Sunday, June 2, 2024

The Epilogues: Part III: How to Rattle an Undead Couple

How to Rattle an Undead Couple (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy, #9)How to Rattle an Undead Couple by Hailey Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We are just blasting through all the important events in Linus and Grier’s new life together. At the end of the previous novella we learned that Grier was unexpectedly pregnant and they didn’t really have time to evaluate what type of powers the kid would get. That’s not their biggest problem, though.

At almost the start of the much awaited baby shower, Linus’s very powerful mother is a no show. There is absolutely nothing short of kidnapping that would keep her from this event, so they all immediately go on high alert. There are hints that our mysterious vampire nemesis might be behind it, but that would be too simple. With all the mysteries going on, it’s no surprise that the reveal caught me off guard. Also, I didn’t expect to have such a “to be continued” ending, but I guess with Grier and Linus there is no such thing as expected endings. I’ll be hopping from this to the novella in the spinoff series.

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The Epilogues: Part II: How to Survive an Undead Honeymoon

How to Survive an Undead Honeymoon (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy, #8)How to Survive an Undead Honeymoon by Hailey Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After that very messy and very chaotic wedding, I was excited to see what they had planned as a honeymoon. With Linus planning, it seemed like a safer bet than something Grier chose. No such luck.

They end up in a remote bed and breakfast that comes complete with a haunted history. Seems like something that should be easy enough to navigate, even if the ominous anniversary of demon sightings is rapidly approaching. Things never go easy for these two, though, so even while on their honeymoon, they get sucked into a bit of a murder-mystery, with cats, demons, and things that go bump in the night. Even a simple trip to the library comes with attempts on their lives.

If you’re worried that this will be a road trip story with no other characters we know - don’t worry. Oh, and it has a super fun ending! I’m loving these little shorts to add on to the main story and would happily read even more of them.

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The Epilogues: Part I: How to Kiss an Undead Bride

The Epilogues: How to Kiss an Undead Bride (The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy)The Epilogues: How to Kiss an Undead Bride by Hailey Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really love that we get to revisit with Grier and Linus post-main series big stuff. Don’t worry, there’s still big stuff here! It’s finally wedding time!

After all the potentate training, long engagement, and other craziness, we get to have a wedding! It is (of course) happening at their home and will be filled to the brim with the required society guests and their chosen families. Now that the important food decisions are winding down, of course that’s when the last seed nobody ever wanted to hear from again seems to resurface. There’s terrible clues pointing to someone hell bent on ruining the wedding, even out to get their vendors!

I loved watching the crew dig into the mystery but I definitely didn’t put all the pieces together in time. The wedding ends up being an affair to remember in a pretty terrible way and I was a little let down at the mood killer. It wraps up okay, but you definitely get to feel all the feels in this reveal.

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Pinky Promise

Pinky Promise (The Summoner’s Mark Book 6)Pinky Promise by J. D. Blackrose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This series has gotten me completely addicted and no amount of bad decisions by main characters can shake me loose. It might go without saying, but you should start at the beginning here - if you somehow picked this book up first, I don’t know what to tell you.

Becs and her big mouth have committed her to somehow restoring Pinky’s powers, that he expended so completely to rescue… everyone. On top of that commitment, her dream walking friend has just informed her that she’s also got to do the one thing she swore to never do again - visit Faerie. She somehow needs to convince the queen to help them repair the connective tissue between Earth and her world, to save them both. Oh, and Becs gets a dog. That’s important.

Also very important is the bizarre love triangle-ish thing happening between a possibly reformed mobster (who started the whole trip to Pinky losing his powers) and Asher, the ex-angel. I completely thought this book was going to be Asher tripping over himself to become powerful again but instead it really surprised me. No spoilers, but it’s a good ride to get there. I can almost support the rationale - almost! I can’t wait for the next book to see how they get out of this messy not-really-a-true-cliffhanger ending.

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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Moment of Truth

Moment of Truth (The Potentate of Atlanta #5)Moment of Truth by Hailey Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where do you even begin when you wrap up a 5 book series? This was a very satisfying ending, wrapping up all the loose ends I wanted it too, but still left me wanting lots of epilogues (which I will go into right after!).

Hadley just needs to do one small thing before she can continue to her official role as Potentate - ya know, just save the city from the encroaching evil witches, lock said witches out of their “wardrobe”, and figure out her relationship with Midas. OK, so the last one kind of already worked itself out, but they still have the whole balance between Potentate and the pack to discuss.

Without getting into the details and spoilers, it was fun watching the team work together, play it their strengths, and I also really appreciated the mystery of who was behind this whole thing. There was a lot of time slippage, portal hopping, and *a lot* of “screen time” from our oddly favorite shadow. This book somehow helped me reach a certain appreciation for him and I feel pretty good about how Hadley ends this journey.

She and Midas are a perfect pair and their chosen family is even better. I was sad to say goodbye to someone, but hope they have their own update/spinoff opportunity. As a series, I am happy I took the chance and dove into the world of Hadley, even after not particularly liking her in the original series. I went on the journey with her and was happier for it!

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The Hedge Witch

The Hedge WitchThe Hedge Witch by Colleen Delaney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a fun start to a series! I wasn’t sure what to expect with this new (to me) sort of hedge witch, but I fell in love with this merry band of sisters.

Laurel is a hedge witch. She’s got all sorts of powers, but she mostly tries not to use them and instead has leaned into her calling as a tarot card reader. Living with her sisters in a house on a relatively remote island, there aren’t huge witch-related issues to worry about until one particularly eventful hedge jump. Having all been warned that the sisters would find their fated mates, Laurel eagerly discovered her soul mate (or a version of him), but that appears to have triggered her past lives-self’s cursed arch-nemesis to resurface.

Owen is the son of a witch but is not particularly powerful. He is a carpenter entering his slow season when he meets Laurel in what he deems a dream. On a quest from a higher power, he ends up adventuring the said remote island and gets quickly pulled into the mayhem that ensues. Don’t worry, though, because there is also romance, sexy times, good conquering evil, and all that jazz. I like the unique blend of powers we learned about and hope Owen’s chaos-loving family comes to visit them soon!

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Thursday, May 16, 2024

Proof of Life

Proof of Life (The Potentate of Atlanta, #4)Proof of Life by Hailey Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really thought I couldn’t stomach another book with Boaz in it, yet here we are, with me loving this one despite the stupid big oaf. Hadley has completely converted me and now I can handle anything as long as she and Midas are there.

By the end of the previous book, we got to watch Hadley and Midas make it official, moving in together, being really mates, so all is well in the romance department (if they could only get time to get together alone - that’s another theme in this book). It’s of course at this time that her family (original and new) decide to come visit for some random art exhibit. Seems very shady, but that appears to be legit. At the start of this book, we begin to notice a theme - someone is trying to blow up Hadley and/or her friends and family. They manage to hit a few places, kill a few people, and everyone is still trying to find any clue as to who it could be. Signs point to betrayal, unfortunately.

Addie is maybe one of the best new characters for me, and while I didn’t appreciate her in the Boaz spinoff story, she is a great “big sister” to Hadley throughout. This book really explores all the trauma and terrible time Hadley had growing up, and even unblinds that to her inner circle. At this point, most people also know about her alter ego, her “shadow” and we even get an amped up screen time to that effect. I'm loving where we are heading, with the big showdown on the horizon, but boy oh boy was this a crummy reveal at the end. Well written, kept me guessing, but we have a big mess to clean up in the next book!

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