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review 2016-11-26 00:00
Belle Chasse: A Novel of The Sentinels of New Orleans
Belle Chasse: A Novel of The Sentinels of New Orleans - Suzanne Johnson
Status Quo Icon Adult Icon Contemporary Icon paranormal Romance Icon Fae Icon Others Icon Shifters Icon Vamps Icon

If you're a fan of the series, Belle Chasse is a must read. Especially after book 4, Pirate's Alley's cliffhanger.

While there are open threads and overarching plots to follow, at the end of Belle Chasse there's been a lot of forward movement in the short action-packed time frame. Several things are resolved and certain characters have developed and changed due to the adversity. Which brings me to the one failure of the novel -- besides the status quo lack of diversity.

At the end, there's an ultimate sacrifice like the blurb says. However, it didn't impact me. It should've. But, it felt obvious. Things were just too good, if you know what I mean. I wish something else could've caused the epiphany needed to advert the stupid stubbornness that cause this incident in the first place.

I'd actually prefer they switched places --that'd really be shocking, different and have a bigger impact. I was sad to see someone I loved so much pushed to the back and then used in such a way. Feels like a waste of a great character.

Of course, I'll still be continuing the series. The plot and DJ are just too good to pass up. Sentinels of New Orleans is definitely one of my favorite paranormal romance series.

There are worse reads, but there's also more diverse reads. I also recommend the Mercy Thompson series and the Urban Dragon series.

If you've haven't tried Sentinel of New Orleans yet, you should. The first book, Royal Street deals directly with Hurricane Katrina and is heart wrenchingly realistic.

For a VERY different kind of read that's about a Katrina living and surviving in the 9th ward, there's What Remained of Katrina.

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review 2016-11-07 13:41
Review: Belle Chasse by Suzanne Johnson
Belle Chasse: A Novel of The Sentinels of New Orleans - Suzanne Johnson

Belle Chasse opens shortly after the surprising conclusion of the previous book, with our heroine, DJ, on the run with her pret friends. She was stripped of her wizarding license by current leader Zrakovi and given a death sentence. Now somewhat safely in the Beyond, in Old Barataria with Jean Lafitte and her friends, she works on a way to clear her name and get back her life, especially since her love, Alex, has remained behind, trying to change the rot from the inside.


Like the book before it, Belle Chasse is more about the overall and continuing story arc surrounding the rising tensions between the different preternatural sects than an individual, self-contained tale. Readers of the series will enjoy the forward momentum and line-in-the-sand moments; however, anyone new to the series shouldn’t start with this title. While I miss the inclusion of those standalone stories from the earlier books, I still found myself glued to the pages, anxiously witnessing the fate of DJ and so many key characters.


Due to the nature of Belle Chasse, it is difficult to compose a spoiler-free review that delves into the specific plotlines of the book. As the book unfolds, events in the pret community turn dire, and by the end, everyone must take sides. Some long-standing loose ends are tightened and some bonds are strengthen, while other relationships fall apart and true natures are revealed. To find out who does what, you have to read the book!


In the earlier titles, and throughout the first parts of Belle Chasse, I felt DJ was too much of a pleaser to be a solid UF heroine. In fact, for a bit, I felt she’d regressed, as DJ constantly filled her thoughts with “if only’s” and regret. DJ was too busy trying to please the wrong people and compromising her morals in the name of peace. However, as the story progressed and the looming war, DJ finally grew a backbone of steel, and took action to do what she felt was best. And although filled with action, the book isn’t without a tender moment or two.


Overall, I enjoyed DJ’s latest adventure, complete with its ups and downs. Although Belle Chasse really isn’t a standalone story, I liked how it tied up some loose ends and bridges the events of Pirate’s Alley to what I assume will be the final showdown. DJ and crew following a hard road this time around, but there is hope in the end. 


My Rating: B, Liked It

Review copy provided by author

Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

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review 2016-11-02 00:00
Master Bits & Mercenary Bites: The Secret Recipes of Topped
Master Bits & Mercenary Bites: The Secre... Master Bits & Mercenary Bites: The Secret Recipes of Topped - Lexi Blake,Suzanne Johnson description

This book was UTTER PERFECTION There really isn't much I can say about it other than that. I pretty much spend the whole time reading it HUNGRY, LAUGHING MY ASS OFF, or BAWLING MY EYES OUT.

Alas, since this is supposed to be a review, I will attempt to convey how much I adored this book with a few words. One, there are a PLETHORA of awesome sounding recipes in this thing. I pretty much spent a goodly amount of time highlighting all the ones I will be trying in the very near future. Secondly, what took this book to a WHOLE other level in awesomeness was all the little glimpses we get at some of our favorite couples, and where they are at this point in time.


I LAUGHED MY ASS OFF at the whole scene with Charlie, Ian, and Remy, it was SO flipping HILARIOUS. Anything out of Ian's mouth is always PURE GOLD. Aside from the funny lighthearted moments, we also get to see some heartwarming and touching moments. Moments were these couples are struggling. Where life and issues have them drifting apart. We see them grabbing hold of that love we have come to know so well and reconnecting.

New babies. New directions in life. It was a fantastic and utter enjoyment to reconnect with these couples. After so many books in this series, these characters feel like family to me and I'm always up for more Masters & Mercenaries. So if you are a HUGE fan of the M&M and TOPPED series this is really a MUST ADD to your TO READ list.


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review 2016-05-12 18:47
Pirate's Alley (Sentinels of New Orleans) - Suzanne Johnson

3-1/2 stars

People that we thought were good guys were not so good and the ending was a "What The Heck!" This book got such a good average rating (above 4 stars) that I was hoping for something stellar. I think the high expectations kind of ruined the book for me, which makes so sense.

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review 2015-11-30 16:35
Review: Pirateship Down by Suzanne Johnson
Pirateship Down: Stories from the World of the Sentinels of New Orleans - Suzanne Johnson

Pirateship Down is the compilation of several previously released shorts, many that have only appeared on blogs and websites, and one new novella, all set in the marvelous Sentinels of New Orleans world. Each story features one or more of the series’ regular characters. This book is basically a companion piece to and compendium of the series, and therefore, is best enjoyed by existing fans of the series. I would encourage those who’ve not read the series, start with the first book, Royal Street.


Talk Like a Pirate
This story takes place before first Sentinel book and features the historically undead pirate (privateer) Jean Lafitte. Thinking it would be fun to have a real pirate show up at her “talk like a pirate party,” Meg attempts to manifest the ghost of Jean Lafitte. Much to her surprise, the real Jean appears, and roommate Rhyn takes it upon herself to ensure Jean doesn’t cause any trouble in modern-day NOLA. Overall, the short story is fun, and I liked seeing interactions between Jean Lafitte and Wizard Gerald St. Simon long before the current conditions of preternaturals in NOLA.


Lagniappe: The Sentinels Multiverse
This is not a story per se but more of a primer on the world. 


Alex, the Pig
This is an excellent story narrated by series heroine, DJ Jaco. It is a super short scene that takes place between River Road and Elysian Fields. Boyfriend, Alex, leaves DJ with a pig that is actually a cursed leprechaun. Extremely entertaining. 


Cat Mon Dieu
This is another short, flash fiction piece, and same timeline as the previous story. It is told in the third person POV of Jean Lafitte. He's going grocery shopping with DJ and thinks cat food is actual food made of cat. It's another funny short. 


Lagniappe: Jean Lafitte-The Man, The Myth, the Undead Pirate
This section shares both true facts about Jean Lafitte and more about his character in the series. 


This is a short story that I had read previously. Shared from Alex’s POV, it takes a look at cousins Jake and Alex Warin in their teen years, well before the events of the first book. Here we learn the story of when Alex discovered he was a shapeshifter at 15. Another great short, giving more depth to one of my favorite characters.


Swamp Rats
This one takes place shortly after second book and features weregators. The scene outlines DJ negotiating a truce over territory for the merfolk and weregators. I liked it, but not as much as other stories in the book.


Danger: Curves Ahead
Taking place between the second and third books, it features a bet between DJ and Alex. It’s a very short funny that plays on the pair’s mutual attraction. I adore this couple and enjoyed the story.


Lagniappe: A Sentinels Bibliography
This is a list of reference books that Ms. Johnson used to help create her world. 


This is another story about Alex and Jake, roughly two to three years before the series started, and is told in the third person POV from Alex. Jake has found himself getting into trouble because of his new girlfriend, and Alex finds out she's not human. It’s an interesting slice of life. 


Pirateship Down
Pirateship Down is the feature story of Pirateship Down. It’s a brand new novella and is roughly 50% of the whole book. Shared in the first person POV of DJ, it takes place between the third and fourth books. 


DJ and Jean were injured in the third book and are supposed to be recovering. However, DJ catches Jean and Rene planning to reclaim one of Jean’s lost ships that has recently been found by LSU, and she realizes she has to go with him or things will turn out badly. Of course, Jean being Jean, he gets himself arrested and things get crazy from there! 


I really enjoyed the novella. I love watching DJ, Jean, and Rene work together and how their friendship continues to grow from book to book.


Overall, Pirateship Down is entertaining, and I strongly recommend it to fans of the series. Most of the stories are short, entertaining, and pretty funny. The new novel is equally as good and captures much of the heart of the series and characters. 


My Rating: B, Liked It

Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

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