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Publisher's Summary

Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she's been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she's received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear.

Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He's a man who can get you anything you want...at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects.

But for one of his clients, he's never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first it's just a chaste kiss - a single bead's worth - and a promise for more.

For the Bargainer, it's more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that's been awoken.

If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he'll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one.

©2016 Laura Thalassa (P)2017 Laura Thalassa

What listeners say about Rhapsodic

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Fifty Shades of Fae

Let me start by saying that this book isn't bad *for what it is.* The problem is that the blurb is very misleading, so if you go in expecting the story it promises you'll be sorely disappointed.

The blurb suggests that what you're getting is the story of a girl who's forced to work with a dangerous fae who's her former lover in order to solve a deadly mystery surrounding an unknown entity abducting fae warriors. Strictly speaking, this plot does happen - but in a book with 30 chapters, practically none of it occurs prior to chapter 24. When it finally does happen, it feels rushed and unsatisfying, especially the ending. Without spoiling, imagine if Gandalf suddenly stormed into Barad Dur and triggered a nuclear bomb - it was kinda like that. And this part of the story makes Callie seem incredibly dense, as she "figures out" thinks that would've been obvious to a narcoleptic preteen three chapters ago.

The plot we get instead for roughly 80% of the book is about Calypso being hot for Brooding Bad Boy™ Desmond, aka The Bargainer. She knows he's dangerous, she knows he abandoned her, and he's manipulative and controlling - but dammit, he's SEXY, so she just can't help herself. (Incidentally, his abandonment of her is explained in one of the most cringeworthy ways I've ever seen.)

The relationship between Des and Callie feels *incredibly* toxic - they read like two badly damaged people who are leaning on each other because they don't think anyone else will have them. This is especially true of Callie. Its story of a man who's powerful, rich, and influential controlling a younger, more naive woman put me in mind of the execrable 50 Shades books, which is never a good thing to be compared to. Also, the extremely graphic descriptions of sexual acts put me off. I'm not a prude by any means, but if I want to read a book that goes into detail about hand jobs and oral sex, I'll deliberately choose a book that's supposed to include such content. If I'm here for the plot and had no reason to expect stuff like that, it just gets in the way.

I'm giving this two stars instead of one because the writing was competent and the narrator did a good job. If I'd actually understood what the book was actually like going in, I still wouldn't really have liked it, but I'd probably give it a three.

55 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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one of the best series ever

I love everything about it! From the world building, to the plot, to the perfect balance of romance and spice I need in a book!

93 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I tried to finish it, I did

The narrator was fine, but the story had too many major things that rubbed me the wrong way. For starters our love interest meets our protagonist when she’s 15. FIFTEEN. And he’s already making suggestive remarks. And the creepiness is borderline ignored because in this world the legal age is 16. Still gross. My biggest issue is how controlling the men are in this book, mainly our love interest, and the protagonist rarely puts up a fight. She gets angry but she’s literally being forced to do things and she get over it in what seems like 30 seconds. Oddly enough, what made me turn this off, even though it was the least important problem to me, is the stereotypical portrayal of her black best friend. The “giiirrrlll”s and the “hey bitch”es and the “black Jesus”s literally grated on my nerves so much I couldn’t force myself to finish. I say this as a black woman, if you can’t write a black character who uses AAVE without resorting to these sorts of cliches, it’s totally okay to write their dialogue like literally every other character. Like come on. Our protagonist and her best friend have an extended conversation later in the book and the friend said nookie, I swear to god this woman said nookie, and I had to hit stop before I scratched my own ears off. What year is it?! If you can look past the borderline pedophilia, the glossing over obviously abusive relationships, and just annoying black stereotypes, hey you might enjoy it. But I could never get into the story because either our girl is being forced into something and brushing it off, we’re having a flashback of her when she was basically a child and coming on to a grown man, or heaven forbid her best friend *speaks*. This book exhausted me.

82 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

disappointed

I was looking for much more fantasy and not soft porn. I wanted something more along the lines of The Cruel Prince, and this was really, really far from it. Not necessarily bad, just really not what I was looking for.

9 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Honestly baffled

Would you try another book from Laura Thalassa and/or Susannah Jones?

The reader, maybe. The author, "SWEET BABY JESUS" no.

What character would you cut from Rhapsodic?

Haha this book has like 5 characters total and most of them appear in 3 scenes at most. You could still cut half of them and nothing of value would be lost.

Any additional comments?

I have written and deleted many things already. What do I want to say? How do I properly express how much this book annoyed me? My two main thoughts while listening:

1. Any of the elements of this story could have been enjoyable if they were done well.
2. This is kind of embarrassing. Just a general embarrassment all around.

I think I can describe this book best by describing the male lead. SPOILERS MAYBE? Not much happens in this book, y'all.

He is an enormous man with the face of a woman. He wears old band shirts (so cool). His arms have muscles (and you WILL be reminded). He has a predatory, nefarious, wicked, sinful, evil, vicious, thesaurus-exhausting smile. Our protagonist breathlessly insists constantly, in nearly every scene that he is a terrible man who does terrible things to people and will do terrible things to her. He is the king of the night! He is the king of sex! So what will he do to her now that he's come to collect on her debts?

He kisses her. He takes her furniture shopping. He helps her get away from an angry ex-boyfriend. He stocks up his kitchen with all her favorite foods. He takes her traveling. He wants her to stop drinking so much, it's not good for her. He wants her to have her own friends because she's too isolated. He wants her to talk about her feelings and their relationship. He blocks her sexual advances because he'd rather cuddle and marathon Harry Potter movies. He fixes everything in the end by assuring her that she is beautiful. What.

So many things in this book would be entertaining if they weren't played so embarrassingly straight. Up until the last hour, all it is is the two main leads interacting, interspersed constantly with flashbacks of them interacting even more. I honestly can't remember any of these scenes because it is really just one really long conversation and we know how it resolves from the moment it starts. None of this would be a problem if I liked the main leads. But I don't. Because the book says they're one thing, they are actually a different thing, and I don't like any of the things.

OK, I need to stop now or I never will. I just wanted to put my thoughts down because it was the interesting premise and glowing reviews that made me buy this book.

Good ideas, bad execution. Reader did her best with it. "I AM THE NIGHT!"

38 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love the plot

I would have given 5 starts in each category but the narrator voice for Dez was so weird sounding. Like a high school speaking like her boyfriend. That through me off. It also mad it hard to connect with Dez. However, the story was so good I just had to power through.

I love this plot and I can't wait to see what happens next. I think we find out there is more to Callie than we first thought. I hope we find out what the plan is for those creepy little kids.

Overall great read!

13 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Swears, Flashbacks, and Adult Audiences

Any additional comments?

This is not as much as a review, and more of a, "Let me tell you what I wish I had known."

I was drawn in by the story description and by all of the positive reviews, and the beautiful cover. I was eager to get started on it.

I only got about 1/2 way through before stopping. BUT, I do agree with a majority of the readers, what I did get through was gripping, interesting, and a really good read.

That aside, their are some things I wish I had known before getting this book, that I hope will help someone else make their purchasing decision.

1. This book swears a lot more than I am comfortable with. There are a lot of F-bombs, and I didn't like hearing them.

2. Every chapter starts with a flashback. Some reviewers found this tastefully done, I found there to be too many, and found them a bit of a bore, taking away from the main storyline.

3. This is definitely a book suited for mature audiences. I guess I could have gotten that from the cover, but there was a lot of sexual components that I didn't find tasteful.

It you don't have issues with any of the things I listed above, you may have just found a new favorite book. The writing is, overall, really well done. Plus the narrator does a great job.

95 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Plot had Big Promise, but no delivery

The premise of this book was great, really interesting, but had terrible execution. All the interesting plot points and action happened at the very end and was almost glossed over in favor of the romantic element.
The book spends 85% of its time rehashing the attraction, physical appearance descriptions, and lust of the two main characters Callypso & the Bargainer. It becomes redundant and doesn't drive the plot hardly at all. Terribly annoying, and i usually enjoy a little lust and romance, but generally prefer it to be the sub-story that helps drive the plot not the only event the author focuses on. The plot basically boils down to: main character Callypso is subsumed by her desire for the Bargainer and just drools over him constantly in her narrative, and some other stuff happens towards the end, but its not as important as how hunky he is or the sex.
The main story was such an interesting premise, it had an original dilemma, bad guy and world, BUT the author spent hardly any time world building or on plot development. The focus is almost entirely on the interpersonal relationship of Callypso ( who comes off as a weak spirited grump/ victim for most of the book), and the Bargainer (a cookie cutter alpha male fantasy character), whose relationship dynamic isn't even all that interesting or original. Its too bad the author didn't develop the other characters, plot, and world more/better, because it could have been amazing, but instead it read as immature and rather "blah".
Also, the narrator was fine, it was the substance that of the story that was the issue for me.

If you like urban fantasies by authors like Ilona Andrews, Kim Harrison, Kelly Armstrong, Kaylana Price, or Patricia Briggs you probably will be disappointed in this author. Save your credit/money.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good but basic

Pretty decently written, but the story line is not something *really new*. Characters are pretty good but slightly predictable.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Listened for Guy’s Lines

This series repeatedly reminded me of the Court of Thorns series, but reduced to about 5 characters over all, and with a very modern, immature female lead. In both books in this series she was constantly preening, feeling angst, and in general being a spoiled dolt. However, the character of the Bargainer is interesting, sexy, and constantly showing he has more up his sleeve. It was worthwhile at least to listen to both books just to hear his script. It certainly helped there was more smut that Sara J Maas was willing to write in her more developed series. Always a trade off with porn, you know.

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Jessica Wolfe
  • Jessica Wolfe
  • 11-30-17

A Fine Romance

A fine romance

Though Desmond is a pitiful name for a romantic hero, this is nonetheless an enjoyable romance. Thematically It feels like the writer has borrowed heavily from Sara J Mas' Court of Thorns series, but given I like that series this wasn't too much of an issue for me. In tone it's more like A. J. Aalto. This story lacks Mas' complexity and nuance, but it's fun.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephanie Lynn
  • 12-07-19

A fun listen!

I've known about this book for a while, but kept putting it off. When I heard that it was on audiobook, I jumped at the chance to listen! I'm glad I did, I loved listening to it, and likely enjoyed it more this way. Not as complex as I enjoy in most stories, but the characters are likable enough, and the story flows smoothly, making this a fun book to listen to! Call and Desmond are much like some of the other stories I've seen, but with inspirations from the Hades/Persephone myths, that's what retellings often do, and I enjoyed this telling.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ChaosKay (Audiobook Obsession Reviewer, The Flock VIP)
  • 01-14-21

So good

For the first 30-45minutes I wasn’t sure if I was liking this but I’m so glad I persevered as I really enjoyed it.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Km
  • 05-30-18

Loved it

Such a steamy intriguing mystery. That kept me well intertwined throughout. Call is a women that keeps other women inspired.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Scur
  • 10-07-21

Abusive relationship

Started off okay but the story is just very so-so. The casket baby story line is just an undercurrent and I kept forgetting it was even a part of the plot for the most part which is a shame because it really could have been so interesting!
The relationship is downright abusive. Manipulation, gaslighting and slut shaming just ugh. I like a little dark romance but this just made me too uncomfortable as well as not being that well written...I gave up. I had high hopes but it just ends up being a lot of time hopping (which gets confusing of you're not paying full attention) and dialogue between the two love interests .

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Zahra Sedgwick
  • 09-07-21

Enjoyed

I really enjoyed this book far more than I thought I would based on the description and the reviews on Goodreads. For the first two thirds of the book we get a dual storyline of Callie and Desmond both in the past and present which I quite enjoyed as it expanded their relationship. I was worried this would be insta-lovey but it wasn’t. 4 stars.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Deborah B.
  • 01-08-21

Excellent

What a fantastic start to this series. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Great characters and a wonderful narrator

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Poppey
  • 06-08-20

Possibilities

This book will not win any awards for great world/character building. However, it has the ingredients of one of those books which, once you start, find it difficult to put down. It is a little reminiscent of a Sarah Maas book and would be more suited to YA, apart from language and sexual content possibly.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kimberly Nash
  • 10-11-21

Dark, Sexy Perfect Read

Dark
Deadly
Dangerous

Three things I would say to describe The Bargainer. A man that no one would dare to mess with or ever wish to be on the receiving end of his wrath, but when a young Callaypso has no choice but to summon the man to help her cover a scene quite unsightly it wasn't her intentions to yearn to see and spend time with the shadowed and secretive man that is The Bargainer.

She continuously calls upon him and continuously makes bargains with him, leaving her dept to him an unspeakable number, but when it comes to repaying these depts is the once young and naive girl ready to explore a side of the man she once thought she loved and desired?

This was a delightful and easy read, I fell in love with both the characters and the journey they go on together, I honestly felt attached to the characters and the outcomes of their lives and experiences, the world-building is spectacular and well written.

A perfect book for lovers of ACOTAR and Kingdom of the Wicked!!
I would say not to hesitate and read this book if it's on your TBR list as it is the first of a series in which I plan to delve deep into.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MummysVampire
  • 10-11-21

A wonderfully unique romance telling

What took me so long to get round to this book I will never know. It’s been on my TBR list forever. I listened to the audio version and it was beautifully narrated by Susannah Jones.
She did a great job switching between all the characters and really brought Callies sassy attitude to life.
This is a paranormal romance with a few triggers so just be aware.
Callypso is a siren and the book starts with her having just murdered her father in law at age 16. She calls on the bargainer who is a supernatural fixer who will help clear up any mess or grant any favour but for a price. Only he decides what that is an when to collect.
Fast forward seven years and the Bargainer is back looking for what he is owed. Only there is waaaaaay more to the story and it slowly unravels in a series of flashbacks and jumps from the past to present time and I thoroughly loved that concept. Always kept you guessing and wanting to know more.
I mentioned it was PNR but honestly it’s more Fantasy Romance as they do journey to the other world. I don’t want to give too much away about that as would spoil for you what The Bargainers day job is. It’s must better to see it unfold the way the author intended.
The writing and pace was great and what a wonderfully unpredictable romance with two characters that are meant to be together.
4.5/5 stars.

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  • Jordyn Hall
  • 07-16-20

Really enjoyed

My first book here on this app and I loved it. The narrator was amazing , she did different voices and I felt I could invisiion the story from her words. I felt the book was good as well. I will continue the series .

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Imee-B
  • 04-19-18

***Rhapsodic***

Rhapsodic is magical, beautifully written in a slow burn romance and suspense between a sirene and her fairy king of the night. Its mesmerizing. Laura Thalassa create a magnifcent world of fairies, humans and other supernatural beings. Susannah Jones narratives is excellent, she puts life to each character with all their feelings and emotions.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jayltee
  • 01-17-18

Aggressively Cliched

Flimsy, poorly written romance with a blurb indicating a fantasy novel. The prologue sets out a promising idea but it’s wasted in the following chapters, drenched in cliche, poor characterisation and distracting plotting. After so many quality audiobooks lately this was such a let down.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-08-21

Sublime

The narration was amazing, make me live the story like I was there.
And the story is amazing.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Allana Kate
  • 09-11-21

Worth it!

After ignoring the recommendation of this book for long enough I finally decided to go ahead and try this series. I was very impressed! For a book with not a lot of hype around it, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Simone Kiem
  • 05-11-21

Enjoyable but not mind blowing

I was expecting this to be mind blowing, with all the reviews I had seen on bookstagram. So I am a little disappointed but purely because it was hyped up. I found this book enjoyable but I think it lacked something?

I got a lot of acotar vibes from this, so if you like that then you'll love this.
Definately Rhysand vibes from one of the characters

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Puds
  • 04-05-21

let down.

had high hopes for this one but it lacked a good plot and had mediocre spice.
won't be finishing the series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kerri williams author
  • 01-25-21

best read for 2021. I

I binged the heck out of this story. Fast paced, well written, and hot!
About to hit up book two

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DebraP
  • 09-20-20

Siren n Darkness, Love

Well, Laura Thalassa, author and her beautiful captivating stories. It’s hard to express exactly why and saying love is just not enough, expressive enough to convey how I enjoyed the begging of this series. You know when it comes to the ending even though it’s a cliff hanger that you want more, that you don’t want it to end that’s it’s good.
Susannah Jones, expressive, she made to feel the story and the love, angsts, wonderful
I just can’t wait to sink into the next part of the series. Well done to both author and narrator.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mbs_alert
  • 12-13-19

Tragic start

Love the book and looking forward to reading the next. It is a bit confusing with the flash backs but well worth it once you have a full understanding of the past...