Book Review · Urban Fantasy

#BookReview #UrbanFantasy #TBT // Sin & Lightning by K.F. Breene

Sin & Lightning
Demigods of San Francisco #5
by K.F. Breene

A “blast from the past” review.


This left me on such a high that I can’t wait to start the next book – though I’m equally gutted that it’s the last one in the series. I’m not sure if I’m ready to let Lexi, Kieran, Bria, the Six, Daisy and Mordecai go just yet. I was captivated from the first line to the last, sneaking reads in any spare moment I had and reading late into the night to finish it. Of course I instantly regretted not taking my time to savour each moment, regretted not stretching the reading experience out as long as possible. I could live in this world, would live in this world given half a chance.

“Just wait until you consent to taking those cats around with you.” Harding murmured, finally looking away. “You’ll take strange to a whole new level. Death on a pale horse is for losers – give me a cat lady in her pajamas any day. You can ride next to Poseidon’s Demigod on his goldfish steed.”

The complexities of the plot and the sudden twists held me spellbound, every single reveal was totally plausible but I never found myself guessing them because is a master of misdirection, having me look in totally the wrong direction. Lexi’s realisation regarding the “shadow man” at the end was a real shocker, as was the unexpected pronouncement/promise by Magnus. Every mention of Jack still breaks my heart a little and I’m still holding out for some kind of miracle on that one.

I really felt the love between Kieran and Lexi in this one, it was shown in so many little ways. Subtle hints, small gestures, passing touches all built a picture of utter devotion. My favourite scenes were always those that included Daisy and Mordecai, the latter was a little sidelined and I needed more of him, but this pair light up every scene they are in. We also get to meet some great new characters and some heinous villains, all of whom add depth and richness to the story.

“Stop talking or no more phone,” I said through clenched teeth.
“I’m already on phone restriction.”
“Then no more allowance. No more money. Or nice things.”
“Just tell her you’ll pick out her clothes for a week – that’ll shut her up,” Mordecai said.
Dylan looked slightly bewildered. We could derail anyone.

Fast paced, exciting and jam packed with a tumultuous range of emotions I don’t think this book could have been any better.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Paranormal Romance

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49291451-sin-lightning

Synopsis
One thing has become incredibly clear to Alexis and Kieran, if they hope to last in the arena of Demigods, they’ll need a more robust defense team.
They must take two incredibly dangerous journeys, seeking the prized talents other Demigods would kill for. Except, there is a reason other Demigods don’t have these magical workers–they are as ruthless as they are dangerous, and the last thing they want is to be on a Demigod’s team.
If that isn’t enough, Alexis has received an invitation from Demigod Lydia, the only Hades Demigod who hasn’t openly declared war. She’s talking like they could be allies, but those of Hades cannot be trusted. A trap is just as likely as a handshake. Still, it’s a chance they must take.
Any one of these trips could be their last, but to back down would be the most dangerous of all.


Book Review · DNF · Urban Fantasy

#BookReview #UrbanFantasy // Fireborn by Jessa Graythorne

Fireborn
by Jessa Graythorne


DNF at 42% due to boredom


This has the makings of a good book, but the execution fell somewhat flat. As others have said the pacing is off, with parts of the story dragging – particularly in the first 25% or so. The story telling was nicely done but when it doesn’t move the plot forward, nor world build, after a while it becomes tedious. Know what else is tedious? Azrael keeping all those secrets from Halley. How on earth is she meant to “save the world”, or at least be of any use, if she’s constantly kept in the dark. It’s a very lazy writing technique that is probably meant to give an air of suspense but instead just gets annoying.


I did like that the author wrote a flawed heroine, one with a past and clearly used to being indulged. However I wasn’t convinced that at 25 and training as a doctor, one who worked in an emergency department, she would have felt quite so immature – particularly in relation to her ex-boyfriend.


I’m at 42% and still have very, very little idea of what is happening or Halley’s role in the book. I could tell you in two or three sentences what has happened so far and not miss anything important out. This was lacklustre and slow with a weak plot that left the story feeling disjointed and dissatisfying.


Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Paranormal Mystery/ Urban Fantasy

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58877849-fireborn

Synopsis
Halley Ashwood is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a doctor. Focused and independent, with a mother she never knew and a father who never loved her, the only constant Halley has ever had is her brother, Flynn. Whilst Halley is logical and grounded, and Flynn a reckless conspiracy theorist, they have always been able to trust each other above anything else.

The Ashwood siblings don’t believe in making promises. So when Flynn leaves Halley a message the day before her scheduled trip to visit him in Amsterdam, asking her to promise him she won’t come, she knows something is wrong. Halley arrives in Amsterdam to find her brother missing, leaving only those ominous words in his wake. Halley sets out to investigate what happened to her brother and makes a terrifying discovery. Turns out Flynn’s conspiracy theories weren’t so farfetched after all: demons are real, they’re stalking the streets of Amsterdam, and they may hold the answer as to what happened to Flynn.

Determined to find out the truth about her brother’s fate, Halley embarks on a dark journey that will force her to question everything she thinks she knows about the nature of the world, the forces within it, and even herself.




Book Review · MM · Urban Fantasy

#BookReview #Urban Fantasy #MM // Tide of Tricks by Ariana Nash

Tide of Tricks
Shadows of London #2
by Ariana Nash 



Ms Nash’s books need to come with a warning as she loves to pick on both her readers and her characters. Opening her books is akin to volunteering to be tribute – your journey will be full of heartache and peril but with just enough of a sliver of hope to keep you going. Once you step into the pages of her chronicle the incredible writing, the fantastic storytelling, the amazing world building and outstanding characterisation will have you hooked. This means that no matter what awful fates befall our protagonist, what terrible chaos the author unleashes on your heart and soul, there is no way you aren’t in until the very bitter end! I’m pretty sure she relishes every moment of our torment too.

I would have said you couldn’t better book #1 of this series but I think this may actually have topped it. Not only are we held hostage by the fast paced, twisty plot but our emotions are thoroughly stomped on too. Ariana Nash has the rare ability to convince you her red herrings and lies are the truth. Then when you reach those shocking revelations you realise that she had been pointing out that they were untruths all along.



I love Dom. That’s all that should be needed so damn you Ms Nash with your black and twisted soul. I lost count of the times my poor heart bled for him. Honestly, the author needs to give the guy a break but, as I said before, she enjoys torturing him, and us, too much for that to happen. I should have known that by granting his “candle wish”, the author had heart breaking times in store for Dom.



The events of this book take Dom back to his roots in the East End and memories he’d rather keep buried. It’s not until the very end – and oh what an ending it is – that we see how they link back to the plot of book #1, Twisted Pretty Things. The scene between Kage, Alex and Dom in the final few chapters? Lord that stole every emotion I had and pulverised them into dust, leaving me hollow, devastated and utterly confused as to what and who were the good or bad guys.



Roll on book #3 – it can’t come soon enough!!!!!


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Gay Fiction/Romance

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58301175-tide-of-tricks

Synopsis
A darkness runs deep beneath London …
Reeling from recent revelations and forced to lie for Kempthorne, the unthinkable happens: Dom fails the latent competency test. One more strike and he’ll be deemed unstable, have his registration stripped, and the life he’s come to love at Kempthorne & Co will be over.If that weren’t bad enough, someone is stalking him, taunting him. Someone who knows what Dom did all those years ago.

While Dom juggles Kempthorne’s lies and his own shady past, latents are being murdered. The police won’t help, so it’s up to Dom, Kempthorne & new-recruit Kage (Hollywood) to find the killer, before they strike too close to home.

Dom soon finds himself at the heart of it all with his control slipping, his trick breaking free, and the shadows rising.

He’s coming undone. And for unstable latents, there’s only one way out …


Please note, this is an adult urban fantasy, so there are multiple swears, some darker themes and scenes, and on-page sex.





Book Review · Urban Fantasy

#BookReview #UrbanFantasy // Twisted Pretty Things by Ariana Nash

Twisted Pretty Things
Shadows of London #1

Ariana Nash

Fans of Ms Nash will probably know she also writes under the name Pippa DaCosta. This book is the perfect fusion of both those halves, a fast paced story that is chock full of surprises, intrigue and lies. All the passion and heat of the AN name blended with the world building and complexity of PDC books. This had the best of everything the author has to offer and was a 5 star read for me the entire length from start to finish. I am totally enraptured by the series already and cannot wait for the next book to be released!



Dom, our slightly tarnished hero, will absolutely steal your heart, which will then be repeatedly battered as he rebounds from learning one shocking/crushing/terrible secret to another. Hindsight had me spotting all the foreshadowing and clues that had been cleverly woven into the story, but I never ONCE guessed at the myriad of the twists and turns as I was reading this.



Just as I thought the story was complete the author threw in that little twist, right at the end. Because she is cruel and relishes her power to torment us all. Added in to all that were hints of a love triangle – and please don’t ask me to chose between EITHER of those two delicious morsels of untrustworthiness. Oh yes, we can’t leave it at Dom being used and abused by life, downtrodden and outcast because he is a latent. Oh no, we have to have two extremely hot “possibles” messing with his libido, head and heart, both of whom are keeping secrets from him, lying to him and manipulating him for their own ends.



I am totally hooked on this series, are Hollywood and Kempthorne good guys doing bad things for good reasons or bad guys who are good at lying? Oh the dilemmas and conundrums that this pair elicit. There is also the fact that the author’s long term plans for these men has me more than a little worried, she has a track record for being mean not only to her characters but also us poor readers. My mind is spinning and whirling with all the possibilities, dreading she might pull a Nye, or a Brendan or even a Julian move in a future book, just for the fun of shattering my poor heart.



If the words “Urban Fantasy” and “M/M” set your heart and mind aflutter then you definitely need to be reading this series. Oh and when you do you will fully understand why I couldn’t resist this final gif…


description

Rating: 5 out of 5.

MM PNR Romance

Age 16+ MM Sex scenes, profanities


Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55244683-twisted-pretty-things


Synopsis
Something wicked is moving in the shadows of London…

In the underground world of glitzy illegal auctions, fast cars, and stolen magical artifacts, John “Dom” Domenici knows he’s out of his depth. But he needs the job at Kempthorne & Co like he needs to breathe. The alternative—going back to the organized crime gangs of London’s East End—is unthinkable.

So when Alexander Kempthorne, boss of Kempthorne & Co Artifact Retrieval Agency, wants him on a special case to track down an illegal artifact dealer, Dom can’t say no.

It shouldn’t matter that Kempthorne’s world is full of deadly secrets. It shouldn’t matter that the billionaire is sexy as sin, and it really shouldn’t matter how there’s an American agent stalking Dom, an American who knows more than he should about Dom’s case, including the real reason Alexander Kempthorne hired Dom.

The only thing that really matters to Dom is solving the case and finding the artifact dealer. Because there are worse things in London than a conflicted billionaire and a trigger-happy American. Something wicked is stalking London’s streets, and if Dom doesn’t stop it, its shadows will rise and consume them all.

Book Review · Urban Fantasy

REVIEW – Urban Fantasy // Ghost Electricity by Sean Cunningham

Ghost Electricity
(Hawthorne House #1)
by Sean Cunningham

There is quite a wide cast of characters in Ghost Electricity both main and supporting, all of whom are well crafted and nicely rounded. The story is complex, multi-layered and packed full of intrigue. There are lots of strands that are cleverly woven together at the end, but for much of the book I felt as though I was randomly hopping from one random scene to another.



There were over half a dozen different point of view, featuring only very briefly interactions with other protagonists, if there was one at all. Julian and Rob were together for the majority of scenes, Fiona and Jessica were occasionally together but also apart quite a lot, Alice occasionally interacted with Fiona and Julian, but also with other characters, Justin knew about all these players but was on the periphery or manoeuvring in the background. It all just got a little blurry and disjointed since each person had their own agenda and focus. Just as I got into one part of the story it flipped to another scene, then went back to the previous one.



I definitely enjoyed the author’s voice, dialogue felt natural and descriptions were sufficiently detailed without being overly long and tediously complex. The world building was very smooth and felt very much an organic development of the story. Despite my issues this was still a good story, I really liked how the plot gradually unfolded, revealing new snippets of information, new clues or an answer to one question along with a new puzzle to be solved. If you like Urban Fantasy with a dash of humour I do recommend giving this a try, though it won’t be a series I chose to continue reading.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Suspense

Age 15+

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45717303-ghost-electricity


Synopsis
Do you know what happens to ghosts in London?

A girl with a monster in her shadow. A warlock believed dead four years ago. A werewolf outcast from the London packs.

Rob wants a good job, friends to head to the pub with and a solid cage to lock himself in three nights a month. Julian dropped off the face of the Earth four years ago. He’s back and trying to figure out what living looks like. Together they  will face the deadliest of threats hidden in one of the oldest cities in the world.


Fiona has a monster in her shadow but she doesn’t know how it got there. A creature in the shape of a man is on her trail  and he knows things about Fiona she doesn’t know herself. Her ten year old sister Jessica can build machines that defy the  known laws of physics. Accompanied by a brass tortoise and a glass-feathered raven, Jessica will help Fiona unravel the web  of lies that surrounds them both.


And beneath their feet the plague dead of centuries stir in their graves, waiting for the spell that holds them to break…