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review 2018-04-16 16:43
Great Prequel to The Star-Touched Queen
Death and Night - Roshani Chokshi

Not too much to say here besides how much I loved the beginning to Death and Night or how we know them, Amar and Maya.

 

We read about both of these characters in "The Star-Touched Queen" but we get to read about how they met, how Death courted Night, and how she loved him. We know what will happen next (I read the first full book and only came back to read this prequel now) but it was great to read about how they came to love one another prior to Night choosing to leave him in order to be re-born. 

 

Death is cursed to fall in love with a woman who will leave him. So he decides to just marry, but now love his wife. Until he meets Night and knows that she is the right person for him. They have a great dynamic that consists of challenging each other as well as realizing that the other person is truly who they want to be with.


I did like that we got some backstory on the friendship between Night and Nritti. You get to see why Night loves her so much. She's one of the few who is not afraid of Night. 

 

I also loved how we got to see how playful Gupta was with Death. I maybe laughed at him trying to teach Death how to properly court. 

 

The writing was lyrical and made me laugh at times. You can easily see why Death and Night fell for each other. 

 

"We turned our gaze to the heavens and waited. There was beauty in the night, if you chose to see it. Some did. Some didn’t. For some, night was the time of dreams and rest, of balance reasserting itself. For others, the hours crowded between dusk and dawn belonged to the ghosts. I knew what they feared: the uncertainty of nighttime, the lightlessness of those hours that were not the black comfort of sleep but the shadows at the bottom of a monster’s throat. I glanced at my reflection and saw their fear staring right at me. Why could I not be dreams and nightmares both?"

 

“That I think she would make an excellent consort. I want a companion. She wants recognition. It’s a victory for us both and sound reasoning too.” I started walking toward the door when Gupta jogged up to me. “That will be your opening statement? You need to make a good impression. Bees are drawn to flowers, not rocks, for a reason. And that is a ridiculous number of assumptions about someone you don’t even know.”


We get to see how things go in the Night Bazaar which was fun to follow-up with as a setting in this book.  

 

Not too much more to say since this is a novella, but definitely a welcome addition to "The Star Touched Queen" series. 

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review 2018-04-11 15:41
Review: Heart on Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #3) by Amanda Bouchet
Heart on Fire - Amanda Bouchet
Heart on Fire

Kingmaker Chronicles #3
Amanda Bouchet
Fantasy Romance - Mythology
Sourcebooks Casablanca
January 2nd 2018
Paperback
320
Bought

 

The riveting conclusion to the Kingmaker Chronicles.

 

Who is Catalia Fisa?


With the help of pivotal figures from her past, Cat begins to understand the root of her exceptional magic, her fated union with Griffin Sinta, and Griffin's role in shaping her destiny.

 

Only Cat holds the key to unlocking her own power, and that means finally accepting herself, her past, and her future in order to protect her loved ones, confront her murderous mother, and taking a final, terrifying step--reuniting all three realms and taking her place as the Queen of Thalyria.

 

What doesn't kill her will only make her stronger...we hope.

 

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

 

 

Heart on Fire concludes the Kingmaker Chronicles series by Amanda Bouchet

 

I was hooked on the Kingmaker Chronicles series from the moment I read the first page of A Promise of Fire and each additional book has been a delight. I’m sad to see it end and I’d love to see a spin-off, because their are so many wonderful characters that have potential to do their own stories.

 

Heart on Fire starts right where Breath of Fire ends. So their is no time wasted in getting us back into the story and the coming war to deiced the fate of the lands. We are taking on an adventure, full of heart-break, enlightenment, and hope.

 

The book opens us to a very heart-breaking moment of betrayal that changes the lives of the Sinta family. For Griffin family is everything and to have one of your own betray you. Well, that leaves an everlasting impress on everyone. Cat has grown as a character and in Heart on Fireshe has several realizes and enlightened moments, where she realizes her destiny, and that she is the personification of Hope for everyone.

 

Their is a lot more talking then action in this installment. It slowed things down a little for me. Everything has been leading up to Cat’s destiny. War is coming and not everyone will survive the war. I will say the ending battle happened with very little fanfare. I’m spoiled with the Andrews team and how they write their battle scenes, so I was a bit let down with how the whole ending battle turned out. It wasn’t written bad. It just didn’t have all the action-packed battle I was hoping for. Thou we do get some action battle scenes earlier in the book.

 

I have loved the friendships made with all the secondary characters we meet. I’m hoping we get spin-offs for several of the secondary characters. Their are so many wonderful possibilities and story threads to explore with all of them. Some things where left open on the secondary characters, so it gives me hope we might be returning to the Kingmaker world.

 

Heart on Fire is packed full of adventure going from one situation to another with no chance of letting go. I couldn’t stop reading and just kept turning the pages to see what would happen next.

 

To wrap it up, Heart on Fire, was a splendid read and a nice conclusion. I’m happy to see Cat and Griffen have a good ending. The whole series has been entertaining, the friendships and romance have been pleasurable, and the new world created by Bouchet is marvelous. All of this combined together gives us a fantastic new fantasy romance.

 

Rated: 4 Stars

 

** You do need to read the Kingmaker Chronicles in order.

 

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

 

Check out my reviews for The Kingmaker Chronicles:

 

  1. A Promise of Fire – 4.5 Stars
  2. Breath of Fire – 4 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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/2018/04/review-heart-on-fire-kingmaker-chronicles-3-by-amanda-bouchet
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review 2018-04-10 10:00
Release Day Review! Ram Wild (Ares Cursed #2 / Zodiac Shifters) Decadent Kane!
Ram Wild - Decadent Kane

 

 

A nymph outcast tied to the land…


Echo is a curvy nymph, the black sheep of her kind. She doesn’t steal men. She even cut herself off from most of the world, except her forest. And Fahd, a magic eater, is consuming the essence within her trees. There’s only one way to stop him, the golden fleece. It took her nearly a year to get her hands on the fleece. And not even a day for the sexy ram shifter, Jace, to find her. However, she won’t be giving the fleece over lightly. Echo’s determined to give him the fight of his immortal life, but she’s worried it’s her own attraction she has to control.


A ram shifter cursed by Aries to never stay in one place…


Jace Argo is an Aries Guardian with one task; protect the mythical golden fleece. When the fleece is stolen right from under his nose, Jace traipses into the forest after the thief. He didn’t expect to run into a raven-haired nymph. He has four days before his curse forces him to leave town with or without the fleece. He will pull out every arsenal in his box of male charms to get what he wants.


A stolen mythical fleece brings them together, everything else will tear them apart.



This book stands alone within the series.

 

 

Ram Wild is a fun and adventurous romance that brings spice to the reader’s life. Everyone that reads the Zodiac Shifters series knows that there are lots of shifter variety to be found in the series and that each book is enhanced by the Zodiac mythology with each author’s books having their own unique elements that make them even more enjoyable for the readers.

 

Decadent Kane’s Ram Wild certainly has all of the above and while the story is full of suspense and thrills that keep readers on the edge of their seats with a pretty scary evil that needs to be vanquished and an unpredictable romance to sweeten the story, this book also has a ‘quest’ feel to the story that brings in the fun and adventure that I mentioned above which certainly spices things up.

 

Jace and Echo are strong, captivating characters that had me enthralled from the very beginning and held me hostage to the very end and I can’t wait to read more books in the Ares Cursed series of the Zodiac Shifters. Did I mention that I really love the Ares, curses, and ram shifters elements of the story because it is so very different from other stories and is in fact the first book that I have read about ram shifters.

 

 

 

Ram Wild is the 2nd book in the Ares Cursed series and part of the Zodiac Shifters series!

 

You can also visit the Zodiac Shifters website to find out more about this fascinating series and what books are available.

 

Ram Wild is available in ebook at:

Amazon

 

Decadent Kane can be found at:

Website   Goodreads   G+   Twitter   Facebook    BookBub

 

 

 

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review 2018-04-09 11:49
Between the Blade and the Heart
Between the Blade and the Heart - Amanda Hocking

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

This book was fun. An action packed paranormal adventure.

 

First book I read by this particular author, and I enjoyed it. The world building was a little haphazard, in this world there are all sorts of supernatural creatures around, all governed by Norse gods, and kept in control by Valkyries. Seemed to be a vaguely futuristic kind of society. A little unclear on when it was set. A little bit of history on the species and the set the governing body and the jobs of Valkyries.  When your time is up, a Valkyrie is sent to dispatch you to the next plane of existence. Valkyries only go through the female line, Marin is training to follow in her mother Marlow’s footsteps and is in the final steps of her training to become an official Valkyrie as well as attending a supernatural academy for classes.

 

Marin was tough and spunky, relatively sensible and a likeable MC. Also extra points – she was bisexual. She had a relationship with another female Valkyrie, Quinn. Which didn’t end brilliantly but they remained sort of friends.  Marin lives with her best friend, witch Oona and her beloved pet, some sort of a hybrid creature a little like a dog but not quite.

 

Lots of action, though I did find some of the characters to be a little flat, there didn’t seem to be much back story to hardly anyone other than Marin herself. There was very little seen of the academy she attends, there’s a few classes mentioned, and a rivalry with a classmate she doesn’t get on with. Though later on in the novel they do have a fairly interesting discussion about fate and destiny – which was about as deep as the novel got.

 

Mostly it was all action packed. Marin’s world is thrown into chaos when a handsome stranger breaks into her apartment demanding information on her mother. Something that was supposed to have happened didn’t and as a result people are being killed. Marin is stunned and furious, and with the stranger, Asher, by her side sets off to confront Marlow about what happened.

 

She’s shocked at the revelations and she and Asher decide to try and put things right and stop the killings. The supernatural beasties Marin is hunting are getting stronger, she’s feeling pain when she shouldn’t and it could all be a result of what went wrong many years ago. She gets help from witchy Oona and Quinn appears a few times saving her butt and becomes part of the group who work to find the bad guy and solve the mystery.

 

Of course, Marin is starting to develop feelings for Asher and finds herself getting closer again with Quinn, trying to understand why their relationship failed – something to do with something that’s been ingrained into Marin about Valkyries and love and how it never works. So Marin is struggling to come to terms with her feelings on top of this manhunt for a bad guy getting nastier and stronger as the time goes by.

 

A surprise death half way through doesn’t help at all.

 

 

A surprising twist at the end as well, as it turns out the bad guy they’re hunting is small fries and there’s an even bigger bad on the way. Left at cliff hanger of course.

(spoiler show)

 

 

Not particularly moving, while the world building wasn’t brilliant (in my opinion) it was interesting and it’s been a long time since I’ve found a paranormal adventure I’ve liked so much. Decent characters, and a fun read.

 

Looking forward to the next one in the duology.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Pan McMillan for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2018-04-07 16:42
The Ritual by Adam Nevill (2016 Review)
The Ritual - Adam Nevill

The Ritual by Adam Nevill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The reunion of four University friends not only offers a chance to escape from the stresses of the everyday, but also an opportunity to behold the wonders of the outdoors... Or at least that was the plan. The last thing Hutch, Luke, Phil and Dom needed was to get lost within a virgin forest in a foreign country; a Scandinavian wilderness that just feels wrong. When they bare witness to something hanging up a tree - something dead, everything changes from then on.

(WARNING: This review contains MAJOR spoilers.)

Collecting dust on my bookshelf, amongst the other two hundred unread books (more or less), for a few years now, I finally decided to pick this one up and give it a go. I didn't know what exactly to expect at first, but the whole "man versus nature" aspect appealed to me, and thus I found myself thoroughly impressed with the initial direction of the plot. Even to imagine getting lost in such an ancient maze of untouched forest, where daylight itself refuses to penetrate, definitely makes my skin crawl. Even so, I'm not usually all that affected by horror in general, and even though I didn't feel terrified or frightened, I certainly felt a sense of unease and foreboding. The writing was a main factor in creating such responses; so darkly atmospheric with sentences that conveyed so much, from every stab of fear to every thread of hope. If not for the very drastic change in story in the second half, I'd have rated it five stars.

I didn't even find the characters entirely likeable, but not because they were poorly written - on the contrary, they were painfully realistic. The ones who picked on another out of a jealous attempt to hide their own crumbling lives, the one with obvious commitment issues and lack of purpose, and lastly, the one with the level head. However, even despite Hutch being the one to try and keep everything civil and together, he shared a particular shallowness with Luke in regard to continuously calling the other two "fatties". They had their flaws, as we all do, and as all good fictional characters should. Luke, whom I eventually came to feel sympathy for, was probably the worst, as his views on women were verging on being downright sexist. He clearly had his problems with anger management as well, but what that man experienced, his helplessness - I couldn't help but hope he'd survive the whole ordeal.

As for the complete shift titled "South of Heaven"; I didn't hate it, but admittedly it appeared quite silly at first. Going from the struggles of survival in the wilderness whilst hunted by a mysterious creature, to being held captive by a metal band consisting of face-painted teenagers - it was confusing to say the least, but after a while I settled into the craziness and accepted it for what it was. The trio; Fenris, Loki and Sutr, were void of sanity of any kind (as you can tell from what they called themselves), but even though they were all sorts of ridiculous, the old woman and what dwelled within the attic succeeded in returning the eerie tone. From stitching together the pieces given, the inhabitants of the house were children of the "moder", which added a nice touch. It then begs the question, why did the woman need Luke to do her dirty work in dispatching of the disrespectful teens when she could've called the monster? Well, if you revere something, if you worship something, it stands to reason you don't want to piss it off by expecting it to do pest control.

Still, the rambling on of Christianity, and of how evil they were as Vikings, it got a little tedious after a short time. I'm all for Norse mythology and how religion played a role in the origin of the forest, but I don't need dialogue that seems never-ending to get the point across. I rolled my eyes, I facepalmed, and I missed the simple yet effective quality of the first couple of hundred pages. Again, I state it was close to being a well-deserved favourite, but the last half just wasn't as good.

In conclusion: I'm definitely interested in Nevill's other works now, as I appreciated his ability as a writer. I favoured the first section of this particular novel, but the change in direction jarred me.

Notable Scene:

Luke took three mouthfuls of water from his bottle. It tasted of rubber and of the forest around them: the cloying of damp wood, rotting leaves and cold air. He detested it. He smelled of it too. They were almost a part of it now. Just a few bright colours of the man-made fibres they wore marked them out as any different to the thoughtless, relentless decay of season and nature. It would be so easy now to just sink to the ground and get recycled, to be eaten or rot away. The endlessness of it, the sheer size of the land and their total insignificance within it nearly shut his mind down.

© Red Lace 2016

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/04/07/the-ritual-by-adam-nevill-2016-review
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