The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes #bookreview #psychologicalthriller #suspense

Armed with only hazy memories, a woman who long ago witnessed her friend’s sudden, mysterious death, and has since spent her life trying to forget, sets out to track down answers. What she uncovers, deep in the woods, is hardly to be believed….

Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, mysteriously dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank whom they’d been spending time with all summer.

Seven years later, Maya lives in Boston with a loving boyfriend and is kicking the secret addiction that has allowed her to cope with what happened years ago, the gaps in her memories, and the lost time that she can’t account for. But her past comes rushing back when she comes across a recent YouTube video in which a young woman suddenly keels over and dies in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged into the trauma that has defined her life, Maya heads to her Berkshires hometown to relive that fateful summer–the influence Frank once had on her and the obsessive jealousy that nearly destroyed her friendship with Aubrey.

At her mother’s house, she excavates fragments of her past and notices hidden messages in her deceased Guatemalan father’s book that didn’t stand out to her earlier. To save herself, she must understand a story written before she was born, but time keeps running out, and soon, all roads are leading back to Frank’s cabin….

The mysterious key on the cover, something deep in the woods, hazy memories, and a sudden death. If books had tentacles, these reached out and drew me in.

It’s been seven years since Maya’s best friend dropped dead, and Maya’s still struggling. No longer able to get the sleeping medication her doctor prescribed several years ago, she’s also suffering from withdrawal and hiding it from her boyfriend. With a history of mental illness in her family, everything she’s dealing with, and the occasional tone of the story, I even questioned if Maya is an unreliable narrator. Are her memories real?

The chapters rotate seamlessly between the summer Maya meets Frank and the present when she’s determined to discover what really happened. Although she’s not always likeable, I understood her burning need to learn the truth. It’s just the way she goes about it is pretty selfish sometimes. Her memories feel off kilter from that summer, and it’s a slow burn until the final reveal. My suspicions were partly correct and while fascinating, they’re pretty chilling.

Pacing is a little uneven, but fans of psychological thrillers and unreliable narrators will spend an enjoyable few hours with this novel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.



The Haunting of Chatham Hollow by Mae Clair and Staci Troilo #bookreview #supernatural #mystery

One founding father.
One deathbed curse.
A town haunted for generations.

Ward Chatham, founder of Chatham Hollow, is infamous for two things—hidden treasure and a curse upon anyone bold enough to seek it. Since his passing in 1793, no one has discovered his riches, though his legend has only grown stronger.

In 1888, charlatan Benedict Fletcher holds a séance to determine the location of Chatham’s fortune. It’s all a hoax so he can search for the gold, but he doesn’t count on two things—Victor Rowe, a true spiritualist who sees through his ruse, and Chatham’s ghost wreaking havoc on the town.

More than a century later, the citizens of the Hollow gather for the annual Founder’s Day celebration. A paranormal research team intends to film a special at Chatham Manor, where the original séance will be reenacted. Reporter and skeptic Aiden Hale resents being assigned the story, but even he can’t deny the sudden outbreak of strange happenings. When he sets out to discover who or what is threatening the Hollow—supernatural or not— his investigation uncovers decades-old conflicts, bitter rivalries, and ruthless murders.

This time, solving the mystery isn’t about meeting his deadline. It’s about not ending up dead.

Hauntings, mediums, ghosts, séances – it’s like the authors wrote this book just for me. And that cover is everything.

Having read several of Claire’s and Troilo’s books, I’m a big fan of both authors. When I learned they’d co-written a book together, there was no doubt I’d jump at the chance to read it. I didn’t even need to know what it was about.

This story is told in a dual timeline that flows seamlessly. Alexa read this book to me, and I was never confused about which time period I was in. Money is a powerful motivator, and Ward Chatham’s fortune has been a source of greed for over a century. In 1888, Benedict Fletcher is certain he’ll be able to locate the gold after holding a fake séance. What he doesn’t count on is true medium Victor Rowe in attendance and Chatham’s ghost actually making an appearance. And he’s not a spirit you want to mess with. Cue the chaos.

In 2022, the gold still hasn’t been found after a little over a century. With a Founder’s Day celebration on the calendar, a paranormal research team wants to reenact the séance that raised Chatham’s spirit and resulted in several deaths that may or may not have been coincidental.

Both authors have a gift for creating loveable characters, and this novel is no different. With his feelings on spiritualism, ability to sniff out charlatans, and calm demeanor, Victor is my favorite character. I was delighted with the way his story plays out. Aiden is also a favorite, but it’s his grandmother Julia who always has the last word and his dog Levi who steals his scenes.

I generally listen to books while doing chores around the house, but when it came time for the final séance I had to sit down and give it my full attention. I couldn’t wait to see what happened and even caught myself holding my breath at times. And what a scene! Atmospheric, exciting, unexpected – and that’s all I’ll say about that. No spoilers here.

Fans of both authors and readers of supernatural mysteries alike will enjoy this novel. Now I want to know when the next co-authored book is releasing.

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night (Song of the Last Kingdom #1) by Amélie Wen Zhao #bookreview #fantasy #myths #TuesdayBookBlog

In a fallen kingdom, one girl carries the key to discovering the secrets of her nation’s past—and unleashing the demons that sleep at its heart. An epic fantasy series inspired by the mythology and folklore of ancient China.

Once, Lan had a different name. Now she goes by the one the Elantian colonizers gave her when they invaded her kingdom, killed her mother, and outlawed her people’s magic. She spends her nights as a songgirl in Haak’gong, a city transformed by the conquerors, and her days scavenging for what she can find of the past. Anything to understand the strange mark burned into her arm by her mother in her last act before she died.

The mark is mysterious—an untranslatable Hin character—and no one but Lan can see it. Until the night a boy appears at her teahouse and saves her life.

Zen is a practitioner—one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom. Their magic was rumored to have been drawn from the demons they communed with. Magic believed to be long lost. Now it must be hidden from the Elantians at all costs.

When Zen comes across Lan, he recognizes what she is: a practitioner with a powerful ability hidden in the mark on her arm. He’s never seen anything like it—but he knows that if there are answers, they lie deep in the pine forests and misty mountains of the Last Kingdom, with an order of practitioning masters planning to overthrow the Elantian regime.

Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within—secrets they must hide from others, and secrets that they themselves have yet to discover. Fate has connected them, but their destiny remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And both hold the power to destroy the world.

Now the battle for the Last Kingdom begins.

I’ve read another series by this author (technically, I haven’t completed it yet) and was ecstatic to learn this is the first book in a new series.

Another author described this book as “devastatingly gorgeous”. She nailed it. With lyrical writing, rich world-building, and fully developed, complex characters, this tale will awe epic fantasy fans. It’s inspired by the mythology and folklore of ancient China, and I was completely enthralled.

Lan’s kingdom was invaded, her people’s magic outlawed, and she witnessed the horrifying death of her mother. As she was dying, her mother burned a strange mark on Lan’s arm, and several years later she still has no idea what it means. Zen is a practitioner, a fabled magician of the Last Kingdom. Upon meeting Lan, he knows she possesses a powerful hidden ability in the mark on her arm. Her best hope of understanding and developing it lies with an order of practitioning masters. Getting her there is dangerous and challenging – Zen’s and Lan’s personalities are like oil and water. He’s more the strong, disciplined, silent type and she’s… not. I laughed over some of their interactions and felt Zen’s exasperation with her. Lan’s first meeting with Dilaya, another strong personality and wonderful supporting character, is one of my favorite scenes. Let’s just say it didn’t go well and leave it at that.

Jaw-dropping twists, shocking choices, and life-threatening situations (so, so many) kept me glued to the pages. Do I really need to say I’ll be at the edge of my seat waiting for the next book? Highly recommend to fantasy, folklore, and mythology fans.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Belly of the Beast Report and Lunch

Last week I mentioned I was headed to Son #1’s apartment (the belly of the beast) to clean. The possibility of before and after pics were brought up, but to spare him embarrassment (and there would be plenty) I won’t post any. Let’s just say about ten bags of clothes were donated to Goodwill, numerous bags of trash (I lost count), empty boxes, and a fantasy football board were taken to the dumpster. Dusting is the bane of my existence. Hate it. But I did it for him and sneezed my way through it. Sora (if you follow this blog, you know she’s his diva cat and Bond’s nemesis) was thrilled to have entertainment throughout the day and enjoyed climbing the mountain of laundry on the floor waiting to be washed. When I finished the next day, floors were clear and vacuumed, furniture dusted, clothes hung in the closet and put away in the dresser, and I left with a huge feeling of accomplishment, lol. Here’s a pic of Miss Diva on her heating pad.

I’ve mentioned Son #2 is a foodie and has been hanging out in the kitchen with me since he was around 6 or 7. He currently works at a nice restaurant here in town and loves it. Yesterday he came over and cooked lunch for us – red snapper with a lemon, white wine, and caper sauce over asparagus. Soooo good. He’s also been working on some desserts, and his chef is adding one of them to the menu this week or the next. I’ve been a guinea pig for a couple things he’s tried. Doesn’t that pic look appetizing?

I’ll be tied up for the day, so I may not get to comments and your blogs until tomorrow. Have a great week!

Guest Post – The Last Drive by John W. Howell #newbook #timetravel #thriller #suspense

It’s Friday – woohoo! Everyone deserves a treat on Fridays, and today I’ve got one for you. John W. Howell, author, tour guide, and pet lover, is here with his new release, The Last Drive. I loved the blend of genres with the first book in this series, Eternal Road: the final stop, so I was thrilled when I learned he was writing a sequel. Now I’ll let John take it away!

I am so pleased to be with you today, Teri. I want to thank you for helping spread the word about The Last Drive. Each year you host the best Halloween feature, Bad Moon Rising. It always impresses me that you have all those talented authors visit throughout the month of October. It is also entertaining reading the answers to your questions and I always learn a little more about your guests. Most of your authors write in the horror genre and I’m sure they would appreciate the kind of horror that Lucifer can conjure  up in my book.

Here is the blurb and then we can get to a short excerpt from the book.

The Blurb

In the sequel to Eternal Road – The final stop, Sam and James are reunited to look for two souls, Ryan and Eddie. Ryan was killed in Afghanistan, trying to avoid a schoolyard with his crippled plane. Eddie Rickenbacker, Ryan’s hero, is to guide Ryan to his Eternal Home, and now both are missing.

The higher-ups believe that there has been some interference in Ryan and Eddie’s journey by Lucifer, so Sam and James have the task of finding Ryan and Eddie to get them back on the road despite the evil interference. Unfortunately, the machinations designed to prevent Ryan and Eddy from completing their journey takes the pair to horrifying testing grounds. The places visited represent the best work of the Devil. They are the trenches of World War I in France, gladiators at the Roman Coliseum, the sinking Titanic in 1912, Hiroshima 45 minutes before the bomb, and the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943.

This book is for you if you like plenty of action, strong characters, time travel, and a touch of spiritual and historical fiction. So, join Sam and James as they try to find the missing souls while staying one step ahead of the Prince of Darkness, who is determined to destroy all that is good.

An Excerpt.

“We head down that tunnel there and see what’s going on. Before that, though, you better get us back on time, or we’ll be invisible.”

James stops. “Let’s think about this for a minute. If we’re invisible, we can come and go as we please.”

Sam nods. “Yes, but we won’t be able to interact with Eddie or Ryan.”

 “I guess so. Okay, take my hand again. I’ll get us back at the current time.”

“Hey, watch it.” Sam and James appear right in front of a guy carrying a few drinks.

“My gosh. Sorry. We weren’t watching where we were going.” The man looks at Sam and James and continues on his way.

Sam watches the guy go down the hallway. “That could have been embarrassing.”

“Tell me. It would have been worse if we’d spilled those drinks. We’d be having a way different conversation with that guy right now.”

Sam points. “Let’s get to some seats.” James follows Sam into the tunnel. Right away, they spot a couple of seats almost at ground level and claim them. “I hope these don’t belong to anyone.”

James shields his eyes as he scans the field of play. “Check the field. Green Bay has the ball. I wish we had some binoculars. We’re quite far from the action.”

Sam puts her hand on James’s shoulder. “Well, do they have the ball?”

“Yes. You can’t mistake that green G on the helmet. For definite, they have the ball.”

“Is Ryan playing quarterback?”

James shakes his head. “I can’t be sure. All they have are numbers on the jerseys. No names.”

“Well, that’s handy. Who’s the regular quarterback?”

“Bart Starr.”

“Do we know his number?”

“I don’t have a program. Maybe I can go out and buy one.”

“You have money?”

“Shoot. I forgot. In Heaven, we have no beer.”

“What?”

“It’s a song. What I mean is, we have no money.”

A guy behind Sam taps her on the shoulder. Sam turns around, and the man apologizes. “I couldn’t help but overhear. Bart Starr is number fifteen, and he’s not playing right now. Lombardi put in a guy named Bratkowski. I guess he’s giving Starr a rest.”

A Link to the Trailer

You Tube https://youtu.be/HEUninXiibI

Buy Links

The Last Drive is available in paper and Kindle editions on Amazon. Here are the universal links. The Kindle edition is on sale for 99¢ through mid-February.

Kindle https://mybook.to/FYmkKr

Paper https://mybook.to/BCsWV

Author Bio

John is an award-winning author who after an extensive business career began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written Six other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Author links

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/john-w-howell

Eternal Road Buy links

Kindle Universal link  mybook.to/EternalRoad

Paper universal link mybook.to/Eternalroadpaper

They’re Watching You by Chelsea Ichaso #bookreview #YA #suspense

When a secret society has you in their sights, it can lead to power, privilege… or death.

It’s been two weeks since Polly St. James went missing. The police, the headmistress of Torrey-Wells Academy, and even her parents have ruled her a runaway. But not Maren, her best friend and roommate. She knows Polly had a secret that she was about to share with Maren before she disappeared― something to do with the elite, ultra-rich crowd at Torrey-Wells.

Then Maren finds an envelope hidden among Polly’s things: an invitation to the Gamemaster’s Society. Do not tell anyone, it says. Maren is certain her classmates in the Society know the truth about what happened to Polly, though it’s no easy feat to join. Once Maren’s made it through the treacherous initiation, she discovers a world she never knew existed within her school, where Society members compete in high-stakes games for unheard-of rewards―Ivy League connections, privileges, favors.

But Maren’s been drawn into a different game: for every win, she’ll receive a clue about Polly. And as Maren keeps winning, she begins to see just how powerful the Society’s game is―bigger and deadlier than she ever imagined. They see, they know, they control. And they kill.

Maren’s roommate went missing two weeks ago and has been declared a runaway by the powers that be. But Maren doesn’t believe it. Sure Polly had been acting a little strangely, but Maren believes there’s more to her disappearance. After she finds an invitation to the Gamemaster’s Society among Polly’s things, Maren forms a plan to infiltrate the group and discover the truth about what happened to her friend.

The missing person angle and high-stakes games grabbed my attention, and I’ve enjoyed several other dark academia novels. It didn’t take long for the story to take off, and I liked that. It’s a pretty quick read that moves along briskly for the most part. To uncover the fate of her friend and play the games, Maren has to become a person she doesn’t like, but she has no other choice if she wants to receive clues about Polly. Her friendships with two other society members, Remington and Gavin, quickly turn into a weird kind of love triangle. Neither characters seem trustworthy, and she flip flops several times on who she can turn to. The identity of the Gamemaster also kept me guessing. It’s one of the people I suspected, but the author does a pretty good job of keeping it hidden.

The games, their consequences, and some of the acts these students perform are extreme at times, especially for high school students. Suspension of disbelief is a requirement for much of the story. If you can set that aside, it’s a twisty, enjoyable thriller I finished in a couple of sittings.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

WWW Wednesday: What Am I Reading? #amreading

WWW Wednesday is a meme from Sam at Taking On A World Of Words

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

It’s three more fantasies this week, but one of them is vastly different from the others. One of my goals this year is to read more outside of my usual sandbox. I’m still committed to that, but the NetGalley shelf rules the genres each week. I’ll be traveling today, so I may not be able to get to comments until later.

Riven is starting out to be outstanding. Original world-building, assassins, a heist, political unrest. This may be a five star read.

From acclaimed fantasy author Mindee Arnett comes an epic, adventurous story of a young mercenary magic-user trying to escape the oppressive island of Riven—and a young noblewoman trying to change it forever.

Mars Darksvane wants out. Out from under the thumb of Una, the crime boss who pulled him off the streets as a child and trained him as an assassin; out from the island country of Riven, where magic, in the form of a dangerous material called Ice, allows the rich to live in luxury and keeps the poor in thrall. Mars is a secret adept—a person born with the ability to channel the magic that flows beneath Riven—and while his power gives him abilities useful to an assassin, it also makes him a target. And when his last mission ends in tragedy, Mars finally decides it’s time to escape to the mainland. No magic, no history, a new life on his own.

But Una has other ideas. If Mars wants his freedom, he’s going to have to perform a final job: protecting Fura Torvald—the heiress of the rich and powerful Torvald kith, and the daughter of the last man Mars was sent to kill—and stealing from her a mysterious object known only as the Primer.

Mars has no interest in Fura or whatever the Primer is, nor in Riven’s corrupt and oppressive politics; he just wants to do his job and get out. But as Mars comes to know more about Fura, the Primer, and the true nature of the power in Riven, he realizes that he will soon have to take a side in a fight he has avoided his entire life. Which side, however, he does not yet know.

Fate does not choose the weak. Fate chooses the ready.

A Ruinous Fate absolutely lived up to my expectations. I will say a flowchart may be needed to keep up with these characters’ crushes, exes, etc. There were only two out of this group who were actually related, but they all acted like a squabbling, dysfunctional family, and I loved that.

Calliope Rosewood is a witch with a long streak of bad luck. Like all witches in Illustros, her fate is directly tied to Witch’s Dice—powerful artifacts that have blessed her kind with limitless magic but also set them on a path toward destruction. Cursed with unspeakable powers that terrify even the most dangerous witches and fae, Calla deserted her coven four years ago and has been in hiding with her two best friends since. But Calla is also hiding a grave secret: She is only three Rolls away from becoming the last Blood Warrior and starting the Final War that will decimate her people and eradicate their magic.

After a betrayal from her ex leads her one step closer to fulfilling that age-old prophecy, Calla is desperate to do whatever it takes to reset her fate . . . even if that means journeying into the deadly Neverending Forest with said ex and his enticing, yet enigmatic older brother to find the one being who can help her forge her own path. As Calla ventures farther into the enchanted woods, she finds her heart torn between her past desires and the alluring new possibilities of her future and learns that choosing your own destiny may come with deadly consequences.

Featuring a charming and chaotic ensemble cast of characters, this first book in a planned series by debut author Kaylie Smith will sweep readers away with its utterly immersive world building, swoon-worthy romance, and action-packed storytelling.

I’ve seen fabulous reviews for Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries, and I love the time period – early 1900s. And what a beautiful cover.

A curmudgeonly professor journeys to a small town in the far north to study faerie folklore and discovers dark fae magic, friendship, and love, in this heartwarming and enchanting fantasy.

Cambridge professor Emily Wilde is good at many things: She is the foremost expert on the study of faeries. She is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world’s first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people. She could never make small talk at a party–or even get invited to one. And she prefers the company of her books, her dog, Shadow, and the Fair Folk to other people.

So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby, who manages to charm the townsfolk, get in the middle of Emily’s research, and utterly confound and frustrate her.

But as Emily gets closer and closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones–the most elusive of all faeries–lurking in the shadowy forest outside the town, she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all–her own heart.

The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff #bookreview #crimefiction #darkhumor #TuesdayBookBlog

Geeta’s no-good husband disappeared five years ago. She didn’t kill him, but everyone thinks she did–no matter how much she protests. But she soon discovers that being known as a “self-made” widow has some surprising perks. No one messes with her, no one threatens her, and no one tries to control (ahem, marry) her. It’s even been good for her business; no one wants to risk getting on her bad side by not buying her jewelry.

Freedom must look good on Geeta, because other women in the village have started asking for her help to get rid of their own no-good husbands…but not all of them are asking nicely.

Now that Geeta’s fearsome reputation has become a double-edged sword, she must decide how far to go to protect it, along with the life she’s built. Because even the best-laid plans of would-be widows tend to go awry. 

I was undecided about downloading this book when I received a NetGalley widget, but the description was so appealing and original I couldn’t resist.

If you’re a fan of dark humor (I’m a devoted one), The Bandit Queens will give you plenty to snicker about. The banter between these women and their comments to others are hilarious at times. That being said, also prepare yourself for the horrific parts of the story – the physical and emotional abuse of women and their treatment as second class citizens. I wanted to crawl through the pages and strangle some of the men myself.

Geeta’s abusive husband disappeared five years ago, and that’s just fine with her. She’s doing fine without him and enjoys the single life. The village gossip doesn’t really bother her, and since she doesn’t care for children all that much, their comments about her being a witch roll right off. She’s busy running her jewelry business, attending loan group meetings, and saving for a refrigerator. She even adopts Bandit, a dog who’s an astute judge of character. Maybe she’s occasionally lonely and is basically estranged from her childhood best friend, but she’s content with her life. And then everything is upended when she’s asked to help kill the husband of a woman in her loan group.

Blackmail, murder, animal rescue, threatened poisoning, plans gone awry, gourd gifting, lizard stalking – it’s all here. There’s also female empowerment, reclaimed friendships, and well-deserved doses of karma. Even though I didn’t understand all the references, I enjoyed learning more about the culture and small village life, and I’m so glad I read this book. You’ll find yourself cheering for these remarkable women throughout the novel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

#BookReview and A Dangerous Mission

Happy Monday! After a cold weekend, we’re due to have a rainy week – with temps in the 60s. What’s the deal with the weather lately? Makes me think February and March will be brutal.

I was delighted with this review of The Gemini Connection. It might be my favorite book (it’s like asking me to choose my favorite child), but it’s gets the least amount of love for some reason. Seeing it get some attention made my heart happy. I miss these twins.

Wish me luck, friends. This week I journey into the belly of the beast. I’m cleaning Son #1’s apartment. I’ve mentioned how he’d be a prime candidate for the show Hoarders – that’s not an exaggeration. The plastic bags from stores? He rarely gets rid of them. He’ll take whatever he bought out of them – most of the time – then leaves them lying around. When he was a freshman in college we went to his dorm room to pick him up for dinner. Between him and his roommate, they had over twenty empty milk jugs in their room. Why? To this day I have no idea. Hubby and I just went to Son #2’s apartment yesterday to pick up some things. He’s the complete opposite. I’m not afraid to use his bathroom. With Son #1, I’m wondering if I should rent a hazmat suit before I enter his. Yes, he’s an adult and should be doing all the things that adulting includes on his own. But some of you mothers out there get it – you’ll sleep better at night knowing it’s clean. I’m not a clean freak by any means, and hubby will vouch for this, but every time I hope it’s the last. Maybe he’ll finally start cleaning better. And yes, I’m aware of the definition of stupidity. Maybe next Monday I’ll share before and after pics, lol.

Have a great week!

#BlogTour A Tale of Two Princes by Eric Geron #bookreview #romcom #LGBTQ

Will these long-lost twin princes be able to take on high school, coming out, and coronations together—or will this royal reunion quickly become a royal mess?
 
Edward Dinnissen, Crown Prince of Canada, loves getting the royal treatment at his exclusive Manhattan private school and living in a fancy mansion on Park Avenue. But despite living a royal life of luxury, Edward is unsure how to tell his parents, his expectant country, and his adoring fans that he’s gay.

Billy Boone couldn’t be happier: he loves small-town life and his family’s Montana ranch, and his boyfriend is the cutest guy at Little Timber High. But this out-and-proud cowboy is finally admitting to himself that he feels destined for more . . .

When Edward and Billy meet by chance in New York City and discover that they are long-lost twins, their lives are forever changed. Will the twin princes—“twinces”— be able to take on high school, coming out, and coronations together? Or will this royal reunion quickly become a royal disaster? 

This description sounded like a blend of Red, White, and Royal Blue (a pure delight) and The Parent Trap. Royal twins separated at birth? A Canadian monarchy? I was intrigued.

Raised since birth to become King of Canada, Edward lives a life of luxury, attends private school, and is accustomed to the royal treatment. Billy enjoys a more rugged lifestyle. He lives and works on a ranch in rural Montana, has been out-and-proud for years, and plans to stay on the ranch after high school graduation. When the two of them accidentally meet in NYC, worlds collide and lives are forever changed. As the older twin by one minute, Billy is the rightful crown prince. He’s pulled in different directions and struggles to meet the expectations placed on him. Edward is bitter about losing the crown and schemes with friends to undermine Billy so the crown will once again be his. Honestly, Edward was hard to like for a large part of the book, but he was all but pushed to the sidelines by his parents.

If you can suspend your disbelief over the situation and not ask detailed questions about how Canada came to have a monarchy, this is a fun and occasionally touching read. Billy is truly a fish out of water in Canada, and the news reports about his unfortunate antics with related headlines between chapters are pretty amusing. Pax is loyal, over the top, and completely fabulous as a supporting character, and Billy’s little sister Mack is a joy.

With themes of strong friendships, supportive families, and being your true self, this is a novel I’d recommend for the younger end of the YA spectrum.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

On Sale Date: January 10, 2023

9781335425928

Hardcover

$18.99 USD

Ages 13 And Up

448 pages

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eric Geron (pronounced: jur-ON) is the New York Times bestselling author of The Hocus Pocus Spell BookPoultrygeist, and Bye Bye, Binary, along with numerous other titles, including the New York Times bestselling Descendants novelization under the name Rico Green. He earned his creative writing degree from the University of Miami and spent many years at Disney as an editor of New York Times bestselling books. He currently resides in New York City. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok @EricGeron and on his website at ericgeron.com.

SOCIAL LINKS: 

Author Website: http://www.ericgeron.com/

Twitter: @ericgeron

Instagram: @ericgeron

BUY LINKS: 

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/p/books/a-tale-of-two-princes-eric-geron/17303731?ean=9781335425928

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335425928

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Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tale-Two-Princes-Eric-Geron/dp/1335425926/ref=sr_1_1?crid=UZDE2OJQW6AF&keywords=a+tale+of+two+princes&qid=1672864767&sprefix=a+tale+of+two+princes%2Caps%2C98&sr=8-1