Liebster Award

Many thanks to Julie at One Book More for nominating me. Her blog is awesome, and I enjoy many of her reviews. Her recommendations have contributed to my already leaning tower of TBR. She’s already (deservingly) received multiple Liebster Awards, and I’d love to tag her back if I could. Please do check her blog out if you have not already done so.


  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers.
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions.
  • Notify your 11 nominees.
  1. How long have you been blogging?
    I’ve only been blogging since June and still a noobie, trying to learn my way around. The bookish community has been great!
  2. If you could interview on author, who would you choose?
    I would love to interview G.A. Aiken. Aiken’s The Scarred Earth Saga was a fun read, and I’m looking forward to more books from the series.
  3. Do you prefer series or standalones?
    Standalones (that are often part of a series…heh)
  1. What is your favorite genre(s)?
    I love fantasy and I love romance so fantasies with romance are close to my heart.
  2. Do you prefer to read one book at a time or more than one?
    I try to read just one but I usually end up reading a few at once, bouncing back and forth depending on what I feel like. Moody…I know (hehehe)
  1. What is your most anticipated read?
    For the Wolf – Hannah Whitten
    Whitten’s updates on Twitter are killing me. The excerpts sound sooooo good.

    Broken Web (Shamanborn #2) – Lori M. Lee
    I’m excited to find out what happens to Sirscha Ashwyn and her bff Saengo.
  1. What is the name of the last book you loved?
    Anna Richland’s His Road Home (2014) is a novella but it’s so good. I just finished rereading it. I know this is one I’ll come back to again.
  2. Do you have any blogging goals for 2021?
    I would like to continue blogging (heh…). When I first started, I really wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it past the first month, and now it’s already been nearly 6 months. (WHAT?!) I am eyeing the 1-year mark for 2021. I hope I make it!
  3. If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    I’ve wanted to go to S. Korea for a while now but I’d also like to visit Japan, specifically Todai-ji Daibutsu-den where the deer roam around freely.
  1. What’s your favorite thing to do besides reading and blogging/writing?
    Eat, sleep, watch movies/series
  2. Do you reread books?
    I’m a serial rereader. I’ve reread my favorite books multiple times. Case in point, see answer to #7. Hahaha.



  1. What song do you currently have on repeat?
  2. What books do you look forward to reading in December?
  3. What is your favorite quote from a book?
  4. If you could vacation in any book, which book would it be?
  5. What is one piece of wisdom you would like to share for new bloggers or those thinking about starting a blog?
  6. What blogging goals do you have for 2021?
  7. Coffee or tea?
  8. Although 2020 has been a difficult year, what is something that brought you a smile this year?
  9. What is a book you ended up liking more than you initially expected you would?
  10. What is a trope you are particularly fond of?
  11. Which OTP do you currently ship that others should also jump on board with?

{book birthday} Revolutionary (2020)

Colleen Cowley’s Revolutionary is out today!

Revolutionary is the final installment of The Clandestine Magic Trilogy.

Amazon | Goodreads

In this final book of the Clandestine Magic trilogy, Beatrix Harper is poised to help her sister accomplish an audacious goal. They’re on the brink of winning back a key right for typics that wizards took away—and maybe, just maybe, getting women more rights in the bargain.

But first she has to rescue Peter Blackwell, trapped in a dark-magic coma. And figure out what a former friend is plotting after nearly killing Peter and disappearing. And stay one step ahead of the vice president’s men.

What her enemies have planned is worse than she realizes. Far worse. (from Goodreads)

You can read my review here.

Revolutionary (2020)

by Colleen Cowley
Publication: November 29, 2020
Series: Clandestine Magic Trilogy #3

Get it here: Amazon
For more details (like content warnings), click here.

**I was provided a copy of the book from the author. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

**Additionally, be forewarned the following may contain spoilers for Subversive and Radical.**

While Peter’s life hangs in the balance, Beatrix is faced with the responsibilities of keeping him safe as well as ensuring Lydia can continue going to school…not to mention ensuring all the bills are still being paid despite her job being on (possibly indefinite) hiatus. Despite this, enemies are still lurking everywhere, prepared to explore any weakness they can find. However, allies can be found in unexpected places.

The distribution of power has clear consequences especially when we understand that those in power have no reason to want to share it.  If you have power, why would you give it up?  Through Subversive and Radical, we learn that wizards sit at the top of the social strata while men without magical ability occupy everything else except the bottom rung, which is set aside for women.  Women have no magical abilities (or were at least told they didn’t) and are expected to marry to fulfill societal expectations. Not only are women up against males who want them to remain in their subservient roles but wizards who would like to maintain the status quo.  The growing number of women trying to dismantle the patriarchy pose a threat to those in power, and those in power will do anything to keep it. In Revolutionary, we find out what anything means.

Cowley once again shows how she can manipulate me into believing that I know what she’s getting me into, that I know what is going on. Then, of course, she throws something into the mix that surprises me. I was her puppet, and she continually pulled my (heart) strings. (I am just too gullible.) I thought I learned my lesson from the first two books but my guesses as to what would happen next only multiplied.  Cowley had me suspicious of everyone and made me doubt my hunches multiple times. I was proud to say there was at least one thing I suspected that I was right about, and it made me feel like I finally won the magic lotto.

Of course, I cannot close this review without mentioning Beatrix and Peter. This was a relationship I rooted for since the beginning. I’m a sucker for enemies-to-lovers but Cowley brought so much complexity to this trope. Beatrix and Peter went through so much with and for each other. The ending was one they deserved. Throughout the trilogy, there has always been a question of whether what they felt for one another was genuine. Is there an answer? Yes. Is it the one you’re looking for? I can’t say. (commence evil laughter: MUAH HAHAHA.)

It is bittersweet to have The Clandestine Trilogy come to an end. I always feel this way when I finish reading books I love, and I definitely loved this trilogy. It feels more like I’m closing a chapter on my life, as though I’m saying goodbye to friends, and less like I’m simply closing a book. The trilogy is a highlight of my very bookish year.

The trilogy brought me joy in multiple ways. I greatly enjoyed the political intrigue and how it reflected real past and present political struggles. The fight for equal rights, the strategic behavior in framing the fight, and the distribution of power were all very entertaining from an analytical perspective. Pairing these with romance between two characters I grew to care about made it all the more interesting and a worthwhile read. While nothing will beat the first time reading it, I already know I will be rereading this trilogy soon.

Radical (2020)

by Colleen Cowley
Publication date: October 25, 2020
Series: Clandestine Magic Trilogy #2

Get it here: Amazon
For more details (like content warnings), click here.

**The following contains spoilers for book 1, Subversive.**

Beatrix’s desire to protect her sister against those trying to dismantle the women’s movement compels Beatrix and her best friend Ella to move forward with their plans to secretly provide magic lessons to other women. Their actions, however, may have consequences neither completely thought through.

The political intrigue continues in Radical as it becomes clear that those running the government see Lydia Harper and the women’s movement as a threat to their power. Beatrix now understands that the danger to her sister is very real. Being in this position reinforces the importance of family to Beatrix but also highlights her tunnel vision when things relate to her sister. She may often act hastily without thoroughly understanding the consequences for those around her. When magic is concerned, the resident wizard is bound to become entangled, leading to the question of how much of her relationship with Peter is Beatrix willing to jeopardize? It’s a difficult decision when they’re both people she loves (or one of them is at least).

The plot device used to connect our leads was ingenious. It was complex and constantly evolving. It put me on an emotional rollercoaster. And yet, I still loved it. I’ve been committed to Beatrice and Peter’s relationship since the beginning, and Radical wore me down emotionally. I was struggling nearly as much as Peter and Beatrix struggled with their feelings for one another, questioning if their feelings were genuine or a manifestation of their connection. One thing is for certain though, whether it is love or not, the pain from betrayal still cuts deeply.

There were moments when it felt like the magic rules kept changing. It could be construed that the rules were being made up as the story went…as if there weren’t rules to begin with. However, I think it fits well into the overall story because not much research has been done on the magical abilities of women. Anything can nearly go because no one knows much about what women can do. (Now for my PSA…) This is what can happen when knowledge is purposely withheld. If knowledge is truly power, those who get to control the narrative and determine what information is released may go a long way to protect what they do not want to be disclosed. This is why the dissemination of information is so important.

While I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as Subversive, it is still a good read–great when compared to other books I’ve read this year. It’s just that Subversive was extra good (unfair, I know). I felt like Radical taunted me, lulling me into believing I knew what was going to happen when I actually didn’t know much at all. Like its predecessor, it kept me on my toes. It also reinforced what I learned from reading Subversive: Cowley has an uncanny ability for writing endings, the rip your heart out kind (cue: Lifehouse’s “Whatever It Takes”)

Subversive (2020)

by Colleen Cowley
Publication date: September 27, 2020
Series: Clandestine Magic Trilogy #1

Get it here: Amazon
For more details (like content warnings), click here.

**I was provided a copy of the book by the author. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own. (If you’re wondering, the book is superb!)**

Peter Blackwell returns to his former hometown Ellicott Mills to serve as the town’s resident wizard, an omnimancer to help with illnesses or other problems that may arise in the town.  Requiring an assistant, he manages to steal Beatrix Harper from her current place of employment (against her wishes).  Although initially adverse to the idea, Beatrix agrees to help him, not realizing that helping Peter will require her to break the law because he didn’t exactly return home to just be an omnimancer.

There’s something to be said about reading a book you hope is going to be good and have it meet your expectations, possibly even exceed them. Reading Subversive was one of the best experiences I had all year. It felt like all my favorite genres—fantasy, romance, regency (not a real genre I know…but it’s historical but yet not and I get regency vibes from it )–melded into one.  I had a difficult time trying to figure out that something to say, how I might capture how wonderful it is in a blog post—the answer is that I couldn’t but still tried.

Cowley’s magnetic storytelling and distinct magic system had me enamored with the book and its characters. The social system and the political system are reflective of the present United States but this somewhat dystopian U.S. lags in women’s rights—women don’t have any.  Okay, they have limited rights but it feels more like no rights at all. For instance, women have a curfew, and single women are not allowed to be alone with single men or else their reputations will be tarnished. The lack of women’s rights and the privilege that comes from having magical abilities serves as a compelling backdrop to the events that unfold. The book poses multiple questions, and among them is the question of what those in power will do to stay in power. 

I immediately liked Beatrix upon meeting her.  Family is everything to her, and she is determined that her sister has opportunities she never had, even though it can lead to resentment and go unappreciated at times. She isn’t infallible.  She can be stubborn and doesn’t have a problem speaking her mind or apologizing when she has erred.

Peter is a bit harder to figure out because it isn’t immediately clear what his motivations are. What is clear, though, is that he knows exactly what he is doing when he hires Beatrix, and it isn’t because he is just a nice wizard trying to help her out.  The relationship that blossoms from their work arrangement is a complicated one and kept me turning the pages.

I cannot emphasize how much I enjoyed it!  It felt like stepping into a Jane Austen novel in an alternate 21st century made extra complicated by the presence of magic. I wasn’t always able to predict what was going to happen next. I both loved and hated how it kept me on my toes just as I thought I had it figured out. I kept wanting to skip to the end so I wouldn’t be so anxious about what was going to happen next. I didn’t but I really wanted to. It’s perfect for fans of romantic fantasy with strong, capable women fighting for what they believe in.

Romance Interlude 1.5

More high school/college romances with ample chemistry between the characters. I’ve found books by Tijan and L.J. Shen to be extra steamy (like…my glasses are fogged up from the words on this page) and infused with a lot of chemistry between the leads. Sometimes I like the male love interest and other times I’m not a fan. With the exception of Enemies, I wasn’t too big a fan of the male leads in this set of books.

Rich Prick (2020)
by Tijan
ISBN: 9781951771485
Publication: June 15, 2020
Goodreads Summary
Series: N/A but there are crossovers from other series by author

One liner: Bad boy falls for shy girl who has a crush on him.

Aspen is shy and used to being alone. She has a crush on Blaise, who is her complete opposite. Yes, he’s the rich prick the book is named after. Despite not being a fan of Blaise’s personality, I ended up liking it because Aspen and Blaise had so much chemistry with one another. While a complete a-hole to the other people around him, he at least managed to treat her well and they pushed one another to be better. Although it’s entitled a sports romance, sports is not a very large part of the book until the end. (Content warning: It’s not mentioned in the summary but there is mention of domestic abuse and child abuse.)

Enemies (2019)
by Tijan
ISBN: 9781951771096
Publication: December 1, 2019
Goodreads Summary
Series: N/A

One liner: Professional football player comes to aid of childhood friend (present day enemies) after tragedy strikes.

Dusty is head strong and works hard at trying to keep to herself. Stone is actually a pretty good guy despite our very first impression of him from Dusty’s perspective. He’s not an alpha jerk male so I was happy about that. (Hallelujah!) This was a good read and it was feels-inducing especially when tragedy hits. (Content warning: It’s not mentioned in the summary but rape is alluded to at the very beginning of the book and mentioned at the end.)

Playing with Fire (2020)
by L.J. Shen
ISBN: 9798680019214
Publication: September 15, 2020
Goodreads Summary
Series: N/A

One liner: Moody and destructive boy is drawn to the girl who tries to keep to herself because of her outward appearance.

Grace and West are individuals with tragic pasts that continue to haunt their present. With his anger issues and short-temper, I wasn’t a big fan of West. He was sweet to Grace and went to great lengths to protect her, but I still wasn’t quite sold on him. She isn’t exactly the meek person people think she is despite her willingness to allow people to make fun of her. Because of her scars, she tries to remain invisible. Grace is a resilient individual who speaks her mind but only those who know her get to see this side of her. I liked Grace, and as much as I wasn’t keen on West, I liked how he pushed her to ask more from life and to stop hiding.

{teaser blast} Bet the Farm (2021)

Staci Hart has a brand new rom-com standalone coming January 23rd!

BET THE FARM is a heartfelt, flirty story of opposites attract. You can pre-order your copy today!

Amazon | AppleBooks | Kobo | B&N | Goodreads

Olivia Brent has one summer to save the dairy farm she just inherited. But there’s one problem, and it’s not her lactose intolerance.

Jake Milovic.

The brooding farmhand has inherited exactly fifty percent of Brent Farm, and he’s so convinced the city girl can’t work the land, he bets she can’t save it in a summer. 

Determined to prove him wrong, Olivia accepts what might be the dumbest wager of her life.

His strategy to win seems simple: follow her around, shirtlessly distracting her between bouts of relentless taunting. And it’s effective—if his dark eyes and rare smiles aren’t enough to sidetrack her, the sweaty, rolling topography of the manbeast’s body would do the trick.

What they don’t know: they’ll have to weather more than each other. 

Mysterious circumstances throw the farm into disarray, and with the dairy farm in danger, Olivia and Jake have to work together. But when they do, there’s more to fear than either of them imagined. Because now their hearts are on the line, and the farm won’t be the only casualty if they fail.


“You said you’d stay out of my way.”

He took a step closer. “And I have. But I said no goats.”

“What’s your problem with them?”

“You gonna clip their hooves? How about mend all the fences when they bust out, because they’re a pack of brainless Houdinis. How about deworming? And you’ve gotta breed. You ever smelled a goat buck? Tell me, smartass—have you ever seen goats mate?”

I shook my head.

“Let’s just say there’s a reason the devil has goat horns, and you’re gonna have a front row seat to the horror shop. If you knew anything about anything, you’d never have started all this.”

Another step, his arms folding across his expansive chest, which was covered. And thank God. I couldn’t think when he was shirtless.

Part of me thought he knew it too.

“Lemme tell you something, Olivia. It’s gonna be me who deals with the fucking goats, not you. And I told you no.”

“Fine. I hereby take all responsibility for the goats. All hoof clipping, fence mending, and deworming will be done by me.”

He stared me down for a second, and whatever he was thinking tugged at one corner of his lips for that whisper of a smile. He stuck his hand out for a shake.

I took it, aware of every nerve touching his skin. The rough of his calluses. The warmth in his palms. The odd sensation of my hand being almost completely enveloped by his.

I squeezed and pumped our hands once.

“Just promise me one thing,” he said, still holding my hand.


“Let me know when you’re clipping their hooves so I can make popcorn.”

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

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Notorious (2020)

by Minerva Spencer
ISBN: 9781496732835
Publication: November 24, 2020
Series: Rebels of the Ton #1

**I was provided a copy of the book through NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

At her age, Drusilla is considered an old spinster. It also doesn’t help that she is an independent, progressive woman who has no plans to get married. Plans change, however, after her reputation is tarnished and she becomes engaged to her best friend’s brother to protect it.

The book is generally written well. There are a few surprises that made for an interesting story and allows the reader to keep pressing forward to find out what will happen next. Many readers will find this to be an enjoyable book because it does have its moments, but I do not think it was a good fit for me. I had high expectations for the novel but was left disappointed. It became difficult to finish reading when it was clear Drusilla was relegated to a supporting character in Gabriel’s story as opposed to sharing a leading role with him. He often dictated and she had to respond to him.

The summary of the book paints Drusilla as a liberal thinker, shunning the expectations of marriage and creating a group that takes up social causes. In the first half of the book, she at least seems to be that person. She banters with Gabriel while trying to hide her feelings about him. She doesn’t mind that people are aware of her ideologies. By the second half of the book, she is boxed into the role of a wife and the independent thinking woman disappears. The Drusilla we are left with is one who pines after Gabriel and who continually reminds herself that he doesn’t love her. So much unnecessary angst and frustration for the characters and the reader could have been prevented had Drusilla and Gabriel just talked to one another.

Outside of the bedroom, the most we get from Drusilla is excitement when Gabriel accompanies her to the seamstress. We see a spark of who she used to be toward the end, but by that time I was already frustrated. It was infuriating to see her turn into one of her greatest fears. She stopped standing up for herself, going so far as to take the blame for some of Gabriel’s flare ups and hardly ever demanding an apology. We don’t see her do anything about the social causes she claimed to care about despite her insistence earlier on that she be able to continue to do so should she and Gabriel be married.

Then the book shifts focus to Gabriel, despite alternating viewpoints, leaving us to accept this new version of Drusilla. If there is one thing that I dislike, it is how female leads like Drusilla go from independent to complacent as soon as they are paired up, which feels completely out of character. I would have been more understanding had I seen it coming, and the expectation was that she would change for marriage. The argument could be made that it was the time period and this should have been expected, but Drusilla verbally fought against this. After giving up on Drusilla, I found Eva becoming an interesting character but by the time she became interesting, the book was already coming to an end.

Individuals may be able to pick Notorious up and enjoy it, especially if this is a time period that is of interest to them. It is fast-paced, filled with unexpected twists. On the other hand, if individuals are looking for a strong, independent female lead promised in the summary, they may be left disappointed. I’ll be honest, I had high expectations for this book and I’m still reeling from the disappointment.

Sunshine Blogger Award

I’m very grateful to Julie from One Book More for nominating me. I greatly enjoy her reviews and hope you’ll check out her blog!


  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person(s) who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

My Answers

  1. Describe your blog in three words?
    self-indulgent, simple, rant(y)
  2. What are you currently reading??
    I just finished Happily Letter After by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland. It wasn’t bad.
  1. Do you have a favorite reading spot?
    Yes. My current favorite spot is on the sofa with a blanket and loads of pillows.
  2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? What would you do?
    Good question! I would really love to go S. Korea so I can go visit Gyeongbokgung Palace and maybe visit Seoul Tower. I’d really like to eat my way through different cities in S. Korea (hahaha…)

  1. Do you prefer series or standalones?
    This question is harder than it seems but I’ll go with standalones (that are part of series…hehehe)
  2. If you could only read three authors for the rest of your life, who would you choose?
    G.A. AIKEN – I’m a newly minted fan. I’ve greatly enjoyed The Blacksmith Queen and The Princess Knight. The Scarred Earth Saga is imbued with humor and strong female warriors. It’s a fun read.

    ANNE BISHOP – The Black Jewels Trilogy (I know it’s a series but I really just like the first three) and The Others are among some of my favorites from her.

    KRISTIN BRITAIN – I’m a fan of The Green Rider and the first couple books in the series. I’ve reread them multiple times.
  3. Which three secondary characters do you feel should have their own series?
    ALISON (Just As Long As We’re Together & Here’s to You Rachel Robinson) Maybe not necessarily a series but at least a book in the existing I’m still bitter that she never got her own book but her two best friends did.

    YSBETA LAVAN (The Midnight Bargain) needs her own book. I don’t know if Polk will write a follow-up, but I’m sure Ysbeta has accomplished some great things that we need to know about.

    WILLOW ROSENBERG (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) really needed to have her own spinoff. She was super smart and came into her own in the show. I loved her. Buffy would not have survived without her.
  1. Other than reading and blogging, what makes you happy?
    I love to eat, sleep, and watch movies/shows.
  2. What is your favorite season?
    Autumn is currently my favorite season. The leaves changing and the rain (limited though it may be where I’m at). I’m about to go make some vegetable soup to enjoy.
  1. What book inspires you?
    I really enjoyed A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow because it provided introspection: sometimes plans change and it’s okay because these changes may bring about outcomes that are better than if you stuck to the original plan.
  2. What is your go-to comfort genre?
    Romance. Definitely romance.


  1. Liza | The Inharmonious Heroine
  2. Mehsi |Twirling Book Princess
  3. Debjani | Debjani’s Thoughts
  4. Kathryn | Kathryn Books
  5. Emily | Books with Raven
  6. J | Midnight Book Blog
  7. Queenie Clem | Queenie’s Booktalk & Reviews
  8. Kimberly | My Bookish Bliss

My Questions

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What is a food/drink you want to try after reading about it in a book?
  3. What are you looking forward to as the year comes to a close?
  4. If you could be the villain for one day, who would it be and why?
  5. What is the theme song for your favorite character?
  6. What book(s) deserve a live-action series/movie adaptation?
  7. What is your least favorite trope?
  8. What is one of your favorite books that deserves more love from the bookish community?
  9. What movie/show contends with being as good as the book it is based on?
  10. What is one resolution you have for 2021?
  11. If your life were a book, what would be the title?

Princess Knight (2020)

by G.A. Aiken
ISBN: 9781496721259
Publication: November 24, 2020
Series: The Scarred Earth Saga #2

**I was provided a copy of the book through NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

The Princess Knight follows the 2nd eldest Smythe sister Gemma as she and her older sister Keeley attempt to protect the world from the treachery of their younger sister Beatrix. Gemma is the titular princess knight and struggles between remaining sidelined as sister to the queen, protecting her family, and maintaining her vows as a war monk. When temples and monasteries are pilfered and their residents murdered, Gemma decides to return to the Order of Righteous Valor to try to provide them sanctuary with her queen.

(It’s difficult to write about The Princess Knight without also comparing it to The Blacksmith Queen (The Scarred Earth Saga #1). I apologize in advance.)

The Princess Knight retains the same humor and bickering among siblings as its predecessor so I was not disappointed in the overall story. Many of the same characters return along with a barrage of new characters, making it difficult to follow at times. Strong female characters remain dominant and many more are added to the series. For instance, Ainsley Smythe is another skilled Smythe sister readers are introduced to. The long-running joke that neither Gemma nor Keeley pay attention to Ainsley and is constantly forgotten is both funny and infuriating. Being a younger sister myself, it pained me that Ainsley kept being ignored. I hope Ainsley will be the focus of the next book and that being forgotten will be an asset she will use to her advantage. I did love how the centaurs didn’t forget about her though.

Gemma Smythe was one of my favorite characters in The Blacksmith Queen so I was excited to have her as lead in the sequel. Gemma is not as likeable as Keeley, who easily opens her heart (and arms) to any individual and animal needing help. Gemma is much more suspicious of others as well as more prickly than Keeley. She remains hot-tempered and retains her single-track mind (set on destroying Beatrix). While the above was expected, Gemma’s confidence in herself seems to have eroded a little though the confidence she has in her skills remains. Her indecisive nature was the most bothersome to me because I found it to be somewhat uncharacteristic of her as compared to the Gemma in the first book. It frustrated me when Quinn (centaur and constant companion) constantly stepped in to point things out to her because of it.

There is a tenuous friendship that ultimately culminates into love but the romance isn’t present. The characters are constantly around one another but there is no chemistry beyond camaraderie to assume there could be an actual relationship beyond what ends up happening between the two. Maybe this might be addressed better in the next installments…maybe? I really hope so if they’re meant to be endgame.

The Princess Knight is for those who like humor in their fantasy and sword-wielding female characters who are not afraid to get their hands bloody. If you enjoyed The Blacksmith Queen, it is highly likely you’ll like the sequel as well. Although The Princess Knight stands well enough on its own, it doesn’t quite meet the bar set by The Blacksmith Queen. I enjoyed reading it and am ready for the next book in the series! (This might actually be a new favorite series but I’m hoping saga doesn’t mean more than 5 books.)