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review 2015-09-30 09:00
Review: In A Fix by Linda Grimes


In A Fix


Ciel Halligan, #1


Linda Grimes


Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Date of Publication: September 4, 2012
Number of pages: 335



Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo     OmniLit

The start of an original new urban fantasy series starring human chameleon Ciel Halligan

Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck.

This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable... that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.

Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended.

Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.

I don't remember who's blog I saw this on originally, but I loved the look of the book and the blurb sounded awesome.  I had to have it. But for one reason or another, it kept sliding down the TBR pile until one day, I just forgot about it. When I was going through my extensive TBR list on Goodreads looking for the perfect books for my Month of TBRs, this one jumped out at me and I knew I needed to make sure that it make it on the list.  I am so glad that I finally explored this book.

We first meet Ciel while she is pretending to be Mina, a young, rich pampered young woman who hired Ciel to "get the ring" from her soon to be fiancé Trey while on vacation in the Bahamas. Except as it turns out, Trey too was replaced by another aura adaptor while he is doing a job for the CIA. Then of course, their is the other aura adaptor who was sent to keep an eye on Ciel during her assignment. Let's just say that I don't know which I enjoyed more, the action scenes or the comedy of who's playing who.  And that was in just the first couple chapters.

It is so hard to find new and unique ideas, but this was the first time I read anything like these human chameleons.  It was truly a breath of fresh air in the Urban Fantasy genre. Plus I was literally torn between laughing out loud and cringing at some of the situations that Ciel managed to find herself in. I'm not normally a fan of younger heroines, but Ciel is spunky enough for me to enjoy her.  Then there's the love triangle aspect - normally not a fan. But this one looks like it could prove interesting enough to overcome my normal reservations about them. I had such a good time with this book, I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner. I gave it 4 stars.


Source: www.musingsandramblings.net/2015/09/review-in-a-fix-linda-grimes.html
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review 2015-09-28 09:00
Quote-Tastic: Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson


Elysian Fields


Sentinels of New Orleans, #3


Suzanne Johnson


Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Date of Publication: August 13, 2013
Number of pages: 386



Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN    Kobo     OmniLit
An undead serial killer comes for DJ in this thrilling third installment of Suzanne Johnson’s Sentinels of New Orleans series

The mer feud has been settled, but life in South Louisiana still has more twists and turns than the muddy Mississippi.

New Orleanians are under attack from a copycat killer mimicking the crimes of a 1918 serial murderer known as the Axeman of New Orleans. Thanks to a tip from the undead pirate Jean Lafitte, DJ Jaco knows the attacks aren’t random—an unknown necromancer has resurrected the original Axeman of New Orleans, and his ultimate target is a certain blonde wizard. Namely, DJ.

Combatting an undead serial killer as troubles pile up around her isn’t easy. Jake Warin’s loup-garou nature is spiraling downward, enigmatic neighbor Quince Randolph is acting weirder than ever, the Elders are insisting on lessons in elven magic from the world’s most annoying wizard, and former partner Alex Warin just turned up on DJ’s to-do list. Not to mention big maneuvers are afoot in the halls of preternatural power.

Suddenly, moving to the Beyond as Jean Lafitte’s pirate wench could be DJ’s best option.

After a very, very bad previous 24 hours, DJ is fresh out of a shower in Jean Lafitte's hotel room. Alex has just shown up to make sure she is okay.

Alex stepped back and placed a finger across my lips. “It’s gonna be complicated. It’s gonna give me a headache. Probably acid reflux too. And I’ll end up doing something illegal. So don’t tell me. Not yet.” He leaned down and kissed me, then traced his fingers across the cuts on my face, following his fingers with his lips.

This was a bad idea. We had too much unresolved. We had too much... damn. He slipped his hands inside the robe.

His voice was low and husky against my ear. “Were you wearing that lace-up thing I found on the floor out there?”

I struggled to breathe as he worked his way down my neck. “Corset. Yeah. Wearing.”

He growled against that sensitive spot where neck meets shoulder and nudged the robe aside till it slipped off and puddled at my feet. “Take it home with you. I want to see you in it.”

Uh-huh. I could do that. As soon as I finished unbuttoning his stupid shirt. How many buttons did one shirt need?

By some stroke of divine providence, I opened my eyes while Alex’s back was to the door to the outer suite and I was camouflaged by his body. So my “holy crap” was muffled by my dive for the floor and the abandoned robe.

Jean lounged in the doorway, grinning. “Do not mind me, Jolie. I would enjoy the sight more without le petit chien in the way, but”—he shrugged—“Je prends du plaisir où je peux en trouver.”

I think that translated roughly as taking pleasure where one found it, and I hoped he wasn’t suggesting a threesome because as intriguing as that sounded in theory, it was a horrible idea.

I’d like to say I was woman enough, but I really, really wasn’t.


I quite liked the first two books in this series, Royal Street & River Road, though apparently I only remembered the broadest strokes of their plots, luckily the recaps were simply and efficiently done only where really necessary. It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since Hurricane Katrina, the event that launched the series.  In the book it's been a little over 3 years and the city is still in the rebuilding and readjusting to a new normal phase.

While reading this book, I was reminded about why I liked DJ so much.  She's not a TSTL herione, nor is she one that takes careless chances and has to be bailed out by someone else every time she turns around. Here is a heroine that most of the time gets advice and assistance in planning and executing any plans that could be dangerous. She knows her limitations and isn't afraid to ask for help. Shocking right? Add in the variety of characters, everything from the Historic undead, to vampire, to elf, to were, some with shockingly outrageous personalities and it's a wild ride.

Even at over 350 pages, it seemed like a very quick read, keeping me glued to my screen and flipping pages quickly to find out what was going to happen next. I can't believe it took me this long to come back. I won't let it be that long again before I read the next book, Pirate's Alley.  I gave this book 4 stars.

This meme is about sharing your favorite quotes and the books they come from!
Hosted by Anna at Herding Cats and Burning Soup.

Everyone is welcome to join in: Readers, Bloggers & Authors.

Just grab the button and link back to Herding Cats and Burning Soup.

Source: www.musingsandramblings.net/2015/09/quote-tastic-elysian-fields-by-suzanne.html
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review 2015-09-27 09:00
Audio Review: Under Wraps by Hannah Jayne


Under Wraps


Underworld Detection Agency


Hannah Jayne

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Audible Studios
Narrator: Jessica Almasy
Date of Publication: July 1, 2014
Abridged or Unabridged: Unabridged
Length of Production: 8 hrs and 40 mins

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     Audible
Sick of wrongful-death lawsuits every time a full moon comes around? Call the Underworld Detection Agency. As a human immune to magic, Sophie Lawson can help everyone from banshee to zombie transition into normal, everyday San Francisco life. With a handsome werewolf as her UDA boss and a fashionista vampire for a roommate, Sophie knows everything there is to know about the undead, the unseen, and the uncanny. That is, until a rash of gruesome murders has demons and mortals running for cover, and Sophie finds herself playing sidekick to detective Parker Hayes. Dodging raging bloodsuckers, bad-tempered fairies, and love-struck trolls is one thing. But when Sophie discovers Parker isn't what he seems, she has only one chance to figure out whom to trust. Because an evil hiding in plain sight is closing in - and is about to make one wisecracking human its means to ultimate power.

This series was on my want to read list for quite awhile, so when I was able to get all the books in audio format for an amazing price... I jumped on it. And then I proceeded to let the disk containing them languish in my desk drawer. For months. My Month of TBRs seemed like a great time to get into this series, since I already have them just ready to be put on my player and enjoyed. And that was great, in theory.

I say in theory, because the files weren't listed in series order. And with each of them having Under in the title, I *cough* added the wrong file to my player. I spent so much time listening and trying to understand why the story just seemed off. Why wasn't I hearing the story I read about in the blurb? I was out of step with what was going on, and it was driving me crazy. It wasn't until I went to leave a little cranky comment in Goodreads that I realized that the titles didn't quite match up. Yep, that's right. I was listening to the wrong book first. *bangs head on desk* So several hours lost and the correct story added, I started again - much more better.

Jessica Almasy totally nailed the slightly naive, too optimistic quality that is Sophie; think Phoebe from Friends. She has a good heart, but not exactly a math-lete, you get me? Jessica' performance really nailed Sophie's whole vibe. Each of Jessica's voices really brought something to the character. I think my favorite voice though was Steve's, the troll who talks about himself in third person and is trying to score a date with Sophie.

All of the character's in the book were very distinctive and came alive for me. While this is an Urban Fantasy dealing with Vamps, Weres, Witches, Zombies, Trolls, etc. as well as murder and mayhem, it's not very dark. More like a fun cozy mystery that just happens to be set in a world populated by the undead. I like a book that doesn't take itself so very seriously on occasion and can poke a bit of fun at itself. I found this world to be imaginative and full of potential, (especially if my early peek into a later book is anything to go by.) I gave this book 3 stars.



Source: www.musingsandramblings.net/2015/09/audio-review-under-wraps-hannah-jayne.html
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text 2015-09-26 09:00
Review: The Hot Scot by Kate Eden


The Hot Scot


The Murdoch Vampires, #1


Kate Eden


Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Kate Eden
Date of Publication: April 11th 2013
Number of pages: 282
Word Count: 85,000




Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN    Kobo     ARe
Logan Murdoch hates complications. All he wants to do is work in his lab and create products to help vampires blend into mortal society. But when his mother begs him to get her painting back from the museum, he discovers a very attractive complication in the form of curator Sydney Worth. She buys his lie that he’s the descendant of the man in the three-hundred-year-old painting, but refuses to give it to him. What’s worse? She’s immune to his mind control.

Sydney couldn’t believe her eyes when the spitting image of the Hot Scot walked into the museum. But her attraction to Logan Murdoch suffers a huge blow when he demands the painting. Losing the piece could threaten her job and she senses Logan is hiding something from her. But this vampire who hates complications and the ambitious curator with trust issues are about to learn the fine art of love.

This is a book that has been on my TBR pile for entirely too long, like literally, too long.  See I did a book tour for this book back, umm let's just call it awhile ago, and I promised that when I got a chance to read the book I would be happy to do a review.  So yeah, life and stuff happened and I just never got around to reading the book.  I feel bad about that, because it was a decent read and here I have been sitting on it for umm... yeah, awhile, like I said.

As you can tell from the series, it's about vampires. But this is much more a romantic comedy than a dark drama. There are definitely some funny moments that had me cracking a smile; between Logan's momma and Sydney's assistant, they provided quite a bit of comic relief.  The relationship between Logan and Sydney blooms pretty quickly, but I think it managed to walk the line between insta-lust and having the having the characters fall in love over a lingering period of time.  The pacing worked for me and I just enjoyed the book.  Sometimes that's all you are really looking for.

There is a sequel out and it sounds quite interesting, but there was no cliffhanger in this book leaving me feel the story is incomplete.  This was a good read and I gave it 3 stars.

Thanks to the author for the opportunity, no matter how late (sorry!) to read and review the book.


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review 2015-09-23 09:00
Review: The Final Cut by Catherine Coulter & J.T. Ellison


The Final Cut


A Brit in the FBI, #1


Catherine Coulter, J.T. Ellison


Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Jove
Date of Publication: September 17, 2013
Number of pages: 465
Cover Artist: Nicole Laroche





Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo     OmniLit
Scotland Yard’s new chief inspector Nicholas Drummond is on the first flight to New York when he learns his colleague, Elaine York, the "minder" of the Crown Jewels for the "Jewel of the Lion" exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was found murdered. Then the centerpiece of the exhibit, the infamous Koh-i-Noor Diamond, is stolen from the Queen Mother’s crown. Drummond, American-born but raised in the UK, is a dark, dangerous, fast-rising star in the Yard who never backs down. And this case is no exception.

Special Agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich from Coulter’s bestselling FBI series don’t hesitate to help Drummond find the cunning international thief known as the Fox. Nonstop action and high stakes intensify as the chase gets deadly. The Fox will stop at nothing to deliver the Koh-i-Noor to the man who believes in its deadly prophecy. Nicholas Drummond, along with his partner, FBI Special Agent Mike Caine, lay it on the line to retrieve the diamond for Queen and country.

I know this is going to sound a bit crazy, but this was my first Catherine Coulter book.  I know, Right! How is it possible, that with everything I have read, she wasn't on my list?  I have no clue. *shrugs* Her FBI Thriller series interested me, but it was so large, that I just kept thinking "maybe some day". Then I saw that there would be a spin off series, A Brit in the FBI. A NEW Series. Starting from scratch at book 1? I'm there.  Except that, as usual, my eyes were bigger than my time allotment, and the book has been sitting on a shelf.  Well, I finally got a chance to dust it off and crack it open.

Having never read either Coulter or Ellison, I honestly have no comment on who wrote what and where their individual influences can be seen.  I will leave that to those who can recognize such things.  I did however notice some disjointing in the book, leaving me to think that these two had some difficulty seaming their styles together. It wasn't horrible, but it was definitely noticeable that two chefs were in this kitchen.

As for the story line, it was interesting and I do love a good heist story. The combination of the FBI and Scotland Yard made this different. I was a bit disappointed in Nicholas Drummond. I mean, a decent hacker, a former spy, a detective with Scotland Yard, and nobility? Plus he is rich and super good looking. Come on, him not following rules doesn't pull him from Mary Sue status, it just takes it to the next level. Michaela "Mike" Caine, on the other hand, seemed to be a bit more realistic character and one I wouldn't mind seeing more of.  Usually it's the female characters I am not happy with, it totally shocked me that it was reversed this time.

There was some really interesting history about the Koh-i-Noor gem, mixed in with some new material to take it's mythology to a whole new level. I also enjoyed the fact, that even though the FBI didn't get the exact facts right, they kept the case moving forward on what they did find. It was a case of "what actually happened", "what the bad guys wanted it to appear happened" and "what the FBI thought happened."  I'm not saying it was all procedural, but there were some components mixed in. Overall I had a good time with this book, and I can see myself giving the next one a try.  I gave this book 3 stars.


Source: www.musingsandramblings.net/2015/09/review-final-cut-catherine-coulter-jt-ellison.html
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