Coming Soon! Prince of Air and Darkness (The Darkest Court #1) by M.A. Grant

February 25!

 

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41550787-prince-of-air-and-darkness?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Blurb

Phineas Smith has been cursed with a power no one could control.

Roark Lyne is his worst enemy and his only hope.

The only human student at Mather’s School of Magick, Phineas Smith has a target on his back. Born with the rare ability to tap into unlimited magick, he finds both Faerie Courts want his allegiance—and will do anything to get it.

They don’t realize he can’t levitate a feather, much less defend the Faerie Realm as it slips into civil war.

Unseelie Prince Roark Lyne, Phineas’s roommate—and self-proclaimed arch nemesis—is beautiful and brave and a pain in the ass. Phineas can’t begin to sort through their six years of sexual tension masquerading as mutual dislike. But Roark is also the only one able to help Finn tame his magick.

Trusting Roark’s mysterious motives may be foolish; not accepting his temporary protection would be deadly.

Caught in the middle of the impending war, Phineas and Roark forge a dangerous alliance. And as the walls between them crumble, Phineas realizes that Roark isn’t the monster he’d imagined. But their growing intimacy threatens to expose a secret that could either turn the tide of the war…or destroy them both.

Review

Many people have liked this – I’m not one of them.

It just didn’t hit me right and I found myself only half-heartedly reading along. I’m not super big on fantasy to begin with and maybe this is too much for a “light” fantasy reader.

I didn’t feel the connection between Roark and Phineas like I wanted and the opposites attract/enemies to lovers thing was the only thing I liked about this.

3 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: A Wish Upon the Stars By TJ Klune Narrated by: Michael Lesley

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-wish-upon-the-stars-by-tj-klune-10278-b

Blurb

Sequel to The Consumption of Magic
Nearly a year ago, blinded by grief and betrayal, Sam of Wilds made a desperate decision to follow the Great White into the Dark Woods. Now, he emerges to a world changed.
The City of Lockes is a prison. The King has been locked away in the dungeons. The Kingdom of Verania has fallen, and the Dark wizard Myrin sits on the throne.
But soon after his return, Sam learns of a resistance fighting in his name, led by a courageous knight, a defiant prince, a pissed-off unicorn, and a half-giant who wants to smash everything in sight. If he has any hope of defeating the villains who have taken their home, Sam must face the consequences of his choices—and the friends he left behind.

Review:
This has got to be one of the best series in all fiction, period!
I was going to compose my thoughts and write a somewhat regular (staid) review about how much I enjoyed it, how good the final installment was, etc. But screw that! I am going to say exactly how I felt about the story and narration.
It was absolutely, brilliant ☺ TJ Klune wrote a fitting series finale – with all the humour, all the suspense and all the feels! Small disclosure – I have not read any of the books in the Verania series – I have all as ebooks – but never got past the first chapter of The Lightning Struck Heart. And that is due to TJ’s ‘CORNERSTONE’ Michael Lesley (and yes, it’s captalised so it’s true!). He channeled the magic of TJ Klune’s book and made the audiobook a masterpiece of its own.
Michael Lesley makes it impossible for me to read the books. In the finale that is AWUTS, he holds nothing back. It’s a glorious performance with our favourite characters – Sam, Justin, Tiggy, Gary, Kevin, Randall; some bittersweet times as Morgan is remembered and suspenseful as Myrin and Sam square off at the end. The liberal use of sound effects serves to make the performance pretty much perfect ☺
I won’t go into the story, except to say that while Sam has grown, he is still the same and the end is spectacular, with events that I didn’t see coming.
I will happily listen to this book again and again – the 18+ hours fly by with this excellent performance.
Honestly, this is one of best books and performances out there – entirely due the magical combination of TJ Klune and Michael Lesley.

6 out of 5– Out of this world!


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review

First off, I have to say FINALLY!!!!!! I was stalking audible relentlessly for most of November waiting for this release and I devoured it in less than 2 work shifts!!

Story wise, A Wish Upon the Stars goes back to light-heartedness that The Lighting Struck Heart had. It is ridiculously funny, while being sweet, sexy and surprising. Sam, while he is now a full-fledged wizard, is still as immature as ever. His on-going feud with Lady Tina is hilarious. One my favorite things about this series is Sam’s ever-growing bond with the dragons, especially Kevin. While 99% of what Kevin says is gross and over the top, he has these moments of pure brilliance. There is so much that goes on in this story but the message is one of love, friendship and sacrifice.

Michael Lesley’s narration of these stories is beyond amazing. Normally I’m not a fan of special effects and sounds used in audiobooks but listening to this series has changed my mind. The range of voices Michael has is outstanding. There has to be 80 billion characters in this book alone and I don’t think he reused a single voice. If you aren’t normally an audio listener, do yourself a favor and get these books, you will not regret it!!

P.S.
Do yourself a favor and don’t skip Michael’s sound effect credits, there are some hilarious moment there as well.
6 stars!!


Copy Purchased for Review

 

Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Colina de Lavanada by August Li

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb
Lord protector of whores, thieves, sorcerers, and deviants.

Owning a parcel of land the railroad needs to cross means Edward gets to run the border town around the station as he sees fit. What starts as a place to indulge his varied appetites becomes a haven to society’s castoffs, and if Edward encourages legends about its founder to flourish, well, he’s not so much a liar as a man who wants to protect all the cultures living in peace. Being mayor means folks might ignore his vices, but they also expect him to fix what goes wrong.

When a crushing heat wave and drought threaten not only the town’s diverse holiday celebrations but its very existence, Edward must turn to the one man he’d rather french kiss a timber rattler than face—the icily elegant Cantonese mage Edward walked out on but never stopped loving.

Review
Mages, addiction, drought and second chances.
Four words to describe this little magical tale.

Stunning mage Shu holds Edward, the founder of Colina de Lavanda, at distance… his heart can’t handle him.
Edward couldn’t stay with just one guy so Shu put him aside.
With the ongoing drought Edward has to ask Shu for help…

Amazing description of a wonderful scenery. The main characters were well put down, a flawed mayor and a graceful, elegant mage. An undeniable love and attraction. A nice solution to solve the drought and a sweet reuniting. This all woven together with some magic and here you got it: Colina de Lavanda. I did like this tale.

Number of stars out 4 of 5

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

 

 

Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Hero for the Holidays by Charles Payseur

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb

 

Cody travels from Metro City to the Caribbean island lair of Dr. Devious to look after the place while the supervillain is in space for the holidays… and maybe to mend his broken heart. With Christmas fast approaching, Cody is desperate to avoid reminders of his recent disastrous breakup, and a few weeks of sun and relaxation sound perfect—until a drunk (but very cute) superhero crashes the party by literally crashing onto the beach.
And that’s just the start of Cody’s problems—angry shark-men, mysterious lava creatures, and a malfunctioning AI all make his holiday getaway anything but relaxing. Amid the chaos of his adventures in lair-sitting, though, Cody might find just what he needs—a new chance at love.

Review

When Cody agrees to lair sit for Dr. Devious, he thought he would be in for a nice relaxing holiday on the island. What happens will change his life forever. Trying to get over a bad break up Cody just wants to soak up some sunshine and forget his pain, but unexpected visitors and an artificial intelligence gone haywire is what he must deal with.
This story is a fast paced read that pulled me in right from the start. Cody’s adventure is full of comical mishaps and an engaging plot. Cody is a regular person and readers can relate to him and how he deals with what is happening on the island. It was fun to see all the misunderstandings happen throughout this story. This is a sweet and endearing read and look forward to more from this author in the future.

Number of stars out of 5: 4

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Recent Releases: Halloween Short Freebies!

Inn Love by Lucy Lennox

No blurb but a competition for a bed and breakfast pits two guys against one another in a haunted house.  But… they find love instead!

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36431512-inn-love?from_search=true

 

Review

This was an adorable little story about some meddling ghosts and a little boy who finally grows up to achieve his dream.

There were a lot of times that I was annoyed with Ryan and I got tired of the other “contestants” but it was a quick story that had some cute and sweet moments.

3 of 5 stars

Monster Till Midnight by E.J. Russell

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42509627-monster-till-midnight?from_search=true

Blurb

Brady dearly loves Halloween. But the haunted house extravaganza he staged in his new town–in a house that’s actually supposed to be haunted–is a total bust. But then, an unexpected visitor barges out of his corn maze…

Review

I wish this had been full length! I loved this so much! It was clever, with some fabulous twists in it and loads of laughs!

It was a minute to read, but I wish that we had more time with these characters and their discovery of love that is more hinted at than explored.

In any case – highly recommended for a quick, fun, Halloween read!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time To Get Paranormal: Untouchable Beauty (The Cubi #1) by Meraki P. Lyhne

 

Good Reads Link:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32192419-untouchable-beauty?from_search=true

Blurb
Business school is not for Daniel. Not after making the cover of Teen Model. The only problem is that his parents don’t agree, and Daniel skips school to set his plans for fortune and fame in motion. Meeting the award-winning photographer Heimli will change his life, but not in the ways the nineteen-year-old young man expects.

At the age of four hundred thirty-six, Seldon has fed on more beautiful men than he can remember. Living in seclusion from the human world, humans are brought to the Incubi and Succubi as slaves to feed on. Amongst these slaves are the rare Untouchables. When Seldon is entrusted with the safekeeping of one, he has his work cut out for him—especially since this Untouchable gets on his nerves. And under his skin.

Review
Untouchable Beauty…….a Paranormal read (not my first choice but I don’t want to have limitations)
Well that was totally not what I expected. Didn’t read much blurb so it did surprised me
Very nice written!
Daniel an at first look shallow guy. He follows his heart and will become who he want to be. As long he is young and beautiful he wants to be a model. After making the choice between the schoolbus and the skyscrapers he find an advertise from a photographer who is looking for models. And there he goes…..following his dream….

It all runs sooo different After the make up session before the photo shoot he wakes up and find himself in a cell on a train. There are some creatures and other young people on board. What’s the destination?

When he meets his beautiful trainer and guardian and Master Seldon for the next three years he still has no idea what lies for him and what will happen.
And o there are things to happen….

He is disciplined by his master, bruised and slapped in the face. He is very afraid of his master.

He is an ‘untouchable’ and if that’s something to be pleased at….?

There is a lot a lot of sex. Sex is what drives ‘them’ what holds them alive….and ohhh did I say a lot of sex? Holy shit It’s one big orgy
I was really really surprised by this book! I don’t want to detail the story but it’s in another part of the world with creatures you will love and hate. There are all sorts in the hierarchy and a little confusing it is. But all very entertaining.
And damn there is a sort of open end and I cant stand that. Can’t wait to read the next one.

Number of stars out of 5
5 stars

 

 

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Prince’s Gambit by Crista Crown, Connor Crowe

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40970303-prince-s-gambit

Blurb

Two princes.

Two vastly different cultures.

One contract that could save their peoples.

Prince Kylan of Dorvak is desperate to save his starving country. Hemmed in by looming mountains and the sea, there’s only one nation who can help them… the ship nation of Ysladre, barred from their shores years ago.

ShipSon Ferrin of the Ysladre Flotilla has never stepped foot on land, but if he is able to secure this alliance for his people, for his father, their names will be remembered for as long as their people sail the seas.

The agreement is simple:

If ShipSon Ferrin produces an heir for Prince Kylan, they will be wed, and their nations united.

But forces within the kingdom are shifting. Many chafe under the harsh rule of Kylan’s father. Some seek the opportunity to unseat Kylan’s family for good. The king opposes the possibility of alliance with Ysladre.

Kylan cares for his people, but as he falls in love with the delicate son of Ysladre, he also falls in love with his people—a feeling his father cannot and will not understand.

It’s a race against time to secure the alliance with a child before the people starve to death, a rebellion rises, or the king outright banishes Ferrin, the only man he’s ever loved.

Prince’s Gambit is Game of Thrones meets mpreg, with an arranged marriage, deception, passion, knotting, bloodshed, but a guaranteed HEA. (No main characters were killed in in the making of this book.)An Epic Mpreg Romance

An Epic Mpreg Romance.

Review

There were parts I really loved about this: the social commentary, the “stranger in a stange land” aspects, the unique shift of experienced omega and virginal alpha.   Those were interesting and well written.

 

What I didn’t care for was the relationship between the two MCs – I didn’t feel the emotional connection and their marriage still felt like a marriage of convenience even by the end.

 

It was interesting and I’d look for more in this series, but I wasn’t blown away.

Not enough shifting 🙁

3.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: Consorting With Dragons by Sera Trevor

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Consorting-with-Dragons-Audiobook/B07F3BGR2N?ref=a_a_library_c4_libItem_3_B07F3BGR2N&pf_rd_p=ae76b2bb-e63d-4a67-b357-dab3dee05ca1&pf_rd_r=XRAHEZ2Z33VXAZ7P1V4V&

Blurb

Lord Jasen of Grumhul, an impoverished young nobleman, has come to the Draelands to find a rich husband to help pay his father’s debts. To the shock of everyone, he ends up attracting the attention of King Rilvor himself and the dragons who control the magic in the land.
Becoming royalty wasn’t something Jasen either expected or wanted, but he can’t control his growing feelings for the kind and handsome king. Scheming factions at Court conspire to keep him from Rilvor’s side, and now, Jasen has to decide if the chance at true love with Rilvor is worth the burden of being the husband of a king.
Contains mature themes.

Review

 

First let me say, that I will absolutely be looking for this author in the future and second, that I had no idea Philip Alces had that accent (his own? Dunno… but it was wonderful!)

 

However, I didn’t love this story.

 

I did love the premise – Cinderella with dragons. I didn’t love that Jasen was a “slut” before we got to meet Rilvor and the steam factor in this is so low. Maybe that’s hypocritical – but my own taste would have been keep to one theme or the other. Keep Jasen and the sex scenes chaste or give us some hot smexy times!

 

I never read the “short version” and only listened to this, so I can’t compare, but I really do wish we’d seen more from Rilvor’s POV. I also hope that , since so much time went into world building, we’ll see more from this world in the future.

 

The writing was really good and as far as I could tell so was the editing.

 

As I mentioned before Philip Alces nailed all the accents and really put the listener in a great frame to appreciate this story/time in place. The secondary characters were good, though some of them I knew better than the 2nd MC.

 

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this and found myself happily listening without a desire to skip ahead. Well-done!

 

 

3.75 (rounded to 4) of 5 stars overall

 

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Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook Month: Fangs and Catnip by Julia Talbot Narrated by Dorian Bane

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fangs-and-catnip-by-julia-talbot-9030-b

Blurb: A Dead and Breakfast Novel
A romance worth fighting for—tooth and claw.

Solitary vampire Fallon Underwood gets all the social interaction he needs being the silent partner at the Dead and Breakfast B and B high in the Colorado mountains. Change is hard for Fallon, so when his business partner, Tanner, suggests hiring a new manager for the inn, he’s adamant that they don’t need help, especially not in the form of bouncy werecat Carter Hughes.

Carter is a happy-go-lucky kitty, and he loves the hospitality industry, so the D and B ought to be a great place for him. He falls for Fallon as soon as he picks up one of Fallon’s novels, and begins to woo the vamp with gifts. When Fallon finally succumbs to Carter’s feline charms, the results are unexpected, to say the least. Their mating will have irreversible consequences—for their bodies and their hearts.

Review:
(Book reviewed here previously by Dee)
This is a different take on supernatural interspecies mating.
I liked the quirky characters at the B&B – from Fallon, the moody writer (vampire); Tanner co-owner (Bear) and Glenda (Gorgon). Tanner needs a day manager to help take on some of the day to day managerial duties, (since Fallon, co-owner has little interest in helping). Carter, a werecat, applies and gets the job. Carter is friendly, chatty, with a sunny disposition – all the things Fallon is not. But Carter ‘weres’ Fallon down (I couldn’t resist☺) and they fall in love.
It was interesting the way Fallon and Carter’s relationship progressed; especially the way they took on each other’s traits – Carter developing photosensitivity, while Fallon had a vague craving for meat. However, the two men have to find a way to adjust to their mating changes or they will slowly die. With the help of a B&B staff, a few guests and a local doctor, the two men figure out a way to adjust to each other and live happily together.
There is a bit of heartache when Fallon thinks he’s helping by pushing Carter away. As a result, Carter becomes feral and Fallon has to find a way to bring him back.
I enjoyed the story, especially the twist on the fated mates trope.
I hope there will be stories for some of the other characters, like Tanner or Dan (wolf, guest).

3.75 stars out of 5

Audio

Dorian Bane does a terrific job of giving every “unique” character in this funny story an equally “unique” voice. He’s definitely got the “tongue in cheek” vibe down and he mirrors the light hearted nature of the story perfectly. 

He excels at his dialog and is solid on the non-dialog parts. This is definitely the way to appreciate this story and is a great way to spend a weekend!

4.5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Release Day Review: Nudging Fate by E.J. Russell

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/nudging-fate-by-ej-russell-9553-b

Blurb

An Enchanted Occasions Story
Not exactly a match made in Valhalla.
Half-norn event planner Anders Skuldsson is under strict orders from Asgard not to meddle with Fate. But with Enchanted Occasions’ latest booking—a competition for the hand of Faerie’s one true prince—crashing around his ears, it’s really difficult to toe that particular line. But if Andy pretends to be a contender for the prince…. It’s only temporary, so Odin can’t blame him. Right?
Conall of Odstone’s half-brother, Prince Reyner, was supposed to choose a mate before being crowned and wed. But the idiot left Con to impersonate him. Again.
When Con meets Andy, his anger turns to desire… and despair. Even if Andy forgives him for his imposture, how could someone eligible for a prince’s hand settle for the court outcast? And the double-deception isn’t their only obstacle. Unless Andy makes the right choice, their fates could be sealed by…well… Fate.

Review

This is a wonderful case of two hidden identities and the not-as-predictable outcome as you might think! I thought this was fun, sweet, a bit sexy and very enjoyable.

The trope is a combo Cinderella/Cyrano and it really worked! I didn’t love the chemistry between these guys as much as some of Russell’s others characters, but they still had some sizzle.

Where the author excels is her world building and her characterizations – I didn’t see big plot holes and I thought the secondary characters really added (without overshadowing the MCs) to the story.

If you like fantasy, fairy tales and secret plot twists – this is for you!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review