Sacrificial Magic (SM), the 4th book in Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts Series and it’s her best book to date.
Cepts, Nips and Panda’s, OH MY. These are all Chess’s drugs of choice, plus the occasional trip the pipe room. Yes, the series about a drug addicted heroine named Chess Putnman that’s a witch investigator that debunks ghost haunting for the Church. But don’t let the drug addiction turn you off. Chess has had a very hard and abusive childhood being passed around different foster homes where the dads and sometime moms have used her as their form of entertainment. Chess at heart is a survivor with very low self-esteems issues. She uses her pills as a way to escape her feelings and pain of the past.
Even though Chess has finally found love, she still believes that she is unworthy of that love and does everything in her power to mess it up. There is one scene (well more than one) in Sacrificial Magic where I just want to slap the hell out of Chess for being self deconstructive when it comes to her relationship with Terrible. Yes the two still does not have it easy and even though I do get frustrated I like the fact that Kane doesn’t turn Chess and Terrible into the old married couple after they FINALLY get together. They both live hard lives and even though they have found love with each other, they have to work at their relationship.
And speaking of being frustrated; SM is a big freaking sexual tease through half of the book! There a few scenes where you thought you were going to get to see Terrible and Chess go at just to have something stop their fun.
Chess finds herself smiling a lot in SM and wondering what that is all about. Could this be what normal people do? Oh and we learn a little something personal about Terrible; he likes his dames o-natural. So no more waxing for Chess. When I read that line in the book I had a huge smile on my face. There was little more humor in SM and it was nice to see.
Chess gets a case from the Church that has been dropped by another debunker at a school on the other side of town where she has to cross the drug dealer’s line finding herself in her ex’s territory. This doesn’t help things with her and Terrible’s relationship. But she has no choice but to work the case. She uses her ties to Lex (her ex) to help figure out what’s going on at the school with the haunting.
Sacrificial Magic is a must read and is my current favorite book for this year and I say with total confidence that the only book that will probably top it will be the next book in the Downside series, Chasing Magic.
Fans of dark and gritty UF with damaged heroine and unusual heroes will fall in love with this series.
All good things must come to an end and that's what INSTANT TEMPTATION is to the Wilder series. But Jill Shalvis saved the best for last!
T.J. is the Wilder bother that stays gone for long periods of time taking clients on weeks to month-long treks into the mountains. He uses these trips to feel free and to avoid one spunky blonde tow truck driver that gets his motor running.
Harley is said tow truck drive and she has her hands full taking care of her hippie parents and little sister. Harley is short on her rent and eating cheap so that she can foot the bills for her family. She does all this while working a full-time job and trying to finish college and working an intern job for free in hopes she will get her dream job.
T.J. and Harley bicker like two kids fight over the last piece of candy. But what neither of them will admit is that all the bickering gets them both hot and bothered in another way. Harley does her best to stay away from T.J. because of one night they spent together back in high school. Harley thinks that T.J. doesn't remember the night because she means nothing to him even though her high school crush on him has never died. T.J. can't stop thinking about Harley and can't figure out why she can't stand him.
After the two open up to each other during a trip in the woods all becomes clear and they start to work on a HEA. I've said it before and I'll say it again . . . second chance at love in contemporary romances is one of my favorite tropes.
I'm sad to say that it took me 3 books to get into Liisa Ivary's narration. Now I'm sold on her voice for the Wilder gang and wish there were more books to listen to. If you're looking for a fun and sexy small town romance series you should pick up Jill Shalvis' Wilder series and I recommend it on audio. They are fun and fast listens with just the right about of heat.
As much as I love Mac and Barrons I felt like their story was done. I wanted more Dani with a side of Mac and Barrons. BURNED read like should have come after SHADOWFEVER, IMO. I guess we needed ICED so that we knew more about Dani and to make us care about her.
BURNED read like a filler of sorts. Way too much Mac (never thought I’d say that). I went into ICED wondering if I would like a story from Dani’s POV. I was surprise that I really enjoyed it and I think that’s because we got the Fever world but from other character’s POVs.
Rydon is no Barrons but after listening to BURNED I really like me and see that he is as complex (if not more) than Barrons.
There were a few sprinkled throughout BURNED but honesty they were all predictable, at least to me. Some included some answers to some mysteries in earlier books. Some brought up new questions while one was eye rolling (at least for this reader). In fact the shocker that I guess was supposed to be the biggest is the one I rolled my eyes at. Is the Fever series turning into a daytime soap opera? And that’s the one that kept me from giving BURNED 5 stars. And that cliffhanger was weak by Fever standards.
we've been seeing teasing on KMM's Facebook Page that there would be a 1oth. I had a guess who it would be. But while listening I changed my guess to someone else then I went back to my original guess. But the cliffhanger has me thinking that my two guesses were wrong. But who knows. I don't know enough about this third guess as a character so I'll just wait and see who the 10th is.
BURNED should not be missed by Fever fans. And YES you must read ICED (and all the others) before you read BURNED. It touches on old things from books 1-5 and ICED. Do not read BURNED without being caught up on the series! While I had some issues with BURNED I still enjoyed being back in the Fever world and I can’t wait for the next book.
If you’ve not experience the Fever series on audio you really should! It bring even more richness to Karen’s writing. Phil and Natalie do the Fever characters a great justice.
P.S. Lor was the best part IMO.
P.P.S. As many times as I’ve read/listen to this series BURNED is the first book I’ve reviewed. I plan on going back and reviewing the other books as I do a relisten to them this Fall in preparation for the October release. That is if that release date doesn’t get pushed back by two years.
DEAD OF WINTER was on the top of my most anticipated listens for 2015 and the team of Cole and Galvin delivered!
But I had to take away one star from my normal 5 stars for this series because of the love triangle. Not that it was bad! Yes this is an element in the series that needed to be addressed but maybe not for about 70% of the book. But have no fear Kresley Cole wrote it well. Sure there was some angst but it was not whiny.
In most love triangles I’ve read there is a clear front-runner (at least for me). Cole has made it hard for Evie (and me) to pick which guy she should be with. Just when I think I’ve picked the one I want her with the other guy does something I like and makes me change my mind. Both Jack and Aric (Death) has pros and cons. But I’ve decided that I’m for Aric all the way.
“I take no actions that I wouldn’t publicly recount. If you can’t speak your deeds, then don’t do them.”
That quote along has pushed me 100% over to “Team Death”. Aric might be many things but he has always been honest with Evie.
Ok romance aside we get more information on two of the Arcana Cards, The Lovers. WOW are those two freaky and all kinds of fucked up! We get some of the signature darkness of the series. We get little of the bagmen and slavers, none of the cannibals. So yeah about 70% of the book is about the love triangle.
The ending promises the next book could bring us back to the epic world Kresley Cole has built with her Arcana Chronicles. So I’ll impatiently wait for it and gobble it up like all the others on audio because Emma Galvin continues to knock the narration out of the park! She has the prefect voice for the series.
INSTANT GRATIFICATION is the second book in Jill Shalvis' Wilder series about three brothers that share the same last name. This time around we get middle brother, Stone's story.
Dr. Emma is uptight and only in Wishful for a short time (so she thinks) to run her father's practice while he recovers from a heart attack. Emma is use to running an ER in New York and the very slow pace of Wishful is driving her nuts. But not as nuts as the sexy Stone.
Stone is the glue that keeps the Wilder family together. He's the peace keeper, the one that does all the things the others don't want to do like the paperwork for Wilder Adventures and he's sexy as hell. And he can't wait to get Dr. Emma to loosen up and see what kind of fun they could have together.
Emma and Stone dance around each other for a while but once they start dancing together they really heat of the "pages" of INSTANT GRATIFICATION. If you're looking for a romance where the guy is an alpha outdoorsman and the gal is a city girl who needs a little dirtying up then you need to check out INSTANT GRATIFICATION by Jill Shalvis.
Liisa Ivary's narration is growing on me. Liisa does an excellent job with the male voices and she manages to change her voice for the females characters where her non-dialogue voice is different, instead of it being the same as the heroine's which it is nice. I still think that Liisa's voice sounds a little too mature for these younger couples but that's something I'm willing to over look. I can't wait to listen to the next book, INSTANT TEMPTATION.
I loved seeing Hailey get her HEA with the sexy ranger, Matt. These two prove that opposites do attract.
Lauren Fortgang does an outstanding job as usual with the narration. I enjoyed every minute of TAKEN WITH YOU and I can't wait to listen to FALLEN FOR MAX when it's available on audio.
Stacey and Fortgang is a winning author/narrator combo!
The team of Elliott James and Roger Wayne was not a one hit wonder with me. I enjoyed DARING almost as much as CHARMING. There was only a 1/2 star difference in the ratings between the two books. Why? DARING was a little slow in a couple of places and that's really the only reason for the lower rating.
I can't wait for book 3, FEARLESS to release August 11, 2015.
But in the mean time I'll read more about John Charming in the short stories that take place before CHARMING.
YES! Just when I was drowning in romances and needed a great urban fantasy listen, CHARMING came into my life.
CHARMING has a full cast of supernaturals from werewolves, vamps, Valkyrie and more.
I've not read many books told from a male protagonist POV's and I must say I'm really enjoying them. They are great for when I'm burn out on romances. I love the fact that CHARMING is written in first person so when Roger Wayne narrates John Charming's story it's like he is talking to me when I'm listening.
I told someone that I thought John Charming is like a cooler Atticus from Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles. I'd love to see these two guys hang out sometime.
Roger Wayne can out of no where for me. I was hooked on his narration of CHARMING within 20 minutes of listening. He has made it to my list of favorite narrators and I don't have many male narrators on that list. He did an outstanding job with everything.
I was about 40% into CHARMING when I purchased book 2, DARING on audio. Bring on more Elliott James and Roger Wayne!
If you're a fan of author Kevin Hearne you'll enjoy Elliott James as well.
Fan of Luke Daniels' narration you also enjoy Roger Wayne.
I really enjoy Jill Shalvis' brand of contemporary romance; funny and sexy.
After a near death experience Katie now has the attitude that she's going to live life with her "balls out". Never mind she doesn't have any balls. Cam has been away from home for a year, licking his wounds from a failed relationship and an accent that cost him, his sports career. The two meet when Cam finds Katie (aka Goldie Locks) in his bed after he returns home from his time away.
Katie and Cam has chemistry and a lot of sexual tension through out INSTANT ATTRACTION. There are a few times when they think they're about to get lucky, only to have something or someone stopping them. Neither wants to fall of the other one since Katie is only in time for a few weeks. Cam is afraid that Katie will want more if they get too close. Katie is afraid that she will get her heart broken when it's time for her to leave town for her next adventure. But they over come their issues in sweet and funny ways to have a HEA.
There's a secondary romance happening in INSTANT ATTRACTION. Cam's aunt, Annie is trying to get her husband Nick "to see her". The couple have been married for a few years and have lost that spark. It's fun to watch the older couple try to work out their issues and see if they can make their marriage work.
It took me a while to get into Liisa Ivary's narration. While Liisa does a great job narrating INSTANT ATTRACTION I'm not 100% sold on her voice for this series. She has an "older" sounding voice and with Katie and Cam are in their late 20s or early 30s. But Liisa does an excellent job with the male voices and she manages to change her voice for the females characters where her non-dialogue voice is different, instead of it being the same as the heroine's which it is nice.
Give me more of the Wilder bunch!
Dark Needs at Night’s Edge is the 4th full length book in Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series that is set in a world with all kinds of paranormal creatures from vampires and demons to werewolves and now ghosts.
We meet the unlikely hero, Conrad in earlier books about his older brothers. Now we get to see what the missing younger Wroth brother has been up to……battling blood lust and becoming one of the most feared assassins in the lore (paranormal world). One thing that has push Conrad into the assassin jig is his hatred of vampires. He has sworn to kill his brothers before killing himself.
Not knowing his plan to swipe out the family; Conrad’s brothers kidnap him after their long search to find him, in hopes of helping him over come his blood lust.
The Worth brothers hold Conrad up in an abandoned house that once belonged to the beautiful 20s dancer, Neomi.
Neomi has been stuck in her home after her ex-fiance murdered her. She longs for companionship but being a ghost no has seen or talked to her in the 80 years of her afterlife. Until a group of strange men enter her home.
Neomi is filled with hope when it appears that one of the men can see and hear her. But he’s not man at all. Neomi is shocked to find out that vampires are real and that she is falling in love with one.
Neomi and Conrad have pasts to over come and trust to build before they get their HEA. But it’s a sexy, fun and heart breaking ride from being to end.
I love this series and how we get to see past characters pop up and no IAD book is complete without a cameo from the ever knowing Valkyrie, Nix. She is a great secondary character and I can’t for her to get her HEA.
There is currently 12 books (including a couple of novellas) out on shelves with more to come. They are slowing recording the series on audio Robert Pektoff does a great job with the narration and I can’t wait for the next book, Dark Desires After Dusk to be released on audio in February.
If you are looking for a fun and sexy paranormal romance read you should try the Immortal After Dark series.
WOW. Just WOW. Um where to begin. It's going to be hard to talk about BROKEN SOUL without spoiling so I'll try to keep it short.
Let's the narration out-of-the-way. Khristine Hvam is Jane and Beast. NO ONE else could narrate Jane Yellorock any better! Hvam's delivery of Faith Hunter's characters are flawless. She nails it every time and is the reason this series is on my audio only list. Hunter's writing is amazing, there's no doubt but Hvam is like putting chocolate sauces and a cherry on top of the goodness that is Jane Yellowrock.
The series is very detailed and you really must focus on what's going on. I made the mistake of zoning out for a few minutes while I was listening at work and ended up totally lost. Things were moving so fast I had to back up the audio to pick up the details I had missed. The whole novel is non-stop action from beginning to end.
BROKEN SOUL starts out as one kind of book and with all the twists and complex plot lines ends up being something I didn't see coming. WOW Jane and Beast keep evolving into this unstoppable team of two souls in one body. Well, is that really one body since Jane can physically shift into Beast's form? Mmm...
I've read other UF series where the main characters are weres, shifters, skinwalkers, etc and none have been done as well as Hunter's Jane and Beast. The way they communicate is original. They really are two heroines sharing a space. And with the events of the previous book, BLACK ARTS and with what takes place here, neither has an idea where they are heading.
And for those who've been wanting some ON PAGE romance for Jane... you get it. It's not smutty because this is Jane after all but we get details that are satisfying. And I can't wait to see how that part of Jane's (and Beast's!) life changes. I think she's finally ready for a true mate!
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