Eleventh Grave in Moonlight (Charlie Davidson #11) by Darynda Jones-a review

ELEVENTH GRAVE IN MOONLIGHT (Charley Davidson #11) by Darynda Jones-a review

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 24, 2017

A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after-after all.

••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: ELEVENTH GRAVE IN MOONLIGHT is the eleventh installment in Darynda Jones’s contemporary, adult CHARLEY DAVIDSON urban fantasy series focusing on part time PI/ full time Grim Reaper/ omnipotent god Charley Davidson.

NOTE: If you have not read the previous installments there may be some spoilers in my review.

SOME BACKGROUND: This is the continuing story of Charley’s life as the Grim Reaper, the corporeal spirits who have yet to pass, and the man to whom she has pledged her undying love-the son of Satan-Reyes Farrow. Charley Davidson, and now their daughter, are the key to saving or destroying the world.

Told from first person point of view (Charley Davidson) ELEVENTH GRAVE continues to focus on Charley’s growing powers and abilities, ones that have remained dormant throughout most of her human life. Charley has recently discovered she and her hunky husband Reyes Farrow aka the Son of Satan, are gods-powerful, omnipotent beings whose futures, along with the two month old daughter, are destined to either destroy the world, or bring peace to the heavens and earth.

Meanwhile, our heroine is desperate to uncover the truth about the people who destroyed her husband’s human life-a life measured by a kidnapping, abuse, torture and death, but what Charley’s discovers is an evil worse than any she could have imagined. A new character is introduced-perhaps another member of Charley’s army as the gang heads towards a final showdown.

Reyes and Charley’s relationship continues to have its ups and downs, mostly because our heroine is determined to make right all of the wrongs; to end the ongoing threats against the people she loves; and to avenge her husband for the abuse he has suffered-all at the expense of her own safety and possibly her life.

Darynda Jones ongoing use of humor, wit, one-liners, t-shirt slogans, internet memes and hilarious banter draws the reader into a story and series that continues to evolve through a myriad of paths that will eventually intersect wherein we shall see the true meaning of the power of love. The premise is intriguing, intelligent and entertaining; the characters are energetic, inspiring and engaging. ELEVENTH GRAVE IN MOONLIGHT is a fantastic addition to Darynda’s CHARLEY DAVIDSON series-a series that will seduce you into a world from which you never want to return.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Reading Order and previous reviews
First Grave on the Right
Second Grave on the Left
Third Grave Straight Ahead
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Fifth Grave Past The Light
Sixth Grave on the Edge
Seventh Grave and No Body
Eighth Grave After Dark
Brighter Than the Sun (novella)
The Dirt on Ninth Grave
The Curse on Tenth Grave
Eleventh Grave in Moonlight

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Dragon King Of Treoir by Dianna Love – a Review

Dragon King Of Treoir by Dianna Love – a Review

 

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Description:
The Treoir dragon holds the fate of the Beladors in one hand … and his own in the other.

The Beladors finally have a true leader in Daegan, their new dragon king, but life is far from secure now that they’ve inherited his enemies. As their Maistir, Vladimir Quinn played a risky role in freeing the dragon from the lair of their enemy, the Medb. Quinn now faces a heavy price for his part. The Medb queen is out for blood. Vigilante killings erupt among Atlanta’s secret preternatural community and all fingers point to the Beladors. The dragon king has his first real test as a ruler when he has to choose between protecting his people and entering a hostile realm full of deities capable of killing a dragon. But as a two-thousand-year-old warrior, Daegan has never shied away from any battle. Quinn, Evalle, Storm and friends race to discover who is trying to turn the entire VIPER coalition against the Beladors before war breaks out. With the clock also ticking down for Quinn, who has been ordered to hand over Kizira’s body to the Medb queen, Daegan reveals an even greater reason the Beladors have to prevent the queen from any chance to use necromancy on that body than secrets Quinn protects.

Freedom is never free. Not when the powerful gods and goddesses poised to decide Quinn’s fate see an opportunity to also destroy a threat to their existence – the last dragon shifter.

 

 

Review:

Dragon King of Treior by Dianna Love is the 8th book of her wonderful Belador series.  Once again, Dianna Love gives us another fantastic story that keeps us glued to our seat, unable to put the book down.  We knew after reading Rogue Belador that things were about to change, and in Dragon King of Treior there were so many major changes that left us wondering what Love has in store for us in the next book. 

Dragon King of Treior is another exciting, tense, action packed, fun story that gives us the chance to spend time with our favorite characters, not to mention a wonderful new character that we look forward to see more of.  Daegan, the new King of Treior, moves to the forefront as the leader of the Beladors, and he is a welcome change from the hated goddess Macha.  Tristan and Quinn play a bigger part in this story, with help from Evalle, Storm, Adrianna, Tzader, Brina and Isak.  Reese, is the new character that we meet early on, and you couldn’t help but like her from the start.  I know she will play a big part in the next book, since we can see the attraction develop between her and Quinn. 

Daegan will do whatever he needs to do to protect his people, and they will be there right beside him as he will stand up to the tribunal and the evil goddess, Maeve.  Daegan will need his powerful team, as both Maeve and Macha will not be far behind in the coming books. 

The focus of the story is Quinn’s attempt to find Kizera’s body, before the tribunal and especially Maeve find it.  Daegan and Quinn know that Maeve will take Kizera’s memories and they cannot allow her to get her hands on the body.  What follows is an exciting adventure, with the entire team working hard to stop the various demons who are also searching for the body of the MedB priestess.  We know that Quinn loved Kizera, but hopefully he is beginning to move on…..to Reese?

I also got a kick out of the short visit with Feenix……whom I adore. … please Dianna…more more Feenix.  😉    Evalle is one of my favorite kick-ass heroines, and I hope she continues to be a major part of the future stories, especially with all the changes happening. To tell too much more would be spoilers, and you need to read this series to appreciate the evolution of the Beladors, Evalle and team.

I am a huge fan of Dianna Love, as she never fails to deliver a fantastic, exciting, edge of your seat suspenseful story that flows so well from one book to the next.   All her characters are so good, each and every one of them.  I can’t say enough of how much I love Dianna Love, and if you have not read her books or this fantastic series, you are missing a gem.  You need to start the Belador series from the start. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy supplied for review

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Nice Guys Bite by Jennifer Estep – Dual Review & Giveaway

Nice Guys Bite by Jennifer Estep – Dual Review & Giveaway

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NICE GUYS BITE
Elemental Assassin 15.5
by Jennifer Estep
Genre: adult, contemporary, urban fantasy
Release Date: December 15, 2016

 

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Description:
Working for Gin Blanco (aka the Spider, the assassin who runs the Ashland underworld) doesn’t leave much time for romance, especially with Gin’s holiday party planning in full swing. But when he catches the eye of a charming gentleman, Silvio finds himself going out for coffee.

All’s fair in love and war, though. Just as Silvio is starting to enjoy himself, he realizes he’s being watched. His nice guy date doesn’t sense the danger, and Silvio wants to keep it that way (and, well, keep the guy alive) so Silvio ends the date early—only to be abducted by some villainous giants.

Will Silvio survive the night and make it back to the Pork Pit in time for Gin’s holiday party?

 

 

Barb’s Review:

Nice Guys Bite by Jennifer Estep is a Christmas themed novella from her wonderful Elemental Assassin series. This was a different type of story; short, exciting, some fun, and only little bit of our heroine, Gin Blanco.  Gin is in the holiday spirit, planning for her party for friends and family.  She tries to get her assistant, Silvio to relax and take some time to have fun.  For those who are not familiar with Silvio, he is a vampire, who became her assistant after Gin became the leader of the Ashland underworld. Silvio, after being pestered by Gin, finally agrees to go out for coffee with a charming new male friend. 

While having some fun, Silvio is being charmed by his new friend, and realizes that someone is watching them.  He excuses himself to quickly leave, so that his friend wouldn’t get hurt from the expected attack.  What follows is an exciting adventure where Silvio and his friend are kidnapped, putting both of their lives in danger.  Anything more would be spoilers, but it was exciting and fun to watch Silvio use his abilities to recognize that all is not what it seems.

I am a big fan of Jennifer Estep, and this story had a lot of action, but also some humor as we see Gin planning her party.  It is the holiday season, and Estep has given us a quick fun read to hold us over for the next full Elemental Assassin book, Snared, coming in April, 2017.

 

Sandy’s Review:

NICE GUYS BITE by Jennifer Estep is the latest novella in her ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN urban fantasy series focusing on the head of Ashland’s Underworld and Elemental Assassin known as The Spider aka Gin Blanco. NICE GUYS BITE focuses on Gin’s assistant-vampire Silvio Sanchez.

Told from first person point of view (Silvio) NICE GUYS BITE follows Silvio as he embarks on a date with a local college professor Martin Mahoney- but things don’t go according to plan when the couple finds themselves victims of a kidnapping where information about The Spider is payment for release. As Gin prepares for the friends and family Christmas party, Silvio struggles to get himself free.

 

NICE GUYS BITE is a quick read; a supernatural tale of mystery and suspense that allows the reader a small glimpse into the mind of Silvio Sanchez-a vampire whose strengths have never been revealed; with a protective streak for his boss known as The Spider; and a man whose loneliness comes at a cost. There are moments of fun and humor; heartbreak and crushing realization; torment and victory. NICE GUYS BITE is an entertaining and engaging short story; another playful addition to Jennifer Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series.

Copies supplied by Netgalley

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Jennifer is graciously offering a paper copy of UNRAVELED (Elemental Assassin #15) to TWO (2) lucky commenters at The Reading Cafe:

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8. Giveaway runs from December 12  to 15, 2016

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Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter – Review & Giveaway

Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter – Review & Giveaway

 

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Description:
Before Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she had no one to rely on, finding strength only in in her arcane connection to the dark woods around her. But now she has friends in the newly-formed PsyLED team to keep her grounded—even if being part of the agency responsible for policing paranormals presents dangers of its own…
 
After training at the PsyLED academy, Nell returns home to her woods to find the land feeling sick and restless. And that sickness is spreading. With the help of her team, under the leadership of agent Rick LaFleur, Nell tries to determine the cause. But nothing can prepare them for the evil that awaits: an entity that feeds on death itself. And it wants more…

 

Review:

Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter is the 2nd book in her Soulwood series. When we last left off in Blood of the Earth, Nell Ingram, our heroine, had become a member of PsyLed, as she was just starting to learn how use and learn more of her unknown powers.  Nell is a more confident person, as she was able to move from under the evil that threatened her life in the first book.  Now Nell returns home to Soulwood, after training at the Spook School and plans to rest a bit before she starts her next assignment.  But not long after she arrives home, her boss, Rick LaFleur calls her to help with a new case that is tailor made for Nell’s abilities.  When she joins her team, Nell is happy, as the members have become friends of hers, and she feels comfortable & free in her new life.   But this new case will be much worse than what she has faced before.   Seems that there are dead animals, and humans being affected by some strange and deadly fungus/parasite in the land.  Nell using her powers to feel the land,  senses something or someone very powerful causing innocent people to do strange and destructive things.

No matter that Nell can read and hear the earth, the danger is at times horrific, and she has to rely on her teammates to rescue her.  The team will find their researches will go back in time to World War 2, and the current time.  It will lead Nell and the PsyLed team to chemical firms, witchcraft and an ancient entity, but it will take Nell to put her life in danger to find a way to stop this violent powerful force.

This is a difficult review to write, as anything more would be spoilers.  There are so much scientific details written by Hunter,  that at times it blows your mind; being difficult to follow, especially, if you aren’t into many of those terms.  But Faith Hunter does a masterful job in writing this suspenseful exciting story, and has created a wonderful new heroine in Nell, who continues to grow into her powers.  By the time we come to the tense ultra exciting suspenseful last 1/3 of the book, we are holding our breaths and unable to put the book down.

There were some interesting twists that will involve Rick, Paka and others, not to mention how strong Nell seems to be getting. I cannot wait to find out more about her powers. I also enjoyed seeing Nell’s growth in allowing  herself to enjoy the attention Occam seems to be giving her.  A romance between them is surely on the horizon.   I said this before, and I haven’t changed my mind, please Faith, keep Rick here and don’t bring him back to Jane.  If you like Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, a great heroine, than you need to read this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

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Faith’s publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of CURSE ON THE LAND to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

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8. Giveaway runs from November 2 to November 6, 2016

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Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh – Dual Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh – Dual Review & Giveaway

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Archangel's Heart

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Description:
One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again

Barb’s Review:

Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh is the 9th book in her wonderful Guild Hunter series. I loved this book, but no surprise, as Elena and Raphael were the focus of this story.  I always love anything about them, as they are a fantastic couple. 

In Archangel’s Heart, all the members of the Cadre (ruling Archangels) are summoned by the Luminata, an ancient group of angels, to a meeting they cannot refuse.  As we already know, Lijuan, one of the most powerful archangels, is either missing or dead.  The meeting in Morocco will force the Cadre to determine the fate of Lijuan and her territory.

Raphael and Elena with Aodhan for support head for Lumina.  Elena knows that the Luminata have stored records that cover just about everything from the beginning of time, and she is determined to use her free time to learn the truth about her family.   Raphael, Elena and Aodhan can tell from their arrival that things are not as they seem; something isn’t right.  What follows is an exciting story filled with details that flawlessly continue the world building that Nalini is a master at. 

It was fun to see all the Archangel’s together again in one place, as they try to decide how to handle Lijuan’s title, and determine if she is dead or alive. They know the situation could be volatile,  if they have to battle a crazed, but ultra powerful ancient archangel.  I also enjoyed seeing more of Aodhan, and watching him become more confident in bringing himself to be more visible again.  There is so much more we can learn about Aodhan, and I look forward to the time he will have his own book. 

While the Archangel’s meet, Elena and Aodhan visited the huge multilevel library of records.  Elena will begin to learn a little, until she senses that something bad is hidden deep in the dungeons of the library.  Elena is also not comfortable around the Luminata leader, who seems to be enamored by her.  As the hidden secrets of Luminata are revealed, the danger escalates, revealing terrible truths.  To tell too much more would be spoilers.  All I will say is that Nalini Singh has once again given us a wonderful addition to this fantastic series.  I could not put the book down, with the last half of the book totally mesmerizing me.  Needless to say, Nalini always continues to wow me with every book in both of her super fantastic series.  If you have not read this series or anything by Nalini Singh, you are missing one of the best authors in the literary world that never fail to give you fantastic continued world-building,  exciting, great characters &  sexy stories. 

 

Sandy’s Review:

ARCHANGEL’S HEART is the ninth full-length installment in Nalini Singh’s contemporary, adult GUILD HUNTER dystopian/UF/paranormal series focusing on Archangel’s, angels, vampires, shifters and hunters. This is Archangel Raphael, and his consort Elena’s continuing story with a little bit of Aodhan aka Sparkle thrown in for some good measure. ARCHANGEL’S HEART can be read as a stand alone but I recommend reading the series in order for background and cohesion as many events in the current time line are as of a direct result of previous happenings and premises.

Told from third person perspective ARCHANGEL’S HEART follows Elena and Raphael as they journey to Morocco, Elena’s maternal grandmother’s homeland. The Luminata have called a meeting of the Cadre of Ten-the most powerful Archangels in order to make a decision about Lijuan’s lands. With the vampiric blood lust increasing, and villages destroyed by the marauding vampires, Lijuan’s lands must come under control. As the Cascade approaches (an apocalypse of sorts that will see the Archangels at war and the destruction of mankind), and Lijuan all but dead or chosen Sleep, the Luminata have demanded something be done. But not all is well in the Luminata stronghold, and something evil lurks within the walls and the hierarchy of controlling angels. Secrets, lies, betrayals and revenge haunt the halls and hidden rooms of the Luminata.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Aodhan aka Sparkle who accompanies our leading couple as Elena’s guard. Aodhan and Illium aka Bluebell have had a falling out, and their friendship struggles as Illium worries about the once-broken man. The action is limited; there are no wars or mid-air fights but we do see the tense negotiations between the Cadre of Ten, and learn a little bit about the tempestuous relationship between the Archangels in charge.

ARCHANGEL’S HEART reveals our heroine’s family history- Morocco holds the secrets to Elena’s past-a past that is haunted by hatred and betrayal. Elena and Raphael’s relationship continues to build-their love for one another an unbreakable bond. The premise is wondrous and enchanting; the characters are spirited, energetic and charismatic; the romance continues to blossom and build-Raphael and Elena’s love is passionate and intense- our heroine is strong and resilient as Raphael’s consort. Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series is a wonderful and breathtaking look at the power of the Archangels and the people they rule.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Excerpt beige

 

Raphael’s response was silent, his wing brushing hers as he . . .

“Raphael!” The damn archangel had dusted her.

Glittering, sparkly stuff stuck to her, delicious beyond compare when she parted her mouth and it licked onto her tongue. Her thighs clenched. “This is not funny!” She glared at him even as arousal flooded her system, but he was laughing too hard to care.

Her heart, it just stopped.

Even now, the Archangel of New York rarely laughed and never like this. Until she could see the youth he must’ve once been, with eyes of a wild, astonishing blue that asked a woman to laugh with him. She’d never before seen him as truly young. How could she? He had so much power that it pulsed in his every touch, burned in his skin.

Hauling him close to her with her hands fisted in the cream linen of his shirt, she took a kiss, took him. He sank into her, his wings sweeping up to wrap around her until all she could sense was Raphael, all she could taste was him. And angel dust. The special blend he’d created just for her.

He pushed one hand into her hair, fisting it as he wrapped his other arm around her waist and backed her up against a wall. Something fell with a dull thud. Maybe the vivid painting of wildflowers that had just been put up, all the art having been taken down during the repainting.

Elena loved that simple piece Honor had found in a thrift shop, but right now, it could’ve been a priceless artwork by the Hummingbird and she wouldn’t have cared. She was far too happy to be pressed up against the hard warmth of her archangel tip to toe after spending the previous night on watch. No time for shenanigans with Dmitri away and Illium off-shift, Aodhan assigned to patrol the sea border, and Raphael dealing with the overall security situation.

She’d flown a proper defense grid, both to stay in practice and because none of them could afford to be blasé with the Cascade an unpredictable foe that could unleash itself at any moment, smashing the world back into chaos and, possibly, war.

Today, however, the others were on‑shift and she could kiss her lover. He burned hot, Raphael, but he was a crashing sea in her mind, a tumultuous, passionate storm that swept her up and thundered through her veins.

We can talk to Dmitri later, she sent to Raphael, sliding her hands up the ridges and valleys of his chest. Let’s go upstairs to our suite.

“A‑hem.”

She tried to ignore that pointed cough that held a biting amusement.

Raphael’s lips smiled against hers. I think my second has other ideas.


 

 

About The Author beige

Nalini SinghNalini Singh is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling, Guild Hunter, and Rock Kiss series. She lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing.

If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts and free short stories on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. The Rock Kiss books are all stand alone and can be read in any order.

STALK HER: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway beige

Nalini’s publisher is offering a paper copy of ARCHANGEL’S HEART to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page at the top of your computer

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

4. Please FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

6. Follow NALINI SINGH   on Facebook.

7. Giveaway is open to USA only

8. Giveaway runs from November 1 to 5, 2016

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Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake – Review, Interview & Giveaway

Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake – Review & Interview, & Giveaway

 

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Description:
The Riders are three immortal brothers who protect the mythical Baba Yagas. But their time serving the witches has ended—and their new destinies are just beginning…
 
Ever since a near-fatal mistake stripped Mikhail Day and his brothers of their calling to be Riders, Day has hidden from his shame and his new, mortal life in a remote cabin in the Adirondack mountains. But when a desperate young woman appears on his doorstep, he cannot resist helping her—and cannot deny how strongly he’s drawn to her…
 
For generations, women in Jenna Quinlan’s family have been cursed to give up their first born child to the vengeful fairy Zilya. When Jenna finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is determined to break her family’s curse and keep her baby, even if it means teaming up with a mysterious and charismatic man with demons of his own…
 
To unravel the curse, Jenna and Day will have to travel deep into the Otherworld. But the biggest challenge of the journey might not be solving an ancient puzzle but learning to heal their own broken hearts…

 

 

Review:

Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake is the first book in her new Broken Riders series.  This is a spinoff from Blake’s successful Baba Yaga series.  I have not read that series, but this book read very well without having to read the previous series,  as the author gives us information along the way to make it easier.  However, with that being said; I enjoyed this book and Deborah Blake’s writing, and I will need to find time to read the Baba Yaga series (3 books and 2 novellas).

Mikhail Day, our hero, is a White Rider, who protected the Baba Yaga witches, and was immortal.  We learn at the start that Mikhail is a Broken Rider, after being tortured by a crazed witch in a previous story, losing his immortality.  When we meet Mikhail, he is still recovering but in seclusion.  On a stormy night a lost young lady knocks on his door to get into safety from the rains.  Mikhail’s life will once again change.

Jenna Quinlan is our heroine, and she is desperately trying to escape a fairy, who is determined to find Jenna.  It seems that Jenna is pregnant, and the fairy, Zilya has come to claim her first born child.  Jenna’s family has suffered this curse for generations, and Jenna is desperate to find a way out. 

Mikhail at first wants nothing to do with her.  All he wants is to be alone.  But he does take her to meet the fairy Queen, who would like to help Jenna, but this curse was created long before the rules changed.  As in the land of the Fae, the Queen gives a sly hint to Mikhail to help Jenna and warns Zilya to leave Jenna alone until after the baby is born.  This gives Jenna a chance to solve the curse riddle that will release Zilya’s claim. 

What follows is a fun and romantic story line, where Mikhail and Jenna will travel through the Otherworld to find the clues.  Barbara, one of the Baba Yaga witches, will offer some help in trying to unravel the riddle, but Mikhail and Jenna must do this on their own.  Despite his wanting to be alone, slowly Mikhail finds himself falling in love with Jenna, and she with him.  We also get to meet Mikhail’s brother, who is also a Broken Rider, and whose story will be next. 

The key to a good story is always to have characters you enjoy and care about.  Deborah Blake gives us this in Dangerously Charming.  I loved Mikhail and Jenna, as they made a great couple.  I loved the supporting characters, such as Barbara, the Baba Yaga witch; Gregori, Mikhail’s brother, Babs, the young daughter of Barbara, and even the Fairy Queen was nice.   This was an enjoyable read, exciting, action-filled, as they had to fight off those trying to stop Jenna; a sweet romance, great couple, as well as spending time in the land of the Fae.  Dangerously Charming is in fact a charming & fun story. I look forward to the next book in this series, and to find time to read Deborah Blake’s Baba Yaga series. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

Interview

Hi Deborah. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions today.We are always looking forward to reading about the author behind the book.  

TRC: Would you please tell us something about yourself? 

Deborah Blake
Deborah:
I live in rural upstate NY in a 130 year old farmhouse with three cats, my day job is running an artists’ cooperative shop a friend and I founded 17 years ago, and I am a practicing witch. Don’t worry…I’m a good witch, not a bad witch.  

 

 

 

TRC: Have you always been interested in writing? When and how did you first start writing? 

Deborah: I’ve been writing since I was a kid. (I think I wrote my first “novel” sitting at the back of a sixth grade class.) I dabbled some when I was in my teens and early twenties, but the rejections scared me off. I didn’t get serious until I was about 45 and had my first nonfiction book published. I guess you could call me a late bloomer!

TRC: Dangerously Charming is the 1st book in your Broken Riders series. Can you please tell us about the premise of this series? How many books are you planning for this series?

Deborah: The Riders were side characters in the Baba Yaga series, companions and friends of the Baba Yagas. Something BAD happened to them in the third book (hence the “broken” in Broken Rider) and this series follows the three Riders as they try to figure out new lives…and their mysterious new abilities. The Baba Yagas do make appearance in these books, too. At the moment, the plan is for three books, one for each Rider, Day, Sun, and Knight.

Dangerously Charming
TRC:
Can you please give us a brief description of Dangerously Charming?  

Deborah: Ever since a near-fatal mistake stripped Mikhail Day and his brothers of their calling to be Riders, Day has hidden from his shame and his new, mortal life in a remote cabin in the Adirondack mountains. But when a desperate young woman appears on his doorstep, he cannot resist helping her—and cannot deny how strongly he’s drawn to her…
 
For generations, women in Jenna Quinlan’s family have been cursed to give up their first born child to the vengeful fairy Zilya. When Jenna finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is determined to break her family’s curse and keep her baby, even if it means teaming up with a mysterious and charismatic man with demons of his own…
 
To unravel the curse, Jenna and Day will have to travel deep into the Otherworld. But the biggest challenge of the journey might not be solving an ancient puzzle but learning to heal their own broken hearts… 

TRC: Broken Riders is a spin off from your Baba Yaga series.  For those who may not have read your Baba Yaga series, can you please give us a brief description of the series? 

Deborah: The Baba Yaga series is an updated version of the Russian fairy tales about a powerful witch. These days, Baba Yaga is more of a job title than an individual person, and the series features three different women—all powerful witches, but all very different—as they cope with magical challenges (and some pretty challenging non-magical men). Luckily, they have help from the Riders, and each has her own Chudo-Yudo, the Baba Yaga’s mythical dragon companion, disguised as a giant white pit bull, a huge black Newfoundland, and a massive Norwegian Forest Cat. (People would probably notice a dragon.)  

TRC: How did you come up with the idea of Baba Yaga

Deborah: My agent Elaine and I were talking one day about what I should write next. We agreed that we both liked my books that had witches as protagonists, and we both liked updated fairy tales. So I tried to figure out which fairy tales hadn’t been overused (and had witches in them that weren’t completely the bad guys) and ta da! Baba Yaga.

TRC: You write multiple genres, such as Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy, etc .   Do you have a preference on writing a genre, and have you thought of writing a different genre?

Deborah: I love both Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy I’ve written for Berkley (plus the nonfiction books on witchcraft I write for Llewellyn), but right now I’m actually working on a humorous contemporary romance. I love books that make me laugh. And romance, of course.

TRC: Can you please tell us what you working on now, and what you have upcoming in 2016/2017?

Right now I’m working on the romantic comedy, a book of cat magic, another Baba Yaga novella, and revisions on the second Rider novel, which will be out in November 2017. There will also be a second novel in the Veiled Magic series come spring, the novella towards fall, and I have a tarot deck coming out from Llewellyn in January 2017. 

TRC: What is your writing process?  Do you like to outline your story before you start? Do you have a specific place you like to write?  Is there a special time of day that works best for you?

Deborah: I do outline. I have since about the second book I wrote, but now that I am working with an editor, I always have to submit a synopsis for each book anyway. I actually do fairly extensive outlines, since they help when I get stuck or overwhelmed. I write sitting in a red recliner or on the couch (which also reclines) in my living room, since it seems to be the easiest on my back and arms, and it also makes it easy for the cats to supervise me. I usually work in the evenings, from about 6:30 until 10:30 (give or take), although on the weekends and days off, I sometimes also do another stint in the morning. And yes, that means I work seven days a week, most of the time. 

TRC: When you are not writing, what other interests or hobbies do you have?

Deborah: Besides cats? (laugh) I make jewelry, have an extensive garden, and I like to cook. I also am the high priestess of a small coven, so I do some magical things with the gang on occasion.   

TRC: Would you like to add anything else? 

Deborah: I love my readers—they have been so supportive of my books and my writing. I hope people will come connect with me on my blog, Facebook, and Twitter. And I hope they read and enjoy Dangerously Charming! 

To learn more about Deborah Blake, you can find her at the following links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

 

 LIGHTNING ROUND 

Favorite Food: Chocolate. No, lobster. No, chocolate. Okay, bacon.

Favorite Dessert: Tiramisu 

Favorite Movie: The Princess Bride 

Favorite TV Show: Firefly (yes, I know it is off the air—I’m still bitter) 

Favorite Movie or TV Celebrity: Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver) 

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Dark all the way 

Favorite literary character (not your own): Alanna (Tamora Pierce’s heroine) 

Dog or Cat: Cats (although I do like dogs too)   

Thank you, Deborah, for answering our questions. The Reading Café wishes you the best of luck with Dangerously Charming.

 

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Deborah’s publisher is offering a paper copy of DANGEROUSLY CHARMING to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page (at the top of your computer).

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9. Giveaway runs from October 7-11, 2016

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Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews – Review & Giveaway

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews – Review & Giveaway

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Magic Binds
Kate Daniels series – Book #9
by Ilona Andrews
Release Date: September 20, 2016

Magic BindsAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM / The Book Depository

Description:
Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

 

 

Review:

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews is the 9th book in her fantastic Kate Daniels series.  The mark of a great series is when you read each book, you can’t put it down; but when you see the story moving too fast, you force yourself to slow down, so that you can savior it a little bit longer. Kate Daniels is one of these series.  Magic Binds is once again a fabulous story written so wonderfully by the Ilona Andrews duo ( Ilona & Gordon Andrews).  Magic Binds was fantastic; maybe even the best one yet.

In Magic Binds, Kate is preparing for her wedding to Curran, or shall we say, her friends are.  In the last few books, we have learned more about Roland, Kate’s ultra powerful father, who wants to rule the world.  As they try to talk civilly to each other and profess their love, we also know that this will end in death for one of them.  Things are escalated when the Oracle warns Kate that her vision shows that if she marries Curran, he will die, which will also include the vision of her son’s (she has no son, this is a future prognosis) death by Roland.  Time is of essence, as war is on the horizon, much sooner than expected.

Kate will use everything in her power to find a way to stop Roland, which is just about impossible.  She will face a god; she will go as far as bringing someone she killed to help her; prove that she is just as powerful as her father to gain the support of the pack, vampires and the guild.  Many of our favorites will play a big part in this story; Julie, Derek, Jim, Ghastek, Saiman, Jim, Roman, Dalia, Christopher, just to name a few. 

To tell too much more would be spoilers. This was a pulse pounding intense exciting story line that was non-stop action all the way.  Kate rises up to everything we knew she could do, and then some. The last half of the book was so great; you could not put the book down, even if I wanted it to last longer and keep savoring it.  Kate Daniels proves over and over that she is one of the best kick-ass heroines in the literary world.  I love her and Curran together, as a couple they too are one of the best.  Magic Binds was a sensational read, and Andrews has outdone themselves.  Bravo!  I do not how much longer this series will go, but I am praying we have many books left.  If you have not read this series, this is another gem you should not be missing.  

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

Giveaway

Ilona Andrews’ publisher is offering a Hardcover copy of MAGIC BINDS to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page (at the top of your computer).

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please follow Ilona Andrews on Facebook.

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

5. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Please follow The Reading Cafe on Tumblr

8. Giveaway open to USA only

9. Giveaway runs from September 19- 23, 2016

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Unraveled by Jennifer Estep – Dual Review & Giveaway

Unraveled by Jennifer Estep – Dual Review & Giveaway

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Unraveled
Elemental Assassin series – Book #15
by Jennifer Estep
Release Date: August 30, 2016

UnraveledAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM / The Book Depository

Description:
After the shocking revelations of the previous book, Bitter Bite, the world of Ashland’s become even more sinister, and Gin Blanco (aka Ashland’s most fearsome assassin, the Spider) no longer knows who—or what—she can count on. Only one thing is for certain: danger and new enemies await Gin in Unraveled, Book 15 in the New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series that RT Book Reviews calls “unbeatable entertainment!”

What could go wrong when you’re trying to unravel a decades-old conspiracy?

As the current queen of the Ashland underworld, you would think that I, Gin Blanco, would know all about some secret society controlling things from behind the scenes. I might be the Spider, the city’s most fearsome assassin, but all my Ice and Stone elemental magic hasn’t done me a lick of good in learning more about “the Circle”. Despite my continued investigations, the trail’s gone as cold as the coming winter.

So when Finnegan Lane, my foster brother, gets word of a surprising inheritance, we figure why not skip town for someplace less dangerous for a few days? That place: Bullet Pointe, a fancy hotel resort complex plus Old West theme park that Finn now owns lock, stock, and barrel. At first, all the struttin’ cowboys and sassy saloon girls are just hokey fun. But add in some shady coincidences and Circle assassins lurking all around, and vacationing becomes wilder—and deadlier—than any of us expected.

Good thing this assassin brought plenty of knives to the gunfight …

Barb’s Review:
Unraveled by Jennifer Estep is the 15th book in her fantastic Elemental Assassin series.  This series is one of my top favorites, as I always wait impatiently for the next book. Jennifer Estep, also one of my top favorites, continues to bring us wonderful exciting stories that flow very well, and one of the best kick-ass heroines in Gin Blanco (Spider).  Unraveled continues this trend with another wonderful exciting action packed story. 

Gin recently discovered that another powerful enemy has been secretly been running things for years in Ashland, and her mother may have been part of the Circle. Unraveled starts with Gin trying to find information that will tell her who and what is the Circle?  Unable to find any information, a frustrated Gin decides to take a needed break and go with Fin to a wild west theme park, which he recently inherited from his deceased mother.  When Gin, Fin, Bria and Owen arrive at the park, it doesn’t take long to see something is amiss, and perhaps they have walked into a trap. When she sees Tucker, the current villain and part of the Circle, Gin knows their lives are in danger.

What follows is an exciting adventure, where there are giants and sharpshooters that are part of the west theme park, and their enemies.   In the middle of this is the mystery of the million dollar missing gems that Fin’s mother hid somewhere in the park.  The villains are hoping to get Gin to find the gems, and then kill the four of them. Will Gin and the gang be able to escape the heavily guarded park?  Will Gin find out who are the members of the Circle?

During her stay at the park, Gin does have flashbacks to when she was a child, and she remembers when she first saw Tucker and many of the evil villains that Gin has faced over the years.  Gin learns more about her mother, and the Circle.  Nice touch by Estep, giving us a look at the early years.  I also enjoyed the part when they ate at the barbeque restaurant in the theme park, which paled in comparison to Gin’s Pork Pit.   I would like to visit her place.  🙂

In true Gin Blanco fashion, never ever underestimate the Spider, as she faces insurmountable odds to save herself and her friends.  As always, it is so awesome to watch the Spider in action.  As we race to finish, the action is mind blowing, filled with action,danger , magic, and almost impossible feats.  Once again, Fletcher leaves a clue that Gin finally figures out, that will give them more information on the Circle, which will continue into the next book..Snared.

Jennifer Estep once again gives us a wonderful exciting action filled story. If you have not started this series, you are missing out on a wonderful author and a fantastic heroine.  I suggest you start Elemental Assassin now. 

 

Sandy’s Review:

UNRAVELED is the fifteenth installment in Jennifer Estep’s adult, contemporary ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN paranormal, urban fantasy series focusing on Gin Blanco aka The Spider –the reigning Queen of the paranormal Underworld of Ashland. UNRAVELED picks up immediately after the events of Bitter Bite and Finn’s novella Unwanted.

NOTE: If you have NOT read BITTER BITE or UNWANTED there may be some spoilers in my review

Told from first person point of view (Gin Blanco) UNRAVELED follows Gin and her intrepid group of crime fighting family and friends –Gin’s significant other Owen Grayson; her sister Bria Coolidge; and Gin’s foster brother and Bria’s boyfriend Finnegan Lane- as they embark on a well deserved vacation that Gin suspects will be more dangerous than fun.

Upon the recent death of Deidre Shaw (Bitter Bite), Finnegan Lane learned he had inherited a ‘Western’ theme park and resort known as Bullet Pointe, and with it the potential for millions of dollar in missing gems. What ensues is the search for the ‘fabled’ diamonds, and the numerous attempts against our heroine’s life. Gin has been targeted by the secret society of assassins known as the Circle, and Bullet Pointe is the perfect location for the Circle to trap The Spider and her closest friends. As Finn and the others try to locate the missing gemstones, Gin finds herself on the run when the others are taken hostage and Gin is targeted for assassination.

Throughout the story, there are a number of dreams and flashbacks focusing on Gin’s mother Eira Snow. New details are emerging about Gin’s younger years, and her mother’s possible association with the Circle assassins. Fletcher Lane’s cryptic message left behind in the bank’s safety-deposit box has Finn and Gin scratching their heads hoping for some other type of clue.

There is a large ensemble cast of characters including Owen, Bria, and Finn, as well as Gin’s assistant Silvio Sanchez, ice elemental Lorelei Parker, and Owen’s best friend Phillip Kincaid. The requisite evil has many faces including vampire Hugh Tucker, and fire elemental Roxy Wyatt. Lawyer Jonah McAllister makes a cameo appearance as he prepares for his upcoming hearing, and he himself becomes the target of the infamous Circle.

UNRAVELED and Bitter Bite mark the beginning of a new story line arc in Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. Unlike a number of the other story lines in the series, the action is limited, and the violence is not as graphic or one-sided. The premise is entertaining, while the author focused on the past and the cycle of events that comes full circle to present day. The characters are colorful and eclectic although Finn, Bria and Owen’s roles are more subdued than in the past couple of stories. And as with most Urban Fantasy story lines and series, the romance is secondary to the main premise although we do get some limited Gin and Owen time allowing for a glimpse into their revitalized relationship. UNRAVELED is a delightful and imaginative read.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

 

Giveaway-redandblack_zps8ff4dc4b

Jennifer is graciously offering FOUR giveaways to FOUR (4) lucky commenters at The Reading Cafe: 

* A paper copy of UNRAVELED & the first 3 books of her Black Blade series to one lucky commenter.

* A paper copy of UNRAVELED to Three (3) lucky commenters.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE:  If you are having difficulty commenting after logging into the site, please refresh the page at the top of your computer

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE and Follow Jennifer Estep on Facebook

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

5. FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Giveaway open to USA only.

8. Giveaway runs from August 29 – September 2, 2016

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