Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday ~ Shaman Rises

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

Shaman Rises (Walker Papers #9)

by C.E. Murphy
published by Harlequin Luna
expected release date: June 24, 2014
genre: Adult, Urban Fantasy

Summary (Goodreads): For over a year, Joanne has been fighting the Master—the world's most abiding evil. She's sacrificed family, friendships, even watched potential futures fade away…and now the Master is bringing the final battle to Joanne's beloved Seattle.

Lives will be lost as the repercussions of all Joanne's growth come to her doorstep. Before the end, she'll mourn, rejoice—and surrender everything for the hope of the world's survival. She'll be a warrior and a healer. Because she is finally a Shaman Rising.

**Not crazy about this cover compared to the others in the series but still expect a good read and hoping I like the ending to this series.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review ~ Circle of Fire

Circle of Fire (Damask Circle #1)

by Keri Arthur
published by Dell
genre: Adult, Fantasy, PNR

Summary (Goodreads): Sixteen teenagers taken from their homes. Eleven bodies recovered, each completely drained of blood. Some believe vampires are responsible. Jon Barnett knows that what’s happening is far worse. Sent by a group of paranormal investigators known as the Damask Circle, Jon quickly becomes enmeshed in a web of black magic and realizes he needs help. But fate gives him only one choice.

Madeline Smith has retreated to an isolated farmhouse, afraid of the abilities she cannot control—abilities that have killed. But when a “ghost” brings a warning of danger and her nephew goes missing, Maddie not only has to leave her haven, she has to place her trust in a man who is neither ghost nor human. As the noose of sorcery tightens, the search for the teenagers becomes a race against time. But the greatest danger to Maddie and Jon could be the intense feelings they refuse to acknowledge but cannot ignore.

My Thoughts: I had already read book 2 when I started Circle of Fire. I was expecting certain things, like more info on The Damask Circle, that did not happen. These definitely feel like stand alone books. While one of the leads happens to be part of the Circle, I have not seen any crossover of characters or even mention of others besides the Head of the Circle.
This felt more like being told it is a paranormal book than actually feeling like one. There were parts, like Jon being a shifter and Maddie having some sort of sight, that were used when convenient to the story but really played a backseat. I liked both characters but didn't find myself caring about their HEA as much as I should have.
Luckily there was the story of the missing kids and the evil that has taken them. I found the hotel guy creepier than the actual bad guy. He may have been the evil sidekick but he seemed to play a bigger part in the story.
Overall, I was glad I had read book 2 already. I would still have wanted to read more but would not have been as quick to search it out.

Rating: 3.5

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Book Review ~ Cold Iron

Cold Iron (Cold Iron #1)

by D.L. McDermott
published by Pocket Star
genre: Adult, Fae, PNR

**eGalley received from netGalley/publisher in exchange for honest review.

Summary (Goodreads): The Fae, the Good Neighbors, the Fair Folk, the Aes SĂ­dhe, creatures of preternatural beauty and seduction. Archaeologist Beth Carter doesn’t believe in them. She’s always credited her extraordinary ability to identify ancient Celtic sites to hard work and intuition—until she discovers a tomb filled with ancient treasure but missing a body. Her ex-husband, the scholar who stifled her career to advance his own, is unconcerned. Corpses don’t fetch much on the antiquities market. Gold does. Beth knows from past experience that if she isn’t vigilant, Frank will make off with the hoard.

So when a man—tall, broad shouldered, and impossibly handsome—turns up in her bedroom claiming to be the tomb’s inhabitant, one of mythic god-kings of old Ireland, Beth believes it is a ploy cooked up by her ex-husband to scare her away from the excavation.

But Conn is all too real. Ancient, alien, irresistible, the Fae are the stuff of dreams and nightmares, their attentions so addictive their abandoned human lovers wither and die. And this one has fixed his supernatural desire on Beth.

My Thoughts: I had a hard time rating this one. I really liked the modern day setting mixed with old world superstitions.
The problem came with Conn. When we first are introduced to him you really get the feeling that he is fae. Once he meets Beth everything that makes him fae disappears and he is just a lovesick guy. I still liked their story but it felt too quick and he lost some of himself.
Beth is a broken character that is starting to find her way as well as finding out who she really is. She embraces her heritage even though it could ruin her relationship with Conn and put a target on her back from the rest of his kind.
The rest of the characters really made this story and helped it keep it's fantasy feel. You got a definite Fae feel whenever Miach or The Prince were involved. Miach felt the most real. While he has some sensibilities from living among humans for so long, he still falls back on his basic Fae characteristics when the need calls for it.
Overall, I liked the world the author created I just wish Conn had stayed more true to his character during the process of falling for Beth. Miach was my favorite character and I'm looking forward to the next story in this series since he is one of the main characters.

Rating: 3.5-4 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

New Releases ~ week of 04/07/2014

Alien Encounter by Charise Mericle Harper (#1 Sasquatch and Aliens)
Bitter Winds by Kay Bratt (#3 Scavenger's Daughter)
Capturing Peace by Molly McAdams (#0.5 Sharing You)
Carnal Curiosity by Stuart Woods (#29 Stone Barrington)
Cauldron of Ghosts by Eric Flint, David Weber (#3 Crown of Slaves)
Collector of Dying Breaths by M J Rose (#6 Reincarnationist)
Dawn of the Arcana, Vol. 12 by Rei Toma (#12 Dawn of the Arcana)
Deal Killer by Vicki Doudera (#5 Darby Farr Mystery)
Dog Gone, Back Soon by Nick Trout (#2 Cyrus Mills)
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (#3 Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy)
Fractured Truth by Rachel McClellan (#3 Fractured Light)
Ghost of a Chance by Lauren Barnholdt (#3 Girl Meets Ghost)
Horizon by Jenn Reese (#3 Above World)
Incinerator by Niall Leonard (#2 Crusher)
Mine to Claim by A C Arthur (#1 Shadow Shifters: Damaged Hearts)
Miss Julia's Marvelous Makeover by Ann B Ross (#15 Miss Julia)
Operation Shield by Joel Shepherd (#5 Cassandra Kresnov)
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins (#1 Rebel Belle)
Revelations by Paul Antony Jones (#3 Extinction Point)
Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong (#1 Age of Legends)
Season of Wonder by Lisa T Bergren (#1 Remnants)
Shipstar by Gregory Benford, Larry Niven (#2 Bowl of Heaven)
Silent Bite: A Scanguards Wedding by Tina Folsom (#8.5 Scanguards Vampires)
Steles of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear (#3 Iskryne World)
The First Battle by Erin Hunter (#3 Warriors: Dawn of the Clans)
The Klaatu Terminus by Pete Hautman (#3 Klaatu Diskos)
The Nethergrim by Matthew Jobin (#1 Nethergrim)
The Will by Kristen Ashley (#1 Magdalene)
Toxic Heart by Theo Lawrence (#2 Mystic City Trilogy)
Up by Five by Erin Nicholas (#5 Counting on Love)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mystery Review ~ Mayhem at the Orient Express

Mayhem at the Orient Express (League of Literary Ladies #1)

by Kylie Logan
published by Berkley
genre: Adult, Mystery, Cozy

Summary (Goodreads): At a local Chinese restaurant, it's the owner who gets taken out...

Most folks aren't forced by court order to attend a library-book discussion group, but that’s just what happens to B and B proprietor and ex-Manhattanite Bea Cartwright, hippy cat lover Chandra Morrisey, and winery owner Kate Wilder after a small-town magistrate has had enough of their squabbling. South Bass, an island on Lake Erie, is home to an idyllic summer resort, but these three ladies keep disturbing the peace.

The initial book choice is Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, and that sets their mouths to watering. The Orient Express is the island’s newest Chinese restaurant. They might not agree about much, but the ladies all love the orange chicken on the menu. But their meal is spoiled when the restaurant’s owner, Peter Chan, has the bad fortune of getting murdered. Now, with Christie as their inspiration, the League of Literary Ladies has a real mystery to solve…if they can somehow catch a killer without killing each other first.

My Thoughts: I always forget how much I enjoy mysteries (or cozies) until I pick one up. I don't know if it's the covers that make me pause or something else but I should read more.
With the premise of a judge ordering people to form a book club as punishment I had to give this one a try. The four ladies in the book club are very different and their personalities just clash. It's not really explained but it sounded as if this was not the first time they had been in court complaining about what the others were doing to annoy them. Bea was the hardest to read for me, her personality didn't seem to be as defined as the others. Chandra was all over the place and trying to cleanse everything and Kate was the uptight rich girl type.
I liked the integration from Murder on the Orient Express and how the author made the case the ladies were trying to solve run parallel to the book. Considering the winter we had reading about everyone getting snowed in with no power was very easy to relate to. Since Bea's inn was the only place with a generator, it put all the main characters under one roof.
I'm not sure if I missed something or just did not have the correct mindset at the time but the twist with who the guilty party was was a surprise to me. It's always nice when that happens. Other than trying to force some romance into the story, I was happy with this book and will have an easier time picking up book two.

Rating: 4