Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Revolution (Cold War Magic, #2)Revolution by W.L. Goodwater
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Revolution is the 2nd installment in the Cold War Magic series. It is a new installment in what I consider to be a great newcomer in the Urban Fantasy or Speculative Fantasy genre. I would lean towards more calling it Speculative Fantasy because it tells an alternate version of what happened at the end of World War II where magic is a known entity and only some people were born with magic. Where the first book has a setting in Berlin and describes how magic played a key part in how the war ended and the repercussions of the use of dark magic which culminates in a book that multiple parties are trying to find. To some, the book is a myth. To others, it is a fact and they will do whatever is necessary to obtain the book.

Karen is on her last legs with the magic agency where she is employed. She is afraid of her magic and has decided that she would prefer to not use magic which means leaving her job. In the middle of making this decision, she receives a weird package that turns out to be a request for help from a former employee. He has uncovered something at his current employer that causes him to risk his life and the lives of others trying to assist him. This investigation takes Karen to Florida and to Cuba where she will have to decide whether she has a choice about using her magic. There is a lot more at stake than her job and it turns out that the book thought to be destroyed is still front-and-center in the story.

I have to admit that I love this series. The characters are flawed, including Karen, and she questions herself throughout the book but, at her core, she cannot help but stand up for those that need help which makes her an admirable character. She also realizes that she has no clue who really can be trusted and as usual who is good and who can be trusted is not always as clear as she would hope. I plan to follow this series and avidly wait for the next installment.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Archangel's War (Guild Hunter, #12)Archangel's War by Nalini Singh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Phenomenal! Archangel's War is an explosive entry in the Guild Hunter series. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was so busy and I wanted to know what happened that release day was upon me so I bought the audiobook also. I love the narration in the audiobooks and this is a series that I re-read or re-listen quite often. One of my favorite aspects of this series is the vividness of the characters. When I read about Illium's feathers, the description is detailed that I can picture it like a colored photo or like watching a movie.

In Archangel's War, the title sort of speaks for itself. There have been multiple skirmishes throughout the series as Lijuan grows in power and loses more of the little bit of "humanity" or care for humans and other angels that she had. She is a brilliant tactician and serious "delusions of grandeur" except in her case they may not necessarily be delusions. Thinking that the other archangels will just bow to her and give up their people and territories is maybe the biggest delusion that can be attributed to Lijuan. Each of the archangels that have known her throughout history has memories of her being more humane but when the reader meets Lijuan it is clear that she likes playing games and manipulating everything around her.

What I love about Archangel's War is this innate desire to make the story go slow so that it is not over too soon. It is action-packed. I have to admit that something rare happened when I read this latest installment in the series. I hit a part that brought tears to my eyes. Elena and Raphael are so likable that the reader empathizes with them so it can be quite gut-wrenching when they feel emotional pain and sometimes when they feel physical pain. I admit to a fair amount of apprehension that this might be the end of things. But, I am happy to see that things just keep rolling and Nalini Singh is just the person to keep the readers hooked and looking for the next Guild Hunter book.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Showstone (Cal Donovan #4)The Showstone by Glenn Cooper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cal Donovan is a character I have a hard time liking sometimes The Showstone does not change that. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The Showstone is the fourth book in the Cal Donovan series. It is a phenomenal story pitting good against evil with very detailed character studies of the major characters. The showstone was a character unto itself and the factual elements about John Dee were a great addition to this story. Tying in historical facts with the mystery is one of the things that Glenn Cooper does very well.

Cal learns a lot more about his father's history in The Showstone. He knew where he died and when, but, this story teaches him that he doesn't know a lot about his father's life He seems to be a wonderful historian and professor and a great friend. But, he is a bit of a mess. He seems to be a functioning alcoholic and some of the flashbacks in the book show when Cal started on that path. It is not quite clear why, but, some of the conversations and thoughts that the reader is privy to in the story allows the reader to hazard a guess. It was good to see Cal having a semi-normal relationship with his girlfriend Jessica But, he still seems to struggle with who he wants to be or how he wants that relationship to go and it is evident to Jessica and Cal's best pal, Father Murphy. Despite me throwing up my hands at some of the missteps that Cal makes throughout the story, it is obvious that he is a good man who at least thinks about doing the right thing. There were some great action scenes and the supernatural aspects of the story were not far-fetched I enjoy this series and look forward to reading the next installment in Cal's story.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

In the Hall with the Knife (Clue Mystery #1)In the Hall with the Knife by Diana Peterfreund
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I completely loved this take on the Clue game/movie. I received a copy via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. In the Hall with the Knife will go down as one of my most enjoyed books for this year. I am an avid fan of the Clue movie.I especially love how the ending was handled. I do not want to spoil it for those who have not seen the movie. I have not played the game so I was unaware of the Orchid character. I have now gone and found an online version of the game and plan to familiarize myself with these updates. I was unaware that the game was evolving. This sounds like fun.

One thing I can say is that the reader does not feel like they are just reading a transcript of the movie. The author has definitely made her own twist on the story. The movie had comedic aspects where the book definitely has dark turns. They both provide a great mystery. It is difficult to discuss this book without some comparisons to the movie. My interpretation is that the author welcomes this as she is definitely a fan.In the Hall with the Knife includes some of my favorite book themes, i.e., mystery,young adult, in a boarding school environment. The book does a great job respecting how each of the characters are protagonists, Not just one of the characters. Each character has a background or problem they were escaping when choosing to come to the school-and throw in the antagonism from some of the locals and ramp up the tension with an emergency or disaster and each person starts to show more of their true character and secrets start to be exposed. It is a recipe for a well written story and a great beginning to a new series.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Vendetta in Death (In Death, #49)Vendetta in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I do not know if J.D. Robb Has written a book that I did not love. I do not have favourite foods, colors, etc. If I was forced to choose a favourite series, the In Death of Eve Dallas series would have to be it. I did receive a free copy via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am two finger typing this while on Nava in Europe so that should give an idea of how much I love these books. It seems sure that some series cannot break free of the second book syndrome when this series is 49 strong and still as Fresh and exciting for me as when I found this series. I read them. I listen to them on audio book and I am still surprised that nothing ever seems formulaic. Are there certain patterns in each book? Certainly. The reader can count on Roarke being involved somehow and McNabb will always have on bright clothes and boo around in air boots. But, the mysteries are still good. The world building is too notch. The character development is still one of my favorite aspects. Even if the reader knows who the killer is from the start, you can bet watching the team dig into is going to be great. I look forward to these books and love that we get a dose twice a year.

In Vendetta in Death, men are being murdered and it does seem like the reader would not have much sympathy for any of them given their past feeds as well as some of their current deeds. None of them appear redeemable but, the killings are so savage that the reader has a hard time not feeling bad for them despite their behavior. But, the reader also has good insite into their victims so we read and wait and let Dallas and crew work on giving justice according to my favorite motto. "NO MATTER YOUR RACE, CREED, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, OR POLITICAL AFFILIATION, WE PROTECT AND SERVE,* BECAUSE YOU COULD GET DEAD."

Saturday, July 6, 2019

The Princess Plan (A Royal Wedding, #1)The Princess Plan by Julia London
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a pretty good read for me. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book received from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. What happens when a smart, opinionated woman who cares for her blind father, has some pretty well-placed friends, and a sister who owns a gossip magazine whose focus is the shenanigans of "the ton", and a prince from another country who is forced to look for a wife while in England negotiating a deal that will mean a lot to his country financially all collide? It turns into a pretty interesting story with a murder mystery included.

Prince Sebastian does not want to get married though he knows he is required to marry as another branch of his family is pushing to take over the throne in his country. Eliza sees her life as pretty much well-written at this point and is excited when she gets a chance to go to a masquerade ball where she just might get a chance to meet a prince. Unlike all of the other eligible single women at the ball who hope to be the Prince Sebastian's new princess and future queen, Eliza just wants to meet a prince. When the Prince's secretary is murdered the entire visit is turned on its head as Prince Sebastian tries to solve the mystery that the English police are not that interested in solving, the negotiations continue for the deal that Sebastian is trying to make, and several "titled" women vie for the prince's proposal. The Princess Plan ends up a state of total confusion with some hilarious moments and a sweet romance.

Monday, June 17, 2019

To celebrate the upcoming release of Deadlock by Cherrie Lynn on June 25th, Entangled Publishing has arranged a Scavenger Hunt! Follow the links at the end of each stop and collect clues along the way! Click here to start at the beginning of the Scavenger Hunt. At the end, enter your clues to be entered to win the grand prize: a Nespresso Espresso maker and coffee goodies to keep your all-night hacking (or reading) sessions going strong. You might find a few bonus giveaways in hidden links throughout the Scavenger Hunt, too, including print copies of Deadlock!

I'm excited to host a Q&A with Cherrie!

 


What was the hardest scene for you to write

Definitely the action toward the end! Choreographing things like that is a challenge for me. I feel my strengths are dialogue and emotion, so it’s difficult to not sound stilted or like I’m going down a laundry list of physical actions. Like “he did this and he did this and then he did that.”

 
Who was your favorite character to write?

I always like writing the hero’s POV better than the heroine’s. So between my main characters, definitely Jace. Among the secondary characters, it would have to be Helix. He was a lot of fun! I like the quirky, kinda smartass characters.

 

 


 

Scavenger Hunt: Who was Cherrie’s favorite secondary character in Deadlock to write?

Next stop, Splashes into Books

 

Deadlock releases June 25th! You can pick it up in paperback from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever books are sold. Add it on Goodreads

 

 

Revolution by W.L. Goodwater My rating: 5 of 5 stars Revolution is the 2nd installment in the Cold War Magic series. It is a new installm...