The Tiger’s Watch

(Ashes of Gold #1)

Julia Ember


5 ★ – Magical and Thrilling
Published by Harmony Ink Press August 22, 2017
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, GLBT, Romance
Pages: Kindle 180
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Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.
Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.
When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.

This is the first book I’ve read by Julia Ember and I’m definitely 100% going to be adding her other books on my neverending TBR. The Tiger’s Watch is a fantastic thrilling story that features a genderfluid protagonist (Woohoo!). From the very beginning until the last page, I was enthralled by Ember’s beautiful writing. The story, the world building, the characters, the magic, the romance, everything… – I LOVE it all.

Ember is an amazing writer and visionary. The world building in this book is unique and imaginative. The idea of inhabitors, a soldier who is able to bond with an animal in order to spy and kill, is creative and fascinating. I definitely loved it when Tashi would connect with their tiger, Katala. I mean how incredible is it to be able to experience two lives at once. To do things you never thought you could. To feel, hear, taste, and see the world through another species. Of course there’ll be limitations and danger, but still… it’s pretty darn awesome! I really enjoyed this part of the book and hope to see it developed some more in the next installment.

I love the characters with all my heart and rooted for each of them. Tashi is not exactly the bravest and for a trained spy/killer, they’re actually quite horrible at it, but they try to be strong and to do good. Pharo can be impulsive and reckless, but he’s also kind and very loyal. Xian is unpredictable and cruel, but there is also a side of him that’s caring and vulnerable. They’re complex, flawed, and awfully frustrating, but it’s difficult not to sympathize with them when they’re just trying to do what they believe is right to protect the people they love.


The romance is subtle and the relationships could have had a bit more development… but the little preview was enough to keep me interested. And yes, there’s definitely some swooning here and there. I enjoyed the slow burn romance between Tashi and Pharo… BUT (and someone tell me I’m not alone in this) I REALLY LIKE Tashi and Xian together… I know I know.. Xian’s despicable and the enemy, but I sort of have a thing for the “bad guy” type… the complicated more than meets the eye villain who ends up being the “good guy.” So, of course I found the love-hate chemistry between Tashi and Xian totally intriguing. (Kind of reminded me of how I felt towards Juliette and Warner from the Shatter Me Series). While Tashi and Xian is my obvious ship, I’m still pretty excited to see how both relationships progress.

The Tiger’s Watch may be short (not even 200 pages), but it’s full of intrigue, magic, adventure, and mystery. I love Ember’s vivid storytelling and this wonderful world she’s created. I seriously have so much love for this book and can’t recommend it enough. If you’re looking for a quick, fun, and entertaining fantasy novel, then you absolutely have to add this on your TBR… or you know just grab a copy when it comes out. Oh and be prepared to shut the real world off, cause you’ll want to finish this in one sitting.

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the author and publisher, Harmony Ink Press, in exchange for a fair review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Follow / Connect with Julia Ember: Website / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook

Sincerely Karen Jo

Beauty Con LA

IMG_6067[1]Hello Lovelies! I hope you all had a great weekend and read some fun books. I didn’t get to read at all because I attended Beauty Con. It was my first time going and I had so much fun that I’m definitely going next year. Aside from books, I really love make-up…even though I don’t wear them that often and I’m not very good. Anyway, just wanted to show you some pics from Beauty Con. Excuse my face… I look so tired in most of them (except in the very beginning) because there was a lot of lining up & those freebies got so heavy. My shoulder is actually really sore right now.

Day 1 Saturday 

My friend Klaire and I bought the General Admission hot pink wristbands for both Saturday, August 12, and Sunday, August 13.  It was $93.20 including taxes and I would say that was definitely worth it.

There were A LOT of selfies and photo booth to get freebies. My face hurt from smiling so much.

Day 2 Sunday 

Met up with these beauties for the second day. Again more selfies for freebies, but Klaire and I knew which booths to go to so we definitely got more out of the day.



Her hubby is so supportive!

Heart is the cutest!! She’s so sweet and genuine. You can just tell she loves her fan so much. And it was so adorable that her hubby was there supporting her.

Chrissy Teigen being awesome
John Legend being the best hubby. Couldn’t get a good picture of him but I was totally fangirling when I saw him!
More beauty gurus! That’s EJ Johnson!


SOO MUCH FUN WITH THESE PRETTIES!!! We were so tired and our beauty haul was ridiculously heavy. Overall Beauty Con was absolutely an awesome experience. If you love make-up and beauty products, then I highly recommend you attend this amazing convention.


Here’s most of the beauty products I got! I already gave a lot to my mom and grandma and I still have all these left!!! I have so many lip products, mascara and hair products to last me for a looooong time… And look at those two cute Tsum Tsum Mickey and Minnie lip smackers!!!

P.S. – I have a lot of book reviews coming up, so stay tuned and thanks for reading!