Hidden Powers – Tara Lain – DNF

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No Stars – DNF

Summary

Superordinary Society: Book One

Jazz Vanessen is weird—and not just because he’s a werewolf. For most of his life, he’s felt different from his alpha male brothers and friends. Since he’s adopted, he can’t even blame it on family.

Now eighteen, Jazz meets his idol, the social activist Lysandra Mason, and her breathtaking nephew, Dash Mercury. When Dash is around, even stranger things start to happen, including Jazz falling hopelessly in lust. Not only is Jazz having visions, making people disappear, and somehow turning invisible, but somebody’s following him and threatening to reveal his pack’s secrets to the world.

Together with Dash and Jazz’s equally amazing friends—Carla, BeBop, Khadija, and Fatima—they discover the danger is even more lethal than they thought, and Jazz’s weirdness may save all their lives.
 

Review

            I wanted to like this book. I did. LGBTQ+, YA, werewolves, and intrigue, are all excellent ingredients to an adventure I want to go on.

            My main issue is no knowing anything about the characters. If you hadn’t read any of the author’s other books, you’re going to be as lost as I was. As this was the ‘first’ in a new series, I didn’t think I’d be scrambling to figure out who all these people were. It’s a very established world and if you didn’t know that, you’d get frustrated like I did.

            I also had an issue with the language used. I’m not old by any means, I’m 30, and I read YA regularly across many genres. It was off putting to me. Not even in TV shows, do writers use that much ‘teen’ language.

            Will I be reading the next in the series? No. It just disappointed me entirely.

Give it a try if you’ve read previous books by this author, you may enjoy it.

Wonderstruck by Allie Therin

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Four out of Five Stars

Summary

New York, 1925

Arthur Kenzie is on a mission: to destroy the powerful supernatural relic that threatens Manhattan—and all the nonmagical minds in the world. So far his search has been fruitless. All it has done is keep him from the man he loves. But he’ll do anything to keep Rory safe and free, even if that means leaving him behind.

Psychometric Rory Brodigan knows his uncontrolled magic is a liability, but he’s determined to gain power over it. He can take care of himself—and maybe even Arthur, too, if Arthur will let him. An auction at the Paris world’s fair offers the perfect opportunity to destroy the relic, if a group of power-hungry supernaturals don’t destroy Rory and Arthur first.

As the magical world converges on Paris, Arthur and Rory have to decide who they can trust. Guessing wrong could spell destruction for their bond—and for the world as they know it.

Review

I’m going to miss Rory and Ace! The Magic in Manhattan series had quickly become one of my favorites and I always looked forward to the next novel. All good series have to come to an end and I’m happy with how this series wrapped up.

            Ace and Rory head to Paris and towards the world’s fair to destroy the relics that are dangerous to humanity for even existing. It could be life or death for them, but this is much bigger than them. Zhang, Jade, Gwen, and Ellis all return and at first, I was like, huh? Gwen and Ellis? But Gwen and Ellis surprised me.

            My favorite parts about Wonderstruck

            The action sequences. There were moments that my heart was racing with anxiety. I needed to keep turning the page to see what was going to happen. Adding the vivid setting, imagery and dialogue I felt as though I was in the moment.

            Rory finally acknowledged that he can ask for help and that these people were his real family. Family isn’t always what you’re born into, it’s the people who make you feel whole. He finally saw this.

            There were moments Ace and Rory couldn’t keep their hands off of each other. It was clear they missed each other when they were separated, but even when they were traveling together there were little touches between each other. My inner romantic sighed happily a few times.

            What I wished there was?

            More novels in the series! I know, I know. But honestly? The only thing that was missing, was on page love scenes. I’m an avid romance reader so with the build up and then skipping to later was a little disappointing.

            BUT

            I absolutely loved this series. It’s one I’ll revisit and continue recommending to other readers because it truly was a series that made me happy and excited to read.

To be released February 9th – Get your copy here

Starcrossed by Allie Therin

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Four out of Five Stars

Summary

When everything they’ve built is threatened, only their bond remains…

1925 New York

Psychometric Rory Brodigan’s life hasn’t been the same since the day he met Arthur Kenzie. Arthur’s continued quest to contain supernatural relics that pose a threat to the world has captured Rory’s imagination—and his heart. But Arthur’s upper-class upbringing still leaves Rory worried that he’ll never measure up, especially when Arthur’s aristocratic ex arrives in New York.

For Arthur, there’s only Rory. But keeping the man he’s fallen for safe is another matter altogether. When a group of ruthless paranormals throw the city into chaos, the two men’s strained relationship leaves Rory vulnerable to a monster from Arthur’s past.

With dark forces determined to tear them apart, Rory and Arthur will have to draw on every last bit of magic up their sleeves. And in the end, it’s the connection they’ve formed without magic that will be tested like never before.

The Review

Rory Brodigan and Arthur Kenzie are back in the second installment of the Magic in Manhattan series, and they are as insatiable as ever.

From the opening pages, I was transported to 1920s New York. The historical accuracy is my second favorite part of this series (nothing can beat the relationship between Rory and Ace). The settings created dazzle the reader. I could feel the cold when Rory managed to get himself into trouble, because of course he can’t help but put himself in troublesome situations.

Rory faces Ace’s ex, and all of his insecurities come to light. He’s not from the same class as Ace and he’s much younger. He has to sneak around to be with Ace, hell, he can’t even get access to Ace’s apartment from the front entrance. How could Ace really want him? What Rory fails to realize is that he’s everything Ace needs in a partner.

For me, the plot in this novel was pushed back until the end of the book. Rory is dealing with the effects the ring from book one has on him. His bouts of destructive jealousy tickled me. He’s so smitten with Ace.

It was interesting to get a bit of Ace’s history in this book, and we got to see the monster in his closet. There was a little wobble between he and Rory, but they worked through it and managed to come out of peril safely. Well, relatively so.

The spicy scenes were fade to black in this novel, but I didn’t need that with these characters. Their interactions were intimate and loving. How they spoke and touched each other showcased their feelings for each other.

Get your copy here

Ruby Run by Sam Burns

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3.5 Stars out of 5

Summary

Augustus Ambrose never planned to return to the United States after graduation. His mother’s final letter, with its dire threats about what would await if he did, had been more than enough to keep him away. But when his Aunt Grace dies unexpectedly and leaves him her ranch in the New Mexico Territory, he can’t ignore it. Grace gave him everything, and he can’t let her legacy suffer for his childish fear of his mother.

Griffith Taylor doesn’t want much. Quiet nights on the range, a big blue sky, and no rattlesnakes in his boots. He definitely doesn’t want to travel to Boston to take care of his late boss’s heir. When he lays eyes on his charge, everything changes. Not just because Augie is the best looking greenhorn he’s ever clapped eyes on, oh no.

Someone wants Griff’s new boss dead, and they’re not afraid to use forbidden magic to get the job done. Griff can handle himself in a fight, but this job might be more than he’s prepared for.

Review

If you are looking for a light-hearted, quick read with a paranormal western edge then this is the perfect book (and series) to dive in to. Ruby Run is part of the Tin Star Witches: The Witches of Ruby Gulch series, each novel written by a different author.

Griff and Augie are complete opposites of each other. Griff is a Range Witch working at the Lost Chance ranch. Augie has just inherited the Lost Chance ranch from his aunt. The journey to Lost Chance bring a lot more trouble then a city boy not being able to cut it in the west.

These two character are so cute together. Augie is unsure of himself, he knows nothing about ranching but this is the first opportunity to find a home. He can’t pass that up. Griff likes Augie just as he is, caring, kind, and perfect for him in every way.

The chemistry between Griff and Augie is instantaneous and burns brightly. There are a few spicy scenes which were great. There were some flirty scenes that just had me grinning. Griff and Augie, I just love them. This was a great read.

Get your copy here

A Hive of Secrets and Spells by Ellen Jane

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Four out of Five Stars

Except and Giveaway at the bottom!!

The Summary:

Cupcakes, romance, and lovable canines abound in Heather and Sinead’s next adventure, but it isn’t all fun and games. The girlfriends are investigating a very personal kidnapping, and the threatening notes left behind accuse Sinéad and her punk-rocker twin brother of hiding something.

But after solving their first mystery together last Christmas, this one should be a piece of cake.After all, no one’s been murdered this time, and their witch-sorcerer rivalry is a thing of the past.Except it turns out there is a murderer, and a jewel thief as well, and why on earth does everyone keep talking about bees?

It appears Starford is a lot more exciting than Heather’s home town of Old Wetchhaven, and Sinéad’s insistence that Heather move in with her brings a whiff of trouble to their private paradise. Can Heather adjust to life near the big city? Or will the mounting secrets prove too much and turn their second case into their last?

A Hive of Secrets and Spells is a witch cozy mystery with a sweet lesbian romance and heart-warming magic.

The Review

If you are a fan of cozy mysteries then  A Hive of Secrets and Spells, the second novel in the Cupcakes and Sorcery series by Ellen Jane, will be right up your alley.

Being in Starford with Sinéad was supposed to be a vacation for Heather. They are still getting to know each other’s quirks and enjoying the newness of their relationship when crime strikes again in the form of a jewel thief and a murderer. This should be easy after the case they handled last Christmas. Right? Toss Cian, Sinéad’s twin brother, into the mix and it couldn’t get anymore complicated for the pair.

What I loved about A Hive of Secrets and Spells is the fact that it is a cozy mystery! I honestly think this is the first cozy mystery I’ve read in the LGBTQ genre. Heather and Sinéad feel real. Heather battled with not being the stereotypical “U-Haul” lesbian throughout the novel. Sinéad very much marched to the beat of her own drum. I feel like they leveled each other out. Heather and Sinéad continued to develop and grow. We learned more about their past and how it influenced their actions now. It made me believe there would be a realistic future in the cards for them.

The secondary characters were phenomenal. It’s not often I can say that, but Cian? He was so unique, sassy, and one hundred percent himself. I can’t wait to read more about him. I could hear his voice in my head and he had me cracking up at certain points. The bees? Well they were very important and I don’t want to spoil it for you, but they were very much a character to keep an eye on.

Order Your Copy Here

Check out the GIVEAWAY and EXCERPT below!!

Giveaway:

Win one of 2 packages with e-copies of Magic, Murder & Mistletoe, A Hive of Secrets and Spells & A Match Made at Christmas by Ellen Jane.

 

To the GiveAway

 

Continue reading “A Hive of Secrets and Spells by Ellen Jane”

All Souls Near and Nigh by Hailey Turner

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Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: You can’t bargain with death if you’ve already sold your soul.

Special Agent Patrick Collins has been reassigned by the Supernatural Operations Agency to New York City. Navigating his new relationship with Jonothon de Vere, the werewolf he’s now soulbound to, is nothing compared to dealing with territorial disputes between the vampires and werecreatures who call the five boroughs home. But the delicate treaties that have kept the preternatural world in check are fraying at the edges, and the fallout is spilling into the mundane world.

Manhattan’s club scene is overrun with the vampire drug known as shine and the subways have become a dumping ground for bodies. When the dead are revealed as missing werecreatures, Patrick and Jono find themselves entangled in pack politics twisted by vampire machinations.

Learning to trust each other comes with problems for both of them, and the gods with a stake in Patrick’s soul debt aren’t finished with him yet. Bound by promises they can’t break, Patrick and Jono must find a way to survive a threat that takes no prisoners and is stalking them relentlessly through the city streets.

Old and new betrayals are coming home to roost but the truth—buried in blood—is more poisonous than the lies being spun. Trying to outrun death is a nightmare—one Patrick may never wake up from.

The Review

All Souls Near and Nigh is the sequel we’ve all be waiting for. It’s full of action, grit, and a self-made pack trying to find their feet.  It was an excellent follow up to A Ferry of Bones and Gold.

Special Agent Patrick Collins has been permanently reassigned to New York City. He’s navigating a fledgling relationship with Jono de Vere, who he now shares a soul bond with. Through all of this, there’s a territorial dispute between the vampires, werecreatures going missing, and gods who can’t seem to leave Patrick be.  He’s never going to get away from the God’s.

Jono’s storyline with the God Pack is my favorite part of this story. Actually all of the chapters told from Jono’s point of view had me on the edge of my seat, anxious for what was to come. Lucien, the gods, they were secondary for me. Jono made his stand against the God Pack. I did not realize that I had been waiting for him to do that until now. I’m invested in Jono, ya’ll. I still need to know why Fenrir has chosen Jono. There are too many possibilities and I need answers!

Things I wished for in this novel? More scenes with just Patrick and Jono. I felt like at times they were operating outside of each other. Patrick was still getting used to the fact that Jono was there and had his back, while Jono’s mind was focused on his pack. I’m excited to see them working as a unit that knows each other.

Overall this was a great novel and I’m looking forward to the next in the series coming out.

Get your copy here

Finding Aurora by Rebecca Langham

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Four out of Five Stars

Summary: Aurora Rose slumbers in the city of Oldpass, a cursed kingdom once allied with Grimvein. The victim of a malicious spell, she is powerless to control her own fate. At least, that’s how the story goes.

Now, as Grimvein faces attack, Prince Amir has been tasked with the life-threatening rescue of Aurora, his parents hopeful he will marry the princess and secure safety for their kingdom. Talia, the strongest spellcaster in the known lands, protects and guides the prince in his quest to save a woman that threatens to change their lives forever.

In finding Aurora, the pair will realise the truth about themselves and each other, coming to understand just what – and who – they really want in life.

The Review

If you are a fan of fairytale retellings, Finding Aurora by Rebecca Langham is one you’re going to want to grab to read ASAP. This is a kickass Sleeping Beauty retelling and it was refreshing to see the Prince having a female spell-caster helping him find Aurora and learning who he truly is.

Talia has been tasked with helping Prince Amir of Grimvein to locate Aurora Rose in the hopes of a securing a marriage contract that will unite the kingdoms and guarantee Grimvein’s safety. As in the traditional Sleeping Beauty, Aurora has been cursed to slumber until her true love wakes her.

Throughout this journey we see the friendship between Talia and Prince Amir grow. They work together and trust each other to make it through whatever situation they land in. Even when Talia speaks her spirit guide, Red, Prince Amir treats her as a friend would. Red comes to Talia in times of need, provides companionship, and protects Talia.

Red is incredible. I got a bit of an image in my mind the first time Red was mentioned and I feel like the word beautiful doesn’t do how I picture he justice. Even while I’m writing this, I can clearly see her in my head. Red and Talia’s connection is deep and I so badly wanted them to meet in more than the spirit world. Red is going on this journey just as much as Talia and Prince Amir.

What I truly enjoyed was the different take on the tale. Once they come close to finding Aurora Rose, they face different ‘tasks’ (that’s the best way I can describe it). They face Goblins, the dragon and it turns out to be more than goblins and a dragon. They were part of Aurora Rose’s family. It was a bit heart breaking finding out that they had been stuck in those forms, unable to remember who they were for over a century.

The love between Red and Talia is sweet and left me feeling happy and hopeful. I’d love to see what happens after this novella and how the kingdoms fair.

Pre-Order your copy here!

The Dark Bloods by Destiny Hawkins

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3.5 Stars out of 5 Stars

The Summary: Alveya Tera. A monster, a killer, and an abomination. It was hard for anyone to believe that she was anything more, but one wolf thought differently. That was… until she lost control of the hybrid within her and left the Dark Bloods clan covered in blood.

Months later, Alveya returned to the Tera Mansion no better than before, and to make matters worse, she brought a friend. In less than a week after her arrival, a mysterious group of strangers began hunting the one person that she was trying to keep away from. The one that fate wouldn’t let her resist…

Crystal Blue.

And it was damn hard to play keep away while protecting her.

Even through the rage, the loneliness, and the pain of struggling to recover from years of neglect and abuse, Alveya would continue do anything to keep Crystal safe.

Even if it cost her her life.

The Review

The Dark Bloods is the second book in the Blue Moon Series by Destiny Hawkins. First, this story is more about Crystal than Alveya, I just want to make that one hundred percent clear.  It’s 85% told from Crystal’s point of view. Which I really liked reading from Crystal’s POV a lot more than the few times I got to read from Alveya’s. *shrug* I just wasn’t Alveya’s greatest fan.

Onwards to the review!

Crystal Blue and her brother Alan are the last remaining wolves in existence. She’s been training to fully being able to call herself alpha and to protect herself from the impending danger from the Krystal Tooths and the newest threat to the Dark Bloods. Vampires. She had previously formed a bond with Alveya, who had ran away from the Dark Bloods and Crystal in fear of the ‘monster’ she was becoming. In the process, Crystal is trying to live her everyday life and improve herself physically and when it comes to shifting. When Alveya returns, she returns with another women and breaks Crystal’s heart just a bit.

It seems like everywhere Crystal  looks, there’s Alveya and Kristy. She’s having to deal with jealousy, angry and keeping her wolf in control. When you think things are going Crystal’s way for once, it’s like a knife to a chest. A group of vampires are out to kidnap Crystal and they’ll do whatever it takes to get her.

I was a bit lost as to where this was going at points but Crystal, Alan, Amber and Angela are what kept me reading and engaged. Alan was such a little brother and he had me laughing out loud at times. Then how Amber would do magicky things in solidarity had my inner evil genius grinning. I will vividly remember the book/classroom scene.

I wish we would have gotten the why the vampires were so focused on taking Crystal. Even if it would have been at the end. There is going to be a book three so maybe then? There were a few sex scenes but as another reviewer mentioned, they were extremely vanilla for two animalistic beings. It felt like they were love scenes in your typical romance novel. Not in a paranormal, action story.

These ladies were kickass and I really enjoyed this aspect of it. They had their faults, they had plans to improve and worked together. Will I read the next one? Most likely.

Get Your Copy Here

Badlands by Morgan Brice

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Five out of Five Stars

The Summary: Medium and clairvoyant Simon Kincaide owns a Myrtle Beach boardwalk shop where he runs ghost tours, holds séances, and offers private psychic readings, making a fresh start after his abilities cost him his lover and his job as a folklore professor. Jaded cop Vic D’Amato saw something supernatural he couldn’t explain during a shootout several years ago in Pittsburgh and relocated to Myrtle Beach to leave the past behind, still skeptical about the paranormal. But when the search for a serial killer hits a dead end, Vic battles his skepticism to ask Simon for help. As the body count rises, Simon’s involvement makes him a target, and a suspect. But Simon can’t say no, even if it costs him his life and heart.

The Review

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Simon Kincaide and the employees who work along boardwalk at Myrtle Beach. Some of them have have touches of psychic abilities and they are being targeted by a serial killer dubbed, The Slitter. By chance homicide cop, Vic D’Amato stops in Simon Kincaide’s shop to see if maybe a psychic might give them some type of lead to work off of.

As it turns out, Simon was about to give the cops something to work off of and throughout he continues to get information from ghosts of the victims and bursts of feelings from the killer himself.

The characters had me enthralled with this book. Once I started reading I didn’t want to put it down. I felt like I was on the boardwalk with how vivid the details were. Simon was extremely authentic. He had been through so much before moving to Myrtle Beach and once he landed he didn’t harden himself. He remained authentic, honest and compassionate. He doesn’t push critics to believe him. He just does what it true to himself. I loved that about Simon.

The attraction between the two is instantaneous and real. Even after what Vic went through previously, he still remains cautious and weary of what he can’t prove with evidence. If Vic wouldn’t have acted the way he did, if he would have just fallen into understanding and believing, I would have had a, huh? moment. But this was right.

Their relationship didn’t happen fast and I liked that. I like a bit of a slow burn romance between to characters trying to find their footing together, especially with a serial killer on the loose. I think with their pasts, having someone who understood the unusual and didn’t force the need for ‘normal’ really helped keep them together. There were parts I knew were hard for Vic. And I hurt for both him and Simon.

This was the first book I’ve ready by Morgan Brice. I plan to read Witchbane as soon as I get the chance and to look at all the books written under her other name, Gail Z. Martin.

 

Go buy this now! You won’t regret it. 

An Interview with Kathryn Sommerlot

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So I may have needed a little more insight into what inspired Kathryn Sommerlot for The Life Siphon Duology. Okay, more like I’m just super nosy and like to see what happens in other authors minds.

 

How did you come to decide on the names you used? It’s obvious that they have meaning, at least one character in particular.  

The names are divided by location, since all the varying kingdoms have their own linguistic commonalities. Runon in particular uses the Japanese phonemes as its base, so all the names use those sounds. Both Yudai and Tatsu are Japanese names. For Chayd, there’s a lot of l’s used, and some sounds that don’t show up in the Runonian language, like the ‘sh’ and ‘sch’ sounds. So you get names like Alesh, Ral, Drel, and Hesch. But I tried to keep them fairly short, because it can be difficult for readers faced with long unknown names, and the shorter ones are usually easier to sound out.

The scenery throughout is extremely rich? Do certain real life elements appear in these settings? 

With the scenery, I tried to use combinations of real life climate zones – like Chayd’s subtropical zone, Runon’s moderate mountain climate, and Joesar’s tropical deserts – and more magical settings I could see in my head, because I wanted them to be a realistic fantasy. The Weeping Forest was based originally off Weeping Willow trees you can see in my home state!

Do you have any upcoming projects we can be on the look out for? 

There is a sequel novel coming for The Life Siphon series that is set in the world with many of the same characters, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to finish that within the year. I’ve also just finished a first draft of an alternative historical fantasy that I’m planning to shop around to agents.

Is there any fun, behind the scene stories you want to share with us from while you were writing this?

It was my beta’s idea to have the trees in Runon laugh and giggle, set up to be the opposite effect the siphon had on areas like the Weeping Forest. Her hand is very visible in the story, and it wouldn’t have been nearly as good without her influence. The importance of having a beta who loves your work as much as you do can’t be overstated.
Want to read more by Kathryn Sommerlot?
She’s got more to read and they are officially on my TBR List. 
Both are available on Amazon and other major retailers.
Ibuki   Roanoke