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review 2018-04-20 21:31
Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family #1) by Melissa de la Cruz
Witches of East End - Melissa de la Cruz

It was hard to put this book down, even to just fold laundry. However, it should be noted that de la Cruz has a particular writing style - very short chapters, heavy on plot, rotating third person POVs (in this case Freya, Ingrid, and Joanne), and for an adult book, very little sex on the page. I was familiar with de la Cruz's writing after reading three books in her YA vampire series (with one of those vampires making a guest appearance in this book), and it suited to the story she was telling in this book.

 

And what a book it was - a mix of lessons from early American history (the Salem witch trials in particular), Norse mythology (yeah, with names like Freya and Ingrid kind of give it away), and straight up paranormal. Joanne, Freya, and Ingrid are witches and mother-daughters that were exiled by The Council and banned from using their gifts. After a few centuries, each woman was tired of keeping herself on the down low and starting using her gifts for the good of others - honest intentions to help people. As they continue to use their powers, equally crazy shit happens and it is up to the women to find the source and stop it. 

 

I just loved this book. The women were intelligent, thoughtful, and worked together while still being themselves and the romantic elements were there, but not the focus of the book. It was a joyride with heart. I am definitely going to continue reading this series. Forewarned: you have to read the series in order because the end of one book sets up the next book. So although the problem the women faced ended at the end of this book, the epilogue dropped a big plot line for book two.

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review 2018-04-19 15:43
Audio Review: Kiss of Pride (Deadly Angels #1) by Sandra Hill (Narrator: Erin Bennett)
Kiss of Pride - Sandra Hill
Kiss of Pride

Deadly Angels #1
Sandra Hill (Narrator: Erin Bennett)
Paranormal Romance
Tantor Audio
August 18, 2014
Audiobook
11 hours and 8 minutes
Audible Romance Package

 

Is he really a Viking with a vampire's bite? An angel with the body of a thunder god? A lone wolf with love on his mind?

 

Alexandra Kelly, his prey, thinks Vikar Sigurdsson is either flat-out crazy or he's trying to maneuver her into his bed - which is hardly where a professional reporter should conduct an interview, tempting as that prospect might be. Until Vikar does something a teensy bit unexpected, and Alex begins to wonder whether her mystery man could really be everything he says he is: a Viking vampire angel on a thousand-year-long mission with his pack of sinful brothers - and a man who's finally found the woman of his dreams. By then, Vikar is already wrapping his chiseled arms around Alex's body - and sinking his wicked fangs right into her neck. If this is sin, why does it feel so good?

 

Contains mature themes.

 

 

Kiss of Pride is book one in the Deadly Angels series by Sandra Hill and narrated by Erin Bennett. 

 

Well I really wanted to like this book. I found the concept of Viking Warrior Angel Vampires to be cool, but unfortunately Kiss of Pride didn’t work out for me. I had a tone of issues.

 

To start I was confused throughout the book. The explanation’s of things where confusing. We have the Vangels, the good guys, then Lucipires, the bad guys, and then their are their servants who have all these weird names and I couldn’t figure out what they do or their purpose. If I had had the eBook or Book copy I could have re-read that section and seen it with my eyes to try to understand, but I was listening to the audio. 

 

I didn’t care for all the sin, redemption, and crimes against God that are showcased throughout. Most where just run-of-the-mill kinks and non-vanilla sexuality. At one scene the 7 Vangels are reading the details online about the Sex Cruise the Lucipires are putting on to get souls and when they read all the different things to happen, well they come of as old aunties. Then we have Alex’s danger; which is that she is contemplating murder or suicide from depression, because of the death of her husband and daughter by drug lords. This is made a big deal of only; because both are SINS. 

 

Alex’s backstory wasn’t all that good and came across as a way to manipulate the story and reader. The author only obsesses on Alex’s backstory when the story needed angst, but then it’s quickly forgotten, so we can have some goofy hijinks and idiotic dialogue. At another point in the story Alex flips out over Sigurdsson having more then one wife and concubines, but that issue was never discussed or resolved, it was just a way to get Alex outside, so the Lucipires could get to her. Manipulation!

 

Then at one point into the story the author uses 9/11 for one of her Vangels backstories, having him hold himself responsible for letting this happen. Using this convenient background detail to give weight to the character felt a little skeevy. Their where more backstories like this throughout to give weight and depth to the Vangels, but it didn’t work. 

 

I didn’t care for all the different references to things in the 20th century; like Twilight, Sookie Stackhouse, Anne Rice, Buffy and more. At first it was funny, but then it got tiresome. They where overwhelming and redundant. I know the author was trying to be funny, but it was to much. It need less of this.

 

The romance between Alex and Sigurdsson. I didn’t feel it at all. It was to be this fated connection between them, but their was nothing tender, just a bunch of silly lines. And, then we have the near-sex that they have, which was laughable; because no they can’t have sex before marriage it’s a sin, but having any sexual relations before marriage is a sin, but the non-sex is a lesser sin…. 

 

Last, we have the whole blood cleaning thing which turns both Alex and Sigurdsson on. I wanted to know if this is just them or does it happen with others? It was never clear. From what I got the Vangels have to drink the blood of those tainted by the Lucipires to cleans them of the taint that slowly crops them to do sins, but also this cleansing is needed for the Vangels to survive. It was all a bit too confusing and not well explained. At one point I was upset about a scene where they do this blood cleansing thing; because the Vangels are all about free will, yet Sigurdsson takes it away from Alex at one point. What got me is God is all about the free will and this was so contradictory. Yes, they are to save the sinners, but that doesn’t give them the right to take that choice away. 

 

Kiss of Pride was all over the place with contradictions, manipulative backstories, punishing the sinners, redemption, and more. I was so confused and frustrated. I’m not sure as to why I listen to the whole audiobook. I keep asking myself why I did. I have no plans to pick up another book in the Deadly Angels series. 

 

Audio: Narrator Erin Bennett was acceptable. Her voices where distinct and I new who was who when talking. I could tell the different between male and female, but also the different characters. I wasn’t overly impressed only because I didn’t care for the story. Nothing against Bennett. 

 

Rated: 2 Stars

 

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

 

Challenge(s) (2018): AudiobookTry Something New

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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/audio-review-kiss-of-pride-deadly-angels-1-by-sandra-hill-narrator-erin-bennett
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review 2018-04-14 13:59
Book Review of 'Til Death Do Us Part (an adult retelling of The Little Mermaid) by Dianna Hardy
'Til Death Do Us Part (an adult retelling of The Little Mermaid) - Dianna Hardy

BRAND NEW COVER! (Same content.)

 

"The day you get married, is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. Dreams are made of such things. But I forgot. I could blame the witch if I wanted to - in fact I did, for quite a while after - but the fault can only lie with me. Being with him made me so happy - so very, very happy - that I chose to forget. I chose amnesia. If I had had any foresight into how my flippant choice would ruin him, I would have saved him the heartbreak. I would have forfeited my knowing him, my own selfishness, lived forever in the pain of unfulfillment, if it meant he could be spared...."

 

When you love someone so much that your heart aches without them in your life, would you give up everything you've ever known to be with them? Would you give up your identity?

 

This is exactly what Aria did. But her sacrifice comes at a great cost, with startling consequences. With no memory of her previous life, she's forgotten what she really is, and who she's left behind: a jealous, possessive God, who's finally found her, and will stop at nothing to keep her heart from ever straying again.

 

In this dark and passionate retelling of The Little Mermaid, can a love founded on humanity, stand the passing of time, an angry sea-God, and even death itself?

 

*Please note: this book is NOT "erotica". (It has been mistakenly placed in that category, and you will be sorely disappointed if you are buying this for titillation!) It is a dark fantasy gothic romance, containing only a couple of mildly explicit scenes. In the vein of many dark fantasies, it also contains some violence which may disturb some readers.

 

Notes: The English translation of the original story, Den lille Havfrue, by Hans Christian Anderson, works out at just under 10,000 words. This retelling is just over 10,000 words.

 

Review 4*

 

This is an interesting retelling of The Little Mermaid. I loved it.

 

Aria is a character I neither liked or disliked. I did find her a little selfish and self absorbed with her love of Simon. However, she also showed an inner strength when faced with difficult decisions, and also had to deal with an abusive situation.

 

This short story was a quick read, with lots of twists to keep the reader guessing as to what would happen next. There is a scene that could potentially upset some readers, which could also be a triggering event for them if they’ve been in an abusive relationship or been abused. So reader beware! I did enjoy Aria’s journey of emotional growth through the tale though. She matures within it. However, I’m not sure about the ending. It left me with mixed feelings even though it concludes satisfactorily.

This book is one of Dianna Hardy’s earlier works, which is why, I think, I found it a little disappointing even though I loved it. Her writing has improved a lot since this book was originally written. I love her fast paced writing style and I found no problem with the story flow, so as an introduction to her storytelling, this would be the ideal way to start.

 

Due to scenes of a sexual nature and abuse, I do not recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 16. However, I highly recommend this book if you love paranormal/supernatural romances and adult-themed fairytale retellings. - Lynn Worton

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review 2018-04-13 16:23
Adam by Jacquelyn Frank
Adam - Jacquelyn Frank

On Samhain in 2008, Jacob and Bella are killed in front of their daughter's eyes and nothing will never be the same again. Families, friendships and alliances are broken, while the crazy Demon bitch Ruth and her Vampire mate Nicodemous continue wreaking havoc...Until they accost Jacob and Bella's daughter, ten years after her parents' deaths.

But instead of letting the pair kill her and drench themselves in her power over the element of Time, Leah does what she's been planning for quite a long time...Travel back in time to fetch her father's older brother, Adam.


When I read this series in 2009, there was no Adam book on the horizon, so I mistakenly thought Noah was the last book, and I was rather perplexed at how the main story arc about the crazy Demon Ruth was never resolved.

It is resolved in this one, though the story left much to be desired.

First of all, the resolution and the final battle came across as rather easy, almost as an afterthought, which left a rather bitter aftertaste after all the trials and tribulations the heroes and heroines of the series have been through so far.
There was no imminent threat of danger, no edge-of-your-seat, bite-your-nails gripping intensity and suspense. It was pretty much a given from the start and it left me rather disappointed.

The second problem was the rather hole-y plot thanks to all the obvious tweaking of timelines. And somehow it didn't really make sense. If Adam disappeared in all the timelines, then why did Jacob and Bella die in the first place only for Leah to go back in time and fetch him, creating a different timeline?
And who was the mysterious Demon female helping our many good guys and gals?
In the end, there were many loose ends left dangling and many questions left unanswered. But I'm quite behind in my reading, maybe I'll get my answers in Ms. Frank's other works.

And the third problem was the two protagonists. I never really warmed up to Jasmine (I still hate her guts, to be honest). She was a bitchy and selfish creature lashing out at almost everyone (except Damien) due to her own insecurities and no one really took her up to task. Even at the end of her story, there were many apologies and quite a bit of groveling that was needed on her part, yet they never came.
I don't have much to say about her counterpart, her mate/Imprinted/Bonded or whatever you want to call him. Adam simply failed to make an impression. After many great heroes that came before him, Adam was rather bland and without much personality, if you ask me.
But that's probably due to the fact the story (rather short for the "final showdown") was overcrowded with new and old characters, tweaking of time, and final-minute information.
The result was a barely lukewarm and very rushed romance that quickly stepped over the line into unrealistic and unbelievable.

Still, it was good seeing old friends, learning that quite a few dreams would be realized once Ruth was vanquished...And I'm looking forward to seeing them in future books and series in the Nighwalker realm.

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review 2018-04-09 05:21
Vex: Mythical Ink 1 by LS Anders (Review)
Vex: Mythical Ink Series Book 1 - LS Anders

First book in a new series. Different from other PNR or U/F I’ve read in the sense of how the main character comes to live among humans. The gist of it all is that Vex and his friend Lucian are banished from their world for violating some rules and they are unceremoniously sent to earth. Decades later, they decide to set up their own tattoo parlor with the help of Sevin, a shifter they have come to care for and love as a son, all while Vex is still hoping to be sent back to his own world.

I loved the trio’s relationship. They acted like a family through and through. Vex was the tall, dark, and brooding of the three; Lucian had a much more calmer personality; and Sevin while still young was sweet and flirty.


Alea is a funny, witty fairy with her own ambitions and plans. As much as Vex tries to deny the attraction that started between them pretty much from the moment they met, it really doesn’t take much for him to give in into her desire for her. Even so, their relationship blazed at the right pace, not once feeling phony or forced. Their funny and witty banter had me laughing plenty of times.


Romance aside, there was a good solid plot that kept the story moving along. That said, I felt there were a few things in the story that needed to be addressed but instead we just skipped over them. There is also the ending of the story which I thought had lots of things going on instead of just Alea and Vex as the main focus, but that’s probably more of a personal preference.

**I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.**
 

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