Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long

Published January 11th 2022 by Wednesday Books

357 Pages

Goodreads Summary: After angering a local gangster, seventeen-year-old Sena Korhosen must flee with her prize fighting wolf, Iska, in tow. A team of scientists offer to pay her way off her frozen planet on one condition: she gets them to the finish line of the planet’s infamous sled race. Though Sena always swore she’d never race after it claimed both her mothers’ lives, it’s now her only option.

But the tundra is a treacherous place, and as the race unfolds and their lives are threatened at every turn, Sena starts to question her own abilities. She must discover whether she’s strong enough to survive the wild – whether she and Iska together are strong enough to get them all out alive.

A captivating debut about survival, found family, and the bond between a girl and a wolf that delivers a fresh twist on classic survival stories and frontier myths.

Review: **Content Warning: Animal Cruelty** When I first heard about this book, it sounded intriguing. I started reading it and at first I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to read the whole thing. There is some animal cruelty from one of the local gangsters that I was not very thrilled to be reading about. I abhor animal cruelty so I was almost ready to DNF the book. But then things started to take a turn for the better. The wolf, Iska, who was being abused was liberated by Sena and as the two of them went on their way to escape the evil gangster, their bond was what kept me reading. Once those two got away things really started getting intense with the world they lived in and the infamous race began. I found myself drawn in and actually enjoying the story and connecting with the characters. I really liked how Sena came out of her shell and started to trust the people that she was with and wouldn’t give up on Iska. Overall, I ended up liking this book more than I disliked it because of the animal cruelty. So just beware if you decide to read this book that there will be some animal cruelty.

3.5 Stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

To Marry and to Meddle by Martha Waters

To Marry and to Meddle by Martha Waters

The Regency Vows #3

Published April 5th 2022 by Atria Books

336 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Lady Emily Turner has been a debutante for six seasons now and should have long settled into a suitable marriage. However, due to her father’s large debts, her only suitor is the persistent and odious owner of her father’s favorite gambling house. Meanwhile, Lord Julian Belfry, the second son of a marquess, has scandalized society as an actor and owner of a theater—the kind of establishment where men take their mistresses, but not their wives. When their lives intersect at a house party, Lord Julian hatches a plan to benefit them both.

With a marriage of convenience, Emily will use her society connections to promote the theater to a more respectable clientele and Julian will take her out from under the shadows of her father’s unsavory associates. But they soon realize they have very different plans for their marriage—Julian wants Emily to remain a society wife, while Emily discovers an interest in the theater. But when a fleeing actress, murderous kitten, and meddlesome friends enter the fray, Emily and Julian will have to confront the fact that their marriage of convenience comes with rather inconvenient feelings.

With “an arch sense of humor and a marvelously witty voice that rivals the best of the Regency authors” (Entertainment Weekly), Martha Waters crafts another fresh romantic comedy that for fans of Julia Quinn and Evie Dunmore.

Review: I’m a big fan of regency era romances and I enjoyed the first two books in this series so I was really looking forward to reading book 3. I’ve liked Emily and Julian from the earlier books so I was happy to see them get their own book. Emily and Julian decide to enter into a marriage of convenience. Julian needs Emily’s golden reputation and Emily needs Julian’s help paying her father’s gambling debts. The banter between them was pure gold, especially on their wedding night when a stray kitten throws a bit of a wrench in their evening plans. I was laughing out loud basically during every scene that featured Cecil Lucifer Beelzebub and Julian. There were so many comedic moments in this book and there were also some very heartwarming moments as well. Julian had a bit of a strained relationship with his father because of the theater he owns. His father never approved. But with Emily’s help, his father comes around to support Julian and it really just hit me in the feels. This book was basically everything I hoped it would be. There were a few slow moments but overall, I loved it and definitely recommend it.

4.5 Stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Resting Place by Camilla Sten

The Resting Place by Camilla Sten (translation by Alexandra Fleming)

Published March 29th 2022 by Minotaur Books

336 Pages

Goodreads Summary: A spine-chilling, propulsive psychological suspense from international sensation Camilla Sten.

The medical term is prosopagnosia. The average person calls it face blindness—the inability to recognize a familiar person’s face, even the faces of those closest to you.

When Eleanor walked in on the scene of her capriciously cruel grandmother, Vivianne’s, murder, she came face to face with the killer—a maddening expression that means nothing to someone like her. With each passing day, her anxiety mounts. The dark feelings of having brushed by a killer, yet not know who could do this—or if they’d be back—overtakes both her dreams and her waking moments, thwarting her perception of reality.

Then a lawyer calls. Vivianne has left her a house—a looming estate tucked away in the Swedish woods. The place her grandfather died, suddenly. A place that has housed a dark past for over fifty years.

Eleanor. Her steadfast boyfriend, Sebastian. Her reckless aunt, Veronika. The lawyer. All will go to this house of secrets, looking for answers. But as they get closer to bringing the truth to light, they’ll wish they had never come to disturb what rests there.

A heart-thumping, relentless thriller that will shake you to your core, The Resting Place is an unforgettable novel of horror and suspense.

Review: The premise of this story had me hooked. I had never heard of prosopagnosia before but it sounds like it could add some serious drama to a thriller like this one. I mean what could be more crazy… she sees the murderer face to face but because of this condition, has no way of telling who it was! I was definitely intrigued by Eleanor because of this and a few other little things like why she was so adamant about not being called by her true name. I also love the whole premise of being trapped in a remote cabin/location while a killer is on the loose. Unfortunately I found myself bored more often than not by this story. I only hung on to the end to find out who the killer really was and when that was revealed it was a bit of a let down to be honest. Overall this one had some serious potential but I was left feeling let down and uninterested in how it ended.

3 Stars

I received an advance copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Bravely by Maggie Stiefvater

Bravely by Maggie Stiefvater

Publication: May 3rd 2022 by Disney Press

384 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Merida goes on an all-new, life-changing adventure in this original YA novel set several years after the close of Brave!

What if you had one year to save everything you loved?

ONE PRINCESS. Merida of DunBroch needs a change. She loves her family—jovial King Fergus, proper Queen Elinor, the mischievous triplets— and her peaceful kingdom. But she’s frustrated by its sluggishness; each day, the same. Merida longs for adventure, purpose, challenge – maybe even, someday, love.

TWO GODS. But the fiery Princess never expects her disquiet to manifest by way of Feradach, an uncanny supernatural being tasked with rooting out rot and stagnation, who appears in DunBroch on Christmas Eve with the intent to demolish the realm – and everyone within. Only the intervention of the Cailleach, an ancient entity of creation, gives Merida a shred of hope: convince her family to change within the year – or suffer the eternal consequences.

THREE VOYAGES. Under the watchful eyes of the gods, Merida leads a series of epic journeys to kingdoms near and far in an attempt to inspire revolution within her family. But in her efforts to save those she loves from ruin, has Merida lost sight of the Clan member grown most stagnant of all – herself?

FOUR SEASONS TO SAVE DUNBROCH – OR SEE IT DESTROYED, FOREVER.

Review: I loved Brave, the movie and I also love Maggie Stiefvater so combining the two had to be good, right?! So right! When I first started reading the book I was a little unsure of my mood which could potentially be a problem being a mood reader. But I didn’t need to worry about that… I was almost instantly sucked into the story.

Merida had been away from home for awhile traveling. Not long after she returned she was thrown into a mess between two gods. A bargain was struck and for the next year, Merida was to try her hardest to make changes to the stagnation that had fallen upon her home and family. If she could not prove enough change, Feradach would be forced to bring ruination to her home and family. Of course with Merida being very headstrong, she was bound to have some issues with Feradach and getting her family to change themselves without being able to tell anyone about the bargain that had been struck. I really enjoyed the banter between Merida and Feradach. There were a few things I didn’t really like about this book. It felt like a very young YA, almost bordering on middle grade. And although I knew that Maggie Stiefvater wrote it, it didn’t really feel like it. The writing was rather basic and not what I have come to love and expect from her. Overall I enjoyed this book but would have enjoyed it a bit more were it not for those two issues I had with it.

3 Stars

I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

Bellinger Sisters #2

Published March 1st 2022 by Avon Books

385 Pages

Goodreads Summary: King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a sexy, carefree flirt. Everyone knows he’s a guaranteed good time–in bed and out–and that’s exactly how he prefers it. Until he meets Hannah Bellinger. She’s immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his… personality? And wants to be friends? Bizarre. But he likes her too much to risk a fling, so platonic pals it is.

Now, Hannah’s in town for work, crashing in Fox’s spare bedroom. She knows he’s a notorious ladies’ man, but they’re definitely just friends. In fact, she’s nursing a hopeless crush on a colleague and Fox is just the person to help with her lackluster love life. Armed with a few tips from Westport’s resident Casanova, Hannah sets out to catch her coworker’s eye… yet the more time she spends with Fox, the more she wants him instead. As the line between friendship and flirtation begins to blur, Hannah can’t deny she loves everything about Fox, but she refuses to be another notch on his bedpost.

Living with his best friend should have been easy. Except now she’s walking around in a towel, sleeping right across the hall, and Fox is fantasizing about waking up next to her for the rest of his life and… and… man overboard! He’s fallen for her, hook, line, and sinker. Helping her flirt with another guy is pure torture, but maybe if Fox can tackle his inner demons and show Hannah he’s all in, she’ll choose him instead?

In the follow-up to It Happened One Summer, Tessa Bailey delivers another deliciously fun rom-com about a former player who accidentally falls for his best friend while trying to help her land a different man…

Review: Last year I read and reviews It Happened One Summer, the first book in a duology by Tessa Bailey about two sisters who must leave their posh lives in Los Angeles to prove themselves to be capable adults in a small fishing town in Washington state. I really enjoyed that first book introducing the two sisters, with the main focus on Piper, so I was really excited to get a chance to read and review book 2 in the series that focuses on Hannah. I could more easily connect with Hannah than Piper so I knew the second book would probably be even better for me than the first book. I was not disappointed.

The book opens with a text string between Hannah and Fox over the course of several months while she is back in L.A. and he is in Westport. I loved the connection between them and how music brought them even closer together. They seemed to easily understand one another even though they were both so different at the same time. Even before Hannah got back to Westport, the way they fought their growing attraction made it seem more and more that they were meant to be together. Their chemistry was absolutely undeniable throughout the book. I also really enjoyed the vulnerability that they both had. Neither had been in a serious relationship and were scared to take that step. Especially with Fox knowing how his father was and thinking that everybody basically expected him to follow suite. Even more than the romance between Hannah and Fox, I very much enjoyed Hannah’s character evolution. She started out working as a production assistant for this director and always thought of herself as an extra or sidekick character rather than the leading lady. Gradually Fox helped her to see that she can and should be the leading lady in her own life. She started to take those steps to put herself out there more and get what she wants. I enjoy romances but it makes it so much better when the female character takes charge of her own life and doesn’t just let things happen to her.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I am sad that there will not be anymore of these characters in future books. But I will definitely be checking out more books from this author in the future.

4 Stars