Monday, October 30, 2017

ARC Review: The Sea King by C.L. Wilson

Series:     Weathermages of Mystral #2
Pub. Date:Oct. 31, 2017
Length:608 pages

It's no secret that I totally fangirl over C.L. Wilson, so a new release from her is one of the highlights of my year. Unfortunately this book came up on my reading calendar as I was in the midst of a move across country, so I couldn't savor it quite like I wanted to. Nevertheless, it was still a yummy treat to sit down with when I got tired of the relentless packing and unpacking. 

Now, it's been quite a while since I read The Winter King, so I couldn't quite remember what happened in that book. So I was glad there were a few reminders dropped throughout the story to jog my memory. I do recommend that you read the series in order as there is some world-building in the first book that introduces Mystral and the general weathermage powers that you will want to know. Plus, The Winter King was an awesome read!

Friday, October 27, 2017

ARC Review: The White Lily by Juliette Cross

Series:     Vampire Blood #3
Pub. Date:Oct. 23, 2017
Length:326 pages

The Vampire Blood series is probably the most interesting take on fairytale retellings that I have read thus far. I mean we have Arabella (Cinderella) as a vampire hunter, Sienna (Little Red Riding Hood) living in a magical forest with huge Hart wolves, and now Brennalyn (Snow White) as the adoptive mother to seven children. And when you pair these unique heroines with some uber yummy (and fangy) heroes, sparks fly.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

ARC Review: Sleeper by Lexi Blake

Series:     Hunter #3 / Thieves #8
Pub. Date:Oct. 17, 2017
Publisher:DLZ Entertainment
Length:476 pages

I'm very greedy for this series, to the extent that I did an entire series re-read last year and then bought the whole series from Lexi at the RT Convention. So I did a happy dance when I saw we had a new installment coming out this month. And, seeing as I got the ARC on my birthday... happy birthday to me!!!

As this is an urban fantasy series, you really need to read all the earlier books before embarking upon Sleeper. There are new storylines for each book, but there is also a continuing series arc that would be difficult to follow. Plus, all the books are awesome so... just read them.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Audiobook Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Pub. Date:Sept. 5, 2017
Publisher:Macmillan Audio
Narrator:Jennifer Ikeda
Length:12 hrs 5 min

So this story is a bit out of my normal wheelhouse, but it was a nice diversion. The synopsis really says it all... this is a somewhat feminist retelling of Snow White

Our "evil" stepmother character is Mina, with a heart made of glass. I liked that Mina's character was misunderstood rather than truly evil, and I felt more drawn to her character than I expected to be. Mina grew up with an uncaring and slightly evil father, and her longing for love made me sympathetic to her. I enjoyed the play on the magic mirror giving Mina the power over glass, and her creation of Felix was an interesting take on the original story. As we saw Mina grow from young adulthood to a stepmother queen, her desperation for love and understanding was clear to the reader. It was easy to feel sorry for her and want things to go her way.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ARC Review and Author's Top 5: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Series:     Maiden Lane #12
Pub. Date:Oct 17, 2017
Publisher:Grand Central
Length:364 pages

Duke of Desire is the conclusion to the Maiden Lane series, and man did Elizabeth Hoyt take us out with a bang. I was supposed to be packing today for my big move, but this book kept me totally distracted and camped out my couch turning page after page.

Lady Iris Jordan was the friend of Hugh Fitzroy, Duke of Kyle, from Duke of Pleasure. Thought to be Kyle's new wife, Iris was kidnapped by the Lords of Chaos, a group of sadistic and pedophilic men operating in the dark of London society.  Iris is a widow and, after her unhappy first marriage, she was hoping to marry again for love and children. Finding herself married to the beastly Duke of Dyemore was not in the cards, but Iris found herself compelled by his dark vulnerability. I really liked this heroine. She was mature and did not despair of her circumstances. She looked past Dyemore's scarred visage and saw the wounded boy underneath, and the good man that he was trying to be. I liked that she was brave in her uncertainty and didn't allow the Duke to push her away or intimidate her.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Audiobook Review: The Mage's Daughter by Lynn Kurland

Series:     Nine Kingdoms #2
Pub. Date:Sept. 12, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Laura Jennings
Length:13 hrs 6 min

I was somewhat confused for most of this book, because I simply couldn't remember what happened in Star of the Morning, and it drove me crazy. I wish I had the time to go back and listen to the first book before I started this one. I remembered the gist, that Morgan of Melksham and Miach of Neroche met up as they journeyed across the Nine Kingdoms and started to fall in love. Only Miach had told Morgan that he was a simple farmer's son, and not the Archmage of the realm. When Morgan learned the truth, she broke a sword and ran off half-cocked and got herself poisoned by Ludar, the big bad.  So while I had all the overall storyline in mind, I really wish that I remembered the smaller details.  

Now Morgan is recovering from her poisoning and near-death with her old friend and mentor, Sir Nicholas. But Morgan is being plagued by dreams which she attributes to magic so she journeys to the one place where magic cannot touch her, her swordmaster Weegar's stronghold. Morgan is maintaining her aversion to mages and magic, and refusing to believe/heed what her own abilities and dreams are telling her. She thinks the worst of Miach and of the rest of the realm, and is withdrawing into herself.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Audiobook Review: His Lady Bride by Shayla Black / Shelley Bradley

Series:     Brothers in Arms #1
Pub. Date:Sept. 5, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Tim Allen
Length:9 hrs 2 min

His Lady Bride is set during the tumultuous time of Richard III's reign, shortly after Richard had his nephews murdered to steal the throne. I enjoy when my historicals include actual historical events with a re-imagining of events, motives and characters.

Our heroine is Gwenyth de Auburd, a baronet's daughter who lost everything when her parents died. After being condescended to by her vain cousins and forced to work in the kitchen by a cruel uncle, Gwenyth dreams of the days she can be a lady again. Indeed, all Gwenyth seemed to care about was marrying well and regaining her status. So when she was wed by force to a poorly sorcerer, Gwenyth did not accept her fate graciously. Despite growing up with little, Gwenyth came off as a spoiled brat. She was ungrateful, greedy, and callous when it came to her new husband. I was not a fan of this heroine at all.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

ARC Review: Archangel's Viper by Nalini Singh

Series:     Guild Hunter #10
Pub. Date:Sept. 26, 2017
Length:361 pages

Nalini Singh has never disappointed me, and Archangel's Viper is no exception. I love the diversity and uniqueness of her characters, and I like the continuing story arcs so that we see prior characters and couples in abundance. Every time I read a new book in this series, it makes me want to go back and read the others all over again!

Monday, October 2, 2017

ARC Review: The Hunt by Chloe Neill

Series:     Devil's Isle #3
Pub. Date:Sept. 26, 2017
Length:336 pages

Warning! This review may have spoilers for the earlier books in the series. If you have not read the earlier books... go do that, like, right now!

In this third installment of the Devil's Isle series, we are fresh off the failed attempt to open the veil between New Orleans and the Beyond, and secrets are out for our main characters, Claire Connolly and Liam Quinn. Claire had to use magic during the battle, and Liam got hit with magic... so both of them will have to avoid being rounded up by Containment and being stuck in Devil's Isle. It's quite easy for Liam, who has left New Orleans, and Claire, to deal with the magical consequences.