Tag: Rowena’s Reviews

Throwback Thursday Review: Key of Light by Nora Roberts

Posted July 9, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Key of Light by Nora RobertsReviewer: Rowena
Key of Light (Key Trilogy, #1) by Nora Roberts
Series: Key Trilogy #1
Publisher: Penguin, Jove
Publication Date: October 28th 2003
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fantasy
Pages: 334
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

The pleasure of your company is desired for cocktails and conversation. 8 pm, 4th September. Warrior's Peak.

When Malory Price is issued with the above invitation she is naturally suspicious, especially as Warrior's Peak is a local mansion straight out of a Hollywood movie. But with her overdraft at crisis limit and on the verge of losing her job at a local art gallery, she has little to lose by attending the event.

Only Malory is about to get more than she bargained for. At Warrior's Peak she finds that she and two other women are the only guests of their mysterious hosts. They are told an amazing story of magic, gods and goddesses; and of three demi-goddesses who have been cast into an eternal sleep, their mortal souls placed under lock and key. And in every generation, three women are born who alone have the power to free them - if they are prepared to accept the challenge.

Three women. Three keys to find. If one fails, they all lose. If they succeed - money, power and a new destiny awaits. It will take more than intellect, more than determination. They will have to open their hearts, their minds, and believe that everything is possible.

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

This review was originally posted on May 8, 2007.

Over the weekend, I forgot my Rock Star book at work and was too lazy to go all the way back to the office (once I got home and noticed my book wasn’t in my bag anymore) to get it so over the weekend I started and finished two books and this was the second book that I finished.

Book One of the Key Trilogy was a good opening for this series. It sparked my interest with the adventure that is presented to these three totally different and totally normal women. It showed a great deal of promise in the overall story and also with the secondary romances that followed.

I loved that all three of the women who were chosen were all so normal, not prissy perfect like regular heroines, they weren’t virginal, they weren’t mega rich and all that, they were your everyday average American women. They lived paycheck to paycheck, they were sometimes overdrawn in the bank, they were….normal.

Another thing I loved about this book is the same thing I loved in The Circle Trilogy, there’s a bigger story being told besides the romance story in these books and in this story, the start of all the other romances in the rest of the series. I love how Nora Roberts can make all of these thing fit perfectly in with everything else that is going on. She never loses me with all of the information pouring through the pages and I always lose myself in her books and in her characters’ lives and just in the story period.

I loved Flynn. I loved Malory and I loved their story. I loved how Malory took things into her own hands and went after the things she wanted, she was open and honest, even when she wasn’t ready, I loved how she threw everything at Flynn and told him to just deal with it.

And he did. I love that Flynn dealt with everything that Malory threw at him and just handled it. I loved that he didn’t shy away from her, even when he was so unsure of them as a couple, of himself as her partner and just handled everything thrown at him, (you know because on top of this new romance with Malory, he had this key thing to deal with as well). He was a strong man and he was a good man, one that loved his sister and loved his life, even though he didn’t think he did. He also loved the woman of his dreams with all that he had and what romantic at heart wouldn’t appreciate that?

Malory was a great heroine. She was smart, beautiful and funny. She was very organized and she had a lot going for her, even after she was canned at her dream job, she reacted like any normal woman would, she cried, she was a jerk to everyone around her and then she let her friends take care of her until she was ready to get back on her feet again and when she did get back on her feet, she was unstoppable.

She was all things I admire in a heroine and I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

I enjoyed the cast of characters that we met in this story, from Dana’s sparkling personality and Zoe’s creative spirit to Jordan’s funny self and his deep blue eyes and Brad’s richy rich handsome and rugged blonde self who had the ability to handle anything given him whether it was a board meeting in a stunning suit or wearing jeans and a shirt and climbing on top of walls to watch the house that he was so obsessed with as a child with his friends. The entire cast was a delight to read and oh dang, how could I forget to mention Rowena and Pitte? Dude, I love that Rowena was so beautiful and in love and just graceful and all things other women envied….hehe, you go girl! =)

Dana’s turn is next (I cheated and looked) and I am very much looking forward to getting to know Jordan Hawke a lot more….this is a great story to read when you’re in the mood for mystery and a little bit of romance thrown in. Good times, I promise, good times.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Joint Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Posted June 24, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #7
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 Bleeds, Magic Dreams, Magic Slays, Gunmetal Magic, Magic Gifts, Magic Rises, Magic Tests, Magic Stars, Magic Shifts, Magic Steals, Magic Breaks
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 402
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
five-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews is the 7th book in the Kate Daniels series. Kate has more responsibilities than ever now that she’s mated to the Beast Lord of Atlanta. While Curran is away Kate has to play Beast Lady to the Pack and deal with all their nonsense, plus keep her PI business afloat and prepare for dear old dad to come calling. Things are never dull in Kate’s world….

Holly: I’ve been dying for you to finally make your way to this book. Magic Breaks is my favorite book of the series. It’s so awesome.

Did you love it? Let’s discuss.

Rowena: For some reason, my favorite book remains Magic Strikes. That book was just so much fun for me and even though Kate and her gang were going through some pretty stressful shit, I freaking loved the entire book. That’s not to say that I didn’t love the crap out of this book too. I love seeing Kate really come into her powers more and more with each passing book. Kate was put in a really tough spot with the pack while Curran was gone but just like I knew she would, she handled her shit and kept her wits about her to take care of everything, and everyone.

Holly: I love Magic Strikes, too, but man did my heart hurt reading it. This was focused more on the action, I think. It was interesting how Curran was gone for most of the book. They’re a great team, but I like that Kate handles things without him, too.

Rowena: I could feel how anxious she was trying to find Curran but holy shit, at the end??? When she goes to claim Robert and Christopher? I about jumped up and did a happy dance twerk for her at 2 in the morning. I freaking loved it! Kate Daniels is a freaking dawg and good luck to anyone trying to cross her…including her Dad. Man, this was a damn good book.

Holly: The way she rescued Robert and Christopher had me jumping up and down. She’s such a badass.

Rowena: Yeah, when Curran finally gets back, it felt like that scene in Lord of the Rings where Gandalf rides to the rescue with his army to save the day…only Kate didn’t really need him to save the day but boy did I feel the relief from her when she sees him and is so damn glad that he’s safe and alive. This book was filled to the brim with action, with emotion and just everything that I’ve come to love in a Kate Daniels book. Ilona Andrews is my favorite.

Holly: Yeah, her relief was palpable, but she absolutely did not need to be rescued. I love that theirs is a true partnership. They’re equals. They support each other and help each other problem solve, but never does it feel like they’re anything but true partners.

Rowena: I do agree that Curran and Kate have a true partnership because they get on each other’s nerves and I love that we see them bicker and fight with each other. Their relationship is far from perfect but they still love the hell out of each other.

Holly: I love how nuanced all these characters are. Take Jennifer, for example. She’s the alpha of Clan Wolf, and she’s a shithead. She does everything she can to make Kate’s life hell. But she’s also a grieving widow and sister, so while I never liked her or forgave her, she had more depth than some cardboard villain.

Rowena: Same. There are characters that I absolutely adore but there are also characters that I tolerate and Jennifer is one of them. Her character does have depth and I certainly appreciate Andrews efforts in writing each of their characters because they all have a certain level of depth to them whether they’ve been on the scene since the beginning or the newer characters. I just enjoy the hell out of this series as a whole and this book was fantastic. I am so looking forward to seeing what’s next for Kate Daniels and her crew but I am not looking forward to finishing this series. I’m not ready to say goodbye to any of them.

Holly: This is such a great book because it clears up a lot of little threads from previous books, but it also opened up more for the future. I’m really excited for you to continue on.

Rowena: From beginning to end, this book wrapped me up tight and didn’t let go and even though there were times when I was annoyed with the pack, with what was thrown at Kate at every turn, I still enjoyed the hell out of this one and definitely recommend. This one gets 4.75 out of 5 stars from me. What about you?

Holly: I was definitely invested in this book. It gets better every single time I read it. I love Kate, Curran and all their friends and family. I give it 4.75 out of 5.

Final Grades

Holly: 4.75 out of 5
Rowena: 4.75 out of 5

Kate Daniels

five-stars


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Review: Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews

Posted June 22, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Magic Steals by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #6.5
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 Mourns, Magic Bleeds, Magic Dreams, Magic Slays, Gunmetal Magic, Magic Gifts, Magic Rises, Magic Tests, Magic Stars, Magic Shifts, Magic Breaks, Magic Breaks
Publisher: Intermix
Publication Date: August 16, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 83
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

Ilona Andrews—#1 New York Times bestselling author of Magic Shifts—once again pulls readers into the dark and dangerous world of the Kate Daniels novels...

Shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau may be a powerful healer and magic user, but she’s far from what might be called “normal”. She dislikes the violence and bloodshed that are a way of life for most of her kind, even going so far as to become a vegetarian. The last thing she wants is trouble...

Jim Shrapshire is an original, hardcore badass. A jaguar shifter, he’s been tasked with keeping Atlanta’s Cat Clan in line, which he does with swift and lethal force when necessary. His only soft spot is for the petite Dali, whose kindness he calls upon when he is injured.

When Dali is approached by a desperate woman whose grandmother has vanished, Jim is concerned enough to help investigate. But what they find may just be the end of them—an enemy whose skill in the dark arts is matched only by their willingness to kill anyone in their way...

Magic Steals was originally published in the anthology Night Shift

Magic Steals is another Jim and Dali novella that I ate right up. It’s another short story where Dali takes front and center. She’s Indonesian and she’s a great white tiger that comes from a family of magic. Part of Dali’s charm is that she is such a nerd but a charming nerd. She genuinely cares about other people and she’s smart, like super smart and it amazes me that she can’t see why Jim likes her so much.

So in this book, Dali is approached to find a woman’s grandmother that disappeared, she doesn’t hesitate to help and because Jim is worried about the dangers that might jump out at Dali, he helps too. I really like the way that Jim sees Dali. She’s important to him and he wants the world to know that they’re together. I totally get Dali’s hesitation in going public with their relationship, especially with her family because the Asian culture is a lot like the Polynesian culture. Actually, I’m sure that all cultures suffer from the same nosy relatives that be all up in your business and makes you not want to ever bring anyone home, just in case it doesn’t work out and then you’ll never hear the end of it. Dali is trying her damndest to keep her budding relationship with Jim a secret because she’s not all that sure that Jim will want to keep her around since they’re complete opposites and she doesn’t understand why Jim likes her. I loved the way that Jim fixed that problem. He didn’t let her run from her feelings for him, he didn’t let her hide from what they were to each other and I really dug that.

I’m used to Jim fighting with Kate and annoying Kate at every turn so seeing him from Dali’s point of view was a treat for me. I liked seeing them work and I really enjoyed Dali’s seeing more of Dali’s magic background. She’s got a great relationship with her Mom and I loved seeing them together here. Her Mom is super pushy but super sweet at the same time. Their talks in this book and seeing the faith that Dali’s Mom has in her, in her abilities just made me super happy.

This was another fantastic addition to the Kate Daniels series and I really enjoy these little forrays away from Kate and Curran. Jim compliments Dali so well and I just really dig seeing them together. Dali is a powerhouse and she doesn’t even know it. I just adore her so much. This was a good one and I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Kate Daniels

four-stars


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Review: Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

Posted June 15, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Magic Shifts by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #8
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 Bleeds, Magic Dreams, Magic Slays, Gunmetal Magic, Magic Gifts, Magic Rises, Magic Tests, Magic Stars, Magic Steals, Magic Breaks, Magic Breaks
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 343
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

In the latest Kate Daniels novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews, magic is coming and going in waves in post-Shift Atlanta—and each crest leaves danger in its wake…

After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.

So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.

An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece…

Magic Shifts is the eighth book in the Kate Daniels series and the action just keeps right on coming. I’m still trippin’ that Curran isn’t View Spoiler » I didn’t know what to expect from these two after the shenanigans from the last book but never fear, Ilona Andrews is here to keep the party going. Kate and Curran are trying to figure things out without the pack and I think I’m going to like where they end up. Curran’s already got a plan and bringing it all together with Kate’s help should be a lot of fun.

So when George calls on Curran and Kate for help in trying to locate her boo thang, Eduardo who had gone missing the day before. Curran considers George a sister since George’s father, Mahon, practically raised him after Curran’s own parents died and so, of course, he was going to help her, even though his hands were tied because they weren’t allowed to try to sway anyone to leave the pack with them for 30 days and helping George could be considered Curran doing exactly that but Kate and Curran work their way around that and they’re on the case.

Seeing Kate and Curran work side by side in figuring out this case was a lot of fun for me. They’re serious couple goals. They’ve got that grown folks kind of love that I just love. They are fiercely loyal to each other and the way that they love each other is just super sweet (and steamy when the mood strikes). They’re a good team and they haven’t lost any of their magic since they’ve gotten together. Some TV couples suffer from becoming that boring couple after they’ve spent so much time and energy finding each other that when they finally get together and are happy, they’re kind of boring. I’m not going lie, a tiny part of me was scared that it was going to happen to Curran and Kate but nope. The magic is still there and I am still Team Kate and Curran.

It’s been pretty interesting seeing Roland try to be a part of Kate’s life. I’m mighty curious to see where that goes and what Roland has up his sleeve. I’m also pretty curious about what the heck Hugh’s been up to since that guy fell from Roland’s grace. I can feel the trouble brewing and it’s headed straight for Kate and I have every faith that Kate is going to kick everybody ass. She’s going to kick ass and take everyone’s name and I’m almost there. I can’t believe that the end is in sight and on one hand, I’m thrilled but on the other hand, I’m sad that my journey through the Kate Daniels world is almost done. I’m not ready to say goodbye and I’m not ready to move on. Sigh.

Anyway, this is another great addition to an already top tier series and I enjoyed it so much so I definitely recommend. Read this series if you haven’t already. So good!

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Kate Daniels

four-stars


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Review: Magic Tests & Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews

Posted June 8, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Magic Tests & Magic Stars by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Magic Tests by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #5.3
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 Strikes, Magic Mourns, Magic Bleeds, Magic Dreams, Magic Slays, Gunmetal Magic, Magic Gifts, Magic Rises, Magic Shifts, Magic Steals, Magic Breaks, Magic Breaks
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 32
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

A short story in the Kate Daniels universe. Kate recruits her teenage ward, Julie, to search out a missing student whose location spell has her hidden somewhere on campus…

I’m doing a complete read of the Kate Daniels and I have fallen hard for every one of these books. When we first meet Julie, she’s this scared little girl who just lost her Mom and is on her own. I was super thrilled when Kate took her in and with each passing book, seeing Julie grow more and more comfortable in herself and in her place in Kate’s life (she’s got a long way to go but I see progress and that’s great!) makes me love her all the more.

This was a fun short story featuring Julie and it was a lot of fun seeing her personality away from Kate. She’s really growing into her own person and I really like seeing it. Julie is smart and she reminds me so much of Kate that I smiled my way through this entire story. When she slides that Lennart name into her interrogation with the dragon, I laughed out loud. She showed that she can hang with the big dawgs in this book and I cannot wait to continue watching her grow into her own. I’m a big Derek and Julie fan (sorry Ascanio) so I welcome any and every story featuring Julie front and center. More, please!

Grade: 4 out of 5

Review: Magic Tests & Magic Stars by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #8.5, Gray Wolf #1
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 Bleeds, Magic Dreams, Magic Slays, Gunmetal Magic, Magic Gifts, Magic Rises, Magic Shifts, Magic Steals, Magic Breaks, Magic Breaks
Publisher: NYLA
Publication Date: December 8, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 84
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

From award-winning author, Ilona Andrews, an original novella, set in the New York Times #1 bestselling Kate Daniels World and featuring fan-favorites, Derek, and Curran and Kate’s very independent ward, Julie.

Scarred, solitary Derek Gaunt has separated from his Pack, and is truly a lone wolf. With no family he answers to no one; but is fiercely loyal to a chosen few. So, when several of those close to him are murdered, he’ll stop at nothing to hunt their killer through the magic-drenched streets of Atlanta.

Never one to be left on the sidelines, equally determined—some might say stubborn—Julie Lennart-Olsen soon joins in his pursuit; and what began as revenge turns into a race to save the city. Their search pits them against powers they never imagined and magic so old, it predates history. It may cost Derek his life, but there are things for which even he would risk everything.

Man, I’ve been looking forward to this story ever since I found out about it. Derek has been one of my favorite characters in this series from the jump. I ugly cried over him in Magic Strikes and I have loved him more and more with each passing book. Derek is Kate’s ride or die and seeing him go through it over the course of this series really hit me in my feels. He’s one of the good ones and I’m absolutely thrilled that we might be getting more books featuring him (we are, right? I mean this is the first book in the Gray Wolf series so I just kind of assumed). I really enjoyed the little bit that we got of Derek at center stage in this story and my hopes are sky high that Derek and Julie are going to become a thing.

This story has Derek on a mission to track down some bad guys that popped up on Curran’s radar and his mission puts him in Julie’s path, who plants herself right in the middle of Derek’s mission and seeing them work together to figure out what’s going on and then put their plan of attack into action…together was just great. They’re a great pair and I so want more books featuring them. Ilona Andrews does such a great job with making readers fall in love with their characters and readers will definitely fall in love with Derek and Julie. Derek’s protective streak and Julie’s fierce loyalty where Derek is concerned (and her undercover love for him) make for a fantastic story and I’m so here for more. I definitely recommend this short if you need just a little more Derek and Julie. You won’t regret it.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Kate Daniels

four-stars


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