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback format here.

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Spider’s Bite (Elemental Assassin, Book 1)

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn reviews Jennifer Estep’s Spider’s Bite

About the Book

Spider’s Bite (Elemental Assassin, Book 1); Jennifer Estep
Adult; Fantasy Romance; 436 Pages

Pocket Books (January 9, 2010)

Follow Gin Blanco, a kick-butt female assassin who moonlights at a BBQ joint in Tennessee, as she searches for the person who double-crossed her in this heart-pounding and fresh paranormal romance series.

After Gin’s family was murdered by a Fire elemental when she was thirteen, she lived on the streets and eventually became an assassin to survive. Now, Gin is assigned to rub out an Ashland businessman, but it turns out to be a trap. After Gin’s handler is brutally murdered, she teams up with the sexy detective investigating the case to figure out who double-crossed her and why. Only one thing is for sure—Gin has no qualms about killing her way to the top of the conspiracy.

About the Author

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. She is the author of the following series:

THE ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN SERIES
The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy battling bad guys and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals—Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

THE CROWN OF SHARDS SERIES
The books focus on Everleigh Blair, a member of the royal family who is distantly in line for the throne of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. But when the unthinkable happens, Evie finds herself fighting for her life—both inside and outside the gladiator arena.

THE MYTHOS ACADEMY SPINOFF SERIES
The books focus on Rory Forseti, a 17-year-old Spartan girl who attends the Colorado branch of Mythos Academy. Rory’s parents were Reapers, which makes her the most hated girl at school. But with a new group of Reapers and mythological monsters on the rise, Rory is the only one who can save her academy.

THE MYTHOS ACADEMY SERIES
The books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more.

THE BIGTIME SERIES
The books take place in Bigtime, New York, a city that’s full of heroic superheroes, evil ubervillains, and other fun, zany, larger-than-life characters. Each book focuses on a different heroine as she navigates through the city’s heroes and villains and their various battles.

THE BLACK BLADE SERIES
The books focus on Lila Merriweather, a 17-year-old thief who lives in Cloudburst Falls, West Virginia, a town dubbed “the most magical place in America.” Lila does her best to stay off the grid and avoid the Families—or mobs—who control much of the town. But when she saves a member of the Sinclair Family during an attack, Lila finds herself caught in the middle of a brewing war between the Sinclairs and the Draconis, the two most powerful Families in town.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information on Jennifer and her books, visit her website at www.JenniferEstep.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter, and sign up for her newsletter on her website: http://www.jenniferestep.com/contact-jennifer/newsletter/.

Happy reading, everyone!

Jenn’s Review

Elemental magic, assassins, and double-crossing clientele merge in Jennifer Estep’s Spider’s Bite.

Gin is a Stone Elemental who draws her magic from her surroundings. She’s also one of the most feared assassins in Ashland – when she isn’t working as a waitress at The Pork Pit.

When a job goes horribly wrong, she’ll have to team up with her nemesis, Detective Donovan Caine to solve the mystery surrounding the death and torture of her handler and his son.

This story is categorized as romance, but I didn’t pick up much of a romantic vibe. The plot has a lot to offer in terms of urban fantasy and paranormal suspense – with a hefty dose of action and mystery. And while the story does have a romance element on a slow simmer, it lacks the satisfaction of the couple ending up together.

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Jenn reviews Jennifer Estep’s Spider’s Bite

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, Audiobook, Mass Market Paperback, and MP3 CD editions below.

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The Watcher of the Night Sky – Review

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Sam’s Teen Reads Corner reviews Rachel Pudsey’s Watcher of the Night Sky

About the Book

The Watcher of the Night Sky, Rachel Pudsey (The Aronia Series Book 1)

Teen, Fantasy, 352 Pages

Pronoun; 2 edition (May 24, 2015)

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

Fifteen-year-old Abigail Crumble was never much for talking about love and marriage and other such nonsense – no matter how often her boy obsessed best friend pestered her to do so. 

Or so she adamantly proclaimed.

Yet on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Abigail makes the biggest, most contradictory mistake of her life. She wishes on the stars for love, or even the smallest amount of attention, without knowing the full impact of such a feat.

Abigail soon finds her simple life in chaos as princes, men and mysterious creatures come to her door, each adamantly in love with her and refusing to leave her side.

Mixing fantasy, humour, and romance, The Watcher of the Night Sky begins the tale of one girl’s quest to rid herself of a curse that was definitely far more than she wished for.

Perfect for fans of fantasy romance adventure stories. Contains mild fantasy violence.

**This book is part one of a series and ends in a cliffhanger.**

About the Author

Rachel was born and raised in Scotland. A graduate of psychology, she now resides in South Korea. She has dabbled in teaching children, but after a few blessed years has succumbed to teaching English to adults in Seoul.

Rachel has been writing stories since as long as she can remember. An obsession with Point Horror books led to her first novel being written at the age of ten. Truth be told, it wasn’t very good. The following years were spent reading thrillers, romantic comedies, fantasies, occasionally playing guitar, and dabbling in songwriting, all the while continuing to write stories unworthy for print and developing her own style.

She is the author of The Aronia Series, a light, clean, adventurous YA fantasy-romance series that follows a girl through a journey into realising one must be careful what they wish for, 

You can follow Rachel on Twitter @RachelPudsey

Sign-up for blog updates

Add her on Goodreads 

Or find her on Facebook

Facts:

Her surname is coined after an English town, not the loveable bear.

Her favourite food is the same as Sheldon Cooper: spaghetti with hot dogs (though a good old British sausage trumps a hot dog any day). Her favourite sauce is pesto.

For years, Rachel has cited The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton as her favourite book. These days, she considers The Princess Bride by William Goldman to be at the top of the list. 

To learn more about the author’s work visit her website.

Sam’s Review

Watcher of the Night Sky is a funny modern fantasy with rather thick-in-the-head princes, one boring man, and a mysterious faelti. I’ll explain. Don’t worry. Oh! We can’t forget the Scottish farmer, nor the dwarf. Fun.

Abigail is a normal, plain girl. Nothing special, right? Wrong. She has a cursed necklace that has men falling for her left and right. Joy.  She hates them all, but she might be falling for one. Is the right path for her? 

Okay, look. I loved the characters, but there are too many of them. It’s slow, and a little bit funny, but this is not among my favorites. It’s a good idea, but people in a country far away from yours would not be showing up on your doorstep in a day.

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Sam’s Teen Reads Corner reviews Rachel Pudsey’s Watcher of the Night Sky

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions. [affiliate link]

Remember Yesterday

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

About the Book

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Sam’s Teen Reads Corner reviews Pintip Dunn’s award-winning Remember Yesterday

Remember Yesterday, Pintip Dunn (Forget Tomorrow)

Teen, Science Fiction, 420 Pages

Entangled: Teen; Reprint edition (September 5, 2017)

Sixteen-year-old Jessa Stone is the most valuable citizen in Eden City. Her psychic abilities could lead to significant scientific discoveries―if only she’d let TechRA study her. But after they kidnapped and experimented on her as a child, cooperating with the scientists is the last thing Jessa would do.

But when she discovers the past isn’t what she assumed, Jessa must join forces with budding scientist Tanner Callahan to rectify a fatal mistake made ten years ago. She’ll do anything to change the past and save her sister―even if it means aligning with the enemy she swore to defeat.

The Forget Tomorrow series is best enjoyed in order.

Reading Order:
Before Tomorrow (Prequel)
Book #1 Forget Tomorrow
Book #2 Remember Yesterday
Book #3 Seize Today

About the Author

Pintip Dunn

 Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School. 

Her novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix del’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the TomeSociety It list; and the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. 

Her other titles include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, STAR-CROSSED, and MALICE.

Sam’s Review

Remember Yesterday is the sequel to Forget Tomorrow and let me tell you, it is a great as the first one. Told in Jessa’s POV, Jessa is Callie’s lil’ sis, this happens after Callie kills herself and destroys almost every hope of discovering future memory. Filled with romance, suspense, and anger, this book is hard to put down. Like, really, really hard.

Ten years after Callie killed herself to save Jessa, Jessa and Ryan are breaking into Mikey’s lab and being trouble-making teenagers. Plus, Tanner, the scientist about Jessa’s age is catching her attention. She swore never to side with the scientists. After all, they took her so she could become a friggin’ guinea pig. But all her efforts are for nothing, and her search to find a way to bring back Callie has narrowed down to one person, her thirty-one-year-old father.

I loved this book for its dystopian feel. It has a great and amazing storyline. If I had to describe the book in two words, it’d be, “beyond words.” That’s how good this book was. Jessa and Tanner make a good team, and Mikey plays the over-protective father figure rather well, but I didn’t like how it got a little confusing. Plus, a major plot twist like Callie being in a coma for ten years, and Jessa and Tanner being the ones that Callie encountered in the past, hit me like a brick wall. It was still incredible and interesting to hear from Jessa’s POV. I’m curious who will be the one telling the story in the third book.

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Sam’s Teen Reads Corner reviews Pintip Dunn’s award-winning Remember Yesterday

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle, Hardback, and Paperback editions below:

Other Books in this Series:

Forget Tomorrow

Reaper of Earth

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn & Sam review Reaper of Earth, book 1 in Jen L. Grey’s Reaper series

About the Book

Reaper of Earth; Jen L. Gray
Teen/Young Adult; Fantasy; 226 Pages

Independently published (October 3, 2018)

Hidden abilities, haunting memories, and one confused girl.

I’m a reaper. Death should come naturally to me, but it doesn’t. And the abilities I am able to conjure are forbidden by my kind. My parents try to hide my abilities, but when the elders assign my first target, they order my parents to stay back. Now I’m on my own, with no one to protect me, no idea what I’m doing, and no control over the powers I’m supposed to keep hidden. I should have known this would blow up in my face. My family name is ruined, and I have to fix what I’ve ripped. I’m not sure I have what it takes. The fate of my entire kind is on my shoulders, and I’m the only one who can make things right. But if I mess up again, it won’t just be my family that I break–our entire world will be ruined. Tomb Raider meets Touched in REAPER OF EARTH, a paranormal read for those who love a dark twist. Scroll up and one-click this hauntingly twisted tale today.

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Author

Reading has always been one of my favorite hobbies, even as a little girl. When I was a toddler, my parents would read stories to me over and over. I would hear them so often that I had the books memorized and could recite the story word by word.

The past year, I started having stories stuck in my head and finally decided to start writing. My favorite genres are fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary romance. So of course that’s what I’m inclined to write.

​I have a husband, two young daughters, and a mini Australian Shepherd. I’ve lived in Tennessee the majority of my life and love the state.

I’m extremely addicted to caffeine and enjoy drinking coffee and lattes. 

I am so pleased that you stopped by my page! Please feel free to contact me!

Email: authorjenlgrey@gmail.com
Facebook Fan Group
​Facebook Author Page
​Twitter @authorjenlgrey

Jenn’s Review

When you’re a Reaper of souls, but you can’t make your powers behave… What’s a girl to do? Welcome to Christina’s world in Jen Gray’s Reaper of Earth, book 1 in the Artifact Reaper Saga.

On the cusp of turning 20, Christina needs to prove that she’s capable of Reaping souls on her own. It should be easy, given that she’s from a long, powerful line of Reapers. Except… Her powers don’t behave the way they should, and now, it’s more than her own future on the line.

If she fails, she and her parents will be stripped of all their wealth, power, and standing.

And her parents remind her of this. Constantly.

The Reaper council offers Christina an alternative – find a powerful artifact and all well be forgiven. Of course, the rules keep changing, her power is blocked, and everyone seems to want a piece of the artifact. And when she learns what the artifact can do, she’ll have to weigh her family’s lives against the fate of the multiverse.

This is the first book in a YA Urban Fantasy series, told in 1st person present POV. Magic and action abound, and the protagonist has a bit of a foul mouth. I give it high marks for a fast-paced plot and a well-defined fantasy world. Four stars.

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Jenn & Sam review Reaper of Earth, book 1 in Jen L. Grey’s Reaper series

Sam’s Review

Sam reviews Reaper of Earth on this episode of Sam’s Teen Reads Corner

The fate of Earth and other worlds lie in the hands of a misfit reaper, scorned by her powerful parents because of how different her powers are. She can bring what has been reaped back to life. She can find what she’s looking for, inside her mind. And she is the only reaper she knows who hates reaping. But as her abilities get her into trouble, she either has to find four artifacts for 4 elements, or the people she cares about will die.

Filled with panic, snark, and several modern references, Reaper of Earth will draw in readers. As a modern fantasy, it brings forth stories of old and stories of today’s cultures. I saw only one thing wrong with this, and that was the few grammar errors I found. I highly recommend to fantasy lovers.

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, Audiobook, and paperback here.

Other books (s) in the series.

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Wishes in a Bottle

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn reviews Allie McCormack’s Wishes in a Bottle – Adult Paranormal Romance

About the Book

Wishes in a Bottle; Allie McCormack
Adult; Romance; 439 Pages

Date published January 15, 2019

After 600 years, Julian is beginning to wonder if he will be trapped as a Djinn forever.

Wishes in a Bottle is a dreamy paranormal romance novel with a happy ever after and no cliffhanger.

Long ago, Julian DiConti was caught in a powerful spell binding him to a Djinn bottle, forced to grant wishes to each new owner. 

Three wishes… of the right kind… could free Julian of his bonds. 

Enter Alessandra Taylor, good Samaritan extraordinaire. She’d gladly free Julian from the spell if she could, but he isn’t allowed to tell her how — and one by one she’s driven to use the precious wishes to help others. 

Where will that leave Julian and the growing love between them?

Jenn’s Review

After a long absence from the writing world, Allie McCormack is back with a new paranormal romance series, Wishes and Dreams. Wishes in a Bottle is book 1 (book 2 is on its way), with a sweet, selfless heroine and a hot Italian djinn (yup, there’s a story there, but… SPOILERS!).

Julian has been living a not-quite-charmed life for 600 years after a spell went wrong. His last master was a cruel, selfish woman, who could have given just one wish to save a sick little boy. But when she makes her last wish out of spite and Julian is free again to continue his life, he breaks the rules to return to the dying boy’s bedside. There, while offering what comfort he can to the boy and his mother, Julian meets Alessandra.

As the pair grows closer, drawn together by grief, they are pulled closer by common purposes. So when Julian is pulled back into his bottle and the rules that bound him for 600 are turned inside out, he’s stunned to discover that Alessandra is his new master.

Wishes in a Bottle is a beautiful love story with warm-hearted characters (no overpowering male leads here). Tension and humor both run thick in the pages of this romance, and there are more to come!

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Jenn reviews Allie McCormack’s new paranormal romance, Wishes in a Bottle

Related Reviews

Truck Stop (Contemporary Romance)

Swansong (Book 1 – Sons of the Desert)

A Gift of Jacinth (Book 2 – Wishes and Dreams)

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback formats here.

Also by Allie McCormack

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Le Remède

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Densie Webb's contemporary vampire romance, Le Reméde - urban fantasy, contemporary romance, romance fiction
Jenn reviews Densie Webb’s contemporary vampire romance, Le Reméde

About the Book

Le Remède; Densie Webb
Adult; Science Fiction Romance; 260 Pages

The Wild Rose Press, Inc (November 7, 2018)

Andie Rogé craves control like some people crave chocolate. But she can’t control her feelings when she encounters Vincent Dubois at Lizzie Borden’s Bar. 

Tortured by blood lust that has ruled him for almost two hundred years, Vincent is unprepared for the pull he feels toward Andie. He can only surrender to what he knows is fate. 

Offered a cure from a rare black orchid, he faces an agonizing choice—take the only dose and join Andie in the human life he so deeply desires or give the cure to his Kindred brother to stop his bloody rampage. Fate brought them together but will it destroy their chance at a future?

About the Author

Le Reméde author, Densie Webb

Densie Webb has spent a long career as a freelance nonfiction writer and editor, specializing in health and nutrition, and has published several books and tons of articles on the topic over the years. She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and SheWrites; a contributor to Women Writers, Women’s Books; and a daily “tweeter” for WriterUnboxed. Her latest novel, “Le Remède” was published by Wild Rose Press. Her debut novel, “You’ll Be Thinking of Me” was published by Soul Mate Publishing. She grew up in Louisiana, spent 13 years in New York, and settled in Austin, TX, where it’s summer nine months out of the year. She is an avid walker (not of the dead variety, though she loves anything to do with zombies, vampires or post-apocalyptic worlds), drinks too much coffee and has a small “devil dog” that keeps her on her toes. She has arrested development in musical tastes and her two children provide her with musical recommendations on a regular basis.

Jenn’s Review

Densie Webb’s paranormal romance, LE REMÉDE, is a walk on the spicy side of vampires. No sparkles here, though Ms. Webb does put her own spin on the supernatural in this charming love story.

Andie is at the end of a very long string of bad luck. She’s finally finding her feet in the Big Apple after having to lean heavily on her best friend, losing her parents, and her fiance. So when she finally meets the unbelievably beautiful mystery man from the bar, her world upends in confusion, insatiable need, and the most amazing peace she’s felt in a long time. It figures that something is wrong with him – she just didn’t guess that he was a cursed, immortal Kindred. Those only exist in the movies, right? Right?

Vincent has used his very long life learning to curb his deadly hunger and to teach his only friend how to do the same. So when an enemy from centuries past saunters into Vincent’s flower shop, offering a cure to the curse he never wanted, Vincent is doubtful, but hope springs eternal. Hope blossoms when an irresistible pull draws him toward Andie, and the only logical explanation for his attraction is a legend about fated mates – but he’s never heard of such a thing between human and Kindred.

As Andie learns to accept who and what Vincent is, Vincent’s friend loses control and spirals into a killing spree. The three must make decisions that no one should be forced to make – lover or friend? Family or the future?

This is a tastefully written, adult romance that edges towards the sweet side of the bedroom door. Le Reméde is contemporary urban fantasy, told in the first person present POV. The author’s world-building and character development are beautifully rendered, though the pacing was slow. While I enjoyed the story, I think Ms. Webb got bogged down from time to time with backstory. This is one of those authors I look forward to seeing more from in the future.

Jenn reviews Densie Webb's contemporary vampire romance, Le Reméde - urban fantasy, contemporary romance, romance fiction
Jenn reviews Densie Webb’s contemporary vampire romance, Le Reméde

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback here.

Thrice Read Books will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at books@thricereadbooks.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

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Chronicle of Lost Empire: Secrets of Nalanda

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews the first book in Mala Mukherjee's historical fantasy series, Chronicle of Lost Empire: Secrets of Nalanda - India history, diverse fiction, fantasy fiction, historical mysteries
Jenn reviews the first book in Mala Mukherjee’s historical fantasy series, Chronicle of Lost Empire: Secrets of Nalanda

About the Book

Chronicle of Lost Empire: Secrets of Nalanda; Mala Mukharjee
Adult; Historical Fantasy; 363 pages

BookRix March 12, 2019

A historical fantasy set in the backdrop of Nalanda and the end of Gupta Empire depicts the horror of Hun invasion, and power struggle between smaller kingdoms in an alternate universe bounded by magical reality. During the political turmoil, a prince vouchsafed to save Magadha from foreign invasion with the help of Nalanda’s intellectual teachers and their secret knowledge of Celestial Weapons. However, palace intrigues compelled him to renounce his claim to the throne and he embraced the life of austerity for a greater cause. Unaware of the baffling power of his enemies, the young prince entrapped in the political rivalry of Chandraketugarh and found love in an unexpected way. His journey to Nalanda unfolded many secrets of the ancient university that changed his destiny forever. Under the guidance of his mentor, eminent alchemist Budhaditya he overcame all odds and reached his goal; but just before the final battle, he faced the dilemma of choosing duty over love. 

This is the first part of a Trilogy. 

This story is purely fictional, based on imagination, not on historical facts and figures. Any similarities of events or characters, in reality, is purely coincidental and not made to insult any individual or group. 

Jenn’s Review

I picked this book up to read a quick sample, after the author, Mala Mukherjee, contacted me about a possible review. After reading the introduction, I chose to add this story to my reading list for two reasons: first, it isn’t written from a Western perspective and second, the author is upfront and honest about where the story came from. If you’re looking for a historically accurate tale, this probably isn’t for you, however, as Miss Mukherjee explains in the book’s first pages, she’s spun a fanciful tale around an archaeological mystery.

Welcome to Nalanda, and the Indus subcontinent in the age of the Huns. Nalanda is a center of learning, removed from politics, though it will not remain untouched by the coming war that looms over the land.

Prakhashaditya is a disgraced prince who renounced his claim on the throne to retire to a life of learning, if only for enough years to secure the knowledge of elemental weapons that might stand against the Huns’ mystical arsenal.

His teacher sends him to one of the department heads of Nalanda, to specifically study alchemy, and everything goes wrong when Prakhashaditya stumbles into a confusing situation between local villagers and a merchant caravan.

Confusion ensues, as court intrigues tangle and twist around each other. Hidden plots and deceptions add up, war breaks out, and survivors emerge with the truth of their identities – few of the major players know the whole truth and even fewer know who they truly are.

This was a long read, and in the first half, I frequently found myself out of the plot and lost in long descriptions of settings and people. Miss Mukherjee has done a thorough job of world-building and character creation. However, at several points in the book, I nearly gave up, as the description frequently engulfed the story. Eventually, the author does get out of her own way, and the story flows well – leaving me glad I didn’t surrender.

As a word of caution, this book is not written by a native English speaker (I am uncertain if the book was translated or if the author wrote this in English herself), and this shows up in virtually every paragraph. At times, what the author intends to say is unclear, however, I reached a place where it simply became a facet of the narrative.

Under the faults, this is a thrilling story, with unexpected plot twists, mysteries, intrigue, and danger. Definitely worth the effort to read.

Jenn reviews the first book in Mala Mukherjee's historical fantasy series, Chronicle of Lost Empire: Secrets of Nalanda - India history, diverse fiction, fantasy fiction, historical mysteries
Jenn reviews the first book in Mala Mukherjee’s historical fantasy series, Chronicle of Lost Empire: Secrets of Nalanda

Buy the Book

This book is available on Kindle here.

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The Renaissance Club

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Rachel Dacus' time travel romance, The Renaissance Club - Contemporary Romance, Time Travel, Renaissance Italy
Jenn reviews Rachel Dacus’ time travel romance, The Renaissance Club

About the Book

The Renaissance Club; Rachel Dacus
Adult; Fantasy Romance; 374 pages

Time Fold Books December 20, 2018

May Gold, an adjunct college teacher earning little more than a Starbucks barista, often dreams in her tiny, moldy office about the subject of her master’s thesis, 17th-century sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. In her fantasies, she’s in his arms, the wildly adored partner of the man who invented the Baroque. In reality, May has just landed in Rome with her teaching colleagues and her suffocating boyfriend, Darren, who is paying her way. She feels like a precocious failure and longs for a passionate, creative life of beauty and poetry. When tour leader George St. James lends May his beautiful gold pen to take her notes, she finds herself in the year 1624, under the gilded dome of St. Peter’s, staring into Bernini’s eyes. But can she break free of her present-day life, the dead-end job, the stuffy boyfriend, and the boss who wants to thwart her rise in the Art Department? Only if she can give up everything and figure out the secret to falling through the folds of time, might she seize her unexpected chance for happiness and live in a magical future with her soul mate from another time.

A CAPTIVATING STORY illuminating love’s power over time. Perfect for fans of and Susanna Kearsley and Diana Gabaldon, for those who love Italy, art, and history.

About the Author

Rachel Dacus is a poet, essayist, and novelist who writes about love and history. In her novel, THE RENAISSANCE CLUB, a young art historian gets to meet her hero from the past, the fiery 17th century Italian sculptor Bernini. She then must choose whether she can give up everything — even the time in which she lives — to be with her soulmate. The book was praised as “enchanting, rich, and romantic”.

Dacus is at work on both a sequel and a prequel. She shows off her versatility as a writer in her four poetry collections, most recently ARABESQUE. 

She lives in Northern California with her husband and a tiny, mighty Silky Terrier. She’s a member of the Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association and Authors18. To learn more about her news and upcoming projects, sign up for her quarterly newsletter at http://racheldacus.net. A poem in every newsletter!

Jenn’s Review

A stellar story and subtle romance! Rachel Dacus’ story weaves the past and the present together in a seamless blend of prose and poetry, with subtle undertones reminiscent of a fine Italian culinary dish in The Renaissance Club.

This was not my first time-travel romance, but Ms. Dacus is easily on par with my literary heroine, Diana Gabaldon. While the heroine travels back and forth through time, she tries to keep her present-day, dead-on-arrival, relationship with Darren together; but each trip through the portal of Time, each liason with her artistic hero, Bernini, she finds herself comparing past and present in more ways than one.

The romance between May and Bernini sizzles, and the love scenes are subtle, but pack a punch and the author moves deftly through the full range of human emotions with style and sensitivity. All the while, Dacus is describing art and Italy with a deftness that leaves even the least-experienced art historian with a clear mental image of what the characters are seeing and studying.

Her characters step in and out of time seamlessly, and it would seem that all of our intrepid travelers on this particular three-week academic tour find themselves somehow changed by the magic of Italy; its pull an irresistible dare to be something more, fly higher, try something new, inspired by the innovation in artistic styles that Rome, Venice, Florence, and Assisi seethe with. And who wouldn’t find themselves forever altered by meeting Masters of their time such as Michelangelo, Bernini and Borromini?

Even those who aren’t romance fans will find something in the pages of this book to pique their imagination. Aspiring authors, poets, painters and sculptors especially, should read at least the first three chapters, and pay special heed Bernini’s advice.

You won’t find steamy sex scenes in this book, but in this reviewer’s opinion, they would have most likely detracted from the overall impact of Rachel’s work. Readers will be left with a new appreciation of art, history, love and time itself. A must for every romance reader’s book list, especially fans of time-travel romance.

Jenn reviews Rachel Dacus' time travel romance, The Renaissance Club - Contemporary Romance, Time Travel, Renaissance Italy
Jenn reviews Rachel Dacus’ time travel romance, The Renaissance Club

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback here.

Thrice Read Books will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at books@thricereadbooks.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.


Also by Rachel Dacus:

The Invisibles

Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren's NA Paranormal Novel MARJORIE DIAZ'S UNFORTUNATE INTRODUCTION TO MAGICAL HIGH SOCIETY - diverse books - LGBTQA FIction
Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren’s NA Paranormal Novel Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society

About the Book

Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society, Desdemona Wren

Adult, NA Paranormal, 339 Pages

Publisher: Antler Doe Publishing; 1 edition (September 4, 2018)

Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy hunts girl for sport.

Marjorie Diaz has no idea who Patrick Watkins is. When he saunters into her senior seminar class during her last semester of college, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with him. 

She’s swept up into a whirlwind—and often times fairytale-esque—romance. That is, until his family kidnaps her and sends her to the last place she ever thought she would go again. 

Now, with the help of her best friend Lucian Maravalle, she has to run for her life, and try not to think too hard about the fact that everyone important to her has been keeping a dangerous secret. A secret that could cost Marjorie her life.

Book one in the Marjorie Diaz series.

Cover art by Ariel LeAnn of Cat’s Paw Media

This title is LGBTQIA+ and features a full POC cast.

About the Author

Desdemona Wren is a novelist who writes gay fiction with monsters, witches, and actual plots. She’s from Seattle, WA, but currently resides in the mystical land of Northern California. Where everybody wears coats all the time, nobody says ‘brah’, ‘bruh’, ‘bro’ or any variation of that word, and absolutely nobody surfs.

She has two cats named Oliver and Ophelia who have traveled the world. From The Great Smoky Mountains, to the tallest peaks of The Cascades, and even to the Grand Canyon; they’ve been everywhere. For more information on future books, visit her website at http://desdemonawren.com

Jenn’s Review

New Adult fiction isn’t something I generally jump at, but I made an exception for this review request, from author Desdemona Wren, because I love paranormal fiction, and wanted to try something a little different.

Marjorie’s last semester of college isn’t off to a great start when she gets partnered with sarcastic, flirtatious Patrick on their first day of Senior Seminar for their senior project. She thought she knew everyone in her major, and Patrick seems to know her, but Marjorie has no recollection of seeing this man in any of her classes.

To complicate things further, his flirtatious behavior is followed up by a hallway make-out session. Marjorie walks out of class to be confronted by Patrick and his very beautiful girlfriend kissing.

Aside from the storyline, this book was an adventure for me – an asexual protagonist in a romance, millennial voice, and a driving plotline. Ms. Wren’s storytelling feels a tad awkward at times, with scattered dialogue that didn’t seem to drive the plot and lagging character development that picks up once it’s finally established.

That said, however, the author took the time to give each character a unique voice in the book, and to some degree, I would attribute some of the awkward narratives to the protagonist’s personality, more than the author’s writing skill (Marjorie has some deep-seated issues – she’s not glamorous by any means). Hooray for a deeply flawed heroine that isn’t swooning over every cute guy she meets!

This is definitely not a young adult read and is geared towards the New Adult level. With an asexual heroine, the book is free of any graphic sexual content, however, the language is rough enough that I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone under 16. Millennial fans of paranormal and diverse books – this one is for you.

Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren's NA Paranormal Novel MARJORIE DIAZ'S UNFORTUNATE INTRODUCTION TO MAGICAL HIGH SOCIETY - diverse books - LGBTQA FIction
Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren’s NA Paranormal Novel Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats here:


Check Out Book 2:

Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Ancestral Politics and Foul Play