Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Release Day Review: Back in the Burbs by Avery Flynn and Tracy Wolff @AveryFlynn @TracyWolff @EntangledPub #Contemporary #Romance
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Book #Review & #Giveaway ~ The Demons of the Square Mile (Nora Simeon Investigations, Book 2) by Laurence Raphael Brothers ~ @lbrothers @MirrorWorldPub #Novella #UF #Paranormal
About The Demons of the Square Mile:
Occult Private Investigator, Nora Simeon, and her uncannily handsome partner Eyre - an elemental given human form - follow a trail of magic, murder, and conspiracy from the luxurious apartment towers of Manhattan's upper east side to the ancient depths of London's Inner Temple. Along the way they encounter powerful sorcerers, magisterial barristers, evil templars, and, of course, more demons gone rogue.
With their newly acquired ward, Martha - a rat-demon - in tow, they uncover a secret so profound it could both undermine the world's financial system and topple the British government.
Paperback: 114 pages
“We have your minion,” said an inhuman voice. A demon’s for sure, unless it had been synthesized. It sounded like shards of broken glass jangling in a paper bag, but I could understand it. What I couldn’t understand was how anyone could kidnap Eyre without getting their asses handed to them. Gun or no gun.
“Who are you?”
More broken glass sounds, but no words. After a few seconds I realized it was laughter. At last the voice answered. “We would be foolish to divulge our true name. Call us Émigré.”
“What do you want?”
“We have a job for you.”
I felt a flash of red rage. My little pet fire elemental, Spark, flared up in sympathy from its urn on the windowsill, and I thought I might just burst into flame myself.
“You stupid infernal-plane motherfucker! I charge a hundred an hour. All you had to do was clear a check and I’d work for you. But now–”
“Now we have leverage, yes?”
“Let me speak to him.”
Brief silence, and then Eyre came on the line. His voice was weak. I wanted to reach through the phone and tear broken-glass-voice to pieces with my hands.
“Hey, Nora,” he said. “I’m really sorry about this. They got hold of my sigil somehow. They know what I am.”
“Eyre,” I said, “listen to me. I’m coming for you. Don’t fight them yourself.” I was thinking, Not till I get there.
“No fear of that,” he said. “It’s – you’ll have to see. They say they’ll let me go if you work for them. But I don’t think–”
Eyre’s voice cut off and broken-glass-voice resumed.
“Nora Simeon is known to us as a hunter of demons. She was contracted to hunt the demon Barbatos. She fulfilled her contract and killed the mighty demon Azriel.”
Actually, it was Eyre who had the final word against Azriel, but there was a lesson there I wanted this demon to learn.
“I’m a PI. An investigator. Barbatos was just a missing person job. But listen carefully. Azriel would have been in no danger from me, except she attacked Eyre. My partner, Eyre. I’ve got nothing against demons these days. Not unless they kidnap my friends. Do you understand me, Émigré?”
A pause. “Yes.”
I knew even as I was saying it how stupid it was. But I couldn’t help myself. I was too damn angry.
“If anything happens to Eyre, I will destroy you, too. Count on it. But if you release him right now, I might just let you live.”
A longer pause. The phone was slick and uncomfortable in my hand. Then: “Very well.”
“Come to us. We will release your minion into your care. We – do not wish to be destroyed. We are used to negotiations in our world and – and we realize that we now exist in your own. We wish you to do a job for us. We will pay. We did not believe you would listen to us if we solicited your services without leverage.”
“Okay. Where are you?”
“We are located at...” Another pause, and I heard indistinct jangling noises away from the phone. “Yes. 87th Street and York Avenue. The red building. Apartment 18E.”
Demons on the upper east side. Why not?
“All right,” I said. “I’ll be there shortly.”
Yet more silence, like it was thinking about saying something else. Then: “Goodbye.”
I smelled something burning, turned my head to see a thin swirl of black smoke rising from around Spark’s pot. The tiny elemental had gotten so hot from my emotions during the call it had scorched the paint right off the windowsill. Fortunately it was a metal sill and frame, with nothing inflammable nearby. Spark had been growing stronger lately, more in the last few months than it had during the previous ten years since I’d summoned and bound it as my first and only successful feat of sorcery. I shook some powdered incense into the elemental’s urn as a treat, and like a dragonfly made of flame, it flew up and spiraled around my body, leaving only a faint sensation of warmth behind. Spark had already forgotten my rage of a moment before. Any other time I would have stopped to play with it, but not today.
I returned to Eyre’s desk and retrieved his pistol, a massive old Colt M1911, made sure it was loaded and safe, and dropped it into a tote bag along with his phone. My own compact Ruger went into its tailored holster. Maybe Émigré was telling the truth about letting Eyre go, but if it wasn’t, I’d have something to say.
Laurence Raphael Brothers is a writer and a technologist. He has published over 25 short stories in such magazines as Nature, the New Haven Review, PodCastle, and Galaxy's Edge. His WWI-era historical fantasy novel Twilight Patrol was just released by Alban Lake. For more of his stories, visit https://laurencebrothers.com/bibliography, or follow him on twitter: @lbrothers.
Sunday, March 14, 2021
Paranormal Romance Review ~ The Warrior King (Inferno Rising #3) by Abigail Owen ~ @AOwenBooks @EntangledPub #PNR
Meira Amon is the most reserved of the phoenixes, finding computers easier to deal with than people and their messy emotions. But she wants revenge against the Rotting King Pytheios for the murder of her parents just as much as her sisters. Offering herself as a queen for their ally, dragon shifter King Gorgon of the Black Clan, only makes sense.
Just one problem…
Samael Veles worked his lowborn ass off to become the fiercest warrior of the Black Clan. He has pledged his life to protect his king at all costs. Yet somehow, in the middle of war, he took one look at a woman in a reflection and gave up his heart. When that woman turns out to be the phoenix promised to mate his king and help bring peace to their kind, he has no choice but to accept it.
Until her fire unexpectedly destroys the king after they’ve wed. Now Samael must choose between his loyalty to his clan and protecting the queen who might be his mate from his people’s wrath, one of which will unlock a destiny no one could have ever imagined…
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Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Publication Date: March 8, 2021
Print Length: 305 pagesMy Review:
Love from afar during a crisis fills the pages of The Warrior King. Meira Amon knows in her head that mating the dragon king of the Black Clan, and aligning herself with his people, is the only way to work toward revenge on the Rotting King. When a different dragon views her through her magic mirrors though, her heart has other ideas. If she doesn't see him again, Meira can maintain control.
Samael Veles is nothing but loyal to King Gorgon. As one of the fiercest Black Clan warriors, Samael takes his position seriously. Falling for his King's betrothed was never part of his plan. What is part of the plan includes ignoring his feelings and his dragon for the good of the Clan.
When calamity strikes the Black Clan, Meira and Samael face difficult decisions, dangerous situations, and the wrath of those around them.
The Warrior King is an epic paranormal romance. One I couldn't put down, reading it all day today. Once I began Meira and Samael's story there was no putting it down. I was hooked, engaged in the characters, story, and setting from the very beginning. Throughout the book I anxiously awaited the ending, wondering how, if Meira was promised to another, she and Samael could be together. Maybe they couldn't be, and I was headed for heartbreak.
This book is simply amazing. The longing and intense chemistry between Meira and Samael is off-the-charts hot from the minute they viewed each other through the looking glass. The drama fueled my intense need to binge this book. I loved how the author drew me in with her fiery (pun intended) hero and heroine, evil baddie, relationship twist, and epic dragon showdown. I enjoyed the slow-burn romance, the climactic battle, and the fierceness of Meira, Samael, and the rest of the characters. There is also a sadness that I felt to my bones.
I love the author's writing style, conversational and easy to follow. The pacing of the story is perfect, not too fast, not too slow. There aren't any boring or dull spots, as the author created 3-dimensional characters and a 3-dimensional world. I was engrossed in this book from the very beginning and was drawn in by the action, romance, snark, and strength of both Meira and Samael. Abigail Owen is a favorite and I can't wait to dive into more of her books.
I was provided a copy of this book to review but my thoughts, opinions, and praise are my own.
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Contemporary Romance #Review ~ Wishing for a Cowboy (Wishing River #3) by Victoria James @VicJames101 @entangledpub
Janie Adams has been a single parent to her nephew since he was a baby. Fifteen years later, she’s finally found out who his father might be, so the two of them travel across the country to find him. She’d do anything for this kid. But when they arrive in the small town of Wishing River, Montana, and Janie finally meets the ruggedly handsome cowboy she’d been told had abandoned his son, his shocked response changes everything.Aiden Rivers can’t dispute this is his kid when he sees his own features staring back at him, but he had no idea Janie’s sister was pregnant when she left him. He didn’t even know she had a sister—clearly they’d all been lied to. Now he has fifteen years of fatherhood to make up for and no idea how to be a dad. This was never in his plans.
Janie sticks around to help him ease into parenting, everything from showing him how to lure a sulky kid out of his bedroom to keeping up with the latest teen-speak. Together, they surprisingly make a good team, this city girl and country boy. But when the past catches up with them, Aiden and Janie must decide what’s best for the boy who's connecting them, not only for each other…which could mean splitting them apart.
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Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Publication date: March 9, 2021
Print length: 214 pagesMy Review:
Wishing for a Cowboy is a sweet but complicated contemporary romance about a devoted aunt, an equally devoted nephew, an absent mother, and a father who didn't know he carried the title. Janie Adams has been single-handedly raising her nephew. Finances are tight and when her sister finally let her know who Will's father is, Janey and Will head out of town to Montana to request help. Aiden Rivers is shocked to learn Maxi was pregnant when she left him 15 years ago. Had he known, his and Will's lives may have been different. As it is, Aiden is resentful of Maxi for keeping his son hidden, grateful for Janie stepping up and raising his son when Maxi abandoned him, and surprised to feel like the trio could be a family.
This book is wonderful. The characters are flawed but lovable. The setting was written perfectly, and the world building is great. I enjoyed learning about Janie and Will and then about Aiden. Watching the slow-burn romance develop between Janie and Aiden was exciting and stressful at times. I was engaged in their story. I was engaged in the story between Aiden and Will. Learning he was a father 15 years after the child was born had to be a complete and utter shock to the system. Aiden handled things as well as can be expected and I loved watching Aiden and Will's father-son relationship flourish.
There is a reason that Victoria James is one of my all-time favorite authors - she writes impassioned and realistic contemporary romances. Her writing is realistic and her subject matter for each book is believable. Her heroines and her heroes are not perfect, but they are perfect for one another. To date, I've read most of her books and each one manages to evoke emotional responses from me. At the very least, I always tear up during some part of the novel. Her characters are believable and realistically written.
Victoria's writing is phenomenal. Her characters, the plot, themes, drama, and passion pull the reader in and keeps them engaged. There is true emotion that can be felt by those readers that become one with the books they read. I get lost in the novels and put myself right into the middle of them. I feel for the characters and drawing on my emotions is what makes a book worth 5 stars for me. If I hurt with them, cry with/for them, laugh, or get angry, then the author did a fantastic job and has written the perfect book for me. Victoria James is amazing!
I was provided a copy of this book to read.
Saturday, March 6, 2021
Book #Review ~ Huntress and the Splintered Court (The World of the Hunter Order #2) by D.C. Gambel @AuthorDCGambel #PNR
Is she a Beauty or the Beast?
Isabel knows her place in the world and falling for a werewolf was never a part of her plan, but the universe doesn’t care about her plan. With her mind and heart at war, she is more confused than ever over what her destiny truly is.
As the alpha, Gideon isn’t use to hearing the word no, so falling for the smart mouthed huntress, who tests him at every turn, is more than he bargained for, and yet he’ll risk death itself to keep her.
As a rebellion brews within the preternatural community, Isabel must decide. Take her rightful place in the Order to which she was born? Or stand at Gideon’s side to become the next Luna of the Thorn Court?
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Publication Date: February 16, 2021
Print Length: 121 pages
Isabel and Gideon are falling for each other despite everything working against them. Timing could be better but then again, in any other instance, they wouldn't have been together. Both are trying to prevent an outright war between The Order and the wolves and other paranormal groups. As they work together, Isabel and Gideon run full bore into lies, espionage, rebellion, and betrayal.
As the movement toward war increases, Isabel's confusion over her true destiny grows. She's falling for a werewolf and needs to figure out where her loyalties lie. Will she take her place as leader of The Order when the time comes, or stand next to Gideon as his mate and Luna of the pack?
The path the author took Isabel and Gideon down was not straight and easy to navigate. The roadblocks they encountered were hard, full of anger and sadness, maybe some despair, but they conquered them and rose above to learn to work together, as both leaders and lovers. The world building was awesome, and the descriptions were vivid, and I felt like I was there in the story.
I enjoyed Huntress and the Splintered Court. The book is raw and edgy with twists, turns, and ultimate betrayals. The enemies-to-lovers trope was developed well. The author did a remarkable job writing two characters who, in other stories, would never have given each other a second look. I enjoyed their coming together and how the author didn't make it easy for either of them.
I was provided a copy of this book to read.
Book #Review ~ Huntress and the Thorn Court by D.C. Gambel @AuthorDCGambel ~ (The World of the Hunter Order, Book #1) #UF
What happens at the Thorn Court stays at the Thorn Court.
Isabel is not your average princess. All she wants to do is keep peace among the preternatural community, but when she mistakenly kills an innocent werewolf, the cost of peace may be a steeper price than she’s willing to pay.
Gideon is a beast of a man. As the pack alpha he has to be. When an opportunity practically lands in his lap, he’s driven to seize it, even if it means taking Isabel, a princess of The Order, as his prisoner.
When attraction blooms, Isabel has no choice but to resist the sexy alpha. If she doesn’t, her very future at the order could be in jeopardy.
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Publication Date: February 3, 2021
Print length : 155 pages
My Review:As a member of The Order, Isabel has a certain image to uphold. Isabel is also the princess, next in line to lead The Order. One fateful night, her life gets upended when she accidental kills an innocent young wolf. Now a prisoner of the Thorn Court, Isabel finds herself surrounded by those she typically helps keep in line.
As the pack alpha, Gideon has a responsibility to his members to make those who transgress, pay. Even if it means punishing a huntress of The Order. Her being the princess doesn't absolve her of guilt. Gideon also realizes he can use her as bait to flesh out some possible traitors in his pack.
Neither expected their chemistry to be off the charts. A huntress isn't permitted to mate with otherworldly beings and an alpha must mate with another wolf. Nothing about these two is typical. Resistance of their mutual attraction almost seems futile but resist they must. Nothing good can come of a union between a huntress princess and an alpha, can it?
Huntress and the Thorn Court is a great book. I enjoyed the character development and the blossoming passion between Isabel and Gideon. All of the characters were written well. The chemistry between Isabel and Gideon was evident right from the very start, even though their pairing may be forbidden. Partnering together to flush out a potential traitor seems innocent enough but toss them in close proximity to one another and all bets may be off. The world building was awesome, and the descriptions were vivid, and I felt like I was there in the story. I can't wait for the next book!
I was provided a copy of this book.