Thursday, August 24, 2023

Ilona Andrews: Blood Heir

In the start of a new series but in the Kate Daniels world, Julie is returning to Atlanta to protect those she loves:

Atlanta has always been a dangerous city and if anything it has become more dangerous since Julie left eight years ago. Julie has changed a lot in those eight years, she has a new name, Aurelia Ryder, new face and new abilities she needs to make sure that no one from her past recognize her. An ancient Power is stalking her mother, Kate, and if Kate faces this new threat she will die. 

I am so glad that I read this book and it really made me miss the Kate Daniels series but it was nice to have a new perspective especially with Andrews finishing her series, so anything that is going to take me back into that world I am here for. I will say that I was a little lost for the first part of the book about what happened to Julie and I recommend reading the very short story A King of Fire before you start this book as it gives you a bit of background, but not quite enough that I felt like I was missing some Information.

Julie (Aurelia) is very much like Kate in the way that she gets things done, very much mother like Daughter and I enjoyed that she didn’t take anything from anyone. She also understands the power she now wields with a new face. I was excited that this book was going to feature Derek and he has changed since the last time we read about him (he was always one of my favourite characters) and i do wonder what he has been doing for those 8 years, there are some hints but nothing major. I will say that it took too long for Derek to show up in the book.

I found the plot a little bit slow at times, but I found the overall mystery interesting and Andrews never fails to have different creatures and histories displayed in the book. I did find that it read more like second half of the Hidden Legacy series by Andrews, but maybe when there is book two we will get more Julie and Derek time (one can only hope).

Really enjoyed this spin off series and made me want more not only from this series but Kate's series as well. If you enjoyed Kate's series, then you will want to pick this one up too.


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Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Hannah Grace: Icebreaker

In her debut novel, Hannah Grace pits a Hockey Player and Figure Skater against each other and ice shaving fly:

Anastasia (Stassie) has worked her entire life to make it as a pair’s skater for Team USA with the hopes of competing at the Olympics. Nathan has always wanted to be a professional hockey player and this is his last year in College and he just has to keep his and his teams in line and he will be off to the NHL. What neither knew is that they were on a collision course once they are forced to share ice time and things get further complicated when Nate is forced to practice with Stassie and Stassie is not a fan of hockey players.

Not my usual read but it's nice to read something different every now and then and I really felt invested in the characters and storyline right away. The storyline is fluffier than I am used to and basically they are forced to share ice time due to some unfortunate circumstances and the relationship that unfold from there, with a little bit of a bad guy in the form of Stassie’s skating partner Aaron. I will say that there are times in their relationship when I wanted to throttle each of them for being immature over certain aspects, especially Nate's inability (and sometimes controlling) to let Stassie figure things out on her own, especially things involving Aaron. He does redeem himself a few times throughout the book, but the controlling gets tiring. But I will say that both characters do grow throughout the book.

Boy that was spicey and steamy, or maybe it was just me. I don't read too many romance novels in a year so i'm not sure if this is a normal or more than normal, all i can say is the other romance books I have read in previous years did not have this many and Grace really doesn’t leave anything to the imagination. I will say that most of the sex scenes were pretty vanilla, nothing dark happening here. I will say that the steamy does drop off in the latter half of the book and the book does seem to drag on quite a bit at the end, I think Grace could have ended things a bit sooner. I mean there wasn’t much of a plot to begin with outside of their relationship and that drama had sailed a bit ago, so she didn’t need to write that much more.

I appreciated that Grace decided to make sure that there was consent in this book, I mean Hockey players are normally portrayed as the assholes in books and movies and it was nice to see Grace take a different approach. I mean all of the guys in the house and on the team seem like puppy dogs most of the time but also willing to protect their teammates and their girlfriends. it was a very playing house feeling throughout the whole book.

Well, I’m invested Grace has me, I would totally read another book from her and I am excited to pick up the next book in the series coming out later this year.

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Friday, August 18, 2023

Annette Marie: Taming Demons for Beginnners

Annette Marie starts another series and this time things are getting Demonic

When Robin arrives at her uncle’s house after the death of her parents, all she wants it get her mother's grimoire and inheritance but her uncle is stalling for some reason so Robin is determined to find out why. Robin doesn’t know anything about Demon Summoning but she knows that she is not supposed to approach the circle holding the demon in her Uncles Library. All Robin had to do was pretend that the circle wasn’t there, but Robin's curiosity got the better of her and there will be deadly consequences.

We'll I've plunged into another side of the Guild Codex series and this time it's the demon side of things but in the same world as her other Guild series. I have to say that the whole Demon side of things is extremely interesting especially as readers get to know a bit more about Zylus. I like that Zylus is able to give some information about the demon world, where he fits into the demon world as well as how he perceives the human world.

A lot of the book is about Robin and Zylus trying to navigate this new partnership that they have found themselves in and trying put pieces together in how to get Zylus home as well as why people were so interesting in Zylus as a demon. I also really enjoyed the interaction between Robin and Zylus the banter is really funny at times as they try to get to know each other. The banter is one of the highlights of the book.

Robin is very much an opposite character of Tori from the other Guild series, and I am glad that Marie did not make a copycat character for this series and took a different avenue. Robin is book smart, fairly nerdy and never looking for a fight. Does this make Robin a bit less of an interesting, at times Yes, but at other times the information that she knows is also interesting. Robin is also empathetic, and basically the reason why she finds herself with a Demon in tow.

I enjoyed that there was a cross over in this book that allowed for a different POV from the events that have happened in the other series and I am excited to see what will happen when the series fully interact with each other. I also look forward to seeing where Marie takes the Demon side of things.

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Thursday, August 10, 2023

Wendy Walker: What Remains

Wendy Walker shows how one moment can change everything:

Det. Elise Sutton is taking a few moments out of her busy life as a police officers to do something so mundane as buying her girls pink bath towels. What she did not expect was to be involved in a shooting, where she is forced to make a life and death decision, one that will forever change her. Elise is hailed as a hero, but she does not feel like one, she is told she made the right choice but did she really? When she connects with the man that she saved in the department store she hopes to get some closure, but what she gets instead is a stalker who is intent on playing a Cat and Mouse game with her threatening everyone she knows and loves

I am a huge fan of Walker and have enjoyed the majority of the books that she has released so I had high expectations for this book especially based on the premise and Walker ability with the psychological thriller aspect to her novels. However, I struggled with this book, i really had to force myself to sit down and read this book and it was not an enjoyment for me. This book starts out with a bang (literally) but really slowed down after that and I never really felt the suspense in the Cat and Mouse game that Walker was trying to present here, though I could tell that she was trying.

Elise is a frustrating character, and I don’t care if she’s this amazing cop/teacher about forensics (though we never actually get to see her do the forensics part) she puts so many people in danger with her stupid decisions and lies that she tells. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to jump in the book a slap her to get her head on straight when she was making her decisions.

The whole Kill Room aspect felt a bit disjointed from the rest of the story and I wasn’t sure how Walker was going to bring that aspect over within the story and it does get there and I liked how she did it but it really wasn’t till the end. And in the end, I didn’t mind how Walker brought the whole story together, but does the ending make up for a slow plot and character I wanted to throw across the room. No I don’t think so.

I’m still a huge fan of Walker and I understand that I cannot love all her books, and I know I’ll pick up another book by her but this one was not for me.


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Friday, August 4, 2023

Michael Ebner: The New Bad Thing

In the first in a new series, Michael Ebner show what one women will go through to protect those she loves:

Teagan is an expert at getting people to talk, which she needs as a celebrity journalist and she not only has a knack for getting people to talk to her but also finding them. But she is finding that she needs to do more, and when she a story of women and girls in the Middle East being stolen and traded among terrorist group known as KIL she knows she wants to help. She creates Project Rebound to raise money to send a team to rescue the women and girls. But the project hits a major setback and Teagan travels to Paris to deal with it, her hotel is under siege from a KIL. Was it just a coincident or was Teagan the intended target? What happens next changes Teagan life forever.

Overall, this book was okay, it wasn’t quite the action adventure / spy thriller that i thought/wanted it to be. I will say that the beginning (Teagan on a fight for her life from a terrorist group assaulting her hotel) and ending were quite well done, but Ebner did loose me a bit in the middle of the book as things slowed down. The overall globetrotting and spy aspect of the book are underwhelming overall. It really is just Teagan trying to remember pervious conversations with Roman and trying to piece together where he may be in the world, so it runs a bit slow and frustrating at times.

I found the beginning of the book a little bit convoluted and was missing the aspects that told you what point in time in the story we are at. Ebner does add this in later on, but I questions why it is not there at the beginning of the book.

Teagan is an interesting character and we do get a bit of back story and character development for her, with her first marriage and her past in Japan. Though I do wonder if there is more in her past that makes her the way that she is. I like that Ebner really sets Teagan up as an anti-hero by the end of the book with the things that she is forced to do.

I do have a question for Ebner about what happened to KIL? I thought that they were going to have more impact on the story instead of being on the fringe of the story. I understand why they were part of the story at the beginning with the attack in Paris but I do not know what KIL I was brought up several times throughout the book, but served no purpose in the book past the first event and for some Teagan's motivations.

I did the audiobook version of this book and at first, I was not sure about the narrator but he totally grew on me the further I got into the book and I enjoyed his voice and the voices he used for each character.

This book was okay, and in the end did enjoy the book overall and I would be interested in reading the second book in the series just based on how this one ended and the character development and change that Teagan goes through.


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