kingdom of the wicked review

“Love is the most powerful magic. Above all else, remember that. It will always guide you where you need to go.”

Sister story! 👯‍♀️ Twins! It’s dark. Vittoria and Emilia are streghe- one of 12 witch families secretly living in Palmero. Vittoria is impossibly blasphemous, bold, and brazen. And D-E-A-D, dead. Emilia is…not any of those things. But you betcha, she will avenger her sisters death, since she was the one to find her mutilated body. Cringe! Dark magic has been long prohibited but Emilia is desperate and willing to do anything. Then she meets the Prince of Wrath, general of war, and one of the feared Seven. Buonasera, Wrath 🔥. Beautiful. Rare. Lethal. Death and rage and fire. Undeniably pleasant 😍 to look at. Realizing Wrath could be useful to her quest for justice, the pair align themselves, set aside their less than appealing qualities, and work together to stop a murderer from slaughtering more witches. However, the Malvagi are selfish creatives and should be feared, never trusted🙈. Emilia’s current desires centered on two things: finding out WHO murdered her twin, and WHY? Trapped in a terrible nightmare and left with simmering rage, will Emilia come out a victim or a victor? Benediximus- good luck! 🤞🏼

Kingdom of the Wicked IS FANTASTICO! Kerri Maniscalco FTW! First, I would like to take a trip to Sea & Vine. You had me at loaf of crusty bread and a platter of antipasto.

Salivating 🤤. Seriously craving Italian food right now. Wrath’s love for some sweetened ricotta…ADORE that Kerri’s LI’s have a fondness for confections. And the romance. Chef’s kiss!
Intoxicating and forbidden. I was rooting for my guy! Can you see that hungry gleam in my eyes? I’m ravenous for more of what Kerri is serving us! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Revenge! Justice! Vengeance! Betrayal! EEK! If you are devoted to the SJTR series 🙋🏼‍♀️ then you have to read Kingdom of the Wicked! I cannot wait to see where Wrath and Emilia end up in the sequel! All the praise to Kerri Maniscalco! 👏🏼 phenomenal! 👏🏼🖤

Grazie to Jimmy Patterson Books and Kerri Maniscalco for allowing me to DESTROY an advance reader copy. 🤟🏼👏🏼

🎶 song: Which Witch by Florence + The Machine 🎶


Nonna Maria’s Scampi

Ingredients:

2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

4 TBSP salted butter

4 large garlic cloves, minced

2 TBSP lemon juice (or half a fresh lemon, squeezed

1 LB. large shrimp, shelled and deveined

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/3 cup chopped parslet

Salt, black pepper, and pecorino to tase*

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Next, add shrimp and sauté until they start turning pink on each side. Remove shrimp and set aside.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and wine (or broth if you prefer) and simmer for 2-4 minutes. Tip: you’ll know it’s getting close when the wine is reduced by almost half.
  3. Add the shrimp back in, then the lemon juice and parsley. Toss together and simmer for another minute before removing from heat.
  4. Sprinkle pecorino to taste (like Nonna). Serve with your choice of pasta or crusty bread. *Pecorino isn’t traditional, but the Maniscalco family loves the flavor of it with the garlicky butter sauce.

dark skies review

“Time doesn’t change people, Highness. What happens to them while it passes does.”

Dark Skies follows Lydia (Teriana’s BFF), scholar and adopted daughter of the patrician family Valerius. Her father’s position gives him a seat in the Senate, which is the body that governs Celendor. Marked for death by murder, she flees by way of xenthier path (think: portal). Lydia is the opposite of damsel in distress. She’s no fighter, but she’s a warrior in her own way. She made a mistake. She was careless and it cost people their lives. She must go back to rectify it. How will she make it back? The old rock and a hard place dilemma.

Killian Calorian is a Marked One. Woe to those who dare cross paths with the Dark Horse of House Calorian. Disgraced after failing to keep Mudamora safe from the Corrupted, Lord Calorian swears his sword to protect the crown princess, Malahi. The only way for Killian to redeem himself is by winning the war and driving back the Corrupted One, Rufina, the Queen of Derin.

With Mudamora under siege, Killian strikes a deal with Lydia and the pair (Lydian) work together to save the people they love. The duo share a weight of guilt and they’re two peas in a pod. Truths are revealed and loyalties questioned. Will the sacrifices be worth it in the end?

I love this series! There’s a scene where princess Malahi is very much a queen, but then she be meddling. Oh, no she didn’t! Nobody mess with my OTP. Adore Lydia! Several scenes that made me feel for her. But she’s clever. Fierce! Selfless! Tough cookie. And the dashing Killian Calorian. So chivalrous. The last 100 pages are unputdownable and the ending is insert any exclamation phrase. And the ending is also immediately opens amazon app to preorder Gilded Serpent. Dark Skies is a YA fantasy series, bridging a dozen nations with various cultures, races, and religions. Fantasy fanatics, this series is for you!

For Mudamora and the Six!

song: Gannicus V. Cesar by Joseph Loduca

The 411 : Dark Shores and Dark Skies are parallel stories, meaning you can read in any order. Mariana (Marcus + Teriana) and Lydian’s (Lydia + Killian) stories will converge in the third book, Gilded Serpent.

kiss my cupcake review

“But I think I’d rather have someone to miss than never have the opportunity to witness that kind of devotion.”

Blaire Calloway has everything ready for the opening of her cupcake and cocktails café. Blaire is… a lot of personality. She is cheeky and does everything in a June Cleaver, fifties housewife style dress.

One thing is in the way and that would be the owner of The Knight Cap, Ronan Knight, who is ridiculously charismatic. Think GQ, hipster, lumberjack. Their bars are neighbors. The duo’s relationship starts off… rocky. Basically rival status. Blaire gets sour like her lemon curd filled cupcakes. Get ready to turn into a complete chucklehead at the daily dose of snark! The pair try and one-up each other in events to bring in more customers…live band, axe throwing, karaoke, and Harry Potter trivia night. Watch out! Across the street a massive chain restaurant opens, resulting in Blaire and Ronan striking a deal to team up for business. Which means they spend a lot of time together and she sees a new side to Ronan. Blaire feels like she can balance having her cupcake and eating it too. I adored the history and romance and family and connection behind TKC. Team The Knight Cakes! Blaire and Ronan go together like cupcakes and buttercream! Kiss My Cupcake is a delightfully sweet rom-com! A must read with a cocktail and cupcake. 🧁

🎶song: Sugar Sugar by The Archies🎶

super fake love song review

“I could belong to you,” I said. “You could belong to me,” I said. “We could belong to each other,” I said.”

What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done for love? For Sunny Dae, nerd 🤓 extraordinaire, it was faking being the front man of a 👨🏻‍🎤rock band in order to impress a girl. Sunny has one moment in his life that clearly defined him as a loser. This one moment cast his loserdom into cold carbonate.

Sunny saw it all: name-calling, cafeteria tray flipping, body checks. Let me give you a Sunny Dae visual: “glowstick-green vintage Kazaa tee shirt. Cargo shorts the color, and shape, of potatoes.” 🤣 Oh, boy. Well, the Dae family has family friends moving to town. The Soh’s. Sunny landed orientation buddy to Cirrus Soh. Image: “ghostly girl straight out of a Japanese horror movie lurking in the dark beyond.”😳 clutches book harder with both hands. Cirrus is cool. So, so cool. Friends all over the world. Completely dazzled by Cirrus’ kaleidoscopic cosmopolitan ✌🏼cool, and here comes the L-I-E. Sunny takes on a big rock persona and ropes his best-guy friends in. Eek. They did NOT rock. They convulsed. Rock Star Sunny with a thick layer of nerd-tella on top. Does Sunny dial things back from rock star to super mega-nerd or does he get caught in his faking it to be cool?

What a delightful👏🏼 rom-com from David Yoon! Heavy on the 😂com. I LOL so hard at several scenes. “Coach Oldtimer’s real name was We Did Not Care What His Real Name Was.” 😂SNORT! Actual footage of me while reading Super Fake Love Song:


I adored Sunny Dae and Gray Dae. Teeheehee. Sunny day ☀️and Gray day☁️ are a variety of cloud….and brothers. Mad respect for Sunny and his best friends: the three best friends that anyone could ever have. They were a hoot and represented 42.85714268 percent of the entire non-white population of Ruby High. Sunny and Cirrus. 🥰 Just precious! Beautiful nerds. Not one, but TWO grand-gesture moments. 👏🏼Giddy! The music mentioned chefs kiss: Prince, Queen, Foo Fighters, Ramones, Nirvana, Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Joan Jett, and more. If you like laughing and music, Super Fake Love Song is for you! Long live rock and roll! 👊🏼

Big thanks to Penguin Teen and David Yoon for the advanced copy! To metal! 🤘🏼

🎶 song: Somebody To Love by Queen 🎶

To listen to all the tunes mentioned in Super Fake Love Song [ click here ] for a reader (that’s me) created playlist.

The darkest star review

“Life without you is like a broken pencil. Pointless.”

I adore JLA and everything she writes! I love that we are introduced to Luc and he’s wearing a “no drama llama” shirt. 🤣 When that boy was all about the drama llama. Such a little cinnamon roll. His graphic tee collection is solid. And Evie. 🍑Peaches. I can appreciate her desire to just stay home and take photos of her really nice, grey-and-white, wooden candleholders. She cute! Oh, and she wants someone to look at her like she looks at tacos. 🌮 Mad respect.

The Darkest Star is straight up sci-fi and I dig it. Our OTP (Luc & Evie) meet during a raid at a notorious club where the surviving Luxen can mingle freely. Luc is helping the Luxen worthy of living out their lives without having to look over their shoulders. Evie Dasher gets involved in this world and, of course, baddecisionville, population: ☝🏼one. The Darkest Star is a YA SF (dystopia vibes) perfect for JLA groupies.

🎶 Haunt You by X Lovers ft. Chloe Moriondo 🎶

Dark shores review

“She was going to do it anyway. Wrapping her arms around his neck, Teriana rested her cheek against his and said, ‘It’s enough.'”

Born of the seas and guardian of its secrets, Teriana is second mate of the Quincense. She is heir to the Triumvirate and daughter of a merchant captain. The Maarin had no known lands and the seafaring race was the only nation of people not under the dominion of the Empire. In order to assist her closest friend, Lydia, Teriana makes one huge mistake with unfortunate ramifications.


Legatus Marcus, commander of the Thirty-Seventh, is notoriously known as leading the Celendor Empire to conquer the East. Many have died because of him. Many were forced into servitude because of him. Like Teriana, he is also a guardian of secrets. HIS secrets, that he is willing to do anything to protect.

Captured, threatened, and left with no choice, Teriana must sail with the legionnaire to the Dark Shores of Reath. Forbidden, but they exist. At least Teriana and her crew have something nice to look at while they take those black hearted Cel’s across the world. But how far are the duo willing to go, and how much are they willing to sacrifice? Welcome to the Sea of the Dead.

AYE! I was thoroughly entertained. I LOVED THIS SO MUCH AND IT NEEDS ALL THE HYPE. I am infatuated with Danielle Jensen’s characters! Bait and his wide smile that could charm anyone with eyeballs. Yedda just nonchalantly pointing out the legionnaires she finds attractive…”heading off in the direction of legionnaires doing their stretches.” LOL at Yedda. The tale of how Marcus the infallible, the untouchable, the invincible, was forever marked claps hand over mouth, stifling a laugh. Teriana is one tough-cookie, taking everything in stride. Her sass toward Marcus is two-thumbs up. Chuckling at the bottom of page 231. Warfare! Excursion! Political intrigue! Peril! And a slow clap, slow burn, enemies-to-lovers romance! If you enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean vibes (no actual swashbuckling piracy) and the 300/Spartacus (Ancient Rome), you’ll plow through Dark Shores in one sitting. A necessity for fantasy fanatics!

🎶 song: Returns a King by Tyler Bates 🎶

Sorcery of thorns review

“She sniffed loudly. ‘I’m not crying. My eyes are watering. You smell awful.’ ‘What? I never smell awful. I smell like sandalwood and masculine allure.’”

Elisabeth Scrivener is a foundling. Orphaned, left on the steps of one of Summershall’s Great Library, and raised among magical grimoires. She is feral, practically raised by booklice. An agent of chaos without even trying. Back to the grimoires….If provoked, the grimoires transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. Elisabeth has a…special attachment to the grimoires. As an apprentice, she vowed to become a warden to protect her kingdom, but there is something different about Scrivener. She (emphasis) belonged in the library, as much as any book. Danger! An act of sabotage, someone had performed sorcery IN the library, leading the most threatening grimoire to walk free. The Book of Eyes had returned. insert dramatic effect

Caught in the middle and wrongfully accused as a traitor and murderer, Elisabeth is sent to the capital to face justice. What follows is utter pandemonium. There is no one to trust, except her adversary, Magister Nathaniel Thorn and the dreadful creature that had served House Thorn. All her life she was taught never to trust sorcerers for they are terribly wicked, prowling the wild, tormenting widows, and scandalizing the elderly with nefarious black arts (said in Nathaniel’s sarcastic tone). Alas! Officium adusque mortem. Duty unto death. Desperate for an ally. The saboteur has a pattern and is striking all the Great Library’s. As the duo’s relationship deepens, can Elisabeth truly declare magic her enemy, and go back to the way she had been before? Will the missing pieces snap into place and will the pair fight side by side to find the saboteur?

Image via Jemlin C

Mr. Thorn, let me introduce you to my other book BF who is equally charming….Mr. Cresswell. Thomas Cresswell vibes with your mischievous sarcasm and well-timed quips. “I only turn girls into salamanders on Tuesdays. Luckily for you, it’s a Wednesday, which is the day I drink a goblet of orphan’s blood for supper.” I see that wicked gleam in Nathaniel’s eye. The duo’s meet-cute left me smitten: “I wanted to know that name of the girl who almost murdered me with a bookcase.” LOL at the unmanageable, contrary creature that is Elisabeth Scrivener. I have completely succumbed to Margaret Rogerson’s captivating characters. I loved this bewitching tale! A story of perilous adventure, magic, honor, first love, risk and sacrifice. SoT is ideal for fans of Stephanie Garber and Kerri Maniscalco.

🎶 Library Magic by The Head and The Heart 🎶

Troubles in paradise review

“Remember what we taught you to do when you get to the end of your rope?” “Make a knot and hang on.” 

Whew! The turmoil continues: laundering money, FBI, murder, infidelity, betrayal. It’s messy and complicated. I love the women in this series. They are “born on the Fourth of July” independent. Troubles in Paradise reveals the truth behind what happened to Rosie Small and Russ Steele. BONUS: all the drama with Huck, Irene, Cash, Baker, Ayers, and Maia. It’s always fun seeing characters from Elin’s other series. I adore the Quinn family (Winter Street series). The end of TiP will tug on your heart strings…the decimation and destruction. I really enjoyed this series and I’ll miss these characters too. However, maybe, just maybe, they will appear in another Hilderbrand book. Fingers crossed! 

Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills, & Nash

Crush review

“I’ll try, Grace. Of course I’ll try. But I’ve been like this a really long time, so you’re going to have to cut me some slack. I’m going to mess up. I’m going to try to protect you even when you don’t need to be protected, and some of the time you’re going to have to let me. Because that’s who I am. That’s who I’ll always be.”

Days later because #thoughts. Like thoughts on thoughts. Thoughts ™. And they’re all spoilers so HMU if you want to chat.

I am writing this from my grave because I am deceased. Destroyed. Broken into so many pieces. Dig me out of my resting place in March. Or please don’t if it doesn’t go well. 🙈 (Shoves the world’s tiniest pity-party violin back into my pocket). 

Here is what I fancy: Grace is snarky! Like capital S, Snarky. Homegirl is a BAWSE! She is a living, breathing example of a mystical architecture. “Find the homicidal maniac to-do list.” The four factions: vampire, witch, dragon, and werewolf. Wind chimes playing the Rolling Stone’s- Katmere’s version of a bell. The Ludares competition which felt like a mash up of the Hunger Games, the Triwizard Tournament, and Quidditch….and Keep Away and Hot Potato. Jaxon’s (terrible) jokes and how patient he is with Grace (page 562 people!). I mean, TACOS! 🌮 You had me at tacos. Ta👏🏼cos! Macy’s exuberant personality. She makes me snort laugh. A glimpse of Hudson’s side of the story- I think this homicidal maniac might be misunderstood. Riding Flint’s dragon 🐉. The music and the snacks. Chapter titles that make you LOL.

Crush is a paranormal telenovela, and what happens next is anyone’s guess. There are TWO more books. You’ve kindly been informed: the last 200 pages and the cliff hanger will leave you bedridden for three days.

To the beautiful, broken, scarred boy who stole my heart so easily. So completely. Hope. Home. Mine. Don’t sink me, Tracy! 🙏🏼 Please don’t leave me.

🎶 song: I Knew I Loved You by Savage Garden 🎶

Find my Crush playlist [here]

October TBR

BOOya! Whatcha got on your TBR for October? I’m all about the mystery, thrillers, and fantasy for this month. Peep what I’ll be reading below.

Don’t forget to tag your photos with #heyboo2020 to be entered to win an autumn bookmark. Bonus: You’ll get to see some good reads to add to your ever growing TBR.

  1. Kingdom of The Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
  2. Crush by Tracy Wolff
  3. Slayer by Kiersten White
  4. A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens
  5. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  6. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
  7. Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis
  8. The Silent Wife by Karen Slaughter
  9. Magic Dark and Strange by Kelly Powell