Time to get Scared: Abercrombie Zombie by KZ Snow

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11719825-abercrombie-zombie?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Dead folks are the best friends of Quinn McConnell and Hunter Janz. Dead folks pay the bills for this team of psychic mediums . . . but just barely. To make it into the financial comfort zone, they need to outshine their competition.

Quinn needs even more than that. He’s been infatuated with his partner for the nearly three years they’ve been together, and if he can’t either get over his crush or make something happen with Hunter, they’ll have to split up. Sexual tension and unrequited love can wreak havoc with a psychic’s reception.

Salvation comes hobbling along in the form of a well-dressed but ravaged-looking man who can clearly see and converse with the dearly departed. Why? Because, he claims, he has something in common with them: He’s also been dead. The zombie who calls himself Dustin DeWind needs the psychics’ help in finding the man who made him what he is. In return, he promises to steer them toward the often elusive spirits that are their stock in trade.
But something more goes on when Quinn and Hunter forge an uneasy alliance with Dustin DeWind. It seems he’s also nudging them toward each other.

Review:

A totally different take on zombies – well, this zombie anyway.
The blurb gives the bones of the story, but it doesn’t prepare you for the murder/mystery, subtle humour, some pop culture references or the life lessons you get out of the story.
The humour and some of the pop culture are intertwined; the zombie is called Dustin DeWind – I didn’t know it was the name of a song, instead I thought it a tongue-in-cheek reference to zombies being dead (dust to dust …). Still thought it was amusing☺.
The way Dustin became a zombie is different, which makes him a different type of zombie – one that doesn’t eat brains – for starters ☺
When Dustin meets up with Quinn and Hunter, Dustin inadvertently stirs up a mini drama between the 2 psychics, especially with Quinn who’s been in love with Hunter for some time. Quinn has managed to keep it to himself until circumstances change to bring those feelings up front. The way the unrequited love angle is handled really well – hardly any angst, but you feel Quinn’s hurt.

When all 3 men get better acquainted, it turns out they all need each other – and this is the meat of the story. I was pleasantly surprised by the way the story evolved, and because the story is so unique, it’s best you read it to see how it progresses and ends.

I really enjoyed it.

4 stars out of 5

Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

 

 

 

Time to get Paranormal: Chasing Destiny (Silver Tip Pack book 2) By Megan Erickson

 

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33795022-chasing-destiny?from_search=true

Blurb
Bay has had his fair share of hardships, as brother to the Alpha of the Silver Tip Pack. He almost died when a usurper took the opportunity the alpha was away on a rescue mission to try and take over. Upon his brother’s return he discovers the one person he cannot forget, his best friend Nash, was still alive all these years after he disappeared when they were boys. The news is as unsettling as the fact Nash has been lost again, with no hope of returning, sacrificing his life to buy Dare and his team time to get back to safety when the Noweres attacked.

Now Bay is restless, choosing to go outside the safety of their compound for Reese’s long though dead tribe. New intel says there are possible survivors there and Dare. As alpha, must see if they can be allied with, for the sake of his mate. Bay expects to find some lost wolves barely hanging on and not the small, yet strong, community who is more that capable to defend itself. And he was not expecting to find Nash again, after mourning him twice and giving up any shred of hope, the one person he has always loved. But the years Nash was away have damaged his body and soul, and unlocking the secrets of his past might lead to an enemy much worse than the Undead Noweres and their single minded need to kill.

Review
This was a book I was anxiously anticipating after book one, and Nash and Bay’s story was as thrilling and emotional as it was hot. I loved the expansion of the world Megan created with the addition of Reese’s tribe and their leader Pace. I also adored how intricately she wrote Nash’s back story, it’s raw and sad but also adds a whole new dimension and a ruthless enemy for our group of heroes. We also get a look as how they live in this dystopian future after all the humans died in the virus and the Noweres appeared.
Bay and Nash share an unbreakable bond, one that time and pain could not erode, and the Friends-to-Lovers theme is strong in this book. The added bonus of the shifter dynamics, the pack bond between them makes their love almost visceral. Nash has been found and is slowly getting his strength back, but the past scars he carries are deep and he keeps pushing Bay away. Bay, the fun loving optimist that he is, doesn’t let him get too far despite his attempts of running away. They are fun to read about with an air of longing in every touch and moment between them, and they are smoldering hot together.
When Nash’s fate in those lost years is revealed Dare has to reevaluate the world he lives in and what he thought to be facts. Nash is not the only one holding secrets, Pace has some of his own and in order to survive they have to work together and trust each other, not an easy feat when testosterone and egos are at play. I loved them so much, especially when the horrors of Nash’s live are discovered. You just feel so much for him, for all of them really- thrust in a cruel violent future fighting against bloodthirsty monsters and evil beyond human comprehension.
This book is almost like a detective story, were you gather tidbits of information and try to put the puzzle pieces together. I am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series, an MMF according to Megan’s FB group post and more of this world.

Number of stars out of 5
4.5 stars

 

Purchased for review

 

Time to Get Paranormal: Duck! Audiobook by: Kim Dare Narrated by: Rod M. Maskew

 

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Duck-Audiobook/B01NCLJWJ9?qid=1535303252&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=JEEM5XB5ZEQJSXBW1DRC&

Blurb

Raised among humans, Ori Jones only discovered he was an avian shifter six months ago. Unable to complete a full shift until he reaches his avian maturity, he still can’t be sure of his exact species.
But with species comes rank, and rank is everything to the avians. When a partial shift allows the elders to announce that they believe Ori to be a rather ugly little duckling, he drops straight to the bottom rung of their hierarchy.
Life isn’t easy for Ori until he comes to the attention of a high ranking hawk shifter. Then the only question is, is Ori really a duck – and what will his new master think when the truth eventually comes out?

Review
I have loved this retake of the ugly duckling fairytale for a long time. The essence of the original fairy tale is still the structure of the story which makes it familiar whilst bringing it into the realm of shifters. We meet Ori living a life of drudgery being bullied by other bird shifters. The Avian nest has a hierarchical structure and Ori being a duckling is low down the pecking order, so to speak. The author has selected birds that suit the nature of the characters being portrayed. This gave me wonderful imagery. The superior Hawks and other birds of Pray being at the top and the pigeons scurrying about in service roles.
Reynard, a Hawk, is disgusted with the way Ori is being treated and offers him a role as a servant in his home. This is where the Master/slave story starts. If BDSM is not your cup of tea this might not the story for you. The core is Dominance and Submission but it doesn’t have a lot of kinky scenes, so it might be worth taking a chance. Reynard, being a Hawk, is a strong character and with the societal hierarchy consent seems to be taken for granted. His drive is to protect and care for Ori. Ori looks up to Reynard and equally wants to take care of Reynard by serving him. From this the love grows and blossoms. The huge bump in their relationship comes from when Ori has his final shift and becomes a Swan. I don’t think I’m giving much away given that it’s based on the Ugly Duckling fairytale. How they deal with this dramatic change though is what makes the story. Can their love overcome such an obstacle? I’ll leave you to discover that for yourselves.

Regarding the narration, I am a fan of Rod M. Maskew’s narration. He excelled at portraying the nature of each bird’s character through the tone and voices he chose. The Hawks were superior upper class English men and the crows were noisy ruffians. Ori was gentle and meek but also gracious. Apart from the second book, magpie, I don’t think he has narrated anything else, which is such a shame.

5 of stars out of 5 for both

Purchased by reviewer

Blood Drop (The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge #5) by Jacob Z. Flores

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/blood-drop-by-jacob-z-flores-8920-b

Blurb

A single drop of blood might hold the key to the fate of the magical world, and Aiden Teine must choose between his bond of love and embracing the power to defeat his enemies.

Aiden’s adjustment to being the first vampyre fae hasn’t been easy, but his ties to warlock Thad Blackmoor prevent him from becoming a monster. With Thad, Aiden has a new family, a new purpose, and a new reason to live—though he’s technically undead. There’s one problem: Aiden’s control over his vampyre is weakening. He must learn what’s triggering his violent reactions before he surrenders to the creature within. To complicate matters, Aiden discovers his transformation might not be complete, and he fears what he will become.

Aiden’s search for answers thrusts him into a frightening world filled with deception, new dangers, and apocalyptic visions. The part destiny intends Aiden to play could alter his relationship with Thad forever. If Aiden, Thad, and the entire magical community are to survive Icarian’s latest scheme, Aiden must interpret the meaning of the prophetic blood drop before it falls and ushers in the destruction of all creation—and the warlock he loves.

Review

 
I think this book may have just jumped the line and became my favorite in the series! I absolutely adored book one and haven’t felt that strongly about the next two – though they are all realllllly good – but this one? Yeah – super awesome and amazing!

It literally has everything a great story needs. Super fantastic magical powers? Check. Super crazy villain? Check. Super romantic story? Check. Unbelievably tense action? Check. Stress and struggle that ends in a way that blew my mind? Check? A Happy Ending? Well…. Mostly check.  Cute nicknames… Your Highness… check!

Jacob clearly leaves the ending up for more stories to come – our boys have evolved quite a bit but there’s a lot of danger in the world so….

In any case – if you’re a fan of this series you will gobble this up! If you haven’t started the series – go do it – this isn’t a standalone. Though I’d call the series YA or NA – it doesn’t feel like that – it just has some younger characters.

Though it’s probably cliché – the ending was my favorite. The epic battle – the sacrifices – the epilogue – I totally cried like a baby.

Highly recommended to fans of the author, the series and to anyone who loves magic!

6 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Spooky! Daring Fate (Silver Tip Pack #1) by Megan Erickson

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Daring-Fate-Silver-Pack-Book-ebook/dp/B01M10HZDM/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1508001635&sr=1-2&keywords=megan+erickson+silver

Blurb

We all have tragic backstories in today’s world.

I wake up chained to the wall of a dark cell aware of two things: I failed my sister, and I smell my enemy.

When I’m taken to meet Dare, the alpha of the Silver Tip pack, I’m sure I’m about to lose my throat. The last thing I expect is for the Alpha to recognize me as his fated mate. No way is he going to let me go now, and I still have to find a way to rescue my sister.

As I plot my escape to save her, I find that if I leave, Dare could be killed by power-hungry members of his pack. And now he’s more to me than my fated mate—my heart is involved. With time ticking by on my sister’s life, I have to make a choice I never thought I’d face—my sister’s life or my mate’s? That’s if I can survive the undead shifters intent on killing me first…

Review
Wow! This is an INTENSE story. I had to take this is shifts because the tension is so high and my emotions would run away with me. (An excellent thing for an author to be able to do – BTW.) As I’d been expecting – from reading the blurb and other reviews – this was not your typical, furry, funny, sweet shifter story. First, it’s got zombie werewolves in it – so there’s that! The mate pull is viscous and sometimes cruel and though the romance in this story is top notch and very emotional, the secondary story – living in this horrible zombie world – is hard to read.

I really enjoyed some of the mini-politics that happen in these post-apocalyptic worlds where everyone is fighting for their lives but I have to say that I tend to avoid these types of stories for a good reason – they are tough emotionally. When people/werewolves are under stress they don’t always act like nice folks.

In any case, the writing – as usual – is excellent, the world building is thorough and complex, the romance and smexy times are scorching and very compelling.

You definitely have to brace yourself for this and be prepared for something atypical, but if you’re a shifter romance fan I think you should give this a try. If you’re a dystopian/apocalypse type fan – you’ll want to give this a try as well.
(When I’ve recovered I’m moving on to book 2…wish me luck!)

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Spooky Review: Threshold (Whyborne & Griffin #2) Audiobook by Jordan L. Hawk Narrated by Julian G. Simmons

Audible Link
https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Threshold-Audiobook/B00GWTNVDG/ref=a_search_c4_1_3_srTtl?qid=1506560115&sr=1-3

Blurb

Introverted scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne wants nothing more than to live quietly with his lover, ex-Pinkerton detective Griffin Flaherty. Unfortunately, Whyborne’s railroad tycoon father has other ideas, namely hiring Griffin to investigate mysterious events at a coal mine.

Whyborne, Griffin, and their friend Christine travel to Threshold Mountain, a place of dark legend even before the mine burrowed into its heart. A contingent of Pinkertons—including Griffin’s ex-lover Elliot—already guard the mine. But Griffin knows better than anyone just how unprepared the detectives are to face the otherworldly forces threatening them.

Soon, Whyborne and Griffin are on the trail of mysterious disappearances, deadly accidents, and whispered secrets. Is Elliot an ally, or does he only want to rekindle his relationship with Griffin? And if so, how can Whyborne possibly hope to compete with the stunningly handsome Pinkerton—especially when Griffin is hiding secrets about his past?

For in a town where friends become enemies and horror lurks behind a human mask, Whyborne can’t afford to trust anything—including his own heart.

Review

 Although this one is, in my opinion, the weakest of the series, it is still a delightful addition to the series. Whyborne outside of Widdershins and his comfort zone is always fun. He is such a fussy person, so to plop him down in a Wild West setting where the roads are not paved and the wilderness is right on the town border is obviously going to cause friction.
Threshold does not have quite the same creepy feeling as the first book, but it is still a thoroughly enjoyable read and it does hold keys to understanding Whyborne and the development of his powers, as well as giving us glimpses into Griffin’s past, so it really shouldn’t be left out when reading the series. The narrator of the audiojob does an incredible job once again and I cannot imagine Whyborne sounding in any other way. Will aboslutely get the next of the series.

4 out of 5 stars

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

 

   

 

Elemental Ride by Mel Eight

Less Than Three Press Presents

https://lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=106_139&products_id=1227&zenid=hv472jkcp3epfpg8948tacqtd0

31924955Blurb

 

Rawley isn’t the type to crush hard and fast on anyone, but he’s somehow helpless when it comes to the new mailman. Even his bikes and his job as enforcer for a local motorcycle gang, the center of his world, don’t compare to his interest in Reign. Unfortunately, Reign doesn’t seem to be as interested—but secrets and magic have a way of turning everything upside down.

 

 

 

 

Review

This was not what I was expecting! It is utterly unique and to that extent, Kudos!

Without “spoiling” this for you, Reign isn’t human – and what he “is” is absolutely unique. It’s a little disconcerting and even Rawley isn’t sure what to do with him or if he wants to be involved with him.

This is paranormal in other ways, Rawley lives in a new world where “sprites” live under the skin of humans and give them powers. There is very little world “building” or explanation as to what that means or how that works, but there are a few demonstrations of the powers and it looks cool! It’s definitely a new twist to the magic theme and pretty interesting.

Unfortunately, more time is spent on Rawley and his MC’s problems with the mayor than anything else and there is very little time spent on the romance between him and Reign. In fact, we never see them together til the end and even that is a little odd.

If this is a set up for a serial, things make sense, this would be the first part where we meet the players. If this is a book all by itself? Well. It fails. There’s not a satisfying ending to either the trouble with the mayor or the romance. So… I have to assume this is a first book of several?

The other books in this series by Less Than Three Press “Roughhouse Raiders” are all done by different authors and deal with different MCs and do not use the same “world” so I don’t think reading them will give more information/storyline to this particular piece. (I read Hellbeasts and it had nothing to do with this, nor do the blurbs sound similar.)

So… for this, as is, I’d say read it for the curious and the unique take on magic the author provides, but set your expectations low as far as completeness or romance.

2.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for Honest Review

 

 

Fight the Tide (Kick at the Darkness Book 2) by Keira Andrews

 

release day review

 

30989088Blurb

Adrift in a post-apocalyptic world, they only have each other. Is it enough?

A virus that turns the infected into zombie-like killers spreads through a burning world thrown into lawless chaos. Lovers Parker and Adam have escaped to the open sea when they hear a message over the airwaves from a place called Salvation Island—a supposed safe haven.

Orphaned as a child, werewolf Adam has always longed for a pack. He’s eager to investigate the island, but Parker doesn’t think for a nanosecond that the voice on the radio can be believed. He doesn’t trust anyone but Adam and is determined to keep it that way. They don’t need anyone else complicating their struggle to survive. Or do they?

Danger on the high seas can surface in a heartbeat, and if Parker and Adam aren’t careful, the current will drag them under.

This gay romance is a dystopian adventure featuring a werewolf, his boyfriend, and their struggle to find a place to call home

Review

This must be read in order. This book takes place right where book one left off. Adam and Parker are on a stolen yacht in the ocean off the east coast hoping to avoid being bitten, avoid pirates, avoid other non-bitten people who are out to take what they have and pretty much everybody else. Except… Adam longs to find a place where he and Parker can settle down and be safe. When they hear a message over the airwaves that sounds like a haven, Parker immediately thinks “trap” and Adam thinks “home”.

What proceeds is the two of them fighting for resources, fighting one another (a bit) and them finally deciding to take a risk at Salvation Island and what happens there.

**

I have to admit I’m a huge Keira Andrews fan. I adored book one and was PSYCHED to see book two. I’ll probably read book three….

My problem isn’t the writing, isn’t the MCs, isn’t the romance – those are all wonderful. Adam and Parker still have stuff to work through, and by the end of book one they’d really only scratched the surface. By the end of this story, they’re on more solid ground but they are by no means “safe”.

My problem is dystopian stories. I just don’t care for them. I don’t like the bleak, dark nature of them and the sense of impossibility that seems to pervade every line in the story. It’s depressing!

So, while book one should have felt that same way – it didn’t – for some reason, but book two definitely does. It’s dark. There are times when I thought to myself – how in the world can these guys survive? Even at the end.

So… it’s just not my type of story. I’m hopeful that some crazy awesome solution will arise to help our MCs but in the meantime it’s so much hopelessness and really kind of depressing…..

However, if that’s your cup of tea you’ll love this and the author does a fantastic job of engaging the reader so even people like me will enjoy the writing and character development but be prepared. This is a much darker story than book one and it was hard to read at times.

3.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review