Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – a Review

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – a Review

 

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Description:
Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn.…

Review:

Ink and Bone begins with Jess Brightwell having to deliver a book to one of his dad’s “customers”. Illegally. Books are illegal to own, but that hasn’t stopped the Brightwells from being a family of “runners”, meaning those who illegally obtain books and sell them to the highest bidder. As Jess makes his way to deliver the book, things don’t go quite as planned. The Garda, the Library’s muscle, are everywhere and Jess has to get creative in order to meet the buyer. He delivers the book but soon discovers that the buyer is an Ink Licker, i.e., one who destroys books by EATING the pages……. Yep, that’s how it begins.

We flash forward six years to see that Jess’ father has made the decision to send him to try out for a place working for the Library. He knows that Jess isn’t really cut out to take over the family business and figures that he’d best serve his family as a spy while serving the Library. Jess, almost reluctantly, agrees and sets off on the long journey to Alexandria. Once in Alexandria, he discovers that there are thirty other candidates to fill only six positions. Uh oh….. Add to that the fact that he knows he can never return home, and that he may actually like some of his fellow students……… He knows that he has a long, hard road ahead of him. Unfortunately, he had no idea in the beginning just how hard. Everything that he and his fellow students thought they knew about the Library ends up being laughable. Because once the Library in Oxford (England) is threatened by war between the English and the Welsh, he and his fellow students are sent to the war zone to save as many books as they can. What follows is a heart breaking series of events and earth shattering revelations that changes everything they’ve ever believed in and forever changes them. At least, those who survive.

I have to say that when I started this one, I didn’t think I was going to like it. At all. I’ve never been a big fan of Dystopian worlds and the pace was slow. And, that bothered me more than you’ll ever know. I love Rachel Caine. Her Morganville Vampire series is one of my all time favorite YA series. EVER. So, based on that alone, I continued reading…..and a funny thing happened. I found myself so engaged with all of the characters that I didn’t want to put it down. The world that Caine has created is so imaginative that it will blow you away. The cast of characters is long and varied and very intriguing. The basic storyline itself has been done before, but not by Rachel Caine. She has rewritten history and created a world that will leave you wanting more. A lot more. The only problem I had with this entire story was the pace. As I said earlier, it’s slow, although it did pick up in the second half. I’m thinking that since we have the world built, the next one will be move along at a faster pace. You will fall in love with the premise. You will fall in love with the characters. And, in the end you will be wanting more. If you’ve never read Rachel Caine and are a fan of YA, you’re sorely missing out. Well done, Rachel Caine!!

Reviewed by Vickie

Copy provided by Publisher

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Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews – a Review

Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews – a Review

 

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Description:
Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

Review:

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews is the 1st book in her Hidden Legacy series.   I wasn’t sure what to expect from this new series. I am a huge fan Andrew’s Kate Daniels series, as well as the Edge series. Burn for Me turned out to be a fantastic start to this enthralling series.

The world-building for this series is pivotal and huge, as it sets the stage of a world run by families and magic. Nevada, our heroine, is a private investigator, who works with her family to keep the agency afloat. She accepts cases from a House with major magic, as they hold the liens on the family business.   Nevada is forced to accept a case that has little hope of surviving, and even her family is against her taking it. But with the threat of losing the business, Nevada accepts. Her target is to the find Adam Pierce, who is a Prime (Ultimate magic power), and his ability is indestructible fire.

Connor (Mad) Rogan, our hero, is another powerful Prime, who runs the House Rogan. Mad, who got his nickname from his time during war, where he was able to destroy anything and everything, to help win the war, and his reputation followed him home. When Adam Pierce destroys a bank and the people in it, his accomplice was a distant cousin. Because he was asked to help find the cousin, Mad becomes involved in finding Adam. In order to do so, he must partner up with Nevada, who wants nothing to do with working with someone like Mad.

Though the chemistry between Nevada and Mad was hot, this is not a romance. At least not yet. Probably in future books, there promises to be more, as Mad will do anything he can to weaken Nevada’s frustrating attempts to steer clear of him. I for one look forward to seeing more of Nevada and Mad becoming a full relationship. I also loved Nevada’s strange family, who were wonderful secondary characters.

Back to the story…This was a fantastic look at magic, power, and what the forces of evil can do with it to destroy those around them. There is so much world-building in this amazing story, but the exciting action is non stop, as we feared for our heroes’ lives in so many unbelievable situations. Great new series by Ilona Andrews, and I will be there waiting impatiently for the next book.

Reviewed by Barb

 

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Love Potions by Michelle M. Pillow – a Review

Love Potions by Michelle M. Pillow – a Review

 

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Description:
Contemporary Scottish Magickal Romance

A little magickal mischief never hurt anyone…

Erik MacGregor, from a clan of ancient Scottish warlocks, isn’t looking for love. After centuries, it’s not even a consideration…until he moves in next door to Lydia Barratt. It’s clear that the shy beauty wants nothing to do with him, but he’s drawn to her nonetheless and determined to win her over.

Lydia Barratt just wants to be left alone to grow flowers and make lotions in her old Victorian house. The last thing she needs is a demanding Scottish man meddling in her private life. Just because he’s gorgeous and totally rocks a kilt doesn’t mean she’s going to fall for his seductive manner.

But Erik won’t give up and just as Lydia let’s her guard down, his sister decides to get involved. Her little love potion prank goes terribly wrong, making Lydia the target of his sudden embarrassingly obsessive behavior. They’ll have to find a way to pull Erik out of the spell fast when it becomes clear that Lydia has more than a lovesick warlock to worry about. Evil lurks within the shadows and it plans to use Lydia, alive or dead, to take out Erik and his clan for good.

Review:

What’s the saying about nosey neighbors? Who cares?! When hot Scot Erik MacGregor moves in…you want to demolish all local housing to ensure his residence is permanent (or better yet, moving in with you!) But I’m getting waaaay ahead of myself. The MacGregor clan of ancient warlocks is moving into the mansion right next door to Lydia. Erik’s family insists on privacy, to guard their nature, so a little “push” should ensure innocuous Lydia’s compliance. Wait until he gets a load of Lydia…who may contain something special of her own. In Love Potions, Michelle M. Pillow weaves a magickal tale about finding love when you least expect it…and making sure you hang on with hands, heart and hope.

“…Lydia’s my inthrall.”

“No,” Euann gasped, sitting forward. The smirk finally faded from his expression.

“Oh, aye.”

“No.”

“Aye, she is.”

“Euann!”

“Sorry.” Euann gave a sheepishly apologetic shrug. “Did she have to touch ya for a long time? Does she know? What’s it feel like? Being sucked of energy like that?”

Can I elaborate you ask (Yes, I can hear you!) How’s about discovering the woman who makes you weak at the knees, is literally absorbing and draining your powers? *Check to see if the ink’s dried on the sale of the house?* No can do, lol. Lydia is the owner of Love Potions, a company of lotions, soaps and teas inherited from Gramma Annabelle, aka, “the witch on the hill”. A pea of a supernatural pod then! Not. Lydia has never believed, let alone indulged in the craft. Perhaps Lydia should heed the whispers and concoct something to prevent harm upon Erik while simultaneously allowing their union? I.would.make.it.my.job!!! 😀

A whirlwind of events continue to surround Lydia since the fateful encounter with Erik. While Erik detects no malice from Lydia (if anything their unique bond is growing stronger), he does sense a disturbance (and it’s not of the cool Star Wars variety – regrettably). An old, dark magick has tracked the MacGregors and will plow through Lydia as collateral damage.

The liderc could suck his power from Lydia and then turn it against Erik and his family.

That so? Aside from Erik’s power depletion lays an ability to harness his beast. What?! Read on, my friends…Erik is a man of many talents! The entire clan (brothers, a sister, cousins, Ma and Da) is a riot to be accurate. There is evil afoot, but Ms. Pillow perfectly times, and interjects, several elements that result in a well-rounded story. A wonderful amalgam of humor and camaraderie (Erik’s caterwauling was a spiteful success) set astride bold, lustful scenes to steam your summer. And not to be outdone is a healthy dose of fear. The infiltration of invisible, uninvited spirits wreaks havoc upon Lydia’s home and person (igniting Erik’s protective streak). The butting of heads within the story included my own as a reader. Stop drawing so many lines, Lydia! 😀 If I may, the presence of a special ghost could have benefitted from italics; something distinctive to showcase her dialogue and message.

All in all, I couldn’t be happier with the book! Michelle M. Pillow wrote a layered delight for all to enjoy. Just when things appear settled, she rattles your acquiescence to deliver another thrill, giggle or shudder. Totally my kind of read! There was a connection flowing between Lydia’s BFF and one of Erik’s brothers. No need to stop here, Ms. Pillow – we can all swoon for another supernatural Scot!!!

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy provided by Publisher

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My Lady, My Lord by Katharine Ashe-a review

MY LADY, MY LORD by Katharine Ashe-a review

My Lady, My Lord

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About the book: Release Date: March 10, 2014

Book #1 in a new series of historical romances… with a twist.

The Bluestocking
Lady Corinna Mowbray has three passions: excellent books, intelligent conversation, and disdaining the libertine Earl of Chance.

The Rake
Lord Ian Chance has three pleasures: beautiful women, fast horses, and tormenting high-and-mighty Corinna Mowbray.

Neighbors for years, they’ve been at each other’s throats since they can remember. But when a twist of fate forces them to trade lives, how long will it be before they discover they cannot live without each other?

•••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: MY LADY, MY LORD is the first instalment in Katharine Ashe’s historical romance series ‘with a twist’. This is Lord Ian Chance and Lady Corinna Mowbray’s storyline –one that features a ‘Freaky Friday’ switcheroo.

The premises follows Ian and Corinna’s tumultuous relationship-bitter combatants for years in a war of words, our couple will perchance to meet at a museum where an exhibition of Greek statuary is on display. While the couple continues their verbal sparring a stranger will seek information while our couple is ‘arguing’ in front of the statue of Aphrodite and, when all is said and done, Ian and Corinna will wake up the next day in one another’s body.

What ensues is a storyline of enemies to friends to lovers. Our couple has been fighting with each other since childhood and now that each is living the other’s life,  their true feelings will surface when threats are made and lives are in danger.

There are several secondary characters including Ian’s brother and friends as well as a town full of woman hoping to find love or at the very least financial security. There is no graphic sex or violence and, no foul language. This is a story of romance, mystery and a little bit of magic.Ian and Corinna’s relationship is one of denial-two stubborn people in love- that may very well place their future together in jeopardy.

The storyline twists the typical switcheroo scenario where a man and woman must endeavor to live as the other half but I did have some difficulty keeping up with the Corinna/Ian /Ian /Corinna dialogue. It was very disconcerting at times; I had to go back and reread on many occasions because the person talking was not necessarily the person noted in the book-it was Corinna as Ian or Ian as Corinna or Corinna as herself and so on. Confusion reigned throughout most of the first half of the read-I didn’t know who was talking most of the time.

Katharine Ashe writes an interesting storyline where magical entities are at work; where lessons are learned and taught; where love truly does conquer all. This is the first storyline in the series and I hope that the subsequent stories are not as confusing to the reader. Perhaps a different type of ‘magical’ formula is necessary for coherency.

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy

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