Friday, 18 April 2014

Review: Fair Game - Patricia Briggs

They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can't afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father's dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.

Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack's help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer's sights...

Alpha and Omega Series:
(This is a spin off to the Mercy Thompson series)
Alpha and Omega (novella found in the On the Prowl anthology)
Cry Wolf
Hunting Ground
Fair Game
Dead Heat (2015)

Mercy Thompson Series:
Moon Called
Blood Bound
Iron Kissed
Bone Crossed
Silver Borne
River Marked
Frost Burned
Night Broken (2014)

Visit Patricia Briggs' website for more information

Review:
I have loved Charles and Anna since we first met them in Alpha & Omega and I've enjoyed seeing their relationship develop as the series has continued. They are still fairly new mates and have issues to work through on both sides but they've come a long way since they first met. Anna now trusts Charles implicitly, she knows without a doubt that he would never hurt her and she also trusts him to keep her safe around other wolves which is a big thing for her. In this instalment it is Charles who has issues that cause a bump in their relationship but I never once doubted that they would be able to work things out between them.

For centuries Charles has been his father's right hand man, he is the one that Bran sends out whenever there are problems and Charles is the one who has to issue any punishments to problem werewolves. Werewolf justice has always been swift and severe but now that the wolves have come out to the public it is more important than ever that they don't let the humans see the monsters they can become if they're out of control. This has meant that Charles has been spending more and more time as the Pack executioner and it's taking a toll on him physically and mentally. He hates what he has to do and he worries that it will make Anna think of him as a monster so he tries to hide things from her for her protection. Of course this has the opposite effect because Anna thinks he doesn't trust her enough to let her help him. While I could see where both sides were coming from I was totally behind Anna as she fought to get through to Charles and make him let her in.

I absolutely loved the way Anna went to bat for Charles and put Bran straight on a few things, as an Omega she is outside the Pack hierarchy so she is able to put Bran in his place like no other wolf can. She had an unlikely ally in the form of Asil and I have to admit I loved the scene where he points out a few home truths to Bran. I've loved Bran since we met him in the Mercy series but he definitely had a blind spot when it came to Charles and what being the Pack enforcer was doing to him emotionally. It takes Charles a while but he gradually comes to realise what is important to him and seeing him open up to Anna was fabulous. My favourite quote from the book is this one from when Charles has a major epiphany:

Honor, duty, and love. He would not sacrifice Anna for his father and all the other werewolves in existence. Given a choice, he chose love.

I'm deliberately not going to say too much about the plot of Fair Game in this review. Charles and Anna are sent to assist the FBI with an investigation into a serial killer and they quickly discover that the killer is targeting the supernatural community. There are some major developments towards the end of the book that are going to have a massive knock on effect in both the Alpha & Omega and Mercy Thompson series and I can't wait to see how things play out. This series just keeps getting better and better with every book and I think this is my new favourite instalment. I'm just gutted that I'm now up to date with both series and will have to wait until next year for the next book to be published. Patricia Briggs is without a doubt an auto buy author for me and I can't recommend her books highly enough!

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.

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Book Trailer: Midnight Crossroad - Charlaine Harris

Have you seen the trailer for the first book in Charlaine Harris's new series? Midnight Crossroad looks fantastic and this trailer just makes me want to read it even more!



Just in case you haven't come across it before here is a bit more information about the book:

From Charlaine Harris, the bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse the world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, comes a new, darker world - populated by more strangers than friends. But then, that's how the locals prefer it?

Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It's a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There's a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There's a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there's new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he's found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth . . .

Visit Charlaine Harris's website for more information

So what do you think? Was Midnight Crossroad already on your wish list? Are you a big fan of Charlaine Harris's other books?

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Review: Unfixable - Tessa Bailey

He’s the last thing she wants...but the only thing she needs.

Willa Peet isn’t interested in love. She’s been there, done that, and has the shattered heart to prove it. Ready to shake the breakup, she heads to Dublin, Ireland. But there’s a problem. A dark-haired, blue-eyed problem with a bad attitude that rivals her own. And he’s not doling out friendly Irish welcomes.

Shane Claymore just wants to race. The death of his father forced him off the Formula One circuit, but he’s only staying in Dublin long enough to sell the Claymore Inn and get things in order for his mother and younger sister. He never expected the sarcastic American girl staying at the inn to make him question everything.

But even as Willa and Shane’s fiery natures draw them together, their pasts threaten to rip them apart. Can Shane give up racing to be with the woman he loves, or will Willa’s quest to resurrect the tough-talking, no-shit-taking girl she used to be destroy any hope of a future together?

Willa's character previously appeared in the first two stories of Tessa Bailey's Line of Duty series (Protecting What's His and Protecting What's Theirs).

Line of Duty Series:
Protecting What's His
Protecting What's Theirs (Novella in the Lovers Unmasked anthology)
His Risk to Take
Officer Off Limits
Asking for Trouble
Staking His Claim

Visit Tessa Bailey's website for more information.

Review:
Unfixable is Tessa Bailey's first new adult novel but I'm not sure if it is the start of a new series. If you have read her adult contemporary Line of Duty series then you'll already be familiar with our heroine Willa though. Willa is the younger sister of Ginger and she was a side character in the novel Protecting What's His and the novella Protecting What's Theirs. I loved Willa's character before so I was really excited to find out that she was getting a book of her own and I couldn't wait to read Unfixable.

Willa has just split up with her first boyfriend and she just wants to get away from it all. She spent the last 2 years trying to change into something she wasn't to keep her ex happy and she doesn't really know who she is any more. The timing couldn't have been better for winning a trip to Ireland in photography contest and she's looking forward to spending some time on her own and rediscovering herself. The last thing she is looking for is a fling but meeting Shane may test her resolve more than she expects. Shane is a Formula One race driver who has been forced to take a break from his dream job to help at his family's Inn after the death of his father. His plan is to sell the Inn as quickly as possible and get back to his life on the race track so his attraction to Willa takes him completely by surprise and isn't exactly something he's thrilled about. As they embark on a reluctant fling will their hearts get in the way of their dreams or will they discover something new to be passionate about?

Considering how much I already loved Willa from her previous appearances I had high hopes for this book but while I liked it I found I didn't enjoy it as much as I expected to. There are certainly some sweet moments between Willa and Shane but I actually found I enjoyed her interactions with his mother and sister more. Willa came across as quite self involved and hard edged in the beginning of the book, she's much more prickly than I thought she would be and the way she was so determined to keep everyone at arms length made me find it difficult to believe Shane would be so interested in her. It took me a long time to warm up to her character and I think that because we don't get to see things from Shane's point of view I just struggled to feel his connection to her. I really wanted to get inside his head and know what he was thinking.

The beginning of the story was quite slow and whenever I had to put my kindle down I didn't feel particularly inspired to pick it back up again. The story was nice enough when I was reading but I didn't have that compelling, addicted feeling towards it that makes a book unforgettable. The pace picks up nicely towards the end though and I found myself really enjoying the last few chapters. I also loved getting a glimpse into how Ginger and Derek are getting on a few months down the line from the end of their book, there are some really sweet scenes with them and Willa that made me smile.

Although Unfixable wasn't my favourite of Tessa Bailey's books it was still a likeable read and worth investing a couple of hours into reading, especially if you've read the previous books with Willa and want to see how things turn out for her. I'm a huge fan of this author's other series so I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for anything new she writes in the future.

Source: Received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Teaser Blitz: Out of Mind - Jen McLaughlin

Today is the teaser blitz for the upcoming book OUT OF MIND by Jen McLaughlin. This is the third, and final, book in the OUT OF LINE series!

The book will be released on April 29th!

BOOK SUMMARY:
Reaching for sunlight...

Finn survived the ambush and came home to me, but in his head, the battle is still raging. He’s falling apart and I’m trying my best to pick up the pieces of him, to find the us we used to be. I love him as much as I ever did, but love isn’t enough to fix this. I thought telling my father about our relationship would be the hardest thing we’d ever have to face. I was wrong.

Lost in shadows...

All I wanted was to be worthy of Carrie. One mission, just one, and I’d be able to give her the future she deserved. Then everything went wrong, leaving me tainted and broken. Carrie wants me to be who I was, but all that’s left is what they made of me. I’m no good for her. No good for anyone like this. I have to figure out how to move forward. Alone.

Sometimes love isn’t enough...





SERIES Buy Links:

OUT OF LINE (Book #1)
Amazon - http://amzn.to/17HLrFu
B&N - http://bit.ly/17hfkvi

OUT OF TIME (Book #2)
Amazon - http://amzn.to/1daxXYL
B&N - http://bit.ly/1g7hPas

AUTHOR BIO:
Jen McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She writes steamy New Adult books for the young and young at heart. Her first release, Out of Line, came out September 2013. She also writes bestselling Contemporary Romance under the pen name Diane Alberts. Since receiving her first contract offer under the pen name Diane Alberts, she has yet to stop writing. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, a cat, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she’s not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

AUTHOR LINKS:
Website: http://dianealberts.com/
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/DianeAlberts6
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DianeAlberts
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6921962.Jen_McLaughlin

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Review: Monster in My Closet - R.L. Naquin

I stopped believing in monsters long ago. But I knew I wasn't imagining things when I found one in my kitchen baking muffins. I'd seen him before: lurking in my closet, scaring the crap out of my five-year-old self. Turns out that was a misunderstanding, and now Maurice needs a place to stay. How could I say no?

After all, I've always been a magnet for the emotionally needy, and not just in my work as a wedding planner. Being able to sense the feelings of others can be a major pain. Don't get me wrong, I like helping people--and non-people. But this ability has turned me into a gourmet feast for an incubus, a demon that feeds off emotional energy. Now, brides are dropping dead all over town, and my home has become a safe house for the supernatural. I must learn to focus my powers and defeat the demon before he snacks on another innocent woman and comes looking for the main course...

Monster Haven Series:
Monster in My Closet
Ill-Conceived Magic (Short Story)
Pooka in My Pantry
Hidden Holidays (Short Story)
Fairies in My Fireplace
What Zoey Doesn't Know (Short Story)
Golem in My Glovebox
Demons in My Driveway (Autumn 2014)
Phoenix in My Fortune (Spring 2015)

Visit R.L. Naquin's website for more information

Review:
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading Monster in My Closet, this is the first book in what is set to be an incredibly fun series and I can't wait to read more from R.L. Naquin. The main character Zoey is just your average girl, she lives a fairly normal life and enjoys working alongside her best friend Sara as a wedding planner. Zoey hasn't believed in monsters since she was a child and thought she saw one hiding in her closet but of course she grew out of that fear, until she comes downstairs one morning only to be confronted by that exact same monster sitting at her kitchen table drinking coffee and reading the newspaper! Zoey quickly comes to realise that monsters are real but they aren't always the bad guys and before long she has a house full of closet monsters, brownies and all manner of other creatures that she didn't even know existed.

Considering she is thrown in at the deep end Zoey copes quite well with her uninvited guests and she quickly becomes friends with closet monster Maurice and her other visitors. I had so much fun watching Zoey try to come to terms with her new reality, at first she thinks she is losing her mind but with her empathic abilities she quickly adapts to a new way of life. Zoey's mother disappeared when she was a child but it turns out that she used to help supernatural creatures who had nowhere else to turn. Their problems are often very human but where else does a closet monster go when he finds out his wife has been cheating on him and he needs a place to stay? How many refuges do you know of for brownies who are suffering from domestic violence?

Zoey is largely untrained on how to use her empathic abilities, she finds it difficult to be around crowds of people because she has no idea how to shield herself from the onslaught of emotions and her power makes her aura shine brightly which soon attracts the attention of a passing incubus. Zoey is now a target and with the help of her friends she is going to have to put a stop to the incubus before he can kill more innocent women. Without a doubt it is the characters that made this book so much fun to read, I loved Zoey but I also enjoyed getting to know the supernatural creatures who come into her life. Maurice is definitely a favourite and I hope we're going to be seeing a lot more of him as the series continues.

Monster in My Closet is a light hearted and very amusing story that I devoured in one sitting. It has action, comedy and a hint of romance that I'm hoping will be expanded upon in the next book. Zoey is the kind of woman you can easily picture yourself being friends with, she isn't kickass, and she doesn't really have any special powers apart from her empathy but she has some great friends who are there to support her. She also happens to have a fantastic shoe collection and how can you not like a woman who owns a pair of Iron Fist Zombie stiletto heels?

Come on, what woman doesn't want a pair of these bad boys in their wardrobe? LOL

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.

Kindle:

Review: Ill-Conceived Magic - R.L. Naquin

Empath and caretaker to monsters, Zoey Donovan, finds a package on her front lawn. It cries a lot and wears diapers. It also has horns, cloven hooves, and green skin.

Zoey and Maurice the closet monster look for the unlikely parents in a crazy attempt to bring together the mismatched family. A dangerous prospect, considering the family's hostile relatives.

Ill-Conceived Magic is a short story in the same world as the Monster Haven novels from Carina Press. It also includes a bonus first chapter of Pooka in My Pantry.

This story can be enjoyed without having read the novels. However, it fits chronologically between book one, Monster in My Closet, and book two, Pooka in My Pantry.

Monster Haven Series:
Monster in My Closet
Ill-Conceived Magic (Short Story)
Pooka in My Pantry
Hidden Holidays (Short Story)
Fairies in My Fireplace
What Zoey Doesn't Know (Short Story)
Golem in My Glovebox
Demons in My Driveway (Autumn 2014)
Phoenix in My Fortune (Spring 2015)

Visit R.L. Naquin's website for more information

Review:
After really enjoying Monster in My Closet I couldn't wait to spend more time in the world that R.L. Naquin has created. This story is set not long after the first book, Zoey is now used to sharing her house with the various supernatural creatures who have come to her for help and she's actually enjoying having them around. Things are thrown into disarray when they find a rather surprising gift on the doorstep though - an abandoned baby. The baby isn't exactly human either, in fact it seems to be part dryad and part satyr which is rather surprising considering how much the two species hate each other. Can Zoey track down the baby's parents and reunite a family or will that prove to be impossible considering both sides are practically at war?

Ill-Conceived Magic is a very short story of around 50 pages so it is a very quick read but it is still full of the humour I've come to expect from this series. Zoey and Maurice get a lot more than they bargained for when they set out to find the baby's parents and their interactions with the satyrs in particular were absolutely hilarious. If you enjoyed the first book in the series then you're sure to love this story just as much.

My one hesitancy to recommend it would be down to the price, I know it is becoming more and more common for authors to offer additional short stories set in the same world as their established series. These stories aren't usually essential reading to follow the ongoing series plot (I believe that is the case here but I won't know for sure until I read Pooka in My Pantry) and I do enjoy getting additional insight into the characters but I think it's a bit of a rip off to charge fans for such a short story when a lot of authors offer similar ones for free. In fact Ill-Conceived Magic was originally available for free from Smashwords (which is thankfully when I downloaded it) but is currently more expensive on Amazon UK than the first full length novel and that just doesn't seem right to me. I'm definitely looking forward to continuing with this series but I'm reluctant to pay so much for the short stories that seem to be coming in between each full length book so I may decide to skip Hidden Holidays and What Zoey Doesn't Know.

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

Other Reviews:
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Monday, 14 April 2014

Review: The Dead are Rising - Jeff Norton

A change is happening in the Metasphere . . .

Thanks to Jonah Delacroix, the avatars of the Uploaded have been transferred to a dynamic new virtual world. But as the Uploaded grow in strength, so does their desperate desire to be alive again. And in a world at war both on and off-line, how can Jonah tell who is really on his side?

One thing is for certain: he must find out fast because . . . the dead are rising - and nothing can stop them.

The second book in the awesome METAWARS series.

Whose side are you on?

Metawars Series:
Fight for the Future
The Dead are Rising
Battle of the Immortal
The Freedom Frontier

Visit Jeff Norton's website or the Metawars website for more information

Review:
The Dead are Rising is the second book in Jeff Norton's Metawars series and is just as action packed and addictive as the first. The story picks up not long after Fight for the Future ended, the Uploaded are now safely in the newly created Changsphere and the superior server power of the new system means that they are more "alive" than they ever were in the Metasphere. The Uploaded are regaining their memories and becoming much more self aware which would be a good thing if it didn't mean they were starting to realise that they're actually dead. With the Uploaded desperate to find a way into the real world it doesn't take long before they realise that by taking over the avatar of someone who is still alive they can exit the Changsphere and steal that person's body. With millions of Uploaded users looking for a quick exit the Changsphere is soon in real trouble and Jonah is right at the heart of it all. Can he find a way to stop the Uploaded without having them deleted? Will the Guardians be able to capture another corner of the Metasphere from Granger and the Millennials?

Everything I loved about the first book is back in The Dead are Rising and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see how things would turn out. Poor Jonah is even more confused than ever about which side he should really be on and every time he thinks he has the answers he has the floor swept out from under him by a new revelation. I really don't know who the good guys are any more and I think that's actually the point that Jeff Norton is trying to make. He shows that the lines between good and evil aren't so black and white and that there is a whole lot of grey in between. The "good" guys do terrible things in pursuit of their goals and the "bad" guys aren't always completely evil. Jonah has a major moral dilemma on his hands and no matter how hard he tries he can't seem to find the right answer. I actually felt really sorry for him because I'm not convinced that any of the options currently available to him are the right choices. It's going to be really interesting to see how things play out as the series continues that's for sure!

Jonah has come a long way since we first met him, he has grown in confidence and he is more willing to stand up for what he believes in. It isn't easy for him to face off against his friends and allies but he does it and he even manages to make Sam start to question her upbringing rather than continue to blindly follow the Guardians. The Uploaded add a whole new dimension to the story, it was very easy to understand how much they wanted the chance to live again and to feel sorry for them and the situation they now found themselves in but that didn't make it any more acceptable for them to basically evict other people from their own bodies so they could return to reality.

This is the kind of series that really makes you think, it leaves you asking yourself questions about what you would be prepared to do for a few extra days with your loved ones but also makes you think about terrorism, dwindling natural resources and the future of our planet. I honestly have no idea how I want things to turn out - I'm definitely not a fan of Granger and the Millennials but I'm not sure that the Guardians can be trusted either so at the moment I'm on the fence about which side I think Jonah should take. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how Jeff Norton continues the series though and will be starting Battle of the Immortal asap.

Source: Received from Jeff Norton in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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