Review: Old Dog, New Tricks by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

I’ve been sitting here for a long time, trying to figure out exactly what it was about this book that left me a little lukewarm. It’s not the main character, because I really like Thierry. It’s definitely not her dad, because I find Mac fascinating and the relationship growing between him and his daughter is really something special. It’s not the world-building, because that was expertly done. And it wasn’t the ending, because it wraps up the series arc quite nicely.

So what is it? Two things, I think. One, the romance in this series has never quite connected for me. Yes, I get that Thierry has made her decision, and as of the end of book three, she’d committed entirely to Shaw. It’s not so much that I think Rook was a better choice for her, though a couple of books back, it seemed like he might have been. Maybe it’s because I never saw them fall in love. Maybe it’s because he hurt her so deeply. Maybe it’s the age difference. All of these or some combination, no matter how you slice it, I was just not invested, even if I could want Thierry to be with him just to get the HEA she earned. [Read more…]

Review: Breathe Again by Julie Trettel

Reviewed by Debz

I’m always down for a werewolf, shifter, mating book. It’s like a comforting blanket; I know what to expect and it’s very difficult to disappoint me. Thankfully, this did not do that… much.

This iteration is about shifters who have been half mated for more than a decade and now find their love again. In this world, shifters are allowed to marry who they want, or when fate intervenes, mate with their one true mate.

Elizabeth Collier and Cole Anderson know they are true mates and have known for the past decade or so. They are not together, however, because Elizabeth decided to be a martyr and marry another rich shifter in order to align her pack with them and bail her family out of starvation and poverty. She didn’t break if off gently, though, she laughed in Cole’s face and told him that they were never fated and she would not have married him anyway. [Read more…]

Review: Lie Down With Dogs by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

Dammit. Love triangles mess with my emotions. I’ve never been a fan of Shaw, but now I just don’t know how I feel. As the story begins, Thierry has been separated from her new husband, Rook, and she is back home, at least for the next year until she must return to Faerie to be crowned Queen. So she decides to go out on one last vacation with her best friend to Florida. Shaw tags along to work on a case nearby. And of course, she has her two fae guards along with her giant shape shifting cat, Diode.

It’s not all sun and surf. Thierry encounters one obstacle after another from some adversarial selkies to a mysterious phone stalker and an enigmatic fae who targeted her friend with a supernatural roofie. On one hand, Thierry just wants to relax with her best gal pal, but she can’t ignore the wrongs she encounters either. She is still a marshal at heart. [Read more…]

Review: Heir of the Dog by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

After a lukewarm introduction to this series, I wasn’t sure that it would be a good fit for me. But Hailey Edwards has come through again and I am happy to report this installment has made me a fan of the Black Dog books. It makes sense, in a way, when you consider that Dog With a Bone was an added prequel to what was supposed to have been a trilogy that started here. This book is much more engaging and made me care about the heroine in a way that I just didn’t before. And if you choose not to read Dog With a Bone, I’m pretty sure you would be totally fine jumping in here. [Read more…]

Review: Box of Frogs by Helen Harper

Reviewed by Elise

I stumbled across Helen Harper’s novels entirely by accident one day, and from the first page I was hooked. The stories are quirky, upbeat and riveting. She quickly became a ‘one click’ author for me and I get a little bit fan girly when I write about her books. When Box of Frogs came up on my TBR it was a no brainer.

In Box of Frogs we meet No Name. I say this because our quippy and random heroine wakes up on a golf course next to a headless corpse and with no memory of who she is. When she saves her own life using magic powers, she is convinced she is a super hero and wanders around downtown Manchester in a leotard and mask, looking out for people to save. Her actions bring her to seemingly innocuous places and troubles. As the story progresses, we find that the events of the novel are not as random as they appear and we slowly learn more about Madrone. [Read more…]

Review: Dog With a Bone by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

You may have noticed that I have been tearing through Hailey Edwards’ backlist lately. I love her Foundling series and Necromancer books too, but this first installment in the Black Dog series left me a bit lukewarm.

An author’s note at the end tipped me off that this is something of a prequel more so than really the first book in the series, and that gives me hope that the next installment will be more satisfying. This is a novella and it lacked the — I don’t know — oomph that I am used to from this author. In her other books, she made me care about the heroine. She made me have longing and lots of feels for her love interest. Less so here. It’s not a bad book at all. Don’t get me wrong. It’s just a bit superficial, both from a character perspective as well as a world building one… Or even much of a mystery. [Read more…]

Review: How to Dance an Undead Waltz by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

I’m not sure I have the words to tell you how much I adored this book. Hailey Edwards has skyrocketed to one of the top spots in my favorite author list and I’m now at the point where I will read anything she writes. Because it’s gold, guys. And as much as I love her Foundling books—and believe me, I do—this book has put the Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy series as my new favorite from her. One of my favorite urban fantasy series, period.

Spoilers from book three ahead. If you haven’t read the previous books already, stop and go read them now. They are best enjoyed in order and they are all fantastic.

So as this book begins, Grier is reeling from an awful betrayal from her boyfriend and her best friend. Boaz is engaged to another woman and Amelie knew he was doing it. These are garbage people and I want to set them on fire. But at the same time, I’m so very glad to have Boaz out of the picture as a love interest because it clears the way for the man Grier SHOULD be with… Linus. [Read more…]

Review: How to Break an Undead Heart by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

Oh Hailey Edwards, you crafty crafty lady. You make me feel things.

This book kept me so riveted, I read it in one sitting. The kind of book that made me stay up way past my bedtime on a work night so that as I write this the next morning, my eyes are bleary but my insides are still squeezing tight over the events that transpired.

Read any reviews about this series and you’ll find how often people say the heroine, Grier, can’t catch a break. And it’s so true. It is a crappy, crappy world that she lives in. No one can be trusted. And I mean no one. The climax in the last book should’ve tipped me off. The title of this book should’ve tipped me off. And yet when everything came crashing down, I felt sideswiped. And that’s good writing, people.

You know what else is good writing? Subtly laying the groundwork for all of this, so that when it came together, it made complete and total sense. The downside I had about a particular character or the interest I had an another. Expertly played. [Read more…]

Review: Catwoman – Soulstealer by Sarah J Maas

Reviewed by Elise

Catwoman: Soulstealer is book three in the DC Icons series. Let me begin by saying I picked up this book because of the author, not because of the content. I have never really been a fan of the DC Universe so I wasn’t expecting to love the book as much as I did. Sarah J Maas is a phenomenal story teller and her retelling of Catwoman was no different.

For fans of the author, the premise may sound a little familiar. Young girl forced into the life of an assassin, turns into blonde, beautiful and frightening intelligent woman who makes men in her life frustrated and in desperate need of antacids. Name of Selina. Does this sound at all familiar? The similarities end at this superficial level and the book is all the better for it.

In the past, the author has been accused of lacking diversity in her work. This book is more representative of the real world and in a positive manner. None of the minority characters are killed off nor are their lives or relationships treated as anything less than normal. There is no ‘big reveal’, the relationships are what they are. Just as it should be. [Read more…]

Review: Night and Silence by Seanan McGuire

Reviewed by Jen

I never felt completely ok with the resolution of Toby’s relationship with her daughter. A few books back, Gillian made the Changeling’s Choice and she opted to become fully human. Toby honored those wishes and stepped out of her child’s life. But now, Gillie has been kidnapped again, and human or not, she will never be someone who Toby could turn her back on. So our heroine must put past hurts aside to help her ex-fiance and his current wife find the girl they’d raised as their own.

Right away, we know this kidnapping has a connection to the Fae. There are hex bags in Gillie’s room and someone is leaving clues that count on Toby’s special skills to track her through false trails and traps. The story follows her efforts to figure out who snatched her daughter and bring the girl home, all while mending the relationship with Tybalt so badly damaged by his kidnapping in the last book. [Read more…]