Dying Bites (The Bloodhound Files, #1) – Book Review

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This book has come highly recommended but I just couldn’t get into it. Maybe it’s the timing or maybe the book is just as horrible as I think.. who knows, that’s up to you to decide 🙂


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Author: D.D. Barant
Published: June 30, 2009
Pages: 304

Stars: 1 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Her job description is the “tracking and apprehension of mentally-fractured killers.” What this really means in FBI profiler Jace Valchek’s brave new world—one in which only one percent of the population is human—is that a woman’s work is never done. And real is getting stranger every day…

Jace has been ripped from her reality by David Cassius, the vampire head of the NSA. He knows that she’s the best there in the business, and David needs her help in solving a series of gruesome murders of vampires and werewolves. David’s world—one that also includes lycanthropes and golems—is one with little knowledge of mental illness. An insane serial killer is a threat the NSA has no experience with. But Jace does. Stranded in a reality where Bela Lugosi is a bigger box office draw than Bruce Willis and every full moon is Mardi Gras, Jace must now hunt down a fellow human before he brings the entire planet to the brink of madness. Or she may never see her own world again…

Review:
This book is pretty catchy and starts off on an interesting note. The writing style is easy to follow and sucks you in right away. The details provided aren’t over the top, but just the right amount to allow you to get a solid picture of what’s happening. This is the first book I’ve read from this author but I’m not sure if it’s what I’m looking for. I think if you are really into those criminal shows like CSI or Bones, this book would be right up your alley. Although I don’t mind reading books like this, they aren’t really my thing and I tend to get a little a board while reading them.

‘… but Cassius only smiles. It’s a boyish, engaging smile, and I bet it makes all the sorority girls go all weak and giggly. I seriously considered putting a big whole into it.’

Ha! I love this. Jace is a… lot. Her character is funny but very flawed. She is also dense, hard headed, and more than a little rude. Jace works for the FBI in their Behavior Analysts Unit. She uses her criminal psychologist degree to get in the heads of psychos and helps bring them down.

The thing I don’t get about Jace is her negative outlook on romance and in particular relating it to heroin. Maybe I’m missing the connection there…  Jace  considers romance as self destructive, demeaning, and stupid. Bitter much? I mean wow. I think another adjective to describe Jace might also be bitchy. She’s also a little dense in the sense that her reactions and how she goes about her job is the same way she would do it on earth/her demention. Which probably sounds really odd until you get into the book and then you’ll get it. Jace still thinks she’s a hard ass with a big bad gun. Well, her gun doesn’t work and all she does is isolate herself from the people who are trying to help. Being strong is having the ability to know your weaknesses, accept help, and admit when you’re in over your head. Jace does none of those things and it’s irritating to read.

I’m always amused how vampires are always slightly different in each series I read. Some are ‘allergic’ to the sun while others aren’t. Some are describe as dead, some can be hurt by bullets.. you get the idea. In this series, vampires can be harmed by the sun but they only drink the blood of animals. Same goes for werewolfs. It’s all kind of bizarre and not at all what I was expecting. I’ll let you dig into the book to discover what else is  different.

I don’t like doing this, but I must admit defeat. Reading this book makes me want to fall asleep. What started out as reading each page, turned into skimming paragraphs and eventually skipping pages. This book is just not for me. Jace’s character drives me crazy with how annoying she is. Her character is so bitter yet everyone wants to have sex with her. I don’t get it.  This book is too much and not in the good way. I’m sorry, but this book falls into the DNF Graveyard…

3

Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10)

3

This is the second time reading this book. I can count on one hand how many authors have the ability to not only get me to read their entire book without taking one single note, but to get to do this without even realizing it. I open the book and somehow get sucked in. Before I know it, I’m turning the last page oblivious to the time or what’s happening around me. But I will say, reading the book for the second time was so much fun! Already knowing the ending, I was able to pick up far more hidden treasures than I did the first time around. I don’t think there is any way to have caught them without knowing the twist at the end. My recommendation is read this book twice. You won’t regret it!!!


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Author: Patricia Briggs
Published: March 7, 2017
Pages: 371

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Other books in this Series:
Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson, #9)

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Synopsis:
Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…

Review:
The book opens on a light note with games and chocolate chip cookies. That is until Mercy finds herself in a car accident and abducted. With her connection to Adam temporary lost, she finds herself up against unknown vampires, very powerful ones. All of this seems to be one big misunderstanding. A misunderstanding that Wulfe created.

So much happens in this book, within every chapter, it’s impossible to talk about it all. So I’m not going to try. I have said this with few other books and this book falls into that category: I’m not going to write a normal review because if you’ve made it this far in the series, you know how amazing the book is going to be. Patricia Briggs packs so much into her books, there aren’t any dull page fillers. Everything she writes has a purpose and if you aren’t paying close enough attention, then you’ll miss the point of the book.
Most, if not all, of the books in this series are told through Mercy’s point of view. Getting Adam’s, Mercy’s mate, point of view was fun. I think the author made the right choice in bringing in duel POV. It would have been impossible to have kept with the same plot line and conveyed that amount of emotion. And Matt Smith, wow, was that not fun or what? I know you will hate me for this but I’m not saying anything else besides you will want to pay attention. Patricia Briggs, you are a very gifted writer!
In some ways, you get a better look into Wulfe’s mind and how he thinks. If I had to describe Wulfe, the words that come to mind are crazy, psychotic, and very much broken. Even though there is this part of him that is detached from reality, his motives behind what he does is kind of genius. Sending Bonarata after Marcy instead of Adam was ingenious. Although I do wonder if in fact she is more ‘powerful’ than Adam. Physically, no way. But Mercy has political strength, her mental strength is impressive and let’s not forget about how many powerful people she has who care about her.
I almost laughed out loud when Stefan told Mercy to hide and wait to be rescued. Like that is something she would ever do. I mean come on, her father is Old Coyote who is a trickster and father of chaos. So would we expect anything less from his daughter…
This book in particular showcases the amount of support and love Mercy has in her life. It’s remarkable really. So many people are willing to risk it all to help rescue her and bring her back home. I can’t help but think this is what everyone deserves in their life. Everyone deserves an Adam, someone who is devoted and completely in love with them. Everyone deserves friends who are willing to love you regardless of your faults and mishaps.
I love how much history is packed into Patricia Briggs books. She certainly does her research and it really does add to the book. While Mercy wonders around Europe, lost and attempting to avoid Bonarata, what she describes has just the right amount of detail to allow the reader to know what it looks and feels like without bombarding you with too much history. Briggs really did think of everything down to what a coyotes paws would feel like walking on the unfamiliar cobblestone.
‘Six hundred years old (old synagogue). I stared at it and tried to imagine how it would feel to be Bran or the Moor and look at such things and remember before they were built. To look around the city and realize that the oldest thing in this old city was probably you.’
In every book, Mercy runs into some kind of new monster/creature. This book is no different with the Golem of Prague. The story behind this character is fascinating.
“I looked like a victim. I was done, really done with being a victim” 
The end of the book left me with one thought, completely satisfied. This book is so amazing, I love it! But because of this, I’m doubtful I’m able to review this book (this series) with the same critical eye I normally use. So make what you will of this review.

‘I’m asleep with my face plastered against the top of a metal table. Being sophisticated like this just comes naturally to me – what can I say?’ – Mercy Thompson

Rev It Up (Black Knights Inc. #3)

I’m not too sure which cover’s better… maybe the one on the left.. But in case you find yourself wondering why would someone read another book in a series they obviously didn’t enjoy? The answers rather simple, a very convincing book seller sold the damn book to me. What else am I supposed to do? I already bought the book, might as well read it.


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Author: Julie Walker
Published: October 2, 2012
Pages: 321

Stars: 2.5 out of 5

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Other books in the Series:
Hell on Wheels

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Synopsis:
He’s the heartbreaker she left behind…

He Never Misses a Target

Jake “the Snake” Sommers earned his SEAL code name by striking quickly and quietly—and with lethal force. That’s also how he broke Michelle Carter’s heart. It was the only way to keep her safe—from himself. Four long years later, Jake is determined to get a second chance. But to steal back into Michelle’s loving arms, Jake is going to have to prove he can take things slow. Real slow…

She Aims to Make Him Beg

Michelle Carter has never forgiven Jake for being so clichĂ© as to “love her and leave her.” But when her brother, head of the Black Knights elite ops agency, ticks off the wrong mobster, she must do the unimaginable: place her life in Jake’s hands. No matter what they call him, this man is far from cold-blooded. And once he’s wrapped around her heart, he’ll never let her go…

Review:
This book starts off heavy. Right away you learn Jake (aka the snake) pushes the one woman he loves, Michelle, into his friends, Preacher, arms. Surprising to Jake, they end up getting married. Not so surprising, Preacher dies on a mission. Also not so surprising, Jake blames himself. But I will say there is a heaviness at the end of chapter one that sticks with you.

Michelle is the sister to the head of the Black Nights Elite ops. She has a long and hurtful history with Jake. Fast forward a couple years and Jake comes back to town wanting to be apart of Michelle’s life. But considering the way Jake treated her, I’m not sure I could get past that very easily. And then there is Michelle’s betrayal.. Wow! Now that would be hard to get over. I wish I could say more but that would be giving away a huge twist in the plot. Besides, where would the fun be in that?

With that said, I have zero sympathy for Michelle. What she did and her reasons for doing them, unforgivable! And maybe there might have been a way I could overlook all this and enjoy the ending of the book, but I couldn’t. Not when the author was trying to play the sympathy card with her.

The writing style is much better than it was in book one. The author is able to jump between character perspectives much smoother. Overall the book is so much easier to read. But Jake’s surfer dialect was annoying. It almost felt like the author threw random words like ‘yo’ and ‘word up’ in and it just didn’t work. It made his character sound more like a wannabe gangster or thug than a surfer boy. And please tell me this, how does one smell like the beach? It’s not like he’s putting sun block on everyday.

Overall, the book was okay. Again, not one that I will ever read again. The book will actually be going in my next garage sale. But I think I would have enjoyed this book if it wasn’t for Michelle and what she did. That just really hits a cord with me and makes me angry. Not a response I want while reading a romance book.

Hell on Wheels (Black Knight Inc. #1)

I am really glad they switched covers. The cover on the left is just ridiculous, more silly/funny than anything else. There are a lot of character voices  in this book. It took me a little bit to keep up because I felt almost like a ping pong ball, bouncing from one characters point of view to the next. I’m not really a fan of books like these. I find myself wanting to skim ahead just so I can read from my preferred character’s POV.


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Author: Julie Walker
Published: August 7, 2012
Pages: 349

Stars: 1 out of 5

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Synopsis:
He’s the bad boy she’s always wanted…

Nate “Ghost” Weller has loved Ali Morgan nearly half his life. But he’s done something so heinous he’s convinced she’ll never forgive him if she discovers the truth, so he keeps his feelings and his secrets to himself. Then she blows into town with a mother lode of bad guys on her tail and Nate can’t deny she’s in serious trouble. Unfortunately, he’s the only one who can help her.

She’s the good girl he’s kept at arm’s length…

Ali knows Nate as the most solemn, aloof man on the planet. Sadly, he’s also the sexiest. For years she’s avoided him, unable to stomach his dark scowls and brooding silences… especially when she secretly yearns for his touch. Now she must rely on him to save her from the malevolent shadows ghosting her every move. When the bullets explode, so does their passion. But can love really conquer all? Or are some things just too terrible to forgive?

Review:
The book is kind of heavy on the military talk, which also isn’t really my thing. I’ve read a couple special ops romance books in the past and they always end up being alright. Never something I love or something I would read again. With that said, how did I find myself buying three books from this series? A damn good sells-person… never again..

As I’m digging into this book, I’m having a hard time connecting this plot with any sense of reality. Supposedly no one suspects this ‘biker’ shop to be anything more than that, yet they have a guard at the gate and top security? And then they not only let the baby sister of one of their fallen into the compound, but they’re also straight forward about who they are .Even though the first handful of chapters stressed the point that no one can ever know that they are more than just a biker shop… And who in their right mind does missions while riding a motorcycle? Does this make sense to anyone else or am I the only one struggling with this plot line?!?

But regardless of the not at all plausible plot line, I continued to read the book.  Alisa, aka Ali, is off limits. As Nate’s best friends baby sister, she is the forbidden fruit that can never be touched. Ali is a sweet, innocent kindergarten teacher who wears risky lingerie and has a belly ring. I don’t hate her character but I also don’t like her. The author created her character as something between a damsel in distress meets strong heroine. I felt like her character was in constant contradiction of itself. One moment she is so scared that she’s frozen in place and then the next she’s asking and handling a gun like it’s second nature. And let’s not forget her constant puking because she can’t stomach the exact same things she demanded. Really, Puking?

Nate, known as Ghost in the special ops community, is kind of a dick. He is constantly push Ali away and then pulling her close. Figure it out man! Either man up or walk away.

This book is not one I would read again. If I wasn’t home sick with nothing else to do, I’m not sure I would have even finished the book. The sexist comments and demand that women can only fit into this column (caretaker, housewife) while men are the protectors, blah blah blah. Reading stuff like that makes me want to vomit. And the comment in the book about a mans greatest weakness is a woman’s tears, can we be any more stereotypical? I mean come on!

Unraveling Destiny (The Fae Chronicles, #5)

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The books in this series have amazing covers!! There is just something irresistible about them.


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Author: Amelia Hutchins
Published: September 26, 2017
Pages: 388

Stars: 1 out of 5

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Other Books in this series:
Fighting Destiny (Fea Chronicles #1)

Synopsis:
I knew Destiny wasn’t done with me. I knew that she was just getting warmed up, but I had no clue just how hard my world was going to come crashing down on me.
I had thought that I was going to get my fairytale wedding and marry the man of my dreams.
I was wrong.
Now, faced with having my world torn asunder and Faery exposed, I have to make choices I never thought I’d have to make.
I’m divided between two worlds, and I have to decide just how far I will go to get back what was stolen from me.
Old enemies are closing in, new enemies are being revealed, and surprising allies are entering the playing field. War is on the horizon, and it’s coming right for us.

Review:
It’s been a long while since I’ve read books 1-4 in this series. So it took me a while to remember the plot line, who everyone is.. But that didn’t seem to help. I really struggled getting into this book which surprised me because I enjoyed reading the other books in this series.

Ultimately I couldn’t do the writing style. I’m no prude to fowl language but for some reason all the cursing in this just turned me off. Isn’t there another way to describe your feelings.. I don’t know.
I’m not done with series and maybe starting over with book one will help me get back into it. But until then, this books falls into the DNF Graveyard
3

Sex, not Love

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Coming off such a great series, I knew I needed something different. I knew I couldn’t do another paranormal fantasy because there are only a few authors that can go toe to toe with Ilona Andrews writing and they haven’t published anything new. So instead, I went with something a little raunchy and enjoyed the change of pace. And a warning to future readers, don’t start reading this book an hour before you need to go bed because you have work the next day. You are not going to want to put the book down.


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Author: Vi Keeland
Published: January 15, 2018
Pages: 300

Stars: 3 out of 5

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Synopsis:
My relationship with Hunter Delucia started backwards.

We met at a wedding—him sitting on the groom’s side, me sitting on the bride’s. Stealing glances at each other throughout the night, there was no denying an intense, mutual attraction.

I caught the bouquet; he caught the garter. Hunter held me tightly while we danced and suggested we explore the chemistry sparking between us. His blunt, dirty mouth should’ve turned me off. But for some crazy reason, it had the opposite effect on me.

We ended up back in my hotel room. The next morning, I headed home to New York leaving him behind in California with the wrong number.

I thought about him often, but after my last relationship, I’d sworn off of charming, cocky, gorgeous-as-sin men. A year later, Hunter and I met again at the birth of our friends’ baby. Our attraction hadn’t dulled one bit. After a whirlwind trip, he demanded a real phone number this time. So I left him with my mother’s—she could scare away any man with her talks of babies and marriage—and flew back home.

I’d thought it was funny, until the following week when he rang the bell at Mom’s house for Sunday night dinner. The crazy, gorgeous man had won over my mother and taken an eight-week assignment in my city. He proposed we spend that time screwing each other out of our systems.

Eight weeks of mind-blowing sex with no strings attached? What did I have to lose?

Nothing, I thought.
It’s just sex, not love.
But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

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Review:
Ok, before you say anything, I know the book starts off a little cheesy and might be over the top. But if you just go with it, I guarantee you will be smiling. Besides, that’s the fun part of books like these. Yes, the overarching plot is predictable: damaged sexy guy meets attractive woman, lots of hot sex, conflict and inevitable breakup, realization guy (sometimes woman) doesn’t actually want breakup, pleading forgiveness, happy ending. But this book is no exception. So why read it? Because it’s fun to get lost in the banter, sexual tension, and reading something that would never happen but would be fun if it did.

Before digging into this book, understand that this is not your typical romantic comedy. As always, Keeland delivers mouth watering alpha male with a sinfully cocky mouth. But the difference between this book and others is the amount of pain and heartache you have to endure.  I don’t typically enjoy reading books with this much heartache and part of my rating reflects that.

Hunter is cocky with a dirty mouth and let’s not forget sexy as hell. He’s aggressive, with a great body but he sends the worst mixed messages I have ever seen. He doesn’t want to be in a relationship but he wants to do everything one would do in a relationship. For example – having dinner/dates together, meeting/getting involved with her family, being monogamous, spending all your time together. So tell me how this isn’t a relationship? Oh right, this is what a relationship looks like when you have commitment phobia. A little hint – Hunters not the only one who has this..

Hunter’s character isn’t at all what I was expecting. He has this sweet side to him that surprisingly overpowers his dominant alpha male side. And the protective side of him is really cute. But like most characters we read in books similar to this, he is damaged. What happened to his brother is terrifying and horrible. But does that give him the right to peruse Natalia, make her fall in love him – all within 2 months – to then leave her because of some messed up logic? Regardless of his reasoning behind doing this, what he did to her was a dick move and the book lost a star because of it.

Natalia comes with a lot of baggage. Taking care of her step daughter, Izzy,  full time is not easy. Especially when her ex is in prison for running a Ponzi scheme and Izzy, being a typical 10th grader, hates everything about her. I can imagine it would be close to impossible having any kind of sex life being a single mom, living in New York City, and raising a teen. But she finds a way and the sex between her and Hunter is fun to read.

This book isn’t my favorite from Vi Keeland but I still enjoyed reading it. Parts of this book were predictable but overall there are unique aspects to the book. The romance is exciting and I love the sexual tension between Natalia and Hunter.

Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3)

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I was a little hesitant going into this book. I wasn’t sure if this was one of those series that is best enjoyed with breaks in-between or if there was a possibility of burning out on this series.. But let me reassure you, this series has proven to be absolutely captivating. Wildfire is a page turner that you don’t want to put down. I really hope the fourth book doesn’t take long to publish!


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Author: Ilona Andrews
Published: July 25, 2017
Pages: 391

Stars: 5 out of 5

Other books in the series:
Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1)
White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)

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Where to Buy:
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Synopsis
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Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

Review:
This book starts on a heavy note – Nevada has to inform her family that not only is her grandma trying to either kill her or use her, her family’s only hope is to expose themselves and form their own House. But before Nevada can even contemplate how to begin to have that conversation, Rynda Charles walks back into Nevada’s life. Not only is she Rogan’s ex-fiancĂ©e, she is also the daughter of Olivia Charles. In case you don’t remember from book two, Olivia Charles is the woman who killed Cornelius’s wife and later ended up being eaten alive by a swarm of rats. 

Rynda is a prime empath and keeping your emotions from her is impossible. She is also a dangerous woman, especially to Nevada. Not only is she beautiful and rich, but she plays a convincible damsel in distress, looking for someone to save her. And it doesn’t take her long to begin looking in Rogan’s direction. 

The dynamic between Rogan, Nevada, and Rynda is the perfect storm of jealousy and fear. On the one hand, there’s the uncertainty that is in every new relationship. That voice in the back of your mind always doubting the others feelings or if this relationship will last. Then throw in an attractive ex who is constantly throwing herself at your man. Perfect storm. I love how Nevada is always trying to take the high rode, trying not to read into things and truly trying to have faith that her and Rogan will make it through this hump. Andrews nailed this dynamic perfectly and I absolutely love it. 

One of my favorite passage:

She (Rynda) fell silent, then glanced at Bug. “Could you get me some coffee?”
“No” Bug said.
She blinked
“I’m a surveillance specialist, not a waiter,” Bugsaid, his dictation perfect, his voice flat. “The coffee is on the kitchen counter over there. Help yourself.”
She opened her mouth and closed it.
“Nevada?” Bug said.
Don’t do it, don’t do it…
“Would you like some coffee?”
“No thanks.” Ass
“Because I’ll totally get it for you.” 

Honestly the entire scene is amazing. This scene is just one example of Nevada taking the high road.

 I’ve read a few books by Andrews and all the heroines within her books have a similar yet unique voice. They are all strong, feisty, determined individuals. But they aren’t perfect, they make mistakes. They are all human and that’s the key. Andrews characters are easily relatable. You can see parts of yourself, your insecurities, in each of her books. Looking at Nevada’s character, she is everything listed above but she’s vulnerable, especially when it comes to Rogan. She tries hiding it but there’s no denying that it’s there. And I think this is part of what makes Andrews books so addicting. That and she’s a very gifted writer.

Here’s another quote I love:
“Come to dinner with me tonight and I’ll consider it.” Yes! “No, I don’t negotiate with terrorists.” “If you don’t go to dinner with me, I’ll have to do something drastic like stand by your window with a boom box blasting some idiotically sappy song.”

One of the things Ilona Andrews does best is character development. She doesn’t just create a surface character. No, she creates a character with such depth that there is no doubt you will either love or hate them with everything you’ve got. One of my favorite side characters is Grandma Frida. She is so feisty and protective of her family. I can’t help but think that everyone needs at least one person like Grandma Friday in their lives. 

Victoria, Nevada’s paternal grandmother, is savage and cruel. She can easily break anyone’s mind and leave them in pieces. She is feared and known as a monster. But things aren’t as cut and dry with Victoria. And honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about her. Yes, she is scary but I think she did what she thought she had to do. Was it right, no. But I think there is another side of her that we will see in the next book. Or at least I hope so.. 

One of the complicated issues that came up in this book is the sacrifice one makes when choosing love over the possibility of genetic incapability. When marring for love, you run the high risk that your genetics will create a child with sub-par to no abilities. Having a child with sub-par magical ability is devastating to any House. But having a child who doesn’t manifest any magical ability can destroy any house’s future. Rogan continues to bring this concern up with Nevada, insisting she will care if their children are less than Primes. This is just one of the many ways Rogan continues to try and protect Nevada. It takes a strong man to say and the very thing that will (in his mind) inevitably make the person he loves walk away from him.  

“He (Rogan) viewed this as the beginning of our end, but he came anyway.”

I just love Rogan’s character! The end of the book is, as expected, action packed and marvelous! And I’m pretty sure I know who Caesar is. Ilona Andrews didn’t spell it out for you but if you’re paying attention, I think it’s easy to connect the dots. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ruin anything by giving away spoilers.  

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I can’t wait for the next one to come out!