Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.
I read this book over a year ago and just reread it to finish the series and it was equally as amazing the second time around.

Alina is an interesting heroine. I like her strength, although she is a bit na├»ve. She has never had any place that she belongs or that she can call home, so I can’t really fault her for her naivety. She’s really loyal and I like that she makes decisions for herself and for the good of humanity. I am glad she is the one with the power to save everyone.

Mallll! I love him! I know so many people are #TeamDarkling but that is not me! He is Alina’s best friend and so funny and adorable and always has Alina’s back no matter what. I love his fierce dedication. He’s on the top of my list of favorite ‘good boy’ book boyfriends. Mal will always find Alina. :)r

The Darkling is as mysterious and, well, dark as his name suggests. I can’t help but be drawn to him just like Alina is. I wonder if some readers compare him to Warner from the Shatter Me series but they are so different to me. Warner was redeemable; The Darkling – not so much.

I have to say I have so much love for the setting of this book. I adore the tsarist Russian-esque vibe to everything, since it is my favorite place/time period. The writing is magical and so descriptive and addicting. The romance is slightly a love triangle to me, but I definitely have my frontrunner!

I’ve already read Siege and Storm and I’m in the middle of Ruin and Rising and I’m afraid it is going to ruin me!

Favorite Swoon-worthy Quote: He was very close now, and my heart was suddenly hammering in my chest. “I’m sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now.” He lowered his head, and I felt his lips on mine. The world seemed to go silent and all I knew was the feel of his hand in mine as he drew me closer, and the warm press of his mouth.
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)
Rating: 5/5 Tar Heels!

Blog Tour: Harder by Robin York - Review + Giveaway!

In Robin York’s provocative new novel, two young ex-lovers find themselves together again in the shadow of tragedy—and an intense, undeniable attraction. 

Caroline still dreams about West. His warm skin, his taut muscles, his hand sliding down her stomach. Then she wakes up and she’s back to reality: West is gone. And before he left, he broke her heart.

Then, out of the blue, West calls in crisis. A tragedy has hit his family—a family that’s already a fractured mess. Caroline knows what she has to do. Without discussion, without stopping to think, she’s on a plane, flying to his side to support him in any way he needs.

They’re together again, but things are totally different. West looks edgy, angry at the world. Caroline doesn’t fit in. She should be back in Iowa, finalizing her civil suit against the ex-boyfriend who posted their explicit pictures on a revenge porn website. But here she is. Deeply into West, wrapped up in him, in love with him. Still

They fought the odds once. Losing each other was hard. But finding their way back to each other couldn’t be harder.

Buy Harder at:
This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This NA series was awesome. I really enjoyed the spotlight on ‘revenge sex,’ which is something that I’ve never really heard about.

Caroline is pure greatness. I loved her development that has been growing ever since the beginning of the first installment. She is strong and extremely mature in her convictions and I thought the decisions she made were the best she could have done. I really admired her so much and I definitely looked up to her.

West, West, West…he made me crazy in this book. There were times I wanted to give him a big hug but then times when I wanted to slug him in the face! Unlike Caroline, some of the decisions he made were really immature but I loved when he grew up. He had so many new responsibilities and I was really proud of him and his small ears. :)

As I said before, I hadn’t really heard of revenge sex before reading this book and I loved the spotlight on it. It’s an awful thing and I cannot believe it is legal in so many states. Something must be done about it. I loved the dual POV, but sometimes I felt that the chapters were too long for me personally. The love was also more mature in this installment and I loved how they were there for each other through the hard times no matter what.

I am sad that this series is over, but maybe Frankie (West’s little sister) can get a book when she’s all grown up? Please?

Favorite Swoon-worthy Quote: When she takes a step toward me, I grab her at the waist and pull her in. I get her right up against me, get my hands in all that hair, and I kiss her as if I’d never stopped. As if we can start right up again, right now, and pretend everything in the middle never happened. She tastes like she always did. Hot and eager, wet and sinuous. Amazing. (From an advanced, uncorrected reader copy. Quote may not appear in final copy.)
Harder (Caroline & West, #2)
Rating: 4/5 Tar Heels!

About the Author:

Robin York grew up at a college, went to college, signed on for some more college, and then married a university professor. She still isn’t sure why it didn’t occur to her to write New Adult sooner. Writing as Ruthie Knox, she is a USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary romance, including RITA-finalists About Last Night and Room at the Inn. She moonlights as a mother, makes killer salted caramels, and sorts out thorny plot problems while running, hiking, or riding her bike.

Find Robin at: