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Quote of the Day

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Each day had a tranquility a timelessness about it so that you wished it would never end. But then the dark skin of the night would peel off and there would be a fresh day waiting for us glossy and colorful as a child's transfer and with the same tinge of unreality.

― Gerald Durrell, My Family and Other Animals
   (Corfu Trilogy #1)

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And that was how Tav had come to know that Portia had a mole on her left shoulder. He also knew the satiny softness of her skin against his fingertips, that she ran rather warm, and how it felt to brush an errant curl away from her neck and see her shiver from his touch. He didn't need to know any of that. Fucking corsets. The devil's garment.

A Duke By Default
~~Alyssa Cole

Blog Tour: Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill

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We are all atwitter about Chloe Neill's latest release! SinceChicagoland Vampires wrapped up last year the first installment in her new series, a spin-off of our beloved CLV, is hitting your e-readers and bookshelves today! Wench Shau told you all about it in her review yesterday, which you can find here, and today is the day everyone else gets to meet Elisa, Connor, and our new cast of characters. 

Today, we are a stop on Chloe Neill's blog tour, which always features terrific swag and an amazing grand prize! So enter our giveaway and then be sure to hop over to CN's page and enter.


As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she’s a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he’s prince of the Pack and its future king…

Review: Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill

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This will be a spoiler free review of the Chicagoland Vampires series spin-off starring Elisa Sullivan, the daughter of Merit and Ethan.


Review: Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

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I've just finished devouring Magic Triumphs, the final installment in one of my favourite series. I've been anticipating this book for a long time!

After the jump, I'll explain a bit about why the Kate Daniels series is so special to me and what I think about the way Kate's story ends.

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 “No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books.”

Relentless, Karen Lynch



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Slowly, his gaze lifted to hers. And she could have sworn that hunger—ravenous hunger—flickered there. ...

“I hadn’t realized the effect would be so...” He shook his head. He took in her face, her hair, the combs. “You look like—”

“A queen?”

“The fire-breathing bitch-queen those bastards claim you are.”

~ Sarah J. Maas, Queen of Shadows

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Whatever asshole said that absence made the heart grow fonder was right. Before, I fell for him with a teenager's love, bold and passionate, no real obstacles to overcome, no real consequences to consider. Now, the wind tickling past my legs, I could see the full path of destruction this would cause. I saw it, and in that moment, I didn't care. I wouldn't care. There was right, there was wrong, and there was love. And love trumped it all.

Moonshot
~~Alessandra Torre

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Fans of this series know. When I reread this book, eight electrifying words stole my breath away.



“There you are. I’ve been looking for you.”

~ Sarah J Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses

ARC Review: A Duke By Default by Alyssa Cole

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Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way.

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss...when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory...even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice, and his attraction to her, but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns …

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The door swooshed open. A tiny woman in a purple miniskirt, red boots, and a black T-shirt that read STAND BACK—I’M GOING TO TRY SCIENCE walked through. Miriam Shephard had arrived.
The Book of Life, Deborah Harkness

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Her gaze latched onto his and he felt the connection between them like a physical thing. Molten metal waiting to become shaped; if he let it go cold, it would become an ugly, useless lump instead of the beautiful item he knew they were capable of creating together. She was a claymore's length away from him and it was still too far.

A Duke By Default
~~Alyssa Cole

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“As for Celaena,” he said again, “you do not have the right to wish she were not what she is. The only thing you have a right to do is decide whether you are her enemy or her friend.”

~Sarah J Maas, Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)

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Review: Moonshot by Alessandra Torre

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You know how it goes: you get in a bit of a reading rut and nothing really feels right. All the books you read are itchy, and then you can't even bring yourself to pick anything up. So you browse your TBR looking for something you shelved ages ago but never got around to, and now you're hoping there's a treasure in the pile.

A few years ago I was deep into my discovery of dark romance and read a few Alessandra Torre novels, which I thoroughly enjoyed, when I shelved her then-latest, Moonshot, a baseball romance that wasn't right for me at the time. Fast forward a couple of years, I see that cover, remember wanting to read it, and check it out from my library's eBook catalog. Friends, it was exactly what I needed, an intense romance with that elusive something more, an unputdownable read that I devoured in about a day. Come with me through the jump and I'll tell you all about it. Except for the spoilery good stuff, of course. You need to read that yourself!

Quote of the Day

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Certain loves can't be fought. The harder you tried, the harder you would be knocked back, over and over again, until it beat you into submission, until your heart caved and body surrendered. Love like that didn't know the rules of society; it didn't care about life mistakes. It only knew what must be, and what would happen—no matter what.

Moonshot
~~Alessandra Torre

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And so, we are no longer slaves, no longer potters. We are a hoof and we own this land that is our Lot. We ride free, we fight free, we live and die ... free.
~ The Grey Bastards (The Lot Lands #1), Johnathan French

So Many Questions: Dark Debt Edition

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Hi Readers, it’s me again. Back with more CLV questions. Yes, I know. The series is over. But the spinoff lives on. So, I wanted to get these last couple of books wrapped up before Wild Hunger is released.

To catch you up, here are my reviews for the first CLV book, Some Girls Bite, and the book immediately before this one, Blood Games. Check our Chicagoland Vampires tag for the rest!

So, without further ado, follow me after the break to see my questions about Dark Debt! This going without saying, but SPOILERS ABOUND!

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“We cannot forget joy. No matter how deep our rage and pain.”

― Nalini Singh, Ocean Light

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“I love you,” he repeated, shaking her again. “I have for years. And he hurt you and made me watch because he’s always known how I felt, too. But if I asked you to pick, you’d choose Arobynn, and I. Can’t. Take. It. ...

“You’re a damned idiot,” she breathed. “You’re a moron and an ass and a damned idiot.” He looked like she had hit him. But she went on, and grasped both sides of his face, “Because I’d pick you.”

And then she kissed him.

~ Sarah J. Maas, The Assassin’s Blade
The Assassin and the Underworld
  (Throne of Glass, book #0.4)

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"Miss Le Moyne, if you remember only one thing I have ever taught you, let it be this: you can never please everyone. As an artist, if your work doesn't inflame at least part of the audience, then you might as well call it quits and sell insurance. And that goes for you too, Mr. Scientist. The world needs more boundary pushers, not more boundary creators."

The Casquette Girls
~~Alys Arden

What the Wenches Are Reading

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There’s a lot of romance on our e-readers these last few weeks. Whether we’re basking at the beach, unwinding after work, or seeking solace from current events, most of us are diving into romance, with a bit of fantasy and mystery to round it out. Click to see what we're reading now! 

Quote of the Day

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“Smile again,” he whispered.

I hadn’t smiled for him. Ever. Or laughed. Under the Mountain, I had never grinned, never chuckled. And afterward ...

And this male before me ... my friend ...

For all that he had done, I had never given him either. Even when I had just ... I had just painted something. On him. For him.

I’d — painted again.

So I smiled at him, broad and without restraint.

“You’re exquisite,” he breathed.

~ Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Mist and Fury

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Review: Ocean Light by Nalini Singh

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Ocean Light just released a couple of weeks ago — a new installment in one of my favorite series, set in one of my favorite paranormal worlds, and written by one of my favorite authors, Nalini Singh. So I somehow found time to read it, in spite of my schedule, and I wanted to let you know how I liked it.



Goodreads Synopsis Security specialist Bowen Knight has come back from the dead. But there's a ticking time bomb in his head: a chip implanted to block telepathic interference that could fail at any moment — taking his brain along with it. With no time to waste, he should be back on land helping the Human Alliance. Instead, he's at the bottom of the ocean, consumed with an enigmatic changeling...

Kaia Luna may have traded in science for being a chef, but she won't hide the facts of Bo's condition from him or herself. She's suffered too much loss in her life to fall prey to the dangerous charm of a human who is a dead man walking. And she carries a devastating se…

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“Sometimes the one who is running from the Life/Death/Life nature insists on thinking of love as a boon only. Yet love in its fullest form is a series of deaths and rebirths. We let go of one phase, one aspect of love, and enter another. Passion dies and is brought back. Pain is chased away and surfaces another time. To love means to embrace and at the same time to withstand many endings, and many many beginnings — all in the same relationship.”

— Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

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“I don’t want you to think I’m agreeing to keep it secret because I’m ashamed in any way.”

“Who said anything about shame?” She gestured down to her naked body, even though it was covered by the blanket. “Honestly, I’m surprised you’re not strutting about, boasting to everyone. I certainly would be if I’d tumbled me.”

“Does your love for yourself know no bounds?”

“Absolutely none.” ...

The grin he gave her was hungry and wicked enough that she shrieked when he yanked her under the blankets.

~ Sarah J. Maas, Crown of Midnight

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Sometimes magic finds us; we don't find it. And once it does, it's nearly impossible to close ourselves to it. It would be like trying to forget how to read or speak or walk. Usually people who unlock magic within themselves don't understand their importance in the world.

The Casquette Girls
~~Alys Arden

Review: Bring Me Back

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Last year, I devoured BA Paris's Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown. I was lucky enough to be given access to her new book, Bring Me Back. I JUST finished it. At work. Don't tell my boss, but I only had 20 pages left and I couldn't wait. Now I'm writing this review, because these thoughts will not wait. Again, please don't tell! I needed to get these thoughts out while they were fresh. This book isn't out yet, or is just out now, depending on when lovely Head Wench Barb decides to post this. So I will keep the spoilers out of the equation. Join me after the break to hear what I thought of BA Paris's Bring Me Back.

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“...what matters in life is not whether we receive a round of applause; what matters is whether we have the courage to venture forth despite the uncertainty of acclaim.”

~ A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles

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“Fire is a powerful thing. It cleanses as it destroys — and it brings light to darkness.”
~ Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

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“You’re mine,” he said, his voice rough. “I’m not letting you go.”

“I’m glad we cleared that up.”

“Do you understand me, Nevada? I’m not walking away. I thought I could, but I can’t and I don’t want to.”

I brushed his cheek with my fingertips. “What makes you think I would let you go?”

~ Ilona Andrews, Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #3)

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All Souls College was a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture, resembling the love child of a wedding cake and a cathedral, with its airy spires and delicate stonework. I sighed with pleasure, unable to say much — at least not yet.

~ A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness

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“What about you, Rogan? Are you afraid of sleeping with an abomination?”

“When we were at the lodge, and you were dancing in the snow, I kept wondering why it wasn’t melting. You’re like spring, Nevada. My spring.”

~ Ilona Andrews, Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #3)

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Quote of the Day

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“But life doesn’t often spell things out for you or give you what you want exactly when you want it, otherwise it wouldn’t be called life, it would be called vending machine.
It’s hard to say exactly when it will happen, and it’s true that whatever you’re after may not drop down the moment you spend all your quarters, but someday soon a train is coming. In fact, it may already be on the way. You just don’t know it yet.” 

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham


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“I have to create, or it was all for nothing. I have to create, or I will crumple up with despair and never leave my bed. I have to create because I have no other way of voicing this.” Her hand rested on her heart, and my eyes burned. “It is hard,” the weaver said, her stare never leaving mine, “and it hurts, but if I were to stop, if I were to let this loom or the spindle go silent …” She broke my gaze at last to look to her tapestry. “Then there would be no Hope shining in the Void.” ~ A Court of Frost and Starlight, Sarah J. Maas

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He'd seen Nesta in that particular pose, too. He called it her I Will Slay My Enemies pose.

Cassian had named about two dozen poses for Nesta at this point. Ranging from I Will Eat Your Eyes for Breakfast to I Don't Want Cassian to Know I'm Reading Smut. The latter was his particular favorite.

~ A Court of Frost and Starlight, Sarah J. Maas