Friday, August 5, 2022

Age of Druids

Age of Druids (Caledonia Fae, #6)Age of Druids by India Drummond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really struggle to summarize this book because it went in a lot of different directions. Overall, it gave me a satisfying ending, so that's probably the best you can say for the last book in a series. Were there plot holes or things not tied up? Sure! But I found myself forgiving them for the journey we went on.

This book tries to also resolve some issues made in previous ones, yet somehow doubles down on some mistakes. I'm happy that Rory ended up being somehow a villain of parts of this story. It made it somehow easier to join the rest of the folks who got over what was done to him a few books ago. The mistake of having us watch this young girl in a sexual situation is somehow a thing we are doing again. She ends up so messed up that even at the end, when we clearly need some resolution, I was just glad it was done.

The large story here, if there is a single cohesive thread buried in time travel and whatnot, was about identifying a ruler of the newly established druid castle/kingdom/area/place. Oh, and everyone needs a mate. Especially the ones that are awkward. So roll all that together and we get a strong contender for best book of the series. I almost forgot - we don't get any resolution with Huck's romance, but there's hope so I guess that's better than nothing at all. I am both happy and sad we are done with this series and on to the next.

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Ancient Desire

Ancient Desire (Forgotten Brotherhood, #5)Ancient Desire by N.J. Walters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These Forgotten Brotherhood books are the right blend of broody guys and quirky, awesome women (and smut) to make the pages just fly by!

This book joins Raine, a bit of a weirdo who is obsessed enough with her research to blindly follow a guide out into the middle of nowhere to see a dragon statue. Oh, and it's in a cave. At night. Add all those things together, and you end up meeting Lucius, or at least what appears to be a statue of him. He's a drakon (a human/dragon shifter hybrid) who has entered deep sleep because he's given up. Raine's trusting nature ends up trapping her in a cave with him, which wakes up back up. The reason is obvious to anyone but these two.

Raine was a delight! She is quirky and awesome, rolling with the punches no matter how strange they get. She somehow never gives up, even trapped in that cave with a grumpy drakon. Lucius also grew on me as he adapted to life and taking a protector role. The usual cast of characters were nice to see, along with the ever building layers of betrayal and lies woven into the book's story. Overall, this was a great installment in the series.

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Stalk the Darkness

Stalk the Darkness (Guardians of Eternity)Stalk the Darkness by Alexandra Ivy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These books are insane in the best way. At this point, you probably don't need to have read the whole series, but just have an open mind before starting.

It all starts with a gargoyle who isn't a gargoyle going on a walkabout and hearing voices in her head. It only gets weirder from there. Satin is an independent vampire who wants nothing more than to blow off some steam with Marco. Marco also insists that he doesn't want anything permanent and hooks up with her. They do this regularly, which kind of indicates a relationship, but they are both clearly oblivious. When they end up on the same trail and get told some rather surprising news, they are somehow tied tightly together.

This story has everything: smut, romance, magic, silliness, surprises, action, elementals, fun outfits, and more! Nothing in here is truly earth shattering, but it was an engaging story anyway. Levet was a hoot, as usual, and gave the story a heap of heart.

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Eastside Witch Hunt

Eastside Witch Hunt (Midlife Supernaturals, #2)Eastside Witch Hunt by T.J. Deschamps
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oops, I started at book 2 again. I was able to catch up quickly, though, so while it may have been easier if you started at the beginning, you can dive in here, too.

Miriam is a bakery owner, single mom, leader of unaffiliated witches or something, member of some supernatural council, girlfriend to an alpha and angel person, ex to a ruler of Hell, and probably even more stuff I'm missing. She has a lot of baggage with her BFF/fated mate? It was a lot to catch up on and that's just one character. There are oodles of characters thrown in here from all sorts of backgrounds, with all different powers.

The big story here? I think it was about the cult. There's a religious cult that sprang up because the supernaturals "came out" and god didn't like it (or something). They have been kidnapping people to try to convert them and brainwash others into joining. This ultimately becomes more of Miriam's problem when her daughter becomes one of the kidnapping victims. She is forced to flex her awesome powers to save the day/save herself/show up her boyfriend all at once. Oh, and there's some baba yaga stuff thrown in for good measure. Somehow this book ties a bow around everything at the end, but it certainly warrants a re-visit (especially the boyfriend forgiveness thing). All in all, a wild ride!

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Cross Waves

Cross Waves (Mind Hackers Series, Book Two)Cross Waves by Amanda Uhl
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I took a very extended hiatus from this series between book 1 and 2, but it looks like that didn't really slow me down. The world is still rich, the characters interesting, and managed to make me believe in these mind powers right out of the gate.

This story is about Geneva and Rolf. They get into an extraordinary amount of danger to the point where I was mostly on the edge of my seat wondering how on earth everyone could get their resolution by the end of the book if we started off already so far off course. Geneva and Rolf have a past that they both have to get beyond in order to work together to find Rolf's sister and Geneva's best friend. They were on the hunt for magical crystals, which sounds much worse in summary than in the story itself. There's oodles of mind powers, diversions, secrets, and violence between the start and the end here, but it was enjoyable. My one criticism for this book was the audible version. The author/reader of the story did not offer the same level of performance I've enjoyed with other audible purchases, which sometimes took me out of the story. I am still here for the story, but thought it was worth mentioning.

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Mates: Minerva (Magical Misfits, #1)

Mates: Minerva (Magical Misfits, #1)Mates: Minerva by Bridget E Baker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Woah, talk about a cliffhanger! This book certainly sets you up with a rich and dynamic world, but I am totally left wanting more!

While the book is called "Minerva" it really revolves around an amazing group of misfits. We hop through multiple POVs to see things sometimes overlapping from multiple angles, sometimes filling in the blanks, sometimes learning about new characters. All in all, this world is insane. Minerva is what amounts to a supernatural cop, aiming for supernatural special ops. Unfortunately for her, she's got some issues doing magic. In this world all the supernaturals blend with humans, but are still "in the closet." They police themselves (hence the "cops") but it only works so well.

Minerva's big challenge comes in the form of a friend she lost touch with - Roxana. She's a dragon shifter who can't shift, but is set to marry a man she can't stand. She runs away and somehow runs straight into Minerva's life, complete with friends. It's really those friends that shine throughout this book. We have vampires, demons, witches, werewolves, and all manner in between. They work together for the good of each other, sometimes to a fault. It was really great to watch them all grow and adapt, but we are certainly left wanting at the end. I can't wait to see what happens next for this crew!

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Monday, July 11, 2022

The Darkest Destiny

The Darkest Destiny  (Lords of the Underworld, #15.5)The Darkest Destiny by Gena Showalter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really missed the Lords of the Underworld, and even as a novella, I found this refreshing. We know Viola from her co-star role in some Lords of the Underworld books. She’s vain but being possessed by the demon of narcissism makes her that way. She’s also got a demon/vampire/dog/immortal pet named Fluffy that she needs to feed immortality to keep alive. As a damaged person, she’s got some baggage. This presents itself in her fear of being abandoned, which is only made worse when she’s captured by Brochan.

Brochan has his own issues. His brother/son/person had his immortality stolen by Viola shortly after he recognized her as his fated mate. Bummer, right? Well, he fell with his brother/son/person and now he’s “horribly deformed” and can’t allow Viola to harm another by stealing immortality. At odds with one another, they of course must go through some hoops to get their HEA, but we get there and that’s all that matters.

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Elder Druid

Elder Druid (Caledonia Fae, #5)Elder Druid by India Drummond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These books, I think, are getting better and better. While Munro and Eilidh’s relationship may be headed into bad places, the overall story is rich and engaging.

This book revolves primarily around Trath. He’s the misunderstood guy who has suffered with a mate who doesn’t broadcast that they’re mates. Douglas has some baggage around hooking up with a guy, but Trath’s poor heart is so broken that when he is tasked with wooing a princess for political reasons, he accepts. This book changed my entire opinion of him, making me a true Trath fan. As a bonus side story, we get to see a little bit of a softer side for Aaron. I think if asked what I knew about him I’d only really remember that he was the only one never stopped standing up for Rory throughout his ordeal. Now that he’s got his own responsibilities and baggage, he’s a lot more interesting as a maybe main character.

The big events of this book are all rolled into the ending, which leaves us hanging a bit. So many changes! So many things we thought were set in stone (haha-druids-etc) were not and I can’t believe we only have one more book to wrap things up. Also – are we changing our minds about the possibility of Rory really having feelings again? Are we undoing it all? I’m better with that than where we left things when they reunited.

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Dragon Eternal

Dragon Eternal (Dragon Kings #4)Dragon Eternal by Donna Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We’re still on Zora, still trying to hunt down the threat to dragons in this world, so if none of that make sense to you, I’d recommend starting at least a full book or two before this one. Since this is the spinoff of another series that includes some spinoffs of its own, there is a lot of character and world building prior to this that may be rolled into my enjoyment of this one.

Shaw is the broody one (which is saying something when I’m pretty sure all the dragon kings are broody). He agrees to “infiltrate” the human kingdom to try to find their invisible enemy. This kingdom is all sorts of wrong. There is an extreme class system that is determined and ruled by “the Divine.” It’s implied that this person/thing/whatever will be the big bad, but we do not get any such straightforward resolution in this single book. Instead, we follow the story of Nia. She was a starving orphan until the Divine decided she should serve court. After some horrible darkness, she ends up as a courtesan, tasked with getting secrets out of folks. It’s in this role that she is sent after Shaw.

Fate has different plans for these two, however. They are draw to each other without the additional subterfuge they are tasked with. While we get some good happily ever after for these two, it’s almost like we took one step forward and two steps back in the overall story. I can’t wait to see what happens to Shaw’s partner and his journey, which I assume is the next book in this tale.

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Wolf in the Night

Wolf in the NightWolf in the Night by N.J. Walters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As the last book in this series, I was happy with where things ended up. While you can certainly dive in with this as your first book from this world, it is much more satisfying to go back to the beginning and work your way here.

Emma is the rather sheltered daughter of some immensely powerful wolf shifters. After begging for a night delivery job that would give her some freedom to perhaps meet a nice guy and hook up, she ends up in the worst-case scenario – hunted by other shifters. Her pack is not without its enemies, and she is the unfortunate easy target they zero in on. Dmitri is the alpha’s son of the pack chasing Emma down. Determined to stop his father’s plans, he rescues Emma, and the sparks immediately start to fly. Ironically, they end up in lust with one another which sort-of works to Dmitri’s father’s benefit. Have no fears, though, because we get the help of Emma’s awesome pack. There are tons of familiar faces and pie to fill the pages. The balance of romance, family, smut, and action was perfection. This was the perfect way to end this series (for now?).

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Saturday, July 9, 2022

Hell Bound

Hell Bound (The Summoner’s Mark Book 3)Hell Bound by J.D. Blackrose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As the third book in a series, I highly recommend you start at book 1. There's already a lot of baggage up to this point that is necessary to understand how we ended up on this quest.

What's the quest? Well, Becs is going to hell to save her dad. Seems almost too simple, but gets infinitely more complicated thanks to her companions - an angry mobster with mommy issues and a guardian angel with sexy time fantasies for Becs. The cast of characters is great, though since this is a bit of a roadtrip book, we miss the bar crowd mostly. Happily, Becs is still her tough as nails self, who manages to stumble/trip/fall her way through this adventure. I'm enjoying the world building that grows with each book and though we don't come out of this one with everyone happy, we get some good progress towards an eventual showdown (I assume).

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Fall of Night

Fall of Night (Midnight Breed, #17)Fall of Night by Lara Adrian
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love the Midnight Breed gang in all their weird and messed up glory, but this book was tough for me. I'm all for a redemption story, but had a really hard time getting over Micah's general jerkiness.

Micah is the second generation of Midnight Breed warriors and has a gigantic chip on his shoulder. We meet up with him in bad shape, having watched all his men die after he led them on some sort of fated mission/pull from outside his control. Phaedra, an Atlantean, had a dream showing that exact scene, which means more than it sounds like for her kind. When she and Micah meet, it's obvious that there are forces at play pushing them closer to getting these magical crystals.

Phaedra is great and I loved her from the start. She's got a good heart and is trying to use her powers (or lack of them) and her immortality for good. Upon meeting Micah, however, I was immediately against them pairing up. He is such a ... jerk. He is whiney and abrasive and even after we go through the acrobatics of getting them together I just couldn't get on board. He never got better, there was just more smut. Meh. Maybe it's just me.

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Hollowmore Slaying

Hollowmore Slaying (Thea Grove Vampire Hunter, #0.5)Hollowmore Slaying by Molly Webb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a cute, short story that gives a little more color to Thea's back story than you get in the central series. It answers a lot of question about how she met her friends and somehow landed on her feet after leaving her family behind. I needed something to help hold me over in between books, so when I saw this I jumped at it (also - free!). I think this may have even been better to stack at the start of the series so you don't jump in feeling a little bit behind. Either way, if you plan to enjoy or already enjoy Thea, you get more of what you like here. Now to wait for more Thea in full book format!

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Saturday, June 25, 2022

The Warlord

The Warlord (Rise of the Warlords, #1)The Warlord by Gena Showalter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't know what I was expecting of this Lords spinoff, but it wasn't this. This book took the things I hate about the Immortals after Dark series (mainly the icky non-consent parts) and sucked the witty fun out of the harpies from Lords and... here we are. Too bad I already grabbed the next book or I would have rethought continuing on in this series.

Taliyah is a harpy on her path to greatness. She's got some tricky genetics and mystical gifts, but she's also super determined. For some reason, when she finds out Roc, of the newly introduced Astra Planeta group, has attacked her home world, she ends up... letting him sexually assault her? It's a weird start to a romance, but OK. The goal of the plot is that Roc has to sacrifice a virgin bride to get some gifts or his men will lose battles for a really long time. Maybe it's the overall goal here I can't fully get behind, because things take the expected turn into mate-hood.

Is the smut good? Sure, once you get over the consent thing. Is the world rich? Yeah, there's oodles of characters and backstory to explore. I guess I had the biggest issue with the romance. When one party is locked up and has no right to fight, doesn't that make it a little... icky? It was to me, at least. I struggled to finish this book, so here's hoping the next is better.

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Shifter Battles

Shifter Battles (Thea Grove Vampire Hunter, #2)Shifter Battles by Molly Webb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am absolutely addicted to this series. I can't wait for more! I was surprised all over again when book 2 delivered as much if not more enjoyment than book 1 for me!

Thea is a hard working family outcast who is just trying to do what's right. What happens to be right in this story? A number of magical kids are getting struck down with a curse after seemingly unconnected events. It even impacts her mysterious dragon shifter friend's clan, which means Thea is obviously taking this unpaid gig. Throw in some politics, traumatic deaths, attacks, and as much mayhem as one book can contain and you've got a couple days in the life of Thea Grove.

A real highlight of this book was the slow burn between Thea and Marcus. No, we don't get the smut I may be used to, but it is really great to see Thea navigate the "normal" world outside her family's influence, while trying to reconcile her past. As her confidence grows, I can't wait to see what battles she wins next. Oh, and who doesn't love a cat as a main character?

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Beautiful Misery

Beautiful Misery (Miss Misery, #1.5)Beautiful Misery by Tracey Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oops! I skipped this nice short that occurs between books 1 & 2, and since it is free on amazon, I went back to fill the gap.

This is a very short installment that gives you a flavor of the time spent between Jess going through ALL of the things in book 1 and how she ends up in a comfortable-ish relationship with Lucen at the start of book 2. This has all the sizzle and sweetness you'd expect from these two and was a yummy sampler to hold me over for book 3. While definitely not required reading, it was a goodie.

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Dark Waves

Dark Waves (Mind Hackers, Novella)Dark Waves by Amanda Uhl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novella did everything that one should do - it got me hooked, made me want more, and was still a satisfying standalone read.

Audrey is a doctor tasked with helping a very unique group of individuals with gifts. In this "Mind Hacker" world, there's a high probability that the operatives will need her specific help. That's all good and well until something goes wrong that forces her to take an "impossible" case. Said case comes in the form of Kevin, an operative who has gone off the rails and has no desire to return. They have some obvious challenges, but they are overcome (with sexy results, too!). If you're looking for a soft into to this world, you should definitely check this book out. It reminded me that I wanted to dive back in!

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Monday, June 13, 2022

Dirty Little Misery

Dirty Little Misery (Miss Misery, #2)Dirty Little Misery by Tracey Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a fantastic follow-up to book 1! We really see Jess start to come into her own even more, especially with the events at the end!

We join Jess as she is still dealing with the aftermath of being framed for murder. She was cleared, but there is still the same tension, especially around he slightly traumatized roommates. What's going well? Her relations with Lucen, now that she's fallen into that. Of course, there's a little bit of self sabotage going on there as she tries to hide secrets from just about everyone around her that she calls a friend. Her big secret also somehow manages to get even bigger in this book.

The big story here is Jess getting sucked into the Gryphon organization as a "consultant" to help solve some murders that are immediately assumed to be linked with the pred species she most closely tied herself to. Almost nobody has a true intention expressed here and it's exhausting for an outsider to try to untangle everything. By the end, though, Jess really has a better handle on things, though they certainly go to hell before then. I tore through this book in almost a single sitting because I couldn't stop. I can't wait to start the next one!

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Friday, June 10, 2022

Denying the Alpha

Denying the AlphaDenying the Alpha by Audrey Bobak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm not usually good at reading anthologies, but this one found a way to keep me engaged through the whole thing.

Each story has a unique flavor of shifter/alpha/mate scenario that kept it feeling fresh but connected through the book. I'm pretty sure there is something for everyone in here at some point. There's dragons, wolves, reluctant, enthusiastic, extra smutty, light smut, and everything in between. While I didn't finish this book with any authors particularly standing out, I did enjoy reading each one for different reasons. I'd recommend this for some bite-sized stories you can enjoy on a break.

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Ignite the Fire: Incendiary

Ignite the Fire: Incendiary (Cassandra Palmer, #11)Ignite the Fire: Incendiary by Karen Chance
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have no idea how to rate this book, so I'm going to break it down into sections.

Enjoyment: Did I enjoy this book? Sometimes I did - the imagery is fun and the action is good, but I found myself almost bored with the constant craziness at this point. Is that wrong of me? Cassie is perpetually in danger but we usually get to some sort of... reason for it? This book felt a lot like filler. Lots and lots of filler, which is sad, because there is a lot we have to accomplish for Cassie to resolve all these issues!

Writing: The writing style is still great and full of insanity - in a good way for the writing aspects of this book. While I was bored sometimes, the author pulled me back to muddle through. I enjoy the dynamics between the characters, but the overall story that was supposed to pull me through was where I found it lacking.

Overall: I need to take a break from this series before going back for the next book (part 2?). Was this just a start of a story and I get the rest in the next one? I'm not really sure I'm ready for that.

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Friday, June 3, 2022

Mad for a Mate

Mad for a MateMad for a Mate by MaryJanice Davidson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was insane in the best of ways. Diving into this series after it started is a risky business, but you get a reward in the form of non-stop witty banter and craziness.

Magnus moved to town and proceeded to live on the loneliest place one could be - a solitary island, accessible by boat. After some weirdness, he ends up coming face-to-face with another shifter who washes up naked. Things get even stranger from there when she reluctantly introduces him to her team of prank/daredevil friends. Then things get sadder when they start to die.

There's an element of murder-mystery here, but it is mostly about the quirky family that has been established among the cooler shifters in the community. Try as he might, Magnus can't avoid their draw, especially with his goddaughter in their ranks. This book delivers the strangest yet most awesome of HEA, so it all ends up paying off in the end. I put this story down with a sigh and a smile.

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Fire Magic & Ice Cream

Fire Magic & Ice Cream (Casual Magic Book 1)Fire Magic & Ice Cream by Lauren Connolly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was so fun! Please please please let this be the start of a wonderful series, where all these quirky characters find their match!

Quinn is a magic user who has unfortunately been "cursed" by having her magic tied to her sex drive. This creates some issues, not only with any possible human partners, but with most other magical users, unless their magic can balance hers. As a fire magic type of gal, this leaves her with the seemingly thought extinct ice magic users. Enter August - the ice cream shop owner, purveyor of deliciousness, and the answer to all Quinn's prayers. Now if only they could both get over each other and see it!

There are ups and downs, lots of smutty goodness, and oodles of drama, but we get there. I was unable to stop reading this wonderful, silly, super fun story. If all the books in this series will be like this one, I'll happily sign up!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2022

The Darkest King

The Darkest King (Lords of the Underworld, #15)The Darkest King by Gena Showalter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think this book suffers from too much hype. If people were disappointed by the book about William's supposed destined mate previously, this will probably not meet expectations.

William has lived most of his immortal life trying to break his curse. His book is coded, so I guess it makes sense that he would ultimately be paired with a code breaker. I think the supposed disappointment will come in the fact that she's a new entity (though the breed has been mentioned before) and, well, she's essentially a carbon copy of all William's dialogue. Reading this book was like reading William falling in love with himself. So... did it deliver on finding his ultimate mate? I guess so, since William can probably only truly love himself.

There's other bits to this book, but it reads as very much a tying up of loose ends and reunion at the end. Is this the end of the series? It feels like it, either way. While I enjoyed the witty banter it might be a little strong for some readers. Smut level was good, but that's to be expected with William and the rest of the lords.

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Moon Over Hanks Hollow

Moon Over Hanks HollowMoon Over Hanks Hollow by Rachelle Kampen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I absolutely could not stop reading this book!

The pacing, the characters, the story, it all had me hooked! This book goes by so quickly but I never wanted it to end. As a teen paranormal romance, this was so much more! Rosie is the daughter of a werewolf alpha and a witch. It's a forbidden match that somehow breaks all their rules, giving an alpha a daughter for the first time ever. The council allows her to live to see what she becomes, which ends up being more than they bargained for. She's strong, compassionate, and has a blending of her mother and father's powers in the best kind of ways.

The romance? This is high school, so you expect some drama and this book doesn't disappoint. A pseudo love triangle, lots of fighting and smolder coupled with an added layer of normal/werewolf/witch thrown in for fun. This book starts off what is hopefully a very long lived series. I can't wait for the next book!

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Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Give Up The Ghost

Give Up The Ghost (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries, #11)Give Up The Ghost by Angie Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Angie Fox does it again - takes something as simple as a buried time capsule and engages us in a surprising murder mystery tale.

We join the crew at the unveiling of the time capsule which was where we left them all at the end of the previous book. The reveal? A burn book (which I only understand because of Mean Girls, thankyouverymuch). Said burn book ends up being a lot more dangerous than it appears, and manages to pull in all the different characters in Verity's life. Even her skunk! OK, maybe not her skunk, but she's involved in other aspects of the story. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time - not because of the murder (which was engaging, but still - I'm invested!). I kept waiting to see if we resolve the ever-present Frankie story.

In the ways of things, this ends up crossing into Frankie's story (complete with horses and goats, and endless drama). Who knew a hairdresser might be the answer to all their prayers, just no in the hair department. Have no fear, though, because while we get some resolution and solid steps forward, we still have a good crew together at the end. We even get some surprising new... friends? I guess we'll go with friends. Maybe more like partners in crime. That suits them better. Overall, this book was fun, quick, and surprising - bring on even more!

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Friday, May 20, 2022

Wolf Meets his Fate

Wolf Meets His Fate (Salvation Pack: The Next Generation Book 4)Wolf Meets His Fate by N.J. Walters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Salvation Pack books have always been good, but this one really delivered all the smutty romance with very little of the darkness that so commonly interferes with the main characters. That's not to say that Aaron and Jesse have a smooth ride, but for me I found this one even more enjoyable.

Aaron is on a bit of a walkabout, trying to figure out where he fits in a pack full of mates. At a bar one night he finds an attractive girl, Jesse, who seems to be alone just like him, but she runs before he has a chance to interact with her in a more appropriate manner. Wolves being wolves, they end up crossing paths again with sexy results. Are there trust issues? Sure! Jesse was raised by a witch and is on the run from her evil father who would rather kill her than let her live out her life without him.

These two make a great pair, neither putting up with too much and willing to step up when it counts. As usual, the supporting cast of characters is rich and entertaining. As a standalone, you can probably get by with this book, but to truly appreciate the world, you should start back at the beginning of this universe. This book delivers a nicely tied up HEA with room for growth in future books. You don't need to spend too much time in the bad guy's head here, so that left me much happier at the end of the story, too.

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Fae Crossed

Fae Crossed (The Summoner’s Mark Book 2)Fae Crossed by J.D. Blackrose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was even better than the first, making me feel silly about dragging my feet to start it. There is so much we get in this book that wouldn't have been possible without the previous one, but still, this one was goooood.

Becs is still straddling two worlds - the normal one where she gets to spend time with her sister and neice being a doting auntie and the summoner world where all manner of paranormal creature is possible and most want to hurt her in some way or another. A girl has to pay her rent, or at least she does until she gets evicted and fired, then she's just looking for a place to crash. They mysterious Oberon pays a visit that just confuses the already confusing world of fae. Up is down, down is up, and somehow all sign keep pointing Becs to find someone to train her. Having only completed a small portion of her training before her trainer disappeared, she focuses in on that, but it ends up giving her more than she hoped or dreamed.

This book also gives bonus paranormal smutty goodness in the form of the ever confusing Asher. Don't worry - we get some solid answers here but they balance out with even more questions. Becs may not be blessed with a simple or normal life, but it is certainly entertaining. At the end of this book we get what is not completely cliffhanger, but definitely left me needing book 3 now.

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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Druid Lords

Druid Lords (Caledonia Fae, #4)Druid Lords by India Drummond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What does it mean when a book that focuses on the newly introduced character stands out as more interesting than the previous few? While I liked some other druids, Huck or the writing style here really hooked me more than the previous books.

We met Huck when he was spotted by the *sigh* problem I have with most of this story. I'd like to minimize talking about forgiving a rapist and person who may still be a little girl then ... nevermind. I'm not mentioning it at all.

Huck is adapting to new druid life but hasn't made the full leap. He has been even trying to make money in the human world for no real reason, and it's that task that ends up getting him introduced to his lady love interest. There is a lot of leaping done in the relationship department here than puts him firmly on the path to save her from a pretty wild fae queen and her death sentence. There is more talk of lack of consent, torture, and not a lot of answers about a woman who can do some fae magic. Turns out druids can be female, maybe? Overall, I liked the cohesive story that ends up nudging us closer to a more interesting world for the next books.



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Compelling Infinity

Compelling Infinity (Archivist, #2)Compelling Infinity by Meghan Ciana Doidge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm officially addicted to these books - why aren't there more yet?!? I finished this one in 1 day, quickly flipping digital pages to see what happened to Dusk next.

We pick up with Dusk 2 months after we last saw here, effectively managing her first week at work. Now that she's settled in and people have either ignored her inability to pretend to be a witch, or chosen to keep her secret, she's managed to become the archivist she's wanted to be. The only lacking is in the follow-through from Kellan for the sizzling chemistry from book 1. This book continues a nice slow burn, but I need some serious fire between these two! Dusk and Sisu have settled into a nice (but weird) house now, and they have a certain routine. That routine sort of involves things going wrong, so that's to be expected now.

This time the badness is around a bit of brownie, fae, and coercion magic. While the mystery pretty much solves itself and you will most likely guess the culprit right out of the gate, it was great watching Dusk be the best archivist she can be, hunting down and containing things, no matter the cost. She and Sisu are just the best and I was sad to put the book down at the end, knowing I would have to wait to spend more time with them. Even Morgan grew on me in this book!

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Invoking Infinity

Invoking Infinity (Archivist, #1)Invoking Infinity by Meghan Ciana Doidge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit that I was a little hesitant to start this book after struggling with the prequel (book 0). The Dusk we get in this book, however, is AWESOME. She might be my new favorite character, with so much room to grow!

So, if you read book 0, you already know the deal with Dusk & Sisu coming to Dublin to pretend to be witches (not dragons), manage the archive, and essentially spy on the other adepts for the guardians. While we get a brief cameo from Pearl, that's all the connection we get here and the book really doesn't need more. Dusk is a powerhouse and shows us from her first day at work how things are going to change. I love watching her grown and develop at an alarming rate, along with all her magical friends and finds.

Sisu is also a highlight in this book, which is a high praise from me about a kid character. He is adorable and leaves me with a smile on my face after each passage he's in. Have they been through some stuff? Sure - but the way they are handling it is amazing. Last but not least is Kellan, where there are some serious slow burn vibes, but no smutty goodness. I have high hopes that something will happen here, but we shall see. The complicated political drama of shifters, witches, and (secret) dragons is somehow not too much when coupled with the story of this archivist. I can't wait to see what Dusk gets up to now that she's survived her first week of work and managed to keep her assignment.

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Awakening Infinity

Awakening Infinity (Archivist, #0)Awakening Infinity by Meghan Ciana Doidge
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm a little bit obsessive when it comes to a series, so when I saw that this was a "book 0" in the new spinoff of the adept world, I added it to my kindle.

This short book was tough. It gives you all new characters only loosely in this existing world of characters, but then the details just keep coming. I had a hard time getting invested in Dusk and Sisu (who now, 2 books in - I love!), and learning the intricacies of the archive, archivists, and the family dynamics was a little bit much to swallow easily. Maybe it's just me, but I had to really drag myself through this story. As a person who powered through (and then rapidly gobbled up the next 2 books), this story does answer some lingering questions you may have in the series, but maybe it's better placed as a book#1.1, when you've already developed a certain fondness for Dusk's logical mind?

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The Other Half of the Grave

The Other Half of the Grave (Night Huntress, #1.1)The Other Half of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a great way of "re-reading" a series with a neat twist of changing characters.

It's been years since I read the first book in this series, so I just barely remembered the broad strokes of how this all began. I was essentially a fresh reader and enjoyed it immensely! Do I know how it all end? Of course! Did it diminish my enjoyment? Not at all! In fact, knowing how some relationships change and grow had me enjoying it even more.

If you've never read the series... I'm not sure what to recommend. Should you start with the original? Or start here? It probably doesn't matter, but I like the full circle way I got to re-enjoy all over. I enjoy Bones, but this gave the author a way to fill some plot holes, update some tech, and give me a new book to read, while still letting me re-read a series. What's not to like here? The story itself is a fun paranormal story that really goes outside the typical paranormal romance lines.

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Sunday, May 1, 2022

Munro

Munro (Immortals After Dark, #18)Munro by Kresley Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

OK, I'm back on board again. This book got me back into this series after a few "duds" where I was starting to question my continuation.

This book goes back to the scene from a few books ago - we saw Munro forced to make a choice to either watch his mate die painfully, or try to turn her against her last dying wish. For something a long time coming, it resolved relatively quickly in a way I didn't expect. Don't worry, though, Munro's battle for Kereny wasn't over that quick. There's time travel, a carnival, werewolves galore, timey-wimey nonsense, and something closer to a partnership than I've seen in the last few books.

On top of being a sizzling romance, this book also closes some loops, catching us up with a TON of familiar faces along the way. We get to experience the fully built world through Kereny's eyes and it takes me back to when it was all new. Maybe that's why this book felt so much better than the last bunch? Either way, I'm back in!

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Immortal Rising

Immortal Rising (Argeneau, #34)Immortal Rising by Lynsay Sands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh my gosh I really loved this one. Are we 34 books in? Yes. Do these books still somehow manage to surprise me? YES! I will keep reading these until we run out of characters to find mates for, or something. Please, never stop.

This book finally circles back to Stephanie. She's the self-proclaimed weirdo in the bunch who can hear everyone's thoughts for wayyyyyy further and without end. She's also at risk of becoming a "no-fanger" due to her forced turning by some lunatic. Her sister found her mate and never had the same troubles, so Stephanie's been a bit isolated, forced to hide most of her struggle for fear of upsetting her hyper-vigilant sister. When you can hear everyone's thoughts, it makes it harder to ignore the worries. She's finally landed in her custom build, secluded home and has a steady sort-of life with her pets. That all changes when Thorne shows up.

Thorne has his own baggage that has chased him all his life (sometimes literally). He was the son of yet another monster in this series. You'll be happy to know that this is the book where that storyline finally gets resolved in the best of ways. Thorne not only ends up crashing Stephanie's solitary existence, but also helping her find what she didn't even know was out there. It's the best kind of smutty, hot, awesome romance. Also, a great guest spot by the grumpy old man of the series (which for a vampire series is saying a lot). This book was everything I wanted.

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Demon Hunting with a Southern Sheriff

Demon Hunting with a Southern Sheriff (Demon Hunting, #6)Demon Hunting with a Southern Sheriff by Lexi George
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wow - I think I got in over my head with this book. Having only read one book in the series before (and that was 3 books prior) I was pretty lost for a lot of the very numerous character back stories here and did myself a disservice. Hark - learn from me and start at the beginning!

Dev is the sheriff of a town filled with humans and supernaturals alike. There's pretty much everything, including very determined hunters like Arta. She's got her own supernatural mojo and has been tasked with avenging her fighting sister. This ends up getting in Dev's way, because he is the law in these parts. He also has a relative who is a goddess or something and a dad who runs around naked. It is A LOT. I enjoyed the random and insane characters, but got a little lost in the shuffle.

The romance between Dev and Arta is definitely non-traditional. Instead of following the same rules, there is chocolate involved and nearly destroyed buildings. And sort-of-adopted siblings crashing the party. All in all, it was a wild ride that I was not prepared for, complete with a HEA.

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Shadow Kissed

Shadow Kissed (Marked by Blood, #1)Shadow Kissed by Rebecca L. Garcia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was like a strange combination of a high fantasy setting (castles, royalty, various levels of technology) and a contemporary romance. It is clearly the setup for more installments, so focused primarily on the world building here. Not a true cliffhanger of sorts, but definitely not a solitary standalone book either.

Olivia has been somewhat sheltered her whole life. As someone gifted with magic, she is in the minority. It makes her even more strange when her powers are a bit of a dud. She does not excel at combat either, so her mother, the leader of an elite group of "troops," protects her as best she can. Mostly this means she is isolated and ferried away when bad stuff starts to go down. The vampires from the neighboring kingdom end up invading, and one vampire ends up kidnapping her to their home.

As predicted, Seb, the aforementioned vampire, ends up opening Olivia's eyes a bit to the shades of gray in the vampire kingdom. Not all vampires are bad and not all humans are good. There's a bunch of baggage rolled into that single sentence, but it resolves itself eventually. There are also a bunch of reveals that I won't spoil here for you. The romance, though, that was a smaller portion of the tale, which may or may not have come from some sort of kidnapper/kidnapee situation. Only time will tell, I guess, but I enjoyed all of the characters we meet during Olivia's stay with Seb. As I said, the book doesn't fully resolve all the storylines, so I'm sure the next book will take a turn. Oh, and I should warn that there are some triggering non-consent scenes in here that may be troubling to some, primarily in the vampire/human slave dens.

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Sunday, April 17, 2022

Wicked Abyss

Wicked Abyss (Immortals After Dark, #17)Wicked Abyss by Kresley Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While better than some of the more recent books, this is still pretty similar to some of the lesser installments.

We get back to the "bringers of doom" storyline with a deep dive into Sian. He's kind of a jerk, but I guess the trauma associated with losing his mate and transforming into a demon will do that to a guy. His mate has finally reincarnated into Lila, a princess of sorts who is going through a rough patch. Exiled to the human world, she's made her way and has an unkillable spirit. Kind of literally.

These two were really nicely matched for wits but Sian was just not a prize in the end. While I am really happy to get Lila's story, as with most of these books, I feel like she could do much better. She ends up shining brighter in this book than the guy I think we were supposed to be rooting for. I'm still hoping for a book where both the guy and girl and worthy of a nice pairing. Maybe next book?

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Lover Arisen

Lover Arisen (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #20)Lover Arisen by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow! I think this book just made me fall in love with the Black Dagger Brotherhood series again!

After reading one of the spinoff books and being a little turned off by this world, I decided to give it another shot and I'm so glad I did. This book delivered in a lot of ways that I think fans have been asking for. There were not a lot of side stories (only the main love story, the building one, and some resolution that crosses between them), there was some good smut (not really a deficiency before), and we don't break a lot of things that we built up before. If this is your first time in the BDB world, I don't know how you got here as a first book. There is so much world and character building that has been done up to this point that I wouldn't really recommend starting 20 books in.

So, this story - we finally get Balthazar's resolution. Poor thief ended up getting possessed and finding his mate in very short time and then the series left him hanging out there. In summary it seems very simple - thief and cop have drama. Underneath, though, the characters were really interesting. I felt for both of them more than some previous characters, or even the ones that are moving in parallel to this love story. The odds are (of course) against them and we have to work up until the very end to get them a HEA, but it is very satisfying. Erika, the mate/cop/person, was a real standout here and I was happy she didn't have to become something she wasn't by the end. Overall, I'm happy I gave the BDB another chance because it was well worth it!

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Friday, April 8, 2022

Wicked Misery

Wicked Misery (Miss Misery, #1)Wicked Misery by Tracey Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 1 and I'm already addicted to this world.

This is allllllmost a dystopian paranormal book, but is still in a magical land that I find slightly more palatable. In this world, magic is normal and people with magic are sent to become guardians of a sort until their powers either fizzle or solidify. Jessica was one of the "chosen" until she suddenly wasn't. When her powers didn't materialize, they shifted into something more unexplainable. She assumes she was cursed somehow to feed off misery instead of doing normal "magic" things. This classifies her very close to "preds" which in this world feed off "addicts" in various forms. Lucen is one such pred that has somehow found his way (reluctantly) into Jessica's very small inner circle.

With such a black and white moral world, Jessica is shaken up when she is suddenly accused of murder, possibly hoping to start a war between the paranormal races. This puts her in a position where she has to either accept herself, grow, and learn to trust other people, or perish as some sort of misunderstood martyr. It was really wonderful to watch a person who is pretty terrible at making decisions make a comeback by the end. I went from cringing to rooting for her, so hang in there!

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Third Spell's the Charm

Third Spell's the Charm (House of Magic #3)Third Spell's the Charm by Susanna Shore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These are wonderful, quick, paranormally quirky books that have me rapidly devouring them.

This book picks up with Phoebe (quick note - you should start at book 1 for real enjoyment). She's newly discovered that she has the magical gift inside of her. Unfortunately for her, it comes out as setting things on fire - not on purpose. As if this isn't bad enough, she's forced to demonstrate her weirdness for her flatmates, her boss/crush, and really powerful magical users. Nobody seems to know what's going on, but that also doesn't stop her from attracting her usual share of trouble.

This trouble comes in the form of a drag queen murder by a vampire while Phoebe and her vampire flatmate are out clubbing. Implicated/Blackmailed into helping the big vampire baddie, they end up crossing paths with a few familiar faces, some new ones, but tons of trouble. I enjoy the blend here of mystery, a smidge of romance, and a healthy scoop of magic. I can't wait to see what happens after the end of this one!

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Sunday, March 27, 2022

Ancient Retribution

Ancient Retribution (Ancients Rising #5)Ancient Retribution by Katie Reus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These books are so fun to read from start to finish. You're guaranteed a HEA and they've somehow tricked me into enjoying a dystopian setting.

Zephyr was previous introduced as a bit of the odd man out, having come back from a hell realm and having to re-learn society, his brothers, their mates, etc. On the edge of the group, he ends up on a mission that introduces him to Juniper. Juniper has a bit of baggage, having had her memory erased before being dropped in to be raised with wolf shifter. A dragon with unusual talents, she had a loving family, but this was always hanging over her head.

These two are a great couple to watch. The fact that they are taking down a human trafficking ring also makes them the very clear good guys here. Throw in some curve balls in the form of Juniper's past, Zephyr's patience, and a bunch of familiar faces pushing their own stories along and we've got a wonderful book. I highly recommend this and all associated series'.

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Dragon Mine

Dragon Mine (Dragon Kings #2)Dragon Mine by Donna Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book read almost like a novella with not a lot of big steps forward in any of the main storylines, but a good romantic story.

Vaughn has been searching for his mystery girl for years and it's probably not his dream scenario that she's his dragon king's only daughter. No pressure, right? They've been sharing dreams for years unconsciously, but when they meet face-to-face on the other side of the doorway she opened to Zora, the pressure is really on. Eurwen has a lot to shoulder being the co-ruler of a whole world. Her twin is also not the most supportive when she admits to meeting up with a dragon king and potentially being his mate.

I feel like the star of this one is really Vaughn, who swallows his pride and becomes really great mate material. While the stakes feel low when Con can heal anyone, this one still had some risky situations and hopefully ends up leading to some sort of reveal of the "big bad" in books to come. Overall, this was a nice, light read.

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Dark Alpha's Passion

Dark Alpha's Passion (Reaper, #14)Dark Alpha's Passion by Donna Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was another solid installment in the very long and winding road to Reaper/Dragon King/Others/Six Showdown. While we don't quite get there in this one, we are still building to a nice finale.

As this is a reaper book, we know that someone needs to be betrayed, get killed, and turned into a Reaper, right? Those are the rules, so why am I surprised every time it happens? Ruark has been trying to be a good spy, a good son, and stay as far away from Chevonne, his lady love, to keep everyone safe and hopefully help the good guys win. At a pivotal point in the fight, he decides it's worth the risk, and reconnects with Chevonne. She's a fighter but there are a lot of things at play here that put them both in an unwinnable situation.

Lucky for us, there are lots of very powerful players already in the game. With all the action and excitement you'd expect, I think this book focuses more on that than the romance here and I'm not mad at it. This book does help along the X storyline too, and we will hopefully get some very satisfying payoff in the coming books.

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Friday, March 25, 2022

Enemy of the Fae

Enemy of the Fae (Caledonia Fae, #3)Enemy of the Fae by India Drummond
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ugh. This book series took a TURN here.

This particular installment picks up with Eilidh as queen (with way more queen behavior than I was expecting) and Quinton still hiding his relationship with her. I was completely not shocked by the more love triangle-y turn we took there (yum), and happily await future installments for that group. The mystery here was someone working against Eilidh from either her assumed supporters or some shadowey group. In parallel, there is a lot of druid stuff going on. Quinton is transforming, showing new skills, and all the while the other druids are working to make something cool.

Here's where it all takes a TURN - The druid with powers over time connects with the VERY YOUNG fae who is their friend (turns out I was confused in the last book and there actually was a VERY YOUNG fae girl that the druids spend time with). So. Things happen and magically she is outwardly older but inside she is AN 8 YEAR OLD GIRL. This girl then goes on to do terrible things with an older guy and it's TERRIBLE. I'm scarred, or as scarred as someone can be when you've also read the KMM series that treads in this very same (but maybe older?) territory. I guess if you can accept all that, this book does push the overall kingdom storyline along with not many other huge surprises. The twists and turns were OK but pretty predictable. Seriously, 8 years old - I'm not over it.

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Demon Kissed

Demon Kissed (The Summoner’s Mark Book 1)Demon Kissed by J.D. Blackrose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First book in a series and this has a unique spin on your typical demon tale.

Becs is a summoner who wants out of the business, but is unable to do so while she has some unpaid debts (both rent and demon related). Her own responsibility in the last summoning she performed tasked her with some demon follow-up that throws her into a complicated web of favors and mixed motivations. Her upstairs neighbor is also oddly helpful, sexy, and way too comfortable with the supernatural.

This story has it all - sizzle, paranormal mayhem, way too many dead birds, and high school mistreatment coming back to haunt them. Did I mention the birds? Yuck. Overall this story introduces a good team of players, lots of loose threads, and some interesting abilities that I'm sure we'll learn more about in book 2. Here's to a rich world building!

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A Grave Girls’ Getaway: A Night Huntress Novella

A Grave Girls’ Getaway: A Night Huntress NovellaA Grave Girls’ Getaway: A Night Huntress Novella by Jeaniene Frost
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoy the Night Huntress world, so will dive back in at any chance I get. Here we get a short vacation story for Cat and Denise that also manages to delve into Cat's mother/daughter dramas.

Cat is struggling to let her daughter grown and develop without a hovering parent. It's not hard to understand why, given the past, but in an effort to step away and reconnect with Cat the person, she goes on holiday with Denise. It was good to see Cat as the tough fighter, crime solver, independent woman who can also cry for her husband and daughter. Of course, the holiday goes all wrong and Cat and Denise are forced to step in where there's a bad situation going down. We are fortunate that people maybe come to expect this and we get some good cameos in the end. While not required reading for the world/series, it was nice to visit with all these characters in a different circumstance.

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Shadow's Seduction

Shadow's Seduction (Immortals After Dark, #16; The Dacians, #2)Shadow's Seduction by Kresley Cole
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Did I want to rate this high just because people were rating it low based on the M/M aspects? YES. Does it deserve a high rating? Sigh... probably not. I really wanted to hate like this to balance the true haters, but it was just... tough.

So, we know Caspion from the previous installment, where he was obsessed with women and yet not at all interested in the main female character. Maybe that's why I struggled here? If we were meeting two unknowns it might have been easier to get on board. Mirceo is a hedonist who goes about finding pleasure wherever, racing against when his heart will stop beating until he finds his "bride." Caspion meets him in a previous un-shared time, which is ultimately what gives him a death sentence in the previous book.

I can get behind a M/M romance as much as a M/F romance, but this felt very forced and rushed. I get it, it's a novella (not offered in audiobook format, which was annoying as a series completionist here). Still, there was just a bit of a quick "oh, yeah, a lot of time passed" blurb for poor Caspion and we were all left in Mirceo's shoes having not gotten any time at all. I'm glad there is some diversity in this world, but wish we could've gotten a full fledged novel out of it all.

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Monday, February 28, 2022

The Stealing

The StealingThe Stealing by S.A. Sutila
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book surprised me at every turn and I never got my "sea legs" (get it? she's the captain's daughter) under me.

Sarah is a troubled young girl. She's been made fun of all throughout high school because of her father's profession, her ability to be part of a ship's crew, and, it turns out, because she's secretly coveted by the guys. As graduation looms, she's excited to escape her small town and start fresh. The neighbor boys have been a particular thorn in her side for her whole life, always bullying her and making fun. Grant, however, decides that now is the time to ask for forgiveness and pursue her. While there are some sparks, she quickly ends up in a suicidal tailspin when her dad says she can no longer go away to school.

There are some very dark themes in this book and I found myself cringing at times to get through Sarah's morbid thoughts. One such trauma ends with her adrift in a spirit world, where a narcissist ends up taking her life as punishment and/or a learning exercise (still a little unclear there). Max, this mystical being, transforms her into something more and sends her back to earth, leaving her hoping it was all just a dream and she doesn't have a ticking clock on her life.

Grant and Sarah as a couple was a combination of awkward high school romance and borderline stalker-ish. With all the other stuff going on in her life, though, his family seemed like a nice place for her to discover her true self worth. That's the ultimate HEA for me in this book, and the overall romance is secondary. I'd warn that if you are easily triggered by the darker types of paranormal storylines, this book may not be for you, but otherwise, it was definitely unexpected.

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Sunday, February 27, 2022

Sweet Ruin

Sweet Ruin (Immortals After Dark, #15)Sweet Ruin by Kresley Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don't think I even know how to rate these books anymore. I was, however, a little surprised that 15 books in, we are meeting 2 brand new people to follow as the only main characters. Sure, there's Nix and some familiar faces, but Josephine & Rune are both brand new to me.

So - Josephine is a girl who is really rough around the edges. She was forced to grow up fast when she found herself taking care of her baby brother while on the streets or in foster care. She also had a special ability to attract trouble, which is how she ended up thrust into the paranormal community against her will. She can do "wicked strong" things, and ends up having to force herself away from her little brother to protect him. Fast forward to meeting the "bringers of doom" that we heard about previously. They're coming for Earth, but in advance of that, Rune is sent to scout things out and then to take out a big player.

When Rune and Josephine meet it isn't all hearts and rainbows. These two *struggle* but it's pretty fun to watch. The sizzle is there, and it's not as bad as other consent issues I've had with the series. The big struggle is with some "whoring" that comes up now and again. And, ya know, Josephine is... rough. Other than that, I feel like we are relatively back on track for the series. You can see the puzzle pieces moving around now, getting ready for war.

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Secrets and Truths

Secrets and Truths (Otherside Heat #1)Secrets and Truths by Whitney Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oooooh I liked this one a lot! Having not been exposed to this author or world before, it was a wonderful surprise!

Lya is a halfbreed who has been exiled into the US. Forced to work for a fae boss that hates her, she's been going about her business as a bounty hunter without incident trying to build up her own career. Cade is a vagabond vampire who happens to be in the right place at the right time for sparks to fly. He and Lya meet and the rest is history. There's some truly wonderful smutty goodness thrown in with some heartfelt surprises along the way.

The story, which is almost unnecessary when there's a nice romance, centers around conflicting priorities and people who are assumed dead resurfacing. This couple really surprised me in some great ways. I am eager for more both from this author and this world. What a great find!

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