quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


BLOG TOUR --- Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus [Review + Giveaway]

Title: Two Can Keep a Secret
Authors(s): Karen M. McManus
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Edition: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook; 336 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Audible - Barnes & 
Noble - iBooks - The Book Depository
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tour Schedule

Week One:
1/1/2019- Lifestyle of MeReview
1/2/2019- Paper ReaderReview
1/3/2019- Adventures Thru WonderlandReview
1/4/2019- Here's to Happy EndingsReview

Week Two:
1/7/2019- Pink Polka Dot BooksReview
1/8/2019- Do You Dog-ear?Review
1/9/2019- Adventures and ReadingReview
1/10/2019- The Phantom ParagrapherReview
1/11/2019- Book Dragon LairReview

Week Three:
1/14/2019- A Gingerly ReviewReview
1/15/2019- Confessions of a YA ReaderReview
1/16/2019- Sweet Southern HomeReview
1/17/2019- Simply Daniel RadcliffeReview
1/18/2019- The Hermit LibrarianReview

Week Four:
1/21/2019- Smada's Book SmackReview
1/22/2019- Owl always Be ReadingReview
1/23/2019- BookHounds YAReview
1/24/2019- Popthebutterfly ReadsReview
1/25/2019- Eli to the nthReview

Week Five:
1/28/2019- The Clever ReaderReview
1/29/2019- All the Ups and DownsReview
1/30/2019- Two Points of InterestReview

The Summary

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery's never been there, but she's heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it's hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone's declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous--and most people aren't good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it's safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

My Review

I was beyond excited to get a chance to be on the tour for Karen M. McManus's sophomore book, Two Can Keep a Secret!  I was a part of the tour for her debut novel, One of Us is Lying (check my review here), and I loved it, even though I'm not a huge thriller fan.  So, I had high expectations going into TCKS, and I was not disappointed!

For her sophomore novel, McManus, instead of an assemble of characters, writes the story from the point of view of the two leads: Ellery Corcoran and Malcolm Kelly.  Each, in their own way, are directly involved in the horrible things happening in Echo Ridge; Ellery, as her aunt went missing 23 years earlier, and Malcolm because his older brother, Declan, is the main suspect in the murder of his girlfriend five years prior.  With each main character involved in the opposites side of the situation, victim and (possible) murderer, the reader expects them to be at odds, but it only brings them closer together.

McManus does characters right.  Ellery and Malcolm are wholly believable, as they react to the suspicious and dangerous events haunting their town.  Ellery, while a self-proclaimed "True Crime" buff, isn't able to crack the case wide open without the help of real investigators, which I found super refreshing.  The one thing that annoys me about "thrillers" is when the main characters are the ones who solved the whole mystery when trained professionals weren't able to.  That can't be more far from the truth of what happens.  But this gave us a good mix because obviously you want the heroine to succeed.  

Of course, there is some romance between Ellery and Malcolm, but it is not full blown, because again, realistically, there's murder going down, and who has time for romance!  But it is there, in all it's simmering potential.  And, while the spotlight is mostly on Ellery and Malcolm, there is a great supporting cast.  Ezra, Ellery's twin brother, and Mia, Malcolm's best friend, aren't used to their full potential, but they do add to the roundness of the cast.

With the characters well-crafted comes the plot.  And oh boy, is it an intricate one.  Because this town is involved in crimes that spans two decades, it is a little confusing to keep everything straight at first, but once the reader gets a lock on the different plots then it all comes together.  From there, the plot revs up and the reader is off, sleuthing along with Ellery and Malcolm to get to the bottom of the previous crimes and the threats against Ellery herself.

I can't really go into more detail than that, or I could spoil something!  All I can say is the last words of the book (like for many other reviewers) were intense and creeptastic.  Definitely a worthwhile thriller, and a strong sophomore debut from a new auto-buy author for me.  Readers won't go wrong picking up a copy of Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus!

Final Rating

About the Author

As a kid, Karen used to write books when she was supposed to be playing outside, and not much has changed. Karen's a marketing and communications professional who also writes Young Adult contemporary and fantasy fiction in Cambridge, MA.

When not writing or working, Karen loves to travel, and, along with her nine-year old son, she's ridden horses in Colombia and bicycles through Paris. A member of SCBWI, she holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of the Holy Cross and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Which she has never, ever used professionally.

3 Winners will receive a finished copy of Two Can Keep a Secret, US Only.


BLOG TOUR --- Power of Five by Alex Lidell --- ADULT FICTION [Review + Giveaway]

Title: Power of Five (Book 1)
Authors(s): Alex Lidell
Publication Date: May 4, 2018
Edition: Paperback, ebook; 312 pages
Publisher: Danger Bearing Press
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & 
Noble - The Book Depository

Tour Schedule

Week One:
1/4/2019 - Under the Book Cover Review - Power of Five
1/4/2019 - Writer of Wrongs Excerpt - Power of Five

Week Two:
1/7/2019 - Loie Dunn Review -Power of Five        
1/7/2019 - Texan Holly Reads Excerpt - Power of Five
1/8/2019 - BookHounds - Excerpt - Power of Five 
1/8/2019 - Two Chicks on Books Excerpt - Power of Five
1/9/2019 - Good Choice Reading Excerpt -Power of Five 
1/9/2019 - Adventures Thru Wonderland Excerpt - Lera of Lunos
1/10/2019 - A Gingerly Review Review -Power of Five   
1/11/2019 - Burgandy Ice - Excerpt - Lera of Lunos

Week Three:
1/14/2019 - Smada's Book Smack - Review - Complete Series
1/14/2019 - Books a Plenty Book Reviews Review- Complete Series
1/15/2019 - Reese's Reviews Review - Complete Series
1/15/2019 - Parajunkee Excerpt - Lera of Lunos 
1/16/2019 - Book-KeepingReview - Complete Series
1/16/2019 - Jaime's WorldExcerpt - Lera of Lunos 
1/17/2019 - Bookbriefs - Review - Complete Series
1/17/2019 - Abooktropolis - Review - Power of Five or Complete Series
1/18/2019 - Love in a time of Feminism Review - Complete Series
1/18/2019 - Eli to the nth Review - Power of Five

The Summary

Four elite fae warriors. One mortal female. A magical bond they can’t allow—or resist.

Orphaned and sold to a harsh master, Lera’s life is about mucking stalls, avoiding her master’s advances, and steering clear of the mystical forest separating the mortal and fae worlds. Only fools venture into the immortal realms, and only dark rumors come out... Until four powerful fae warriors appear at Lera’s barn.

River, Coal, Tye, and Shade have waited a decade for their new fifth to be chosen, the wounds from their quint brother’s loss still raw. But the magic has played a cruel trick, bonding the four immortal warriors to... a female. A mortal female.

Distractingly beautiful and dangerously frail, Lera can only be one thing—a mistake. Yet as the males bring Lera back to the fae lands to sever the bond, they discover that she holds more power over their souls than is safe for anyone... especially for Lera herself.

Power of Five is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel.

My Review

Power of Five is the first book in a reverse-harem series by author Alex Lidell.  She has written Young Adult fiction, her most notable is The Cadet of Tildor, but now she is applying her same great writing to adult fiction.  While I have never read a reverse-harem book (unless you count the Merry Gentry series by Laurell K. Hamilton as reverse-harem, cause boy there's a lot of men for one lady in those books), I knew what to expect: hot men playing in to specific stereotypes and the strong woman that connects all of them.  And while that premise is there in the heart of the book, it was still super enjoyable.

Lidell writes great characters, and the characters are what really kept me interested.  Especially Lera, the main protagonist.  Lera is a peasant, indentured to serve her master until she dies.  But even during these circumstances, she does not let it dampen her spirit.  She is strong-willed, and it shows in her surviving a less than appealing life.  Even when she is united with the other members of her "quint", she doesn't allow them to walk all over her.  She's a little bit of a "cliché", as she is petite in stature, and is gorgeous with fiery red hair (to reflect her fiery spirit...eh?), but for the type of book this was, it was expected. However, Lidell does allow Lera to break the mold just enough to keep her interesting.

Now, let's talk about these men.  All elite fae warriors, all gorgeous, and all trying to resist (or not resist, as the case may be) the pull they feel to Lera.  While there is a man to play each "stereotype" (the serious one, the playful one, the broken one, and the protective one), just as with Lera, they weren't completely pigeonholed into those roles.  And they are definitely the stuff of dreams.  I fell in love with them all, but I especially love Shade.  He's a shapeshifter, and the protective one of Lera.  I love when that side of a man comes out in romances.  But each of the men offer something to love, and something that intrigues Lera.  Reverse-harem activate! 

Finally, the plot was really interesting in this.  The fae have groups called "quints", made up of five fae warriors, which allow them to gather their power together and focus it.  This makes the fae very powerful, and they are needed to fight the dark creatures that are constantly trying to invade the fae world.  But the "quint" in the book is missing a member, so they need to find their new fifth to complete the group.  But their as led them to Lera, who is not only a woman, but a mortal woman.  This has never happened, and should never happen.  Queue the drama!  Lidell does create an intricate fantasy world, which is typically lacking in reverse-harem novels.  I was expecting just sex, but we actually got substance!  Don't get me wrong, there is sex, but it makes sense within the plot, and isn't there gratuitously.  Now, maybe in the later novels it'll be more explicit, but I was happy to be able to have my cake and eat it too, if you will.

Overall, if you love fantasy, and are looking to dive into the reverse-harem genre, this is definitely your book!  A strong female lead, hot leading men, and a fantasy plot that will keep you interested, Power of Five by Alex Lidell is a must-read, and I can't wait to get my hands on the other three books!  Luckily, neither you nor I will have to wait to see what happens to Lera and her men, as the last novel in the series, Lera of Lunos, came out earlier this month.  So go ahead, and jump on the binge read wagon!!

Final Rating


“Is this why you tried to stop my hunt?” Zake snarls into my face. “You wanted to intercept the immortal before he reached me?” His meaty hand turns me around, pressing my head against the barn’s side as the belt uncoils behind me. “What did you offer him, wench? Your maidenhead? Tell me the truth now, girl—it will only hurt more if you lie.”

“I’m not lying,” I say, my body already bracing for the coming blows. “Zake—” I clamp my mouth shut as the belt whistles through the air. There is no stopping this now, and little reason to waste breath that I’ll need shortly.

A furious growl rips through the air. Just when my back is supposed to explode in flame, a dark shape hurtles out of nowhere. Before I can blink, Zake is in the dirt, a large wolf prowling over him. The wolf’s lips pull back, revealing wet canines that glitter in the sun, its thick gray pelt and black muzzle bringing me straight back to last night’s dream.

I gasp, stepping away—and knock right into a wall of muscle and maleness. Tye, the smiling red-haired fae male, is no longer amused. The green-eyed stare he gives Zake is filled with the promise of violence. Not that there will be much of Zake left if the wolf has his way.

“What’s going on back here?” says a quiet voice. A new fae male strides out of the stable, this one dressed in warrior black and sporting a glare that says he’s one breath away from razing the whole estate to the ground. If Tye is an overgrown adolescent, the newcomer is a deadly killer, with long blond hair tied up in a bun, a chiseled jaw, and piercing blue eyes that seem to strip me and find me wanting in one glance. The wicked-looking blades strapped to his waist and back complete the effect.

“Just a wee misunderstanding,” says Tye. “I have it handled.”

The warrior snorts. “That’d be a first.”

Tye sighs in a long-suffering way. “Lera, this is Coal. Try to ignore him the best you can.”

Coal crosses his arms, his eyes finishing their examination of the soon-to-be-dead Zake and the salivating wolf before coming to a stop on my face.

As with Tye, a ripple of recognition races through me, though I’m certain I’ve never seen this male before. My instincts scream at me to run, even as the male’s eyes draw me toward him, the corded muscles of his forearms and shoulders making my breath quicken.

“Time to go, lass,” Tye murmurs into the back of my neck. A command. An invitation. A challenge.
Murderous fae. Mystwood. Broken bones.

My heart pounds, even as my body feels the rightness of Tye’s words and aches to accept them. I swallow, feeling as though the male has claimed me already. And not just him. Five, my soul seems to whisper.

Five what?

Five. There should be five. Has to be five.

About the Author

Alex Lidell is the Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of The Cadet of Tildor (Penguin, 2013). She is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s Alanna in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, Alanna started Alex’s life long love for YA fantasy books. Alex is represented by Leigh Feldman of Leigh Feldman Literary. She lives in Washington, DC.


  • 1 winner will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card (Intl.)
  • 1 winner will receive a POWER OF FIVE Journal (U.S.)
  • 1 winner will receive the complete POWER OF FIVE series in eBooks (Intl.)

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