GRIM LOVELIES by Young Adult Bestselling Author Megan Shepherd is sure to enchant teens and adults alike. 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: GRIM LOVELIES

Author: MEGAN SHEPHERD

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, FANTASY FICTION

Length: 384 PAGES

Publisher: HMH TEEN – HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS

Received From: HMH TEEN INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY

Release Date: OCTOBER 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-328-80918-6 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 978-1-328-80962-9 (eBook)

Price: $17.99 USD HARDCOVER

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love.

But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human.

Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittoria, the evil witch who spelled her into existence.

That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood – and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away.

If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known… but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.

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MY REVIEW:

Inventive and dazzling, with a host of characters readers will be unable and unwilling to forget.

With a diverse cast, this book has everything required to become an instant Young Adult Best-Seller. Having just been released a little over two months ago, it is already trending on social media, and, if I have my way, it will trend even more after I post this review.

I love that the Author chose animals turned into humans as her main characters. I love that she chose the city of Paris as the headquarters of the Royals who reign over all magical beings. There has always been something alluring and mysterious about the historic city of Paris, especially to those of us in North America. With the millions of bones in the city’s catacombs, Paris also has a barely hidden sinister air.

Best-Selling Author Megan Shepherd has created a magical world that secretly exists alongside our own. Of course, we humans, or “Pretties” as the witches call us, are completely oblivious to the magic surrounding us.

Within this world there are “Beasties;” animals and birds who have had spells cast on them to change them into humans (sort of like the mice in the tale of Cinderella, except the change is permanent.) Anouk is one such Beastie. She is a year and a half old which is the equivalent of being a seventeen year old girl. For the entirety of her human existence, she has not been allowed to leave the house she was “born” in. It is the home of Mada Vittoria, the witch who changed Anouk from animal to human.

This imaginative tale, filled with magic, mystery and mayhem is perfect for today’s Young Adult audience. Readers of all types, and of all ages will be able to find a character to relate to.

There is a theme of good vs. evil in this book, but what, or who is deemed evil is often in the eye of the beholder.

GRIM LOVELIES is also a unique Coming-Of-Age tale in which Anouk realizes that her captivity at the hands of Mada (Witch) Vittoria, has resulted in her knowing very little about either the Pretties world, or the magical world of the Haute.

GRIM LOVELIES and the world of the Haute would make for a terrific and visually stunning movie. I very much hope to see this series become optioned for film.

I rate GRIM LOVELIES as a 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Young Adult novel and am excited to read more about Anouk and her other “Beastie” friends in the next installment of this wonderous tale.

***Thank you to HMH Teen for hosting the Instagram contest in which I won a Grim Lovelies prize pack. ***

MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THE BOOK:

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“Everything had a darker side, magic most of all.”

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“He was a twat and she’d sooner kiss a frog, but even frogs deserved little moments of joy.”

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“Even if we can find someone to recast our spell, I’m afraid that a spell alone can’t make us human. TRULY human. Only actions make a person human, not magic.”

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“I’m not a bird with broken wings… I don’t need to be sheltered.”

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“Through all this darkness, you’ve held on to love and hope, and that’s true strength.”

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THE CHARACTERS:

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BOUT THE AUTHOR:

MEGAN SHEPHERD – New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

She is the author of several young adult and middle grade novels. She now lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, two cats, and an especially scruffy dog.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

MORE BOOKS BY MEGAN:

*** Leave a comment and let me know if you have read any of Megan’s books?

And if so, which was/is your favorite? Why?

RIBBON OF LIGHT – COVER REVEAL AND GIVEAWAY – Win an Amazon Gift Card

Ribbon of Light

Begin Again Series, Book 3

by Claire Yezbak Fadden

Publication Date: September 13, 2018

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Preorder: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords

Julie Rafferty’s life-long dream is within her grasp. But just as the toy company she founded verges on becoming a multi-million-dollar enterprise, her husband abandons their marriage.

Trevor had no choice but to walk away from Julie. How else could he show his wife that the business was her priority, not him and their three children? His drastic stunt backfires though, jeopardizing the family business and seemingly pushes Julie into the arms of a younger man.

Just when Julie and Trevor find their way back to each other, a ruthless competitor escalates a bogus lawsuit. Together they plot to reclaim control of the toy company, only to uncover a shattering betrayal that puts them in unimaginable danger.

Can they overcome their dreadful mistake and reclaim the passion, trust and commitment that once drew them together? Or will the greed of an evil man irreparably destroy everything they hold dear?

About Claire Yezbek Fadden

When she’s not playing with her granddaughters, Pennsylvania native Claire Yezbak Fadden is writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her books feature strong women who overcome life’s challenges, always putting their families first. There’s a special spot in Claire’s heart for carousel horses – quite possibly the result of watching “Mary Poppins” 13 times as a young girl. She loves butterflies, ladybugs and confetti! Just ask anyone who’s received a birthday card from her. The mother of three lives in Orange County, California with her husband, Nick and three spoiled dogs. Claire’s work as an award-winning journalist, humor columnist and editor has appeared in more than 100 publications across the United States, Canada and Australia. Ribbon of Light is the third novel in her Begin Again series.

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SHELTER: THE RETURN by Canadian Author ALLYSON YOUNG is available Now. This is a post-apocalyptic romance/action drama. 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: SHELTER: THE RETURN

Series: SHELTER TRILOGY: BOOK THREE

Author: ALLYSON YOUNG aka: ELIZABETH SCOTT

Genre: FICTION, POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION, ROMANCE

Length: 211 PAGES

Publisher: VICTORY EDITING NETGALLEY CO-OP

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 1, 2018

ISBN:

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:
They won the war but the real battle was right around the corner. Together again, after considerable adversity, Jesse shares the other part of his mission with Addy. The plague that decimated the population has left another legacy and he has been ordered to ‘encourage’ Shelter’s women to move to the base. With the fanatical Sawyer Bridges and his men dealt with, repopulating the country is now the top priority.

Determined that women be allowed the choice, of both the father of their child or to have children at all, Addison accompanies Jesse in an attempt to appeal to the top brass.

Their appeal rejected, Addison and Jesse are separated and detained while the General attempts to carry out his plan. But there are decent people everywhere and they rise up to do the right thing.
Because of his need to protect her, Jesse makes the wrong call and Addy draws a line in the sand. She returns to Shelter, leaving Jesse to follow—if he can find it within himself to accept a true, future partnership.

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MY REVIEW:

SHELTER: THE RETURN is the third and final book in a series and at only 211 pages, is a quick, easy read.

Allyson Young is a talented Canadian Author and has written a great number of books, some written under her own name and others under her pen name: Elizabeth Scott.

Set in a post-apocalyptic version of the United States, Addison and Jesse both survived the flu-like plague that killed an estimated 90% of the world’s population.

Addison and Jesse have started a relationship which has been somewhat stormy, but they both have come to realize just how much they mean to each other.

Unfortunately, humans being what they are, there is always someone who wants what other people have and who would rather take it by force, than put in the work themselves.

The Bad Guy mentioned in Books One and Two has been defeated but during the mission, Addy is taken prisoner by one of his lackies.

Jesse is determined not to lose her and despite not knowing if she is alive or dead, he gathers volunteers to go with him on a rescue mission. But, will Addy survive long enough to be rescued?

The action is fast-paced and the story moves along at a lightening pace. Canadian Author Allyson Young does a terrific job of keeping the reader engrossed in the story.

If you are looking for a great beach read, look no further, the SHELTER Series is it.

***Due to the graphic nature of some of the content, this book is not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen.***

I rate SHELTER: THE RETURN as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I highly recommend purchasing the entire trilogy.

*Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.*

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QUOTES:

“Too bad the plague didn’t take out the dregs of society, but disasters never seem to work that way.”

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“She’d earned the right to use Mitchell’s first name the correct way, through friendship and respect, and loyalty. Not by … by spreading her legs.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Allyson Young aka Peri Elizabeth Scott lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada. She and her husband pretend to work well together in their seasonal business.

She has always enjoyed the written word, and after reading an erotic romance, quite by mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. That was followed by a mix of spicy (Ally) and sweet (Peribeth) romances in various genres as well as a post-apocalyptic adventure without a lick of romance by Peribeth.

A bestselling Amazon author, a hybrid, and a coauthor, as of April 2018 she has published four series and several standalones—53 books in total, with others under contract.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

TWITTER

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

CHAPTERS

Check out my review of Book One HERE and my review of the second book HERE.

SHELTER: THE BEGINNING by Allyson Young is a Post-Apocalyptic Romance Story with an awesome female protagonist. 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: SHELTER: THE BEGINNING

Series: SHELTER TRILOGY: BOOK ONE

Author: ALLYSON YOUNG aka: ELIZABETH SCOTT

Genre: FICTION, POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION

Length: 170 PAGES

Publisher: VICTORY EDITING NETGALLEY CO-OP

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1721097890

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Addison Longwood survived the plague that struck down almost everyone around her. She survived the hazardous trek into the countryside to find shelter within a group of like-minded individuals led by a man she can actually respect. Settled and contributing, she allows herself a sense of hope.

From the remaining military, Captain Jesse Forbes is charged with locating survivors in order to rebuild the country. His initial impression of Addison’s band isn’t positive and he sets his sights on the young woman in order to infiltrate, and assess her leader—the end justifying the means, or so he assures himself.

But there are far greater dangers lurking, threatening the very existence of the survivors. Alliances are forged—and tested. Betrayal cuts deep, lives are lost and others changed forever.

Who are the good guys anyhow?

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MY REVIEW:

SHELTER: THE BEGINNING is the first book in a series and at only 170 pages, is a quick, easy read. Allyson Young is a talented Canadian Author and has written a great number of books, some written under her own name and others under her own name: Elizabeth Scott.

Set in a post-apocalyptic version of the United States, Addison Longwood is one of the lucky ones who survived the flu-like plague that killed an estimated 90% of the world’s population.

The back story is not described in detail, but readers are given enough information to comprehend the seriousness of what happened.

Instead of focusing on the immediate aftermath of the plague, this story begins when Addison has reached a camp that is set-up extremely well and is in a defensible location.

Unfortunately, humans being what they are, there is always someone who wants what other people have and who would rather take it by force, than put in the work themselves.

Focusing mostly on Addy’s story, the author deftly manoeuvres the action and the romance elements to have equal time.

If you are looking for a great beach read, look no further, SHELTER is it.

Due to the graphic nature of some of the content, this book is not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen.

I rate SHELTER: THE BEGINNING as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I highly recommend purchasing the next book in the series immediately since Book One ends on a cliffhanger.

*Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.*

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Allyson Young aka Peri Elizabeth Scott lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada. She and her husband pretend to work well together in their seasonal business.

She has always enjoyed the written word, and after reading an erotic romance, quite by mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. That was followed by a mix of spicy (Ally) and sweet (Peribeth) romances in various genres as well as a post-apocalyptic adventure without a lick of romance by Peribeth.

A bestselling Amazon author, a hybrid, and a coauthor, as of April 2018 she has published four series and several standalones—53 books in total, with others under contract.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

TWITTER

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

CHAPTERS

THE STONE SERIES BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY – Enter to Win A $25 Amazon Gift Certificate

Title: The Stone Series

Author: Dakota Willink

Genre: Romance

Blurb:

Krystina Cole was a girl on a mission. She had big dreams and aspirations, none of which included a man by her side. She knew better than that – at least until she met Alexander Stone, the New York billionaire real estate tycoon. She saw the way that he looked at her, and the dark promises in his eyes. She was curious about his world and all that it entailed. But the shadows of her past haunted her, making her afraid to explore possibilities that she could never before have imagined…

Alexander Stone was a man who knew how to get what he wanted. He understood the value of finesse, and the importance of patience and diligence to achieve the desired result. He was successful and wealthy, relying on his naturally sharp instincts to guide him through life. But a chance run in with Krystina Cole quickly turned his world upside down. Her quick wit and firecracker attitude was the complete opposite of what he wanted in a woman, and his instincts failed him at every turn…

However, both Krystina and Alexander are clinging to the secrets in their past, and neither of them are willing to compromise. Krystina’s hardened heart makes emotional surrender a hard limit. But for Alexander, revealing his past could have devastating results.

Blurb:
The story of Krystina and Alexander continues in Stepping Stone, book two of The Stone Series.
Krystina Cole is flawed and damaged from a traumatic experience. A relationship with Alexander Stone will never work. She knows that her capacity for love is limited, and that only she alone can repair the pieces of her shattered heart. But Alexander is everywhere she turns. In her mind. In her heart. And in her soul. She cannot deny him. He is her addiction and she is unable to stay away.
Alexander Stone has accepted the inevitable. If he wants to hold on to Krystina, he must bare all and release the secrets in his past. There were risks, but she is worth it. No woman has ever affected him the way that she did. She is the sunshine in his darkness. The lightning to his thunder. She is his angel.
Bound by their passion to be together, Alexander and Krystina fight to let go of their pasts. Together, they embark on journey of self-exploration, relying on trust to be their ultimate bond. Falling completely into one another, there finally seems to be a beacon of hope for their future. But as they test their boundaries of desire, fate takes an unexpected turn, threatening their only chance at survival…

Blurb:

Two declarations of love. And a past that won’t set them free.

Alexander had rules. Krystina broke them. Together, they learned the hard way that life was too short to play the game. Choosing to not leave their relationship to Fate, they fell completely and irrevocably into one another. As two shattered souls, wrapped in each other’s arms, it was as if the world and all its troubles did not exist.

However, committing to love each other was only the beginning. Caught up in their blazing desire, they unexpectedly find themselves facing the shadows of the past once again. Just when Krystina thought she knew the man she committed to, more questions arise, causing her to wonder if Alexander is who he says he is. It should have been one of the happiest times in their lives, but the darkness still loomed, threatening everything they fought so hard to overcome.

Now Krystina is faced with a terrible decision: go against Alexander in order to save him or sit idly by and watch as his world shatters around him. For her greatest battle was the very thing their relationship was founded upon. Trust.

The heart-wrenching and seductive story of Alexander and Krystina concludes with Set In Stone, the powerfully moving finale to The Stone Series.


Dakota Willink is an Amazon International Bestselling Author. She loves writing about damaged heroes who fall in love with sassy and independent females. Her books are character driven, emotional, and sexy, yet written with a flare that keeps them real. With three published titles and a magazine publication under her belt, Dakota’s imagination is constantly spinning new ideas. Her current work in progress is The Dahlia Project, a series of standalone books that will embrace diverse characters and current day world issues.

Dakota’s love affair with reading and writing began when she was in the sixth grade. Competitive by nature, she was determined to win a reading contest and blitzed through every Sweet Valley High book she could get her hands on. As a result, she discovered her love for words. Since then, she dreamed of one day writing her own book, but put her aspirations on hold to focus on family and a career that would pay the bills. However, her heart continued to be with fictional characters – whether they belonged to a favorite author or if they were just stories that she made up in her own head.

In 2013, Dakota gathered enough courage to turn her dreams into a reality. In between playing chauffeur to two very busy teenagers and working her job during the day, Dakota began to put words on paper. By 2014, she gave up the security of a steady paycheck and began working on her first novel full-time.

Dakota often says she survived her first publishing with coffee and wine. She’s an unabashed Star Wars fanatic and still dreams of one day getting her letter from Hogwarts. She enjoys spending time with her super-supportive husband and two witty teenagers, her two Labrador Retrievers, and her spoiled rotten cat. During the summer months, she can often be found soaking up the sun on the Great Lakes with her family

Author Links:

Buy Links:

Heart of Stone: https://amzn.to/2OLOiH1

Stepping Stone: https://amzn.to/2nTYgLj

Audio Links:

Heart of Stone: https://amzn.to/2OJROBG

Stepping Stone: https://amzn.to/2PozBuO