Something Witchy This Way Comes (Jolie Wilkins #5) by HP Mallory

A witch’s work is never done, and in bestselling author H. P. Mallory’s mesmerizing new novel, Jolie Wilkins finds that the real magic is only just beginning.
 
For smart and sexy witch Jolie Wilkins, being Queen of the Underworld is a royal pain. Back from a round of time travel, Jolie must now protect her realm from the sinister Lurkers—a powerful breed of half-humans bent on conquering the undead. And if there’s one thing she knows, it’s that the supernatural never go down without a fight. 
 
At least Jolie has her soul mate (and finally official boyfriend), warlock Rand Balfour, by her side. Honorable, brave, and unbelievably handsome, Rand is everything Jolie wants in a man. So why can’t she forget the dangerously alluring vampire, Sinjin Sinclair? With her private life heating up and a battle boiling over, Jolie sets out to prove that in matters of love and war, the fairer hex has its own set of charms.

Ever finish the final book in a series and not be totally satisfied that it’s over? Not just that you’ll miss the characters and you don’t want to say goodbye. More like there’s a lot more story to be told and it didn’t come to a satisfying end. Yep, that’s how I felt when I flipped to the last page of Something Witchy This Way Comes.

First, let me just say that I’m not bashing the book. Not by any means. I love this series and the characters are some of my favorites. I love Jolie’s ‘voice’ and HP Mallory’s writing style. I just didn’t feel like this book was the end of Jolie’s story. Unfortunately, I can’t go into detail as to why without giving too much away and I refuse to write a spoilery review so you’re just going to have to take my word for it. Lame, I know, but I don’t know how else to put it.

As for the story itself, no complaints. It was everything I’d expect from a Jolie Wilkins book. There was mystery, action, humor, not a lot of romance, but it was there and a few surprises thrown in for good measure. There were some new characters thrown in and most mysteries were solved. The old characters were still present and did I mention there were surprises? 😉 Yet, still, I wanted more. Oh well.

In HP Mallory’s defense, she is going to begin a new series featuring one of the characters from this book. I can deal with that and I will follow the new series as well. Some of my reaction may also be just pouting on my part. I may not have been happy with the ending regardless of how it was handled. Mainly because I like these characters and this world so much. Yet, I just keep thinking that if I didn’t know that this was the final book in the Jolie Wilkins series before I started the book, I don’t think that I would have known it by the time I was finished. *sigh*

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Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin #2) by Jennifer Estep

Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon.

I’m Gin Blanco.

You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I’m retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren’t aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coal mining tycoon, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I’m a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn’t made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.

I have to say, this series just gets better and better and I’m only 2 books in. The more time I spend with Gin and crew, the more I want to get to know them. Any qualms I had about relating to an assassin as a true heroine were pretty much put to rest by the time I finished Spider’s Bite. Web of Lies did nothing but reinforce my love and respect for Gin and her mentor.

As much as I love Gin, the supporting characters are some of my favorite in a series. Fin, Sophie, Jo-Jo and even the deceased Fletcher round out a cast of characters that are the perfect balance to Gin’s personality. I love Fin’s humor and support, Jo-Jo’s motherly attention, Sophie’s strength and Fletcher’s influence even though he isn’t present. The back story that is provided through past conversations with Fletcher add a lot to understanding Gin’s past. All those elements work seamlessly together.

There were some new characters thrown into the mix this time. A few that I’m sure are going to prove to be interesting in the future. At least one character left (at least for the time being) and honestly, I can’t say that I’m going to miss him. Any guesses on who I’m talking about?

A few mysteries were solved and a few more cropped up. Just enough to keep things interesting. Venom is the next book in the series and luckily it’s ready and waiting on my shelf. I honestly can’t wait to pick it up and see what happens next.

Web of Lies is the second book in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. I picked it up so I could take part in the Elemental Assassion Series Read-A-Long sponsored by Ashley at Smash Attack Reads and Brianna at The Book Vixen. Each month either Ashley or Brianna will share discussion questions about the current book featured in the Read-A-Long. Follow the link if you want to join in the fun!

The Lost Prince (The Call of the Forgotten #1) by Julie Kagawa

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Okay, honesty time here. I really wasn’t sure about The Call of the Forgotten series. It wasn’t because I don’t love the Iron Fey series. It wasn’t because I thought that Julie Kagawa didn’t have more story to tell where the Fey are concerned. I think it may have been simply because I couldn’t imagine going back into this amazing world without having Meghan, Puck and Ash front and center. Reading Iron’s Prophecy did little to change that opinion. I should have known better. It only took me one chapter to get pulled back into the world of the Fey through Ethan Chase’s perspective.

Ethan wasn’t living life, he was trying to survive it. He had no friends because he spent most of his time avoiding people so he wouldn’t have to worry about dragging anyone else into his crazy existence. It was impossible not to sympathize with him almost immediately. Kenzie wasn’t really living life either, but for far different reasons. She saw through the ‘tough guy’ barrier that Ethan built around himself to keep people away. Putting these two together was both brilliant and …. well, you’ll have to read the book to find out what else it is.

Ethan has not only grown a lot since readers were introduced to him in the beginning of the Iron Fey series, he grows a lot in The Lost Prince too. His entire perspective changes and some of that wall inevitably crumbles.

There were lots of new characters introduced in The Lost Prince, but there were familiar faces too. Grimalkin was just as annoying as ever and served as Ethan and Kenzie’s guide. Readers were also reunited with Meghan and Ash and Puck made his grand entrance with his usual flare. The most notable new character introduced was of course Keirran. I wasn’t sure what to expect from him. I won’t say much more, just in case. (If you’ve read Iron’s Prophecy, you’ll understand.)

If you haven’t read the Iron Fey series from the beginning, don’t start with The Lost Prince. There is way too much back story revealed in The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen and The Iron Knight to not treat yourself to them first. The only other recommendation that I have is to pick up Iron’s Prophecy before you pick up the first book in The Call of the Forgotten. You won’t be totally lost if you don’t, but you will be missing some key information that isn’t even revealed in The Lost Prince. Just a friendly suggestion. You can thank me later 😉

The Lost Prince didn’t exactly end in a cliff hanger, but there is definitely a lot more to come. As much as Ethan would love to leave the Fey behind, he’s way too involved by the end to turn his back on them now. September 2013 is such a long time to have to wait for The Traitor Son. *sigh*

Marked (Eternal Guardians #1) by Elisabeth Naughton

THERON—Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He’s the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.

From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn’t exist in real life—silky shoulder-length hair, chest impossibly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.

She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron’s duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year-old descendent of Hercules, he wasn’t strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.

As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Okay, I just found a new series to follow. Here I was, just trolling around seeing what other people were reading on GoodReads and this one caught me eye. PR, Alpha Male, Greek Mythology…. what’s not to love? Throw in the fact that it was a freebie and I couldn’t resist. Now I’m hooked and there’s no turning back. *sigh*

Theron was everything an Alpha male should be. Dark, dangerous, stubborn and not able to resist the power Casey had over him. Casey was a lost soul who never felt like she belonged anywhere. The connection between these two was strong and inevitable but the odds were totally against them. The basic premise is that each of the Argonauts has one true soul mate. The kicker is that it is their least likely choice, almost their true opposite. Given the fact that Theron has no respect for humans or half breeds it only stands to reason that his soul mate would be a human he was destined to destroy. A true gift from the Gods which sets up the perfect scenario, wouldn’t you say?

The supporting characters were developed just enough to make you want to get to know them a lot better. So much so I can’t wait to get to the rest of their stories. These Argonauts, their women and the Gods their lives are ruled by made this book a hard one to put down.

The world building was detailed and the characters didn’t get lost in the descriptions. Sometimes it seems like the main characters in the first book in a series get lost in all the set up for the series. I didn’t feel that way in Marked. There was a lot of ground covered but Theron and Casey were right there in the middle of all of it.

The next book in the Eternal Guardians’ series is Entwined and it’s Zander’s book. I can’t say too much without slipping any spoilers in, but let’s just say his book should be extremely interesting and I’m already trying to track it down. 😉

I received Marked as a free download from Amazon on October 18, 2012.

Bluestone Homecoming (Welcome to Bluestone #1) by M.J. Frederick

War correspondent Leo Ericson returns to his hometown of Bluestone Lake, Minnesota, when his parents notify him his young son is having trouble fitting in at school. Leo doesn’t know how to be a single parent since the death of his wife, and he certainly has no desire to return to Bluestone. But he needs a place for his son, a place where he’ll be with family, while Leo does his job. He’ll stay long enough to get Max settled, then go back to work.
School counselor Trinity Madison watches Leo struggle with his son, trying to overcome the mental barricade she’s erected against the man who sent his son away when he’s perfectly capable of caring for the child. The situation brings about her own unsettled feelings about giving her child up for adoption when she was young. But as she observes Leo’s difficulties, his sacrifices, she softens toward the man.
While he’s in town, he ends up working with some old friends and Trinity on a committee to revitalize Bluestone. The former resort town is struggling and looking for ways to bring tourists back. Leo finds himself charmed, then smitten with the feisty counselor, but will he still love her when he learns her secret?

Bluestone Homecoming is another Contemporary Romance that I decided to take a chance on. It was a quick read for me and the characters drew me in fairly quickly.

Neither Leo or Trinity were the people they seemed on the surface. They both had ‘ghosts’ in their past that kept them from totally opening up to one another. The pain that they were both dealing with ended up being the force that brought them together. A lot of emotional issues are covered in this one. Adoption, grief, the struggles of a single parent, just to name a few. Through all that though there was still some lightness and humor thrown into the mix.

Although CR books aren’t my g0-to, the supporting characters in this one are enough of a draw to make me want to follow this series. Welcome to Bluestone has some interesting characters and the small tourist town setting and the sense of community within it are appealing as well.  Bluestone turned into a nice place to escape and I’m looking forward to a return trip.

I received Bluestone Homecoming as a free download from Amazon on October 6, 2012.

How to Date a Werewolf (Rylie Cruz #1) by Rose Pressey

Convinced that she will never find true love because of a family curse, Rylie dedicates her life to helping lonely local werewolves meet their soul mates through her company Got a Mate Dating Service. When she begins to fall for one of her clients and believes that the curse is finally lifted, her life takes a dangerous turn. 

Rylie, who is being tormented by an ex-client, must convince her new love that she is in serious trouble not delusional, as he fears – before it is too late.

I like PNR with a touch of humor. I like a book that has a bit of humor thrown in. I love werewolves and characters with spunk. How to Date a Werewolf had all that, yet for some reason it just didn’t grab me.

I’m not sure what it was. The story was good. The characters were engaging. The dialogue flowed easily. There was just something about this one that didn’t make me fall in love with it.

Don’t fret though. That doesn’t mean that I’m not recommending it. I think the Rylie Cruz series has definite potential and I’m not abandoning it at all. I’ll get around to reading the rest of the series, I’m just not scrambling to pick up the next one.

If you’d like to find out what other people thought about How to Date a Werewolf, check out these reviews.

Karen Fowler’s GoodReads Review 

Amanda’s On a Book Bender Review

Dana Burnett’s GoodReads Review

I received How to Date a Werewolf as a free download from Amazon on October 6, 2012

Kissed by a Vampire by Caridad Piñeiro

For two thousand years, vampire elder Stacia has roamed on her own, haunted by the betrayal that turned her into a creature of the night. Her nights looming empty and eternal, Stacia longs for love, but settles for quick bites and sinful pleasures in South Beach. Until she comes face-to-face with the unforgettable DEA agent she once brought back from the brink of death. Alex Garcia knows that demons exist—the real kind, the kind that are kidnapping women and selling them into slavery. Finding those victims is his focus—not a beautiful seductress whose otherworldly abilities can’t possibly be real. But when Stacia summons all her powers to prove what she really is, Alex will summon all his to believe in the vampire’s kiss….

Kissed by a Vampire was more than just a vampire romance. It was a battle between good and evil in both the supernatural and real world. A battle that turned into a real page turner.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I’ve been in a series rut lately. It was kind of nice reading a book that was an enjoyable read and the story was finished when I was done. Not that I am going to turn away from my love of series books, it was just a nice change of pace.

Alex was a career driven man, but not one who was out for money and power. His drive was justice and protecting the innocent. Falling for a vampire was definitely not something that coincided with that scenario. Stacia didn’t think so either. She lived for herself and thought that her days of finding love were beyond her. We all know that opposites attract, but Kissed by a Vampire took that adage to extremes. Even with the impossible odds, the relationship didn’t seem forced, it was totally inevitable.

Stacia didn’t fight the relationship as much as Alex. His sense of honor kept his feeling reigned in. Watching the walls around each of these characters crumble and the sacrifices that each of them made was what drove this story for me. I’ll be on the lookout for more books by Caridad Piñeiro.

Iron’s Prophecy (The Iron Fey #4.5) by Julie Kagawa

Meghan Chase is finally getting used to being the Iron Queen, ruler of the Iron Fey. Her life may be strange, but with former Winter prince Ash by her side at last, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

But when they travel to the Summer and Winter courts’ gathering for Elysium, the oracle from Meghan’s past returns with a dire prophecy: “What you carry will either unite the courts, or it will destroy them.” Now Meghan faces a devastating choice that may determine the future of all fey—and her and Ash’s unborn child… 

I’m so glad I picked up this novella before I started The Lost Prince. Not only is it a great little diversion back into the world of Ash, Meghan and Puck but it also gives you just enough background to get readers primed for the next part of the saga.

If you are a fan of The Iron Fey, this short read is a must. Once I started reading it, I was transported back into this wonderful world and I instantly remembered why I loved it so much. You won’t be lost if you skip this gem, but there are a few interesting secrets revealed in the Iron Prophecy that will shed some light on what Ethan is in for in The Lost Prince. Enjoy!

Bookmarks Anyone?

Yep, you guessed it! Another happy blogging buddy received bright, shiny new bookmarks this week 😉 I had so much fun playing with Andrea’s cute little owls. Be sure and stop by The Busy Bibliophile, Twitter (@thebusybiblio) or her Facebook page and say hi!

Aren’t they adorable? And since she got 1000, I bet if you ask her really, really nice she might send you one.

If you’re interested in bookmarks (or business cards, rack cards, blog headers, avis, etc…) stop by my Deeds Graphic Services site and take a look around. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to email me or fill out the form on my Contact page.

By creativedeeds

Fantasy Lover (Dark-Hunter #1) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dear Reader,

Being trapped in a bedroom with a woman is a grand thing. Being trapped in hundreds of bedrooms over two thousand years isn’t. And being cursed into a book as a love-slave for eternity can ruin even a Spartan warrior’s day.

As a love-slave, I know everything about women. How to touch them, how to savor them, and most of all, how to pleasure them. But when I was summoned to fulfill Grace Alexander’s sexual fantasies, I found the first woman in history who saw me as a man with a tormented past. She alone bothered to take me out of the bedroom and onto the world. She taught me to love again.

But I was not born to love. I was cursed to walk eternity alone. As a general, I had long ago accepted my sentence. Yet now I have found Grace–the one thing my wounded heart cannot survive without. Sure, love can heal all wounds, but can it break a two-thousand-year-old curse?

Julian of Macedon

Oh my, my my…. there are so many books and so little time. Which is the one and only excuse I have for waiting so long before picking up any of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books. Never fear though, that situation has been remedied. I am now totally on board the Dark-Hunter train, no worries

It’s no secret that any book that has any connection whatsoever to mythology will immediately get my interest. Fantasy Lover is loaded with mythology. It’s also loaded with tortured and broken characters and loads of romance. Is it any wonder that I had a hard time putting this one down?

There was a lot more to Fantasy Lover than just romance and a curse to break. The characters had depth and wit and there were so many quote worthy moments in this book it would be hard to pick them out. There were also touching moments. Not that there weren’t times that I wanted to give either Grace or Julian a ‘time out’ but that’s normal in any romance that involves characters with low self esteem. I know, it’s crazy that a mythological son of Aphrodite could have low self esteem, but Julian does and those moments just about crush them both.

Grace doesn’t feel like she deserves someone as swoon-worthy as Julian and Julian doesn’t think that anyone, including Grace can really ever love him for the real ‘him.’ Then there’s the curse, which seems to be unbreakable. What these characters go through fighting to get beyond everything in their past and hang on to each other makes for quite and amazing story. A story, that yes, included tears. *sigh*

The supporting characters added to the fun of this book and I can’t wait to get to see what Sherrilyn Kenyon has in store for readers when the actual Dark Hunters are introduced. The next book in the series is Night Pleasures and features Kyrian of Thrace, who was introduced in Fantasy Lover in a round about way. This series has been around for a while, which is lucky for me because that means I don’t have to wait long to pick each book up. Sometimes procrastination has its benefits;)