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review 2018-03-14 11:18
Cosy crime novel aimed at female readers - good if that’s your “bag”
Mud to Ashes - Gayle Wigglesworth



Karo, divorcee and acquirer of two dogs, moves to Belle Vista, California and gets involved with the local potters as well as crime-solving by accident!


Involving murder and fraud, this “light” novel also works as a romantic tale. Aimed at a female readership in my opinion with a fair amount of description of clothes and decor, it works on a variety of levels. Quite good and certainly an easy read.


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review 2018-02-09 08:59
City of Ashes
City of Ashes - Cassandra Clare

I’m not going to review City of Ashes indepth because this was basically a gleeful hate-read. Long story short: I acquired four books in this series before learning much about it. I read the first book back in 2014 and thought it was terrible but mildly entertaining, and after my last read I was in the mood to hate on something.


So here we are.


I hate Clary. I haaaaaaaaaaaaaate Jace. I don’t like Simon. Or Isabelle. Or Alex. I want to like Magnus, but he’s doing the whole centuries-old-pedophile-dating-a-mortal-teenager thing and he is not making it easy for me. I hate the derivative cliché-fest that is Clare’s fanfic origins shining through. And I hate, hate, HATE the whole incestuous romance angle. After the first book, I was 100% sure it would come out later that Jace and Clary are not siblings. After reading this book, I am 1000% sure that particular “twist” is forthcoming. But for now they think they are siblings, and it’s gross.


But gosh darn it, the story isn’t terrible, even if it is derivative, and it’s fun to hate. So much fun, in fact, that I think I’ll move straight on to hating book three!


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review 2018-02-07 00:00
Out of the Ashes
Out of the Ashes - Hailey Turner Out of the Ashes - Hailey Turner Let me start by saying that I loved this novella. Alexei is most best. Sean is a badass woobie. Where the flaming heck are Alexie's pancakes, woman??? That man deserves pancakes! :D

In all seriousness, Hailey has done it again with this novella. Given how In the Blood ended this book was also extremely needed. Don't get me wrong, I loved In the Blood but OMG the angst, the ouchies, the sheer emotional trauma that Ms. Hailey inflicted on me left me needing this book. Not to say that Out of The Ashes was a cavity inducer or anything.

Out of The Ashes takes place three months after In the Blood finishes and it's an Alexei/Sean centric book because those two boys were left beaten and bloodied at the end of the last one. Sean has just been cleared to return to active duty and Alexei is about to go on his own recertification testing. On the MDF front they've recovered enough from their capture and torture to return to work. On the emotional front? Sean still has nightmares, still feels guilty, and Alexei doesn't know how to convince him that it wasn't Sean's fault. They haven't been intimate since before Boston and both men are fraying at the edges.

On the surface, they're living together, they sleep in the same bed, they love each other more than ever but... knowing that someone from _your_ past hurt your lover in order to hurt you? Sean's guilt is eating him alive. Alexei is trying to be patient, to be an understanding supportive partner. He doesn't blame Sean for any of it and he's committed to _them_. But sometimes the distance growing between them leaves him exhausted.

But once Alexei passes his re-evals there's not time for them to ease back in to work because there's a mission... and it centers around Pavluhkin. Sean's meta ability makes him the ideal person for the mission. Infiltrate a party, retrieve an encoded drive that could link the Pavluhkins to Splice, and get out. The party is in London so Liam Wessex is brought in to act as their contact and way into the party. Alexei is sent along for the ride to test that both men truly are ready to go back into the field.

But as is usually the case with Alpha Team, things go FUBAR FAST! Janssen is at the party and the men have to fight their way out after retrieving the data. A car chase, Alexei setting things on fire, Sean phasing them and a tube ride ensue. Basically normal Alpha Team Chaos. But the end result is that Sean and Alexei finally find their balance and each other again... and Sean finds out that he has a bigger family than he realized, because Alpha Team has his back.

Hailey's characterizations were perfect, as usual, and the book was full of the lovely blend of humor, action, romance and explosions that I've come to associate with Hailey's writing. She is a master of detail and Out of The Ashes is a great example of a well timed, well thought out plot. I am so thrilled to be able to say I know this author because I expect to see amazing things from her in the future!

But there were no pancakes for Alexei. Sadness :( (Hailey teased us saying Alexei was getting pancakes and then denied us the pancakes if y'all are wondering why I keep referencing pancakes. there's even a hashtag for it now #JusticeForAlexei!)
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review 2018-02-03 20:43
Face-stealing monsters, intergenerational drama, and squabbling witches
The King of Bones and Ashes (Witches of New Orleans) - J.D. Horn

Disclaimer: reviewing uncorrected digital proof via NetGalley


I'm not quite sure how to categorize this. There are pretty strong contemporary fiction leanings, what with the complicated, extraordinarily messy and interwoven multi-generational family dynamics. There's the paranormal/fantasy content, with witches, shapeshifters, and monsters lurking around the edges. Things skew from drama to thriller and right on into the realm of horror as the story progresses.


I found the first quarter really slow going. Like, I kept double checking to make sure this wasn't a companion series to an earlier series because there is so much worldbuilding detail and so many different points of view and webs of interrelational drama to wade through. Despite the deep, rich worldbuilding, or really, probably because of it, the book didn't draw me in at first. I felt like I just didn't care about the characters, the witchy goings-on, or the New Orleans southern setting. But by the end of the first third of the book, all that detail starts to settle in and the shape of the story emerges. Well worth the extra effort to get there.


The investment in backstory and getting to know so many different threads at the beginning starts to really pay off heading into the latter portions of the book. Various mysteries start to unravel and a race for the finish line tangles against late-in-the-game twists for an unexpectedly high stakes, surprising wrap up that provides some closure while setting up the series for further drama.


One caveat for squeamish readers; the family drama and dynamics get about as sordid as you can imagine. There's no explicit sexual content, and abuse isn't lingered over (though things get pretty violent in the paranormal/horror scenes), but there's plenty of cheating and backstabbing (and front stabbing), plus a little mixing of the generations that may turn off some.


Verdict: detailed, engaging start to what's sure to be an impressive new Urban Fantasy series. Good read for readers who enjoy a dense, richly imagined story world.

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review 2018-01-31 19:54
The Beautiful Ashes
The Beautiful Ashes - Jeaniene Frost

Broken Destiny, Book 1

I Picked Up This Book Because: I am a fan of the author’s other series.

The Characters:

Jasmine, Zack

The Story:

While searching for her missing sister Ivy learns something she can barely believe. Angels and demons are real, they are battling a war and they want her. As the last ancestor of David, Ivy has the power to make or break the war for one side. The demons have kidnapped her sister to lure her to them but with the help of the Adrian (and the arcon Zack) she is off on a quest to find a weapon that will kill the demons and free her sister.

This story was fast paced, many layered and full of secrets until the very end. If I were Ivy I’d be sitting in a corner rocking. Demon realms are nasty and she has to search quite a few. There is also forbidden or love between Ivy and Adrian and I found their chemistry to be H-O-T.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I am quite angry as I write this as I can not get the next book until tomorrow. I swear I’d be half way through it now if I could.

The Random Thoughts:

The Score Card:


4 Stars

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