The Life Siphon – Kathryn Sommerlot

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Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: The kingdom of Runon has created the impossible: a magical energy source that siphons life from the nearby lands and feeds it back into Runon itself. On the edge of the forest lives a quiet ranger named Tatsu who is watching the drain grow closer to his home country of Chayd.

Arrested for crimes against the crown, Tatsu is taken to the capital’s prison, where the queen offers him a deal. If he sneaks into Runon and steals the magical source that powers the drain, she will return his freedom. Caught in the unimaginable aftermath, Tatsu knows that the only hope is to stop the siphon before it swallows the world.

More and more he finds himself at the mercy of the destruction the siphon leaves behind – and everything he has ever known will fall apart in the revelation of its horrifying truth.

The Review

Tatsu has been spent his life in the forest and on the outskirts of Chayd. As an outsider, it’s where he has become most comfortable. It all starts when his childhood friend Alesh winds up on his doorstep, bloodied and exhausted from an illegal venture to earn money. It doesn’t take long before the crown finds her at Tatsu’s house and they both end up imprisoned. The queen offers them a deal in order to retain their freedom: steal the siphon that’s killing the environment and bring it back to Chayd.

They never expected the siphon to turn out to be what it was.

As you track their journey to Runon to acquire the siphon then getting back to the queen, you learn more and more about the kingdoms, characters and the magic of the realm.

One of the things I enjoyed was the fact that I could see their progress in my mind like a movie as I read. The settings and character reactions are extremely vivid from page one. I would love to be able to visit a place as rich as Chayd and Runon are. And the settings were just there in the background. Each setting was a character as well. What I will never forget is how menacing and horrifying the dead forest to be. It still gives me the creeps.

The pacing of this book was a little slow in parts but I found that it didn’t bother me. In fact I was thankful for all the little details I picked up when the rush of an ending hit. Do your self a favor and have The Mage Heir ready. Because that ending, WOW! I stayed up late to finish reading and when I was? It took a bit to calm down enough to fall asleep.

Tatsu was a character that I could really relate to. He is an outsider and isn’t exactly what the rest of his community of Chayd was. He was different and there was so much more to him then what you could see upon first glance. I think that was probably true for all of the characters but I understood Tatsu in a why I didn’t expect to.

Alesh and Ral, a sibling relationship that goes to show you how far you would go to take care of your family. Alesh, she was stubborn to the core but when it came to Ral, she’d do whatever in order to make sure her sister was happy and safe. Ral was enchanting. I knew from the moment we were introduced to her, there was something special about her. I couldn’t wait to figure out who she truly would end up being.

Now, for those of you looking for the M/M romance. It doesn’t appear in The Life Siphon buuuuut there’s book two, The Mage Heir. All that tension has to lead to something, right? If you like fantasy, a journey with a heavy task guiding it, then grab this book. There’s something about the writing that drew me in and made me want to be next to Tatsu, Alesh and Ral.

 

Go buy it here!

The Queen of Ieflaria by Effie Calvin

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Five out of Five Stars!

Summary: Princess Esofi of Rhodia and Crown Prince Albion of Ieflaria have been betrothed since they were children but have never met. At age seventeen, Esofi’s journey to Ieflaria is not for the wedding she always expected but instead to offer condolences on the death of her would-be husband.

But Ieflaria is desperately in need of help from Rhodia for their dragon problem, so Esofi is offered a new betrothal to Prince Albion’s younger sister, the new Crown Princess Adale. But Adale has no plans of taking the throne, leaving Esofi with more to battle than fire-breathing beasts.

The Review

I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!

Okay now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, on to the review! The first thing that called to me when I saw this book was the cover. It’s beautiful. I’m so happy that the story with in it matches the cover. Two princesses falling in love? Yes please!

Esofi of Rhodia was intended to marry Albion of Ieflaria since she was three years old. Tragedy strikes and Albion is killed by the thing Esofi is supposed to be able to offer protection to, dragons. It’s been her destiny to marry one of the crowned heirs and she’s determined to follow through on the commitment no matter if it is a prince  Albion or princess Adale.

What I loved about Esofi is that she isn’t overly beautiful and not everyone is falling at her feet. She felt like a real person. I personally thought she sounded gorgeous and I loved the fact that we eventually got to hear that from Adale’s lips. Ieflaria doesn’t know how powerful she truly is until she’s tested by a dragon.

Then their entire world is flipped on it’s head. Are dragons truly as terrible as they thought they were? Is Adale the princess for Esofi or should she go with one of the twin cousins?

I love that Adale went an unexpected route to show Esofi that she was interested in their match and believed it could work. She didn’t go for buying pretty things or spoiling her. Instead, she showed Esofi the people of Ieflaria and by sharing the knowledge she found about dragons and the temple and gifts that had been bestowed upon the people.

They were so cute together. Anytime there were scenes with the two of them I was grinning and wishing for more. I started this last night and the only thing that stopped me was the fact I fell asleep. Then I finished it off as soon as I woke up. I want to read so much more of this world! I’m excited that it’s a series! I’ve already went to follow the author on GoodReads and plan on stalking every book she releases. That’s how much I enjoyed this.

GO BUY THIS BOOK! It’s officially out on February 19, 2018

Buy it Here!

Space Mac by Emma Jane

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Three point five out of Five Stars

Summary: Cocky escort Mackenzie “Mac” Jones has just the right type of blood so that when he steals an odd silver brooch from a client, it transports him to a strange planet. Frightened and confused—and confronted by aliens—he flees and ends up bumping into a handsome humanoid male named Teevar.

But Teevar and his companions are also on the run, and Mac finds himself embroiled in the affairs of his new friends with no idea how to get back to Earth. Can Mac and Teevar survive long enough to work out their feelings for each other? And will Mac ever see home again?

The Review

What you need to know about Space Mac is that it is one hundred percent a space adventure. You get thrust into a universe, just as lost and confused as Mac is BUT when it all starts to unfold, that’s when it gets good. I almost gave up on this in the beginning because I couldn’t get into the first few pages (yes, I’m that reader when it comes to sci-fi) but as soon as Mac met up with the crew? That action drew me in.

So before the good, here’s the bad. I felt that there was something missing. I needed more explanation to why Mac had been taken. More than what was given. I needed to know more about Ral and Leanara other than they committed a crime (nothing specified or I completely missed it which is possible) and they were a ragtag group running for their lives.

Teevar, I loved. I felt kinship with him. He was very much an outsider on his planet. Even when he was planets away, he still had that fear that someone was going to see him and they were going to treat him like he was on his home planet. Mac challenged him and pushed Teevar out of his comfort zone.

Mac had that arrogant, I’m human and that makes me important vibe. But Lenara and the crew put him back to rights. I think that is what saved him was the way he interacted with Teevar towards the middle/end. In the beginning, he was a dick. Running for your life in space can change things though.

There were a few sex scenes but there were more cut to black scenes. So if hardcore sex is your thing, you won’t find that here. I thought everything was appropriate and sometimes I’m in the mood for less descriptive sex scenes so I read this book at the perfect time.

There were space shenanigans, con-man tactics and a huge universe that I hope Emma Jane goes on to the explore. It was left open so she could. Definitely one I would give a read!

Purchase Here

Callum’s Fate by Dianne Hartsock

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Three (point five) out of Five Stars

Summary: In 1780, Scotland, following a harsh year of drought, Callum Mackenzie is forced from his father’s farm in the hopes of finding work.
But as fate would have it, Callum is lured onto the moors by the will-o-the-wisp. Lost in the dark, he falls into enchantment, encountering faeries and nymphs, until he stumbles into the arms of a licentious Barrow-Wight who lays claim to his soul.
Hearing his silent pleas, Donal sends Liam the gruagach (faery) to rescue Callum and bring him to his farm, a place of refuge from the Fae. Callum is happy working on Donal’s farm, slowly falling in love with the beautiful, silver-haired gruagach. Yet there’s something wrong in the nearby forest….
Despite Donal’s warnings, Callum is lured into the forest and becomes tangled in its magic, easy prey for the Barrow-Wight. Will Liam be able to strike a deal with the Barrow-Wight to save Callum’s life, or has Callum found his last resting place instead?

The Review

After reading Callum’s Fate by Dianne Hartsock I find myself still wondering what really happened to put poor Callum in the position he landed in.

The summary led me to believe there will be a more in depth story line when it comes to the fae, the folklore and Callum’s journey, but that’s not quite what I got.  It was definitely an easy plot to follow with sex from page one until the end.

It did throw me when Callum and the Wight ended up together but I found myself fascinated and kept reading. I couldn’t help but want to know what else Callum was going to encounter. I wanted to read more about the secondary characters’ story line, Donal, Sean and their wife (Just saying I’d totally buy that book).

I did expected more of a story line than the sex scnese. That being said, I liked what I read. It was inventive and at times it felt like this could have actually been a series of dreams Callum experienced.

If you’re looking for a hot, not exactly human, sex scenes then this is for you. If you’re looking for a hearty plot, this isn’t for you.

Available for purchase November 27, 2017 via NineStar Press.

Walking Through the Shadows by Sheris Lewis Wohl

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Summary: Molly Williams is a powerful hereditary witch who manages to keep her powers under control as she tries to be normal. Most of the time, it works.

An invitation from friends Winnie and Angus is just the diversion she needs right now, and she jumps at the offer to go backpacking along the Umatilla River in northeast Oregon. When a freak storm forces them to take shelter in a secluded, crumbling cabin, their trip takes an unexpected turn. The moment Molly touches a leather-bound book discovered in the floorboards, they’re transported back in time.

Only with the help of the mysterious and beautiful Native American woman Aquene do they stay one step ahead of a band of witch hunters. Will Molly find the right magic to get them home before the hunters find her? Or will she risk it all to stay at Aquene’s side?

The Review

Walking Through Shadows by Sheri Lewis Wohl is considered a time traveling romance. I really wanted to like this book, especially with the potential of Molly and Aquene’s relationship but this novel fell flat for me. I feel like Wohl put more and attention into Winnie and Angus’s relationship, and the witch hunter’s internal thoughts then what the summary lead me to believe Walking Through Shadows would be about. I expected it to be about Molly and Aquene, but it really wasn’t.

The pacing was slow. It didn’t get the feeling of the characters being in danger, the rush of adrenalin that was most likely intended. I was bored with it.
Each section with Aquene was repetitive and by the end I knew what she was going to be thinking about Molly. There was no build up to her and Molly ‘loving’ each other. It just happened and it didn’t make sense.

It was supposed to be their destiny to come together, to defeat ‘him’ and to fall in love but I found myself skimming their parts and more invested in Winnie and Angus. I was determined that Angus was going to turn out to be more but that didn’t get explored either.

It was disappointing and I thought it was going to be a really great read. The concept was awesome, time traveling, Native American guide, not something you see. I just wish there would have been something more than the repetitive, boring story-line.

Would I recommend this? No. Will I search out other books by Wohl? No.
I received an e-copy through NetGalley for an honest review.

Purchase Links Here

The Uncrossing by Melissa Eastlake

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Summary: Luke can uncross almost any curse—they unravel themselves for him like no one else. So working for the Kovrovs, one of the families controlling all the magic in New York, is exciting and dangerous, especially when he encounters the first curse he can’t break. And it involves Jeremy, the beloved, sheltered prince of the Kovrov family—the one boy he absolutely shouldn’t be falling for.

Jeremy’s been in love with cocky, talented Luke since they were kids. But from their first kiss, something’s missing. Jeremy’s family keeps generations of deadly secrets, forcing him to choose between love and loyalty. As Luke fights to break the curse, a magical, citywide war starts crackling, and it’s tied to Jeremy.

This might be the one curse Luke can’t uncross. If true love’s kiss fails, what’s left for him and Jeremy?

 

The Review

The Uncrossing by Melissa Eastlake was a book I was really looking forward to reading. The entire premise of curse work and Russian rivalries plus M/M YA story line reeled me in. But I was a bit disappointed. In the beginning I had a hard time keeping track of all the characters and usually that is never a problem for me. Within the first chapter I usually have it but I kept getting Luke and Jeremy confused for each other.

Then I got bogged down in understanding just what uncrossing and crossing really was. It didn’t seem to be the focus like I thought it would be. I actually got lost with what the main conflict was until the last 20%.

What I did like was the relationship between Luke and Jeremy. It was well written once I got everyone right in my mind. They were really sweet and fun to read in scenes together. I feel like if this could have been longer, the details drawn out a little clearer, this would have been an amazing book that I’d want to read over and over.
Will I read Melissa Eastlake’s work again? Most likely. She caught my interest and had a interesting storyline.

I received an E-Book copy of The Uncrossing by Melissa Eastlake via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Link: Here on Amazon