Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: The Becoming (The Dragon Heart Legacy #2) – Nora Roberts

Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy

Review:

I’m a big fan of Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb but I almost didn’t read this book. The first book in the trilogy, The Awakening, was such a big disappointment and I hated how the people in Talamh, except for Breen’s grandmother, the friends who supposedly cared about Breen treated her, how they pressured her when they should have supported her. The Awakening had so much potential but the lack of connection and blame-the-victim trend in it made me hate it. So I wasn’t too keen about trying The Becoming. But Nora Roberts’ stories were a lifesaver to me during times when I wasn’t okay so I decided to read it. I’m glad I did.

The first book definitely sucked but the second book, The Becoming made up for it. I still had issues with the love interest, Keegan, but I loved Marco. He’s the epitome of everything a best friend should be and I was happy at how his life progressed in this book. He was amazing.

I enjoyed the other supernatural beings in the book which added value to the story. I also feel like the people who treated Breen badly in the first book redeemed themselves a bit though it still pisses me off when I think of it. The plot-line was a bit predictive, I suspected what was going to happen next so the events weren’t as surprising as they could have been. But the ending provided me with some of that deep connection – what I call Nora Roberts’ signature trait – that was missing in the first book and The Becoming ended up being a good book.

∼Lyn

Synopsis: The world of magick and the world of man have long been estranged from one another. But some can walk between the two–including Breen Siobhan Kelly. She has just returned to Talamh, with her friend, Marco, who’s dazzled and disoriented by this realm–a place filled with dragons and faeries and mermaids (but no WiFi, to his chagrin). In Talamh, Breen is not the ordinary young schoolteacher he knew her as. Here she is learning to embrace the powers of her true identity. Marco is welcomed kindly by her people–and by Keegan, leader of the Fey. Keegan has trained Breen as a warrior, and his yearning for her has grown along with his admiration of her strength and skills. But one member of Breen’s bloodline is not there to embrace her. Her grandfather, the outcast god Odran, plots to destroy Talamh–and now all must unite to defeat his dark forces. There will be losses and sorrows, betrayal and bloodshed. But through it, Breen Siobhan Kelly will take the next step on the journey to becoming all that she was born to be.

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Reprint: Hot Enough to Burn – Cynthia Eden

Hola, Book Dragons! Saturday night what are you upto? I’m in bed binge-rewatching one of my favorite Kdramas, While You Were Sleeping. I had my booster shot today and the anxiety kind of had me doing pretty much nothing productive today. On my way to the vaccine clinic, I was checking out my Instagram when I came across Cynthia Eden’s post about a new book.

At first, I thought it was a whole new paranormal story – I love her paranormal stories – but it’s actually a reprint of the first book in her Phoenix Fire series, Burn For Me. Looks like the series has been renamed, Phoenix Fury. I’m a bit disappointed it’s not a new series but I love the new cover and I previously loved her Phoenix series a lot so I’m curious to find if there are any changes in the reprints.

Synopsis:
Do you believe in monsters? You should, they walk among humans every single day. Reporter Eve Bradley has known the truth about paranormals for a while, and her latest story has taken her inside the mysterious Genesis facility. It’s at Genesis that Eve first meets Subject Thirteen, Cain O’Connor. Big, gorgeous, and truly, truly HOT.
Cain is a phoenix shifter. Every time that he dies, he rises from the ashes…stronger, deadlier, and another step closer to losing his control. And what happens when a phoenix loses control? Welcome to hell on Earth.
Cain feels an instant connection with Eve, a woman who swears she wants to help him. The attraction between them burns hotter than his flames, and soon, Eve is the only link to sanity that Cain has as the world turns to fire around him.
Eve isn’t human, despite the cover she’s used for years, and she is more than capable of withstanding a little heat. But as their enemies plot to trap them, Eve and Cain will be forced to trust each other completely. Be forced to surrender to a desire that cannot be controlled, and soon, if they are not careful, it’s a desire that might just have the power to destroy them both.
If you want something too badly, if you want someone too much…you will never even see the fire coming, not until it’s too late. Be careful. You don’t want to get burned…

What about you guys, any reprints of old favorites?

~Lyn

Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: Dark Tarot (Dark #31) – Christine Feehan

Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Review:

Ever since Christine Feehan introduced the Ancients back in Dark Promises, I’ve been anticipating their stories with bated breath. Though some of the newer stories had more of an erotic tendency, she never failed with her fantastic storylines. You’d think that after 34 books in the Dark series with one of the major plot-lines concluded in book 20, Dark Slayer, she’d run out of new plots. But not so. Once again she amazes me with the start of a new storyline that brings new villains to be fought in the Carpathian world. 

Dark Tarot is the ancient, Sandu and his lifemate, Adalasia’s story. As an ancient Sandu has lost all hope of ever finding his lifemate until a voice reaches out to him and floods his senses with colors and emotions. Of course, life is never so easy as to just hand you your happiness on a platter. No, blood and sweat are always involved. Complication upon complication awaited. And an underlying mystery that led back to Sandu and his connection to his lifemate. 

I liked Adalasia so much. She was quite fierce and protective of her family’s legacy. Ah, the marvelous tarot cards! I’ve always been fascinated by tarot cards but Christine Feehan wove a whole new deck with fantastic descriptions that made them so real to me. I was amazed by Adalasia’s mastery of her magical tarot deck.

The best things about this book were the fun interactions between Adalasia and the other ancients, Sandu’s ‘brothers’, seeing all my favorite characters again, and all the potential of a new storyline that brought forth new lifemates for the ancients and the unmated Carpathians that we’re still hoping find their happy-ever-after and of course, evil antagonists that need to be slain. I can’t wait for the new stories!

∼Lyn

Synopsis: Sandu Berdardi continues to exist only to protect his people. An ancient Carpathian, his entire long life has been dedicated to honor above all else. He knows his time has passed, especially since he has not been able to find his lifemate — the anchor to keep him sane in a world he no longer understands. But just as he truly starts to give up hope, a voice reaches out to him in the night and his world explodes into color. Adalasia enters Sandu’s mind seamlessly, as if she has been a part of him forever. While she can see the shape of things to come in her deck of cards, her gift is both a blessing and a curse. The true course of Sandu’s quest remains unclear, with danger waiting at every turn. She cannot see everything the future holds, but she does know it is a journey they will take together.

 

Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: Shadows in Death (In Death #51) – J.D. Robb

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Futuristic

Review:

This is another review that I haven’t been too keen to write. It’s not that I didn’t like the book but it wasn’t the dynamic, mastermind of a story I’d expected it to be with a nefarious part of Roarke’s mysterious and dangerous past rearing its ugly head. I remember how excited I was about this book but it pretty much tanked for me.

Shadows In Death started out well but Eve’s opponent this time, a blast from Roarke’s past, turned out to be a disappointment instead of a cunning criminal. I mean, Eve’s previous cases had criminals who escaped the law through convoluted, clever plans and Eve and Roarke still bested them. But here comes this low-life crook who only has luck on his side and everyone’s stumped? This was disbelieving to me on so many levels.

Other than that, I enjoyed the solidarity and loyalty of all the cops of the homicide division. The show of integrity made the book worth reading but if I wasn’t such a die-hard fan of the In Death series and I didn’t know the characters, my rating would have been less.

∼Lyn

Synopsis: Lt. Eve Dallas is about to walk into the shadows of her husband’s dangerous past. As it often did since he’d married a cop, murder interrupted more pleasant activities. Then again, Roarke supposed, the woman lying in a pool of her own blood a few steps inside the arch in Washington Square Park had a heftier complaint. When a night out at the theatre is interrupted by the murder of a young woman in Washington Square Park, it seems like an ordinary case for Detective Eve Dallas and her team. But when Roarke spots a shadow from his past in the crowd, Eve realises that this case is far from business as usual. Eve has two complex cases on her hands – the shocking murder of this wealthy young mother and tracking down the shadow before he can strike again, this time much closer to home. Eve is well used to being the hunter, but how will she cope when the tables are turned? As Eve and the team follow leads to Roarke’s hometown in Ireland, the race is on to stop the shadow making his next move . . .
Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: The Awakening (The Dragon Heart Legacy #1) – Nora Roberts

Rating: 1/5 🌟

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance

Review:

Has a book ever broken you, not because it was so amazing but because it was so freaking disappointing? I have dreaded writing the review of this book since I started reading it and this dread, I believe now, is what caused my longest reading slump to date. Nora Roberts is one of my favorite authors and her stories have always given me strength to deal with my own life so it really hurts when one of her books leave me feeling so slumped and disappointed.

The Awakening started out so well, with such promise. I was first lured by that fantastic cover. I enjoyed the overall plot of it and I loved Breen. I empathized with her and understood what she went through and the strength it took to become who she wanted to be.

I loved Marco. He and Sally were my favorite characters. Breen’s friendship with Marco, that deep connection—Nora Roberts did a great job here because I could feel that depth of feeling.

I’ve always loved Nora Roberts’ books because of the values in them, the connection between people, the consideration and understanding between the main characters, that depth of feeling between them, the freedom of will—I hate that these were missing from the book.

When you’ve been pushed into a certain mold, and it takes Herculean strength to hammer and build yourself up, it sucks when the people who should understand that, who are supposed to be your friends are the ones who get mad when you don’t let yourself be pushed around. Breen didn’t deserve that. This and the lack of depth of feeling between the main characters (except for Breen and Marco) were a big disappointment for me.

I know The Awakening is just the first book in a trilogy but even as a first book, the rich story-telling that is Nora Roberts’ signature would have made this story absolutely gripping to me. It’s a shame because this book did have all the potential of an epic story but it saddens me that not even the cliffhanger moved me.

∼Lyn

 

Synopsis: In the realm of Talamh, a teenage warrior named Keegan emerges from a lake holding a sword—representing both power and the terrifying responsibility to protect the Fey. In another realm known as Philadelphia, a young woman has just discovered she possesses a treasure of her own… When Breen Kelly was a girl, her father would tell her stories of magical places. Now she’s an anxious twentysomething mired in student debt and working a job she hates. But one day she stumbles upon a shocking discovery: her mother has been hiding an investment account in her name. It has been funded by her long-lost father—and it’s worth nearly four million dollars. This newfound fortune would be life-changing for anyone. But little does Breen know that when she uses some of the money to journey to Ireland, it will unlock mysteries she couldn’t have imagined. Here, she will begin to understand why she kept seeing that silver-haired, elusive man, why she imagined his voice in her head saying Come home, Breen Siobhan. It’s time you came home. Why she dreamed of dragons. And where her true destiny lies—through a portal in Galway that takes her to a land of faeries and mermaids, to a man named Keegan, and to the courage in her own heart that will guide her through a powerful, dangerous destiny…
Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: Faithless in Death (In Death #52) – J.D. Robb

Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Futuristic

Review:

From the first time I read Naked In Death, I was hooked. To say that the In Death series is one of my favorite series is like saying water’s wet. This series became close to my heart, a part of me. Eve and Roarke’s story changed my life for the better, made me stronger.

The previous installment to the series, Shadows In Death was a disappointment when I had so much expectation over it and it left me with a worry that the newer installments would be equally as disappointing but I need not have worried.

I’ve followed Eve and Roarke’s journey from the first book to this latest addition, Faithless in Death, which I just read for the second time. It’s that good.

Eve’s latest case started out as a usual murder only to branch out in twisting, convoluted paths. I have to say that this is the kind of case that suits Eve Dallas and not the one in Shadows In Death.

I loved seeing my favorite characters in Faithless In Death and the interactions alone made this book priceless to me. I enjoyed the fantastic surprise, but no worries, I’m not giving away any spoilers.

As the case progressed, my heart went out to the victims. I couldn’t help but empathize with them over everything they suffered. I was right there with Eve & Roarke, all the cops in the homicide division, with all my favorite characters as they sought justice for the innocents who couldn’t protect themselves.

The ending chapters, that fantastic scene between Eve and Roarke delighted me. Faithless In Death showed all the values throughout the entire series—the integrity, loyalty, love, strength, the fight for justice—and was an absolute pleasure to read.

Faithless In Death was released on February 9th 2021.

∼Lyn

Synopsis: In the new Eve Dallas police thriller from #1 New York Times-bestselling author J. D. Robb, what looked like a lover’s quarrel turned fatal has larger–and more terrifying–motives behind it… The scene in the West Village studio appears to be classic crime-of-passion: two wine glasses by the bed, music playing, and a young sculptor named Ariel Byrd with the back of her head bashed in. But when Dallas tracks down the wealthy Upper East Side woman who called 911, the details don’t add up. Gwen Huffman is wealthy, elegant, comforted by her handsome fiancé as she sheds tears over the trauma of finding the body–but why did it take an hour to report it? And why is she lying about little things? As Eve and her team look into Gwen, her past, and the people around her, they find that the lies are about more than murder. As with sculpture, they need to chip away at the layers of deception to find the shape within–and soon they’re getting the FBI involved in a case that involves a sinister, fanatical group and a stunning criminal conspiracy.
Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews, Netgalley

Book Review: Quiet No More – Nikki Barthelmess

Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Review:

Life after surviving sexual assault. How do you do it? How do you pick up the pieces and get on with your life? Is that what you’re supposed to do? Can you? That is what Victoria strives to figure out after surviving sexual assault by her father and the hardship of foster care.

Victoria’s now in college, trying to get through her classes while inside her emotions are all messed-up. Her father’s sentencing looms ahead and she’s stuck in a love-and-hate tug of war for him, trying to grasp the right thing to do.

I empathized with Victoria over what she was undergoing and the author did a good job showing her doubts, confusion, her pain, her struggle not to let what happened to her drown her.

Right and wrong have always been pretty black and white for me. So I wanted Victoria to see her father for what he was, and I wanted her to make the right decisions but it’s hard to do that when you’ve been pushed into a certain mold.

What her so-called friend did was horrible and a breach of trust and friendship. I don’t condone that. Quiet No More is a book worth reading, providing awareness on what victims and survivors of abuse face from friends and family, strangers and society in general.

Synopsis: College freshman Victoria Parker is trying to move on with her life after surviving sexual assault by her father and six months in foster care. She’s focusing on the positives–attending college, living on her own, repairing old relationships and making new ones, and getting involved with an abuse survivors activist group on campus. But everything’s thrown into disarray when a strange woman shows up, claiming to be Victoria’s aunt and asking Victoria to lie about what happened to her. With her father’s sentencing in a few months, she’s nervous about having to share the truth of what happened with a judge. She’s not even sure if she has the strength to go through with it. But when her fellow club members begin pressuring her to speak out, Victoria has to decide how to share her story while remaining true to herself.
Posted in ARC Reviews, Book Blog, Book Reviews, Netgalley

ARC Review: Fable (Fable #1) by Adrienne Young

Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pub Date: 01 Sep 2020

Review:

One fateful night leaves Fable without a mother and abandoned on an island where she has to fend for herself until the day she finds passage off it with the help of a young trader, West. And so begins the start of unlikely alliances as they strive to navigate peril and keep their head above water.

Fable’s story, how she had to strive to live, to survive, broke my heart. I felt so much pain for this young girl, left to fend alone, having to stay on guard all the time. I wanted to hug her and make her life better. Give her food, shelter, protect her. The author wove such a heartbreaking character with a core of steel that you couldn’t help but feel for her.

As for West? He was an enigma, layers and layers of complications and secrets. I wanted to know everything about him, and finding those answers, getting to know him better – drew me in deeper. The ending chapters? Oh, I tipped over the edge and fell for him.

The side-characters, the crew of the Marigold—each one with their unique voices, charmed and endeared me to their plights. As secrets are revealed and pacts made, this story grabs you and hooks you in to the last page.

The world-building and descriptions were excellent. The author’s writing was a pleasure to read and the cliffhanger left me in high anticipation for more. This was my first book by Adrienne Young, and I have to say she completely won me over. I cannot wait to read the next book.

*Thanks to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.⁣

Synopsis: As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father. But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive. Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.
Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews, Edelweiss

Book Review: Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) – Zoraida Córdova

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Review:

I remember wanting to read this book when it first came out. But as you know with us book dragons, we’re like magpies and we get distracted by newer, shinier things, aka newer books. When I saw it was available for request on Edelweiss and that the third book in the trilogy will be released soon, I had to request it. Plus, how cool is this new cover? I love it better than the original – this new cover with the possibility of a whole other realm behind those doors.

Alejandra (Alex) is a bruja who’s scared of her magic and wishes she could get rid of it. So, on her Deathday celebration, she does a spell to banish her powers and of course things don’t go as planned and the spell causes her family to disappear. Alex is stuck with Nova, another bruja and he’s her only chance to try to get them back.

The few chapters were good and I really liked Alex. I understood her reasons for not wanting her magic. Her few, bad experiences with it had left her with mistrust and fear. But the way she didn’t take responsibility for her actions made me start to dislike her. At every point, her outlook and thoughts disappointed me.

That said, I found the plot-line, world-building, the portrayal of the brujas, and their magic, excellent. If not for the main character falling out of favor with me, I would have loved this story. Even the love triangle, the impact of which was quite mild, wouldn’t have been such a pet peeve to me like it usually is. It’s hard for me to love a story if I don’t like the main characters. I did like the ending chapters, the climax and that cliffhanger though.

*Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Alex is a bruja and the most powerful witch in her family. But she’s hated magic ever since it made her father disappear into thin air. So while most girls celebrate their Quinceañera, Alex prepares for Death Day—the most important day in a bruja’s life and her only opportunity to rid herself of magic. But the curse she performs during the ceremony backfires, and her family vanishes, forcing Alex to absorb all of the magic from her family line. Left alone, Alex seeks help from Nova, a brujo with ambitions of his own. To get her family back they must travel to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…
Posted in ARC Reviews, Book Blog, Book Reviews, Edelweiss

ARC Review: Once in a Blue Moon (Blessings, Georgia #10) – Sharon Sala

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 25 August 2020

Review:

After a tumultuous marriage and acrimonious divorce, Cathy fled her ex-husband to try to find a peaceful life for herself. That’s where the small town of Blessings and the super-cute, super-nice rancher, Duke Talbot come in. As the newcomer in Blessings, Cathy is reluctant to make new ties. When Duke comes to the rescue after Cathy has a bad fall, it pushes her into instant ties with the town denizens, filling her life with new possibilities and new chances.

I liked Cathy. Her decisions left me in awe. To leave everything behind, venture out in the unknown without knowing what you’ll encounter takes a lot of courage and I admired her for it. She was a good fit for Duke, a man who shouldered responsibility and strove to do what was right. Duke was so endearing, he charmed me straight away. I loved his relationship with his brother, Jake and sister-in-law, Hope.

My only complaint with this story is that it veered away too much from the romance between Cathy and Duke to focus instead on the lives of the townspeople. I would have enjoyed the story more if the focus had been on Cathy and Duke. I did love the addition of little 8-year-old Melvin Lee though, which enhanced Cathy and Duke’s relationship. He was a sweet little tyke and his manner of speaking was so cute you couldn’t help but love him and feel for his situation.

It’s been a long time since I last read a Sharon Sala book but I still enjoy her writing and the dashes of humor always leave me smiling. This book is part of a series but can also be read as stand-alone.

*Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Sharon Sala’s Blessings, GA series immerses the reader in a world where bad things may happen, but good people always come out ahead. Supremely satisfying, Sala’s contemporary romances bring out the best in people! Rancher Duke Talbot meets Cathy Terry in Blessings by chance. She’s new to town, and so grateful to be there—Blessings feels like a safe haven. As their relationship grows and Cathy sees Duke’s feelings for her are real, she confesses she’s on the run from an abusive ex-husband. Now she’s fallen in love with Blessings and with Duke, and Cathy doesn’t want to run anymore.