I spy Teen books

Which one appeals to you?

Two girls. One wild and reckless day. Years of tumultuous history unspooling like a thin, fraying string in the hours after they set a fire.

They were best friends. Until they became more. Their affections grew. Until the blurry lines became dangerous.

Over the course of a single day, the depth of their past, the confusion of their present, and the unpredictability of their future is revealed. And the girls will learn that hearts, like flames, aren’t so easily tamed.

It starts with a fire.

How will it end?

Seventeen-year-old Bliss Walker has been stuck in a home that doesn’t feel like hers for six years. Ever since Mama dropped her off and never came back.

Then, the summer before her senior year of high school, two things happen: Mama returns out of the blue, and Bliss meets Blake, a boy who listens like everything she has to say is worth hearing.

It should be a dream come true. But as the summer spins on, Bliss finds herself facing a painful choice: between the life she’s always longed for, and the world she’s starting to make for herself.

You can’t rewrite the past, but you can always choose to start again.

It’s been twenty-seven days since Cleo and Layla’s friendship imploded.

Nearly a month since Cleo realized they’ll never be besties again.

Now Cleo wants to erase every memory, good or bad, that tethers her to her ex-best friend. But pretending Layla doesn’t exist isn’t as easy as Cleo hoped, especially after she’s assigned to be Layla’s tutor. Despite budding friendships with other classmates–and a raging crush on a gorgeous boy named Dom–Cleo’s turbulent past with Layla comes back to haunt them both.

Pranking mastermind Doe and her motley band of Weston girls are determined to win the century-long war against Winfield Academy before the clock ticks down on their senior year. But when their headmistress announces that The Weston School will merge with its rival the following year, their longtime feud spirals into chaos.

To protect the school that has been her safe haven since her parents’ divorce, Doe puts together a plan to prove once and for all that Winfield boys and Weston girls just don’t mix, starting with a direct hit at Three, Winfield’s boy king and her nemesis. In a desperate move to win, Doe strikes a bargain with Three’s cousin, Wells: If he fake dates her to get under Three’s skin, she’ll help him get back his rightful family heirloom from Three.

As the pranks escalate, so do her feelings for her fake boyfriend, and Doe spins lie after lie to keep up her end of the deal. But when a teacher long suspected of inappropriate behavior messes with a younger Weston girl, Doe has to decide what’s more important: winning a rivalry, or joining forces to protect something far more critical than a prank war legacy.

Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population – except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar.

But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister, the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield.

Book Review: Night’s Illusion by Amanda Ashley

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Zebra Books
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ August 24, 2021
  • Pages: 261
  • Author: Amanda Ashley

Giovanni Lanzoni may just be the world’s oldest male virgin. Or at least, the oldest male virgin vampire. Giovanni has clung to the vows he made a thousand years ago as a mortal priest—yet he is no longer either of those things. Others of his kind have settled down since claiming immortality, finding love, even raising children. Sensing his loneliness, Mara, Queen of the Vampires, eagerly sets out to find Giovanni the perfect mate. But only one woman, met by chance on a dark night, truly tempts him . . .

Cassie Douglas has never met a man she trusts as much as Giovanni. Yet the shocking truth he reveals makes her question their deep connection. There are other urgent obstacles too. Giovanni’s sire, an ancient, dangerously powerful vampire, is awakening after centuries of slumber, with vengeance on his mind. And in the battle unfolding around them, everything is at risk—their lives, their loved ones, and a passionate eternity together . . .



MY REVIEW:
I picked this book up because I felt like it. I have read many of Amanda Ashley’s books back in the day. I finished this book in one day because there was so much going on. It was an interesting read to see Mara try to play match maker for Giovanni.

Giovanni didn’t need help at all as he found Cassie one night. The sparks between them were sweet. It was a little slow but a good slow. I like how the two of the communicated really well. Even when Giovanni talked about being a virgin to her as she was kind to make him feel not so embarrassed about it. As the story went on, Cassie was thrown into the world of meeting all the other vampires as it was awkward because Giovanni was old school. He wanted to get married before he actually did the deed.

Of course there is a villian – Alric! I don’t like him. He’s mean and an awful vampire. He wants revenge on Mara who’s the oldest vampire ever because she killed someone he loved. He also is related to Giovanni. So will he get his revenge, will he take down Mara or Giovanni? What will he do? Is he that cunning?

Will Mara or Giovanni stop Alric? Will Cassie survive? Will she be turned to a vampire? Will Cassie and Giovanni have a happy ending?

Isn’t the cover cute?

Go pick up the book to find out!

Lauren Smith Vampire Books Review

I came upon Lauren’s books from reading her “Midnight with the Devil” by Emma Castle (Her other name).
I asked her if she wrote any paranormal and she said yes under the name of Lauren Smith.
I ended up purchasing the vampire ones.
So let us begin the reviews.

Sorry that it has been a while, dealing with life and my mental status.

Lauren Smith
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SUMMARY:
She is theirs to claim. They are hers to save.

Zoey Blake is about as far down on her luck as she can get. A car crash took her parents, leaving her destitute and on the street. When she’s attacked by another homeless person, her lifeblood drains away as her fading vision is filled with the face of a handsome stranger.

Ian Kennedy, a century old Irish vampire, never could resist rescuing a stray. As a few drops of his blood heals Zoey’s wounds, he realizes she’s a sweet, tempting, flesh-and-blood woman. But there’s one problem. Connor, who made Ian promise decades ago: no more mortal lovers.

After another vampire murdered his soulmate, Connor O’Shea swore never to let a mortal woman pay the price for loving him. Until he feels Zoey’s skin and tastes her lips. She makes him want to break that vow.

Zoey finds herself caught in their web of seduction. But as Christmas draws near and her grief deepens, happiness seems far out of reach. And Ian and Connor join forces to prove their love is sacred, special…and forever.

Warning: This book contains two scorching-hot Irish vampires, one lady with plenty of pluck but zero luck, naughty lingerie, and enough Christmas cheer to redeem even the darkest creatures.

MY REVIEW:
This one caught me off guard. I would have never thought of a story like this. The beginning was cute as Ian was adorable. Sensitive vampire guy! While Connor is a bit different. He shows off his tough and macho side. Two opposite ends of the spectrum. When Zoey enters the picture, things change for the two vampires. It was a sweet and simple story. I did have to chuckle at a few parts of how Zoey’s reaction to a few things. It was a really sweet book and the ending was great. Something different. I’m glad I read it!! Can I have another adventure of the trio?

SUMMARY:
Sadie Harris doesn’t like immortals. After vampires leave her an orphan, she’s raised by her grandmother at the edge of a werewolf pack’s territory. As a fox shifter she knows the rules about werewolves: Stay clear of the boundaries, never go out after dark during the full moon and take a vacation far, far away when she goes into her shifter mating heat or else she’ll attract literal “big bad wolves.” But when her flight gets cancelled and her mating heat is coming – so are the wolves. The last thing she expects is to get rescued by a tall, dark and gorgeous man…er…vampire. What’s a vixen to do? Seamus Gallagher might be immortal but his life is full of mortal problems: he’s been framed for the murder of the woman his two best friends loved; he’s on a mission to find and kill his sire; and, he has no idea what to do with the feisty red-headed vixen he just rescued from a vicious werewolf pack. He doesn’t have time to babysit a skittish shifter who hates vampires, but when he looks at her, Seamus sees trouble. Sexy, sweet, and irresistible trouble. The last thing this vamp needs is to fall in love.

MY REVIEW:
I love this one!! I ordered the book from amazon as the cover is a bit different than the kindle edition. Both covers are gorgeous! Oh by gosh, the sass between Sadie and Seamus after they literally meet! It was perfect. I did like Seamus motorcycle move. As Seamus gets involved with Sadie, the adventure builds up. Dealing with Sadie’s grandma, wolves, friends from the past, and enemy from the past, Seamus is doing the best he can. Even Sadie tries to cope with everything going around especially vampires. I literally could not put this book down due to the action, story, steamy cute moments, and everything! I just had to know what was going to happen between the two with their adventure. I like how the story builds up which is the best! Even the connection and conversation between Sadie and Seamus is just perfect. A real connection is so fun to see. You’ll have to read it how it goes down. There are a few steamy parts in the book but those steamy parts actually tie in with what was going on in the story since Sadie is in heat. She’s a fox after all!

Update Time

I am around..just been in a slump lately and life and the world has gotten to me. I have managed to read two books. and will post a review of them this weekend. Then currently reading two other books.

More to come soon.

Review coming soon of:

Currently Reading:

I spy a Non Fiction Book

Everyone wants love right?
I thought this book would be good to share to those who are looking for love.

A comprehensive and intimate guide to finding, keeping, and enjoying love after fifty, the best kind of love there is.

Studies keep showing that love after fifty is more satisfying than at any other stage in life, and it makes sense: at this stage, you are more emotionally stable and more focused on the present; you know what you absolutely have to have, but also what you can live without; partnering is no longer about building family and fortune—it’s about sharing intimacy as grounded individuals. And sex isn’t pass/fail anymore, but about becoming erotic friends.

So if this is the promised land, how do you get there?

In Love After 50, journalist Francine Russo interviewed the best experts in the field and dozens of couples to help show the way. Her practical advice includes:
-How to recover from the emotional damage of divorce, the grief of widowhood, or a history of unfulfilling relationships
-How to build realistic requirements for a partner
-What attitudes to bring to dating
-How to overcome the physical challenges of sex and embrace your erotic selves
-How to evaluate the financial, emotional, and practical results of marrying, living together, or living apart
-How to deal with (hostile) adult kids to safeguard your relationship and family

Love After 50 is not only practical, it is unassuming and candid. It is full of stories of real people (including the author’s own), with vivid examples of couples who have overcome their pasts to form healthy and nurturing partnerships. In other words, it’s as real as love after fifty can be.

How Not to Fall in Love Review

Summary:
Harper works in her mom’s wedding shop, altering dresses for petulant and picky brides who are more focused on hemlines than love. After years of watching squabbles break out over wedding plans, Harper thinks romance is a marketing tool. Nothing more. Her best friend Theo is her opposite. One date and he’s already dreaming of happily-ever-afters. He also plays the accordion, makes chain mail for Ren Festers, hangs out in a windmill-shaped tree house, cries over rom-coms, and takes his word-of-the-day calendar very seriously.
 
When Theo’s shocked to find himself nursing his umpteenth heartbreak, Harper offers to teach him how not to fall in love. Theo agrees to the lessons, as long as Harper proves she can date without falling in love. As the lessons progress and Theo takes them to heart, Harper has a harder time upholding her end of the bargain. She’s also checking out her window to see if Theo’s home from his latest date yet. She’s even watching rom-coms. If she confesses her feelings, she’ll undermine everything she’s taught him. Or was he the one teaching her?

I received an e-arc from Netgalley and HMH Books for Young Readers for an honest review! So here it is!!

My Review
I received this story as an e-arc. Oh my gosh! I could not stop reading it. I did have some issues trying to download it. Luckily I did get some help from Netgalley! Thank you.

Back to the story – I love all the names in this book for the characters. The beginning of the book hooked my attention and kept going throughout the entire story. When I kept reading on so many interesting things were happening with Harper. I loved the fact she helped her mom out and that their relationship was pretty interesting.

I had a hunch that this book would be up my alley to read and it was.

I can see how some people might see this book as a triangle love story but to me it seemed more about Harper’s sense on love and how to figure out how love works in a relationship. She learns how to cope with those feelings. I also believe these same concepts go to Theo. The story focuses on Harper as the main character and I think Theo would be the second main character. Felix, Pippa, Harper’s mother and Theo’s family also come into play which is great.

Such a sweet novel with friendship and love! I really liked it.

So if you are looking for something sweet, fast paced, coming of age of what love is, friendship and a geek like me who likes great endings, then you need to read it.

(Sorry if this is review is a bit different than my usual ones but I just loved the whole book!)

Some things that I liked:

Harper helping her mother out at the bridal shop

Communication between Harper and her mom about birth control

Loved Theo’s creativity of stories and LARPing

Harper and Theo sharing a tent

Treehouse

Kissing

Harper and Theo share and help each other with SAT/ACT vocabulary. There were some words I did not even know.

Love that Theo plays the accordian

Funko Pop is mentioned

Harper finding out who she is and what love it

Theo finding out who he is

Pippa’s description

The ending!

Review: Orphan Witch

  • Publisher : St. Martin’s Griffin
  • Date: September 28, 2021
  • Paperback : 352 pages
  • Author: Paige Crutcher
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I received an e-Arc from Netgalley and publisher for an honest review!

Summary:
A deeper magic. A stronger curse. A family lost…and found.

Persephone May has been alone her entire life. Abandoned as an infant and dragged through the foster care system, she wants nothing more than to belong somewhere. To someone. However, Persephone is as strange as she is lonely. Unexplainable things happen when she’s around―changes in weather, inanimate objects taking flight―and those who seek to bring her into their family quickly cast her out. To cope, she never gets attached, never makes friends. And she certainly never dates. Working odd jobs and always keeping her suitcases half-packed, Persephone is used to moving around, leaving one town for another when curiosity over her eccentric behavior inevitably draws unwanted attention.

After an accidental and very public display of power, Persephone knows it’s time to move on once again. It’s lucky, then, when she receives an email from the one friend she’s managed to keep, inviting her to the elusive Wile Isle. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. However, upon arrival, Persephone quickly discovers that Wile is no ordinary island. In fact, it just might hold the very things she’s been searching for her entire life.

Answers. Family. Home.

And some things she did not want. Like 100-year-old curses and an even older family feud. With the clock running out, love might be the magic that saves them all.

My Review:
Oh my gosh this story was amazing!! I requested an e-Arc on Netgalley and got it from there and the publisher. The book was on my phone since I don’t have a Kindle. Gotta work on that eventually right? So the first couple of chapters of the book is really interesting because the main character Persephone was dealing with survival and finding herself. She never knew who her family was and always wondered about it. She also knew that there was something different about her and never revealed this to anyone. You could feel she needed to know more, she needed not to have others get hurt.

I am not going to give everything away about this book because it is so good. Persephone eventually ends up going to this island. Her journey on the island feels like home. She learns of her family history and the Wile island. She ends up meeting Hyacith, Moira, Ariel and Ellison. Some of these other ladies she meets turn out to be related to her. All four ladies gave off different vibes to me: calming, secretive, fiesty and alert.

I do have to point out there is a love aspect for Persephone which was great. All I will say his name is Dorian. It was so cool to learn more about him and how he fits into the story! So awesome.

While Persephone is on the island, she learns that there is a curse! What will happen next? Just when you think you got it all figured out there is something else that pops up. Persephone has to learn more things.

The story was great! You have to pick this up if you like richness, adventure, magic and a bit of love! Go for it!

I spy fiction and a graphic novel

Fiction away!

Take your pick on which one captures your attention.

I did glance at March One and it is pretty powerful!

Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Book One spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.

Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book “Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story.” Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today’s most exciting thinkers and writers.

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

Edinburgh, Scotland. March 1832. Kiera and Gage have been eagerly awaiting their bundle of joy but trouble has been brewing in the form of the roguish criminal Bonnie Brock Kincaid. A new book and subsequent play features some of Kincaid’s daringly heinous exploits, although he swears he had nothing to do with it or the characters which are obvious representations of Kiera and Gage. While the scoundrel’s fury seems genuine, as well as his determined quest to uncover the real identity of the author, the Gages still hold doubts about his innocence.

A rash of crimes break out across the city, seemingly inspired by the play and book. When the publisher is found brutally murdered–in an imitation of a gruesome scene–the finger not only points to Bonnie Brock as the possible culprit, but also the Gages, who have been outspoken in their condemnation of the tale. Now, the Gages are on a hunt to unmask the killer. Between the infamy garnered by the play, the cholera outbreak still wreaking havoc throughout the city, and the impending birth of their child, they will need all the resources they can garner.

But family quarrels and the revelation of a secret Kiera has been keeping from Sebastian threaten to undermine everything they have overcome. When they find themselves in the crosshairs of the killer, trapped in the squalid underground vaults of the city, they will soon discover that the truth does not always set you free, and death can lurk around any corner.

When Royal Academy painting student Lucy Coover trips over a naked man passed out in an East End alley, she does the decent thing. She covers him up and fetches help. Trouble is, she can’t banish his muscular form from her dreams as easily. Compelled to capture every detail, she creates a stunning portrait but is forced to sell it when the rent comes due. What could be worse than surrendering the very picture of your desire? Meeting the man himself. 

Anthony Philby, Duke of Weston, is nobody’s muse. Upon discovering the scandalous likeness, he springs into action. His infamous family has been torn apart by shame and secrets, and he can’t afford more gossip. Even a whisper may jeopardize his inheritance and his chance at independence. His plan is simple: burn the painting, confront the artist. Or rather, it’s simple until he meets Lucy and decides to offer the bewitching young artist a devil’s bargain.  He’ll help save her foreclosed home, if she’ll help repair his family’s brutal legacy.

I spy Fiction

I spy — Fiction books

Coming of age in a free Black community in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson is all too aware that her purposeful mother, a practicing physician, has a vision for their future together: Libertie is to go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie, drawn more to music than science, feels stifled by her mother’s choices and is hungry for something else—is there really only one way to have an autonomous life? And she is constantly reminded that, unlike her light-skinned mother, Libertie will not be able to pass for white. When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it—for herself and for generations to come.

Inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States and rich with historical detail, Kaitlyn Greenidge’s new and immersive novel will resonate with readers eager to understand our present through a deep, moving, and lyrical dive into our past.

Helen Decatur spent a lifetime setting goals—getting through college and law school, opening her own practice, becoming financially secure, and establishing herself as one of the most highly respected divorce attorneys in the state of South Carolina. Achieving those goals was a breeze compared to the one she’s faced with now.

The most driven—and cynical—of the Sweet Magnolias, Helen is forty-two, single and suddenly ready for the family she’s put on the back burner for all these years. Unfortunately, having a child at her age comes with lots of complications, not the least of which is the absence of a serious relationship in her life.

Handling so many divorces has left her skeptical about love, but Helen’s not the type of woman to wait around for fate to step in. Taking charge of her own destiny puts her at odds with her two best friends and sets sparks flying with a man who claims he doesn’t want a family, and nothing turns out like she planned.

Can you find real love when you’ve always got your head in the clouds?

Maybell Parish has always been a dreamer and a hopeless romantic. But living in her own world has long been preferable to dealing with the disappointments of real life. So when Maybell inherits a charming house in the Smokies from her Great-Aunt Violet, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start.

Yet when she arrives, it seems her troubles have only just begun. Not only is the house falling apart around her, but she isn’t the only inheritor: she has to share everything with Wesley Koehler, the groundskeeper who’s as grouchy as he is gorgeous–and it turns out he has a very different vision for the property’s future.

Convincing the taciturn Wesley to stop avoiding her and compromise is a task more formidable than the other dying wishes Great-Aunt Violet left behind. But when Maybell uncovers something unexpectedly sweet beneath Wesley’s scowls, and as the two slowly begin to let their guard down, they might learn that sometimes the smallest steps outside one’s comfort zone can lead to the greatest rewards.