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Monday, September 28, 2015

REVIEW: Darklands by Nancy Holzner

Darklands marks the fourth installment to Holzner's Deadtown series. Demons are disappearing and clients are canceling right and left. When she discovers a missing Celtic cauldron, Victory (Vicky) Vaughn, Boston's demon slayer extraordinaire, faces yet another challenge to protect her city and those she loves against her half-demon cousin, Pryce, and his nefarious plans to reclaim his shadow-self and bring about utter destruction.  Vicky must literally face her worst fear and travel to the darklands herself in order to stop Pryce from resurrecting her greatest enemy.

This is another urban fantasy series that I've neglected and am working to catch up on before Firestorm (#6) is released in 2016.  Urban fantasy is my "go to" escape genre for pleasure reading.  I like the series because of the setting and creativity of world building:
  • A post apocalyptic Boston where the quarantine zone houses zombies not hell bent on devouring brains but who are the new living dead citizens with a serious case of the fast food munchies? 
  • A snarky, not quite human, female protagonist? 
  • A honest to goodness Shakespearean inspired vampire roommate? 
Yes, please! I also like the complicated relationship between Vicky and Kane, her werewolf, lawyer boyfriend.

While I think that Darklands works well within the general series, it wasn't the strongest piece of the larger puzzle.  I felt like parts dragged on a bit and I wanted to speed things up.  I'm intrigued about Hellhound and the ramifications that events from Darklands will have on Vicky, her family, and most importantly her relationship with Kane, especially since they are both beholden to the Night Hag.  All in all, an enjoyable read!

Final rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

#deadtown #darklands #nancyholzner #UF

Thursday, September 24, 2015

REVIEW: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened is probably my favorite nonfiction audiobook listen of all time.  I just couldn't wait for the release of Furiously Happy.  It certainly lived up to its subtitle--A Funny Book About Horrible Things.  Whereas her first book focused on family, Furiously Happy takes a humorous approach as Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? And yet, it all works. The discussions are poignant but presented with Lawson's characteristic flare. 

I can't stress enough Lawson's amazing narration to her own books. Her delivery is perfect and will leave readers in hysterics.  I know other drivers thought I was in the middle some sort of episode as they passed me on the road.  Overall, I didn't love this book quite as much as Lawson's debut; however, it is still an amazingly bizzare and funny take on how to process and discuss coping with mental illness and still live a fruitful and productive life.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @thebloggess or visit her site:

#furiously happy #jennylawson #memoir #humor #mentalillness #audiobook

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

REVIEW: Homeland (Forgotten Realms, Legend of Drizzt #1) by R.A. Salvatore

This is a favorite of a co-worker and other friends as well as my first foray into the Forgotten Realms series.  The pacing starting a bit slowly for me; however, I attribute this to acclimating to the new world building and the writing style of a previously unread author.  It always takes me a bit to fully immerse into new fantasy territory. 

Set in an dark, exotic landscape deep underground--Menzoberranzan, the vast city of the drow is home to Icewind Dale prince Drizzt Do'Urden, who grows to maturity in the vile world of his dark elf kin. Born the same night as the near elimination of a rival family, Drizzt's existence remains closely tied to the lone survivor seeking revenge as well as a power play for another rival family.  The unique circumstances of his birth foreshadows Drizzt's alternate worldview other than that acknowledged by his matriarchal society.   While immensely talented in all his pursuits, Drizzt exhibits profound honor beyond the scope of his unprincipled society. The real question is whether he can live in world that rejects integrity? 

Book 1 is definitely a setup for what's to come and there are a slew of titles. I got progressively wrapped up in the story.  There are great characters readers will love to hate, to cheer on and to grieve. I enjoyed this and plan to, at minimum, finish this first trilogy and possibly read further. I highly recommend the audiobook narrated by Victor Bevine.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

#homeland #drizzt #rasalvatore #fantasy #audiobook

REVIEW: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (graphic novels)

Anyone who knows me also knows I'm a rabid Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. I was from the beginning and my love for the show and the ever growing Buffyverse won't fade any time soon.  I love what the show stood for: the metaphors, the actors, its trendsetting dialogue and humor as well as Joss Whedon's overall vision.

Lately, I've been working to catch up with the graphic novels. I'll start at the beginning and work my way through:
The Omnibi

Volume 1 - 4 out of 5 stars
This was a good start.  I liked the origin stories, notably Whedon's vision for the 1992 film.  While I adore that bit of nostalgia, I understand his frustration and remain glad that he had the opportunity to develop the character for television and graphic novels the way he originally intended.  I particularly liked the Vegas arc including Pike. I'd long wondered what could have been done with the character and it always bothered me that the plot hole existed. 

Volume 2 - 3 out of 5 stars
This collection was pretty lackluster for me.  I always enjoy the Spike and Dru bits. The rest just didn't resonate with me or hold a lasting impression. 

Volume 3 - 2 out of 5 stars
I adore seasons 2 and 3 but this tie in volume fell far short.  The stories just didn't add much to the main theme of the seasons. 

Volume 4 - 3 out of 5 stars
Definitely better entries to wrap up Season 3. Still just okay.

Volume 5 - 3 out of 5 stars
I really enjoyed the Faith vs. Buffy nightmare arc.  While not a huge fan of the Initiative, this volume was better.

Volume 6 - 2 out of 5 stars
Seriously. This volume was just filler. I didn't care for any of the stories.  Moreover, I hated Riley on the television show and it was even worse in graphic novel form. 

Volume 7 - 4 out of 5 stars
A stronger finish.  I always liked seasons 5 and 6 so this volume was of more interest to me.  There were some good tie in stories with the death of Joyce, Buffy's mother and hit on more of the emotional side of these seasons. Also, we saw the return of Pike!  One downfall was that his appearance remains unresolved since this is the last volume.  

Season 8
What do you do when there is more than one slayer and you've demolished a whole town and defeated the First Evil? I liked where the Dark Horse graphic novel representation of season 8 dared to go.  These stories would have easily worked for television but the sheer complexity was great in graphic novel illustration and dialogue. Some old favorites were back (i.e. Warren and Dracula) and there were plenty of twists concerning the Big Bad, a shocking death and some pretty severe magical consequences.

Season 9 
So, you've eliminated magic from the world. What now? Life is never that simple for Buffy and the Scooby Gang.  Buffy has some serious life interruptions to deal with to a surprising conclusion. Spike is the leader of an alien bug race. Willow is on a very significant quest and my favorite part was the appearance of Illyria!  This was definitely a strong story arc to battle zompires, introduce new 'slayers' and plant of new seed of magic.

Season 10
Vol.1: New Rules - With magic back in the world, the rules have changed.  Get ready for some unlikely alliances, the return of some well loved characters and plenty of twists.  I loved the new world building and can't wait for more issues! This volume marks the return of Dracula which is always fun. I can't wait for more! 4 out of 5 stars

Vol. 2: I Wish - loved this...since the rules of magic have changed, everyone is tempted. Andrew is up to his old tricks again which has the potential to be troublesome and heartbreaking. 4 out of 5 stars

Vol. 3: Love Dares You - I promise no spoilers but a heads up for Spuffy fans. Lots of good character development and good story arc plus visits from Buffyverse favs. 5 out of 5 stars

#review #graphicnovel #buffy #BtVS #whedonesque #spuffy

Sunday, September 20, 2015

REVIEW: Jim Butcher's Dresden Files: Down Town

Thanks to Netgalley for the free ARC!

If I can't have a new Dresden novel in 2015, the next best thing is an all new original graphic novel.  Down Town takes places a bit after the events of White Night.  Dresden continues to train Molly as his apprentice, especially in honing her telekinetic skills. Another supernatural creature of evil is using Chicago as a deadly playground and our favorite wizard is on a mission to hunt it down before it kills again.

Dresden's investigation leads him deep beneath Chicago to Undertown--abandoned tunnels full of all manner of otherworldly beasties, including the Big Bad du jour. Nothing is ever easy given the unexpected involvement of one of Dresden's biggest enemies--mobster extraordinaire Gentleman John Marcone--tasked with the city's protection under the Unseelie Accords.

Harry, Molly, Mouse and Marcone agree to a temporary alliance as they seek the unnamed sorcerer.  Overall, the characterization and story are enjoyable but the villain lacked depth.  We never learn any more about him and that was disappointing.  The artwork is fantastic and depicts the action and magical sequences well.

Final rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

#dresdenfiles #jimbutcher #downtown #graphicnovel #magic #UF #netgalley

Friday, September 18, 2015

REVIEW: Son of No One by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Son of No One is yet another entry into Sherrilyn Kenyon's bestselling Dark Hunters series.  Over 1,000 years ago, Cadegan was banished to a hell realm by Thorn, leader of the Hellchasers.  Utterly abandoned and alone, he has lived in quiet despair as he fights an unending horde of evil creatures.  His life makes a remarkable change following the appearance of Josette, a modern day Cajun divorcee, who just happens to be related to many of our favorite Dark Hunter characters.  

Remember in the Dark Hunter world what seems simple can only get more complicated.  Cade and Jo's romance follows a formulaic structure--attraction, acting on attraction, peril, mistrust, doom, reconciliation, happily ever after.  Cade is Kenyon's classic wounded male warrior and Jo is the woman to lead him back into the land of the living. 

What's fun about So of No One are all the twists and turns.  The blending of pantheons is pretty intricate.  As are the future implications for the series based on events set in motion and revelations regarding Cadegan's powers and lineage as well as Josette's.  The time of the dragons is here!

I really do like Thorn and he needs a book of his own soon!  A lot of readers favorites make an appearance too! I'm glad to be nearly caught up; all I need now is to get to Dragonbane.  (0:

The body switching part was rather cheesy and very tough to sit through--not one of Kenyon's best writing or editorial moments.  That can NOT happen ever again.  

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

#darkhunter #sonofnoone #sherrilynkenyon #paranormal #romance #review

Thursday, September 17, 2015

REVIEW: Nightwalker by Allyson James

I've been on a mission to catch up with the multitude of series I've let lapse.  I was delighted to see that Nightwalker was recently added as an audiobook to Hoopla--a digital service for many public libraries. I really enjoyed the other books in the Stormwalker series. 

This is book four--Janet Begay, a Navajo hotel owner with both stormwalker and beneath magic, is just trying to live a 'normal' life with her centuries old, sexy dragon fiance, Mick.  However, normal and Janet just don't mix.  The nightwalker in the basement, Ansel, fears he's hurt his girlfriend in a blood frenzy and the discovery of a powerful magical artifact has every mage, dragon and other supernatural vying to possess it.  Toss in a few vampire slayers and a broken magic mirror and readers have an action packed mystery.

This is a great urban fantasy series and I definitely recommend it for those who like the addition of Native American mythology found in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs or C.E. Murphy's The Walker Papers. James develops some great characters with intricate plots and just enough humor and juicy romance. I like that Janet's struggles with her powers are ongoing. It wouldn't be near as interesting if she had a handle on them all the time. I'm interested to find out what happens in Dreamwalker (expected publication December '15) since I predict more trouble is brewing with the dragons and uber-mage Emmitt Smith. 

If Nightwalker has one fault, it might be that sometimes the language seems repetitive.  Meaning that the same descriptors or points are used way too often.  I found myself sighing aloud, saying, "Yes, I get it. No need to reinterate it again." All in all, a good UF selection.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

#nightwalker #stormwalker #allysonjames #UF #supernatural #navajo #mythology #review #audiobook 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

REVIEW: Deceptions by Kelley Armstrong

I'm a bit of a fangirl and pretty much adore anything and everything that Kelley Armstrong has ever written on published. Deceptions, the third entry into the Cainsville series is no exception.  This book pretty much picks up right where Visions left off.  Olivia and Gabriel have had another near miss with a murderous villain and are keeping pace with the discovery of the Fae influence within Cainsville and the parts that each of them are destined to play.

Olivia continues to grapple with her mysterious past.  Readers finally get to see her meet her father.  We learn more about a possible motive for her parents to commit murder as well as some other illuminations about Olivia, Gabriel and Ricky. The title for this book is on point. It is becoming increasingly difficult for our characters to judge who to trust.

I love that this series isn't predictable. The pacing is fantastic and I always want more but Armstrong continues to torture me and make readers wait for the next book as she dangles that enticing literary carrot.  There is nothing typical about the structure of this novel.  I hesitate to categorize it as strictly urban fantasy since there are strong elements of a mystery thriller.

I'm also enthralled by Armstrong's character development.  While I like Olivia and Ricky, the real star for me is Gabriel. He's just magnetic because he's so closed off. The developing tension between him and Olivia is palpable.  I particularly liked the few chapters from his point of view. It is as if he is truly waking to emotions for the first time and isn't quite sure what to make of it all.  I sense crescendo of the love triangle blooming but I'm glad it hasn't happened yet.  Gabriel isn't ready yet and while Olivia is sensing that her feelings for Gabriel might be changing; she's not there yet either. And...I like Ricky but he needs to wise up a bit or I fear that he just might not survive all of this.

The only bad part about finishing Deceptions is now I have to wait a whole year for the next part.  I can't wait!

Final rating: 5 out of 5 stars

#deceptions #cainsville #kelleyarmstrong #UF #mystery #thriller #fae

Friday, September 11, 2015

REVIEW: Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward

The Bourbon Kings is the first in J.R. Ward's new southern family drama. The Bradford family is the head of a Kentucky bourbon dynasty; however, life behind the scenes is not as glamorous as they'd like the rest of the world to believe.  The patriarchal father is an abusive, cheating tyrant whereas the mother, the real money behind the operation is a heavily medicated shut-in.

Four adult children have managed to survive but just barely, each arguably more screwed up than the next.  Eldest, Edward is physically and emotional scared from years of abuse and a brutal kidnapping and has sequestered himself away from the family. Lane has fled to NYC, Max is mentioned but notably off grid and Gin, the baby sister is in love with an unattainable man, has secrets that will shatter him and makes terrible life choices since she's ill prepared to fend for herself.

Ward uses this novel to build an arc into a much more complicated exploration of the family and the web of deceit that threatens to bring it all crumbling down.  The main relationship explored is that of Lane and Lizzie, the estate's gardener.  These two have a past which was ruined by Lane's hasty and loveless marriage in lieu of an accidental pregnancy which never saw completion.   Lane wants to prove that he's matured and is a changed man.  Lizzie is hesitant that he'll break her heart again.

I liked this book and overall don't have many complaints.  I've read enough Ward that the structure and writing are true to form.  She's building the details and intrigue to delve deeper within each story. Lane and Lizzie's story felt a bit unfinished; however, I think she'll continue to revisit them as she focuses on the other siblings too.  I'm really fascinated by the fractured soul that is Edward. He has some BDB traits and we'll see if he can work through the physical and emotional pain to sort out his life.

Gin just makes me want to scream and shake her.  She's got a lot of growing to do before I can tolerate her.  And where the heck is Max???

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

#bourbonkings #jrward #kentucky #family #issues #dysfunctional

REVIEW: Dead Spots by Melissa F. Olson

I snagged Dead Spots on audiobook a while back based on a past purchases and sale recommendation.  I'm always looking for a good urban fantasy series and I have to say that this certainly wasn't a disappointment but there is room for growth and improvement.

Scarlett Bernard is a pretty cool female protagonist.  As a null, she negates any sort of magic within her presence, which is kinda cool.  Her vampire roommate loves her, because Scarlett can help her age a bit at a time and even werewolves can stay in human form if she's around.  Scarlett's employed by the head vampire in L.A. to do supernatural crime scene clean up.  Her life heads into conflict when arriving late thrusts her into a grisly murder scene led by LAPD detective Jesse Cruz.

Learning of the existence of the supernatural, Cruz strikes a deal with Scarlett for her assistance; however, when it becomes clear that the motive for the crime has less to do with a vampire power struggle and more to do with Scarlett's null abilities, things get interesting.

I really enjoyed this book and think it hints at great things to come in subsequent books.  There is a doozie of a cliffhanger and I can't wait to delve into Trail of Dead to see what comes of this.  Scarlett's love life is rather complicated as well.  The love triangle developing has Scarlett making some hard choices in the future.

If I had to name one thing I didn't like, I would choose the switching of perspective.  At least on audio, going from Scarlett's first person account to third person was a bit jarring.  I haven't seen a print copy to see how this is dealt with but I imagine there are page breaks.  All in all, this is a strong series debut and I want more.

Final rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

#deadspots #melissafolson #scarlettbernard #UF #supernatural #review

REVIEW: Caged by Lorelei James

Caged is No. 4 in James' Mastered series and is probably my favorite thus far.   Molly and Deacon have been dancing around each other in a frustratingly tense denial of their attraction for way too long.  Fans of the series will be thrilled when these two finally get together.  James certainly doesn't disappoint with the erotic factor.  Get ready for plenty of steamy moments.

I adore Molly.  She's come a long way from when we met her in book one.  She's learned how to overcome her fear following her attack and how to take charge in all aspects of her life.  It was interesting to learn about her family background and the areas where she's still vulnerable despite the changes she's made in the past two years.

I also really like Deacon.  While I love Ronin and Amery from Bound and Unwound, I get tired of Ronin's silent, broody attitude. Deacon reminds me more of other similar new adult and erotic fiction titles featuring the broody bad boy with deep scars and secrets.  A few that come to mind are similiar fighters like Travis Maddox from Beautiful Disater/Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire and Remy from the Real series by Katy Evans or even the guys from Jay Crownover's Marked Men or Welcome to the Pointe novels. I prefer Deacon to any of these other protagonists with the exception of the lovely guys like Rule, Jet, Rome, Nash, Rowdy or Asa as written by Crownover. --[Seriously, if you haven't discovered and devoured anything and everything by her, then go do so ASAP!]-- Deacon's backstory and learning to deal with guilt and moving on was poignant for me as a reader.

This book has a bit more of an erotic new adult vibe than the others, mainly because of the age of these characters.  Great plot, character development and writing from Lorelei James. I just adore her and since I've gotten a chance to meet her, she'l just lovely in person too!

Final rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @loreleijames

#caged #mastered #eroticromance #loreleijames #MMA #review

REVIEW: Tall, Dark and Immortal by Cat Devon

Tall, Dark and Immortal marks the fourth book in Devon's Entity series.  I haven't read the others but the basic premise seems to be that there are two rival vampire factions existing amongst the human world.  The primary setting is Chicago.

Alex Sanchez is a hot and sexy detective. He just happens to be a vampire too.  Keira Turner is a journalist who has just learned that a) vampires exist and b) she's a descendant of a long line of vampire hunters.  She's left with a load of questions and concerns after discovering her grandfather's journal.  Keira seeks out Sanchez based on blood bank related crimes threatening the people of Chicago, including that of her godson born with a rare blood condition.

True to paranormal romance formula, Alex and Keira have an instant attraction.  Alex recognizes her as "The One", which I'm assuming is an important trope within the series even if I haven't read the others. The plot develops as expected with Keira's life in peril, needing Alex's protection, knowledge, and resources to begin understanding her gifts and unravel the mystery of her past and who is responsible for the thefts and why.

What I liked...

The basic premise is fine.  The main characters have decent chemistry and in general plot works. I found some of the supporting cast of characters intriguing as well and wouldn't mind revisiting the previous books to learn more about them.

What I didn't like...

Sadly, nearly everything else. I just couldn't get into the writing style.  It felt choppy to me and I didn't love the dialog structures or pacing.  Maybe this is since I haven't read Devon's work before and I need time to acclimate to a new author.  Even so, it just wasn't for me.  I wanted more depth to the writing and therefore the plot and characters.  Events seemed to happen too quickly, emotions develop out of the blue and other instances or character developments, for example the villains, seemed to over the top and stereotypical.

Overall, Tall, Dark and Immortal is a quick paranormal romance read. If you are a fan of the genre check it out. It was not my favorite but it has its high points.  I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway, so I'd like to thank St. Martin's Press for the Advanced Reader's Copy.

Final rating 2.5 out of 5 stars

#catdevon #review #paranormal #romance #vampires

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

REVIEW: Ill Wind by Rachel Caine

I first discovered the Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine in the early 2000s. By this point, Ill Wind, Heat Stroke, and Chill Factor had all been published and I remember waiting, albeit impatiently, for the release of Windfall and the rest of the books.

This series remains unique amongst other urban fantasy reads. Caine builds a world where certain humans are gifted elementals, having power to manipulate air, water, fire, or earth.  The female protagonist, Joanne, is a powerful yet relatively new warden who has gotten herself into a heap of trouble just as the real adventure of Ill Wind gets underway.

Within this world, wardens of a certain caliber and rank receive their very own djinn--a powerful pet genie if you will. They aid a Warden in their duties; however, readers soon find out that this world is much more complicated than Joanne ever dreamed. Throw in some romance, betrayal and a wicked demon or two and readers are in store for a high octane adventure and a shocking cliffhanger that will have them aching for book 2.

I adore this series for Caine's take on the djinn, which is, in my opinion, an underused supernatural being.  The continued struggles and development of the subsequent books are thought provoking and entertaining.  I gobbled up the rest of the books save for 8 and 9 (Cape Storm and Total Eclipse) for the mere reasons that I got behind and I am reluctant for the series to end. Now that the 'great re-read' is upon me thanks to our Positively Paranormal Book Club meeting, I think I will revisit these old friends and finally get all the way through to say goodbye.

If you are a fan of the series, make sure you check out the spin off series Outcast Season.  I've read the first two but still need to revisit and finish these too.

Basically, read everything by Rachel Caine. Its all great and well written with fantastic characters and compelling plots especially Ink & Bone (my review here) and the Morganville Vampires.

#weatherwarden #outcastseason #rachelcaine #UF #review #supernatual #romance

Saturday, September 5, 2015

REVIEW: Born of Fury by Sherrilyn Kenyon

FINALLY. Dancer Hauk's book.  Fans of Kenyon's League series have been waiting for this story a long time.  They won't be disappointed.  In true author fashion, Hauk is a classic wounded warrior. Scarred in youth from an accident, he has had to deal with the shame he's brought his aristocratic Andarian family, who pride physical perfection.  Added to that is his pledge to his oldest brother's widow, Dariana, a spiteful woman who strings Hauk along with no plans to enter unification, yet harbors ill will toward him for her husband's death--which she basically caused (but I digress).

​Despite all this, Hauk is a snarky and pleasant beast of a man well loved by his chosen Sentella allies and family.  Sure, he looks scary but he's really a big softie.  

Romance blossoms when League assassin, Sumi, is sent after Hauk by supreme baddie Kyr--League commander extraordinaire. Sumi has to take out Hauk if she hope to ever see her child again.  Of course, here's when things get complicated. There's a complicated past here namely since Sumi's sister was married to Hauk's brother Faine and that didn't end well. Hauk recognizes Sumi as an assassin and despite some lies, miscommunication and some life threatening enemy attacks, these two hit it off and fall for each other.

Remember, this is a Kenyon book and nothing is ever easy. Loving Sumi is a big no-no but Hauk throws caution to the wind. I won't spoil the details but if you know Kenyon's work, there are plenty of twists and turns but you can probably guess the outcome.

My only fault with the book was a bit of rambling at times.  I think the entire plot could have been tightened a bit to be more concise. As a reader, I always appreciate Kenyon's emphasis on the importance of home and family, but it gets repetitive.​

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

#bornoffury #league #sherrilynkenyon #futuristic #romance

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

REVIEW ROUNDUP #2: Sherrilyn Kenyon

You know how you have some many series but get behind on new titles?  That's been my problem with the past several releases of Sherrilyn Kenyon.  I adore her as an author but I fell behind with not only the League but also the Dark Hunter and Chronicles of Nick titles.  Therefore, I'm on a mission to catch up.  If you visit my teen blog, you'll find my review for Instinct, book 6 in the C of N YA series.

I've  been revisiting the Dark Hunter universe by finishing Dark Bites, Kenyon's short story collection published in 2014. This is an all-in-one collection of previously availably novellas and other stories plus a few newbies. Some are directly related to the 'verse while others have a strict realistic flare.  Nonetheless, all the titles feature Kenyon's charateristic attention to solid, detail oriented creative writing and distinct characters. There's angst. There's romance. Standouts for me were "Winter Born", "Love Bites", "Until Death Do Us Part", and perhaps my favorite, "House of the Rising Son" which reads as a standalone or as a prequel novella to Styxx.

Final rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

#lovebites #darkhunter #sherrilynkenyon #anthology

Cloak & Silence is a novela and technically book 7 in the League series. Fans have been waiting for Maris' happily ever after for a while.  Honestly, I was rather disappointed maybe because I expected a more detailed plot. Maris is a fierce warrior but has had to face countless public humiliations since his sexual orientation goes against Phrixian custom.  There had been a big buildup to his story.  I wasn't particularly enamored with his love interest, Ture. I can' quite put my finger on one distinct reason of why I felt let down but part of methinks it is because I kept thinking of the epic story for Qhuinn and Blay in Lover at Last.  J.R. Ward spent years plotting their angsty romance and their book did the complicated romance justice.  Maris' and Ture's relationship just felt like it happened too quickly.

Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars

#league #cloack&silence #sherrilynkenyon #novella

I'm finishing up the League book 8, Born of Fury.  Look for my review in a few days.