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.

Unwanted (Elemental Assassin #14.5) by Jennifer Estep

Unwanted (Elemental Assassin #14.5) by Jennifer Estep

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

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.

Krampus Hates Christmas by Andi Van

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.

krampusKrampus Hates Christmas: by Andi Van
Series: 2016 Advent Calendar-Bah Humbug
Release Date: December 1st, 2016
Pages: 104 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Karl Kringle hates the modern-day Christmas. He was born to be Krampus, but the Holiday Council refuses to let him help his brother Nick—aka Santa Claus—with the Naughty List until he finds his holiday spirit. To meet that challenge, he’s turned human and dumped in a strange apartment.

Lewis Weatherby loves the holidays and always has. Not only do his parents own a pumpkin patch and tree farm, he’s also inherited a Christmas-themed shop. All he wants from Santa is the man of his dreams, and the Big Guy might’ve just delivered. Lewis’s new neighbor Karl is gorgeous, sweet, and has a fantastic sense of humor—if his jokes about being Krampus are any indication.

Soon getting home is less important to Karl than what will happen when Lewis inevitably realizes the truth behind his jokes. He’s finally starting to understand the real joy of the season—now he just has to figure out how to hold on to it.

four-stars

Krampus was AMAZEBALLS!!!!

Definitely a top contender in my 2016 favorite Holiday Reads!

This was my first book by Andi Van, and I loved there quirky sense of humor, and writing. Krampus is a different take on the holiday romance aspect. He’s the twin to Saint Nick, opposite in every way, shape, size and form. In in my mind Krampus original form is a Minotaur. I couldn’t get that image out my mind. LOL. I found myself laughing at the antics of these characters, having the best cheese smile on my face, and tearing up at the end.

Krampus just wants to help his brother with Christmas, but the council decides he’s not ready and doesn’t have the right spirit for it. Noel (Santa’s Husband) decides to step in and help his brother in law out. He sends Krampus to California, to stay in a nice apartment and find his holiday cheer. He’s given an illusion to look like an attractive tall guy named Karl, and staying next door to sweet Lewis who owns a holiday shop.

I really liked Lewis, and adored his best friend Jerry. Lewis is smidge overweight in his 40’s and doesn’t feel so great about himself. Putting these two together just seemed right. They were super compatible from the first meeting. I liked how open they were with each other,( within reason on Karl’s side). I loved how Karl was to willing to do new things, but stay true to himself. I think their journey was really adorable and sweet. I loved NOEL!!! I wanted more parts with him and Nick. Andi Van if you do read this, please consider giving us another holiday treat with these two! I liked Lewis’s family alot. I think they were great and very accepting of Karl and his family history when everything came to the light.

This was super fun to read! Highly recommend it, and can’t stop smiling thinking about it!

About Andi Van

Andi Van is a foul-mouthed troublemaker who lives near San Diego with a small fluffy thing named Koi, a baseball bat that’s forever being used for things other than baseball, and a fondness for rum and caffeine (though not necessarily together).

Andi is fluent in three languages (English, sarcasm, and profanity), and takes pride in a highly developed — if somewhat bizarre — sense of humor.

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.

Sleight of Heart by Aisling Mancy

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.

SLEIGHTOFHEARTFRONT - FINAL1311Sleight of Heart by Aisling Mancy
Series: Morality of Magic, Book One
Release Date: March 14, 2016
Pages: 194 • Format: eARC
Published By: CoolDudes Publishing
Purchase Links:
CoolDudesAmazonARe • Smashwords

A vampire mage, a Romani young man, and a forbidden love that won’t be denied.

Lord Taliesin Solitaire was born albino, cursed mute by the fey, and betrayed by a vampire lover. For two hundred years the vampire mage has vowed never to love again and has only used sex as a means to a meal. Until a palm-reading gypsy finds himself in peril and Taliesin can’t resist rescuing the beautiful young man.

Pesha is the eldest but smallest son of King Vaida Sinclair, the oppressive ruler of the Kåle Romani Compania. Deemed impure by his father, Pesha is shunned and mistreated by his band and six half-brothers, and one brother in particular wants him dead. His pale, silent savior gives him safety, security and a love he never could have imagined. As Pesha falls in love with his handsome white knight, his half-brother does the unthinkable.

Can Taliesin rescue Pesha from the cruel clutches of his half-brother a second time?

four-half-stars

A sleight of heart cannot be taken back. These things cannot be undone…

Wow. What an amazingly rich, beautiful and deeply magical story this was. I am at a loss for words to describe what I just read but I will give it a try. 

We meet Taliesin, a centuries old vampire as he watches a young gypsy do what he does best, make money off the masses believing in his tricks. As Taliesin watches, we get glimpses into his life and begin to learn about him; we know he was in love once, we know he was born an albino with lavender eyes and we know he thinks the young gypsy boy is possibly the most beautiful thing he has ever seen.

The beginning pages of the book lead us through head-hopping between Taliesin and the gypsy boy, aks Pesha, while they navigate their night and have an eye on one another. You see, unbeknownst to either man – the other has felt and visualized their presence more than once and simply because introductions aren’t formally made, doesn’t mean they aren’t known but when someone tries to cheat Pesha, Taliesin steps in and the sweetest moments between the two begin. Now while head-hopping usually fails for me, this worked well as the scene played out and you are IN the scene… just as you should be.

I loved Taliesin and his back story. How he became a father to the lovely Feather and the feelings he holds toward her mother though it left him cursed. The curse, ugh I was worried how it would be dealt with and how it would all play out with Pesha – I am still new to the world of magic/fantasy – but I loved how it happened. I mean, how romantic is it that you are cursed to be mute but the man you are attracted to has the ability to hear your thoughts? *swoon*

Pesha is the type of character I want to cuddle and coddle. He lives the way he does because he’s told to and he believes the things he wants are wrong. He internally fights with his desire of men sexuality yet yearns to be loved and wanted. He is on his own mostly as he works and one night when the ones who should protect him – his own family – attack him and Taliesin steps in as the… well white knight and rescues him.

Yeah. Once the rescue happens things start to heat up and I just adored these two together. When Pesha asks Taliesin how old he is I chuckled and well done my Lord with the technicality on that fact. But while the men get swoony and sexy, their quick banter had my heart singing.

“Dinilo pirano, close your eyes. Go to sleep.” 

Now what did you call me?

 “Idiot sweetheart.” 

Wonderful. 

This story is so detailed and involved I am afraid to give too much of it away. The side characters in the story are amazing and I am so happy to learn that Sax is indeed real though he seems to share similarities of another of his kind named Elliot who protected Pete but that is just my brain remembering too much of silly things…

But this was a gorgeous story with all it brings to the table. The woven worlds of mages and gypsy’s, dragons, fey, Romani and all the other preternaturals that are present. It was intense and vivid and I am rambling so I will stop now.

Sleight of Heart is an enchanting, romantic tale of choices and fate and never repeating your same mistakes. It’s a romance written in beautiful, classic prose that engages you immediately as it emerges you into the depth of the story and holds you tightly until the end. I can’t wait to see where they series goes next…

About Aisling Mancy

Ash is an author who lives, most of the time, on the West Coast of the United States. Ash writes adult fantasy, science fiction, adult romance, and fiction for gay young adults as C. Kennedy.

Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Ash doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Ash contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Ash can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much-maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary.

My Tempting Highlander (Highland Hearts #3) by Maeve Greyson

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.

My Tempting Highlander (Highland Hearts #3) by  Maeve Greysonon 2016-02-23
Pages: 294
Amazon
From the author of My Highland Bride—hailed by Sandy Blair as “an entertaining time-travel story packed with spice, humor, fantasy, and nonstop adventure”—comes a sensual novel featuring a wolf-shifting chieftain who travels centuries to modern-day Scotland to tame his one and only.   Cursed to live forever with neither wife nor child, Ronan Sutherland has watched all he cherishes turn to dust—more than once. For hundreds of years, he’s been trapped behind the mists of Loch Ness, hoping to identify the one woman who is prophesied to break the spell. Now, at last, the fates have aligned, and he’s being sent into the future to fetch her. After a single glimpse, Ronan knows he’s been waiting all his life for this passionate woman.   Unlike her time-traveling sisters, Mairi Sinclair is perfectly content to remain in the present. As a hospital nurse in Edinburgh, she cherishes the opportunity to put her gift of healing powers to good use. But everything changes the morning a mysterious wolf darts in front of her car. Touching the wounded creature’s tawny coat, a tingle surges through her. Yet when she returns with aid, Mairi is shocked to find instead a man with broad shoulders and fire in his eyes—a man who tempts her to unleash the animal within.
three-half-stars

Ronan Sutherland and his family have been under a curse to be shapeshifter (wolf) and this curse can only lifted by true love. Ronan sought the help from an old sage Granny Sinclair who prophesied that her granddaughter would be the one to break Ronan’s curse. The Sinclairs were gifted with the power to time travel amongst other powers. The only problem is that Mari Sinclair, the granddaughter, time travelled to the future and refuses to return to 13th century Scotland. Thus Ronan had to time travel to 21st century Edinburgh to bring his fated mate Mairi back to 13th century.

Meanwhile, Mairi was content living a life untethered of her grandmother’s expectations and had no intention of returning despite being summoned repeatedly. While she has difficulty maintaining employment, she does use her healing gifts to aid people. Mairi and her sisters have made a life in the “future” but it didn’t include love yet. On her way to work, Mairi accidentally hits a wolf with her car, so she brings him home to heal him. Thus begins her unwitting introduction to her future love.

I struggled with both characters. At first, Mairi seemed flighty, then after she learned the “dog” she rescued was really a wolf shifter, aka a man, she turned into a harpy. I do understand that Ronan made it difficult to trust him since he chose time and time again to be less than truthful with Mairi. Ronan was a warrior and he was used to people doing what he said without being questioned. Plus, he was afraid that Mairi wouldn’t believe and he would lose his one chance to break this curse that has plagued him for 300 years. It is understandable why Ronan wouldn’t put all his cards on the table. But Mairi made it hard to like her. Mairi and Ronan made a good couple despite the back and forth. They had good chemistry and it was their inner fortitude that made them work well as a couple.

I did find the writing amusing enough that I chuckled sometimes. The characters were quirky, especially the Sinclair women. I enjoyed the plot and the writing more than the main characters. The most entertaining is having 13th century warriors having to deal with independent 20th century heroines. How fun was that! I wish I had started this series in order so I will go back and read book 1.

Special Thanks to Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept via Netgalley for the book given in exchange for an honest review.

Fragments of a Unicorn’s Soul by J.R. Loveless

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.

fragmentsofaunicornssoul1400Fragments of a Unicorn’s Soul by J.R. Loveless
Release Date: April 6, 2016
Pages: • Format: eARC
Published By: Torquere Press LLC
Purchase Links:
Torquere Amazon 

Content with his life, Elek Keros never questions the ways of the Unicorn. Until one night the sense of something coming awakens him from a deep sleep. He breaks Unicorn law by leaving the enchanted glade his kind lives in to search for what is calling to him. Each night he returns home without answers, but he cannot stop entering the forest day after day to find what he seeks.

The answer lies in a small child Elek rescues. Over the years, he watches over the boy, learns all that he can about the human and steadily falls in love with him. But how can the love he feels possibly breach the divide between their two worlds?

four-stars

I had no idea what I would get when I opted to read this for a review. I thought, “Hey, I like Unicorns so I will give it a shot”, but what I got was amazing.

This is a short story so this will be a short review.

Elek is a Unicorn and totes okay with being one living with his kind. One day he gets a feeling, something that he can’t ignore and he heads toward it, not knowing his fate. When he arrives, he sees a young boy who is crying in the rain without shelter. Elek feels a pull toward the boy and an immediate rush of emotion covers him from horn to tail and he and the boy, who we quickly learn is named Jonathan, bond.

Elek knows he shouldn’t mess with humans but there is something about Jonathan he cannot let go of so, he secretly watches Jonathan from a far as he grows up to be a young man. Then one day, he isn’t quick enough to get back to the veil where the unicorns belong and Jonathan sees him and chases after him.

From this moment, we get the sweetest tale of Elek and Jonathan, both knowing that what they feel should not be happening but they can’t fight it for the emotions are too strong.

“There is another legend, my friend. A legend that hasn’t been told in over five hundred years. One that speaks of the unicorn becoming human.”

I loved that Elek questioned everything, from the complex of why he felt the way he did for Jonathan to needing to know if he could talk to the human. I adored how strongly he felt when Jonathan would be leaving him and the length that he goes through to risk it all.

This had a sort of The Little Mermaid feel to it and that, for me, it never a bad thing. The folklore and fantasy of the fragmented unicorn soul was beautiful and is what I am coming to love with fantasy related stories and the fates that seal two beings together.

Though the POV’s switched oddly a few times mid scene, ( I would have loved more of Jonathan’s POV when he begins his friendship with Elek) this was a lovely story of magic and love, becoming real when you take the chance to believe.

 

About J.R. Loveless

I love to write, read and watch anything to do with m/m romance as long as it has a happy ending! I work a full time job and write as much as I can in my spare time. And I’ve had three books accepted, two are out now and one is due in September along with a short story!

Darkest Flame (Dark Kings, Book 1) by Donna Grant

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.

Darkest Flame (Dark Kings, Book 1) by Donna Granton 2014-04-29
Pages: 384
Amazon • (Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
In Darkest Flame by Donna Grant, the Dark Kings have fought for centuries to preserve their dragon magic. But one of the most powerful warriors of his kind will be put to the ultimate test. Is he strong enough to resist his greatest temptations? Or will he be forced to surrender--body and soul? HER BEAUTY IS A WEAPON.Denae Lacroix is a beautiful MI5 agent on a deadly mission. Sent to the Scottish Highlands to spy on the mysterious Dreagan Industries, she discovers too late that she's been set up--as human bait. She is an irresistible lure for a man who has not seen or touched a woman for centuries. He is a man with a destiny--and a desire--that could destroy them both...HIS PASSION IS A CURSE...It's been twelve hundred years since Kellan has walked among humans--and there's no denying the erotically charged attraction he feels for Denae. But as a Dragon King, he is sworn to protect his secrets. Yet the closer he gets to this smart, ravishing woman, the more her life is in danger. All it takes is one reckless kiss to unleash a flood of desire, the fury of dragons...and the fiercest enemy of all.

I started with novellas, and then jumped right into this book. I am still on the fence because again, the characters were underdeveloped and the plot wasn’t as engaging as I had hoped. This book felt more like erotica than paranormal romance.

Secret agent Denae LaCroix was sort of forced into assisting the Dragon Kings since her M15 group set her up and abandoned her. The dragons were unknown to most humans but now there is a group trying to expose their existence.

Now Denae is caught up in a war and found that she was attracted to Dragon King Kellan. Problem is that Kellan doesn’t like humans and certainly not as a romantic partner. The push and pull finally gives way to passion and then Kellan begins to have a change of heart towards humans.

I found the writing to be sexy but uneven. There was a good amount of sex but I still believe this series has potential. Anthony Ferguson the narrator did a great job in bringing the story to life. I will continue on with book 2 before I make my final decision on whether or not this series is a keeper.

*Special thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook given in exchange for an honest review.

About Donna Grant

Donna Grant is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the sizzling Dark King series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.

She was born and raised in Texas but loves to travel. Her adventures have taken her throughout the United States as well as to Jamaica, Mexico, and Scotland. Growing up on the Texas/Louisiana border, Donna’s Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding.

Despite deadlines and voracious reading, Donna still manages to keep up with her two children, three cats, and a dog.

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowlingon March 27, 2012
Pages: 324
Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard!

5 Amazing, Brilliant, Stars
Harry Potter
Brings back memories of my childhood. I can remember being 12 years old and visiting my grandma’s house. In her living room she had the first three hardcover books sitting on the piano bench. At the time I had no clue about the series, or what was to come. At that time it was strictly the Scholastic Black History novels, The Babysitter’s Club and Goosebumps. Those were my reading books. I remember grabbing the first book and sitting on the couch, the next thing I know it’s dinner time and I’m halfway done. I was shocked that I had read that much. I absolutely love this series. If I had to describe it in one words it’ll be Friendships.

Harry Potter Wand
This series told me how to have friends, and keep them. It taught me what undying love looks like. It taught me loyalty, happiness, and courage. It brings tears to my eyes writing this review because I hadn’t read the series since 2005 when I was 17 and the last book was released. Sure I’ve seen the movies a billion times. I know almost all the dialogue, and history. It’s nothing like reading the magic from the beginning.

Hermione
Harry Potter is one of my favorite characters every. I love the cast of this series, even that dreadful toad Malfoy! I love Harry’s courage to be himself in a world where he knew nothing about. I love Ron’s undying loyalty. I love Hermione’s quick wit, and her smarts! I’ll continue reading the series as if I never have. J.K. Rowling’s writing is magical. I love the world building she came up with. It’s my favorite series ever

Ron Weasley