Book Review: Soulbound by Bethany Adams

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“A deathbed promise

Arlyn’s quest is simple: Find her father and let him know her mother is dead. After all, Arlyn had promised her mother she’d go. The problem? Her father’s people are myths and legends, and he doesn’t even live on Earth. But despite a long journey through the mysterious mists of the Veil, finding him turns out to be the easy part.

A dream long-buried

After five hundred years, Kai has given up on finding his soulbonded. So when he stumbles across Arlyn after returning from his latest mission and recognizes her as his mate, Kai starts their bond in haste. But he never could have imagined that his bonded is his best friend’s newfound daughter. Whoops.

A hidden conspiracy sparked to life

Though the sight of Kai makes Arlyn’s heart pound, she isn’t sure she can forgive him for starting their bond without her permission. But her love life is the least of her problems. Her father is an elf lord, and his sudden acknowledgment of a half-human heir reignites the same conspiracy that took him away from her mother in the first place. Now Arlyn and her family must face iron wielding assassins, bigotry, and her newly awakened magical abilities if they hope to come through in one piece.

Arlyn thought she would return to Earth after meeting her father. Now she must fight to save the family she never knew she wanted.”                                                         

Amazon.com

I have a confession.  This book has been patiently waiting in my dean-what-gifkindle for a few months now. I know, I’m ashamed.  My TBR (To Be Read) pile is getting out of hand.  In fact, I’m
only reading backlogged books for reviews until I get a handle on it.
It’s a serious problem.

Now, back to the good bits.  Elves, handsome, wise, magical, fudging elves!  Can you tell, I love those pointy eared nature lovers 😉 tumblr_n8i1a27wwi1sg8qnbo2_500

This is book 1 in the series and it kept me engaged from the moment I started.  I read it in a day and had a book hangover afterward.  Luckily, the second book, Sundered, is out and I’m going to make it mine. The story starts out fast, evens out toward the middle, then picks up again at the end. The cast is large, but not so large that you get your characters confused.  The plot twists are surprising and leave you speechless. I happily and enthusiastically give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. It’s a great read for anybody who enjoys action, adventure, fantasy, and a bit of romance.  I would say it’s mid to upper-level YA for a few PG-13 scenes.  All of Adams’ books are available at Amazon and other major online retailers.

You can find out more about Author Bethany Adams and her books on FacebookTwitter, and bethanyadamsbooks.com

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Author Pic

Julianne Nicole Tomczak (Tom-Zack) is the writer of Kingdom of the Faeries: Edenhart’s Rivalry so here’s a little bio. Julianne grew up on a small farm in central Arkansas and now lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband. When not writing, Julianne loves playing video games, listening to music, hiking, and binge-watching Falling Skies while eating non-nutritional food.

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Social Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14918148.J_N_Tomczak

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JNTomczak

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/J.N.Tomczak/

Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/953086374762831/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/juliannetomczak/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jntomczak/

Tumblr: http://faerie-swordmaiden.tumblr.com/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/J.N.-Tomczak/e/B01CJ0AL9S/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1473545274&sr=8-1

Newsletter: http://jntomczak.weebly.com/monthly-newsletter.html

Website: http://jntomczak.weebly.com/

Contacts:

Personal Assistant: John Cintron – johncintronpa@gmail.com

Facebook: johncintronpa

Twitter: @johncintronpa

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Book Blurb:

A dark power is rising, and a kingdom is in dire need of a leader when the King of the Faeries falls in battle. Or so, that’s what they’re led to believe, but his only heir and daughter, Aurora, suspects murder.

But when she and her loyal friend Percy, the Captain of the Elite Guard, discover an ancient prophecy foretold by the enigmatic Faerie Sorcerers, Aurora finds herself an unwilling pawn in a dark plot that will threaten everything she holds dear.

Her courage and magic will be her greatest weapons if she hopes to succeed where all others have failed. But will she? Aurora must ask herself this very question: just how far is she willing to go to save her kingdom, and at what costs?

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Buy Links:

Amazon: The Kingdom of the Faeries: Edenhart’s Rivalry

Barnes&Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kingdom-of-the-faeries-jn-tomczak/1123402817?type=eBook

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Review: Masked Hearts

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Masked Hearts is a collection of Fantasy Romance short stories released by Roane Publishing. It features short stories by authors Dana Wright, Claire Davon, Sharon Hughson, Sheryl Winters, and Nemma Wollenfang.  I was lucky enough to receive an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) in exchange for an honest review, so here it is.

Each story is only a few chapters long.  They’re fairly clean reads, with no overt sexual activity, graphic sexual scenes, or foul language. I would personally say it would be okay for ages 14 and up although the main characters are adults and not teens or young adults.  There is some naughty talk, but nothing I’m sure they haven’t heard in movies or television. The stories feel like fairy tales and as an avid fairy tale geek, I was more than pleased at this.  All of the stories fall into the Fantasy category; each one featuring an aspect common to the genre.

Affinity by Dana Wright

This Gothic Fantasy features all the goodies. Set in a haunted mansion, Kristen is raised by her eccentric Aunt Florence and can see ghosts. She’s also haunted by a boy in a mirror.  One night she finds herself in a secret garden party  looking for the mystery boy.  What she finds instead is a monster in the guise of a Fairy Queen.  She ultimately is traumatized and leaves her childhood home as soon as possible. Years later Fate sends her back to the place of her nightmares and once again looking for the boy, now a man, trapped in the mirror.

This story was so good. It put me in mind of a retelling of The Secret Garden.  The writing was well done and the world building was phenomenal. I couldn’t believe the author could put that much detail into a short story and still  have it flow so smoothly.  I’m hoping this is a prequel and leads to a lot more stories or full fledged novels with these characters or within this world.

Water Woman by Claire Davon

This Fantasy combines lore that I’m not familiar with, which ultimately makes me happy because I enjoyed the story and have new folklore to research!  The story is set in Spain and features a feisty Aloja, or Water Woman, named Isadora.  Isadora is approached by another magical creature, an Abada named Kimoni.  I had no clue what either of these shape shifters were, but the author did a great job in describing them.  Apparently an Aloja controls all bodies of water and can turn into a black bird. She also seems to possess healing powers or at least a great affinity for potions (like I said I need to look into that legend some more, it’s fascinating). Kimoni, the Abada, is something like an “African Unicorn”.

The story is quick and action packed. It was also well written and much more detailed than I would expect for a short story.  Isadora is asked to help a member of Kimoni’s family and while trying to do so, finds herself in danger.  She is no damsel in distress though and fights for herself with some assistance from her Abada friend. Once she’s safe and helps her friend, Isadora must decide if her feelings are for Kimoni are love or lust. I loved this story for the fact that the heroine could help herself, in fact it’s a theme throughout all of these stories.

Duty or Desire by Sharon Hughes

Alyona is an elf on a quest to find her missing brother.  She finds herself traipsing modern day Earth and discovers trying to blend in with humans is hard. She unwittingly partners up with Agent Camden Kerr. While she thinks he’s trying to help, he’s trying to figure out if she’s a threat and needs to be taken in to custody. It also turns out her brother wasn’t missing so much as on a vacation.

I found this to be a comedy of errors and a delightful read.  It was probably the “sauciest” of the reads, but still a clean read overall.  Just some naughty thoughts and banter. I liked the author’s take on magic and magical creatures too.  It was different and oddly enough, plausible.  By this point in the book, I thought I would be tired or ready to skim over things, but again, these authors know how to keep a girl hooked and I found myself staying awake well into the night to finish up to this point.

Feather Fall by Sheryl Winters

Brooke is a swan shifter with Autism. If that wasn’t enough, she’s also albino and can’t seem to shift normally like the others.  She is constantly battling herself and trying to be “normal”. While on a job in Homer, Alaska, she begins to have strange dreams about a mystery man. He inevitably shows up in real life and Brooke isn’t sure how to deal. Does she embrace her shifter nature or let her disability define her?

This story is beautifully done.  It features two main characters with disabilities, and how they are trying to overcome them in order to make a “normal” life for themselves. Brooke’s autism is well described and I found myself empathizing with her during her bouts of anxiety. I liked her from the very first sentence and found myself talking out loud, saying things like ,” It’s okay, you can do it!” Luckily there were no adults around to give me weird looks.

Dragon Law by Nemma Wollenfang

Dragon Law is the last story in Masked Hearts and it certainly ends things with a bang.  Draxa is a princess of a kingdom being terrorized by a Dragon.  In an effort to stop the attacks, she is given to the Dragon as a bride.  This is a binding contract and the Dragon must cease his attacks on the kingdom.  Draxa is left alone to live in a cave with this terrifying beast of legend.  One night, after many weeks of despair, she is allowed to visit her people.  Upon venturing into her old village, she discovers the truth behind her sacrifice and finds herself under attack from a stranger.  Her Dragon comes to her aid and she shuns all human contact afterward.  In an act of love, the Dragon gives her an amulet that brings her immortality.  Many Many years later, Draxa is approached by a knight.  This nobleman pleads for her help saying the kingdom is in tatters and she is the only one that can help. Draxa agrees to help and finds herself in the trappings of her old life once again.  Ultimately she sees that mankind is still just as brutal and heartless as it once was and realizes where her heart truly belongs.

This seemed like a retelling of Beauty and the Beast to me, which is by far one of my favorite fairy tales.  The author did a great job in making it her own.  She kept just enough in their to remind me of the original, but it isn’t the same story.  It was fantastic.

I would have to give the entire book  5 stars out of 5 stars.  Story collections are hard to pull off.  I usually only like one or two out of the collection, but this time I loved ALL of them. Since today is release day, Roane Publishing is offering a contest via Rafflecopter! So be sure to check out all the links below!

Roane Publishing: http://www.roanepublishing.com/category-s/203.htm

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FZPTST8

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01FZPTST8

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/masked-hearts-dana-wright/1123833081?ean=2940158509322

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/638075

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/masked-hearts-0

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-maskedhearts-2044722-166.html

 

Goodreads Link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29538410-masked-hearts

 

Giveaway Information:              entertowin1

A $10 Roane Publishing Gift Card

$10 Gift Card Prize