Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pirate's Alley Review & Excerpt + #Giveaway

Pirate's Alley
Sentinels of New Orleans
Book #4
Suzanne Johnson

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: April 21, 2015

ISBN: 978-0765376978

Pages: 352
Word Count: 96,000

Goodreads Rating: 4.18
My Rating: 5.0

Book Description:

From award-winning author Suzanne Johnson comes the fourth book in the smart and sexy Sentinels of New Orleans series.

Wizard sentinel DJ Jaco thought she had gotten used to the chaos of her life in post-Katrina New Orleans, but a new threat is looming, one that will test every relationship she holds dear.

Caught in the middle of a rising struggle between the major powers in the supernatural world—the Wizards, Elves, Vampires and the Fae—DJ finds her loyalties torn and her mettle tested in matters both professional and personal. Her relationship with enforcer Alex Warin is shaky, her non-husband Quince Randolph is growing more powerful, and her best friend Eugenie has a bombshell that could blow everything to Elfheim and back.

And that's before the French pirate Jean Lafitte, newly revived from his latest "death," returns to New Orleans with vengeance on his mind. DJ's assignment? Keep the sexy leader of the historical undead out of trouble. Good luck with that.

Duty clashes with love, loyalty with deception, and friendship with responsibility as DJ navigates passion and politics in the murky waters of a New Orleans caught in the grips of a brutal winter that might have nothing to do with Mother Nature.

War could be brewing, and DJ will be forced to take a stand. But choosing sides won't be that easy.

My Take On The Book:

Not to long ago I he privilege of being a part of a tour that included the first 3 books of this series and it only took me reading 2 chapters to know I was in love with the series. The characters never cease to make me happy and Ms. Johnson always amazes me with her ability to create a story you can get lost in. So suffice to say, when I got the email from Bewitching Book Tours about this tour I literally jumped at the opportunity.

The story pick up not long after the previous installment and thrusts you almost immediately into the fray. Its a very high action book with little to no down time but that doesn't really take away from the story. If anything it helps fuel the 'desperation' DJ and her friends are feeling.

The Great (Pros):

  • Eugenie. I swear, I must have a woman crush on Eugine cause I can't get enough of her character in this series. She is hands down the best supporting character. Her storyline was also pretty awesome and made for a better all around book. Its nice to see so genuine human interaction and reaction.
  • Alex. I've loved this man and his character since book 1 so its no surprise that he continues to make me smile when he's on the page. He's not in this book as much as I would like and he does have a couple of moments where you wanna smack him upside the head but he's still utterly Alex.
  • Rene & Jean. The merman Rene along with his historical undead friend Jean always make me giggle. Their antics are so childish at times you forget how formidable they really are.
  • DJ. I will probably always love DJ. She's a strong character with some kick ass powers and a bad ass set of friends. She gets her butt handed to her, groans a bit but jumps right back up and brings down the bad guy.
  • Storyline. This one is a double edged sword. Because I enjoyed the political route this story took and the various veins of this storyline but there was something missing that I look forward to in this series.
  • Action. I loved how this book jumped right into the action. It was almost instantaneous.

The Not So Great (Cons):

  • Not enough romance. While its completely understandable given the situations... I felt cheated. I waited forever for those two to get together and there just wasn't enough love.
  • No real antagonist. Sure there is a ad guy so to speak but there is no mystery or crazy schemes in this one. Its very cut and dry. You basically know who the baddies are and then they're gone. It was more 'political' in a sense cause your focusing on the ins and outs of the preternatural community. And while it wasn't bad, it was my one biggest complaint cause it was missing the mystery you expect in every book. Its understandable tho, as its the only logical step for the story to take after the events that transpired in the last book so it didn't affect the rating.

5 Quills

It was a great book! The kinda book you don't put down that keeps you awake all night and make you twitchy and start jonesing for the next in the series to quell your thirst.


DJ, are you awake?

Freaking elf. “Go home, Rand.”

I am home. Where are you?

I frowned and burrowed my face into the soft down pillow. Which wasn’t my pillow. 

Holy crap. What had happened?

I sat up and took in several observations at once, none of which made sense and all of which sent my heart rate jack-rabbiting hard enough to send my blood pressure into the ozone.

First, I was lying beneath a heavy bedspread woven in a rich blue-and-cream print. The bed was an elaborate confection made to look like an antique half-tester, and a brass chandelier hung overhead. 

I recognized the Hotel Monteleone. I recognized Jean Lafitte’s bedroom in the posh Eudora Welty Suite in the Monteleone. I didn’t have a clue as to how I got here.

Second, I wore only underwear. My clothes were thrown across a chair in the corner. I had no recollection of removing them.

Third, the pillow next to mine still held the clear indentation of a head, and there was water running behind the closed bathroom door.

What in God’s name had I done?

Rand! Where are you? So help me, if that elf was behind this, I’d splay him open like a catfish and watch his guts fall on the floor. Then I’d batter and deep-fry him.

God, Dru. Stop shrieking like an elven shrew. I think you got too cold and went into a survival state.

Survival state? Then I remembered, and shame joined panic. I had gone into hibernation like a bear, right out on Royal Street in front of God and everyone. Quince Randolph, you sonofabitch! Why didn’t you warn me that would happen? 

Stop yelling. How did I know you’d be stupid enough to go traipsing through the snow to the point of unconsciousness? I can tell you’re in the Quarter, but where are you?

Catch you later.

I slammed shut every mental door I could imagine and then troweled imaginary caulk in any imaginary cracks around said doors. I was vaguely aware that, off in the distance of my mental stronghold, Rand was yelling at me. 

Had Jean hauled me back to the hotel like a sack of pommes de terres? How had he explained a hibernating blonde to the hotel management? At least my dark blue underwear matched. Had he taken advantage of me? No, it wasn’t his style. Which meant I’d consented.

Alex was going to kill me if I didn’t kill myself first. I wasn’t sure hibernation-brain was an adequate defense. 

The bathroom doorknob rattled and I dove under the covers, even though I realized it was like closing the barn door after the half-naked cows had escaped. 

From my hiding spot, I heard the door open and footsteps cross from tile to carpet before stopping with a rustle of fabric. “Hey, babe. You finally back from the dead? Whatcha doin’ under there?”

Rene?” I poked my head out and frowned at my buddy the merman, fully dressed in jeans and a Saints sweatshirt. His feet were bare, and he walked around the bed and climbed in as if either one of us belonged here, much less at the same time.

What are you doing here? What am I doing here? Who undressed me? Where’s Jean?” And, as an afterthought, “Why are we in bed?”

Now that I realize I hadn’t acted like my licentious great-aunt Dru and slept with the pirate, I transferred my anger to the proper place and it wasn’t to myself. I’d kill that sneaky Frenchman if he weren’t immortal. 

Rene was not immortal, however, and he was within reach. “You better start talking, fish boy.”

Aiyeeee.” Rene cackled like the Cajun he was, and fluffed the pillow behind his head. “I told Jean you’d be spittin’ mad. Nothing happened, babe. Your clothes were wet and I was just trying to keep you warm. I’m a shifter, you know. We run hot.”

Oh, do you now.” 

That made him laugh harder. 

I threw off the covers and stomped over to my clothes. He’d seen whatever I had and I knew he didn’t want it, so there was no point in hiding. I picked up three soggy layers of T-shirts and sweaters, and cords so wet they weighed about ten pounds.

My breath hitched. The staff; I’d lost the staff. I whirled to Rene, who sat propped against the lush draped fabric that covered the headboard, watching me with a grin. “Where’s my bag?”

In the living room. Everything’s there, babe, even your magic stick. Jean, he took care of you.” 

Yeah, I just bet he did. It was hard to argue effectively in underwear I’d intended only Alex Warin to see, so I went into the living room, dug my room key out of my messenger bag, and stuck my head out the door, looking up and down the hallway. 

I’ll be back. Don’t go anywhere,” I yelled at Rene, and made a run for it, jamming the keycard into my door lock and slipping inside before I was spotted. If hotel cameras caught my mad dash on security footage, well, I’m sure they’d seen stranger things. This was New Orleans, after all.

Available at Amazon BN Book Depository

About The Author 

Suzanne Johnson writes urban fantasy and paranormal fiction from Auburn, Alabama, on top of a career in educational publishing that has thus far spanned five states and six universities—including both Alabama and Auburn, which makes her bilingual. She grew up in Winfield, Alabama, but was also a longtime resident of New Orleans, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football, cheap Mardi Gras trinkets, and fried gator on a stick.

Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she also is the author of the best-selling Penton Legacy paranormal romance series and The Collectors romantic thriller series. Elysian Fields, book three in the Sentinels of New Orleans series, won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence while her Sandlin-penned novel, Allegiance, is nominated for a 2015 Reviewer’s Choice Award from RT Book Reviews magazine.

Contact The Author:
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