"Wicked Appetite" has everything I was hoping for from Evanovich: quirky characters, fun plot and a smidgen of romance. This is an incredibly light re"Wicked Appetite" has everything I was hoping for from Evanovich: quirky characters, fun plot and a smidgen of romance. This is an incredibly light read but it's entertaining and amusing. I liked the characters, who are all a bit nuts in their own way.
Lizzy is a pastry chef working at Dazzle's Bakery in Salem with friends Glo and Clara. Her life if pretty ordinary until two mystery men enter the bakery a few minutes apart. From here her life changes and she's swooped along on an adventure, which turns out to be quite fun and reveals she has certain abilities of the magical kind.
There's lots of ridiculous antics and rushing from one place to another (which happened a bit too frequently) an interesting magical mystery to solve, but there are a few additions that I didn't like (such as Carl the monkey!).
Everything happens a bit too quickly in "Wicked Appetite", and Lizzy and her friends except everything without as much as a blink. I think the magical element should have been drawn out more for it to be credible and therefore more realistic. I also wish the magic could have been more obvious, it's all a bit too subtle. I really didn't understand the addition of Carl the monkey and because of this I found him irritating instead of funny.
Other than these few points this is a fun book to read and as it's the first book in a series, I will definitely keep a look out for the next instalment.
"Wicked Appetite" is a book filled with fluffy goodness. If you want a light, quick read with elements of the paranormal then this is the book for you. ...more
I’m pretty used to the first person narrative and some of my favourite series are from the first person perReviewed by Gemma for www.BookChickCity.com
I’m pretty used to the first person narrative and some of my favourite series are from the first person perspective, so while reading this book I couldn’t help comparing it to them.
What I found frustrating was that Casper (Allegra's guardian angel and love interest), seemed to have an interesting back story. We're told a little bit but not much, and I really wanted to know more about him and his life as a mortal. This is where I thought the first person perspective failed.
Casper held so much promise. We are told that he can’t help Allegra in any way, or his chance to get into heaven goes back a few steps. He appears at different times and seems to use convenient loopholes, but only when Allegra’s in danger due to her blind stupidity. It's annoying and gets very boring, especially when it's topped with their forbidden love.
Nell gives us hints at the attraction between the two, but the pages fail to sizzle with any sexual chemistry. There are some limp looks and gentle brushes, but it's nothing that makes you want to see the two characters get together.
The biggest issue for me, however, was how underdeveloped the supporting characters were. Duncan, Allegra's secondary love interest and the person who hires her to investigate the paranormal goings on, was a pretty two dimensional character, whose sole purpose seemed to be to brood over Allegra and growl at Casper. He appeared to be the stereotypical Scottish inn-keeper and I thought he read like an extra from 'Monarch of the Glen'.
Allegra didn’t have enough gumption for me to root for her as the heroine of the story. There was also no explanation on how she came into this line of work, we only learn that it's through a “tingle” in her big toe that she can sense the paranormal.
A review I'd read noted that for a paranormal investigator she's not too bright and it's only down to sheer dumb luck that she solves the case, and I have to agree. I’m not sure if this is due to the actual character or the author's writing.
For a mystery there are very few red herrings or plot twists and I could pretty much guess who the villain was, even if I didn’t know why the residents were turning up dead.
The only saving grace which made the story slightly interesting was the introduction to Selkies and the whole history behind them. I really liked this part and thought that it was a change from the usual shapeshifters.
The author could have done so much more with a very interesting premise. I’m not sure if it would have been more enjoyable if it were in the third person, or maybe from two points of view. The book felt as if it were the second in a series as there appeared to be a lot of back-story missing, which detracted from enjoyment of the book. ...more
“Secondhand Spirits” is a cosy paranormal mystery. It’s warm, inviting and cute. I had fun readinOriginally post on Book Chick City. 7/10 on the blog
“Secondhand Spirits” is a cosy paranormal mystery. It’s warm, inviting and cute. I had fun reading this book, the first in the ‘Witchcraft Mystery’ series by Juliet Blackwell.
Lily Ivory is a witch who has settled down in San Francisco after moving around for many years. She owns a vintage clothes shop and is enjoying putting down some roots and has even begun to make friends, especially with her two co-workers, Maya and Bronwyn.
One day, while meeting with a client, Frances Potts, who wishes to sell her vintage clothes, a young girl is snatched from outside her home. The rumour is La Llorona has taken her.
Legend has it that La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) abandoned by her husband, took her children down to the river and drowned them one by one, finally joining them in their watery grave. Now she haunts the banks of rivers crying for her lost children and abducts children by taking their souls.
The next day, Lily finds out that her sweet elderly client has been murdered and there seems to be a connection between the two with La Llorona right in the middle.
Lily does a bit of sleuthing on her own, by good old-fashioned foot work as well as casting a few spells and boiling a few brews. All while the local police are keeping tracks on her, suspicious she is involved somehow after they learn she was with Frances Potts the night she was murdered, and subsequently, after only meeting once, the recipient of her entire estate, which of course means the police think she now has a motive.
Along the way, Lily meets handsome Max Carmichael, a cynic who doesn’t believe in anything supernatural, and Aidan Rhodes a powerful male witch, who Lily knows she will have to call on for help of if she is to go up against La Llorona and recover the young girl.
The characterisation is great and I really liked all the characters, especially Oscar, Lily’s familiar. He’s a goblin but most of the time he transforms into a cute pig. I also love the descriptions of San Francisco, I really got a feel for this great city.
“Secondhand Spirits” is lighthearted and entertaining. If you love cosy mysteries and enjoy the paranormal, then this book is for you. Great witchy fun! ...more
I actually give this book 7/10, but Goodreads doesn't offer half stars!
A Licence To Steal is a romantic suspense, but it also has elements of paranormI actually give this book 7/10, but Goodreads doesn't offer half stars!
A Licence To Steal is a romantic suspense, but it also has elements of paranormal. Raven Callahan is a world class thief, but she has a sixth sense, psychometry, and can sense emotions, thoughts and scents from all objects she handles. Raven is a complex character. She's focused, determined and career driven and who lives only for her work. Her psychic ability has caused her to retreat from the world around her, including her family. She has no friends and takes one job after an other to avoid human attachments.
However, Raven's unusual ability does take a back-seat to the suspenseful plot and steamy romance, but it's still a very important aspect to the story because it's really the fundamental reason for Raven's shut-off existence and cold, hard to reach persona.
When we first meet Raven she is in a cave collecting an ancient medallion she's been hired to retrieve. It began like an underwater adventure with a priceless artifact and someone willing to kill for it as Raven is attacked and has to fight for her life by reaching the surface before drowning. Luckily she's still in possession of the medallion and full of adrenalin heads back to the Antiquities Preservation Institute - her employer.
This was a very promising start and I had expectations of a 'Romancing the Stone' kind of adventure but unfortunately it turned into a fairly run-of-the-mill thriller. However, A Licence To Steal is still a very good read, and when Raven's partner, Walter, is kidnapped, Raven unwillingly joins forces with sexy ex-cop Maddox to try and find him. Maddox's evolvement irritates Raven as she prefers to work alone, but this time she doesn't have a choice as it's at the request of the kidnapper, who, she soon finds out, has already killed before.
Maddox is an ex-cop who left the police force after his partner was killed, and due to a blow to the head is now colour blind and sees the world in shades of grey. Maddox is also a multi-layered character and not a lot unlike Raven. He's also closed off from the world, focusing only on finding the killer who murdered his partner.
At first Raven and Maddox struggle with working together, and although they were attracted to each other from the start the respect they begin to feel for each other is where the relationship between them shifts and moves from reluctant partners unwilling to reveal their feelings to having lots steamy sex in the kitchen! The love scenes are written well and are not too graphic, but the heat generated by these two characters would satisfy any romance reader.
Notable Quote: "He grinned a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. Even after hours of driving and no sleep, he looked good in a rumpled, sexy kind of way. How did men do that? It was the curse of women everywhere." Verdict:
A Licence To Steal is a little predictable but is still a very enjoyable book, from the fast-paced plot to the nicely layered characters. It's a book I would definitely recommend and an author I would absolutely read again. ...more
Well, what can I say - absolutely fabulous! I read my first Brenda and Effie book by Paul Magrs last month and absolutely loved it. With Hell's BellesWell, what can I say - absolutely fabulous! I read my first Brenda and Effie book by Paul Magrs last month and absolutely loved it. With Hell's Belles being the fourth book in the series I thought that it would loose some of the story's zest as so many sequels in series do, but this is better than the last. I just loved it!
Margs has such an amazing talent. His writing is so clever as although there are many plot twists and turns they all read smoothly and easily, there is no confusion as to what's going on. We are introduced to many characters throughout the book but each character has a unique voice and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them all. Two of the main characters, Brenda and Effie, are retired old ladies!
I honestly didn't think that reading about two old ladies would be my thing. I have to connect and be able to relate to the characters in some way to really enjoy a book and reading about two retired old ladies did initially make me a little apprehensive. But after reading Conjugal Rites, I absolutely fell in love with Brenda and Effie, and I had no problem connecting with them. It was the same with Hell's Belles. They are just so funny, quirky and warm. And don't think for a minute because they are old they can't fight their own battles - Brenda and Effie can kick-arse with the best of them - well, they have to, being the guardians of the hell mouth!
I also love Robert, Brenda's other best friend, who finds love in Hell's Belles with a guy called Michael. They meet each night to have moonlit rides on an enchanted settee, but as expected, nothing is as it first seems. Penny, a new resident of Whitby, is also falling for a guy called Michael, but he's seeing the evil Mrs Claus, who is thoroughly enjoying his attention. As always there a funny goings on in all the lives of the Whitby characters, which makes each one so interesting and intriguing.
A secret, that was alluded to in Conjugal Rites, is revealed in Hell's Belles and I'm excited to see where Magrs takes this part of the story. I also have a sneaking suspicion that the character of Penny will be back with her own revelations in book five!
This is a totally unique story with original characters. Deliciously written with enough action to keep you turning the pages. Magrs has you jumping back and forth between characters but instead of it being annoying and confusing it made it exciting and I was totally absorbed. This is a comedy too but with a dark edge. With vampires, monsters, zombies and demons. Wonderful story. Superbly executed.
I actually gave this 9/10 on my blog but Goodreads doesn't allow half stars!
This is the first book I have read by Paul Magrs but it's the third installment in the Brenda & Effie mystery series.
This is such a great read. ItThis is the first book I have read by Paul Magrs but it's the third installment in the Brenda & Effie mystery series.
This is such a great read. It's quirky, fun and light-hearted and totally absorbing. The characters are brilliantly written and there are moments of humour that had me laughing out loud. The story has an old-fashioned charm about it and with the backdrop being Whitby, Yorkshire, the place Bram Stoker's Dracula resided, it has a sense of the macabre too.
Brenda is a lovable character who has retired to Whitby and gets into all sorts of trouble with her best friend and neighbour Effie, who comes from a powerful line of witches. Brenda is also the Bride of Frankenstein, a horrible monster in her eyes and all she wants is to live a normal life in Whitby and forget her past, which she has been running from for the past 200 years. Unfortunately, Whitby is also the gateway to Hell and so she and her friend Effie have to guard the entrance with their lives. This is quite a funny scenario as they are both retired ladies! But they can fight with the best of them, and many of the scenes has Brenda boxing the ears of her adversary!
There is also the supporting cast: Mr Danby, who is the host of a nightly radio talk show and seems to have the whole town hypnotised. Frank, who comes back for his Bride to be and his destiny, Brenda, who fights against their so called destiny and together they find themselves in Hell, and the evil Mrs Claus, who owns a hotel that is dedicated to Christmas all year round but beneath the surface there are more sinister goings on, including murder.
I was swept along with Brenda and Effie's adventures and enjoyed every moment. There wasn't one point where I was bored, it was just so much fun to read. This book is a mixture of humour with the supernatural including monsters, witches and vampires. There is something for everyone.
After reading Conjugal Rites I will definitely be rushing out to buy books 1 & 2, although this is still a great stand alone read. Absolutely brilliant - I highly recommend it....more
I’ve had this series on my shelf for a long time, and as it was All Hallow's Eve and I fancied aOriginally post on Book Chick City. 7/10 on the blog.
I’ve had this series on my shelf for a long time, and as it was All Hallow's Eve and I fancied a mystery I thought it was a good time to start Victoria Laurie’s ‘Ghost Hunter Mystery’ series.
I really enjoyed Laurie’s writing. It’s a nice easy writing style and the pages flew by pretty quickly. The characters are fun, especially MJ’s African Grey parrot who sits on her shoulder and chats away – sometimes saying very inappropriate but funny things.
M. J. herself is a lovely character and I connected with her straight away. She is a medium who can talk to the dead, but she’s created a business with her friend and partner, Gilley, by ghostbusting – sending spirits over to the other side. Sometimes this kind of job can be dangerous, which is what they found out when hired by sexy doctor and millionaire, Steven Sable.
M. J. and Gilley are hired by Steven to find out how his grandfather died, even though the police put it down as a suicide. But Steven doesn’t believe it and wants M. J. to talk to his grandfather’s ghost in the hope of finding out the truth. But things go a lot deeper than that and there are many twists and turns. I really didn’t know where this story would end up and enjoyed the fact that I really didn’t know ‘who dunnit’.
I did find that although I enjoyed M. J. and all the other characters, I would have liked a lot more ‘ghostbusting’. There just wasn’t enough of it in my opinion, which was disappointing. Much of the book is researching the mystery and following living people, rather than interacting with the ghosts.
Overall, “What’s A Ghoul To Do?” is an entertaining read with fun and quirky characters. A really good start to a series and one that I will be continuing, with the next book in the series, ‘Demon’s Are A Ghoul’s Best Friend’. ...more