Tuesday, October 31, 2017

New Releases - October 31, 2017 #newreleases #newbooks


It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are just a few books that have just been released that you may want to grab soon:


Wilde in Love by Eloisa James

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
Lord Alaric Wilde, son of the Duke of Lindow, is the most celebrated man in England, revered for his dangerous adventures and rakish good looks. Arriving home from years abroad, he has no idea of his own celebrity until his boat is met by mobs of screaming ladies. Alaric escapes to his father’s castle, but just as he grasps that he’s not only famous but notorious, he encounters the very private, very witty, Miss Willa Ffynche.

Willa presents the façade of a serene young lady to the world. Her love of books and bawdy jokes is purely for the delight of her intimate friends. She wants nothing to do with a man whose private life is splashed over every newspaper.

Alaric has never met a woman he wanted for his own . . . until he meets Willa. He’s never lost a battle.

But a spirited woman like Willa isn’t going to make it easy. . . .

The first book in Eloisa James’s dazzling new series set in the Georgian period glows with her trademark wit and sexy charm—and introduces a large, eccentric family. Readers will love the Wildes of Lindow Castle!


The Sea King by C.L. Wilson

Find it at:
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Winter King comes a breathtaking new tale of love and adventure set in the mystical land of Mystral...

He wasn't supposed to choose her...

Seafaring prince Dilys Merimydion has been invited to court the three magical princesses of Summerlea. To eradicate the pirates threatening Calberna and to secure the power of the Sea Throne, Dilys vows to return home with a fierce warrior-queen as his bride. But politics has nothing to do with unexpected temptation.

She didn't dare wed him...

A weathermage like her sisters, Gabriella Coruscate's gentleness exemplifies the qualities of her season name, Summer. Yet her quiet poise conceals dangerous powers she cannot begin to wield. Better to live without excitement, she reasons, than risk her heart and lose control— until an irresistible Sealord jolts her awake with a thunderclap of raw desire.

Until evil threatens everything they hold dear...

When pirates kidnap Summer and her sisters, Dilys is in a desperate quest to save the woman he loves. Only by combining his command of the seas with the unleashed fury of Summer's formidable gifts can they defeat their brutal enemies and claim the most priceless victory of all: true love.

Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
Harry Bosch searches for the truth in the new thriller from #1 NYT bestselling author Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch is back as a volunteer working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department and is called out to a local drug store where a young pharmacist has been murdered. Bosch and the town's 3-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big business world of pill mills and prescription drug abuse.

Meanwhile, an old case from Bosch's LAPD days comes back to haunt him when a long-imprisoned killer claims Harry framed him, and seems to have new evidence to prove it. Bosch left the LAPD on bad terms, so his former colleagues aren't keen to protect his reputation. He must fend for himself in clearing his name and keeping a clever killer in prison.

The two unrelated cases wind around each other like strands of barbed wire. Along the way Bosch discovers that there are two kinds of truth: the kind that sets you free and the kind that leaves you buried in darkness.

A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
Set in New York City’s Gilded Age, Joanna Shupe’s Avon debut introduces an English beauty with a wicked scheme to win the man she loves—and the American scoundrel who ruins her best laid plans…

Lady Honora Parker must get engaged as soon as possible, and only a particular type of man will do. Nora seeks a mate so abhorrent, so completely unacceptable, that her father will reject the match—leaving her free to marry the artist she desires. Who then is the most appalling man in Manhattan? The wealthy, devilishly handsome financier, Julius Hatcher, of course….

Julius is intrigued by Nora’s ruse and decides to play along. But to Nora’s horror, Julius transforms himself into the perfect fiancé, charming the very people she hoped he would offend. It seems Julius has a secret plan all his own—one that will solve a dark mystery from his past, and perhaps turn him into the kind of man Nora could truly love.
More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34216911-cowboy-it-s-cold-outside?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34051960-the-silent-fountainhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34216877-ride-wild?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34216905-the-texan-duke?ac=1&from_search=true

What new releases are you excited about this week?

Monday, October 30, 2017

Review - The Winter King by C.L. Wilson @clwilsonbooks @avonbooks

The Winter King by C.L. Wilson
Series: Weathermages of Mystral #1
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Date Read: October 28, 2017
Length: 608 pages
Source: Kindle Purchase
★★★★☆
After three long years of war, starkly handsome Wynter Atrialan will have his vengeance on Summerlea's king by taking one of the man's beautiful, beloved daughters as his bride. But though peace is finally at hand, Wynter's battle with the Ice Heart, the dread power he embraced to avenge his brother's death, rages on.

Khamsin Coruscate, Princess of Summerlea and summoner of Storms, has spent her life exiled to the shadows of her father's palace. Reviled by her father, marriage to Wintercraig's icy king was supposed to be a terrible punishment, but instead offers Kham her first taste of freedom—and her first taste of overwhelming passion.

As fierce, indomitable Wynter weathers even Khamsin's wildest storms, surprising her with a tenderness she never expected, Kham wants more than Wynter's passion—she yearns for his love. But the power of the Ice Heart is growing, dangerous forces are gathering, and a devastating betrayal puts Khamsin and Wynter to the ultimate test.

My Review

This was good!  I have heard great things about this book since its release date.  I am really not sure why I waited so long to pick it up.  I am glad that I listened to all of the recommendations and finally read this wonderful story.  I was swept away into this world and fell in love with the characters.  It was the kind of book that I didn't want to put down.  I really enjoyed reading this story.

Wynter, the King of Wintercraig, has just defeated the Summerlea and has come to claim a princess as part of the bargain.  Khamsin is the daughter of the Summerlea King but she is not one of his treasured daughters.  She is the daughter that he depises and keeps hidden away.  The Summerlea King agrees to the deal and forces Khamsin into the role as bride.

Wynter and Khamsin have fantastic chemistry from the start but they have a lot to learn about each other.  At the start of the story there is no trust between them and they are prone to thinking the worst of each other.  They are both good people and as they spend time with each other they start learning that their assumptions may not be accurate.  It was really quite nice to watch this pair open up to each other.  I fell in love with both of these characters and loved watching them pull each other out of their shells.  They really seemed to be made for each other.

Wynter must deal not only with his new bride but also with the Ice Heart which threatens his life.  He has been able to control it so far but those around him question how much longer that control will last.  I thought that the Ice Heart was a nice aspect of the story.  It was really interesting to watch Wynter with his internal struggle.  Khamsin must deal with life as an outsider in a realm where her brother is a known enemy, having sparked a war.   I really felt all of Khamsin's emotions as she navigated her new world.

I enjoyed the world at the center of this book.  There were so many vivid details to the story that helped bring everything to life.  I thought that Wynter and Khamsin both had really interesting powers that nicely complimented each other.  There were a few really unique creatures to keep things very interesting.  Everything came together perfectly to form a well told story.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  It was the perfect blend of romance and fantasy with enough action to keep the pages turning.  This was a rather long book at around 600 pages but it didn't feel long.  In fact, it was over all too soon.  I can't wait to read the next book in this series!

The Series

The Winter King
The Sea King - Coming October 31, 2017!

About the Author

C.L. WILSON grew up camping and water skiing across America, from Cherry Creek reservoir in Denver, CO, to Lake Gaston on the border of Virginia and North Carolina. She is an active member of Tampa Area Romance Authors (TARA), her local chapter of Romance Writers of America. When not engaged in writerly pursuits, she enjoys golfing, swimming, reading, playing video games with her children, and spending time with her friends and family.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Stacking the Shelves #91


I am really excited to participate in Stacking the Shelves, a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.

I kind of feel like it has been forever since my last Stacking the Shelves post!  I missed two weeks in a row.   We have been so busy lately but I hope that things will be calming down very soon.  I did take a short break from the blog that I really needed but we have also been running around helping out at band competitions, parades, and just dealing with all the drama associated with getting a teenage girl ready for homecoming.  The band won quite a few awards during the past few weeks and my daughter had a great time at homecoming so I guess it was all worth it.  


As a result of this crazy month and taking a few days to clear my mind, I am way behind on getting around to blogs and returning comments.  I haven't forgotten about anybody!  I am working on it but trying not to be too hard on myself.  I hope to spend some time checking out everyone's posts over the course of the weekend.  Thanks for sticking with me!

Books for Review
Van by Sawyer Bennett (NetGalley)
An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne (NetGalley)
The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman (NetGalley)
Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton (NetGalley)
This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong (NetGalley)
Wilde in Love by Eloisa James (Edelweiss)

I know that this looks like a lot of review books but when you consider that it has been three weeks, it's not so bad.  That's my story and I am sticking with it!

Books Won
Fatal Evidence by Kari Lemor (Goodreads Giveaway)
Losing Leah Holloway by Lisa Regan (Goodreads Giveaway)

I woke up to emails saying that I won both of these book on the same morning.  I do like the kindle giveaways on Goodreads since the books just appear magically in your account. 

What books do you add to your shelves this week? 
Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own STS post!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Audiobook Review - The Sweetest Burn by Jeaniene Frost @Jeaniene_Frost @BlackstoneAudio

The Sweetest Burn by Jeaniene Frost
Narrated by Tavia Gilbert
Series: Broken Destiny #2
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Date Read: October 3, 2017
Length: 9 hours 8 minutes
Source: Library via Overdrive
★★★★☆
The breathtaking second novel in New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost's Broken Destiny series finds Ivy and Adrian rekindling their alliance—and passion—as the struggle for the fate of the world begins…

Conquering a supernatural realm turned out to be easier than getting over a broken heart. But her initial victory has made Ivy a target for revenge, forcing her to reunite with the dangerous—and dangerously sexy—Adrian. Ivy isn't sure which will be harder: finding the hallowed weapon that will repair the crumbling walls between the demon and human realms, or resisting Adrian, who's decided that come hell or high water, he will make Ivy his.

At first, Adrian tried to resist his feelings for Ivy. Now, determined to break the curse that dooms their love, he's vowed to save her and to have her. If only he can persuade her to forgive his past sins. But defying destiny—and surrendering to the smoldering desire between them—will bring consequences and sacrifices they never imagined…

My Review

I liked this book.  After having mixed feelings about the first book in the series, The Beautiful Ashes, I had considered not reading this book.  I decided to give it a try in the end and actually liked it more than the first book in the series.  I do think that this is a series that needs to be read in order.  This book picks up shortly after the events of the first book and is really a continuing story.  I am very glad that I made the decision to give this book a chance.

I love the world that this story is set in.  It is like the world we live in but with a few extra features available to certain people.  In other words, most people don't see the things that Ivy and Adrian see and I like the idea of the something extra.  In some cases, people really just don't want to believe what they are seeing.  It was rather exciting to go with Ivy and Adrian to all of the realms and deal with so many different issues.

Ivy and Adrian's relationship takes some big steps in this book.  I do really like them as a couple and was happy to see things progress for them.  At the start of the book, Ivy did drive me a bit nuts by being a tad dramatic.  I understood why she was upset but maybe she could have found out why things happened the way they did.  It just seemed to slow the story down at times.

There were some pretty interesting developments in the overall story.  I really didn't expect the artifacts to work for Ivy quite the way that they did and I found it to be really creative.  They spend a lot of this story looking for the second artifact which is a staff.  We learn a lot about Adrian's history as they search through different areas.

I did enjoy the narration of this audiobook.  Tavia Gilbert does a really good job with the character voices which helped to bring the story to life.  I thought that she really added a lot of emotion to her delivery which made everything a bit more exciting.  I thought that her voice was very pleasant and I found myself listening to the book for hours at a time.

I would recommend this book to others.  I can't say that I like this series as much as the Night Huntress series but it is quite entertaining.  In the end, I found it to be quite enjoyable and am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Broken Destiny Series
Book #1 -  The Beautiful Ashes - My Review
Book #2 - The Sweetest Burn
Book #3 - The Brightest Embers
About the Author

Jeaniene Frost is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author whose works include the Night Huntress series, the Night Prince series, and the Broken Destiny series.  To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to twenty different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling – by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her. Jeaniene is represented by Nancy Yost at Nancy Yost Literary Agency.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday - Only Human

 Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.  I am linking up with Can't Wait Wednesday hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings this week.  

My Waiting on Wednesday pick is:

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Themis Files #3
Publisher: Del Ray Books
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
World War Z meets The Martian in the explosive follow-up to Sleeping Giants (“One of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory”—NPR) and Waking Gods (“Pure, unadulterated literary escapism”—Kirkus Reviews).
In her childhood, Rose Franklin accidentally discovered a giant metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin led the team that uncovered the rest of the body parts which together form Themis: a powerful robot of mysterious alien origin. She, along with linguist Vincent, pilot Kara, and the unnamed Interviewer, protected the Earth from geopolitical conflict and alien invasion alike. Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find her old alliances forfeit and the planet in shambles. And she must pick up the pieces of the Earth Defense Corps as her own friends turn against each other.


Pre-Order:  Amazon | BAM! | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Kobo 


Why Am I Waiting?
I have fallen in love with this series.  I read an early copy of the first book and originally thought it was good but not great.  I decided to listen the the audiobook of that same book this past summer and absolutely loved it.  I quickly read the second book and really enjoyed it as well.  I have even listened to the audio of first book a second time with my husband who also enjoyed it and we are planning to listen to the second book together very soon.

The last book left the characters in a very interesting situation and I can't wait to see what happens in Only Human.

What are you waiting for this week? 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

New Releases - October 24, 2017 #newreleases #newbooks


It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are just a few books that have just been released that you may want to grab soon:


Christmastime Cowboy by Maisey Yates

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
It's Christmas in Copper Ridge, and love is waiting to be unwrapped…

Falling for a bad boy once is forgivable. Twice would just be foolish. When Sabrina Leighton first offered her teenage innocence to gorgeous, tattooed Liam Donnelly, he humiliated her, then left town. The hurt still lingers. But so does that crazy spark. And if they have to work together to set up her family winery's new tasting room by Christmas, why not work him out of her system with a sizzling affair?

Thirteen years ago, Liam's boss at the winery offered him a bribe—leave his teenage daughter alone and get a full ride at college. Convinced he wasn't good enough for Sabrina, Liam took it. Now he's back, as wealthy as sin and with a heart as cold as the Oregon snow. Or so he keeps telling himself. Because the girl he vowed to stay away from has become the only woman he needs, and this Christmas could be just the beginning of a lifetime together…


Hunger Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff

Find it at:
Revenge has no limits.

Special Agent Matthew Roarke has abandoned his rogue search for serial killer Cara Lindstrom. He’s returned to the FBI to head a task force with one mission: to rid society of its worst predators. But as the skeletal symbols of Santa Muerte, “Lady Death,” mysteriously appear at universities nationwide, threatening death to rapists, Roarke’s team is pressured to investigate. When a frat boy goes missing in Santa Barbara, Roarke realizes a bloodbath is coming—desperate teenagers are about to mete out personal, cold-blooded justice.

Hiding from the law, avenging angel Cara Lindstrom is on her own ruthless quest. She plans to stay as far away from Roarke as possible—until an old enemy comes after both her and the FBI, forcing her back into Roarke’s orbit. This time, the huntress has become the hunted . . .

Hallow Be the Haunt by Heather Graham

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
Years ago, Jake Mallory fell in love all over again with Ashley Donegal—while he and the Krewe were investigating a murder that replicated a horrible Civil War death at her family’s Donegal Plantation.

Now, Ashley and Jake are back—planning for their wedding, which will take place the following month at Donegal Plantation, her beautiful old antebellum home.

But Halloween is approaching and Ashley is haunted by a ghost warning her of deaths about to come in the city of New Orleans, deaths caused by the same murderer who stole the life of the beautiful ghost haunting her dreams night after night.

At first, Jake is afraid that returning home has simply awakened some of the fear of the past…

But as Ashley's nightmares continue, a body count begins to accrue in the city…

And it’s suddenly a race to stop a killer before Hallow’s Eve comes to a crashing end, with dozens more lives at stake, not to mention heart, soul, and life for Jake and Ashley themselves.

Christmas in Icicle Falls by Sheila Roberts

Find it at:
Goodreads | LibraryThing
Join bestselling author Sheila Roberts this Christmas as she returns for the final installment in her treasured Icicle Falls series

When Muriel Sterling released her new book, A Guide to Happy Holidays, she felt like the Queen of Christmas. So she's thrilled when the new tree she ordered online arrives and is eager to show it off--until she gets it out of the box and realizes it's a mangy dud. But rather than sulk, Murial decides to make a project out of it. By the time her guests arrive for her annual Christmas party, the tree is a thing of beauty, and she realizes there's a lesson to be learned in all of this: everything and everyone has potential.

But her friends are not so sure about that. Sienna Marks has had about enough of the grouchy man next door who hates noise, hates kids and hates his new neighbors. And Olivia Claussen would love to send her obnoxious new daughter-in-law packing. But Muriel has inspired them both to try to find the good in everyone, and if they can learn to see the beauty in even the roughest characters, perhaps this might turn out to be the happiest holiday yet.
More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34201164-the-rooster-bar?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36304860-what-the-earl-needs-now?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36240717-keep-me-close?ac=1&from_search=true#https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34305990-bound-to-a-spy?ac=1&from_search=true

What new releases are you excited about this week?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Review - The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander @SarahRAlexander @HMHKids

The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Date Read: October 20, 2017
Length: 288 pages
Source: NetGalley
★★★★☆
Since her twin brother, Eddie, drowned five years ago, sixteen-year-old Elsie Main has tried to remember what really happened that fateful day on the beach. One minute Eddie was there, and the next he was gone. Seventeen-year-old Tay McKenzie is a cute and mysterious boy that Elsie meets in her favorite boathouse hangout. When Tay introduces Elsie to the world of freediving, she vows to find the answers she seeks at the bottom of the sea.
My Review

I liked this book.  I have had a review copy of this book for about a year and a half and put it off after I started seeing mixed reviews.  That was a mistake because this book worked really well for me.  It is a rather short book but I think it moved fast for me because of how the story flowed.  I just didn't want to quit turning pages once I reached a certain point in the story. 

I was curious about the characters and their histories from the start of the book.  The more that I read the more that I hooked.  These characters have a lot of issues to deal with and I really wanted to see things work out for them.  I am kind of surprised by how many tough topics found their way into this story but it worked.

This story follows Elsie.  Elsie's twin brother, Eddie, died in a drowning accident 5 years earlier.  Elsie and the rest of her family are just trying to keep moving forward but in many ways they are failing.  Elsie's dad leaves for long periods of time and nobody knows where he is.  Her mom drinks more than she should.  Elsie isn't doing well in school and has no friends.  Dillon seems to doing the best in the group but that's not really the case.

Elsie doesn't remember exactly what happened the day that Eddie died but she wants to remember.  When she meets Tay and the other diving boys, she ends up learning to dive and finds that she feels closer to her lost brother under the water.  She is remembering things and hopes to learn what happened just as her family is falling apart.

There were a few times in the story that I wanted to shake the characters for some of their actions but I always felt that what they did felt authentic.  People don't always do what they should and as teenagers it can be even harder.  While I didn't always like what the characters were doing, I understood why they made the choices that they did. 

I would recommend this book to others.  It was a book that had a really strong finish that made me feel for the characters.  I am really a bit upset that I put this one off for as long as I did.  I would definitely read more from Sarah Alexander in the future.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group - HMH Books for Young Readers via NetGalley.
About the Author

Sarah Alexander has previously worked as a tomato picker, travel consultant and mental-health support worker. She has completed an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck College with Distinction, and now works in publishing in London.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Friday, October 20, 2017

Review - Berserker by Emmy Laybourne @EmmyLaybourne @FeiwelFriends @FierceReads

Berserker by Emmy Laybourne
Series: Berserker #1
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group/Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Date Read: October 19, 2017
Length: 288 pages
Source: NetGalley
★★★★☆
Are Hanne's powers a gift from the old Norse gods, or a curse?

Her brother Stieg swears their powers are a gift from the old gods, but Hanne Hemstad knows she is truly cursed. It's not Stieg's fault that their father is dead, their mother has left, and their brother Knut has been accused of a crime he didn't commit.

No, the fault lies with Hanne and her inability to control her murderous "gift"--she is a Berserker. When someone she loves is threatened, she flies into a killing state. The siblings must leave Norway for the American frontier or risk being brought to justice.

Aided by a young cowboy who agrees to be their guide, Hanne and her siblings use their powers to survive the perilous trail, where blizzards, wild animals, and vicious bounty hunters await.

Will they be able to reach their uncle, the one man Hanne believes may be able to teach her how to control her drive to kill? With Berserker, Emmy Laybourne, the author of Monument 14, presents her vision of an American west studded with Viking glory.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23014705-does-this-beach-make-me-look-fat
My Review

This was an excellent book!  I was really quite surprised by just how much I ended up liking this one.  I try to go into books as blindly as possible so I didn't read the summary of this book too closely and as a result, I was really quite surprised by some of the turns the story ended up taking.  This was the kind of book that I found myself reaching anytime I had a moment to spare.  I am so glad that I took a chance on this gem of a book.

Hanne and her siblings posses a gift.  Or maybe a curse depending on how you look at it.  Hanne doesn't see it as a gift.  She is a Berserker which means that anytime someone she cares for is in danger she loses control to the Nytte and people die.   Hanne doesn't want to be someone who kills so she really struggles with this gift.  She must eventually flee Norway with her siblings after one of her murderous rages.

I really liked the characters in this story.  Hanne was so easy to like and her struggle with her different sides felt authentic.  Her elder brother, Stieg, has his own gift which proves to be rather useful to the family.  Stieg is a really even tempered and intelligent man.  Knut also has a gift and is the quietest of the siblings but he possessed a certain wisdom.  Sissel was the youngest sibling and the most difficult of the group.  I am not sure that I really cared for her character but I think she added a needed element to the group.

When I started reading this book, I had no idea that the story would soon shift to the American frontier.  The change in setting was really well done.  I could completely envision the small towns and wilderness that this group encountered.   I think the combination of the frontier setting and the Norse mythology worked perfectly in this little story and I found it to be really exciting.  There were a few sections of the book that were a bit more violent that I would have expected but it worked well with the story.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  This book is listed as being the first in a series but this story stands on its own.  This was the first book written by Emmy Laybourne that I have had the chance to read but I am eager to read more of her work including future installments in this series.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group - Feiwel & Friends via NetGalley.
About the Author

Emmy Laybourne, author of Sweet and the Monument 14 trilogy, is a writer and actress. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband, two kids, and a flock of six nifty chickens.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Audiobook Review - Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews @ilona_andrews #katedaniels

Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews
Narrated by Renee Raudman
Series: Kate Daniels #5.5
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Publication Date:  July 31, 2012
Date Read: September 22, 2017 (2nd read)
Length:  12 hours 43 minutes
Source: Audible Purchase
After being kicked out of the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea's whole existence is in shambles. She tries to put herself back together by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend. When several shapeshifters working for Raphael Medrano-the male alpha of the Clan Bouda, and Andrea's former lover-die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate. Now she must work with Raphael as her search for the killer leads into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta. And dealing with her feelings for him might have to take a back seat to saving the world.
My Review

I enjoyed this book.  This was a re-read for me and I had a lot of fun re-visiting this book since I know what will happen to these wonderful characters as the series moves forward.  I do remember being slightly disappointed when this book was first published simply because I wanted another book featuring Kate and Curran and I got Andrea instead.  I ended up loving the book though.

Andrea and Kate are best friends so their lives overlap in a lot of areas but Andrea does have her own story to tell and I am glad that Ilona Andrews made the decision to let her do just that in this book.  Andrea is not in a great place as this book opens.  Her relationship with Raphael is over and she has lost her job with the Order.  Both of these things meant the world to her and helped shaped her identity.

Andrea is working with Kate at their new agency, Cutting Edge, when she gets a call about a new case.  This new case just happens to be tied to Raphael which only proves to make things more interesting.  Throw in some strange snake people and a complex mystery and you have plenty of excitement.  All the action is nicely balanced with a bit of humor and romance.

I really enjoyed seeing Kate, Curran, and all of the other characters from a different perspective.  I think that Andrea is in a unique position to give that perspective because she is close to a lot of the key characters but she still feels and acts like an outsider.  Andrea grows a lot as a character over the course of this book and the insight into her background really helps with understanding some of the ways that she looks at the world.

Renee Raudman does a fabulous job with this series.  It is funny that I didn't really care for her narration for the first couple of books in the series but now I couldn't imagine anyone else.  She really is able to perform a wide range of characters very well and with a lot of emotion.  She has a very pleasant voice that is easy to listen to for hours at a time.

I highly recommend this series to others.  This is a series that you do need to read in order since each book builds on the last.  This is a very important book in the overall story arc and should not be missed.  I can't wait to continue with my re-read of this wonderful series.

The Series

Book #8.5 - Magic Stars
Book #9 - Magic Binds 
Click the links above to read my other review of this series!
About the Author

Ilona Andrews” is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.

They have co-authored two NYT and USAT bestselling series, the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge and working on the next volumes for both.


Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
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