Unbreakable: Heroes of Arcania #3 by Liz Long

unbreakableTrue heroes refuse to be broken. 
Nova started the fight against Fortune for simple revenge, but now it’s turned into something much bigger. Arcania’s criminals are at each other’s throats, putting the city right in the middle of a warzone. She’ll have to work with a few unlikely allies to end Fortune’s games once and for all. Nova thought she understood what it meant to be a superhero, but will she have to lose herself to truly defeat Fortune? 
Fortune has given Cole a choice, one with unbearable consequences. When Cole takes matters into his own hands to save his sister Penelope, he realizes too late he’s another pawn in Fortune’s games. Fortune will use Cole’s gift against his enemies…including Nova. Cole will have to become the hero he always wanted to be if he’s going to protect the love of his life. 
Nova and Cole could finally save Arcania from Fortune’s deadly games, but are they willing to sacrifice each other?

All good series must come to an end… or in this case trilogies. That doesn’t mean that I have to like it though. *sigh*

The Heroes of Arcania trilogy was intense, emotional, action packed and Unbreakable did in fact bring the trilogy to a satisfying conclusion, but I still wasn’t ready to say good-bye. That’s nothing new for me though. The two books that came before this one, Supernova and Fortune’s Favor, pretty much insured that I would become emotionally attached to not just Nova, but Henry, Cole and even Penelope. Now that I ‘know’ them, saying goodbye isn’t easy. *double sigh*

Unbreakable started pretty much where Fortune’s Favor left off. Penelope’s fate hangs in the balance and Cole has some pretty big decisions to make. The odds seemed impossible and Cole’s solution wasn’t the greatest, but he didn’t have many choices. Not if he wanted to keep everyone he cared about safe.

I can’t say a lot more because I don’t want to risk giving anything away. Just know that it was intense, suspenseful and at times heartbreaking. (Yes there were tears…) And in case anyone is wondering, Liz Long is still on my 2016 Evil Author list. Oh, and it probably will surprise no one that I wouldn’t be opposed to a reappearance from any of these characters in the future. There is a connection between this series and Long’s Donovan’s Circus series, so anything’s possible, right?

DragonFlyRating5

Bound by Faerie (Stolen Magic #1) by W.B. McKay

boundbyfaeriecoverSophie Morrigan inherited many magical gifts from her death goddess mother. Most of them inflict torture, except the most beautiful. That one kills.
As an agent for the Faerie Affairs Bureau, Sophie loves retrieving dangerous magical objects. The job lets her indulge her covetous nature, and most importantly, it pays the bills. But when a routine job goes south, she finds herself struggling to keep her deadly magic in check while fleeing the wrath of an enraged dragon.
In a desperate search for answers, Sophie stumbles across Owen, a fae nightclub owner who’s as sexy as he is irritating, but just happens to hold the key to her problems.
Sophie wants nothing more than to get her magic under control and return to her normal life, but first she’ll have to face off with all the dangers Faerie can throw at her. Can she fight her way back home? Or will both she and Owen fall prey to a crazed death cult?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Bound by Faerie is the first book written by a husband and wife writing duo in their Stolen Magic series. I don’t always accept review requests, but the premise of this one was intriguing. I’m really glad I took a chance on it, because now I can’t wait for more from this series.

I don’t like to compare authors and series, so I’m not going to. What I will say is that if you like Urban Fantasy or PNR on the lighter side, this is a series that you are going to want to give a try. Bound by Faerie is light, but not silly. The characters are fun and they had a personality that made me want to get to know them better. There was also plenty of action, danger and mystery to keep the pages turning. I also enjoyed the authors’ twist on some familiar mythology. They did a great job at not straying too far, but making the characters unique enough to call their own.

I’m not sure when the next book is due to be released, but I’ll most definitely be watching for it. 🙂

DragonFlyRating4

Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs

CryWolfAnna never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack… and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she’d learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. Then Charles Cornick, the enforcer—and son—of the leader of the North American werewolves, came into her life.
Charles insists that not only is Anna his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And it is Anna’s inner strength and calming presence that will prove invaluable as she and Charles go on the hunt in search of a rogue werewolf—a creature bound in magic so dark that it could threaten all of the pack.
It is recommended you read the prequel “Alpha & Omega” before reading Cry Wolf.

Well, since I’m getting ready to read the next book in the Alpha & Omega series, I figured it was about time that I reviewed this one. *sigh*

Anna and Charles are a unique couple. Mainly because they barely know each other, but they’re mated. They met in the prequel to the series, Alpha & Omega and Cry Wolf pretty much takes up where the introduction to the series left off. Their relationship may not have started conventionally, even by werewolf standards, but was obvious by the end of this book they were made for each other.

Although I’ve just started the series, which coincides with the Mercy Thompson series, I can already tell that it’s going to turn into one of my favorites. The reading order can get a little tricky, so if you want to follow the timeline (which a LOT of people have suggested) you can find it on Patricia Briggs’ website. Now, on to Hunting Ground. 😉

DragonFlyRating5

Unraveled (Elemental Assassin #15) by Jennifer Estep

UnraveledAfter the shocking revelations of the previous book, Bitter Bite, the world of Ashland’s become even more sinister, and Gin Blanco (aka Ashland’s most fearsome assassin, the Spider) no longer knows who—or what—she can count on. Only one thing is for certain: danger and new enemies await Gin in Unraveled, Book 15 in the New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series that RT Book Reviews calls “unbeatable entertainment!”
What could go wrong when you’re trying to unravel a decades-old conspiracy?
As the current queen of the Ashland underworld, you would think that I, Gin Blanco, would know all about some secret society controlling things from behind the scenes. I might be the Spider, the city’s most fearsome assassin, but all my Ice and Stone elemental magic hasn’t done me a lick of good in learning more about “the Circle”. Despite my continued investigations, the trail’s gone as cold as the coming winter.
So when Finnegan Lane, my foster brother, gets word of a surprising inheritance, we figure why not skip town for someplace less dangerous for a few days? That place: Bullet Pointe, a fancy hotel resort complex plus Old West theme park that Finn now owns lock, stock, and barrel. At first, all the struttin’ cowboys and sassy saloon girls are just hokey fun. But add in some shady coincidences and Circle assassins lurking all around, and vacationing becomes wilder—and deadlier—than any of us expected.
Good thing this assassin brought plenty of knives to the gunfight …

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1The more that Gin Blanco’s eclectic family experiences and grows, the more I fall in love with them. So yeah, we’re up to the 15th book in the Elemental Assassin series and it’s still going strong.

After everything that happened in Bitter Bite and Unwanted, I kinda agreed with Finn in thinking that they all needed a break. The only problem is that trouble seems to follow this crew where ever they go, so R&R is totally out of the question. Good thing that Gin never lets her guard down. I really love that about her. 😉

Aside from the danger – because when it comes to Gin and crew, danger is a given – there was a lot of ground covered in Unraveled. Secrets were revealed, more than a few revelations were uncovered and a couple of mysteries were left to discover.

As usual, with pretty much every book in this series, the family connection is the best part. From the beginning to the end, they count on each other, which is just one of the reasons why this series never gets old. It pretty much goes without saying that I can’t wait for Snared, the next book in the Elemental Assassin series. Oh, and it looks like there’s even a new novella to look forward too – Nice Guys Bite is coming around December 😉

DragonFlyRating5

Where There’s a Will (Panopolis #3) by Cari Z

WhereTheresAWillBeing a Hero in Panopolis means living the high life: parties, money, influence, even reality television. And I’m one of the most powerful Heroes in the city. I have plenty of fans, a manager who looks out for me (after himself), and a job that pays the bills. I should be enjoying myself.
Unfortunately, the downside of my superpower means I can’t touch anyone, which tends to puts a damper on things. I probably don’t deserve all those perks anyway, since I’m working in secret with two of Panopolis’s biggest villains to undermine GenCorp—my main sponsor and the company that controls what gets through my force field.
I obviously don’t trust my corporate overseers, but they’ve hired a new scientist who actually seems interested in helping me. Dr. Mansourian might have the answers to all my questions—not to mention a starring role in most of my dreams—but he’s hiding something big. If I let him have what he wants, I might not live to regret it.
Then again, the way things are going in Panopolis these days, I might not live either way.
 

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Freight Train (Craig) since the beginning of the Panopolis series. The world that Cari Z created for her characters is twisted. A world where heroes aren’t always the good guys and villains aren’t always the bad. Craig has slowly proven himself to be one of the exceptions in the hero category and getting inside his head in Where There’s a Will confirmed it.

This is the third book in the series and the first where Raul and Edward weren’t the main characters. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about that, but it didn’t take long for Craig to win me over. On the surface, he was someone who had it all, but he did a pretty good job of hiding how broken and alone he really was. He didn’t really trust the people he depended on. His only remaining family member seemed to care more about herself than him and he was risking his life by putting his trust in people he was supposed to be fighting against. Add to that the fact that he couldn’t touch anyone and they couldn’t touch him. He couldn’t even eat food and was dependent on GenCorp for pretty much everything keeping him going.

Dr. Mansourian is different from the other doctors who poke and prod at Craig when he goes to GenCorp. There’s something about him that draws Craig in, but it’s also obvious that he’s hiding something. Craig has secrets of his own and keeping Dr. Mansourian close may not be smart, but he’s the only person besides Edward who acts as if he truly cares about the man behind the hero. As things heat up in the war that’s escalating, Craig finds himself in more danger than he ever expected. People are shutting him out and the lines between who he should and shouldn’t trust get blurrier by the minute.

As usual, the message behind this story is as intriguing as the story itself. I can’t wait to see what Cari Z has in store for the residents of Panopolis next.

DragonFlyRating4

Bitter Bite (Elemental Assassin #14) by Jennifer Estep

BitterBiteWhich is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship?
It’s not easy being queen bee of an underworld abuzz with crooks and killers. Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far—my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in. 
It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. I’d like to be happy for Finn, I really would. But all of my instincts are telling me that beneath the syrupy sweet demeanor and old-fashioned charm, this sudden interloper is planning something. The whole shtick leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This person might have avoided the grave once, but I’ll put anyone who hurts Finn in the ground—for good.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1This was a hard one… The thing that I love most about the Elemental Assassin series is the family aspect. As makeshift as they appear to be, Gin’s family is stronger than most conventional families. Any time that their relationships are threatened in any way, it makes me nervous. Bitter Bite made me very, very nervous.

Readers found out at the end of Spider’s Trap that Finn’s mother was still alive. Bitter Bite opened pretty much right after Gin had made that discovery. Gin’s protective instincts flare initially because of warnings that Fletcher left her to find. Those feelings intensified the more she got to know and distrust the woman. I spent a lot of time being mad at Finn in this book, which really wasn’t fair, but it was hard to watch him  push aside Gin’s feelings but the rest of his family as well. As much as he loved his family, he wanted to have his mother’s love so bad he was blinded. I wanted to shake him, but I wanted to hug him too because… well, because he was Finn and sooner or later he was going to be crushed. *sigh*

I think I loved Gin just a little more for her undying devotion to Finn even though he was being selfishly blind. She would be there to pick up the pieces. The rest of Finn’s family felt the same way, which gave me hope that things would turn out okay for all of them. No, Bitter Bite wasn’t an easy book to read. The emotional roller coaster was pretty much nonstop and my heart broke for Finn more than once. He had a lot of support though and in the end, that makeshift family that I’ve grown to love so much came through just a little bit stronger. ❤

DragonFlyRating5

A Kiss of Silver (Tales from Beyond the Veil #2) by Amos Cassidy

AKissOfSilverAn Ebony Forest.
A woman on the run.
A curse that becomes a destiny.
 

Silver’s life is unremarkable. No special talent, no real friends, just the respect and pampering that comes with the position of clan leaders’ daughter. The life of a Dryad is simple, peaceful, but for Silver it just isn’t enough. With a betrothed that gets her pulse racing, and her nuptials imminent, she should have everything to look forward to, but danger is on the horizon and Silver is soon running for her life. Little does she know that her path leads directly into the arms of a destiny she could have never envisioned. 
Silver is left with a choice. Break a curse or perish trying…

I love twisted fairy tales and the series of novellas in Tales from Beyond the Veil, so far has twisted some of those familiar tales splendidly. 😉

As with most tales, nothing is quite what it seems and Silver learns that the hard way. She ends up running away from people she’s trusted all her life. Not only that, but she’s running in the direction that most people, including herself, avoid at all costs.

There’s more than one ‘hero’ in A Kiss of Silver and it’s hard to be happy for one and against the other. I have a feeling that neither of their stories are quite over. Speaking of which, I suppose you don’t have to read the novellas in order, or even read all of them, but I’d recommend doing it anyway. Start with Scarlett’s Path and follow the progression. One of them builds on the other, which becomes obvious once you get to Ash Rising… stay tuned.

DragonFlyRating4

Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #5) by Ilona Andrews

MagicSlaysPlagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job.
Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she’s still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate’s mate.
So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price.
 

I have a couple of authors who are my favorites when it comes to Urban Fantasy. Ilona Andrews is pretty close to the top of that list. I can’t pinpoint it to anything specific. The world building, the mythology behind the different ‘species’, the hierarchy and politics, along with the witty, well developed characters combine to make this series one of my favorites. I may be taking my time reading it, but consider it savoring, not ignoring 😉

A lot happened in Magic Slays. Some things about Kate’s heritage were revealed. Old friends were reunited. Some very strange alliances were made and some new enemies came into play. Needless to say, there was very little down time. Along with the danger, there was a lot of emotion. Kate had to make some very tough decisions and she also found herself dealing with just a little bit of self doubt. Just another one of those things that makes me love this series. Those moments make the characters ‘real’. Speaking of characters, I love the witty banter between them. That’s not just limited to Kate and Curran, because there’s lots of back and forth between the two of them… not to mention the sexiness… Even though a lot of serious, dangerous craziness happens in Magic Slays, the true family aspect between the characters is there and it’s laced with a lot of humor and more of that ‘realness’ that I love about them.

The events that take place in Magic Slays change things for a lot of characters. I can’t wait to see what happens next and I’m still not sure if I’m going to try to slip in the some of the novellas (Magic Tests, Magic Gifts – Curran POV shorts) and Andrea’s story (Gunmetal Magic) before I pick up Magic Rises.

DragonFlyRating5

Nightshade – Urban Fantasy Anthology

NightShadeAnthology17 original stories by some of today’s bestselling urban fantasy authors.

I’ll admit, a lot of these authors were new to me. 15 to be exact. Some of the short stories were prequels to new series. Some of them were character introductions and some of them were little treasures that added to existing series. Naturally, I enjoyed the tidbits from characters that I was familiar with, but the others gave me incentive to check out some new authors and broaden my Urban Fantasy horizons. 😉 Even if you’re not familiar with some of the stories and or authors, I bet you can find at least one or two characters in this compilation that you’d like to learn more about. Below is the list and description of the books included in Nightshade found at Goodreads, along with my mini reviews.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1The Agency by Donna Augustine: Before Karma joins the agency, she’s just another assignment handed to Fate from the Universe. But she’s destined to become more than that.
Review:
This was a fun one and definitely left me wanting more…

De Facto by Annie Bellet: Verity Li’s just a bureaucratic cog, going through the motions until she interrupts a kidnapping next door, and now all the problems are hers.
Review:
Another fun story in this anthology. I was definitely intrigued by Varity and her magic sniffing rat.

Venom by Sarra Cannon: On the run from a coven of witches determined to capture and enslave him, Rend must overcome the limitations of the human world and embrace his true demon power. But will he survive?
Review:
Venom left me wanting more. Full of fast-paced action and danger.

Honeysuckle Memory by Selene Charles: Scarlett Smith’s on a mission to track down the man who sentenced her to an eternity of purgatory, but first she needs to pass the mental health assessment board of the paranormal investigative department.
Review:
This little taste made me want to find out more about Scarlett. It’s the introduction to a new series that I’m definitely going to be looking out for.

Spirits of Bourbon Street by Deanna Chase: It’s Halloween and time to party, but when a spirit traps everyone in the past, white witch Jade Calhoun’s forced to forgo the cocktails in order to save those she loves.
Review:
Spirits of Bourbon Street is actually a novella that takes place several books into the established Jade Calhoune series. I’ve only read the first book in the series (Haunted on Bourbon Street) but this short story reminded me of why I need to pick up the rest of the series.

The Ghost & Mrs. MacKay by Kate Danley: It’s Halloween and Maggie’s mother has invited all the ghosts of the neighborhood over for a party. Unfortunately, one of the ghosts is wanted by the Other Side’s finest. It’s up to Maggie and Killian to find out what caused this soul’s unrest and return him to his happy haunting ground.
Review:
The Ghost & Mrs. MacKay is another novella that takes place mid-series, but it was such a fun read that I got up to speed pretty quick. Plus, Maggie is such a fun character and the banter between her and Killian is so witty, I’m eager to track down the rest of the books in the Maggie MacKay, Magical Tracker series.

Full Moon Mischief by Debra Dunbar: Getting summoned on Halloween isn’t any demon’s idea of fun especially when yanked from a rocking party into a coat closet. But rules are rules and Imp Sam must find a way to get rid of a gold-digger hussy then hope the pint-sized mage sends her back before the party’s over.
Review:
Before I was even finished Full Moon Mischief, I knew I wanted to get to know Sam better. Fortunately, there’s several books in the Imp series that will help me do just that.

Dog Days of Summer by Hailey Edwards: When a fae boy goes missing, Thierry is called to lead the hunt for the rogue. But the closer she gets to locating the boy, the further she gets from the truth.
Review:
This short story was from another established series, Black Dog, but it gave readers just enough to make me want to find out more about Tierry.

Victoria Gardella: Vampire Slayer by Colleen Gleason: Balls, beaux, dance cards….and stakes? Lady Victoria Gardella must juggle her responsibility as a debutante in 19th century London Society while fulfilling her family legacy as a vampire hunter.
Review:
A 19th century vampire slayer? What’s not to love? The Gardella Vampire Hunters is another established series.

Atomic by C. Gockel: Sigyn is prophesied to be the consort of a king. Instead she marries a fool. Centuries after his chaos destroys their marriage, the fallout begins.
Review:
This one was a little hard to get into, but I still enjoyed the story.

Highland Magic by Helen Harper: The Veil has kept the Highlands of Scotland free from demons for centuries, and ensured relative peace for the Sidhe Clans. However, a strange encounter on a dark, heather-strewn hillside might mean all that is about to change.
Review:
There are so many reasons why I want to continue where this story left off. It’s a great introduction to a series, not to mention heartbreaking. *sigh*

Contents May Have Shifted by Shawntelle Madison: Return to the Coveted universe in this tale featuring werewolf Natalya Stravinsky. Two werewolf shopkeepers in a mystical flea market encounter deadly merchandise that has no intention of being sold.
Review:
This short story from the Coveted series was packed full of action, humor and wit. Contents May have Shifted just added another series to my TBR pile.

Illusions by Christine Pope: Warlock Damon Wilcox is plotting to kidnap the most powerful witch in a rival clan. But Damon’s brother Connor has plans of his own.
Review:
This is actually a prequel to an established series. The Witches of Cleopatra Hill is a series that has hit my reading radar.

Dying Night by SM Reine: Hell’s trying to squeeze its way onto Earth via the Grand Canyon. Elise and James, a demon hunting team, haven’t spoken about that thing that happened in Copenhagen for six months. With all the pressure boiling under the surface, something’s sure to blow.
Review:
It probably comes as no surprise that I’m a huge SM Reine fan. Mainly because you don’t have to look very far into my reading history to find at least one book that belongs to one of her many series. The one series that I haven’t finished is Descent, which is where this short little treasure comes from. It really didn’t matter though, because I’m well acquainted with Elise and James and this story is all about them. If you are a fan of Elise and James, then Dying Night is a story that you won’t want to miss. Oh, and just an FYI – it broke my heart just a little.

Brea’s Tale: Arrival by Anthea Sharp: When a faerie girl is sent on a mission to the mortal world, she must learn to navigate the intricacies of life among humans – but will she survive undetected?
Review:
Evidently Brea isn’t just fae. She was a mortal first, but the world’s changed a lot since her last visit. She’s on a mission, but before she can complete it, she has to figure out how to fit in.

Angels and Demons by Colleen Vanderlinden: A mysterious woman haunts the streets of Detroit, dishing up her own version of vigilante justice.
Review:
Angels and Demons may have been short, but it wasn’t lacking in action. While Nain and his crew of demons and shifters were fighting crime, a mystery vigilante known as ‘the Angel’ was taking matters into her own hands. The only problem was her kind of power was dangerous if she decided to switch sides. 

Dragon’s Fury by Phaedra Weldon: A tragic part of Crwys Holliard’s past is revealed when his lover becomes a target in a serial killer’s vendetta against women who have crossed Crwys’ path. Unfortunately, this also makes Crwys the prime suspect in their deaths.
Review: Dragons, a unique twist on vampires, and did I mention dragons? This taste provided more than enough reasons to add any other books that include Crwys and Levi to my ever growing TBR pile.

DragonFlyRating4

Where There’s Fire (Panopolis #2) by Cari Z

WhereTheresFireMaking a name for myself as a Villain in Panopolis is hard work. Six months ago, my boyfriend broke me out of jail. Now he’s spending most of his time defending our turf against other Villains he accidentally freed along with me. And my new psychic powers are not only impossible to control, but they’re also giving me migraines.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. My skills are improving every day, and Raul—aka the Mad Bombardier—and I have never been happier. That is, until my first solo job is interrupted by a mysterious woman who tells me that Raul has been kidnapped by a ruthless new Villain. The only way to free him is to do a job for Maggot, a man with scary ideas and an even scarier superpower.
I can’t go to the cops or a Hero for help. Odds are they wouldn’t listen to me anyway. If I fail, Raul will be killed. If I succeed, we’ll both be bound to a man who’ll stop at nothing to put Panopolis on the path to civil war.
It looks like the only way to win is to take out the competition.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I almost passed up this series. From the descriptions, I thought it was a little too ‘comic bookish’ for me. The more I read and got into the story, the more I realized that my initial opinion was wrong. I started to feel that way by the end of Where There’s Smoke. By the end of Where There’s Fire, Cari Z had me totally convinced.

The Panopolis series is basically good against evil, but with a very thin line between the two forces. Edward thought he had it figured out. The Villains were the bad guys and the Heroes were there to protect everyone. Things may have blurred a bit when he started falling for Raul in Where There’s Smoke, but in Where There’s Fire, more of the truth came out. Not only does Edward take a more active role when he becomes a villain himself, but he learns more about where the real evil lies. This is definitely one of those series where nothing is quite like it seems.

Things change drastically for both Edward and Raul by the end of Where There’s Fire. So much so, I can’t wait for the next book to be released.

DragonFlyRating4