and you'd get ready for bed and there you'd be curled up under the covers all snuggly warm with your favorite toy waiting for a bedtime story...maybe, it's a story about kings and queens, fairies, dwarves, elves, a circus filled with lions, tigers and elephants or maybe it's a story with mystical creatures unicorns, griffins, a phoenix...dragons?
Whatever, the story as children it was a special time...a time filled with the magic of going to a far away land...a different place and time, filled with magic and adventure shared with just one other person...that person reading the story to us...maybe, it was mom, or dad, a brother or sister or even a grandparent.
Whoever it was. It was in those moments that many of us first discovered the magic of books and the wondrous things they have to share with us...the people, places, adventure, mysteries and magic...all of it is magic. Magic that transports us to places and on adventures all without ever having to leave the safety of our cozy, comfortable beds. It's a magic that we get to keep with us our entire lives every time we open a book it's there waiting for us.
Ok...so now you're probably kind of wondering what this actually has to do with a specific book...one called 'The Dragon's Devotion'...well, you see this story took me back to my childhood to the magic of fairytales and happily ever after...there was a dragon and yes, we all know I'm a total pushover for dragons but this one...well, I have to say I think Corentin is going to be one of my favorite dragon's ever. He's large and majestic and his scales are such a deep purple that they're almost black, he has beautiful violet eyes. He's fierce and brave and at the heart of him is a man...a man who is intelligent, kind, loyal, handsome and knows how to love. Yeah...I sorta...kinda have a crush on Corentin.
But as wonderful as dragon's are they weren't the only thing in this story to hold my interest. There was also Bastian or more accurately there was the mystery that Bastian brought with him...you see for me Bastian was ok, I didn't dislike him. I just wasn't enamored of him. To be honest at times he annoyed me, but I also felt badly for him he lost his parents at an early age and being the oldest child of an Earl, he suddenly had a huge amount of responsibility thrust upon him. Not only was he suddenly the Earl but he has 3 younger siblings that he is also responsible for...two brothers and a sister and it's responsibility that he takes very seriously...read...micro-manage and too serious. But it's done out of a sense of love, responsibility and family obligation...so maybe his course of action wasn't always the best but his intentions were and that definitely counts for a lot.
And on a sidebar...can I just say that I was far more interested in Bastian's brothers, Griffen and Mathis...especially Griffen, I think there's definitely a story to be told about that young man and I for one would be so willing to read it...just sayin'.
Now about that mystery that Bastian brings...you see years earlier Bastian's parents and Prince Philip's parents were killed in an accident...or was it? This is the question that plagues Bastian when he receives a mysterious note telling him that what they had assumed was an accident wasn't. Leaving Bastian wondering 'what to do?' and 'who to trust?' *no spoiler here folks, it's in the blurb.*
'The Dragon's Devotion' was a wonderful blend of romance and mystery with a subtle touch of fairy tale for some added magic. The romance was a sweet slow burn...but there was definitely a romance, one involving sweet kisses in the rain, dinner's out with a side of attempted murder...opps, maybe not such a romantic thing...but did I mention...dragon to the rescue? See...what i did there, how romantic is that?
Now, just one more thing before I leave on another adventure. 'The Dragon's Devotion' is the fifth book in Antonia Aquilante's 'Chronicles of Tournai' series and as it says in the blurb this one can be read as a stand alone. I haven't read the first 4 books and while I very much enjoyed this one I have to admit I do wonder if I had read the previous books if this might not have turned out to be a 5 star read for me? I honestly can't say for sure, but what I can say is that at no point did I feel lost or confused about this story. I think readers who have read the previous books will probably enjoy it all the more for having the background of some of the secondary characters and while I loved that there were characters from the previous stories in this one, I truly didn't feel like I was missing anything that was relevant to this story so much as that I think when I have a chance I'd like to go back to Tournai and catch up on what I missed by not having read the first 4 books.
'The Dragon's Devotion' is a wonderful story reminiscent of childhood but wrapped in magic for adults.
An ARC of 'The Dragon's Devotion' was graciously provided by IndiGo Marketing & Design in exchange for an honest review.
Because In The Line of Duty is front and center, I chose to review it first, but I do plan on continuing with the rest of the series.
In The Line of Duty by Carolyn Arnold may not be the action packed, in your face suspense and danger that I love so much, but I do enjoy learning about the step by step procedures of a murder investigation, especially when it is one of their own…and the impact it has on the characters personal lives.
Carolyn Arnold has done her research, including the impact the media has on an investigation. I, too, think they dwell too much on the bad, never telling the whole story.
Madison is a detective with the Stiles Police Department and Troy, her boyfriend, is a member of their SWAT team. Their relationship takes a direct hit. Both of them were friends of the murdered officer, but Troy had grown up with him, been his best man and was the godfather of his children.
Troy’s nickname for Madison is Bulldog. She is tenacious, aggressive and determined, sometimes forgetting to eat and sleep. She’s like the energizer bunny, she doesn’t stop. Just the type of person you would want working your case, if you had one.
It takes a real knack to figure out who’s lying, who’s telling the truth, getting the information they need from uncooperative suspects and witnesses and Madison is like a dog with a bone, her mind putting the puzzle together, piece by piece.
I think their situation could actually be a benefit to their relationship if they could let the old baggage go, knock down some walls, and use the knowledge of the nature of the beast, their work, to overcome some of the bumps in the road sure to come their way.
Imagine if you were the other half and not a police officer…their late nights, not knowing where they are and what they are doing, and the danger, never knowing if the car they pull over will have a criminal that will blow them away rather than be taken.
I became invested in the characters, even the most peripheral, because they all had their place in the story. Some were good, some were bad, but they all have a ring of truth to them. The police kept their cool, when they could have gunned down the suspects and got away with it. The bad guys did what bad guys do, lie and muddle the investigation.
I do like some humor with my danger and Carolyn Arnold supplied it. Madison and her partner Terry are quite a team and I look forward to more adventures with them
In The Line Of Duty by Carolyn Arnold rings of truth and realism, the slow and steady investigation into the murder of one of their own. I loved following each thread of the mystery, unraveling it a strand at a time, veering this way and that, eliminating one thread only to find another.
I only figured it out right before she told and I LOVE IT! Carolyn Arnold had to break it down for me. That is so rare, that I can only bow down and say I’m not worthy.
I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of In The Line of Duty by Carolyn Arnold.
Amy Lane does family like few others do. There's the family you're given and the family you make. Sometimes you got to love and keep both but often times it's the one you make that nourishes your soul.
I really enjoyed this one. It was a bit of a slow burn on but worth the wait when things finally came together. As always Ms Lane knew what she was doing and I was left with a short, sweet romance that came together beautifully.
Philip Alces was the narrator for this book and I quite enjoyed his voices for both Emmett and Keegan and was given an enjoyable narration that enhanced a really sweet story.
This one definitely worked for me so far it's my favorite from these stories. But I've still got 2 stories to go...so we'll see what happens.
While 'Tales from the Curious Cookbook' is a series there really doesn't seem to be an order to how the stories are read. The connection from story to story is the cookbook but other than that the order is really flexible which is a good thing for me since I've just been clicking play on whatever title is next on the list.
'For a Rainy Afternoon' is R.J. Scott's contribution to this series and as with pretty much anything R.J. Scott, I very much enjoyed this one and I was treated to a new narrator. Ian Gordon was the narrator for this one and while I'm normally a sucker for a good British accent and there was definitely one or two of those. It was the voice of Jason Young the American that totally enchanted me and like Robbie MacIntyre I was more than happy just to sit back and listen to Jason talk.
good story + good narration = WIN!