Thanks to being an Amazon Prime member I finally found a book I wanted to read one month early and that naturally was Rachel Caine’s debut thriller, SThanks to being an Amazon Prime member I finally found a book I wanted to read one month early and that naturally was Rachel Caine’s debut thriller, Stillhouse Lake! I never even found out what the other book choices were, simply that Rachel’s was among them and I quickly downloaded it. Never even got the email either, but this one was on my list anyway so I was happy to dive in early! I’ve been a fan of Rachel’s since the Weather Warden days and I’ve always enjoyed a good thriller, so it was pretty much meant to be!
This was one intriguing read if I do say so myself. What do you do when you find out the man you married is a closet serial killer? Gina Royal’s life was turned upside down the day she discovered her husband’s dirty little secret by accident. And after a few rough years of trials and her own trial of being an accomplice, she and her children have settled down at Stillhouse Lake with their new identities. They’ve have to move around a lot over the years because of all the hate mail and tormentors. Apparently there is no witness protection program for the serial killer’s family who had no idea there was a murderer in their home. It really makes you feel for Gina, now named Gwen. She truly knew nothing about her husband’s secrets, and yet, her life and her children’s lives have always been in a constant state of unease.
It’s a tricky thing, I’ve been trying to think if I was a family member of a murdered victim, how would I feel towards the murderer’s family? When it’s clear they do not support him anymore, they don’t visit him in prison or feel like he was just misunderstood or any of that defensiveness. I can understand some hatred, I guess, but some of the hate mail and scenarios Gwen endured were way harsh.
Gwen and her kids think they finally might have found a nice place to live at Stillhouse. And it’s during this time when you start to wonder when the thrills and chills will start. And then it happens. A body is found in the lake, one that has been desecrated in the same manner as Melvin Royal’s, Gwen’s ex-husband, victims. And Gwen is suddenly the new person of interest in the case.
I’ll admit, there were some slow parts to this one. The first body is found before the 100 page mark, but it’s after a few rounds of questioning that things start to move at a slower pace. Life moves on for Gwen and she tries to fall back into a normal life routine. Then in walks the mystery Sam. Gwen can’t help but be suspicious, it’s become a natural habit for her. But then after a time, it seems something might be growing between the two of them. But thankfully, romance isn’t a part of this story!
As I said, this was a most intriguing read! It seems that poor Gwen can never escape what her husband did. The internet trolls, as she calls them, are always posting terrible things about what they want to do to her and her children. They blame her for the crimes as well, thinking that she got away with murder since her trial ended up with her being let go, obviously since she’s our heroine in this story.
There was quite an array of suspects in this one and I admit, I never pegged our bad guy down. Though I was right in a sense about one of my suspects. I never fully trusted him, and I was right to do so. But that’s what I always love about mysteries, the guessing of the whodunit! I say I have a decent 50/50 streak going on and I’m never really bothered by it. I guess it’s just a good thing I’m not an actual detective! Lol!
The ending was naturally, the most intense part of the story. And just as things are wrapping up, I start to wonder where the series will go, for I know there’s at least one more book to come and then it happens! The little piece of the puzzle that comes to light and you think, oh sheet. Needless to say I cannot wait to see what the next book will bring!
Stillhouse Lake was a spine-tingling kind of thriller! There was definitely a darkness to the crimes that were committed in this one. While it wasn’t as fast paced or on-the-edge-of-your-seat as I would’ve liked, it was still a decent read and I am definitely sticking around for the sequel! It’s got just enough edge to it that it will have you hooked into Gwen’s battle!
OMG! Jenna Black has done it again!! Night Magic is the second installment in this terror filled series! And it HAS to be a trilogy at least because OOMG! Jenna Black has done it again!! Night Magic is the second installment in this terror filled series! And it HAS to be a trilogy at least because OMG THAT ENDING!!!!
We pick things up nearly right where the left off, if you remember Philadelphia has been taken over by Night Magic. Every night once the sun goes down, shadows and monstrous things take over the city, leading the charge is the mysterious Aleric. It's not really clear on what he is, I'm suspecting a demon of some kind. Since Becket was tricked into being outside during the transition and her emotions were all over the place after having shot her best friend, after she had had her father killed, Becket became Nightstruck.
She and Aleric are basically having the time of their lives causing chaos and inciting terror. But it seems there's still a part of the old Becket in her. She doesn't always cater to Aleric's whims or bow to his will. She's no ordinary Nightstruck. It becomes clear when with Aleric's help they are able to create little pockets of eternal darkness in Philadelphia with the use of Becket's blood. Then Luke walks back into the picture and he's determined to bring Becket to the side of the light, literally!
I feel like in this one, we get a better understanding of the creepiness of the Nightstruck. Since we get Becket's point of view, it was rather interesting seeing her side of things since she's joined the enemy, however unwillingly. At times she realizes what she's doing is wrong, but the darkness that has basically taken her over, can't quite care. Even when trying to join the other Nightstruck with their merriment, she often finds herself going off on her own. And that's when she ends up going back to Luke for really awkward conversations. Lol.
Even though the book seems rather short at 288 pages, I must say, a LOT happens! Night Magic is one jammed pack kind of read! The first part I would say is a learning experience of the Nightstruck and then the second part is all about the action...because I won't get into those details because spoilers! Needless to say this was one rockin read!!!
The pacing to this one was incredible! I'll admit we do have some downtime moments, but they don't really drag down the story. Those moments help to enhance some great character development! And did I mention Luke is back?! Now I'm all for bad boys in books, but I am completely falling for the golden boy next door!
The ending to this one you guys...ooohhh deary me!! It's one heck of a gut-punching ending! If you thought the cliffhanger in Nightstruck was killer, just wait until you get a read of this one! If you're looking for that positively creepy read filled with amazingly real characters than I highly recommend this series!! It's a pure delight...and just a little bit of fright!
I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
I absolutely love AlysI received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
I absolutely love Alyssa Rose Ivy’s paranormal New Adult titles! They are always so delightful and fantastic reads! Forged in Light is the final book of The Forged Chronicles and brings Ainsley and James’ story to a conclusion! This one was far different than I anticipated, we’re talking time traveling folks!
Elron, the elven prince, has decided he is going to help Ainsley and James with their predicament. Ainsley was poisoned and James was being possessed by his father and things were utterly chaotic with Charlotte leading an army to attack them! Elron gets the idea to go back in time and rearrange things. And we find ourselves back at the beginning of the night when Ainsley meets James when he decides to visit Charlotte’s house where Ainsley had been housesitting.
A new adventure of sorts starts out. While Ainsley is reintroduced to James and his world, she finds that there’s a familiarity to it all. While Elron tries to explain the matter of things, this version of Ainsley isn’t sure what to believe. Until a connection with James is formed. It’s Elron’s belief that if this find this magical flower, than it can be used with Charlotte’s help to help rid Ainsley of her poison and James his father’s spirit.
James and Ainsley still have the same intense chemistry that they had before, but once again, I’ll say everything is still new to them. The time traveling scenario really throws you through a loop sometimes, but Alyssa handles it well. The only part I struggled to understand was when even with the new changes happening the past timeline and the one we currently read about align and things are as they were previously. Like when Ainsley is poisoned and needs James in order to fight it off. And when James’ mood suddenly gets darker hinting at his father’s possession taking over him, slowly but surely.
What I continue to love about these series Alyssa writes are the characters! They are so much fun and are relatable on multiple levels. Ainsley was a great heroine and I admired her perseverance in always trying to get through the troubles life throws her way. And of course there’s James who just has that overall nice guy charm to him. It doesn’t hurt that he truly is a nice guy.
My only other issue was the ending. It felt too rushed. Once we crossed over one hurdle and we should have one or two remaining, I found that we were in the midst of the ending itself. I wasn’t quite sure how we got there without overcoming the remaining obstacles. I have a few working theories of what might have gone down and why they weren’t exactly shown to us in writing, but you never know, right? And I’m a reader that likes to know! If you end the story with someone dying, I kind of want to know if they make it or not! That wasn’t necessarily the case here, but there were at least two things that come to mind that weren’t really explained on how they were resolved. But despite that, I enjoyed the happy ending that came into fruition! I’ve come to expect happy endings from Alyssa when she ends a series and so far she hasn’t let me down!
This is another fantastic paranormal NA series from the one and only Alyssa Rose Ivy! I highly recommend checking out her numerous titles. And if you aren’t sure which one to start with, I always recommend beginning at the beginning!
I received this ARC from the author in a contest that I won for pure enjoyment purposes. I was in no way compensated for this review.
Sarah Ahiers retuI received this ARC from the author in a contest that I won for pure enjoyment purposes. I was in no way compensated for this review.
Sarah Ahiers returns to the world of Assassin’s Heart in Thief’s Cunning. It’s been eighteen years since those events, so Lea and Les are grown up and as are the children they had rescued from the Da Vias. One of them being Allegra, her niece, who seems to have gained some of Lea’s own feistiness. Allegra longs to break free from the rules and constraints that she grew up with and find the place where she belongs. She’s not sure where that is just yet, but the journey is what she’s looking forward to the most.
Lea and Les have kept Allegra sheltered more so than Emile, her brother of sorts since they were raised together. Emile has been content with the life he’s lived, yet Allegra longs for something more. But it seems she will always be battling with Lea on things. When she’s allowed to attend a fealty ceremony in Lea’s old hometown, she thinks that this will be the start to her great journey. Though she gets far more than she anticipated. She meets a traveler boy from a menagerie and instantly a connection forms. Nev is the perfect kind of distraction from her life. They seem to suit one another perfectly.
Then Allegra learns the truth about her parentage. She’s always been told that both her parents were dead, her father being one of Lea’s brothers. But when she learns her mother, Claudia Da Via is still alive, she can’t help but feel hurt and betrayed by Lea. It’s during this height of confusion and arguments that Allegra is kidnapped by none other than Nev and his people.
Allegra possesses a necklace given to her by Les that apparently belongs to the travelers. Les was half-traveler and he had taken the necklace from his mother before she died and gifted it to Allegra on her birthday. This necklace is a powerful thing though, only given to ones who are meant to protect the traveler clan.
Allegra finds herself with very few friends among the travelers, all except for Nev, who continues to try to protect her. The necklace is a treasured relic for them and for an outsider to possess it, angers some of them and confuses the rest. Allegra cannot simply just give it back to them for a necklace can only be passed down after death. Though there is at least one person who wouldn’t mind making that happen.
While I did enjoy this story, I found I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as Assassin’s Heart. While the first book had revenge on its mind, that is not the case here. I would say the storyline drifts more to personal journeys and freedom. Allegra feels constantly caged and she longs to stretch her wings and soar.
The pacing was a little slower as well, as I sort of expected for Allegra to be kidnapped early on and have her journey shortly thereafter. She wasn’t taken until the halfway point and then it was her struggling to escape and figure out where she wanted to run to. Her home with Lea, which had started to feel like a prison or the home with her real mother, Claudia Da Via who she recently comes into contact with?
Sadly this book didn’t feel as adventurous as its predecessor either. I know I shouldn’t expect a similar storyline but I had hopes for more. More adventure and daring feats, more romantic tension coupled with a slow building romance. More laughter, just more. While we get some of these things it just didn’t feel like enough.
The romance between Allegra and Nev was cute. They started out with a falling fast, not into love but simply lust and just fun. Naturally, deeper feelings start to come about but I feel like that too just sort of popped up instead of letting me see them fall deeper into love or something like it. True, I can’t quite remember how things went with Lea and Les and again, I don’t expect to have a replay of everything here, but at the same time, I will say that I am a fan of the slow-burning romances. The ones that take time to come about and where you can actually see the feelings being developed.
Despite these minor issues, I did still enjoy the story! I loved coming back to this fantastical world. There are still ghosts that haunt the night in the fields and towns too! I wish we could have more with them! These are dangerous ghosts that can actually kill you and try to steal your body. Granted, it can’t work, but they can kill you and then you join them in the whole misery process. I’d love to see more expanded upon with these not quite villainous characters!
Thief’s Cunning is definitely one you should check out if you enjoyed the first book, Assassin’s Heart! While I didn’t feel the same things while reading this one as I did the first, I still enjoyed the sort of nostalgia one gets by returning to a familiar world! Plus the characters are still lovable and hateable, so it all works out in the end!