Release Day Review: Shadow Silence by Yasmine Galenorn

, by Kt Clapsadl

Shadow Silence by Yasmine Galenorn
Whisper Hollow #2

Fifteen years ago, I ran away from Whisper Hollow, Washington, a small town on Crescent Lake in the Olympic Peninsula. But truth is, if you were born here, you can never really leave. I'm Kerris Fellwater, and I'm a spirit shaman. It's my responsibility to drive the dead back to their graves, because around Whisper Hollow, people—and secrets—don't always stay buried.

My best friend Peggin finds herself under a curse after she is almost taken by the Lady of the Lake, and the Unliving are determined to drag her back to the hungry waters. As Bryan—my guardian and mate—and I work to break the hex, we uncover a dark and violent mystery from the past. One the Hounds of CĂș Chulainn will do anything to guard—even if they must summon a legion of the dead to destroy Whisper Hollow.

Let me preface this review with a disclaimer. Based on all of the other high review ratings on Goodreads, it would seem my frustrations with the plot leave me in the minority. So take this with a grain of salt as it could very well be just not to my preferences but a great read for everyone else.

The plot in SHADOW SILENCE really did not work for me at all. It felt so obvious and contrived. Peggin, Kerris' best friend decides she needs to buy a house right by the lake. The very lake whose lady kills everyone she can lure in. In fact, said lady has been particularly "hungry" as of late, and has been more vicious and murderous, killing more than she ever has before. Peggin knows this and yet she still is determined to live in a house right by the lake. Kerris of course tries to talk her out of it, but Peggin gets rather snippy about it. To make matters worse everyone else all but scolds Kerris and tells her she's not Peggin's mother, so let her be. But lo and behold (and this is not a spoiler as it's in the blurb) on the FIRST DAY Peggin is moving into the house she's taken by the lady. She's extremely distraught and "beside" herself as she's now marked for death. I mean really come on?! She knew what she was getting into, and I just honestly could not find an ounce of sympathy for her. I realize it sounds rather cold, but it just was too contrived to me. Considering this issue involves almost the entire book, I found myself completely unattached. 

Speaking of unattached, I just didn't feel the same connection with Kerris as I did in the first book. There's a lot of filler here, and while she's supposed to be stronger and more confident, I really didn't see it this time around. She just came across as more afraid this time and it just didn't jive for me. I also wasn't really feeling the spark between her and Bryan this time around. I can't really put my finger on it, but it just wasn't working.

Overall this one just was a whole lot of meh for me unfortunately, and considering the first book in this new series didn't really wow me either, I don't think I'll be continuing. It's a shame because I typically enjoy Yasmine's work, but this series has earned a pass from me. 

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews
     Cocktails and Books

Previous Books:
     1. Autumn Thorns

Review: Immortal Nights by Lynsay Sands

, by Kt Clapsadl

Immortal Nights by Lynsay Sands
Argeneau #24

In a sizzling new Argeneau novel from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands, an impulsive rescue pairs a sexy immortal with the woman made to be his for eternity.

Abigail Forsythe’s life hasn’t been easy lately. Still, if there’s one thing guaranteed to take her mind off an empty bank account and abandoned dreams, it’s a naked man locked in a plane’s cargo hold. A very big, incredibly gorgeous naked man. And when instinct prompts her to free him, Abigail must rely on this stranger for survival…a stranger who leaves her thrumming with need every time they touch.

Tomasso Notte knows he’s found his life mate in Abigail. Now he just has to hold on to her. They’re miles from civilization, hunted by his kidnappers. Abigail has no idea of Tomasso’s abilities, or of how intensely pleasurable their unique connection can be. But he’s about to show her, beginning with one wild, hot, immortal night…

I'm not sure what better to say in this review other than 24 books in the series and I'm still hooked. Need I really say more? Anything else I can say doesn't even close to the ringing endorsement that does. It truly is an amazing feat to keep a series going that long successfully. In fact I've binge read all 24 books over the past few weeks, so honestly that's even more impressive. As I finished each book, I immediately wanted the next one. Of course this is paranormal romance and all by the same author in the same world, so yes some of the relationship aspects do feel a bit formulaic at times. However, that does not hinder things one little bit. In fact, I quite enjoy Lynsay Sands almost set romance progression, as it leaves much more room for the side angles and plot lines. The romance parts are quite enjoyable, but they are ensured so I feel like they don't weigh things down at all leaving space to focus on what's going on around the couple. I always enjoy the plotlines, and how real the threats feel in this series, and IMMORTAL NIGHTS is no exception.

Tomasso and Abs make a really great pair. He's so brusque and a man of few words, and she's a full blown babbler at times. I found it to be a good balance between the two. There's also a lot of humor in this one, both between Tomasso and Abs, as well as the side characters/surrounding events. This really helped to keep the story light despite some of the threats being darker than some of the previous we've seen. Add that to the electric chemistry between Tomasso and Abs, and it made for a well balanced and a very enjoyable read over all.

If you enjoy paranormal romance and a very long running series that shows no sign of going stale, IMMORTAL NIGHTS is the perfect afternoon read for you. I can't wait to see what happens next!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Fangs, Wands, and Fairy Dust
     Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
     Tome Tender

Previous Books:
     1. A Quick Bite
     2. Love Bites
     3. Single White Vampire
     4. Tall, Dark, & Hungry
     5. A Bite to Remember
     6. Bite Me If You Can
     7. The Accidental Vampire
     8. Vampires Are Forever
     9. Vampire, Interrupted
    10. The Rouge Hunter
    11. The Immortal Hunter
    12. The Renegade Hunter
    13. Born to Bite
    14. Hungry for You
    15. The Reluctant Vampire
    16. Under a Vampire Moon
    17. The Lady is a Vamp
    18. Immortal Ever After
    19. One Lucky Vampire
    20. Vampire Most Wanted
    21. The Immortal Who Loved Me
    22. About a Vampire
    23. Runaway Vampire

Early Review: Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake

, by Kt Clapsadl

Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake
Broken Riders #1

From the author of the Baba Yaga novels, a brand new series set in the same “addicting”* world, filled with wild magic, enchanting damsels, and the irresistibly daring men who serve the Baba Yagas...

The Riders are three immortal brothers who protect the mythical Baba Yagas. But their time serving the witches has ended—and their new destinies are just beginning...

Ever since a near-fatal mistake stripped Mikhail Day and his brothers of their calling to be Riders, Day has hidden from his shame and his new, mortal life in a remote cabin in the Adirondack mountains. But when a desperate young woman appears on his doorstep, he cannot resist helping her—and cannot deny how strongly he’s drawn to her...

For generations, women in Jenna Quinlan’s family have been cursed to give up their first born child to the vengeful fairy Zilya. When Jenna finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is determined to break her family’s curse and keep her baby, even if it means teaming up with a mysterious and charismatic man with demons of his own...

To unravel the curse, Jenna and Day will have to travel deep into the Otherworld. But the biggest challenge of the journey might not be solving an ancient puzzle but learning to heal their own broken hearts...

I greatly enjoyed Deborah Blake's Baba Yaga series, so when I heard she was writing a spin off series about the Riders I was incredibly excited. After the game changing events from the Baba series, I couldn't wait to see how things turned out for the riders. They were dealt one heck of a massive blow and their lives were turned upside down, so I knew their story would be one heck of a ride. And boy was I right. The riders, or at least or at least Day's story so far more than delivered. 

Day is incredibly wounded, damaged, gruff, and more than a little gun shy about women, and yet despite him not wanting too, more than a little of his weakness to damsels in distress has lingered over. It's funny, when Jenna was dropped into his lap, she was the absolute last thing he wanted. And yet, she wound up being exactly what he needed to start to turn the tide for him. Jenna comes with her own issues and baggage, but her determination and fire really drew me to her character and I felt she couldn't be any more perfect for Day. Oh of course, it's not instantly better and their ride and obstacles together are more than a little bumpy, but the journey between the two of them was more than enjoyable. 

Perfect for fans of the Baba Yaga series who are looking to see the much loved Riders get their own stories, DANGEROUSLY CHARMING is a great afternoon read, guaranteed to leave a smile on your face. 

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Release Day Review: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

, by Kt Clapsadl

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews
Kate Daniels #9

Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

MAGIC BINDS in a word was amazing. Just utterly fantastic. It was everything great about this series wrapped up into an amazing story and plotline and I absolutely loved every minute of this book. In fact I loved it so much, I wanted to start over and read it all again as soon as I finished. Considering I barely restrained from doing so, I definitely see a re-read of this fantastic book sometime in my near future.

Kate really shined in MAGIC BINDS. Previously she always was this perfect icon of virtue. Despite being seemingly bloodthirsty she never let a man behind and never chose the easy or beneficial path. However, this time around we saw a bit of the darker side potential in her, and while she never actually faltered, the struggle made her feel just a bit more real, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Moreso, the dynamic of all the other characters as they adjusted to this new, slightly darker Kate was more than entertaining as well. Curran's responses left me in hysterics at times, as well as the rest of the cast. I won't go further into detail to avoid spoiling things, but let me just say that all of the character dynamics in this one are completely spot on.

Simply put, if you're looking for one heck of a ride that not only keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire book, but will also leave you with a happy contented sigh at the end, MAGIC BINDS is the book for you. A fantastic book, series, characters, and plotline, I loved every minute of this book. Bravo!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Gizmo's Reviews
     Caught in a FAB Romance
     The Nocturnal Library

Previous Books:
     1. Magic Bites
     2. Magic Burns
     3. Magic Strikes
     4. Magic Bleeds
     5. Magic Slays
     5.5. Gunmetal Magic
     6. Magic Rises
     6.5. Magic Steals
     7. Magic Breaks
     8. Magic Shifts

Review: Unraveled by Jennifer Estep

, by Kt Clapsadl

Unraveled by Jennifer Estep
Elemental Assassin #15

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…

Man was this a fun and action packed read. Despite this being the 15th book in the series, there's no signs of things slowing down. In UNRAVELED, Gin like always finds herself in more than a little bit of a pickle and it's so much fun watching her untangle the latest mess. This time around the setting has changed a bit as Gin and co travel outside of Ashland. I found the new setting to be a refreshing change of pace. Despite them knowing they were walking into a trap from the get-go the plot was very gripping from the start. You would think since both I and the characters new danger was coming it wouldn't have quite the same intensity, and yet Jennifer Estep has pulled it off again.

While the action and high stakes of these books are incredible, it's truly the characters and their relationships that steal the show. Gin of course is the all time favorite, but the supporting cast is so fully fleshed out as well that reading these books feels like coming home to friends. In the last books Gin and her foster brother Finn had more than a little shake up, and I particularly enjoyed them slowly starting to find their way back towards repairing their relationship. Throw in the various significant others, vampire assistants, friends, and even a new potential ally and it makes for one heck of a great read getting to see all the various dynamics.

Simply put, I love this series, these fantastic characters, and incredibly high stakes plot. I simply cannot get enough of these books and I truly hope there are many more to come.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Rabid Reads
     Bad Bird Reads
     Under the Covers

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

Early Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

, by Kt Clapsadl

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Three Dark Crowns #1

Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

For such an interesting premise, THREE DARK CROWNS suffers from a lack of strong execution. From the blurb, I was thoroughly hooked, however upon reading, especially at first, I was less than enamored. The book starts off in the middle of things to the point where it's incredibly confusing as to what's going on. I had to go back twice to make sure my kindle didn't accidentally start at a few chapters in. But unfortunately that wasn't the case so I mustered on. I have to admit I almost DNF this book several times. Nothing really happens, nothing is explained, nothing made sense, and frankly not a single one of the characters aside from one side one really caught my attention until pretty far into the book. It's hard to root for someone to win when none of them seem worthy and/or remarkable enough to really get behind them.

With that ringing endorsement, you are probably wondering why I kept reading and didn't give up on the book, and why I wound up rating it a 3 rather than lower. Somehow despite my confusion and lack of attachment to the characters, after the first few chapters I found myself oddly hooked. I just couldn't stop reading. The premise and the world is incredibly fascinating, and while the continually rotating perspectives made it hard to get attached to any one character it was rather addicting much to my surprise. There's just something so dark and twisted about the story, and I especially enjoyed how every path that seemed to light would twist and turn and wind up leading back down a dark path again. Those aspects of the story kept me on my toes and turning the pages. By the end the three sisters all seemed to have found their identities and chutzpah. It should make for one heck of a showdown once things come to a head if the last few chapters of this one are any indication.

Overall I'd say THREE DARK CROWNS is one heck of a "sleeper" hit that sneaks up on you. From starting out so rocky, it rather impressed me at the end. I have very high hopes for this dark and twisted series, and can honestly say I'm dying to get my hands on the next book.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     The Nocturnal Library
     Angel Erin's Book Obsession
     Curling Up With A Good Book

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