Month: September 2019

Romanov by Nadine Brandes

Author: Nadine Brandes
Published: May 7, 2019
337 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The history books say I died.
They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them, and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are to either release the spell and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya has only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction to Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her.

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

Kim’s Review:

This is the second book of Brandes that I’ve attempted and the first that I’ve read all the way through. The problem that I had in Fawkes came out a little in Romanov but thankfully not enough for me to DNF it. It’s honestly my only real criticism. Brandes has a habit of writing books that need a prerequisite. She throws in details about magic and culture that have no context and I automatically felt like I was missing something important. As I said, I felt that a little in Romanov but not as bad. I’ve also studied the last Romanovs so I understood the historical context. Brandes seemed to try to stick as close to history as possible and I liked that a lot.

The unfortunate side effect was that the Romanovs’ boring lives in Ekaterinburg and Tobolsk bled through into the story and there were times that I wanted things to move a bit faster. However, I liked her portrayal of the family and of the Bolsheviks. I believed every word and action and I would be the least bit surprised if it all happened exactly like in the book. I really liked this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction. It’s also safe for teens to read, but due to the slow pacing, I’d save it for older teens.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Author Spotlight: S. Faxon

Today I bring you an author spotlight for S. Faxon. She has one novel out now and another one due out next month!
















Growing up in San Diego, S. Faxon always kept her eye on the horizon. Determined to experience adventure, S. Faxon left her home in California to attend university in New York City. While there, her imagination took flight and the characters in her world came to life on the page. She completed writing five full length original novels while receiving her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at St. John’s University over a period of four years. Her stories take place in the same fictional world and revolve within twenty years of each other. Minor characters in some of her stories appear as main characters in others. S. Faxon believes that, like in real-life, everyone is connected and has a unique story worth telling.

S. Faxon’s first published novel, The Animal Court is available in paperback and e-book format on Amazon. In her writing career, she has completed fourteen full-length original novels and has seven more in the works. To learn more about the creative projects of S. Faxon, visit her website

S. Faxon is currently an administrator at an internationally acclaimed museum in her hometown, San Diego. In her previous career, she was an administrator in a human rights advocacy nonprofit at Columbia University in New York City, where she assisted in regional-political, social development programs in countries throughout the world. S. Faxon’s greatest desire is that her words provide for her readers an escape from their daily grind of nine to five.

The Animal Court

Published: October 7, 2017
358 Pages

The Animal Court transports you to a country on the verge of collapse. Realizing that he has been blinded by the advisors in his court, the country’s king turns to his brothers for aid, but rivalry among royal blood proves to provoke old hatreds. One crusader for the people remains, but as the only lady within the king’s court, no man is willing to listen. The infuriating stagnation in progress beckons the crusader Gertrude to retreat to her idyllic country life, if only to hide in the comforting arms of her own skeletons. However, she knows that unless she can help enact rapid and drastic changes to tame the beasts within their government, the country she loves will be lost to the animal court.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US:

Amazon UK

Foreign & Domestic Affairs

To Be Published: October 2019

Twenty years have passed since the failed revolution. Though iron hands fell to quell the passions of the masses, the fate of Vitenka is in jeopardy once again. 

Whispers from abroad and shadows in their court threaten to dismantle all that the king and queen labored to rebuild. While mourning the unexpected death of their youngest son,  Breyton and Gertrude are faced with the impossible decision of prioritizing their family or their thrones. With the eyes of their nation upon the royal couple, will the challenges that brought them together now tear them and their beloved Vitenka apart? Will the foreign and domestic affairs prove to finally usurp the great Malleus reign?

Contact S. Faxon:
Instagram @s_faxon


First Line Friday #125

Today’s First Line Friday is a thriller I need to read:

I often wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t seen her car that day.


When Joe Lynch stumbles across his wife driving into a hotel car park while she’s supposed to be at work, he’s intrigued enough to follow her in.

And when he witnesses her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he knows he ought to intervene.

But just as the confrontation between the two men turns violent, and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe’s young son has an asthma attack – and Joe must flee in order to help him.

When he returns, desperate to make sure Ben is OK, Joe is horrified to find that Ben has disappeared.

And that’s when Joe receives the first message . . .

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

I now want to share a friend’s review of Lies. Yami has a Facebook Page called A Bookworm’s Thoughts where she shares her reviews.  This is what she thought of Lies:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It kept me on the edge of me seat! This book was hard to put down. I just had to know what was going to happen next to the main character, Joe.

I felt so bad for Joe for all this craziness that was going on in his life! And the twist to this book! I did not see that coming. The writer did such a good job with that twist. Sometimes, there are authors who write a twist to their ending to give you this shock feeling but instead it makes no sense. Like you wonder why did they even wrote that. Well, that was not the case in this book. That twist did its job, lol. I was like “Wait, whaatttttt?”

I will definitely recommend this book to people who enjoy thrillers and being on the edge of their seat!

Yami’s Facebook page is here: Give her a look and a ‘like’!