#TopTenTuesday: Online Resources for Book Lovers!

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Online Resources for Book Lovers (what websites, podcasts, apps, etc. do you use that make your reading life better?)

Ooh, this one is probably gonna be a “short and sweet” one for me but I’m so looking forward to seeing what all of you use and recommend! I’m pretty sure this is a topic that hasn’t been done before (or at least, not that I can remember in the years I’ve been doing TTT) so this is gonna be fun!

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Book Review: Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous

Goodreads: Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: 01 June 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Coming-of-Age

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Sunny Song’s Big Summer Goals:
1) Make Rafael Kim my boyfriend (finally!)
2) Hit 100K followers (almost there…)
3) Have the best last summer of high school ever


Not on Sunny’s list: accidentally filming a PG-13 cooking video that goes viral (#browniegate). Extremely not on her list: being shipped off to a digital detox farm camp in Iowa (IOWA??) for a whole month. She’s traded in her WiFi connection for a butter churn, and if she wants any shot at growing her social media platform this summer, she’ll need to find a way back online.

But between some unexpected friendships and an alarmingly cute farm boy, Sunny might be surprised by the connections she makes when she’s forced to disconnect.

I won a copy of this book in a Giveaway hosted by the author. I buddy it with my fellow winner Julie @ One Book More and it was so much fun. 😍 I can’t wait to read more by this author in the future!


TL;DR: Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous is a comedic and realistic coming-of-age story about growing up in the age fo a social media as a mid-level influencer and I thought it was an entertaining and entirely too relatable read! I have a feeling anyone who’s been on social media, no matter what age, will relate to Sunny and the kids at this camp in one way or another! Sunny was an interesting character who experiences such great growth and I loved the hopeful end-of-summer vibes the story concluded with. #TeamSunny for the win!

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First Impressions Spotlight: Dim Stars by Brian P. Rubin

I’m back with the The Storytellers on Tour today with a Book Blitz for Dim Stars by Brian P. Rubin and I’ll be sharing my first impressions of the book so far. Thanks to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review!

Don’t forget to scroll to the end of the post to enter the GIVEAWAY (International) for the chance to win a signed paperback copy of the book!

The Gremlin

Goodreads: Dim Stars
Publisher: Critical Eye Publishing
Publication Date: 20 October 2020
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi

Kenzie Washington, fourteen-year-old girl genius, signs up for a two-week tour as a cadet on the spaceship of her idol, Captain Dash Drake. Too bad Dash, who once saved the galaxy from the evil Forgers, is a broke loser and much less than meets the eye. But when an intergalactic evil appears and launches an attack, Dash, Kenzie, and the ship’s crew escape, making them the next target. On the run and low on gas, Dash and Kenzie encounter cannibal space-pirates, catastrophic equipment failure, and a cyborg who’s kind of a jerk. Kenzie is determined to discover the bad guys’ secret plan. But for her to succeed, Dash needs to keep his brilliant, annoying cadet from getting killed …which is a lot harder than it sounds.

BUY A COPY:

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Book Review: The Darkest Temptation by Danielle Lori

Check out my review for The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)!
Check out my review for The Maddest Obsession (Made #2)!

Goodreads: The Darkest Temptation (Made #3)
Publisher: Self-published
Published: 10 December 2020
Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance, Mafia

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

A fortune teller once told Mila she’d find a man who would take her breath away. She refrained from telling her it would be literally while Mila ran for her life.

Having always done what is expected of her, Mila dresses the part, only dates college boys with exemplary backgrounds, and doesn’t ask questions. Not about her papa’s absences or his refusal to let her set foot in her birthplace—Russia. Suffocated by the rules and unanswered questions, Mila does what she’s always wanted to. She boards a plane to Moscow.

She never expected to fall for a man on the way. One with unexplained wealth, tattoos on his hands, and secrets in his eyes. But it doesn’t take long for his caress to become a rough grasp muffling her screams.

Revenge is a dish best served cold. Unfortunately, a Russian winter is the coldest of them all, and Mila soon learns the only way to escape intact is to do the impossible and thaw her captor’s heart.

TL;DR: This third book in the Made series was definitely the darkest of them all. While I did get on board with the romance and loved their connection, there were things that happened which made me pretty uncomfortable and situations do get dicey—it is a mafia romance though so you should expect it! Mila and Ronan were sunshine and killer grump opposites attract enemies-to-lovers and it was intense, and once again, the sexual tension slays!

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Book Review: The Maddest Obsession by Danielle Lori

Check out my review for The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)!

Goodreads: The Maddest Obsession (Made #2)
Publisher: Self-published
Published: 13 April 2019
Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance, Mafia

Panda Rating:

(5 pandas)

She fears the dark.
He rules it.

Her dresses are too tight, her heels too tall. She laughs too loudly, eats without decorum, and mixes up most sayings in the book. Little do most know it’s just a sparkly disguise, there to hide one panic attack at a time. Nobody can crack Gianna’s facade . . . no one anyway, until he comes along.

Most see a paragon of morality; a special agent upholding the law. In the New York underworld, others know him as a hustler, a killer, his nature as cold as the heart of ice in his chest. Christian Allister has always followed the life plan he’d envisioned in his youth, beneath the harsh lights of a frigid, damp cell. With a proclivity for order and the number three, he’s never been tempted to veer off course. But perhaps one should never say never . . .

One winter night and their lives intertwine. She hates him—his stone-cold demeanor, his arrogance and too-perceptive eye—but over the years, even as their games consist of insulting each other’s looks and intelligence, she begins to live to play with him.

Nowhere in Christian’s plans had he ever prepared for Gianna. She’s chaos embodied, not his type, and married, but none of that can stop his eyes from following her wherever she goes. All along, she doesn’t even know that she’s his—his frustration, his fascination.
His maddest obsession.

TL;DR: I’m a big fan of this series and this book was even better than the first but it is also much darker as our H/H have experienced a lot of trauma and abuse in their childhood. Gianna and Christian have scorchingly hot chemistry and a playfully antagonistic relationship full of sexual tension and banter and they’re one of my new favourite couples!

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Book Review: The Sweetest Oblivion by Danielle Lori

Goodreads: The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)
Publisher: Self-published
Published: 20 June 2018
Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance, Mafia

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

She’s a romantic at heart, living in the most unromantic of worlds . . . Nicknamed Sweet Abelli for her docile nature, Elena smiles on cue and has a charming response for everything. She’s the favored daughter, the perfect mafia principessa . . . or was. Now, all she can see in the mirror’s reflection is blood staining her hands like crimson paint.

They say first impressions are everything . . .

In the murky waters of New York’s underworld, Elena’s sister is arranged to marry Nicolas Russo. A Made Man, a boss, a cheat—even measured against mafia standards. His reputation stretches far and wide and is darker than his black suits and ties. After his and Elena’s first encounter ends with an accidental glare on her part, she realizes he’s just as rude as he is handsome.

She doesn’t like the man or anything he stands for, though that doesn’t stop her heart from pattering like rain against glass when he’s near, nor the shiver that ghosts down her spine at the sound of his voice.
And he’s always near. Telling her what to do. Making her feel hotter than any future brother-in-law should. Elena may be the Sweet Abelli on the outside, but she’s beginning to learn she has a taste for the darkness, for rough hands, cigarettes, and whiskey-colored eyes. Having already escaped one scandal, however, she can hardly afford to be swept up in another.

Besides, even if he were hers, everyone knows you don’t fall in love with a Made Man . . . right?

This is a standalone forbidden romance.

TL;DR: The intense chemistry and slightly antagonistic relationship between Elena and Nicolas made for a delightful slow burn and extra steamy romance! This was character driven and it was easy to like both characters although they are morally grey and some of the more ‘mafia moments’ did make me cringe (just a bit)! The sexual tension was absolutely off-the-charts and so freaking good—I’m looking forward to continuing with the series!

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Book Review: The Rake of Hearts by Emily Windsor

Goodreads: The Rake of Hearts (A Lady to Suit #2)
Publisher: Senara Press Ltd
Published: 02 April 2020
Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Fiction

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

When the heart is afire…
By his own admission, Lord Ernest Brook is a rake. With sapphire gaze, sinfully handsome looks and a duke for a brother, the pleasures of London have come with ease…apart from one.
Ever since the gauntlet of her first wintry dismissal was thrown, the widowed Hebe Lock has stirred his deepest desires, but just what would it take to woo such a woman?

Sparks will fly.
Hebe Locke has vowed to never again fall for a scoundrel after her brief marriage to one left her broken and haunted.
Now she finds comfort with paintbrush and canvas, but as a female artist in a male world, commissions are as rare as a ballroom without rakes.

A castle of enchantment.
As the heat of late summer warms the land, an ancient, moated castle plays host to a widow and a rake, both concealing passions contrary to their reputations.
But as Lord Ernest awakens Hebe’s desire and thaws her frozen emotions, can she hold true to her vow?
Or can this rake win the one heart he yearns for?

Sensual Regency romance with warmth and wit, this tale also includes a disreputable aunt with a secondary love story, Cotswold country fairs, sinful masquerades and…a goat.

TL;DR: After meeting Ernest in his brother’s story, The Duke of Diamonds, and getting a glimpse of the potential romance between him and Mrs. Locke, I had a feeling that I’d love their story and I wasn’t wrong! Who knew that a rake could be so devastatingly sweet? Honestly, if Ernest had pointedly looked at me over the top of his glasses across the table, I’d probably have swooned into my pudding too! 😂 I found the writaing just as full of wit and warmth in this book and there were some great laugh-out-loud moments as well, especially as Hebe and Ernest playfully antagonise each other at the beginning!

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Book Review: Wolf Girl Series by Leia Stone

Paranormal romance is not my usual jam but I picked up the first book in a new spin-off series from this one and was intrigued by the history of many of the characters we met, so I decided to check this out. Overall, the Wolf Girl series was pretty engaging and I sped through all four books in just over a day! Despite having major #dramallama I needed to know what happened next, how Wolf City would fare, and how Demi and Sawyer’s relationship would work out. If you’re looking for an entertaining paranormal romance-heavy read that helps you escape reality and is totally binge-able, I would recommend checking this out. Beware the angsty drama though! 😂

*For those who are interested, this series is available on Kindle Unlimited!*

Wolf Girl (Wolf Girl #1)
Panda Rating:

(3 pandas)

Lost Girl (Wolf Girl #2)
Panda Rating:


(2.75 pandas)

Alpha Girl (Wolf Girl #3)
Panda Rating:


(3 pandas)

Mated Girl (Wolf Girl #4)
Panda Rating:


(3 pandas)

Wolf Girl (Wolf Girl Series #1) by Leia Stone

Wolf Girl spends a lot of time building up the world of Magic City and the various creature factions living in it: wolves, vampires, trolls, dark fae, light fae, and witches, but we also get a small glimpse into the world of banished creatures living in the magically enclosed part of the human world. I thought the world-building was done well and not overly complex. The romance is also quite heavy in this book as a majority of the plot revolves around our heroine, Demi, taking part in the ‘mate selection year’ activities which she likens to The Bachelor (but “Wolf Bachelor”) and though I’ve never watched the show, I can imagine it’s quite similar from what I’ve heard. Thankfully, there’s not a lot of angst between the women, but there’s definitely a lot of angst between our H/H! 🥲

I liked all of the characters but I wasn’t overly invested in any of them. Demi‘s family was banished from Wolf City and she grew up in the human world, so she doesn’t know a lot about Magic City or living in a wolf pack, and we discover her split shifter abilities and wolf customs alongside her. She’s a bit “not like other girls” but she doesn’t let herself get sucked into any drama. I loved her friendship with Sage though! Sawyer was a generally sweet and well-intentioned guy though he doesn’t go about things the right way (at all) and I was pretty miffed about some of the things he did. There was a big hell-no moment for me towards the middle and I was a little miffed that Demi gave in and forgave him so quickly for it. That said, the ending had me really shaking my head in disbelief as it escalated really quickly but it did the trick and made me want to continue reading on!


Lost Girl (Wolf Girl Series #2) by Leia Stone

Lost Girl picks up right where the first book ends and is pretty much non-stop until the very end. We only get Demi’s perspective, though as Demi and Sawyer are separated, it would’ve been great to get his perspective to see how the shit hit the fan back in Wolf City from the moment she was captured.

The majority of this book follows Demi as she journeys back from Troll Valley through various territories (Troll Valley, Dark Fae, Light Fae, Wildlands) and I liked getting to see how different they are. Again, I think the world-building was done well and I had a clear picture in my head of the magical races and their lands. It was slower-paced as there are a lot of reflective moments and being in Demi’s head was a bit repetitive. We do see her gain strength and we get to see her wield her powers more now that the secret is out. That said, I was honestly disappointed by Demi’s quick forgiveness of Sawyer’s actions. Like, woman, please. Stick up for yourself? Where’s your backbone? He did you real dirty and you’re gonna capitulate that easily? Hmm…

Sawyer didn’t play much of a role in this book but he grovels a lot and becomes a stage five clinger. I wasn’t impressed… We also meet new characters that I liked, such as Astra, Arrow and my new fave: Marmal. I really hope these characters come back! At this point, it’s not that I’m even particularly invested in Demi and Sawyer’s relationship or the trials they face, but I am curious to see how the war plays out.


Alpha Girl (Wolf Girl Series #3) by Leia Stone

Alright, Alpha Demi, you’re okay. I’m a little conflicted about Alpha Girl because not much happens. The war has full-on escalated, people are dying all around them, and Wolf City is frankly being destroyed as all the other territories have banded with the vampires all to get their hands on Demi’s tasty power. Demi and Sawyer are still separated and Sawyer is still kind of a stage-five clinger at the start but he does mellow down.

It’s disappointing that we don’t see more of the war because this focuses on Demi’s alpha trial in the Dark Woods. Demi has to stay until she’s shown the magic cave and can harness the Alpha’s powers, and while it’s technically supposed to take three days… we know that’d be too easy, right? 😉 The pace is definitely slow as we spend so much time on the day-to-day of Demi surviving this trial and it takes a while!

That said, one of the things I’ve enjoyed the most about this series is the friendship between Sage and Demi, so I enjoyed the focus on them. I love their unconditional support for each other and they’re truly ride or die. Give me more strong women and strong friendships like this, please!

At this point, I’m just ready to know how everything is resolved!


Mated Girl (Wolf Girl Series #4) by Leia Stone

Despite the drama piled on top of drama (because some parts were really #dramallama to the power of max), I thought Mated Girl was a pretty satisfying conclusion to this series. Plus, it sets things up nicely for the spin-off!

Wolf City might still mostly be in ruins, but I’m always a sucker for those new beginnings where people come together despite their differences in order to create a better world and more inclusive future. Demi has a great pack, and I loved that Marmal came back and this time, we even get a dragon that flies and has old magic! 😉 I love the empowered empowered women in this series and it was satisfying to see them take on this rescue mission. Demi really does make a great alpha! Sawyer also comes back a more confident alpha and is no longer a stage five clinger (phew).

I think Magic City is an interesting place and I’ve actually already read the first book in Luka’s series so I’m curious to see what happens next with the tensions still extremely high between the territories, and especially with these nasty vampires. I know I’m definitely gonna be in for a lot more drama 😂

Have you read the Wolf Girl series or is it on your TBR? If you read paranormal romances, what’s your favourite or what do you recommend I check out?

Book Review: Taken to Lemora by Elizabeth Stephens

Goodreads: Taken to Lemora (Xiveri Mates #6)
Published: 29 July 2021
Genre: Sci-fi Romance

Panda Rating:

(3 pandas)

Raingar
My horns itch and I hate it. I’m a Lemoran clan chief and I hate that I’m being forced to schmooze with the other Quadrant dignitaries.
Looking for a way out, I run into flesh peddlers. Pagh! I hate flesh peddlers and I’m not interested in what they’re selling!
Until I see her…

Half human, Essmira’s soft, and I hate that she’s so easy to break. I hate that her beauty makes my horns and heart both ache. And most of all, I hate that she has no idea that she’s my mate.

Essmira
A female must always smile. She must always aim to please. She must always obey.
A pleasure female, that’s what I’ve spent my whole life training to be. Now that I’ve been purchased by a Lemoran clan chief, I’m more than happy to please him. But his pleasure might be out of my reach.


Because he doesn’t want me to be a pleasure female anymore. He wants me to be…me.

Taken to Lemora is a full length (85k word) SciFi alien romance that features one grumpy alien and a hybrid human female just discovering freedom and eager to grab it by the horns. Literally. Lemora is the not-too-distant neighbor of Voraxia and while this book cameos a couple familiar faces, it focuses on a new couple in a new constellation and can easily be read as a standalone.

TL;DR: Taken to Lemora was another fun, fast and entertaining book in the Xiveri Mates series. Lemora just might be my favourite alien location so far! Essmira and Raingar were a really likeable couple and I also liked them as individuals. Though I was hoping for some more character develompent, especially when it came to our hero, they were still really easy characters to root for and they got a well-deserved HEA! As with the other books, this can easily be read as a standalone.

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Book Review: The Locker Room by Meghan Quinn

Goodreads: The Locker Room (The Brentwood Boys #1)
Published: 20 June 2019
Genre: Contemporary (New Adult) Romance, Sports Romance

Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)

Have you heard the rumor around campus about the locker room?
If you haven’t, let me enlighten you: Legend has it if you bring a girl into the sacred after-game domain of the baseball locker room, it will end with a walk down the aisle. One rowdy and naked encounter against the lockers with the girl of your dreams will make her your wife.


Translation: baseball players are stupidly superstitious and believe the locker room has magical powers.

But not all baseball players are superstitious, me included.
So when the girl I’ve fallen for brushes me off, I start to question if I need to switch my way of thinking. Maybe it’s time I finally hand out a coveted invitation to the locker room.
The only question is, will she accept? 

It pains me a little to rate this below 4-stars because I really enjoyed it for the most part and Knox was such a good hero. I didn’t expect to be quite so charmed by him when at the beginning he ran a little too jockular for my liking, but by the end, I absolutely adored his character and honestly felt his story deserved a bit better than what he got. Let me say, the first 75-80% of this story had me thinking this’d be a 4-4.5 star read but that last bit? …Mmm, that last bit. 😕 Final verdict: Not a terrible book if you just look at the first 80% because it served all the things I love in Quinn’s romances: fantastic chemistry, cheeky banter, great friendships, swoon-worthy and cheesy AF moments, and All. The. Steam! 

Continue reading “Book Review: The Locker Room by Meghan Quinn”