Tag: Fantasy

Guest Review: Would-Be Witch by Kimberly Frost

Posted July 29, 2009 by Ames in Reviews | 4 Comments

Published by Berkley, Penguin

Ames‘ review of Would-Be Witch (Southern Witch, Book 1) by Kimberly Frost

In the small town of Duvall, Texas, the only thing that causes more trouble than gossip – is magic.

The family magic seems to have skipped over Tammy Jo Trask. All she gets are a few untimely visits from long-dead, smart-mouthed family ghost Edie. But when her locket—an heirloom that happens to hold Edie’s soul—is stolen in the midst of a town-wide crime spree, it’s time for Tammy to find her inner witch.

After a few experiences with her dysfunctional magic, Tammy turns to the only person in small-town Duval, Texas, who can help: the very rich and highly magical Bryn Lyons. He might have all the answers—and a 007 savoir faire to boot—but the locket isn’t the only heirloom passed down in Tammy’s family. She also inherited a warning: stay away from anyone named Lyons.

Tammy Jo comes from a long line of witches. Unfortunately, the family magic seems to have skipped her over and the only thing she can do is watch over her aunt Edie’s locket. But Tammy even has trouble with that! At a costume party, some robbers crash in and everyone believes they’re part of the entertainment. But when valuables are stolen (among them Edie’s locket), the party-goers realize that this is for real. So Tammy has to get Edie’s locket back or Edie’s soul will be lost forever in the ether of the universe (or something equally unpleasant). In an effort to retrieve the locket, Tammy Jo winds up in a bunch more scrapes. There’s a flesh-eating zombie on the loose, some people wind up in a magical coma, there are werewolves out there and they are not the good guys. Then there’s Bryn Lyons. Who’s side is he on?

Ok, I really liked Tammy Jo. She’s a cake baker/decorator by day (but she just got fired) and she used to be married to Zach, a real hunk of a policeman. But things didn’t work out between them but they’re still sleeping together. Love was never their problem and Zach still considers Tammy his wife. But oh ho ho! There’s Bryn Lyons again, stirring up all kinds of trouble for Tammy. Bryn also gets Tammy a cat though, a really cool cat. So bonus for him. LOL

All Tammy wants is her aunt’s locket but she keeps getting swept up into all kinds of paranormal emergencies. And I like how she gets herself out of each and every scrape. Tammy is one resourceful heroine! And there’s nothing wrong with a little sexual tension in a love triangle.
Would-Be Witch was a real fun read and I definitely can’t wait for Tammy’s next adventure. Here are two examples of a typical Tammy and Zach interaction:

“So you’re staying at Bryn Lyon’s?”
“No, of course I’m not. I’m getting my cat.” And my underwear.
“And then where will you be?”
“Well, I’m not exactly sure. I’m having to fly by the seat of my Levi’s right now.”
“Girl, you makin’ me crazy. Why don’t you come on home and behave yourself.”
“I’m gonna. Real soon.”

And this one:

“All right, it’s been fun, but it’s time for us to go,” Zach said, sliding an arm around my shoulders. “Give Smitty the keys to Nadine’s vehicle. He’s going to return it for you.”
“But I need to fill it up with gas and run it through a car wash for her.”
“You’re a real considerate thief.”
“Momma raised me right.”

LOL Momma did raise her right!

Told from Tammy’s point of view, Would-Be Witch really is about a young woman coming into her magical powers and finding out exactly how powerful being a woman really is.

3.75 out of 5

Kimberly’s next book, Barely Bewitched, will be available in September 2009.

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Review: Storm Glass by Maria. V. Snyder

Posted May 6, 2009 by Holly in Reviews | 11 Comments

Review: Storm Glass by Maria. V. SnyderReviewer: Holly
Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Glass Series #1
Published by MIRA
Publication Date: July 30th 2013
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, General
Pages: 432
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Award-winning author 
Maria V. Snyder 
brings readers into a world of molten magic, where storms can be captured within a glass orb and a magician's powers can remain hidden…until challenged by enemy forces. 
As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowan understands trial by fire. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal's unique talents to prevent it from happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap into a new kind of magic. Yet the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control her powers…powers that could lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known.

Storm Glass is book one in Maria V. Snyder‘s new Glass series, a spin off of her wildly popular Study series. This book is narrated by Opal Cowan, who we met for the first time in Magic Study (Study series, book 2). I don’t believe this book can be read as a standalone. Too many things that happened in the previous trilogy are alluded to. Readers who are new to this series should begin here at their own peril.

This novel features one adventure after another. Opal is first told she’ll be traveling with 4th Magician Zitora to help the Stormdancers because the orbs they store energy they harness from storms are breaking and killing them off. They need her to help them figure out what the problem with their glass orbs are. From there she’s lead on many other adventures.

Opal was an interesting character. In the beginning of the novel she seriously lacks self-confidence and has very low self-esteem. Because of things that happened in her past, this is somewhat understandable, but I think it went a little far. By the end of the novel she was showing signs of improving, but I feel she has a long way to go still. Especially after events the events that transpired here. I wonder if she’ll backslide?

Unlike in the Study series, the romance in this book is much more prominent. It’s obvious right from the beginning that Opal feels an attraction to Kade and her budding romance with Ulrick is at the forefront of the story. I really enjoyed Kade’s character and hope we find out more about him as the trilogy progresses. Ulrick I’m reserving judgment on for now.

View Spoiler »

The story is fast-paced and action packed, but at times I felt like things were moving so quickly we missed some of the character development. I am willing to look past though, however, because the series will be continuing. One of the characters I’m most interested in learning more about is Devlin. I hope once you read this (if you haven’t already) you’ll come back and tell me your feelings on him. There are definitely some shades of gray to his character.

I think the world-building was rich and colorful in this novel, and it was easy to get wrapped up in the characters and the world they live in. Despite the few issues I had, I couldn’t put this down and look forward to the next installment (Sea Glass, September, 2009).

4.25 out of 5

Book Cover

Book CoverBook CoverBook Cover

This book is available from Mira. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Check out my reviews of the Study series below:

Poison Study
Magic Study

Fire Study

Interested in reading this book? Leave a comment on this post or Maria’s guest blog to be entered to win one of three signed copies!


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Guest Review: Succubus Dreams by Richelle Mead

Posted April 12, 2009 by Ames in Reviews | 3 Comments

Ames review of Succubus Dreams by Richelle Mead.

Some days, a girl just can’t catch a break…

…especially when the girl in question is Georgina Kincaid, a shape-shifting succubus who gets her energy from seducing men. First there’s her relationship with gorgeous bestselling writer Seth Mortensen, which is unsatisfying on a number of levels. It’s not just that they can’t have sex in case Georgina inadvertently kills him (generally a turn-off for most guys). Lately, even spending time together is a challenge. Seth’s obsessed with finishing his latest novel, and Georgina’s under demonic orders to mentor the new (and surprisingly inept) succubus on the block.

Then there are the dreams. Someone, or something, is preying on Georgina at night, draining her energy, and supplying eerie visions of her future. Georgina seeks answers from Dante, a dream interpreter with ties to the underworld, but his flirtatious charm only leaves her more confused—especially as the situation with Seth reaches crisis point. Now Georgina faces a double challenge—rein in her out-of-control love life, and go toe-to-toe with an enemy capable of wreaking serious havoc among mankind. Otherwise, Georgina, and the entire mortal world, may never sleep easy again…

You can read my review for Succubus Blues (book 1) here and Succubus On Top (book 2) here. As this is the third book in a series, my review will contain spoilers for books 1 and 2.

Summary: In Succubus on Top, the relationship between Georgina and Seth evolves emotionally. But due to Georgina’s succubus powers and the fact that Georgina does not want to shorten Seth’s life, their physical relationship is stagnant and Seth has to live with the fact that Georgina has to sleep with other men to survive.

The dynamics for this relationship plays out further in Succubus Dreams. Georgina is feeling guilty for what she has to do and frustrated that she can’t be with Seth physically. Plus the ribbing she gets from all her demonic friends doesn’t help. When the one who made her shows up with his latest succubus and demands that Georgina train her, it’s like adding vinegar to the mix. Because she knows the demon who made is not up to any good.

To make this potent mix of frustration and paranoia even more explosive, there’s something sucking up Georgina’s life force. That’s her job and she’s supposed to be immune to life suckage.

My Thoughts: I loved Succubus Dreams. In fact, I cried. Yes, a book about a succubus punched me in the gut. Why? Oh man, it’s a doozy!

SD is told from Georgina’s pov and I have no problem with that at all. We get to experience what’s going on in her head and we’re left to piece together the paranormal mystery right along with her. First person pov also works well in this case in regards to Georgina’s humanity/immortality. One of her friends is an angel who drops some very cryptic messages and we’re right there with the character trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

And it puts the reader in Georgina’s shoes emotionally – which is very important. Because although she’s been a succubus for almost two thousand years (or something to that effect), Georgina still has a lot to learn about humans. And how they can hurt each other.

The cast of characters around Georgina are as interesting as ever and I cannot wait until June for Succubus Heat to come out. The mystery as well kept me guessing almost until the end.
4.5/5 (A-)

This book is available from Kensington. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Review: Rogue by Cheryl Brooks

Posted March 3, 2009 by Ames in Reviews | 11 Comments

Trag and Tychar are brothers sold into slavery when their planet was destroyed. Their race carries a feline gene, giving them sinuous beauty and extraordinary sexual powers. Tychar’s female conquests are legendary, but they never meant much to him, and Trag just laughs at his playboy brother. Living on Darconia, a planet of friendly but unattractive lizards, neither has been with a woman in many years. When the queen hires Kyra Aramis, a human from Earth, to teach piano to her children, Trag and Tychar agree to share the female and set out to win her over…

But suddenly Tychar becomes possessive – Kyra is unlike any woman he’s ever known. But he’s sure he’s ruined any chance of her trusting him with her heart…

I have to say this right off the bat, that blurb does not do this book justice – at all.

So here’s my nifty little summary. Kyra Aramis is an average piano teacher on Earth. She doesn’t go on any wild adventures and it’s very easy to say she leads a very tame life. But when the opportunity arises for her to go offworld to teach piano to some lizardlike aliens, she jumps at the chance. When Kyra arrives in Darconia, she realizes why no one else was beating a path to that particular job offer. Darconia is a very barren, desert-like planet. Ruled by biped lizards. Yeah she’ll be teaching the Queen’s daughter the piano, but when she faints from the heat and there appears to be some Darconian’s who do not like offworlders on their planet, Kyra questions her decision.

But Kyra has one tempting reason to stay.  The first night in Darconia, the Queen assigned one of her slaves (treated more like treasured pets) to Kyra – to satisfy any needs she may have.  Kyra isn’t sure if she should take that literally, because the Queen is very fond of her subject.  But Kyra is oh so tempted and eventually gives in Tychar’s charms.  Tychar, or Ty, has been enslaved on Darconia for 20 years with his brother Trag.  They used to be Zetithian soldiers before their planet was decimated, but now they’re slaves.  It hasn’t been too difficult being treated like a pampered pet except all the Darconians do absolutely nothing to turn them on.  Ty is overjoyed at the possibility of satisfying Kyra, and Trag is jealous.
But there’s definitely a whole lot more to this story than a guy and a girl and the guy’s brother.  🙂
Ok, the set up seems to scream menage a trois – but it’s not really that kind of book.  There’s one menage scene – but that’s the only one, the rest of the time Trag teases Kyra and Ty.  So there’s definitely a story for Trag in the works, I’m guessing.
I like Cheryl Brook’s books because you can’t take them seriously.  They’re like roadtrippy comedies with out of this world characters and oddball situations.  The women begin as ordinary ladies because the men are so outrageous (in bed).  But the women very much run the show, which I think is a good thing.
I have to say, out of the 3 books in the Cat Star series so far, Rogue is my favorite.  And there’s no weird nose sex.  LOL  4 out of 5 (B)

This book is available from Sourcebooks. You can buy it here.

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Guest Review: The Storm by Jean Johnson

Posted December 22, 2008 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 4 Comments

Guest Review: The Storm by Jean JohnsonReviewer: Tracy
The Storm by Jean Johnson
Series: Sons of Destiny #6
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: September 2, 2008
Genres: Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Eight brothers, born in four sets of twins, two years apart to the day—they fulfill the Curse of Eight Prophecy. Though no longer trapped in exile, their growing family faces new problems. The sixthborn son must find a way to trust his Destined bride…

First, his most heavily guarded refuge is breached. And now, the worst of all crimes against Rydan of Nightfall: Rora, a pesky, privacy-invading foreigner, likes him and won’t leave him alone! Rydan knows he’s as appealing as a rosebush stripped of its blooms, so why does she persist? Any normal maiden should be seeking less thorny company than his.

But Rora isn’t normal. She alone sees the secret of what torments Rydan. And only she can persuade him to put it right before it destroys him. But Rora has her own secret as well—one of such vast power that other mages have killed in order to possess it. It once drove Rora and her sisters into exile, and, in the wrong hands, its power could annihilate their world. In the right hands, it could change her and Rydan’s fate forever.

I have to say that I enjoyed this book much more than previous books. I’ve always been curious about Rydan and what his issues were so it was nice to finally be able to read about him.

This book basically happens simultaneously with The Cat. Mara from The Cat and Rora from this book are twins who happen upon Nightfall Island. They have been running from Mages who want to steal the power that Rora has in her body.

When Rora happens upon Rydan he is in bed and has been drugged by his brother. What his brother didn’t know is that Rydan has a serious problem with emotions, both his and other peoples. His kind of drag him into a sink hole and others literally hurt him. When Rora discovers Rydan’s problem she makes it her “project” to help Rydan deal with the emotions that cause him to stay away from the rest of his family.

Rora is basically a living fountain; A source of power so great that evil mages want to take her/it and use it for evil. When Rora lands on the island she is convinced that it is a safe place and that no one will take advantage of her power. Since Rydan is a Guardian of a fountain himself he understands the need to keep others away from her.

Rydan and Rora, in their solitude, discover a caring and eventual love for each other. They seem to understand each other better than their twins understand them. I very much enjoyed reading the coming together of these two people. I loved all the touching and the hand holding they did. It was a very sexually charged story, but very sweet as well. I’d have to say this is my favorite of all the books so far and for anyone who’s been reading the stories I think they’ll enjoy it.

Rating 3.5 out of 5


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