The Rising by Morgan Brice

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Four out of Five Stars

The Summary:  A big storm is brewing, there’s a killer on the loose, and the ghosts of Myrtle Beach are restless. Psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his sexy cop boyfriend, homicide detective Vic D’Amato have their hands full helping the Grand Strand brace for rough surf, driving rain, and high winds as a winter storm roars toward shore.

Everyone’s on edge, and rumors are rampant about sightings of Blackcoat Benny, a ghostly omen of danger, and worse, the Gallows Nine, the spirits of nine infamous criminals hanged back in the 1700s, a harbinger of disaster. Rough tides wash the wreck of an old pirate ship into shallow waters, high winds threaten to damage an old mansion with a dark past, and the citizens of the beach town hunker down to ride out the storm.

As the skies grow dark and the sea turns wild, several men from prominent local families end up dead under suspicious circumstances. Simon’s premonition confirms Vic’s gut feeling—the killing is just getting started. As Simon tries to reach out to the spirits of the murdered men to help the investigation, he’s attacked by malicious ghosts that don’t want anyone getting in the way of their long-overdue vengeance.

With the storm hammering the coast, and new victims piling up, Simon is certain that the sins and secrets of the past are coming due, and that the murders have a supernatural link. Vic and Simon race to stop the murders against an unholy deadline, but as they battle rising tides and risen ghosts, can they save the intended victims without getting trapped themselves?

The Review

A storm washes in more than then skeleton of past pirate ships a shore. As the storm approaches suspicious deaths start occurring of men of from local families that don’t quite make sense. Homicide detective Vic D’Amato brings in his psychic medium boyfriend Simon Kincaide in to see if he can pick up on why these men are dying. At the same time Simon is trying to make historical Socastee Manor safe from vicious spirits for the crew that is working to bring it back to its former glory.

What I loved about the second book in the Bandlands series? The pirate lore and the connections that linked past and present. It was fun seeing how events of the past were coming to effect the present. I still have moments where I got that chill running up and down my spine and made me want to look over my shoulder (even though I was reading in bed and my bed is against a wall). The Socastee Manor scenes were the shining star for me. The descriptions were rich, the spirits were so different to each other that it didn’t feel like the same ole’ same ole’. It felt fresh and slightly chilling. I was there in the manor watching and feeling all the terror that the characters were feeling.

Vic and Simon were just as delicious in this book as they were in the first book. Vic had a hard time balancing being a cop and being a significant other in regards to Simon and that struggle was realistic. I think it if had been glossed over like it is in so many books, I might have given it an eye roll, because that’s not how Simon and Vic are. Their feelings towards each other are intense, still fresh, and they do their best to protect each other.

I’m looking forward to what this couple will be facing next.

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In the Ruins by Hailey Turner

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Audiobook Review

Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: Truth and lies.

Captain Jamie Callahan knows the Metahuman Defense Force frowns on fraternization. For once in his life, he’s breaking all the rules. Having Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan on his team and in his bed is worth the risk of being found out. When a mission comes down requiring Alpha Team to go undercover in order to infiltrate a criminal alliance, Jamie knows it won’t be easy. Putting his family’s name on the line is nothing compared to the role the MDF wants him to play—that of a billionaire’s son, discharged from the military, with a lover on his arm, looking to make his own shady business deals.

Dirty little secret.

Kyle knows the only way to be with Jamie is to hide their relationship from their superiors. Waking up to Jamie at home is more important than being together in public, or so Kyle thought, until he comes face to face with what he’s been missing. Pretending to be a couple on paper for the sake of the mission thrusts Kyle into a world of incredible wealth and a social status he’s not sure he belongs in, but he’ll do anything to stay by Jamie’s side.

Play the game to win.

Surrounded by the enemy, Jamie and Kyle need to trust each other now more than ever. Their covers—and the life they’re trying to build together—depend on it.

The Review

First, let me talk about the greatness of Greg Boudreaux as a narrator. He’s got one of those voices that just hit the spot (with everyone but Annabelle, but that’s just nitpicking about southern accents). I could probably listen to him speak with an English or a Scottish accent for days. Oh and the Russian accents *shiver*. I loved hearing Alexei’s speaking parts. Boudreaux had a way with differentiating between different characters with his voice. I didn’t get lost in conversation sections. I knew who was talking and how they were feeling in that moment. He made it very easy to get lost in this world and I highly recommend listening to his work. I already have his other three works in my to listen list.

Now on to the story!

In the Ruins picks up a few months after In the Wreckage ends. We see the MDF going undercover to continue their fight against a group of criminal organizations who are working together, instead of fighting each other, for power.

They utilize Jamie’s family wealth as the background for the teams covers. There are a lot of challenges that come with this. Jamie has to become a person he used to be and never wanted to be again; selfish, overbearing, unkind. Kyle experiences what Jamie’s life was like before the Marines and just how wealthy Jamie’s family is.

Also, Jamie and Kyle can publicly be together due to Kyle’s cover as Jamie’s arm candy. They can hold hands, they can kiss, they can sleep in the same bed without having to sneak out of the room early in the morning. These two men have chemistry that is out of this world. It’s obvious that that their relationship has continued to grow. The scenes with only two pair of them together, oh boy. Just turn the AC down and grab a fan, cause things just got hot. They are beyond intense.

Their mission was always at the forefront of their minds. Even if I lost track of what the mission actually was at some points. I liked that the action balanced out with the romance parts. This universe that Turner has created is amazing. I could see what Jamie’s apartment looked like. Then I could see 2285 London, the underground, the museum where the gala took place. The way she described the characters and the settings, it was opulent. That’s the only word that would do this world justice.

There were a few parts that dragged on for me and got a bit slow. I think it may be because I got so attached to Alexei. Will I continue this series? Most likely. I really enjoy the detail Turner puts into her novels and her characters. Should you read this? If you like sci-fi, military, steamy romances, yes. One hundred percent yes.

 

A Ferry of Bones & Gold by Hailey Turner

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Five out of Five Stars

The Summary:  When the gods come calling, you don’t get to say no.

Patrick Collins is three years into a career as a special agent for the Supernatural Operations Agency when the gods come calling to collect a soul debt he owes them. An immortal has gone missing in New York City and bodies are showing up in the wake of demon-led ritual killings that Patrick recognizes all too easily from his nightmares.

Unable to walk away, Patrick finds himself once again facing off against mercenary magic users belonging to the Dominion Sect. Standing his ground alone has never been a winning option in Patrick’s experience, but it’s been years since he’s had a partner he could trust.

Looking for allies in all the wrong places, Patrick discovers the Dominion Sect’s next target is the same werewolf the Fates themselves have thrown into his path. Patrick has been inexplicably attracted to the man from their first meeting, but desire has no place in war. That doesn’t stop Patrick from wanting what he shouldn’t have. Jonothon de Vere is gorgeous, dangerous, and nothing but trouble—to the case, to the fight against every hell, and ultimately, to Patrick’s heart and soul.

In the end, all debts must be paid, and Patrick can only do what he does best—cheat death.

The Review

This is the first time I’ve read anything by Hailey Turner. Obviously, I have been missing out because I need more! Especially, in concern to Patrick and Jono. Jeez, those two fellas, I just fell in love with them.  I was enchanted with the entire world. There were Gods, mages, sorcerers, werewolves, werecreatures, seers, vampires, demons, and more.

Patrick is a red-headed, stressed out and annoyed mage who has been through hell and back. He gets sent to New York to help investigate a series of extremely violent crimes, where supernatural forces have been involved.

Jono is a werewolf from London, who bartends at a local supernatural bar. But there’s a bit more to him than everyone knows.  He is one hell of a guy. He’s very protective, strong and smart.

Both Patrick and Jono’s lives are influenced by the Gods. Patrick has a debt to pay and Jono, I have a feeling we’ll be learning more about how the Gods influence him in future books. They worked together, not just the police but the supernatural community to stop any catastrophic disaster from hitting New York City from Ethan Greene who will do whatever it takes to become a God.

I’ve been on a paranormal, procedural, romance kick. This book spoiled me rotten. Not only was there a case that needed to be solved but it all played into something much bigger than those cases.  The action of the scenes were vivid, fast paced, and had my heart pumping. I had to know what was going on with Patrick and Jono and the rest of the crew. I NEEDED TO KNOW.

The romance between Patrick and Jono wasn’t the main focus. There were a couple of intense scenes and you could feel the buzz of attraction throughout the novel.  I feel like I’m about to keyboard smash from how much I enjoyed these two men. They were both strong, honest, and willing to fight for each other. Like I said, I loved them and all the other characters.

So the question is, should you read this? OMG YES. I’m actually going to check out the other books Hailey Turner has penned. Because damn, this book was good.

 

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