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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-12-13 20:38
Great sequel to a wonderfully written duology
Our Dark Duet - Victoria Schwab

***Possible spoilers below. You’ve been warned***

 

The plot was off to a pretty slow start in this one. Before I start, I’d have to recommend you read This Savage Song before going to this book. You would need the foundation that was set up in This Savage Song to really benefit and enjoy reading Our Dark Duet.

 

As mentioned before, the plot was off to a slow start. Kate and August are on both different ends of the spectrum but have changed drastically. They’ve definitely ‘grown up’ so to speak. Kate becomes monster hunter extraordinaire. August leads his own squad in the FTF. Kate’s part of the story was definitely more interesting. Despite trying hard not to warm up to people she manages to have her small group of friends (but of course, shuns them anyway despite one of them trying to reach out to her numerous times). I love this quality in Kate. It makes her so much more realistic and puts her way from the group of those ‘stone cold butt kickers that apparently have no soul’.

 

That being said about Kate. Oh. Lord. That ending. Kate dying with August nearby got my stomach into knots and twists. I can’t believe it. It was beautifully written though and a suitable ending for her. Kate was pretty much a pariah and a lone wolf. August was one of the few that was able to get to know Kate at a more deeper level. It was only fitting that she meets her end with that one person by her side. Beautifully done.

 

I didn’t really think the romance scene between Kate and August was necessary. It was a minor filler that didn’t need to be added. I never saw August and Kate that way. They were too different and didn’t have that nice ongoing chemistry together. Fighting partners, yes. Partners in love? No I don’t think so.

 

So more about characters dying. Am I the only one that felt a punch to the gut when Ilsa died? Ilsa was a character I really loved in these two books. She went down in a blaze of glory though (albeit, a shocked blaze of glory.)

 

You have to admit, Sloan is one of the better villains I have read in a long while. I like him teaming up with Alice even though villains they are, they are looking out for themselves. He’s creepy, malicious, calculating, and cunning. He’s a perfect villain.

 

The last half of the book, which was filled with action, blood, explosions and all the good stuff set the pace for the great ending to a wonderfully written duology. I know fans out there are asking for more, as it’s not the end of the adventures for August and Soro. For me, it’s just enough and it’s a perfect ending. Well done Ms Schwab! Now I’m off to read your other works!

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review 2017-12-11 22:32
Widow's Web / Jennifer Estep
Widow's Web - Jennifer Estep

Once an assassin, always an assassin. So much for being plain old Gin Blanco. With every lowlife in Ashland gunning for me, I don’t need another problem, but a new one has come to town.

Salina might seem like a sweet Southern belle, but she’s really a dangerous enemy whose water elemental magic can go head-to-head with my own Ice and Stone power. Salina also has an intimate history with my lover, Owen Grayson, and now that she’s back in town, she thinks he’s hers for the taking.

Salina’s playing a mysterious game that involves a shady local casino owner with a surprising connection to Owen. But they call me the Spider for a reason. I’m going to untangle her deadly scheme, even if it leaves my love affair hanging by a thread.

 

It really struck me as I was reading this volume of the Elemental Assassin series (number 7, if you’re counting) that Jennifer Estep is really working her way through all the relationship issues that a woman can have. The first couple of books revolve around being fixated on the wrong person—the one you’ve got chemistry with, but not necessarily shared values. The relationship that’s doomed from the start, but you’re still inexplicably drawn to (that would be detective Donovan Caine).

Then Gin meets Owen Grayson, someone she’s got things in common with—this is the stage where she’s found someone who could be compatible, but she’s not sure he’ll accept all of her, even the ruthless parts. They do the “do we really trust each other” dance for a couple of books, before seeming to settle into a pretty solid relationship.

The last book tested Gin’s commitment—bringing Donovan back into her life, seemingly anxious to reconcile. She passes on Mr. Caine, realizing that they still have polar opposite values and that it couldn’t possibly work. This book, its Owen’s turn, as his former fianceé Salina returns to Ashland, determined to get him back.

Things that I have complained about in earlier books—repetition, mostly—isn’t present in this installment. Estep seems to have either matured as a writer or found a much more stringent editor who doesn’t put up with it. As a result, the books are much more entertaining and my irritation quotient is dramatically reduced.

A nice little urban fantasy hit to keep my addiction alive!

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review 2017-12-11 21:55
Audio Review: Death Masks (The Dresden Files #5) by Jim Butcher (Narrator: James Marsters)
Death Masks - Jim Butcher
Death Masks

The Dresden Files #5
Jim Butcher (Narrator: James Marsters)
Urban Fantasy
Penguin Audiobooks
October 29th 2009
Audiobook
11 hours and 21 minutes
Library

 

Harry Dresden, Chicago's only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But now he's getting more than he bargained for:

 

A duel with the Red Court of Vampires' champion, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards...

 

Professional hit men using Harry for target practice...

 

The missing Shroud of Turin...

 

A handless and headless corpse the Chicago police need identified...

 

Not to mention the return of Harry's ex-girlfriend Susan, who's still struggling with her semi-vampiric nature. And who seems to have a new man in her life.

 

Some days, it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. No matter how much you're charging.

 

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

 

 

Death Masks is book five in The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.

 

I’ve been enjoy The Dresden Files. This time instead of reading I decide to give the audiobook a try. I have to say Narrator James Marsters was outstanding. He brought all the characters to life. Harry’s voice was just what I expected it to sound like. It was perfection. I plan to try out more in The Dresden Files series in audiobook formate. It was a superb listen.

 

As for the plot well several things are happening in this installment and not all of it was good. We have some grey areas, some bad, and some good. Harry’s got a lot to deal with.

 

Susan comes back to say good bye for good and to warn him. She’s been gone a year with no contact and just shows up out of the blue. She could have called Harry, but nope she’s back and finds herself involved in Harry’s investigation. Having her back is painful for him. I’m ready for her to go and not return. Close that door, please…

 

Besides Susan returning, he’s been sent out on another case to find a missing artifact and their’s a prophecy that involves him and this artifact. Oh Boy!! He’s got choices to make, but their are things that you just can’t walk away from.

 

And, last the Red Court still wants Harry dead and the war is going strong between Vampires and Wizards. As you can see so much to deal with. What could go wrong?

 

Death Masks brings us Demons, Vampires, a possible Apocalypse and so much more. I had a fabulous time listening to this story. The audio was well worth listing too. Can’t wait to see what happens next to Harry.

 

Rated: 4 Stars

 

 

 

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

 

 

Challenge(s): Library Love / Pick Your Genre (UF) / Backlist Reader (2017)

 


 

 

 

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/2017/12/audio-review-death-masks-the-dresden-files-5-by-jim-butcher-narrator-james-marsters
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review 2017-12-11 00:44
ARC Review: Thrown to the Wolves (Black Dog Universe) by Hailey Edwards
Thrown to the Wolves (Black Dog Universe) - Hailey Edwards
Thrown to the Wolves

Black Dog Universe
Hailey Edwards
Urban Fantasy - Short Stories - Anthology
November 3rd 2017
eBook
133
ARC Review Copy

 

This anthology includes several short stories set in the BLACK DOG UNIVERSE, including the all new story, THROWN TO THE WOLVES.

 

THROWN TO THE WOLVES (A Gemini Short Story)

Zed lost his mate, and it broke his wolf's heart. Now he's got a second chance at a happily-ever-after if he's brave enough to take what he wants.

 

OUT FOR BLOOD (A Gemini Short Story)

White sand beaches, fresh tropical drinks...and three exsanguinated bodies. So much for Marshal Ayer's transfer to the island of St. Kitts being a vacation.

 

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER (A Black Dog Short Story)

When a fae boy goes missing, all evidence points to a warg being responsible for the crime. Thierry is called to lead the hunt for the rogue, but the closer she gets to locating the boy, the further she gets from the truth.

 

A STONE'S THROW CHRISTMAS (A Gemini Short Story)

Cam has a present for Cord, but once he unwraps her gift, their lives will never be the same.

 

Goodreads

Amazon

 

 

All the stories in Thrown to the Wolves take place before the the big final battle in Over The Moon. These short stories are all part of the Black Dog Universe. Fans of the Black Dog, Gemini, & Lorimar Pack will enjoy dropping back into the world and seeing their favorite characters again.

 

Thrown To The Wolves – 3 Stars

 

Here we get a deeper look into Zed, wolf in the Lorimar Pack and Jo, a human in town. We learning some interesting things about Jo and her Aunt and get to see Zed happy.

 

Out For Blood – 3 Stars

 

Here we get to see Lema a dhampir, a Marshal, and a character we meet in the Gemini series who was sent into the mental institute and is now out and back to work as a Marshal. We learn a little more about her heritage. Here we see a young coworker who has taken an interest in her and wants more then just a working relationship. These two are brought together; because of a murder investigation.

 

The Bakers Grimm – 3.5 Stars

 

A Fae and a Witch. Their family have been competitors for years. They both are backers and have shops next to each other, but in this tail the children come together and it’s a Fairy Tale ending.

 

A Stone’s Throw Christmas – 3.5 Stars

 

Graeson & Camille from the Gemini series celebrate Christmas with the pack and a few surprises are revealed. It was nice to see the Lorimar Pack again. It’s a sweet holiday short story.

 

Dog Days of Summer – 4 Stars

 

Dog Days of Summer takes place between Dog with a Bone & Heir of the Dog. It’s a fast-paced action packed novella. I devoured this adventure from the first to last page.

 

In this one Thierry is still very young and not very experienced at being a Marshall yet, so the cases she can choose are limited. We get to see Thierry in action, doing her thing to find a missing chicken thing, help Shaw find a kidnapped or missing boy and find a rogue Warg; before things get way out of hand.

 

The Black Dog, Gemini, & Lormair series are fabulously fun and entertaining. The world is vast and the characters are fascinating. Those that love Urban Fantasy’s should give this world a try.

 

 

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by Hailey Edwards with the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

 

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

 

 

Challenge(s): Pick Your Genre (UF) – New Release (2017)

 

 

 

 

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!

Facebook Twitter Google+   

 

 
Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/12/arc-review-thrown-to-the-wolves-black-dog-universe-by-hailey-edwards
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review 2017-12-10 17:30
All is Fair by Emma Newman
All is Fair: The Split Worlds - Book Three - Emma Newman

Series: Split Worlds #3

 

This book took me quite a while to get through, so this is actually the first book I've finished in December, but that shouldn't be viewed as a negative reflection on the book. The book (and the series) is great. Here we have the aftermath of the last book playing out and Cathy learns more about the Agency and tries to find new ways to help people in the Nether now that she's duchess. William even redeems himself a bit and the side plot with Lord Iron really didn't go the way I expected. I didn't expect the sorcerer of Mercia stuff to go the way it did either. Unexpectedness all around! 

 

The green cover lets me count this for square 10 for Festive tasks, Pancha Ganapati: read a book whose cover has one of the 5 colors of the holiday: red, blue, green, orange, or yellow.

 

I've decided to count this book for square 7's International Human Rights Day book instead, read any story revolving around the rights of others either being defended or abused. Cathy learns that even though she's paying the Agency for her servants as if they're earning wages, the servants don't actually receive wages and so she sets out to change this in her household. She also tries to seek out like-minded people who could help her fight for women's rights in the Nether.

 

And you know what's next in the series? The fourth book! (I'm pretty that's one of the other squares). [edit: square 5, actually: Advent]

 

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