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Tag Archives: Urban Fantasy

Book Review – Lost Girl (Hidden #1) by Colleen Vanderlinden

Molly Brooks is a telepathic vigilante with a few secrets and a mysterious past. Determined to make something of her bizarre powers, she devotes herself to saving those who need her most. One night, she’s followed by a powerful being in a pickup truck, and her world will never be the same. Finding herself thrust into a world full of supernatural beings she could have only imagined, Molly learns how powerful she really is, and how much she stands to lose.

This book was a fast paced, action packed, thoroughly entertaining ride of a story… From the very start I was intrigued and it didn’t let up… Not for one minute. It’s a fine line to walk to write a story that is all of these things without seeming rushed, but the author achieved a story that was to the point without giving me whiplash. Being the first book in a series it did have the job of setting up the world and storyline to do. While the storyline definitely got off to a roaring start and I did get a good sense of this alternate universe, I do hope that in the subsequent books we get a little more detail about this world and the beings in it.

Molly was a bit of a darker heroine than the usual. Totally bad ass and unpredictable… Actually she probably was bordering on unhinged for a lot of the book! She was definitely conflicted, she didn’t for the most part understand her powers or where her place in the world was. She was a loner and pretty prickly towards anyone and everyone. What absolutely didn’t help her state of mind was the certain big, gruff Nain… He swept in, shook up her world and her life was never the same. Nain, just like Molly, was dark and light rolled into one, but in his case way way darker. He’s not some kind of ex-bad-demon… he’s the real deal ex-evil-demon. But he’s spent a long time fighting for redemption before rounding up Molly to join his group of assorted supernatural good-guys. I loved the chemistry between these two… The power, the violence, the needing to do good. Their relationship (and sometimes lack of relationship) is what in my opinion really propelled the book along.

I really enjoyed this book but I have to say I am so so SO happy that there is a follow up book to this story because I literally felt like I had the wind knocked out of me by this ending. So let this serve as a warning, if you’re after an instant HEA you are going to be left wanting… However, I think this is going to make for a very interesting second book. I’m really looking forward to what Molly does next, whether she keeps her darkness in check or lets it overtake her, so I know the ending to this book was necessary and very smart., because there is no room for a tidy neat anything when you’re talking Urban Fiction and that is especially true here.

Lost Girl: Hidden Book One (Volume 1)

By Colleen Vanderlinden

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

Book Review – Beyond The Veil (The Veil Series #1) by Pippa DaCosta

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Both my BBH and I have had this book to read for a few weeks now. Since we both love UF we had picked it up on an Amazon special. The blurb really caught our eye. A story of demons, demons that were freely walking our world. Sounds crazy to say the least!

“They say I’m half demon, but I like to think of myself as half human, especially as the demons want me dead.”

Charlie Henderson is living a lie. Her real name is Muse and her attempt at a normal life is about to go up in smoke.

When a half-demon assassin walks into her life, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake, Muse must return to the one man she hoped never to see again and ask for help. The Prince of Greed isn’t known for his charity. The price is high, but the cost could tear her apart.

Trapped between the malevolent intentions of a Prince of Hell, an assassin with ulterior motives, and her bloodthirsty demon-kin, Muse must embrace the lure of chaos at her core; the demon inside her, in order to survive.

When your ex is the Prince of Greed, you’d better be ready to raise hell.

This is the story of Charlie (Demon name Muse.) She was living a relatively normal human life until everything she held close was ripped away from her and she found herself fighting to stay alive. She is what is known as a half-blood, meaning she fits in nowhere. She doesn’t fit in in the human world and she definitely doesn’t fit in in the demon world since generally half-bloods are killed by their full-blooded demon counterparts. Charlie however had received a fate worse than death, she was ‘kept’ by a demon as a kind of a plaything. There are plenty of hints during this story at the horrors she had to withstand at the mercy of her ‘owner.’ I do wish that this past had been explored and detailed a little more, especially since she’d refer back to it as reasoning for her actions, or the actions of her ex. As it was it felt sometimes like this book started somewhere in the middle of her story.

As for the two leading men… Akil vs Stephen. Akil is Charlie’s ex… AKA Mammon, Prince of Greed. Whoa, he really packed a punch figuratively and literally. He was the epitome of power and violence. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of him and he did surprise me a few times. To be honest, at the end of the book I still wasn’t quite sure what to make of him and I actually really like this fact. I feel like there’s a way to go before we start to untwist Akil and untwist his relationship with Charlie. As for Stephen, I actually feel like I am even more unsure of him and his motives than I was of Akil if that’s even possible. He is nothing but mysterious. I felt like every time I thought I was pinning him down he’d change direction again. And again. And again. The ending held quite the cliff-hanger for Stephen and I can’t wait to see what the second book holds for him.

This was a really solid start to a series that I think can only get better. There is a lot of storyline I want to find out more about, there’s a strange type of love triangle going on that definitely needs to be resolved and there’s so much more of these worlds I want to see (both human with demons masquerading as humans AND beyond the veil.) I think the story is hitting the right pace and I love where it seems to be heading. My only wish is that Charlie will begin to find herself more as the story evolves, Mostly at the moment Charlie’s character has me feeling a bit conflicted. I just wanted her to actually back herself up for once. But maybe that is yet to come? I’m sure with a bit of growth I’ll be completely in her corner.

 photo credit: koni_94 via photopin ccphoto credit: 96dpi via photopin cc

Book Review – Ghouls Rush In by H. P Mallory

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Do you believe in love after life?

Looking for a fresh start, Peyton Clark becomes the proud owner of a piece of New Orleans history: an Antebellum-era two-story house in the Garden District. It’s going to take time and a fat wallet to restore the fixer-upper to its former glory, but after her recent divorce, Peyton could use the distraction.

It’s not long before Peyton discovers she’s moved into the haunted home of a flirtatious paranormal prankster. She’s receiving kisses from unseen lips and caresses from a ghostly hand, and soon she begins to have vivid dreams, bringing her face-to-face with the incomparably handsome ghost of Drake Montague.

When Peyton grows closer to her general contractor, Ryan Kelly—who is as charming as he is alive—the chill in the air could only suggest Drake’s jealousy from beyond the grave. But even though she’s definitely attracted to and interested in Ryan, Peyton also can’t get Drake out of her dreams, or her heart, as she begins to uncover the frightening truth behind his death a century ago…

A few weeks ago I was on quite the roll with various kinds of UF/Paranormal/Straight up scary type books. This was one of those books. I have had it on my kindle for a while and had started but then got distracted by other things, but I came back and restarted it and finished it within a couple of nights! I have to put a disclaimer in here: I’m useless with anything remotely scary. I should not be allowed to read these books at night, I know this fact, yet I still do it!

Firstly the characters in this book. I loved Peyton; she was well measured parts of hilarious, flawed and endearing. I was pleased that she had a solid back story and a decent reason to be kicking around an old haunted house. I cracked up at her witty personality that was entertaining rather than snarky and I loved that she wasn’t perfect, that she could sometimes be a bit annoying or ridiculous… because aren’t we all…

Ryan also was a win of a character for me. I’m all about the strong tough men who can move mountains… (or in this case, remodel old houses) He came across as the perfect southern gentleman. He was really the most human aspect of the story; I really, really enjoyed his storyline. Drake (GHOST) was such a compelling character. He was almost larger than life, he had SO much personality…especially for someone who wasn’t even in solid human form. He actually did quite a good job of growing on me, at first I wasn’t sold on him at all (GHOST!) but by the end of the story I ended up having a bit of a soft spot for him!

As far as the storyline went I did enjoy it for the most part, I just got blindsided once or twice…. I have to admit when the first lot of ‘ghost bits’ crept in I wasn’t sure about the direction it was taking, it was a decent way into the book and I felt up until that point I’d been reading a cute southern paranormal romance. There had been nothing sinister going on and I honestly thought that when the paranormal parts finally started happening they would be light too. But they were not. Suddenly it felt like an episode of ‘Worlds Most Haunted.’

The second half of the book was more paranormal than paranormal romance. So on the plus side it was more consistent in style. I was being terrified and intrigued at the same time by ghosts! (Well terrified by one ghost and intrigued by the other) I felt that the story really had found it’s stride now that all of the character and background work had been completed. The pace definitely did pick up a lot. However I think from reading the blurb I did expect it to be a bit lighter than what it was…

It’s not long before Peyton discovers she’s moved into the haunted home of a flirtatious paranormal prankster. She’s receiving kisses from unseen lips and caresses from a ghostly hand, and soon she begins to have vivid dreams, bringing her face-to-face with the incomparably handsome ghost of Drake Montague.

I thought this was going to be a love triangle of sorts between girl, man and ghost but that’s not the entire sum of it. Don’t get me wrong there was nothing wrong with this story. I really did enjoy reading it, but I think the problem was the blurb and the story did not really match up? If it had been more reflective of the story I wouldn’t have expected a lighter paranormal romance read, so therefore I wouldn’t have been as stunned when the book took it’s very sudden detour into scary town.

All and all I am glad I went back into my folders and finished reading this book. I think I will definitely give the second book a try, I am super interested in seeing what twists Peyton, Ryan and Drake’s stories take next. I’ve promised myself that next time I will be much much braver, also I’ve promised myself I won’t read the next one at night like I did this one!

 photo credit: i k o via photopin ccphoto credit: Alyssa L. Miller via photopin cc

Book Review – Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson #6) by Darynda Jones

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If I were to hashtag that moment, my status would read something like #impressed

Ok, so here at OUBB we are big Charley Davidson fans. Huge Charley Davidson fans really. My BBH Kristal got me into this series and I’ve loved it since the first book. We’ve decided to buddy read this book (#6) since we both knew we were going to spend A LOT of time discussing it with each other anyway….probably at random times as well… AKA after our kids music class 2 days ago on the side of the road where I felt we had a very in-depth heart to heart about all things Charley and Reyes… Yes, we really do have that much to say about it! So lets get started…

Charm – Ok firstly I didn’t know what to expect after book 5… That book was SPOOKY and heavy. A hard act to follow I think. This book to me had a TOTALLY different feel. It still had it’s heavy spooky parts for sure, but it was generally a lot lighter I thought. Which in some ways was a good salve after the last one, heavens knows Charley probably needed a slight break. But also was not at all what I was expecting!

Kristal – I LOVED book five. It was my favourite of the series so far, so I was beyond excited for this one. I really liked the slightly darker tone of book five and loved that we were getting a bit of character development where Charley was concerned. But I agree, book six had a completely different feel! I absolutely devoured this book, just like all of the previous ones, but I felt a little disappointed with the way she seemed to have taken a step back. I think I was hoping for bigger and better things for her but instead it felt like we just skimmed along the top of her personality.

Charm – Oh yeah Charley was as friggen hilarious as always. I LOVE her one liners and general ridiculousness. She is one character I wish I could absorb a little bit into myself just so I could be a tad cooler. I do have to mention, as much as I was cracking up all over the show there were a few points in the story where I was thinking she could’ve been a bit more serious about the situation. I’m all for reckless abandon, but sometimes a bit of maturity is important. I feel like with everything shes been through there might’ve been more glimpses of that?

Kristal – Definitely. At the start of book six it did mention she had nightmares about her experiences in the previous books but then….nothing? It felt like quite a few random story-lines were started and not followed through with. I’m hoping that this is leading up to one big, awesome grand finale, where everything comes together and blows our minds! It IS a Darynda Jones book so I wouldn’t be surprised if this is what is happening. The one story-line that I’m keen to hear more about is the one involving her dad – what’s going on there???!!! Oh and her “other” family.

Charm – Yeah this is the one thing in the book I was slightly iffy about, in every other book Charley always has a few cases on the go plus whatever personal/Reaper stuff is going on… In this book she has A LOT going on. There were so many storylines! Some haven’t been wrapped up yet, quite a few were… I LOVED Angel’s storyline. So I totally agree with you Kristal… I’m thinking there is a higher purpose to everything that’s been going on. Also I am totally with you on the Dad story… I want MORE. What on earth is happening. Also, I’m not going to wreck the ending for any of you that haven’t read it but WHAT ON EARTH!!! I’m seriously wondering what is coming up in the next book after that happened?!

Kristal – Hmmmm yea. That ending. People seem to be either loving or hating it. I’m in the hating it group for now to be honest (or at least very, very dubious), but that could always change in the next book depending on how things go. I just can’t see her being able to be her full self with that going on! But I’m keeping an open mind, so we shall see! I”m really looking forward to October now so I can see how it’s all going to play out. Eeeeep!

Charm – Yeah I think I’ll reserve judgment on the ending in this book until after I’ve read #7. I can’t wait to see what direction Darynda Jones will take… because really it could go anywhere. Also before we end this… my final words are: Reyes = Yum.

Kristal – Oh Reyes…sigh. I love him too. Definitely on my top UF Book Boyfriend list. This story really COULD go anywhere at this point. There are so many unanswered questions. Luckily we don’t have long to wait for Seventh Grave and No Body! Love that we get two books this year. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

He took hold of my chin and lifted my face to his. “I have a feeling a machete and a spork can work very well together.”

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Sunday Loves – 25.05.2014

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Charley Davidson love!

 

Tonight my BBH and I are starting our buddy read of the sixth Charley Davidson book, Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones. To say we’re excited is possibly a big fat understatement. So, with this in mind (and with the fact I am DYING to get reading!) I am dedicating tonight’s Sunday love to our favourite Grim Reaper…

Here’s the blurb for First Grave on the Right… (Goodreads) This should give you a taste of the amazingness to come…

 


This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.
Or a diagram of some kind.
A flow chart would have been nice.

Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can’t she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?

With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.


If you like UF or even if you just like a read that will make you laugh, love and be brave then you will seriously LOVE this series. Charley has the perfect amount of hilariousness and attitude to make you wish you were her best buddy. You seriously wont get enough of her… and her penchant for naming inanimate objects. Also, just as a warning… you will absolutely end up with a book boyfriend from this series. He is hotter than hell itself. Swoon. Seriously. Read it. And when you have, swap notes with us!

Third Grave Dead Ahead

By Darynda Jones

 

Oh and just in case you get as hooked as we are… here is the seventh book due out later this year….

 

AfterLife By Zoe Dawson Release!

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FOR
IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW
SERIES BY ZOE DAWSON

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

Amazon | Barnes and Noble
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.

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18324067-afterlife

To request a review copy please email AToMR at atomrpr@gmail.com

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.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Goodreads | Newsletter




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Book Review – The Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) By Deborah Harkness

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I just want to start this review off with a resounding WOW! This book has been sitting in my TBR folder for a while and I seriously feel like slapping myself for not getting to it sooner! I didn’t bother to check the size of this book when I downloaded it, but soon realized last week that I was going to be dedicating many late nights to finishing it. And it was SO worth it!

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

The story is set in a reality where there are humans, witches, vampires and daemons.  Humans don’t know the half of what is going on in their world (typical of us humans huh!) So, one of the things I loved about this book is how much information we were provided with for each ‘creature’. Slowly as the story continued more and more details were revealed so I felt as though I was really starting to understand what made the vampires/witches/daemons the way they were, why they acted the way they did and believed the things they did. I always felt that there was a reason for the characters following the paths they were following. From what I was learning about each character I could understand the choices they made / reactions they had. It didn’t ever feel like it had just been plunked together for the sake of a storyline, which can quite often happen in fantasy.

”Normal’ is a bedtime story – a fable – that humans tell themselves to feel better when faced with overwhelming evidence that most of what’s happening around them is not “normal” at all.’

This brings me to what I think makes this story stand out from other books of the same genre that I’ve read lately…. It is completely and utterly immersed in history, and to a lesser extent, science. It comes across as a very ‘smart’ book. So we get a very interesting mix of the whimsy and folk tales of fantasy, crossed with the cold hard DNA and theories of science and the hindsight and re-telling of history. This is all evident in our MC, Diana Bishop, who specializes in the history of alchemy. She spends a lot of her time reading old manuscripts in a library, trying to decode them. Not to mention she is from a long line of witches which are notorious from a well known era in history…And of course, she meets a 1500 year old Vampire by the name of Matthew Clairmont. So he himself is the epitome of history. Through his love of vintage wine, his re-telling of encounters with many well known historical figures, and many well know times and events, plus of course is own varied lives and lifestyles lived through the ages, we get to see the world as it develops. Like with the characters in this book, it’s the little things, the details that really bring this story to life, and the historical detail is phenomenal.

‘Nobody really wants to keep secrets, not even the dead. People leave clues everywhere, and if you pay attention, you can piece them together.’

This book had so many characters that I LOVED. Even some of the more minor characters were written in such a way that they were so real and engaging, that I couldn’t help but become a fan. Of course our main character Diana Bishop had everything I like to see in a MC, including the good bits and the frustrating bits. Sometimes I wanted to shake her for being so naive… but then, wouldn’t we all be in the situations she faces? The fact that she was such a Scholar and so book smart made sure that she wasn’t just the usual run of the mill heroine that you see, she had that little bit extra, yet still kept all the coolness that a leading lady should have. I loved that she could keep up intellectually with much older beings, that it wasn’t all ‘woe is me’ in her life.

‘She’s not the earrings and coloured hair type. She’s more the three-mile run followed by an hour on the river in a dangerously tiny boat type’

I also had a major soft spot for Ysabeau, (Matthew’s ‘mother’) the way she was written, and her development throughout the book actually has her almost at the top of my list of favourite characters.  She had such a huge part to play in the storyline and understanding of the vampires and their relationships with each other and other creatures. Sometimes I think that more minor characters don’t always get the attention they deserve, but Ysabeau definitely deserves a mention. She was absolutely a standout for me.

And I’ve saved the best for last; Matthew Clairmont has now been added to my book boyfriends list.  Every UF romance has to have a swoon-worthy leading male and this one is no exception. This is exactly how I love my main men, scary and mysterious at first, then lovable and irresistible by the end… oh and with a tad of torment and possessiveness of course! (I won’t go on and on, you need to have some mystery!)

Matthew Clairmont smiled. My heart stopped beating for a fraction of a second. This was not the small, polite smile with which I was now familiar. His lips curved toward his eyes, making his whole face sparkle. God, he was beautiful, I thought again, slightly dazzled.

Yep, that’ll do me. Tall, dark and handsome. If the recipe works, why change it!

I had very few gripes, the start maybe quarter of the book was SO loaded with detail that it was slow to get off the ground, I personally enjoyed the descriptions and information about every little thing but I know it’s not for everyone. By the time you’re reaching the second half of the book, the pace definitely increases. The only parts I sometimes had to stop, think and put more effort into was the Alchemy talk (which I’m pretty sure would go for many of you, unless you have a bit of understanding on the subject.) Sometimes I felt like maybe I hadn’t exactly grasped what was being said in those instances, so would always read back and make sure I did. I didn’t find this too frustrating but when you combine that and the fact it’s not a small book you really do need to be prepared to set aside some time to process it.

This book is the first in a trilogy, I don’t mind cliff-hangers (my BBH HATES them, but I promise Kristal, you will be fine with this one) but I have to say I really loved how in this book it tied up (for now) what you really needed to have tied up but left you with enough of a cliff-hanger that you know you want to read more. Also to be fair, with such a big book it would’ve been frustrating to not have some closure in a few areas. So, overall, I did really love this book. That’s probably the third time I’ve said that in this review! But I did. It was a lot more ‘work’ than other fantasy books I’ve read, a lot of detail to process, but in my opinion it was totally worth it. I really enjoyed nearly every aspect of the book. Mostly, I loved that even though it is, at its heart a romance, it’s not soppy, overwhelming, or boring. The romance is definitely there, but there’s enough going on that it balances out. There is really no question about it; I will definitely be reading the next 2 installments.

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Book Review – Pooka in My Pantry (Monster Haven #2) By R.L. Narquin

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Ok I know I know… I just reviewed the first book in this series last week. You can read all about it HERE. But I did warn you that I had these next 2 instalments lined up to read… And sometimes you want to be reassured that the subsequent books are worth your commitment to the series. So we’re back with Zoey after she’s dealt with her Incubus issues and the fact that the ‘hidden’ have decided she can help them all. This time there may or may not be a sea serpent giving birth in her pool… and fairies laughing…a lot….

You might think fairy laughter would be light and bubbly and tinkling, like tiny bells. In truth, what greeted me on my lawn were raucous snorts, high pitched squealing and a smattering of applause from hands so small it sounded like someone popping bubble wrap two rooms away. Apparently, my purple, green and gold glitter-fairy costume was freakin’ hilarious.

This book was totally enjoyable, almost as good as the first! The style kept to the light and fun formula that made me a fan first time round. Nothing too heavy or too complicated, which is certainly the charm of this series. It’s reading for pure enjoyments sake and I’m definitely not above that! We get to see our favourite closet monster, Maurice again and I love how Zoeys relationship with him is deepening. We also see the other usual suspects; Riley is back as current love interest/Reaper and it’s actually his involvement with Zoey that is what drives most of the storyline in this book. (Insert a gripe, they seriously need to go hide somewhere just so they can pash in peace for a second! Sheesh) Throw in some new very outlandish characters such as the Pooka (had to Google that one!) and some Leprechauns and you’ve got a very interesting array of beings entertaining you.

It does delve a bit deeper into the disappearance of Zoey’s mother. I really enjoyed how the author put the time into fleshing out the past bits, because they obviously impact a lot on the current day predicaments that Zoey is facing. Nothing worse in a story than a vague reference to something in the past that then is never fully explained! So in this book we start to build up a picture on what her mum was doing and we meet some new characters that were involved and knew her. Pages well spent in my opinion. There has been effort put in to weave some long term storylines into this series and that starts to become evident in this book, this instalment ends with a bigger cliff-hanger than the last, with many more unanswered questions. It was a good attempt at layering the story with depth, because I suspect as the series progresses even though the charm of this book is it’s light and easy fairytale like quality, you still really do need something to grip onto otherwise it could start to lose pace.

All and all it was a good Easter Sunday read. It hasn’t changed my world, but I didn’t need it to. I just needed to be entertained, and Zoey, Maurice and the rest of their clique were exactly what I needed to go with my Creme Eggs.

Book Review – Monster in My Closet (Monster Haven #1) By R.L. Naquin

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Wow! So I’m back in my Fantasy headspace. I ‘accidentally’ bought a few too many books on the weekend in this genre to prove it. This book was in that bunch of purchases, I’m not even 100% sure how I stumbled across this series, but I am SO glad I did! For me this was a match made in heaven. Most of the UF I’ve been reading lately have been serious business, intense and sometimes a bit scary (I’m a big fraidy cat!) So what a welcome change it was to read one that was exactly what I’d imagine fairy tales for adults would be like.

I knew those hands. I clutched the toilet brush against myself as if it had the power to ward off nightmares. In the flash of a forgotten memory, I could see those hands grabbing at my doorframe, reaching to snatch out my eyes. My skin was clammy with terror ripened by over twenty years of repression and denial. I was five again, and monsters were real.

Erm… sounds a bit ominous doesn’t it? Real monsters! Trust me, this doesn’t turn out how you’d expect at all. Turns out that yes monsters are real, in this case the monster is a closet monster named Maurice… But don’t worry the whole thing about ‘snatching out eyes’ was a misunderstanding because actually Maurice is a big sweetheart. And a kickass chef. Which has pretty much made me certain that I in-fact NEED a closet monster in my house. Especially if he can cook like this:

The flavours mixed together on my tongue as if the muffin was made from a magical fruit that grew on an orangeberry tree situated in a vanilla-scented orchard shaded by double rainbows and watered exclusively with unicorn tears.

Uh…also there’s this…

“Did you mop the floor? It’s all…clean.” – Zoey to Maurice

So yes, I’m obsessed with Maurice. I actually need to recruit a closet monster. I cannot live another day without being able to eat such delicious sounding muffins…. and clean floors are always a bonus in life! Of course there is much more to this story than Maurice and his amazing cooking/cleaning skills! SO…. The story is based around Zoey, She’s a wedding planner who lives quite happily alone and unaware of anything even vaguely supernatural, until Maurice shows up and soon after more weird and wonderful creatures as well, all needing safe haven and help. From here life gets very very interesting!

In this book you’ll encounter everything from a demon incubus to reapers, dragons, brownies and a few things in-between. The beauty being, that all of these creatures have an almost quirky whimsical fairy tale feel to them. There are definitely good guys and bad guys, definitely serious situations and threats and death. The story is by no means one dimensional. There are poignant moments and there is sadness. But overall it’s fun. Amongst even the most serious or sad parts it’s still upbeat. It doesn’t dwell on the horrific. Even the bad guys resolution is quick and to the point so we can get back to enjoying Zoey and her strange assortment of creatures. And I LOVED this about it. Sometimes you just want to enjoy the make-believe. Like the most fictional make-believe you can lay your hands on. Nothing that could ever occur in everyday life but sometimes you wish it could. This book was like a recaptured childhood imagination.

My BBH and I have a few female lead characters who we LOVE. For me, Zoey is definitely on her way to having a spot up in my most loved lead characters. For reasons that include the following (But are certainly not limited to):

Why is it, the more you brush a Barbie’s hair, the grosser it ends up getting? – Zoey’s musings

I tried to take a swallow from my wine glass to cover my silly smile, but it didn’t work. He was making me laugh. If I took a sip now it would likely spew out my nose. Aside from the extreme embarrassment involved, it would probably hurt like crazy. Not to mention, a waste of good wine. – Zoey on a date

A woman after my own heart…

This book really was an awesome read, In fact, I’ve already got the next 2 installments ready to go on my Kindle. I was going to try and spread them out…but I’ve decided I just can’t since I saw that book #4 is out April 21st…

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