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: Birthright (Ivy Granger, #4) by E.J. Stevens

Birthright: Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective, Book 4 - Anthony Bowling, Sacred Oaks, Melanie A. Mason, Robert E. Stevens

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

 

I was really excited to finally get to revisit the world of Ivy Granger. I was hoping that it would come out on audio, and I was glad that I waited and was able to get a chance to review it. I’ve been a huge fan of Ivy Granger since I met her in the first book, Shadow Sight. I just love her, all of her friends and the world built around her.

 

In this book, most of the story takes place outside of Harborsmouth and in the world of Faerie. Ceff, the king of the Kelpies and her lover, and Torn, lord of the Cat Sidhe, join her on this trip to Faerie to try to clear her name and try to control her powers. She has to travel to deal with the God of the Dead, but first they have to kill the Baphomet, the demon that is pictured on the cover. Oh, and let’s not forget The Morrigan, the Goddess of War, who appears in a lot of stories, but Stevens has made her own character in this story. While there, they pick up a new travel companion in a hearth brownie, Skillywedden or “Skilly” for short.

 

Then they are on to the Wisp court where Ivy meets her Uncle Kade. He does a lot to teach her about her powers. She spends a lot of time in the Wisp court, a lot longer than she intended. Things there don’t go as she intends. Her uncle also drops some pretty big bombs about Ivy’s past. I don’t want to tell any more, because spoilers. Let’s just say that there are things that happened that I didn’t see coming.

 

I really enjoyed this story, even as I missed many of the character that I normally love in this series. I’m a huge lover of secondary characters and I missed them in this story. I missed Jinx, the clutzy human best friend, Marvin the bridge troll, Hob the hearth brownie, Humphrey the gargoyle, Kay the witch, Sparky the soon to ever powerful demon lord, but now is the silly demon child. I even missed Forneus, the demon lawyer who is wooing Jinx. I did enjoy meeting Skilly and my time with him. I also enjoyed time with Ceff and Torn. This is a series that is full of some really fun characters. Even Donn, The God of the Dead, who first appears as a Santa Claus like person is really neat. Every character that Stevens has created is so much fun. Even the ones she creates that are even are great characters to read about. As a character driven reader, I can’t ask for any more. I’m ready for Hound’s Bite.

 

Narration

Melanie A. Mason continues to do a great job with the narration. She has become the voice of Ivy Granger to me. The more I listen to her narrate, the more I enjoy her narration. I’ve even starting to get used to male narrator doing the male voices (something I’ve only had with this series). There is a change to the male narrator. I’m not sure why the change, but he did a great job. I liked his voices for Ceff, Torn and even Sparky and Skilly. The male narrator has the harder voices here than the female voices. In this book, the female narrator mostly just had to do Ivy and a few other minor characters.

 

**Book was provided to me by the author. This review is my opinion and was not requested or provoked in anyway by the author.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/birthright-audiobook-by-e-j-stevens-review

Audiobook Review: Admiral (Evagardian, #1) by Sean Danker

Admiral - -Penguin Audio-, Sean Danker-Smith, Johnathan McClain

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

 

After reading a few reviews of some of the arcs around, I decided that I would give the audio a try. Once again, this isn’t a book that I would normally pick up. I don’t read a large amount of science fiction, but I liked the idea of this story and the suspense that goes along with it. I thought I would give it a try. I’ve not read Sean Danker, nor listened to Johnathan McClain before this book.

 

We start off with four people waking up on a dead ship on a what appears to be a dead planet. One of the characters is only known as “The Admiral”. That is what was on his sleeper container, but he won’t tell anyone his name or anything about himself. He just goes by “The Admiral”. The other three are all new recruits. They all have completely different backgrounds with different strengths.

 

As we read (or well, listen to) this story, we continue to learn more about the three recruits. They are all pretty unique characters. They work great as a team with The Admiral as the leader, even as one of the recruits doesn’t trust him one bit. They work together to come up with a plan to get off the planet and get rescued.

 

It seems that every plan they come up with fails. It wasn’t because their plans were bad ideas, it is just because they are on a very inhospitable planet with very little resources. It only gets worse when they find out that they aren’t in fact alone on the planet. There is a life form that lives on this planet and it isn’t friendly.

 

We do learn more about who The Admiral is, but you have to wait until the final few chapters to learn more about what is going on. I was glad to finally learn more about who this guy was. It was a little frustrating not knowing who he was throughout the entire story. He was one of the mysteries to me. I’m glad that I got that information before the end of the book.

 

This story is filled with suspense and humor. Add to that the very complex and fun characters and it made for an entertaining story. While this story is science fiction, it isn’t so sciency (is that even a word), that it would be off putting to non-sci-fi fans. I like how they have to work to find ways to work through difficult situations. MacGyver is something that comes to mind when you read this story.

 

Narration

This is my first book with Johnathan McClain as the narrator. I thought he did a great job. I liked his voices for both the male and female characters. There aren’t a lot of characters to voice. There is really just the four people, until the very end of the story.

 

**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/admiral-audiobook-by-sean-danker-review

Audiobook Review: Hexed (Iron Druid Chronicles, #2) by Kevin Hearne

Hexed (Iron Druid Chronicles, #2) - Kevin Hearne, Luke Daniels

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

 

The second installment of The Iron Druid Chronicles was just as much fun as the first book. I can still see why everyone raves about this series. It is full of action, humor and wonderful characters.

 

Atticus O’Sullivan just wants to live his life, train his apprentice and work on fixing the land that will destroyed in the first book. But will people let him, nope. Everyone is coming out of the woodwork trying to get him to deal with their own gods. His own Viking vampire lawyer Leif, wants him to take on Thor. But there are other problems first. He has one problem after another, which of course brings the cops back to his doorstep. Atticus tries to talk himself out of the situation as much as possible, but the cops know something is quite as it seems.

 

I love the group of secondary characters in this series. Not only do we have the Viking vamp, Leif, there’s his werewolf partner, Hal. Also the Sisters of the Three Auroras (what’s left of the friendly witches from the first book), Granuaile, Atticus’s trusty apprentice and you can’t forget Oberon, Atticus’s everloving Irish Wolfhound. There are also some other great characters that are known characters from mythology that Hearne has added his own touches too like, the Morrigan, the Virgin Mary and Coyote. I love how he takes these characters and makes them his own.

 

Atticus has a great ability to transform himself to his needs. When talking to the cops, he puts on a geeky gamer t-shirt and tries to talk like he is a dumb kid just trying to make his way through college as best he can. Then he talks to Coyote and becomes a completely different person. I also love watching as he tries to teach Leif modern phrases. Leif has a really hard time fitting into today’s society.

 

Oberson continues to be the life of this story. Even though he is an ordinary Irish Wolfhound, who is long lived because of his tie to Atticus, he can also talk to Atticus mind to mind. He is hilarious. He always thinks he is deserving of treats. He’ll use a big word and think he deserves and treat. Then pronounce something correctly and deserves another treat. The dog loves sausage.

 

“You killed my father,” he snorted in a basso profundo rumble. “Prepare to die!”
“Inigo Montoya? Is that you?”

“Douglas Adams was right: There is nothing so massively useful in the universe as a towel.”

“She thinks petting me is an honor. This is an unexpected position to take for a goddess of slaughter, but I applaud her defiance of convention.”

 

Narration

Luke Daniels once again nails the narration of this series. I love everything about it. I can’t say anything bad about it. I love his voice for Oberson. I think he really brings out the enjoyment that a dog would have about everything. I also thought he did a great job with Coyote and his Southern accent along with Atticus when he changed his voice to match it. This is a series I highly recommend trying on audio.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/hexed-audiobook-by-kevin-hearne-review

Review: Beyond Ecstasy (Beyond, #8) by Kit Rocha

Beyond Ecstasy (Beyond, Book 8) - Kit Rocha

Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.

 

Beyond Ecstasy by Kit Rocha - War is here

 

Kick Ass Amazeballs Dystopian

 

I can’t believe this is the second to last book in this series. I can’t imagine not having the O’Kanes. So much as happened through the past seven books leading up to this one. War has finally come.

 

If you’re not very familiar with this series, there’s Eden, which is where the elites live. They feel that they are special. They are also very puritan in their thinking. Then there’s the different sectors. Each sector has something that they specialize in. This series mostly follows Sector Four which makes whiskey. There’s also Sector Five which makes drugs (both medicinal and recreational). Section Six has farms, Sector Two has brothels and so on.

 

This series takes place in Sector Four following Dallas O’Kane and his group of O’Kanes. They are a group of extremely loyal family, where family is more than blood. Dallas doesn’t want to lead. He just wants to drink, have sex and party, but he protects what’s his. To do that, he must lead.

 

Throughout this series, we’ve seen the addition of several new O’Kanes, many who’ve imported in from different sectors. Hawk is no different. He came from Six. He was raised on the farms with a mother who wasn’t much older than he was. He also saw himself as a protector for his many stepmothers and sisters. On the farms, men would take several wive and have as many children as possible to help on the farm.

 

Jeni had worked with Gia at the brothel for a while. She’s originally from Eden. Then she ends up working for Dallas as a dancer. I love how she becomes so much more than just a dancer. She works with Noelle to help with the war.

 

This romance was a very sweet one. Probably the sweetest one of the series. Hawk is a sweetheart and very protective. That isn’t to say that the other O’Kanes aren’t protective, they are. He is just protective in a different way. He is less alpha dog and more sweet about it. You can see it in the way he cares for Jeni’s needs and the way he cares for his mother and sisters. I also love how Jeni turns him down for all the right reasons. She wants to get to know him better before she takes his collar. She wants things her way. I love her strength to say no, even though you want him because it wasn’t right at the time. Especially with the war brewing.

 

While I enjoyed the romance of this story, it was the overall story arc that has been building for throughout the series that really has been chomping at the bit for this series. War with Eden is no longer on the horizon, it is here. This is something that everyone knew was coming. For some, they are glad the wait is over. For others, there are some really tough losses. This book had my eyes tearing up more than once, even for one character I never would’ve guessed that I would be upset to see dead.

 

This is a wonderful series that has amazing characters.The characters are really what makes this series one of my favorite series right now. Don’t get me wrong, I love the world that Kit Rocha built, but it is the characters that keep bringing me back. All of the O’Kanes and their strength and loyalty.

 

If you haven’t tried this series, I highly recommend it. You can pick up the first three books in the series,Beyond Series Bundle (Books 1-3) at the time of this posting free in ebook format. The audiobooks are wonderfully done too. I’ve listened to a few of them and I really like the narrator.

 

The O’Kane’s didn’t just believe in the pleasure that came with power. They believed in the responsibility, too. For that, Hawk would follow them to hell. Maybe literally.

This was the part no one outside these walls could ever understand. O’Kane’s didn’t bend, didn’t break. They were stronger than steel because they held one another up. If one of them needed help, their brothers and sisters would step in and shoulder some of the load.

**Book was provided to me by the author. This review is my opinion and was not requested or provoked in anyway by the author.

 

Beyond Series

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Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2016/06/review-beyond-ecstasy-by-kit-rocha-mlsimmons-kitrocha.html

Review: The Dark War (The Dark War #1) by Angela Addams

The Dark War - Angela Addams

Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.

 

Magical Cliffhanger Urban

 

I’ve been wanting to try Angela Addams for a while. When I saw a new series on NetGalley, I thought this was a great time to give her a try.

 

Kali Richards is a witch and a witch hunter. She has turned her back on her people after a traumatic event that left her two sisters dead. She goes after witches who are doing evil things. Some of witch hunter brethren feel that pretty much any witch is a bad witch. They want to kill all of the ones that don’t work for the Hunter’s Union.

 

Kali is going after a witch who killed another witch for the dead witch’s family. It seems that Kali is a bit over her head. Kali is not a great spell caster. She uses her shear strength as her advantage. She is also a great tracker. She is able to follow a witch’s magic trail to find them. Ivana, the witch that Kali believes killed the witch, is more than she seems. She is also extremely powerful. Kali almost gets herself killed several times on this case.

 

Wyatt shows up just in the knick of time to save Kali from a group of vampires. He is Kali’s ex-boyfriend. They did not end things on a good note, but there’s still chemistry there too. Wyatt has some healing powers, so he is able to heal Kali after the vampires almost drain her. Wyatt also has several secrets that come out throughout the book. One of which is a real doozy.

 

There is also Billy, who is a human who works at the Witch Hunter’s Union. Billy is a nice guy and treats Kali really well. He is everything that Wyatt is not. He does have a crush on Kali and had for a while. This didn’t come out until partway through this book and Kali had no idea. It seemed like there might be a love triangle, but by the end of the book, maybe not. I won’t say no, but looks unlikely. I hope not.

 

There is also some other secondary characters that I enjoyed. Sam and Clive also work for the Witch Hunter’s Union. Sam is a witch too. Clive is her partner. They are a fun pair. Drake is a seer who makes an appearance. I think he will have a larger part to play later in the series. Kali’s mom and dad are also a larger part of the story. Both see predictions, but with different degrees of success. Kali’s mom is usually pretty accurate, her dad, is rarely accurate.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the story. I liked the action of the war and investigating the murder of the witch girl, which wasn’t everything it seemed. I think this series with the war has a lot of potential. I was not a fan of the romance between Kali and Wyatt or the possibility of a love triangle thrown in with Billy. I thought Kali and Wyatt have some pretty large communication issues. Wyatt has a hard time showing any feelings at all and that has caused some issues with Kali, and rightly so. The book ends on a pretty big cliffhanger, so I think I will have to check out the next book to see where this story goes.

 

**Book was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley. This review is my opinion and was not requested or provoked in anyway.

 

The Dark War Series
   

 

Melanie Signature

Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2016/05/review-the-dark-war-by-angela-addams-mlsimmons-angelaaddams-samhainpub.html

Review: The Pages of the Mind (The Twelve Kingdoms #4) by Jeffe Kennedy

The Pages of the Mind (The Uncharted Realms) - Jeffe Kennedy

Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.

 

Fantasy Epic Great Writing

 

When I started The Twelve Kingdoms series, I thought it was a trilogy about the three royal sisters. I read all three books and felt that the story arc wrapped up really well. Imagine my surprise when I hear that there is a book four coming out. Not only that, but that it centers around Dafne, the beloved librarian who helped all three of the girls in their stories. She was probably the strongest secondary character in the first three books. She really was the rock that all three of the girls leaned on throughout the series. Now we get to see her have her own story. Yay!!

 

This story starts off with Harlan’s brother, Kral from Dasnaria, coming to Ordnung. He had been visiting the Nahanau islands. From the descriptions, I’m picturing something like Hawaii. A volcanic island nation that is very tropical. Even the mannerism of the people remind me of what I’ve seen of Hawaii (though I’ve never actually visited Hawaii). People with dark hair, dark skin, wearing skirts, flowered necklaces, bare feet. Anyway, it seem that Kral and his men are not able to get back to Dasnaria. The barrier seems to be keeping them in, so they came to Ordnung.

 

Queen Ursula convinces Dafne to go to this land and on to Dasnaria as a spy. For one, she speaks Dasnarian and she is great a ferreting out information. She is also very good at hiding under the radar as she did for most of her life under King Uorsin. Ursula is also quick to remind Dafne that there is more than strength of arms that one should fear, but also the strength of mind.

“This is why it’s perilous to ignore a librarian.”

When they arrive at the Nahanau islands, it is clear that there is a large language barrier. Even though Kral and his men have been there several times, language is still a large issue. Dafne, trying to be polite, actually accepts a marriage proposal from King Nakoa KauPo. He is not willing to let her leave. To prevent any diplomatic issues, Dafne sends the rest off and ask them to send rescue later.

 

The relationship between Nakoa and Dafne was an interesting one to watch. The language and cultural barrier made things very difficult for both of them. You could see that Nakoa really cared for Dafne, but there was something else there too. Dafne was obviously loyal to her queen and really felt like a bit of a prisoner. She was also very much eager to learn as much as she could about these new people, always the librarian.

 

Once again, the secondary characters in this story were great. In the first part of the story on the travel to Nahanau islands, we got to spend time with Kral, Jeep who is one of Ursula’s Hawks and Zynda, who is Ursula’s aunt on her mother’s side and a Tala with the ability to shape change into several different animals. Then once we are at the islands, there is Akamai, who is a librarian, who is very much like Dafne was in Ordnung. He was orphaned and just trying to get by being a scholar as much as he could. He also was a person who knew more than he ever let on. There’s Inoa, who is King Kakoa’s older sister. There is also Chief Tate who tries to take over as king. I really enjoyed all of these characters, well, except Tate, but he was evil and meant to be so.

 

I was very excited to spend more time in The Twelve Kingdoms, even if I didn’t get to spend much time with Ursula and got no time with Ami and Andi. We got to see new lands and meet some new characters. I loved watching the relationship build, especially with the language and cultural barrier. I’m hoping that we will see another book where we see Jeep and Kral on their trip to Dasnaria. For one, I want to learn more about that land. Two, I think they have a relationship coming there. I’m also interested in seeing how Akamai plays a role going forward. Will he be as instrumental as Dafne?

 

**Book was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley. This review is my opinion and was not requested or provoked in anyway.

 

The Twelve Kingdoms Series

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Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2016/05/early-review-the-pages-of-the-mind-by-jeffe-kennedy-mlsimmons-jeffekennedy-kensington.html

Review: Hold You Against Me (Stripped #4) by Skye Warren

Hold You Against Me: A Stripped Standalone - Skye Warren

If you're new the Stripped series by Skye Warren, it is a dark, but passionate series. We actually meet Clara and Giovanni in Tough Love, a prequel to this series that came out last year with book one which is about Clara's sister. They were both raised as the daughters of a Vegas mafia capo. However, Honor, was the beloved daughter. Not only was she the older daughter, but she was also the only biological daughter of the evil capo. Clara was very obviously not related to her dark haired father with her strawberry blond hair. She was not treated as good as her sister, but neither were treated like the princesses of fairy tales.

 

In book one, we learn that they escape their father and the mafia life, only to still have a difficult life, but things are looking up. Clara is now in art school. She is hired to sculpt a statue for the front of The Grand (the former strip club, now burlesque club that this series is centered around). This has her way more public than she has been in years.

 

Giovanni is the son of a foot soldier in the mafia. He was raised that he would never rise higher than that in the family. He had a forbidden love for the daughter of the head of the family. When the two sisters decide to run, he sacrificed himself so that they could escape. He went through hell because he was loyal to the girls. Now that he has moved up quite a bit in position in the family, he needs to do things to hold that position. He also decides that now is the time to go after the girl that he has loved since he was just a boy.

 

This is a very dark story. It has a lot of things in it you would expect from a mafia book (though I haven't read a large number of mafia books, so I'm really not a good judge). I will admit that there is a scene early in the book that is actually told from Giovanni's POV, it was a very tough one to read. Most of the book was told from Clara's POV. If you've read Skye Warren and enjoyed her work, you will love this one. This is a darker story. They way these two come together is not all hearts and flowers, but I think it is still a very passionate story. This one is my favorite in this series so far.

 

While I love all the books in this series and highly recommend all of them, I do believe that you could read this story first or as a stand alone. You might miss a little bit about some of the side characters who have had their own books before, but not enough that you wouldn't enjoy this story.

 

**Book was provided to me by the author. This review is my opinion and was not requested or provoked in anyway by the author.

 

Hold You Against Me by Skye Warren

 

Hold You Against Me — Excerpt

 

Something moves me gently, constant and rhythmic like waves. I'm warm. There's something soft curling around my arms, wrapped inside my fists. Padding beneath my cheek that smells like home.

 

An unnatural darkness weighs down on me, keeping me from waking up—a demon's whisper in my ear. You're warm, you're safe. Sleep.

But something is wrong.

 

I remember falling asleep, so suddenly, remember drinking water that I hadn't filled. And I remember the phone call from Amy telling me that Giovanni's alive. Impossible.

 

Awareness pricks my skin like a cold breeze. Wherever I am, I'm not alone.

I blink rapidly, forcing my eyes open. They adjust to the darkness quickly, taking in the tinted windows on either side and the wide leather bench curving beneath me. I'm in a car. A limo, to be exact. And it's moving.

 

On the opposite side of the long space, a large body reclines. I can see the wide stance of his legs, the pale white of his shirt. A suit jacket tossed beside his hip. His face is hidden in the shadows of the vehicle.

 

I was raised by the head of the Las Vegas mafia, the capo. I grew up around guns and violence, so I know when a man is armed. It's the way he holds himself, the warning shimmering around him like a dark halo.

 

This man is armed and extremely dangerous.

 

Every muscle in my body tenses. My mind still swims in thick water, because I must have been drugged. He drugged me, this faceless man. Why did he take me? It won't be anything good, that's for sure.

 

Even worse, I suspect this has something to do with my past, with my family. It's messed up that I'd rather be taken by some random psycho. But at least then I'd have a chance of getting away.

 

"Who are you?" I demand, my voice hoarse from whatever drugs they gave me.

There's a long pause, the weight of his regard as heavy as a finger trailing down my neck.

 

"Have I really changed that much, bella, that you don't recognize me?"

 

 

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About the Author

Skye Warren is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of dark romance. Her books are raw, sexual and perversely romantic.

 

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{Blog Barrage & Giveaway} - Awakened by a Demoness (Eternal Mates #10) by Felicity Heaton

Awakened by a Demoness Blog Barrage

 

Awakened by a Demoness, the tenth book in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot paranormal romance series, Eternal Mates, is now available in ebook and paperback. To celebrate the release of this awesome milestone in the series, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY and sharing sneak peeks of the book.

 

Enter the Awakened by a Demoness international giveaway (ends June 5th) and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate by using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post or at her website, where you can also download a 4 chapter sample of the novel: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/awakened-by-a-demoness-paranormal-romance-book.php

 

Here’s more about this forbidden romance between a powerful angel warrior and one very sassy wicked demoness, including an excerpt for you to sink those teeth into!

 

Awakened by a Demoness

Awakened by a Demoness (Eternal Mates Romance Series Book 10)

 

Felicity Heaton

 

Asteria of the Second Legion of demons has messed up. Royally. With a capital everything. Certain that her dark lord is about to end her in the most painful way imaginable, she’s stunned when the fallen angel offers her an uncharacteristic shot at redemption—and determined not to fail him again. With her life on the line, she sets out on a mission that sounds easy but proves to be far from it when a hot slice of angelic eye candy comes storming into her life, stirring dangerous desires and tempting her more than any male before him.

 

Fifth Commander of the Echelon, the highest order of angels in Heaven and those responsible for hunting demons, he will allow nothing to stand in the way of fulfilling the mission he began close to a century ago so he can finally return to his home. On the verge of securing the half-breed he has been hunting, he can almost taste victory—until a sassy demoness struts into his life, awakening wicked needs and forbidden hungers that will test him to his limit.

 

When their mission brings them on a collision course, can they fight the fierce heat of the passion that blazes between them to claim a victory for their side or will it burn their resistance to ashes and set their hearts on fire with a love both forbidden and eternal? 

 

Awakened by a Demoness is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find the links to your preferred retailer at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/awakened-by-a-demoness-paranormal-romance-book.php

 

Awakened by a Demoness – Excerpt

 

Asteria held her shit together as she approached the monolithic black citadel, her boots loud on the polished obsidian flagstones of its central circular courtyard. She tipped her chin up, clenched her fists at her sides to stop them from shaking, and strode towards her doom with the same resolve as she had managed to cling to during her trek through the previous six circular courtyards that surrounded the citadel like concentric rings.

 

She was fairly certain that these were the last few moments of her life and it was about to come to a grisly close.

 

It had taken her days of grovelling to her superiors, issuing profuse apologies unbecoming of a demon and having to bite her tongue when her temper had flared, but she had secured a meeting with her dark lord. She had been elated when the leader of her legion had informed her that their master was willing to speak with her, but as the hours had trickled past, that elation had turned to full blown fear.

 

She had failed in a very important mission, the sort no amount of grovelling could actually correct, so she wasn’t sure why she had thought this was going to end well.

 

The meeting a ridiculous part of her had believed was going to somehow redeem her was probably in fact a meeting in which she was going to discover her punishment.

 

Would it be a swim in the lava pit while the Devil watched her burn, or something far worse?

 

She wouldn’t be the first demoness, or demon, to be sentenced to spend time in his bed.

 

It wasn’t an honour.

 

It was a death sentence.

 

She hadn’t heard of anyone surviving the torture of being his bedfellow, mostly because those he didn’t eventually kill during the act were tossed into the lava pit when he was done with them.

 

Several low-ranking young demons scurried past her, dressed in black jackets and trousers, their feet bare and bloodied. The black sacks they carried over their shoulders dripped crimson, smelling of entrails.

 

Asteria swallowed hard and it was damned difficult to hold her nerve as she watched the clean up team carting away whatever poor bastard had just finished meeting with the Prince of Darkness.

 

An unfortunate lover?

 

She had heard the stories from those who served in his dark citadel, the young souls assigned to mopping up the mess after a lover had done or said something to flip his switch. Rumour had it that he went through at least two mattresses a week, and demanded a fresh, brand new set of sheets every few hours. His appetite for fucking was as insatiable as his appetite for destruction and death, and unfortunately that meant the two often coincided.

 

She sucked down a deep breath as she reached the grand arched entrance of the towering castle and looked up its height, taking in the jagged towers that rose into the dark grey sky of Hell. Light from the bubbling pits of lava beyond the walls of the central courtyard and the braziers that formed a circle, lining those walls, tried to lend warmth to the matt black stone of the fortress but only managed to make it look more sinister by casting shadows in the recesses.

 

The four huge demon males guarding the entrance eyed her, their elliptical pupils stretched thin in the centre of their black irises and burning gold. Elite. They were kept in a permanent state of rage in order to maintain their appearance, keeping them looking as dangerous and deadly as her kind could be.

 

She had such a dark side herself, but unleashing it right now would be a big mistake. Huge. Her dark lord didn’t appreciate those below him showing up on his doorstep looking ready for war.

 

It was the reason she had chosen her lighter black armour, the red-edged metal plates fitting more closely to her legs and hips, and across her chest, and had forgone wearing the gauntlets that normally encased her forearms and hands. She had also brushed her long black hair, tamed the gold-to-red streak that ran down the front right side, and had taken her time in front of the mirror in her hut, applying black around her blue eyes and painting her lips crimson.

 

She had even taken the time to preen her black leathery wings, buffing the membranes with wax until they shone, and had done the same with the small obsidian horns that curled from behind the pointed tips of her ears, following the curve down to end in a point near the lobes.

 

She eyed the four ripped bare-chested demon males guarding the entrance again, envied the bastards a little as she gazed at their horns. Males had bigger ones, the sort that twisted around to form deadly daggers beside their temples when they were enraged.

 

Asteria sighed, wishing she had such horns.

 

One of her friends had told her once that she had horn envy. She had denied it at the time, but it was true. Whenever she found herself banging a demon, she couldn’t keep her hands off their horns. She had even tried to rip one out of a male once. He had thought she was merely being rough and had enjoyed it. The damn thing had been rooted too deeply though and she had sort of forgotten about trying to break it off when he had begun thrusting harder between her legs, turning her brain to mush.

 

One of the male’s gazes slid her way and he raked an approving look over her. His black horns flared a little further, revealing his desire and interest to her.

 

She flicked her onyx hair over her shoulder, shot him a wink, and kept walking, a little swing to her hips with each step now as she silently flirted with the brute. She looked him up and down just as she passed him, bit her lip at the sight of so much hard muscle, and swore that if she survived the next few minutes she would be back to take him up on his offer.

 

Which would be a miracle, and those didn’t happen in Hell.

 

Still, he was a nice distraction as she ogled his arse over her shoulder, one that kept her thoughts away from her imminent death until someone approached her.

 

“Asteria of the Second Legion?” a demoness said, a wobble in her throaty voice.

 

She nodded and looked at her, and quickly masked the fear that bolted through her when she found herself face to face with a young female dressed in little more than a scrap of crimson around her hips and breasts, a thick black metal collar that was tight against her throat, and a lot of bruises.

 

By the Devil, was this the future she was doomed to endure staring right back at her with bleak bloodshot eyes and a startling lack of horns.

 

Someone had cut them off. Asteria tried not to gawp at them but she couldn’t stop herself, and her stomach plummeted when she realised they hadn’t been shorn.

 

They had been broken.

 

The black stumps that remained were brutally fractured.

 

The female’s hands twitched at her sides, as if with an urge to touch the horns Asteria stared at, so she dragged her eyes away, feeling bad that she had upset the young demoness.

 

Demons tried their best to be the toughest, most badass creatures in Hell, but when it boiled down to it, they had feelings too, and this female had been through the mill.

 

Probably at the hands of the one creature in Hell who didn’t possess a single jot of emotion.

 

The fallen angel she was about to meet.

 

The young demoness bowed her head and led the way, and Asteria tried to busy herself with taking in all the details of the palace her dark master called home in an attempt to stop herself from preening her horns, reassuring herself they were still perfect. Still there. On the outside, it matched his image perfectly, but on the inside… it was quite the opposite.

 

Oh, it was sumptuous and decadent, but it wasn’t exactly goth-chic as she had expected.

 

The black of the outside world gave way to white marble floors that were so highly polished she could see herself in them. They reflected the light from the crystal chandeliers, and that same light shone off the gold filigree that decorated the dark wooden ceiling. The walls were smooth and, of all things, papered. The vestibule and hallway that led off it had crimson wallpaper with black almost fleur-de-lys patterns on it. She had been in some expensive homes in the mortal world and the Devil had decorated his in that same style, but with a more sinister edge that she would have attributed more to a vampire than a fallen angel.

 

Her escort stopped at a set of arched wooden double doors and bowed.

 

Asteria guessed this was it. The bloody end to her somewhat not glorious career as a demon. She was a damned idiot for failing to capture the people who had slaughtered Barafnir but how the hell was she meant to have known the demon arsehole had been one of the Devil’s favourites?

 

She reached for the solid gold knob on one door, pulled down another breath to steel herself, and took hold of it. It was warm to the touch. Nothing like the cold bastard waiting on the other side. She could feel him there, his power vibrating through her, calling to her.

 

She closed her eyes, twisted the knob and pushed the door open just as she lifted her chin and fixed her gaze straight ahead.

 

It landed on a male lounging in a huge black throne in the centre of an enormous blue-walled room, wearing only gold-edged obsidian armour on his lower half.

 

Heaven be damned, because it had made him breathtaking.

 

She knew he was a brute, seven feet tall and dark and deadly, but he was a beautiful bastard, and he knew it as he sat there on his throne, black hair falling around his broad shoulders and chiselled torso on show.

 

The air in the expansive open room vibrated with his power, making her blood hum and skin tingle.

 

His red eyes held hers, a bored edge to his handsome face, and he lazily lifted his right hand from the arm of his throne and crooked a clawed finger, beckoning her.

 

Asteria’s palms sweated. She should have dressed a little sexier, taken more time about her appearance. It ran through her gaining volume on each pass as she sauntered towards him, feeling his heat rolling over her, power curling around her, drowning out the part of her that had feared him and replacing it with something altogether more terrifying.

 

Desire.

 

The corner of his profane mouth twitched into a smirk.

 

He knew he was affecting her, and while his mouth said that pleased him, the way his eyes darkened said it didn’t.

 

She straightened her spine, crushed her unruly feelings and boxed them away, and held her head high as she marched towards him, all business. Not weak. Not affected by just his damned gorgeous presence.

 

Her step faltered when she noticed a smouldering bloody stain on the white marble floor.

 

His last appointment?

 

By the Devil, she was going to die in the next few seconds, or worse, at a later date after he was done with her.

 

When she was within a few metres, he lowered his right leg from his left knee and set his foot on the floor. His hands came down over the edges of the arms of his black throne, curling around to press sharp black claws into the stone and causing his biceps to bulge.

 

Behind him, a sheer black curtain did a poor job of concealing the other half of the room and she tried not to look there but her eyes were drawn to the hazy glow of candles on the other side, her focus snagged by the low moans coming from that direction.

 

That heat curled around her again, pushed at her will but she pushed back, refusing to fall prey to it and the Devil’s dark allure. She wasn’t about to become like those females on the other side of the curtain who were probably writhing around on his bed, waiting impatiently for the male who was staring at her.

 

“Asteria of the Second Legion.” His deep voice rumbled around the room like thunder, charging the air and sending tremors of pleasure through her, and she had to squeeze her thighs to stop herself from collapsing into a puddle of goo at his feet. Heaven be doubly damned, it had built this male for sin. Thoughts of dirty hard sex popped into her head, illicit images that she did her best to shove away as soon as they burst into existence. “You disappointed me.”

 

Just like that, the spell over her shattered and cold fear replaced the wicked heat of desire.

 

This was it.

 

Her death knell.

 

Awakened by a Demoness is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback.

 

Find all the links, a fantastic 4 chapter downloadable sample of the book, and also enter the giveaway and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/awakened-by-a-demoness-paranormal-romance-book.php

 

Books in the Eternal Mates paranormal romance series:

 

Felicity Heaton

About Felicity Heaton

 

Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

 

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.

 

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

 

 

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Audiobook Review: Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade #3) by Jennifer Estep

Bright Blaze of Magic - Audible Studios, Brittany Pressley, Jennifer Estep

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

 

It is very rare that I think that the last book in a series/trilogy is the best book in the series. I think that the last books must be the hardest for authors to write (or at least that is how it seems to me). I’ve read so many great series that I love only to be disappointed by the last book in the series. It is hard to go out on a high note. That is something that Jennifer Estep pulled off with the Black Blade Trilogy. I thought this was a great ending to Layla’s story.

 

We’ve known since book one that Victor Draconi has had aspirations to rule all of Cloudburst Falls with all the families swear allegiance to him alone. Well, with only one story left, we also knew he was finally going to make his move in this book. Well, Victor didn’t disappoint. I will admit that this was a far more deadly (but not that gory) of a takeover that I would’ve expected for a YA series (but hey, I was reading Stephen King at twelve, so what am I to say about what should go in a YA novel. I also don’t read a large number of YA, so I’m really not a good judge).

 

As we’ve watched Layla grow from the independent thief to the leader of the group to help come up with the plan that involves many people to win the day, though she takes most of the danger and responsibility onto her own shoulders. I also love that she spent plenty of time learning more about her mother from Seleste and Claudia. She also learned more about her mother’s relationship with the monsters of Cloudburst Falls.

 

There is a ton of action in this book as Layla and the gang go from one thing to another to try to save their friends, family and everyone in Cloudburst Falls. I think Layla deserves quite a vacation after this all over. One of my favorite parts is we got a lot of time with Oscar, Layla’s pixie, who has been a favorite character of mine since book one. He reminds me of a redneck version of Jenks from The Hollows series. Oscar’s pet tortoise, Tiny, is adorable, too. I was glad that he had a larger part in this book, since he didn’t have a large roll in book two.

 

I was very happy with how this all wrapped up. We got time with all the major and even some time with some of the minor players in this series. I think it wrapped up well. If you read other series by Jennifer Estep, you will see some Easter eggs for Karma Girl and Elemental Assassin series. I also can’t talk about an Estep book without mentioning food. She does several great callouts to bacon in this book. Mmmm… Bacon. Never listen to an Estep book if you’re hungry, it will only make it worse. LOL Great series, I recommend you try it, after you’ve eaten something.

 

Narration
Brittany Pressley has narrated this entire trilogy and has done a wonderful job. She nails all the different voices of all the characters very well. She has to handle both male and female of adults and teenagers and she does it with ease. She does a great job with Oscar and his redneck pixie voice. I know that me and several of my friends prefered to get the audios over the ebooks because of the great narration.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/bright-blaze-of-magic-audiobook-by-jennifer-estep-review

Audiobook Review: Pia Does Hollywood (Elder Races, #8.6) by Thea Harrison

Pia Does Hollywood: Elder Races - Teddy Harrison LLC, Thea Harrison, Sophie Eastlake

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

 

This novella picks up where Dragos Goes to Washington ends. Pia has to honor the deal that was made and spend a week in the light fae territory of Los Angeles. The light fae queen tries to talk persuade Pia to come at a later time, but Pia just wants to get it over with, so she insists on coming now. Dragos insists on following, even though he isn’t supposed to.

 

Come to find out, there are zombies in Hollywood. Dragos happens upon them while out shopping, can these two do nothing without running into trouble. In the process of fighting them, Dragos is bitten and is unable to turn into his dragon form or talk telepathically to anyone.

 

The Wyr and the light fae work together to try to resolve this new enemy. Pia and Dragos also work together to try to use Pia’s healing ability to heal Dragos. The problem is that Pia is on medication that is affecting her healing ability. She tries holding off as long as possible on taking the next dose of the meds so as to help heal Dragos, but she also doesn’t want to risk the entire reason she is taking the meds (purposely vague to avoid spoilers).

 

It was a nice quick read/listen. I enjoy my time with the Cuelebre family. They are one of my all-time favorite couples, not to mention the most unique in their wyr forms. I’m excited to see where the third novella that follows Liam takes us.

 

Narration

Once again, Sophie Eastlake does a great job of narration. What can I say that I haven’t already said about her narration? Not much really. Great with the different character voices, both male and female. I do listen at an increased speed, this one even more than most. I think I listened at 1.5x. I normally listen at 1.25x. Anyway, I enjoyed the narration. I’ve only ever listened to this series. I’ve yet to read an Elder Races story. I will continue to stay with the audios.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/pia-does-hollywood-audiobook-by-thea-harrison-review

Audiobook Review: Python's Embrace (Bitten Point #3) by Eve Langlais

Python's Embrace: Bitten Point, Book 3 - Tantor Audio, Eve Langlais, Chandra Skyye

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

 

In the continuation of the Bitten Point series, we have Constantine, brother to Caleb, the hero of the first book, Croc’s Return. Constantine happens across a muddy mess of a girl in the swap while he is walking his little dog, Princess. He offers to take her back to the house to get cleaned up. Once she is clean, he realized that she is the girl that everyone’s been searching for. He’s also quite drawn to her, but snakes are not known for staying around, just ask his father who has been MIA since before his birth.

 

Aria is on the run, but she’s also got some amnesia. Some things are coming back in bits and pieces. Aria is quite drawn to Constantine, but his little dog will have none of it. She is quite the jealous little thing.

 

The suspense in this story continues to go forward at a great pace. We learn even more about the strange hybrids running around town. We also learn more about who is behind them. There is some time spent with some of the characters of previous books, mostly the guys, but some of the girls too. We are also introduced to the couple that will be in the next, and what I think is the final book in this series. I would recommend reading this series in order. I know many PNR books, you can read however, but suspense part of this series does build on the previous books, so there, you would be a little bit lost.

“Who are you?” “Constantine Xavier Boudreaux.” She blinked. “Wow, that’s a mouthful.” Only too late did she realize how that sounded, and judging by the grin stretching his lips, so did he. “More than a mouthful, and handful.”

“Why the eff are you stripping right now?” Aria yelled, not having run away as he told her to.
“Gonna unleash my mighty snake.”
“That better not be a reference to your dick.”

Narration

Chandra Skyye has done a great job with narration of this book. Not only did she continue do a great job with the male and female voices. She also had to handle the snake that spoke to Constantine in his head with the long s’s. Also, there is a lot of dialogue of the hybrid characters. She did a great job with their narrations.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/pythons-embrace-audiobook-by-eve-langlais-review

Audiobook Review: Shadowed (Dark Protectors, #6) by Rebecca Zanetti

Shadowed - Audible Studios, Rebecca Zanetti, Karen White

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

 

I was really excited to finally get to Jase’s book. As the youngest of Kayrs brothers, he was always the funnest brother. That is until he was kidnapped and tortured by demons for five years. Not only did the demons physically torture him, but they also did some pretty bad mental torture on him. We saw some of this torture in the previous book. Once he got out, he was not whole and he was no longer the fun-loving brother that he was before capture. He had only one thing on his mind, revenge.

 

Brenna Dunne isn’t supposed to exist according to several people. As the eight sister to a seventh sister, she is an abomination. No witch has ever had an eighth daughter before. They are supposed to stop at seven. There is also a prophecy about her, the solstice and a comet. People believe she is going to blow up the universe. Needless to say that has a target on her head. In an earlier book, she was poisoned and it has been killing her slowing ever since. In a desperate move to save her life, they decide that she needs to mate with a vampire to help heal the poison out her system. Jase agrees to this arranged mating because he wants her powers to go after the demons.

 

This is my favorite romance of the series so far. Both of these two are broken, in different ways, but broken none the less. They both agree to this arrange mating for different reasons. Both of them come together to be what the other needs to save themselves and to save each other. It is things that they are forced to do as a couple that will save them. Their love for each other that will help make them whole.

 

There is also a ton of stuff that happens with the war. Garrett, Janie’s young brother, is kidnapped by the Kurjans. Janie is forced to make tough decisions which really puts her at odds with her family that wants to protect her, but she knows that she must join this war if she is going to end it. Janie’s book is the next one and final book in the series. I’m excited to see how it will all wrap up.

 

Narration
Once again, Karen White does an amazing job. Brenna has this great Irish brogue. I don’t like it as much as Moira’s, who also has a large part in this book, but Brenna’s voice was wonderful. She also did a great job with gravelly demon voices, which I’m sure were tough to do. She continues to do a great job with men and female voices. I did listen at an increased speed, but that is normal for me.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/shadowed-audiobook-by-rebecca-zanetti-review

Audiobook Review: Trace of Magic (Diamond City Magic, #1) by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Trace of Magic: The Diamond City Magic Novels, Volume 1 - Inc. BelleBooks, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Diana Pharaoh Francis

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

 

I’ve heard great things about Diana Pharaoh Francis for a long time from Berls from Fantasy is More Fun, so when I finally got a chance to review one of her audiobooks, I jumped at the chance. I didn’t really know much about this book going it. I had not read any reviews, only the blurb from Goodreads. I will say, that I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it.

 

This is a world where you have people with different magical abilities. Riley Hollis is a Tracer. She can follow someone’s trace and see where they’ve been in the past. She is much stronger than she lets on though. If some of the powerful people figured out how powerful she really was, she would become a target. Most people can only track someone’s trace for a short time. Riley can track someone’s trace back forever and even after they died.

 

Detective Clay Price is known as a dirty cop. He is in the pocket of the mob as an enforcer. However, when he isn’t doing the mob’s work, he is actually a pretty good cop. He needs someone to do a trace for him, but doesn’t want it to be on the record with the police or the mob, so he comes to Riley. He makes her an offer she can’t refuse to work for him. Then her sister calls in hysterics because her boyfriend’s place is in disarray. Price and and Riley work together to find out what happened to the boyfriend. They find out it is all tied together.

 

I really enjoyed this story. It was full of action. I liked the magic. Riley is a great character that is full of sass. Price is decent character, better than I thought he would be, seeing that he was part of the mob and all. I was a little surprised that Riley gives in and sleeps with him as quickly as she did. She also starts to reveal more and more about herself to him faster than I would’ve thought, even after sleeping with him. There are also some really great side characters in this story that I would like to learn more about.

 

It was a pretty good start to the series. I would like to see the second book and see where this series goes. It has promise. The second book isn’t available on audio yet. I don’t know if it will be or not. I’ll have to wait a bit and see.

 

Narration

This is my first audiobook with Elizabeth Phillips. I will say that I thought she did a great job. I has no issues with any of the voices, male or female. I was always able to distinguish between the characters. I did listen at an increased speed, but that is normal for me. I would recommend her for more books.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/trace-of-magic-audiobook-by-diana-pharaoh-francis-review

Audiobook Review: Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk

Beautiful You - Recorded Books LLC, Carol Monda, Chuck Palahniuk

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

 

Ah, where to start with this book?? Let’s start with what put this book on my radar. I saw two authors tweeting about it, Andrew Shaffer and Kitty Thomas. If you’re not familiar with these two authors, Kitty Thomas writes some pretty psychological erotica which is pretty amazing, but not for everyone. Check out Comfort Food or Guilty Pleasures to see some books by her. Andrew Shaffer is Tiffany Reisz’s husband. He has written some books like Fifty Shames of Earl Gray and How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters. Anyway, their conversation really peaked my interest in this book. It was too long ago to look up, or i would share it with you.

 

Anyway, this book is written by the author of Fight Club. That is a book that I haven’t read, but I love the movie. I’ve also seen this movie listed on several lists of movies that were better than the book, so that hasn’t made reading Fight Club high on my list. Not to mention that it isn’t a genre a normally frequent. Anyway, Beautiful You, sounded interesting, so I decided to take a chance and read it. I will say that I read it without having read any of the reviews on Goodreads, since no one I follow had read it.

 

I guess I should talk about this actual book now.This story starts off with Penny Harrigan in a court room where she is raped in court in front of everyone and no one lifts a finger to help her. As I listened to this, I wondered what was going on. Was she having a nightmare? This couldn’t actually be happening. It took me a while to actually figure out how this fit into the story. It was a very brief scene and it left me starting off the book very confused. It only got weirder from there.

 

Penny Harrigan is an average woman. She is from a small town in Nebraska. She makes her way to the big city of Manhattan working at a law firm trying to make her way into passing the bar exam and becoming a lawyer herself. She meets one of Manhattan’s most eligible bachelors, C. Linus Maxwell, aka “Climax-Well”. He takes her to Paris where he proceeds to work with her to test his new line of sex toys. They have tons of sex while he is as cold and scientific as you can get. She has some of the best sex in her life. She has several brief conversations with one of his past lovers who is a very successful actress, but doesn’t seem to be doing well health wise or emotionally. Then there are several of his other past lovers who seem off, is the best way to put it.

 

Then he decides he is done with his testing and throws her out and the new line of products come out. Women flock to the stores. They basically become addicts to the feelings that his products are providing. Women are calling in sick from work. Many are going missing. They are basically acting like meth addicts, but with masturbation. Even stopping to eat is something that they aren’t thinking about it. You would think that is where the weirdness comes to a head, but it only gets worse from there. Penny seeks out the old shaman-like woman who Maxwell learned all of his tricks from. There is a court trial where Penny tries to take down Maxwell. Penny learns a very hidden secret. The ending is very weird.

 

I don’t even know what to make of this book or what genre to put it in (hence just listing it as “fiction”). There are parts I thought were interesting. There were parts where I felt that the author just took things too far as to not be even remotely believable. I liked Penny as a character for the most part. Maxwell was the jerk he was meant to be. You really had to feel for his past lovers, who while looking very successful, you figure out they aren’t very happy. It is not a book that a lot of people will enjoy. I think the idea had merit. I’m just not sure that fleshed out in the best way possible. This book is interesting. I don’t know that I enjoyed it. I believe that the word that caught my eye in the original Twitter convo was “disturbing”, which that it is. I do like some pretty out there books sometimes, but this wasn’t one of them. I’m giving it 2.5 stars because it is written well and it did keep me very interested with what would happen next. I don’t know that I would recommend it unless it something that really sounds interesting to you.

 

Narration

This is the first book that I’ve listened to with Carol Monda. I thought she did a great job with narration. I did listen at an increased speed, but that is not abnormal for me. I thought she did a great job with the men and women. I thought she was great with the cold and calculating Maxwell. I thought she covered some of the downward spiral of several of the women really well. The old crone woman was voiced really well as well. I would look forward to listening to her again.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/beautiful-you-audiobook-by-chuck-palahniuk-review

Review: Shadowed Blade (Colbana Files #5) by J.C. Daniels

Shadowed Blade - J.C. Daniels

Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.

 

eBook WTF? Kick Ass

 

I’m a huge fan of the Colbana Files. I’ve listed as one of my favorite UF series. I’ve also frequently touted it as one of the most underappreciated series in the UF genre. This book though didn’t live up to those statements. I still enjoyed it, but there are some issues that kept me from enjoying this book as much as previous books in the series.

 

To start, the beginning of this story was a bit confusing. It kinda read like it might have been flashbacks, but I wasn’t sure. The whole story about the druid and Frankie was confusing to me. As I kept reading, I did eventually figure out what was going on. There are parts that overlap with the novella, Misery’s Way, which is included at the end. I highly recommend you read it first, you can find it in the table of contents.

 

As per usual in this series, it is full of great characters. I love Kit. She is a wonderful character. She is very strong, no matter how many times she has been broken. She puts herself back together, though that is not an easy process for her. She surrounds herself with great friends who have finally become the family that she’s never had with her actual blood relation. I loved seeing Damon, Chang, Justin, Colleen, Doyle and Nova. There is even a new addition who I expect to have a large part to the story going forward.

 

I can’t really go into much about this story without giving away series spoilers. I’ll just say that this story follows a lot of Kit and Justin the most as they are working for a very mysterious “client” of Kit’s. You can see throughout the story that there is still some issues between humans and non-humans, also known as NH, though there are people who are willing to serve anyone who is willing to pay. It is also hard to tell who is the good guys and who are the bad guys, but other times, it is very obvious who the bad guys are and they are very bad.

 

This story did have everything that I love in a great Urban Fantasy. Great characters. An excellent world. A ton of action. Romance. Wonderful characters, yes, I know I said that already, but I love these characters, a lot. Overall, I enjoyed this story, but I have to call out the weak beginning. I also need to call out the lack of editing. Normally, that is not an issue with this series, but there was a lot of editing issues in this one. It would not be fair to future reader to recommend this book without calling that out. I had a purchased copy from Amazon, not an ARC. This is the first book by Ms. Daniels that I’ve had editing issues. I would still recommend this book, but I would recommend that you start with book one, as I would with pretty much all UF series.

 

The Colbana Files

My Review

My Review

My Review

My Review

My Review

My Review

 

Melanie Signature

Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2016/05/review-shadowed-blade-by-j-c-daniels-mlsimmons.html

Audiobook Review: Rogue Descendant (Nikki Glass, #3) by Jenna Black

Rogue Descendant: Nikki Glass, Book 3 - Tantor Audio, Sophie Eastlake, Jenna Black

Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.

 

Audiobook Well Written Unique

 

The Nikki Glass series has quickly become a favorite of mine. It is such a unique world that Jenna Black has created with the descendants of gods that are nearly immortal known as Liberi. Nikki has joined this world when one of the Liberi jumps in front of her car committing suicide giving Nikki his immortality. Now, Nikki is thrust into this world which she knows nothing about. By book three, she is coming to terms with her new life, but is still hoping that one day, she can go back to her life as she knew it. She has yet to give up her office or her condo, though she has closed her office doors and is living with Anderson and his Liberi in their mansion.

 

The book starts off with a series of arsons, all of which are connected to Nikki. It starts with an accidental fire at her office, then her adopted parents’ house, then her condo, where people died. The former leader of the Olympians, Konstantin, sends an email claiming to be the culprit, but there are questions about that. Anderson’s ex-wife, Emma, also looks really suspicious. She has it out for Nikki, who she is convinced is trying to steal her husband. Nikki on the other hand is trying desperately to make things work with Jamaal.

 

Jamaal is a descendant of Kali and the death magic that he has is hard for him to contain. He learned in the previous book that he could channel some of the death magic into a phantom tiger, Kali’s animal, just like the descendant of Anubis did with jackals. However, his tiger, SIta, is very jealous of anyone who takes any attention away from her, so Nikki is on her hate list. Jamaal has a hard time controlling her when Nikki is around. This really puts the breaks on their relationship just when things were starting to move forward.

 

There is some action as Nikki is kidnapped twice and some romance between Jamaal and Nikki. We get to see a lot more of Cyrus, Konstantin’s son and the current leader of the Olympians. He has a lot more up his sleeve than he lets on. The overall story arc doesn’t progress as much as I would like and there is a cliffhanger at the end. I’m really glad that Ms. Black pushed to finish this series, even if it took a little longer than expected. I’m real excited to get to the next and final book in the series that comes out later this month.

 

Narration
Sophie Eastlake continues to do a great job with the narration. There is nothing overly complicated about this narration, no accents or anything, but the different voices are all clearly defined. I do listen at an increased speed, but that is pretty much a standard thing for me. She does good with male and female voices. I do know that the final book will be put on audio. So far, I haven’t heard anything about audio.

 

The Nikki Glass Series

My Review

My Review

Melanie Signature

Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2016/05/audiobook-review-rogue-descendant-by-jenna-black-mlsimmons-jennablack-sereads-tantoraudio.html

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