Book: Heart of the Fae: Otherworld Series 1 Author: Emma Hamm The Lovers: Sorcha & Eamonn Tropes: Fantasy, Romance, Irish Folk Lore, Beauty and the BBook: Heart of the Fae: Otherworld Series 1 Author: Emma Hamm The Lovers: Sorcha & Eamonn Tropes: Fantasy, Romance, Irish Folk Lore, Beauty and the Beast, Enemies to lovers, Fae Hotness: Mostly Safe For Mom Rating: 5 Stars
Heart of the Fae is a fantasy romance story by Emma Hamm and I loved this book. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but Hamm blew me away with her story telling. I know this will be a book that I read again several times.
This is a Beauty and the Beast story told through the lens of Irish folklore. Hamm does a fantastic job of interweaving Irish mythology into the story, making it a fresh, new version of Beauty and the Beast. It was a stunning tale that had me laughing, griping the pages in suspense, and crying.
Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses, making them so very compelling. The two main characters, Sorcha and Eamonn, are less than perfect, making their struggles that much more relatable. Even the villain had his moments of twisted righteousness. Every person in this story was unique and fantastic.
About The Book
There are three things that help set up the story.
1. The human lands are being ravished by the blood beetle plague. Nobody knows how it started, where it came from, or how to cure it. The host is infected with beetles living under their skin and feeding off their blood. It’s a bit like the scarab beetles from the 90’s version of The Mummy with Brendan Fraser (the best version).
2. Sorcha, the badass heroine of this book, has found a way to extend the life expectancy of a person infected with the blood beetle plague. While she attempts to share her findings with the college of medicine (multiple times), they ignore her because men and patriarchy. They view her as insignificant because she’s a woman and has a vagina, but she knows she has something to contribute. She knows she’s right. She’s going to keep working on a cure for her father.
3. In a world that doesn’t believe or trust in the Fae, Sorcha does. After her latest failed attempted at the college of medicine, Sorcha finds herself face to face with a Fae and a deal that could change the tides of the plague. She is to bring back an exiled Fae prince in exchange for the cure to the plague.
These events, the plague, patriarchy, and the Fae, are the catalyst for everything that happens in both Heart of the Fae and Veins of Magic.
Now, this wouldn’t be much of a story if Sorcha didn’t accept the deal from the Fae. She does and leaves immediately.
And this is where the fun begins!!
Bringing Eamonn back isn't not going to be an easy task. He has no reason to go to the human world. He has no ties to it and no reason to trust Sorcha. As much pain as exile has caused him, he’s come to care for the people who live in this broken castle with him. They are an odd sort of family.
Sorcha enters Eamonn's life like a hurricane. Yet, for all her initial demands, realizes she needs to find a way to get Eamonn and the other Fae to trust her. She decides to stay until she can convince him to help. Slowly, she starts winning the trust of the other Fae through her kindness and genuine respect for them. Unwittingly, Sorcha becomes a catalyst for change in the Fae world and Eamonn’s life. He realizes he still wants to reclaim his throne and build a different world than what his brother has ruled over.
And things slowly start to thaw between Sorcha and Eamonn.
Their relationship is so gradual. They are a antagonistic towards each other at first (hello enemies to lovers!), going head to head. Sorcha is the first person in a very long time that stands up to and challenges Eamonn. And Eamonn helps Sorcha realize she doesn’t have to do everything alone.
They slowly learn to trust each other, becoming tenuous friends first and then lovers. It’s a beautiful dance of them being such fools for each other. Sorcha values his quick wit and smart mind and Eamonn is entranced by her compassion and steadfastness. Hamm does a wonderful job of building the romantic tension between them and it’s so delicious. I could eat it up. I’m thinking about it and I want to reread the book. It’s good things.
It’s an amazing romance. Delicious relationship is delicious.
While Heart of the Fae is about these two falling in love, it is also about Sorcha and Eamonn growing, realizing their potential to do something more, and then starting to act upon that.
Now, since this is book one, never doubt that it ends on the cliffiest of cliffhangers. It’s noble, it’s heart wrenching, is maddening all at the same time! And book two starts with a very different tone than book one. So, buy both books at the same time so you can just start book two immediately.
For any fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses out there, seriously consider picking this series up.
Heart of the Fae is the first in The Otherworld series, with the second, Veins of Magic, finishing up this tale. Book one focuses on Sorcha and Eamonn coming together and falling in love. Book two is about them staying in love and fighting for…so much. You need to read them both to get the HEA. And it is so worth it.
-"I am not a woman, but sword and shield. I will carve my own path or I will force others to create it for me."
-"Everything is dangerous and one must decide whether to live in fear, or courage."
-"I fear that you would ask me to lay the world at your feet." He glanced over his should, blue eyes searing through her calm resolve. "And it would be all too easy to do."
-"I am my own before I am any other's."
-"Right and wrong suggests that there is only black and white. I refute that belief and instead replace it with my own. If I desire a man, I shall take one."
-"Mo chroí," She whispered. "You called me your heart."...more
I don't think anyone will be surprised to learn I love a good fairytale retelling. While most of the stories I've brought you are BeaALL THE STARS!!!!
I don't think anyone will be surprised to learn I love a good fairytale retelling. While most of the stories I've brought you are Beauty and the Beast, I do love when I find a good rebranding of other fairy tales/Disney princesses. It's fun and I enjoy a clever retelling of a familiar story.
Today, let me introduce you to a new version of Cinderella. Tara Sevic is a fairly new to me author with witty and amusing characters and a plethora of men to make me swoon.
At The Stroke of Midnight is book one of her modern day fairytale/Disney princess retellings, The Naughty Princess Club. This trio (so far) of books brings us to Fairytale Lane and three women embarking on a new business venture to make it rain.
Here's what it's about:
Once upon a time Cynthia was the perfect housewife. Between being the President of the PTA and keeping her home spotless without a hair (or her pearls) out of place, her life was a dream come true. Her husband was once her knight in shining armor, but now he’s run off with all their money…and the babysitter.
Dressed as a princess at the annual Halloween block party on Fairytale Lane, she meets two other “princesses” also facing money troubles: antique store owner Ariel and librarian Isabelle. When the women are invited to wear their costumes to a party where they’re mistaken for strippers, Cindy, Ariel, and Belle realize that a career change could be the best way to make their money problems go bippity-boppity-boo.
But can structured Cindy approach a stripper pole without sanitizing wipes? And could the blue-eyed anti-prince that has been crossing her path become Cindy’s happily ever after? At the Stroke of Midnight is a hilarious, empowering story where princesses can save themselves while slaying in stilettos.
This book is so much fun! Sevic is magic with her words and wit.
Things I Loved
This book is centered so much around empowering female friendship I was jumping for joy! At Cindy's lowest point, these other two zany women come crashing into her life and decide to stay. They listen to her cry her eyes out over her scum-bag ex-husband, they help create the Naughty Princess Club full force, they push her to break out of her pristinely, ordered world. They are there for her. Through the ups and downs, they are sticking to her like glue whether she likes is or not. AND IT IS AMAZING!
In fact, the first 35% of the book is mainly interactions between Cindy, Ariel, and Belle. There are a few crazy, random-happenstances between Cindy and PJ, but their story doesn't really get going until that 35% mark.
I LOVE IT!!
I love books where the women in the story have such a strong support network among their friends! It's beautiful! It's wonderful! It's amazing!!! Female friendship should be shouted from the roof-tops! It isn't encouraged nearly enough!
And what are romance books but stories about life and relationships. Romantic relationships do not happen in a bubble. Our friends influence us. We gush and swoon and laugh over our romantic relationships. Friends should be more prominently featured in romance books!
The male lead in this book was also just...*fans self. Swoons.* PJ Charming is our tall, blue-eyed, and handsome main man. There are a lot of things to swoon over this guy, he’s a genuiley caring man, he decided to run his club so women like his mother would be alright, and he’s a goofball, when it comes down to it. But I think the thing that really got me was when he began to really understand Cindy and her motivations. And at that moment in the book, my ovaries exploded!
Let me back up a smidge. There comes a point in Cindy's post-divorce, oh-shit-my-life-is-falling-apart life in which she realizes Brian (sleaze husband) never really saw her, never really listened to her, never took her seriously. It is a huge moment for her in reclaiming who she really is. So, when PJ acknowledges that her idea to start the Naughty Princess Club isn't just a bored housewife's passing fancy, it is a big beautiful moment!
There is so much amazing life reclaiming, beautiful friendship moments in this book!
Let me also take a moment to applaud this version of Cinderella. Sevic ties in elements on the Cinderella story, lost shoe and evil stepmother included, while putting everything in a modern-day setting. I loved that she set up the next two books by making Ariel and Belle active parts of this story. But what I ultimately loved most of all in this version is that Cindy saves herself. PJ was just along for the ride. Yes, he helps her, encourages her, and becomes a major part of her life, but Cindy's "freedom" is of her own doing.
The Things I Didn't Love
Nothing. Absolutely Nothing.
What Else You Should Know
YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK!
The romance is hot, the story is fun, and the writing with a thing of humorous beauty.
Sevic has two other books in this series (so far, I don't know if she plans on doing any more). At The Stroke of Midnight is followed by Belle’s story, In Bed With The Beast, and Ariel’s story, Kiss The Girl, being released in September 2018. I obviously one-clicked fast as lighting on Belle’s story, which is equally delightful. If these women were your best friends, Cindy would bail you out of jail, Belle would be there to give you a hug and a muffin, and Ariel would be there right along with you, bringing the knife to the fight.
Read these books and revel in the amazing. They do not disappoint.
“Fourteen? Jesus, no wonder we, as a gender, are so fucked up. It’s been stuffed down our throats since we were born that it’s completely normal to find the man of your dreams when you’re a child, and you’re pretty much a freak of nature and an old maid if you haven’t found him by the time you’re seventeen.”
“I see you. I hear you. And I’m sorry,” he [PJ] whispers.
“Sorry! Shit. I was trying to be all cool and rip these fuckers [panties] off you, but Jesus Christ what are they made out of, steel?” He mutters in annoyance, looking down at us.
I’m attracted to his confidence in me. I’m attracted to the way he challenges me and pushes me to be the person I want to be.
“You couldn’t find my clit with a flashlight and Google Maps!”...more
Book: Kissing Tolstoy Author: Penny Reid The Lovers: Anna I. Harris & Luca Kroft Tropes: Student/Professor, Age difference, pining, Contemporary HotneBook: Kissing Tolstoy Author: Penny Reid The Lovers: Anna I. Harris & Luca Kroft Tropes: Student/Professor, Age difference, pining, Contemporary Hotness: Mildly Safe For Mom Rating: 4 bottles of vodka
If you’re at all familiar with Penny Reid and her newsletters, you’d have been privy to the knowledge that each month, she’s been publishing a chapter to her short story Nobody Looks Good In Leather Pants (NLGILP). It’s been exciting, to say the least, to eagerly await news from The Evil Overlord ™, scroll down, and get the latest chapter in this story.
Well friends, this week NLGILP was released in full book format, retitled as Kissing Tolstoy. And it. Was. Fabulous!
Kissing Tolstoy is the first book in the Overlord’s new Professor series. If you’ve been reading the newsletter chapters and have picked up the book copy, you’ll notice there are a few more additions. Specifically a few chapters from Luca’s POV! SQUEE! Also, if you grab a copy of the book, Reid includes the first chapter of the next book in the series, Nobody Looks Good Naked (working title). Which…I think she’s going to release the next book the same way she released this one…via newsletter, one chapter per month, driving her readers insane since we can’t binge through another of her books (this is why she’s evil).
This book is about Anna I. Harris and Luca Kroft. Student and professor, respectively. After fleeing from an awkward blind date of mistaken identity (and the only man who looks good in leather pants), Anna forgets and moves on. That is until she walks into her Russian Lit class only to discover the ridiculously hot blind date is her professor. And suddenly the summer course looks a lot harder than she thought it’d be.
Anna is dismayed and horrified to learn whom her new professor is. But the longer she’s in his class, the more she’s drawn to his intelligence, charisma, and patience. And it’s absolutely unfair how good he looks in leather pants and bowties (but not at the same time). Luca is enraptured by her passion and humor, much to his initial dismay. Anna is convinced that she is not Luca’s “type of nice [girl]”, and he’s convinced she is. This book was filled with awkward moments, intense debates about Russian literature, and lots and lots of pining. So much pining.
Now, let’s also not forget the sexual tension because…wow! You could cut it with a knife. You know that scene in the new Pride and Prejudice movie where Elizabeth and Darcy are dancing, arguing (as per usual), and with a swell of music and spin, everything else has faded from notice. Elizabeth and Darcy are too wrapped up in their sexual tension to notice anyone else in the room. Remember this?
That is Luca and Anna. But in a classroom setting. There were strange, high-pitched noises emitting from my mouth during these parts. Equal part squee and OMG!
I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about this book since it is dealing with a student/professor relationship. I get a little apprehensive about books where there is such an imbalance in power dynamic. However, I think Kissing Tolstoy did a fairly good job addressing that issue. It didn’t make me want to scream at Luca that he’s risking his career by pursuing Anna.
Anna and Luca are a fun new addition to the Reid Universe. They challenge each other, make each other laugh, and both are nerds for Russian lit. It was filled with witty one-liners that I’ve come to expect from Reid. No matter if Reid gives her readers a short story or a full-length book, she is able to spin wonderful stories that have me yearning for more. Kissing Tolstoy is no exception.
One thing that I enjoyed about this book is that Marylyn wasn’t the typical young adult heroine. Her main agenda is to complete this mission and be reOne thing that I enjoyed about this book is that Marylyn wasn’t the typical young adult heroine. Her main agenda is to complete this mission and be reunited with her parents. I appreciated that change of pace. A lot of the YA books I pick up anymore feel the same. Marylyn has been trained to fight, which is evident and well used, but there is no savior complex. She felt a lot more human to me than other YA heroines.
The other part of this story I appreciated was that there was no clear “good guy vs. bad guy.” As the story progressed, I didn’t find myself rooting solely for the Rebels nor did my sympathies switch to the Allegiant. There were clearly “bad guys” in both Rebel and Allegiant camps with neither side absolved of atrocities committed against each other.
This book was enjoyable, but I wanted a little bit more. This book has a lot of potential. The premise of the story and the world that McDermott has created is interesting, but I would have loved some more exposition about the world this series is built in. I love world building and was a little sad we didn't get more.
The other part of this story I would have loved to be explored more is the romance. This is kind of an insta-attraction story and I honestly would have loved if Marylyn and Ariston spent a bit more time getting to know each other. However, considering how fast a read it was, the romance worked given everything else that happens.
This has a sweet romance, a capable and intelligent heroine, a compassionate prince, and a larger, multi-series plot. If you want a quick read with hints of Greek mythology, grab this book. I think you’ll enjoy it.
For more on this book, visit womandevoursbooks.com I was contacted by the author to write an honest review....more