Thursday, September 29, 2016

Review: Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh

Archangel's Kiss
(Guild Hunter #2)
Nalini Singh
Release: February 2, 2010
Goodreads Amazon
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to her world of angelic rulers, vampiric servants, and the woman thrust into their darkly seductive world...

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find herself changed—an angel with wings the colors of midnight and dawn—but her fragile body needs time to heal before she can take flight. Her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel, Raphael, is used to being in control—especially when it comes to the woman he considers his own. But Elena has never done well with authority.

They've barely begun to understand each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from the archangel, Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must ready Elena for the flight to Beijing—and to the nightmare that awaits them there. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena.

Have I told you all lately how much I adore Nalini Singh's books? I love them a lot and that love continues to grow with each reread.

Archangel's Kiss starts right where Angels' Blood left off. Elena has just woken up from her year long coma to discover she is an Angel-Made, the first in living history. This second book is all about her learning to deal with this change and not just how to live with wings. She has to learn what it means to be the love of the Archangel of New York and how to live with him. It's not going to be an easy adjustment for either of them.

This latest book has several running plot threads in it. Aside from Elena learning how to strengthen herself now that she’s an immortal, albeit a baby one compared to the others, there are random attacks that look to pit the archangels against each other. I enjoyed watching Elena use her Guild Hunter skills to help Raphael and the Seven figure out who is behind these attacks. If that wasn't enough, Elena and Raphael have been invited to a ball hosted by no other than the most ancient of the current Cadre, Lijuan. There is a lot at stake now that Raphael has made an angel and there are unseen consequences of that action. I find both Elena and Raphael to be fascinating characters and I loved reading more about how they are trying to adapt to their new reality.

I think my favorite thing in this whole book is how the relationship between the Guild Hunter and her Archangel develops. I enjoyed seeing Raphael and Elena work at their relationship. And they have to work at it. They are both headstrong and stubborn and act like jerks to each other sometimes but I like that they're beginning to work things out and are on the road to relying on each other. It's not going to be easy that's for sure.

I also liked learning more about the refuge and angelkind as a whole. The worldbuilding in this series is so excellent. Not that I am at all surprised. It is a Nalini Singh book after all. I also loved learning more about Raphael's Seven. They add a whole different dynamic to the story. I still think Dmitri is a bastard but I've fallen in love with Illium. We were also introduced to Aodhan and Naasir and I can say that I'm intrigued by both of them.

Nalini Singh is totally a master of the paranormal romance genre and I can't recommend this series enough.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (100)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. So here's this week's WOW pick:

One of my favorite sci-fi series is Wesley Chu's Tao books so I'm freaking stoked that we're getting more books set in that universe! The Rise of Io takes place after the events of The Rebirths of Tao and I'm so excited to read it! Ella sounds like a total badass and I can't wait to meet here! New heroine! New Quasing! It just sounds epic. All of the early buzz around this book has been excellent so far! October needs to get her more quickly. Also, can we take a moment to appreciate how awesome this cover is? Bravo, Angry Robot art department! Bravo!

The Rise of Io
Wesley Chu
Release: October 4, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
Ella Patel – thief, con-artist and smuggler – is in the wrong place at the wrong time. One night, on the border of a demilitarized zone run by the body-swapping alien invaders, she happens upon a man and woman being chased by a group of assailants. The man freezes, leaving the woman to fight off five attackers at once, before succumbing. As she dies, to both Ella and the man’s surprise, the sparkling light that rises from the woman enters Ella, instead of the man. She soon realizes she’s been inhabited by Io, a low-ranking Quasing who was involved in some of the worst decisions in history. Now Ella must now help the alien presence to complete her mission and investigate a rash of murders in the border states that maintain the frail peace.

With the Prophus assigned to help her seemingly wanting to stab her in the back, and the enemy Genjix hunting her, Ella must also deal with Io’s annoying inferiority complex. To top it all off, Ella thinks the damn alien voice in her head is trying to get her killed. And if you can’t trust the voices in your head, who can you trust?

File UnderScience Fiction
What book are you waiting on?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Release Day Review: Locked and Loaded by Mandy Baxter

29365521Locked and Loaded
(U.S. Marsheals #5)
Mandy Baxter
Release: September 27, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
With a rock-hard body and steel blue eyes, Mason Decker is about to become the U.S. Marshals’ newest recruit. But one last undercover job with a straitlaced attorney will test him to his limits . . . 

Charlotte Cahill intends to take down an infamous diamond smuggler on the FBI’s Most Wanted list—and she intends to do it by the book.  That won’t be easy with the cocky new temporary deputy on her task force. Mason Decker feels like trouble, especially when his cool gaze wanders across her hot body . . .

After his time as a Customs officer, Decker has enough experience hanging out with criminals to know that working undercover means following your instincts, not the rules. It doesn’t take long for him to lock horns with Cahill. But when the sexy assistant U.S. attorney is accidentally dragged out of her orderly world and into the turn-on-a-dime tension of Decker’s deceptive games, she’ll find that nothing is as seductive as playing a new role . . . 
Really Short Review:
Locked and Loaded might be my favorite book in the U.S. Marshals series so far. And I'm a big fan, so that's saying something! It's like the Law and Order version of a workplace romance with a little undercover jewel thief intrigue thrown in. And both of those things are so much fun.

I loved the fast pace and the fast talking, the tension and the banter between Charlie and Decker, and the supporting characters. Like the other books in the series, all of the action (at least of the shooting and car chase variety) is at the end, but I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't been looking for it. And I loved the twisty ending - I was really surprised by who was pulling the strings.

Locked and Loaded was a quick, in-one-sitting read but it was just the break from the paranormal that I needed. I can't wait for the next U.S. Marshals book.

Recommended for fans of: Justified


My reviews of other books in this series:
One Night More
One Kiss More
One Touch More
At Any Cost

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Blog Tour Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper
(Stalking Jack the Ripper #1)
Kerri Maniscalco
Release: September 20, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

Review:The only things I knew going into this book was that it was receiving good reviews in the book blog community and that the heroine was a Victorian lady who does autopsies on corpses which gets her involved in the Jack the Ripper investigation. I was already inclined to like the book based on the Victorian Lady of Science alone. Then I read the first chapter and I immediately fell in love. Any book that starts out with a grisly autopsy is a book I'll probably adore and it only got better.

I found myself a little in love with Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her intelligence and tenacity. She wants to be more than what her society has planned for her and she is going to do all in her power to insure the future she wants. It gave her a delightfully modern feel while still feeling realistic for the time period. My favorite thing about Audrey was that she is unapologetic about being herself. She embraces that she can do forensic science and still take pride and pleasure in her dress and appearance. I adored that about her. I was immediately pulled into her story and into the investigation from the first. I've always had a weird obsession with Jack the Ripper and I was impressed by how the author used the details of the actual events to push the story forward. This is one of the best written Ripper novels I've ever read.

Audrey Rose is brilliant and a very capable women in a lot of aspects but she has no street smarts. She would frequently sneak out at night when there was a murderer running amok with little thought to the danger. Thankfully, she was joined most of the time by the dashing and logical, Thomas Cresswell. I adored Thomas from the moment he appeared on the page! He kind of reminded me of a more likeable Sherlock Holmes. He's highly intelligent and logical in a way that is more than a little arrogant but he has a sweet and emotional side to him we really never see in Sherlock. He often joins Audrey on her adventures instead of sending her home not because he feels the need to protect her (which he does) but because he doesn't want to miss out on the action and the chance to spend time with her. He's adorable.

I totally ship these two together. My friend, Katie, from the Polished Page Turners made the comment that in the early parts of the book that Audrey Rose and Thomas reminded her of Jack and Phryne from Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and OMG! she's totally right! Also, if you haven't watched that brilliant cinematic historical detective masterpiece, you should go fix that right now.

Stalking Jack the Ripper was an excellent example of the awesome historical YA fiction on the market today and I can't recommend it enough to everyone who can handle a little bit of blood and gore. I seriously can't wait to see what kind of shenanigans Audrey Rose and Thomas get into in the next book!

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

  5 / 5 Stars!

About the Author
Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats. Stalking Jack the Ripper is her debut novel. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history, and is the first in a new series of gothic thrillers.

Kerri's Social Media

Tour Schedule

September 20
A Reading Nurse 
The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club

September 21
A Thousand Words A Million Books
With Love for Books
The Brooke Book Bank
The Eater of Books!

September 22
A Crave For Books
Emily Reads Everything
Goldilox and the Three Weres
The Reader and the Chef

September 23
Hiver et Cafe
The Avid Little Reader
Reading Is My SuperPower
Two Chicks on Books

September 24
Wishful Endings
A Dream Within A Dream
Soph Reads Books
Waiting For Wentworth

September 25
Bookish Wanderess
Curling Up With A Good Book
The Best Books Ever
Library of a Book Witch
Once Upon a Twilight

September 26
coffee and characters
Ink of Blood
Storybook Slayers
Roadside Reader
The Bookkeeper's Secrets

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (99)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Here's this week's WOW pick:

Lila Bowen's Wake of Vultures was one of my Best of 2015. (If you haven't read it yet, get on that - the paperback just came out.) It features a unique heroine, cool monsters like werewolf outlaws and vampire saloon girls, and a western setting that I unexpectedly loved.

You know how a cliffhanger always makes you antsy for the next book in the series? Well, a cliff jumper is so much worse. At the end of Wake of Vultures the main character literally jumps off a cliff! I've been waiting almost a year to find out if she can fly.

26038869Conspiracy of Ravens
(The Shadow #2)
Lila Bowen
Release: October 11, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
Monsters, magic and the supernatural combine in this sequel to Wake of Vultures, in which a young woman must defeat the evil hiding beneath the surface.

Nettie Lonesome made a leap -- not knowing what she'd become. But now the destiny of the Shadow is calling.

A powerful alchemist is leaving a trail of dead across the prairie. And the Shadow must face the ultimate challenge: side with her friends and the badge on her chest or take off alone on the dangerous mission pulling her inexorably toward the fight of her life.

When it comes to monsters and men, the world isn't black and white. What good are two wings and a gun when your enemy can command a conspiracy of ravens?

Conspiracy of Ravens continues the exciting journey begun in Wake of Vultures as Nettie Lonesome discovers that she, and the world, are more than what they seem.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

This is Our 1000th Post!

You might recall that we celebrated our fifth blogoversary a few weeks ago. We've published 98 Waiting on Wednesdays, 59 Read This F@!%ing Books, 13 Weres Wanna Know, and (Hold on. I'm looking for the calculator app.) a whole bunch of reviews.

Today we've achieved another milestone - one thousand posts!

Image result for 1000 gif

To celebrate we've put together TWO great giveaways!

Our first giveaway features a bunch of first books in four different urban fantasy series: Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish, Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire, Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep, and Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein.

Our second giveaway is compromised by some great YA books that have released in the last few years: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett, The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey, and Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Early Review: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

Magic Binds
(Kate Daniels #9)
Ilona Andrews
Release: September 20, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

Review by Rose Red:

I want to start this review by saying if you haven't read the Magic Stars novella, go do that now. It provides background for a couple of the scenes in this book. I mean you could read this book without reading the novella first but it's so much more enjoyable if you do.

Every time a new Kate book comes out, I try to guess what will happen and I'm never right. Each book keeps getting better and better. I seriously don't know how the writing duo of Ilona Andrews continues to one up the previous book but they do every time. I'm so sad to see this series winding down because I'm not ready for it to end. It's one of my favorite urban fantasy series of all-time.

So many things happen in this book. SO many things! We learn about Kate's family, Christopher, Julie, and how truly awful Kate is at planning her wedding. Guys! Wedding Planner Roman is a thing I didn't know I needed until now.

Although, Kate really doesn't have time for the planning of her and Curran's nuptials with Roland kidnapping Saiman and her having to try to prevent the Witch Oracle's terrible prophecy regarding her wedding from coming true. Not that the Oracle ever shares prophecies of good news to begin with. This one is a truly terrible one though and as soon as it was made you know Kate is going to be run through the wringer.

Like always, this book was full of nonstop action. I really don’t think there was ever a dull moment and I read it all in one go. I loved the action and the tight storytelling. The authors' humor and great dialogue really pulls things together to make this one of the best books in the series, in my opinion.

Kate continues to be the badass heroine that she is while Curran is terrifyingly awesome as always. I adore them together! They trust each other and always have each other's backs as they're working through things. And there's quite a few things to work through. Kate has gone through a lot of changes since she claimed Atlanta and the consequences of that event are starting to come to light. This book is a bit darker than the previous ones but the epic banter and humor balances it pretty well.

Magic Binds was seriously awesome. While I can never guess what's going to happen in this series, it just keeps getting more epic. I need to know what happens next! The wait for the next book may just kill me.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley


Friday, September 16, 2016

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight
(Throne of Glass #2)
Sarah J. Maas
Release: August 27, 2013
Goodreads Amazon
Book Depository
From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.
Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.
Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie... and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.


I'm just loving this series. I'm so happy that I decided to read these books this summer and fall. Crown of Midnight is the second book in the Throne of Glass series and it builds tremendously upon all the set up in book one. I enjoyed this book sucked me in with a faster pace and better story line than the first book and was filled with action, romance, and heartbreak. DEVASTATING HEARTBREAK IN SO MANY WAYS. And so many secrets revealed!

Below, I'm reviewing Crown of Midnight spoiler-free for those curious about this series. BUT I just had to talk about all the things that take place in this one! So, after my review is a spoilery book talk at the end of the video for those of you that have read the book. Don't worry, there's a big transition and I make you aware before I start talking about any spoilers! Check it out below!

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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  5 / 5 stars

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