Review: The Golden Dynasty (#2, Fantasyland) by Kristen Ashley

My Thoughts

Compelling, romantic, magical and fierce.
A story of finding love in unexpected situations,
and holding on to it come what may.
One of my favorite KA stories ever!

6stars

Synopsis

the golden dynasty coverCirce Quinn goes to sleep at home and wakes up in a corral filled with women wearing sacrificial virgin attire – and she is one of them. She soon finds out that she’s not having a wild dream, she’s living a frightening nightmare where she’s been transported to a barren land populated by a primitive people and in short order, she’s installed very unwillingly on her white throne of horns as their Queen.

Dax Lahn is the king of Suh Tunak, The Horde of the nation of Korwahk and with one look at Circe, he knows she will be his bride and together they will start The Golden Dynasty of legend.

Circe and Lahn are separated by language, culture and the small fact she’s from a parallel universe and has no idea how she got there or how to get home. But facing challenge after challenge, Circe finds her footing as Queen of the brutal Korwahk Horde and wife to its King, then she makes friends then she finds herself falling in love with this primitive land, its people and especially their savage leader.

My Review

“I could not dream a better you.”

I cannot convey how much I loved this book! I LOVED IT!!! Kristen Ashley manages to give us a story that starts off with antagonism and savagery—the stuff of nightmares—and turn it into a story rife with love, acceptance, hope and possibility. It was a roller coaster ride full of gut-wrenching and fist-clenching moments, making it an unputdownable page turner.

Suspense, romance, seductiveness, betrayal, power, war, Ashley weaves a compelling tale, akin to the tumultuous romance of Khal Drogo and Khaleesi, of a love that is destined despite the most brutal of beginnings. It’s the story of a ruthless warrior and a kind-hearted, spirited woman… of a god and a goddess… a king and a queen… of a man and a woman from entirely different worlds… and IT ROCKED!

Reading Order and Links

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Connect with Kristen

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Style Me Saturdays – Kendra Scott Avant Garden Collection

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I love books. Yes I do. But I also love fashion. I ran a lifestyle blog before Vilma’s Book Blog was born, and now, I’m happy to re-introduce that type of coverage via Style Me Saturdays! Every now and again, on Saturdays (of course), I’ll feature something I’m crushing on… something fabulous in the world of beauty and fashion. Make sure to subscribe to the blog or connect with me on Facebook, so you won’t miss it!

Avant Garden

This week, I’m all about Kendra Scott’s new Avant Garden collection! It. Is. Stunning. I’ve been a long-time Kendra customer and I haven’t gushed this much over a line in quite awhile. Inspired by garden florals, the colors are nature-inspired, soft and warm. Think Rose Quartz. Blue Lace. Ivory Pearl. The styles are reminiscent of proven KS faves, with delicate, feminine shapes and even some great new pieces to extend her signature line (see Dani earrings). Overall, this Spring’s Avant Garden collection touts a gorgeous combination of elemental beauty and inspiration with modern styles designed to make a statement.

Recently, I dropped by the Austin headquarters store to take a closer look at the collection.

Crushing On:

Sterling Earrings – $85
Available in Blue Lace Agate, Turquoise and White Iridescent

Love the shape. Love the colors. Love that these earrings seem both delicate and bold in their starburst-like shape. I own the Blue Lace Agate/Silver style and they are not too heavy, especially with Lobe Wonders.

sterling ks

sterling earring ks

Everything Rose Gold

I am in love with all the rose gold, rose quartz pieces. They seem wonderfully beautiful, ethereal almost, and I want it all! I own the Christen long necklace ($95), which seriously sparkles, as well as the Susanna Link Bracelet ($175) and Haylee ring ($60) in Rose Gold Drusy and the Jessi Ear Jackets ($70). I am dying dying dying for the Connie Necklace ($150), which is a great piece for layering with a long necklace like the Susanna.

rose ks

rose gold ks

The Harlie Necklace – $175

Feast your eyes on Harlow’s little sister, Harlie. Love love love everything about this necklace. It’s a smaller stone than the Harlow and the necklace length is significantly longer so that it sits mid chest. It’s a must-have item like the Harlow.

Available in Turquoise, Blue Lace Agate,  Mint, White Iridescent and Rose Quartz.

harlie blue ks harlie white ks

Studs & Climbers

I am crushing hard over the fiercely modern stud and climbers that are a part of this collection. The climbers, in particular, are so hot right now, and I am loving these Billie Ear Climbers ($75). I need these!

billie climbers ks

I also am in love with the Jessi Jackets—a really flexible jewelry piece (available in silver, gold, rose gold). Basically, you use the backing as the backing to any stud of your choice. I particularly love the Jessi Jackets paired with the Hazel studs ($60), especially in Drusy!

small earring ks

Yasmin Hand Bracelet – $60

Comes in gold, silver and rose gold, and it’s beautiful! You slip the chain through your fingers like a ring, and snap on the cuff. Love this paired with a few Reagan bracelets! I think this is just such a unique and eye-catching piece and yes, I can’t wait to get my hand on one! :)

ks bracelet

Noteworthy

Drusy

Drusy gemstones are made by micro-crystals that form on a matrix, shimmering like thousands of fine sugar crystals catching the light. They take a great deal of time to grow and when ready, can be dyed in beautiful colors that sparkle wonderfully. This collection touts a beautiful array of drusy options. My favorites are the Hazel stud earrings and the Connie necklace, especially when paired with the Susanna link bracelet.

Kyocera Opal

This is a stone new to the collection. The Kyocera Opal glimmers like a rainbow prism with flecks of yellow, pink and blue (Aqua Kyocera) and prismatic iridescence (White Kyocera), giving it a striking, luminescent glow. Check out the Isla necklace or Dani earrings.

kyocera 2 ks

My KS Collection

I thought I would show you guys some of my ever-growing Kendra Scott collection too. I love every piece, which I’ve acquired gradually, over the years.

my ks

Connect with Kendra

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Hope you guys enjoyed the first Style Me Saturday feature! Lots more to come, especially as we approach Fashion Week!

♥ Keep it stylin’

- Vilma

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Kendra Scott

Exclusive Cover Reveal: The Other Brother by Lauren Hawkeye and Tawny Stokes

the other brother 1 the other brother 2 the other brother 3

New York Times bestselling authors Lauren Hawkeye and Tawny Stokes are thrilled to announce their upcoming novel, THE OTHER BROTHER, which will be told in three parts. As of today, they are available for pre-order and Part 1: Forbidden will be just $0.99!!!

Part 1: Forbidden (Feb 24) | Part 2: Taboo (Mar 3) | Part 3: Illicit (Mar 10) ✦

Synopsis

From two New York Times bestselling authors comes a stunning tale of betrayal and blood…

Simple. The consummate good girl, this is the word I used to describe my life… until my stepbrother Seth came to live with us. Until that point, I’d been a very good girl… but my older, emotionally blocked stepbrother made me want to do very bad things.

With him.

In the course of one night everything changed, and my simple world was torn to shreds. I wanted to hate him. I did hate him. Mostly.

But now he’s back. And nothing will ever be simple again.

The Other Brother is a novel told in three parts. Appropriate for adult readers age 18+

About Lauren Hawkeye

Lauren Hawkeye/ Lauren Jameson never imagined that she’d wind up telling stories for a living… though when she looks back, it’s easy to see that she’s the only one who is surprised. Always “the kid who read all the time”, Lauren made up stories about her favorite characters once she’d finished a book… and once spent an entire year narrating her own life internally. No, really. But where she was just plain odd before publication, now she can at least claim to have an artistic temperament.

Lauren lives in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada with her husband, toddler, pit bull and idiot cat, though they do not live in an igloo, nor do they drive a dogsled. In her nonexistent spare time Lauren can be found knitting (her husband claims that her snobby yarn collection is exorbitant), reading anything she can get her hands on, or sweating her way through spin class. She loves to hear from her readers!

Website | Facebook | Twitter

About Tawny Stokes

Tawny Stokes has always been a writer. From an early age, she’d spin tales of serial killers in love, vampires taking over the world, and sometimes about fluffy bunnies turned bunnicidal maniacs. An honour student in high school, with a penchant for math and English, you’d never know it by the foot high blue Mohawk and Doc Martens, which often got her into trouble. No longer a Mohawk wearer, Tawny still enjoys old school punk rock, trance, zombie movies, teen horror films, and fluffy bunnies. She lives in Canada with her fantastical daughter, two cats, and spends most of her time creating new stories for teens.

Tawny also writes adult paranormal/urban fantasy fiction under the name Vivi Anna, and is an aspiring screenwriter.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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VBB Weekly – 01.19.2015

VBB WEEKLY BANNER

Highlights

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Currently Reading

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Currently Listening To

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New Releases

(Click cover to order)

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Releasing This Week

Withering Hope by Layla Hagin (Available Now) – 99¢

withering hope coverWithering Hope is the story of a man who desperately needs forgiveness and the woman who brings him hope. It is a story in which hope births wings and blooms into a love that is as beautiful and intense as it is FORBIDDEN.

Aimee’s wedding is supposed to turn out perfect. Her dress, her fiancé and the location—the idyllic holiday ranch in Brazil—are perfect.

But all Aimee’s plans come crashing down when the private jet that’s taking her from the U.S. to the ranch—where her fiancé awaits her—defects mid-flight and the pilot is forced to perform an emergency landing in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

With no way to reach civilisation, being rescued is Aimee and Tristan’s—the pilot—only hope. A slim one that slowly withers away, desperation taking its place. Because death wanders in the jungle under many forms: starvation, diseases. Beasts.

As Aimee and Tristan fight to find ways to survive, they grow closer. Together they discover that facing old, inner agonies carved by painful pasts takes just as much courage, if not even more, than facing the rainforest.

Despite her devotion to her fiancé, Aimee can’t hide her feelings for Tristan—the man for whom she’s slowly becoming everything. You can hide many things in the rainforest. But not lies. Or love.

Withering Hope is the story of a man who desperately needs forgiveness and the woman who brings him hope. It is a story in which hope births wings and blooms into a love that is as beautiful and intense as it is forbidden.

This is a standalone romance.

Miami Hush Club (Episode 1) by Michelle Warren (Available Now) – 99¢

Miami Hush Club coverI always believed that girls like me didn’t find happily-ever-afters.
But despite my sordid past and personal demons,
the Miami Hush Club promised to make my every fantasy a reality.

With a membership,
they could gift me my dream job,
dream car, dream house,
and the perfect life for me and my little family.
They easily sucked me into the madness and twisted me inside out,
caging me until I didn’t know right from wrong.

The steep price of entry?
My darkest secret.

There’s only one problem.
Some secrets destroy.
Some crush.
Some fragment.
Some even endanger the ones I love,
and the one man I never imagined I would.
Because some secrets, when shared, give power.
And power is a dangerous thing.
Especially when the one pulling my strings, playing god,
has the terrifying means to destroy me.

And worst of all, after I’ve given my secret away,
I find the only thing that’s left is my wrecked and tortured soul.
But guess what?
Nothing’s safe.
The club can take that too.

This is the first in the Miami Hush Club series.

Burned (#7 Fever) by Karen Marie Moning (Jan 20)
★ VBB Recommendation ★ 

Jan-20MacKayla Lane and Jericho Barrons return in Burned, the latest novel in the blockbuster Fever series from Karen Marie Moning.
 
It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing. 
 
MacKayla Lane would do anything to save the home she loves. A gifted sidhe-seer, she’s already fought and defeated the deadly Sinsar Dubh—an ancient book of terrible evil—yet its hold on her has never been stronger.

When the wall that protected humans from the seductive, insatiable Fae was destroyed on Halloween, long-imprisoned immortals ravaged the planet. Now Dublin is a war zone with factions battling for control. As the city heats up and the ice left by the Hoar Frost King melts, tempers flare, passions run red-hot, and dangerous lines get crossed. Seelie and Unseelie vie for power against nine ancient immortals who have governed Dublin for millennia; a rival band of sidhe-seers invades the city, determined to claim it for their own; Mac’s former protégé and best friend, Dani “Mega” O’Malley, is now her fierce enemy; and even more urgent, Highland druid Christian MacKeltar has been captured by the Crimson Hag and is being driven deeper into Unseelie madness with each passing day. The only one Mac can depend on is the powerful, dangerous immortal Jericho Barrons, but even their fiery bond is tested by betrayal.
 
It’s a world where staying alive is a constant struggle, the line between good and evil is blurred, and every alliance comes at a price. In an epic battle against dark forces, Mac must decide who she can trust, and what her survival is ultimately worth.

This is book 7 in the Fever series.

Click here for full reading order.

The Prince (a Gabriel’s Inferno novella) by Sylvain Reynard (Jan 20)

Jan-20

The unveiling of a set of priceless illustrations of Dante’s Divine Comedy at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence exposes Professor Gabriel Emerson and his beloved wife, Julianne, to a mysterious enemy.

Gabriel may have acquired the illustrations only a few years ago, but unbeknownst to him, they were stolen a century earlier from the ruler of Florence’s underworld.

Now one of the most dangerous beings in the city is determined to reclaim his prize and exact his revenge on the Emersons–but not before he uncovers something disturbing about Julianne…

This is the prequel in the Florentine series.

Reading Order: The Prince | The Raven

Three Brothers by Nicole Williams (Jan 20) 

Three Brothers coverI grew up with three brothers. They weren’t tied to me by blood, but our connection went beyond genetics or bearing the same last name. Our connection was forged the summer I turned thirteen, the summer my mom ended her life and left me in the custody of John Armstrong, a man I’d never met. Packing all I owned in a couple of boxes, I left the familiarity of the big city and headed west to Red Mountain Ranch, set in a lonely valley outside of Jackson Hole.

Nothing was as it seemed at Red Mountain—it didn’t take long for me to figure that out. John was kind to me but distant, as if he was afraid to let anyone get too close. His three teenage sons had their own devices for keeping love as far away as they could. The eldest distracted himself with cheap relationships that had a shelf-life of one night. The middle son threw himself into the rigor of running a ranch, and the third wielded cruelty and mind-games in his quest to keep people from getting close.

Time has gone by, and I’ve spent those years trying to forget the brother I’d fallen for—the biggest mistake of my life.

Finally, I’ve moved on. Finally, I’m back. But what I didn’t realize was that running away from the wrong brother meant I’d also run away from the right one. The one who’d been there for me all along, waiting in his brother’s shadow for the day I either would or could move on.

But a decade is a long time to wait. Has the brother I should have chosen all of those years ago moved on too? Am I about to discover that my biggest mistake wasn’t falling in love with the wrong brother, but failing to return the love of the right one sooner?

Does unrequited love have an expiration date?

I’m about to find out.

This is a standalone sweet romance.

Kaleidoscope Hearts by Claire Contreras (Jan 22)

Kaleidoscope Hearts coverHe was my older brother’s best friend.  He was never supposed to be mine.  I thought we would get it out of our system and move on.  One of us did.  One of us left.  Now he’s back, looking at me like he wants to devour me. And all those feelings I’d turned into anger are brewing into something else, something that terrifies me.

He broke my heart last time.

This time he’ll obliterate it.

Saving You by Kelly Elliott (Jan 22)

saving youWe were best friends since as early as I could remember. We grew up together. We were next door neighbors. We shared each other’s deepest secrets. When I was thirteen, we made a pact: if we were still single by the time we were 30, we’d marry each other.

Today was my thirtieth birthday. I was single. I knew he was single too.

But we were no longer best friends, and a part of me knew that he hated me.

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Kyland (Sign of Love, Taurus) by Mia Sheridan (Jan 25)

Jan-25

Dirt poor. Hillbilly. Backwoods hick. Mountain folk. 

Tenleigh Falyn struggles each day to survive in a small, poverty-stricken, coal mining town where she lives with her sister and mentally ill mother. Her dream of winning the college scholarship given to one student by the local coal company and escaping the harshness of her life, keeps her going.

Kyland Barrett lives in the hills, too, and has worked tirelessly—through near starvation, through deep loneliness, against all odds—to win the Tyton Coal Scholarship and leave the town that is full of so much pain.

They’re both determined not to form any attachments, but one moment changes everything. What happens when only one person gets to win? When only one person gets to leave? And what happens to the one left behind?

Kyland is a story of desperation and hope, loss and sacrifice, pain and forgiveness, but ultimately, a story of deep and unending love.

This is a standalone Sign of Love novel (NA romance), inspired by Taurus.

Pre-Orders

(Click images to buy or for more info)

★ Visit THIS PAGE for the full list of releases! ★

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New Reviews
Must Read Recommendation

Jan-20Burned (#7 Fever) by Karen Marie Moning

The next installment in the Fever series is out tomorrow and I absolutely loved it!!! It’s primarily told through Mac’s point-of-view, although we experience many other perspectives. It’s action-packed, intense and sexy as hell. We see Barrons, Ryodan, Dani, and others too and once again, she leaves us wanting the next book now, as the story continues to surprise us with every twist and turn.

USA Today: Read an excerpt | Read my review

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BOOK SALES BANNER REV

Current sales list for Amazon U.S. Click on image to purchase; click here to search my reviews.

Deal of the Week

$0.99When We Collide by A.L. Jackson $0.99 

This book  you guys! One of my absolute favorites. It’s such an emotional, gut wrenching tear jerker and it’s beautifully written. This is a story of love and loss, a second chance romance of two people going through a world of hurt to find each other again. At less than a dollar, it truly is a must read… just remember to bring the tissues!

Also, make sure to check out Lost to You, Take This Regret and If Forever Comes – all listed below in the sales section. It’s another amazing, heart wrenching series.

★ ★ ★ VBB Recommendations ★ ★ ★

These are the books I’ve personally read and enjoyed.

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Ongoing Recommendations

2015 favorites 2015 favorite singles 6star books new recommendations new REV
Happy Reading!!! ♥
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Review: Burned (#7, Fever) by Karen Marie Moning

My Thoughts

Burned scorches with fierce intensity, suspense and sexiness

5stars

My Thoughts

burned cover feverIt’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing.

MacKayla Lane would do anything to save the home she loves. A gifted sidhe-seer, she’s already fought and defeated the deadly Sinsar Dubh—an ancient book of terrible evil—yet its hold on her has never been stronger.

When the wall that protected humans from the seductive, insatiable Fae was destroyed on Halloween, long-imprisoned immortals ravaged the planet. Now Dublin is a war zone with factions battling for control. As the city heats up and the ice left by the Hoar Frost King melts, tempers flare, passions run red-hot, and dangerous lines get crossed.

Seelie and Unseelie vie for power against nine ancient immortals who have governed Dublin for millennia; a rival band of sidhe-seers invades the city, determined to claim it for their own; Mac’s former protégé and best friend, Dani “Mega” O’Malley, is now her fierce enemy; and even more urgent, Highland druid Christian MacKeltar has been captured by the Crimson Hag and is being driven deeper into Unseelie madness with each passing day. The only one Mac can depend on is the powerful, dangerous immortal Jericho Barrons, but even their fiery bond is tested by betrayal.

It’s a world where staying alive is a constant struggle, the line between good and evil gets blurred, and every alliance comes at a price. In an epic battle against dark forces, Mac must decide who she can trust, and what her survival is ultimately worth.

My Review

As first published on USA Today

Fever fans, get ready. Karen Marie Moning is back, delivering the kind of spellbinding, addictive, twisted tale we love to devour. Magic and madness, intrigue and illusion, passion and power, sexual tension and more sexual tension —  Burned represents everything I love about the series. Mac, Barrons, Ryodan, Christian, Dani, Lor, Kat and so many others weave this story together, picking up where Iced left off, with Dani and Mac at a much-anticipated impasse. In an instant, Moning propels the story in an unexpected direction, which is both scary and exciting. She also explores the complicated dynamic of past relationships and the ever-shifting landscape of Dublin, as the powerful battle for dominion.

“Fire purifies and distills … Fire transforms. You must remember that when the time comes it seems only to ravage and destroy.”

One of the aspects I love about Burned is that we see more Barrons and Mac together … more of their mega-intense, superhot, set-the-world-ablaze kind of dynamic. They are always so attuned to each other, despite their constant antagonism. It’s an undeniable, fever-inducing connection that many times burns beneath the surface, between the beast that Barrons is and his “rainbow girl,” Ms. Lane.

“She’s chiffon and satin ribbons. I’m raw meat and razor blades.”

Despite the destruction of the Sinsar Dubh, its hold on Mac intensifies. Mac is the primary narrator in the book (although we also have seven other POVs), and we experience her struggles as new demons chase her and insecurities haunt her. The city she loves is under siege, and she needs to step up and fight once more. She needs to overcome the turmoil in her head and heart if she’s to again become the fierce sidhe-seer we’ve come to know and love.

“… when you fight evil every day, stare it in the face, engage it, learn to think like it, you face a choice: Be defeated by the limits of your own morality, or summon a beast in yourself that obeys none.”

In addition, in the terrible aftermath of the Hoar Frost King, there are new mysteries to unravel and solve before the world is sucked into darkness. Villains who made me shudder with their sheer brutality and creepiness. And past evildoers who return to fuel widening unrest. All of this, of course, while battles for power escalate and new characters emerge to threaten the already volatile faction of badasses.

And yes, yes, yes, oh yes, we get some more of that thrilling, rousing sexual tension for which Moning is renowned — you’ll have to read it to see exactly what and whom I refer to!

“Two wolves stand in this room, with a complicated past and an uncertain future, their lips a breath apart, and I’m not sure if they’ll kiss or kill each other.”

All in all, Burned is a book that shouldn’t be missed. Thrilling, suspenseful, sexy — it has all the right stuff to delight the most ardent of Fever fans.

“… revenge is a devil you don’t want to worship. In destroying your enemy you become it.”

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Reading Order and Links

Burned is the seventh book in the Fever series. Two more books are expected: Feverborn and Feversong.

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