Joint Review: Seasons of Sorcery

Reviewed by Jen & Sara

Jen: I read all the shorts in this anthology, as I am familiar with all of the authors. (Sara will jump in for Grace Draven’s story.

Winter’s Web by Jennifer Estep – This is classic Elemental Assassin and in just small novella, fans of the series will find just about everything they would get in a full length book, minus the progression of the larger story arc. Gin and her buddies are attending a Renaissance fair and volunteering to help out the guy that runs the thing (and also works for Owen.) While there, Gin realizes something is amiss and ends up facing a plot targeting one of our main characters.

Delicious food references? Check. On page shout out to the title? Check. Sophia’s Goth fashion? Check. Finnegan rougishness? Check. Owen’s violet eyes and Gin’s grey ones? Double check. We even get the obligatory line on her birth control. Speaking of which, I did feel like the sex scene at the end was out of place. I love a good on-page tumble as much as the next girl, but this one didn’t advance the story. And for what it’s worth, it felt like the longest/most in detailed love scene I’ve read from these characters. (But hey, depending on your tastes, that could be a positive or a negative.)

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Joint Review: Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet

Reviewed by Jen & Sara

Jen: As much as I enjoyed the Kingmaker series from Amanda Bouchet, I think I might like this foray into space opera even more. Here, Bouchet has created another great heroine, who is easy to root for, along with a conflicted, flawed, yet very sexy hero. Together, they make for an awesome, angsty romance, set amid a cool futuristic series arc.

You with me so far?

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Review: Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Reviewed by Jen

I have mixed feelings about (what I assume is) this final installment of The Kingmaker Chronicles. I absolutely loved the first book, A Promise a Fire. Book two was strong as well. My issue here is that I felt like this book was a little all over the place and the ending was a bit anti-climactic.

This story picks up right on the heels of Breath of Fire. Cat and Griffin are king and queen of Thalyria and expecting a baby. Cat now has her younger sister with her and a powerful new guard in the form of a former Thalryian Princess. All that is left to do is to conquer her evil mother.

But things take a detour right off the bat. First of all, I have to admit being a little overwhelmed by all of the characters. I honestly couldn’t remember who all of these people were and it hasn’t even been that long since I read the last book. A little reminding would’ve gone a long way to help me marshall my thoughts. Then there’s the fact that a big betrayal happens at the beginning. It felt more like a plot device to reveal the identities of two undercover Gods than to move forward any other arc. In fact, what happens with the offending character seems to just fall off into nowhere. I kept expecting it to come full circle, but it never did. [Read more…]

Review: Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Reviewed by Jen

A Promise of Fire was one of my favorite books of last year. I have been anxiously awaiting this sequel, and I’m happy to report that it absolutely lived up to my expectations. It is not exactly like its predecessor. The core of what makes it so good is still there. The heroine is still feisty and loyal, powerful yet vulnerable. The hero is fierce and sexy and completely in love with her. The world building is fascinating and the secondary characters are rich and interesting.

So what’s different? Sex. Lots and lots of sex. In fact, the first 20% or so felt like it was entirely about the hero and heroine getting it on. That’s not the worst thing in the world. The scenes were hot and satisfying. But it was definitely a departure. And I’m not sure everyone will love the change in equal measure. [Read more…]

Jen’s Favorites of 2016

I haven’t read quite as many books this year as I did in years past. Part of the reason is the huge life changes that came with a new job and a major move for my family. The other came with my sudden burning desire to write a book of my own.

So my reading list was shorter, but I still found some great titles in 2016! [Read more…]

Review: A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

promise of fireReviewed by Jen

Just when I start to worry that there is nothing new and fresh on the market to wow me, along comes this really awesome fantasy romance to put my fears to rest. This book engaged me from the very beginning. It’s interesting. The world building is a cool blend of Greek mythology, magic, and elements unique to the story. The main characters are solid, and best of all, I cared about them. It’s got that indefinable spark that made me connect and invest in what was happening.  Still not sold? Let me back up. [Read more…]