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review 2018-05-10 18:31
Brilliant
The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus - Margaret Atwood,Laural Merlington
The Penelopiad - Margaret Atwood

Irreverent, insightful, funny, deeply humane and empathetic.

 

The myth of Odysseus is one of my favorite parts of Greek mythology: in telling it from the perspective of Penelope -- with a good bit about Penelope's childhood and youth, and her and Odysseus's marriage thrown in for good measure, as well as with her 12 slain maids acting as a very Greek chorus -- Atwood turns it inside out, gives it a feminist spin, and puts it together again in her very own way.  And Laurel Merlington's narration is sheer genius ... if you're into Greek mythology and audiobooks, get the audio version now.  (If you're not into audiobooks but into Greek mythology, still get the edition of your choice.)

 

Absolutely loved every second of it.

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review 2018-05-01 13:26
HEXEN'S CROSS BY J KOWALLIS
Hexen's Cross - J. Kowallis

Mythology, magic and mystery...all my favorite M words in one novel.

 

 

 

If you read my reviews you know I'm a sucker for mythology, and Kowallis seamlessly weaves it into the world of the Hexens in an utterly unique way.

 

 

 

 

I also think it needs to be said that this story has some serious Indiana Jones vibes happening. The riddles to be solved, hunting for possibly fictitious relics from the past, magical BOOBY TRAPS, all being pioneered by the badass seeker of knowledge, professor/Hexen extrodinaire, Taran Grim.

 

 

 

 

Taran was pretty awesome. Although her Hexen legacy was not as accomplished as it could be, her knowledge on the mythological and mystical was second to none. Or at least, very few. I'm glad she still has some stuff to learn where her spells/powers are involved because I think if she had all that straight away she would be unstoppable at whatever she puts her mind to. I think I'll quite enjoy watching her develop and exact those powers as the story continues.

 

 

 

 

Now can we talk Collens Donovan for a hot minute? How is it even an accent on paper is HAWT?

 

 

 

 

I mean, he was kinda douchetastic at the beginning, but we all know sometimes those rough around the edges types are hiding all their many squishy loveable bits underneath. Coll was no exception. His magical prowess was a nice balance to Taran's wealth of knowledge. As Taran chipped away at his armor we got a much better idea of him as a person without the bluster and bravado...and of course, like Taran, it was hard not to like what I saw.

 

 

 

 

That ending was explosive, be prepared for twists and revelations you won't see coming! I was on the edge of my seat by the end and I CAN'T WAIT to see what happens next in this world of magic and mayhem! If you are a fan of mythology, adventure, magic, and swoon-worthy characters you need to add Hexen's Cross to your must-read list.

 

 

 

 

Btw still insanely jealous of Hexen's ability to magic their way around daily nuisances like doing your hair and avoiding traffic. Taran, share your secrets with me please!

 

 

 

 

*I received an ARC at no cost from the author*

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review 2018-04-28 14:30
Book Review of Blood Shadow: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel (Blood Never Lies Book 1) by Dianna Hardy
Blood Shadow: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel (Blood Never Lies) - Dianna Hardy

Blood Shadow is a companion novel to the Eye of the Storm series and also acts as a PREQUEL to a brand new series to come. You don't have to read Eye of the Storm to enjoy this novel (some background is given). However, we always recommend you do in order to gain full understanding of how the characters have arrived at this point.

 

Five years after her life changed forever, Jennifer Warren has put her past firmly behind her - at least, she's tried. A few sweaty nightmares here and there are a small price to pay for the freedom she won. No longer a werewolf, but human, she works as an office manager for a health and beauty spa in York, and keeps herself to herself. It's barely enough to pay the bills, but it's quiet and safe, and the clique of the staff means she's left well enough alone - no one asks her questions; no one wants to get to know her better.

 

David, her tender, kind boyfriend of two years is all she needs ... and she doesn't really need him, which suits her just fine. Never mind the occasional guilt that she doesn't really love him; he'd never hurt her in a million years - that's worth its weight in gold.

 

But Jennifer's just received another note - one of those that her mysterious, anonymous 'friend' likes to leave her every now and then; warnings of things to come, people not to trust... Her elusive friend has saved her more than once the past five years.

 

Only this note has left her breathless; her chest tight. A Supermoon is coming - the first in thirty years - and with it, a total lunar eclipse.

 

Jennifer's disowned her past, but it hasn't disowned her. As the earth shadows the full moon, her own shadows threaten to turn on her.

 

Can you ever escape what you truly are?

 

Blood never lies.

 

This is a dark urban fantasy novel of approx. 70,000 words containing scenes of a sexual nature and some violence, which may disturb some readers.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the first book in a new companion novel to the Eye of the Storm series. I loved it! You don't have to read the Eye of the Storm series to read this book, but I recommend that you do, so you have a good grasp of where Selena has been and where Jennifer is heading.

 

Jennifer Warren (aka Selena Smith) is an extremely complex character. I felt for her as she hasn't had an easy life. This is a woman I loved to hate in the Eye of the Storm series, as she was a real *i*ch. Five years after being given a new name and a new life from her ordeal at the hands of the Tridents, she is trying to put her life back together as best she can. However, there's a bad moon rising (okay, it's a super blood moon, but you get the idea) and her saviour sends her an ominous warning. As the life she's tried to build slowly unravels, will she find her inner strength once more, or will the changes coming break her?

 

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book. Told through the eyes of several of the characters, we get to see their thoughts and feelings. Selena has had a really raw deal being a female wolf in a male dominated world; she has had to fight for what she wanted. Now as Jennifer, I found her to be slightly more tempered and, even though scarred mentally if not physically anymore, she has more vulnerability than Selena ever showed. This could be because being human, Jennifer cannot draw on her wolf's strength. However, her experiences have left her damaged emotionally and she struggles every day with nightmares. I do wish she had spoken to someone about her ordeal, but can understand her reluctance, as they would probably have committed her into an asylum when she told them she was a wolf.

 

Besides Jennifer, we are also introduced to several characters, such as David - Jennifer's boyfriend, Roman Dalton - Jennifer's saviour who has secrets of his own, Hai - Roman's surrogate father and mentor, and Prisha Patel - David's best friend and work colleague. I have mixed reactions to the various characters. I like David and think he's a wonderful man; Roman is still a bit of an enigma but I like him too. He's also not had an easy life growing up. There's a definite chemistry between him and Jennifer that fairly radiates off the page, so am interested to see where they, or the author, takes us as the series progresses. Hai is a character I love. He is full of Chinese proverbs and wise sayings that annoy Roman and confuse Jennifer, but I found him to be a loving man who took a scared boy under his wing and gave him much needed love and attention. Then there is Prisha. I found her to be similar in her attitude and characteristics as Selena. She may be another character that I may love to hate as the series progresses. Watch this space!

 

I don't want to give any spoilers and this book is so hard to describe without giving huge ones. Therefore, I will try to keep this as short as possible by saying: READ THIS BOOK! Blood Shadow is not always an easy read, especially if you or someone you know has gone through an abusive relationship, as the main character has gone through hell and it may cause a triggering event. Having said that, there is one scene between Jennifer and Roman that is serious but light at the same time. It's incredibly hard to blame Roman for something he did accidentally when he was trying to save her life and he's horrified about it, but it's still a violation of sorts. I'll leave it to you to decide for yourself if you'd be amused or horrified by his actions. There are also some rather touching scenes, so you may need a tissue or two.

At the end of the story, we get to meet a new character who will be one of the main characters in the next book in the companion series, Aftershock. Her name is Jasmine. However, if you've read Reign of the Wolf, the sixth book in the Eye of the Storm series, you would have been briefly introduced to her as a baby. I can't wait to get my hands on this book, but I'm dreading it too. This is because I know it'll be an emotional roller coaster ride and I'll end up feeling like I've been put through the wringer, just like this one - a book hangover in the making!

 

Dianna Hardy is one of my favourite romance authors (she writes both paranormal/urban fantasy and contemporary romance). She has a way of expressing so much emotion through her written words; ripping your heart out with them, but also filling you up with them too. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and exciting. The flow is fantastic too. Reading her books are a joy, and I will continue to read them for as long as she keeps writing them.

 

Unlike other books by this author, this book doesn't have any romantic scenes of explicit content. However, there are flashbacks from Jennifer/Selena's past that are explicit, as well as scenes containing some bad language and violence that may offend some readers, so I do not recommend this book for younger readers or those of a nervous disposition, or those who may have a triggered event by reading this book. Having said that, I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love contemporary or paranormal romances, dark fantasy and/or urban fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

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review 2018-04-16 16:43
Great Prequel to The Star-Touched Queen
Death and Night - Roshani Chokshi

Not too much to say here besides how much I loved the beginning to Death and Night or how we know them, Amar and Maya.

 

We read about both of these characters in "The Star-Touched Queen" but we get to read about how they met, how Death courted Night, and how she loved him. We know what will happen next (I read the first full book and only came back to read this prequel now) but it was great to read about how they came to love one another prior to Night choosing to leave him in order to be re-born. 

 

Death is cursed to fall in love with a woman who will leave him. So he decides to just marry, but now love his wife. Until he meets Night and knows that she is the right person for him. They have a great dynamic that consists of challenging each other as well as realizing that the other person is truly who they want to be with.


I did like that we got some backstory on the friendship between Night and Nritti. You get to see why Night loves her so much. She's one of the few who is not afraid of Night. 

 

I also loved how we got to see how playful Gupta was with Death. I maybe laughed at him trying to teach Death how to properly court. 

 

The writing was lyrical and made me laugh at times. You can easily see why Death and Night fell for each other. 

 

"We turned our gaze to the heavens and waited. There was beauty in the night, if you chose to see it. Some did. Some didn’t. For some, night was the time of dreams and rest, of balance reasserting itself. For others, the hours crowded between dusk and dawn belonged to the ghosts. I knew what they feared: the uncertainty of nighttime, the lightlessness of those hours that were not the black comfort of sleep but the shadows at the bottom of a monster’s throat. I glanced at my reflection and saw their fear staring right at me. Why could I not be dreams and nightmares both?"

 

“That I think she would make an excellent consort. I want a companion. She wants recognition. It’s a victory for us both and sound reasoning too.” I started walking toward the door when Gupta jogged up to me. “That will be your opening statement? You need to make a good impression. Bees are drawn to flowers, not rocks, for a reason. And that is a ridiculous number of assumptions about someone you don’t even know.”


We get to see how things go in the Night Bazaar which was fun to follow-up with as a setting in this book.  

 

Not too much more to say since this is a novella, but definitely a welcome addition to "The Star Touched Queen" series. 

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review 2018-04-11 15:41
Review: Heart on Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #3) by Amanda Bouchet
Heart on Fire - Amanda Bouchet
Heart on Fire

Kingmaker Chronicles #3
Amanda Bouchet
Fantasy Romance - Mythology
Sourcebooks Casablanca
January 2nd 2018
Paperback
320
Bought

 

The riveting conclusion to the Kingmaker Chronicles.

 

Who is Catalia Fisa?


With the help of pivotal figures from her past, Cat begins to understand the root of her exceptional magic, her fated union with Griffin Sinta, and Griffin's role in shaping her destiny.

 

Only Cat holds the key to unlocking her own power, and that means finally accepting herself, her past, and her future in order to protect her loved ones, confront her murderous mother, and taking a final, terrifying step--reuniting all three realms and taking her place as the Queen of Thalyria.

 

What doesn't kill her will only make her stronger...we hope.

 

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

 

 

Heart on Fire concludes the Kingmaker Chronicles series by Amanda Bouchet

 

I was hooked on the Kingmaker Chronicles series from the moment I read the first page of A Promise of Fire and each additional book has been a delight. I’m sad to see it end and I’d love to see a spin-off, because their are so many wonderful characters that have potential to do their own stories.

 

Heart on Fire starts right where Breath of Fire ends. So their is no time wasted in getting us back into the story and the coming war to deiced the fate of the lands. We are taking on an adventure, full of heart-break, enlightenment, and hope.

 

The book opens us to a very heart-breaking moment of betrayal that changes the lives of the Sinta family. For Griffin family is everything and to have one of your own betray you. Well, that leaves an everlasting impress on everyone. Cat has grown as a character and in Heart on Fireshe has several realizes and enlightened moments, where she realizes her destiny, and that she is the personification of Hope for everyone.

 

Their is a lot more talking then action in this installment. It slowed things down a little for me. Everything has been leading up to Cat’s destiny. War is coming and not everyone will survive the war. I will say the ending battle happened with very little fanfare. I’m spoiled with the Andrews team and how they write their battle scenes, so I was a bit let down with how the whole ending battle turned out. It wasn’t written bad. It just didn’t have all the action-packed battle I was hoping for. Thou we do get some action battle scenes earlier in the book.

 

I have loved the friendships made with all the secondary characters we meet. I’m hoping we get spin-offs for several of the secondary characters. Their are so many wonderful possibilities and story threads to explore with all of them. Some things where left open on the secondary characters, so it gives me hope we might be returning to the Kingmaker world.

 

Heart on Fire is packed full of adventure going from one situation to another with no chance of letting go. I couldn’t stop reading and just kept turning the pages to see what would happen next.

 

To wrap it up, Heart on Fire, was a splendid read and a nice conclusion. I’m happy to see Cat and Griffen have a good ending. The whole series has been entertaining, the friendships and romance have been pleasurable, and the new world created by Bouchet is marvelous. All of this combined together gives us a fantastic new fantasy romance.

 

Rated: 4 Stars

 

** You do need to read the Kingmaker Chronicles in order.

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

Check out my reviews for The Kingmaker Chronicles:

 

  1. A Promise of Fire – 4.5 Stars
  2. Breath of Fire – 4 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2018/04/review-heart-on-fire-kingmaker-chronicles-3-by-amanda-bouchet
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