HOSTED by The Broke and the Bookish
This week’s topic is…
Top Ten Books to Read on Halloween
(CLICK ON THE BOOK COVER TO BE LINKED TO ITS GOODREADS’ PAGE or MY REVIEW)
What are some of your favorite books to read on or around Halloween?
(CLICK ON THE BOOK COVER TO BE LINKED TO ITS GOODREADS’ PAGE or MY REVIEW)
Title: The Goblins of Bellwater
Author: Molly Ringle
Published by: Central Avenue Publishing
Publication date: October 1, 2017
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
A contemporary romance inspired by Christina Rossetti’s eerie, sensual poem, “Goblin Market.” Four neighbors encounter sinister enchantments and a magical path to love in a small, modern-day Puget Sound town, where a fae realm hides in the woods and waters…
Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out.
Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit’s end trying to understand what’s wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn’t talk of such things: he’s the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.
Unaware of what’s happened to Skye, Kit starts dating Livy, trying to keep it casual to protect her from the attention of the goblins. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Kit, Skye draws his cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods, dooming Grady and Skye both to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever.
It’s a midwinter night’s enchantment as Livy, the only one untainted by a spell, sets out to save them on a dangerous magical path of her own.
I love Christina Rossetti’s poem “Goblin Market” and whenever I see a retelling that reflects the original poem and its themes of sisterhood and female empowerment, I want to read it right away. So of course, when I came across The Goblins of Bellwater being a new adult, modern-day retelling of “Goblin Market,” I knew I had to read it. And you guys, this book did not disappoint.
The Goblins of Bellwater has the perfect amount of romance and fantastical elements, with a innovative contemporary storyline that parallels Rossetti’s poem. I love that the author, Molly Ringle, does not romanticize the goblins. Instead, she provides them a heartbreaking backstory, but they are still ruthless creatures with greedy and uncaring intentions.
In The Goblins of Bellwater, the four main characters all have their own well-developed personalities. Each of them are ingrained with aspirations, but these dreams are halted by goblin mayhem. I don’t want to give too much away in regards to the characters and plot, but the goblins are only appeased when they are given gold or other valuable treasures. If this routine of appeasement is stopped then the goblins retaliate in the most bizarre and evil ways. Temptation is tested in this story, but I love that sisterhood and love are the empowering forces that drive these characters to go against the goblins.
Overall, I highly recommend everyone to get tangled in this goblin-infested but love-conquers-all book. The overall story is well paced, I loved the characters, and there is a good mix of sensual romance. If you like your contemporary novels meshed with a fantasy twist, The Goblins of Bellwater is the right book for you.
NOTE: Thank you to Netgalley and Central Avenue Publishing for providing me an e-galley/e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.
Title: My Plain Jane
Authors: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Publication date: June 26, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Historical, Retelling, Fantasy, Romance
You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)
Or does she?
Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Bronte, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.
(CLICK ON THE BOOK COVER TO BE LINKED TO ITS GOODREADS’ PAGE)
Author: Mary Lindsey
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: November 7th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”
Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere. He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.
Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.
Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband.
Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 “pet” Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the “pet” roaches found a home… somewhere else.
Title: Devils & Thieves
Author: Jennifer Rush
Publication date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Power corrupts. Magic kills.
Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael is surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called “kindled,” and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn’t help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe—the dangerous and enigmatic leader of Hawthorne’s kindled motorcycle gang, the Devils’ League.
When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumor spreads that someone is practicing forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.
I am so glad I picked up this entertaining book during October. Similar to this Halloween-ish month, this novel is filled with magic, mayhem, and mystery. In Devils & Thieves, every magic user, aka “kindled,” has their own unique power that they inherit from family members, who are linked to local motorcycle clubs. I really felt like this book was a perfect mashup of Charmed and Katie McGarry’s Thunder Road series. The story plot is very straightforward, but it’s the main character’s (Jemmie Carmichael) attempt to figure out her powers and her love life that sucked me in.
One of my favorite characteristics about Jemmie is her unique ability to smell and see power. As a very wallflower-ish type, Jemmie tends to underrate her magical abilities with fear and discouragement. She is very different among the other kindled population, and I can understand why she wants to hide something that she thinks is a flaw in her magic from other people. Jemmie is often predictable in her ways, but I can see her maturing and adapting to new scenarios in the next book, especially after that odd and creepy ending.
In the romance realm of Devils & Thieves, there’s a strong sense of a love triangle. And what I like about both Jemmie’s “love” interests are that even though they are protective over her as she is over them, they always encourage Jemmie to appreciate who she is and her magical abilities. But with any type of love triangle, I picked my OTP, because deep down I knew who made Jemmie’s heart flutter uncontrollably. I have one word to encourage you to read this novel, and that is “Crowe.” *SWOONS*
Overall, I liked the magic and conflicting havoc that litters the pages of this novel. Devils & Thieves is a great start to a series that I foresee a lot of growth in the characters, more swoony romance scenes, and some more understanding of the kindled magic users. I am a big fan of one of the male leading characters, *cough* Crowe, and I cannot wait to see what other sexy pandemonium he gets into. If you want your reading month of October to be filled with spells and swoons, I highly recommend that you add Devils & Thieves to your TBR.
NOTE: Thank you to NOVL for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own. Please note that all graphics and photographs were created by me. All quotes are from the an advanced reader’s edition of the novel and are subject to change upon publication.
Author: Livia Blackburne
Publication date: November 7, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy
A healer who cannot be healed . . .
When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art—until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.
A soldier shattered by war . . .
Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule—even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.
Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn’t be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.
This smart, sweeping fantasy with a political edge and a slow-burning romance will capture fans of The Lumatere Chronicles and An Ember in the Ashes.