Dragon Consultant (Supernatural Consultant #1) by Mell Eight

Dane, a supernatural consultant, is hired by the FAA to look into a series of reported dragon attacks on their planes. What Dane finds in the wooded area where the attacks took place is not quite the problem he expected: a group of dragon kits and their sick father hiding from the authorities.
When he learns the real reason the family was in the woods, his case grows more dangerous, and though Dane is experienced at both crime solving and watching his own back, taking care of baby dragons and their ill father makes everything else look easy.

Since there seems to be some confusion… yes, I did tag this book as a M/M Romance. No, it has no explicit content at all, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a romance. There’s no better way to categorize it than that though. I considered Dragon Consultant a sweet romance because two people found each other and fell in love. Sometimes less is more when it comes to the written word – the important part in Dragon Consultant is that love is love, it takes all forms and sometimes a found family is the very best kind. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

Dragon Consultant was adorable. The dragon kits, from the youngest to the oldest, were witty, cute, smart and not easily won over. They had experienced a lot in their short lives and they didn’t trust easily. Dane was determined to find out what happened to them though and then he was willing to fight to make sure it never happened to them, or any other dragon, again. He was a pretty great hero.

It didn’t take long to figure out that Dane and Mercury were made for each other. They were cautious though and neither one of them had a lot of self confidence in the romance department. In some ways, they were as adorable as the kits.

Dragon Consultant wasn’t a long story, but it wasn’t lacking. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t want more and since it’s part of a series, I’m in luck. The re-release of Dragon Deception is coming soon!

Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox #3) by Julie Kagawa

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has given up the final piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers in order to save everyone she loves from imminent death. Now she and her ragtag band of companions must journey to the wild sea cliffs of Iwagoto in a desperate last-chance effort to stop the Master of Demons from calling upon the Great Kami dragon and making the wish that will plunge the empire into destruction and darkness.
Shadow clan assassin Kage Tatsumi has regained control of his body and agreed to a true deal with the devil—the demon inside him, Hakaimono. They will share his body and work with Yumeko and their companions to stop a madman and separate Hakaimono from Tatsumi and the cursed sword that had trapped the demon for nearly a millennium.
But even with their combined skills and powers, this most unlikely team of heroes knows the forces of evil may be impossible to overcome. And there is another player in the battle for the scroll, a player who has been watching, waiting for the right moment to pull strings that no one even realized existed…until now.

This book… this series… these characters… this ending… were all epic. I’d love to ramble and wax poetic, but I’m afraid if I did, I’d give something away. There were so many twists and turns. There were sweet moments, horrific moments and more heartbreaking moments that I should have expected, but didn’t.  There were surprising allies and a not so surprising growing list of enemies. Through it all, there was this “family” made up of Yumeko, Tatsumi, Reika, Okame and even Suki, who were there to support, love and honor each other. I loved them all… ❤

This mis-matched band of heroes gained an unexpected place in my heart that I didn’t see coming, even by the end of Shadow of the Fox, the first book in the series. I had no idea what I was in for when I started this series, but I’m so glad I picked it up. Julie Kagawa didn’t make it an easy series to read, especially this last book. I actually “yelled” at her more than once while reading and I’m not ashamed to admit that I could have read the last 20% of this book faster if I wasn’t slowed down by tears. I almost considered deducting at least a fraction of a star for the heartbreak that she put readers through, but I couldn’t. The ending just about broke me, but the epilogue helped me forgive her, maybe just a little.

Unforgotten (The Fallen Guardians #2) by Cassie Laelyn

Fate offers no mercy. Especially not to those who betray her.
Lethal Guardian Aric’s loyalty never falters. Not even when Fate exiled him and his brothers from the Heavens, separating Aric from his soulmate. He’ll do anything to reunite with her. But when Willow suddenly appears in the mortal realm, Aric’s greatest fear comes true—she’s no longer the angel he left behind.
Since Aric abandoned her, the Heavens have become Willow’s personal Hell. Centuries of bitterness and hurt is a toxic combination. It even affects her angelic powers. When a Fallen offers Willow a chance to escape, she accepts. But shunning her connection to the Heavens comes at a cost.
In a twisted battle of loyalty, trust and hope, what price will two soulmates pay for a second chance at love?

I knew from the moment I finished Unforsaken that The Fallen Guardians was going to become a new favorite. If possible, I think I may have liked Unforgotten even more, and not just because of Willow and Aric.

Of course if you’ve read Unforsaken, (which you totally should before you pick up Unforgotten) you’re already met Aric. I only thought that he broke my heart in the first book. Having him know that Willow was in the mortal realm and he still couldn’t be near her was pure torture. There were things about their time apart that neither one of them knew. Willow thought that she was abandoned and Aric thought he was keeping her safe. It seemed like repairing the damage between them was impossible. And Blaine wasn’t helping any…

Speaking of Blaine, readers were treated to a lot more time with him and the more I got to know him the more curious I became. There’s a lot more to him and his “fall” than anyone knows. There’s also a lot more to him and what drives him than meets the eye. He’s one of those characters that kind of grows on you whether you want him to or not. Hmm…

I loved spending time with these characters and I can’t wait to see what happens next. 😉

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.
Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.
When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.
But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.
An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

For the record, I should probably give you a heads up by letting you know that this will be a rambling review. If you’ve been here before, you already know that I tend to do that when I review a book by an author I adore. For the record, T.J. Klune is one of those authors and unsurprisingly, The House in the Cerulean Sea is most definitely one of those books. Consider yourself forewarned. 😉

I have to admit that Linus didn’t win me over in the beginning. The more I got to know him though, the more I realized that the real reason I couldn’t connect with him was because he couldn’t connect with himself. He was lost and didn’t even really realize it. He wasn’t really living, but simply surviving. It took me a while, but in true T.J. fashion, once I connected with this amazing story it wouldn’t let me go.

I was as leery as Linus when readers were first introduced to Arthur and his charges. It didn’t take long to figure out that these kids were much more than their “classification.” It also didn’t take me long to pick a favorite. (I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in my adoration of Lucy. ❤ ) Only T.J. Klune could make me fall in love with the Anti… well, that name or label just isn’t used in reference to one of Arthur’s charges.

Kids are a soft spot for me and The House in the Cerulean Sea pulled on all my heart strings. It did more than that though. there was more than one message. Without spoiling anything, but to give you just a taste of why this author is a must read for me…

“It’s not fair,” Linus said, staring off into nothing. “The way some people can be. But as long as you remember to be just and kind like I know you are, what those people think won’t matter in the long run. Hate is loud, but I think you’ll learn it’s because it’s only a few people shouting, desperate to be heard. You might not ever be able to change their minds, but so long as you remember you’re not alone, you will overcome.”

So yeah, Linus grew on me, just like he grew on Arthur and his charges. And then there was a theme that is front and center in a lot of T.J.’s books and one that I adore…

“A home isn’t always the house we live in. It’s also the people we choose to surround ourselves with.”

The House in the Cerulean Sea was much more than I expected. Sure, it was a little bit corny at times, but it made me smile. And yeah, the inevitable tears were there, even when I didn’t quite expect them. If you’ve never read a book by T.J. Klune, this is an amazing place to start.

“Don’t you wish you were here?”

Trust me, once you read The House in the Cerulean Sea, you’ll totally understand. 😉

 

 

 

Murder Any Witch Way (Brimstone Bay #1) by N.M. Howell

Being a witch is hard. It’s even harder when you live in a town that doesn’t believe in witches.
When young witch River Halloway moves to sleepy Brimstone Bay for her very first journalist job she doesn’t expect to cover anything ground-breaking, until a paranormal festival comes to town and a body is found on opening night. Now, with all evidence pointing towards a witch, River must find the true killer before she becomes the prime suspect, or worse, the next murder victim.

Murder Any Witch Way was a fun read, which is kind of a weird take on a book that dealt with murder. River had a personality that kept things light, even with the circumstances were anything but. She’s definitely a character that I want to get to know better.

Everyone in the paranormal community in Brimstone Bay was hopeful that having the the Paranormal Festival would be a good thing for them. It ended up backfiring though and putting an even more negative light on them, whether people believed in them or not.

The mystery was pretty intriguing and that, along with River’s wit, some great supporting characters and a curious cat kept the pages turning. I can honestly say that I didn’t guess the “who” in this “who-dun-it” until near the end.

Which Way to Hallows Bay is next in the Brimstone Bay series and it may take me a little while, but I’m definitely planning on continuing this series.

Healer’s Need (Ancient Ink #2) by Rhenna Morgan

When the hunter is your mate, being prey is anything but terrifying
Coyote shifter Tate Allen has been watching. Learning his mate every possible way before he moves in. Protecting her through the night, always from afar.
He’ll be the one to teach her about her gifts. He’ll be there when she changes for the first time.
With him, she’ll fulfill her destiny.
Elise Ralston loves Tate for the patience he’s shown. The faith he’s demonstrated—denying himself what he needs sexually, even as he teaches her about pleasure.
For Tate, Elise is willing to try. To revel in touch, to give him control…and to embrace her healer’s need.
But someone unknown is still stalking the clan, threatening more than Tate and Elise’s bond. And Elise is a prime target—precious for the magic she hasn’t even learned yet.

I really liked Guardian’s Bond and I’m also really glad that I made the decision to purchase that one before I read the ARC of Healer’s Need – for a lot of reasons… The first book in the Ancient Ink series not only introduced the characters in Healer’s Need, but a lot of world building ground work was laid. So… for once, you should probably do as I did 😉 (I don’t get to say that often, so pay attention – you can thank me later;) ) Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

Tate was one of my favorite characters in Guardian’s Bond. He and Jade had been a part of Priest’s life for a long time and the “sibling” banter between the two of them was natural (and entertaining), as well as the love and respect that they both had for Priest. Tate’s reaction to Elise at the end of Guardian’s Bond was priceless and I couldn’t wait to find out how things developed between the two of them. I wasn’t disappointed.

Like I said, I loved Tate in Guardian’s Bond, but he gained my respect in Healer’s Need. Given the mate bond, it was no surprise that he was amazing with Elise, but he still impressed me. Elise had been through a lot and Tate somehow sensed that and was patient. A lot was thrown at her at once, given the fact that she knew nothing of her heritage – at least nothing that she believed. I loved and respected her strength and determination to face her destiny.

I’m really loving this series and can’t wait for it to continue. Rhenna Morgan has quickly turned into one of my go-to authors. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for readers next.

Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox #1) by Julie Kagawa

One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.
Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.
Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.
There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.
With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a series by Julie Kagawa. I practically devoured The Iron Fey series and I loved Blood of Eden. When I saw Shadow of the Fox, I didn’t hesitate. Once I started reading, it didn’t take me long to remember why I love this author’s world building so much.

My first love in the Fantasy genre is mythology, mainly because I loved it as a child. It’s familiar, but every author has the ability to put their own spin on it, so the stories are also fresh. Shadow of the Fox was centered around Japanese mythology, a first for me. I have to admit that it took me a little while to wrap my head around this unfamiliar world, but not too long.

There was a lot to take in, but I loved all the twists and turns. The POV switched between not only Tatsumi and Yumeko, but some unexpected characters were given a voice. I loved the magic and legends that were woven into the story. There was danger everywhere and both Tatsumi and Yumeko kept secrets from one another – which didn’t make things easier for either one of them.

I also loved the twists and turns and the unlikely alliances that were formed along their journey. Yumeko’s perspective on pretty much everything was the polar opposite of Tatsumi’s, which was both confusing and frustrating for the warrior.

There are a lot of reasons why I can’t wait until the next book in Shadow of the Fox is released. First and foremost is that, things take a major turn near the end and then… yeah, you’ll just have to read Shadow of the Fox to find out and then join me in waiting not so patiently for Soul of the Sword. *sigh*

Guardian’s Bond (Ancient Ink #1) by Rhenna Morgan

Priest Rahandras has lived with the darkness trapped inside himself for years. Betrayed by his own brother and forced to watch his clan’s brutal annihilation, the only thing Priest wants more than to escape the curse that haunts him—as both man and beast—is to rebuild.
Until the mate he’s longed for walks into his life with an elder from his past. She’s everything he’s wished for, and the key to the clan’s very survival.
Kateri Falsen is a woman of logic and facts. While Priest’s cat can sense her arousal, telling her they’re fated won’t be enough. He’ll have to show her his love: with his words, with his actions and with his body.
Protecting Kateri from the evil trapped inside him is paramount. But when lost clan members are systematically murdered, he’ll have to choose between exposing his mate to his black magic, or risking her as the next victim.

I’ve been a HUGE fan of Rhenna Morgan’s Men of Haven series since I read Rough & Tumble. Somehow I missed Guardian’s Bond when it was first offered as an ARC, but once I saw Healer’s Need, I new I had to start at the beginning, so here we are.

Guardian’s Bond was an amazing start to this series. There was a lot of world building, which is expected in the first book in a new series, but it didn’t bog down the story. The fact that Kateri and her brother knew nothing about their heritage was the perfect catalyst for the magic they knew nothing about to be explained to both them and readers.

There was a lot to love about Guardian’s Bond. I loved the connection between Kateri and Priest. I loved the connection between the clan members. I loved the magic, the world building, the suspense, the characters, even the danger. I can’t wait to continue the series. Healer’s Need is already ready and waiting for me to pick up and from the hint of what’s in store for characters at the end of Guardian’s Bond, Healer’s Need is going to be just as intense.

Bones and Bourbon (Deadly Drink #1) by Dorian Graves

Half-huldra Retz Gallows is having an awful day. First, he wakes up in the middle of driving to who-knows-where with an angry unicorn head in his passenger seat. This is almost normal, thanks to a lifetime of sharing a body with Nalem, a bone-controlling spirit with a penchant for wicked schemes and body-stealing joyrides. It’s probably a bad idea to ask what else could go wrong.
Jarrod Gallows left home with plans to rescue his little brother from possession. Instead, he got saddled with a dead-end job as a paranormal investigator, a Faerie curse, and a daredevil boyfriend who might be from another world. At least he’s got a new job—except why is his brother Retz here and why does this sudden reunion feel more like a bane than a blessing?
This day’s going to get worse for the Gallows brothers before it gets better. To survive, they’ll have to escape the forces controlling them, as well as the wrath of carnivorous unicorns, otherworldly realms, and even their own parents. Only time will tell if they’ll make it out alive…or sober.

First, I’m not a “book cover” reader, but honestly, the cover on this book definitely got my attention. Enough that I took a chance on a new author. (The synopsis was a pretty good draw for me too 😉 ) I’m happy to say that this is one time that a cover definitely lived up to the book.

I had no idea what to expect from Bones and Bourbon, but needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. From the very first chapter, the mystery and action didn’t stop. Not only that, the world building was as much a part of the story as the characters involved.

Part of the reason why I’m drawn to PNR is my love of mythology and it seems that the Deadly Drink series will be full of mythological creatures and legends. The twists that Dorian Graves has added to her take on some familiar creatures was more than interesting. Blood thirsty unicorns for example.

Family is a strong force in Bones and Bourbon as well and there were times that it was hard to tell if the brothers were working for or against each other. There were twists and turns that had my head spinning, danger, mystery and a little bit of romance thrown into the mix – all of it thrown together to keep the pages turning.

It wasn’t clear from the end of Bones and Bourbon, but I was more than a little excited that this book was just the beginning of series. A series that I can’t wait to continue. I can’t wait to see what the Gallows brothers – and company – get into next.

The Lightning-Struck Heart (Tales From Verania #1) by T.J. Klune

Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.
Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam’s pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the King’s Wizard, Morgan of Shadows.
When Sam is fourteen, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.
At fifteen, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle. Sir Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.
Naturally, it all goes to hell through the years when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can’t control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the King sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan’s boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.
Or so he thinks.

Since this is a T.J. Klune book, I feel the need to begin this review with a disclaimer. The likely hood of rambling is quite high. I apologize in advance, but that’s just the affect that a few of my favorite authors have on my ability to write a coherent review. My intentions are always good, but I make no promises… consider yourselves warned.

I’m also a tad bit guilt ridden. Why, you may ask? I’ve been seeing for quite a while how much readers love this book. I’ve watched readers wax poetic about Gary, Sam, Justin, Kevin and Tiggy. Why did I wait so long to pick this book up? I have absolutely no idea. I already have Destiny of Dragons, the second book in the Tales from Verania waiting for me on my Kindle. Hopefully that will make up for my tardiness to the Sam of Wilds party. 😉

On the surface, the premise of this book may be a little silly. Okay, so a story centered around a wizard’s apprentice who has a knack for getting himself into crazy, sometimes life threatening situations and whose best friends are a half giant and a hornless unicorn can’t really be totally serious. But honestly, what fun would that be? And really, even in the most serious of T.J.Klune’s books, there’s always a touch of humor. Likewise, even the most comedic of his books can have you shedding tears of laughter as well as tears of heartbreak – sometimes in the same chapter. His #evilauthor status and my love/hate relationship with him is well earned.

There was so much to love about this book. The sense of family, love, magic, humor – there is just so much… I can’t wait to continue this series. I can’t wait until I get to spend more time with this merry band of craziness. I’d love to tell you more, but I don’t want to take a chance on giving away even any minor details. Trust me when I say that The Lightning-Struck Heart is something you have to experience on your own. Speaking of which, there’s something else that I need to experience – the audio version of The Lightning-Struck Heart. I haven’t had a lot of luck with audio books so far, but so many listeners have told me that Michael Lesley’s narration will turn my luck around in a big way, it is destined to be the next book I try. Stay tuned… there’s much more to come from Verania 😉