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review 2017-08-10 23:29
Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy #1) by Jennifer Estep
Mythos Academy Bundle: First Frost, Touch of Frost, Kiss of Frost & Dark Frost - Kensington Books

When Gwen’s mother died she was claimed by the Mythos Academy. An Academy that teaches young, magically gifted warriors to be ready to fight Chaos as has been their solemn duty for centuries


But Gwen, with her powers of psychometry and no magical history or culture felt very out of place among the affluent, strong and powerful valkyries and spartans of the Mythos Academy


And never did this rift loom so large than when one of their class is killed and her war torn peers seem to not even care. It’s left to her to investigate and find the actual truth

I can’t even begin to review this book without addressing the great big elephant in the room and the problem is it underpins a lot of the whole book.


A core concept of this book is that the magical kids in this school are have magical gifts based on the mythological, legendary warriors of the past. This works for the valkyries with their super strength. And the Amazons with their super speed. But then we have the Romans, Celts and Spartans… these are actual people? Also I question why your legendary super-warriors for men are actual historical people. While your magical warrior women are mythological? I don’t think it’s intentional and there’s no actual sense that there’s a magical divide between men and women: but I think it kind of sends a weird message that awesome warrior women are… well… fictional… while awesome warrior men are historical.


But then there’s Gwen. Gwen’s magical gift is psychometry - she can touch things and get sensation and images off it. Her mother and grandmother also had psychic gifts like this. And they are called Gypsies.


Argh, no. First of all that word is not neutral, it’s a slur used to denigrate, demean, insult and perpetuate no small number of myths against the Romani people. And Romani are not legendary, mythological or even historical people - they’re an ethnic group, a highly discriminated against ethnicity that faces incredible amounts of persecution as well as really damaging stereotypes. One of which is this pervasive fortune teller/woo-woo depiction - this is damaging

But to top this off, I honestly think the author may not know this. And by “this” I mean that Romani actually exist. There is no suggestion, not one tiny suggestion, that Gwen, her mother or grandmother are Romani. There’s no suggestion that them calling themselves “Gypsy” applies to anything BUT their woo-woo. There’s even a line:


“I didn’t know exactly what made us Gypsies. We didn’t act like any Gypsies I’d ever read about. We didn’t live in wagons or wander from town to town or cheat people out of their money.”


I… no… just no. Really, appropriating a slur and then trotting out of all of these insults and stereotypes while completely ignoring actual Romani people is beyond not ok.


Getting past this is difficult, but when you do there is a somewhat intriguing story and world here. Though I would like more development of this world. We have the concept of the pantheon and the big bad god spreading chaos which isn’t exactly original. Which is why I would have quite liked to have examined what all these gods - or what all the individual powers were and meant.


There were some excellent moments of examining the idea of these very spoilt, privileged kids who, at the same time, were so innured to loss and conflict, which in turn expanded on the idea of why they are being so very spoiled; indulgent parents who are very aware their kids may not reach adulthood.



Read More



Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/08/touch-of-frost-mythos-academy-1-by.html
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review 2017-07-28 08:05
Virtual Tour w/Review - Lucky Charmed
It seems he and Carmen are at each other’s throats one minute—
and on each other’s lips the next. Someone’s gotta give . . .
Charmed in Texas #2
Sharla Lovelace
Releasing July 18th, 2017
Lyrical Shine
Carmen Frost hates honey. And bees. And in her hometown of Charmed, Texas, which practically invented the stuff, that’s a problem. The good news is that the summer Honey Festival is finally over. Even better, so is the annual Lucky Hart carnival, a road show that made off with her dreams years ago—including the boy she loved. Now she’s got a divorce behind her, and a successful law career in front of her, but in a tiny town, big memories die hard. Or they don’t die at all—as Carmen discovers when she runs into an all too familiar pair of eyes—older, wiser, and just as heart-melting as ever . . .


Sully Hart has had enough of the nomad lifestyle. Travelling with his father’s carnival gave him adventures, but it cost him much more. Now he’s home to stay, contracted to create an entertainment complex in Charmed. He wants roots, a house with a yard and all the mundane pleasures that go with it. But the girl he loved has become a woman who still wants freedom. Can she still want him? It seems he and Carmen are at each other’s throats one minute—and on each other’s lips the next. Someone’s gotta give . . .
Sharla Lovelace is the bestselling, award-winning author of sexy small-town love stories. Being a Texas girl through and through, she’s proud to say she lives in Southeast Texas with her retired husband, a tricked-out golf cart, and two crazy dogs. She is the author of five stand-alone novels including the bestselling Don’t Let Go, the exciting Heart Of The Storm series, and the fun and sexy new Charmed in Texas series. For more about Sharla's books, visit her website, and keep up with all her new book releases easily by subscribing to her newsletter. She loves keeping up with her readers, and you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

A tattoo peeked out from his muscle, under a shirt sleeve. The tattoo. Shit. It was all I could do not to run my thumb across my left breast where its clone resided.


My mouth went dry as all kinds of confusion exploded in my head. Keep it together. Don’t show weakness. He left you.


He left you.


A calm washed over me and all my strength as a professional business woman, as just a woman who’d been through and seen a few things, came back and held me up. What did it matter that the love of my life, the man that shattered me into a million pieces in a stadium parking lot was standing in front of me fifteen years later looking good enough to lick from head to toe?



I was better than that.





Lucky Charmed (Charmed in Texas, #2)Lucky Charmed by Sharla Lovelace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book is #2, in the Charmed In Texas series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding and enjoyment of the series, I recommend reading this in order.

Sullivan AKA Sully has a past with Carmen. A past that brings him back and thinking of a future. When she sees him again, however, there are doubts that will happen.

Carmen is not big on her hometown. She has wanted to be long gone. She has ties here that keep her coming back. Her friends, family, and yes even her heart.

This series is just hot! The characters have great banter, and the heat seems to be turned up on high. I love the sparks that sizzle and nearly jump off the page. Second chance romance always seems to be hotter than the simple. I cannot wait for the next book in the series.

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publishers.

View all my reviews

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review 2017-07-28 05:32
Lucky Charmed - Sharla Lovelace

This is book is #2, in the Charmed In Texas series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader understanding and enjoyment of the series, I recommend reading this in order.


Sullivan AKA Sully has a past with Carmen.  A past that brings him back and thinking of a future.  When she sees him again, however, there are doubts that will happen.


Carmen is not big on her hometown.  She has wanted to be long gone.  She has ties here that keep her coming back.  Her friends, family, and yes even her heart.  


This series is just hot!  The characters have great banter, and the heat seems to be turned up on high.  I love the sparks that sizzle and nearly jump off the page.  Second chance romance always seems to be hotter than the simple.  I cannot wait for the next book in the series.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publishers.

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review 2017-04-21 03:17
A Charmed Little Lie - Sharla Lovelace

Lanie had given a lie to a dying aunt.  Now, she must prove the marriage is real.  No pressure, right?  Especially since she is not even seeing anyone right now.


Nick comes across Lanie in the middle of a crisis and is not sure to take her seriously.  She has him fitting the general description of the man she lied about.  He needs the money, so he gives in.  Then the attraction begins......


I really felt it all with this story.  There is plenty of humor, heat, sarcasm, and lots of fun.  I really wanted the characters to see what I saw for them.  There was sparks flying between them and it was fun to see the slow burn speed up.  I cannot wait to see the next book in the series.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



****This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2016-03-16 07:01
Blog Tour - DRIVE
Enter to Win a
Print Copy of DRIVE
Hot Rides #1
Sidney Bristol
Released February 23rd, 2016
Zebra: Kensington Books
Blazing Miami sun. Cool classic cars. Dangerous undercover assignment. In Sidney Bristol’s scorching new Hot Rides series, the cars are fast and the romance is furious…
 Aiden DeHart has a history—and secrets. His classic car garage is a front for an FBI operation. His current mission: get some evidence from a drug dealer’s ex-wife, then get out. Madison Haughton sending his engine into overdrive isn’t part of the plan, though, especially considering she might not be as innocent as Aiden thought…
 Since her divorce from her sleazeball ex, Madison has sworn off bad boys, gotten some sweet tattoos, and become a star of Miami’s roller derby scene. But however fast she skates, her ex is always on her tail. When the sexy guy in the muscle car offers to help, he could be her ticket to safety—or a detour down a deadly road…



What was he doing?



Aiden downshifted into a lower gear as they reached a busier street. Madison’s knuckles were white where she gripped the car. He could hear her panting for breath over the purr of the engine and it set his teeth on edge.


He should have sent her on her way, but he hadn’t been able to. The way her eyes had pleaded with him, the desperation.



He’d bet his Challenger she was innocent. And he didn’t harm innocents. There weren’t a lot of limits left to him, but that was one.



There was still a chance this whole thing could be a setup. Madison could be playing him. This whole divorce might be a ruse. But if it were, they had even the police fooled. No, Madison’s story was at least partly truthful. She was Dustin’s ex, but she might also be the key to learning how to pry open the inner ranks of Michael Evers’s organization.



That didn’t answer why he had Madison in his car, or why he pushed the Challenger in turns or zipped through traffic. This kind of driving was asking for trouble, but the way her breathing hitched, how she squeaked when he cut it close passing another car or skidded around a turn—it only encouraged him. By the time he reached the highway and headed toward the night’s meet-up, the pitch of her noises had changed, dropping an octave. Yeah, fast cars had that kind of effect on some people.



“How exactly did you go from being a housewife to a roller derby girl?” She baited his curiosity like few things did these days unless it was connected to Evers. His life was one, sad refrain—catch the bastard.



Madison chuckled. “Wish fulfillment. In high school I wanted the family I didn’t have. When I got divorced, I wanted to be the kind of woman who didn’t let life keep her down. Want to take a bet on what I do next?”



Her humor surprised a laugh out of him. She was an interesting woman, that was for sure.



It wasn’t long before the lights of Miami faded behind them and the Everglades stretched out on either side. 


For the couple miles it took to reach the race site, he could pretend he wasn’t doing a job. That he was just a guy, driving a fast car with a pretty girl by his side. It was a nice dream, but it wasn’t for him.



He exited onto a two-lane road that seemed to go nowhere. Unless you knew where you were going. He took a turn and taillights lit up the darkness. Other speed junkies on the search for a fix.



They’d created a loose association of drivers. Those people in Miami who felt they had what it took under the hood to go fast and drive hard met up for a little friendly competition. At least they pretended it was friendly.



He passed a four-way stop, rounded another turn, and the night came alive with headlights, running lights, and the beat of a dozen different sound systems blaring music. There were a couple of groups dancing, some popping and grinding while others pulled out the smooth, salsa moves. People milled up and down the street, taking a look under the hood of some of the most jacked-up cars in the state.



“What’s this?” Madison asked. They passed the outlying vehicles, the people lined up to watch the beginning of the race.



“This is race night.” He revved the engine and chuckled when she jumped.



“Okay, smart-ass, I can kind of figure that one out on my own. I mean,”—she waved at the crowds gathering on the shoulder, the people set up for a show and the cars—“is this a thing? What’s going on?”



She had no idea the world she’d just stepped into.



“Every couple of weeks we have race night. Rules are simple—you have to have won a race since the last race night and someone has to verify you won. We pick a place, set the track, and see who wins. Simple, really.”


A redheaded woman stepped onto the asphalt directly in front of them. She wore a tiny pair of white shorts and a bikini top. She wiggled her fingers at him and smirked.


Roni was a damn fine driver, but you wouldn’t know it looking at her. She preferred to distract with her looks, as much as her twin, Tori, preferred to hide them under grease. Another of the guys pulled a few chairs out of the way and Aiden reversed into the vacant spot.


“Who’s that?” Madison asked. Her posture had gone tense, rigid.


“A friend,” he replied.



He gave the accelerator one last tap to hear the purr before shutting it off. Too bad he’d been too wrapped up with a restoration job the last few weeks to make any of the propositioned races. It would have been interesting to see how Madison reacted when he burned over the finish line.

Some women really got into it. Was she the type? He kind of wanted to find out.



Since meeting her that afternoon, he’d rolled around a few ways to tackle this situation. He felt pretty certain coming clean with her was the best choice. The question now was how to continue. There was no denying his attraction to her. He could play that angle, which would be a perfect explanation to Dustin why he was hanging out with his ex-wife.


Aiden stepped out of the Challenger. The damp evening air wrapped around him like a blanket. This far out into the Everglades they might as well be swimming. Without the noise of the cars, they could hear the buzz of cicadas and calls of the birds that lived in the wetlands. It was a beautiful and deadly habitat.



Madison circled the car and met him at the edge of the road. He could feel the gaze of not just his crew on him, but everyone surrounding them. There was no doubt that when Aiden or Julian did something, people paid attention, but this was a little much. He let his gaze travel over those gathered, taking in the position of the major players, the sideline jockeys, the outright gang members, and the other crews who just wanted to drive fast and score quick cash.



Why the hell were they staring?


He turned toward Madison—oh.



Standing in front of his Challenger, dressed like she’d just stepped off the pages of a hot-rod magazine, of course she’d draw the eyes of everyone in a quartermile radius. Those long legs were silhouetted by the running lights of his car and the thin fabric of her shirt was practically see-through.



“Come here.” He grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the light.


“What? What’s wrong with you?” Madison grumbled.



He didn’t reply, because what was he going to say?


I don’t want everyone looking at you like that.


“Hey, mami,” Julian said. He stopped between them and peered down at Madison. Julian was a big man, of mixed Cuban and Mexican heritage. His face was scarred from an IED explosion and more than a couple fights. He still kept his hair military short, which only accentuated the broken lines of his face and his dark, soulless eyes. Julian was a man with a singular purpose in life. Little else filled him now. He was hardly the same man Aiden remembered from boot camp.



Madison arched one brow and stared up at him, as if she were issuing a challenge. Aiden might find the exchange entertaining—were she tangling with anyone else. Julian though, he wasn’t a man to be trifled with.



“Madison, this is Julian. He co-owns the shop with me.”






Julian’s gaze flicked toward Aiden, but he didn’t meet it. Why had he brought her?



She put her hands on her hips and the neckline gaped forward.



Right. How could he forget those curves?



“You still racing tonight?” Aiden asked to get Julian to stop leering at Madison’s breasts. If she didn’t need Aiden in her life, then she really didn’t need Julian’s baggage barreling into hers.



Julian’s lips curled. “Yeah, heat four.”



“Hey, boys.” Tori stepped into their cluster, holding two beers. Unlike her sister, Tori wore cargo pants and a tank top, her red hair braided on either side of her head. A grease smudge marked her cheek, which was pretty much the norm. “Oh, sorry, didn’t realize you had a third. Hi, I’m Tori.” She handed the bottles to them and wiped her hand off on her pants before offering it to Madison.



“Hi.” It was almost comical to watch Madison’s face, the way it creased. She no doubt recalled Roni’s distracting shorts and bikini-top number to Tori’s cargos and tank top.


“Hey, Aiden.” Roni crossed the street at a jog. Up and down the street people stopped to stare, which was exactly why Roni picked her race-day outfits to show as much skin as possible. Distraction was her favorite tactic.


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It can never be said that NYT & USA Today Bestselling author Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life. She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and fostering cats.
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