BITE SOMEBODY ELSE is a hilarious and irreverent romp of a vampire romance story. The plot was pretty interesting, dealing with a Celia's unique vampire pregnancy and some twists in whose side everyone is really on. While there were some funny bits and quirky characters (my favorite kind of character) I found its main character to come off as a bit too juvenile at times. The plot, while fun at times seemed to meander and drag at certain points.
I enjoy off kilter and silly stories with characters who are a bit too rude and sassy for their own good. But sometimes there is a limit. I think I found mine with BITE SOMEBODY ELSE. While I was entertained by the silly plot and weirdness of the characters involved, I was put off a lot by Imogene's attitude. She's tough and loyal sure, but she comes off as obnoxious, childish, and pretty rude. I questioned so many times why her friends put up with her basically acting like a spoiled child especially since they are all dealing with a bizarre pregnancy. On the romance front, I got the whole opposites attract thing with the brassy, rude Imogene and the posh and proper Nicholas. Its just that I kept going back to the question of why are adults putting up with this mean and childish person.
BITE SOMEBODY ELSE has its charm in its wacky plot, wit, and quirky characters. Unfortunately, I felt myself having to push through the plot at times and grit my teeth dealing with an incredibly immature main character....more
In an attempt to diversify my paranormal romance reading materials I picked up HIS COMMAND because I hadn'tReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
In an attempt to diversify my paranormal romance reading materials I picked up HIS COMMAND because I hadn't read anything about genies recently and I was drawn to the absurdly purple-pink cover. Was it going to be wondrously cheesy? Was I going to be annoyed by the characters and especially the overly macho genie? Well, no. What I found was a really good, heartwarming story about being true to yourself with a sizzling romance added to the mix. I liked the way this world worked and the use of genies as celebrities using their wish granting abilities as a charitable venture like the real Make A Wish Foundation is a clever plot mechanism.
I have probably become jaded in what to expect in romances after reading so many. This story defied my expectations of the genre at almost every turn. Ryder, gets Hailey to win a lottery where she wins a wish from him. They way this situation happens almost makes you think, "Ah Ryder is going for the controlling, manipulative alpha male move". But no, Ryder is the ultimate amazing supportive man who loves Hailey just as she is and only want to show her how to be her best self.
Hailey has some resistance to Ryder's charms due to some issues that stem from a formally manipulative relationship. Ryder is right there by her side offering unwavering support, not acting like an overly protective, or aggressive man. Their relationship has it's stumbling blocks and issues but they work them out very realistically or as realistically as you can when your boyfriend can whisk you off to Rome randomly. The big conflict comes from Hailey's insecurities and other relationship hang-ups which were again incredibly realistic. I loved seeing a story that had a decently working relationship with the added mix of fantastical sexy times and magic.
HIS COMMAND's charming, complex, and realistic characters combined with a well thought out plot made for a really pleasurable read. I'm interested in checking out the next book in the series. Since this book pretty much tells you who it is I am pretty intrigued as it involves a secondary character I really want to know more about....more
WICKED BITE is a pretty interesting paranormal romance with an intense central romance and a fun plot withReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
WICKED BITE is a pretty interesting paranormal romance with an intense central romance and a fun plot with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing at just what is going on. Realm Enforcers is one of those book series that I swear up and down that I've read some of at some point. But after diving into this story at a loss as to who is who I might have been mistaken. Luckily you don't need to have read the previous four books to enjoy WICKED BITE. Reading so many romances I tend to assume I get where the plot is going but WICKED BITE is pretty tricky by taking a hard right and messing with my concept of the status quo! The pacing is great, there are brilliant fight sequences, and enough exposition to get a general understanding of what went on in the previous books.
On the romance front, there are some pretty steam sex scenes and I love a good battle of the wits between main characters. While Bear's name is a bit on point with him being a bear shifter, I enjoyed his back story of being injured due to changing into a dragon at some point in the previous book. I was saddened to find out that he could not change into a hybrid bear-dragon shifter or breath fire in bear form. Tessa is a fun prim yet sassy foil to Bear's wild, gruff personality. I enjoyed seeing Bear and Nessa slowly open up to each other and finally share their secrets which were causing some major issues for their relationship and my ability to not be annoyed at people who don't explain their motivations (and who they are) clearly in the first place.
WICKED BITE is a wickedly exciting and thrilling read with a sizzling romance at its core. I will now be going to find the other books in this series!...more
Nalini Singh describes SILVER SILENCE as the start of a "second arc or season" for the Psy-Changeling series and that description feels very correct. Like the previous books, SILVER SILENCE carries with it the history of this world, the compelling characters, passionate romances, and fascinating plot while forging its own path into a new world. I loved seeing the way in which the fall of Silence and the following Trinity Accord has effected all of the races and their interactions with each other. Also, getting to see new changeling groups was a smart thing to do as it not only helps to expand the universe but keeps the series fresh with new character stories.
In the midst of a brave new world, humans, psy, and changelings have formed an uneasy alliance (the Trinity Accord) and terrorists threaten that alliance. Silver Mercant is wrapped up in the politics with the Trinity Accord and through clever plot mechanics, brings the Stone Water bear clan into situation. By having Silver- a name we've run across before in the series- be one half of the main couple of this story we have a link to between the first arc and the second arc. Silver is a wonderfully serious foil to the bears and Valentin, the bear alpha (Sidenote: I love the bears! They're hilarious, loving, loyal, and powerful. Quite possibly my new favorite changlings!). Singh excels at writing emotionally-layered and compelling characters and with Valentin and Silver that skill shines through. It's an odd sort of thought to think of Valentin, the bear alpha as both sexy and absolutely adorable but he is both. His strength is balanced with his gentleness which is what makes him perfect to break through to the icy Silver Mercant. Their relationship goes through some serious challenges that almost had me wondering if they weren't going to actually stay together. I was not ready for sad, adorable bears and luckily that was not the case in the end.
SILVER SILENCE sets up the foundation of the conflicts coming with this arc and tells another wonderful and charming romance. While the overall plan for the rest of this arc is unclear I am happy to continue along the ride with this series....more
HEART OF MALICE was a great introduction to what could be a pretty amazing new urban fantasy series. It ticks every box for a classic urban fantasy story: tough as nails heroine escaping from a murky past, fun magical abilities, and interesting enough plot complexities to last multiple books. The plot is fast-paced and revolves around an excellent magical mystery with earth shattering consequences should something go askew. I loved the attention to details in the world building and more specifically the main story in HEART OF MALICE. I really got a feel for the tone and history of the world as well as who the characters were. Please note: there are some pretty gory moments in HEART OF MALICE that might be hard to get through for the squeamish.
Alice is a pretty badass heroine who has potential to be one of my favorite in the genre. She takes a beating, heals herself, and goes back into the fray. I loved how determined she was to help someone else and do so with skill and intelligence. It becomes a bit disconcerting just how much she allows her body to be worn down so much. She blacks out a lot! Perhaps her recklessness will be a plot point in future books? I think Alice's recklessness might be linked to her fascinating past. I kept hoping we'd get more flashbacks to her escape from the cabal. I hope we get more as what we do get gives some interesting insights to Alice's rather determined and stubborn personality.
HEART OF MALICE was a decent start to what looks like a pretty classic urban fantasy series. I loved Alice's backstory and learning how this world works. I look forward to seeing what is in store for Alice in the next book....more
COUGAR BAIT, the second in the Cougarville series expanded on the series' complex and fascinating world with a unique take on shifters that I hadn't come across before. Interesting world-building decently paced plot aside, there were issues of consent that gave a sour tone to what would have been a pretty fun romance story.
With many shifter romances I have a slightly higher tolerance for alpha males who force themselves on women (physically and emotionally) due to the characters being part predatory animal and thus carry the traits of their animals. In COUGAR BAIT my tolerance was stretched almost to its breaking point. Liam comes of as too predatory in his behavior towards Samantha. He stalks her in a way that comes off as creepy. The things he says to her about his stalking of her and their relationship come off as creepy and controlling, not overly protective in a charming yet respectful way. During the first sex scene he essentially coerces her into sex. There is an important plot specific reason for it that makes total sense. But what he says and the way the scene is structured, I felt like Samantha was given no choice. For that matter she is given little choice in any other sex scene.
I don't want to say Samantha didn't have any agency in this story as she does handle herself pretty well at times. Her persistent shouts of not wanting anything to do with shifters or mating fall on deaf ears so many times I didn't really want her to get together with Liam in the end as I kept thinking she'd be miserable. Also, the sheer amount of times she is nearly raped and beaten or forced to do something that she has absolutely no control over did not sit well with me at all.
COUGAR BAIT has a unique shifter mythology and a solidly written plot. Unfortunately, I was put off by issues of consent and agency between Liam and Samantha and Samantha's constant state of peril that led me to not enjoy the book as much as I wanted to....more
Being a collection of short stories, THE SHADOW OMNIBUS was a pretty quick and fun read with five haunting tales of horror and adventure. I was clued in to the fact that this was a collection of short stories by one author and not five after wondering at the similarities of the writing styles and lack of author list. Silly oversight aside the stories in this series were pretty eerie and ranged from a story about urban myths to creepy buildings and steampunk adventures.
In BRIGHT BUTTERFLY there is a battle between old urban legends and new. Maybe I'm showing my age but I was confused about the new urban legends and spent part of this story trying to figure out how many new urban legends there were featured. I thought the author was using three different names for the same legend. Some quick Google searches cleared that up. I enjoyed how the legends continue to live in different people taking on the mantle over the years. This story is pretty gruesome especially considering who the new legends are.
CALL FROM THE CRAVE felt like a classic urban fantasy story featuring a necromancer. The story involving a mob boss and a murderous ghost was pretty fun, graphic, and fast-paced. I liked the main character and how her necromancer powers work. I would actually love to see this as a part of a series as I think there is a lot of potential material here regardless of the finality of the ending.
HOTEL HELL kind of had me thinking of the beginning of Rocky Horror Picture Show with the character approaching a strange house, meeting the weird butler, and asking for a phone to call for help but not getting it. That's where my very random comparison ends. The rest of the story was really spooky and the revel of what was really going on was pretty cool. This was the creepiest of the stories for me.
LOST SKY and ENGINEERED DECEIT are both connected to Amy Braun's Dark Sky series. Both of these were more adventurous steampunk than horror. As the description notes the former is the idea that sparked the series and the latter is a prequel, so there is a lot of set up and world-building. I really liked this world and would like to learn more, which is why this series is now on my ever expanding TBR pile....more
URBAN ENEMIES is a pretty fun romp into the twisted minds of the bad guys from various urban fantasy seriesReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
URBAN ENEMIES is a pretty fun romp into the twisted minds of the bad guys from various urban fantasy series. There were of course some characters who I had no clue about as I didn't read the series they are from. Luckily each story starts off with a general summary of the series the character(s) appear in so there was some idea of what was going on. Most of the stories were of antagonists and anti-heroes and were entertaining stories in their own right. I didn't like all of them but that's not really a big deal when you are dealing with so many stories of vengeance, evil, gore, and sadism!
One of my favorites was Jim Butcher's EVEN HAND, which gets us into the mind of Gentleman Johnny Marcone. It was fun to see someone so utterly human dealing with the magical hi jinks of the Dresden Files. Marcone has a calculating mind and is ruthless even when confronting a being that can destroy him so easily. I'd love to learn more about what makes him tick. While I haven't read Kelley Armstrong's Cainesvile series, I loved getting a taste of the series through the Huntsman, on his search for a hellhound. They way he gets one is super creepy. Kevin Hearne's story sees Loki making a deal with the devil who is so old that he only does things that amuse him. It's sort of a funny story in a dark way and seeing Loki have to jump through some hoops was pretty amusing. In BALANCE by Seanan McGuire, we get to take a journey through the life and mind of a cuckoo incryptid. These monsters are seriously creepy and their philosophy of life and view of humans is down right scary. I loved learning more about how they function as a species and also love that they are fictional characters.
URBAN ENEMIES has so many wonderful stories filled with very evil people. Each story gives you a taste of the mindset of some of the bad guys in your favorite series and some peeks at series you may have not tried or even heard of....more
SEAL WOLF UNDERCOVER is a good read with witty banter between two strong shifters and a plot that evolves iReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
SEAL WOLF UNDERCOVER is a good read with witty banter between two strong shifters and a plot that evolves into something bigger than you think it will be when starting the story. The rhythm of the plot is pretty steady and moves in a typical way you'd expect from a book in the Heart of the Wolf series. I was a bit let down that one of the main romantic pairs wasn't a jaguar considering they featured in the story so much. That would have been awesome but at least we get to see the wolves and jaguars work together to hunt the bad guys in this book.
On the romance front, the relationship between Vaughn and Jillian is a slow burn. It's actually so slow that it kind of took a back seat to the main story many times. I liked them together as theirs is a relationship full of snark and bickering (so you know they are destined to be together). Both Vaughn and Jillian are so super headstrong to the point that I wasn't sure they'd end up together which would have been a pretty cool twist in a paranormal romance.
Unlike the previous Heart of the Wolf books, SEAL WOLF UNDERCOVER wasn't that interesting or exciting to me. Typically the action, story, and romance is pretty solid in these books. I enjoyed it well enough but I just wasn't as drawn to anything here as much as I had been in the other books in this series....more
I mainly decided to read this book because the title, THE LAST DEATH WORM OF THE APOCALYPSE sounded like an awesome name for a death metal band. Upon completion of the book, was not disappointed in my rash decision. There is a ton going on in this story and it would probably be a good idea to read the previous two books which have equally metal sounding titles.
The plot continues with Kelly Driscoll acting as interim manager of Amenity Towers and attempting to stave off the apocalypse. I loved the wackiness of the residents and various complications that involve trying to house monsters in a condominium. While their issues are at times petty, I really did start to sympathize with them at times. My favorite parts involved any part dealing with the death worms. I had a bit of a hard time trying to figure out how big they were considering their owners could ride them. Are they the size of small ponies? Does that really matter when you have fallen angels acting as the condo board, a death worm talent show, and complaints about occupants leaving their molted skin everywhere? No, no it does not.
As a secondary story, Kelly's boyfriend, Af, goes on a pretty crazy road trip with a demon to get back his $5,000 he lost to a guru. Af gets into his own hilarious situations in his story and while I liked what happens with him, I was more interested in Kelly's situation at Amenity Towers. There are also a few fun smaller stories involving residents that are pretty funny and really help to bring the environment of Amenity Towers and its occupants alive.
THE LAST DEATH WORM OF THE APOCALYPSE brings the crazy, zaniness of dealing with a Home Owner's Association up to eleven. I absolutely love books that are just so utterly wacky, and fun yet have a compelling and strong core story-line.
SWEET TEA & SPIRITS is another fun installment of the cozy mystery series, Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries. I liked having a nice quick, light read as a break from some of the pretty heavy emotionally books I've been reading recently. In this story we get Verity trying to deal more directly with the Sugarland society ladies while trying to solve the puzzle of strange happenings in their historical society building involving mannequins and murder There were also a lot of surprising twists and developments in this fast paced plot.
I really enjoyed seeing Verity get comfortable with her ghost seeing/hunting abilities and with Sugarland and its small town qualities which includes the super fast gossip mill. I felt bad for Verity having to deal with so much cattiness from these ladies who were pretty petty especially to someone trying to help figure out why there are strange hauntings and murders happening in the historical society. Luckily, as usual, Verity rises above them and solves the case, with her wonderfully hilarious ghost gangster sidekick and her awesome boyfriend, Ellis. Verity's gangster ghost, Frankie has a pretty funny and even sweet storyline in this book.
With SWEET TEA & SPIRITS, Angie Fox has written another funny and well written story with quirky characters you'll love to root for and even ones you'll love to hate....more
DARK MOON WOLF was a pretty unique premise from the typical wolf shifter urban fantasy/paranormal romance sReview Courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
DARK MOON WOLF was a pretty unique premise from the typical wolf shifter urban fantasy/paranormal romance story. The love interest is not there, and there is already the HEA baby that happens at the end of many of these stories. In fact there is really no romance or person who could eventually become a romantic interest (granted that could still happen later in this series) I enjoyed seeing the way in which Julie is introduced to the shifter world through her baby randomly shifting into a wolf pup. That would be pretty weird to experience-a suprise werewolf in your baby's crib. I found it rather fascinating that the story revolves around loss and discovery instead of Julie finding her place and new love in a shifter town. The discovery part mostly involves a murder mystery which was well done and is full of betrayals, kidnappings, secret agendas, and suspense.
I love seeing a new angle on werewolf mythology and DARK MOON WOLF presents a kind of complex system of wolf powers based on the phases of the moon. The wolves were shockingly welcoming to Julie, a human who randomly shows up with a kid, looking for the father. The baby could have very well be kidnapped by Julie as a part of the same evil plot that was causing werewolves to go missing in this story. They didn't know. Either way, I enjoyed meeting the Greybull pack and learning more about their lives.
DARK MOON WOLF was a fun, unique take on werewolf mythology and an interesting murder mystery with some exciting twists and turns. The ending could make the story work as a one off story but I can see how more books could be added as there is enough story and character development to stretch it out to a series. I am interested to see where this series goes from here.
MAGICK & MAYHEM is a nice little cozy mystery with a sight supernatural twist. This was a fairly quick read wiCourtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
MAGICK & MAYHEM is a nice little cozy mystery with a sight supernatural twist. This was a fairly quick read with a pretty basic murder mystery and while I enjoyed reading it, there were a few smallish issues I had. The magic aspect didn't seem to connect to the mystery. Magic wasn't needed to do the investigation really; the victim wasn't killed by magic, and the killer wasn't magical in any way.
On the character front, Kailyn is a witch who owns a magic shop and has two ghost relatives (mom and aunt) who hand around with a living witch aunt who works next door. I liked Kailyn's aunt Tilly who is quirky and fun. Her cat Sashkatu is pretty cool too and has a neat personality. Kailyn's ghost mom and aunt bickered a bit to much for my liking.
We see some small spells and potions created for customers but magic is really not necessary to the plot. What we do get is a random appearance by Merlin (yes that one) who hangs around acting like a clueless old guy who can't seem to follow simple directions. He sticks around and gets up to some amusing hi jinks throughout the book. There are some story threads that don't really reach a satisfying conclusion like Kailyn's spell to get a familiar. I'm assuming it's Merlin since he popped up right after she does the spell but it's not made clear and the search for a familiar is dropped.
Ignoring the issues on the magic front the murder mystery was interesting enough for me to stick with to the end. You get your typical quirky small town cast of characters and a decent plot twist of who the murderer is at the end of the story. I'd like to get some more fleshing out of the characters and some more possibly magic-based mysteries in the rest of the series....more
WOLF HUNT is high on suspense and action with a wonderfully steamy romance which makes it yet another excelReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
WOLF HUNT is high on suspense and action with a wonderfully steamy romance which makes it yet another excellent installment of this series. I'm a fan of suspense, so I was pretty okay with the romance taking a back seat to the cool, intense, and dangerous plot revolving around a certain aspect of werewolf mythology. This by no way means that the romance isn't integral to the plot or incredibly sweet and sexy. It's just worked into the story more so than the romances were in the previous books.
I love the ever expanding werewolf mythology of this series. In each book we get yet more revelations as to just what is going on in the growing werewolf community and how werewolves 'work' in this world. Its a unique take on the mythology and I love that we are sort of learning about it with the rest of the SWAT team. With WOLF HUNT we get a change of scenery as the SWAT team goes to New Orleans which helped give a different feel to the book compared to the previous Dallas/Texas-based books. I am still bit miffed that they have been able to keep the 'secret werewolf task force' thing so undercover for such a long time.
On the romance front, I liked how Remy and Triana skip the insta-love trope by having them know each other from high school. I enjoy that in this series they give a good reason for the whole 'fated mates' trope or as they call it finding "The One". They end up together because they actually work well together and have an emotional/intellectual connection beyond raw passion. The way their romance builds from a casual fling into something more serious is very well done and made for some pretty steamy moments. Also, they are super awesome together, be it in the quiet romantic moments or the hectic and dangerous ones.
At the end of the book we get a revelation as to why so many people in such a close proximity are finding "The One". Its neat that the author actually gives a reason for basically all of the Dallas SWAT team pairing up so quickly and it isn't merely because this is a romance series and that's just how it goes. There seems to be some sort of big revelation/show-down coming up and I am on board with whatever comes up next in this series....more
MUDDY WATERS is set in a world where the boundaries between world have been taken down or thinned and an inReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
MUDDY WATERS is set in a world where the boundaries between world have been taken down or thinned and an influx of supernaturals have come creating new rules, prejudices, and realities that humans and "Others" have to live with. A lot is going on in this story as it seems this new reality is pretty new as people are still working out the kinks of how to live with people who have magic powers and which law enforcement agency has jurisdiction over what and who. The focus of the story is on a murder mystery that crosses worlds; ours and faerie or as the book calls it, Otherwhere.
Tessa Reddick is a pretty standard smart, underdog sort of urban fantasy heroine with a compelling backstory, just coming out of jail for a crime she didn't commit. Her partner Qyll is kind of interesting and I'd like to know more about his life as an elf in the Otherwhere. Along with Tessa and Qyll, most of the characters were not really fleshed out enough for me to get a true sense of who they are. Perhaps the fleshing out will occur in later books because I'd really like to get to know them better.
I was confused about the timeline of the story. There seemed to be random time jumps that had me going back pages to see if I missed something. Tessa gets out of jail, sets up her business, and then there is a very unclear idea of just how long she has been out until she starts working with the FBI. Has it been a week for her to get settled? Was she working for a few months on small jobs for the FBI before the central murder mystery starts? I don't know. I had the same issue with following the murders. There is one Tessa is doing on her own and one with the FBI. They sort of relate but it was hard to follow and I kept getting confused who was a part of which murder.
Basically, I enjoyed MUDDY WATERS enough to want to see where it goes in future books, but had issues with timing/pacing and fleshing out the characters....more
SOULJACKER is a fun and at times dark paranormal romance novel. Obviously since the main character is a sucReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
SOULJACKER is a fun and at times dark paranormal romance novel. Obviously since the main character is a succubus, this book has a lot of sex since Lily needs it to survive. While there is a burgeoning romance that is pretty steamy I really enjoyed the thriller aspect of the story with the hunt for an extra creepy vampire serial killer who is after basically all of the main characters you get to know and grow somewhat attached to. The world building surrounding this plot is pretty neat and the politics/realities of magical beings and humans is realistic (or as realistic as it can be...). I really enjoyed the fae world and would love to read more about this aspect in future books.
At first I was confused as to what was going on with the story as they kept referring to a character and past events linked to the serial killings so much that I kept checking if I was on the first book in the series or not. Eventually the full flashback of just what was going on were revealed and everything made sense. While reading SOULJACKER I was a bit annoyed at this but in the end I kind of appreciated how the reveals and story unfolded. It was a unique way of unraveling information.
SOULJACKER has plenty of tense action and thrilling moments that will keep you wanting to turn the page faster to see what happens next. I enjoyed learning more about Lily and the major change in her life that she goes through in SOULJACKER has me curious enought to want to see what happens in the next book in this series.
sexual content: multiple graphic sex scenes...more