Friday, November 10, 2017

Review: Revelation

Revelation Revelation by Lauren Dane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Somehow, after reading all of the other series by this author, I missed the first installment in this cat shifter series. I don’t think you really need to have read book 1 to enjoy this one, but I’ll probably go back and pick it up for completion’s sake.

This book is filled with chemistry from start to finish. Kendra is a tough as nails witch who doesn’t take lip from anybody. She and Max (the next-in-line-to-lead cat shifter) have been dancing around each other for a little while now and everything explodes in this book. Max is a patient cat, willing to work on their relationship before dragging Kendra into his house. Sure, there are bad guys out to get them, but everything changes when they make a direct attempt at Kendra’s life. Things speed up a little bit from there.

The attraction between these two was fantastic! I am absolutely dying to see what cats continue this series and how their relationships grow if this is only book 2. Like most PNR, this book wraps nicely, with some action, some bad guys getting punished, and lots of sexy times. I was happy with the quick read and liked the familiar faces from the other series.

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Review: Master of Magic

Master of Magic Master of Magic by Angela Knight
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this short novel without actually realizing there was a whole world built into a series that I have no experience with. That being said, I was able to catch up rather quickly and still enjoy this glimpse into a magical world.

Olivia wakes up on a freezing bench with no recollection of how she got there. She’s a magical being who is lots of years old so nobody should really be able to kidnap her, let alone hold her against her will. It seems, however, that she can’t seem to get off that bench until a tall dark and handsome stranger appears, loaded with magic. Sure, it seems suspicious, but when a pack of werewolves try to kill them both, beggars can’t be choosers.

Oh, did I mention that there’s also some sizzling hot attraction between these two? That was fun to watch play out, even if magic might have had something to do with it. There’s magical beings, lots of family surprises, and magic, magic, magic! And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the HEA.

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Review: Alpha's Prize

Alpha's Prize Alpha's Prize by Renee Rose
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was a little dark, a lot alpha, and pretty smutty. As my first intro to the Bad Boy Alphas series, I think it gave me a good flavor of what to expect. I read it as a standalone, but I’m sure there is a lot of backstory given in other books.

Sedona is the daughter of an alpha shifter, away on holiday, when she is kidnapped, stripped, and sold to another wolf clan. She’s chained in a dungeon, naked, and introduced to the current alpha of the pack. Said alpha is just returning from a long hiatus when he’s led to a cell and locked in with a female captive. Some biological imperatives take over throughout the night and these two end up having consensual sex and he ends up marking her.

Sedona is obviously not in the best of places. She’d been kidnapped, found herself attracted to someone who might be in league with the kidnappers, and she is now conflicted about some mating that may or may not have been ok with her at the time. Throw in a very backwards pack structure, her family showing up to rescue her, and a possible pregnancy and you’ve got oodles of drama enough to set even the most calm wolf running. Don’t worry, though, because her alpha mate is willing to chase her to the ends of the earth. If you’re looking for a very alpha heavy, dirty read, this is definitely worth checking out.

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Review: Magic Breaks

Magic Breaks Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t even know where to begin here. Since there was a huge disclaimer at the start of this book, warning me about it reading like the last of series (but wasn’t) I spent most of my reading time expecting the worst. Don’t get me wrong, people die, things get wrapped up, it does read like the last book in a series (complete with epilogue) but I almost wish the disclaimer hadn’t been there. I’ll comment on the ending when I get there, too, because… I’m pretty conflicted.

OK, so we all knew this was coming – the big showdown! As the fake last book in the series, this was obviously where we would see Kate’s life mission (sort of) come to its ultimate end. I pretty much expected everyone to die. Every time there was a nice lull in the action and happy moments cropped up, I waited for something horrible and traumatizing to happen. Overall, though… it didn’t. I mean, sure, there are some dead bodies left in the wake of the happenings of this book, but not nearly the amount I expected (and there was a big one that never got into that dead body pile, unfortunately).

Without spoilers, in general, the story revolves around Kate coming to terms with her lineage and fighting to get to the big bad. I say get to because the book spent a really long time taking Kate to Roland. There are meetings, more meetings, planning, castles, cells, more castles, more cells, some camping, lots of vampires, and then Roland. Roland was… unexpected. Not that he showed up – that’s a given, but where we end up with him is surprising and maybe not in a good way? Is it bad that I’m somewhat unhappy with a HEA? Maybe Kate just felt like she needed a tougher path? That doesn’t sound right, because she (once again) sustained Dresden-level-hurt throughout the book.

I guess I’m happy that my favorites made it out alive and I still get more books in this universe? I’m conflicted. Also, there were some notably absent characters for a fake final book: Saimon, Grendel, and Julie. I’m obviously going to see where the rest of the books go, but I’m left a little unsettled by how happily everything ended (especially with some big bads still lurking).

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Review: Magic Steals

Magic Steals Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This short story was another installment of the Jim/Dali romance. I am absolutely in love with these two and their quirky relationship so I quickly gobbled this book up when the time came.

In the main set of books, we only get to see Jim, the paranoid, tough, unstoppable head of security. He’s good at what he does, and is oftentimes the voice of reason to the two rather crazy alphas (or alpha and consort… whatever). In these Jim/Dali shorts, we get to see how Jim lives the rest of his life (if he has one...) and we also get to see Dali be a super awesome magic wielder! To be honest, she kind of blew me away, probably as much as she did Jim. I’m getting ahead of myself, though.

This story is about Jim and Dali’s growing relationship (yay) but it is also about how Dali conducts her “job” as her culture dictates. With her massive magical powers, she can remove all badness from curses of her lineage. It’s super crazy that this little mostly blind vegetarian girl can go in there and knock around the baddies. I loved it! I also really enjoyed Jim being playful. He and Dali are such a wonderful combination. I wish we saw more of it bleed into the larger books.

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Review: An Ill-Advised Rescue

An Ill-Advised Rescue An Ill-Advised Rescue by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to this short story after completing the emotional rollercoaster that is Magic Rises. I’m usually one to read things in order and complete all the little short stories in a row. I couldn’t find this book without having it attached to Magic Rises, so I begrudgingly read it “out of order.” I’m glad. After all the drama jammed into the book, it was nice to see Kate just… be Kate. She gets a call from the guild about Saimon being kidnapped and swings into action. It was also very satisfying to spend some time with Kate’s dog after him being so very absent in the larger book. Definitely a welcome addition to the Kate-verse.

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Review: The Road to Helltown

The Road to Helltown The Road to Helltown by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

OK, I’m not sure what I expected out of the last Cesar book, but it totally wasn’t this! This author knows how to make me feel so safe in the knowledge of oodles of previous books and then just pulls the rug out from under me! I expected a bloody, gory, fight to the end and instead I got the most satisfying book of the series!

Cesar is still... Cesar. If you were annoyed with him before, his participation in the events leading up to the apocalypse will not make you love him more. His actions afterwards are just… the best. I’m getting ahead of myself, but in a world where I know what happens years after, years before, and to other people at the same time, where to draw the spoiler line gets confusing. We are still rapidly approaching what people know will be a drastic change for the world as everyone knows it. Cesar is the saddest, reluctant participant in the apple, but he’s still going along with their plans. Can you feel me shaking my head at him? That’s what I’ve done through most of the series.

As things start looking worse and worse, he is actually forced to make some tough decisions. He can no longer stay on the sidelines or be pulled along by either his girlfriend or his boss’s wife. As far as his storyline goes, he certainly gets the best of all endings available. We know where he has to end up (or at least anyone who has read the surrounding books knows) but the path is totally uncertain. There will be a re-making of sorts, so all bets are totally off. What someone ended as before that can be undone, essentially meaning no one is safe anymore. As the last book of this series, I guess I expected it to be darker. The fact that it left me smiling and happy was a pleasant surprise. It gets dark, don’t worry, but it is 100% worth it to get to the end.

Do we get all the answers we want? I think we do. We get to find everyone’s path forward while watching the pieces get in place for Dana’s series to pick up. I even wanted to hug Fritz! Who wants that before this book? Nobody! Now I’ve got soft and fuzzy feelings for everyone (you know, except the big bads). This book was surprising in the best way possible and gave probably the most satisfying end I could have hoped for in the Cesar storyline.

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