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Book Review: Charmed and Lethal an urban fantasy by Christine Eller and Lin Ryals

Book Review Charmed and Lethal

Hello Lovelies,

One thing the lockdown has been useful for is giving me a lot more time and desire to read. I have really struggled the last few months trying to get into anything. But April had me wrapping up The Oz Principle and diving into Charmed and Lethal. I got Charmed and Lethal as an e-book from the authors for a review when it was released a year ago. I started it then, but my life was in so much upheaval that I just couldn’t get into it or any of the other books I picked up at that time. I was a bit nervous to find myself in a similar situation and expecting similar feelings.

But that was not the case at all. Without further ado, let’s get to the  book review of Charmed and Lethal by Christine Eller and Lin Ryals.

Genre

Urban Fantasy

Synopsis

Best Friends living a normal teenage life find themselves caught in the middle of an ancient war between the Guardians and the Were. With their new-found powers they must choose the right path. But which side is good and which is evil? Follow Renee and Lydia on their road of self-discovery, forbidden love, personal growth, and friendship as they make friends and enemies that could ultimately mean life or death.

My Thoughts

Don’t miss my first thoughts video:

This is a debut novel for this writing duo and it took me a minute to get my stride with it. Despite the two main characters being so different, often I had to check the chapter heading to confirm who was speaking. Which is interesting because I have known both the authors for more than half our lives and, just like the main characters, on the surface they are very different people. But I think the similarities of their internal dialogues are indicative of the deep bonds they hold.

However, there was definitely a distinct difference in the characters’ thought processes when facing conflict and struggle. I appreciated how consistent the characters were in that respect. Each trying to grow in different ways, but each still having their “primal” reaction, if you will. Watching people go through trauma and life experience, I have found that tends to be the case with most people. Certainly, it has been the case for me. My gut reaction is always to respond in a specific way. Despite years of trying to improve myself, that first instinct is always the same.

But I also loved how they demonstrate that we can overcome that initial instinct. It doesn’t make that initial feeling go away, but we can be more than just our instincts.

I know, way deeper store that I got from it than what was perhaps intended. But I got what I needed from the story, what I was not prepared to get last time I read the story.

I also got more. This really is a fun read of two young women discovering themselves and realizing that they are more than just their birthrite, more than just a prophesy, and that despite their innermost self-talk they can choose to be whatever they wish. It is also about love.

At the beginning I was hardcore shipping one couple and felt the other was… creepy. That creepiness gets explained partway through and I felt vindicated. At the end, I was totally shipping them too. And the way it ended was just so cruel! Come on, man!

I know there will be more in this series and I very much look forward to reading them. While there were a few grammatical errors, I will certainly forgive it as the next book I read by a big traditional publisher had far more errors. *Sigh*

If you enjoy shifter stories and a dash of romance with your urban fantasy, then you should definitely take a look inside Charmed and Lethal today!

Until Next Time,

Keep Reading!

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Book Review: New Hope by Steve Hobbs

Book Review New Hope

Hello Lovelies,

Hope everyone has had an awesome summer. We are just getting back into the swing of school and I am happy to share my latest read, New Hope by Steve Hobbs.

Genre:

Urban Fantasy/ Mystery

Synopsis:

DESPERATE EVIL descends on a quirky Maine town in Steve Hobbs’s gripping debut thriller, New Hope.Seventeen year old Miri Jones has always wanted to be a detective. When she discovers mutilated human remains during her morning run, she’s found her case. But the bizarre nature of the crime will shake everything she believes in and might just get her killed. The town of New Hope is about to make its last stand in a war Miri never knew existed.

Only the brave will survive.

My Take:

All the feels! This book takes me back to my childhood. Quite literally, as it’s set in the 80s. With all the charming nostalgia of Stranger Things, the Nancy Drew Heroine, and the campy group of kids fighting vampires that’s reminiscent of Lost Boys, there really wasn’t much not to love about this book.  
If you are looking for a fun read with all those feels, then you will love New Hope. There weren’t any deep questions, and I figured out a lot of things pretty quickly, but it still was a nice break and a fun read. 
If that sounds fun to you, then take a peek inside.

Until next time, 
Keep Reading!

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Book Review: Moss and Clay by Rebekah Jonesy

Book Review Moss and Clay

Hello Lovelies,

I’m here today as part of the Moss and Clay tour. This is a delightful look into the blending of Fae legends between the old world and new to create a very exciting urban fantasy series.

Moss, clay, and blood–that’s how Gillian began.

A doll, crafted and given a mission by Danu. Given life by human and Fae blood.  First daughter of Mab, Queen of the Fae, Gillian must track down the rogue fae in the Americas and bring them back under Fae Law with only a volunteer kelpie to travel with her.

And no one knows what they’re in for. Not even the gods that sent them.

Dive into the world of the Aos Si Fae today. Get the free prequel story here: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/g7cjknwe9p

My take:

I am actually pretty good friends with Rebekah Jonesy and as such, I was privileged to see the birth of this series when she shared a peek of the opening scenes through The Troll King back in July last year. I was completely hooked! Gillian was delightful, her birth was intriguing, and her mission grabbed me. But I absolutely died giggling at the troll king. I can’t ruin it, but seriously, if for no other reason, you should read it to read the troll king! 


Yet, the continuation of the story is just as delightful, though in a somewhat darker way. Yet, there are still some moments of humor, particularly when Gillian finds herself at odds with strange American customs like our weird dressing behaviors and our interactions with one another. 

I absolutely recommend this enjoyable escape from the ordinary to get a look at the dark underbelly that makes urban fantasy one of my favorite genres. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series which releases later this year! 

You can follow author Rebekah Jonesy at Twitter,  join her Facebook reader’s group, and don’t forget to grab the free prequel to Mab’s Doll .

Take A Peek Inside on Amazon

See other awesome stops in the Moss and Clay tour.

Until next time, 

Keep Reading!

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Book Review- The West Woods by Suzy Vadori

The West Woods by Suzy Vadori

Hello Lovelies,

I am excited to share The West Woods by Suzy Vadori. I received a an e-book copy of this book for the purpose of review and promoting as I saw fit.

Here is a shot I got on Instagram

Rebekah Jonesy and I actually did this as a group read on Beautiful Book Geeks. Check out our first episode and our thoughts on The West Woods or read below to see my personal thoughts.

Genre:

Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: 

The West WoodsCourtney Wallis wants nothing more than to escape St. Augustus boarding school. After uncovering a well-kept secret about the school’s founder, Isaac Young, Courtney turns to the school’s magic to convince her dad to let her leave. Things take a turn when she meets Cole, who lives in the nearby town of Evergreen. He gives her hope that things might not be so bad. However, the school’s fountain has other ideas, and binds Courtney to her ambition, no matter the cost.As Courtney struggles to keep the magic from taking over, she and her friends get drawn into the mystery woven into the school’s fabric. Everything seems to lead back to the forbidden West Woods. Together, she and her friends seek out the spirits of the past to ask for help, and find themselves in much deeper than they’d bargained for. If they succeed, Courtney could be free of the magic. If they fail, she may never be the same.

My Take:

This was an interesting and entertaining story about Courtney, a sophomore who wants nothing more than to attend the local high school and run on the track team, but who’s senator father wants her to attend his Alma Mater, a boarding school where there is no track team and her best substitute is swim team. When she begs him not to make her, he tells her that there is something magical he wants her to find out about the school, in particular the West Woods that surround the school. She never knew he meant literally. But as Courtney digs into the mystery her father has set her on and discovers a magic wishing well, she finds herself trapped in a genie-type wishes don’t always turn out the way you hope scenario. 
I had a hard time connecting to Courtney, even before her wish took over her and changed her personality, she was kind of the type of girl I don’t really like. And all the running! It’s kind of a key piece to the story. I would much rather swim than run, lol. 
But it is a well-told story that touches on a lot of issues relevant to most teenagers such as how far you’re willing to go for what you want, how priorities can shift and change, how to deal with difficult people. There are some good nuggets of wisdom buried in this entertaining story. I was surprised when I got to the end and found out that this is actually the second book in this series. I liked it enough to add The Fountain (take a peek) to my TBR, though I suspect this is one of those books that my boys will enjoy more than I did. I imagine you’ll see their review for it soon enough. 


If you enjoy mystery books like Nancy Drew and Babysitter’s club, combined with magical elements like The Magic Treehouse of Fablehaven, then grab take a peek


Until next time, 

Keep Reading! 

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Book Review: Under A Hunter’s Moon: Shadows Over Seattle: Prequel 1

Book Review: Under a Hunter's Moon

Hello Lovelies,

I am thrilled to introduce you to a series that I learned about at B2BCyCon, Shadows over Seattle is a paranormal series by Timothy Bateson. I got a free copy of the prequel story Under a Hunter’s Moon and have finished reading it so I could share it with you.

Genre:

Urban Fantasy

Synopsis:

Richard Parsons is a lupine, one of the many breeds of shape-shifters living in Seattle. Mortal legends of his kind call them werewolves.When a traveling exhibition returns to Seattle, Richard takes a night time visit, with plans that go beyond seeing a particular display. However he is unprepared for the memories and emotions that come flooding back.”Under A Hunter’s Moon” is the first of the “Shadows Over Seattle: Prequel” series, giving readers a chance to meet the characters who will be appearing in the main series. Every story is a snapshot of an event in that character’s past, and can be read as a standalone short story, or as part of the series. At 4,200 words in length, “Under A Hunter’s Moon” is a quick, easy, read that introduces readers to the “Shadows Over Seattle” setting.

My Take:

Prequels are mean! Especially when the book isn’t out yet! Timothy, I know you are releasing Evaline Transcendent right now, but can you hurry up with the first book in the Shadows over Seattle Series? Seriously, this was just… Sucked me right in and then left me with nowhere to go! I enjoy the author’s twist on the old werewolf lore, creating a whole new version and calling them Lupines, to allow him to break the rules of the legends without really breaking things, if you know what I mean. 

This is a great teaser to the main character, his motivations, and his drive. Jump on in and then go yell at the author to hurry up and finish the book, just like I’m doing! Take a peek inside.

Get it done, Tim! And make it just as awesome. (I know you will!) 

Until next time, 

Keep Reading!

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Book Review-Fire’s Love By Alex E. Carey

Book Review-Fire's Love By Alex E. Carey

Hello Lovelies,

I’m thrilled to share a review from my little man, who also wishes not to be named in his reviews so he is choosing to write his reviews under Angelic Valdez. Today he is reviewing Fire’s Love by Alex E. Carey.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Here is the book unboxing and my first impressions of the book.

Genre:

Urban Fantasy/ Romance

Synopsis:

Kira thought she was leaving her demons behind when she left for college. She quickly discovers demons are everywhere, and can be good or evil. Not only are they real, but they’re protecting her; that is, except for the ones who want her dead. Kira’s parents want to reveal things about who she is, but a strange phenomenon prevents them from explaining. Before they can try again, her mother and brother die and her father disappears. Afterward, Kira finds a mysterious book in her parents‘ belongings. Although the book confuses her, it comforts her too. She’s sure it holds the answers she seeks. One of Kira’s new friends, Lowell Hew, is also an earth demon named Ulric the Wolf Thief. Lowell tries to help Kira solve the mysteries involving the book, her parents, and the elements they wanted her to know. Although Lowell has a crush on Kira, he’s not looking for a relationship, or so he keeps telling himself. Meanwhile, Lowell introduces Kira to his best friend, Pyre, a fire demon with a fiery temperament and a troubled past. Pyre closed off his heart years ago, while deep inside he yearned to belong. For Pyre, learning to love again comes with tremendous risk, especially when the girl he loves is human, and his best friend has thoughts of his own. Things go well until an eerie presence threatens Kira and her new friends, and they can only speculate as to who it may be. While her friends protect her and try to uncover the enemy’s identity, Kira must adjust to the challenges of being human with demon friends. Will she bask in the warmth, or be consumed by the flames of Fire’s Love?

Angelic Valdez Take:

I honestly loved the book! Can’t wait for mom to buy the second and third books. First time I read it I had spotted it on my brothers speakers and I remembered mom liking the book so I decided to read it. I did not even put it down ONCE for 7 hours straight. I went from the very beginning of the book to the very end of the book within 7 hours. Truth be told, I’m not into Romance books but this one was different it was a more enjoyable romance. I thought Kira would fall for Lowell/Ulric whichever you prefer but Pyre ruined that thought. I could tell from the moment that he had to be suppressing something with how mean he was to her. It was obvious that he was forcing his feelings so as I read on I found out that Pyre loved Kira, which I didn’t see coming and then when Lowell started grinning creepily/strangely once he put the puzzle pieces together. I was honestly curious why he was smiling so I dug even further to find out he doesn’t at all talk to his family aside from grunts like “Hn” and stuff. I was surprised! I mean, its his own freaking family and he doesn’t talk to them? Sheesh, talk about overkill.
I have a suspicion, granted its pretty much baseless, but I think Kira might be part demon or angel or SOMETHING abnormal. I mean she has a book that is written in a forgotten demon language that her mother told her how to use. Umm, DING DING much? On top of that, some of her dreams come true. Another DING DING moment. You’re like, “something’s not human about her”.

When Pyre’s family freaks when they find out Pyre actually has feelings I was a bit curious why most people thought fire demons don’t have feelings. I mean other demons have feelings why can’t Fire demons? And then came the part about the birthday Caedmon gave her an album of pictures he’d been taking since he first met her which I find a bit creepy, but overall I enjoyed this book and I want to read the second and third in the series and hope that Alex E. Carey continues the story from there.

Until Next Time,

 Keep Reading!

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Book Review- Magnus Chase book 1 by Rick Riordan

Book review Magnus Chase

Hello Lovelies,

Once again, my little man, reviewing under Angelic Valdez, shares a review of his latest read, Magnus Chase book 1 by Rick Riordan.

Genre:

Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: 

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.
One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he barely knows—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. Uncle Randolph tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.
When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.
Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

Angelic Valdez’ Take:

I loved this book as I do with every one of Rick Riordan’s books. I think he’s gonna make a new book between Greek and Roman gods, Egyptians gods and Asgardian Gods so….. I dunno. He mentions the Greek a few times during the story Greek’s and Romans are already tied together and Egyptians might be tied in as well through the one character that is familiar to most of us (although I wouldn’t know about the Egyptian Greek Roman fiasco haven’t read the book yet) and I’m curious to see whether it ends in a bunch of heroes or a bloody war. Only time will tell.

The Beginning of the book is really enticing informing you what’s gonna happen for the first bit which makes you wonder. “Gee, I wonder why blah blah blah happened.” which encourages you to keep reading until you find yourself not being able to put the book down and your friends grabbing it out of hands to get your attention. Ending is a bit… well… unexpected, I suppose. I can’t reveal much but an evil fire giant wants to hasten Ragnarok by destroying “The Wolf’s” bindings to unleash it because the first stage of Ragnarok is the unleashing of “The Wolf” so I suppose that’s what he would want but to break “The Wolf’s” bindings he would have to find the sharpest blade in the Nine Worlds to cut it. Anyways Magnus has to face 5 forces during the battle to hasten or deny Ragnarok and he has to use his willpower to survive.

I enjoy the fact that Magnus has 2 partners more or less from the beginning, Blitz and Hearth, who happen to be not human but can still pass off as them. Having a goddess of Prettiness/Love as an aunt? That’s gotta suck. Tbh my favorite character is Annabeth even tho she has a minor role in the book by only being in a few pages, but she offered to help Magnus believing she was the one who knew what was going on when she kinda did, but he still declined her anyways thinking she was a normal mortal. I want to ask those of you who have read this book a few questions. Who was your favorite character and why? What did you think of the book? What do you think on what’s going to happen with the Asgardian, Greek, Roman, Egyptian mash-up? And do you approve or disapprove of the Mashup if he makes one?

Take a peek inside.

Until next time,

Keep Reading

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Book Review- The Triplet’s Curse- Hope’s Story by Marsha Black

Trioplet's Curse Hope's Story

Genre:

YA Urban Fantasy


Synopsis: 

When the moon is full

High above the Earth

Three daughters shall be born

On their 16th birthday, their destiny will begin

One daughter, born with the knowledge of the future, yet blind of those closest to her


As Hope’s 16th birthday nears, weird things happen. Then on the night of her 16th birthday, she awakens with a scream. An unbelievable nightmare becomes her reality, and she questions her sanity.Bryce, a new guy in town, arrives to help.In order to survive, three must work as one, or all is lost.Will Hope learn to use her ability in time?


My Take:

I received an advanced reader copy for the purpose of review. And man, am I glad I did. This story is the first in a three-part series about three sisters who are cursed. Hope is definitely a character I can relate to. Grade oriented, not really part of the popular crowd, and with no desire to be, she is just a normal teenager struggling with getting along with her sisters, looking forward to getting her license… and having the joy of always being thrust into the spotlight she hates, because she is one of the only sets of triplets ever born in their small Wisconsin town. 

​​Then she meets Bryce. Oh, Bryce. I can’t decide if I like him or not. I mean, he’s ok. At least he’s not the sullen brooding boy that seems to be the hot “it” thing in YA UF of late. But (and I think this is true to his character, as opposed to the bad writing I’ve seen from other authors) Without Hope, he is kind of nothing. I mean, literally, this kid has been raised in a cult society, his sole purpose of existence, to find the triplets from the curse and aid them in training and preparing to battle evil. We get a brief glimpse of this young man who doesn’t really believe in his mission, and kind of isn’t happy with his life, but then the spark happens (No, y’all it is a LITERAL spark, sounds SO cool. I want to see a movie version of this JUST to see the spark, lol) and suddenly he is a born again convert to his cult’s beliefs. Which, is probably a good thing or poor Hope would’ve been screwed. 
But it would’ve been fun to see him maybe buck the system a little bit? I have hopes, thanks to some teasers for the next books, that one of the heroes/ heroines might, though. After all, Fate can only do so much, am I right? 
So, yeah, each book is about one of the sisters, and their coming into their power, as far as I can tell. I loved the baddie in this one, and the way it was revealed. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming, but at the same time, it was a surprise. The author did a great job balancing the reader’s knowledge and expectations. And holy crap, the teaser at the end for the next book!? As soon as it’s available for preorder, I am ordering it! 
If you enjoy stories where the hero is fated to save the world, with a dash of romance, and a splash of snark, then The Triplet’s curse is definitely for you.

Take a Peek Inside A Triplet’s Curse- Hope’s Story


Until next time, 

Keep Reading!

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Book Review: Dark One, One for Sorrow by Sydnie Beaupre

 Genre: Paranormal Romance
Synopsis: When Khiara Banning was born, her soul— the purest of all souls— was inextricably intertwined with the outcome of the final battle between good and evil. However, due to her parents’ foolishness she was cursed, cursed to be truly alone; no Guardian, no Soul Mate. But yet, when the fallen angel—Cael—heard whisper of this and from the exact moment he first saw her, he knew with the core of his being that he above all others needed to protect her. Cael begged and pleaded with God to be appointed as her guardian and because He is fair, it was permitted. However, He ruled that if any mistakes were to be made, Cael would instantly be stripped of his title. Years later, the curse evolves in a terrifying new manner that not even God could have predicted. The only entity who knows the key to reversing the effects of her life, no… world changing curse is none other than the Goddess, Morrigan, whose curse tainted Khiara in infancy. She alone has knowledge that could change Khiara’s fate forevermore. Can Cael’s perseverance, love and angelic power surmount SLXLM​​the poisonous evil influences that rise up as the final battle draws nearer? Will Khiara be able to endure the relentless onslaught? Her survival is crucial, as the fate of the world depends on it.


My Take: Canadian authors I have been reading of late sort of have a thing for angels, don’t they? And to be honest, I get it. I have a mild obsession with angels too, and it was much worse when I was teen. I had a huge angel collection, and people joked that I only married my husband so I could become an Angel(l) (because, we aren’t those kind of angels, lol!) 
So I should be loving this story. It is about a girl who is awkward and self aware because she is different. (I can relate). Who falls in love with this amazing boy who she is inexplicably drawn to. (Again, can totally relate.) and then finds out that she isn’t who she thought she was all her life. (I dreamed of this as a kid. What kid doesn’t?) 
And although I did enjoy the book, I am not diving to read the next book in the series. (There is another book, and then a couple that seem to be in the same universe, but not necessarily the same storyline… IDK, it isn’t clear from the descriptions.)What went wrong? Well, I don’t know that it is that there is anything wrong, per se. I have added the other books to my TBR and will read them, eventually, I am sure. I did like the characters, I just didn’t love them. It isn’t as compelling a story as, say, Harry Potter, which I can read over and over and over again. 
One issue I had was that there were a lot of linguistic issues. I am not sure how many were because of the book not having an editor (I saw on the author’s Facebook page that it was getting edited, and I am fairly certain I got the pre-professional editor version.) or if it was because the author placed the story in an area of the country that I am pretty familiar with and the vernacular was off for me. 
The story also wandered a lot. I am not a wanderer. I think it is the main reason that I don’t like books by Nicholas Sparks, or Jodi Piccoult. I know it is why I don’t like Charles Dickens. 
For me, if you spend a couple pages setting up a scene, then those details need to be important to the story. There were times the author did this, and then it wasn’t important to the story. Now, it may end up being important later on in the series, but I didn’t get that far. See, Harry Potter does that too, but the details that are woven in are interesting and exciting. Even though I didn’t see the immediate need, it was fun to read about anyway. When authors do that with everyday things, it is just sort of. “Ok, I get it. Can we please get back to the action and good bits?!” 
It is why I can’t read Tolkien either. I know, so sad. I totally love Hobbit and LOTR, but I grew up reading books about his version of Elves, so I have that framework that people of his era didn’t have. It just felt so unnecessary! 
Anywho, I digress. The overall storyline is exciting and I am definitely intrigued based on the ending, to read the next book. But not as intrigued as I was to read Miyran Heir by Rebecca McCray, which I am currently devouring at a rapid rate ;). 
Do you love angels? Then grab your copy of The Dark One: One for Sorrow on Amazon.


Until next time, 
Keep Reading!