Hunted by Darkness (Darkness #4) by Katie Reus

Series:
Narrator: Jeffrey Kafer
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

Title: Hunted by Darkness by Katie Reus
Series: Darkness #4
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Format: Audiobook (5 hrs and 50 mins)
Genre: PNR, UF, Dragons
Published by: KR Press LLC
Purchase Links: Amazon US AudibleBarnes & Noble

From two different worlds…

Now that she’s escaped her oppressive family, Nyx is enjoying her new life and friends—even if most of her friends don’t know who or what she is. As a rare demigod, she’s just learning how powerful she truly is, but family drama turns her world upside down, throwing the one man she cares about into danger.

He wasn’t supposed to fall for her…

Nyx is nothing like the females half-demon Bo Broussard has been with. Sweet and innocent, she’s not even remotely his type. But the moment she walks into his bar, he knows he’s not letting her go. Unfortunately someone from her past thinks they can force her into an arranged marriage.

He’s not letting her go…

Someone is targeting one of them, and Bo doesn’t know why. When they’re thrown into a hell realm together, he and Nyx will need to band together if they want to survive the perils of that world. No matter who was behind the attack, his choice is clear. Defend Nyx at all cost and make her his forever.

 

four-stars

In this installment, Nyx works at Bo’s bar, while hiding from her family for reasons unbeknownst to her employer. Nyx is simply tired of being a pawn in her family’s pursuit of power and so she wears glamour and works as a waitress while nursing an attraction to her boss.

Bo, half demon, half human bar owner, also nurses an attraction to Nyx but they both fight it for different reasons. When Nyx’s family finally try to bring her home, Bo steps in to protect her which leads them to give in to their passion.

Bo and Nyx’s story was a bit angsty, which I loved but it was truly entertaining. There was great chemistry, and a passionate love story. I was surprised to learn the full extent of Nyx’s heritage. I was happy to know that Bo had half siblings. I love that the author keeps the prior couples integral to the story and everyone is connected is some way. It is action-packed, sexy and full of all kinds of supernaturals. There were unexpected twists and turns, but the end was satisfying. This series is the best dragon shifter series I’ve listened to and one of the best PNR series out there. I look forward to the next book.

About Katie Reus

Katie Reus is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Darkness series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it.

However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

Shadow’s Seduction by Kresley Cole

Shadow’s Seduction: by Kresley Cole
Series:The Dacians #2
Release Date: February 28th, 2017
Pages: 248 • Format: e-book
Published By: Valkyrie Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon

In this scorching Immortals After Dark/Dacian novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole brings together a wicked vampire prince used to getting everything he desires and a demon warrior who always felt like an outcast.

A night of debauchery . . .
Prince Mirceo Daciano and his new friend, Caspion the Tracker, comb the streets of Dacia, drunkenly seeking out pleasures of the flesh. In what should have been a typical night, they coax a bevy of nymphs to bed. To impress their females, the demon and the vampire kiss on a dare.

Changes them forever . . .
Once they finally break away from their soul-searing kiss, they find themselves alone—and shaken. Had they imagined their explosive chemistry? Obstacles—ranging from a death sentence to exile in a war-torn dimension—threaten to destroy their lives . . . and the vulnerable promise in that one kiss.

How long can they resist the fire that blazes between them?
Even if Mirceo can accept Caspion as his fated mate, the seductive vampire still must convince the stubborn demon that their bond is forever. And any royal Dacian union must receive the blessing of King Lothaire, an unpredictable and savage killer…

 

three-stars

Dear Kresley Cole,

You could have done so much better.

Okay rambling ragey review to commence.

First, I would like to know why put the first 8 chapters of a book that’s coming out in the next month or so. What’s the fecking point? I didn’t read the 8 chapters because I feel CHEATED that this book was over at 80%? Come on Kresley Cole. You should have known better. If you had some fear or backlsh from your inbred fans who is going to lash out about you writing a M/M book then you should not have done it unless you was going to GIVE IT YOUR BEST. This was freaking subpar at best. I mean, it ended. Just like that. Do we have to wait another 5 years to get a conclusion to their story? Or will you somehow write something that is worthy to us M/M folks. I am going to be really honest hear, I was so skeptical of you writing a book in this genre. I really loathe the m/f writers jumping on the band wagon of this genre just to make money. Now, I don’t believe that’s you because you have 2 successful series, and you didn’t need to write these characters. Whatever compelled you to do it, kudos to you. Hopefully it’ll convince Illona Andrews to write a Barabas & Christopher story without fear of ugly mofos protesting it.

Here’s the thing, Its a damn book. If you don’t like the subject then don’t read it or rate it. Damn, it’s so fecking simple. All you had to do was ignore it, but its completely unfair to rate a book 1 star and your dumbass didn’t read it.

The first 25% of this story was disjointed and choppy sentences. I don’t know what happened with you, but I take offense completely to you writing this. I take offense that not only was it not your best content, but you decided to leave the damn story as a cliffhanger. Why? Why not make it full length seeing as I don’t think their sequel will be a priority for you. I will straight up compare it to Sweet Ruin, oversexed and not enough plot. Its as best as I can describe it. Will the potiential problem be in the next novel coming out in April? I think not, its about a new couple we don’t know anything about. At this point, I would rater the series to be over then to drag it out and have mediocre ass writing. I’m disappointed because I’m a fan of this series, and you decided to take a genre that was everything to me, and make it absymal at best. The only position thing that saved me was that I enjoyed both characters. I really liked Mirceo & Caspion together. It’s the only reason why it got its 3 stars.

I don’t even know if I’m buying your next book.

Sincerely,

A pissed off Mika

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A Stone Kissed Sea by Elizabeth Hunter

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Stone Kissed Sea: by Elizabeth Hunter
Series: Elemental World #4
Release Date: December 6th, 2016
Pages: 328 • Format: eARC
Published By: Elizabeth Hunter
Purchase Links:
AmazonItunesKoboSmashwords

An immortal wanderer. A brilliant scientist. A centuries-old menace written in blood.

Lucien Thrax, son of the earth and child of the ancients, is a healer of immense power. But years of work on a deadly vampire virus have not led to a cure, nor have they softened the wall he built around his heart. When he’s forced to work with Doctor Makeda Abel, Lucien is convinced he’s reached his limit of patience with humanity.

Makeda Abel may be human, but she’s far from impressed with the brooding vampire healer, even if his mind draws her reluctant admiration. She’s learned how to survive in the immortal world, and it’s not by being afraid. Working together may lead them to answers, but it also pushes Lucien and Makeda’s attraction to the boiling point.

When nightmares become reality, Makeda will have to trust Lucien with her life. Finding answers has never been more vital. Finding love has never been more deadly. To heal the Elemental World, Lucien and Makeda must follow ancient paths and ask for help from the most inhuman of immortals. Because even with a cure in hand, the battle has only begun.
four-stars

 

It’s very few writers who work I would purchase off the strength of their name, and Elizabeth is one of them. Her pen game is ridiculous good. I love her works, and this book is no exception. When I read her words, I’m immediately drawn into the settings of the particular place, and enamored with her characters. I love that she writes people of color as leads and focal points in her work. I love that while reading her words, I’m googling the specifics of each story. I’m enraptured by the places, cultures and histories that she provides as a backstory for her readers. I love how authentic she is with her research, and the love that she pours into her craft. I haven’t finished an Elizabeth Hunter story and was left feeling disappointed. It’s something that hasn’t happened to me, and at the rate she is going I don’t think it ever will be.

I use to want more romance between her characters on page, but at this point after so many books I had to realize the physical side of the relationship might not be present, but the emotional and mental attraction is still there. That’s the love that I like reading about. Lucien & Makeda story isn’t hearts & rainbows. The attraction was their from the very beginning but being two cerebral people did not help them at all. Lucien being as old as he is, is attracted to the human. Something that he didn’t want, but he couldn’t deny her brains is what pushed him over the edge. Makeda is a type A personality. She knows what she wants, she’s blunt, doesn’t believe in small talk. Her family knows the existence of vampires, her dad is under a powerful vampire aegis means Makeda gets to work on her life’s work in a wonderful lab. When news comes to certain allies regarding Elixir Makeda name is out their for her brilliance in studying hematology. She moves to California working with Lucien who doesn’t make it easy for her at all.

I love how Elizabeth creates these strong women characters. Its such a breath of fresh air reading about women who we can look up to. Not only is Makeda smart, but she’s resilient in her human life as well as her new born vampire life. She doesn’t take much, and opens up to Lucien. He’s not without fault, he’s still dealing with the death of a lover from a few years ago. He is dealing with his age, and how at his age he’s tired, but finding Makeda awoke something in him. This book had a good cast of characters. Alot of information being thrown out there, and made me want to visit some of these places as well.

I won’t go far into detail, but I really enjoyed it. It made me go on a binge read of the next books in the series to catch up on. I hope I see some of these people in the future. I highly recommend this series!

 

 

About Elizabeth Hunter

ELIZABETH HUNTER is a contemporary fantasy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance writer. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College and a former English teacher. She once substitute taught a kindergarten class, but decided that middle school was far less frightening. Thankfully, people now pay her to write books and eighth-graders everywhere rejoice.

She currently lives in Central California with her son, two dogs, many plants, and a sadly dwindling fish tank. She is the author of the Elemental Mysteries and Elemental World series, the Cambio Springs series, the Irin Chronicles, and other works of fiction.

Omens & Artifacts by Elizabeth Hunter

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Omens & Artifacts: by Elizabeth Hunter
Series: Elemental Legacy #3
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
Pages: 123 • Format: eARC
Published By: E. Hunter
Purchase Links:
Amazon
• ItunesSmashwords

In the elemental world, reputation is everything, but gaining it can get you killed.

Setting up shop as an antiquities hunter means nothing if you don’t have clients. Benjamin Vecchio, nephew of a famed vampire assassin, is the subject of widespread speculation, but so far that speculation hasn’t translated into work.
What Ben needs is a job. A big job. A profitable job.

A legendary job.

Finding the lost sword of Brennus the Celt, the mythical Raven King of the British Isles, would make Ben’s reputation in the immortal world, but it could also draw dangerous attention. The Raven King’s gold hoard isn’t famous for being easy to find. Luckily, Ben has his own legend at his side.

Tenzin is a wind vampire who doesn’t like digging, but she’s more than happy to let Ben do the dirty work while she provides the muscle he needs to make other immortals pay attention. They’re partners. Or so Ben thinks.

But when finding this treasure puts Tenzin’s future plans at risk, will their partnership survive? Tenzin isn’t used to taking orders from anyone, particularly from a young human who used to be her student. Digging into ancient Scottish history can get you dirty. It can also get you killed.

five-stars

Did I detest a hint of flirting, from Tenzin? Not towards Ben, and Ben being extremely jealous and possessive. FFS, Hunter please put me out of my misery with these two. Let Tenzin take Ben down! We all see it coming, and it better not lead to any fade to black sex scenes either.

Not that I have that out of my system, let’s move on. Another brilliant story with these two. Ben is out in the world making his own name. He’s convinced that he needs to stand on his own two feet. He is partnering up with Tenzin and living together. This job that Ben has taken could prove to be to much. Tenzin tries to warn him, but they get into it, and as usual they work together well.

While these novellas are not much in the grand scheme of things, I’d like to think of them as complete warmups to their full length novels. E.Hunter, if you are reading this then I think 6 or 8 books for them seems adequate enough for me. I enjoyed the mystery/treasure hunting in this one. As usual her places end up on my travel list some day. I love visiting places through her characters eyes. Another great read.

About Elizabeth Hunter

ELIZABETH HUNTER is a contemporary fantasy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance writer. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College and a former English teacher. She once substitute taught a kindergarten class, but decided that middle school was far less frightening. Thankfully, people now pay her to write books and eighth-graders everywhere rejoice.

She currently lives in Central California with her son, two dogs, many plants, and a sadly dwindling fish tank. She is the author of the Elemental Mysteries and Elemental World series, the Cambio Springs series, the Irin Chronicles, and other works of fiction.

Thick & Thin by Charlie Cochet

(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Thick & Thin: by Charlie Cochet
Series: THIRDS #8
Release Date: February 1st, 2017
Pages: 95 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Sequel to Smoke & Mirrors

In a matter of days, Dex has been kidnapped, tortured, killed, revived, become half Therian, offered the chance to become a spy, and accepted a proposal to marry his jaguar Therian boyfriend, Sloane Brodie. It’s been a lot to take in, and although Dex is still trying to wrap his head around everything that’s happened, he knows he has to move forward.

After the events of Smoke & Mirrors, Dex and Sloane find themselves in one of the most frightening situations of all: revealing the truth to their Destructive Delta family. When the dust settles, nothing will ever be the same, and it’s up to Dex to prove that in the face of change, the one thing that will always remain the same is family.

three-half-stars

 

My Exasperated face.

I don’t know when I started thinking of this series as a job. Its been a lot of information thrown at us, and sometimes so hard to remember everything. I think we are heading to the end of the series, because the direction is going somewhere new. I honestly hope it does, as much as I love Sloane I’m kinda tired of him and Dex being the focal point of the stories. I get it they are team lead, and them being together works for the series. But it’s convoluted now, and it stopped being about the pnr aspect of it and it’s to damn sweet now. I like the relationships and everyone partnering up, but out of the 8 books 2 of them wasn’t Dex & Sloane.

This book had little tidbits going for the next story, and where the road was going to go. Do I think it was needed? No, it could have been a prologue for the next story. I’m at a crossroads on if I want to continue it because its gotten out of hand with the antics. I miss the first half of the series. It’s common because I just had this problem with another series. I am looking forward to Hud & Seb’s book. I hope they get to spend majority of their time in the book being the focus. I swear if it’s Dex & his antics like it was in the other books then I’m done. I hate to say it, but I just can’t deal with it anymore.

About Charlie Cochet

Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.If you’d like to connect with Charlie, just drop her an email, or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Google Plus.

Release Day Blitz: Omens & Artifacts by Elizabeth Hunter

Omens & Artifacts

An Elemental Legacy Novella

Elizabeth Hunter

Releases: January 31st, 2017

Synopsis

In the elemental world, reputation is everything, but gaining it can get you killed.

Setting up shop as an antiquities hunter means nothing if you don’t have clients. Benjamin Vecchio, nephew of a famed vampire assassin, is the subject of widespread speculation, but so far that speculation hasn’t translated into work.

What Ben needs is a job. A big job. A profitable job.

A legendary job.

Finding the lost sword of Brennus the Celt, the mythical Raven King of the British Isles, would make Ben’s reputation in the immortal world, but it could also draw dangerous attention. The Raven King’s gold hoard isn’t famous for being easy to find. Luckily, Ben has his own legend at his side.

Tenzin is a wind vampire who doesn’t like digging, but she’s more than happy to let Ben do the dirty work while she provides the muscle he needs to make other immortals pay attention. They’re partners. Or so Ben thinks.

But when finding this treasure puts Tenzin’s future plans at risk, will their partnership survive? Tenzin isn’t used to taking orders from anyone, particularly from a young human who used to be her student. Digging into ancient Scottish history can get you dirty. It can also get you killed.

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About Elizabeth

ehbiopic

ELIZABETH HUNTER is a contemporary fantasy, paranormal romance, and paranormal mystery author. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College and a former English teacher. She once substitute taught a kindergarten class, but decided that middle school was far less frightening. She’s the author of the Elemental Mysteries, the Irin Chronicles, and the Cambio Springs Mysteries.

 

Audiobook Review: The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon

Audiobook Review: The Bird and the Sword by Amy HarmonNarrator: Trina Nishimura
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

Title: The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon
Series: TBA
Release Date: May 10th, 2016
Pages: 352 • Format: Audiobook (11 hrs and 3 mins)
Purchase Links: Amazon USBarnes & Noble

Swallow, Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heav’n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, Daughter. Stay alive.

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would trade his soul and lose his son to the sky.

My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free.

But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird?
four-stars

I love Amy Harmon because she just knows how to evoke emotion that just grasps the reader heart and mind. This narrator was perfect for this story. Her voice was melodic and
added emotional depth to each character. The author and narrator were a great tandem of story writer and story teller.

This book seems simple on the surface but it is a lot deeper than people think. It is a look at society and the things that divide and separate class of people. It’s hard to talk about this book without giving away majority of the plot and spoilers. I love the quotes that seem so unpretentious but yet profound. “I wondered if weakness wasn’t just as dangerous. The weak allowed evil to flourish.” or “Silence was a close cousin to invisibility.” This book is sprinkled with similar sayings.

But I think of how as a mother I have “silenced” my children’s words and actions so they can fit and not be subjected to the hate of others. But in silencing them, I inadvertently rob them of their inherent power.

I am used to Amy Harmon in the contemporary romance genre and this a slight departure from that norm was a welcomed change. Don’t get me wrong, the romance is still the backbone of this story despite it being in the fantasy genre. I enjoyed Lark, King Tiras, and Kjel. I did find Kjel to the most complex of them all because he had to work out his set of beliefs in a different way.
I told some friends in a Buddy read that this book was like Fantasy lite, almost the way Diet Coke is lighter version of Coke. For those lovers of fantasy, like Anne Bishop type books, this book will not meet that level and depth, but in terms of romance, I was very satisfied. I did have a number of questions unanswered at the end but I am excited that the story continues on in book 2.

Ezi

About Amy Harmon

Amy Harmon is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Amy knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Her books are now being published in thirteen languages, truly a dream come true for a little country girl from Levan, Utah.

Amy Harmon has written ten novels – including the USA Today Bestsellers, Making Faces and Running Barefoot, as well as The Law of Moses, Infinity + One and the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue. Her recent release, The Bird and the Sword, is a Goodreads Choice finalist in Fantasy.

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight: by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #11
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Pages: 352 • Format: eARC
Published By: St. Martin’s Press
Purchase Links:
AmazonBarnes & Noble

A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

three-stars


Utterly Frustrated.

As a fan it hurts me that every freaking book is now a cliffhanger. I use to be the biggest advocate for this series, and honestly I just feel letdown as a fan of the series. I get so sick and tired of little info being put out each book that pertains to the big showdown at the end of whenever and then bam cliffhanger. It’s now book 11, what are we waiting for? It’s super convoluted, and I just find myself frustrated at best to describe it. I put in my time, money, energy and love into this series. I think about how the series started, and yeah nothing was set in stone, but so much information is being put out at each book that I’ve lost focus on what the end game was. It seems like a lot of filler information, and nothing set in stone for a finale of epic proportion and what I feel like we were lead to believe. I mean at this points, it just seems like it’s never going to end. I don’t see the ending in sight. I know it’s bad for me when it’s not even funny anymore, and I just want the book to end. Trust me, I’m mad.

**Sighs**
Charley and Reyes continue to do the back and forth not talking, talking, not trusting, trusting each other. It’s annoying. It’s also annoying that Charley has to continuously ask what she can do, and never try anything first. She never attempts things on her own when it comes to her powers. I know Reyes is the know how when it comes to this stuff, but damn Charley the foolishness has to stop.

I didn’t really gain anything by this book. A few scenes satisfied me, and of course I love seeing the gang together, but it’s the second book since Beep was born that we still don’t see them interacting with her. I KNOW they aren’t suppose to but, the Charley from books 1-5 would have moved heaven and hell to see her child. Atleast it’s what I think. I’m getting tired of Reyes doing the same posturing he does every book. Ya’ll know I love me some Reyes Alexander Farrow, but I think him and I are almost at our end. As I type this, I know I’m not mentally strong enough to quit the series until I know it’s over.

I miss the old formula to this series, and sometimes I feel like it’s this long because it’s a money train. That’s the angry side of me, and I hope it’s not the case. I really wish we can get back to the investigating and an end game. I feel like this group of people has been through enough, and nothing else needs to shake them. What I didn’t need was another cliffhanger. Yet we can’t get everything we ask for.

About Darynda Jones

NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious Golden Heart®, a Rebecca, two Hold Medallions, a RITA ®, and a Daphne du Maurier, and she has received stellar reviews from dozens of publications including starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and the Library Journal. As a born storyteller, Darynda grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike, and she is ever so grateful for the opportunity to carry on that tradition. She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press: The Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. She lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of almost 30 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys. She can be found at www.daryndajones.com.

Unwanted (Elemental Assassin #14.5) by Jennifer Estep

Unwanted (Elemental Assassin #14.5) by Jennifer EstepSeries:

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Unwanted by Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin
Release Date: July 18th, 2016
Pages: 100 • Format: e-arc
Published By: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books
Purchase Links:   Amazon USBarnes & Noble

The New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin series continues with a new e-novella–from the point of view of Finnegan Lane, the foster brother of Gin Blanco, and a fan favorite of readers of the series.

The fallout from his disastrous “family reunion” in Bitter Bite has left Finn feeling hurt, angry, and depressed. He can barely stand to look at himself in the mirror, much less eat any of the delicious barbecue from Gin’s famed Pork Pit restaurant.

But when the funeral for a slain security guard at his bank turns into a showdown with some nasty underworld giants, Finn knows that he must act in order to protect an innocent family.

Finnegan Lane might be the most unwanted man in Ashland these days, but he’s determined to try to make amends for his past mistakes…

four-stars

This was a welcome addition to the Elemental Assassin series as the reader got to hear Finnegan Lane’s point of view.

Following the crushing betrayal by this mother Deirdre Shaw in Bitter Bite, Finn was still wallowing in guilt over the death and destruction caused her in attempted robbery. Finn was trying to figure out how to make amends and regain the trust of those who felt that he was complicit in his mother’s scheme. This book saw him begin to regain his sense of purpose and respect as he was able to help a family who lost their protector and provider in the bank massacre. What I loved was that it wasn’t Bria or Gin or even the ghost of Fletcher Lane, but Finn alone taking a step onto redemption road.

While I found all the blame heaped on him to be undeserving, it spoke to Finn’s character that he didn’t brush people’s feelings aside. He took everyone’s hurts to heart and he resolved to help make amends. This novella had a slightly somber mood, lacking Finn’s signature cocky quips, but it still felt like an Elemental Assassin. It was a nice shift in focus to another beloved character in this series.

*Special Thanks to Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books via Netgalley for the e-arc given in exchange for an honest review.

Ezi

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Series:
Narrator: Mia Barron
A Promise of Fire Book Cover A Promise of Fire
Kingmaker Chronicles #1
Amanda Bouchet
Fantasy; Romance
Sourcebooks Casablanca
August 2nd, 2016
e-book; audiobook
448
Edelweiss

Catalia "Cat" Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. This smart-mouthed soothsayer has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar, far from the clutches of her homicidal mother. But when an ambitious warlord captures her, she may not have a choice…

Griffin is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm in the magic-deprived south. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her. But Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny and battle her captor at every turn. Although up for the battle, Griffin would prefer for Cat to help his people willingly, and he's ready to do whatever it takes to coax her…even if that means falling in love with her.

This was a breath of fresh air in a sea of young adult assassin stories. I loved that the heroine relied more cunning than magic and sword. Catalia “Cat” Fisa was a mysterious girl with special powers. She is hiding from someone and is constantly on the run. She found refuge blending into a crowd of circus but was discovered by soldiers sent by the ruling class, the Sinta. Cat immediately clashes with Griffin, the Beta of the Sinta.

From her capture, Cat and Griffin matched wits trying to outmaneuver the other. In the course of their constant bickering, the tension turns into fierce attraction.
In the beginning, it felt like the author was a setting a foundation for an awesome fantasy. Cat had this secretive background which was unveiled little by little. First, we saw she can absorb the powers of others. WE also saw the gods sent her messages or visions. Then it was revealed that she can tell when someone is telling a lie. Cat seemed to have a real assortment of gifts.

But her background and what she was running from started to take a back seat to the romance with the Beta Sinta, and that’s when I felt the story started running out of steam. While I love romance, the plot between the ruling classes and the usurpers was interesting enough. I would like have liked the romance to be a subplot and not used to distract from the drop off in the development of the story.
I will still read book 2 to find out more about Cat’s family and the ruling family, but I hope the author is more attentive to the world building.