Friday, January 12, 2018

Review: To Seize a Wayward Spirit

To Seize a Wayward Spirit To Seize a Wayward Spirit by R.L. Naquin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

OK, admittedly I have been kind of spotty about reading this author’s books. I dive in at one point, I get distracted by shiny things, then I dive back in a few books later, etc. This book is no different for me. I missed the first book of the spinoff series here, but ended up picking this one up because I love Kam.

Do you know who Kam is? Even if you don’t, you can probably get along just fine starting from here. Kam is a djinn. She is anything but normal, but is trying to be a relatively normal job-holding citizen of this world. This world, though, is a little quirky itself. There are a bunch of “hidden” that can now roam the world without fear of being found out just by looking at them. These disguises can only be seen through by other hidden with a little squinting and magic. There’s also a whole support system dedicated to the hidden, just like there is for normal humans. Kam’s job is to hunt down some missing souls and recapture them is sweet gems. That’s where it starts, at least.

As usual, things rapidly grow bigger and bigger as time progresses. Kam’s traveling companions (or partners to varying degrees) are a related hitchhiker she picked up probably in the last book, and her ex-arranged-marriage-fiancĂ©-current-crush. There’s drama there, for sure, but not nearly as much as exists in this town’s hidden population. There’s virtually nobody in charge here, which gives Kam and company a great deal of work to do, all in this pretty short book!

To make things even more awesome, the link tying a set of murders together (that they also have to solve) is a cosplay group! This book hit on everything I love about Kam and her amazing character. The author’s writing continues to be witty and brilliant, sucking me in quickly and never letting me go. I really should go back and hit all the books along the way that I missed since I have yet to be let down in any capacity by this world. I can’t wait to see what happens next for our costume-wearing, stranger waving, sightseeing djinn!

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Review: Hot Blooded

Hot Blooded Hot Blooded by Donna Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not so sure why I keep jumping around in this series. I’ve only read a few of these books, but all in a different order. That being said, I don’t think it’s that difficult to catch up quickly at the start of each book. They almost read as a standalone books.

With very few of the Dragon Kings taking mates, the idea of finding their one true love is still novel. Laith is determined to avoid such entanglements until he meets Iona. Iona is only in town to deal with her recently deceased father’s estate. She’s a world traveling photographer, paid to go just about everywhere to take photos. Taking a break and returning to her father’s house is like going back in time. She’s been estranged from her father since her mother removed her from the house at a young age. Now, she wishes she’d been clued in. There are all sorts of strange happenings, mysterious circumstances surrounding her father’s death, and the captivating Laith in her life now.

Laith and Iona might fight their attraction, but it’s easy for everyone to see that they are meant for one another. On top of their romance, there’s the secret of what Iona’s land guards, some bad guys roaming around causing trouble, the side story of Rhys and his struggle, and, you know, dragons. All of this rolls into an entertaining read that has me once again wondering why I don’t just read this series from start to finish.

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Review: Shatter

Shatter Shatter by Kaitlyn Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a fantastic way to end the series! It gives you everything you want, but makes you work for it. I'm both happy and sad - happy that Pandora gets her happy ending but sad that we don't get any more from this universe.

We join this book immediately after the ending of the previous one. Do not start here if you haven't read the previous books in this series! These books truly have to be read in order and there is no time to catch up if you start here! That being said, it took me a little bit to dive back in to this drama-filled world. Pandora is still grappling with her new memories, new powers, and the fact that she essentially took back the immortality from the titans. She's hiding out with her friends (who are still awesome) and is trying to start a new life with Jax. At least she thinks it's Jax.

Jax has been possessed by Sam, who is up to no good. What's his plan? We are at just as much of a loss as Jax is. We are all rooting for Pandora to figure out that things are not as they seem, but it was a real struggle to not jump out of my skin every time she interacted with Sam thinking he was Jax. Poor Pandora - she just cannot get a break! There is a lot of badness that has to happen on the way to the end of this series, but it just gives that much better a happy ending.

I was sad to see the casualties along the way, but this new world that Pandora is forging is well worth the sacrifice. The author also does something I thought would be impossible now - she convinced me that Sam might not be 100% evil. Don't get me wrong, he's evil. Just... there is hope there. Maybe I'm too much of an optimist, but I really liked that. All in all, this series was a great ride and I was sad to say goodbye to the characters.

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Review: Fateful Reunion (A Scanguards Novella #11.5)

Fateful Reunion (A Scanguards Novella #11.5) Fateful Reunion (A Scanguards Novella #11.5) by Tina Folsom
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think I’m mad that poor Roxanne only got a short story instead of a full length book. Her story was one that I was looking forward to in recent books, but didn’t even think it would be tackled in such a short read. That being said, it felt a little… rushed.

Roxanne has a past – we all know that. She’s got some serious attitude toward witches and hasn’t really been seen dating anyone while she’s been present in the background. I knew there was a story behind it, but could never have predicted that it was this. Apparently, while Roxanne was under Silas’s thumb, she was sneaking away to meet up with her lover, Charles.

Charles is a witch who was pretty much a loner. He was ready to help Roxanne fake her death and run away together until his sister gave him a massive responsibility. Unable to turn her away, Roxanne has spent a lot of time thinking that Charles abandoned her. Why didn’t he call? Some stupid martyr reason, of course.

Roxanne starts one chapter hating Charles, but by the end is taking her clothes off for him. I thought it felt really rushed and disjointed. I was, however, very interested in the witch storyline and all the mythology there. Again, I wish this were fleshed out in a full length novel instead of jammed into this story. Maybe we get more in the next book? I hope so.

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Review: Vampire Requiem

Vampire Requiem Vampire Requiem by J.R. Rain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very short story that gives some closure to the Nancy/Sam storyline. While she is still struggling with her inner demon (or inner vampire?), she is definitely still a force to be reckoned with. I like where this seems to be headed, and this short story was just what I needed to want to jump back into this series.

This story starts with a very strange yet pleasant interaction between Nancy and Sam. Sure, most people wouldn’t want to hang out with their ex-husband’s widow girlfriend, but Sam is definitely not most people. These two have a very tentative truce, but that’s put to the test when Sam gets a frantic text from Nancy indicating that she’s in some very real trouble.

While not everyone gets out of this story alive, it definitely helped me further wrap my head around the strange relationships Sam has. I like her quirkiness and her determination to fight the “evil” inside of her. I’ll be picking up the next book in the series as soon as I can.

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Review: Heart of the Wolf

Heart of the Wolf Heart of the Wolf by Terry Spear
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The entire time I was reading this book, the story felt very familiar. After some detective work, it turns out I read this in 2010 but never reviewed it. I have a feeling it would have gotten the same review I’m giving it now as it was a very lengthy introduction to this author’s shifter world.

Bella, a red wolf shifter, was raised by a neighboring gray wolf pack after her family tragically died in a fire. Her rescuer, Devlyn, has become the focus of all her girlish (and womanly) desires, but she has always knows she was claimed by the leader of their pack, Volan. Volan isn’t the ideal mate by any stretch of the imagination, so when confronted with the opportunity, Bella runs away. She manages to stay away from them for years until a pack of hunters end up capturing her in wolf form and throwing her in the zoo.

Devlyn has always wanted to be Bella’s mate, but was trapped in his pack’s hierarchy. It takes his assignment as zoo rescuer to force him to take a chance. While on the run, these two end up confronting their feelings while at the same time making some pretty sketchy decisions. On top of all this pack drama, there’s also a killer on the loose who is trying to change women into werewolves, but ends up slaughtering them instead.

There is really a lot of stuff jammed into this one book, but the center of everything is the relationship between Devlyn and Bella. Their story ends happily (thank goodness), and we even get some side stories ending with a HEA. As the start to what is apparently a long series, this was a solid introduction. I’m sure everyone I’d like to see more from eventually gets their own tale along the way.

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Review: Baby, I'm Howling for You

Baby, I'm Howling for You Baby, I'm Howling for You by Christine Warren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As the second book I've read in this series (but counting as #1), this was lots of fun. It had twists and turns, action, romance, and sexy, sexy times. Even if you didn't read the short story before this one, this book gives a great introduction to the wonderful weird world of Alphaville.

Renny is on the run. She's been trying to evade a relentless predator who has decided that she belongs to him. As a wolf shifter, she's got certain skills, but the guys that have been sent after her are shapeshifters also. In a desperate play, she tries to make a run for the Alphaville border for protection. She's always heard that all were welcome there, especially if they have trouble in their past. Renny literally runs to the border just in time, being rescued by an unlikely shifter as she crosses onto his land.

Mick has a past himself, having lost a mate previously. He's a loner, but somehow Renny and he are drawn to one another. Mick also has been tangled up with the shifters Renny is running from, making them perfectly suited for dealing with these bad guy shifters. It would be smooth sailing if Mick and Renny could just work through their relationship issues. Oh, and if they can survive these crafty bad guys. Don't worry, though, we get a nice, neat happy ending. I can't wait to see what happens to all the new characters we met in future installments!

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