Friday, September 1, 2023

A Bounty of Secrets and Rebellion by Sharayah Maurice


A Bounty of Secrets and Rebellion

Author: Sharayah Maurice

Published: September 1st, 2023

FTC FYI: I received an eARC from the author, all views and opinions expressed are my own.

An historical alliance between two gifted races is threatened when Princess Alana Bell Sundry is attacked and a bounty is placed on her head. With powerful enemies on two borders, the kingdom of Latera is relying on her arranged marriage to the Gaellen Prince to strengthen their position in Tanithor.  

Enlisting the help of a mysterious bodyguard to keep her alive until her prince arrives to claim her, Alana soon learns there’s more to the undercover guard than meets the eye. As she spends time with her new bodyguard, she soon realizes that the attacks on her life aren’t the only threats to the alliance. Her heart may prove just as effective at dismantling a union that has been years in the making.

Meanwhile, across the Great River, Griff Shoshone is unaware of the political events happening around him. The girl he’s loved for years has recently been promised to his little brother, the future Chief of Hoken, and Griff must find a way to reconcile his heart to the Oracle’s prophetic declaration. 

However, after a fateful decision with deadly consequences leaves Griff and his brother’s betrothed captured in enemy territory, Griff must now come to terms with his new fated destiny. 

A Bounty of Secrets and Rebellion is the first in the Chronicles of Tanithor YA fantasy romance series told from multiple POVs. If you like clean romance, characters with elemental powers, and action-packed chapters with cliffhanger endings, then you’ll love the captivating world of Tanithor.

My review

A Bounty of Secrets and Rebellion was an exciting YA fantasy romance from a brand new author! The story is full of action and lives up to its title of secrets and rebellions. I really enjoyed the point of view changes. All characters were written well and I enjoyed the gifts of the All Gods. I cared about the characters, as many exciting events took place. The magic is creative and thrilling. I did yearn for more from some characters and I felt some details were missing but I’m excited to read more of this series.

4 stars

Author links

Website / Goodreads / Amazon author page

Amazon purchase link

Friday, August 25, 2023

Crown & Serpent by Heather Frost - review/excerpt


Crown & Serpent

Author: Heather Frost

Published: August 25th, 2023

ebook: 244 pages

***Crown & Serpent is a Fate of Eyrinthia prequel novella that’s actually the length of a novel. This villain origin story was released after Royal Rebel, but it can be read at any point in the series.***


All she wanted . . .

Seventeen-year-old Iris Winn loves her quiet life with her father, studying the poisons that fascinate them both. But after his sudden death, Iris is now the ward of her estranged aunt and uncle. In order to claim her inheritance, she must live in the capital city of Lenzen for one year. While there, she must attend parties, balls, and participate in every other vapid thing the elite of Ryden value. Iris doesn’t care about learning their rules or joining their ranks–her only goal is to endure the next year. Then she meets Prince Henri Kaelin.

Everything they demanded . . .

Every young woman in Lenzen wants Henri–except for Iris. Unfortunately, the prince only has eyes for her. The king has decreed that Henri must choose a bride before his birthday, and Iris is determined it won’t be her. Dodging a prince’s focused attention while placating her relatives and the rest of Ryden’s high society is exhausting–and more dangerous than Iris could have ever imagined. She is about to learn that not all games are innocent, and some smiles are more lethal than poison. Luckily, Iris is a quick study, and this is a game she is determined to win.

She would take it all.


I am always eager to read of book of Heather Frost’s but I was a bit nervous this time. Iris and Henri scare me to death but fascinate me at the same time. Crown & Serpent was enthralling and captured me right from the start.  The story mostly focuses on Iris and her backstory but you also get glimpses of the parents her and Henri will become to the Kaelin siblings. Henri was captivated by Iris right from their first meeting. This book is a novella released after ROYAL REBEL that can be read if you aren’t caught up in the story. There were some details in Crown & Serpent that I appreciated from reading the Eyrinthia series. I read this in one day because I had to know how it turned out. Get ready! You are in for a wild, entertainingly spooky ride.  

I received an ebook from the author. All views and opinions expressed are my own.


Purchase link: AMAZON

Author links: Goodreads / Website / Amazon author page


5 stars

Excerpt from Crown & Serpent

Iris gritted her teeth. She was sick of warnings, threats, and all the false smiles constantly aimed at her. Her irritation only spiked when a trumpet sounded, announcing the arrival of royalty.

So much for the fates listening to her prayers.

The dancers stopped at once, turning to the ballroom’s main double doors and bowing low.

Iris followed suit, though her eyes were fastened on King Ezra, who entered the room first and greeted Lord and Lady Thatcher. Prince Henri was right behind him.

The prince looked even more handsome tonight. He wore the colors of Ryden—emerald and black—and his hair was perfectly combed. There was no smudge of dirt on him, and he stood with military grace beside his father. He wasn’t looking at the Thatchers, however. His intense brown eyes scanned the room, methodical and sweeping. His gaze stopped on Iris, making it clear who he’d been searching for.

A slow, confident smile stretched Henri’s lips.

Iris’s heart skipped, and she frowned at the unsettling sensation. 

The king turned to view the crowded floor, his gold crown gleaming in the candlelight. “Good evening!” he called out. “Please, continue.”

People rose from their bows, and the music began once more. Dancing resumed. Conversation bubbled up.

Iris was still staring at Henri. The moment she realized it, she forced herself to look away.

Anna’s fingers twisted in her skirt, betraying nervousness. “It seems Prince Henri is headed this way . . .”

“He certainly is,” Dalia concurred.

Iris stiffened, but she refused to look. Fates, how had this happened? Mere weeks ago, she’d been happily ensconced at home. Now, she was trapped in a ballroom and being hunted by a prince she wished would look elsewhere for his entertainment.  

“Lady Iris.” His voice was deep, smooth, and familiar—and directly behind her.

Iris twisted slowly to face Henri.

His smile was perfectly in place, his eyes bright as he extended a hand. “You saved your first dance for me, I hope.”

Iris did not want to take his hand, nor did she care to dance; everyone would be watching them. To be fair though, people were already staring. At least if they were dancing, people would be less likely to overhear them.

She set her hand in Henri’s, and he grinned as he led her onto the floor. Once they were in the middle, he turned to face her. His fingers tightened around hers, and his other hand settled at her waist. Though Iris had spent hours practicing with Lady Griffin and her assortment of tutors, no touch had ever felt like this.

Nor had anyone drawn Iris quite so close.

Henri’s hold was firm, his posture impeccable. When the new song began, he effortlessly began to move, pulling her with him.

Iris attempted to mirror his steps, though it took considerable more effort on her part.

“You look beautiful tonight,” Henri said.

“As opposed to how I looked at the Summer Festival?” she challenged.

His smile widened. “Most young ladies would have simply taken the compliment.”

“I’m not most young ladies.”

“No, you are not.” He looked utterly fascinated by that prospect. 

She was aware of the other dancing couples easing away, giving Henri and Iris more of the floor. When her shoe bumped against his boot, she had to force herself not to look down. Keeping her jaw level with the floor as she’d been taught, she stared directly into Henri’s eyes.

Amusement sparked therein. “Have you had any interesting conversations with any stable boys tonight?” he asked.

Her eyes narrowed. “You shouldn’t have let me carry on as you did. It was very rude of you.”

“Will you ever forgive me?”

“I don’t think I can. You made me into a fool.”

“Never,” he said at once. “You are many things, Iris Winn, but I don’t think you could ever be considered a fool.”

Her brow furrowed. “You barely know me.”

“True. But I’d like to remedy that.” 

Her body moved rigidly through the practiced steps of the dance. She tried to ignore her own gracelessness, but her movements were too jerky to disregard. Her foot knocked against his again, and she gritted her teeth.

“Relax,” Henri whispered. “Trust my guidance and move with me.”

She shot him a quick glare. “You’re the one who wanted my first dance. It’s not my fault if I tread on your toes.”

He threw back his head and laughed.

She knew people stared at them, but she had a hard time looking away from Henri. Even when his laughter faded, mirth continued to shine in his eyes.

She shook her head slowly. “What are you doing?”

He grinned. “Dancing.”

“No, I mean—what are you doing with me?”

He lifted one eyebrow. “Dancing,” he repeated.

She exhaled sharply. “Why are you dancing with me? This room is filled with young ladies who would love to have your attention.”

“You don’t want my attention?”

She knew she needed to make an effort to not insult the crown prince of Ryden, so she spoke more carefully. “I prefer to stay in the background.”

“That’s a shame. Someone like you doesn’t deserve to be relegated to the shadows.”

Friday, June 30, 2023

Timeless Western Collection: A Wyoming Summer


Timeless Western Collection: A Wyoming Summer

Authors: Carla Kelly, Christine Sterling, Heather B. Moore

Publisher: Mirror Press

300 pages

Published: June 20, 2023

FTC FYI: I received an eARC from the publisher. All views and opinions are my own.

Goodreads Summaries

ELLEN FOUND by Carla Kelly
Set in location of Old Faithful Inn, 1903-4. Working in a discouraging cafe, Ellen escapes an awful situation in rough and tumble Butte, Montana, and goes to work as second in command to a wary cook in the shell that will become Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone Park. She meets Charles Penrose, head carpenter on the massive project of Old Faithful Inn, which is being finished in a harsh Wyoming winter. Will it really open June 1, 1904? Can Ellen start to trust the other workers? What will she learn about the other employees? And Charles. He's a widower with a young daughter there, too. Like Ellen, he wants more.

THE WIDOW OF DAYBREAK by Christine Sterling
Doris Whistler is learning how to survive in a town taken over by outlaws. When the leader of an infamous gang murders her husband, her choices are to tuck tail and run, or stand her ground and make Daybreak as promising as its name. It proves to be a difficult task with the good citizens in fear of the corrupt mayor and godlessness that abounds. What she doesn't expect is the support of a traveling lawman who believes in her and the tiny town she loves so much.

MAY I KISS THE BRIDE? by Heather B. Moore
Viola Delany is not happy about being sent to the middle-of-nowhere, small town Wyoming. Yes, it will be good to let the gossips find something else to talk about other than her failed engagement. And yes, it will be nice to spend the summer with her Aunt Beth. But as Viola sits on the train heading for Wyoming, wondering how she'll ever occupy her time in such a small town, none other than a real life cowboy sits across the way. She can't help but take peeks at him, noting that the condition of his unpolished black boots and scuffed rawhide jacket seem to be authentic . . . All right, so he might be tall, dark-haired, and handsome if a woman doesn't mind green eyes and a dangerous-looking scar, but this man certainly has nothing to do with her. Besides she'll never see him again. What are the chances he's traveling to the same middle-of-nowhere small town?

My review

I love the Timeless Anthologies. Not only did I get three well written stories, I got to enjoy stories from two authors whose books I love (Heather and Carla) and I got to read a story from an author (Christine) whose books I hadn’t found yet and I will gladly be reading more of. Each story was well written and the pacing was perfect for a novella. That is what I enjoy most in reading novellas. I especially loved Heather’s story, but all three were wonderful reads and the leading ladies were well done. A Wyoming Summer is an entertaining summer read.

5 stars!

Purchase links (affiliate)

Amazon Kindle / Amazon Paperback / Audible


Wednesday, May 10, 2023

No Matter What by KM Frost - spotlight excerpt

No Matter What

Author: KM Frost

Amazon Kindle: 442 pages

Release date: May 12

YA Contemporary Romance


My head knocked against the window as the bus trundled into a nearly empty parking lot, sending a painful pulse across my skull. I turned up my music to block out the pain. There was no blocking out the stale vanilla-scented air, or the depressing landscape of this tiny town that was so small there wasn’t even a bus station. I’m not making that up. The bus just stopped at the back of a McDonald’s parking lot and opened the doors to let the poor souls off.

Unfortunately, I was one of those poor souls.

I was seriously tempted to stay in my seat and ride this bus to the end of the line. But when Margie had marched me to the station that morning, she’d made it infuriatingly clear if I tried to run, if I missed a single check-in with her, or if I got into trouble of any kind, then she would bring the cops down on my head so fast I wouldn’t even have a chance to cuss her out.

She wasn’t the only social worker I’d dealt with, but she was definitely the most tenacious.
I stepped down onto the pavement with my backpack slung over my shoulder and my duffel bag dangling from my fist. My fellow exiles peeled off, greeting friends or family who had come to pick them up. Though I had never met the grandparents I was going to be stuck with for the next three months—until I turned eighteen and was free—I looked for them anyway. No one came toward me and, two minutes later, everyone had driven away. I was left standing alone in the parking lot.

I should have known the dad who hadn’t bothered to stick around would have parents who couldn’t be bothered to show up.

Music blared against my eardrums as I stood there like an idiot.

Screw this, I thought, and made a beeline for the restaurant. There was no way I was going to stand around waiting for grandparents who may or may not show up. I had enough cash for a ticket back to Chicago. I would probably have to wait hours for the next bus, but anything was better than this. I could crash at Leo’s and BS the check-ins with Margie. I’d have to keep my head down, but I could pull it off. Except there was a chance my grandparents would report me missing, and Margie knew enough about me to find me. Then there would be—

Something hard hit my leg and almost knocked me over. I lost my grip on my duffel bag as I threw out my hands to catch myself. My palms slapped against a white trunk so hard I felt it all the way to my shoulders.

A car. A freaking car had almost run me over!

Was this the universe’s way of flipping me off?

The driver’s door flew open and a girl around my age sprung out. “Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry! I can’t believe—! Are you okay?”

I swore and shoved back from the car, palms stinging. “You almost ran me over!”

She clapped her hands over her mouth. “I am so, so sorry. I didn’t see you. I didn’t think anyone was out here.” Her hazel eyes were so wide it would’ve been funny if I wasn’t so mad. Music throbbed in my ears in time with the ache in my leg but didn’t come close to blocking out her voice or my irritation.

“Is that what they teach you out here in the boonies? Just assume no one’s there and hope you don’t kill someone?”

“Are you okay?” She reached a hand toward me but quickly drew it back. “Oh my gosh, did I hurt you?”

“You freaking hit me with a car!” I slapped my palm off the trunk.

“Hey!” She tried to push my hand away, but I’d already moved it. “What was that for?”

“I don’t know, maybe you trying to kill me.”

“I wasn’t trying to kill you.” She crossed her arms, shock and concern giving way to frustration. “I didn’t see you. If I had—”

“You would’ve gunned it?”

Her eyes narrowed to dangerous slits. “Do you want me to run you over?”

That was unexpected. And oddly . . . entertaining. It’s the kind of thing Leo would have said when he wasn’t in the mood for any of my crap. Anger and annoyance still crowded in my chest, but a swirl of amusement wiggled between them.

My eyes cut across her face, taking in her round features and fly-away ponytail. Golden-brown hairs had come loose, framing her sun-tanned face, and freckles lightly dotted her nose and cheeks. She was a good head shorter than me, but what she lacked in height, she made up for in attitude. Her glare skimmed over me, giving me the once-over. She didn’t seem impressed by my ratty jeans or faded Silent Theory t-shirt.

The song in my ears changed as I matched her stance, crossing my arms over my chest. “You know, making death threats is a crime.”

“So is vandalism.”

 I raised an eyebrow at that. “Vandalism?”

“You hit my car.”

“And you hit me with your car. Pretty sure the judge would be on my side.”

She dragged a breath through her nose, color flushing her cheeks. “Who do you think you are?”

“I think I’m a guy who’s lucky to be alive, with you loose on the streets. I mean, I figured this place would be the death of me—I just didn’t realize how literal that fact was.”

Goodreads Summary

Mason’s life is far from perfect, but it turns out it can get worse. When his mom ends up in prison, he’s shipped off to the middle of nowhere. Apparently he’s got grandparents—parents of the father he knows nothing about. Mason’s not interested in bonding with these newfound grandparents. He just wants to survive until his eighteenth birthday so he can escape this backwater town and finally be free.

Emily is struggling to keep what’s left of her family from falling apart after a horrible accident stole her mom. She has enough on her plate with mothering her younger siblings and protecting a secret that could destroy everything, when she runs into Mason—literally. Her life doesn’t need more complications, and this distractingly attractive, clearly damaged boy promises nothing but trouble. Still, she can’t help but be drawn to him.

Mason and Emily are opposites in nearly every way, but neither can deny the attraction between them. Mason knows he isn’t good enough for her, and Emily knows she should stay away, but that doesn’t stop the pull they feel toward each other. Their tentative relationship is threatened when Mason is put in the crosshairs of the local gang and the town sheriff. Mason and Emily will have to decide what they really want—and if they’re willing to fight for it.

Purchase links (affiliate link)


Friday, April 21, 2023

ROYAL REBEL by Heather Frost - blog tour


Royal Rebel

Author: Heather Frost

Hardcover/Kindle: 663 pages

FTC FYI: I received a copy from the author. All views and opinions are my own. 


A PRINCE fighting to save a princess
A SERJAH torn between duty and desire
A PRINCESS willing to sacrifice everything
A DECOY with nothing to lose
A WORLD about to be torn apart

After his father’s latest punishment, Grayson isn’t at his full strength. Trapped in Ryden and surrounded by enemies, he knows escaping with Mia will be more complicated than anticipated. Tyrell is determined to claim Mia for himself, and Henri’s plans for the rest of Eyrinthia are more horrific than Grayson ever imagined. Despite the increased danger, he and Mia must return to Mortise and warn Desfan of what’s coming—even though it may already be too late.

In Mortise, the palace is still reeling from the brutal attack that left many dead and even more wounded. Regardless of the chaos, Desfan is determined to continue with his coronation. As serjan, he hopes to bring stability to his country and solidify the peace with Devendra. But things in Eyrinthia are always complicated. When Prince Liam reveals they may be facing dangers from old enemies, Desfan will have to decide what kind of ruler he will be.

Devastating news from home has left Clare broken. Despite her heartache, she must once again be Serene’s decoy when a terrifying report sends the princess on an unexpected mission to Zennor. Left at the palace, Clare helps Desfan build trust with the elite in Mortise while guarding a treasonous secret. Because as her grief transforms into a burning desire for vengeance, she is finally ready to embrace a new role—rebel.

Eyrinthia is consumed by uncertainty. Duty. Desire. Sacrifice. Every rebellion has its cost.

Royal Rebel is book 4 in the Fate of Eyrinthia YA fantasy romance series, and should be read in order. If you like swoon-worthy romance, complex characters, and non-stop action with epic twists, then you’ll love the captivating world of Eyrinthia!


Heather Frost is an exceptional author. Her books take you to another world. You care for and love each character, whether they are good or bad. I am not quite done with this book, but so far is an adventure I won't soon forget. 


Peter ambushed Grayson on his way back to Mia.

The oldest Kaelin prince didn’t actually manage to surprise him, he just appeared suddenly before him. And with Carter at his side, he issued a sharp order. “Follow me.”

Grayson wanted to refuse, but a fight wasn’t worth the effort, and he didn’t want to risk rousing suspicion.

He trailed after his brothers, moving to a rarely-used sitting room on the first floor of the castle. Once inside, Carter remained by the closed door, and Grayson followed Peter to the center of the room. When Peter abruptly twisted to face him, Grayson’s dulled senses couldn’t react in time. Peter’s fist slammed against his freshly cleaned burn.

The blinding pain sent Grayson to his knees. A ragged gasp echoed in the room. His entire face throbbed, despite the potent drug that swam through his veins. He felt a trickle of blood from where Peter’s ring had dug into the raw, freshly cleaned cut. The agony was indescribable; he couldn’t breathe.

“Stay on your knees,” Peter said evenly.

Grayson’s ears rang. His vision wavered, then came into sharp focus. His fingers dug into the simple braided rug. Nausea swam in his gut, but he forced himself to breathe through it. And as he did, he felt the heat of his rage. A fury that he’d forced down far too many times. He knew he couldn’t risk retaliating; Mia wasn’t safe, yet. But something in his very soul refused to stay down.

Not this time.

He rose slowly, uncurling from the floor until he stood before Peter, stretched to his full height. His brother was the oldest Kaelin prince, but he was the shortest; he had to look up slightly to meet Grayson’s gaze.

Surprise flickered through Peter’s eyes, followed by a flash of fear.

Menace and threat both emanated from Grayson, but he said nothing. Did nothing. Just glared at Peter, his fists clenched at his sides.

Tense silence stretched. Then—slowly—Peter’s lips curved into a satisfied smirk. His thoughts were as clear as if he’d spoken them: he didn’t think he needed to fear Grayson, because he thought he could control him. Use him.

He was wrong. He just didn’t realize it yet.

Peter folded his arms over his chest, clearly showing silent acceptance of Grayson’s refusal to kneel.

His voice was unconcerned. “You failed me in Mortise. It was a simple task, Grayson. What happened? Why didn’t you bring Princess Imara to me?”

“I had no opportunity to abduct her,” Grayson said, his voice dark.

“Failure is failure. And it’s something you’ve done a lot of lately. You’re not quite living up to your fearsome reputation, are you?”

Grayson didn’t bother to respond. “What are your plans for Imara?”

“Oh, the princess will still be mine. But because of your incompetence, I’ll have to deal with some mild inconveniences first. Never fear, I’ll make you clean up your mess in due time.”

Author links






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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

The Marquess and the Runaway Lady by Samantha Hastings -- blog tour/giveaway

The Marquess and the Runaway Lady

Author: Samantha Hastings

Publisher: Harlequin Historical

Published: 2/21/23

282 pages

FYI FYI: I received a complimentary copy all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Book summary

Will this disheveled runaway…

Become the diamond of the Season?

When the Marquess of Cheswick—Wick—takes in a mysterious woman, he’s shocked to discover she is Lady Louisa, an heiress who’s escaped her cruel aunt! Grieving the loss of two siblings, Wick avoids opening his heart to anyone else and stays away from the marriage mart. But when Louisa needs a husband in order to claim her inheritance, Wick’s determined to help—even if it means stepping back into his worst nightmare: the Season!

Review - 5 stars!
The Marquess and the Runaway Lady is another wonderful book from Samantha Hastings. I really love how she writes her characters. I knew I would love Louisa. I too have red hair and freckles. Lots of freckles. Louisa is sweet and kind and I love how she took control of her miserable situation and got herself away from her wicked family. I loved the Cinderella theme and as the book progresses, Louisa became a strong and needle welding force. 

Wick is a dashing hero who loves his sisters and takes Louisa in.  Those hilarious and clever Stringham sisters. What riots they are! As I read I would try to pick a favorite but I never could. They are delights. And Mrs May too was a joy. Just a wonderfully kind person. Mantheria and Sunny were also great. 

The whole book is a pleasure to read. The author truly has a clever personality to write the way she does. It’s very enjoyable. 

I received a review copy from Netgalley. All views and opinions expressed are my own.

Purchase links

Amazon Kindle / Amazon paperback

Use the link to enter for the paperback giveaway! Facebook and Instagram are not responsible for this giveaway. US addresses only. 


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Saturday, December 17, 2022

Revenge Never Rests by Laurie Lewis - blog tour / giveaway


Revenge Never Rests

Author: Laurie Lewis

Publisher: Covenant

Published: December 1st, 2022


Tallie Brown has spent a lifetime hiding from the ghosts of someone else’s past. Raised by a paranoid woman on the run, Tallie learned from an early age how to disappear. Now she must employ her unique set of skills to track down hundreds who have simply vanished, so when an Amber Alert wakes her in the night, she is the first to respond to the call. But tracking the missing girl comes with unexpected consequences, leading her down a deadly path paved with lies and personal loss that ends in a single devastating truth: General Cai Kaswell, the father she just discovered and the world’s best hope for peace, is among the vanished.
As she struggles to find General Kaswell, Tallie is drawn into a conspiracy that links her past to the string of unsolved disappearances. Her search for answers sends her around the globe, but when it nearly takes the lives of her trusted friends and leaves her alone, she is assigned to a charming operative she doesn’t fully trust. Forced to watch her own back as she searches for General Kaswell and the others, not only does she discover she is the unwitting catalyst for the disappearance of the missing people but she and her father are also drawn into a plot that threatens the Constitution and the balance of world power.

My review

Revenge Never Rests is one nail-biting ride. I thought the first book was intense (which I would recommend reading before this one to get the full effect of characters, plot, etc.) but this book picks up right where Secrets Never Die ends and does not let go! The author does a great job of catching the reader up on events, but I recently read the first book, so everything was fresh. You really need to know in detail what happened with Julia to appreciate what Tallie is going through now. Tallie is a fabulous character, who is still adjusting to her new life. Characters I enjoyed are still here; Marlene, Major Norris, and of course Jackson. Pay attention to every detail, because it will be important later. The author does an amazing job of planting those tiny seeds that spring into a giant, plentiful tree of suspense. There are thrilling twists and turns on every page.   

5 out of 5 stars. I couldn't read fast enough! It is a very engaging, gripping read. 

Purchase links

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