Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy SOUTHERN SPIRITS is a fun and surprisingly fast read. I enjoy some quirk in these light paranormal storiesReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy SOUTHERN SPIRITS is a fun and surprisingly fast read. I enjoy some quirk in these light paranormal stories and this book is full of quirks from Verity's pet skunk to the many types of ghosts with their own odd issues and relationships. The story follows Verity on her attempt to solve a decades old murder mystery in order to get money to pay off her debt and keep her house. There is a ton of action and suspense along with a pretty clever bad guy reveal that I did not see coming at first. With a decades old murder to solve, Verity ends up going into lots of old haunted buildings and I spent half the time mentally telling Verity to not go down into the very scary, dark room!
I like Verity and admire her courage in being able to adjust to seeing and communicating with ghosts all of a sudden. The secondary characters I loved most were the ghosts she encountered with fun backstories and interesting lives even in their afterlives. The way Verity can 'see' the ghost world is really cool too. I had a hard time warming up to Ellis, Verity's love interest. In part it was due to his being so horrible to Verity in the beginning but as the story went on and they were supposed to grow closer to some sort of romance I couldn't buy it. Perhaps I need to see more interactions between them to really buy more than them having grown from more than mild respect which is what I had for Ellis at the end of SOUTHERN SPIRITS.
One of the touches I love with Angie Fox's stories is her addition of adorable pets. Her Accidental Demon Slayer series had a talking dog, and now The Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries series has an adorable pet skunk who is the impetus for some very hilarious moments. SOUTHERN SPIRITS is a good start to a lighthearted paranormal mystery series with some loveable characters, spooky sights, and a kindling romance....more
When reading anthologies I find myself wanting more of some of the stories featured. This feeling came to mReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
When reading anthologies I find myself wanting more of some of the stories featured. This feeling came to me on almost every story in TWELVE SHADES OF MIDNIGHT. They ranged from sweet and sexy to thrilling and dangerous and I will not be satisfied with just these paltry few drops of sweet sweet storytelling. Lucky for us many of these stories will be expanded on! Here are my thoughts on a few of the ones that really stood out for me.
The Witch Next Door by Liliana Hart is a tale about a few witch sisters who protect a town and an encounter with a past love for one of them. It ends on such a tease it would be criminal to not write another story or even series about what mysterious dangers they are running into.
A LOVELY DROP by Darynda Jones has a quite capable heroine who can time travel 24 hours into the past and of course uses her powers for good solving crimes. This story packs a punch in so few pages and I loved exploring this 24 hour time travel concept and how it can be used to help solve crimes. More please!
STONE COLD DEAD by Shea Berkley was a longer story in comparison to the others. The main characters were pretty badass and one of them was a supernatural creature I admit to not encountering in urban fantasy/paranormal romance. This one was pretty dark and thrilling. I enjoyed how the female lead was kind of an avenging superhero.
WITCHED A BIRTH by Dakota Cassidy was hilarious, sweet, and touching. It was basically everything I excepted from a Dakota Cassidy book. We've got a bad girl turned good, rekindling romances, and Baba Yaga being crafty and clever. I want more from this story as I have to know what happens to some of the other characters featured here. This story felt like a whole book with a full plot combined with a clear backstory for the main characters.
BODYGUARDS IN HEELS: HIT AND RUN HALLIE by Angi Morgan This one was a funny, lighthearted story about a FBI agent turned private investigator. I enjoyed the case though I felt like there could have been more information about Hallie's past. Luckily there probably will be more about her as noted by the author's promise at the end of the story.
SWITCHING HOUR by Robyn Peterman This was about Zelda, Winnie's friend from the Dakota Cassidy story which was a pleasant surprise since I had been wondering what happened to Zelda after getting out of jail. Zelda's hilarious banter with her cat Fabio was the highlight for me.
THE FAIRYLAND MURDERS was a interesting mixing of noir detective stories with fairy tales. With this mixturReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
THE FAIRYLAND MURDERS was a interesting mixing of noir detective stories with fairy tales. With this mixture of a gritty murder mystery with light fanciful fairies and princesses you get an at times bizarre world filled with some hilarious interactions between characters. There are some neat references to fairy tale characters and fairy tales. I liked the mystery as it expanded on the tooth fairy mythos making the tooth fairy the center of the fairy world. I like the random cameos of familiar fairy tale characters and this blending of two different genres was really well done.
While I enjoyed most of the secondary characters, I wasn't to taken with Blue Reynolds, the stereotypical noir detective at the center of this story. First of all his 'power' of being a human electrode seemed out of place in a fairy tale/noir detective world. Also, he seems to be very bad at his job considering he has multiple cases open which he is nowhere near solving. Along with being bad at his job he has the classic tragic back story all good detectives must have except all we know is that he was cursed at some point which I guess is the start of a story arc for the rest of the series. I just kind of wanted to know more about it to get the hang of this character better. Blue also comes off as really sexist and many of his comments about women were off putting. I get that that is kind of what noir detectives speak like but Blue came off as really harsh many times.
There is a lot going on in THE FAIRYLAND MURDERS and at times it was a bit confusing but that didn't hurt my enjoyment too much. Perhaps in the next book the ideas and story will feel more settled. I enjoyed this genre mash-up and seeing a different take on fairy tales. I wasn't a fan of Blue Reynolds as he just didn't seem to fit in this world and came off as really incompetent, mean, and sexist....more
What makes JUST IN TIME FOR A HIGHLANDER unique in the 'time traveling to the past historical romance' genrReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
What makes JUST IN TIME FOR A HIGHLANDER unique in the 'time traveling to the past historical romance' genre is that the genders are switched. The guy, Duncan gets shuttled off to the Highlands of Scotland and meets a Scottish lass, Abby and they fall in love.The conflict (aside from Duncan being stuck in a time with no flush toilets) revolves around Abby trying to avoid war with the English, keeping the clan safe, and avoiding a forced marriage. With so much going on the plot was really hard to keep track of. Half the time I kept having to stop and figure out what was happening and to who.
I liked both of the characters and Duncan was really a good sport about being out of his time. He seemed to adjust pretty well though its probably a bit easier for a man to go back in time than a woman considering some of the limitations and attitudes towards women at the time. I was baffled at how he was perfectly fine with staying in the land of no penicillin so soon after he arrived. There didn't seem to be anything about trying to figure out how he got to Scotland or how to get back to his life in the 21st century. It was also interesting to see that Abby was a clan chief which puts her in a position of power yet she is still bound by some of the prejudices and hurdles women had to leap over to be respected.
I am always up for a good time travel story but sometimes the method of time travel is a bit unclear or random for my taste. JUST IN TIME FOR A HIGHLANDER's time travel method seemed really odd and the revelation towards the end of the book left more questions than answers. This story had potential with a female clan chief and a man being sent back in time instead of a woman. Unfortunately it fell flat in the execution of the plot threads which were really hard to follow and the romance got lost in all of the plot too much for me to get invested in it....more
One of the best things about GUNPOWDER ALCHEMY is the fact that the worldbuilding takes place in China duriReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
One of the best things about GUNPOWDER ALCHEMY is the fact that the worldbuilding takes place in China during the Qing Dinasty. I so rarely read books predominately set in Asia so it was refreshing to see steampunk mixed in with Chinese customs and history. I enjoyed seeing some of that culture play a role in the fast paced plot such as the Opium Wars, arranged marriages, and mentions of foot-binding.
Along with this being a historical fiction filled with some steampunky goodness this is a wonderful action adventure. There actually was a good balance of steampunk technology in that the story wasn't to bogged down in technical descriptions of fantastical contraptions. Jin is a strong, smart, heroine who I really felt for right from the start considering her family situation. Her determination to support her family brings her full throttle into the circle of war, politics, and some pretty cool ship battles. The romance is definitely a slow burn to the point that it didn't really feel like there was even a romance there. I see how Jin's relationship with Chang-wei is developing into something more than simple friendship but it barely exists in GUNPOWDER ALCHEMY. Perhaps there will be more romance in the next book between these two? All of the characters have wonderful back stories and are fully realized. I just hope there is more to the romance in later books.
GUNPOWDER ALCHEMY created a wonderful tapestry of epic battles, political intrigue, and a rich setting which made for a great story. I loved seeing Chinese culture and history with a steampunk bent and am looking forward to seeing what the next book brings in the Gunpowder Chronicles. ...more
I've only ever read one other Anita Blake novel and after reading that book I experienced for the first timReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
I've only ever read one other Anita Blake novel and after reading that book I experienced for the first time wanting to unread a story due to reasons too long to write here. Since then, I've been hesitant to even pick up the first few books of this series which are supposed to be excellent according to everyone I've spoken to. I decided to give JASON a chance as I was prepared for the random sexual encounters, throngs of characters, and over explaining of Anita's relationships. I thought I was prepared to have fun with the sex-capade that would be this book especially since the focus would be on Anita's friend Jason and therefore would be a tad different. Wow, was I wrong.
Jason's issue and its resolution is regulated to the side as we are invited to read pages and pages about Anita's complex relationships and personal issues. Now I am pretty darn open about poly relationships but the sheer amount of men this woman is connected to is just ridiculous. I think Anita had a relationship with a barely legal kid according to a passing reference in this story. I think the only other line this woman can cross is bestiality. Although she is having sex with shifters so I guess it could count as bestiality if they did it in were form. I am certain there is a chart out there with all of Anita's relationship connections because someone somewhere has to have figured out this tangled web.
Okay, the plot. I'm pretty okay with a story that has lots of sex though I like a bit more non-sex related action than what was in JASON of which was none. It was all rather not sexy sex and talking. Oh is there talking; talking during sex, talking getting ready for the sex, talking after sex, and more talking. It was work to read through the sex scenes especially since they talked so much through the sex. The issue of Jason wanting to show his girlfriend some rough sex is resolved through demonstrating rough sex with Anita. That's the story. Talking about and planning sex, then having said sex with Jason's issue resolved in a page or two.
With my previously read Anita Blake book I remember getting so frustrated with the talking and standing around to have sex with Anita (she needs to power up with orgies apparently?) while the bad guy ran off and created havoc that I just skipped to the last few pages to see if they got around to catching the bad guy. I think they did and by golly I was rooting for him to get away with it too. JASON doesn't have to worry about silly things like a bad guy or the world ending or plot when there is overly detailed sexytime to be planned and had! I stuck with tradition and skipped to the last few pages to see if anything interesting happens. Guess what...nothing interesting happened....more
DEADLY PURSUIT is an excellent paranormal science fiction adventure. The world building is inspired with shReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
DEADLY PURSUIT is an excellent paranormal science fiction adventure. The world building is inspired with shifters of various sorts, vampires, aliens, living under two powerful sources; The Collective (a large government agency) run by an immortal elite and the Church of Everlasting Life. I love the idea of having all of our familiar paranormal creatures having adventures in space. The plot gets pretty twisty very quickly and really has no dull moments. The romance is a different one especially since Alex is introduced posing as a young boy. It actually took me awhile to adjust to the fact that Alex is indeed an adult woman and that no Jon is not going after a child because I would have stopped reading if that were true. Age and gender confusion aside there are some pretty big hurdles these two have to get through before they actually start their romance. The frustrating part was that they kept getting interrupted any time they start to make some progress in their relationship. They both develop, grow, and learn about themselves and eachother pretty well. Its a slowly building romance with a ton of frustrating interruptions but worthwhile for their happily ever after. DEADLY PURSUIT is an entertaining addition to the genre of sci-fi that is equal parts adventure and romance....more
I always enjoy it when a book takes characters from history and puts a twist on them as GHOST PHOENIX doesReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
I always enjoy it when a book takes characters from history and puts a twist on them as GHOST PHOENIX does with various famous figures from different points in time posing as immortals living in modern times. One issue I had with the story is the use of ‘California slang’ like ‘stellar’. I adored the fact that Richard Plantagenet is an immortal surfer dude but it just seemed so jarring and weird for him to be using slang terms that I am not certain are actually used. Other than that Richard’s story of being prodigal son of the immortal court was interesting albeit the issues he had with the court didn’t seem to be as big of a deal as they were made to be.
Richard’s relationship with Marian is that of the insta-love variety at least on Richard’s part and while its not my favorite trope their relationship evolution was really sweet. Richard’s nickname for Marian upon first seeing her ghost-walking ability was absolutely adorable. I enjoyed Marian’s ability to ghost-walk and how she used it in her family business. I would have actually liked to have a whole book with her using her ability to phase through walls but alas this was not that book.
The story is fast paced starting out as a simple madcapped heist to find the body of Rasputin, only to become a more complex race against time with massive deadly roadblocks in store for Richard and Marian. The conflict with Rasputin was very entertaining and suspenseful. The way in which they incorporated Marian’s ability into the quest to get Rasputin’s DNA was genius. GHOST PHOENIX is a thrilling science fiction adventure story with a sweet romance that doesn’t overwhelm the exciting plot....more
I was attracted to the premise of 'TIL DRAGONS DO US PART with a thief trying to rob a dragon's house durinReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
I was attracted to the premise of 'TIL DRAGONS DO US PART with a thief trying to rob a dragon's house during a dragon wedding. Basically I was excited to see some dragon or dragon shifter action as they I have not been reading enough books with dragons in them lately. Savannah being a dragonmorph thief let to some really unique ways she used her abilities to steal objects. I liked seeing Savannah try and figure out just how she was going to rob Lord Relobu's house during a wedding. The plot moved pretty well and has some amusing moments though I probably would have enjoyed the world better if I had read the previous books in the series.
While I liked the premise I was not feeling the romance between Cameron and Savannah. Perhaps it was due to the shorter length of the book but they seemed to go from just meeting to falling in love with absolutely no build up in between. This wasn't the magical insta-love that happens in paranormal romances which I accept and understand if its explained logically. This was completely random and I felt no connection between these two at all especially since they don't spend all that much time together in the story.
The side characters were pretty amusing and quirky in their own rights. I was a bit confused as to the actual size of the dragons in comparison to the humans though. Dragon scale and romance issues aside, 'TIL DRAGONS DO US PART was a satisfying light dragon romance for the dragon shifter lover in your life....more
PENUMBRA continues the quick pacing and action of the previous two books in this series. I liked figuring oReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
PENUMBRA continues the quick pacing and action of the previous two books in this series. I liked figuring out just exactly what Sam is and how she fits into the vast network of government clones running amok around the world. I loved discovering Sam's powers along with her and how she learns about them was fascinating. This series storyline with an almost never ending rabbit hole of discoveries about just what the government has been doing in regards to human cloning reminded me of the television show Orphan Black which is all about clones and government cover ups. Since I adore Orphan Black you can bet I loved the premise of this series and had fun figuring out where the story was going and what new types of government craziness was going to be uncovered.
The characters are all fun and very well developed. The relationship between Gabriel and Sam as I understand was supposed to be a romance of some sort yet I really didn't feel anything romantic between them. They kept butting heads with Gabriel pushing Sam away and acting like a jerk as Sam attempts to flirt with him unsuccessfully. It got to the point that it became really annoying to have to read. I kind of didn't want them to get together and really they didn't which worked out for my hopes I guess.
The big issue I had with PENUMBRA was the fact that the ending just fizzled out. From what I understand there was supposed to be a fourth book that didn't happen for some reason which explains the random ending to this series. I loved the worldbuilding and storyline of PENUMBRA. The ending and the relationship between Sam and Gabriel were unfortunate downsides to an otherwise great book....more
THE HOT ZONE was one of those books that sort of fits into two genres. Its a paranormal romance of sorts yeReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
THE HOT ZONE was one of those books that sort of fits into two genres. Its a paranormal romance of sorts yet it is also a sci-fi story set on a futuristic Earth colony. I had some trouble understanding exactly where Harmony was located. Are they on a moon once inhabited by aliens or some random planet far away from Earth? I really couldn’t figure it out but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of this strange new world. The really neat thing about this book and series is that it is an off shoot of a much larger series about Harmony ranging from books set in modern times on Earth to the future on Harmony. You actually can pick up THE HOT ZONE and not feel like you are missing out on anything which is especially good for people like me who tend to start reading books mid-series.
Rich world building aside; THE HOT ZONE starts off with our heroine, Sedona Snow breaking out of an evil mad scientist’s layer and soon finding out just what his experiments did to her which leads to a twisty plot involving double crossing, intense chases and fun explosions of said mad scientist’s secret layer. What I love about this character is just how practical, level-headed, and competent she is especially when much of her life has been spent being cast aside and essentially screwed over by family and her job. I applauded when she eventually takes matters into her own hands and manage to live her life on her own terms especially in regards to her family and Cyrus, her new Guild boss.
Now the paranormal romance aspect of this story revolving around Sedona and Cyrus was interesting. Cyrus is your typical alpha male yet he didn’t really push himself onto Sedona, allowing her to grow to trust him and figure out what she wants from their relationship. Their relationship grows out of a mutual trust and respect growing into love in the end and while I am not a huge fan of the magical insta-love trope; Sedona and Cyrus’s quick romance actually made sense and worked. Both of the are strong in their own right and compliment themselves very well.
Aside from my love for the world building I feel I must mention my favorite secondary character who is Sedona’s dust bunny, Lyle. I want, no need a dust bunny of my own. These creatures are adorable, highly intelligent and crafty balls of fluff who apparently reside on Harmony. But like most cute creatures in science fiction they are deadly when they need to be. Lyle’s scenes brought a lightness and humor to the story as balls of fluff who like to collect gemstones and obsessively organize them tend to do. My love for Lyle the dust bunny aside,THE HOT ZONE is a fun book filled to the brim with mystery, danger, and intrigue....more
Simon R. Green’s stories tend to have a dark twisted humor to them that makes the at times graphic horror oReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
Simon R. Green’s stories tend to have a dark twisted humor to them that makes the at times graphic horror of what is happening more manageable. VOICES FROM BEYOND definitely is classic Simon R. Green with the difference being that these protagonists have slightly less super powers than his other books. I liked that as it made the story feel more intense and their victory even more earned.
Now that isn’t to say there are no paranormal abilities in the motley crew that makes up the Ghost Finders. We have Happy, the pill addicted telepath who I adored as he was the source of most of the wit and cheekiness of this story. JC and his ghost girlfriend Kim are probably the most serious of the group and Melody is the science/tech girl of the team.
The main mystery in VOICES FROM BEYOND is set in a radio station called Radio Free Albion where voices are being heard over the broadcast. The Ghost Finders come in to help and they find out what their future holds for them in the aftermath of this case through a series of ghastly warnings and images of their future selves. There is a very heavy horror element here as much of the imagery and descriptions of the evil the characters face is really, really disturbing and gory.
VOICES FROM BEYOND is a fun mystery, heavy on the horror element and kept me entertained throughout. If you enjoy Simon R. Green’s other series you’ll find the Ghost Finder series right up your alley....more
CROUCHING TIGER, FORBIDDEN VAMPIRE, the last book of the Love at Stake series has it all, from sweeping actReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
CROUCHING TIGER, FORBIDDEN VAMPIRE, the last book of the Love at Stake series has it all, from sweeping action, to tough as nails heroes, and a sweet romance between two very different people. In a previous review of another book in this series I complained that the much more interesting plot was overshadowed by the romance. In CROUCHING TIGER, FORBIDDEN VAMPIRE there is thankfully a balance and the romance actually works within the plot. The plot was exciting, pacing steady and the story was just plain exciting to read.
Jia's got spunk and combined with her very determined quest to avenge her family's death she proves to be an incredibly passionate and strong individual. Granted her fighting skills at the start of the book leave a lot to be desired but I gave her points for determination. Russell is Batman. No wait stay with me here! He has a cave, is a recluse, has gadgets, wears a lot of black. He also talks like Christian Bale's Batman in my head. He is a vampire Batman full of brooding and a thirst for vengeance which is pretty awesome. I enjoyed seeing how Jia grew and learned from Russell and how they were eventually able to find some sort of common ground which lead to an eventual steamy romance. Both of them eventually grew to not only love each other but respect one another for their strengths which I always like to see in a romance.
CROUCHING TIGER, FORBIDDEN VAMPIRE is filled with exciting twists and turns and strong, interesting characters. It was a satisfying end to the Love at Stake series and I look forward to seeing what Kerrelyn Sparks has in store next....more
One of my favorite types of romance are the ones between old friends or acquaintances become lovers. SO I MAReview courtesy of So I Married a Werewolf
One of my favorite types of romance are the ones between old friends or acquaintances become lovers. SO I MARRIED A WEREWOLF plays with this trope excellently though I was frustrated at Faith and Carter’s inner monologues proclaiming their attraction for eachother yet never actually verbalizing their feelings. These two oozed chemistry from every pore from their banter to their personalities which made me flip the pages faster to see when they get a clue and act on their unrequited love. Another type of romance story I love is one that is able to be a little bit silly. SO I MARRIED A WEREWOLF is able to balance the humor and sweetness of Faith and Carter’s romance really well through clever quips and amusing situations. There are serious bits to this story but what makes it shine is the humor especially the scenes with Faith’s tiny and very horny foster dog.
Faith is a wonderful character who is fun and clever though suffers from the “I think I’m too plain and will be a spinster forever” syndrome. I found it hilarious that she was a werewolf dog trainer who used her dog training skills to ‘train’ Carter. The idea of Carter having to get married for a job promotion rankled a bit and just didn’t make sense from a modern perspective but I went with it as another odd werewolf society thing. It was fun seeing all of Faith and Carter’s ploys and lies they had to create to get everyone to believe they were a couple. I found it highly amusing that they were unknowingly digging themselves in so deep that they were bound to make this sham of a relationship into a real one.
SO I MARRIED A WEREWOLF a fun, quick read and had me smiling the whole time. There was gravitas and emotional drama that was leveled out with the hilarious situations that only a fake relationship can create. This is a great stand alone book but I highly recommend the rest of the books in the Seattle Wolf Pack series....more
GENERATION 18 is the middle book in the Spook Squad series and it valiantly escapes the classic second bookReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
GENERATION 18 is the middle book in the Spook Squad series and it valiantly escapes the classic second book syndrome of not living up to the expectations of the previous book and being a dull set up to the expected major events of the third and last book. Its exciting, fun, and attention grabbing with mysteries wrapped around yet more mystery. There is a frentic pacing to GENERATION 18 considering Sam’s supposed connection to the victims and her mysterious origins. Sam is in a constant search for answers to just who she is and as she moves closer to the answer, three more come up.
While I would say a book leans more towards one genre or another this one solidly treads the line between urban fantasy and science fiction with shifters and other magically abled people alongside secret government projects messing around with human genes creating super powered people. The intriguing mysteries of some truly horrid murders and just who and what Sam is are what keeps the plot rolling. I mainly kept reading this book just to figure out what the mystery of Sam’s past is and about all of the secret government projects that seem to keep popping up in this story.
Sam is a very strong character and I liked her determination and will to keep going forward even when she hits a roadblock. Her relationship with Gabriel is an odd one. I can’t really figure it out. I think they work well together but I just don’t see them getting together as love interests which I assume will occur in the next book as Sam seems determined for it to happen. With GENERATION 18 there are mysteries to untwist, bad guys to fight, and brilliant new powers to discover. This story is a wonderfully exciting build up to the last book in this trilogy, PENUMBRA....more
I picked up HER WILD PROTECTOR mainly due to the unique take on shifters being able to change into multiplReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
I picked up HER WILD PROTECTOR mainly due to the unique take on shifters being able to change into multiple forms. I liked learning the origin of the Metamorphs and the conflicts the face. The plot was pretty interesting and moved at a steady pace with a lot of suspense and action scenes. While I understand the constraints of a short story I just felt like there was something lacking and it seemed to end rather abruptly. Perhaps this is a prelude to a much larger series?
I understand and even like stories with a clumsy protagonist who gets pulled into a world of supernatural beings by complete accident. Getting a bump on the head from a really, really silly mistake making Tara suddenly see supernaturals seems a bit unbelievable. I know this is coming from someone who reads books about vampires, werewolves, and fairies but it just was such a odd way to introduce a heroine to supernaturals that I kept thinking there has to be more to her ability than just a head injury. I might have been more accepting of this were the rest of the book filled with silly events and sassy one liners but the HER WILD PROTECTOR reads pretty serious.
On the romance front, I didn’t really believe the connection between Tara and Marshall. They just seemed to be going through the motions with no really passion. Yes, there is a sex scene but it just felt obligatory since this is a romance there must be sex. HER WILD PROTECTOR had a good premise and has potential to be an interesting series but this story left me unsatisfied. ...more
BEVERLY HILLS DEMON SLAYER is a fun book with some wacky dialogue, wonky magic, and weird creatures. This wReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
BEVERLY HILLS DEMON SLAYER is a fun book with some wacky dialogue, wonky magic, and weird creatures. This was yet another series that I am starting six books in but luckily it can be read as a standalone. The plot is pretty straightforward and even at its darkest moments it is able to keep things pretty light with a witty comment or two. I liked the interesting demon slayer magic that is used by Lizzie and how it is linked to goodness and light in opposition to evil and dark magic. The pacing is fast and I was actually surprised at how quickly I breezed through this book.
BEVERLY HILLS DEMON SLAYER not only has some exciting demon slayer action scenes, it also is absolutely hilarious especially with a cast of characters that include a talking dog, a guard dragon, and a half-human, half-succubus with a pet hellhound. Some of my favorite characters are Lizzie’s grandma and her biker witches. Yes, these are a group of ladies of varying ages who ride motorcycles and practice witchcraft while being generally awesome and badass. My only complaint is that they weren’t in the story more.
This story is thrilling and hilarious with a most excellent kick ass heroine surrounded by a super quirky motley crew of misfits I fell in love with immediately. Now I have to go back to the beginning of this series and read it all the way through. I gladly accept this endeavor and await for more from Lizzie and company....more
SUMMONED CHAOS bears similarities to other books like The Dresden Files series with rogue wizards battlingReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
SUMMONED CHAOS bears similarities to other books like The Dresden Files series with rogue wizards battling evil with a can-do attitude and badass fighting skills. While following in the shadows of great wizards like Harry Dresden can be tough and make the storyline feel redundant or boring, Marcus Shifter makes his own footprint in the urban fantasy genre. Beyond his ability to do awesome magic. I adore his sarcasm as even in the direst of situations he can be counted on to say something utterly hilarious to bring a sense of levity to the story. I enjoy that he isn’t jaded by everything he’s seen and done. While he does feel guilt for past misdeeds he keeps on going to fight the good fight like the Energizer Bunny with a Glock and a smart-ass attitude.
Along with Marcus being a genuine delight and excellent wizard and marksman with a heart of gold, there are some wonderfully fleshed out secondary characters that I also enjoyed learning more about like his girlfriend and sorceress, Quinn. She’s not damsel-in-distress material and can hold her own in a battle alongside Marcus. Every character is wonderful in his or her own way especially Marcus’s Minotaur roommate, Steve. Everything that comes from this guy’s mouth is hilarious and clever. He is a revelation and I want, no need a short story or two involving him. What I love about all of these characters and this book in general is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. While this is by no means a light-hearted jaunt I appreciated the moments of humor and wit woven into the story.
The storyline is a great mystery with some shocking twists and betrayals. The world building in this series is really interesting and well developed. I also like that while SUMMONED CHAOS is the second book in the Shifter Chonicles it can be read first without feeling lost though that would mean missing out on more Marcus, Steve and everyone else from the first book, UNDEAD CHAOS....more
I had always meant to read this series since I have read and enjoyed Terry Spear's other shifter series HeaReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
I had always meant to read this series since I have read and enjoyed Terry Spear's other shifter series Heart of the Wolf. Like usual I jumped into reading a series right in the middle with the fourth book and luckily like Heart of the Wolf, Heart of the Jaguar is a series you can just jump into with out any confusion. What I liked about JAGUAR PRIDE was the plot involving two people being thrown into a 'babysitting' job in the middle of a jungle. I assumed some hilarious hijinks would ensue with randomly shifting jaguar babies and I was not disappointed. While this isn't a laugh out loud story by any means I really loved seeing Melissa and Huntley try to figure out how to take care of babies with minimal supplies and no experience taking care of babies. Aside from the baby issues the plot involving poachers and kidnapping was pretty intense and felt like a thriller set in a hot sweaty jungle.
The type of romance with Melissa and Huntley is one of my favorite in the romance genre for its realism. These two knew eachother and had some attraction to the other person but never acted on it due to circumstances. Circumstances conveniently work in their favor and they find eachother in the middle of the jungle together. These two work so well together in the field and share so many commonalities in the way the think and what they want that if this were a series staring only them I'd be shaking my fist wondering why they haven't gotten together already. Luckily no fist shaking happens and the romance is passionate and fun.
JAGUAR PRIDE is an excellent example of a paranormal romance done right. It has a healthy dash of suspense and thrilling action with some humor and gentleness to balance out the darker plot surrounding poaching of jaguars. Terry Spear has always been on my list of authors whose books I will pick up and read without hesitation and I look forward to reading more of Heart of the Jaguar....more
THE HIGHLAND DRAGON'S LADY is a good gothic ghost story combined with dragons because why not! I enjoyed thReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
THE HIGHLAND DRAGON'S LADY is a good gothic ghost story combined with dragons because why not! I enjoyed the way the mystery of the spirit haunting the house started to unravel with a classic seance gone wrong scene but the worldbuilding was a bit hard for me to grasp. I am not sure if it was an "I haven't read the first book" situation or I just was not getting something because I did feel a little lost as to what was going on aside from the fact that a spirit was haunting a residence. Also, the story didn't really have much in the way of dragons which is fine for a gothic novel...not a story whose dragon doesn't come off as very dragon-like.
Reggie is spunky and adventurous, the exact opposite of what a Victorian lady should be which I loved. Her verbal sparing with Colin is really fun especially in their first meeting. I didn't really get a centuries old Highland Dragon vibe from Colin. He was very passive throughout the story. Colin is supposed to be a Highlander and a dragon but he just comes off as a mild mannered Scotsman which wouldn't be bad in another book. Their relationship just kind of happened with no passion really felt between them. I do question just how they are going to get through the whole Reggie not living as long as Colin issue.
THE HIGHLAND DRAGON'S LADY was an okay story with an interesting premise and some fun banter between Reggie and Colin. There was Colin and mentions of others but he seemed to be the only one in existence for this story. I also had some trouble focusing on what was happening as there was so much going on....more
HER LONE WOLF is a fun, suspenseful paranormal romance that leans heavily towards the thriller genre. ThereReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
HER LONE WOLF is a fun, suspenseful paranormal romance that leans heavily towards the thriller genre. There are government conspiracies and elaborate chase scenes with a tight plot and tons of twists and turns. The hunt for the murderer is really the highlight of the story and I enjoyed seeing the figure out how to catch him using some creative strategizing considering they had to hide some of their knowledge of supernaturals from the police. I also like the way shifters are integrated into the storyline and the interesting way they are handled in this series.
It was interesting to see how Danica and Clayne's relationship progressed to where it is at the beginning of the book through a series of flashbacks sprinkled around the story. While constantly having flashbacks can come off as tiring or confusing the way its done in HER LONE WOLF is pretty seamless and makes for fun layering of plot points and storylines. I liked seeing them rekindle their relationship and work through the issues they had previously that made the relationship break down. Although the reason for their break up was a bit weird at first the reasoning was finally cleared up with a pretty major plot twist. I also enjoyed seeing these two work together because they are a really well oiled machine when it comes to doing their jobs even after not talking for a few years.
HER LONE WOLF is a action packed romantic thriller with a dash of fur and claws to make things really exciting. This book can be read as a stand-alone as it goes over the details of the worldbuilding pretty well in the first few pages. While I loved the paranormal aspect of this story it could have so easily been just a straight up thriller and still been just as great....more
WOLF'S FALL presented a protagonist with PTSD due to a torture incident with a vampire which was a pretty iReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
WOLF'S FALL presented a protagonist with PTSD due to a torture incident with a vampire which was a pretty interesting problem to load onto a character. While I don't know to much about what PTSD is like I thought it portrayed the struggles of someone who has gone through a heavy trauma very well. He's not completely fixed by the end through magically finding 'the one' which I though was very respectful and posed an unique problem when Nick finds himself attracted to Calla, a vampire which brings on the torture flashbacks and anxiety for Nick.
His relationship with Calla; while that of instant attraction actually starts off as a nice partnership which quickly becomes a romance. It was kind of nice to have the couple not have any real animosity towards eachother especially since I've been reading a lot of those types of romances lately. There's no hate-to-love here, just them coping with their own internal issues and eventually coming together in the end once they learn to accept their loses.
As a backdrop to Nick and Calla's relationship development is the characters' race to prevent a vampire war. The worldbuilding and the intriguing politics are pretty fascinating. While WOLF'S FALL can be read as a standalone I'd reccommend reading some of the previous books to get a better grasp on who is who and what is happening especially since the events that happen in this book are a direct result of what happened in the previous COLE'S REDEMPTION....more
THE WITCH WITH NO NAME is a fond farewell to all of the brilliantly flawed and loveable characters we’ve coReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
THE WITCH WITH NO NAME is a fond farewell to all of the brilliantly flawed and loveable characters we’ve come to adore in The Hollows series. It takes a special series to make you actually feel so emotionally attached to characters so I was a bit nervous that THE WITCH WITH NO NAME would not live up to my expectations of how I wished this series would end. Luckily this final book exceeded my expectations with some tough choices made, fantastical fight scenes, and loose ends tied up neatly and in a satisfying way for each of the characters we’ve come to care about so much.
At the center of all of the delicious chaos of having to end multiple series long story arcs was Rachel Morgan who has grown so much since DEAD WITCH WALKING. Rachel Morgan is one of the most flawed heroines I’ve read and that fact has made me really root for her to have a happy ending of some sort. She is the epitome of the Tubthumping song lyrics “I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never going to keep me down”. By the end of THE WITCH WITH NO NAME, I am happy to say that Rachel finally is able to stay up and have her happy-ish ending.
Looking back at the publication date of DEAD WITCH WALKING, this series has been going on for ten years. That means ten years of awesome writing, beautifully crafted worldbuilding, and amazing characters. THE WITCH WITH NO NAME was a bittersweet ending to The Hollows series which will always have a special place on my bookshelf. Unfortunately my ARC copy did not have the epilogue attached and I am waiting with bated breath to get my hands on a book with that last chapter to see how everything really turns out for Rachel, Ivy, Jenks, and everyone else....more