Spider’s Bite


Author: Jennifer Estep

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Yes. Elemental Assassin Book 1

Reading Start Date:2/2/21

Reading End Date: 2/7/21

My name is Gin, and I kill people.

They call me the Spider. I’m the most feared assassin in the South — when I’m not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don’t use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I’m out for revenge. And I’ll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I’m still one of the bad guys. Which is why I’m in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I’m battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction… especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

Disclaimer: Synopsis and book cover by | goodreads |

This has been a truly great start to a new series. I have fallen in LOVE with Gin’s character. She is a badass assassin who has a code of honor that she upholds and lives her life by. She has a very tough shell on the outside, but a gooey inside for those who she lets into her small inner circle. For those, she will do whatever is necessary to protect or avenge any wrong done to them.

In this opener, the reader follow’s Gin as she strives to determine what to do with her life. Her mentor/adoptive father is pushing for her to retire, but she is hesitant because she is unsure of what to do with the rest of her life. Events unfold and a tragedy strikes close to home. Gin the embarks on a quest to get justice for her lost loved one.

This is a very fast paced opener. The reader hits the ground running, which I appreciated. The reader learns along with the characters as the plot unfolds. There is very few slow or down moments. I didn’t feel like it drug at all. The nonaction sequences helped the characters learn what they needed to and then plan for what actions they needed to do. This technique was done well and kept the story from stalling or stagnating.

The author did a great job of sprinkling in the magic. The fantasy elements are well crafted. This magic system is not limitless and it has definite consequences when it is used. I really enjoyed the melding of the different types of creatures in this series. There are, so far, vampires, dwarves, giants, and humans. Within these groups, some have elemental magic and other do not. Just like in our world, so people have different talents and others do not. I like this twist on magic users.

I would highly recommend this book if you are interested in urban fantasy or wanting to get into this genre. I am not as familiar with the urban fantasy genre, but can see myself seeking more out. I definitely want to continue with this series!

Star Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

King’s Cage


Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Series: Yes, 3rd book in the series.

Come watch my video review of King’s Cage. Discover my thoughts and opinions about this book. How does it stand up to the previous two books?

Have you read it before?

If so, leave me comments on your experience reading this book or this series. I would love to hear from you!

The Way of Kings

Come and join the fun and Saturday discussions! We will start the Stormlight Archive October 24, 2020 in the afternoon after we complete our discussion of War Storm by Victoria Aveyard. All are welcome, whether you’ve read it before or a newbie to the series like I am! Watch the announcement video to know what time to meet for future discussion and weekly chapter layouts!

Discord Group

Glass Sword


Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

Disclaimer: Synopsis and Image are from | goodreads |

Come check out my #review video for the Glass Sword by @VictoriaAveyard. This was a #buddyread with my discord group. Though we had differing opinions on the book, I have still enjoyed discussing this series with them.

Let me know in the comments if you have read this book and/or this series. What did you think of it? I would love to know!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

October’s TBR

This is going to be a crazy reading month. I’ve added quite a few books to my docket for this month. So many great books I want to get too. Time will tell if I will read everything on my list. If I don’t get through them all, they will roll over to the next month if I am still interested in them.

Disclaimer: All Synopsis and images come from | goodreads |

Let me know in the comments if you create big TBRs each month. Do you get them all read?


Physical Books

Buddy Read:
War Storm
Author: Victoria Aveyard

Synopsis: Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.

Hollow Tree (romanceopoly)
Author: James Brogden

Synopsis: After losing her hand in a tragic accident, Rachel is plagued by vivid nightmares of a hollow tree, and a hand reaching from it, begging her for help. Terrified that she is going mad, Rachel experiences phantom sensations of leaves, trees, and finally a hand that grasps hers and pulls a young woman into Rachel’s world. She has no idea of who she is, but Rachel can’t help but think of the local legend of Oak Mary, the corpse of a woman found hidden in a hollow tree, and who was never identified. Three myths have grown up around the body; was she a spy, a prostitute or a murdered gypsy? Rachel is desperate to learn the truth, but darker forces are at work. For a rule has been broken, and Mary is in a world where she doesn’t belong…

The Golden City
Author: J. Kathleen Cheney

Synopsis: For two years, Oriana Paredes has been a spy among the social elite of the Golden City, reporting back to her people, the sereia, sea folk banned from the city’s shores….
When her employer and only confidante decides to elope, Oriana agrees to accompany her to Paris. But before they can depart, the two women are abducted and left to drown. Trapped beneath the waves, Oriana’s heritage allows her to survive while she is forced to watch her only friend die.
Vowing vengeance, Oriana crosses paths with Duilio Ferreira—a police consultant who has been investigating the disappearance of a string of servants from the city’s wealthiest homes. Duilio also has a secret: He is a seer and his gifts have led him to Oriana.
Bound by their secrets, not trusting each other completely yet having no choice but to work together, Oriana and Duilio must expose a twisted plot of magic so dark that it could cause the very fabric of history to come undone….

Wicked River
Author: Jenny Milchman

Synopsis: Six million acres of Adirondack forest separate Natalie and Doug Larson from civilization. For the newlyweds, an isolated, back country honeymoon seems ideal: a chance to start their lives together with an adventure, on their own. But just as Natalie and Doug begin to explore the dark interiors of their own hearts, as well as the depths of their love for each other, it becomes clear that they are not alone in the woods.

Because six million acres makes it easy for the wicked to hide. And even easier for someone to go missing for good.

As they struggle with the worst the wilderness has to offer, a man watches them, wielding the forest like a weapon. And once they are near his domain, he will do everything in his power to make sure they never walk out again.

The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey

Synopsis: After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Fear the Dark
Author: Kay Hooper

Synopsis: Something strange is happening in the small mountain town of Serenity, Tennessee. People going on routine errands never reach their destination. Over the past few weeks, it’s happened to five men and women – and now a child.

A team from the FBI’s Special Crimes Unit is immediately sent in. Agents Lucas and Samantha Jordan, partners in work and in life, have very different abilities. Samantha is clairvoyant and Lucas is able to find the lost and abducted. With them are new partners Dante Swann, a medium, and Robbie Hodge, a telepath.

The town is already on the edge of panic, but when a cop is killed, the team’s hunt for the lost turns into something very personal… and very dangerous.


The Matriarch
Author: Annabelle McInnes

Synopsis: Her citizens are oppressed. His society is diminishing. In a frantic bid for survival, can their fiery union save their peoples?
On a scorched and barren future Earth, Yolanda is her people’s only hope. As Matriarch of an all-female nation, the battle-hardened commander fights an impossible war while desperately seeking a way to stop her subjects from dying of thirst. But when the enemy king is beheaded by his own warrior son, she’s offered a truce that will bring the water they urgently need… in return for leaving her populace defenseless.

With his father dead by his hand, the Hammer is determined to rebuild the shattered community the warmongering king’s brutality almost destroyed. In a bold move to strengthen his dwindling numbers, he offers armistice to a dangerous queen and her bloodthirsty horde of fighting women. All he asks in exchange is for her to accompany him to petition the Council to drop their poisonous sanctions…

As they uncover the truth behind the horrific war, Yolanda is surprised when her begrudging respect for her capable companion blossoms into unexpected desire. And though the Hammer learns there’s more to the impassioned fighter than her brutal reputation suggests, he fears giving himself to her could make him a traitor to his own kind.

When their united strength pits them against oppressive factions, will their growing bond become an unbreakable force?

The Matriarch is the thrilling first novel in the Women of the Dust dystopian romance series. If you like enemies-to-lovers, dynamic couples, and empowered feminism, then you’ll adore Annabelle McInnes’s gritty tale.

Custom Built
Author: Chantal Fernando

Synopsis: After losing her job, saying goodbye to a lifelong dream and having an all-around cruddy year, Bronte Pierce needs a break. A job at Fast & Fury might be just the thing to reset her life, even though she knows nothing about custom motorcycles. But taking a job isn’t the same as keeping it, and her fresh start quickly turns into a fresh nightmare.

Starting with her boss. Crow is hardheaded, stubborn and brutally honest. He may be easy on the eyes, but he runs with an MC and he’s anything but friendly to Bronte. She suspects he has a softer side—just not for her.

Her whole life, Bronte has known that the only person she can truly count on to save the day is herself. But when a single murder turns into a conspiracy and the threat to her life is more than she can handle alone, it’s Crow who comes through—and her newfound family might just become her greatest strength.

Trusting a Warrior
Author: Melanie Hansen

Synopsis: Heartbroken after her fiancé falls in love with another woman, Lani Abuel seeks comfort in the arms of a stranger, only to find herself alone…and pregnant. Fiercely determined to be a good mother, she’ll do whatever it takes, which means finally facing the trauma in her past. The last thing she needs is a warrior with wounds all too similar to her own finding his way into her heart.

George Monteverdi always had one goal—become a navy SEAL. Now both a SEAL and a K-9 handler, saving lives is his priority. Although he’s experienced the unspeakable, he handles it. SEALs are built tough—until they’re not. Lani understands him, and in her quiet strength, he finds a soft place to land.

As their worlds entwine, Lani and Geo find the redemption they’ve been seeking. But despite the sanctuary they’ve discovered with one another, a relationship seems impossible. A SEAL who spends most of his time deployed is far from what Lani—or her baby—needs, and Geo can’t imagine a future doing anything else.

Voracious Readers Only

A Hare in the Wilderness (romanceopoly)
Author: S.E. Turner

Synopsis: Death marked her from her very first breath. Since that fateful day, Ajeya has lived on the very edge of survival. She has faced death many times – and survived. Survival is second nature to her. But now she faces something even more uncertain – because those at court are making demands that could threaten the existence of the clans. Demands that could destroy a dynasty. Demands that could expose her true identity.
Now, with her one great love and unbreakable spirit, Ajeya must turn her people into warriors and fight back.
Yet, although Ajeya is widely loved and respected, and has all the makings of a leader—could the people ever accept a woman as their ruler? The stage is set for rivals to fight for the empty throne.

The Eleventh Age
Author: Luthien T. Kennedy

Synopsis: This was not the truth Elli Foote was looking for. Elves and wizards and fairies? The stench of a battle, barely escaped, still lingering like death in her nostrils sixteen years later? It was impossible, yet here she was, her life of lies unraveling in front of her, the spells that bound her under her father’s protection, swiftly undone. He had spent her whole life making certain that she knew nothing but happiness in a world that had fought, bled, wept and died for her. Now she had no choice but to run. Roviello Tofal would kill her for… what she is… what was born into this world with her.
Ten ages past the Fall of Humankind, the prophecy is complete. In this Eleventh Age, everything must change, for Hope Lives

Under Your Skin
Author: Rose Mclelland

Synopsis: When Kyle’s wife Hannah goes missing, the whole town is out in force to try to find her. One person knows where she is. One person is keeping a secret.

Detective Inspector Simon Peters and Detective Kerry Lawlor have been brought in to investigate the case but Hannah has left no traces and Kyle has no clues.

Local Belfast resident Julia Matthews joins the #FindHannah campaign and becomes friendly with Kyle, sympathising with his tragedy. As Julia becomes more involved in the case than she bargained for, she begins to uncover more secrets than the Police ever could. Julia was only trying to help but has she become drawn into a web of mystery that she can’t escape?


Taste For a Mate
Author: Carrie Ann Ryan

Synopsis: Jasper Jameson has spent his life caring for others, knowing that one day he might be blessed with his mate. He’s fought alongside his family and Pack for over a century but it isn’t until he meets a human who makes his wolf growl, that he knows that there’s something more than fate worth fighting for.

When Jasper walks into Willow Delton’s bakery she knows there’s something different about him. But every time he walks back out again, she doesn’t know what to think. When he finally finds the strength to ask her out, a new enemy in Jasper’s life has other plans.

A dangerous Pack is on the prowl and they’ve not only threatened the Redwood Pack but brought a demon into the fold as well. Forced into a new way of life, Jasper and Willow must fight not only for their lives but their weakening mating bond. Trust takes time but the two of them might not have as much as they need.

Moon Called
Author: Patricia Briggs

Synopsis: Mercedes Thompson, aka Mercy, is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water…

Red Queen

Disclaimer: Synopsis and image come from | goodreads |

About the book:

This is a world divided by blood—red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance—Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart. 

My Review:

This was a buddy read for my discord group. Overall, I really enjoyed my experience reading this book. Victoria Aveyard did a wonderful job with her world building and drawing the reader into this unique world. I also appreciated the magic system that was created. I really felt connected to Mare and felt for her as she was thrown into all the political intrigues and disasters that she experienced. One of the core elements is the obsessive/love triangle between Mare, Cal, and Maven. This plays a huge role in the development of the overall plot. The only real negative that the group and I had was the repetitiveness of the theme that anyone can betray you at any time.

Disclaimer: Synopsis and image come from | goodreads |

Booktube Video:

Rating: 4 out of 5.