Friday, June 23, 2017

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review: A Hundred Thousand Words by Nyrae Dawn


A Hundred Thousand Words
Nyrae Dawn
Release: October 27, 2015
Goodreads Amazon
Tobias Jackson grew up in Coburn, a town where the gay population equaled exactly one: him. Add that to the fact that his dream guy was his best friend's jerky older brother Levi Baxter, and it made hooking up virtually impossible.

Now home from college for winter break, Toby is a different person. He left Coburn for San Francisco, where he wasn't the lone gay guy and the only black kid in town. And yeah, he took advantage of what the city had to offer.

Apparently Toby isn’t the only one who’s changed. Levi’s not acting like the self-centered guy with all the answers that Toby remembers from growing up. Oh and Levi’s realized he's bisexual, which makes things a lot more interesting…

Heading back to college, Toby doesn’t expect to meet up with Levi again, despite him being in med school not far away. A surprise visit from Levi blows that assumption out of the water. As they spend more time together Toby sees Levi as more than just the fantasy. He’s complicated, unsure…he’s real. But if Toby can’t get out of the past and find the words he keeps locked inside himself, he’ll lose his chance at Levi for good.

Review: 
Since it is Pride Month, I've been trying to catch up on all the LGBTQ+ books I've hoarded the past few years. One of the ones that was most highly recommended was this book, One Hundred Thousand Words, and it was so good! It was heartwarming, beautiful, and frustratingly real. Plus, it features one of my favorite romance tropes: the falling for the best friend's brother. I've read a ton of books with this trope but this one stands out. I will admit that it's the first time I've read a m/m version of it.

The character development is absolutely flawless in this story. Toby is beautiful and frustrating in his silence. He has experienced so much and is trying to live the best way he knows how. Levi is so charming and vulnerable and is struggling to decide who he is and what's best for him. And together they were just right. They fit. They were sexy and sweet and completely endearing. They made me laugh out loud and smile super hard and blush fiercely sometimes too.

What I loved the most about this book was that the drama in the story had nothing to do with Toby being gay or with Levi being bi. The real focus of book was on life and its many ups and downs. It was about how we're all trying to make our way through it and sometimes we need someone to help us realize the best in ourselves. I loved that Levi could say the words Toby couldn't and that Toby could give Levi back some of the confidence he had lost.

My favorite aspect of the book was realizing that we all need people. We all need acceptance. We all need love. And there's nothing wrong with that need. It doesn't make you weak. It makes you human and I was so proud of Toby for realizing that. I loved his journey and I loved Levi's journey as well. My heart went out to him. I loved both of these characters instantly even though I wanted to shake Toby in a few spots. Plus, the family dynamics in this book were everything!

Read this book people. It was outstanding and captivating. You need it in your life, in your blood, and in your bones to be honest. It's so sweet and romantic and real and raw. I related to it. You will probably relate to it. It's about college, decisions, family, loss, love, and friendship. It's so real that you will feel you're inside the story with these characters. Nyrae Dawn made my night when I read this. It's definitely a new favorite.


   
  4 / 5 Stars



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Unlikeable Protagonists

Top 5 Wednesday is a group of bloggers, booktubers and bookstagrammers posting on a common topic every (you guessed it) Wednesday. You can find the lists by searching #T5W or Top 5 Wednesday. And you can join the group on Goodreads if you want to participate.


This week's topic is:
Favorite "Unlikeable" Protagonists

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5. Owl (Alex Hiboux) from The Adventures of Owl series by Kristi Charish
Owl is very much an unlikeable protagonist when we're first introduced to her. She's closed off and not willing to risk herself for anything. Also, she's kind of a user and it brings trouble to friends, lovers, and acquaintances alike. But as the series progresses and she comes to accept the supernatural community she finds herself in, you can't help but come to like her. I will say it was a struggle to like her while reading the first book.


4. Kaz Brekker from the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo
Kaz Brekker is really a terrible person. He's ruthless and twisted and you can't figure out his true motivations. When I started reading Six of Crows, I couldn't figure out why everyone loved him so much. By the end, I had a wary respect for him. By the end of Crooked Kingdom, I loved him. But he really is an unlikeable character.

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3. Jane Yellowrock from the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter
I love Jane Yellowrock, but it's been a few years since I read the beginning of her series. I forgot how much she's grown over the nine books. A friend recently started the series and reminded me that when we first meet Jane she's insecure, judgmental, and kind of a snob. She's hard to like but the world is so interesting that I stuck with her and it was worth it.


2. Adam from the Darkest London series by Kristen Callihan
You would think the King of the GIM would be more... congenial than he is. I wasn't a fan of Adam when he first appeared on the page and my opinion of him was justified when he kidnapped Eliza. I struggled with the first part of his book but he slowly became a character that I found I was liking more and more. He's still is not my favorite because his first impression was a doozy, but I found that it was worth sticking with him to see how much he changed by the end of Soulbound.

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1. Alexia Tarabotti from the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger
We love her, but Alexia isn't the most popular woman in her world. She's opinionated, outspoken, and has unusual friends with unusual hats. And to make matters worse, her touch robs supernaturals of their powers. The fact that hilarity often ensues endears her to readers regardless of what her companions may think.

Who are your favorite unlikeable characters?


 and

Monday, June 19, 2017

Blog Tour: Fuel For Fire by Julie Ann Walker Excerpt and Giveaway

I've been talking about Julie Ann Walker's Black Knights Inc series a lot lately (like in this post about our favorite summer reads.) I was planning to wait until closer to its release to tell you about the latest book, Fuel For Fire, which I loved. But then I found out about this great presale deal and had to share now. Here's an excerpt along with an awesome giveaway and a link to the preorder offer. Watch for my review soon.

30166742Fuel For Fire
(Black Knights Inc #10)
Julie Ann Walker
Release: July 4, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
A brooding covert operative and a spunky CIA agent discover a burning passion in the next installment of Julie Ann Walker's red-hot BKI series

Dagan Zoelner has made three huge mistakes
The first two left blood on his hands. 
The third left him wondering...what if? What if he had told the woman of his dreams how he felt before his world fell apart?

Spitfire CIA agent Chelsea Duvall has always had a thing for bossy, brooding Dagan. It's just as well that he's never given her a second look, since she carries a combustible secret about his past that threatens to torch their lives...

 Excerpt

“Tell us!” Surry demanded again, giving her head a hard shake. Her brain banged around inside her skull, making her see stars. Since she was tied with a length of electrical cord to one of the chairs in front of Morrison’s desk, her hands duct-taped behind her back, there was little she could do to defend herself.
Then again, she still had her smart mouth. “Screw you, buddy,” she snarled. Those three words were all she allowed herself before she clenched her teeth and sealed her lips shut.
The violence that clouded Surry’s face and glinted in his hell-black eyes made her want to curl into a protective ball. He leaned down so that his nose was an inch from hers. His hot breath smelled of coffee and buttered croissants, and the thought of him actually eating struck her as weird. She had assumed he sustained himself by devouring the souls of Morrison’s enemies.
“You will bloody well tell us what we want to know, Miss Duvall.” When he spoke all low and menacing in that thick English accent, she got the unsettling feeling that something dark moved in the shadows just out of sight. “Or I will jab this letter opener into your carotid.” He pulled back to wield the weapon he had taken from Morrison’s desktop. The sterling-silver letter opener glinted in the golden glow cast by the overhead chandelier.
Releasing her face, Surry cocked his head. “So, what shall it be? The truth? Or the knife? The choice is yours.” There was an emptiness in his voice when he asked the questions. Like he didn’t really care what the answers would be. Like he was tired or bored or maybe…resigned?
Oh, that doesn’t bode well.
Of course, the truth was out of the question. She would never rat on the Black Knights. No telling what Morrison, a.k.a Spider, with all his power and connections, could do with that information. So that left…the knife.
But there’s still so much I want to do!
She had never learned to make her mother’s she-crab soup. She had never tried her hand at writing fiction like that of Tolkien or Rowling or Martin. She had never married the love of her life and given him two bouncing, chubby-cheeked babies.
A cold finger of terror dragged up her spine, and for a second she considered spilling her guts and saving her hide. But then, from somewhere deep inside, a well of strength erupted, filling her with determination and the will to do what must be done.
Her mind briefly touched on her mother, and a great sadness weighed down her heart. Grace Duvall would be devastated by the death of her only child. But Chelsea took comfort—cold comfort, but comfort all the same—in knowing that her life insurance policy would be enough to pay her mother’s debts. That was something. Something to hold on to.
“Well?” Surry demanded. “What will it be?”
Chelsea licked her lips. Fear was a living thing inside her, crawling through her chest like a centipede on prickly legs. She squashed it and sealed her own fate. “Do your worst, you sorry, low-life sonofagun!”
Surry’s beard-stubbled chin jerked back as if he couldn’t believe the choice she’d made. Then his eyes narrowed, and grim determination transformed his face.
Closing her eyes, Chelsea waited on the inevitable. That centipede was going crazy inside her, making her chest ache and raising the hair on her head. She braced herself for the deathblow as a million regrets, a million joys, a million memories flittered through her brain.
Funny how many of those regrets and joys and memories feature Dagan.
She held her breath, savoring it, knowing it was her last and—
“Drop. The. Knife.”
With a cry, she blinked open her eyes and craned her head around to see three figures dressed from head to toe in black. Each of them wielded a weapon as if it were an extension of himself.
The Black Knights…
Even had Dagan not spoken the three most beautiful words she’d ever heard in that smooth moonshine voice, she would have known the trio anywhere. There was no mistaking those broad shoulders or those defiant, cocksure stances.
Her eyes homed in on Dagan. He was in the middle and slightly forward of the other two. It wasn’t his height or carriage that gave him away. It was his stillness. Ace and Christian seemed to vibrate with barely leashed power. But Dagan was a statue. Not a muscle quivered. Not a tendon or ligament cracked. Chelsea was reminded of a pair of tectonic plates under intense pressure. She knew what came next. The earth would rip open, and hell would spew forth.
Surry must have felt the doom behind Dagan’s stillness, because his voice sounded wheezy when he demanded, “And who the fuck are you?”
“Worry less about who we are,” Dagan snarled, “and more about what we’ll do if you don’t drop the knife.”
Proving he had more balls than brains, Surry spun Chelsea’s chair around and palmed her forehead to wrench her head back. The sharp tip of the letter opener nicked at the skin pulsing over the large vein in her neck. She hadn’t had time to scream, and now she didn’t dare breathe.
“Ring up the police, sir,” Surry said. From the corner of her eye, Chelsea saw Morrison/Spider make a move toward the desk.
“Take one step in the direction of that phone, and you’ll be eating a bullet for breakfast.” There was no mistaking Dagan’s words or his tone. He meant what he said.
Morrison must have come to the same realization. The old man stopped in his tracks.
“Good man,” Dagan acknowledged. “Now, there’s one thing you both need to understand. We’re leaving here with Chelsea. That can be over your dead bodies or your live ones.” Even though his words were calm and his body as motionless as a mountain, rage burned inside him. It was there in his eyes, glowing red like the fires of Mordor. “So what will it be? The choice is yours.”
It was the same option Surry had given her, spoken in the same words. How long had the three of them been outside listening?
“You have no bloody idea who you’re fucking with,” Morrison snarled, his chest heaving with every furious breath. “I have—”
That’s all he managed. In a flash, the statue, a.k.a. Dagan Zoelner, came to life. He moved faster than the human eye could follow, certainly faster than Chelsea could track with her head angled back in Surry’s grip. One second he was staring at her and Surry, and the next he aimed at Morrison and pulled his trigger.
The gunshot was oddly muffled and Morrison stumbled back, hitting his hip on the edge of the desk. Surry bellowed his outrage and released her head. Free from his brutal grip, she turned to Morrison and understood the strangeness of the weapon’s sound.
It wasn’t a bullet that had exploded from the end of Dagan’s gun. It was a dart. She had just enough time to catch a glimpse of the fuzzy yellow end protruding from the center of Morrison’s chest before Dagan fired again. This time the dart whizzed over her head. Surry made an awful gurgling noise. When she pulled her chin back, she saw the projectile sticking from his neck.
He reached for the dart, stumbling into her chair. His hand hit the back of her head, looking for leverage and forcing her chin into her chest as every vertebra in her neck threatened to crack under the pressure. She couldn’t see what happened next. But she heard it. Heard the boots that pounded against the tiles as the Black Knights raced into the room.
Surry released her head when Christian tackled him. From the corner of her eye, she watched Ace catch Morrison right before the old man toppled face-first onto the floor. And Dagan? Well, Dagan knelt in front of her.
She gasped when his big, warm hands cupped her cheeks, gently lifting her head. Her neck ached, but it wasn’t broken. All her fingers and toes still worked when she gave them an experimental wiggle.
“Chels… Christ. Are you okay?” His stormy eyes searched her face.
She nodded her head. That’s all she could manage because a giant lump was centered in her throat. She had put on a brave face throughout the entire ordeal, but now that it looked like she was saved, all her shock and terror rose to the surface, crumbling her mask of courage.
“Thank God.” He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close.
It was the first time he had hugged her. The first time she had been in his arms. Oh, how she wanted to hold him tight in return. But with her hands still trapped behind her back, the only thing she could do was turn her face into his warm neck and breathe him in.
She had always loved the way he smelled. A mixture of worn leather, dryer sheets, and shampoo. All clean and healthy and…male.
“I was afraid m-maybe I didn’t press the button long enough to send out the Mayday,” she said in a rush, her lips moving against the rough fabric of his ski mask. “And th-then they found the thumb drive. But they were so quick to stop questioning me and…and…” She had to stop. “Thank you. Thank you for coming for me.”
His wide palm cupped the back of her head, holding her close. Was it trembling? “Always, Chels. Never doubt it.”
Oh great. Now the lump in her throat had grown to the size of a Carolina pine.
She wanted the moment to last forever, to stay just like this, safe in his arms. But all too soon, he pulled back. “What were you thinking, telling them to do their worst? You were baiting them, egging them on. You stupid, stubborn, self-sacrificing fool.”
And just like that, happiness and relief morphed into incredulity that slid quick as a whistle into anger. Seriously? He was going to stand there—er, squat there—and call her names?
He may be hotter than the door handles of hell, but when he gets all Me Tarzan, You Jane, I want to dump his limp body in the River Thames and feed him to the fishes. After she’d killed him with mind-blowing sex and multiple orgasms, natch. And she could probably cop to his last two accusations. She was stubborn, and in that instant she had been willing to sacrifice herself. But the first one?
“S-stupid?” she sputtered. And good news! The lump in her throat vanished. “Screw you, Dagan! In case you’ve forgotten, I pulled off this op w-with…”
She stumbled to a stop because he’d ripped off his mask. And there it was. The Beard.
Looking at him dressed all in black, shoulders as broad as the Lowcountry, she couldn’t help but think he resembled a god. One of the mythical beings she read about in her fantasy novels. Formidable. Powerful. Gorgeous.
And here I am, a mere mortal.
The look he pinned on her was one she recognized. She liked to call it his Clint Eastwood gunfighter squint. He tended to whip it out right before he laid into her for something. She braced herself, mentally running through her standard list of comebacks. But he didn’t give her a tongue-lashing. At least not a verbal one. Instead, he took her face in his hands and sealed his lips to hers.
She was so surprised that her mouth formed a startled O. Dagan took advantage, his tongue surging between her teeth. His lips were firm yet amazingly soft, and his beard abraded the tender flesh of her cheeks.
Holy mother! Dagan Zoelner was…kissing her!
Oh. My!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Pre-order Fuel for Fire or Hot Pursuit and receive another Black Knights Inc. novel of your choice! Details here.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Side Ships

Top 5 Wednesday is a group of bloggers, booktubers and bookstagrammers posting on a common topic every (you guessed it) Wednesday. You can find the lists by searching #T5W or Top 5 Wednesday. And you can join the group on Goodreads if you want to participate.


This week's topic is:
Side Ships 
Favorite relationships that don't involve the protagonist.

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5. Wolfe and Santi from The Great Library series by Rachel Caine
So, um, spoiler alert. Protaganist Jess gets to know his teacher Wolfe and Guard Captain Santi separately before he finds out they're a couple. I loved them both but they're even better together. The prequel story "Stormcrow" details Wolfe and Santi's first meeting. It's available on Wattpad.

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4. Cookie and Ubie in the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones
These are two characters that had been by Charley's side (separately) from the beginning of the series. They got together around book eight and you just can't help but be happy for them. I would love to see them get their own novella like some of these other couples.

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3. Warren and Kyle in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
Warren and Kyle are arguably the most stable couple in Adam's pack. When everything else is supernaturally crazy, their house is an oasis of normal. That's partly because Kyle is human, but also because Warren is pretty mellow compared to some of the other werewolves. He's starred in a few of his own novellas over the years. In "In Red, With Pearls" from Shifting Shadows, Warren and Kyle battle a zombie.

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2. Jim and Dali from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
Jim and Dali star in the novellas Magic Dreams and Magic Steals. There are several side couples I love in this series but my favorites are these two. On the outside, they look like they're complete opposites. Jim is large and brawny and Dali is small and skinny but they're both highly intelligent. They work so well together. I hope we get more novellas of just them together.

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1. Tammy and Nathan from the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh
Nathan and Tamsyn's story is told in the prequel novella Beat of Temptation from Wild Invitation. In the main series, Tammy and Nate are the established older mated couple who everyone looks to for advice. Their love is old and strong and adorable. I just love them! I think I tend to take them for granted because they are the established couple in the series but I love it every time they appear in the story. I adore the novella about how they got together. It made me love them even more.

Who are your favorite side ships?


and

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Release Day Review and Excerpt: Silver Silence by Nalini Singh

Disclaimer: While Silver Silence looks to be the first book in a new series, it's technically the first book in the new arc of the Psy-Changeling series and should be treated as book 16. You need to read the previous Psy-Changeling books before this one because spoilers abound in it.


Silver Silence
(Psy-Changeling Trinity #1)
Nalini Singh
Release: June 13, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh introduces a bold new chapter in her extraordinary paranormal romance saga with the Psy-Changeling Trinity series. Wild passion will encounter the darkest of betrayal...
Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater Bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed...

Review:
I know I say this every time I review a Nalini Singh book but that lady writes some amazing paranormal romance. And Silver Silence is no exception. It was bloody brilliant and I couldn't put it down once I had started it. I've been wanting Silver's book ever since she was introduced as Kaleb's aide and the wait was totally worth it.

I found this book overwhelmingly charming but I don't know what I loved more about it: learning more about Silver and the Mercants, the awesome bear Changelings, or the romance. One thing I absolutely adore about Singh's books is that the romance is at the forefront but it doesn't stop the overall story arc from progressing.  And while it was funny and adorable in parts, this book packs several emotional punches.

I find it fascinating that Silver, who is known almost solely through her connection with Kaleb, can be so different from him. She comes off as an overly competent ice queen but she's SO much more than that. The hero, Valentin, at the first of the book has been trying to court her in his own bearish fashion but she has done nothing but shut him down. While the other books in the series have given us a lot of face time with the cats and the wolves, this one is set in Moscow and spends all the time with the bears who have very distinct and playful personalities. I absolutely loved the bears!
 

While I loved being introduced to the bear Changelings and the Mercant clan, my favorite thing was seeing the world evolve in the aftermath of the end of Silence and the signing of the Trinity Accord. It's fascinating how much has changed since the first book. I also was on the edge of my seat as the Human Alliance and the Psy try to push past their prejudices that formed during Silence. Things haven't changed too much but this book doubles down on the importance of the role of humans in this world and how they are finally standing up for themselves.

Overall, Silver Silence was a fun, charming, and romantic book! I loved meeting Valentin and the bears and getting to know Silver. It's going to be a long wait for the next book.


ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

    1/2

  4.5 / 5 Stars


My reviews of other books in this series:
Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh 
Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh




 Silver Silence Excerpt:

Laughing at the cubs’ antics, Valentin jogged down the slight incline and waded into what had to be ice-cold water after kicking off his boots and socks. He splashed the cubs, laughed when they splashed him back. Running so they could chase him, he turned abruptly and chased them back, to their unhidden joy.

Silver took a seat on the grass. When the female bear looked her way, she inclined her head in a silent greeting. The bear did the same, then they both watched an alpha bear play with two energetic cubs, his hands holding rough care for their small bodies.

By the time Valentin made his way back to her, he was drenched and his eyes weren’t human in any way. When he spoke, his already deep voice was so low it felt like thunder against her skin. “Couldn’t resist,” he said, pushing back his wet hair with one big hand. “If you weren’t in recovery and if I wasn’t in terror of Nova’s wrath, I’d have invited you. The small monsters wanted to play with you.”

Silver didn’t get to her feet. “Can we stay here a little longer?” It was patent that Valentin had an extremely high tolerance for the cold, but he might want to dry off.

“Sure,” he said, and, moving away several feet, shook off the wet.

Fine droplets settled on the skin of her cheek, but she didn’t flinch at the unintentional tactile contact. She also controlled her urge to reach up and touch the water where it lay against her skin. There was no reason to do that, and Silver was alive because she only did things that were rational.

Settling beside her, Valentin waved at the cubs as their guardian led their tired forms toward a path in the trees that was at the same level as the stream. “Gentler climb,” Valentin told her.

“They seem too exhausted to make it to Denhome.”

“It’s all an act—they’re hoping for a ride on their aunt’s back.” His tone held the same fond affection she’d heard when he spoke of Dima. “It’d take more than a few minutes’ play in the water to wipe out those two.”

The cubs had played with Valentin for almost a half hour. “They’re hyperactive?”

“They’re baby bears.”

Silver watched as those baby bears turned toward her and rose up on their back paws, as if in challenge. A stern sound from their caretaker, and they dropped down and scrambled to catch up with her. Their bodies disappeared into the trees as dusk began to turn from orange to shadowy gray.

Beside her, Valentin sprawled out, bracing himself on his elbows. His drenched T-shirt clung to the ridged muscles of his abdomen, pulled tight across his pectoral muscles, shaped itself over his shoulders. His jeans weren’t much better, outlining the raw muscle of his thighs.

Valentin Nikolaev was a man of violent physical strength even in human form. Yet he clearly had iron control over it; when he’d played with the children, they’d displayed zero fear of their alpha.

“You thought about where you’re going to live when you escape the bears who’ve kidnapped you?”

When she raised an eyebrow at him, he grinned. “Fringe netter with his own Internet channel sent out a breaking report last night. Pasha—who obviously needs more work duties—made up a fake account and posted a comment swearing to have seen you being pulled into a black van by six burly bears in bear form.”

“You don’t seem too concerned.” Amber eyes and deep voice, he remained very much a bear in human form.

“Well, according to this ‘eyewitness,’ the getaway driver was in bear form, too. Must’ve been tough for him to steer with one paw since he was drinking a beer at the same time.”

“Bears,” Silver said, making Valentin throw his head back and laugh that huge laugh that wrapped around her.

Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Nalini Singh, 2017  

Monday, June 12, 2017

Early Review: Heart of Malice by Lisa Edmonds


34859192Heart of Malice
(Alice Worth #1)
Lisa Edmonds
Release: June 13, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
The first time Moses Murphy’s granddaughter killed on his orders, she was six years old.

For twenty years, she was a prisoner of an organized crime syndicate, forced to use her magic to make Moses the most powerful and feared man on the East Coast. To escape his cruelty, she faked her own death and started a new life as Alice Worth. As a private investigator specializing in cases involving the supernatural, Alice walks a precarious line between atoning for the sins of her grandfather’s cabal and keeping her true identity hidden.

Hired to investigate the disappearance of a mysterious object of power, Alice enlists the help of Malcolm, a ghost running from a past as nightmarish as her own. It soon becomes clear the missing object was taken by someone with a dangerous secret and an unknown agenda. When her client is kidnapped, Alice must find her and the object of power before a vengeful killer destroys the city and slaughters thousands—starting with Alice.
Review:

Kate Prospero meets Kit Colbana in this new series about Mage Private Investigator, or MPI, Alice Worth. The magic takes center stage in her latest case, which starts out as a search for missing books from her client's library. And I loved seeing Alice use her magic! That green glowy thing on the book's cover? That's her cold fire whip, conjured using her earth magic. She's also adept at air magic (and blood magic, but no one likes to talk about that.)

As if her magic weren't cool enough, she also has a new ghost sidekick with magic of his own. I loved Malcolm! The afterlife in Alice's world seems a little bit like the one in Beetlejuice with long lines and lots of beurocracy. Alice knows why she's being haunted but neither she nor Malcolm know why he was the ghost assigned to her. I wish they would have made some effort to find out by the end of the book, but I'm willing to wait for answers.

I have a few other, not exactly issues but things I wonder about, like "Why did we never see another member of the werewolf pack when their alpha played such a big role in the story?" and "Why didn't Alice ever go back to her office after chapter one?" but I enjoyed the book so much that I'm trying not to hold them against it. The only thing that bothered me is that I didn't love the way the mystery wrapped up.

I did love most of the supporting characters though, like the mysterious federal agent who keeps crossing paths with Alice. I definitely want to read more in this world and see where it all goes.

Recommended for fans of: Jaye Wells, J.C. Daniels, Kalayna Price


    
 stars



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Blog Tour: Wolf Hunt by Paige Tyler Excerpt, Review and Giveaway



You might have noticed that I've been talking about Paige Tyler a lot lately. I read the first four books of her SWAT series last year and they broke me out of a major reading slump.(Sometimes you just need a sexy shifter fix, right?) So I'm excited to be part of the blog tour for Wolf Hunt, the latest release in the series.


We're starting it off with an excerpt from Remy and Triana's reunion, then my thoughts on Wolf Hunt. And make sure you check out the giveaway at the bottom of the post.

Excerpt


Triana was having so much fun, she was disappointed when they finally reached her mother’s voodoo shop and the apartment over it. Even though it was after two in the morning, she didn’t want the evening to end yet.

“The shop hasn’t changed much, but do you want to come in and look around anyway?” she asked hopefully.

He grinned. “Yeah. I’d like that.”

Triana unlocked the door, then closed and locked it behind them quietly, so she wouldn’t wake her mom. When she turned back around, Remy was already walking around the dimly lit shop, taking in the shelves upon shelves of knickknacks that had mesmerized her since childhood. The overhead lights were off, so the red, green, and purple neon tubes that edged the display windows were the only source of illumination, but it was more than enough to guide her steps as she moved to Remy’s side. She watched as he picked up the various dolls, candles, beads, tarot cards, potions, books, and other trinkets that filled the store. For such large hands, he handled everything he touched with a surprisingly gentle touch.
“Everything is exactly the same as I remember it.” He turned to smile at her, a warm glint in his eyes. “Well, not everything. You’ve changed quite a bit.”
The heated way he looked at her made her tummy quiver. “Really. How so?”
Remy took her hand and tugged her closer. The tips of her nipples grazed his muscular chest, sending tingles spiraling through her. “I tend to remember you as a shy, somewhat awkward girl who was all knees and elbows back then.”
She laughed softly, a little embarrassed. Yeah, that was a pretty good description of her when she was in high school. She had been what her mom called a late bloomer, so everything had changed her freshman year in college, when her body had made up for lost time.
“And now?” she asked in a near whisper.
He bent his head until his face was so close to hers that she could feel the warmth of his breath on her skin. His left hand came up and found her hip, slowly gliding back and forth across the silky material and heating the skin underneath.
“And now, you definitely aren’t shy, you move like a cat, and all those knees and elbows have turned into some serious curves I’d love to explore, since I’m smart enough to know what I want.”
She blushed at hearing him put all that into words. “No one’s stopping you.”
The glint in his eyes flared brighter for a moment as the neon lights caught them. Then, one of Remy’s hands was in her hair and he was kissing her. A moan involuntarily escaped her lips as his mouth came down on hers and his tongue slipped inside. He tasted so delicious she couldn’t help it.
She slid her hands up the front of his shirt and grabbed his shoulders, squeezing hard as she pulled him even closer, urging him to kiss her harder.
Remy must have understood what she was trying to say because the hand in her hair tightened possessively and his tongue teased hers more aggressively. At the same time, his free hand moved around from her hip to her lower back, fitting her against him so firmly she could feel every ripple and bulge in that perfect body of his. And one of those bulges suggested he was enjoying the kiss just as much as she was.
Triana melted against him, surrendering to a kiss she’d been fantasizing of for over a decade. She’d heard women talking about going all weak kneed from a great kiss, but she’d never experienced it or even believed it. She believed it now. If Remy hadn’t been holding on to her so tightly, she was sure she would have just collapsed to her knees right there in front of him.
Isn’t that an interesting thought?


32470603Wolf Hunt
(SWAT #6)
Paige Tyler
Release: June 6, 2017
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
A STORM IS BREWING...
Remy Boudreaux is back in his hometown, New Orleans. He's there with three of his fellow Dallas SWAT officers for a week of training with the NOLA PD. On the eve of a tropical storm, Remy and his buddies prowl the French Quarter. One tantalizing scent captures Remy's senses, forcing him to follow until he is face to face with Triana Bellamy—his beautiful high school crush.

After reconnecting, Remy and Triana are close—very. Remy struggles to keep things casual. Ever since his partner—and first love—was killed on the job, he's kept women at a distance.

But when a mysterious wolf pendant ropes them both into danger, Remy's protective instincts kick in. He may have to reveal his true self...and hope Triana accepts him.

Review


I really enjoyed Wolf Hunt while I was reading it. I love New Orleans, especially as a setting for paranormal stories. And it was nice to see a smaller group of the SWAT guys and get to know them a little better. In addition to Remy, Max, Zane, and Brooks, my personal fave, are the only ones on this trip so I felt like the supporting cast got more page time than usual. I also really liked Triana's mom who owns a voodoo shop.

I had some issues with Triana though. First of all, her name bugged me. I know that's an odd complaint and it may be my own personal weirdness. But Triana sounds too much like Tiana, who is also from New Orleans which made it an obvious connection. (She's the princess in The Princess and the Frog for anyone who doesn't speak Disney.) I kept getting the wrong picture in my head, which took me out of the story.

 I also felt like it wasn't really clear what her job was, though that's not as important as it might have been since she's on vacation. She works in the crime lab, but at one point she says she works in the medical examiner's office. Despite what NCIS might lead us to believe, I don't think those are the same thing. But what bothered me more is that she didn't really feel like a scientist. I wanted her to be more precise and methodical, especially since she didn't believe in the supernatural despite growing up with it. Don't even get me started on "How could her parents keep that from her?"

I loved the werewolf action at the end of the story, though I thought the final showdown was a little bit anticlimactic seen from Triana's POV. But I had all the secrets surrounding her father figured out from the beginning. And that wolf pendant that started it all? We never did find out what happened to it.

I think I would have given Wolf Hunt another star if I didn't have to review it. It's one of those books that's fun while I'm reading but when I think about it too much I start to find flaws.


   
3 stars


About the Author

PAIGE TYLER is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. Paige writes books about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines they fall in love with. She lives with her very own military hero (a.k.a. her husband) and their adorable dog on the beautiful Florida coast. 
Twitter: @PaigeTyler


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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday: Books for our Hogwarts Houses

Top 5 Wednesday is a group of bloggers, booktubers and bookstagrammers posting on a common topic every (you guessed it) Wednesday. You can find the lists by searching #T5W or Top 5 Wednesday. And you can join the group on Goodreads if you want to participate.


This week's topic is:
Books For Your Hogwarts House


Rose Red is a Ravenclaw
They prize wit, learning and wisdom.


5. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Yelena is the next prisoner to be executed but at the last minute she's offered the chance to become the Commander's food taster. Despite knowing she can be poisoned at any time, she grabs on to the chance to live. What ensues is a discussion of poisons, which Yelena studies and learns to apply that knowledge. It's kind of a twist on the magical school trope that's filled with lots of action and political intrigue. It's one of those books I believe that my fellow Ravenclaws will highly enjoy.


4. The Martian by Andy Weir
The Martian is perfect for the more scientifically-minded Ravenclaw. As a scientist, I loved how accurate the science in this book was. It was well-researched as well as well-explained so that non-scientists could understand what was going on. Add in Mark Watney's personal brand of wit and humor and it's a perfect book for any Ravenclaw.


Gretl is a Gryffindor
They value courage, bravery and determination.

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3. The Great Library series by Rachel Caine
The hero Jess Brightwell is a little bit like Hermione, an outsider from an undesirable family. (Okay, so his father's a smuggler, not a dentist.) He shares her love of books and her knack for uncovering secrets. He also joins a rebellion when he discovers how corrupt the Library really is. And he has a strong core group of friends who stick together through it all. This is a good one for Ravenclaws too since the story is about the fight to control the world's knowledge.

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2. Frostblood by Elly Blake
Ruby, the heroine in Frostblood, actually has a lot in common with the most famous Gryffindor. Her mother dies to protect her, she's forced to fight in a magical tournament, she joins a group of rebels without realizing that she's the key to everything, and she just might be the subject of a prophesy.

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1. Truthwitch by Susan Denard
Friendship is also at the heart of Truthwitch, as Safia and Iseult go on the run from a powerful Guildmaster. They remind me of three young Gryffindors with very different backgrounds who forge an unbreakable bond. And oh yeah, they may also be the subject of a prophesy.

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