Book Review – The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey



Hi Bookish Friends! My apologies for being MIA these past few days. It’s been pretty busy at work and at home, so I haven’t had time for blogging. Anyway, today I’m sharing my review for The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey, the first book in the Sovereign series, and  some of my favorite quotes from the story. If you enjoy paranormal/vampire and dystopian stories with a hint of romance, then I high recommend you check this series out. divider4




Publication Date: June 25th 2018

Publisher: Josie Jaffrey

Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Dystopian, Romance

Pages: Paperback 292




In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.
Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.
But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.
Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.
One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.




Excitingly Mysterious, Dangerously Thrilling, & Magically Captivating


Take my blood, my heart, my everything! This book was amazing and Lucas is my new book boyfriend and oh my I cannot wait for more of you!

Twilight sparked my love for reading, so I’ll always have a weakness for anything paranormal and vampires. I actually just finished an adult vampire romance during summer, which I loved, and I’m still thirsty for more. I’m also very fascinated with dystopian stories (I blame Hunger Games for that), so when the author contacted me to review the first book in her new paranormal dystopian fantasy series, I just couldn’t resist. And you know what!? This book reminded me why I cannot get enough of this genre. The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey was an excitingly mysterious, dangerously thrilling, and magically captivating read that will have you hooked until the end.

I went into this book without reading the prequel series and that sort of affected my reading experience. Not a lot, but there were a few parts that were kind of confusing that I felt like I needed to know some background information to fully understand what was being talked about. It didn’t bother me that much, but I think reading the Solis Invicti series first would have given me a better concept of everything. But, like I said, it wasn’t that big of a deal…I guess it’s more like a personal preference. I just wanted to know more about the history of the Weepers, the Silvers, the Fall, the Invicti and everything else in between cause the world building was just so creatively fascinating. I did get the information I wanted as the story progressed so by the end, I had a better idea. I definitely thought it was unique from the other vampire stories I’ve read and I couldn’t get enough. Without a doubt, this deliciously dark and terrifyingly intriguing world completely sucked me in.

The writing was superb. I thought it was easy to read, well-paced, and engaging. Even when things were a bit slow, I never lost interest in the storyline and wanted to know what would happen next. That’s why I was a little annoyed that I wasn’t able to fully immerse myself into this book and just get lost in the story without any distractions. With the holidays coming up and work and other personal matters, it took me longer than I expected to finish. I really disliked having interruptions and stopping cause I was having so much fun. The plot, the writing, the characters, the intrigue, secrets, betrayals, mystery… all of it was utterly enthralling.

I also really enjoyed both Cameron and Julia’s POVs and getting to know their stories. But, I do have to admit… Julia’s parts were definitely my favorite to read. Not that Cameron’s was uninteresting to me. Actually, both POVs were wonderfully written and uniquely amazing in their own ways. I just really love the drama, the romance, and the feels and there were more of that in Julia’s story. I don’t want to reveal too much, but if you enjoy stories that have twists and turns that bite, action and drama that satisfy, lies and betrayals that sting, and complex but fascinating characters that will steal your hearts, then this is the book for you. Oh and be prepared for one crazy ending. The betrayal in the end was totally unexpected. Never saw that one coming. Not even a little bit.

Overall, this book was a fangtastically awesome read from start to finish. You get vampires, action, intrigue, mystery, suspense, drama, twists, and a little taste of romance. I triple dare you not to get sucked in! Cause I sure did and cannot wait to find out what happens next.

I received a physical copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest and fair review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Gilded King promo slide



At the very furthest point of the temple, at the end of the double row of pillars that processed towards it, there was a pedestal mounted on a stepped dais. A figure was laid out on top of it. For a moment, Julia froze, thinking it was a real person lying there, slumbering in the temple, but something didn’t fit.

The figure wasn’t breathing. It wasn’t moving at all.

‘Come on,’ Lucas said, leading her down the aisle towards it.

‘Is it a statue?’ she asked.

‘A tomb, really.’

As they walked, he snuffed out the lamps that lined the walls, until finally the only illumination came from the rounded alcove into which the dais rose. It was a bright island in the centre of the darkness, and in the middle of it the statue shone: a man, wearing fine clothing in an unfamiliar style, with a blanket of stone covering his body. His exposed skin was tinged with a sheen of gold that glowed like the walls of the temple.

‘He looks so real,’ she said, reaching out to touch the golden curls that crowned his head. They were slick under her fingers, so intricate they might have been moulded from a real person.

‘They say he was.’

‘You mean this is his coffin?’ The pedestal certainly looked like a tomb. It was wide and deep enough to accommodate a body.

‘No,’ Lucas said, ‘I mean that this is him, that this statue was once alive.’

Julia’s hand had been tracing the lines of the face, but now she snatched it away. ‘You’re not serious.’

‘I am.’

‘This is why you brought me here,’ she said.

‘Of course. You want to hear the fairytale, don’t you?’



Spoiler Alert: May give clues on how the story plays out so read at your own risk! 

The humans, they’re glass. They’re so breakable. They shatter, but the thing is, even fractured, they’re the ones who’ll survive for millenia, not us.

The word was a breath, a prayer, and an invitation, and it drew his lips to hers. It was nothing like the kisses they had shared on that night when he had first taken her blood. This time it was magnetic, neither leading the other, but each of them pulled closer by a force simpler and yet more complex than that initial chemistry.

In that respect, the evening felt no different from any other they had spent together, quietly existing in restful ocmpany, surrounded by fantasies, but at the same time it was like no other night of Julia’s life. She’d never felt this elation, so potent that it was almost as though she could finally breathe for the first time.

It was the tiniest taste of what he craved, the barest whisper of a promise of what Cam had tried to deny he wanted.

You can be loyal to someone without believing everything they say.






Josie lives in Oxford, England, with her husband and two cats. When she’s not writing, she works as a lawyer, specialising in intellectual property and commercial law. She also runs a video book review club, The Gin Book Club, through her website.

The Solis Invicti series (a prequel series to the Sovereign series) is available now.

For additional information, contact:





I hope you enjoyed reading my review. Don’t forget to add this book on your TBR!

Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below.


Book Review with Author Interview – Until You by Bridie Blake



Hello Fellow Swoontastic Booklovers! Today, I’m sharing my review for Until You by Bridie Blake. I also have some of my favorite quotes and a fun interview with the author so don’t forget to stay until the end and check those out too.

I was contacted by the author months ago and when I read the premise, I was super excited to read it. I meant to get to it this sooner, but as many of you know I had to take a personal break. Anyway, this book was really swoony, hilarious and wonderfully heartwarming. It’s such a cute celebrity romance you can curl up with this winter/holiday break, so I hope after you read my review, you’ll add Until You on your TBR! Happy reading loves! divider4




Publication Date: May 26th 2017

Publisher: Evernight Teen

Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, Celebrity

Pages: Kindle Edition, 355 pages



Ellie Foster lives and breathes normal. She’s the responsible one, the girl everyone depends on.

Jason Holden doesn’t know the word normal. Star of the hit Planet Gazers films, his every move is watched by millions.

A chance encounter between the pair leads to a deal that will change their lives.

Ellie needs money for her family. Jason needs a girlfriend for the world tour of the final Planet Gazers movie. It’s a match made in Hollywood heaven.

But what happens when the lines between their act and reality become blurred? Can they figure out what is real and what’s fake?




Adorably Funny, Delightfully Entertaining and Sweetly Romantic 


Until You by Bridie Blake was a fantastic read from start to finish! I swooned like crazy, laughed like a dork, and tried to hold back my tears a few times.

I’ve always liked celebrity romance stories. You know the ones where the more than meets the eye irresistibly hot and somewhat arrogant/misunderstood, but actually really kind and sweet actor falls hopelessly in love with the average and simple small town, but incredibly fascinating and inspiring girl or vice versa or some version similar to that. Whoa that was a mouthful… sorry about that loves…but you know what I mean right? They’re also quite predictable and usually have cheesy HEAs, but they’re just so much fun to read! Add the fake dating/relationship trope into the picture and you get something crazy, messy, and full of drama, but with the absolute best kind of FEELS. And this book… it had those FEELS and SWOONS and so much more than I expected.

I liked the writing style a lot and thought both the POVs were really great. Usually, I tend to like one more than the other, but with this book, I enjoyed both Ellie and Jason’s POV. I also thought the plot was well-developed, interesting, and had its own uniqueness. Some parts were predictable in the sense that the things I expected to happen did happen, but there was also depth to the story. There’s a bit of everything which I really liked — gossip, drama, heartbreak, friendship, loyalty, family, forgiveness, love and of course self-discovery. I don’t want to give too much away, but even though I knew how the story would eventually end (you get this feeling when you read way too many romance novels), there were still some nice surprises and twists. The romance was slow burn and I have to admit that I got a little impatient at some point, but my oh my… I am not kidding when I say that when I got there, it was deliciously satisfying. I got the butterflies and those warm fuzzies and I just wanted to hug and squish something so hard because Ellie and Jason were just too cute and swoony together. The ending was super adorable and heartwarming and left me smiling and just you know.. really happy with how everything wrapped up.

Character wise, I thought they were all pretty great. Ellie’s got spunk and I enjoyed her sense of humor. She’s also very likable and relatable. Jason was impossible not to like. You just know there was something more about him and he’s not the irresponsible playboy he pretends to be. I enjoyed his softer side and how protective he was with the people he loved. I also really liked Annaliese and Georgia, and I absolutely adored Jason’s grandfather (Oh and Jason’s relationship with his grandparents will definitely make you love him more). But Rebecca, Ellie’s best friend, was definitely the scene-stealer and my favorite character! She’s funny, caring, and such a firecracker! She actually reminds me a lot of my best friend. She’s blunt, but honest, feisty, loyal, supportive and just a really awesome friend.

Overall, I really had a blast reading Until You. It was adorably funny, delightfully entertaining and sweetly romantic. I loved the sweet moments that tugged at my heartstrings and made me aww. I loved the serious and emotional scenes that had me tearing up and holding back tears. And I really loved how the relationships between the characters felt realistic and relatable. Really excited to check out more books by B. Blake and I think you should definitely add her to your to-be-read authors.

If you’re looking for a fun swoontabulous YA contemporary romance full of heart, laughs, and swoons to keep you company this winter, then grab a copy of this book.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest and fair review. All thoughts, feels, swoons and opinions are my own.



Spoiler Alert: May give clues on how the story plays out so read at your own risk! 

Because the butterflies fade and when they do, there needs to be something stronger that remains.

It had coursed through my body, weaving and spreading over me until there was nothing else. No one else. He’d successfully ruined me for any other guy.

I would do anything for her. Give anything for her. That realization should’ve unsettled me because I’d never felt that before. Never known what it felt like to be with someone who wanted me for me. Not the movie star. And now that I knew how amazing it felt to have something real, I didn’t ever want to lose it.

It wouldn’t be easy, but nothing worth having was.



Hugs and Lots of Love to Bridie Blake for taking the time to do this interview. 

What was your inspiration for Until You?

The idea for Until You originally came from season 1 of Nashville and the episode where Hayden Panettiere’s character gets set up on a date to improve her image. It made me wonder how often in Hollywood that happens, and what would happen if one of the people in the “relationship” wasn’t a Hollywood type. The story just grew from there!

Describe this book in 3 words?

Jet-setting celebrity romance

What is your favorite part about being a writer?

I love that I get to immerse myself into the worlds of my characters. I have a very active imagination and I’m a self-proclaimed daydreamer, so being able to lose myself in characters and places that I’ve conjured up in my head is a dream come true. I’ve always been a story-teller and find something so fulfilling about sharing my stories and having people resonate with them.

Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?

My pets My dog is my faithful companion when I write and will sit with me for hours as I type away. My cat isn’t as faithful and will come and go from the study throughout the day. I also need to be wearing the comfiest clothes I own, and while they may be comfy they are by no means fashionable so privacy is a must have! And my Spotify playlists are a definite must have.

Does any of your personality ever go into any of your characters?

Yes! I won’t say what parts of my personality creep into my characters but there is definitely a piece of me in each of my main characters. It might just be a mannerism or a thought I’ve had over the years, but there’s definitely always a piece of me there.

Which author(s) have inspired your writing?

In terms of genre and style I would have to say Melina Marchetta and Tamora Pierce. Tamora Pierce’s Alanna series made me want to write Fantasy novels and the emotion that Melina Marchetta can evoke in her books is something I aspire to. An author who can make you laugh and cry all within a matter of pages is a true master of their craft.

Favorite snack while writing.

It’s usually something savoury, like popcorn. I tend to snack when I get stuck so at least with popcorn it’s a somewhat healthy option… but I always keep biscuits or chocolate on hand for those moments when I’m truly stuck and it feels like the end of the world and I need some comfort food

If there was a zombie apocalypse and you can choose 3 of your favorite books, which ones would you take with you? 

That’s such a hard question!! Hmm, if I absolutely had to choose it’d be On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling.

What advice do you have for writers in terms of dealing with favourable and/or unfavourable reviews of their published work?

I’ve read so many times that authors should never read reviews of their books. Now, I’d love to talk to an author who abides by that because I sure can’t! One of the reasons we write is to share our stories with people and we love to hear what they think about them. Well, I do. But I think one thing to keep in mind when reading reviews of your work, is that everyone is entitled to their opinion and everyone has their own taste. There have been some books that people have raved about and I haven’t loved them. And vice versa.

So, what I will say is that if you read a favourable review of your book take a moment to enjoy it. Pat yourself on the back and take it as a sign that you’ve done well.

If you read an unfavourable review, and trust me you will at some point in your career, let yourself have that moment of disappointment and then move on. As I said, everyone’s entitled to their opinion and while they may not have enjoyed your book, others have. A bad review isn’t the end of the world. Do not dwell on it.

What shows are you currently watching/binging?

This Is Us and Manifest are my favourites at the moment. I did just finish binging Nikita, which had been on my ‘must watch’ list for a while now, and I loved that! I love anything with a kick-ass female in the lead role!





bridieblake.jpgBridie Blake lives, daydreams and writes in Melbourne, Australia. She’s happiest at her computer, coffee in hand, Tim Tams on standby and her furry companions Poppy and Mac at her feet. When not writing she’s usually found with a book in her hand or playing with her tribe of nieces and nephews.

Bridie is the author of the YA Fantasy novel, THE JEWEL OF KAMARA, and YA contemporary novels A DISTANT VOICE and UNTIL YOU.




I hope you enjoyed reading my review.

Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below.