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Rabid Reads

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Reading progress update: I've listened 745 out of 745 minutes.

Demon from the Dark: Immortals After Dark, Book 10 - Kresley Cole, Robert Petkoff

One of this series' better installments, and there hero's not even a werewolf. Heuh. ;) Full review to follow.

Sign-Up — Her Sinful Angel by Felicity Heaton Blog Barrage (August 1-9)

HSA_Banner




I’m organizing a blog barrage from August 1st to 9th, 2015 for the eighth installment in Felicity Heaton’s HER ANGEL series, HER SINFUL ANGEL. Each post will feature an intro piece, blurb and cover, excerpt, author bio and links, plus information on a huge giveaway Felicity will be hosting that week on her website to celebrate the release of HSA. Individual international giveaways will also be available to each tour participant, just so long as they use Rafflecopter, and are willing to include some of the author’s social media as extra entries. Advanced copies are available for review as well.

The book is scheduled to release on August 1st, 2015. It’s a Paranormal Romance, 64,000 words in length, and contains detailed love scenes and fight scenes. It can be read as a stand-alone.

Every participating blog in this barrage will be entered into a giveaway for a $100 Amazon Gift Card (or UK equivalent). The giveaway is international, and the prize will be drawn at the end of the barrage at random from a list of all blogs who posted as scheduled during the event, and the winner will be notified via email.

SIGN-UP


Her Sinful Angel

Author’s Website | GoodReads

Cast out of Heaven and now the king of Hell, Lucifer is a powerful fallen angel warrior with a heart as cold as ice and soul as black as the bottomless pit. For millennia, he has ruled his realm with an iron fist as he plots the demise of his ancient enemies. When one of those enemies dumps an unconscious mortal female in the courtyard of his fortress and leaves her there, Lucifer finds himself entranced by the beguiling beauty and tempted beyond all reason. But is the enchanting Nina an innocent pawn in the eternal game or part of a plot against him?


Her Sinful Angel Series
Her Dark Angel Her Fallen Angel Her Warrior Angel Her Guardian Angel
Her Demonic Angel Her Wicked Angel Her Avenging Angel Her Sinful Angel

 


 
Author Bio

Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you’re a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.

FelicityHeaton.co.uk | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
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Reading progress update: I've listened 190 out of 745 minutes.

Demon from the Dark: Immortals After Dark, Book 10 - Kresley Cole, Robert Petkoff

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Blind Salvage  - Shannon Mayer

It took five installments, but I'm happy to report that this series has officially moved into 5-star territory! Full review to follow.

Reading progress update: I've read 26%.

Frozen in Amber - Phyllis Ames-Bey

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Wicked Embers - Keri Arthur

This was a good book as far as Urban Fantasies go, but if you've read Arthur's RILEY JENSON or DARK ANGEL novels the story, and the characters are freakishly similar. I've tackled both, so aside from a few minor differences I felt like I was doing a re-read instead of experiencing the second installment in a brand new series. If you're a newcomer to this author you'll probably enjoy it, if not, you'll most likely be disappointed. Full review to follow.

Reading progress update: I've read 64%.

Wicked Embers - Keri Arthur

Same ol' just a different packaging. Arthur needs to switch up her tropes because it's getting to a point where if you've read one of her series, you've read 'em all.

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

The Stars Never Rise - Rachel Vincent

Religion is always a slippery slope in fiction, but Rachel Vincent used it well in THE STARS NEVER RISE. I liked the way that the world was presented, and the YA elements were enjoyable without the characters' maturity levels suffering as a result. Full review to follow.

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

The Veil: A Devil's Isle Novel - Chloe Neill

Unfortunately I was in the middle of a move when I started reading this book, so it took me over 2 weeks to finish it, and I feel like I might have forgotten a few important details. My fault. Anyway, I enjoyed the Dystopian aspects, and NOLA always make for a great setting, especially in the Paranormal sub-genres. None of the characters really stood out though, and I found that Claire's progression from a newbie Sensitive to world-saviour was a big leap for one installment. Full review to follow. ~3.5 Stars

Review: Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

Review: Summer Knight by Jim Butcher
Summer Knight
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: The Dresden Files #4
Publisher: Roc
Published on: September 3 2002
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: 388 pages, eBook
Provided by: Purchased
three-half-starsthree-half-starsthree-half-starsthree-half-stars
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HARRY DRESDEN -- WIZARD

Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment

Ever since his girlfriend left town to deal with her newly acquired taste for blood, Harry Dresden has been down and out in Chicago. He can't pay his rent. He's alienating his friends. He can't even recall the last time he took a shower.

The only professional wizard in the phone book has become a desperate man.

And just when it seems things can't get any worse, in saunters the Winter Queen of Faerie. She has an offer Harry can't refuse if he wants to free himself of the supernatural hold his faerie godmother has over him--and hopefully end his run of bad luck. All he has to do is find out who murdered the Summer Queen's right-hand man, the Summer Knight, and clear the Winter Queen's name.

It seems simple enough, but Harry knows better than to get caught in the middle of faerie politics. Until he finds out that the fate of the entire world rests on his solving this case. No pressure or anything...

howlinggood magical twisted hotmess freaky

 

So here’s the deal . . . I saw a lot of improvement in SUMMER KNIGHT. A LOT.

 

I was introduced to several new characters whom I instantly loved: Ebenezar, Listens to Wind, the Gatekeeper, Meryl . . . a couple old favorites made appearances: Billy the Werewolf and Toot, but better than the well-loved characters, both old and new, was the dramatic rehabilitation of Murphy.

 

I know I mentioned in my review of FOOL MOON that I was not a fan of Murphy . . . that was a gross understatement. She was obnoxious and mistrustful. She was violent and irrational. She was just unlikable. I wrote her off as one more attractive female who Harry made himself an idiot over.

 

Normally when there’s as dramatic a change as what happened with Murphy, it’s unbelievable and feels forced. You don’t trust it and you wait to see what their game is . . . but Butcher made it work. Her brand of snark blends well into the mix that makes up a person who can lose their mind when pushed too far. Her violent response to having information withheld in dire circumstances paves the way to a cease fire when Harry finally begins to reveal the secrets of his world, and even if those things weren’t true, giving us insight into her emotional state made me want to cut her some slack anyway.

Which is good b/c this new, improved Murphy is friggin’ hilarious. And Murphy and Harry together . . . well, I could get used to this:

“You did what?”
“Put on the boots,” Murphy said. “I put on the boots and kicked some monster ass. I dropped the ghoul, and I’m the one who rammed a chain saw through the head of that plant monster thing. Crippled the ogre, too. What did you do? You threw a can of Sterno at him. That’s barely an assist.”
“Yeah, but I soaked him in gasoline first.”
She snorted at me, around more pizza. “Shutout.”
“Whatever.”
“Murphy three, Dresden zero.”
“You didn’t do all of it.”
“I put on the boots.”
I raised my hands. “Okay, okay. You’ve . . . got boots, Murph.”
She sniffed and took an almost dainty sip of Coke. “Lucky I was there.”

And we all know that I love the Fae. The Dresdenites who already make a habit of telling Dresden noobs that the series starts “getting good” at book 4 were full of Harry-like glee in anticipation to my reaction to Butcher’s Fae.

 

And they were good Fae. They were. I liked them.

 

BUT.

 

Butcher somehow managed to make them wonderfully tricksy Fae . . . without making much use of their tricksy Fae-ness, and Harry, despite having years of knowledge from study and experience with the denizens of the Nevernever . . . seems quite hapless about them in many ways.

 

I mean, COME ON. An unbelievably beautiful woman with WHITE hair (who isn’t old) and WINTER coloring who smells of flowers and WILDNESS walks into your office, and you don’t figure out she’s Fae until you cobble together something about your office door being unlocked, and ultimately it’s built on suspicions about your Faerie Godmother?

 

He should have just looked at her and thought, “FAE.” He didn’t need to make up reasons why, who cares why? An obviously Fae woman is in your office. The end.

 

But that was just irritating. The real problem was the plot line.

 

There are half a dozen good options for Bad Guys that I can name off the top of my head, and View Spoiler » isn’t one of them.

 

Not only was Bad Guy a seriously lame choice for the Bad Guy, but the reason behind he/she/its Bad Guy-ness . . . didn’t hold water for me. View Spoiler » <------b/c it's lazy and a cop out.

 

Basically, I'm loving the characters, but the lack of a truly great plot line . . . even a character-driven reader like myself can only give a series the benefit of the doubt for so long. So far only one of four (FOOL MOON) has been really good. Maybe I wouldn't be so burned out if it weren't for the occasional rearing of Butcher's inner-adolescent on the humor front:

 

“You are, I take it, Harry Dresden?”
“If I’m not, he’s going to be upset with me when he catches me running around in his underpants.”

*rolls eyes* And don’t even get me started on View Spoiler » <------riddikulus.

 

So yeah, without the teenage boy humor, maybe the characters would be enough to keep me going. As it is, you've got one more book to convince me that this series is worth it, b/c so far . . . I'm not seeing it.

 
 
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Audiobook Review: Heir to The Shadows by Anne Bishop

Heir to the Shadows - Anne Bishop

Heir to The Shadows
Author: Anne Bishop
Series: The Black Jewels #2
Narrated by: John Sharian
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published on: August 7, 2007
Genre: Fantasy
Format: 18 hrs & 52 mins, Audiobook
Provided by: Purchased
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Enough time has passed for the young girl Jaenelle, heir to the magical Darkness, for her physical wounds to heal, while amnesia keeps her frightening memories at bay. But with Saetan--a Black-Jewelled Warlord Prince and Jaenelle's foster-father--to protect her, she will continue to grow. Her magic will mature. Her memories will return. And Jaenelle will face her destiny when she remembers Daemon, Saetan's son, who made the ultimate sacrifice for her love....

Twisted Fantasy Audiobook

 

It took me a full year to build up the courage to listen to HEIR TO THE SHADOWS after being thoroughly traumatized by book 1. I really love Anne Bishop’s THE OTHERS series, and I’m a firm believer in second chances when it comes to authors, so after twelve months of mental preparation, here we go again. It’s with a massive sigh of relief that I write this review because A) no nightmares & B) this installment was a vast improvement upon the previous one. It was slow paced, and was more about the dialogue than the action, but we’re definitely getting somewhere.

This novel concentrated on Jaenelle’s road to recovery; after two years in a coma, she must battle her way back to sanity, and then take the necessary steps in order to become the Queen she was meant to be. The story followed Angelline from the age of twelve to twenty, so it’s best to minimize the number of sessions spent reading this book in order to avoid confusing the timeline. Lots of character development takes place, both where the protagonist was concerned as well as the secondaries, and all of the chess pieces were brought to the fore, including the kindred—wolves, unicorns & dragons!

Even though THE BLACK JEWELS series now has nine volumes under its wing, it was originally a trilogy, so this installment felt like it was the limbo between books 1 & 3 which explains its lack of major intrigue. By the end of this novel everything was in place for an earth-shaking payoff, except the love interest. Daemon Sadi was off in cuckoo land, but other than that I was able to better appreciate Bishop’s Dark Fantasy because this story was minus the truly heinous tidbits; however that doesn’t mean that the author dons kid gloves. Every character is still fair game.

John Sharian’s narration didn’t creep me out nearly as much as it did in DAUGHTER OF THE BLOOD. I still question the producer’s decision to go with a male voice for this series, but Angelline’s entourage is a sausage fest, so with the more disturbing aspects behind us, he’s growing on me. Sharian’s ominous tone actually worked to his advantage when he mimicked Jaenelle’s ‘midnight voice’, and I thought that he was reasonably adept at keeping the plethora of personas separate, although he does goof on occasion, and slips into his staple timbre when he shouldn’t.

HEIR TO THE SHADOWS was almost good. I’m eager for Anne Bishop to bring it home with QUEEN OF THE DARKNESS.


The Black Jewels Series

My Review
 

 



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Review: In the Air Tonight by Lori Handeland

Review: In the Air Tonight by Lori Handeland
In the Air Tonight
Author: Lori Handeland
Series: Sisters of the Craft #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Published on: June 2 2015
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format: 352 pages, eARC
Provided by: NetGalley
three-starsthree-starsthree-stars
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Four centuries ago, in a small Scottish village, three baby girls escaped the wrath of a witch hunter. Today, one young woman will learn about her secret history, her heart's destiny, and the sisters she never knew she had...

With her blue-black hair and dark eyes, Raye Larsen has never fit in with the Scandinavian community of New Bergin, Wisconsin. Being adopted is part of the reason she feels like an outsider, but what really sets Raye apart is her ability to see dead people. Everywhere.

She’s learned to keep her visions to herself . . . until she stumbles onto the ghost of a murder victim who needs Raye’s help. Enter Bobby Doucet, a distractingly handsome homicide detective who has been tracking a killer all the way from New Orleans. Could this be the break in his case he’s been looking for all along?

Meanwhile, the deeper Raye gets involved with the case—and with Bobby—the closer she comes to unlocking the mystery of her own origins. What she discovers about herself could destroy everything she knows . . . and everyone she loves. Is finding the truth worth the risk?

Filled with dark magic, dazzling romance, and dire suspense, this is the first book in a thrilling new series by New York Times bestselling author Lori Handeland.

ISNTA wtf2 CRIME magical

 

Raye Larsen is a twenty-seven year old kindergarten teacher. She lives in the same small town she grew up in, the same small town where she has never fit in (b/c typical small town nonsense).

 

Raye is adopted, you see, and in addition to having dark hair and eyes in a town of blonde-haired, blue-eyed Scandinavians . . . she can also see ghosts.

 

BUT.

 

When she was four—yes, four—she overheard her adoptive parents discussing her oddity, and when Dad suggests they “take her back,” she modified her behavior to never again betray her awareness of things normal people can’t see.

 

I’ve got all kinds of problems with that.

 

My personal perspective on adoption is that once you’ve made a commitment, you don’t get to “take them back” anymore than you’d get to take back a child you share DNA with.

 

But as sympathetic as I was to the instability and emotional distress hearing that would cause a child, I had a hard time respecting an adult who hasn’t come to terms with that childhood distress, preferring to avoid her gifts in favor of trying to fit in (especially when this group of people is so ridiculously small-minded):

Despite having seen spirits all of my life, I’d spent most of my time avoiding them, or trying to ignore them, rather than understand them. Wouldn’t you?

No. I wouldn’t.

 

So I thought Raye was chicken and an idiot, which is never good, but I also thought she was . . . I don’t know, a dork, maybe? (Not in a geektastic way.)

 

At first I thought it was a forty-something trying to write a twenty-something, and that may be it, but I’ve got a twenty-five year old sister, and I’m pretty sure she’d get all the random references Raye was making . . . She just wouldn’t ever make them herself . . . b/c dumb.

 

Like who says a guy flexes “like Arnold”?

 

1. Arnold’s not flexing much these days.
2. Gross, man.

 

Or how about while flirting with the new guy in town:

“Maybe I should take you to the doctor.”
“I’d rather we played doctor.” I clapped my hand over my mouth. Had I said that?

Unfortunately, YES, you did. *is vaguely uncomfortable b/c vicariously embarrassed*

Then there’s Bobby.

 

Bobby sounds hot—dark skin, dark hair, blue eyes, Creole—but Bobby is named Bobby (yuck), and I’m not going to say that he thinks and says things that no man would ever think or say, b/c absolutes are inherently flawed . . . However, I will say that I’ve never met a man who says and thinks things like Bobby, and if I ever did, I would not be attracted to him:

She put her hand in his and stepped beneath the water, lifting her face to the stream, arching her long, slim, white neck like a doe worshipping the moon . . . She resembled a nymph beneath a waterfall, a mermaid in the surf.

B/c when a guy sees a pretty girl in the shower he’s thinking about her neck . . . Riiiiiiiiight.

 

There’s also a guy who gives him “the creepies.” *frowns and squints*

 

SO. I had a lot of issues with the characters, but I feel like they were mainly personality conflicts, so there’s a good chance you won’t be similarly bothered.

 

And aside from my character issues, the story is really cool. It involves witches and witch hunters and secret societies, and the history may even be legit. I didn’t take the time to look all of it up, but I know that parts of it are true, and the rest of it is believable, so even if it isn’t, the melding of fact and fiction is my favorite part, and I felt like it was incredibly well done.

 

Overall, IN THE AIR TONIGHT by Lori Handeland was a decent first installment in her new SISTERS OF THE CRAFT trilogy. The majority of what I disliked about the book were issues of personal preference, and even with the character clashes, the story was interesting enough to ensure that I read the second book (like right after I finish this review). I’ll let you know how it goes. *crosses fingers*

 

Sisters of the Craft series:

 


 


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Release Day Review, Spotlight and Giveaway: Night of the Highland Dragon by Isabel Cooper

This June marks the release of The Night of the Highland Dragon, the third in Isabel Cooper’s fantastic paranormal Highland Dragon series. To celebrate the release, Isabel is giving us an exclusive peek into some of the MacAlasdair’s more interesting ancestors – some of them may even appear in future books of the series!

Arach Alastair, Laird Alastair, Alexander Draconis, Red Alex (100 BC-500 AD)


Among other things, a Roman centurion: his shapechanging ability as well as his skill at leading men gained him considerable praise, but he was always too blunt and independent-minded to really ever have Imperial favor. (His very abilities—and his apparent immortality—branded him as a threat to several highly-placed people, and only his inhuman nature saved him from at least one poisoning attempt.) When he returned to Scotland and acquired land there, it was to the considerable relief of his former countrymen, not to mention the delight of several local girls. One of his wives was purely human; others, less so. History is more or less silent on the subject of the women he didn’t marry, but his bloodline will occasionally speak for itself.

 

Excerpt

 

               From the soot-stained sides of the alley, shadows emerged and became men. Judith counted five: big fellows, all of them, and at least two openly carried long knives. She let out all her breath, hissing it through her teeth, and took a step back.

               “It’s all right,” William said, putting a hand on her arm. Oh, good: he was going to try and be protective. This day was going wonderfully. He turned to the men. “Very sorry to disturb you. We’ll just be on our way.”

               Protective and diplomatic. Even better.

               “Don’t move,” growled one of the larger men. “Don’t run. Don’t scream. You’d better not scream. Nobody’d hear you. Nobody’d come anyway.”

               Even from a distance, he reeked of drink. His eyes were glassy, and he grinned when he spoke in a way that Judith didn’t like at all. Neither did she like the way the others were looking at him, taking their cues. On their own, sober, any of them might have been reasonable. Right now she could feel the avalanche building.

               Judith took more quick inventory. The men would probably catch up quickly if they tried to run. The alley was dark, and the leader was probably right: she’d never known most people in cities to intervene, and the local constabulary didn’t take much interest in a neighborhood like this one. She wasn’t armed. She didn’t know if William had brought whatever weapon he’d been reaching for out at Finlay’s, or how skilled he was with it if he had. And she was wearing skirts.

               She sighed, held still, and decided to try a little diplomacy of her own. “I’m sure we can settle this peaceably. Just leave us enough money for tickets home, aye? We’ll hand over the rest.”

               The leader shook his head. “Won’t need money when we’re done with you. Won’t need to go home, either,” he said. Judith didn’t recognize what cue he gave, and he didn’t speak, but she heard footsteps behind her.

               Fine, then. Fine.

               She whirled, caught the man’s outstretched hand as he tried to grab her arm—they always tried for the bicep if you were a woman, devil only knew why—and used his body as a pivot for her own. Her elbow smashed into his jaw with all her weight behind it. His head snapped sideways with a cracking sound: his jaw, not his neck, for he yelled in agony and staggered back, clutching the side of his face.

               There was no time to see William’s reaction.

               “Are we finished—” she started to ask.

               Then the leader roared and rushed forward, and the rest followed his lead. It was an answer, just not the one Judith had wanted. “I did my best,” she muttered, not sure if she was speaking to William or the robbers or her own conscience. Then she gave herself over to the moment.

 

 

 
Author Bio

During the day, Isabel Cooper maintains her guise as a mild-mannered project manager in legal publishing. In her spare time, she enjoys video games, ballroom dancing, various geeky hobbies, and figuring out what wine goes best with leftover egg rolls. Cooper lives with two thriving houseplants in Boston, Massachusetts.

Website | Blog | GoodReads

 

My Review



Release Day Review, Spotlight and Giveaway: Night of the Highland Dragon by Isabel Cooper
Night of the Highland Dragon
Author: Isabel Cooper
Series: Highland Dragons #3
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Published on: June 2, 2015
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format: 352 pages, eARC
Provided by: NetGalley
four-starsfour-starsfour-starsfour-stars

"They say," said the girl, "that people disappear up there. And I heard that the lady doesna' ever grow any older."
"The lady?" William asked.
"Lady MacAlasdair. She lives in the castle, and she's been there years, but she stays young and beautiful forever."

In the Scottish Highlands, legend is as powerful as the sword-and nowhere is that more true than in the remote village of Loch Aranoch. Its mysterious ruler, Judith MacAlasdair, is fiercely protective of her land-and her secrets. If anyone were to find out what she really was, she and her entire clan would be hunted down as monsters.

William Arundell is on the trail of a killer. Special agent for an arcane branch of the English government, his latest assignment has led him to a remote Highland castle and the undeniably magnetic lady who rules there. Yet as lies begin to unravel and a dark threat gathers, William finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery of the Highlands...and the woman he can neither trust nor deny.

He prays she isn't the murderer; he never dreamed she was a dragon.
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Paranormal Romance Mystery Magical

 

Third and final book in this series, Night of the Highland Dragon brings Judith, sister to Stephen and Colin into the story-finally. She had been mentioned several times throughout the last two books, so I was more than ready to see what was in store for her in this read. And of course to see her get her HEA.

Judith is the oldest of these dragon siblings, and at this time she is the lady of the manor-or in this case castle in Scotland. Finally one of these books takes place in Scotland! She only stays at the castle for a couple of decades, or so at a time, doesn’t age, and so she has to leave. Then a faked death, and sometime in the future her ‘granddaughter’ will return. If she looks exactly like her grandmother, well, only the elderly will notice-nothing a little magic spell can’t take care of. And there’s plenty of magic in the small village of Loch Arach-too much so at this time. Bodies of both animals and a young man are found-at a time and place where livestock is the very livelihood of the villagers so something needs to be done. William comes to Loch Arach to investigate. As an agent for a secret branch of the British government, William goes undercover wherever magic is being abused. Judith is his number one suspect, and not because he knows she is a dragon(he doesn’t), but because there have been rumors about her family and magic for years, and it has never been checked out until now.

Whereas the second book was a bit slow, this book pulls the reader into the story and keeps them interested throughout, at least I thought so. William finds himself slowly drawn to the lady of the manor, Judith. For her part, she is drawn to him as well, but she is all about keeping the secrets of her and her siblings lives, and protecting the people of her village. She doesn’t trust him, just as much as he doesn’t trust her.

It was fun to see the two, both with the same objective-find the one responsible for the deaths-slowly start to trust each other. The characters were fairly interesting, I just wish there had been more chemistry between the two prior to the first love scene. I think it would have been more believable, but maybe since the year is 1895 or so, that’s just how some people were back then. However, I thought the chemistry between Colin and Reggie in the second book was immense compared to this. Judith is a bit more straitlaced as lady of the manor, than Reggie was, as daughter of the manor.

As in the first two books, I ended up wishing for more from the dragon. Of course there is some, and even a dragon/demon fight, I just wanted a bit more. However, this book was full of action, some violence, and spooky (at times) magic. I would consider it a paranormal romance/mystery, although I knew who the bad guy was early on, but that didn’t ruin the read for me at all. The whole last half of the book had me reading non-stop, and when I finished, I literally said out loud, I enjoyed that!

Recommended for adult paranormal romance readers-ones that don’t mind a historical time period. Actually, I thought the time period was perfect for all three of these books. I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Highland Dragons Series

My Review

My Review

 

 

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Fresh Meat: May 31-June 6th Speculative Fiction Releases

Urban Fantasy:

From a Drood to a Kill
From a Drood to a Kill
(Secret Histories #9)
by Simon R. Green
Urban Fantasy
Amazon B&N GoodReads

Book Description

Some call me Shaman Bond, but I was born Eddie Drood, the latest in a long line of folks who chase monsters out of closets for a living to keep humanity safe from all that is dark, demonic, and just downright evil. Needless to say, we’ve made our fair share of enemies over the centuries—and made some questionable bargains.

In exchange for the power to fight the forces of darkness, my parents signed over their souls. They’re not the only ones who’ve made deals with Heaven, Hell, and every otherworldly realm in between, but now the bill’s due for several big names in the supernatural community.

Including my girl, Molly. She, my parents, and other major players have been kidnapped so they’ll pay up—or participate in the “Big Game.” The rules are simple: get from one side of the pocket dimension to the other and kill your competitors. The winner’s debt is paid in full, and the losers get themselves permanently lost, body and soul, forever.

To save my loved ones, I’ve got to become a ringer in this deadly contest that’s undoubtedly rigged by the Powers That Be….

 

Rememberers
by C. Edward Baldwin
Urban Fantasy
Amazon B&N GoodReads

Book Description

Someone is killing terrorists before the terrorists can commit their atrocious acts of violence. On the surface, such killings appear to be good things. Killing evil scumbags before they can murder hundreds, possibly thousands, what’s not to like? But for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent, Dennard Bennett, vigilantism is never a good thing. Innocent people could get hurt or killed. Besides, Bennett feels something more sinister may be at play. Little does he know how right his gut feeling will turn out to be, or how the answers to his questions lie in the sleepy college town of Bengate, NC with an unsuspecting nineteen year old college student named Kallie Hunt whose world is about to be turned upside down.

 

The Dragons of Heaven
by Alyc Helms
Urban Fantasy
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Book Description

Missy Masters inherited more than the usual genetic cocktail from her estranged grandfather. She also got his preternatural control of shadows and his enduring legacy as the legendary vigilante superhero, Mr. Mystic.

After a little work, the costume fits OK, but Missy is far from experienced at fighting crime, so she journeys to China to seek the aid of Lung Huang, the ancient master who once guided her grandfather. She becomes embroiled in the politics of Lung Huang and his siblings, the allegedly mythical nine dragon-guardians of all creation.

When Lung Di—Lung Huang’s brother and mortal enemy—raises a magical barrier that cuts off China from the rest of the world, it falls to the new Mr. Mystic to prove herself by taking down the barrier.

It’s a superhero novel, a pulp fantasy novel, with lashings of kung fu, immense kick-ass dragons and an unfailingly sympathetic heroine—yes, it’s another wonderful Angry Robot title.

 

Resistance: Dave vs. the Monsters
(David Hooper #2)
by John Birmingham
Urban Fantasy
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Book Description

When you drop a monster-killer on the Strip, all bets are off.

Holed up in Las Vegas after the tumultuous Battle of New Orleans, Dave is enjoying the VIP perks afforded a champion monster-slayer. He may be a superhero of swag and the toast of the town, but if some fire-breathing dragons have their way, odds are everyone will soon be toast. As the hordes from the UnderRealms regroup for their next attack, Dave parties with celebrities, lunches with A-listers, and gets his ass lawyered up—because his hellacious ex is looking for a piece of that sweet, sweet action.

It’s all good, until new monsters roll in, looking to parley with “the Dave.”

WTF, monsters. Do you think the Dave can’t spot a trap before he falls into it? And when things go to hell at warp 10, a suit from a shadow operation swoops in to offer Dave a deal he can’t refuse. Now Dave’s about to face off against an opponent who makes battling bloodthirsty behemoths look like child’s play—a ravishing Russian spy with a few superpowers of her own.

 

Briar Queen (Night and Nothing #2)
by Katherine Harbour
Urban Fantasy
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Book Description

The dark, moody, and mystical fantasy begun in Thorn Jack, the first novel in the Night and Nothing series, continues in this bewitching follow up—an intriguing blend of Twilight, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alice in Wonderland, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream—in which Finn Sullivan discovers that her town, Fair Hollow, borders a dangerous otherworld . . .

Serafina Sullivan and her father left San Francisco to escape the painful memory of her older sister Lily Rose’s suicide. But soon after she arrived in bohemian Fair Hollow, New York, Finn discovered a terrifying secret connected to Lily Rose. The placid surface of this picture-perfect town concealed an eerie supernatural world—and at its center, the wealthy, beautiful, and terrifying Fata family.

Though the striking and mysterious Jack Fata tried to push Finn away to protect her, their attraction was too powerful to resist. To save him, Finn—a girl named for the angels and a brave Irish prince—banished a cabal of malevolent enemies to shadows, freeing him from their diabolical grip.

Now, the rhythm of life in Fair Hollow is beginning to feel a little closer to ordinary. But Finn knows better than to be lulled by this comfortable sense of normalcy. It’s just the calm before the storm. For soon, a chance encounter outside the magical Brambleberry Books will lead her down a rabbit hole, into a fairy world of secrets and legacies . . . straight towards the shocking truth about her sister’s death.

 

Red Angel (Bo Blackman #4)
by Helen Harper
Urban Fantasy
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Book Description

With the dust still settling from the brutal attack on the Agathos court and Rogu3’s school, Bo Blackman is forced to live with her newfound status as a celebrity. She’s still determined, however, to track down those responsible – and to solve the mystery of Tobias Renfrew, the daemon billionaire who disappeared over fifty years ago. Her investigations will lead her to places as far removed as a military base and the sinister Black Market.

One thing is for sure – once Bo’s done, nothing will ever be the same again.



Paranormal Romance:

Shards of Hope (Psy-Changeling #14)
by Nalini Singh
Paranormal Romance
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Book Description

The “smoldering heat, epic romance, and awesome action”* of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as two Arrows find themselves caught in a chilling conspiracy that spans all three races…

Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.

And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what. This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.

 

Fandemic (Bigtime #5)
by Jennifer Estep
Paranormal Romance
Amazon GoodReads

Book Description

Piper Perez has always wanted to be a superhero. Always wanted to wear a cool costume, have amazing abilities, and save the day. There’s just one problem—Piper doesn’t have any superpowers.

So she focuses on other things. Facts, figures, memorabilia. Piper knows and collects it all, about both the superheroes and the ubervillains who roam the streets of Bigtime, N.Y. Piper’s friends jokingly call her a fandemic—someone who is a superfan of all things superhero. The nickname is truer than anyone knows, especially since Piper can’t stop thinking about Swifte, the speedy hero who broke her heart months ago.

But someone has been killing off Bigtime’s heroes and villains. When one of Piper’s friends is murdered, she vows to do whatever she can to help bring the killer to justice, superpowers or not. All the clues and information she gathers lead her to believe that Swifte is the killer’s next target. Piper has always wanted to be a hero, and now she’ll have to use all of her fandemic knowledge to save the man she loves—or die trying….

Note: Fandemic is around 43,000 words. It is Book 5 in the Bigtime superhero series.

 

Night of the Highland Dragon
(Highland Dragons #3)
by Isabel Cooper
Paranormal Romance
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Book Description

“They say,” said the girl, “that people disappear up there. And I heard that the lady doesna’ ever grow any older.”
“The lady?” William asked.
“Lady MacAlasdair. She lives in the castle, and she’s been there years, but she stays young and beautiful forever.”


In the Scottish Highlands, legend is as powerful as the sword-and nowhere is that more true than in the remote village of Loch Aranoch. Its mysterious ruler, Judith MacAlasdair, is fiercely protective of her land-and her secrets. If anyone were to find out what she really was, she and her entire clan would be hunted down as monsters.

William Arundell is on the trail of a killer. Special agent for an arcane branch of the English government, his latest assignment has led him to a remote Highland castle and the undeniably magnetic lady who rules there. Yet as lies begin to unravel and a dark threat gathers, William finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery of the Highlands…and the woman he can neither trust nor deny.

He prays she isn’t the murderer; he never dreamed she was a dragon.

 

In the Air Tonight (Sisters of the Craft #1)
by Lori Handeland
Paranormal Romance
Amazon B&N GoodReads

Book Description

Four centuries ago, in a small Scottish village, three baby girls escaped the wrath of a witch hunter. Today, one young woman will learn about her secret history, her heart’s destiny, and the sisters she never knew she had…

With her blue-black hair and dark eyes, Raye Larsen has never fit in with the Scandinavian community of New Bergin, Wisconsin. Being adopted is part of the reason she feels like an outsider, but what really sets Raye apart is her ability to see dead people. Everywhere.

She’s learned to keep her visions to herself . . . until she stumbles onto the ghost of a murder victim who needs Raye’s help. Enter Bobby Doucet, a distractingly handsome homicide detective who has been tracking a killer all the way from New Orleans. Could this be the break in his case he’s been looking for all along?

Meanwhile, the deeper Raye gets involved with the case—and with Bobby—the closer she comes to unlocking the mystery of her own origins. What she discovers about herself could destroy everything she knows . . . and everyone she loves. Is finding the truth worth the risk?

 

The Last True Vampire (True Vampire #1)
by Kate Baxter
Paranormal Romance
Amazon B&N GoodReads

Book Description

As Michael’s eyes lit on a female not twenty feet away, he knew without a doubt that it was her blood that called to him and her scent that had awakened him.This female had tethered his soul and returned it to him.

SOUL SURVIVOR
He is the last of his race. The one true king of the vampires. Michael Aristov roams the nightclubs of L.A. after dark, haunted by his past and driven by his hunger. The last of the Ancient Ones, he alone has survived the destruction of his race at the hands of the slayers. Now he is forced to hunt and feed like a common vampire, a creature of lust. Nothing in this world can fulfill his needs…until he meets a woman who’s everything he’s ever wanted. And more.

SWEET SALVATION
Her name is Claire Thompson. Her blood is so sweet, so intoxicating–the smell alone draws Michael to her like a moth to the flame. Sly, sexy, and seductive, Claire seems to be the only mortal who can satisfy his craving and seal his fate…forever. Can she be trusted? From their very first kiss, the last true vampire sweeps Claire into a world in which darkness rules desire–and where falling in love is the greatest danger of all…in The Last True Vampire by Kate Baxter.

 

Siren’s Call (Dark Seas #3)
by Debbie Herbert
Paranormal Romance
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Book Description

She was irresistible to every man…except one.

Lily Borsage is the ultimate siren: gorgeous, aloof and irresistible to all the men in Bayou La Siryna. All of them, that is, until Nashoba Bowman comes back to town. The Native American kid whose innocent first kiss Lily remembers fondly is now all grown-up, hot as an Alabama summer—and immune to Lily’s charms. What self-respecting mermaid could resist finding out more?

But Nash has a dark history that puts any woman he loves in grave danger, and a heritage of power he isn’t ready to accept. And Lily has a secret that no mortal man can ever know. When a mysterious enemy starts menacing Lily, they will both have to risk everything—and embrace their deepest destinies—if they want to survive.

 

The Vampire’s Fall
by Michele Hauf
Paranormal Romance
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Book Description

One kiss could cost him everything…

When Blade Saint-Pierre encounters a beautiful stranger who’s lost her memory wandering near Tangle Lake, he has no choice but to defend her from demon attackers. But who—or what—is she? And why, despite her alluring vulnerability, are Blade’s vampire instincts on high alert?

To Zenia’s knowledge, she’s never had any interactions with angels or demons—at least not since a bus accident erased her memory and changed everything. As Zen and Blade’s craving for each other deepens, they must contend with a jealous adversary who wants to claim Zen as his queen. And then she learns that by reclaiming her magical identity, Zen could very well lose the only thing that feels real to her now…

 

A Sorceress of His Own
(The Gifted Ones #1)
by Dianne Duvall
Paranormal Romance
Amazon B&N GoodReads

Book Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Immortal Guardians series comes an enchanting new series full of romance, danger, and loyalty: The Gifted Ones.

Since the day Lord Dillon earned his spurs, rumors of his savagery on the battlefield have preceded him into every room, stilling tongues and sparking fear. Weary of battle, he wishes only to find a woman he can wed who will approach him not with fear, but with the tenderness that has been absent from his life for so long. Yet only the wisewoman seems invariably at ease in his presence. Perhaps because she garners the same fear in others that he does himself.

For seven years, Alyssa has been by Lord Dillon’s side, counseling him from the shadows, healing him with her hands, and staving off the worst of his loneliness while his fearsome reputation keeps others at bay. Blessed–or cursed–with gifts that label her a sorceress, she is forced to conceal her youth and the love she harbors for him beneath umbral robes that lead Dillon and his people to believe she is the same aged wisewoman who served his father.

All is revealed, however, and passions flare when an enemy threatens Dillon’s life and Alyssa sacrifices everything to save him. When Dillon discovers that the wisewoman is far from elderly, he is instantly entranced. And, as he and Alyssa work together to defeat an enemy bent on destroying them both, Dillon will risk anything–even the wrath of his king–to be with her.



Science Fiction / Fantasy:

The Shadow Revolution (Crown & Key #1)
by Clay Griffith & Susan Griffith
Steampunk
Amazon B&N GoodReads

Book Description

They are the realm’s last, best defense against supernatural evil. But they’re going to need a lot more silver.

As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield.

After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane—but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.

 

The Fold
by Peter Clines
Science Fiction
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Book Description

STEP INTO THE FOLD.
IT’S PERFECTLY SAFE.


The folks in Mike Erikson’s small New England town would say he’s just your average, everyday guy. And that’s exactly how Mike likes it. Sure, the life he’s chosen isn’t much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but he’s content with his quiet and peaceful existence.

That is, until an old friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve: far out in the California desert, a team of DARPA scientists has invented a device they affectionately call the Albuquerque Door. Using a cryptic computer equation and magnetic fields to “fold” dimensions, it shrinks distances so that a traveler can travel hundreds of feet with a single step.

The invention promises to make mankind’s dreams of teleportation a reality. And, the scientists insist, traveling through the Door is completely safe.

Yet evidence is mounting that this miraculous machine isn’t quite what it seems—and that its creators are harboring a dangerous secret.

As his investigations draw him deeper into the puzzle, Mike begins to fear there’s only one answer that makes sense. And if he’s right, it may only be a matter of time before the project destroys…everything.

A cunningly inventive mystery featuring a hero worthy of Sherlock Holmes and a terrifying final twist you’ll never see coming, The Fold is that rarest of things: a genuinely page-turning science-fiction thriller. Step inside its pages and learn why author Peter Clines has already won legions of loyal fans.

 

Nemesis Games (Expanse #5)
by James S.A. Corey
Science Fiction
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Book Description

The fifth novel in James S.A. Corey’s New York Times bestselling Expanse series–now being produced for television by the SyFy Channel!

A thousand worlds have opened, and the greatest land rush in human history has begun. As wave after wave of colonists leave, the power structures of the old solar system begin to buckle.

Ships are disappearing without a trace. Private armies are being secretly formed. The sole remaining protomolecule sample is stolen. Terrorist attacks previously considered impossible bring the inner planets to their knees. The sins of the past are returning to exact a terrible price.

And as a new human order is struggling to be born in blood and fire, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante must struggle to survive and get back to the only home they have left.

 

Blood of the Cosmos
(The Saga of Shadows #2)
by Kevin J. Anderson
Science Fiction
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Book Description

An epic space opera of the titanic conflict of several galactic civilizations against a life-destroying force of shadows, a dark cosmic force that has swept through the undercurrents of the human interstellar empire.

The intertwined plots, overflowing with colorful ideas, a large cast of characters, and complex storylines, span dozens of solar systems, alien races, and strange creatures.

As the second book of the trilogy opens, the humans and Ildirans, having narrowly escaped annihilation at the hands of the Shana Rei and their robot allies in Book One, are desperate to find a way to combat the black cloud of antimatter of the Shana Rei. The mysterious alien Gardeners, who had helped them previously, turn out to be a disaster in disguise and because of them, the world tree forests are again in danger. The allies believing they have found a way to stop their dreaded enemies, a new weapon is tested, but it’s a horrible failure, throwing the human race and its allies to the brink of extinction.

 

The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth
by S.M. Stirling
Science Fiction
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Book Description

ALL-NEW STORIES OF THE EMBERVERSE
by S.M. Stirling, Harry Turtledove, Walter Jon Williams, John Birmingham, John Barnes, Jane Lindskold, and more…

“[A] vivid portrait of a world gone insane,”* S. M. Stirling’s New York Times bestselling Novels of the Change have depicted a vivid, utterly persuasive, and absorbingly unpredictable postapocalyptic wasteland in which all modern technology has been left in ashes, forcing humankind to rebuild an unknowable new world in the wake of unimaginable—and deliberate—chaos.

Now, in this startling new anthology, S. M. Stirling invites the most fertile minds in science fiction to join him in expanding his rich Emberverse canvas. Here are inventive new perspectives on the cultures, the survivors, and the battles arising across the years and across the globe following the Change.

In his all-new story “Hot Night at the Hopping Toad,” Stirling returns to his own continuing saga of the High Kingdom of Montival. In the accompanying stories are fortune seekers, voyagers, and dangers—from the ruins of Sydney to the Republic of Fargo and Northern Alberta to Venetian and Greek galleys clashing in the Mediterranean.

These new adventures revisit beloved people and places from Stirling’s fantastic universe, introduce us to new ones, and deliver endlessly fascinating challenges to conquer, all while unfolding in a “postapocalyptic landscape that illuminates both the best and the worst of which our species is capable,”** “a world you can see, feel, and touch.” ***

Contributors to The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth Include
Introduction: The Change as Setting and Secondary World by S. M. Stirling
Hot Night at the Hopping Toad by S. M. Stirling
Rate of Exchange by A. M. Dellamonica
Tight Spot by Kier Salmon
Against the Wind by Lauren C. Teffeau
The Demons of Witmer Hall by M. T. Reiten
Bernie, Lord of the Apes by John Jos. Miller
The Seeker: A Poison in the Blood by Victor Milán
Grandpa’s Gift by Terry D. England
Fortune and Glory by John Birmingham
The Venetian Dialectic by Walter Jon Williams
The Soul Remembers Uncouth Noises by John Barnes
Topanga and the Chatsworth Lancers by Harry Turtledove
The Hermit and the Jackalopes by Jane Lindskold
The New Normal by Jody Lynn Nye
A Missed Connection by Emily Mah Tippetts
Deor by Diana Paxson

 

(R)evolution (Phoenix Horizon #1)
by P.J. Manney
Science Fiction
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Book Description

Scientist Peter Bernhardt has dedicated his life to nanotechnology, the science of manipulating matter on the atomic scale. As the founder of Biogineers, he is on the cusp of revolutionizing brain therapies with microscopic nanorobots that will make certain degenerative diseases become a thing of the past. But after his research is stolen by an unknown enemy, seventy thousand people die in Las Vegas in one abominable moment. No one is more horrified than Peter, as this catastrophe sets in motion events that will forever change not only his life but also the course of human evolution.

Peter’s company is torn from his grasp as the public clamors for his blood. Desperate, he turns to an old friend, who introduces him to the Phoenix Club, a cabal of the most powerful people in the world. To make himself more valuable to his new colleagues, Peter infuses his brain with experimental technology, exponentially upgrading his mental prowess and transforming him irrevocably.

As he’s exposed to unimaginable wealth and influence, Peter’s sense of reality begins to unravel. Do the club members want to help him, or do they just want to claim his technology? What will they do to him once they have their prize? And while he’s already evolved beyond mere humanity, is he advanced enough to take on such formidable enemies and win?

 

The Liar’s Key (The Red Queen’s War #2)
by Mark Lawrence
Fantasy
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Book Description

Prince of Fools, The Red Queen’s War: Book One had all “the hallmarks of [Mark Lawrence’s] storytelling and writing style which made The Broken Empire trilogy such an incredibly addictive read” (Bibliosanctum.com). Now, The Liar’s Key continues the story of the unusual fellowship between a rogue prince and a weary warrior…

After harrowing adventure and near-death, Prince Jalan Kendeth and the Viking Snorri ver Snagason find themselves in possession of Loki’s Key, an artefact capable of opening any door, and sought by the most dangerous beings in the Broken Empire—including The Dead King.

Jal wants only to return home to his wine, women, and song, but Snorri has his own purpose for the key: to find the very door into death, throw it wide, and bring his family back into the land of the living.

And as Snorri prepares for his quest to find death’s door, Jal’s grandmother, the Red Queen continues to manipulate kings and pawns towards an endgame of her own design…

 

Knight’s Shadow (Greatcoats #2)
by Sebastien de Castell
Fantasy
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Book Description

Falcio val Mond is the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are travelling Magisters upholding King’s Law. They are heroes. Or at least they were, until they stood aside while the Dukes took the kingdom and then began fighting among themselves.

The horrifying murder of a duke and his family sends Falcio in a deadly pursuit to capture the killer. But Falcio soon discovers his own life is in mortal danger from a poison administered as a final act of revenge by one of his deadliest enemies. As chaos and civil war begin to overtake the country, Falcio has precious little time left to stop those determined to destroy his homeland.

Greatcoat’s Lament is a dark, daring tale of idealism and betrayal in a country crushed under the weight of its rulers’ corruption. It is the second book in the Greatcoats series that began with Traitor’s Blade.

 

The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below
(Stories of the Raksura #2)
by Martha Wells
Fantasy
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Book Description

Moon, Jade, and other favorites from the Indigo Cloud Court return with two new novellas from Martha Wells.

Martha Wells continues to enthusiastically ignore genre conventions in her exploration of the fascinating world of the Raksura. Her novellas and short stories contain all the elements fans have come to love from the Raksura books: courtly intrigue and politics, unfolding mysteries that reveal an increasingly strange wider world, and threats both mundane and magical.

“The Dead City” is a tale of Moon before he came to the Indigo Court. As Moon is fleeing the ruins of Saraseil, a groundling city destroyed by the Fell, he flies right into another potential disaster when a friendly caravanserai finds itself under attack by a strange force. In “The Dark Earth Below,” Moon and Jade face their biggest adventure yet; their first clutch. But even as Moon tries to prepare for impending fatherhood, members of the Kek village in the colony tree’s roots go missing, and searching for them only leads to more mysteries as the court is stalked by an unknown enemy.

Stories of Moon and the shape changers of Raksura have delighted readers for years. This world is a dangerous place full of strange mysteries, where the future can never be taken for granted and must always be fought for with wits and ingenuity, and often tooth and claw. With these two new novellas, Martha Wells shows that the world of the Raksura has many more stories to tell…

 

From a High Tower
(Elemental Masters #11)
by Mercedes Lackey
Fantasy
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Book Description

From a High Tower is newest adventure in Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series, featuring a retelling of Rapunzel’s not-so-happily-ever-after ending.

 

The Master Magician
(The Paper Magician Trilogy #3)
by Charlie N. Holmberg
Fantasy
Amazon B&N GoodReads

Book Description

Throughout her studies, Ceony Twill has harbored a secret, one she’s kept from even her mentor, Emery Thane. She’s discovered how to practice forms of magic other than her own—an ability long thought impossible.

While all seems set for Ceony to complete her apprenticeship and pass her upcoming final magician’s exam, life quickly becomes complicated. To avoid favoritism, Emery sends her to another paper magician for testing, a Folder who despises Emery and cares even less for his apprentice. To make matters worse, a murderous criminal from Ceony’s past escapes imprisonment. Now she must track the power-hungry convict across England before he can take his revenge. With her life and loved ones hanging in the balance, Ceony must face a criminal who wields the one magic that she does not, and it may prove more powerful than all her skills combined.

The whimsical and captivating follow-up to The Paper Magician and The Glass Magician, The Master Magician will enchant readers of all ages.

 

Spellstorm
by Ed Greenwood
Fantasy
Amazon B&N GoodReads

Book Description

Rumors race around Cormyr regarding the mythical Lost Spell, a powerful enchantment designed centuries ago by the presumed dead god of spells—a spell long thought lost to the ages. Found by some magic-less merchant, rumor has it the Lost Spell is to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

It is a powerful lure, and archwizards of every stripe descend upon the merchant, only to be trapped with him inside his manor by a vicious spellstorm—escape impossible, and their magic useless with the interference from the storm.

Moreover—they find themselves faced with the infamous Elminster of Shadowdale, who claims he’s just there to decide who gets the Lost Spell, but who clearly has an agenda of his own.

But before Elimster can put whatever plan he has in motion, archwizards start dying.

 

Storm and Steel
(The Book of the Black Earth #2)
by Jon Sprunk
Fantasy
Amazon B&N GoodReads

Book Description

An empire at war. Three fates intertwined.

The Magician. Horace has destroyed the Temple of the Sun, but now he finds his slave chains have been replaced by bonds of honor, duty, and love. Caught between two women and two cultures, he must contend with deadly forces from the unseen world.

The Rebel. Jirom has thrown in his lot with the slave uprising, but his road to freedom becomes ever more dangerous as the rebels expand their campaign against the empire. Even worse, he feels his connection with Emanon slipping away with every blow they strike in the name of freedom.

The Spy. Alyra has severed her ties to the underground network that brought her to Akeshia, but she continues the mission on her own. Yet, with Horace’s connection to the queen and the rebellion’s escalation of violence, she finds herself treading a knife’s edge between love and duty.

Dark conspiracies bubble to the surface as war and zealotry spread across the empire. Old alliances are shattered, new vendettas are born, and all peoples—citizen and slave alike—must endure the ravages of storm and steel.



Young Adult:

The Witch Hunter (The Witch Hunter #1)
by Virginia Boecker
Young Adult
Amazon B&N GoodReads

Book Description

Your greatest enemy isn’t what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past–if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she’s thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.

 

The Hidden Prince
(The Orphan Queen #0.1)
by Jodi Meadows
Young Adult
Amazon B&N GoodReads

Book Description

The city of Skyvale is in trouble. Magic use is rampant. Crime is spreading. Told from the perspective of Tobiah, the crown prince with a dangerous secret, and set two years before the heart-racing action of The Orphan Queen, this 100-page digital novella brings to life one of Jodi Meadows’s most beloved characters.

Tobiah Pierce knows he is a spoiled, sheltered prince, and he’s tired of it. His only chance for freedom is if his cousin, James Rayner, passes the trials to be one of his bodyguards. But when Tobiah takes a rare opportunity to escape a courtly celebration and he witnesses a horrible—and magical—crime, he must make a momentous decision: return to the ignorance and comfort of the palace, or risk everything to discover the truth?

The Hidden Prince is the first of four prequel novellas that offer existing fans a deeper insight into a favorite character and the complex city of Skyvale, while new readers will find a stunning introduction to this rich world and the heart-pounding fantasy of the Orphan Queen series.

 

Hidden Huntress
(The Malediction Trilogy #2)
by Danielle L. Jensen
Young Adult
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Book Description

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cecile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cecile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted.

 

Powerless (The Hero Agenda #1)
by Tera Lynn Childs & Tracy Deebs
Young Adult
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Book Description

Kenna is tired of being “normal.”

The only thing special about her is that she isn’t special at all. Which is frustrating when you’re constantly surrounded by superheroes. Her best friend, her ex-boyfriend, practically everyone she knows has some talent or power. Sure, Kenna’s smart and independent, but as an ordinary girl in an extraordinary world, it’s hard not to feel inferior.

So when three villains break into the lab where she interns, Kenna refuses to be a victim. She’s not about to let criminals steal the research that will make her extraordinary too.

But in the heat of battle, secrets are spilled and one of the villains saves her life. Twice. Suddenly, everything Kenna thought she knew about good and evil, heroes and villains is upended. And to protect her life and those she loves, she must team up with her sworn enemies on a mission that will redefine what it means to be powerful and powerless…

 

Siren’s Fury (The Storm Siren Trilogy #2)
by Mary Weber
Young Adult
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Book Description

“I thrust my hand toward the sky as my voice begs the Elemental inside me to waken and rise. But it’s no use. The curse I’ve spent my entire life abhorring—the thing I trained so hard to control—no longer exists.”

Nym risked her life to save Faelen, her homeland, from a losing war, only to discover that the shapeshifter Draewulf has stolen everything she holds dear. But when the repulsive monster robs Nym of her storm-summoning abilities as well, the beautiful Elemental realizes her war is only just beginning.

Now powerless to control the elements that once emboldened her, Nym stows away on an airship traveling to the metallic kingdom of Bron. She must stop Draewulf. But the horrors he’s brought to life and the secrets of Bron are more than Nym bargained for. Then the disturbing Lord Myles tempts her with new powers that could destroy the monster, and Nym must decide whether she can compromise in the name of good even if it costs her very soul.

As she navigates the stark industrial cityscape of Bron, Nym is faced with an impossible choice: change the future with one slice of a blade . . . or sacrifice the entire kingdom for the one thing her heart just can’t let go.

 

Spelled
by Betsy Schow
Young Adult
Amazon B&N GoodReads

Book Description

Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the not-so-charming prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Talk about unhappily ever after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called “Kansas.” Now it’s up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse…before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

 

Nearly Found (Nearly Gone #2)
by Elle Cosimano
Young Adult
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Book Description

The sequel to the highly praised and intricately plotted Nearly Gone–a YA urban mystery that’s perfect for fans of Bones, Numbers, and The Body Finder

After Nearly Boswell starts working as an intern at a crime lab, a girl from her trailer park turns up dead. Then the corpse of a missing person is discovered, buried on a golf course, with a message for Nearly etched into the bones. When Nearly finds out the corpse is the father of Eric, a classmate of hers, she starts to worry that the body is connected to her father’s disappearance five years ago. Nearly, Reece, and Nearly’s classmates–Vince, Jeremy, and Eric–start a dangerous investigation into their fathers’ pasts that threatens Nearly’s fragile romance with Reece, and puts all them in the killer’s path.

 

Descent (Kissed by Death #3)
by Tara A. Fuller
Young Adult
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Book Description

He’ll destroy everything and everyone to save her…including himself.

Easton doesn’t believe in love. He believes in death. Darkness. Sin. As a reaper for Hell, it’s all he’s known for more than four hundred years. So when he gets slapped with the job of training the boss’s daughter, an angel that knows nothing but joy, he knows he’s in for a world of trouble.

Though he’s made it clear he wants nothing to do with her outside of work, Gwen will do whatever it takes to get close to the dark and wounded reaper – even taint her angelic image and become a reaper herself. But in all her planning, she forgot to factor in one thing – how far the demons Easton doomed to Hell will go for revenge.

When the dangers of Hell threaten Gwen, Easton will destroy everything and everyone to save her. But as the darkness closes in, will he be able to save himself?

 

Deadly Design
by Debra Dockter
Young Adult
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Book Description

The emotional power of If I Stay meets the survival story of Maze Runner.

Genetically engineered identical twins Kyle and Connor McAdams were born two years apart. Their parents figured it was safer that way, to increase their odds of survival. Connor was born first, paving an impossibly perfect path for Kyle to follow. He was the best at everything—valedictorian, star quarterback etc. Kyle never thought he’d be able to live up, so he didn’t even try.

But when Connor, 18, suddenly drops dead of a heart attack, and Kyle learns of other genetically modified kids who’ve also died on their eighteenth birthdays, he’s suddenly motivated—to save his own life. Like Connor and all the rest, Kyle was conceived at the Genesis Innovations Laboratory, where the mysterious Dr. Mueller conducted experiments on them. The clock’s ticking as Kyle searches for answers: who was Dr. Mueller really, and what did he do to cause their hearts to stop at eighteen? He must unravel the clues quickly, before, he too, becomes another perfect, blue-eyed corpse.

 

Reflection
by Lynn Yvonne Moon
Young Adult
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Book Description

Journey Elizabeth Gordon has always been different from other girls her age, and never really fitting in. Frilly dresses and heavy makeup is just not her style. When her mother dies, her life shatters as she and her little sister leave for their father’s secluded cabin deep in the mountains of Colorado. A father the girls have not seen or heard from in over six years. Journey believes she’ll never be happy again, until one morning when a strange man suddenly appears on their doorstep. With this stranger, Journey’s life takes an unexpected turn into the bizarre. Journey’s father tries to help her accept new world. Journey is no longer in South Carolina, but living in the Fornax galaxy billions of light years away from Earth. But then she meets the dazzling exotic boy, Takoda. Takoda is a Sweetacha from the blue sister world, Traveler. His skin is lightly colored, his hair is a deep auburn, and his eyes are amber, just like hers. Her heart pounds and her mind goes blank when she sees him. But any relationship beyond friendship is forbidden by law. A law established by her family many generations ago through the Council of Elders. A law, Journey has decided to change. Through Takoda, Journey is introduced to his culture and his people. An exciting world of ancient ruins and hidden secrets that shed an ominous light on her ancestors. Her heart grows daily for Takoda and through that love they enter the forbidden world of racial tension and a forbidden love. Together they struggle to understand the past while piecing together a future they can share and love. A love that would mean instant death if her Council family should discover the truth.

 

The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath
(The Peculiar Adventures of John Loveheart, Esq. #1)
by Ishbelle Bee
Young Adult
Amazon B&N GoodReads

Book Description

1888. A little girl called Mirror and her shape-shifting guardian Goliath Honeyflower are washed up on the shores of Victorian England. Something has been wrong with Mirror since the day her grandfather locked her inside a mysterious clock that was painted all over with ladybirds. Mirror does not know what she is, but she knows she is no longer human.

John Loveheart, meanwhile, was not born wicked. But after the sinister death of his parents, he was taken by Mr. Fingers, the demon lord of the underworld. Some say he is mad. John would be inclined to agree.

Now Mr Fingers is determined to find the little girl called Mirror, whose flesh he intends to eat, and whose soul is the key to his eternal reign. And John Loveheart has been called by his otherworldly father to help him track Mirror down…

 

Children of the Earth (End Times #2)
by Anna Schumacher
Young Adult
Amazon B&N GoodReads

Book Description

Seven signs warned them. Now it’s time for Carbon County to fight back.

In End Times, Daphne lost herself in love with Owen, only to discover the dark secret that puts Carbon County at ground zero for the end of days. . . .

All thirteen of the Children of Earth have arrived and taken root in town. Together at last, they can perform the series of rituals necessary to awaken their father, a wrathful entity known as the God of the Earth.

Daphne protects their identities from Pastor Ted and the God-fearing locals out of love and allegiance to Owen. But when people start disappearing from town and Daphne begins receiving visions from God, her allegiance—and even her love—is brought into question in this astonishing companion novel to End Times.

 

Book Scavenger
by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Middle Grade
Amazon B&N GoodReads

Book Description

For twelve-year-old Emily, the best thing about moving to San Francisco is that it’s the home city of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, book publisher and creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger (a game where books are hidden in cities all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles). Upon her arrival, however, Emily learns that Griswold has been attacked and is now in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold himself, and might contain the only copy of his mysterious new game.

Racing against time, Emily and James rush from clue to clue, desperate to figure out the secret at the heart of Griswold’s new game–before those who attacked Griswold come after them too.

 

Circus Mirandus
by Cassie Beasley
Middle Grade
Amazon B&N GoodReads

Book Description

Do you believe in magic?
Micah Tuttle does.

Even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn’t approve, Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real. And the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather.

The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn’t want to keep his promise. And now it’s up to Micah to get the miracle he came for.




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Early Review: Fandemic by Jennifer Estep

Fandemic (Bigtime Book 5) - Jennifer Estep

Fandemic
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Bigtime #5
Publisher: Indie
Published on: June 2, 2015
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format: 143 pages, eARC
Provided by: Author
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Piper Perez has always wanted to be a superhero. Always wanted to wear a cool costume, have amazing abilities, and save the day. There’s just one problem—Piper doesn’t have any superpowers.

So she focuses on other things. Facts, figures, memorabilia. Piper knows and collects it all, about both the superheroes and the ubervillains who roam the streets of Bigtime, N.Y. Piper’s friends jokingly call her a fandemic—someone who is a superfan of all things superhero. The nickname is truer than anyone knows, especially since Piper can’t stop thinking about Swifte, the speedy hero who broke her heart months ago.

But someone has been killing off Bigtime’s heroes and villains. When one of Piper’s friends is murdered, she vows to do whatever she can to help bring the killer to justice, superpowers or not. All the clues and information she gathers lead her to believe that Swifte is the killer’s next target. Piper has always wanted to be a hero, and now she’ll have to use all of her fandemic knowledge to save the man she loves—or die trying….

Note: Fandemic is around 43,000 words. It is Book 5 in the Bigtime superhero series.

Romance ARC Review Fed The Nerd

 

Happily-ever-afters for everyone! This series may be about superheroes and ubervillains, but in Jennifer Estep’s BIGTIME universe even the little guy is deserving of finding love. In this installment its Piper and Swifte’s turn, and I think that pretty much everyone will get a kick out of this one because as a fellow reader you’ve either A) attended a book con, and can relate to Perez’s FANDEMIC condition, or B) have been waiting nearly three years for more BT.

This novel may have been shorter than some of the previous titles, but it was absolutely overflowing with little extras tailored specifically for Estep addicts. There’s shout outs to all three of her other series, an abundance of never-before-seen superheroes, more of Rascal—the puppy from #4—and an impressive Big Bad. The story starts off in a sex club, and ends in wedding bells; so needless to say, it’s far reaching for 43,000 words.

These books are as loud as their covers, and the author did a fantastic job of making Piper a larger-than-life character by transforming her crazed fandom into its own strength. As a result, the end battle was probably the one that I’ve had the most fun with to date. Swifte’s a decent guy, and even though he’s very flamboyant about his superhero status, I liked that their relationship and personalities were the focus instead of superpowers.

Piper & Swifte have a past which was a change from the prior couples; it gave the story more of a second chance at love slant which I enjoy whether it’s with someone new, or rekindling an old flame. I was happy that the two protagonists didn’t have the insecurities that some of the earlier characters in this series did, and although Swifte’s reason for breaking it off was kinda weak; it’s BIGTIME, and that means it’s supposed to be silly, so he gets a pass.

Let your inner geek out, read FANDEMIC!

 

    

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Early Review: When an Alpha Purrs by Eve Langlais

Early Review: When an Alpha Purrs by Eve Langlais
When an Alpha Purrs
Author: Eve Langlais
Series: A Lion's Pride #1
Publisher: Amazon Digital
Published on: June 4, 2015
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format: 188 pages, eARC
Provided by: Author
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A lion’s pride isn’t defined only by those he commands but also resides with his hair, so when a human dares to butcher Arik’s mane, he gets his revenge—and claims her as his mate.

A billionaire CEO and leader of the largest East Coast pride, Arik is a ladies man and a lion. Used to commanding others, and obedience, he can’t believe it when a hairdresser with tempting curves chops off a hunk of his precious mane.

But her biggest mistake is in running from him.

Run as fast as you can, little mouse, because this cat loves to chase—and pounce.

Oh, and he also likes to nibble on tender bits. What he doesn’t expect is to fall for a human woman, a woman who can make the impossible happen because everyone knows lions can’t purr…until now.

Snarky ARC Review paranormal

 

When an Alpha Purrs is another light-hearted, fun read from Eve Langlais. This one features a billionaire king of the concrete jungle who is very much used to getting his own way. That is until he goes to get his hair cut and his normal barber isn’t available. He is forced to use his barber’s granddaughter. He starts by insulting her by not wanting a woman to cut his glorious mane. Then he continues to push until she takes retribution by cutting a huge hunk out of his perfect locks.

 

The story starts off with a lot of banter between our hero and heroine. Arik finally decides that he likes Kira and works really hard to get her out on a date with him. They banter more and add lots of flirting. I did get a little worried that this was going to be a contemporary story just with a shifter, as there was no suspense at this point in the story. I shouldn’t have been. Eve came through as always.

 

Kira ran from a past. An ex-boyfriend to be exact. He has quite the stalker issues. He follows her to her new location. Arik immediately catches on and takes things into his own hands. The fun really starts when he takes Kira to his condo for her protection and she has to meet the Pride.

 

When an Alpha Purrs is an quick read. I read it in one sitting. It was just what I needed after a tough week at work. Something that was uncomplicated and to make me laugh. There was just the right amount of sexiness to keep things interesting. While I can’t wait to read book two in the series, where the hero is the Pride’s beta, Hayder, it is book three about the Pride’s omega, Leo, that has me chomping at the bit.


A Lion’s Pride Series

July 9th 2015

August 6th 2015

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