BLOG TOUR (REVIEW): HEIST by Kezzy Sparks

Heist
Kezzy Sparks
Publication date: October 31st 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Thriller

A thrilling introduction to the dark mystical world of Melanie ‘Breaker’ Perkiss, Buffalo NY’s most capable witch hunter and spell lifter.

In this debut instalment, a dark mage acting on behalf of a vengeful ex has magically removed the genitals of a man and vanished, leaving him wiped clean down there. And unfortunately for the victim, he is set to wed…now imagine saying ‘I do’ while in that deprived state.

No wonder when a shell-shocked and heartbroken Casey walks into Melanie’s office to report the incident, the witch hunter immediately goes on a chase, risking her own life as she encounters dark creatures and malevolent spirits in the city’s darkest corners.

The pressure is indeed on Mel: the wedding is fast approaching and leads remain few. Will she be able to corner the mage, recover the taken goods and save a doomed marriage, while bringing the conspirators to justice?

Goodreads / Amazon

MY REVIEW

 

I received a copy for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

Heist is the debut urban fantasy by Kezzy Sparks. What got me wanting to read the book was definitely the blurb. There is something about a man losing his bits that gets a girl interested. Especially under such a time constraint.

For me, starting the book was rather difficult. The third person narrative felt very noir-ish, which wasn’t so much of a problem, but then continuing the rest of the story in first person was a bit confusing. But, only at first. Once you learn about the magical fish Melanie Perkiss has, you kind of just get pulled in.

The magical theft theme to the story was an interesting twist in the urban fantasy genre. I mean, come on, losing your private parts by magical means is so interesting! You never see that. The action is well done and I really like how Melanie stands as a heroine.

All in all, the book is a good addition to your urban fantasy collection. It stands well as the first book in a series and I wouldn’t mind reading more.

Final Rating: 3/5

 

Author Bio:

Kezzy Sparks is a Toronto based author and writer. HEIST is his debut fiction in the long form. He enjoys reading as well, and lists works by Jim Butcher, Stephen King, Benedict Jacka, Dan Brown and Kevin Hearne as some of his personal favorites.

Website / Facebook / Twitter

 

 

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Book #38: The Last Vampire Book 3 by R.A. Steffan & Jaelynn Woolf

I never thought I’d see home again.
Now, I almost wish I hadn’t.

After giving myself up to the Fae, I expected to become the latest casualty of a war that should have ended centuries ago. Instead, I ended up inextricably bound to the last vampire on earth.

My life since the Fae marked me has become unrecognizable. Inside, I’m still the 26-year-old waitress who struggled with working two jobs while being serially dumped by a parade of disgruntled boyfriends. Now, I’ve somehow become a figurehead, coveted and despised in equal measure by two warring supernatural races.

Can I trust the fragile bond connecting my heart to the unbeating heart of a vampire? Every instinct I possess tells me to pull back… protect myself… protect him. But every time I try to run away, I end up back in his arms.

Alliances are shifting. Old resentments are flaring. Both my father and I are now chess pieces in someone else’s grand strategy.

No more. I’m done with being a pawn.
It’s time to up my game.

* * *

The Last Vampire is a steamy new urban fantasy romance series from USA Today Bestseller R. A. Steffan and Jaelynn Woolf, co-authors of the Circle of Blood saga. 

Download Book Three today, and enter a world shared by humans, fae, demons, and one very reluctant vampire. It’s a place where the supernatural threatens the mundane, nothing is as it seems, and love will either be the world’s downfall—or its salvation.

I received an Audible Code via Audiobook Boom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

This is the third book in an ongoing paranormal romance series about a young woman named Zora navigating her now crazy life. Everyone seems to be out to get her and she only wants one thing, the safety of her estranged father.

I have listened to the previous books and writing wise, I liked the first one but wasn’t impressed with the second. This one, however, is more up to par with the first or slightly better. We get to see the way the demons live and get a larger idea of the world. Events of book one are referenced in a twist I should have seen coming, but didn’t.

The narration is still good and I was pulled into the world. As I stated before, the story itself is better in this one than in the second. It doesn’t feel like a long-winded wait fest and I was actually invested in Zora’s journey again.  I definitely want to know what happens in the future and cannot imagine how Zora and Rains are going to get out of the situation they are currently in.

Final Rating: 3/5

BLOG TOUR (REVIEW): Art of Death by Becca Vincenza

Art of Death
Becca Vincenza
(Curse Breakers, #1)
Publication date: September 4th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

What if a single act of rebellion had the power to change your fate?

Rowan and Abel Hayes’ birth ended a centuries-old family curse, but being a curse breaker has its drawbacks. Now they live a life full of rules.

When Rowan breaks a rule, she sets a powerful chain of events into motion that she never could’ve imagined. Abel is kidnapped, and it’s up to Rowan to save her twin. Can she rely on the aid of an old friend who once betrayed her? Or will new enemies prove too strong for her to handle?

(New Adult, contains language and sexual content. 18+)

Goodreads / Amazon

MY REVIEW

I received a copy of this book for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

Art of Death is my first book by Becca Vincenza and it was a fun read. This book follows the story of Rowan, a set of fraternal twins who are more special than you can imagine. What’s great is the second book is the same timeline only from a different perspective. I really like that concept. It makes the world even more expansive.

To keep with that thread, the world in this book is already in depth. You only catch glimpses of it and there has to be more. It is the right amount to just give you a taste and have you wanting more. What’s great is that we learn more about the world and what it means to be a Curse Breaker as Rowan goes through it.

Rowan is stubborn and curious. I did think she had a bit of an attitude at first, but it’s easy to see that this is her trying to take control of a situation. It’s cool to see that even though so much stress is being pushed on her, she isn’t completely losing it. She knows when to tamp down her coping mechanism and it may take her a while to ask for help, but she does recognize when she needs it.

All in all, this is a good first book for a series and I’m liking the world Vincenza crafted. Will I be picking up the sequel? Yes. I need to know what happens on the other end of this timeline.

Final Rating: 3/5

 

Author Bio:

Becca Vincenza lives in *wonderful* Michigan. For a passion of all things paranormal and adventure, she writes both in Urban Fantasy worlds, and Paranormal Romance. When she isn’t writing, she is reading and vice versa.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Newsletter

 

 

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BLOG TOUR: Cursing by Lynne Murray

Cursing
Angie
Faust Series Book 1
by
Lynne Murray
Genre:
Urban Fantasy 
 
The
day she killed her boss…
Everything
changed.
She
never laid a hand on him to take his life. She didn’t have to.
As
her boss lies on the floor with a dozen witnesses staring and
paramedics working in a futile effort to save him, a mysterious
stranger approaches Angie with a bizarre offer.
It’s
a job with the ExtraTerrestrial Protection Agency, a secret
organization. Can Angie trust a group whose very existence is ultra
classified?
She
has to decide in a hurry because her newly released power starts
drawing attention from life-draining, telepathic, Mindworms and alien
scientists obsessed with abducting humans. Most terrifying of all,
she’s stalked by one of the most fearsome predators in the
galaxy.
If
you loved Men in Black or Ilona Andrews’ Innkeeper Chronicles
series, buckle up for a wild ride with Angie Faust in Cursing. Get it
now!

Chapter 1

 

Things changed the day I killed my boss. I was trying so hard not to.

He died quickly from cardiac arrest in front of a dozen witnesses in the glassed-in fishbowl of a conference room at Wolfe, Savage and Steele, the law firm where we worked. I never touched him physically. I didn’t have to. His name was Carroll Caine.

The Office Manager’s death interrupted an extended yelling session aimed at me. Caine was a short, square-built man with small bulging, blue eyes, a permanently red face and silver hair, cut brush short. For some reason, he had singled me out for verbal abuse almost from his first day on the job. He retired from the Navy as a Warrant Officer. Law firms like to hire former non-coms on the theory that they work well with a formal chain of command. But for Caine, taking orders from civilian lawyers he didn’t respect chafed him like a sandpaper jockstrap.

He took it out on his subordinates. I was a favorite target.

Understanding why Caine attacked me so often didn’t protect me when he did.

My other co-workers looked away in embarrassment or relief that, at least for the moment, Caine wasn’t singling them out. Not Francine, the woman sitting next to me in the conference room. She was petite, blonde and eager to score points with Caine by digging up the slightest hint of an error on my part.

Caine picked a bad day to stand over me and settle in for an extended rant. My Aunt Bess had simply disappeared six months earlier and without her, I had no one. The pain of her loss had retreated to a dull ache most days, but sometimes it flared up into a sharp pain of grief and confusion.

I focused all my attention on breathing slowly and letting his word roll over me.

I huddled in my chair, trying to make myself invisible, staring down at the pad of paper in front of me, a pencil gripped in my hand.

Caine paused for breath as if savoring looking down at me. He leaned in close. “You’d already be out of here if I didn’t suspect you might have a hidden disability and you’d sue all our asses. Is that it, Angie?”

“Look at me!”

I slowly looked up and met his eyes. Bad idea. The urge to let loose the anger that built in every cell of my body. I blinked when a cloud of black dots like a swarm of tiny insects filled my vision, swirling between Caine and Francine. I glanced around. Most people stared at the table or Caine. No one else gave any sign of seeing the whirling dots.

Great Angie, you’re hallucinating, just what I need.

“Keeping something up your sleeve, Angie? Maybe you lied on your employment application?” His spit landed on my face. Droplets hit my glasses. I wanted to wipe them off, but I didn’t move a muscle.

I could smell Caine’s rage under the Bay Rum aftershave and lingering cigar smoke on his breath.

Something inside me settled. Everything seemed sharper, clearer and despite the black cloud of dots passing between Francine and Caine. It couldn’t be real. A voice somewhere in the mists of early life echoed in my head.

Stop the heart.

Deadly calm washed over me. I felt myself starting to shake as if there was an earthquake. There was not. Yet an inner vibration shook me physically like the roars I heard when my aunt took me to the Lion House at the San Francisco Zoo at feeding time.

I focused on Caine. Not on his face, on his chest. Every sound in the room fell away. I found his heart. I raised my hand to point at him, still holding the pencil.

He straightened up. A slow smile on his face told me he was hoping he had made me mad enough to do something stupid. He had.

“Ya gonna hit me, Angie?” he asked.

“No.” I couldn’t remember ever feeling so calm.

Now.

I snapped my arm a few inches back as if I meant to throw the pencil at him. Caine instinctively rocked back on his heels, but there was no escape for him. Energy tore through me. My fingers tingled as I completed the short gesture toward his chest. I sensed the familiar but unknown force piercing him like a tool. It reached for his heart and grabbed it. And squeezed.

The pencil broke in half. The eraser end bounced off the table and fell on the rug. I lowered my arm, feeling his heart, frozen in a spasm as if my hand really was squeezing it. The inner shaking stopped and I took a deep breath, suddenly, oddly at peace.

Caine’s knees gave way and he crumpled to the floor. He twitched a few times. I don’t know how, but I could feel his life leave his body. He wasn’t coming back.

I stood up and backed away as two co-workers rushed past me to attempt CPR. They knelt beside him, but I knew they wouldn’t be able to revive him. I jammed my hands into my pockets and finally let go of the top half of the pencil. I kept my head down because I couldn’t help myself from smiling. The roaring inside me was gone. The swarm of black particles was gone too.

I took my hands out of my pockets and saw a couple of wood slivers had pierced my skin. I was bleeding. It didn’t even hurt. I didn’t feel anything but relief at the sudden quiet when Caine shut up.

Then the fear hit.

Everything I learned growing up told me I should go home, grab my getaway pack and leave town. It would be hard to run without my aunt organizing our escape.

I didn’t want to move again. I loved San Francisco. The rent-controlled apartment was my true refuge with my grandfather’s books lining almost every wall.

Maybe I wouldn’t have to run. Maybe no one noticed how Caine had died. People drew back to the edges of the room while efforts to revive him got more frantic. No one paid the slightest bit of attention to me. It wasn’t as if I’d physically touched the old man. Maybe no one would blame me.

Scratch that.

As I surreptitiously dabbed Caine’s saliva off my face and glasses with the cuff of my long-sleeved blouse, I raised my head and looked straight into the eyes of the most gorgeous man I’d ever seen. He twirled a pair of sunglasses in his hand and continued to stare right at me.

He had a tousled mop of sun-streaked light brown hair. He wore a tan suit about the same shade as his hair and a light blue shirt and gold and darker blue striped tie. His angelic face, even features and sensual lips seemed familiar. Maybe I’d seen him in one of those semi-porn underwear ads—the kind where you don’t look closely at the model’s face because you’re too busy checking out that impossibly lithe and muscular body. He leaned against the receptionist’s desk as if he owned it, as if he owned any place he stood simply by standing there.

He stowed his glasses in his jacket pocket and raised a blond eyebrow at me as if asking a question with luminous blue eyes.

The receptionist, a sixty-something retired airline stewardess with a British accent, had already called 911. Now she leaned over her counter at the perfect angle to check out Underwear Model Man’s ass at the same time that she watched the drama around our co-workers struggling to revive Caine.

Underwear Model Man held my gaze and nodded at me. I flinched in surprise. He didn’t quite smile, but his eyes crinkled as if we had a secret understanding. A deep feeling of dread settled like lead in my gut. This couldn’t be good.

I made it past the reception desk and nearly to the elevator when Underwear Model Man fell into step beside me. He was taller than me. I’m five ten, he must have been around six feet.

“Meet me for coffee after work,” he whispered, leaning close. He smelled of Irish Spring soap. “There’s someone you need to talk to. Someone you have a lot in common with. You won’t regret it.”

I kept moving without answering. Every woman in the place stared at this guy. He was that magnetic. The last thing I wanted at this particular moment was anyone paying attention to me.

But the stranger followed me and held the elevator door while I got in. “Seriously, you owe it to yourself to listen to an offer that would get you out of this…place.” He didn’t have to say “This hellhole,” it was implicit in his tone. I couldn’t disagree with him. The only thing I liked about Wolfe, Savage and Steele was the paycheck.

“An offer I can’t refuse, huh?” I snapped at him. “That turned out so well for the guy who found the horse’s head in his bed.”

The man chuckled. “No dead horses, I promise. But your skills deserve better.”

“You know nothing about my skills,” I kept my voice low.

“Don’t I?”

Francine and three other women slipped past Underwear Model Man into the elevator with me. They all stared at and me, then back at him again.

He let go of the door and it closed before I could say another word.

An older woman whose name I didn’t know commented on how fine that young man was. Then the elevator bell dinged for our floor and we all filed out in silence. No one mentioned Caine.

 

Underwear Model Man was leaning against the building waiting for me when I went out the front door. He’d taken off his tie and it was hard not to look at the tanned skin and a curl of golden chest hair showing where the top button of his shirt was open.

“Hi, I’m Chad Falconer.”

At least I didn’t have to keep calling him Underwear Model Man. Automatically, I responded, “Angie Faust.” I instantly regretted that. Now he knew my name.

I needed to get away fast. Men like him don’t follow women like me home from work without some agenda. Whatever his reason it didn’t involve flowers, dinner dates and happy endings. Maybe he sensed how desperately I missed my aunt. Predators can read body language and track wounded animals.

“Whatever it is you’re selling, I can’t afford it.”

He grinned as if I’d said something terribly witty. “Fair enough,” he said, falling into an easy pace beside me. Chad persisted, walking closer and tilting his head down to get my attention.

“Whoever you are and whatever you want, I don’t trust you,” I said.

“The only reason you should listen to me at all is that you and I seem to be the only two people who understood what was going on this morning.”

I stopped so fast he almost ran into me.

“My boss had a stroke or heart attack while he was yelling at me. He was an old man. He had a strenuous day of verbally abusing people. His heart just gave out.”

“It doesn’t usually happen that way though, does it?” Chad said. “I don’t know about you, but the people I want to see die usually go on to live a disgustingly healthy life of making everyone miserable and die peacefully in bed at 95.”

“You can’t blame me for what happened,” I concluded, my voice wavering a little.

He seemed to understand because he stepped away a foot or so. “Believe me, Angie, blame is the last word I would use to describe you or anything you do.” He stepped in front of me to stop for a moment but he held out his hands out with palms up. “Would you do me a favor?”

“Maybe. Will you let me alone if I do?”

“Absolutely. The only thing I ask is that you come with me to a coffee shop and meet someone who understands your great gift.”

“Gift?” I snorted a small burst of laughter at that thought.

“Seriously, it’s a public place, a café not far from here. No pressure.”

I stared at him. I never admitted that I was responsible for the violent things that happened around me. My aunt and I rarely spoke about it. “Where is this place?”

“It’s an easy walk. Come on, it will only take half an hour of your time.”

I admit I was curious and absurdly relieved that he didn’t seem to be selling anything or whipping out a chloroformed rag and forcing me into a car. But mainly I agreed because of a vain hope that there might actually be a way to cope with whatever the hell it was that I had been fighting my whole life.

 
Lynne
Murray was born in Illinois, but she grew up in transit due to her
father’s work with the military. She’s lived in Texas, Alaska,
Florida, Washington state, and Southern California, before landing
and staying in San Francisco.
Lynne
writes the kind of books she loves to read. Those usually feature a
lot of action, quirky characters and supernatural attitude. She just
might read anything that isn’t tied down, but some of the books that
have to be restrained also make it onto her list. Her favorite
authors include Illona Andrews, Faith Hunter, Patricia Briggs, Kim
Hamilton, Terry Pratchett and T.H. White.
She
now lives and writes and stares out the window at the ocean with a
group of rescue cats, who rescue her right back with heroic feats of
purring.
 
 
Follow
the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!
 
 
 

Book #6: The Last Vampire Book One by R.A. Steffan and Jaelynn Woolf

There’s a smokin’ hot dead guy locked in my garden shed.
That part’s bad enough. But now, he’s trying to get out.

Growing up, my father always told me that I’d come to a bad end, just like my mom did when I was a kid. Hearing that kind of shit when you’re little eventually gets to a girl, but I can’t say I ever expected my ‘bad end’ to involve an angry vampire with a severe case of iron deficiency and a panty-melting English accent.

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. Ever since my mother was assassinated, I’ve felt like there was something vast and frightening hidden beneath the fabric of the world. Something none of us are supposed to know about.

So far, finding out I was right hasn’t been nearly as satisfying as I’d hoped. I guess the trick will be staying alive long enough to shout ‘I told you so’ from the rooftops.

But before I can do that, I really need to figure out if the vampire who just bit me is one of the good guys or not. 

I received an Audible copy for an honest review via Audiobook Boom. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation for this review.

The Last Vampire: Book One is the first in a trilogy about a 26 year old woman who is thrust into the paranormal world after a brief bitten encounter with a vampire. The last vampire in fact. Go fig.

The story is what I consider a slow burn. Our love interest and MC just barely know each other in the events of the book. In fact, they are only with each other in three solid instances. That says something there. It makes me label this book more on the urban fantasy versus romance field.

There is some sex going on near the last quarter of the book that I have read is more clinical than steamy. I personally found it to be both and I found the reason for that to be logical and interesting.

The MC is a “girl with unknown power” and does do the enigma trope well but I feel she could get better as the books progress. If anything, I’m not ready to pass judgment on her completely even if the book ended.

The writing is easy to get into and there were parts that were funny, as intended. I did find the book to be enjoyable and wouldn’t mind reading book two. There were moments I was scratching my head trying to figure out where the authors were going and I was super stoked at who the baddies were. Honestly, these guys are hardly ever the baddies… THANK YOU!

I did have an issue with the way it ended. It seemed to just end instead of having a climactic moment and solid resolution. That said, there is a second book and I do hope that book has a better ending in comparison.

All in all, it was a fun romp and I could see myself continuing the series.

Final Rating: 3/5

 

Book #97: Death Rites by E.A. Copen

Old gods die hard.
Professional necromancer Lazarus Kerrigan knows all too well that the Big Easy is anything but. Crime is up, business is down, and someone–or something–crushed an innocent girl to death on his doorstep.

After the search for the murderer brings the police to his front door, Laz must prove his innocence by hauling in the real killer with help from the dead.

When the sun sets in New Orleans, more than monsters go bump in the night… And what Laz awakens in his quest for answers might just get him–and everyone else in town–killed.

I received an Audible code through AudiobookBoom for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. There was no compensation made for this review.

I find the Urban Fantasy genre to be a very fun genre. You have your kickass hero who is usually solving a crime and using magic to do it. It is usually action-packed and the reader is almost always in for a good ride.

Death Rites by E.A. Copen isn’t that much different. Now, the concept of a wizard in a city solving a murder isn’t all that unusual. You have your Dresden Files for example. And really, Lazarus Kerrigan is very much a Harry Dresden-esque character. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if good old Harry wasn’t an inspiration for Laz.

That said, I feel this book does stand on its own. You have a basic feel of pantheon mythologies mixed into the Fae and shove in a dash of your Urban Fantasy stylized magic. Voila, you have the Lazarus Codex series.

Basically, if you like one, you are likely to like the other. That said, you may not like it if you have oversaturated yourself in Urban Fantasy. I haven’t done that, so this is me liking this series (I can just admit that there are similarities that go with the genre that could make this just another one of the batch).

All in all, this is a fun ride of an Urban Fantasy and I do want to continue with the series.

Final Rating: 4/5

Book #83: The Crescent City by Lexi Ostrow

Isla Covington lost her entire world the night the Hellfire was unleashed. This might not have been so terrible, if she hadn’t been next in line to be Coven Priestess, and inherit more powers than any one witch should wield. Without her mother and fiance to guide her, she ran from her magic, from her home.

Noah wandered the Otherside, the spirit world, making certain Isla stayed out of harm’s way. He’d died of a sort once before and awoken as a Vampire. The second time he’d not had a failsafe. Death was not strong enough to separate the pair, even if he moved in the shadows unknown to Isla. He’d spent years ensuring she found herself, and did not take her life to be with him. Even if it meant torturing himself with what he could not have.

Isla’s godsons go missing, forcing her to return home – to return to her magic. The path leads her to a city of pure magic, and a witch who claims she can bring back the dead – for a price. All that stands between Isla and Noah is one tiny spell. A tiny spell which could destroy New Orleans.

I received a copy from the author for an honest review. What follows is my opinion and mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

You may remember a book I reviewed previously titled the same and by the same author. And if you do remember, you may be thinking, “huh, is she reading the same  book all over again?”

The answer is simple: Yes and No.

That’s right, both are right. The first Crescent City was a part of the Kindle Worlds for The Vampire Diaries and specifically Bonnie Bennet. That said, once Amazon said goodbye to the Kindle Worlds, the story was ready for a new space. Taking advantage of this, Ostrow fixed up the book. She added details, change the characters, and gave new information for the world. The story is essentially the same, but there are more details that separate it from the other.

So, for that and the fact that I love reading Ostrow, I jumped at reviewing this one as well.

I actually liked this one better than the first. I liked the addition of a background that made the world unique and pulled me in. It made me want to see more of the world, to experience it, and to see the Hellfire in the works. I want to know if this is still an issue or if this is just the aftermath. I think we can bet that I want more of this urban fantasy world. I want to see how it differs from the original source material and am excited to see it works out.

The romance was there and it had just a bit more of an Ostrow flair that made me happy. The other one, though understandable, just missed what I like in Ostrow’s work.

All in all, I liked this one more than the other. I think it’s because it was more of Ostrow vs Vampire Diaries. She didn’t have to remain in the world, she was able to push out. That said, I now want more of the world. Hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Make it happen, girlfriend.

Final Rating: 3.5/5

 

Book #23: Insatiable Darkness by L.M. Preston

EmVee didn’t know what to think about this new town her father’s passion for boxing lured them. It was an unlikely location for her to pursue her dream of going semi-pro. Just when she started getting used to the school with gorgeous jocks and strange cheerleaders, the depth of the danger her father’s choices dangled them in front of became clear. EmVee hoped Silas and Kayson will be able to help her uncover the mystery identity of the person who is threatening her family. The question is, will she survive to expose the mystery. [Pre-quel, Vigilant Series, Caged Fire Book 1: Coming Fall 2018]

Insatiable Darkness by L. M. Preston is a young adult urban fantasy about a teenage boxer who is fighting for her family and gets sucked into a conspiracy in the new town she has moved into.

I found this to be a quick read. In fact, I was actually able to read a huge chunk of it in one sitting. The story itself wasn’t bad and the writing is well done. However, I felt a little off about the characters. I didn’t feel connected to EmVee.

There’s a part where EmVee mentions that her name is a nickname and that is it. I’m not sure if her actual name is ever addressed, but I don’t remember that. I know this is a tiny thing, but it really kept me wondering what her birth name is and how did EmVee become her nickname.

Because of this disconnection with the main character, I didn’t really get as much into the story as I wanted to. Instead, I found myself wanting more about the supporting cast. Rachel and Megan are two specific characters who intrigued me.

That said, this is a prequel. It is a means to answer questions that won’t be answered in the first book. It is a way for us to get to know the main cast before the main cast is actually addressed. For a prequel, it wasn’t bad.

I am intrigued enough that I want to read the first book.

Final rating: 3/5

Book Tour: Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

When the fate of the world is at stake
Loyalties will be tested

Game of Thrones meets Blade Runner in this commanding new YA fantasy inspired by Norse Mythology from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.

As one of Odin’s Valkyries, Malin’s greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. But when she unearths a secret that could unravel the balance of all she knows, Malin along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend must decide where their loyalties lie. And if helping the blue-eyed boy Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and her heart.

I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher for an honest review for the blog tour that this review is a part of. There was no compensation of any kind (unless you count having an awesome book by Amanda Hocking as compensation). What follows is my opinion and my opinion alone.

Okay, let me begin by saying I didn’t read the blurb before I grabbed the book. Amanda Hocking is one of my instant buy authors. I see a book by her and I grab it. I knew this book had Norse mythology in it, but that was pretty much all I knew (well and a gorgeous cover).

When I first started reading three thoughts came into my head: 1. Cyberpunk, Bladerunner esque. 2. LGBT+ M.C. THANK YOU!! 3. This may be Hocking’s best work yet.

I’m serious about #3. This is quite possibly her best work thus far. It is gritty, dark, and just when you think you might have an idea what’s going on, you get slapped in the face with something new. I could feel the pollution, see the city, the world, all of it. This is her best work thus far.

And believe me, I’m a huge Hocking fan. I’m possibly a few books short of owning everything she’s written so far.

This is a YA book that borders on the adult. There is sex and alcohol and a whole lot of killing. I mean, returning. Our main lead is a young woman named Malin. She is a Valkyrie in training, who are executioners for immortals. She is strong and yet has this piece of innocence to her. It’s more like a ‘I was raised in a hard way and don’t understand how my feelings work’ kind of innocence to her. I actually really like this kind of character and it didn’t take me long to be pulled into her world.

As if the twists, action, and the world wasn’t enough to keep you wanting more, I also love the fact that the sequel is coming out THIS APRIL! HUZZAH! I don’t have to wait long to get this duology finished. Thank, God. Thank you, Amanda Hocking. You can be sure that I have this book on its way to my house and I’m definitely getting the second.

Buy Links:

Amazon /Barnes & Noble /Books-a-Million /IndieBound /Powells

AUTHOR BIO:

Amanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

Social Links:

Author Website: http://www.worldofamandahocking.com/

Twitter: @Amanda_Hocking

Facebook: @AmandaHockingFans

Author Blog

Book #61: Desert Bound by Elizabeth Hunter

Can you turn the clock back on your first love? Would you even want to try?

Alex McCann and Teodora “Ted” Vasquez left Cambio Springs together. Ted came back. Alex didn’t.

Now, years later, the future alpha of the McCann wolves has returned with plans to bring new life to the dying desert community. Plans that could change everything for the isolated enclave of shapeshifters in the California desert. Some love the plan. Others hate it.

As the town’s doctor and one of the strongest daughters in the cat clan, Ted has her own concerns about exposing her community to outsiders. The two former lovers are at each other’s throats. And everyone is watching to see what happens.

But when murder once again strikes Cambio Springs, can they overcome their past to help the community they both call home? And can the love they shared once burn again when so many stand against it?

DESERT BOUND is an adult paranormal romance in the Cambio Springs Mysteries series.

Desert Bound is the second book in the Cambio Springs series. I jumped on this book right after reading the first one. It is another murder mystery inside a romance only this time, the romance is Teodora Vasquez and Alex McCann.

Ted and Alex’s relationship is a rocky one. They constantly argue and their history together is filled with leaving one another. On paper, they would seem like a very unhealthy couple. However, they work.

In fact, their main issue with each other is resolved close to the beginning of the book. Don’t get me wrong, they don’t start off right away. There is a conversation and a meeting of minds that allow them to see their relationship. The main conflict of their relationship is actually their parents.

The murder mystery didn’t have a big position in this book, though it is prevalent to the story. I found it easy to figure out who it was, like the first book, but I loved the resolution of the murder. It was filled with tension, action, and had a shapeshifter quality that was interesting.

In all, this one wasn’t my favorite between the two, but it was entertaining. I bought the third book and am currently listening to it as I am writing this. It makes concentrating difficult.