The Lily Gate review

A Review of The Lily Gate, by Hanna Sandvig

(Fairy Tale Romances #1.75)

YA Short Story, Fairy Tale Retelling, Romantic Fantasy

The Frog Prince retelling, clean fantasy, clean romance

What a cute the The Frog Prince retelling! This story is sweet to its bones and has a classic YA feel, and features non-magical trials for the princess’s hand.

Part of the fun of this short read is how obvious the identity of the frog is…to everybody but the main character. I also appreciated that the couple in this romantic story get time to fall in love, plus all the magical details of the setting. Fans of baking competitions will appreciate all the choux pastries, too!

This was a fun, adorable lower YA read.

My rating:
The Lily Gate mockup with candles

Warrior of Blade and Dusk review

A review of Warrior of Blade and Dusk

(The Zheninghai Chronicles #2)

Other books in this series:
Maiden of Candlelight and Lotuses (#0)
Guardian of Talons and Snares (#1)

romantic fantasy, Eastern-inspired fantasy, clean romantic fantasy

Note: I received an ARC and this is an honest, voluntary review.

If your favorite parts of Guardian of Talons and Snares were the pursuit on the road and the developing, complicated romance between Aranya and Kai, you will love book two, Warrior of Blade and Dusk, as much as I did.

This was such a fun, exciting and satisfying conclusion. Truly action-packed, it takes the best parts of book one and amplifies them. Kai, for one, has softened a lot, without losing too much of his sparky edge. (Though we do see him requesting snuggles!)

The romance also kicks into high gear on this one. Araya also stays her plucky self, but continues to strengthen mentally. I love that an action and romance-forward story focuses so much on its character’s psychological development.

Though the series continues with the story of Princess Meiling, there were some scenes suggesting interesting storylines to come. I’m really looking forward to it!

My rating:

Enchanting Fate review

It’s time for another Beauty and the Beast retelling! In this Enchanting Fate review, I’ll take a look at the clean romantic fantasy (with swearing but no spice) and the promising writing of a debut author. To learn more, read on!

A review of Enchanting Fate by Ashley Evercott
Note: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Ashley Evercott’s debut novel, Enchanting Fate, is a Beauty and the Beast retelling with shades of Downtown Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs. Told through four POVs by characters of varying social standing, this version stays true to the original tale’s spirit by focusing on money and social class without sacrificing romance.
That romantic side of the story is where Evercott’s writing excels. I only wish there was more of it. For Marguerite, who has fallen on hard times like Belle, breaking the Beast’s curse is mostly transactional. Yet those tuning in for the romance won’t be disappointed with descriptions like “All she wanted was to be looked at like how he was looking at her now—like she was spring itself, breathing life into his soul” and “He remained the keeper of her prickly heart.” Not to mention “If she had the choice, she would capture time, rearrange the stars, and hold this moment in her hands forever.” More of that, please!
Enchanting Fate cover

Because I enjoyed these moments of pure romantic storytelling so much, I wished the rest of the story was as polished. The pacing of Enchanting Fate can feel rushed. I also thought the characters needed deeper exploration. In particular, the POV-wielding servants in the cursed manor, Claude and Isa, could’ve used more backstory and personality separate from their situation and love interests.

That being said, the plot and overall message of being true to yourself is told in a unique and interesting way. Evercott has the potential to write like Sylvia Mercedes or Hannah Whitten (both authors of swoony fantasy romances with darker backbones). As this series of fairytale retellings continues, I hope to see more wonderfully described romance and the character-driven storytelling to match it.

My rating:

To learn more about this author, visit