Saved by Darkness by Katie Reus

imageHalf-demon, half-dragon shifter Ian McCabe is hellbent on getting back the only woman he’s ever loved. When Fiona O’Riley kicked him out of her life decades ago, he thought she was gone for good. Now that she’s back, nothing will stop him from claiming her. But she wants nothing to do with him—or his family.

She’ll do anything to save him.

Fiona knows that Ian is the only male for her. The only way to keep him alive is to stay away from him. But when tragedy strikes and they discover a wicked agenda for the mass murder of humans, they must work together to take down the enemies that threaten everyone. But there’s so much more on the line. As their undeniable desire intensifies, they’re faced with an unbearable choice. If Fiona and Ian succumb to their temptation, mating could be the last thing they ever do.

 

Ian is half demon and half dragon.  Fiona is a dragon shifter from a very powerful family where they treat women like objets. Ian met Fiona 50 years ago at a party.  While she was with her brother, he made it clear that Ian wasn’t worth of her and that if he even went near her Fiona’s brother would kill him.  They did briefly hook up until she told Ian she didn’t love him and he  was told she had been mated with another.

Fast forward 50 years and they meet again.  Ian is surprised to find that she hadn’t mated but she  was still afraid of what her brothers would do to Ian if they became a couple.  Fiona runs an organisation that helps other paranormal  beings escape from abusive relationships.  When Fiona meets with an old friend who has news of a half demon takeover of the human world she is put in danger and another of  her friends  is taken to a Hell realm.  Herself and Ian, along with help from Finn’s wolf clan, must go into the Hell realm to rescue her friend and to put an end to a plot to kill humans and stop the half demon take over of earth.

There is tons of action and steamy romance! I hasn’t read many shifter books, especially one with dragons and found that I really enjoyed this one, so much that I stay up till silly 0’clock to finish it!  Fiona and Ian had plenty of heartbreak throughout the years and then end of the book pulled at the heartstrings wondering just what their fate would be. This is the first book in this series I have read, not knowing it was book 6.  I enjoyed it so much that I will go back and read the others in the series.  In saying that it can be read as a stand alone and it won’t confused you not knowing the background of the other characters as they are mostly explained.

ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review

4 stars

Crash

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The Turn by Kim Harrison

imageCan science save us when all else fails?

Trisk and her hated rival, Kalamack, have the same goal: save their species from extinction.

Death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government’s new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague takes the world, giving the paranormal species an uncomfortable choice to stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or to show themselves in a bid to save them.

Under accusations of scientific misconduct, Trisk and Kal flee across a plague torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin, but not everyone thinks humanity should be saved.

Kal surreptitiously works against her as Trisk fights the prejudices of two societies to prove that not only does humanity have something to offer, but that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic, and humanity itself can turn to understanding; that when people are at their worst that the best show their true strength, and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found. 

 

I have read a few of the Hollow books ages ago and thought that this would be a base to start with reading the series at the beginning .  Not knowing what to expect going in was a bit daunting.  I was lost at the start of the book with the contracts and so on but it picked up and got going with Kal hell bent on destroying Trisk after she cost him his dream job.

Trick worked with a human genetics lab to keep an eye on developments on human genetic advances and tweet them to suit other Interlanders (were’s, vampires, elves and pixies) or just to stop the new genetic material from hurting or killing them. When Trisk develops a new tomato crop that will help end hunger Kal is sent in to confirm her work. Still angry from what  she did to him, Kal decided to change the gene sequence enough to cause illness and to discredit her work, but what he unleashes spells death for millions.

While I found the story interesting and well thought out it did drag out way too long at 450 pages.  Most of the time Trisk, Daniel and Orchid were on the run, endlessly running and running and running.  It was way to drawn out and it took me ages to slog through the middle half of the story.  I skimmed trying to get to the more interesting bits.  I hated Kal, I really did.  He was vile, vain and pure worm like when it came to trying to save his own ass.  Trisk was selfless in her efforts to not only save herself and her research but also to keep Daniel alive and blameless no matter the cost.

A good and well written story but brought down by unnecessary excess plot line of their escape and evading Kal is what brought this book down from a 4 to a 3 star.

ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review

3/5 stars

Crash

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Steele City Blues by Karen Greco

imageBlood Ops leader Dr. O is chained in the bowels of Steele City, the state’s maximum security prison, and the clock is ticking for Nina and Frankie to bust him out.

Now that supernatural creatures are out of the closet, Providence is descending into an apocalyptic wasteland. With the abrupt shut down Blood Ops, Nina and Frankie are forced to rely on questionable allies to battle Leila, a powerful witch/vampire hybrid hell bent on creating an indestructible supernatural army. She also happens to be Nina’s mom.

Alliances are tested and relationships fractured as Nina and her band of supernatural crime fighting misfits are pushed to the breaking point.

Steele City Blues, the third book in the Hell’s Belle urban fantasy series, is high-octane, action-packed, cinematic story by Karen Greco that fans of The Hollows and the Cassandra Palmer series will love. Join the adventure!

 

Nina and Frankie have their hands full trying to Dr.O from Steele City prison without the sudden appearance from Nina’s grandfather. They make a failed attempt at breaking into Steele City and instead of breaking Dr. O out they find out some horrifying things that are going on behind the prisons door. Not only do they have a monumental task of getting back into the prison to free those in there but they also have a deadline that will impact everyone.

This series gets better with each book! While I love Nina and Frankie I really enjoyed Casper more this time around. He’s sassy, powerful and just a funny guy to have around. The interaction of the characters is deeper and there are way more secrets that unfolded as well.

I love this series and hope that there are more books to come but the way it ended leaves me thinking it is the end but who knows. This is not a stand alone book, you have to have read the first two books to understand what is going on in this one.

ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4/5 stars

Crash

The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes

imageSome people are born boring. Some live boring. Some even die boring. Fred managed to do all three, and when he woke up as a vampire, he did so as a boring one. Timid, socially awkward, and plagued by self-esteem issues, Fred has never been the adventurous sort.

One fateful night – different from the night he died, which was more inconvenient than fateful – Fred reconnects with an old friend at his high school reunion. This rekindled relationship sets off a chain of events thrusting him right into the chaos that is the parahuman world, a world with chipper zombies, truck driver wereponies, maniacal necromancers, ancient dragons, and now one undead accountant trying his best to “survive.” Because even after it’s over, life can still be a downright bloody mess. 

 

Who wouldn’t like a vampire book where the vampire in question is called Fred. He isn’t your usual vamp, he’s not muscular or fast or even good looking. Fred is an accountant who wears button down shirts, sweater vests and loafers for crying out loud! He doesn’t understand most of his power, he knows he is fast, has a faster metabolism and has heightened senses. He is also a bit of a coward, he likes to avoid confrontation and runs away from danger.

He gets himself into some seriously dangerous situations when he meets up with an old high school friend, Krystal, who is part of an organization called The Agency, who deal with parahumans. Along with a zombie called Albert, a werehorse called Bubba, mages Neil and Amy he finds himself in some strange situations.

This book is a hoot! It’s not your normal pumped up vampire paranormal book, it’s about a strange young man who was made but not really understanding everything he needs to know regarding his powers. He is the least likely vamp you will ever meet. That’s what makes it so much fun, instead of using brawn to get out of situations he uses hits wits. If you are looking for something different, look no further!

4/5 stars

Crash

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Review: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

18941694 I love the Alpha & Omega series and this book definitely didn’t disappoint! This may even be my favorite in the series so far. Charles and Anna are able to take a vacation to visit an old friend of Charles at the same time as they are going to look at a horse for Anna. But when they get there they discover that a dangerous Fae is kidnapping children and leaving an imitation in its place. So of course the hunt for the culprit is on.

What was so great about this book was all the interesting side characters. Joseph is the old friend they go to visit and I thought the friendship between them was fascinating to see. Joseph’s family makes up the rest of the most interesting side characters. I like this series even more than the Mercy Thompson series actually. Charles and Anna are just different than most of the couples in paranormal romances. While I love badass females, I read a lot of them and Anna is a badass but one that is just quietly like that in her own way. Her relationship with Charles is incredibly sweet to see. Charles is a very alpha male and the two of them together have one of the best relationships there is in romance books.

The plot in this book, as in all of Patricia Briggs books, is quick to pick up and very fast paced. Due to that I had a hard time putting it down and I wanted to finish it in one sitting pretty much. Other things I like about this book is that there wasn’t so much emphasis on Charles’ enforcer status role in the pack. It was definitely mentioned but his pack wasn’t really even a character in this book, which is another thing I like about this series – it’s able to be about the actual couple as opposed to the Mercy books which are about the whole pack. I also enjoy seeing Charles’ softer side, which we always get with Anna but we also get with Joseph and his grandchildren here. I love seeing Alpha men being tender and almost nice.

If you haven’t read the other books in the series you really need to because this won’t make much sense without those. This book is being released March 3rd.

ARC received via Netgalley on behalf of the publisher in return for an honest review.

5 Stars

~Melinda

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Book Review: Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead; Narrated by Emily Shaffer & Alden Ford

8709524 Maybe it’s just me but I think it’s pretty rare that a spin off series – whether it’s television or books – is better or even just as good as the original. But in this case I think without a doubt it is! Bloodlines is a series that spun off of the Vampire Academy series, which I also read, and liked. Richelle Mead created a very interesting and unusual world of vampires that I hadn’t come across before with different rules and classes of people within in this world that I found fascinating. A specific class of people called the Alchemists ended up being so fascinating that the author created a spin-off series called The Bloodlines and Silver Shadows is book #5 in the series.

I’ve been listening to this series because I really love the narrators. Both Emily Shaffer and Alden Ford do an amazing job so I haven’t even bothered to switch back and forth like I do sometimes. There are few books that I pre-order with an Audible credit and these are definitely on the list. Emily Shaffer captures the main character – Sydney’s intense love of all things knowledge related and everything that is orderly. I wouldn’t have thought you could capture that in just a voice but she does so in clipped tones and at the same time she’s managed to express the confusion the people in her world had caused Sidney to feel. Alden Ford does a wonderful Adrian who has evolved from a lazy royal (and can slip easily back into that role) into a college student who cares about others. It’s great to hear that laziness dripping from his voice at times.

This book picks up where the last one left off – with Sidney and Adrian apart and Sidney in the hands of the Alchemists. This was a pretty dark plot for most of it as Sydney was in their hands and they are attempting to brainwash her, or worse, for the majority of the book. I was already a Sydney fan before this but her character development has just gotten better and better as the series continues. In this one she comes across as confident and able to deal with anything that’s thrown at her, which is a crazy amount here.

Adrian on the other hand doesn’t come across as quite as strong for a while. He is a spirit user and that cause him to be more temperamental and more prone to emotional outbreaks. When he can’t find Sydney right away Adrian returns to the royal court and does slide into a bit of a depression which can be hard to watch. When he does come to his senses some time has past and he has to figure out if he can finally rescue Sydney from the Alchemist’s clutches.

There’s a dual POV that the books have that I love and the romance continues to blossom here even though they’re apart for a significant portion of the book. This is the best one yet and I have high hopes for the next -and last- one to come out in this series next year!

5 Stars

~Melinda

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Book Review & Signed Giveaway: The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness (Plus Commonplace Book!)

16054217 The Book of Life is the wonderful conclusion to the All Souls Trilogy that Deborah Harkness started with A Discovery of Witches. I was ridiculously lucky this last week when I was able to get a copy of both The Book of Life AND Diana’s Commonplace Book signed for the blog to give away!

If you’re not familiar with the Commonplace book – it’s from Shadow of Night when Diana kept a commonplace book and had to leave it the past when she and Matthew came back to present day. They didn’t make a ton of these commonplace books and they were pretty hard to find but I was able to get my hands on one to give away.

To enter to win the signed copies – just post a comment on this blog post and like us on Facebook (because it make it MUCH easier to find the winner!!). I will pick a winner via random.org. The contest is only open to those in the U.S. Contest will close Aug. 20th at midnight Eastern and the winner will be announced Aug. 21st.

Now… onto my review of the final book!

“It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with a discovery of witches.”

I fell in love with A Discovery of Witches and that love affair continued with Shadow of Night and right on into The Book of Life. Diana and Matthew arrive back in present time to find that not only are they much changed (what with Diana being pregnant with twins) but so has everyone they left behind. As they and all of their loved ones have to adjust and figure out how to get used to being around each other again they just don’t have the luxury of doing that or of mourning Emily properly who died at the end of the last book. Instead they are thrust right back into the hunt for Ashmole 782 and its’ missing pages.

The Book of Life spins a complex web of old and new characters throughout the book. We have the return of Sarah- Diana’s beloved Aunt, Ysabeau- Matthew’s vampiric mother, Corra – Diana’s familiar and the ever popular Gallowglass – Matthew’s vampiric nephew. But we also get a few new characters that surprised me with how much I liked them and their impact on the events.

In A Discovery of Witches we had rich and luscious descriptions of food and wine that seemed to characterize the book and in Shadow of Night there was the intense historical detail that was carefully sprinkled through every chapter. In The Book of Life the characters shined and were the focal point for me. The main characters were as great as always but the secondary characters seemed to come alive just as much. There was a lot of humor that surprised me and had me laughing out loud at certain point too.

“And before you ask, I can go outside during the day and my hair won’t catch fire in the sunlight. I’m Catholic and have a crucifix. When I sleep, which is not often, I prefer a bed to a coffin. If you try to stake me, the wood would likely splinter before it enters my skin.” He bared his teeth. “No fangs either. And one last thing: I do not, nor have I ever, sparkled.”

For me it’s rare that a trilogy finishes as strong as it began and this one did not disappoint at all. The plot was complex and intriguing and I can’t wait for my re-read to be able to go over the details again! Deborah Harkness did a wonderful job of mesmerizing from start to finish.

Don’t forget to comment here and to like our Facebook page for your chance to win a signed copy of The Book of Life and Diana’s Commonplace Book!

5 Stars

~Melinda

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