Tag: Ace

Review: Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 11, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Bayou Moon by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Bayou Moon (The Edge, #2) by Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge #2
Also in this series: On the Edge, Bayou Moon, On the Edge (The Edge, #1)
Published by Penguin, Ace
Publication Date: October 1st 2010
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 447
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge—and Cerise’s life . William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster.

When William’s and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly—but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed…and survive.

Bayou Moon is the second book in Ilona Andrews The Edge series and it was another fantastic read by the writing duo. This book follows William, the changeling from On the Edge as he makes his way to the Mire on a mission to find bad guys that are planning some really bad things. William meets Cerise Mar while trying to track down Spider (the bad guy) and when an opportunity presents itself to work together, William jumps on board real quick like.

Cerise is trying to find her parents. With her father missing, she is the leader of her family and there are a million of them. She’s in the middle of a family feud over her grandfather’s property and she’s got a million things to do and a million people counting on her to fix their family mess. When she comes across William, a stranger from the Weird, she joins forces with him because they seem to be after the same person and he has knowledge of the people that they’re fighting. It made sense and the longer she spent in his company, the more drawn they were to each other.

I enjoyed William’s character in On the Edge and at first introduction, low key wanted him to be the hero of that book but the more that I read that book, the more sense Rose made with Declan and not William. I wanted to read William’s book and was stoked that he was getting one and that I didn’t have to wait to read it. The guy just wanted a family to call his own and boy did he get one with the Mars. The way that he fit in with them and the way that they needed him made the relationship an equal one and I was glad for him.

Cerise was a great heroine. She was strong and she was caring and she really did have her family’s best interests at heart and seeing her try to protect everyone, think of everything and worry about everything in between trying to find her parents and fight the bad guys made me love her more and more with each passing page. She was smart and I really liked seeing her with William but also with her family. They were a tight-knit unit and she was at the top of the chain but she was the kind of leader that got her hands dirty right alongside the fighters and I thought she was awesome.

The romance between William and Cerise was fun but it was also believable. I loved seeing them get to know each other, fight alongside each other and then fall in love with each other. Seeing the effect Cerise had on William made me happy for him because he was fighting it for a little bit but who was he kidding? He loved the hell out of Cerise and I was so here for that. I really liked that Cerise was all in with William and was able to pull him into her family and be his support system. He was so used to being alone and seeing them figure their feelings and relationship out made an already great story, even greater.

This series is shaping up to be another fun one and while it’s not my favorite series of the Ilona Andrews bunch, it’s still enjoyable and I definitely recommend.

The Edge Series

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Posted April 11, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 6 Comments

Guest Review: Burn Bright by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Tracy
Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha and Omega #5
Also in this series: Hunting Ground, Fair Game, Cry Wolf, Shifting Shadows, Dead Heat, Alpha & Omega, Hunting Ground, Burn Bright (Alpha & Omega, #5; Mercy Thompson World - Complete, #15)
Published by Ace
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 336
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok’s pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf–but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills–his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker–to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn…

Charles and Anna are in charge of the Aspen Creek pack while Bran is away.  When Charles gets a cryptic call from one of the pack they call “the wildlings” he and Anna head off to discover what the issue is.  When they arrive they find Jonesy, the husband of one of their wolves beside himself as his wife Hester has been kidnapped and is being held in a cage awaiting transport.  Charles and Anna manage to free the wife, but her captors end up killing her anyway and her husband follows her into death.  While the pack is cleaning up they discover major surveillance on Hester and Jonesy’s home and figure out that someone is after the wildlings.  They also figure out that someone in the pack is a traitor.

Charles, Ann, and a few others head out in pairs to warn the wildlings about Hester and Jonesy’s deaths and the fact that people may be coming for them.  Of course they don’t know if the traitor is a wildling so it’s all pretty sensitive.

I wish that I could give you a bit more information about this book but anything further I tell you would be giving things away and believe me when I tell you that part of the greatness of this book is watching things unfold little by little.  Just an aside: This book runs pretty concurrently with the Mercy Thompson series so if you read that series as well you’ll know exactly when this book takes place as you’re reading.

In Burn Bright, not only do we get wonderful Charles and Anna time, and their werewolf awesomeness, but we also get to see a lot of the pack dynamic at work – especially with Bran gone.  With Charles and Anna we get to see, once again, the incredible bond that has been created between these two and the ease with which they now live.  I loved seeing these two work their magic with each other.  Briggs did an amazing thing when she thought up this pair and she’s not let us down yet.

We also got to see some great pack dynamics and how those worked.  We got a big dose of Asil, which is always good, and I even started to like Leah (Bran’s mate) a tiny, tiny bit. Lol  She still has a long way to go. 🙂

Overall this was a really good read and once I started it, I couldn’t put it down.  Hopefully we won’t have to wait quite as long for the next C & A book.

Rating 4 out of 5  

four-stars


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Review: On the Edge by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 10, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: On the Edge by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
On the Edge (The Edge, #1) by Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge #1
Also in this series: On the Edge, Bayou Moon, Bayou Moon (The Edge, #2)
Published by Penguin, Ace
Publication Date: October 29th 2009
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 309
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.

Rose thought if she practiced her magic, she could build a better life for herself. But things didn’t turn out how she planned, and now she works a minimum wage, off the books job in the Broken just to survive. Then Declan Camarine, a blueblood noble straight out of the deepest part of the Weird, comes into her life, determined to have her (and her power).

But when a terrible danger invades the Edge from the Weird, a flood of creatures hungry for magic, Declan and Rose must work together to destroy them—or they’ll devour the Edge and everyone in it.

On the Edge is the first book in The Edge series by Ilona Andrews and it was just as great as the other books that I’ve read by this fantastic writing duo. It was a slow start for me because I was still hung up on the Hidden Legacy series but once I realized that Jack, George and Sophie from the Innkeeper Chronicles were in this series, I jumped right into this story and loved it all.

Rose Drayton is the sole provider for her two younger brothers, Jack and George after her mother dies and their father takes off. She’s doing the single mother routine and trying to make ends meet is getting harder and harder with the boys getting bigger and bigger every day. They’re not rich by any stretch and Rose is trying the best she can to provide but also to protect the boys. They live in the Edge, in between the Broken (the human world) and the Weird (super magical people) and in The Edge, the more magic you have, the better off you are. Unless you’re Rose Drayton, who has lots of magic but it’s more of a nuisance than anything. She wants to keep her head down and get through each day, making things easier on her brothers and all of that goes up in the air when Declan Camarine shows up.

Declan is from the Weird and he’s a Marshall over there so he’s pretty important. He’s in the Edge searching for an enemy from the Weird who is somewhere in the Edge. His search for this enemy brings him into contact with Rose Drayton and her family and before he knows what is what, he means to have Rose as his wife and they’re joining together to fight the bad guys.

Declan and Rose’s romance was fun and it was sweet and I enjoyed the heck out of it though I will be honest and say that for me, Jack and George were where it’s at. Their family dynamics made me happy and I was a bit bummed that William didn’t work out in the beginning. The more that I got to know Declan, the more he won me over that by the end, Declan and Rose just made sense.

The writing style flowed really well for me and it didn’t take me very long at all to jump right into the thick of things. Andrews is really good at drawing readers into the worlds that they create. I hope they write forever. The romance worked, the characters charmed me and by the time the book ended, I was anxious for more.

On the Edge is another fabulously written story that sets up a different series nicely. I definitely recommend if you like magic, powerful couples and family support that makes you happy. This was a good one.

The Edge Series

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Posted March 6, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Burn Bright by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly
Burn Bright (Alpha & Omega, #5; Mercy Thompson World - Complete, #15) by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha and Omega #5
Also in this series: Hunting Ground, Fair Game, Cry Wolf, Shifting Shadows, Dead Heat, Alpha & Omega, Hunting Ground, Burn Bright
Published by Ace
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 336
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

In her bestselling Alpha and Omega series, Patricia Briggs “spins tales of werewolves, coyote shifters, and magic and, my, does she do it well” (USATODAY.com). Now mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham face a threat like no other–one that lurks too close to home…

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok’s pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf–but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills–his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker–to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn…

This series runs parallel to the Mercy Thompson series. The events of Burn Bright take place shortly after the events in Silence Fallen, the most recent Mercy Thompson release.

With Bran out of the country, Charles is in charge. When a call comes in from one of the Wildlings – the misfits who aren’t part of the Aspen Creek pack but still fall under the Marrok – asking for help, Charles and Anna head into the mountains to see what they can do. What they find is worse than they could have imagined; Someone is targeting the Wildlings, yes, but it seems to be part of a larger conspiracy that hints at a traitor in the pack. As Charles and Anna work to uncover the details, all signs are pointing to a betrayal that will rock the very foundations of the pack.

I love Charles and Anna. They have a great couple dynamic. They’re supportive of each other, and honest in their dealing with one another. I love that, despite his dominance – or maybe in spite of it – Charles recognizes Anna’s strengths and never tries to stifle her. They’re at their best here as a couple.

The Wildlings have been mentioned in other books, but we didn’t know much about them. I enjoyed stepping outside of the normal pack structure to see some of the misfits Bran has collected over the years. I’ll be honest, I didn’t guess the villain. I knew it wasn’t who was presented as a red herring, but the truth surprised me.

The pack politics and mystery surrounding who’s after the pack was intriguing and kept me engaged. The way Charles and Anna worked together melted my heart. This is definitely another winner from Briggs.

Alpha & Omega Series

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Judgment Road by Christine Feehan

Posted January 22, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 10 Comments

Review: Judgment Road by Christine FeehanReviewer: Holly
Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink #1) by Christine Feehan
Series: Torpedo Ink #1
Also in this series: Judgment Road
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: January 23rd 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 304
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

An outlaw motorcycle club sets up shop next door to Sea Haven in the dangerously sexy new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

A brutal education in a Russian training facility for assassins has taught this group of men one thing: It's a long road to redemption.JUDGMENT ROAD

As the enforcer of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club, Reaper lives for riding and fighting. He's a stone-cold killer who turns his wrath on those who deserve it. Feelings are a weakness he can't afford--until a gorgeous bartender gets under his skin...

Near Sea Haven, the small town of Caspar has given Anya Rafferty a new lease on life. And she's desperate to hold on to her job at the biker bar, even if the scariest member of the club seems to have it out for her. But Reaper's imposing presence and smoldering looks just ratchet up the heat.

Anya's touch is everything Reaper doesn't want--and it brands him to the bone. But when her secrets catch up to her, Reaper will have to choose between Anya and his club--his heart and his soul.

Trigger warnings: Abuse, Rape, Pedophilia and More. This is a dark book.

Judgment Road is the first book in Christine Feehan’s Torpedo Ink series, a spinoff of the Drake Sisters/Sisters of the Heart series’ set in the Northern California Coastal town of Sea Haven.

This was difficult to read at times. It’s a dark, MC romance with a lot of the bad elements that come with MC’s. I didn’t expect that since Feehan hasn’t gone down that road before, and the two previous series’ set in this world weren’t like that. Had I gone into it with different expectations, I may not have been as surprised by the violence as I was.

Reaper – and all his brothers/sisters in the MC – is seriously messed up. He suffered major trauma as a child and was shaped to be a monster by his handlers. He’s barely kept hold of his humanity and doesn’t trust himself with Anya. Several times he actually physically or mentally abused her while trapped in a nightmare, so he was right to be concerned. I actually liked Reaper and how he was able to maintain on his own for all those years. But he had no business being with Anya. He knew it, but couldn’t walk away. I’d have preferred if he sought actual help for his problems.

The paranormal elements aren’t focused on much here. Each member of the MC has some kind of psychic ability – which is what made them targets as children – but it isn’t really talked about. We see some examples of it, but I’m not sure how much new readers will understand.

I’m struggling to pin down my feelings for this book. There were elements I enjoyed, like the brotherhood of the MC and Anya on her own. But her relationship with Reaper was complicated and pretty messed up. I didn’t end the book feeling warm and fuzzy about them. Anya often recognized his – and the Club’s – behavior as unhealthy and thought she should get out, but then she’d make the conscious decision to stay. Something about her blowing hot and cold really pulled me out of the story. I think I’d have preferred her to either be oblivious to how weak she was being, or to be strong enough to walk away. As it was, she just seemed like a victim. She’s an orphan who spent much of her life on the streets. Despite some trouble with her previous employer, she’s doing her best to stay on the straight and narrow. She desperately needs her job as she’s currently homeless and living in her car. When things start going bad between her and Reaper, the club steps in and refuses to let her leave. Since she’s already alone in the world and struggling just to make it each day, their actions felt like forcible kidnapping rather than the family concern Feehan tried to make it out to be. I could maybe have moved on from that, but there were other things that pushed her over the edge for me. Spoilers below.

View Spoiler »

Judgment Road a dark, gritty romance. It is not for the faint of heart. I can’t decide how I feel about it in the end. I’m not sure if my feelings were tainted by my expectations based on previous books set in the world. I’m giving it a 3 out of 5, but I may change my mind later.

3 out of 5

three-stars


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