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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 2017-01-25 22:35
Book Review of Blissful Agony (Others of Edenton Book 7) by Brandy L Rivers
Blissful Agony (Others of Edenton Book 7) - Tara Shaner,Brandy L. Rivers

Memories can hold you prisoner…

 

Clint Armstrong would love to forget his start as a werewolf. His past is a source of shame and never-ending guilt he can’t escape. That is, until he lays eyes on a healer who wipes it all away.

 

Emily McCallister lived through hell at the hands of her abusive twin. With him dead and gone, she’s finally moving forward, finding the confidence one man inspires. The first man her instinct doesn’t scream to run far away from.

 

When Clint’s previous pack learns he’s alive, they’ll stop at nothing to break his spirit. He saved Emily from a dangerous encounter with his old second. Now the Elm Wood pack won’t rest until they shred the life he’s built. With Emily in danger, he’ll do all he can to keep her safe.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the seventh book in the Others of Edenton series. I loved it!

 

Clint Armstrong is a wonderful character. I have always been curious about Clint's reputation and his kinky need for pain, so was intrigued when I realised that this was his story. I was glad to get to know him better. He's been attracted to Emily for a while. Knowing her past history, he is unwilling to rush or push her into a relationship. As his past rises up to haunt him and his old pack finds out he's still alive, he finds himself fighting for not only his life but for Emily's love.

 

Emily McCallister is also a wonderful character. I must admit that I originally didn't care for her when she was introduced in Falling Into Place, though I did feel sorry for her as she went through a terrible ordeal at the hands of her twin brother. However, she has grown throughout the series and has become a formidable healer, though still wary of any romantic entanglements. She finds herself drawn to Clint Armstrong, one of the werewolf enforcers. Will she gather enough courage to go for what she wants, or will danger pull them apart?

 

This series seems to be getting better and better as it goes on. The characters are extremely lifelike and likable and I could picture the scenes with ease; so much so that I felt like I was actually transported into the story.

 

The reader is taken on another adventure in Edenton. This story is told through various points of view, though Clint and Emily have the most say. I enjoyed watching their relationship develop. The sexual tension between them is palpable, even though Emily's past was a huge cloud hovering over her, sapping her confidence. Clint's past is also warped and full of horror. These two characters are badly damaged by their mutual pasts, but together they make each other whole. I would definitely not want to get on Emily's bad side though, as she sure packs a deadly magical punch. Clint, for all his alpha vibe, has a heart of gold even after all the horrors he was put through when he was turned. His kindness and understanding towards Emily made tears spring to my eyes.

 

As well as a few familiar faces making a welcome return, there are some new characters introduced into the series. Mark is one of the werewolf enforcers and is Clint's friend and business partner. Elias is a young werewolf sent by Clint's old pack to spy for them. Then there is Gina, a young woman from Clint's past, as well as Axel and Ava, the Alpha and Beta of Clint's old pack. HARP is still active in the story arc (though only in the background in this tale) and I have become intrigued as to who the leaders of this group are and what their end game is.

 

The story is a mix of romance, magic and danger, and takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride from start to finish. I must admit that I raced through the pages as I was completely gripped by the story. It made me sad when I reached the end, as I wanted to keep reading it! Though this book does not finish on a cliffhanger, it left me looking forward to continuing the series with Entangled Darkness to find out what happens next.

 

Brandy L. Rivers has written an entertaining paranormal romance series. I love her fast paced writing style, and the flow is wonderful. Her characters are lifelike and likable. With her ability to write in both the paranormal and contemporary romance genres, she is one of my go to authors when I'm in the mood for a sexy read.

 

Due to explicit scenes of a sexual nature, as well as use of profane language, I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 18. However, I do recommend this book if you love hot erotic paranormal romances full of sexy men and determined women. - Lynn Worton

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review 2017-01-22 22:09
Mélusine (Doctrine of Labyrinths #1) by Sarah Monette
Melusine - Sarah Monette

I am reviewing a DTB version.

Wow! That was the longest prologue I've ever read!
Now I can go back to page 1 and start enjoying the book.
Many reviews that mention re-reads make sense now.

*****

Few thoughts on the book, the writing, the characters, the shenanigans. No spoilers, just want to keep my outrage contained in the spoiler tags.

 

Tho I like it when authors dump you right in the middle of things and you have to start running the moment you hit the ground, this was not the case. I sure did do some legwork, but it was mostly bouncing up and down on the same spot, trying to get hold on my bearings. What? Who? Where? How? but most often than not WTF? were the questions popping into my head every other paragraph.

 

None of the places, politics, history and even characters, including one of the MCs, are explored enough for readers to fully comprehend the magnitude of events that the author is bestowing upon us until it's almost into the second half.

* Felix doesn't get to shine in the beginning of the book; hell, Felix doesn't get to be or do anything before all hell brakes loose. He doesn't get. to. be. Although SM keeps showering us with "Felix is This" and "Felix is That", all we see is a mad, wounded, bleeding dog instead of a shiny pretty thing, and its running, whimpering, to his abuser after being called "a whore". That one word and an unsubstantiated implication to go along does not justify Felix's violent overreaction. I am sure it's all perfect in MS's head, but she clearly prefers not to share any additional bits with us (and there are more to come).
Where is this person who thinks quick on his legs? SM's shiny version of Felix should handle it in no time flat, instead he is seeking out his uber abusive master he hasn't seen in years and loading on drugs like there is no tomorrow.

.........................................

Felix the magnificent, "whose deadly wit is the terror of the court” my ass. Whiny little pup!

* The book is packed with too many elaborate names that mean nothing, people who never show up and have no impact on the events, places we never go to.

Not sure why French rev. calendar was used. To give an instant historical setting? Sorry, it didn't work. You can't use a calendar and a bunch of French sounding names to instantly set the stage, unless its real France and the time is set roughly during the very end of 18th/beginning of 19th centuries. Same goes for Troia/Greece. These tricks confuse, not clarify events or describe places or historical periods in fantasy fiction.

I jam fond of French history and literature, but even then it took me a few minutes to zoom in on Pluviôse, I simply did not expect it. It was one of my first in the long line of WTF moments. I am sure many of us remember the calendar, but then there are many who do not.

(spoiler show)



To SM:
*Please, translate for the overwhelming majority of your non-russian speaking audience, what the hell Morskaiakrov means. Would it kill you to make a footnote: *Morskayakrov (russian) - Sea Blood. In current setting it implies that the family who operates the boat has sea in their blood. They were born into the trade and sea is their home and their life.
Please, quit making people feel inadequate and leaving them tongue-twisted and cross-eyed.


* Too many side stories. For what purpose? Ah.... of course. Page count. But they slow down the flow of the main story and leave loose ends all over the place.
What was the deal with the hidden attic at St. Crellifer's? Great escape route. Great way in. But was it utilized? I really hope it will come handy later, because as of right now it's an opportunity and reader's time wasted.

*POV switching. Two paragraphs here. Half a page there. Past Tense, Present Tense... I am looking forward (not!) to colons in The Virtu, that's on top of Italics and Mildmay's bad and inconstant speech antics.

*Would it greatly burden you to have a glossary of terms and names in the beginning of the book? If anything it will expand your page count.

*Please, mention your septads in the glossary of your quirks. Two septads and six is an amusing take on 20 questions, but - really? Really? Invent your own question game and leave decimals out.

OK, shutting up now. There is more in my updates if anyone cares.

(spoiler show)



This book made me angry. Felix, too, at the very end, with his lack of gratitude and common sense made me angry. BUT. The story held my interest. I am starting The Virtue today. That counts for something, I guess.

3 stars.

PS Shannon. I feel bad for him. Felix is one ungrateful piece of ...work.

 

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review 2017-01-08 21:27
A King and a Pawn (Leader Murders #3) by Liv Olteano
A King and a Pawn - Liv Olteano

This book is all over the place. I am not even sure I am attaching correct tags here.

- Urban history, for example. This could have taken place anywhere. In the woods or in the mountains, for all I care. But there was a mentioning of some humans in cars and apartment complexes so... I guess it's on an urban-y side.

- Law enforcement, PI. Not really. Bert is a beta (read: a butler and a cook and a nanny) to an asshole who happens to be in charge of PBI (paranormal bureau of investigations).

- Secret agent, spy, politician, diplomat. Same - Bert, the PBI asshole's beta, is sent on a diplomatic mission he has no prior training for, obvisly (see "beta" definition above).

*

There is no chemistry between MC's. None. Except for Will proclaiming his undying love for Bert every couple of pages or less.

And then there is all this talking.... I am surprised the characters (all of them, except for the babies) didn't talk their heads off.

A very frustrating and disappointing read :/ 2 stars.

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review 2017-01-07 22:53
Book Review of Light In Darkness (Others of Edenton Book 6) by Brandy L Rivers
Light In Darkness (Others of Edenton Book 6) - Tara Shaner,Brandy L. Rivers

Sometimes light comes from the darkest shadows…

 

Lincoln, having been sheltered his whole life, is finally finding his path after losing his mother. Gaining confidence isn’t easy, but he can’t resist going after the woman he craves.

 

Victoria believes she is a monster. Her past is full of darkness and pain, horrors she would protect Lincoln from. Pushing him away proves harder than she imagined now that his heart is set on her.

 

A secret is revealed when a group of Other hunters come searching for Victoria, putting Lincoln in danger.

 

Will darkness consume Victoria? Or will Lincoln’s light show her the truth?

 

Review 5*

 

This is the sixth book in the Others of Edenton series. I loved it!

 

Lincoln is a wonderful character. I liked him a lot. He has been in the periphery of the storyline for the most part as a secondary character since the first book, so I was glad this story gave me a chance to get to know him better. He has been attracted to Victoria for a while, but due to his sheltered upbringing, he has an innocence about him and he is rather shy. However, since the death of his mother, he has come out of his shell a lot more and gained confidence. He knows it'll be hard to win Victoria's heart, but as danger threatens and brings them closer together, can he show her that she's not the monster she thinks she is?

 

Victoria is also a wonderful character. I liked her a lot too. She is a vampire - a shadowstalker to be precise - who has fought hard to not feed on Other blood for several years. She is also attracted to Lincoln, but is determined not to give in to the temptation he represents. When she finds herself the target of an organisation that hunts Others, she must decide whether to embrace her inner darkness or entrust her heart to Lincoln.

 

This is a hard review to write because I don't want to give any spoilers. I will say that I thought this book has been the best of the series so far. I love the way Lincoln and Victoria's relationship unfolded. Lincoln is so determined that Victoria be his, he keeps chipping away at the wall she's placed around herself that she's got only one choice, and that's to surrender.

 

There are several twists and turns in this story, along with a few surprises, which kept me hooked. As secrets are revealed, Lincoln comes into his own. I enjoyed watching him gain even more confidence and see how his character grew. Victoria grew as a character too. There is a definite story arc developing as an organisation called HARP is introduced. This organisation seems to be playing with both human and Other fears and pitting them against each other. What their end game is, I'm not sure. One thing I am sure of is that this book has a lot of action. I enjoyed meeting the residents of Edenton again, even though they always seem to be under siege from someone's enemy. However, there are several new characters introduced, though some were introduced in prior books but only had minor roles. Declan, Fallon and Devlin's father, is now sharing a house with Victoria as she is his sponsor since being turned into a vampire. We also get to meet Hadraniel and Jophiel, who are both angels. Byron is a young man bent on revenge, Monty is his brother (and a vampire) and they are both in HARP. Then there is Mena and Jones, who are the leaders of HARP. They are not exactly human and feed off of pain and fear of their victims.

 

The story is a mix of romance, magic and danger, and takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride from start to finish. It felt like I'd only just started reading and then it finished! But, having said that, I raced through the pages as I was completely gripped by the story. Though this book does not finish on a cliffhanger, it left me looking forward to continuing the series with Blissful Agony to find out what happens next.

 

Brandy L. Rivers has written an entertaining paranormal romance series. I love her fast paced writing style, and the flow is wonderful. Her characters are lifelike and likable. With her ability to write in both the paranormal and contemporary romance genres, she is one of my go to authors when I'm in the mood for a sexy read.

 

Due to explicit scenes of a sexual nature, as well as use of bad language, I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 18. However, I do recommend this book if you love hot erotic paranormal romances full of sexy men and determined women. - Lynn Worton

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