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review 2017-02-20 17:26
Review: "A Fallen Heart" (Zero Hour, #2) by Cate Ashwood
A Fallen Heart - Cate Ashwood

"Ford took a deep breath and released it in a sigh. “I have never had a successful relationship. I keep picking these guys who are bad for me, or maybe they’re not bad for me, but somehow I turn them into guys who are bad for me.”

“You’ve had one bad ex. I get that he was an asshole, although you’ve never told me exactly what happened there either, but one bad relationship does not mean every relationship you have is doomed to be bad.”

 

This dialogue pretty much sums up my feelings towards Ford. Good Lord, if whining burned calories, he could hide behind every supermodel.

 

Nash was a sweetheart though, and he pretty much saved the story for me. Hell, he WAS the story for me. He was sweet, patient and passionate; perfect boyfriend material. And he put up with Ford and all of his stupid mixed signals when I would have kicked him to the curb a long time ago.

 

 

The "Cate 'I'm ALWAYS making all of my couples break up in the last third of my books' Ashwood" trademark felt even more forced and contrived here than usual. But since I was expecting it, it didn't bother me as much when it actually happened.

 

The criminal case follows the serial killer plot from the first book and it turned out much darker than I expected it to be. Some parts of it were truly heartbreaking. But the mystery lover in me outright HATED the conclusion to the case (if that's what it really was?). It seemed like Ashwood drew a random name out of a hat and just went with it. There were no clues, no hints and honest-to-Goddess, I had to go back and look up who this person, who appeared for half a page max, actually was.

 

 

But all in all, the writing was solid, the characters and their behavior and reactions were believable (but so very frustrating at times) and the criminal case was suspenseful (though quite unsatisfying in the end).

 

Oh, and the epilogue SUCKED!

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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 2017-02-15 19:26
Review: "A Forced Silence" (Zero Hour, #1) by Cate Ashwood
A Forced Silence - Cate Ashwood

"Adam watched him go, feeling the happiness radiating from him. It was in that moment, pants around his ankles, in a kitchen that looked like an IHOP exploded in it, he realized he was completely, totally, utterly in love. He waited, anticipating the fallout that accompanied such a heavy realization, but it never came. The panic never set in. The terror never took hold. He felt... good. Better than good."

 

I'm a little puzzled, because I shouldn't have enjoyed this book as much as I did. There were too many things that would normally annoy the ever-living fuck out of me:

 

  • a frenemies-to-lovers trope that doesn't really deserve that name, because it was never fully explained why Sam and Adam hated each other so much (other than Adam giving Sam the teasing nickname "Dex" (You monster! How dare you!) back in high school)

 

  • a relationship that was all about their physical attraction towards each other and only took place in the bedroom, with not one meaningful conversation between the MCs

 

  • a "mystery" (and I'm using that term loosely) that takes a backseat for 95% of the story, ends on a cliffhanger and therefore doesn't even deserve a mystery tag

 

  • the always annoying "deeply closeted guy who is afraid to come out because of his job" shtick

 

  • and of course Cate Ashwood's trademark "I'm breaking up with you for your own good" during the last third of the book

 

So I have no idea why I wasn't as annoyed as I should have been; the book kept me fairly entertained. Maybe because Sam and Adam's connection was so passionate and strong. Maybe because Sam never put Adam under pressure to come out. Maybe because the sex scenes were so well-written. I dunno.

 

So I'm giving this book 4 weak stars, but 4 stars nonetheless.

 

Thanks to Julie & Elsbeth for the BR!

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review 2017-01-05 18:31
Review: "Forget Me Not" (Mnevermind, #2) by Jordan Castillo Price
Forget Me Not - Jordan Castillo Price

"He cupped my jaw and ran his thumb over my cheekbone and said, "I can't stop thinking about you, and all I want to do is be with you. Even if it's like walking through a minefield."

 

Ever since Heidi Cullinan's "Carry the Ocean", I have a soft spot for MCs on the autistic spectrum. So not only did the POV switch from Daniel to Elijah totally take me by surprise, but I was ECSTATIC when I started the first chapter.

 

And whereas I already liked Elijah in the first book, I absolutely LOVED him in this one.

 

The way he accepted being gay just like that, how he handled it and how he dealt with life in general and his feelings towards Daniel - everything about him just felt so real and was so touching and fascinating that I didn't want this book to end.

 

And though the blossoming relationship between Elijah and Daniel is still in its early stage, their chemistry was undeniably palpable, both in and out of the bedroom.

 

From the author's note:

"It was important for me to really do justice to Elijah and ensure he wasn’t a parody. It was also crucial to make sure he had an actual personality and wasn’t merely a bundle of textbook traits. I think things like his doggedness, his unflinching and methodical observances and his high opinion of his own intellect give him some nice abrasive texture. If all we saw of him were his challenges and sufferings, he’d be a wimpy and unlikeable character. I also wanted to make sure he had lots of room to grow."

I'd say mission accomplished, Ms. Price!

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review 2017-01-03 18:17
Review: "The Persistence of Memory" (Mnevermind, #1) by Jordan Castillo Price
The Persistence of Memory - Jordan Castillo Price

"I like you, and I think you like me."

 

What a great kick-off for a trilogy. Though there were too many technical details and too little romance and steam for my taste (there was just a tiny little hand job at the end, blink and you'll miss it), I can't help but admire Jordan Castillo Price's compelling and fantastic writing and how she constantly delivers well-developed and believable characters, refreshing new concepts and ideas and an imaginative world-building.

 

I can't wait to see what happens next.

 

PS: I just LOVED the character of goofy, but loyal Larry. Everyone should have a friend like Larry.

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