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review 2016-11-05 13:02
Audiobook Review: Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9) by Nalini Singh
Archangel's Heart: Guild Hunter Series, Book 9 - Tantor Audio,Nalini Singh,Justine Eyre

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

This is a favorite series of mine. I just love it. It is a cross between a paranormal romance and an urban fantasy. The reason I say that is because the first few books all follow a single couple, Elena and Raphael. Then it starts having a different couple with each book, but still goes back to Elena and Raphael every now and then. In this book, we are back with our “main” couple of Elena and Raphael. They spend very little time in New York in this story, so we don’t see many of the other favorites from the book, but we do get some time with Blue Bell and Dimtri.

 

If you’re not familiar with this series, it features angels, archangels and vampires. There are usually 10 archangels that are alive and awake at any given time, but right now, there are 11 because of the Cascade which is increasing the power of angels and wreaking havoc. These archangels each have their own territory that they rule. Raphael is the archangel of New York and his territory is North America. There are angels underneath the archangel. Angels and Archangels can turn humans into vampires. These vampires have to sign a contract to serve their angel for at least 100 years. The Guild, for which this series is named, will track down vampires who try to skip out on their contract. They also help with rogue vampires and even angels if needed. They are humans. Some are “hunter born” which gives them extra senses to make them extraordinary trackers. Elena was in the Guild, but is now the consort to Raphael, but she still does some stuff with them.

 

In this story, Raphael and the Cadre, the group of archangels, have been summoned to meet by the only group that can summon the Cadre, the Luminata. Everyone is required to attend or they could lose their territory. Raphael is permitted to bring his consort and a guard. Aodhan, aka Sparkle for his beautifully sparkling wings, is the guard that is chosen to go with them.

 

This is the first time we’ve heard about the Luminata. They are a very secretive group. They were robes most of the time that even hide their wings. They are seeking perfect luminesces. From the description, they remind me of a group of monks. They are also the collector of the art for the angels. They have an extensive library and art gallery, but because they are so recluse, no one gets to appreciate these treasures.

 

This was a great addition to the series. I loved the story about Lumia (the stronghold of the Luminata that is located in Morocco). There is also a town outside of Lumia that had a great story with it. I love that we got to learn more about Elena’s ancestors, which we know little about until this point. We also learn more about Aodhan. There’s a reason that he is the way he is (I really hope that he might be the next story *pretty please*). This story was full of suspense, more than we are used to in this series, and lots of politics, which is more common. If I had read the book, I would call it a “page-turner”, but since I listened, I will just say that I was finding reasons to keep listening. I wanted to glue the earbuds into my ears.

 

I don’t know that I would say that this book had a cliffhanger, but I will say that it left you wanting more. There are some plot threads that are not wrapped up. It does make me wonder if the next book will be another Raphael/Elena book or where the story will go from here. No matter what comes next, I’m really excited to see where the series goes. I love Nalini Singh and the Guild Hunter series (Psy-Changeling too for that matter). If you haven’t tried this series, I highly recommend it.

 

Narration

This is a series that I started off reading and the eventually changed over to listening. Now, I’m a listener only. I just love Justine Eyre’s narration. She does a great job with all the voices. There are so many different personalities in this series and she nails all of them. I love the men and women’s voices, and there are a lot of men’s voices in this series. She does a great job with her pacing, speeding up or slowing down depending on what the scene needs. If you haven’t tried Justine Eyre, I highly recommend her.

 

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: www.hotlistens.com/archangels-heart-audiobook-by-nalini-singh-review
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review 2016-11-05 12:29
Audiobook Review: Deadly Silence (Blood Brothers #1) by Rebecca Zanetti
Deadly Silence: Blood Brothers, Book 1 - Rebecca Zanetti,Hachette Audio,Karen White

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

I started listening to both Rebecca Zanetti and Karen White with the Sin Brothers series. I quickly fell in love with the Dean brothers, also known as the Grey Brothers because they all have grey eyes. It was a series about four brothers who were raised in a military style school. They had enhanced abilities and were taught to kill at a young age. The four books follow these boys as grown adults as they continue to fight the group that raised them and find the women of their dreams along the way. It was a great story. Imagine my excitement when I learn that there is going to be a spinoff series.

 

While the Sin Brothers followed the boys raised in a military school, Blood Brothers follows three boys who were raised in a foster home. They are not related and each came to the boys home in a different way. They quickly form a bond. They decide to become blood brothers, as their love is just as much as those brothers who are biologically related. They are now adults and running an investigation agency. They mostly find lost people. Since they are on the search for the sheriff that treated them so poorly as children, they thought it sounds like a business that will allow them to search without raising red flags.

 

Zara Remington is a paralegal for a legal firm in Cisco, Wyoming. She’s on a tough case. A good friend of hers is getting a divorce and it is an ugly one. Add to the fact that the man she is divorcing is the mayor of the town and things get tricky. Zara breaks her legal ethics to help her friend and things go from bad to worse.

 

Ryker Jones has been seeing Zara for a while at the start of this book. It isn’t really dating, more like just the occasional sex thing, when he is in town. They both like it that way. But as things around Zara get more dicey, Ryker and The Lost Bastards Investigative Agency step into help her out and to keep her safe. Ryker, along with his blood brothers Heath and Denver, have great abilities to help keep Zara safe.

 

There is also Greg, another kid that was raised at the compound. He’s looking for his brothers and wants The Lost Bastards Investigative Agency to help him find them. He wants them to find the good doctor from the Sin Brother books. Oh, and the Dean brothers make an appearance. It was great to see them again.

 

This story takes place chronologically after the Sin Brothers books. You could start here if you want. This is a new story, so everything is explained to you. Here’s the thing though, there are some spoilers if you start here, so you have to know that if you go back to read the Sin Brothers, you will have extra information. Also, you will figure things out quicker if you have the information from the original series. I don’t think that would lower the enjoyment of this series at all.

 

If you like romantic suspense, this is a very fun series, along with Sin Brothers. There are some paranormal aspects in that the men in this book are genetically enhanced and have abilities that are not available to the rest of us. Enhanced hearing, increased intelligence and other extra senses. I can’t wait for the next book. I just love the world that Zanetti has built here.

 

Narration

I’m so glad that they got Karen White to do this series. After listening to her narrate the Sin Brothers, it was great to have her back to take us on this journey with Blood Brothers. I like her ability to voice alpha male characters and women characters. The real unique voice in this series is the voice of the “good doctor”. She sounds exactly how I would expect a person like this woman would sound. If you haven’t tried Karen White, I highly recommend her.

 

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: www.hotlistens.com/deadly-silence-audiobook-by-rebecca-zanetti-review
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review 2016-10-02 02:17
No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished (Heartstrikers, #3) by Rachel Aaron
No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished: Heartstrikers, Book 3 - Audible Studios,Vikas Adam,Rachel Aaron

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

I was very excited to get my hands on the third installment of the Heartstriker series by Rachel Aaron. I stumbled upon this series last year and it has been a favorite of mine since listening to book one, Nice Dragons Finish Last. This is a story about a fairly young dragon, about twenty years old, who is a bit of an outcast from dragonkind because he is too nice. Dragons are pretty ambitious creatures who think mostly for themselves. He is part of the largest clan in the world, lead by his mother, Bethesda Heartstriker, who some call the “broodmare” because of the number of hatchlings she has. She names each group of offspring by starting all their names the same, starting with the first group of A’s, then B’s, then C’s and so forth. They also judge each member not only by the letter, but where they are within that letter, who hatches first or last, etc. Julius, isn’t only the most regroup of J’s, he was also the last one to hatch, so that makes him the youngest.

 

In the first book, Julius hooks up with a human mage named Marci. They’ve become really close friends and have been together since they met. She has a spirit named Ghost, that takes the form of a cat. Ghost has been building in power and becoming a larger force. Marci is getting more powerful and knowledgeable too. There’s also been an extremely slow build towards what might become a relationship between the two of them.

 

This story picks up where One Good Dragon Deserves Another, ends. Julius is trying to set up his council. Two of his older brothers are trying to come up with votes. There is also some who don’t want to see the council even form. Because of the formation of this council, this story is taking place in Heartstriker Mountain in Arizona. Bethesda has called all of her children home for this vote, so we start to meet a lot more of the Heartstrikers. The big thing here is we meet the F’s. The F’s are all sealed, which means they can’t turn into their dragons. They are also forced to stay at the mountain and work for Bethesda. No one really seems understand why Bethesda decided to make the F’s do this.

 

While Julius is dealing with council business, Marci goes into the town to meet up with her mage idol that works for the UN, Sir Myron Rolands. Along with him there, is an augmented human warrior woman who has a raven who is a spirit. General Emily Jackson is head of the UN’s Magical Disaster Response Force. They take Marci back to Detroit, where magic is more plentiful, to feel Ghost her spirit. They are wanting Marci to help with humans as they learn more and more about magic. They also believe Marci to be the first Merlin since magic came back to Earth.

 

We have a ton of new characters that we meet, like David, one of the Heartstriker D’s and a senator. Not only do we have Bob, Julius’s oldest brother and seer of the Heartstriker clan in this story, but there are many of the characters I’ve come to love, Amelia, Chelsie (we learn a ton of about Chelsie), Justin, Ian and even some of the dragons from the Daughters of the Three Sisters clan. Algonquin, the extremely powerful lady of the lakes in Detroit, makes an appearance too.

 

There is so much that happens in this book. Murder plots, kidnapping, more secrets than you can count. We learn a lot about Chelsie, the prologue is even about her when she was much younger. We learn more about magic and what is going on, though there is still a lot missing here. We learn more about Algonquin. There are several questions that are answered, but I think more questions are brought up before the end of the story. This story has quite the cliffhanger ending, but with some hints thrown in for good measure. The last hour of the book had me glued to my earbuds. I wish I was like Bob and could see what is going to happen in the future.

 

If you haven’t tried the Heartstriker series, I highly recommend it. Each book is better than the last. As with most Urban Fantasy stories, I highly recommend you start with book one and work your way chronologically through the series. Each story builds on the previous book. If you’re at all interested in audiobooks, I can’t recommend the audio enough. Vikas Adam really nails it.

 

Narration

Vikas Adam has continued to amaze me with his narration of this series. There are a ton of characters with many different personalities and he nails them all. He does an amazing job with the flamboyant Amelia, the voice of Bob, who’s crazy with all of his prophecies in his head, David the politician, Bethesda and her tyranny, Cheslie, Justin, Julius and Marci are all great. Add in the spirit Ghost, not to mention Algonquin and I can’t ask for anything better. He does a great job with both the men and the women voices. He really brings out the tones needed for each scene. If you haven’t tried him yet, I highly recommend him.

Source: www.hotlistens.com/no-good-dragon-goes-unpunished-audiobook-by-rachel-aaron-review
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review 2016-10-02 02:12
Audiobook Review: Wild Embrace (A Psy-Changeling Anthology) by Nalini Singh
Wild Embrace: A Psy-Changeling Anthology - Tantor Audio,Nalini Singh,Angela Dawe

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

While I’m not a huge fan of anthologies, I love when when an author does one entirely for a single series, as Singh has done here with Psy-Changeling series. I love that peak into the lives of lesser known (or not known at all) or the look into a deeper look into the lives we already know. We get a little of both in this book.

 

Echo’s of Silence
Stefan Berg & Tazia Nerif
This is the story of a Psy and a human who spend most of their time on Alaris the deep sea station, which has been mentioned in several books. Stefan is also a TK Psy who’s been mentioned in several stories, but I’m pretty sure, he hasn’t had any pagetime himself. This story takes place before the fall of Silence, so it is very irregular for Stefan to not be completely silent, but he has a bit of PTSD which prevents him from shutting down his feelings. He is quite fascinated with Tazia, the human engineer, who is on the Alaris with him. When they both go topside for the mandatory break from the deep sea, he takes her with him to help with the clean up from a massive earthquake. This is a pretty romantic story, especially for early Psy who could be “rehabilitated” for not following silence.

 

Dorian
Dorian (many different glimpses in his life)
Dorian had a tough childhood. He was a leopard who was born latent, he wasn’t able to shift. I really liked seeing back to Dorian as a child. I also loved to see how his family and alpha gave him so much love and hope to make him the man he becomes in the stories where we met him. How he was taught that he could be a valuable member of the pack, even if he did have this disability of not shifting. We see him as a boy, a teenager, and as adult when his mate finally helps him to shift. It was a very fun story.

 

Partners in Persuasion
Felix Grady & Dezi
This is a fun story about a submissive male from Snow Dancer wolf pack and a dominate female in the Dark River leopard pack. Felix was a model and then became a horticulturist. He’s also a very submissive wolf. He’s tried dating a dominate before and it didn’t end well. He is very hesitant to try it again. Dezi is a soldier working her way up in the pack. She has really liked Felix, but didn’t really know about how to approach him. She is very concerned about dominating him and that isn’t what she wants in a relationship. It is a great story. Although, I don’t think we’ve ever met either of these characters before, we do see some favorites.

 

Flirtation of Fate
Kenji & Garnet
Kenji and Garnet are both wolves. They’ve dated in the past, but had a fairly bad breakup. They now each run remote dens for Snow Dancer. When Kenji visits Garnet’s den for a meeting, there is a murder of one of their own. Kenji must work not only with his ex, Garnet, but also with her current lover Rev. They are all able to put aside their past (and current) romances to work together to try to solve the murder. During that time, Kenji and Garnet are drawn to each other (don’t worry, no cheating). The only downside here is the trope of “I’m going to leave you for your own good”, which is not something that I’m a huge fan of. Well, truthfully, I’m not a big fan of second chance loves, but there are a few I enjoy, and this is one of them.

 

These are four really fun stories. This is a must read/listen for any Psy-Changeling fan. Each story is different, but all exciting in their own way. I loved meeting new characters and spending time with ones I know. If you’ve not read this series, I don’t recommend this as your introduction. I also don’t think you need to be fully caught up in the series to read this one. I think if you’ve read Dorian’s story, Hostage to Pleasure, you would be good to read this one.

 

Narration

I love Angela Dawe’s narration of this series. I’m always willing to turn down an book in order to listen to her narrate this series. I think she does such a great job with the shifters and the Psy. You can really feel the warmth of the changelings and the coldness of the Psy who are still in Silence. I like her male and female voices. There are so many voices in this series, as you can imagine with a PNR series that has 13 full-length novels in it, plus novellas of even more characters. She does a great job with the different variations. If you haven’t tried her narrations, I highly recommend them.

 

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: www.hotlistens.com/wild-embrace-audiobook-by-nalini-singh-review
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review 2016-10-02 02:07
Insidious - Audible Studios,Aleatha Romig,Savannah Richards

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

I’ve had this book on audio for a while and just never put it high up on my priority list (no idea why and is something that I regret now). After listening to the Into the Light, the first book by Aleatha Roming’s The Light series, I decided I had to move this book up to the top of my TBR priority. I’m really glad that I finally got my but into gear and listened to this book. This is the only stand alone story by this author at this time. So it was great to jump in and have a fully complete story in one book.

 

Let me start by saying that this is a very dark erotic thriller. It is not a book that everyone will enjoy. There are things in this book that will have you cringing. Things that in real life would make you very sick and angry. This story is a work of fiction and nowhere is this written like this is something that should be allowed to happen without consequences in the real world. There are a lot of bad people in this story. Actually, there are very good people in this story. But the characters are excellent and the story amazing. I was on the edge of my seat needing to know what happens next throughout the story.

 

The story goes back in forth in time when Victoria Conway is eighteen and present day, ten years later. I really liked seeing how “Tori” was different as a full adult versus her as an eighteen year old trying to figure out the situation she was put into by her parents. Her stepfather has a huge gambling problem. He ran up some very large debts. Mr. Stewart Harrington offered to take care of those debts if only the eldest daughter would marry him. She is offered two contracts, both with a non-disclosure statement. She could walk away and let her father figure out his own debts and get $50,000 or she could agree to marry him, take care of her father’s debts and use Mr. Harrington’s wealth anyway she wished. Thing is, she didn’t realize exactly what she was signing up for.

 

I can’t really go into much more than that without giving away spoilers. There are tons of spoilery things in this book. Everything you think you know, only to find out that you were completely wrong. This story is told from Tori’s POV, so we only know what she knows. There are even things that she knows that we don’t find out too quickly.

 

This is a story of a girl who thought she was getting a fairytale, even if she arrived to it in an unconventional way. But the thing is, fairy tales weren’t always so friendly. Before Disney got their hands on them, fairy tales were much darker in the original format by the Grimm Brothers. This story isn’t for the faint of heart. Ms. Roming held no punches with this story. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I picked up this audio. I loved every minute of it.

“That was years ago. I’ve learned my lessons well and played my role. No longer willing to be a victim, today I’m insidious.”

Narration

This is my first audio with Savannah Richards as the narrator. I will have to say. I’m very happy with her narration. I thought she did a great job. There are a lot of men in this story, more men than women, and she handles them like a pro. I think she does a wonderful job with the differences in Tori at 18 versus Tori at 28.

Source: www.hotlistens.com/insidious-audiobook-by-aleatha-romig-review
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