on Oct 14, 2015
Blurb: The margrave owns the finest hunting grounds for miles around—and 
Odette Menkels spends her nights poaching his deer to feed the hungry orphans of Thornbeck.
By day, Odette is a simple maiden who teaches children to read, but by night this young beauty
has become the secret lifeline to the poorest of the poor.

For Jorgen Hartman, the margrave's forester, tracking down a poacher is a duty he is all too 
willing to perform. Jorgen inherited his post from the man who raised him. . . a man who was
murdered at the hands of a poacher.

When Jorgen and Odette meet at the Midsummer festival and share a connection
during a dance, neither has any idea that they are already adversaries.

The one mas she wants is bound by duty to capture her; the one woman he loves is his 
cunning target. . . What becomes of a forester who protects a notorious poacher?
What becomes of a poacher when she is finally discovered?

Genre: Historical Fiction / Romance

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Review: Before reading this book I had no idea who Melanie Dickerson was. Shortly after finishing this book I knew I had to find her other books ASAP because her writing is incredible! 

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is an exciting and enchanting tale from start to finish. A beautiful blend of Robin Hood and Swan Lake full of noble characters, a brilliant setting and true love. 

I must embarrasingly admit that I assumed this book was a fantasy based on the title and cover, when its actually historical fiction set in Germany in the year 1363. I still believe this will appeal to fantasy lovers as it does have a unique otherworldly-ness to it. 

Odette is the type of MC I love to read. She is kind and compassionate, spends her time bringing food to starving children. She's an orphan saved from the streets when her Uncle took her in. She wrestles with guilt about the food she steals and wonders if she is doing the right thing. 

Jorgen is a fantastic male lead. He is also famalier with living on the streets and going hungry. Unlike others around he doesn't long for power but to do good work, provide for his adopted family, and to the honor the memory of his dead mentor. 

These two together are one the sweetest couples I have ever read. From the moment they meet they have such respect and admiration for each other. Through lies and many dangers Odette and Jorgen make it through by keeping to what they know is right. 

This was a truly magnificent fairy tale! I look forward to reading more of her books!

Interested in this book?

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson is a bookworm, book reviewer, and aspiring author. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books at runawaypen.com. She enjoys reading, drinking tea, writing, and dreaming of owning a tiny house. M lives in Upstate New York, and works at a library, happily surrounded by thousands of stories. Connect with her on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab :)
on Oct 13, 2015
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods,
 a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land
she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

      As Feyre dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility to a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance / Fairy-Tale Re-tellings

Review: Let me start by stating that I am a fan of Sarah J. Maas. I love the Throne of Glass series (Shout out to Elisabeth Wheatley, I honestly started reading this author because Elisabeth was and I don't regret it) I'm also a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast, the original fairy tale and the Disney version. Seriously Belle is my favorite disney princess. From the huge library in the beautiful gothic castle, to the prince, and the talking dishes, I wanted to be Belle. Anyway you can imagine my excitement when I found out that this re-telling was in the works. So much squealing!

A Court of Thorns and Roses is an exciting, unique fantasy re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. Maas has expertly crafted her own tale while keeping the essence of a beloved story alive within this world she has created. The Fey have claimed most of the island of Prythian for their own leaving the much weaker humans to cling to life in a dying land. The land of the Fey is divided between the different courts each with their own ruling Lord/Lady. I found the Fey to be the most interesting and well thought out part of this novel. Maas writes these otherworldly creatures with great skill. 

Feyre has lead a difficult life, poor and starving she is her familys only means for finding food. She has been hardened by life and isn't very friendly though she does indulge her family. I liked Feyre alright, on occasion (much like Maas' other leading lady, Celaena) Feyre has a tendency to strut right past "I'm a strong independent woman" into "I have a chip on my shoulder and the whole world must suffer along with me because of it" territory. I'm not sure if that makes sense. There's only so much sympathy I have when characters act self destructively. 

High Lord of the fey and Feyres love interest, Tamlin was good, but not as good as he could have been. I feel that the author was holdng back with Tamlin. Trying to balance him being bad, as in scary to Feyre at first, but also have him be good because later on another fey comes into the picture and he fills the role of the "bad boy". So poor Tamlin ends up being sort of ordinary, he does have a somewhat troubled childhood, but really he just sort of hangs around while other much more interesting creatures do things and engage with Feyre. On a side note I really wouldn't mind if Feyre ends up with "bad boy" Rhysand instead of Tamlin. 

What held this back from five stars for me ultimately was the complete lack of chemistry between Feyre and Tamlin. I was not feeling their love story at all. Which sort of breaks the whole fabric of the story itself apart. They hardly spent any time together and then they jump into bed together before Feyre even says she loves him. I know this is YA but do we really have to do the we're-adults-everyone-sleeps-around-and-hates-everyone-thing. Can we pretend that people only have sex when they're in love, and then stay together forever? Do we have to be all cynical and jaded now? Do we really have to read about Feyre and the local farm boy getting busy in the haystacks? I think not. Also the book ends in a way a little over halfway through and then we go to a new place and a new set of circumstances occur. It was very strange. Just a warning for people who don't like multiple endings and that sort of thing.  

In spite of those last points, A Court of Thorns is good read. For fans of Beauty and the Beast its certainly worth giving it a try. 

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson is a bookworm, book reviewer, and aspiring author. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books at runawaypen.com. She spends her time reading, gaming, drinking tea, writing, and shopping for fandom merch. M lives in Upstate New York and works at a library, happily surrounded by thousands of stories. Connect with her on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab
on Oct 12, 2015
Crystal Hatcher and her little sister, Becca, are working in the Speckled Muse, their
mother's downtown Toronto bookstore, when an unexpected parcel arrives. Inside is the object that
will change their lives forever: a large leather-bound book written in an unrecognizable language.
When Becca opens it, she falls into a deep coma that sends her spirit to another world. 

Meanwhile, on the ritzier side of town, Farrell Grayson parties away his parents' fortune.
When the mysterious leader of a powerful secret society invites him to join his inner circle,
Farrell seizes the chance to prove his worth—no matter how much he has to sacrifice.

Worlds away in Mytica, merciless goddess Valoria hunts for the elusive treasure that will make
her ruler not only of her realm, but of all the unseen worlds that lie beyond it. But Valoria's plans
are thwarted when Maddox Corso, a commoner, meets a pretty stranger from a faraway land
who desperately needs his help, Her name is Becca Hatcher, and when Maddox realizes he's
the only one who can see her, their meeting feels like much more than chance.

Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance

Review: I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. I'm a fan of the Falling Kingdoms series, although I didn't enjoy Gathering Darkness as much as the first two installments.

A Book of Spirits and Thieves dropped me right back in the world of Mytica and reminded me why I love Morgan Rhodes writing.

Well, not at first. Actually the book was quite slow to start, this being my only major problem. If I wasn't already a fan of this author/series I definitely would have stopped reading sometime during those first few chapters. Also the original cover (on the left) is so much better. It fits the story perfectly, unlike most covers. I don't really understand why they changed it. They should have let the cover on the right be for the fifth Falling Kingdoms book or something else.

What a wonderful, intricate plot. And I loved the bookshop, reading about a reader just tends to double the happiness a book brings. Rhodes balances the alternating point-of-vies beautifully. Every character was incredibly unique but they also meshed well together.

Yay, a fellow bookworm. Go, Becca, go! Becca is such a cool character to read about.

Maddox, oh sweetheart. I had so much sympathy for Maddox and he was possibly my favorite character. I love how brave he becomes, and how he and Becca compliment each other so well.

At first I really, really did not like Crystal. I sort of despised her honestly. Mostly due to the fact that she didn't seem to understand the wonder of books. *insert gasp here* Yet she grew on me. Her dedication to finding her sister really impressed me. Plus she kept Farrell constantly on his toes which I loved. 

I strongly disliked Farrell at the beginning. Mostly because I was afraid he would be a one dimensional character; the rich kid who whines about everything but also gets everything he wants. But near the end I truly sympathized for him. He is arrogant and rude, but can be charming and I see good in him and I hope goods things happen to him in the next book.

The ending was crazy! So many twists, so many reveals and surprises. So magical. The wait for the next book is going to seem endless. I highly recommend this book!

~ Important Links ~
Read my review of book #2
Find this book on goodreads
Find this book on amazon
Learn more on the authors website

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson is a bookworm, book reviewer, and aspiring author. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books at runawaypen.com. She spends her time reading, drinking tea, writing, and ardently shipping RumBelle. Connect with her on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab

on Oct 11, 2015
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Genre(s): Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance

Series: Storm Siren Trilogy #1

Blurb: As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn't
 merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always 
killed at birth—meaning she shouldn't even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth 
sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym 
is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon 
Faelen needs to win the war or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an
 evil more sinister than she's being prepared to fight. . . not to mention the trainer whose 
dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons. 

But what if she doesn't want to be the weapon they've all been waiting for?

Review: When I stepped into a local bookstore recently I was looking to reconnect with my love of fantasy. I was looking for a truly amazing, sweep-me-away fantasy novel. I found that and much, much more in Storm Siren by Mary Weber. 

This book starts with an exciting premise; a girl with powers that she shouldn't have and can't control is bought by an aristocrat who wants to use her to fight in a war. The story is full of action and adventure. Weber has crafted a beautiful and original fantasy world full of compelling characters.

Nym, the main character is just beyond awesome. Its so refreshing to read about a reluctant hero (they're sort of the best kind). Nym is kind, honest, and earnest. She is so well written, easy to cheer for and a pleasure to read.

Nyms trainer (and love interest) Eogan is absolutely fascinating. He's also my new favorite book crush. He is presented as a gentleman, a trainer trying to escape from his past by helping others reach their full potential. My favorite part of his character was how he believed in Nym, even when she didn't believe in herself.

This book was incredible and I highly recommend it. Now I must go and start the second book IMMEDIATELY.

If you like: Eragon by Christpher Paolini, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas , or
 Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, then you might enjoy this book.

Interesting in this book?

About the author: Mary Weber is a ridiculously uncoordinated girl plotting to take over make-believe worlds through books, handstands, and imaginary throwing knives. In her spare time, she feeds unicorns, sings '80s hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California, which is perfect for stalking LA bands, Joss Whedon, and the ocean.

Upcoming Book Reviews:

1. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson
2.      A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes
3.    A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
on Oct 10, 2015
Blurb: After killing the men who tried to steal her father's research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortunetellers who seem to know Juliet's secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor's own walls. 

Then she uncovers the truth about the manor's long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she'll follow her father's dark footsteps of her mother's tragic ones, or whether she'll make her own.

Genre(s): Young Adult / Historical / Science Fiction / Romance

*This review contains spoilers* Review: I was incredibly excited to read this novel. After I had virtually devoured the first two, I could hardly wait, I started this third and last installment almost immediately after finishing the second. Unfortunately for me I needn't have bothered because this book was a complete and utter disappointment. *insert frown face here*

Actually about a little over halfway through this novel I was fairly pleased. I had some complaints. There were problems. But I was sure they would be fixed. After all, the author who wrote two amazing suspenseful, mysterious books wouldn't suddenly forget how to write a mysterious sci-fi romance, right? Wrong. 

Let me tell you that last third of this book was some of weirdest and worst character deviation, pathetic plot, not mystery, that I have ever read. And it was made only worse by the fact that up till then things had been so good. My expectations were high. This wasn't like reading a semi okay book and then being surprised when it got worse. This beautiful, intelligent, romantic, sci-fi series ended with horrific train wreck of a book. 

The first major nonsense is the reveal that Ajax is alive. I know, its weird. Remember how he ran away from Dr. Moreua and the other island creatures. Remember how he stopped taking treatments because he wanted to regress back into an animal. Apparently he changed his mind and Montgomery found a tiger that had just killed the doctor and decided he needed his help, oh, and then he decided not to tell his fiance about it. Don't worry too much, Ajax isn't here to actually do anything. He just quickly filled in for the role of creep fortune teller, who Juliet doesn't recognize because the plot demands—oh, I mean because she had never seen him as a full human. The stupidity is never ending here folks. Nevertheless the author brings him back for no good reason. 

Despite setting up a romance between Juliet and Edward, the author apparently decided that in this novel they suddenly have no feelings for each other. Yep, the two characters who had sex, and shared an apartment and spent most of the previous novel together now have no interest in each other. Instead Montgomery (who has lied to Juliet more times than I can recall), and Juliet end up together. While Edward is randomly and abruptly head over heels in love with Lucy.  And I have no bleepin' idea why.  Lucy, who is extremely annoying and doesn't really do anything but create more problems for our heroes. A seriously  horrible ending to a fascinating love triangle.

And then Lucy dies, but we cant bring her back to life because that would be unethical...even though they just brought Edward back to life at the beginning of this book. Confused, yet? Yeah, me too. The inconsistency in this book bothered me so much. A number of other characters also die in truly stupid circumstances. 

Ultimately this book reads as if the author simply ran out of ideas. In comparison to the two previous novels which were packed full of mystery, tension, romance, adventure and surprises, this novel was boring, predictable and disappointing. Juliet, the intelligent, kind and endearing lead from before has become stupid and indecisive. The ending was blah, contrary to what was set up everything ends up different, in a bad way.

My advice: leave this book on the shelf. 

Check out my reviews of Book #1, Book #2.