Monday, June 19, 2017

The Worst Reading Slump I've Ever Experienced

This month, I hadn't hit any books until I added Yasmine Galenorn's Fury Rising on June 13th. Neither did May--I read nothing on May. I was like, oh well. Reading slump is an eternal problems for readers, I think every reader has been in a slump or two. I usually entered this slump when I was done with my exams or on holiday. Weird, isn't it? On holidays, I binge on TV series or indulging one Korean drama title, and I read as little as possible. But they usually only last 3-4 weeks, and then I'll have this itch to start again. Not only reading slump, I also got into this blogging slump. I admit, I'm having a difficulty getting my mood back for blogging--especially reviewing a book.

One day, a friend from a WhatsApp group sent a picture. The Stages of The Reader picture depicts several stages of a reader, in general. Basically, these 9 stages start from discovering books and ends (hopefully) in passing them to the next generation.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

My Dream Reading Space

So, I'm getting a small celebratory moment today. I just submitted my draft for my undergraduate thesis. For Indonesian college students, this UG thesis is probably the bane of our existences, where we have to chase after our professors and basically having to fight for a whole semester for a piece of paper *sighs* And anyway, because my seminar date isn't yet set by my department, I went and downloaded a bunch of animes--my current guilty pleasure--and browsed around Google, when I got an inspiration to fill up my blog before cobwebs take over XD

I'm currently living with my parents until graduation--not unusual here--so I can't create my own reading space. I usually lounge around on my bed, supported by a bunch of pillows. But if and when it's possible, I'd like to have a room dedicated for reading. I don't know, I suppose I could custom-build some shelves, have a cozy armchair and ottoman. Hmm....

Be warned, the pictures after this would be set-ups for drool-worthy reading rooms.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

#BBIHUT6: Hello, BBI. May I Confess?

Happy Birthday, BBI :)
As much as I'd like to wax poetry, this year, I just want to say my deepest...feelings. Regrets. Happiness. Annoyance. Sadness. And mostly, disappointment. Not you, but me.

I'm not merely saying that BBI is just a community to me. Nope. To me, BBI is a friend. Something that connected me with fabulous people around the country. People who, although I never met some of them personally, have been friends to me. And I even got to contribute as an Event coordinator for BBI, along with Mput, Mbak Na, and Kak Ching-ching. And previously, Chei. I have to say, I'm grateful to be a part of this team. They're wonderful people, and I really am happy with them as my teammates. But still, a part of me resents something in BBI. I'm starting to feel disappointed and unhappy. And worse, boredom. Disappointment I can handle, but boredom? Why do I feel those feelings? Why am I bored? Why am I unhappy? Why am I restless?

I've seen the dynamics within the internal managements (let's just call that, because we do manage stuffs for BBI). Members who have been with BBI from the start. The changes, sometimes better, sometimes undecided. The good, the bad, the ugly. And sometimes, disagreements between people in the various divisions that BBI has. I'd like to state that I'm not blaming anyone. I'm a management, so I'm also a part of some of those troubles . It's a community, of course people have different views. Of course, there's bound to be disagreements and miscommunication.

Monday, April 10, 2017

#BBIHUT6: Contemporary Romance Authors Worth Translating

To be honest, I actually planned to make a post about my reading habit, haha. But yesterday evening, I went to a bookstore near campus. Although I wouldn't actually buy a book (I'm broke XD), it didn't keep me from wandering towards their novels section. And then, I found several books, contemporary romances, that I think is... less stellar than the ones I know. Contemporary romances, translated to Indonesian, tend toward the 'more known' authors. Even though now that I think about it, some of them I never heard before. But I'm just a speck of dust in the reading world, what did I know?

So, last night before I went to bed, I actually thought, why is Lauren Blakely never get translated? Her books are amazing. And Kristen Proby? When I really ponder it, they're definitely tamer than Sylvia Day in terms of hot scenes. I know that Romance has greater readers here than, let's say, Fantasy. And I think, rather than those books with half-assed editors working on them (sometimes even I, who's not a total grammar or typo Nazi, was wondering where the hell was the editor? Didn't they work on these books before they were published??!), publishers will get more readership if they publish more translated romances. I also think that it's good that Indonesian authors, new or otherwise (romance, especially), have been so active. I know that not all readers like translated books, but I also saw that more titles are getting translated. And I also know that censorship is still such a huge deal here. How are we going to censor the translation on Fifty Shades of Grey without half the book losing its story? *grimace

And this is just my humble opinion. Maybe, maybe if one of the big people in publishing read this article, they'd consider to give these authors a try. I could be a little biased, but hell. I'm their fan and I'm just pimping them XD

1. Kristen Proby
Recommended books: Fusion Series, Boudreaux Series

Sunday, April 09, 2017

#BBIHUT6: New Author(s) Who Impressed Me

Ah. Finally comes an annual Event that I (along with my other three--or four? Do we count Chei?--teammates) organized. This year, we are all swamped with a lot of things. School, work. Work work work work work~ And yet we still could came up with this idea #nangisterharu I'm so happy and relieved that I can still give something for BBI, even with the threat of being disowned if I don't graduate this semester...

Anyway, do ignore my timestamp, it's not on WIB. Today, I'm writing about new authors that I read who left some impressions on me. I'm usually not a very impressionable reader, unless the book comes with an epic bang. What I perceive as good book may not be the same for some readers. Case in example, Fifty Shades series. Many people that I know hate the book, while I gave it half rating because the series was my first foray into Erotic Romance and BDSM (loosely termed, don't stone me for this *hides*), so it still left some impressions on me. I'm also not the kind of reader who cares much about average rating in Goodreads. I know for a fact rating is sometimes deceiving, especially if the rating is less than by 100 people. I always like a book with mixed reviews, because I can count on the reviewers to be mostly honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly, rather than only singing praises.

On April 2016 until now, I didn't read many new authors. Mostly because I'm on a mission to finish up my book loot before starting anew. God knows how many series I haven't completed, how many books I stacked because I keep getting sidetracked by other books #sigh

Friday, April 07, 2017

Review: Ashwin

Title : Ashwin
Series : Gideon's Riders #1
Author : Kit Rocha
ASIN : B01N6ECB83Edition : Kindle (Released March 7th, 2017)
Page counts : 266 pages
Language : English
Genre : Adult, Romance, Dystopia, Erotic Romance
Average Rating : 4.38 (per April 7th, 2017)
Hotness Scale : 3.5/5
Read date : March 24th, 2017
Add to Goodreads

The first book in the follow-up to Kit Rocha's bestselling BEYOND series...

Gideon's Riders, Book One

Lieutenant Ashwin Malhotra is a Makhai soldier--genetically engineered to be cold, ruthless. Unfeeling. His commanding officers consider him the perfect operative, and they're right. Now, he has a simple mission: to infiltrate Gideon's Riders, the infamous sect of holy warriors that protects the people of Sector One.

He's never failed to execute an objective, but there's one thing he didn't anticipate--running into Dr. Kora Bellamy, the only woman to ever break through his icy exterior.

When Kora fled her life as a military doctor for the Makhai Project, all she wanted was peace--a quiet life where she could heal the sick and injured. The royal Rios family welcomed her like a sister, but she could never forget Ashwin. His sudden reappearance is a second chance--if she can manage to touch his heart.

When the simmering tension between them finally ignites, Kora doesn't realize she's playing with fire. Because she's not just falling in love with a man who may not be able to love her back. Ashwin has too many secrets--and one of them could destroy her.

Once upon a time, when I first started using NetGalley (I don't use it quite often lately), I applied for Kit Rocha's Beyond Shame. As a youngster, and a newbie in reading English, I liked it but I didn't follow the series. And then Ashwin. I thought, okay, I'll give it a try. It's a new series, anyway, and I could always read Beyond leisurely.

Gideon’s Riders. Holy Warriors. Sainted heroes. Outside of Sector One, the Riders were more myth and legend than anything, a band of highly trained, dangerously lethal soldiers whose loyalty was unswerving and absolute. Here, they acted as the voice and the hands of the god-king himself, Gideon Rios. Each one was empowered to act as judge, jury, and executioner, a position of ultimate trust and considerable power.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

April 2017 New Releases

Hello hello.
Last month, I didn't get to make more reviews. I was too busy (still am). Anyway, I'm making notes again about new releases for this month. Last month, I did get many books, but I couldn't read many (again). I'm getting bored of just collecting instead of reading *curling up and cry*

April 1st

April 3rd

April 4th

April 6th

April 7th

April 9th

April 10th

April 11th

April 13th

April 17th

April 18th

April 24th

April 25th

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Review: The Deep End

Title : The Deep End
Series : Honey #1
Author : Kristen Ashley
Edition : Kindle (Released March 7th, 2017)
Publisher : St. Martin's Griffin
Page counts : 454 pages
Language : English
Genre : Adult, Erotic Romance, Contemporary, BDSM
Average Rating : 3.72 (per March 15th, 2017)
Hotness Scale : 4.5/5
Read date : March 12th, 2017
Add to Goodreads

Enter a decadent sensual world where gorgeous alpha males are pleasure slaves committed to fulfilling a woman's every desire. At the elite Honey club, no boundary will be left untested, and one's darkest desires will become a sensual reality.

Olivier isn’t sure what he’s gotten himself into when he joins the Honey Club, only that a dark part of him craves the lifestyle offered by this secret, exclusive club.

When Amèlie invites Olivier to surrender, she pushes him to explore his deepest desires as a submissive. As they grow closer and find themselves falling harder than either of them anticipated, the truth about Olivier’s past could threaten the budding relationship they both long for.

Gripping and seductive, The Deep End is the first book in a sensational new series from bestselling author Kristen Ashley.

At first, I read this book without 'consulting' a few of my favorite reviewers. But since this is Kristen Ashley, I trooped through and read it anyway. Despite a few times that my face felt like combusting, it was fine. What wasn't fine for me? I felt like I lost a bit of what Kristen makes her books so...her. And then I read the reviews. DNF everywhere. I know where it went wrong, but I'm such a trooper (I know, I know) and I gave it five stars initially. I reread it and I lost the one star...

It was not champagne she was looking for. It was that coveted, priceless, smooth, deep, incomparable burn of the finest scotch whisky.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Review: Till Death

Title : Till Death
Author : Jennifer L. Armentrout
Edition : Kindle (Released February 28th, 2017)
Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks
Page counts : 400 pages
Language : English
Genre : Adult, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Average Rating : 4.07 (per March 11th, 2017)
Hotness Scale : 2/5
Read date : March 6th, 2017
Add to Goodreads

In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s gripping new novel, a young woman comes home to reclaim her life—even as a murderer plots to end it. . .

It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.

First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.

But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last.

This is Jennifer's first thriller book that I tried. I loved her Wait for Me and Lux series, although I kinda fell through and didn't manage to finish them yet. So I decided to try another of her stand-alone.

Being with Cole had made me feel like I was on the edge of a cliff, more than willing to fall off. I'd never felt anything like that again. Not even a smidgen.

Ten years ago, Sasha Keaton left her hometown when she survived a serial killer, survived something that a young woman should never have endured. A little broken and traumatized, she decided to move away from her family and her friends. And from her boyfriend, Cole Landish. Now twenty nine, she moves back into town to inherit her family inn and lives with her Mom. She doesn't quite forget what had happened, but now she can cope. Her homecoming brings Cole back on her doorstep, and also attention that she doesn't want from anyone else.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

March 2017 New Releases

Happy Tuesday!
We're on the last day of February. I did manage to read 21 books in the past two months. Not bad, considering my reading time is limited to before bedtime. And 2017 continues to prove to be an amazing year so far, despite the fact that I'm not blogging as much as last year. I'm still struggling with my thesis if I want to graduate by July #heavysigh

Next month, I'm waiting for Kristen Ashley's The Deep End and Anne Bishop's Etched in Bone. Etched in Bone is the last book of The Others, something I faithfully follows even though the romance ends isn't satisfying. And apparently, book 10 of Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson is out. I stopped at book five, mainly because I wasn't curious any longer and found some more interesting books.

March 1st
March 5th

March 6th

March 7th
March 9th
March 13th
March 14th
March 17th
March 20th
March 21st
March 27th
March 28th

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Review: Finding Kyle

Title : Finding Kyle
Author : Sawyer Bennett
ASIN : B01N22RA40
Edition : Kindle (Released January 14th, 2017)
Publisher : Big Dog Books LLC, USA
Page counts : 218 pages
Language : English
Genre : Adult, Contemporary Romance
Average Rating : 4.11 (per February 23rd, 2017)
Hotness Scale : 3/5
Read date : February 21st, 2017
Add to Goodreads

When you’ve lived your life as a criminal…
When you’ve done unspeakable things …
When your soul has become dark and stained…

The path to redemption begins where you least expect it.

Kyle Sommerville is in hiding and doesn’t want to be found by anyone. Certainly not by his quirky, free-spirited neighbor who’s managed to push her way past the walls he’s built around him. But Jane Cresson’s indomitable will and insatiable curiosity about her reclusive neighbor makes it impossible for Kyle to stay immersed in his dark world.

Little by little, she claws through his shell.
Day by day, she gets him to smile a little more.
Night by night, they both find pleasure they never knew existed.

When Kyle’s terrible past is exposed, Jane begins to think she’s in over her head. Can her love for this broken man finally clear his path to redemption, or will Kyle’s darkness extinguish every bit of hope she’s put into him?

I was just looking for something light (and definitely not a part of a series) when I looked at the cover. And then I was like, what the hell. I'll try it on. At first, the book started off ordinary, but unexpectedly, I got sucked into the whole story.

She is crawling under my skin, invading my senses, and turning me inside out.

As an undercover agent for ATF, Kyle Sommerville has done terrible and awful things, in the name of his work. Now that his undercover job is done, he needs to hide away while he waits for the trial date. And so he settles in Misty Harbor, Maine, still feeling conflicted and having nightmares about the past few years. But he's not expecting the crazy and adorable woman next door--Jane Cresson, who loves to cook but can't bake to save her life, and a woman insistent enough to always approach Kyle.

Jane is a force of nature that has the strength of a hurricane, and f*ck if she didn’t roll right over me.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Review: Echoes in Death

Title : Echoes in Death
Series : In Death #44
Author : J.D. Robb
Edition : Kindle (Released February 7th, 2017)
Publisher : St. Martin's Press
Page counts : 400 pages
Language : English
Genre : Adult, Sci-Fi, Mystery/Thriller, Crime, Romantic Suspense
Average Rating : 4.6 (per February 13th, 2017)
Hotness Scale : 2/5
Read date : February 10th, 2017
Add to Goodreads

THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING SERIES . . . The chilling new suspense novel from the author of Brotherhood in Death.

After a party in New York, Lieutenant Eve Dallas rides home with her billionaire husband, Roarke, happy to be done with cocktails and small talk.

After another party, not far away, a woman retires to her bedroom with her husband—and walks into a brutal nightmare.

Their paths are about to collide…

When the young woman—dazed, naked, and bloody—wanders in front of their car, Roarke slams on the brakes just in time, and Eve, still in glittering gown and heels, springs into action. It’s been a long night for the tired homicide cop, and it’s far from over.

Daphne Strazza is rushed to the ER, but it’s too late for Dr. Anthony Strazza. A brilliant orthopedic surgeon, he now lies dead amid the wreckage of his obsessively organized town house, his three safes opened and emptied. Daphne would be a valuable witness, but in her terror and shock the only description of the perp she can offer is repeatedly calling him “the devil” . . .

While it emerges that Dr. Strazza was cold, controlling, and widely disliked—and that he treated Daphne like a trophy wife—this is one case where the evidence doesn’t point to the spouse as the first suspect. So Eve and her team must get started on the legwork, interviewing everyone from dinner-party guests to professional colleagues to caterers, in a desperate race to answer some crucial questions:

What does the devil look like? And where will he show up next?

Eve wondered, though she was Roarke's first and only spouse, if some considered her a trophy.

J.D. Robb did it again. Each case manages to be as chilling, as unsettling as before. Apprentice in Death was crazy because behind the cold-blooded murders, something simple was the motive. In this book? Sheer craziness is the only reason.

Before starting on the murder(s), let's take a look on the background. It's February 2061, a few days before Valentine's Day. Eve and Roarke has just finished going to a party, something Eve stills despises, because she needs to put on a dress, make-up, and fab shoes. Their marriage is still going strong, and they just redecorated their bedroom and home offices. Fast forward a bit, they're going home (and Roake drives, not like the other billionaires XD) and this woman stumbles in front of their vehicle.

"When I put it together it was too much like looking in a mirror, or hearing too many echoes."

Thursday, February 02, 2017

February 2017 New Releases

Hello hello!
We're getting into February. I can't believe we already went through one month. The past couple of months, I didn't get to post New Releases, but seeing that on February we have sooo much great books, I'm going to post something. Well, before life sucks me under again :(

Of course, the books in this list are mostly what I got from newsletter. I might have missed something. As for reading plans, I didn't make any except for Echoes in Death. I learned, probably the hard way, that reading plans couldn't be followed all time.

February 2nd
February 3rd
February 6th
February 7th
February 13th
February 14th
February 17th
February 20th
February 21st
February 27th
February 28th

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review: First Grave on the Right

Title : First Grave on the Right
Series : Charley Davidson #1
Author : Darynda Jones
ISBN : 0749956046 (ISBN13: 9780749956042)
Edition : Paperback UK (Released November 2011)
Publisher : Piatkus Book
Page counts : 310 pages
Language : English
Genre : Adult, Paranormal Romance, Mystery, Urban Fantasy
Average Rating : 4.07 (per January 31st, 2017)
Hotness Scale : 3/5
Read date : January 26th, 2017
Add to Goodreads
Note : Winner of RITA Award by Romance Writers of America for Best First Book (2012), HOLT Medallion by Virginia Romance Writers for Best First Book and for Paranormal/Time Travel/Futuristic/Fantasy (2012), Golden Heart by Romance Writers of America for Best Paranormal Romance (2009)

Private investigator Charlotte Davidson was born with three things: looks; a healthy respect for the male anatomy; and the rather odd job title of grim reaper. Since the age of five, she has been helping the departed solve the mysteries of their deaths so they can cross over. Thus, when three lawyers from the same law firm are murdered, they come to her to find their killer.

In the meantime, Charley's dealing with a being more powerful - and definitely sexier - than any spectre she's ever come across before. With the help of a pain-in-the-ass skip tracer, a dead pubescent gangbanger named Angel, and a lifetime supply of sarcasm, Charley sets out to solve the highest profile case of the year and discovers that dodging bullets isn't nearly as dangerous as falling in love.

First Grave on the Right was not something I planned on reading. But I'm a sucker for a good review, especially when it comes from my go-to reviewer. This book is supposedly good, and when I got the book, I couldn't wait to read it.

Never knock on death's door. Ring the doorbell then run. He totally hates that.
- T-shirt

Well, there are several things to love about this book, and several things to hate #sigh

Charlotte 'Charley' Davidson is a licensed PI with a slight advantage--she can see and communicate with dead people. People who don't cross and still have unfinished business. That's why she could solve most murder cases, and often helps her Uncle Bob, a detective on Albuquerque PD. She's the Grim Reaper, one who's born every few centuries. She doesn't quite grasp what she can do, and what's the limit of her power is. For as long as she's alive, there is a presence, a dark entity she affectionately calls the Big Bad or just Bad. But recently, there is also something infiltrating her dreams, making her dreams more...let's just say sensual.

January Birthday & Blogoversary Party

I'll tell something about the start of this exchange of gifts :)
So, this year, BBI didn't host Secret Santa. I was part of the team arranging that annual party. I was, of course, saddened about it. Though a bit relieved because honestly, getting everyone to obey the timeline was kinda frustrating. Anyway, eleven members who have a birthday, blogoversary, or simply celebrating something decided that we should make our own version of Secret Santa.

So I got who my target is, and I was supposed to receive a package on my birthday, one from my wishlist. And I did get the package well before my birthday. Imagine my surprise when I received Pamela Clare's Naked Edge (Indonesian version), book four of her I-Team series. I was so happy and bemused because I didn't have the third book yet XD Not only the book, I also got a small file pocket, a notebook, a set of colorful page marker, and a pack of Allure green tea latte *yumm

Just like Secret Santa, I also received a riddle about my mystery giver. Given my track record of guessing riddles, I didn't think I'll get this right.

"Aku sadar langit dan laut tak pernah bisa menyatu, meski garis batas mereka tipis sekali. Aku menyukai laut, tapi langit telah memerangkapku. Dulu aku berdiri di tepi pantai, sekarang langkahku menjejak batuan. Tempatku mendekati langit, menjauhi lautan. Di sini, aku melihatmu sambil berselimutkan pepohonan serta rimbunnya palawija."

Loosely translated:

"I realized the sky and the sea could not mix, even though the line is blurred. I love the sea, but the sky had trapped me. I once stood on the shore, now I step on rocks. I'm close to the sky, away from the ocean. Here, I see you through the trees."

Honestly, I had no earthly idea about my mystery giver. She definitely loves the ocean, the waters, but then she has to live somewhere near the sky, which I assume, is somewhere in higher altitude than Surabaya and has an abundance of trees and greenery.

And based on several small clues, I concluded that my mystery giver is...

Dina Cahyaningtyas

Am I right? Or did I miss something? XD

Thank you for the gifts. I really, really loved everything. And I promise I'll jot down everything so that I don't forget *cry in the corner*

Friday, January 27, 2017

Review: Keystone

Title : Keystone
Series : Crossbreed #1
Author : Dannika Dark
Edition : Kindle (Released January 17, 2017)
Page counts : 319 pages
Language : English
Genre : Adult, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Average Rating : 4.31 (per January 27, 2017)
Hotness Scale : 2/5
Read date : January 17th, 2017
Add to Goodreads

Raven Black hunts evildoers for fun, but her vigilante justice isn’t the only reason she’s hiding from the law. Half Vampire, half Mage, she’s spent years living as a rogue to stay alive. When a Russian Shifter offers her a job in his covert organization hunting outlaws, dignity and a respectable career are finally within her grasp. The catch? Her new partner is Christian Poe - a smug, handsome Vampire whom she’d rather stake than go on a stakeout with.

They're hot on the trail of a human killer who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. One misstep during her probationary period could jeopardize Raven’s chance at redemption, and her partner would love nothing more than to see her fail. Will Raven find the courage to succeed, or will she give in to her dark nature?

Dark secrets, unexpected twists, and a blurred line between good and evil will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Crossbreed is a powerful new Urban Fantasy Romance series that will captivate your imagination.
Immortals live among us.

I always have a weakness for a good paranormal romance. It's my comfort genre, a go-to genre when all else fails. Well, not counting re-reading several books I love. If I got bored, I could always re-discover my love for reading via PNR.

"Don't you know who I am? I'm the Shadow. Legend has it that if a man loses his shadow, it means I ate it, and I'm coming for the rest of him."

Dannika Dark is a fairly new author for me. I've read Seven Years. Apparently, the world between her series is the same. While I was a bit unimpressed with Seven Years, I got better with Keystone. I just adored our main character, Raven Black. A Crossbreed between Vampire and Mage, she has the magic but also the characteristics of a Vampire. She's a vigilante, dealing her own brand of justice. Her luck changes when she's approached by another Mage who offers her a job in his own organization. She figures she can nail it. Well, until she finds out her partner is Christian Poe.

Christian reminded me of a cross between a handsome pirate and a serial killer.

Just a bit reminder, in case you don't know (I didn't either), Christian Poe is a major character from the Mageri series. He's a Vampire. And he's so condescending toward Raven, certain that she only wants to join Keystone for her own gains. Her loyalty is tested again and again. And Christian would love nothing more than to see Raven fails. Or worse.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Review: A Promise of Fire

Title : A Promise of Fire
Series : Kingmaker Chronicles #1
Author : Amanda Bouchet
Edition : Kindle (Released August 2nd 2016 )
Publisher : Sourcebook Casablanca
Page counts : 448 pages
Language : English
Genre : Adult, Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
Average Rating : 4.22 (per January 16th, 2017)
Hotness Scale : 3/5
Add to Goodreads
Note : Read on 2016


“Cat” Catalia Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods—and her homicidal mother—have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.


Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm—until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin’s fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.

"I conquered a kingdom and found a treasure." His voice turns gravelly low. "I won't let you go. Not now. Not ever."

So. This is my first review on 2017. A Promise of Fire was on a recommended list and as usual, because I'm a big sucker of Greek mythology, I downloaded it. From the blurb, you can see this book will be slightly different from other Greek-myth books.

What did I expect? An enjoyable read. A nice smooth ride. Maybe, just maybe, romance that will make me sigh. What did I get? A whole lot of awesomeness. Even if there are parts that just rang 'typical' and made me sigh in exasperation.

"I never know what to expect with you. Worldly cynicism or blushing innocence. It's enough to drive a man insane."

In this world, there are three realms on Thalyria. Fisa. Tarvan. Sinta. The closer you are to the North Ice Plains, the stronger your magic is. There are two kinds of people, Hoi Polloi--non-magic people--and Magoi. People with magic, Catalia 'Cat' Fisa, a Magoi, ran away from Fisa and joined a circus mastered (or mistressed?) by a Magoi who also happens to be Hades's lover. And then enters this southern warlord. He's Hoi Polloi. He doesn't have magic. He also happens to just conquered the realm of Sinta, and he's looking for a new weapon. Cat is the perfect weapon for him, since she's a Kingmaker, a woman who can detects lie and divines the truth. Not to mention, her magic is strong and she's a chosen daughter of Poseidon.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Wrapping Up 2016: Memorable Books

Last year, I managed to read 94 books, though I targeted only 85 books. This year, sadly, I just targeted 60 books to read. Of course, every year, there are memorable books that I love. Why I say memorable? These books, long after my initial first time, I still read and read again when I get stuck with reader block.

I read, again, mainly romance last year. Like The Wall of Winnipeg and Me (read my review). Mariana Zapata's brand of slow-burn romance somehow got to me, and I love every part of this book.

Aiden Graves and Vanessa Mazur start as employer-employee. I admit, Aiden is a jackass at the start, but little by little, as the story progresses, it just shows that Aiden doesn't like to talk much and he's pretty quiet.

Though Aiden is a pro-football player, the sport aspect isn't much, so it's not exactly a sport romance. The football is only a background set for Aiden. The book also made me smile with Vanessa and Zach (Aiden's other housemate) antics. And so, though the romance part is not hot and heavy, I still love this book.

Another romance that I fell in love with was Radiance by Grace Draven (read my review). The first book of Wraith Kings series, tt's a paranormal romance, the story of a human and a Kai. Kai is a human-like race, but with gray skin, claw-tipped fingers, magic, and nocturnal nature.

A human noblewoman, Ildiko, is forced into a marriage with a Kai prince, Brishen. Though at first they were scared with each other's different nature, Ildiko grows to love her husband. It was sprinkled with a magic land, crazy mother-in-law, sweet tenderness, and also, deadly enemies.

I haven't managed to read Eidolon, book two of this series. But Radiance was such an enjoyable read, it gripped me from the first page up until the last page. The characters of this book are pretty unconventional but very very interesting.

Honor by Jay Crownover is the first book of her new series, The Breaking Point. Set on the Point, from Jay's previous books, Honor centers on Nassir Gates and Keelyn Foster. Nassir is the underground lord of The Point. Keelyn was one of his strippers, but ran away when she was nearly killed.

Nassir is obsessed with Keelyn, but of course, he's just a man in love. His feelings don't go unrequited, since Keelyn has been in love with him too. Their lives are dangerous. Nassir will always be targeted by people who want to kill him, and the only way to hurt Nassir is Keelyn.

The danger and violent nature in this book, surprisingly, drew me. Honor didn't feel like Jay's other books. It's more...dark. Edgier. Nassir is a dark man, and Keelyn is also a dangerous woman *cue Ariana Grande's song* She's more than capable to give back what Nassir gives her. This kickass couple is now on my list of favorite couple, and I can't hardly wait for their next appearance.

Oooh, where do I start? There are many things I like from this book, this new series. A Promise of Fire, this first book of the Kingmaker Chronicles by Amanda Bouchet, offered me a new variation of Greek mythology, laced with magic realms and a warlord who's so ruthless yet so kind and a mouthy but thoughtful heroine.

Catalia has been hiding the fact that she's a Kingmaker. A woman who can detect a lie and gains the truth, though this doesn't come without its share of grief. Griffin, a souther warlord, has just invaded a magic realm though he's not exactly a magic user. He's determined to get Cat for his newly reigned family as a weapon. But his determination is also because he's wildly attracted with Cat too. But Cat is hiding deadly secrets, things that would put Griffin in danger.

As like other books, this book comes with mixed reviews. Mostly, I love this book. There are cliches and some of the scenes are just predictable. I like the characters, and I also like the world this book sets in. The gods are pretty hands-on, and because I always love Greek mythology, A Promise of Fire is a breath of fresh air when I got too bored with Contemporary Romance.

So, those are my most memorable books. There are several more that I liked during 2016, though most of the books I read just fell flat into the category of 'typical' and 'not so memorable'. Some of the books I just can't remember fully, because they didn't give me lingering feelings after reading them. Well, except relief that I read one more.


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