Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud


Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings where bloggers share which upcoming releases they’re most looking forward to. Join us every Wednesday and watch your TBR list multiply.

I feel like I’ve been neglecting the contemporary genre as of late, so today I’m featuring Debbie Rigaud’s Truly Madly Royally. This one sounds so cute and it’s giving me major Hallmark-movie vibes. I can’t way to be utterly charmed by this one. Cover is linked to Goodreads. Also I just saw the price drop on Amazon if anyone was thinking about preordering.

 width=Title: Truly Madly Royally
Author: Debbie Rigaud
Series: N/A
Pages: 304
Publisher: Point
Release Date: July 30, 2019

      “Fiercely independent and smart, Zora Emerson wants to change the world. She’s excited to be attending a prestigious summer program, even if she feels out of place among her privileged, mostly white classmates. So she’s definitely not expecting to feel a connection to Owen, who’s an actual prince of an island off the coast of England. But Owen is funny, charming…and undeniably cute. Zora can’t ignore the chemistry between them. When Owen invites Zora to be his date at his big brother’s big royal wedding, Zora is suddenly thrust into the spotlight, along with her family and friends. Everyone is talking about her, in real life and online, and while Owen is used to the scrutiny, Zora’s not sure it’s something she can live with. Can she maintain her sense of self while moving between two very different worlds? And can her feelings for Owen survive and thrive in the midst of the crazy? Find out in this charming romantic comedy that’s like The Princess Diaries for a new generation.”

Are you participating in Can’t-Wait Wednesday or Waiting on Wednesday? Is this book on your TBR? Be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll visit!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2019

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019.” Soooo many. I was able to make an only ten-book list, but I’m sure as we get closer to the second half of the year, there is going to be plenty of other books I’m going to get excited for. How am I going to be able to buy all of these?!?!?! Covers/Titles are linked to Goodreads.

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1. Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega – Claribel was one of the first authors to throw support behind the Latinx Book Club. She’s such a cornerstone in the community. I’m also a fan of her podcast Write or Die. Her debut is coming out this fall and I am so stoked for it. Isn’t the cover so charming? Note that the release date on this changed after I made this post (now scheduled for 2020).

2. Queen of Nothing by Holly Black – So I guess we are getting the third book in the Folk of the Air series sooner rather than later. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this but it’s coming and I better prepare myself emotionally.

3. Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi – I might need to do a reread of the first, but oh my gosh, my heart just about stopped when I saw the cover for this one.

4. Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri – I loved Empire of Sand so much. It’s definitely in my top 10 Favorite Adult Fantasy list that exists somewhere in my head. This is a companion novel and I could not be more excited.

5. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh – Ahdieh’s is blessing us with a vampire novel this year and I am smiling wider than I ever thought I’d smile for a vampire novel. Give it to me now.

6. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo – The day has come (or is nearly here) where Bardugo is going to give us a novel not set in the Grishaverse. I’m so excited to see what she does with this book. I’m here some very dark things about it which makes me very excited.

7. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Easily my most anticipated Adult fiction novel of the year, Silvia Moreno-Garcia impresses me with everything she writes. I have an eARC of this one and I am so excited to read it this summer, which I better do soon since the release date was moved up to July. I read it, it’s fantastic. Of course.

8. The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco – Rin Chupeco is an author I feel like I’ve neglected (I will finish The Bone Witch trilogy, I will!), but I am determined not to let this one pass me by.

9. Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud – My list is very fantasy-centered so making sure I include at least one contemporary. I’m not really into royalty-based books unless it’s in a fantasy setting, but this one sounds so darn cute, straight out of a Hallmark movie, and a black girl gets to be front and center. I am ready.

10. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin – Yes, we are back to fantasy because I keep saying this one sounds good and then I see something else about it that gets me really excited (the cover, the enemies to lovers trope) and I squeal a little.

Are these on your TBR? Which are you adding? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

Nocturna by Maya Motayne

Title: Nocturna
Author: Maya Motayne
Series: A Forgery of Magic, #1
Pages: 380
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: May 7th 2019

      “Set in a Latinx-inspired world, a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed.
      To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.
      As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.
      After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.
      But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.”

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“What did you do that would make you never want to see your own face again? What makes you bury it under all this magic?”

Maya Motayne’s Nocturna is an exciting fantasy debut that embraces its Latinx culture, seamlessly weaving it into a high fantasy setting. When Prince Alfehr “Alfie” Reyes returns home to Castallan, he has one goal in mind: find his older brother who was swallowed by a magical void months earlier. If he doesn’t succeed, he will have to accept his role as the next king, something he is not ready for. Finn Voy is used to being on her own. Her ability to change her appearance has been invaluable, after all, you can’t catch a thief if you don’t know what she really looks like. When Finn is blackmailed into stealing an item from the royal family, it places her in direct opposition with Alfie. Their encounter sets up a series of events in which the prince is forced to make an impossible decision in order to save his cousin, but in the process he unleashes a dark and ancient power. As unlikely allies, Alfie and Finn race to stop the malicious magic from reuniting to its master, an event that will bring back a darkness capable of corrupting the entire world.

Nocturna is a Latinx fantasy that doesn’t detach itself from real world history. It addresses colonialism and slavery while also creating its own unique world. Castallan was once enslaved by Englassen colonizers who believed only they deserved to wield magic. They stripped Castallans of their culture, including their language which tied them directly to their magical abilities. Castallans were able to expel the Englassen out of their land and reclaim their language and magic. Nocturna underscores the long-term consequences of colonialism and how a culture is forever altered by it even in ways that at first seem inconsequential. I loved that the magical system in the novel had so many different layers. While people had an affinity for a particular elemental type of magic, their level of skill depended on training and study. Finn and Alfie have also been gifted with propio magic that manifests in different ways but is tied to how a person perceives themselves.

I loved both Alfie and Finn as characters and they were both easy to like and root for. Alfie has grown up the second son and never imagined that the kingdom could one day be his. He is haunted by the death of his older brother Dezmin, and isn’t sure if he can live up to the same kind of expectations. Alfie is sensitive, compassionate, and despite how much he beats himself up for any dark thoughts he might have, incredibly good. It’s always so refreshing to read about a soft male character and I especially loved how important his relationship with his brother and cousin, Luka, were to him. The Alfie and Luka dynamic was one of my favorites in the novel and it’s so rare to see such an affectionate relationship between two male relatives in fiction.

I loved how brusque Finn could be, her words were often as sharp as her blade. She is also clever and crafty. Much of who Finn is is a result of the traumas in her life. She grew up poor and lost her parents at a young age. Finn was taken in by a man who enjoyed controlling her, who was possessive and abusive. When Finn was finally able to get away, she had already learned keeping people at bay was both easier on them and herself. Like thievery, it’s just another means of survival. Much of her character arc revolves around her reclaiming personal autonomy. Her dynamic with Alfie is a lot of fun to read because they are so different, but also because they make a stellar team. I loved how rewarding their interactions were and how each of them made such an significant impact on the other.

Maya Motayne’s Nocturna is a fun fantasy that functions on multiple levels both as a fictional story and narrative on Latinx history. With every page I read, I grew more and more invested in the characters and the bittersweet ending left me begging for more.

★★★★

(4/5)

The Friday 56: Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhouse

The Friday 56 is a weekly blog meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. Join us every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you’ve been reading.

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
*Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It’s that simple.

**Be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56 post in the comments!**

“The blood looks like an impact stain of some kind. Something or someone was hit hard enough to spatter. Gunshot is my first thought even though the concrete bricks are intact. I examine the wall opposite me, but they’re clean too. Which means that if the blood was back spatter from a gunshot, there’d be front spatter too. And there’s nothing.”

Rebecca Roanhouse is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Storm of Locusts, sequel to Trail of Lightning, once again packs a punch. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, I highly recommend it. I can’t wait to return to this world again. Read my review here. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “It’s been four weeks since the bloody showdown at Black Mesa, and Maggie Hoskie, Diné monster hunter, is trying to make the best of things. Only her latest bounty hunt has gone sideways, she’s lost her only friend, Kai Arviso, and she’s somehow found herself responsible for a girl with a strange clan power.
      Then the Goodacre twins show up at Maggie’s door with the news that Kai and the youngest Goodacre, Caleb, have fallen in with a mysterious cult, led by a figure out of Navajo legend called the White Locust. The Goodacres are convinced that Kai’s a true believer, but Maggie suspects there’s more to Kai’s new faith than meets the eye. She vows to track down the White Locust, then rescue Kai and make things right between them.
      Her search leads her beyond the Walls of Dinétah and straight into the horrors of the Big Water world outside. With the aid of a motley collection of allies, Maggie must battle body harvesters, newborn casino gods and, ultimately, the White Locust himself. But the cult leader is nothing like she suspected, and Kai might not need rescuing after all. When the full scope of the White Locust’s plans are revealed, Maggie’s burgeoning trust in her friends, and herself, will be pushed to the breaking point, and not everyone will survive.”