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review 2018-07-29 21:45
Racing on the thunder and rising with the heat...
Beneath This Mask - Victoria Sue,Nick J. Russo

It's gonna take a superman to sweep me off my feet...I need a hero...

 

"Beneath the Mask" is the third book in Victoria Sue's 'Enhanced' series and while we met the whole team in the first and second books this third installment takes the focus away from Talon and Finn to give us a look at enhanced team member Gael Peterson and his human partner Jake, bur that doesn't mean that readers should skip the first two books...trust me you really don't want to do that because both of these characters are introduced in the the first two books in this series along with the other members of the H.E.R.O. team.

 

Things aren't going to be easy for Gael and Jake and when they get thrown together I'm pretty sure that neither man would have anticipated they'd ever manage to be working partners much less have anything more personal between them.

 

As the team gets drawn into an investigation involving the deaths of enhanced humans and the evidence points to a child who may be an enhanced it doesn't mean he's not also vulnerable and Gael becomes determined to champion the young child...determined that he's not only innocent but in danger as well. What Gael doesn't count on is the fact that the real murderer has their sights set on Gael and the person that Gael trust the least it the person that he may need the most.

 

Gael's got a less than happy past but that hasn't kept him from becoming a compassionate and gentle soul who absolutely melted my heart. While Jake won me over with his determination and loyalty to the members of H.E.R.O. and in particular to Gael in spite of Gael's rather prickly nature towards him.

 

Jake knows that as a former member of the Police ENu (ENhanced unit) and a past that he'd rather not have people find out about, Jake's not expecting to have an easy time of things and he's both willing and determined to make things work as a regular member of the H.E.R.O. team.

 

I loved the mystery/thriller/adventure aspect of this story and while I had my suspicions as to 'who done it', it wasn't until towards the end that things were confirmed for me and the ending...wow! just wow! the ending of this story was a nail bitter and I don't bite my nails! 

 

I loved the glimpses we got of Talon, Finn and the other team members and can't wait to find out who's story is next and if it was more Gael and Jake, I can honestly say that won't upset me in the slightest. This pairing was superb. I'm not even sure when it happened but Gael and Jake ever so smoothly slid from being interesting and likable to a pairing that I want more of because for me they just worked. I think it was the fact that initially they just didn't click and it took time for them to find that connection, especially for Gael but when it happened it worked for me and I was all in.

 

The icing on the 'enhanced' cake for me was the narrator...Nick J. Russo. I adore his audiobooks and without fail his narration works. He's on of my very short list of narrators whom I don't need to check out the audio sample before getting a book I just need to decide if it's a book that I want to listen to. Although this book was pretty much a no brainer...a series that I love, a narrator who's at the top of my list...so how could I loose? I couldn't...see...no brainer and very much recommended.

 

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An audio book of 'Beneath This Mask' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-07-10 17:58
Forget the magic...this one will consume you...mind, body and soul...
The Consumption of Magic - T.J. Klune,Michael Lesley

Holy hell!!! TJ Klune has knocked it out of the ball park with this series and then when you turn it into an audio book with a narrator as talented and just innately tuned into the story as Michael Lesley is...well, you've created a monster of the best kind.

 

I thought the first two books were incredible and they were...are but with each successive story this just gets better and better...I gave the first two books 5 stars and I'm doing the same again here because for me it's not really a matter of each book gets better it's more a case of each part of this story remains equally as amazing as the one before it was. 

 

So yes, to begin with if you haven't read or listened to 'The Lightening Struck-Heart' or 'A Destiny of Dragons' stop now and go fix that because this is truly one big epic fantasy story and you need all of it in order to truly appreciate and understand what's happening. 

 

To be quite honest I've read and listened to the audio book for the first to parts of this series and still I would happily go back and listen to them all over again and I will as soon as time permits because without a doubt this is going to be one of my favorite series EVAH!!!

 

This part of the series essentially picks up where 'A Destiny of Dragons' left off and we get to spend more time with Sam of Wilds and his entourage of interesting and unusual friends. I've pondered on more than one occasion who's my favorite and  while I have to admit I am so totally a fan of dragons...when it comes to this bunch I just love them all. As a collective they work and somehow one without the others just wouldn't be a good...so I feel no need to choose and I simply adore each and every one of them.

 

As the adventure progresses in this story so does the danger to all involved. Sam is reunited with his mentor, Morgan of Shadows and Randolph only to discover that there are secrets so any secrets and not only do they threaten the faith and trust that he has always had with Morgan and begrudgingly with Randolph as well but the very well being of Sam, his friends and the whole of Verania as well. Also just a bit of a heads up the story doesn't end here and this one's definitely left us sitting on the edge of a cliff...a seriously freakin' scary cliff but fear not the next book is already out so if you can't wait for the audio book to be released there is the e-book currently available and if you're like me you may have hopes of reading the book before the audio comes out because this one's worth experiencing once or twice or maybe a few times more.

 

Like the previous books 'The Consumption of Magic' is filled with adventure, action, laughter tears...so freakin' many tears...TJ, Kleenex called to thank you for the boost to their sales...ffs!!! you need to stop this...no, no actually you don't because as much as you're books tend to shatter me into a millions itsy bitsy pieces each time the adventure is done you've put me back together so I'm going to trust that you'll do the same with this one as well. Just keep writing stories that are unputdownable. Yeah, it's a word...hey, google said so and google would never lie to me (just FYI I typed this with a straight face). 

 

So if  you're still not convinced about this book...this series, well all I can say is you need to go to GoodReads or Amazon and read some more reviews because they're out there a whole lot of really, really awesome reviews for a really, really awesome book...seriously check it out.

 

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An audio book of 'The Consumption of Magic' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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review 2018-06-18 20:15
Wolves on audio...it's a thing...who knew...
Once Upon a Wolf - Rhys Ford

Well actually I'm pretty sure we all did but for me this one was a must...it's by Rhys Ford and she's totally a favorite of mine. So needless to say there were no real surprises here because...I've read the book already and as far as the story goes as far as the story goes my original review still holds true so, I'm going to borrow from it in regards to the story...here goes...

 

First off let's chat a bit about the main characters and their relationship...I liked the way Gibson and Zach's relationship developed as a slow burn against the backdrop of event's that while not connected to Zach and Gibson held a loose tie to Gibson and Ellis's family history on the mountain . Ellis grabbed my curiosity fairly quickly and I'm definitely keeping my fingers crossed that there's a story coming for him soon.I really enjoyed the banter between Zach and Gibson and with Ellis as well...

“You’re really going to attempt to make pancakes?” The mock horror in Zach’s grimace was a clear indication he’d picked up more than his share of sardonic expressions from the brothers. “Aren’t you happy with trying to kill me just at dinnertime? Now you’ve moved on to breakfast?”

With less than 100 pages to this story there's a lot happening and lot of groundwork is being laid out for not just this story but I suspect some of it will become more relevant as the series unfolds. As well as Ellis who I'm hoping that we'll see more of some of the secondary characters like Ruth and Martha, the two women who are looking after Zach's B&B, then there's Pat Brown the son of the former sheriff and currently working for the sheriff's department himself and there's some interesting history between the Kellers and the Browns to be sure.

 

I'm hoping that as things progress in this series we'll learn a little more a bout Zach's life before he came to own the B&B. We've gotten some glimpses of his life, enough to know that Zach was in a accident, that his family relations are strained to say the least.

 

While this one got off to a bit of a slow start for me. I have faith in Ms Ford's ability to draw me into her stories and make me not only glad I'm reading them but want more and more...and yes, more and so far I definitely want some more of Gibson and Zach but I'd also like to find out more about Ellis and while he really didn't seem to be a nice guy much less a good one. I have the feeling that there's possibly more to Pat Brown than we know and I'm sure that it could make for an interesting story as well. I think at the end of it all for me I'm on board with this series not because of where Ms Ford has taken us but because I'm curious to see where we have yet to go.

 

Now on to the audio portion of this audio book...

Derrick McClain was the narrator for this audio book and overall I enjoyed things except for the minor glitch that Zach's voice wasn't quite what I had imagined it would be. 

 

My previous experiences with this narrator have varied and while a couple of the audio books that I've listened to haven't worked really well for me the opposite is also true and I've really enjoyed others.

 

Regardless of whether I've enjoyed it or not I do find that in general this narrator ticks the basics on my list of 'must have's for an audio book'. His voices are varied, expressive and words are pronounced clearly and concisely but not to the point of being monotone or stilted.

 

So overall Derrick McClain produces an audio book that can readily be enjoyed and beyond that when it comes to things like how a voice sounds we're talking about a purely subjective issue that's a matter of personal taste which to me means that it's not an issue of right or wrong, good or bad just what works for one individual and not for another. This time around things didn't work as well as they have other times, but that doesn't mean that the next time won't be an entirely different experience. While he's not on my 'must listen' list neither is he on my list of 'not in this life time' more like 'let's take this one audio book at a time'. 

 

Still at the end of it all I really enjoyed this story and can't wait to read/listen to what comes next from Ms. Ford's band of 'Wayward Wolves'. 

 

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An audio book of 'Once Upon A Wolf' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2018-06-16 19:39
Have you ever wondered...what happens when worlds collide?
Rogue in the Making - T.J. Nichols

'Rogue in the Making' is the follow up to 'Warlock in Training' and the second book in TJ Nichol's series 'Studies in Demonology' and the first thing I want to say is 'If you haven't read 'Warlock in Training' you probably should. I honestly can't say that you can't read this one without having read the first book but having read it and having read this one...I think I can safely say you'll probably find it a whole lot less confusing if you do.  Both the characters and the overall story ARC carry through each book so these are not standalone stories.

 

I absolutely loved the first book in this series as in I devoured it like a demon (tee, hee did you see what I did there?) anyways, I loved it and the second book couldn't come out fast enough and yet, when it did and I was there with my greedy, grubby little hands I jumped in and part way into the story I just came to a screeching halt...like squealing brakes on a rain slick road screeching and honestly I'm not exactly sure why because I kept going back to the story and finally after stopping and reading a couple other books I dove back in and finished it and truthfully I loved it, this one was easily as good as the first book. I think for me it just came down to a case of right book, wrong time because I am so on board for the third and final installment in this series...hell, I was ready for the next  book before the final chapter in this one. Now don't tell me that doesn't speak to a good book when it can take me from "I'm not sure I can do this." to "Sweet  baby jebus can someone give me more."

 

We're back in the worlds of Angus and Saka. The college is still hoarding magic and creating an imbalance in both worlds. The rebels are still fighting it...or are they? Angus is becoming very unsure as to who the bad guys are and who are the good guys? or are there any? Who should he trust? 

 

Saka is faced with acknowledging his feelings for Angus...at least to himself. Things are becoming precarious on demonside and friends are becoming foes. Nothing seems to be what it is and everything is becoming suspect to both Angus and Saka. 

 

As Angus goes back and forth between his world and Saka's he gets answer to questions that don't quite add up and more questions arise while amidst all of this he realizes that he's also developing feelings for Terrence a friend from his days at the college.  As Angus's feelings for Terrence grow people notice and the relationship becomes his weakness...a tool for those who would control Angus to wield against him. 

 

While the relationship growth between Saka and Angus was slow it was also loaded with obstacles not the least of which was human? demon? Need I say more? I've liked the interaction between these two from the first book and while it occasionally felt slow to me there was still lots of interest to keep me reading add in the dynamics of Angus's growing feelings for Terrence and the prospect of his worlds colliding should Terrence and Saka meet, how's it even possible to not be interested? and for those who are wondering...Saka...well, he's got a tail and if you want to know more well then you'll just have to read the books, lol!

 

Ok, back to the books...the plot in this series is hella', hella' good. We're talking about two different worlds here but worlds that are connected and while they are in a way dependent on each other they also require a balance to be maintained but what happens when it's not? Well that's what we're finding out, it's not pretty and the possibilities are frightening because if somebody doesn't find the right solution the only question that will remain to be answered isn't who will survive? it's will anyone survive?

 

Whatever the reason that I struggled with this one I do know it wasn't the book and I am all in for this series...maybe, this one wasn't 5 stars for me, but 4 stars for a book that I had a bit of a struggle says a lot to me and mostly what it says is that I need to read the next book and find out what happens to Saka, Angus, Terrence, Lizzie and Wek. They've already lost some of their band of renegades...friends have died, lives have been sacrificed now what remains to be seen is 'was it worth it? or was it all in vain?' I for one want to know.

 

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A copy of 'Rogue in the Making' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-05-10 22:50
Why I adore Rhys Ford even though she made me cry...
Sin and Tonic (Sinners #6) - Rhys Ford

Actually, it's more like 'Why I freakin' adore this author' even though she's bringing one of my absolute favorite series to a close and she made me cry.

 

Now before I begin let me just say I am going to ramble and probably go on a bit more than necessary here but seriously can you blame me this is one of my absolute favorite series...I adore the characters of 'Sinners' and yes, i have to say characters because this isn't just about the men. It's about all of the characters who have graced the pages of these stories and some of them aren't necessarily from the 'Sinners' series or even from a Rhys Ford series at all and that's part of what's made this all such a wonderful adventure. 

 

I wish I could say that I'm sorry to see this series end...ok, I can say this, but I can also say that I love that Ms Ford is taking these boys out on a high note. I would rather see an author end a series with me wanting more than with me thinking "Oh please lord can this be done now." you see I'm one of those people who has to finish what they start and it may take me some time to get around to it but eventually I do my absolute best to cycle around to a series and catch up or finish reading the books and to me if I'm left feeling like I want more but knowing that things are complete well than that's a job well done.

 

I admit I'm hoping that we'll get a peek here and there at some of the characters from this series maybe in another of Ms Ford's stories or who knows maybe someone will pop up in a Mary Calmes series who knows who will run into who with these authors and who wants to the fun is in the surprise.

 

But that's enough postulating about what might be for now, let's talk about what is or was...'Sin and Tonic' is the last story in the 'Sinners' series and for me it was one hella' good roller coaster ride. There was so much that I loved about this book. We got bits and pieces of everyone Rafe and Quinn, Forest and Conner, Damien and Sionn, Brigid and Donal and of course Miki and Kane.

 

This one's due out in 5 days, Sinners fans and it's going to be worth the wait. I laughed and cried and sometimes I was laughing and crying simultaneously because I just wasn't sure which I wanted to do more. 

 

Like I said back at the beginning I love all the characters of Sinners and while Quinn and Rafe are probably my favorites even I have to admit no one deserves happiness more than Miki St. John. He's been through hell and back and he more than deserves it...he's damned well earned it and he's earned a world of love...

 

from Dude the dog...

"I'm sure the dog cares, just in his own way," she said with a laugh.

 

to Edie, their manager...

"Now do you understand why you need me?" She'd said to the shocked band members. "You just lost an argument with the person who is willing to go to the mat for you. Imagine how far you'll get when you go head-to-head with somebody who wants to bleed you dry?..."

 

to Donal...

"Then maybe what ye need to hear from me is that no matter who comes into your life, I will not let them hurt ye, and I will always be there when ye call out for your da."

 

to Brigid...

...So this time, when a pair of red stilettos beat on the floor like the drums of war, they were summoning the heavens to come protect him--a son she found rather than a son she'd borne.

 

and everyone in between but ultimately there is Kane...

"...You mean more to me than my badge and the dead. I love you. And if I have to, I would give up everything I've become--everything I've accomplished--just to hold you if you need me."

 

So yes, I laughed I cried my heart ached for all that was but ultimately in the end I was replete with the answers to so many questions and the knowledge that not only had Miki gone through hell but he'd come out the other side stronger and surrounded by love. Most of all I loved that while this is the ending for this series for Miki, Kane and the rest of Crossroads Gin and their partners it's just another bend in the road.

 

I know I'll be revisiting this series and I'm already looking forward to it especially on audio. I very unashamedly admit more than anything I want this one on audio and I've got my fingers crossed that like the rest of them Tristan James will be the narrator who  once again brings these characters to life for me.

 

It's been a hella' good ride with this series and I really can't think of anything more to say other than if you haven't read it check it out because you really don't want to read this one without having read the previous books and if you have I can't imagine that you won't love this final installment in the 'Sinners' series.

 

Thank you, Ms. Ford for writing what has  become one of my absolute favorite series...EVER!!!

 

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An ARC of 'Sin and Tonic' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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