Genre: Urban

Review: Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

Posted August 22, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Fire Touched by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly
Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #9
Also in this series: Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10)
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: March 8th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Urban, Romance, Paranormal, General, Action & Adventure, Contemporary
Pages: 352
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four-half-stars

Mercy Thompson has been hailed as “a heroine who continues to grow and yet always remains true to herself.”* Now she’s back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer...   Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.   Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?   *Library Journal
From the Hardcover edition.

When last we left Mercy and Adam, his ex-wife, Christy, had spent several weeks making Mercy’s life hell, they’d fought a volcano god and Mercy brought a Tibicena (a mythical dog that guarded the volcano god) into the pack.

I was fairly frustrated with Adam and Mercy both by the time I finished Night Broken, the previous entry in this series, so I started Fire Touched with caution. I’m happy to report all my concerns were addressed well before the halfway mark. This entry brings new trouble to the Pack, but also clears up some lingering issues from previous books.

Mercy gets a call from her human cop friend Tony asking for help with a “huge monster” that’s perched on a bridge, eating cars and people. The pack races over there and discovers it’s a Troll. After battling it and sustaining heavy injuries to many pack members, Mercy claims the city as pack territory and vows to defend it. As the Fae are still trying to prove their power to the humans who refused to see them as anything more than meek pushovers, this causes major issues. Especially after Mercy grants sanctuary to a child the Fae desperately want, as he’s been living in Underhill for years and seems to be accepted their in a way they no longer are.

Mercy has settled into the pack now, and people are beginning to look toward them more for support and protection. Claiming the Tri-Cities as pack territory was the right move, but she gets a lot of flak for it from the pack, since they weren’t consulted (and neither was Adam) before she made her declaration. I really enjoyed seeing Mercy take on more leadership in the pack. Not that she wasn’t hands-off before, but her place in the pack seemed more secure, as did her role as Adam’s mate and Alpha.

The plot featuring the Aiden, the Fire Touched boy was especially intriguing. The twists and turns of the plot made for an engaging read.

One thing did make me very sad, however.

View Spoiler »

Aside from that, there was quite a bit of humor. I laughed out loud several times while reading, especially in the beginning.

Fire Touched was a fascinating, thrilling tale from start to finish.

4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars

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Review: Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

Posted August 17, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Magic Shifts by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly
Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #8
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)
Published by Penguin Publishing Group
Publication Date: February 23rd 2016
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary, Urban, Romance
Pages: 384
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four-half-stars

Magic is coming and going in waves in post-Shift Atlanta - and each crest leaves danger in its wake . . .
After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate - former Beast Lord Curran Lennart - are adjusting to a very different pace. While they're thrilled to escape all the infighting, Kate and Curran know that separating from the Pack completely is a process that will take time.
But when they learn that their friend Eduardo has gone missing, Kate and Curran shift their focus to investigate his disappearance. As they dig further into the merc's business, they discover that the Mercenary Guild has gone to hell and that Eduardo's recent assignments are connected in the most sinister way . . .
An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it - before it takes their city apart piece by piece.
Praise for Ilona Andrews and the Kate Daniels novels
'Ilona Andrews's books are guaranteed good reads.' Patricia Briggs, #1 New York Timesbestselling author of Fire Touched
'Kate is a great kick-ass heroine.' Locus
'Andrews's edgy series stands apart.' Library Journal
'One of the brightest voices in urban fantasy . . . Ilona Andrews delivers only the best.' Jeaniene Frost, New York Times bestselling author of Bound by Flames

A couple months ago I binge-read the first 7 books in this series (including novellas) then decided to take a break before I burned out. I’m glad I came at this fresh. Magic Shifts was a great story. It may be my favorite of the series to date.
Since Curran and Kate have left the Pack and Kate magically claimed Atlanta as her own, they’ve been focusing on building Kate’s PI business and raising Julie, Kate’s adopted daughter. Curran is still missing the constant challenges he faced as Beast Lord. He doesn’t necessarily miss the Pack or the position of Beast Lord, but he misses the constant action that came with it. When he’s given the opportunity to run the Mercenary Guild, he jumps at it. That the Guild wants nothing to do with him just makes it a more fun challenge for him.
Kate is still learning just what claiming the city means, and waiting for the other shoe will drop with her father. She’s also still stressing the fact that Curran gave up the Pack for her and what that’s going to mean for their future. They aren’t allowed to visit the Keep for 30 days (per pack rules), but that doesn’t stop the Pack from coming to them.
When George, one of the bear shifters, asks for help finding her mate, Kate and Curran realize they can’t say no. When Kate’s forced to fight a giant outside the Guild and realizes some ancient evil magic is invading their home, she realizes the two cases might be related. And they need to figure out what’s going on before their entire city is destroyed.
This book picks up pretty much where book seven, Magic Breaks, left off. Kate and Curran have moved out of the Keep and into their own home. They aren’t allowed to visit the Keep for 30 days, but they’re still visited by many Pack members. They’re still waiting to see which members of the pack are going to leave with them and they’re in a holding period with Kate’s dad.
Despite how much is going on in this world, the story flows seamlessly. The Pack, the People, Julie, Curran and Kate, Kate’s dad, the Mercenary Guild…they all come to life. There’s action, adventure, intrigue, romance, epic battles, strange magic and a world so bright and vivid it’s like watching it on a movie screen.
4.5 out of 5
four-half-stars

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Review: Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Posted July 6, 2016 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Born of Night by Sherrilyn KenyonReviewer: Casee
Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: The League #1
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: September 29, 2009
Genres: Romance, Fantasy, Urban, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 560
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three-half-stars

In the Ichidian Universe, The League and their ruthless assassins rule all. Expertly trained and highly valued, the League Assassins are the backbone of the government. But not even the League is immune to corruption . . .

Command Assassin Nykyrian Quikiades once turned his back on the League―and has been hunted by them ever since. Though many have tried, none can kill him or stop him from completing his current mission: to protect Kiara Zamir, a woman whose father's political alliance has made her a target.

As her world becomes even deadlier, Kiara must entrust her life to the same kind of beast who once killed her mother and left her for dead. Old enemies and new threaten them both and the only way they can survive is to overcome their suspicions and learn to trust in the very ones who threaten them the most: each other.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon. As much as I’ve felt let down over the years, I keep going back. It’s a sickness. For every three or four books, she has a good one. Those are the ones I can’t miss. Born of Night wasn’t exactly one of those books, but it did show me another side of Kenyon that I didn’t know was there. I thought she was all Dark-Hunter, Dream-Hunter, Were-Hunter…you get my drift. No, she’s also sci-fi and fantasy.

Born of Night introduces the reader to the Ichidian Universe and The League of Assassins. The thing is, it didn’t. There was almost zero world building in this book. Not that the book was horrible; it wasn’t. I did like it, but I would have liked to have known more about the Ichidian Universe and The League. All I came out of the book knowing about The League is that they’re a scary bunch of Assassins that you can never leave because they’ll kill you if you’ll try.

This was Nykyrian and Kiara’s story. The Sentella is a group of outlaws that try to police the League. At least that’s what I got from it. Kiara is a Princess from a planet called Gouran. She had a contract on her life and was kidnapped (the why wasn’t explained until ¾ of the way through the book). Nykyrian and his band of misfits (that what I started thinking of them as) saved her from certain death. Nykyrian is the only League Assassin to ever escape and he has a price on his head that anyone would kill for. He is so emotionless and has such little faith in humanity that he wouldn’t be surprised if any of his fellow brothers or sisters in the Sentella turn him in. Because of that, he is constantly on watch.

When they save Kiara, it is his worst nightmare. She is the only person, dead or alive that has ever brought emotion out in him. A beautiful dancer, he has snuck into her shows and she has something in her that he can’t extinguish from his thoughts of the feelings that he thought he had long ago gotten rid of.

Kiara is at first disgusted by Nykyrian, until she gets past her prejudice and realizes he is a man that had a horrific childhood and came out a good man on the other side. She has no idea how she could have overlooked that and looked at him like everyone else, but she is ashamed and she makes sure he knows it.

The thing I didn’t like about Kiara was how wishy-washy she was about Nykyrian. One moment she would accept him for who she was, but then she would see who he really was and what he would do to protect her and she would be horrified and call him a monster. She really made me want to slap her. I understood what and why she felt the way she felt, but she really needed to go one way or the other. And this didn’t happen once or twice. It happened multiple times.

Overall, I did enjoy the book enough to get the next book in the series. I’m looking forward to (hopefully) seeing some more world building. I have complete faith in Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Rating 3.5 out of 5.

Reading Order

Born of Night
Born of Fire
Born of Ice
Born of Shadows
Cloak and Silence
Born of Fury
Born of Defiance
Born of Betrayal
Born of Legend

three-half-stars

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Review: Five Weeks by Dannika Dark

Posted August 4, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Five Weeks by Dannika DarkReviewer: Holly
Five Weeks (Seven Series #3) by Dannika Dark
Series: Seven Series #3
Also in this series: Seven Years, Six Months
Published by Dannika Dark
Publication Date: September 4th 2014
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, General, Paranormal, Urban, Romance, New Adult
Pages: 317
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Paranormal Romance, Book 3 by USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHORRock Star Shifter Romance. Destiny will find you.
Izzy has always loved the freedom and adventure of life on the road, but she's recently decided to settle down--as much as a rogue wolf can. When her boyfriend gets her a job working at a hot Shifter bar, she runs into the last person on earth she expected to see again.
Jericho isn't the famous rock star he once was, though he still plays in a local band and loves to party. Beautiful women come and go, but music is his only passion--until a sassy redhead named Isabelle Monroe shows up unexpectedly.
Fate reunites two former friends living with one foot in the present and the other in the past. But will they have a future when one of them is forced to choose between life and death? Old habits die hard, and sometimes the toughest addictions to shake are the ones that control our hearts.
18+Full-length novelCliffhanger-freeHEA
SEVEN SERIES READING ORDER:Book 1 - Seven Years (Seven Series #1)Book 2 - Six Months (Seven Series #2)Book 3 - Five Weeks (Seven Series #3)Book 4 - Four Days (Seven Series #4)Book 5 - Three Hours (Seven Series #5)Book 6: Two Minutes (Seven Series #6) MAGERI SERIES READING ORDER:Book 1 - Sterling (Mageri Series: Book 1)Book 2 - Twist (Mageri Series: Book 2)Book 3 - Impulse (Mageri Series: Book 3)Book 4 - Gravity (Mageri Series: Book 4)Book 5 - Shine (Mageri Series: Book 5) Final Installment!
OTHER BOOKS:Closer: A Novella
Keywords: alpha male, hero, paranormal romance, romantic comedy, urban fantasy, wolf, wolves, werewolf, shifters, pack, supernatural, alpha, biker, rocker, rock star, native american, guitar, hero, singer, love story, heroine, sweethearts, best friends, hea, cliffhanger free, series, family, brothers, romance, heroine, pack, novel, action, adventure, vampires, mages, fantasy, novel, series, mageri, sexy, steamy, brilliant, southern, texas, bestseller, lad, bloke, naughty, mage, vampire, realistic love story, tattoos, tatted, hot cars, fairy tale

I wasn’t a big fan of Jericho in the previous books, but I was pleasantly surprised by him here. At first he was kind of an immature jerk, but as the novel wore on he grew up and I ended up really liking him. Izzy was a good heroine for him. She was funny and independent and I liked how quick she was to stand up for herself.

I really wish the author didn’t include the silly side plots featuring drug runners or crazy exes or loan sharks or whatever. In this case it was a crazy ex and a nasty drug kingpin. The plots do nothing to further the story and honestly just confused me half the time. The story would be going along great then, BAM, she was getting kidnapped out of nowhere for no reason. Lame.

One of the things I like about this series is that the shifters can’t remember anything while their in animal form. The animal takes over completely and it’s like the human blacks out. It makes for some interesting tales and confusing antics, but it’s a good spin on kind of an old tale.

I like the family ties the brothers have with each other, and I like the world. I actually binge-read this entire series. Though I like certain aspects better than others, and some books didn’t work for me at all, overall it has good bones.

3.5 out of 5

 

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Review: Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh

Posted July 31, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Shards of Hope by Nalini SinghReviewer: Holly
Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #14
Also in this series: Caressed By Ice, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, The Magical Christmas Cat, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Slave to Sensation, Tangle of Need, Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter, Shield of Winter, Visions of Heat, Mine to Possess, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Hostage to Pleasure, Shards of Hope, Heart of Obsidian, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Play of Passion, Allegiance of Honor, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Shield of Winter, Shards of Hope, Allegiance of Honor, Allegiance of Honor, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: June 2nd 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy, Urban, Science Fiction, General
Pages: 496
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four-stars

The “smoldering heat, epic romance, and awesome action”* of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as two Arrows find themselves caught in a chilling conspiracy that spans all three races…
Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.
And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what. This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.
*Jaci Burton, New York Times bestselling author

 

I loved Aden going into this book, and he didn’t disappoint. Zaira was the wild card. I didn’t dislike her in previous books, as I don’t think we got to know her very well, but I was a little leery about her as Aden’s heroine. She ended up being my favorite part of the book. She was fierce, loyal and 100% behind Aden in everything.

Aden and Zaira wake up in an unknown location with no recollection of how they got there and their Psy abilities blocked. They managed to escape but both are severely injured and they find a device in the back of their skulls that is blocking their Psy powers – and also keeping them from being found by teleporters like Vasic and Kaleb Krycheck – they must remove. They’re discovered by a local changeling pack and taken in, but their abilities are still offline and they don’t know who they can trust.

In the meantime, Aden has realized Zaira is the one for him. He wants her as his partner, but she doesn’t feel she can offer him anything but camaraderie and friendship. Due to abuse she suffered as a child, she has a hard time connecting emotionally to anyone. Not to mention the huge amount of rage she carries inside her that she’s afraid will come out and harm someone. Her biggest fear is that she’ll accept Aden is hers, then kill anyone who tries to get between them, befriend him or harm him. Basically she thinks he deserves better.

Aden knows all of Zaira’s secrets and understands why she tries to keep distance between them, but he knows she’s worth fighting for. Convincing her to fight as well is the biggest problem, but he knows if she commits there will be no going back. As they hunt for the ones hunting them, Aden works on gaining Zaira’s trust enough to let go with him.

This was an action-packed read from page one. I was sucked in right from the beginning when Aden and Zaira wake up in a holding cell with their psy-abilities cut off. Singh has been tugging several threads over the last few books, and the progression of the overreaching story arc really worked for me. I especially loved finding out what Aden’s ability is and seeing how the squad stands behind him.

Though I’ll admit, for all I enjoyed the story, it isn’t my favorite of the series. Parts of it were a bit slow moving and I didn’t feel the connection to the story I experienced with Heart of Obsidian or some of the other books.

I love this world and those who inhabit it. Singh’s imagination and world-building make this a must read series.

4.25 out of 5

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

four-stars

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