I wasn't sold on the direction the love thread was taking, but after listening to this installment, I'm ALL IN. Same goes for the Knights; their holieI wasn't sold on the direction the love thread was taking, but after listening to this installment, I'm ALL IN. Same goes for the Knights; their holier-than-thou attitude would have tested my patience eventually, however in DEATH MASKS they demonstrate that they aren't 100% black or white either. The Archive was some freaky deaky sh*t which leads me to believe that Butcher has only dipped his big toe in this universe's scope. The punches kept on coming in book 5, and with so many secondary plots intertwining, the story left me reeling in the best kind of way. I don't know if I'll be able to focus on anything else until BLOOD RITES is on my iPhone, locked & loaded. Goodbye weekend! ~ 4.5 stars...more
Shannon Mayer brings her A-game in BLOOD OF A PHOENIX by spinning an exciting story full of unexpected twists, and dropping eReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
Shannon Mayer brings her A-game in BLOOD OF A PHOENIX by spinning an exciting story full of unexpected twists, and dropping enough bread crumbs about this trilogy’s finale to leave readers clamouring for an encore. The only negative thing that I have to say about this installment is that at times it seemed like Phoenix just knew or got a feeling about what she should do in a particular situation, but her intuitiveness was eventually explained, so I can’t even count this as a legitimate critique. This book was glorious!
In this title we revisit her son, Bear’s, death, which was one of the harder pills to swallow in FURY OF A PHOENIX due to the visceral emotions that it evoked in me as a new mom, and I was grateful for the opportunity. Mayer didn’t overdo it where Eleanor, Dinah & Linx were concerned either, and that was another worry of mine that was laid to rest. As a reviewer, I occasionally feel like an author took my opinions to heart, and this is one of those instances. Probably not the case, however I do like seeing improvement in the writing.
Simon & Noah’s motives continue to be murky at best, and I found myself oddly attracted to Killian, the Irish gangster. He’s kind of a male version of the heroine, but with a few obvious differences. I wouldn’t mind it if he and Nix ended up together, although not a lot time has elapsed since her husband’s death in the first novel, so at this point a relationship might be a little bit premature. I’d settle for a quick romp to feed my need for romance, and to provide a brief respite from all the violence and death.
It’s killing me not to be able to say more about Phoenix’s guns, Romano’s deal with the devil, and the revelation about the protagonist’s bloodline, so I’ll finish by talking about how much I love the dog instead. Abe is a big Malinois trained as a farm dog and protector, is one of the finest secondary characters that this series has to offer, and he never even says a word! His body language whenever a command is given speaks volumes, and the way in which he fiercely protects his human tugged at my heartstrings in the best kind of way.
BLOOD OF A PHOENIX hit all the right notes that a sequel should....more
After three months of back-to-back cat shifter books, you’d think that I’d be sick of Felicity Heaton’s kitties, but au contrReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
After three months of back-to-back cat shifter books, you’d think that I’d be sick of Felicity Heaton’s kitties, but au contraire! TREASURED BY A TIGER was a great way to wrap-up the sibling HEAs, although I’m not ruling out the possibility of a fourth with Byron. This story takes us back to Hell which just so happens to be my preferred setting in the ETERNAL MATES universe, and when you pair that with a feisty female lead and a humble hero, I couldn’t resist falling for this author’s seductive characters and writing all over again!
Lyra & Grey have a serendipitous meeting in the most unlikely of places: a slavers auction in the fiery pit. He’s unable to resist crashing the party to put an end to a distasteful practice, and she’s too injured to flee, so she must put her faith in a male even though it was one of ’em that’s to blame for her current predicament. Neither member of this duo experienced insta-love however, there was definitely insta-lust! It’s tough constantly finding new ways of introducing fated couples, and yet Heaton seemingly does it with ease.
I enjoyed this novel’s spin on the tiger protagonist; he’s a virgin with self-esteem problems due to being treated differently by his pride because of the colour of his fur. Add to that the heroine’s horrible history with male hellcats, and you’re left with a pretty big elephant in the room. Watching Lyra & Grey work on overcoming their hang-ups in order to embrace their destiny as Eternal Mates was quite remarkable, and they do it while facing off against everything that Hell throws at them.
Fuery’s tale is due out later this year if I’m not mistaken, and I’m amped for another mad elf installment, but Brink and to a lesser extent, Aryanna, make appearances towards the end, and now I’m really curious about their story. The black dragon seems to be closely tied to Archangel, and maybe even the reason why his species has been trapped in darkness for millennia. Sounds like we might be making major headway in this series’ main plot arc in the not so distant future. YAY!
TREASURED BY A TIGER concludes the feline trifecta however, the fun continues later on in 2017....more
Felicity Heaton’s ETERNAL MATES series tends to return to characters whom we’ve encountered along the way which is a brillianReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
Felicity Heaton’s ETERNAL MATES series tends to return to characters whom we’ve encountered along the way which is a brilliant strategy because no matter how fleeting their appearance was in a previous installment, readers know that every dog cat has its day. TAMED BY A TIGER was the perfect example of this with Talon’s sister front-and-center, and plenty of other kitty shifters along for the ride.
This book touches base with Cavanaugh’s pride following his abdication to August as alpha. I liked seeing how his cousin was faring in his new leadership role, and his response when confronted with a similar dilemma to the one that had caused his predecessor to step down. He’s burdened by his responsibilities, seeks advice at Underworld, and the protagonist’s approach to solving his predicament is very different than his pridemate’s.
I wasn’t sure how Maya would make out as this novel’s female lead because out of all the tigers that were introduced in the earlier volume, she stood out the least in my eyes. But, her sparring match with August, and her love-him-and-leave-him attitude won me over after the first one hundred pages. She may have been overshadowed by her brothers for most of her life however, when it was time to step up, she did so without hesitation.
Maya actually showing up for her arranged marriage came as a bit of a surprise. I’d thought that August would have thrown a wrench into that plan much sooner, although admittedly, his dramatic entrance to snatch her from Pyotr’s arms on her wedding day ratcheted up the entertainment value tenfold. I was also very excited to learn that the author granted my wish—Grey will be headlining in the next title scheduled for September!
If you need to give in to love, TAMED BY A TIGER is not a bad way to go!...more
After a lot of arm twisting by fellow readers, getting hooked on Cole’s writing via THE ARCANA CHRONILES, and listening to aReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
After a lot of arm twisting by fellow readers, getting hooked on Cole’s writing via THE ARCANA CHRONILES, and listening to a sample of Robert Petkoff’s orgasm worthy narration; I finally caved and committed myself to yet another series addiction. I enjoy Paranormal Romance, although somewhat sparingly because action is my one-and-only true love. Ok, that’s not entirely accurate, werewolves are but the two go hand-in-hand, and this audiobook has both AND toe curling hooks ups, so really A HUNGER LIKE NO OTHER was win / win / WIN!
You know an author is truly adept when she manages to take two elements that rank fairly low on your list of awesome, and makes you love them. I strongly dislike immortal virgin heroines because honestly, how can one live for centuries and NEVER get it on? Granted, Emmaline hasn’t hit the 100 year mark, however Cole spun her innocence in such a way that even I was completely sold. And secondly, Valkyries have become more common in Paranormal than vampires and the female protagonist just so happens to be a mix of the two, and yet I couldn’t have cared less because her character was so well developed that I saw her as a person rather than just the sum on her preternatural parts.
Lachlain was barbaric, offensive, and presumptuous; he whisked unwitting little Emma away to his Scottish castle, tried to force himself on her, and strong-arm her into becoming his werewolf queen—I loved it! The chemistry between them was downright savage. MacRieve hates himself for being unable to resist his mortal enemy, Troy is repulsed by his Lykae nature, and yet they are inexplicably drawn to each other like moths to a flame. Their relationship and the mind blowing romp that followed were indeed show stoppers, however the praiseworthy world-building surrounding the Lore wasn’t too far behind. The plot wasn’t exactly cutting-edge, but enough secondary threads were brought in to keep IMMORTALS AFTER DARK going for a good long while.
As much as I enjoy Cole’s writing style, it was Robert Petkoff’s come-hither brogue that made thirteen+ IAD installments seem like a walk in the park. Yes, the number of pages involved is intimidating, but when you convert them into hours upon hours of listening ecstasy, the only conceivable answer becomes “Where do I sign-up?” His female voices were surprisingly genuine, and there’s no denying the sex appeal of his Scottish accents. Lachlain as a character was… abrasive, however Petkoff’s rendition made him ridiculously irresistible. Now I finally understand why all of my reviewer peers are fawning over this narrator; he truly is in a league all of his own.
A HUNGER LIKE NO OTHER made me want to give real life the middle finger, and get drunk on IAD until I overdosed. ~4.5 stars...more
It’s been years since I’ve read something by Connie Suttle which is a real shame because she’s an incredibly talented author,Reviewed by: Rabid Reads.
It’s been years since I’ve read something by Connie Suttle which is a real shame because she’s an incredibly talented author, and THE ROSE MARK reminded me of that fact. Neither teething baby nor attention deprived husband could tear me away from this book! I shudder to think that I almost passed on it in favour of staying true to my existing TBR pile. The blurb comes across as a sexist, male dominated society with a heroine who’s screwed from birth, and yes, that’s how Sherra’s tale begins, but the 400 pages that follow turn tragedy into triumph.
This novel is written in alternating POVs, mostly rotating between the protagonist and her warrior, Kerok, with the occasional deviation whenever another character needs to weigh-in. All the chapters are clearly labelled, so you always know who’s speaking. I loved the way that this title was penned because the male / female perspectives are very different, and Suttle’s narrative for both was well executed which is a rare find because try as they may, most authors have difficulty with the opposite sex’s thought processes.
The world-building was rich, and intricate without the need for a lengthy lexicon like so many other Fantasy universes, although there is a brief list of the cast and places at the end for clarity’s sake. I really enjoyed how we got to follow Sherra’s journey from trainee to escort; instead of skipping straight to the trenches, readers are taken through their paces right alongside the Black Roses. It allowed for a more thorough understanding of the magic and techniques used, and of the driving forces behind the war.
Sherra is an amazing character, and her relationship with Kerok is very complex. The hero’s loyalties are split between the army, the crown, Grae and his escort, so he’s walking a paper-thin line. The protagonist has more-or-less accepted her fate, but thanks to a bout of ingenuity and a little outside help, her destiny is no longer a foregone conclusion. Foreshadowing and whispers are peppered throughout the story, and the last pages confirmed a few of my suspicions. My family better buckle-down as there’s another binge read in my future!
THE ROSE MARK’s deceptively simple cover hides a truly spectacular piece of fiction....more
PAMELA effortlessly blended the heroine’s past and future by having her face old ghosts during a quest to do the impossible—bReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
PAMELA effortlessly blended the heroine’s past and future by having her face old ghosts during a quest to do the impossible—bring a loved one back from the dead. At first glance, Pam’s mission seemed straightforward, but like most of Shannon Mayer’s books, appearances can be deceiving. Rylee’s actions in BLOOD OF THE LOST were just the beginning. A bigger evil lurks in the shadows, and to stop it we’re going to need all hands on deck.
The previous installments in these epilogues were exactly that, entertaining after stories that allowed fans to check-in with their favourite characters however, as the leads of the original series, the author couldn’t expand on Rylee and Liam overly much. Pamela, on the other hand, was still a mostly untapped sidekick, so I really enjoyed learning what drives her, and watching her step out of the role of follower and into the one of protagonist.
There is some crossover with a couple of scenes from Mayer’s ELEMENTAL novels, Raven’s a reoccurring presence as are some of the locales, and Pam’s powers stem from that universe as well, thus I would recommend reading the former beforehand. A couple of fresh personages made their debuts such as Oka & Ajax, and I was pleased with the way Mayer went about integrating them because that’s been a gripe of mine in the past—too many new faces, too fast.
This title packed an emotional punch that only true RILEY ADAMSON connoisseurs can appreciate, and seeing how this is a continuation of that story line, greenhorns have their work cut out for them. But, trust me, the pilgrimage is definitely worthwhile. The plots of the other two volumes were settled after one go however, the ending of this book was inconclusive, so either Pam is getting another installment or the resurrected loved one is up next.
PAMELA gives Rylee and Lark a run for their money!...more
THE EYE OF HORUS ~ 4 Stars This is a campfire tale narrated by Attitus to Granuaile and Oberon, but it predates the IRON DRUIDReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
THE EYE OF HORUS ~ 4 Stars This is a campfire tale narrated by Attitus to Granuaile and Oberon, but it predates the IRON DRUID CHRONICLES, so Luke Daniels adopted an old Irish accent for the dialogue which was almost as fun to listen to as Owen's. Readers discover in part how the protagonist became the Iron Druid which is a tidbit that's mostly glossed over in the full-length books, thus I really enjoyed unraveling that mystery, plus the usual Siodhachan takes on an impossible task for a God in exchange for a future favour plot line.
GODDESS AT THE CROSSROADS ~ 3.5 Stars This one was a barrel of laughs! The hero and William Shakespeare go witch hunting, and find more than they bargained for. O’Sullivan is pretending to be a French nobleman, so that he can "misunderstand" questions that he doesn't want to answer, and the Bard is drunk for most of this short which makes them quite the pair. Turns out that we can credit our favourite Druid for a key piece of poetry in MacBeth! GODDESS AT THE CROSSROADS had nothing to do with the main story arc however, it was entertaining.
THE DEMON BARKER OF WHEAT STREET ~ 3 Stars I liked this segment the least, probably because it revolved around Granuaile. It was a play on Heaven & Hell, but carnival-style. The Irish Wolfhound stole the show at certain points, and the narrative was a bit darker than what we're used to with a pretty high body count. Although, it did serve as a lesson for the female lead that being a Druid isn't all roses and fairy dust, it's ghouls and reapers too.
GOLD DUST DRUID ~ 4.5 Stars Attitus shares another tale from his past however, Oberon chimes-in throughout the account with star ratings which were freaking hilarious. His fearless leader doesn't even get to finish his first sentence before the pooch gives him 1-star because "many books suffer the same fate"—a shot at SCOURGED's Goodreads page? Luke Daniels had to pull-out his Italian and English accents for this Wild West short, and Kevin Hearne kept me happy with little gems such as the looming french fry-magedon. Haha!
THE BOGEYMAN OF BOORA BOG ~ 4.5 Stars Owen regales Greta with the story about how he met Siodhachan, and became his mentor. This morsel was fairly disturbing as well but, it takes place before the near extinction of Druids, so we do get to touch base with another of Gaia's recruits. The Morrígan pops-in, and does a bit of foreshadowing about Time Isle, and we learn that the events from THE BOGEYMAN OF BOORA BOG are responsible for the archdruid teaching his apprentice that it's ok to bend or even break the rules when necessary.
CUDDLE DUNGEON ~ 5 Stars We haven't seen much of Perun, the Slavic God of Thunder, since HAMMERED which is a shame because he's a real hoot! He and Flidais are looking to spice-up their love life, so they visit an S&M dungeon where she assumes the role of dom. What starts off on a light note quickly turns sour, and their relationship takes a turn for the worse. I have a feeling that their drama may continue to play-out in the final installment, or that might just be me hoping that Kevin Hearne will humour fans.
BLOOD PUDDING ~ 4 Stars Granuaile's POV is font-and-center again which would normally have me strongly considering hitting fast forward, however she actually wasn't too bad in this short. We catch-up with her in Poland which could have almost been her intro scene at Rúla Búla. Leif has tasked her with clearing out a vampire nest with a group of mercenaries, and some amusing flirting ensues. I wish that we got to see this side of her character more often because then I wouldn't cringe every time she opens her mouth.
HAUNTED DEVILS ~ 4.5 Stars The Elementals don't often ask the Druids to heal an entire species of animals, so when the call goes out, both Atticus & Owen answer. Circumstances force Greta & O’Sullivan to collaborate, and the problem in Tasmania provides a glimpse of things to come once Loki starts his end game. This tale was also an eye-opener for the archdruid in that he realizes that his pupil is the bridge between the old world and the new, and he acknowledges that he's proud—so many feels!
THE END OF IDYLLS ~ 5 Stars The protagonist has mentioned his first companion a couple of times in passing throughout this series, and in THE END OF IDYLLS Siodhachan tells Oberon what happened to him, and why it took him so long to open his heart to another. The Morrígan announces the onset of Ragnorok, and sets the tone for the last novel. Luke Daniels adds yet another voice to his arsenal, and I can't tell you how psyched I am to listen to his narration of the finale! *sniff*...more
More and more romance has been making its way into Urban Fantasy turning it into a lesser version of itself. Chelsea Mueller gReviewed by: Rabid Reads
More and more romance has been making its way into Urban Fantasy turning it into a lesser version of itself. Chelsea Mueller grabbed the wheel, and steered the genre back into the correct lane with BORROWED SOULS. Callie & Derek do form a connection however, the focus remained on the bold, gritty roots that make this branch of Speculative Fiction so compelling. This author's years of experience as a book reviewer were put to good use in her writing debut.
Correlations can be drawn between this universe, and Stacia Kane's DOWNSIDE GHOSTS with the nature of the story line, the heroine's susceptible personality, and the flawed protector. This observation isn't meant as a critique, but rather a compliment because I happen to really enjoy the aforementioned series, and similarities aside, this title distinguished itself with its inventive premise and well-built characters. Plus, Mueller is just getting started!
Soul magic was loosely explained however, I still have so many questions like... Where does the Charmer get his wares? Why was he able to do something to Delgado that didn't work on Derek? What happens after the six-month self-life has elapsed? Needless to say, the author has a lot of world-building left to do, and I will DEFINITELY be snatching up the next installment. Theories aside, the plot was provocative, and I was happy with the direction that things seem to be taking.
I instantly connected with Callie; she's barely making ends meet, and is being taken advantage of by her family, but deep down she's a good person. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and although she's not proud of her actions, they were relatable because everyone's found themselves stretched to their breaking point for a loved one. I admired her spunk and tenacity, and look forward to watching her adapt to her new circumstances including her relationship with Derek.
You should spend your hard-earned money on BORROWED SOULS this week! Available for pre-order....more
This was a great little side tangent to the regular series, and offered a more iReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
*** CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM PREVIOUS BOOKS ***
This was a great little side tangent to the regular series, and offered a more intimate glimpse into Merit & Ethan's romantic life than what we tend to get in the full-length books. PHANTOM KISS opens with Meredith throwing the happy couple a bridal shower which was a hoot because 1- We all know how much the Sentinel loves shindigs—one of the reasons why Sullivan appointed her as the House's social chair—haha! And, 2- Some of her uppity family is still peeved about her being a vampire. So, naturally, drama-drama-drama!
The story then takes on a heavier tone with its ghost plot line, and the potential for the final big bad to make an appearance. I enjoyed the historical aspects of this short; Chloe Neill is a pro at incorporating all things Chicago into her novels, and in this one we get some of Capone & O'Banion's henchmen engaged in a ghostly turf war. Ok, kinda, not really, but if I told you who's at the heart of this mystery I'd be giving away the punchline. Annabelle, the necromancer, was also in attendance, so I was happy to see her again, and the CPAN (Chicago Paranormal Action Network) folks were stereotypical however, they did force Cadogan House's Master to give Luc permission to add some new gadgets to his arsenal which was cute.
PHANTOM KISS was one of the better novellas that I've read in recent months. It included most of the characters that CHICAGOLAND VAMPIRES fans just can't get enough of, didn't contain anything vital to make it a one-click must, but it was a value add that few will want to miss, and of course, the sneak peek at the last installment will ensure that you are counting down the days until April 25th if you haven't started doing so already. ~4.5 Stars...more
It feels like I read SHE-WOLF and CRANBERRY BLOOD eons ago, and for someone who loves books as much as I do, especially thoseReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
It feels like I read SHE-WOLF and CRANBERRY BLOOD eons ago, and for someone who loves books as much as I do, especially those of the werewolf persuasion, three years might as well be three decades because that’s how long it’s been (in blogger time) since the last installment in Elizabeth Morgan’s BLOOD series. So, when a little bird told me that the release of BLOOD SECRETS was imminent I was like it’s on like Donkey Kong!
Given the large gap between titles, I probably should have revisited the prequel and the first novel, and if you’re a newcomer to Heather and Brendan’s story I definitely recommend that you do precisely that, but I still made out ok in spite of ignoring my own advice. The blurb, and the author’s meticulous writing style were invaluable as were my earlier reviews. By the end of this volume it was as though I’d binged on the lot of them in one sitting.
Ryan’s grandmother has been leading Heather on one heck of a treasure hunt, and the prize is killing Marko, the vampire who’s plagued their family for generations. Except, the scheme is bigger than anyone ever imagined, and Morgan finally gives us the whole loaf instead of more torturous breadcrumbs, although those do continue for a time too. The bird’s-eye view exposed a myriad of facets, and the sum of all the threads was absolutely jaw-dropping.
The heroine had to embrace her true nature in order to stand a fighting chance against her archenemy which brought with it a number of changes to her character including her relationship with Brendan. I was happy with all of these developments because they were a natural progression to the plot, and could potentially have a huge impact on the outcome on the Ryans’ lifelong blood feud. However, just when things were getting really good… cliffhanger!
BLOOD SECRETS was a testament to Elizabeth Morgan’s ability to get back on the horse years later, and still win the race....more
Opposites attract, and no two beings have been clashing for all of eternity like angels & demons, so when the Fifth CommaReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
Opposites attract, and no two beings have been clashing for all of eternity like angels & demons, so when the Fifth Commander of the Echelon (Rey) and Asteria took centre stage I knew that sparks (and swords) were going to fly. You won’t feel gypped by this novella because AWAKENED BY A DEMONESS had several momentous scenes, four sexcapades, a divine story, and a happy ending that’ll make you believe in ETERNAL MATES.
This book opened with a one-on-one between our heroine and the Devil himself which ensured my full attention from the onset. The ultimate big bad has a commanding presence, and when you’re on his shitlist, you have good reason to shake in your boots which is why Asteria’s predicament gave me chills! The closing chapters were equally rousing when the couple is faced with a difficult choice: repent her sins or fall from grace?
The plot was really well crafted considering the number of pages that the author had to work with. The “mission” that’s mentioned in the blurb seemed pretty apparent, but the reality ended up being more than I could have ever surmised. Obviously the usual good vs evil was an on-going theme throughout however, its direction was utterly unique, and the holier-than-thou attitude that so often plagues angel tiles was absent.
Asteria and Rey’s relationship was complicated from the start; they’re after the same half-breed, are from opposing circles with ingrained kill on sight instincts, and yet they are strangely drawn to one another. I loved the conflicting girls just want to have fun and dude has a stick up his butt viewpoints. It made the dialogue extra saucy, and caused each love scene to be steered by a different emotion which kept things fresh.
It’s still full steam ahead for Felicity Heaton’s ETERNAL MATES series, with a killer tenth installment! ~ 4.5 Stars...more
ROOTBOUND’s blurb mentions Lark’s “banishment” and even though it’s not critical that the novella, ELEMENTALLY PRICELESS, beReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
ROOTBOUND’s blurb mentions Lark’s “banishment” and even though it’s not critical that the novella, ELEMENTALLY PRICELESS, be read before this next installment, it does help to set the tone. Out of the four locales, I found that the Eyrie didn’t get its due, as such I was very happy that this plot had the protagonist retracing her previous steps because it made up for WINDBURN’s shortcomings, and also advanced the series’ story arc wonderfully which means that book 5 is now tied for first place for my favourite ELEMENTAL novel.
While definitely not the focal point, there’s been an on-going love triangle between Lark, Cactus and Ash; however that finally gets laid to rest in this latest addition. That’s not to say that Shannon Mayer tied the romance up in a neat bow because that actually couldn’t be farther from the truth, but the heroine has picked a team, and that’s half of the battle in my option. We’re still left hanging as to the fate of the winning candidate. Nevertheless, I was satisfied with how the author settled the other suitor’s thread.
A lot of twists involving a surprising amount of characters get tossed our way in this volume. Most of them are kind of spoiler-y, thus I’m going to abstain from going into too much detail. Yet, I will go so far as to add that someone important in Lark’s inner circle kicks the bucket while as it appears as though the protagonist (and readers) may have been misled with regards to the fate of another key person who had a big influence on her life’s course. What does it all mean? I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned for the next installment!
Peta and the heroine’s relationship was put to the test in this book, and I loved not only seeing how far they’ve come, but also watching them prevail over this latest obstacle. Shazer really proved his worth this time around, and I liked the way that he linked up with the main story line. I have a feeling that his loyalty may be challenged next, and it’ll be interesting to see if he fares as well as Lark’s familiar did. The most shocking aspect of this novel was the storyline involving the mother goddess—I absolutely did NOT see that one coming.
ROOTBOUND will leave you screaming at Shannon Mayer to write faster! ~ 4.5 Stars...more
Up until this point, Felicity Heaton’s ETERNAL MATES series has been all about her characters “finding” their one-true-pairinReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
Up until this point, Felicity Heaton’s ETERNAL MATES series has been all about her characters “finding” their one-true-pairing, but HAUNTED BY THE KING OF DEATH approached that goal a bit differently by featuring an already bonded couple that wants absolutely nothing to do with each other. Fate of course has other plans, and Grave & Isla are forced to work together or face deadly consequences.
Having not read the six VAMPIRE EROTIC THEATRE volumes, I wasn’t able to fully appreciate the cameo appearances however, it took me very little time to recognize the merits of the Vampirerotique walk-ons, and in doing so I added another stack of this author’s titles to my TBR pile. One secondary in particular caught my attention, and after researching his book it became apparent that I have my work cut out for me because his is the last VET installment. Such hardship! ;)
Grave Van der Garde is probably my second favourite protagonist after Bleu, and I loathe owning up to this, but I actually enjoyed his story more than POSSESSED BY A DARK PRINCE. Heroes with a chip on their shoulder make my girlie bits hum, and Heaton outdid herself with her latest vampire lead. As the head of Hell’s most renowned mercenary guild, and sporting the ultimate scorned lover tale, Grave is the undisputed badass of the EM world (and my heart).
Many authors use misunderstandings as a crutch to create drama, and in this duo’s case a whopper of a mix-up occurred, yet Grave & Isla’s situation is constructed in such a way that not only is it the driving force behind the plot line, but with over a century of history, it’s completely plausible. Their issues could not have been resolved by a simple conversation, so I never felt frustrated by communication hurdles nor the urge to smack them for ignoring the obvious.
Good things come to those who wait, even if you’re HAUNTED BY THE KING OF DEATH....more
CITY OF LIGHT rekindled my love affair with Keri Arthur, and even though WINTER HALO didn’t leave me in awe like book 1, it wReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
CITY OF LIGHT rekindled my love affair with Keri Arthur, and even though WINTER HALO didn’t leave me in awe like book 1, it was on the cusp of being 5-stars. Saving Central’s children is still Tiger’s priority only now things have gotten a lot more complicated because the enemy knows who she is, and what she can do. The ante’s been raised, as have her feelings for Jonas. The OUTCAST series is heating up in more ways than one!
Having already established the world in the previous installment, the attention shifted to the characters which couldn’t have come at a better time because the secondaries were what I’d felt the most unsure of at the end of the last novel. I wouldn’t go so far as to call Nuri and Jonas allies yet, but we do gain some clarity on their cause, and on them as individuals. And, that left me on improved terms with them going into the next volume.
The plot didn’t revolve around the children as much as I’d expected, although some headway was made in that area as well. What’s been going on behind closed doors at the pharmaceutical company run by Sal’s partners was at the forefront however, given that the kids are being experimented on, there were quite a few parallels between the two threads. The events leading up to the resolution were straightforward as far as Urban Fantasy story lines go.
Tig made good use of all her talents as a déchet, but the author zoomed-in on her ability with ghosts which allowed readers to connect with Bear & Cat on a deeper level. These two little specters are adorable! Jonas seems to be ready to acknowledge his attraction to the heroine however, these two still have a long way to go if they want to have some semblance of a romantic relationship. The slow burn is a nice change of pace from this author’s usual M.O.
WINTER HALO was another grand slam by Keri Arthur! ~ 4.5 Stars...more
It’s been 9 books since Gin Blanco’s last vacation, and we all know how THAT turned out! I loved the old West theme behind UNReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
It’s been 9 books since Gin Blanco’s last vacation, and we all know how THAT turned out! I loved the old West theme behind UNRAVELED, the continuation of Deirdre’s plot line from the previous installment, and how Fletcher Lane’s legacy still lives on. Even though I couldn’t resist the lure of an advanced review copy, I’ll probably purchase the audio because Lauren Fortgang’s twang + cowboys = a match made in heaven.
Jennifer Estep has attempted to end this series on several occasions, and yet fans keep demanding more, so once again she’s put to the test by having to craft a villain that makes Mab Monroe, Salina Dubois, Harley Grimes, and M. M. Monroe look like kittens. Add to that the challenge of creating an antagonist with long-term nemesis potential, and a deep rooted history of animosity with the heroine. Presenting… The Circle!
As the name suggests, the Spider has a group of new foes to contend with, and in this novel readers get their first real taste of Hugh Tucker. He spent most of his time in the shadows pulling Brody & Roxy’s strings, but it made for a disguise-wearing, gun-slinging, theme-park-showdown of a good time. There was a treasure hunt for Sweet Sally Sue’s jewels, a safety deposit box mystery to solve, and Gin got her face on her very own wanted poster.
This title also branched out a bit from the standard ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN cast; Blanco, Owen, Bria, & Finn were the main characters, however Silvio, Phillip, & Lorelei made the trip to Bullet Pointe as well as backup which was a nice change of pace from the usual secondaries. They picked up another ally along the way too in the form of Ira, the ex resort manager turned disgruntled employee whom I thoroughly enjoyed.
UNRAVELED was another notch in Jennifer Estep’s belt of writing excellence! ~ 4.5 Stars...more
The ALPHA GIRL series began to chart a different course after Tessa & Dastien’s story was finalized in the previous instaReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
The ALPHA GIRL series began to chart a different course after Tessa & Dastien’s story was finalized in the previous installment with a brief interlude for Claudia & Lucas’s HEA in book 4. I thought that it was odd that one couple got four novels vs. the other duos that only got one, and worried that fewer volumes would result in less polished characters. SHATTERED PACK and Aileen Erin proved that sometimes less really is more.
I was happy that this title brought with it a return to this author’s werewolves because as much as I enjoy her witches and fey, my heart lies with her shifters. Meredith was recently cured of a curse that prevented her from transforming, so I did have some concerns that this installment wouldn’t be Alpha enough for me. That unease was swiftly put to bed when Molloney walked the walk, and talked the talk with Donovan’s weres.
Cosette played a small role in this book however, she definitely made it count. We learn quite a whooper about her, mind you it was something that I’d already suspected, and even though she’s forced to take a back seat since the Courts are all in a tizzy over the wolves’ latest slip up, she covertly saved Meredith’s bacon. The pack politics were interesting enough, but they still didn’t hold a candle to the fey.
The ex-lover plot line has never been high on my fun-to-read list however, Vivian did bring new meaning to the crazy ex-girlfriend cliché. There were many factors at work that were causing the instability with the Irish werewolves, and I was surprised by how much I liked solving the puzzle. Friends turn into foes, nothing is as it seems, and Donovan must make some tough decisions that he’s been avoiding for far too long.
SHATTERED PACK was well worth the year and a half wait between novels....more
All of the books in Paige Tyler’s SWAT series have been über edgy because of the characters’ high risk jobs, but as an explosReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
All of the books in Paige Tyler’s SWAT series have been über edgy because of the characters’ high risk jobs, but as an explosives expert, Landry Cooper raised the bar even higher. TO LOVE A WOLF kicks off with a flashback to the incident that ended his military career (and turned him into a werewolf), moves on to a bank robbery where he meets the One, and then launches into the main plot which involves a serial bomber.
It’s amazing how many offshoots an author can craft from a seemingly simple baseline. I’d originally doubted these novels’ longevity because in my opinion the story lines involving hunky alpha werewolf cops were limited compared to the bevvy of potential sexual positions. Tyler proved otherwise by infusing her titles with protagonists whose complex backgrounds, varied personalities, and unique romances keep things hot.
In previous installments, SWAT’s classified nature has either been a secret waiting to be sprung on an unsuspecting mate or a case of like speaks to like, however in this particular instance it was Everly’s family who’s in the know which added yet another layer of intrigue to this series’ coffers. It brought the formerly subtle paranormal elements of this world to the fore, and also led to an expansion of the mythology.
It was delightful seeing the team member that everyone normally turns to for advice struggling to come of up with some pearls of wisdom suitable for his own situation. I enjoyed Cooper’s lightheartedness, hero-like qualities, and learning the more technical side of his branch of law enforcement. Danu’s complicated past made her a challenge to woo; I also liked her spirited nature, and her creative side. Another perfect match!
TO LOVE A WOLF or not to love a wolf—what a silly question!...more
I've been enjoying this series thus far, but this installment really brought it! The porn star murder mystery had barrel-of-laughs written all over itI've been enjoying this series thus far, but this installment really brought it! The porn star murder mystery had barrel-of-laughs written all over it, doubly so with Harry Dresden on the case. BLOOD RITES put a lot of the characters' roles into perspective; Murphy tries being a vigilante on for size, Ebenezar is not what he seems, and Thomas—I did NOT see that one coming. This book was a turning point for THE DRESDEN FILES, and... PUPPIES! ...more
At first glance, a succubus seems like an unlikely heroine however, Georgina is far from being a typical demon. I expected toReviewed by: Rabid Reads
At first glance, a succubus seems like an unlikely heroine however, Georgina is far from being a typical demon. I expected to encounter a fair amount of carnal action and I did but the stellar plot line and life like characters caught me completely by surprise. I’m not a stranger to reading books with swearing it them but the language in this book is colorful to say the least. I was surprised by how much it actually added to the story and fit Georgina’s personality so perfectly. Richelle Mead pushes all of the right buttons in Succubus Blues and I can’t wait to repeat the experience with Succubus on Top!
Team Seth or team Roman? What a tough call! They’re at completely opposite ends of the spectrum but both are incredibly sexy. Mortensen is amazing on paper but rather inept when it comes to social situations. He’s a sweetheart no doubt about it but my crush on him wasn’t immediate. You don’t really learn what he’s thinking until the end but when you finally do your heart will melt. Guaranteed. I want him as my own personal teddy bear! Roman’s the ultimate bad boy with the animal magnetism to match. Georgina couldn’t stop swooning over him and neither could I! There’s just something about him that can’t be ignored and I so wanted the succubus to get her happy ending. Unfortunately for her, this is just the first book of the series so I doubt that that’s going to happen anytime soon!
After only one book, Georgina Kincaid is already a contender to be one of my all-time favorite protagonists. I simply couldn’t get enough of her! She’s a succubus who wants to be human and be done with her demon ways. From where I’m sitting that’s never going to happen but it sure does make for a great story! The combination of her blunt honesty and crass personality make Georgina out to be a wildly entertaining character to read. She’s no hero and that just made her even more lovable in my eyes.
The story was slow to start off. In fact, I wasn’t even sure what the point of the book was until the halfway mark. Surprisingly, that didn’t bother me one bit. As I said, when I first started reading Succubus Blues I expected a plot involving a sex crazed succubus; anything beyond that I took as a bonus. When the bigger picture slowly begins to reveal itself; I was thrilled with the prospect of a kick ass storyline to go along with an already fab read. Mead skillfully weaves intriguing back stories and immortal hierarchy into Kincaid’s tale.
Succubus Blues is the whole package; no doubt about that and they couldn’t have picked a better narrator than Elisabeth Rodgers. She felt like Georgina incarnate. I loved her reading as much as the story itself. I picked up this book looking for a hot read but what I got went miles beyond that. Richelle Mead, consider yourself officially among the authors that I stalk!
Delilah and the other cryptids of Metzger’s Menagerie are recaptured after their all too brief taste of freedom at the end ofReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
Delilah and the other cryptids of Metzger’s Menagerie are recaptured after their all too brief taste of freedom at the end of the last book. Originally, I’d thought that Rachel Vincent was going to take a completely different route in this sequel, but instead SPECTACLE showed us that not all cages have bars. The writing in this series is as exquisite as the horrors are abhorrent, and it’s this unlikely combination that makes the story so enthralling.
On the outside, the Savage Spectacle appears to be a relatively humane way of running a freak show, or at least as close as one can come with regards to the barbaric practice of keeping society’s cast outs incarcerated for monetary gain. The occupants have mats to sleep on, healthy food to eat, and their basic personal hygiene requirements are met. However, a prison is still a prison, no matter how shiny it is, and the fact remains that the inhabitants are being held against their will.
Vandekamp has set out to revolutionize the way that cryptids are kept with collars that can shock, paralyze, mute, and call their gifts. So, as uncivilized as their previous accommodations were at least the captives could still scream and fight. The owner has also come up with a bunch of different uses for his new technology including work detail, death matches, sport hunting, and engagements. The first three are pretty self-explanatory, but the last basically means that any detainee is available for hire, and as you can imagine, anything goes because cash is king.
The plot is once again driven by the need to survive, except in this installment the focus is on the mind instead of the body. It’s one thing to physically beat someone into submission, and quite another to literally take away their free will. The author’s insights into the human psyche are truly haunting in their realism, and will make you side with the monsters much like Anne Bishop did with her THE OTHERS series. Vincent concludes this novel with yet another missile that’ll see the MENAGERIE trilogy drastically shift directions one last time for the finale to Delilah’s tale.
Just when I thought that the Speculative Fiction genre has nothing left to give—BOOM—here’s SPECTACLE! ~ 4.5 Stars...more
I’ve been a rather fickle reader where selecting my favourite ETERNAL MATES installment is concerned; first I fell in love wiReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
I’ve been a rather fickle reader where selecting my favourite ETERNAL MATES installment is concerned; first I fell in love with Loren & Olivia, then it was Cavanaugh & Eloise, and now I’m all about Harbin & Aya. MARKED BY AN ASSASSIN was a marvelous addition to this series with its feline inspired fight scenes, poignant romance story, and the way that it tied into some of the earlier books.
Key points in the two protagonists’ pasts were established in the opening chapters giving the characters a lifetime’s worth of history in one quick pass, so that way Felicity Heaton was able to get to the core of this title faster. This approach suited me perfectly because the plot was of the just-keeps-on-giving variety, and the author definitely made the most of her 263 pages.
Even though this series can be read out of order, we get a different perspective on a pivotal scene that occurred in TAKEN BY A DRAGON, and I’ve already given two of the previous novels top ratings prior to doing so again with #8 which means that you have nothing to lose by starting with KISSED BY A DARK PRINCE. Anyway, I digress, that was far from being the only memorable part; all of the action rocked too!
Initially, I didn’t have much of an opinion of Harbin aside from the knowledge that he was Cavanaugh’s brother, but combine twenty years worth of assassin training with an unrelenting quest for vengeance and a soft spot for his childhood crush, and you have an irresistible male lead. Aya was quite the spitfire as well, and Hartt / Fuery were a curious pair that I hope we’ll see more of in the future.
MARKED BY AN ASSASSIN had ooh-la-la in all of the right places!...more
When I heard the news that the ARCANA CHRONICLES were going to stretch two books longer than originally planned I feared thatReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
When I heard the news that the ARCANA CHRONICLES were going to stretch two books longer than originally planned I feared that Kresley Cole’s sensational Young Adult trilogy was going to lose some of its shine. Listening to ARCANA RISING cured any doubts that I may have had about the author’s ability to prolong Evie Greene’s story while maintaining the same caliber of writing that I’ve come to expect from this series.
DEAD OF WINTER left fans in the lurch over many things, but rest assured that the main one doesn’t remain a mystery for long. Now that that’s out of the way, I really enjoyed how this installment broadened the scope of this dystopian world. Baggers serve a purpose other than killing, the Major Arcana aren’t the only cards in the deck, and Evangeline finally gets her hands on the knowledge of all the Empresses who came before her.
Anyone who’s on Team Death will be pleased with this novel, I know I was. Sol (the Sun) proves to be a perplexing secondary while as Matthew (the Fool) further demonstrates why in spite of his mad ramblings that he shouldn’t be overlooked as a serious contender to win it all. True to form, Cole tops it all off with a fourth cliff hanger by leaving yet another character’s future up in the air in the worst kind of way.
Emma Galvin’s performance remains flawless. It’s impossible to improve on perfection, so as long as she keeps on doing what she’s been doing, I’ll continue to purchase any audiobooks where she’s listed as the narrator. It was worth waiting an extra 1.5 months for this title to be released in audio instead of one-clicking it the moment it became available to read. I hope I’ll be strong enough to do the same for the finale.
Not all series benefit from extra volumes, but ARCANA RISING was just as good as the first three....more
Jennifer Estep had a lot of ground to cover in order to tie the BLACK BLADE trilogy up with a nice bow what withReviewed by: Rabid Reads. ~ 4.5 Stars
Jennifer Estep had a lot of ground to cover in order to tie the BLACK BLADE trilogy up with a nice bow what with the main story arc, romance, and Lila’s past still up in the air, but rest easy because all that and more was accomplished in BRIGHT BLAZE OF MAGIC. This series is intended for a Young Adult audience, and yet the Urban Fantasy elements were just as strong that regardless of your preference, you’re sure to enjoy this novel.
The finale set-up has been two installments in the making, so this title was about watching the author free the pent-up momentum, and letting her rip. The book does begin with Merriweather, Devon & Felix enacting the last stages of their plan, however after that it’s a straight shot to the conclusion. Relations between the Families enter the red zone, Victor Draconi makes his move, and the Sinclairs meet him pound for pound.
Lila’s mother played such an important role in her life, and continued to do so well after her death. I liked how the heroine was able to hold-on to her memory, and honour Serena’s legacy by finishing what she had set in motion four years ago. The way that the events unfolded had a cool fate-like feel to it, and we also got to learn about Merriweather’s father who hadn’t been mentioned overly much up until this point.
The death toll was higher than what I’d envisioned, minus most of the gore found in Estep’s adult works, but given that an all-out mafia war broke out, I thought that it was appropriate. The tête-à-tête between the Draconi head and Lila had just the right amount of fingernail biting moments too. The love interest with Devon was handled in a tasteful way, and I was happy that a second couple was able to get their own HEA as well.
BRIGHT BLAZE OF MAGIC will keep you reading until the job is done!...more