*Saturday Spotlight* A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy

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Title: A River of Royal Blood

Author: Amanda Joy

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Release Date: October 29, 2019

Page Count: 368 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

An enthralling debut perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone set in a North African-inspired fantasy world where two sisters must fight to the death to win the crown.

Sixteen-year-old Eva is a princess, born with the magick of marrow and blood–a dark and terrible magick that hasn’t been seen for generations in the vibrant but fractured country of Myre. Its last known practitioner was Queen Raina, who toppled the native khimaer royalty and massacred thousands, including her own sister, eight generations ago, thus beginning the Rival Heir tradition. Living in Raina’s long and dark shadow, Eva must now face her older sister, Isa, in a battle to the death if she hopes to ascend to the Ivory Throne–because in the Queendom of Myre only the strongest, most ruthless rulers survive.

When Eva is attacked by an assassin just weeks before the battle with her sister, she discovers there is more to the attempt on her life than meets the eye–and it isn’t just her sister who wants to see her dead. As tensions escalate, Eva is forced to turn to a fey instructor of mythic proportions and a mysterious and handsome khimaer prince for help in growing her magick into something to fear. Because despite the love she still has for her sister, Eva will have to choose: Isa’s death or her own.

A River of Royal Blood is an enthralling debut set in a lush North African inspired fantasy world that subtly but powerfully challenges our notions of power, history, and identity.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

INDIE BOUND

Please note: A Court of Coffee and Books receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above. All commission earned goes toward supporting and maintaining this blog.

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 About the Author

Amanda Joy

Hi! I’m a writer and bookstagrammer. I currently live in Chicago with my dog Luna.

I grew up in a family of readers. My Dad first gifted me a set of the Chronicles of Narnia and sparked my unending love of fantasy and children’s literature. Years later, my older brother gave me the Wheel of Time series, which went on to inspire me to create my own worlds. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a writer and spent most of high school staying up all night reading and writing. I studied English and Psychology at the University of Missouri, and went on to earn my MFA in Writing for Children at the New School. While at the New School, I began writing about a Princess who felt out of place in her family and was quite literally under siege in her home. That became my first novel, A River of Royal Blood.

You can find me touring the city’s coffeeshops, taking pictures of my ever expanding library, and trekking around Chicago with my dog. Follow my instagram and twitter @amandajoywrites.

(Bio provided from author’s website and Photo provided from Goodreads)

*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

Fireborne

Title: Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1)

Author: Rosaria Munda

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Release Date: October 15th 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons

Synopsis:

Seraphina meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that’s full of rivalry, romance… and dragons.

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

iTunes | Kobo | Google Books 

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Author Information

Rosaria

Rosaria grew up in rural North Carolina, where she climbed trees, read Harry Potter fanfiction, and taught herself Latin. She studied political theory at Princeton and lives in Chicago with her husband and cat.

For book recs and updates, follow her on instagram: @rosariamunda

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram 

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Tour Schedule

Check out the other amazing bloggers on the Fireborne blog tour!

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My Review

“And as she turned, it was revealed by her tread that she was fireborne.”

Y’all, this book has everything; Fireborne is a fierce and masterful debut that is sure to spark fire everywhere. There’s dragons, political intrigue, slow-burn romance (like real slow burn, the kind that makes you want to pull your hair out, but in a good way), outstanding character development, hidden identities, and so much more. Fireborne is honestly one of the best books I have read this year (and probably one of the best debuts), and is easily one of my top favorites of 2019.

Annie and Lee were such relatable and strong protagonists. Fireborne bounces between their point of views, which is one of the reasons I loved this story so much. I felt that their combined point of views really developed the story nicely, and that without both of their perspectives, it would feel like something is missing. Both characters were flawed yet delicate, and I really enjoyed seeing that in multiple ways in each character.

“I felt how those words tasted, yes sir, to a dragonlord’s son, sour and familiar, like old milk turned. And I realized that if I don’t like how those words taste, it’s up to me to do something about it. I’m done thinking from my knees. It’s time to think from my feet.”

Annie is an orphan who watched her family burn at the hands of a dragonlord. She’s one of the candidates who has a shot at making Firstrider, a position she could only dream of having. But in order to become Firstrider, she will have to fight against her best friend (and love), Lee. Overall, I thought Annie was a well-developed character. Her past horrors and present life mingle together nicely, and the readers gets a great idea of who she is as a person and a dragon rider.

“It is difficult, knowing that your choices are ones whose consequences others suffer.”

And then there’s Lee. Lee became an orphan after his family was slaughtered before his eyes. But he’s determined to prove that he can be just as great as his family, if not better. He can taste Firstrider on the tip of his tongue, a hope he has always wanted to come true, but he doesn’t want it at the cost of losing Annie. And what happens when someone from his past shockingly waltzes into his life? How do you balance a past that’s completely distant from your future? Lee learns all this the hard way, and that’s truly what builds his character. It was great to see him grow from his past mistakes and fight for a future he wants.

Bring what fury you have and I will answer it with ours.

The world building is absolutely phenomenal. The dragons are a fantastical aspect and the world is built around them, which I thoroughly enjoyed; the dragons are not there just to amuse the readers, but they fit so well into the world that it’s hard to imagine this story without them. There’s so many intricate parts that make this world function and Munda describes them all beautifully. Her writing is flawless and emotional and poetic; as the reader, I could sense the hurt and despair many civilians went through at the hands of the dragonlords and their dragons.

I cannot recommend Fireborne enough. This epic fantasy debut blew me away and set the record high for books to follow. If you love dragons and an intense, yet magnetic romance with hardships and mistakes and past trauma, then definitely read Fireborne. And read it soon, as I have a feeling you will thank yourself for reading this book earlier than later! 🙂

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Giveaway

Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1) by Rosaria Munda (US/CAN Only)

Starts: 9th October 2019

Ends: 9th October 2019

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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*Saturday Spotlight* Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

Fireborne

Title: Fireborne

Author: Rosaria Munda

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Release Date: October 15, 2019

Page Count: 448 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons

Summary:

Game of Thrones meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that’s full of rivalry, romance… and dragons.

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

INDIE BOUND

Please note: A Court of Coffee and Books receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above. All commission earned goes toward supporting and maintaining this blog.

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 About the Author

Rosaria

Rosaria grew up in rural North Carolina, where she climbed trees, read Harry Potter fanfiction, and taught herself Latin. She studied political theory at Princeton and lives in Chicago with her husband and cat.

For book recs and updates, follow her on instagram: @rosariamunda

(Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)

The Beautiful- Renée Ahdieh

42265183New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight.

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

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My Review:

“Never forget this as long as you live. Words are weapons. And nothing else matters when the Devil has you by the balls.”

I love Vampires. They are dead, heartless, and like to drink blood. Can anything be more dreamy? So I was excited to see that they are bringing back the Vampire genre again. But if this is the beginning of what’s to come, then I want no part of it.

This was the first book that I’ve read by this author. There’s a huge cult hype about her but I was very underwhelmed by this. The best thing about this book was the cover.

Not much happened in the Vampire department. I was waiting for gallons of blood to be spilled, Vampires lurking in every dark corner, and to be spooked out of my mind. None of that happened. A little here or there but nothing like I imagined.

All of the characters weren’t memorable. None of them stuck out and I felt nothing as some of them found themselves in dire predicaments. They were just so blah.

Sébastien Saint Germain showed up and was mysterious as all hell. I was waiting for him to be so swoony that I would add him to the list of fictional boyfriends. He would be right up there with King Cardan but his character was very poorly written. He was a side character at best.

The Beautiful started off promising but took a backslide into boring after a hundred pages. It never dug itself out of that hole. I was so glad when it was over. I dislike that this is the start of the Vampire genre making its way back, fingers crossed for better Vampire books in the future.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 8/26/19

I haven’t been reading that much since I started my second job but I’m going to try to find some time to read again. This is what I hope to read this week.

What are you reading?

A Dress for the Wicked- Autumn Krause

40220881Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Shy in Avon-upon-Kynt. And for eighteen years, Emmaline Watkins has feared that her future held just that: nothing.

But when the head of the most admired fashion house in the country opens her prestigious design competition to girls from outside the stylish capital city, Emmy’s dreams seem closer than they ever have before.

As the first “country girl” to compete, Emmy knows she’ll encounter extra hurdles on her way to the top. But as she navigates the twisted world of high fashion she starts to wonder: will she be able to tailor herself to fit into this dark, corrupted race? And at what cost?

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The Beautiful- Renée Ahdieh

42265183New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight.

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

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The Year They Fell- David Kreizman

40864750When a horrible tragedy unites five very different high school seniors, they discover the worst moment of your life can help determine who you really are in the powerful YA novel, The Year They Fell.

Josie, Jack, Archie, Harrison, and Dayana were inseparable as preschoolers. But that was before high school, before parties and football and getting into the right college. Now, as senior year approaches, they’re basically strangers to each other.

Until they’re pulled back together when their parents die in a plane crash. These former friends are suddenly on their own. And they’re the only people who can really understand how that feels.

To survive, the group must face the issues that drove them apart, reveal secrets they’ve kept since childhood, and discover who they’re meant to be. And in the face of public scrutiny, they’ll confront mysteries their parents left behind—betrayals that threaten to break the friendships apart again.

A new family is forged in this heartbreaking, funny, and surprising book from award-winning storyteller David Kreizman. It’s a deeply felt, complex journey into adulthood, exploring issues of grief, sexual assault, racism, and trauma.

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 8/5/19

This week is a very exciting week for books and I can’t wait to start all of these.

What are you reading this week?

Ziggy, Stardust and Me- James Brandon

36472241. sy475 The year is 1973. The Watergate hearings are in full swing. The Vietnam War is still raging. And homosexuality is still officially considered a mental illness. In the midst of these trying times is sixteen-year-old Jonathan Collins, a bullied, anxious, asthmatic kid, who aside from an alcoholic father and his sympathetic neighbor and friend Starla, is completely alone. To cope, Jonathan escapes to the safe haven of his imagination, where his hero David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and dead relatives, including his mother, guide him through the rough terrain of his life. In his alternate reality, Jonathan can be anything: a superhero, an astronaut, Ziggy Stardust, himself, or completely “normal” and not a boy who likes other boys. When he completes his treatments, he will be normal—at least he hopes. But before that can happen, Web stumbles into his life. Web is everything Jonathan wishes he could be: fearless, fearsome and, most importantly, not ashamed of being gay.

Jonathan doesn’t want to like brooding Web, who has secrets all his own. Jonathan wants nothing more than to be “fixed” once and for all. But he’s drawn to Web anyway. Web is the first person in the real world to see Jonathan completely and think he’s perfect. Web is a kind of escape Jonathan has never known. For the first time in his life, he may finally feel free enough to love and accept himself as he is.

A poignant coming-of-age tale, Ziggy, Stardust and Me heralds the arrival of a stunning and important new voice in YA.

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Tunnel of Bones- Victoria Schwab

43319657Trouble is haunting Cassidy Blake . . . even more than usual.

She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where Cass’s parents are filming their TV show about the world’s most haunted cities. Sure, it’s fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there’s true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.

When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter — and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

And if Cass fails, the force she’s unleashed could haunt the city forever.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Schwab returns to the spooky and heart-pounding world of City of Ghosts, delivering thrilling new adventures and an unforgettable spin on friendship. (Because sometimes, even psychic ghost best friends have secrets. . .)

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Slay- Brittney Morris

43723509By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”

Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?

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You Deserve Each Other- Sarah Hogle

46862557For fans of The Hating Game, a debut lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy about two unhappily engaged people each trying to force the other to end the relationship–and falling back in love in the process.

Naomi Westfield has an Instagram-perfect life, including the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family every bride dreams of being a part of. They never fight, complain, or disagree. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And they are miserably and utterly sick of each other.

Tired of contorting herself to fit the ridiculous standards demanded by Nicholas’s family, Naomi wants out of the relationship. But there’s a catch: Whoever calls off the engagement will have to foot the enormous bill for the wedding. When Naomi finds out that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of wills to see who can annoy the other into surrendering through pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.

But now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves. They’re having so much fun getting on each other’s nerves that it starts to feel like something else entirely. As Naomi discovers hidden feelings for Nicholas buried under three years of simmering resentment, she wonders if he feels the same way. Suddenly, the countdown to the wedding that may or may not come to pass feels more like a race to mutual destruction–and Naomi doesn’t want to be left alone at the finish line.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 7/22/19

This week I’m hoping to read a book for a book club, two arcs that I’ve had for over a year, a graphic novel, a novella, and a book a friend sent me. Fingers crossed for a busy reading week!

What are you reading?

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This is Where it Ends- Marieke Nijkamp

2452912310:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

 

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Small Spaces- Katherine Arden

36959639. sy475 Bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”

And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.

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When Life Gives You Demons- Jennifer Honeybourn

35795953. sy475 Sixteen-year-old Shelby Black has spent the past year training to be an exorcist. Her great-uncle Roy—a Catholic priest and Shelby’s guardian—believes she has a gift for expelling demons, and he’s put her through exorcist boot camp hell, but he still doesn’t trust her to do an exorcism on her own.

High school is hard enough without having to explain that you fight demons for a living, so Shelby keeps her extracurricular activity quiet, especially from Spencer, her cute math tutor. Secrets run in Shelby’s family, though: her mother has been missing ever since an exorcism went horribly wrong, and Uncle Roy is tight-lipped about it. But Shelby’s hell-bent on finding her mom, no matter what—even if what it ends up costing her her soul AND a date with Spencer.

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The Prince and The Dressmaker- Jen Wang

34506912Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

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Grim Lovelies- Megan Shepherd

37570566Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love. But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human. Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittora, the evil witch who spelled her into existence. That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood—and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away. If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known…but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd, Grim Lovelies is an epic and glittering YA fantasy. Prepare to be spellbound by the world of Grim Lovelies, where secrets have been long buried, friends can become enemies, and everything—especially humanity—comes at a price.

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The Lost Sisters- Holly Black

42117575. sy475 Sometimes the difference between a love story and a horror story is where the ending comes

While Jude fought for power in the Court of Elfhame against the cruel Prince Cardan, her sister Taryn began to fall in love with the trickster, Locke.

Half-apology and half-explanation, it turns out that Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal.

The Lost Sisters is a companion e-novella to the New York Timesbestselling novel The Cruel Prince, by master writer Holly Black.

 

 

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