mlsimmons

I'm Melanie and I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. I will read contemporary romance on occasion, but not often. I will occasionally throw in a biography, usually autobiographies of people that I find interesting. Listening to autobiographies that are narrated by the author have been great in my experience.

Audiobook Review: It by Stephen King

It - Stephen King, Steven Weber

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

It has been on my list to try for a long time. I love Stephen King and I remember watching the TV miniseries when I was in high school. However, the length of this book was always the thing that prevented me from picking it up. The book is 1,093 pages and the audio at 44 hours and 57 minutes, it is not a light read/listen. However, when I heard they were remaking this into a feature film, I decided I had to read it before it hit theaters. I’m so glad that I did. It was such a fun book.

 

This is the story of friendship above all else. It goes back in forth in time between when these seven kids were about eleven years old and twenty seven years later as middle aged adults. It starts with Bill’s little brother Georgie building a paper boat that he sails down the flooded storm gutters in the streets. Georgie does not survive his encounter with Pennywise the Clown. Georgie isn’t the first or the last child to go missing or be killed in Derry, Maine.

 

If you haven’t read the book, but have watched the miniseries, there is a second prologue that is in the book that was completely left out of the show. It is basically the preamble to how the killings start in Derry for the adult years. It also shows that Pennywise doesn’t do all of his own killing. Here, he starts a mob going after a gay couple coming out of a gay bar in the homophobic town. One of the gay men ends up dead. The clown is there, but he didn’t do the deed himself.

 

We learn about each of the seven members of the “losers club”, both as children and as adults. We see how all the ones who left Derry become very successful at what they do, while Mike Hanlon stays behind as the town’s librarian. It was a good thing that he did stay in town. It seems that he is the only one who remembers anything. All the others pretty much forgot everything that happened while they were in Derry. Even to the point that Bill didn’t tell his wife that his brother was murdered, just that he died. He had forgotten that his brother was murdered.

 

While this was a long story, I was entranced the entire time. There is not a single section of the book that I wish was shorter. Not a single part that I wish I could’ve skipped or sped through quicker. I loved learning about each of the characters, as both children and as adults. I loved watching their friendship build. Like I said, this is the story of a great friendship. Without that friendship, they never would’ve survived or won in the end (either as children or when they came back together as adults).

 

This story is also very, very creepy. It is a Stephen King book, after all. This book is full of some pretty creepy things. I won’t go into details, one, so as not to spoil any surprises for anyone who decides to try this book, two, so as not to gross out anyone who maybe isn’t much of a horror fan. Let’s just say that King didn’t pull any punches.

 

Narration

This is the first books that I’ve listened to with Steven Weber. I have to admit, he did an amazing job. I don’t know if you could’ve found a better person to narrate this book. Not only did he have to voice these characters as eleven-year-olds and as thirty-eight-year-olds. He also had to handle the many different voices from Richie Tozier, who was constantly making different voices. While there was only one girl in the “Losers Club” there were mothers and other women that he had to navigate including the mother of Eddie Kaspbrak, who sorta reminded me of Howard Wolowit’s mother (from the Big Bang Theory). Another thing that I really liked was how he would change his pace to help set the scene. There are several scenes where the kids are really scared and they are maybe running from Pennywise or something else (he didn’t always appear as a clown). He would start talking much faster as the scene intensified and then would come back to a normal pace once the scariness was over. I think he really helped me get through this book. As much as I loved the story, it would be very hard to get through a story of this length reading, but listening to it really helped bring it to life. I didn’t want it to end.

“Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!”

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/it-audiobook-by-stephen-king-review

Audiobook Review: The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1) by C.J. Redwine

The Shadow Queen - Tantor Audio, C.J. Redwine, Khristine Hvam

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

Let me start out by saying that I’m not a huge fan of young adult books. I do read them, but I’m pretty picky about it. So when I say that I didn’t love this book, it is very likely a “it’s not you, but me” issue. I had read several great reviews of this book before they were offering the audio for review. I thought it sounded really interesting. Then when I saw the audio come up, I decided to give it a try. Especially after seeing who the narrator was in Khristine Hvam. Now I had not listened to her in the past, but I had heard really great things about her.

 

This is a retelling of Snow White (which I really only know the story from the Disney movie, not from the original Grimm’s Brother’s version, though that is something I plan to remedy very soon). You have a king with children whose wife dies and he remarries. When he dies, the new queen is evil and does horrible things. The children flee to keep their lives. Both the queen and the princess (and rightful heir to the throne) are witches or mardushkas as they call them in this story.

 

The Huntsman is a dragon who is a king in his own right. The evil queen sends him out to find and kill the princess, which was more than he bargained for. He was just trying to seek help to fight the trolls that were attacking his land. He thought he was just supposed to track the princess, he had not planned on killing her. He learned the hard way not to make deals with evil queens, but I guess he also had know way to know how evil she was.

 

This story wasn’t all bad. It was in a really well built world. The magic was well thought out. I was just not a huge fan of the characters and I’m a very character driven reader. If I don’t like the characters, I tend to not enjoy the book. Lorelai, our princess, just wasn’t very likeable. Yes, she was a good character. She was wanting to do the right thing by her family and her people. I just didn’t like her. Kol, The Huntsman, was a better character. I liked him a lot more. He had a lot he had to overcome and struggle to keep his humanity. The romance between the two of them wasn’t well done. It seemed awkward to me. It was just too much of a struggle.

 

I’m not 100% sure if this book is a young adult. They really never mention the age of the kids. I guess it could be new adult, but it had more of a young adult feel, so that is what I’m going with. Like I said, I’m really picky about young adult. I might read one or two books a year, if that, so if you like young adult fantasy books, I would recommend you give this one a try. You might like it more than I did.

 

You can check out these other blogs who did enjoy the story.
Between Dreams and Reality
My Nook Books and More
Caffeinated Book Reviewer

 

Narration

As I said, this is my first book with Khristine Hvam. I have to say, I really enjoyed her narration. I thought she did a great job with both the male and female characters. I thought that she really brought out the tone of the scene and I had no problem figuring out each character. I do plan to search her out for more books with her as the narrator.

 

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/the-shadow-queen-audiobook-by-c-j-redwine-review

Audiobook Review: To Love a Wolf (SWAT: Special Wolf Alpha Team #4) by Paige Tyler

To Love a Wolf: SWAT, Book 4 - Tantor Audio, Paige Tyler, Abby Craden

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

Yay!! Cooper finally gets his HEA. The man who has been the rock for so many of the characters so far finally gets to be the one who falls. He doesn’t get it easy either. He meets her in a bank only for it to get robbed before he could finish asking her out (how rude). Red flags are raised when through a guy through a window. He then gets put on administrative leave until his psychological evaluation is completed.

 

It was interesting how this story unfolded. Everly’s family is very protective her ever since her mother was killed back in France. It is now just her dad and her older brothers. They are overly critical of every man she has ever dated. She feels certain that Landry Cooper saving her life during the bank robbery would be the plus that he needs to win over her family. However there is a problem, the know about werewolves and they really don’t like them.

 

On top of all of this, there are bombs going off around the city. As a former EOD specialist for the military, Cooper lends his help to the FBI to try to find these bombs. That is until he sees something he doesn’t think should be part of the bomb. He is put in a tight spot between a friend and the FBI.

 

There is also this psychologist that Cooper is seeing. She knows something, I just don’t know what. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of her. I think the team could really use a therapist, someone to talk to. Cooper has been that person for so many of them, it was good to see him find someone to talk to. Imagine if he was able to actually tell her everything.

 

Narration

I continue to enjoy Abby Craden’s narration for this series. I think she does an amazing job with male and female voices. She has no problem coming up with new voices as more and more characters are added to the list. Now, in this book there are some French accents. I’m not good enough with French accents to tell you whether or not she did a good job or not. The characters that did have the accents, didn’t have huge parts.

 

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/to-love-a-wolf-audiobook-by-paige-tyler-review

Audiobook Review: Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles #3) by Kresley Cole

Dead of Winter: Arcana Chronicles, Book 3 - Kresley Cole, Simon & Schuster Audio, Emma Galvin

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

I’ve really enjoyed this series since I started listening to Poison Princess two years ago (I was late to the party, but that ended up working in my favor). This has been an exciting dystopian following Evie and the other Arcana as they learn more about their powers and play the game until there is only one left (I feel like I should see Christopher Lambert or Adrian Paul saying “There can be only one.” many times in this series. LOL).

 

This story picks up pretty much where the previous book ends. Evie is going after Jack, she is going to save him from The Lovers before their torture drives him mad. She snuck away in the night from Aric (Death). When she gets back to the camp, she learns he has made quite the name for himself. Several of the Arcana are getting along quite well there, thanks to Matthew.

 

Here’s where the story goes all wrong and finally starts to read like the YA story that it is. Aric shows up and Evie can’t decide who she is in love with, Jack or Aric. Yep, the dreaded love triangle of YA has reared its ugly head. The majority of this story is the three of them on a mission to save The Archer from The Lovers. OMG, the angst. It is big in this one. Evie goes back and forth several times. Jack and Aric are at each other’s throats. It is everything I hate about YA. Yeah.

 

All of that being said, I still have enjoyed this series. We did learn more about other Arcana. There is still some good action. We even get to meet some new Arcana. It was just such a small amount and was overshadowed by the love triangle that it makes me very disappointed in this story. Oh, and to top all of that, it ends on a big ol’ cliffhanger (hence why I waited so long to listen to this book. I waited until we got close to the next book’s release. See why coming late to this party worked in my favor.). I do plan to listen to book four when it is released, however, if it doesn’t go back to more of the first two book storyline and less love triangle type angst, I’m done.

 

Narration
Emma Galvin continues to do a bang up job with the narration of this series. I love her voice of Matthew, who is hard to follow with his weird incoherent babble. I thought she did a great job voicing Jack with his Cajun accent. I loved her voice of Aric too. I think she is one of the main reasons I was able to finish this story. If I were just reading the book, I probably would’ve set it down and walked away.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/dead-of-winter-audiobook-by-kresley-cole-review

Audiobook Review: Allegiance of Honor (Psy-Changeling #15) by Nalini Singh

Allegiance of Honor (Psy/Changeling) - Nalini Singh, Angela Dawe

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

Ah, Allegiance of Honor, how to write this review? There is a ton of stuff that goes on in this book. There isn’t a single couple in this book. It is written almost like it is the ending of the series. I had at one point thought it was the last book in this series. I mean, it is fifteen books in, and many series are getting dull before this point (not that I’ve felt this way about Psy/Changeling. Some of my favorite books are the most recent ones) While this has the feel of an end, it is not the last of the Psy/Changeling stories we will see from Nalini Singh. From what I understand, it is the end of the original series arc. There is another series arc set to come.

 

There is a ton going on in this story. We have people after Lucas’s and Sascha’s young daughter. We have Mercy who is about due to have her and Riley’s pupcubs. There are still issues with the Psynet. Father Perez is looking for his lost love. There is a missing BlackSea changeling. Work is progressing on the Trinity Accord to make peace between humans, changelings and the Psy. There is a scene that made me tear up (I won’t say more, so as not to spoil anything). There is also a large multipack celebration for the pupcubs. Like I said, there is a lot going on.

 

This was a really fun story. If it had been the end of this series, it would’ve been a great wrap up. We got to spend a lot of time with all of my favorite characters. I even started to like Nakita, which is not something I would ever think would happen. And with favorite characters, comes hated characters. Ming LeBon makes an appearance, too.

 

All in all, I really enjoyed my time with this story. The lack of romance will probably upset some, but for me, it has always been more about the overall arc. I read a ton of paranormal romance stories, but I read them more for the stories than the romance. Don’t get me wrong, I like the romances, but urban fantasy is truthfully a more fun genre for me.

 

This series is more like a UF series in my mind with a different main couple in each book. It has such a strong series arc that the romance is almost secondary. Maybe it is just me. This story is more about family, be they by blood or by friendship. I loved watching characters who I didn’t think had the ability to have friends have so many by the end of this book. I think many of the characters were surprised by this fact, too.

 

Narration

I continue to really Angela Dawe’s narration of this series. She did a phenomenal job with all the many voices she had to tackle in this book. The men and females were wonderful. Every character had very distinct voice that has followed that character throughout the entire series. Another thing that she really had to tackle in this book was the children. There had been children in past books, but not nearly as much as there was in this book. She did a great job with the little kids voices. Nada’s toddler voice with weird toddler words were great. The twin boys were really good too.

 

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/allegiance-of-honor-audiobook-by-nalini-singh-review

Audiobook Review: Struck (Phoebe Meadows, #1) by Amanda Carlson

Struck: Phoebe Meadows, Book 1 - Inc. Amanda Carlson, Emma Wilder, Amanda  Carlson

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

I’ve been a fan of Amanda Carlson’s since I read the first Jessica McClain book several years ago. I was really excited to hear that she had a new series coming out and it was based on Norse Mythology. This is a section of paranormal that I’m not extremely familiar with, but I’ve been enjoying the stories that I’ve read based on this mythology.

 

So here we have Phoebe who has always thought of herself as a pretty normal person. She is fairly new to New York City. She is making her way working in the shoe department of Macy’s. That is until one day she is struck by lightning. Well, she didn’t realize it was lightning at first, because how do you get struck by lightning in the middle of a building. It isn’t until she gets home and finds an extremely large raven in his apartment and her neighbor busts in, wearing really weird clothes and talking about things that couldn’t possibly be real, that things start to really get weird for Phoebe.

 

Phoebe has a really difficult time dealing with this change in her life. This makes it difficult for the people around her to really save her. She is whisked away to another realm where she continues to meet more people who are going to be a large part of her new life and help her along the way.

 

I’m having a hard time deciding how I want to rate this story. I liked the characters. The plot was fast paced and exciting, which is something I knew I would get from Amanda Carlson. Her stories are almost too fast paced at times. The romance between Fen and Phoebe was extremely quick and not well developed. I think this series has promise, but felt that this story could’ve used a little more depth. I also felt like somethings just worked out too easily for Phoebe and her friends. There were obstacles, but they were easily solved and moved on to the next one. I would like to see things not be quite so easy for her in the future.

 

Narration

I enjoyed Emma Wilder’s narration. I had not listened to her before this book, but I would listen to her again. I thought did a good job with males and females. Each character had a distinct voice. I thought her pacing was perfect for this fast paced story. I would try her again.

 

**I like to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/struck-audiobook-by-amanda-carlson

Audiobook Review: Big Vamp on Campus (Half-Moon Hollow, #4.6) by Molly Harper

Big Vamp on Campus - Audible Studios, Molly Harper, Amanda Ronconi

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

This is the newest book in the Half Moon Hollow series. It is a novella, so it is pretty short at only about two and a half hours long. Authors are going to hate me for this, but if I’m already reading a series, I don’t read the blurbs that are provided. I just don’t. I like to go into a book blind with little idea of what is going to happen. So, going into this book, I thought the book was going to focus mostly on Jamie, since he is the vamp that is college aged. Well, I forgot all about Ophelia’s punishment. This book follows Ophelia and her time on campus. Now, that doesn’t mean that Jamie isn’t in it, of course he is, he just isn’t the focus of the story.

 

It was interesting seeing Ophelia having to deal with the fact that she isn’t all powerful any more. She had to follow the rules instead of creating them and punishing the ones who don’t. I enjoyed watching her learn how to actually make friends, something she has never done in the past.

 

The relationship with Jamie grows and she finally learns to be someone without him, which is the problem that got her here in the first place. She learns that she can have a life and he can have his while they both can still move together as a couple. She actually becomes a likable character. I’m interested to see where this relationship goes and where Ophelia goes now that she isn’t in charge of everything.

 

All in all, a cute, fun story that is everything you would expect from a Half Moon Hollow story and a must listen for all fans of the series. There spoilers in this story for an earlier book in the series, so I wouldn’t tackle this one unless you are up-to-date.

 

Narration

Amanda Ronconi continues to nail this series. I can’t help but wait for the audios because I feel she really brings out the snark in the stories. Molly Harper’s books are pretty strict audio only for me because of how much I love Ronconi’s narration. If you haven’t tried these books on audio, I highly recommend it.

 

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/big-vamp-on-campus-audiobook-by-molly-harper-review

Audiobook Review: The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant (Fred, the Vampire Accountant #1) by Drew Hayes

The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant - Tantor Audio, Drew Hayes, Kirby Heyborne

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

I’m trying to remember how I stumbled upon this book. I’ve had it in my Audible library for a few months with every intention of listening to it, but other books kept getting ahead of it. I can tell you that it was the title that caught my eye. I mean, how does that not catch you eye? It is an extremely long title and then when you read what it actually says, I just had to know more. I’m really glad that I finally took the time to listen to this book. I’ve already purchased the second book in this series. I will be tackling it very soon.

 

This book is told from the first person POV of Fred, the said vampire accountant. It is actually more like five short stories that are pulled together into one story. Since the stories are told in chronological order and without a large amount of time between each story, it still feels like a full story.

 

A Vampire Reunion
Here Fred decides to go back to his high school reunion. Not something that is fun for the nerds and outcasts of high school. However, Fred runs into another outcast that he was friends with while in school, Crystal. Oh, and there is a group of werewolves who want to turn the reunion into an all you can eat buffet.

 

A Zombie at the LARP
Crystal and Fred are now dating, but Crystal has to do some work stuff before their date. She has to check out this LARP (Live-Action Role Playing game) where some bad stuff is supposed to go down. Crystal works for a government agency that polices supernaturals. This is where Fred picks up a new assistant in a zombie who needs a job or will be put back in the ground.

 

A Weresteed at the Slots
Crystal get called into to help an old friend only that is pretty much an impossible task. Bubba is a weresteed (don’t call him a were-horse, he is a weresteed, even that has a bit of a twist to it. LOL). He has gambled himself into a very large debt. He wants to just say goodbye to Crystal. She then challenges for his debt. Things go from bad to worse. Fred rides in to save the day.

 

A Mage at the Park
Krystal is out on assignment and a mage friend needs help, so Fred, Bubba and Albert the zombie go on the search for a missing mage tutor. Not my favorite of the stories, but it did have a humorous ending.

 

A Monster in the Pews
Here we learn more about Krystal and her past. She has quite the past.

 

While I wasn’t a huge fan of the story being told in the short story format, they do all overlap very well. The side characters when pick up in one story move on to the next story, so they build on the previous story. While I also don’t find this series to be the funniest story I’ve ever read, I did enjoy my time with Fred and the gang. I really liked Bubba, though all the side characters were fun. Like I said above, I’ve already purchased the next book in the series.

 

Narration

This is my first book with Kirby Heyborne. I thought he did an okay job. I was not a big fan of his female voices, but I really enjoyed his male voices. Since this series really only has Krystal as it’s female character of significance so far, I don’t mind listening to it. If this was a book that had more female characters in it, I don’t think I would enjoy his narration as much.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/the-utterly-uninteresting-and-unadventurous-tales-of-fred-the-vampire-accountant-audiobook

Audiobook Review: Before the Fall by Noah Hawley narrated by Robert Petkoff

Before the Fall - Noah Hawley, Hachette Audio, Robert Petkoff

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

When I was looking at a list of new release audiobooks coming out, this one caught my eye. First thing I noticed was the narrator, Robert Petkoff, who is one of my favorite narrators. So, I read the synopsis, and thought that the story sounded interesting and decided to give it a go. I’m really glad I did. Not only did I get to listen to yet another book narrated by Petkoff, I also found a great story that I probably would’ve never picked up on my own.

 

This is the story about how a private plane crashes down and only leaves two survivors, a starving artist type painter and a four-year-old boy, son of the man who chartered the plane. Everyone else dies. That includes the entire flight crew, a wealthy man who owns a Fox News type TV station, his wife and their daughter. This is the family of the lone surviving son. They also had a couple they were friends with. The main was a financial broker who had worked on Wall Street and was known to launder money through some less than legal countries and was under some investigations. They also had a bodyguard on board.

 

This story goes back and forth between past and present as we learn more about what is currently happening as everyone loads on the plane, the plane goes down and Scott, that painter, boy struggle to survive the swim to shore. There is the stay in the hospital and the media aftermath. It was interesting see how the painter’s perspective in changed by the media. He starts off as a hero who saved this young boy, only then to be scrutinized more and more. People start to question why he was on the plane in the first place. Did he have something to gain when the plane went down? They question his choices after leaving the hospital.

 

There are also many flashbacks into the past as we learn about each and every person on the plane. We learn that pretty much each person on that plane had a skeleton in their closet. We learn about the kidnapping of the big sister to the lone surviving boy. You would think with all the jumping back in forth from past to present and getting all the different stories about each person, that the story would be confusing, but it wasn’t. It flowed perfectly. I never once questioned if I was in the present or the past.

 

There is also the story of the boy, J.J. He had to not only survive this horribly traumatic event. He had to go live with his aunt, his mother’s sister. The uncle in this picture is the guy who I thought was really one of the worst characters in the book. I don’t worst, as in poorly written, but worst as in I really hated him. He takes in this poor young boy, and all he can think about is the money that this boy stands to inherit. While the aunt is trying to deal with the death of her sister and the struggle to now be in charge of this little child new never expected she would need to raise, she has a husband who is only seeing dollar signs. He doesn’t seem to understand that the money is not his, but all J.J.’s

 

It is not until the very end of this story that you realize exactly what happens with the plane and why it went down. I loved how the story kept me guessing up to the very end. I also loved watching how this book portrays the news media of today’s society. The way they sensationalize everything. The way they make false conclusions. Anything to keep those ratings up. I can’t help but to look at the current aspect of things in the news media and see that this part of the book is not a work of fiction, but something that is based on some real news networks that we see today.

 

Narration

Robert Petkoff continues to be one of my favorite narrators. While I learned to love him listening to Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole, where there is a ton of snark and accents that he has to manage, he handles a book like this one with just as much ease. This book doesn’t have a large number of accents, snarkiness or some of the other things that normally pull me into a narrator. Robert Petkoff really pulls me into the story and I just want to stay there and continue to listen all day. If you haven’t tried anything by him, I highly recommend you pick up a book by him. He does an amazing job with every book that I’ve listened to by him.

 

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/before-the-fall-audiobook-by-noah-hawley-review

Savage Urges (The Phoenix Pack, #5) by Suzanne Wright

Savage Urges: Phoenix Pack, Book 5 - -Brilliance Audio on CD Unabridged-, Suzanne  Wright, Jill  Redfield

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

The Phoenix Pack is a series that I’ve loved since listening to the first book, Feral Sins, years ago. I love the humor and snark that fill the pages. The women tend to be very snarky and take no crap, even if they are not the most alpha of the pack. The men do tend to be a little over dominate, which is a little irritating to me, but overall, I still enjoy them. Then there is Greta, the pack alpha’s grandmother who hates all the females. She thinks they are all “hussies” and not good enough for “her boys”. The stories tend to be fun.

 

In this story, we have Makenna Wray, a lone wolf who works at shelter for other lone shifters. She helps to find new packs for these loners. She tries to find homes with some family tie. In the case of Zac, a fourteen year old boy who ran away from an abusive pack, she finds Ryan from the Phoenix Pack.

 

Ryan is not known for his communication skills. He is quite the brooder who speaks more in grunts than actual words. Ryan and Makenna work together to make Zac comfortable and want to join the Phoenix Pack, though Zac is very concerned that his old pack is still looking for him. He doesn’t want to bring trouble to his newfound relatives.

 

There is also an issue with another alpha who wants to take control of the land that the shelter sits on. He is not a good man with horrible reasons for wanting access to the shelter. He has a creepy mother who isn’t helping matters. Threats to the residents and the people who run the shelter make up a large part of the story too.

 

While I was not a huge fan of the romance between Makenna and Ryan, I just thought that they made mountains out of mole hills between the two of them. I did love the story about Zac and the shelter. I loved learning more about the loners. We also got to see other shifters besides just wolves (I believe it is the first time we’ve seen anything besides wolves in this series). I liked action going on with the other alpha (though he was a horrible man). I loved watching the Phoenix Pack fight him.

 

This was a good addition to the Phoenix Pack series. It is still full of humor, even as this story tackled darker stories than what we’ve seen in the past. There wasn’t as much of the silly dirty jokes from Dominc. I really missed them. I’m getting a little sick of Greta. At some point, she has to give it up. She hates on girls before she even meets them. All in all, I did enjoy the series. It is full of humor, action, lots of sex (this is one of my more sex filled PNR series). A fun series. I do recommend it.

“Everything ok here?”
Ryan grunted urging her with a hand on her lower back.
“He thinks you should mind your own business,” Makenna told the Beta,translating the grunt.
Dominic cocked his head. “You understand his grunts?”
She lifted her chin. “I thought it was crystal clear.”
Dominic turned to Ryan. “Marry her.”
Ryan grunted again before heading for the door.
“What did he say?” Dominic asked her.
“Fuck off,” she translated.

“Trey cocked one brow at her. “Do I not get a say in this?”
She patted his arm. “Of course you do. Just note that if your opinion is different from mine, it will be disregarded.”

Narration

I’ve been listening to this series from the beginning. I love Jill Redfield’s narration of this series. I think she doesn’t a great job. Everything from the male voices, to the children to cranky ol’ Greta. I can’t imagine reading this series, as opposed to listening to it. I feel that Redfield’s narration really adds to the story for me.

 

**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/savage-urges-audiobook-by-suzanne-wright-review

Review: Divine Descendant (Nikki Glass #4) by Jenna Black

Divine Descendant (Nikki Glass Book 4) - Jenna Black

Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.

 

Urban Well Written Unique

 

Finally, we have a book four in the Nikki Glass series. I’ve been waiting three years for this book to come out. I can say that I’m glad that this story is finally out in the world. After the long wait, I went through earlier this year and did a revisit of this series (and reviewed since I read these way before I was blogging). I’m really glad that I had the refresher. This book start where Rogue Descendant ends and it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I was glad to see the story take shape quickly.

 

Nikki is an immortal and a PI. As a descendant of Artemis, she is great at finding things, not to mention has flawless aim with whatever her weapon is. She is coming to terms with her new life. Anderson, the leader of the “good” Liberi is MIA after killing the leader of the opposing and less friendly Liberi group, known as the Olympians. Problem is that Konstantin had a failsafe to protect him. He knew Anderson’s secret, which is a big one. When Konstantin is killed, his failsafe goes into action and Anderson’s very large secret is unleashed upon the world. Nikki is hoping that Anderson is working on solving any ramifications of the secret that is out in the world. However, she doesn’t know for sure.

 

Also, a woman shows up at the mansion and has even more of Anderson’s secrets. Anderson is someone who isn’t as “good” as he had lead them to believe. All of the Liberi walk a line between good and evil. Anderson’s Liberi lean more towards the good side. After hearing about Anderson’s past, they start to question things even more. This woman is the sister of Anderson’s ex-wife. Needless to say, she is not happy to find out that Anderson is still alive and she is willing to destroy the entire human race to hurt him.

Maybe Niobe’s problem wasn’t so much that she was angry but that she was batshit crazy. I’ve never met anyone with taste in women as epically bad as Anderson’s. If he had a thing for crazy women, couldn’t he have at least stuck to ones who weren’t homicidal.

Another great part of this story was the relationship between Nikki and Jamaal. This is a relationship that has be slowly building since the first book. Well, it finally makes some forward process. Jamaal has issues from his past that have really kept the relationship from making any progress. His past as a slave and the one mistress that owned him and enjoyed his scars and forced sex from him really did a number on him. Add to that the stress of his death magic as a descendant of Kali, makes him quick to get angry.

 

Although him finding Sita, his tiger which is a manifestation of his death magic has helped him with his stress, she is a jealous tiger and doesn’t like Nikki. Sita and Nikki have a heart to heart, as much as you can with a magic tiger who can’t talk, but thinks on a higher level than a normal tiger. They learn to deal with each other so that they can both make Jamaal happy.

“I’m surrounded by the dead in the middle of the night hoping to pull a previously unknown power out of my ass. What could possibly go wrong?”

“You, however, couldn’t look harmless if you had flowers in your hair and were carrying an armload of kittens. And that face you’re making proves my point.”

This series continues to have wonderful characters and a great premise. I also love the action that goes on this book. There aren’t a ton of fight scenes that you see in some urban fantasy series, but it does have some great suspense that kept me glued to my Kindle.

 

Jenna Black wrote this where it could be the end of Nikki Glass or where she could continue the series. I for one and hoping that the series has a few more books. I would love to see where Nikki goes from here. If she decides that she isn’t going to continue the series, she did leave it at a place where I could be happy with the series. You can voice your opinion as to whether the Nikki Glass series should continue on Jenna’s website (I’m not sure how long she is taking feedback, but it was open when I posted this review).

 

The Nikki Glass Series

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Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2016/07/review-divine-descendant-by-jenna-black-mlsimmons-jennablack.html

Review: Aramus (Cyborgs: More Than Machines, #4) by Eve Langlais

Aramus - Eve Langlais

Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.

 

Science Fiction eBook Great Dialogue

 

I was excited to be back in the world of the cyborgs. We have Aramus, who is yet another cyborg male who dislikes the weakness of human emotions. He really hates humans. The cyborgs are sent to investigate a secret base only to find some truly horrible things. And the humans thing the cyborgs are heartless. There are a group of humans who are being held captive as they help with scientific research. They also find Avion who has been MIA for a while, but he is not what he used to be.

 

You knew it was going to happen. As I was reading these books, Aramus’s hatred towards humans, I knew he was going to be the first of the cyborgs to hook up with a human. Up until this point, they have found women cyborgs, as rare as they are, but I just knew he was going to be teamed up with a human. It was fun to watch him fight his instincts as much as he liked her. The doctor’s response was even better.

MJ shrugged. “So you find her cute. I don’t see the problem.”
Was MJ truly dense? Aramus spelled it out for him. “The problem is I desire her.”
“Easy solution then; screw her.”
“Screw her? That’s your remedy? Screw her?”
“Well, you said that masterbating didn’t work.”
“It didn’t.”
“So, do what your body wants and get back to normal. Have sex.”
“But I don’t want to have sex with her.” He was such a liar.
“Buy you just said–”
“I know what I fucking said. However, I don’t want to. I hate humans.”
“Not that one.”
“All of them.”

After more arguing:

“No. As your chief medical officer, I command you to obey. Fuck the human.”

Have you ever seen a man that needed so much convincing to have sex with a woman he found attractive?

 

Anyway, it was another cute story. There is betrayal (not by either of our main players here, but by someone else). We learn more about Seth who went MIA in the previous book. There were the great one-liners I’ve come to expect from an Eve Langlais book. If you’re looking for a cute, fun, laugh out loud read, I highly recommend anything by Eve Langlais. Her books are always great for a laugh.

 

Cyborgs: More Than Machines Series

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Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2016/07/review-aramus-by-eve-langlais-mlsimmons-evelanglais.html

Graphic Novel Review: Deadpool: The Complete Collection - Volume 1 by Daniel Way

Deadpool by Daniel Way: The Complete Collection - Volume 1 - Bong Dazo, Andy Diggle, Carlo Barberi, Daniel Way, Steve Dillon, Paco Medina

Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.

 

Bad Boy Kickass Movie

 

I’ve been on a bit of a reading slump. I don’t know why, but I just haven’t been in the mood to read. So, I decided to try something different. I’ve reviewed a few graphic novels here in the past, so I decided that might be a good way to get out of my reading slump. Whether it will work or not, is a completely different idea. Anyway, I decided to try Deadpool because I loved the movie.

 

So here’s the thing. The movie and the graphic novel are similar and different. When I read Jessica Jones a few months back, I could see the story that was used to inspire the TV show. There was a storyline from the comics that it followed. That is really not the case here. There is no girlfriend (I’m sure you are all completely shocked that Hollywood added the love story to bring in more female viewers). Even the how he was made and the revenge against Ajax wasn’t in these books. The only thing that was in the movie that was included in this graphic novel was the scene with the pizza delivery guy. Now, that being said, there are two more volumes and I haven’t read those yet. So it is possible that more of the movie’s plot came from those books.

 

Now, Deadpool’s personality. That, I could completely feel in these books. It completely has conversations with himself. They are really good about letting you know what is going on by having a bubble for his out loud voice and a square for his internal voice. It was also very helpful that his bubbles were yellow, especially when he hires someone to dress like him to be a decoy. There are scenes where there are essentially two Deadpools on the page, but the real Deadpool talks in yellow.

 

There are four different stories in this book. First one, he is fighting Wolverine. Two people who are basically immortal fighting to the death. So yea. Then there is one where he is fighting these green men called Skrulls who infiltrated Earth. They had no idea that Deadpool would be so difficult to deal with. Then Norman Osborn, who is leading the Avengers, double crosses Deadpool, he attacks Avengers Tower. There are some people I remember like Black Widow and Ant Man. There are others that I don’t remember. In the last story, we are still fighting with Osborn and his cronies. Mostly Thunderbolt and Bullseye (who you might remember from the DareDevil movie).

 

The thing I really didn’t like about the book, it basically bleeped all the language. I mean, it is obvious this book is not meant for kids. He is the antihero we see in the movie, so why not just go ahead and put a parental advisory label on it and spell out the words. It was frustrating reading $*%$@ all the time.

 

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Deadpool

Deadpool

The Deadpool Series

 
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Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2016/07/graphic-novel-review-deadpool-the-complete-collection-volume-1-by-daniel-way-mlsimmons.html

Review: How to Drive a Dragon Crazy (Dragon Kin, #6) by G.A. Aiken

How to Drive a Dragon Crazy - G.A. Aiken

Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.

 

Page Turner Fantasy Great Dialogue

 

I love being back in the world of the G.A. Aiken’s Dragon Kin. Not only that, to have Éibhear the Blue’s story on top it. Éibhear has been one of the funnest characters in this series since the beginning. As the youngest of the royals, he gets picked on a lot, but has always taken it in stride, that is until one of close friends dies in battle in the previous book, The Dragon Who Loved Me. Everything changed for Éibhear on that day. He completely blamed himself. He is no longer the fun-loving dragon he was. Now, he’s leading a group of Mì-runach. They are a group of warriors who are fears, even among the other dragons and warriors. They are sent in to kill everything. They are known for not being able to follow orders.

 

Izzy is a warrior who has not had an easy life. She was taken from her mother not long after her birth. Then she was raised followed by three armed men as they moved around the land. When she was finally reunited with her mother at sixteen, she wasn’t a typical daughter. Then she spent time as Annwyl the Bloody’s squire before becoming a captain in her army. Once she was reunited with her mother and her adopted father, she was protected, not only by her parents, but by all her uncles. In particular one blue uncle who Izzy had a crush on since she first met with him. Éibhear, though, had a hard time with the whole niece thing, even though he truly felt the same way.

 

There is a lot that goes on outside of the romance between these two. Rhi, Izzy’s little sister, and Annwyl’s twins, Talan and Talwyn all make very large decisions. I’m really interested to see where their stories go. Aiken doesn’t have a problem with putting several years in the timeline between each book. More than 20 years have past since the series started. We also have new characters in this already very large cast of characters. We meet Izzy’s father’s family, who were great. I don’t know if we will see more of them in the future or not. There is also the addition of Dagmar’s nephew, Frederick. I think he has a story to tell.

 

Once again, this story is full of humor. It was hard to choose what quotes to pick. I decided to pick how both Izzy and Éibhear introduced themselves, because I just thought they were priceless with how they really like to use titles and such. Next, I had to show about how hard it was for Éibhear with the whole “uncle” thing. Something Izzy never had an issue with. For the most part, the family didn’t have any issue with it. I could’ve included 10+ more quotes, but I felt I needed to restrain myself.

“I am Iseabail the Dangerous,” she called up to the rude bastard. “Daughter of Talaith and Briec the Mighty. General of Annwyl the Bloody’s Eighth, Fourteenth and Twenty-sixth legions. She threw down the horn-handled dagger her father had had made for her many years ago. “And the killer of the dragon whose horn that used to be, Olgeir the Wasteral.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “Who are you?”

“I’m Éibhear the Contemptible. Youngest born son in the House of Gwalchmai fab Gwyar, fifth in line to the throne of the White Dragon Queen, Scourge of the Northland territories, Most Reviles Enemy Dragon of the Ice Lands, Honored Member of the Mì-runach Yearly Pit Fights three winters in a row.”

“And how does your dragon brother feel about Iseabail?”
“He adores her. Briec calls her his perfect, perfect daughter,”
Another of Zarah’s grandson’s folded his arms across his chest and asked, “And are you her perfect, perfect uncle?”
“Not by blood.”
“Did your brother adopt her?”
“Yes.”
“Then you’re her uncle.”
“Yes, but not by blood.”
“And that point matters?”
“Trust me,” Éibhear insisted. “It matters.”

The Dragon Kin Series

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Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2016/06/review-how-to-drive-a-dragon-crazy-by-g-a-aiken-mlsimmons.html

Review: Z (Demonica, #11.7) by Larissa Ione

Z: A Demonica Underworld Novella - Larissa Ione

Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.

 

Paranormal Romance Well Written eBook

 

This novella is set in the world built by Larissa Ione that starts of in the Demonica series and continues in the spin off series, Lords of Deliverance. You can read this novella as a stand alone novella if you want to dip your toe into the world. I do love the world that Ms. Ione has built. Demonica starts off with demon brothers that run a hospital. Each one finds their mate and they find out they have more siblings too. Then Lords of Deliverance is about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The characters are a ton of fun.

 

In this book, we don’t get to see many of the characters from the main series. Really there is only Azagoth and his mate and Revenant. I do love both of these characters and was happy to spend time with them again. I love how Ms. Ione was able to make the leaders of Hell be so evil, but yet loveable at the same time.

 

Zhubaal is a fallen angel and Azagoth’s right hand. He has spent all of his free time searching for the love of his life who feel before him. She died, but he wants to find her reincarnated soul. When he bonded with her, he felt it was for life, eternal life.

 

Vex is a emim, daughter of two fallen angels. She isn’t well liked among the others around Sheoul. She also has the ability to suck souls into herself after they are killed. There was a great market for demon souls, that is until Revenant put a stop to it. Now Vex has nowhere to go to get rid of these souls inside of her, but to Azagoth.

 

This is not my favorite of the novellas in the Demonica world. I thought Zhubaal’s obsession with his ex, Laura was very hurtful to Vex. I know that she felt used. Some of the things that are said would’ve made me walk away and never look back. He was wanting her to be someone she wasn’t and I know that I’m not willing to do that. Vex wasn’t either, but it took a bit.

 

I pretty much saw how this was all going to work out from the get go. I also figured out the whole ex-girlfriend thing from the beginning. That didn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy learning more about these two characters. I loved Vex. I thought she was a strong character with everything going against her and she stayed strong. I like how she stood up to Zhubaal’s treatment of her. There was a twist I didn’t see coming when a particular demon soul in Vex that Azagoth has a hard time getting out. That was a fun twist.

 

If you haven’t tried this series, I highly recommend it. It is a fun series with snark, sexy alpha males, strong women, action and all the fun of a Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy.

 

The Demonica Series

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My Review

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Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2016/06/review-z-by-larissa-ione-mlsimmons-larissaione-1001darknights.html

Review: Geek Bearing Gifts (Paranormal Dating Agency #2) by Milly Taiden

Geek Bearing Gifts (BBW Paranormal Shape Shifter Romance): A BBW in search of love + A sexy shifter who secretly loved her = Smokin' Roaring Romance (Paranormal Dating Agency Book 2) - Milly Taiden

Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.

 

Feed the Nerd Paranormal Romance eBook

 

This is another cute book in this series. It was a quick read. I think I read it in two hours, maybe less. Once again we have Gerri Wilder, the owner of the Paranormal Dating Agency, playing matchmaker. She does ask a lot when she sets you up. She wants you to completely trust her and keep an open mind. Not a bad idea when going into a new relationship.

 

Nita Islas wants to find someone who wants her for her. She doesn’t want to have to fake it. I can’t blame her. Who does?? She wants someone who she will connect with besides just sex. She wants to find someone she can talk with and be comfortable around. She wants what her cousin, Talia, has with her two men.

 

Ky Stone has changed a lot since he was a stuttering, scrawny teenage boy that fell in love with Nita while they were in school. That is until she moved away. Then when his sister sets him up for a blind date. He was in his kitchen when someone comes in and knocks him out cold. When he wakes up, he is staring into the face of the girl of his dreams, the girl he’s loved since he was fourteen. Was he dreaming? But, she doesn’t recognize him. What to do?

 

This is another cute addition to the story. Ky isn’t real smart the relationship department, though he is a genius at many other things, he decides to keep his secret, which you know will bite him on the ass. This is the big source of conflict between the two. There is also some issues with neighboring bear clans fighting over territory and fishing rights.

 

*I would like to thank Angel's Guilty Pleasures for loaning me this ebook.

 

The Paranormal Dating Agency Series

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Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2016/06/review-geek-bearing-gifts-by-milly-taiden-mlsimmons.html

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