“Dina & Beast (her über Shih Tzu); Sean (a werewolf), Arland (a vampire), Caldenia (alien), with Gertrude Hunt (the Inn in the center) from Innke “Dina & Beast (her über Shih Tzu); Sean (a werewolf), Arland (a vampire), Caldenia (alien), with Gertrude Hunt (the Inn in the center) from Innkeeper Chronicles.” Art by Doris Annette Disanthus that appears in the book & on the author(s)’ site.
★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I enjoyed Renée Raudman’s narration of this book. She breathes life into many of Ilona Andrews’s works and this is no exception. Her pacing is wonderful and her voices varied, all while having the appropriate emotion in all the right spots.
Wow! This book is so many things; it is hard to pick just one adjective: extremely creative, intriguing, funny, thrilling, containing witty dialogue, and just plain entertaining. This book is fast-paced and has the ability to make far-fetched things seem very, very believable. And there are a lot of far-fetched things in this book: aliens, werewolves, vampires, witches, magic brooms, sentient dwellings, and an über Shih Tzu! All set in a small Texas suburban neighbor where Dina’s Bed & Breakfast is supposed to remain neutral. Yeah. Good luck with that!...more
Just okay. Nice that they have the sentences spelled out phonetically, too. However, one of the 101 sentences is actually the word “No.” Which, astoniJust okay. Nice that they have the sentences spelled out phonetically, too. However, one of the 101 sentences is actually the word “No.” Which, astonishingly, translates to “No” in English! LOL!...more
★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I have had my issues with Sophie Eastlake’s narration before (
“Nope” Octopus running across ocean floor!
★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I have had my issues with Sophie Eastlake’s narration before (as in, her females grating on my last nerve), but I actually enjoyed her reading this first book in TH’s new spin-off of her wonderful Elder Races series. Ms. Eastlake’s female voices are well differentiated now, not the least bit irritating; and her male voices are very masculine and deliciously accented. She has nice pacing and inflection and a bit more emotion; thus, I found myself pulled into this compelling story, soon immersed in this fantastical world.
Whoa. This book is great! I was a bit worried, what with this being a spin-off series, that it wouldn’t measure up. However, it is a brilliant book, with excellent world building, this time in Europe. Sophie Ross remains an ethical, strong female throughout, holding onto her values and beliefs, even while melting for Nikolas Sevigny. I didn’t see her as bitchy as others have and I think this might be due to Ms. Eastlake’s delivery; she adds a much needed humor and “tongue-in-cheek” tone to Sophie’s voice.
Sophie is a former witch consultant to the LA police, recovering from wounds and PTSD. Her magic is refreshing and unique, with a touch of humor. My only complaint about her is her continuous cussing. It was funny to me at first, and served a purpose, but then I was ready to say “Basta!” (Italian for “Enough!”) Sophie’s independent attitude didn’t bother me, as it has others; probable because she was compassionate and standing up for the underdog. It is her nature to jump from the frying pan into the fire when she sees someone in trouble. Although, I can see how Sophie and Nikolas Sevigny going toe to toe constantly - even in their love scenes! - would get to some readers. It isn’t usually my cuppa tea, but it worked for me this round. **shrugs** Can’t figure out why (besides my quirky moods), but it might have something to do with battle weary Nik finally having the ability to laugh at himself and the situation. Someone with that much stress in his life, after hundreds of years of fighting the Hounds and the malevolent Queen Isabeau, deserves a laugh or two.
Well rounded characters here, one of my favorite being Puck; I hope he shows up in future books. (I strongly suspect he will!) The relationship between him and Sophie is tender, touching, and he has the ability to steal more than one scene. Looking forward to other stories in this delightful series. Man-oh-man! Ms. Harrison can sure tell a story....more
★★★★✩ "Playing Doctor," by Lori Foster - Fun little dilemma for man-whore hero doctor who falls for a virginal nursing student. Worth a smile or two f★★★★✩ "Playing Doctor," by Lori Foster - Fun little dilemma for man-whore hero doctor who falls for a virginal nursing student. Worth a smile or two from the talented LF. ★★★★✩ "Lady Of The Lake," by Erin McCarthy - Implausible, but totally fun, with two likable leads. ★★★✩✩ "Hardhats And Silk Stockings," by HelenKay Dimon - The set-up was not my cuppa...(I wouldn't want anyone to lock me in a room for a week-end, regardless of how hot he was), but may be yours....more
★★★☆ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I like Jeff Cummings’s narration of this one. I’ve heard
Bourbon Street sign - note the Mardi Gras beads!
★★★½☆ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I like Jeff Cummings’s narration of this one. I’ve heard him before and have had no major complaints; however, I don't think he is quite as creative with the voices this time and his Southern accent is just adequate. *shrugs* He has nice pacing and inflection, but I found myself wondering if he doesn’t switch the voices/accents of the characters a time or two. Being a man with a deep voice, he doesn’t do a fabulous job on the female characters, but at least they aren’t falsetto.
I haven't read a HG book in decades and I quite enjoyed this start to the series. So much so, I am tempted to jump right into the next in the series... There were times I almost gave it five stars, but I believe it needs a bit of tweaking in a few spots, and a bit more character development (there are some inconsistances), especially of the secondary characters, to get it that high a rating. (view spoiler)[Inconsistances in the abilities of ghosts, too. (hide spoiler)]
I can’t say there was “insta-lust” in this one, because Jackson and Angela’s first encounter with each other was anything but romantic! It is so horrible, appalling, scary, and funny, all of which makes it very memorable. I can certainly picture it in my mind’s eye. LOL! But the lust comes relatively soon afterwards. And, lucky for us, there is certainly chemistry here between the hero & heroine.
The ambiance and charm of New Orleans’s French Quarter - with its ghostly, historic mansions - in contrast with Bourbon Street’s rowdiness at night, is very nicely done. There is a lot of mystery, a hint of voodoo, plenty of phantoms, and a plethora of suspects in Phantom Evil. Though Jackson wouldn't like the label, his fledgling team are pretty much “ghostbusters,” AKA paranormal investigators. I don’t want to spoiler things for other readers, but (view spoiler)[I would have liked to see a bit more of a confrontation between the evil phantom and Jackson & Angela at the end. But maybe that will come in future books? (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more