Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Review: Hunt the Darkness

Hunt the Darkness Hunt the Darkness by Stephanie Rowe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Admittedly, I’ve jumped around in this series quite a bit. That being said, I was able to join this storyline, already in progress, without any issues. It was filled with demons, warriors, and a time-crossing love story.

Vlad is a jerk. Sure, he spends his time saving kids from whatever they get themselves into, but he is still mostly unhappy with life. It all stems from his childhood, where he feels he should have been able to save the love of his life from being killed by demons. Or so he thought. Turns out, Sophie actually survived falling into the demon world, although she has suppressed all memory of it. She’s made her own way in this horrible world, developing a magical defense against the demons who look to use her. She’s also found a calling and spends all her time trying to rescue women from their demon lovers.

Rescuing Sophie turns out to be exactly the motivation that Vlad needed to apologize to the group of warriors he screwed over in recent history. As they are the only ones that can help him find demons, he reluctantly teams up with Gabe, one of the last remaining warriors. It’s clear that this is a turning point for them, and it was interesting to watch the dynamics both between Gabe and his team and Gabe and Vlad (his new team). Of course, we also go to watch Gabe fight (a little) the fated bond that begins to develop soon after arriving and meeting Sophie’s BFF.

All in all, this book had all the key elements of an epic paranormal romance. There was even a happy ending that seemed to satisfy just about everyone involved (and there were lots of people involved). Reading this book made me want to go back and fill in the gaps. With writing like this, how could you not?

View all my reviews

Review: Lonesome Paladin

Lonesome Paladin Lonesome Paladin by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow, these spinoff books just keep me constantly guessing. While I’ve read all the other books in this world, the characters continue to surprise me.

If this is your introduction to this author’s wonderful world, welcome! There is a *a lot* going on, so you’d better be prepared for a fast-paced, wild and crazy ride! First off, we’ve got the main players. In this instance, we bounce around between 3-ish characters: Lincoln (a surly, racist, ex-boyfriend to a key player in some events leading up to this time), Cesar (a womanizing ex-witch with family in high places), and Sophie (an unknown entity who knows way more than she should about almost everything). The true guide in this story is Lincoln (unfortunately, because he’s a jerk), but I definitely wanted more Cesar (especially after that ending!!!).

Lincoln finds himself with no real purpose in life. Like most people, the “void” changed him and left him with nowhere to go. He has no living connections left, is constantly starting fights, and is riddled with guilt over his long-ago actions while possessed. As a true gift, he suddenly finds himself embroiled in OPA drama of the fae kind. By showing up in some database as having a rather unique history, he is tasked with getting Cesar to his sister in the Middle Worlds.

Here’s where it gets crazy (or more crazy). There’s all sorts of unexplainable magical things in the Middle Worlds and most of them try to kill Lincoln, Cesar, and their new companion, Sophie. Throw in some killer unicorns and I’m absolutely hooked. While I may not want to live inside Lincoln’s head, I’m very interested in where he might end up. As this was just the first of what I’m sure will be many adventures (or religious quests?), I can’t wait to see what happens next!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Review: What to Expect When Your Demon Slayer is Expecting

What to Expect When Your Demon Slayer is Expecting What to Expect When Your Demon Slayer is Expecting by Angie Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These books are just adorable and super fun! I find that once I start reading, I absolutely cannot stop. Lizzie and Dimitri are the best!

As the title already gives away, this book deal with the ups and downs of being both a demon slayer and a soon-to-be-mom. Lizzie is just going about her “normal” life (which is always anything but normal) when her mom is suddenly taken ill. Of course, nothing is easy in the demon slaying world, so there are paranormal elements at play. Remember the spirit from the previous adventure? Even if you don’t, you will be reintroduced to him intimately in this book. Who else would to go to when you are tasked with an impossible possession problem?

On top of the twisty turny world of solving this mystery, we also get the stellar and always entertaining characters that live in Lizzie’s universe. There wasn’t a single thing I would change about all the insanity jammed into this book. We even manage to get a healthy dose of the romantic world of Lizzie and Dimitri. Oh, and a dragon, and a talking dog! What more could you want?

View all my reviews

Review: Masked Desire

Masked Desire Masked Desire by Alana Delacroix
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I’ve read the rest of the books in this series, I think you can definitely pick this up as standalone and enjoy the wild ride it takes you on! It has so many twists and turns that I found myself eagerly flipping through.

Michaela is a supernatural with the ability to take on “masks” which change both her appearance and personality at will. On top of being the security head for one of the least trusted supernatural races, she also sits on a council designed to be secretly in charge of the supernatural community. It’s on this council that she ends up being exposed to a gruesome murder in her office. Obviously tasked with finding the killer, but with the suspicion of the victim being in her office, she gets saddled with a babysitter in the form of an exiled fae.

Cormac has a lot of hidden agendas, but the primary goal he had when offering to “watch” Michaela was to find a way to obtain the victim’s forest and use it to get back in the fae queen’s good graces. All of that rapidly takes a back seat when he finds himself uncontrollably drawn to Michaela. These two definitely did not have an easy road (trust issues abound) but when they finally tumble into a relationship it is awesome! If you’re looking for a truly unique world, a romance, and a murder mystery all rolled into one book – this is definitely the book for you.

View all my reviews

Friday, April 13, 2018

Review: Immortally Yours

Immortally Yours Immortally Yours by Lynsay Sands
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This wasn’t necessarily my favorite of the stories in this series, but I have a hard time articulating exactly why I didn’t jump into reading it at every chance. Sure, it started with the narrator in this audible version, who was not the best, but I just never really found myself rooting for these two. Scotty made it difficult to love him.

Beth is an independent woman who has found her calling as a rogue hunter. She bounces about and has had what can be simplified as a “hard life” (complete with forcibly being turned and lots and lots of rape), but her life is her own. This, apparently, really really bothers Scotty. He knows that she is his life mate from soon after he met her. He, however, keeps this a secret because he wants her to “heal” and live her new immortal life. True, he found her in piles of blood and gore, with some serious trauma, but maybe this is where my utter dislike of him comes from. Either way, he sticks someone to watch her and goes about his own business.

When Beth decided to become a rogue hunter, Scotty resurfaced to speak out against her, and thus began her belief that he hated her. Nice, right? Beth, however, did not just stew. She became an excellent rogue hunter and, ultimately, did find a way to reconcile her past with her present. Now that she’s in a good place, Scotty was finally “free” to approach their life mate status in an honest way. In my opinion, it’s way too late. That doesn’t stop him from perpetually racing in to try to save her. A series of coincidental events put her in almost constant danger throughout the book, made worse by the fact that most of the hunters are still looking for the missing evil doctor.

The culmination of the book was a mystery being solved in an unexpected way, but I was seriously let down by the HEA. Sure, these two end up happy and together but it just seemed to reek of an almost abusive relationship – him still insisting that erasing her memory is better for her no matter her insistence otherwise. Meh.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Review: The Book of Secrets

The Book of Secrets The Book of Secrets by Melissa McShane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow – this book was unexpected!

I picked this book up relatively blind to the story or any of the details and just dove right in. What a fun and fantastic world! I was thoroughly engaged from start to finish and sad to see it end. Please tell me there’s more?

Helena is a woman adrift in the world. She’s not sure what she actually wants to do with her life, other than find a job to kill some time and make some money. A want ad has her ending up interviewing for a job at a strangely disorganized book store with a very odd boss. Things don’t really stay that way for too long, though. Helena is rapidly sucked into a world filled with magic, murder, mystery, and an increasing amount of responsibility. Surprisingly, rather than finding herself shying away from her newfound custodianship, she really steps up to the plate.

Aside from the murder mystery aspect of this story, I found myself really enjoying the new magical world that both the reader and Helena have to learn about. There’s different magical factions, lots of people who may or may not be bad guys, aliens (kind-of), and a book store that I am just absolutely in love with. Who knew that a setting could become such a critical character? I can’t say enough good things about this book. Assuming we get some quick follow-up in the series, it will definitely be on of my “must read” list.

View all my reviews

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Review: High Voltage

High Voltage High Voltage by Karen Marie Moning
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I will say one thing for KMM - she keeps me guessing. I think I've been so beaten down by cliffhangers and frustrating endings that when things seem to end happily, I feel... unsatisfied? I'm a little concerned that I've suffered some irreparable trauma from the Fever series. I also have no clue how I actually feel about this book. It is definitely the start of a new set of books but... where do we go from here?

So, remember Dani and Ryodan? Ball of sexual frustration? Well we start the book with them separating for a while (what?!) leaving Dani as the lone superhero left to take care of Dublin. She's doing a great job, seeing the "invisible" members of the city, but even superheroes need friends. With everyone off on their own adventure, this leaves Dani to ponder the ever-growing black hand issue in her own head. She's also tied her hands by agreeing to not attack Fae while Mac gets her bearings. In a blatant plot device, something ends up bringing Ryodan and his gang back and then all hell breaks loose. There's high voltage (yeah, there is) and a surprising reveal. There's even an ending that feels sort of... final? I guess we end up hopping around to give everyone a happy ending? Do all the nine end up getting one? I don't know what I want to happen anymore...

The somewhat side story in this tale is the Kat/Cruce reveal and handling the fallout from that. I honestly could have done without this, but maybe it will end up going somewhere cool in the future books? Who knows - I certainly don't think KMM knows right now. It was nice to have a "visit" from Mac, but she was definitely missing in this book. While it was easy to focus on Dani and Ryodan's tale, what's a Fever book without some Mac and Barrons?

So, yeah, overall this was a good book? I don't know what I was expecting but it wasn't this. There was even some pervy business thrown in that brings me back to the start of Dani's story. Oh, and as a side gripe - how about we format kindle books properly so they end at 100% instead of a surprise at <90%?

View all my reviews

Review: Guardian of Darkness

Guardian of Darkness Guardian of Darkness by Katie Reus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a really great read that had me on the edge of my seat the entire way through! There was elements of paranormal romance, fated mates, destiny, and even dragons! While I haven't read this entire series from book 1 to book 7 (this one), I don't think you really need to be familiar with the world to be able to dive in here.

Gabriel is trying to do the right thing. He saw Vega getting killed in a vision of his future and he is determined to do everything in his power to make sure it never comes to pass. Unfortunately, he hasn't told anyone about this and has instead been fighting his undeniable attraction to Vega for quite some time. What she saw as his inability to be around her was actually him trying to be noble. It all ends up blowing up in his face when she takes a dangerous job in his old territory.

Vega has worked pretty hard to get out of the shadow of her parents. In a further bid to be independent and strong, she accepts a shadowy job from a band of spies. While lying or telling half truths to those around her, she finds herself in a unique situation of needing Gabriel's help. These two were so entertaining to watch - both fighting their attraction for different reasons but both catastrophically failing in the end. There is a solid HEA, so no worries from that point, but you can see the setup for many future installments, especially in the dragon-related world.

View all my reviews

Review: Immortal Unchained

Immortal Unchained Immortal Unchained by Lynsay Sands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yeek, this book certainly took me to places I never expected to go in this series. I guess by the time you reach book #25 you've got to start changing things up.

If you've read the previous books (or even the previous one alone) you know that there is a big bad out there who is kidnapping immortals and experimenting on them. He tried and failed to get the twins, but appears to be stepping up his work. When it becomes clear that he has taken Domitian's life mate captive, he dives right in, offering to help. The big bad, however, knew all about his drive to save his life mate and they soon find themselves trapped together in a luxurious island... under constant surveillance.

The romantic story is, of course, about life mates. This time, however, Domitian discovered his life mate, Sarita, when she was entirely too young to be claimed. He bided his time, had someone watching her, but letting her live a full human life before he approached her. This waiting may have given the evil doctor more than enough time to locate and get her to into his clutches. Aside from being kidnapped, having to explain the whole nanos thing, and accepting a whole bunch of things outside of their control, these two also end up infiltrating the evil doctor's island base where he conducts his experiments. While this tale doesn't really end with a fully satisfying evil-doer in custody, it is certainly a nice step in the right direction. I'll be happy when this storyline is over.

View all my reviews

Review: Under the Gun

Under the Gun Under the Gun by Hannah Jayne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book picks up with Sophie still being... Sophie, and her roommates suffering from a weeks long heatwave. While nice for "normal" people, vampires tend to hate it when the sun is beating down on everything for days on end.

The larger story here is that, surprise, the guy that started this whole series, Pete Sampson, ends up being definitively not dead (like we thought). Of course, he tells Sophie that he doesn't need her help and she quickly disagrees and tries to find out who is trying to frame, kill, and otherwise discredit him. This leads to a lot of junk food, some sword fighting, a lot of lying (which Sophie sucks at), and me going back to not liking Alex.

This story, on a whole, had lots of twists and turns. I have almost come to expect it from this world. Nothing is ever as it seems, which Sophie really should have learned by now. Is this the bloodiest of the series so far? I think so! They seriously upped the gore in this installment for some reason. Poor Sophie better get some sort of turnaround in the next book, complete with guys doing a lot of groveling. Also - remember when her being the vessel was a big deal? Can we go back to that?

View all my reviews

Review: Blood Fury

Blood Fury Blood Fury by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

OK, so while I knew that the Peyton book was coming, I was pleasantly surprised with the companion story finally showing up for Saxton (!!!!!!). Maybe I was a bit more excited about Saxton's story, btu either way, I could not stop reading this one. It had me hooked from the start and I found I hated Peyton a lot less with each passing chapter.

Peyton is an arrogant rich kid, or at least that's how he started in this Black Dagger Legacy world. We all knew he was in love with his best friend (who has a man... who would totally knock him out if he looked at her wrong) and he has a fondness for drugs and alcohol. While hosting his own pity party, Novo somehow wanders into his orbit. As the one female to actively turn him down, it was obvious that he would become interested in her, but his interest ends up growing to so much more.

Novo, obviously, has her own internal drama in the form of family, secrets, ex's, and trying to prove herself. In the program, there's no avoiding Peyton, but after an accident ends up essentially chaining her to a bed, it becomes even harder to avoid him. These two are certainly an unlikely pair, but not out of the realm of possibility. There is one scene, however, at the party, that just had me smiling from ear to ear.

Now, Saxton's story has been a long time coming. I was so, so, so, so happy that this poor guy finally got a chance to find love that wasn't horribly painful. We also have the added bonus of that love interest being Ruhn, who is the beloved uncle of another favorite character in the series. These two were just... perfect. I loved every second of their love story. We all know nobody gets a free pass, so there are ups and down, but we get some truly phenomenal HEA out of this book. It just reaffirms my belief that this spinoff series is even more enjoyable than the primary one.

View all my reviews

Review: Just Roll With It

Just Roll With It Just Roll With It by Tawdra Kandle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Without fail, this author's books have a way of taking me out of my comfort zone - in a good way! When I find that I'm in a reading rut, these books always shake me up and make me want to dive back into reading again.

This book, while part of a series, can absolutely be read as a standalone story. We meet up with Amanda, a hard working law student who has never really had or wanted a serious relationship. Her priorities are very clear and her future is essentially already planned out. Keeping the distractions minimal (usually in the form of adorably attentive friends) is pretty easy until she runs into her BFF's brother again.

Vincent is a pastry chef for his family restaurant and wants absolutely nothing to do with a committed relationship. Seems like he and Amanda should work out with no hurt feelings, but one night together ends up changing them both. Who knew that a pair so obsessed with "keeping things light" could get so obsessed with avoiding their feelings?

As these two circled around one another, there were some very real and gritty interactions, arguments, and one all too familiar family dinner. As someone who appreciates a good Italian dinner and some pastries, this book left me hungry for more (get it?)! I was so sad to have to say goodbye to this couple, especially once they got to their HEA. I will eagerly await more from this world/series and gobble it up as soon as I'm able.

View all my reviews