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review 2018-07-13 18:08
4 Out of 5 STARS for this Novella to the Wolf by Wolf Series
Iron to Iron - Ryan Graudin

Taking place before the events of Wolf by Wolf, but should still be read after that book, in my opinion.  A worthwhile read at 104 pages, of which 86% is the actual story, which is fairly good for a novella, usually it's only half that.

 

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Book Cover~ Love it.

Series~ Wolf by Wolf #2

Setting~ The AxisTour Route

Source~ Kindle eBook (Library)

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review 2018-07-03 06:33
Review: Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine
Smoke and Iron - Rachel Caine

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

The fight for the freedom and future of the Library is on and the stakes have never been higher than in Smoke and Iron. I didn’t think I could love the Great Library series any more than I already did, but Rachel Caine’s writing had me so engrossed in the story that I stayed up way too late reading and practically zombie-walked my way through work the next day, my biggest goal to get home and finish this book. It’s just that good.

Jess, Khalila, Morgan, Thomas, Glain, Dario, Santi, and Wolfe are locked in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with the Archivist. And as certain members of the group are completely on their own as of the end of Ash and Quill, even just surviving is harder than ever. I’m not going to talk about the plot of Smoke and Iron because doing so even a little could spoil readers’ enjoyment of the story. I will say that we get more points of view in this story as everyone is spread out and I loved getting inside the heads of more characters. The first three Great Library books made me care about them all, but the more time I spend with each member of our main band of heroes, the more they grow, the more I adore them. Khalila in particular was the breakout star for me in this book and it was fantastic to see her fully come into her own. Her brilliant mind is matched only by her quiet strength and compassionate heart and, quite simply, she rocks.

In Smoke and Iron Ms. Caine weaves together multiple intricate plots, each with dire consequences. I absolutely loved that Ms. Caine constantly kept me guessing as to what would happen next and who would come out alive. I haven’t been this tense and uncertain about beloved characters’ fates since A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones. Alliances are forged and broken, trust betrayed, love questioned, and more, and I am so there for all of it. The result is a pulse-pounding read that finishes in a spectacular climax.

If you haven’t read the first three Great Library books (Ink and BonePaper and Fire, and Ash and Quill), then you definitely want to get caught up before jumping into this story. Smoke and Iron is an utterly enthralling read. The world of the Great Library is fascinating, the characters unique, and the action intense. The only downside of this book is that I finished it desperately wanting to know what happens next!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/07/review-smoke-and-iron-by-rachel-caine.html
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review 2018-07-02 15:13
Iron and Magic: Solid Start to New Trilogy by Andrews
Iron and Magic - Ilona Andrews

Wow. Who knew that I would end up liking Hugh by the end of this book. I am still kind of appalled I like him and am rooting for him and Elara. I know some people would say that you can read this book as a standalone, but I really do think you have to read the Kate Daniels series first just so you can see Hugh in action, and get why many of the characters in the Kate Daniels series are not going to be opening their arms to welcome the guy.

 

The characters were fantastic, I loved the setting up of the marriage between Elara and Hugh. I am still intrigued about what magic Elara is tapping into and went crazy Googling the other day to figure out what power she could have and from what being. All in all I did not want this book to end. I don't know if I can wait until next year for the next installment of the Iron Covenant.

 

Readers should know Hugh by now. After the events in the Kate Daniels series, Roland (Kate's father) tosses him away and now that Hugh is without Roland in his head at all times, he feels alone and adrift. He has started drinking himself into a stupor and doesn't care what happens to him. When his loyal Iron Dogs come to find him, he realizes that if he doesn't step up that the Iron Dogs are going to be wiped out by Nez. Hugh starts looking for a place to settle with his people and then is offered an interesting proposition. He can marry a woman named Elara Harper (or the White Lady) and live among her and her people in a castle in Kentucky.

 

Hugh and Elara dislike each other on sight and though they don't want to marry each other, realize it is the best thing for their people in order to form an alliance against Nez who seems to be hell-bent on wiping out Elara and her people as well with his vampires. 

 

Hugh is messed up, but you get why. I love how Andrews shows how Voron and Roland found him centuries ago and what Hugh's magic abilities allow him to do (heal himself and others). It was indoctrinated in Hugh that Roland was always right, but now he realizes that he is rightfully not trusted by people due to his breaking his word every single time due to Roland's orders. He wants to belong somewhere and living with Elara gives him a chance to do so. 


Elara's mystery has not been totally revealed yet. We know she has access to some magic. She finds herself annoyed by Hugh and their bickering back and forth actually caused me to laugh a few times. What was interesting though is that without realizing when, they both start doing things in sync (almost) with each other. When the times comes to them to fight they both realize that no matter what they have to make sure that their people get out of things alive.

 

We get some insight into the Iron Dogs and also into Elara's people. I can see there being spin-offs in the future since I have so many questions about all of the new characters that we get to meet in this one.


Also there are repercussions to Hugh's actions which I found realistic. We get some characters from the Kate Daniels series that appear here and I was glad that Hugh isn't going to just be able to walk away from what he has done. Hugh actually reminds me a bit of Xena: Warrior Princess. Xena like Hugh did terrible things and spent most of her journey after passing the gauntlet making amends for what she did. 

 

I have to say though my favorite moment was Hugh reading Jim (the new Beast Lord) for filth to some members of the Pack. Sorry, not sorry, I don't care for Jim and am still pissed he betrayed Kate and Curran like that. And I love that even Hugh gets that Curran is always going to be the beast lord no matter what he does (stepping down for Kate).

 

And I love Hugh's slow recognition of his and Kate's relationship. Dude was a dumbass and am glad that Elara helped him out with that whole thing.


The writing was very good and the flow was fantastic. If you have read Kate Daniels you are going to love this one. It takes place in the same world as Kate Daniels so you should be able to follow people/world building as long as you have read Kate Daniels first. 


I will say the only quibble I had was having two plots going on in this one. We have the Nez issue and then a mysterious army that is attacking towns near where Elara and Hugh live. That was  bit too much for the first book, but it ended up working. 

 

The ending was fantastic and I cheered a lot. Elara steps up and she's now my favorite character. Sorry, Kate! I can't help it! It goes Elara, Kate, Curran, Hugh, and from there I would have to flip a coin. Sometimes I like Julie and other times she annoys the crap out of me. 

 

One final note, Andrews let's readers know that "Magic Triumphs" is next (August), but that the next two books in the Iron Covenant series take place before that book. So it sounds like maybe Hugh and Elara are going to appear in "Magic Triumphs". Hope so!

 

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review 2018-06-26 01:33
Kiss Marry Kill by Sidney Halston
Kiss Marry Kill: Iron-Clad Security - Sidney Halston

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I ended up really liking this book. I have had a copy of this book for over a year and I have to say that I am a little upset with myself for letting this one get lost in pile. I thought that this was a really well done romantic suspense that kept completely entertained. This was one of those books that was easy to spend hours with at a time. I am so glad that I finally decided to pick up this book.

I tend to love second chance romances so Jax and Megan's story was really appealing to me. This pair had a brief but life changing encounter five years ago. Both of their lives have changed dramatically since their time together and they have not even spoken since the last time they were together. During their years apart, Megan has become a music star and Jax is running a security firm after serving in the military. As soon as Jax hears that Megan might be in trouble, he goes straight to her to offer aid. 

I really liked how this book was laid out. We learn about their history together slowly throughout the book and I really was just as interested in learning how they met as I was seeing them together in the present. It took a bit of time to learn about their initial meeting but it was worth the wait. Let's just say these two started off in a very unforgettable manner. The story set in the present is pretty exciting since Megan is in quite a bit of danger because of a stalker that may be turning violent.

I loved these two together. I think that they were great together in the past as well as in the present. They had so much chemistry with each other and seemed to be able to be what the other needed. There are few times when Jax oversteps his authority and Megan lets him know it right away. There are a few moments that I felt like Jax was acting a bit like an idiot but things end up working out.

The story was pretty exciting. I really did like the mystery of the stalker and was always waiting for the next big thing to happen. There were a few things that really came as complete surprises in this story but one aspect of the overall mystery was pretty easy to figure out. Even though I had a pretty good idea who the culprit might be, I still had a great time watching everything play out.

I thought that Dara Rosenberg did a great job with this book. I think that this is the first time that I have had a chance to listen to Ms. Rosenberg's narration and I was very impressed. She did a great job with all of the characters and was able to bring a lot of emotion to the story. I did find the narration to be a little slow at the normal speed but once I increased the speed to 1.25, I had no issues with the audio. I wouldn't hesitate to listen to this narrator again in the future.

I would recommend this book to others. I found this book to be a perfect blend of excitement, romance, and great characters. I couldn't help but root for Jax and Megan to safely find their way to a happily ever after together. This was the first book by Sidney Halston that I have had the chance to read and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from the library via Hoopla.

Initial Thoughts
I ended up really liking this book. Jax and Megan had a lot of great chemistry and I liked their story from the past just as much as their present. Jax did act like a fool from time to time in the present but Megan was able to deal with him quite nicely. I was able to guess the culprit long before they were revealed but I still had a really great time with the story. This was my first time listening to Dara Rosenberg and I thought she did a fantastic job with the story.

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review 2018-06-25 10:00
Early Review! Iron and Magic (The Iron Covenant #1 / Kate Daniels #9.5) Ilona Andrews!
Iron and Magic - Ilona Andrews

 

 

No day is ordinary in a world where Technology and Magic compete for supremacy…But no matter which force is winning, in the apocalypse, a sword will always work. 

 

Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast. 

 

Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she's trapped between the magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky into a war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself—and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify. 

Hugh needs a base, Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies? 

As the prophet says: “It is better to marry than to burn.”

 

Hugh and Elara may do both. 

 


I just went on an adventure to another world where technology and magic compete for supremacy and I it was one thrilling ride where I met mesmerizing characters and fought spectacular battles.

 

Hugh and Elara were the main characters that I met on this journey and they are strong, captivating and easily seized my attention and refused to let go once they had it. This couple were both intriguing and daring with lots of appeal and unique characteristics that made them stand out. As for the relationship between them, well it definitely had some electrifying chemistry and an attraction that had sparks flying everywhere but it was also feisty and full of turmoil as they fought each other tooth and nail throughout the story with snappy dialogue that has me convinced that a happily ever after for these two may be a long time in coming, at least they finally have a sort of acceptance of each other, so I can’t wait to find out how their relationship progresses.

 

Lots of excitement and thrills keep the adrenaline pumping throughout this fast paced and smooth flowing story with lots of twists and turns that kept me wondering just what would happen next. The bad guys and creatures are as fascinating as they are scary and cause Hugh and Elara a seemingly endless amount trouble so there was definitely no dull moment to be found.

 

I am a huge fan of the Kate Daniels universe and I can never get enough, so I was quite excited to find out that Hugh was going to have his own story. Iron and Magic is well developed and full of all the fascinating elements and all the wonderful characters and creatures that make up the universe, so is it really any wonder that I was completely enthralled by the first book in The Iron Covenant series and I am eagerly awaiting the next.

 


Iron and Magic

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35126152-iron-and-magic

 

Author - http://www.ilona-andrews.com/book/iron-and-magic/

 

BookLikes - http://booklikes.com/iron-and-magic-ilona-andrews/book,13910079

 


is the 1st book in the The Iron Covenant series


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/230437-the-iron-covenant

 

Author - http://www.ilona-andrews.com/series/iron-covenant/

 


& #9.5 in the Kate Daniels series


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/40691-kate-daniels

 

Author - http://www.ilona-andrews.com/kate-daniels/

 


which includes:

 

A Questionable Client #.5
Magic Bites #1
Magic Burns #2
Magic Strikes #3
Magic Mourns #3.5
Magic Bleeds #4
Magic Dreams #4.5
Magic Slays #5
Magic Gifts #5.4
Gunmetal Magic #5.5
Curran Twitter, The Wilson Building #5.6
Magic Rises #6
Dabwaha, Curran Twitter #6.1
Magic Steals #6.5
Magic Breaks #7
Magic Shifts #8
Magic Stars #8.5 (Grey Wolf #.5)
Magic Binds #9
Iron and Magic #9.5 (The Iron Covenant #1)
Magic Triumphs #10

 

& The Iron Covenant Trilogy # 2 is coming in 2019!

 

 

Iron and Magic is available in ebook at:

 

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Iron-Magic-Covenant-Book-ebook/dp/B07CZ39YYV/ref=la_B001RXSCKY_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1527531955&sr=1-1

 

B&N – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/iron-and-magic-ilona-andrews/1128639308?ean=2940162068716

 

iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/iron-and-magic/id1382939951?_bbid=9849694&mt=11

 

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/iron-and-magic

 

eBooks - https://www.ebooks.com/96183048/iron-and-magic/andrews-ilona/

 

 

Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

 

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge

 

Be sure & visit Ilona Andrews at any of the following locations:

 

Website - http://ilona-andrews.com/

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21748.Ilona_Andrews

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/4942520/record_interest

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Ilona-Andrews/e/B001RXSCKY/ref=la_B001RXSCKY_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1527532383&sr=1-1

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ilona.andrews/


Twitter - https://twitter.com/ilona_andrews

 

BookLikes - http://booklikes.com/ilona-andrews/author,4249290

 

 

 

 

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