Book List 2018

Review: A Touch of Magic by Isabelle Adler

a touch of magicTitle: A Touch of Magic

Author: Isabelle Adler

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQ Romance

Summary: After returning to the straight and narrow, Cary Westfield hopes to rebuild his life as a stage magician. Only thing is, the success of his new show is entirely dependent on a strange medallion inherited from his late grandfather—an amulet that holds a rare and inexplicable power to captivate the wearer’s audience.

Ty prides himself on his ability to obtain any item of magical significance—for the right price. When a mysterious client hires him to steal a magical amulet from a neophyte illusionist, he’s sure it will be a quick and easy job, earning him a nice chunk of cash.

As it turns out, nothing is sure when greed and powerful magic are at play. When a mob boss with far-reaching aspirations beats Ty to the snatch, Cary and Ty form an unlikely partnership to get the amulet back. The unexpected spark of attraction between them is a welcome perk, but each man has his own plan for the prize.

All bets are off, however, when it is revealed the magical amulet holds a darker secret than either of them had bargained for.

Review:

This is a book I wish there was more of. It was good as is, but it left me a little bit hungry for more, in particular for learning more about the characters within.

Ty is an enigma, wrapped in a….no I’m just kidding. He’s a bad boy with a heart of gold and I do truly love him. He’s lovely, and he might possibly have an inkling of it.

Cary is a sweetheart, but definitely not as sweet as he seems. He’s a total secret badass.

My favourite character though was definitely Bas, who is flamboyant and interesting in equal measures.

This book is a fun heist-like romp. I thoroughly enjoyed those parts of it, but this book is not the greatest if you are looking for slow-burn romance. But if you’re looking for instant attraction, and gratification then this is definitely the book for you.

I’m excited to see this universe expand, and the magic within it to do so as well.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

 

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Book List 2018, Reviews

Review: Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

listen to your heart.jpgTitle: Listen to Your Heart

Author: Kasie West

Summary: 

Talking to other people isn’t Kate Bailey’s favorite activity. She’d much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school’s podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she’ll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate’s surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend … until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

Kasie West’s adorable story of secrets, love, and friendship is sure to win over hearts everywhere. 

My Thoughts:

Do you like happiness? Do you like sunshine? Do you like lakes? Do you like romance? What about podcasts?

If you answered yes to most of those, no to romance then maybe this is not the book for you. But if you answered yes to any of those, and yes to romance then maybe you should pick up this lovely summer read and give it a go.

This book is not perfect. No book ever is. But I’ll be damned if I didn’t find this one perfectly enjoyable for a summer day that’s cool where it’s supposed to be warm.

The protagonist, Kate, or Kat if you hate her is unsure, yet confident in herself in a way I appreciate.

Her best friend is loyal in a way a lot of teenage girls are not portrayed.

Diego is lovely. He’s awkward and charming and my kind of lead. He’s sweet and yet sucks at being straight forward and should probably learn to be so but it makes for some great reading in this case so I won’t complain too much.

The podcast as a plot device was very entertaining and I found myself wanting more of those snippets as they were really enjoyable.

 

Book List 2018, Reviews

Re-Read Review: Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

bone crossed.jpgTitle: Bone Crossed

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson/Mercyverse

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Summary: 

By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan—and she’s out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won’t be Mercy’s blood Marsilia is after.

It’ll be her friends’.

Review: 

Oh and you thought the vampires were creepy as hell before? Well they just went and got creepier! They saw your thoughts as a challenge, my friends, and they came back badder than ever.

That being said, so did Mercy.

She is a total badass. The baddest around in fact,so far.

Her relationship with Adam is growing in this book, in a very natural and organic sort of way. Often you pick up the next book and the characters are all in but Patricia Briggs is allowing a slow progression that feels more real.

Her friendships are changing and evolving, and it feels more like family this time around with many of the secondary characters.

The villain in this is creepy as hell, and I found myself squirming in discomfort when he was on the page because damn, some people are just flat out maniacal and I don’t think I realized what that meant until now. Now I know. I partly wish I didn’t.

This is a solid installment in the Mercy-verse and I have no complaints to speak of.

Oh just one actually, more Warren please. It’s really more of a  request than a complaint. I love that good ol’ country boy.

Book List 2018

Re-Read Review: Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

iron kissed.jpgTitle: Iron Kissed

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Summary: 

I could smell her fear, and it satisfied something deep inside me that had been writhing under her cool, superior gaze. I curled my upper lip so she could get a good look at my sharp teeth. I might only weigh thirty or so pounds in my coyote shape, but I was a predator…

Mechanic Mercy Thompson can shift her shape – but not her loyalty. When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it’s up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not.

Mercy’s loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can’t decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her… 

My Thoughts:

Mercy, even in re-reads, remains one of my favourite urban fantasy main characters. She is fire, she is toughness and vulnerability all enrolled into one. And as she experiences true danger within this book she does not give up.

Adam is as loyal to her and his pack as ever, and there is some surprising character growth against his usual “type” in this genre. You’ll have to read it to find out what it is.

Warren, Kyle and Mercy’s friendship continues to be one of my favourite components of these novels. I can only hope we get to see more of them in the future.

This book allows the reader to learn more about the world of the fae. And just like the world of the vampires it is fucking terrifying.

This series continues to impress, as the world expands, and the characters remain fresh and new.

The plot is not stagnant, instead it is forever changing, and evolving to accommodate new characters, new dangers and a whole lot of fun.

 

Book List 2018

Re-Read Review: Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

BLOOD BOUNDTitle: Blood Bound

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson aka The Mercy-Verse

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Summary: 

Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen…

Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.

But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him. 

My Thoughts: 

The fourth book in the Mercy-verse (full length) and the second in the Mercy Thompson series this book certainly amps things up quite a bit.

The vampires have come out to play in full force within this novel, and I was definitely happy to learn more about them. They are definitely creatures of the night, and their magic is distinct and even unique for the genre. But they are also not all what they seem.

Mercy is as courageous as ever, much to Samuel, Adam and even Bran’s chagrin. She’s definitely not one to sit back and take orders, which is one of the things I love about her. Her character really does progress within this book.

Stefan as a character, and a creature of the night gets fleshed out a bit more here, showing a surprising soft side that made me like him even more.

This book is a solid continuation to the series and definitely deserves some major kudos for continuing to progress the series in a strong way that made me want to pick up the next book immediately to keep reading.

 

Book List 2018

Review: Covet by J.R Ward

Title: Covet

Author: J.R Ward

Series: Fallen Angels

Genre: Urban Fantasy, there be angels

Summary:

Seven deadly sins. Seven souls to save. This is the first battle between a savior who doesn’t believe and a demon with nothing to lose!

Redemption isn’t a word Jim Heron knows much about—his specialty is revenge, and to him, sin is all relative. But everything changes when he becomes a fallen angel and is charged with saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. And failure is not an option.

Vin DiPietro long ago sold his soul to his business, and he’s good with that-until fate intervenes in the form of a tough-talking, Harley-riding, self-professed savior. And then he meets a woman who will make him question his destiny, his sanity, and his heart—and he has to work with a fallen angel to win her over and redeem his own soul.

My Review:

So here is one of the things that I am terribly ashamed to admit about myself. I tend to have the bad habit of judging a book by its cover. Therefore I wasn’t too interested in J.R Ward, much in the same way that I was not interested in a lot of my favourite authors due to the cover art.

Now granted, this one isn’t too bad in terms of urban fantasy or sci-if. Usually it’s half-dressed women on the cover, so at least there’s that.

However a good friend of mine suggested this book, and because I trust my friends I had no choice but to give it a go. (Plus who turns down a free book when it’s lent to you? I sure don’t)

So I embarked on my J.R Ward journey, opting for the shorter of two (three?) series that she had offered to lend to me, a little overwhelmed by the length of Black Dagger at this stage in the game.

I did not regret my choice to listen to my friend. She was right, these books are my kind of thing.

Jim is a character with a more than mysterious past, who goes through some fairly large character evolution within this novel. He is tough, and human, with his own set of morals and ideas on how he has to operate.

Vin was a character I immediately fell in love with and I’m not even sure why. Maybe because in the beginning he was so sad and thinking he had everything when really he had nothing? I don’t know, either way I grew really attached to him as a character and everything about the way he was written.

This book is well written, with a lot of comedic moments within the first few pages that had me jotting down quotes left right and centre. The only thing I didn’t really like were the sex scenes I must admit. They were…cheesy. Not my thing. But the emotional connection between characters more than made up for it.

This would be a good series for people who like urban fantasy with a bit more romance thrown in or who might be wanting something other than vampires, demons and werewolves. Here there be angels.

Book List 2018

Re-Read Review: The Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Title: The Hunting Ground

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Alpha and Omega aka The Mercy-verse

Summary:

Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son — and enforcer — of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be either…

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything…

Review:

This book, the second in the Alpha and Omega series, and third chronologically in the Mercy-verse and man do I freaking love it.

Anna is definitely coming into her strengths and her power, and her relationship with Charles within this novel.

Charles is learning how to be around Anna, and others without having adverse reactions or over-possessive reactions to either. But he still hates vehicles.

Bran trusts them more together and it shows, as he sends them to one of the most important werewolf conventions (TM) to date.

The question of revealing themselves to humans hangs in the balance, and vampires and fae are there to fuck it up even more. But in true Patricia Briggs style none of these characters are just going to sit back and let chaos happen.

The plot to this book is fast paced and super enjoyable for any urban fantasy fan. There are no cookie cutter characters, but definitely characters who are not what they seem. So prepare to be deceived my friends, because I most certainly was.

So go, buy it, buy all of them. I promise you a good time will be had by all.

Book List 2018, Contributor: Luke Black

Review: Accepting the Fall by Meg Harding

accepting the fallAccepting the Fall by Meg Harding

Publisher: Oceanside Press

Length (Print & Ebook): 62k 

Subgenre: Contemporary Romance

Buy Now

Summary:

Confronting the past is never easy.

Cole Whitaker is happy. He has the job and boyfriend he always wanted. His heart’s in no danger of being broken, and he can’t ask for more from life. As a kindergarten teacher, he sees it all; however, one troublesome student has him reaching out to the parent, wanting to help. There’s something about Savanah that tugs at his heartstrings.

He never expected her father.

Zander Brooks hasn’t had an easy life, and he’s made some mistakes. Freshly retired from the military and working as a firefighter, Zander thought he’d left Cole in the rearview mirror. He’s not expecting him to appear in St. Petersburg, Florida, of all places, teaching his daughter’s kindergarten class. Suddenly, his biggest mistake is being shoved in his face.
This is Zander’s chance to close a door he’d never fully shut, but time with his former flame might change his mind.

Author Meg Harding’s take on Accepting the Fall: “Not everything is perfect, and it’s not always going to go right the first time around. It’s not any less special because it was flawed.”

Praise for Accepting the Fall: “A character driven, second-chance romance. Recommended for anyone craving a low-angst, tender, contemporary story stuffed to the brim with feels and sweetness.” – Piper Vaughn

Teaser:

“I’ll handle this,” he said. He fished around in the backpack he’d brought along and withdrew a small pill bottle. “Ibuprofen. Take one.” He held it out.

Zander glared. There was a drop of sweat beading at Cole’s temple and his hair—what could be seen of it poking from the hat—was curling. Zander simultaneously wanted to see Cole looking similarly hot and flushed while underneath him and to tell his upbeat ass to fuck right off with his ibuprofen and sunny attitude.

Cole shook it, his lips twitching. “On second thought, take two or three. Your eye’s started to twitch.” Whatever restraint Cole had been using must have escaped him, and he let a smug smirk takeover his stupidly handsome face.

Before common sense was able to get a word in, Zander stepped forward. The animal instinct part of him had one goal in mind: kiss the smirk till it went away. Their past didn’t matter in the present. Cole was here and everything about him tugged on parts of Zander he didn’t know what to do with. Only Cole had ever made Zander’s brain go blank with need. Cole turned Zander into the kind of person Zander didn’t know how to be, and much like in the past, it was irresistible.

And terrifying.

Unlike his seventeen-year-old self, the adult Zander did now—deep down—possess the tiniest inkling of self-control. It was this iron will that enabled his common sense to kick in right as the tips of his shoes brushed the tips of Cole’s. Cole’s hand, bottle covered by his curled fingers, pressed against Zander’s diaphragm. Zander could feel the jut of Cole’s knuckles through the thin fabric of his shirt. Cole’s eyes were wide saucers, the blue almost entirely swallowed by the expanding black of his pupils.

It was the same look he’d given Zander on the bus.

Zander sucked in a shaky breath and on legs that felt wooden, took several steps back. He held his palm out and Cole let the bottle fall, landing dead center. “Thanks,” said Zander, far too huskily.

About Meg Harding:  Meg Harding is a sucker for things on four legs and works as a pet meg hardingsitter when she’s not writing. She’s an editor and a lover of fanfiction. She enjoys the theatre, concerts, and lazing about in front of the TV. Meg Harding is a graduate of UCF and Anglia Ruskin, with a bachelors in Psych and a masters in publishing. For as long as she can remember, writing has always been her passion, but she had an inability to ever actually finish anything. She’s immensely happy that her inability has fled and looks forward to where her mind will take her next. She’s a sucker for happy endings, the beach, and superheroes. In her dream life she owns a wildlife conservation and is surrounded by puppies. She’s a film buff, voracious reader, and a massive geek.

Connect with Meg Harding: Author Site | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Our Thoughts:

Continue reading “Review: Accepting the Fall by Meg Harding”

Book List 2018

Re-Read: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Title: Cry Wolf

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Alpha and Omegas aka The Mercyverse

Summary:

Anna never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack… and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she’d learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. Then Charles Cornick, the enforcer—and son—of the leader of the North American werewolves, came into her life.

Charles insists that not only is Anna his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And it is Anna’s inner strength and calming presence that will prove invaluable as she and Charles go on the hunt in search of a rogue werewolf—a creature bound in magic so dark that it could threaten all of the pack.

It is recommended you read the prequel “Alpha & Omega” before reading Cry Wolf.

Review:

The second book chronologically in the Mercy-verse, which is the order I decided to re-read this series in this follows Moon Called, and the novella Alpha and Omega which you definitely need to check out before reading this one or it might not make much sense.

Anna is a character borne of a vulnerable situation with a whole lot of strength. So much strength that she isn’t even quite aware of it, but those around her definitely are.

This novel also shows us more into the world of the Marrok, and his sons which is something I was so interested to see even from the time I read Moon Called. Bran seems like a gentle soul but he’s got a spine of steel, and an even tougher soul, which is shown in this novel.

Charles has a tough outer shell but a bit of a marshmallow centre when it comes to his mate, which definitely shows as well. He is a character with layers, unlike a lot of male characters in this genre.

The plot of this book is an intriguing one as well, melding the world of werewolves with long histories with the world of magic, witches and rogues.

It is a great book, very easy to imagine what is happening in your head.

Book List 2018

Re-Read Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

moon calledTitle: Moon Called

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson aka The Mercyverse

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Sci-Fi

Summary: 

Mercedes Thompson, aka Mercy, is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will.

Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire.

This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water…

Thoughts:

Have Mercy!

Now that I’ve gotten the John Stamos joke out of the way.

Expect to be spellound, says the little quote on front of this interestingly covered book.

I admit, when I read the quotes on books I kind of just shake my head. But that quote is right, my wonderful little, book obsessed friends.

Mercy Thompson is one kickass character. And she is far from perfect. That being said, she is oh so perfect in my eyes. Like seriously. I want to be her best friend. I want to learn how to fix cars, kick ass and forget the names from her.

She is well written, she is fierce, her story is not an overly familiar one from what I’ve read in the genre and at no point during this book was I gearing up to get to the action, nor was I bored in the moment that there was no action.

The characters in this novel are all different, and none of them are cookie cutter even when they might be on the verge of being so.

The plot is not formulaic, in fact it’s quite enjoyable to learn about this world in which vampires drive mystery machines, werewolves are Vietnam war veterans (or older) and fae are former Volkswagen mechanics.

So if you’re in the mood for something a bit heavier, but not super heavy and wanting to slip into a world that’s not your own you should definitely pick this one up.