Audiobook Review: Never Lose Your Flames (New Canadiana #1) by Francis Gideon

Series:
Narrator: Kevin Chandler
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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: Never Lose Your Flames by Francis Gideon
Series: New Canadiana #1
Release Date: August 1st, 2016
Format: Audiobook (11 hrs and 9 mins)
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press Amazon USAudible

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.

two-stars

This one was a pretty dry audiobook. The narrator’s voice wasn’t engaging enough to save this plot or make it interesting.

Gabe Dominguez was a bounty hunter hired to capture Nat Wyatt for his crime of arson. Gabe at first seems like a stoic character but clearly certain things about Nat chipped away at Gabe’s façade. As Gabe made his way with his captured prisoner in tow, Nat revealed more and more truths to where Gabe began questioning his sponsor’s intel.  There was a lot of world building as well as various supernatural characters but I didn’t feel the romance enough amongst the plot. I was hoping to “feel” instead of being told about their attraction. There were too many creatures and the author could have gradually introduced them in subsequent books.

I liked Gabe more than Nat but both characters were likeable. The story just wasn’t smooth and engaging enough and I had to really push myself to finish the audiobook. The premise was interesting but execution was a fail for me.

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!

Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade #3) by Jennifer Estep @Jennifer_Estep @KensingtonBooks @NetGalley

Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade #3) by Jennifer Estep @Jennifer_Estep @KensingtonBooks @NetGalleySeries: Black Blade #3
on 2016-04-26
Pages: 368
AmazonB&NNarrator: Brittany Pressley
Bad Things Always Come In Threes…

As a thief, I'm good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.

Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families--and kill every last Sinclair. What they don't know is that I'm on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I've got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…
five-stars

Well Done Jennifer Estep! Well Done! This final book in the trilogy did what many YA trilogies failed to deliver: A Thrilling and Satisfying Conclusion.

This third book started with the head of the Family, Claudia Sinclair and her son Devon, the family Bruiser working with the family bodyguard Lila Merriweather, and Lila’s cousin Deah to foil Victor Draconi’s plot to control the town of Cloudburst Falls. If you read books 1 & 2, you know the significance of this alliance and how it came to be. *Hint* Read this series in order to fully comprehend the minutiae.

The action and power struggle began immediately as the line in the sand was drawn between the Sinclair Family and the Draconi Family with the other families trying to pick the winning side. What I loved most in this story was that Lila and Devon’s romance to a back seat to the family business as it rightfully should have. The Sinclair family was united and focused on the preparation for the Draconi family move, whatever it maybe. While love young love as blossoming, the priority was saving lives.

Lila is one of my favorite YA heroines. She is tough, resilient, smart, noble and resourceful. Now that she found a new home with the Sinclair family, she was putting her life on the line to protect them from the Draconi threat. Devon was brave as was all the supporting casts fighting on the side of good. The author did a fantastic job keeping the story adrenaline-charged and interesting. This was a quick paced story with an engaging plot that flowed and was congruous to the theme started in book 1.

The world building was complex enough without being too dense and boring. The supernatural creatures were different from the norm and there wasn’t too many of them to overwhelm the story. The final showdown allowed Lila to address a wrong committed against her family both from the past and in their current situation. Then ending was well thought out and satisfying.

I highly recommend this series to those readers looking for an entertaining YA urban fantasy with a light romance.

*Special Thanks to Kensington via Netgalley for the advance reading copy given in exchange for an honest review

The Exile (The Fae #1) by C.T. Adams

The Exile (The Fae #1)  by C.T. AdamsSeries: The Fae #1
on 2015-03-10
Pages: 320
AmazonB&NNarrator: Marguerite Gavin
Brianna Hai runs an occult shop that sells useless trinkets to tourists--and real magic supplies to witches and warlocks. The magical painting that hangs in Brianna's apartment is the last portal between the fae and human worlds.A shocking magical assault on her home reveals to Brianna that her father, High King Liu of the Fae, is under attack. With the help of her gargoyle, Pug, her friend David, and Angelo, a police detective who doesn't believe in magic, Brianna recovers what was stolen from her and becomes an unwilling potential heir to the throne.A suspenseful urban fantasy with a hint of romance, The Exile is the first solo novel by C. T. Adams, who is half of USA Today bestselling author Cat Adams. Like the Cat Adams Blood Singer novels, The Exile is set in a world where magic is real and contains Adams's trademark blend of suspense, action, humor, and strongly emotional writing.
four-stars

I was pleasantly surprised because I normally don’t care for Fae stories. This was interesting and a good start to a series.

Brianna Hai is the half human half fae princess of King Liu but she lived in the human realm as her fae siblings were constantly trying to eliminate her as a possible heir to their father’s throne. Brianna’s mother escaped to the human realm and they opened up a store selling antiques and other various trinkets. All of sudden Brianna starts getting attacked by pixies and then a powerful fae comes and tries to glamour her. Brianna’s time on the sidelines of fae politics came to a screeching halt. Brianna proceeded to show her half siblings and the fae world that she wasn’t wallflower they thought she was.

Brianna enlisted the aid of her best friend David and her trusted gargoyle Pug go to Faery to figure out what’s going on with her father’s court and how she could helf King Liu with the civil war. Meanwhile David’s brother, Nick, has been approached by the FBI to investigate Brianna and find out what’s going on in her story as the law enforcement officials think the store is a front for an illegal enterprise.

This is a new author for me and I enjoyed Marguerite Gavin’s narration. She is one of my favorites so the audiobook was a treat. Her tone and delivery gave just the right touch of femininity and strength. I will admit there was a lot of alternating POVs. It was a bit excessive, but I was able to follow the story despite that. It was a good foundation book, because it wasn’t an information dump as many authors often do with book 1 of a new series. There was enough information given to satisfy my curiosity and enough left over so that I am interested in continuing on to book 2. If you enjoy political intrigue, betrayals and a tiny hint of romance, then you will enjoy this one.

*Special Thank You to Tantor Media for the audiobook given in exchange for an honest review.

Eternity and a Day (Desires of the Otherworld #1) by Aline Hunter

Eternity and a Day (Desires of the Otherworld #1) by Aline HunterSeries: Desires of the Otherworld #1
on 2012-02-23
Pages: 354
Amazon
Dreading the one night per tide he's forced to travel between the realms, Draigen Eric Locke has only one desire on Samhain-to retrieve the fae transporting daemon relics through the realms and escort her to the Dark Court to face the sidhe king. When he mistakenly recovers the wrong fae, the dragon under his skin responds in a way he never could have predicted, and he discovers he's found the woman destined to him by the Fates-his Chosen. Runa Charon is an anomaly among her kind, the mortal offspring of a human and a fae. Unlike other sidhe, she longs to experience pleasure instead of pain, love instead of lust. Immortally strong but mortally fragile, she's been sheltered all of her life. When she's taken captive by a Draigen who plans to return her to the Otherworld for crimes she didn't commit, she attempts to fight him off only to discover her destiny has been changed forever. Draigen mate for life, choosing to follow the path of their beloved mate in this reality or the next. Knowing a future with his Chosen can only span one lifetime, Eric defies the Fates and claims Runa as his own. He'll do whatever it takes to possess her, protect her and keep her by his side.
four-stars

I don’t know what I was expecting in this one, but I was really surprised at how much i enjoyed it. The world was very different, it had all kinds of creatures in the realm, fae, dragons, brownie, selkies, demons, witches/sorcerers, vampires, negromancers–which I don’t know what the heck that is, but they were there.

So Runa Charon is the 5th child to a Sidhe but unlike her siblings, she was born to a mortal woman. So she is the family black sheep. When her sister Octavia tricks her into paying for a crime committed by Octavia, Runa finds herself bound to a draigen named Eric Locke. But from the moment Eric saw Runa, he knew she was his chosen, so now he just has to convince the mortal fae girl to have him as a life partner.

This story was well written, and very entertaining. Runa was really likable and wasn’t a weakling. Yes, she was a tad gullible on the Octavia front, but Runa learned quick and didn’t make the same mistake twice. Eric was also a likeable character. He worked to gain her trust and he was very sweet. I don’t know if the author needed every creature in the Lore, but I guess like IAD, the more creatures, the more the author has to weave love stories.