Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1)

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When you see a book written by Ilona Andrews, you know a couple things. First, the writing will be fantastic and you will be drawn into the story within the first chapter. And second, the plot will be complex, fascinating, and unique. Clean Sweep is no exception. But one thing the author did that I have not seen before was add pictures throughout the book. There were only a couple but nonetheless it was kind of fun to see. 


Clean SweepAuthor: Ilona Andrews
Published: December 2, 2013
Pages: 235

Stars: 4.5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is…different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, “normal” is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night….Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

Review:
Dina is the owner of the local bread and breakfast. But when the dog killings begin to increase and the thing killing them begins to get bolder, Dina isn’t sure she is able to sit back and watch her neighbors get threatened. Sean is not what he seems. Although he is new to town, he takes no time in marking his territory. As a werewolf, Dina goes to him for help but getting his help isn’t as easy as she would hope. This puts Dina in a predicament – do nothing and keep her neutral stance within the world of creatures and monsters. Or get involved and lose part of her protection and possibly jeopardize her inn. 

Both Dina and Sean are far more complex than they seem. Dina’s powers match those of her inn. Her little dog Beast is amazing. But Dina is not a usual innkeeper. She is caring, loyal, and unbelievably strong. Yet, there are parts in the book that hint her skills and powers are highly underestimated, even by her. 

Sean is arrogant, dangerous, and highly attractive. Watching the interactions between him and Dina is not only entertaining, but also fun in the building of sexual tension kind of way. 

So much happens in this book, I honestly don’t know what else to say without giving too much away. I love the flow of this book. The author does a great job creating a unique world. The book ends with the possibility of a love triangle. Normally I hate this kind of thing. But I have a feeling it won’t be much of a love triangle for long. 

By the end of the book I had a huge smile on my face and could only think one thing – man, I love this book! I am really looking forward to the next installment in this series. 

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Throwback Thursday- Entranced (Guardian Academy #1)

throwback

This weeks book, Entranced, is one I read a long time ago. Published October 19, 2015, this book is full of sassy dialogue banter, humor, strong heroines, romance, and a bunch of fun paranormal characters.

Entranced

Synopsis:
Alana Avery’s life is far from normal. Most of her family are Keepers, warriors chosen to protect the human race, and for as long as she can remember, she has been training to become a Keeper herself. So when she’s chosen to be a Guardian, investigators who solve paranormal crimes and murders, her life changes in an instant.

Alana has to attend Guardian Academy to train for her new role as a Guardian investigator. There, she meets Luca Gray, her new partner who happens to be a werewolf. Luca is smart, cocky, sexy, and drives Alana absolutely crazy.

Despite Alana’s confliction with Luca, her training and new life seem to be going well. That is until her grandfather is murdered.

Alana is determined to track down who killed her grandfather, even if it means getting help from Luca. But as she digs deeper into the case, she discovers there might be more to her family and the academy than meets the eye.

Entranced1.jpg

What others thought:
Overall, people seem impressed with this book/series. Back when I read this book, I wasn’t writing reviews. But I was able to find a couple sentences about what I thought of the book- I’m not really sure what to say about this book. It was good and a fun read. But it was also short. Although a lot happened in the book, it kind of felt like not much actually happened. I enjoyed the sassy lead character. She’s feisty and strong, but also vulnerable. I’m looking forward to the second book, but I hope more happens.

I never ended up reading anything else in this series…

The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy, #2)

the perilous sea

 

Author: Sherry Thomas
Published: September 16, 2014
Pages: 414

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.

Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother’s prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.

Review:

The first chapter grabs the readers attention but I was not exactly sure what was going on. Like with most series, months or maybe even a year has past since I have read the previous book. And for me, when I saw this book was available, I felt excitement and wanted to read it right away. The description of the book reminded me who the characters were and the overall plot. But I couldn’t remember how the last book ended. And starting the book out with the main character having no memory who who they are, doesn’t help. Luckily the following chapters fill in the gap.

The chapters go back and forth between the Sahara desert- where Titus and Iolanthe (Fairfax) have lost their memory and aren’t sure why they are there, to the past – which describe the events leading up to the Sahara desert and memory loss. Reading the chapters of when Titus and Iolanthe don’t have their memories is fascinating. In a way, it is very similar to the first book- the emotions, the connection between them, and the slow development of respect, companionship, and more. But I will admit, I am drawn to the romance. Titus is so sweet and Iolanthe is perfect for him. This series really is turning into an addiction. The author did an amazing job with developing deep characters.

One of the hiccups in Titus and Iolanthe’s relationship is an important discovery. I wish I could expand on this but honestly I think it would be giving too much away. But I will say this discovery makes Iolanthe feel betrayed and I have to agree with her. This part of the book made me question- Did the first book not matter? Everything Iolanthe went through, all her sacrifice, everything she has overcome, does it not matter? In the first book Iolanthe killed the Bane in the crucible. That has to count for something… 

The ending of this book left me with goosebumps!! Talk about a cliffhanger. I can’t wait for the next book. The action in this book was intense, the plot fast paced, and the romantic jesters were beautiful. I must agree with the critics, this series is the next big one. 

This book reveals so much, I wish I could say more but I would be spoiling it if I did. But what I can say is how you read Titus’s mothers prophecies in the beginning of the book is not how you look at them, read them, or interpret them later on.

If you haven’t read the first book, you can find my review for it here. Otherwise, happy reading!  

The Sight (Devil’s Isle, #2)

Thie Sight

Author: Chloe Neill
Published: August 16, 2016
Pages: 330

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
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…

Review:
Walking into this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. A lot of time has pasted since I read the first book in this series. But the further I got into the story, the more I remembered. And I’ll be honest, the first handful of chapters were dull. But things pick up and before you know it, you can’t put the book down. So if you start reading this book and you contemplate putting it down, don’t. Push through because it’s well worth it.

The writing and the world Chloe Neil created, like always, is spectacular and really shines in this book. The details really allow you to imagine what is happening and the action scenes are spectacular. Between the details and action, I was completely captivated. And that doesn’t include the romance side of this book.

Liam is sexy as all get out. He has the looks, flippant tongue, and he’s a bounty hunter. It’s a safe bet to say he can handle most situations. Claire is a fiery red head who is strong, loyal, and loves deeply. But she is also a sensitive who developed magic as a result of being exposed to it. Supposedly she is supposed to turn into a wrath because the magic will start controlling her. But not everyone thinks that has to happen. Some believe you can control the magic and stay human. Unfortunately for her, Liam is on the fence about this. Which makes him off limits.

The sexual tension between them builds throughout the entire book until you guessed it, it collides into this intense moment. And of course things can only go down hill from there. The ending in this book is unbelievable. I honestly didn’t see it coming. As I was finishing the book, I was at the edge of my seat unable to believe what I was reading.

This book was about war and politics. It is about people who are mad, hurt, and blindly follow others. This book expresses so many emotions: pain, hope, hatred, love, and repulsion. It also shows a characters drive to do what is write, even if that means giving up what they cherish most.

This has probably been one of the hardest reviews I have written in a long time. I want to talk about so much, but doing so would spoil the book. So how about this, read the book because I promise you’ll love it. And then let’s connect because if you are anything like me, you’ll want to talk to someone after you’re done reading the book. This series is one to keep your eye on!

 

Outtakes From The Grave (Night Huntress, 7.5)

outtakes-from-the-graveAuthor: Jeaniene Frost
Published: December 22, 2015
Pages: 427

Stars: 4

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Synopsis:
Indulge your love of paranormal super couple Cat and Bones with this ultimate “director’s cut” collection of deleted scenes and alternate versions from the first four novels in the Night Huntress series, complete with author commentary on each selection. Includes: the original beginnings of Halfway to the GraveOne Foot in the GraveAt Grave’s End, and Destined for an Early Grave: a chapter written in Bones’s point of view; alternate versions of sections of Halfway to the GraveOne Foot in the Grave, and Destined for an Early Grave; the “white wedding” scene between Cat and Bones that never made it into the final books…and much more!

Review:
Like all of Jeaniene Frost’s books, the writing is spectacular. And of course, who hasn’t fallen in love with Bones and Cat. Reading part of their story  in this book made me want to re-read the Night Huntress Series. By the end of this book, the temptation to re-read the series was almost too much.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I found rating/reviewing this book to be terribly difficult.  This book has been on my to-read list for a while and when I finally had the opportunity to read it, I was excited. Yet sometimes I found myself in disagreement with what was written. With some of the chapters, I couldn’t just enjoy them. I kept thinking, “No, this isn’t how it’s supposed to go.” At times I was even thankful what Frost wrote was cut from the books. Especially the first chapter, I didn’t like who Cat was intended to originally be.

In many ways, it was kind of weird reading the chapters that were cut. On one hand, it was really fascinating to see where Frost was originally headed. And some of the chapters were amazing. Oh gosh, they were sensual, juicy, and some of them I just LOVED! I really miss the flirtatious banter in this series. But on the other hand, it was just odd because what was written didn’t always match who Bones and Cat became. Don’t get me wrong, again there were some really good scenes that were fun to read. I guess the easiest way to say it, each chapter was either hit or miss with me. I loved it or I didn’t.

For the most part, I enjoyed the chapters. I am glad Jeaniene never didn’t write a book from Bones perspective. One of the reasons I love this book is the mystery behind Bone’s character. Some of the chapters I would have loved to have incorporated back into the series, but I also understand why they were cut. Before each chapter is started, the author writes a note the reader providing context and the reasoning behind the scene getting cut. Without this, I would have been completely lost. This really was an enjoyable, sometime giddy worthy, book.

Overall, I am glad I read the book. And I will have to make time to re-read the series because I now I am reminded how much I love and miss it. I think if you enjoyed the series, this book would be a fun, light, and fast read. I don’t think it is a necessary read and I would read the original books before reading this one. I’m doubtful I would buy this book because it’s not something I would want read again. But it was entertaining and a fun read.

Once Broken Faith (October Daye, #10)

once-broken-faithAuthor: Seanan McGuire
Published: September 6, 2016
Pages: 420

Stars: 1 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Politics have never been October “Toby” Daye’s strong suit. When she traveled to the Kingdom of Silences to prevent them from going to war with her home, the Kingdom of the Mists, she wasn’t expecting to return with a cure for elf-shot and a whole new set of political headaches. Now the events she unwittingly set in motion could change the balance of modern Faerie forever, and she has been ordered to appear before a historic convocation of monarchs, hosted by Queen Windermere in the Mists and overseen by the High King and Queen themselves.

Naturally, things have barely gotten underway when the first dead body shows up. As the only changeling in attendance, Toby is already the target of suspicion and hostility. Now she needs to find a killer before they can strike again—and with the doors locked to keep the guilty from escaping, no one is safe. As danger draws ever closer to her allies and the people she loves best, Toby will have to race against time to prevent the total political destabilization of the West Coast and to get the convocation back on track…and if she fails, the cure for elf-shot may be buried forever, along with the victims she was too slow to save.

Because there are worse fates than sleeping for a hundred years.

Review:
Disappointed is the first thing that comes to mind. I really enjoyed this series but I think this book will be the one that stops me from reading more. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the characters or the world Seanan created. Her creativity truly shines and what she describes/creates is usually consistent and detailed. But this book just fell short in a lot of areas.

The plot was captivating but it wasn’t new. Like the previous books in this series, the plot followed the same predictable sequence. Although it was an interesting plot, it wasn’t anything to get excited about. From what I read, there was no character development, no progress in the overall “problem” in this series, and nothing really gained. I’ll be honest, I ended up putting the book down before I finished it.

The repetition in this book drove me absolutely crazy!! After reading the same thing over and over, I felt like the author was adding filler nonsense. One character would be introduced with a paragraph or two of information. Then a chapter or two later, I would be reading that same information again. This happened so often that It became difficult to focus on the plot.

This book is the first time I noticed the inconsistencies in Toby’s character. Her inner monologue would say one thing but her behavior or words would say something else. This book was just a huge disappointment.

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)

magic-bindsAuthor: Ilona Andrews
Published: September 20, 2016
Pages: 328

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

Review:
I feel like I should let you know this review is a little bias. I absolutely love this series and this book does not disappoint. It has been a while since I’ve read book eight in this series and I always worry about being lost when too much time has pasted. If that is the same case for you, don’t worry because Ilona does a wonderful job providing you with any information you need.

If you have not started reading this series yet, then it’s a must! This series is perfect for those who love paranormal books with a light romantic twist. For those of you who have read this series, does anyone else find themselves going back and forth between hating Roland and desperately wishing he would change for Kate? I know, it doesn’t make any sense because he probably won’t. Roland is the type that kills without thought and is aggravating as all get out. Not to mention the kind of threat he turns into in this book. Maybe I’m a sap for happy endings and I want one for Kate. I’m just not sure it’s going to happen.

The plot flows effortlessly and getting lost into this book was too easy. Before I knew it, I had read this book in less than two days and didn’t take a single note. I was captivated by the plot, invested in the characters, and wondered what would happen next. By the end of the book, I felt like I should have a hangover from the binge reading I did. Instead I walked away wanting to read the book again to see if I missed anything and wondering if it is too early to pre-order book ten… In case you’re wondering, it’s to early.

This book makes huge gains. Without giving any spoilers away, one characters in particular has a significant transformation that I didn’t see coming. One of the developments with Kate was predictable but I think that was because Ilona made it that way on purpose.

Honestly, I am still digesting the book. But what I can tell you is this is one of those books/series you don’t ever want to end. Again, give the series a chance. You won’t regret it! If you want to know more about the series, I wrote a Throwback Thursday-Kate Daniels Series. Happy Reading!!