YA Fantasy Review: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #2: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #2: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

Published by: Disney Hyperion

Format: mobi

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Order at: Amazon | B&N

Reviewed by: Alex

What to Expect: Adventure? Check. Found family? Check. Falafel? Check. Diversity and complexity shared by retellings of Norse Mythology and the world that created it? Check, check, check!  Read More

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Anthology Review: Teacher’s Pet, an anthology from Nine Star Press

Teacher’s Pet

Published by: Nine Star Press

Format: ePub

Genre: Romance

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Alex

What to Expect: HEA’s from emerging writers, all exploring that forbidden attraction that occurs between the teacher, professor, tutor, or mentor. Several gems enclosed.

Read More

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Fantasy Review: Roar by Cora Carmack

Roar by Cora Carmack

Published by: Tor Teen

Format: Ebook and Audiobook

Genre: Romance/Fantasy

Order at: Amazon | B&N

Reviewed by: Madison

What to Expect: An unlikely hero, conflicted villains, and a lot of secrets.

Plot:

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

Review:

I stumbled upon this book when looking for an audiobook for a long car ride. Following a week of the flu, this book has become my constant companion. I highly recommend for sick days and long car rides. First and foremost I love our heroine. Aurora is an unlikely heir. She doesn’t show a lick of magic to protect her kingdom and she is forced into hiding by her mother for the fear that someone may find out her secret. She is then arranged to marry with a brooding and dark prince named Cassius from the kingdom of Locke. Don’t get heart eyes on me yet. Carmack does an amazing job at stringing you along to trust this prince and then shatters your heart within the first few chapters. I am one of those readers who will always love the first romantic interest. It’s like I have some loyalty to them. This book was the exception.

Without giving too much away Aurora finds herself in the black market of magic and teams up with a group of magical hunters. What do they hunt? Storms. Aurora cleverly devises a plan to leave with them under the guise of her new identity, Roar. Roar is bold, unafraid, and relatable. The hunters are suspicious of her. This is not a “buddy buddy perfect friendship” kind of book. The relationships are complicated and they should be. Though this is set in a fictional world I found myself relating to a lot of the characters for their human flaws.

What you might not like/doesn’t work for you: There is nothing I truly disliked. If I had to pick one thing I wish when Aurora transitioned to Roar there was a bit more awkwardness to it. Sometimes she felt so strong. She was sheltered for years. There is a description in the book that her servants were changed out so often they only knew what herbs to put in her bath. I think in the beginning when she trusted Cassius that showed this naive girl. But I wish it carried a bit more into that transition. It’s not a huge thing because there were awkward and naive moments throughout.

What you will love: The story is completely original. If you are looking for some high fantasy that you feel like you haven’t read before, this is it!The world the author built was quite lush and dynamic.


Madison is our newest reviewer here at Binge on Books! When not working on her own first novel, she loves reading YA & Fantasy and listening to podcasts.

You can get in touch with her on Twitter: @MPMarkerWrites

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Romance Review: From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

Published by: Self-published

Format: Kindle Unlimited Ebook

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Tropes and Themes: ice-skating romance, enemies-to-lovers, slow slow slooooow burn

Order at: Amazon 

Reviewed by: Judith

What to Expect: Slow burn queen, Mariana Zapata, is back with a brand new enemies-to-lovers look into the world of competitive figure skating. You can expect: snarky come-backs, one liners that will make you go, “oooooh”, a big boisterous close knit family, a tough as nails heroine, and the most insufferably hot hero you will ever meet.  Read More

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New Adult Review: Abroad, Book 2 by Liz Jacobs

Abroad: Book Two by Liz Jacobs

Published by: Brain Mill Press

Format: epub

Genre: New adult

Order at: Publisher | Amazon | B & N | Kobo

Reviewed by: Edwin

What to Expect:  Friendship, family – found and blood – the wonders and challenges of coming out, and young people finding their places in the world. A perfect new adult experience. Read More

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Buddy Review: Alex and Edwin talk Apocalypse Alley by Don Allmon

Apocalypse Alley by Don Allmon

Published by: Riptide

Format: eARC

Genre: Fantasy

Release date: February 26, 2018

Order at: Publisher

Reviewed by: Alex & Edwin

What to Expect: Death Race 2000 meets Mad Max in The Matrix. Featuring a hacker, a supersoldier with side servings of the Daddiest orc in history and a terrifying cyborg assassin. Read More

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Science Fiction Review: Blood Binds the Pack by Alex Wells

Blood Binds the Pack by Alex Wells

Published by: Angry Robot

Format: eARC

Genre: Science fiction

Order at: Publisher | Amazon | B&N 

Reviewed by: Edwin

What to Expect: Science fiction Wild West biker witches and lesbian unionists fomenting a proletarian revolution against an evil corporation. What’s not to like?

(Note: review contains spoilers for Book 1 of the series, Hunger Makes the Wolf (reviewed here, and some general discussion of plot elements in the first ¼ of this book) Read More

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Countdown to a New Year, December 30: Layla Reyne

Countdown to a New Year, December 30: Layla Reyne

From December 20 through December 31, Binge on Books will be hosting a series of posts each day counting down to the new year. Joined by authors, publishers, and fellow bloggers, this series will focus on takeaways from 2017 and what we can look forward to in 2018. Think the biggest, longest, most book-filled reflection of the past year and the hopes and dreams for the new one all wrapped into one: that’s Binge on Books’ Countdown to a New Year. Come see what your favorite members of the book world have to say about the past year and what’s up next for them in the year to come!

**Plus every day in the countdown will feature prize packs of ARCs and book giveaways plus a final BIG giveaway of a Kindle Fire! Enter every day for a chance to win!**

Reading Outside the Box

My first year published was crazy. Awesome, but crazy. A lot of writing, a lot of editing, and a lot of promo for the four releases I put out, including my debut, Single Malt. That said, I still managed to squeeze in some reading here and there. Since I was writing either romantic suspense for the Whiskey Verse or sports romance for my Changing Lanes duology, I focused my reading outside those genres. I got cozy again with paranormal/fantasy romance and dipped my toe (then my whole body) into historical romance. Here are just a few of my favorite outside the box reads from 2017!

Paranormal / Fantasy Romance

Peter Darling by Austin Chant – I am admittedly late to this party, but I come bearing champagne for a marvelous read! I was never a fan of Peter Pan, so I’d hesitated reading this retelling, but I’m so glad I took the chance. This book was lyrical, magical, romantic, and thought-provoking. Everything I could want, and now I can’t wait for the rumored sequel.

The Community Series by Santino Hassell – This one’s a little bit of a cheat for me given the suspense element, but the psychic aspect is definitely paranormal. While each book featured a different main couple, I appreciated how well each story built on the last, continued to expand The Community world, and furthered the overarching plot. All that while still maintaining the steamy heat and gritty New York atmosphere we expect from Santino’s books.

Wolfsong by TJ Klune – This coming-of-age story involving a human among a pack of shifter wolves was exciting, heartbreaking, and heartwarming. I don’t read many shifter romances, or many coming of age stories, but everything about this book—from the writing, to the characters, to the plot, to the fated mates (two alphas: one wolf, one human)—was just lovely. (Technically, a 2016 release.)

Historical Romance

Sins of the Cities Series by KJ Charles – Last year, I read and loved KJ’s Society of Gentlemen series, my first real foray into historical romance. I had no idea what I’d been missing! Sins of the Cities carried on what I love best about KJ’s books—great plotting, a mystery that keeps me engaged, and swoon worthy heroes. I mean, Justin Lazarus… His redemption arc put him firmly among my top ten romantic leads.

The Turners Series by Cat Sebastian – If KJ’s books were the lure that got me interested in historical romance, Cat’s stories reeled me the rest of the way in. The Lawrence Browne Affair is hands down my favorite book of 2017, and Cat’s writing, her characters, and her deft handling of modern topics in a historical context is marvelous. It Takes Two to Tumble, Cat’s latest, promises more of the same!

The Enlightenment Series by Joanna Chambers – The push and pull tension in this opposites-attract romance remained high throughout the three-book series. Watching David and Murdo fall in love, try to resist, then ultimately realize they couldn’t live without each other, all while set against the Scottish ton and country backdrop, was page-turning catnip. I couldn’t put it down! (Technically, a re-pub.)


About Layla Reyne: 

Author Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart pounding romance. When she’s not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs. Layla is a member of Romance Writers of America and its San Francisco, Kiss of Death, and Rainbow Romance Writers chapters. She was a 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.

Her next release is a contemporary m/m romance called Relay, out on 1/8/18.


Enter to win one of 3 prize packs of books! 

Prize Pack #10:

The Thousandth Floor and The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee

The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork

Prize Pack #11:

Neighborhood Girls by Jessie Ann Foley

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

Ringer by Lauren Oliver

 Prize Pack #12:

Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson

Nothing by Annie Barrows

That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston

 Enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter the other giveaways featuring swag, ARCs, and Final copies of books by your favorites!

Prize Packs 1 – 3: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0341/

Prize Packs 4 – 6: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0342/

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Grand Prize: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0345/


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Binge on Books Top Books of 2017: Sara Beth’s Favorites

Sara Beth’s top reads of the year

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Urban Fantasy Buddy Review: The Year of the Knife by G.D. Penman

The Year of the Knife by G. D. Penman

Published by: Meerkat Press

Format: mobi

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Mystery

Order at: Publisher | Amazon | B&N

Reviewed by: Edwin & Alex

What to Expect: Fun, ambitious, mostly successful queer urban fantasy featuring a kickass heroine, tons of magic, and an alternative history of the good ol’ US of A. Read More

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