Book Talk: Slayer by Kiersten White

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Talk: Slayer by Kiersten WhiteSlayer by Kiersten White
Series: Slayer #1
Published by Simon Pulse on January 8, 2019
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes a brand-new series set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that introduces a new Slayer as she grapples with the responsibility of managing her incredible powers that she’s just beginning to understand.

Into every generation a Slayer is born…

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…

But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.

One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

TBH I’m not the hugest fan of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. Though I love individual episodes and really like some of the plot arcs, there are other episodes and plot arcs I find tedious or actively unpleasant. It’s a show of peaks and valleys, running the gamut from cheesy to brilliant. I’m not denying the show’s impact, but for me personally it’s very hit or miss. While I’ll watch certain parts over and over forever, I don’t know that I’ll ever venture through the show in its entirety again.


Book Talk: Hold Me by Courtney Milan

Book Talk: Hold Me by Courtney MilanHold Me by Courtney Milan
Series: Cyclone #2
Published by Author on October 25, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 303
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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Jay na Thalang is a demanding, driven genius. He doesn’t know how to stop or even slow down. The instant he lays eyes on Maria Lopez, he knows that she is a sexy distraction he can’t afford. He’s done his best to keep her at arm’s length, and he’s succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.

Maria has always been cautious. Now that her once-tiny, apocalypse-centered blog is hitting the mainstream, she’s even more careful about preserving her online anonymity. She hasn’t sent so much as a picture to the commenter she’s interacted with for eighteen months—not even after emails, hour-long chats, and a friendship that is slowly turning into more. Maybe one day, they’ll meet and see what happens.

But unbeknownst to them both, Jay is Maria’s commenter. They’ve already met. They already hate each other. And two determined enemies are about to discover that they’ve been secretly falling in love…

Trade Me was a great contemporary romance novel. Like, really, really good. But Hold Me is so much better. Well, for me it was, and, since this is my blog, my opinion’s basically gold. Only not redeemable for goods or services or able to be worn as a fashionable bit of jewelry. Aaaaanyway, Hold Me gave me absolutely all the feels, so much so that I almost happy cried on an airplane; I managed to restrain myself, but I probably made some really embarrassing faces.


Book Talk: Trade Me by Courtney Milan

Book Talk: Trade Me by Courtney MilanTrade Me by Courtney Milan
Series: Cyclone #1
Published by Author on January 19, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 279
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Technology. But when he makes an off-hand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life.

To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations.

But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart...but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life.

Going back and reading through Courtney Milan’s backlist has been largely disappointing, so I was really excited to finally get to Trade Me. When I got into contemporary romances again, the Cyclone books were recommended to me by several different people I trust, so, despite the ugly covers, I was really feeling hopeful. You guys, even with the hype, Trade Me was so much better than I was expecting.


Book Talk: Someone to Love by Mary Balogh

I received this book for free from Library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Talk: Someone to Love by Mary BaloghSomeone to Love by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott #1
Published by Berkley on November 8, 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 382
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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Humphrey Westcott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune that will forever alter the lives of everyone in his family—including the daughter no one knew he had...

Anna Snow grew up in an orphanage in Bath knowing nothing of the family she came from. Now she discovers that the late Earl of Riverdale was her father and that she has inherited his fortune. She is also overjoyed to learn she has siblings. However, they want nothing to do with her or her attempts to share her new wealth. But the new earl’s guardian is interested in Anna…

Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, keeps others at a distance. Yet something prompts him to aid Anna in her transition from orphan to lady. As London society and her newfound relatives threaten to overwhelm Anna, Avery steps in to rescue her and finds himself vulnerable to feelings and desires he has hidden so well and for so long.

Before this, I’d only read one other Mary Balogh novel, though she’d come to me highly recommend. I did end up being very impressed with A Matter of Class, one of few romance novels which I found really impressive in terms of plot (which isn’t a slam on romance novels, because the plots are meant to be on the simple side and often messing with that is a bad thing). Someone to Love is also quite unique based on all the historical romance I’ve read, and in a very good way.


Book Talk: Bright We Burn by Kiersten White

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Talk: Bright We Burn by Kiersten WhiteBright We Burn by Kiersten White
Narrator: Fiona Hardingham
Length: 11 hrs, 19 mins
Series: The Conqueror's Saga #3
Published by Listening Library on July 10, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Historical
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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The tumultuous, edge-of-your-seat conclusion to the New York Times bestselling AND I DARKEN series--the epic saga that reads like HBO's Game of Thrones . . . if it were set in the Ottoman Empire. Who will live? Who will die? And who will rule triumphant?

Haunted by the sacrifices he made in Constantinople, Radu is called back to the new capital. Mehmed is building an empire, becoming the sultan his people need. But Mehmed has a secret: as emperor, he is more powerful than ever . . . and desperately lonely. Does this mean Radu can finally have more with Mehmed . . . and would he even want it?

Lada's rule of absolute justice has created a Wallachia free of crime. But Lada won't rest until everyone knows that her country's borders are inviolable. Determined to send a message of defiance, she has the bodies of Mehmed's peace envoy delivered to him, leaving Radu and Mehmed with no choice. If Lada is allowed to continue, only death will prosper. They must go to war against the girl prince.

But Mehmed knows that he loves her. He understands her. She must lose to him so he can keep her safe. Radu alone fears that they are underestimating his sister's indomitable will. Only by destroying everything that came before--including her relationships--can Lada truly build the country she wants.

Claim the throne. Demand the crown. Rule the world.

Damn good, you guys. These books are damn good. There’s really nothing like the And I Darken trilogy in YA, and, dear Athena, I hope it launches more books like this, jam-packed with history, feminism, and viciousness. This review will be more of a series review than a Bright We Burn review, because I reread the full series on audiobook, but the short version of the review is: the And I Darken trilogy is completely badass.