Review: The Thief by JR Ward

Reviewed by Jen

With her Black Dagger Brotherhood books, JR Ward has excited me, enraged me, made me fall in love, and occasionally made me scratch my head. This is the first time she has left me completely cold. The installments in the main series (less so with the spinoffs) generally have so many subplots, there is at least one that I’m interested in. Not here.

I wasn’t terribly intrigued by Assail and Sola when they were first introduced. Here, they were downright anemic. Assail had been going crazy from his withdrawals from cocaine for a while now. We could hear him screaming in the background of the past few books. As this one begins, though, he is in a coma and on the verge of death. His cousins track down Sola to talk him back from the Fade. There is nothing sexy about a man clinging to life. This was equally true in the novella which directly preceded this. The best Ward could say was that the man’s boner was undiminished by his illness. No matter that he is skin and bones; he is bald; he can’t use the bathroom or bathe himself. But his junk works and is as big as ever. Hallelujah.  [Read more…]

Review: Lake Silence by Anne Bishop

Reviewed by Jen

This sixth installment in Ann Bishop’s The Others series is like a spinoff and a reboot all in one. It feels almost just like the first book, with a kind, emotionally damaged heroine in a new terre indigene community where the monsters learn through her that some humans are worth not eating. There is a very very very slow-burn/ might-be-a-romance one day. And a cop who doesn’t want to be there, but feels compelled to do the right thing. The only things different from Written in Red are the names and the particulars of the bad guys who threaten the peace of the community.

The new heroine is Vicki. She is a frumpy human divorcee. She was emotionally abused by her ex to the point where she has terrible panic attacks, is largely intimidated by men, and thinks very little of herself. She inherited the Jumble in her divorce settlement. It’s basically a bunch of cabins surrounding a rustic main house where she can rent rooms along the lake community largely populated by Others. The almost-love-interest is Julian, an Intuit and former cop who runs the local bookstore. Wayne is the highway patrol officer sent in to investigate a dead body Vicki reports as the story begins. [Read more…]

Review: Resurgence by S Usher Evans

Reviewed by Jen

It’s been a while since I’ve given a new Urban Fantasy a try; I guess that’s partly because so many of them follow the same formula. You know, a young snarky woman who doesn’t seem that special suddenly becomes special and then turns out to be stronger/smarter/or generally more special than anyone expected, then falls in love with a sexy alpha guy before vanquishing the Big Bad. Those are the bones of 90% of the UF series out there, and honestly, at this point I only stick with the authors I know are going to do it best. What drew me to this book, is that it breaks from that formula in virtually every way. And I am happy to report… it did not disappoint. [Read more…]

Review: Twisted Fate by Jessi Elliott

Reviewed by Elle

Twisted Fate is a new adult, urban fantasy from debut author, Jessi Elliot.

Aurora is in her last year of college, but her life is turned upside down when she’s mistaken for someone else, and is kidnapped by the leader of the Fae. The Fae leader, Tristan, has the ability to erase memories, but it turns out Aurora has Fae lineage, and therefore his magic doesn’t work on her. While many of the Fae want her dead just for knowing they exist, Tristan decides to keep an eye on her by having him work for him. Sparks are soon flying between the two, and that’s when Aurora realizes she’s stumbled into the middle of a Fae war, with a target on her back. Bugger, right? [Read more…]

Review: Dragon Blood by Eileen Wilks

Reviewed by Jen

Eileen Wilks drops us right back into the action with this latest installment of her World of the Lupi series and thankfully, she begins with a great recap; otherwise, I think I would have completely forgotten what was going on. You see, the last book stopped right in the middle of the action: Lily and Rule had led a group of fighters into Dis to rescue Toby and some other Lupi children who had been kidnapped. They were in the middle of a big battle; Benedict and Cullen were seriously hurt… so was Rule. A dragon snatched Lily and THEN THE BOOK WAS OVER. This book is more like a Part 2 of that story, although it has its own arc set entirely in Dragonhome, which is where Lily is spirited away to. [Read more…]

Review: Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter

Reviewed by Jen

There’s a lot happening in this third installment of Faith Hunter’s Soulwood series, so as with all of Hunter’s books, you’d better get comfortable and pay attention or you might miss something! Here, Nell is transitioning even deeper into her power at the same time she is making some decisions about her future that have been a long time coming. Specifically, she’s coming to grips with the place of her family and of the church in her life while considering whether she’s willing to open the door to love. (<– By the way, I vote yes.)

Nell is still a probationary officer with PsyLed, but she has come a long way. She knows her weapons and procedures, but more importantly, she understands people. One of her greatest gifts is in making connections; she understands what motivates people and why they behave the way they do–and beyond her ability to commune with the earth, it’s one of the biggest ways she helps her team. [Read more…]

Review: The Trouble With Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones

Reviewed by Jen

I am still positively reeling from the end of this book. Holy cow, folks, I tore through this book like the pages were on fire. Though I always generally enjoy this series, a few of the installments have been less thrilling for me than others (we won’t talk about that amnesia book.) But I think this is one of my absolute favorites in the series so far. Why? Because it was unpredictable. Because it moved the series arc. And because it was All About Reyes.

If you’re not up to date on the series, read no further, because spoilers from previous books are ahead. [Read more…]

Review: Bayou Born by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

It took me a little while to get into this book. It starts off a little slow and I wasn’t really sure where Hailey Edwards was going with it. And then I met Cole. Which, for me, is where the story really started to get interesting. Then it got more interesting. And more interesting. And by the end, I was ready to stalk the author on Twitter and beg for the next installment.

The story takes place in Canton, Mississippi. I have actually lived right outside of Canton and it was fun to get a few shout-outs to places that were a little familiar. However, it did not feel like the Canton I knew. For what it’s worth, the whole bayou southern feel was never one I got from living there. But this is fiction, so I just tucked that away and refused to let it interrupt my suspension of disbelief. [Read more…]

Review: The Hunt by Chloe Neill

Reviewed by Jen

This third installment of Chloe Neill’s Devil’s Isle series holds up consistently with the two books before it; in other words, if you enjoyed those, you will probably like this one too. It picks up right where The Sight left off. Claire is on the run after exposing her magic in the last book’s big battle, and she is scavenging for supplies to lend assistance to the paranormals who are still under lock and key. [Read more…]

Review: Haunted Blade by JC Daniels

Reviewed by Jen

I was such a fan of the early books in this series, but the last Kit Colbana story was a bit of a train wreck. While this installment was head and shoulders above that one, it didn’t quite rise to the level I know these books are capable of.

I kind of expected this book to really bring Kit’s family and history to the forefront, and while it did advance that part of the story, it was not in the overt way I expected. Someone has orchestrated a master plan in the city to turn the supernatural community into chaos. The vampire houses are going nuts; it’s affecting the shifters. And it’s all tied somehow to a mysterious fae dude named Malcolm, who Kit is sure has ties to her grandmother. [Read more…]