Book Review: 6 Sensual Things about STORM’S HEART by Thea Harrison

“Storm’s Heart”

Elder Races #2

by Thea Harrison

Nikki’s Rating: 6 out of 10

Summary: Niniane is on the run as she comes to realize that there are many people who don’t want her to take her rightful place as the Dark Fae queen. Hot on her tail is Tiago, the head of a Wry army and a fearsome thunderbird. As they clash trying to navigate the precarious political climate of the Dark Fae, they discover a deep passion and love for each other. But the Dark Fae and the other demesnes will never allow the Dark Fae queen and a Wyr to be together. Niniane will have to choose, her crown or her heart.

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6 Sensual Things about STORM’S HEART by Thea Harrison

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Supernatural

The Elder Races series as a whole caught my attention due to all the supernatural beings all existing alongside humans. “Storm’s Heart” was fun due to it featuring Tiago, who is Wyr, specifically a thunderbird, and Niniane, who is a Dark Fae. We got to see some Dark Fae politics, culture, and how their demesne fits in with the world at large.

2. Niniane

Niniane is a cute, petite faerie that is beloved by most people who come across her. Filled with lots of spunk and sass, she is a girl after my own heart with her love of make-up, pretty clothes, accessories, and comfort while tolerating minimal bullshit and dancing to the beat of her own drum. She is a fun character and I’m a huge fan.

3. Hottness

Thea Harrison knows how to write romance and “Storm’s Heart” features scenes that are dripping with sexual tension. Once Tiago and Niniane give into their desires, the chemistry is off the charts and provide us with some seriously hot sex scenes!

4. Banter

One of my favorite dynamics between Tiago and Niniane was their banter. The constant bickering and shit talking had me laughing out loud and provided some comic relief to serious and sad situations. Niniane’s sassiness is absolutely hilarious and Tiago usually deserves a tongue lashing!

5. Overall

“Storm’s Heart” was an enjoyable read overall. The politics and the mystery of the attempts on Niniane’s life kept me intrigued while wanting Tiago and Niniane to find their happily ever after really kept me engaged. Happily their much deserved ending took place and Niniane has taken her throne with Tiago watching over her.

6. Serpent’s Kiss

I am totally curious and intrigued by Carling as she appears to be an utter bitch vampire queen and thankfully Thea Harrison’s Elder Races continues in Book 3, “Serpent’s Kiss” which has Carling featured as a main character.


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Book Review: 10 Piquant Things about PERSUASION by Jane Austen

Persuasion

by Jane Austen

Nikki’s Rating: 10 out of 10

Summary: Persuaded once to refuse the man she loved, Anne Elliot is haunted by the choice she made nearly eight years ago. Now as her family deals with a financial crisis, his relatives become their tenants and Captain Wentworth and Anne are thrown into each other’s company once more. As they navigate their emotions, social etiquette, and Anne’s snobbish family, they come to realize that their feelings may have not changed and that their love might have survived their long separation.

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10 Piquant Things about PERSUASION by Jane Austen

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Family Dynamics

One of my favorite things about Persuasion is the banter that captures the family dynamics. Poor Anne is constantly in the middle of multiple family members, each telling her to tell other family members to stop this or do that. All of them are secretly complaining and talking shit about each other and it is hilarious! Mirrors many real-life family dynamics.

2. Class System

As seen in her other novels, Jane Austen shows the ridiculousness of the class system. Anne’s father, Sir Walter Elliot is seen as a snobbish, superficial Baronet who is obsessed with class and being part of the gentry. Even when dealing with a financial crisis, due to his own frivolous spending, he balks at the idea of letting his house to a professional career man.

3. Anne Elliot

Like all of Austen’s heroines, Anne is a wonderful character. While not outspoken and bold like Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, Anne Elliot has her own strength that is quiet and gentle. Anne is immensely kind and thoughtful to all she comes across, without regard to class or rank. Throughout the novel, she is constantly thinking of those around her, putting their own comfort and needs before her own.each other and slowly coming to terms with their attraction to one another.

4. Unrequited Love

Unrequited love is something that everyone can identify with, most of us have dealt with it in some capacity in our lives. And Austen captures this painful experience so well through the thoughts of Anne. Wanting to be around the person because you love them but also knowing that they do not feel the same is torture as Austen describes so eloquently:

“It was agitation, pain, pleasure, a something between delight and misery”

p. 165

5. Going Against Family/Friends

The factors that influenced Anne to reject Captain Wentworth’s first proposal were that her family and more importantly, her good friend Lady Russel, voiced their displeasure of the match. While there were various reasons for each side, some based simply on snobbery, it is always a difficult situation to go against the advice from the important people in our lives.

6. Lady Russell

While Lady Russell had told Anne to break off her first engagement to Captain Wentworth, it was not out of malice or snobbery. Rather it was done due to her belief that a long engagement with no foreseeable date for the wedding to be too trying on both parties. Lady Russell only ever wanted happiness for Anne and was trying to prevent her from heartache. I appreciated that Austen didn’t make Lady Russell into a villain. Austen could have easily made Lady Russell’s motivations about being a snobbish aristocrat but instead, preserved the friendship between Anne and Lady Russell, with Lady Russell portraying the very thoughts that Austen had of long engagements.

7. Love

All of Austen’s novels are love stories and this is probably the biggest reason why I’m a huge Jane Austen fan. The love story in Persuasion is unique from her other books as it is a story of two people finding love again with each other. Well, realizing that they never stopped loving each other and that they were in a place that they could finally marry without a long, drawn-out engagement.

8. Writing

Jane Austen is a wonderful author and her books are timeless. Persuasion has a colorful cast of characters that are charming, even with their faults, and thus totally realistic. Austen’s writing throughout the novel is impeccable and provides enough detail without the reader getting lost in descriptions. And while Persuasion is not a fast-paced action story, it is a story of the heart that is touching and utterly heartwarming.d”.

9. Jane Austen

The inspiration of Persuasion came from Jane Austen’s own experience in giving her beloved niece advice about whether to enter into a drawn-out engagement or to pass up on the opportunity. Probably why Austen is such an effective writer is that she draws upon her own life. She writes about what she knows, allowing her to paint that picture in words. And of course, her books reflect her own opinions which were ahead of her time such as the absurdity of the class system, the idea that marriage should be about love, and that women can be strong and independent.for the more sensible family members. Basically how all our families are!

10. The Ending

The ending of Persuasion doesn’t provide the reader with information about if Sir Walter Elliot succeeds in being able to return to Kellynch-hall or the fate of Mrs. Clay and Mr. Elliot but frankly, I couldn’t give a shit. Anne and Captain Wentworth end up happily married and that is all that matters. Love and goodness triumphed and the rest can keep company in their misery.


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

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Book Review: 5 Likable Things about THE LUCKY ONE by Nicholas Sparks

The Lucky One

by Nicholas Sparks

Nikki’s Rating: 5 out of 10

Summary: U.S. Marine Logan Thibault takes off cross-country in search of the woman in a photograph he found on his tour in Iraq. Simply hoping to pay back his debt to her as the photograph became his lucky charm, Logan was unprepared to fall in love with the divorced single mother Elizabeth. But he hasn’t told her the whole truth and as they get closer, Elizabeth’s ex-husband is determined to use that to tear them apart.

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5 Likable Things about THE LUCKY ONE by Nicholas Sparks

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. The Premise

The Lucky One has a very unique premise in that a marine finds a photograph of a woman while on tour. It ends up that the photograph belonged to another marine and was a picture of his sister. Since obtaining the photograph, Logan experiences overall good luck, winning poker games but most importantly, surviving missions that many of his comrades did not. Logan then searches for the woman in the photograph, Elizabeth, and falls in love.

2. Love Story

Of course, being a Nicholas Sparks novel, this is a love story and the reason why I picked up the novel. But what I appreciated about this novel also was that it was a love story involving a divorced woman with a child. Single mothers are not typically featured in love stories but they are just as deserving of relationships as anyone else.

3. Zeus

The true hero of The Lucky One is Zeus, Logan’s faithful loving German shepherd. Probably the best character, Zeus is a focal point throughout the novel. He was the means that allowed Logan to establish a relationship with Elizabeth’s son, which then caused Elizabeth to come out of her shell and get to know Logan. Zeus was also the reason why Clayton was more careful and less aggressive about getting rid of Logan.

4. The “Bad Guy”

Nicholas Sparks created a villain that was both extremely repulsive and totally believable. Clayton is an absolute sleaze, taking pictures of women sunbathing without their knowledge or consent, interfering with his ex’s relationships, and wanting women around simply to “unwind.” Just gross! And unfortunately, there are men who are like that in the real world.

5. Happy Ending

Overall, even with the “tragedy” in the end of the book, The Lucky One had a happy ending which was a bit unexpected for me but much needed. The book ends on a positive note leaving the reader feeling satisfied that Logan and Elizabeth will be able to continue their relationship and live happily ever after.


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

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Book Review: 7 Cool Things about THE CURSED SEA by Lauren DeStefano

“The Cursed Sea”

The Glass Spare #2

by Lauren DeStefano

Nikki’s Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary: As Wil deals with the fallout of killing her beloved brother, she is now on the run from two kingdoms. As the Northern and Southern kingdoms are at war, both are hunting Wil for their own reasons. The Southern Isles see Wil’s curse, to turn anything living into gems with a simple touch, as something to be exploited and used to kill and amass wealth. And in Arrod, her death is ordered by her own brother, Baren, who is haunted by death and seems to have cursed his whole kingdom. Wil teams up with her supposed enemy, Loom, the exiled prince of the Southern Isles,  as they fight to win back both their kingdoms before everything they love is destroyed.

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7 Cool Things about THE CURSED SEA by Lauren DeStefano

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. The World

The world created by Lauren DeStefano for The Glass Spare duology was an interesting combination of fantasy and technology. The world includes elements of the modern with electricity, machinery, and guns but also includes castles, alchemy, magic, and curses. It was a nice blend that ended up working together and didn’t appear disjointed.

2. LGBTQ

Lauren DeStefano included a LGBTQ relationship between the characters Espel and her guard Masalee. While I loved this dynamic simply for inclusiveness and reducing stigma, it really helped show the depth of Espel’s character and how much she kept hidden from the world. Through the love that she and Masalee share, it is revealed that Espel is not the monster she appears to be but rather is putting on an act to protect that which she cherishes most.in “The Glass Spare” but we learn that he committed a crime and was therefore cursed. Wil was born with her curse and the great mystery is why.

3. Mending Relationships

“The Cursed Sea” had a theme of mending relationships throughout. This theme is seen between Espel and Loom, Wil and Baren, and even Loom and Wil. When the characters take the time to try to understand where the other person is coming from, they are able to empathize and make compromises. They learn to trust and work towards mending the relationship or at least reach an understanding that causes a truce between them.

4. The Curse

Wil’s curse was the source of mystery throughout “The Glass Spare” and thankfully “The Cursed Sea” helps to explain why Wil was cursed from birth and it was not what I was expecting! There were so many twists and turns relating to the curse that even when I thought I figured everything out, there was another revelation. Ultimately, Wil’s grandmother and grandfather were terrible people.

5. Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry was another theme seen in The Glass Spare duology. First shown between Espel and Loom, it is revealed that they grew up pitted against each other and while they believed that the other truly hated them, neither of them would kill the other when it came down to it. It is through this act of not killing the other that they realize that there is a love between them regardless of their upbringing. Sadly, the sibling rivalry between Wil and Baren doesn’t end as well but it is revealed that while Baren did have an overwhelming irrational hatred of Wil, she and her brothers also fostered this hatred by excluding him from their friendship. This allows Wil to comprehend that it wasn’t all Baren, that she contributed to this rivalry as well and that regardless, he still didn’t take her life.

6. Love

Always the sucker for love stories, I really enjoyed the experience of Loom and Wil falling in love and then actually embracing it. As they went from being angry, possibly even out right hating each other, to a truce, to then accepting their feelings for one another was a delightful journey to be part of. Most importantly, they respected each other’s boundaries, were willing to allow the other to make their own decisions, and were willing to accept whatever choices were made.

7. The Ending

Happily The Glass Spare duology had an overall positive ending. While not all dreams and aspirations were reached, each character got what they deserved in the end. Most exciting was the reunion between Loom and Wil, hoping they lived happily ever after together.


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

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July 2021 Book Reviews

Click on an Image below to be check out the Book Review!

Book Review: THE GLASS SPARE by Lauren DeStefano (OwlCrate Book November 2017)

“The Glass Spare”

The Glass Spare #1

by Lauren DeStefano

Nikki’s Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary: Wanting nothing more to explore the world and wander, like the life her mother once led, Wil dreams of freedom but as a spare heir, she doubts the king will ever give her a mission beyond their kingdom. Then tragedy strikes as she develops a power to turn whatever living thing she touches into gems. Forced to flee her kingdom, Wil must now navigate the world while trying to find a way to break her curse.

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7 Great Things about THE GLASS SPARE by Lauren DeStefano

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Midas Touch

Lauren DeStefano’s “The Glass Spare” appears to be inspired by the Greek myth of King Midas who turned everything he touched into gold. In “The Glass Spare,” the main character Wil is cursed, turning anything living into a gem upon touching it. Obviously this kills whatever she touches and sadly only takes a few seconds to be devastating. While a curse to her, many others see her as a viable asset for unlimited riches.

2. Curse

The main differences between King Midas in the Greek myth and Wil’s character in “The Glass Spare” is that King Midas wishes for his powers while Wil is cursed with it. Loom is another character who is also cursed in “The Glass Spare” but we learn that he committed a crime and was therefore cursed. Wil was born with her curse and the great mystery is why.

3. Siblings

Wil and her two brothers, Owen and Gerdie, are absolutely heartwarming together. All three of them confide in one another and look out for each other in a way that I wish all siblings could. Sadly though, their other brother does not share their bond and actually appears to have a deep hatred for all of them, especially Wil. Regardless, DeStefano portrays loving sibling relationships in “The Glass Spare” that are based on trust, respect, love, gratitude, and healthy boundaries. Serious sibling goals.

4. Tragedy

Sadly, Wil’s curse causes the death of a beloved brother and it was heartbreaking. Wil struggled with blame and survivor’s guilt, both being understandable for how things went down. Interesting though is that through that event, she comes to realize that her father loves her more than she believed. He does not even attempt to kill her but rather banishes her because he does not have it in him to kill his daughter. Of course, the whole situation could have been avoided if he hadn’t ordered Wil on a dangerous mission to begin with.

5. Characters

“The Glass Spare” is rich with different characters, each with unique backgrounds, goals, and personalities. You have an exiled prince who is cursed and willing to sacrifice his life for those he loves. Then there is Zay, his wife, who is a powerful warrior, fierce mother, and loyal friend. Gerdie, Wil’s brother, who doesn’t allow his physical limitations to define him and is a genius, especially with alchemy. Even the bad characters are interesting as we try to figure out their end game for Wil.

6. Ruling

Both Loom and Wil show incredible responsibility and understanding of what it actually means to rule a kingdom. They both realize that when kingdoms go to war, it is the people that suffer the most. It’s not about the money spent from the treasury or the land or goods that may be obtained from winning, it is the people who pay the price on both sides and nothing materialistic is equivalent to a life. Loom and Wil love their kingdoms and only want what is best for the greater good. They both learned empathy through suffering and would make better rulers than their parents.

7. The Cursed Sea

The story of Wil and Loom continues and concludes in The Glass Spare book 2: “The Cursed Sea.”


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

Book Review: 7 Dreamy Things about DRAGON BOUND by Thea Harrison

“Dragon Bound”

Elder Races #1

by Thea Harrison

Nikki’s Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary: As the last of her kind, Pia Giovannia lived her life under the radar until she was black mailed and stole from the most dangerous and powerful of the Elder Races, Dragos Cuelebre. But when the dragon tracks her down, instead of taking her life, he claims it and makes Pia his. As Dragos and Pia try to navigate their intense feelings for each other, their Dark Fae enemies take advantage of Dragos’s distraction and take his most precious possession, Pia.

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7 Dreamy Things about DRAGON BOUND by Thea Harrison

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. The World

The Elder Races series includes a lot of supernatural elements. There are Light Fae, Dark Fae, Wyrkind that are beings that can shapeshift into specific animals both mythical and non-mythical, Elves, harpies, and witches. Mostly the world is similar to our own with added magical pocket realms and of course those supernatural beings openly living amongst the humans. Very interested to see the different cultures, strengths, weaknesses, politics, and customs of the various supernatural groups.

2. Humor

Love a book with humor and Harrison definitely delivered. Some of my favorite moments were the banter between Dragos and Pia, Pia questioning her sanity, Dragos’s attempts at being polite instead of barking orders, and Pia’s overall disrespectful, snarky attitude. Great use of humor throughout the book.

3. Characters

The main characters had personalities and quirks that made sense with their backstories as well as their Wryforms and were overall likeable characters. And most of the side characters introduced in “Dragon Bound” were interesting and I’m looking forward to reading more of the series to get to know them better.

4. Racy

“Dragon Bound” really heated up throughout the book with erotic scenes between Dragos and Pia as they gave into their desire for each other.

5. Dragons

As dragons are probably my favorite mythical animal, I originally picked up this book because it was a romance that involved dragons. Dragons are just awesome! I loved that Harrison included the lore of dragons having a hoard and the ridiculousness of Dragos getting upset that Pia took a penny from him but makes total sense for his arrogant, territorial, “it’s mine!” dragon attitude. Dragos was an overall perfect embodiment of a dragon/man hybrid. And I couldn’t even contain my excitement for the surprise beautiful, adorable baby dragon who was so brave.

6. Unicorns

Probably my second favorite mythical animal, unicorns were also featured in “Dragon Bound” and it was so magical, especially since it was unexpected and the first time I’ve come across a story featuring a being who can shift into a unicorn. As with Dragos, Harrison did an amazing job of making Pia’s personality fit for her Wryform, being a vegetarian, opposed to violence and prone to running.

7. Storm’s Heart

The Elder Races series continues in Book 2, Thea Harrison’s “Storm’s Heart.”


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

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Book Review: 5 Charming Things about COVET by Melissa Darnell

“Covet”

The Clann #2

by Melissa Darnell

Nikki’s Rating: 5 out of 10

Summary: Being watched by both the Clann and vampire council, Savannah knows that she cannot be with Tristan. To do so would start a war again between the two powerful forces. But as they fight against their love for each other, bodies start turning up and the Clann is screaming for blood. As Tristan tries to maintain order amongst the Clann and save Savannah, he pays the ultimate price for his love.

5 Charming Things about COVET by Melissa Darnell

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Supernatural

The Clann series is filled with the supernatural. Vampires, witches, and “Covet” introduces shapeshifters. The best is that Savannah, being born from a witch and a vampire, has all the perks of being a vampire while also being able to use magic.

2. Best Friends

Anne is Savannah’s best friend and she takes this role very seriously. Not only does she accept Savannah’s tales of the supernaturals as truth, Anne doesn’t think any different of Savannah when she reveals that she is a vampire-witch hybrid. And although she is just human, Anne rushes into the battle between the supernaturals to protect her friends.

3. Tristan

In “Covet,” Tristan Coleman continues to show what an amazing fictional boyfriend he is, he is willing to give up everything for Savannah. Regardless of Clann and vampire council rules, he wants to follow his heart and be with Savannah. He goes so far as begging Savannah’s father to turn him into a vampire, knowing that it would be the end of his current life. He even takes over the Clann, something he never, ever wanted to do, in order to protect Savannah.

4. Vampire

Faced with losing him forever or turning him into a vampire, Savannah thankfully chooses the latter. While not the life she would have wanted for him, this does fix a lot of their problems. Now Tristan is no longer part of the Clann, there is no way for the Clann or vampire council to oppose Tristan and Savannah from being together as they are both vampires. The other success is that now Tristan is immortal and Savannah will not have to face watching Tristan grow old and die, facing eternity alone without him.

5. Consume

With Tristan now a full fledged young vampire with strong magic capabilities, The Clann series continues in Book 3, “Consume.”


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

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