Thursday, August 31, 2023

Wish Magic

Wish Magic (The Summoner's Mark)Wish Magic by J. D. Blackrose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These books are always better than I remember. This whole series has a wonderful combination of snark, heart, and mystery. Becs is a great reluctant hero.

When last we left our hero and her allies in the short story, Becs was still recovering from losing Asher in hell and trying to navigate having Gregory as an awkward friend. Yuck to the whole potential love triangle there, which Gregory manages to muck up at every turn. With the literal devil tempting Gregory, he is destined to backslide and this time it takes the form of crystal stealing/buying/collecting. Becs is still trying to figure out life without Asher when suddenly she doesn’t have to anymore - he’s back!

The theme in this book is about powers or lack there of. Becs finds herself teaming up with all manner of supernatural, but her two closest allies (or frenemies) end up being human. It’s this that drives all the terrible decision-making in this book. Gregory wants power and ends up releasing a djinn to get it. This, of course, goes all sorts of wrong and through a convoluted series of events puts Becs on the fae queen’s naughty list. But all that’s for another day - this book really does revolve around the djinn story but I have so many other questions! I am eager to see how Asher and Becs reconcile their newfound love and his lack of powers.

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Sunday, August 20, 2023

The Wolf Within

The Wolf Within (Purgatory, #1)The Wolf Within by Cynthia Eden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I definitely read this series out of order but I don’t think it actually matters. These books appear to have a thread that runs throughout but the character stories are relatively self contained.

Duncan and Holly and co-workers in a secret organization that tries to keep the humans unsuspecting and safe from all the things that go bump in the night. Duncan’s whole family was slaughtered by werewolves so he has every motivation to be the best at his job. Unfortunately he ends up infected during one particularly challenging hunt. Holly is the doctor on call when he gets brought in, but she’s got her own secrets. The chemistry between these two sizzles from the start and only gets better from there.

Surprise - the real plot line ends up being the hunt for who the traitor is in their organization. With so many twists and turns, you never really know who to trust and who the real monster is in this world. I really liked that while this was sort-of a police procedural type story, it leaned more heavily into the paranormal romance elements.

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Demons of Good and Evil

Demons of Good and Evil (The Hollows, #17)Demons of Good and Evil by Kim Harrison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This series has been going for a long time and it has good books, bad books, and everything in between. I’d peg this book as somewhere in between but still enjoyable.

Rachel is still living at the church while Trent builds his mega-penthouse in the city. While they tip-toe around that issue, Rachel is still picking up the pieces after her big bad showdown from the last book. Al is recovering and Rachel (of course) feels guilty/responsible/blarg. This is a constant theme and is often my biggest problem with her character - there are so many chapters filled with shame spirals that it gets a little off putting. Don’t worry, though, we still get the usual cast of characters to help support Rachel and lift her up when she needs it. And boy does she need it in this one!

The big story here is about an evil mage and a group of werewolves who try to take the pack and the city. With the “true leader” of the city still a mouse and Rachel a bit distracted, it ends up getting her into all sorts of trouble, including with the many law enforcement and magical enforcement communities. All of this twists together to make for a very chaotic showdown and a lot of twists and turns. Was the mystery hard to solve? Not really, but it was a good ride.

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Sweep of the Heart

Sweep of the Heart (Innkeeper Chronicles, #5)Sweep of the Heart by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book series keeps getting better and better! Does this have a lot of alien politics and storylines? Yes. Did I still enjoy this more than most of my other books? Yes.

We join Dina after taking a bit of a break with Maud in the last book. Dina and Sean are falling into a rhythm being co-inn-keepers and things appear to be headed in the right direction (werewolf women throwing themselves at Sean aside). One particularly determined werewolf suitor of Sean’s ends up telling them that their big bad werewolf mentor of sorts has been kidnapped. This, of course, ties to much more nefarious things in the form of corrupted innkeepers. The solution? Well of course there are bigger plans going on, which involve a lot of old familiar faces and even some hints at where Dina’s brother has been off to.

The majority of this book is spent entertaining and threatening the many new and different alien species that end up being hosted by the inn. Why? Well, as a trade for access to where they need to go, they must host a very dangerous, politically treacherous, mate selection. Oh, and it’s going to be broadcast all over the place to be judged and will probably determine if they lose or keep their inn. Dina and Sean, of course, rise to the occasion in the best of ways. It was so fun to watch them be at their best. Do we get a solid resolution at the end of this book? No, but boy do we get a lot to think about as we wait for the next installment!

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Army Blue

Army Blue: A Career Soldier WeddingArmy Blue: A Career Soldier Wedding by Tawdra Kandle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a really adorable wedding short. If you’ve read the rest of these books, all the characters are familiar, but I think you might even enjoy it if you’re new to this world.

Owen and Jacey are getting married at West Point, or at least that’s the plan. There is just obstacle after obstacle in their way, starting with planning the wedding remotely and ending with even weather getting in the path of their HEA. Don’t worry, though, where there is a will (and oodles of love) there is a way! These two show that no matter what, love prevails. It was very rewarding to see all the previous threads pull through here, and if you get the kindle version you’ve got some nice post-ending goodness.

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