Thursday, April 22, 2021

Wild Sign

Wild Sign (Alpha & Omega, #6)Wild Sign by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love Anna and Charles. They are a couple I would read 100 books about, so I obviously jumped at this one from the library.

This story starts with a little flashback, of hints of Bran's mate having some secret history. I guess I never realized how much of a mystery it was until this book. It's nice to try to fill in the gaps here and I was eager to find out where she came from. This all ties in to "Wild Sign," a suddenly abandoned "off the grid" settlement, which just so happens to be on land owned by the pack. No pack members were currently residing there, nor was it widely known to be theirs, but the FBI gets involved when the daughter of a settler finds her father missing (along with the rest of the town).

Things are never straightforward, so there's lots of supernatural elements at play here. Oh, and there's even some big foot stuff, too! Without spoilers, there is a lot that ends up being revealed about this history of "Wild Sign" and how it came to be so far off the beaten path. We also get a nice heaping dose of some lesser interacted with characters, highlighting Anna's impact on the pack as a whole. There's a huge fight scene thrown in to wrap things up and balance out the magic and relationship baggage. Overall, this was a good installment to tie up some loose ends.

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Rafael (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #28)Rafael by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'll add the disclaimer I always add - if you hate Anita Blake books, why are you reading them? These books are not filled with crazy surprises and are generally pretty formulaic, but I enjoy reading them. There's something calming about knowing the world, the characters and the general outcome at the start.

So - this book is probably (maybe?) shorter than the previous ones. It reads a little bit like a standalone novella at times, especially since things wrap themselves up in a short amount of time. These books are always a little repetitive, so I don't fault them for that, but I also don't think you could start here, at book #28, as your entrance to the series. This book, obviously, revolves around Rafael and the rats. His relationship with Anita has become controversial and caused a number of challenges. This particular challenge has a different level of baggage attached.

The story manages to give us a very small window of time, a quick build-up and delivery, but also pushes some larger loose ends along, too. Is there smut? Very little. Is there action? A ton! This book is definitely heavier on the action (and, at time, gore) than sexy times. There are still lots of men, women, and descriptions of their eye color, so don't worry about that. Anita is still a tough woman who is doing the best she can, but at times you want to throttle her for debating things so heavily in the moment. Overall, this gave me a better understanding of the wererats and Rafael, which I think was the point.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021


DareDare by Christina Bauer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These books are fun, cute, and super quick to read. I can't help but smile while reading them, so if you're looking for a pick-me-up, these are definitely it.

We pick up with Calla, still queen but also still trying to convince her subjects that she's taking this seriously. Well, as seriously as someone who wants a bouncy house in the castle can take things. There is, of course, yet another big bad for her to handle. This time the big bad comes in the form of a disgruntled null who uses a magical sword to try to destroy everyone. That'd be a big bummer for Calla, since she is queen now (and has a bouncy house), so she and Dare mobilize to stop this latest threat.

Nothing is ever simple, however, so there's some detective work, some flirty polo games, some ley line nonsense, and other assorted Calla-isms, but we ultimately get to a good ending. While these are short, they are packed with fun and adventure. There's always a little mystery and good chase to keep things interesting, and I think we might be headed toward real romance soon, too!

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Monday, April 5, 2021

The Warrior King

The Warrior King (Inferno Rising, #3)The Warrior King by Abigail Owen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Third book of this series and the third phoenix - this should be easy and predictable, right? Wrong! This book was surprising and had me unsure of any happy ending here, but don't worry, we get a solid, rewarding ending with some breadcrumbs to the next book.

Meira and Samael are an unlikely pair. Meira may have surprised Samael (and his dragon) in the mirror when they first "met" but it's been even stranger since then. Meira, in some attempt at helping the entire dragon race, agreed to mate with Samael's king, sealing their alliance. The evil red king has been up to no good and needs to be stopped, but that doesn't make this any easier for anyone involved. That gets even harder when things turn upside-down and they end up on the run.

Through this story we watch the timid Meira somehow become a queen in more ways than one. We also get to watch Samael step up and accept the responsibility that his king and his people lay at his feet. It was good to watch the chaos somehow end up resolved into a step forward (maybe a single step, but still a step) into the final battle we expect. It was sad, but satisfying. I can't wait to see where the story takes us next!

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A Wolf After My Own Heart

A Wolf After My Own Heart (BeWere My Heart, #2)A Wolf After My Own Heart by MaryJanice Davidson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

WOAH - this book took me on a ride! To be fair, I have not read book#1 in this series, so I had no idea what I was getting myself into, for sure.

Lila is... amazing. She is unflappable, super weird, and just one of the best characters I've met in a long time. Sure, she's got a backstory that explains some things, but not everything, which leaves me loving her even more. She's just moved in to town, relocated her very strange business, and rescued a bear cub and, somehow, things just get weirder from there. Oz is drawn to her in a totally not creepy shifter way. There might be fate at work here, but no matter what, these lovely oddballs are perfect for one another.

The cast of characters here is INSANE. Each is so awesomely strange and quirky that how could I not love them all? The larger story here is... pretty twisty turny. There's missing people who are presumed dead but might not be dead. There's mysterious strangers who fly planes for a living. There's possible sabotage and spies around every corner! Throw all that together with some fires and lots of sarcasm and you get the wonderful world that I stumbled into (already in progress). I couldn't put this darn thing down!

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Wicked All Night

Wicked All Night (Night Rebel, #3)Wicked All Night by Jeaniene Frost
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm a little sad and a little happy that this is the end of this trilogy. I think any and all issues I had with this book stem back to my issue with the series as a whole. Was it nice to visit with lots of familiar faces in the big showdown? Yes! Did I wish this entire series was from Ian's perspective? Absolutely.

When I heard there was going to be a series involving Ian I was super excited. He's the lovable rogue who is a good bad guy and a bad good guy. What's not to love? Veritas being the star here was a surprise, but she certainly grew on me. We watch her grow into her powers, grow into her family (both blood and chosen), and she is really a good match for Ian. This last book takes us through the wild rollercoaster that is Veritas and Ian. Ian is dying at the start of the book. Veritas is married, yet still somehow still betrothed to a god. Things spiral from there and yet somehow end up wrapping up without a flaw.

This book really does end up having a big story about a war that both starts and finishes in record time. While I was OK with a bit of "fast forwarding" for things like summoning spirits, but it really felt like portions of the book went way too fast. Why introduce a war if we weren't going to spend a lot of time in it? Weird. The smut was present, too, but it also felt oddly rushed. So, to summarize, while I am happy where we ended up, this book did feel a little strange. Maybe we will check in with them later? Here's hoping!

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