Sunday, May 26, 2024

Moment of Truth

Moment of Truth (The Potentate of Atlanta #5)Moment of Truth by Hailey Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where do you even begin when you wrap up a 5 book series? This was a very satisfying ending, wrapping up all the loose ends I wanted it too, but still left me wanting lots of epilogues (which I will go into right after!).

Hadley just needs to do one small thing before she can continue to her official role as Potentate - ya know, just save the city from the encroaching evil witches, lock said witches out of their “wardrobe”, and figure out her relationship with Midas. OK, so the last one kind of already worked itself out, but they still have the whole balance between Potentate and the pack to discuss.

Without getting into the details and spoilers, it was fun watching the team work together, play it their strengths, and I also really appreciated the mystery of who was behind this whole thing. There was a lot of time slippage, portal hopping, and *a lot* of “screen time” from our oddly favorite shadow. This book somehow helped me reach a certain appreciation for him and I feel pretty good about how Hadley ends this journey.

She and Midas are a perfect pair and their chosen family is even better. I was sad to say goodbye to someone, but hope they have their own update/spinoff opportunity. As a series, I am happy I took the chance and dove into the world of Hadley, even after not particularly liking her in the original series. I went on the journey with her and was happier for it!

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The Hedge Witch

The Hedge WitchThe Hedge Witch by Colleen Delaney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a fun start to a series! I wasn’t sure what to expect with this new (to me) sort of hedge witch, but I fell in love with this merry band of sisters.

Laurel is a hedge witch. She’s got all sorts of powers, but she mostly tries not to use them and instead has leaned into her calling as a tarot card reader. Living with her sisters in a house on a relatively remote island, there aren’t huge witch-related issues to worry about until one particularly eventful hedge jump. Having all been warned that the sisters would find their fated mates, Laurel eagerly discovered her soul mate (or a version of him), but that appears to have triggered her past lives-self’s cursed arch-nemesis to resurface.

Owen is the son of a witch but is not particularly powerful. He is a carpenter entering his slow season when he meets Laurel in what he deems a dream. On a quest from a higher power, he ends up adventuring the said remote island and gets quickly pulled into the mayhem that ensues. Don’t worry, though, because there is also romance, sexy times, good conquering evil, and all that jazz. I like the unique blend of powers we learned about and hope Owen’s chaos-loving family comes to visit them soon!

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Thursday, May 16, 2024

Proof of Life

Proof of Life (The Potentate of Atlanta, #4)Proof of Life by Hailey Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really thought I couldn’t stomach another book with Boaz in it, yet here we are, with me loving this one despite the stupid big oaf. Hadley has completely converted me and now I can handle anything as long as she and Midas are there.

By the end of the previous book, we got to watch Hadley and Midas make it official, moving in together, being really mates, so all is well in the romance department (if they could only get time to get together alone - that’s another theme in this book). It’s of course at this time that her family (original and new) decide to come visit for some random art exhibit. Seems very shady, but that appears to be legit. At the start of this book, we begin to notice a theme - someone is trying to blow up Hadley and/or her friends and family. They manage to hit a few places, kill a few people, and everyone is still trying to find any clue as to who it could be. Signs point to betrayal, unfortunately.

Addie is maybe one of the best new characters for me, and while I didn’t appreciate her in the Boaz spinoff story, she is a great “big sister” to Hadley throughout. This book really explores all the trauma and terrible time Hadley had growing up, and even unblinds that to her inner circle. At this point, most people also know about her alter ego, her “shadow” and we even get an amped up screen time to that effect. I'm loving where we are heading, with the big showdown on the horizon, but boy oh boy was this a crummy reveal at the end. Well written, kept me guessing, but we have a big mess to clean up in the next book!

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Change of Heart

Change of Heart (The Potentate of Atlanta, #3)Change of Heart by Hailey Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m loving this series, so much in fact that I’m way behind in reviewing because I am gobbling these up as quick as I can! I also have completely determined that this series is better than the original (Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy), though we need to get through that to get to this wonderful place.

Hadley is wonderful. It’s refreshing to be in both her head and Midas’s, which seems to be evening out and I love it. The snark, the laughter, the love, is all just perfection. They also balance each other out in wonderful ways. This book is about the yucky yucky yucky “drug” that is being distributed among paranormals and humans alike. It comes from a truly terrible source, and of course they need to stop it from killing their kind (an “unfortunate” side effect).

Also, coming off the heels of the previous book, they need to collect hearts from the evil coven that’s after them. It’s gross and terrible, but that’s the deal that was struck. This book also unblinds a member of Hadley’s team, which is a nice side-effect of the weird magical interference. I’m happy that we might see everyone pair up and be happy by the end of all this craziness. I do really mean craziness because there is a surprisingly large amount of explosions, damage to the main characters, and fire around. We get to meet more supernaturals, too, and even get a glimpse into Bishop’s background a little more. Loving all this and highly recommend this series!

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Bound by Bloodsong

Bound by Bloodsong (Kennedy Rain, #2)Bound by Bloodsong by Sandy Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has been on my wishlist since I read the first in this series. I got a little distracted and didn’t circle back until now. This is a series with a rich world and really unique, fun, paranormal bits.

Kennedy is kind of a jerk. I get it, she’s thrust into a life she doesn’t want to pursue and it’s all because her parents were murdered. She’s being told what to do by just about everyone around her and she wants no part in it. And then there’s Blake, a sexy werewolf stalker type who she is equal parts attracted to and scared of. He’s definitely got an agenda, but by the end of this I’m kind of convinced that he just wants in her pants. To add more love interests to the pot, we’ve also got Christian, who knows more than he says and hides all sorts of secrets. He also seems to be sort-of in love with Kennedy.

The big sweeping story of who killed her parents is continued here (and resolved?), but we also get more bits of Kennedy’s past, previous friends, introductions to yet more paranormals out there, and lots and lots of Kennedy saying no to really really powerful people. By the end, I was on her side, but it definitely takes a lot to love her. I will 100% be continuing on to see where we go with all the drama she stirred up at the end of this book.

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Monday, May 6, 2024

Pack of Lies

Pack of Lies (The Potentate of Atlanta, #2)Pack of Lies by Hailey Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These books are really good. Like, maybe even better than the main series that this is a spinoff from. Big plus? No Boaz. Also - Midas is really great. Oh, and Hadley too!

I gotta say, by book 2 I’ve completed gotten over Hadley’s previous “sins” and am now firmly on her team. Her team, too, is awesome, and I love that we get to go there and learn all about them. This book starts with them recovering from making some bad decisions during the “snowball” incident. It’s a teachable moment, but there’s also some strangeness going on with Hadley. She’s waking up in places she didn’t go to sleep and she’s worried Ambrose is slipping the leash. This book also showed Bishop stepping up and being a good friend and I guess partner? Not sure what to call him because he’s not really the leader, but he definitely enjoys unlimited spending on flame throwers.

This book also took a deeper look in the mentor/mentee relationship between Hadley and Linus, which developed “off screen” between the two series. Love it all, and I especially love the blossoming relationship between Midas and Hadley. Don’t really love the Ford mess, or the bugs that are a messy gross thing almost as much. These books are fun, surprising, and I find myself laughing or smiling while listening. I love where they are headed and I’m also glad this book marks the hopeful end of the triangle.

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Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2)Frostbite by Richelle Mead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m re-reading this series with book club and have a new/old appreciation for them.

While I can see that my original read was a long time ago and has a bit of a nostalgic feel, the re-read is giving me new appreciation for the journey these characters all go on. The big important thing that I took for granted first time around is the introduction of Adrian. He is the best and continues being the best. The main story, though, is about how the bad vampires are ganging up and combining their efforts with humans for hire to take out whole families. In a world where it being daylight out used to mean safety, this throws their fragile world into chaos.

In romantic storyline news, Rose is still filled with the teen angst and I’ve got to say that she is way in the wrong here. Having stepped back from the sizzle, it’s totally not OK for her to hook up with essentially her teacher. Don’t worry, though, they dance around that line a bit in this book. There’s also poor Mason, the rebound, who goes through all the feelings in the span of this one book. Also, making a somehow redeeming appearance is Mia. By the end, you kind of stop hating her as much, and group all these teens in a more traumatized bucket. Overall, this book begins the steady climb to the end of their journey, but they all don’t even know it yet. Still love this series - it’s a super easy read, too!

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