Tag: Reviews

Review: Sin & Magic by K.F. Breene

Posted June 20, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Sin & Magic by K.F. BreeneReviewer: Holly
Sin & Magic by K.F. Breene
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Series: Demigods of San Francisco #2
Also in this series: Sin & Chocolate
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 1, 2019
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Point-of-View: Alternating First and Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 431
Length: 10 hours and 1 minute
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

I've agreed to work for a Demigod. My job? Find the spirit of his mother and release her before his vengeful father finds out and kills us all.

Have I lost my mind?

Thankfully, I don't have to do it alone. Kieran has brought in help: a Necromancer who loves to flirt with danger. Bria can help me find the clues to free Kieran's mom.

She can also help me learn my potent and extremely terrifying magic.

But as we work deeper into magical San Francisco, we uncover a minefield waiting to explode. I'm learning that there are far worse things than death.

Sin & Magic is the second book in K.F. Breene‘s Demigods of San Francisco series. I put off reading this book until the 3rd was released, because I hate waiting. I’m glad I did. I dove right into book 3 once this one was finished.

I started out reading this book, but ended up grabbing the audiobook for times I wasn’t able to read (my commute, etc). I didn’t love the narrator, but I didn’t hate her, either. Still, I mostly read the book.

Sin & Magic picks up right where Sin & Chocolate leaves off. Alexis and her two wards, Mordecai and Daisy, are doing a little better these days after being hired by Demigod Keiran to help find and release his mother’s trapped soul. Lexi is a Soul Stealer, though she didn’t realize it until Keiran showed up in her life. She’s learning how to harness her magic and use it to its full potential.

The romance heats up in this book, though I wasn’t quite satisfied with the pace. There’s a lot of hesitation on Lexi’s part about getting involved with a Demigod (and rightly so), but then all of a sudden, bam. They were having sex. I struggled with the timing. It seemed to come out of nowhere and frankly, given the danger leading up to the moment, totally unbelievable. I also struggle with how easily led Lexi is. She makes all these questionable decisions and allows herself to be manipulated into things. It’s frustrating. That’s not to say I don’t like her, because I do. She has a lot of courage and I like that she’s dedicated to doing the right thing.

The world-building is really interesting and I love Alexis and her wards together. Honestly, the kids made the entire series for me. They’re so wonderful. I also love how Alexis is making a family for Keiran and his Six.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Demigods of San Francisco

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Sin & Chocolate by K.F. Breene

Posted June 19, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Sin & Chocolate by K.F. BreeneReviewer: Holly
Sin & Chocolate by K.F. Breene
Series: Demigods of San Francisco #1
Also in this series: Sin & Magic
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 10, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First and Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 439
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Some people are ordained for greatness…

Those people usually have a lot of drama in their life. Drama I happily do without. I live in a forgotten corner of nowhere for a reason: there is safety in anonymity. I have enough problems just trying to get by.

But when Kieran, a sinfully sexy demigod at the pinnacle of power, crashes into my life, suddenly my whole world is turned upside down.

He’s harboring a deadly secret, one that could destroy all he holds dear. He thinks I’m the key to his salvation, and he wants me to help him claim vengeance.

He also wants me with a passion that burns my body from the inside out.

To ignore him is impossible, but to give in to my desires, even for a night, would thrust me into danger I might not survive.

Can I resist the temptation?

Sin & Chocolate is the first book in the Demigods of San Francisco series by K.F. Breene. I really like Breene’s writing and look forward to each new book.

Alexis is living under the radar in the dual-society zone between the magical and non-magical lands of San Francisco. She’s raising two teenage wards, Mordecai and Daisy. She’s just trying to get by. Though she has magic and can talk to spirits, she isn’t very powerful and therefore can’t make a lot of money. Mordecai is a shifter, but he’s unable to shift and it’s slowly killing him. There’s a magical proceedure he can have done to fix it, but it’s extremely expensive and Lexi can’t afford it. Not to mention that would bring Mordecai the unwanted attention of the local Pack alpha. Daisy had a rough childhood and is struggling to feel safe. Lexi is all either of them have, so she tries to keep under the radar as much as possible and do what she can to bring in cash.

Every so often she sets up a tent at the local fair, known as the Freak Show – a gathering of lesser magic users similar to a swap meet – and helps exercise ghosts. All is going well until she catches the notices of the Demigod Keiran. Keiran is searching for someone to help lay his mother to rest. She’s a selkie and his father stole her skin, trapping her in this world so she can’t cross over the line to the after life. Alexis is the first person he’s talked to who actually has the power to help him. He’ll do anything to free his mother, even manipulate Alexis by using her wards if he must.

This moved pretty slow for me in the first half, but it picked up in the second. There’s a lot of world-building early on, and the story felt bogged down because of it. A lot of Lexi’s actions frustrated me. She kept doing all these things that made no sense considering her situation. It wasn’t something that killed the story for me, but there were definitely times I shook my head at her. I loved her relationship with her wards. Heck, I just loved them, period. They provided much comic relief. I also loved how practical they all were. She wasn’t afraid to accept a handout if it meant keeping her kids fed, or a hand-up if it meant giving them a better life. Though some of her actions frustrated me, I can’t deny I liked her from the outset.

This is the start of a multi-book storyarc, so it ends in a cliffhanger. Nothing is really resolved and we’re left with a lot of unanswered questions. The cliffhanger ending frustrated me. I’d have waited until the other books were out if I’d known (all three parts are out now). Still, I can’t deny this was an intriguing read and I really look forward to the next book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Demigods of San Francisco

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly Harper

Posted June 18, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly HarperReviewer: Holly
Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi, Jonathan Davis
Series: Mystic Bayou #2.5
Also in this series: How to Date Your Dragon (Mystic Bayou, #1)
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: June 6, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 3 hrs and 3 mins
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A hilarious new standalone novella brimming with otherworldly charm from the reigning queen of paranormal romantic comedy Molly Harper!

Ingrid Asher is the newest resident of Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where shapeshifters, vampires, witches and dragons live alongside humans.

Ingrid doesn’t ask for much. The solitary tree nymph just wants to live a quiet life running her ice-cream shop in peace. Unfortunately, she can’t seem to shake her new neighbor, Rob Aspern, head of the League’s data science department and so good looking it just isn’t fair.

If there’s one thing Ingrid doesn’t need, it’s someone poking around in her business. But the more she gets to know the hunky mathematician, the more she finds herself letting her guard down. Can she trust him with her secrets, or will her past destroy everything?

Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly Harper is was a cute, light story set in the town of Mystic Bayou, where mythical creatures have lived in peace for hundreds of years. Ingrid Asher is a tree nymph who recently decided to move to Mystic Bayou to open a creamery. She’s still recovering from a terrible betrayal by someone she trusted, so she doesn’t open up easily. The residents of Mystic Bayou are strange to her, for they’re all open and want to be her friend.

Rob Aspern is generally pretty slick with the ladies, but Ingrid has flustered and all kinds of tongue-tied. She seems wary around everyone else, but she’s downright icy to him. As he works on winning her trust, he finds himself falling for her.

This was a very short listen. I really enjoyed both narrators and easily fell into the story. I love Mystic Bayou and I was ridiculously excited to return to the world. I’m sad it was so short, but that’s about me wanting more from the world than a reflection of the story itself. I thought things wrapped up nicely and the story ended on a sweet note (more “let’s see where this goes” than “Let’s live happily ever after”).

I can’t wait for the next installment.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Mystic Bayou

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

DNF Review: If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann

Posted June 17, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

DNF Review: If It Makes You Happy by Claire KannReviewer: Holly
If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: June 4, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
dnf

High school finally behind her, Winnie is all set to attend college in the fall. But first she's spending her summer days working at her granny’s diner and begins spending her midnights with Dallas—the boy she loves to hate and hates that she likes. Winnie lives in Misty Haven, a small town where secrets are impossible to keep—like when Winnie allegedly snaps on Dr. Skinner, which results in everyone feeling compelled to give her weight loss advice for her own good. Because they care that’s she’s “too fat.”

Winnie dreams of someday inheriting the diner—but it'll go away if they can't make money, and fast. Winnie has a solution—win a televised cooking competition and make bank. But Granny doesn't want her to enter—so Winnie has to find a way around her formidable grandmother. Can she come out on top?

I discovered this book while browsing NetGalley. I don’t usually read YA, but the cover caught my eye (I absolutely adore it..that girl is super cute) and the blurb was interesting, so I decided to give it a try. It started out great. I like Kann’s writing style – simple, yet beautiful. The story flowed well and I was really feeling Winnie, her family and the town.

Sadly, things went downhill around page 40. I thought I was getting a fun story about a girl trying to save her granny’s diner, but that’s not what this is. Part of the problem stems from the stream-of-consciousness writing style. The chapters don’t really seem to go anywhere. Every thought Winnie has is on paper for us to read, so the chapters feel like rambley thoughts, rather than a story that’s headed somewhere. The blurb mentions a baking contest, but aside from a slight mention, there was little of that in the first quarter of the story. Winnie is supposedly happy with who she is, but suddenly the entire focus of the story shifted to her weight. The sudden shift in focus took me by surprise and turned me off the story.

This may have worked better for me if I’d gone into with different expectations. As it is, I wasn’t invested enough in the story or the characters to continue.

Rating: DNF

dnf


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Review: More Than Need You by Shayla Black

Posted June 14, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: More Than Need You by Shayla BlackReviewer: Casee
More Than Need You by Shayla Black
Narrator: Christian Fox
Series: More Than Words #2
Also in this series: More Than Want You
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 9 hours and 42 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: two-stars

I’m Griffin Reed—cutthroat entrepreneur and competitive bastard. Trust is a four-letter word and everyone is disposable…except Britta Stone. Three years ago, she was my everything before I stupidly threw her away. I thought I’d paid for my sin in misery—until I learned we have a son. Finding out she’s engaged to a bore who’s rushing her to the altar pisses me off even more. I intend to win her back and raise our boy. I’ll have to get ruthless, of course. Luckily, that’s one of my most singular talents.

Sixty days. That’s what I’m asking the gritty, independent single mother to give me—twenty-four/seven. Under my roof. And if I have my way, in my bed. Britta says she wants nothing to do with me. But her body language and passionate kisses make her a liar. Now all I have to do is coax her into surrendering to the old magic between us. Once I have her right where I want her, I’ll do whatever it takes to prove I more than need her.

This is the second book in Shayla’s More Than Words series. It was a vast improvement over More Than Want You. Even with that, I didn’t love it. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was because it was still in the world of Maxon Reed, the dbag from the first book. I can’t really put my finger on it.

Griffin Reed is a dbag himself. He jumped to conclusions when he found out his brother Maxon closed a big deal without him. Griffin the Asshole erroneously believed that Maxon and Britta (his lover) stabbed him in the back. Not bothering to get an explanation, he dropped both of them like a hot potato and didn’t look back. Not even when he (supposedly) found out that Britta was pregnant. Maxon and Britta both believe that Griffin knew about his son. They don’t know that the letter Britta sent to Griffin was intercepted by a conniving bitch that was trying to get into Griffin’s pants. I had a big problem with this. I mean, who the eff does this? Keeps a man away from his child? It’s just weird.

Fast forward 3? 4? years. Maxon and Griffin are both going after the same client. Maxon has a good idea for once in his life and decides to ask Griffin if he wants to team up again. Griffin agrees, still not knowing about his son. Maxon spills the beans, not knowing there are beans to be spilled. Griffin high-tails to Britta’s only to find Britta engaged and actually suggesting that he relinquish his parental rights to a son that he just found out that he had. Something he has no intention of every doing.

When things don’t seem to be moving forward with Britta, Griffiin takes a drastic step. Britta and Jaime move in with him. If Britta still doesn’t want him, Griffin will sign away his rights to Jaime so Britta can marry the man that she’s engaged to. A calculated risk, but worth it to Griffin because he’s so sure that she’ll change her mind. So certain she’ll remember the magic that was between them.

While this book didn’t leave me fuming mad, it just sort of left me cold. A little sad because it wasn’t Griffin’s fault that he didn’t know about Jaime. But shaking my head because the whole not knowing about Jaime was his fault considering that he walked out is such a spectacularly childish way.

At this point, I have to intention of continuing with this series.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

More Than Words

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,