Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Belle Chasse (Sentinels of New Orleans #5) Review + #Giveaway

Belle Chasse
Sentinels of New Orleans Series
Book #5
Suzanne Johnson

Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Release Date: November 8, 2916
Publisher: TOR Books

ISBN: 978-0765376992

Pages: 336
Word Count: 93,000

Goodreads Rating: 4.19
My Rating: 5.0

Book Description:

Suzanne Johnson's "strong and intriguing" (Publishers Weekly) urban fantasy series continues with Belle Chasse. The Sentinels of New Orleans series has earned starred reviews from Library Journal ("a resourceful heroine who relies on her magical ingenuity") and PW ("vivid...a lively tale jam-packed with action, magic, and intriguing plot twists").

With the wizard-elven treaty on the verge of collapse, the preternatural world stands on the brink of war. Unless former wizard sentinel DJ Jaco manages to keep the elven leader, Quince Randolph, focused on peace and not personal matters.
With no one on the throne, Faerie is in chaos, with rival princes battling for power. The still-undead pirate, Jean Lafitte, is building his own army of misfits, and DJ stripped of her job and hiding in the Beyond to avoid the death sentence handed down by the wizard Council of Elders can’t get anywhere near her beloved New Orleans or her significant something-or-other, Alex.

It's time to choose sides. Friends will become enemies, enemies will become allies, and not everyone will survive. DJ and her friends will learn a hard lesson: sometimes, even the ultimate sacrifice isn’t enough.
My Take on the Book:

I don’t know how it’s possible but this book was better than the last 4. Every time I read Ms. Johnson’s work I get so drawn into the world she creates. The characters, the story arc’s, the settings are all superb.

Out of all the books, I feel like this one had the strongest character development. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop and I can’t wait till the next installment. Every day since book 4 was reviewed here, I would sift through my emails for word on a review opportunity for this book so I responded immediately when this book came up. I knew I was gonna get sucked in, but I don’t think I expected how much I would love this book. By now, you would think I’d be used to the colorful and tangible word the author creates but I’m always so shocked.

 5 Quills

D.J. is by far one of the best and most believable female leads in an Urban Fantasy and only second to my first love Mercy Thompson from a series by Patricia Briggs. Her adventures are so enthralling and the characters around her are super lovable. There are some new characters introduced in this book and you get more insight on some characters that we as the readers know little about. 

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About The Author

Suzanne Johnson is the author of the award-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series but perhaps is best known for her romantic suspense and paranormal romance books written as Susannah Sandlin, including the Penton Vampire Legacy paranormal romance series, the Wilds of the Bayou suspense series, and The Collectors romantic thriller series. Her awards include two Holt Medallions in 2013 and 2015, a 2015 Booksellers Best Award in romantic suspense, and nominations in 2014 and 2015 for the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award. A displaced New Orleanian, she currently lives in Auburn, Alabama. Suzanne loves SEC football, fried gator on a stick, all things Cajun, and redneck reality TV.

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Monday, October 31, 2016

Soul Finder (Immortal Gene Trilogy #2) Book Review + #Giveaway

Soul Finder 
The Immortal Gene Trilogy
Book #2
Jacinta Maree

Release Date: September 16t, 2016
Genre: New Adult Supernatural Dystopian
Publisher: Inked Rabbit Publishing

ISBN: 978-1532869303

Goodreads Rating: 4.62
My Rating: 5.0

Book Description:

Since being discovered as Soulless, Nadia has become a target for both terrorist groups and government corporations. Now, her only hope for survival rests in the hands of the man sent out to kill her: Diesel, the Mad Dog terrorist.

Diesel is determined to free himself of the never ending curse of reincarnation and the haunting memories that plague his mind. But when his search leads him to Nadia, a greater desire stills him from taking her life.

Unable to see into Diesel’s cracking mind, Nadia instead puts her faith into his strength, fueled by eleven generations of unmatched rage and insanity. Their tight-rope relationship balances the two between life and death, love and rage, trust and betrayal.

Tension pulls at the hems of their dangerous companionship, and as time runs out all madmen must eventually make their choice.

Book two of the thrilling Immortal Gene series dives deeper into the danger of trusting your heart over your head.

Sequel to:

My Take on the Book:

With my going back to university... I havent reviewed many books for you all. It's not that I  haven't wanted to but, I just haven't had the time. So, I apologize and promise to try for more lol. with that said....

wow! i loved book 1 but I was not prepared for the epic-ness that is book 2. 

Once again you are taken on a thrilling adventure  with Nadia. You get to watch her character develop more and see her relationships blossom into more. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from this book with its enrapturing storyline and realistic characters and situations.

Whereas the first book was a smidge on the dark side this one is definitely a bit more on the mature side. It touches on topics that are important like gender fluidity. It was refreshing to see these scenes unfold since some of these topics are hard to come by in books of this genre.

Also, when I say mature, I mean mature. No there isn’t lewd verbiage or an overly descriptive discomfort that some of these books will make you feel but it’s there and I like how important and yet normal these things were.

I don’t wanna give anything too important away so I’ll stop there are just say how great this book was.

5 Quills

Just like book 1, prepare yourself for a pretty epic story and a massively aggravating cliff hanger... this time no pun, I promise. Soul Finder is a pretty go go go kind of book. Once the story picks up, which is admittedly fast, you don’t get the lull you got in book 1. The characters have been introduced and the new ones, while important don’t get the same in depth character pros and development you see in Soulless. That is not to say that each character wasn’t fleshed out properly; they felt just as tangible as Diesel and Nadia. It was refreshing and I felt like it helped move the story along. Kudos on another great installment Ms. Maree, I look forward to book 3 and seeing where these unforgettable characters go!

Purchase Links:

About The Author 

Born in Melbourne Australia, Jacinta Maree considers herself a chocoholic with an obsession with dragons, video gaming and Japan. She writes a variety of genres including YA paranormal, steampunk, horror, new adult, dystopian and fantasy. Winner of 2014 Horror of the year and bestselling author, Jacinta writes to bring enjoyment to others while fulfilling her own need to explore the weird and the impossible.

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Monday, September 5, 2016

Smoke and Mirrors Review + #Excerpt

Smoke and Mirrors
Blackhollow Academy Series
Book #1
Jess Haines

Genre: Young Adult/New Adult Urban Fantasy
Release Date: May 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0988972803

Pages: 290
Goodreads Rating: 4.00
My Rating: 4.5

Book Description:

A girl who uses her illusions to fool the world into thinking she's just like all the other magi.

A dragon who sees through her lies.

Together they just might survive a world that wants to control or destroy them both.

Kimberly may wield ultimate cosmic power, but even a mage has to pay the rent. No one will hire her for her magic talents until she's got the credentials, so she’s stuck in a crappy rent controlled apartment with her mother, yearning for treats she can't afford at her part time job in a cafĂ©, counting down the days until she graduates the secret Blackhollow Academy school for magi. Only then will she have the certificate she needs to land her dream job in a coven.

The problem? She needs a familiar to graduate.

As an illusionist, she doesn't have the ability to summon or create a familiar of her own. Her only option is to convince a supernatural creature to let her bind it instead. Since having a powerful Other at her beck and call would guarantee her a place in a coven after she graduates—and legendary treasure hoards are an added bonus—she thinks binding a dragon as her familiar will solve all her problems...

Because sometimes a girl needs a dragon, not a knight....

My Take on the Book:

Wow! I can’t get over how much I actually enjoyed this book. I’m normally a fan of all things Urban Fantasy and very big on fiction that has a supernatural quality to it so it wasn’t surprising when I jumped at the opportunity to review this title. When I found out that it had magic and dragons I was even more intrigued. It also didn’t hurt that I heard many a great thing about the author’s writing style!

It wasn’t the setting that surprised me, but the characters. I genuinely liked them, even in moments of what I felt were utter stupidity on their respective parts.

Kimberly has pride. Usually those characters tend to irk me, but she is also kind hearted and all around nice so she’s balanced out. Cormac is a bit of a mystery; I wasn’t sure how I was meant to feel about him but I found myself kinda happy that his character existed.

I felt like the story progressed nicely and the action was spot on BUT I also felt like the progression of the relationship between our leads was a bit rushed. There was plenty of chemistry and you could tell it was heading that way but it was a little too instantaneous for my taste.

Honestly… that was my only complaint. I love reading books like this that keep me smiling and ignoring my real world responsibilities lol. This was a definite strong start to what I can only suspect will be another strong series.

4.5 Quills

I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment and to bide my time, grabbing the H&W Investigations Series. The writing style was really smooth and the characters developed. It’s descriptive but not jargony with can be a big problem for books like this.

I can’t really think of anything to compare it to off the top of my head but I do think it’s definitely a book worth your time. If you have read the H&W series, I have been told that this is set in the same world but luckily for me, easily read as a standalone with a few nods to the series in question. Kudos Ms. Haines, kudos… this a great book!

EXCERPT: Smoke and Mirrors
Blackhollow Academy Book 1
Jess Haines  

Viper made a soft hissing sound of irritation between his teeth, pulling back from her. “Cormac has no vision. I know what I want and I’m prepared to offer anything to get it. You have but to ask.”

Well. There was one thing. Her cheeks flared crimson and she squirmed a bit before stuttering out another question, swallowing back her embarrassment.

“You keep a hoard like a dragon, right? I don’t suppose you would consider loaning me a little? I swear I’d pay it back.”

His head tipped to one side, and he looked her up and down anew. She suspected he was just noticing her frayed cuffs and cheap shoes. He’d been so intent on getting whatever it was he wanted out of her that he hadn’t paid attention to the package it came in until now. When she caught the very slight curl of his lip, there and gone in a flash, embarrassed heat filled her cheeks.

Feeling both dirty and humiliated, she ducked her head. “Never mind. I shouldn’t have asked. I’m sorry, I don’t think I can do this.”

“Come now, I’m sure it’s not that hard. All it takes is a yes.”

“No,” she said, this time with a bit more vehemence. Cormac was right. There was something off about Viper, and never mind what a perfect ass she’d just made of herself. Worst of all, that flash of disgust showed he obviously had no respect for her. At least Cormac never made her feel tolerated. “Thank you for the offer, but I’ll find some other way of getting what I need.”

He slowly rose to stand, heaving a sigh as he settled back on his heels.

“That’s unfortunate. This would have been much easier if you had agreed.”

Kimberly would have asked what he meant by that, but the look in his eyes froze her in place.

His eyes burned a molten gold as he spread his arms, which were expanding and shifting at an alarming rate. Faster than she might have thought possible, he was growing, his clothing melting and skin disappearing under a layer of metallic scales. Nearby, people were noticing, shouting and screaming in fear as they stampeded in every direction to escape the shapechanging Other in their midst.

When he ceased growing, from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail, he was over thirty feet long, with a wingspan half again that size.

Kimberly sat immobile, unable to so much as squeak in terror as the beast before her lurched back to arch its neck and spread its wings, barbed tail lashing as it growled at her. One thick, talon-tipped paw lashed out, flattening her on the grass and squeezing the air out of her lungs. It gave an awkward, one-legged hop forward to catch its balance before clenching its claws to dig deep furrows in the grass and close around her waist and legs, pinning her.

Then those wide, ribbed wings began to flap, the sun playing off the tones of brass and copper and gold. The ground fell away, people scattering before the airborne monster.

And Kimberly could do nothing but pray, staring up at this great beast that had her in its claws.

She’d gotten what she’d asked for. Now she would have to pay the price.

About The Author

I'm a displaced New Yorker with a penchant for the silly, the obscure, and the fantastical. These days, you can find me in the Tampa area. I'm currently working on the H&W Investigations urban fantasy series and the Blackhollow Academy young adult/new adult contemporary fantasy series. Find out more about my books, drop me a line, or join my mailing list!

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