Tag: Self-Published

Review: Chosen by K.F. Breene

Posted June 11, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Chosen by K.F. BreeneReviewer: Holly
Chosen (The Warrior Chronicles, #1) by K.F. Breene
Series: The Warrior Chronicles #1
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: July 15, 2014
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 412
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

It is said that when war threatens the world, one individual will be selected by prophecy to lead the Shadow Warriors out of the Land of Mist and reclaim the freedom which has been stolen.

Shanti has grown up under the constant threat of war. Since she helped her people defeat a raiding party by using a special power, she's been a hunted woman. Carrying rare abilities and an uncanny fighting aptitude, Shanti is the only hope of salvation for her people. The problem is, she doesn't believe in her own divinity, and when she flounders, she nearly fails in the duty hanging so heavy on her shoulders.

It seems like any other day when Sanders and his band of misfit boys find a foreign woman clinging to life in the wastelands. Oblivious to the weapon they now have in their possession, they are content to harbor the mysterious woman until she is well enough to continue her journey. But when the war spreads its arms and lands on her borrowed doorstep, Shanti has no choice but to reveal her secrets, plunging her saviors into danger.

If they band with her, they will face certain death. But to trade her to Xandre, the warlord desperate to add her to his war machine, would be to give up their entire way of life.

I read and enjoyed the Fire and Ice/Magical Mayhem series by K.F. Breene. When I saw this series on KU I figured I’d give it a try. It’s darker than the previous books I’ve read by the author, but I enjoyed the world and the main characters.

Shanti is a badass warrior. Her people have all been murdered and she’s trying to get to her extended family to fulfill the prophesy that will reunite her people and bring peace to the land. When she’s found half-dead and brought to a new land, she’ll have to fight to get her strength back up and try to earn the trust of the Captain so he doesn’t turn her over to her enemies.

I really enjoyed Shanti and her interactions with her saviors. The story did drag on quite a bit in the middle, but the anticipation of what was to come kept me reading. There’s potential for a romance that really worked, and I’m curious to see what happens with Shanti’s quest in the future.

3.5 out of 5

Warrior Chronicles

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Duke of Lies by Darcy Burke

Posted June 6, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Duke of Lies by Darcy BurkeReviewer: Tracy
The Duke of Lies (The Untouchables #9) by Darcy Burke
Series: The Untouchables #9
Also in this series: The Forbidden Duke
Published by Darcy Burke Publishing
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 276
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Goodreads
four-stars

Verity Beaumont has suffered domineering men most of her life, first with her father and then with her husband. Free from both men, she has finally found peace. Even meeting a kind and hard-working gentleman who just might be the perfect father her young son so desperately needs. But as she dares look to the future, her carefully ordered world is shattered when her dead husband returns.

Imprisoned in America during the war, Rufus Beaumont, Duke of Blackburn, wants nothing more than to return to his native England. He longs for comfort and safety away from the horrors of battle, only the life he returns to is not the life he left. He must convince his wife that their marriage is worth fighting for, that he’s not the man he was. But when the truth about what happened to him leaks out, he must prove that not everything about him, especially his love for her, is a lie.

Warning: This review contains spoilers.

It’s been six and a half years since the Rufus Beaumont, the Duke of Blackburn disappeared.  Verity Beaumont, the Duchess of Blackburn, is incredibly grateful that the man has been absent in her life. While Rufus courted Verity he was all that was kind and caring.  The minute they were married she found that it was all a façade. He was a mean, vicious, cruel man and she was happy to have him gone.  He left just three months after they married to go to London and then was never heard from again.  Verity had gotten pregnant during those three months but the duke never knew of the boy, Beau.

Verity is moving on with her life and taking charge when suddenly Rufus reappears.  Verity is terrified but when she talks to the duke he seems like a completely different person.  He’s kind, polite, gracious – and he looks different than before – bigger.  Rufus says that it’s because he gained muscle on the ship that he was conscripted to, but that doesn’t explain why he’s taller and his feet grew.  Verity feels attraction for this man but fears that his kindness will disappear, just as it did before.  She suspects that this isn’t really Rufus but does she care?  If this man who looks so much like Rufus wants to be the duke and take care of her family she’s more than happy to have him.

Christopher “Kit” Powell is the bastard son of the previous duke, Rufus’s uncle.  He was once at Blackburn so he knew enough about it to play it off like he was the duke.  He didn’t plan on pretending to be the duke but when he took a room at the local inn they thought he was Blackburn so he decided to give it a go.  He was actually a privateer whose ship had burned.  He was planning on heading to Blackburn to get money from his father but then found out he was dead.  After that revelation he decided to just steal something so that he could buy another ship.  Of course he didn’t expect to fall in love with Verity or her son Beau so he’s stuck.  What does he do?  Move on with his plan to buy a new ship and disappear or stay and pretend to be the duke for the rest of his life?

This book nine in The Untouchables series and though I had only read book one in the series a couple of years ago, I didn’t need to read the other seven books to really enjoy this one.  There is a couple of characters from previous books (I’m not sure which books) that are in this story, but their inclusion in the book was minor.  This story was easily read as a standalone.

Rufus was the bastard husband and I have to say that I so wanted this new, friendly and kind man to be him – changed.  I knew in my heart though that it couldn’t be him because anyone that cruel wouldn’t change that much, no matter what.  If he actually had been conscripted he probably would have come out meaner than before, not nicer.  So it’s Kit that is the duke and I loved him.  He was just such a good man!  He loved learning new things, helping people, playing with Beau…the list is endless.  I was very happy that Kit and Verity fell in love and that she didn’t give a rat’s ass that he was illegitimate.  It was completely a non-issue and I loved that she didn’t care at all.

Verity had lived a hard life.  Supposedly her father was cruel as well but the book doesn’t really get into that – we’re just told.  He does come on page, however, and he was an ass – I can verify. Lol  After having to deal with Rufus when they married I was extremely happy that she found Kit.  She deserved happiness and love and I was thrilled when she received it.

The suspense portion of the story, I thought, was well done.  I liked how Burke unfolded the story little by little, giving us only bits to keep us interested and reading further.  I really enjoyed reading this story and recommend it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Untouchables

four-stars


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Guest Review: Brennus by Hazel Hunter

Posted May 22, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Brennus by Hazel HunterReviewer: Tracy
Brennus (Immortal Highlander: Clan Skaraven #1) by Hazel Hunter
Published by Hazel Hunter
Publication Date: March 26, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Time Travel
Pages: 386
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

An ancient highlander who’s never been allowed to love. A modern woman who keeps men at arm’s length. Can their passion overcome their pasts?

Althea Jarden’s botanical fieldwork keeps her happily busy, but it has kept her from relationships as well—by design. Because deep passions can overwhelm her, she concluded long ago that a conventional life was not for her. Instead she’s learned to depend on herself. But all the self-reliance in the world can’t prepare her for being to abducted to ancient Scotland and what she finds there.

Chieftain Brennus Skaraven would like nothing better than to remain dead, his legendary clan buried and forgotten. Anything would be preferable to suffering the manipulations of the druids. But when a strange lass comes crashing into his life, he discovers more than a reason to live. He finds the one thing that had always been denied to him and his kind—love.

Brennus is a Skaraven warrior.  He and his fellow warriors were slaves to the druids until they died 12 centuries ago.  They’ve been brought back to life and made immortal by the druids to help fight evil druids who are planning on decimating the planet.  Brennus, the Chieftain of the clan, refuses to let his men be pawns in the druid’s games any longer.

Althea and 4 other women are sucked through time by the evil druids and held captive.  Starved and tortured, Althea knows that she must escape and find help. She receives that help from Brennus and while they’re plotting to save the other women, they spend a lot of time together.  They get closer and soon are falling for each other.  Brennus, however, was never allowed near a woman unless he was tied to a bed for fear that he would hurt her.  He’s concerned about Althea, but he’s not willing to be without her.

This is a related book to the Immortal Highlander series.  I enjoyed that series so when I saw this book I was definitely interested.  In the previous series each of the “mates” came through at different times.  This is different as all five women are pulled through time at once.

I enjoyed the world that Hunter created for the Skaraven clan.  They’ve been brought back to life and basically pulled through time as well so it’s an adjustment for them as well as Althea – just in a different way.  They seemed to be good men, for the most part and cared about each other.  As they’d never even been allowed to speak with a female before they died, having Althea there was a big change for them.

Althea and Brennus’s romance was more of a falling in love then a romance per se.  I enjoyed them getting to know each other I just wish they’d had more time. With the women being held, and their focus on getting them free, it was difficult for Brennus and Althea to get to know each other thoroughly, imho, and that rushed things a bit, in my mind.

I was a little confused at first as to what was going on with the evil druids but soon caught up.  I wish their history would have been more obvious to me – I think I would have understood things better throughout the book.

Overall it was a decent read and I will read the next book when it comes out to see what happens next.

3.5 out of 5

Immortal Highlander: Clan Skaraven

three-half-stars


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Review: Planet Dragos by Thea Harrison

Posted May 14, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: Planet Dragos by Thea HarrisonReviewer: Holly
Planet Dragos (Elder Races, #9.8) by Thea Harrison
Series: Elder Races #9.8
Also in this series: Lord's Fall, Pia Saves the Day & Peanut Goes to School, Dragos Takes a Holiday, Night's Honor, Night's Honor, Dragon Bound, Midnight's Kiss, Midnight's Kiss, Dragos Goes to Washington, Shadow's End, Pia Does Hollywood, Liam Takes Manhattan, Pia Does Hollywood, The Chosen: A Novella of the Elder Races, Planet Dragos (Elder Races, #9.8)
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: May 14, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 130
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison comes the final novella featuring Pia and Dragos…

Pia’s latest pregnancy has become a daily challenge, her relationship with Dragos strained with argument. That hasn’t stopped them from achieving a compromise and traveling to Las Vegas to celebrate their friend Rune’s wedding to his mate Carling.

From the moment they arrive, the trip goes awry. Death walks in Vegas, and Pia is kidnapped as an ancient enemy makes a move to destroy the Great Beast once and for all.

But the Great Beast has other plans.

On Planet Dragos everything goes the way he arranges it—unless someone decides to cross him, and God help them then, because he doesn’t know how to back down, and he doesn’t ever, ever let up….

I love Dragos and Pia. The Elder Races series is wonderful all around, but every time we return to Pia and Dragos I cheer a little on the inside.

These slice-of-life novellas are lovely. It’s great seeing where the Lord of the Wyr is, and how things are going with his family. In the previous book, Moonshadow, we met a new character who reappears here. I’m curious about him and hope we see more.

Aside from that, I loved seeing Pia and Dragos come to another turning point in their lives together. I was surprised at the choice they made at first, but it makes so much sense now that I think about it. I can’t wait for the next installment. I won’t lie, I’m anxious to see what happens with Liam.

4.25 out of 5

Elder Races

four-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Planet Dragos by Thea Harrison

Posted May 13, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Pia and Dragos are easily one of my favorite UF couples. I adore these little slices-of-life novellas where they’re just living their lives. Planet Dragos ties up some loose ends from other novellas and opens up a brand new direction for them as a couple. It was so good.

Sunday Spotlight: Planet Dragos by Thea HarrisonPlanet Dragos (Elder Races, #9.8) by Thea Harrison
Series: Elder Races #9.8
Also in this series: Lord's Fall, Pia Saves the Day & Peanut Goes to School, Dragos Takes a Holiday, Night's Honor, Night's Honor, Dragon Bound, Midnight's Kiss, Midnight's Kiss, Dragos Goes to Washington, Shadow's End, Pia Does Hollywood, Liam Takes Manhattan, Pia Does Hollywood, The Chosen: A Novella of the Elder Races, Planet Dragos (Elder Races, #9.8)
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: May 14, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 130
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison comes the final novella featuring Pia and Dragos…

Pia’s latest pregnancy has become a daily challenge, her relationship with Dragos strained with argument. That hasn’t stopped them from achieving a compromise and traveling to Las Vegas to celebrate their friend Rune’s wedding to his mate Carling.

From the moment they arrive, the trip goes awry. Death walks in Vegas, and Pia is kidnapped as an ancient enemy makes a move to destroy the Great Beast once and for all.

But the Great Beast has other plans.

On Planet Dragos everything goes the way he arranges it—unless someone decides to cross him, and God help them then, because he doesn’t know how to back down, and he doesn’t ever, ever let up….

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

As they approached the main doors of the casino, she allowed herself to believe everything really would be okay.

Until several people strode through the main doors and approached them.

The leader was a tall, powerfully built Elven woman. A jagged white scar split her splendid features. She was accompanied by six soldier types, all of them wearing flak jackets and weapons.

“I really don’t like this,” Eva muttered under her breath. “Okay, Pia, back up now onto the gambling floor. We need to flag security.”

Pia moved to obey, feeling as though she were swimming through mud. Whatever this impending confrontation was about, she and Eva weren’t going to escape it. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught sight of the logo on the nearest soldier type. Devil’s Gate Security.

Quickly the soldier types fanned out until she and Eva were surrounded. Smiling, the Elven woman said, “Pia Cuelebre? Oh, look how pregnant you are. That’s just precious. My day keeps getting better and better.”

Moving so fast she blurred, Eva pulled her Glock and aimed for the Elven woman’s head. “Back up, asshole.”

Instantly the soldiers that surrounded them pulled their weapons too, all aiming at Eva. Dread drove like a spike into Pia’s chest. They weren’t bluffing.

“Eva,” Pia whispered, “put your gun down.”

“Not a chance.” Eva’s expression had turned ruthless. She bared her teeth at the Elven woman. “You want to go there? Let’s all go at once. They shoot me, I shoot you. Sure, I’ll be dead, but so will you. I don’t know who you are, and I don’t give a shit. We’re backing up onto the gambling floor, so get yourself out of my face.”

“We don’t have time for suicidal heroics,” the Elven woman said. Her gaze switched to Pia, and her smile widened. She said to the soldiers, “Holster your weapons.”

They did. Pia glanced quickly around. They stood at attention, watching the Elven woman, who said to Pia, “There, see? We’re not going to have any violence here, only choices.”

Choices – just as Azrael had warned. Pia’s heart pounded harder.

Ignoring Eva, who had not lowered her gun, the woman held out a phone to Pia as she strode closer. “I’ve taken a friend of yours, Carling Severan. Here, you can see her for yourself.”

She hadn’t thought she could feel more fear than she already did, but it spiked again. Dragging her gaze from the Elf’s face, she looked at the phone’s screen.

The scene was no static photo. It was live footage. She stared at the beautiful unconscious woman sprawled on the desert ground. It was indisputably Carling, her short auburn hair tousled. She was bound with strands of what looked like shining silver wire, and a silver arrow protruded from her chest.

There were at least two people with Carling. One stood visible from the waist down, holding a crossbow pointed at Carling’s head, while the other unseen person held the phone that filmed the scene.

“If you don’t come with me right now,” the Elven woman said softly, “he’s going to shoot. Are you going to save Carling’s life, or are you going to watch her die?”

No ordinary arrow would bring down a Vampyre of Carling’s age and strength, nor would ordinary silver bind her. Carling was one of the most powerful sorceresses in the world, yet this woman had captured her.

And Rune was mated to her, indisputably mated for life. Their Las Vegas wedding was nothing more than putting icing on the proverbial cake. If Carling died, Rune died. It was as simple as that.

Pia looked up to meet the Elven woman’s fearless, tigerish gaze. The Elf was a dead woman, of course, but some pretty important questions still remained. How would she die and how many casualties would she take down with her when she did?

Pia told her, “Of course I’ll come.”

“No,” Eva snapped, tightening her arm around Pia’s shoulders. “No, you will not!

Even as she protested, one of the soldiers walked up to slam the butt of his gun into the side of her head. Eva dropped like a stone.

“Okay, maybe we’ll have just a little violence,” the Elven woman said, hitching one shoulder up in a quick shrug. She said into her phone, “Don’t shoot her yet. Drain her so she’ll be weakened if she wakes up.”

As Pia tried to drop to her knees to check on Eva, two of the soldier types grabbed her arms, forcing her to remain on her feet. She wanted to scream in fury.

Instead, she said as steadily as she could, “This is not going to go well for you.”

The Elven woman laughed. “We’ll see how well it goes. When in Vegas you just have to roll the dice, know what I mean? Get to the roof,” she said to the others. “Move it!”

The roof. That meant they had a helicopter waiting. Pia hadn’t thought her heart could sink any further, but it did.

As they marched to a bank of elevators, she looked behind her. A couple of people were running over to Eva’s crumpled figure. One of them stood and shouted for help, and uniformed security guards appeared on the scene. As the elevator doors closed, the last thing she saw was one of the casino guards talking into a walkie-talkie.

The entire confrontation had taken a minute or less, and none of the guards had yet realized a kidnapping was in progress.

Pia looked at the logo on one of her kidnapper’s jackets. She asked, “What’s in Devil’s Gate?”

The Elven woman replied, “Your future.”

Elder Races

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About the Author

Thea Harrison

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Thea Harrison resides in Colorado. She wrote her first book, a romance, when she was nineteen, and had sixteen romances published under the name Amanda Carpenter. She took a break from writing to collect a couple of graduate degrees and a grown child.

Thea writes in a variety of genres, including the award-winning paranormal Elder Races series and the Game of Shadows novels, and is currently at work on various new projects in sci-fi fantasy, paranormal and contemporary romance.

She adores animals and currently resides with two small dogs that have very large personalities.


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