L-L-L-Little Reviews #26: A YA Fantasy, 2 Adult Romances, and a Nonfiction Book

Posted November 27, 2020 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 5 Comments

I was going to try to save these for December, but since I don’t seem to be able to make myself do any writing this month, I’m going to go ahead and get these done now.

The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins #2) by Amanda Hocking

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

L-L-L-Little Reviews #26:  A YA Fantasy, 2 Adult Romances, and a Nonfiction BookThe Morning Flower by Amanda Hocking
Series: The Omte Origins #2
Narrator: C.J. Bloom, Gregory Salinas
Published by Wednesday Books on August 4, 2020
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 384
Source: the publisher
Format: E-galley
My Rating: five-stars
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New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking returns to the magical world of the Trylle with The Morning Flower, the second book in the Omte Origins arc.
Nestled along the bluffs of the forested coast lays the secret kingdom of the Omte—a realm filled with wonder... and as many secrets.
When Ulla Tulin took her internship at the Mimirin, the only mystery she thought she'd have to solve was that of her birth parents. After a girl named Eliana gets kidnapped while in her care, Ulla knows she has to find out the truth of who Eliana really is—and the only way to do that means traveling to the Omte capital, the place she suspects her mother is from.
Ulla didn’t expect that when she arrived she would discover the identity of a Skojare man who crossed paths with her mother—a man who could very well be her father. When the head of the Mimirin learns Ulla's father is connected to the Älvolk, a secret society who believes they were tasked with protecting the First City and the only ones who know its location, he sends Ulla and Pan to Sweden where they find him living among the Älvolk. But all is not what it seems with the Älvolk and their urgent quest to find the Lost Bridge to the First City leaves Ulla feeling uneasy—and possibly in danger.

My Review:

So this is the second book in this series, and while I had planned to read it this summer right after I read the first one, The Lost City, as I keep mentioning, my reading/reviewing schedules just don’t follow my plans. This second book ended on a major cliffhanger! Fortunately I do have the third book to review already, but again, I haven’t been able to get to it as soon as I would have liked. But since it doesn’t come out till January, I do have it scheduled in next month to read in time for it’s publishing date. I plan to give it its own post too since I’ve got it scheduled in like I did with the first one. I love that this one went down to Louisiana for a lot of the story. It was neat to once again see the trolls in different areas of the world. There was a big twist, but I wondered if it was true as I read, because I just didn’t know if I could trust the different people in the story. All I know is that I’m excited to get to this one next month to find out who was telling the truth and fix that cliffhanger!

One More Round (Cocktail Series #4.6?) by Alice Clayton

L-L-L-Little Reviews #26:  A YA Fantasy, 2 Adult Romances, and a Nonfiction BookOne More Round by Alice Clayton, C.J. Bloom, Gregory Salinas
Series: Cocktail #4.6
Narrator: C.J. Bloom, Gregory Salinas
Published by Audible Originals on September 22, 2020
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Length: 02:58
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: five-stars
Buy on AmazonBuy on Audible

Length: 2 hrs 58 min
Reunite with Simon and Caroline from the New York Times best-selling Wallbanger in this fun and flirty novella - and hear Simon’s voice for the first time!
Simon and Caroline have it all. A gorgeous restored Victorian house in Sausalito, flourishing careers, an eternal spark for each other, and a cat with more attitude than is legal in the state of California.
So what’s plaguing the couple of the century? They’ve got everything anyone could wish for, except...a family.
After several close calls, Simon and Caroline are coming to terms with the idea that being parents might not be in the cards for them. They’ve been married several years, and they’re realizing it may just be the two of them, forever. Which is okay, right?
Caroline’s career has taken an intriguing turn, Simon is working more than ever, they’re fresh from a trip across the pond to see their besties Jillian and Benjamin - things are falling into place, without a baby rattle.
But just when you think your life is set, the universe gives you a...twist.
Come back in for one more round with Simon and Caroline.

My Review:

I have loved the whole Cocktail series by Alice Clayton, as well as her Hudson Valley series. I’ve even wondered as I’ve reread some of them this past year when we might see more of her books. And when I heard that there was this little novella coming out, I bought it as soon as I could from Audible. And it did not disappoint! The humor, the emotion, all of it was there. I loved all the side characters, especially Simon’s friend Neil and his ability to guess a bra size. Then when we met Mac! Um, what!!!!!! And finally the last chapter being done by Clive the cat, it was perfect as always.

Pucked Under (Pucked #4.5) by Helena Hunting

L-L-L-Little Reviews #26:  A YA Fantasy, 2 Adult Romances, and a Nonfiction BookPucked Under by Helena Hunting
Series: Pucked #4.5
Published by Everafter Romance on October 10, 2016
Genres: Adult Sports Romance
Pages: 204
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
My Rating: five-stars
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Randy Ballistic and Lily LeBlanc are head-over-heels, bed-breakingly, screaming orgasmically in love. But even they have their challenges, mostly outside of the bedroom. With the off-season coming to a close and the boys gearing up for training camp, one more weekend of fun is the perfect way to welcome the new season. The entire crew piles into vehicles and drives to Alex and Violet s Chicago cottage for a few days of relaxation and hopefully a chance for Randy to shake the anxiety that s been plaguing him. Accidental wardrobe malfunctions, typical Violet inspired overshares, and a whole lot of private time round out the perfect weekend getaway. But the moment they return to the city all of Randy s angst resurfaces with the arrival of a surprise houseguest."

My Review:

Of course I love all of this series. And other than how much I just like Alex and Violet for beginning the whole series, Randy is definitely my favorite of the boys. I also of course love the wiener dog, and it was fun seeing him find his home in this one. Of course there was the funny bit about not eating Doritos if you want to kiss someone, unless you’re mad at them. LOL. Another winner from Helena Hunting.

Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels (How to Write Kissing Books #1) by Gwen Hayes

L-L-L-Little Reviews #26:  A YA Fantasy, 2 Adult Romances, and a Nonfiction BookRomancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels by Gwen Hayes
Series: How to Write Kissing Books #1
Published by Gwen Hayes Media on April 2, 2016
Genres: Nonfiction
Pages: 96
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
My Rating: five-stars
Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes & Noble

What makes a romance novel a romance? How do you write a kissing book?
Writing a well-structured romance isn’t the same as writing any other genre—something the popular novel and screenwriting guides don’t address. The romance arc is made up of its own story beats, and the external plot and theme need to be braided to the romance arc—not the other way around.
Told in conversational (and often irreverent) prose, Romancing the Beat can be read like you are sitting down to coffee with romance editor and author Gwen Hayes while she explains story structure. The way she does with her clients. Some of whom are regular inhabitants of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.
Romancing the Beat is a recipe, not a rigid system. The beats don’t care if you plot or outline before you write, or if you pants your way through the drafts and do a “beat check” when you’re revising. Pantsers and plotters are both welcome. So sit down, grab a cuppa, and let’s talk about kissing books.

My Review:

This was a nice quick easy to read and understand book to help with my writing. Couldn’t decide whether to base my score on how much I actually use it or not, but that’s not fair. So I had to give it 5 stars because of how easy it was to read and now to hopefully put to use. If I actually get to writing. For NaNoWriMo next year I will definitely use it! Reading it the week before I was supposed to start writing was probably not the most realistic idea.

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5 responses to “L-L-L-Little Reviews #26: A YA Fantasy, 2 Adult Romances, and a Nonfiction Book

    • Lisa Mandina

      Especially this year! Of course part of my problem is adding too many books to my schedule. Thanks for stopping by!

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