Release Day Review: Undertow (Port Lewis Witches #2) by Brooklyn Ray

release day review

Nine Star Presents
https://ninestarpress.com/product/undertow/

Blurb

Port Lewis, a coastal town perched on the Washington cliffs, is home to Crescent Cafe, a slew of micro-breweries, a downtown packed with antique boutiques, and violent, ancient storms. Thunder shakes rooftops and lightning cuts through dark skies, but Liam Montgomery has never been afraid.

Until now.

One night, Liam hears the scream of a kelpie, a Water horse whose cry foretells the beginning of a prophecy. Kelpies have not set foot on shore for decades, but as Liam digs into his magic and his family’s history, he uncovers a mysterious secret that could ripple into the lives of everyone around him.

Liam’s tea-leaves spells out murder. The life of someone he loves is on the line. An unwelcome kelpie speaks in riddles. The Queen of Water demands a sacrifice.

The Montgomery name is soaked in blood and secrets. Liam’s fate is sealed, but he’ll do whatever it takes to change it—even if it risks his circle, his magic, and his life.

Review

This shouldn’t be a book that I even want to read and yet I not only couldn’t wait to read it, I loved it! Super loved it!

It’s sooooo well-written. The descriptions are absolutely breath taking without being over done or feeling disproportionate to the story. Though this is new adult/young adult, in book two things take a decidedly more heated turn and the chemistry between Liam and Ryder is scorching! And yet the sex itself isn’t so over described that your own imagination isn’t required. It’s a wonderful gift to be able to describe things in such a way as to be specific but vague enough as to leave room for imagination.

The magic in this book is also off the charts. Wow. Not only do Liam and Ryder explore their powers with one another but there is something new in town after Liam and Liam has to use his powers to protect himself and Ryder.

There is a lot of new information revealed in this story and I can’t wait to read the next installment. This is in no way an ending but it still felt very satisfying. I think, if I have to directly compare, that this is even BETTER than book 1, which – let’s face it – rarely happens – but it sure seemed to here!

Highly recommended! (not a standalone)

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Spooky! The Case of the Guilty Ghost by RJ Scott and Amber Kell

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Guilty-Ghost-Street-Detective-Agency-ebook/dp/B06XKX9N3X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1508955535&sr=8-1&keywords=case+of+guilty+ghost

Blurb

The End Street Detective Agency #6

Bob is lost in grief, Sam is fighting for his life, and there is no middle ground. Can their love survive?

Bob is grieving over his brother’s sacrifice. Guilt-ridden and devastated, he buries himself in vampire mourning and pulls away from Sam.

Magic tears Sam from the vampire castle and he has to face new adversaries alone, when all he wants is Bob at his side.

Ettore is in the Aset Ka waiting room, next in line for the ceremony for his soul to be torn from his body. Aset Ka has other plans, and Ettore finds himself reunited with a lost love and fighting alongside his brother.

A forgotten past binds Theodore ‘Teddy’ McCurray Constantine III to Ettore, and with the curse tied to Ettore broken by his death, Teddy’s past returns to him with a vengeance.

A royal family in denial, a battle between gods, and long forgotten love leaves no time for Sam and Bob to take a breath. Is it too late to save the supernatural world

Review
The Case of the Guilty Ghost is the last in the End Street Detective Agency series. It’s a lovely paranormal world in which Sam slowly comes to terms with having magical powers and meets his mate Bob the Vampire. There is a wonderful array of creatures in this series, a gargoyle called Hal, dragon shifters, a cat familiar called Smudge and a moody ghost called Teddy. Although each story is an individual case you do need to read all the stories to follow the thread Sam’s building power and the strengthening of his relationship with Bob.

This is mainly Teddy’s story. He turns out to be Ettore (Bob’s brother) lost love who was killed by the evil younger brother. Ettore sacrifices himself for Bob at the end of book 5 and in this book the Vampire god Aset Ka sends Ettore’s soul back to carry out a task. Circumstances bring Ettore and Teddy back together but for how long? There is a lot going on in this finale, an evil brother, lovers reunited, vampire politics, kidnapping and the fulfilment of a prophecy. I liked the use of dry humour in the story to lighten the mood. A very enjoyable paranormal series with added mystery and lovely characters.

4 of stars out of 5

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Copy Purchased for Review

(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

Spooky! Stormhaven (Book #3 in Whyborne & Griffin series ) Audiobook by Jordan L Hawk Narrated by Julian G. Simmons

Audible Link
https://www.amazon.com/Stormhaven-Whyborne-Griffin-Book-3-ebook/dp/B00H216WHU/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1506537837&sr=1-15

Blurb
Mysterious happenings are nothing new to reclusive scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne, but finding one of his colleagues screaming for help in the street is rather unusual. Allan Tambling claims he can’t remember any of the last hour – but someone murdered his uncle, and Allan is covered in blood.

Whyborne’s lover, dashing ex-Pinkerton detective Griffin Flaherty, agrees to prove Allan’s innocence. But when Allan is deemed insane and locked away in the Stormhaven Lunatic Asylum, Griffin finds himself reliving the horrifying memories of his own ordeal inside a madhouse.

Along with their friend Christine, the two men become drawn deeper and deeper into a dark web of conspiracy, magic, and murder. Their only clue: a missing artifact depicting an unknown god. Who stole the artifact, and why can’t Allan remember what happened? And what is the truth behind the terrible experiments conducted on Stormhaven’s forbidden fourth floor?

It will take all of Whyborne’s sorcery and Griffin’s derring-do to stop the murderers and save Allan. But first, they must survive an even greater challenge: a visit from Griffin’s family.

Review
Loved this addition to the series. Back to the creepiness of the first book. Delicious! Ms. Hawk paints such a creepy atmosphere with her words, that I could see the electric lights flicker, crackle and go out… Uuuuhhhh… And really, a lunatic asylum at the turn of the century, does it get any creepier? Nope!

Many new hints are given in this book as to what the future brings, and a re-read always makes you notice new details which you missed the first time round, because you did not yet know they were important!

A note must go to the narrator, who by now IS Whyborne to me. And I cannot imagine reading this series. I want to listen to it!

5 out of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased For Review

(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

 

You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me (The Gods Made Me Do It #2) by Lisa Oliver

Amazon Link
https://www.amazon.com/Youve-Kidding-Gods-Made-Book-ebook/dp/B071GGVHJP/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1498852857&sr=1-1&keywords=you%27ve+got+to+be+kidding+me

Blurb

Poseidon, ancient Greek God of the Sea, ruler of earthquakes and once worshiped by thousands as a fertility god, was bored and that could be a dangerous thing for people around him. Deciding to visit his son, Nereus and friends at the Cloverleah pack; Poseidon causes his own brand of trouble, resulting in a night out at a club. All he wanted was a bed partner for a few hours. What he got was so much more.

Alpha Claude wanted nothing more than to rule his pack, care for his pack members and accept the offer of a warm body when his urges got too strong. When Kane, Alpha of Cloverleah calls and says he wants to bring a special visitor, he was intrigued. But when a silver-haired god walks into his club, he knows his life is going to change. He just didn’t realize how much.

Gods dropping in, visits from family and pesky secrets have a way of making things difficult. Fighting outside foes is easy; the problems that flare between two very different men might be enough to scupper their mating before it has a chance to settle. Will they ever find their HEA or are the differences between a land creature and a god of the sea too great to overcome?

This is an M/M true mates book and as such comes with the obligatory warnings. While this is book two in the series and can be read as a standalone, readers will have a better understanding of secondary characters and off page references if they have read book one and the Cloverleah series, in particular, On the Brink.

Review

I love that we get to see all the guys from Cloverleah and that Kane is still an overprotective jerk at times!

Poseidon is hard to like. He’s very selfish and doesn’t really have a lot going for him – despite being a god. Claude was suprsingly sweet, given his being an Alpha and BDSM club owner. (There is no BDSM in this book.)

There wasn’t much “new” to this story, it felt a bit like some of the others in the series, but it was still fun and sexy.

I definitely think these are best read in order, though, I suppose, it could be a standalone, but you’d be missing a lot of background.

For fans of the series, I recommend this. If you’re new to the author or this series, I wouldn’t start with this.

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Honest Review

The Sound of the Sea by Wayne Mansfield

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Sea-Wayne-Mansfield-ebook/dp/B0721SVLQ1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500226434&sr=8-1&keywords=sound+of+the+sea+wayne

Blurb:

Liam’s life could be better. He’s recovering from a divorce and a bitter custody battle, which he loses. He dearly loves his six-year-old son, Lucas, but seeing him every second weekend is never enough. His one salvation is the sea. When he’s sitting on the sand, watching the waves rolling in, he feels at peace, calmed and restored.

One day, the waves are particularly high, and the sea particularly rough. He’s surprised to see someone swimming in such choppy seas. When Liam calls out to the man, asking if he needs help, the man simply waves back. Liam thinks he must be an idiot. Little does he know the person he sees is no man, which he discovers two days later.

When they meet, Liam is both horrified and fascinated. His curiosity produces a strange attraction that changes their lives irreversibly forever

Review:
I’ve not read anything by Wayne Mansfield before and this was a good story. Not what I was looking expecting but good. There is a twist in it that I wasn’t expecting. It is the main part of the story and I can’t go into details without giving it away. Just to say there is a fantasy element to the story.

Liam meets Ezra at the beach and over the summer they become very close. However Liam being a Father is not free to do whatever he wants and has to make a decision, Ezra or his Son(Lucas). As I said I found the story on the whole a nice quick read but, as with a lot of novellas, the story lacked some detail that would have rounded it off perfectly for me. The attraction and romance between Liam and Ezra was good. But the it was the ending that got to me. It was abrupt. All meet at the beach and then they all live happy ever after. See spoiler for my issue with the ending. I would have given the story a higher rating if it wasn’t for the ending. In my opinion there were other options for the ending that wouldn’t have expanded the story too much.

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

2.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Angel in Black Leather Pants (Cloverleah Pack #9) by Lisa Oliver

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Angel-Black-Leather-Pants-Cloverleah-ebook/dp/B01M0R5C9G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487539675&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+oliver+cloverleah+9

Blurb

Adair was tired of waiting. He knew he had a mate, although they’d never met, and his waiting wasn’t made any easier watching Tobias snuggling close with his two mates. He’d thought a lot of the smaller wolf at one time. All he had was the company of his two brothers, and endless patrols trying to keep the Cloverleah pack lands safe. A trip to Claude’s with his brothers one night has some unexpected, but pleasant consequences, and after an initial misunderstanding, Adair is suddenly thrust into the world of magic, and the demands of a relationship.

Vassago’s never had a chance to be proud of who he was. As the second son of the king of the djinn, and being a lot smaller than his father or brother, Vassago spent a lot of time on the human realm, avoiding his family and those who had nothing better to do than bully him. After spending a horrible nine months trapped in Jake Poindexter’s body, he knew he had to find his potestatem before he could claim his mate. Unfortunately, that was easier said than done. When help is offered, he’s hesitant to take it, but the lure of finally being in his mate’s arms was too strong to ignore.

The troubles hitting Cloverleah are falling thick and fast. Insane plans of wiping out all paranormal life isn’t confined to a few errant humans. It’ll take the steadfast nature of a wolf shifter, who still has a habit of saying the wrong thing, and the magic of a djinn who’s struggling to believe in himself, before these two will find their HEA.

Warning: Contains M/M adult content. If this isn’t your preference, please don’t buy.

All of the books in the Cloverleah Pack series can be read as standalone. However, to fully appreciate the relationships between secondary characters, it might be wise to read the series in order.

Review

Book 7 reviewed here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/watching-out-for-fangs-cloverleah-pack-book-7-by-lisa-oliver-review/

Book 8 here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/tangling-with-bears-cloverleah-pack-series-book-8-by-lisa-oliver/

OOOOO I love Vassago!

While it looked like Vassago might have been a sneaky, almost bad-guy in the last book, we find out that he’s really, really not. He’s super sweet and very misunderstood in his own world and amazingly powerful.

Adair, if anything, seems to follow the Kane “Stick my foot in my mouth at every turn” pattern and ends up making Vassago mad more often than not. However, both these guys end up being really sweet together – as you’d expect.

There’s a lot of fun “powers” in this – djinn can do almost anything really – and that was a great addition to the Cloverleah pack. (The markings Adair gets are hysterical!)

It was great seeing Luke and Kurt and Tobias again – as well as the other couples. I really like Vadim and we got to see a lot of him, as well.

This was another great addition to the series with a few surprises and lots of magic!

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Running with the Wind (Mermen of Ea Book 3) Audiobook by Shira Anthony Narrated by Michael Stellman

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7474

RunningWithTheWindAUDLGBlurb

Sequel to Into the Wind
Mermen of Ea Trilogy: Book Three

With the final confrontation between the island and mainland Ea factions looming, Taren and Ian sail with Odhrán to investigate a lost colony of merfolk in the Eastern Lands. Upon their arrival, the King of Astenya welcomes them as friends. Odhrán, however, isn’t so quick to trust the descendent of the man who held him prisoner for nearly a decade, especially now that he has someone to cherish and protect—the mysterious winged boy he rescued from the depths.

Armed with the knowledge he believes will save the Ea, Taren returns to the mainland. With Ian at his side, Taren convinces Vurin that their people must unite with their island brethren before it’s too late. When Seria and his men attack, Taren must call upon the ancient power of the rune stone to protect his comrades. But using the stone’s immeasurable power commands a hefty price—and Ian fears that price is Taren’s life.

Review

(Previous two book reviews found here http://kimichanexperience.com/?s=mermen+of+ea)

WOW. What a conclusion! This is book three in the series and it MUST be read in order. It’s a far too complex story to jump in without the previous books as background.

In a nutshell Taren was a slave who was kidnapped by a pirate who held and sort of loved by the man who took him from a previous slave owner who wasn’t as kind. He’s rescued by Ian and the two begin their relationship – part of which is showing to Taren that he shares his body and soul with that of a merman of the people Ea. Through many trials and tribulations he also learns that his soul is bound to another’s (Treande) and that he and Ian (Owyn) shared a love in an earlier incarnation.

At the end of the last book we’d just learned about Owyn and Treande and met a whole other bevy of new characters including Sebastian and Odhrán and they have an epic battle in the end wherein Sebastian loses his lover Rider and kills himself in battle but is reborn because he’s a dragon! Now Sebastian is young again and attaching himself to Odhrán and their story continues…

The bulk of the story is Taren and Ian battling with the witch Seria and moving forward towards a new role in the government of their people. But it’s also about laying groundwork for (what I hope?!) is more story from Sebastian and Odhrán.

There’s far too much involved in this story to “summarize” and if you haven’t been following along it won’t make any sense but if you’re a fan and you haven’t read this yet – HOLD ON TO YOUR PANTS! There is SO much going on – action, adventure, battles, government building, way cool powers, destiny taking effect, past lives, future loves… it’s packed … every page is full, full, full. (The ending… so bittersweet – totally crying!)

**

I think for fans of fantasy this must be what heaven is like. For me, one of the things that makes me avoid the genre, is that I have to work so hard to enjoy it.  What I mean is, though Shira is amazing at world building, because it is all new, every bit of it takes some brain power for me to keep up with and follow.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it, but it’s work.  And all the new names and exotic sounds and places takes a bit of brain energy and sometimes I just want to easily float instead of doing the hard rowing.  Shira’s world is very complex and I had to go back and forth between books one and two and three since it’d been so long since I’d been in this world.  So… while my efforts are FULLY REWARDED… for me I have to work a bit and that detracts it from a perfect read just a bit.

Shira Anthony always amazes me with the width and breadth of her work. From the contemporary Blue Notes series, to the meremen of Ea to the Blood series – each so different and yet she dives so completely into the world and immerses her readers with her. She’s a gifted writer and storyteller and I think her characters are her best asset. Even the secondary characters are amazingly well thought out and three dimensional.

For fans of the series this is a sad but beautiful ending to a great series and I know many of us are hopeful there will be a spin-off with Sebastian and Odhrán!

Audio

Micahel Stellman does all the books in this series and it must take work figuring out an entire new world and giving it a voice. He does an excellent job with it and since I’ve only experienced this series through him, he defines it for me and Taren’s voice is his interoperation. I’ve really enjoyed listening to this and highly recommend it.

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Tidal Change by Chris Kat

TidalChangeBlurb

Something draws history teacher Rick Grady across the school hall to German teacher Marty Lindson. Maybe it’s their shared love of the ocean. Maybe it’s just that Marty is so hot, but maybe it’s something more—something mysterious. All Rick knows is that every time he gets close, Marty pulls away. After another cancelled date, Rick goes to Marty’s apartment to demand an explanation. And what Rick discovers blows his mind.

The ocean calls to Marty because he’s a merman. He’s been afraid to get close to Rick, not just to keep his world a secret, but because Rick is his mate. And to claim his mate would change everything about Marty. No matter how much he loves Rick, he doesn’t know if he’s ready to alter his entire life.

Review

Rick and Marty teach school together and have been flirting for months. Rick is 12 years older than Marty and has a bum leg he got while diving. Marty keeps giving mixed signals: sometimes he can’t get enough of Rick, other times he’s pushing him away. But one thing is certain, whenever Rick pushes for more intimacy, Marty can’t run away fast enough.

Just when Rick thinks that he’s had enough, Marty gets “sick” and Rick ends up breaking into his house to find out if he’s in need of emergency care.

Well, he certainly in need of something, all right! Marty is a merman and Rick is his mate. The only problem is, acting on their mating will force Marty to change into something he doesn’t want to become, and once it’s done, it’s forever.

Luckily the two work together on a solution and everyone ends up surprisingly very happy.

**

I really enjoyed the unique nature of this book. The dilemma faced is one I have literally never seen in any other book and it was really interesting.

The romance was fairly tepid, but kind of sweet, especially in the end.

I enjoyed meeting Marty’s family and learning about merfolk and if there are more books in this series I’d definitely read them.

Overall I gave it a 3.5 of 5 stars and recommend it based on the unique nature of the story, the good writing and the solid characters.

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Copy Provided by Dreamspinner Press

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5446