Review: In The Jaded Grove by Anela Deen

In The Jaded Grove header

Today we have In The Jaded Grove by author Anela Deen! This is a good one, folks! Not gonna lie, it was the cover that first caught my attention, then I read the synopsis and was even more intrigued. Anyway, I’m really glad to be in this tour and I can’t wait for you all to read this book!

Read more about In The Jaded Grove and check out my review below! :)

In The Jaded Grove coverIn The Jaded Grove (by Anela Deen)

Author: Anela Deen

Genre: new adult, portal fantasy

Diversity tags: author of color (biracial); poc representation (filipino main character); lgbtqiap+ representation (queer secondary characters)

Publication date: 15 April 2021

Publisher: Fine Fables Press

Cover artist: Jenny Zemanek

Synopsis:

Simith of Drifthorn is tired of war. After years of conflict between the Thistle court and the troll kingdom, even a pixie knight known for his bloodlust longs for peace. Hoping to secure a ceasefire, Simith arranges a meeting with the troll king—and is ambushed instead. Escape lies in the Jaded Grove, but the trees of the ancient Fae woodland aren’t what they seem, and in place of sanctuary, Simith tumbles through a doorway to another world.

Cutting through her neighbor’s sunflower farm in Skylark, Michigan, Jessa runs into a battle between creatures straight out of a fantasy novel. Only the blood is very real. When a lone fighter falls to his attackers, Jessa intervenes. She’s known too much death to stand idly by, but an act of kindness leads to consequences even a poet like her couldn’t imagine.

With their fates bound by magic, Simith and Jessa must keep the strife of his world from spilling into hers—except the war isn’t what it appears and neither are their enemies. Countless lives depend on whether they can face the truths of their pasts and untangle the web of lies around them. But grief casts long shadows, and even their deepening bond may not be enough to save them from its reach.

On-page Representation:  Filipino (main character), secondary sapphic characters

Trigger and Content Warnings:  Violence, trauma, grief, death of a loved one (in the past – not on page)

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About the Author

In The Jaded Grove author

A child of two cultures, this hapa haole Hawaiian girl is currently landlocked in the Midwest. After exploring the world for a chunk of years, she hunkered down in Minnesota and now fills her days with family, fiction, and the occasional snowstorm. With a house full of lovable toddlers, a three-legged cat, and one handsome Dutchman, she prowls the keyboard late at night while the minions sleep. Coffee? Nah, she prefers tea with a generous spoonful of sarcasm.

Connect with the author on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and on her Website.

Incredibly fast-paced, exciting and well-written fantasy

I don’t read a lot of fantasies with pixies, fairies and fae, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book, but I’m glad now that I decided to give this book a go. I really enjoyed it!

In The Jaded Grove is incredibly fast-paced, which I really liked. There’s always something interesting on every page. The writing flows well, so I found it pretty easy to read.

I like the characters – complex enough, likeable and even relatable. Jessa and Simith both carry a lot of pain in their hearts and it was beautiful to read about them working with it and through it. The secondary characters, Jessa’s friends, are also great and I would actually love to read more about them. Also, I love that the main character Jessa is Filipino. I enjoyed the bits about the culture thrown in.

The book has amazing world building (another thing I absolutely love in fantasies). I like the author’s take on fairies, pixies, fae and trolls. It’s something I didn’t really expect so that was interesting to read.

There are very real and serious themes running through this book – grief and trauma, war and oppression – and they’re handled well and not overwhelming, for me at least.

I’m not entirely sold on the ending, but the whole book was so engrossing that I didn’t mind so much. If you like portal fantasies with complex characters and lots of action (lots of fighting scenes in this one), you might enjoy this one!

Note: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the publisher and Caffeine Book Tours as part of my participation in their tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Also, please bear with how this review is written – present and past tenses all jumbled in! I can’t get it right at the moment, but I hope you get what I’m saying. LOL. Read this book! Thats all. :P

Favorite Quotes

Okay, these aren’t exactly actual quotes but the lines that struck me most in the book were the snippets from existing poems by well-known authors.

And into the forest I go,
to lose my mind and find my soul.
- John Muir

Beautiful words.

Yet if hope has flown away,
 In a night, or in a day,
 In a vision, or in non,
 Is it therefore the less gone?
 All that we see or seem
 Is but a dream within a dream. 
 - Edgar Allan Poe

I commend the author for choosing these because they were just so apt and beautiful. I also appreciated the reading recommendations the author gave at the end of the book.

Follow the Kindred Realms Tour! Check out Caffeine Book Tours on IG for more tour stops and reviews of the book.

Review: Hanami (#1) and Hazakura (#2) by V.C. Buckley (plus a $10 Giveaway!)

Hanami by VC Buckley Review Tour

Today we’re featuring Hanami and Hazakura (the sequel!) by author V.C. Buckley! This is a series in a genre that I don’t usually review, but lately I’ve been trying to be more open to contemporary fiction (you know, young adult, new adult, etc.) so I jumped at the chance to join this blog tour. I’m also pretty psyched because the author is from Manila! Gotta support my fellow Filipina, you know. :)

Read more about the books below and check out my review. Then enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win a $10 gift card to Amazon or B&N. Yay!

Hanami by VC BuckleyHanami by V.C. Buckley

“I am no princess… I am Yakuza,”

SAKURA SHINTANI is the heir to the Dragon Clan—Japan’s most notorious crime dynasty. But can she keep this fact a secret from the annoying brats of Oniyuri Academy?

She must try to master her demons while trying not to hurt anyone. But having the face of an angel puts her on everyone’s radar… including the arrogant heir to Asia’s most powerful tycoon, KENJIN KIYOHARA. He senses the danger, but Sakura is too interesting to be left alone.

Add this book on Goodreads. Get this book on Amazon, Barnes&Noble or Kobo.

An easy read, interesting characters, fun and exciting story

Holy cow, I finished this book in less than a day! The prose is descriptive and flows easily, the characters intriguing and the story exciting, so this book was such an easy read.

I like the main character, Sakura. She’s definitely a strong heroine, but also imperfect and has a vulnerability that is reasonable and even relatable. Her love interest, Jin, is also interesting in his own way, but it’s Sakura who really captures your attention. I like how their love story evolves throughout the book.

The plot twists are great. I just think that the reveals or resolutions to some of the crucial points in the story are too easy or simplified. Like some are a little bit glossed over, then sort of explained later on. Maybe I just wanted more intrigue and action. They are some pretty interesting twists though and I truly enjoyed them.

Lastly, I love all the Asian elements in this – the setting, the culture and traditions, the sport (kendo), the food. Made me hungry, tbh. Haha.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this one and couldn’t wait to get to the next book (review below!).

Hazakura VC BuckleyHazakura (Hanami #2) by V.C. Buckley

Can love last for a mafia princess?

find out in this riveting sequel to HANAMI…

KENJIN KIYOHARA, the son of Asia’s most powerful tycoon has finally won the heart of SAKURA SHINTANI, the heir to Japan’s most notorious crime dynasty. But their new love is threatened as Sakura’s trigger-happy oppositions see Kenjin as her ultimate weakness, making her rethink the decision to be with him. But Kenjin is determined to stay by her side, even if it might cost him his life.

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Another easy read, with interesting plot twists, still a fun and exciting story

This was as easy to read as the first book. The writing is also descriptive and flows easily. The characters are even more (or have grown more) interesting than in the first book. However, though the story is still as exciting as the first one, for some reason, it felt slower. I’m not sure why, maybe it was just my mood while reading it.

Anyway, Sakura is still a badass. And Jin is well, still Jin. He’s a little unreasonably (in my opinion) jealous in this one though so I didn’t like him as much, but he redeems himself so it’s fine.

The plot twists are also great, but, like in the first book, I think the reveals and resolutions are way too easy and convenient. There’s a tad bit more action though, so that was fun.

Overall, I still enjoyed reading this one and I’m still interested to read more about Sakura’s story.

Note: I received review copies of these books as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

About the Author

VC Buckley authorV.C. Buckley was born in an isolated government facility and shipped off to an Island in Southeast Asia where she grew up braving tropical thunderstorms and warding off evil villains. At sixteen she was discovered by an agent and jetted off all over the world. Her stories come from gritty moments of her childhood to the glitz of her travels. She now lives in Manila with her husband, two kids and an herb garden that has hijacked her balcony.

Connect with the author: WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagramGoodreadsBookbub

Watch the Book Trailer

Read an Excerpt from Hanami

Jin rolled his eyes, settling his gaze back on the girl. He wasn’t surprised with their reaction.

The new girl was hot, but so what? It took more than a pretty face to get his attention. He wasn’t that easy to impress, and he was certain she’d be throwing herself at him anyway. Just like everybody else. He was sure this girl wasn’t any different from the love-crazed hyenas that stalked him.

Jin pushed back his shoulders, seeing her start towards him with her eyes still trailing on the ground.

Already? Jin thought, suppressing a laugh. He crossed his arms, waiting for her to get closer, and sure enough she stopped right in front of him. She was even prettier up close. Asian but with a hint of Caucasian mixed in.

“What?” he asked, smirking. He already knew what she might say: whether he was Kenjin Kiyohara, the sole heir to Kiyohara Industries? The questions were all the same. He thought she would have at least waited until class was over like the rest of them.

“Move your feet. You’re blocking my way,” the girl said in a sharp tone. She shifted her gaze up at him like a threatening knife. Her topaz-colored eyes darkened, sending icy tremors down his back. He felt as if he’d been hit by a curse as his mind turned blank.

When she finally looked away, Jin was able to regain his senses. He tucked his legs out of her way, and she passed, leaving goosebumps in her wake. His eyes followed her, waiting to see if she’d look back, but she never did. Jin’s hands were trembling. His thoughts became jumbled while he struggled not to look anymore.

What was that? What just happened? This was a first for him. He couldn’t contain himself. His presence had no impact whatsoever. Instead she looked like she wanted to kill him!

Jin took a deep breath, replaying the moment in his head. Who was this girl? She sure got his attention, all right—and it left him in pieces. He fought the urge to look back again.

This girl…Jin thought. There was something about her. He couldn’t shake off the feeling. She seemed dangerous.

Giveaway

V.C. Buckley will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the rest of the tour and comment on the tour stops for more chances of winning: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2019/08/review-tour-hanami-by-vc-buckley.html

Cover Reveal: Circle of Ashes (Wish Quartet #2) by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

Wish Quartet_Circle-of-Ashes-Cover-Reveal

Here I am again with a post about the latest book by authors Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh! I’m participating in the cover reveal of Circle of Ashes, book two in the Wish Quartet series. Yayyy. I posted about the first book, Society of Wishes a while back and I’m just as happy to help spread the word about book two!

Read more about the book, see the pre-order links and check out the read-along deets for book one! Check it out, baes! ;)

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Cover Reveal: Society of Wishes by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

society of wishes

Hey, guys! Yep, here I am again with another one from author Elise Kova! This time it’s for the cover reveal of the first book in her new new adult, urban fantasy series, Wish Quartet, which she co-wrote with Lynn Larsh. Pretty cool stuff, I tell you.

So, check out the gorgeous cover, read more about the book, Society of Wishes, and check out the cover reveal giveaway!

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Release Blitz: Blood Magic by Danielle Rose

Blood Magic release blitz

Yay it’s release day for Blood Magic, the second book in the fantasy series by author Danielle Rose!

Last time I posted about Blood Magic, I said I was halfway through the first book, Blood Rose. Aaaand I haven’t made much progress. Gah. I know. Terrible.  I gotta say, the book’s pretty interesting. Danielle Rose has a different take on the “vampires and witches” dynamic, something I haven’t seen before so that’s good, right? Anyway, this reading rut is getting pretty tiring, but I will really try try try to get over this, friends!

Sooo, enough about me and read more about Blood Magic and Blood Rose below!

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Pre-Order Spotlight: Blood Magic by Danielle Rose

Blood Magic teaser

Yay! It’s the Pre-Order Blitz for Blood Magic, book two of the new urban fantasy series by author Danielle Rose.

I’m halfway through book one, Blood Rose, and it’s pretty interesting so far. I’ll definitely post a review when I’m done though I really can’t say when that’s going to be. I’m such a slow reader these days.

Anyway, read more about this series below and get your copies now if these books are right up your alley! Blood Rose is on sale and Blood Magic is available for pre-order at a discounted price!

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Spotlight: Blood Rose by Danielle Rose

Blood Rose Danielle Rose June 21

Today we’re featuring  Blood Rose by author Danielle Rose. Maaaaan, I really wanted to read this and post a review in time for this blog tour, but alas I just can’t make myself read anything these days. I pre-ordered this book back in March and was hoping to start reading it, but no. I soooo want to break out of this reading rut already! Gahhh

Anyway, enough about me and on to the book! Read more about Blood Rose below!

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Release Day Blitz: Blood Rose by Danielle Rose

Yay for release days! Amirite? Today I’m quite happy to be a part of the release blitz for Blood Rose, a new adult urban fantasy novel by author Danielle Rose! I first found out about this book via @Oftomes on Instagram and I was so intrigued by the cover and story that I couldn’t stop myself from pre-ordering the book, especially when it was on a special pre-order price! That was a few weeks ago and now the book is finally out!

Read more about the book below and find out where you can grab a copy!

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