Tag: Holly’s Reviews

Review: Dragons are a Girl’s Best Friend by Isla Frost

Posted August 10, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Dragons are a Girl’s Best Friend by Isla FrostReviewer: Holly
Dragons Are a Girl’s Best Friend by Isla Frost
Narrator: Tess Irondale
Series: Fangs and Feathers #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 6, 2021
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited, Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 326
Add It: Goodreads
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Why did the dragon cross the road? To eat the stupid human, probably.
Welcome to post-revolution Las Vegas. Now a haven for gambling, debauchery, and supernaturals.
Of course, it's the idiot humans with new magics of their own that cause the most trouble. That's where I come in.
My job as a rookie cop in the Rapid Response unit is to deal with the ongoing teething problems of the magic revolution. Teething problems which often involve actual fangs, among other things. But as one of the idiot humans myself, and saddled with an oddball magic that's frequently more hazard than help, that's easier said than done.
Oh, and the ill-tempered dragon? She's my police partner. (Ditto on the more hazard than help thing.)
So when some jackass comes up with the bright idea to take the entire city hostage? Yeah, I'm in way over my head. But my adoptive family is right in the crosshairs, and I didn't become a cop to sit on my hands while others suffer.
You'd better wish me luck.
Warning: This urban fantasy series contains danger, mayhem, humor, and heart, with characters you'll fall for—including a vampire with an unbeating heart of gold, a book-hoarding dragon who eats criminals for breakfast, a mysterious supernatural who's as hot as the desert he slunk out of, and a human heroine who'll fight to save them all.
Fans of Kim Harrison, Annette Marie, Ilona Andrews, K.F. Breene, Hailey Edwards, or Patricia Briggs, dive into this thrilling new world for a feel-good, action-packed adventure with a dash of slow burn romance.

Dragons are a Girl’s Best Friend by Isla Frost is the first book in the Fangs and Feathers Urban Fantasy series. I got the ebook from Kindle Unlimited and purchased the audible add-on so I could switch between reading and listening. I liked the narrator a lot.

Lyra works for the Las Vegas Magical Police Department Rapid Response Team, so basically she’s a magical rookie beat cop. Since the Supernaturals of the world gave humans magical abilities, the type and amount of magic you have matters. Since Lyra’s only magical ability is to “borrow” someone else’s power through touch, she’s considered mostly a dud. That doesn’t stop her from jumping headfirst into a new case when the entire magical part of the city is taken hostage.

Based on the cover and description I thought this was going to be a light-hearted, fun Urban Fantasy. Though there are shades of snark and humor, the content is darker than I expected. I enjoyed Lyra, the Main Character, and her partner, Aurelis, the dragon. I thought this was a very engaging read and I zipped right through it. There is a hint of romance to come, but nothing really on page.

I’m looking forward to the next book.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Fangs and Feathers


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Review: The Segonian by Dianne Duvall

Posted August 1, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Segonian by Dianne DuvallReviewer: Holly
The Segonian by Dianne Duvall
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Series: Aldebarian Alliance #2
Also in this series: The Lasaran, The Segonian
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 19, 2021
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 435
Length: 12 hours and 31 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Dianne Duvall brings readers the second stand-alone novel in a thrilling new sci-fi romance series full of action, humor, and happily-ever-afters.
Eliana's life has never been what one might term ordinary. At least, it hasn't been for a very long time. As a powerful Immortal Guardian, she spends her nights hunting and slaying psychotic vampires that most of humanity doesn't even realize exist. Then an opportunity arises that instantly makes her extraordinary existence seem downright boring. The leader of the Immortal Guardians asks her to guard a group of mortals who are embarking upon a voyage across the galaxy to the planet Lasara. How could she possibly say no?
In no time at all, Eliana is hurtling through space on board a Lasaran battleship and getting to know not one but two alien races. It's the most exciting adventure of her long life... until the ship is unexpectedly attacked. Amid the chaos and destruction that follow, she valiantly helps everyone she can before an explosion renders her unconscious. When Eliana awakens, she finds herself alone, floating in space, clad only in a spacesuit, with no ship in sight. Alone--that is--except for the warm, deep voice that carries over the comm in her helmet.
Commander Dagon and the crew of the Segonian battleship Ranasura respond to a distress call from their Lasaran allies and join a massive Alliance-wide search-and-rescue mission. He quickly achieves communication with a lone Earthling female and races toward her. Every time they speak, his fascination with her grows and he becomes more desperate to reach her before her oxygen supply runs out. Her strength, bravery, and humor entice him, even more so when she defies all odds and they meet in person.
As he and Eliana embark upon a quest to find her missing friends, a bond swiftly grows between them that deepens with every laugh and smile and tender touch they share. But they are not the only ones searching for Earthling survivors. When Eliana herself becomes the hunted and their enemies begin to close in, can the two of them fight their way to victory, or will their enemies take everything?

The Segonian by Dianne Duvall, the second book in the Aldebarian Alliance series, a spinoff of Duvall’s Immortal Guaridans series, features Eliana, a character we met in the previous series. She traveled in space to protect the Gifted Ones who chose to go to Lasara with Prince Taelon in the hopes of finding a quieter life. When their ship is attacked on the way there, Eliana ends up floating in space in a space suit. For weeks her only lifelines are Captain Dagan and the other Segonians on his ship. She’s never met them, but they become the most important beings in the world to her.

The early chapters where Eliana were floating in space were so gripping and heart-wrenching. Her strength and humor really came through, but I felt her loneliness and fear in a visceral way. I really love Eliana and Dagan. They had a great dynamic when all they could do was talk via comms. I also liked how they came to know one another once she was onboard his ship.

Their quest to find the others who were missing from the Lasaran ship was interesting, but I enjoyed their life on the ship more. Especially Eliana training with him and his men.

This is my favorite book in this spin-off series, and my second favorite of Duvall’s books to date.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Aldebarian Alliance

four-half-stars


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Review: The Danu by Kelly Lucille

Posted July 27, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Danu by Kelly LucilleReviewer: Holly
The Danu by Kelly Lucille
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 20, 2016
Format: eBook
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three-half-stars

Katrine was a child of the Danu. Her people were peaceful forest dwellers with a connection to the natural world and forest magic that others came to both envy and fear. When the lands of her people where claimed by invaders, fear turned to fire and everything she knew was destroyed.
Now, an adult and finally free of the ties that bound her, she is on a mission to stay alive, stay free, and find others of her kind hiding in the world.
She expected it to be hard, what she didn't expect was catching the eye of one of her peoples worst enemies. Saying no should have been easy, but a warrior prince of the realm always got what he wanted. Especially when what he wanted was the last of the peace loving Danu his people had already conquered.
He would find out quite quickly that Katrine was a different kind of Danu.

Kelly Lucille is a new-to-me author. The Danu came up as a recommended read on Kindle so I downloaded a sample and enjoyed it enough to purchase the book. I liked the concept and was intrigued by the main character in the first chapter.

Katrine’s people, the Danu, were destroyed when invaders burned the forests they claimed as home and were connected to magically. She was taken as a slave and sold to the leader of an Outcast clan at age 11 who took her for his wife to protect her from his lecherous son. She felt she owed him a debt so she remained with him as his wife (in name only) until he died. The day he died his son made it known that he expected her in his bed that evening, so she followed plans she and her now dead husband made and left the clan.

Not much is known or understood about the Danu by the invaders who killed her people, which worked in Katrine’s favor. She was able to escape into The Wild, the forests her people called home until they were destroyed, until she was able to make her way into the human city. She believes she is the last living Danu.

Prince Khalon is intrigued by a woman he finds in a walled city garden and he’s been drawn back to the area to search for her. When he realizes she’s Danu, the sworn enemy of his people, he knows he has to take her to his father. He can’t stand the thought of her being harmed, however, so she places her under his protection.

I enjoyed Katrine. She was a strong character. I liked her initial journey from the Outcast clan to the city. I also enjoyed the brief time she spent in the city. From there, though I enjoyed the story overall, I felt a lot of it was choppy and not explained well. I also feel like things were wrapped up rather quickly.

In regards to Khalon, I didn’t really buy into his feelings being genuine and long-lasting. He wanted to protect her, but …I don’t know. They didn’t have a “UNTIL THE END OF TIME” romance. It was hard to believe he’d place her before all others.

Even though I wasn’t satisfied with the romance or how quickly things ended, I am looking forward to the next book.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5.

three-half-stars


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Review: Three Mages and a Margarita by Annette Marie

Posted July 13, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Three Mages and a Margarita by Annette MarieReviewer: Holly
Three Mages and a Margarita by Annette Marie
Narrator: Cris Dukehart
Series: The Guild Codex: Spellbound #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 14, 2018
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited, Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 314
Add It: Goodreads
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.

It went downhill the moment they asked for a trial shift instead of an interview--to see if I'd mesh with their "special" clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete jerks, and I was an asshole right back. That's the definition of fitting in, right?

I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they ... offered me the job?

It turns out this place isn't a bar. It's a guild. And the three cocky guys I drenched with a margarita during my trial? Yeah, they were mages. Either I'm exactly the kind of takes-no-shit bartender this guild needs, or there's a good reason no one else wants to work here.

So what's a broke girl to do? Take the job, of course--with a pay raise.

--Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn't a reverse harem. It's 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy.
Tori has no problem getting herself into trouble in every book in the Guild Codex series, but each one is a complete adventure--no cliffhanger endings.

--THE GUILD CODEX: SPELLBOUNDThree Mages and a Margarita (#1)Dark Arts and a Daiquiri (#2)Two Witches and a Whiskey (#3)

Three Mages and a Margarita (The Guild Codex: Spellbound #1) by Annette Marie is available for Kindle Unlimited. I purchased the audio add-on, which is narrated by Cris Dukehart. I enjoyed the narration. I found this in a Recommended Reads thread on the Ilona Andrews blog. I want to preface this review by saying I do not like “campy” romance novels. I’m okay with funny, but campy doesn’t work for me.

Tori is attending college and sleeping on her brother’s couch after a recent move to the city. She’s gone through 6 jobs in the past few months because she has a hard time holding onto her temper. After getting fired from her latest job, she stumbles into a bartending position. She figures for sure she’ll get fired after she throws a drink in a customer’s face, but to her surprise they offer her a position. It ends up being too good to be true…they’re a Mages Guild, and serve only magical clients. Something the rest of the world doesn’t know about.

I liked the premise of this novel and I thought the Mages Guild and paranormal characters were interesting. I did not like the heroine. She should have been very relatable since she was feeling displaced without a place of her own to live and was struggling to make ends meet as she attended college. Where she lost me was her attitude and how quick she was to violence.

View Spoiler »

I almost quit reading then, but I though perhaps it would get better. As I said, I enjoyed the world and the other characters, but I think she actually got worse as the book when on. I won’t be continuing the series.

Rating: 2.75 out of 5

The Guild Codex: Spellbound Series

two-half-stars


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Review: Unzipped by Lauren Blakely

Posted July 6, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Unzipped by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
Unzipped by Lauren Blakely
Series: Lucky in Love #4
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Plus
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 306
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Wanted: hot nerd seeks dating coach.

Picture this - I'm ready to win back the love of my life, and I'm going big this time. We're talking boom box, sing her name in the rain, let the whole damn neighborhood know I'm good and ready this time around. After all, if you're going to grand gesture the ever-loving hell out of a second chance, you need to pull out all the stops.

There's only one little problem.

My college girlfriend isn't the one who shows up when I play my "I'll do anything to win you back" tune. The woman who flings open the second-floor window tells me my ex doesn't live here anymore. But she'll help me win her back. Anything for romance, anything for a guy so willing to go big for love. And that's what I want at first. Until I get to know my new "romance coach" and discover she's funny, clever, and keeps me on my toes. Now I don't want to win anyone else's heart. I want the woman who's been helping me all along. Trouble is - she thinks I'm in love with someone else, and when we take off on a road trip, everything I think I know about women is about to be unzipped and turned inside out.

***He's the last person I ever expected to pop into my life, but he might be exactly what I need to save the thing that matters most to me. All I have to do is not fall for him.Unzipped is a standalone romance!

Unzipped (Lucky in Love #4) by Lauren Blakely follows Kyler aka “Tom” as he decides to win back the love of his life. I listened to this on audio and really enjoyed the narrators. I hae not read any of the other books in the series, but I don’t feel like I missed anything.

Things ended rather abruptly with his college girlfriend, but he’s got his stuff together now and he’s ready to show her he’s a changed man. He knows he needs a grand gesture, so he stands outside her window with a boombox..that keeps eating tapes and doesn’t want to play music. But that’s okay, he’ll just sing the song…terribly and off key. Okay, this isn’t going well, but it’s the gesture that counts, right? Not when said ex-girlfriend isn’t even home.

Finley isn’t having the best time of things. Her sitcom is on the brink of being cancelled and she’s creatively tapped out. When a madman shows up outside her window with a boombox, she knows she’s found her next muse. She offers to help Tom win back his ex, so she can keep using him for inspiration. As they spend time together Finley realized Tom is more than a simple muse, and Tom starts to wonder if he’s pursuing the wrong type of love.

This was a cute listen. I enjoyed both narrators and the story overall, though I did think the Instalove was a little over the top. I didn’t really buy their HEA after only a week. The epilogue helped, though. I did like that Tom came to realize his past actions weren’t great and he wanted to make them right.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Lucky in Love

three-half-stars


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