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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Read All The Things: Reading Recap Vol 3

After this post I really will be all caught up with reviews. Honestly, I will ;)

The Purloined Poodle is a novella from the brilliant mind of Kevin Hearne.  The story is a hilarious mystery adventure told from the POV of the beloved Oberon, Atticus' wolf hound in the bestselling Iron Druid Chronicles. Upon discovering that a prizewinning poodle has been dogknapped, Oberon feels it is his duty to nab the culprit and save the day. What transpires is a fantastically orchestrated tale of mystery with classic Hearne attention to detail, characterization and humor.

I really enjoyed the story but the best part is the audio by Luke Daniels.  His portrayal of Oberon makes my world just a bit more magical.  I'd love it if he'd come meet my dog and then record an inner dialogue of her musings.

If you haven't read the Iron Druid Chronicles--SERIOUSLY! What are you waiting for?! This story is amazingly amusing and a real treat for fans of the series plus a whole lot of fun for a reader not familiar with the other titles.

Final rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Ivy Morgan is back for this second part of the Wicked trilogy by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Wicked ended with the discovery that Ivy is in fact the halfling Fae the Ancients seek.  It's prophesied that she'll conceive an 'apocalypse baby' that will bring about the destruction of the world.  One bonus is that the union has to be consensual  and Ivy is determined that won't ever happen. However, the Fae are powerful and full of tricks. Ivy world is turned upside down while she struggles with who to tell the truth and just how much she might be willing to sacrifice to save Ren and herself.

I enjoyed this second book. Ivy continues to grow as a character. There were plenty of surprises with just a tad bit of predictability. Overall, good pacing, dialogue and steamy relationship building.  I like Ivy and Ren and especially Tink. I wish the villain had a bit more dimension; however, we'll see what happens in the final book.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Years ago I discovered the Noble Dead series by Barb & J.C. Hendee.  Once I got into those, I devoured the six book, loving the mix of Lord of the Rings meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  While that adventure came to an end, In Shade and Shadow marks the beginning of a spin-off series with Wynn, the young sage from the previous books.  Having left Magiere and Leesil, she's returned home with text written by ancient vampires; however, these and her personal are whisked away by the elders and Wynn's tales are dismissed as nothing but delusional fantasies.

The texts are far from dismissed as the elders have been sending them out in secret to be copied.  However, a dark force begins to wreak havoc on Sagecraft with the desire to claim these scrolls for itself.  Wynn becomes convinces that the Nobel Dead are responsible for the killings and embarks on a dangerous mission to uncover the truth while also finding a few unexpected allies along the way.

I loved this tale and can't wait to finish out the trilogy.  Wynn is a loveable character and her progression throughout the series is fascinating.  Chane is another complicated character since caring about Wynn is in conflict with his vampire nature.  I look forward to the development of this relationship and what might be in store.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Death and Wren are back in Death and the Brewmaster's Widow, the second in the Auction Block Mysteries by Loretta Ross. It becomes apparent that the death of Death's (DEETH) firefighter brother is shrouded in mystery. Determined to find answers, the couple return to St. Louis. What they find is more questions and the dubious connection to the Einstadt Brewery where Death's brother met his end.  Sleuthing reveals some pretty shocking news and a nefarious plot to keep some expensive secrets.

This second book was fun and a great mystery romp.  It was maybe a tad more predictable for me as a mystery reader but I found it engaging. I like Wren and Death as a couple and appreciate that each has their vulnerabilities but they work better as a unit.

Amanda Ronconi as audio narrative gives another stellar performance.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I've been working to catch up on Lorelei James' Blacktop Cowboys series.  Roped In is a novella in the 1001 Dark Nights releases featuring Sutton, a rodeo bulldogger and London, a sassy, gifted horse trainer.  Their paths have crossed before; however, when a life threatening injuring changes his career path, Sutton calls upon London to help train his horse since no longer can. London needs Sutton to make her ex jealous and get vindication at being dumped via text

The outcome is what readers expect from James--fireworks fly with these two from the beginning.  While they agree to work together and give in to temptation it turns out that both are what each other need to feel whole. It is super hot and sexy but charming, funny, and well written.

Wrapped and Strapped is book 7 in the series.  Harlow Pratt is known for her hippy, do-gooder ways; but there is more than meets the eye with this young woman so damaged by a rough upbringing and a past abusive relationship that she finds it difficult to trust. Ranch foreman Hugh Pritchett has past relationship demons of his own with a failed marriage. When they initially meet, the fire is there and they eventually give into temptation but old fears pull them apart.  The ill heath of Harlow's father put forces them to face their feelings and decide if what they have is something to fight for.

I enjoyed this book.  Great characters, angst and pacing with plenty of sexy time.

Final ratings: 4 out of 5 stars

Another series to catch up on is Jennifer L.Armentrout's Wait for You series. The novella Dream of You features hot detective Colton Anders and Abby Erikson.  They knew each other years ago in high school but when Abby witnesses a horrific crime and seems to become a target herself, Colton is determined to catch the criminal and protect Abby at all costs.  Attraction builds and past crushes are revealed. Colton just might be what Abby needs to move on after the death of her husband; however, her own insecurities might derail their romance before it has a chance.

Trust in Me is the alternative POV to book 1, Wait for You. We get to see the relationship from Cam's eyes rather than Avery's.  He's a good guy who although he isn't perfect, it darn well close. He owns his mistakes, atoned for them and became a better person--the perfect person to help Avery come to grips with her past so that they could build a future. I loved it and have a better appreciation for Cam as a character.

Final ratings: 4 out of 5 stars

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