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Old 06-27-2020, 03:20 AM   #2431
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And for the price of an email address, Mikolos can be had free via bookfunnel.

https://www.facebook.com/rubylionsdr...08543286000960
Unless I'm missing something... I haven't even had to pay that price
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:42 AM   #2432
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I have noticed a few folks upthread liking some of Lindsay Buroker's books, and I've read and liked a couple myself, although I haven't yet read this current freebie...

Sinister Magic is the first in Buroker's Death Before Dragons series and it's free at Kindle US and UK right now.

Kindle US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084TVCCK2
Kindle UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B084TVCCK2

Spoiler:
Quote:
I’m Val Thorvald, and I’m an assassin.

When magical bad guys hurt people, I take care of them. Permanently.

This doesn’t make me popular with the rest of the magical community—as you can tell from the numerous break-ins and assassination attempts I’ve endured over the years. But thanks to my half-elven blood, a powerful sword named Chopper, and a telepathic tiger with an attitude, I’ve always been able to handle my problems with aplomb. Maybe some cursing and swearing, too, but definitely aplomb.

That changes when my boss is afflicted with a mysterious disease, a government agent starts investigating me, and a godforsaken dragon shows up in the middle of my latest job.

I’ve taken down vampires, zombies, and ogres, but dragons are way, way more powerful. And it doesn’t look like this one is going to like me.

Worse than that, he wants to use his magic to compel me to do his bidding, as if I’m some weak-minded minion.

That’s not going to happen. I’d die before being some dragon’s slave.

But if I can’t figure out a way to avoid him, save my boss, and get rid of the government spook, I’m screwed. Or dead. Or screwed and dead. And that’s never comfortable.

Pick up Sinister Magic today to see if I make it. Even if you don’t care about me, I promise the tiger is cool.
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Old 06-28-2020, 12:28 PM   #2433
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Old 06-28-2020, 03:34 PM   #2434
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The Bride Test (Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang on sale for $1.99
Spoiler:
From the USA Today bestselling author of The Kiss Quotient comes a romantic novel about love that crosses international borders and all boundaries of the heart...

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he's defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can't turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn't go as planned. Esme's lessons in love seem to be working...but only on herself. She's hopelessly smitten with a man who's convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme's time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he's been wrong all along. And there's more than one way to love.


Kobo

Google Play

Apple Books

Amazon


FWIW one of my favorites from 2019 (Geez, was it only last year this came out? Time has no meaning.)
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:47 PM   #2435
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Weekly Report:

Read:
  • Trancehack (Magic Born #1) by Sonya Clark (A/5 stars)
  • Witchlight (Magic Born #2) by Sonya Clark (B+/4 stars)
  • Firewall (Magic Born #3) by Sonya Clark (A-/5 stars)


Purchased:
The Ruby Lionsdrake books were the box set. Turns out I already had book one as a freebie from a few years ago which I'd forgotten about.
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Old 06-29-2020, 12:21 AM   #2436
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Originally Posted by library addict View Post
Weekly Report:

Read:
  • Trancehack (Magic Born #1) by Sonya Clark (A/5 stars)
  • Witchlight (Magic Born #2) by Sonya Clark (B+/4 stars)
  • Firewall (Magic Born #3) by Sonya Clark (A-/5 stars)
I loved that series. Sonya Clark also wrote a fantastic contemporary romance called Good Time Bad Boy, but hasn't published anything for 5 years now. I hope she's doing all right.
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Old 06-29-2020, 02:04 PM   #2437
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The Talon of the Hawk is the third in Jeffe Kennedy's Twelve Kingdoms series. It has dropped to $1.99 at Kindle US, not at Kobo US, at least as of now.

link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ONTR57A

Spoiler:
Quote:
Three daughters were born to High King Uorsin, in place of the son he wanted. The youngest, lovely and sweet. The middle, pretty and subtle, with an air of magic. And the eldest, the Heir. A girl grudgingly honed to leadership, not beauty, to bear the sword and honor of the king.

Ursula’s loyalty is as ingrained as her straight warrior’s spine. She protects the peace of the Twelve Kingdoms with sweat and blood, her sisters from threats far and near. And she protects her father to prove her worth. But she never imagined her loyalty would become an open question on palace grounds. That her father would receive her with a foreign witch at one side and a hireling captain at the other—that soldiers would look on her as a woman, not as a warrior. She also never expected to decide the destiny of her sisters, of her people, of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Thirteenth. Not with her father still on the throne and war in the air. But the choice is before her. And the Heir must lead…
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Old 06-30-2020, 03:02 AM   #2438
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The Talon of the Hawk is the third in Jeffe Kennedy's Twelve Kingdoms series. It has dropped to $1.99 at Kindle US, not at Kobo US, at least as of now.

link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ONTR57A
Ooh, this is one of my all-time favorite books!

You do need to read the series in order (though you can probably skip the early novellas).

~~~

For those unfamiliar with the interlocking series:

The Twelve Kingdoms
0.5) Negotiation (Aug 2013) (note: this is NOT a romance)
1) The Mark of Tala (June 2014)
2) The Tears of the Rose (Dec 2014)
3) The Talon of the Hawk (June 2015)
3.01) Deleted Scene in newsletter (April 10, 2016)
3.5) Heart’s Blood (Sept 2015)
3.6) At the Beach with Andromeda and Rayfe (Oct 2015) (free short story on her website)
3.7) Rayfe’s Origin (Feb 2016) (free short story on her website)
3.9) The Crown of the Queen (May 2016) (a bridge novella labeled as a novella of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Uncharted Realms)

The Uncharted Realms
1) The Pages of the Mind (June 2016)
2) The Edge of the Blade (Jan 2017)
3) The Shift of the Tide (Aug 2017)
3.5) The Snows of Windroven (Dec 2017)
4) The Arrows of the Heart (Oct 2018)
4.5) The Dragons of Summer (Nov 2018)
5) The Fate of the Tala (Feb 2020)
6) The Lost Princess Returns (June 2020)

Chronicles of Dasnaria ~ prequel series
1) Prisoner of the Crown *(June 2018)
2) Exile of the Seas (Sept 2018)
3) Warrior of the World (Jan 2019)
3.1) Bonus Scene (Jan 2019) (free short story on her website)
*(note: while the trilogy overall is a romance and the hero is introduced in the first book, Prisoner of the Crown is NOT a romance)


The Chronicles of Dasnaria was released in-between the latter part of The Uncharted Realms series. Even though it is a prequel (set about 20 years earlier), I would recommend reading the trilogy after The Snows of Windroven if you aren't going to read in the actual, strict published order. You could also read it either before or after The Dragons of Summer. But definitely read the trilogy before The Fate of the Tala.

As I said, you could skip the early novellas if you want. Negotiation does give some insight into the sisters' mother's motivations. But Heart's Blood is basically an unrelated story simply set in one of the kingdoms.

Technically you could skip the remaining novellas as well, but they provide important story information and additional closure for the couples involved.

Since some consider the couples spoilery I've put the list with the couples in a spoiler field.
Spoiler:
The Twelve Kingdoms
0.5) Negotiation (Aug 2013) – Salena / Uorsin (note: their story is NOT a romance)
1) The Mark of Tala (June 2014) – Andromeda & Rayfe
2) The Tears of the Rose (Dec 2014) – Amelia & Ash
3) The Talon of the Hawk (June 2015) – Ursula & Harlan Konyngrr
3.01) Deleted Scene in newsletter (April 10, 2016)
3.5) Heart’s Blood (Sept 2015) – Nix & Cavan
3.6) At the Beach with Andromeda and Rayfe (Oct 2015) – Andromeda & Rayfe (originally appeared as a log post on Literary Escapism blog. Now available as a free short story on her website)
3.7) Rayfe’s Origin (Feb 2016) – Rayfe (originally a short story on her Patreon, now available as free short story on her website)
3.9) The Crown of the Queen (May 2016) – Dafne Mailloux (a bridge novella labeled as a novella of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Uncharted Realms)

The Uncharted Realms
1) The Pages of the Mind (June 2016) – Dafne Mailloux & Nakoa KauPo
2) The Edge of the Blade (Jan 2017) – Jesperanda Jepp im Kaja & Kral Konyngrr
3) The Shift of the Tide (Aug 2017) – Zynda & Marskal
3.5) The Snows of Windroven (Dec 2017) – Amelia & Ash
4) The Arrows of the Heart (Oct 2018) – Karyn af Hardie & Zyr
4.5) The Dragons of Summer (Nov 2018) – Ursula & Harlan
5) The Fate of the Tala (Feb 2020) – Andromeda & Rayfe
6) The Lost Princess Returns (June 2020) – Ivariel (Jenna) & Ochieng D’tiembo

Chronicles of Dasnaria ~ prequel series
1) Prisoner of the Crown (June 2018) – Jenna (note: NOT a romance; focuses on Jenna’s early life, horrid marriage, and how Harlan helped her escape from Dasnaria)
2) Exile of the Seas (Sept 2018) – Ivariel (Jenna Konyngrr) & Ochieng D’tiembo
3) Warrior of the World (Jan 2019) – Ivariel (Jenna Konyngrr) & Ochieng D’tiembo
3.1) Bonus Scene (Jan 2019) – Ayela (note originally exclusive to Kobo edition, now available as free short story on her website)
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:14 AM   #2439
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Thank you! I'm going to check the library, so I know if I like it.
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Old 06-30-2020, 12:30 PM   #2440
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And thank you for the list! It can get a bit confusing ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by library addict View Post
Ooh, this is one of my all-time favorite books!

You do need to read the series in order (though you can probably skip the early novellas).

~~~

For those unfamiliar with the interlocking series:

Spoiler:
The Twelve Kingdoms
0.5) Negotiation (Aug 2013) (note: this is NOT a romance)
1) The Mark of Tala (June 2014)
2) The Tears of the Rose (Dec 2014)
3) The Talon of the Hawk (June 2015)
3.01) Deleted Scene in newsletter (April 10, 2016)
3.5) Heart’s Blood (Sept 2015)
3.6) At the Beach with Andromeda and Rayfe (Oct 2015) (free short story on her website)
3.7) Rayfe’s Origin (Feb 2016) (free short story on her website)
3.9) The Crown of the Queen (May 2016) (a bridge novella labeled as a novella of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Uncharted Realms)

The Uncharted Realms
1) The Pages of the Mind (June 2016)
2) The Edge of the Blade (Jan 2017)
3) The Shift of the Tide (Aug 2017)
3.5) The Snows of Windroven (Dec 2017)
4) The Arrows of the Heart (Oct 2018)
4.5) The Dragons of Summer (Nov 2018)
5) The Fate of the Tala (Feb 2020)
6) The Lost Princess Returns (June 2020)

Chronicles of Dasnaria ~ prequel series
1) Prisoner of the Crown *(June 2018)
2) Exile of the Seas (Sept 2018)
3) Warrior of the World (Jan 2019)
3.1) Bonus Scene (Jan 2019) (free short story on her website)
*(note: while the trilogy overall is a romance and the hero is introduced in the first book, Prisoner of the Crown is NOT a romance)


The Chronicles of Dasnaria was released in-between the latter part of The Uncharted Realms series. Even though it is a prequel (set about 20 years earlier), I would recommend reading the trilogy after The Snows of Windroven if you aren't going to read in the actual, strict published order. You could also read it either before or after The Dragons of Summer. But definitely read the trilogy before The Fate of the Tala.

As I said, you could skip the early novellas if you want. Negotiation does give some insight into the sisters' mother's motivations. But Heart's Blood is basically an unrelated story simply set in one of the kingdoms.

Technically you could skip the remaining novellas as well, but they provide important story information and additional closure for the couples involved.

Since some consider the couples spoilery I've put the list with the couples in a spoiler field.
Spoiler:
The Twelve Kingdoms
0.5) Negotiation (Aug 2013) – Salena / Uorsin (note: their story is NOT a romance)
1) The Mark of Tala (June 2014) – Andromeda & Rayfe
2) The Tears of the Rose (Dec 2014) – Amelia & Ash
3) The Talon of the Hawk (June 2015) – Ursula & Harlan Konyngrr
3.01) Deleted Scene in newsletter (April 10, 2016)
3.5) Heart’s Blood (Sept 2015) – Nix & Cavan
3.6) At the Beach with Andromeda and Rayfe (Oct 2015) – Andromeda & Rayfe (originally appeared as a log post on Literary Escapism blog. Now available as a free short story on her website)
3.7) Rayfe’s Origin (Feb 2016) – Rayfe (originally a short story on her Patreon, now available as free short story on her website)
3.9) The Crown of the Queen (May 2016) – Dafne Mailloux (a bridge novella labeled as a novella of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Uncharted Realms)

The Uncharted Realms
1) The Pages of the Mind (June 2016) – Dafne Mailloux & Nakoa KauPo
2) The Edge of the Blade (Jan 2017) – Jesperanda Jepp im Kaja & Kral Konyngrr
3) The Shift of the Tide (Aug 2017) – Zynda & Marskal
3.5) The Snows of Windroven (Dec 2017) – Amelia & Ash
4) The Arrows of the Heart (Oct 2018) – Karyn af Hardie & Zyr
4.5) The Dragons of Summer (Nov 2018) – Ursula & Harlan
5) The Fate of the Tala (Feb 2020) – Andromeda & Rayfe
6) The Lost Princess Returns (June 2020) – Ivariel (Jenna) & Ochieng D’tiembo

Chronicles of Dasnaria ~ prequel series
1) Prisoner of the Crown (June 2018) – Jenna (note: NOT a romance; focuses on Jenna’s early life, horrid marriage, and how Harlan helped her escape from Dasnaria)
2) Exile of the Seas (Sept 2018) – Ivariel (Jenna Konyngrr) & Ochieng D’tiembo
3) Warrior of the World (Jan 2019) – Ivariel (Jenna Konyngrr) & Ochieng D’tiembo
3.1) Bonus Scene (Jan 2019) – Ayela (note originally exclusive to Kobo edition, now available as free short story on her website)

Last edited by sufue; 06-30-2020 at 12:31 PM. Reason: put a spoiler on the long list so the duplicate doesn't take too much room
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:27 PM   #2441
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FTR, I do think you could just read The Uncharted Realms without reading the Twelve Kingdoms. She gives enough background info for new readers. And I know not everyone is a must-read-in-order type like me.

As with any series, there are some books I loved and some I didn't.
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Old 06-30-2020, 07:00 PM   #2442
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@library addict I've been thinking of giving Nalini Singh's contemporary romances a try and I'm curious if you've read any and what you thought of them. Thanks much!
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:46 PM   #2443
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@library addict I've been thinking of giving Nalini Singh's contemporary romances a try and I'm curious if you've read any and what you thought of them. Thanks much!
Her early Silhouette titles are a mixed bag. I liked a few, others I wasn't as fond of. I wouldn't rate any of them as bad books, but they are (a) her first books and she has grown significantly as a writer and (b) category length so basically only contain one main plot. I think her biggest strength as a writer is her ability to weave multiple subplots together with large casts of characters.

That said, I think they are worth reading, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend them to start unless you are already a fan of category romances as they used to be prior to 2007. (side rant Silhouette used to publish a much more varied slate of books within the Intimate Moments and Desire lines, not every book was a suspense or about millionaire rich-but-too-often-a-complete-jerk heroes /rant). Even within the only six books she wrote for Desire there's more of a variety than we see nowadays IMHO.

FWIW, my favorites were Bound by Marriage (note I love the marriage in trouble trope) and Craving Beauty, which is the second of two books in her Kingdom of Zulheil series.
Spoiler:
The heroine was seen as the antagonist in the first book, but only because of that hero’s actions, she’d never actually done anything to deserve the label.


That brings us to her more current contemporaries: Rock Kiss and the spin-off Hard Play series.

I quite enjoyed the books in her Rock Kiss series, except the first one. I didn't hate Rock Addiction or anything, but had tons of issues with the hero. IIRC the first three books occur during the same basic time frame. She has since relabeled Rock Courtship as a novella, but it was listed as book 2 on her website for a long time and I never bothered to re-label them all; especially since it is actually longer than a few of her category length books. Rock Courtship, Rock Hard, and Rock Wedding were my favorites of that series. I liked the heroine in Rock Redemption, but had issues with the hero in that one as well.

The Hard Play series is mostly about the brothers of the hero in Rock Hard. He is an ex-rugby player, not at all part of the band the Rock Kiss series revolves around. I have enjoyed all of the books in the Hard Play series so far.

So where to start?...

If you like category romances, start at the beginning. (see my note above) Pick whichever blurb most appeals to you and voilà...

OTHERWISE

It depends if you like rock stars If the answer is yes, start with Rock Addiction. Just be advised even if you don't like that book I would keep going with the series. I know lots of readers who didn't like it, but love the rest. And also readers who loved it.

If the answer is no... how much of a completionist are you?

Rock Hard is a work place romance about the BFF of the heroine in Rock Addiction. The hero is an ex-rugby player who takes over the company where she works. There's some angst, but it is a slowburn romance. You could easily start with it and then read the Hard Play series without reading any of the other Rock Kiss books.

OR

You could start with Cherish Hard which was published much later, but is set before Rock Hard. The main characters are ones you meet as a married couple in Rock Hard.

OR

You could start with Rebel Hard which is about the BFFs of the main characters in Cherish Hard. It takes place concurrently with Cherish Hard and the heroine agrees to have an arranged marriage but decides on one wild night before meeting the man her parents have chosen for her. Hijinx ensue.

HOWEVER

All of that said the Rock Kiss and Hard Play series are really only connected by the characters as they are family or friends. There isn't a drawn out over-arching plot amongst the books as there is with her Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series. So while events in one book may be mentioned in another they each function as stand-alone stories. They have varying levels of angst, but all are filled with humor and a sense of family.

AND

Just in case you don't want to take the time to sort out all of the associated newsletter short stories...

Rock Kiss
1) Rock Addiction [Sept 2014]
1.01) Deleted Scene Rock Addiction [Sept 2014] newsletter
2) Rock Courtship [Sept 2014]
2.1) Rock Courtship Memo re: MZ Talk – David [Oct 2014] newsletter
2.2) Rock Courtship Memo re: MZ Talk – Thea [Nov 2014] newsletter
3) Rock Hard [Mar 2015]
4) Rock Redemption [Oct 2015]
4.1) Sunshine [Oct 2015] newsletter
5) Rock Wedding [July 2016]
5.1) With This Memo [July 2016] newsletter
5.3) That Lip Ring… [Dec 2019] newsletter

Hard Play
1) Cherish Hard [Nov 2017]
2) Rebel Hard [Sept 2018]
3) Love Hard [Mar 2020]


I've included the links to the newsletters since I couldn't find a page on her website for the Rock Kiss short stories. You can also get most of her newsletter stories (those up to Dec 2017) in her Newsletter Exclusives: Volume 1 set which you get when you join her newsletter.


As you can see, I do have thoughts about this

Let me know if you have any questions about a specific book.


ETA: I should say that the Rock Kiss series plots are a bit edgier than her usual fare as the series revolves around a rock band. Some of the members suffer from alcohol or drug abuse/addictions. The Hard Play series is more down-to-earth. Many of the heroes are rugby players, but while there is talk of their team and the sport can play a part of the plots etc. I would not call them sport romances.

Last edited by library addict; 06-30-2020 at 10:14 PM. Reason: more info
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Old Yesterday, 02:38 PM   #2444
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Originally Posted by library addict View Post
As you can see, I do have thoughts about this
Yes, I can tell!

Seriously, though, thanks very much for the detailed response - it is much appreciated! So, I'd quite forgotten about her category romances when I made my request (was thinking about her more recent contemps) but I vaguely remember reading at least two of them ages ago (Bound by Marriage and Secrets in the Marriage Bed). I'm interested in more substantial fare right now so I'll leave the categories for another time.

I'm a serious completionist and I have no problem with rock stars so I'll follow your reading order and start with Rock Addiction, and move on from there.

Thanks as well for the links to the side stories - that's very kind of you and will save me time hunting them down

I'm still on hold for Alpha Night but not impatient about it - I have lots to read and do otherwise while I wait

(Btw, I'm also a fan of the marriage in trouble trope (but not if it's because of infidelity), so feel free to make recommendations on these if you have more.)
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Old Yesterday, 03:44 PM   #2445
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Crush the King is the third and presumably final title in Jennifer Estep's Crown of Shards series, although there are a few hints that could lead to spin-off stories in the future. (Nothing cliff-hanger-ish though - just little hints that won't bother you if they are never picked up.)

I've quite enjoyed the three-book series, having gotten hooked by the first sentence in the first book, which for some reason really made me want to read it:

Quote:
The day of the royal massacre started out like any other. With me doing something completely, utterly useless.
I guess it's because stories often seem to start with evil omens, or momentous portents, or even just people getting bad hunches, and so the idea of a boring, banal day ending up going badly wrong made me want to read about it. And then I liked the book a lot, and also liked the next two a lot.

Anyway, Crush the King has dropped to £1.99 at Kindle UK, which is a pretty good price for a relatively new book.

link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07T428YLV/

Spoiler:
Quote:
A fierce gladiator queen must face off against her enemies in an epic battle in this next thrilling installment of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep’s Crown of Shards series—an action-packed adventure full of magic, murderous machinations, courtly intrigue, and pulse-pounding romance.

Queen Everleigh Blair of Bellona has survived the mass murder of the royal family, become a fearsome warrior trained by an elite gladiator troupe, and unleashed her ability to destroy magic. After surviving yet another assassination attempt orchestrated by the conniving king of Morta, Evie has had enough. It’s time to turn the tables and take the fight to her enemies.

There is no better opportunity to strike than during the Regalia Games, a time when warriors, nobles, and royals from all the kingdoms come together to compete in various sporting events. With the help of her loyal friends, Evie goes on the attack at the Regalia, but things don’t turn out the way she hopes. Soon, she is facing a terrifying new threat, and she will have to dig deep and learn even more about her growing magic if she has any chance of defeating her foes.

Because to secure her throne and ensure her kingdom’s survival, Evie must think like a true Bellonan: she must outsmart and outwit her enemies . . . and crush the king.
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