Spoiler Free Mini Reviews: The Faithless Hawk and His & Hers


THE FAITHLESS HAWK (THE MERCIFUL CROW #2) BY MARGARET OWEN

✨ 5 STARS✨ 

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The Faithless Hawk is absolutely making my Top 20 of 2020 list at the end of the year! I had for some reason thought this was a trilogy but in fact it’s the conclusion to a duology. The Merciful Crow (Spoiler free review) was one of the best new Fantasy books I picked up last year leaving me wanting more. The first book was more character driven whereas the conclusion expanded on world building & the magic system. We got a comprehensive look at the caste system this world is ruled by which further highlighted the issues with how the Crows have been mistreated. We also get more interaction from the villainous Queen Rhussana who takes the cake for EVIL, she could give Levana from the Lunar Chronicles a run for her money. If you’re someone who enjoys Fantasy that leans more towards the adult spectrum then this is one I HIGHLY recommend. It’s a dark world filled with the stench of death while our Crows deliver mercy as best they can while watching their own backs. One thing I can honestly say balanced out all that death was the humor Margaret Owen gave us in the second half of this book. Court politics, scheming, infiltration & CATS! yes, Barf is back and has managed to acquire some friends haha! the crew is focused on removing Rhusanna from the throne and crowning Jasimir as the rightful heir/ruler. Fie + Jasimir showed the MOST character development in this book and their friendship is unrivaled. Satisfying conclusion that left me bawling in tears! it’s pretty safe to say I’ll read anything Owen writes in the future


HIS & HERS BY ALICE FEENEY

✨ 4 STARS✨ 

✨ ALC received from Libro.fm in exchange for an honest review✨ 

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“There are two sides to every story: yours and mine, ours and theirs, His & Hers. Which means someone is always lying.”

I’ll preface this by saying, If you plan on reading this book then audiobook should be seriously considered. The sampler gives you a taste of what’s to come with one of the narrators giving a bone chilling performance. Told in multiple POV we follow Anna Andrews a TV presenter, DCI Jack Harper working the case, and the third narrator whose identity is undisclosed. This web was thick & I had a hard time trying to even place a bet on who the actual killer is. A murder has gone down in Anna’s hometown of Blackdown in London & it just so happens to be a childhood friend.  A Toxic friend who left behind a trail of frenemies from their younger years in school. Jack also knows the victim and pretty soon realizes he has become a suspect in his own case. Both Anna & jack know something but they’re holding their cards close to their chest. This is one of those books you just have to go in blindly to truly experience very twist & turn as intended. I listened to this audiobook every waking hour & finished it in 2 days. Every time I started a chapter with the unknown person of interest, I felt a bit of fear…enough to not want to read this one alone. Both Anna & Jack are not what you’d call honorable people, they are self centered and indulge in just about anything to dull whatever pain they’ve experienced. This is another author I hope to be reading more from in the near future.

CW: death of a child, alcohol/drugs, cheating, parent w/Dementia, domestic violence, fat shaming, eating disorders, grooming, rape, bullying


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Spoiler Free Mini Reviews: Faith Takes Flight & The Voting Booth

Title: Faith Takes Flight

Author: Julie Murphy

Pub. Date: July 7th 2020

Genre: YA Contemporary/Queer

Format: Audiobook ALC

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Pages: 304 Pages

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🖤ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review🖤

Faith Herbert in many ways is your average teenager living in a small town dealing with friendships, crushes, volunteer work & more. It’s easy to fall in love with Faith who is a plus size teen with a well known fan blog for The Grove, a popular tv series. Faith lives with her grandmother who she loves dearly & is one part of a trio of friends who are queer and super supportive of one another. This is her senior year in High School & things get a bit complicated when The Grove starts filming in her hometown. Faith finds herself having more than one crush, Johnny is very much the boy next door who is trying to get Dakota to notice him. Dakota Ash is the star of The Grove who also has her eyes on Faith & sets out to take her out on a date.

This was a cute superhero story that had its pacing issues & felt like two different books in one. The first half doesn’t see much plot movement, it really is just small town life as Faith goes about volunteer work at the Vet clinic & dating Dakota. The second half takes off at lightning speed with all sorts of new things introduced to the plot including missing teens, pets & a criminal operation. I’m still unsure about how Faith got a handle on her superhero powers & wished that we’d gotten more on that. What I loved about Faith is that she’s not your typical slim female superhero in tights. Faith is not only plus size but she also dates both genders & explores her sexuality, questioning herself at times but never labeling herself. I felt this came across as authentic for her age when really that’s exactly what is happening, self discovery. I did have some issues with how Faith handled her friends when consumed by her love life but I’m glad things get sorted out on the page. The friend trio itself is #Nerdgoals I LOVED them to pieces, especially Ches who is a queer witch that isn’t above lighting some sage to clear the room of negative energies! LOVED!


Title: The Voting Booth

Author: Brandy Colbert

Pub. Date: July 7th 2020

Genre: YA Contemporary

Format: Audiobook ALC

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 304 Pages

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🖤ARC provided by author/Libro.fm in exchange for an honest review🖤

If ever there was a timely read, this is it! at its core, The Voting Booth is about voter suppression in black communities. We meet Marva Sheridan, a black teen who has a passion for politics & making sure voter rights are upheld and protected. She is an activist who knows her life has a purpose, to make a difference in the world. Duke Crenshaw is a bi-racial teen on his way to cast his vote before class & also comes from a family who take voting pretty seriously. However, they also had a son who was an activist, who is no longer with them. This is something that Duke carries with him & has created an aversion to politics. As a son of divorced parents, Duke has had to relocate a few times and because of that, voting at the school he is registered under has now become a challenge. Marva steps in to assist Duke throughout the course of one entire day, met with many obstacles but never once being deterred. At the start of their story, Marva is dating someone who she has just found out has opted to not vote at all. She’s completely thrown off & diverts her energies towards helping Duke & in turn spends the day getting to know him. I was very grateful to the author in their decision to not throw Marva into Dukes arms. Boundaries were respected leaving me with the MOST satisfying of endings.

Interwoven throughout this story there’s discussion of police brutality, interracial dating & moments where the characters themselves question their identities within the black community. There’s Duke who until this day hasn’t really wanted to focus too much on his brothers political activism. Then there’s Marva who is attending a white school & recognizes her privilege. There’s so much to unpack but one thing rings loud & clear, that’s the need to end voter suppression. The importance of casting your vote & the change that is needed within communities of color where it is made most difficult to exercise this right.


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Spoiler Free Novella Review: Mangos and Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera

Title: Mangos and Mistletoe

Author:Adriana Herrera

Pub. Date: December 16th 2019

Genre:  F/F Romance/LGBTQIAP+

Pages: 152 Pages

Format: Kindle

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I’ll preface my review by mentioning that this novella was my first Kindle pre-order EVER! I’ve never been moved to click on that button until I saw this F/F LATINX Romance show up on my Twitter timeline cause it’s just not that common. I’m SO happy I did! this was one of my December reads & a easy 5 stars at that…

We meet Kiskeya Burgos as she arrives in Scotland straight from the Dominican Republic as a contestant in a televised Holiday Baking Challenge.  Kiskeya is highly driven & focused with one goal in mind and that is winning. She has a lot to prove back home and that means she has a plan and a set of rules she’s made for herself to keep her sharp and on track. One of the key rules is to NOT mingle in any romantic sense but all of that changes when Sully Morales walks into her life…

Sully Morales is the complete opposite of Kiskeya, she’s an extrovert who is proud of her Dominican roots. Sully is super friendly, affectionate, and VERY attractive. When Sully sees Kiskeya there’s instant sexual attraction and so begins to flirt with Kiskeya in what has to be the cutest & most fun way I’ve ever seen on the page. She knows she makes Kiskeya uncomfortable but she really likes her & isn’t shy about it.

For the Holiday Baking Challenge contestants are paired up such that there’s one professional baker and one home baker per team. Kiskeya & Sully are paired up which makes for some SUPER (level 10 😉) steamy chemistry that will have you wanting release between these two. I don’t think I’ve ever had this much fun with any romance I’ve read! We get two polar opposites who have to share a hotel room & come to an agreement on the recipes/decor/presentation for the challenges. They’re both Dominican who’ve had different cultural experiences and baking is the one thing that brings them together. I LOVED the inclusion of ingredients & the colorful descriptions of all their baking creations. I haven’t read very many F/F romance books but after this one I’m on a mission to gather up some recommendations. This was the PERFECT read around Christmas even though the holidays aren’t the main focal point, it gave me all the warm holiday feels.


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A LIL’ BIT OF THIS A LIL’ BIT OF THAT

Title: A PRINCESS IN THEORY

Author: Alyssa Cole

Pub. Date: FEBRUARY 27TH 2018

Genre: CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Publisher: AVON

Pages: 360

From acclaimed author Alyssa Cole comes the tale of a city Cinderella and her Prince Charming in disguise . . .

Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.

Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.

The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?

Ledi is just what I needed in a main character 😍 she’s a black, independent, intelligent, sexy, NYC girl. Managing multiple jobs to pay off student loans while also pursuing a career in STEM, Ledi isn’t really open to entertaining men. Meeting Thabiso, a mystery man with incredible sex appeal seems a bit SUSPECT but she’s curious enough to see where it goes. I LOVED these characters so much, finding it very easy to get invested in their lives. Sure the romance was off the meters but the cast of supporting characters that are living their own lives were also easy to get hooked on. There’s also humor sprinkled throughout starting with the emails Likotsi (Thabiso’s right hand) sends to Ledi in an effort to get her to accept her real identity & Ledi’s own inner dialogue. There were also some serious subjects tackled along the way such as gaslighting, foster care issues, alcohol abuse, toxic behaviors & co-dependency within friendships. Overall I found this first book in the Reluctant Royals series to be highly enjoyable which of course led me to pick up the next book 🤗


Title: A DUKE BY DEFAULT (RELUCTANT ROYALS #2)

Author: Alyssa Cole

Pub. Date: JULY 31ST 2018

Genre: CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Publisher: AVON

Pages: 374

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice, and his attraction to her, but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

This book had me smiling start to finish! I loved it even more than its predecessor & connected to the MC Portia on so many levels 🖤 Seeing a protagonist who struggles with finishing passion projects & as a result has disappointed family & friends along the way was tough but also very enlightening. I really connected with Portia (MC) as she started a new chapter in life, shedding many toxic behaviors & rebuilding bonds with those who have never left her side. The discussion of undiagnosed childhood disorders was something I greatly appreciated seeing on the page. Book 2 is set in Scotland & our love interest Tavish is a broody divorcé swordsman who runs an armory. Known by her family for being the twin with no follow through & no real focus in a career, she sets off to Scotland after responding to a ad for an apprentice swords-maker. For Portia, the opportunity to learn a new trade & get a change of scenery was all the motivation she needed.

Tavish is 100% focused on his armory & helping those he loves as well as the community. He also has a bit of a jerky attitude he dons as a shield to protect himself from getting hurt again. Meeting Portia & feeling sparks go off was the last thing he’d expect to happen. Gahhhh!!! Haha! Tav is by far my fave guy in a romance book simply because he never allowed Portia her self deprecating moments. He saw greatness in her & made sure to voice it even if it wasn’t in the smoothest of ways haha! I truly enjoyed seeing this relationship play out & last but not least…A+ on the steamiest scenes I’ve ever come across 🙌🏽


Title: LOCK EVERY DOOR

Author: RILEY SAGER

Pub. Date: JULY 2ND 2019

Genre: THRILLER/MYSTERY

Publisher: DUTTON

Pages: 384

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid who disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story—until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Ok it still stands that I prefer not to read synopsis for thriller/mystery books 😂 I included a partial snippet in the 411 above sans what I considered spoiler bits. This was my first Riley Sager book although I do own two others & I found it to be fairly enjoyable. I read & also listened to the audiobook since I’d heard rave reviews on narration. I agree, the audiobook is A+ & it’s super easy to digest. Set in NYC, we get this Gothic style mystery with an MC who sees herself in a tough predicament when we first meet her. A recent break-up due to a cheating boyfriend leads her to answer an ad for an apartment sitter. Three months at 4K per month sounds too good to be true but to Jules who found herself in debt it was worth looking into. She wasn’t expecting the gig to come with a ton of restrictions but accepted the job nonetheless. Befriending Ingrid at the Bartholomew made things a bit better until Ingrid went missing. We then follow Jules as she falls down the rabbit hole of mysteries that surround the Bart. Missing apartment sitters are actually quite common at the Bart & no one seems to want to talk about it. Told in past & present tense, we follow Jules as she uncovers & recollects the secrets that ultimately lead to a near death experience. One thing I really enjoyed was how every time I thought I had the mystery all figured out, I couldn’t be farther from the truth. Now, I don’t read a ton of mystery and thought that possibly I’m just terrible at picking up on the trail. However, after seeing/reading other reviews, I was comforted by the fact others also struggled figuring this one out before the end 😂 There were definitely some parts I felt dragged & therefore hindered my overall enjoyment. However, I loved the atmospheric vibes Sager brought to the page & I’m really curious to read their other books.

Content Warning: Cheating, abduction, death of a loved one, abandonment, violence, suicide, terminal illness


Hello Bookworms! August was slow here on the blog, Summer shenanigans took over my life. However, I was continuously reading and drafting reviews. I recently finished & LOVED The Merciful Crow, my review will go live towards the end of the week. I’m currently reading There Will Come a Darkness & I can just feel the GUSH review coming your way deep in my bones 😂 Happy reading Luvs! 🖤