Heart of Thorns book cover

Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga Blog Tour | Review, Fav Quotes, & Giveaway!

Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga Blog Tour | Review, Fav Quotes, & Giveaway!Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga
Published by Entangled Teen on July 3, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads
four-half-stars

In the war against the Forces of Darkness, the Royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end this centuries-long conflict once and for all, so her new battle partner must succeed where the others failed. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword, enhanced by Ivy’s magic Kiss, should make them an unstoppable pair—but try convincing Zach of that.

Prince Zach has spent his life preparing for battle, but he would rather be branded a heretic than use his lips as nothing more than a way to transfer magic. A kiss is a symbol of love, and love is the most powerful weapon they have—but try convincing Ivy of that.

With the fate of their world on the line, the battlefield has become a testing ground, and only one of them can be right. Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan—but try convincing their hearts of that.

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My thoughts

Kiss of the Royal surprised me. At first the book’s cover and description didn’t grab me, so I passed over it. I’m so glad I ended up going back for a second glance, because it turned out to be one of my favorite 2018 reads!

Goblins and griffins and wraiths oh my! Kiss of the Royal had a great, new magical setting, with a lot of evil creatures, new forms of magic (I.E. magical kisses), and original mythology.

A world that I wouldn’t want to live in. Ivy’s been conditioned into thinking that love doesn’t exist, only lust. She and the rest of the population are expected to produce children with specific people, at specific times, in order to breed the best and strongest soldiers. Kiss of the Royal reminded me of the The Handmaid’s Tale, because of the disturbing, oppresive society that controlled procreation.

Zach stole my heart. He’s not only goofy (knocking things over), and hilarious (constantly cracking jokes), he’s also incredibly passionate. He believes in true love and marriage, two things that are outlawed in his world. Even though being a romantic and preaching about it, can lead to a death sentence, Zach doesn’t hide who he is and what he believes in. I was scared and impressed by his refusal to back down.

Digestion problems. The one issue I had with Kiss of the Royal, was the info dump that happened in the beginning of the book. Instead of a slow introduction, we’re tossed headfirst into Ivy’s world, expected to easily grasp how it works, the creatures, magic, laws, and mythology.  It took about 50 pages before I was able to smoothly follow along. I’m so  glad I stuck it out too, because this book was worth it.

I’m still hungry. I was devastated when I realized this was a standalone book. Even though the story wrapped up nicely, I can’t help but crave more Ivy and Zach, one of my favorite 2018 couples.

Magic spells, sword fights, terrifying creatures, lots of romantic swoon – this book has it all! 


A few of my favorite quotes

An icy ball of fear weighed in my gut. It was so cold I thought it would freeze my insides. But at the same time, something much more powerful burned inside me. In my chest, melting that block of ice, were flames fueled by anger and passion.

Logically, I knew it was a good plan, but it didn’t feel like an evaluation or a test. It felt like a competition for me. And I didn’t like being viewed as a prize to be won.

Isn’t the irony hilarious? The girl I love begging me to kiss her everyday, and I have to refuse. And I have to. Not just for my own beliefs and this golden theory, but for my own sanity. Because a kiss would mean nothing to you, while it meant everything to me.


About the author

Lindsey Duga is a middle grade and young adult writer with a passion for fantasy, science fiction, and basically any genre that takes you away from the real world. She wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University.

Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show and practicing yoga.


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four-half-stars
Heart of Thorns book cover

The Collector (Dante Walker #1) by Victoria Scott

The Collector (Dante Walker #1) by Victoria ScottThe Collector (Dante Walker, #1) by Victoria Scott
Published by Entangled Teen on April 2nd 2013
Pages: 352
Goodreads
four-stars

He makes good girls...bad.

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.

Dante Walker is cocky and vain. He struts around with his tight-physique, wealth, and schmooze – like it’s nobody’s business. In the real world, a guy like Dante would have me turning the other cheek. But in The Collector… phew! I couldn’t get enough. Told from Dante’s perspective, The Collector has a good mix of romance, humor, emotion and action. Even when Dante was at his ass-y-ess he still exerted heat and appeal that kept me wanting more.

Novels narrated by male-perspectives normally turn me off. Off the top of my head I can’t even think of a single book I’ve recently read that featured the sole-perspective of a male. When I first saw The Collector sprouting up on blogs, I ignored it. As a severely selective reader, it’s like I’ve got firewalls in place. It takes a lot of buzz and praise for a book out of my norm to become a book I “have” to read. Sometimes less thought and more action is the key. Giving The Collector a shot – I was delighted when I ended up enjoying Dante’s POV – just as much as any females’.

Dante does a lot of questionable things and makes a lot of bad decisions in The Collector. In the beginning he felt like the villain, a near-nonredeemable character. Without Dante’s personal history accounts, thoughts and feelings, I’m not sure I’d have ever fell for him, let alone liked him. I definitely would never have 100% understood him. He recounts his life bit by bit to others such as Charlie, but it’s completely different when the person in question, personally shares with you who they are and why they do the things they do.

The relationship between Dante and Charlie was endearing, yet not completely suspenseful. Smoldering bad boy who slowly becomes smitten with sweet, innocent, and socially non-existent girl, isn’t really a twist these days. Regardless, this part didn’t deter me from loving their courtship which involved a lot of sweet, yet sorrow-filled drama.

I felt like the characters in The Collector were raw and real. Their growths and relationships were so strong and complete that merely riding on the strengths of the characters, I could have easily enjoyed this novel – without supernatural bits.

If you’re looking for a book with a lot of emotion, a dab of supernatural and a hot lead, I’d definitely recommend picking up The Collector.

four-stars
Heart of Thorns book cover

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. ArmentroutObsidian (Lux, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Entangled Teen on May 8, 2012
Pages: 335
Goodreads
four-stars

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

There was a game of tug of war going on in my mind when it came to deciding whether or not to give Obsidian a try. I think its risky to read other’s reviews because sometimes their opinion can sway you. In the case of Obsidian, I had been reading dozens of raving reviews talking about how amazing it was. However, on the other hand, I also saw a few reviews that steamed with negative feelings towards Obsidian because they felt like the story wasn’t too-original. Some even believed that the story was “ripped” from a TV show called Roswell (one of my favorite all-time shows) which also featured angst-y, teenage aliens on earth, who try to stay off the radar by fitting in. There was a lot of inner-debate, but when it comes down to it; I’m really glad I gave Obsidian a chance. Even though there is some similarities to Roswell, Obsidian branches off and forms its own identity. It flows well with a good mix of action, humor, and lust.

I’m always stressing how I need good, multifaceted characters in order to fully love a book. Obsidian for the most part, delivers. Katy our heroine is so dynamic and relatable. She’s got a good mix of snark, geek, and heroism. She’s a book blogger who spends a great deal of her time reading and reviewing books and trolling other blogs by participating in book memes. I thought this element was a cute shout out to all book bloggers and a refreshing story-quirk because I’ve never read about any literary characters who are book bloggers. In the beginning of the book you start getting this mental picture of a “geeky” girl who blogs, reads comic books, and so forth, but by the time she has her first run in with the hotty next door you mentally take a step and think “whoa”. Daemon, the literal boy next door may seem gorgeous and exotic but the minute he opens his mouth Katy’s instantly brought back to reality. Daemon isn’t just snarky, he’s a jerk who seems to dislike Katy for no reason. Right from the get-go he’s rude and offensive, which in turn brings out Katy’s true nature. Katy isn’t the type of girl to sit there and verbally get bashed. She lashes out, letting Daemon know she’s not a pushover who’ll take his crap. I really liked and respected Katy for standing up for herself because it showed how strong she truly is. This especially rings true later on. When it comes to family and friends and their potential endangerment, Katy is brimming with courage-leading to her need to protect them no matter the costs.

I was a little dissapointed with Dee’s presentation throughout the novel. Dee is Daemon’s younger sister (by a few minutes) and Katy’s other next-door neighbor. Although Daemon appears to want nothing to do with Katy, Dee is the opposite. Right from the beginning, Dee befriends Katy and in doing so, welcomes her to the neighborhood. It’s hard to accurately describe Dee. When I think of her I just think “sunny”. She’s so warm, and kind, and basically tries to enjoy life to the fullest. I believe that Dee is really the bridge that brings Katy and Daemon closer. Besides that aspect, she didn’t really have any defining or big moments. She has a lot of scenes in the beginning but towards the middle of the book she’s “out of town” a lot. I felt like she was more of a tool used to link Daemon and Katy versus a good secondary character. I really would like to see more of her in the coming book(s) because I feel like she has a lot to offer. Although her presence brings out the softer and more-vulnerable side of Daemon, I think she has the ability to play a bigger role in the overall story.

There were a lot of action scenes where we got to see Daemon in all his alien power-glorious-ness and some where Katy kicks some butt, too. The dialogue between those two are scorching. Whether their having a deep and meaningful discussion or trading insults back and forth, their chemistry is blazing. Daemon may think himself bad*ss with his snarky attitude and bad boy image but Katy time and again, sets him straight. She is really a force to reckoned with, a true match for Daemon.

Overall I give Obsidian a 4/5 rating. The writing was very clean and captivating. I fell instantly in love with Katy, praising her for standing up for herself, and swooning right along with her when she witnessed those rare-Daemon vulnerable moments. It’s very easy to jump right in and get caught up with this story.

four-stars