Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Release Day Review: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

 

Vision in Silver
(The Others #3)
Anne Bishop
Release: March 3, 2015
Links: Goodreads Amazon
Summary: The Others freed the  cassandra sangue  to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…
  
Review: We love this series so much we couldn't agree on who got to review it, so we both did. We broke it down by topics so it was easier to follow. We've tried to avoid spoilers for this book, but did assume you've read the earlier books in the series. (If you haven't started yet check out our Read This F@!%ing Book post on The Others.)

Overall impressions:
Gretl: When Written in Red came out, I read a lot of reviews that commented on how inhuman The Others were. I’ve always maintained that they’re better people than most of the humans in the story. With Vision in Silver, that point is really driven home when we see how both groups treat children.

Rose Red: Vision in Silver brings us back to the wonderful and frightening world of Thaisia. Now that the rest of the cassandra sangue are free, Meg and Simon are facing new challenges while attempting to hold off the repercussions stemming from the Humans First and Last movement. This book really drove home the fact that plenty of humans are more monstrous than the terra indigene.

Explain your rating:
G: I gave it 5 stars. I feel like there’s not as much action in Vision in Silver as in the previous books in the series. Instead it has espionage and political intrigue which I found fascinating. This book kept me up all night. I couldn't put it down!

RR: I gave this book 5 stars too! Like Gretl, I found the political intrigue in this book fascinating! We’re starting to see how events in the Lakeside Courtyard and the repercussions of freeing the cassandra sangue are affecting the world of the Others on a global level. As much as I love Meg, this book gave us a chance to get to know more about the other members of the Courtyard and the police that interact with them. I especially loved that we got to learn more about Simon in this book. I didn’t think I could love him more but I do.

Thoughts on the world-building:
G: Events in the Courtyard are starting have global implications. Simon and his people have landed on a lot of people’s radars with the way they have integrated humans into the Courtyard and by leading the charge to rescue the blood prophets. A war is brewing and even though the aggressors are across an ocean, the people of Thasia, the continent here Lakeside is located, may be the first casualties.

I appreciate having a map in this book because the naming conventions don't make sense to me and I keep forgetting the new names of the countries. I swear Bishop does it just to confuse me. Seriously, why isn't Thasia on the continent of Asia? It didn't really distract me while I was reading, but at the end I used the map to fill in the holes in my understanding.

RR: Anne Bishop’s The Others is utterly brilliant when it comes to worldbuilding. There’s no two ways about it. The first two books spent a significant amount of time introducing us to the terra indigene in the Lakeside Courtyard and developing their interactions with Meg and the humans around them. We now have an emotional attachment to Lakeside that makes us worry about it now that events have expanded globally and have been forced to acknowledge there are scarier things than Tess. Everything works together perfectly from the fascinating characters to the tiniest details in the plot. So many things happen at once, but nothing is random and nothing is without significance for our favorite inhabitants of the Courtyard.

Thoughts on the creatures:
G: I've always thought of The Others, especially Simon and the shifters, sort of like Castiel in Supernatural or Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy. They look and act human most of the time, but they don't quite get all the subtleties. But in this book I found out there are real monsters in this world. We learn how The Others who live in the wild areas enforce the contracts that allow humans to use their land and resources. Even though their punishments are extreme, I’m left thinking that The Others are arguably more moral, since their rules and the consequences for breaking them are clear and immutable. And just as Montgomery and the members of the Courtyard’s human pack show that not all humans are corrupt, The Others in the wilds show that not all of their kind are benevolent.

RR: The Others are what I adore about this series. Bishop never lets us forget that the terra indigene are not even remotely human. Some of them have learned to live in human skin but find it extremely uncomfortable and tend to avoid it if at all possible. Take Simon. He thinks like a wolf and acts like a wolf. And even though he interacts with humans almost everyday, his understanding of them is only a very basic one. The scary thing is Simon is not scary at all when compared to the Elementals and their ponies. What’s even scarier is that this book points out there are creatures scarier than they are. This series is basically about the clash of two cultures that have a history of horrible violence to each other. I love how far the Lakeside Courtyard and their allies have come in trying to find a way to live together peacefully. I’m interested to see what other terra indigene we’ll get introduced to as the series progresses.

Favorite characters:
G: I really enjoyed getting to know some more of the Others that live outside of the Courtyard, as well as the girls they rescued in the last book. There are some really charming moments with Simon’s friend Jackson and the blood prophet that he has “adopted” trying to figure everything out.

Also Nathan Wolfgard who finds Montgomery’s daughter on the train and becomes her advocate.

RR: Meg is a very interesting character and I love her to death, but I’m not ashamed to admit that Simon is my favorite. He has the instincts of an animal and the ingenuity of the most successful businessman, but he often fails to understand the human way of things. He tries, though, and I love him for it. Even though it’s mostly because understanding humans means understanding and helping his Meg. Unfortunately, the process is slow and often results in hilarious interactions between the two of them. Slowly but surely Meg and Simon are finding their way to each other. They are, for all intents and purposes, in a relationship, even if they don’t seem to realize it. They practically live together and mostly act like an old married couple, but the way they show their affection is somewhat different from what we’ve come to expect.

Other than Meg and Simon, I absolutely adore Jake Crowgard and his obsession with pens.

What are you most looking forward to in the next book?
G: This book raises some interesting questions about what it means to be human. Simon wonders if he’ll have to become more human in order to be with Meg, but just like him I haven’t really decided what that means yet. I’m really looking forward to watching him figure it out in the rest of the series.

RR: I agree with Gretl and I look forward to everything she mentioned. I’m deeply invested in what’s going to happen to the cassandra sangue after the events of this last book. I’ll admit that I’m more than a little worried about them even though they’re in good hands now. Also, I can’t help but wonder what other disasters the Humans First and Last Movement is going to bring down on the Lakeside Courtyard. I just need to know what happens with everything! Why is book 4 so far away?



Recommended for fans of: exceptional supernatural worldbuilding and original, quirky characters

ARC provided by the publisher

    
 stars

and





Monday, March 2, 2015

Early Review: Of Silk and Steam by Bec McMaster




Of Silk and Steam
(London Steampunk #5)
Bec McMaster
Release: March 3, 2015
Goodreads Amazon
Summary: When her beloved father was assassinated, Lady Aramina swore revenge. The man responsible is well beyond her grasp, but his dangerously seductive heir, Leo Barrons, is fair game. When Mina obtains evidence proving that Leo is illegitimate, she has the means to destroy both the killer and his son, a man who troubles her heart and tempts her body.

A woman of mystery, Mina's long driven Leo crazy with glimpses of a fiery passion that lurks beneath her icy veneer. He knows she's hiding something, and he's determined to unravel her layer by silken layer. He just doesn't expect the beautiful liar to be the key to overthrowing the corrupt prince consort… or to saving his own carefully walled-off heart.  
Gretl's Review: I remember entering a contest on Bec McMaster's website more than a year ago where she asked which characters should get their own book. I had only read the first two books in the series at the time, but I answered "Barrons." Two books later, I was still eager to learn more about Leo Barrons after seeing him in small doses throughout the series. He's played at least a small role in the each couple's lives. It turns out I wasn't really surprised by anything in his backstory, but it was interesting to see his relationship with his father for the first time. In fact, the Duke of Cain turned out to be the one who was full of surprises!

Mina was more of a mystery (to both me and Barrons.) Their story begins eight years in the past when he watches her defeat her cousin in a duel for control of the duchy and becomes fascinated with her. Their relationship really begins with an adventure that starts with passing a secret message and ends with the two of them hiding under a bridge from assassins and then escaping in a stolen airship. What starts as an uneasy alliance quickly escalates to a steamy affair.

I loved all the espionage that made up much of the first half of the book. I think I enjoy the political intrigue in this series even more than the romance. I was so excited at the end of Forged by Desire when a conspiracy to overthrow the Prince Consort began in Blade's living room. Six months later, the group is forced to enact their plans early, but they get help from an unexpected source.

I also love the Steampunk gadgets! This book really showcases the wonderful devices in this world. From the Trojan horses and Spitfires the Echelon uses to the Cyclops being built in secret by the Humanists, and now finally revealed, I thoroughly enjoyed all the fanciful tech.

McMaster definitely saved the best for last in the London Steampunk series. Of Silk and Steam is emotional and intense. It's packed with action of more than one kind. It also answers a lot of questions with the first behind the scenes look at the Queen and the Council of Dukes. And it brings back all the couples from the previous books. Fans of Blade will be especially happy with this one!

I absolutely loved this book! I've already read it twice. And it was just as un-put-downable the second time. I'm really looking forward to seeing what's next in this world. I hear there's a spin off series in the works.

Rose Red's Two Cents: THIS BOOK, GUYS! THIS BOOK! 5 OUT OF 5 STARS! It was mind-blowing and has instantly become a new favorite of mine. Like Gretl, I've wanted to know more about Leo Barrons since the first couple of books and I'm so happy that he got a book of his own. I've always liked him but I was honestly surprised at how much I ended up loving him in this book. I also wasn't overly surprised about his backstory but finally knowing the whole story made me look at him a bit differently. 

I've been fascinated by Lady Aramina's character since the beginning because she's the only female member of the Echelon council. Unlike with Leo, we know hardly anything about Mina before this book and I am so incredibly pleased with her and her story. It was everything I didn't know I wanted it to be. And Holy Chemistry, Batman! The chemistry between Mina and Leo was intense and extraordinary. I love the evolution of their relationship from enemies to reluctant allies to lovers as they uncover a terrible plot that will impact the entire Echelon. It's not an easy transition for either of them and they must decide if they can truly trust one another to work together. Bec McMaster deserves a slow clap for how emotionally intense each of her books are and this one was the best yet. This book has scenes that pull together emotions, heat, and passion to create reading perfection. Bravo, Ms. McMaster. Bravo!

I love that Leo is so upfront about wanting more from Mina than just a truce and mutual aid. After learning just how long he has desired and admired her, it made all of his interactions with her in previous books make so much more sense. His attentions and games were a way to express his feelings while protecting his heart while knocking the cool and controlled Mina off balance. He treats Mina with genuine kindness and it was painful to how clearly she was not used to it. It makes her to question all that she thought was true about her longtime rival. I adored how he never loses faith that he will win her over and the grace he upholds when his heart is broken from betrayal on so many sides. Barron wants Mina so badly, and not just for her body. He has admired the whole package: looks, wit, brains, brawn. Mina is a partner that is truly equal to him and he understands that and wants it. I loved that and at the same time it broke my heart that it took so long for Mina to understand his true intentions.

Of Silk and Steam was a fantastic installment in the London Steampunk series and was everything that I wanted it to be and more. The main series plot arc comes to a conclusion in this book with several fantastic plot twists, and we get to see glimpses of all the couples from the previous. With its power romance and intense action, I could not put it down and devoured it in one sitting. This book is wonderful, and as part of the larger series, an excellent conclusion. It brought together all the bits and pieces from the previous books together in such an amazing way that I enjoyed watching everything play out to the very end. And hopefully, this book is not the last we see of this world and characters. I have my fingers crossed that we'll get more books because there are several characters I want to know more about.

Recommended for fans of: Going out with a bang (in more ways than one)

ARC provided by the publisher

    
 stars

Our reviews of other books in this series:
Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk #1)
Heart of Iron (London Steampunk #2)
Forged by Desire (London Steampunk #4)





March Releases: Buy, Borrow or Beg?


Buy, Borrow or Beg is our monthly new release feature. Each of the co-bloggers is going to tell you which books they're most excited about and whether you should buy - the ones we preordered or plan to stand in line for, borrow - the ones we'll be stalking at the library, or beg - the ones we've gotten for free as review copies or prizes that you'll be begging us to tell you about. Let us know what you're looking eagerly awaiting this month in the comments.


Buy:

Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11) by Chloe Neill
Release: March 3 Goodreads Amazon
An all-time fave series! And it's nearing the end. *sob* Can't wait to find out about that mysterious note.

Dead Heat (Alpha and Omega #4) by Patricia Briggs
Release: March 3 Goodreads Amazon
I personally think that Brigg's Alpha and Omega series is even better than Mercy Thompson. It's been three years since the release of Fair Game, so I'm eager to see what's next for Charles and Anna.

Infinity Bell (House Immortal #2) by Devon Monk
Release: March 3 Goodreads Amazon
House Immortal was one of my faves last year. It's such an unusual world - I called it Firefly meets The Hunger Games - and I loved the characters. We left Matilda and her friends running for their lives so I can't wait to see what happens next.

Pocket Apocalypse (Incryptid #4) by Seanan McGuire
Release: March 3 Goodreads Amazon
Seanan McGuire is one of my autobuy authors. Even though I didn't love the last Incryptid book, I'm excited to see what happens when Alex Price goes to Australia.

Prudence (The Custard Protocol #1) by Gail Carriger
Release: March 17 Goodreads Amazon
One of my Most Anticipated of 2015. The Custard Protocol is the sequel to the Parasol Protectorate starring Alexia's daughter who, I recall, had some unusual powers. Prudence takes her new airship to India where she stumbles on to a mystery and some familiar (furry) faces.

Bayou Blues (Genie McQueen #1) by Sierra Dean
Release: March 20 Goodreads Amazon
Secret McQueen's little sister is getting her own series. This spin off is set in Louisiana. Genie's a werewolf with magic powers battling a cult with a hunky helper.

Borrow:

The Buried Life by Carrie Patel
Release: March 3 Goodreads Amazon
This is my sleeper pick for the month. It's out the same day as a lot of high profile releases. It's a dystopian murder mystery that sounds a little Steampunk-y to me. Look for my review later this month.

Beg:

Of Silk and Steam (London Steampunk #5) by Bec McMaster
Release: March 3 Goodreads Amazon
McMaster saved the best for last. This final installment in the London Steampunk series blew me away. It's got lots of action and political intrigue and a steamy enemies-to-lovers story. Check out our review.

Vision in Silver (The Others #3) by Anne Bishop
Release: March 3 Goodreads Amazon
I love the Others series! This book was absolutely un-put-downable. It's full of politics and intrigue and quirky characters. Watch for our review tomorrow.




Buy:

Prudence (The Custard Protocol #1) by Gail Carriger
Release: March 17 Goodreads Amazon
I absolutely adored Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series so I'm so excited for this sequel series! I can only imagine the trouble Prudence is going to stir up! I need this book in my hands ASAP!

Fall With Me (Wait For You #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release: March 31 Goodreads Amazon
I love this new adult series so much! I can't wait to read Roxy's story! She's delightfully quirky and I adored her in Stay With Me! Also, I want to know what's going on between her and the cop! I'm sure the romance is going to be full of drama but cute at the same time!

Borrow:

The Diamond Conspiracy (Ministry of Peculiar Occurences #4) by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
Release: March 31 Goodreads Amazon
I absolutely adore the Ministry of Peculiar Occurences series! It's like steampunk crack and I must devour it! I'm sad to say that I'm a book behind on this series but I can't wait to catch up. This cover is so intriguing! I want to know what's happening with the zombie guy with the gas mask!
 
Night Blaze (Dark Kings #5) by Donna Grant
Release: March 31 Goodreads Amazon
I'm so behind on Donna Grant's Dark Kings series, but I still want to get my hands on this book! I'm planning a week where I can marathon the last few books I need to read so I can be caught up again.

Beg:

Dead Heat (Alpha and Omega #4) by Patricia Briggs
Release: March 3 Goodreads Amazon 
I just barely read Briggs' Alpha and Omega series for the first time and I'm so in love with it! Dead Heat is an amazing installment in this series and it made me love Anna and Charles even more! I have a full review coming later this week so keep an eye out for it!

Of Silk and Steam (London Steampunk #5) by Bec McMaster
Release: March 3 Goodreads Amazon
This is the last book in the London Steampunk series. I'm sad that it's almost over. I'll have this book finished by the time this post goes live but I'm super excited to finally read Leo's story! My thoughts about it will be up soon!

Vision in Silver (The Others #3) by Anne Bishop
Release: March 3 Goodreads Amazon
I LOVED this book so much! I can't wait for everyone else to read it. The world of the Others is getting darn right scary. This is another solid installment in one of my new favorite series. Gretl and I have a dual review coming tomorrow so watch for that!




Sunday, March 1, 2015

Audio Review: The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

The Ruby Circle
(Bloodlines #6)
Author: Richelle Mead
Narrators: Emily Shaffer and Alden Ford
Release: February 10, 2015
Goodreads   Amazon
Audible
The epic conclusion to Richelle Mead's New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series is finally here...
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world.
Review:

The final Bloodlines novel! And, by default, the end of the Vampire Academy era. It makes me sad, but this was a terrific end that wrapped up Adrian and Sydney's story in an unexpected way and also gave Vampire Academy fans a glimpse into how other beloved characters from both stories end up! There's always a possibility that Richelle Mead will dip back into the Vampire Academy world at some point, but as of right now this is the end my friends.

Its always extremely difficult to write a review for the last in a series because I just want to discuss ALL THE THINGS but I can't because that would spoiler you all! So I will keep this review fairly short.

At the end of the previous Bloodlines book fans, Silver Shadows, Adrian and Sydney surprised readers by getting married. Knowing what we all know about the world of the Moroi, readers probably expected that this book, The Ruby Circle, would have to deal with the fallout of that choice. And it did. The Ruby Circle did focus a lot of energy on how everyone around Adrian and Sydney felt about and dealt with their relationship, including the couple themselves, but there was so much more going on that this quickly became a secondary focus.

The main plot of this one is the search for a kidnapped Jill. When we found out who one of the perpetrators was I was a little surprised because it seemed like a strange twist and an odd character to bring back, but I suppose it did make the whole thing more personal so I can understand Mead's decision to choose this particular person as this book's "bad guy". This plot was interesting and held most of the danger and excitant of the book.

A second plot line involved Adrian's connection to fellow spirit user Nina and her missing sister Olive. This plot line was more interesting to me because it ended up becoming more important than the hunt for Jill at several points throughout the story. And this plot line made several unexpected twists and turns that led to an ending to this series was was unexpected, but I think readers will REALLY enjoy!

To me, The Ruby Circle was a near-perfect ending to the Bloodlines series. We even get to see how things turn out for all our favorite characters from the series, including Dmitri and Rose, who are in this one more than other books in this series. I would be extremely pleased to hear that Mead was writing another spinoff in this world, especially since with the way this one ended I think she left herself a decent opening for just such a spinoff. However, if this really is the true end for all of these characters then I'm happy with the way things ended and I very much enjoyed the ride!

Notes On the Narrator: As always, I immensely enjoyed the audio for this book. I think Emily IS Sydney. She manages to balances Sydney's sweetness, toughness, and wry intelligence in her delivery of all of Sydney's lines. Alden Ford is also a fantastic Adrian. I like hearing Emily Shaffer's version of Adrian's voice when the chapter is from her POV vs Alden's actual voice for Adrian when the chapter is Adrian's POV. They make a great pair of narrators together and I highly recommend checking out this series on audio. When I switched over to listening to these releases on audio I never went back.

Recommended for fans of: Vampire Academy series, Adrian, smart girl heroines.



    1/2

Friday, February 27, 2015

Goldilox's Greatest Hits: Volume 2


Goldlox's Greatest Hits is our new monthly wrap up feature. We'll recap our most popular posts of the month and show you some you might have missed, as well as what's coming up next on Goldilox and the Three Weres.



Greatest Hits

 Our Most Popular Posts

Coastal Magic Con Wrap Up and Giveaway Check out Goldilox's photos from the Con and enter to win one of three great prize packs. (Giveaway ends Sunday.)

Chloe Neill's Dark Debt Blog Tour and Giveaway. We're celebrating next week's release of the 11th Chicagoland Vampires novel with awesome giveaways including a Cadogan tote and tons of swag.

Alpha and Omega Wednesdays was an unofficial event this month. Check out Rose Red's reviews of Patricia Briggs' Cry Wolf, Hunting Ground and Fair Game. And watch for her review of the latest release, Dead Heat, coming soon.

ICYMI

Our Favorite Posts

Read This F-ing Book Reboot: Jennifer The Book Nympho tells us why she still loves Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock series.

Read This F-ing Book 32: The Legacy Chronicles by Theresa Meyers. I just discovered this fun Wild West Steampunk trilogy.

Review: The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr. I loved this book! A Steampunk CSI, characters from Victorian literature and a magical Fae underworld.

Here's What Else We've Been Up To

While Goldilox was partying it up at Coastal Magic Con, Rose Red was busy meeting one of her own favorite authors. 

I've been a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson and his books since I first read Elantris about ten years ago. The moment I finished that book, I knew that he was going to be one of my favorite authors. Finishing his next book, The Final Empire, just reaffirmed that even more. I've literally spent the last ten years trying to meet him and missing his signings by a day or two each time I've moved. I can now say that I've finally met him! He is as awesome in person as you would expect from his online persona. He's one of those rare authors who will stay late to a signing and sign every book you bring even if you have twenty. I'm so glad I finally got to meet him! I look forward to reading his books for many years to come. If you haven't read a Sanderson book yet, I'd highly recommend picking his Mistborn trilogy up! They are full of action and have some of the best world building I've ever read in a book. Not to mention, it has the cutest romance.

Coming Soon

A lot of great books are coming out in March, so we've some great reviews coming your way. Next week's line up includes books by Bec McMaster, Anne Bishop, Patricia Briggs and more.

We're celebrating Sierra Dean's new Genie McQueen series with a guest post and giveaway later in March.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Blog Tour: Dark Debt by Chloe Neill and Giveaway

 
We're huge fans of Chicagoland Vampires, so we're really excited to part of the blog tour for Dark Debt. The eleventh installment in the series releases on March 3. Watch for Goldilox's review coming soon.



Summary: A vampire never gets old. But neither do his enemies. When a figure from Ethan's dark past makes a splashy debut in Chicago, Merit and her Master don't know whether he's friend or foe. But they'll have to figure out soon, because trouble is brewing in the Windy City.
 
At an exclusive society soiree attended by the upper echelons of the human and supernatural worlds, Merit and Ethan barely stop the assassination of a guest. When the target turns out to be a shady businessman with a criminal edge, Merit suspects a human vendetta. But the assassins have fangs....
 
The connections to Chicago's Houses go deeper than Merit knows, and even one wrong move could be her last....  
Add Dark Debt on Goodreads 
 
Pre-order Dark Debt: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Powells | Books-A-Million | Audible | Kobo | Indiebound

 

We've got a great prize pack to giveaway to celebrate the Dark Debt release. Here's what you can win. (You must be at least 13 years old and have a U.S. mailing address.)
  • Cadogan House cotton tote bag
  • Cadogan House keychain
  • An autographed international copy of Wild Things
  • Swag including Chicagoland Vampires bookmarks, pen and Cadogan House lanyard


 
The fun doesn’t stop here. Want more chances to win? You can also enter the Dark Debt Grand Prize Giveaway, which runs February 23 through March 6 on Chloe’s web site.
 
What is the Grand Prize Giveaway prize?
  • An engraved Cadogan House medal necklace
  • A Kindle Paperwhite
  • Cadogan House cotton tote bag
  • Cadogan House keychain
  • Chicagoland Vampires bookmarks, pens, and lanyard

And check out the giveaways at the rest of the stops on the tour!

Dark Debt Blog Tour Schedule

Week One
Wednesday, February 25 – Once Upon a Twilight | Krista’s Dust Jacket
Friday, February 27 – Feeling Fictional | Rabid Reads
Week Two
Monday, March 2 – Booklovers for Life | Bad Bird Reads
Wednesday, March 4 – Ceres Book World | Book Infatuation Reviews 
Thursday, March 5 – Consummate Reader

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review: Fair Game by Patricia Briggs


Fair Game
(Alpha and Omega #3)
Patricia Briggs
Release:
Goodreads Amazon
They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can't afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father's dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.

Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack's help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer's sights...

Review by Rose Red:
This book is such a trip! Patricia Briggs proves once again that she is a master storyteller. The world she creates has me actually believing that there are werewolves, witches, fae, and the like living among us. I can't get enough of this world and how she incorporates magic, mythology, and spirits into her books.

And Anna and Charles, I love you two so much! From the very first Alpha & Omega novella, Patricia Briggs has given us such a complex hero and heroine that I feel like I know them personally. They are flawed, brave, loyal, insecure, and violent. But they always, always love each other and their pack.
 

I was surprised at the onset to see how much time had passed since the events of Hunting Ground. While it's not spelled out precisely, it's been a few years. (Events from River Marked are referenced and we know the first two books take place roughly around the same time as Moon Called.) But what's interesting is that Charles and Anna have changed very little with the passage of time. I would have expected that with a love like theirs, a few years would find these two in the happiest place they've ever been. But things are harder than ever.

Charles has always been his father's hatchet man. But now that the werewolves have come out to the humans, it's vital to keep any extra werewolf violence under wraps and not in the media. So Bran is sending Charles out to kill their misbehaving brethren in record numbers. All that killing is doing a number on Charles. He has cut himself off from Anna because he's literally being haunted by the ghosts of his prey. To give him a reprieve, Bran sends Charles and Anna to Boston to help human investigators solve a serial killer case. (
I also love the little peek this book gave inside Bran's head.)

The serial killer they are hunting has been torturing and murdering victims for decades. Recent years have seen the killer move onto Fae and werewolf targets. Details of the killer's depravity were disturbing at times, but it was really a captivating case. The mystery introduces us to new characters, like Leslie, a tough human FBI agent; Isaac, the Alpha of the Boston pack; and Beauclaire, a fascinating Fae whose daughter was among the abducted. I love that Briggs isn’t afraid to create such diverse casts for each of her books. It’s always refreshing when you read books like that. I won't spoil all the amazing twists and turns in this book, but I can say that the case was unpredictable and kept me on the edge of my seat.
 
This is the book where we finally see the damage that being the Marrok's hatchet man has done to Charles. He's worn out with all the killing he's had to do and he's starting to second guess whether he is killing in the name justice as he was before the wolves came out. His worry about the kills being unjust has made it so Charles can't get rid of the ghosts of his victims. And since he can't get rid of them he has been keeping himself away from Anna to protect her. The distance has strained their relationship. Anna wants to help, but Charles won't let her for fear of his ghosts hurting her. For most of this book, Anna and Charles work their way through the ups and downs of this strain and they are still able to work together on the case. Brother Wolf also makes many appearances that eventually help them get back to where they are meant to be relationship wise. The romance isn’t as pronounced in this book, but there are still some really sweet moments between the two of them. 

The thing that I love most about this book though is how confident and in control Anna is. She has really become a strong character who doesn't let her past trauma interfere with her life anymore even though she can never truly forget what happened. I love that she has grown so much in these books!

The world-building is flawless and merges seamlessly with the Mercy Thompson series. I love the effortless way I can sink back into these books. But most of all, I love how deeply Charles and Anna care about each other. It baffles me that either one can still manage to question their worth to the other, when it's so obvious to us the reader just how deep their love runs. But it's refreshing to see them prove that love over and over again.


Fair Game reminded me of all the things I loved about this series: the perfect match between Charles and Anna, some mystery, and enough action to keep me on the edge of my seat. I only wish there were more pages!
And that ending! It was spectacular and nothing is going to be the same. I can't wait to see the consequences it has on the future books in this series as well as the Mercy Thompson series.



    
  5 / 5 Stars!

My reviews of other books in this series:
Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Release Day Review: One Kiss More by Mandy Baxter




One Kiss More
(U.S. Marshals #2)
Mandy Baxter
Release: Feb. 24, 2015
Goodreads Amazon
Summary: Emma Ruiz knows her father is innocent. But that doesn’t help her convince the law—not even smoking hot U.S. Marshal Landon McCabe. When McCabe bangs on her door demanding information about how her cancer-stricken father escaped from federal prison, she’ll have to distract him somehow—it may as well be with a stolen kiss.

Landon gets why Emma isn’t saying all she knows. What he doesn’t understand is why he’s putting his reputation, his case, and his badge on the line for a gorgeous person of interest. Much as he’d love to, he can’t let Emma play him. The stakes are higher than either of them can guess. The only way to survive is to trust their instincts. But their instincts want more than one kiss…
Review: I don't read a lot of contemp romance, but there are a few series that I make sure to keep up with. Mandy Baxter's U.S. Marshals was recently added to that list. I'm really enjoying this series.

Emma met Marshal Landon McCabe six years ago when he arrested her father. She was eighteen and he was a rookie on his first big case. They were attracted to each other then, even though they were constantly at odds. Time hasn't lessened their chemistry or their capacity to drive each other crazy. This is not exactly an enemies-to-lovers story, but maybe adversaries-to-lovers. Landon expects Emma to be difficult and evasive and she does not disappoint, quickly getting under his skin when he questions her.

I got frustrated right along with Emma when Landon couldn't decide whether or not to pursue his feelings and winds up sending her mixed signals. He's the by-the-book cop who puts his job first, but he also senses that she's in trouble and wants to protect her from both the bad guys and other law enforcement types.

Emma is a now hacker and ran afoul of some Very Bad Men while trying to prove her father's innocence. Now she and her father are both in danger if she doesn't do what they want. She starts out in over her head and just keeps getting in deeper. I really felt the danger that Emma and Landon faced.

I enjoyed the suspense plot in this one. I even think it's a little stronger than the first one in the series. The danger kept mounting and some little twists kept it interesting. But when I think back on it, I don't really understand what the villain's motive was for his endgame.

One Kiss More also introduced Damien who's a hulking, tattoed undercover agent and the star of the next book in the series. I'm really looking forward to his story.



Recommended for fans of: cop stories, a hero and heroine who drive each other crazy

ARC provided by the publisher

    
 stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
One Night More (U.S. Marshals #1)



Monday, February 23, 2015

Coastal Magic Wrap Up and Giveaways!


Coastal Magic Wrap Up + Giveaways!



On my way! Got my werewolf necklace on and everything!


As you may or may not know, I went to Coastal Magic Book Con in Daytona Beach, FL a couple weeks ago and I think I've just now finally recovered enough to post a wrap up! I've got tons of great pictures to share with you guys. And your reward for looking at my pictures? Three giveaways!!! As a featured blogger for the Con, I was lucky enough to receive extra books and swag to give away on the blog! LUCKY YOU! Below are some of my favorite pictures and at the bottom of the post are the  giveaway! Good luck!


First, the beautiful view from my fabulous hotel room in Daytona




Some of my favorite pictures with some fabulous authors!

Christopher Rice


Elisabeth Naughton and Donna Grant


Kait Ballenger


KD Wood


Larissa Ione
(major fangirl moment here!)


Jan DeLima, Amanda Carlson, Molly Harper


Some shots from some of the panels, including Dirty Pictionary (figging!?), Flash Fiction (always hilarious), and the ALWAYS fabulous Cinema Craptastique!









Some of my best blogger buddies!


Jenese from Readers Confession




Laura and Jenese along with Danielle from Ramblings From This Chick


Me with Laura and Jenese


Laura and author Kait Ballenger


No dinosaurs were harmed in the making of this picture...


Jenese taking out her frustrations


Finally, some mega cool jewelry and artwork I purchased (like all the books I left with weren't enough...)




 



Whew! You made it through my pictures! Hope you join us next year because this book con is super fun! Now...the giveaway!




I have 3 prize packs for 3 lucky readers! 
You must be 13 or older to enter and you must also live in the U.S. since I'll be shipping these myself. 
Good luck and happy reading!

Prize Pack #1:
Contemporary romances by Lexi Blake, Savannah Stuart, Katie Reus, and Kimberly Raye plus 1,001 Dark Nights magnet and swag set AND other swag including bookmark signed by Christopher Rice!


Prize Pack #2:
Hardback copy of RENEGADE by J.A. Souders and a copy of SAVAGE HUNTER signed by Terry Spear plus other swag including a bookmark signed by Christopher Rice!


Prize Pack #3:
Hardback copy of RENEGADE signed by J.A. Souders plus a Coastal Magic tote bag and other swag including a bookmark signed by Christopher Rice!


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