Nocturna: or two idiots fall in love in Latin America

Hello booklovers! Today’s review is an idiots to lovers story courtesy of romantic prince and a stubborn theif, That’s right today am reviewing Nocturna by Maya Motayne. 

Nocturna is Maya Motayne’s debut novel and the first in the Forgery of Magic series. This series is high fantasy, set in Latin America, and contains lots of magic.

*This post contains affiliate links. If you complete a purchase through one of my links I earn a small commission.

Summary:

Finn Voy is a shape-shifting (face shifter) thief visiting the capital of Castellan when an unexpected encounter with a mob boss forces her to steal an ancient relic in the palace. Prince Alfie is still grieving the loss of an older brother and the pressure to live up to his older brother’s legacy as the future king. When Alfie and Finn collide, they accidentally release an ancient power sealed away for the greater good. With Finn’s help, Alfie must vanquish the power, save Castellan and try not to die in the process. If Alfie and Finn happen to catch feelings for each other, well, they’re going to pretend not to notice.

Thoughts:

Nocturna offers an alternative reality of Latin American history. A reality in which the indigenous people fought back against their colonizers and took back their country. As a result, the people of Castellan struggles to remember their ancestral traditions. 

The setting for this novel felt new for me because I have never come across a latinx fantasy novel set in a medieval/early modern setting. I loved the way the author Montayne took the history of colonization from all countries in Latin America to create the world of Castellan.

While reading, I tried very hard to guess what real-life country inspired Castellan, and based on the slang and the mention of mangu, my best guess is the Dominican Republic. But I could totally be wrong about that.

The novel’s written in the third person with lots of POV changes, mostly between Alfie, Finn, and Luca. So when things get slow and sometimes heated- bam, a POV change.

[As for the two idiots in love]

Finn Voy is a headstrong heroine who has learned to close off her emotions. She’s sarcastic, witty, and loves to tease Alfie. I love Finn’s outspokenness, and I’d read a novel all about her adventures before meeting Alfie. When Finn comes to terms with her feelings for Alfie, she buries them deeply. After all, she isn’t the type to settle down.

Alfie’s a soft prince whose need to uncover his brother’s death gets him into a lot of trouble. Alfie cares a lot, so I was surprised he did not confess his feelings at all in this novel. In fact, in the end, he lets Finn go and hands her the invisible cloak. How are you going to confess your feelings for her if you can’t see her!

Like I said they’re both idiots.

“Freedom, she was coming to understand, could be found in a person instead of a place.”

Nocturna Maya Montayne

I’m excited to see more of these pendejos in book two. I also hope Alfie’s cousin, Luca gets more of a backstory.  Luca is interesting because he’s the closest thing Alfie has to a brother. But we never met Luca’s parents in this novel. I’m curious to meet them!

Final thoughts 4 stars! I recommend picking up this novel if you’re in the mood for some fantasy. Content warning for accidental death, childhood trauma, and abusive father figures.

*Grab your copy of Nocturna over on bookshop and help support small bookstores. If you want to shop more of my favorite novels check out my store front for fantasy, sci fi, black voices, and more.

Until next time book lovers, keep living in libros

Gaby

Ps. The sequel to Nocturna, Oculto is out now! I’m so excited for more longing looks between Alfie and Finn

Follow me around the web and subscribe to my YouTube channel! In this weeks video I cover all the books I read in March! And yes I did read ACOTAR…

Mini review: Blacker than Blue

Hello readers! I am back with another smutty vampire review!

Blacker than Blue is the sequel to Rebekah Weatherspoon’s Better off Red, a sapphic vampire love story which I reviewed last week. Blacker than Blue is set in the same sorority house and follows Cleo and Benny, two side characters we met in Better off Red. Like Better off Red, Blacker than Blue is also an interracial love story.

Summary: 

Three years after the events of Better off Red, Benny and Cleo continue to walk on eggshells around each other. They are exes with mutual resentment, bound to the duties of their sorority Alpha Beta Omega warring with their mutual attraction. Benny knows she needs to move on from Cleo, and with graduation looming, she’s excited for her next step into adulthood. Benny’s father sets her up with a powerful demon, and Benny’s instantly attracted. When Cleo finds out that she might lose Benny forever, she decides to put behind the pain and try to work things through.

Thoughts:

I was very excited for this sequel to Better off Red because the way Benny and Cleo ended their relationship was very messy. They both hated each other, and Cleo became super close with her feeder Andrew and fellow sister queen Tokyo. Like group sex close. 

The drama and animosity between Cleo and Benny is petty and I was here for it! Their problems could have been resolved with a quick conversation but they both refuse! 

I was surprised to learn that their relationship is one of Dom and Sub and to be honest, I’m not a big fan of this dynamic, so I skimmed the sex scenes.

“My Lord. You two had fun last night. It smells like blood and booty in here.”

Rebekah Weatherspoon Blacker than Blue

However, the plot was good!

I loved that Cleo does not give a single fuck and stands up to Benny’s dad, aka the most powerful vampires in the U.S! In Better off Red, we learn that Benny’s dad is scary AF, and all the sister queens respect him out of fear. In this sequel, we see that he’s a jerk and his love for Benny stems from revenge.

The conclusion to this story is very wild, and the plot twist really threw me off! It felt a bit rushed, but I did like the way it wrapped up Benny and Cleo’s story, so I’ll let it slide.

Content warning for this novel: mention of eating disorders, implied homophobia, use of gay slurs, and fat phobia, and slut shaming.

The third novel in this series tells Tokyo’s story, which I’m excited to read because Cleo says Tokyo’s a cry baby, which I can relate to! Additionally, Tokyo genuinely seems hurt once Cleo drops her, so I’m excited to read her story.

Until next time book lovers,

Gaby

You can follow me around the web at these links

Nocturna: or two idiots fall in love in Latin America

Hello booklovers! Today’s review is an idiots to lovers story courtesy of romantic prince and a stubborn theif, That’s right today am reviewing Nocturna by Maya Motayne.  Nocturna is Maya Motayne’s debut novel and the first in the Forgery of Magic series. This series is high fantasy, set in Latin America, and contains lots of […]

Rent a Boyfriend: a cute winter read to say bye to Spring

Before I start this review I wanted to leave some links to support the Asian American community. In case you don’t know what happened in the US this past week 8 people of Asian descent were killed because of ongoing Covid racism and ignorance. If you witness hate aimed at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders […]

Rent a Boyfriend: a cute winter read to say bye to Spring

Before I start this review I wanted to leave some links to support the Asian American community. In case you don’t know what happened in the US this past week 8 people of Asian descent were killed because of ongoing Covid racism and ignorance. If you witness hate aimed at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders you can report the incident to the Stop AAPI Hate website.

To donate directly check out these sites:

Stop AAPI Hate

Napawf.org (Works for social, political, and structural change for Asian American and Pacific Islander women and girls)

Asian Mental Health Collective – aspires to make mental health accessible and approachable to Asian communities worldwide. Check out their U.S directory if you are seeking mental health services. Check out the Canadian directory.


A few years ago at the Los Angeles Festival of books, I listened to Gloria Chao confess that she named the love interest in American Panda after Sailor Moon’s boyfriend. I found it adorable and never forgot it.

 Coincidentally, I stumbled across Rent a boyfriend while browsing and decided to pick it up, unaware it’s penned by the same author.

Rent a Boyfriend is a novel by Gloria Chao that you might recognize from such books as American Panda and Our Wayward Fate. 

*This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of my links and complete a purchase, I earn a commission.

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Black Witch Magic is a spooky Christmas read

Family curses, paranormal investigators, a witch working as a librarian? Black Witch Magic was a novel I knew I needed to read. 

Thank you Netgalley for providing me an arc in exchange for my honest review.

Summary: 

Selene Blackstone’s trapped in her small New England town, courtesy of her family curse. Selene’s unable to leave or find true love. Aiden’s a paranormal investigator with a web series looking to investigate Selene’s hometown and the ghost of Selene’s grandmother. 

But when strange things happen to people in town everyone is side-eyeing Selene believing she’s descended from witches. They aren’t wrong. However, Selene’s more interested in exploring the world of books than causing chaos.

When Aiden and Selene meet insults are thrown, but the two keep finding their way back to each other

.

Thoughts: 

This novel’s a cute Halloween Christmas read. If you’re the kind of person who prefers a spooky Christmas, then consider reading this one.

I liked the supporting characters in this story, especially Selene’s BFF Noelle, a nature witch, who keeps running from her cute ex. Noelle’s convinced Aiden’s a fuck boy and is worried Selene’s dickmatized.

“Selene, how are you dickmatized before the dick?

Her jaw dropped midbite of her crisp bagel, cheeks heating up. “I’m not dickmatized!”

Black Witch Magic Mila Nicks

And as Noelle’s caught up in Selene’s love life Selene’s also interested in seeing her bff happy as well.

The author, Mila Nicks, makes it a point to write romance novels featuring women of color, and as Selene’s Black and a witch, I expected those two things to work against her in her small town. However, everyone in town is more concerned she’s a witch. However Selene’s boss, Miriam, is aggressively mean to her, her weariness is pointed towards Selene’s witchy reputation. But I think Selene’s race also plays into Miriam’s prejudice.

Selene’s bff Noelle is also a witch and Miriam also loathes her, but Selene’s scenes with her boss hint at microaggressions. At least that’s how I was reading it.

I wish this novel developed more of the magic of the universe, explored more of Luna’s history via Selene’s weird uncle, as well as Aiden’s paranormal web series. I think it would have been interesting to see Selene and Aiden team up and investigate spirit boxes included. 

I hope the sequel does explore more of the paranormal investigator subplot as I am a ho for ghost investigations.

Until next time I’ll be living in libros,

Gaby

Mini review: Blacker than Blue

Hello readers! I am back with another smutty vampire review! Blacker than Blue is the sequel to Rebekah Weatherspoon’s Better off Red, a sapphic vampire love story which I reviewed last week. Blacker than Blue is set in the same sorority house and follows Cleo and Benny, two side characters we met in Better off […]

Put Down Your Phone And Read Take A Hint Dani Brown

Hello romance novels! Have you read any good romance novels lately? Well I’ve recently read Take a Hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert and loved it! Seriously add this novel to your tbr! This post contains affiliate links to bookshop. If you complete a purchase through one of my links I earn a commission. If […]

El tóxico rises again: reviewing Ruin and Rising

Hello book lovers! Have you looked at the new Shadow and Bone pictures Netflix released? Did you see the photo of Alina and the Darkling together? This man is toxic but I’m still excited to see that part of the story. Speaking of Shadow and Bone, I’ve collected my thoughts for this last novel and […]

Put Down Your Phone And Read Take A Hint Dani Brown

Hello romance novels! Have you read any good romance novels lately? Well I’ve recently read Take a Hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert and loved it! Seriously add this novel to your tbr!

This post contains affiliate links to bookshop. If you complete a purchase through one of my links I earn a commission. If you would like to know more about bookshop’s affiliate program check out my blog post.

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El tóxico rises again: reviewing Ruin and Rising

Hello book lovers! Have you looked at the new Shadow and Bone pictures Netflix released? Did you see the photo of Alina and the Darkling together? This man is toxic but I’m still excited to see that part of the story. Speaking of Shadow and Bone, I’ve collected my thoughts for this last novel and gathered them together in this post for your enjoyment.

If you have been following this series from the beginning then you know I’ve been spoiling all the books over on my youtube channel. And today is no different, so if would like to know all the juicy plot points for this series head on over to my youtube Living in Libros.

If you want to live a spoiler free life read the summary and dip. My thoughts are full of spoilers and a rant for the whole series. Proceed with caution.

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Gorgeous book covers with phenomenal plots part one

Hello Readers!

Due to some Veterinary issues involving my dog Mimosa, I was not able to complete a video review for Ruin and Rising this week. But don’t worry! I shall not leave you without a blog post this today.

Today, I wanted to share with you my favorite books with aesthetically pleasing covers. Pretty covers give me the urge to impulse buy and never look back! However, beautiful book covers with interesting plots make me want to keep them on my shelf forever.

Don’t worry this is just part one of my list. I hope to add more books in the future.

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Reading Shadow and Bone so you don’t have to

Hello book lovers! If you lurk on the book side of social media then you probably know by now that Leigh Bardugo’s book series Shadow and Bone has been turned into a Netflix series and we can expect the show to premiere in April. I am a big Six of Crows fans so when I heard this news I knew I needed to read Shadow and Bone too!

If you’re curious about this series and want to know what it’s all about before the show permeries, well I caught you covered…

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