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review 2017-02-18 01:01
How to a tame a Beast in Seven Days
How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days - Kerrelyn Sparks

I loved Kerrilyn Sparks' other series, Love at Stake. I was very sad to see it end, actually still sad. I saw this and was so hopeful, but sadly for me it is not as good. I do see that there is a possibility for awesomeness with the series though and hope the author nails the next installment.


This didn't have the slow building romance I expect from Sparks. Her characters usually spend a lot of time together before the big L comes into the story. Not in this one. There is a lot of looking at each other, a lot of thinking about each other, but not a lot of them actually together. 


There is a large amount of world building going on, this is the first book in a new series so it was expected. I do like this world and it's characters. I hope to see Pirate's book next. 


In this we have people who are "embraced." They have have gifts like being able to see ghosts (the main female character), able to harness lightening (our male), turn into an animal (another character, etc. They are feared by others and are often hidden at birth in order to protect them. 


Review copy provided through Netgalley. 

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review 2017-02-17 17:43
Uuuuummmm...excuse me, but where do I sign up for book #2?
Warlock in Training - T.J. Nichols

Because I want it...like yesterday...now would be good but yesterday would have been even better because then I could reading it now.


I admit this book probably isn't for everyone but when I saw the blurb I was curious and fairly certain it would work for me...well, that was an understatement. I loved it. It's magic and wizards, warlocks, mages, demons and Oh hell yeah! There's a dragon or two just for good measure. 


Let's start with Angus, he's definitely the center of the story. He's a warlock in training and in his world any warlock worth his salt has a demon and Angus manages to get the demon to end all demons because his demon's a mage.


Have I confused you yet? Well let me clarify things a little. Angus is human and he lives on the humanside and he's training to be a warlock, not that he wants to be but daddy thinks he should or at least he does until he doesn't but we're not going to go there right now.


For the purposes of this story a warlock is someone who is trained in the use of magic and draws their magic from his demon who he calls forth from the other side of the void, which is essentially the demonside of this world. Now a wizard is someone who uses magic but it's magic that they gather and they don't use a demon. Which is nice considering that no one asked the demon if he wanted to do this they just use them until they've used up their power and a mage is a demon who can use magic, so basically a combination of a wizard and a warlock in that they're trained but they draw their power from their surroundings more like a wizard and that's all the world building we're going to cover for now. 


So we have Angus a warlock in training who just happens to call forth Saka who is a mage and not in training and powerful. Now I'm going to talk about why I want the next book so freakin' bad.


First off while there is a romance in this book it's definitely a secondary part of the story and let's just say it's unusual...there's even a bit of a romantic triangle...potentially and bonus points boys and girls there's a orgy that's right a full on demon ritual orgy and it does involve both boy and girl bits, however, I really didn't find the details to be excessively graphic or offensive and lastly there's also a definite cliffhanger to the ending, so if any of this is an issue for you, than this might not be the book for you. 


T. J. Nichols is a new to me author who basically blew me out of the water with this book. I loved the world building and the character development, especially with Angus. He showed a lot of growth from start to finish and given everything he went through I probably would have tanked things if it had been any different.  


Saka was more than a little interesting and I'm really not sure how to explain him because...hello? demon here and a really interesting one not to mention pretty hot if we take Angus's word on things and did I mention he's got a tail...I'mma just sayin'.


Saka is a mage and a powerful one even by his people's standards. He's also a teacher, he wants to restore the magical balance to both humanside and demonside but what he also wants is to do it in a way that is beneficial to both races and without war between the two sides, however, time's running out for everyone because the humanside of this world is getting colder and demonside is getting hotter, so while a long term fix is the ultimate objective neither world can ignore the need for stop gap measures as well.


My only little niggle with this book was that the pacing occasionally felt a little slow but at the same time there's not anything in this story that I'm willing to give up...so little niggle from my perspective.


At the end of it all if fantasy, with some awesome world building, a side of romance and a strong plot is your thing you need to check this one out. Do I wish I had the next book...of course, if it's anywhere near as good as this one it's going to be one hella' good read. Am I sorry I read this one only to be left sitting on the edge of a cliff...nope, not even a little bit...the view from here is very promising.



An ARC of 'Warlock in Training' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-02-07 21:05
Definitely not your typical romance...
Hidden Gem - Lissa Kasey

I've been making grabby hands at this one for a while now. I bought the e-book back in...ok, never mind I bought the e-book ok. Then I was offered the opportunity to review the audio book so I jumped at it and am I ever happy I did that little thing.


This story is...awesome? Mind blowing? Fascinating? Ok, let's just say I thought it was pretty damned amazing.


Misaki “Aki” Itou is a psi, he's also a highly paid whore and he's in love with Shane McNaughton who happens to be a police officer and a survivor of the third world war. Only Shane didn't survive totally unscathed. His genes were mutated so now he's a shifter. People don't know about his 'kind' and he doesn't want anyone seeing the monster he guards so closely but Shane's in love with Aki and he wants him in his life all the time. 


In a nutshell there's a romance in this story it's good and in a lot of ways it's really, really sweet. I love these two but their romance is definitely not the main focus of this story. Although I never felt like it got thrown to the wayside, it was subtle and understated at times.


'Hidden Gem' is the name of the house where Aki works along with his best friend 'Candy' (but you have to wait until book 3 for Candy's story). Strange as it seems Aki is grateful to have the life he has. When he was found by Bart, the man who holds his contract and own's the Hidden Gem and Paris, the man who trained him to work for Bart and himself a former whore until he bought out his own contract, Aki was living on borrowed time and had no idea how he was going to survive.


To say that life as a whore is challenging for Aki is an understatement given that his psi power is that he sees other peoples memories and feels their emotions when he touches them and he's never been trained to manage his powers, but, while there are limits on what he can and will do Aki is beautiful and men want him. So where there's a want there's a way and as Paris promised he soon becomes one of Bart's top earning whores.


Given that fantasy/scifi/dystopian/post-apocolyptic/paranormal/shifter type stories while something that I'm cautious with have also been genres that have fairly consistently drawn me in, as well, it doesn't surprise that I enjoyed this one. What does surprise me is how much I enjoyed this story.


I loved the world building...it was fabulous, I loved so a many of the secondary characters Paris (his story is next), Candy, Bart, Shane's partner...Jackson Taylor (another MC for book 3). If books 2 and 3 hook me in as well as this one has...well, I'm a happy, happy girl.


So while the book was damned near perfect I have to admit I'm not quite as over the moon about the narration but having said that I was so enchanted with the story that the narrator really didn't seem to detract from it either. I honestly have to admit I may have to give this audiobook a second go round because I was so focused on the story that I'm not truly convinced that I gave Adam McLaughlin, the narrator in question a fair listen but since he definitely didn't spoil the story for me I'm going to give him 4 stars.


So that's 4 stars for the narrator, 5 stars for the story leaving us with a happy median of 4.5 stars and a happy me with two more stories awaiting my time. 


Was this a perfect story...probably not, but, it was a story that worked perfectly for me.



An audiobook of 'Hidden Gem' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2017-01-21 08:58
First Book Loot for 2017!


New Arrivals at appear Midu Reads as the new year starts. I have 3 nonfiction books in the pile & am really excited about those! You can also see Assail by Ian C. Esselmont, a Joe Abercombie, Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, and  Monster Island by David Wellington--all of which are going to be awesome. There's also Dragon Horse by Peter Ward, which I bought because a) shiny, b) hardcover, c)it had the words, epic, fantasy, & China written on it!

Book Synopses



1. Dragon Horse by Peter Ward


"Set in ancient China, two brothers fight the classic battle between good and evil as the Shadow-without-name attempts to break free from eternal imprisonment by utilizing the strength and power of the famed dragon horses. Rokshan and An-Lushan are drawn into this centuries-old struggle, along with a young girl destined to become the Spellweaver of her nomadic tribe.

As An-Lushan is pulled towards the dark, Rokshan must embark upon a dangerous journey and learn the innermost secrets of the dragons."



2. Assail by Ian C. Esselmont


"Tens of thousands of years of ice is melting, and the land of Assail, long a byword for menace and inaccessibility, is at last yielding its secrets. Tales of gold discovered in the region's north circulate in every waterfront dive and sailor's tavern, and now countless adventurers and fortune-seekers have set sail in search of riches. All these adventurers have to guide them are legends and garbled tales of the dangers that lie in wait -- hostile coasts, fields of ice, impassable barriers and strange, terrifying creatures. But all accounts concur that the people of the north meet all trespassers with the sword. And beyond are rumoured to lurk Elder monsters out of history's very beginnings." Read more.




3. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson


"Cryptonomicon zooms all over the world, careening conspiratorially back and forth between two time periods--World War II and the present. Our 1940s heroes are the brilliant mathematician Lawrence Waterhouse, crypt analyst extraordinaire, and gung-ho, morphine-addicted marine Bobby Shaftoe. They're part of Detachment 2702, an Allied group trying to break Axis communication codes while simultaneously preventing the enemy from figuring out that their codes have been broken. Their job boils down to layer upon layer of deception. Dr. Alan Turing is also a member of 2702, and he explains the unit's strange workings to Waterhouse. "When we want to sink a convoy, we send out an observation plane first... Of course, to observe is not its real duty--we already know exactly where the convoy is. Its real duty is to be observed... Then, when we come round and sink them, the Germans will not find it suspicious." Read more.


4. The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Obsession, Commerce, and Adventure by Adam Leith Gollner


"Tasty, lethal, hallucinogenic, and medicinal – fruits have led nations into wars, fueled dictatorships, and even lured us into new worlds. Adam Leith Gollner weaves business, science, and travel into a riveting narrative about one of earth’s most desired foods." Read more.



5. A Buzz in the Meadow: The Natural History of a French Farm by Dave Goulson


"In A Buzz in the Meadow, Goulson returns to tell the tale of how he bought a derelict farm in the heart of rural France. Over the course of a decade, on thirty-three acres of meadow, he created a place for his beloved bumblebees to thrive. But other creatures live there too, myriad insects of every kind, many of which Goulson had studied before in his career as a biologist. You'll learn how a deathwatch beetle finds its mate, why butterflies have spots on their wings, and see how a real scientist actually conducts his experiments." Read more.

6. Half a King by Joe Abercrombie


Betrayed by his family and left for dead, Prince Yarvi, reluctant heir to a divided kingdom, has vowed to reclaim a throne he never wanted.

But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself - all with only one good hand. Born a weakling in the eyes of a hard, cold world, he cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he has sharpened his mind to a deadly edge.

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast, he finds they can help him more than any noble could. Even so, Yarvi's path may end as it began - in twists, traps and tragedy...


7. An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield


In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff. Read more.



8. Monster Island by David Wellington


It's one month after a global disaster. The most "developed" nations of the world have fallen to the shambling zombie masses. Only a few pockets of humanity survive — in places rife with high-powered weaponry, such as Somalia. In New York City, the dead walk the streets, driven by an insatiable hunger for all things living. One amongst them is different; though he shares their appetites he has retained his human intelligence. Alone among the mindless zombies, Gary Fleck is an eyewitness to the end of the world — and perhaps the evil genius behind it all. From the other side of the planet, a small but heavily-armed group of schoolgirls-turned-soldiers has come in search of desperately needed medicine. Dekalb, a former United Nations weapons inspector, leads them as their local guide. Ayaan, a crack shot at the age of sixteen, will stop at nothing to complete her mission. They think they are prepared for anything. On Monster Island they will find that there is something worse even than being undead, as Gary learns the true price of survival.
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review 2017-01-04 23:01
I'm holding back that one star for just the right moment...
Long Shadows (Common Law Book 1) - Kate Sherwood

It's been a while since I read anything by Kate Sherwood but when I saw this one and then read the blurb I knew my Kate Sherwood dry spell had ended. 


'Long Shadows' is book one in a new series entitled 'Common Law' and Holy Hell!!! has this one gotten off to a good start. There's action, intrigue, mystery, suspense, hot men with sexual tension so thick you can cut it with a buzz saw and it's just going to keep getting thicker because seriously guys nothing happens...I mean zip, zilch, zero, nadda, nothing. Not even a little peck on the cheek. These guys are killing me here, but damned if I don't mind because some things are just worth the wait. 


It's been 15 years since Jericho Crewe last saw Wade Granger and neither man has really gotten over the other but it wasn't Wade that brought Jericho back to town. It was a phone call from an unknown person telling him his father had been badly hurt and that's just the beginning of the nightmare that becomes Jericho's life as he returns to Mosley the last place on earth that he really wants to be.


And this is why I'm good with the fact that nothing has happened between these two men. They've been apart for 15 years and there's been no communication. Not to mention that when Jericho left it created a rift between them that's going to take a while to fix if it ever happens at all. A lot's changed in 15 years. Jericho now wears a badge and Wade seems to have drifted further and further away from what's legal. Chances are if something illegal is happening in Mosley...Wade Granger's got a hand in it. In  spite of this the attraction between Wade and Jericho is as strong as ever.


The problem is Jericho's very determination to deny his attraction to Wade still exist and while Wade is just as drawn to Jericho, he seems equally determined to hang on to his anger at being left behind. Not to mention that on top of all this Jericho discovers that his 'badly injured' father is 'dead' and has left a wife and 2 children behind...that's right Jericho has a set of half siblings that have suddenly gone missing...and things just keep getting more and more complicated, so really...steamy sex? Who has the time to even think about it much less do anything. Certainly not Jericho or Wade. Both of whom seem to be firmly planted in the middle of things...and neither of which are having an inappropriate thoughts about the other...nope, nope, nope...not happening...sure it's not.


I won't say that this story ends on a cliff hanger exactly it's more of a 'more to come' ledge. I'd love for these two to get together but I'm honestly willing to wait because when it happens I'm pretty sure it's going to be a barn burner and my e-reader's going to go up in flames.


So if you need your smexy times from the word go...maybe not the series for you or wait until all 4 books have been released, which isn't that far off since the last one is scheduled for release at the beginning of April and you can power through them, but if you like a story with strong plot development and a couple of vary, vary sexy MCs and some intriguing secondary characters and goings on...I think you've come to the right place....Oh yeah, book 2 starts off every bit as good as this one did...I'll let you know how it ends...soon...probably tomorrow. Happy reading.



An ARC of 'Long Shadows' was graciously provided by the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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