Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Guardian Dragons (Arabassa World, Book 1) by Catherine L. Vickers

This book was somewhat difficult for me to get into. The writing came across rather like a meandering stream with a slow, mostly even pace. Focus on specific characters lasts only a few chapters before moving on to new characters so it took a while before I could see how they were relevant to each other.

I enjoyed how the history of the Lightlands and Darklands came to be separated was given as a bedtime story for a young girl. Like so many young children, Bryley was full of questions and kept interrupting her father's tale. This was one of the best parts of the book in my opinion.

In spite of how slow the story moved, I did stick with it. While I never got truly engrossed in the story, I did come to appreciate the work Vickers put into creating the world of Arabassa. I've read other books that remained slow throughout that were followed by excellent sequels. There is a lot of potential in this book for Arabassa to become a great series.

Errors missed in editing that would have improved the readability of this book had they been caught. In spite of these problems, Guardian Dragons was, overall, a nice story. I will probably read the next book (Flight of a Changeling) at some point. 3 stars

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Darkness Betrayed, Torn Book 2 by Christine Hughes

While Samantha, Ethan and the others are still trying to recover from the betrayal of one of their own, the one thing everyone agrees on is her training needs to continue, even be amped up. During one such training session, an Exiled shows up claiming to have a message to deliver for "the one who maintains balance." The problem is that so far, that's just a title. Samantha is spending a lot of time fighting her destiny.

An offer of help to defeat Sebastian comes from Damien, the purest fallen. Who's Damien? You might know him better as the devil, aka Lucifer. Uh, yeah, that guy. Seems he's not just a pretty face, but the only fallen who has no hope of changing sides to become one of the Faithful. His job was, is, and always will be to sow despair among humankind. Then, as God has commanded, take back that despair and leave a little hope in its place. The meeting ends, but not as Samantha and Ethan thought it would. Sam is taken by an Exiled and held prisoner.

Has anybody ever told you not to make a deal with the devil? Really bad idea. There is always a price to pay and the price will be steep. Deals will not be stacked in your favor and will always be painful. But hey, Sam is a stubborn teenage girl, albeit eighteen years old, who can't seem to stand being told not to do something. When Sam wakes up, she's chained to a stone wall, being forced to listen as an Exiled tells her exactly how self-centered and selfish she has been behaving. Of course, she is only 18, her life as she knew it was sort of a lie, but Sam is over doing the whole "pity me" thing. She's about to get a new trainer, disappoint more than a few people and hurt one beyond endurance.

Before she can even wrap her head around everything, she has to deal with being the one the world is counting on to maintain balance. She doesn't want the job, not really. Sam wants everyone to tell her what to do, who to trust and they can't. She needs to figure these things out for herself. Her actions drive someone very close to her to make a deal signed in blood that will drive home some very painful realizations.

Hughes has outdone herself in this second installment of the Torn series. Darkness Betrayed is an amazing piece of work. She has nailed to perfection the attitude of the selfish teenager who goes about things without serious regard for how her actions and thoughts will impact those around her. The truth about the betrayal in Torn is revealed (not saying who in case you haven't read that one yet), but trust lost is hard to get back.

New characters are introduced, again, some you're going to love to hate, some you'll feel sorry for. Companions are lost in battle and hard lessons are learned. Sometimes, if you pound hard enough, the lesson does penetrate and take hold. Just don't expect anyone to feel sorry for you that you had to learn that lesson the hard way.

 I loved Darkness Betrayed. I found myself empathizing with the characters, wanting to smack Samantha upside the head and tell her "wake up and smell the coffee." I (seriously) wanted to nail Damien to the wall and tell him "enough with the apples already." My chest felt heavy and I wanted to cry at the end. I had to ask Hughes "please tell me there's a book three coming." Yes. There is. Oh thank goodness.

Love, sacrifice, forgiveness, deceit, and treachery all combine in a beautifully crafted story. Well written, nearly perfect editing again. I want to tie her down to her computer then beg and grovel until she finishes the next one. This promises to be one of those series you recommend to your friends who enjoy the same books you do. Introduce them to this author; they'll thank you for it. 4 stars

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Torn by Christine Hughes

Destiny has a plan for Samantha that she knows nothing about. Before he can teach her what she needs to know to take her place after him, her father is killed trying to guard and hide the Box of Hope. Protecting and training Sam is now the responsibility of Lucas and Ethan. The protection her father gave her will wear off when she turns eighteen and so far, Sam is clueless. Having grown up with her, the guys decide Sam needs to know the truth her father kept from her if they are going to have her continued cooperation.

Samantha more special than she could have imagined. Her parents were part of the Fallen, angels who are descendants of angels who left heaven. It's all about choices. The Exiled are those who chose the dark side seeking to control everyone and convince them to walk away from their faith in God. The Faithful are those who strive to protect humans from the Exiled, to remind them that God still exists. Sam sits in the middle. Her mother was one of the Faithful, who died when Sam was born. Her father, a former Exiled, who walked away when he could no longer tolerate what was being done, kept his past from his daughter as long as possible.

The guys take her to New England where others can help train and protect Samantha. There she meets others who can help. The voice is back stronger than ever, taunting her, telling her to run. Sam's abilities are more powerful than the others thought and fed by her emotions. Her power comes from both parents and isn't under her control yet. Frustrated by a love that shouldn't be and blindsided by betrayal from a direction she couldn't have anticipated, Samantha is torn in two and doesn't know how to pull herself back together. She better figure it out quick; she's running out of time.

Hughes has taken two familiar themes and put her own spin on them. Most of us have heard of Pandora's box at some point, most likely in school. In Torn, Hughes put her own spin on it, creating something new to play with in the form of the Box of Hope. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that many readers of fantasy have come across the term "nephilim at one time or another too, generally considered to be the children of angel and human parentage. Here again, Hughes has put her own twist on things and given us a division where one side wants to control everyone and the other wants to protect free choice.

A teenager still struggling to come to terms with the truth of her father's life and death, a destiny that sets the fate of the world square on her shoulders, and good and evil angels are more than any girl should have to deal with. Hughes spins an intriguing story that works well with the twists she has put on things. Samantha is very believable as an emotional and occasionally over-wrought teenager. Well written, near perfect editing, I truly enjoyed this story. I'm also very happy I don't have to wait for the sequel as it's already in my library.

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 4 stars

This book is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The Amazon link will automatically redirect you to your local Amazon.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bodies: Book 1 Staged Fright by Sameer Ketkar

I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to say about this book, so I went back to Amazon and reread the book description. This story is supposed to be "a quirky new murder-mystery series that's equal parts HBO's "Big Love" and "NCIS."" As a descriptive statement, I was intrigued enough to want to read this book. I've watched several episodes of "NCIS" and have a good grasp of the show's premise. On the other hand, I've never seen "Big Love."

The story is told by Neil Callahan, the youngest son of Tigh and Larkin Callahan. Their other two children are Jack and Rachel. The family lives in Atlanta, Georgia where both parents work for the CDC heading up the Crisis Response Team. He begins by telling us that his parents became involved in a three-way relationship with Special Agent Corban Banks when Neil was fourteen. Banks works for D.H.S. as a member of the Bioterror Task Force.

There are multiple story lines here that don't really pull together into a cohesive whole. At the beginning of the book, I'm reading a story about how Neil's parents came to be involved with Special Agent Banks. To tell us this story, Neil talks about a famous actress involved in her own three-way (oh, maybe that's where his folks came up with the idea) until a body falls through the wall of the hotel room putting a end to that. Boils on the body burst and spray green pus everywhere taking the story into the murder/mystery genre, though I'm still confused as to how this will turn into a love story. This event brings in the CDC (Neil's parents), and Homeland Security (Special Agent Banks). Now people are trying to determine what caused the boils on the corpse.

The story gives us no clue as to Neil's current age as he relates this story to us; I'm not sure that's even relevant. The addition of a third person in his parent's marriage doesn't feel as though this was the main plot. In fact, I struggle to determine what is the main plot of this story. There is a lot of descriptive narrative I felt really served no purpose in the story other than as filler. There is an abundance of technical terms and acronyms (that are not always defined) that as a lay person, add to my confusion.

I'm sorry to say, the story didn't really take off and grab my interest until the last twenty pages. There were no grammatical or spelling errors that came to my notice while reading. The author has several good ideas for more than one story. Perhaps streamlining the current one would have made a better reading experience for me. I saw potential in what was written, however, I don't feel that potential was brought to fruition.

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 2 stars

This book is available at Amazon. This is a worldwide link that will automatically redirect you to your local Amazon.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Imperfection by Phaedra Seabolt

Meara Falk, the privileged daughter of a wealthy family has one year left before she graduates from college. Her parents are paying for everything provided she follows a few simple rules. Her quiet, predictable life is about to change when her friends convince her she needs to cut loose at least once before she graduates. That one decision will change her life in ways she never thought possible.

Cut off from all financial support and disowned after telling her parents she was pregnant, Meara now works as a waitress to pay the bills while she still tries to finish school and graduate. Nine months later she is struggling to survive as a single parent with the help of her friends. Taking her son for a ride in his stroller, she is attacked and injured when someone tries to snatch her son. After she heals, Meara starts noticing her hearing is getting better, as is her sense of smell.

Unknown to Meara, she is descended from a "pure" line of werewolves. Pure Pack are warriors cursed by Freyja to live as wolves, and blessed by Odur with the ability to shift between human and wolf form, and near immortality. Now her son is wanted by his father, the Alpha of Pure Pack, and he'll stoop to anything to gain possession of Julian. When her son is kidnapped, Meara and her friend, Rachel, both learn werewolves are more than a fable to scare yourself with on a dark night.

There are so many werewolf and shapeshifter stories that authors need to find a new spin to make their book stand out. Seabolt has done that. By twining Norse mythology with werewolf mythos, Seabolt has put an original spin on the genre. She gives us an answer as to the origin and their purpose, a unique approach as far as anything I've read goes.

Seabolt did a good job of weaving Norse mythology into her story. And she gave us an imperfect werewolf who didn't change on the first full moon after being injured. What a fun twist! I really enjoyed this story, the abrupt halt at the end of the book, not so much. The ending leaves this part of the story feeling unfinished somehow. Now I'm on pins and needles waiting for the next one to come out so I can see what happens next. My hope is for sometime this year. 4 stars

I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review. You can get your copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Chasing Flames by Emily Fogle

Aydah and her family live in a small community in the middle of a state forest (I'm jealous). She walks to school every day with Adam, a loner every bit as much as Aydah. Adam tells her a classmate and his family have moved and there's a new guy at school. Aydah can't get the new guy out of her mind. Seeing him for the first time in one of her classes, Aydah goes into full-blown 'oh my gosh he's so hot and I'm so nervous' mode.

Her attraction to Liam is instant and doesn't go unnoticed by Adam, who gets detention for fighting. Something about the new boy has not just Adam on edge, but both his family and Aydah's. Things are  changing for Aydah and they don't make sense to her. A staunch believer in all meat must be cooked nearly to a crisp before being edible, she now finds raw meat smell amazingly appetizing. Her best friend is acting jealous, and she's having strange dreams.

Why have people begun to disappear? Do the disappearances have anything to do with Liam's arrival in town? Why does the wolf mask Liam gave her upset everyone? Who is Liam? Or maybe the question should be, why is Aydah so special to him? What is this secret her parents and Adam are keeping from her? Why are they afraid Liam knows something they don't?

Not only did Chasing Flames pulled me in fairly fast, but I've already reread the book a couple of times. For me, this was a relatively quick read. Adam began the story as her laid back friend she walks to and from school with who eats most of her lunch. By the end of the book, he was showing a meaner, darker side. I'm very curious about him as well as the other people surrounding Aydah.

 I've read one other book by this author. Fogle is now two for two. Keep your eye on her; I have a feeling she's only just getting started. I will be checking weekly to see if the next book in this series is out. 5 stars

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. You can pick up your copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Road Rash by Bonnie Bernard

You know, I really want a peek inside Bernard's brain, but I'm not sure I can handle all those curve balls coming at me at the same moment. I mean, really, where the heck does she come up with these stories? I'm sitting here shaking my head at this latest gem of hers and smiling. There isn't much I can say about the story without saying too much. How about, 'so it goes in the beginning, so it goes in the end'? The middle is just as confusing to me as the poor guy who lost his head in a motorcycle accident. It works though. The guy wakes up not knowing where he is, just happy his sense of humor is still intact. (So is Bernard's, fair warning.) Weird, huh?

Wayne Wright, comes out of that tunnel of light without a stitch on. Things just go crazy, funny, weird (pick one) from there. Everyone has a job and Wayne needs to learn his, so he better pay attention. If this is heaven, it's not exactly as he imagined it would be. I have to stop now before I just spill everything. Bernard must have been laughing when she wrote the last line, because I can't even think it with a straight face.

I love long stories. They give me a chance to get to know the characters, learn to love some and hate others. Anticipation builds, releases to rebuild again. Bernard has taught me there is something worthwhile to be found in short stories. I'm glad too. I would have missed out on a few reflexive smiles and some laughing had I not read not just this book, but her other short stories. I'm seriously doubting she could write a bad story even if she tried. 5 stars

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. You can pick up yours at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Slice by Bonnie Bernard

You read enough books by any given author and you think you know what to expect from them, at least in the broad sense. I'm no different. I see "Bonnie Bernard" on the cover and I know to expect comments that will have me burst out laughing at some point. Or maybe thinking "you dumb cluck." But nope, I opened this book and there she was doing her little "gotcha" dance.

This is indeed a (very) short story about a girl who prefers to order in take-out meals. Slice is cute and sassy. Sheila's the new girl in town exploring her "options." Saying anything more would spoil the story for you. Get it, read it, have a laugh. Is it Wednesday? Must be time for pizza. (18+) I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review. 5 stars

This book is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Backfire by Bonnie Bernard

This book is different from others I've read by this author. Yes, it still falls within the fantasy genre, but there's a serious undertone of reality I've not yet come across in Bernard's other works. Backfire is a short story of a forty-something couple's motorcycle trip as they try to capture a positive experience before their son succumbs to a terminal illness. Hot and thirsty, they stop in the town of Friday Morning and visit the Backfire Bike Shop. What ensues is probably the strangest encounter and conversation beyond what anyone could have imagined.

What would you do if it meant you could save your child's life? How far would you go? Who would you be willing to make a deal with? How much would you be willing to take a blind chance on? Will you take the deal, pay the price? Don't worry; you won't be making any deals with the devil, just Friday, the black cat that hangs out in the shop. Appearances can be deceiving. That is especially true for Friday Morning. A bit of suspense, a bit of the unusual. And the most puzzling is how anyone could love such a run down town.

In spite of the serious undertone to this story, Bernard's signature curve ball and wit are very much present and make a last second appearance at the end of this story. I think you'll enjoy this story as much as I have. I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 4 stars

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

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Nature Calls by Bonnie Bernard

There are some books you know will be good simply by the author's name. I have read several books by this author and enjoyed every one of them. From the cover art to the last page, this book screams Bonnie Bernard. Her humor, narrative, all of it combines in such a way that sooner or later, you will find yourself grinning if not outright laughing.

I was already laughing at ten pages into the book. Guy goes to his company Halloween party, visits the tent of the party fortune teller, wakes up the next morning naked in the back of a pickup truck with no memory of what happened or how he got there. Yeah, I'm laughing. Of course, in true Bernard fashion, she immediately throws her signature curveball(s). Yeah, more than one. My head's still spinning. Each consecutive story is as funny as the next one.

Nature Calls is a collection of stories guaranteed to tickle your funny bone more than a few times. When I reviewed Let's Conquer Paris by Oleg Medvedkov last September, I said "I would be willing to keep a print version of his book in my car for those horrid traffic jams caused by construction or the imp of the perverse." I have to say the same thing about Nature Calls. This book is such a mood lifter and should be in everyone's desk, no matter what their job. Call it stress relief, mood lifter, or just plain awesome.

I look forward to any book written by Bonnie Bernard. You just can't go wrong. There is something for everyone in this book. While fantasy characters are at the forefront, the situations they find themselves in speak to the everyday person just trying to get through the day. Having Bernard's spin on everything makes this an exceptional read. 5 stars

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. The Amazon link will automatically redirect you to your local Amazon website.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Deathless (Blue Fire Saga #2) by Scott Prussing

With everything that has happened in the last few months, all Leesa wanted was some semblance of a normal life. Her brother, Bradley, has been rescued from the vampire who held him captive for the last two years and is regaining his health. Their mother is finally cured of the vampire bite that haunted her life for so long and is putting her life back together. Leesa, Bradley and her mother are finally back together, this time as a real family. All she wants to have to worry about at this point is passing her classes and figuring out how to kiss Rave without his magical fire killing her. If only life were that easy.

As the magical energy of Destiratu grows stronger and their self control begins to wane, vampire and volkaane alike take steps to ensure they are not discovered by humans. Not everyone is happy with the new rules and wheedles her way around them. Edwina is bitterly angry and has a score to settle with Leesa for having to give up the human she was feeding from. As if that didn't complicate her life enough, Leesa has started having some rather disturbing dreams. This wouldn't be much cause for alarm except for one small fact - her dreams are coming true.

With a stranger claiming to be her father and the dead coming to life long enough to dig themselves out of their graves, Leesa and Rave's may not have much time to work on figuring out how to kiss without her dying. New enemies, new secrets, but not as much of Rave as I would have liked. The danger to Leesa, her family, and her friends is amped up in this book.

A good continuation of the first book. There were a few problems, but not so many that I put it down. Overall, a good read. I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 3 stars

This book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Breathless (Blue Fire Saga # 1) by Scott Prussing

Growing up listening to her mother's claims to have been bitten by a one-fanged vampire, Leesa has been fascinated by vampires her whole life. Raised by her older brother in the face of their mother's inability, Leesa Nyland is devastated by his last message. Now eighteen, Leesa has followed her brother to Westland College to learn why he disappeared two years ago. She may have found a friend and ally in the person of her vampire sciences professor.

Leesa has a lot to learn and her most important lessons won't be found in a classroom. There is more to the world around her than she could have imagined. Vampires are real, her mother really was bitten by a one-fanged vampire and the two boys interested in her aren't human. Stefan de Kula, a member of the local vampire council, wants her for his consort. Rave Maston is a volkaane, a race of vampire hunters who live for centuries. Destiratu, the magical energy that causes both vampires and volkaanes to become more reckless and vicious is growing. If the energy becomes strong enough, the delicate balance that exists between vampires and volkaanes will be upset.

Rumors of blue fire, a strange community on the edge of town and the possibility of a cure for her mother turn Leesa's world upside down. When she learns her brother is still alive and a captive of one of the local vampires, Leesa has to decide whether she is willing to pay the ultimate price for his freedom.

There was a lot to like about this book, not the least of which is a new twist on the well-known genre of vampire and vampire hunter. The author brought a fresh idea to the old idea of vampire hunters which created a lot of room for the plot to go in different directions. Introducing a magical energy, the destiratu, that causes both vampires and volkaanes to lose control and become much more aggressive was wonderful.

There were enough new ideas throughout the book to hold my interest all the way through. There were some problems that should have been caught either in beta reading or editing, but nothing severe enough to put me off the book or the series. Had this book received better editing, I would have gladly given four stars. Overall, I enjoyed the book enough to pick up the next one in the series. 3 stars.

I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review. You can pick up your copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. The Amazon link is a worldwide link that will automatically redirect you to your local Amazon.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Falling into Place: Book 3 Others of Edenton by Brandy Rivers

Rescued from a childhood of neglect and abuse, Liz doesn't trust anyone easily. Tremaine took the twelve year old to a trusted friend to raise and nurture, believing she would find a place in Wilhelm's family and finally have the love she deserved. After such a rough beginning, nothing Emily or James through at her could touch her. Liz made her own place in a home and family she never felt she quite fit into. Growing up beside Robert, his gentleness was a soothing balm to her heart and the two fall in love.

Horror struck her young life again as James attacked her one day while his brother was gone taking care of their sister. In shock by the time Robert returns, Liz doesn't recognize him and nearly kills the love of her life.

Over twenty years later, Robert learns James is still alive and is out for revenge. Liz is at the top of his list right behind his sister, Emily. Both Tremain and Robert would do anything to keep her safe and the first step is for everyone to face their personal demons. As the author notes in her book description, there is a threesome that develops in this story. I've had authors tell me that sometimes, characters take a story in a completely different direction than they intended. In this case, I'm glad she listened to her characters.

Some of the same characters from the other stories are here. Fallon plays a key roll in helping Liz feel safe and recover some sense of feeling beautiful again. There were a few errors that detracted from the story, but I couldn't put it down. While I love all these book, my favorite by far is the first one, In Too Deep. Having read all the books currently available in this series, I'm looking forward to both the next book in this series as well as the first book in Others of Seattle.

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. The Amazon link is a worldwide link that will automatically redirect you to your local Amazon.

Shadows of the Past: Book 2 of Others of Edenton by Brandy Rivers

Amethyst is running from her past and a memory so shameful it hurts. She doesn't care that it was the only solution to an intolerable situation. She used her power to send her ex away for good. He killed himself in his grief and she can't forgive herself for that.

Hayden has his hands full and isn't looking for anything right now. Something is happening in Edenton and he needs answers before more people are hurt or killed. Fate has other ideas when she is pulled over for speeding by an officer having a really bad day. Hayden takes charge of her and the attraction is instant. Trouble is, Amethyst isn't ready for a relationship.

Several of my favorite characters are back in this second full novel of the series. Preston has always looked out for her and he is willing to step between Amethyst and anything or anyone who could hurt her. Jess has seen something evil coming and Amethyst is key to a solution that can only go drastically wrong for the world, or save it. I can't say too much without giving everything away. I enjoyed this book immensely. The characters keep growing as does the depth in the world Rivers has created for her Others. Rivers is on a run and I don't see it ending any time soon.

I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Shadows Fall: Book 1.5 of Others of Edenton by Brandy Rivers

Amethyst is a nymph, and as the author says, she has a problem. She sure does. I don't know how the heck Rivers managed to pack so much into so few pages. I've just learned that the number of pages doesn't have anything to do with the punch a story can pack.

Amethyst is tired of being with Carl. She doesn't love him, but he's desperate to keep her. Desperation can drive a man to do stupid things. He goes to the Silver Council and claims to be fairy struck in hopes she will realize she needs him as much as he needs her. Having friends in high places is a good thing to have when you're a nymph in over your head.

She calls Fallon, who is a good friend about moving to Edenton. There's not much I can say without spoilers. How about it makes a lot of sense to have this book in the series. This story perfectly sets up the events in the next book. I'll keep it short and sweet. If you liked/loved the first two, you will this one also. It's non-stop and definitely worth reading.

I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. The Amazon link is a worldwide redirect that will automatically send you to your local Amazon website.

In too Deep: Book 1 of Others of Edenton by Brandy Rivers

I began reading this book before I realized one of the others is a prequel. As good as New Beginnings is, I was happy to be back with this book. Many of the characters from the prequel are back though this time around the focus is on Jess's best friend Fallon, and Brody, Slater's second. I was smiling before I'd read a dozen pages.

Fallon and Brody meet through an accident, literally. She's riding her Harley with the lights out and a noise dampening spell when Brody runs out of the woods and smack into her bike. Tired of the drama with her now ex-boyfriend, she's not happy when she realizes what hit her bike was a wereanimal. Taking account of his injuries, she realizes he was attacked by at least one vampire. With his warning to "Go, run...," "Please, just go," she knows his attackers can't be far behind. And they aren't. Fallon has a few moves that surprise everyone and she isn't talking much about what she is.

What I like so much about this book, and in fact the entire series, is that the characters continue to develop. The women have faults and failings, yet are strong and don't take any crap from anyone. We got a hint of what Fallon would be like in New Beginnings. I liked what I saw of her then, and like her even more now. The men aren't perfect, but can be totally endearing. In fact, I didn't like Clint when I first met him. I really felt he needed a pop upside the head. But he has a good side and has rather grown on me. Dacia's shows up again too and of course she still hasn't learned anything.

Leaving her ex behind and starting fresh doesn't mean life has become a piece of cake. Troubles are brewing and Fallon's skills will be sorely needed. I really enjoyed this book and couldn't wait to dig into the next one in the series. So much so that I put off writing the review until I'd read every one of them. If you enjoy stories with paranormal characters that are more than romance, have attitude and conflict, this book (and series) is for you. It's a good thing all of these books are in digital format, or I'd have to start another box for favorite books the next time I move. Well written, well edited. A joy to read.

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The Amazon link will automatically redirect you to your local Amazon.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Beginnings: Prequel to Others of Edenton by Brandy Rivers

I began reading this series by starting with the first book on my list and then discovered one of the others waiting to be read was a prequel. So I set that book aside and picked up this one. It only made sense, right? I love books on the paranormal, whether it's a mystery, romance or a bit of everything.

The story opens with Jess waking up to the realization she just spent the night with the biggest jerk she knows and hung over. Gregory is her pack Alpha and believes he is entitled to any of the females he wants. His reputation is bad enough that when Jess calls the Alpha of the Edenton pack, Slater is ready to chew nails at the thought of Jess being around Gregory. He agrees to sell her the bar she's interested in and that's the last piece Jess needs to fall in place to leave San Francisco.

Not everything comes up rosy after she gets there. Slater notices Jess doesn't touch people, doesn't shake hands, no hugs, nothing. There's a very good reason for that. Jess is a psychic. Touching people causes her to have visions about them, sometimes, it's things she'd really rather not know about. When Slater arranges a pack meet and greet, he makes sure to put everyone on notice that she is not to be touched. Not all of her visions are instigated through touch. And she's been having some pretty major ones.

I was really glad I made the decision to put down the first book and back up to the prequel. Characters are introduced that turn up in later books. I liked having that bit of background on them. Gregory is the jerk that every woman (and many men) love to hate. There's hunky men, an insanely jealous woman who's pretty much a nutcase because she just won't get a clue, someone out for revenge, and other supernatural characters to love or hate.. This book has it all. I loved this story so much that as soon as I finished the last page, I promptly dug into each consecutive book without taking the time to write the review. And there's a related series (Others of Seattle) coming that is already on my wish list.

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This title is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. The Amazon link will automatically redirect you to your local Amazon.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ruby Blue by Julie Cassar

This book was a bit difficult for me to get hooked into. The first several pages read very much like diary entries of a teenage girl, full of description about everyone and everything. I was close to a quarter of the way through the book before I started feeling engaged by the story. This is obviously not a young adult story, although I'm quite certain teenage girls will thoroughly enjoy this book.

Meet Ruby, a seventeen year-old who has been able to see fairies since she was five. She, her parents and younger brother Leo live in a lakeside resort town in northern Michigan and are on summer break. Ruby spends much of her free time with Anya, Brennan, Jeremy, and Leo when she must. When the "hottest" boy in town finally asks her for a date, Ruby, who seldom lacks for words, is struggling to talk to him.

Ruby has the typical teenage issues with her younger brother being a pain and frequently annoying. Her responses to her parents reminding her to do chores come across annoyed or frustrated by the reminder. You get all the internal melodrama over a developing relationship with the hot guy who works in the local pizza restaurant. Of course the girls go crazy over what Ruby will wear for her first date with "Mr. Hotness" as you might expect any teenage girl to when she first gets with someone.

Elements of a fairytale are woven into a story about the everyday life of a teenage girl, Ruby learns a few things about Anya and Brennan that surprise her. Oh, and a dragon has come through a portal from Fey during the most recent blue moon. Now that he's in our world, he's causing havoc starting fires and upsetting boats in the marina. Research turns up the solution, but the kids will need all their courage to go through with it.

Although gay relationships are not the focus of this story, it is addressed and handled with a tact and frankness that I don't often see. If this is a problem for you, then you probably shouldn't read this book. Although this was a good book, I am definitely in the wrong age group to truly find enjoyment in this story. My personal opinion is that the age group that will get the most enjoyment out of this book will be junior high and high school age.

I found the story to be well written, nearly perfect in editing with characters that will be engaging to the right age group. I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The Amazon link will automatically redirect you to your local Amazon.