Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Taunting Destiny by Amelia Hutchins (The Fae Chronicles #2)

5 Stars

I have already finished book #3 and when I finished #2 it was my favorite, but now I am having a hard time remembering this one.  I remember what happened in book 1 and book 3, but book 2 in kind of a blur…

This book takes up right where the first one end (which was right in the middle!).  Syn had just looked through a window to see Rider and his 13 in black robes and brutally interrogating a group of men…some of which Syn knew…from The Guild!  Syn runs away right as rider looks up to see her (end book 1), Syn makes it away from Rider and to The Guild where she is persona non grata anymore because she is fae and not a witch!  Her mentor Alden coldly tells her to get lost.  She ends up going to her parents’ house where she is living with Adam.  Except is going into transition faster than Syn and has to be taken to Rider’s so he can transition in safety. 

Syn has signed another contract with Rider which gives him the sole right to guide her through her transition.  On top of this, the mages are still out there killing fae and they are also after Synthia now.  She ends up moving back in with Rider and his men.  The bombshell in this book is who they think Synthia is.  They know who Adam is (another bombshell) and because of this it puts Syn in a position to choose her own happiness or the death or thousands of fae.  Fae that she thought she hated for killing her parents, but she is learning that not all fae are evil like not all humans are good.  She meets her mother and father and more as she is taken back to Faery to fulfill a prophesy. 

Fighting Destiny by Amelia Hutchins (The Fae Chronicles #1)

4 Stars

I started reading this book without expecting much.  I had never heard of the author and it was a fairly cheap book, but I am a sucker for books about the fae.  I am really glad I ran across it because I devoured the entire series (so far, books 1-3, but at least 2 more are supposed to come out).

The main character is Synthia Mckenna.  She is a witch for The Guild in Spokane, Washington.  The book opens up with Syn taking a job that is nearly impossible.  She has to break into the Dark Prince’s abode and steal his crown.  Synthia ends up in a binding contract with the fae, working with the same Dark Prince (Rider) to catch a killer.  They are after a serial killer who can take out both witches and the immortal fae with very little resistance. 

Syn has her own reasons for hating the fae which make this assignment particularly difficult.  Her parents were murdered by the fae when she was very young.  She trusts very few people and is finding this number shrinking more each day.

This is a great starter to a series.  I have two complaints.  One is there was too much sex!  Often when you see that kind and amount of sex it is covering up the lack of a storyline and/or writing skills.  But the author is clearly talented and the storyline is A-MAZING.  I could have cut out 75% of the sex and built up more of the sexual tension and been happier with this book.  My second complaint is that the story seemed to just off in the middle.  There was a point in the book where it would have made sense to end the book and leave it open knowing there is more.  This is so far beyond a cliff hanger.  It is like the editor (or author, not sure who to blame) opened up the pages at random and said, “we will end it here.”  It was a very odd place to end the book. 

Overall, when I finished it, I went right online and bought the next book (which is my favorite so far), and started it right away.    

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of The Beauty and the Beast by Robin Mckinley

4 Stars

So you may notice that I recently read another retelling of Beauty and the Beast.  The reason why I chose to read this one right away is because one of the reviews for the K.M. Shea version left a comment about how her version couldn’t compare to the Robin Mckinley version.  I think that is way too strong a statement and I think this person is over fond of the Robin Mckinley version because it is from her childhood.  I liked both versions very much.  K.M. Shea has a very different take on the story and it is well written and refreshing.  I loved the vivid depictions in the Robin Mckinley version. 


Beauty lives with her father and two sisters.  Beauty’s real name is Honour, but has long gone by Beauty although she notes throughout the book how she is not beautiful like her sisters.   Her sister Grace is engaged to be married to a man who works for her father in their shipping business.  The business goes on hard times and the family is forced to moved far away and build a new life.  The other sister Hope finds a man to marry as well during all of this.  Their father makes a trip and on the way back gets lost in the enchanted forest.  It is during this time that a deal is struck with the beast in the castle in the enchanted forest.  Either the father but die or he must bring one of his daughters to live in the castle.  Beauty is chosen and like the story goes she must see past the outward appearance of the beast. 

I loved everything about this story except the falling in love portion.  Beauty, although always saying she is not beautiful, still considers herself far above the beast.  She makes a very sudden realization that she loves the beast although prior to that she was adamant about keeping her distance even to the point of running away and appearing quite disgusted when she wakes up in the beast’s arms after fainting.  He is always very gracious and patient with her but I found little in her character to warrant such patience.  At the very end when the spell is undone, it all happens too fast.  He changes back, she wants her beast, but quickly sees he is the beast, but thinks she isn’t beautiful enough, he assures her she is and they go out to meet her family.  There should have been more substance to this part.  It is the climax and yet it is as though once the spell is broken we must end the story ASAP.  No declarations of love, just look how richly dressed your family is as they come to our wedding.  It also doesn’t discuss the significance of the week.  The beast lets Beauty go for a week and if she doesn’t return he shall die.  Why???

House of the Rising Sun by Kristen Painter (Cresent City #1)

3 Stars
First, I think it is important to note that this is a spin-off series from this author’s “House of Comarre” series.  I didn’t read that series and although they only mention “comarre” briefly I have no idea what that is.  Other than that you should be able to read this without reading that other series with no issues, although you can tell that Augustine is more familiar to the reader of the previous series.
This book has two main characters and we get alternating points of view.  Harlow is the daughter of Olivia Goodwin who is a retired actress.  Harlow doesn’t get along with her mom because Olivia refuses to tell her daughter the name of Harlow’s father.  Olivia lives in New Orleans and when Harlow gets in trouble with the Cyber Crimes Unit she has to ask Olivia for help.  Augustine lives with Olivia and has ever since she took him off the streets as an adolescent.  She saved him from a grim existence and he loves her dearly.  Augustine is forced to take up the mantle of Guardian (it means he is protector of everyone in New Orleans) after Olivia is attacked by rogue vampires.  Augustine wants revenge and Harlow just wants money to pay her fine and go back to Boston.
I enjoyed the premise and am currently reading the second book in hopes that Harlow won’t drive me crazy like she did in the first book.  She is probably the most selfish, childish, annoying main character I have ever read.  I am wondering if the author is trying to show growth with this character so that is why I am continuing to read.  Literally every encounter Harlow has with anyone was annoying.  She was estranged from her mother because Olivia wouldn’t tell her her father’s name.  There is a reason for that you spoiled brat!  Ugh.  I liked Augustine except that he seemed to has an unexplained attraction to Harlow no matter how bad she treated him. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Beauty and the Beast by K.M. Shea (Timeless Fairy Tales)

5 Stars

I don’t even know how I came across this book, but it was available for loan on Amazon Prime so I had saved a sample in my kindle.  I decided to give it a try and it did not take long to realize I had come across a gem!  I am always excited to find new authors that I love.

This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast (obviously), but it goes beyond the original story.  Admittedly I have not read the original (although it too has a place on my kindle), but like all good girls I have seen the Disney version many times. 

The cursed prince in this version is actually an illegitimate son of the king.  There is a legitimate prince as well, but these two appear to be very good friends.  In this version, the cursed prince gets into this predicament for apparently no good reason.  I think perhaps this is my only complaint.  It is mentioned numerous times that a witch cursed the prince to live as a beast in both mind and body through no fault of his own, then an enchantress comes along and is able to lessen the curse by making him a beast in body only and finding a way to break the curse. 

So the main character (besides Prince Severin) is Elle.  We meet her right as she is falling through the glass ceiling of the prince’s chosen exile.  He doesn’t want her there but his servants are determined to nurse her back to health and endeavor to push the two together.

The twist comes in that Elle is keeping a secret about who she really is.  There are many hints, but also red herrings, so although the book excerpt warns that the prince may not be able to forgive her betrayal, the reader must decide how far this betrayal goes.  I had it mostly figured out, but the author had me second guessing myself until the end. 

When I finished I could not wait to get my hands on the next book in this series which is a retelling of the German fairytale The Six Swans.  I was disappointed to see that readers did not like it as much as the first book because it appears the ending is done in a way that does not provide the reader with a clear “happily ever after”, but instead lets the reader choose.  I was also hesitant to read it because I have read a fantastic version of this fairytale by Juliet Marillier called Daughter of the Forest (which I would highly recommend).  However it looks like I could read the third book without problems.  I am going to explore more by this author that is new to me. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #2)

4 stars

This is the second book of four.  I have been putting off reading it because the first one is such a cliff hanger.  I HATE that! I now have Scarlet and Cress but apparently Winter won’t be out until a year from now!  That is a really long time to wait when they aren’t standalone books!  Never-the-less I decided I had two in my wheelhouse so I was going to read Scarlet. 

The storyline goes back and forth between Cinder (in prison), Emperor Kai, and Scarlet.  Most of the time is spent with Scarlet though.  She lives with her grandmother and delivers the produce from their farm to local restaurants.  Her grandmother is missing and the authorities don’t care.  She meets Wolf who appears to be able to help her.  They of course run into a variety of trouble on their way to rescue grandmother.  Cinder breaks out of prison and has reluctantly acquired an accomplice.  She is deciding where to go to hide and Queen Levana has released her horde and started attacking Earth under the guise of the missing Lunar Fugitive (Cinder).  

I found Scarlet to be a bit annoying at times.  Where Cinder is thoughtful and quiet and thinks things through, Scarlet is brash with a temper to match her hair.  She doesn’t seem to think before she acts a lot of the time.  Overall I liked her, but I have a hard time liking any character who is quick to anger.
Regardless, I plan to read Cress then wait (not so) patiently for the final installment. 

I do really like the covers though :)

Burn for Me: A Hidden Legacy Novel by Ilona Andrews

5 Stars

If you know anything about me, you know I LOVE Ilona Andrews.  I am obsessed with anything they right.  I love Kate Daniels (If you haven’t for some forsaken reason read the Kate Daniels series, get on it!),  I love The Edge series (although it appears that there were those who did not, I see nothing not to love about those four books and I was pretty heartbroken when they stopped writing them),  I love all their short stories and the online serials (The Innkeeper Chronicles which can be read online, on their website for free).   I have been awaiting this new series and ripped through the book in just a few days (that is saying something since I have a full time job, a husband and an 11 month old who all think they should have access to my reading time).  There has been a lot of talk about the terrible cover, but I actually put off reading the first Kate book for years because I wasn’t sure about the cover, but I have since decided I will read any and all things they write no matter the genre.    

Nevada Baylor runs a private investigative firm with her family although she is the primary person for everything, except research.  She lives in a warehouse type building that has been converted into office, living quarters, and work space for grandma who is a mechanic.  Her family consists of her mother and grandmother, two younger cousins and two younger sisters.  

The story takes place in Houston with an alternate history that results in people having magic.  It runs in family genetics, with the most powerful, rich and influential being the ones who have the magic, over the years it gets diluted and some people are duds.  Nevada’s PI firm is sold to a big family powerhouse to pay for some bills.  This hasn’t been an issue until now, when the Montgomery’s (the family that bought the PI firm) decides that Nevada has to go on a suicide mission to find and retain a wanted criminal (who belongs to another powerful family) before the police.  The wanted criminal is a prime (highest level of magical user) and very dangerous PLUS there is someone else who is trying to get to the criminal who is equally dangerous.  This puts Nevada in the path of two very dangerous, very powerful men who are used to getting their own way. 

Loved every second of it.  Loved the first bit of the second book that is at the end.  I want to know more! 

Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder (Healer #3)

3 Stars

This is the last one in this series.  I didn’t know that when I started and when it ended it was kind of like, “Oh…well…I guess that is that.” 

Since the last book Kerrick was found, but he was infected with death lily toxin.  Avry tried to save him but when she wakes up he is gone.  She spends quite a bit of time looking for him with her team (the monkeys and Flea, Belin is still missing).  Prince Rhyn wants her to quit looking and start working.   A lot of small things happen with mostly Avry rescuing a variety of people.  Her character was a bit annoying in this installment and I didn’t feel the connection between her and Kerrick as much.  The whole book can be described as “meh” and “blah” for me.  It was mostly well written and I enjoyed the storyline, until the book ends and you realize this is how you feel…


Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #3)

5 Stars!!!

Holy Smokes did I LOVE this book.  It is my favorite in the series so far!  So many new characters.  It is up for a Goodreads award this year so if you’ve read it and love it, go vote!  I think the category is “Young Adult Fantasy and Paranormal”. 

 Anyway, this book takes up where #2 left off.  Celaena is sent on a mission for the king to Wendllyn to kill the monarchy.  She makes it to the capital city where she deteriorates.  I am not even sure of her mindset during this time.  She’s dirty and drunk and listless.  She is still hurting from Chaol’s betrayal and losing Nehemia.  I thought this part was particularly moving (it doesn’t matter who is talking to Celaena, only the words):

                “Why can’t your friend    save her own kingdom?”

“Because she is dead!  She screamed the last word so loudly it burned her throat.  “Because she is dead, and I am left with my worthless life!”

It is in this listless, drunken state that she meets her first Fae.  He is rugged and aloof, intimidating and lethal.  Celaena decides an audience with her Aunt Maeve to get answers about the Wyrd Keys is her next step although the decision seems to be taken away from her.  Before she can do this she must pass muster with this new fae who is not in any way impressed with her.  Celaena goes through a lot during this, but it is all very amazing.  I think I want to read it again.    

The book cuts back and forth between Celaena, Dorian, Chaol, and a new character: a Blackbeak witch. I can’t tell if the purpose of the reader getting to know this witch is to understand the darkness that is coming through the King of Adarlan or if it is to see her character development.  I usually don’t like when books go back and forth between different aspects of the story because I usually prefer one part more.  I obviously enjoyed reading about Celaena the most, but Chaol’s efforts while she is gone are surprising and I actually enjoyed very much the Blackbeak witch. 
The other aspects of previous stories all come into play so if you haven’t read the prequels you should read them.  They are extremely good.  They aren’t just another adventure of Celaena’s, they actually do a great deal in developing who she is, but now we see all these pieces coming into play: the pirates, the spider silk, the desert assassins!      

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson #7)

5 Stars

The sixth book didn’t quite feel complete so I was worried when I saw the size of this one on my kindle that it would feel like another part of a whole that I was missing.  It is quite expensive so I feel like I deserve a lot of bang for my buck.  I’m not sure if it is worth the $11 for my kindle version but I devoured it in just a few days regardless.

We learned in the last book that Charley’s dad is up to something.  Her stepmother won’t tell her what he was up to but seemed to blame Charley for this.  We find out what he is up to in this book, but I am left a little confused at the end of the book.  The Vatican plays some part in it but I don’t think it is the nefarious part.

Charley’s ex-bestie from high school is still hanging around.  She actually makes some advances in that I don’t find her quite as annoying but I do find her infatuation with Reyes annoying. 

At the very beginning of the book Charley solves a case for Agent Carson.  It doesn’t move the storyline along at all, but does play into how busy Charley always is.  It makes me tired just reading it!

A priest comes to see Charley about a house that is being possessed.  He wants her help.  This is where we first hear about the Vatican, but again it is very vague. 

I think the best thing about this book is that Charley seems to be understanding or at least attempting her skills.  She is very powerful.   Reyes, Garrett, and Osh are her constant companions.  Charley trusts Osh completely but it doesn’t appear Reyes does.  My prediction is Osh is around for the offspring of Reyes and Charley somehow.  I don’t think it is anything nefarious though. 

There is a lot of other stuff that goes on in this book as all of Charley’s books, however I wish there was more happening with the bigger picture.  I really love these books but is the author dragging this out?    

Funny Quote:
“I was growing quite annoyed with the lot of them, if two could be considered a lot.  It was kind of iffy, kind of like how two crows was only an attempted murder.”


Infinite Harmony by Tammy Blackwell (Shifters and Seers #2)

4 Stars

I think my favorite thing about this new “Shifters and Seers” series is that I get to keep in touch with Scout and Liam.  Usually I like to hear about all the other characters getting their happily ever afters, but the last one with Charley and this one with Joshua just don’t have the same stuff that the Timber Wolves books do.  I appears that they are attempting to move the storyline along through these secondary characters but it’s just not happening.

I’m still giving it four stars because it was well written and I enjoyed hearing about Joshua.

The whole gang is at some sort of lakeside cabin resort in preparation for Scout and Liam’s wedding.  There is a group of people out to get the shifters and seers.  Some sort of pro-human group.  They are hurting and killing anyone they can get their hands on and the packs are getting volatile.  This is pretty much were this storyline ends.    

Joshua meets Ava who is working the front desk at this resort.  It is interesting to listen to how both Joshua and Ava find the other more attractive the more they get to know each other.  This is how it usually happens right? Obviously there are those people who are just beautiful, but most of us become beautiful in others eyes as they delve deeper into the person.  The only problem for these two is that Joshua is going to live forever and Ava is sick with a shortened normal lifespan.  They both struggle through this, but separately.  The entire book happens within a week but Joshua and Ava do get to know each other quite a bit during this time.    

Favorite Quote:
“I’m just as committed to stamping out all signs of fun and enjoyment as you are, Party Breaker-Upper Girl.”  He reached out and slapped the top of the golf cart with his hand.  “Onward, brave steed! Evil is afoot and we must eradicate it while the night is still young!”

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass) #2)

4 Stars

I became obsessed with the Throne of Glass series a while ago.  I started with all the prequels which are amazing and a necessity of you want to fully understand the heroine: Celaena Sardothien.  The only reason that this book (which was in fact amazing) was that I stopped half way through because it felt like it was getting really predictable.  I didn’t finish it for many months, but let me tell you that the book did not go anywhere near where I thought it would.  If the middle didn’t drag for just a bit I would have kept reading and been blown away.  I plan to read the third book very soon so I can see where things are going. 

After reading the books description it will be very difficult to give any sort of synopsis without giving anything so I will have to be very brief.  Celaena wins the competition to become the king’s champion.  This basically means that she does his bidding and by this I mean that she kills whoever the king orders her to kill.  From the previous books we know that Celaena does not like or trust the king so to be his champion is difficult for her.  Winning the competition to be his champion meant she didn’t have to go back to the slave mines to die there, but winning means she must kill those who oppose the king. 

The only other thing I can say is that she chooses between the prince and Chaol.  This is where I lost interest.  I was glad that Celaena could find some happiness but it was obvious that this secret tryst would be found out.  I thought this was predictable and lost interest.  However, it wasn’t found out by whom I expected and the turn of events was anything but predictable. 

I can’t wait to read the next one.  We find out so much more about Celaena’s past.  Now that I am thinking about it, we really didn’t find out a lot, but what we found out was HUGE!  There are hints of this in the previous books, but I still wasn’t ready for it when it happened.  It changes everything for Celaena.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lady Wicked by Delle Jacobs

3 Stars

I have read quite a few Delle Jacobs books.  It has been a while so I can’t remember if the rest of them felt so drawn out.  I really loved the character development.  I loved the turn of events at the ending, but I felt like a lot of the middle could have been left out or summarized better.  The parts with Chester were probably the most frustrating.  I think the author was trying to get across the fear in Lady Wychham as a result of her abuse, but it didn’t come across the pages. 

Lady Wyckham has been cast aside by her husband (whom it is immediately clear, is not likeable).  She is actually cast aside in a village that is basically run by Lord Savoury who is her nemesis.  Everyone in the villiage (including Lord Savoury) thinks that Lady Wyckham was caught in an affair and that is why she was cast aside.  Davina (Lady Wyckham) is just glad to be on her own.  She plans to grow her own herbs to sell and make a living.  The rest of the story follows the relationship between Savoury and Davina and how the villagers change their opinion about her.  There is a nice twist at the end, but in my opinion it took too long to get there. 

Deacon by Kristen Ashley (Unfinished Heroes #4)

3 Stars
I have typically not enjoyed this series as much as this authors other works.  I am finding with her most recent writings that not a lot is happening.  Part of what I loved about her usual work was that we meet these great characters and we watch their relationships blossom, usually under duress, but BIG things happen along the way.  I loved the bombings, kidnappings, and murder attempts found in the Rock Chick Series and the Fantastical Series and the Three Series and the early ‘Burg Series and Colorado Mountain Man Series.  I loved all the books that took place in England.  The Three Wishes is one of my favorite books! 

I’m just not sure how much more of these new books I want to keep reading.  I can’t wait for the finale of the Three Series so I am crossing my fingers that it is as wonderful as the rest of those books.
Deacon is the hero (or anti-hero) of this book.  Apparently he is from the Colorado Mountain Man series but he is not at all the man that was portrayed during those books.  I would not have thought he would even warrant his own book.  I kept trying to make sense of this new side of Deacon.  We pretty much saw him only quietly sitting in the bar prior to this.  Anyway, he comes to Cassidy’s cabins repeatedly for six years.  He gives her no signs or encouragement but Cassidy still puts herself out there for him (although rather vaguely) and Deacon shuts her down.  But he keeps coming back.  Eventually something happens that means Deacon has to step into the situation.  Obviously we know it is a KA story so I am not giving anything away by letting people know that Deacon and Cassidy get involved.   And being part of this series we know that Deacon will have some baggage.  This baggage has kept him from making any meaningful relationships for a very long time and he is resistant to changing this. 

I just wished something else happened…anything of a bit of action. 

The Lion's Lady by Julie Garwood

3.5 Stars

This was the first book I read in this series. I have read her other highlander books which I thoroughly enjoyed. The book starts by giving us the background on Christina. She is raised by American Indians. This is done mostly so we can understand how she was raised but it also gives us good insight into her feelings as they come out. When Christina travels to London she meets the Marquis of Lyonwood who immediately intrigues her because she can relate him to the warriors that she would have known growing up.

There was an interesting story line in the novel but there was too much back and forth. Christina was drawn to the Marquis but she must resist, now she has given in but she must keep her heart safe, ok she has lost her heart but she must still abandon him. The same happened with the Marquis but not to the same degree.

I think at some point I would read the next book. The synopsis sounds interesting.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Romancing the Dukes: Castles Ever After by Tessa Dare

3.5 Stars

I positively LOVE Tessa Dare, but this was not my favorite of her books.  It was still above average and I look forward to the next book in the series.  In fact, I have pre-ordered it.  I think one of my least favorite aspects of it is that the main character, Izzy is constantly referring to how unattractive she is.  It matters very little to the hero (Ransome, the Duke of Rothbury), but nevertheless, firstly I prefer my heroines to be pretty.  I don’t want to read a romance book about someone unattractive.  I have enough of dealing with real life, I read for the adventure, for the escape. Everyone likes a main character they can identify with and I personally don’t WANT to identify with someone who is ugly.  I liked the rest of the character development. 

I absolutely loved that Izzy’s father had created this cult of followers of his writings that were quite fantastical.  I loved the nerdiness of this group of people.  It was quite endearing.

Izzy receives a letter from a man that claims that she has been left a castle.  Only upon arriving she finds the castle is being lived in and it is derelict.  What ensures is a quite amusing tale of the current resident of the castle (the Duke) trying to oust Izzy and Izzy being certain she is the rightful owner. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It's time for a cover reveal!  Feast your eyes on the cover for HUNTING IN BRUGES, the debut novel in the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series by E.J. Stevens.

Keep reading for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Hunting in Bruges (Hunters' Guild #1) by E.J. Stevens.

The only thing worse than being a Hunter in the fae-ridden city of Harborsmouth, is hunting vamps in Bruges.

Being shipped off to Belgium sucks. The medieval city of Bruges is

quaint, but the local Hunters' Guild is understaffed, the canals are

choked with dead bodies, and there's no shortage of supernatural

predators as likely suspects.

On second thought, maybe Bruges isn't so bad after all.

With a desire to prove herself, protect the innocent, and advance within

the ranks of the Hunters' Guild, Jenna Lehane hits the cobbled streets

of Bruges with blades at the ready. Someone, or something, is murdering

tourists and dumping their bodies in the city's scenic canals.  With the

help of a mysterious stranger, Jenna begins to piece together clues

that are dotted throughout the city like blood spatter.

Determined to stop the killings, Jenna delves into a bloody local

history that only raises more questions--but some secrets are best left

buried. Jenna must put her combat training to the test as she struggles

to unearth the truth about an ancient enemy.

Hunting in Bruges is the first novel in the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series set in the world of Ivy Granger.

Release Date:  November 11, 2014

Genre:  Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Pre-order on Amazon.

Add to Goodreads.

About the Hunters' Guild Series

The Hunters' Guild series is an urban fantasy series written by E.J. Stevens and set in the world of Ivy Granger.  The series is told in the first-person point-of-view of Jenna Lehane, a Hunter with a troubled past, a proficiency with weapons, and an intolerance for monsters who target the innocent.

About the Author

E.J. Stevens is the author of the Spirit Guide young adult series, the bestselling Ivy Granger urban fantasy series, and the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series.  When E.J. isn't at her writing desk she enjoys dancing along seaside cliffs, singing in graveyards, and sleeping in faerie circles.  E.J. currently resides in a magical forest on the coast of Maine where she finds daily inspiration for her writing.

Hunting in Bruges Cover Reveal Giveaway

The author is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Giveaway ends October 7, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What do you think of the cover?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Cover Reveal: Hunting in Bruges

Hunting in Bruges (Hunters' Guild #1) by E.J. Stevens

The only thing worse than being a Hunter in the fae-ridden city of Harborsmouth, is hunting vamps in Bruges.

Being shipped off to Belgium sucks. The medieval city of Bruges is quaint, but the local Hunters' Guild is understaffed, the canals are choked with dead bodies, and there's no shortage of supernatural predators as likely suspects.

On second thought, maybe Bruges isn't so bad after all.

With a desire to prove herself, protect the innocent, and advance within the ranks of the Hunters' Guild, Jenna Lehane hits the cobbled streets of Bruges with blades at the ready. Someone, or something, is murdering tourists and dumping their bodies in the city's scenic canals.  With the help of a mysterious stranger, Jenna begins to piece together clues that are dotted throughout the city like blood spatter.

Determined to stop the killings, Jenna delves into a bloody local history that only raises more questions--but some secrets are best left buried. Jenna must put her combat training to the test as she struggles to unearth the truth about an ancient enemy.

Hunting in Bruges is the first novel in the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series set in the world of Ivy Granger.
Release Date: November 11, 2014
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
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About the Hunters' Guild Series

The Hunters' Guild series is an urban fantasy series written by E.J. Stevens and set in the world of Ivy Granger.  The series is told in the first-person point-of-view of Jenna Lehane, a Hunter with a troubled past, a proficiency with weapons, and an intolerance for monsters who target the innocent.
About the Author

E.J. Stevens is the author of the Spirit Guide young adult series and the bestselling Ivy Granger urban fantasy series. When E.J. isn't at her writing desk she enjoys dancing along seaside cliffs, singing in graveyards, and sleeping in faerie circles. E.J. currently resides in a magical forest on the coast of Maine where she finds daily inspiration for her writing.

Connect with E.J. on Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Pinterest, and on her Blog.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Wounded by Shannon Mayer (Rylee Adamson #8)

Another 5 stars for Shannon Mayer:

Often series will go so far off track by the eighth book that I lose interest.  Not once has this author strayed from the original feel of the series.  I love these characters and it is not often that books or movies move me to tears, but I was crying at the end of this one. 

The storyline moves along.  Orion wants Rylee dead.  There are four packs of demons that are the precursor to the four demons that are akin to the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  These packs are either already here or are coming very soon.  Of course Rylee doesn’t get a break.  The story picks up at Doran’s where all of Rylee’s allies are meeting together.  Again, of course, this doesn’t go smoothly.  (I say “again” and “of course” simply because Murphy’s Law applies to Rylee.  If something can go wrong, it will and she is always jumping from one emergency to another).  I think this is all I can say of the plot without giving away spoilers.  I happen to LOVE spoilers and specifically troll the reviews hoping to find them, but people get very aggressive about them so I refrain :)

We have known for a while that Liam will die.  Liam has known for a while that he will die and it seems that others are starting to pick up on this as well.  Everyone except Rylee.  She is at a point where she feels she will break if she loses one more person close to her.  That she will no longer care about the fate of the world she is fighting to save.  Every time we turn around Liam is getting hurt and as a reader you hold your breath each time wondering if this is it.  I have maintained throughout the entire series that if either Liam or Alex is killed I am not sure how I will feel about this series.

Alex is becoming more dominant and at one point some character (perhaps Rylee) says that he will remember how to shift again soon.  Alex has been my very favorite character since the beginning.  Even over Rylee (which is probably against the rules).  He is sweet, loyal and very funny.  He doesn’t do anything that make him hard to love.  There is a part in this book where Alex just being sad made me cry, that is how much I love him.  I can’t even handle him being sad!
I HATE waiting for the next book in a series.  It is always wonderful to find an amazing series like this when it is at this stage and you can just read one book right after another.  These books are wonderful and I find myself thinking about the characters long after I have stopped reading.  Signs of a book addict if I think the characters in the books are my friends?  

Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson #6)

5 Big Fat Stars for Charley Davidson!

Somehow this book snuck out without me knowing it.  It was released in May and I just know discovered it.  Very sad for me, except maybe it will make the wait between this book and the next seem smaller.  Doubtful though.  I am glad I started reading this series when there were already four books out.  I despise waiting for books. 

This book takes up very soon after the last one finishes.  Charley’s dad is acting funny.  He has decided to leave his wife (whose name escapes me right now).  Charley isn't exactly broken up about it since this same woman was beyond hateful to her for her entire life.  Reyes asked Charley to marry him at the end of the last book and we await her answer in this one.  Cookie is still after Uncle Bob who hasn’t made a move yet.  They come up with a plot to guarantee him kicking into gear and asking Cookie out.  I am sure you can guess how this turns out.  A man comes in seeking Charley’s help retrieving his soul (which he sold) to a demon.  We meet said demon who actually is playing a rather interesting part in this book.  We find out a little bit more about Angel and Mr. Wong.  Mr. Wong apparently is more than what he appears.  Very intriguing. 

So that is the book in a nutshell.  Anything more and it would have spoilers in it.  I can’t wait to find out more about what Charley can really do and Reyes role in all of this.  It seems like it is starting to come to a climax.  Goo! I can’t even handle it.  It is funny as  all these books are.  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels #7)

5 (plus 5 more) Stars
I love, love, love anything these two put out!  They are my number one favorite authors!  (I also love Patricia Briggs, Jeaniene Frost, Karen Marie Moning, Darynda Jones, but Ilona Andrews is the best!).  I seriously love anything and everything they do.  This is number 7 in the series and I think there are at least 3 more. 

So much happened in this book!  We pick up a couple months after the last book where Kate and Curran traveled to the Black Sea with the promise of Panacea.  What they really encounter is Hugh (Kate’s father’s warlord) who has set up a test/trap for Kate and the shifters.  He wants Kate.  He wants the shifters (and most specifically Curran) out of the way.  After that whole debacle, Kate and Curran are in an uneasy state of watchful waiting back in Atlanta.  They hope that Roland (Kate’s father) doesn’t know she is in Atlanta, but they don’t know anything for sure. 

Curran goes to North Carolina to meet with some shifters about something or other.  How convenient.  Kate is in charge and has a meeting with The People.  Do you think this goes smoothly?  No way Jose!  She has got big problems on her hands and Curran is MIA.  Kate is of course racing against time, fatigue, pain, and a multitude of terrible things.  Hugh makes another appearance.  He is very unlikeable but at the same time I think I secretly like him (not as much as Curran obviously).  It isn’t a villain-you-love-to-hate scenario.  I enjoy his involvement in the storyline and his interactions with Kate.  I love that although the shifters and The People crap on Kate he finds this offensive.  Don’t worry, I am still all for Curran. 

So much happens in this book.  It is like the whole series culminated to this moment.  But there are still 3 more books so we have 3 more wonderful moments in the climax of this storyline.  I think I might have to re-read all these books in preparation for the next release. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Jagged by Kristen Ashley (Colorado Mountain Man #5)

2.5-3 Stars

I think this might be my least favorite KA book of all time.  I didn’t connect with any of the main characters and I don’t feel like the storyline that we left off with in “Breathe” was in any way connected.  The only redeeming quality that I found was that someone (the heroine) who had been crapped on her whole life got retribution and a happy ending.

Zara Cinders is the heroine and she comes from a family where her father verbally and physically abused her, her sister and her mother her whole life.  Her mother is a broken women who couldn’t save herself or her children and for this Zara cannot forgive her.  The hero is Graham Reece whom we meet in the The ‘Burg book #1 “For You”.  However, Zara does not call Graham either Graham or Reece.  Either would have been acceptable.  No…she calls him Ham.  Yuck! And do you know what he calls her?  Cookie!  Terrible, terrible names.  KA usually does a fabulous job in picking out both names and nicknames for her characters, but she missed the mark with these two. 

So Ham comes and goes as he pleases and he has women in all the many cities that he goes to.  The women know they aren’t exclusive (except when he is with them) and this is how he functions.  This is how we met him in “For You”.  However when Zara when Ham comes around again she has found a guy who will give her more and he walks away.  Of course, this can’t last.  We know this.  Her husband isn’t a bad guy but he isn’t Ham (yuck!) so it is doomed to fail.  When next Ham comes to town he finds Zara is even more broken than she was before (and that is saying a lot).  They do not have good times and bad things are said.  Beyond the story of Ham and Cookie (I think I just threw up in my mouth) the storyline revolves around a lot of drama and secrets in Zara’s family and these get resolved.  

Broken Dove by Kristen Ashley (Fantasyland #4)

4 Stars

I had really been looking forward to hearing about Apollo and Ilsa.  It sounded heartbreaking and nobody writes heartbreaking better than KA.  The beginning was wonderful and the end was wonderful.  I stopped reading in the middle because it got a little “blah”.  I just recently decided to give it another try and I am super glad that I did.  I feel like the storyline has a resolution, but Noc (Prince Tor’s this world version) is going to get his own story (I am worried Franka is the heroine and she is NOT likeable).  This one takes place in our world so I am not sure if a new storyline will begin with his story.

Apollo’s Ilsa died five-ish years ago and he has paid Valentine a whole lot of diamonds to get the Ilsa of this world to him.  He wants to replace his dead wife.  Oh boy.  He brings her to his world and immediately decided this was a bad idea.  She is not his dead wife, Isla but she looks exactly like her so his pain is immense.  He abandons her almost immediately at one of his estates with his men.  The problem is the Apollo of our world is a bad, bad man.  Ilsa had been running from him for years and had just found her when good Apollo brought her here.  Thus, she can’t go back. 

Of course, the reader knows that it is only a matter of time before Apollo finds that he loves this Ilsa and of course it happens.  This is where I lost interest.  However, not long after this the action picks up with the bad guys from the previous books starting a war.  Ilsa gets to know Circe, Finnie and Cora (I had to go back and read Finnie’s story after finishing this book!).  What I didn’t like about Ilsa (or as she is known in this world, Maddie) is that she is not nearly as sassy as the other women.  She doesn’t stand up to Apollo and is always apologizing.  However, I think this goes with a character who has been terrorized mentally, verbally, emotionally and physically by a bad man for years and then being on the run for years.  I never got a good picture of what she looked like in my head and in fact I feel like I knew Apollo better in his appearances in the other books than in this book. 

I had a hard time thinking that Apollo loving a dead Ilsa and then meeting the living one was a good plot idea.  Too much baggage for him to move past this. In short I am glad I finished for this completion of the story line, but not for the story between Apollo and Ilsa.  

The Promise by Kristen Ashley (The ‘Burg Series #5 )

3 Stars

I have been looking forward to Benny and Frankie’s story since I met them in “At Peace”.  The beginning was spectacular! I love every second of Benny trying to convince Frankie to stay with him.  There is a lot of back story with Frankie and Benny and I feel like it might have been good if I read “At Peace” again before reading this. 

There were actually two books in between “At Peace” where we meet Frankie and Benny and their book but the book takes place right after “At Peace” ended where Frankie is shot.  Benny comes to the hospital and Frankie pretends to be asleep every time he is there.  I cannot blame her with the way the Bianchi’s treated Frankie after Vinnie was killed.  I actually feel like she lets them all off the hook too easily but that probably says more about my poor character huh? 

The ‘Burg series is supposed to be more about crime and (although I haven’t finished #4, I am having a hard time getting into a heroine with the name of Dusty) the rest are about serial killers and the mob and a human trafficking ring.  What is going on in this book is not nearly on the same level as the other books and in fact Frankie isn’t involved or actually ever in any imminent danger.   Which brings me to my next point.  When we meet Benny I felt like he was a typical Kristen Ashley hero (meaning: alpha, macho, tough guy, etc) but I didn’t get that feeling from Benny in this book.  In fact when one of the Hot Bunch (I won’t tell but it spurred me to read his book again) makes an appearance it is abundantly clear that they are not on the same level. 

The best part of the book was that Frankie got her happily ever after.  But when I read a Rock Chick book or a ‘Burg book I want action, danger, kidnappings, near misses, and angst.  The angst was present at the beginning of the book, but that is all I can say.  I was disappointed for how long I had been looking forward to their story.   

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Rogues, Rakes and Jewels by Claudy Conn

4 Stars
The Marquis of Lyndhurst is sent to the Isle of Wight by his mother to meet yet another grasping female who wants his money and title.  He is sick of this and devises a plan for his cousin to play the Marquis and for the Marquis to play as his cousin.  He thinks Jewelene will fawn all other the man she thinks is the Marquis, but of course, he would be wrong.  He finds himself very attracted to Jewels and regrets his deception, but Jewels has a deception of her own. 

There is the typical bad guy in the Claudy Conn historicals who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, including many nefarious deeds that the Marquis must move to stop. 

This is a quick read and I love them.  Lots of fluff and nonsense, but a wonderful escape for a few hours. 

The Seelie King by Heather Killough-Walden (Book 5 in The Kings Series)

4 Stars

Selene is the heroine in this book and we met her in the previous book.  She is the best friend of The Goblin Queen and we knew she was special from that book.  The Seelie King, Avery is keeping his eye on her as it is suspected she is part fae and that is too much of a coincidence for him to ignore with the queens being exposed.  He doesn’t go straight to her though because he is worried she is part of a trap. 

This book takes place mostly in England.  Selene (like all the queens) is very sensitive.  She is sensitive to environmental toxins and bad attitudes and the injustices of humanity.  Like all the queens and kings at this juncture, she is in danger and Avery must make his move to protect her and in doing so he almost doesn’t survive. 

The storyline with Ramses and his brother continues.  I’m not as interested in that as I am in the individual stories.  Every time the author takes me out of the story between the two main characters in each book it takes me out of the world completely.

I am really looking forward to the Unseelie Kings story.  His lady fair is Selene’s twin sister and it sounds like her story is going on almost simultaneously with this one. Can’t wait!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Goblin King by Heather Killough-Walden (Book 4 in the Kings Series)

 4.5 Stars

I really didn’t anticipate liking the installment.  I have read stories about the Goblin King before and they were just ok.  The Goblin Kings name is Damon Chroi.  He is a very old fae.  Older than the Seelie and Unseelie kings (by at least a thousand years!)  He was banished to be the king of the Goblins (a race of fae) over a thousand years ago (so he is at least two thousand years old!)  He likes to watch My Little Pony and Highlander and like most of the kings, he is lonely.  He just wants to find his lovey! 

Diana is his queen to be and is a veterinarian.  She can heal (like Dannai Cage) but not being from the supernatural realm she hides this and only heals animals.  One night she runs into a goblin and it turns out this big lug just wants Diana to heal him.  I picture him looking like Big Foot or a Yeti but with super long finger nails.  Damon is at the scene and thus starts the saga of Damon winning over his queen. 

A side story (which I normally don’t like but really enjoyed this one) was that Evie (Vampire Queen) is kidnapped by Roman’s brother.  I loved the dialogue here between Evie and Rafael. 

The Seelie King is already out so I am looking forward to delving in, but I believe I have to wait after this :(

So far we have the Vampire King, The Phantom King, The Warlock King, The Goblin King, and The Seelie King.  We also know of the following kings: The Unseeling King, The Dragon King, The Time King, The Shadow King and The Winter King.  That is only 10 kings.  The hope the last three aren’t silly!