Protogenesis by Alysia Helming reviewed by Autumn

ProtogenesisTitle: Protogenesis: Before the Beginning
Author: Alysia Helming
Release Date: March 29, 2018
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Pages: 398
Source: NetGalley ARC
Amazon | Goodreads

I was given a free copy of this book through NetGalley. This review is in no way is influenced by that factor.

When Helene Crawford’s mother seemingly dies in a fire at work, she’s sent to live in Greece with an unknown godfather. Doubtful about her mother’s death, Helene tries to search for answers while trying to assimilate to Greek culture and her new caretaker, the often unhinged Janus.

I wanted to like this, I really did, but it just didn’t work for me. The description sounded awesomely different with a mix of fantasy, romance, and Greek mythology. Add beautiful cover art and I was exited to check Protogenesis out. Unfortunately, Greek mythology and a pretty cover were not enough to make me enjoy the story.

The following points are totally spoiler-y, so avoid the rest of this review if you are going to even attempt to read this book.

1) The main character was changed from an average American girl to a typical Barbie doll.

Helene first comes across as an average American teenager with faults. After a, ahem, trip, her sight is perfect, her complexion is flawless, she’s a perfect fighter, she’s skinnier, more toned, and tanned. Helene can also understand and speak fluent Greek. She was made into a freakin’ Barbie, which she hated.

2) There were one too many love interests.

Sure, there were only two, but she fawned over them more in the first week than anything else. Not only that, but it was a horrible version of insta-love that didn’t make sense. In the end, I never truly cared about either love interest because I didn’t know enough about either of them to give a damn.

3) The Time Factor aka I think the entire book takes place over four weeks, but Helene acts like she has been in Greece for a year.

“It feels as if months have gone by since I first arrived here in Athens and started school.”

Girl, it was like one freakin’ week.

And pulled from a note on my Kindle when Helene was walking down the street and reflecting on street music or the language (I can’t remember which at this point and don’t care to go back and look to clarify):

   “It takes me back to when I first arrived here, when it sounded so foreign, so exotic. But now that I live here, it feels very familiar, as if it has become a part of me.”

   Me: “Bitch, you’ve been there like two or three weeks. One of those weeks you were on another planet.”

4) Everyone yelled at one another instead of having a conversation.

Holy crap on a cracker! Everyone yelled at everyone! Helene didn’t agree with Janus, so she yelled! He was a raging wackado, so he yelled back! Helene didn’t get what she wanted, so she’d yell! Arguments and tons of exclamation points over nothing instead of talking!

At one point Helene asks,

   ”What will I do now?”

   I really, truly didn’t care.

While just shy of four hundred pages, it felt at least double in size. At halfway through I wanted to know what was going to happen, but contemplated not finishing. The love interest should have been done differently, the pacing should have been faster, and revelations came way too slowly.

I greatly appreciate the effort and the work that must have went into researching Greek mythology and Greece itself, but I just can’t be tempted to come back to the series. Not for all the pretty covers in the world.

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Spotlight: Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Breath of FireTitle: Breath of Fire
Author: Amanda Bouchet
Series: The Kingmaker Chronicles, #2
ISBN: 9781492626046
Pubdate: January 3, 2017
Genre: Fantasy Romance


“Cat” Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat’s tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what’s a warrior queen to do when she knows it’s her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world—for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin risk sacrificing everything they’ve fought for. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom…or die trying.


Award-winning author Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England and studied French at the undergraduate and graduate levels, first at Bowdoin College and then at Bowling Green State University. She moved to Paris, France in 2001 and has been there ever since. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children, who will soon be correcting her French.

A note to readers of The Kingmaker Chronicles:

Breath of Fire comes out on January 3rd and I couldn’t be more excited about it! I hope that readers who met Cat and Griffin and followed their exploits in A Promise of Fire will be looking forward to this second installment in The Kingmaker Chronicles, and I hope that new readers will be interested in giving this fantasy romance trilogy a try. The story picks up right where A Promise of Fire left off and with a shocking moment of truth: Cat’s secrets are finally revealed to all. But with the cat out of the bag (pun definitely intended!), important plans can now form to move Thalyria toward unification under Cat and Griffin’s joint rule—plans that will certainly keep Beta Team on their toes. But while Cat’s violent past and lingering self-doubt still haunt her on a deep level, Griffin won’t let her back down from the fate she’d love to avoid. As Griffin propels her toward her inevitable destiny and Cat tries to come to terms with the prophecy that’s haunted her for eight years, readers can expect plenty of adventure and danger, more of Cat’s smart-mouthed humor, exciting Beta Team moments, and a romance that heats up to positively scorching levels. Friendships solidify into unshakable bonds, and perilous quests lead the members of Beta Team into uncharted territory where monsters, magic, and mayhem abound. With Breath of Fire, I hope that readers get swept away and caught up in the emotion and adventure as Cat and Griffin try to navigate their developing and intensely passionate relationship while also taking on the daunting and dangerous task of conquering the world. But most of all, I hope you simply enjoy the book!

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   Waking up from a deep, healing sleep reminds me of rushing toward the surface of a lake, brightness beckoning from above and bubbles fizzing all around me.
   Consciousness threads through me in a delicate weave. It’s afternoon. The air smells of bright sun, hot stone, and endless days of summer drought. Insects chirp, their droning song a parched melody, the heat so thick I could cut it with a knife. I don’t question the time of day, just which day, and I’m guessing it’s not the same day I fell asleep.    And almost died. Again.
   Under the sheet, I brush my fingers over the tender skin on my stomach, finding the raised bump of a fresh scar there. Just one more mark to join the others, inside and out.
   I look toward Griffin’s side of the bed, not surprised to find it empty and the sheets cold. He has things to do, a realm to run.
I sigh, which is absurd. I never sighed until I met Griffin.
   The indent of his head still creases the pillow, and I slide my hand into the hollow, thinking about how far we’ve come since he abducted me for my Kingmaker Magic and I fought him at every turn.
   But Griffin got more than he bargained for with me, and I still can’t bring myself to tell him the worst.
   Harbinger of the end. Destroyer of realms.
   I squeeze my eyes shut, craving the blissful avoidance of heavy sleep again. But I’m not tired anymore, and half-truths and glaring omissions fester in my belly, cold blocks of dread sitting right there under the heat of my new scar. Who I am. The dreadful prophecy. I wasn’t even truthful about Daphne’s lurking and threats, and hiding things from Griffin is exactly what landed me in this bed, injured and aching.    Griffin’s former lover knew what she was doing when she hid in the shadows and threw a knife into my gut. What she didn’t know was that I would pull it out and throw it back.
   The door opens, and I turn my head, my heart thudding at the sight of Griffin. Tall, broad, muscular but sleek, he stalks into the room like a predator, his gait balanced and sure, his glittering, gray eyes focused entirely on me. Inky hair, a hawkish nose, that stubborn jaw, and thick, black stubble make him look hard and intimidating. With his sword strapped on and his dark brows lowered, he’s a warlord on the prowl.
   I shiver. I couldn’t want him more.
   A lightning storm sizzles to life in my magic-charged veins. I look at Griffin, feel him near, and I can ignore all the terrifying things that make me want to crawl inside of myself and disappear. He stops next to the bed, and my blood simmers with heat and need. I wonder what he’ll do to me. What I’ll do to him.
   I reach for him, but Griffin crosses his arms and stares down at me from above.
   My hand hangs awkwardly in the air, and my heart hovers along with it. An awful tightness clamps around my throat, turning my voice to gravel. “I can still feel you inside me.”
   His stony expression doesn’t change, but his iron gaze dips to my bare breasts. When his eyes flick back up, they’re like frosted granite. “Have you enjoyed making a fool out of me?”
   The bottom of my stomach drops out with sickening force. I pull the sheet up to cover myself, clutching it hard to keep my hands from trembling. It doesn’t work. Adrenaline roars through me, making me shake.
   “What do you mean?” My eyes are wide, my words reedy. Guilty. It’s a good thing I’m not a gambler if this is my game face. But I’ve never had so much to lose.
   Griffin reaches out and rips the sheet from my hands and right off the bed. He holds on to it. “I think you know. Or are there too many lies to choose from?”
   I sit up, shame and anxiety splashing red-hot color all over my naked skin. At the realm dinner, Griffin vowed to uncover my secrets. I didn’t think he’d do it this fast.


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Blitz: Size Matters by Alison Bliss

Size Matters by Alison BlissTitle: Size Matters
Author: Alison Bliss
Series: A Perfect Fit, #1
On Sale: November 29, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Mass Market: $5.99 USD
eBook: $5.99 USD
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The rules of (fake) engagement . . .

Leah Martin has spent her life trying to avoid temptation. But she’s sick of low-fat snacks, counting calories, and her hyper-critical mom. Fortunately, her popular new bakery keeps her good and distracted. But there aren’t enough éclairs in the world to distract Leah from the hotness that is Sam Cooper – or the fact that he just told her mother that they’re engaged . . . which is a big, fat lie.

Sam sometime speaks before he thinks. So what started out as defending Leah’s date-ability to her judgmental mother soon turned into having a fiancée! Now the plan is to keep up the fake engagement, stay “just friends,” and make Leah’s family loathe him enough to just call the whole thing off. But Sam has an insatiable sweet tooth, not only for Leah’s decadent desserts but her decadent curves. Her full lips. Her bright green eyes. Yep, things aren’t going quite according to plan. Now Sam has to convince Leah that he’s for real . . . before their little lie turns into one big, sweet disaster.
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Blitz: Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt

Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth HoytTitle: Duke of Pleasure
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Release Date: November 29, 2016
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Series: The Maiden Lane Series #11


Bold. Brave. Brutally handsome. Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kyle, is the king’s secret weapon. Sent to defeat the notorious Lords of Chaos, he is ambushed in a London alley-and rescued by an unlikely ally: a masked stranger with the unmistakable curves of a woman.


Cocky. Clever. Courageously independent. Alf has survived on the perilous streets of St. Giles by disguising her sex. By day she is a boy, dealing in information and secrets. By night she’s the notorious Ghost of St. Giles, a masked vigilante. But as she saves Hugh from assassins, she finds herself succumbing to temptation . . .


When Hugh hires Alf to investigate the Lords of Chaos, her worlds collide. Once Hugh realizes that the boy and the Ghost are the same, will Alf find the courage to become the woman she needs to be-before the Lords of Chaos destroy them both?
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Book Blitz: Home by Eleni McKnight


Hello Readers! Welcome to the Book Blitz for

Home by Eleni McKnight!

Celebrate this release by entering the giveaway
found at the end of the post!

Happy Release Week, Eleni!


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Cover Reveal: Home by Eleni McKnight

cxc Cover Reveal

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Home by Eleni McKnight!

YA Dystopian fans, this one’s for you!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


Knowledge is a dangerous commodity in the Home commune, the last beacon of civilization against the fallen outside world. As Suzannah Commons begins to secretly read forbidden books, she jeopardizes her future for the forbidden love of the boy who supplies her new, dangerous habit, Silas Maars, and his family. Will her new-found knowledge be her destruction?

Suzannah is in training with the rest of the unmarried teenage girls in the Handmaiden House and Home’s laundry to become a bride when she accidentally comes upon a naked boy in one of the family quarters, Silas Maars. To see a naked man before marriage is an unforgivable sin in Home and a challenge to her precious status as a virgin, her only aspect of worth. This compromise to her purity would earn her an automatic exile in the Hard Labor Camp, a death sentence until the commune leader, Parson, sentences her to the punishment of serving Silas and his unusual family as a housekeeper. As she works for the Maars family and is isolated from the rest of the commune’s population, she discovers the frightening, threatening outside world is not as dangerous as she has been led to believe. The Maars family reveals to her that Deacon controls the population of Home by keeping them all ignorant, denying them education and books so he can teach his own twisted, corrupt, self-serving version of religion from the pulpit. As she learns the truth and begins to fall into a star-crossed love with Silas, her fate as a childbride to one of the lecherous Elders or a worker in the hard labor camp is drawing nigh.



Eleni McKnight is a Murfreesboro, Tennessee native and graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a degree in Theatre with an emphasis in Literature. This left her with a wild passion for creating costumes and doing make-up in her freetime, along with her intense passion for reading from her childhood. She started writing at age eight when she had read all the Baby-Sitter’s Club books she had brought along for a road trip at age nine, and wanted something new to read. It’s never quite left her over the years.

These days, you can usually find her working backstage or costuming in local community theatres, reading a book, walking/exercising, at a concert, drinking a craft beer with friends, knitting, embroidering, or taking a dance class.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Goodreads


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Teaser Blitz: Mistletoe Cottage by Debbie Mason

Mistletoe Cottage by Debbie MasonTitle: MISTLETOE COTTAGE
Author: Debbie Mason
Series: Harmony Harbor, #1
On Sale: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Mass Market: $5.99 USD
eBook: $5.99 USD
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The first novel in a brand new series from USA Today bestselling author Debbie Mason! The series will appeal to fans of feel-good romances by New York Times bestselling authors Brenda Novak, Robyn Carr, and RaeAnne Thayne.

‘Tis the season for love…

Sophie DiRossi loved growing up in Harmony Harbor. But after fleeing in disgrace many years ago, it is the last place she wants to be. Left homeless by a fire, she’s forced to go back to the small coastal town that harbors a million secrets, including her own. Sophie sees this secret reflected every day in her daughter’s blue eyes—and she must keep it hidden from the only man she has ever loved.

Sophie’s return is a shock for everyone…especially Liam Gallagher. The firefighter had some serious feelings for Sophie-and seeing her again sparks a desire so fierce it takes his breath away. Now Liam will do whatever it takes to show Sophie that they deserve a second chance at love, even if everything they’ve concealed threatens to keep them apart. In this special town at this special time of the year, Sophie and Liam can only hope for a little holiday magic…
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Book Blitz: Four Letter Word by J. Daniels

Four Letter Word by J. DanielsTitle: FOUR LETTER WORD
Author: J. Daniels
Series: Dirty Deeds, #1
On Sale: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Trade Paperback: $14.99 USD
eBook: $3.99 USD
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Fate. Hate. Love. Lies. Which four letter word will change their lives forever?

Sydney Paige was never so mortified to hear the words “wrong number” in her life. She meant to tell off the guy who broke her best friend’s heart, but unleashed her anger on a perfect stranger instead. And now her world is turned upside down by the captivating man who wants to keep her on the line.

Brian Savage is living a life he’s quickly come to hate—until Sydney’s wild rant has him hooked and hungry for more. Soon the sexy woman on the phone becomes the lover in his bed. But Brian has secrets, and the closer he lets Syd get, the harder it is to shield her from the devastating mistakes of his past . . .
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