Source: Purchased

Review: Sweep with Me by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 7, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Sweep with Me by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly
Sweep with Me by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #4.5
Also in this series: Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1), Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1), Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2), One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3), Clean Sweep, Sweep of the Blade
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 10, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 140
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2020 Reading Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A charming, short novella in the Innkeeper Chronicles, from #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ilona Andrews.

Thank you for joining us at Gertrude Hunt, the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, during the Treaty Stay. As you know, we are honor-bound to accept all guests during this oldest of innkeeper holidays and we are expecting a dangerous guest. Or several. But have no fear. Your safety and comfort is our first priority. The inn and your hosts, Dina Demille and Sean Evans, will defend you at all costs. [But we hope we don’t have to.]

Every winter, Innkeepers look forward to celebrating their own special holiday, which commemorates the ancient treaty that united the very first Inns and established the rules that protect them, their intergalactic guests, and the very unaware/oblivious people of [planet] Earth. By tradition, the Innkeepers welcomed three guests: a warrior, a sage, and a pilgrim, but during the holiday, Innkeepers must open their doors to anyone who seeks lodging. Anyone.

All Dina hopes is that the guests and conduct themselves in a polite manner. But what’s a holiday without at least one disaster?

Sweep with Me is a novella set in Gertrude Hunt, a magical intergalactic Inn, featuring Sean and Dina. It takes place a very short time after the events of One Fell Sweep.

After Dina almost died trying to protect Gertrude Hunt, she and Sean are in desperate need of some down time. Unfortunately for them, this is the one time of year they’re unable to refuse a guest at the Inn. Now they have angry intellectual space-chickens debating the meaning of life, a soulless killer on a pilgrimage and the leader of an off-planet world with murky intentions requesting the Inn set up a meeting with a ruthless business man. Sean and Dina do their best to keep their guests safe from harm and from each other.

I love the Innkeeper Chronicles. I was very happy to visit Dina and Sean at Gertrude Hunt. This novella was a lot of fun. This world is so well drawn I feel like I’m there with them every time I open a book.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Innkeeper Chronicles

four-stars


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Review: Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper

Posted April 2, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly HarperReviewer: Holly
Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 318
Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars

Author of the beloved Half Moon Hollow series of vampire romances (Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs), Molly Harper has created a standalone paranormal romance in which a dilapidated haunted house could bring star-crossed lovers together—if it doesn’t kill them first!

When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate—he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in nineteenth-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say “Boo.”

But Nina shows no signs of being scared away, even as she experiences some unnerving apparitions herself. And as the two of them work closely together to restore the mansion’s faded glory, Deacon realizes that he’s found someone who doesn’t seem to like his fortune more than himself—while Nina may have finally found the one man she can trust with her bruised and battered heart.

But something on the island doesn’t believe in true love…and if Nina and Deacon can’t figure out how to put these angry spirits to rest, their own love doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance.

Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper is a stand-alone paranormal romance. I started this book months ago and quit about halfway through. I was mostly just bored with the story. I was recently on a flight and forgot to download a new audiobook, so I turned this one on since it was already on my device. The second half was much better than the first.

Nina Linden is struggling to keep her landscape business afloat since her former business partner and ex started sabotaging her. Though the place is said to be haunted and/or cursed, she takes a job to bring an abandoned private island back to life. Billionaire Deacon Whitney wants to revive the Whitney Estate, the family’s private island that’s rumored to be cursed. He doesn’t believe in ghosts or curses, but he knows others do so he’s paying double the rates. Nina doesn’t expect to be attracted to Deacon..or to be having strange visions of herself as a maid in a gothic mystery.

Deacon’s flighty cousin, interior decorator ex-girlfriend and architect best friend are there helping, along with a cleaning service. The novel jumps around a lot, and in the beginning I had trouble following everyone and everything. I came to really like the cast of characters and the way the novel flashed back and forth between the developing romance of Deacon and Nina and Jeff, the architect, and Cindy, the owner of the cleaning service, but the second half didn’t make up for the first.

I enjoyed the setting and the romance. Harper is generally good for a laugh, and I found myself smiling several times over the antics of the characters. The mystery plot was kind of a dud, but I enjoyed the paranormal/ghost aspects. Not my favorite of Harper’s novels.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

three-stars


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Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Seduced by Silver by Gwen Campbell

Posted March 26, 2020 by Ames in Reviews | 5 Comments

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Seduced by Silver by Gwen CampbellReviewer: Ames
Seduced by Silver by Gwen Campbell
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publication Date: February 19, 2010
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 102
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars

When Meadow accompanies her boyfriend home for a weekend, she expects to try to rekindle their romance. Instead, she meets his father Keefe—mature, sexy and Alpha enough to claim her as his own. And claim her he does. The heat that flares between them quickly turns to something more and their passionate joining leads to a deeper connection. But Meadow’s father is Keefe’s biggest business rival, and Meadow’s a daddy’s girl through and through—and her daddy’s not going to like this.

Reader Advisory: While the world in this book has the traditional werewolf pack structures, social statuses and hot, animalistic sex, the characters aren’t shapeshifters.

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***

This review was originally posted on March 7, 2010.

First of all, that cover makes me blush. LOL

Second, I enjoyed Seduced by Silver. The set-up of the Eupanorian world is different enough (humanoid beings with a culture based on wolf pack structure) that it totally makes sense that if someone isn’t Alpha enough for their woman, someone else is. And that it’s Meadow’s boyfriend’s dad? Hey, he’s the Alpha! And she’s an Alpha bitch! LOL

This kind of thing would not work for me in a contemporary or even a historical, but Gwen has created an interesting world and I bought it.

Killian and Meadow have been dating for a while. But after they reach final maturity, something that happens when a Eupanorian reaches their 20s, Meadow realizes that Killian isn’t her equal in the pack social structure. He’s mid-level. And she’s an Alpha. The trip to his childhood home is in an effort to rekindle their romance, a chance for Killian to prove he can handle her. Unfortunately, Killian couldn’t…but his father can. Meadow and Keefe don’t back down from each other and are constantly challenging the other. Perfect chemistry for two Alphas.

But can Killian live with the choice he made? And does Keefe want Meadow for life or for the rest of the trip?

I liked Meadow. She definitely was an Alpha and I loved that she was equal to Keefe. In shifter stories, the Alpha male is so alpha, and the heroine kind of isn’t. LOL So I really liked that these two were equal. And the hot sex doesn’t hurt. I wouldn’t have minded a bit more conflict, because there really wasn’t any. But for pure escapism with some Alpha-ness, I’d recommend Seduced by Silver for sure. 3.75 out 5

This book is available from Ellora’s Cave. You can buy it here in e-format.

three-half-stars


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Featured Review: Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 25, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Featured Review: Magic Slays by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Casee, Holly, and Rowena
Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #5
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises , Magic Strikes, Magic Mourns, Magic Bleeds, Magic Dreams
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: May 31, 2011
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

Kate Daniels has quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but starting her own business isn't easy when the Order starts disparaging her good name. And being the mate of the Beast Lord doesn't bring in the customers, either. So when Atlanta's premier Master of the Dead asks for help with a vampire, Kate jumps at the chance. Unfortunately, this is one case where Kate should have looked before she leapt.

Casee: I finally went into reading mode today and was able to finish this book. Holy cow. I think it’s my favorite in the series so far. Everything about it was amazing. Kate is such an awesome heroine. I just can’t get enough of her.

Holly: I feel like the series really picks up with this book. I liked book 3, but this is the first book in the series I really loved. The way the relationships develop, the plot, all of it was stellar.

Casee: I agree. There was a cohesiveness to this book that really stuck with me. I loved seeing Kate’s relationships with all the people in her life. It’s funny because she started out a loaner and now she has all these people in her life.

Rowena: For me, the series really picked up with book 3, Magic Strikes but this was another great addition to the series. I’m really liking how Kate’s circle of loved ones keeps growing and growing. I’m also really enjoying seeing her business grow from one employee to four. Do we see more from Ascansio? He got on my nerves in the beginning but he really grew on me.

Casee: Ascansio got on my nerves too. He really redeemed himself when he protected Julie.

Holly: Ascanio got on my nerves at first, too, but I loved how he protected Julie. I also loved how she kicked his ass. Ha. Serves him right.

Rowena: Yes!! I forgot all about how much he annoyed me until Julie showed up and gave him the verbal smackdown. As much as I’d love to see more between Ascansio and Julie, it’s Derek and Julie that I’m much more invested in. I can’t wait to read more between them.

Casee: Speaking of Julie, holy hell! I can’t even imagine what will happen if she finds out what Kate did.

Holly: Julie. Dude. I can’t even with that whole thing.

Rowena: My heart hurt for the choices that Kate had to make and it continued to hurt seeing Curran try and fail to be okay with her choices. Ilona Andrews does a great job of pulling the feels right out of me. From beginning to end, I was invested in every single thing in this book.

Holly: My heart hurt for Kate, too. Do you really think it was necessary for her to do what she did, though? It’s hard, but maybe she should have let that go. You know what I mean? (I’m trying not to include spoilers)

Rowena: I kept wondering if maybe there was something else they could have done to save Julie but everyone was panicked and I honestly believe that Kate did the best she could to save her kid so I’m not mad about it. I hope that Julie is able to forgive Kate when she finds out because I know she’s going to find out. Right?

Holly: Derek and Julie are both awesome alone. I can’t wait for you two to get farther along in the series so we can discuss more!

Casee: I was happy to see more of Derek. I heart him. I love how he protects Julie. As for Julie, I’m sure she will find out. That’s going to be interesting for sure.

Rowena: Overall, this story really worked for me but it wasn’t my favorite of the bunch so far. I’m really happy that I’m reading this series and each book so far has gotten better and better. I am loving Kate, I am loving Curran and I’m loving everyone else that we meet that is a part of Kate’s family. I thought that Curran handled the pack shit where Kate is concerned a whole lot better than Adam did in the Mercy Thompson series so Curran is my number one boo thang right now. Haha. I’m really enjoying the different aspects of the Kate Daniels world and I thought there was a lot of interesting things covered in this one so I definitely recommend it.

Casee: I loved Kate and Curran in this book. There are so many things to love. Their interactions just make me laugh. They are both two very strong individuals, but they still make it work.

Holly: There are so many things I want to talk about with you two, but you need to read farther into the series. We’ll talk more next month.

Rowena: I can’t wait to discuss all of those things with you but yeah, it’ll have to wait until next month.

Holly: This isn’t my favorite book in the series, but it is a really good book. I love how Kate’s world keeps expanding, and how she and Curran come together. This is a series I think everyone should read, and I’m thrilled you two are finally getting caught up.

Rowena: I’m giving it 4.25 out 5 stars. What about you guys?

Casee: I give this one a 4.25.

Holly: I’m going to give a 4 out of 5.

Final Grades

Casee: 4.25 out of 5
Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

Kate Daniels

four-stars


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Review: Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 20, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Magic Dreams by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #4.5
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises , Magic Strikes, Magic Mourns, Magic Bleeds, Magic Slays
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 86
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

From New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews comes a tale of darkness, desire, and werecats.

Alpha Pack leader Jim Shrapshire has always been the strong, silent type. But something has come over him--a magic force currently residing in one of the Pack's headquarters. Were-tigress Dali Harimau has always wished she could get Jim's attention--but now he needs her help.

Stricken with a magic-sickness, Jim needs Dali's flair for magic. And to save him, she must challenge a powerful, dark being to a battle of wits.

Includes an excerpt of Ilona Andrews's upcoming novel in the world of Kate Daniels, Gunmetal Magic

Magic Dreams originally appeared in the anthology Hexed.

Magic Dreams is a novella that follows the fourth book in the Kate Daniels series, Magic Bleeds. It also doesn’t feature Kate Daniels and Curran at the front and center of the story. It features Curran’s chief of Security Jim and the blind tiger, Dali.

I’m not the biggest fan of novella’s because I always seem to be left wanting more from them, at least lately but this one was solid and it felt like I was getting a full-length novel that packed a punch, had some emotional depth and furthered my love for both Jim and Dali. In Magic Strikes, you can tell that there was something there between Jim and Dali and you can also tell that Dali had some big-time feelings for Jim but here in this novella, we see those feelings front and center and we also see what they do with those feelings. Dali’s got some insecurities that she works through, we got to see Dali’s family and see Jim fall right into the thick of things with Dali’s family.

When Jim goes in to check on one of their pack’s headquarters and finds his team taken out, he goes to the one person that he knows can help him figure out what’s going on. Dali. Dali is in his pack and she is one of the smartest people he knows. She knows a lot about magic and whatever took out his team members stinks of magic. That same magic has done something to him and now, more than ever, he needs the only girl that he’s ever felt anything for but whatever it is that he’s hunting is dangerous and he doesn’t want to put Dali in danger.

Dali don’t take no shit from anyone though, the minute that Jim shows up at her house and scares the crap out of her. She’s all in. She’s had a big thing for the security chief and even though she knows that he will never see her the same way that he would see the other more feminine females in their pack, her feelings are still strong and they’re still there. Now that he’s in trouble, she needs to lean on her family’s magic and their knowledge of magic to save Jim from the magic that has taken residence in his head.

This was a short, action-packed romance that I ate right up. It took me no time at all to read and I was wrapped up in everything that was going on. I hope that we see some more from the dragon that we met in this book, later on in the series and I really hope to see more of Jim and Dali in future books. They’re a lot of fun and I just adored them to pieces. I’m so glad that I read this one and I can’t wait for more. I definitely recommend.

4 out of 5

Kate Daniels


four-stars


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