Top 10 Reads For the First Half of 2018

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I totally forgot this post has been sitting in my draft for a month now.

So far in the year 2018, I have read a total of 57 books and this includes graphic novels and novellas. (A book is a book no matter how long or short the story is.) In no particular order (I’ll only rank them in the year’s end.) here is my list! Please take note that some of these books are published a year ago or older and some may be ARCs.

 


A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell #3)

by Deanna Raybourn
January 16, 2018

Read My 5-star Review

(Note from blogger: Though part of a series, this can be read as a standalone)

London, 1888.

As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can’t resist the allure of an exotic mystery—particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague, Stoker. His former expedition partner has vanished from an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. This disappearance is just the latest in a string of unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the vengeful princess has been unleashed as the shadowy figure of Anubis himself stalks the streets of London.

But the perils of an ancient curse are not the only challenges Veronica must face as sordid details and malevolent enemies emerge from Stoker’s past. Caught in a tangle of conspiracies and threats—and thrust into the public eye by an enterprising new foe—Veronica must separate facts from fantasy to unravel a web of duplicity that threatens to cost Stoker everything. . . .

AMAZON | GOODREADS



The Queen’s Rising (The Queen’s Rising #1)

by Rebecca Ross
February 6th 2018

Read My 5-star Review

When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

AMAZON | GOODREADS



The Rogue Queen (The Hundredth Queen #3)

by Emily R. King
February 13, 2018

Read My 5-star Review

Despite the odds, Kalinda has survived it all: Marriage to a tyrant. Tournaments to the death. The forbidden power to rule fire. The icy touch of a demon.

That same demon now disguises itself as Rajah Tarek, Kalinda’s late husband and a man who has never stopped haunting her. Upon taking control of the palace and the army, the demon brands Kalinda and her companions as traitors to the empire. They flee across the sea, seeking haven in the Southern Isles.

In Lestari, Kalinda’s powers are not condemned, as they are in her land. Now free to use them to protect those she loves, Kalinda soon realizes that the demon has tainted her with a cold poison, rendering her fire uncontrollable. But the lack of control may be just what she needs to send the demon back to the darkest depths of the Void.

To take back the empire, Kalinda will ally with those she distrusts—and risk losing those most loyal to her—to defeat the demon and bring peace to a divided nation.

AMAZON | GOODREADS



Pestilence (Four Horsemen #1)

by Laura Thalassa
March 20th 2018

Read My 5-star Review

They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all. 

When Pestilence comes for Sara Burn’s town, one thing is certain: everyone she knows and loves is marked for death. Unless, of course, the angelic-looking horseman is stopped, which is exactly what Sara has in mind when she shoots the unholy beast off his steed.

Too bad no one told her Pestilence can’t be killed.

Now the horseman, very much alive and very pissed off, has taken her prisoner, and he’s eager to make her suffer. Only, the longer she’s with him, the more uncertain she is about his true feelings towards her … and hers towards him.

And now, well, Sara might still be able to save the world, but in order to do so, she’ll have to sacrifice her heart in the process.

AMAZON | GOODREADS


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Lithium Tides (Lithium Springs #2)

by Carmel Rhodes
April 26th 2018

Read My 5-star Review

Whose bed is this?
That was Kensie’s first thought as she peeled her eyes open to find herself in an unfamiliar room. She noted the crumpled red dress, tiny black thong, and Louboutin heels in the corner.

Whose arms are these?
That was her second thought as the tattooed arms engulfing her tightened their grip. Her phone buzzed on the nightstand. Carefully, without waking up the man behind her, she reached for it. The name on the display read Prince Charming.

“Hello?”

“How are you still asleep at one in the afternoon?” Trey’s familiar baritone rang in her ear.

“Long night,” she rasped. The man behind her chuckled, his mouth warm on her ear.

“Well, wake up. My flight leaves in an hour and I can’t wait to see you.”

“I can’t wait,” she said weakly.

What have I done?
That was her third thought as the weight of her recklessness consumed her.

She cheated.

She was a cheater.

Lithium Tides: Book Two in the Lithium Springs Series. A Complete Standalone Novel.

US | UK | CA | AU | MX | GOODREADS


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Bring Me Their Hearts

by Sara Wolf
June 5th 2018

Read My 5-star Review

Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

Literally.

AMAZON | B&N | iBOOKS | KOBO | ENTANGLED PUBLISHING | GOODREADS


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Mistress Mine (Louise Saint-Quentin, #1)

by Gabrielle Dubois
March 31st 2016

Read My 5-star Review

In 1876, Louise St Quentin is sixteen. She is an orphan and the rich owner of a huge estate. Her future seems all mapped out; a marriage of convenience which would help her manage her estate. But Louise listens to her heart rather than her reason.

The end of the 19th century is terribly exciting, and Louise wants to discover everything – the adventure lying at the end of the railway track, romantic music, the modern cuisine in the new Parisian restaurants, and impressionist painting. Will her artistic, cultural and sensual upbringing going to lead the young girl to her ruin or to love? Will Louise, the young French girl find the grass greener on the other side of the world?

Gabrielle Dubois, the author, obviously studied the fashion of the 19th century in detail – the very sophisticated, elaborate clothes, especially in the upper-class circles which Louise moves around in, and in fact the whole novel is extremely well documented.

The reader can’t help getting attached to the heroine and the men and women who cross her path during her travels. Louise Saint Quentin might become one of them much desired “Mistress Mine” but she is above all her own “Mistress Mine” as she has to learn all about life and how to fend for herself from a very early age, something unusual for a girl at the time.

The numerous, often pithy, dialogues throughout the novel show her personality and how it evolves. They bring both Louise and the other characters to life and together with all the little, well-observed details, create “a reality effect”. In a word, we are drawn into Mistress Mine from the start and we find hard to put it down. Although we are rather sad to get to the end, we know there is another volume of the saga “Where are you roaming?” which will be available in June 2018 and we can’t wait to read it.

AMAZON | UK | BOOK DEPOSITORY | B&N | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


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One Small Thing

by Erin Watt
June 18th 2018

Read My 5-star Review

Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.

Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…

Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.

Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.

AMAZON | GOODREADS


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Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge

by Lisa Jensen
July 10th 2018

Read My 5-star Review

Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen’s multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.

They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier’s cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.

AMAZON | GOODREADS


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The Oddling Prince

by Nancy Springer
April 24th 2018

Read My 5-star Review

In the ancient moors of Scotland, the king of Calidon lies on his deathbed, cursed by a ring that cannot be removed from his finger. When a mysterious fey stranger appears to save the king, he also carries a secret that could tear the royal family apart.

The kingdom’s only hope will lie with two young men raised worlds apart. Aric is the beloved heir to the throne of Calidon; Albaric is clearly of noble origin yet strangely out of place.

AMAZON | GOODREADS

 

 

Let me know if you’ll pick one of these books or have already read one, I’d love to chat about it.

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