Friday, September 22, 2017

Bi Pride

Since September is apparently Bisexuality Visibility Month (and this week is bi week!), I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite reads with bisexual characters, as well as books on my TBR that I can't wait to read! :D

Of those I've read:

I loved most of these, and really enjoyed the rest! Wild Beauty is a forever fave, and along with Gentleman's Guide, is on my top ten books of 2017 list. Little & Lion was also amazing, and I loved how sexuality was such a big topic in the story. Santino Hassell's books are SO GOOD, and I love that most (if not all) of his characters are queer. He's one of the best in the romance genre, tbh. I'm so happy with what I've read, and considering that most of these were published this year, also so glad that more books are queer-centric. And that more have bisexual characters!

Of those on my TBR:

There are definitely more books I want to read, but I just kept it to the ones on my immediate TBR. If you're looking for more books, Gay YA has a huge masterlist for bisexuality. Check it out! :)

I also wanted to quietly come out as bisexual, in the safe confines of my own blog. This is something that I have thought about often, since I felt that the label fit me best. But I wasn't sure how to do it, or when, or if I really wanted to let the few IRL people who follow me on Twitter know too. So, I'm doing it here, where maybe only a few people will see it. Where I feel comfortable doing so. I've always tried to be as transparent as possible on here, and since I'm writing #ownvoices WIPs, I wanted to share it. So yeah. 🙈

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Cover Reveal: Dark of the West

Hey y'all, I'm back with another cover reveal. YEAH YEAH, I KNOW. But this book that has been called a "heart-pounding romp" and sounds really good, so I wanted to participate in this reveal and give some exposure to a debut coming from Tor Teen in May 2018!











The Synopsis:
He was raised in revolution. She was raised in a palace. Can their love stop a war? Code Name Verity meets The Winner's Curse in Joanna Hathaway's Dark of the West, a breathtaking YA fantasy debut.

Aurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.

Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.

Doesn't it sound amazing? Also CODE NAME VERITY. That's one of my ultimate faves, so I've no doubt I'm going to love this book. Is it May yet? 

(83) Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic: Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR.

I have a goal to knock off all my 2017 NetGalley reads, and these are most of them. I've done really well at requesting these past two years, and I definitely think this is attainable. I'm so excited about all of these books, most especially Until It Fades, Girls Made of Snow and Glass, How to Make a Wish, and Daughter of the Burning City. I'm a little nervous about 27 Hours because of the problematic rep in it, but I'm still stoked for a book with 0 straight characters. But yeah, hoping to get to all of these this season!

What books are on YOUR Fall TBR? Did any of these ones make your list? Alternatively, have you read any of these yet and if so, what did you think of them? Let's talk! :)

Friday, September 15, 2017

Cover Reveal: Sweet Time by Nina Lane

If any of you have been around for awhile, you'll know that Nina Lane is a fave of mine. I fell in love with her Spiral of Bliss series, and I keep meaning to get to this one, but I haven't found the time yet. But I really enjoy doing cover reveals, so I definitely wanted to participate in this. So, without further ado!












The Synopsis:
Stuck in a boring insurance job, vivacious Mia Donovan has spent the last few years searching for her life's true path. She fills her time helping plan the wedding of her best friend to the CEO of the Sugar Rush Candy Company.  

Mia has also been trying to attract the impossibly rigid Sugar Rush security chief Gavin Knight. But for well over a year, the unyielding Mr. Knight has ignored her, despite her short skirts, tight sweaters, and patently obvious flirting. And when he finally approaches her, it's only to assess the wedding plans for potential security risks.

A former soldier, Gavin has intercepted hostile anonymous letters threatening the high-profile wedding. Determined to keep everyone safe, he's forced to work with the maddeningly sexy Miss Donovan of the thousand-watt charm and irresistible body.

Irked by Gavin's many months of disregard, Mia takes her teasing flirtations to a whole new level. But her coquettish ways are no match for the edgy, lust-fueled dominant he conceals behind his impassive exterior. And when Gavin exerts his full control, Mia discovers he can protect everything except her heart.



 New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she's that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer. 


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Falling In Love with a New Author

Santino Hassell is an author I'd known of in the romance genre, but whose books I hadn't read yet. But once I finally picked up Strong Signal (of which he co-authored with Megan Erickson), I started gobbling up his other books. There is a way that he writes that is so brutally honest. He gets what adulting is and can be. He gets the queer experience. He writes realistic characters who don't always know what the hell they're doing but who are trying so hard anyway. He writes life. And I am addicted to his stories. I've already read three others besides the first, and I've got the rest on my wishlist. So y'all, if you're a fan of romance, you WANT to read his books! TRUST ME.

Strong Signal

Aw, I enjoyed this one! I wasn't super into in the beginning, and I needed time to warm up to Garrett (he came off super assholery and a bit creepy when he raged in Kai's Twitch stream), but I came to care about him and especially Kai a lot. They both had things to work through, but their relationship felt so real and was formed on a foundation of mutual interest and a strong online connection. It was great to also see Kai working through his anxiety (more on the social side, but he definitely might have agoraphobia too). I just wish there'd been more on that, it all seemed a bit fast at the end. But still, I so appreciated this book and how it showed sexuality and mental health and finding your people through the internet.
Rating: 3.5 Paw Prints! 

Fast Connection
I'm not sure if I enjoyed this more than the first. I had a few issues with Luke and his reactions to some situations, but I liked how he was Dominic's biggest cheerleader, how he was constantly building this guy up and giving him a safe space to be himself. I just thought he self-sabotaged way too fucking much. And oh, Dominic. I hadn't been the biggest fan of him because of how much of an asshole he was to Garrett in the first book, but he's changed a lot. And he deserved to have that time to figure out his life and who he is and the messy complications that can arise from falling in love. It also doesn't hurt that he's just so damn adorable. ;) But ultimately, they both realized how so very worth it their relationship was, and I loved that they were all (Luke's kids, and Dominic's fam) able to become one big family. Can't wait to read the next book in this series!
Rating: 3 Paw Prints!

Illegal Contact

*eARC kindly provided by Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley*

This was my first Santino Hassell-only book (I've previously read two of his and Megan's), and I think I've found a new favorite author. I love his gritty, sensitive, and real stories. They are particularly needed in the romance genre, and I love that in Illegal Contact he tackled toxic masculinity and the things queer guys (especially athletes in very aggressive sports, like football) have to deal with. Gavin was a rough-edged guy with anger problems, but with a super soft heart, and a loyalty toward his fam that endeared me to him. His friendships with Simeon (heyheyhey I better get a Simeon book!) and Marcus had me all heart-eyes throughout the story. And Noah was a post-college guy trying to move on from a disastrous ex-job and ex-lover situation and figure out what he wanted in life. There was so much animosity between the two of them at first, but they formed a bond, and this relationship gave them both so much more than they'd ever expected. A love worth sharing with the world. And that ending has me hopeful for Gavin being able to be openly bisexual without losing football. He deserves both love and his career, and gah, I just love him and Noah. There was so much good here in this book, guys! And I can't wait for more Barons stories! :D
Rating: 4 Paw Prints! 

Sutphin Boulevard
I loooove the friends-to-lovers trope so much, especially in the romance genre. So I could not wait to start this as it features one, and focuses so heavily on what it means to move beyond merely friends into something more. And with Nunzio and Michael, they don't always know how to make it work. They've been best friends for twenty years, and they don't want to lose that connection. A bond super unshakable, even when it's tested to the limits. Though Nunzio is definitely a main character, it's really Michael's book. It's his struggles, and his fears and pain and failure and rock bottom. It's his redemption story. His successes and triumphs. He's not always a character easily likable, because he could be so unbelievably selfish and obtuse, but he's trying. And while he's figuring it out, he's still got precious cinnamon roll Nunzio by his side. I loved their relationship so much, how though sometimes it could be co-dependent and it took them a long time to get to the ending, it was worth seeing them fall together. SO MUCH ADORABLE AND SNUGGLING AND FEELINGS. MY HEART.
Rating: 4.5 Paw Prints! 

I think I clearly prefer Santino's solo work, but it's all so good. I can't wait to read more of his and Megan's. Have you guys read any of their books yet? If so, what did you think of them? Which one should I read next? Let's talk! :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Reading Quest Wrap-Up

I wasn't sure how much I'd be able to read for this challenge, but I managed such a high number of books. I not only completed my main quest, but I finished the knight's quest too, as well as seven of the side quests. I could have read a few more books, but I hit a reading rut last weekend. Though I'm definitely not mad at myself for that wasted time, and I'm very happy with what I accomplished! And much thanks to Aentee from Read at Midnight for hosting it!

The Mage's Quest
A Book With a One Word Title: Moxie (326 pgs)
A Book That Contains Magic: Whichwood (360 pgs)
A Book Based on Mythology: The Lightning Thief (375 pgs)
A Book Set in a Different World: An Enchantment of Ravens (297 pgs)
The First Book of a Series: Unearthed (328 pgs)

The Knight's Quest
A Book With a Verb in its Title: Hunting Prince Dracula (418)
A Book With a Weapon on its Cover: Blood and Sand (305 pgs)
A Book With a Red Cover: The Girl with the Red Balloon (288 pgs)
A Book That Has a TV/Movie Adaptation: The Sea of Monsters (279 pgs)

Side Quests
Expansion (companion novel or short story): Reunion (167 pgs)
Potions (a book concocted by 2+ authors): Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (200 pgs)
Time Warp (a book set in the past or future): All the Crooked Saints (311 pgs)
Animal Companion (a book referencing an animal in the title): Little & Lion (328 pgs) 
Multiplayer (buddy read a book): Reign the Earth (432 pgs)
Mini-Game (read a graphic novel, novella, or poem collection): Head Games (160 pgs)
Open World (read whatever you want): A Line in the Dark (281 pgs)


Now it's time to tally up my points! At the beginning, I had 10 EXP (experience points) and 0 HP (health points). And I was at Level 1.

10 books = 100 EXP
1 graphic novel = 5 EXP
5 books by marginalized authors = 100 EXP
Completed the Mage quest = 50 EXP
Completed the Knight quest = 30 EXP
Total EXP = 285

1 tweet on the hashtag = 1 HP 
# of pages read = 477 HP
Total HP = 478 

Level: 6

Did you guys participate in this reading challenge too? How did you end up doing? Did you read any of the same books as me? Let's talk! :)

Monday, September 11, 2017

From the Den: August Edition

From the Den is a feature to showcase the books that I don't post reviews for on the blog, whether I liked them or not. I read so many books that never make it onto The Fox's Hideaway, so I wanted a feature where I could still tell y'all about them. :)

This was SO GOOD. I had no doubts, as I've become quite the fan of Victoria's books and how she writes characters. While it was a revenge story with a villain as the MC, it reminds you that the world isn't made up of people who are just good or bad. It was dark and honest and full of mischief and terribleness. Pretty standard for a Schwab book, tbqh. I was a fan of the past and present chapters, of the switch in narrators (with 12-year-old Sydney creating a break in Victor's serious introspection). And I adored the two of them, plus was so intrigued by this antihero storyline. I'm so, SO glad that there is a sequel. Because while that open ending is not one that would have bothered me much if I'd read it years ago, I still wanted MORE upon finishing the book. AND YAY WE GET MORE!
Rating: 4.5 Paw Prints!


This Temperance Falls novella was very middle for me -- I liked it, I liked the characters, I liked the fact that it was an older woman and a younger man (which you don't see as often in romances). But I didn't love it. Still sinfully delicious though!
Rating: 3 Paw Prints!

I LOVED THIS. I'd always wanted a copy, and I finally grabbed one from ABE (because it seems to be sold out like everywhere else, so I did see it at B&N the last time I went). I want to give this to every parent/guardian, because they really are like bedtime stories. All about rebel and badass women. I loved learning more about some of these ladies, and discovering women I'd never known about. They were all unique in their own ways, and yeah, I just really wish every young girl growing up could be read this book. Here's to the rebel girls who have changed, who are changing, and who will change the world.
Rating: 4 Paw Prints!

Friends-to-lovers is one of my favorite romance tropes, so I was super excited to hear about this one, and I'm glad to say that I loved it! Luke and Hannah have been close friends for over a decade, and are both very attracted to one another, but she's with his stepbrother. But all bets are off once Hannah stands up for herself and breaks off with Barry completely. She deserved SO much better, and Luke was right there - a lover, a companion, a partner in all ways. Someone attentive and caring, and who loved her so much that her needs and wants became his. It was great to see the two of them working together to make their relationship worth it. Possibly my favorite of the Temperance Falls short stories!
Rating: 4 Paw Prints! 

*Physical review copy provided by Tor. Thank you!*

If I could get past the slow beginning, perhaps this book would be worth it. I've seen only a handful of negative reviews on Goodreads, so clearly it's a good story (unless I'd be one of the unfortunate souls who also didn't end up liking it). But I just don't have the time or patience for something so insufferably dense and dull right now. I can't get past the writing, and the confusing world. It's too much. I might pick this up again at a later point, since I think it was more me and not the actual book too. But it's not likely, so I'm shelving this as a DNF and moving on.

What books did you guys read in August? Have you read any of these yet? If so, what did you think of them? Let's talk! :)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

An Enchanting Yet Disappointing Story

Title: An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: September 26th, 2017!
*I picked up a copy of this at ALA Annual.

From Goodreads...
Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There's only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

My Review!
What first drew me in was the writing. It was lovely, and it fit so much better than the writing in The Cruel Prince did for that book (see here I was trying NOT to make comparisons because that’s not exactly fair, but WELL, after reading two fae stories nearly back-to-back, I can’t help it). The world was small, yes, but it was vibrant. And I was, well, enchanted. So enchanted that I didn’t seem to care that there was barely a plot until the book hit an underwhelming climax that brought one weakness of the story into stark relief.

The romance started out as insta-love, which made what happened throughout the end not as believable as the author wanted it to be. I’m not opposed to instant attraction and lust, but the readers are not given the time to feel love in the beginning, when Rook and Isobel spend over a month on his portrait. To be fair, the relationship does grow throughout the rest of the story. It moves from tense distrust and confusion to a wary friendship born of survival. So I did like that, but sometimes the love felt forced, and I wanted to see it naturally evolve.

But that was kind of the only thing this book was about. There just wasn’t much to it? A huge part of it was about Isobel’s skill for making faeries feel and think and remember, and there were some fairyland subplots weaved in-between, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. It had all the makings of a favorite but fell short when it was abruptly spun into a fanciful tale that ended in a way that did fit the book, yes, but was super dissatisfying after a fantastic start.

I enjoyed it a hell of a lot, though. The characters, especially. I really did love both Isobel, extraordinary painter who knows better than to entangle herself with one of the fair folk, and Rook, arrogant autumn prince who loves the humans more than his kind says he should. That should have made for a hate-to-love romance I could get behind, but I wish this had been longer to make it more developed. Because the road to the epilogue was dependent on their love, I needed that.

I am, however, here for more illustrated covers. This one is so pretty, and I love that it’s her and the raven, which has much significance in the story. It is so whimsical. But I’ve mixed feelings on this book as a whole. It’s sad because this was one of my highly anticipated fall reads. *sigh* It was very different from The Cruel Prince, though, which was good since I read them so close together. An Enchantment of Ravens was certainly an engrossing book, but one where the enchantment didn’t last.