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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Review: Angel Kin by Tricia Skinner

Title: Angel Kin
Author: Tricia Skinner
Series: Angel Assassins, book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Entangled: Edge
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“While channeling Robin Hood's "steal from the rich and give to the poor" attitude at a local politician's house, ex-con Katie Logan witnesses a forced suicide. Dirty or not, supernatural or not, he didn't deserve to die, especially not by his own hand. But with her record, stepping forward as a witness isn't an option. On the run from the police and the murderer, she turns to The Bound Ones for help.

When a beautiful woman comes to The Bound Ones, half-angel assassin Cain is immediately drawn to her. But when she fingers him as the killer, he can come to only one conclusion. The twin he thought was dead is very much alive…and trying to send him a message. Unfortunately, that message is: "You're next."

It's a race against time as Cain fights to save the woman he's falling in love with before his brother Abel destroys them both.”
Angel Kin is the first book in the Angel Assassins series by Tricia Skinner.

After I was offered this book for review I read the burb and wasn’t sure if to accept or not. The Cain and Abel name of the characters kind of worried me because I don’t enjoy books with heavy religious undercurrents, but when Mrs. Skinner replied: “My angels are not pious; they are SOBs.” I was sold, I knew I have to read this book and I’m glad I did.

Katie Logan promised her family she wouldn’t steal again, but with her friends’ lives at risks and without any other option to get money she decides to rob the house of a dirty politician. What Katie wasn’t expecting was to witness the assassination of the politician by a supernatural being.
Katie has a record and can’t go to the police, but with the help of her brother she goes to The Bound Ones, a group of Nephilim (half human-half angel) assassins in charge of protecting the Sacred Law. The last thing Katie imagined was to find in The Bound Ones the man she saw killing the politician or at least a man that looks just like him.
Cain is at lost when Katie accuses him of murder, but without any other explanation he realizes his twin brother, Abel, must be behind the murder.
Now, with the brother he thought dead for millennia breaking havoc in Detroit, Cain knows he has to stop him before another finds him. He has many questions for him, but he also knows that the actions of this Abel are not the actions of the sweet and caring boy he remembers.
If his inner turmoil wasn’t enough, being close to Katie is awaking in him feelings he thought forever suppressed.

Cain may be an assassin but he is not evil, he has a conscience and a close group of friends whom he considers his adoptive family. He has a dark and sad past that torments him everyday and now the brother he has mourned for thousands of years is back, but sadly the circumstances of Abel’s return just mean another heartbreak for Cain.
I really liked Cain, I like that despise the tough life he’s still a sweet and caring man. I love his love for his friends and his adoptive father. I also loved that even though he was happy for Abel’s return he was also aware this was not a happy reunion.

I liked Katie, but if I’m honest there is not much we know about her. We know she has done some mistakes in the past and we also know she cares for her brothers and friends, but apart from that there is not much we know about her.

Cain and Katie’s romance is not insta-love, more like insta-attraction and it develops from there. I liked them together, I think Katie was good for Cain and Cain was good for Katie, but… here comes the “but” in their relationship. Cain is a thousands year old Nephilim and Katie is a normal human. I really don’t see how their relationship can work in the long run. Maybe something will happen in future books to change Katie’s status, I don’t know, I’ll have to wait and see.

There is an array of secondary characters; from them the more prevalent is Abel.
Abel is bad because he doesn’t know anything better. He had a very different upbringing from Cain. Abel was raised by The Renegades to be use as a weapon in their war with the angels.
“You were too human as a child, weakened by emotions. We saved you from the fate of the other half-breeds so you could learn a better path.”
Another scrape burned along Abel’s back.
“Starved of wasted emotion. Beaten to understand and control pain. Locked away in isolation to develop our singular purpose. This is why you survived. This is who you were meant to be.”
Although I don’t condone Abel’s actions I know in a way it wasn’t his fault. He’s the result of years of harsh programming.

From the other secondary characters I can’t say much. We meet Cain’s adoptive father, the angel Tanis and Cain’s partners/brothers Kas, Nesty and Jarrid. Apart from knowing they are also Nephilim we don’t know much else. They were a bit underdeveloped. It was the same case with Katie’s friends. She risked her life for them, but we don’t see much of them apart from a few telephone conversations. It would have been nice if all of the secondary characters had been fully fleshed out.

The world Mrs. Skinner creates in this series is interesting. Humans live among a variety of supernatural beings (Others). This is something I would have like to know more about. How it came to be or if it was always like this. Hopefully we’ll learn more in books to come.

After reading Angel Kin I realized there is a prequel, Angel Bait. I’m planning to read it; maybe some of my questions are answered in there.

Angel Kin is not a perfect read but it is a good start to a promising series. I recommend Angel Kin to paranormal romance and urban fantasy fans.

Next book in the series, Angel Lover, will be Kas’ book and it’ll be release on August 31st.

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
Angel Bait (prequel)
Angel Kin
Angel Lover (August 31st)

Other reviews Goodreads

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cover Revealed: The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison

One of my all time favorite series is The Hollows by Kim Harrison. I discovered this series back in 2010 and read first 8 books one behind the other. After that I waited every year for February to get my hands on the new installments; that was the case in 2011, 2012, 2013 and this year. 

Talking about this year, I couldn’t be happier after reading The Undead Pool, I loved every single page of that book and my happiness only increased when I learned I didn’t have to wait a whole year but just couple of months for the release of next and last installment in this series, The Witch With No Name and that's the cover I have for you today, the cover of my new most awaited book of 2014 The Witch With No Name. 
Are you as excited as me about this book?

The Witch With No Name
The Hollows #13
Urban Fantasy
September 9th

“Rachel Morgan's come a long way from the clutzy runner of Dead Witch Walking. She's faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She's crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She's lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has become something much more.

But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. That time is now.

To save Ivy's soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything”

Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: The Wizard’s Promise by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Title: The Wizard’s Promise
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Series: The Hanna Duology, book 1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Strange Chemistry (May 6th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
*This review contains some mild spoilers!* 
"All Hanna Euli wants is to become a proper witch – but unfortunately, she’s stuck as an apprentice to a grumpy fisherman. When their boat gets caught up in a mysterious storm and blown wildly off course, Hanna finds herself further away from home than she’s ever been before.

As she tries to get back, she learns there may be more to her apprentice master than she realized, especially when a mysterious, beautiful, and very non-human boy begins following her through the ocean, claiming that he needs Hanna’s help."
The Wizard’s Promise is the first book in The Hanna Duology by Cassandra Rose Clarke.

Hanna can control the wind and has always dreamed of becoming a witch. Instead of following her dream she works for Kolur as a fisherman’s apprentice.
In one of their fishing runs they encounter a magic storm and are blown off course. Soon after Hanna realizes Kolur is not only a fisherman, he is also a wizard with a hidden agenda, an agenda that without her knowing is taking them far from home.
Hanna grew up with her mom’s tales of adventures and even though she wanted to have adventures of her own she never thought it’d be like this; with a reluctant secretive wizard and towards an unknown destination.

I had heard great things about Cassandra Rose Clarke’s books and when I saw this book (yes, I fell for the beautiful cover) available for review I thought this was my chance. Sadly the only great thing about The Wizard’s Promise is the cover.

During the first pages of the book Hanna is very promising as a character, but soon after that evaporates and she becomes very dull.
I understand she was taken to an unknown destination without any explanation. I can understand how frustrating that must be, but I was expecting more from her that the whiny girl we get.
I also know Kolur kept secrets from her and it was difficult for her to trust him afterwards, but despite his secrets he was not only a man she knew all her life, but also her mother’s best friend. When they are cast to an unknown land, with unknown people, Hanna preferred to trust unknown people than staying with the man she knew and that by this point had been honest with her about his plans.

The secondary characters lack so much depth that it was impossible to connect with them. We have Kolur and fisherman/secret magician with so many secrets that only by the end we see some glimpses of who he really is.
Frida, a powerful witch (with secrets, of course!) who wanted to spill the beans but a promise to Kolur kept her mouth shut.
Isolfr, a mysterious non-human boy full of… guess what? Yes, Secrets. He wanted to help Hanna but couldn’t tell her why. He needed Hanna’s help but couldn’t tell her why. He follows them around but couldn’t tell her why.

That is my biggest problem with this book, so many unnecessary secrets and so many unnecessary mysteries, it was frustrating to read page after page of don’t ask questions, you don’t need to know and I can’t tell you. If at least something interesting had been happening at the same time this could have been bearable, but almost nothing happened during the whole book and what happened was boring and repetitive. They are on the boat, Hanna is controlling the wind, Hanna is fishing, Hanna is mending the sails, Hanna is sulking, Hanna is asking questions to Kolur, Kolur is not answering, they get into a magic storm, they get cast off course, they buy supplies, they fix the boat and back to being on the boat, controlling wind, fishing, mending sails, sulking, asking questions… This goes on and on and on.

The world building is the only thing interesting in this book. Different places, with different people and of course different fishes. There is magic and magic is use in all aspects of life, from the mundane to protections from evil. There are different beliefs and of course a villain and his followers, scary creatures of the Mist that weren’t that scary.

The Wizard’s Promise is a book with a lot of potential, unfortunately it stays there, in only potential. I’m not planning to read second book in this duology and sadly I cannot recommend this book.

My Verdict: 2 ½ Paws

Other books in the duology
The Wizard’s Promise (May 6th)
The Nobleman’s Revenge (TBA)

Other reviews Goodreads

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Movie Trailer: The Maze Runner

"When Thomas wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner."


Friday, April 25, 2014

Review: Once Upon a Billionaire by Jessica Clare

Title: Once Upon a Billionaire
Author: Jessica Clare
Series: Billionaire Boys Club, book 4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Berkley InterMix
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“The Billionaire Boys Club is a secret society of six men who have vowed success—at any cost. Not all of them are old money, but all of them are incredibly wealthy. They’re just not always as successful when it comes to love…

As a member of the royal family in a small European country, Griffin Verdi’s presence is requested at the wedding of the century. The scholarly billionaire feels out of his depth in social situations, so a good assistant is required—especially when dealing with royal etiquette.

Unfortunately for Griffin, he’s stuck with Maylee Meriweather, a pretty, charming, and thoroughly unsuitable woman who doesn’t know a thing about high society—but she sure can kiss. Her lack of polish may sink Griffin, because after all, even his money can’t buy class. But through Maylee’s eyes, he’s starting to appreciate the simple things in life—if simple means the most complicated woman he’s ever met.

Maylee is everything Griffin isn’t—and everything he wants—if he can let down his guard and step outside his sheltered world.”
Once Upon a Billionaire is the fourth book in the Billionaire Boys Club series by Jessica Clare.

Viscount Montagne Verdi known to his friends as Griffin is in a difficult situation. He needs to travel to his home country to attend his cousin’s wedding. The last thing Griffin wants is to attend a Royal wedding, but he can’t say no to family. The problem is not the wedding, the problem is his assistant has chicken pox and can’t travel with him. Griffin doesn’t know how to do anything, he doesn’t even know how to tie his tie, he is used to be serve and needs a replacement assistant for this trip. When Gretchen (Beauty and the Billionaire, second book) learns of this she offers him her boyfriend’s (Hunter) assistant, Maylee. Without any other option he accepts Gretchen offering not knowing that she didn’t do it to help him, but to ruffle his feathers. Griffin is a snobby sophisticated aristocrat and Maylee although sweet is a redneck through and through.
Griffin doesn’t meet Maylee until they are on the plane and as soon as he sees her he knows she is the wrong person for the job, he needed somebody sophisticated and with knowledge of etiquette and Maylee obviously is not that person. Without any other option he decides to give her an opportunity, but is planning to send her back home at her first fault.
Maylee is very excited about the opportunity; when she left her small town in Arkansas for New York she never thought she will have an opportunity to see the world and to get paid for it is more than she could have ever dreamed, but her happiness comes crashing after meeting Griffin and realizing what he thinks of her. She knows she is not sophisticated but she is hard worker and knows how to do her job and with that in mind she is ready to do her best so he won’t send her back.
Maylee confuses Griffin profoundly, she is everything he frowns upon a woman, but still he can’t help but feel attracted to her and she’s the completely wrong woman for him.
Maylee is a lost with Griffin; he’s one person when they are alone and a completely different one when they are in public. His behavior bewilders her because she doesn’t know where she stands with him.

I have mixed feelings about this book; it started as a very funny book and soon after it slowed down, still I can honestly say I enjoyed reading it.

I liked Maylee but at times I felt as if I was reading two different Maylees. The Maylee from the beginning of the book and the Maylee after the halfway mark. The first Maylee couldn’t be more unpolished or couldn’t lack more of finesse. The second Maylee suddenly changed her way of talking and her behavior, she went from a backwoods country girl to a city girl in a flash of the eyes. The why, when and how of this transformation was so sudden that it was a bit unbelievable. Despite that I liked her, I liked her big heart and her inner-strength.

Griffin is a very complicated character; his Royal upbringing has cemented on him certain trails that are difficult to digest for us commoners LOL, to add to that he’s socially inept and almost everything that comes out of his mouth is the wrong thing to say. If we are able to overlook his faults he is a sweet and caring man who doesn’t know how to express his feelings. Griffin needed a generous woman with a big heart to get him out of his shell and that’s exactly what Maylee is.

The romance is sweet and hot, but it suffers a bit of insta-love. Still it was fun to watch them together.

In this installment he also see the couples from previous books, we see where they are in their lives and what is new with them. we also get an idea about the protagonists for next book.  

Once Upon a Billionaire is a fun, sweet, romantic and well-written book and a good addition to a highly entertaining series. Even though it was not my favorite in the series, that place still belongs to Beauty and the Billionaire, Once Upon a Billionaire is book I recommend to contemporary romance fans or to anyone who want to read a fun, cute book with a touch of Cinderella in it.

Next book in the series is Romancing the Billionaire will be release on November 4th and it will be Jonathan’s book. I’m looking forward to see what Mrs. Clare has in store for him. 

My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
Beauty and the Billionaire
Once Upon a Billionaire
Romancing the Billionaire (November 4th)

Other reviews Goodreads

Thursday, April 24, 2014

CATS-ilicious Thursdays - Featuring Lucifer

Today I’m featuring a very special kitty, his name is Lucifer*, sometimes he’s also known as Luci. 
Luci is Linda’s (Blodeuedd from Books for Life) baby and one of the cutest and smartest cats I’ve even seen. Don’t you agree?

*Pictures and video courtesy of Linda. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Top Off Tuesday: Savage Heart by Sara Fawkes

Today is Tuesday! You know what that means? Yes, today is that special day in the week. It’s Top Off Tuesday! Top Off Tuesday is a feature hosted by Felicia from The Geeky Book Blogger's Book Blog, Amanda from On a Book Bender, and Christi from Smitten with Reading.

The chest cover I have for you today is the cover for Savage Heart. Savage Heart is the prequel novella in the new Savages MC series by Sara Fawkes. Savage Heart will be release on May 25th and something about this cover is telling me I should read this book. What do you think? Is this cover also talking to you?

“My name is Eve Parker, and I'm as normal as can be. Well, at least I was.

His name is Ash, and he's the enforcer for the Savage Legion motorcycle club. I never imagined a man like him would even look at me, let alone pursue me relentlessly. One touch of his hand leaves me melting, but I know he is bad news. I almost let things go too far the very first time we met, then he disappeared on me.

He's not the sort of boy any good girl usually goes after; I should leave it alone, but I can't get him out of my head. Apparently he feels the same way because he keeps showing up wherever I go. I've done my research about his club: the Savages are an outlaw 1%er biker club, which means they're not good. In fact, they're only good at being bad. I need to stay away if I know what's good for me, but...

He's magnificent. He makes me feel incredible, at least when he's not pissing me off. I don't get his choices or his lifestyle, but there's so much more to this man than the patches and the motorcycle. The more glimpses he gives me of what's beneath the shell, the more I want to find out.

But when bad things start happening within the club, my fascination for Ash could very well end up getting me killed…”

If you also want to participate on Top Off Tuesday head over to Felicia’s blog to share your link or just to see which other blogs are participating.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: Silver Skin by D.L. McDermott

Title: Silver Skin
Author: D.L. McDermott
Series: Cold Iron, book 2
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Fae
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“Helene Whitney has been losing time. Not losing track of time, but missing hours, finding whole blank spaces in her day she can’t account for. A year ago she would have put it down to overwork and exhaustion, but that was before she found out about the Good Neighbors, the Fair Folk, the Beautiful People, the Fae.

Ancient, immortal, tricksy and cruel, these creatures out of myth and legend rule the Irish enclaves of South Boston and Charlestown, and one of them has been using magic to abduct and control Helene for hours every day, gaining access to the collection at her museum and searching for ancient objects of Fae power.

Now, Helene’s only hope of escaping this unknown assailant lies with the Fae sorcerer, Miach MacCecht, a man she knows she can never trust—and who may prove impossible to resist.”
Silver Skin is the second book in the Cold Iron series by D.L. McDermott.

Silver Skin starts couple of months after the events in Cold Iron (first book in the series).
Helene continues to work at the museum and her life is back to normal after everything that happened in Cold Iron, or at least it was until couple of weeks ago when she started to lose hours, hours she can’t account for.
Helene has gone to doctors and they can’t find anything wrong with her and when she tries to tell her friend Beth the words just don’t come out and Beth can’t be of much help while she is in Ireland. Helene knows she can’t continue like this, she also knows there is some kind of magic behind all this and without any other option she goes to the man she swore off, Miach MacCecht, the Fae sorcerer that marked her and tried to kill Beth (Cold Iron).
Since the moment he met her Miach has been fascinated by Helene, but after Beth put a geis on him to leave Helene alone he was forced to do just that; but now Helene has come to him for help, help he will gladly give, especially after finding a Fae’s mark on her. Somebody is controlling Helene and using her to get access to the museum’s artifacts collection and whoever is doing is looking for Fae artifacts.
It looks like somebody wants to open the portals to bring the Fae Court back to this world. Miach remembers how it was to live with the Fae court and he will do anything in his power to stop them from coming and to protect Helene from whoever is using her.

The first thing I did after finishing Cold Iron was to check when was the release date of Silver Skin. Why? Because after meeting Helene and Miach in Cold Iron I was left dying to get my hands on their book. I’m happy to say the wait was worth it. Silver Skin was everything I was expecting it to be and more.

Helene is a great heroine, she is a human in a world of Faes and Druids and even though she doesn’t have powers she isn’t powerless. She is smart, cunning and resourceful. She is a loyal friend and will go the extra mile to protect those she cares about.

Miach is an ancient Fae and a powerful sorcerer; despite that he has values and loves deeply. He cares for those he calls his and will do anything in his power to keep them safe.

There has been an attraction between Miach and Helene since the moment they met, but after the events in Cold Iron a distance also grew between them. Helene is attracted to Miach, but she’s also afraid of him. She knows what he’s capable of and doesn’t want a man with all that much power over her. Miach knows they didn’t have a good start, but now he sees this new situation as an opportunity to win Helene’s trust.
I really liked Helene and Miach’s relationship. I liked they were very honest with each other and it was not an insta-perfect-love. Their relationship is in progress, there are things they need to work on, but there is hope of a happy-future for them. I’m glad McDermott went this way with their relationship because it made it more realistic than if she would have gone the perfect HEA path.

We are introduced to new characters in this book, these characters give us a deeply inside about the Fae, about life within the Fae court and it also shows us a more vivid picture of what the Fae experienced when they were under the Druids’ power and let me tell you something, it wasn’t nice, at all. If I’m honest my heart ached for the Fae.

In this installment we also learned more about The Prince Consort and his plans. He is so evil and tricky that he makes a great villain; his plans are so smartly crafted that I can’t wait to see more of him and his “evil plans”. *Inserts evil laugh*

Silver Skin is action packed and with so many twists and turns you won’t see coming that I can guarantee you this book will be almost impossible to put down.

If you like Fae books where Fae are not only powerful but also vicious and without scrupulous the Cold Iron series is one you need to read. Silver Skin is a great follow up to an amazing debut and a book I recommend you all to read.
Even though McDermott does an excellent job recapping the events of first book (Cold Iron), I don’t recommend you to read Silver Skin as a standalone, but as a part of a series.

I’m eagerly looking forward to next book in the series, Stone Song. Stone Song will be Elada Brightsword and Sorcha Kavanaugh’s story and it will be release on June 9th.

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
Silver Skin
Stone Song (June 9th)

Other reviews Goodreads

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