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Midnight Curse, Disrupted Magic: Book 1, Melissa F. Olson

Midnight Curse, Disrupted Magic: Book 1,  Melissa F. Olson

Midnight Curse (Disrupted Magic Book 1) by [Olson, Melissa F.]

Genre: Sci-fi and fantasy, general fiction (adult).

I found Melissa’s books by way of the Boundary Magic reads on KU – I love KU!! Risk free way of trying books for a small sum each month. Melissa’s novels tend to be in trilogies with some side ones in novella form.
I think if I’d come to this one without having read any of the others maybe I’d have struggled a bit more, as it is I missed the last Scarlett novel – it’s on my kindle for reading now 🙂 – and there were things I didn’t wholly follow.
Its a stand alone read though, even though part of a trilogy. this particular story wraps up but its clear there’s more to come.

I love the characters in this series, vampires and werewolves, witches – with a very, very few boundary witches who specialise in death magic, and Scarlett, a null – someone who temporarily wipes out paranormal elements whenshe is close to them, so vampires and werewolves are human when next to her, and witches unable to use their powers. Evens out the field a bit!

Scarlett has been involved with the supernatural world for sometime, and lives with werewolf Eli. She gets a strange message from Molly, a good friend some time ago but they’ve not seen each other for years. She takes Shadow, her Bargest ( sort of supernatural dog) and goes to see what’s wrong. Scarlett is like that, when someone needs help she wants to give it if she can. She gets a horrible surprise though when she finds Molly blood soaked and her 12 housemates dead….

Of course the Vampire Trials are coming up next day, a two day event held every three years where the three supernatural leaders gather with their members and decide over grievances. Scarlett knows the punishment for killing like this is death, but Molly doesn’t know why she did it, its not her nature, nor really any vampire, to kill and feed this way.
She wants to prove Molly was set up, but time is short. the other leaders aren’t looking beyond the obvious, and the perpetrator behind events seems determined to get Molly killed at the trials.

Its another riveting, exciting read. Scarlett has changed a lot from last time I read about her, and she’s grown in confidence and ability.
She likes her job, feels she’s doing something useful, and even though it brings her into danger again and again, she thrives in the planning and doing of making things right. Eli isn’t so happy, they love each other but he can’t understand why she persists in doing this job that risks her life again and again, and she can’t seem to make him understand its what makes her happy. Rock and hard place, and I felt for them both.

Jesse is back in a big way in this book. I love Jesse, but the poor guy is in a rough place, taken for a ride by his ex wife, who wanted his fame and money more than him. Tough stuff. When Scarlett seeks his help he’s not keen at first but soon the deadly duo are back in action. They really do work well together, trusting each other and knowing what each can and can’t do.
With Shadow’s help they’ve a huge task ahead, find the perpetrators and bring them in quickly or Molly dies. Vampires – actually all Supernaturals, have a harsh but much needed rule, risking humans knowing about them means death. Its too big a thing to do half measures, there are rarely excuses accepted, so Scarlett and Jesse need to find out what’s going on ASAP.

Once more I loved the story, loved the characters and the way it all played out. There are no hated “quick fix” solutions here, those where someone gets a new, unheard of so unpractised power just at the crucial moment. I hate those, I want what happens here, where the solutions come from attributes we already know about, from skills practiced, from accepted traits of the characters.
Its got a kind of bittersweet ending, one that made me sad but also made me think maybe what I wanted from very early in these books might finally happen…..

Stars: Five, a great start to another trilogy 🙂 I’m looking forward to more.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

The Turn, The Hollows Begins with Death, Kim Harrison

The Turn, The Hollows Begins with Death,  Kim Harrison

The Turn: The Hollows Begins with Death (Hollows Prequel) by [Harrison, Kim]

Genre:  Sci-fi and fantasy

I’d just been thinking it was maybe time for a reread of Kim’s Hollows, a fab series, one of the first I bought when I got Kindle number 1.
Its not a light, fluffy, romance + alpha hero tale, but one with some dark moments, demons that aren’t all romantic underneath, vampires who’re out only for themselves, and will kill without a second thought if they think they need to, werewolves, witches, pixies and fairies, and ley line magic, lots of that. And yet wrapped up in that IS a romance, the story isn’t some dark, macabre horror as it sounds, and there’s so much fun, so much mystery as to what can and will happen. Great characters and it’s a series you can read over and over.

So seeing a prequel I was excited, its several years since I first read it but I can remember feeling confused about parts of The Turn, what exactly happened, and how and why, so this is just perfect for both folk new to the Hollows, and for those of us who’ve read it but got questions.
We meet mainly Trent’s parents, see how they got together and I’m ashamed to say I can barely remember anything of them from the main series. They’re both clever scientists, leaders in their field and have a fierce rivalry.
Trent’s dad Kal is a total jerk, viciously cruel, totally amoral, made me see a bit where Trent got his initial prejudice from. He’s always done his best to knock down Trisk from when they were kids, his jealousy knowing no bounds. I did feel for him a bit when we read about how much of his childhood was spent in pain, knew about the constant surgeries and tweaks to his genetic code he’d had. That’s tough on any child.
Doesn’t excuse the way he was so cruel to Trisk though, always reminding her she was an upstart Dark Elf, not like the Kalamacks with their long heritage keeping them pure. Trouble is though those Pure Elves, the bloodlines they were so proud of, was what was helping them die out, they were having huge issues reproducing.
Poor Trisk is hampered too by the 60’s view of females, little women that should be chained to the kitchen popping out babies, certainly not leading scientific advancements, that should be left to the men. If by chance they did make a break through, well they should be pleased a man would take over and get it published and maybe let their name be credited as one of many helpers….Gah! that was so spot on, I was just a kid then but is so how life was! I love Trisk, one of the good people, who wants to do what’s right, regardless of personal cost.
Her human colleague Daniel is another like her, and he was a terrific addition. Made it easy to see how the whole coming out to humans part was decided. There were people for and against, but with Daniel in front of them, the way he’d dealt with such a lot in a short time and still helped those not human as well as the humans helped sway the decision.
Along with Orchid of course, who was a great character and help fill the missing shoes of Jenks. I can’t write his name without thinking “Tink’s little red panties” – he had a phrase for every occasion, and Orchid has a similar curse ridden mouth!
We meet Quen too, a young Quen and maybe an explanation for why he’s always been so loyal to Trent. I love Quen, always the man in the background, always there protecting, overseeing and yet unseen much of the time.
Alongside that there’s Al the demon of course, Piscary, Rhynn, and a few others from the main series.
Another reviewer mentioned Rachel’s dad, and I can’t recall much about him, and missed that – I need to go back and look…I’m sure there’s other nods to the main series I’ve missed.

Stars: Five, a fabulous story, well worth reading before or after the main series.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Mark of the Moon, Beth Dranoff, Wolf Moon, Lisa Kessler, The Demigod’s Legacy, Masters of Maria – Book 1, Holley Trent

Mark of the Moon, Beth Dranoff

Mark of the Moon by [Dranoff, Beth]

Genre:  romance, Sci-fi and fantasy

Looks as if this is a debut book, I can’t find anything else Beth has written and its a really good start.

I loved the idea of this series, and from the beginning I was quickly brought into the action.
There’s a few issues though that stopped it being a five star read for me, though I think it has that potential. Maybe if it is a debut book, and Beth learns more as she writes –practice makes perfect and all that – hopefully later books will grow and evolve into the kind of reads they could be.
Think of some of the early books of now well known authors, some have really polished their craft as they get more used to the world of creating stories from nothing, and making us readers believe in them.

The biggest issue for me is that Dana spends so much time “in her head” mulling things over, rambling to herself, that the story becomes tell-not-show and that format really doesn’t work for me.
There’s also a lot of action, so much so that at times it becomes hard to sort out who’s doing what and why, what’s really going on, and I ended up seeing Dana escape yet again but uncertain of how, or why it happened. That’s possibly because I found myself skimming some of her meanderings, and some of the what felt like repeated attacks.
I’m the kind of reader that needs answers, needs to know that the protagonist gets free using skills I know she or someone else already has. I don’t like new-skills-discovered-at-the-critical-time kind of read, the quick fix answer where they are in a scrape that looks inescapable and then someone comes in, does something hitherto unknown, and everything is perfect once more.

That said I love the characters, the mystery of the seven moon pack – or whatever they were called, wondering who Ansell is, the triangle (or quad?) of Jon, Dana and Sam, with jealous Claude making up an unwilling fourth!! I’m kind of confused over that, as Jon tells her after the first crisis she finds herself in that Claude is an ex, that there’s nothing between them. However Claude doesn’t seem to feel he’s an ex, more a current, and the interaction between him and Jon seems to back that up – so what is the truth?
I like Jon, can feel he genuinely cares for and about Dana, but his relationship with Claude is odd, and i didn’t see how he could let go the things Claude did and said when he cares so much for Dana.
I liked Sam too, but he’s more complex that he first appeared, and did things that made me feel somewhat differently about him.

There’s some serious heat in the scenes in this, with some very sensual sex going on but…I could have done with a bit more attraction between them, not just sexual, lust, physical but emotional, actually liking each other, wanting to support and help.
Jon seems to do a bit of that, but in an understated way, and it’s really hard to tell if he’s doing it because he likes Dana, or whether he just feels its the right thing to do, kind of old school traditional behaviour that many vamps show.

I think – and I really hate to say this as usually I’m banging on about stories being too simplified – this series will work better as it grows, as Beth works out what she wants her characters to be, where she wants them to go and how. Once they know who they are, then maybe their actions will become more simpler, more understandable instead of the random we see curretntly,, and we won’t need this constant rescue from unnamed sources with untold skills.

Its a great idea, and by the end I can see that its going to get more complex, so something needs to go, or to get more slick and polished or the plot(s) along with non stop, over-complex and over-explained action is going to spoil what could be for me a terrific 5* series.

Stars: Three and a half. A really good start to a series that has the potential to become a favourite for me, but still needs some fine-tuning IMO.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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Wolf Moon,  Lisa Kessler

Wolf Moon by [Kessler, Lisa]

Genre:  romance,

I’d read and enjoyed the first five books in this series, but somehow missed book six…still, these can be read as standalone stories so that didn’t matter.

There is an overall story arc to the series with the Nero connection, but that seems to have taken a real backseat in this book.There are references to Nero and the people within it, but its a very minor part of the book. I’d have liked to see more Nero involvement, without it this becomes just a shifter romance, and there’s a deluge of them on the market.
Lisa’s writing is always very good, but the Nero connection gave this series the edge IMO.

So we meet Luke and Raven. We do hear from others in his pack, but in this book they’re very much in name only, its mainly just Luke and Raven and the Sedona Pack.
Poor Raven, turned against her will and against werewolf rules, is trapped in the Sedona pack. I really felt for her and her sister, stuck there with her.
The pack Alpha is in league with Nero, and is growing his pack quickly, against werewolf law and tradition, mating the females up with whoever he wants to reward to breed more werewolves. He wants a strong and loyal pack, and is searching out and turning people with abilities to help him achieve that, if they don’t have close family and won’t be missed.
Forget the fated Mate connection, he’s not interested in that, just in rewarding those men loyal to him with females, and the ladies don’t have any say in the matter.

What an awful life. Raven is determined to escape with her sister, and when she meets Luke and they touch, the need grows stronger and they discover they are mates.
Luke hates the thought of her going back to the pack, but she must, to save her sister and to prevent war on Luke’s pack. That looks inevitable though when they learn of the Sedona Alpha’s plans and the Nero connection.

I loved Luke and Raven, but the story felt a little slick, everything fell into place too well, even when there were issues they were dealt with quickly.
Compared to earlier reads this one did feel very simplistic, maybe I just needed more Nero connection, a bit more angst and anger.
I’m kind of confused about the Nero crew too, as to which way the major players are swinging, what side are they really one, are they playing bluff or double bluff? I like that kind of thing, trying to work out what people really have in mind.
Compared to that intrigue the Sedona stuff just seemed to flip by too easily, issues sorted too simply.

Its still a fun read, still a great addition to the series but looking back at my past reviews the ones I’ve enjoyed the most have been the ones where Nero takes a stronger part.

Stars: Four, a good read, but I needed a bit more Nero to make it a five.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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The Demigod’s Legacy, Masters of Maria – Book 1,  Holley Trent

The Demigod's Legacy by [Trent, Holley]

Genre:  romance, paranormal and fantasy

I didn’t realise this was a spin off series, and of course I’d not read the Desert Guards. Didn’t matter though, there’s enough info given for me to follow the story, but I do want to read the other books at some point, they sound fun.

I’ve read a few of Holley’s contemporary romance reads a while back, but none of her very very many paranormals….she has an easy to follow writing style, with some sharp humour which keeps the feeling of light-heartedness in the story.
Its a kind of easy, relaxing read rather than deep dark drama. I like both, very much depends on my mood which I want to read.

So this book – a fun read, made me smile at some of the things that happened. I loved the main characters of Dee, Cruz and Tito, and they all felt very real. Cruz especially – five going on fifteen. she was a real sweetie kid.

I really felt for poor Dee, dumped like that, Tito promising he’ll be back and then she’s stuck, pregnant and alone, with only her sister for support. That must have made the early days very tough, especially as she’s no way of contacting Tito, other than trying many times to send a message via his cousin.
She never hears back but now she’s found out where he is and has driven her and Cruz to see him. I’d have been pretty riled at him too.

I started off really disliking Tito, hated what he’d done, and his reaction when he first sees Dee isn’t great, nor did he take the news he’s a father very well. If I’d been Dee I think I’d have got in the car and gone…but somehow his family and friends sort of bamboozle Dee into staying, and his Godess mother tells him to pull himself together basically.
Of course once I knew his past I understood why he’d left Dee, and really felt for him, he was just trying to do the right thing even though it hurt him.
He’s still allowing that to impact the current situation though, and Dee just isn’t sure whether he really wants her now, or just wants his daughter,Cruz, and her by default as Cruz’ mother, as he can’t really explain what he is without sounding crazy…

Of course the tale gets more tangled with endless Foley friends and cousins in every corner it seems, and poor Dee was as confused as i was, especially before she knew the truth about them.
They were trying to make excuses for Tito’s behaviour, and persuade her to stay without being able to explain so much of what was going on.

Where I struggled was the ending, it got to a point where I felt it was kind of rushed, overly complicated at times and at other it was just Problem, wham – problem gone, far too quick and simplistic. I needed something between the two, to be able to see what was going to happen, how it was resolved and how they kept humans from finding out what they’d done.
It seemed to me a magical clean sweep was done very quickly every time there was a fight and/or a death, but it wouldn’t really have been as simple as that surely? There would have been times when other eyes were around, when they didn’t clean up quick enough?

I wasn’t really sure why her parents and other relatives were involved, that wasn’t really needed IMO and the way that plotline played out was certainly unreal and felt unnecessary.
I couldn’t see they could have covered things up so slickly, that everyone would have been so accepting of what had been happening and the consequences. I’d rather things there were left as we first knew them.
Though I’d really enjoyed the novel til the end section, those issues were what made it a four star not a five. Again had I read Desert Guards maybe I’d have followed it better – who knows?

One thing I did like was the historic references, Aztec names etc – I kept looking them up each time I came across one and learned a little more interesting facts about ancient Aztec culture and Gods. That was fun and gave an edge of reality to the story.

Stars: four, a fun supernatural read.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

 

The Devil’s Russian Beauty, Book two of the Werewolves of Rebellion Series, Ana Lee Kennedy

The Devil’s Russian Beauty, Book two of the Werewolves of Rebellion Series,  Ana Lee Kennedy

The Devil's Russian Beauty: Book two  of the Werewolves of Rebellion Series by [Kennedy, Ana Lee]

Genre:  romance, sci-fi and fantasy

I really enjoyed the first in this series and was looking forward to this one. First books in a series have a tough job and I usually find I like succeeding ones better, as the setting is in place and the story can concentrate on events and characters and not just world building and intros.
I found this book to be a bit under-whelming though, and in fact didn’t enjoy it as much as the first.

I didn’t feel the chemistry that Bernadette and Frank had, that I loved, between Phil and Daffi, they felt like good friends more than potenital mates/lovers. Apart from the werewolf pheromones making them sexually attracted I didn’t feel there was a real relationship in the making here. I liked them both, just didn’t feel that magic connection with them.
In book one I commented on Scary Mary and mentioned my pet hate of where people have some unused/unknown supernatural talent which comes in just at the right moment. Sadly that crops up once more here, and it just doesn’t work for me, I want them to use skills I know about, and that have been learned solidly. Its a quick fix solution I really dislike, and I felt it let the story down. We had all that build up, then its done and dusted quickly, and I don’t really know how it happened except “its magic”.
I never did go for the non explanation, whether real life or in my fiction reads….

I love this idea of a werewolf MC, that succeeds through hard work, friendship and trust. I’m not a great MC reader, usually as the heroes seem to think speaking in words of not more than two syllables is conversation, and sex is two or three thrusts, an orgasm for him and the female should be happy he chose her. Oh and a few obligatory beatings…
Yeah, I know, they’re not all quite like that but the few I read gave me that impression and I avoid them.
Here though Anna has created a club I love, one where everyone deserves and gets respect, where they all work together, and its a great setting, especially with the werewolf connection.
If only the magic side could be sorted, no more quick fixes, and a bit more connection between characters so the chemistry steams, as it did with Frank and Bernadette, then I’d love it.
Sadly this book was more of an OK read than one I couldn’t put down, though I’d still be happy to give the next book a chance.
Could just be this story, this couple that didn’t fit so well with me, there’s such potential in the world Anna has created IMO.

Stars: Three, less quick fixes and more long term skills for me please.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Steele City Blues, Book 3 in the Hell’s Belle Series, Karen Greco

Steele City Blues, Book 3 in the Hell’s Belle Series,  Karen Greco 

Steele City Blues: The Third Book in the Hell's Belle Series (Hell's Belle 3) by [Greco, Karen]

Genre:  Sci Fi & Fantasy, General Fiction (Adult)

I’ve read books one and two in this series/trilogy (I’m unsure which it is) and loved them so its on to book three to see what’s going to befall Nina and co next.
We pick up where book two left off. Although there have been a couple of novellas between, I haven’t read them and they don’t feel necessary to read to follow the story ( though might be fun to see what else is going on!).

Leila can’t be allowed to continue her actions, she’s destruction in person form and a complete nutter power freak. She’s creating what seems to be a supernatural army. Who needs her running the world?
Who can stop her though? Blood Ops doesn’t exist now, Max seems to have thrown in with Mary Jane and  the Gov but they don’t have the skills and knowledge to fight supernaturals. Bertrand the demon is untrustworthy, he seems to be on their side but who knows, he’s totally unpredictable and what’s best for him only is what drives him. He’ll help so longs as he benefits, and when it doesn’t he’ll swap sides easily and seamlessly. Dr O can’t help, he’s in Steele city, the prison for those of a supernatural bent, and the team miss him and his advice and magical talents.
With Babe gone and Dr O locked up its really down to just Frankie, Nina and friends to save the day..and the world. Tough times eh?

Its a fun read once more, full of humour and snark, puzzles to unravel, sides to take and wondering just where Nina is going next, what’s going to happen and how.
I love the core group of friends, Frankie, Nina, Matty and Darcie, and Caspar…a great group, very diverse, and at times it seems like herding cats trying to get them to agree. Max is kind of in the group but not, he’s very allied to Mary Jane, and TBH I was disappointed in some of his actions and decisions. He’s very pro helping people, saving lives and yet seems to have no issues with Mary Jane’s announcements about what she’ll do if Nina and co don’t succeed in stopping Leila very quickly…it just didn’t feel right to me him being OK with that.
There’s a new player to the game too, someone who may – or may not – be a help and who comes from a very unexpected place.

There some great humour too tucked in with the drama, and its the kind of quirky snark that pervades Kim Harrison’s Hollows series and made that such a must read for me. I do like some fun in among my dark and dramatic, the end of the world is nigh…but there’s time for a coffee first sort of stuff!
Nina seems to have curbed her anger a little in this book, it was beginning to grate on me that she had a shoot first policy, so for me that’s a real improvement. After all there are only so many times you can get away with it!
I said Max was a bity of a disappointment, but that’s made up for by Frankie – I Love that guy, he’s so perfect, humorous when the situation needs it, but ready to defend Nina to the death. I love the thought of him in the 70’s in gold lame and roller skates!! He and Nina are getting closer, its clear he wants her and she’s attracted but will she ever take that final step?

Its fun and games, drama and deception, snark and sensuality and another hit read for me.
I’m not sure if this is a trilogy or a series, can’t find out from author site or anywhere on net. It ends…kind of..so it could be a wrap, but there’s so much left open that I think there’s room for more books, and am hoping they are coming.

Stars: Five, a fabulous read once more, packed with magic and mayhem and fantastic characters.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

mixed bunch of KU reads

https://jeanniezelos.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/soul-breaker-and-shade-chaser-city-of-crows-books-1-2-clara-coulson/

Soul Breaker (City of Crows Book 1) by [Coulson, Clara]

I’ve had a reply back from author Clara Clouson, I’d asked whether this was a trilogy or a series – here’s what she says 🙂 I’m very happy to hear it!!

Per your question: City of Crows is not a trilogy. It’s planned as a 15-book series, not including any side stories I may decide to write at a later time.

Book 3, Wraith Hunter, has a release date of mid- to late March, and Book 4, Doom Sayer, will be released in the summer.
I’ve got a few quick KU reviews too
 Fall Into Me (A British Rockstar Romance) by [Wild, Nikki]
hmnn, I don’t often read novellas, but this is advertised as 338 pages so sounded perfect. Its not, it stops at 17% 2659 kindle locations, making it a short quick read.
The reason I don’t like these is they just don’t have the time to go in depth with the story, don’t let me get to know the characters, and plots just feel very superficial. That’s how this was for me.
The rest of the pages are ads for other books and another story Illicit Behavior. That actually takes up more of the book than Fall into Me so really ought to be the leading title.
I got this on KU so wasn’t too disappointed, but even though its only 99p to buy its still irritating that what you get is not what you thought you were buying – 300+ pages of Fall into me, but less than 100 of that and more of another story altogether.
Lost Girl: Hidden Book One by [Vanderlinden, Colleen]
I enjoyed this whole series, not a five star favorite but a solid four star fun read, with supernaturals that really run the gamut of types, werewolves, vampires, demons and gods and goddesses…its full of adventure and action, and reels from one tale to another, keeping the reader engrossed and of course what I love – a strong side of romance. Its on KU right now so for me a free (ish) read 🙂
Ink Witch (Kat Dubois Chronicles Book 1) by [Fairleigh, Lindsey]
I loved Lindsey’s Echo Trilogy, and this is a kind of side-runner to that series, having many of the same characters and being set in the same world, but with one of the secondary characters from that taking the lead. Its another fabulous adventure that had me gripped, and I’ve just downloaded book to, book three is out end of Feb _ hurrah, not too long to wait.
I hate long gaps between books, I lose the connection.
I can’t really recall much about Kat from Echo, but she’s a terrific lead here, and I was stuck reading right to the end, couldn’t put it down. It was good too to catch up with some of the characters from Echo and see who things had moved on for them.
Its a great adventure, with very real plots and characters. for me that’s important as even in fantasy I have to feel that if X was real then Y could happen. Oddly I was reading about tech stuff recently and something called IFTT, If This Then That, and its exactly how I feel about fiction, If this was real Then That could happen 🙂
This is a series that’s definitely a re-reader for me.
This and the Echo trilogy are on KU right now
The Echo Trilogy Collection (Books 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, & 3) by [Fairleigh, Lindsey]

Soul Breaker and Shade Chaser, City of Crows Books 1 & 2, Clara Coulson

Soul Breaker, City of Crows Book 1,  Clara Coulson 

Soul Breaker (City of Crows Book 1) by [Coulson, Clara]

Genre:  Mystery & Thrillers, Sci Fi & Fantasy
Now, Cal is a newly minted detective at the often mocked Department of Supernatural Investigations. By day, the agents of DSI are called “Kooks” by local law enforcement. By night, they’re known as “Crows,” reviled by the supernatural underworld. After my review request on Netgalley was granted for book two in this series ( hurrah and thanks ) I looked up book one for background info, and found its on KU so I read that first.
Its a fabulous read and sets out the scene for the events of the whole sereis, how and why Cal joined the team, what its aims are.

This series centres around one of the DSI teams, of which Cal is a rookie member, and brings in people from other supernatural groups; witches and warlocks, werewolves, vampires and of course the dangers of the Eververse, a kind of parallel universe full of baddies 😉
I loved Cal, didn’t expect to as he’s just 22, and one of my pet hates is when the new member of a team has all the skills and fun and does stuff the long time members can’t, despite their skills and knowledge.
It works here though, it’s fun with Cal, he kind of bumbles accidently into danger, scrapes out by the skin of his teeth, luck and much wit ( I adore his irreverent humour), and even though he knows he’s in well over his head his morals, the reason he joined the DSI, won’t let him sit back in safety.

As well as Cal ( Hot Crow as Witch Erica calls him), there are some great characters here. Erica is a very skilled witch who’s currently sleeping with Cal, a kind of friends with benefits relationship. Its a fine line as officially none of the groups share info, and help out only when it affects their group, or the public might get involved. The DSI (Crows) are looked down on by the rest of the police, as they don’t really know what they do, just see their cases taken over, and there’s a lot of resentment about that. So far the public don’t know about the other creatures that live in their world, but for how long I wonder? Its certainly getting harder to hide events. As well as Cal and Erica, main characters are DSI team leader Nicholas Ryder, team members Ella and Amy, along with others, Cooper the archivist, Marcus the leader of the Witches, and this time we meet some werewolves too.

Its a race a minute action, though not in the dull, heavy, battle weary style that I hate. Things don’t go to plan, clues are found by accident,  or by someone unknown pushing them in the right direction. There’s a smattering of sex with Erica, lots of action, some of it pretty gruesome! We really got to see Cal and understand him as a person, as well as going along with him on an incredible journey in search of Eververse creatures and trying to prevent catastrophe to the human world.
You could read this as a stand alone, but book two is on KU, or only £2.99 to buy and well worth it. Its the best supernatural fun read I’ve enjoyed for a while, and I’m really looking forward to more.
I’m not sure if this is a trilogy, it looks like it might wrap up in a third book, or an on-going series – I’m hoping for that of course.

Its a fun read, lots of magic and spells, lots of action, lots of humour from Cal, a good plotline with a great group of characters, that promises to be entertaining for several books ( please Ms Coulson!).
Its a story I quickly raced through, and will definitely join my re-readers file.

Stars: five, a cracking, fun read.

 

Shade Chaser, City of Crows Book 2,  Clara Coulson 
 
Shade Chaser (City of Crows Book 2) by [Coulson, Clara]

Genre:  Mystery & Thrillers, Sci Fi & Fantasy

After my review request was granted ( hurrah and thanks ) I looked up book one for background info, and found its on KU so I read that first.
Its a fabulous read and sets out the scene for the events of this book, how and why Cal joined the team, what its aims are.

This series centres around one of the DSI teams, of which Cal is a rookie member, and brings in people from other supernatural groups; witches and warlocks, werewolves, vampires and of course the dangers of the Eververse, a kind of parallel universe full of baddies 😉
I loved Cal, didn’t expect to as he’s just 22, and one of my pet hates is when the new member of a team has all the skills and fun and does stuff the long time members can’t, despite their skills and knowledge.
It works here though, it’s fun with Cal, he kind of bumbles accidently into danger, scrapes out by the skin of his teeth, luck and much wit ( I adore his irreverent humour), and even though he knows he’s in well over his head his morals, the reason he joined the DSI, won’t let him sit back in safety.

As well as Cal ( Hot Crow as Witch Erica calls him), there are some great characters here. Erica is a very skilled witch who’s currently sleeping with Cal, a kind of friends with benefits relationship. Its a fine line as officially none of the groups share info, and help out only when it affects their group, or the public might get involved. The DSI (Crows) are looked down on by the rest of the police, as they don’t really know what they do, just see their cases taken over, and there’s a lot of resentment about that. So far the public don’t know about the other creatures that live in their world, but for how long I wonder? Its certainly getting harder to hide events. As well as Cal and Erica, main characters are DSI team leader Nicholas Ryder, team members Ella and Amy, along with others, Cooper the archivist we met in book one, Marcus the leader of the Witches, and this time we meet some werewolves too.

Its a race a minute action, though not in the dull, heavy, battle weary style that I hate. Things don’t go to plan, clues are found by accident,  or by someone unknown pushing them in the right direction. There’s a smattering of sex with Erica, but also there seems to be a bit of a man crush on Cal by Cooper, the archivist who Cal saved in book one from dying in the Eververse, risking his own life. Though it’s not billed as a romance read, I do enjoy a side of romance with my reading, and here it’s a perfect balance, lots of story with just a hint of maybe possibilities- even if its just in my head, so that works well for me.

You could read this as a stand alone, but book one is on KU, or only 99p to buy and well worth it. Its the best supernatural fun read I’ve enjoyed for a while, and I’m really looking forward to more.
I’m not sure if this is a trilogy, it looks like it might wrap up in a third book, or an on-going series – I’m hoping for that of course.

Its a fun read, lots of magic and spells, lots of action, lots of humour from Cal, a good plotline with a great group of characters, that promises to be entertaining for several books ( please Ms Coulson!).
Its a story I quickly raced through, and will definitely join my re-readers file.

Stars: five, a cracking, fun read.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

A few more favourite reads

The Lie  Karina Halle

The Lie by [Halle, Karina]

bought this on early price promotion a while back, I always look out for things like that from authors who’s work I love.

I love Karina’s style and this book was the usual gripping, rivetting surprise. She’s got the knack of making things that seem totally unlikely to feel real, to bring characters to life and once again I found I was really wanting things to work out well for Briggs and Natasha.
I love the way Karina’s characters feel so real that I empathise with them, get sad and happy when they do, they really feel like friends of mine. I first found her via the fabulous Experiment in Terror series – a great read and one I’ve gone through more that once! Now I’ve come to live her contemporary works too and they are as varied as the suspense Artist trilogy, or these contemporary romance reads. A real mutli tasking author able to write across genres and still keep readers hooked.
A great story to join The Pact, the Offer and The Play. ( read and loved all those too )

 Fix You Carrie Elks (this book led me on to others of hers)
This is currently on KU, a great way to try new to you authors. that’s a fabulous way of reading for people like me who devour books.
The Spiral Down by [Martinez, Aly]
Please Don’t Stop The Music (Choc Lit):Jane Lovering
Please Don't Stop The Music (Choc Lit) (Yorkshire Romances Book 1) by [Lovering, Jane]

Shifting Shadows: Stories From the World of Mercy Thompson.. Patricia Briggs
http://amzn.to/2hUbMge  – Link to Amazon uk Patricia Briggs page
Fire Touched: Mercy Thompson Book 9 Patricia Briggs
Fire Touched: Mercy Thompson Book 9 by [Briggs, Patricia]
I’ve the whole series of this, have reread several times and its always great to get back with Adam, Mercy and the gang. a sereis I’m happy to pay full price for 😉


The Duality Paradigm (Blood & Bone Trilogy Book 1)
got this back in April when it was free, haven’t read the two next ones though.
Rock You (Fallen Star Book 1) Candy J Starr
http://amzn.to/2i0055d currently free and I enjoyed this but haven’t bothered with the three follow ups, which don’t have great reviews, are short and just seem to have dragged the story out for no reason.
Fun light romance, still free 🙂
Marrying Mister Perfect (Reality Romance Book 1) by [Shane, Lizzie]
Blood Gift/Gate, the Wolf within Series Amy Lee Burgess
http://amzn.to/2hZZDDS Link to author page
 another two series that I’ll happily re read my way through

Queer Trade KJ Charles
A Queer Trade by [Charles, KJ]
I’ve had lots of this authors stories via Netgalley but this one I bought. Again she’s an author who’s books I love to reread. All M/M reads, set back in time, some paranormal some not. My favorites are still her Magpie Lord novels.
Jaz Parks series Jennifer Rardin
I read this series in my pre kindle days, love it and now have them on kindle. sadly Jennifer died after finishing this series, so there are no more books from her.

Nightshade’s Flame, Book One of the Werewolves of Rebellion Series, Ana Lee Kennedy

Nightshade’s Flame, Book One of the Werewolves of Rebellion Series, Ana Lee Kennedy

Nightshade's Flame: Book One  of the Werewolves of Rebellion Series by [Kennedy, Ana Lee]

Genre:   Romance, erotica

Another shortish read at 3342 kindle locations 😦
I really prefer longer reads, but this one had enough length to make the story work for me.
Its always tough for the first book in a series, has to deliver the characters, world setting and a story to keep reader hooked and that’s a big ask. This one did OK for me, it wasn’t a gripping read but was a solid one, with promise of a good series to follow.

I liked the premise of Bernadette being a true crime writer, and researching for her next book about MCs and the way they operate. She was a good lead, strong and confident, and a really genuine feeling person.
I’m OK with the insta lust between her and Frank, president of the Werewolves of Rebellion. It felt real, and sometimes when people meet there is that visceral instant attraction. Of course in fantasy that usually means a bit more, the old Mate stuff… and of course there’s the conundrum that Frank isn’t looking for more, plus Bernadette is human and also not looking for a relationship.
The others in both MC clubs were a good mix of people and solid for later stories.

The issues raised were good, felt real and so did the characters. I really enjoyed the day to day side part of the book too.
Scary Mary I felt was a little jarring, I’m not really a fan of people like her, shrouded in mystery but able to crop up and help at a crisis. That’s one of my niggles, along with another that occurred here, where people have some unused/unknown supernatural talent which comes in just at the right moment…I just feel its a bit of lazy plotting, “Oh no! We’re all/he/she is in grave danger, there’s no way out” – and then some new supernatural talent pops up for one of them. Doesn’t work for me, I want them to use skills I know about, and that have been learned solidly.
Still, that was a small niggle in the context of a decent story that I enjoyed.
I liked the way the club was a working farm, as well as a motorcycle specialist shop. I did struggle with the funding, somehow didn’t expect them to be quite so tight to the line when the figures were mentioned. They talked as though it was close to the club being broke, when in fact the sums mentioned were relatively small.
Still I guess in such a rural area work and jobs were hard to find and that’s why money was just so tight.
It wasn’t a five star read for me, but a solid four and I look forward to reading more about the group/s.

Stars: A solid four and a good start to the series.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Sea Cursed: Amy Lee Burgess, Red Magic: JC Andrijeski.

The Othala Witch Collection is a dystopian, paranormal, romance selection of novels by different authors, very much like the Skeleton Key Collection. Each author writes their own story, and unlike anthologies, each is purchased separetly, though the Skeleton Key collection is available as an anthology also.

I’ve not yet read either of these but for those on KU the books are available there, I’ve got Amy’s book on the kindle and will look at JCA’s book too.

 

Sea Cursed: An Adult Dystopian Paranormal Romance: Sector 13 (The Othala Witch Collection)  Amy Lee Burgess

Sea Cursed: An Adult Dystopian Paranormal Romance: Sector 13 (The Othala Witch Collection) by [Burgess, Amy Lee, Sorcery, Fallen, Othala]

Red Magic: an Adult Dystopian Paranormal Romance: Sector 6 (The Othala Witch Collection)  JC Andrijeski

Red Magic: an Adult Dystopian Paranormal Romance: Sector 6 (The Othala Witch Collection) by [Andrijeski, JC, Sorcery, Fallen, Othala]

Click for link to whole collection on Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2fBkRZI

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