May 25, 2023

Recent Reads: Manacled by SenLinYu

Manacled by SenLinYu 
Series: Fanfiction for Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling  

Format: Downloaded FanFiction
Source: Archive of Our Own


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Harry Potter is dead. In the aftermath of the war, in order to strengthen the might of the magical world, Voldemort enacts a repopulation effort. Hermione Granger has an Order secret, lost but hidden in her mind, so she is sent as an enslaved surrogate to the High Reeve, to be bred and monitored until her mind can be cracked.

Fanfiction for Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling.
Words: 370,256
Trigger warnings - rape, attempted rape, violence, torture, murder, mass murder, physical abuse, mental abuse, this is a very dark read.

I have never been into Fanfiction, but I kept hearing about this Draco/Hermione retelling. I finally signed up for an Archive of Our Own account and picked it up. I was so happy that I could download it and email it over to my Kindle in full. I was immediately inthralled by the story and never wanted to put it down. The story broke my heart multiple times but I absolutely loved it.

This fanfic starts at the end of the war, only now, Voldemort has won and all of the characters are pretty much dead. Hermione finds herself in a dark dungeon left to wither away. Suddenly she is pulled out, learns all her friends are dead, and that she will now be a surrogate in the wizarding re-population project. During her initial medical checks, they all realize that she has blocked and locked away memories; memories that the Dark Lord think will help him scoop up the last of the Resistance. And so...Hermione is gifted to Draco, who is his normal antisocial, mean, bully self. 

In the orginal books, I always had a soft spot for Draco. I think a lot of people did. Yes, he was a pain a lot of the time, he was spoiled, but his parents were creepy and rude, and he never felt loved. So during this read, I again felt those things and was really drawn to this Dramione offering.  

From the beginning, I was dubbing this a Harry Potter retelling with a Handmaids Tale theme and concept, and it is certainly that, but so much more. 

I want to leave this as spoiler free as possible - but here are some important notes. This read is not for the faint of heart, there is a lot of violence, some of it graphic, there is rape, also pretty graphic... You will hate main characters like you have never before hated them. Umbridge - still very evil, but you will also want to throat punch Harry, Ron, and the Order. You will swoon over Draco, even when he is being a dick, because he is misunderstood and trying the best he can. 

The fic, starts in 'modern' time with Hermione pulled out of her captivity, and you are with her for a number of months as she lives with Draco. As she starts to recover memories, there are short dreams and flashbacks. The the fic takes a turn and completely goes into full Flashbacks and there are a number of chapters before eventually popping back into the now. It seems like a lot, and you WANT so badly to see how understanding these flashbacks make Hermione feel about her situation, but trust me ... wait it out, read it slowly and when you pop out on the otherside you will be in tears with her. 

I adored everything about this read. It was so lovely. I am going to re-read it. Once you get through the Flashbacks you will want to as well and see if you can pick up on things in those beginning chapters. 

Another wonderful thing is that each chapter has notes - breaking down if there were quotes from the books, adding fan art links, and any other information readers might find useful. 

If you were a fan of Harry Potter, but wanted more adult versions of the slow burn love stories, and were a fan of Draco already, this could be for you. Do not take the trigger warning lightly though, this is a very dark read and could turn your stomach. 

May 21, 2023

Building the Book Pile #432

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Another weekend halfway over ... this weekend I have done stuff in the garden to prepare for planting and just had some time to relax, which is very nice. I read a very length Harry Potter fanfiction this past week, I loved it, and thought it would pull me out of my reading slump. It might have had the opposite effect. Oh well still working on it. 

What are you reading these days? Any fun hobbies you have at the moment?

Stay Well

Coming up on the Blog

Recent Reads: Manacled by SenLinYu (adult, fanfiction)

Books Received Recently...   
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If you are interested in supporting my ability to stay awake and read please consider dontating - Coffee  is appreciated ... Ko-fi

Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

May 18, 2023

Spicy Series Review: The Vicious Lost Boys by Nikki St. Crowe

The Vicious Lost Boys by Nikki St. Crowe

Publisher: Blackwell House LLC
Format: Ebooks available on Kindle Unlimited

AUTHOR NOTE: This series is a reimagining of Peter and Wendy. Characters have been aged up for this darker, grittier version. If you like your enemies to lovers romance with hot, ruthless, morally gray love interests, you’ll enjoy this series. You can expect hate kissing, fighting, bickering, and ‘touch her and I’ll unalive you’ vibes. 

Series Rating

The Never King, Book 1

Goodreads Synopsis: 
The stories were all wrong — Hook was never the villain.

For two centuries, all of the Darling women have disappeared on their 18th birthday. Sometimes they’re gone for only a day, some a week or a month. But they always return broken.

Now, on the afternoon of my 18th birthday, my mother is running around the house making sure all the windows are barred and the doors locked.

But it’s pointless.

Because when night falls, he comes for me. And this time, the Never King and the Lost Boys aren’t willing to let me go.

The Dark One, Book 2

Goodreads Synopsis: 
I spent most of my life feeling dead inside -- until I met Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.

It wasn't until Pan and Neverland that I finally felt alive.

But things are not all full of magic and sunlight on the island. There's something darker and more sinister haunting the forest.

And worse, the fae queen and Captain Hook are ready to fight for control of Neverland and they will stop at nothing to get what they want. Including using the one thing Pan never thought he wanted or needed -- me. I'm a descendant of the Darling family and now I belong to him and the Lost Boys.

War is brewing -- can the Never King get his shadow back and assume his rightful throne? And if he does, where will I fit?

Or will all of Neverland be in jeopardy right along with my dark, twisted heart?

Their Vicious Darling, Book 3

Goodreads Synopsis: 
The Dark One has finally accepted me…just in time for everything to change. Because Vane’s brother, The Crocodile, has just arrived on Neverland soil and he’s not alone. He’s brought with him members of the royal Darkland family and they want Vane’s Death Shadow back at any cost.

Of course, Peter Pan, Vane, Kas and Bash, they’re all familiar with war. But war isn’t easy when love is on the line.

I know those vicious Lost Boys would do anything to protect me. But what if I’m not the one that needs saving?

As power shifts on the island and shadows are claimed, all five of us have to let go of who we were, if we have any chance of becoming who we are destined to be.

The Fae Princes, Book 4

Goodreads Synopsis: 
I thought Peter Pan was a myth and Neverland a fairytale. A story spun by my mother who had lost her mind a long time ago.

But there was no denying the overwhelming shadow cast by Peter Pan when he was standing in my house.

Pan took me captive to Neverland and I somehow found my place among him and the Lost Boys.

I’ve never looked back.

Now I’m entangled right alongside him in a war we can’t seem to escape. We thought we had defeated our enemies.

We thought we could finally have our happily ever after.

But there was one enemy we never saw coming.

A fairy who has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

The fairy with golden wings and a dark, twisted heart.

She wants Peter Pan and the island and she’ll stop at nothing to have both. Including destroying anyone who stands in her way, even her own flesh and blood.

The Vicious Lost Boys series begins as a struggle. Darling Girls - taken on their 18th birthdays to Neverland by Pan, and Winnie is skeptical of this, but she is about to turn 18. So when Pan does come for her, she is surprised and panicked. All she knows is that Darling women come home mentally broken and she will do anything to avoid that. 

The first book of the series is very much a seduction story, Winnie trying to win over Pan and the Lost Boys, and trying to figure out what they need from her. The books that follow are more about found family as lovers so there is a lot of spice and moral grey in this series. The overall focus becomes Winnie with 4 men, Pan, Vane, and the Fae boys - Kas and Bash. We shift from the abduction to shadows and magic, and then all out war. 

I liked this series, yes it was very spicy, but the story was also an interesting reimagining of Pan and Wendy, and the characters were interesting all in their own ways. Was the writing perfect, no, but they were fast -paced and you could run right by issues. I had a lot of emotions reading and that was the enjoyable part. The characters made me want to scream in anger, I was frustrated, I swooned for the romance... if you could call it that. I think overall this was just a run adaptation overall. 

There are a lot of triggers though, here are some: Child Abuse, Violence & Gore including blood and bones, Drugs & Alcohol abuse, Death, Murder, Kidnapping, Slut shaming, Sexually explicit scenes, Emotional Abuse, Physical and Mental Abuse...

There aren't a lot of things that I won't read, so this series was ok for me, but it might not be for you. It certainly falls in the DARK erotica category. The only really bothersome for me was the slut shaming - it persisted throughout the books and the amount of times the word wh*** was used was far too many, even after they were 'together' and that one irks me. 

They all end on a cliffhanger - so be prepared for that. I flew through books 1-3 in February and then had to wait for book 4 to be released at the end of March. Now I am impatiently awaiting the next series about Roc, Hook... and Wendy. YES THAT WENDY.

May 16, 2023

Early Reader Review: Julieta and the Romeos by Maria E. Andreu

Source: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Julieta and the Romeos by Maria E. Andreu
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date:  May 16, 2023



Goodreads Synopsis: 
You've Got Mail meets a YA Beach Read with a bookish mystery at its heart in the newest rom-com from Maria E. Andreu. The ideal next read for fans of Emily Henry, Kasie West, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Julieta isn't looking for her Romeo--but she is writing about love. When her summer writing teacher encourages the class to publish their work online, the last thing she's expecting is to get a notification that her rom-com has a mysterious new contributor, Happily Ever Drafter. Julieta knows that happily ever afters aren't real. (Case in point: her parents' imploding marriage.) But then again, could this be her very own meet-cute?

As things start to heat up in her fiction, Julieta can't help but notice three boys in her real life: her best friend's brother (aka her nemesis), the boy next door (well, to her abuela), and her oldest friend (who is suddenly looking . . . hot?). Could one of them be her mysterious collaborator? But even if Julieta finds her Romeo, she'll have to remember that life is full of plot twists. . . .

From the author of Love in English comes a fresh take on love and romance, and a reminder to always be the author of your own life story.
Julieta is a young writer with her heart set on a writing career post graduation and college. It is the summer and she was invited to a writing program in the city and her focus is being disturbed by boys. Oddly enough, this summer there are three boys on her radar and she isn't sure which one will give her the book-romance 'happily ever after'. That isn't the only thing going on this summer though, she also feels like something is going on with her best friend, her parents aren't as lovey as they used to be, and there seems to be downturn at their family restuarant. 

This book is set after the pandemic, and highlights a number of things that happened during that time. The isolation, the school from home, the hardship on families and locally owned small businesses. It did a really good job setting that stage if you lived through it as most of us have. I am not sure if it will be as applicable in later years but as a new release I think it will be received well. 

Jules is a good main character, albeit a bit dense and oblivious at times. I felt like there were a number of times that things were right in front of her and she was too naive to notice or just too dense to understand. She was very stubborn but had such strong focus for someone this age. She helped her family and took her schooling seriously. I think that for someone this age, these are strong qualities but I am not sure how relatable they are. I know very few teens that have this type of determination and drive. 

The story overall was cute. I think that the focus on the romance only to find out that not everything is picture/storybook- perfect is a wonderful thing to convey. I think at this age we all want happily ever after but that is often not the case, life is messy and things are not always as they seem. 

If you are looking for a good teen romance, with a lot of will-they/won't-they, this could be a fun book to pick up. It was cute and fun and it had me laughing and also slightly yelling at Jules for her stubborness, but overall it was a good read.

May 14, 2023

Building the Book Pile #432

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Happy Mother's Day to all the mommas today. I hope you have a lovely day. 

I was off this past week, and did a lot of chores and project that we had been working on. Re-building out the garden beds with some weed block in the aisles, fencing part of the yard off, mowing, doing some click-lock flooring in a bathroom we are putting in... I also did a little reading. 

I am currently very into a fanfiction titled Manacled by Senlinyu on Archive of Our Own. It is a retelling of the ending of the Harry Potter series where Voldemort's army wins and now the Order is no more. It gives Harry Potter universe meets Handmaid's Tale vibes  -  It is very dark so WARNING there... but so far I am on into Flashbacks and loving it. 

There are a number of things I still need to read but I am trying to break them up with things that I am really into ... i.e. graphic novels, fanfiction, spicy novellas etc. 

What are you reading these days?

Stay Well

Coming up on the Blog

Early Reader Review: Julieta and the Romeos by Maria E. Andreu (YA)

Series Review: Vicious Lost Boys by Nikki St. Crowe (Adult, Spicy)

Books Received Recently...   

Picked up a Bargin book at BAM to complete my hardback set - Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell (Simon Snow #3) 

Have you missed anything lately?

If you are interested in supporting my ability to stay awake and read please consider dontating - Coffee  is appreciated ... Ko-fi

Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

May 10, 2023

Waiting on Wednesday: Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood


Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
Publisher: Berkeley
Publication Date:  June 13, 2023

Why I Am Waiting:
These romance books have really been hitting the mark for me and so I am super excited for another STEMinist book from Ali Hazelwood. 

May 7, 2023

Building the Book Pile #431

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Hii happy May. I am taking a break from a TBR but I will post my re-cap soon... mostly becuase I am not reading a lot and my TBRs aren't going well at all... feeling defeated my reader friends.

This week, i tried my go to reading slump method and picked up some graphic novels from Netgalley to read. They were lovely and I even read a romance that I got from Kindle Unlimited too! So there is some movement. I still have a number of review/tour books to get through though and those are daunting. 

I hope that your reading is going well - what are you liking right now?

I am off this next week, so I plan to read as much as I can, or listen to audiobooks while doing garden/ outside chores. 

Stay Well

Coming up on the Blog

Waiting on Wednesday post

Books Received Recently...   


Have you missed anything lately?

If you are interested in supporting my ability to stay awake and read please consider dontating - Coffee  is appreciated ... Ko-fi

Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

May 2, 2023

Blog Tour: Review - Creatures of Chaos by Ashley Brandt

Creatures of Chaos by Ashley Brandt

Series: Creatures of Chaos #1
Publisher: Blossom Spring Publishing
Publication Date:  January 1, 2023
Pages: 165

About the Book:
Life in Justice-Peace just got a little more interesting.

Casey Allen has a green thumb. Max Kinkaid is the high school football star. Debbie’s in a band. Parker is a serial-dater, and Finch is the science- whiz turned prankster. When these unlikely friends are forced to collaborate on a group project, they discover their talents go beyond their high school personas.

Casey can call the plants, growing and twisting them to her satisfaction. Nicholas Finch commands the animals, and Parker Watts can summon the fiercest of storms. Max Kinkaid has dominion over the four winds, and Debbie Fairfield can rock your world, literally!

Are these five an evolved species of human or the legacies of the gods?

Hunted by greedy scientists, these clever teens combine their extraordinary gifts to gain their freedom...but it will cost them the only lives they’ve ever known!


This was a fast-paced, short novella about teens who learn that they have powers. Everything starts off innocently enough with all the students going about their days, in different friend groups, but it all changes when they are placed together for a project and realize that they are all experiencing some weird things. We follow Casey, a girl that has the ability to help things and make them grow. She doesn't understand when is happening to her and doesn't even realize that she has a power at first. 

Since this book was a novella, everything happens very quickly. You learn about the characters right off and their relationships. They are placed together to write about nymphs and Casey realizes that there might be something more to their grouping. There were a few times that the 5 characters got a little confused for me becuase the author alternated between first and last names and it is such a short learning time. The overall plot was interesting, teens with cool powers. It was exciting and the conflict was there, both with them learning about themselves, each other, as well as the conflict with a scientist too. 

I would have loved for this to be longer format for more of this storytelling, I wanted to know more about these powers, about the characters, and about the bad-guy. I felt like it left something to be desired because it was so short. I think that novellas are wonderful to have a taste of what an author can do. I hope that this one writes more longer form to really flesh out her plots and characters - I think that would be wonderful.

If you are looking for a short, action-packed, young adult novella, this is a fun one.

About the Author

Ashley Brandt is a Paramedic and an author living in North Texas. When she isn't reading or writing, Ashley enjoys hiking, swimming and photography. Ashley is a coffee addict and spends as much time at the bookstore as possible.

Find the Author

Apr 30, 2023

Building the Book Pile #430

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Hi there - I hope you all had a great week! I had family visit for my birthday weekend. We had some fun driving around VT/NH and eating good food. It was a fun time, but I was so tired today. 

I was able to finish a book though and so that was good. My reading has been slow and non-existant recently, and that sucks... what do you do to get out of reading slumps? 
I really need to find a happy medium. I have only just barely been able to keep up with review commitments :(

Stay Well

Coming up on the Blog

Blog Tour: Review - Creatures of Chaos by Ashley Brandt (YA)

Books Received Recently...   
Have you missed anything lately?

If you are interested in supporting my ability to stay awake and read please consider dontating - Coffee  is appreciated ... Ko-fi

Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!