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review 2018-07-07 00:38
ARC Review: Stag And The Ash (The Rowan Harbor Cycle #5) by Sam Burns
Stag And The Ash - Sam Burns

This is the 2nd book for Jesse and Sean, continuing shortly after where Hawk and the Rowan ended. Jesse still struggles with his place on the town council, with being the Alpha wolf, with having to be in charge of things, and he's finding it equally difficult to help Sean grieving the loss of his mother and finding his stride in dealing with his powers as a succubus.

There were some humorous moments to lighten the mood, which is mostly somber throughout the book, which was to be expected after the events of book 4, as well as considering what we find out in this book.

At around 30% or so, I had an inkling on how this would unfold, after finding out who sent the troll that killed Sean's mother, and the three young wolves showed up in town. 

The book is told entirely from Jesse's POV, and he's a somewhat unreliable narrator, as his perception of how people feel about him isn't entirely accurate, something that he's starting to learn. His guilt stemming from mistakes made in the past, and how they are affecting the present, is obviously not helping him see himself clearly, and he continues to feel as if he's not good enough and can never measure up. 

I would have liked to find out more about what makes Sean ticks, but perhaps that's still to come. I wish Jesse could see himself as others do, and it seems that by the end of this book, he's starting to get there. Their relationship gets a chance to grow in this book also, as Sean towards the end forces some honest conversations with Jesse instead of both of them fumbling with what needs to be said. 

As the focus of this book is mostly on the new wolves in town, and Jesse struggling with his guilt and his keeping secrets from Sean and others about the true reason for the troll attack, we don't see a whole lot of the townsfolk in this book, at least not as much as we did in previous ones. Of course, all the main players make an appearance, and everyone contributes to the plot unfolding, but this book felt to some extent as a transition, a bridge, a set up for the next one. It also felt shorter than the previous ones, but certainly covered what it needed to cover. 

Of course, the writing is as awesome as always, engaging and entertaining, and I continue to be fascinated with this series. Fletcher's 2nd book is next, and if the first chapter is any indication, it'll be a wild ride. I can hardly wait!

Please note: These cannot be read as standalone books and must be read in order. 


** I received a free copy of this book from Signal Boost promotions as part of this tour in exchange for an honest review. **

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review 2018-07-06 15:22
When Twilight Burns by Colleen Gleason
When Twilight Burns - Colleen Gleason

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I had a great time with this book! I had such a good time with the third book in this series that I had to start reading this installment right away. This is the fourth book in The Gardella Vampire Hunters which is a series that really needs to be read in order. This was a book that I wanted to read for hours at a time and was completely consumed by the story. I am so glad that I decided to pick this one up.

This book takes Victoria back to London and picks up right after the events of the previous book. Victoria has survived a really close call but not without a few lingering effects. She has a lot to deal with in her own life and will need to move since the heir to her late husband's title has been found. Victoria's mother is back to her match making ways and it appears that there is a vampire in London that is able to move around in the daytime. There is plenty of things going on in this book to keep the pages turning.

I love the excitement of these books but the characters are really what keeps me reading. Just when I think I know all the important stuff about this group of people, some vital piece of information is revealed that changes everything. I am not usually a fan of love triangles but I think that they way it was handled in this book made it work well. I feel like romance is part of the story but the fight against the vampires is always the focus. Victoria does not spend her time swooning over men. I like that she isn't afraid to take what she wants and I think that the chemistry between Victoria and both men felt very authentic. There were a lot of important developments between the characters in this installment.

I would recommend this series to fans of urban fiction. This series has really had everything that I look for in this kind of book with great characters, complex mysteries, and lot of action. I can't wait to read the next book in this fantastic series very soon.

Initial Thoughts
I am loving this series! There is a lot going on in this book and I wasn't sure how things would work out at times. I am really falling for these characters and I hate to see them come to harm or encounter any kind of pain. This book takes Victoria and the others back to London where there is a vampire that seems to be able to move in the daylight. There was a love triangle that played a rather big part of this story. I am not a big fan of love triangles but I think that it works in this story with the way that it has been handled.

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review 2018-07-03 16:44
The Visitors
The Visitors - Catherine Burns
I felt so bad for Marion as she suffered under the laws of her brother, John. Their parents had both died and these adult siblings continued to live in their childhood home. John knew he ruled the roost and he would manipulate Marion to do exactly what he wanted done.
 
The way Marion fussed over John, you would have thought he was her partner and when she called him “love”, it disgusted me. Marion seemed childlike in her actions and words about the world and about others whereas to see John’s world through his eyes, the world was menacing. John would twist his words/conversation around or he would be belligerent to Marion, just to get his way. Poor Marion. Marion would do anything for John yet John walked all over her.
 
When John lures a woman to their home, Marion wants no part of it yet, John needs her help. Again, John’s twisted mind convinces Marion that everything will be okay and Marion resigns. Arriving from overseas, this woman thought that John would provide her with opportunities but John has other plans for her. And now, this story plunges further into darkness. John doesn’t just stop at one woman, he decides to add a few more to add to his collection and he’ll need Marion’s help to get that accomplished. It begins to get creepy and gloomy, as Marion goes about her day, oblivious to the additions to their home, that are held somewhere in their house.
 
When I think about John caring for these women, it sickened me. When I thought about Marion and how she could ignore the fact these women were in her house and she didn’t say anything or ask about them, I started to get irritated at her. Where is this madness headed and will it ever end?
 
I listened to this novel on a Playaway, which was read by Kate Reading and I thought she did a wonderful job. This is not a fast-paced novel but that was okay as I thought the slow parts were needed as it added to the dramatic effects of the novel and it allowed for more character development which was warranted in this novel. I really enjoyed listening to this novel.

 

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review 2018-06-02 06:47
Everything Burns
Everything Burns - Vincent Zandri

There are only two things in life Reece, the main character of Everything Burns, likes: himself and fire, not necessarily in that order though. While the fire part is easily understandable, as he was in a fire as a child which killed his mother and brothers, it is told to you so many times that it was annoying. Overall, Reece was a very annoying character to read about.

Strange things are happening and Reece is sure that his girlfriend's (who is also his ex-wife) ex-boyfriend is behind everything. This goes from bad to worse, as people get casually burned to death on the sidewalk without so much as a shriek. Reece wrote a popular novel, which is one of the reasons why he believes said ex-boyfriend is after him, and literally every single person he meets has at least one copy of his book and has actually read it (by far the most unbelievable part of the novel).

The writing was a bit clunky but my biggest problem was just that I really didn't like to read it. I was actively rooting for Reece to be put away. I don't think I will read more of this author in the future.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2018-05-12 02:03
ARC Review: Hawk In The Rowan by Sam Burns
Hawk In The Rowan - Sam Burns

Oh, this was so, so good, y'all. This is the 2nd book in the arc for Devon Murphy, head of the town council, and Wade Hunter, deputy sheriff and his mate. While this might be readable as a standalone, I don't recommend you do. You'd miss out on their beginning, and you'd miss out on this quirky, wonderful, amazing town full of supernatural beings who all support each other and try to protect each other from harm of outsiders who would use and abuse them, simply for what they are.

In the very first book of this trilogy of trilogies, we got to meet Devon and Wade for the first time and watched them enter a romantic relationship, amid fighting a threat to the town and Devon coming into his own as he learns about his abilities, being Fae. That book left them with a strong HFN, but I knew that Devon struggled a bit - not only with his newfound abilities and responsibilities, but also with his inner voice that tells that he doesn't want to be tied down, and that he's not what they all see in him.

Now that the danger from the first three books has apparently passed, Devon wonders if he'll stay. Whether he should stay. Whether he should make a big commitment to Wade. Whether that is too much, too fast. Whether he's really supposed to stay, he, the wanderer.

We see him interact with Salli (a siren), Wade's brother Jesse, who's Devon's best friend, Fletcher and his mate, Jesse's mate Sean, Helena McKenzie who still treats Devon like he's dirt beneath her feet, for reasons we find out inside the pages, the vampire Cassidy, and the wise Oak - all the characters from the first trilogy make an appearance again and further the plot in their own way.

And then danger visits Rowan Harbor again.

I continue to be amazed by this author's prowess. For most of this book, I was at the edge of my seat, breathless and clutching my Nook white-knuckled. The tension builds slowly, like the blizzard coming, and when the weather unleashes its might, so does the danger, and Devon is right in the middle.

The symbolism is evident - as Devon fights the beast in the woods, he's also fighting the beast within him, the one that doubts, that fears, that wonders. And as he is victorious over the beast without, he also slays the one within. As he saves the towns folk (not on his own, of course), so he saves not only his own heart but Wade's too. And as the beast falls, so does Devon's doubt that he truly is exactly where he's meant to be.

And finally, Devon sees, really sees, what's been in front of him all along. Amazing what happens when you conquer your fears and speak your truth.

Obviously, this isn't the end, and I expect book 5 to pick up where we left off with Jesse Hunter and Sean Anderson as well as a new danger to the town, where all of our new friends have to come together to save the day.

This is such a fantastic series, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Run, don't walk, to get yourself a copy of these books. They are well worth your time.



** I received a free copy of this book from the tour organizer in exchange for an honest review. **

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