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 (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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