Review: Venom and Vow

“There are always challenges, she told me. In every generation – yours, mines, the ones who came before and the ones who will come after – there are those who want things to be different and those who want things to stay the same.”

—Venom and Vow

Anna-Marie McLemore has done it again. They have written a world so detailed, so lush, that I was totally and utterly sucked into completely, and won’t forget any time soon. Beyond the world building, though, Valencia and Cade are heroes that you want to win, even when they are fighting one another. 

I am not typically one for fantasy without romance, especially not YA fantasy, however, Venom and Vow was fast paced with enough intrigue and action to keep me engaged. 

Oh, and the representation in this book! Latinx inspired, with a good amount of Spanish words sprinkled throughout; Cade, a transgender prince and Valencia, a bigender dama to the princess. Oh, and they are both disabled! The overwhelming message throughout this book is to be true to yourself.

Thank you to Turn the Page Tours for including me on this tour! 

“Asking for all of me to be acknowledged like this seems like asking him for the moon and all the accompanying stars.”

—Venom and Vow

Title: Venom & Vow

Author: Anna-Marie McLemore, Elliott McLemore

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Release Date: May 16, 2023

Genre(s): YA Fantasy

Buy Link:


Keep your enemy closer.

Cade McKenna is a transgender prince who’s doubling for his brother.

Valencia Palafox is a young dama attending the future queen of Eliana.

Gael Palma is the infamous boy assassin Cade has vowed to protect.

Patrick McKenna is the reluctant heir to a kingdom, and the prince Gael has vowed to destroy.

Cade doesn’t know that Gael and Valencia are the same person.

Valencia doesn’t know that every time she thinks she’s fighting Patrick, she’s fighting Cade.

And when Cade and Valencia blame each other for a devastating enchantment that takes both their families, neither of them realizes that they have far more dangerous enemies.

“I know the way only others like us can know each other.”

—Venom and Vow

Author Info

Anna-Marie McLemore (they/them) writes stories as queer, Latine, and trans as they are. They are the author of William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist The Weight of Feathers; Wild Beauty; Blanca & Roja, one of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Fantasy Novels of All Time; Indie Next List title Dark and Deepest Red; Lakelore, an NECBA Windows & Mirrors title; and National Book Award longlist selections When the Moon Was Ours, which was also a Stonewall Honor Book; The Mirror Season; and Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix. Venom & Vow, co-authored with Elliott McLemore, is out in May 2023 from Feiwel & Friends, and their adult debut The Influencers is forthcoming from Dial Press in 2024.

Los trovadores sing of how their people are as pale as the winter moon and as deep as the clearest summer night, and every shade of wheat and sand and earth brown in between.

—Venom and Vow

Elliott McLemore is a nonbinary trans guy who comes from mountains and loves trees. As a child, he romped in dresses, fought with plastic swords, and dreamed up his first stories. Between then and now, he has focused on academic and professional writing, research, and advocacy, including work toward adding nonbinary gender markers to California identity documents. Venom & Vow is his debut novel.

Whenever you see someone, it’s foolish to assume they haven’t seen you.

—Venom and Vow

Release Blitz: Beauty and the Brusier

Title: Beauty and the Bruiser
Series: Philadelphia Tyrant Hockey #1
Author: Josie Blake
Genre: Contemporary Hockey Romance
Tropes: Single Dad/Nanny, Grumpy/Sunshine
Release Date: May 26, 2023


Nanny for a professional hockey player? Please. More like beauty for the beast.

The job is straightforward. Single dad Duke York needs a caretaker for his seven-year-old daughter during the hockey season, bonus if that person can help her with her school work. His team is rebuilding, and he plans to retire at the end of the year. This is his last chance to make a run at the cup. Right now, I have the time and the education to do this work.

Except there should be a disclaimer in the job description about Duke. He’s hot as sin, and the grizzled hockey veteran takes brooding to the next level. I need the cash, though, and the job offers housing as part of its compensation. Since I have nowhere to live—again—it’s the perfect situation. But I didn’t expect to find such a fascinating man under Duke’s gruff exterior, and the more I get to know the father and daughter duo, the more I risk losing my heart to them both.

My real life has never included any fairy-tale endings. But maybe this temporary job could be the beginning of all of our happily ever afters…

BEAUTY AND THE BRUISER is a full-length, sexy hockey romance with a happily ever after. If you like Beauty and the Beast vibes, a grumpy cinnamon roll single dad hero, and slow burn chemistry, you should try this first book in the Philadelphia Tyrant Hockey series!

The Philadelphia Tyrant books contain mild adult language and open-door sexual scenes/situations. Every story can be read as a standalone.




Free in Kindle Unlimited


#2 The Winger and His Best Friend – Releasing November 17



Josie Blake writes college-set, hockey romance with sass and emotion. Originally from a small town in western Pennsylvania, she now battles traffic in southern New Jersey where she lives with her hero husband and their happily-ever-after: two very energetic sons. When she isn’t writing, she can be found next to a hockey rink or swimming pool, cooking up something sweet, or hiding from encroaching dust bunnies with a book.



Review: Lucky Leap Day

Lucky Leap Day was such a cute romcom, and perfect for February!

A Leap Day tradition in Ireland is called Ladies’ Privilege, where women can propose to men. After a few too many whiskies, Cara proposes and marries Finn while visiting Dublin on vacation.

The chemistry between Cara and Finn was fantastic and the addition of the doggy made for a fun read. Oh and Penelope was the perfect side character to give some comic relief and wise advise.

This was a lovely clean romance, with all of the steamy scenes closed door and fade to black

Thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley for the review copy of Lucky Leap Day!

Book Feature: Hell of Hosanna

Imagine the Empire State Building removed from New York City. Imagine that building reconstructed brick-by-brick on your father’s private island-the trappings of the past stolen from the public to indulge unfettered hypocrisy. This is James’s defeated and ravaged landscape when his father, Fep Anglish, successfully monopolizes all forms of industry into one perfect company called U atop the collapse of the old world.

Ownership becomes a thing of the past. Now, anyone can have anything-temporarily. Is this hosanna? Maybe on paper. But to James, the “rent and move on” lifestyle is a total hell. And in this hell, his impossible dream of becoming something fuels his transience and passivity.

This is reality until one strange day, when the whole thing comes tumbling down on itself and James finally gets the opportunity to break away. In a U space shuttle, he travels to the ultimate unknown in boundless space.

Freedom, finally? The real hosanna?

Written By Kip Langton

Review: Once Upon a Royal Christmas

Once Upon a Royal Christmas was the perfect was to kick off the holidays and my marathon of holiday romcoms.

Gracie is a children’s party princess who wins a contest to bring her Princess Snowflake to the country of San Glacera during their Christmas festivities.

The grumpy-sunshine relationship between Gracie and Prince Nikolas of San Glacera was everything I wanted in a romcom. I especially loved reading as Nikolas slowly melts from the abominable snow prince as he gets to know Gracie.

The scene in the Christmas Tree Maze was by far my favorite in this book, and for once I didn’t mind that the author included and epilogue because I definitely wanted to know what happened to these two after the final chapter.

I listened to Once Upon a Royal Christmas as an audiobook, and the narrator, Brittany Pressley, did a fantastic job keeping my attention throughout the book.

Thank you to Dreamscape Media, Hallmark Publishing and NetGalley for the advanced audiobook copy of this book.

Review: Snowy Montana Nights

Winter in Montana. Hot cowboys. Small towns.

If I haven’t sold you already, then the 🔥🔥🔥 Santa scene is definitely a reason for you to pick up Snowy Montana Nights.

I picked this up because of the setting – Gardiner, MT, a town on the Northside of Yellowstone National Park. I loved visiting Montana and this small town definitely brought me right back to Big Sky Country.

I really liked the tension between Wendy and Zane, as well as the building relationship between them. The side characters in this really made the story come alive!

This is book three in the Dallas Debutantes series, but can be read as a standalone.

Review: Live Your Best Life According to Nala Cat

There’s nothing like enjoying cute kitty photos and positive affirmations together with your own kitty.

Every night before bedtime The Boyfriend and I, along with our sweet kitty, Cora, read stories together. Living Your Best Life According to Nala Cat was so sweet with so many adorable photos of @nala_cat.

This would be a great book to keep in your desk for days you need a little positive encouragement in the middle of the day.

Review: Lore Olympus

Lore Olympus was such a #bookstagrammademedoit book. The illustrations were beautiful – the colors so vibrant – and the story of Greek gods in graphic novel form I just couldn’t pass up reading this one.

I’ve been in such a reading slump, too. So graphic novels have been my go to books recently, and Lore Olympus was definitely and indulgent read while I’m in this slump.

I really enjoyed reading this story – especially the beginning of Persephone and Hade’s relationship. But the parties and relationships between the gods on Olympus.

I read this quickly, but I didn’t find myself connecting with any of the characters. I think it would be difficult to connect with Greek gods, to be honest.

That said, I am absolutely looking forward to reading the next volume of this series, which releases this July.

Review: Kingston and the Magician’s Lost and Found

I couldn’t read Kingston and the Magician’s Lost and Found fast enough. 

Kingston has moved back to Echo City, the last place his father was seen alive, and King is determined to find his father again. Except King’s Mom wants nothing to do with magic in their lives anymore.

But when King sees a reflection that looks like his Dad in the closed down theater he was last seen in, he makes a plan with his friends to break in and figure out what’s going on.

There were so many twists and turns in this book, and I was on the edge of my seat so often! I could not believe this was a middle grade book!

Review: Cupcake

Cupcake was such a cute read! Ariel, whose nickname is Cupcake, is nominated for homecoming court her senior year of high school And while she’s not unpopular, she doesn’t describe herself as the “princess type.”

The prince Ariel is paired with for homecoming court, Rhys, is the quarterback of the high school football team.

The friendship that builds between Cupcake and Rhys was super cute and (spoilers!) I loved the very slow burn to them kissing.

This was definitely a feel good YA read with lots of different representations. Absolutely an enjoyable read!