Early Review: Spellbinder by Thea Harrison

, by Kt Clapsadl

Spellbinder by Thea Harrison
Moonshadow #2

Kidnapped while on tour, musician Sidonie Martel is transported to the mystical land of Avalon. A human without magical ability, she is completely vulnerable to the deadly forces surrounding her.

When she defies her captors and refuses to share her music, an act of violent cruelty leaves her broken, her ability to play silenced, maybe forever. Her only hope is a whisper in the dark, gentle hands that offer healing, and a man who refuses to show her his face yet who offers advice she dare not ignore.

One of the most feared and powerful sorcerers in history, Morgan le Fae serves a Queen he despises, Isabeau of the Light Court. Once a famous bard and an advisor to kings, Morgan has been enslaved to Isabeau for hundreds of years, acting as enforcer and the commander of her deadly Hounds.

Sidonie’s music touches Morgan in places he had abandoned centuries ago, and her fiery spirit resurrects feelings he had believed long dead. For Sidonie, trapped in captivity, passion offers a comfort she cannot resist.

But Isabeau holds Morgan bound in magical chains that only Death can break. And in the court of a cruel, jealous Queen, the only thing that burns hotter than love is revenge…

Oh my goodness did I love this book! You just can't go wrong with two of my favorite things meshed together, Thea Harrison's writing in the Elder Races world and Camelot. This take on the King Arthur lore has to be by far the most unique I've ever read and I enjoyed every moment of it. In fairness, it's not really set in Camelot, and really has little to do with it in these modern times, and yet there was plenty of that lore to keep me more than thrilled. It just was very well done, and I loved every minute of this book!

The characters, just like the world and premise were utterly fantastic. Morgan is truly a tortured soul held by unseen chains that to the outside world make him seem like the worst evil, and yet there's so much more than meets the eye to him. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the truth unfurl in this book. Moving onto the heroine, Sidonie, I loved her just as much. She was full of fire and spunk and yet all so vulnerable at the same time. She's not your typical kick butt heroine, and yet her inner core was astounding. I loved her just as much as Morgan! That being said I did have one small confusion about how her OCD was handled. Early on in the book it was all consuming, but towards latter parts of the book it barely played a role, sometimes only as an afterthought. Perhaps her having to find strength to overcome the obstacles led her to be able to suppress the OCD somewhat, but it was a bit jarring for me. It just seemed a bit off, and inconsistent. That being said it didn't really detract from the story, just struck me as odd, but worth mentioning even though this book is still earning a resound five star rating from me.

All in all, fans of the Elder Races will be absolutely delighted at this latest installment from Thea Harrison. If only she could write fast enough for my voracious appetite for this world and these characters. Bravo, Ms Harrison, Bravo!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:





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Other Reviews:
     The Genre Mix
     Tome Tender
     Smokin' Hot Book Blog

Previous Books:
     1. Moonshadow

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Release Day Review: Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine

, by Kt Clapsadl

Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine
The Great Library #3

Hoarding all the knowledge of the world, the Great Library jealously guards its secrets. But now a group of rebels poses a dangerous threat to its tyranny...

Jess Brightwell and his band of exiles have fled London, only to find themselves imprisoned in Philadelphia, a city led by those who would rather burn books than submit. But Jess and his friends have a bargaining chip: the knowledge to build a machine that will break the Library’s rule.

Their time is running out. To survive, they’ll have to choose to live or die as one, to take the fight to their enemies—and to save the very soul of the Great Library...




ASH AND QUILL starts off with a bang of action, right where things left off in the last installment. Jess and crew are prisoners of the burners and it's not an easy place to be. The concept of book burning is so horrific and the danger they are in as being part of the library even though they are trying to rebel... is intense. I was on the edge of my seat, reading the pages as fast as I could to see what happened next.

That being said, after the initial bang of the opening things did seem to slow down a bit. Don't get me wrong, their situation never lightens, and the challenges are astounding. And yet...it just felt like a middle book or sophomoric slump at times. Perhaps it's due to a lack of a feeling of forward momentum in the war against the library until the very end. As I said, there's an incredible amount of danger and intensity at all times, but the lack of the forward momentum in the overall series plot weighed things down a bit. Hopefully after the insane ending of this book, things will take back off with a fury in the next installment.

Surprisingly despite all that is going around them, and all the intense danger/action moments there's also plenty of character development, which I really enjoyed. For such a large cast of characters, each and every one is completely and fully three dimensional. You really care for each and every one of them.

All in all ASH AND QUILL was an enjoyable installment in The Great Library series, and after that ending, I'm desperate to get my hands on the next one!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Gizmo's Reviews
     My Guilty Obsession
     Carries Book Reviews

Previous Books:
     1. Ink and Bone
     2. Paper and Fire

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Early Review: Lost Boy by Christina Henry

, by Kt Clapsadl

Lost Boy by Christina Henry

From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a familiar story with a dark hook—a tale about Peter Pan and the friend who became his nemesis, a nemesis who may not be the blackhearted villain Peter says he is…

There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.

Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter's idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.

Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.


LOST BOY by Christina Henry was a though provoking read that was incredibly dark and twisted. that kept me horrifyingly hooked from page on. Did I mention dark and twisted? If it's not obvious, despite being a riveting story that kept me engaged from page one, I'm incredibly conflicted about LOST BOY. It was almost too dark. The violence just seemed so much more real and harsh since it involved children. The constant death and injury were brutal enough, but the way they are just ignored by certain characters as status quo, just left a sick feeling in my stomach. Which of course I'm sure was the point, and yet it just felt a little too much for this mother's heart to bear witness to.

Onto the characters. Oh my goodness did the author do a fantastic job with them. Jamie of course was the star of the show in my eyes, with Peter being delegated to a spoiled rotten brat. But even that was just the surface, with much more to Peter than met the initial eye. I won't spoil things, but suffice it to say with each new chapter it was almost as if layers of a veil were lifted from Jamie's eyes, and more of Peter's true colors were revealed. The rest of the cast, be they cannon fodder or well developed side characters, all lent well to this horrifying tale.

All in all, the story is amazingly well written and felt like a real prequel retelling in the truest sense. There's always two sides to a story and this one? THIS is the one I believe. So bravo to Ms. Henry for masterfully changing my perceptions of this well known lore!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Gizmo's Reviews
     a GREAT read
     Carol's Random Life in Books


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Early Review: Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price

, by Kt Clapsadl

Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price
Alex Craft #5


Grave witch Alex Craft is no stranger to the dead talking. She raises shades, works with ghosts, and is dating Death himself. But the dead walking? That’s not supposed to happen. And yet, reanimated corpses are committing crimes across Nekros City.

Alex’s investigation leads her deep into a web of sinister magic. When Briar Darque of the Magical Crimes Investigation Bureau gets involved, Alex finds herself with an unexpected ally of sorts. But as the dead continue to rise and wreak havoc on the living, can Alex get to the soul of the matter in time?






GRAVE RANSOM had it's strengths and weaknesses, but the plot is where this one really shines. The whole concept of dead but alive people walking around, but NOT zombie or ghouls was really fascinating to me. The stakes are incredibly high in this one as aside from Alex, and the other few grave witches, no one would ever know these people are actually dead. It made for the perfect batch of thieves for the villain and I really loved watching all the twists and turns in GRAVE RANSOM unfurl. I won't spoil things too much, but suffice it to say this one doesn't head quite where you'd expect!

Now onto the not so strong parts. I have to admit considering the wait in-between books in this series, the overall lack of character development and momentum in this GRAVE RANSOM was a bit of a let down. Like I mentioned, the plot was incredibly enjoyable and kept me more than entertained, but the character department just left things a little to be desired. Don't get me wrong, Alex and crew are all fully fleshed and real characters, but their progression, particular Alex and her relationship with Death seemed stagnant at best. I just prefer at least some focus on characters and their progression in a series, but alas this one was fully plot focused rather than character driven. It's just a personal preference.

Overall, character momentum issues aside, I very much enjoyed this latest installment in the Alex Craft series. These characters and world hold a special place for me, and I can't wait to see more in the future!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     The Novel Lady

Previous Books:
     1. Grave Witch
     2. Grave Dance
     3. Grave Memory
     4. Grave Visions

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Review: Spectacle by Rachel Vincent

, by Kt Clapsadl

Spectacle by Rachel Vincent
Menagerie #2

When their coup of Metzger's Menagerie is discovered, Delilah and her fellow cryptids find their newly won freedom brutally stripped away as they are sold into The Savage Spectacle, a private collection of "exotic wildlife." Specializing in ruthless cryptid cage matches, safari-style creature hunts and living party favors, the Spectacle's owner, Willem Vandekamp, caters to the forbidden fetishes of the wealthy and powerful. At the Spectacle, any wish can be granted—for the right price.

But Vandekamp's closely guarded client list isn't the only secret being kept at the Spectacle. Beneath the beauty and brutality of life in the collection lie much darker truths, and no one is more determined than Delilah to strip the masks from the human monsters and drag all dark things into the light.


In some ways, SPECTACLE felt a lot like the first book, but that's in no way a bad thing. The plot was very similar in the most basic of senses with the cryptids going from captivity to freedom, to captivity... However as atrocious as their conditions were in MENAGERIE, the horrors almost paled in comparison to the civilized predicaments they found themselves in Vandekamp's facility. They are fed well, in a clean and almost sterile environment, so their living conditions are better, and yet as I said more horrific. There's just something so extra terrifying about the atrocities they were forced to endure all while under a civilized facade caused by the control collars. At least previously their entire minds and bodies weren't actually controlled. Sure they were always caged, and controlled through pain, but at least the cryptids still had their minds. 

It truly is a testament to Rachel Vincent's incredible skill that she was able to up the horror and stakes so much. After finishing Menagerie I would have never have guessed things could have gotten so much worse but yet she masterfully crafted a horrifically riveting story I just couldn't put down. You truly care for and root for the characters every step of the way, hoping against all hope that things will turn a corner soon, only to be shocked by the next horror. But even so none of the characters started to fade, holding strong, and making them truly admirable, which again is a true testament to the author's masterful skill.

If you are looking for a book and series that will stick with you long after you finish the last page, look no further than MENAGERIE and SPECTACLE. I cannot wait to see what's in store next!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Rabid Reads
     Naomi's Reading Place
     Gizmo's Reviews

Previous Books:
     1. Menagerie

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Early Review: Silver Silence by Nalini Singh

, by Kt Clapsadl

Silver Silence by Nalini Singh
Psy-Changeling Trinity #1

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater Bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed...

Oh my goodness! The Bears! I love the bears! As much as I've enjoyed reading the cat and the wolf books, there was just something so great about the bears. They still have that strong sense of pack and family that the others have, but there's just something... more about them. That and that the mating games they play by sneaking after their "prey" aka future mates, was just so yummy! The bears are so rowdy and full of trouble and yet everyone can't help but loving them. I found myself grinning from ear to ear the entire time reading this. Trust me, if you've enjoyed the pack dynamics of the other packs, the bears are going to instantly win your heart ten times over.

Onto the romance. Remember my love for the bears? Their traits made for one heck of a fun and hilarious mating dance. The shenanigans Valentin gets up to are nothing short of hilarious. But don't worry, Silver gives him more than a run for his money. Still it was incredibly enjoyable to watch him slowly break down her walls one by one. Their chemistry is off the charts from the first page despite her initial coldness. It truly made for an incredibly enjoyable read.

Simply put, Silver Silence is utter and completely fantastic. You cannot go wrong with a Nalini Singh book, but Silver Silence knocked it out of the park!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Unstuck Pages
     The Book Disciple

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Early Review: White Hot by Ilona Andrews

, by Kt Clapsadl

White Hot by Ilona Andrews
Hidden Legacy #2

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …





Boy oh boy do the sparks fly between Nevada and Rogan in WHITE HOT. You can practically feel the heat between them as they dance around one another. He's determined to have her, and she's just as determined to keep him away despite wanting him just as much. They both are so incredibly strong willed, and yet Nevada's backbone is almost solid iron in comparison to his and she can out stubborn him all day. It was so enjoyable watching her bring MAD Rogan to his knees. But don't worry, he isn't neutered just gentled a bit, which made this romantic build up/progression in this series absolutely perfect in my book! I cannot wait to see how things continue with this pair in the next book.

Romance aside there was even so much more to love about this book. The political and magicial issues have hit the fan, so to speak, and wow was it all intense. The feeling of family is so strong in this book, and I loved every moment of it. Nevada and company have some pretty hard choices to make, and this book set things up perfectly for what I imagine will be one heck of an ending to the trilogy in the next book.

You know you've read a truly amazing book when upon finishing it, you immediately want to start over from the beginning and re-read it all over again. Everything about WHITE HOT was top knotch, from the intense fast paced action, to the character development, and oh the romance! There was never a single dull moment in this book and I simply couldn't put it down.

I simply cannot recommend this book and this series any higher! An absolute must read, run do not walk and grab this book immediately!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:





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Other Reviews:
     Fangs, Wands, & Fairy Dust
     Tome Tender

Previous Books:
     1. Burn for Me


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Release Day Review: Firestorm by Nancy Holzner

, by Kt Clapsadl

Firestorm by Nancy Holzner
Deadtown #6


They call it Deadtown: the city’s quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its borders—but Victory Vaughn, Boston’s only professional demon slayer, isn’t exactly human…

When Vicky allowed an ancient goddess to possess her, she had no regrets—it was the only way to protect the people she loved. But now Ceridwen, locked in a power struggle with the Hellion that long ago claimed Vicky with its mark, refuses to leave. Both beings believe controlling Vicky is the key to winning the coming war for the human realm.

Despite the forces pulling her apart, Vicky needs all her wits about her. The demons of Hell are growing bold and she can barely keep up with the attacks plaguing the city: sirens in the Mystic River, goblins snarling traffic on Storrow Drive, imps tearing the gold from the State House dome. As the signs of war multiply and Hell threatens to overrun its boundaries, Vicky finds herself torn between her duty to save the world and her desire to save something of herself…

Whew was this a whirlwind of a series ending book! There was so much going on with all the many plot threads being wrapped up that the pacing is almost frenetic at times. There's simply not a dull moment in FIRESTORM. Between the demon/goddess duos possessing her, and all the external issues attacking humans and the paranormals in and out of Deadtown alike, Vicky couldn't catch a moment's breath. That being said the pacing never steps over the line into the "too much" category, instead it was a perfect balance of intense action that I had no trouble following. Very impressive.

All in all FIRESTORM was an enjoyable end to the Deadtown series that should more than please fans. While this book was a long time coming, I have to say it was worth the wait!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Tome Tender

Previous Books:
     1. Deadtown
     2. Hellforged
     3. Bloodstone
     4. Darklands
     5. Hellhound


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Review: Veiled Menace by Deborah Blake

, by Kt Clapsadl

Veiled Menance by Deborah Blake
Veiled Magic #2

Since Witches came out of the broom-closet in the early 21st century, they have worked alongside humans as police officers, healers, stock traders, and more. But they aren’t the only paranormal entities in our world...

Witch and police officer Donata Santori is no stranger to magical mayhem, but lately her life has been unexpectedly charmed. Her job as a Ghost Yanker now includes the occasional paranormal investigation, and she’s advancing her magical abilities with the help of an ancestor’s treasured spell book. And while both of her former love interests—reclusive half-Dragon art forger Peter Casaventi and disgraced Shapechanger Magnus Torvald—are nowhere to be found, she’s not averse to being wined and dined by wealthy businessman Anton Eastman.

But Eastman isn’t what he seems, and what he wants from Donata is far more than she’s willing to give. When a mysterious relic, the Pentacle Pentimento, resurfaces, along with Peter’s Dragon father and a shocking Santori family secret, Donata must fight to save herself, her friends, and just maybe the fate of the world from a magic as old as it is dangerous…

VEILED MENACE was an enjoyable followup to the first book in the series. I admit I had a little bit of a struggle at first to remember what happened in the previous book, but the author did a good job at easing readers back into this world. I really enjoy how rich the entire world is and how the author masterfully crafts her reveals with all the twists and turns in-between. The characters, Donata in particular, are utterly fabulous as well.

I have to admit that the romance in this series is one place where things just aren't quite up to par. At least not in comparison to Deborah's Baba Yaga series. There's just something about the romance arcs in this one that aren't working for me. First off there's two potential love interests, which in itself isn't the problem as I don't mind a love triangle when it's handled well. It's that there's too much back and forth of will they or won't they. Too many misconceptions and misunderstandings. And then when the tide seemed to fully turn to one of the men, immediately after a ridiculous fight happens and things are back to will they won't they status. I guess it was just too much of a tennis match for this romance lover's heart.

All in all this was an enjoyable installment in a series that I hope to see plenty more books from. I feel like we've only scratched the surface, and I want to see more. 

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Urban Fantasy Investigations
     Delighted Reader

Previous Books:
     1. Veiled Magic


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Early Review: Snared by Jennifer Estep

, by Kt Clapsadl

Snared by Jennifer Estep
Elemental Assassin #16

If you don’t know Gin “the Spider” Blanco, you don’t know dangerous female heroines.

Irony 101—The Spider herself snared in someone else’s web…

Another week, another few clues trickling in about the Circle, the mysterious group that supposedly runs the city’s underworld. Gathering intel on my hidden enemies is a painstaking process, but a more immediate mystery has popped up on my radar: a missing girl.

My search for the girl begins on the mean streets of Ashland, but with all the killers and crooks in this city, I’m not holding out much hope that she’s still alive.

A series of clues leads me down an increasingly dark, dangerous path, and I realize that the missing girl is really just the first thread in this web of evil. As an assassin, I’m used to facing down the worst of the worst, but nothing prepares me for this new, terrifying enemy—one who strikes from the shadows and is determined to make me the next victim.

There is no better word to describe my feelings for this series then "amazed." It is simply amazing how Jennifer Estep is able to up the stakes with each new installment without things ever once feeling stale or too over the top. Each new "big bad" is worse than the previous, and fully unique. It's truly incredible to be honest to have 16 books in a series and being just as excited upon finishing as I was with the first book. This time around, the danger hits closer to home than it has sometimes in the past with Gin herself under the most threat by the end. While it was an awful turn of events, it did show a bit more vulnerable side to her, keeping that all so important realism to her character. You just can't go through everything she throughout this entire series and always come up on top and unscathed. So I really enjoyed the added depth it brought to the series with her being at full risk this time around.

What better praise can I say other than sixteen books in and I still want more? I hope there are many more Gin Blanco books to come in the future, and I can't wait to see what's next. Fans of the series will be more than pleased with this latest installment in this fantastic and action packed series!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:






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Other Reviews:
     That's What I'm Talking About
     Floating Leaves
     The Linseyverse

Previous Books:
     1. Spider's Bite
     2. Web of Lies
     3. Venom
     4. Tangled Threads
     5. Spider's Revenge
     6. By a Thread
     7. Widow's Web
     8. Deadly Sting
     9. Heart of Venom
     10. The Spider
     11. Poison Promise
     12. Black Widow
     13. Spider's Trap
     14. Bitter Bite
     15. Unraveled

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