Review: Amid the Winter Snow by Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, Elizabeth Hunter, Jeffe Kennedy

, by Kt Clapsadl

Amid the Winter Snow by Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, Elizabeth Hunter, Jeffe Kennedy

As the snows fall and hearths burn, four stories of Midwinter beginnings prove that love can fight its way through the chillest night...

The mark Jahna Ulfrida was born with has made her a target of the cruel and idle all her life. During the long, crowded festivities of Deyalda, there’s nowhere to escape. Until a handsome stranger promises to teach her to save herself…

THE CHOSEN, by Thea Harrison
In her visions, Lily sees two men fighting for her tiny country’s allegiance: the wolf and the tiger, each deadly, each cunning. One will bring Ys chaos and death, one a gentler path—but she’s destined to love whichever she chooses. The midwinter Masque is upon them, and the wolf is at her door…

THE STORM, by Elizabeth Hunter
When her soul mate died in a massacre of the half-angelic Irin people, Renata thought she’d never feel happiness again. She’s retreated to the snowy Dolomites to remember her hurts—until determined, irrepressible Maxim arrives to insist on joy, too. And before she can throw him out, they discover a secret the Irin have to know…

As a blizzard threatens their mountain keep, the new Queen Amelia of the Twelve Kingdoms and her unofficial consort Ash face their own storm. Ash knows a scarred, jumpy ex-convict isn’t the companion his queen needs. But when a surprise attack confines them together in their isolated sanctuary, the feast of midwinter might tempt even Ash into childlike hope…

This anthology was the perfect evening read escape for this hectic holiday season. Each day has been filled with all the crazy planning and prepping, errands, and work galore. But each evening I had this fun anthology to look forward to, and it was just what I needed. Despite not being familiar with most of the worlds behind the stories below, I found myself easily slipping right into the stories.

THE DARKEST MIDNIGHT, by Grace Draven 5/5
I hadn't read anything from this series previously, but I will have to remedy that soon. The world behind this novella was incredibly rich and had so much to offer. While Grace is a new to me author, her storytelling was truly masterful. The characters, the plotline, the world, everything hooked me in from the start. I particularly enjoyed seeing Jahna's progression from damaged child to a fully confident woman as the story was told over many years. The romance was a slow and sweet build, and just the right pace. Great read!

THE CHOSEN, by Thea Harrison 5/5
I have to admit the entire reason I picked up this anthology was to read Thea's novella. I absolutely love the Elder Races series, and this story was no exception. While it's on a smaller realm that I'm not too familiar with, there were boundless expansions to this already rich world that I truly enjoyed. The idea of the Chosen with a wolf like hero out to conquer, well it was delicious read. I loved the sparks between the two, and every part of this novella. I hope to see more from them in the future!

THE STORM, by Elizabeth Hunter 4/5
Just like Grace's installment, despite not being familiar with the world, I had no problem slipping right into Elizabeth's novella. The fallen angel lore was truly fascinating, and like Grace's installment this one also took place over a period of many years. I'm finding that I'm really enjoying these longer time period books as they allow for such a rich and realistic progression with the hero and heroine. The poor heroine in this story comes with so much baggage and rightfully slow. I truly enjoyed seeing the hero chip slowly away at her armor. Very enjoyable!

THE SNOWS OF WINDROVEN, by Jeffe Kennedy 3/5
I have to admit that this book was my least favorite of the anthology, mostly due to that I don't feel like it stood alone. I have not read anything from this author/world, and this novella felt like it was started right in the middle of a couple's story. The entire time reading it, I felt like I was trying to play catch up. Also, it's told from the hero's point of view, and frankly he was much too whiny for my tastes. However, that could be an unfair judgement based on just this novella due to all my missing backstory. The parts of the world that I did see and the rest of the characters were very rich and well written, I just was missing too much outside required knowledge to really enjoy this one.

All in all if you are looking for a fun holiday read, AMID THE WINTER SNOW is for you. I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I did!

(Received a copy from the author)


Order Links:

Other Reviews:
     Reading the Paranormal
     Bambi Unbridled
     The Word Nerd

Review: Dangerously Divine by Deborah Blake

, by Kt Clapsadl

Dangerously Divine by Deborah Blake
Broken Riders #2

The Riders: Three immortal brothers who kept the Baba Yagas safe, now stripped of their summons to protect. But fate is not finished with them—and their new callings are even more powerful...

Though his physical wounds have healed, Gregori Sun, the eldest of the Riders, remains in spiritual turmoil. His search for his mother, the one person able to heal his soul and save his life, is failing—until he crosses paths with a beautiful and fascinating librarian who might be the key to his salvation...

Ciera Evans’s bookish ways are just a guise. The product of a difficult past, she has dedicated her life to saving lost teens—by any means necessary. She works alone, but when a dark, brooding stranger proposes they team up to solve both their problems, she is tempted—in more ways than one...

After Ciera and Sun’s plans are derailed by dangerous enemies, they find themselves entangled in an ungodly affair—one that will force them to either find new strength together or be forever haunted by their pasts alone.

DANGEROUSLY DIVINE was a very enjoyable and sweet story. While there was some spice, this one definitely ranked on the sweeter side of the scale. There was just something about Gregori's zen that wouldn't allow it to step into over-sexy drive. And while I enjoy a good smexy story just as much as the next gal, I found this one to be a refreshing change of pace. There was just something so enjoyable about seeing these two broken yet so strong people come together. I think the biggest thing I enjoy about this spin off series is the overall theme of healing. There's just something so satisfying about seeing both the hero and the heroine overcome such terrible but different paths. They are exactly the feel good reads I need!

Not only did this book feature all the character healing and feel good parts, but it also expanded the world behind both series a great deal. There was significant and interesting progression in the Rider's backstory that added a whole new depth to the series. That in itself is very impressive, the ability to add such depth into a world despite being so many books in. Very impressive.

All in all this was a very enjoyable installment in the Broken Riders series that only served to enrich this fascinating world even more. Fans of the series should be very pleased with Gregori's installment.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


Order Links:

Other Reviews:
     Tome Tender
     Mixed Book Bag
     Open Book Society

Previous Books:
     1. Dangerously Charming

Release Day Review: Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper

, by Kt Clapsadl

Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
Southern Eclectic #1

Nestled on the shore of Lake Sackett, Georgia is the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. (What, you have a problem with one-stop shopping?) Two McCready brothers started two separate businesses in the same building back in 1928, and now it’s become one big family affair. And true to form in small Southern towns, family business becomes everybody’s business.

Margot Cary has spent her life immersed in everything Lake Sackett is not. As an elite event planner, Margot’s rubbed elbows with the cream of Chicago society, and made elegance and glamour her business. She’s riding high until one event goes tragically, spectacularly wrong. Now she’s blackballed by the gala set and in dire need of a fresh start—and apparently the McCreadys are in need of an event planner with a tarnished reputation.

As Margot finds her footing in a town where everybody knows not only your name, but what you had for dinner last Saturday night and what you’ll wear to church on Sunday morning, she grudgingly has to admit that there are some things Lake Sackett does better than Chicago—including the dating prospects. Elementary school principal Kyle Archer is a fellow fish-out-of-water who volunteers to show Margot the picture-postcard side of Southern living. The two of them hit it off, but not everybody is happy to see an outsider snapping up one of the town's most eligible gentleman. Will Margot reel in her handsome fish, or will she have to release her latest catch?

Generally I only review speculative fiction, but as Molly Harper is one of my favorite authors, I decided to review SWEET TEA AND SYMPATHY. There's just something so lighthearted, fun, and hilarious about her writing in her paranormal stories. So I was curious to see how that translated in this book, and I wasn't disappointed. Don't get me wrong I love romance novels as much as the next gal, but so much of Molly's humor centers around crazy paranormal happenings that I wasn't sure how it would translate to straight contemporary, or if something would get lost in "translation." However, much to my delight that wasn't the case with this book at all. The humor and
quirkiness that is Molly Harper's signature Half Moon Hollow, had no problem in a completely contemporary setting. I found myself laughing more often than not, and I didn't miss the lack of paranormal one bit, which was impressive in itself.

I really enjoyed this start to a new series. It definitely read like a set up book to a new series, so there's a lot of meeting the extended families and the whole small town info dumps at the beginning. But, despite so many names being thrown at the heroine (and the reader) it never stepped over into that too much category. In fact it was quite the opposite because now I want a story for every family member! But getting back to the couple at hand. This was a really good fish out of water story. Margot is a city slicker gal through and through who comes with not a small amount of baggage. Seeing her having to bumble about in this backwater town as well as dealing with the mounds of baggage piece by piece after being thrust back to her birth family was a fun treat. Add in a sweet, but sexy hero who has more than his own share of baggage but just really needs a spark in his life, and you have one heck of an enjoyable, hilarious and sweet read. 

All in all if you are looking for an afternoon escape that will leave you with a huge grin on your face, look no further than SWEET TEA AND SYMPATHY.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


Order Links:

Other Reviews:
     Carries Book Reviews
     SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews
     A Midlife Wife

Review: The Trouble with Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones
Charley Davidson #12

Ever since Reyes escaped from a hell dimension in which Charley accidently trapped him, the son of Satan has been brimstone-bent on destroying the world his heavenly Brother created. His volatile tendencies have put Charley in a bit of a pickle. But that’s not the only briny vegetable on her plate. While trying to domesticate the feral being that used to be her husband, she also has to deal with her everyday life of annoying all manner of beings—some corporeal, some not so much—as she struggles to right the wrongs of society. Only this time she’s not uncovering a murder. This time she’s covering one up.

Add to that her new occupation of keeping a startup PI venture—the indomitable mystery-solving team of Amber Kowalski and Quentin Rutherford—out of trouble and dealing with the Vatican’s inquiries into her beloved daughter, and Charley is on the brink of throwing in the towel and becoming a professional shopper. Or possibly a live mannequin. But when someone starts attacking humans who are sensitive to the supernatural world, Charley knows it’s time to let loose her razor sharp claws. Then again, her number one suspect is the dark entity she’s loved for centuries. So the question becomes, can she tame the unruly beast before it destroys everything she’s worked so hard to protect?

Holy mother of cliffhangers batman! I'm honestly not even sure how to write this review as I can't get past that ending, even a week after finishing. The book was utterly fantastic, a bit short, but ultimately incredible. But that ending? It ripped out my heart, put it in a blender, and sadistically pushed the puree setting. Just wow.

Cliffhangers aside and out of my system. THE TROUBLE WITH TWELFTH GRAVE continued the series in normal snarky Charley style. Reyes is up to no good throughout most of the book and Charley is in a tailspin trying to bring down her own weakness. Things continue in a Scooby Doo gang style as they all group to try and figure out just what to do with the Reyes problem. It made for a really enjoyable read.

All in all THE TROUBLE WITH TWELFTH GRAVE is a fantastic installment in the Charley Davidson series that I thoroughly enjoyed. And after that ending I'm desperate to get my hands on the final installment next year. Fans of the series will be more than pleased!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


Order Links:

Other Reviews:
     Between Dreams and Reality
     All Things Urban Fantasy
     Gizmo's Reviews

Previous Books:
     1. First Grave on the Right
     2. Second Grave on the Left
     3. Third Grade Dead Ahead
     4. Fourth Grave Beneath My Feat
     5. Fifth Grave Past the Light
     6. Sixth Grave on the Edge
     7. Seventh Grave and No Body
     8. Eighth Grave After Dark
     9. The Dirt on Ninth Grave
     10. The Curse of Tenth Grave
     11. Eleventh Grave in Moonlight

Review: Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush

, by Kt Clapsadl

Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush
Devils & Thieves #1

Power corrupts. Magic kills.

Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael is surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called “kindled,” and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn't help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe—the dangerous and enigmatic leader of Hawthorne’s kindled motorcycle gang, the Devils’ League.

When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumor spreads that someone is practicing forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.

Wow was this a fresh and unique take on magic, blending some of my favorite magical aspects into one awesome book! It felt like Harry Potter meets motorcycle gangs meets Ilona Andrew's Hidden Legacy series. Harry Potter came in with the magic being secret and not allowed to be used in front of norms, as well as a villainous plot reminiscent of Voldemort. The motorcycle gang part is pretty self explanatory and all the more fun for it. And then Hidden Legacy comes in with the use of different magical bloodlines. The overall package made for an incredibly enjoyable and fascinating read. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough, and I'm so glad this is going to be a series.

That being said, as much as I wanted to rate this book a resounding five star read, the heroine's character held me back. She's so standoffish and weak. Mad at the world, and unnessesarily hiding so much. Especially when it's obvious to the reader from page one that things she's hiding are an asset rather than a detriment. It just made it rather hard to connect with her at times, and despite the incredible world and nail biting plot, I just couldn't completely immerse myself as deep as I would have liked to. HOWEVER, by the end she started to change and grow a bit and I actually feel like this path will be an asset to the series in the end. She has so much potential now to grow, and I can't wait to see it.

All in all this was a fascinating read that truly stands out in the sometimes saturated paranormal YA genre. I'm so glad I got a chance to read this one, and I can't wait to see what's next!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


Order Links:

Other Reviews:
     The Eater of Books
     Carol's Random Life
     Angelic Book Reviews

Review: The Hunt by Chloe Neill

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Hunt by Chloe Neill
Devil's Isle #3

When bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered that Claire Connolly was a Sensitive and infected with magic, he should have turned her in to be locked up in the prison district known as Devil's Isle. Instead, he helped her learn to control her power and introduced her to an underground group of Paranormals and humans who know the truth about the war and those who fought it.

Now the weight of Liam's own secrets has forced him into hiding. When a government agent is killed and Claire discovers that Liam is the prime suspect, she races to find him before the government can. But she'll discover proving his innocence is no simple matter. Their enemies are drawing closer, and time is running out....

I have to admit the first three quarters of this book frustrated me quite a bit. There was this continual pattern of someone asking Claire how she was going to handle Liam's leaving. Or telling her how she should proceed. Rinse repeat. I had hoped that once they were pushed back into proximity with one another it would lessen, but nope, not even a little. Each new person would tell her she needs to make him grovel, or that yes he does love her, just look at the way he looks at you. Etc etc etc. Then even more would call him an idiot in front of her and tell him direct he should grovel, he made a mistake. And on and on. I just felt like I was being hit over the head with the point again and again, and frankly it made this feel more like a YA book instead of an adult. Despite them trying to clear Liam's name the issue of his leaving was really the focus on all sides. And since there was no actual progress in dealing with those actions while they dealt with the romance drama, I was more than a little exasperated. I can't express how many times I wanted to roll my eyes and just say enough already! It's a shame but it really lessened my enjoyment of this book.

However, moving on, the plot itself was very interesting and twisty and there were some pretty big reveals in THE HUNT. I was really impressed with how everything continued to build and the ending. Who-boy, is it a doozy. It definitely feels like one heck of a crossroads and I can't wait to see how the showdown between every side turns out. Remember the enemy of my enemy is sometimes my friend, and it's a hard lesson some will have to learn going forward.

All in all romance drama aside, the characters and the plotline were very enjoyable in this installment, and I'm still a huge fan of this series. Claire and company are fiercely strong characters and this world is truly fantastic. With all of the new possibilities opened up with that killer ending, I can't wait to see what happens next.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


Order Links:

Other Reviews:
     The Nocturnal Library
     Between Dreams and Reality
     a GREAT read

Previous Books:
     1. The Veil
     2. The Sight

Review: Immortally Yours by Lynsay Sands

, by Kt Clapsadl

Immortally Yours by Lynsay Sands
Argeneau #26

Irresistible chemistry and thrilling suspense combine in this electrifying new installment in New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands’ Argeneau series

One hundred and twenty-five years is a long time to nurse a crush. That’s how long it’s been since Beth Argenis first met Cullen “Scotty” MacDonald and he instantly became the star of her most X-rated dreams. Back then, he was rescuing her from a Rogue Immortal. Now Beth’s a Rogue Hunter—a damn good one. She doesn’t need saving anymore, despite what Scotty thinks. What she does need is the fierce, wild desire that finally erupts between them.

Scotty has hesitated to claim Beth as his own. But one explosive kiss confirms what he’s long suspected: She’s his life mate. But Beth is tough, fearless, beautiful…and in immortal danger. Unless he wants to lose her forever, he’ll have to rethink everything he once believed about love and destiny as well as confront an enemy who’s terrifyingly close.

Typically it's the romances that are the show stopper in the Argeneau books, but this time around it was the plot. Boy oh boy did this one have a whole lot going on, and the danger left me guessing at every turn. I'll admit that most of the time I'm THAT PERSON who figures out 'whodunit right away. But this time I had no clue, even right up until the very end. Very impressive!

Now onto why the romance was just not quite as strong as other Argeneau books. I have to admit I was not a fan of Scotty at first, or even most of the book. His reasons for not claiming Beth as his mate, well let's just say they more than a little ticked me off. His judgement was so far unfair and snobbish, it didn't sit well with me considering how awesome Beth was and how much of a survivor she is. His only saving grace that left me holding out hope was that he didn't really realize it was HIS hold ups, not hers. So everything he did to try and protect her but stay away from her came from good intentions but for the very very wrong reasons. It's a romance novel so I don't feel like it's a spoiler to say he realized his mistake by the end and got his head out his behind. All I can say is thank goodness! Because Beth deserved someone better than the Scotty we met on page one, and I'm happy with the one we found on the last page. But don't worry, in true Argeneau style, she gives him a run for his money throughout and he doesn't have an easy path. *g*

All in all I enjoyed this latest installment in the very long running Argengeau series and I can't wait to read more!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


Order Links:

Other Reviews:
     All Things Urban Fantasy
     Fangs, Wands, & Fairy Dust
     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
    24. Immortal Nights
    25. Immortal Unchained

Review: Wickedly Spirited by Deborah Blake

, by Kt Clapsadl

Wickedly Spirited by Deborah Blake
Baba Yaga #3.5

Jazz, the powerfully magical teen first introduced in Wickedly Powerful, is now being trained as a Baba Yaga—and she’s determined to free the Broken Riders herself.

Jazz had a rough life before meeting her guardian, and she knows she’s lucky that Bella is training her to be a Baba Yaga. But the gifted young witch is frustrated by the slow pace of her lessons. Jazz knows she’s capable of even greater magic, and she wants nothing more than to find a spell that will give the Riders back the immortality they lost.

With the reluctant assistance of Bella’s dragon-turned-cat Koshka, Jazz travels to the Otherworld to get the necessary ingredients to perform the spell. A willful young witch, dangerous magic, and one powerful wish—what could possibly go wrong?

WICKEDLY SPIRITED was a very short, but super fun novella that I really enjoyed. If you are a fan of both the Baba and the Riders series, this novella feels like a fun little bridge between the two series. Jazz is front in center this one as well as Koshka, and while their intentions are honorable the two probably shouldn't have been left unsupervised together due to the shenanigans they get up to. It was a really enjoyable read and I won't spoil things but the outcome felt very much of a set up for Jazz taking a MUCH bigger role in things, and I can't wait to see how it turns out. 

All in all if you are a fan of these two series, this novella is a great edition that you won't want to miss. 

(Received a copy from the publisher)


Order Links:

Other Reviews:
     Harlequin Junkie
     Delighted Reader
     Tome Tender

Previous Books:
     1. Wickedly Dangerous
     2. Wickedly Wonderful
     1.5. Wickedly Ever After
     3. Wickedly Powerful

Early Review: Archangel's Viper by Nalini Singh

, by Kt Clapsadl

Archangel's Viper by Nalini Singh
Guild Hunter #10

Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy gray underground of the city for the angels. But it’s not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman—it’s the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalized by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous bite.

Now, someone has put a bounty on her head…

Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael’s private guard, and he’s as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly’s. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself—because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening…

I absolutely loved the plot and storyline of ARCHANGEL'S VIPER. I really enjoyed seeing how the Uram issue played out as we've had those threads dangling for many books now. I have to admit the outcome was a bit of a surprise, not a bad one, but interesting all the same. And Holly? I really love her character, mini claws, vulnerability, and sheer will of determination combined. Uram sure did a number on her and as you can guess the outcome with him fully involved Holly, and I really enjoyed this progression. So plot-wise, this one was stellar.

Now onto the romance. Unfortunately this area was not one of the book's strong suits due to an undeveloped feel in the romance aspects. There's plenty of wit, banter, and overall antagonism between the two that left me laughing more often than not at their antics. And yet, they never really had a sexual tension feel. Venom and Holly could have just as easily been best friends rather than lovers by the end. I just feel like things were written tamer taking Holly's past into consideration, but it just went too tame in my opinion. I just needed something more of a build up to be invested in their romance at the end and unfortunately I just didn't get it.

Romance aside and getting back to the characters, as I said I loved seeing Holly's progression in this book. But the show stealer was Venom, much to my surprise. I have to admit he's never been my favorite of the seven, more of an antagonist to Elena. But we get to see a whole new side of him in this book, and I really loved the added depth to his character. There are reasons he is the way that he is, and it was enjoyable to see his layers get peeled back.

All in all, romance woes aside, ARCHANGEL'S VIPER was a very enjoyable installment in the fabulous Guild Hunter series!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


Order Links:

Other Reviews:
     Angel's Guilty Pleasures
     KT Book Reviews

Previous Books:
     1. Angels' Blood
     2. Archangel's Kiss
     3. Archangel's Consort
     4. Archangel's Blade
     5. Archangel's Storm
     6. Archangel's Legion
     7. Archangel's Shadows
     8. Archangel's Enigma
     9. Archangel's Heart

Review: Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

, by Kt Clapsadl

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett
Even the Darkest Stars #1

Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the Emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.

But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer ever known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means climbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer who is determined to best River, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.

The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and even worse at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth of their mission and of her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.

I'm honestly rather torn on my thoughts about EVEN THE DARKEST STARS. On one hand the concept was incredibly intriguing, and I loved the characters. The pacing at the start through the first third of the book or so was fantastic and I found myself turning the pages as fast as I could. However, the middle is where things bogged down a good bit for me. While the book did pick up quite a bit at the end, it didn't compensate for the middle part dragging so much. Don't get me wrong, the detail of all of the climbing aspects was incredibly interesting, but after a while, it just slowed the pacing down too much for my tastes.

Another thing that left me torn was the predictability. The concept of the book seemed so unique and fascinating, but the further I read, the more I felt like it was just like so many other YA novels out there. From the super special heroine who is of course magical at her skills, to the love triangle between the long time best friend and the mysterious new bad boy and I was left just a bit, well bored. Don't get me wrong, I love a good tried and true YA book just as much as the next gal, but it needs a strong plot in addition. I think this coupled with the entire vast middle of the book nothing REALLY happens other than climbing and more climbing, and it left me putting the book aside for other things. It's a shame because it started off with such promise, and then the ending, wow what a bang, but the middle just held this book back in my opinion. I hope the next book in this duology continues with the bang this one ended on. 

(Received a copy from the publisher)


Order Links:

Other Reviews:
     Addicted to Happily Ever After
     Gizmo's Reviews
     A Page with a View

Review: Ride the Storm by Karen Chance

, by Kt Clapsadl

Ride the Storm by Karen Chance
Cassandra Palmer #8

Ever since getting appointed the chief seer of the supernatural world, Cassie Palmer has been playing catch up. Catch up on the training she missed being raised by a psychotic vampire instead of at the pythian court. Catch up on the dangerous world of supernatural politics. Catch up on the powerful, and sometimes seductive, forces trying to mold her to their will. It’s been a trial by fire that has left her burned.

But now she realizes all that was just the warm up.

Ancient forces that once terrorized the world want to return, and Cassie is the only one who can stop them. But to win, she needs help: from a friend lost in time, from a secretive lover, from every supernatural group that has ignored her up until now. And with the vampires and fey preparing to wage war across two worlds, Cassie's time is running out...

Cassie is an amazing heroine and truly astounding in her ability to take a "lickin and keep on tickin." I also love all of the characters and the very detailed world. Reading these books feel like coming home. Well home to a frenzied place, but home all the same. There is never a chance for a dull moment despite the incredible lengths of these books, RIDE THE STORM in particular. That being said despite never having said dull moments, this book was almost too much at times. I felt like a few of the plot threads weren't entirely necessary and they could have been removed to lessen some of the frenetic feel. Granted a Cassie book wouldn't feel quite the same without frenzy, but a little less wouldn't have hurt.

Karen Chance is a master at long running plot threads, sometimes so much so. So I was REALLY glad to finally see some of those threads get resolved/answered (PRITKIN!!). There also were some pretty big revelations on the Mircea side of things, but you'll have to read the book yourself to see how everything plays out. Unlike previous books, RIDE THE STORM doesn't end in a killer cliffhanger, but just enough of a tease to make you really want to read the next book. I greatly appreciated not being left hanging this time.

All in all Cassie fans will be more than pleased with this latest installment that will leave readers with a sigh of contentment in the end.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


Order Links:

Other Reviews:
     All Things Urban Fantasy
     Gizmo's Reviews
     Naomi's Reading Palace

Previous Books:
     1. Touch the Dark
     2. Claimed by Shadow
     3. Embrace the Night
     4. Curse the Dawn
     5. Hunt the Moon
     6. Tempt the Stars
     7. Reap the Wind

Amazon Reviews Subscribe to RSS Facebook Friend me on Goodreads Email me