Tag: Penguin

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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Joint Review: Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 12, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Magic Strikes by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #3
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 Mourns, Magic Bleeds, Magic Dreams, Magic Slays
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: March 31, 2009
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 322
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
five-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

When magic strikes and Atlanta goes to pieces, it’s a job for Kate Daniels…

Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with these days. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.

But when Kate's werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games—an invitation only, no holds barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament—she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta's shapeshifting community…

Magic Strikes is the third book in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. The trouble really starts to heat up when Kate’s friend Derek is found almost dead and she is forced to catch the bad guys by putting a team together to fight in the Midnight Games, a supernatural Hunger Games like tournament. It’s a fight to the death and Kate and her team, the Fools, need to win the biggest prize of all to make sure it doesn’t fall into the hands of the bad guys.

Rowena: Holly and I are a little late with our February joint review and that’s all my fault. I fell behind on my buddy reads and my review pile so here we are, a month late but better late than never, right?

This month, we are reading Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews and I’m super stoked about that since I’ve been meaning to read this series for ages and Holly was nice enough to read it with me. I enjoyed this book heaps more than I enjoyed the first two books in this series. It’s like the series is finally hitting its stride with me and I couldn’t get enough.

Holly: I’m so glad you’re finally digging into this series. I knew if you powered through the first two books you’d fall in love.

Rowena: I went through it all emotionally in this one. I ugly cried like a baby, I laughed like a hyena and I happy sighed all over the place because omg, everything was so good.

What did you think, Holly? Did it hold up for you?

Holly: This one really packs a punch. It held up very well for me. Kate is such a kickass heroine. I love how badass she is. When she gave Jim that verbal smackdown after he shut her out about Derek, I cheered.

Speaking of Derek…my heart broke for him here. What about you?

Rowena: Same. This book really picks the series up and I just loved it to pieces. When Kate was too late getting to Derek, and the guilt she felt over it all? OMG, I felt that shit. I felt every single emotion possible while reading this book. There was a lot going on but there were small moments that just hit me in my feels and I couldn’t get enough. Seeing everyone come together for Kate, and for Jim and Derek? Man, I loved it. Jim trying to save Curran from doing things nobody should have to do? I felt that. Doolittle naming Kate’s team “Fools”, Curran showing up and everyone being scared out of their pants but ready with their excuses, and Curran shooting all of their excuses down? Haha, I freaking loved it. I laughed out loud when Kate comes back to the team room and Andrea is spilling the tea on what everyone was saying? Hahaha, oh man. So good. Don’t even get me started that first match when Jim told Curran and Kate to dumb down their fighting and they’re arguing afterward about how the fight turned out.

Holly: Like you, I felt all the emotions while reading this book. Curran’s anger, Kate and Jim’s determination to spare him, their sense of responsibility for Derek. Lord. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I read this book. Like Kate, I wanted vengeance. I hurt so much while reading this one. It definitely got me in the feels.

Rowena: One of the big things for me was finding out more about Kate’s background and seeing what she’s capable of. I mean, I had a sneaky suspicion that Kate was a little more than the puny little human that she was making herself out to be in the previous books but man, I wasn’t expecting what she did in that last match. Kate Daniels is a freaking bad ass boss!

Holly: I love how Kate’s background is slowly revealed. Every time you think you know what’s up with Kate, something new happens and you have to rethink everything. I will say, the way Kate takes everything on herself drives me crazy, but I understand that’s just part of her. She feels responsible for the world.

What do you think of Jim and Dali?

Rowena: I enjoyed Jim and Dali. Jim can ride my nerves from time to time, but overall, I enjoy his character. I liked the dynamic between him and Dali and holy cow, Dali is hilarious. She’s a lot of fun. Her magic and spells had me cracking up through it all.

Holly: Dali is hilarious. A blind vegetarian tiger? Ha!

Rowena: Man, Derek! Pretty boy, Derek! So, something brewing between him and Julie or what? When she was scanning his body with her magic? My heart hurt so much and when Derek forces his way onto the team to save that girl? I’m telling you, my heart!! OMG when Kate and Raphael went to get Julie from school? I about died laughing. The bad guys are getting worse and worse, huh?

Holly: You’ll have to read Magic Stars when you get a little further into the series. It’s a Julie novella. And that’s all I’m saying about that. I loved it when Kate and Raphael showed up at Julie’s school. There’s so much good stuff here. It’s was a pleasure to re-read.
As much as I loved this book, I don’t think the series really finds its feet until the next book, so you have much to look forward to.

Rowena: From beginning to end, I enjoyed this one. Ilona Andrews continues to shine and I had hella heart eyes while reading this. There isn’t anything that I can think of that I didn’t like about this book. I thought it was well written, action packed, and the way that it ends with Curran and Kate? Oh hell yes, this book gets 5 stars from me. What about you?

Holly: This isn’t my favorite book in the series, but it’s so damn good that’s not saying much. I love the humor, the angst, the drama…all of it. I’m giving it 4.5 out of 5.

Holly: 4.5 out of 5
Rowena: 5 out of 5

Kate Daniels

five-stars


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Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh

Posted February 27, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 9 Comments

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini SinghReviewer: Tracy
Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #2
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Blade, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3), Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's War, Archangel's War
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: February 2, 2010
Format: eARC
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find herself changed—an angel with wings the colors of midnight and dawn—but her fragile body needs time to heal before she can take flight. Her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, is used to being in control—even when it comes to the woman he considers his own. But Elena has never done well with authority…

They’ve barely begun to understand each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from the archangel Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must ready Elena for the flight to Beijing—and to the nightmare that awaits them there. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena…

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

This review was originally posted on February 12, 2010.

Yes, Elena has woken up after a year-long coma and she is an angel. She is also weaker than the smallest angel child and cannot fly. This is Elena though and if you read the first book you know that that’s not going to bring this woman down. She will do whatever it takes to get up to full speed, especially after receiving the invitation from Archangel Lijuan. Along with getting physically strengthened Elena is also taking classes and learning about angel history. She befriends a boy, Sam, who looks to be about 4 years old but she is sure is much older.

Raphael is by Elena’s side – there to help and protect her in her weakened state. He enlists his vamps. who pretty much don’t like Elena at all, to get her conditioning in place and increase her strength. While Raphael wants Elena strong, he also wants everyone (other archangels, etc.) to believe she’s weak so that they as a couple will be stronger against others.When evil messages start showing up in the form of beaten vampires with Guild Hunter knives shoved in them Elena and Raphael go on the hunt to find out who is sending the awful messages. When Sam is kidnapped they ramp up their investigations in order to find out who’s sending the threat to Elena.

I really liked this book. While Elena was weak and having nightmares and reliving memories that she’d rather leave buried she was still an incredibly strong character. She just didn’t let anyone get away with crap and I admired that about her. Raphael was incredible. I need to get me some Archangel! lol He loves Elena with everything in him and while others think that makes him weak it really makes him a stronger person.

Of course Nalini’s Guild Hunter/Angel/Vampire world is incredible. The descriptions of the Refuge where Elena was recovering and the Forbidden city where Lijuan lived were just beautiful and at times I felt I could reach out and touch whatever she was describing at the time.

While this is not a fast-paced story it did have moments of combat and intense emotion which were all the more incredible because of their rarity. I would have to recommend that you read book 1 in the Guild Hunter series, Angels’ Blood before you read Archangel’s Kiss as I think you would be lost in AK without doing so.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Guild Hunter Series

four-half-stars


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Review: The Witness by Nora Roberts

Posted February 21, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Witness by Nora RobertsReviewer: Rowena
The Witness by Nora Roberts
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: April 17, 2012
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 492
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars

Daughter of a controlling mother, Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking at a nightclub and allowing a strange man's seductive Russian accent lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever.

Twelve years later, the woman known as Abigail Lowery lives on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she designs sophisticated security systems -- and supplements her own security with a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. But Abigail's reserve only intrigues police chief Brooks Gleason. Her logical mind, her secretive nature, and her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated. He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something -- and that her elaborate defenses hide a story that must be revealed.

With a quirky, unforgettable heroine and a pulse-pounding plotline, Nora Roberts presents a riveting new read that cements her place as today's most reliably entertaining thriller -- and will leave people hungering for more.

It has been a while since I’ve read anything by Nora Roberts and it was my turn to choose a book for book club last month so I chose this one. I’m happy to report that it was an enjoyable read and everyone at book club enjoyed this one as well. Thanks to my buddy Ames who recommended this one, it was a total hit. Both the book and the game we played at book club.

The Witness is about a young woman named Elizabeth Fitch who was the perfect daughter. She did what she was supposed to do, went where she was supposed to go, and ate whatever her mother’s nutritionist prepared for her every day. She grew up under her mother’s thumb and when she turns 16, she starts to realize that she doesn’t want the life that her mother has pushed her into. She grew up and she developed her own interests and those interests didn’t line up with the path her mother chose for her. So she does what every young girl does, she rebels against her parents. She didn’t know that her one act of rebellion would change the course of her life. It changed the course her mother set out for her, the course that she saw for herself and she led a life of hiding.

The first part of this story is young Elizabeth Fitch’s story. It takes place over the night that changed everything for her. It changed her as a person and led to her living a life on the run. She witnessed the murder of the first friend that she had ever had, and gone is young Elizabeth Fitch and in her place is Abigail Lowery. Abigail Lowery just moved to the Ozarks in Arkansas and she purchased the old house out of the way. She keeps to herself, she’s very private and she only comes into town for groceries. Nobody knows much about her and she prefers it that way so when the Police Chief takes an interest in her, things really start popping off because Brooks Gleason started out thinking that maybe this new woman that doesn’t anyone in her business is hiding something and before he knows what is what, Brooks Gleason’s got it bad for Abigail Lowery. Does he still think that she’s hiding something pretty big? Of course, but he also knows that whatever it is, he wants to be the person to help her shoulder the burden and it’s obvious that whatever it is, is a burden on Abigail’s shoulders. So, seeing Brooks bridge the gap between him and Abigail made for a really interesting romance.

I thought that this was a really good book. It wasn’t perfect but Nora Roberts moved the story in a way that kept me invested in what was going on. I was invested in Abigail, in Brooks, in the small town that they lived in and in finding out if the Russian mob from her past would ever catch up to her. I spent a great deal of the book with a bit of anxiety because I was waiting for the Russians to find her, to get her, and you know, kill her because that’s what the Russians do. So that part of the book was a bit weak in my opinion. There were all of these things that were hard to overcome by one person and it should have been hard (even for a brainiac like Abigail) but it really wasn’t. I will say that I wasn’t expecting this book to be as enjoyable (for me) as it was so that was a good thing and I’m glad that I read it because Nora Roberts sure knows how to weave a compelling story with characters that just leap off the pages. She did her thing with this one and even though there were some things that I wanted more from, overall, this was an enjoyable reading adventure that I would definitely recommend to fans of Nora Roberts and romantic suspense novels. The romance was sweet and I really liked that they were friends before their relationship blossomed into what it was in the end and I really liked seeing how they influenced each other. They were good together and they were stronger together and I really dug that. I definitely recommend this one.

Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars


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