Book Buying Habits Tag!

I have been on the hunt for another fun tag and saw this over at Zezee with Books blog and thought it would be perfect for someone like me. 🤣 Actually I am proud of myself (for now) cause I haven’t been buying any books for the past months so this will be interesting to answer.

~This was originally created by Megan Olivier on youtube but I wasn’t able to find the original video for it.~

So without further ado, let’s get on with the questions shall we?

Where do you buy your books?

Majority (if not all) of my books I got from Fully Booked, which is one of the most famous bookstore here. This is where I go to get brand new releases and/or books by famous authors and so on. On the other hand, for my historical romance books I get them on booksale and/or FB marketplace. This are the stores that sell secondhand books for a very cheap price BUT still in good condition.

do you ever preorder books and if so, do you do this in store or online?

I have never tried to preorder any books actually. I feel like when I do I’ll be more impatient on getting them knowing that I have already paid for it and all. 😂 I am very impatient when it comes to books.

on average, how many books do you buy in a month?

If you have asked me this before I might have answered 4 to 5 books but now that I am trying my best not to just buy books spontaneously maybe about 1-2. This still depends if I do have anticipated books arriving in that month if not, I don’t buy any.

do you use your local library?

I would love to but I never got the chance to. And it is a bit far from where I live.

IF SO – HOW MANY BOOKS CAN YOU/DO YOU BORROW AT A TIME?

If I do have the chance I think 1 would be enough for now cause I don’t think I’ll be able to get to a lot of books cause of work and stuff. 😅

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON LIBRARY BOOKS?

I did enjoy visiting my college library back in the day and they do keep the books in very good condition which I am happy about.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CHARITY SHOPS/SECOND-HAND BOOKS?

I LOVE them! Biblio and Booksale are the top Second-hand bookstores I visit a TON of times before the pandemic. I love looking around and discovering hidden gems on the shelves. I get all of my historical romance there and even though they are second hand books they are still in very good condition some even looks brand new.

DO YOU KEEP YOUR READ AND TBR PILE TOGETHER/ON THE SAME BOOKSHELF OR NOT?

I do. If I don’t, a few of my series would be separated from each other and that will bother me a bit so might aswell keep them all together.

DO YOU PLAN TO READ ALL THE BOOKS YOU OWN?

Absolutely. I have given away books that I don’t plan on reading or rereading and the only once left in my collection are the books I am 100% sure am going to read… which is still a lot.

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH BOOKS YOU OWN THAT YOU FEEL YOU’LL NEVER READ/FELT YOU DIDN’T ENJOY?

Sell them or give them away. When I declutter books from my shelf I always have the thought that it’ll be better to give them to someone who WOULD enjoy them rather than it being stuck on my shelf collecting dust.

HAVE YOU EVER DONATED BOOKS?

Ummm.. I haven’t actually. I think i’ll try that next time. But first, I need to know where to donate. 😅

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ON A BOOK-BUYING BAN?

YES! SO MANY TIMES! Some have worked and some… not really.

DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU BUY TOO MANY BOOKS?

Nowadays not really. I always have a long talk with myself before deciding to buy a book. A lot of questions arises in this conversation like if I really want it or is it just the hype or how long would it be stuck in my shelf and so on. But I do try to read 1-2 books from my shelf before getting 1 book. This has worked for me before and fingers crossed it’ll work again.

And that is the end of this tag. If you are someone who loves and enjoys buying books this is the tag for you so feel free to do this! Until next time. 💜

Reading Preference: Does it really change?

So this idea popped into my mind while I was stuck at home for a week cause of an ear infection. 😂

There I was… sitting in my room, staring at my shelves then the ceiling then back to the shelves and then it hit me. I have given away so many books in the past months… does that mean I have changed? Did my preferences changed from when I started to now? How did this affect me as a reader? Pros? Cons? Discoveries?

With all that questions in my mind I then decided to make this post. It took me awhile to start it cause I had to gather my thoughts and remember how I really was when I first discovered I loved to read. So… let’s go back to my highschool days shall we?

I was an avid reader of ROMANCE books way back. Besides Percy Jackson I wasn’t able to get into a book without romance in it. Maybe it’s the teen side of me but I really loved the cheesy young adult romance books like Anna and the French Kiss, My Life Next Door, The Fill-in Boyfriend and many more.

Then I discovered Young Adult FANTASY. Fantasy for me back then was a very challenging genre to get into. So a requirement for me to read a fantasy is… you guessed it. Romance. I could get into a fantasy book or series when the main focus is the romance between the 2 characters. That’s when I started to read Twilight (who wouldn’t want a shimmering boyfriend, right? 🤣), Darkest Power series (which I LOVED), Vampire Academy series, Hush Hush series etc.

Now we go to my College days. This time I do still read a lot of YA Fantasy romance but another genre I got into was Historical Romance. This was the time I discovered Book Sale and there wide variety of HR books. I started collecting books from different authors like Victoria Alexander, Stephanie Laurens, Lorraine Heath, Cathy Maxwell and so on.

More years passed and I was slowly introduced to the genre I am currently in love with… High Fantasy. I was introduced to this genre by the awesome Brandon Sanderson which is now my all time favorite author. The Mistborn series was what I considered to be the turning point of my reading preference. I was changing from reading books that were centered on romance and instead looked for the thrill of adventure in the story. I started to get interested in authors like Patrick Rothfuss, VE Schwab, Michael J Sullivan, Jim Butcher, Robin Hobb and many more.

By this time I realized that I was slowly starting to fall out of love with YA. Maybe because I was growing up and the themes doesn’t really match with me anymore or the characters felt to young for me to connect with them. I still do read YA by favorite authors but when it comes to new releases I tend to be hesitant to read them cause I didn’t want to be disappointed (cause oh boy… I had beenmore than I thought I would).

Presently in my collection I have a variety of books from 4 genres. High Fantasy, Mystery/Paranormal, Historical Romance and New Adult Romance (kindle).

Mystery/Paranormal was one of the genres I didn’t think I would love but when I read A Discovery of Witches as well as The Year of the Witching I started to look for more books like them. I do tend to read majority of my paranormal books during the fall season. On the other hand, Historical and New Adult Romance books are my life saver when I feel like I’m getting into a huge slump after reading a bunch of Fantasy books OR when I just want a feel good and romantic read.

With this I conclude that my reading preference DID changed as time went by. But not as drastic as I thought. I do still have the love for romance but it just got altered from YA to adult. I did discover new genres, authors and books that would be part of my collection for a long time. I ALSO did give out all of my YA with the thought that someone out there might start to love reading when they get this. Cause basically… this is where it all started.

How bout you? Did your reading preference change? 🤔

Book Review: A Nordic King by Karina Halle

This is my first Karina Halle book and it features one of my new favorite tropes – Single Dad and Nanny romance. ♡ 

SYNOPSIS

A widowed father of two little girls. The beautiful nanny he’s hired to raise them. A forbidden romance unlike any other. A Nordic King is the newest standalone royal romance from the New York Times Bestselling author of The Pact and The Swedish Prince.

When I first applied for the job I thought it would be like all the others: working as a nanny for an aristocratic family. Then I got the job and found out how wrong I was.

Now I’m the new nanny for two adorable little girls who happen to be princesses.

Their father is the widowed King of Denmark. And my new home? The royal palace in Copenhagen. Adjusting to my new life isn’t easy but the hardest part hasn’t been the girls who still grieve over the loss of their mother.

It’s their father.

Cold, mysterious and moody, with an icy stare that seems to penetrate your soul, King Aksel may have hired me to take care of his daughters but he wants as little to do with me as possible.

Yet the longer I share these palace walls with this man, the more that I’m drawn to him. His chiseled face and sexual swagger are only part of the package. It’s in the long, intense glances at the dinner table, the way we’ll brush up against each other in the halls, the rare glimpses of the man deep inside, like the sun passing through clouds.

But no matter how I feel about him, we can never be together.

You think it’s bad enough being in love with your boss?

Try falling in love with a king.

BOOK INFORMATIONBOOK LINKS
Title: A Nordic King
Author: Karina Halle
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 20 September 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance,
Royal Romance, New Adult
Goodreads
Amazon
Barnes&Nobles

THOUGHTS & RATING

“I’ve waited forty years to have a home,” he says softly.

“I’ve waited for you.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

I have discovered that I am slowly becoming a fan of books with single dad’s so when I read the synopsis of this and found out that not only is it a single dad story but it’s also a single dad and nanny slow burn romance AND (it doesn’t end there) it is also a story with royals in it. I mean who wouldn’t right?

This story is about Aurora who just resigned from her recent nanny job in Paris and is looking for a change of pace. She thought that it might be better to take a break from being a nanny BUT her advisor, Amelia, has a very good job offer for her with a “prominent” family in Denmark. After working for a lot of influential and famous families Aurora didn’t think twice and accepted the offer not knowing that she will be taking care of the 2 daughters of Aksel which is… the King of Denmark.

This story really hit me with that prologue. I felt so much emotion from Aksel in that (which I won’t be talking about cause I don’t want to spoil anyone) and it made me understand more why he is acting the way he is around people, especially Aurora.

Aksel and Aurora has such good chemistry in this. They balanced each other so well since Aksel was very grumpy and closed off while Aurora was such a badass and outgoing that her character was very infectious at times (maybe that’s why she was a very good Nanny). This was a slow burn romance but a there was a lot of sexual tension between them because they both want to stop feeling anything for each other cause of various reasons.

There is an age gap between the 2 of them but Aurora throughout the story was very matured because she did also experienced a lot while growing up. They both had very dark past and approached it in different ways. They are very opposite with each other especially their characteristics and attitude but this made them more perfect for one another.

I also liked that it didn’t just focus on the romance but also tackled the aftermath of what happened and how it affected the relationship Aksel had with his 2 daughters, Clara and Freja, and the rest of his family and friends.

This story started strong for me but it did felt a little flat and rushed at the end. There was also a time where I asked myself where they started to REALLY like each other and not just in a friendship kind of way.

But overall it was a very good read. It tackled so much emotion that ranges from guilt, disappointment, lost then feeling loved again, accepted and being part of a new family that you would do anything to hold on to.

Felt like a roller coaster ride with all this characters and I will be picking up the first 2 books in this series very soon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karina Halle is a screenwriter, a former music & travel journalist, and the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of The Pact, A Nordic King, and Sins & Needles, as well as sixty other wild and romantic reads.

She, her musician husband, and their adopted pit bull, Bruce, live in a rainforest on an island off the coast of British Columbia during the summer, and in Los Angeles in the winter.

Halle is represented by Root Literary and is both self-published, and published by Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin, and Montlake. Her books have been published in numerous languages around the world.

🌊Author Website 🌊Amazon 🌊Goodreads

🌊Instagram 🌊Twitter

October Wrap Up & November TBR

It has been awhile since I’ve posted a wrap up AND a TBR so today I have joined them together for this post!

October Wrap Up

I’ve only read 4 books this month which is better than I thought I would do cause A LOT has happened. 😅

But I am still very happy with this month cause I have posted 2 reviews for the 2 books I have read AND I have been pretty active here which I am happy about. Now… shall we get to the books?

  1. Jade Fire Gold by June C.L. Tan ☆☆☆☆
  2. A Nordic King by Karina Halle (Nordic Royals #3) ☆☆☆
  3. Feed by Aveda Vice (Hunger Duet #0.5 ☆☆☆
  4. Lovely, Dark and Deep by Claudia Cain ☆☆☆☆

November TBR

Earlier today I have chosen 5 books from my TBR jar of prompts for November and I think I need all the luck I can get cause I have 2 thick books in here. 😅

  • Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalco “cover features your favorite color” – purple
  • Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) by Maureen Johnson “book by an author you haven’t read from”
  • The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson “highest rated” – looked at my Goodreads for this and I was not surprised
  • House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas “Goodreads Choice Award”
  • The Rogue of Fifth Avenue (Uptown Girls #1) by Joanna Shupe “most recent purchase”

So that is it for todays wrap up and tbr post. Luckily I have started 2 books on this pile already but I still have a long way to go (especially with The Way of Kings). Wish me luck!

Book Review: Lovely, Dark and Deep by Claudia Cain

A huge thank you to the author, Claudia Cain, for sending me an Advance Copy of her book Lovely, Dark and Deep in exchange for a honest review.

SYNOPSIS

It’s a beautiful day in autumn, and a little girl has gone missing…

She’s not the first.

Hannah Hendricks is the fourth child to disappear from the small town of Fallow Creek in the past two months. Search parties comb the woods and vigils are held, yet there is no trace of the missing children, as if they have vanished off the face of the earth.

Cassandra Reilly is certain there is magic involved, but few people trust the word of a witch, and fewer still want her help. As an outsider to the rest of the town, it seems there is little she can do – until Hannah’s parents arrive on her doorstep, begging for magical aid.

Cass is tired of doing nothing, but agreeing to help is more dangerous than she knows. Something evil is at work in Fallow Creek, and if she isn’t careful, she’ll lead it back to her own door.

BOOK INFORMATIONTRIGGER & CONTENT WARNING
Title: Lovely, Dark and Deep
Author: Claudia Cain
Publisher: Black Sheep Books
Publication date: 5 November 2021
🍁Profanity
🍁Mild Gore
🍁Mentions of Suicide
🍁Animal Death
BOOK LINKSAmazon Goodreads

THOUGHTS & RATING

“Have you ever met someone who made you feel seen? he asks quietly. “When nobody else did?”

“Once you do, it’s hard not to get attached”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It’s a glorious autumn afternoon, and the woods are about to swallow a girl whole.

When a book starts with that kind of sentence be ready for the most exciting (and creepy/scary) adventure of your life!

Lovely, Dark and Deep follows the story of Cassandra a witch who lives with her siblings, Theo & Pen, and her Aunt Louisa at the edge of the wood of Fallow Creek. When 4 children had gone missing Cass thought that it’s about time she does something and stop hiding from everything.

I loved Cass’ character. She was the person who would risk everything for anyone who is in need and doesn’t ask for anything in return. She does doubt herself throughout the 1st part but when she realized that it is possible for her to do something and bring the kids back home safe she never hesitated to go through with it.

Her relationship with the rest of the characters were also well rounded and I felt like it was all so realistic that you could relate to the drama they had. Broken family, controlling aunt, favoritism, being the golden boy or the black sheep of the family, A LOT of expectations and misunderstandings. Everything just felt so real and that made it all the better.

Merich was also one of my most memorable character. When he first came out I was literally scared sh*tless cause he was mentioned to have black eyes and my imagination just went over the roof. Then we find out he was actually a Fae (which I am a sucker for) and the Warden of the Woods. Him and Cass didn’t really liked or agree with each other and they always have this banter going on but when they started to work with one another it felt like they do have a special connection even though it was not fully opened or mentioned in the story.

Since reading The Year of the Witching last year I have been on the hunt for a good witch book that involves the woods or a forest and this gave me what I want. I LOVED how atmospheric and magical everything was and while reading I got so immersed in the story and the world that I felt like I was connected to everything. The writing style was well paced and the plot was solid all throughout the story. Upon starting you think of a ton of questions and they slowly gets answered as you read on.

This was a very short but epic story that is perfect for Fall. It was a mixture of drama, magic, mystery, paranormal and creepy/unsettling vibes that will keep you on the edge of your sit and wanting more. AND with that cliffhanger?! (which makes you list out more questions to be answered) I’m glad 2022 is almost upon us and I can’t wait to go back to Fallow Creek in the next book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Claudia Cain is the author of the Silver and Bone trilogy, bringing together crime and fantasy in a supernatural San Francisco.

She currently lives in New Zealand and can usually be found either writing or reading. She owns more books than strictly necessary, and loves fantasy, animals, and dark humour.

🍁Author Website 🍁Amazon 🍁Goodreads 🍁Instagram

Books I Want to Read Before 2021 Ends?!

Anyone here who makes a list of books they want to read/finish before a specific year ends and then the year DOES ends… and you finished nothing. 🙋‍♀️ Now I am doing another list and putting it out here and HOPEFULLY it encourages me to get to even half of them.

So I separated this into 2 sections: the 7 Priority TBR books and 5 “if you still can” books. Majority of the books in the priority pile are very thick and intimidating so… Goodluck to me. 😅 Shall we get on with the books?

7 Priority Books

  • The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson – Page 275 of 1007.
  • Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – Page 437 of 830.
  • Escaping the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalco – Page 232 of 416. Currently Reading
  • Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations #1-2) by Michael J. Sullivan – Page 202 of 649.
  • Elantris by Brandon Sanderson – Page 51 of 622.
  • The Bitter Kingdom (Girl of Fire and Thorns #3) by Rae Carson – Page 150 of 433.
  • Scent of Magic (Healer #2) by Maria V. Snyder – Page 20 of 414.

As you can see I have already started all of this and stopped at some point cause… I got distracted by unnecessary things. I’m sorry! 😓

5 “if you still can” Books

  • These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
  • A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2) by Sabaa Tahir
  • Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  • Kingdom of the Cursed (Kingdom of the Wicked #1) by Kerri Maniscalco
  • House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

This are the books I will be reading when I do finish my priority books. If that won’t be possible this will be the first set of books I go with next year.

And that is it. Now that I have put it here I feel…. more pressured. I have a very packed reading/reviewing schedule for this month so hopefully when November rolls by I can start tackling my priority list. I am very excited with all the titles though and I just need to plan my reading schedule well.

What do you think I should read first?

Historical Romance Book Haul

So I just got 65 Historical Romance books for the month of June-July AND I am still waiting for 14 more. 😅 In my defense I already had a budget for all of this cause I wasn’t able to get anything during the BBW sale this year so I don’t feel guilty at all. (Also I got them for VERY cheap prices *cheaper than BBW*)

Historical Romance was actually my FIRST ever favorite genre. I was collecting a bunch of them when I was still in college (cause they sell them pretty cheap at Booksale) but as time passed I started to change as a reader and I ended up giving away majority of my HR books except for the ones by my favorite authors.

Recently I have been in a very Historical Romance mood since it was the easiest for me to get into and finish (also it helped me get off my reading slump) so I spontaneously joined last month’s HRReadathon. Then after watching a ton of videos from booktubers I suddenly felt the impulse to get ALL of the HR books.

I got all of this from Booksale, Facebook Marketplace, Carousel and Shopee for very affordable prices that ranges from Php25-Php100 ($.50-$1.99) which was a STEAL!

I’ll categorize them by the places or sites I got them from (also will include links for the stores in Carousel & Shopee) so without further ado here is my June & July Haul!

Booksale *Southmall Branch*

*Php25-Php75 ($.50-$1.49)*

Since the college days Booksale has been my go to store for very cheap HR books. The one in Southmall isn’t that big and I have been going there almost everyday so I kinda memorize everything they have there. 😅

Facebook Marketplace

This are from 3 different FB Marketplace seller

*Php50 ($0.99) each*

This stack is also from FB Marketplace but I got all of them from 1 seller. 19 books w/ 1 free for Php950 ($18)

I had such good luck finding old and new titles in Facebook Marketplace and I really need to stay away from it for now cause I just keep wanting to get everything I see.

Carousel

@booksforkeeps

@trinkets_by_joy

@nykuh

@desdeclutters

I have had my Carousel account for years now and it finally got handy. You just need a ton of patience when looking for particular titles cause some are not categorized by author. I usually search “romance” or “historical romance”.

Shopee

@winny143

  • The Secret (Highlands’ Lairds #1) by Julie Garwood
  • Castles (Crown’s Spies #4) by Julie Garwood

Very self explanatory but other HR books are way expensive here than the rest I have mentioned so I don’t really browse here a lot.

And that is the end of my haul (for now). I am quite happy with everything I got and I was able to complete series I have read and loved way back. As of now I am currently in the process of building my Lorraine Heath, Stephanie Laurens and Suzanne Enoch collection since I have loved there books since before.

With this books being way shorter and lighter than what I usually read I have gotten to most of the ones I got last month and HOPEFULLY by the end of this month I have gotten to more than half of my haul. ✌️

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

SYNOPSIS

From the founding member of We Need Diverse Books comes a powerful novel about identity, betrayal, and the meaning of family.

By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.

THOUGHTS & RATING

⭐⭐⭐.75

“What is the job of a parent, but to teach a child she has worth so that one day she can transform herself into whatever she wants.

The Downstairs Girl is my first Stacey Lee book and the first book I have finished for the #stanasianauthors readathon.

This is a story about Jo Kuan, a Chinese-American girl who struggles to make a living and fit in due to the prejudice of the people during the reconstruction era of the South. She was a ladies maid during the day but at night she becomes the mysterious author “Miss Sweetie” of a newspaper advice column.

I really loved Jo as a character. She was a very strong, responsible, compassionate and opinionated person that you just can’t help to root for especially when everything was against her. I loved how she stands up for herself and didn’t let anyone bring her down just because of her nationality or even her gender. She has so much love for her family and friends and I feel like she is a character and a role model that will stick to you for a long time.

With the focus on racism, loss, social injustice I thought it would be harder to get into cause it tackles such heavy topics but upon starting it I wasn’t overwhelmed with everything that is going on. This was made possible by Jo as a character as well as Stacey Lee’s writing style. You wouldn’t feel depress cause even though a lot is happening you can still see and feel that by the end of the day Jo will be able to get through it cause of her personality and her conviction to what she believes is right.

The Downstairs Girl was a comfort read for me and made me realized a lot of things along the way. This was a story that have been a reality to many other people around the world. If you enjoy reading historical fiction with a badass asian character I highly recommend this.

April Wrap Up

April, for me, was a very successfull reading month cause I was able to read 9 books (3 from TBR)!

  1. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (The Winternight Trilogy #1) ☆☆☆☆
  2. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen #1) ☆☆☆
  3. To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn (Bridgertons #5) ☆☆☆
  4. The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan (The Rogue Files #3) ☆☆
  5. This Scot of Mine by Sophie Jordan (The Rogue Files #4) ☆☆
  6. What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell (School for Dukes #1) ☆☆☆☆
  7. Elle (s) by Kid Toussaint, Aveline Stokart ☆☆☆
  8. Murder on Balete Drive by Budjette Tan (Trese #1) ☆☆☆☆
  9. In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens ☆☆☆☆

Hoping this would continue for the rest of the year so I could finally accomplish my Goodreads Reading Challenge cause for the past years I have always missed 2-3 books when it comes to this challenge.

Readathons has also been a big help for me this month and I plan to do and join more in the following months.

In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens

SYNOPSIS

A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to save him when he is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour in this swoony adventure that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean.

Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.

Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.

That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope… 

THOUGHTS & RATING

⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I know we’re young,” he blurted. “I know that we met under stressful circumstances. I know that I’m a prince and you’re a merman. But I also know that I’ve never felt this way about anyone else. I know we’re both the last, and we’ve felt alone. But we could be alone together.”

First of all can we appreciate how gorgeous the cover for this book is? I’ve actually first saw this on bookstagram and made a mental note to get into it as soon as it is released because I absolutely fell in love with the cover.

Honestly speaking I didn’t really think of this as similar to the Pirates of the Carribean but more on a queer take on The Little Mermaid. I have actually debated on what star rating I should give this book and instead of the average 3 stars I bumped it up to 4 stars cause I really did enjoy the story. Although this theme has been used multiple times I love how it was different in the sense that it isn’t dark, mature or full of tragedy. After reading too much fantasy the past year I needed something light and romantic for a change.

The story as well as the characters made it so much easier to get into. I adored Athlen and how naive he is to the world around him and I just want to protect him at all cost! I love the innocence and the vibrancy of Tal and Athlen as main characters. I love the relation of Tal “Tally” with his brothers and sisters. How it showed how much he could and would sacrifice to keep his family and his country safe even though he, like Athlen, doesn’t know much of the world since he was kept out of it because of his magic.

F.T Lukens briefly touched on topics like betrayal, forgiveness, hope, power, differences and acceptance but as Little Mermaid’s story this does center around the heart warming, fluffy and the innocence of Tal and Athlen’s first love. Even though both of them are so different with one another and from everyone else they held on to the belief that as long as they are together they will never be alone.

I can say that this is a book you would enjoy reading either at the beach on vacation or at the comfort of your home. Even though this wasn’t as action packed as the books I have been reading I did end this book with a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart.