Thursday, 19 January 2017

Book Trailer: King's Cage - Victoria Aveyard

I love Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen series and can't wait for the King's Cage to release in February. This trailer has made me even more excited so I had to share it on here for anyone who hasn't seen it yet!

The highly anticipated new novel from New York Times Number One bestselling author of RED QUEEN.

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal.

Now a king, Maven continues weaving his web in an attempt to maintain control over his country - and his prisoner.

As Mare remains trapped in the palace, the remnants of the Red Rebellion continue organizing and expanding. As they prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows, Cal - the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart - will stop at nothing to bring her back.

In this breathless new novel from the bestselling author of the Red Queen series, blood will turn on blood and allegiances will be tested on every side. If the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Red Queen Series:
(Links will take you to my reviews)
Cruel Crown (Anthology containing 2 prequel novellas)
Red Queen
Glass Sword
King's Cage

Who else loves this series as much as I do?

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Review: Phantom Kiss - Chloe Neill

In this all-new novella from the New York Times bestselling author of Midnight Marked, Merit, Ethan, and the rest of Cadogan House crew discover that not all undead creatures are kindred spirits…

Vampires generally aren’t afraid of things that go bump in the night, but Merit and Ethan are extra jumpy after a recent attack by a dark sorcerer. So when they learn that someone is messing with graves in Chicago’s cemeteries, stealing skulls and snatching souls, they fear that their powerful foe might be back for even more magical vengeance.

But after a specter begins haunting Cadogan House—and targeting vampires—they realize that they're being taunted by an altogether different sort of monster. A ghoulish villain straight out of the Windy City’s urban legends is on the prowl—and he won’t stop until he’s killed again...

Chicagoland Vampires Series:
Some Girls Bite
Friday Night Bites
Twice Bitten
Hard Bitten
Drink Deep
Biting Cold
House Rules
Biting Bad
Howling for You (Novella)
Wild Things
Blood Games
Lucky Break (Novella)
Dark Debt
Midnight Marked
Phantom Kiss (Novella)
Blade Bound

Visit Chloe Neill's website for more information

As a huge fan of the Chicagoland Vampires series I love it when Chloe Neill writes these novellas to help tide us over until the next full length book releases. Phantom Kiss was a great way to slip back into this world and it definitely left me more eager than ever for the April release of Blade Bound.

Merit and Ethan's evening starts with a wedding shower organised by Merit's mother and sister and ends with a trip to a cemetery to investigate a freshly disturbed grave. Frankly I'm not sure which of the two events is more terrifying but the fallout for the open grave has far more serious consequences. I don't think we've seen much ghostly action throughout the series so that was a nice change of pace and I thought it was hilarious to see how the Cadogan vampires reacted to the idea that the house may be haunted.

As always I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Merit and Ethan working together and we get to see all our favourite familiar faces like Mallory, Catcher, Jeff and Merit's Grandfather. We also get to spend more time with local necromancer Annabelle which was great, I really like her character and hope we'll see more of her in the final book.

I'm so sad that this series is coming to an end but I have very high hopes for Blade Bound and can't wait to see Merit and Ethan get their happily ever after.

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


Monday, 16 January 2017

Review: Ride 'Em - Delphine Dryden

Mindy has come to Logan’s dude ranch to convince him to sign away his land’s mineral rights to her stepfather. She doesn’t want to beg, but she will if she has to, like she does Friday nights when she submits to her master’s desire . . .

Logan doesn’t like to be jerked around, in business or pleasure. And when he learns what Mindy is up to, he’s ready to teach her a lesson. In fact, he’d like to tie her up, strip her down, and give her a spanking she’ll never forget . . .

With passion riding high, Logan and Mindy indulge in carnal play that leaves them both wanting more. And with their jobs on the line, they realize that their erotic fantasies might be their ticket to success . . .

Giddyup Series:
Ride 'Em
Rope 'Em (March 2017)

Visit Delphine Dryden's website for more information.

Mindy booked a week's holiday on a ranch in her hometown for one reason only: to convince Logan, a guy she went to school with, to sell the ranch mineral rights to her stepfather's company. She wants her stepfather to see that she is good at her job and he's not exactly giving her many other chances to prove herself. Logan is thrilled to have his childhood crush staying with them and the attraction he feels hasn't been dulled by the years they've spent apart. He's not happy when he finds out why she came though and sets out to teach her a lesson for lying to him. As Logan ties her up in knots Mindy starts to realise that she's had her priorities all wrong but can she prove to Logan that she's now on his side when her stepfather comes to town and starts throwing his weight around?.

I was a bit worried that Mindy's secret would be hanging over their heads for most of the book so I was relieved she was found out pretty much immediately and that she'd already decided she'd made a mistake in trying to trick Logan. She never lies to him and she is quick to apologise and try to make amends which I appreciated. Mindy spent so long desperately trying to get away from her small hometown and make a new life for herself in Dallas that she's shocked by how right it feels being back in Bolero. Then when she realises that Logan is also into the kink scene things just fit together but she's still scared to make the leap.

Logan is a hardworking guy who just wants to make a success of his family's ranch. It's been hard work starting the business and he's up to his eyes in debt but he's determined to turn a profit and get the bank off his back. He always had a crush on Mindy but while he was a geeky teenager she was the homecoming queen and he never stood a chance. Now she's back but he's worried about scaring her off with his kinky side. When he realises she's a sub and shares all the same kinks as him he knows they could have something special but with her stepfather determined to destroy his land it's hard to trust that Mindy isn't still secretly working against him.

Cowboys and BDSM, who knew that would be such a recipe for success? Well actually when you think about it kinky cowboys seems like a bit of a no brainer, I mean who wouldn't want to read a series ? I'd forgotten how much I enjoy Delphine Dryden's writing, I loved her geeky hero Ivan in The Theory of Attraction and she's proved she's just as good at creating alpha cowboys with Logan. Ride 'Em was everything I'd hoped for, it had some very sweet and funny moments, a great cast of side characters, a believable romance and some hot as hell kink. Logan's brother Ethan is up next and since he's a rope expert I have very high hopes for his story too and I can't wait to continue this series.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Crafting Corner: Book Folding Art inspired by Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson Series

I absolutely love Patricia Briggs' writing, her Mercy Thompson series (and the Alpha & Omega books set in the same world) is one of my favourite urban fantasy series and I tend to reread it most years to get ready for the latest release. Since I have a section of my bookshelves dedicated to this series I thought it would be fun to make a book fold to add.

I decided I wanted to do a wolf howling at the moon (yes I get that Mercy is a Coyote but the majority of characters in the series are werewolves and the first book in the series is Moon Called!).

I found this image online and decided to use it as inspiration for my book fold:

It's a little harder to see the details on a book fold but I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out:

What do you think? I really like it but I think I might have to try and come up with a design with a Coyote paw print to match Mercy's tattoo next LOL.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Review: Sweet Revenge - Rebecca Zanetti

The One Man She Can't Have

Matt Dean was born to fight . . . and kill. A member of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be the perfect soldiers with an expiration date. Now, with time running out, he's gone rogue in a relentless quest for the one person who can save them. His mission leads him to Charmed, Idaho . . . and to a beautiful woman with eyes like emeralds and a body made for pleasure.

The One Woman He Can't Resist

Laney Jacobs knows the mysterious, handsome stranger is trouble from the moment he walks into her bar, looking for a job. She's spent years running from her own past-the last thing she needs is a romantic entanglement. But Matt's strong arms offer her protection and his gentle touch promises passion unlike anything she's ever known. As lethal forces surround them, revealing explosive secrets about Matt's past and putting everything-and everyone-he holds dear in danger, can he save them all before time runs out?

Sin Brothers Series:
Forgotten Sins
Sweet Revenge
Blind Faith
Total Surrender

Visit Rebecca Zanetti's website for more information

I have absolutely no excuses for why it's taken me so long to pick up the second book in the series, especially since I really enjoyed the first book, but at least that means the entire series is available so I can now binge read the remaining books!

This series is about four brothers who were genetically engineered to be super-soldiers. Raised to be perfect weapons they were never given a chance at a proper childhood but they always had each other to rely on and they spent years plotting their escape. They've been on the run for several years now but their youngest brother, Jory, was lost in the escape attempt and they've spent all that time believing he was dead until Shane discovered extra video footage of that night and realised there is a chance he is still alive and but recaptured. Now the brothers have two main goals, one find a way to disable the chips implanted in their spine that will kill them if it doesn't receive a new code within the next six weeks and two, find out exactly what happened to Jory and if he's alive find a way to rescue him.

As the oldest brother Matt has always felt responsible for the others, he is the protector, the one who promised they'd never be alone and that he'd always have their backs. What happened to Jory broke him but it's made him more determined than ever to keep the others safe and that means finding a way to disable the explosives in their necks. He has a lead on a doctor who might have implanted the devices and he will do whatever it takes to track her down and force her to help them. With the Commander's forces drawing ever closer he needs to move fast but he's stopped in his tracks when he meets bar owner Laney. Laney takes pity on him when she realises he's been injured and she ends up offering him a job as a bartender come bouncer which is perfect cover as he tries to find the doctor he needs. The attraction he feels for Laney is a huge distraction though and when he realises she has a serial killer on her tail he knows he has to try and protect her too.

As much as I enjoyed the first book in this series I thought Matt and Laney were a much better couple. All of the Dean brothers are pretty irresistible but Josie got on my nerves a bit in the previous book and that definitely wasn't the same here. Laney is much more independent and quite fierce when she wants to be, no matter how attracted she is to Matt she won't let him walk all over her and she's willing to stand up for herself when she needs to. She has a few dark secrets that are about to catch up with her and land her in a whole new heap of trouble but she owns up to any mistakes she's made and wants to do what she can to put them right. I loved the chemistry between Laney and Matt, the attraction is instant but their relationship never felt rushed even though it all happened fairly quickly.

Sweet Revenge is full of action, there are a lot of different plot threads that all have their own dangers and problems for the couple and that really kept me on my toes while I was reading. I enjoyed the banter between Matt and his brothers and loved the way he was such a protector for everyone he cares about. This book definitely got me fired up about the series again and I can't wait to read Nate and Jory's stories.

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Friday, 13 January 2017

Review: Chaos Choreography - Seanan McGuire

Destiny, Noun:
1. The inevitable or irresistible course of events.
2. The inescapable future.
3. See also “Screwed.”

Verity Price is back on the West Coast and getting back into the swing of the family business: cryptozoology. She's rescuing cryptids from bad situations, protecting them from monster-hunters, and generally risking life and limb for the greater good, with her ex-Covenant partner/husband, Dominic, by her side. Her ballroom dance career is behind her...or so she thinks.

When Verity gets the call from the producers of Dance or Die, the reality show she almost won several years before, she finds the lure of a comeback impossible to resist, and she and Dominic are off to L.A. for one last shot at the big time.

Of course, nothing is that simple. When two of her fellow contestants turn up dead, Verity will need every ally she can find—and a couple she wasn't looking for—in order to navigate the complicated steps of both the tango and a murder investigation without blowing her cover. It doesn't help that her official family backup is her grandmother, Alice Price-Healy, who thinks "subtle" is something that happens to other people.

Winning this competition may have just become a matter of life and death.

Incryptid Series:
14 Jonathan Healy & Frances Brown Short Stories (Read for free on Seanan McGuire's website)
1 Alice Healy & Thomas Price Short Story (Read for free on Seanan McGuire's website)
Discount Armageddon
Midnight Blue-Light Special
4 Antimony Price Short Stories (Read some for free on Seanan McGuire's website)
3 Istas and Ryan Short Stories (Read most for free on Seanan McGuire's website)
Half-Off Ragnarok
1 Sarah Zellaby and Arthur Harrington Short Story (Read for free on Seanan McGuire's website)
5 Verity Price & Dominic De Luca Stories (Read for free on Seanan McGuire's website)
Pocket Apocalypse
Chaos Choreography
1 Elsie Harrington Short Story (Short Story in the Shadowed Souls anthology)
Magic for Nothing (2017)

Visit Seanan McGuire's website for more information

As much as I loved getting to know Alex I was really excited for the chance to catch back up with Verity and Dominic. I was looking forward to seeing how married life was treating them and it was great to see what a strong couple they have become. Verity thought she had walked away from her dancing career for good when they left New York but when she gets an invitation to appear on an all star line up of the dancing show that started it all she finds the lure impossible to resist. Heading to L.A. in a whirlwind of sequins and wigs Verity knows she's going to have to work 24/7 to impress the judges.

Dominic has never understood Verity's obsession with dancing but I loved how incredibly supportive he is of her choices, he knows how much dancing means to her and he wants her to have every possible opportunity to fulfil her dreams. Even though he won't be allowed to stay in the dancer's accommodation he heads to L.A. with her just to offer support and to make sure she's safe. Unfortunately for Verity what should be a fun reunion with old friends and the chance of a lifetime for her career ends up getting a lot more complicated when dancers start going missing. After discovering dead bodies covered in strange runes they realise they're dealing with something significant and her parents send backup in the form of Verity's grandmother Alice.

Chaos Choreography was probably my favourite book in the series so far, I enjoyed spending time with Verity and Dominic, the crazy dance show setting made a nice change, the Aeslin mice were on hand to add humour in the darker moments, we get to meet a few interesting new cryptids but most of all I absolutely loved getting to know grandma Alice. We've had a lot of hints dropped about Alice during the series (someone please tell me that Seanan McGuire is going to give her her own book or spin off series eventually - I want to join her on her search for Thomas and we NEED to see them get a HEA!) and we even met her in one of the short stories but nothing prepared me for how completely badass she is. Alice is a weird mix of cookie baking grandma and gun-toting, grenade throwing, dimension hopping supergirl who looks like Verity's younger sister and she is absolutely awesome.

Things got very interesting at the end of this book and now I'm more excited to continue this series than ever. It initially seemed like a weird place to switch to Antimony's point of view for the next two books but having read the blurb for Magic for Nothing March can't get here soon enough so that I can find out what happens next.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


Thursday, 12 January 2017

Review: The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

Visit Katherine Arden's website for more information

Every so often a book comes along that is so good it just blows your mind. In 2014 it was Red Rising, 2015 was Uprooted, in 2016 it was Nevernight and I know it's early to say this but for 2017 it's The Bear and the Nightingale. These are the kinds of books that I actually get anxious about writing reviews for because I know I'll never be able to do them justice. They're the books that I end up buying multiple copies of, books that I walk around bookshops surreptitiously moving them into more prominent places on the shelves and books I start physically handing to random strangers. Basically if you're going to buy one book a year based on my recommendations these are the ones I would push at you.

This is the story of Vasya, the youngest daughter of Pyotr and Marina Vladimirovich. Her mother died just after giving birth to her but Vasya is doted on by her older brothers and sister and she has a wild streak a mile wide. Vasya is a quite a tomboy who would rather spend her time running in the forest or in the stable looking after the horses than indoors learning to cook and sew, she also inherited her mother's second sight and spends her time communicating with the guardians and spirits who look after the land. She isn't afraid of the strange creatures she finds, in fact she befriends most of them and does her best to help them stay alive when the rest of her village start to turn away from them. As Vasya gets older her father begins to worry that she'll never find a husband if she doesn't start to act like a proper young lady so he remarries hoping his new wife will be a good influence. Unfortunately things don't quite work out as planned and when another new arrival appears in the village things just go from bad to worse.

The Bear and the Nightingale is part historical fiction, part fantasy and all magical fairytale. It's beautifully written and highly atmospheric, the perfect book to read on a cold winter's night when you're wrapped up snuggly by an open fire and sipping from a mug of hot chocolate. Katherine Arden weaves a tale so evocative that you'll feel like the world around you is blanketed in snow and you'll be half tempted to leave out an offering of bread and honey for the hearth-spirits in your kitchen. There are so many things I want to say about this book but I find myself lost for words, it really is just the kind of lush story that you have to read for yourself to fully appreciate. I was utterly obsessed when I was reading this, I didn't want to put it down for a minute and I'm already anticipating a reread before the sequel comes out. It's hard to believe that this is actually a debut novel but Katherine Arden has earned a spot on my auto-buy list and I can't wait to see where she takes Vasya's story next.

Source: Received from Del Rey in exchange for an honest review

Other reviews of this book:
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