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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

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

The Curse Mandate, (The Dark Choir 3), Book THREE of The Dark Choir, J.P. Sloan

The Curse Mandate, (The Dark Choir 3), Book THREE of The Dark Choir,  J.P. Sloan

The Curse Mandate (The Dark Choir Book 3) by [Sloan, J.P.]

Genre:  Horror, Sci-fi and fantasy

Currently on KU

I NEVER read horror, and if I’d seen that I wouldn’t have come to this series. Its not a gory, blood-fest read though, and for me the horror is more of the “could this happen” type and I can deal with that. I really enjoyed books one and two, and was keen to get on to this.

Poor Dorian, you really can’t help but like him. He’s a very moral person in so many ways, just wants to live his life, earn a living and have fun, but he’s a magnet for trouble and sometimes his sense of morality leads him to tread very close to the permitted lines in magic.
He’s still searching for his soul, lost in book one, well – more he was tricked out of it than he lost it. Once more his need to help others got him into danger.
Alongside that though he’s got other problems, he’s got a new pupil, her brother needs help as he’s been cursed, there’s some wierd Chaos magic targeting people and places, and he’s trying to get to the root of that, trying to stop more people being hurt, and on top of that he’s a bar to run as part owner! Just another day for Dorian then..He feels like he’s always trying to catch up, and the next huge crisis is just aroubnd the corner.

As before the story is packed with magical terms, spells, curses, hexes and explanations of how different historic (genuine – they did/do exist) factions fit into this story. He’s an amazing man with incredible knowledge of his craft and its history, and I found myself constantly flicking the paperwhite Look-up function 🙂
The fact there is so much of this book based on genuine societies gives it a very realistic feel.
I love the detective (Hunter?), assigned to help him, a sceptic who by the end had changed his tune and looks to become a future ally.
One issue I did have is the cast of characters has grown huge, and I found it hard to recall who connected where, why, to which group, which section of magic they practiced or whether they were of the innocent of magic group, normal humans who’ve no idea what really goes on in their world. Lots of backtracking for me, and I’d have appreciated an index to keep them straight.

As always the plots are fast and furious, Dorian is racing against time, chasing clues and help, trying to sort out who are the good guys and what the others are up to, and still trying to help his friends and track down his soul.
There some really sad parts here too, both in his personal life and for me having grown fond of a certain person 😦 but sometimes that just makes it all the more real, when the unexpected happens, when the good guys don’t always come out on top.

Its a great read once more and the reason its four and not five is that I spent so long looking back at who did what, and how they fitted in to the story, plus checking out the many different terms and groups that it affected the flow of the story.
Actually that’s a bit unfair to drop a whole star, maybe just a half, as the idea and plots are excellent.
I loved the way the little side issues ended connected to the larger picture, and the detailed explanations of what the curses and spells could do, how they were constructed and at what cost. I enjoyed being completely off course in who was behind things, I like the unpredictable!

Stars: Four and a half, another action packed adventure, spell binding (!) saga, full of  power filled plots.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Fire and Flame, Anya Breton. Thunder Moon, Joanne Mallory

Fire and Flame,  Anya Breton

Fire and Flame by [Breton, Anya]

Genre:  romance, Sci-fi and fantasy

I loved the sound of this, and it started well, but then for me went downhill pretty quickly.

I found the two main characters hard to like, Sara even more so than Brent.
The misunderstandings went on too long, it was believable at first but soon felt tired and they annoyed me.
I didn’t understand why Sara seemed to be an only child, when as the High Priest her father would have been expected to breed with several women. Maybe they were there but just not mentioned, but given the emphasis on Sara “doing her duty” and having a full blood witch child it seemed a bit odd.
That phrase too “doing her duty” was repeated time and time again, and I soon got irritated by it.

The whole novel has to me a very YA feel but with some added sex. It felt as if the author had tried to make it appeal to a wider audience by adding some spicy sex scenes in, but for me the writing style still very very Teen and YA.
There were some phrases I simply couldn’t understand, or that just felt odd – “clean shaven skin of his cheeks no longer de-emphasized the bubbled scars beneath his chin” I think she means without his beard his scars were showing, but it seems a torturous way of writing it.
Then “Did you do your duty with someone else to avoid doing it with me?” again, a long winded way of saying have you had sex with someone else 😉
This one had me totally amazed, just can’t get that scene out of my head 😉 “her breasts bounced for his attention and her legs scissored opened and closed at regular intervals signally that though the massaging was becoming too much for her, she didn’t want him to stop.” ( That’s exactly as its written BTW – not my typos for once!) I have to say that sounds like very active but odd sex, kind of sex semaphore!!
Later when she’s describing his penis(or rod as its referred to quite often,) she says though he’s above average size when erect, when its not it’s smaller in length and girth than even human men. I felt a bit sorry for poor Brent there!

There’s lots of action, it’s an interesting idea but TBH it just felt too YA for me. I’ve read some great YA novels where the stories appeal to all ages, but for me this wasn’t one. If I was a teen I expect I’d love it but I’m not and sadly I didn’t take to the characters and it was just too unbelievable for me.

Stars: Two and a half, a fun idea that for me just didn’t work out. Others love it though, so that’s fine.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

 

Thunder Moon, Joanne Mallory

Thunder Moon - a beautiful tale of magic and love by [Mallory, Joanne]

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

Reading ARCs means that often there’s little information available – and when choosing this I didn’t know this was a novella, just 100 pages, 1970 kindle locations. Novellas rarely work for me as they just don’t let me get to know the characters or plots in any detail and that’s what happened here.

Its a good story, part romance, part looking back to times past, part supernatural.
Its just that I never really felt I knew the characters more than just superficially. There just wasn’t the space – it works for many readers and that’s great, but I want the nitty gritty, want to feel all the emotions, wallow in sadness when things are wrong, fill my heart with joy when things go right and in such a short read I can’t.

Its a good mix of people, a fun story, once I understood what was happening.
The beginning had me floundering a little as compressing a story into a novella means details are short, and I wasn’t always quite sure what was going on. It comes clearer though and turns into a pleasant light fantasy romance.
It was an OK read but just a bit on the short and light side for me.

Stars: Two and a half, an OK read that I’d have enjoyed more of it was longer.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher

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.

Moonshadow, A Moonshadow Novel, Thea Harrison

Moonshadow, A Moonshadow Novel, Thea Harrison

Moonshadow (Moonshadow Book 1) by [Harrison, Thea]

Genre:  romance, paranormal and fantasy

I read the early Elder Races books then somehow missed later ones, caught up in the morass of new books I lost track of them. Then saw this on Netgalley and jumped in, a trilogy, so a fantasy with an end in sight not years off ( I hope!) that sounded right up my street.
I love Thea’s writing style, succinct and easy to follow and yet not dumbed down as so many paranormal reads are. They suit lots of readers as evidenced by sales and they way they dominate lists, but I like that bit extra, more to think about.

I love the Fae involvement, and the link to the Elder Races. If you’ve not read any of those it won’t really matter, you can follow the story anyway, because the Fae side is stronger.
Great characters in Sophie and Nikolas, also his second – well, he feels like a Second anyway, Gawain, and his other men. Loved Robin, and the way he links up to known tales about the Fae and Puck/Hob. All these people felt real, I seemed to know them, get a sense of each character and they were perfect in the story. I hate getting characters that just feel they’re added for padding, for a bit of sex, who don’t feel they belong in the tale.
The magic side was believable, I hate when characters get new powers and when all looks impossible they somehow pull them up and have perfect control. Its not like that here, there are new things Sophie is learning, but mostly its all stuff she knows and has used many times, adapted to fit what she needs.
There’s Fae and Elder Races here, humans, Hell hounds, magic and spells, runes and spelled silver, modern guns with special bullets and old time swords, along with bows and arrows. There’s a bit of everything here, could have been an unruly mish mash but its not, it works perfectly.

There’s the usual dangers in the story, and Sophie gets quickly pulled in to the war between Dark and Light Courts. It’s interesting that the Dark court, which I’d expect to be the “bad” side isn’t, and the Light court is the one at fault.
I love the parallel world connection, it fits my way of imagining how these things could be real, with a kind of time/space reality, where a thin field can allow one to move into another dimension.
Yeah… OK, I’ve never really grown up and to me stuff like that  * could * be real. I reckon science just hasn’t yet caught up 🙂 After all electricity, aeroplanes, telephones, vaccines, antibiotics etc must have seemed like magic, impossible to many people when they were new.
Then Sophie’s spells, as a witch she’s good at them, but she’s other talents too from her heritage and I suspect we’ll learn even more about her.
The romance, that worked well for me, insta lust but with added insta hate! Sophie and Nik are total opposites, he’s old fashioned hyper protective of the “little woman” as you’d expect from someone that old, and Sophie is a self reliant, make her own mind up character not used to being ordered around without reason, they’re a real oil-and-water mix but it works, the sparks really fly from both tempers and sexual tension.
I enjoy the way Thea balanced it so the romance felt real, but didn’t overtake the story, how the story caused the conflicts between them and brought them together.

I’m really looking forward to the next two books, a first book has such a hard job, setting scenes, plots and characters but Moonshadow does that perfectly. a really solid five star read.
Stars: Five, a fabulous start to the trilogy. A definite re-reader.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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