Genre: Urban Fantasy

Review: Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill

Posted January 4, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Wild Hunger by Chloe NeillReviewer: Holly
Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill
Series: Heirs of Chicagoland #1
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date: August 14, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating First and Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 352
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

In the first thrilling installment of Chloe Neill's spinoff to the New York Times bestselling Chicagoland Vampires series, a new vampire will find out just how deep blood ties run.

As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she's a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he's prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of an ambassador brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.

Wild Hunger is the start of The Heirs of Chicagoland spinoff series. This is my first Chloe Neill. I meant to read the Chicagoland Vampire series years ago but never got around to it. Since this is the start of a new series (featuring the heirs of the characters from the Chicagoland series) I figured it was a good place to start. While the premise was interesting and the overall story good, the main characters were very immature.

Elisa Sullivan is the only vampire child ever born. As she’s grown up, she’s found it difficult to find her place in the world without constantly being judged by what her parents have done. She ended up going to school in Paris and taking an apprenticeship with a vampire house for a year after. Her first assignment is to guard the members of the Paris house as they travel to Chicago to a peace summit being led by her parents. When a vampire is killed the first night of the summit and a shifter is blamed for it, Elisa knows there’s something fishy going on. Determined to get to the bottom, she and her best friend, along with Connor, son of the local pack alpha, team up to investigate.

I really enjoyed the basic premise of the story. Trying to puzzle out how the fairies were involved in the scheme with the vampires is what kept me reading. Elisa and Connor were both pretty immature and didn’t do a lot for me. Elisa, especially, drove me crazy. She jumped into things without thinking and kept a major secret from pretty much everyone for the entirety of the book. She read more like an 18-year-old than a 23-year-old.

This read more like a young adult novel than anything else. As the book wore on, the immaturity of the heroine really began to bother me and detracted from my overall enjoyment. It’s possible I’d feel differently if I’d read the Chicagoland series and therefore had some kind of connection to these characters. As it stands, I doubt I’ll continue on.

2.75 out of 5

Heirs of Chicagoland

three-stars


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Review: Natural Witch by K.F. Breene

Posted January 3, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Natural Witch by K.F. BreeneReviewer: Holly
Natural Witch (Magical Mayhem #1) by K.F. Breene
Series: Magical Mayhem #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 25, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First and Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 376
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

The explosive new addition to the DDVN World (Fire and Ice Series) by USA Today Bestselling author K.F. Breene!

Something has always been missing from my life. A hole that I could never seem to fill.

When I accidentally turn a coven of witches into nightmares, I find out what that something is.

Magic.

And it turns out, I have a crap load of it.

As a latent power awakens deep inside of me, I’m exposed to one of the most powerful and corrupt organizations in the magical world—the Mages’ Guild.

Barely knowing a spell from a few swear words and luck, I won’t be able to evade them alone.

And that’s when I meet him.

The Rogue Natural. The best and most feared mage in the world.

He’s dangerous, mysterious, and has a vendetta of his own. He is now the only thing between me and magical enslavement.

We first met Penny in the Fire and Ice trilogy when she unwittingly turned a coven of witches into zombies. I do not think you need to read those books before this series.

Penny Bristol has felt her magic her whole life, but she’s never been trained to use it. On a whim, she signs up for a magical retreat where she might learn to harness and control her magic. What she finds is a coven of witches trying to perform a dangerous spell. Before she realizes what she’s doing, Penny joins them and turns them all into zombies. That’s when she meets Reagan and realizes she’s an extremely rare Natural Witch. Now she’s trying to get trained to use her magic, all the while on the run from the Mages Guild, a corrupt organization bent on using her for their own purposes. Oh, and the Rogue Natural, one of the most powerful mages in history has suddenly turned up, and turned her world upside down in the process.

The thing I love best about this series is how aware of her limitations Penny is. She knows she’s untrained and unable to deal with magical baddies, so her first response in every situation is to run and hide. That doesn’t make her a coward, just smart. She doesn’t run and hide, but she wants to. The fact that she stands her ground to protect those she cares about despite her fear really got me. Plus, I love the female relationships in this series. Penny’s best friend is an editor. For fun and to relieve stress, she walks around the neighborhood with Penny, correcting the grammar on yard sale signs. Though Reagan intimidates her, Penny forms a close bond to her.

The romance is light in this book as it spans the trilogy. I liked Emery and Penny together, and enjoyed watching them interact with each other and learn to merge their powers. Though I didn’t love the ending, I admit this was a wonderful story. I couldn’t wait to jump into the next book.

4.25 out of 5

Magical Mayhem

four-half-stars


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Review: How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper

Posted December 28, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: How to Date Your Dragon by Molly HarperReviewer: Holly
How to Date Your Dragon (Mystic Bayou, #1) by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi, Jonathan Davis
Series: Mystic Bayou #1
Publisher: Self-Published, Audible Studios
Publication Date: January 23, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 217
Length: 6 hours and 24 minutes
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Anthropologist Jillian Ramsay's career has taken a turn south.

Concerned that technology is about to chase mythological creatures out into the open (how long can Sasquatch stay hidden from Google maps?), the League for Interspecies Cooperation is sending Jillian to Louisiana on a fact-finding mission. While the League hopes to hold on to secrecy for a little bit longer, they're preparing for the worst in terms of human reactions. They need a plan, so they look to Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where humans and supernatural residents have been living in harmony for generations. Mermaids and gator shifters swim in the bayou. Spirit bottles light the front porches after twilight. Dragons light the fires under crayfish pots.

Jillian's first assignment for the League could be her last. Mystic Bayou is wary of outsiders, and she has difficulty getting locals to talk to her. And she can't get the gruff town sheriff, Bael Boone, off of her back or out of her mind. Bael is the finest male specimen she's seen in a long time, even though he might not be human. Soon their flirtation is hotter than a dragon's breath, which Bael just might turn out to be....

Length: 6 hrs 33 mins

How to Date Your Dragon is the first book in Molly Harper’s Mystic Bayou series. I generally prefer darker, more serious paranormal romances, but I was looking for a new audiobook and this was part of the Audible Romance Package so I figured why not. It turned out to be just what I was in the mood for. Light and funny, but not campy. This is one of the better audiobooks I’ve listened to this year. Amanda Ronconi and Jonathan Davis were both wonderful narrators. I especially enjoyed Jonathan Davis’s southern accent for Bael. I immediately downloaded the 2nd audiobook after finishing this one.

Jillian Ramsay works for the League for Interspecies Cooperation. She’s about to take a trip to South America to study were-dolphins when she’s suddenly reassigned to Mystic Bayou, Louisiana. The League is worried about how much longer Supernaturals can stay hidden, with cameras and cell phones and GPS everywhere. Mystic Bayou is one of the only places different types of magical creatures and humans have lived in harmony for almost a century. They want Jillian to do a study of the town and find out how and why things work so well. Her point of contact is Mayor Zed, but it’s the Sheriff, Bael Boone, she really sparks with. But things really start to heat up as she tries to discover how Mystic Bayou works so well despite closed-mouth townsfolk, and danger seems to lurk just around the corner.

I enjoyed Bael and Jillian’s romance, as well as the town of Mystic Bayou. The inhabitants of the town were so fun and quirky I couldn’t help but love them. Bael’s surprise and ignorance over how to court Jillian was hilarious, and I like that she was the one who wanted to keep things casual. There were several times I laughed out loud, and a couple times my heart just melted. I wasn’t at all surprised by who the villain was, but since I wasn’t here for that the lack of mystery wasn’t a problem for me. I was so into the romance and the fun, quirky town nothing else mattered.

If you’re looking for something light and breezy, this is a wonderfully done, hilarious paranormal romance. I highly recommend it.

4.25 out of 5

Mystic Bayou

four-stars


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Review: Red Wolf by Jennifer Ashley

Posted December 7, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Red Wolf by Jennifer AshleyReviewer: Holly
Red Wolf by Jennifer Ashley
Narrator: Cris Dukehart
Series: Shifters Unbound #10
Also in this series: White Tiger (Shifters Unbound, #8)
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Format: eARC, Audiobook
Source: Library, NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 336
Length: 10 hours and 15 minutes
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Guardian's Mate returns to the world of the Shifters and a tale of a new love under fire...

A man is only as strong...

Red wolf Shifter Dimitri has fought his whole life for respect. It is claimed that red wolves are tainted with coyote blood and therefore not pure. He may not be skilled at verbally defending himself, but because he's a bodyguard, tracker, and champion of the fight clubs, his fists are always ready for some rough and tumble. However, he'd prefer a roll in the hay with the woman who is his oldest friend.

...as the woman who's got his back...

A spirited leopard Shifter and a fellow tracker, Jaycee Bordeaux has no problem forging a mate bond with Dimitri, but soon the two are called to infiltrate a rogue group bent on enslaving Shifters. Jaycee may have defended Dimitri from taunts before, but they now face a more lethal danger--one that threatens not only the future of their people, but also their love.

I really like the Shifters Unbound series by Jennifer Ashley. Red Wolf follows two un-collared shifters from Kendrick’s pack, Dimitri and Jaycee. They were introduced in White Tiger. Jaycee thought she was in love with her alpha (Kendrick), but realized it was just being safe and loved in the pack she wanted. When Kendrick and his mate start mate bonding, Jaycee and Dimitri end up in bed together, too. They’ve been best friends as long as either of them can remember. Dimitri had a speech impediment and Jaycee is the only one who seems to always get him. During a tense situation Dimitri mate-claimed Jaycee, in the hope that he could tell her not to put herself in danger. That didn’t work. Still, the mate-claim stands until Jaycee either accepts it or rejects it. She wants to accept it because she loves Dimitri and wants him in her life, but she doesn’t want to be controlled by a male. Nor does she want to lose the easy friendship they have. For Dimitri, there’s never been anyone but Jacyee. He didn’t claim her on a whim, he’s wanted her all along. When they’re put on an undercover op, their mate-claim will really be tested and Jaycee will have to decide what’s really important.

This started out slow, with a lot of the focus on Jaycee’s internal feelings and exploring a borrowed house. It does eventually pick up and I really enjoyed the second half. The story-arc is continued from White Tiger, and we also saw threads from other books coming together here. Ashley has a wonderful, solid writing voice that really brings this world to life. Though the romance was slow and somewhat lacking, the overall story-arc and progression of things inside the world really worked for me. I love how she tugs so many threads at once. In this book we see how many of them are connected.

I didn’t much care for Jaycee’s internal struggle about the mate-claim. Her main hesitation was that she didn’t want to be controlled or under the thumb of another. That would make sense if Dimitri ever tried to control her. He didn’t want her in danger, of course, but that’s because he loved her. He never tried to stop her from doing her job and in fact often encouraged her. So her fears there were groundless and therefore didn’t hold sway with me. The outside conflict was much more interesting and kept me reading.

3.75 out of 5

Shifters Unbound

three-half-stars


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Review: Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh

Posted December 3, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee
Archangel's Prophecy (Guild Hunter, #11) by Nalini Singh
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Series: Guild Hunter #11
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy (Guild Hunter, #11), Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 372
Length: 11 hours, 44 minutes
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Return to New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s darkly passionate Guild Hunter world, where human-turned-angel Elena Deveraux, consort to Archangel Raphael, is thrust center stage into an eons-old prophecy....

Midnight and dawn, Elena’s wings are unique among angelkind…and now they’re failing. The first mortal to be turned into an immortal in angelic memory, she’s regressing. Becoming more and more human. Easier to hurt. Easier to kill.

Elena and Raphael must unearth the reason for the regression before it’s too late and Elena falls out of the sky. Yet even as they fight a furious battle for Elena’s very survival, violent forces are gathering in New York and across the world.

In China, the Archangel Favashi is showing the first signs of madness. In New York, a mysterious sinkhole filled with lava swallows a man whole. In Africa, torrential monsoon rains flood rolling deserts. And in Elena’s mind whispers a haunting voice that isn’t her own.

This time, survival may not be possible…not even for the consort of an archangel.

Nalini, it’s possible that you and I may need to break up. I’m still considering it. I just can’t do this anymore. How could you do this to me? It’s not okay. ::sigh::

This book was everything. It was too much. It gave me all the feels. Too many feels. It sounds really strange, I know, but I don’t like to read books that I think about for days after I finish them. I don’t like the angst I feel. I surely don’t like the angst I feel right now.

Before I jump into my review, I want to mention that I listened to this book on audio. The narrator is fucking amazing. Justine Eyre is the narrator of the entire Guild Hunter series. She is phenomenal. At first I was afraid to listen to it because Elena and Raphael are so incredibly important to me as characters that I didn’t want to hear their voices brought to me by someone that just couldn’t pull it off. I needn’t have worried.

Like I said above, this book gave me so many feels, I don’t know where to start. So I’ll just jump in and try to make some sort of sense. Archangel’s Prophecy picks up about two years after Archangel’s Heart ends. The Cadre has been dormant for that long and now it has awoken. Weird shit starts to happen and it begins and ends with Elena. All of a sudden she’s in a backslide. That’s right…instead of coming into her immortality, Elena is becoming mortal again. What’s even worse is that she’s becoming even weaker than she was when she was actually mortal.

That’s not her only problem. The Archangel Cassandra who is a true Ancient has started to awaken from her Sleep to warn Elena about the prophecy. The one where Elena must die for the “Other” to live. Elena is just as kick-ass as she’s ever been and she’s not one to take a prophecy that shows her death lying down. She’s not about to leave Raphael either. Especially when she can see him becoming more “other” himself as she becomes weaker.

Raphael won’t accept that Elena will die. He simply won’t. He knows exactly what he will become should Elena die. Even with Elena telling him that he will be the only one able to stop Lijuan, he knows he can’t live without her. As the days go by and Elena’s feathers begin to fall, it becomes apparent that he may not have a choice.

If Elena is going to die, she’s going to die protecting her sister and her niece. Someone tried to kill her brother-in-law and are after Beth and Maggie. When Elena finally discovers who is after them, she can barely hold up her sword, let alone fight the man that is living for nothing but vengeance.

Throughout this series, Elena’s love for her wings is absolute. I don’t know if I can forgive Nalini for grounding her. There’s a scene at the end of the book that absolutely wrecked me. Elena without wings at this point isn’t Elena at all. Then Raphael and Elena realize what the prophecy actually is. They both don’t want to accept it, but do they have a choice with Elena taking what could literally be her last breath?

After the torture that was the ending of this book, I am highly doubtful that the next Guild Hunter book will even be about Raphael and Elena. I have a feeling that it is actually going to be about Aodhan. Leaving no answers about Raphael and Elena.

So yep, I’m bitter. Even with that bitterness, Nalini’s writing is still out of this world. So is this series (for the most part).

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Guild Hunter Series

four-stars


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