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The Night House

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  367 ratings  ·  80 reviews
What would you pay for your freedom?

Caught by a powerful lord from the alternate realm of Arkavia, Taya’s offered the chance to avenge the dead, save her home world, and win her freedom.

Her days of stealing supplies and surviving among the remnants of Earth are over, but can she afford the price of Lord Thane’s deal?
Kindle Edition, 327 pages
Published March 22nd 2019 by JCM Publications
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J.C. McKenzie I’m planning a descendents novel that will take place years after the gate is closed and cover the repercussions of Taya and Thane’s choices at the en…moreI’m planning a descendents novel that will take place years after the gate is closed and cover the repercussions of Taya and Thane’s choices at the end of The Night House. I’m also planning to release some of the deleted scenes that I cut from The Night House (many were cut in the planning stage so I still have to write them). There’s a couple of other projects ahead of these ones. For up-to-date statuses and plans, scroll down on the homepage of my website at

Thanks for the question and happy reading!(less)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  367 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Douglas Meeks
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't give many 5 Star review but this came close since anytime when I was not reading it I was wondering what was going to happen next and could not wait to get back to it.

Taya and Thane were an unlikely couple and to be honest the romance while a big part of the plot was not the overwhelming force here, a lot of sword and sorcery theme. I have to say that the ending felt a wee bit rushed but very satisfying.

After a shocking start to this story that looked like it was going to be a dystopian
Marta Cox
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, my-reviews
Well this book totally blindsided me. I looked at the cover and expected urban fantasy then I started it and thought oh it's going to be dystopian. Well let me state here and now that I was totally wrong as our very accomplished heroine Taya stepped into a world that felt both magical and medieval. If I had to categorise this book it's probably fantasy but done in a very unique way.
There is romance but it's a slow build up which works well although as a reader I could see it coming. Taya is pre
N.N. Light
Taya is out camping with her girlfriends when the Blue Wave hits, killing everyone she loves in an instant. Her friends are nothing but piles of ash but Taya appears to be none the worse off. Eerie. She packs when she can fit in her backpack and heads off for the nearest town. She appears to be alone but then she sees what’s she discovers later is the invading force known as the Arkavians. She’s captured by Lord Thane and he gives her a choice: become a slave in his house or bond herself to him ...more
C.J. Burright
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Any time there’s a sword on a book cover, I’m interested. But when the main character is a woman with two swords made of lightning and dressed like an assassin? Then top it off with J.C.’s martial arts background? Well, I knew I was in for a great story with some awesome action. Going in, I wasn’t sure if it would lean more toward sci-fi or fantasy, but it was a surprisingly unique mix of both, and even though I’m not much into sci-fi, I loved the world setup in Night House. Taya, as I had hoped ...more
Tammy Northington
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this one as individual chapters, and I was instantly hooked. I loved this one. Taya was out on a camping trick with her best friends & they were having a good time. She was standing in the water when a blue death wave came rolling thru instantly turning her friends in to ash. She was the only one that survived. As she's looking for other survivors, she runs across one that tries to take all of her stuff, and she kills him in self-defense. She nears a town & as she's hiding, she ...more
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting book with great twists into the sword and sorcery realm. Taya is a modern woman who evolves into a strong warrior woman throughout the novel. The beginning is shocking and drastic....and confusing. Confusion probably should reign in a post-apocalyptic novel. I would term this a slow burn romance. I liked the action in this book, and the characters. Great villain plotting, too. However, at times I was lost in the world-building. I would definitely read a sequel if there were ever to b ...more
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m not sure why all the five star reviews. Don’t misunderstand the book was entertaining & I would recommend it to those who enjoy a good adventure. Loved the cover art. 3 surprising stars .
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was my first book by J.C. McKenzie and I really, really liked it. It was nothing like I expected it to be in the best way possible. When I read the blurb I was intrigued and I'm happy to say the book didn't disappoint at all. It was unique and full of twists I didn't see coming and once the plot grabbed me I wasn't able to put it down untill I finished it. The start pointed at a completely different story but once the book found it's footing, oh boy, what a ride it was. The author creates a ...more
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-romance
Enjoyable book, I think this could have been a series. I had a lot of questions and things I wanted expanded on but it was an interesting world. Taya settled a bit too easily into her role........imo
but I liked Thane
Overall if your looking for a single fantasy romance book I recommend this
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved-it
Great intro to wonderful world of science fantasy, with aliens, portals, swords and fierce h. She's awesome, taught to fight by her father and just as well as she's in for the fight of her life. The H is also a great fighter, but his family dynamic is a mess. Loved their connection and the importance of personal integrity for these two people. Loved the writing style, lots of showing and not too much telling. It was well done. ...more
Sam (Downtime Reading)
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Alpha Female Meet Alpha Male what can you say about this book. Well we have a Kung Fu chick that wields 2 swords that have lightning. A medieval type feel to it plus a mythology reference "Hades", assassins, plus house wars. This book pretty much has all you need to settle into a few hours of binge reading. I think this is a single book but J.C. McKenzie left room to grow it if the author would like to. I feel the world building could been just a bit more extensive. I had a hard time placing my ...more
Katie O'Sullivan
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First, I have to admit, I love everything I've ever read by J.C. McKenzie. She has a way with sassy, irreverent heroines who KICK ASS. So when I heard she had a new book coming out - a standalone, not a series - I rushed to preorder. And now it's available for purchase - so what are you waiting for?

J.C.McKenzie has a way with world-building that plucks the reader out of their reality and plops them smack dab in the middle of her story. The Night House is no exception. The story starts with her m
Tiera McMillian
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: june-2019
3.5-4 stars. This was a really intriguing read, with a real unique start. Magical apocalypse + aliens + BAMF FMC assassin.. I mean whats not to love about any of these things. I have to say that I'm really disappointed that this isn't a series starter.. It had everything there to set up for a series but then kind of abruptly wrapped everything up at the end. At the end I was really hoping to do some research and find that there are some other sequels or a saga or some companion novels but I have ...more
Eva Millien
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This standalone fantasy romance is an exhilarating and stunning read that readers can’t put down! The characters are powerfully strong and demand attention from the very beginning and readers won’t be able to get enough as their romance burns slowly getting hotter and hotter which works great for this brilliant and creative world. The story is kind of an alter-realm invasion story that masterfully blends familiar story elements with unique elements in a bubbling cauldron of intensely suspenseful ...more
Merissa (Archaeolibrarian)
THE NIGHT HOUSE is a standalone post-apocalyptic fantasy romance that seamlessly blends medieval knights and sword-play from a different planet with current day earth.

This was a fantastic read, ticking most of my boxes. Thane and Taya have sparks flying aplenty when they are meet and these continue throughout the book. I loved not only Thane though, but his whole team. They were all strong characters with a strong sense of duty and loyalty. Once Taya was part of their team, that was it. No stupi
Beth ~~Just One More Chapter I Swear~~
The Night House Talk about addictive!! I picked this up and couldn't put it down until the very last tantalizing word. I inhaled this book in one sitting. I'm here, eyes burning from lack of sleep, throat sore from hours of disuse and poor hydration, wishing for more. There was Magic, court intrigue and Action. There was a swoon worthy slow burn. There were minor sexy time moments but mostly there was a need to read on, to live inside this world a moment longer. The world building was great and ...more
Feb 13, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, indie
I want more!
Everything from the cover, chapter art, characters and plot was great!

Starts out with dystopian vibes, but transforms into parallel magical universe with a crossover. Court intrigue, backstabbing, mystery and a bead ass woman swordsman.

While the book is technically a stand alone, I very much want to hear more. It's definitely left open to to turn into a series, and I think there could be significantly larger roles for some of the characters we get to meet at the end of the book.

Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good read

I really enjoyed the story line and characters. It was a quick and fun read. I plan to check out other books by this author.
This books reminds me of Quinn Blackbirds Fae books. So if you're a fan of her books then you should definitely read this one. ...more
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I really enjoyed reading this book. No cliffhangers yes! The story does end and in a very rewarding way. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was first published on my blog "Lecture toute une Aventure"

Fabulous!!! This one is on my favourite shelf for sure! It can be dark , there are moment wonderfully written but sad and some right at the beginning but the story is simply great! Taya is caught in a situation not even nightmares could have prepared her for but fortunately for her, her family wasn't like every other so she isn't completely helpless.
Still we see a young girl loosing everything but with a mind strong enough to
Jo-Ann Carson
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A mysterious blue wave of magic rolls across the earth killing almost everyone. With well-honed fighting skills and survival instincts, Taya stays alive. She learns that warriors have come from another dimension to reap the world of its resources. They are called Arkavians. She calls them, “ … a civilization of good-looking locusts.”
Thane, a member of the royalty in Arkavia, is attracted to Taya’s Arkavian-like features, integrity, and personal power. Using a non-permanent, magical bond he ensur
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Taya is the only survivor in her group when the Blue Wave hits and she watches her friends disappear right in front of her. She swore vengeance. Now she just has to figure out what happened, why it's happening and make the bad guys pay.

But there are men on horseback wearing armor and rounding up survivors. She'll need all the skills she ever learned just to live. And there is more involved with the men on horseback than she can ever imagine and when she is captured and taken with them she uses t
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received this novel from net galley and the publisher. Thank you!
This novel was an enjoyable read. It was different from other novels I had read. The plot was rather unexpected, which made the novel all the better. Taya is camping with her friends when something happens that only leaves her alive. She promises vengeance on those who killed her friends, Arkavia. Taya survives in hopes to get back to her family when she meets Lord Thane who was sent to kill her. Thane has a different interest in
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Honestly, this is a solid 4/5 stars.

Why is this listed as horror? No idea, but I definitely wouldn't classify it as such.

What I can say is that this does have a kickass female lead who has to learn to weild power magic and some pretty sick weapons.

If you had to choose to become a slave or assassian for an overlord, what would you choose? I sure as hell would choose assassain, and that's exactly what Taya does. This mixes some very interesting genres, like medival, distopian, epic fantasy, and a
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was provided an ARC for review of this story.

Wow. This was so different, at least to me, from J. C. McKenzie's other books. I loved it .

I enjoyed being drawn into Taya and Thane's world. The story drew me in immediately and kept me riveted to see where the story line would take me. In moving from one chapter to another, sometimes the author alludes to "by chapter title" and opening sentence a specified period of time having past. I found that I didn't miss or wonder "what happened during this
Sandra Dailey
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
These five stars should be ten.
This is incredible. I don’t even know how to describe what I just read. I haven’t been enthralled with a book this much in a long time.
Have you ever been so into a story you resent your family for wanting your attention? It’s a good thing I read fast or they might have starved. I found myself standing up and walking around the room occasionally to catch my breath, though. The story hits that hard and fast. Just when you think it may slow down a little—bam—something
Jan 25, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy

This book was awesome! I’m enjoying fantasy more and more with each book I read! I really enjoy how it starts in todays age in time, then when the portal opens it’s almost like a trip back in time!
I loved the main character, she is a badass and an amazing sword fighter! Or stick fighter I should say 🤣 Thane is a big badass warrior and honestly, how can you not have a huge lady bonder for him?!

This is a stand alone romance, it’s slow burn, I found it not spicy, it heats up towards the
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, pnr
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.

This was my first read from J.C. McKenzie and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It includes a kick-ass heroine, a swoon-worthy book boyfriend (who is not an awful alpha-male type), political intrigue, and awesome fight scenes. I really enjoyed reading about Taya and her journey after an apocalyptic attack. Though this is promoted as a stand-alone, I hope we get to see more of this world and the group we were introduced to. Until then, I'm off to go check
Helen Wawrejko
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Delving into an alternate realm that has opened a portal to plunder earth, Taya is taken by a lord of the realm. Her life in the balance, she vows to avenge the deaths on earth even as she trains with her captors. I liked this world, the protagonist was spot on bad ass, very satisfying ending. Lots of action, good mystery. Recommend it to lovers of the genre. I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book.
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J. C. McKenzie is a book loving, gumboot-wearing, unapologetic science geek. She predominantly writes urban fantasy and post-apocalyptic dystopian fantasy with strong romantic elements. When she’s not spinning tales, she’s in the classroom sharing her passion for science and mathematics while secretly warping the young impressionable minds of our future to carry out her evil plans for world domina ...more

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“She clutched her staff and brought it up with numb fingers. He raised a dark eyebrow. “You plan to fight me with a stick?” “I can hand it over and tell you what to do with it, if you promise to follow directions.” She moved the stick slowly. Not fast enough to give away her skill, but enough to warm her wrists and get blood flowing back into her limbs. “I’ll take option number one, thank you,” he said.” 1 likes
“I don’t know you. I’m not going to sleep in a small, confined tent with a man I don’t know.” She’d sleep next to her knife anyway, but if he decided to attack her, hopefully the zipper would provide an early warning. His shoulders relaxed. “I hadn’t thought about that.” Of course he hadn’t. Men didn’t constantly make decisions to minimize their risks of sexual assault. Not that all men were bad or men weren’t victims, but the majority of them lived life blissfully unaware of things like rape culture and victim blaming.” 1 likes
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