January 2022 Book of the Month Giveaway

February 20, 2022 04:36 PM Posted by juliannadouglas

During January, I read four novels, two novellas, and three short stories. It was kind of a mixed bag with about half of them not even reaching four stars for me. There was only one book that received a five-star rating from me to make it eligible to be featured as my Book of the Month. This author’s books have consistently received this honor so I’ve featured her work several times before. This one is a paranormal romance roughly long novella or short novel length, so meatier than a short story but not quite as involved as the main novels of the series it comes from. It’s about Azagoth aka the Grim Reaper, who is in charge of Sheoul-gra, the world between the human realm and Sheoul, and a kind of holding tank for the souls of demons and other evil beings. Azagoth has lived a rather lonely existence, trapped in his own realm, and is tired of being alone. He’s decided that he wants a mate and demands that Heaven send him one. Lilliana is the angel who shows up for the job, but given a choice between two unsavory scenarios, she didn’t have a whole lot of say in the matter. However, she’s offered a chance to get out of the deal and earn redemption for her “sins” if she finds and steals a time-traveling device which Azagoth possesses. When she first arrives, Lilliana thinks that Azagoth is a jerk and has every intention of finding the device and getting out as soon as possible, but the longer she stays and the more she gets to know him, the more she sees Azagoth’s gentler side and begins to fall for him. But when he discovers her original intentions, he may not be so forgiving.

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Categories: Book of the Month, Giveaways

Tags: Larissa Ione


2021 Best of the Year & Choose Your Own Giveaway

January 18, 2022 04:00 PM Posted by juliannadouglas

Reaver Book Cover

It’s January, which means that it’s time once again for my annual Best of the Year giveaway. Ever since I started my review site, The Hope Chest Reviews, in 2008, I’ve been posting a Best of the Year list to highlight all the very best books I read the previous year. As always, I have an eclectic group of books on it from a wide variety of genres. Since I’m a romance writer and nearly life-long romance reader, my focus is mostly on romance, but I also have a nice selection of other books, including fantasy, YA, children’s, biography/memoirs, and non-fiction. I'm a pretty slow reader, so I rarely have time to read books when they're released, although sometimes I do. That being the case, I compile the list from the books I read during the previous year. This makes for a well-rounded list of brand new titles, mixed with older ones, and a little bit of everything in between.

I read nearly seventy books and novellas in 2021, and just over half of them made it to my keeper shelf, meaning that they earned 4.5 to 5 stars from me. These are the books that make my “Best of …” lists in the individual genres. I've also nominated books in a wide variety of other categories, including best characters, best quotes, and best covers. I hope you'll check out my full list and perhaps find your next great read.

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Categories: Giveaways

Tags: Best of the Year, Jim Butcher, Larissa Ione


November 2021 Book of the Month Giveaway

December 18, 2021 04:14 PM Posted by juliannadouglas

During November, I read five full-length books and one short story, but only one romance received the five-stars from me to be featured here. It’s a paranormal romance in a long-running favorite series by a favorite author, and it was a blast to read. Thousands of years ago, Yenreith and Verrine were the best of friends and were starting to become more than that, but lacking confidence due to her inexperience, Verrine pulled back a little from their romantic relationship. Yenreith, instead, was seduced by Lilith and slept with her on a whim, but little did he know that their tryst had created the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Eventually Yenreith’s memory was erased and many years later, he became the Unfallen Angel known as Reaver. Although heartbroken by his actions, when Verrine found out about the children, she vowed to always look after them and keep them safe, something that she accomplished by willingly becoming the Fallen Angel known as Harvester and working her way up through the ranks of Sheoul to become their Watcher.

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Categories: Book of the Month, Giveaways

Tags: Larissa Ione


January 2021 Book of the Month Giveaway

February 14, 2021 05:26 PM Posted by juliannadouglas

I kicked off my 2021 reading with four novels, a novella, and a short story in January. They ended up being kind of a mixed bag, mostly good, but a couple so-so. Only one book rose to the five-star level to become my Book of the Month. It’s a paranormal romance that’s part of a long-running series by a favorite author I’ve featured before. Her books seemingly never fail to entertain me and keep me on the edge of my seat, eager to find out what happens next. Such was the case with this book. It’s the story of Thanatos, Horseman of Death, and Regan, an Aegis Guardian. The pair experienced an inauspicious beginning to their relationship in the previous book of the series when Regan was sent to seduce Thanatos, with the intention of getting pregnant with his child, who the Aegis believes will bring an end to the Apocalypse that is already in full tilt. However, unbeknownst to her, Thanantos was still a virgin, believing that to lose his virginity would result in the breaking of his Seal. Even with this lack of knowledge, Regan was about to think better of the idea, when the whole thing went sideways. Both of them unintentionally consumed an aphrodisiac wine that rendered them senseless with lust and Regan lost control of her powers, pinning Thanatos down in a rape-like manner during the whole affair. Needless to say, though, her mission ended up being a success, and this book fast-forwards to eight months later, when the birth of their child is imminent.

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Categories: Book of the Month, Giveaways

Tags: Larissa Ione


August 2020 Book of the Month Giveaway

September 19, 2020 02:47 PM Posted by juliannadouglas

I had some really great reads during the month of August, but only one romance rose to the five-star level. It was the continuation of a popular, paranormal romance series by a favorite author that has produced a lot of keepers for me. It pairs Limos aka Famine, the only female Horseman of the Apocalypse, with Arik, a member of the R-XR, which is a secret branch of the military that deals with paranormal phenomena. These two shared a brief sexually-charged moment in the previous book of the series, and as this story opens, they finally share a passionate kiss, which lands Arik in literal hell, where he’s tortured for a month before finally escaping. Afterward, Limos nurses him back to health, during which time things gradually heat up between them even more, but she is supposed to become the bride of Satan, and at first glance, there doesn’t appear to be an out-clause in her contract. So they spend the better part of the book trying to figure out if there’s a way for them to be together, while still battling her brother Pestilence, who has regrouped and is once again wreaking havoc on the Earth.

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Categories: Book of the Month, Giveaways

Tags: Larissa Ione


May 2018 Book of the Month Giveaway

June 17, 2018 03:57 PM Posted by juliannadouglas

I had several really good reads during the month of May, but the one I chose as my favorite is the fourth installment of a long-running fan-favorite paranormal romance series. In this one we have a demon/human hybrid assassin paired with an earthbound guardian angel who happens to be protecting his latest mark. It’s not that he really wants to kill the guy, but his master has vowed to kill his sister if he doesn’t succeed in his mission. Of course his lovely angel can’t allow that to happen, but when she finds out why he’s doing it, she proves sympathetic. Together, they must find a way to outwit his master, but there’s someone even more powerful pulling the strings behind the scenes, who has an axe to grind with both of them. It all made for an action-packed, adventurous, and very steamy romance that really kept me on the edge of my seat.

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Categories: Book of the Month, Giveaways

Tags: Larissa Ione


October 2016 Book of the Month & Giveaway

November 19, 2016 02:48 PM Posted by juliannadouglas

My October Book of the Month is the second book in a paranormal romance series that I unintentionally ended up putting on the back burner four years ago, even after reading and enjoying the first of the series. It’s set in a unique world that centers around a demon hospital called Underworld General. The mythology of the series is among some of the most detailed I’ve read in paranormal romance with many different breeds of demons and other supernatural creatures that span the full spectrum on the genre. The action and adventure keep things fast-paced and exciting, making this a world that I very much enjoyed inhabiting.

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Categories: Book of the Month, Giveaways

Tags: Larissa Ione