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I Belong

Review: Fatal Strike by Shannon McKenna

February 18th, 2017 Roxanne Posted in Review No Comments »

Fatal StrikeTitle: Fatal Strike

Author: Shannon McKenna

Genre: Romantic Suspense/Paranormal

Series: McClouds & Friends (Book #10)

Publication Date: April 29, 2014

Format: Paperback, 448 Pages

ISBN-10: 1420133160 (Zebra/Kensington)

ISBN-13: 978-1420133165 (Zebra/Kensington)

Reviewed by: Roxanne

Synopsis:

When Lara Kirk was abducted months ago, Miles Davenport vowed he’d bring her home. But the mission failed. Now, finding her after all this time will be next to impossible. . .

Lara Kirk lives in a shadowy world where reality and fantasy are blurred. Enslaved by her captors, Lara has formed a deep attachment to a man she’s not even sure is real–until the six-foot-five-inch powerhouse bursts in to rescue her. . .

Once freed, Lara has no choice but to trust Miles with her life as they run from enemies too twisted to imagine. But they’re also fighting a dangerous attraction that could kill–or save–them both. Either way, it’s going to be a hell of a ride. . .

Quick & Dirty: One is going crazy and the other is a captive, will their love set them free?

Opening Sentence: “She’s lost six pounds since last week, sir.” Jason said.”

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Lara is being held captive by Greaves and they have been experimenting and torturing her for months. Along the way they injected her with a drug designed to either enhance psi abilities or kill you. Luckily for Lara it enhanced her abilities. Miles spent months looking for Lara and he was unable to find her. He has retreated to his remote home because he fears a mental break. So he sets up the best shields he can and uses her name as a password.

When they begin communicating both believe they are having fantasies. It’s only after he comes down from his mountain and finds that the lady who wanted him to find her has been murdered that he begins to realize that she might just be alive. Plus, she might be the one talking to him in his mind. When his friends confirm that is indeed her psi signature in his head, Miles knows that he has to find her this time.

He sets off to make a daring rescue and Lara is completely shocked to find that her dream lover is actually real. While they try to stay ahead of Greaves, and figure out how to beat him, they get closer and closer. Will their love save them? Or will it be the end of them?

I have to admit, I have not read this series at all before this. I will say for the most part I didn’t feel completely lost. I did realize that there was information missing that I would have if I had read the entire series. That being said, this was a quick read despite it’s length and I enjoyed it overall. I don’t read much with physic abilities, but I usually enjoy them when I do.

Miles was smoking hot and Lara was pretty amazing. Together they were sizzling. I look forward to checking out other books in this series.

Notable Scene:

“For some reason, his admission scared her. She felt so small and lost. The thought of having had such a powerful effect on him, with no idea how or why, unnerved her. Like she’d suddenly found herself with a loaded gun in her hands, vast unexpected power and she had no idea where it came from, or what to do with it.”

McClouds & Friends:

1. Behind Closed Doors

2. Standing in Shadows

3. Out of Control

4. Edge of Midnight

5. Extreme Danger

6. Ultimate Weapon

7. Fade to Midnight

8. Blood & Fire

9. One Wrong Move

10. Fatal Strike

11. In For the Kill

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FTC Advisory: Zebra/Kensington provided me with a copy of Fatal Strike. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: The Dead Seekers by Barb & J.C. Hendee

February 17th, 2017 Roxanne Posted in Review 1 Comment »

The Dead SeekersTitle: The Dead Seekers

Author: Barb & J.C. Hendee

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Dead Seekers (Book #1)

Publication Date: January 3, 2017

Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages

ISBN-10: 0451469348 (Ace/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0451469342 (Ace/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Roxanne

Synopsis:

In the dark reaches of the eastern continent, Tris Vishal travels from village to village, using his power to put unsettled spirits to rest. He works alone, having learned that letting people close only leads to more death. Still, he finds himself accepting the help of the Móndyalítko woman who saves his life—a woman whose gifts are as much a burden as his own.

Mari Kaleja thirsted for vengeance since the night her family was taken from her. She has searched far and wide for the one she thinks responsible, known only as “The Dead’s Man.” But before she can kill him, she has to be sure. Mari hopes traveling with Tris will confirm her suspicions. But as they embark on a hunt where the living are just as dangerous as the dead, she learns the risks of keeping your enemy close…

Because it’s no longer clear who is predator and who is prey.

Quick & Dirty: He puts the dead to rest, and she has been hunting for her families killer for a long time.

Opening Sentence: “One more, my lady,” the midwife urged a woman before her on a bed.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Tris was born dead, the midwife was on her way to bury his body when he suddenly began to breathe. As a result of that, he has always been able to see ghosts. When he is 13 a ghost goes rogue and begins attacking everyone inside the castle, and unbeknownst to him outside in the forest is a family of Mondyalitko camping. Mari is the sole survivor of that attack. As she grows up she is passed from one family to another because they consider her cursed.

Tris has learned how to control his ability and ghosts, he now spends his time going to places and helping lay the dead to rest. He is on his way to a particular village when Mari saves his life, and he lets her join him. Mari knows almost at once that this is the killer of her family. But she needs proof before she can kill him. So as she joins him on the journey and begins to the learn about the dead and Tris’ abilities.

The lines become blurred as they save each other lives more than once. When they end up in a situation outside of their control and Tris must call for help, Mari wonders if she will be able to go through with her vengeance? Will they be able to get rid of the ghost? Will they survive?

I was sucked in from the start, couldn’t stop reading this. It was so good. Like a cross between urban fantasy and plain old fantasy, this was worth every minute I spent reading it. Those two characters, hardly spoke, almost everything they relaid to each other was through actions and not words. The ghosts and that twist….Wow! The world building was amazing, I had read somewhere that they have another series set in this world.

I think I might have to check that out because I loved this world. It was interesting, different and yet enough similarities between things that it didn’t take hefty explanations about it. Mari was amazing, she was a fighter and so much more. Tris was so quiet, observant and so invested in getting rid of all the ghosts. Of course, by the end of the story we begin to understand why he feels that way and it ties in with Mari in such a heartbreaking way. If you are looking for a new fantasy read, look no further, seriously!

Notable Scene:

The girl had not come back for love of a man. Her mother had done this somehow. But now that Brianne’s spirit was here, all she wanted was to return to the man she loved. Tris pulled back, a chill in one eye and on his face from peeking through the shutters. He needed to catch daughter and mother unaware-and quickly- to banish one and save the other. This time, however there might not be a need to risk that opening to the realm of the dead.

Dead Seekers Series:

1. The Dead Seekers

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FTC Advisory: Ace/Penguin provided me with a copy of The Dead Seekers. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: A Feast of Souls by Hailey Edwards

February 16th, 2017 Roxanne Posted in Review No Comments »

A Feast of SoulsTitle: A Feast of Souls

Author: Hailey Edwards

Genre: Romance/Fantasy

Series: Araneae Nation (Book #2)

Publication Date: November 5, 2013

Format: Paperback, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 1619215101 (Samhain)

ISBN-13: 978-1619215108 (Samhain)

Reviewed by: Roxanne

Synopsis:

Born with the ability to communicate with the dead, few things take Mana by surprise. But when a canis lopes into her life, announcing himself as the long-dead father of a childhood friend, she’s shocked. To make matters worse, he has a dire message that she alone can deliver.

Now Mana must face Vaughn, the male who inspired one too many girlish fantasies, and impart the spirit’s message—without acknowledging her source—so the soul can be laid to rest.

With rumors of a burgeoning clan war setting his nerves on edge, the last thing Vaughn needs is for an innocent to get caught in the crosshairs. But the woman he remembers as an awkward girl refuses to leave his side until he’s heard her out. That’s not the only change in her that calls to him. Her kindness soothes his battle-scarred soul—and he craves her in ways a warrior shouldn’t.

When they are both captured, they learn of an even greater threat. The plague devastating the southlands has come to his clan home. And his best—and only—chance to keep his people alive is the female who walks among the dead.

Quick & Dirty: A plague is sweeping the land, a girl who walks with the dead, and man who is determined to protect her at all costs.

Opening Sentence: “Spirits dwelled down there in the fathomless corridors, and their silent pain called to me.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Mana is a spirit walker, and she traveled to another clans’ land in order to heal her cousin Rhys. Soon she realizes that her childhood friend and longtime crush Vaughn will be accompanying her on the return trip to her clan where they have granted sanctuary to Lourdes’ sister. Shortly after their trip begins they are attacked by the clan that is determined to kill Lourdes’ sister and ransom the rest of them.

While captive Mana is visited in a dream by the dead father of Vaughn and she realizes that he is the spirit that she tried to help pass over, but to her shock he is possessing the body of a canus and he warns her that the plague has spread to Vaughn’s clan and he needs to return home before his mother passes. With help from the pack of canus and Vaughn’s clever tricks, they escape and make their way to her clan.

They relay the same warning to Vaughn about his clan, and Old Father counsel’s Mana to see with her heart and make the journey with him. So despite the misgivings of her Maven she sets out with Vaughn and they arrive in the nick of time. When Mana saves Vaughn’s mother she almost dies as well, and when she awakes she is angry that he has tied their life forces together during his attempt to save her life. Now they are in a race against time to save the remaining clanswomen and can Mana realize what is in front of her?

I liked the first book and you are introduced to these characters in that book, just like you meet at least one of the main characters for the next one in this book. However, I loved this book. I mean I could not put this down, I was sucked in and found myself just shocked and amazed at how much I liked this world and the characters. It’s bold, they all have fangs but they aren’t shifters or vampires, and one clan are cannibals, no really and what’s worse you can’t help but like them!

I hope I at least catch glimpses of Mana and Vaughn in the other books, but I have to have more of this world. Fantasy and romance at their absolute best!

Notable Scene:

“Since spirit walkers saw auras, we often foretold soul matches among our clansmen, though the gods gave us blind spots where are own souls were concerned, denying us the possibility of matching ourselves. Walkers, on occasion, were blind to their families’ or their loved ones’ fate. While it puzzled me that I saw Rhys’ aura, yet not Vaughn’s, I learned long ago that it was not my place to question the gods or the wisdom they granted me.”

Araneae Nation:

1. A Hint of Frost

2. A Feast of Souls

3. A Time of Dying

4. A Breath of Winter

5. A Veil of Secrets

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FTC Advisory: Samhain provided me with a copy of A Feast of Souls. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Feral Heat by Jennifer Ashley

February 15th, 2017 Roxanne Posted in Review 1 Comment »

Feral HeatTitle: Feral Heat

Author: Jennifer Ashley

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Shifters Unbound (Book #5.5)

Publication Date: March 18, 2014

Format: eBook, 153 Pages

IBSN-10: 1101615753 (Intermix/Penguin)

IBSN-13: 978-1101615751 (Intermix/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Roxanne

Synopsis:

Jace Warden is sent to the Shiftertown in Austin to find a way to free all Shifters from their Collars. But pulling off the Collars can cause Shifters to go mad or kill them outright.

In Austin, Jace meets Deni Rowe, a wolf Shifter with troubles of her own–she was deliberately run down in the road, and while her body has healed, she still has episodes of total memory loss during which she retreats into her pure animal self.

Jace has never met anyone like Deni. Courageous and beautiful, she volunteers to help him test the Collar removal. And as Deni and Jace work together, they feel the mate bond begin. But can Jace help Deni believe she can heal enough to be anyone’s true mate?

Quick & Dirty: A wolf and leopard, can they mix, and can they mate and will they be able to help free all of the shifters?

Opening Sentence: “The fight club had moved since Jace Warden had last visited the Austin Shiftertown.”

Excerpt: Yes 

The Review:

Jace is on a mission to help free shifters from their collars and he is in Austin Shiftertown to work with the pack to find a way to get them off of the shifters. He has found a way to keep the collar from zapping him as it is supposed to do whenever shifters get aggressive or violent. While at a local fight club he is attacked by a wolf and when a she-wolf jumps into help him, he finds himself intrigued and smitten.

All the local wolves consider Deni a bit crazy, and maybe she is because ever since she was run down she loses herself in the shift and has no control over her wolf self. She decides to help Jace test ways to remove the collars. It is a debate within shifter society as the collars do help control the more violent tendencies, but most agree that they want to be free. However, taking the collars off often result in death or makes them mad.

Will Jace be able to reach Deni? Will they be able to figure out a way to take the collars off? Will they be able to truly be with each other?

I haven’t read too much in this series, but I did review another book in this series. I still find that despite not having read all of them they are easy to read and you don’t fill extremely lost. This is a novella and it focuses on the larger issues of the collar and the love between Jace and Deni. I enjoyed them as a couple and I didn’t find Deni all that crazy. I think the accident resulted in a loss of being able to control the most primal of urges so during fights or other things she has a tendency to fall into instinct versus using her human mind.

A fun easy read, and I think I have to add this series to my read list. I enjoy the differences so that it doesn’t quite feel like all the other were/shifter or paranormal books. It also really illustrates what fear looks like and the struggle the shifters have with humans and even within their own communities.

Notable Scene:

But this was why Jace had come. He’d learned slowly over the last year ow to control his Collar. He’d been teaching his father and others in his Shiftertown how to do it and preparing himself for Collar removal. The Morrisey’s had learned to make fake Collars that would fool humans, but only two Shifters’ thus far wore them–Andrea, Sean’s mate and Tiger, a shifter who’d been created by humans.

Shifters Unbound Series:

0.5 Shifter Made

1. Pride Mates

2. Primal Bonds

2.5 Bodyguard

3. Wild Cat

3.5 Hard Mated

4. Mate Claimed

4.5 Perfect Mate

4.6 Lone Wolf

5. Tiger Magic

5.5 Feral Heat

6. Wild Wolf

6.5 Bear Attraction

7. Mate Bond

7.25 Lion Eyes

7.5 Bad Wolf

7.75 Wild Things

8. White Tiger

9. Guardian’s Mate

10. Red Wolf (May 2, 2017)

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FTC Advisory: Intermix/Penguin provided me with a copy of Feral Heat. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

February 14th, 2017 Kristie Posted in Review 1 Comment »

Empress of a Thousand SkiesTitle: Empress of a Thousand Skies

Author: Rhoda Belleza

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: Empress Duology (Book #2)

Publication Date: February 7, 2017

Format: Hardcover, 344 Pages

ISBN-10: 1101999101 (Razorbill/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-1101999103 (Razorbill/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Kristie

Synopsis:

Empress
Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Fugitive
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.

Madman
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.

Quick & Dirty: Cliffhangers, twists abound in this incredible science fiction space drama.

Opening Sentence: Rhee tore a path through the marketplace, kicking up dust that fell slowly in Nau Fruma’s low gravity.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Empress of a Thousand Skies is a sci-fi space drama that surprised me at every turn. At first, I did think the story was a little slow because I didn’t think it was going to ever get to a part that is described in the synopsis but when it did the story really picked up the pace. I think going into this novel knowing as little as possible will benefit the experience of reading this novel. I will say go into this knowing that this is the first part in a duology, I didn’t so I was confused a bit about how events played out but knowing that there will be another book actually stepped up my review for this novel.

Crown Princess Rhiannon “Rhee” Ta’an is the only living member of her ruling family but since they were killed when she was only six years old she was sent away to grow up while a Crown Regent ruled in her place. Rhee has grown up knowing that her family was killed and that she was supposed to die with them so her years have been spent in training for revenge. Rhee sixteenth birthday is just days away and she will be coronation on her birthday. Unfortunately, someone else still wants to make sure she is dead. Another attempt on her life, Rhee goes into hiding while the entire planetary system believes that she is dead.  With the help of an unlikely ally, Rhee fights to get her revenge and her crown.

Alyosha Myraz is a solider in the UniForce, a military group that protects the planet Kalu and the Ta’an ruling family. Aly and his fellow soldier Vin, are a bit of rejects within the UniForce forced to patrol the outer planets but they have their own TV show called, Revolutionary Boys. It is one of the most popular shows in the universe. After a crazy chase following an unidentified ship, Aly and Vin allow themselves some much needed downtime. During his time away Aly finds a Royal Escape Pod that does not contain the body of “supposedly” dead Princess. Not too long after this event, Aly finds himself the most wanted man in the universe for killing someone he didn’t even kill. Aly is now on the run hoping to find a way to prove his innocence.

Throughout the bulk of the novel, Rhee is focused mainly on her revenge. The crown is only secondary to her. She does do some terrible things in her quest for revenge but she does eventually realize how destructive she has been. I did worry about her selfishness of the quest she was undertaking but in reality everything she did was to keep herself alive. She needs to be alive in order to stop a war that will potentially destroy more planets. On the other hand, Aly spent the novel either being clueless or defensive. Aly is the character that I really felt for. He is already a refugee from a terrible war. He is discriminated because of his roots. And he sees firsthand how terrible this new war will be if it isn’t stopped in time.

The world created in Empress of a Thousand Skies is colorful, inventive and yet terrifying. There are many planets, moons, asteroids that all carry some kind of life. There are many colorful and creative space creatures. Honestly, this novel felt like Star Wars just without the Jedi. The star of this novel is Pavel, a sarcastic learning robot that totally sounded like Alan Tudyk’s K-2SO from Rogue One, except for about one third the size.

The chapters alternate between Rhee and Aly and always end with a cliffhanger. I really like that because it keeps me from wanting to put the book down. I also couldn’t wait for Rhee and Aly to cross paths which also kept me hooked. There is a major twist within and that is all I will say. It is awesome. My only complaint was that I didn’t know there was a second book on the way so I felt like it wasn’t playing out fast enough. Now that I know there is a second book, I really enjoyed how this one sets up the sequel, otherwise it would have been a terrible ending. Overall, if you like twists, turns and cliffhangers I highly recommend checking this one out.

Notable Scene:

“Yeah, all of that.” Vin looked at him. “You were convenient. You were the perfect spur-of-the-moment scapegoat to stoke the flames of war. But you were a diversion. The question is: What were they trying to hide?” The fire had seemed to drain out of him. He gripped his way to the dash and looked out into the darkness. “They needed to distract the public from rumors that the Princess is still alive.”

“You knew?” Aly asked. He hadn’t told him about the braid he found in the escape pod.

“We suspected as much.” He leaned back like he was trying to get a better look at Aly, trying to take him all in. “How long have you known?”

“When I found the dead Nau Fruman in the royal escape pod . . . “

“Wait.” Vin stared at him. “What escape pod?”

Empress Duology:

1. Empress of a Thousand Skies

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FTC Advisory: Razorbill/Penguin provided me with a copy of Empress of a Thousand Skies. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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