Roxbury Books is on Tiktok!
New Release: It Started with a Lie
A Just Kisses Reverse Harem
However, he forgot to tell her he’s a 9-tailed fox. As the pair spend time together, their feelings grow. However, lies and jealousy will lead Gemma to the land of dragons, where she enters the palace of the third prince, a dragon named Ryu. Loving one man is hard enough. What happens when there are two?
If you prefer, you can read this title on Vella.
Review: Spin the Dawn
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia makes the ultimate sacrifice and poses as a boy to take his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors in a cutthroat competition for the job.
Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.
And nothing could have prepared her for the unthinkable final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the sun, the moon, and the stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.
Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this fantasy novel is not to be missed.
This is the second book I’ve read by Elizabeth Lim. I really like her writing growth between this one and Six Crimson Cranes. I also grabbed the Unravel the Dusk to start reading.
Spin the Dawn is a beautiful story about love and family. I knew straight from the opening that this would have an epic romance. I was not disappointed. Maia would give up the sun and moon for Edan, and he would do the same for her.
I can’t wait to see where the next book takes me.
Content alert: There is a scene with off-the-page/fade to black sex. And another scene with heavy kissing and necking.
Review: Love Over Kpop
Trish Russo moves to LA as a new assistant for an American Kpop agency. When she convinces the moody kpop star, Woo In-ho to come out of his trailer at a video shoot, she is asked by the agency to accompany him up the California coast for a special personal event. During the drive, Trish gets to know Woo In-ho. Her feelings start to become entangled with him making her jeopardize her career. Will she be able to keep her job while being involved with the Kpop star she’s assigned to oversee?
I stumbled on this little story on accident. And found myself continuing it in one night. it has some cute little romantic moments. There were a few times that I was a bit concerned that it wasn’t going to be a clean read suddenly and turn erotic due to the references to wanting to kiss In-ho again and maybe something else. Love isn’t lust and it gets tiring reading romance storylines that don’t realize this.
I really hope the author finishes writing this story.
New Release: It Started with a Lie
Gemma lied and said she had a boyfriend.
Gun Woo agrees to be her fake boyfriend.
Lies have a tendency to grow out of control.
Review: Hey, Nicky!
Remi Lucas isn’t afraid to go after what she wants, and she wants Nicolas Savage; the brilliant, hot, serious, emotionally unavailable nerd at school. Remi is gorgeous, smart, the head cheerleader, and the most popular girl in school; so, why is he playing hard to get? Does he think he’s going to ignore her? Not if she can help it. See if she’ll get her guy in this cute romantic comedy. Fans of the drama “It Started With a Kiss” will love this story.
Genre: Romance/Teen and Young Adult
I know this story isn’t finished. It is a vella story, after all, but it is fun. Taking place in high school, two childhood friends have grown apart That’s often part of life, right? Except Remi loves Nicholas, and Nicholas is crushing on Remi. What’s the problem you wonder? Well, Nicholas is relying on playing hard to get because a book told him so.
Full of embarrassing confession moments, longing thoughts and glances, this book will keep you going. So stock up on those tokens, you’re going to need them.
Review: The Sea Rose (a Vella story)
Lord Peter West could not marry Lady Bannister. Her eyes bore into him like daggers; her voice filled him with dread. Knowing this, his resolve thinned as the day neared to announce their union. He could not have imagined as he fled the party that he would find himself stranded in the district of the Half-Merpeople. No one had told him that those with ocean-blood lived such wretched lives. Most of all, he could not have dreamed that the once-vanished Lady Rose Finch walked those streets.
I have another Vella story to share. This one is great. It has two things I love, it’s a Regency romance and it has magic. And not just any magic, it’s merpeople.
From the opening, I was hooked. We start off with Peter at a ball meant to announce his engagement to a proper young lady by the name of Meredith. It doesn’t go as planned and Peter runs away. Leaving Meredith to an unfortunate fate. I wasn’t sure about her in the beginning. But there is a reason she behaves the way she does, and it tore at my heart as it unfolded.
Peter’s escape takes him to the poor area where the merpeople live. Shunned by society, it is quite dreadful there. Peter wants to make changes, and I look forward to seeing that journey.
Review: Break Every Chain
High school senior Maverick Mason has what every guy his age wants: the girl, the grades, the god-like status. Amira Abbasi is the same age and lives in the same town, but her reality couldn’t be more different. In fact, no one outside her household knows she exists. A chance encounter may change that, but will it make a difference if her fate has already been sealed?
This review is a little different, because I haven’t finished the book. For one thing, it isn’t finished. It’s serialized fiction available on Vella.
I was drawn in right away with the action in the first chapter. Maverick is a high school football star. We meet in the exciting opening. I liked Maverick and Amira’s first meeting, and I’m wondering what is going to happen next. (Because Amira is a servant to Lacey, Maverick’s date for the night.)
The first three episodes are free, and if you are like me, you’ll be spending your tokens on this. I look forward to seeing what author Aella Black as in store.
Review: The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea
Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. Floods sweep away entire villages, while bloody wars are waged over the few remaining resources. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride, in the hopes that one day the “true bride” will be chosen and end the suffering.
Many believe that Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in the village—and the beloved of Mina’s older brother Joon—may be the legendary true bride. But on the night Cheong is to be sacrificed, Joon follows Cheong out to sea, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong’s stead.
Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts, Mina seeks out the Sea God, only to find him caught in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a mysterious young man named Shin—as well as a motley crew of demons, gods and spirits—Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all.
But she doesn’t have much time: A human cannot live long in the land of the spirits. And there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking…
I have been waiting for this book since I first heard about in. In part, because I like the folktale Sim Chung and the River Dragon, and have written my own retelling of it.
And I really enjoyed this retelling of it. I loved the lore and the myths. I loved the different takes on imugis. I loved the twists. I love the theme of family and love, and family ties that last beyond death.
I can’t wait to see what author Axie Oh writes next. (And seriously, this book will look great next to mine on the shelf.)
Have you read The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea? What did you think?
What are some of your other favorite retellings?
Book Review: XOXO by Axie Oh
Release Date: 13 Jul 2021
Jenny’s never had much time for boys, K-pop, or really anything besides her dream of being a professional cellist. But when she finds herself falling for a K-pop idol, she has to decide whether their love is worth the risk. A modern forbidden romance wrapped in the glamorous and exclusive world of K-pop, XOXO is perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Maurene Goo.
Jenny didn’t get to be an award-winning, classically trained cellist without choosing practice over fun. That is, until the night she meets Jaewoo. Mysterious, handsome, and just a little bit tormented, Jaewoo is exactly the kind of distraction Jenny would normally avoid. And yet, she finds herself pulled into spending an unforgettable evening wandering Los Angeles with him on the night before his flight home to South Korea.
With Jaewoo an ocean away, there’s no use in dreaming of what could have been. But when Jenny and her mother move to Seoul to take care of her ailing grandmother, who does she meet at the elite arts academy she’s just been accepted to? Jaewoo.
Finding the dreamy stranger who swept you off your feet in your homeroom is one thing, but Jaewoo isn’t just any student. Turns out, Jaewoo is a member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world. And like most K-pop idols, Jaewoo is strictly forbidden from dating anyone.
When a relationship means not only jeopardizing her place at her dream music school but also endangering everything Jaewoo’s worked for, Jenny has to decide once and for all just how much she’s willing to risk for love. XOXO is a new romance that proves chasing your dreams doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your heart, from acclaimed author Axie Oh.
To me, it showed that what truly matters is universal. It crosses cultural boundaries. These are: Family. Friends. Hope. Love. Themes that I love in books.
The story is fast past, and does give you enough to feel complete. But it also makes you want to read about the other characters.
I received an ARC from the publisher. (Thank you!)
Let’s Chat Books
Now I’m going to bring up other books. (After all, this is a book blog. You might want to check these out too! ) This book reminded me of some other books I’ve read. For one, for a girl who is into classical music who runs into a successful pop star, there is Buxton Peaks by Julie Spencer. In XOXO, Jenny Go is an aspiring cellist. The pop star is Jaewoo. Just like in Buxton Peaks, Jenny has no knowledge of who the celebrity is. Yet, during the course of meeting him, and falling in love with him, she’ll come to know and love his music. This is probably a common theme in celebrity romance novels.
As for Kpop/Kdrama books, I thought of Jennie Bennett’s charming romances. In XOXO, Jae Woo runs away for a moment and meets our female leading lady In Runaway Pop Star, we have the same thing happening. And I enjoyed how this book made me think of other good books I have read.
For traveling to Korea, and a short whirlwind romance, I also thought of Flower Boy Tour Guide by Shannon Kent.
Again, these are delightful books. If you like Axie Oh, you’ll enjoy these too.
Remember, LOVE is UNIVERSAL! It transcends cultures. It is a powerful uniting force.