The Jewel (Jewel Series #1) by Amy Ewing

I never quite understood those girls, the ones who bought into all the caretakers’ lines about how important we are, how we are fulfilling a long and noble tradition. I once asked Patience why we couldn’t come home after we’ve given birth, and she said, “You are too precious to the royalty. They wish to take care of you for the rest of your life. Isn’t that wonderful? They have such generous hearts.” I said I’d rather have my family than the royalty’s generosity. Patience didn’t like that very much.

Violet isn’t swayed by the promises of prestige that come with being bought at auction and birthing royal babies. All she can see is the last nail in the coffin that contains her freedom.

Once to see it as it is. Twice to see it in your mind. Thrice to bend it to your will. I picture what I want in my mind—a heat builds in the center of my palm at the same time the ache begins at the base of my skull. I can feel the life of the tree, a moving, shimmering thing, and I pull at it, tugging on it like strings on a marionette, drawing it out. A tiny lump forms under my palm, a green leaf peeking out between my fingers. The tree resists a little and I gasp as fire rips down my spine, and it feels like needles are being shoved into my brain—my back arches and my head spins, but I’ve experienced worse pain in my four years at Southgate, and I’m determined to succeed in this. I force myself to focus, biting my lip hard to keep from crying out, coaxing the threads of life one by one, like strands of gossamer, pulling them out, shaping them, and the lump grows bigger, until it fits comfortably inside my hand. A lemon.

I give this book a 3.7 out of 5 stars. I really liked the way that the author described the world in which they lived, as well as the different people’s role within said world. My favorite character was Violet, I like that she wasn’t fooled by the things they taught in the ‘school’ where she was pretty much raised. She took care of her friends and people in general, but she also stood up for herself and even pushed the boundaries of her captivity. I also really appreciate the Duchess as a villain. I really like that she isn’t one dimensional, while what she does has something in it for her she also thinks that by doing what she is doing it will ultimately help others as well. I’m actually looking forward to what she does and what happens to her in the future. This book is the first of a series, luckily it’s looking like it’s just going to be a trilogy (ending in sight!) and the second book The White Rose is already out!

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

“You’re being paranoid and it makes you look suspicious.” “Well, you didn’t see Black Knife drag that old man from his house because he’d used magic to hide his family while the Nightmare gang tore through the neighborhood.” Magic was forbidden in the Indigo Kingdom, and Black Knife didn’t care how it was used. Self-defense, healing, greed, murder: it was all the same to him when magic was involved. “You’re awfully sensitive about him.” Melanie didn’t have magic. To her, he was no more a threat than the police. But to others . . .

Wil wasn’t always an orphan fighting in the streets. At one time she was a princess with two loving parents, but one night changed all that and took everything she held dear.

“Help!” A shout came from down the street. I drew my daggers, sprinting toward the shout and terrified screams, and then the thud of a body slamming into a wooden fence. Ezra, one of our youngest boys, dropped to the ground. His sister, Quinn, shrieked and ran for him. Connor and Theresa stood in the street, blades drawn as they backed away from looming shadows. I skidded to a halt. Five huge men bore down on the Ospreys. Connor’s round-eyed gaze darted from the attackers to me. “Wil! Mel!” “Oh, saints.”

Now Wil fights for survival and she is determined to return to the castle and fix all that has gone wrong with her country. But things aren’t always black and white, not in life, not in fighting and especially not in love.

I give this book 4.2 out of 5 stars.  My favorite character in this book is definitely Wil, she is strong and determined and I love that she isn’t willing to sacrifice her morals to get what she wants faster. I also like that she is smart (except when she misses the obvious) and willing to fight for what she believes in. I liked the character development in this story, they learned from their mistakes… or didn’t but what they did made sense. They didn’t do anything that had me like this character would never do that, I could see them changing and growing (always nice). While some things that happened were expected, I loved how well everything flowed together and how smoothly the storyline went. BE WARNED there is a CLIFFHANGER at the end of this book! I can’t wait till the next installment to see what happens…

Unbound (Guardian Legacies #1) by Emily Goodwin

There was always sadness in his eyes, as if he was desperately waiting for something that would never come. He wasn’t threatening, like some of the other spirits I’d seen, and I’d seen a lot. I’d been a medium for as long as I could remember, being able to see and hear ghosts.

Anora has a secret, one that she’s not sure anyone will believe…

She can see things that no one else can, and ever since someone in her life died, its gotten worse

I turned slowly, expecting to see a man with a hook arm or a shaggy gray beard or something creepy, but what I saw shocked me even more. A very attractive man, who I guessed to be in his early twenties, looked at me. His eyebrows were pushed together, and his brown eyes showed concern. A five o’clock shadow covered his defined cheekbones, and his full lips were pulled into a frown. He was tall and muscular, dressed in a dark blue t-shirt, jeans, and a black motorcycle jacket. “Are you okay?” he asked.

Ethan has a secret, one that has kept him isolated from others…

Anora may be the only one he can truly open up to

But some secrets can be deadly and put the ones you love in danger…

What will Anora do in order to protect those around her?

I gave this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars. My favorite character was Anora, the main character in that she was strong and didn’t compromise her beliefs. When her whole world was turned on its head and she was being hunted she took it upon herself to learn how to protect herself. She didn’t mind her guy (Ethan) protecting her but she was also going to protect him and those around her as well. I have to say that I was very skeptical of how she and Ethan met and was suspicious of him for most of the book, he really had to earn my trust (sadly she trusted him almost right away). Sadly, I don’t want to go too much into Ethan as he is a bit of a mystery and I don’t want to ruin anything (I will tell you he is older, hot, and a badass). One thing that disappointed me about this book was its lack of twists, something would happen and I was like, I saw that coming a mile away. But it was really enjoyable in that I was really cautious reading because I kept thinking that there was going to be some big twist (it was a twist that there was no twist?). Anyway this was a pretty smooth read in that I finished it pretty fast and I really hope that there is a sequel in that while it could end where it did, I’m a bit dissatisfied (I need more!). I just feel that the characters have so much left in them to give and they have such potential in what they can still do. As I said there is an ending, so it can be read as a standalone, but I for one would love to see more from the author about these characters.