Review: Redemption by S. Usher Evans

Reviewed by Jen

This final book in the Demon Spring trilogy was not what I expected. That’s not necessarily a bad thing–it gave me all the resolution I needed and an HEA that I wanted–just not on the path I anticipated. One of the things that attracted me to the first book was the male main character, Jack, and a set-up that I haven’t seen before in Urban Fantasy. All the great world-building is still in place and we’re still working toward the same goal, only Jack isn’t the main character anymore… and I missed him.

To be fair, Jack’s best friend, Cam, and his love interest, Anya, have always featured prominently. I’ve said before how much I liked the strong platonic relationship between Jack and Cam and she is quite the firecracker. But she kind of takes Jack’s place here. This is definitely Cam and Anya’s book as they team up to rescue Jack from the clutches of Bael. We see him in some cut-scenes, but the idea of him played a bigger role than the character himself. Again, not bad, but different. [Read more…]

Review: Shadow’s Bane by Karen Chance

Reviewed by Jen

It’s been six years since the last book in this series was released. Six. Years. And yet, when I jumped back into the world of Dorina Basarab, I remembered right away why I always enjoyed it so much. That’s not to say I remembered everything that was going on. To say that would be a lie, so if you’re wondering if you should do a re-read of the series, I would not advise against it. And why not? Those books were awesome. And so is Dory herself.

As the story begins, Dory’s life is in a place she never expected it to be. She has been tapped to join the vampire Senate. She is in love with Louis Cesar. She has vampires she is responsible for, as well as trolls, her roommate’s baby and her own sort of adopted child, albeit one that is pretty far from human. The bottom line, she has family. People who love her and depend on her. She is not everyone’s enemy. [Read more…]

Review: Lover’s Knot by Karen Chance

Reviewed by Jen

I waited to read this novella until I had the new Dorina Basarab book at hand and I am glad that I did… because while this was a fun ride, it never would have satisfied my craving after so long away from the series.

This story is told in alternating timelines and points of view. Half of it is present day Dory, while the other is told by the Mircea of the past. I have to say, I did not like this storytelling device. Yes, I like Mircea quite a lot in this series, far more than I do in the Cassie Palmer books. But, every time we switched to his point of view, it took me away with what was happening with Dorina and that was the part of the book that I really enjoyed.

Our heroine is still trying to come to terms with the fact that the other half of her personality can communicate with her and the Micea flashbacks are somehow courtesy of her dhamphir nature. Honestly, I did not entirely understand how she had access to her father’s memories, but I just had to go with it. Anyway, Louis-Cesare is missing and Dory teams up with Marlowe and Radu to search him out overseas and bring him home. [Read more…]

Review: Gaslight by Dannika Dark

Reviewed by Elise

Gaslight is the 4th installment of Dannika Dark’s Crossbread series.

‘Vampire trafficking is a sinister business, and nobody knows that better than Keystone. After Raven discovers hidden clues in a cold case, the group sets a trap in hopes of catching an elusive criminal. But when the plan backfires, Raven’s world is thrown into chaos, and Christian’s loyalty is put to the ultimate test.

Buried secrets come to light, and the only thing keeping Raven grounded is her insatiable thirst for vengeance. The stakes are high as they travel to a place where the landscapes are as treacherous as the immortals who live there. This time, there’s no room for mistakes. Will Raven have the courage to tame the violence in her heart before it swallows her whole?’ [Read more…]

Joint Review: Rogue Souls by Chelsea Meuller

Reviewed by Sara and Jen

Sara: Rogue Souls is fantastic!

Jen: Agreed! No sophomore slump here. I really enjoyed this second installment of the Soul Charmer series. It picks up right on the heels of the first book, so if you have not read Borrowed Souls yet, you should start there. But if you read and liked that book as much as I did, you are in for a treat as Callie’s story continues.

Sara: Chelsea Mueller uses this second book to methodically reveal the many layers of this rich story. Callie and Derek are still working repossessing rented souls from people of Gem City until a teenager shows up dead and mutilated on the Soul Charmer’s doorstep. The murder unveils the criminal element of Gem City’s underground’s not so subtle unhappiness about the Soul Charmer’s monopoly on rented souls and reveals a surprising alliance between the Church and the Soul Charmer. [Read more…]

Review: Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews

Reviewed by Jen

It seems that every time I write a review for an Ilona Andrews book, I have the same problem. How do I describe it without sounding like a fangirl who knows only the language of squee? It’s not my fault, really. The books are just that good.

And this first installment in the Iron Covenant series has so much in common with the Kate Daniels series it spun off of. The world building is extraordinary. The dialogue is witty and full of banter, with just the right amount of bite. There is action. There is romance. And there are characters which are complex and layered. People who are not all good and not all bad, but 100% captivating. [Read more…]

Review: Stray Magic by Kelly Meding

Reviewed by Jen

I have been a fan of Kelly Meding since her Dreg City days. So when I saw she had a new urban fantasy series starting, I was super excited. And I am happy to report that Stray Magic didn’t disappoint.

The heroine, Shiloh, is a US marshal who works with a special paranormal unit. She is half human, half djinn, and as the story begins, she is just looking forward to a little R&R with her boyfriend, Vincent. Unfortunately, before they can get too cozy, she is called away on a case. A group of vampires has taken a trailer park hostage. The thing is, though, it is just an entry point into a larger mystery. Someone has been snatching vampires and werewolves… and master vampire Tennyson orchestrated the hostage situation it to get the help of Shiloh’s team in finding out who is behind the kidnappings and stopping them. This, as Shiloh’s own boss goes missing. She must work with Tennyson and the remainder of her team in a race to find the bad guy as it seems he is closing in on her at the same time. [Read more…]

Review: Bone Driven by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

One day I will learn how to savor a good book like a fine glass of wine. One day, but not today.

I inhaled this book with the fervor of one finding oxygen on a dying planet. It took me a few chapters to remember everything that was going on, but once I got my bearings, it was all systems go. And it was over far too quickly.

As the story begins, the clock is ticking on Luce’s days with the police force. At the end of the last book, she was forced into an agreement to go work for the demon task force of the National Security Branch of the FBI. She is a woman of her word, but it’s breaking her heart to walk away from her partner and the life she’s worked so hard to build. Before she turns in her badge, though, she’s got one more assignment–and it’s a tough one– a string of deadly arsons with no apparent common thread. She must work to figure out what’s behind them, all while juggling her sick father, her complicated relationship with her coterie, and her feelings for Cole. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the looming threat of an attack by her sisters War and Famine. [Read more…]

Review: Once Upon a Hallow’s Eve by Danielle Garrett

Reviewed by Debz

This is an urban fantasy romance with vampires (wooohooo!!!!!) The heroine here is Lacey Vaughn, basically the princess of American vampires and her love interest, Matthias Hartford.

Lady Lacey, daughter of the ‘Baron of the East’ has been summoned by her father back into the fold. After being on self imposed exile for 3 or so years, her father has commanded her to come back home and she has two options, come voluntarily or be brought back.

Upon her return, her father informs her and the court that she will be wedded on the annual Hallow’s Eve all. Not only will she be married, her husband will be chosen via a tournament of the blood. For context on the tournament of the blood, think of sweaty men, fighting each other in pairs, until one surrenders or dies until there is one victor. [Read more…]

Review: Revival by S Usher Evans

Reviewed by Jen

I’m still reeling a bit from the ending on this one, folks. I don’t know if it counts completely as a cliffhanger, but it definitely pulled the rug out from under me and left me anxious to see what happens next.

This story picks up right on the heels of Resurgence, and if you haven’t read that one, go back now and pick it up. You don’t want to jump in to the action in progress. As we begin, demon-hunter Jack has gone on the run with (sort-of) reformed demon Anya, on a mission to understand the curse that has forced her path to redemption. There is a bit of an info dump recapping the events of book one, but it doesn’t last too long and may be a good refresher if it’s been a while since you read that installment. [Read more…]