Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Review: Frost

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

This book was a totally unique blend of titans, vampires, mystery and YA romance. I love all those things, and couldn’t stop flipping pages on this one until I reached the (somewhat cliffhanger-y) end. I guess this is a spinoff? I didn’t realize until I went to review, so it obviously didn’t matter much.

Pandora is on the run from her past. She doesn’t remember the exact thing that triggered her running (that was removed with her becoming a vampire) but she knows she can’t let the titans catch up to her. She’s making a pretty good living for herself as a sort-of robin hood, freeing vampire prisoners (and sometimes expensive things) from master vampires and donating the proceeds. Her powers make her a highly prized commodity – she can become invisible. This same power is also what made her an outcast among the titans. Most people shunned her, except for Jax.

Jax is also the titan that has been tasked with hunting her down. Pandora believes herself unfeeling until confronted with the face of the love of her life. These two struggle to figure out Pandora’s future, and how she will confront her past. There’s also a little mystery around who this random dude Pandora keeps seeing in her shadows is… The ending left me hanging, but the mystery will drive me to read more!

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Review: Feversong

Feversong Feversong by Karen Marie Moning
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

OK, I’m really done now, right? These books are always a rollercoaster of emotion, with turns coming out of nowhere and very few “safe” characters. I have to say that the body count was significantly lower than I expected, but I guess since she’s writing more books in this world (WHAT?) she had to keep some familiar faces around.

We join the cast exactly where we left them. Mac is possessed, Jada/Dani just got saved by Mac’s sacrifice, and the world is still going to end. The books are not at all split evenly so things go in a bit of a disjointed path forward. We spend a lot of time dealing with Mac/Book (ha) and trying to get a solution. We spend absolutely no time in smut-land (through the entire book!). And we get some quickie resolution for book 1 which frees up the “gang” to troubleshoot the whole world ending thing. During it all we have the budding romance of Dancer and Dani, the reason for which is because the author hates us (sorry, cynical).

Sure, there are the typical twists and turns along the way with lots of time spent getting introduced to more fae aspects, but not a whole lot gets wrapped up. The author admitted this. Don’t expect to know the fate of pretty much anyone outside the immediate crew. There better be a whole series devoted to the Highlanders just to wrap that mess up. Everyone, in their own way, gets to say goodbye to their loved ones as they all prepare for the end of the world. Some leave the world or prepare to, while the core fighters gear up for the “ultimate showdown,” which was actually pretty relaxed.

We meet or re-meet some characters, seemingly only to watch them die. This frustrates me, but I guess I should expect that in this world. I bet there are 100 different versions of this book in which things take a different turn (and maybe involve some smut?), but we are stuck here. Even the ending gave a kind of “meh” feeling for the survivors. I guess I just… want more? Is that weird? The plot always makes me crazy but I can’t stop coming back. Maybe I’m just looking for closure.

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Review: The Turn

The Turn The Turn by Kim Harrison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m really conflicted about reviewing this book. In retrospect, maybe I should have just left the series finished in my mind and never re-entered the world of the Hollows. Sure, this book takes place before the start of that series, but the collection of magical creatures still persists. The characters, however, are so… young!

As someone who rooted for Trent and Al in the later series, this story was so hard. Trent is firmly in his jerk phase, even more spoiled and arrogant than I could even imagine (and I watched him grow through the Hollows series!). It was pretty frustrating to have to deal with him in that timeframe again, but Trisk was a bright light in all that yucky darkness. Trisk was a great addition to the story, and I found myself rooting for her even when I knew where her research had to end up. This book was definitely cringe worthy in that respect. There has to be a trigger for the world of Rachel Morgan, so you know that for every happy moment we get to see, an even bigger sad moment is on its way.

Another highlight was the cameos from characters we know and love. It definitely messed with my timeline when I saw their relative ages and mannerisms, but supernaturals are always tricky that way. I expected this book to end with everyone lined up to take their ultimate places from the start of the Hollows series but that is definitely not the case. Don’t expect this book to answer all your questions or leave you with warm, fuzzy feelings for… anyone. Except maybe Orchid. Like I said, this is a hard book to review because on one hand I want to know what happens so I’ll eagerly devour all the books set in this world. On the other hand, it’s painful knowing everyone’s futures and having to suffer through it all slowly.

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Review: Midnight Curse

Midnight Curse Midnight Curse by Melissa F. Olson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow – this book was such a great read! A few chapters in, I started to figure out that this is a spinoff of a more developed world, but I can honestly say that it didn’t stop me from absolutely loving this book.

Scarlett is a null who is tasked with cleaning up after “messy” supernaturals. She has clearly led a very busy life in previous books, which makes her current work look a little slow. The upcoming Vampire Trials (ooooh, ominous) end up changing her world. While it is actually a little bit like the People’s Court for supernaturals, the Vampire Trials end up pushing a big bad into taking a big step against Scarlett’s old bestie – Molly. Scarlett, being the amazingly well-written and awesomely sarcastic ball of righteousness she is, can’t stand by to let Molly be falsely accused so she begins her own investigation.

The plot of this story has its fair share of twists and turns, but what kept me coming back for more what the characters. I’m sure the author had several books to fully develop them, but even as an outsider just joining the story, they were amazing. Between Scarlett’s boyfriend and her estranged partner, there is no shortage of drama. I am absolutely convinced that I must go back and start from the beginning, if this is what I can expect being built up. Even with a not exactly happy ending, I am 100% committed to reading all this world has to offer.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Review: Maximum Force: A Career Soldier Military Romance

Maximum Force: A Career Soldier Military Romance Maximum Force: A Career Soldier Military Romance by Tawdra Kandle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was yummy and completely fun to read. I was in a bit of a book rut – you know when you just can’t seem to get back into reading? Well this quick read really got me back on the wagon! I couldn’t stop reading until the last page!

Max is a career soldier who has some pretty strong opinions about the people who protest against them without walking in his shoes. Of course, he ends up running right into a damsel in distress, who just so happens to be one of those yucky protesters. Samantha was raised to always stand up for what she believes in, no matter what. All of her ideas are challenged when she finds herself inexplicably drawn towards a soldier who has direct reports tied to an incident in town.

These two are sizzling hot! I loved every second of this story and was pleasantly surprised when we found our way to a mutually beneficial happy ending. I would read 100 of these short stories and cannot wait to see what comes out next from this author!

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Review: Wolf Unbound

Wolf Unbound Wolf Unbound by Lauren Dane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having read the previous books in this series, I was super excited to see Tegan's book come up. She's always been in the background, but I knew she definitely had more to say.

This book gave an awesome connection between two characters we've met before. While the rest of the pack appears to interact with Ben Stoner, Tegan first meets him when she escapes her solitary life for a visit to a bondage club. This particular club caters to paranormals, but since Ben is already in the know and looking for a new sub, they are paired up almost by accident. The chemistry is super hot and leads to a more solid connection than I think either of them anticipated.

Tegan and Ben's families, of course, are a little bit harder of a sell, particularly since Tegan lost her previous mate and has been mostly solitary since then. These two, however, manage to bring out the best in one another (when their stubbornness is not getting in the way). Oh, and the smut is awesome! Along with the unexpected romance, we also get some progress in the overall storyline. While we don't get a super duper happy ending with all plotlines tied up, we are still definitely making progress (especially for Ben & Tegan). I will happily read as many installments this series puts out!

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Review: Wolf Moon

Wolf Moon Wolf Moon by Lisa Kessler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my first book from this series, but I think diving in here was just fine. The story was easy to follow and gave me lots of good intro along the way.

Luke is the last unmated member of his pack. To try to avoid the constant reminder, he set off on his own to find himself (sort of). While out and about one day, he couldn't help stopping to offer assistance to a woman in a broken down van. Raven was forcibly turned into a werewolf by her then boyfriend now abuser. Inducted into a pack formed for the sole purpose of attacking others, she's desperate to escape. On her escape attempt, however, her van ran out of gas, putting her in the direct line of sight of Luke.

Luke, of course, can't let this stand and is even more determined to help Raven upon discovering that his old pack's arch-nemesis is planning to come attack and destroy them. They're both forced to make hard decisions to save all the innocent people who have been dragged into this mess. This book was so engaging that I found myself worried about all the side characters, too. Will they each get spin off books? Will I ever find out what happens to them? While totally happy with the unorthodox happily ever after, I still want more!

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