Review: Stray Magic by Kelly Meding

, by Kt Clapsadl

Stray Magic by Kelly Meding
Strays #1

Shiloh Harrison was hoping for a few days off to recover from a particularly nasty assignment, preferably with the help of the talented hands (and, well, the rest of his body too) of her sexy boyfriend, Vincent. But when a group of vampires takes an entire trailer park hostage, there’s nothing to do but make her apologies and get to the scene.

Such is the life of a Federal Marshal in the Paranormal Investigators Unit.

Yet this isn’t like her typical track-and-nab case: something is going on that has vampires scared, and it takes all her strength not to imagine what could frighten such powerful creatures. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have that option. Her boss is MIA, someone is snatching vampires, and there’s a ticking clock that can only end one way: a bloodbath.

Unless she can stop it.

Since the blurb mentions a boyfriend, I feel I should mention that this is not a romance. It's a strict urban fantasy with maybe a tiny sprinkling of romance. It's been a while since I read a straight forward urban fantasy without a romance at the center, or at least a strong movement towards a romance. I love the genre, but I typically lean towards the ones that are more of a hybrid with paranormal romance as I do love the steamier side of things. However, in this case, I found STRAY MAGIC to be a breath of fresh air and a great palate cleanser for me, so much so that I didn't miss the lack of romance. Don't get me wrong, the entire time reading the book I was looking for threads of what romances could bud in the future, but the lack of real romance didn't detract from the story, which is saying something for this romance lovers heart. The plotline, world, and characters all kept me more than entertained.

As for the heroine, Shiloh is an incredibly strong character, and she more than carried the story for me. I really enjoyed getting to know her, and see her world through her eyes. She has her own Scooby crew and each one brought something special to the table. The character who intrigued me the most however, was Tennyson, the centuries old vampire. He was dark and mysterious, and yet incredibly honorable and had a sense of humor to boot. I definitely want to see more of of him, in addition to Shiloh and the Scooby gang. 

All in all, if you are looking for a well written urban fantasy with a great setup for a fantastic series, look no further than STRAY MAGIC.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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     Caffeinated Reviewer

Release Day Review: Ocean Light by Nalini Singh

, by Kt Clapsadl

Ocean Light by Nalini Singh
Psy-Changeling Trinity #2

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh dives beneath the surface of her Psy-Changeling world into a story of passionate devotion and selfless love...

Security specialist Bowen Knight has come back from the dead. But there's a ticking time bomb in his head: a chip implanted to block telepathic interference that could fail at any moment--taking his brain along with it. With no time to waste, he should be back on land helping the Human Alliance. Instead, he's at the bottom of the ocean, consumed with an enigmatic changeling...

Kaia Luna may have traded in science for being a chef, but she won't hide the facts of Bo's condition from him or herself. She's suffered too much loss in her life to fall prey to the dangerous charm of a human who is a dead man walking. And she carries a devastating secret Bo could never imagine...

But when Kaia is taken by those who mean her deadly harm, all bets are off. Bo will do anything to get her back--even if it means striking a devil's bargain and giving up his mind to the enemy...

When I read the blurb for OCEAN LIGHT, all I could think was "Finally we get to see more of the elusive BlackSea!" I also was excited to see how a changeling could bring the anti-trusting, paranoid, hard, and rough, yet admirable for his fierce loyalties, Bowen to his knees. Kaia is exactly the playful but strong person he needed. Of course she doesn't make it easy on him and I really enjoyed the dance between them. The romance is sweet yet plenty hot, a deliciously fun combination. Bowen is a delicious hero that I wasn't expecting, and the combination of him with Kaia made for a fully satisfying read.

Nalini has a masterful way of crafting stories and situations that pull at your heartstrings from the first page, and OCEAN LIGHT is no exception. Bowen is on a life to death hair the entire book, and BlackSea people are disappearing right and left. Talk about intense circumstances! When you add those with the fascinating and masterful world, this is one heck of a combination. There's just something special about a story that gives you that perfect escape, and this is it.

All in all, with OCEAN LIGHT, Nalini Singh has yet again written an incredible story that I thoroughly enjoyed. Bravo!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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     Steamy Reads
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Previous Books:
     1. Silver Silence


Early Review: Hunt the Moon by Kari Cole

, by Kt Clapsadl

Hunt the Moon by Kari Cole
Mated by Fate #1

Who’d think to bring silver bullets to a wedding? When Isabelle “Izzy” Meyers arrives in Montana and discovers her human foster brother is marrying into the local werewolf pack, she wishes she’d brought an arsenal. Werewolves can’t be trusted, and Izzy should know…she is one.

Luke Wyland never planned on becoming an Alpha. He’s still navigating how to protect the pack from the rogue threat that’s been hunting in his territory, claiming his father as one of their victims. Yet the moment Luke lays eyes on Izzy, something primal takes root. Finding a mate who wants nothing to do with him is a complication he doesn’t need, but letting Izzy go isn’t an option.

After a childhood marred by shifter violence, Luke is everything Izzy was raised to hate. So then why does being with him feel so intensely right? With a thinning pack to defend, Luke knows what he has to do: embolden Izzy to unleash her true nature—or risk losing everything. 

I have to say I'm incredibly impressed with HUNT THE MOON, especially considering it's the author's debut. Paranormal romances are more on the candy side for me, quick easy reads that stay on the lighter side. While I love mixing in paranormal romances in between my darker Urban Fantasy reads, I will admit sometimes the instalove and uber domineering alpha males can get a bit stale. However HUNT THE MOON felt anything but despite the couple being a fated pair. Izzy is incredibly scarred from the abuse in her past, and justifiably weary. And Luke despite having all the control and protection instincts of an alpha, didn't ever once push her. I really enjoyed the slow burn and progression of the romance and felt it was very well done, perfectly balancing the characters, the situations, and the chemistry between them all in a very believable progression. 

In addition to the deliciously executed romance, the world and plotline behind this book were very entertaining as well. While most of the focus was on the main couple of course, many of the secondary characters shined and teased at their hopeful stories to come. All in all, HUNT THE MOON was exactly the sexy, fun, and flirty paranormal romance fix I was looking for. I can't wait to see what's in store for this series next!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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