Author: Holly

Sunday Spotlight: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

Posted November 22, 2020 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 1 Comment

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: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini SinghArchangel's Sun by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #13
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 , Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Sun
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 24, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

A horrifying secret rises in the aftermath of an archangelic war in New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s deadly and beautiful Guild Hunter world...

The Archangel of Death and the Archangel of Disease may be gone but their legacy of evil lives on—especially in Africa, where the shambling, rotting creatures called the reborn have gained a glimmer of vicious intelligence.

It is up to Titus, archangel of this vast continent, to stop the reborn from spreading across the world. Titus can’t do it alone, but of the surviving powerful angels and archangels, large numbers are wounded, while the rest are fighting a surge of murderous vampires.

There is no one left…but the Hummingbird. Old, powerful, her mind long a broken kaleidoscope. Now, she must stand at Titus’s side against a tide of death upon a discovery more chilling than any other. For the Archangel of Disease has left them one last terrible gift…


Excerpt from Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

The Archangel of Death and the Archangel of Disease had created a horrific hybrid. But the ugliest “improvement” was why all of the dead in Titus’s territory were now being cremated—these reborn had the ability to pass on the infection to the dead who yet had a shred of flesh on their bones. The creatures dug up graves, hauled out corpses, fed on them, but if any flesh remained afterward, the dead would be reborn.

An entire village had been butchered by their just-buried war dead in the hours after Titus left the continent to fight Lijuan. Now, people across this land spent daylight hours digging up their dead as tears streaked their faces and their hearts broke; each body was treated with respect, but there was no choice—their dead had to go into the cleansing cauldron of fire.

“Charisemnon and Lijuan must’ve had a plan to spread this new strain,” Tzadiq had said to him after they first became aware of the horror they faced, his second’s clean-shaven head gleaming in the reprieve of the dawn sun. “Why do you think that plan stalled in Africa?”

“We’ll never know for certain,” Titus had answered, his back drenched with sweat after yet another night fighting the reborn, “but if I had to lay bets, I’d say that whatever Charisemnon did to blend his disease with her death, it cost him.” Disease was a “gift” that cut both ways. “He likely couldn’t maintain the projected pace.”

But the archangel formed of pestilence and vanity had done plenty.

It was all more than enough to deal with—yet a nagging worry haunted Titus. When he’d entered Charisemnon’s inner border court after his return from New York, it was to find a number of badly decomposed bodies. No one had been inside the court buildings in the interim, both his and Charisemnon’s former forces caught in a desperate battle against the reborn.

The creatures had gone berserk upon the death of their master.

Only later, after questioning several senior members of the enemy court, had he learned that Charisemnon had shut off the inner court to everyone but a favored few. The other courtiers had worried they’d fallen in their archangel’s favor. Turned out, from what Titus had discovered, that the favored few had actually been the unlucky few.

For the vampires, Titus believed that their liege had either accidentally infected them with a disease or he’d used them as guinea pigs. It was possible the angels had been thrown to the vampires as sacrificial food, but it was equally possible the decomposition hid what might’ve been indications of disease. It was the latter prospect that haunted Titus—because angels weren’t supposed to be vulnerable to disease.

It was a law written into stone.

As immutable as the wind and the sky.

Or it had been before Charisemnon.

Then Tzadiq had discovered the worst thing: a slimy black-green trail along the hallway that led out of the room of the rotting dead . . . in a shape that couldn’t be of anything but an angel. No other being in the world could’ve made that particular pattern. Only an angel whose wings were dragging along the stone as they clawed and crawled their way down the hall.

Needless to say, Titus was handling serious and deadly problems.

The Hummingbird had exactly zero useful skills when it came to the grim tasks that lay ahead.

He wanted to groan all over again. Did he even have anyone left on his staff who could pretty up a room for her?

This was going to be an unmitigated disaster.

Copyright © 2020 by Nalini Singh

Guild Hunter Series

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: November 2020

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Nalini Singh

I've been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There's no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated every month).

So far, I've worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer's mill.

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What Are You Reading? (546)

Posted November 20, 2020 by Holly in Features | 3 Comments

Casee: I am reading a really good book called Fairytale Come Alive by Kristen Ashley. I’ll admit that I had my doubts in Holly this book because ghosts? Not really my thing. I am really happy I started this one though. After reading Lady Luck, I almost went on a KA hiatus. I’m glad I didn’t because this book has sucked me in so far.

I’m still listening to Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas. I’m really liking this couple. The narrator is also amazing which helps tremendously.

Holly: I’m still re-reading the Kate Daniels series. Our book club chose Magic Burns for November, and I ended up continuing on from there. This week I listened to Magic Slays, Magic Rises and Magic Breaks.

I set The Switch by Beth O’Leary aside in favor of KD, but I plan to pick it back up again this weekend.

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!

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Review: How to Live and Undead Lie by Hailey Edwards

Posted November 18, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: How to Live and Undead Lie by Hailey EdwardsReviewer: Holly
How to Live an Undead Lie by Hailey Edwards
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 11, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Pages: 322
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Reading Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

When a fledgling vampire arrives at Woolworth House searching for his maker, Grier is forced to relive her time in Atramentous. Most of those years are as dark and empty in her memory as she was in her cell. She can't remember her progeny, or the night she resuscitated him, but she can protect him from the Society. As long as she's willing to barter with her grandfather to do it.

But Lacroix has plans of his own. He envisions the city--her city--under his rule, and Grier under his thumb. Now all he needs is the right leverage to force her cooperation, and he has just the person in mind. Grier is ready to trade her freedom until a grim truth is revealed that splits her heart in two. Yet another person she loves has betrayed her, and Grier is left agonizing over how much of their relationship is real and how much was a lie.

Grier is finally finding her place in this post-Atramentous life. She’s embracing her role as Dame Woolworth and learning more about who she is now. When a young vampire shows up on her doorstep, Grier has to face another aspect of her past…the powers that come from her mother’s side of the family. She doesn’t trust her grandfather or her mother’s people, but she knows she needs answers about how her powers work and they’re her best bet. Until she realizes one – or both – may be conspiring against her.

It feels like Grier is truly moving forward for the first time since the series began. I really like the way her friendships are progressing, especially with Lethe and Hood. I love how supportive Linus is, as well.

This was another good entry. I keep saying I’m going to take a break and read something else, then I end up picking up the next book. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy


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Review: The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie

Posted November 16, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Perfect Rake by Anne GracieReviewer: Holly
The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie
Series: The Merridew Sisters #1
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publication Date: July 5, 2005
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 360
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Historical Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Historical Challenge, Holly's 2020 Reading Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

She ran from a brute...

Fleeing violent tyranny, Prudence Merridew escapes with her beautiful younger sisters to London. One of them must marry—and fast. To act as her sisters' chaperone, Prudence invents a secret engagement to a reclusive duke...But when the duke arrives unexpectedly in London, she needs his help to avert disaster.

...into the arms of a rake

Aristocratic Gideon, handsome, rakish and with a strong frivolous streak, casually hijacks Prudence's game, awarding himself a stolen kiss or three along the way. Used to managing sisters and elderly men, Prudence is completely out of her depth with a charming, devious and utterly irresistible rake. And her plot goes terribly—if deliciously—awry...

The Perfect Rake is the first book in Anne Gracie’s Merridew Sisters trilogy. Tracy recommended this to me after I finished Marry in Scarlet. As it happens, it has a very similar theme to My Darling Duke by Stacy Reid, which I read shortly before this one. I really enjoyed it.

Prue and her younger sisters are being abused at the hands of their grandfather, their guardian since their parents’ death. When he falls down the stairs after a particularly brutal attack against her youngest sister, she sees it as a chance to finally be free of him. If she can get just one of her sister’s married, she can claim their inheritance and take them away from him forever. She forges a letter from their Guardian to their uncle, enlisting his help to give the older girls a season. The problem? Their uncle refuses to launch her sisters until she herself is wed. What she hasn’t told him is that she’s already engaged…to a man he’ll find completely unacceptable. So she does something daring…she claims to be engaged to a reclusive duke, one who hasn’t been out in society in years. She just needs enough time to get one of her sisters wed, and then she can give up the deception. Of course things are never that easy. It just so happens the Duke has come to town to find a bride himself. Prue knows they can’t go back to their grandfather, so she rushes to the Duke’s home to ask him to please keep her secret.

Gideon is reluctantly charmed by the headstrong girl who bursts into his friend’s home to demand he keep up her charade. When she assumes he’s the Duke, he doesn’t correct her at first, mostly because he’s convinced she was a gold-digger at first. It isn’t long before he realizes there’s a quiet desperation to the spitfire. He’s intrigued and wants to know more about her, but she wants nothing to do with him. As they traverse the season together, he realizes she’s more than he could ever have he just has to convince her she wants him just as much.

Prue, her sisters and both Carridan and the Duke were wonderful. I also loved the secondary characters. I loved how into Prue Gideon was. Every time someone mentioned the plain Merridew sister and he was confused I wanted to hug him. I liked how Prue was steadfast and loyal, and took care of her sisters.

This was a really light read, which worked against it in some areas. The early part of the book deals with some pretty heavy themes, but I never felt like they were explored. That was a missed opportunity.

Still, I can’t deny I enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading the other books in the series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

The Merridew Sisters


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