Home ARCs Mini Reviews-ARC Edition-One Fantasy and Two Contemporaries

Mini Reviews-ARC Edition-One Fantasy and Two Contemporaries

by Aleen @ Lampshade Reader

This Mini Reviews post will focus on 3 advance reader copies (ARCs) that I just voraciously gobbled up. (If reading can be described as gobbling 🙂 ). Read below to find reviews for The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden, My Favorite Cowboy by Donna Grant, and The Promise of Us by Jamie Beck.


The Winter of the Witch

the winter of the witch

So sad to see this series end. I’ve read it from the start all the way to the finish and Vasya’s tale is one of awesomeness. Her character has evolved throughout the series with each book adding a certain layer to her personality. She does stay true to who she is though. She often acts before she thinks and that’s her character flaw that somehow stays with her. She doesn’t apologize for it either.


This book however, was quite honestly the saddest one of the bunch. I actually teared up. Vasya experiences tragic loss in this one so beware of that. If you’ve read this series from the beginning, you were really invested with the character(s). Rather than give that away though, I can safely say even with that, I really loved this book the best.


Old friends and new surprising allies join Vasya fight for her country as it all climaxes in an epic battle involving fantastic creatures, and humans. It all really comes down to if the two worlds could ever co-exist.  One of the main themes of the series is that churches have made humans forget about domovoi that live in their home to protect them. They are not “seen” anymore and are slowly fading away. Vasya has always been able to see them but at a great price to her. She is accused of being a witch in this one and FIRE is involved. Very harrowing stuff. This book kept me on my toes and I’m sad to read it to competition. Although, I’m happy that Vasya found her place in the world, even with the rough road she’s been on.


This series definitely has a re-read value for me and I can’t wait to read what the author comes up with next.

My Rating:


Other books in the series:

The Bear and the Nightingale Book #1

The Girl in the Tower Book #2


I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

The Winter of the Witch

Mini Reviews-ARC Edition-One Fantasy and Two Contemporaries
by Katherine Arden
Series: The Winternight Trilogy #3
Also in this series: The Bear and the Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower
on January 8th, 2019
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 5 Stars



Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.

ARC Fantasy Series

My Favorite Cowboy

my favorite cowboy

My Favorite Cowboy is your quintessential romance with a little suspense thrown in. You’ve got two characters who are dead set against serious relationships.

“He knew better than anyone that he had no intentions of settling down. He’d never be able to get past his abandonment issues enough to trust someone with his heart.”

Well little does Caleb know that when he meets Audrey (a former HEA believer), sparks will fly and so will the zippers–to his pants. *ahem*

If you read further in the story you’ll get this:

“Dammit, Audrey. Tell me to walk away!”


With that one word, he was lost. Utterly.


Besides those gems, I really did enjoy the plot including the horses. The whole suspense was Audrey trying to figure out who was poisoning them and why. While she becomes the target as well, it becomes quite an entertaining read.

While I did enjoy this, I wasn’t really invested in the characters. I won’t go out of my way to read the next one, but If I do come across it, I won’t say no.

I jumped into this series with this one so you could as well. I enjoy Donna Grant’s historical romances and it was a treat to read one of her contemporaries.

My Rating:

4 star rating

-You can read an excerpt from the book here.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

My Favorite Cowboy

Mini Reviews-ARC Edition-One Fantasy and Two Contemporaries
by Donna Grant
Series: Heart of Texas #3
on February 26th, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4 Stars



Audrey Martinez is a veterinarian who has devoted her whole life to the care and protection of horses―even if doing so leaves her little time for meeting a man. Who would have thought that a strange case of criminal horseplay would lead her to falling deeply, wildly in love? If only the man who makes her heart race faster than a wild mustang would let his guard down, that is. . .

Caleb Harper is no ordinary cowboy. Sure, he wears his hat, boots, and jeans like a second skin, and displays an easygoing charm that comes from years of working on the ranch. But with his military background, and Army buddies at his side, he is tried-and-true Texas tough. Audrey knows she can trust a man like Caleb to help her save horses. But can Caleb trust himself to resist his attraction to Audrey―or will the sparks of their desire end up getting them burned?

ARC Hot Romance Series

The Promise of Us

The Promise of Us

Claire’s story is a heartfelt one. Suffering from PTSD, she struggles to find her center. After being a victim to a terrorist shooting, Claire loses her future and her sense of being safe in public places. She places her recovery around those who love her and her two closest friends Peyton and Steffi.

But a betrayal and the passage of time force Claire to become deadset in her views and insecurities. The small town playboy and brother to her now frenemy, comes back to town with a mission.

While I did not agree to Logan’s motives (which were to try and win forgiveness on behalf of his sister), and his way of forcing Claire to obviously do what she didn’t feel comfortable doing (which was to break out of her comfort barrier). I did appreciate that he was just trying to be a friend.

His sudden awareness about being attracted to her may have been a bit forced and Claire being the total opposite of him, may have contributed to me rolling my eyes a few times at both of them. Claire may seem to come off as bitter, but I guess she’s earned it. Her family didn’t help her situation either by always being worried and telling her to “be safe”. Granted, she did need the push to break free, and Logan was totally responsible for all character growth for her. So it was nice to see his playboy character taken down a notch by grumpy Claire.

“For all the ways he’d criticized Claire for letting fear stop her from trying new things, he’d let fear stop him from grasping on to love.”

I like the sub story of Claire and Steffi owning their own contracting business. Claire’s love for decorating and design was a fresh spin on her otherwise tough character. It also plays a factor in bringing Logan and Claire together as well.

Other books in the series:

The Memory of You Book #1

My Rating:


I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

The Promise of Us

Mini Reviews-ARC Edition-One Fantasy and Two Contemporaries
by Jamie Beck
Series: Sanctuary Sound #2
Also in this series: The Memory of You
Published by Montlake Romance
on April 9th, 2019
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 320
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 3 Stars



They couldn’t be more different…or more completely perfect for each other.

Claire McKenna knows about loss. The bullet wound that ended her promising professional tennis career drove her to make a quiet life for herself working with fabric samples, chatting with her book group, and spending time with her parents in her sleepy coastal Connecticut hometown. Then there was the boyfriend who dumped her to pursue her adventurous childhood friend. Now, Claire’s business has hit a financial snag, but she’s up to the challenge. After all, she can survive anything. At least she thinks so…until her teen crush, Logan, returns to town with his sister, Claire’s traitorous friend.

Photographer Logan Prescott is more playboy than homebody. But his sister’s illness teaches him that there’s more to life than chasing the next thrill. Bent on helping her win Claire’s forgiveness, he turns his charm on Claire and offers her big bucks to renovate his multimillion-dollar New York City condo.

After years of playing it safe, Claire must now take some risks. The payoff could be huge, but if it all falls apart, can her heart recover from another loss?

ARC Romance Series


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Aleen @ Lampshade ReaderRebeccaBrittanyShootingStarsMagKristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight Recent comment authors

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I am so glad to hear that the third book in Windernight was wonderful. I haven’t read the series but I want to, and I’m so happy that the third book is a winner. That’s always key!


I’m sorry that The Winternight trilogy has come to an end! Its always so bittersweet when you love a series and it ends. But I am glad that you loved the book! At least it ended on a good note <3


Great reviews. I’m glad you – mostly- enjoyed all of these. I’ve never read any of the Winternight books, but I hear good things!


Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

I’m glad Winter of the Witch was such a great ending, even if it was sad! When you’re sad to see a series end, and when you know it has reread value, those are very good signs!


I loooooved the whole Winternight series! I was lucky enough to get ARCs for all three books and immediately bought them as soon as they were released AND have them on audio! I thought this was a wonderful conclusion to the trilogy!

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

I’ve been loving the Heart of Texas series. Do you know I tried The Bear and the Nightengale and for the life of me couldn’t slip in..but so many have loved these. I really need to try again.

Mary Kirkland

I really hate when books make me cry. Loved the mini reviews.

Bookworm Brandee

I will definitely check out Arden’s series, Aleen. You make me want to stop everything and do it now. 😉 I may stick to Grant’s HR’s since My Favorite Cowboy wasn’t “all that” for you. Those quotes you shared made me smile though. And The Promise of Us seemed to have so much potential…too bad it didn’t live up to it all. Great mini reviews!

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