Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Review: Ares - Felicity Heaton

Prince of the Underworld and Lord of Fire, Ares was banished from his home by his father, Hades, two centuries ago and given a new duty and purpose—to keep our world and his from colliding in a calamity foreseen by the Moirai.

Together with his six brothers, he fights to defend the gates to the Underworld from daemons bent on breaching them and gaining entrance to that forbidden land, striving to protect his home from their dark influence. Caged by the manifestation of his power, held apart from those he loves by his own fire and starved of physical contact, Ares lives a cold existence driven by duty and the desire to return to his world.

Until his world collides with a daemon who steals his power and a mortal female who shatters the ice around his heart and awakens the true fire within him—a soul-stirring passion both dangerous and seductive.

Megan has wandered far from her home, driven from everyone she loves by the devastating realisation that she is different to them all. Unsure who to trust in the world, she keeps to herself, until a fateful stormy night brings a temptingly handsome warrior crashing into her life and into her heart—a warrior who seems to hold powers more frightening and marvellous than her own.

When the New York gate comes under threat, and Ares is put to the test, will he choose his duty and regain the power he needs in order to save his world or will he choose the desires of his heart and sacrifice his fire so he can be with the woman becoming his whole world?

Guardians of Hades Series:
Ares
Valen
Esher (release date to be confirmed)

Visit Felicity Heaton's website for more information

Review:
Seven brothers, Princes of the Underworld and children of Hades and Persephone who have been tasked with guarding the gates between our world the theirs - meet the Guardians of Hades. In Felicity Heaton's brand new paranormal romance series you'll get to know all these brothers and watch them fight to protect our world from a disaster that was prophesied by the Moirai.

Ares is able to control the element of fire, it makes him a powerful warrior but it comes with a very dangerous side effect. He runs at a much higher than average temperature which makes it impossible for people, even most of his brothers, to touch him and if he loses control he sets fire to anything around him. For the two centuries he has been on earth protecting the gateways his powers have isolated him from the people around him, just imagine a life where you can't even shake people's hands without giving them third degree burns. He has closed himself off from everyone apart from his brothers and just wants to do his duty by protecting the gates and fighting against the daemons who want to fulfil the Moirai's prophecy.

The last thing Megan expected to happen when she takes a shortcut home one night is to get caught in the middle of a battle between two superhuman warriors. She doesn't get a chance to run for safety and when one of the warriors is injured while protecting her she has to do what she can to heal him. Megan has been alone for a long time thanks to a secret ability she has been hiding from everyone and after seeing Ares fight she thinks he might be the only person who can answer her questions about where her power came from.

Drawn together by a common enemy Ares and Megan must work together to try and figure out what the daemon has planned for them. Ares' powers have been stolen and for the first time in centuries he is able to touch and be touched but unless he can get his powers back he can't protect the gateway and the world as we know it could be destroyed.

This is a fabulous start to a new series and I can't wait to get my hands on the next instalment. Felicity Heaton always creates such brilliant heroes and she's done it again with Ares and his brothers! The seven men each have different abilities and personality quirks and I'm looking forward to getting to know them all better. I'm struggling to decide who I like best which is great as I think I'm going to enjoy all of their stories. The romance between Ares and Megan is hot and steamy in all the best ways and I enjoyed seeing Megan learn to adapt to his world. I did think their relationship got serious a little too quickly but I was easily able to ignore that because I was enjoying the characters and the rest of the story so much. This series has definitely left me wanting more and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on Valen's book next year.

Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review

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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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Blog Barrage: Ares - Felicity Heaton


Ares, book 1 in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot new paranormal romance series, Guardians of Hades, is now available in ebook and paperback. To celebrate the release of Ares and Megan’s romance, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY and sharing sneak peeks of the book.

Enter the ARES international giveaway (ends December 11th) and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate by using the Rafflecopter form at her website, where you can also download a 4 chapter sample of the novel: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/guardians-of-hades-ares-paranormal-romance-book.php

Here’s more about the book and the sexy Greek god hero and his heroine…


Felicity Heaton

Prince of the Underworld and Lord of Fire, Ares was banished from his home by his father, Hades, two centuries ago and given a new duty and purpose—to keep our world and his from colliding in a calamity foreseen by the Moirai.

Together with his six brothers, he fights to defend the gates to the Underworld from daemons bent on breaching them and gaining entrance to that forbidden land, striving to protect his home from their dark influence. Caged by the manifestation of his power, held apart from those he loves by his own fire and starved of physical contact, Ares lives a cold existence driven by duty and the desire to return to his world.

Until his world collides with a daemon who steals his power and a mortal female who shatters the ice around his heart and awakens the true fire within him—a soul-stirring passion both dangerous and seductive.

Megan has wandered far from her home, driven from everyone she loves by the devastating realisation that she is different to them all. Unsure who to trust in the world, she keeps to herself, until a fateful stormy night brings a temptingly handsome warrior crashing into her life and into her heart—a warrior who seems to hold powers more frightening and marvellous than her own.

When the New York gate comes under threat, and Ares is put to the test, will he choose his duty and regain the power he needs in order to save his world or will he choose the desires of his heart and sacrifice his fire so he can be with the woman becoming his whole world?

ARES is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find the links to your preferred retailer at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/guardians-of-hades-ares-paranormal-romance-book.php


ARES – Excerpt

What in the gods’ names was that smell and where was it coming from?

His body tensed, every inch of him going rigid in response to the delicate scent of evening sunshine and night flowering jasmine.

Every inch.

His eyelids slipped to half-mast and he drew in another slow breath of it, holding it in his lungs and savouring it. He had never smelled anything so sweet and tempting.

He had never smelled anything so feminine.

His dark gaze scoured his apartment. There was a faint sense of familiarity about the scent. It conjured an image in his mind of a beautiful brunette, her shoulder-length hair hanging in delicate wet ribbons that framed her face, a stark contrast against her clear pale skin. Luminous brown eyes had looked at him with heat and stirred a feeling he hadn’t experienced in a long time.

He had felt protective of her.

He frowned, his dark eyebrows pinching together. He had protected her. The daemon had unleashed his power on her and Ares had grabbed the slender woman and pulled her into his arms, holding her nestled close to his chest. She had been so small and slight in his embrace, curled against him, her heat making his heart thunder.

It thundered now.

Was it just the lingering scent of her on his clothes that he could smell?

He couldn’t remember the last time he had noticed the scent of a woman. Had he blocked out their tempting smell, rendering himself immune to their presence so he didn’t suffer as much? The past two centuries had been difficult, especially when some of his brothers had been with women. Seeing them happy and sated when he couldn’t have a woman of his own because the manifestation of his power meant that he would hurt them had killed him.

Ares looked down at his hands.

He didn’t have his power now.

The cold returned, fiercer than before, engulfing him and stealing away all the warmth he had felt on catching the lingering scent of the beautiful woman. He had always hated how his power had become a physical part of him when they had reached the mortal world. Only Daimon could understand how he felt and he shared his longing to be like their other brothers and have a power they could control, one that didn’t constantly flow only millimetres from their skin.

A feeling worse than cold swept through him as he contemplated his power was no longer a problem. It no longer flowed over his skin. No longer answered his call. It was gone. He was empty. No longer himself.

He inhaled with the intention of sighing and stopped when he caught a stronger lungful of evening sunshine and sweet jasmine.

His couch creaked.

Ares swallowed hard to wet his dry throat and edged forwards, the smaller towel clutched in both hands in front of his stomach. His heart beat hard against his chest, pounding out a rhythm that matched his fast breathing. He peered over the back of his red couch.

There was a woman on it.

The woman.

His eyebrows rose and his fingers shook. He stared at her, trying to comprehend what he was seeing. Why was she in his apartment? He thought back to seeing Daimon and Esher in the alley. They must have brought the woman with them.

Ares moved closer, until his thighs hit the back of the couch and he couldn’t get any nearer to her, and cocked his head to one side as he stared down at her. She was beautiful even in sleep, her face soft and hair wavy as it spread across the red cushion. He drew in a deep breath and closed his eyes. The scent of her caused a hard ache to start up in the centre of his chest, behind his breastbone, and he trembled. Nothing in this world or the Underworld, or even Mount Olympus, smelled as sweet and divine as this woman. She was everything feminine and sensual. His lips twitched into a smile and he drew in another breath of her, until she was all that he knew.

He opened his eyes and looked down at her, studying her as she slept, shaking right down to his bones with the undeniable need to gaze upon her.

To touch her.

Could he touch her?

The thought that he might be able to pushed at his restraint, forcing away his fears and doubts. He breathed hard, chest heaving, struggling with his raging desire as it slipped beyond his control. He needed to touch her, not just because his power was gone and he might be able to.

It was more than that.

He recalled everything about her from last night, from the moment he had first set eyes on her to the rage that had rushed through him when Daimon had tried to touch her. He growled low in his throat, a possessive snarl that shocked him. He had wanted her then, before losing his power, and he only wanted her more now. She was beautiful, brave. She had protected him even though she was weaker than the daemon. She had put herself in danger without pause or hesitation.

He had to have her.

She had to be his.

Heat suffused every inch of him as his gaze lingered on her, devouring her beauty. If he still had his power, right now, he would be in danger of setting fire to his belongings for the millionth time.

He had never burned so hot before, hungered so deeply.

Ares swallowed again, skin prickling and heart pounding. Would he hurt her if he touched her? He managed to prise the fingers of his right hand open and lowered it towards her. His breathing accelerated, racing faster than his heart, and he tried to steady himself. His gaze zeroed in on her bare arm. It looked soft and satiny. Tempting.

Inviting.

Would it feel as smooth beneath his fingers? He inched his hand towards her, his arm shaking. What if he hurt her?

His shoulders and chest heaved with his laboured breathing as he fought to bring it under his control. He ghosted his hand along her arm, holding it bare millimetres away from her. He ached to touch her but his courage failed him. He couldn’t risk hurting her. In the alley, he had felt a deep need to protect her. It gripped him again now, stronger than before.

He ran his gaze over her and it settled on her hands. Small, delicate, as beautiful as the rest of her. He frowned and caught a flash of them on his chest. He pressed his other hand to it, reliving how she had touched him and how good it had felt to have her palm against his flesh. She had touched him. He trembled with the need to touch her too. He hadn’t hurt her last night. He wouldn’t hurt her now.

It dawned on him that there was a beautiful woman in his apartment and if he touched her, she would wake.

Cold trickled down his spine and his eyes shot to his bedroom and then around his living room and the open kitchen. It was a complete mess. He couldn’t risk waking her by touching her and letting her see this. Gods. For the first time in his life, Ares wished he had listened to Keras about something. He should have hired a maid service.

He strode into his bedroom and kicked all the clothes on his floor into a pile. He bundled them up into his arms and then stopped, unsure what to do with them. He stared at the oak door to his closet and teleported there, shoved the sliding door open and tossed his clothes inside. He slid the door closed and teleported into the living room, glad that he still had this ability. He and his brothers called it stepping. One thought and one step, and they could move from this side of the world to the other.

He quickly stacked all the pizza cartons and takeout boxes and stepped to the kitchen. He didn’t have anywhere to put them and settled for neatly arranging them on the black granite breakfast bar. It was the best he could do without leaving the apartment.

He didn’t want to leave the apartment.

He glanced at the couch and the woman sleeping there. The skimpy dark rose top she wore drew his attention to her breasts and sent his blood pumping. He stepped again, appearing behind the couch this time, and looked down at her.

Now he would touch her.

He stared down at her, instantly entranced again. Would she feel soft? Warm? Cool? He wanted to know.

He drew in a fortifying breath and leaned over her, determined to touch her this time. He had to know how she felt and needed to see if he could touch her without harming her. He lowered his right hand towards her arm again and then moved course, heading towards her face, his need to touch her cheek too strong to deny.

She stirred before he could muster the courage to touch her, rolling onto her back and sighing. Her warm breath puffed against his hand and he had to grab the couch to steady himself. Even that small contact between them was too much for him. Her eyes fluttered and he snatched his hand back.

She was still a moment and then her eyes slowly opened and she frowned at her surroundings, and then looked up at him with soulful brown eyes.

“What are you doing in my apartment?” he whispered, shocked by how breathless he sounded.

Her lips parted, soft and full, alluring.

How long had it been since he had kissed a woman?

More than three centuries.

She looked dangerous as she lay on his couch, her warm eyes soft with sleep and hair mussed and crying out for him to tangle his fingers in it and pull her up to him for a long hard kiss.

She blinked slowly, long black lashes shuttering her beautiful eyes, and then smiled.

His heart thumped.

His breathing stuttered.

He had never felt so weak and defenceless.

He had never wanted anything as much as he wanted her.

And he would have her.

She would be his.


ARES is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback.

Find all the links, a fantastic 4 chapter downloadable sample of the book, and also enter the giveaway and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/guardians-of-hades-ares-paranormal-romance-book.php


Books in the Guardians of Hades paranormal romance series:
Book 1: Ares
Book 2: Valen – Coming in 2017

About Felicity Heaton:

Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, her best-selling Her Angel romance series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm romance series or any of her stand alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try her Vampire Erotic Theatre romance series. Or if you like hot-blooded alpha heroes who will let nothing stand in the way of them claiming their destined woman then try her Eternal Mates series. It’s packed with sexy heroes in a world populated by elves, vampires, fae, demons, shifters, and more. If sexy Greek gods with incredible powers battling to save our world and their home in the Underworld are more your thing, then be sure to step into the world of Guardians of Hades.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:
Website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk
Blog: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/blog/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/felicityheaton
Twitter: http://twitter.com/felicityheaton
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/felicityheaton
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/felicityheaton/

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Review: Hard Eight - Janet Evanovich

The stakes get higher, the chases get faster, and the men get hotter

Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has a big problem. Seven-year-old Annie Soder and her mother Evelyn have disappeared - and estranged husband, Steven, shady owner of a seedy bar, is not at all happy. Finding a missing child is an unusual assignment, but as a favour to her parents' neighbour, Evelyn's grandmother, Stephanie agrees to follow the trail - and finds a lot more than she bargained for.

The case is somehow linked to the very scary Eddie Abruzzi. Both cop Joe Morelli, Stephanie's on-again, off-again fiance, and Ranger, her mentor and tormentor, have warned her about Abruzzi - but it's Abruzzi's soulless eyes and mannerisms that frighten her most. Stephanie needs Ranger's expertise, and she's willing to accept his help to find Annie even though it might mean getting too involved with him. Also with her are Lula (who's not going to miss the action) and Albert, Evelyn's almost-qualified lawyer (and Laundromat manager). The search turns out to be a race between Stephanie's posse, the True Blue Bonds' agent - a Rangerette known as Jeanne Ellen Burrows - and the Abruzzi crew. Not to mention the killer rabbit on the loose!

Get ready for the ride of your life with Stephanie's funniest, most riotous misadventure yet. The world of Plum has never been wilder.

Stephanie Plum Series:
One for the Money
Two for the Dough
Three to get Deadly
Four to Score
High Five
Hot Six
Seven Up
Hard Eight
Visions of Sugar Plums (Between the Numbers book 1)
To the Nines
Ten Big Ones
Eleven on Top
Twelve Sharp
Plum Lovin' (Between the Numbers book 2)
Lean Mean Thirteen
Plum Lucky (Between the Numbers book 3)
Fearless Fourteen
Plum Spooky (Between the Numbers book 4)
Finger Lickin' Fifteen
Sizzling Sixteen
Smokin' Seventeen
Explosive Eighteen
Notorious Nineteen
Takedown Twenty
Top Secret Twnty-One
Tricky Twenty-Two

Visit Janet Evanovich's website for more information

Review:
Stephanie has a slightly different challenge to face in this instalment - she's been asked to track down a missing young girl on behalf of her very worried grandmother. Unfortunately the search puts her in the sights of Eddie Abruzzi, a nasty piece of work who is in business with the child's father. As the danger ratchets up a notch and Morelli continues to keep his distance after their latest fallout it's up to Ranger to come to Stephanie's aid when she needs him the most.

This series is just so much fun to read, I don't care that Stephanie is the world's worst bounty hunter who can't hold onto a pair of handcuffs for more than five minutes and who manages to get her cars blown up on a pretty much daily basis. Let's face it the worse Stephanie is the more excuses she has to call Ranger or Morelli in for help and that's never going to be a bad thing in my eyes!

These stories aren't meant to be taken too seriously but they are fantastic light entertainment. I pick up these books when I want something that is going to put a smile on my face, they never fail to make me laugh out loud and I just love Stephanie and the crazy people she surrounds herself with. Hard Eight sees her love life get even more complicated which makes for brilliant reading. Things are in the off-again position with Morelli but that just allows Ranger to finally make his move and bow chicka wow wow has that been a long time coming (but well worth the wait!). I can't wait to continue my reread of this series and I'm looking forward to finally finding out who she chooses in the long run.

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:

Review: Seven Up - Janet Evanovich

In her most explosive adventure yet, bombshell bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is dropped into a smorgasbord of murder, kidnapping and extortion - a magnificent buffet of mud wrestling, motorcycles, fast cars, fast food, and fast men.

Stephanie Plum thinks she's going after an easy FTA: a senior citizen charged with smuggling contraband cigarettes. But when she and Lula show up at his house, they get more than they bargained for - a corpse in the woodshed and an old man who's learned a lot of tricks during his years in the mob, and isn't afraid to use his gun.

But Stephanie's mind is on other matters, because she has two proposals to consider: vice cop Joe Morelli is proposing marriage, and fellow bounty hunter Ranger is proposing a single perfect night . . .

All in all, a typical dilemma in the world of Plum.

Stephanie Plum Series:
One for the Money
Two for the Dough
Three to get Deadly
Four to Score
High Five
Hot Six
Seven Up
Hard Eight
Visions of Sugar Plums (Between the Numbers book 1)
To the Nines
Ten Big Ones
Eleven on Top
Twelve Sharp
Plum Lovin' (Between the Numbers book 2)
Lean Mean Thirteen
Plum Lucky (Between the Numbers book 3)
Fearless Fourteen
Plum Spooky (Between the Numbers book 4)
Finger Lickin' Fifteen
Sizzling Sixteen
Smokin' Seventeen
Explosive Eighteen
Notorious Nineteen
Takedown Twenty
Top Secret Twnty-One
Tricky Twenty-Two

Visit Janet Evanovich's website for more information

Review:
It's no secret that I love this series, Stephanie's antics and her crazy family never fail to make me giggle and these books are the perfect thing to pick up when you're having a bad day and just need something to make you smile.

You'd think that Stephanie might be getting the hang of this bounty hunter thing by now but unfortunately for her she's just as terrible as ever. Even when she's up against a pensioner things don't go to plan for our plucky heroine and her sidekick Lula. I swear these two could get themselves in trouble in a kids soft play area!

Throw in family drama with her not-so-perfect sister Valerie who has moved back home with her two daughters and put Grandma Mazur on a motorbike and you know you're going to be in for an interesting ride, especially since all that's before we even think about the two men in her life.

Stephanie somehow seems to be accidentally engaged to Morelli even though he never officially proposed and now that it looks like she's off the market (her mother is already shopping for the wedding dress and Grandma Mazur has the hall booked!) Ranger has decided it's time to up the ante and make his presence felt. What's a girl to do when she's stuck between two very hard, very hot alpha men who both want to stake their claim? Personally if I was Stephanie I'd be tempted to keep them both but I'm not sure if either Morelli or Ranger would be willing to share.

There's no point me going into detail about the plot, if you're familiar with this series you know what to expect by now and you'll love this just as much as the first six books. If you're new to the series what the hell are you waiting for - go and grab a copy of One for the Money now and prepare to laugh from start to finish.

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:

Monday, 28 November 2016

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn - Renee Ahdieh

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

The Wrath and the Dawn Duology:
The Moth and the Flame (Short Story)
The Crown and the Arrow (Free Short Story)
The Wrath and the Dawn
The Mirror and the Maze (Short Story)
The Rose and the Dagger

Visit Renee Ahdieh's website for more information

Review:
I have to admit I was a little nervous when I picked this book up, it has a lot of mixed ratings amongst my friends so I knew it was going to be one of those books that I'd either love or hate but the cover made me buy it anyway and now, having read it, I have absolutely no regrets. Right from the very first page I was drawn into the world that Renee Ahdieh has created and her writing is absolutely beautiful. She paints such a vivid picture of Khorasan that it's almost more like watching a movie than reading a book and I was enjoying the story so much that I'd ordered the sequel before I even hit the halfway point.

I loved Shahrzad's character in the beginning, the way she was so bravely determined to be chosen as the Caliph's next bride so that she could turn the tables on him and kill him before he could kill her and the fact that she obviously has the skills to back up her quest. I'll admit things go a little wobbly for her when she arrives at the palace and can't quite bring herself to carry out the deed but you know what? I was so sucked into the story that it really didn't bother me all that much, especially when you start to see that there's much more to Khalid's side of the story than you first suspect. I'm not a fan of insta-love but the way their relationship developed didn't feel too rushed for me, the attraction was there from the beginning but I didn't think feelings started getting involved until they'd started getting to know each other a little better.

Add in the fact that I really enjoyed getting to know the side characters and I just found this an incredibly enjoyable story that I ended up devouring really quickly. It's taken me a long time to get around to typing up my review (it's a good job I take notes because I'm ridiculously behind again at the moment) but now that I finally have I'm excited that I'll be able to pick up the short stories and finally read the sequel. The Wrath and the Dawn had a pretty killer cliffhanger so I'm desperate to see what happens next!

Source: Purchased

Other reviews of this book:
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Review: The Crown and the Arrow - Renee Ahdieh

Seventy-one days and seventy-one nights had come and gone since Khalid began killing his brides. This dawn, Khalid would mark the loss of the seventy-second girl, Shahrzad al-Khayzuran. Khalid didn’t know how many more of these dawns he could take. And there was something about this latest girl that piqued his interest. Not only had she volunteered to marry him, but at their wedding ceremony, she had seemed not the least bit afraid. In fact, what he had seen in her eyes was nothing short of pure hatred. She was about to lose her life. Why wasn’t she afraid? Why did she hate him so? He had never before gone to his wife’s chambers before her death at dawn. Tonight would be different.

The Wrath and the Dawn Duology:
The Moth and the Flame (Short Story)
The Crown and the Arrow (Free Short Story)
The Wrath and the Dawn
The Mirror and the Maze (Short Story)
The Rose and the Dagger

Visit Renee Ahdieh's website for more information

Review:
Although The Crown and the Arrow is set right at the beginning of The Wrath and the Dawn and technically considered a prequel I'd actually recommend reading the full length novel first because you'll appreciate this story much more if you're already familiar with the characters. It's not long enough on it's own to let you get to know anyone so I don't think it would have as much of an impact if you read it first.

This is basically Khalid and Shahrzad's first meeting but from his point of view rather than hers and I did enjoy getting to see what he was thinking when he found out that she volunteered to be his next bride.

It seems a bit petty to complain about the length of a free short story (this is around 9 pages long) but I really would have loved more from Khalid's point of view. I'm definitely looking forward to finding out how the story ends in The Rose and the Dagger though.

Source: Free Kindle book from Amazon

Other reviews of this book:
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: The Moth and the Flame - Renee Ahdieh

It started as playful, if barbed, banter before rising to a fateful wager with a most notorious rake—the Captain of the Guard, Jalal al-Khoury—who may have finally met his match in a lovely, if haughty, handmaiden, Despina. But she, too, seems to have met her match in the handsome Jalal. What begins as a tempestuous battle of will and wit in short order becomes a passionate affair spurred on by tragedy of the worst kind.

The Wrath and the Dawn Duology:
The Moth and the Flame (Short Story)
The Crown and the Arrow (Free Short Story)
The Wrath and the Dawn
The Mirror and the Maze (Short Story)
The Rose and the Dagger

Visit Renee Ahdieh's website for more information

Review:
Although this short story is technically set before the start of The Wrath and the Dawn I'd actually say it's probably better to read it after the book because you'll already be familiar with the characters involved. I don't think I'd have enjoyed this so much if I'd read it as a prequel so I'm glad read it later on.

It was really nice to get to know Despina a little better and see the beginning of her romance with Jalal. He's used to women falling all over him so he's quite taken aback when Despina doesn't seem all that interested, he goes on an all out charm offensive though and it's not hard to see why she finds him impossible to resist.

It was interesting to see Despina's take on Khalid and his first bride too, I expected to feel really sorry for Ava and I did to a certain extent but at the same time I can't help thinking that she caused an awful lot of trouble over something that's really quite stupid. Khalid had never lied to her or led her on, they had a marriage of convenience (something quite common historically, especially amongst royals) so yes I'm sure she wanted him to love her but under the circumstances I think she was expecting a little too much too soon and her actions were ultimately selfish ones that had disastrous consequences.

My one complaint about this story was that it was too short but I'm hoping we'll see much more of Despina and Jalal in The Rose and the Dagger and I'm really looking forward to continuing the series.

Source: Purchased

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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Review: The Sight - Chloe Neill

The paranormal war that engulfed New Orleans seven years ago is over. But the battle for the city is just beginning . . .

Claire Connolly is a Sensitive, infected with magic when the Veil that divides humanity from the world beyond fell. Magic can easily consume and destroy a Sensitive, and if Claire's secret is discovered she'll be locked into the walled district of Devil's Isle along with every other Paranormal left in the city.

Bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered Claire's secret, but refused to turn her in. Together they saved New Orleans from the resurgence of magic that nearly destroyed it. But now a dangerous cult is on the rise, and it will take both Claire and Liam - and magical allies within Devil's Isle's towering walls - to defeat the occult threat before magic corrupts them both . . .

Devil's Isle Series:
The Veil
The Sight
The Hunt (2017)

Visit Chloe Neill's website for more information

Review:
Claire and Liam may have already saved New Orleans from disaster once but that doesn't mean things are about to calm down, in fact they've now got an even bigger battle on their hands as an evil cult sets out to destroy Devil's Isle and all it's Paranormal inhabitants. The terrorists will stop at nothing to achieve their goal and they don't care how many civilian casualties get caught in the crossfire which makes them even more dangerous. Claire is still trying to come to terms with the fact that she's a Sensitive and what that could mean for her future but she's not going to sit idly by while a group of madmen try to destroy what's left of her city.

The Sight jumps into Claire's story right where The Veil left off, Claire is juggling running her store with her new role as a trainee Bounty Hunter working alongside Liam and the chemistry between them is just as intense as ever. Liam is one of the only people who knows Claire's secret but instead of turning her into the authorities and destroying her life he's actually trying to help her learn to deal with her abilities so they don't end up turning her into a monster. As much as they are attracted to each other there are a million reasons why they shouldn't be a couple, Claire is willing to take the risk but Liam is more gunshy because he knows exactly what he'd have to do if Claire's powers get the better of her. The tension between them ratchets up nicely throughout the story but you're going to have to read the book for yourself to find out whether they actually give in to temptation.

There is so much going on in this series that I don't ever want the books to end. First you have the ongoing struggles of the Paranormal population on Devil's Isle, most of them didn't ask to be here and just want to be able to live their lives in peace but they're treated like animals and imprisoned on the Isle. Then you have the cult who are determined to wipe the Paranormals off the face of the planet, they think that by banning magic and destroying anything to do with it they can reverse the damage that was done when the Veil first opened and they'll fight to the death to achieve their goals. Finally you have the group that are trying to reopen the Veil so they can finish the war they started seven years ago.

Claire and Liam are stuck in the middle trying to do what's best for everyone involved. Claire is forced to face up to what her future could be like if she doesn't learn to control her magic, Liam is forced to decide whether he can walk away from her for good or whether she is worth taking a risk on, Claire's friends and allies also have decisions of their own to make and whatever they decide Claire is the one with the most to lose. Chloe Neill has created another fantastic series and I'm really excited to see where it goes from here, I just wish we didn't have to wait a whole year for the next instalment. I'm a greedy reader like that though and I'm incredibly pleased that we have a new Chicagoland Vampires book (& novella!) to look forward to in the meantime!

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

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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ begins in 1926 as Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

Visit the Fantastic Beasts website for more information




Review:
I think pretty much every blogger I know is at least a little obsessed with Harry Potter and has been eagerly waiting for the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them since the movie was first announced. I have been desperate to dive back into J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World and if I'm honest I'm actually thrilled that she decided to take us on a journey into a whole new era and introduce us to a completely new set of characters rather than try to extend Harry's journey.

Anyway, I FINALLY managed to go and see the movie yesterday and it was AMAZING. I loved every single minute of it and I'm already planning to go and see it a second time (I can't even remember the last time I went to see a movie at the cinema twice!). I loved taking a step back in time to 1920's New York and thought they'd done a brilliant job of bringing that era to life. The characters are great, the special effects are stunning and I adored the wonderful creatures we are introduced to.


Getting to look inside Newt's suitcase was like visiting Hogwarts again for the first time. Remember seeing Harry run through the wall to reach platform 9 and 3/4? What about your first glimpse of the castle with those moving staircases and the talking portraits? Watching your first Quidditch match? Fantastic Beasts has that same magical feel to it and the sheer scale of the world Rowling has created is epic.

I'm not going to say much more because I don't want to spoil the movie for those few people who haven't seen it yet but I desperately want a niffler and a bowtruckle of my very own. I mean, just look how cute they are:



Have you seen the movie yet? What did you think of it? Are you as excited as I am about this new wizarding world franchise?

Friday, 25 November 2016

Review: The Flame Never Dies - Rachel Vincent

One Spark Will Rise

Nina Kane was born to be an exorcist. And since uncovering the horrifying truth―that the war against demons is far from over―seventeen-year-old Nina and her pregnant sister, Mellie, have been on the run, incinerating the remains of the demon horde as they go.

In the badlands, Nina, Mellie, and Finn, the fugitive and rogue exorcist who saved her life, find allies in a group of freedom fighters. They also face a new threat: Pandemonia, a city full of demons. But this fresh new hell is the least of Nina’s worries. The well of souls ran dry more than a century ago, drained by the demons secretly living among humans, and without a donor soul, Mellie’s child will die within hours of its birth.

Nina isn’t about to let that happen . . . even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Well of Souls Duology:
The Stars Never Rise
The Flame Never Dies

For more information visit Rachel Vincent's website

Review:
It's been several months since Nina escaped from the Church demons with her pregnant sister Mellie and the other exorcist friends they made. They've spent that time roaming the badlands, killing any degenerates they come into contact with but also trying to gather enough supplies for themselves and Mellie's baby. Mellie is due to drop any day now and they only thing they can't guarantee is a soul for the baby since they are now so limited but Nina has a plan in place and she's willing to pay any price for her niece or nephew to survive.

I'm quite sad that this series is only a duology but The Flame Never Dies is a fitting conclusion to Nina and Mellie's journey and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this series. I'm not going to go into detail about what happens in this story but if you enjoyed The Stars Never Rise you'll definitely want to pick up the sequel.

Nina has really come into her own in this instalment, she's much more confident in herself and she has everything to fight for so she's determined not to see any harm come to what is left of her family. She doesn't always make the right choices but she is willing to make hard decisions and she'll sacrifice anything to protect the people she loves. You'll see our group of friends make new allies, discover even more terrifying enemies and fight as hard as they can to survive.

I'm not going to lie, there will be moments that break your heart but overall I thought the series ended on a hopeful tone. Things haven't all been tied up in a nice little bow with a happily ever after guaranteed but that would be unrealistic for this world, what you will see is that all isn't lost and there is hope that humanity can defeat their enemies if they're willing to keep fighting.

This has been a fun series from Rachel Vincent, I don't think I love it quite as much as the Soul Screamers series but we had a lot more time to get invested in those characters over seven books so that's not too surprising. I'm still very happy to recommend the Well of Souls series and I'm kind of hoping that the author will choose to revisit these characters again in the future but I'm happy with the way things ended even if she doesn't.

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

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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Review: Her Naughty Holiday - Tiffany Reisz

A feast she wasn't expecting!

Clover Greene would sooner crawl into her oven than host family for Thanksgiving dinner. Yet another annual ritual of too much food, served with a side of criticism over "Clover's Bad Life Choices." This year, she needs to distract them all - with a handsome fake boyfriend. And she has the perfect guy in mind.

Contractor Erick Fields is the poster boy for sexy single dads, and Clover has been secretly crushing on him for ages. She certainly wasn't expecting Erick to agree to her insane charade . . . or to add lots of hot, wicked sex to the deal. If they can pull it off, the worst Thanksgiving ever might give them both something to be really thankful for!

Men at Work Series:
Her Halloween Treat
Her Naughty Holiday
Ian's Dream Girl (Free online short story on the Harlequin website)
One Hot December

Visit Tiffany Reisz's website for more information.

Review:
Clover is absolutely dreading hosting her family for Thanksgiving dinner, she built her own successful business and loves her life but her family are constantly criticizing her for not living up to their expectations. As far as they're concerned until she gets married and starts pushing out a few grandkids she's a complete failure. This year, thanks to some meddling on the part of her teenage assistant Ruthie, she decides she needs to find a fake boyfriend to help take some of the heat off. Ruthie thinks her dad is the perfect man for the job so she sets the two up before heading off to spend the holidays with her mother. Erick has been interested in Clover for over a year now but always considered her out of bounds because she works with his daughter, now that Ruthie has given him her blessing all bets are off though and he's more than happy to act as Clover's fake boyfriend - until he can convince her that he makes a much better real one.

I'm having so much fun reading this series, it's full of hilarious banter, great characters and hot sex so what's not to love? Tiffany Reisz excels at writing believable romances with characters you either fall in love with or want to be best friends with (possibly both at the same time!). Clover and Erick make such a great couple, they're both such caring personalities and their romance was incredibly sweet but they have amazing chemistry too and the sparks fly pretty much immediately. I loved the relationship they both had with Ruthie and she was a fantastic side character who added a lot of humour to the story.

Although Clover and Erick have both been crushing on each other for a long time I liked that they hadn't made a move on each other because they were worried about how Ruthie would be affected, Clover obviously cares a huge amount for Ruthie and she's going to make a fantastic step-mum. Erick and Ruthie's relationship was brilliant too and I loved that he was a single dad who did most of the full time parenting, he obviously has a very strong bond with his daughter and they had a lot of fun teasing each other.

I wasn't impressed with Clover's family though, they were all so mean to her and very snobby and judgemental when they first met Erick. I got really angry with the comments they kept coming out with and the way they kept putting Clover down so it was absolutely brilliant seeing her finally stand up for herself and I loved the way Erick had her back too. He wasn't shy standing up to her entire family in her defence and he did it in a way that showed them how completely unreasonable they were being.

Her Naughty Holiday was another fabulous read and I'm sure I'll be digging this series out every year for a little sexy holiday reading. I can't wait for December so I can pick up the last book in the series!

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

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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Review: Silver-Tongued Devil - Jaye Wells

Life is looking up for Sabina Kane. The threat of war between the dark races seems to have passed, and her magic training is also progressing well - just like her relationship with the sexy mage Adam Lazarus. But as much as Sabina feels hopeful about the future, she doesn't quite trust that peace is possible . . .

Her suspicions are confirmed when a string of sadistic murders threaten to stall peace talks between the vampires and the mages. Sabina pitches in to find the killer, but this dark investigation soon has her questioning everyone she thought she could trust. And the closer she gets to the killer, the more Sabina begins to suspect this is one foe she may not be able to kill.

Sabina Kane Series:
Fool's Gold (Novella)
Red-Headed Stepchild
The Mage in Black
Violet Tendencies (Novella)
Green-Eyed Demon
Silver-Tongued Devil
Blue-Blooded Vamp
Rusted Veins (Novella)

Visit Jaye Wells' website for more information

Review:
Having finally got rid of her grandmother you'd think that Sabina's life would be a lot easier now and to some extent it has been. Things are going well with Adam but she's struggling to control her vampire side and fit in with the mages, she still isn't completely accepted no matter what she's done to prove that she's on their side. It doesn't help that she's still finding it hard to use her mage powers and the one person she should be able to relate to the most, her twin sister Maisie, is fighting off her own demons. Maisie was broken by their grandmother and is pushing everyone away, Sabina blames herself for what happened to her sister and is desperate to find a way to help her but it's very hard to help someone who doesn't want to admit that they're in trouble.

Silver-Tongued Devil was slower than the previous books in the series, there is still a mystery for Sabina to solve thanks to a string of brutal murders that are being committed but there is definitely less action and more drama and if I'm honest I was a little disappointed by that. I don't mind drama if it serves some kind of purpose to develop the storyline or to teach the characters something but in Sabina's case it just felt manufactured. I knew the moment she slept with Slade and kept it secret from Adam that it would come back to bite her and now is the time for her to pay the price. It's not that she cheated on Adam because they weren't even a couple when it happened but he's understandably hurt by the fact that she kept things hidden from him, I do think he took it a little too far though and that dragged things out more than necessary. It probably wouldn't have been so irritating if we didn't have two other couples also having their own dramas going on at the same time, I expect that kind of thing if I'm reading a contemporary romance but it's not what I'm hoping for when I read urban fantasy.

So the middle of the book was a bit bogged down with multiple relationship woes but the beginning and the last third of the book made up for it. I'm not going to talk about what actually happened but you can tell that Jaye Wells was really ramping things up ready for the final book and I'm hoping that Blue-Blooded Vamp is going to be action from start to finish. Everything is all starting to come together and I can't wait to see how it all plays out.

Source: Purchased

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Review: Glass Sword - Victoria Aveyard

If there's one thing Mare Barrow knows, it's that she's different.

Mare's blood is red - the colour of common folk - but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from the prince and friend who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by the Silver king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red and Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

Red Queen Series:
Cruel Crown (Anthology containing 2 prequel novellas)
Red Queen
Glass Sword
King's Cage (2017)

Visit Victoria Aveyard's website for more information

Review:
Glass Sword picks up Mare's story just after the ending of Red Queen. She was rescued by the Scarlet Guard along with Cal after they were both betrayed by Maven and now they've got to try and make some sense out of everything that has happened. Maven has the world convinced that Cal killed the old king and he's now claimed the throne for himself, completely stealing Cal's birthright. Mare and Cal are going to have to learn to trust each other if they want to stand a chance against Maven but he's not an enemy who will be easy to beat no matter how many people they have on their side.

It's not helping that the Scarlet Guard don't trust them either, the Colonel isn't willing to listen to their ideas and it looks like he's taking his army in a very dangerous direction. Mare knows they need to focus on finding the other New Bloods (people like her with red blood but silver abilities) and recruiting them to their side before Maven can have them all murdered but the Colonel isn't listening so she may have to take matters into her own hands.

Glass Sword was another brilliant instalment to this series, once again it's a book with really mixed reviews from a lot of my friends but I went into it feeling hopeful and am happy to say I loved it. I really enjoyed getting to meet so many different New Blood characters, they have such a range of different abilities and this book was a bit like a fantasy version of the X-Men. I love that Mare isn't perfect, she makes mistakes like any young girl in her situation would but she always tries to do the right thing and when she messes up she's smart enough to own it and do her best to make things right. I think she's a pretty great character but I also love so many of the side characters like Cal, Kilorn, Shade and Farley, they're all such well built characters with their own motivations and goals and it's nice to have so many well rounded characters to root for.

There were a couple of shocking events towards the end of the book, one that broke my heart and one that left me in a panic, so I'm desperate to get my hands on a copy of King's Cage to find out what happens next. This series is going from strength to strength and I can't wait to see where Victoria Aveyard takes us next.

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

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Monday, 21 November 2016

Review: Archangel's Heart - Nalini Singh

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us into a dangerous and exhilarating world where a deadly, beautiful archangel and his once-mortal consort are caught in a fury of twisted darkness . . .

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangel lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, Guild Hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within - truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is . . .

The Guild Hunter Series:
Angels' Dance (ebook novella that is also included in Angels' Flight)
Angels' Judgment (novella included in Angels' Flight and the Must Love Hellhounds anthology)
Angels' Pawn (ebook novella that is also included in Angels' Flight)
Angel's Blood
Archangel's Kiss
Archangel's Consort
Angel's Wolf (novella included in Angels' Flight and the Angel's of Darkness anthology)
Archangel's Blade
Archangel's Storm
Archangel's Legion
Archangel's Shadows
Archangel's Enigma
Archangel's Heart

Visit Nalini Singh's website for more information

Review:
Everytime I think this series can't possibly get any better Nalini Singh proves me wrong. I've loved getting to know some of the Seven better in the last couple of books but I'm always happy to get the chance to revisit Elena and Raphael. Their relationship is one of my favourites and I love seeing how far they've come together. They still have their struggles but their love has a rock solid foundation and they are 100% committed to each other.

Archangel's Heart is a little slower paced after the last couple of books, there are no major battles between the archangels but that doesn't mean nothing is happening. It's been two years since the end of Archangel's Enigma and everything has fallen quiet, the cascade has halted progress and Lijuan hasn't been seen since her last big fight with Raphael and Alexander. As much as she's trying to enjoy the calm before the storm Elena is just waiting for the other shoe to drop and she doesn't have to wait long when Raphael and the rest of the Cadre are called to a meeting by the Luminata.

You might be shocked to discover that there is a group out there that would dare to call upon the Cadre but that is precisely what the Luminata was created for. They're basically the equivalent of an immortal monastery full of angels who have chosen to leave the world behind so they can follow the path to luminescence. The Luminata live in an isolated compound where they are the keepers of important angelic art and historical documents and they were also given the right to call the Cadre to a meeting if any archangel ever disappeared from the public eye. Since Lijuan has been missing for two years and there are increasing reports of bloodlust from the vampires in her region the Luminata have called the Cadre together to discuss the matter.

Travelling to the heart of Morocco with Raphael and Aodhan, Elena is hoping she might be able to discover more about her mother's family and where she came from but when they arrive in Lumia it quickly becomes clear that not everything is what it should be in a place built for peaceful contemplation. There is an undercurrent of fear in the local village and Elena is determined to get to the bottom of things but what she finds will shock her to the core.

I think it's fair to say I loved this book, it's always fun to see the Cadre in action and I really appreciate that the archangels are all such complex beings so even that the ones who I wouldn't consider Raphael's allies aren't always completely evil. The relationship between Elena and Raphael is fantastic but I also really enjoy the friendships she is making with other immortals like Hannah, Elijah, Titus and the members of Raphael's Seven. There are some fantastic moments between Aodhan and Illium, I'm shipping those two harder than ever before but I have complete faith in Nalini and as long as they both get a HEA I will be happy with whoever she matches them up with (that's probably a little bit of a lie because I'm going to be devastated if they don't hook up but I do trust Nalini to do what's best for her characters in the long run!). One of the things I loved most about this one was getting to learn more about Elena's family history and I can't wait to see how certain revelations play out as the series continues.

The Guild Hunter series is one of my favourites, the world building is phenomenal, the characters are amazing and Nalini Singh is still keeping the plot fresh and exciting nine books in which is a skill not all authors are able to pull off. I don't want this series to ever end and I'm already desperate to get my hands on the next instalment!

Source: Received from Gollancz in exchange for an honest review

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Review: Labyrinth Lost - Zoraida Cordova

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person who was in my house – my entire family — is gone.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can't trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland...

Brooklyn Brujas Series:
Labyrinth Lost
Future titles and release dates to be confirmed

Visit Zoraida Cordova's website for more information

Review:
Alex is a powerful bruja from a family of witches but she's absolutely terrified of her magic and she's very resistant to the idea of using it. She blames magic for the disappearance of her father and unlike her sisters she doesn't want to accept her heritage. As her sixteenth birthday approaches her family arrange her Deathday celebration (a coming of age ceremony where her dead ancestors will appear to give her their blessing) but Alex has other plans. Unfortunately when Alex tries to reject her magic she manages to send her entire family (both past and present) into Los Lagos, a magical land of lost souls and strange creatures. Alex didn't want to accept her gift but that doesn't mean she wanted to lose her family so now has to find a way to put things right again.

I knew I had to read Labyrinth Lost the minute I saw the cover, I know very little about Latin American mythology so I was really excited to come across something so different and after reading the blurb I was really looking forward to getting lost in a world of brujas, brujos and Deathday celebrations. I have to say that side of the story was done brilliantly, I enjoyed seeing Alex's struggles to accept her abilities and I enjoyed seeing how the sisters worked together to create their Cantos. It was when they were transported to Los Lagos that the world building really excelled, it was very reminiscent of falling down the rabbit hole with Alice but Zoraida Cordova has created a world full of creatures I've never heard of before and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring it.

Where things fell down for me was with the characters, I love that the main characters are so diverse and I really loved that the fact Alex is bisexual is treated as something so completely normal but I just found it very hard to connect with most of the characters. Alex started to irritate me with her selfish attitude, Nova (the male love interest) was a brooding, secretive and mysterious but he doesn't stand out from the hundreds of other bad boy love interests I've read about over the last few years, then you have Alex's best friend Rishi (the female love interest) who served absolutely no purpose in the story other than to be a third point on the triangle.

Let's face it most of us are sick of triangles these days, I don't think I've ever heard an avid reader saying "I wish I could find more books with love triangles" because it's harder to actually find a YA series without one! I can be won over if the triangle is done exceptionally well but in this case it just wasn't. Giving Alex a both male and female love interests isn't enough to make it interesting, especially when Rishi's character could be removed from the story altogether and pretty much nothing about the plot would have to change. Her character is so disposable that it makes the triangle completely worthless and even more irritating.

There is definitely potential there for the Brooklin Brujas series and I'm pretty sure I'll give the next book a try to see what happens to these characters next but I'm really hoping the triangle is resolved quickly or at least that both love interests actually have a role of their own as the series continues.

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

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