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Book Review – Love Me to Death (Underveil) by Marissa Clarke

Received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Medical research scientist Elena Arcos has always lived her life under the radar, which is not easy to do when you live with the craziest woman in the world. But eccentric Aunt Uza is a picnic compared to the other people who enter her orderly life after she is shot in a convenience store robbery.

Elena finds herself rocketed from comfortable predictability to supernatural insanity courtesy of her own private angel of death who happens to have the sexiest accent on earth and a body to match. Her death angel is convinced she’s some kind of freaky half vampire thing and that her deceased dad was the real deal: a blood sucking monster.

Yeah, right. She’ll play along, but then she doesn’t have much choice seeing how as the guy claims to be some immortal law enforcer and has taken her prisoner.

* * *

Nikolai Itzov had expected to fight the urge to torture the progeny of his father’s murderer, but he’d never anticipated battling the urge to kiss her her.

As a Slayer, an elite law enforcer descended from Azrael himself, his charge from the Underveil General is clear: Kill her or die. He has been told she is one of them–an Undead. Nothing but a parasite to be destroyed. But he has been told wrong.

Nikolai and Elena find themselves in a life and death battle to stop a plot designed to lift the Underveil and enslave humans.

With her analytical mind and his centuries of training and experience, they might be able to foil the plot with their lives and maybe their hearts intact. But in order to succeed, he must help her become the very thing he hates the most: an Undead.

When I say that from the very first chapter you’ll have your eyes glued to this book you better believe it! We’re dumped straight into the action, no introductions, on softly softly about it… And it really works! Elena has been living a normal life up till this point, but being in the wrong place at the wrong time means that low blood sugar is the least of her worries from here on in. This is also where we’re introduced to Nikolai with a jolting start. To Elena, he is the angel of death… except she doesn’t die. For centuries Nik has been following orders without question. He is an enforcer. It’s all he knows, he does what needs to be done without question or hesitation. But soon he begins to realize that sometimes life is not so black and white, there are shades of grey everywhere and sometimes you don’t even see your destiny coming until it’s already happened…

The chemistry between Elena and Nik is one of the main parts of this book that got me hooked so quickly AND kept me hooked. It was electric and pretty much all over the show. They were fighting themselves, each other and other people and events over their feelings. Literally it was a whirlpool of love/hate and in this instance it really worked. Nik is supposed to HATE what he thinks she is. It’s the natural order of things… And Elena of course is terrified and pissed off and unsure of who to trust or what to do. None of this makes falling for the other easy. Slowly but surely we got to see nearly every angle of both these characters. I really loved that in this book there was no other possibility for either of them. They were it. It just came down to whether they could get themselves together enough to see the other person clearly.

And this, she realized, was why she was so attracted to him. He was a good man who longed to do what was right, and something in her had recognized that from the moment of their dubious first meeting.

Which brings me to the storyline, it was good! Entertaining for sure. There were parts there where I couldn’t put it down. Where I had to know what was going to happen next. The world and creatures were absolutely spellbinding. I absolutely LOVED Stefan, the Time Folder. He was definitely one of a kind. I loved that he was so mysterious, yet so calm and collected at the same time. Nothing ruffled his feathers easily. He also provided some comic relief to bring relief to the sometimes super heavy interactions between Elena and Nik. I am hoping against hope that we will see a lot more of Stefan in the next book and also, a lot more of his story. There are so many unanswered questions when it comes to him…. And I need to know what’s going on!

Aunt Uza or Uzana as she is really known as, is another fav of mine. This character was just hilarious. I loved her! Her mannerisms and terms of endearment… ‘hotty tottie’ she was just honestly freaking awesome. She also had one of the creepiest lot of creatures in the whole book. If you have never really given cats a second thought then be prepared to be totally and completely creeped out.

I was very quickly engrossed in this story. I couldn’t put it down and stayed up way too late to finish it, I loved the world building and characters within it. This is a really great fast paced beginning to a well set up series. I can’t wait to see where this story is heading and what is to come for Elena and Nik.

Love Me to Death (Underveil)

By Marissa Clarke

 photo credit: Pannonius♛ via photopin ccphoto credit: wilding.andrew via photopin cc

Blog Tour & Book Reviews for the Love In The City series by Steph Nuss

Both books received in return for an honest review

Wanted by You (Book 1 Love in the City series)

The prologue for this story had me completely captured from the start. I could tell that this wasn’t going to be any standard NA romance.  The difference being, that Carter & Ellyson’s love story turns out to be years in the making. The basis of a great relationship is an amazing friendship and these two characters definitely have that in spades. From the first time they saw each other at college it was obvious that there was only going to be one way that this story was going to end. I LOVED that I wasn’t left hanging for too long, family responsibilities and life had gradually eased the two of them apart but once we were deposited into the current day it didn’t take too long for Carter and Elly to reacquaint themselves with each other…

And from here it was it was clear. There was no more game playing. There was no more pretending to ‘just’ be friends. If anything was meant to be than this was it. The author had a perfect balance of chemistry building without sending me completely over the edge with impatience, something that’s not always achieved. But don’t for a second think that it’s all going to be smooth sailing for this gorgeous couple just because we were in the thick of a romance from early on. There is always drama in these types of books, this book is no different. But this drama you won’t expect, we aren’t talking run-of-the-mill every day romance issues. I felt the twists and turns in this book really helped create a beautiful story of more than just lust and romance, it created a story of a deeper love, of real life and real feelings.

What of course made sure that this story tugged at my heart were the characters. Carter and Ellyson were as good as I could’ve hoped for. We’re not talking about a naive, good girl and a womanizing alpha male. We’re talking about two humans, flaws and all. Carter ticked all of my boxes for book boyfriend material. Sweet, but not a pushover. Manly in all the best ways and worst ways without being an asshole. Elly also was a firm fave. This girl had brains! She was fun and genuine. She was probably more the realist of the two, but one of them had to be and with her background story it made sense. She didn’t have me eye-rolling with ridiculous meltdowns, or insecurities. She, just like Carter, was realistic and it made me a team Carter & Elly cheerleader all the way.

This read was totally and completely enjoyable. I couldn’t put the book down and read it in an afternoon. The heat, the storyline, the characters…. They all created a story that is more than ‘just’ a romance. If you are wanting to curl up and escape, then this is most definitely your book, set aside some chocolate and a comfy chair and be prepared to fall in love.


Fantasized By You (Book 2 Love in the City series)

What I’m loving about this series is that we aren’t trying to drag out a story and create drama for just one couple. I see far too many of those types of series around and both my fellow blogger Kristal and I aren’t particularly fans, but this way of approaching a romance series is one I can totally get on-board with! Each one of these books focuses on a separate couple and their love story, while keeping all of the characters involved throughout. So book 1 we had Carter and Elly and in this book, we have Maverick and Harper. If you’ve read book 1 then you’ll know Maverick as Elly’s faux brother / oldest friend and Harper as Carter’s sister and I am SO happy that they have ended up with their own love story!!!

Harper and Maverick have a mutual connection, a mutual tragedy that still affects both of them today and in turn their relationship with each other. Yes we get romance, we get two people who so definitely should be together. But we also get to tackle some very real storylines, again my heart was all over the place and I LOVED it.

We were introduced to these characters in the first book and I loved delving deeper into their stories and personalities. What really struck me is that each one of these characters vividly has their own ‘voice’ you never feel like you’re reading about the same person with a different name. While so far Carter and Elly are still my favourites I still loved the way that both Maverick and Harper were written. Actually, Maverick isn’t too far behind Carter on my book boyfriend list. I can see why Elly has been friends with him for so long, he’s almost the perfect guy!

Once again in this series we are reminded that this author tackles romance in a certain way. It’s unique and I love that I’m still as excited about this series as I was when I was reading the first book, I will definitely continue reading these books and can’t wait to see where each character ends up. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… If you’re a romance lover you really need to give these books a go!



Book One – Wanted By

You 

Carter was captivated by Ellyson Evans the

moment he laid eyes on her,

but she was the one girl who didn’t beg for his

attention.

He wanted her.

Ellyson vowed to never fall in love, because

love can destroy you,

but then she met Carter

Jennings.

She wanted him.

Unwilling to risk their comfortable friendship,

neither confessed their desires.

Losing touch after college, a chance meeting

reconnects them.

They want each other.

But love in the city is never quite that

easy.



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Pinterest Board for Wanted By You: http://www.pinterest.com/StephNuss13/wanted-by-you/


Book Two –   Fantasized By

You

Celebrity fashion designer, Harper Jennings is only months away

from turning thirty, and her dream of living a happily ever after has yet to come true.

She’s given up on her

fantasy.

Personal trainer and gym owner, Maverick

Jones isn’t thrilled about having a designer mentoring in his new clinic, but after meeting the

brunette beauty face-to-face, he dreams of having his way with her.

He’s ready to turn his fantasy into

reality.

But when their fantasies collide, love in the

city becomes more complicated than they ever imagined.



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Fantasized By You Playlist: http://stephnuss.com/fantasized-by-you/the-soundtrack/

Pinterest Board for Fantasized By You: http://www.pinterest.com/StephNuss13/fantasized-by-you/


The Cast of

the Love in the City series: http://stephnuss.com/loveinthecity/love-in-the-city-the-cast/


Book Three – Pleasured By

You 

Expected Release Date: January 20th,

2015

The Love in the City series continues with Bayler and

Fletcher’s story.




Wanted By You (Love in the City, #1) (Currently Free)


Fantasized By You (Love in the City, #2)

Steph Nuss was born and raised in rural Kansas, where she currently resides

with her black Labrador son named Gunner. She grew up with a passion for reading and writing.

When she’s not immersed into the land of fiction, she enjoys listening to music that came before her

time, watching movies and reruns of her favorite shows, and hanging out with her family and friends.

She also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology that she’ll never use…unless she’s profiling her

characters of course.


CONNECT WITH

STEPH: 

Book Review – Snow the Vampire Slayer by Rebekah R. Ganiere

Snow 

the Vampire Slayer Tour Banner

Snow the Vampire Slayer

by Rebekah R.

Ganiere

Farielle #2

Publication Date: September 22, 2014

Genres: Fantasy, Romance

Purchase from AmazonPurchase from B&NPurchase from Kobo

Snow Cover

Synopsis:

Lady Snow Gwyn is tired of playing “mother” to her seven Vampire

Slaying brothers. For the past two years, she’s yearned to be out there fighting at their side as they hunt

for bloodsuckers in the black of night. Snow is as good a fighter as any man, but she wasn’t called to be a

Slayer. A mere formality in her book.

Prince Sageren, Son of Lothar has spent the last fifty years in exile,

awaiting the day when he can finally avenge his family and take back his throne. Barely existing, he’s

forced to face his inner demons and the monster he once was, compelling him to vow to never drink

from humans again. A simple enough task–until he crosses paths with a human who makes his fangs

ache to drain her.

That’s why when Snow runs into Prince Sage on a late night trip to the

woods, she’s torn between the urge to kill him and the desire to succumb to the feeling he stirs within

her. And when Snow’s life is threatened by the same evil that murdered his family, Prince Sage must

enlist the aid of Snow’s brothers to not only help him save her life, but to also regain his rightful place as

King of the Vampires.

If Sage can keep the Slayers from killing him first.

Add to Goodreads

About the Author

Rebekah R. Ganiere

Rebekah is an award winning author. Her novel Dead Awakenings, debuted in January 2014. Red

the Were Hunter, the first in her Farielle Series, released in May. The second book

Snow the Vampire Slayer will be releasing in September 22, 2014. And her trilogy The

Society will be released Nov. 17th 2014 by Kensington’s Lyrical Press.

Rebekah is the VP of Communications of the RWA FFP Chapter as well as a member of her local

Los Angeles and Orange County chapters. In her spare time when she isn’t writing you can find her

moderating on SavvyAuthors.com or hanging out with her husband, four children and her English

Bulldog, rabbit, two bearded dragons, and two tortoises. The escaped snake has yet to be found.

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IndieSage PR


REVIEW

Book received from author in return for an honest review

Lady Snow Gwyn is tired of playing “mother” to her seven Vampire Slaying brothers. For the past two years, she’s yearned to be out there fighting at their side as they hunt for bloodsuckers in the black of night. Snow is as good a fighter as any man, but she wasn’t called to be a Slayer. A mere formality in her book.

Prince Sageren, Son of Lothar has spent the last fifty years in exile, awaiting the day when he can finally avenge his family and take back his throne. Barely existing, he’s forced to face his inner demons and the monster he once was, compelling him to vow to never drink from humans again. A simple enough task–until he crosses paths with a human who makes his fangs ache to drain her.

When Snow runs into Prince Sage on a late night trip to the woods, she’s torn between the urge to kill him and the desire to succumb to the feeling he stirs within her. And when Snow’s life is threatened by the same evil that murdered his family, Prince Sage must enlist the aid of Snow’s brothers to not only help him save her life, but to also regain his rightful place as King of the Vampires.

If Sage can keep the Slayers from killing him first.

Yes, this is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs but absolutely not as you know it! I love reading re-imagined versions of fairy tales. And the idea behind this one, Vampires, Weres and Slayers, is a great one. This is actually book two in the Fairelle series. I haven’t read book one and this was still a great read as a stand-alone. I didn’t feel lost at any point, also I felt as far as the story went I could leave it there if I wished. But, I can’t leave it there at all! I’m definitely intending on going back and reading the first book now.

Snow is pretty badass for a ‘proper lady’ Yes she definitely has her fair share of naivety about the world but she adapts pretty darn quickly and surprised me more than a few times with her quick thinking bravery. I’m guessing though, when you’re in a houseful of brothers who are slayers, you pick up a tip or two along the way! Her brothers are typical brothers in the way they can’t tidy up after themselves and they give Snow hell, but really that’s where the ‘typical’ ends. They are Vampire Slayers. That is who they are and what they do. Being a Slayer is so much a part of them that there is no way they see vampires in any other light. Slayers kill vampires otherwise the vampires will kill the Slayers.

This of course becomes quite the predicament when Snow bumps into a mysterious stranger, who turns out to be a mysterious vampire stranger. Sage is a Vampire Prince with a price on his head. He needs to focus on taking back his kingdom but he finds himself completely infatuated with Snow instead. Sage is probably one of the most restrained, well mannered vampires I have ever come across. So, it’s from here, from their first meeting in the forest, we watch Sage and Snow battle each other, the Slayers, the Vampires and seemingly the whole world whilst they begin a romance unlike any other.

By the time I was getting towards the end of the book I had literally NO idea how anything was going to get resolved. It all seemed completely hopeless. Of course there is a resolution and at first I really wasn’t sure how I felt about it… But I can honestly say by the end of the book I really do believe that there was no other way the story could’ve gone. In this instance, the ending worked perfectly for the characters and their journey. So yes, we get our HEA, with the added bonus of knowing that there is plenty more to come in this world. Plenty more adventures to be had and plenty more stories to be told.

 photo credit: paul bica via photopin ccphoto credit: juandiegojr via photopin cc

Book Review – Wings of Hope (The Veil Series Prequel) by Pippa DaCosta

Book provided by author in return for an honest review

“I am his muse. But not for long…”

When Mammon, the Prince of Greed, ‘acquires’ a half-blood slave known as ‘Muse’ for three nights, and bespells her with tales of a world where people live like kings and queens among towers of steel and glass, the seed of hope takes root in Muse’s soul. But hope, for a half-human half-demon creature like her, is a dangerous thing. Especially when that tentative hope springs from the honeyed words of a Prince of Hell. What is Mammon’s price for freedom?

Meanwhile Da’mean, her ruthless owner, would rather see her dead, than free. She belongs to him. She is his muse. And no beast will take her from him.

The world of the elemental demons is harsh and violent. Muse’s kin are merciless, blood-hungry beasts, but little do they know, Muse has something far more dangerous coiled inside her, desperate for a taste of freedom.

Her humanity.
 

A small seemingly insignificant half-blood demon, a cruel and sadistic demon owner, a powerful Prince of Hell with an ulterior motive and a description of the netherworld so rich in detail, clear enough that you can see it in your mind, yet foreign enough that you can’t quite grasp the realities of surviving in such a place… It’s safe to say I was excited to sink my teeth into this novella. I’ve been loving this series and have mentioned on occasion how much I was dying to discover more about Muse’s past. Well luckily for me Pippa DaCosta has taken the time to write this beautifully descriptive piece and in doing so, has well and truly done justice to Muse’s story.

This story is set in the netherworld, this place is full of demons of all shapes, sizes and brutalities, this is a place where blood, pain and death are the norm and if you intend to venture out alone you better know how to protect yourself. Chaos and violence rule, domination is king and there is no room for emotions, wants or dreams. The Muse we meet here in not the human half of Muse that we are accustomed to… No, here we have been taken back to where Muse lived and thought like a demon. Muse can’t understand her seemingly weak and pathetic ‘pink’ human half, she cannot fathom the thoughts and strange feelings she has when she is in her skin, all that makes sense to Muse the demon, is that she is worthless and that someone will always own her to use her.

Here we also get to see more of her owner Da’mean and the atrocities he committed against her, but even more so, we get to see Ahkeel (Akil) through her eyes as they first meet. As we know, he turns out to be a pretty integral part of Muse’s future, but to see him here at the start, to see him as the Prince of Greed, in his world, in his castle, seemingly in his element but hankering for something else, really helps to not only flesh out his Mammon self a bit more, but also sets the tone of their relationship

Now that I’ve delved into Muse’s past I can’t wait to get back into her current day self. Every single encounter in the netherworld has made Muse who she is today and armed with a more in-depth understanding of her and her world, owed to the fact that we were viewing everything through her demons eyes, I feel so much has ‘clicked’ into place. This darker toned novella is the perfect accompaniment to this series and in my opinion, it is a must read.

 photo credit: KomodorO // Paco LopeH via photopin cc

Seeing is Believing (An Izzy Chronicles Novella) by Michelle Graves

The life of a Seer isn’t for the faint of heart. I should know. Mine has been one of upheaval for the past few years, what with the downfall of the lab, the recent exile from the Council, and a future that is suddenly becoming painfully clear.

With Izzy missing, and the darkness still looming, I know what must be done. I have to go to the Order, find a way to bring Izzy back, and get to the bottom of what is really happening with this darkness business.

I’m just not sure how to do that when Ian is haunted by his past, Revenants are out to make me one of their own, and the dreaming keeps trying to reject me.

This Novella is number 3.5 in the Chronicles of Izzy. It carries on from where the last book left off, bridging the gap in the story as we get ready to go into the final book. This short story is actually from Molly’s POV rather than Izzy. Which I really enjoyed for a few reasons. For a start there is no way this particular part of the story couldn’t have been told with only Izzy at the helm, for obvious reasons. Secondly I’ve been DYING to find out more about Molly and Ian and this was definitely the best way to delve in a bit deeper and give a bit more flesh to these two pretty awesome characters, they definitely deserve it. Not only do we get to see the overall situation with fresh eyes but we really get to spend some time on both of these characters, which at this stage I felt we really needed to do.

I loved that while Molly and Ian kept their hilarious chemistry afloat, we also got to see a deeper, more serious side to both of them. There is definitely a lot more to Ian than he portrays with his crazy fun façade. As for Molly, she’s Izzy’s BFF so I always knew she was badass in all the right ways and this story proves it! She really comes into her own here and going into the last book in this series, I for one, am relieved that Izzy has such awesome friends to back her up. Honestly this last instalment cannot come soon enough, if anything this novella has made me even more impatient…

Book Review – Devil May Care (The Veil Series #2) by Pippa DaCosta

“He should be dead. I thought I’d killed him. I was wrong.”

Three dead Enforcers in three weeks, their bodies butchered. Muse has seen it before, and when she reads the metal memories in the murder weapon, she sees it all again. Her owner, Damien, is back, and he wants what is rightfully his.

Muse escaped him and the netherworld, once before. This time, she’s stronger, smarter. This time she knows she has the fires of hell at her fingertips, but so does Damien, and he’s not the only one. Akil is weak. No longer a Prince, he needs Muse’s limitless power to regain his title. How fortuitous then, that Akil’s fate is tied to the one man she cares the most for.

As Muse, Stefan, and Akil battle their own demons, not all will come away victorious. Some choices can never be forgiven. Some lies are never forgotten. Some wounds will never heal.

It wasn’t too long ago that I reviewed the first book in this series. (You can find that review HERE) I mentioned in that review that I really wanted to find out more about Muse and her past, I really wanted to find out more about Stefan and I REALLY wanted to know more about Akil. I needed to figure out what was going on with him, he seemed like such a mystery. So I was excited to get into this book and get more… more of everything! And I was absolutely not disappointed!

In this book we meet Muse, just months after Stefan has dragged Akil through the veil. She’s now working for the institute, but that’s not of her choosing. Also not of her choosing, she’s still cut off from her demon. Yep, life is really not going well for Muse. To make it even worse her torturous ex-owner is back seeking her and eventually she also ends up being pulled through to the other side of the veil…. Like I said, not great times. But believe it or not, there is a whole lot worse to come for Muse in this book and she doesn’t even see it coming.

This book overall was darker and grittier than its predecessor. This is to be expected when not only do we have Damien in the picture, Muse’s ex-owner who she thought she’d killed, hell bent on taking her right back to where he thinks she belongs…and trust me, he is a piece of work, but we also have a big chunk of the story based in the netherworld. It really stole my breath how on edge I was throughout, waiting for Damien, or the next demon, or imagining the sights and smells of the netherworld, it was very well executed. The devil is in the detail and nothing rings truer when talking about this book.

Character wise I was really glad to see that Muse did a lot of growing up throughout this book. She was still feisty and could definitely still be impulsive but at the same time she became more self-sufficient and definitely much less of a victim. Which was actually kinda really handy considering she had a lot of work ahead of her if she wanted to survive the netherworld, let alone escape it. Stefan was a real surprise for me in this one, you can imagine how being trapped somewhere like that could change you and I really don’t know quite what the end game is here, his story was heartbreaking but really kept me on my toes but despite the despair and I loved that we weren’t just going to replay the whole romance/no-romance scenario over again as so often can happen in a series. This way of approaching it seemed fresh and was exactly what the story needed. Akil was also heavily featured and I definitely got my wish when I said I wanted to find out more about him! He’s still mysterious yes, but at the same time I’ve learnt a great deal about him. Finally we got to peel some layers back, seeing him in an almost fragile state at times really reinforced that he was more than just a big bad demon. I didn’t know what to expect with him and honestly, in some ways I still don’t and I LOVE this about him, you couldn’t have him any other way. One thing for sure is though, I’m looking forward to what the Prince of Greed is going to get up to next.

Once again Pippa DaCosta keeps the story fast paced and consuming, which definitely suits the subject. You really get a sense of urgency and ‘fight or flight’ really does come to mind more than once. After this second book I definitely feel like I’m getting a good grip on this ‘world’ as well as its characters. Everything is seeming really well fleshed out going into the upcoming third book, even with the un–resolved issue of Stefan vs Akil for hottest book boyfriend of the series! There was a teaser at the end of my E-Book for Darkest Before Dawn, I couldn’t help myself, I did read it and I have to say I feel like this upcoming book could be the best yet, so lucky it’s out this October!

 photo credit: Cpt via photopin ccphoto credit: Fleuret via photopin cc

Book Review – See How She Fights (The Chronicles of Izzy #2) by Michelle Graves

I was still floating in a cloud of Izzy and Kennan love from the first book in this series when I dove straight into this one. (You can read my review for See How She Runs HERE) I literally finished SHSR and jumped straight onto Amazon to download this one. I HAD to know where this story was going to go next and of course I had to get more of Izzy and Kennan…

She thought it was over.
She thought her life was finally her own.
She was wrong.

Izzy is thrust back into the world of Seers and Guardians. With a summons from the Council she can’t ignore, Izzy heads back into the fray. Now, it is up to her to figure out why Seers are being sacrificed, carved up, and left for ruin. If she doesn’t find the person orchestrating the deaths, she may well be next.

If that wasn’t enough, her powers have started to expand exponentially. Kennan is keeping secrets. Moreover, a strangely familiar Symbol-smith starts wreaking havoc on her precariously balanced world.

Will Izzy survive this latest crisis? Will she stop fighting destiny and accept her fate? Find out in See How She Fights.

So like the blurb goes, Izzy has to re-immerse herself in all things Seer, not only that, but she also has to leave the beginnings of her future perfect life and attend the Council whom have summoned her. To put it mildly both Izzy and Kennan are VERY unimpressed with this development. After everything how could this be a fair situation?! As she will soon learn, a lesson in the reality of fairness is one of the numerous lessons Izzy will learn by the end of this book.

When I reviewed the first book I mentioned it was mostly romance and built up towards action near the end and I LOVED it… Well this book is mostly action with the romance to sweeten the story… and guess what? I LOVED it!!! I love that this is a series that doesn’t just follow the same familiar formula for each book. Instead the story flows and the books are what they need to be to tell the story, at the start that was a romance, detailing the background, the characters and the romance. Now that we’ve moved into this book we can focus on the fast paced action which is (to put it simply) awesome. Luckily though, we don’t lose the romance, we just have to learn to share Izzy and Kennan with the world, for better or for worse…

Izzy has to deal with some horrific happenings, violent bloody crimes are being committed against seers and before long she has been dragged right into the middle. She needs to fight and stay one step ahead, just so she can stay alive. The things that were happening both to Izzy and around Izzy were intriguing and more than a little disturbing. I was definitely with Izzy and her intense frustration at the beings around her, they can see into the future, read minds, jump into the dreaming but they are so damn vague! A little heads up once in a while would’ve probably helped Izzy from feeling like she had missed out on reading a Seer instruction manual, but then I guess, where’s the fun in that? Make no mistake, going into this book Izzy hasn’t developed and understood half of what she needs to. This is a drag out, dirty dealing, fight to bloody knuckles, scream in your sleep story, yet I loved that despite everything, Izzy still retained one of her traits the I love the most about her, her snark. Only Izzy could pull off sassy conversations with a sacrificed seer spirit…

“this sucks,” I said, frustrated.

“You’re telling me. At least you still have your eyes. Oh, and your life,” Ren griped.

“Seriously, if you are going to be haunting my visions, could you at least be a little nice?…”

Once again Michelle Graves strikes the character chemistry just right, I loved the developing friendship between Izzy and Molly (everyone needs a BFF!) I laughed at the fiery feisty relationship between Ian and Molly and I melted at the love between Izzy and Kennan. It’s also in this book that we are introduced to a few more book boyfriend contestants. The first being Conall, sometimes too formal, way too gruff and fiercely loyal, he half the time rubs Izzy the wrong way and the other half of the time he’s trying to help Kennan reign in the carnage that inevitably follows her around. Also, another manly man of note we meet Aberto. Ancient and mysterious, he doesn’t throw a spanner in the works for Izzy and Kennan as such, but there is a lot more to him than what originally meets the eye. Along the way we start to get to slowly unravel his secrets, although very vaguely (there’s a theme here!)… and the big tough guy vs big tough guy interactions between him and Kennan, as well as his confusing relationship with Izzy are pretty much everything you could ever need for that little bit of tension every story needs.

By the end of this book I was feeling completely and utterly on edge and I knew this story was far from over. I definitely didn’t have a feeling that all was lost, but there sure will be a lot of obstacles to come, of that I am certain. Like I said, I loved the first book, it was so good to have a strong start to the series… But this second book has nabbed the top spot out of the two for me… Everything about it was just perfect and made sure I could literally not put it down. Which is why I jumped straight onto Amazon after I finished this one and one-clicked the next… It’s an addiction and I’m not even sorry…

 photo credit: nicole.pierce.photography ♥ via photopin cc

Book Review – Elicit (Eagle Elite #4) by Rachel Van Dyken

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 My book choice for the start of the week was Elicit by Rachel Van Dyken. The intriguing blurb and near perfect ratings were what really sold this one to me. It is the 4th book in the Eagle Elite series but was promoted as being able to be read as a stand-alone. This book is going to be hard to review because even though I loved the story and was totally sucked in, I had NO idea what was going on for the first 80% of the book. So bear with me.  

Cursed, numb, rejected, scorned, wicked, sinister, dark, twisted…my name is Tex Campisi and this is my legacy. I killed my father in cold blood and lost my soul right along with him. 
I crave war more than peace, and I’m about to take my place in history as the youngest Capo dei Capi in the Cosa Nostra…that is until someone stops me, saves me from myself. 

But the only person able to do that…is my best friends sister, Mo Abandanato, and she just ripped my heart out and asked me to hold it in my hands while she put bullets through it. 

Im cursed so I did it. 
I’m numb so I held it. 
I’m wicked so I liked it.
I used the pain Mo caused as a catalyst to turn into my biggest nightmare–the five families greatest enemy. It’s my turn to take a stand, knowing full well I’m going to lose my mind to the madness that is the American Mafia. I’ve always been told Blood is thicker than life. I wish I would have listened. Because regardless of who you love? You will betray. You will kill.
Blood Always Wins. 
The only way out is death…yours.

Welcome to the Dark Side of the Family.

Elicit tells the story of Tex Campisi. Again, I don’t fully understand the dynamics of the relationship between Tex and the other characters in the book because I haven’t read the previous books, but from what I can gather Tex was brought up by the Abandonatos; a rival mafia family. I have no idea why but his Dad was a prick by the sounds. 

The time has finally come for Tex to take the place as head of his own Mafia family (the Campisis) but unfortunately it’s all very, very complicated. Tex’s life is firmly entwined with Mo’s who is the Abandonato princess and twin sister to the head of the Abandonato family. Games will be played, people will die and basically this book with make you damn thankful that your family aren’t Mafia. 

“The Mafia by definition should say, “Happy Endings die here.”

I absolutely loved the writing in this book. It was like poetry at times. Rachel Van Dyken does an amazing job of portraying human emotion and she makes you believe that every single word is real. I absolutely felt like the Romeo & Juliet situation between Tex and Mo was hopeless at times. Beyond repair. There was no way out for them. I was completely engrossed in their world. 

“Story of my life. I give. They take. I give some more. They take it all.”

Ok so here’s where I ran into issues – this was not a stand-alone. It can NOT be read as a standalone. I STILL have no idea about so many things in this book. What is Tex’s back story? How did we arrive at this point in time? What’s the deal with Milly? And just WHO the hell is Phoenix and WHAT DID HE DO?! With a bit of recapping it could have easily been a stand-alone but with absolutely no recapping you will spend the majority of this story lost. Unless you have read the previous three books, obviously. So because of that I can’t give this book 5 stars but I wanted to SO BADLY because I can see how it would be an amazing addition to this series.  

“In the end…he would choose Campisi. In the end…she would choose Abandonato. In the end…there would be bloodshed.”

Rachel Van Dyken is no doubt a talented lady. Her writing is so good and her stories are original and captivating. If this sounds like something you would read then I definitely recommend it – just read the first three books first and you will be golden! 

“I hate you so much, but not as much as I love you. I could never hate you as much as I love you.”

 

 

 

photo credit: pasotraspaso via photopin ccphoto credit: Dmitry Valberg via photopin ccphoto credit: Daran Kandasamy via photopin cc

Book Review – See How She Runs by Michelle Graves

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This book has to be my favourite FREE one-click find to date. If a Fantasy is done right I’ll be its biggest fan, there is nothing better than being transported into another world, better yet if there is some beautiful type of romance to ensue…

One delivery changed her whole life.

Izzy was a normal girl living in Chicago as a bike messenger before that fateful day. She delivered one package and set into action a chain of events she never could have expected.

Now she is running for her life from the Corporation, her best friend is not at all who he seemed, and to top it all off she keeps having visions.

Will she survive to navigate the waters as a Seer? Will her feelings for Kennan be her very downfall? Find out in See How She Runs.

I can’t even begin to list every single thing I loved about this book. If I did that then it would literally be pages and pages of spoiler filled goodness. So for the sake of leaving some mystery for all of you wanting to read this in the future, I’ll have a go at reigning myself in.

This book begins with what essentially is really a super bad day in the office for the main character Izzy. She has no idea about what really is going on in the world or how it affects her and the people she knows. That is, until her peaceful oblivion is shattered. Once she has started this chain of events there is just no turning back, her old life is in the past and she has to learn about her new life quickly if she wants to survive. As with so many first books of a series, this book needs to spend a decent amount of its page space building up the back-story and the characters while setting the scene for the storyline to unfold. Michelle Graves goes above and beyond with covering all of these aspects. I loved the fact that I was learning a lot of (necessary) information but still was flicking through the pages feeling like the story was accelerating. I was captured straight away and didn’t for a second feel like anything didn’t ‘fit’ or was awkward or slow.

My BBH and I love strong woman characters, and really who doesn’t?! When I open a book I want to love my main girl. I want to be completely in her corner… And Izzy has 100% got me in her corner. Her smart mouth, coupled with her completely inappropriate timing, as well as her caring personality combined with her relentless drive and fierce bravery made for one ah-mazing heroine. So many of her one-liners had me cracking up and I definitely wasn’t expecting to spend so much time giggling away to myself. I LOVED that Izzy and the other characters bought such a decent dose of humor. It’s definitely an aspect that not only made me completely obsessed with Izzy as a character, but also really set this book apart from others in its genre.

Holy cow, hormones, let’s just put that on the back burner and come back to it never.

I can’t write this review and not make a special mention of Kennan. Kennan was the Mr Sexy-pants of the book; a title well deserved, may I say. His big gruff protector demeanor was perfect for this story; this guy was no one dimensional eye-candy. He was just as a big of a part of this story as Izzy was and I loved that his character was so well fleshed out. Just like with how I like my heroine to be kick-ass, if a male character wants to be book boyfriend material he needs to be a hot-big-strong-protector with a gooey-caramel centre… I can honestly say Kennan passes on all accounts. Book boyfriend material he most certainly is… He’s definitely one complex guy, yet despite all of the gruffness and complexity he is irresistibly lovable.

While I was reading this book I was describing it to my BBH and told her that it was a lot heavier on the romance side than the action side. After finishing it I stick by that observation. The action is there… and it does kick up a notch towards the end and I know for certain there is a truck-load of action in the subsequent books (yep already read them! Literally. Could. Not. Stop.) But like I said before, this book is setting the stage. I love that Michelle Graves started this story off properly and spent the time exploring the characters and their relationships. Believe me, between the smart-assed jibes and the intense chemistry there is no time to be bored. This book has really set the stage for what I can tell, is going to be an amazing series.

photo credit: Lotus Carroll via photopin <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b

BLOG TOUR – Reveiw of AfterLife (The Starbuck Chronicles #1) by Zoe Dawson

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Thanks to ATOMR for having OUBB participate in this blog tour and providing an ARC in return for an honest review

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I haven’t read anything by Zoe Dawson before so I wasn’t too sure what to expect, especially knowing that she doesn’t just write fantasy. But the synopsis intrigued me and I was keen to give it a go. And I’m really glad I did! I started and finished this book within a couple of nights, so it definitely caught my attention.

The world building was incredibly interesting, with the idea being that you are looking at the world after magic has caused the mortal and supernatural worlds to collide. The author has put a lot of detail and layering into this universe and I get a feeling that in this first book we only get a glimpse into its depths. I’ve read plenty of fantasy with witches, vampires, fae and werewolves but I’ve never read anything that includes monsters escaping games and anime characters becoming real… it sounds like there is a lot going on, because there is, but the world has been so cleverly built that it all works, the reasoning and explanations behind the magic, worlds and beings make this one very interesting and absorbing universe to be reading about.

Lily Starbuck had everything you like to see in a kick-butt heroine. She’s a bit sassy, a bit reckless and hell bent on justice. She’s come from nothing to build herself up and in a roundabout way finds herself with nothing again… But she doesn’t let anything hold her down and she does have a lot of things going wrong to contend with! That does have the side effect of her getting herself in some less than ideal situations but I guess that’s where the bonus of having some very hot male beings on her side is pretty darn handy. I loved how we weren’t just restricted to one possible love interest. They all had their merits. Gorgeous, strong, smart, supernatural. But I did definitely have my fav out of the bunch!

Overall I really enjoyed this first installment in Lily Starbucks saga. It was a good start to a story set in a very interesting universe and I’m really looking forward to where the story is heading and finding out more about Lily (I hope we find out more about Lily!)… Oh and reading more about all of those love interests too of course! My only gripes were minor things. Sometimes I think there can be a little too much of the ‘how convenient’ storylines, sometimes you just want things to not be resolved so easily and instantly. But like I said – that’s minor, especially looking at the story as a whole, which was very enjoyable and entertaining. Enjoyable and entertaining enough that I’m reading the next one for sure!


Go HERE for a list of blogs and dates for this tour!

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THE
STARBUCK CHRONICLES, BOOK #1
An
Adult Urban Fantasy (with romantic elements)
Releases
May 19, 2014

Series
Overview



The fine thread between reality and the fantastical has snapped. The mortal and
supernatural must learn to co-exist in post-reality Minneapolis/St. Paul where
video games leak monsters into the night, demons roam, thirsting for more than
just blood, people are not who or what they seem and a diabolical evil plots
and plans to devour the world.

AfterLife

Lily
Starbuck’s day doesn’t start well with blood on the horizon and a grumpy
werewolf who refuses to pay his catering bill. Her day only gets worse when she
finds out that her business partner in their catering company has embezzled all
their available cash.

Lily
can get no answers from her partner when she finds her dead. That’s the least
of her worries—her landlord is evicting her, she’s being hounded by the Fairy
Dust Administration (FDA) who suspects that her partner was dealing in illegal
dust, and Lily’s pissed off their werewolf supplier.

With
Lily’s very livelihood in jeopardy, she has no choice but to discover who
killed her partner and try to track down the cash. She has only Spocko, a
small, wizened gnome with just a bit of gremlin blood in him that makes him
cantankerous at best to depend on, but he often goes invisible on her. Clues
lead her to an open case being investigated by Otherworld Security (O.S.)
and the tough O.S. Warden, shapeshifter, Tam Darkwood. And, at the outset of
the investigation, a tiny, mythical fire-breathing, red dragon joins her as her
trusty (and opinionated) sidekick, Kindle.

It
seems a rogue mage has created a video game that is unwarded and game monsters
are being released to terrorize the citizens of the Twin Cities. Trouble is
Lily has reason to believe that this mage killed her partner.
The
investigation takes an unexpected turn when they are led to influential and powerful
Archmage Tarquin Wilding and somehow Lily finds herself embroiled in
a sinister shadow Fae plot. With her friends at her side, she tackles
dangerous and unpredictable supernaturals and monsters with an “all in a day’s
work” attitude.

About
the Author

Zoe
Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author.
Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a
couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then
moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic
suspense, romantic mystery, urban fantasy and paranormal novels. The words feed
her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.

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