Monday, February 19, 2018

Review: Under Attack

Under Attack Under Attack by Hannah Jayne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I gotta say, I'm a little disappointed. After the first book and having enjoyed the last few of the series, I guess I just expected to really tear through these books without wanting to stop. This book was good, don't get me wrong, but after the first book, I didn't enjoy this one nearly as much.

Sophie is still exactly who she started out as. She loves her job, surrounds herself with paranormals, and yet yearns to just be a normal girl. Oh, there's also the on-again/off-again relationship with fallen angel Alex Grace. While I didn't exactly love him in book 1, I found myself almost actively hating him in this one. The cocky attitude coupled with his inability to protect Sophie (she gets super beat up in this book!) made me wish Sophie could just quit him. The larger story, while very much leading into a bigger storyline, involved Sophie crying about 90% of the time while getting her butt kicked.

The story of the vessel hunt and the big bad here in the form of Ophelia made for a story where we learned what may or may not be true for Sophie's family tree. I completely don't remember how this series ends, so I'm in for the full ride, eager to start the next book. I'll hope for Sophie hooking up with the new character and dump Alex Grace (which probably won't happen) and will hope for more Nina, who is sadly becoming my preferred female character in this series.

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Review: Dragon's Guard

Dragon's Guard Dragon's Guard by Eva Chase
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is clearly the first book of what is meant to be a continuous story series. It does a really good job of introducing us to a world that couples old-world type paranormal tribes with modern concerns. There is definitely not resolution to the story by the end and I would warn against expecting some sort of solid ending going in to this book.

Ren is a woman who has learned not to trust just about anyone. The people she does let into her life have definitely earned their place. She was homeschooled and raised exclusively by her mother who suddenly disappears. Leaving her to fend for herself, Ren is forced to skirt the law to make money. She's especially geared towards being a thief, though, because she has strange sneaking abilities. Couple that with her love of getting air jumping off ledges and she's a unique type of girl. While celebrating her birthday she suddenly finds herself kidnapped and thrown into a world where shifters are real and Ren is attracted to a bunch of men she just met.

She's not only exposed to shifters, but apparently she is a dragon shifter herself. Nobody's sure why she can't shift, but she is the only person left alive who can unit the shifter races. So - what else can get thrown on her shoulders? Well there's this sudden polyamorous coupling, finding her mom, juggling a "normal" friendship she's determined to hang on to, and running from killer vampires. Oh, and the fated mate drama just keeps climbing. I almost feel like this book ends suddenly, having only learned a little bit about Ren's history, eagerly on the way to find out what happened to her mom.

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Review: Shadow Hunt

Shadow Hunt Shadow Hunt by Melissa F. Olson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow! This might be my new favorite book in this world. Things that I think helped it make the top of that list? Shadow is essentially the main character in this book, we got to visit with some of my other favorite characters, and there were *significantly* less bad decisions. Don't get me wrong, there are still some bad decisions, but they aren't as "slap your head" as some previous ones have been. Is Scarlett finally growing up? Or learning? I hope so. Overall, I think everyone is just... where they should be.

So - we join Scarlett immediately after the revelation at the end of the previous book. If you haven't read any of the other books - what are you doing here?!? Don't start here. I guess I can avoid that shocker of a spoiler, but it pretty much drives all the decisions from the start of the book to the end. This "thing" makes Scarlett abruptly leave town, leaving Jesse to make the one bad decision I talked about. We get to see our favorite familiar faces, learn about some history (there's a bit of that in this book), and then rush back to save the day (as always).

So what other things made me love this book? Scarlett really... steps up. She's less along for the ride and more the leader of the team. She doesn't take any crap from anyone in this book, even if they are at a severe advantage. I *loved* that! Also, the romance was a neat surprise, but not all that much of the story. I mentioned Shadow, right? Shadow is also *amazing*! I can't say enough good things about Shadow. There was also a phenomenal action sequence towards the end of the book that had me smiling from ear to ear. Go team Scarlett (or Team Shadow?)!

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Review: Under Wraps

Under Wraps Under Wraps by Hannah Jayne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What an adorable and quirky start to a series! I admit to having finished this series with the last two books without having read the first few. A bunch of time has passed, so I completely don't remember how the series ends, so it's almost like starting fresh.

Sophie is in a very strange position of being a mostly human person who can see through magic. She has some magic in her family line, but currently displays none. Her job puts her into a unique spot, locking her werewolf boss up at night, navigating the complex cultures of the other supernaturals, and then being tasked with working with a relatively normal police detective to hunt down a supernatural killer.

Parker, said detective, straddles the annoying and attractive line, but that doesn't stop Sophie from pining for him. Her vampire roommate, and her very gothy vampire nephew, however, are a little more hesitant. As the mystery progresses, nobody is safe from suspicion, and much danger ensues. I found I couldn't put the book down once I started and was able to tear through it in about a day. If all the books keep this up, I'll happily finish this series in record time.

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Review: The Immortal Who Loved Me

The Immortal Who Loved Me The Immortal Who Loved Me by Lynsay Sands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another neat twist on the same old story - this time with a tough and independent woman with some questionably vampire-related beginnings.

If we met Basil before now, I totally don't remember it. He seems like a lighter version of Lucien, also having lost a previous life mate in his history. Unlike Lucien, he's also got a bunch of kids from another woman who was also losing hope in life. While not a true couple, it certainly adds a new dimension to the story. So, how does he meet Sherry? We finally get another visit from Stephanie. She turns up, bursting in the office of Sherry's store while trying to escape the big bad. Sherry is unable to be controlled at first attempt, which leads them to forge a bit of an alliance in their escape.

So how do they end up together? Stephanie has a version of the matchmaker ability that we've seen push people together for many books previous. Sherry, as most women would, fights a little bit against having her life determined for her (oh, if she only knew). Throw in lots of fun new friends, undeniable attraction, and life threatening situations and you've got a recipe for a solid HEA, though. I was happy to also have some resolution of the larger storyline here. Bring on the next couple! Oh, and as a side note, I think Bricker is becoming more and more of a jerk as time goes on. I really hope he gets his life mate (who has to be Livvy, right?).

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Review: The X-Files: Cold Cases

The X-Files: Cold Cases The X-Files: Cold Cases by Joe Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I give this three nostalgic stars. I mostly picked this audiobook up because I was curious how we ended up at the start of the miniseries and was intrigued by the fact that all the original voices were going to be included on the audiobook. I was not prepared for the... play-esque feel to the whole thing. I'm used to your typical audiobook which is to say that it is just a book read aloud. This was definitely a full out script reading.

So as I said, this fills in the gap between I want to believe and the first round of miniseries. It also... rewrites some things? It's just a little bit bothersome when you start seeing all the people you know are dead suddenly popping up. I'm still confused about how we left things and how it ultimately hooks up to the miniseries. I know who is and isn't dead in the miniseries... don't I? Should I be expecting more familiar faces?

Overall, if you want some warm and fuzzy moments when you exclaim familiar story names and whatnot, this is definitely worth the short listen. Otherwise, you definitely don't need to pick this up in order to enjoy (eh?) the new episodes.

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Monday, February 5, 2018

Review: Vampire Most Wanted

Vampire Most Wanted Vampire Most Wanted by Lynsay Sands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who knew that what this series was missing was a trip to the carnival? Carnies, vampires, and evil, lying bad guys make for an interesting (if a bit dark) installment in this series.

Basha (aka Divine, the carnival fortune teller) has been on the run from her family for longer than she was with them. Carnivals lend themselves to her nomadic nature, and things are looking good until one of Lucien’s spies winds up working as a laborer. Marcus is suffering from empty nest syndrome. After essentially help to raise a bunch of different immortals during his long life, they’ve all gone on to find their life mates, leaving him without a true purpose anymore. When Lucien (of course, with some matchmaker meddling) sends him off to check for his possible long-lost niece, he practically jumps at the idea.

These two very reluctant life mates have a lot of drama to navigate. There are so many years of lies and deception, such really evil bad guys who has spun Basha’s mind, and then there’s the typical martyrdom that happens in just about every story. The betrayal was pretty tough in this one. Basha suffers maybe more than any other main character we’ve seen before in this series. The suffering continues into this tale, and is really hard to handle. Yes, we eventually get our beloved HEA, but it is hard getting there. The ending, while happy, is not exactly fully resolved. I assume that we will revisit the bad guys in future books, and that they’ll get what’s coming to them.

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