Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson #11) by Patricia Briggs – Book Review

Angelo mio — Storm Cursed sketch covers by Dan Dos Santos

This is what happens when you take a hiatus from reading – you forget everything. Or maybe that also has to do with the concussion I sustained after the car accident.. I can’t remember where the last book started or ended. So here I am, reading the book for a second time. I do think it speaks volumes on Patricia Briggs’s writing ability, her ability to continue to captivate and continue to pull in her audience. I mean, book 11 people!! I am sure we have all read those series that just get sad. Some you can’t finish, some you make yourself finish because of the time and emotions you have put into the book but then regret finishing it. Let me tell you, this is not one of those series.


Published: May 7, 2019

Pages: 384

Stars: 4 out of 5

Synopsis:
My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.

And a coyote shapeshifter.

And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.

Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn’t stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.

The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.

But we are pack, and we have given our word.

We will die to keep it

Mercy Thompson World Series Guide - Under the Covers Book Blog

Review:
As you remember in Silence Fallen, Mercy was captured and it was very much the ordeal getting her back. Fast forward to this book and now Mercy is training with a cutlass. Not only that, but she is having to carry it around wherever she goes… A cutlass…

Engravable French Naval Cutlass

I guess carrying this around with her helps everyone stay calm about her ability to protect herself.. A cutlass… This seems a bit out there and out of character for Mercy. Maybe it’s a connection to the pirate game that they mention half a dozen times in this book.. I am a bit over the game and hearing about it. But also understand it’s their ‘thing’.

I both love and hate Mary Jo. If she would just let up on Adam needing someone like his ex, someone delicate and human, I would really like her. First and foremost Adam’s ex, Christy, is the worst! She is cold, self centered, and manipulative to the bone.. Maybe it’s the manipulation piece that explains why Mary Jo can’t let go of Christy. Regardless, Adam wasn’t happy with Christy and he need more, someone like Mercy. Someone who isn’t afraid of him, makes him feel awful for being who/what he is, and someone who truly loves him. It does bother me how the Pact still hasn’t fully accepted her. Why is this still going on? I find it odd how Mercy is fierce in some situations but let’s others (ahem, the Pact) walk over her in other situations.

This book has so much going on, it’s hard to know where to start. You discover more of Sherwood’s background and see just how powerful he is. Old and new allies step forward to take down a greater threat than they have seen in the past.

Have you ever wondered why Mercy finds herself getting caught between one awful situation after another? Yes, part of it is her father, coyote, but still she can never catch a break.

“I decided then and there, without consulting my husband, that we did consider Mesa a part of our territory. If I continued this trend, I was going to make us responsible for half the state. “

I know Mercy cares about others and wants to protect everyone, but when will the line be drawn? She keeps taking on more which then makes her – and the Pact – responsible for more, and sooner or later she is gong to bite off more than she can handle. This is the one point I slightly agree with the Pact on.

Regardless of Mercy’s big heart, there is a bigger reason why she can’t seem to catch a break and this book clarifies that missing link. Storm Cursed has taken every battle, every confrontation, everything that has been brewing in the previous books in this series and connected it all together. Now instead of each book having an isolated battle, you discover the enemy behind them all and just how powerful of an enemy that is. It’s absolutely brilliant!!

Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson, #11) by Patricia Briggs

I am so torn when it comes to Wolfe. Anyone else feel this way? He is such a scary psychopath. But there is a side to him that interests me. The more I read about him, the more mixed emotions I have for him. We discover more about Wolfe’s magic and it’s not what I expected it to be. Maybe that’s because he’s also a vampire which in a way is magic itself? Even though he is frightening and unpredictable, I found myself smiling and even laughing a little at some of the scenes.  I also found great sadness in the kind of person he was and who he is now. He is such a complex character and it will be interesting to see what Patricia Briggs does with him. I really hope Mercy doesn’t have to end up killing him.

And then there’s Elizaveta. Wow, I don’t even know where to begin with her. I can’t say I liked her as a character but after reading this book I can now say with 100% certainty that I really don’t like her. So many secrets she kept hidden.. Then there was the kiss and what followed next had me glued to each word! I could not believe what I was reading. Wow, just wow. I wish I could say more but I don’t want to give away too much 🙂

It did feel like some of the same information was over shared in this book. Yes, we get Mercy isn’t happy about the bond to Stephen. We know the in’s and out’s of how magic affects her differently. I guess it felt like there was some filler information that wasn’t needed. Overall I enjoyed this book. As always, Patricia Briggs doesn’t disappoint. Her writing is captivating and I love the depth she puts in each of her characters. I always get sucked in reading her books and for good reason. This book did feel like it was headed for a bit of a slump. But the ending pulled it together. I am looking forward to the next installment.

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 in the Blood (Allie Beckstrom, #2) by Devon Monk – Book Review

1

I couldn’t stop thinking about book one, Magic to the Bone, and decided to jump into the next book in the series. This book was a fun one to read and packed full of emotions. With close to 7,000 ratings and over 300 reviews, Magic in the Blood is holding solid at 4 stars. If you haven’t already, check out my review of book one. This just might be the series for you 🙂


1

Author: Devon Monk
Published: May 5th, 2009
Pages: 368

Stars: 4 out of 5

Add to GoodReads

Other books in the series:
Magic in the Bones (Allie Beckstrom, #1)

Where to buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

 

Synopsis:
In the second book in Devon Monk’s Allie Beckstrom series, when the police’s magical enforcement division asks Allie to consult on a missing persons case, she finds herself drawn into an underworld of criminals, ghosts, and blood magic.

Working as a Hound—tracing illegal spells back to their casters—has taken its toll on Allison Beckstrom. But even though magic has given her migraines and stolen her recent memory, Allie isn’t about to quit. Then the police’s magic enforcement division asks her to consult on a missing persons case. But what seems to be a straightforward job turns out to be anything but, as Allie finds herself drawn into the underworld of criminals, ghosts, and blood magic.

Review:
I feel for Allie! Losing important memories and walking around fearful of losing more would be terrible. I am also saddened by the loss of what could have been and what was between her and Zayvion. Ugh, starting over would suck, especially when you can’t remember anything but the other person can. But in all honesty, it was kind of fun watching Allie fall in love with Zayvion again. I am a sap for a good romance.

I really do like Zayvion’s character. But he is just as mysterious as ever. I was really hoping the author would give us more information about him. Don’t get me wrong, there is something sexy and fun about a mysterious guy. But by book two, there should be some known aspects about him. I mean, he doesn’t have to be an open book but he shouldn’t be a complete mystery either. And what is with the constant flip-flopping of moods?!?! One moment, he’s acting all cute and is determined to date Allie.. then the next moment, he’s dangerous, cold, and holds too many secrets. I feel like this is getting old and it why the book lost one star.

Allie is really outside her element and in way over her head in this book. She has all this Magic but constantly struggles to control it. She has this huge gap in her memory, conflicting feels for Zayvion, and so many people are after her. She just can’t catch a break! And not to mention her ‘Daddy’ issues continue to haunt her. Even in death Allie can’t seem to catch a break from her Dad.

Allie isn’t one to have a lot of friends. Add in her trust issues and you can see how this might complicate things in the friends department.  Which makes it all the more worse when one of the few people she has in her life that she calls a friend is hounded and found to be using blood Magic. But of course not everything is as it seems…

And in case you were wondering, this book has some good twists that keep the pages flying by. Wouldn’t expect anything less from Devon Monk 🙂

I really like this series. Allie is strong, stubborn, and has a beautiful heart. If only she valued her life more. The risks she takes are too high and are always life threatening. Does that make her brave or stupid.. I don’t know.

And the ending, holly hell, the ending is awesome. I promise not to give anything away, but let me say it’s not so much a cliff hanger but your reaction to it is all the same. I don’t think I’ll be able to pick up book three fast enough.

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.


1

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

Stars: 4.5 out of 5

Add to GoodReads

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)

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!!!


silence_fallen_layout.indd
Author: Patricia Briggs
Published: March 7, 2017
Pages: 371

Stars: 5 out of 5

Add to GoodReads

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)

1

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!


2
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)

Add to GoodReads

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!

White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)

1

As you can imagine, after reading book one in the Hidden Legacy series, I couldn’t help but pick up the next book in the series. And I was not disappointed!! This series is quickly becoming one of my new favorites 🙂


1
Author: Ilona Andrews
Published: May 30, 2017
Pages: 389

Stars: 4 out of 5

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

Add to GoodReads

Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

Synopsis:
Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …


Review:
Nevada has one rule that no matter what, she has to follow- At the end of the day, you have to be able to live with yourself, your choices. So when Cornelius comes asking for help in finding his wife’s murderer, Nevada couldn’t say no. Soon she finds herself once again working with Connor (aka Mad Rogan) and discovering a surprising new ally, Augustine. I enjoyed Augustine’s character more in this book, especially the bickering between him and Rogan. Although he still had his moments of greed, I no longer hate him. 

Nevada’s character continues to grown throughout the book. She’s still the strong independent woman we all fell in love with, but now she’s taking taking responsibility over mastering her powers. But does she go too far? When using her power, what’s the line between becoming a monster and getting the information she needs? 

Ilone shows us the side of Rogan we only saw small glimpses of last time. He’s still the dangerous dragon, but like Nevada said, we get to see his more human side. In the first book, we saw Connor’s form of courting Nevada. It doesn’t take long to realize Conner is done with the passive romantic gestures and ready to take control. Except his need of control is a far cry from normal.

As the sexual tension between Rogan and Nevada builds, the quick stolen moments between them are intense, hot,and leaves you starving for more. Just as Nevada is allowing herself to be open to love, the monstrous side of Rogan shows itself. Is this side of him enough to destroy everything between them?

This is one of those books I wish I could talk about every detail. But giving away that many secrets would ruin the book for you. My leaving thought is that this book was a delight to read! The epilogue definitely leaves you wanting more! I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1)

1

First off, Ilona Andrews is a very gifted writer and once again she has written a magnificent book! If this is the first you have heard of this author, then you have a lot of catching up to do.  This is actually the second time reading this book. After the first time reading this book, I looked down at my notes and realized I didn’t have any.


1
Author: Ilona Andrews
Published: October 28, 2014
Pages: 400

Stars: 5 out of 5

Add to GoodReads

Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

 
Synopsis:
Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.


Review:
Rogan, aka Mad Rogan, is exceptionally powerful. His power is dangerous because in one moment he can make if feel as though he’s slowly caressing your skin, bringing you seconds away from one of the best orgasms you have ever felt. And then the next moment you are dead; all the while Rogan hasn’t moved a muscle. Talk about bad boy attraction. 

As Andrews was describing Connor, I was melting over every detail. The combination of sexy and danger is mouthwatering delicious! I loved Connors character! And his entrance in the book, not talking about the prologue, was fantastic. 

Nevada is a private investigator who has been working for the family business since she was a teenager. She also has the unique power to tell when someone is lying but shh, it’s a secret. I loved Nevada’s character!! She is strong, devoted to her family, and so completely lost. She has no idea how amazing she is or just how absent her life has been. One of the things I loved about Navada was even though she would be scared out of her mind, her hands/voice would be trembling, she would still stand strong. Definitely something to admire.  

Augustine is a prime (highest ranking) illusionist and owns the mortgage to Nevada’s family business. For the first time in five years he has an assignment for Nevada, apprehend Adam Pierce. Who is he? Adam Pierce is another bad boy type full of brooding sexuality. He is also a prime pyrokinetic, which makes him just as dangerous as Connor. Adam in many ways resembles both a sociopath and a spoiled brat who never matured past his moody teen years. Either way, he is the hot crazy type that you might admire from afar but get close and it’ll be the last thing you do.  

Nevada and Connors relationship is complicated. In the beginning, Nevada struggles between fighting her attraction and butting heads with Connor. That is until Adam makes a move that is unforgivable in Nevada’s eyes and she is pushed into partnering with Connor. Although Connor is the sexiest thing Nevada has ever seen, she realizes he is also the most dangerous and scariest person she knows. Throughout the book, she is fighting her attraction with every realization of what Conner is capable of.

I love the scene of Nevada and Connor stuck under the building. The twist and turns in this book keep these two in a perpetual state of a love-hate relationship. And when Connor has breakfast with Nevada and her family, I was chuckling and couldn’t get enough. It was the perfect combination of normal and bizarre. And I can’t even begin to describe the carnation scene. Let’s leave it as Conner is both complex and surprising. 

This is one of those books you don’t want to put down. Although the world building wasn’t as detailed as you normally get from Ilona Andrews, the plot is beyond captivating. This book has the right amount of action, flirtatious banter, and a realistic slightly flawed heroine. Perfect combination! 

1