Saturday, June 12, 2021

Savor Me Slowly

Savor Me Slowly (Alien Huntress, #3)Savor Me Slowly by Gena Showalter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is definitely the best of the series so far. We got a lot of familiar faces from the previous two, but also a healthy dose of smut that was somewhat missing in previous books.

We met Jaxon in Mia's story as the supportive team member, but he is definitely a harder, different man than we previously met. He's been kidnapped when we see him again, and tortured beyond the point where non-agents would have been able to resist. Another torturer ends up entering the room and taking him as her own hostage.

Mishka is an assassin, part-robot, part-alien, unique entity. She's controlled by her "master" and forced to do horrible things. The love story here is closer to fated mates than any sort of romantic tale. These two are mostly trapped together, but become obsessed. There is smut a-plenty, so no worries there, but there were a lot of muddled motivations thrown in along the way. While people are dying from an incurable disease, we are taking time during a firefight to duke it out amongst allies? Really? Visions are infallible, even though that was largely the basis for book 1? The overall story doesn't even wrap up neatly, so I assume we will still deal with the big bad from this book in the next one. While this is a big step up from the previous books, I'm hopeful we get an even more solid installment next.

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Nicodemus

Nicodemus (Stone Warriors, #5)Nicodemus by D.B. Reynolds
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love this world, the characters, and most of all the vampires that started it all, but was excited to get to the conclusion and finale with Nic's story. This book was like 3 books in one and I'm sure would be better enjoyed in more bite-sized portions (at least for me).

We get ALL of Nic's story in here. There's time in his own kingdom, then in the past in Paris, then still in the past in other locations, until we finally get the resolution I was dying for all book. This book was very different than the others because it reads as more of a historical mystery than a paranormal romance. We are introduced to the elusive Antonia and shown their earlier quick romance, which leads him on a chase through dimension and time.

Was I ultimately sucked in? Yes. Nic's story is addictive, just like all the others. We get to watch the showdown we wanted, with lots of familiar faces from previous stories. Really, that last part was THE BEST! I'm happy we got there, and I want to dive back in with the vampires.

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Lover Unveiled

Lover Unveiled (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #19)Lover Unveiled by J.R. Ward
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think this book was one of the toughest to get through for me. Yes, we are at book#19, so things are a bit formulaic at this point, but there were just too many subplots for me to enjoy this one. Also, Mae was not my preferred type of lead female. Sigh.

OK, so, it's hard to sum this one up because in BDB style, there are like 10 other things all winding through this one main storyline. We start with Mae, who is trying to use evil magic to save a loved one. We also meet Sahvage, who has a battered past and just want to die. Then we reunite with some other characters from previous books, meet new friends of those people, and there's a meteor. THEN there is a demon, who we met previously, and a book. Oh, and THEN there is the thief from the bastards, who once got electrocuted.

Somehow, all of those things end up winding together, but it takes A LOT. And all of that has to happen while we get on board with the love story between Sahvage and Mae. I just couldn't do it. Mae makes all the wrong decisions no matter how much support she gets from everyone around her. Ultimately, the BDB ends up cleaning things up (mostly), but for me, this one was a miss.

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One Fine Fae

One Fine Fae (Mystic Bayou, #4.5)One Fine Fae by Molly Harper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love this world, this town, and all their characters. I would read/listen-to 100 of them! I was shocked to find I inadvertently missed this short story, so dove in immediately.

This short and self-contained story centers around a newcomer, Charlotte. Remember the search for a midwife for mixed-shifter pregnancies? Well, Charlotte is the answer. She arrives in town with her trailer and is immediately immersed in the wonderful world of Mystic Bayou. This includes the wonderfully adorable, but woefully cursed Leonard. As an assistant in the league offices, he's pretty well established in town, and touted as being one of the only non-evil assistants (Jessica is questionable).

These two are cute, though a little rushed, in their romance, but that could be my own selfishness talking. I would love to get even more from these two! The bonus here, though, is that we get to spend less time in the "awkward misunderstanding" phase and more time in the love. While you can definitely read this alone, you should really read all of these books, because they are awesome!

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Darkness Betrayed

Darkness Betrayed (Guardians of Eternity, #17)Darkness Betrayed by Alexandra Ivy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I gotta admit that I have been hopping in and out of this series for a while. While I know the general world, I tend to miss some big events along the way. All of that to say that I don't have trouble rejoining this crew and enjoying each installment.

This book follows Brigette, the previous baddie who was under evil influences. She's punishing herself and trying to perform her own form of redemption when she is suddenly faced with an opportunity. She's a bit damaged and determined which somehow ends up putting her in league with a demon/vampire uprising.

Xi has been tasked with finding out who the new big bad is, as evidenced by a series of strange and concerning occurrences in town. He ends up having to team up with the ex-big bad, Brigette. Obviously these two end up reluctantly attracted to each other in the fated way that happens in this series. They both have their own tragic story, and that lends itself to making it feel less rushed and more romantic than others. I liked their sweet moments, but, as usual, Levet was a highlight.

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Friday, May 28, 2021

Idols and Enemies

Idols and Enemies (Amplifier Book 4)Idols and Enemies by Meghan Ciana Doidge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This series has certainly grown from the first book that I had to drag myself through. Now I am fully on Team Emma, even when the rest of the usual suspects are away.

We knew Aiden would have to open the letter from his father someday, and that's really what this book is about. We deal with the fallout and the larger scheme at play, all while they are also trying to raise a teenage witch and hunt down the rest of the five. Aiden's father, it turns out, is battling something that is killing the great Azar head of household. With no easy cure, they need to have the most awkward family reunion ever.

While I loved the new sorcerer dynamic (who knew I could enjoy Aiden's brother?), the witches were TERRIBLE. I mean, I guess that's great, because I know we were supposed to be put in the position to make some judgments, but still. It had some of those horrible scenes where you know some funny business is going on, but people turn a blind eye to it because... faaaaaamilyyyyyy. Sigh. That aside, by the end of the book, I was surprisingly aligned with the sorcerers who have tried to kill Emma. If this series can convince me to change my mind about them, what can they accomplish next?

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Enslave Me Sweetly

Enslave Me Sweetly (Alien Huntress, #2)Enslave Me Sweetly by Gena Showalter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In our book club we are working through this series. That might be one of the main reasons we are continuing, because I didn't really see any strong thread holding book 1 and book 2 together. I hear it gets better at book 3, so here's hoping!

This book focuses on an alien race (so, ok, that is a connection to the overall world), but she's not a government agent like the last main character. Instead, she has been adopted by and trained into this world of hired killers. It's good that she can defend herself, because her race was hunted to near extinction for their beautiful skin. So - who is the love interest? Well, there's no magic necklace (WAIT - there totally is!!), but she is somehow drawn to this other agent that her adoptive father pairs her up with.

Lucius is full human, but somehow magically endowed in the strength and stealth categories. They naturally fight, but are also naturally drawn to one another for some reason we shouldn't look too hard at. There "romance" is your typical fated mates story. The twist here is the aliens and some betrayal. Honestly, I was expecting way more horrible things to happen or be revealed, so we got our relatively unscathed in this installment. Who knew the would-be rapist would be a highlight in the character department?

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