Tag: Ace

Joint Review: Smoke Bitten by Patricia Briggs

Posted March 26, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Smoke Bitten by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Smoke Bitten by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #12
Also in this series: Frost Burned , Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen , Moon Called, Blood Bound , Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed , River Marked , Frost Burned, Storm Cursed , Night Broken, Fire Touched, Storm Cursed
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: March 17, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, faces a threat unlike any other in this thrilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

I am Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman. My only “superpowers” are that I turn into a thirty-five pound coyote and fix Volkswagens. But I have friends in odd places and a pack of werewolves at my back. It looks like I’m going to need them.

Centuries ago, the fae dwelt in Underhill–until she locked her doors against them. They left behind their great castles and troves of magical artifacts. They abandoned their prisoners and their pets. Without the fae to mind them, those creatures who remained behind roamed freely through Underhill wreaking havoc. Only the deadliest survived.

Now one of those prisoners has escaped. It can look like anyone, any creature it chooses. But if it bites you, it controls you. It lives for chaos and destruction. It can make you do anything–even kill the person you love the most. Now it is here, in the Tri-Cities. In my territory.

It won’t, can’t, remain.

Not if I have anything to say about it.

Smoke Bitten is the 12th book in the Mercy Thompson series.

Since Mercy claimed the Tri-Cities as Pack territory, and the Fae and Vampires called a truce with them, things have gotten interesting. Since fighting a coven of black witches, things have been strange between Mercy and Adam. Things come to a head when his ex-wife causes trouble for them, so of course, that’s when they discover something has escaped from Underhill- the magical lands the Fae used to inhabit before she kicked them out – and it’s causing havoc for Mercy and the pack. Now Mercy needs to figure out how to kill the Smoke Demon, and how to fix what’s wrong between her and Adam…before it’s too late.

Holly: Another stellar novel in the Mercy Thompson series. I love how the relationships she has with Adam and Bran continue to evolve as the series progresses. Mercy’s relationship with the members of the pack is interesting. Sometimes I want to beat them over the head, and yet I love them all. I’m really looking forward to seeing how things change in the future with them.

Rowena: I agree that this was another stellar novel. I just keep right on adoring Mercy with each and every single book. I love that she’s not a dramatic person but she doesn’t shy away from the drama that finds itself at her doorstep. She’s such a laid back, mellow person but whoa boy if you come for her or anyone she loves. She’s much different than Kate Daniels but no less kick-ass, IMO.

I was all over the place, emotionally, in this book. I was pissed off for Ben, pissed off at Adam for being a raggedy ol’ bitch ass and then hurt for both Mercy and Adam once I realized that he wasn’t being a raggedy ol’ bitch ass on purpose. Haha. Hell, I even hurt for Stefan but I was also super happy to get some Bran and everyone. This book just made me happy for the most part. I freaking love this world.

Holly: I was so angry at Adam at first, and the pack, too. Like, “really, this again? Ugh!” Like you, I ended up hurting for them all once I realized why they were acting the way they were.

Rowena: I love that Mercy never gives up on anybody in the pack, Adam included.

Holly: What did you think of Aurielle? I never really liked her in the previous books, but she grew on me here.

Rowena: At the beginning of this book, I wanted to karate chop Aurielle into next week. I could not stand that she takes Christy’s side each and every single time. I’m glad that she got over herself and did what was right in the end because if she continued to treat Mercy the way that she did, I would hate her and hold a grudge against her, no matter how much she was redeemed. I loved that Jesse enjoyed making her squirm. And I love how loyal Jesse is to Mercy.

Holly: I love how loyal and strong-willed Mercy is, too. I’m wondering more about Aurielle’s reason for freaking out. Do you feel for her nah?

Rowena: To be honest, no. I’m not feeling for her because I cannot stand it when teenagers lash out at others when they’re hurting and I hate it even more in grown-ass adults. Aurielle annoys the shit out of me and the way that she handled all of this shit at the beginning of this book pissed me off so I’m pretty meh toward her right now. I don’t hate her because she did eventually come around but other than that? Meh. She not only put herself at risk, but she also put Daryl at risk, against his wishes and that pisses me off too.

Holly: I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Aurielle, either, because she’s been pretty awful to Mercy from the beginning. Her extreme protectiveness toward Christy is not only misplaced but makes her a liability to the pack, IMO. It’s not that I don’t feel for the overall plight of the female wolves, but Aurielle just makes me angry. Still, by the end of the book I was less mad at her. She grew on me over the course of the novel.

Rowena: I’m really liking the lengths that Mercy and Adam are taking to make Aiden a part of the family. When Mercy called him, her son, I smiled and enjoyed seeing Aiden’s reaction to it. Ahhh, have I told you how much I love this book?

Holly: I love how Aiden has become part of the family. I just love how Mercy continues to collect people. Joel, Aiden, etc.

Rowena: Am I missing something with Wulfe? I still don’t understand what he’s doing with Mercy?

Holly: I’m not sure yet what’s going on with Wulfe. I have a feeling this will turn into something in the future.

What do you think of Underhill?

Rowena: Underhill is smart as hell, and the lengths she went to get what she wanted in this book show us how dangerous she is. I’m curious if we’ll see more from her in future books.

Holly: I have a feeling we’ll see a lot of Underhill in the future. There are obviously things working with the Fae and I’m sure that will come up later.

Rowena: The villains continue to be interesting in me. There are so many different monsters to take out with every book and they’re all so different. They all have different motives and different backgrounds and I’ve been interested in every single book so I think Briggs is doing a great job with keeping me invested in what goes on with her characters…even when they piss me the hell off.

Holly: I love how wide and varied all the villains are, and how fresh the series is even after all these books. I’m excited to see where things go from here.

Rowena: Tad and Jessie, huh? Thoughts on that?

Holly: I don’t think Tad and Jesse are a thing. They’re more like siblings than anything else. I’m curious what Gabriel’s note to Jesse said.

Rowena: I read somewhere that people were shipping them and I didn’t really see why everyone was doing that while reading this book so I was curious if I was the only one or not.

Holly: I don’t ship them. They’ve always been more like siblings to me. Plus Tad feels too old for Jesse. She’s just out of high school and he’s in his mid-20s in age, but his life experience makes him seem a lot older. Maybe in a few years I would buy it, but not right now.

Rowena: Overall, this book was another great addition to this series and after 12 books, I’m STILL hyped for this series so I’d say this was a good one. I give it 4.25 out of 5 stars. You?

Holly: Like you, I’m still invested in this series after 12 books, so Briggs is obviously doing something right. I’m going to give it 4.25 out of 5 as well.

Holly: 4.25 out of 5
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

Mercy Thompson

four-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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Joint Review: Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 16, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: Magic Bleeds by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Ames and Rowena
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #4
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 Dreams, Magic Slays
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: May 25, 2010
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 388
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-half-stars

Kate Daniels works for the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle—especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community.

When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar midway between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years—and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father.

This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family…

Magic Bleeds is the fourth book in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews and it’s another winner of a book, if you ask me. Kate Daniels is back in action, fighting the good fight against the bad guys and the fight is a lot closer to home than she’d wish. While out investigating a curious bar fight, Kate finds out that there’s a new bad guy in town and they are causing mayhem wherever they go so Kate needs to figure out who the bad guy is and take them out before panic hits everyone in Atlanta.

Rowena: Kate Daniels is a freaking badass and she’s winning me over with every passing page that I read. This was another fabulous story and Ilona Andrews continues to shine in their storytelling abilities because I was right there with Kate and the gang. I felt what she felt and I had the same burning desire to take down the bad guys and I wanted to kick Curran in the balls too….but boy do they really come into their own.

By now, we have learned what Kate is, who she is and we’re starting to find out just what she’s capable of. She was an interesting character before all of this came to light but now? She’s like ten times more interesting to me. The beginning of this book made me sad but the more I read, the stronger I felt that Curran and Kate were going to figure their shit out. It was a lot of fun for me to watch battle wits, battle forces and just fall in love. Holy cow, I love these two.

What did you think about this one, Ames?

Ames: First of all, I just have to say how glad and happy I am that you’re reading and loving this series. Kate Daniels is definitely one of my top favourite series EVER. I just had to get that out of the way.

Ok, like you I like this one for the growth its showing with Kate and how things are progressing with Curran. I love when couples fight and I feel that heartbreak so when he doesn’t show at the beginning of the book? I felt Kate’s hurt and her anger and I loved how she used Jim to say things to Curran for her when they finally ran into each other. hahaha!!

I also loved the introduction of Grendel. That was funny too.

I really can’t say anything bad about these books because I love them so much. But I like how kickass Kate is. She’s always thinking two steps ahead and she just wants to get shit done and she hates pack politics. She’s such a dynamic character and I like how we learn a little bit more about who she is and who she’s related to. She’s really starting to get a handle on her growing powers and learning exactly what she’s capable of.

Rowena: I’m happy that you’re happy that I’m finally reading and enjoying this series. I knew that I was going to love it though. You guys love this series too much for me to not love it as well. Ilona Andrews is a hell of a writing duo and they seriously shine with these books. The first couple of books were okay but now that I know what’s going on and who is who, this series is shaping up to be amazing. It’s probably going to be in my top favorite series ever as well. You have good taste. 🙂

Yesssss! I was just as mad at Curran for not showing up and when Kate goes off on him when they finally hash that whole thing out? Kate said everything she needed to say to him with her chest and the way that Curran reacted, the way that they growled their way to a resolution that is so them and it made me love the two of them together so much more.

Awww yes, I adored Grendel too. I loved seeing how Kate just took him home and that was that. She is piecing a family together for herself and I love being able to see it grow and grow. Despite how much she hates politics, she just keeps right on stepping up for them and I’m really looking forward to seeing where her character takes us next.

The big bad villain in this book was fierce and I liked seeing Kate shake a bit in her boots, trying to figure out how to take them down. I’m really digging everything that we’re starting to learn about Kate. The bits and pieces of her background, learning about how she came to be the person that she is now and I’m really interested in seeing Hugh come back into the picture. What’s his deal anyway? Overall, this book was another action-packed story that I was heavily invested in so it’s getting a 4.75 out of 5 from me, what about you?

Ames: I’m giving Magic Bleeds 4.75 out of 5 as well. This series is really picking up steam and each book keeps getting better and better. I like that Kate is starting to build a family for herself and is starting to open to up to people.

Ames: 4.75 out of 5
Rowena: 4.75 out of 5

Kate Daniels


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Review: Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 13, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Magic Mourns by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #3.5
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 Bleeds, Magic Dreams, Magic Slays
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: May 17, 2011
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 100
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

Andrea Nash of the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid - with an assist from her friend, Kate Daniels - tries to figure out why the giant three-headed dog who guards the gates of Hades is sniffing around Atlanta.

* Originally published in the anthology, Must Love Hellhounds.

Magic Mourns follows Magic Strikes and features Andrea Nash and Raphael Medrano. Andrea is Kate’s best friend and Raphael is a werehyena shapeshifter who has made his interest in Andrea known. Bouda shapeshifters aren’t known for being choosy when it comes to bedmates and Andrea doesn’t want to be another notch on Raphael’s post so she’s keeping her distance. When Andrea gets a call that a big ass three-headed dog is chasing a shapeshifter, it’s her job to go and investigate. The whole way to the scene, she’s hoping the shapeshifter isn’t Raphael but of course it’s Raphael. Working together brings Raphael and Andrea together and seeing them try to figure their shit out made for a delightful reading adventure.

I thought this was a quick but cute read and I enjoyed getting to know both Andrea and Raphael a little more. They were both fabulous characters from Magic Strikes and seeing them come together in love was fun. My heart went out to Aunt B, Raphael’s Mom and though we’re not completely done with these two, I thought this was a great introductory story for them. I’m super hooked into everything Kate Daniels right now and they did their thing with this one so yes, I definitely recommend.

4 out of 5

Kate Daniels


four-stars


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