Book List 2017

Review: “Scorpio Hates Virgo” by Anyta Sunday

59Title: Scorpio Hates Virgo

Author: Anyta Sunday

Genre: LGBTQIA+ Romance

Summary: This year is all about healing the heart, Scorpio. It’s time to leave negative attitudes and stoic facades at the door and let others see the real, more vulnerable you.

Percy Freedman is not grieving. Absolutely not, take that back at once. No, he’s entirely sure that selling his dead aunt’s home and leaving the neighbors he’s known for years is the sane thing to do. Who in their right mind would keep the house that smells like all the hugs he’ll never have again?

Nobody, that’s who.

Well, except his cul-de-sac neighbors. They all seem to think some paint and new furniture will clean the emotional slate. They all want him to stay.

Even his nemesis, Callaghan Glover. Especially his nemesis, Callaghan Glover.

Lured into a game of Sherlock Gnomes, Percy finds himself hanging out with his neighbors more than might be considered healthy. Along with juggling new and surprising verbal grenades from Cal, and his burgeoning friendship with Gnomber9, Percy is starting to wonder if selling might have been the grief talking after all…

That’s right, Scorpio. With a little patience, heartbreak might be a thing of the past…

Review:

Anyta Sunday does it again, leaving me with a romance that had me flipping the pages so quickly that my poor Kobo kept freezing up. It just couldn’t keep up with my voracious appetite for more of this story and the nerdy, wonderful characters within it.

Percy is a character that is very identifiable to some, I believe. Afraid of the word home, and all the “trappings” that might come with it. Afraid of commitment, even though he does want his own happiness. Instead of trying to stick close to the one place he feels most comfortable, cared for and loved he seems to spend most of the book fighting against those feelings instead of treasuring them.

Callaghan amuses me for so many different reasons, including his verbosity. He is my kind of guy, with a word for every occasion, and a dictionary as a weapon. Sometimes almost literally. His love of dinosaurs is honestly what drew me to this book, as I’ve been obsessed since a child, and I want to own every single one of his t-shirts.

Their relationship is the type of slow burn I do love to read, and their quips and jibes at each other are truly amusing. Callaghan’s family honestly felt like spectators in the best possible way. Ellie and Marg have their own kind of heart, filling the pages they’re in with love, and amusement. It is the heart of this novel which burns brightest.

I can’t wait for the next Anyta Sunday book I can get my hands on, as she has truly made me fall in love with her writing.

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

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Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: “Rituals” by Kelley Armstrong

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Title: Rituals

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Defying genres and taking names.

Summary:

Olivia Jones must make a choice. Caught between two rival supernatural forces, Liv was granted a brief period in which to make her decision. Now that time has run out. Whichever side she chooses, someone she loves will pay. Her lover, Ricky. Gabriel Walsh, the man she knows she cannot, must not love. Her parents, already trapped in prison.

And now there is a new, terrifying power rising – one that doesn’t distinguish between good and evil intentions. It feeds on chaos and destroys without mercy. Unless Liv acts fast, no one will survive. In this gripping thriller, international bestselling author Kelley Armstrong brings the Cainsville series to a powerful, richly rewarding climax. 

Review:

What should I say about this book? The last in a beloved series, whose characters I held close as though they were friends I wished to cherish.

This is a book that grasped me from the first word. It fulfilled my hopes for the three main characters, and yet it still left me wanting more. I am not one who wants to let go, and these stories and characters are going to be hard to let go of, even those I don’t like.

The plot was strong, twisting and turning, introducing new characters still, who I loved (some of them) and abhorred (one of them) which really is just the mark of good writing.

Liv, Gabriel and Ricky are each so different, but carry some similarities, and in this book you get to see what characteristics they’ve taken on from each other.

The thing that I think I appreciated most about this book is how there was humour imbued within it, even when bad things were happening it didn’t feel too dreadful and heavy.

I understand Kelley Armstrong will be writing more short fiction in Cainsville, which is good, because I don’t yet want to leave.

Book List 2017

Review: “Lost Souls” by Kelley Armstrong

lost souls

Title: Lost Souls

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Ghost story

Summary: 

The disappearing hitchhiker is one of the hoariest urban legends, and no one knows that better than Gabriel Walsh, a lawyer who grew up on folklore and myth. When author of books on the supernatural Patrick brings Gabriel a case of a hitchhiking woman in white who vanished on a country road after accepting a ride from a businessman, Gabriel knows the Cainsville elder is just trying to wheedle into his good graces. But Gabriel is a man in need of a mystery, one that will get him back into someone else’s good graces. His investigator, Olivia Taylor-Jones, has blown town supposedly on a simple vacation. But when she left there was a rift between them and…he misses her.

Gabriel is well aware the only thing Olivia loves more than a good mystery is a weird one, and this hitchhiker case more than fits the bill. As Gabriel digs into the story, he’s forced to face ghosts of his own and admit that the woman in white isn’t the only one who has lost her way.

Review:

I am a huge fan of urban myths and legends, I even did a speech on them in school. That is why this novella was awesome for me. So seriously awesome. Reason number two why this is awesome is because Gabriel might easily be one of my favourite characters in this, and I have a serious love/hate for Patrick.

This is from Gabriel’s point of view, which is interesting because there’s only really been few, fleeting moments where we get inside of his head, and I am certainly did appreciate the insight to this character.

This is a must for Cainsville fans.

 

Book List 2017

Review: “Betrayals” by Kelley Armstrong

betrayals

Title: Betrayals

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Magic, Mystery, Fantasy and defying genres

Summary:

When Olivia’s life exploded–after she found out she was not the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers–she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois. Working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer with links to the town, she discovered the truth about her parents’ crimes in an investigation that also revealed the darker forces at work in the place that had offered her a haven. As if that wasn’t enough, she also found out that she, Gabriel and her biker boyfriend Ricky were not caught in an ordinary sort of love triangle, but were hereditary actors in an ancient drama in which the elders of Cainsville and the mysterious Huntsmen who opposed them had a huge stake.

Now someone is killing street kids in the city, and the police have tied Ricky to the crimes. Setting out with Gabriel’s help to clear Ricky’s name, Olivia once again finds her own life at risk. Soon the three are tangled in a web of betrayals that threatens their uneasy equilibrium and is pushing them toward a hard choice: either they fulfill their destinies by trusting each other and staying true to their real bonds, or they succumb to the extraordinary forces trying to win an eternal war by tearing them apart.

Review

This book is a thing of beauty. It’s delicately woven plot and mystery pulled me right in and kept me turning the pages and absorbing the words as quickly as I possibly could. It is un-put-downable.

Olivia is stronger than I’ve ever seen her being in the books before, especially when it comes to her mother, and her father and her relationship with them.

Gabriel is softening, just slightly, and only for one person. I can’t really complain about that though. His character is still one of my favourite in the books.

Ricky remains steadfast, and his tale begins to unravel a little more in an interesting way.

The visions are still horrific, but so well written that I can see them in my mind’s eye as though they are right in front of me.

The world of the fae opens up more in this as well, and I’m glad to see it and found myself looking up stories and background for some of the things mentioned here, wanting to know more. Needing to know more.

 

Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: “The Orange Cat and Other Cainsville Tales” by Kelley Armstrong

orange cat.jpg

Title: The Orange Cat and other Cainsville Tales

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Mystery and Magic (Though really, defies all genre)

Review:

The Orange Cat

This may have been one of my favourite of the tales in this book. It gives us more insight into Gabriel as a professional before the beginning of the Cainsville series. It is almost like gothic satire, reminding me a bit of a classic horror tale with a satirical modern spin on it. It also shows why Gabriel is so open to the thought of magic, and something otherworldly, other than Rose’s powers to foretell the future.

Bad Publicity

God, does Patrick have an ego or what? I hate to say it but he is still one of my favourite characters even though I know he’s not the best guy in the fight. I actually really liked this story because it actually showed how his ego might be his downfall one day.

Lady of the Lake

This was an interesting story for me, skirting the edges of Cainsville, and taking place somewhere I’ve driven along here in Canada. I found it interesting, as Olivia and Ricky did to find out how different places, and cultures have many of the same fae tales but under different names.

The Lady of the Lake was a formidable opponent and the danger, despite this being an in between tale, felt quite real for these two.

The visions as always were a little horrific, and I did appreciate getting a little bit more of Ricky’s point of view on Olivia’s relationship with Gabriel. It only served to flesh out his character more.

 

Book List 2017, Reviews

Review: “Deceptions” by Kelley Armstrong

deceptions

Title: Deceptions

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Defies genres but magic and fae ahead

In the exciting new novel in bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s compelling Cainsville series, Olivia realizes that she is at the heart of a tug-of-war between ancient forces–and that everyone around her risks becoming collateral damage. 

When Olivia’s life exploded–after she found out she was not the only child of a privileged Chicago family, but of a notorious pair of serial killers–she found a refuge in the oddly secluded but welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois. Working with Gabriel Walsh, a precociously successful criminal lawyer with links to the town, she managed to partially clear her parents’ name in an investigation that also revealed darker forces at work in the town that had offered her a haven.

Fleeing Cainsville after she is almost killed, Olivia finds herself not only the target of the Cainsville elders and of the Huntsmen, but also of her ex-fiancé, James, who stalks her and even tries to have her kidnapped. All this as her feelings for Ricky deepen, and confusingly her feelings for Gabriel too.

Visions continue to haunt her: particularly a little blond girl in a green sundress who insists she has an important message for Olivia, and holds out in her palm a black stone and a white stone that swirl together to create a balance of light and dark. Death stalks them all, as Olivia desperately searches to understand whether ancient scripts are dictating the triangle that links her to Gabriel and Ricky, or whether she has the power to change the tragic outcome.

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Book List 2017, Genre: Non-Fiction, Reviews

Review: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

the princess diarist.jpg

Title: The Princess Diarist

Author: Carrie Fisher

Genre: Autobiography

Summary:

The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher’s intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Warsmovie. 

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager. 

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Book List 2017, Genre: Romance, Reviews

Review: Cody by Megan Crane

cody

Title: Cody

Author: Megan Crane

Genre: Romance

Skylar Grey lost everything when her fiancé died. But her move back to her hometown, Billings, Montana is not the fresh start she seeks, as too many people know her tragic tale. But then she meets a bull riding cowboy who treats her like she’s made of fire and everything changes. 

Cody Galen joined the American Extreme Bull Riders Tour to make money, not friends. He enjoys whiskey, winning, and women and he doesn’t care who he pisses off while he pursues the hell out of all three. He figures he only has a few years left before his body gives out and he might as well go down hard in a blaze of glory. He knows the pretty thing he meets his first night in Billings is no buckle bunny, but if she wants to play that role, who is he to argue? 

Neither one of them is looking for anything lasting. But there’s only one thing more dangerous than riding bulls—and that’s love.

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Book List 2017, Genre: Romance, Reviews

Review: Casey by Kelly Hunter

casey

Title: Casey

Author: Kelly Hunter

Genre: Romance

Summary:

Rowan Harper has traveled the American Extreme Bull Riders tour circuit with her stock-contractor father since she was four years old. She’s seen the best rides and the worst wrecks. And then there’s TJ who impressed her most when he didn’t ride at all. 

T.J. Casey walked away from his rightful place in last year’s bull riding finals in order to bury his father. His sponsors are gone, but he’s back to stake his claim. He wants the buckle, sure, but he also wants the woman who treats her bucking bulls like lambs. 

Can T.J. really score the championship and the girl? Or will he have to choose between the two..once and for all?

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Book List 2017, Genre: Romance, Reviews

Review: Chase by Barbara Dunlop

chase

Title: Chase

Author: Barbara Dunlop

Genre: A Hurt/Comfort kind of romance

Summary: Betrayed by his fiancée and his best friend, Chase Garrett heads out on the road with the American Extreme Bull Riders Association, determined to ride hard and keep a wall around his heart. But during a competition, three-year-old Riley Barrett bursts through that barrier when he throws himself into Chase’s arms, insisting Chase is his daddy. And Chase’s walls collapse further when he meets Riley’s mother–beautiful, vulnerable, sexy Maddy.

A widow for only a year, Maddy Barrett is stunned by her son Riley’s outlandish assertion that Chase is his father. She tries desperately to convince Riley that his father has not come home to them. When Chase and Maddy join forces to help her son, she finds herself falling fast for the sexy, hard-working bull rider—wishing he truly could be the man for Riley, and the man for her.

Continue reading “Review: Chase by Barbara Dunlop”