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.
Lauren Fortgang is the narrator? Heck yeah sign me up!
What I liked
Dark Hope started out as a kind of light UF story that turned into a complex story that had me wondering where the roller coaster was going to stop. I liked the fact that I couldn't easily figure the plot out by chapter 5 like other books I've read. Dark Hope is an audio you need to listen carefully to because you can find yourself lost if you check out from time to time. A lot of plot twists happen.
What Didn’t Quite Work For Me
I actually took a break with only 2 hours left in the audio because I was as lost and pissed as Claire and just wanted to know what the heck was going on. After I took a break and came back to Dark Hope I was glad I did.
Will I continue the series?
Yes. I enjoyed the plot and Claire enough to give a second book a go. Especially if it's on audio and narrated by Lauren Fortgang. Plus I NEED to know who was taking Claire home at the end. H.D. Smith you left me hanging. LOL
Why I listened
Lauren. Freaking. Fortgang. Seriously if I see her name as the narrator I'm going to give it a try. I could listen to Lauren read the phone book. Lauren nailed Dark Hope's 1st person POV through Claire.
A Reason to Stay felt like the last half of a longer novella. I want the beginning, the work up to Ellie moving. I would like to have learned more about Ellie and Jake.
I love romances where best friends are secretly in love with each other. It's one of my favorite plot lines in contemporary romances.
I didn't fall in love with Meghan Kelly's narration of the book. It was bad but it wasn't my favorite either. The biggest issue I had was her voice for Jake. I don't know how to put it... he didn't sound guy enough for my taste.
I don't really see how there could a be follow up book, since Jake and Ellie got their happily ever after and there was no other characters in the story to get their own book.
Great characters and I liked idea of the story. Just wish there was more than basically a two or three scene story. I wanted more.
Another fun and sexy read from Jessica Sims.
What I liked:
Marie is a great heroine. She’s strong and sassy. She’s a little naïve when it comes to supes even though she’s worked as Midnight Liaisons for a year. But she keeps to herself and the supes try to keep as much as they can from humans so her naïve about them is understandable.
Joshua is just down right sexy. I picture him as Jason Stackhouse in True Blood but with more brains. LOL He’s known as a player, never having a long relationship with one woman. But Marie has him wanting more. And good for her, she makes him work for it.
What I didn’t like:
Nothing! As far as the writing, plot and characters I really enjoyed Must Love Fangs. My only complaint was the narration.
Leah Mallach continues to do an ok job with the narration. My only complaint this time around is her lack of a French accent for Marie when she was cussing in French. Marie’s mother was French Canadian and that’s where she learned to cuss in French. But I guess with Marie living in Texas she’s not going to have a French accent but still I would have liked to have a good fake French accent. Mallach didn’t change her accent at all for those French dirty words.
Must Love Fangs has it all; humor, mystery, sexy times, sad times and fur and fangs. Jessica Sims is always a good for a light and fun read.
Will I continue this series?
Yes! I’ve requested book 4, Wanted: Wild Thing from the audio publisher already and can’t wait to listen to Ryder’s story.
Hammered is the 3rd book in Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles. While we get some of the same humor that I love from Hearne, Hammered was just a bit slower than the last two books. Why? Most of the book reminded me of the LONG journey in Lord of the Rings. You have a group of guys traveling to find Thor, the Thunder God. Why do they want to find Thor? To kill him. Atticus promised Leif that he would help him. And after hearing all of the guys in the group stories (male bonding around the camp fire) about Thor. Atticus gets a clear picture about what a douche bag Thor is.
Two of my favorite scenes in Hammered was of course the speech that Oberon gives about Triple Nonfat Double Bacon Five-Cheese Mocha and Atticus having a pint and fish-n-chips with Jesus.
While Hammered is not my favorite in the series so far it’s still a must read/listen for fans of the series. Just know that it’s very heavy in mythology and geekery. (Seriously, Atticus does a lot of Star Trek talking to himself LOL)
Ever wonder what a giant squirrel would sound like? According to Luke Daniels it’s much like LotR’s Gollum. I imagine him hugging a nut saying my precious. Daniels truly kept me entertained with all his delightful voices for some of the quirkier characters.
I will not be reviewing this book since it's been reviewed so many times and I wish to keep this book just for me. But I will say that damn you John Green for making me ALMOST cry.
And to Kate Rudd for doing an outstanding job of bring Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters to life.
Between Green's writing and Rudd's narration I often gritted my teeth and looked up at the ceiling to keep from crying.
Kevin Hearne continues to entertain me with his stories of Atticus and his first-rate sidekick, Oberon. Hexed UF at its greatest.
Luke Daniels’ adaptable narration from character to character is an ear mark of a great narrator. And his narration of Oberon has me wishing I had an Irish Wolf Hound of my own.
Clean Sweep was originally released on Andrew’s blog in pieces. I’m not one for reading books in parts so I decided to wait until it was all done and released as a finished product. Then I found out it was going to be produced on audio so I waited for it. And I’m so glad I did.
All the Ilona Andrew’s book I’ve experienced has been on audio and narrated by Renee Raudman so I’ve come to expect high quality and I’ve never been let down. You can’t go wrong with a team like Ilona Andrews and Renee Raudman! Seriously, Raudman brings the writing of Andrews to life like no else could and Clean Sweep was a pure delight on audio.
If you are a fan of Ilona Andrews you know that they (husband and wife writing team if you didn’t know) Urban Fantasy writing gods that write about magically beings that find themselves in some serious and often funny predicaments. Really, only Ilona Andrews can bring you an inter galaxy fight in the middle of a Costco.
“The woman stared at the ruined body. Blood dripped from her arm. A fine spray of red covered her face --must've been cast off when she slammed down the cans. She wiped her face with her left forearm and kicked the stalker's corpse with her sneakered foot. "Don't mess with Texas.”
They write some of the best heroines and Dina the Inn Keeper of Gertrude Hunt is a fine example. They are habitually sarcastic, strong and independent. Much like other heroines that Andrews has penned, Dina doesn’t need a man to keep her safe. But she finds herself face to face with a growly alpha man when the neighborhood werewolf, Sean Evans comes peeing on her apple tree.
Sean is the picture of an alpha hero. He’s a werewolf that knows every little about other supernatural including other werewolves. He has lived in the human world on Earth and is just finding out about the Inns that act as weigh stations for other worldly supes.
The Inn is not just a bed and breakfast; it’s a weigh station or rest stop for all kinds of magical and supernatural from other planets. It’s also a living entity, one that must be keep active by its inn keeper.
Like most Urban Fantasy novels there’s not much romance but there is a promise of one to come. Sean and Dina find each other attractive and there’s a definite chemistry between the two. But neither is in the market for a honey bun, there are more important things to deal with at the moment. Then enters the vampire, Arland, which is also very appealing to look at. And of course Sean and Arland try to beat their chests in attempt to get Dina’s attention.
“Where is Arland?"
"Rapunzel decided to walk around in the woods to get 'the feel of the battleground.' He won't leave the grounds and he promises to defend the inn with 'all the strength in his body.' I told him if he gets in trouble, he should try singing prettily so his woodland friends will come to the rescue. I don't think he got it.”
Could there be a love triangle in Dina’s future? Only time will tell.
“I have spent my spare time studying literature popular with young women of this planet. One should always study the battlefield."
Sean glanced at him. "And?"
"I suggest you give up now. According to my research, in a vampire-werewolf love triangle,
the vampire always gets the girl.”
“Is that so?” Sean asked.
“In that case may the best man win.”
Dina has this funny and scary sidekick, Beast, which looks like a Shih Tzu but after Beast trees Sean (the werewolf!) I couldn’t help but picture the “dog” from Despicable Me. LOL
I really enjoyed Clean Sweep and I’m very tempted to head over to Ilona Andrews’ website to start reading Sweep in Peace. I could always listen to the audio afterwards, right?
I highly recommend Clean Sweep to fans of Ilona Andrews and if you have not tried their work, Clean Sweep would be a fun place to start.
Wow Charley is really getting on the social media band wagon. There was so many hashtag moments and each was funny. But if I had to pick one of Charley’s hashtags to sum up Sixth Grave on the Edge it would be #HOLYCRAP.
I want to know Mr. Wong’s story. He’s been around since First Grave and we still don’t know much about him. Jones gives us a little tease about him in Sixth Grave but I’m ready to know who and/or what he is. I think he’s a spy for someone but I could be wrong. Come on Wong spill already.
Charley needs to grow up. I love her snark and humor but by book 6 she hasn’t grown enough IMO. Charley still hasn’t answered Reyes’ question from the end of Fifth Grave. Come on, it’s a Yes or No question but it takes her the whole book to answer.
Swoon! I think that Reyes is really growing as a character. He’s listening more to Charley instead of being alpha all the time. I like that we are seeing a softer side to him as well. One question I’ve always had. Why is Reyes the one with the hooded cloak when Charley is the Grim Reaper?
Awe They’re so Cute:
Cookie and Ubie (Uncle Bob) are just so darn cute. They dance around each other like teenagers. After Cookie and Ubie’s crush started I often wondered how old they were. I had a feeling that Cookie was older than Charley who is 27 and I though it was mentioned once that Ubie was younger than Charley’s dad. But I didn’t know how much of an age difference was between Cookie and Ubie. Then Darynda addressed this issue on her Facebook Page. That Cookie is about 35 and Ubie is late 40s so that’s not too big of an age difference. At least not enough to creep me out.
Will I Continue the Series?:
Yes! Jones and King are an unstoppable team! Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones is a must read for fans.
A mature Sex and the City.
If college age romances are call New Adult what would late 40s to early 50s be called, Old Adult? LOL
Anne Johnstonbrown does an ok job with the narration but her voice was a little off putting because it sounded too mature. Yeah sure the characters are knocking on the big 5-0 door but they are sexy men and women and I feel like Anne’s voice would be better suited for a sweet romance instead of a hot romance. It was almost like listening to my grandmother reading the book to me and it took me out of the hot moments.
What I liked:
I love Regina. She’s a sex therapist and that is very plan spoken. Anyone that shouts “holy shit” when she sees that the man she’s about to sleep with is well-endowed, is fun in my book.
I like that Donna McDonald shows women in their mid to late forties can still be sexy and looking for a HEA. It’s refreshing to read a romance in a different age group than me, that’s not YA or NA. I’m in my 30s and it’s nice to think that when I hit my 40s that I can still be dirty like the gals are. LOL
What I didn’t like:
The word notorious was used WAY TOO MANY times. If I heard it once I heard it a thousand times. Sure the word is in the title, Dating Dr. Notorious but come on. Who really talks about themselves and friends as being notorious? Try using some other words like infamous, scandalous, well-known, etc. There’s using a keyword from the book title then theirs beating someone over the head with it.
Will I continue this series:
Yes. Fun and flirty romance series but best read. I can’t wait to see the uptight, Lauren get her own HEA in book 3, Dating A Saint. But I’ll be reading it instead listening to the audio.
10 books into the Immortals After Dark series and the team of Cole and Petkoff is still knocking it out of the park!
Kresley Cole is paranormal romance at its finest. I don’t how she does it but she kinds the laughs and sexy times coming with each installment in the IAD series. She writes extremely entertaining characters and paints a vivid world surrounding her supes.
The Narration Performance:
I can’t call Robert Petkoff a narrator no longer, he doesn’t read a book he PERFORMS them. The man can do no wrong! He is the cherry on top of Cole’s writing. Seriously, if you think of audio books as experiencing the biggest epic/action movie in 3D then you not only get an outstanding story told through Cole’s writing but you get the added layers in-depth and texture of her characters through Petkoff’s performance. I couldn’t image anyone else bring this series to life the way he does. It’s magic to my ears! EVERY TIME!
The Story & Character:
Malkolm is a vemon (I know you’re thinking WTH is a venom), a demon that has been turned into a vampire. Malkolm was forced into the turning by his enemy many, many years ago. He hates vampires due to his childhood as a blood slave to a vampire his mother sold him to. (Great childhood, right? Mother of the year award goes to…)
So Malkolm has characteristics from both his demon and vampire sides. He also lives alone because no one likes or wants a vemon around.
Carrow is a witch and has been kidnapped and blackmailed into bring Malkolm back to her enemies. She thinks the task will be easy and agrees to do it because hey, she has no choice. But once she meets Malkolm she realizes that her task of bring him back won’t be as easy as she thought.
And of course Cole adds in the fact that Carrow is Malkolm’s mate. Things start to heat up between the two and they develop feelings for each other (duh, it’s a romance of course they do). But Carrow holds back because she has HUGE guilt over lying to Malkolm about why she is there in his realm. Especially since she has learned of his past and how everyone that he had loved betrayed him in some way.
Demon from the Dark is easily one of my favorites in the series. Malkolm grabs your heart and doesn’t let go and Carrow is the perfect mate for him. If you like your heroes on the strong and silent side with a heart of gold underneath you should pick Demon from the Dark. It could be read without reading the other books in the series but I highly recommend starting with the first book, A Hunger Like No Other or even the novella that started it all, The Warlord Wants Forever. The IAD series has characters and plotlines that overlap one another and it’s much better to experience this world in the layers that each book brings. And if you are an audio fan do this series on audio!! If you’re looking to give audios a try start with this series. It a faultless example of what a great narrator can do for an already awesome book(s).
Report Inappropriate Content