Illusionary Blog Tour Review

Hi all!

Long time without writing here. Even though I am technically still in hiatus (from all social media and this blog). I had the absolute pleasure of receiving Illusionary before it was released, and I was asked if I wanted to be a part of the Blog Tour. Of course, I couldn’t say no. Illusionary is the sequel to Incendiary (which I reviewed here), and as you can tell I loved it so much, it’s been one of my most anticipated books of 2021 and May of 2021.

There’s so much I want to talk about this book, but as always I will try to keep it spoiler free as much as I can. I should mention though if you haven’t read Incendiary then a lot of things I will discuss from Book 2 will be spoilers.

So make sure you read that one or don’t mind the spoilers.

Illusionary

by Zoraida Cordova

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Release Date: 11th May, 2021
Publisher: Hodderscape

Reeling from betrayal at the hands of the Whispers, Renata Convida is a girl on the run. With few options and fewer allies, she’s reluctantly joined forces with none other than Prince Castian, her most infuriating and intriguing enemy. They’re united by lofty goals: find the fabled Knife of Memory, kill the ruthless King Fernando, and bring peace to the nation. Together, Ren and Castian have a chance to save everything, if only they can set aside their complex and intense feelings for each other.

With the king’s forces on their heels at every turn, their quest across Puerto Leones and beyond leaves little room for mistakes. But the greatest danger is within Ren. The Gray, her fortress of stolen memories, has begun to crumble, threatening her grip on reality. She’ll have to control her magics–and her mind–to unlock her power and protect the Moria people once and for all.

For years, she was wielded as weapon. Now it’s her time to fight back.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | INDIEBOUND| BOOKSHOP


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
*young adult historical fantasy/duology with a sprinkle of romance and a lot of action packed adventure
*pirates, villains, spies, magical system, magical quest (to save world), HEA, chosen one
*MC, Renata Convida is a fierce, bit jaded anti-hero with probably the worst power you can get
*slow burn, (childhood friends to) enemies to lovers, expect a lot of urst, uses the tropes, one bed!! fake marriage!!
*LI is the ‘you didn’t expect you would actually like him’ kind of jaded, moody,
*deals with political intrigue, uncovering secrets about yourself (and your magics), trauma, revenge, authoritarian regimes, xenophobia, wars, betrayal


cw for violence, sexual moments

Illusionary continues the story from THAT cliffhanger on Incendiary, Renata Convida and Castian are both on a quest to find the Knife of Memory that would restore peace to the nation and save everything. But along the way they won’t have to only try to escape from King Fernando’s guards, spies and untrustworthy people, they have to deal with their own complex, intense feelings for each other. Feelings that for Ren especially she would rather ignore. Not only that but since everything that happened with Justice Mendez, her powers, The Gray, her mind prison where are the stolen memories are stored, has seemingly disappeared. Now Ren has to fight to understand what is reality and what is not. To win this battle, survive and protect the Moria people she will have to find ways to control her magic and maybe finally unlock her power.

In the great iconic words of Luisa “Zoraida can have my soul in a jar, I have no use for it now”.

This book was in many ways a lot more intense than Incendiary, but in so many ways it was perfect, it was all about Ren and Castian’s character development and well their developing and deepening relationship. I should say even though the book does have romance, the romance at no point feels like it is overpowering the story. It is a fantastical quest with sprinkles of romance, that if you’re like me and love enemies who suddenly discover they are connected (because of whatever reasons), have to work together and also are secretly trying to deny how attracted (love love loveee) they are to each other,, then you’re going to love this book. I won’t talk too much about Ren and Castian together even though i’m literally stopping myself from gushing. I will say I loved the delicious tension between them, i loved their banter, i loved when they started to open up and discover how similar they were, and how much they needed each other. Also the moment where it all comes together I almost wanted to shout out loud and like fist bump, but it was almost 2am, so I stopped myself.

One main theme of this book was trauma, particularly, how Ren accepted, found ways to deal with her trauma and basically where she finds herself and her truth. I especially loved how her trauma was portrayed as a journey, and not just well magical solution and here you go bye years of trauma. Even at the end of the book, you could feel Ren was still trying to find ways to be okay with herself. Also, how her self-loathing, self-hate was showed in the book was so impactful, I swear I could feel it deep in my gut.

I also loved how Castian throughout this quest was at many points a source of support and comfort for Ren, now if you’ve just started reading the book or just read the first book you’ll be reading this making a face that you don’t believe me, but you’ll see. And when you get there it’s the best thing ever. Their relationship was

I should mention when I say this book was more intense, while it wasn’t action, action at many times since the book was more introspective, quieter, a bit more personal, it did feel more intense because we were dealing with Ren and her own personal demons. That said, there were many moments of action thrills. At times, this book felt like it was slowly slowly building each of the characters and their journey to reach an explosive end. I’m trying not to spoil too much, but I will say the ending followed kind of the same structure of the book where it felt explosive, but in an emotional way. Like you finally let out that breath you were holding (I had to use the cliche phrase, dont mind me).

I haven’t said much about the side characters which honestly had so much personality that they didn’t at all feel like filler characters, Leo who we previously knew from Book 1 joins Castian and Ren again. He was the perfect contrast to the broody main couple (:]). Lady Nuria who was already such an intriguing character, also from Book 1), and the cast of pirates and Whispers. I should mention Dez probably but honestly there were times I really disliked him, but by the end you’ll probably love him (or at least understand him).

There’s so much about this book that was perfect. I think I’m not exagerating when I say this book just has it all, and it does everything so well. It is the perfect conclusion to any series, and is now considered one of my comfort reads. I kinda feel like re-reading the whole series to capture those moments in my excitement I missed.

In summary, Illusionary, the Hollow Crown series is a perfect fantastical thrilling read that does not disappoint from Book 1 to the ending of Book 2.


Zoraida Córdova is the acclaimed author of more than a dozen novels and short stories, including the Brooklyn Brujas series, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash of Fate, and The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina. In addition to writing novels, she serves on the Board of We Need Diverse Books, and is the co-editor of the bestselling anthology Vampires Never Get Old, as well as the cohost of the writing podcast, Deadline City. She writes romance novels as Zoey Castile. Zoraida was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and calls New York City home. When she’s not working, she’s roaming the world in search of magical stories.

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | TWITTER


I had so much fun reading this book, and I can’t thank Kate Keehan and everyone at Hodderscape for sending me the final copy of the book before it was released. Thank you to Zoraida also for making sure I would receive it.

That said, I am not yet sure if I’ll be back to review regularly, I have been in a bit of a reading slump lately, and even though this book was amazing in getting ready of it, I am still trying to slowly dip my toes into getting back to regularly reading and reviewing.

So I can’t make any promises this blog will come back from hiatus now or anytime soon, but thank you to those still reading and writing comments. I appreciate all of you!

King of the Rising Tour Moodboard + Review

Hi everyone!
It’s been a while, recently life has caught up with me in different ways and I’ve found myself more hectic than usual which means I drop the ball on some things, like reading or updating this blog.
Hopefully by next week things calm down and I’ll go back to regular posting.

Today I have a very exciting review, I’ve been waiting to talk about this book since I received confirmation I was part of Caffeine Book Tours’ Blog Tour 🙂 I got the chance to receive an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the publisher and Caffeine Book Tours as part of my participation in their tour.


</center

King of the Rising

by Kacen Callender

Genre: Adult Fantasy
Release Date: 1st Dec, 2020
Publisher: Orbit Books

The second novel in the Islands of Blood and Storm series set in a Caribbean-inspired fantasy world embattled by colonial oppression—perfect for fans of R.F. Kuang and Tasha Suri.

A revolution has swept through the islands of Hans Lollik and former slave Loren Jannik has been chosen to lead the survivors in a bid to free the islands forever. But the rebels are running out of food, weapons and options.

And as the Fjern inch closer to reclaiming Hans Lollik with every battle, Loren is faced with a choice that could shift the course of the revolution in their favor-or doom it to failure.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | INDIEBOUND| BOOKSHOP


For more information about the Blog Tour, giveaway and schedule, click the image

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
*high fantasy story
*Caribbean inspired archipelago
*slow paced book, political
*honest and brutal exploration of slavery and colonialism
*MC is a former enslaved person, former bodyguard to first book MC and now leader of this rebellion
*discusses racism, good intentions, empathetic main character, revolution, the complex world of colonialism, slavery, search for revenge and struggle for freedom


cw: racism, slavery, torture, sexual assault, violence, descriptions of death

First of all, I would like to say if you haven’t had a chance to read the first book of this duology, I am not sure what you are waiting for. This book (and this duology) blew my mind, they were just the high fantasy books I’ve been wanting to read forever. This duology is vivid, brutal, graphic, emotional and I would say a perfect reflection on slavery and racism. That said, it is too easy to get caught up on all the characters and their plots.

King of the Rising is the second book in the Islands of Blood and Storm duology. It continues on the story from Queen of the Conquered but this time the point of view and thoughts of the book change. In book 1 we were presented with Sigourney’s story, her thoughts and motivations to become queen/ruler of the islands. In Book 2 we get to hear of her fate, how she went from that to being imprisoned but from Loren’s point of view, her former enslaved bodyguard/now captor/boy who the spirits wouldn’t let die.

Although it is a continuation of the first book, it follows a few months later when the revolution has already happened led by Loren, two months after the island fell. When we are not sure what will happen, will they find support for their revolution or will they end up captured and killed?
I loved the high stakes of this book, I especially loved that in comparison to other fantasy books the man and the women are not lovers, nor do they have to be. I loved the setting of this book (and the previous), it isn’t everyday I get to read and enjoy a book set inspired by the Caribbean, and it is so easy to see so many aspects of it. I loved the fantasy aspects of the book, the Kraft and the explanation of it, how some were deemed worthy of having it and others should be punished

My favourite thing about this series was how flawed both main characters were, Loren, the main character of this book is a strong, honest man, who at times is too empathetic and lets his feelings and emotions lead him to decisions. While Sigourney was too stuck in her ways and her quest for revenge. They both have distinct motivations and reasons. They’re both not easy to like but like I mentioned before you do get caught up in their plots. Both are not right or even wrong in their ways to go about things, but they make mistakes, and it always feel (like in real life) there’s always things they could’ve foreseen but life is not neat.

I keep wanting to write more about King of the Rising, and write more explicitly about some aspects of it, but if there is one book that shouldn’t be spoiled and everyone should get to read it and enjoy (or not) the ending is this book.

That said, the ending still left me speechless, I am not sure what I expected in the end, but while it left me listless for a while, I can understand why it ended the way it did (do you see how vague I am being so you can be curious and go read this duology? did it work?)

Overall, if you’re looking for a high fantasy, that doesn’t fall into any cliches of fantasy tales, that is not afraid of being brutal and honest and that is not afraid of subverting your expectations, this book might just be the perfect thing for you. Add to that a whole lot of Caribbean inspired fantasy, racism and colonialism discussions, a main character who is not perfect and you end up with the most intriguing storyline you will read in this whole year.


Kacen Callender was born two days after a hurricane and was first brought home to a house without its roof. After spending their first eighteen years on St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, Kacen studied Japanese, Fine Arts, and Creative Writing at Sarah Lawrence College and received their MFA from the New School. Kacen is the author of the middle grade novel Hurricane Child and the young adult novel This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story.

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | TWITTER


It’s been really fun getting to talk about this book, I hope I have given you enough to want to check it out.

Thank you to Caffeine Book Tours and to the publishers for letting me enjoy this book before it is released.

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow Review

Hi all,
I hope you’re all having a, as much as it can be, good week. I’ve been checking twitter every so often for updates on the election, I’m sure I’m not the only one, but reading has been such a good distraction for me.
I had the pleasure to take part of the following book’s Blog Tour which had some of my favourite things combined.


A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow

by Laura Taylor Namey

Genre: YA Fiction
Release Date: Nov. 10th, 2020
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart.

Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila…until she meets Orion Maxwell.

A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKS-A-MILLION| BOOKSHOP


For more information about the Blog Tour and the schedule click the image

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5

6 reasons to read this book
*MC is Cuban-American girl, LI is a white English boy, slowburn romance
*Cuban representation! cuban food, culture, families, traditions
*so much food! perfect for foodie! and latinx/cuban foodies especially
*England setting, but a village in the South East
* explores themes of overcoming grief, accepting change, forgiveness, lots of explaration of family dynamics especially tight-knit family, friendship dynamics,
*light and fluffy read, some sad moments but overall light-hearted with a splash of romance


cw: death of a family member, dementia, grief, loss

Lila Reyes just went through what she calles the Trifecta, her grandmother died suddenly, her best friend without telling her decided not to move in with her and leave the country and her boyfriend of three years decided he needed to ‘find himself’. Things are not going her way and most of all Lila is not dealing well with the grief. Her family scared for her decide the best thing for her to do is some time off and what more is perfect than spending the summer in a quaint nice small village in South East, England with her aunts. But Lila isn’t very happy about this plan or her family making all these decisions over her.
When the book starts Lila is stubborn, she’s stuck in her ways and sees very little nice about England, but as time goes on, as she opens up not only to her aunt and her life in Winchester, but to Orion, his friendship, his group of friends and little by little we can see how she starts overcoming loss.
Orion is an interesting character because we meet him, he seems put together with his nice little tea shop. But he also has been dealing with grief in his own ways.
It was nice to read these two characters meeting, kind of a reluctant to friends dynamic at first, and from there a sweet slow friends to romance happens.
I especially loved the food and culture infusion within the book, the recipes were mouth-watering, some of them made me miss home.

I do have to admit it took me a while to get into the book especially because Orion seemed to good to be true all throughout the book, and I guess the slow pace plus the formatting errors of the E-ARC had me at times pushing myself to finish it.
But this book did remind me of all the things I love about England, it’s not an amazing place sometimes, but some other times, the people I’ve met here, like Lila, made this a place I’m so fond of.

The moments were she grieved over her grandmother were also bits I could relate to, I’m still grieving my grandmother and reading Lila going through that was probably one of my favourite aspects of the book, that overcoming her grief.
I have to comment on the last bit of the book, since it has such a romcom ending, but honestly as it was very light-hearted throughout, it also made sense for the book to end as it did.

Overall, if you’re looking for a light-hearted read of journey to overcoming loss, moving on and accepting change in a village in England with some tint of romance, a sprinkle of family and new (and old) friendships and a big big splash of food, this is the perfect book for you.


Laura Taylor Namey is a Cuban-American Californian who can be found haunting her favorite coffee shops, drooling over leather jackets, and wishing she was in London or Paris. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two superstar children.
This former teacher writes young adult novels about quirky teens learning to navigate life and love. Her debut, The Library of Lost Things, published 10/08/19 from Inkyard Press/HarperCollins. Her #ownvoices sophomore project, A CUBAN GIRL’S GUIDE TO TEA AND TOMORROW is coming November 10, 2020 from Atheneum Simon and Schuster, with a third title to follow fall 2021.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER


Blazewrath Games Blog Tour Moodboard+Review

Hi all!

Today I am very excited to talk about Blazewrath Games, an amazing latinx fantasy book by Amparo Ortiz. Thanks to Caffeine Tour and Page Street Publishing for the opportunity to read an ARC, get to enjoy this lovely book before it was released.

I’m not good at being super creative but I gave my shot on creating a moodboard, hopefully that gives you a little taste of what the book is about.


Blazewrath Games

by Amparo Ortiz

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release date: 6th October 2020
Publisher: Page Street Publishing

Lana Torres has always preferred dragons to people. In a few weeks, sixteen countries will compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance.
But when she discovers that a former Blazewrath superstar has teamed up with the Sire—a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form—the safety of the Cup is jeopardized. The pair are burning down dragon sanctuaries around the world and refuse to stop unless the Cup gets cancelled. All Lana wanted was to represent her country. Now, to do that, she’ll have to navigate an international conspiracy that’s deadlier than her beloved sport. 

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKDEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND


For more information about the Blog Tour and the schedule click the image

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
*MC, Lana Torres, is a brown puerto-rican girl
*so much of puerto rican culture, heritage, identity!
*ample queer cast of characters, BIPoC and Latinx characters, so many nationalities and ethnicities and disabled characters! found family!
*fantastical worldbuilding, magic system, magical creatures
*international conspiracy!! dragon-into-a-human form, so many plot twists and turn, action-packed
*sports fantasy, epic dragon sport with unique set of rules


cw: alcoholism, homophobia, physical violence, murder, illness, references of domestic abuse

Blazewrath Games tells the story of Lana Torres, who has always preferred dragons to people. Her dream and life goal has always been to compete in the Blazewrath World Cup representing Puerto Rico, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. When Puerto Rico’s runner is kicked off the team, now Lana has a chance to be a part of the team.
But a global conspiracy is brewing, the Sire, a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form and a former Blazewrath superstar have teamed up, they are burning down dragon sanctuaries and will not stop until the Cup is cancelled. Now, Lana has to navigate being a part of her beloved sport with this international threat.

I have to admit that from the moment I read the summary of this book, I knew I was going to like it. I mean sports? dragons? fantasy? I’m in!
I’m glad to say it didn’t disappoint, by the third chapter I was already hooked in.

Lana is an amazing heroine, she’s brave and determined but also not the typical ‘chosen one’ from fantasies. I loved that she wasn’t bonded to any dragon or had any special magic and that she took her time to think of other characters particularly the villain’s motivations and intentions, and that’s something that we don’t see very often in such fantasy books. Her inner dialogue was at times too relatable, particularly because of how down to earth she was.
Her friendship with Samira was also one of the highlights of this book, Samira, a big secondary character is her best-friend, co-pilot, co-partner in crime, she’s such a great asset, and through her you really get to know Lana.
I have to praise the diversity, it’s such a breath of fresh air the diverse, we had representation of so many nationalities, ethnicities, different identities, latinx characters, BIPoC, disabled, it was so natural and beautiful to read. It’s what it should be, I mean you’re telling me everyone in a magical fantasy world is able, cis, het, cmon! So thank you Amparo for showing us this wouldn’t be the case.
Also can I just mention how lovely it was to see how much this book was full of Puerto Rican culture, heritage, language, identity, it was in every bit of the book.

The worldbuilding in itself was superbly done, everything was explained so well and with a lot of detail, but also in a way that didn’t feel like an overexposition, it was just done perfectly. The magic system, the sport with all its rules, and how even dragons were, was really engaging.
The pace of the book is fast, i don’t mean this as a negative because I loved how fast paced it was, it fit so well with the world and the stakes. And even more with the many different plot twists, that were so well done they didn’t end up feeling like they were for the shock value.
Many of the things that happen in the book can easily be related to now, and that’s one of the things I most liked, it was fantasy with its own structure, magic system, magical creatures, but also so much of it was comparable to our world.

There’s so much more I could comment on, but I’m trying hard not to spoil anything.

Overall, Blazewrath Games is perfect for fans of fantasy, dragons, and a down-to-earth, regular fan full of determination main character who has so much heart. This is now in my favourite reads of 2020, I can’t wait for the next book and anything else Amparo comes up with.


Amparo Ortiz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and currently lives on the island’s northeastern coast. Her short story comic, “What Remains in The Dark,” appears in the Eisner Award-winning anthology Puerto Rico Strong (Lion Forge, 2018), and SAVING CHUPIE, her middle grade graphic novel, comes out with HarperCollins in Winter 2022. She holds an M.A. in English and a B.A. in Psychology from the UPR’s Río Piedras campus. When she’s not teaching ESL to her college students, she’s teaching herself Korean, devouring as much young adult fiction as she can, and writing about Latinx characters in worlds both contemporary and fantastical.

WEBSITE | GOODREADSINSTAGRAM | TWITTER


I had so much fun with this book, that I’m preparing soon a second read through.
Let me know if you’ve read this or if you’re planning on reading it 🙂 I’d love to gush with other people about it.

Legendborn Blog Tour: Tracy Deonn’s Arthurian Stories Listicle

Hi all!
As I mentioned previously. Thanks to Simon & Schuster Children’s UK I was invited to be a part of the Legendborn Blog Tour. You can’t believe how much I screamed when I received that email (it was a lot!) and when I had it in my hands, well I did a little happy dance. Legendborn was an insta-fave insta-I can’t stop reading until I’m at the last sentence from page one. I have many many good thoughts on it, but I will leave that for later.

Today I am happy to host Tracy Deonn, author of Legendborn, the Indie and NYT Bestseller(!!!!!!). She will be sharing with us a list of her favourite Arthurian stories. There’s a one or two I am very familiar with, some others I haven’t had the chance to check out.
But, first a little about the book if you haven’t seen it all over your twitter or bookstagram!


Legendborn
by Tracy Deonn

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: September 15th, 2020
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.
She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKDEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND


This is such a hard list to make, actually! I have so many favorite versions of Arthurian stories. To show a good spread of my interests in Arthuriana I went with three very different media stories and one classic novel.

1. The Dark is Rising Sequence, but particularly The Grey King
I had to list this one first because it was the first contemporary fantasy novel that I’d ever seen take on Arthurian legend, and it’s near and dear to my heart. But, I have to say – this book is actually the fourth book in a five book series. Sorry! I promise it’s worth reading through the first three to get here. The Grey King is unique in the series in that it is set in Wales, which allows it to really dig into the Arthurian backbone of the sequence. This book is also when we meet Bran Davies! He is not only my favorite character in the series, but he is probably one of my favorite characters in all of literature. In my book Legendborn, Nick’s last name (Davis) is a nod to Bran.

2. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
This film is SO many things at once. A retelling, a reimagining of the character of Arthur himself as a sort of urban underground scrapper, a frenetic rush, and a very ambitious story that spans two generations. I really love the visuals, even when I feel like my heart is racing out of my chest with Daniel Pemberton’s incredible score. I wanted more out of the mage character here, and hope she’s living on having grand adventures in someone’s fanfiction!

3. Wizards: Tales of Arcadia
I truly love the Tales of Arcadia animated series on Netflix. It’s geared toward both children and adults, has a great cast of voice actors, and the stories feel richly layered with lots of humor and drama. In the third and final installment, the team meets with Merlin’s apprentice and travels back in time to complete a mission in 12th century Camelot. I didn’t know I wanted Guillermo del Toro attached to an Arthurian project until I saw this!

4. Merlin (TV series)
This series is, of course, wildly popular. I’m putting it on the list even though I haven’t seen much past the first season. Before you laugh, just know that what I enjoy about the series is both that it features some of our favorite characters while they’re still quite young and that it inspired an active fandom. This is a series that I could see watching, then falling into a highly recommended fanfic, and bouncing back and forth between the canon of the show and the imaginations of fanfic authors online. And truly, that back and forth is not dissimilar to all of the Arthurian canon, which involves new stories built on old stories— and sometimes putting stories in conversation with one another is part of the fun.


Tracy Deonn is a writer and second-generation fangirl who grew up in North Carolina. Tracy has worked in live theater, video games, and K–12 education. When she’s not writing, Tracy speaks on panels at SFF conventions, reads fanfic, and keeps an eye out for ginger-flavored everything.

[WebsiteTwitterInstagram]


I hope you had as much fun reading Tracy’s thoughts on her favourite Arthurian stories as I did.

Until next,

Historically Inaccurate Blog Tour Review

Hi all!
We’re now on the 2nd week of Latinx Heritage Month. And today I bring another new review, this is of an upcoming book by Shay Bravo. Thanks to Colored Pages Book Tour and Wattpad for making me a part of this Blog Tour.


Historically Inaccurate

by Shay Bravo

Genre: YA contemporary
Release Date: Sept. 29th, 2020
Publisher: Wattpad Books

After her mother’s deportation last year, all Soledad “Sol” Gutierrez wants is for her life to go back to normal. Everything’s changed―new apartment, new school, new family dynamic―and Sol desperately wants to fit in. When she joins her community college’s history club, it comes with an odd initiation process: break into Westray’s oldest house and steal . . . a fork?

There’s just one problem: while the owners of the house aren’t home, their grandson Ethan is, and when he catches Sol with her hand in the kitchen drawer, she barely escapes with the fork intact. This one chance encounter irrevocably alters her life, and Sol soon learns that sometimes fitting in isn’t as important as being yourself―even if that’s the hardest thing she’s ever had to do

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKDEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND


Click the banner for more information about the tour

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
*MC is a brown questioning mexican-american woman
*Diverse cast of characters, Latinx representation, BIPOC and LGBTQ characters
*romance aspect, LI is a sweet, kinda dorky, Black man
*story deals with deportation, race issues, racism, immigration, social issues, injustices
*honest conversation on sexuality, making decisions about your future, college life/experiences, family dynamics, being Black in america
* slow-paced coming of age story about college experiences and fitting in after traumatic experiences, fun, easy light-read


cw: misgendering, deportation, instances of racism, hazing, microagressions, depictions of a car accident, ICE mentions

Historically Inaccurate tells the story of Soledad Gutierrez, in the middle of starting her third year of college trying to figure out her life a year after her mother got suddenly reported back to Mexico. Soledad was understandably impacted by this drifting away from everyone and her boyfriend. Now, she’s trying to navigate being in a new apartment, new school, new family dynamic. So why not join her community college’s history club since her parents and her bestfriend keep telling her she should get out and interact with other people. But that history club is not everything it seems, she even has to break in to someone’s house and basically steal a fork from them. This B&E will have her encountering the grandson of the owners of the house, Ethan, and kickstart her journey to understanding her new life, and herself.

The first thing that stood out for me from this book was how it handled the deportation/immigration aspect of the story. It felt truthful, you could see from every word the impact this event had on Soledad, you coul hear it in her inner dialogue and how most of her fears revolved around deportation and planning for a future with her mother back to her side. I appreciated that the book was also light-hearted enough, that those moments felt in tone with a teenagers life particularly with how she dealt with this new family dynamic without her mother and her father. I have to admit I also enjoyed the little mentions of food and spanish woven into the story, it gave this book another layer that i really liked.

The history club turned out to be an interesting piece of the plot, that while at first I didn’t think it would have a major role in it, in the end it gave the book its moments of biggest tension and even where the conflict between the cast of the book happens. I do like how it was resolved and I especially liked how diverse the cast was, and how this diversity didn’t feel forced. Although I have noted criticism on how it’s not okay we don’t know the LI is Black until halfway through the book.

I do have to warn about misgendering a trans character, as I am cis I don’t know impactful those two mentions could be, but there is two instances where the LI, Ethan, misgenders a trans character, it’s done in a way that reveals the character is trans, while before we weren’t really aware of it.

Soledad as the hero of this story was really relatable, she’s anxious, full of sass but also had great deprecating humour that sounds so realistic for her age. The setting and the way Sol was written also made her basically be the perfect representation of a college student. Her character development and her friends and friendship with her friends were so well fleshed out and beautifully constructed. The interactions between Sol and Carlos, and Sol and Diane were constructed in a way that gave them so much depth and you could easily feel the friendship between them. There’s also the romantic aspect of the book, Ethan is the sweetest love interest, I won’t spoil but I did like their cute interactions, and how it grew from something awkward to something cute.

Overall, I thought this was a good fun quick read, I do get that the slow-pace might not be for everyone, but I liked the way it portrayed a Mexican-American college student with some crazy hijinks to make it more interesting.


Shay Bravo is a Mexican born author who has now lived half of her life in the USA. She began sharing her work online through Wattpad when she was fifteen years old and has connected with over 114,000 followers. Historically Inaccurate won the 2019 Watty Awards and is her first novel. Shay currently resides in Houston, Texas.

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER


Next post will not be focused on Latinx Heritage Month.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster I had the opportunity to be part of the Legendborn Tour, so the post will be something fun to do with Legendborn and the author Tracy Deonn.

Furia Blog Tour Review

Hi all!
Another late post today, I keep trying to post early but life is always getting in the way lately.
Today’s post is another book which I had the chance to read before it was released. You know I’m a sports fan (if you don’t know then now you know I love sports) so as soon as I read this book’s blurb I knew I wanted to read it. Spoiler to my review, I loved it!


Furia

by Yamile Saied Mendez

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sports
Release Date: Sept 15th, 2020
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

In Rosario, Argentina, Camila Hassan lives a double life.
At home, she is a careful daughter, living within her mother’s narrow expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother’s shadow, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father.
On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila gets the chance to see just how far those talents can take her. In her wildest dreams, she’d get an athletic scholarship to a North American university.
But the path ahead isn’t easy. Her parents don’t know about her passion. They wouldn’t allow a girl to play fútbol—and she needs their permission to go any farther. And the boy she once loved is back in town. Since he left, Diego has become an international star, playing in Italy for the renowned team Juventus. Camila doesn’t have time to be distracted by her feelings for him. Things aren’t the same as when he left: she has her own passions and ambitions now, and La Furia cannot be denied. As her life becomes more complicated, Camila is forced to face her secrets and make her way in a world with no place for the dreams and ambition of a girl like her.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKDEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book:
*set in Rosario, Argentina filled and infused with Argentinian culture
*Argentinian MC that is resilient, strong-willed
*all about sports (football/futbol), perfect for sports fanatics
*touches on issues like sexism, domestic abuse, femicide, toxic and macho environments, patriarchy, women’s role/rights
* story very much about female empowerment and hardships and about rising beyond what people expect of you, strong feminist story!
*complex family dynamics, truthful and honest portrayal of women (as in not perfect, sometimes judging other women)


cw: sexism, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, feminicide, mysoginistic violence, allusions to rape and cheating.

Furia tells the story of Camila “La Furia” Hassan, who lives and loves for playing football, but being the sister of a professional footballer with a family that has different expectations leads her to have a double life. One where she’s the careful daughter hiding her passion from her abusive father who wouldn’t allow her to play and her mom who wants her to study and be a doctor. The other, where she’s ‘La Furia’, an athelete with inmense talent and skill who could even have the chance to play in regional tournaments or even go play in the National Women’s League in the US.
When her childhood friend/former lover now turned international football star, Diego, comes back from Italy where’s playing with the famous Juventus club, their romance rekindles. He’s never wanted to forget her, and he’s willing to take her with him back to Turin. But Camila has her own dreams, ones where she might have to go against her family or take the easy-ish route and go with him forgetting her dreams.

I really really really loved this book. The brutal honesty how it was written, the setting in Rosario, the characters and how not even one of them was one dimensional, they were all complex and so vivid. I loved Camila’s strength, how fierce, passionate and determined she is in just surviving, making the best of what she’s got all while managing and dealing with her family.
This book is not at all apologetic about how raw and brutal the world can be for women, it shows the best and worst of women, what some will do to survive even if it’s surviving in the worst of situations. We have the example of Camila’s mom, their dynamic is beautiful to read, it’s complex, it’s full of love but there’s still a gap between what her mother wants from her, what she beliefs she can be and what Camila wants. When they finally open up to each other – I can tell you I almost cried. Their relationship especially reminded me of my mom’s, not as extreme but at some points I felt I could relate all to well to Camila’s reactions.
I should also mention this book shows the #NiUnaMenos (Not One Less) movement with its struggle to hold society and men accountable for femicides, those moments are accompanied by the usual sexism, it’s difficult to read, you will probably cringe, and there are some other moments that as a women you might find uncomfortable, as always read the CWs because this book will remind you of the worst things about living in ‘Macho’ cultures.
That said, Furia still leaves you a sense of hope, we follow Camila’s story from overcoming all this obstacles to her getting closer to her dream (no spoilers).
For romance readers, I also have the warning how the couple ends might not be satisfying for people who expect a romance. While this book does have love, i wouldn’t classify it as romance (romance have a HEA) but I should say, and this might be a spoiler, it is left open enough for you to imagine whatever you want.

As a sports fan, I loved how much it was infused with sports talk, the references to footballers, the culture but also the mysogyny/not so casual sexism that sports like football is so full of. It was a powerful tool to showcase this and make this book as much about a woman from a poor background following her dreams no matter the obstacle in front of her and smashing the ceiling of patriarchy. I don’t know if I’ve made this clear enough but this book is fiercely feminist and such joy to read, when I tell you I cried a couple of times, it’s not a lie.

The last thing I have to mention is how real the setting was, a book set in Argentina, you might always expect it to be in Buenos Aires being the most famous city and the capital but having it in Rosario, a kind of industrial city also gave this book a different flavour. The language used, the little tidbits and description of the city made it all the more real to read.

Overall, Furia is a story about hope, about challenging familial expectation, about not being afraid of working towards your goals and believing in yourself. It’s a fabulous feminist sports read that I couldn’t recommend enough.


Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine American who loves meteor showers, summer, astrology, and pizza. She lives in Utah with her Puerto Rican husband and their five kids, two adorable dogs, and one majestic cat. An inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant recipient, she’s a graduate of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Méndez is also part of Las Musas, the first collective of women and nonbinary Latinx middle grade and young adult authors. Furia is her first novel for young adult readers.

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER


Thanks to AlgonquinYA for letting me be a part of the blog tour and the ARC.

Until then,

Each of Us a Desert Blog Tour Interview

Hi everyone!

Today’s post is special for a number of reasons, one this is a Blog Tour stop celebrating Mark Oshiro’s Each of Us a Desert, this Tour was organised by Colored Pages Tours. Second, as this is my tour stop date I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Mark Oshiro. And third, this is my first ever author interview, which I was a bit nervous about but you’ll see how amazing Mark’s answers were. This made it so much better to anticipate and enjoy today’s post.


Each of Us a Desert

by Mark Oshiro

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT+
Release Date: Sept 15th, 2020
Publisher: Tor Teen

From award-winning author Mark Oshiro comes a powerful coming-of-age fantasy novel about finding home and falling in love amidst the dangers of a desert where stories come to life.

Xochitl is destined to wander the desert alone, speaking her troubled village’s stories into its arid winds. Her only companions are the blessed stars above and enigmatic lines of poetry magically strewn across dusty dunes.

Her one desire: to share her heart with a kindred spirit.

One night, Xo’s wish is granted—in the form of Emilia, the cold and beautiful daughter of the town’s murderous conqueror. But when the two set out on a magical journey across the desert, they find their hearts could be a match… if only they can survive the nightmare-like terrors that arise when the sun goes down.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKDEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND


Click the image for more about the Blog Tour and the Tour Schedule

1-Each of Us a Desert is a book that explores the power of stories, our responsibilities to our community, sacrifice, and questioning belief systems in a very poetic and magical way. Were these themes and topics you knew you wanted to write about since the beginning?

You know, one of the best things about doing interviews for this book is getting to answer questions like this because I get to say ABSOLUTELY THE HELL NOT. If it seems like I had it all together from the beginning, then I have SUCCEEDED. The first draft of Each of Us a Desert was incredibly different from the version that the world will get to read. I was listening to Holly Black talk recently, and she said something to the effect of how we often have to write the wrong thing to find the right thing, and that’s absolutely what happened here. My first attempt at Xochitl’s story was about poverty, migration, and oppressive systems. It was tonally such a different book, too! But from that draft, I started figuring out all the various pieces of Xo’s story: the religion of Solís; las cuentistas; Xochitl’s rebellion.  

2- Xochitl is a wonderful main character. The book is very much centred on her journey of self-discovery, her search for freedom and understanding her place. What was the most important thing about writing her journey and why?

Once I figured out her story, I wanted to write a character who felt nothing like Moss from Anger is A Gift. Actually, I’d say that was a motivating factor for practically every part of the process: I didn’t want to repeat myself. So where Moss is a character who is surrounded by this incredible support system, I designed Xochitl’s life so she was terribly alone. A lot of the emotion of that came from my own upbringing as a closeted queer teen in a desert-adjacent town. But more than anything else, I wanted her to be an unapologetically selfish character. Her story is about reclamation! And so, right from the first page, I tell the reader what they’re in for when Xochitl says that she’s not sorry.

3- I loved the diverse cast that surrounds Xochitl, but in a non-spoilery fashion, I do want to ask about Emilia, as she’s an interesting contrast to Xochitl. What inspired you to write her?

Right, it’s hard to talk about her without spoiling the book! That being said, I’ve been fairly open about how the book is enemies-to-lovers, one of my favorite tropes OF ALL TIME. I wish I could also tell you that Emilia popped out of my mind fully formed, but like with literally all of the book, I wrote it wrong before I wrote it right. Emilia didn’t even exist until the second rewrite. (Yeah, I had to rewrite the entire book twice before I got it. THIS BOOK WAS VERY HARD.) It was my editor at Tor Teen, Miriam Weinberg, who said that Xochitl’s journey was missing something. In particular, she wondered if it would be better if she had someone along with her who was the same age so that there could be an interesting dynamic to work off of. Admittedly, I was stumped. Xochitl’s journey felt so singular to me, so how could I possibly add someone to it?

If you’ve read the Acknowledgements, you know the actual inspiration for Emilia’s arc and how it intersects with Xochitl’s. (No spoilers for that, either!) But I’ll say this: this book—and writing Emilia in particular—was an immense challenge. I felt like I was using muscles I’d not used ever. So I loved that I developed Emilia’s character by thinking of someone else’s arc and designing an intricate path so that they could meet. That’s not something I’ve ever done, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

4- As a Latinx person myself, I loved the unapologetic use of non-italicized Spanish intermixed in most sentences. Was that a conscious decision you made when writing, to not translate those words or phrases?

Thank you!!! That’s all absolutely conscious and intentional. Every bit of it! As the fantasy aspect of the world took shape, I loved being able to imagine if Spanish was a language in another world. Obviously, the majority of the book is written in English, but I loved toying with the idea of it being told in Spanglish. I think non-fluent or casually fluent readers can figure out what most of it says through context clues, but I also wanted the text to give it the respect you often see in traditional fantasy novels with imagined languages.

One very cool thing I got to do with it was in las poemas, which Xochitl finds buried throughout the desert on her journey north. Right after I turned in the draft that had them in it, I had asked my editor if it was possible to treat the poems like a religious text. I’d written them all in Spanish, so there were no context clues at all for a reader to translate them. I remember going to mass and having those bilingual Bibles in the pews, and so I floated the idea of the text having the Spanish poem and the English translation side by side. The team LOVED it, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the book.

5- One of the most notable aspects of Each of Us a Desert is the style of writing and the poetic atmosphere that transports the reader ever so effortlessly. Are there any previous works that you admire that inspired you?

While there are no direct references like there were in Anger is A Gift, my biggest inspiration was the work of Sandra Cisneros. Her writing has left a huge impression on me and gotten me to rethink how prose and poetry can live alongside one another. The other main influences on the book are Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima and Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower.

6- Whenever I finish a book, I always have one or two impressions. Your book, for example, left me feeling a sense of community and love. What would you want people to take away from Each of Us a Desert?

Oh, wow, that’s powerful. And I totally see why you came to that conclusion! I like writing about community mainly because I grew up as a teenager who didn’t feel they had one. Much of Anger is a power fantasy for me; it was me imagining what it was like to have a supportive mother or a bunch of queer friends in high school. Desert is a little closer to my actual experience, and thus, it’s about Xochitl finding community (and love!) by leaving home. Which is a very scary thing! I certainly had friends in high school, many who I deeply appreciate, but I needed to get away from my hometown to really find myself and to fall in love for the first time.

I’d also add that I hope people leave Desert feeling a new understanding of power. Xochitl has a magical power, but I tried to subvert the notion that magical powers are inherently good, joyous things for a character. Instead, I wanted her to come into her own and choose what to do with her cuentista ability. That choice and sense of agency is so integral to her journey!

7- And the last question, do you have a song(s) that for you best describes the mood(s) of the book? Or did you have a specific song(s) that you listened to while writing the book?

Oh, I love this question! So, music is actually my TRUE love in this world, and in another life, I’d be in a band and touring the world. Music deeply, deeply informs my writing process; I cannot actually write in silence! I’ve either got music blasting in the background or in my headphones at all times. That means I have INCREDIBLY intricate playlists that I use during each project. I have mood-based ones for when I need to be in a certain mood while writing a scene. (I’ve got a SAD SONGS playlist, an ANGRY playlist, and a romance one, for example.) So it’s hard to pick a single song for the whole book because there’s a patchwork of music that went into this.

That being said, here are 10 songs that featured quite heavily in multiple playlists and also have thematic and aesthetic ties to the novel:

“No Light No Light” – Florence + The Machine
“Queen of Peace” – Florence + The Machine

“Travelin’ Far” – Murder By Death
“Fuego” – Murder By Death
“End of the Line” – Murder by Death
“She” – Laura Mvula
“Close to You” – Rihanna
“You’ll Find a Way” – Santigold
“Death Is The Road To Awe / Together We Will Live Forever” – Clint Mansell
“Dejanos en Paz” – Los Crudos


Mark Oshiro is the author of Anger is a Gift (Tor Teen), winner of the 2019 Schneider Family Book Award and nominated for a 2019 Lammy Award (in the LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult category). Upcoming novels include Each of Us a Desert (Tor Teen), a YA Fantasy novel out September 15, 2020, and The Insiders (Harper Collins), an MG Contemporary with magical elements out Fall 2021. When they are not writing, crying on camera about fictional characters for their online Mark Does Stuff universe, or traveling, Mark is busy trying to fulfill their lifelong goal: to pet every dog in the world. 

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER


Thank you so much to Mark Oshiro for these amazingly insightful answers. I’m sure I’m not the only adding some of those songs to a playlist for when I reread this book.
My review will be posted closer to the date of the book’s release when I hopefully can finally organise all my thoughts. But to finish off here is a little moodboard I created:

I hope you’ll give this book a try and go pre-order in any of the links posted above.

The Mall Blog Tour Review

The Mall
by Megan McCafferty

Genre: YA contemporary
Release Date: July 28th, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books

The year is 1991.
Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh.
Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” Megan McCafferty takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.

GOODREADS AMAZON BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5

6 reasons to read this book
* coming-of age story set in the 90s mostly in a mall, mall culture! nostalgia everywhere! 90s music references! 90s clothes references! all the 90s pop culture references!
*MC is the type A bit of a nerd overachiever who finds her future plans slowly falling apart after her boyfriend cheats with her and she loses her job
*story involves a quest in the form of a treasure hunt and unexpected friendships and romance
* set in that post-school pre-university setting
* dislike to love type of romance, summer fling type of love story
*talks about assumptions, how looks can be deceiving and the importance of not judging a book by its cover, widening your circle, loyalty and honesty


The Mall tells the story of Cassandra (Cassie) Worthy who after recovering from being sick and confined to her house due to a severe case of mono, she’s ready to begin phase two of her plan with her boyfriend. They will spend the summer before college working together in The Mall. All that falls apart when she finds herself dumped by her boyfriend for another girl he met at prom, the same prom she convinced him to go to without her and have fun. But worse, now she’s all without a job.

Luckily, she finds a job at her fifth grade best-friend Drea’s mom’s, now there’s a treasure hunt to go through, new friendship, new love? Most importantly, Cassie will learn the importance of opening herself to changing her plans, her assumptions and judgements of people and how sometimes loyalty and honesty will come from the least expected places.

I think first of all, one thing to mention this book is all the nostalgia it’ll give you, if you grew up in the 90s, the book is full of references, pop culture, music and fashion references. I have to admit there’s many references I missed or passed by me but I liked the feeling it gave me, like watching Ferris Bueller or 90210 any of those teen 90s movies or shows. I might not relate to everything but I still find it enjoyable to read. I think also this is one of the reasons why it took me a while to get into the book.
I do have to say by the mid point of the book, it was real hard to put down.

Cassie is the perfect A-type, most likely to suceed type of character, and as the book progresses it’s nice to see her going from this very rigid character to slowly develop and grow as a character. Her friendship with Drea is one of the reasons she starts opening up more to first, an iffy treasure hunt, new experiences, and even the possibility of little summer fling.

Spoiler: (Font is in white)

kissing to come as you are is probably the best moment I’ve read

Now that I got that out of my head.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, it was a fun read with (no spoilers) a nice sweet ending that highlights how precious friendships are.


A Reunion of Rivals review

A Reunion of Rivals (Bourbon Brothers #4)

by Reese Ryan

Genre: Adult Romance, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 1, 2020
Publisher: Harlequin Desire

Sparks in the boardroom
and the bedroom…


She can’t let anything derail her passion project,
Not even a second chance with the sexiest man alive…

The deal that could bring Quinn Bazemore’s career back from the brink has one catch: she must partner up with her ex-lover Max Abbott. Quinn can’t forget the pleasure-filled summer they shared. But now she’s butting heads over business strategy with the mouthwatering marketing VP, even as their reawakened desire threatens to expose her deepest secrets…

GOODREADSAMAZONAPPLE BOOKS |KOBO


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

6 reasons to read this book
*second chance romance; summer fling that ended badly, former lovers
*reunited lovers; first love, first everything that goes wrong; working with the ex
*Black Romance, MCs are family/childhood friends old flames who reunite after that one secret summer teenage romance that ended in heartbreak
*Both MCs are career driven, Quinn is determined, strong and instantly likeable. Max is secretly the sweetest, headstrong, stubborn and ready to make amends for his mistakes.
* discusses issues of family expectations, legacies, miscommunication, family drama.
* heart-warming, slowburn, low angst, love story with HEA


CW: sex scenes, discussions of family deaths

A Reunion of Rivals tell the story of Max Abbot and Quinn Blazemore, who during one summer while Max was interning at Blazemore Orchards had a fling that ended in heartbreak. Or that’s how Quinn would describe it, Max thinks differently.
Years later they are reunited when their families will begin a business partnership that will merge their two businesses, Max’s family distillery and Quinn’s fruit farm. For Max, this business venture is one that he has been proposing for years fighting for years and it would help him gain a stronger foothold in the family business. For Quinn, this would not only help her family’s businness keep afloat but also hopefully restart her career after a mishap.
Max is understandably shocked when he sees Quinn after so many years, and Quinn wants to forget the guy who broke her heart is one that could either help or hurt her future plans. Now they have to work together, ignoring the chemistry, the not forgotten feelings, and Max trying to make amends with Quinn.

The Bourbon Brothers is a series I really enjoy, as it has some of my fave tropes, small town, hate to love, reunited lovers, childhood friends (hopefully????) and its based on a Black family who owns a Bourbon Distillery. Because of that, I knew this was going to be another book I really enjoyed. Reese Ryan’s writing in this series is perfect for that low angst, love will overcome all odds, family is everything stories that we all need. It’s a total comfort read, at least for me.
That said, A reunion of rivals works as a standalone and does a real good job of catching up with the other books in case you want to pick it up here. I would recommend the whole series but starting with this one and going back is okay too.

I loved the slowburn of this story, rekindled romances sometimes can be too quick and tend to not create enough pining moments for the couple or those ‘I’m totally jealous but I won’t act like it’ moments, but this story gave us all that and kept the chemistry bubbling between the two main characters.
Max and Quinn were so easy to like and root for, they were both understandably wary of each other at first, and even had some dislike to love moments, but I loved how healthy their relationship progressed, with lots of talking and setting up boundaries (that they broke in the end).
If you’re a fan of the series you also get glimpses to the other MCs of the other books, Parker is still Parker, I need more of Zora and Cole, Benji and Sloan are still the cutest.

Overall, I kinda wished this book was longer so I could continue reading on about this lovely family, getting more cute, sexy moments from Max and Quinn, and just finding out more about the day to day life in a distillery.


Before you go, don’t forget to participate to win Reese Ryan Swag including a bookmark, diary, pen set and a coffee mug.

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js