In My Mailbox Monday

In My Mailbox Monday

June 28th – July 4th

Happy Monday! We had another great week of new books showing up on my front porch! One book is one that I have been waiting for forever, and I’m so happy it’s finally here!

The first thing I got during the week was my Book of the Month box! I decided to go a thriller/mystery route this month, hence the three books I chose! My main book was 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard. I was intrigued by the synopsis and thought “why not?”. I’ve been anticipating the release of Riley Sager’s new book, Survive the Night, and could not pass up on the $10 addition to my cart! The last book, Pretty Little Wife, sounded good, so I also added it. I’m excited to read each of these and can’t wait to see what they’re all about!

This stack is a conglomeration of books I read via Kindle and wanted paper copies, and ones I just wanted. I read the Wicked Trilogy last month and needed it on my shelves! I was hoping to get it when the JLA Shop opened last week, but there were issues and by the time I could get on, everything was literally sold out. The Blood is Love is the second book in a duology and it was released July 1st. I wanted the physical copy to go with the first book. While I waited impatiently for delivery, I ended up reading it on my Kindle. It did not disappoint! Bright Midnight was released earlier in the year and I bought the ebook, but then it got pushed down my list by all the other books I’ve bought. I’ll get to it eventually, but wanted the physical copy to add to my Karina Halle shelf!

THIS IS THE ONE I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!!!!! I read an ARC of this book before it was released last year and I LOVED it. It’s a fun YA fantasy that has great food imagery in it and made me fall in love with one of the deadly sins. The second book comes out later this year and is going to be New Adult and I am stoked for it! Anyway…This is the Fairyloot edition and when it first dropped, I wasn’t part of the Fairyloot club yet as I was on the waitlist. December 2020 I got an email saying January 21 I will be part of Fairyloot’s monthly boxes and I was ecstatic. FL said that early 2021, they would have this in their Fairy Trove restock and I waited and waited; thinking that FL and I had different ideas of what “early 2021” meant. Then, an announcement finally came and this was going to be the first day of the restock! I set an alarm and many reminders on my phone, waited for the email, and then finally bought it! Fast forward to July 1 and it finally came! I am blown away by how beautiful it is. The black edges, the stencils, the cover (not pictured is a foiled image on the hard cover under the sleeve). FL is doing a similar thing with the second book when it releases and you can bet I will buy it!

I’m very pleased with the goodies I got this week! I don’t know what I’ll get this coming week, as I don’t have anything planned, but who knows! The 13th I go to Vegas and then San Diego and plan on hitting up the Little Free Libraries in the areas…I may need a new suitcase just for books. Yikes!

Book Reviews

Black Sunshine Book Review

I was the monster under your bed.”

Karina Halle – Black Sunshine

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis (from back of book)

All Lenore Warwick wants for her 21st birthday is to hang out with her friends, finish her second year at Berkeley with flying colors, and maybe catch the eye of a hot musician playing a show at a club that she can now (legally) get into.
Unfortunately, fate has other plans for her.
A week before her birthday, she’s kidnapped by the brooding and dangerous stranger with cold eyes and a lethal touch, who has been stalking her on San Francisco’s fog-shrouded streets. Absolon “Solon” Stavig isn’t your average criminal though. He’s a centuries-old vampire who’s caught between wanting to kill Lenore and wanting to save her.

You see Lenore, too, is a vampire.
She just doesn’t know it yet.

Taken by a pair of vampire slayers when she was just an infant, Lenore was raised never knowing her true nature. All Lenore knows is that she has (normal) parents who love her, that she’s exceptionally smart, and she’s squeamish around blood. But once she turns twenty-one, she’ll fully turn into a vampire, and Solon hopes he’ll be there to guide her, opening her eyes to her deepest hunger…both sexual and otherwise.
But this turning can’t be kept a secret. Soon both slayers and vampires are hunting Lenore, with only Solon and his unpredictable motley crew of vampires to save her.
If they don’t kill her first.

My Thoughts

When Karina announced this book, I was SOOOOO excited! I’ve read a handful of her books and her paranormal type ones are my favorite. This book did NOT disappoint. Vampires, sex, and plot…what more could you need?

Things I loved:
– There weren’t really any characters I disliked. I was iffy on Absolon at first but quickly fell in love with him once I got to know him more. Lenore has quite the backstory and I am here for it! Her parents are intriguing and I would have liked to see more from them.
– The character connection to the Experiment in Terror series…that was a fun easter egg!
– I liked the vampire/witches plot. I would love to see more about witches (I think this is supposed to be a standalone..hint hint Karina…we’d love more!). It was interesting how Lenore fit in with witches/vampires and I liked the origin story that Karina created for Vampires.
– The steam! Karina writes great smut and I love the added bonus of this book having vampires! One of my favorite things to read (besides Fae… I like what I like).
– The emotion..when Lenore was feeling something, I was feeling something. KH does a great job building up a character’s emotions and making the reader feel them too. When Lenore was sad, I was sad. When she was pissed, so was I, and so on. KH writes strong female leads and I always transport myself into their shoes. The writing lends itself to this and I am always pleased with KH’s style!

Things I Didn’t Love:
– I felt the climax of the story was a tad rushed. We had all this build up about Skarde and who he is, and then the climax happened and it was over in the blink of an eye.
– I want to know more about Jeremias. He was a huge plot point (in my opinion) and I barely know anything about him. If this really is a standalone book, the lack of closure with him has left me a bit empty.
– I would have loved more exploration into the beast side of Absolon. It reminded me a lot of Ryder from The Fae Chronicles, and I wanted (needed?) more! It was a good concept and the back story was interesting for why he was like that.

Take this with a grain of salt! Some of these are just preference! Overall, I loved this book and REALLLLLLYYY hope that this turns into a series!