Review: The Lady of the Mirrored Lake (The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven #2)

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

What a fantastic follow up to the first book! I loved the first one and was not disappointed by its sequel. 

This book picks up where the first one left off and is full of nonstop action and adventure. It is just as faced paced as the previous book. 

I really enjoyed seeing the characters grow and develop. Issylte has become quite the fierce lady. She has come a long way since the beginning of book one. I also loved seeing Tristan and Issylte’s relationship blossom. The first book was a lot of setup for them so I was happy to see the payoff. I was glad that their relationship wasn’t insta-love and that it took time for things to turn romantic and intimate. 

One thing this book (and the series so far) does really well is foreshadowing events (i.e. through Issylte’s visions). I love the anticipation and it was so satisfying whenever a foreshadowed event came around. 

Like the first book, the world building is amazing. In this book, we are shown even more cool locations and meet more amazing characters and creatures (like mermaids!).

Overall, this was a wonderful installment to the series and I am excited to find out what happens next! If you’re looking for a new fantasy series to read, definitely check this one out. 


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Review: Heavenly Days

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Rating: ★★★★★

What a luxurious book! But that is no surprise considering this is a book from the iconic brand, Hermès. I should expect nothing less from the fashion house. 

I’ve had my eye on this book for a while and I am so glad I purchased it. The book is beautifully made. It has a gorgeous linen cover in the brand’s iconic orange. The pages inside are so thick. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book with pages this thick. It also a built-in ribbon bookmark, making it super easy to mark your place. 


As for the content, I loved the little cartoons. They were all so witty and the illustrations were adorable. Reading them made me smile over and over again. I enjoyed seeing how the Hermès box was incorporated in each drawing. I also liked how the cartoons were organized by season/event/holiday which made it flow very easily. 

Overall, this is a stunning coffee table book! I highly recommend it if you want to add a touch of Hermès to your bookshelves (or coffee table). It would also make a great gift. 


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Review: The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven (The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven #1)

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free for promotional purposes.

This book took me by surprise (in a good way)! It’s a retelling of the Tristan and Issylte tale. I first became acquainted with this tale from another series and immediately became a fan of their story, so I was very excited to see it redone by another author. Not only is this book a Tristan and Issyle retelling, but it also weaves in Arthurian myth and has everything you want in a fairy tale: an evil stepmother, a princess in disguise, lots of magic, and a plethora of fantasy creatures. 

I loved how fast paced the book was. There was never a dull moment. Sometimes fantasy books can take a while to get into the story, but this book dove right in. I was flipping through the pages just wanting to know what would happen next. 

I was also impressed with how easy the book was to follow. The book does not have a map, glossary, or a list of characters that you sometimes see in fantasy books. I was able to understand everything that was happening and the world effortlessly. 

Lastly, this book is written in dual POVs (Issylte and Tristan), which was the perfect choice. I loved knowing what both of them were thinking and the dual POVs helped illustrate their development well. 

Overall, this was an amazing start to the trilogy. I cannot wait to read the next book. If you’re looking for an easy fantasy read, check this book out! 


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Review: Prince of Song & Sea (Princes YA #1)

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the PRINCE OF SONG & SEA by Linsey Miller Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my review and make sure to enter the giveaway! 

About The Book:

Title: PRINCE OF SONG & SEA (Princes #1)

Author: Linsey Miller

Pub. Date: October 4, 2022

Publisher: Disney Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 352

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org

For fans of Twisted Tales and Villains is a brand new YA series that retells the classic Disney stories you thought you knew from the Disney Princes’ perspectives.

Before Prince Eric’s mother, the Queen of Vellona, went missing two years ago, she reminded him about the details of the deadly curse that has plagued his entire life. The curse? If he were to kiss someone other than his true love, he would die. With a neighboring kingdom looking for any excuse to invade their shores, and rumors of ghost pirates lurking the seas, Eric is desperate for any information that may help him break his enchantment and bring stability to Vellona. The answers he has been searching for come to him in the form of a letter left from his mother that reveals Eric must find his true love, the one with a voice pure of heart, or kill the sea witch responsible for cursing him in the first place.

Now Eric is on a quest to find the Isle of Serein, the witch’s legendary home. But after he is rescued by a mysterious young woman with a mesmerizing singing voice, Eric’s heart becomes torn. Does he enter a battle he is almost certain he cannot win or chase a love that might not even exist? And when a shipwrecked young woman with flaming red hair and a smile that could calm the seven seas enters his life, Eric may discover that true love isn’t something that can be decided by magic.

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher for promotional purposes. 

I was really impressed with this retelling! I know a lot of people take issue with the Twisted Tales Disney series because it follows the movie too closely, so I was worried that this new Disney Prince series would be similar. Fortunately, this book does add a lot more to the movie. Prince Eric gets an entire backstory involving a curse which gives him so much more depth than he has in the movie. There are also a bunch of added scenes including a ton developing Eric and Ariel’s relationship. Their love story in the book is a lot less insta-lovey than it is in the movie. 

I also loved that the book managed to solve common plot issues of the movie. For example, it explains why Ariel doesn’t write what she wants to say and why Ariel didn’t read her contract with Ursula. 

This book is also inclusive without feeling forced. One character, Gabriella, is a lesbian, while another character, Sauer, uses they/them pronouns. Both Gabriella’s sexuality and Sauer’s pronouns are no big deal. It’s treated so normally that it actually took me a while to notice Sauer’s pronouns. 

Lastly, let’s just take a minute to appreciate that gorgeous cover. It’s perfection.

Overall, I loved this retelling of The Little Mermaid! If you’re a fan of The Little Mermaid, I highly recommend this book. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. 


About Linsey Miller:

Once upon a time, Linsey Miller studied biology in Arkansas. These days, she holds an MFA in fiction and can be found writing about science and magic anywhere there is coffee. She is the author of the Mask of Shadows duology, Belle Révolte, The Game, What We Devour, and the upcoming Disney Princes books for Eric and Phillip. Visit her at linseymiller.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Tumblr | Goodreads | Amazon | Bookbub

Giveaway Details: 

1 winner will receive a finished copy of PRINCE OF SONG & SEA, US Only.

Ends November 5th, midnight EST. To enter click here.

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/1/2022The Reading DevilExcerpt/IG Post

Week Two:

10/2/2022Celia’s ReadsReview/IG Post
10/3/2022a GREAT readReview/IG Post
10/4/2022Kait Plus BooksReview/IG Post
10/5/2022@ReadsReaders YouTube Review/IG Post/TikTok Post
10/6/2022WanderingwitchreadsTikTok Review/IG Post
10/7/2022OddandBookishReview/IG Post
10/8/2022@simplybeccamee IG Review

Week Three:

10/9/2022NerdophilesReview
10/10/2022Ya Books CentralExcerpt/IG Post
10/11/2022A Bookish DreamReview/IG Post
10/12/2022bookbriefsReview/IG Post
10/13/2022onemusedIG Review
10/14/2022One More Exclamation Review/IG Post
10/15/2022OhyoureadIG Review

Week Four:

10/16/2022pluvioreadsReview/TikTok Post
10/17/2022Eli to the nth Review/IG Post
10/18/2022Eye-Rolling Demigod’s Book BlogReview/IG Post
10/19/2022@ReaderOfTheWrittenWordIG Review
10/20/2022A Backwards Story Review/IG Post
10/21/2022A Dream Within A DreamReview/IG Post
10/22/2022booksaremagictooReview/IG Post

Week Five:

10/23/2022Novel NoviceIG Spotlight
10/24/2022Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersReview/IG Post
10/25/2022@bookishreviews_byalisonIG Review
10/26/2022@jacleomik33 IG Review
10/27/2022Nonbinary Knight ReadsReview/IG Post
10/28/2022@thebookishfoxwitchIG Review
10/29/2022@drew_ambitious_readingIG Review/TikTiok Review

Week Six:

10/30/2022PopTheButterfly ReadsReview/IG Post
10/31/2022Books with Brandie Shanae YouTube Review/IG Post

Review: Blame It on the Brontes

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Rating: ★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from Books Forward for promotional purposes.

I was very excited to read this book because I love the premise (I love books about books/literature and I love the Brontes). Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. 

My main critique is that the book is too long. The book is roughly 370 pages (not including title pages, acknowledgments, etc.), but could have been whittled down to around 300. The book is very light on events that drive the plot forward. After the main character, Athena, moves back to her hometown to work on her book, not much really happens until the end. As for the romance aspect, there weren’t many fun rom-com moments to keep the book interesting. 

The mystery surrounding the identity of C.L. Garland (the subject of her book) was also not very exciting. I was expecting there to be a lot of crazy hijinks from Athena while she tries to uncover the truth, but those moments were also very limited. 

I did like some things about the book. I liked the small town vibes, especially with Athena working at the cafe. It felt very cozy. The townspeople made great supporting characters and added some humor to the story. I also enjoyed the literary references made throughout the book and the Bronte quotes that headlined every chapter. 

Overall, the book didn’t work for me. However, it might work for you if you want a second chance romance with some literary references and cozy vibes. 


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Review: Wonderful Women of the World

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (DC Comics) for promotional purposes. 

What a wonderful anthology of amazing women!

This anthology showcases numerous women from all around the world, not just the US. Some of them are well known like Beyonce, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Malala Yousafzai. While others are more obscure like Teara Fraser, Mariana Costa Checa, and Ellen Ochoa. 

My favorite stories were the following:

  • Leiomy Maldonado because her story was told with two timelines highlighting her life when she was younger and struggling with being transgender versus her life now. The dual timelines were an effective way to showcase the progress she made.
  • Brene Brown because her story was told using her technique: BRAVING. BRAVING is an acronym for behaviors/values she uses every day to help her live her best life. Her story was organized around each behavior which I found to be so clever! 
  • Keiko Agena because her story was so relatable. Her story centered around Asian American representation in media and as an Asian American this one hit home for me. This story was written by Sarah Kuhn, an author I am familiar with (I’ve read one of her books and loved it). 

Since this is an anthology, there is something for everyone. There is a lot of diversity from the types of women to their accomplishments. The art styles also vary! I enjoyed seeing all the different types of art. All the contributors are either female or nonbinary which adds to the inspiring narrative of the collection. 

Overall, I loved this anthology of astounding women, created by an incredibly talented group of female and nonbinary artists and writers. If you’re looking for some girl power inspiration, be sure to consider this book!  


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Review: Bloomsbury Girls

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Rating: ★★★

I received a copy of this book for free for promotional purposes.

I loved the premise of the book, but it ultimately fell a little short of my expectations. 

As a quick note: this book is loosely connected to the author’s previous novel, The Jane Austen Society. However, you do not need to read that book in order to enjoy this one (I personally have not read The Jane Austen Society and was able to understand this book with no issues). 

My main issue with the book is the pacing. It is very slow. Getting through the first half of the book was a struggle. Once I was about halfway through, the pace (luckily) picked up. 

Another issue I had was that I never felt connected to the characters. I attribute that in part to the prose. It felt very detached and overly wordy at times. It never went deep into the characters.

Moving on to what I liked. I loved that the book had a list of characters and a map of the bookstore. Those were so helpful, especially since there were a lot of characters. 

I also liked the exploration of being a woman during that time. The book showcased the difficulties well. It also did a good job exploring the prejudices minorities face. One of the characters, Ash, is Indian and continually faces racism. 

Lastly, I do like books about books so I enjoyed the literary references and cameos as well as the bits about writing.

Overall, I didn’t love this book, but don’t let that deter you from reading it. You might love it! 


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Review: Backyard Witchcraft

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher as part of an Instagram book tour I did for TLC Book Tours.

This was an informative book centering on three types of witches: the green witch, the kitchen witch, and the hedge witch. It discussed each type of witch and some of their particulars, like what tools they each use. The book also had an abundance of information on general witchcraft. For example, there is a chapter on purifying your home. I learned quite a bit, like how the moon affects plant growth (there is science to back that up). That being said this book is very focused on green witchcraft, so if you are looking for something more broader, this book won’t be for you. 

The best part of the book were the illustrations. This book is loaded with pictures to showcase exactly what the book is talking about such as plants. The illustrations were also just a nice aesthetic touch. The pictures made the book feel very cozy and homey which made it an inviting and pleasant read. 

The book lacks a concluding chapter, something I always like to see in a nonfiction book. I would have liked to seen a short chapter with some final thoughts about the practice of witchcraft. 

Overall, this is a beautiful witchy reference book! If you are interested in learning more about green witchcraft, then consider checking this book out! 


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Review: Diary of a Contemporary Woman

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of the book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book was quite the ride!

First, I want to preface this review and mention that the story does contain multiple explicit sexual scenes. If that is not your thing, then you probably should skip this one. But I will also say that this book is so much more than just sexy scenes. 

There was a good balance between the sexy and the more serious. The book delves deep into the main character and her journey of self discovery. It also heavily explores complex family dynamics. The main character’s family is a piece of work to say the least! 

I loved the conversational tone of the book. It really felt like I was reading the main character’s diary and that she was talking directly to me as a friend. It made it such an easy and pleasant read.

As a bonus, the author made a Spotify playlist of the songs mentioned in the book. I love it when authors incorporate music into their books. It helps bring the story to life! 

My one critique is that the book ends rather abruptly and on a major cliffhanger. I believe this is just the first book but I wanted a little more closure.

Overall, if you’re looking for a quick and easy women’s fiction book, and don’t mind some hot and steamy scenes, consider reading this one! 


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Review: Angels of the Pacific

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (William Morrow) for promotional purposes.

What a book! I personally found it to be a brutal and heart-wrenching read because the story really hit home for me. Short personal story: I am half Filipino and my maternal grandparents lived through World War II in the Philippines. My grandpa lived in Bataan, which was one of the centers of the war. My mom told me that my grandpa would describe that time in life as always running and never having any shoes. In fact, his birth records were destroyed during the war. When he came to America, he had to have a paper from the Philippine government certifying that his birth certificate was destroyed during the war. It’s crazy to think that my grandparents lived through some of what happened in the book. 

This book gave me goosebumps multiple times while reading it. I knew the Japanese occupation was harsh, but reading about the reality of it was something else. I’m so glad that the book shed light on life under their occupation and didn’t hold back on its depictions. It is so overlooked and needs to be acknowledged. I also liked how the book subtly touched upon the Philippines and their previous colonizers (Spain and the US). 

It is evident the author put in a tremendous amount of research in writing this story. Both Tess and Flor’s storylines were compelling, engaging, and well thought out. I liked how their stories showed two different points of view (one from an American nurse and one from a native Filipino working as part of the resistance) and how their stories intersected.  

Overall, if you are looking for a different take on World War II or just want to learn more about the Philippines during the war, I highly recommend this book! 


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