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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

REVIEW: Sweet Ruin by Kresley Cole

Sweet Ruin is #16 in Cole's Immortals After Dark series - a super steamy urban fantasy world filled with all sorts of supernatural creatures (vampires, werewolves, demons, witches and Valkyries, oh my!)

Josephine Doe is a foundling having grown up in the human world. She isn't aware of her past memories or supernatural capabilities until a tragic event during her adolescence. Jo is utterly alone but learns to survive and hone some of her abilities with deadly precision; however, there is always an ache for meaningful connections and answers to her past. 

A threat to the Møriør brings Rune the Baneblood to the mortal realm.  This thousands of years old deadly and sexy archer has been trained in the arts of seduction and assassination.  Tasked with killing the world's oldest Valkyrie, he is taken by surprise when he encounters a vampire-like immortal who entices and challenges him like no other.

There are battles on multiple fronts as both Jo and Rune have to overcome years of violence and distrust if they are going to have any sort of relationship.  Both have to unravel some truths--Jo to learn her origins and reunite with her brother, Thaddeus and Rune discovering the sacrifices his mother made for his survival and how both he and Jo fit into the bigger pitcher with the Ascension looming ever closer.

Sweet Ruin is a solid entry in the series. I generally liked the couple even if their relationship missteps are frustrating at times. This is par for the course and to be expected for the paranormal romance formula. Jo does come across as rather immature which was sometimes irritating.  Overall, I 'ship' the couple and the story as well its larger connection to the series arc and lore.  The highlight for me was Nix in her adversarial and supporting role. I just love her wacky ways and remain hopeful that we'll finally get her book soon!

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @kresleycole

#sweetruin #KresleyCole #ImmortalsAfterDark #erotic #paranormalromance #review 

Monday, March 14, 2016

REVIEW: Grave Visions by Kalayna Price

Alex Craft is finally back in this fourth installment to this awesome urban fantasy series!  

Life is looking pretty complicated for Alex. Sure, she's finding work as a grave witch, asked to call forth the dead for questioning, whether by the police or other agencies but since learning that she's not altogether human, things have gotten bizarre. Not only is her love life confusing but Alex is fading like any Fae not directly tethered to a specific court. She has some hefty decisions to make soon or it isn't going to be pretty.

Alex just might find a solution to her problem if she can find some answers for the Winter Queen following a rather gruesome murder wrecking havoc in the Faerie realm.  Coincidentally, this turns out to be connected to Nekros City deaths involving a glamour-induced drug causing hallucinations to manifest with deadly repercussions.

This is a nice addition to the series and one that I have been anticipating for far too long.  After quite a long lull since book 3, Grave Memory, I'm so pleased to see Price and her characters back in action. This is an exciting mystery thriller with plenty of magic and a few super creepy moments. I love the creativity illuminated by strong writing.

I adore the blending of worlds throughout these books.  Price showcases urban fantasy world-building at its best.  The nuances of grave magic and its consequences are really interesting but I am fascinated by how the author incorporates Fae lore to further develop this elaborate landscape in which Alex must navigate and explore her lineage and powers.

Alex is kick ass, funny but also flawed and vulnerable.  I think this endears her to readers.  I'm definitely a fan of the love triangle between Alex, Falin and Death but was pretty surprised by her father's revelation and how that complicates Alex's future. Overall, this was fantastic.  If you haven't discovered the series yet, please check it out!

Final rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @kalayna

#GraveVisions #UrbanFantasy #KalaynaPrice #AlexCraft #bookreview #magic

Friday, March 11, 2016

REVIEW: Dirty by Kylie Scott

*A big thanks to Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for a review*

Expected publication: April 19, 2016

Lydia Green's wedding day isn't going how she planned.  Finding out that her groom is having a affair with his best man, Lydia does what any woman would do, she gets the heck outta dodge and finds a quiet place to think. Breaking and entering is admittedly not the best plan but having a good cry in a seemingly abandoned bathtub seemed like a good idea at the time.

Vaughn Hewson has returned to his childhood home after his dreams of musical stardom have crashed and burned in L.A. The last thing he expected to find was a broken hearted bride in his bathroom but he readily embraces her chaotic drama and spitfire attitude.  Polar opposites with electric chemistry, these two just might be what each other need.

Dirty is a loose spin-off of Scott's Stage Dive novels.  I loved this and actually consumed it in one sitting, marathoning through the pages at break neck speed.  I adored the characters and their chemistry.  Lydia is fiery but also vulnerable. I loved that she wasn't stereotypically stick thin and that despite some insecurities she embraces her body and through change is determined to live her life.  Vaughn is a great hot, brooding but funny and charismatic male protagonist. He has faults but is learning to handle life and its many ups and downs.

The witty and downright sexy banter of these two is fantastic.  Scott knows how to write steamy scenes but also incorporate quality characterization and a believable plot that will keep readers interested.  As the first in the series, the author does well to introduce other characters who'll play a bigger role down the road.  I like the the Dive Bar is a centralized location bringing all these stories together.

Final rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @KylieScottbooks

#Dirty #KylieScott #romance #erotic #humor #netgalley #bookreview

Thursday, March 10, 2016

REVIEW: Kill Switch by Jonathan Maberry

Expected publication: April 26, 2016

Jonathan Maberry provides readers and Joe Ledger legionnaires with another action packed and gripping adventure in the eighth installment to this bestselling series. 

It's just another day at the office for Ledger and his DMS Echo Team, or is it?   Terrorists have acquired a terrifying new weapon that can crash any power grid, rip planes from the sky and effectively plunge America into literal darkness and despair. And in that darkness a deadly plague will be released.

The DMS is down on its luck after a number of unsuccessful missions.  During the crisis, the intelligence services are being torn apart from the inside and it is difficult to judge who to trust. Time is literally running out for Ledger and his team to battle a new kind of foe who have the ability to take over any person, turning even the most innocent into killers.

Kill Switch is amazing and filled with the pulse pounding action and complex storytelling Maberry readers adore.  I will not add major spoilers because this is too much of a mind bending thrill ride to ruin it. Safe to say fans are in store for twists, turns, and plenty of double crossing, spectacular fights, mind controlling epic villains and yes, killer giant albino penguins!

I can't give the novel or Maberry enough praise. He's a spectacular writer and having gotten to speak with him on several occasions, a wickedly cool dude all around.  I read Kill Switch slowly because I wanted to savor it.  The only downside to an ARC from Netgalley was missing the audiobook experience but I plan to re-read it as soon as that is available!  I laughed, I cried and I found myself disaster planning for this very plausible threat.  I can't wait until the next book!!!

Final rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @JonathanMaberry

#KillSwitch #JoeLedger #thriller #terrorism #science #bookreview #netgalley