Sunday, June 11, 2023

Sweep with Me

Sweep with Me (Innkeeper Chronicles, #4.5)Sweep with Me by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story was a delight from start to finish. We got to meet new species of aliens, learn about different political structures, watch chicken people try to kill each other over philosophy, and take a field trip for our favorite chef. For a novella, it was jam-packed with story!

Also, side-note that I read this immediately after book 3 where it seemed to make sense, but I guess it goes out of order the way Amazon & Goodreads show the order. We join Dina and Sean while they are still adjusting to life together, in robes, and waiting for the meeting that will determine their future as an Inn. As the days tick by, we end up celebrating an Innkeeper holiday, which means nobody gets turned away. This, unfortunately, ends up with them taking in a person who naturally hunts prey, lots of prey (in the form of previously mentioned chicken people), and a powerful warrior who just wants a hamburger.

There is so much rich storytelling here that I don’t want to do a deep dive. The ending, though, is very satisfying, in a way that the previous book didn’t deliver on. We still don’t know where the rest of Dina’s family is, but it really highlighted the gift that Innkeepers are to the universe.

View all my reviews

One Fell Sweep

One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3)One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These books just keep getting better and better. With each new installment, we learn more about the Innkeeper world and Dina’s history. I’m 100% invested at this point and hope she gets resolution to the larger storyline by the end of the series!

Dina’s made her own family, but she’s still got a sister and brother out there (and missing mom and dad). When a rule-breaking alien shows up and delivers a message to her, it puts her on a path to re-connect with her sister, Maud. Don’t worry - there’s still the usual cast of characters along for the ride, though only the vampire and the werewolf come along for the rescue mission. Maud and her daughter are a really great addition and it rounded out the “cast of characters” completely. Since there’s always a guest story, don’t worry, we get that too!

Through a lot of meddling from a familiar arbiter, Dina ends up getting tasked with hosting a near extinct race of beings as they work to gather parts of an all knowing being in order to find a place to live. The downside to this good deed? There is a race that has made it their mission to wipe them out and finds the rules of an innkeeper a mere inconvenience. Lucky for us, Sean is here and has teamed up with an unlikely ally to make sure Dina’s inn is safe. There is a lot of bad stuff that ends up happening but we do get some good clues for later use. Oh, and some good romance in general, too!

View all my reviews

The Phantom

The Phantom (Rise of the Warlords, #3)The Phantom by Gena Showalter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having read the previous ones, this is a solid continuation of the story, with this one focusing on the next blessing task, this time for Roux.

We start, however, with Blythe. While she is tough enough to be general, she chose a consort and a child over the position. Roux shattered that whole life when he showed up with the rest of the warlords and promptly killed her consort. She’s filled with the need to avenge him and murder Roux, even talking to her father about ways to go about it. It all ties together in the blessing task this round, which is filled with deception, tricks, oodles of stolen organs, and battles. Oh, and there’s a bunch of sizzle between these two “enemies.”

Roux is an interesting character we’ve basically only known as the crazy one before. Oh, and for having a tea party with a child during the previous book. He’s really a marshmallow inside and has been trying to figure out how to apologize to Blythe and get her out of his head (less literally than last time). These two might talk a good game, but when they are surrounded by enemies, they team up and form an alliance of sorts. Does it get filled with doubt almost consistently? Sure! Don’t worry, though, these two warriors end up finding a HEA in a most gruesome way.

View all my reviews

Grayson’s Challenge

Grayson's Challenge: Scanguards Hybrids #3 (Scanguards Vampires Book 15)Grayson's Challenge: Scanguards Hybrids #3 by Tina Folsom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gotta say, I was expecting more punishment for Grayson to get his mate, but this definitely served well.

Grayson has been such a spoiled brat for most of the time we get to know him throughout the series and spin-offs. He’s arrogant, a playboy, and definitely relies heavily on his father being the head of Scanguards to get his way. His father, however, has had enough. He has decided to scheme with Cain, who also happens to have a spoiled child. With the stars aligning and them both being in the same city, they plan to see if they are compatible. They both react as predicted, except that they never officially meet at the function. Being the independent and reckless hybrids they are, they end up hooking up with no involvement from their parents then, as expected, freaking out when the matchmaking scheme is revealed.

This all quickly takes a back seat when both their fathers are in peril and need the whole team to mobilize to save them. Here’s where the book kind of lost me. The Grayson we see working with Monique to save their dads is a completely new character. He’s got none of the brat attributes and even dives headfirst into a relationship with Monique after mocking his friends with mates. Weird, but necessary. If you can get beyond that, the smut level is high and the HEA is solid here. It was also nice to be reminded that no characters are invulnerable.

View all my reviews

The Modern Girl's Guide to Magic

The Modern Girl's Guide to Magic (Charming Cove #1)The Modern Girl's Guide to Magic by Linsey Hall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a really cute frenemy romance with oodles of magic thrown in! As the start of a series, I’m eager to check out where this takes us.

Aria has always had issues with her magic. This means she was constantly bullied in her hometown by other more magically adept folks. Eager to get a fresh start, she tried living as a normal person, but ironically her magic ended up showing up in unexpected ways, leading to her getting fired repeatedly. Lucky for her, the local owner of a magical garden has decided to host a competition to identify his successor and Aria got an invite!

Callan, her crush/enemy from their teenage years, is also on the invite list. He’s now a successful developer and accomplished mage, but he still yearns to right the wrongs from before. While this book doesn’t jump right into bed, we get a nice slow burn with some payoff along the way. I loved everything about this town the wild cast of characters, the magic, and (of course) the romance. There are a few twists but luckily we don’t go too far into the “misunderstanding” trope that usually comes along with a romantic paranormal read. This couple was cute and the magic was irresistible!

View all my reviews