Review: White Hot by Ilona Andrews

Reviewed by Jen

Sometimes I wonder if it would be possible for me to ever not love an Ilona Andrews book. Because every time I pick one up, it satisfies me like nothing else can. Kate Daniels is hands down my favorite heroine, but I’ve got to tell you, Nevada Baylor is right on her heels. Like Kate, she’s strong, funny, loyal, and powerful, with an uber-strong and sexy hero to help heat up the page. But Nevada is definitely her own character and even though this book inspires Kate-level love, it does it on its own merits. [Read more…]

Review: Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller

Reviewed by Jen

Chelsea Mueller takes a common urban fantasy trope and gives it a fresh spin with her debut novel. It’s the story of an average girl who gets sucked into the world of magic only to find there is something special about her that she never knew existed. But while that may sound familiar, the particulars are cool, the worldbuilding is unique, and the romance hit all the right notes, giving me a book I really enjoyed. [Read more…]

Review: Snared by Jennifer Estep

Reviewed by Jen

Another great installment in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. I’ve got to say, I’m digging the new series arc.

Assassin Gin Blanco has come a long way over the past 16 books. She’s no longer just a killer for hire. She’s become the head of Ashland’s Underworld. Or at least the figurehead. We now know there’s a super-secret group known only as The Circle and they’re pulling all the strings, including the one that called for the deaths of Gin’s mother and sister many years ago. Let’s just say Gin is very motivated to bring them down. [Read more…]

Review: The Chosen by JR Ward

Reviewed by Jen

I know a lot of BDB fans were not excited for this book. JR Ward alienated so many people (myself included) with the ending of The Shadows, and frankly, a lot of people hate Layla. I hated Layla for a long time, so I get that. But I actually was looking forward to this book because I love a tortured hero and I’m all about forbidden romance. I’ve kinda been burning for this pairing for years.

There were things I liked in this story, but a great deal that I didn’t. I’m going to talk about the plot some, so if you haven’t read the book and you want to stay entirely spoiler free, consider yourself warned. My main problem with this book was that Ward set up the conflict with the utter annihilation of Qhuinn’s character. I’m not saying “Qhuinn makes bad choices.” I’m saying, I hated Qhuinn. I wanted to set Qhuinn on fire. Qhuinn was unrecognizable from the character we’ve known in all the books leading up to this one. That is not ok. He’s not just an ass. He is cruel, violent, and vindictive. He is beyond horrible to Layla, and frankly, speaks to Blay in a way that is completely at odds with the devoted mate he has always been up until now. Ward turned this character into something else to force the story where she wanted it to go and I am not down with that. [Read more…]

Review: Heart of Darkness by Lauren Dane

Reviewed by Jen

I had high expectations going into this book –A– because I have heard great things about Lauren Dane and –B– some of my other bookish friends gave it generally positive reviews. While I didn’t actively dislike it, unfortunately, this wasn’t a winner for me. The worldbuilding is solid and pretty interesting, but I failed to connect with the characters and I didn’t feel invested in their romance.

Meriel is a powerful witch and the heir apparent to her family’s clan. The only thing that is holding her back from reaching her potential is the fact that she has not found her bondmate and ascended with him. Finding her magical other-half happens pretty quickly, though, when she goes to investigate a loner witch who is using her family’s magical font without permission. [Read more…]

Review: Hunting Season by Annie Bellet

Reviewed by Joanna

Jade and Alek are just getting down to business after Jade rids her comic book store of a plague of cockroaches sent by the witches, when there comes a knock at the door. Seriously Jade, go stay somewhere else every now and again. Get some down time and snuggle with your big hunk of tiger man. Lord knows I’d read a novella on that alone. Anyhow, I digress. The visitor needs help with a badly injured unicorn, and our favourite sorceress can’t say no.

This is the fourth in the UF series I’ve been enjoying and Jade is still learning the extent of her powers, becoming more formidable by the book. I’m invested in Jade. I like her and I want her to succeed in securing the safe and quiet life she badly wants. And the nerdy references have me cheering. I love this. Firefly! Dragonball! [Read more…]

Review: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Reviewed by Jen

This was easily the best book I have read in ages. For a series that has been running as long as the Mercy Thompson one has, it has to be hard to maintain the quality that these books have, but Patricia Briggs somehow manages to do it and do it spectacularly.

Briggs does a few things different with this book. One, is that it is told in split point of view alternating between Mercy and Adam. Not only that, but the timeline between their respective chapters was a little bit off. From another author, this could be a complete train wreck. But it totally worked here. [Read more…]

Review: Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Reviewed by Jen

It’s hard to say goodbye to a series I’ve enjoyed as much as this one. So reading this last installment of Anne Bishop’s The Others series was bittersweet. It definitely feels like the end, but the world is big enough and in enough turmoil that Bishop will easily be able to pick up with her planned a spinoff series in the future. [Read more…]

Review: Pack of Lies by Annie Bellet

Reviewed by Joanna

Onto book three and I’m happy again. As if by magic, Annie Bellet solved my issues with the direction of this series, in refocusing locally with the town and people I’d got to like in book one, and also upping the romantic stakes in this urban fantasy series. Sorceress Jade and shifter Justice boyfriend Alek actually talk about their relationship. It’s a Big Deal.

We open the story to an unhappy Jade. The events of book two, involving her estranged family in the shifter cult, upset her badly, and she and Alek split. They’ve not had a break-up conversation, but have neither seen nor called one another in a month. Jade is blue and mopey, but makes no effort to resolve the issue as she’s emotionally stunted, choosing instead to continue to improve her magic abilities (in case her evil ex ever shows up) and play role-playing games with her friends (cos she’s chill like that). [Read more…]

Review: The Turn by Kim Harrison

Reviewed by Jen

When you are away from a beloved series for a while, it’s easy to forget just how much you loved it. And boy, do I love The Hollows. I was so sad to see it end, but Kim Harrison did such an amazing and satisfying job it was hard to argue with the results. She ended it so well, in fact, that I questioned whether I wanted to give this book a try. What if it didn’t measure up? How could it measure up? I am so very happy to report that it absolutely measures up. And it has left me hungry to return to this world again and again. [Read more…]