Deadly Curiosities (Deadly Curiosities #1) by Gail Z. Martin

Welcome to Trifles & Folly, a store with a dark secret. Proprietor Cassidy Kincaide continues a family tradition begun in 1670 – acquiring and neutralizing dangerous supernatural items. It’s the perfect job for Cassidy, whose psychic gift lets her touch an object and know its history. Together with her business partner Sorren, a 500-year-old vampire and former jewel thief, Cassidy makes it her business to get infernal objects off the market. 
When a trip to a haunted hotel unearths a statue steeped in malevolent power, and a string of murders draws a trail to the abandoned old Navy yard, Cassidy and Sorren discover a diabolical plot to unleash a supernatural onslaught on their city. 
It’s time for Kincaide and her team to get rid of these Deadly Curiosities before the bodies start piling up.

I suppose I introduced myself to this world created by Gail Z. Martin/Morgan Brice a little backwards. (For the record, that’s not an usual thing for me…) Although this is the first book in the Deadly Curiosities series, it was not my first introduction to Teag, Sorren or Cassidy. Aside from the fact that I listened to the audio version of this book a few months ago and have read several books/series written under Morgan Brice, I also read Trifles & Folly 1 and Trifles & Folly 2, which are collections of short stories that fit between the full length books in the series. About time I officially start from the beginning, don’t you think?

The mystery builds in Deadly Curiosities as it becomes obvious that there’s a connection between seemingly unrelated items. It’s up to Teag, Sorren and Cassidy to figure out what that connection is before whatever or whoever’s behind it gets even more dangerous. They end up calling in reinforcements with the own set of unique talents.

I love the premise of this series. Each of the characters brings something unique to their “side” business and Charleston is the perfect setting. The relationship between the characters is much more than a business one, it’s more like family. There’s action, danger, demons, ghosts, magic and a vampire – what’s not to love?

Although my precarious relationship with audio books is getting better, after reading the ebook version of Deadly Curiosities, I realized that there was a lot that I missed or maybe didn’t retained when I listened. *sigh* That’s not a reflection on the audio version at all, because I actually liked the narration. So please don’t hesitate to pick it up if audio is your preference 😉

Tracker Hacker (Codename: Winger #1) by Jeff Adams

High school student. Hockey player. Computer whiz kid. Covert agent?
At sixteen Theo Reese is the youngest agent for Tactical Operational Support. His way with computers makes him invaluable. He designs new gadgets, helps agents (including his parents) in the field, and works to keep the TOS network safe. But when a hacker breaches the system TOS uses to track agents, Theo is put to the test like never before.

Thrust from behind the safety of his desk, Theo must go into the field to put a stop to the hack. He’s scared but resolved because one of the missing agents is his father. And just to make it more interesting, he has to keep everything a secret from his boyfriend and teammates.


I’m not exactly sure why it’s taken me so long to pick up a book by Jeff Adams, especially since he’s been on my radar for a while. On the plus side, since I’m late to the Codename: Winger party, I don’t have to wait between books. 😉

I’m not sure what I expected from Tracker Hacker, but I’m pretty sure that I got a lot more than I bargained for.

Theo Reese isn’t your average sixteen year old, even if you don’t take into consideration his secret life. He’s a better than average hockey player as well as a computer whiz. He’s also a loyal boyfriend and friend, which makes keeping his secret life secret more than a little complicated. He hates keeping things from his boyfriend. It’s getting harder and harder because Eddie isn’t dumb and he knows that Theo is keeping secrets. He’s just hoping that Eddie trusts him enough to stick by him.

I loved the intrigue surrounding this story. There was a lot going on and there were times that even Theo wasn’t sure exactly how to separate the good guys from the bad. I adored his parents and how supportive yet torn they were about the danger that Theo was in. That supportive relationship made parts of Tracker Hacker heartbreaking. And yeah, I was totally not expecting to get choked up reading an adventurous YA spy story, but there you go.

Schooled is next full length book in the Codename: Winger series, but A Very Winger Christmas is a short story that fits between the two. I might save that one till closer to the holidays, but I’m not planning on holding off on Schooled. Looks like I’m officially hooked! 😉


Unholy (Witchbane #5) by Morgan Brice

A cycle of ritual murders. A coven of dark warlocks, drawing their immortality from the magic of their dead master. Two men sworn to stop the deaths, destroy the warlocks, and avenge the victims. Except this time, the killer flips the script. 
Seth Tanner swore vengeance on the dark witches who killed his brother, Jesse. He rescued Evan Malone from one of the witches, and they’ve fallen in love despite the danger and chaos, going on the road to complete the quest and bring an end to the ritual murders. Their relationship is still new, tested at every turn by danger and magic. 
Seth and Evan head to Charleston to stop the next warlock and save his intended victim. But this time, they’re too late. The warlock has already powered up, and he’s determined to destroy the two hunters one way or another. A deadly curse on Seth and Evan means time is running out. Can they find a way to turn the tables, or is Charleston their final destination? 

Seth started out his battle against the dark warlocks on his own, but that changed once he rescued Evan. Even though the hunt to destroy the warlocks and save the sacrifices put them both in danger, it was easier than doing it alone. They both found out along the way that there is strength in numbers. This time, they needed all the strength they could get from allies both new and familiar. The next warlock was one step ahead of them. Not only did he beat them to his sacrifice, he found their greatest weakness – keeping them apart.

There was little or no down time in Unholy, which made it a pretty quick read. I think that this may have been my favorite book in the series so far. Honestly, that may have been because of all the crossover characters that were included in this story. Their trip to Charleston brought them to Cassidy, Teag and Sorren (Deadly Curiosities). Seth and Evan had called on them for help before, but this was the first time they had met in person. It also brought them face to face with “people” they were used to fighting instead of trusting. Needless to say, the new experiences, wrapping their heads around a new reality and the constant danger kept the pages turning.

I adore this world that Morgan Brice/Gail Z. Martin has created. It’s especially fun when the series characters cross over and their was obviously quite a bit of that in Unholy. If you’re a fan of Urban Fantasy you can pretty much start anywhere in any of the series in this intertwined world.

All Fired Up (Ashes & Dust #1) by Jenn Burke

Once bitten. Twice burned. Forever bonded.
Paranormals are dying. All over the city, with no explanation and only one thing in common: their magic is missing.
Vampire and private investigator Evan Fournier isn’t supposed to be taking on paranormal cases, but when the murderer hits close to home, he agrees to look into it. The last thing he expects is to become a target himself—and then to become irrevocably bonded to the man who just tried to kill him.

With his memory gone and his soul bonded to a stranger, former firefighter Colin Zhang wants to be anywhere else. He doesn’t have a damn clue why he just tried to kill Evan, and he didn’t even know about magic until just now. The sooner he can get back to his real life, the better.
But every time either of them tries to leave, pure agony stops them short. Forced to work with Evan or suffer the consequences, Colin must excavate the secrets buried in his missing memories while battling two rising threats: the conspiracy behind the murder, and his mutual attraction to the bond mate he never wanted.

I was one of those readers that was not at all happy with the fact that Jenn Burke’s Not Dead Yet series had come to an end. I may have even voiced that opinion in my review of Graveyard Shift. Although I felt that Wes and Hudson’s story came to a satisfying, yet bittersweet end, there were still things that needed to be resolved. Namely, the way things were left for Evan. For that reason alone, you can imagine how happy I was to find out that not only were things not quite over, Evan was getting his own story. 🙂

You can read All Fired Up without reading the Not Dead Yet series first, but there’s a lot of back story in the previous series that Ashes & Dust builds off. Wes and Hudson make a few well timed appearances and so do other familiar characters. This is most definitely Evan and Colin’s story though and it was a great start to their series.

Both Evan and Colin are broken characters. Evan suffered a devastating loss and still battles with emotional scars he suffered in his past. Colin has to come to terms with the fact that the life he thought he had is over. He “woke up” to a world he had no idea existed – one that he’s now a part of whether he likes it or not.

The tenuous relationship between Colin and Evan is only part of the story. There’s a new threat to paranormals the evil behind it needs to be stopped. Colin may not understand what’s going on, but he’s at the center of the conspiracy and once Evan gets him away, they both end up with targets on their back. Needless to say, I can’t wait for this series to continue. House on Fire is next and it can’t come soon enough. 😉

The Elven King’s Promise (Fated Elves #3) by Devon Vesper

A carefully forged peace is threatened by unforeseen danger.
The prospect of going to college terrifies Dustin, and he balks at using Casersis’s money to do it. Along with his normal, human insecurities, Dustin is beside himself between going to therapy to deal with changing species and worrying about his omega’s upcoming heat. But Dustin is unprepared for the new twist when he accidentally soulbonds with an enemy. Erastus is crazed to get Dustin away from Casersis and will stop at nothing to get his way. 
Casersis is trying his hardest to put Dustin’s mind at ease, despite not understanding the very human hang-ups getting between them. But when his public relations officer attacks him, Casersis’s worries shift from Dustin to those trying to hurt him and his alpha. 
With his mate distracted, Dustin’s new soulbond could cost his relationship with Casersis. Or—even worse—his life. 

I know that I mentioned in my review of The Elven King’s Love that I missed the first book in the Fated Elves series, The Elven King’s Captive. At the time I also mentioned that I felt like I was missing integral parts of the story (Duh!) but it wasn’t too bad and I caught on quickly. Unfortunately, I felt those “missing pieces” even more in The Elven King’s Promise. It didn’t keep me from enjoying the continuation of Cas and Dustin’s story, it was just enough to let me know that there was more to the story. So, if this review is your first introduction to the Fated Elves series and it piques your interest, do yourself a favor and start from the beginning. You can thank me later 😉

Even though Dustin and Cas have come a long in their relationship, they still have some challenges ahead of them. Trust has grown, but there are still those niggling moments of doubt. Not so much about each other, but mostly about themselves and how they stack up to their mate. Cas worries that Dustin will get bored with him and eternity and Dustin worries that he will never be enough. Plus, Dustin is still transitioning, which just adds another layer to everything else that’s going on. As if all that weren’t enough, Erastus is a force that isn’t going to go away. He cares about Dustin and despises Cas. Cas doesn’t trust Erastus either, but neither one of them know the full story about the day that changed the course of both their lives. Throw in someone within Cas’s own ranks trying to cause him harm and it’s no wonder this was a hard one to put down.

I have a feeling things are about to get really interesting. The Elven King’s Forever is next and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Burn (Witchbane #1.5) by Morgan Brice

One hundred years ago, a sheriff’s posse killed dark warlock Rhyfel Gremory, but his witch-disciples escaped, and their magic made them nearly immortal. To keep their power, each year one of the witch-disciples kills a descendant of one of the men in the posse, a twelve-year cycle that has cost dozens of lives, including that of Seth Tanner’s brother, Jesse. 
Seth uncovers a cycle of ritual murders that feed the witch-disciples’ power, and he saves Evan Malone, one of the warlock’s potential victims. Neither Seth nor Evan expected to fall in love, but when the dust settles, they find themselves on the run and on the road together, heading toward Pittsburgh, on the trail of the next killer. 
Seth wonders whether Evan will come to regret his choice to stay together, now that he’s living the reality of Seth’s nomadic life and the risks that come with it. He wants Evan to stay, but he’s afraid that Evan would be better off without him, living a normal life. Evan’s whole world has been upended, but there’s one thing he’s sure of, his love for Seth. Evan worries that he’s a liability, not yet able to hold his own in Seth’s rough-and-tumble world, but determined to do whatever necessary to have Seth’s back. On the way to face the next warlock, supernatural threats abound, forcing them to learn to fight as a team. 
Fate and danger threw them together. But once the adrenaline fades, will love last? 

In true “Creative Deeds Reads” fashion, I somehow missed this book. By the time I realized my mistake I had already read both Dark Rivers and Flame and Ash. Yikes! Burn was a nice reminder of how new things really were between Evan and Seth, so I guess it wasn’t too much of a blunder on my part. 😉

Burn takes place right after the events in Witchbane. Even though Evan was thrown head first into the supernatural world in Richmond, he had no idea exactly how extensive that world was. Burn was kind of like an initiation. A lot happened in this story and the events tested both Evan and Seth and their new relationship. Evan spent time proving himself and Seth spent time hoping the reality of dealing with everything didn’t scare Evan away. They both had something to prove and they didn’t always handle things perfectly.

Burn was the perfect transition story for the Witchbane series. Both men learned a lot about themselves and each other. It also built on the world that this series is centered around – and touched on characters from other series the are a part of the same world. Next up for me is Unholy, the 4th book in the Witchbane series (if you consider Burn 1.5).

Black Moon (Wolf Moon Rising #1) by Sam Burns & W.M. Fawkes

An apple a day won’t keep this doctor away.
Linden Grove has always known that he’s not destined to be the next pack alpha. That position belonged to his brother Aspen—but then Aspen left the pack to join the military. When the unthinkable happens and the pack is left rudderless, someone has to step up and take care of it. Can a doctor go from “do no harm” to defending his own with his teeth and claws?
Colt Doherty is used to a certain kind of life. Glittering, picturesque, and . . . empty. As the youngest child of the country’s only werewolf senator, Colt has grown up in the spotlight, and he’s all too used to knot-headed alphas taking credit for the work of others, especially omegas like himself. When his editor sends him to write a story on the Grove pack, though, he finds something completely unexpected: Linden Grove in his unpolished perfection, as shiny and sweet as the apples his pack are known for.
A Grove pack omega has been kidnapped, and someone has to step up. The pack needs Linden to fill his father’s shoes, but no wolf can stand on his own. To save the day, sheltered Colt has to drop the politics and become the action hero he never thought an omega could be.

This is the second book that I’ve read by Sam Burns and W.M. Fawkes. The first was Wildfire, which was full of magic and mythology – one of my favorite genres. Black Moon is the first book in what promises to be an amazing werewolf series, that is also another one of my favorites. In other words, I’m pretty sure I’ve found a new favorite writing duo 😉

Linden was one of those characters that was hard not to like. He was admired by many and misunderstood by a few. His caring for the members of his pack went way beyond the fact that he was their doctor. He had the heart that was necessary for a pack alpha, he just didn’t think he had the brawn to back it up. Watching him grow into the leader that his pack needed was one of my favorite parts of this story. My other favorite part was watching Colt slowly become a part of a pack that was nothing like what he was used to.

Black Moon had plenty of danger, suspense, pack politics, a sweet romance and a few new twists on pack dynamics that kept the story fresh and the pages turning. Both Colt and Linden grew a lot during the course of the story and surprised even themselves in the new roles that they found themselves made for.

The next book in the Wolf Moon Rising series is Harvest Moon followed by Hunter Moon. I can’t wait to get to know the rest of the Grove pack even better.

Haven (Magic Emporium) by Morgan Brice

Old secrets, hidden psychics, secret shifters, ghosts, scandals—and true love.
A series of long-ago disappearances leads cold case private detective Austin Williams to investigate a troubled sanitarium.
Jamie Miller is new in town, temporarily running the local historical association, and he willingly signs on to help solve Austin’s mystery.
Sparks fly between them as they dig into the hospital’s troubled past. But someone wants the past to stay buried—and is willing to bury Austin and Jamie to keep it that way.

Haven is part of the multi-author Magic Emporium Series. Each book stands alone, but each one features an appearance by Marden’s Magic Emporium, a shop that can appear anywhere, but only once and only when someone’s in dire need. This book contains explicit scenes and a guaranteed HEA.

I have to admit, Haven is the only book that I’ve read in the Magic Emporium series. Since it’s a multi-author series with only one element of connection, it can definitely can be read as a stand alone. That one element was intriguing though and after taking a glance at the rest of the authors included in the mix, I have a feeling I’ll be checking out at least some of the rest of the offerings included in Magic Emporium. 😉

Jamie and Austin were both characters who were easy to like. They both had secrets that they were hesitant to reveal to each other, but those secrets made more alike than they realized. They also made them the perfect team to solve the more dangerous secrets that the town was hiding.

There was plenty of action, danger, spookiness and romance to keep the pages turning in Haven. There were also some familiar characters for those readers who have read the Fox Hollow series and other Morgan Brice books. Just enough to give new readers a taste or what they’ve been missing and give long time readers a chance to re-visit familiar locations and characters. Which kind of makes me think that readers haven’t seen the last of Jamie and Austin 😉

This is Not a Horror Movie by Sara Dobie Bauer

Emory Jones loves two things: horror movies and Connor Nichols.
For the past four years, Emory, Connor, and their families have vacationed side by side on Longboat Key, Florida. Eighteen-year-old Emory has pined for his neighbor from behind the covers of Stephen King books, but college boy Connor has never noticed him. Probably because Emory looks like Jack Skellington with good hair.
Emory anticipates another predictable summer of sunburn and disappointment. Instead, he ends up with a mystery on his hands when a beloved beach bum goes missing, and Connor volunteers to help with the search. Turns out it’s not just scary movie cops who are worthless, so the boys start an investigation of their own—leading them straight to an abandoned beach resort.
Despite the danger, Emory and Connor grow closer, but as Emory’s gay dreams start coming true, so do the horror movie tropes he so loves. Even though he knows that sex equals death in slasher flicks, Emory can’t keep his hands off the guy of his teenage dreams.
This is Not a Horror Movie is a 78,000-word new adult gay rom-com… with a monster.

There was so much to love about This is Not a Horror Movie. It was a grand mix of a sweet young romance, laced with humor and a touch of B-Movie campiness.

Emory was adorable. He was a little geeky and totally clueless about his growth-spurt turning into someone both girls and guys were staring at for reasons he didn’t quite understand. He had admired Connor from somewhat of a distance for years. His family knew all about his attraction to their yearly vacation neighbor, but since Connor was way out of his league, most likely straight and too reminiscent of the jocks at his school – Emory kept his feelings to himself. This was destined to be a summer of change though.

Both Emory and Connor were the kind of teenage boys that were refreshing to read about. They were far from perfect, but they were good, thoughtful, caring kids. The kind of kids who walked an older woman’s dog, or went in search of a homeless Vet – and put themselves on the line when they could have just turned away.

I also loved the family connections in This is Not a Horror Movie. They had their moments, like all families do, but both Connor and Emory’s families were super supportive. I also adored the twin connection between Liz and Emory.

Basically, This is Not a Horror Movie is the perfect vacation read, especially if you’re headed to the beach. 😉

Silent Knight (Fog City #5) by Layla Reyne

I won’t let anything happen to you. 
Fourteen years ago, Braxton Kane’s feelings were forbidden.
As an officer, he couldn’t fall for an enlisted… no matter how much he longed for Holt Madigan.
Now—as a police chief in love with a digital assassin—his promise to always protect Holt is becoming harder to keep.

I’ll protect you. 
Holt doesn’t understand why his best friend has been pushing him away for months.
But when Brax’s life and career are threatened, Holt refuses to allow the distance any longer.
The Madigans protect their own, and Brax is family, whether he believes it or not.

I won’t let anything happen to you either. 
Forced together, Holt realizes his feelings for his best friend have changed.
His desire to explore the promise their single night together held is undeniable.
His resolve to protect the man who has always protected him is unshakable.
But if Holt wants a future with Brax, he’ll have to search and destroy the person who attacked him—before Brax activates the kill switch and sacrifices himself.

Love and devotion. Friendship and trust. Family. It all comes down to this. Holt and Kane, together at last, in the final book of the Fog City romantic suspense series.

This is one of those books that I couldn’t wait to read, but was dreading at the same time. Of course I’ve felt that way whenever one of my favorite series has come to an close (and this author has made me feel that way more than once.) As bittersweet as this ending to Fog City was, it couldn’t have come to a more satisfying close or ended with a more perfect couple.

The series began centered around Hawes and Dante/Chris in the first three books – Prince of Killers, King Slayer and A New Empire. In each of these books readers got to know not only the main characters, but Helena, Holt and Brax. Although I was happy that the story continued and Helena and Celia got their HEA, I was really excited when I found out that Holt was next. After all he had been through, it made sense that he would be the last of the Madigans to find the happiness he deserved. That didn’t make the wait any easier or the torture even less, especially while reading Queen’s Ransom.

Although readers knew that Holt and Brax had a history, their past was laid out in the beginning chapters of Silent Knight. Pretty much the first half of the book is told from Brax’s POV and it was both beautiful and heartbreaking. Their relationship seemed doomed from the start. Even a friendship between an officer and an enlisted man was frowned upon when they met. Brax would take what he could get though, even though it nearly broke him. Getting into Brax’s head, in both the past and the present, helped readers understand where he was coming from. It didn’t help Holt or his family understand why someone so close to them seemed to be pulling away. It’s a good thing that the Madigans were tenacious. They protected family above everything else, and Brax was family, whether he admitted it or not.

There was so much to love about Silent Knight. There was love and betrayal, loss and hope, acceptance and loyalty, along with some healing. The sense of family was first and foremost – and the Madigans gained a LOT of family during the course of the Fog City series. There were a lot of familiar faces from previous books and series, which kind of gives me hope that we haven’t seen the last of the Madigans. 😉