The Transylvania Twist (Monster M*A*S*H #2) by Angie Fox

A shaky truce. A pregnant Medusa. And a dedicated doctor who keeps legends alive.
Even during a truce, I have my hands full as a MASH surgeon to an army of warring gods—especially when Medusa herself turns up pregnant. I frankly have no idea what to expect when a Gorgon’s expecting, but I have an even bigger problem when my presumed-dead former-fiancé sneaks into my tent with enough emotional baggage to fill a tank.
He’s been fighting for the other side, which technically makes him my enemy, and now he needs me and the power I’ve kept secret for so long: I can see the dead. It’s a blessing and a curse. Literally. Because the gods will smite me in a second if they suspect.
But the other side is developing a terrible new weapon, and the only person who can stop the carnage was just murdered in a covert lab behind enemy lines. So I have no choice but to pull on my combat boots and go AWOL with my ex and a moody berserker to confront a ghost with a terrible secret.
Too bad uncovering the truth could make me enemy #1…

This is one of those books that I really liked, but I’m still not sure about the direction that it took. *sigh* I don’t like giving things away, but since it was mentioned in the description… I was not happy about Mark’s return…. for a lot of reasons.

The rest of the story was just as good as Monster M*A*S*H, the first book in the series. I just really liked Galen and Petra’s relationship in the first book. He brought out the best in her or at least made her feel that things that she doubted were totally possible. I didn’t get that same feeling from Mark. It felt like he was using her most of the time and I just really didn’t like him. Petty, I know… *sigh*

As for the rest of the story, it was just as full of action, mystery, loyal friends and humor as readers have come to expect – not just from this series, but from Angie Fox books in general. Werewolves in London is next and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Kelpie Blue (Out of Underhill #1) by Mell Eight

When a beautiful blue horse asks Rin to go for a swim, Rin doesn’t realize how much his life is about to change. Blue is unlike anyone else Rin has ever met, and the magic of the fae, and of this particular kelpie, is wondrous, but deadly. Rin learns too late he might be in for a swim he won’t survive.

Kelpie Blue is so much more than its description might lead readers to believe. I’ve been a fan of Mell Eight’s since I discovered the re-release of her Supernatural Consultant series. When I found this one, I knew I had to read it. Although it doesn’t have the same “feel” as the stories about the young dragons I’ve come to adore, that’s not a bad thing – and I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

I really liked the relationship between Rin and Blue. I also liked the relationship between Rin and his mom. They gave Blue a family – something he hadn’t had in a long time.

There was a bit of mystery, danger, magic, a sweet romance and more than a few surprises. Pretty much everything I enjoy in a fantasy. The next book in the series is If a Butterfly Don’t Fly. Even though I’d love to spend more time with Rin and Blue, I’m looking forward to continuing the series.

Bjorn Cursed (Forgotten Brotherhood #4) by N.J. Walters

Lucifer is up to his old tricks, causing problems for the Forgotten Brotherhood. This time, he’s had a woman removed from the Norse afterlife and placed her right in the path of Bjorn Knutson. After the slaughter of his wife and family centuries ago, tortured and broken, Bjorn was cursed as the first Norse werewolf. Now he’s been tasked by Odin himself with killing the woman who escaped. Failure is not an option.
Before he can track her, he stumbles across a woman being accosted by three men in the middle of the night. Even though she’s human, he intervenes and is shocked to recognize the face of the one woman he could never kill — his wife Anja.
She’s also the one he’s hunting…and if he doesn’t kill her then both their lives are at stake.

The members of the Forgotten Brotherhood once again find themselves being used as pawns to entertain the Gods and Goddesses. At least that’s what it seems like. This time it’s Bjorn that they’re toying with and the situation that they have put him in is beyond cruel. As if his hasn’t tortured him enough, he finds his long lost wife, only to be charged with the task of killing her.

I’ve only read two books in this series, so my opinion might change, but as of right now, Bjorn Cursed is my favorite. It’s not just because of Bjorn and Anja though. The Forgotten Brotherhood is a formidable force mainly because they consider themselves family. If one of them is threatened, they don’t stand alone. That sense of family is what has really pulled me into this series.

The odds seemed stacked against Anja or Bjorn. If Anja was taken away from him again, Bjorn wouldn’t stop seeking revenge and his friends wouldn’t be able to bring him back this time. This was a fast paced story with danger pretty much around every corner – as well as a few surprises.

I’m not sure what’s next for the Forgotten Brotherhood, but I still have some back tracking to do. Fury Unleashed and Arctic Bite are the first two books in the series so maybe I can pick up at least one of them before the next book is released. 😉

Wildfire (Sons of Olympus #1) by Sam Burns & W.M. Fawkes

Wilder Pratt has given up trying to get his life together. Passed up for a promotion, left by his long-term boyfriend, nothing in his life seems to work how he planned. Wilder is just treading water . . . right up until the moment he trips over a dead student outside his office with a golden would-be murderer standing over the body.
Hermes has been running his whole life—from duty and danger, from a father who mistrusts him and siblings who outshine him. But when the students at Banneker College of magic start dropping dead one after another, Hermes’s ass is on the line. He finds himself playing bodyguard to a man who suspects him of murder, but that doesn’t seem enough to keep Professor Pratt’s hot hands off him.
An ancient evil has risen from the depths of Tartarus, and he’s coming for Banneker. The only thing standing in the way of a titanic apocalypse is one disappointing part-time professor and a god who’d rather abandon the world to its fate. But if they work together, they may just save everyone.

I think I mentioned this a while ago, but now’s the perfect opportunity to bring it up again. Mythology was my favorite subject in school. I couldn’t get enough of it and I’m pretty sure that has fueled my love of PNR and Fantasy. That pretty much guaranteed that I would at least like Wildfire, but Hermes and Wilder went way beyond my expectations. For the record, I love it when that happens. ❤

Banneker is supposed to be a campus that is a safe place for magical students to strengthen their craft away from discrimination. When students are suddenly dying for no apparent reason, Wilder gets unexpectedly drawn into the fight against powers he didn’t even know existed. Just as unexpectedly, Hermes finds himself for once not wanting to run, but to stand by Wilder’s side in a fight he’s not sure they can win. They both discover things about themselves that took them by surprise.

There was so much to love about Wildfire. Two characters who were broken in their own way. A sweet romance. Danger, magic, mystery and suspense. The supporting characters were intriguing and witty and… yeah, I think I’m going to adore this series.

I have no idea what’s next for The Sons of Olympus, but I do know that now that I’ve discovered this writing duo, I’m going to be stalking their back list. A lot of the characters in Wildfire were introduced in Fawkes and Burns Lords of the Underworld series. I can’t wait to get to know them better. 😉

Hunted (Iron Druid Chronicles #6) by Kevin Hearne

For a two-thousand-year-old Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan is a pretty fast runner. Good thing, because he’s being chased by not one but two goddesses of the hunt—Artemis and Diana—for messing with one of their own. Dodging their slings and arrows, Atticus, Granuaile, and his wolfhound Oberon are making a mad dash across modern-day Europe to seek help from a friend of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His usual magical option of shifting planes is blocked, so instead of playing hide-and-seek, the game plan is . . . run like hell.
Crashing the pantheon marathon is the Norse god Loki. Killing Atticus is the only loose end he needs to tie up before unleashing Ragnarok—AKA the Apocalypse. Atticus and Granuaile have to outfox the Olympians and contain the god of mischief if they want to go on living—and still have a world to live in.

This is one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series and I have no idea why there is such a time gap between books. Of course, I always think that as soon as I finish a book in a series I love. *sigh* I’ve been a fan of mythology since I was a young reader and the Iron Druid Chronicles brings all that back. I love the adventure, the twists and turns and the characters – both good and bad. What I don’t expect when I read a book in this series is a lot of emotion and I most certainly don’t expect there to be tears, but… well, I can’t tell you why there were tears, just that they caught me off guard. And though I adore these characters, I don’t expect them to reduce me to tears, but they did and… just be forewarned…

One of the things that I really liked about Hunted was getting to know Granueaile just a little bit better. Although they’ve been close for a while, Atticus, Granueaile and Oberon seemed even more like “family” than they have in the past books.

As much as I love Oberon and Granuaile, I have to admit that Oberon is the character that keeps me coming back. Okay, so I’m kidding (maybe just a little) but he is so much more than a dog in the Iron Druid Chronicles and if you’ve read any of these books, you know exactly what I’m talking about. He’s witty, ridiculous, adorable and just about the coolest dog ever written into any series. Passages like this are just one example:

I (Atticus) said to Granuaile, “We may have a faery tail.”
<Yeah! This is the kind of faery tale with children who wander off and get in trouble in the forest. Usually they die because they don’t have a wolfhound along – or parents. You ever notice the rampant child neglect going on in faery tales?>
“No, Oberon, I said we might have a faery tail, as in a faery who is tailing us.”
My hound whined. <English is stupid sometimes.>

I mean really, he has a point, doesn’t he? 😀

Hunted is book 6 in the series, which means I only have 3 books to go before I reach the finale. Next is Shattered, which I happen to have two copies of. (Don’t ask… when you read as much as I do, it’s hard to keep track.) Maybe I’ll find a way to share that one with a lucky reader. 😉

 

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*

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.

Menagerie (Menagerie #1) by Rachel Vincent

MenagerieWhen Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger’s Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan burlesque costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she’s forced to “perform” in town after town.
But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other “attractions”—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she’ll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.
Renowned author Rachel Vincent weaves an intoxicating blend of carnival magic and startling humanity in this intricately woven and powerful tale.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Menagerie was scary and not in the way you might think. It’s not that the pages weren’t filled with monsters, there were plenty of those to go around. The horror came from the fact that the real monsters weren’t the mythical creatures kept captive.

To be honest, Menagerie wasn’t an easy book to read. It was intense, at times gruesome and even though it was total fiction, it held just enough truth to show what can happen if the wrong people are in charge when dealing with the unknown or misunderstood. This book held a powerful message about humanity. Sometimes those are the scariest to read, but the most important.

Beyond the message delivered, the imagery was amazing. Rachel Vincent brought this mythical creatures to life in vivid and unique ways. She made even the scariest among them beautiful in ways I never would have imagined. The alternate POVs added to the understanding of these creatures and a more intense hatred of the people who enslaved them. The fear that was created by a small group of creatures was warranted. What was wrong was labeling everyone that wasn’t ‘human’ as a threat. Can you tell that this book pushed some buttons with me? *sigh*

As intense as this book was, the only complaint that I have is that the ending was a little rushed. I was kind of surprised by the actions of some of the characters near the end and things were wrapped up just a little too ‘neatly.’ Even so, I have no doubt that since Menagerie is part of a trilogy, there is much more danger to come.

On a side note, I’m pretty sure that most readers were introduced to Rachel Vincent’s writing through her Soul Screamers series. This series promises to be just as amazing as that one, but it is definitely NOT another young adult series. It’s a dark fantasy.

DragonFlyRating5

 

With All My Soul (Soul Screamers #7) by Rachel Vincent – Bout-of-Books 11.0 Review

WithAllMySoulWhat does it mean when your school is voted the most dangerous in America? It’s time to kick some hellion butt…

After not really surviving her junior year (does “undead” count as survival?), Kaylee Cavanaugh has vowed to take back her school from the hellions causing all the trouble. She’s going to find a way to turn the incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity against one another in order to protect her friends and finish this war, once and forever.

But then she meets Wrath and understands that she’s closer to the edge than she’s ever been. And when one more person close to her is taken, Kaylee realizes she can’t save everyone she loves without risking everything she has.

I have to be honest. I really drug my feet on finishing this series. I’ve loved every single minute of my time spent with Kaylee and company. Saying goodbye to this amazing world was just part of the reason why I was dragging my feet though. The more I read, the more I knew that there was no possible way for things to end well for everyone. These characters had suffered so much loss I wasn’t sure I could endure experiencing any more of their pain and suffering. I was told by more than one reader to put my ‘big girl’ pants on and trust the author to not totally crush me. So, now that I’ve finished the Soul Screamers series, what’s the verdict? *sigh*

These characters have come a long way in a short amount of time. It seemed like years had passed from the time that Kaylee first learned exactly who and what she was. That time frame was put into perspective when Kaylee mentioned that she and Nash had only been a couple for six months. Wow… A lot happened within that year. A lot happened in With All My Soul as well. New demons were introduced, more people were put in danger, sacrifices were made along with decisions that changed everything for everyone. There were times when I wanted to wrap my arms around them all and tell them it would all be okay, even though I knew it wouldn’t be.

So, about that verdict… I can honestly say that With All My Soul falls into that ‘thumbs up’ category when it comes to series finales. Yes, there were tears. Yes, these characters faced more danger and tragedy, but there was a balance to it all. I was amazed at how well things were wrapped up in the end.

SoulScreamers4Even though I’ve read the final book, I still have a few novellas left to read. I’m kind of glad that I held off so I could read With All My Soul as part of Volume 4 in the series. The final volume also includes Fearless, Niederwald and Last Request. See, sometimes procrastination does pay off 😉

DragonFlyRating5

Dangerous Creatures (Dangerous Creatures #1) by Kami Garcia & Magaret Stohl

DangerousCreaturesA new series returns to the world of Beautiful Creatures. Some loves are cursed…others are dangerous.

Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she’s a bad girl. She’s Dark. She’s a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she’s around. Lucky for her, Wesley “Link” Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley. When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn’t hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Sometimes you pick up a book just because you can’t resist. That’s what happened when I requested an ARC of Dangerous Creatures. I loved the world that Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl created in the Caster Chronicles series. The Dangerous Creatures series is a spin-off of that series. I hesitated for a millisecond before I picked this one up, only because I’ve only read the first book in the previous series. I knew going in that I would inevitably run across some spoilers and that there would be times that I would be lost. Do I regret my decision to pick up Dangerous Creatures before catching up with the rest of the Caster Chronicles series? Maybe just a teeny, tiny bit, but not enough to not want to get my hands on the next book in this series as soon as it’s available. (More on that later….)

There was a lot to like about Dangerous Creatures. There were more than a few characters that were familiar and some that weren’t. Even if I hadn’t read Beautiful Creatures, I would have been fine picking up Dangerous Creatures. There’s enough back story to keep new readers in the loop. There were parts that were border line silly, but those moments didn’t last long because there were life and death moments that followed. Link and Ridley were an interesting pair to say the least. The ‘friends’ that they made in New York were even more interesting. This book had twists, turns and then came right back to where you were in the beginning. I loved every minute of it!

Ridley pretty much broke my heart in Dangerous Creatures. She took things for granted, she wasn’t perfect, but she also didn’t feel like she deserved anything beyond what she received.  She made a lot of bad decisions, but she also cared a lot more than she wanted to admit.

This is one of those books that merit a re-read. I’m sure that I’ll get a lot more out of it the next time I read it, which will probably happen after I finish the Caster Chronicles series. One thing that reading Dangerous Creatures did was make me want to go back and play catch up. If you decide to pick this one up, which I highly recommend, play close attention to the flash back scenes. They’re not just filler, they reveal more than you think…. trust me, you can thank me later.

As for the way things end? Oh, I won’t spoil that for you. All I’ll say is that it’s been a while since I read a book that ended leaving my jaw dropping as much as Dangerous Creatures did. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the way the authors left things…. Repeat after me “Authors Are Evil.”

DragonFlyRating4