Arc Review: The Layover by Lacie Waldon

Title: The Layover
Author: Lacie Waldon
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: June 15th, 2021
Publisher: Putnam
Rating: 2.5 stars

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

“After ten years as a flight attendant, Ava Greene is poised to hang up her wings and finally put down roots. She’s got one trip left before she bids her old life farewell, and she plans to enjoy every second of it. But then she discovers that former pilot Jack Stone — the absurdly gorgeous, ridiculously cocky man she’s held a secret grudge against for years — is on her flight. And he has the nerve to flirt with her, as if he doesn’t remember the role he played in the most humiliating night of her life. Good thing she never has to see him again after they land….

But when their plane encounters mechanical problems, what should have been a quick stop at the Belize airport suddenly becomes a weekend layover. Getting stuck on a three-hour flight with her nemesis was bad enough. Being stranded with him at a luxury resort in paradise? Even with the sultry breeze and white sand to distract her, it will take all the rum punch in the country to drown out his larger-than-life presence.

Yet the more time Ava spends with him under the hot Caribbean sun, the more she begins to second-guess everything she thought she knew about him… and everything she thought she wanted from her life. And all too soon, she might have to choose between keeping her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds….” (Goodreads)

I was looking forward to reading this one as it seemed like a book with the perfect escape. I loved the idea of reading about a flight attendant since I can’t recall ever reading a book where that is the main character’s job. This review will have spoilers.

For the most part, this book had a lot of things I would normally like but the issue I had, which made it hard to get into, is that it starts off with her in a relationship and we are just supposed to take her word that she is miserable. To be honest, it just felt like the author threw in the whole engagement just to add a bit of drama but I just wasn’t down for it.

Although nothing exclusively happens between Jack and Ava until her relationship is called off. You could argue that she was emotionally cheating. She never even wore her engagement ring is a red flag, especially when she never talked about her private life to those she worked with. You can’t fault Jack on this one.

This one does have the enemies-to-lovers trope, although for the most part one-sided, is usually my favorite trope but I just couldn’t get into it knowing she had a fiancé back home.

I did like the side characters and the setting. They were both fun and made me not overly dislike the book.

Overall, this was an okay to good read depending on how you look at it. I think there will be those that enjoy it more than me.

Arc Review: Plot Twist by Bethany Turner

Title: Plot Twist
Author: Bethany Turner
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: June 15th, 2021
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Rating: ⭐⭐

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

An aspiring screenwriter has a chance encounter with an actor who could be the man of her dreams. Over the next ten years, she’ll write the story . . . but will he end up being the star?

February 4, 2003, promises to be a typical day for Olivia Ross—a greeting card writer whose passion project is a screenplay of her own. But after she and a handsome actor have a magical meet-cute in a coffee shop, they make a spontaneous pact: in ten years, after they’ve found the success they’re just sure they’re going to achieve, they’ll return to the coffeehouse to partner up and make a film together. The only problem? Olivia neglected to get the stranger’s name. But she doesn’t forget his face—or the date.

Every February 4 for the next ten years, Olivia has a day full of coincidences and ironies. As men come and go and return to her life, she continues to write, but still wonders about the guy from the coffee shop—the nameless actor she’s almost certain has turned out to be Hamish MacDougal, now a famous A-lister and Hollywood leading man.

But a lot can happen in ten years, and while waiting for the curtain to rise on her fate, the true story of Olivia’s life is being written—and if she’s not careful, she’ll completely miss the real-life romantic comedy playing out right before her eyes.” (Goodreads)

I thought this would be an interesting read as the encounter from the blurb sounded really interesting. Sadly, this book just didn’t work for me and maybe it’s just a me thing.

The book begins on February 4th, 2003 with an encounter that Olivia will never forget and it also will play a huge role in her life on the same day for the next ten years. I can’t recall reading a book like this besides maybe One Day in December which I couldn’t get into so my brain is a little hazy on how that one worked out.

I can’t say that I ever connected to Olivia but I did like that she didn’t give up on her dream of writing a script even if it took longer than she had first anticipated. The rest of her life was kind of a mess which I get. No life is perfect and we all do rash things but a lot of her actions were pretty selfish, especially when it came to her friend and ex-boyfriend.

Spoilers in this next Paragraphs:

There is one thing that I can’t stand and that is cheating. Although Olivia wasn’t in a relationship at the time, her ex was and she kissed him not only once but twice when he was in two different relationships, one being her friend. That is just not okay and it really turned me off.

It also made me not like Liam because in the beginning he was this laid back guy and then when they broke up and she found herself in a relationship with his friend who cheated on her, Liam had a lot to say about it but also does the same thing. It doesn’t matter if you only have eyes for one person, don’t be in a relationship or stay far away from the person who keeps trying to get you back but then still walks away.

End of Spoilers.

The plot does match the title as it definitely didn’t turn out like I thought it would but I also think the plot was bogged down by all of the celebrity name dropping and the drama of Olivia’s life.

Overall, this was okay but it just wasn’t a book for me as I’m just not the right reader for it.

Arc Review: Kiss and Repeat by Heather Truett

Title: Kiss and Repeat
Author: Heather Truett
Genre: YA Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: May 25th, 2021
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

In Heather Truett’s Kiss and Repeat, a teen uses the scientific method drilled into him by his scientist father to begin a kissing experiment. Only the experiment gets messy, and Stephen will have to come clean if he wants to win one girl’s heart in this heartfelt and funny YA debut.

Stephen Luckie isn’t so lucky in love. He’s completely inexperienced when it comes to girls, and wonders if his tics – caused by Tourette’s Syndrome – are the reason.

Then a game at a party reveals that his body goes still while kissing. Using the scientific method drilled into him by his scientist father, Steven begins the best experiment ever–one that involves kissing as many girls as possible. Who knew science could be so fun?

But when the experiment gets underway, Stephen begins to question how he treats girls – and if his tics have been standing in his way at all. With two girls interested in him, he has to figure out what really matters to him and what he’ll risk – and gain – by being his true self.” (Goodreads)

Stephen has Tourette’s Syndrome and after being kissed by a girl which happened at a party by accident, he realizes he doesn’t get a tic while it happened. This causes for an interesting plot where I liked some parts but didn’t like others as much.

When it comes to the rep, I can’t really speak on it because I don’t have it nor does anyone close to me. I will say in some instances it felt more like a background thing because it didn’t happen often and it would only be talked about. It was interesting to see how he dealt with situations that came about because of his tics.

Stephen isn’t like many other guys in books as he does try to take a girl’s feelings into consideration. Although this is the case for a lot of the book, he does at times overlook a certain situation involving a girl that causes a lot of drama that did feel over the top but also understandable in a way.

The plot was a bit predictable and it was easy to see where the story was going when it came to the romance and the girl he would end up choosing. There still were certain plot twists I didn’t see coming and liked so it did keep the book interesting.

As for the other characters, some were a bit flat for my liking and only there to keep things moving but it didn’t bother me too much. His best friend was a real dillweed though and I would have ended up punching him, haha.

Overall, this was good and it did have cute moments.

E-Arc Review: The Life and Deaths of Frankie D. by Colleen Nelson

Title: The Life and Deaths of Frankie D.
Author: Colleen Nelson
Genre: YA Fantasy / Magical Realism / Contemporary
Publication Date: May 11th, 2021
Publisher: Dundurn

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

Could a hundred-year-old circus sideshow be the key to Frankie’s mysterious past?

Seventeen-year old Frankie doesn’t trust easily. Not others, and not even herself. Found in an alley when she was a child, she has no memory of who she is, or why she was left there. Recurring dreams about a hundred-year-old carnival sideshow, a performer known as Alligator Girl, and a man named Monsieur Duval have an eerie familiarity to them.

Frankie gets drawn deeper into Alligator Girl’s world, and the secrets that kept the performers bound together. But a startling encounter with Monsieur Duval when she’s awake makes Frankie wonder what’s real and what’s in her head.

As Frankie’s and Alligator Girl’s stories unfold, Frankie’s life takes a sharp twist. Are the dreams her way of working through her trauma, or is there a more sinister plan at work? And if there is, does she have the strength to fight it?” (Goodreads)

I was intrigued by this one because of the title and the cover. Both are just really enticing. I did like certain aspects of this book but there were also a lot that I didn’t like or they just felt rushed which is why this book ended up not being one that was for me.

The first thing that didn’t work for me was the labeling of this book. It is labeled as YA but I think that the target genre is more Middle Grade. This is just how the writing style is and I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. I do think that someone in the Middle grade would really enjoy this over a teen.

The book is split into past memories and present time. I always like double timelines so this was fun to see.

I did enjoy seeing where Frankie’s story took her. There was a lot of mystery surrounding her and this circus she kept dreaming about. That part easily pulls in a reader. The thing is, I just think there were too many topics put into the plot and some of them just didn’t get fleshed out enough because of the length of the book. The ending also was rushed and I just hate when that happens.

Overall, it was okay but it just wasn’t for me.

Arc Review: The Secret Bridesmaid by Katy Birchall

Title: The Secret Bridesmaid
Author: Katy Birchall
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: May 4th, 2021
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Rating: 4.5 stars

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

Matrimony meets mayhem in a modern British romcom about a young woman charged with pulling off the biggest aristocratic wedding of the year––and the misadventures that ensue.

Sophie Breeze is a brilliant bridesmaid. So brilliant, in fact, that she’s made it her full-time job.

As a professional bridesmaid, Sophie is hired by London brides to be their right-hand woman, posing as a friend but working behind the scenes to help plan the perfect wedding and ensure their big day goes off without a hitch. When she’s hired by Lady Victoria Swann––a former model and “It Girl” of 1970’s London; now the Marchioness of Meade––for the society wedding of the year, it should be a chance for Sophie to prove just how talented she is.

Of course, it’s not ideal that the bride, Lady Victoria’s daughter, Cordelia, is an absolute diva and determined to make Sophie’s life a nightmare. It’s also a bit inconvenient that Sophie finds herself drawn to Cordelia’s posh older brother, who is absolutely off limits. But when a rival society wedding is announced for the very same day, things start to get…well, complicated.

Can Sophie pull off the biggest challenge of her career––execute a high-profile gala for four hundred and fifty guests in record time, win over a reluctant bride, and catch the eye of handsome Lord Swann––all while keeping her true identity a secret, and her dignity intact?” (Goodreads)

The reason I picked this book up is because the blurb sounded fantastic, like a movie I would enjoy, and it was a “read now” on Netgalley. I feel like it was meant to be because I haven’t read a book that has really made me laugh in awhile and I loved this one from start to finish!

If you are big on labels for books and are looking for a romance, this wouldn’t be it. The romance is a very, very minor thing but it was just the right amount for this particular book. Even though it was minor it still made me giddy from their first introduction. What this book does focus on, and does well, is friendship. It isn’t the best between Sophie and Cordelia from the beginning but I do like the progress of their relationship and the fact that Sophie never gives up even when times get tough and Cordelia can become a bridezilla. It made for a lot of laugh-out-loud moments!

Sophie and Cordelia also go through a lot of personal growth as well. Sophie has ex-boyfriend issues and remains consistent with her life and adds no pizazz to it. Cordelia has a rough past, paparazzi, and no friends unless you count her family and fiancée. I did like that both have family they can talk to and that they are present. The minor characters were great additions to the plot and I liked getting to know the ones that did have some bigger parts.

There are interesting formats like emails and text messages to really understand Sophie’s job as a bridesmaid. It was fun to read them and they were quite comical, haha.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and would recommend for those looking for a funny book that isn’t heavy with the romance.

E-Arc Review: The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser

Title: The Bookshop of Second Chances
Author: Jackie Fraser
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: May 4th, 2021
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

A woman desperate to turn a new page heads to the Scottish coast and finds herself locked in a battle of wills with an infuriatingly handsome bookseller in this utterly heartwarming debut, perfect for readers of Evvie Drake Starts Over.

Thea Mottram is having a bad month. Her husband of nearly twenty years has just left her for one of her friends, and she is let go from her office job–on Valentine’s Day, of all days. Bewildered and completely lost, Thea doesn’t know what to do. But when she learns that a distant great uncle in Scotland has passed away, leaving her his home and a hefty antique book collection, she decides to leave Sussex for a few weeks. Escaping to a small coastal town where no one knows her seems to be exactly what she needs.

Almost instantly, Thea becomes enamored with the quaint cottage, comforted by its cozy rooms and shaggy, tulip-covered lawn. The locals in nearby Baldochrie are just as warm, quirky, and inviting. The only person she can’t seem to win over is bookshop owner Edward Maltravers, to whom she hopes to sell her uncle’s antique novel collection. His gruff attitude–fueled by an infamous, long-standing feud with his brother, a local lord–tests Thea’s patience. But bickering with Edward proves oddly refreshing and exciting, leading Thea to develop feelings she hasn’t felt in a long time. As she follows a thrilling yet terrifying impulse to stay in Scotland indefinitely, Thea realizes that her new life may quickly become just as complicated as the one she was running from.” (Goodreads)

I really liked the sound of this one. It always intrigues me when a blurb mentions starting over, bickering, and feuds. It usually means I am in for a good time! The thing is, this book wasn’t anything like I expected and I can’t say I much liked the characters or the plot. They were all just a bit much most of the time.

Thea is dealing with a lot. She is newly single as her husband has been shacking up with her friend and she is ready for a fresh start. Luckily, her great uncle left her his house. That’s when she heads off on a new adventure.

I think Thea started off as a strong character but then I didn’t understand her fascination with Edward. We will get to that further in the review. I did feel for her and her situation. It’s hard having to move on from someone, and even your house, that you have spent so much time with. It’s even harder when your friend is the reason for it all. I did like seeing her journey in that aspect of finding herself away from her old life.

Now when it comes to Edward, I disliked him and never changed my mind. He is seriously horrible and for an older man he acts like a child.

*Spoilers, Spoilers!*

I knew from the beginning that she would find herself fancying Edward. They started working together and as the colder brother of the two (who also hates women unless he is having sex with them (friends with benefits but he really doesn’t even have friends)). One day he even goes on to tell Thea why him and his brother don’t get along and it’s because he sleeps with all of his brother’s girlfriends and wives. Now, you would think that Thea would stop talking to this guy and find a different job but no. She just shrugs it off and still hangs out with him. The reason for him doing this is just so childish. He does it because when he was a young lad he told his brother about a girl he liked and his brother said he would talk to her. Well, his brother at a party started making out with her and Edward saw so then his brother became the bane of his existence. You would think he would get over it but no. Childish.

This also comes into play around the last bit of the book when Edward’s brother locks Thea in a room to I guess try and sleep with her. Just no. That is so bad! You never fight fire with fire. He ends up not doing anything with her but obviously gets punched in the face. It’s just too much!

*End of Spoilers*

The minor characters are just there for added plot twists and most of the plot twists I saw coming. There was just too much drama for me and not enough character development or even likable characters for me to really care much about this book. There would be times that I would get sucked in just a bit but then something would shut it down quick.

Overall, it was okay but not a book for me.

Goodreads Monday: Battle Royal by Lucy Parker (4/26/21)

Hello Readers!

Goodreads Monday is hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off.

Title: Battle Royal
Author: Lucy Parker
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: August 17th, 2021
Publisher: Avon


Four years ago, Sylvie Fairchild charmed the world as a contestant on the hit baking show, Operation Cake. Her ingenious, colorful creations captivated viewers and intrigued all but one of the judges, Dominic De Vere, the hottest pastry chef in London. When her glittery unicorn cake went spectacularly sideways, Dominic was quick to vote her off the show. Since then, Sylvie has managed to use her fame to help fulfill her dream of opening a bakery, Sugar Fair. The toast of Instagram, Sugar Fair has captured the attention of the Operation Cake producers…and a princess.


Dominic is His Majesty the King’s favorite baker, the go-to for sweet-toothed A-List celebrities, and a veritable British institution. He’s brilliant, talented, hard-working. And an icy, starchy grouch. Learning that the irksome Sylvie will be joining him on the Operation Cake judging panel is enough to make the famously dour baker even more grim. Her fantastical baking is only slightly more troublesome than the fact that he can’t stop thinking about her pink-streaked hair and irrepressible dimple.


When Dominic and Sylvie learn they will be fighting for the once in a lifetime opportunity to bake a cake for the upcoming wedding of Princess Rose, the flour begins to fly as they’re both determined to come out on top.

The bride adores Sylvie’s quirky style. The palace wants Dominic’s classic perfection.

In this royal battle, can there be room for two?” (Goodreads)

I am really looking forward to this one and am happy I was approved on Netgalley. It looks really cute but I also think it may make me hungry for something sweet, haha.

Does this one sound like something you would read?

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Arc Review: Dial A for Aunites by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Title: Dial A for Aunties
Author: Jesse Q. Sutanto
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance / Mystery
Publication Date: April 27th, 2021
Publisher: Berkley

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

“A hilariously quirky novel that is equal parts murder mystery, rom-com, and a celebration of mothers and daughters as well as a deep dive into Chinese-Indonesian culture, by debut author Jesse Q. Sutanto.

1 (accidental) murder
2 thousand wedding guests
3 (maybe) cursed generations
4 meddling Asian aunties to the rescue!

When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is accidentally shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working, at an island resort on the California coastline. It’s the biggest job yet for their family wedding business—“Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!”—and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream cake flowers.

But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?” (Goodreads)

This book was definitely the most unique rom-com I have ever read by far.

Meddelin Chan has grown up knowing about a curse that ultimately leaves the women in her family menless. She stays close to home unlike her cousins and remains close to her family, which includes her aunts and her mother, and helps with their wedding business as a photographer.

The family in this book is one that I really liked. They were always there for her even if that means concealing a dead body, ha. Just like any other family, they also meddle especially her mom who tries to find her a husband. All of this played into the plot well and made for some funny moments. I also liked the author’s note about how the character’s resemble her family in ways.

I did mention funny moments and although I laughed a bit, there were also times that should have been funny but they just weren’t for me and I am sure this is just because of my own preference on what I find funny. My sense of humor is kind of bland and I do think other readers will like the quirkiness of the story more than me. But it’s not like I didn’t like it overall. I’m complicated. 🤷‍♀️😂

The romance is one that involves a second chance at love with the one who got away. There is a bit of development for it as there are past-tense chapters to explain what happened between them and why it didn’t work the first time. There isn’t too much development in the present-tense but I think this is due to the other plot points which I didn’t mind.

Overall, I liked this one and am looking forward to more books by this author.

Arc Review: Pastel Pink (Zadok #1) by Nikki Minty

Title: Pastel Pink (Zadok #1)
Author: Nikki Minty
Genre: YA Fantasy / Sci-fi
Publication Date: April 15th, 2021
Publisher: Self-Published
Rating: 2 stars

Thank you to BooksGoSocial and Netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

“From one ending comes a new beginning…
Ruby was murdered on Earth eighteen years ago and reincarnated on Zadok as a Pastel Zeek named Harlow. To be born at the bottom of her race’s caste colour system to a middle-class family of Magentas has made Harlow a source of conflict amongst the ruling Purples, and a source of derision from all three colours.
When Harlow is attacked by a fuegor on Zadok, the effects of its slow reacting venom triggers an unforeseen phenomenon, and due to the strong connection she had with her former twin sister Jade, her human spirit is unexpectedly drawn back to Earth.
Now living a double life, she has plunged into a world of intrigue on both planets.

On earth, she watches on in horror as Jade reconnects with Lucas, the man who murdered her and got away with it. And to complicate things further, she’s being pursued by Alex, the ghost of Lucas’ twin. On Zadok, she becomes embroiled with Jax, the son of the Commanding family. He’s determined to bring about change to the colony’s colour system, but it’ll come at a cost.

As Harlow mixes with the political intrigue of the Zeeks, will she become a victim of those trying to rigidly maintain the status quo or will she usher in a revolution?
And will ghost Ruby resist the temptation of the handsome Alex or pursue an impossible relationship that could have dire consequences on both planets?” (Goodreads)

I always like to try indie books because sometimes they really surprise me and I find new authors to enjoy. I was looking forward to this one after seeing it as a “read now” on Netgalley. Plus, the cover is just so pretty! I really like the colors and it’s eye-catching.

For the first 18%, I was enjoying what I was reading. The writing was good and there were different plot points that kept me engaged. Nothing really stood out to me until the colors of the characters skins became more of an issue and different distinctions shot up red flags.

I did run these things by others to make sure I wasn’t jumping to conclusions and others saw the same issues I did. As someone mentioned, this could have not been beta read and since the author is from Australia that may also be a reason. I’m not sure but let’s just get into the discussion.

In the second chapter, we are introduced to Harlow who is a Pastel. In her region of the planet there is a construct for the different colors of skin. The top is Purple, middle is Magenta, and Pastel is at the bottom. Each one has a different job/task based on their color. Pastels are seen as weak and useless. Sometimes they are born blind or lose their sight.

Again nothing occurred to me until a Purple, the commander’s son, started talking about how these people shouldn’t be segregated as right now they are separated by the different colors. He wants to change it while others, his mother included, do not want to. This just seemed oddly similar to our own history in America. Another thing that added to this point is when there is a comic and words in illustrations that say, “No Pastels Allowed.”.

There was also a passage that talked about how the men wear their hair and that they would have dreadlocks or cornrows. She also made sure to mention that Zavier, a Pastel, had a tangled mess instead of the other two hairstyles. Both of those hairstyles are usually linked to the black community. Later on in the book, the author describes a character of being, “…tall powerful physique of a female basketball player from the human world–only curvier, sexier.” Before that she mentioned that this character has muscular thighs. If I remember correctly, this character was a Purple so she was at the top.

On this planet there are also other groups of people living, one being the vallon. They are described as having red skin. A few passages about them did remind me of Native Americans. One of those reasonings being the color of their skin and they are also mentioned as riding horses, raiding colonies, and stealing young pastel girls. They also come from the desert and Harlow described them as being jealous of her colony having all the best resources.

There are other passages that made me feel uneasy about the chosen color system for these characters but I don’t want this review to be too long. I will say that at least there was talk about being one race and wanting unity but it still left a bad taste. I’m just not sure what the intentions behind it all were.

As for the rest of the book, I did like the writing. There is violence in this book and it does start off with it. It’s definitely what kept me interested in reading. The two timelines come from Harlow and her as Ruby’s ghost. There is also two point-of-views. All of this can be overwhelming at times as it doesn’t leave too much room for explaining the world-building better as we are thrown from one place to the next.

When it came to the world-building, I was a bit confused. On the planet that Harlow lives there is modern conveniences like a hospital and café but they also do jobs as hunters and gatherers. They even trade for supplies. They also don’t live in modern homes as their dwelling place is in caverns. I’m not really sure exactly how all of this goes together and I just had a really hard time trying to imagine it all in my head.

Another thing about the world-building is that animals, or monsters as I’m not sure, were never described and neither was some of the different words used by the people. One phrase being, “…the deeper the pigment, the bigger the whingers.” This was used to describe those complaining at the café. This could also be seen as another point to the above when it comes to race.

The only other thing I want to mention is the character of Alex. I liked him at the beginning but by the end I hated him. He was literally giving his brother a free pass when it came to murder and wanting to murder other people because of his childhood. It just wasn’t good.

Overall, this started out strong but quickly took a turn that left me feeling uncomfortable with the color system of this book. Although there were a few interesting plot points, I can’t say that I would recommend this book or that I will be continuing on with this series.

Goodreads Monday: Stalking Shadows by Cyla Panin (4/12/21)

Hello Readers!

Goodreads Monday is hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off.

Title: Stalking Shadows
Author: Cyla Panin
Genre: YA Fantasy / Retellings / Gothic
Publication Date: September 14th, 2021
Publisher: Amulet Books

A gothic YA fantasy debut about a young woman striving to break her sister’s curse and stop the killing in her small French town

Seventeen-year-old Marie mixes perfumes to sell on market day in her small eighteenth-century French town. She wants to make enough to save a dowry for her sister, Ama, in hopes of Ama marrying well and Marie living in the level of freedom afforded only to spinster aunts. But her perfumes are more than sweet scents in cheap, cut-glass bottles: A certain few are laced with death. Marie laces the perfume delicately—not with poison but with a hint of honeysuckle she’s trained her sister to respond to. Marie marks her victim, and Ama attacks. But she doesn’t attack as a girl. She kills as a beast.

Marking Ama’s victims controls the damage to keep suspicion at bay. But when a young boy turns up dead one morning, Marie is forced to acknowledge she might be losing control of Ama. And if she can’t control her, she’ll have to cure her. Marie knows the only place she’ll find the cure is in the mansion where Ama was cursed in the first place, home of Lord Sebastien LeClaire. But once she gets into the mansion, she discovers dark secrets hidden away—secrets of the curse, of Lord Sebastien . . . and of herself.” (Goodreads)

I am really looking forward to this one and am happy I was approved on Netgalley. It’s not my favorite cover but I do like the sound of it and I am hear for gothic retellings.

Does this one sound like something you would read?

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)