Burn Bright (Alpha & Omega, #5) by Patricia Briggs – Book Review

“You cannot look at a person, and say, ‘If I could change this or that, if I could pick what I want and discard other things, I could love this one.’ Such a love is pale and weak—and doomed to failure.”

I really enjoyed this book!! It is very different with some unexpected discoveries.


Published: March 6, 2018

Pages: 308

Stars: 5 out of 5

Synopsis:
Now mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham face a threat like no other–one that lurks too close to home…

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok’s pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf–but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills–his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker–to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn…

From Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs book 5 Alpha and Omega series | Patricia  briggs, Book quotes, Book characters

Review:
The book opens with a prologue that although was beautiful to read, I struggled to understand the meaning behind it. But I should have known Patricia Briggs wouldn’t have put something in the story unless it had a purpose. So fear not, it doesn’t take long before the prologue clicks and begins to make sense.

This series, as always, is so enlightening when it comes to the inner workings of Bran. I always though of Bran and Mercy’s relationship as one similar to a father daughter. But I am shocked that as far as Bran is concerned, there are deeper feelings involved.

“I do,” she said. “I even understand it, much as it pains me to say so. Bran is funny about Mercy. If you were that funny about Mercy, I would feel the same way Leah does—no matter how likable I might find her.

. . .

He threw up his hands. “Okay. Yes. I saw it, of course I did. As did Leah. But my da would never have moved on Mercy. Say what you will about him—but his wolf has accepted Leah as his mate, and he will not cheat on her. And Mercy has never seen him as anything except a father figure and her Alpha. That’s what she needed, and that’s what he gave her. I don’t think Mercy has ever recognized that it could be more than that.”

Wow, I am so torn by this. On one hand I would love a spinoff series with Bran at the center, especially those early years when Mercy was still living in Aspen Creek. I think I would love a spinoff for Bran in general. On the other hand, where did these feelings come from?!?! Thinking back to the Mercy Thompson series, there is a possibility that Bran always felt this way and I just assumed it was coming from a place of fatherly love. But then that complicates things, especially where Samuel is concerned and that family dynamic just got really weird! I am going to have to think on this…

Charles is a bit reckless in the beginning of this book and it puts him and Anna in a really tough spot. Thankfully, that isn’t a consistent theme throughout the book. Charles and Anna continue to grow closer and as their relationship continues to develop, they seem to become stronger together.

Wellesley’s story is so sad. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure Anna could help him and I really wanted her to be able to help him. Wellesley’s story is so complex and a good lesson why you don’t assume what others are going through because you will probably be wrong. Wellesley is known as the schizophrenic, mad wolf, which makes him the perfect wildling. And as you know, no one listens or believes the mutterings of a mad man…

In this book, Charles and Anna are fighting against time to figure out who the traitor is amongst them. I must say, when the truth comes out, everything leading up to this moment makes more sense. Bran’s ‘vacation’, secret pact knowledge somehow leaking out and given to enemies.. But the truth is much more complicated and it is never exactly how it seems.

Leah’s character was at the forefront of this book. Although I really don’t like her, there are aspects about her that I respect and empathize with. Her and Bran’s relationship is heartwrenching. To be tied so closely to someone you know doesn’t love you,  that would be painful. Painful watching the love Bran has and so freely gives out to those select few and know that will never be directed at you. I can see resentment can build.

This book went by far too fast! I really wanted the book to last longer and I even tried doing just that. But nonetheless, I finished the book in under two days. As I turned the final page, all I could feel was satisfaction and content. This book is so well written and the plot is both exciting and mysterious. I love the heartache and twists Patricia Briggs adds into her stories. 

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Otherwise – Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega, #4) by Patricia Briggs – Book Review

ARC Review: Dead Heat (Alpha and Omega #4) by Patricia Briggs
Source

I really love this art! I came across it on a random search and I think it is so well done! I love the detail, the innocence and strength you can find in the eyes.


Published: March 3, 2015

Pages: 324

Stars: 5 out of 5

Synopsis:
For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal–or at least it starts out that way…

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega #4) | Quotations, Sorrow, Patricia briggs

Review:
Dead Heat begins with an odd prologue around a Fae Lord. Although it doesn’t give much away, I imagine it is a precursor to what is to come. The book continues with Anna’s birthday that is quickly approaching, as well as some serious and possibly unwelcomed talk around having kids. But then what you read from the prologue circles back around, and it’s disturbing. Even more disturbing is when you realize what the Fae’s favorite prey is.

100 Best Horror Novels And Stories : NPR

This is the first book in the series I get a creepy vibe from. The attacks on Chelsea and the past cases involving children, that’s a powerful image – not necessarily one that I like. This book surrounds children and that can be one of the hardest things to read about. Especially when those children don’t always get their happy ever after ending.

The Doll Collector, oh boy.. Creepy is the first adjective I would use to describe him. I would also use scary as hell and any parents worst nightmare. His dark abilities are unforgiving. Before I jumped into this series, I read the Mercy Thompson books and all I can think of is Mercy’s relationship with Zee and how normal and comfortable that felt. After reading this book I am realizing that relationship was the exception and not the norm.

Dead Heat has one heck of an epic battle!! As the book progressed, I kept waiting for the Doll Collector to come. The anticipation was intense and was made even more so after the failure to stop the him. I knew the solution they found was too easy. The battle that came next had me turning the pages faster than ever.

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I couldn’t believe what I was reading and I needed to know what would happen next! But what happened next was with Joseph, oh Joseph. We all knew he was going to die in the book. That shouldn’t come as any surprise. But still, his death hit hard and it seemed impossible to not get emotional.

Leslie is back in this book and I’m glad. I liked her character from Fair Game and I like the continued connection she brings. She is a little standoffish in this book, not as friendly, but I still liked her fierce personality.

Maggie’s character was probably my least favorite. Everyone was either weaker than her – who she pitied – or they were competition in which she was unkind to. Although she was fiercely protective, she was quick to judge and often judged others incorrectly. Maggie also was the kind of person who wanted what she didn’t and in some cases, couldn’t have. Maggie and Charles relationship is exceptionally close. Close to the point where one person in the relationship holds the other on a pedestal and is blinded by their less than ideal characteristics. It’s a complicated and complex relationship for Anna to navigate. Without any doubt, Anna manages their relationship, manages Maggie with both fierceness and grace.

Patricia Briggs-Dead Heat

Jacob was another interesting character. He knew the dynamic between his wife, Maggie, and his best friend, Charles. He knew how Maggie felt about Charles but he loved her nonetheless. The book covered a lot of Charles and Jacob’s backstory.

Once again, Charles character continued to grow and develop more in this book. The end of the book reveals the biggest development, which I didn’t see coming. I am really looking forward to how that will play out. I do really love how strong Anna has turned out to be. I love how she doesn’t need Charles to fight her fights for her and yet she is not afraid to ask for help from him when she needs it. I envy and love how she fights with logic as opposed to fighting with her emotions.

There was one scene in which Anna showed a darker side to herself and her self talk mirrored  the more negative aspects we first saw in Charles within the first couple books in this series. Briggs didn’t dwell on this but I am sure we will see this side of Anna again. Especially if her and Charles relationship continues to develop like it is.

The end of the book had a better closing, wrapping up loose ends and not feeling like everything was rushed. I loved the horses in the book and their grace and beauty. After finishing the book, I have a slight incline to want to go horse back riding. I think that’s a testament to Briggs writing and her ability to guide her readers, sucking them into feeling the emotions she wants you too.

Overall, this is an emotional book. Whenever kids are involved and especially if you have kids of your own, emotions can run high. Bran didn’t show up too much in this book, which was fine.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Otherwise – Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, #2) by Patricia Briggs – Book Review

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs : Book Review

I feel like I’ve been in a rut lately. I have enjoyed the books I have been reading, including this one, but I just haven’t felt like writing a review about them. Again, the books are good. I just don’t find that I have much to say about them. With that said, I almost read this book in one day. It was absolutely wonderful!


Published: August 25, 2009

Pages: 286

Stars: 5 out of 5

Synopsis:
Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son — and enforcer — of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be either…

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything…


Review:
Charles is such an interesting character. His communication, if you can call it that, with the spirits is demanding. The message he gets from them is unclear and completely frustrating. At least it would be for me. The spirits don’t explicitly say what will happen, more of a bad omen. And that brings us to the start of this book.

Bran is as diplomatic as ever. Regardless of his mind being made up and his intention to out the werewolves to the public, he feels it’s best to have a meeting with all the alpha’s. That’s grand except Charles is warned by the spirts and gets one of his bad feeling around Bran’s trip to Seattle. Lucky for him, Bran agrees not to go just as long as Charles goes in his place.

This meeting definitely tests Anna and Charles relationship and forces they to learn how to lean on each other. I do feel for Charles and appreciate Anna even more. You really get to see just how much Charles has to shut himself off from everyone in his life in order to do his job, in order to be Bran’s enforcer. I had no idea he disconnected so much from the outside world. How lonely that must feel. Every interaction he has, they are all tainted by fear – fear of Charles, fear he might have to do something to someone he cares about. To have no true friend and be feared by everyone, how lonely and sad. Then there’s Anna who sees what Charles is going through and not only understands why he shuts himself off from everyone, but mourns his loss – his loss of friends of something that could have been but can never be.

Anna’s character transformed from being wounded into a fierce and strong woman. I love her transformation and how she is accepting what she feels for Charles. I should have known Briggs never would have let her stay weak and broken. Not that she was ever weak in the beginning, more she needed a lot of healing.

This book is written with multiple perspectives which adds so much depth to all the minor characters. But with that said, there are so many characters introduced. In the beginning I was starting to wonder if I would confuse all the characters, mixing them up. But thankfully that wasn’t the case. Again, I shouldn’t have been worried. All of Patricia Briggs books are well done and the characters are so well defined that it’s easy to remember them all.

I know this isn’t my best review. I honestly don’t know what else to say beyond it’s such a good book!

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Otherwise – Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson #12) by Patricia Briggs – Book Review

The Making of Smoke Bitten — The Art of Dan dos Santos

If chaos was an entity, what would it be like to stumble upon them? Would you run screaming for the hills because I’m guessing I would. Hey, no judgement! That is not something I want to ever meet. Patricia Briggs never disappoints.


Published: March 17, 2020

Pages: 352

Stars: 5 out of 5

Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, faces a threat unlike any other in this thrilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

I am Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman.
My only “superpowers” are that I turn into a thirty-five pound coyote and fix Volkswagens. But I have friends in odd places and a pack of werewolves at my back. It looks like I’m going to need them.

Centuries ago, the fae dwelt in Underhill–until she locked her doors against them. They left behind their great castles and troves of magical artifacts. They abandoned their prisoners and their pets. Without the fae to mind them, those creatures who remained behind roamed freely through Underhill wreaking havoc. Only the deadliest survived.

Now one of those prisoners has escaped. It can look like anyone, any creature it chooses. But if it bites you, it controls you. It lives for chaos and destruction. It can make you do anything–even kill the person you love the most. Now it is here, in the Tri-Cities. In my territory.

It won’t, can’t, remain.

Not if I have anything to say about it.

Smoke, or Snake's Head by Krawat93 on DeviantArt

Review:
I love Zee and Tad. They are the definition of true friends. They don’t judge Mercy on what she wears, how she looks, nothing superficial. They love her for her heart and character. The friendly banter between the three of them is amazing to read and so fun. But we can’t all be like Zee and Tad. And Christy is as far from them as one could get.

Christy, Christy, Christy. Oh how I hate her so much. Every time Mercy and Adam seem to struggle, it is no surprise Christy is somehow involved.  It’s irritating how some of the Pact still support Christy over Mercy. It honestly boggles the mind. Christy attacks Mercy any chance she gets and she hurts Adam and Jessie all the time. It’s abuse!

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How can someone who made Adam hate himself be held higher than the woman who loves and supports him unconditionally?? Even after everything Adam and Mercy have been through, Adam still won’t go to her first but instead believes gossip and second – no fourth – hand information. But don’t worry, Christy isn’t actually in this story. Although the damage she caused Adam, all the emotional abuse she did to him, yeah that’s in this story. It’s awful how the people we love, how they see us turn into how we see ourselves. We all knew how Christy saw Adam, how afraid she was and how he scared her.. I won’t say anymore beyond there are lasting effects when people close to you continually push you down and manipulate you through hurtful words. Words have such power, choose wisely the ones you use.

Pixilart - Words Hurt by CeCe062812

If you were like me and thought everything with the Hardesty witches and Elizaveta was resolved, well relatively resolved, you would be wrong. Let’s say it looks like there are some lingering… situations that still need to be addressed. And if you haven’t connected the dots already, this is underlining currant that’s raking havoc to Adam and Mercy’s relationship.

Since we are on the subject of Adam, how he treated Mercy was hurtful and absolutely awful! The further you get in the book you realize he was being his overprotective alpha self – which by the way still isn’t okay. Throughout the book I went from being irate at Adam, to wanting to be mad but couldn’t, and back to being mad. I guess knowing what is happening to Adam, I can understand part of why he is shutting Mercy out but it still doesn’t make sense to me. By Adam shutting Mercy out, he is preventing her from helping him and also helping the pack when they are in trouble. Let’s not forget the tremendous amount of rejection Mercy constantly feels all thanks to Adam avoiding her and closing her out. Yes, Adam is hurting and not thinking clearly. Does making Mercy hurt help? No, you ignoramus! It’s shocking how difficult things get between Adam and Mercy. At one point I thought thing between them couldn’t get any worse, and then they did. Like Mercy says, I shouldn’t test the fates like that 🙂

does it get worse gifs | WiffleGif

I won’t lie when I say I was both glad and curious to find Wulfe was once again going to be a forefront character in this book. Wulfe can be a scary, borderline sociopath and we also know he is a vampire, wizard, and witch..

Not mere luck. I am stalking Mercy. Of course I was around, because that’s what stalkers do, or so I’ve read. It’s my new hobby. – Wulfe

Reading this I couldn’t help but giggle. Finally, maybe I will get to see what Wulfe is all about and his interests in Mercy. But in the end, I didn’t get my answers and he only became a lot scarier.

I have always liked Ben’s character. His British accent and his constant expressive language, what’s not to love. Sure he is brass at times but has a huge heart and cares deeply. I find it interesting that when tragedy strikes Ben, I find myself completely wrapped up in the story and hoping Briggs doesn’t kill him off. But when the same tragedy strikes Stefan, I am more indifferent. It’s not that I don’t like Stefan’s character. Maybe it’s more that his character doesn’t create that emotional pull from me.

Final thoughts – This is the kind of book that gives you goosebumps after reading the last sentence. Closing this book, I am reminded yet again of the immaculate work Patricia Briggs does. She is such a gifted writer. There are those writers who push out 4 books a year and they all follow the same predictable script. Briggs thankfully is not one of those writers. Smoke Bitten is far from predictable and the plot is complex. There was so much going on and it all worked beautifully together. I don’t know many authors who can write like this. I love the world building and the depth of all of the characters. There is so much emotion pulled into this book. Typically books this far in a series lose their connection with the audience. That connection that first drew the reader the series tends to grow flat when you get to book 12 in the series. This is not one of those series. I absolutely love it just as much, maybe more as I did when first starting off with the series. 

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Otherwise – Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Wicked Hour (Heirs of Chicagoland #2) by Chloe Neill – Book Review

PDF] Wicked Hour By Chloe Neill Free Download.. | BaracBook | VK

We all have those few Authors who never disappoint and for me, Chloe Neill is one of those Authors!! I love her imagery, story telling, and the depth of her characters. While this book is not as intense as Wild Hunger, it was easy enough to slip into the book and get lost between the wonderful pages.


Published: December 3, 2019

Pages: 341

Stars: 5 out of 5

Synopsis:
Vampires were made, not born—until Elisa Sullivan came along. As the only vampire child in existence, she grew up with a heavy legacy, and tried to flee her past. Then circumstances drew her back to Chicago, and she stayed to keep it safe. With shifter Connor Keene, the only son of Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, at her side, she faced down a supernatural evil that threatened to destroy Chicago forever.

After the dust from the attack has settled, Elisa is surprised when Connor invites her to a usually private Pack event in the north woods of Minnesota, and by the warm welcome she receives from some of Connor’s family, even though she’s a vampire. But the peace doesn’t last. The shifters tell tales of a monster in the woods, and when the celebration is marred by death, Elisa and Connor find themselves in the middle of a struggle for control that forces Elisa to face her true self—fangs and all.

Review:
This is one of those books I find myself trying to write a review but realizing I took very little notes. Funny how a good book can capture so much of your attention.

The majority of this book takes place in Minnesota and if you have ever been there, you have heard about “Minnesota Nice”. I think it’s hilarious to find it quoted in this book and applied so perfectly.

Minnesota Nice | ReverbNation

I am not a cat person but I absolutely love Eleanor of Aquitaine!! She is spicy with so much attitude. Not to mention how Elisa and Lulu treat her –

“We went cautiously inside, closed and relocked the door, then peeked around the corner – a vampire and the daughter of two sorcerers checking the battlefield for their frenemy.”

Salem Cat Gif GIFs | Tenor

On a quick side note, I really love LuLu’s character. She is one of those people that everyone should have in their lives. She is someone who will push us when we know we should but struggle to take that first step. I can’t wait to see if something develops between her and Alexei. It does seem like something is there but not sure exactly what..

The book begins as Connor asks Elisa to accompany him to something no vampire has ever been allowed to be apart of. Why wouldn’t Elisa want to go? The interesting thing is Elisa tries to convince herself she is going strictly as a professional and not because the guy she is seeing asked her to come be apart of something that’s special to him and his family.

My heart pounded, as it if understood something the rest of me hadn’t yet. “What kind of prince do you want to be?” He looked up at me, blue eyes shinning as if they were lit from within. “The kind that’s good enough for you.”

Although Elisa is in a relationship, a controversial one might I add, with Connor, she is a bit dense and really needs Connor to spell things out for her. I will say, there are some situations that come up in this book that would make me question Connor’s commitment/interest. But regardless, I am a sucker for romance and I love that Connor is confident enough to say these things.

It probably doesn’t help that not many are happy about the Connor and Elisa’s relationship. They’ll have to overcome hundreds of years of bias, fear and judgement. That’s what makes Connor’s invitation that much more controversial. Pack rules specifically outline who can and cannot attend ceremonies, let alone be together. I’ll give you a hint, vampires are not part of that list. I do love how confident Connor is and how he takes a stand for what he wants. It’s no surprise that he wants both Elisa and the Pact. It’s interesting how the Pact responds to him.

I wondered if that reaction bothered Connor. Not the pause, but the implicit acknowledgement that he was different. Pact, but different.

In this case, Chloe Neill isn’t referring to the same kind of difference that Elisa is hiding. This particular scene shows how isolating it can be when you are looked at as the potential next leader. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to enter a room – a room full of friends, family, those closest – and instead of smacks on the back and handshakes, Connor is met with silence once everyone realizes who walked in. In Wild Hunger, you get to see the transformation of Connor going from playboy to someone to take serious, someone who has their own path they will walk. In Wicked Hour, you see the path Connor walks is separate, isolated from the rest of his Pact. Although this path is made harder by having Elisa by his side, it doesn’t seem as lonely.

We all know Elisa isn’t a typical vampire. First off, she was born and not bitten. Second, as she likes to refer to it, she has a monster dwelling inside her. Another thing that separates her from other vampires is her dislike for politics and engaging in verbal warfare.

I understood battle, and I understood politics. But I liked on of those a lot more than the other. I wasn’t looking forward to this war of words. words were often pointless, and politics just an irritating ego game. Give me a sword any day.”

I really loved this quite because I also am not one for politics. But I think it is safe to say politics is an essential part of vampires. And for Elisa to rather fight with a sword than battle with words, I can’t help but see how that is more of a shifter mentality than that of a vampires.

Elisa faced a lot of challenges throughout this book and because of those, she has had to make some difficult choices. There is one particular challenge that struck a cord with Elisa’s moral compass. Which led her down the path she never imagined being on; led her to do the unthinkable.

Blog types crying zac efron GIF - Find on GIFER

I don’t believe in giving away the entire book while writing a review. So I apologize ahead of time if this is cryptic. But I am worried if I say too much more, that I will be giving away a big part of what happens in this book. I will say Chloe Neill did an amazing job describing the inner turmoil Elisa was dealing with. But this is one of those situations where if you read the Chicagoland Vampires Series, you have a better understanding exactly how difficult this situation was.

“Do you want me to tell you that you did the right thing?” (said Ethan, Elisa’s Dad)
So much, I thought. So much it made my chest ache. “Yes.”
“You did the right thing, ” he said, his answer coming quickly. “But that doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences. And those can be the hardest consequences to bear – the ones we face because we’ve done the right thing, the hard thing.”

The passage that follows this quote briefly describes why Elisa is twisted inside over what happened while also giving a quick overview of what you might have missed in the Chicagoland Vampires series. I liked that Chloe Neill added this but it really doesn’t give it justice.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I love the relationship between Connor and Elisa. I love the mystery and action. I am looking forward to the next book in this series!!!

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Otherwise – Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Wild Hunger (Heirs to Chicagoland #1) by Chloe Neill – Book Review & Top Quotes

Wild Hunger (Heirs of Chicagoland, #1) | Bound to Be Me

Okay, so this is the third time reading this book. F.Y.I. still loving it.. life has thrown a lot at me lately and I ended up walking away from books. Part of walking away was due to the needing to focus on life and trying to get back to a calmer state. But I would be lying if I didn’t say that another part, maybe even a bigger one, was due to losing the enjoyment I once felt when I read. Today is the first day I could even pick up a book and that reading even sounded interesting. But getting back to the book at hand.


Published: August 14, 2018

Pages: 352

Stars: 5 out of 5

Synopsis:
As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she’s a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he’s prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of a diplomat brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.


To find my original review, click here 🙂

There has just been too much time (just over a year) that has passed between reading this book and the second. I felt I was due for a reconnect and refresher before digging into Wicked Hour. So since this is my third round with this book and I already have a review down, I thought I would highlight some of my favorite passages. This post does contain spoilers so please refer to my spoiler-free book review (link just above) if you are considering reading this book. If you’ve already read the book, by all means continue on..


As she bit her lip, Elisa looked up at Connor and saw the flush of embarrassment on his cheeks. She didn’t like being teased – or not that much, anyway – but she really didn’t like that look on his face. She stepped forward, putting her small body between Connor and his father. “It was my fault,” she said.

This passage came out of the Prologue and it’s the first insight into who Elisa is, what she stands for, with a little clue of her weakness for Connor. Elisa is the type that will never stand bye while someone else takes the blame. Even if she only played a little part in what happened, she will always do the right thing. Always stand even when it is the hardest thing to do. It’s one of the things I admire about her character.


“There are some decisions that we make, and some that are made for us. Sometimes you accept the path that’s offered to you, and you live that path – that life – with grace. And sometimes you push forward, and you chart your own path. That decision is yours. It’s always been yours.”

“Doesn’t matter if the road is hard,” Connor finally said. “The road is the road.”

The first quote comes from the famous Ethan, Elisa’s Father, and was in the very beginning of the book. There are always two paths you can take, even when it only looks like there is one. The primary focus of this quote is Elisa and deciding what path she will walk, who she will be now that she is all grown up. But underneath all of this, something that is not as obvious – is the struggle Connor faces throughout this book. He has been given a path that if played by the rules, he will get everything he has always wanted. The second quote is found at the very end, the Epilogue, when Connor decides his path is not the one handed to him but one most will not approve.


“It’s not an advantage to be numb to terrible things. It means we can’t feel. When we can feel, and we do it anyway, we show our bravery. And terrible times are when we need to act most of all. That’s when we do the most good.”

This quote comes from Merit, Sentinel and Elisa’s Mother. Although I think this quote stands on it’s own, I feel I need to still say it. What is happening in the world today is awful and we have to fight to continue to feel. Because without feeling, there is no action and that is what we need most right now – action! This quote leads into the what I feel is a prominent theme throughout this book – Prejudiced, racism, and privilege.

“‘Killer’ is in the shifter’s name, for god’s sake” (quote from Dearborn)
“It’s a family name, Gabriel said.. “There’s history behind it that has nothing to do with this.”

“That was the other penalty of the deal made with the mayor, the other promise exacted from Cadogan House… (all the vampire houses) They were, basically, allowed to exist. Ironic, considering the House had been in the city longer than any of its humans had been alive.”

“But it’s their city, too, and they’re entitled to the same rights as humans. Including being considered innocent until proven guilty.” (Elisa)
“That’s surprisingly naive for a vampire.”
“It’s not naive,” I said. “It’s the ideal. If we don’t live up to it, we’ve failed.

“You put your life on the line because the fairy would have killed her. And instead of thanking you, she insulted you. She’s the monster. Not you.”

When I first read this book, I thought this theme was more of an underlining idea, not one that is throughout the book. Oh, how I was ever wrong! This book is hits home to the struggles many face today. I love how Chloe Neill went here.

In the book – Whether it’s certain vampires who regard shape shifters as less, shape shifters who regard vamipires as the nothing more than dirt, humans who hold themselves as more superior than all other race – the theme of injustice is strong throughout this book. When one community, one race holds privilege and disregards the life of another race as unimportant, it’s wrong.


“We could end up dead.” (Elisa said)
“That’s true for you every time the sun rises. The only thing that matters is what you do in the dark.” (Connor)

“You are braver than me,” (Elisa mimics the excuse Seri used when her and her house abandoned Elisa in town)
“Is it wrong if I say there’s something bitchy about that? Like she’s using it as an excuse. ‘Oh, you’re just braver than me.” (Lulu said)

I love these two quotes because it highlights the difference of a true friend. A friend will not pity you or make you feel bad because your convictions are strong. No, a true friend will always build you up and help you stand stronger when times are tough.


“I don’t mind rescuing you the first time,” he (Connor) said. … “But you don’t really need rescuing, Lis. You just need a good partner.”

“I didn’t expect… I didn’t expect you, Lis.” … His eyes were dark, stormy, and unfathomable. And he didn’t say a word.

“I thought you were leaving,” I said (Elisa)
“I was. And then Theo called, said you’d been taken to the castle…”
“I guess I owe you for the second rescue.” … “What – What is this?”
“I don’t have the foggiest idea, brat.” He looked down at his linked fingers. “Confusing?”
“Yeah,” I said
“But also maybe…” He trailed off,a nd then he turned to me again, and then his hand was on my cheek, pulling me closer, and his mouth was on mine, hard and hot and possessive.”

Of course I had to pull some of my favorite moments between Connor and Elisa. There is this entire scene on page 300 -301 that makes me giddy every time I read it. This is the moment Connor and Elisa figure it out, figure out what they have between each other. I gave a small snippet in the last quote above but I promise it doesn’t do the passage justice. I am a sucker for a good romance but what really gets me is when both characters are strong, independent, and they each respect each other because of that. Elisa is not some damsel in distress and Connor’s confidence doesn’t come off as an asshole who doesn’t care. There is strength is being able to show vulnerability and emotions. These are strong characters with depth to them.


“We all carry expectations,” Seri said quietly, her eyes suddenly clouded. “Sometimes our own, sometimes others’. Both can be heavy.”

“My smart and kind and beautiful girl.” He (Ethan) liked to say that, had been saying it for years, and had always put “beautiful” last. Whether it was true or not, he’d tell me it was the least important of the three. “You are smart,” he’d say. “You should be kind. And if you are, you’ll always be beautiful.”

These are just quotes that I feel stand on their own. Almost food for thought..


Well, that’s it for this book. I feel like I could go on and on about how much I love this book but I promise I will save you from all of that.

If you’ve read this book, I would love to hear from you! What are some of your favorite quotes/moments from the book?

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Otherwise – Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, #1) – Book Review

This is one of a couple books a store clerk talked me into buying. Unlike the others, this one was actually a pleasant surprise 🙂 For me, this book was a page turner – didn’t want to put down and stayed up way too late kind of book. I love a good series that you don’t want to put down.


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Author: Devon Monk
Published: November 4, 2008
Pages: 355

Stars: 4.5 out of 5

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Where to Buy:
Amazon

 

Synopsis:
Allie would rather moonlight as a Hound than accept the family fortune – and the strings that come with it. All magic use has costs — hers include migraines and memory loss. She finds a boy dying from a magic Offload with her father’s signature, then her father is murdered. Allie’s search for the truth calls on her country friend and the handsome man originally assigned as her bodyguard. Someone is forging magic signatures — and hers is on her dead father.

Review:
The book opens with a very much down on her luck Allie and the death of a young boy. For Allie, being twenty-five, broke, and in debt does not make for a comfortable life. Add a crazy and powerful – very powerful – father into the mix, and Alli’s life isn’t great.

All Ailli’s ever known and associated her father with is hate. I can’t imagine having such strong and negative feelings for someone whose supposed to love and care for you. That makes me so sad and I mourn the missed relationship that could have been.

Allie’s character is strong and by far imperfect. In fact, she makes a LOT of really stupid decisions based on some impractical logic of hers. But she has a big, loving heart… that can also get her into trouble. Allie is a hound with an impressive ability to trace a spell back to the person who sent it. The downside is every time she or anyone uses magic, it comes at a cost. For every spell cast, there is an Offload of equal measure. Small magics might result in a migraine; large-scale magics might mean death for the caster. As you can imagine, Allie uses a lot of magic in this book and is constantly battling the Offload.

Allie’s character is complicated and honestly has a continual string of bad luck. She is accused of murder, discovers magic isn’t black and white but can do many improbable things, gets betrayed (A LOT) and is constantly fighting for her life. Her life is tough, she has been through a significant amount of trauma, and at times she can come off a little jaded. To say the decisions she makes doesn’t always makes sense, is an understatement but one that makes sense considering the amount of trauma she has been through.

Okay, I will be the first to say I hate the instant attraction kind of story plots. But there is something about the writing and the way the author describes the passionate kiss between Allie and Zayvion, that makes me want more. To be honest, I think their connection is part of why I like this book so much. Zayvion’s character is strong, sexy, and so very complicated. It’s almost like Allie and Zayvion are both broken and work so well together because of it.

The book is written in third person, passed tense, which for some reason makes this book stand out from the rest of the books I’ve recently been reading. I will say the author added twists within the plot I didn’t see coming and that’s refreshing. One of the things that stands out from the plot is Magic and the mystery behind it all. I find it all very fascinating and my curiosity is peaked.

This book really caught me by surprise. I am interested in this series and wondering where the author will take it. I loved the connection between Allie and Zayvion. I still don’t think we’ve gotten the full picture of who Zayvion is, but I am looking forward to finding it out. This might become one of my new favorite series. Time will tell 🙂

My Year – 2018 – in Books

Happy New Year and welcome to 2019!! I am happy to report this year has been better than the last. But it has been far from easy. Discovering and adjusting to my new norm after the accident has been difficult but a consistent theme in my life. Luckily, one thing that has remained a constant is my love for books! This year I read 26 books and around 8,135 pages.

Although I wish I would have read more, I am satisfied with what I did accomplish.


Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews
Img rulerIced by Karen Marie Moning
The shortest book I read in 2018 was Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews at 42 pages in length. The longest book I read was Iced by Karen Morning at 520 pages in length.
The average pages I read per book amounted to be 312

The book I read that has had the most popularity in 2018 is Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella with 354,850 other people reading this book. Unfortunately, I only gave this book 1 star. Probably would not recommend it..
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

The book I read that has the least popularity is Good Girls Don’t Date Rock Stars by Codi Cary with 1,313 other reviewers. I gave this book 4 stars and thought it was a good read.  Let me know if you thought the same 🙂
Good Girls Don't Date Rock Stars by Codi Gary

The average rating in book reviews was 3.2 out of 5…. I am glad it wasn’t 2 🙂 I think I am in need of some book recommendations. Any suggestions? 


A book I HIGHLY recommend and has the highest rating on GoodReads is Wildfire by Ilona Andrews. The average rating is 4.56 and I absolutely love this series!!
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Here’s a look at the books I have read this year! Click on the titles to jump to my review 🙂
1    Angel's Blood    Phantom Kiss    Blade Bound  Iced  Forever Black  Silent Blade  Good girls don't date rock stars  1  Priceless  1p
billionaire next door  1  1  1  1  1  1  1    1  2  1     11            1    11
silence_fallen_layout.indd

 


I am looking forward to 2019 and the many books I will hopefully read. Let me know what you think of this years books. Until next time, Happy Reading!!

Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10)

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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!!!


silence_fallen_layout.indd
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)

Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

 

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

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:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble


Synopsis
:
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-fiancée, 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!