Wednesday, March 22, 2017

ARC Review: Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

Series:     Blood Rose Rebellion #1
Pub. Date:March 28, 2017
Publisher:Knopf
Length:416 pages
Source:Publisher

Blood Rose Rebellion is the first installment of a series by the same name, by debut author Rosalyn Eves. This historical fantasy story features a society with magical abilities intermixed with the activities leading up to the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. The population is separated and defined by their magical abilities, with the upper echelon Luminate hoarding the magical reserves for themselves and shunning those with lesser or no magic. The Romani also play a big part in this story - separated from both the magical and mundane by prejudicial views toward the gypsy way of life.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

ARC Review: It Started with a Kiss by Ella Quinn

Series:     Worthingtons #3
Pub. Date:March 28, 2017
Publisher:Zebra/Kensington
Length:320 pages
Source:NetGalley

The ginormous Worthington family is back in this third installment of the series, with a strong-willed young heroine and a prideful hero in a refreshing love at first sight scenario. While I don't believe its absolutely necessary to read the earlier books... I would recommend reading at least the first book, Three Weeks to Wed, to get the background on the very large blended family of eleven!!! children. Grace and Matt (the children's guardians) showed that romance was possible even when responsibility is weighing you down.

Monday, March 20, 2017

ARC Review: The Unyielding by Shelly Laurenston

Series:     Call of Crows #3
Pub. Date:March 28, 2017
Publisher:Kensington
Length:400 pages
Source:NetGalley

The Crows are back for the third installment of the series, and I think this is my favorite thus far. This series is action-packed and full of Norse Gods and their minions that kind of protect humans, but not really. These crazy warriors are all about the glory of battle, and are somewhat single-minded in that focus. They are mostly violent vikings who like to fight, fly, screw and eat. The minions are split into clans based on the god they serve... the Crows serving Skuld and the Ravens serving Odin. The Norse Gods don't feature overmuch in the series, but seem to pop in and cause trouble from time to time.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Audiobook Review: Rebel by Eve Langlais

Series:     Space Gypsy #3
Pub. Date:Feb. 14, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Chandra Skyye
Length:9 hrs 22 min
Source:Hoopla


The Space Gypsy Chronicles continues with this third installment of the series, picking up where Sinner left off, with our protagonists escaping an imploding Lac'uus by the skin of their teeth. Our dynamic trio is now floating in space in a very small life pod just hoping for a rescue by someone who is more interested in money than enslaving or eating them.

I seriously love both Rafe and Mikhail. While their personalities differ slightly, they are both humorously oversexed alien bipods. The banter between the two is great... they outwardly hate one another but secretly have tender familial feelings toward the other. Mikhail was really the more sympathetic character of this installment... he is feeling much more turmoil over his feelings toward Rafe and Emma alike. This drew me into his character and created a stronger connection than the shallow sexpot pit fighter that we met in Sinner

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Guest Review by Julie: A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

Series:     Veronica Speedwell #1
Pub. Date:July 12, 2016
Publisher:Berkley
Length:368 pages

Veronica is quite the unusual young lady. She's feisty, extremely opinionated, sarcastic, and lacking in feminine pursuits-like needlepoint and husband catching-and she happens to be a lepidopterist (person who studies butterflies). 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

ARC Review: Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter

Series:     Fairy Tale Retellings #1
Pub. Date:March 15, 2017
Publisher:Self-Pub
Length:342 pages
Source:Author

Beauty of the Beast is an adult retelling of the classic fairytale featuring a likable heroine and tragic hero set in a historical, fictional French village. This is a story to pick up when you are looking for a meandering leisurely romantic tale with rich detail. I sadly have not read the original Beauty and the Beast, so I can't compare this retelling with anything but the Disney movie... something I hope to rectify in the near future.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

ARC Review: Hisses & Honey by Shannon Mayer

Series:     Venom #3
Pub. Date:March 7, 2017
Publisher:47North
Length:240 pages
Source:NetGalley

In this final installment of the Venom trilogy, things are going to come to a head between our sssuper duper heroine, Hera, and half of the Greek pantheon. Alena Budrene, Drakaina and baker, has moved on from being the reluctant savior of Seattle and is taking charge on multiple fronts. Not only does she have to worry about Hera's next hero, but she also needs to deal with the vampires, her relationships (both love and familial), a raging Aegrus virus, and the latest psychopathic monster created by Merlin. At least her divorce is over and done with, even if her lousy ex is still hanging around.

ARC Review: Fangs & Fennel by Shannon Mayer

Series:     Venom #2
Pub. Date:Jan. 10, 2017
Publisher:47North
Length:258 pages
Source:NetGalley

The Venom Trilogy is back with our super duper heroine's continued battles against her soon-to-be-ex-husband, a segregated society, and a supernatural goddess. This urban fantasy series is a melting pot of humans, supernatural and mythical creatures. I enjoy the light-hearted take on this segregated society that highlights social issues and inequality between the species.

In Venom & Vanilla, our heroine, Alena Budrene was changed into a supernatural after she contracted the Aegrus virus and was slated to die. Requesting to be made into something special, sorcerer Merlin made her into a greek monster, the Drakaina, a venomous snake that is two stories tall. Alena then begins her battle against her cheating husband who left her to die and steal her inheritance, in addition to battling the Goddess Hera and her champions.

Monday, March 13, 2017

ARC Review: Souljacker by Yasmine Galenorn


Series:     Lily Bound #1
Pub. Date:March 7, 2017
Publisher:Diversion Books
Tantor Audio
Length:292 pages
9 hrs 42 min
Narrator:Cassandra Campbell
Source:NetGalley / Publisher

This story runs the supernatural spectrum from Fae to Demons to Vampires to Witches to Weres to regular old run-of-the-mill humans. Vampires are the dangerous underbelly of society on the cusp of a power play to make them more powerful than any other species/race. Weres seem somewhat insular and tend to think with that mob/pack mentality that is probably innate to their nature. While we don't have much info on the witches, besides Dani, they seem to be of the lone wolf variety, mixing with all the species (except vampires) at will.

The Fae were my favorite aspect of this story, and the reason I wanted to read the book. I am a sucker for a good Faery tale. The Fae did not feature heavily in this first installment, but I believe that will change in the future. Lily has a special bond to the Wynter Faery Queen, and we did get a brief visit to the Wynter court. That was probably my favorite part of this book so I hope more trips to Faery happen in the future. All the references to Wynter and her court made me think this was a spinoff series as they were mentioned like we should know who they are... but I haven't confirmed or denied the spinoff aspect as of the time I am writing this review. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Audiobook Review: Into the Fire by Jeaniene Frost

Series:     Night Prince #4
Pub. Date:Feb. 28, 2017
Publisher:HarperAudio
Narrator:Tavia Gilbert
Length:9 hrs 8 min

Let me start out this review by raving about the narrator. Tavia Gilbert has done such a great job with this series. She portrays every character as a distinct individual and has no problem switching between male and female personas. The performance of this last installment of the series conveyed the appropriate emotions and held my attention for the entirety.

***Please excuse any misspelled names in this review. Listening in audio makes it hard to reference some of the unfamiliar/uncommon names/places/etc.***  Also - SPOILER ALERT - this review may contain slight spoilers for earlier books in the series.

BookShots Mini Review: Bedding the Highlander by Sabrina York

Pub. Date:March 7, 2017
Publisher:BookShots
Length:160 pages
Source:NetGalley

This is the first time I have tried any of the BookShots novellas, and I can definitely see their value when you want something super quick that you can finish over a lunch break or waiting on an oil change, etc. Bookshots are essentially novellas of every sort (around 150 pages), and the Flames imprint focuses on romance stories, both contemporary and historical. I like this idea, and I think I will check out more of them in the future, although I wish that they were available on Kindle Unlimited.

I love Sabrina York's Untamed Highlanders series, so I thought her novella would be a good place to start. This story falls in the arranged marriage trope, with some deception and mistaken identity thrown in.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Audiobook Review: Reckless by Winter Renshaw

Series:     Amato Brothers #2
Pub. Date:Nov. 29, 2016
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrators:Joe Arden
Maxine Mitchell
Length:6 hrs 44 min
Source:Publisher

We are on to the second of our devastatingly handsome Amato brothers, the tight knit Italian family of five brothers ranging from professional athletes to corporate moguls to models and actors. I had a great connection to Alessio Ace Amato in the first book, Heartless, so I was looking forward to this next installment. This was a dual narration by Joe Arden and Maxine Mitchell, and they did a good job with the performance. I normally don't like male narrators attempting female voices, but Joe Arden did an acceptable job.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Dual ARC Review: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Series:     Mercy Thompson #10
Pub. Date:March 7, 2017
Publisher:Ace Books
Length:371 pages
Source:NetGalley

Julie and I are back with another dual review of the latest release in one of our favored series, Mercy Thompson. We had some good chats about this one... which is always the best part of reading the same books as your friends. So let's get to it, shall we?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

ARC Review: The Deep End by Kristen Ashley

Series:     Honey #1
Pub. Date:March 7, 2017
Publisher:St. Martin's Griffin
Length:454 pages
Source:NetGalley

I was nervous to read this book, I'm not gonna lie. If you follow my reviews and rambling, you will know that Kristen Ashley is my abso-favorite author, and I have proclaimed far and wide that I would read anything that she writes. But alpha subs? Sounded like an oxymoron to me, and I just didn't know how it could work. I'm not a big fan of femdomme trope, but I was willing to give it a shot. Now that I have read the first book - will I continue reading the series? Yes, yes I will. Let's discuss.

Monday, March 6, 2017

ARC Review: How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days by Kerrelyn Sparks

Series:     The Embraced #1
Pub. Date:March 7, 2017
Publisher:St. Martin's Press
Length:416 pages
Source:NetGalley

I am always happy to have an author enter the genre of fantasy romance... you have heard me say time and again that there are not enough books out there in this genre! Kerrelyn Sparks really knocked it out of the park with this first installment of the The Embraced series. Her world-building was done well, and she gave us a nice prologue detailing the history of the kingdoms and the Embraced race.

In short, in the fantastical realm of  Aerthlan, the Embraced are born on the night of the two moons eclipse. This special birth gives them special powers, which is seen as dangerous by the kings of the land. The Embraced are executed if found, so they must live in secret, and are sometimes sent to the Isle of Moon as infants to be raised in hiding. This is where we meet five teenage girls who have been raised in a convent on the Isle of Moon - Luciana, Brigitta, Gwennore, Sorcha, and Maeve. Having grown up together, these girls share a special bond and consider themselves sisters who will be together forever.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Audiobook Mini Review: Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb

Series:     In Death #44
Pub. Date:Feb. 7, 2017
Narrator:Susan Ericksen
Publisher:Brilliance Audio
Length:13 hrs 43 min

You really can never go wrong with Eve and Roarke, so I'm finding myself at a loss for what to say in this review! This is one of the longstanding series that I prefer to do in audio because I love the narrator and the story is always engaging enough to hold my interest. 

Guest Mini Review by Julie: Baron by Joanna Shupe

Series:     Knickerbocker Club #2
Pub. Date:Oct. 25, 2016
Publisher:Zebra
Length:311 pages



Descended from an established family line, and a successful railroad baron himself, William Sloane is debating about running as lieutenant governor. Unfortunately, his ticket mate has been taking his social cues from psychic medium, Madame Zolikoff/aka Ava Jones, and Will has decided she has no business being involved. She could ruin his name and reputation-an unacceptable option.