Blog Tour: Rise (Spelldrift: Coven of Fire, Book One) by Sierra Cross (Review & Giveaway!!)

Sierra Cross
(Coven of Fire, #1)
Publication date: June 15th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

I closed the door on magic long ago…the day it made me an orphan.
Ten years ago, the Coven of Fire sacrificed their lives—my mother among them—to hold off an overwhelming demonic force. Now it’s back.
As a poorly-paid bartender, how can any of this be my problem? But Callie, another orphan of that battle, swears I’m the key to reviving the coven. And there’s an incredibly sexy guardian stranded on my couch who’s promising to help me stop the demons and keep the veil between the realms standing.
One problem: I’ve never been able to use magic. Our local bad boy warlock assures me I have the talent, but even if I did, we don’t have enough witches to complete a coven. The only way to survive is to pull together this pack of magicborn misfits, who have more secrets than spells, into a makeshift coven.
Can we—three untrained witches, a sarcastic warlock, and an overly intense guardian—take back the city…before the demongate falls and the forces that killed my mother destroy us too?

As soon as I saw the words magic, sexy guardian, witches, and bad boy warlock in the synopsis, I instantly added Rise to my TBR. I can never resist a book about witches. 

The result? Rise is a fast paced and thrilling start to the Coven of Fire series.

My favorite aspect of Rise was the world building. I loved learning more about the witches, guardians, and warlocks. It was especially interesting to see how they all fit together with each branch serving a specific purpose (i.e. the guardians protecting the coven).

Additionally, the plot was incredibly action packed. While I found the majority of plot twists to be predictable, it didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book. I was still incredibly curious to see how everything would turn out. Would Alix find her childhood friends in time? Was Alix's magic stronger than she thought? Those were just some of the questions driving me forward! I also enjoyed the forbidden romance angle; however, I wish it was more developed. I could feel chemistry between Alix and Matt, but it wasn't as strong as I would've liked. Hopefully, in the next books it gets better. 

Now for the characters. I found the majority of them to be easy to root for and likable. Alix, the lead, is strong, sassy, and determined. Sometimes it did bug me that she wasn't always willing to listen to something she didn't believe in (i.e. when everyone kept telling her she had magical powers); however, not the biggest issue overall. I think Matt was my favorite, however. He's an interesting guy with a lot on his plate, and it was interesting to see him balance his duty to the coven with his personal wants/desires. The warlock and the other witches were fun as well. I will admit, though, that I never felt a strong connection to any of the characters. Yes, I liked them, but I feel like they weren't as developed as they could've been. For example, Alix's POV had the tendency to be very cut and dry. Not many emotions came through in my opinion. 

Regardless of my issues, I still enjoyed Rise. I look forward to diving into the sequels sometime soon! 

3.5 stars!! 

Source: eBook provided by publicist for review - thanks Giselle! 

Author Bio:
Spells and skyscrapers. Warriors and warlocks. Coven secrets and forbidden romances. Sierra Cross lives for urban fantasy, for modern magic and the bold supernatural beings who stalk our contemporary world. Her Spelldrift universe stars kickass witches and their heroic guardians, as well as vampires, shifters, mages, Fidei, and the dark demonic forces that threaten them all.



Review: Match Made in Manhattan by Amanda Stauffer

Synopsis/Cover Image from Publisher's Website
After two intense, dead-end relationships, serial monogamist Alison finds herself confused, lonely, and drastically out of touch with the world of modern dating. Refusing to wallow, she signs up for a popular dating app and resolves to remain open-minded and optimistic as she explores the New York City singles' scene. With the click of a button, her adventures begin: On one date, she's dumped before the first kiss; on another, she dons full HAZMAT gear; she meets a tattooed folk singer turned investment banker, an undercover agent who tracks illegal exotic animals, and dozens of other colorful, captivating personalities.

Giving them each her signature "pants speech"—her pants aren't coming off unless she has a real connection with someone—she desperately wants to push past the awkward small-talk phase to find true love, but finding "the one" is starting to feel impossible. That is, until she meets Luke, who is sophisticated, funny, and not to mention, hot. Alison finds herself falling for Luke harder than any guy she's dated and finally letting her walls down, but will he stick around or move on to his next match?

Match Made in Manhattan is a fast-paced, contemporary story about the struggles of dating in the digital age. Replete with online profiles, witty dialogue, and a super-supportive group of female friends, this all-too-real and relatable debut novel will have readers laughing, crying, and rooting for Alison all the way to the end.

Match Made in Manhattan combines two of my favorite bookish things - a New York City setting and the pursuit of finding the one - so it's no surprise that it ended up on the top of my TBR. I couldn't wait to see Alison jump into the New York City dating scene - would she find her Match.com soulmate or end up alone?

The result? Match Made in Manhattan is an enjoyable and witty debut, and while I didn't always love Alison, I did enjoy reading about the variety of dates she went on as well as the people she meet along the way.

Match Made in Manhattan starts off slow; however, as Alison dives into the online dating world, the pace picks up as well. While the first few chapters deal with Alison's break-up, the remaining chapters primarily focus on the individual dates she goes on/the men she meets along the way. I liked the format, especially since it included a combination of text messages and narrative. I will admit that it was sometimes hard to keep every guy straight, but it got easier as the story went on.

My favorite aspect of Match Made in Manhattan was the dates Alison went on. Each date was unique. Some of the guys were charming, funny, and sexy. Some of them were run-for-the-hill scary. Some fell in between. I enjoyed that it was never clear who Alison was going to end up with, and I also liked that Alison learned a little more about herself as the dates continued. 

Now for Alison... To be completely honest she was hard to like at times. She wasn't always the nicest person, and she had the tendency to be judgy. I do think she made some progress as the book continued, but I never felt an incredibly strong connection with her. She just wasn't my kind of character. 

Regardless, Match Made in Manhattan is an fast paced and fun read overall. I look forward to seeing what Amanda writes next. 

3 stars!!

Match Made in Manhattan is now available!

Source: eARC provided by author for review - thanks Amanda!

Buy Links: 

Author Links: 


Sunday Post/ Stacking the Shelves (29)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and focuses on new books that were received/bought/borrowed this week while the Sunday Post is hosted by the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and focuses on recapping your week. 

New Books: 

For Review: 

About That Kiss (Heartbreaker Bay, #5) by Jill Shalvis
We Were One by Elizabeth Reyes
Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan
Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
American Panda by Gloria Chao
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
See All the Stars by Kit Frick
Finding Felicity by Stacey Kade
Sanctuary by Caryn Lix
A Kiss in the Dark by Gina Ciocca
The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith
Finding the Light by Kelsey Atkins 

 Much thanks goes to Simon and Schuster, The Fantastic Flying Book Club, Netgalley, HarperCollins/Avon, Edelweiss, Elizabeth, and Random House/Blogging for Books. 


Cinderella, Necromancer by F.M. Boughan 

Thanks, F.M.! 


Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett

After reading the first book in the confessions series this past week,  I needed the next one! Didn't hurt that it was only $2.99! 

Books Read this Week: 

American Panda by Gloria Chao: Quirky as well as heartbreaking and heartwarming! I especially loved the college setting. 
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw: I had high expectations for this, and Shea didn't not let me down one bit! Eerie as well as suspenseful, The Wicked Deep is perfect for fans of witches, curses, and stories of love as well as lost. Can't wait to talk more about this one in March! 
Rise by Sierra Cross: An intriguing series opener. Witches, warlocks, and the like are always something I find interesting, and that wasn't any different here. I just wish there was more development in some areas. 
Thrive by Aly Martinez: Link to my review below. 
Lost for You by Jayne Frost: Link to my review below. 
Wicked Charm by Amber Hart: Second DNF of the year :( I'll be summarizing my thoughts on Thursday! 
Confessions of an Angry Girl (Confessions, #1) by Louise Rozett: Another #BeatTheBacklist success! I loved this so much that I immediately bought the sequel! 
Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer: I cried my eyes out while reading this! Seriously, I had all the feels. 
The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith: Another emotional read! Amber did a fantastic job of addressing the effects abuse leaves on a family. 

Posts You May Have Missed:  

Monday: I reviewed Cake at Midnight by Jessie L. Starr. 
Tuesday: I reviewed Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. 
Wednesday: I shared my Waiting on Wednesday pick and reviews Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant. 
Thursday: I reviewed Sarah Glenn Marsh's Reign of the Fallen
Saturday: I reviewed Jayne Frost's Lost For You and Thrive by Aly Martinez 

New in my Reading/Blogging/Personal Life: 

As of Monday, I'll be back to the real world of work/school so I've been enjoying my last week of freedom. It was a relatively quiet and snowy one. I ran some errands (applied for my first every passport so that was exciting!), read some books, and watched some TV. I've been re-watching Monk since it was added on Amazon Prime. I don't remember how all the episodes ended and there's some I swear I missed so it's been fun rediscovering them. I also re-watched the first two Pitch Perfect movies, and I forgot how funny they are! 

Have a great week! 

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