Hailey Turner-A Veiled & Hallowed Eve

This is the 7th book in Hailey’s Soulbound series, and it is absolutely, positively NOT a standalone. You 110% have to have read the other 6 books in the series before you read A Veiled & Hallowed Eve. I highly recommend this series, I mean, very highly. It’s an MM series that has shifters, dragons, mages, and gods who walk among us. The world that Hailey created is beautiful, deadly, and feels oh so very real.

OK, so we have Patrick. He’s a combat mage who survived a previous god war. Because of damage taken in that war, he is no longer in the military, but works for a branch of the government now. It’s like the FBI, but for supernatural things. He’s based in NYC, with his boyfriend, wolf shifter Jono.

The past 6 books have been one battle after another. Each book has had its own unique battle, but they are all tied together in one overall storyline. And now, we have come to the end. I am going to be very careful with spoilers here, because pretty much everything I say could be a spoiler, so the synopsis is going to be really broad. Go read the books, trust me, all the ins and outs are worth it.

It’s nearly Samhain, the day that the veil between this world and all others is thinnest. It’s also the time that the Dominion Sect is going to make their big move. It has to be Samhain when it happens, because the bad guy wants to turn himself into a god and bring all the hells to Earth, and the hell dimensions will be closer that day.

Jono and Patrick are both exhausted. They’ve been fighting for such a long time, and right now they are fighting a war of attrition against hunters and demons. And it’s still weeks until the big day.

I really like Patrick and Jono, together and apart. Patrick is a very good man who has had a bunch of shit handed to him in his relatively short life. He’s been taught and trained as a weapon, and been used as that for the majority of his life. He’s self-sacrificing and the majority of the higher powers and authorities in his life have taken advantage of that fact. People have lied to and for him for most of his life. There are reasons why many of those lies have been told, but that doesn’t mean that the truth isn’t going to hurt him when if/when he finds out about it. I understand the reasoning behind why they have done what they have done, but it doesn’t mean that they ever had Patrick’s best interests at heart. Frankly, I think that there is only one adult in Patrick’s younger life who had his interests at heart, and I think that person kept him centered as much as they were able to.

Then there’s Jono. Jono will always make sure that he has Patrick’s best interests first. He will make sure that Patrick will take care of himself even if he doesn’t want to. Jono makes Patrick a better person, in all the best ways. Jono’s life hasn’t been perfect, but he had a better start than Patrick, and he’s determined to make sure that Patrick knows how valued and valuable he is and how much he is loved. Jono is a loving, caring person, who is very loyal to his friends. He will make decisions based on that loyalty so that he can protect those who are important to him. I think that he and Patrick really complement each other quite well.

I have loved every book in this series. They have all kept me right on the edge of my seat, and I gobbled them up. I was really sad to see this series end, because of just how good it was. Because we follow one main couple and their friends and family through the whole series, we really get to know Patrick, Jono, and all their associates.

This one has a lot going on. But it’s not an overwhelming, even though there is a lot of action. It does nicely tie everything up in a very satisfying way. When I was done reading it, I just sighed a very happy sigh, because I was really happy with what happened.

Jessica Gadizala-The Sacrifice

Jessica is a first time author for me, but after reading The Sacrifice, I don’t think that will continue. I’m going to be keeping my eye out on this series, because I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next with these guys. I’m going to have to go back and read her other books too. This is a PNR MC book, and it’s a really interesting combination, and one that I thought worked really well.

So, we have Lenore. She’s part of a hidden coven of witches. She’s a little rebellious, doesn’t like to do what she’s told, has a hard time with meditating and doing parts of being a witch. Her coven has an arrangement with a group in the outer world. Each generation, one witch must act as a sacrifice and go to this group. No one knows what happens to the sacrifices, all they know is that they are never seen again. Lenore has just become this generation’s sacrifice. She was told the night before so that there’s no chance of her running away. She undergoes the rituals, and then climbs into the coffin-like box in a van to be taken away.

Lycus and his brothers are a motorcycle club. But that’s not all they are. They are also demons who have been stuck on Earth for eons. Several generations ago, they managed to make a pact with a coven of witches. Each generation they get one of the witches to use her as they need. This time, they have Lenore, and she’s getting Lycus’ brother Ace’s nerves, because she makes it rain all the time, so he told Lycus to fix the issue.

I really enjoyed this one. It’s not a mindfuck, not precisely, but it is very twisty, and it did leave me guessing, which we all know that I really like. I think that Jessica did a really good job with making people guess what was happening and then changing everything up all over the place.

Lenore is really interesting. She has a real otherworldliness, which, well, makes sense because she’s lived in a hidden enclave all her life. She isn’t familiar with all the little things that make life up these days. But she has a very etheral look on life as well, mostly because she sees it from a magical point of view. I think that it really colors everything. I have to wonder if the other sacrifices had that same kind of POV. She also has an insatiable curiosity, which makes her want to learn everything possible.

Lycus may be a biker demon, but he’s not what you might think of when you imagine a biker demon who has been stuck on Earth for millenia. I think that probably comes from the fact that he’s been stuck around humanity for so many years. Even a demon is going to lose their evil edge eventually. Now, he’s still a demon and he’s still evil, but I think that there is a real human edge to him as well.

OK, that’s all for this one today. Nothing below the picture today. Go check it out!

Cassandra Faye-Dangerous Magic

Dangerous Magic is a re-edited version of a book that Cassandra put out under her Jennifer Bene pen name. It wasn’t called that back then, it was called The Rite. The book hasn’t changed significantly, other than just being polished and edited. I totally recommend rereading it under the new name, but then again, I love to reread, so it works well.

Here’s the story. Heather is a member of a magical and witchy family. She doesn’t have her power though, because to get their power, the women in her family have to do a special rite in order to appease their patron, a Valkyrie named Harja. When they do this special rite, they get their magic. Of course, that rite includes sex, and well, the guys don’t come out the better for their experience. She’s now 24, and most of her family would’ve done the rite by now and gotten their magic. Heather’s under pressure now to get the rite done, because there’s a big event coming up, and she needs to have her magic for it. When her cousin shows her the leaflet for a speed dating thing coming up, Heather decides that she’ll do it then.

Neil is one of the men Heather meets at the speed dating thing. They have a connection immediately, so Neil, of course, does what guys do, and asks her out for another date. Of course, if that’s all that happened in this story, it would be a really short story, and while this is a pretty quick book, it’s not that short.

I like Heather. She tries to do the right thing, or at least the right thing as she sees it. I don’t think it’s necessarily that she’s squeamish when it comes to performing the ceremony, but I think that she really just doesn’t want to have that magic all that much. The magic takes different forms for different people, and she’s seen good and bad. I have to wonder if she sees that and worries that she could end up with not so good magic.

Neil isn’t anyone that I would really want to be around, but maybe that’s because I’m seeing that after reading the book. During the story, he seems like he’s nice enough.

This is a fun little story, full of sexiness. I barely touched on any of that, so if you want to have more info about them, go read the book.

There aren’t any spoilers today, because it’s such a short book. Definitely go check it out.

Off topic, on a personal note, you might remember I had a car fire 3 weeks back. Yeah, it’s been that long. Well, I got everything worked out with insurance and all, and after spending the last 10 days looking, I finally got a car. Well, I own a 2014 Kia Soul. It will be to me sometime in the next 5-15 business days, and they will deliver it directly to my house, which ought to be interesting coming down my small dirt road, lol.

 

Cassandra Faye-One Crazy Bite

Jennifer Bene’s magical alter ego Cassandra Faye is back with a new book, One Crazy Bite. You would think with a title like that this book would be a romcom. It is a total romcom type title, right? Well, if you looked at the author’s name, you can probably guess that this isn’t a romcom. There are some rather amusing moments in it though. And it is romantic, in places. But nope, still not a romcom. As a side note, do you know that when you type “romcom” a bunch of times, it starts to look really weird? Also, Grammarly doesn’t like it and keeps trying to autocorrect it.

Anyway, enough about that, let’s talk about the story. We start with Grace. She’s on the way to meet with a friend for lunch. As happy as she is to see her friend, she is slightly frustrated by the fact that she’s running a little late. They arrange to meet in front of the museum, and while Grace is waiting, she looks at pictures for an exhibit that the museum is running, featuring monstrous statuary. A week later, Grace is back at the museum, once again waiting for her perpetually late friend. This time, she is drawn into the exhibit, where she sees a huge demonic statue with an enormous schwanstucker. First thing she does is to take a pic of said member to her friend, and then take a selfie with the entire statue, which she touches.

Then we have Nicomachus. He’s been a statue for hundreds and hundreds of years. A statue with a ginormous schwanstucker, to be precise. He’s alive and aware in there, but can’t do anything about it. Then, all of a sudden, he senses his other half. She’s only there for a moment or two before he loses her. After some time, she comes back and he uses his powers to draw her to him, where he manipulates him into touching him and breaking his curse.

Grace seems to be very nice and I tend to like her. I say seems because for a good part of it, she’s pretty sure that she’s having a psychotic break, and I don’t blame her. I totally would be positive I was too, if I had a naked invisible man just pop up in front of me at work and then disappear into nothingness. She’s positive that she’s hallucinating, and for the evidence that she’s got, it seems like a perfectly reasonable conclusion, you know? I think that she is pretty strong, because she manages to keep going, even while she thinks she might be in a padded cell somewhere. I think that she needs to be strong in order to balance Nic.

I love Nicomachus. He makes me laugh. I’m pretty sure that’s not supposed to be my reaction to him, but it is. I think that he’s funny. Dangerous, but funny. There’s just ways that he says things that tickle my funny bone. I also think that he’s amoral, but that’s probably because of the length of time he’s lived and the time he spent trapped in a statue. That’s got to do something to you, you know?

OK, no spoilers today. Go check it out! Happy reading!

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2019 Round Up-Top 10 MM Pt. 2

As a totally off-topic notification, I’m now an Amazon Affiliate, and any qualifying purchases can give me a commission. 

If you missed the first part of this list, go check it out here. And now, on to the second part of the list.

AJ Sherwood-Jon’s Downright Ridiculous Shooting Case

Jon’s Downright Ridiculous Shooting Case is a totally fun title, and it’s a great book. Before you read the book, you need to make sure that you read the trigger warnings, because they are hilarious. This is the TW and tags from this one.

“Trigger Warnings:
Your average cop show violence and criminals

Tags:
Companionable snark, Flirting, Kissing, Jon needs a hug, Donovan gives the best hugs, Getting together, Self-esteem issues, Explicit content, Anal Sex, Romantic Sex, Random shooting, Which Donovan isn’t happy about, Donovan is a gentleman, Sort of, Jon just makes it REALLY REALLY HARD Okay?, Bisexual character, Public displays of affection, Muscles, Communication, Healthy relationships, The fluff might kill you, Supernatural elements, Modern with Magic, Feels, All the Feels, Mostly accurate medical stuff, Multiple electronics died in the creation of this story, blame Jon”

Anyway, I would probably put this in the urban fantasy because it has a heavy paranormal side. Jon is a psychic who has some serious strong powers. He helps to solve crimes for the police and for anyone who hires the agency he works for. He is in need of an anchor, someone who can help him shield. He also needs a bodyguard, which is where Donovan comes in. This is a slow burn, but a good one. There are also 2 direct sequels, and a spinoff novella. So worth reading.

Adara Wolf-Blue Storm

Adara tends to write on the heavier end of kink and dub/noncon. Blue Storm does dabble into that side of the pool, but not as much as some of her other books. In this one, people have some basic magic, which lets them know their true names, which protects their souls. Then, there are the Nameless, who don’t have magic, and have to be bound as slaves, and named as their owners or they basically splinter into painful pieces. Blue Storm was named by his owners, and the book is about his struggle with his name and with what his owners want.

Barrie Farris-Ingenious

Ingenious is a dystopian story. The way that it works is that women have taken over the world and currently run it. Men rise and fall by the women that they marry and if they can breed children. Enter Quiggs who is a bloody genius, Einstein and DaVinci mushed up together. There is great world building in here, and the relationships between Quiggs, Max, and Beau are really interesting. I am eagerly waiting for the next book, but it is taking its own sweet time.

Susan Hawke-How Not to Tuck

How Not to Tuck is a novella in the Lovestrong series. This is the story of Larry, AKA Honey Combover, a drag queen we meet in the first book. Mama Honey is hilarious, especially when it comes to the descriptions of her tuck failing and her python. Yeah, it’s just that big and that funny. For an even better description, and one that goes on for several pages, check out How Not to Blend, the first book in the series. It’s a quick read, and one that’s just a lot of fun to read.

K Webster-The Glue

Yup, The Glue is K’s second appearance on this list. And this one isn’t technically an MM book, it’s an MMF, but I’ve decided that it counts. This is one of K’s taboo treats, starring Aidan and married couple Vale and Vaughn, one his boss, the other his professor. Like all of the other taboo treats, it’s a standalone, but it is all interconnected with other books. I loved watching Aidan figuring out who he was and what he wanted. It’s a very sexy story, and I am always looking forward to K’s new books.

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Charlie Godwyne-Equinox

I get ARCs from all over the place, PR companies, authors, Booksprout, and various teams I’m on. I get almost all my MM ARCs from LesCourt Author Services. I love working with LesCourt because I get a chance at a huuuuuge selection of ARCs. Also, the team is just awesome. So, why the big shout out to LesCourt in this post? Well, because without the ARC opportunities I get from them, I would likely not have found Equinox by Charlie Godwyne. And that would’ve been a total loss, because this book blew me the fuck away.

So, here’s our story. It takes place in Augarten, which is a huge park in the second district of Vienna. It’s a real place, with an amazing history, including morning concerts by Mozart and Strauss, and you should definitely go read more about it. I did. And Charlie is from Vienna and wanders around Augarten on the regular, and it’s incredibly obvious that Augarten is a place they love so much.

There is a man who wakes up in the garten, right at the base of a tree. He thinks that trees are talking to him. He can see the magic of the garten, the trees, the sky, and everything, and starts to see all kinds of things. He passes out again and wakes up to a priest praying over him. He was praying to High Archangel Gabriel to protect our first man.

When the first guy starts to talk to the priest, he realizes that he has no clue who he is. He has no memory, doesn’t know his name, nothing. So, the priest decides to call him Gabriel. Turns out that the priest’s name is Solomon, and the head of his order had a dream and sent him out to find Gabriel. Apparently, Gabriel lit up all kinds of magical and spiritual warning systems when he showed up in the garten.

Solomon takes him to the woman who runs part of Augarten, who ends up letting Gabriel stay there, as long as he’s willing to work. Solomon tells him that he’s going to help Gabriel do everything he can to help him get his memory back. Meanwhile, Gabriel does everything he can do to help out at Augarten and starts to make friends. Solomon teaches him to meditate, sings Latin prayers over him, takes him to appointments, and shows up regularly. Then there’s Florian.

Gabriel runs into Florian one night at the garten, when Florian is praying. He worships Welsh gods, and prays in Augarten. Gabriel hears him, and the language sounds familiar to him. This ends up with them being friends.

We also have Ian, who is really important to Gabriel and Solomon. We learn a lot of things from Ian. Of course, he knows so much he doesn’t share. The asshole.

Charlie is a debut author. This is their first book. And it’s not often that a debut author writes something that is so incredibly mindblowing. The book is very cohesive, and the world is incredibly detailed. There is a very tricky mix of time periods, to the point where you aren’t exactly sure what the time period is, which is fabulous. There is also a big mix of spirituality, religiousity, magicalness, and realism. Charlie managed to put it together seamlessly. It all fits in together easily, like that’s the way that the world really works and the way that the world really should. All of our main characters have that mix inside of them, in their own particular mix, and they each have their own way to express that and express that mix. That spirituality is a huge part of the book, but it’s not shoved in your face or anything. It’s just part of the ebb and flow of the book and the book would be lesser to take that part out of it.

This is a slow burn, a pretty slow burn. I love how the romance builds up the way that it does. If the romance had been just jumped into, I don’t think it would’ve worked as well, because Gabriel needed a better understanding of himself. The slow burn was necessary, and it works perfectly for this one.

I really, truly, deeply hope that Charlie Godwyne has an Augarten #2 in the works, because I’m dying to find out more.

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Ian’s angelic ass is sitting on so many secrets. I really want to know what all he knows. I have suspicions about him that I’m not telling.

OK, that’s all for this one. I can’t recommend it enough, I really can’t. Go check it out. Happy reading!

Raisa Greywood-Wicked Fire

Raisa has gone back to her magical world of dragons, Sidhe, mages, and two-natured. I have been looking forward to Wicked Fire because I wanted to find out more about Drako and Morgaine, and this book let me do that, for sure.

So, for those who don’t remember, Morgaine is an ancient mage who has a hardon for the Archer family. She has done all she can to kill the entire family, down to Lily, who has 3 powerful husbands, including Myrddin, Morgaine’s old friend and teacher. Morgaine talked to a crazy dark elf named Teran and managed to get him to hold Lily prisoner. He did horrrrrible things to Lily.

For her pains, Morgaine ended up trapped in a stone, sentenced to be there until it turned into dust. She had no contact with anyone, although the king of the light elves would give her stuff every 10th anniversary. That included books, laptops, TVs, and radios. She could watch the world go by, but she couldn’t interact with it. It was a quiet existence, but not a terrible one, at least once she had the books and computer. She spent a lot of time researching and learning, which she loved. But then, there’s an earthquake, which destroys her prison. She gets picked up by a pair of elves, who tell her that the light king and the dark queen are going to give her another chance for redemption. She has to go kill Teran, who has escaped. And oh yeah, she has to do it without her magic, and if she fails, she dies. Meanwhile, she has to go from Cornwall to London in 6 hours to catch her flight. Now, Morgaine has been locked up in a stone for over a century, so trying to get from here to there is really hard for her. But, she manages to make it to New York, where she sees Lily and her husbands, who, of course, want to attack her.

So, Drako is the last dragon on Earth. He was bound to Myrddin for centuries, and now he’s bound to his many-times granddaughter, Lily. He’s a living tattoo on her back, but all he needs is a little magic, and he can be free. When Morgaine shows up, he tells Lily to free him, and he’ll handle Morgaine. After all, he doesn’t like her much either, since she killed all of his Archer descendants because Fergus wouldn’t leave his wife for her, or at least, that’s her story. So, Drako gets his freedom, and he takes Morgaine to his hoard. He says that he’s not interested in her, but he’s not about to trust her at all, because he knows that her story about having to get Teran is all bullshit. He figures that she only wants to get to Teran so that they can work together.

You know, finding out more about Morgaine made me really like her. I didn’t like her all that much in other books, mostly because she was cast as a villain in those books. But, her story makes me look back at her actions in the other books, and say ooooohhhhh, that’s why she did this. It was shitty, but it could’ve been worse, and I totally understand it now. I really like her now. This book gave her an excellent redemption arc, but really, I think that her redemption may have started much earlier. I’m going to have to go back and reread everything all at once, just so I can doublecheck.

I have liked Drako, but there were times in this one when I got really mad at him. I don’t know how much of why I got mad at him is the fact that he isn’t just out of touch, but that he’s hundreds and hundreds of years out of touch or how much he is acting on preconceived notions. I mean, yeah, he was there with Myrddin and Lily all those many years, but he spent a lot of that time kind of sleeping, and didn’t pay as much attention as he could’ve, so he’s still working on old behaviors. I can understand why he treated Morgaine the way he did at first, but when he started seeing stuff in her that was contrary to what he thought he knew, he just decided that she was lying and didn’t believe her or do anything to actually help.

I think that a lot of people failed Morgaine from the very beginning. I totally understand why she acted the way she did in the beginning. Even with being as strong as she was, she was innocent, trusting, and vulnerable. Everything could’ve been so different if she hadn’t been failed as she was.

There was one particular part that absolutely broke my heart and left me ugly crying.

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Yan was fascinating. And I’m really hoping that we’ll get a story of Yan and Omer, because I’m pretty sure that would be totally awesome. And Feather’s story too.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Ilona Andrews-Sapphire Flames

Sapphire Flames is the latest book in Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series. While it is a continuation of the overall series, it is not a continuation of Nevada and Rogan’s story. This one is the first book that focuses on Catalina, the oldest of Nevada’s younger sisters. She is a Prime talent, but not one that most people are aware of. She is classified as a siren. In other words, she is going to draw you to love her. And you want to love her to death. Her family are all immune to her because they love her just for who she is. Turns out that there is another person who is immune to her. But don’t worry, we’ll get to him shortly.

SF takes place 3 years after Wildfire, the last Nevada/Rogan book, and there have been a lot of changes in Dallas and House Baylor. Nevada is no longer the Head of the House, but Catalina is instead. And Catalina has taken some epic lessons from Rogan’s mother, which is really good, since their 3 safe years are over now. Catalina knows that people are going to be coming for them, since they are a brand new house, and they are going to be looking for weaknesses. She doesn’t really talk about her power much because of the way it works, and her records are all sealed. To top all that off, she is trying to keep the detective agency going without ending up as a vassal house to anyone and still adhering to the rules that her parents set out back when they started out. That’s what gets them into the case that they are in right now.

And then, there is Alessandro. He is Italian and gorgeous. He was part of the trials that Catalina had to go through in order to be declared a Prime. He came to the warehouse to try and get her to go with him on a ride, which she turned down. But that doesn’t stop her younger sister and cousins teasing her about him. Of course, that’s only payback, if you ask me. They did the same thing to Nevada, so what goes around comes around, you know? Alessandro has his own motivation here, and no one knows what’s going on, including Catalina. They do like each other though, so it’s really interesting to watch.

I like Catalina. We get to see all kinds of sides to her in this. She changes a lot, depending on what needs to happen and who she needs to be at the time. She’s a chameleon, but she’s what House Baylor needs at the moment. Nevada would never be able to do the things that Catalina has to do for the House. It’s not that I think that Nevada is weak or anything, I just don’t think that she has the same core that Catalina does, which is what is going to make it possible for her to make painful decisions, and ones that might come right up to the line that her family has drawn over the years.

I am up in the air about Alessandro. There’s a lot of saying about revenge, and I think that several of them will fit in here. I’m looking forward to seeing how the thing between the two of them is going to work.

Nothing under the pic today either. Go check this one out, and in fact, read everything written by Ilona Andrews. I can’t recommend the books enough. Happy reading!

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Kallista Dane-Fire Born

Once upon a time, there was a virgin queen. No, it wasn’t Queen Elizabeth I of England. No, her name was Melisandre, Queen of the World of the Seven Stars, and heroine of Kallista Dane’s latest book, Fire Born. This is the first book in the Queen of the Seven Stars series, and since it’s a reverse harem with 5 guys, I’m predicting at least 4 more books to come. Works for me.

So, Melisandre has just learned that her father has died, and at the tender age of almost 18, she’s now planning her coronation. Her vizier, who she sees as almost an uncle or grandparent, comes in, kicks her butt out of bed and tells her to suck it up because they have to go see the Oracle the day after the coronation, and her people need her to be Queen and not a lump in the bed. Of course, Meli doesn’t like that, but that was Antonius’s goal. He’s gruff, blunt, and acerbic, and she pretty much loves the old man. However, everyone knows that Oracles aren’t real, so she’s willing to humor him.

Meanwhile, in a cave, an old woman calls Drayke to her. She encourages him to walk through the fire. Melisandre is watching, in her dream, and she sees him walk through the fire and thinks that he’s dead. Right up until he burst out of the flame as a dragon. Now, I love this because drake is another name for dragon. I love things like that.

When Meli finally gets to the Oracle, she finds out that she is going to have to fight the Lord of Darkness, and to do that, she’s going to have the help of 5 mates. The dragon, the warrior, the mystic, the wizard, and the rogue. So, yeah, pretty much a D&D party. She’s going to have to train to fight so that she can lead the fight, otherwise the darkness will take over her world.

Six years later, Melisandre has been training, and she and Antonius have been studying the prophecy and the things that her ancestors have written about it. Now, the Oracle summons Drayke and tells him that it’s time for him to go to Melisandre and to start to fulfill his part.

I really like Melisandre. I think that she’s a avery strong woman. Kallista tends to write strong female characters, at least I think so. Melisandre is going to very much be the heroine in the story in more ways than one, I think. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens as she goes to find more of her mates and as they all learn to interact with each other and how to share their lives together. I’m pretty excited for the rest of the books to come out. I’m hoping that Kallista doesn’t keep us waiting for too long.

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If there’s anything I’ve learned from Disney, it’s that you don’t trust the viziers, so I was kinda worried about Antonius there for a minute, but then he started sexing up the Oracle, so I stopped worrying about him overly much. I want to think that he and the Oracle are part of the group that trapped the bad guy in the first place, but I’m probably not right, but wouldn’t that be awesome?

I’m really interested to see how each of the guys is going to adjust to being added into the mate group. I mean, Drayke may be the only one who gets to spend any one-on-one time with Meli. Unless she goes off on a quest with each guy separately and then they get all get together at the end, but I don’t see how that would work very well. guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

That’s all I have to say today. Go on over to King Zon and take a look at this one. You won’t regret it. Happy reading! And don’t forget that we have giveaways coming up on the FB page this weekend!

Ilona Andrews-Iron and Magic

Ilona Andrews is a husband and wife team, Ilona and Gordon Andrews. They write one of my all-time favorite urban fantasy series, the Kate Daniels series. The last book in that world comes out later this year. I’ve had it on pre-order for nearly a year. That’s how much I love this series. So, when they announced that they were writing a story around Hugh D’Ambray, I was excited, because it meant that we would get more of that world, but also I was interested to see how they would take one of the baddies from Kate’s world and make him likable in any way. I have an interesting relationship with Hugh. I both hate him and love him. Hate him because he wants to hurt my Kate and love him because he’s a great bad guy. Horrible things have been happening to Hugh lately, and I wanted to see how well he could manage them. Well, let me tell you, I was not disappointed at all. Iron and Magic was all that I could’ve wanted and even more.

So, here’s where we start. Hugh is drinking himself to death. He’s been abandoned and all he can do is drink to try to feel better, to try to forget, to try to feel anything. The remaining leaders of his Iron Dogs track him down and tell him that he needs to man up, stop drinking, and help them. The Iron Dogs are being hunted, are hiding, running, and starving. When Hugh is sober enough to listen to them, they decide that they need a base, and one of his advisors has found one for him.

Deep in Kentucky, Elara is queen of her castle. She watches over her people to make sure that they are OK and does everything she can to keep them that way. But when Roland’s Legatus keeps trying to buy her castle, she knows that she needs an army to fight him. She doesn’t have an army, but Hugh does. Hugh doesn’t have a base, but she does. It’s a perfectly incovenient marriage made in purgatory.

When I say marriage, I speak literally. In order to bring everything together, they marry to seal the deal, just like alliances have been made over thousands of years. It doesn’t mean that they love each other or that they even like each other. As long as they are married, it’s all good.

The female characters written by Ilona Andrews are generally strong, fearsome, devious, and delicious. See Kate, Nevada, Andrea, Aunt B, etc. Let’s add Elara to that list. She is very strong, both as a character and as a magic user. She knows who she is, what she is capable of, and what she will do in order to keep her people safe. That makes her even stronger, in my opinion. She’s very smart and tends to have plans within plans. She doesn’t let her right hand know what her left hand is doing, or let Hugh know everything she knows. Elara is definitely going in my favorite female characters list.

Hugh is different from the Hugh D’Ambray we know and loathed/loved in the previous books. He’s rebuilding himself, and figuring out who he really is and what he really wants to do. Elara makes him think certain things through and figure certain things out, which I didn’t even see until Elara shoved them in Hugh’s face, and then I was like damn, how’d I miss that.

Their marriage is like a crazy monkey knife fight sometimes. It’s awesome to watch. I can’t wait to see where it is going.

erawan

Oh so many things that I could say down in my lovely spoiler section. Hmmm… What shall I say?

I need to know more about Elara. She’s hiding so much. Who and what is she?

OMG, Erawan. That was fucking awesome. Just so fucking awesome.

Hugh and Roland. Wow!

I want to see Hugh and Kate and Curran get together and talk somehow. I think that would be epic. Especially after the epiphanies that he’s had.

OK. That’s all for this one. If you love Kate Daniels, urban fantasy, sword and sorcery books, this is a must have. Go check it out. It’s available at all the booksellers. Happy reading!