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review 2017-10-16 01:23
And this...this is how you do dragons!
Burn the Sky - Jaye McKenna

Now if it's not already clear let me start by saying..."I LOVE DRAGONS!!! Unashamedly, unapologetically love them." to me they are the most fierce, majestic, powerful and yes scary because...hey, big fire breathing creatures here, in all of mythology. 

 

I've had this series on my wishlist for ages and was fortunate enough to have been gifted with the first three books in this series as part of a gift exchange last Christmas and while it's taken me until now to find the time to start reading this series...all I can say to that is good things come to he, or she as the case may be, who waits.

 

Gerrick is the heir presumptive to the throne of Altan (next in line for the throne)...except there's one teensy little problem in order to become the Wytch King he needs to come into his wytch power...he's 20 it should have happened by now and Altan has never had a king who didn't possess a wytch power...ask his Uncle. He's only to happy to explain this  to anyone who will listen...bitter much? Oh yeah. 

 

For Gerrick this isn't about being king though it's about keeping a promise. A promise to protect his younger brother, Jaire from the pressures of ruling a kingdom. Something that even Jaire willing admits he has absolutely no desire or ability to do. Regardless of everything else Jaire, Gerrick and their father are all of a like mind on this issue...neither the kingdom nor Jaire would survive should he be made king as the Wytch Council would have happen.

 

It's in a last ditch effort to have Gerrick declared his rightful heir by the council that the king demands that Gerrick's wytch powers be forced to awaken defying the councils decree that forcing wytch powers or even attempting to do so is a punishable offense. Desperate to protect his brother Gerrick agrees to allow this. 

 

Some wytch powers are not meant to be awakened and when Gerrick's awakened powers end in disaster. Kian, Gerrick's friend, lover and an apprentice healer flees to the Wytch's College in search of the Wytch Master Ilya in a last ditch effort to save not just Gerrick, but his brother Jaire and ultimately the kingdom of Altan. 

 

Ilya's tasked with teaching Gerrick to control his powers but things get complicated when Ilya and Gerrick are drawn to each other and time starts to run out when the machinations of others put both the king and Jaire at risk. 

 

'Burn the Sky' is definitely one of the most enjoyable dragon stories I've read in a very long time. I loved the characters of Gerrick and Ilya. Their relationship started out with definite touch of antagonism as both men came into the relationship with some pre-conceived ideas about the other, but with Gerrick needing Ilya's help to learn how to control his powers and Ilya determined to avoid being the one to deliver the deathblow that will be Gerrick's fate should he fail they find themselves forced to find a way to work together for their own good and the good of a kingdom. 

 

Along with Gerrick and Ilya we are given some secondary characters who beg for their own story and fortunately the author has seen this. In 'Blackfrost' the second book in this series we are given the story of Kian and what becomes of him after he leave the college, in the third book 'Shadowspire' we find out more about Jaire, the sweet and sensitive brother of Garrick whom we met in this story and who proved that while he may not have what it takes to rule a kingdom he had the courage he needed to help save it.  Dragonwatch is the fourth book currently released in this series and while we haven't met either of the MCs in it I'm so looking forward to what comes next in this series. 

 

For me the 'Wytch King' series is everything that I want in a fantasy series...there are dragons, magic, adventure, romance, characters that are both intriguing and compelling and a story that while it feels complete leaves me both wanting and knowing that there is yet more to come.

 

 

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review 2017-10-15 22:17
Have I ever mentioned that I love...I mean seriously love dragons?
Enter the Dragon - Jamie Sullivan

Yeah, I'm pretty sure I have so you can imagine my heartbreak when I realized that this was a case of 'dragon fail'.

 

So here's the thing overall this story might have worked it there had been more depth in the characters, the plot and the story development. I mean really what's not to like it's dragons and it's bit of a different idea on how this dragon thing works. I really didn't find that the story was in depth about anything it was a bit like a butterfly flitting from one flower to the next touching on each but never really landing long enough to get a good look and while I admit that by virtue of the fact that there were less than 50 pages from start to finish, it doesn't surprise. What does is the fact that this was not the biggest obstacle to me liking this story.

 

Unfortunately my biggest obstacles were largely due to the reasons that this story was a different spin on the dragon myth and in the actual execution of those things. Things that aren't mentioned in the blurb and are the reason that this is me not going there because spoiling things for others is so not my thing which is why I'm just going to call it a day and say that this one didn't work for me. It's not so much about good or bad...just not my taste.

 

'Enter the Dragon' is a story from the multi-authored series entitled 'The Beastiary' and while it wasn't my thing there are a lot of good reviews out there, that just go to show we all have different taste and what's not for me may be just what someone else is looking for.

 

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A copy of 'Enter the Dragon' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-10-15 21:15
No dragons here but there was a pretty awesome unicorn!
The Last Grand Master - Andrew Q. Gordon,Joel Leslie

And some pretty amazing peregrines! 'The Last Grandmaster' is the first book in Andrew Q. Gordon's series 'Champion of the Gods' and for me if it's not Urban Fantasy when it comes to fantasy this is my crack. I loved it wizards and noble warriors, magic, unicorns, peregrines, dark magic, good vs evil at its best!

 

Farrell is both a Grand Master and the crowned Prince of Haven a hidden sanctuary for refugees. He's the linchpin in the war against Meglar the wizard king of Zargon and a user of dark magic.  It's during a battle against Meglar that Farrell meets Miceral an immortal warrior chosen by the Six to be Farrell's mate. 

 

Along with Farrell and Miceral the author introduces us to Nerti, Queen of the unicorns and a large cast of secondary characters who all have a role to play in the battle against Meglar. 

 

Overall I really enjoyed this story. It's been quite a while since I've listened to or read a fantasy novel on this epic of a scale and to be honest I'd forgotten the amount of world building that it takes to make a story like this work. Fortunately for me the author chose to incorporate most of his world building into the  story which for me works a whole lot better than info dumps. While there were occasionally times that my interest waned they were far and few between. 

 

'The Last Grandmaster' is as story that has a lot going on...not only is Farrell's personal life in a bit of upheaval but he's working hard to save his world and defeat the evil known as Meglar and of course like any good story our hero has secrets...secrets that dog him at every turn and may even prove to be his undoing.

 

I have to admit I've been poking around this series for a while now and couldn't quite make up my mind but when the opportunity to listen to this on audio book came up, I sat down and took a serious look at things. I know I've said on more than one occasion that fantasy is one of my absolute favorite genres, so needless to say this had 'The Last Grandmaster' ticking yes in more than a few boxes for me. My dilemma came when I got to the narrator. Joel Leslie is the narrator for this book and this created a bit of a dilemma for me, I haven't had the best of luck with this narrator. It's not a case of good or bad, it's truly just personal preference and for me this narrator's voice tends to be more miss than hit...so what to do, what to do?

 

Well I went back and took a look at the audio books that I've listened to by Joel Leslie and came to the realization that while some didn't work and some were just ok. Out of them all while the audio was for me only 3 stars...I would have to say that 'Lord Mouse' is probably the one I liked the best and while that book bares no resemblance to this one in terms of the storyline or plot there is a similarity to the overall feel of them...sorry, I wish I had better words to explain this with but hopefully you get my drift here...anyways, bottom line after pondering this aspect of things I decided this was worth taking a chance on and happily for me I was right. Joel Leslie's narration for 'The Last Grandmaster' worked just fine for me and I genuinely enjoyed the audio experience. So much so that I'm truly hoping that the remainder of this series will be produced on audio book and I certainly won't have any reservations about listening if it's the same narrator for those books.

 

Although 'The Last Grandmaster' is the first book in this series the author hasn't left us standing at the edge of any cliffs wondering about the well being of our heroes, it would appear that each book in this series is for the most part a self-contained adventure that is part of a larger journey...a quest if you will, that our heroes are on in their battle against evil. There are currently four books in this series with a fifth book slated for release in 2018. For me the question isn't whether or not I'll continue the journey it's more a case of e-book or wait for it on audio? What to do? What to do?

 

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An audio book of 'The Last Grandmaster' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2017-10-12 23:02
Second chances can be such a good idea...
So Into You - S.E. Harmon,Herrmann Michael Stellman

'Stay With Me' was the first book in S. E. Harmon's 'PI Guys' series and I admit I considered taking a pass on this one...at least for now, but my little book OCD voice said "No you can't do that, you need to finish what you started...yadda, yadda, yadda..." that book OCD biotch is annoying as all get out when she gets started...so in an effort to shut her up I agreed to do this. Turns out she maybe a biotch but sometimes she has good ideas. Psst, don't tell her she's egotistical enough  as it is, ok?

 

So after giving in to my Book OCD...which yes, does include audio books. I clicked on 'So Into You' and pressed the play button and yeah, I really got into this one. I liked...I mean really liked both Drew and Noah. I liked their banter and their snark and...uuuhhhmmm...the sex...*fans herself*...well, lets just say it was 'hella hot'. 

 

I loved that both of these men were relationship phobic and yet, both of them fell into one like kids in a candy store. They just couldn't get enough and when it came to willpower 'they had none'.

 

Michael Stellman was the narrator for this book and while he was definitely the shining star for 'Stay With Me' if it's possible I think I liked him even better this time around.

 

Between Drew's ex-con father, his recalcitrant brother and a mother with less than stellar taste in men and a PI partner who possibly needs his own keeper...thank heavens for Jordan and the fact that Noah's life is on the other side of the country and his family is not even close to what could be called conventional. Watching these two men maneuver themselves into a relationship was more than a little entertaining to say the least.

 

While 'Stay With Me' overall just didn't work for me...'So Into You' was the polar opposite and I really enjoyed it, so much more than the first book and I can easily see more S. E. Harmon stories in my future.

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review 2017-10-09 23:13
This one was delightful...
His Convenient Husband (Love and Sports) - Robin Covington

 

'His Convenient Husband' is about what could happen when a man who has everything loses the love of his life...his forever after meets a man who's still looking for his.

 

Raising his son and playing professional football in the NFL has probably been what's gotten Isaiah Blackwell through the past three years since his beloved husband Stephen was taken from them.  What Isaiah's not ready for is the attraction that he feels towards the sensual, gender fluid, outspoken and confident ballet dancer Victor Aleksandrov whose stance on Russia's treatment of gays has put his life in jeopardy if his request for asylum in the United States is denied and he is forced to return to his homeland.

 

Isaiah may not be out and proud but he's not hiding in any closets either. He really just wants to play football and raise the son that he and Stephen adopted. While someone like Victor may not be his type, he can't deny the pull of attraction that he feels and after spending a passionate night with Victor, Isaiah learns that Victor has been denied asylum he does what any decent man would do...he proposes...a marriage of convenience.

 

I really enjoyed this one it ticked more than a few boxes for me. I loved Victor, he was simply a wonderful character that worked beautifully in my mind. I can't say that I thought he was perfect but he was wonderful. To me he was neither brash nor loud. He was confident and outspoken, he believed in his cause, having gotten outside the borders of Russia he felt that he had a duty to speak out about the treatment of the LGBTQ community in Russia but he truly did this with style and finesse. Sadly at the end of it all though Victor was outspoken about what he believed in and Isaiah played for the NFL and was a man who like to keep a low profile on his private life and his priority was to give his son as normal of a life as possible out of the limelight.

 

While Isaiah's intentions were admirable what he failed to factor in was how amazing his son was. Evan was definitely a favorite in this story. He was an amazing human being and if the author ever decides to give us Evan's story...maybe a few years down the road in his life...sign me up and consider me there.

 

Along with Evan the other secondary character in this book whose story I would totally be on board for was Isaiah's best friend and agent Ian Carmichael...this man is begging to be struck by lightening. His idea of a long-term relationship means he paid for the hotel for a long weekend. He's British, he's snarky and calls a spade a spade but at the heart of it all he wants the best for the people he cares about. 

 

What starts as a marriage of convenience to keep Victor from being deported quickly becomes a quagmire of emotional landmines for both of these men as their attraction grows and real life intrudes bringing with it some much unwanted attention that leads to misunderstandings and leaves both men frustrated and hurt.

 

I really enjoyed this and the only little niggle that I had was the ending. It was good I just needed it to go a little further...I wanted a little more of this sexy as hell couple but as I said it's only a little niggle because we were definitely left with these men in a good place...this one was a HEA to be sure but still, I'm greedy I want more.

 

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An ARC of 'A Marriage of Convenience' was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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