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review 2018-10-12 15:23
Book Review: Vow of Protection by Brittany Cournoyer
Vow of Protection (Personal Protectors #1)Vow of Protection by Brittany Cournoyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First time reading this author and I liked the book!

Privileged Walker Cardwell had the world at his feet - at least on the outside. His family was wealthy, his father running for reelection as governor and he worked as his dad's campaign manager. He had everything money could buy. Except he'd caught his girlfriend cheating on him with his best friend in HIS bed, his father was a verbally abusive, domineering asshole, his mother lived her world through the haze of medication and he had his own demons. But the girlfriend and his former best thing had been the straw that broke the proverbial back.

Needing to blow off steam and not able to go to the trendy, elite clubs he normally went to because, damn, his so called friends were the biggest gossips and backstabbers out there, so he ended up at a dilapidated bar called Rusty's with a bouncer who didn't know who he was and didn't care, which only added to his ire. A bunch shots of tequila later, Walker was feeling no pain and wanting to try his luck a line dancing. Luck was not on his side - he accidentally groped the girlfriend of the leader of the local biker gang and got himself beaten into oblivion.

The bouncer - Beckett - was forced to break up the fight, and take the unconscious and badly damaged governor's son to the hospital. Nephew of the bar's owner, the ubiquitous Rusty, Beckett had seen more than his share of action in his life. Ex-military, he was working for his uncle while he tried to figure out what he would do now after a medical discharge because of PTSD. But he couldn't not take care of the little twerp of a governor's son, because no one deserved the kind of beat down he'd just gotten. Meeting the twerps a-hole father made him realize that maybe the life of privilege wasn't so privileged after all.

Waking up in the hospital the next day Walker realized he may have bitten off more than he could chew with getting on the bad side of the gang and that he probably needed to hire a bodyguard - and oddly enough the bouncer from last night was his first choice. And he managed to convince Beckett to work for him just in time. A series of events made Walker realize someone really was out to get him.

Beckett and Walker strike sparks off of each other like oil and a match and when they ignite - the flames will either destroy them or make them stronger. Combined with the mystery of why Walker is being targeted by a stalker and the two have the odds stacked against them.

The book was an enjoyable read. There were some typos, a few things missed in editing, and the plot a little obvious at points; but on the whole I liked it.

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review 2018-10-10 19:57
Kiss of the Rose (Tudor Vampire Chronicles #1) by Kate Pearce
Kiss of the Rose - Kate Pearce

Kiss of the Rose - Kate Pearce 

This book reminded me how much I love and miss reading about vampires and legends of old. 
Christopher is a man that disguises his family shame with an over the top charming personality and being the best at what he does. Rosalind is a clever woman but is getting tired of having to prove herself as a vampire hunter. These two star-crossed lovers will have to unite forces in order to bring down a common enemy at the same time that a prophecy seems to be taking place and their feelings for each other seem to be more than just unbridled passion. 
I loved the world building. I remember reading this story when it first came out and while I remember liking it then I have to say I liked it even more now. The Druids as a historical backdrop was something I hadn’t read before and I liked how it was weaved within the Tudors era. Vampires as Machiavellian beings and not necessarily heroes provided that extra darkness that I like in my PNR. 
The thing I didn’t like much was the love triangle that took place in much of the story. I always think it unfair when one of the characters is left as an afterthought just because the object of their affections couldn’t make up their mind and kept dragging the poor guy along. I know it happens IRL but I prefer it wouldn’t happen in my romances. I also thought the prophesy aspect needed more fleshed out. It took me a while to understand it and assimilate how the whole thing tied up in the end. But I think that was a personal problem that I tend to have where prophecies are concerned. 
All in all it definitely was a very enjoyable read and I recommend it to anyone that loves paranormal mixed with their historical reads. 

*I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher**

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review 2018-10-10 19:53
Book Review: Winter Rising by Richard Amos
Winter Rising (Coldharbour Chronicles #1)Winter Rising by Richard Amos
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was weirdly wonderful and I can't wait for Book 2!

Jake Winter is a man who has lost everything; his husband had been murdered and the killer had gotten away. The only 'good' thing that came from it was that Jake got clean, kicked his heroin addiction, stopped smoking and drinking, and started getting into shape. He had a killer to kill and a husband to avenge. On the one year anniversary of his husband's death Jake confronted the 'white eyed' bastard who'd destroyed his life. And had his entire existence turned upside down and inside out.

A deadly game of Cat and Mouse (with Jake the unwitting mouse) leads our hero to Coldharbour, a town shrouded from the rest of the world by magic, sealed by a curse and supposedly inaccessible. And yet the White-Eyed bastard had led him straight into the town through a crack in the magic, and then saved his life. Why would he do then when he'd robbed Jake of everything precious to him? And why the hell was he calling Jake a 'gift' and a 'weapon'?

Coldharbour is a place where evil entities known as 'beast' have broken through from their own realm. It is a town of goblins, trolls, werewolves, vampires, witches and fae (or half fae). It is a place where Jake can tip the balance and save the world from Beast if he can learn how to harness the power within him. Along with his four chosen guardians, Jake battles the Beast on the streets of Coldharbour, hoping to end the war before it bleeds into the rest of the world. Oh yeah, and in between all that Jake really needs to figure out why he turns into a complete idiot around his hot, half-fae guardian.

But what does the White-Eyed bastard want with him and why does he keep saving Jake?

This book was a spine tingler from start to finish. I admit, I was a little leery at first, it was a bit hodge podge and didn't really make sense until a few chapters in. I'm probably dating myself here but it reminded me of that animated fantasy movie, Heavy Metal, the one that jumped from scene to scene with no discernible connection - at first. But by the end you were like 'aha! I get it, I see the connection!' The writing was slick and sharp and full of vibrancy. I found myself sucked into the story, not wanting to put the book down even when I knew I should. The world building Richard does is impressive and seamless. He sets up his reality and makes it plausible. I absolutely loved this book and cannot wait for the sequel!.

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review 2018-10-08 19:38
Book Review - Craft Brew, Trouble Brewing Book 2, by Layla Reyne
Craft Brew (Trouble Brewing, #2)Craft Brew by Layla Reyne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love me a good Craft Brew, I won't lie, and this particular drink was delish!

In a continuation of Imperial Stout, this book takes up shortly after the end of the last book. And Dominic Price is running... although he says he's not, all the way to San Diego. It's an opportunity to try out the top chair as US Attorney while trying to figure a way out of the mess his father has made. But he didn't expect to miss Cameron Byrne like he would his own breath.

Meanwhile back in San Fran Cam is determined to get Dom to move in with him as well as stand by his man and get the bad guy gunning for him. He just has to get through the next six weeks of lonely nights and then convince Dom he's right - piece of cake.

But Vaughn isn't done with his threats and Dom is barely back in the door of his apartment when fire in the apartment directly above him forces him out and into Cam's place. A fire that was determined to be arson. Cam is thrilled by the chance to have Dom live with him except he gets a call from his brother that summons him home to Boston. Waiting for him is a decades old personal tragedy that has barely begun to heal and a request that rips the wounds completely open again.

Now Cam is racing against the clock to solve the mystery that tore his family apart, help rescue a missing daughter of a South end Boston cop, and still find time to help Dom solve his own problems. Except he's falling apart at the seams and this time it's Dom that needs to save Cam - and keep him afloat.

This book was a high octane rush from start to finish. I loved the tension that Layla builds from her very first word, and she keeps the tension up throughout. I was especially impressed with how she combined Cam's past with his present and wove it throughout the story. The whole book let us get to know him so much better than we have up until now.

And we finally get to know more of Dominic's story too. We learn why he's so afraid of losing someone he loves, why he keeps himself apart from his new family, why he's been keeping Cam at arm's length. And we see them both realize that they're stronger together than apart.

This book, and series, is fast becoming my favorite of Layla's. It takes the best parts and people from Agents Irish and Whiskey and infuses them into this masterful series. All our most loved characters make an appearance and weave throughout Dom and Cam's story beautifully.

This is a must read book, and series. And Layla Reyne is definitely in my top 10 authors to read and watch!

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review 2018-10-07 20:52
Audio/Book Review of The Servants of the Storm (The Pillars of Reality Book 5) by Jack Campbell
The Servants Of The Storm - Jack Campbell

A Storm that will wreck a world threatens Dematr. Only Mari, one of the Mechanics who control all technology through their Guild, has a chance to stop it. She and Mage Alain have survived numerous attempts to kill them and have gained many more followers, but the Storm of chaos, born of centuries of enslavement, grows ever closer.

 

Mari leads an army now. She and Alain must fight together to bind back the Broken Kingdom and build a force strong enough to defeat the might of the Great Guilds. But the Storm has many Servants who seek to preserve or gain personal power or wealth, or fear the New Day that Mari seeks to bring to the world.

 

And Mari knows that victory will mean nothing if the precious knowledge brought long ago to their world is destroyed. In order to save it, Alain and Mari will have to pierce through the heart of their enemies' power and confront once more a place of ancient nightmare.

 

Review 5*

 

This story is the fifth book in a fantastic epic fantasy series called The Pillars of Reality. I absolutely loved it!

 

Mari is a fantastic character. I liked her immediately when I met her in the first book. I love her determination to do the right thing, even at the cost of her own life. A Master Mechanic, Mari has faced many threats to her life from the Guild Masters on the world of Dematr and survived. Foreseen by Mages to be 'The Daughter of Jules' and fated to free the world of Dematr from the tyranny of both the Guilds - Mechanics and Mages - and to unite the Mechanics, Mages and Commons against said Guilds, Mari finds herself fighting for their freedom.

 

Mage Alain is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot from the start. He was one of the youngest Acolytes to achieve Mage status at the age of seventeen. He has been taught from a young age not to show or feel any emotions and that the world he lives in is an illusion, where nothing is real. I love how this character has grown as the series has progressed. He tries to show more emotion, even though his Guild had virtually beaten it out of him. He hides a dry wit under that emotionless mask.

 

I listened to this story in audio format, rather than read it. MacLeod Andrews once again narrates the story. He does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life. Even Alain, who's voice is meant to be flat and emotionless comes across with subtle hints. You would think that Alain's voice would be monotonous, but it's not so. I love the way he brings all the characters to life with different accents, inflexions and tones. He even makes the women's voices sound perfect for each character. As for his narration, he read the story clearly and concisely, and his pacing was perfect. I would listen to more books read by this narrator.

 

The story continues six months from the end of The Pirates of Pacta Servanda and sees Mari and Alain heading a mixed army of Mages, Mechanics and Commons as the action heats up. Mechanic Caylou (not sure of spelling as I listened to the story so have no reference and have spelt it phonetically - it could be Kayloo or another variation) makes another appearance. He is one of Mari's friends from the Mechanics Guild, along with his girlfriend, Ally, who also makes an appearance. I love her constant use of 'Your Daughterness' when speaking to Mari just because it annoys her. Mage Asha also makes another appearance, as does Mage Dov, who is Asha's uncle, and Mechanic Dov (no relation) whose relative had once lived in Marandur. Cien, a princess of Tae, plays a significant role in this story, too. There are a few more characters added, but it would take me too long to mention them all.

 

I love the world building in this series. It is familiar though strange at the same time. It has a mix of steampunk and modern day technology, but this is due to the way the Guilds restricted people from creating new things. The story is full of action, adventure, and danger and I found myself an emotional wreck at times. In this story, the characters are gathering together for a showdown with the Great Guilds. They also make a dangerous journey back into the Imperial territory of Marandur to retrieve the mechanical texts left at the University. The action is ramping up further as the storyline reaches towards the climax, and I found myself holding my breath more than once as they faced several tricky challenges. Have you ever read or listened to a story and felt utterly emersed in it? It happened to me as I listened to this book. These characters have come to life for me and have become my friends. This book ends with a slight cliffhanger, which had me eager to listen to the next story in the series, The Wrath of the Great Guilds, as soon as possible.

 

Jack Campbell has written a fantastic science fiction series. I have added him to my favourite author's list, as he's found a fan in me. I love his writing style, which is fast-paced and descriptive, and the flow of the story is good too.

 

Although there is now some mention of scenes of a sexual nature, it’s not shown. I do not, however, recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 15 due to some violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love dark or epic fantasy, steampunk or action/adventure and supernatural/paranormal romance genres. - Lynn Worton

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