Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Can't Wait for The Muse of Maiden Lane

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

The Muse of Maiden Lane (Belles of London, # 4)

By: Mimi Matthews

Expected Publication: November 19, 2024 by Berkley

384 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--A silver-haired equestrienne and a charismatic artist turn a scandalous bargain into a vibrant portrait of love.

Stella Hobhouse is a brilliant rider, stalwart friend, skilled sketch artist—and completely overlooked. Her outmodish gray hair makes her invisible to London society. Combined with her brother’s pious restrictions and her dwindling inheritance, Stella is on the verge of a lifetime marooned in Derbyshire as a spinster. Unless she does something drastic…like posing for a daring new style of portrait by the only man who’s ever really seen her.

Aspiring painter Edward “Teddy” Hayes knows true beauty when he sees it. He would never ask Stella to risk her reputation as an artist’s model but in the five years since a virulent bout of scarlet fever left him partially paralyzed, Teddy has learned to heed good fortune when he finds it. He’ll do anything to persuade his muse to pose for him, even if he must offer her a marriage of convenience.

After all, though Teddy has yearned to trace Stella’s luminous beauty on canvas since their chance meeting, her heart is what he truly aches to capture….

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, April 15, 2024

Queen of Roses - Review

Queen of Roses (Blood of a Fae, # 1)

By: Briar Boleyn

Publication: April 15, 2023 by Starwater Press

361 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--A doomed love, a dangerous mission, and a kingdom on the brink of war...
A cast-off princess…

Born into a life of duty and sacrifice, Morgan Pendragon’s destiny has never been her own. Rumored to carry the tainted blood of the fae in her veins, her birthright is stolen from her when she is a mere child. Growing up in the shadow of her brother the king, she has been promised to the goddesses when she comes of age. So, when her brother commands that she seek out a fae weapon of legendary power, Morgan seizes the chance to break free from the chains of her fate.

A dangerous temptation…

As she travels, Morgan finds herself drawn into a strange group of outcasts, led by a dark and enigmatic warrior whose sharp wit and fierce beauty set her heart ablaze. But while Morgan struggles to reconcile her desires with her duty, she and her new comrades discover dangers that await them beyond anything in their wildest nightmares.

A slumbering kingdom awoken by blood…

Believed to have vanished generations ago, a fae kingdom dreaded by mortals is ascending once more, bound to reclaim what was lost by violence and bloodshed. As the fae world, with its intricate web of lies and mysteries, is slowly revealed to Morgan, she is led to the terrible realization that the secrets she carries in her blood make her a greater threat than she could ever have imagined.

The first in an action-packed new series brimming with magic, danger, and spellbinding slow-burn romance, Queen of Roses is perfect for fans of Holly Black, Jennifer L. Armentrout, and Sarah J. Maas.

Morgan is the firstborn child of the king of Pendrath. Her mother was fae...either full-blooded or part, she isn't quite sure. Her mother used to take medication to suppress any fae traits, and Morgan has taken the same medication all her life. Morgan is traumatized by her childhood--specifically the death of her mother. Her father went on to have two more marriages, and she has a half-brother from each marriage. Because her father came to hate the fae blood in both her mother and herself, he changed the line of succession from Morgan to her brother Arthur. Morgan loves her brothers, but Arthur has steadily followed in their father's footsteps, which has led him further and further away from her.

The world is loosely based on Camelot, King Arthur, and that mythology. Briar Boleyn changes almost everything, so that's why I say loosely based. Arthur is evil (or at least seems to be), Lancelet is a girl, Galahad is going into service to the temple, and Merlin is a girl and is said to be mostly powerless despite being the head priestess over their religion. Lancelet and Galahad are both gay. The LGBTQ pieces were mentioned repeatedly but not dwelled on continually, and I didn't feel like the author was trying to preach, even if she was trying to present this version of the world as she would like it to be when it comes to this topic.

I felt terrible for Morgan. She has witnessed so much--at the hands of her father, Florian, and even Arthur himself. Yet she was generally pretty naive. She ignored so many red flags from Arthur. I guess we do sometimes get blinded by those we love. And, of course, the entire Vesper storyline was so obvious to me. I suppose her naivete is necessary for the storyline, but if you ever want to shake a heroine into common sense, you'd probably want to do so with Morgan.

Draven is assigned to take Morgan on a mission for her brother to retrieve Excalibur. Morgan doesn't trust Draven, but he's never done anything to make her mistrust him...other than perhaps being a little bit of a jerk when they first met. Obviously, the reader can see he is keeping secrets. Morgan knows he's likely keeping secrets, too, but she doesn't push him to reveal those secrets either.

The only highlights I made were of things I thought might come back in the future. So I have no quotes to share with you today.

Queen of Roses was a solid first book in a new series for me. I was hooked early on. I wanted to keep reading when I needed to stop for real life, which is always a good sign that things are going well. I like Morgan and want to see her succeed, even though I want to shake her a few times to have her wake up from her naivete. I didn't mention earlier that I don't like when book descriptions compare a book to others I've loved because it can feel like expectations build up too much. Time will tell whether this series stands up to the likes of Sarah J Maas or Jennifer L Armentrout. For now, Queen of Roses gets 4 Stars. Have you read Queen of Roses? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Sunday Post - 04/14/24

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Monday night was raining but both big kids still had ball games. There was no lightning so things proceeded as normal. Big Boy's team won their game, and he hit really well. Big Girl's team got slaughtered. Tuesday, we went on a field trip to a farm that used to have a pumpkin patch every year before COVID. They're just now getting back into events and such. Tuesday night, Big Girl's team won their game. Monday and Wednesday were tough school days for Big Boy. Thursday, we normally go to my parents' house to hang for the day, but they were replacing their flooring--taking up carpet and putting down LVP. So we walked around the neighborhood and just piddled around the house. Big Boy's team won their game again even though it was a pretty evenly matched team they played against. Friday was a much better school day. Big Girl got to go onto the field with the high school softball team due to a camp she participated in. We stayed to watch the high school girls play. They won in a really good game. Then we went for a late dinner. Saturday, Big Boy had practice, and we piddle around the house and the yard. Today is picture day so we'll be back up at the field for that.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Romancing the Artist (Return to Inglewood, # 1) by Sally Britton (4 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Marriage & Masti (If Shakespeare Was an Auntie, # 3) by Nisha Sharma
Thursday: March 2024 EOM Wrap Up

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Romancing the Artist (Return to Inglewood, # 1) by Sally Britton
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday?

Don’t forget to link up for the 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2024 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

NEW BOOKS:

The Gentleman's Confession (Matchmaking Mamas, # 3)

By: Anneka R Walker

Publication: October 22, 2024 by Shadow Mountain

288 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Inexperienced in courtship and love, Jemma turns to her best friend, Miles, for guidance on how to win a man’s heart—not knowing that Miles has secretly loved her for years.

Brookeside, England, 1822

Jemma Fielding has always considered herself an independent woman, but to honor her beloved grandmother’s dying wish, she makes a promise that she will marry and fall in love. To fulfill her promise, she turns to the Matchmaking Mamas Society for assistance and is paired with the charming Mr. Bentley. Though he is everything Jemma could hope for in a match, she is clueless about how to win his heart. Desperate to make a good impression, she seeks guidance from her dearest friend, Miles Jackson, a humble rector with a talent for understanding matters of the heart.

However, Miles’s secret affection for Jemma has spanned years, and teaching her to love someone else threatens to betray his own heart. Despite his selfless nature, Miles fears he will never be more than a humble rector in her eyes.

Even as he gives Jemma lessons in love, Miles grapples with the challenge of convincing her that Mr. Bentley may be a perfect gentleman but he is not the perfect match for her. Will Miles’s advice in romance jeopardize their years of friendship, or will it reveal the attraction that has quietly blossomed between them, proving that this time, the Matchmaking Mamas may have made a mistake? Miles must decide if he’s brave enough to confess his feelings to Jemma before she is whisked away forever.

A Provincial Peer (Georgian Gentlemen, # 6)

By: Sian Ann Bessey

Expected Publication: May 7, 2024 by Covenant Communications

248 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Georgian

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Lord Benning is no ordinary nobleman. The heir to an earldom, he feels more at home working on the farm at his country estate than socializing in the ballrooms of London. So when a mysterious, veiled woman mistakes him for a farmhand, he takes the assumption in stride. And though he is not offended, he is intrigued.

Following a devastating outbreak of smallpox, Caroline Granger and her young daughter, Meg, retreat to Caroline’s childhood home in the village of Leyfield in Gloucestershire. Left widowed and weakened by the ravages of the disease, Caroline wears a veil to hide her facial scars and to prevent the inevitable gasps of horror or murmurs of pity others offer in response to her altered appearance.

Caroline is mortified when she learns of her error in addressing Lord Benning—or Benedict, as she called him during their growing-up years—as a farmhand. But shared childhood memories and a precocious four-year-old inevitably draw Benedict and Caroline together, and it’s not long before Caroline realizes that Benedict accepts every part of her—including her scars. With newfound courage and a growing love for Benedict, Caroline feels the first stirrings of hope. But when the disease that took so much from Caroline finds its way to Leyfield, she stands to lose more than she can bear, and Benedict must decide exactly how much he is willing to risk for a chance at love.

The Lady Glass

By: Anneka R Walker

Publication: July 9, 2024 by Covenant Communications

288 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

NetGalley description--Theresia Dvorak has nothing left of her parents—nothing save her dowry, a priceless crystal vase stolen and sold by her own stepmother. Theresia will do anything to secure what is rightfully hers—even assume a false identity and steal her future back. When she gains entrance to a house party and has a memorable run-in with the handsome navel captain Rolland Reese, her mission is compromised. She swore never to trust an Englishman again, but when he makes a daring proposal she cannot refuse, she must work side by side with him if either of them is to achieve their aim.

Rolland is stunned when his homecoming from the war takes a decidedly deadly turn. The quickest solution is to throw a house party and invite all the suspects. With the stakes incredibly high, Rolland must root out the killer before they turn their sights to the next potential victim: his own father. The mysterious Theresia is undoubtedly the most suspicious of his guests, but against all odds, he finds himself risking everything to protect her. As Rolland unravels a tangle of clues, he faces the greatest threats of all: a heart of fire and a future as fragile as glass.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, April 11, 2024

March 2024 EOM Wrap Up

I read 7 books (not including children's books). *These qualify for the 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
These Hollow Vows (These Hollow Vows, # 1) by Lexi Ryan
An Offer from a Gentleman (The Bridgertons, # 3) by Julia Quinn
I Survived the Wellington Avalanche, 1910 (I Survived, # 22) by Lauren Tarshis
To Love the Brooding Baron by Jentry Flint
I Wish You Would by Eva Des Lauriers
The Book Swap by Tessa Bickers
Queen of Roses (Blood of a Fae, # 1) by Briar Boleyn

I have reviewed 4 books (not including mini reviews of children's books). *These qualify for the 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge.
Appointment in Bath (Somerset Stories, # 4) by Mimi Matthews
With a Little Luck (Fortuna Beach, # 2) by Marissa Meyer
I Survived The Wellington Avalanche, 1910 (I Survived, # 22) by Lauren Tarshis
How to Plot a Payback by Melissa Ferguson

Other Posts:
Sunday Post - 03/03/24
Sunday Post - 03/10/24
Sunday Post - 03/24/24
Sunday Post - 03/31/24
Top Ten Spring 2024 TBR List
Can't Wait for Serpent Sea (Spice Road Trilogy, # 2) by Maiya Ibrahim
Can't Wait for A Thousand Broken Pieces (A Thousand Boy Kisses, # 2) by Tillie Cole
Can't Wait for A Casualty of the Heart by Rachel Kelley Stones
2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge - March Wrap Up
January & February Wrap Ups

Goals:
I'm a few days ahead on my Bible-in-a-year plan.
I've read 18 out of 52 books (not including children's books).
I've read 0 out of 5-10 series enders.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Can't Wait for Marriage & Masti

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Marriage & Masti (If Shakespeare Was an Auntie, # 3)

By: Nisha Sharma

Expected Publication: August 27, 2024 by Avon

352 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--The third and final installment in Nisha Sharma’s beloved Shakespeare-inspired rom-com trilogy—an ode to Twelfth Night—is the perfect friends to lovers romp featuring an accidental wedding, meddling families, and plenty of sizzling chemistry.

Veera Mathur has been through a lot in the past year. Both of her friends found soul mates, the man she fell in love with got engaged to another woman, and her father fired her before selling the family company. When her twin sister, Sana, tells her there is no way of getting her old life back, Veera feels lost at a single, unemployed mess with a bad tattoo and tons of talent, but nowhere to go.

Deepak Datta hasn’t had the best luck either. To secure enough board votes for the CEO position at his family's company, Illyria Media, he’s ready to marry board member and famous beauty influencer, Olivia Gupta. That is until he wakes up to a get ready with me video announcing their separation. Despite his immediate relief, Deepak needs to do something fast to repair his image.

After a series of convenient mishaps bring them together again—including a literal shipwreck, way too many drinks, and a sunset elopement on the beach—Deepak and Veera realize their accidental wedding might be the solution to their career aspirations. Together, they plot against the very company that ruined their lives in the first place.

As they try to convince the world their friendship was a ruse for romance they’ve felt all along, the line between fake and real begins to blur. Now Veera and Deepak must ask themselves the terrifying question that has haunted them since the first time they will love ruin everything?

With her signature humor and heartfelt storytelling, Nisha Sharma writes a messy, spicy romance about identity, family honor, and love. In Marriage & Masti, readers are sure to love the highly anticipated finale of this beloved trilogy.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, April 8, 2024

Romancing the Artist - Review

Romancing the Artist (Return to Inglewood, # 1)

By: Sally Britton

Expected Publication: Pink Citrus Books (March 31, 2023)

? pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Amazon description--A farmer's daughter doesn't belong in high society, even if she is a talented artist. And a gentleman training to take over the family estate can't afford distractions. But when the two of them meet, their whole world shifts. Can they overcome their fears, or will love remain out of their reach?

Caroline Clapham isn’t a world renown artist—she’s simply a farmer’s daughter possessed of natural talent with a paintbrush. Talent that her mentor, the Countess of Inglewood, is happy to foster for a summer at her beautiful seaside estate. Caroline’s friends, including a persistent suitor, warn her that the season will end and she will return home as insignificant as ever, and will have to settle for a life far less grand than she imagines. But that won’t stop her from pursuing her dream, or finding a new friend in the handsome Mr. Everly.

Mr. Edward Everly is preparing to take the reins from his father. Everything about their home and family will fall under his care, including the land, their tenants, and all the responsibilities of a gentleman—including marrying the girl his parents have chosen for him. Overwhelmed and uncertain about his new role, Edward stumbles upon a beautiful artist in the woods. As he comes to know Miss Clapham, her way of looking at the world restores his confidence and makes his heart light. Before summer’s end, he cannot imagine a life without her.

Friends and family alike have warned against Caroline and Edward’s relationship. Edward has a role to fill, and he needs a companion who is up to the task. If Caroline leaves behind a life of finer things, she risks losing more than just her dreams of painting. Will she choose to remain in the world in which she grew up, or take the steps necessary to prove herself a worthy match for Edward?

***

The Return to Inglewood novels are a continuation of the stories in Sally Britton's Inglewood series, following the children of the heroes and heroines of Inglewood. This series can be read out of order and without reading Britton's previous books. All books in the series are sweet romance with no steamy content.

Oh my goodness guys! This one slipped through the cracks. I listened to this book on audio back in December, and I'm just now writing my review in March. That's more than 3 months between when I finished it and writing the review. All of that to say that I know I'm forgetting a ton of the details.

I do want to say that I really appreciate Sally Britton putting her audiobooks on YouTube for free. I wouldn't get to many of these books without authors like her. I don't know how she manages to do it, but I love and appreciate her for it. Marian Hussey did a wonderful job narrating. She captured this story wonderfully.

If you're familiar with the Inglewood series by Sally Britton, then you're well familiar with Neil Duncan. His story was Reforming Lord Neil, where he fell in love with a widow, Teresa Clapman. Teresa's daughter, Caroline, stars in this story along with a younger Everly sibling, Edward.

Caroline is a budding artist. She has come to Inglewood to learn from Esther, the Countess of Inglewood, from Rescuing Lord Inglewood. Caroline is a gentleman's daughter, but her family is now used to simpler circumstances. She doesn't know all of the ins and outs of the gentry. She has an encounter with Edward Everly, and the two become allies.

Edward agrees to help Caroline with her art if she will help him deflect attention from his family and his friend's family trying to match them. Caroline doesn't mind pretending to court Edward since she plans to leave Inglewood. And she really does need someone to sit for some of her art pieces. Through all of this, Edward and Caroline realize that the feelings they have aren't fake after all.

Romancing the Artist was exactly what I wanted. It was a fast listen that pulled me in quickly and hooked me into characters I cared about and rooted for. I wanted them to succeed individually as well as collectively. I have no idea who else will find themselves from and center for the Return to Inglewood series, but whoever it is, I'm here for it. Romancing the Artist gets 4 Stars. Have you read (or listened to) Romancing the Artist? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Sunday Post - 04/07/24

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Monday we were back to our normal schedule as far as school goes. Both kids had games Monday night. Big Boy's team lost 11 to 3. They just weren't hitting well at all. There was no pep in the team. Big Girl's team won 11 to 10 by barely pulling out the last run from a tied game. Tuesday, we went to a local park and met up with some friends. We stayed there until lunch time. Grabbed groceries on the way home. Big Girl had a game that got started and was tied 4 to 4 when it started pouring rain and lightning. Wednesday was a nice relaxing day. Thursday, we spent the day with my parents, but I was dealing with a massive headache. Big Boy had a game Thursday night, and they killed the other team. I actually felt sorry for the other team. Big Boy went 3 for 3 home runs. I don't know the exact score because the scoreboard wasn't working, but we played 3 innings and got the 7 run rule each inning. I don't think the other team got more than 2 hits the entire game. Friday, Big Girl started 3rd Grade. That's one of the plus sides to homeschooling. We can move up a grade whenever we're ready. Friday afternoon, my mom came to get Little Boy. Since the big kids went on spring break to Gatlinburg with my parents, Little Boy got to spend the weekend with them all by himself at their new house. Friday night and Saturday we worked on burning this tree we cut down. It was a lot of work. Big Boy also had baseball practice.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of The Lady He Lost by Faye Delacour (3 Stars)
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Saved by the Matchmaker (A Shanahan Match, # 2) by Jody Hedlund

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Romancing the Artist (Return to Inglewood, # 1) by Sally Britton
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday?

Don’t forget to link up for the 2024 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2024 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

NEW BOOKS:

Queen of Shifting Sands (Instaonlde, # 1)

By: Kaitlyn Carter Brown

Publication: March 12, 2024 by Whimsical Publishing

451 pages

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--A crownless queen. A cursed prince. One summer to live.

The stars have aligned in the kingdom of Instanolde, or so Lystra believes as she eagerly awaits her wedding day. Her beloved, the king, is everything her heart desires, but when a brutal attack leaves her betrothed dead and Instanolde on the cusp of collapse, she finds her future in ruins, and the throne beyond her reach. With invasion looming across the desert, Lystra refuses to let grief keep her from defending her kingdom—even if that means forging a marriage alliance with Elerek, the brother of her lost love, a prince shrouded in secrets.

Elerek, now heir to the throne, has spent his life waiting to die. An untouchable curse lurks beneath his skin, and though he aches to see its suffocating hold severed, he’s long given up hope. When his brother’s death drags him from the shadows, Elerek must find the strength to shoulder the crown’s burdens and secure a queen—a wife to protect his kingdom after the curse claims him. With the adoration of the people already in the palm of her hands, Lystra is the ideal candidate. But even if she doesn’t spurn him for his ruinous curse, he’ll need to protect her from its dangers—and his heart as he finds himself steadily drawn to the girl’s unbreakable spirit. With death on the horizon, Elerek must become the king he never planned to be and save Instanolde before his time runs out.

Lystra and Elerek only have one summer to prepare their kingdom for invasion, but more than one threat prowls their desert, and the cost of survival might just destroy them all.

Queen of Shifting Sands is a fantastical romance adventure where duty and endurance grapple amid the sands of chaos. Lovers of intrigue, high stakes, and slow-burn romance will fall in love with this escape into a rich, immersive fantasy world.

Princess of Air

By: Natalie Cammaratta

Publication: June 11, 2024 by Bees & Honey Publishing

370 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Kingdom. Family. Love.
Which will shatter? Which can she save?

Air may not pummel, scorch, and drown like the other elemental magics, but with Arabella wielding it, it might be the strongest power.

When the Queen reveals the heir to her throne will be determined by a competition rather than birthright, the first born Prince of Earth’s rage quakes the palace, and Arabella feels the shock to her bones.

Trials between four siblings—four elements—are bound to be quite the show. Enough to distract from escalating problems throughout the continent.

Arabella will already have a new title soon, but her betrothal does not change the fact that she must compete. If the crown would let her have more moments that ignite her skin and send her heart racing with Tomas, this would be the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s his dark hair and blue eyes that pool heat in her belly.

Alas, if she wins, she’ll spend the rest of her life facing everything she can’t have.

Princess of Air is the spicy first book in the Elements of Royalty epic fantasy romance series. This whirlwind adventure is perfect for lovers of snarky heroines, gripping tension, and steamy desire.

The Court that Bleeds Gold (The Gold Weaver, # 1)

By: Zara Storm

Publication: March 24, 2024 by Independently published

314 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--An action-packed dark fantasy romance perfect for fans of Raven Kennedy, Krista Street, and Sarah J. Maas.

Desperate to escape marrying a brutal king, I make a deal with a Fae Prince...

“I can spin gold,” I lie.

With my life at stake, I have no other choice.

I get one chance to turn my lie into truth, and I’m shocked when I succeed.

But now the cruel human king demands I become his wife—passing between his bed and being locked away in a tower, spinning gold until my last breath.

My only way out is to summon him.

A brutal Fae prince.

The deal we strike is sickening, but it’s the only way I’ll live after I’m caught escaping. My new captor drags me back to his realm.

A place of profound beauty and savage cruelties.

As wicked fairies play sadistic games, the prince is my sole protector.

He’s not just protecting me, though. He’s guarding his own secrets.

I should hate him. But our pact shows me a side his court never sees.

There is more behind his monstrous mask.

I can’t stop myself from looking.

Especially when I learn what he really wants with me.

The Court that Bleeds Gold is the first book in a dark fantasy romance trilogy. This enemies to lovers series has shades of Rumpelstiltskin and Beauty and the Beast, with a dark hero who will absolutely burn this damned world to the ground for our sharp-tongued heroine. Expect steam, violence and plenty of barbed exchanges.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Can't Wait for Saved by the Matchmaker

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Saved by the Matchmaker (A Shanahan Match, # 2)

By: Jody Hedlund

Expected Publication: August 6, 2024 by Bethany House Publishers

352 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--After her annulment is finalized, Enya Shanahan finds herself caught in a web of scandal and obligation while carrying a secret that threatens to shatter her family's reputation. Determined to find a suitable marriage for Enya, her father turns to a wily matchmaker to save them from their circumstances.

Sullivan O'Brien, a steamboat captain committed to aiding enslaved people on their path to freedom, is faced with an ultimatum from his father. Forced to marry or lose his livelihood, a marriage of convenience seems to be the only solution. As he and Enya face the trials of their pasts and a city consumed by fire, they must confront their deepest fears and learn to trust in love, even when darkness threatens to engulf them.

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund returns to 1800s St. Louis in this dramatic and stirring tale of resilience and love against all odds.

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Monday, April 1, 2024

The Lady He Lost - Review

The Lady He Lost (The Lucky Ladies of London, # 1)

By: Faye Delacour

Expected Publication: April 2, 2024 by Sourcebooks Casablanca

336 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

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Goodreads description--Her only interest is in making her own way in the world. Luckily, he can help.

Lieutenant Eli Williams was supposed to be dead. In the two years since his shipwreck, his friends and family mourned him, his brother spent his savings, and his fiancée married someone else. So, when he turns up in the middle of the London social season, he quickly becomes the talk of the town. All Eli wants is to set his life back in order and reconnect with Jane Bishop, a friend who has always meant so much more to him, before returning to sea.

Jane refuses to waste any more of her life pining over Eli, who chose her cousin instead of her. She needs to focus on gaining her financial independence by establishing a ladies' gambling club. Never mind that Eli keeps trying to atone for his past mistake by bringing in new members. He's obviously keeping secrets about his disappearance, which means that she can't trust him with her heart even if she did kiss him in a moment of weakness. Or three.

As Eli works to regain her trust, Jane's defensive walls begin to crumble. But when Eli faces a court of inquiry on suspicion of desertion, Jane must decide if she can let go of the past to build a future with Eli, or risk losing him for good.

This charming and sexy friends to enemies to lovers historical romance romp is the perfect read for fans of Evie Dunmore and India Holton.

At the risk of giving too much away, Jane and Eli have been great friends for years. Ever since she visited relatives that were neighbors of his family. Eli and Jane have always connected, and Jane has been in love with him for a long time. Only, Eli made a stupidly male decision on a whim one night and got caught in a compromising position with her cousin. The resulting engagement broke Jane's heart. Eli needed the military to make his way in the world and to be able to afford a wife, so he left. Only his ship was commandeered by pirates and he was taken as a prisoner. His ship was wrecked and he was presumed dead. Jane mourned him but had to keep the depths of her mourning to herself as she didn't feel she had the right to mourn him as his fiance did. Eventually, Cecily marries someone else and Eli returns from the dead.

Jane refuses to allow her feelings for Eli to get riled up just because he's back. He chose Cecily over her. And she needs to focus on her own plans. Her uncle is a busybody matchmaker, constantly throwing eligible suitors in her way. But Jane plans to take her future into her own hands by starting an exclusive card club for women only. Why should men be the only ones to get to have any fun?

Eli returns with a mystery. He was shipwrecked and kidnapped, but he also could have returned home sooner than he did. The why is supposed to be the mystery and the ramifications when it appears that he deserted his post. I didn't love this part of the story. It seemed like a means to an end rather than a true part of the story. Like an afterthought maybe.

The "about the author" says that Faye Delacourt writes "feminist historical fiction." I suppose the progressive ideas pushed in The Lady He Lost included the women's card club that Jane was insistent upon providing her own way. As well as the progressive physical relationship that Jane and Eli had before marriage. Of course, these types of relationships have always happened, but culturally, this wasn't the norm of this period of history. I never mind skipping a feminist twist. Empowering is one thing, but feminism always seems to push things too far for me.

I pretty much hated Cecily. She was always in competition with Jane. I've known way too many people in real life who always feel the need to compete. And they exhaust me. At least Faye Delacourt provided her with a reasonable motivation for her behavior. And she didn't end up being a complete villain.

Favorite quotes:

-Really, what were gardens even for, except to compromise young ladies at house parties? Everyone knew that.

-They settled on the library, as it had served as a traditional hiding place for many a guest at many a party such as this.

-"I do love when you two are kind to each other."

Overall, I was a little underwhelmed by this book. Jane was a little too progressive for my taste considering the culture. Eli's mystery felt too thrown together. And the side characters were mostly annoying for too much of the book to be redeemed by the endings they got. The Lady He Lost gets 3 Stars. Have you read The Lady He Lost? What did you think? Let me know!