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NEW RELEASE! Review – Drowning in the Dark (The Veil Series #4) by Pippa DaCosta

“I wasn’t demon enough to defeat my brother before. Things have changed.”

As the veil begins to fall, and the demons bleed through onto the streets of Boston, Muse knows the battle is lost before it’s even begun.

To make matters worse, Adam and the Institute have captured Akil at a time when the city has never needed him more. Muse believes Akil’s incarceration is a ruse, because if he truly is at the mercy of the Institute, she must choose which side she’ll fight for. Human or demon?

The princes are coming. Valenti, Muse’s immortal half-brother, leads the charge. The Institute is not ready, the people of Boston are not prepared, but one man is. Stefan knows what it will take to beat back the netherworld. Will his demon allow him the freedom to right his wrongs?

Muse’s loyalty will be tested. To save those she loves, she must give up that which she cherishes most. Her humanity.

The Mother of Destruction is about to go nuclear.

Can we please just take a moment to relive the amazingness that was that prologue…

…The things she’s doing to me. I am not this man. I am demon. And yet this impossible woman undermines everything. Undermines me. Burrows deep. Deep into shadows, into darkness, into facets I’ve refused to acknowledge.

Oh my LIFE Akil. The prince of Greed is seriously off kilter, it’s unsettling, especially for Muse. Common sense tells her that he is deluding himself thinking that he feels something for her. But she can’t seem to get away from the fact that his actions are trying to prove otherwise. Welcome to the very complicated world half-blood Muse. Right from that prologue I knew that I was going to be lost to this book. I have been an avid follower of this series and as the story has twisted and turned into hell and back I have had my emotions wrung out too many times to count. That doesn’t change here in book 4, in fact I think my heart was lucky to survive this instalment.

 

We land in this story right as the Institute makes their biggest move yet and captures Akil AKA Mammon. Muse is horrified, Akil needs to be out in Boston helping them fight the demons and Princes that are heading Boston’s way, but no one is listening to her.  Muse knows she has a limited amount of time until chaos claims her and she wants to do everything she can to prevent the two worlds from colliding. This is where Stefan comes in. He’s back and it seems that he and his demon are wanting very different things.

I don’t want to say too much more specifically about the story because you really want to be able to feel shocked, stunned and spun-out as the story demands it. Because that is one of the strengths of this series, these demons really keep you on your toes! I’m still unsure where each demon stands exactly in relation to Muse and humanity. I am in love AND hate(!) with parts of both Akil and Stefan, which is completely owing to the care Pippa DaCosta takes in her character building. Demons by their very nature should be confusing to our human sensibilities and that absolutely is achieved. I don’t know half the time if I want to love these guys or kick them! So yes, I’m conflicted. I don’t know if I should be, but I am. 

Meanwhile Muse is still the badass chick I have come to expect. Even at her darkest hour, even when she feels her control slipping away. Even when she’s not sure she has anything left to give or to fight for, she pulls out the biggest guns that she can and she hits full throttle. Every. Single. Damn. Time. You can’t beat an epic female character and Muse definitely delivers.

So you need to read this book. Like you seriously need to read this book. Obviously if you’ve been following this series then you’ll already be one step ahead and will be currently reading this book… But if not then get onto it! If you’re new to this series then you REALLY need to get onto it and read all of the books! I will end with one word of warning… The ending of this book… it almost killed me, mostly from multiple heart attacks, but also from knowing that I now have to wait until APRIL to find out what on earth had just happened! (In more ways than one) I’m still slowly coming to terms with Drowning in the Dark (can you tell!) I need closure…. So I swear nothing is coming between me and the final book in this series…

ARC kindly received in exchange for an honest review

Book Review – Jinn & Juice by Nicole Peeler

Cursed to be a jinni for a thousand years, Lyla nears the end of her servitude — only to be bound once again against her will. Will she risk all to be human? Born in ancient Persia, Lyla turned to her house Jinni, Kouros, for help escaping an arranged marriage. Kouros did make it impossible for her to marry — by cursing Lyla to live a thousand years as a Jinni herself.

If she can remain unBound, Lyla’s curse will soon be over. But Ozan Sawyer, a Magi with the ability to See, Call, and Bind jinn has other plans.

Oz needs Lyla to help him penetrate Pittsburgh’s steel-soaked magic, a juice potent but poisonous to supernatural creatures, in order to find a missing girl with her own mysterious connection to Kouros. Unfortunately for Lyla, becoming Bound to Oz may risk more than just her chance to be human once more — it could risk her very soul…Jinn and Juice is the first in a new series by fantasy writer, Nicole Peeler, set in a world of immortal curses, powerful jinni and belly dancing

Nicole Peeler and I have always seen eye to eye. Her Jane True series is a firm favourite of Kristal and myself. Not only does she nail the Urban Fantasy genre every single time, but her characters are everything I love and more. I kid you not, this lady can do no wrong! So how excited was I for her new book, Jinn & Juice. A new world and new characters, the possibilities were endless. Are you getting the gist of how excited I was? Well my excitement was well placed. This book delivered and then some!

The story is about Lyla, cursed to be a jinni in some wicked bargain a loooong time ago, her curse will be lifted if she can keep from being bound by a Magi (pesky humans who can bind and use jinni) Of course life is NEVER this simple and Lyla ends up bound… This is where things really get interesting. Oz, the Magi who has bound her really isn’t anything like the others of his kind that Lyla has encountered. For a start he’s kind, and he’s not selfish, and he needs her help to help someone else. From here the story twists and turns and I guarantee you wont see the ending coming.

When it comes to anything Nicole Peeler I like my heroines hilarious, snarky, kick-ass and generally pretty damn awesome. Lyla ticks these boxes easily, she is one sassy lady! Every step of the way she is nothing but authentically herself. You find out very quickly that even though as a jinni she must follow her masters orders, she still has her ways to skirt certain issues. Let me tell you, you’ll never look at a cantaloupe the same again!

Which brings me to the potential recipient of the cantaloupe treatment, Oz. At first he seemed barely a cardboard cut-out compared to Lyla’s loud and rambunctious personality. But bit by bit he won me over, he may not have smacked me over the head with other worldly pizazz, but he did add the very important carefully constructed human element that the story needed. In fact, he really was the ying to Lyla’s yang. You could tell from the start that this guy was Mr nice, and there is nothing wrong with that!

As always, Nicole Peeler’s world building was on point. Everything was meticulously laid out, from the steel poisoned magic running under Pittsburgh, right through to the magical realm, Sideways. I loved Lyla’s back story and not once did I feel like I’d learnt everything about her or this world, which personally I am all for. I don’t want to be done learning new facts about this universe and these characters, everything I’ve learnt so far has me wanting to know more. I was thankful that time was taken to explain all of the detail, but not once did the story feel bogged down by it. The weird and wonderful supporting characters obviously had a lot of care and thought put into them, creepy (Trip & Trap) AND kooky (pretty much everyone else) they really topped off an already fantastic read. I have to make special mention of Yulia, I never have been so amazed and petrified simultaneously by a supernatural creature, but this wisp had me (she also had me googling all things wisp related)….

 This book is the start of what I am sure will be an awesome series.

I can’t wait.

Jinn and Juice

By Nicole Peeler

photo credit: danseuse via photopin (license)photo credit: SmokeWisps-4.free via photopin (license)

Book Review – Double Dare by Penny Reid (Short story within the Shiver anthology)

REVIEW ONLY FOR DOUBLE DARE By PENNY REID

COPY RECEIVED FROM AUTHOR IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW

I already had this anthology on my wish list when I was lucky enough to receive Double Dare to read and review from the ridiculously talented Penny Reid. Squuueeee! AND it’s a Winston brothers story! Double squueeeeeee!!! If you’ve read Beauty and the Mustache then you know who the Winston brothers are, if not then you should read up! I’m loving that Penny Reid is working on bringing us more of these 6 brothers. The first of these books Truth and Beard is out 2015 and focuses on the characters from this short story…. Duane and Jessica…

Jessica has grown up with a crush on Beau, one of the Winston twins and even now, as a grown woman she just cannot control her reaction to him. Which pretty much consists of going mute and getting close to suffering a heart attack! So when he wanders into the local Halloween party while she is dressed as sexy Gandalf (yep, sexy Gandalf!) You just know something is going to go down… Jess ends up in quite the compromising position… feeling hot flustered and then stunned when she realizes all is not what it seems.

I wanted to look away, but I physically couldn’t. He so rarely looked at me, I felt like I was falling, my surroundings fading away – everything except him and his blue, blue, blue eyes.

The chemistry in this story between Jess and Duane is electric. Honestly be prepared to self-combust. The things that man can do in such a short space of time in such a less than ideal place… it’s criminal! I’m starting to think that I’m going to have serious issues with having favourites out of the men Penny Reid writes. I’m turning into such a creeper book boyfriend hog! I’ve now added Duane to the list, and that’s after only reading this little teaser. I’m ruined!

A major reason why I’m such a fan of Penny Reid is her ability to be able to write from both POVs well. She captures the essence of each character and then focuses on the smallest details to really electrify the story between the two. I swear she is getting better and better at this. This short story was perfectly balanced with the majority from Jessica’s POV and then the ending from Duane’s… which almost killed me. Getting into his head was exactly what this story needed to push it up out of this world. I loved this story, and I’m seriously, SERIOUSLY going to have life issues waiting to see what happens next with Duane and Jess…

I was always running after her, but this time I wasn’t going to let her get away.

I’m now off to read the rest of the short stories in this anthology. I’ve popped the link on here so when you have a second please go and check it out. A great way to get a taste of a little bit of everything from a bunch of very talented authors while supporting a great cause!

SHIVER: 13 Sexy Tales of Humor and Horror

By Liv Morris, Belle Aurora, R.S. Grey, Daisy Prescott, Jodie Beau, Z.B. Heller, Penny Reid, Ruth Clampett, N.M. Silber, Ashley Pullo, L.H. Cosway, C.C. Wood, Jennie Marts

The sassy ladies of sexy Romantic Comedy serve up some spooky and spicy Halloween fun

Bewitched by Daisy Prescott

A crush. A love spell. What could go wrong?

Better The Devil You Know by Belle Aurora 

When you know, you know.

Mystery, Mazto Balls, and Moxie by Z.B. Heller

A mystery weekend gets steamy and stuffed… with food.

Spandex is for Superheros by Ruth Clampett

Beware of the terror of your Halloween costume not fitting.

A Halloween Hook-up by Jennie Marts

A sexy physic and a private eye solve a ghostly murder.

Macabre Magic by L.H. Cosway

Halloween, a bet, one spooky magic trick.

Candy, Dentures, and Way Too Much Spandex by R.S. Grey

He stole my heart in between gyrating geriatrics.

Peckers by Liv Morris

A hot cop with handcuffs and a dimpled smile can be frighteningly sexy.

One Little Bite by C.C. Wood

Even the big, bad wolf can fall in love.

Double Dare by Penny Reid

Never play truth or dare with identical twins.

Red Rum by Ashley Pullo

Trick o’ treat, a girl to meet, blood sangria wicked sweet.

Lights Out by Jodie Beau

A single mom, a single dad, a common enemy. Will their feelings come to light on Halloween?

Nightmare in Night Court by N.M. Silber 
When lusty lawyers meet creepy criminals.

100% of the proceeds go to St. Jude’s Children’s hospital!

 photo credit: Anne Bennett via photopin cc