Book Birthday

Happiest Book birthday to The Tiger’s Watch by Julia Ember

and Bell of Eternity by Martina Boone!

The Tiger’s Watch

(Ashes of Gold #1)

Julia Ember

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5 ★ – MAGICAL AND THRILLING
PUBLISHED BY HARMONY INK PRESS AUGUST 22, 2017
GENRE(S): YOUNG ADULT, FANTASY, GLBT, ROMANCE
PAGES: KINDLE 180
BUY AMAZONBARNES AND NOBLE
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.

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 go grab a copy right now!!! Read my full review HERE.

 

Bell of Eternity

(Celtic Legends #2)

Martina Boone

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Published by Mayfair Publishing August 22, 2017
Genre(s): Romance, Magical Realism, Family
Pages: Ebook 336
Buy: Amazon
Love beyond time, an island castle in Cornwall, a cast of delightful characters, dangerous secrets, and a handsome kilt-wearing chef make the perfect recipe for new romance from the award-winning author of Compulsion and Lake of Destiny.
Emma Larsen put her life on hold after the accident that left her famous mother paralyzed and cost a man his life. For four long years, Treave Nancarrow, the deceased man’s son, has often been the only friend Emma had to lean on. But when he suddenly proposes marriage after her mother’s funeral, Emma can’t help being dismayed. She’s already trying to decide between transforming her home cooking hobby into a profession or going back to college. She can’t afford to jump from one commitment to another before she’s had a chance to find out what she really wants. Still, when Treave begs her to accompany him to a wedding at his family’s castle in Cornwall so he can show her how compatible they would be, how can she refuse?
She falls in love with the romantic Cornish coast, a world rich with legends, hauntings, and ancient superstitions—like the one about the ghostly bell that tolls only when a pair of lovers are destined to be together forever. When a tragedy rocks the small community and everyone pitches in to help, though, Treave seems like a different person—one Emma begins to fear. Then, too, there’s Brando MacLaren, the handsome, kilt-wearing Scotsman who shows her the possibility of a love she never dared believe in and makes her feel adventurous and alive. But Brando has his own healing to do. He also has a secret, one he’s keeping from her. Can Emma afford to trust him with her heart? Can she trust either one of the men? An ancient Cornish legend might help guide her choice between them—if she can find the courage to trust her instincts and believe in herself.
A timeless, modern romance set in a magical castle in Cornwall, filled with food, small town warmth, heart, and intrigue. Perfect for fans of Poldark, Nora Roberts, Susanna Kearsley, Sarah Addison Allen, Susan Wiggs, and Debbie Macomber

I’m more than halfway done and really enjoying Bell of Eternity. However, I’m not finding it as captivating as Lake of Destiny. You can read my review for that HERE. BUT, I have at least 45% left to go, so we will see. So far it’s been really good, but just not hitting all the feels just yet.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Sincerely Karen Jo

Review

The Tiger’s Watch

(Ashes of Gold #1)

Julia Ember

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5 ★ – Magical and Thrilling
Published by Harmony Ink Press August 22, 2017
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, GLBT, Romance
Pages: Kindle 180
Buy Amazon, Barnes and Noble
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.

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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