Sunday, December 8, 2013

Caller of Light by T J Shaw

4.5 stars

This is the first book I have read from this author and indeed I believe it is the first book published by this author.  I will continue to follow her whether she continues this series or not. 

Carina McKay is the half royal daughter of King McKay known in this series as “half blood”.  He has a full blood that he dotes on.  Carina, he treats like a servant.  King Duncan has come to King McKay to court the full blood daughter, but ends up meeting Carina first.  It is believed that Marissa (full blooded sister) is the next “Caller of Light”.  The Caller is someone who can call to critons.  Critons are, from what I can understand, essentially dragons.  King McKay’s land has an abundance of unbounded critons which is why it is thought to be Marissa and this is why King Duncan is courting her.  But he can’t resist the half blood sister and ends up taking her for a mistress.  Half bloods, and especially Carina, are treated poorly.  Everytime Carina turns around he finds an enemy: her father, her half sister: Marissa, the King’s captain of the guard, King Duncan’s mother.  But for all this she does make allies and they are good and powerful allies. 

There were times I wished Carina would stop getting pooped on, but alas this was not to come to pass.  I did read this book in one day.  It was very good and kept my interest, but I was also having a lot of contractions and trying to rest so I found myself with an abundance of time.  I think my favorite part was all the emotion pent up in Carina’s past.  She believed herself lower than everyone else because that is how she was treated and that pain came out clearly in the story.  She apologized for things beyond her control when she felt unworthy.  These parts brought tears to my eyes.      

One more thing,  that cover is so hideous it would normally stop me from even reading the summary.  I'm pretty sure King Duncan has a mullet! 

This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.  

Lhind the Thief by Sherwood Smith

3.5 stars

I liked the story line of this book, but it was lacking some of the usual Sherwood Smith intensity.  The author relates it to A Posse of Princesses.  It has been too long since I read that to agree or disagree.  I do know this isn’t among my favorites from this author. 

Lhind is obviously a thief as the title states, but she is also so much more.  We don’t find out exactly what until much later in the story.  The other main characters are Rajanas, Hlanan, and Thianra.  Thianra is immediately likeable, but the other two aren’t the same.  Even at the end of the story I am still not sure how I feel about Hlanan.  He is obviously is a nice person, but there was something lacking from his character that Smith’s other heroes possess.  Not sure I can say what it is. 

So Lhind is abducted by Rajanas and Hlanan and want her help procuring an item of power.  She doesn’t trust anyone and in fact can be quite annoying in her attempts to drive others away.  There are so many other plots afoot here that even at the end I am not sure who all the different players and what their intentions are. 

I will read the next installment in this series.  It seemed to end a bit abruptly, but its works.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Little Bit Sinful: A Forbidden Love Novel by Robyn DeHart

 3.5 Stars

I am apparently reading this series backwards.  There is no designation in the title to indicate this, but I first read the third book in the series.  I didn’t realize this until I started reading this book and realized that this one takes place prior to the one I had just finished and that there is another one which is the first book.  Not that it has ruined anything for me.  It is obvious when reading this type of book that you will get a HEA for the hero and heroine. 


Clarissa is the little sister of Justin Rodale’s best friend.  She is off limits.  Justin is the owner of a gaming hell in London and the illegitimate child of the Duke of Chanceworth.  Being illegitimate puts him just on the fringe of proper society.  Clarissa is bound and determined to marry herself off to George Wilburton whom her deceased sister-in-law recommended.  Clarissa realizes she needs some help and goes to Justin for guidance.  Both Justin and Clarissa agree they are unsuitable, but they can’t keep their hands to themselves. 


The third book has more action/adventure than this one did.  They are both short and sweet so I enjoyed that.  Overall, the writing was well done, but the storyline could have used a bit more fleshing out.  Like we never learned what happened to Lady Manchester’s will and her nasty cousin!  It also took me forever to finish.  I would read a bit, then read another book, then read a bit more.  

Dead Spots by Melissa F. Olson

Hmmm…how many stars…I’m torn…I’ll go with 3.5 stars

I’m torn because the writing is really good and the idea, while not original was very interesting.  The problem is that I kept switching to other books.  There didn’t seem to be anything pulling me back to keep reading.  I think the problem was the main character.  I didn’t find anything in her personality or character to identify with.  I would rarely have made the same decisions and found her interactions with others (especially Eli) annoying. 

Brief Summary:

Scarlet Bernard is a null.  This means that the three main factions of supernaturals (vampires, werewolves, and witches) become human again when they are within her null radius.  Nulls are rare and Scarlet is the only one in L.A.  Her job is cleaning up crime scenes for this supernatural community.  I’m not really sure why her being a null has anything to do with her cleaning up their messes, but that is that.  In the beginning she is called to a crime scene that is so brutal she is caught off guard and ends up there when the police show up.  This is how she comes to be connected to a L.A. detective named Jesse.  She has to bring him into her world and soon they are teamed up to solve this and other cases with a deadline. 


As mentioned above I just didn’t connect to Scarlet.  I’m also not a huge fan of love triangles and there is a small one in this book.  I’m not sure if I want to continue reading this series.  I’m not against reading other books from this author though because I said at the beginning the writing was good and the idea was good.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hatshepsut’s Collar by A.W. Exley (Artifact Hunter’s #2)

5 Stars

This book was provided in exchange for an honest review.  

This is the second book in this series.  I hadn’t read anything else from this author and indeed I don’t think there is anything else except for a short story in an anthology.  When this happens I know I have either just found a great author or the first book is going to be their best work.  For A.W. Exley this second book was just as good as the first and in fact I might have loved it more!  After reading this second installment it makes me want to go back and read the first book again to glean more information.

The summary for the book is very vague so I am going to do my darnedest to keep all spoilers out.  This book takes back up with Cara and Nate shortly after the end of the first book.  Cara is always the narrator, but due to the bond of the heart forged in the first book we get rare glimpses into Nate’s psyche/emotions which make it feel like there are two narrators.  I really liked this because Nate still has a lot of mystique surrounding him and this allows the reader to understand his feelings for Cara without having it spelled out. 

Nate gets tossed in the Tower.  Cara only moments prior to his arrest finds out about a betrayal from Nate that occurred years before they ever met.  Before she gets to decide whether to keep or discard Nate for his treachery he is arrested.  Because of their bond, if he dies, so does Cara so she must rescue him.  Queen Victoria is wearing Hatshepsut’s collar and Cara begins to suspect something sinister is afoot. 

We get to see all our favorite characters from the first book too (well my favorites anyway) like Loki, Miguel, and Jackson as well as get to meet some new favorites like Natalie, Nikolai, and Sergei.  We get to do a bit of traveling in an airship and get a better understanding of what this bond means for our heroine and hero. 

I pretty much loved every second of this book and can’t wait for the next one.  While I understand Cara’s distress over Nate’s betrayal I can’t say I got as worked up about it as she did.  Obviously, her past taints her view of the situation, but I think I like Nate more because of it. 

The end of the book has an excerpt from a new series for this author and I must say that I don’t usually read those, but it was ~12% of the book so I thought I would give it a try and it has me hooked.  I hope it gets released soon.  Wardens, gargoyles, naturals…interesting and not done before as far as I can tell.  

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fragile Brilliance by Tammy Blackwell

 4.5 stars

Normally anything that Tammy Blackwell writes gets an automatic 5 big stars, but this book was slightly different than her previous series with Scout and Liam.  Without Scout narrating we lost some of the humor from her sarcasm.  The narrators were Charlie Hagan is so very broken and a new addition to the group: Maggie McCray.  Because of this the tone of the book is different.  Not bad…just not what I had come to love.  Of course if it was the same I would be thinking, “Ok, so all your characters have the same personality huh?” So Tammy can’t win with me is what I am saying…

This book takes off with the Alpha Pack having a headquarters in Kentucky in a university town.  Scout is going to Sanders University and ends up sitting next to Maggie.  She knows Maggie is something supernatural and assumes she is a Seer.  She invites her to a hustings, but Maggie doesn't show up.  Scout and Talley then find Maggie on campus and convince her to come to a picnic.  The picnic is interrupted by something terrible that lands Maggie in the company of the Alpha Pack until it is resolved.  This is when she meets Charlie…and Charlie immediately doesn't like or trust little Maggie and makes this known.  He is assigned her bodyguard as she continues with her classes on campus and the pack continues the investigation into the crimes that keep happening.  I am thinking that the next book has Joshua in it and I am looking forward to this.  

Maggie just wasn't as likable as I wanted her to be.  I think it was very real to make her jealous of Scout, but knowing what Scout went through and what Scout and Charlie went through it was distasteful that Maggie had animosity towards her.  I am sure that if I was Maggie I would have those same feelings towards Scout.  I know...once again poor Tammy can't win.  Charlie was Charlie and I enjoyed reading about his growth and thought processes.  They made sense just like Maggie, but perhaps the Hagans just can't do any wrong.  I really did love reading about the Liam/Scout saga.  It wasn't quite enough to satiate me, but it was more than I thought I would get.  Beggars can't be choosers.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Blind Salvage (Rylee Adamson #5) by Shannon Mayer

5 stars

I’ve been waiting for this book…it feels like forever, but it’s really not been that long.  Just a few months since #4 came out.

This book takes up with Rylee, Liam, Pamela and Alex in London and trying to get back to North Dakota.  As usual their little group runs into problem after problem.  The entire book takes place in about a week.  We get a glimpse into the Orion business.  Rylee acts like a jerk to Liam at times because of this and she is definitely in denial.  Milly is back and seeking redemption.  This is very confusing for Rylee.  She still doesn’t trust Milly.  It is quite a feat that Liam doesn’t kill her on sight.  Rylee has enemies coming out of the woodwork in Farris, Berget, and Orion, however she also has many allies coming out as well. 

I found this book to be one of the sadder installments in this series.  I don’t think I will be able to handle it if my favorite character, Alex gets killed in this series. 

Favorite Quote:

“To the end and back, I will stand with you.”  --Liam

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Third Kiss: Dorian’s Dream by Heather Killough-Walden

4 Stars

I actually loaned this book out before I read it myself.  I was looking forward to reading it, but I was in the middle of another book so you will just have to deal with the lateness of this review from the release date.  Also a word to the wise…another reviewer (either intentionally or unintentionally) had spoilers in their review and the Heather Killough-Walden fans on facebook had a crusade to “say that the review wasn’t helpful” on Amazon.  Seems a bit harsh…so don’t make these ladies mad!  They will come for you and your reviews!  Anyway…

Dorian is the main character in this book.  He is the half vampire/half human brother of the French Vampire King.  These brothers do not get along well…beyond normal sibling rivalry.  There was a prophecy that for the many vampire kings of the world that they would have a human queen who would be able to give them half vampire/half human children.  This is desirable for many reasons of which we won’t get into here.  So these kings have waited.  Julien (French Vampire King) had a dream about a woman and many things are revealed to him, but he does know that Emma is his queen.  So he sends Dorian after her.  There is a whole lot more going on here that just two brothers fighting over a woman.  There is dissention (other than Dorian’s) within the ranks.  Other kings are aware of Emma and making their own plans.  Friends are foes and foes are friends. 

I really liked the storyline.  Emma at times wasn’t very likeable and Dorian was just “blah” at times.  Julien was an awesome bad guy.  You will love hating this guy.  And I actually can’t wait to read the next book…I don’t think I can say who the next vampire king will be to get his book without revealing something about the storyline so you will just have to read it!  I was hoping the epilogue was going to be about him though. This author’s book are always such a good deal for the money you send.  The editing is well done and the storyline is always interesting.  I’m pretty sure I own all her books.

P.S. Heather: I am still waiting patiently for the next book in the Neverland series.  I need some more Hook!   

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Heller by JD Nixon (Heller #1)

3.5 Stars

This was a fairly entertaining and quick read.  I liked the storyline, but the writing was just ok.  I suspect that further books in the series will be better as the writer gets the hang of her characters.  I was looking for a book/series to read after reading and re-reading the Rock Chick series by Kristen Ashley.  It had all the right parts: an alpha hero bad boy, a girl in need of saving who ends up taking care of herself and good secondary characters. 

Tilly is a down and out actor…however, that term might be a little too generous a term for her career.  She is struggling to pay rent and feed herself.  Her best friend, Dixie, isn't very likeable (I couldn't tell if the author did this on purpose or not) and is her roommate.  Tilly ends up interviewing for a position with Heller Security that is disastrous, but she ends up with a trial position with the company. 

What I loved: the idea of Tilly getting a break with a good paying job, plenty of food, etc.  It is every girls dream to be handed a job with all those bonuses that she gets, but perhaps it was a bit much.  I actually loved how much trouble Tilly always ended up in. 

What I didn't love is the on/off idea of Tilly and Heller.  In this book, it held a lot of appeal for me, except for Heller’s excursions out on the town for his “manly needs”.  I have read further excerpts and I am not sure I want to read about all the twists and turns their relationship is going to take.  I know, that is a not fair of me to read all those spoilers but that is how I roll so just deal!   

I think it was finally at 75% that I surmised where the book took place.  Due to the language I had suspected it was London from the beginning, but then kept waffling back and forth at times.  It was very frustrating.  Just say the name of the darn city!  

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Dream Thief by Shana Abe (Drākon #2)

I loved this book as much as the first. I am bit sad because the reviews for the third book weren’t that great.

This book follows Zane whom we meet in the first book and the youngest child of Rue and Christoff. She is the only one of the children who can’t Turn and hasn’t shown any Gifts yet. She has always been a little different than the rest of the family and has heard the song of Draumr her whole life.

Zane is sent on a mission to find Draumr in Transylvania. I will admit that I have a weakness for anything taking place in Transylvania. Along the way he finds out that Amalia (the youngest child of Rue and Christoff) has also made the journey to find this stone. She convinces him to let her travel with him so she can help him find this diamond. The journey is perilous and wonderful. Amalia gains a lot of confidence and Zane gets a little humility. I LOVED the ending.

I did wish there was a bit of an epilogue or something to let us know how her family took the issue. The one thing I did find odd is that there appears to be journal entries of perhaps Amalie telling the story from her perspective for small bits or someone else telling their own opinions. I never understood those passages. Who is talking?  I will still read the next one in the series but with low expectations.  The next one is about Maricara who is 11 when we meet her in this book and the hero is Amalia's older brother, so what is the age difference there?  I thought it odd that they never discussed the age difference between Amalia and Zane so I probably won't know the age difference for the next book.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe (Drākon)

4.5 Stars

This book not new and had been in my TBR pile for quite some time. Now I am wondering what took me so long because I pretty much loved every second of it. There is a lovely prologue. For me, prologue are hit or miss. Sometimes they are essential, sometimes they are just annoying. This one was essential and wonderfully done. It is the history of the drākon done in very brief but important passages.


Clarissa Hawthorne was a half breed. Her father was human (or as they are called in this book, “other”) and her mother was drākon (dragon…obviously). Because of this half breed status she is not treated well by any except her mother who is sick. This is all we know of young Clarissa.

Christoff Langford is the alpha of the drākon and also a marquess in the ton. Word comes to the tribe that there is a thief in London who can walk through walls and disappear. They know instantly that this is one of the drākon who has managed to escape. Escape is forbidden and punishable by death. They take themselves off to London to catch this thief and instead find a surprise. No female has been able to make the turn from person to smoke to dragon in centuries, but it appears there is one living in London in secret. Christoff, naturally, decides he must have her. The rest of the story is about a diamond that must be recovered as it is the heart of the tribe, the female dragon that is more obstinate and elusive than the council predicted and catching the smoke thief.

After finishing this story, I immediately purchased the second book. I assure you its life in my TBR pile will be short lived. I didn’t find any of the characters to be annoying which is a big plus for this author. The next book appears to be about the next generation of drākon.

Favorite Quote:

“No, love. From now on, your home is with me.” –Christoff Langford

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson #5)

 5 Stars

Obviously, as the name alludes, this is the fifth book in this series.  I am O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D!  It is awesome and funny and we learn so much in this book in one scene my mind is still reeling.

As always, Charley is funny and makes multitasking look easy.  She has an apartment full of dead blonde women who are scared out of their minds and won’t talk to her.  The arsonist is still on the loose and Charley still thinks it is Reyes.  One of her cases seems open and shut, but as usual comes back to haunt her (not literally).  Angel’s mom suspects something and wants answers and Garrett is hiding something. 

I loved Reyes in this book more than in any other book.  He opens up a bit more each time and we learn more about Charley’s heritage as a grim reaper.

That is all I am going to say because I don’t think I will say anything that 397 other people haven’t already said in their reviews…but it is five stars so I need to put my 2 cents out there.      

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Luck of the Dragon by Susannah Scott

3.5-4 Stars (I can’t decide)

This is the first time I have read anything by this author and indeed I am not even sure if she has written anything.  There were a few minor grammatical issues, but nothing bothersome.  The writing was still good.  I enjoyed the storyline. 

Luciana de Luca has a Ph.D. in gemology, but this is a far cry from her past.  Her father was/is in prison, I can’t remember what happened to her mother, but she didn’t fare well when their father left and her twin brother is a conman.  He has gotten himself into trouble (again), this time with the mob and has pulled Lucy into his trouble.  To get his debt paid off she has to steal the keycard from the owner of one of the new casinos opening up in Las Vegas.  Of course, once she does this they want another favor and Lucy realizes that she would never be able to get out of the mob connection, but she still wants to save her brother.  However, the owner to this particular casino is actually a king…of the dragons.  There is a big ceremony coming up for the dragons to find their mates and Alec’s nemesis has been spotted in town.  He has a lot on his plate when he realizes that Lucy is his mate…his very human mate.  This would have been difficult to win his mate right now, but the fact that she is a human makes it even harder. 

I enjoyed that the action didn’t wait until the end.  It was interspersed throughout, and this actually made the book a little less predictable. 

What I did not enjoy was Lucy’s reaction after the fight between Gino and Alec.  I understand that it would be difficult for an author to attempt to write a realistic reaction to finding out that dragons exist and the man that you have been getting it on with is their king.  Having said that, Lucy’s thoughts and actions during this time were very frustrating.  I don’t have an answer on how to write that scene better because if she is too accepting too fast then that would also be unrealistic, but as a reader I wanted to shout, “Don’t do it, Lucy! You are gonna regret this!” 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Raphael/Parish (Bayou Heart) by Alexandra Ivy and Laura Wright

4 stars

This is an interesting team approach to writing. Alexandra Ivy wrote the first novella, Raphael and then Laura Wright picks up the storyline immediately to tell Parish’s story. It was interesting and well done.

Raphael is a diplomat for the Pantera. The Pantera are a secret group of shifters who turn into Pumas. They live in the Wildlands which is in the bayou. There are a lot of legends about the Pantera, but modern society believes they are just stories and not based on truth. Raphael runs across a human female who makes him go crazy like no other female every has…and he has gotten her pregnant. Only that should be impossible and she remembers nothing of their night together except bits and pieces. Raphael must convince her that she belongs with him while keeping her safe. It seems someone is out to hurt her so Ashe must trust Raphael at least for a bit.

Parish is the head of the hunters (a faction of the Pantera, like Raphael being a diplomat) and he has been sent to retrieve Dr. Julia Cabot to help take care of Raphael’s mate. Only hunters aren’t known for their…diplomacy and he ends up just picking her up off the street and taking her to the Wildlands. Parish in particular is notorious for his dislike of humans. Most of this story revolves around Parish and Julie getting to know one another and Parish trying to persuade Julia to stay with him. It was sweet, but it definitely went fast.

I’m not sure if I am going to buy the next one or borrow it, but I will definitely read it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Little Bit Scandalous by Robyn DeHart

A Little Bit Scandalous (Forbidden Love, #3)
3.5 Stars

Monroe Grisham, the Duke of Chanceworth is the guardian and object of affection for Caroline Jellico. He taught her how to play “21” after her brother died in hopes of keeping her mind off the fact that she was alone in the world. She is quite the mathematics prodigy and is quite good. She has thrown herself at Monroe before and he turned her down. She has decided to disguise herself and earn money playing “21” in the London gaming hells. Her plan is the earn enough to restore her family’s London house and move in there herself. She has no interest in marrying if she can’t marry Monroe.

Monroe, however, is finding this new Caroline to be quite distracting and absorbing. He wants to marry her off so she will be taken care of, but not by him. They both end up on the board of a local charity for a girls home, but soon discover that something is amiss. They end up working together to figure out this mystery.

This is a quick and enjoyable read. Somewhat predictable, but still some surprises. I enjoyed it and would read more from this author.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson #4)

5 Stars

I have given every book in this series 5 stars!  Each book is awesome and gets awesomer (it’s a word).  As always, Charley is appropriately sarcastic to a point that makes her funny and not annoying.  This is very difficult for authors to achieve (at least for me),  too much and it is just immature and obnoxious.  In this book we find out what happens to Reyes after everyone knows he didn’t kill Earl Walker, and he is a very busy boy.  Like all the books, Charley is working many cases at once, but only after she starts to come out of the coma she was living in after Earl Walker’s torture.  She is still mad at both Reyes and her father for their separate but equal betrayals.  As usual, she gets herself beat up pretty bad on multiple occasions.  I do wish that the author would insert a bit more ability for Charley to take care of herself, but I suspect that is will come all in good time.      

Harper Lowell is the first case she takes.  This poor girl has been stalked and traumatized her whole like and no one in her life believes her.  Charley does and takes the case to help figure out what is going on.  

There are the “gentlemen” bank robbers who she thinks she recognizes although they are masked.  Of course, she does recognize them and gets herself into some trouble in that confrontation. 

Uncle Bob is working a serial arsonist case and wants her help, but I think this case will move more into the next book.

And of course, the ever present demons are still after her and she still needs to find out what she is capable of. 

The reader does get to know a lot more about reaper history and (hold on to your seats) why Reyes calls her “Dutch”.  We get more Reyes time, more Donovan time and more Gemma time.  I actually really like Donovan, he is no Reyes, but I hope that he doesn’t get hurt in all this.  Her guardian is present and very effective.  Denise (step-mother) comes for a visit and while I think the author wants the reader to feel at least a spark of sympathy towards her, I personally, do not.  You do not slap a child or spit in their face!  I hope that Charley makes her work hard to even get into the outer circles of her inner sanctum.

Favorite Quote:

I soon found out Gemma had ulterior motives in hanging with me and drinking like a fish on dry land.  I could read it in her body language, in the shifting light in her eyes, but mostly when she said, “I have ulterior motives.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson #3)

5 Stars

This is the third installment with the Charley Davidson story. I have loved every book. The last one ended on a bit of a sad note with Reyes refusing to see Charley after she bound him to his body. She did it to keep him from sacrificing himself to the demons that were after him in book two. This made him very angry (obviously) and he refused her visit when she went to prison to visit him. This didn’t stop him from visiting him in her dreams. How did this happen since he was bound to his body? I still have no idea! But this meant that both Reyes and Charley were avoiding sleep like the plague!

Again, Charley has more than one case going. She is trying to find Earl Walker to prove that Reyes didn’t kill him. This, of course, stirs up a hornets’ nest and she gets in big trouble. The other case is quite interesting. She is approached by a doctor whose wife is missing. Charley ends up looking in to his background the waters continue to get murky until the very end.

The ending of this book again ends on a sad note. Charley is promised a guardian by Mistress Marigold (yes she finally meets this person) so the entire book, the reader is trying to figure it out. I must say, I am glad it wasn’t who I thought it was going to be! Charley also meets the biker gang that runs the area where she goes to talk to Rocket. I enjoyed all the encounters with the biker gang and expect to see more from them in the future. At the end, Charley is feeling betrayed by two of the most important men in her life and is depressed. The reader can’t help but feel sorry for her because it really was awful what those two turds did to her.

I’ve already bought the fourth book and can’t wait to start it!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson #2) by Darynda Jones

4.5 Stars

This is the second installment in the Charley Davidson chronicles.  It picks up about a week after the first book ended.  Reyes was missing after he woke up from his coma and walked about of his confinement.  Not only was the prison looking for him, but he had U.S. Marshalls after him too.  Charley finds out really quick that he is going to sacrifice his human body to keep his father’s minions from finding Charley.  He still promises that if the demons get to her, he will kill her to stop them from gaining access to heaven.  I think there are at least three different cases she works on during this book.  She is trying to find her friend, Cookie’s friend, Mimi (did you follow that?).  This is the main case she works on and it goes deeper and more dangerous than just a missing person.  There is also a dead guy in Cookie’s car and Charley is trying to figure out what happened to him on the sly so Cookie doesn’t freak out.  And then of course…Reyes. 

The cool part of this book was that Reyes semi-taught Charley some of the cool things that she can do.  It was fun watching Charley learning more about what she can do.  Reyes wasn’t as present in this book as he was in the first one, and judging by the ending I am unsure of what his role will be in the future.  The ending made me sad.  We shall see how the third book goes before I make my final decision.  I thought it was equally amusing as the first book.  The author has a way of writing an extremely sarcastic main character without making her annoying.    

Funny Quote:

“Some people might’ve gotten annoyed, especially when we checked out the men’s room, it being primarily for men…”

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Heritage by S.M. Boyce (Grimoire Saga #4)

4.5 Stars

This is an ARC copy of Heritage provided from the author for an honest review. I have reviewed the previous two books in the series as well.

I always have mixed feelings about starting this series. It has nothing to do with how I feel about the story line, the writing style or the characters. It is really weird. Whenever I have it sitting on my kindle, it just stares at me with judgment for not reading it already. I think it is because I have a deadline to read the book prior to the release date. Whenever I have to do something, I immediately don’t want to do it. Whenever I start reading it, I get engrossed. Whenever I finished reading the series, I am obsessed for the next one! I’m a weirdo!

Brief Summary:

This book takes off right where the last one left us. Kara has gone to the Vagabond’s village to train with Stone. Braedon is staying with the rest of the Bloods in Ayavel to plan the war on his father, Carden. Kara finally gets some answers into her heritage (hence the name of the book?) and comes to grips with some of her powers. Braedon makes many expeditions into the Stele to map out Carden’s army’s movements. They are apart for most of the first part of the book, but it is obvious that they are missing each other. There is so much more that happens after this, but I feel it would be too spoiler-ish so I will refrain. But there are so many betrayals on so many sides it is mind boggling sometimes. The reader does get to be in the minds of some of the other characters besides Braedon and Kara. We hear the thoughts of the new Blood of Ayavel, Carden, and Dierdre. The epilogue was amazing too! I can’t wait for the next one!


Kara grew up a lot in this installment in the series. I could relate to her actions and reactions and this made her more likeable. The storyline was amazing and I couldn’t predict what would happen next. I look forward to reading the next book. The imagination required to write this series is astounding. It’s a whole new world with all new species! It’s amazing.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fairytale Come Alive by Kristen Ashley

3.5 Stars

This is a standalone book by this author. She tends to write series, but there are a few out there like this. I hadn’t picked it up for a while because the premise didn’t seem like something that I wanted to read about. Guy and girl meet and fall in love, but are torn apart. He marries someone else who dies and is “haunting” them when girl returns. Guy hates girl for leaving. Girl had reasons to leave (heartbreaking reasons). Guy and girl fall in love again with his dead wife watching through her ghostly vigil. The part that I had the hardest time with was that Prentice (aforementioned “guy”) got married and fell in love with someone else. Someone who he deeply loved and still loved and missed. While Isabella (aforementioned “girl”) lead a terrible lonely life! I actually enjoyed Isabella’s back story. It was heartbreaking, but perfect. There needed to be a pretty good reason why she would walk away from Prentice and there is!

Prentice was angry well Isabella comes back to Scotland and lands in his life while he is trying to pick up the pieces of his kids losing their mother and him losing his wife. It has been a year and a half since she died and they are all still grieving. Isabella is the last person he wants to see and he lets her know it! He is a big jerk to her and the whole village is a big jerk to her! It made me cry many times because she didn’t deserve that!

Prentice eventually learns the truth and falls for Isabella again. The author tries to make their love seem epic, but this is coming after he led a long happy life with another woman whom he loved deeply! I think this is where my naivety comes into play because that part bothered me. Usually KA makes the women before/between the heroine into nasties or no big deal, but Fiona (aforementioned ghostie) was written as practically perfect in every way (just like Mary Poppins).

I loved the drama and danger. I didn’t feel like Isabella was overreacting to her own fears about being with Prentice again. I thought she handled almost everything how many women would. She was incredibly likeable.

I actually don’t have a favorite quote that doesn’t have a swear word in it which means they mostly came out of Prentice’s mouth.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Three Wishes by Kristen Ashley


6 Stars

I admittedly am a bit smitten with Kristen Ashley’s writing, but this book blew me out of the water.  I often read reviews for her books where people say that it brought them to tears often.  This is not me.  I do not cry at movies and rarely cry at books.  I won’t tell you the first book I remember crying at because it is so embarrassing (ok…fine.  I’ll tell you.  It was…darn it, I can’t remember the name of it.  Whatever the second Twilight book is called.  Don’t judge me, that book devastated me!)  Anyway, there were so many times in this book that I was fighting back the tears.  It was perfect!  I loved everything. 

Brief Summary:

The story starts out with heartbreak for the grandmother of the main character.  We spend a small amount of time with this storyline to set the stage for the main character and…the genie!  Yes a real genie is brought out of his little bottle to grant three wishes.  Unlike most people however, Lily’s grandmother doesn’t use her wishes and the wishes pass on to her daughter who does use one then the remaining two pass to Lily.  Lily uses a wish when she is fourteen.  The main story starts up when Lily is twenty-two when she meets Nate McAlister.  Their time is a whirl wind that ends after just two weeks when tragedy strikes Lily’s life in too many ways to count.  Then, like many KA books, years pass before our Lily and Nate meet again and this is where the waterworks start!  The reunion was so perfect and heartbreaking!  I went back and re-read it a few days later. 


I don’t think I need to write much here.  I think you get that I loved this book.  I loved Lily the best out of all KA heroines.  She went through so much!  She didn’t do anything to annoy me, except maybe forgive Nate too quickly when he was being a jerk (and when he decides to be a jerk he is the jerkiest of all big jerks!) 

(One of) My Favorite Quotes:

“Nathaniel is the name of a gentleman, a genius, a man of means and power.  Nate is just a name.  And my Nathaniel is a Nathaniel.” –Victor Roberts about his son, Nate McAlister

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Play it Safe by Kristen Ashley

4.5 Stars

So if you have visited my blog before you know I love, love, love a good Kristen Ashley book.  On her website she posts the first few chapters of her books so you can get a feel for it.  I had read those first few chapters like lightening and went straight away to get the whole book…but then…it sat…and sat…and sat on my poor overworked kindle.  Why you ask?  Who in the heck knows!  I know that I loved those first few chapters so what took so stinking long?  We may never know the answer to the mysteries of how my brain works, but we do know how great this book turned out.

Brief Summary:

Ivey is moving through town after town with her old brother.  They stop in Mustang, Colorado and one things leads to another, but they stay awhile.  It turns out these siblings have had a hard life and are on the lam.  To make money, Ivey hussles pool and Casey (her brother)…well, I’m not quite sure what he thinks he does to contribute.  In Mustang is where Ivey meets Grayson Cody.  He is a rancher/cowboy and the entire town looks up to him.  He does the right thing…always…but you also do NOT want to mess with this good guy rancher/cowboy because he will mess you up!  A conspiracy is…conspired and Ivey leaves Mustang and Gray behind for a LONG tragic time.  Mustang reaches out to Ivey although they turned they back on her a long time ago and while she is older, wiser and hard as nails, she still does what she can to help knowing she’ll get no thanks from Gray for this. 


The first 70% of this book was AWESOME!  I loved reading about Gray and Ivey’s burgeoning romance and I LOVED reading about their time apart.  This is weird, I know, but KA wrote this tragedy so well.  I understood exactly how Ivey felt during those seven years.  I felt what she felt everytime her little heart took a beating.  The only reason why this gets 4.5 stars instead of 5 is that I wish there was a little more danger/drama in the last 30%.  It kind of fizzled out for me.  I still tore through it because I wanted to see how it ended.   

Favorite Quote: (This is Lash talking trash to Buddy Sharp…its great)

“I understand you’re a big fish in a small pond,” Lash said softly, his deep, cultured voice carrying a more eloquent threat than Buddy could ever hope to pull off.  “But I’ll explain that if you want to swim in the ocean, you must understand that the ocean is populated by sharks and sharks never sleep.”

Friday, September 20, 2013

Heaven and Hell by Kristen Ashley

 5 Stars

This is another Kristen Ashley hit!  I’ve had it stored on my kindle for months and just got a wild hair to read it.  I am so glad I did!  I really didn’t know what to expect, but this was awesome!

Brief Summary:

Kia Clementine is a woman abused.  She had a terrible marriage to a terrible man.  When we meet her she is no longer in this situation.  She begins living her life for the first time in seven years and takes a European vacation.  This is where she meets Samspon Cooper, an ex-football player (for the Colts, Woohoo!) and a beloved American hero.  She catches his eye as only a Kristen Ashley heroine can do for a Kristen Ashley hero. 

Kia has demons from her past that follow her into this new existence with Sam.  Like a good little Kristen Ashley hero, Sam does his darnedest (which is considerable) to ensure her safety.  But Kia soon realizes that Sam has his own demons and while he expects 100% of Kia he isn’t willing to give her 100% of himself and Kia must decide if this is enough for her.


As always, the secondary characters are wonderful: Luci, Celesta and Thomas, Hap, Skip, and Marisela.  All wonderful.  I could have used a little bit more action (I am partial to the plot lines of the Rock Chick Series).  I always loves when KA brings in people from previous books: we get to briefly see (through Kia’s eyes: Lee Nightingale and Tanner Layne and brief discussion of a few more.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Taken by the Cowboy by Julianne MacLean

This book was bundled together with 4 others books under the title of “bodyguard themed romances” and it was only $0.99 so I didn’t think too hard about purchasing it. I decided to review each book individually though. This is the first book in the bundle. It is a time traveling romance as well which I quite enjoy, although time travel can be difficult to write because it is hard to write the reactions correctly to finding oneself in another time. You don’t want to overdo the denial so much that the character is annoying but you don’t want them to accept something this bizarre too quickly either. This author, I think, put the perfect amount of confusion, denial, acceptance into the main character finding herself in the wild, wild, west.

Jessica Delaney lost her brother a year ago to a gunshot wound to his chest. The actual incident isn’t covered much except to let the reader know how much this situation scarred Jessica. Jessica also recently broke it off with her fiancée. He turned out to be a shallow, greedy jerk (go figure!). She gets into a car accident and finds herself in Dodge City (yes the Dodge City, but under new management, Wyatt Earp is not the sheriff now). Jessica manages to find herself the topic of the gossip column as a gunslinger and acknowledges and collects a reward for killing Left Hand Lou. The new sheriff, Truman Wade has a dark past (like all good heroes should) and pushes Jessica away every chance he can remember (when he isn’t making out with her).

I loved the ending. It didn’t turn out the way one would expect (with either the heroine staying or the hero accompanying the heroine back), but don’t worry there is still a HEA for all (although I honestly questioned this for hot minute).

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright (Phoenix Pack#1)


3 Stars

I started and stopped reading this book about half a dozen times before I managed to finish it.  This doesn't mean it was terrible, it just meant that whenever I stopped reading it, I didn't particularly want to pick it back up again.  The summary listed for the book sounded intriguing and I like the idea of what the author was going for.  There was too much smexy stuff for me though.  My biggest complaint was actually the heroine.  I couldn't stand her.  Side characters kept describing her as “spirited”, but she just annoyed me.  I think she was supposed to be funny with all her sarcastic comments, but obviously I didn't find it funny.  I am sure others would find her funny though so if you like excessively sarcastic heroines, then this is the book for you. 

Brief Summary:

Taryn is a latent alpha.  This means she can’t shift into her wolf form and gets a lot of negative attention because of this.  She is the daughter of an alpha pack leader who is trying to auction her off to another alpha whom Taryn can’t stand.  A way out presents itself in the form of another alpha who offers Taryn a proposition.  Taryn can’t decide if she is jumping from the frying pan into the fire, but takes this known psychopathic alpha wolf up on his offer to be his temporary alpha female.  All sorts of dramas unfurl from here.  I like the story line immensely which is why the book still gets three stars.


Besides Taryn being so annoying to me there were a couple other things that I didn't like.  There are members of Taryn’s new alpha mate (Trey Coleman) pack who don’t like Taryn.  They make numerous comments throughout the book to Taryn in front of Trey about how unsuitable she is, or inferior, or unwanted.  Even taking out the whole alpha male wanting to protect his mate, any normal person in a relationship wouldn't let others talk to their significant other the way that Trey lets people talk to Taryn.  I think one time he chastises Selma (yuck…do not like her!) and one time gets in Kirk’s face.  He should have nipped this in the bud long ago.  Every time he let someone say hurtful things to Taryn he dropped lower in my opinion.  I'm glad I finally finished this book, but I doubt I will read more in this series.

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson #1)

5 big fat stars

How have I not read these before?  I think it is the titles of this series.  It sounds just like so many other urban fantasy or paranormal romance book out there.  However, I absolutely loved this book.  Since UF/PNR books are a dime a dozen (or $0.99-$2.99 a book) these days it sometimes is hard to pay slightly more for a book, but these suckers are worth it!  I was only 1/3 through this book before I hopped back online to buy the second book.  I actually laughed out loud at least twice (I don’t do this much). 

Charley Davidson is a grim reaper.  What this means for us is that the dearly departed that still have some business that is keeping them as ghosties will use Charley as a portal to the other side.  She is a smart mouth private investigator as well and works with the Albuquerque PD as well.  In this book there are some ghosts that come to Charley for help to find their murderer and the PD ends up needing her help as well. 

Beyond this there is too much in the plot line to go into more detail.  While everything was nicely resolved, I can’t wait to read more in the second book.  

Favorite Quote: (This is a little longer than I usually do, but it made me laugh out loud.  It is a conversation between Charley and her best friend, Cookie)

 “Told you he had the hots for you.”

“Too bad he was small enough to fit into my cleavage.”

“I think that’s why he liked you,” I said, a bubble of laughter slipping out. 

Cookie sat silent a long while after that.  I gave her some time to absorb everything I was telling her.  After a moment she asked, “How is it even possible?”

“Well,” I said, deciding to tease her, “I don’t think he could’ve actually fit in your cleavage…”

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare (Spindle Cove #3.5)

4 stars

This is the fifth installment in the series and it is a novella. We know both of the main characters quite well. This story is about the eldest Highwood sister, Diana and (obviously) the blacksmith, Mr. Aaron Dawes. They have both had their eye on the other since the night they worked together to save…I can’t remember his name, but in the first book there is a boy who requires his food amputated. Quite a strange time to fall in love but that is when it happens!

Since this is a novella, it is obviously short and to the point. Diana was never my favorite Highwood, but in getting to know her in this book we find she is more than kind and beautiful. She longs to be her own person and this story tells how this happens. Aaron is a big, brawny, soft-hearted blacksmith…enough said. Diana’s mother is her usual annoying self. At the end, the author tries to redeem her, but at this point it is too little too late and the damage is done. I do not care why she acts the way she does, I just don’t care for the mother.

The next book is Any Duchess Will Do. I am sure I will read this book, but I am not nearly as excited as I was for the others. We just met Pauline in this book when Fosbury tries to convince Aaron to go after her instead of Diana. I do not believe we have met the man yet.

Favorite Quote:

“They are a great many situations a woman might do well to drive away from. Very few where it’s advisable to shoot her way out.”

Wonderful by Jill Barnett

4 stars

This is actually the first book in a series. I read the third book in this series first (Wicked) by accident. It came up on a Kindle Daily Deal so I bought it. It obviously still made sense, but I think I would have enjoyed it more for knowing some of the characters better.


Clio is the ward of the king and promised to a knight and friend of the king. He is off crusading for six long years while Clio is left waiting for him after her father dies. Their first meeting is not love at first sight and it does not seem to be coming any time soon. Clio is head strong and Merrick is used to having his orders obeyed. Eventually they come to care for one another, but that of course is when trouble arrives.


One of my favorite scenes is right at the beginning when Clio and Merrick first meet. Clio is imagining all the nasty things she will say to him after he has left her to rot in a convent for 6 years. She is prancing around the room and talking about how big his head is, etc. Even before I knew Merrick was listening I thought it was funny.

“Aye, sir knight. I can see you fine thick muscles.”

Pausing, she widened her eyes in mock wonder.

“Would I like to touch them? Certainly, but you will have to kneel, since I cannot reach your fat head from here. I am but a small, weak woman, good for nothing but waiting for to wed.”

I love, love, love when the main characters banter back and forth. I don’t care for willful misunderstandings and non-communication that results in conflict, but good witty banter is quite entertaining, and this book is full of it.

I plan to read the next one in the series which is about Merrick’s friend Sir Roger.

Favorite quote: (This is Merrick warning Clio to be quiet)

“There are other things that should be worrying you.”

“Such as?”

“Your mouth for one.”

“It did not seem to bother you, my lord, when you had your tongue in it.”

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Shadowed Threads: A Rylee Adamson Novel (Book 4) by Shannon Mayer

5 stars

I read the first three books about a month ago so I lucked out that I didn’t have to wait long for book 4, however, now I am not so lucky. The story is far from over and now who knows how long I will have to wait. This is becoming one of my favorite urban fantasy series (behind Ilona Andrews of course). I am really glad that I picked up the first one a while ago.


Hmmm, where to begin…

Rylee is still in England. She is staying with Jack (the only other tracker she has ever met), but he is stalling and not teaching her a darn thing. Liam is out there somewhere as a wolf. She needs to find him and bring him back. However, everyone (Jack, Doran, Milly, Faris) say that Liam can’t be brought back. But Rylee still needs to find him. Alex, Eve and Pamela are still there. Will is present in the beginning for a hot minute but disappears rather early. Dr. Daniels brings about more trouble and Rylee has a guardian who is trying to kill her. And by that I mean that he has been bound by magical means and ordered to kill her and he has a one track mind. There is so much more than happens…there are dragons, a vampire nest, Milly continues to be a crazy demented witch, and Berget…Berget is back! Gah!


I loved everything about this book. I can’t think of anything that I want to change. Oh, wait, I can. I wish the books were longer and that the author could write faster (who needs sustenance and sleep?)

Favorite Quote:

“The devil will tell you nine truths, so that you’ll believe one lie.”

This was something that Giselle (her mentor) used to say to her and it is basically the theme of this book. Whom can Rylee trust?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Rock Chick Revolution by Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick #8)

4 Stars

This is the last book in this series, but I doubt it is the last we will see of these characters.  That is something I love about this author.  We often get to visit with our old friends in the new books.  There are so very many people that you meet in this book that it is hard to say good-bye.  So while I enjoyed this book immensely, it isn’t my favorite Rock Chick story.  It would be hard for this book to be a favorite in this series for two reasons: 1.) there has been so much build-up and this series is so fantastic how do you create an ending that is better than anything that came before it and 2.) it’s the end of an era so it is inherently going to be bittersweet.


This is Ally Nightingale and Lorenzo Zano’s story.  This has been brewing since Ava’s story (book #5).  The reader gets a brief recap of the most important encounters over this time period.  The current time picks up right where Breathe (Colorado Mountain Man #4) ends.  Ren is mad at Ally for taking the risk she did in Breathe.  They have it out.  Darius and Brody have been working with Ally to give her guidance and backup as she takes on more private investigator type jobs.  She has found what she wants to do with her life, she just has to get the rest of her loved ones on board.  This is dangerous work and they want to keep her safe.  There are a lot of little dramas that happen throughout the book with different cases that come up for Ally, but not one big issue that is following throughout like a typical Rock Chick book. 


 A part that I liked about this book is that the start of Ally and Ren was a while ago.  We got glimpses of it in some of the other girls’ books so we knew it was coming.  This is more like real life so I like that.  A part I didn’t like about this book is that the start of Ally and Ren was a while ago.  I know…what is my problem?  How can I like it and dislike it at the same time.  My favorite parts of the Rock Chick books are the Rock Chicks and Hot Bunch going head to head.  I love the arguments!  I love the struggles of both the Rock Chick and Hot Bunch trying to come to grips with what is happening and their new feelings.

What I also didn’t like was that Ren hooked up with Ally first in Ava’s story, but then when Ava wants back, he is all about this, then when Ava chooses Luke (again) he apologizes to Ally for being a jerk.  I like that he can apologize, but this is not something I like to read about.  My Hot Bunch need to be sure about their Rock Chick once they have found her.  I like Ren, but when I think about this Ava business it makes me say, “Yuck Ren!” 

I also never got a good image in my head of what Ally and Ren look like.  I’m going to have to visit the “casting couch” again on Goodreads. 

I’ve read a few reviews where the people were quite upset that Kristen Ashley is used as Jane’s nom de plume.  They said it was self serving and self promoting.  This didn’t bother me in the slightest.  Nobody is reading Rock Chick #8 without knowing that they are reading a Kristen Ashley book.  In the book, Jane is the author but because of her personality she doesn’t want this known to anyone.  I thought it was kind of clever and it amused me.  Obviously, people differ on this.  I read one review where the reader stopped reading the book, it bothered her that much. 

Overall, Ally isn’t my favorite Rock Chick, I am not sure that Ren is even included in the Hot Bunch and the story line was only slightly better than Jet’s and Stella’s (obviously my least favorite J).  However, I can’t wait to read about Mace’s team in L.A.

(One of) My Favorite Quote(s):  Ren to Ally when she made a comment about his drink order:

“Know you’re tight with men who drink blood and eat nails, babe, but just to say, what a man drinks does not make that man.”

I chose that quote because most of my other favorites either contained too much potty language or too much smexy talk.