Thursday, July 27, 2017

Review: Betrayed by Blood

Betrayed by Blood Betrayed by Blood by Beth Dranoff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wow, this book just throws you right back in to the wild and crazy world of Dana. She’s an ex-agent of some shadowy organization. She’s a commitment-phobe. She’s a surly bartender just trying to pay her rent. Oh, and she’s always on the run from some baddies. Throw in some Daddy issues, an evil demoness, and new shapeshifting issues and you’ve got a mess of a life.

Dana’s love life alone would be enough to fill the pages of a separate book, but we somehow (barely) manage to juggle that chaotic world with navigating the paranormal world. At this point, now at the end of the book, I kind of don’t even know how to summarize. There were so many things going on at once, that you just hold on tight and hope to get through OK.

As a second book, you definitely need to be up to date on your book 1 knowledge because there is no time to spare. Were you left hanging, wanting more from Dana? This is definitely your “more.” After all the ups and downs, I’m not even sure where we would head from here.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Review: Kill Game: An Urban Fantasy Thriller

Kill Game: An Urban Fantasy Thriller Kill Game: An Urban Fantasy Thriller by SM Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dana is still the determined, crass, warrior that she always was. The only difference by the start of this book is that she’s now living as a “blood virgin”-type vampire and is separated from her wife (and sleeping in the tomb of a mystical church). She’s even allowing herself to maybe-sorta-kinda hope that there is a path to the super rare cure for vampires who haven’t fed and that might just get her back to “normal.”

Dana’s teammates (aside from the hunting club) are a little stranger now – the shifter who was dating the vampire that turned Dana and the blood virgin that killed said vampire with the only known cure shot. They’re all somehow working towards more cure shots and/or some level of destruction of the city. Either way, Dana is on board and she’s just as reckless and brutal as ever.

I will admit to being some level of angry at her for most of the book, but not so much that I wasn’t still secretly rooting for her to have a nice HEA-type ending. Sadly, we are still in a series where we have to get through the bad to get the good. In this book, we got back hope, but we are still probably a ways away from wrapping things up.

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Review: Freeze

Freeze (Midnight Ice #2)Freeze by Kaitlyn Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow! This book really blew me away! Who knew a second installment in a series could grab me as much (if not more) than the original book?

We join Pandora already locked up tight in Titan jail. She’s been betrayed by the one guy she thought she could trust (and love) and she’s also slated to be executed pretty soon. Too bad for them, she’s got some pretty crazy tricks up her sleeve. As usual, the thing that makes her so very different from all the titans is exactly what will help her get away from them.

Speaking of Pandora’s shadows, there’s still the mysterious, sexy stranger who drops hints and clues about their history without really giving her too much to go on. I was completely torn between Team Jax and Team Sam throughout this book. Pandora is definitely not hurting for attractive men trying to help her. In Jax’s case, he’s hunting for redemption. In Sam’s case, he’s trying to get her far away from the titans. This book is filled with tough choices.

Along with the general plan to escape her prison, Pandora can’t help but want to know exactly why she is dangerous enough to murder. She seems like a generally average titan (minus the shadows) who hasn’t done anything so wrong as to warrant a death sentence, so there’s clearly more that she’s missing. Don’t worry! We get all these answers and more in a fabulous ending that left me dying for even more of this world. If you read the first book in this series, this is a must read continuation of this truly wonderful world. I’m desperate to know what happens next for Pandora!

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review: Boundary Born

Boundary Born Boundary Born by Melissa F. Olson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These books never cease to amaze me. Somehow, we ended this trilogy where we did, but I have no idea how we got there. This author has the magical ability to take a hundred different ideas and make them work to a very simple conclusion. At any rate, I still enjoy Lex, which is more than I could say for Scarlett at the end of her trilogy, so I’m a pretty happy camper.

Lex is still doing damage control in her life after she “outed” herself to her brother in law. We join her after he decided to take the rest of her family and his daughter to Disney on a vacation. She’s thrown herself into other things (training, her work, chopping up a really big supernatural worm), and is working on teaching Lily some combat moves when what appears to be a rabid animal crashes through her window.

Here’s where this story begins – rabid animals? Obviously never that simple. There’s also someone poisoning vampires, a guy claiming to be her birth father shows up on her doorstep, and her usually solid witch friends appear to be having a rough time dealing with their previous family drama. Throw all those things into a blender, add some ghosts, crystals, and an incredible amount of physical damage (to Lex and property) and you’ve got the finale to this trilogy wrapped up.

The mystery portion of the book, of course, was unpredictable. We don’t get enough information and Lex is trying to handle too many things at once, so when we finally reach the conclusion, I was left saying “huh.” I guess maybe there were signs? Not really, though. Lex freely admits to not being a real investigator, so we, by extension, are mostly left grasping at straws (like her). I wish we had a little bit more wrap up at the conclusion, which felt rushed and clunky. As I said, though, I still like Lex, so she gets a little more leeway in her confusing life choices. I hope that we swing back around to her at some point so we can maybe get some more answers.

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Review: Midnight Untamed

Midnight Untamed Midnight Untamed by Lara Adrian
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This short, sexy story takes place in Europe, as Savage tries to take down a complex drug ring. Seems simple enough – blow up the building with all the key players inside. Everything changes when he spots a familiar figure in the window. The one woman he is eternally drawn to suddenly shows up in his line of sight. He obviously can no longer stick with the plan (to his teammates’ ire), so he creates a new plan to take her from the house and *then* blow it up.

Arabella has been a prisoner in this world ever since her brother sold her off to this monster to cover his gambling debts. Since she still has family that can be hurt, he knows exactly what buttons to push to get her compliance. It’s for this reason that she fights her long ago boyfriend when he attempts to forcibly remove her from the house. There’s lots of action, escape, fighting, and romance thrown in to this short story. Enough happens that I found myself wishing for even more side stories of the other characters involved. Hopefully we see them reemerge in future full length novels. Either way, this story read like a regular size book, complete with satisfying HEA.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Review: Wolf's Mate

Wolf's Mate Wolf's Mate by Celia Kyle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book took your typical shifter mate story and threw in buckets of danger, deception, and the introduction of a shadowy organization. Essentially, it threw you in the deep end of the pool, with shooting and running and general chaos.

Abby is a mild mannered accountant who has been tasked with auditing at her recent company. While looking through their transactions, she discovers that they are linked to a fanatical anti-shifter organization. She does the right thing and tries to squirrel away as much information on her private drive as possible… until the guys with guns show up. Declan has been tasked with watching Abby while she works. As part of a sort-of suicide squad type group, he has a history of bad deeds and training that he puts to use for the “good guys” now. He’s also obsessed with Abby. When the bad guys start showing up, Declan does the only thing a guy who is her mate (but in denial) could do – he charges over there and gets her to safety (eventually).

These two fight to stay in denial for way too long! Sure, there’s lots of danger and time spent on the run, but it took a little bit too long to get to the sexy times. This story also sticks a toe into darker waters in some of the kidnapping scenes that kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. We do, thankfully, end up with a HEA after much drama. This was clearly the set up for future books and all the ones we’ve me definitely deserve to meet their match.

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Review: Hell Can Wait

Hell Can Wait Hell Can Wait by Celia Kyle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These Caith Morningstar books just keep getting better and better. I find it very hard to put them down to take a break, what with the snappy dialogue and engaging story. At this point, I’m 100% invested in Caith’s life story and cannot wait to see where she ends up.

Caith’s nightmare story starts with ghouls that are super-powered, spreading contagion, and stealing people’s life force for some evil mastermind behind them all. After getting out of the last crazy mayhem, you think she’d get a break. Unfortunately, she’s somewhat responsible for the magical activity in Orlando, which puts her in the path of the evil ghouls. Infection was never really an issue for her, what with her insanely mixed heritage, but this appears to be spreading through her body rather quickly.

What could have easily been a super depressing story ended up making me love Caith even more. Sure, she’s got death looking over her shoulder, but that doesn’t stop her from being herself and charging at the danger. There was only a teensy bit of romance thrown in here, but I didn’t mind the loss. I know that Caith and Sam’s relationship is somewhat doomed, but I’ll hold out hope until the bitter end.

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