Audiobook Review: The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon

Audiobook Review: The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon(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.

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

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.

His Fairy Godfather by Cate Ashwood & Nico Jaye

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.

His Fairy Godfather: by Cate Ashwood & Nico Jaye
Release Date: December 9th, 2016
Pages: 216 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAReAmazon

Since the death of his father, Trick Grigsby has fought to keep his head above water. Following in his father’s footsteps as a talented architect, he hopes to work his way up at the firm. Unfortunately, the company’s new owner barely resembles the man who was once Trick’s father’s best friend. Trick’s days are filled with drudgery and cruel remarks from the man who was supposed to be his mentor—along with his two sons, whose only jobs seem to be making Trick’s life miserable.

But all that is about to change.

Edwin Goodmaker struggled through his fairy godparent curriculum, but his mother—the reigning Fairy Queen—has a simple solution: Edwin will go to New York City and get some practical experience. When he meets Trick, Edwin knows he’s found a worthy charge, and he’s sure he can help Trick achieve all of his heart’s desires. Edwin falls for Trick, but with everything standing in their way, a fairy-tale ending might remain nothing more than a dream.

three-stars

It took me FOREVER to read this book. I was absolutely bored the first half of the book. Well, no I liked the whimsical notion that Edwin was and all he did, but it still took a long time for anything romantic to happen. I did enjoy them becoming friends first. So I would probably classify this as a slow burn. Don’t get me wrong here this was super sugary sweet fluff. I mean, even me being irritated couldn’t take the smile off my face when reading it. Edwin make life so much easier and happier because of his personality!

Poor Trick! He works for a firm that has his upmost loyalty because of his father. His father started the firm 10 years ago and Trick wants something to hold on to from his dad. It’s super understandable, but the abuse that he has to deal with about made me want to give up partial way through. It was like he was Cinderfella and Redden and his seeds were the Evil Stepmother and step-sisters. I don’t know how Trick was able to put on a calm reserve day in and day out. I wanted to lay into the whole damn bloodline at multiple points.

Edwin is a fairy Godfather in training. He has mostly everything down packed except for Summoning. He’s struggling in that big time, so his mother and H.F.I.C decides to send him to the human world to live with another fairy names Fredrick. Someone who can assist him in these organically. There he is thrust into this magical world. I loved seeing New York through Edwin’s eyes. He was so innocent and just believed the good of people from first meeting. I get why Trick fell. I think Trick needed to step back and re-evaluate what’s important in life. He had become so jaded and working at that company has forced him to become something that he didn’t like.

All in all, I think it was an okay book for me. I would have liked the first half to have been much lighter and Trick to gotten over some of the abuse at the hands of his abusers. Gah, I hate them more and more as I write this review. This also had some steamy scenes that I was surprised at. I didn’t think they would be compatible at first, but because they became friends and it grew into something it definitely worked out for me.

About Cate Ashwood

Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.

Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, son, and two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.

About Nico Jaye

Proud purveyor of smuff and HEAs. Nico Jaye is a fan of all things HEA and has dragged her romance collection along for her moves from San Francisco to Los Angeles to Chicago to New York and back. She thinks reading is awesome and loves that she can hang out night after night with crinoline-wearing debutantes, brawny firemen in suspenders, and werewolf shifters with Scottish brogues.

An overall feline enthusiast, Nico secretly (or not so secretly?) adores Hello Kitty, cat GIFs, spontaneous traveling, pretending to be crafty, emoticons, hot menfolk, and parenthetical statements (not necessarily in that order). Although she’s open to trying a lot of things, this list will never include skydiving (yes, there’s a story about a parachute and her two-year-old self). Nico made it through law school without a drop of caffeine, traveled to Iceland on a whim to see the Northern Lights, and can touch her toe to her nose. Her favorite stories are those that marry smut and fluff (a.k.a. smuff) into a gooey ball of HEA and fuzzies. After starting as the pitcher for Team Awesome (literally) and visiting places like South Africa, Oman, and Fiji, Nico discovered that letting the boys in her head tell her where they want to go could actually be the most exciting journey of all.

The Little Crow by Caitlin Ricci

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.

the-little-crowTitle: The Little Crow by Caitlin Ricci
Series: Heart of Darkness, #1
Release Date: September 12, 2016
Pages: 161 • Format: eARC
Published By: NineStar Press
Purchase Links:
NineStar PressAmazon

Detective Jamison Landry’s job isn’t easy. He’s dealt with the worst criminals imaginable and believes in his work and the community he serves. But he’s never met someone quite like Mal before.

The mysterious man, rescued from a basement in which he was chained by cultists, keeps Jamison guessing. He both confuses and excites him, and Jamison isn’t sure how he feels about that. Plus, things turn from unusual to downright strange when people start insisting Mal isn’t quite human. And Jamison’s creepy dreams of crows and graveyards don’t make things any better for him.

Will Mal stay around long enough for Jamison to figure out his secrets, or will this stranger leave him aching for more?

one-half-stars


This is my Yeah, Okay Sure Face. I still don’t know what the eff is going on face.

 

I’m going to be super serious here, I don’t even understand the story. I don’t know what the point is. I mean it’s not really a romance. From the first time Mal is on the scene it’s weird. It was manipulations, and choppy sentences. The plot didn’t make much sense to me. I didn’t like Mal, and Jamison was clueless. That’s the safest way I can describe him. Without giving away the plot (**snorts** if you want to call it that), I still didn’t get the story. It was slow, and halfway through it I wanted to chuck it. I didn’t like the writing of the story. Everything felt disjointed from the pacing of the story to the characters themselves. The ending was abrupt which was not needed even thought a sequel was in the works. I can’t recommend this book, because I didn’t even like it.

About Caitlin Ricci

Caitlin was fortunate growing up to be surrounded by family and teachers that encouraged her love of reading. She has always been a voracious reader and that love of the written word easily morphed into a passion for writing. She comes from a military family and the men and women of the armed forces are close to her heart. She also enjoys gardening and horseback riding in the Colorado Rockies where she calls home with her wonderful husband and their two dogs. Her belief that there is no one true path to happily ever after runs deeply through all of her stories.
2013 Rainbow Awards Finalist- Young Adult Fiction- Lost and Found Charity Anthology
2014 Rainbow Awards Winner- Best Lesbian Contemporary & Erotic Romance, and second runner up for Best Lesbian Book – Camellia, written with Cari Z

Hexmaker by Jordan L. Hawk

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.

hexmakerHexmaker: by Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Hexworld, #2
Release Date: October 14, 2016
Pages: 186 • Format: eARC
Published By: Widdershins Press LLC
Purchase Links:
AmazonSmashwordsARe

A straight-laced policeman. A lighthearted thief.
A murdered millionaire.

Fox shifter Malachi steals for one of the biggest crime rings in New York City. But when he witnesses the murder of a millionaire, the only person who can keep him safe is Dr. Owen Yates, forensic hexman for the Metropolitan Witch Police—and Malachi’s witch.

Owen is horrified to discover his familiar is an uneducated thief. Even worse, Malachi threatens to unleash Owen’s deepest desires…desires Owen can’t act upon, as he’s destined for an arranged marriage to secure the Yates family fortune

Their agreement: Malachi will be Owen’s lover as well as his partner, until the day of the wedding. But as their hunt for the murderer carries them from teeming slums to Fifth Avenue mansions, Owens begins to realize Malachi commands his heart as well as his body.

With dark forces drawing ever closer around them, Owen must decide whether to bow to the demands of duty, or to risk everything for the man he loves.

Hexmaker is the second book in Jordan L. Hawk’s Hexworld series, following the adventures of witch policemen and the familiars they bond with. Download today to enter a world of magic, romance, and intrigue.

four-half-stars

I have read everything under the sun by this author except the Spectr series. ONLY because I don’t want to wait for the next one, and read them in succession. I own them though. Hawk writes some of the most memorable and amazing guys in any genre that I’ve read. I have come to really enjoy this series, and this book was no different. (SN: Jordan, if you do read this, please for the love of goodness let Quigley & Issac’s book be up next. I can feel the hurt/comfort from book one. I’m begging for it.) I absolutely was enamored with this book from the beginning to end. Malachi was super amazing, and Dr. Yates was a delightful surprise. I enjoyed the mystery aspect of the story, some of it was pretty predictable and that’s not a word that I’d use to describe any of Hawk’s books.

You know how it’s love at first sight at someplace like a café in Paris, or Times Square in New York City; well these two meet at a crime scene and it’s an instant connection. Well as much as a connection can be for a suspected murderer and a forensic specialist. LOL. It was snarky, charismatic, and cute. Those are the three words that I would describe the scene for the first two meeting each other. I loved that they were complete opposites. I mean they had nothing in common, one from a rich family, a prestigious lifestyle, a respectable job, and the other was from the low brows of society, a thief, and a family made up of criminals. This difference did nothing when it came into the physical side of their relationship. It was super magical. It was HOT!!! It was explosive. My, my, my, Dr. Yates who knew you had that in you. It was nice to see Owen open up in way that he’s never felt comfortable doing. I enjoyed Malachi’s abrasives and equal prowess when it came to Owen. I think they definitely work well together.

**Tee hee, I just wanted to incorporate this somehow my review, I love JLH’s research and authenticity she brings to her stories. Never in my life would I have thought to read Historical Fiction, but she is the inspiration behind it for me.**

Now when it came to the mystery of the story like I said earlier it was rather predictable at one point. Nonetheless is was good. I did feel the ending was a tad bit rushed and would have like to see more from these two after the big showdown. I also felt like the storyline with Sophie didn’t end well. I just wanted some closure for Mal on that part, even though we suspect what she did. I had the same abrupt ending issue with the previous in the series, so maybe it’s a little pattern, but seriously I think she can write 5oo pages and I’ll still want more from her. No matter it’s still a great murder/mystery from this author. It’s still authentic in the setting, and she even includes real facts into her stories. I love the creation of the Metropolitan Witch Police. I love seeing all the characters and hopefully we can get a book from each one. I appreciate every one of her characters and books. I highly recommend this book to everyone. You won’t be disappointed, c’mon this woman writes Gold.

About Jordan L. Hawk

Jordan L. Hawk grew up in North Carolina and forgot to ever leave. Childhood tales of mountain ghosts and mysterious creatures gave her a life-long love of things that go bump in the night. When she isn’t writing, she brews her own beer and tries to keep her cats from destroying the house. Her best-selling Whyborne & Griffin series (beginning with Widdershins) can be found in print, ebook, and audiobook at Amazon and other online retailers.

Mad Lizard Mambo (Kai Gracen #2) by Rhys Ford

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.

Mad Lizard Mambo: by Rhys Ford
Series: Kai Gracen 
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Pages: 220 • Format: eARC
Published By: DSP Publications
Purchase Links:
DSP Publications Amazon

Kai Gracen has no intention of being anyone’s pawn. A pity Fate and SoCalGov have a different opinion on the matter.

Licensed Stalkers make their living hunting down monsters and dangerous criminals… and their lives are usually brief, brutal, and thankless. Despite being elfin and cursed with a nearly immortal lifespan, Kai didn’t expect to be any different. Then Ryder, the High Lord of the Southern Rise Court, arrived in San Diego, Kai’s not-so-mundane life went from mild mayhem to full-throttle chaos.

Now an official liaison between the growing Sidhe Court and the human populace, Kai is at Ryder’s beck and call for anything a High Lord might need a Stalker to do. Unfortunately for Kai, this means chasing down a flimsy rumor about an ancient lost Court somewhere in the Nevada desert—a court with powerful magics that might save Ryder—and Kai’s—people from becoming a bloody memory in their Merged world’s violent history.

The race for the elfin people’s salvation opens unwelcome windows into Kai’s murky past, and it could also slam the door on any future he might have with his own kind and Ryder

four-stars

I think everyone knows, I’d read a pamphlet and gush about it if it was written by Rhys Ford. That’s how I feel about this story. It was good, I might have been semi-emotional at certain points, but Kai will make you do that. This book he had to deal with family big time! Whether it was the nutty bunch or the surrogate family that sculpted him into who he is today. We also got to see Kai’s feelings for Ryder progress. This was super packed with adventure. I mean from page 1 up until the very end. Loved seeing Kai in all his sassy glory, and the twisty turns that the story produced.

One reason why, I’m so enamored with Rhys writing is because she is always able to drawn that emotion out of her characters. Even in a story like this, I found myself misty eyed a time or two. We get to see Kai in all his protective glory this round. Yeah it’s nice to know that he’d go all out his way to protect Dempsey, Jonas, Dali, Sparky and now Ryder. Kai has such a vulnerability about himself, it’s my favorite attribute of his outside of his witty come backs of course.

I don’t miss the romance or the sexual aspect of the relationship. I definitely can see it heading that way, and boy when it hits Kai is going to be super snarky. It’s a slow burn on anything physical between the two. Ryder wants to own Kai. Not in the possession sense, more of showing him how great love can be. I do think Ryder has slowly but surely broke some of Kai’s defenses down, and book 3 is going to give me all the feels when this happens. I’m putting it out in the universe!

I’m not one for world building, but with this story it was all about the descriptions. I loved reading how things were to Kai. The sight, smell, the taste and all of the abstracts that goes into San Diego. I love how Kai fights for his humanity, even when humanity is a giant pile of sh** to him at times. The secondary characters were a great add-in to this adventure. I don’t feel let down at all. I wish Rhys could write a book every 3 months just so I can read her words. I liked this, but I’m not surprised. The woman is bloody talented!!! I definitely recommend this book to everyone, and get book 1 first.

About Rhys Ford

Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

In The Twist (The Wild Hunt, #1) by L.A. Stockman

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.

In The Twist: by L.A. Stockman
Series: The Wild Hunt
Release Date: August 22, 2016
Pages: 134 • Format: eARC
Published By: NineStar Press
Purchase Links:
NineStar PressAmazon

Twelve dead children. An ex-priest with the faith to move mountains. A hunter out of the depths of legend. Together, they must find a way to overcome their pasts and become something entirely new if they are to defeat an ancient evil.

David Shaughnessy was content in his life as a police detective in Armata, California. It lacked the visceral, sick thrill that came with exorcising demons, but it was better for him, saner. Until the night he got called out to a vicious murder in the woods, and met Dallan Jaeger. The older man and Interpol agent is much more than he seems to be, and their connection is immediate, powerful. Trust blooms quickly as they learn to work together to pursue the evil fae responsible for the murders.

They must learn to do more than trust each other if David is to fulfill his birthright and claim what was so long denied him. Only then do they have a hope of catching the killer…in the Twist.

two-half-stars

I’m still confused by the end of the story. I know most Urban Fantasy stories first book in the series is generally world building and introduction of characters. This book didn’t follow that formula, in fact I felt like I stumble somewhere in the middle of the series. It was no introduction of the world. I am still uncertain on the mythology of the characters. Some of it I got, and figured out but by then the story was over. I think it was to short and not properly told.

I didn’t connect with the characters and some of the time, I didn’t know when the pov changed. I can’t distinguish the two main characters from one another at all. David & Dallin still confuses me. I don’t like being confused. It was okay writing but the story was so congested and disjointed that I’m left feeling nothing. Sad to say it, but once it was finished I was happy. I wanted more background on both guys, the world building and everything else included. I think this is one of the books that would have benefited if it was around 320 pages or so. It never got a chance to change my mind either. Sorry but this book didn’t work for me at all.

Never Lose Your Flames by Francis Gideon

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.

never-lose-your-flamesNever Lose Your Flames by Francis Gideon
Release Date: August 1, 2016
Pages: 310 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

Cop-turned-bounty-hunter Gabe Dominguez is hired to capture firestarter Nat Wyatt. For a dragon-shifter like Gabe, apprehending Nat is easy, but transporting him involves more time, energy, and blood loss than he envisioned. An attack from a band of fairies, an out-of-control forest fire, and a showdown at an auction don’t faze Gabe, but Nat’s innocence might stop him entirely.
 
Since discovering his abilities, Nat’s lost a best friend, a boyfriend, and trust in his brother. Only his love of concerts and card games get him through life without a home. Rumors of the Judge, a giant dragon who once destroyed half of Canada avenging those he loved, provide Nat with hope of vindication. When Nat discovers his captor is the Judge, he thinks he’s finally caught a break. Through late-night conversations and a shared love of music, Nat tries to convince Gabe he’s not guilty.
 
Can Gabe continue his cutthroat lifestyle, or will he run away with his dragon hoard like he’s always longed to do? Can Nat escape his legacy, or will his be another spark snuffed out by people who don’t understand? The Oracle, the most powerful wizard in Canada, might be the only one who can provide answers.

three-stars


This is a first read for me by this author. Lately I’ve been in a pnr/uf kick with alot of my reads. I can say most first books in a series don’t work for me. It’s usually copious amounts of world building, character building and the plot. It’s no difference here. I actually liked Nat’s character alot more then Gabe. Gabe was mean to me at times, I understood his position, job and character but he didn’t redeem himself in my eyes. To be fair, I didn’t want to like him either. I really enjoyed Nat’s character alot. Of course he seemed standoffish, but what do you expect him to be like when he’s been running his whole life.

I did like alot of the side characters. The entire cast of elementals, shifters and witches were a breath of fresh. Loved seeing new aspects to Urban Fantasy. I liked the build up between Gabe & Nat. I thought the writing was solid, and maybe the story could have been cut down by 50 pages. Some areas I felt dragged alot. It was a nice action paced story. A bit of romantic times, and seeing Gabe realize that Nat was truthful was my favorite part of course. I look forward to more from this author and this series.

About Francis Gideon

Francis Gideon is a writer of m/m romance, but he also dabbles in mystery, fantasy, historical, and paranormal fiction. He likes to stay up late, drink too much coffee, and read too many comic books. He credits music, especially the artists Patti Smith, Frank Iero, Gerard Way, Florence + the Machine, and The Pixies as his main sources of inspiration, but the list grows every day. Since age twelve, he’s been trying to figure out what genre is best suited for a strange, quiet kid like him and so far, he’s happy to be where he’s ended up.

When not writing fiction, Francis teaches college English classes while he studies for his PhD. He has published several nonfiction and critical articles on everything from the Canadian poet and artist P.K. Page, transgender identity in the YouTube community, using fanfiction as a teaching tool, and character deaths in the TV show Hannibal. Those are all under different his “real” name, though. He writes his novels using his middle name, Francis, so that his students don’t Google him and ask too many questions.

Both Francis and his partner live in Canada, where they often disagree about TV shows and make really bad puns. To talk more about books, bad horror movies, LGBT poetry, or anything else, please drop him a line!

A Doves Wing by Katya Harris

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.

30297999A Doves Wing by Katya Harris
Series:  2016 Daily Dose Delivery Package – A Walk on the Wild Side
Release Date: June 5,  2016
Pages: 55 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Link:
Dreamspinner 

When his nephew shoots a dove with a BB gun, veterinarian Abel March promises the remorseful boy that he will take care of the bird and its broken wing. He doesn’t count on the dove changing into a (very naked) man in the middle of the night.

The shapeshifter’s name is Darcy and his clan has just moved into the area, much to the dismay of some of the residents who hold prejudices against their kind.

Sweet and sometimes sassy, Darcy is the first man Abel has felt connected to for a long time. He wants to keep him safe, and when someone threatens him, Abel reacts with unusual ferocity. He’s falling in love with Darcy, but when circumstances separate them, he’s left not knowing if the sentiment is returned.

The answer to that question will change both of their lives forever.

three-half-stars

 

Never read a dove shifter before and I gotta say I’ve enjoyed it. So far Dreamspinner is doing well with the different types of shapeshifters they are featuring. I really enjoyed the opening sequence where the nephew has all this guilt for shooting the dove with a b.b. gun. It definitely pulled on your heart-strings and then to get the whimpering from the dove. I thought the author did a good job with the pacing and the tone of the novella. What I enjoy most from PNR stories and especially shifters are the ability to know when that special someone is your mate. Darcy was adorable as a Dove shifter and I loved the protectiveness Abel had over him. The plot was okay, I would have been okay without the town being in uproar over the shifters moving closer. I would have like to see multiple kinds of shifters in the story but was happy with the finished product.

About Katya Harris

Katya Harris lives in the UK with her boyfriend, their daughter, and a former stray cat that conned his way into the family by being unbearably cute and is now almost as equally smug. Her mother taught her to read when she was three years old, and since then she has always wanted to be a writer. Growing up her favorite genres were science-fiction and fantasy, but now she adds paranormal romance, urban fantasy and erotic romance to the list as well. She finds both reading and writing to be her activities of choice, and can’t go long without doing one or the other. She also loves watching TV shows and movies, but because she can’t sit still for too long she will knit, crochet, or even hand spin her own yarn if the mood takes her, as well. We won’t talk about her nail polish addiction; the less said about that the better. Writing is her best and most beloved thing though, apart from her family of course, and you can usually find her in front of her laptop, furiously typing out stories to share with you.

The Scholar’s Heart by Antonia Aquilante

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.

ScholarsHeartLGThe Scholar’s Heart by Antonia Aquilante
Series: Chronicles of Tournai, Book Three
Release Date: May 30, 2016
Pages: 294 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe  Kobo • B&N  iTunes

Youngest son of a royal duke, Etan is a scholar at heart who juggles his work for the prince with his studies of the history and legends of Tournai, something of particular interest to him because he shares the magical Talent that runs in the royal bloodline. Etan’s peaceful world turns upside down when his best friend—the man he secretly loves—unexpectedly marries a woman. Though Tristan values his friendship with Etan and has always been attracted to him, he is a dutiful son, raised to shoulder responsibility for the family business one day. That day comes far sooner than anticipated, and he makes a deathbed promise to his father to marry the woman his father chose and become head of the company and family.

A year later, Tristan is a widower with an infant daughter and a mother who demands he marry again quickly—something Tristan resists. Circumstances throw Etan and Tristan together, and even as they succumb to the desires they’ve always harbored, Etan battles his feelings, wary of being cast aside again. When Tristan’s daughter is kidnapped, Etan and Tristan must come together to find her, find the person responsible, and support each other through the ordeal… and maybe beyond.

four-half-stars

When I first met Tristan in The Prince’s Consort, I knew I needed his story. When book two came out and it wasn’t Tristan’s story I was a bit disappointed and while I bought the book, I wasn’t exactly ready to read more about Cathal. But when I saw this, I was so damn happy and couldn’t wait to read it.

Now, having read book one but not book two I will say that you can read this as a stand alone but both couples from the previous books do show up and it is nice to have their back story and after saying  that… I need to go back and see just how Cathal redeemed himself, but anyway.

I am in love with this story and I can’t contain myself as I write this. I want to say all the things and tell Tristan that what he has wanted has always been in front of him if he’d just took a longer look and to sit and read with Etan in the library because books really are better than people most of the time. I just want to go back to page one and read this all over again because it was that good.

This is my kind of story, unrequited love. Ugh. I can’t say enough how much this is one of my most favorite tropes and from the beginning we know that Etan is head over heels for his friend Tristan and just when he gets up the courage to do something about it, Tristan announces he is being forced to marry.

Flash forward, a year later and we learn that Tristan’s wife has died in childbirth and left him a widower and a single father. When Etan learns of this, he isn’t quite sure how he is to handle it as he has distanced himself from his friend after his marriage yet duty aside, Etan will be there to pay his respects.

Goodness, the first encounter with these two was emotional and that is saying a lot as we don’t get much of them together on page before then but you feel it. I love that we get a dual POV in this story as I needed to know exactly what each man was thinking. I needed to know how Tristan was going to handle Etan’s feelings and when Etan would let them be known.

Oh boy.

Yeah. How that all plays out was so damn good, so damn sexy and so damn emotional. This book, it’s full of the kind of angst that I am a goner for. I love the angst that comes along with the will they/won’t they feelings as well as the “I am totes in love with you but I am gonna play it cool to guard my heart” kind of angst and this had it in spades. I loved being on this journey with Tristan and Etan; seeing their feelings go through a myriad of changes as they not only learn to be friends once again but become lovers. From eye contact across rooms to confessions in libraries, hallways, birthday parties and ones meant for doorsteps… each new emotion confirmed and revealed had my heart in my throat and me holding my breath.

It was wonderful to see Amory and Phillip again and get their POV’s. I loved Tristan’s talent and his reaction to learning Etan’s talent was so swoony (but I just wished we could have seen more of it as we did with Phillip and Amory) though the reason he learns it was anything but. The whole deal with Tristan’s mother made me angry and though it lead to a central part of the story line – the kidnapping-  she wasn’t in the story as much as I thought she would be. Tristan’s mother is a brute who was blessed with wonderful sons she doesn’t deserve at all. Nope.

As per the norm, I am rambling along… oops.

The Scholar’s Heart is a wonderful story where best friends learn the true meaning of friendship and how they can reap the benefits of it turning into love. It’s a story of romantic love and familial love that took me out of a book sort of slump and had me reading was passed my bed time because I couldn’t put it down. It’s simply a wonderful story and I hope the series continues because there a few men, even women, I would love to see get a HEA.

About Antonia Aquilante

Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent – they all end in happily ever after.

She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.

Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.

She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Rainbow Romance Writers.