Saturday, July 15, 2017

Fighting for You by Megan J. Parker

After a (very) long hiatus, I am finally back to tell you about more books I've read. I'm a bit behind as I've been interspersing reading with other things... making caramel, looking at gemstones for making the next necklace. You know, things to pass the time.

I'm always up for a book by one of my favorite authors. Megan, and her (now) husband write some of the most captivating stories a reader could ask for. Part of what makes this couple so captivating is that they write in each other's worlds. Of course the rest is the sheer power of their storytelling.

In Fighting for You, Megan takes us into the world of the Russian mafia and an orphan rescued by the man heading the Chicago arm of said mafia. This is given to us as the story behind the now adult orphan as an explanation for why he continues to take part in illegal matches. Why they're illegal is for you to read. Nikolai's world is a rough one with only one goal... win the next match.

Natasha is Rusakov's very sheltered and much loved daughter. When she meets Nikolai for the first time, both their world's are shaken. She is as eager to keep her secrets from Nikolai as he is to keep his from her. When being the daughter of a mafia is your life, trouble and betrayal are never far away.

 There is very little that is sweet about this story, but there is a lot going on that kept me turning the next page. Whether your chosen format is digital or print, there's no denying Megan is an enthralling storyteller. I devoured this book in a very short time, in one sitting. I'm hoping for more to follow this one. I really enjoyed the characters.

This book is by turns tense with secrets that must be kept and taut with forbidden passion. Megan knows how to weave the two into an un-put-downable story. I very much want to give her 5 stars, but there were a few errors that were missed in editing. 4.8 anyone? Sigh. 4 stars it is.

Look for this book at your favorite bookseller.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Giveaway from author Haven Cage!!

Psst...did y'all see? May is my birthday month, AND my Author-versary! I'm doing a Faltering souls bundle giveaway to celebrate.🤤😍
-"A paranormal roller coaster ride that will leave you breathless"...Lorilee, Booksurfer Blog
-"Paranormal romance perfection"...Keri Q, Voodoo Doll Book Blog
-"Out performed any expectations I had," "Highly charged"...Cheystar, Uncaged Book Reviews
-"Very twisty and turny"...Sarah, Buckeyes Book Reviews

📚BOOK 1📚
In FALTER, a dark New Adult/Adult Urban Fantasy novel, Nevaeh Richards thinks she has found a chance to leave her homeless life behind. When the spirit of the only father she knows is wrongfully taken to Hell, Nevaeh is hurled into a world haunted by monstrous demons, rogue Guardian angels, love that is beyond her control, and a soul-threatening choice between the inherent evil inside her and the faltering faith she is struggling to grasp.

📚BOOK 2📚
In Severance, a dark, adult urban fantasy novel from the Faltering Souls series, Nevaeh has to face the overpowering gravity of her choice to save those she loves while striving for strength to fight her greatest threat—herself.

Other sites of availability will include Apple, Barnes & Noble (US and UK), Scribd, Oyster, Yuzu, Blio and Inktera (formerly Page Foundry) once released.
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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Prowlers and Growlers Boxed Set - Dark Melody by Megan J. Parker

Boxed sets can be a bit of a gamble, but then so can any single book by a new author. They can also be holders of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. There are some authors whose work I will always read. Their name on the cover tells me exactly what I'm getting, what I'm in for. As soon as I saw Megan Parker had a story in this set, I knew what I was reading first. It did not disappoint.

Megan, you've done it again. You've transported me, not quite to the romances of my teenage years, because this was a bit more adult than that. I love what you've done in Nathan Squiers' and Xander's world. A comfy, more grown-up romance with just enough tension to keep me absorbed page after page. Can I have a David? Pretty please?

My heart went out to Talia from the beginning. She didn't even have a name for cryin' out loud. She created one from the ID number the scientists gave her! Everything she knows of the world came from romance novels, and the few people she came in contact with in the labs. Many things she read she has no frame of reference for as she can't imagine what these things look like! Kept in a cage her entire life, her only frame of reference for behaviors she can expect from other people come from the scientists and romance books.

When the scientists learn that word has leaked of what happens in the lab, everything vital is packed up to be moved. This includes Talia and a fellow captive. Together, though in separate cages and trucks, they are transported in the convoy as the scientists move their operations. An accident and a getaway leave Talia placed where David can find her.

It takes a while for David to believe Talia when she says she's never seen/experienced something. Not to mention being able to trust he wouldn't hurt her when that is her only experience with other people. His friends are interesting themselves, one has quite the mouth on him. Language guy! I mean, really now. What will she think of you?

The pace of the story is steady throughout, something I have come to expect from books by this author. As I said, this is a comfy read. The kind you read curled up in an overstuffed chair, wrapped in a blanket, in front of a fire on a rainy day. Of course there's the requisite bad guy. But you'll have to figure out who that is on your own.

I love this story. I want more, so much more. I want a story for each of David's friends. Oh. And I want a David for myself. (I know you'll get right on that, Megan.) I badly want to give this 5 stars. But there were a couple of snags and errors that make that impossible.

As much as I wish otherwise, I can only give this book 4 stars. This book is part of the boxed set "Prowlers and Growlers" at Amazon. I'll get around to reading the other stories at some point.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Falter by Haven Cage

It isn't often anymore that I come across a book that grips me so tightly that I'm upset to not have reading time at work. Yet that was indeed the case with Falter. I've had this book since late last year and got about half way through when things got busy and I lost my reading time. So I finally pulled everything else to a screeching halt and started the book all over. I am so glad I did.

Falter centers around Nevaeh, a young woman who's been living on the streets from a young age, her only protection an elderly man named George. Given a chance to get off the streets, the two accept jobs in a small restaurant. The owner, Gavyn, gives them both jobs and a place to sleep at night. Shortly after moving into the restaurant, George falls sick. His death is the last normal thing in Nevaeh's life. What began as Gavyn comforting her becomes a desperate hold to keep her away from the demon that shows up to inhale George's soul. Now her life is filled with archangels, demons, guardian angels, a prophesy, and a deep-seated desire to rescue George's soul.

The writing is fast-paced and incredibly intense. I was sucked in once I was a few pages in. As you might imagine from the cast of characters, this is a story of the battle between good and evil. What makes it gripping is how this story is told. Nevaeh goes from total disbelief to grudging belief of her part in the balance.

Cage has woven a powerful story that I think many will enjoy. I set the book down three pages from the end, exhausted and needing to sleep, thinking I knew how it would end. Got up this morning and finished reading. Boy was I wrong. And so... I bought the next book in the series.

The setting is believable in spite of being a paranormal story. The plot is consistently intense even during the (very) brief moments of calm. Her characters are well developed and continue to grow throughout the story. This makes the second book I've read where I wanted to physically grab a character and shake some sense into them. Can't say who without giving away too much. Sorry.

For perfect editing (and by that I mean zero errors folks), consistent plot and amazing characters, and a gripping story that was very difficult to set aside (I'm mean really, I'm passing out with three pages left to read) I'm giving this story five stars.

This book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Twin Souls by DelSheree Gladden

I picked up this book because I knew it would be a clean read that involved a bit of Native American mythology. The story centers around a couple of teens, she is the daughter of the wealthiest man in town, he is the son of a rancher. Uriah has been in love with Claire for as long as he can remember. They come together when Claire orchestrates a fight with her boyfriend.

I am usually able to find something about a book that I like. I regret that is not the case with this one. The pace of this book is slow and uneven, at points boring. The editing is poor to non-existent.  I made it to page 95 before I finally had to give it up as a lost cause.

There are problems with missing words, extra words, incorrect words ("conceded" and "conceited" are NOT interchangeable). Some sentences read as though the author had a new thought/idea or just changed her mind mid-sentence. I cannot in good conscience recommend this book to readers in its current condition. I think the potential for a good story is in there somewhere, but at the time of writing this review, her book reads like a work in progress. I would urge the author to remove this book from sales and have it properly edited.

Because of the problems with the book at this time, I regretfully can only give it 2 stars.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Stolen and Forgiven (Branded Packs Book 1) by Alexandra Ivy and Carrie Ann Ryan

This story is set twenty-five years after a virus decimated the human population. Unable to stay hidden when humans began noticing entire communities not falling sick and dying, shapeshifters came out to humans and saved them. Their blood created the cure. As thanks, humans rounded up all shifters and forced them to live in containment camps, sorted by the type of animal each shifted into.

I read a lot of shapeshifter stories. By "a lot," I mean more than 75% of my library is shifter stories of some kind. I love them. I used to dream as a child that I could turn into this or that animal. Enough about that.

So... on to the story. This book is actually written as two stories. Stolen is the story of Ariel, an orphan experimented on by a sadistic doctor and left for dead just inside the wolves compound. I enjoyed the story. The authors have presented a scenario that is original for me, while at the same time, showing humanity at its worst - greedy, self-serving, and afraid of the unknown. I'm hoping as the trilogy progresses that humans sympathetic to shifters will come into play.

Throughout Stolen, I found the storyline to be somewhat predictable. There's the expected damsel in distress, the honor-bound alpha, and jealous ex-girlfriend. You get a bit of back story, just enough to understand how shifters came to be corralled together on fenced land. We're given a hard look at the brutality the humans have forced on the alpha as he adheres to laws enacted out of human fear. There is also a bit of propaganda that has to be reversed after Ariel recovers.

In Forgiveness, the story picks up with the punishment meted out as a result of an event at the end of Stolen. As in Stolen, there is a love story that plays out with all the usual aspects and a twist or two, though nothing shocking or completely unexpected. What I did appreciate about this part of the book was more details about why the shifters were rounded up and put in contained areas. I felt as though I had finally been given some "meat" in my story.

In addition to having more substance, the authors introduced some unexpected help for our intrepid shifters. Their presence is explained in a great way, and looking ahead at the next book in this series I can see they will play a more important part in the storyline.

Overall, this was a fairly decent book. Was it griping? Did it keep me up too late at night to finish reading? No. Did I enjoy it? I think I can safely say yes. I found a couple of places in my reading where editing missed a couple of problems, but not enough to reduce the stars. However, because I could easily set the book aside to do something else, I'm only giving this three stars.

This book is available at Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Legacy of the Dragonwand, Book 1 by Daniel Peyton

At sixteen, Markus wants to study magic and become a wizard. His parents want him to stay and someday take over the family farm. It's time for him to choose, and choose he does. Slipping out in the middle of the night, Markus strikes out on his own in pursuit of rumors of an wizard in the hope that he will find in him a teacher and mentor. Markus succeeds in finding the wizard, but the old man only lives long enough to pass on his wand and a quest that, if he is successful, will save his world from a growing evil. 

Markus' world is filled with different beings resembling one or another type of non-human life capable of speaking, Lizardkind, Rakki (having tails and fur much like wolves or dogs), and dragons. On his way to find the Dragon Citadel, he comes across a couple of Rakki losing a battle with an imp. Using a spell from his dreams, he manages to save the female, and is invited back to their village to rest and resupply as thanks. While there, Markus learns he has become is country's most wanted by the Guard.

I found this to be a clean, easy read. The story has all the elements a young (or old) reader could want for a fantasy novel. There's the requisite girl his age for Markus to become interested in, the obligatory over-protective father, understanding mother, a quest, forbidden magic, an evil wizard and greedy king.

With a couple of exceptions where I found passages the read like a word was missing, the story is well written and fairly well edited. The biggest exception to this is the difference in the title on the cover of the book versus what is on the inside of the book. An easy enough fix for eBooks, not so for the print copies. This should have been caught before going to press.

Due to the issues mentioned above, I can only give this book three stars. I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.

You can pick up your copy at Amazon (US, CA, AU, UK) and Barnes & Noble