Wednesday, July 5, 2017

THE HUNDREDTH QUEEN by Emily R. King/THE RED by Tiffany Reisz/KILLING JUNE by May Bridges

The Hundredth Queen (The Hundredth Queen #1)

As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.

In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.

What I thought:
For me, the best thing about this book was the cover. I had high hopes. I wanted to love it. Reviews compared it to THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Renee Ahdieh and I was all grabby hands. The first page was promising... 

And then it swirled down the toilet from there. 
Gaping plot holes. For example, something very important that happens is supposed to be an act of revenge, but it happens before the MC does the thing that pisses the guy off. Wut? 
The writing was flat. The voice was monotonous, plodding along like a tired horse. And then it was a camel without any explanation. (Sorry. Notsorry.) Lazy metaphors and a sprinkling a blood and gore are not enough for me. There was no tension. None. There was insta-love. No sparks. No chemistry. Kalinda had so much potential, but then she describes the first man she sees (from a distance) and suddenly she's waxing poetic about boy-parts and manly man-ness. Nope. 
The surprises weren't surprising. I made it all the way to the end, but this one was not for me. Other people really love it, so judge for yourself. 

Rating: ** (1 1/2 stars)

*I received an eARC of this title from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


The Red

Hot. Hot. Hot. Like erotic romance? Like fantasy? Then this book is for you. 
At night I’m June, dominating with the whip, even as I crave the hot, searing blow of the cane, myself. I loathe this side of who I am, but I can’t deny it or escape it. And as my clients cry out for me, begging for mercy, I can't help but want June dead.

By day, I’m Alex Ryan, the good, successful Southern woman everyone thinks I am. I’ve compartmentalized my life to make it bearable, and to get what I want most: revenge. I can have a future with June dead, as soon as I confront the man that terrorized my past.

Cade Brannon is the local gun for hire, part of the seedy underworld of Dallas, but he may also be my savior. I want his help and he wants me. But Cade refuses to play by my rules and is forcing his way into every one of those compartments that I want to lock away. Now the parts of my life I’ve fought so hard to keep separate are bleeding together and it’s tearing me apart.

I just want to go back to being Alex Ryan. But at what cost am I willing to kill June?

What I thought:

Dark and sexy. Did I mention dark? I love the darker side of romance. June/Alex dominated the pages, (wink wink) but it's not just BDSM for the fun of it. There's an emotional current here that takes the story to a deeper level. I can't wait for the next book in this series. Like your romance dark? Then this one's for you!

Rating: **** (4 stars)

*I received an eARC of this title from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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