The Tower (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #9) By J.L. Bryan

Ellie’s new case takes her far out of town, to an historic but crumbling nineteenth-century skyscraper in downtown Atlanta. The reclusive, once-prominent family living at the top of the tower are experiencing paranormal disturbances that grow more threatening by the day.
Ellie and Stacey must unravel the hidden history of the tower and the ancestors of the family who occupy it—a history full of crime, corruption, wealth, and power. With floor after floor of dark, haunted spaces, the labyrinthine antique tower presents one of the greatest ghost-trapping challenges that Ellie has ever faced.

Having Ellie and Stacey travel out of their ‘comfort zone’ made things interesting. It didn’t make a difference in how they operated though.

The tower included some of the most interesting ghosts in this series yet. The family that Ellie and Stacey were working for had a lot of history. Some of it even they didn’t know about.

Sometimes the intrigue behind who the ghosts are and why they are still hanging around is as interesting as the haunting itself. The ‘bad guy’ in The Tower was really bad. He had a lot of power and a lot of time to find ways to seek revenge – over and over and over again. You could almost kind of respect his tenacity, if he wasn’t so evil.

The thing about The Tower was that there were a lot of ghosts. Figuring out who the mastermind was wasn’t easy, but if any ghost hunter could figure it out, my money would be on Ellie and Stacey. It wasn’t easy and there was plenty of danger involved, but Ellie and her friends never back down, especially when people’s lives depend on it.

I kind of liked the change of venue and Ellie probably needed it, but I also kind of missed her being in familiar territory. She still has some things to deal with and I can’t wait to see what J.L. Bryan has in store for her next.

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Southern Spirits (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries #1) by Angie Fox

southernspiritsOne simple mistake… 
For a girl who is about to lose her family home, 
Releases the ghost of a long-dead gangster, 
And opens Verity Long’s eyes to a whole new world. 
When out of work graphic designer Verity Long accidentally traps a ghost on her property, she’s saddled with more than a supernatural sidekick—she gains the ability see spirits. It leads to an offer she can’t refuse from the town’s bad boy, the brother of her ex and the last man she should ever partner with. 
Ellis Wyatt is in possession of a stunning historic property haunted by some of Sugarland Tennessee’s finest former citizens. Only some of them are growing restless—and destructive. He hires Verity to put an end to the disturbances. But soon, Verity learns there’s more to the mysterious estate than floating specters, secret passageways, and hidden rooms. 
There’s a modern day mystery afoot, one that hinges on a decades-old murder. Verity isn’t above questioning the living, or the dead. But can she discover the truth before the killer finds her?

Sometimes, you just want something sweet that’s a fun, quick read and Southern Spirits definitely was all three and then some. 😉

Verity is kind of down on her luck when readers first meet her. She’s about to lose her family home, the town she grew up in hates her because she left her fiancé at the alter (for a VERY good reason, but she can’t tell anyone why) and she accidentally trapped a ghost by her side and he’s not exactly happy about it. Add to that the fact that the only way to save her home seems to be becoming employed by her ex’s brother… yeah, things got interesting really quick in Southern Spirits.

Verity was an easy character to root for. She was smart and witty and she got the raw end of the deal with her ex. Ellis, on the other hand, took a while. He did eventually grow on me though and I can’t wait to see how things develop between this pair as the series progresses.

Basically, Southern Spirits was a sweet little romance with plenty of humor mystery and a hint of danger. And of course, ghosts. Some good, some bad and some just misunderstood. I have a feeling that the Southern Ghost Hunting Mysteries is going to be a series I’m really going to enjoy.

DragonFlyRating4

The Keeper (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #8) by J.L. Bryan – Bout-of-Books 18 Review

thekeeperThe South Channel lighthouse is a crumbling antique at the mouth of the Savannah River, abandoned and forgotten for generations. Local stories still tell of a mysterious woman in white who often stood at the old lighthouse, watching the sailors come into port…even long after she died.
Now the property by the lighthouse is owned by a famous movie star in search of a remote beach getaway on sleepy Tybee Island. Unfortunately, old ghosts haunt her new retreat, stirred up by the construction of a luxurious new mansion. Ellie, Stacey, and their team must remove the ghosts, who grow more dangerous and aggressive every night, threatening the lives of the client and her family and personal staff.
The lighthouse has a dark history, with many ghosts, and mysteries to unravel before Ellie can send them on to the other side.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Things didn’t end well for Ellie in Lullaby, the last book in the Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper series. The Keeper started where Lullaby left off and unfortunately, things hadn’t gotten much better. Ellie felt betrayed by more than one person and the list of people she felt she could count on was getting smaller and smaller. *sigh*

The danger was ramped up even more in The Keeper and the tension was even higher because Ellie had some personal history with the location. She kept that to herself though, which may have made it easier for her to tell that their client was doing the same. Add to the official ghost trapping drama on Tybee Island the fact that Kara is still a danger and Ellie & Stacey’s side ghost hunting endeavors, it’s no surprise that there was little or no down time in The Keeper.

There were more than a couple of mysteries solved, twists and turns that kept you wondering who the good guys were vs. the bad guys and more than just a little emotional drama. All in a day’s work for an evil author pro like J.L. Bryan. Not sure what he has planned next for Ellie, but there’s definitely more. Even though The Keeper didn’t end in a cliff hanger, there’s still a lot of loose ends that need tying. 😉

DragonFlyRating5

Lullaby (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #7) by J.L. Bryan

LullabyLife is more difficult than ever at Savannah’s only ghost-hunting detective agency. While Ellie copes with her mentor’s departure and other unwelcome developments, she also worries about the supernatural injuries keeping her boyfriend caught in an endless slumber. 
At the same time, Ellie and Stacey are called in to investigate an eerie entity haunting a baby’s nursery room. The ghost appears late at night, its face barely visible on the baby monitor, and sings a chilling song. 
Soon, Ellie learns there are more ghosts in the house, and at least one of them is a dangerous, child-hunting monster who must be stopped before it kills again.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1My list of authors that I currently have a love/hate relationship with is steadily growing. J.L. Bryan holds a fairly comfortable place on this list because Lullaby is far from the first book that bestowed him that honor. He’s getting really good at leaving readers hanging at the end of books in the Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper series and even though I’m not giving the author a compliment, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to take it that way.

Lullaby began pretty much where Maze of Souls left off and as much as I hoped things would get better, I should have known better. Not only was Michael still in a coma, but his sister was blaming Ellie for his condition. The heartbreaking part was that Ellie wasn’t arguing with her. The fact that she felt betrayed by Calvin for selling the business to PSI just added to her depression. Things were definitely not changing for the better. If not for her obsession with Anton Clay, Ellie may have given up on the company all together.

The ghost that Ellie and Stacey were assigned to take care of in Lullaby was scary and dangerous, but an even bigger threat turned out to be a lot closer to home. Turns out Kara was a lot more evil and manipulative than they could have imagined. Working with the PSI crew is not going to be easy and Ellie and her friends are going to have to watch their backs.

As low as things were for Ellie, readers were given a bit of hope by the end… almost. In true J.L. Bryan fashion he had me turning the page to see what happened next and the story was over. Finished. Done. There’s definitely more to come so I’ll just sit here and wait patiently for the next installment. (Yeah, right.) *runs off to stalk evil author*

DragonFlyRating5

Rock N Soul (Soul Seekers #1) by Lauren Sattersby

RockNSoul_600x900I’m Tyler Lindsey, and until recently, I had an okay apartment, an okay girlfriend, and an okay job as a bellboy at a respectable Boston hotel. Then rock star Chris Raiden died right before I brought his room service—stiffing me on the tip, by the way—and my life went to hell. My fifteen minutes of fame was more like five seconds, and my girlfriend left me in disgust.
But even worse—Chris is haunting me. Not the room where he died, like a normal ghost. No, somehow he’s stuck to me and is insisting on taking care of a bunch of unfinished business in California. So now I have to traipse across the country with the world’s most narcissistic ghost.
But . . . I keep having these weird thoughts. Thoughts about how much I like the way he makes me laugh. Thoughts where I kind of want to kiss the emo-narcissist, even though he’s a ghost and an asshole and I can’t touch him anyway. And even if I could, what will happen when he finishes his business and nothing’s keeping him here anymore?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Alright, honestly? I spent the first half of this book (maybe not quite half…) wondering exactly where the romance was coming from. Tyler was a guy who settled for being verbally abused by his girl friend and settling for a job that was going nowhere because it was easy. Chris was a spoiled, entitled rock star who OD’d in his hotel room. The guys couldn’t stand each other from the moment they met. This was an impossible story from the very beginning… but then the walls started coming down. The masks that these two hid behind were off and once that happened I was a goner.

Typical of a ghost who didn’t seem to be able to move on, Chris had some unfinished business he needed to take care of. There were three people he needed to see for some very different reasons. That journey brought the two of them closer together and they both grew a lot in a very short time. Which was heartbreaking. I’m not gonna lie, I was reduced to tears more than once. Not just the tears that quietly leak down your cheek. No, these were the ones that blur your vision so bad that you have to put the book down and compose yourself before you can go on and once you do, it starts all over again. This was the kind of book that you didn’t want to finish because you knew how it was going to end and you didn’t want it to be over for these guys. I was so emotionally invested in them that it practically broke me…

To keep it simple, let’s just say that Lauren Sattersbury hit a home run with her debut. She is most definitely on my reading radar. She turned what was a heartbreaking scenario into a beautiful love story and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Needless to say, I was super excited to see that Rock N Soul is part of a series.

DragonFlyRating5

The Lying Season (Experiment in Terror #4) by Karina Halle

LyingSeasonAmateur ghost-hunter Perry Palomino has battled ghosts, fought off skinwalkers and skirted the fine line between life and death. But can she survive bunking down in Seattle for a week with her partner (and man she secretly loves) Dex and his perfect girlfriend, Jennifer? And can she do so while being tormented by a malicious spirit from Dex’s increasingly shady past? With love and life in the balance, Perry must discover the truth among the lies or risk losing everything she’s ever cared about.

I spent a lot of time in Lying Season not quite sure how I felt about Perry. For the record, that’s nothing new when it comes to this series. It’s not that I don’t like her, it’s more like I don’t really understand her. She does some really sketching things in Lying Season… but they’re for the right reasons… kinda, Dex, on the other hand… I gained a whole new insight on him. He kind of broke my heart just a little bit.

Lying Season dealt a lot more with Perry and Dex than actually delving into a spooky mystery. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t some spine chilling moments… like gaining a whole new respect for wasps. *shivers* Readers were also ‘treated’ to experiencing Dex and Jennifer together… (can you hear the sarcasm from there?) Jennifer was, well… you’ll have to ‘meet’ her to totally understand. Let’s just say that regardless of how I felt about Perry and Dex’s little tryst in Dead Sky Morning, by the end of Lying Season I was all for Perry and Dex being together. (For the record, that little tryst didn’t bother me so much as it gave me hope.) Even though they seem to try to sabotage that happening every single time. *sigh*

As much was revealed in Lying Season as new mysteries were brought up. Readers learned a little bit more about Dex’s past as well as Perry’s. Not enough to be satisfying though. Most of the revelations just made me want to know more.  Also, things were really left hanging for both of them at the end. And that’s where my reading procrastination comes in really handy. I don’t have to wait to pick up On Demon Wings. As a matter of fact, I loaded it on my Kindle by the time I was half-way through Lying Season. Right after that I also picked up Old Blood and The Dex Files because I was told NOT to miss the novellas in between the main novels.

 

DragonFlyRating4

Ghost of a Chance (Pinnacle Point #1) by Kelly Apple

GhostOfAChanceKellyWhen he was alive, Chance Harker was stuck in a boring job and a relationship that was going nowhere. Now that he’s dead, a whole new world has opened up for him.
He has a challenging job with a PI firm, his run of a swank hotel, and plenty of interesting people to keep an eye on. The only thing missing from his afterlife is great sex. Hell, he’d settle for mediocre sex at this point. Any sex at all, in fact.
Finding out the research facility run by Pinnacle Point Pharms is looking for those with strange and unusual sexual issues, Chance decides to check it out. Because if a sex clinic with supernatural ties can’t help him get a little nookie, he’ll have to resign himself to an eternity of unfulfilled desires.
And no self-respecting ghost wants that.
Warning: This book contains a horny ghost who tends to go invisible at the worst possible moment, a woman with exceptional flexibility, and a box of powdered donuts. The break room will never be the same again.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Oh the warning… if you heed it, you’re good. 😉 In all seriousness… well as serious as you can be when reviewing a Kelly Apple erotica read… this is the first book that I’ve requested for review that I had to admit that it was partially because of the cover. The truth is that the cover caught my eye before I even realized who the author was. Honestly, another blogger told me that it was available and that’s when I realized who the author was. That almost never happens. Really, I NEVER pick a book based on its cover… NEVER! (And for the record… this confession is coming from a graphic artist.) Even so, I didn’t make the request to review it until I realized it who the author was… but honestly… that cover is really hard to pass up, right?

So, on to the important stuff.. the actual book. As expected, Ghost of a Chance was a fun romp into a new Kelly Apple series. There was plenty of smexiness and funny banter between witty characters to make the first installment of the Pinnacle Point series a quick, entertaing read. And then there’s also the interesting use of powdered donuts… Let’s just say I’ll never look at them the same way again… or at least not giggle the next time I see them… which may or may not be difficult to explain. 😉

I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for the next set of characters in Pinnacle Point...

DragonFlyRating4

House of Whispers (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #5) by J.L. Bryan

HouseOfWhispersThe luxurious Lathrop Grand Hotel is a Savannah institution that has entertained guests for more than a century and a half, offering some of the finest accommodations in the city. Famously haunted, the hotel draws tourists from around the world eager to encounter its numerous ghosts. The hotel is also known for being honeycombed with hidden doors and secret passages, enabling staff to appear and disappear quickly as they attend to the hotel’s guests.
Now some of the spirits in the Lathrop Grand have turned violent, even murderous. Ellie and Stacey must determine which ghost has become dangerous and remove it from the hotel before it can claim any more lives. They soon learn the hotel has secrets even darker than the notorious string of nineteenth-century murders that made it famous, and the powerful entities inhabiting it don’t intend to leave without a fight.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1If I was asked to make a list of authors/books that I would recommend to readers who wanted a good October (aka scary) read, J.L. Bryan would definitely be in my top ten recs. I honestly have no idea how he comes up with this stuff. Having said that, House of Whispers was definitely scary, but it wasn’t the scariest in the Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper series so far. I’m not complaining, honest. The series gets better with each installment. I guess after the craziness that Ellie experienced in Terminal, a hotel full of civil war era, weapon wielding, bloody ghosts (among others) seemed kind of tame. (Sounds kind of ridiculous when I put it that way, doesn’t it?)

I think what I liked most about House of Whispers was what went on other than the ghost hunting. The future of their investigation firm is still up in the air, which has Ellie more than a little worried. Some relationships are unexpectedly strained, which added a little twist to the story line. And as I’ve come to expect, the characters continue to evolve and grow. Speaking of which, I love these characters. They’re witty, smart, loyal to each other and believe in what they do. I’m basically falling in love with them more with each book.

There were also a lot of sneaky twists in House of Whispers that I didn’t see coming. Those twists also left room for Ellie to take control. In the previous books she’s taken some unnecessary risks. I’m not saying she was being stupid, but she took those risks to protect others. In House of Whispers she was smart and proved herself capable more than once. I liked that side of her… especially given the circumstances – but those you’ll have to figure out for yourself when you read them 😉

The best part as far as I’m concerned is that J.L. Bryan has promised that there’s more to come. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for Ellie and friends. Given the way things ended (not a cliff hanger BTW) things could prove to be even more interesting… as if trapping ghosts for a living wasn’t enough.

DragonFlyRating5

 

Bound by Flames (Night Prince #3) by Jeaniene Frost

BoundByFlamesPlay with fire, pay the price.
Leila’s years on the carnie circuit were certainly an education. What she didn’t learn: how to be a vampire, or how to be married to the most famous vampire of them all. Adjusting to both has Leila teetering on a knife edge between passion and peril, and now the real danger is about to begin…
Vlad must battle with a centuries-old enemy whose reach stretches across continents and whose strength equals his own. It isn’t like Vlad to feel fear, but he does…for Leila, because his enemy knows she is Vlad’s greatest weakness. As friend and foe alike align against him—and his over protectiveness drives Leila away—Vlad’s love for his new bride could be the very thing that dooms them both…

Bones and Cat will always be my favorite, but Leila and Vlad are coming in at a close second. Regardless of where my initial loyalties lie, I can’t help but love any couple that Jeaniene Frost writes. I have to admit though, some of Leila’s insecurities about Vlad seeped through just a little. Just like Leila, I should have known better.

Bound by Flames was intense, graphic and more often than not, totally heart breaking. It also made me gain a whole new respect for Vlad. Yes, he was arrogant, seemingly selfish at times and totally unreasonable, but his love for Leila was unwavering. The methods to his madness weren’t transparent, but he honestly had a reason for every move he made and every person he threatened.

There were times that I thought I had things figured out and just as many times that I was proved totally wrong. A couple of cameo appearances were made by some familiar characters and a couple of new characters were thrown into the mix. I love surprises and Bound by Fire didn’t disappoint. There was even a surprise confession thrown into the mix. *giggles* Needless to say, this book kept me on the edge of my seat and made me anxious for the next one, but a little sad too because the series is coming to an end. Into the Fire is the 4th and final book in the Night Prince series. There’s at least one vampire that I’d still love to find his HEA, so hopefully there’s at least a little bit more to come. 😉

DragonFlyRating5

Terminal (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #4) by J.L. Bryan

TerminalCoverSMALLEREllie Jordan and her apprentice Stacey investigate a house in an elaborate planned community that was only half-built before it went bankrupt, leaving an instant ghost town with only a few residents. The entity haunting this house is a banshee that feeds on sadness and misery.
Unfortunately for Ellie, this is no simple haunting, but just one symptom of the cursed land on which the suburban community was built. The old railroad line running through the nearby woods might just be a conduit for lost souls, including dark spirits will ill intentions toward the living. Ellie soon finds herself facing one of the most complex and difficult hauntings she’s seen in her career.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I’m still totally enamored by Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper and Terminal just reinforced that fact. The cases are getting more intense, the characters are revealing more layers and I find myself wanting the next book in the series as soon as I finish the current one. Yep, it looks like J.L. Bryan has definitely done it again 😉

As you can tell from the description, this case involved a lot more than just one unwelcome ghost. The whole community was affected by a group of spirits and they were all tied to one source. Terminal proved once again that there’s a lot more involved in Ellie’s form of ghost hunting than just tracking down and trapping the offending ghosts. It’s definitely a team effort that involves hours of research, sleepless nights, cunning and sometimes brute strength. I think that’s one of the reasons why I like this series so much. Ellie is nothing without the people who work with her. That’s also why I get so mad at her at times. She puts the job and everyone around her above her own personal safety.

I was also trying to do the math in my head. If a train leaves point A heading  west at thirty or forty miles an hour and climbing, and the tracks end in half a mile, how long until Ellie gets splattered? What if the train is a ghostly apparition that could disappear at any moment, leaving its sole living passenger hurtling through the air until she lands on a rusty iron rail? Show your work.

Okay, so Ellie is a witty character. That doesn’t mean I forgive her for doing stupid things… maybe… Some of those crazy things actually made me admire her. There’s also a fine line between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ entities that Ellie worked around. Her whole thought process about where spirits should end up said a lot about her and the people she worked with and cared about.

There were a few other things happening behind the scenes that had Ellie just a little distracted. Things may be changing and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I love the team just like they are now, which is pretty much where Ellie stands on the subject. It will be interesting to see what twists and turns J.L. Bryan has in store for Ellie and company. 😉

DragonFlyGreen4-5