Born of Vengeance by Sherrilyn Kenyon – a Review

Born of Vengeance by Sherrilyn Kenyon – a Review

 

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Description:
A fate worse than death . . .

Bastien Cabarro survived the brutal slaughter of his entire family only to have his wife pin their murders on him. Made Ravin by The League, he is now a target for their assassins-in-training to hunt and kill. The average life expectancy for such beings is six weeks. But defying the odds is what this Gyron Force officer does best, and Bastien won’t rest until he lays his betrayers in their graves.

Ten years later, he has one chance to balance the scales of justice, provided he relies on his former wingman— the very sister of the woman who testified against him.

Major Ember Wyldestarrin joined the outlaw Tavali the day Kirovar fell into the hands of a tyrant, and she and her sister-team were left on an outpost to die under the barrage of enemy fire. The last thing she wants is to be involved in politics again. But the one thing she wants more than anything is revenge on the tyrant who murdered her parents and forced her and her sisters into exile. Carrying a secret she knows Bastien will annihilate her over, she must find some way to trust her former wingman before he catches on and kills her. Even so, treachery doesn’t come easy to a woman who took a loyalty oath to protect her homeworld and comrades-in-arms, especially when Bastien is much more to her than just a former wingman.

Yet as she tries to do right for her family, she learns that Bastien doesn’t just hold the key to the fate of Kirovar, he is vital to The Sentella-League war, and to The Tavali. If she doesn’t ensure he survives this mission, three nations fall, and time for all of them is quickly running out.

 

 

Review;

I’m going to start off by saying that Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of my all time favourite authors and I have enjoyed all her stories to date. However, I seem to have mixed feelings over Born of Vengeance.  After reading Born of Legend I was hyped and ready for the next installment as I become quite intrigued by Bastien, and the position we found him in, in previous books.  Now after reading Bastien’s story I can’t help but feel a little cheated.  I was expecting more present day situation/events surrounding Bastien and Ember, but I felt like we got more back tracking and repetitive scenes/history from Hauk and Jullien(Dagger)’s books.  When we do finally get up to speed and join the present everything happens so fast that before I knew it I had the book read.  I was like, ‘that’s it, it can’t be, I want more, there needs to be more’.  Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy the book, just wish there was more present day events.

Bastien is everything I hoped he would be and then some.  He’s a warrior who’s been to hell and back but somehow managed to hold onto his soul and humanity thanks to the love he still holds for Ember.  It’s that love that sustains him through his years as a Ravin, a criminal placed on the run by the League to be hunted and killed.  Bastien winds up seeking refuge on the planet Oksana where it plays havoc with communication and transmission devices.  He’s planned to hide out and wait out his Ravin sentence so that he can return to his planet Kirovar and seek revenge on Uncle Barnie as he likes to call him, and ex-wife Alura(Ember’s sister) over everything that’s happened to him.  Mind you, through all the back tracking/history of Bastien’s time on Oksana we do learn more about him; how he becomes friendly with the Sentella and is offered a position with them should he ever want one, we see more of his relationship with Jullien and his family, as well as how he becomes friends with Thraix and Trejan.  In hindsight I guess you can say the back tracking wasn’t all that bad, and did serve a purpose for when we reach present day.

Once we do reach present day and Bastien is gunning for revenge, events from here on in do move fast.  Bastien and Ember are reunited and have a common goal, Bastien learns he has a son with Ember, Florian, whom he loves instantly upon meeting the boy.  Absolutely loved this scene, it was perfectly written and the interaction between Bastien and his son is priceless.  In this scene we see the true Bastien come to the forefront, the man with a heart of gold, who will die before he sees any harm done to those he loves and holds dear. He may be a warrior honed in the fires of hell, but underneath it all, he’s just a cuddly teddy bear.  We also see this side of Bastien whenever he’s with Ember.  He loves her so deeply that there is no Bastien without Ember.  His love for her, and Ember’s love for Bastien flows off the pages and makes you root for them to finally get their HEA.  Bastien and Ember are solid characters who match each other in everyway which makes them perfect for one another.  Even her sisters adore him and welcome him back with open arms, which was another cute scene that makes you want Bastien to succeed all the more.  Another fun scene is when Bastien meets Trajen once he’s finally rid of his Ravin tracking device. Upon introduction via  Jullien he uses Bastien’s royal title, to which Bastien quickly lets him know ‘it’s just Bastien, or Bas, asshole if you must’.  Trajen’s response is priceless; “Aw god, there are two of you in this universe.” As he shakes his head and walks away muttering under his breath.  I was LOL, at poor Trajen at this point. 

Of course it wouldn’t be a Kenyon book without her rag tag band of unique characters.  It was nice to see many of our old and current favourites return, along with some newbies to help Bastien, Ember and her sisters out.  The interactions between these characters is ROTFL’ing moments where you can’t help but think ‘my goodness how have they survived this long’.  Their antics and actions are off the wall and completely insane at the best of times.  It’s no wonder they all get along and have formed friendships, they’re all a little kooky.  It’s one of the reasons I love Kenyon’s books, her characters crack me up. 

Another highlight of the book was the little bonus story/chapter after Born of Vengeance.  It centers on Nyk and Jullien so we get to see how they’ve may in roads to being more brotherly with each other.  Nyk is entrusting his eldest daughter to Jullien to be trained in the Tavali ways.  Loved the interactions between these two and then watching Jullien with Nyk’s kids is simply adorable.  It’s a lovely written chapter, one that leaves you wanting more from these two brothers.  Here’s hoping we get more of these bonus chapters, or maybe, hopefully Thia’s story being told in the near future, with more brotherly interactions. 

After writing up this review I’ve come to the conclusion that yes I did indeed enjoy Born of Vengeance, even though I had some issues with the back tracking/history lessons.  It was full of the ingredients I’ve come to find in a Kenyon book and has me wanting more as I wait for the next installment.  Guess that’s why she’s the author and not me 😉  For any Kenyon fan this is a good addition to the series, now bring  on Mack and Ryn!!

Until next time my fellow Menyons, happy reading!! 

Reviewed by Marcie

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Hard to Handle by Christine Warren – a Review

Hard to Handle by Christine Warren – a Review

 

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Description:
A SEDUCTION STRONGER THAN STONE

The only male among four sisters, Michael Drummond is no stranger to women’s strength and formidable will. His Dublin pub, the Skin & Bones, is his refuge, a reassuringly masculine retreat. Until a fierce woman warrior from another realm bursts into his life, bringing with her a battle between good and evil…and an explosive dose of desire.

The first and only of her kind, Ash is a lone female gargoyle, a creature destined to protect mankind from Demons determined to unleash their darkest forces. But her arrival on Earth is more confusing than she expected: her bone-deep instinct to do battle is matched only by her untamed attraction to stubborn, stalwart Drum. If they manage to keep the world safe, can they turn the passion crackling between them into a love that will withstand the test of time?

 

Review:

Hard to Handle by Christine Warren is the 5th book in her Gargoyles series.  This is the first book I am reading in this series, and it did read very well as a standalone, as Warren does give us information on the some of the other characters from the previous books.  In the first 4 books, the hero is a male gargoyle , who is a restored from stone, when the threat of demons and hell become real.  They are considered Guardians to protect humans from the darkness. For each Gargoyle, there is a Warden, who helps them.  

In Dublin, Ireland, Michael Drum (Drum)mond is pulled away from the pub he runs, becuase his sister, Maeve, has a vision of extreme danger from monsters.  On the way home, the earth quakes and it is not an earthquake.  What they perceive is a monster with wings, is actually a Guardian being summoned to life, as a terrible darkness is about to endanger all their lives.  Ash, our heroine in this story, is the first female Guardian, and she enlists the aid of both Maeve and Michael to find the warden who requires her help.  Wheras, Maeve, who has the sight and sees visions of the future, is more than ready to help Ash; but Drum wants nothing to do with monsters, demons and wants to head back to his pub.  But then they are attacked, and Ash is able to save them.  Ash is able to take a form of human female, when not being the Gargoyle.  In a short time, she will discover that Drum, who treats her rudely, is in fact the Warden she has been looking for. I thought that early on, Drum was easy to dislike, and even though he is being pulled into something he knows nothing about, I did feel he went overboard in his distaste for Ash, or her quest.

What follows is a very exciting action packed adventure, where Ash and Drum must try to find and kill the demons, and along the way they both begin to have feelings for each other.  When the danger escalates, Maeve will find information on the other Guardians/Wardens, and some will come from America to Ireland to help with the war. I loved meeting two of the previous heroes, and it was fun to watch them learn about each other.  The last third of the book was intense, with lots of action and dangerous situations, which had you sitting on the edge of your seat.  

Hard to Handle has a nice ending, but the war has just begun.  Drum and Ash’s romance heats up with a happy conclusion. The Demons are still around, and all the Guardians and Wardens will find themselves together at some point in future books.  Excellent suspenseful adventure, written very well by Christine Warren.  One day I need to go back and read the earlier books.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Death’s Mistress by Terry Goodkind – a Review

Death’s Mistress by Terry Goodkind – a Review

 

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Description:
Onetime lieutenant of the evil Emperor Jagang, known as “Death’s Mistress” and the “Slave Queen”, the deadly Nicci captured Richard Rahl in order to convince him that the Imperial Order stood for the greater good. But it was Richard who converted Nicci instead, and for years thereafter she served Richard and Kahlan as one of their closest friends–and one of their most lethal defenders.

Now, with the reign of Richard and Kahlan finally stablized, Nicci has set out on her own for new adventures. Her first job being to keep the unworldly prophet Nathan out of trouble…

 

 

Review:

Death’s Mistress by Terry Goodkind is the 1st book in his new series, Sister of Darkness: The Nicci Chronicles. I am a big fan of Goodkind’s  Sword of Truth series, and was happy with the end of the arc of Richard and Kahlan.  Though she was a villain early on in the series, Nicci became one of my favorites (besides Cara) later on.  I was happy to see that Goodkind has started a new series that will revolve around Nicci, starting with Death’s Mistress.

At the start, our powerful sorceress Nicci and the wizard, Nathan were on a trek to visit with the witch, Red, whom Nathan had a request.  Nicci and Nathan have been assigned by Richard to visit other realms and spread the word that the war and slavery is over, and everyone is free.  Nicci decides to go with Nathan on his visit to the witch, protecting him since he would be entering dangerous grounds.  Before they leave the witch, she will tell them of their destiny;   Nathan to find the land that will restore his wizard powers, and Nicci to save the world.

What follows is an epic adventure that will bring in some new characters to join them, as they face some wild and dangerous situations that always come into play in these types of fantasy novels.  At many different stops along the way, they come across dangerous and terrible situations  with sea creatures  or sand monsters, as well as two evil beings that lost their way from using powerful spells buried deep over the years.  It will take the ultra powerful Nicci to use her magic to help save the others, as well as Nathan to help find the hidden information to stop the villains from destroying the world. 

This is an exciting, non stop action filled story that has you totally engrossed in this adventure.  It is difficult to tell too much more, as you need to read and visualize the action.  I loved Nicci, and despite her being hard core, she has changed so much since changing her total loyalty to Richard, and in this book we begin to see a small change to her becoming emotionally attached.  The two new characters who we meet early were very likeable.  Bannon is a young man whom Nicci helps save, and then he joins her and Nathan on their adventure.  Thistle is young girl, who loses her family in one of the horrible attacks; she too joins with them.  There were many emotional moments throughout the book, which included being on the edge of your seat, fear and even tears. 

Terry Goodkind has given us a new series that allows us to stay in the Sword of Truth world, with the focus on Nicci as our heroine.  I for one am thrilled about this series, and will be waiting for the next one.  If you are a fantasy lover, as well as Sword of Truth fan, I recommend you read Death’s Mistress.


Reviewed by Barb

 

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Feversong by Karen Marie Moning – a Review

Feversong by Karen Marie Moning – a Review

 

Feversong
Fever series – Book #9
by Karen Marie Moning
Release Date: January 17. 2017

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Description:
Karen Marie Moning returns with the epic conclusion to her pulse-pounding Fever series, where a world thrown into chaos grows more treacherous at every turn. As Mac, Barrons, Ryodan, and Jada struggle to restore control, enemies become allies, right and wrong cease to exist, and the lines between life and death, lust and love, disappear completely.

Black holes loom menacingly over Dublin, threatening to destroy the Earth. Yet the greatest danger is the one MacKayla Lane has unleashed from within: the Sinsar Dubh—a sentient book of unthinkable evil—has possessed her body and will stop at nothing in its insatiable quest for power.

The fate of Man and Fae rests on destroying the book and recovering the long-lost Song of Making, the sole magic that can repair the fragile fabric of the Earth. But to achieve these aims, sidhe-seers, the Nine, Seelie, and Unseelie must form unlikely alliances and make heart-wrenching choices. For Barrons and Jada, this means finding the Seelie Queen who alone can wield the mysterious song, negotiating with a lethal Unseelie prince hell-bent on ruling the Fae courts, and figuring out how to destroy the Sinsar Dubh while keeping Mac alive.

This time, there’s no gain without sacrifice, no pursuit without risk, no victory without irrevocable loss. In the battle for Mac’s soul, every decision exacts a tremendous price

 

Review:

Feversong by Karen Marie Moning is the 9th and final book in her fantastic Fever series.  I am a big fan of the Fever series and Karen Moning.  When I heard that Feversong would be the end of Mac & Barrons story, I could not wait to get my hands on this book.  The fact that I was able to finish the book (560 pages) in one day proves how good an author is that you are so immersed into the story that you could not stop reading; and Moning is one of the best.  I have loved my time in the Fever world, and loved loved these great characters; Mac, Barrons, Dani/Jada, Ryodan, Cruce/VLane, etc.  Even the secondary, as well as evil characters were all great.

In Feversong, Mac finally takes control of her destiny and becomes what we had hoped she would be.  When we left off in the last book, the evil Sinsar Dubh takes control of Mac after she saves herself and Dani.  Along the way the evil being in control threatens anyone who stands in the way, which includes the death of some characters we have known for awhile.  Also in Dublin and around the world, things are falling apart, with Earth slowly crumbling.  

The group who has led us here throughout this series tries desperately to find a way to stop the Sinsar Dubh and try to stop the overall destruction.  Mac will find a way to rise up and become a strong fierce person and take control again; but for how long and for what cost?

What follows is an exciting, pulse-pounding action filled adventure that at times is dark and terrifying, and other times gloriously happy and romantic.  I do not want to give spoilers, since each fan of this series needs to read Feversong.  I loved how Mac became what I had hoped she would, and loved the sweet conclusion to her and Barrons arc.  I love everything about Dani, who has been one of my favorites from the beginning.  To see her have the strength of the tough confident Jada was great, but to see my Dani back was awesome.  Ryodan was his normal self; controlled and always looking out for Dani, even to letting her go…just a little.  Dancer was a surprise and this was a nice, but bittersweet element to the story.  Cruce/Vlane was either his nasty side, or the charming friend that Mac trusted at one time.  I loved finally learning more about Dani’s Shazam.  What is he?  Is he real? You will have to read Feversong to find out.

The last third of the book was wild and emotional.  So much happens that you cannot blink, and you will need some tissues close by.  As I have noted before, in the Fever series, Moning has given us some wonderful complex characters that have kept us along for this emotional  roller coaster of a ride. I loved Feversong, but please please Karen, even if this is the end of the Mac/Barrons story; I want and need more of Dani, as she has so much more to tell.  Thank you Karen Marie Moning for another fantastic story.

Reviewed by Barb

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The Dead Seekers by Barb & J.C. Hendee -a Review

The Dead Seekers by Barb & J.C. Hendee -a Review

 

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Description:
In the dark reaches of the eastern continent, Tris Vishal travels from village to village, using his power to put unsettled spirits to rest. He works alone, having learned that letting people close only leads to more death. Still, he finds himself accepting the help of the Mondyalitko woman who saves his life a woman whose gifts are as much a burden as his own.

Mari Kaleja thirsted for vengeance since the night her family was taken from her. She has searched far and wide for the one she thinks responsible, known only as The Dead s Man. But before she can kill him, she has to be sure. Mari hopes traveling with Tris will confirm her suspicions. But as they embark on a hunt where the living are just as dangerous as the dead, she learns the risks of keeping your enemy close…
Because it s no longer clear who is predator and who is prey.”

 

Review:

The Dead Seekers by Barb and J.C. Hendee is the 1st book in their new Dead Seekers series.  We meet our hero Tris Vishal very early on, when he was first born.  Shall we say he was born dead, but within minutes he came back to life.  From then on, Tris life has been all about death.  His mother adored her miracle child, and his father hated and feared him.  When he reaches the age to move on, Tris lives up to his nickname “The Dead’s Man”, as he is the only one who can force the dead to move on into the next world.  Tris keeps to himself, talking very little.  He has a mentor, Heil, who teaches him how to handle the different types of ghosts he must face.

Mari Kaleja has spent all her life seeking vengeance against the man who killed her family.  Mari was only a child when she saw the strange apparitions (ghosts) viciously kill everyone in her village.  She grew up in different homes, not staying long anywhere. Mari meets Tris one night when he is summoned to remove a ghost.  She suspects he is the man who has been looking for, and to confirm her suspicions, Mari agrees to help him on another case. As they travel together, Mari has mixed feelings about Tris.  She worries that though he seems like the right person, something is too nice and quiet to be that vicious killer.

As they end up in the town where multiple deaths have occurred, with sightings of ghosts like apparitions doing the killings.  Both Tris and Mari work together to set up traps, and just when they think they have removed the threat, all hell breaks loose with many more.   Tris desperately calls for his friend to join him, as the threat as escalated beyond his ability.  The three will team up to help the soldiers and town eliminate the many threats to all the humans, and in doing so, Mari sees a dark apparition trying to come through the portal…..this dark vision is the one who killed her family.   What does Tris have to do with this dark ghost?  Will Mari trust Trish and continue to help him?

What follows is an exciting, action filled fantasy that does start off a bit slowly, in order for us to understand this new world.  It is a different type of story line, and an interesting one.  Though there is a resolution to this case, we are left open as to who is the dark one who Tris fears, and who Mari wants to complete her vengeance against.  I look forward to the next book, and find out more about what the Hendee’s have in store for us.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet – Review, Spotlight Tour & Giveaway

Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet – Review, Tour & Giveaway

 

Breath of Fire
The Kingmaker Chronicles – Book #2
by Amanda Bouchet
Release date: January 3. 2017

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Description:
SHE’S DESTINED TO DESTROY THE WORLD…
“Cat” Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat’s tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what’s a girl to do when she knows it’s her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT
Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world-for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin must embrace their fate together. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom…or not at all.

 

Review:

Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet is the 2nd book in her fantastic The Kingmaker Chronicles series.  After I had read the first book of this series, I had said that I was adding Amanda Bouchet to my list of authors I must read.  Well after finishing, Breath of Fire, nothing has changed.  This was another fantastic addition to this series, and I love Bouchet’s writing.

In Breath of Fire, we pick up shortly after the last book ended. Cat, our marvelous heroine, has kept many secrets from Griffin, our hero.  But their love for each other is very strong, and Griffin will come accept that Cat is more than a Kingmaker, as she is the infamous lost princess, who has more powers that she herself doesn’t know about.  Griffin is determined to take over other realms to create land of peace.  As they prepare to leave with his Beta team (his wonderful hunks, Carver, Kato and Flynn), they learn quickly that there is more secrets from Cat, who is called the harbinger, something she has been afraid to tell Griffin.  But he convinces Cat that this does not mean bad; it just means she will help him end the bad realms and bring forward a new peaceful realm with her as the Queen.

Before anything can be done, they must retrieve items that are needed for them to enter Tarva and take that evil throne.  Of course, the gods do not make it easy, as each step of the way is dangerous and death defying tasks.

What follows is non-stop action in an intense, suspenseful mythical adventure,  that will have us constantly on the edge of our seats, praying that they survive each task.  At each stop along the way, every member of the team will find themselves in death terrifying situations, which will include the final step; winning the arena game of death, which was almost hopeless.  Such an amazing adventure, including the wild exciting finale.

Most of all, the romance between Cat and Griffin becomes so much more, as their love for each other and their sexual chemistry glows throughout the entire book.  I loved them together, as now they have become one in every faction of their lives.  It is Griffin who helps Cat get beyond her fears of her future, and makes her become what she is destined to be……a powerful Queen.  But they still need to get past the biggest obstacle, the evil Queen Andromeda (Cat’s mother), which will lead us to the next book, Heart of Fire. Thank you, Amanda Bouchet for another fantastic story that left me breathless.  If you have not started this series, and you enjoy fantasy, non-stop action, suspense, great characters, and a super wonderful couple; then you should be reading A Promise of Fire, then Breath of Fire.  Do yourself a favor, and add Amanda Bouchet to your list of authors to read.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

Kingmaker Chronicles_ Beta Team Hunks

 

excerpt

 

 

We assemble in the Athena courtyard after breakfast on the fourth day. Griffin and I are already mounted, but the rest of Beta Team—Kato, Flynn, and Carver—are still finishing their good-byes, strapping on the last of their gear, and readying their horses. If I’m not mistaken, Flynn is moving slowly because he keeps shooting discreet glances toward Jocasta from under lowered auburn brows. Carver, his long, leggy gait slower than usual, only just left his family under the shaded arcades that band the castle’s ground floor like an ornate, marble ribbon. And Kato, all blond hair, blue eyes, and corded muscle, moves with casual purpose and lionesque indolence—unhurried in his stride but powerful and inherently ready for action. Despite the stakes of the journey, none of them seems to feel any real urgency to leave.

I don’t like lingering over farewells, and their lagging makes me feel like I have ants in my pants. It’s all I can do not to start hopping in the saddle. Panotii is champing at the bit, and so am I. He prances sideways and bumps into Brown Horse. Brown Horse doesn’t move an inch and regards us with calm, intelligent eyes. He’s so much like his rider that I almost laugh.

Unable to hold back a smile, I drink in Griffin with my eyes. Actually, I look at Griffin all the time. I think about him even more, and every time I do, it’s like a wild kick of adrenaline straight to the heart. It’s distracting. He’s distracting.

A tingling warmth spreads beneath my skin. “I can’t wait to gallop.” I haven’t been outside the city walls since Ios. Panotii and I need to stretch our legs, see for miles, and feel the wind in our faces. It’s good for a horse. For a person who’s been confined to a cage, it’s cathartic. Castle Sinta and its grounds may be big, beautiful, and full of Griffin, but in some ways, it’s still a cage. Real freedom is answering to only yourself, and being responsible for no one. Since that’s a moral vacuum, none but the truly wicked are ever truly free.

That must be how Mother feels—free.

Panotii keeps dancing, and I stroke his sleek, chestnut neck, trying to soothe him. “Panotii wants to run, too.”

“You’ll burn yourselves out.” Griffin’s silver-hued eyes hold a hint of warning. “And you’ll burn us out chasing you. We have a long way to go.”

I make a sour face. “Did I ever tell you I detest the voice of reason?”
“Did I ever tell you you’re adorable when you’re riled up?”

I scowl. “I’m never adorable.”

“You’re right,” he says mock-seriously. “You’re very scary. Especially with that curl bouncing over your cheek.”

I shove the stupid curl behind my ear. My wavy hair is turning even more unruly with the approach of the rainy season. It’s overcast for the first time in weeks, and I can smell the moisture in the air, somehow both sultry and refreshing, as if a cloud were about to burst over the scorched land, but the Gods aren’t quite ready to stick a dagger in it yet. My hair doesn’t know the difference. Anything too short to stay firmly in my braid is now springing out with gusto and frizzing all around my head.

Out of habit, I check my knives. My old set hangs from multiple belt loops. My new set is secured to flat, leather straps circling my thighs. My sword is on my back in a sling Griffin had fashioned for me along with the thick boar’s hide armor that hugs my upper body from shoulders to waist in a sleeveless, close-fitting shell. A direct hit will pierce the leather, but it’ll provide protection from slices or glancing blows, as will the new vambraces on my forearms.

I told Griffin I’d be too hot and confined, which I am, but he insisted in that steady, intractable voice of his that if I want to ride with warriors, I’d better have the equipment.

He knows I’ve been fighting without any of this since before I could walk, but I humored him because I love him. Apparently, that’s how couples work. Compromise. Gah! Now there’s so much metal and leather weighing me down that I almost couldn’t get on my horse.

 

theauthor

Bouchet

Award-winning author Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England and studied French at the undergraduate and graduate levels, first at Bowdoin College and then at Bowling Green State University. She moved to Paris, France in 2001 and has been there ever since. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children, who will soon be correcting her French.

 Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

 

Letter From Amanda Bouchet

A note to readers of The Kingmaker Chronicles

Breath of Fire comes out on January 3rd and I couldn’t be more excited about it! I hope that readers who met Cat and Griffin and followed their exploits in A Promise of Fire will be looking forward to this second installment in The Kingmaker Chronicles, and I hope that new readers will be interested in giving this fantasy romance trilogy a try. The story picks up right where A Promise of Fire left off and with a shocking moment of truth: Cat’s secrets are finally revealed to all. But with the cat out of the bag (pun definitely intended!), important plans can now form to move Thalyria toward unification under Cat and Griffin’s joint rule—plans that will certainly keep Beta Team on their toes. But while Cat’s violent past and lingering self-doubt still haunt her on a deep level, Griffin won’t let her back down from the fate she’d love to avoid. As Griffin propels her toward her inevitable destiny and Cat tries to come to terms with the prophecy that’s haunted her for eight years, readers can expect plenty of adventure and danger, more of Cat’s smart-mouthed humor, exciting Beta Team moments, and a romance that heats up to positively scorching levels. Friendships solidify into unshakable bonds, and perilous quests lead the members of Beta Team into uncharted territory where monsters, magic, and mayhem abound. With Breath of Fire, I hope that readers get swept away and caught up in the emotion and adventure as Cat and Griffin try to navigate their developing and intensely passionate relationship while also taking on the daunting and dangerous task of conquering the world. But most of all, I hope you simply enjoy the book!

 

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Ever The Hunted by Erin Summerill – a Review

Ever The Hunted by Erin Summerill – a Review

 

Ever the HuntedAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

 

Review:

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill is the first book in her new Clash of Kingdoms series.  This is a fantasy novel with wonderful world-building by Summerill.  In this world there are two factions that are at war with each other.  The story revolves around our heroine, Britta, whom we meet at the start.  She lives alone after the death of her father, who was murdered.  He was an elite bounty hunter for the King of Malam. Britta knows that soon her home will be confiscated, and she will have nowhere to go.  Desperate for food, she enters the Ever Woods to hunt prey, and after she succeeds, she is captured by the Kings guards.  To save her own life, she makes a deal with the King’s Regent to help three guards track down the murderer of her father.  The problem…..the man they say who killed her father was his former apprentice and her childhood crushe…Cohen McKay.

In any new fantasy world, things do start off slow, as the author will show us the world we are now in.  The two factions are Malem, which is governed by the King and the Channelers,  who have magic and powers, but are prosecuted by those from Malem. Summerill does a good job creating a nice flow, as we learn about the two kingdoms, but the storyline is still very much centered on Britta.  

As one of the best trackers, Britta and the three guards (Captain Omar, Leif and Tomas) follow the trail that she finds to bring them closer to Cohen.  In a short period, Britta will come face to face with Cohen, and realize that he is innocent of the murder charges.  Together they escape the guards and try to find the real murderer.  What follows is an exciting, action filled and intense story that will bring both heroes to the brink of death.  Along the way, there are many twists and turns, as well as betrayals that put them further in danger.  Britta will learn more about her life that her father hid from her, and meet someone who will tell her the truth of her past, and how to use her ability.  Most of all, this is a sweet romance between Britta and Cohen, that was wonderfully written by Summerill.  What starts out as a childhood friendship, family dynamics and hidden feelings becomes a love that was so nice to watch grow.

As I have noted in previous fantasy first books, the key to a successful start of a series is to have good characters that you care about.   In Ever the Hunted, we not only have Britta, a wonderful heroine, who has just begun to harness her powers; Cohen, a great hero, who loves Britta with all his heart; and some other truly great characters; Leif, one of the good guards; Enat, a Channeler, who is more than a teacher to Britta; and even Captain Omar, who was cold and unforgiving early on.  

This turned out to be a very nice fast paced story line, well written by Summerrill, with great characters and  many surprises along the way.  Ever the Hunted is wonderful start to a new series, which I recommend that you read. I look forward to the next book in the Clash of the Kingdoms series. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

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Fallen Ashes by T.F. Walsh – a Review

Fallen Ashes by T.F. Walsh – a Review

 

Fallen AshesAmazon

Description:
As the last of her kind, Fallen awakes in a holding cell, but being locked up is the least of her problems.

She’s been magically bound to a cocky Queen’s Guardian named Saber. Because Fallen is the last dragon shifter in Tapestry, she’s on everyone’s hit list… especially his… but she doesn’t have time to die by his hand. Fallen has to find her life mate in four weeks or else all of creation in her world will be destroyed.

Saber never asked to be brought to life. He certainly never wanted to be hexed and forced to transform into a mindless shadow assassin. Exiled from the Kingdom, he must rescue his stepfather from the Collector to prove his innocence. Otherwise he’ll be hunted and killed. But his plans are temporarily put on hold when he’s captured, imprisoned, and bound to a mysterious blond-haired vixen with a major fire addiction.

With time ticking away for Saber and Fallen, will the two be able to come together to defeat the Collector and save themselves, along with the rest of the world?

Review:

Fallen Ashes by T.F. Walsh captivated me within the first few pages.  Dragon shifters, crossing over between worlds, a myriad of mythical characters, animals and creatures along with two main characters that are intriguing, funny and sexy makes this story a great read. 

Fallen and Saber had both dealt with traumatic circumstances in their lives that shaped their character and personalities.  Fallen doesn’t have the heart to take a life, she believes all life is sacred, even the evil ones.  

Saber was created to be an assassin, he had trained for years with the Queen’s army.  He was a protector, period.  He would do what he had to do to protect himself and those he loves. 

The shenanigans between Fallen and Saber are so funny, especially when she thinks that he doesn’t need to beat up or kill everyone that crosses his path.  She thinks he’s a big bully and a brute.  Fallen tries to convince Saber they need to make a plan to rescue his step-father and as the words are leaving her mouth, Saber is already kicking in the door.  Add to that the fact that they are bond together with an invisible bond that keeps them from physically being more than 20 feet apart, their interactions are hilarious. 

I enjoyed reading Fallen Ashes all the way to the very last page.  Each character wove an intricate part into the storyline, making it all the more interesting.  Do Fallen and Saber save the world?  You must read it to find out!

Reviewed by Tricia

Copy supplied for review

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