Thursday, 31 October 2019

The Veil Series Boxset, Books 1-3 - Pippa DaCosta



Book: The Veil Series Boxset, books 1-3
Author: Pippa DaCosta
Series: The Veil, 1-3
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Demons, Romance
Format: Kindle e-Book
Date Published: 12th June 2015

Date Finished: 31st October 2019
My Overall Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•

Description:

Beyond The Veil

Charlie Henderson is living a lie. Her real name is Muse and her attempt at a normal life is about to go up in smoke.
When a half-demon assassin walks into her life, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake, Muse must return to the one man she hoped never to see again and ask for help. The Prince of Greed isn’t known for his charity. The price is high, and the cost could tear her apart.

Trapped between the malevolent intentions of a Prince of Hell and an assassin with ulterior motives, Muse must embrace the lure of chaos at her core; the demon inside her, in order to survive.

Devil May Care

Three dead Enforcers in three weeks, their bodies butchered. Muse has seen it before, and when she reads the metal memories in the murder weapon, she sees it all again. Her owner, Damien, is back, and he wants what is rightfully his.

Darkest Before Dawn

When Akil leaves a nine year old half-blood girl on Muse’s doorstep, it’s not long before the demons come hunting, but this time Muse isn’t the target. The Institute, Muse’s immortal brother, and the Princes of Hell, all want a piece of the little half-blood. What’s so special about Dawn, and why has Akil conveniently disappeared just as Muse needs answers?


Review:

I have developed a bit of a recent obsession with Pippa DaCosta books but this one has been on my Kindle for quite a while now, longer than the other two books I've read recently. So here goes:

In book one - Beyond The Veil - we meet Charlie Henderson, half demon half human who has an affinity for metal and reading its history. When assassin Stefan walks into her blacksmith shop asking her to read a weapon of his it sets in motion a little mystery for us readers as we try to figure out who's trying to kill Charlie and what Stefan wants with her.

It was all very intriguing as Charlie tried to figure out who to trust and as the story unravelled I was rather caught up in it. I was cheering Charlie on as she finally started to believe in her own strength and lets not forget the romance that began to spark between Charlie and Stefan.

After that ending, I am definitely going straight into book two.

Rating of Beyond the Veil - πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒœ
Date Finished - 25th October 2019

In book two - Devil May Care - Charlie is now working for the Institute, a group who defend against demons who cross the veil, but only doing it in an effort to regain her demon so she can go and hunt Stefan in the demon world. Unfortunately, though, it seems that her old master, Damien, didn't die years ago like she thought and is torturing enforcers of the Institute in a bid to get her attention.

Charlie/Muse suffered terribly at his hands as we see in flashbacks and even her demon is afraid of the sick demon so it's a terrible struggle for Muse to know he's back and hunting for her. Eventually, though, they come face to face and she's transported back to the Netherworld. Bad news in the fact she's in Damien's clutches but good news in the fact she can now find Stefan.

Things don't always go to plan, though, and we have a lot of struggles in the demon realm as they try to figure out how to get themselves back across the Veil and stop Damien.

It was action packed but I missed Stefan for a lot of the book. Gone was the protective, fun guy we met in the first one. His demon has taken over and he's not as carefree as he used to be. It's definitely a bit of a rollercoaster this one.

Rating of Devil May Care - πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•
Date Finished - 28th October 2019

In book three - Darkest Before Dawn - Charlie is now working as an independent enforcer for the Institute; meaning she gets her own space and can be away from the series of warehouses that once held her captive. In her new place, she's getting over the fact that Stefan has pretty much shunned her when Akil comes knocking on her door bearing a young half blood demon, Dawn, that he tells her to protect before disappearing into the night.

Unfortunately, it seems that Dawn is hot property in the Netherworld and wanted by the Princes so they don't stay hidden away for long. She gets recaptured by Charlie's half brother, Valenti, and spirited back to the Netherworld. Charlie finally learns just why Dawn is being kept as a slave and it's because she girls demon is so scary powerful.

Then there's also Stefan who still hasn't regained control of his demon fully yet but is coming around to face the fact that Muse wasn't entirely to blame for what happened in the last book.

We also see a bit of a softer side to Akil in this one when, for a time, the world believes Muse to be dead. He doesn't take the news well.

It all gets a little more complicated and, if I'm honest, my attention has began to waver with this series. I still like Muse/Charlie and Stefan and sometimes Akil isn't so bad either but their complicated relationships are maybe getting a little TOO complicated for me to keep up with.

I'm not sure if I'll continue the series at this point.

Rating of Darkest Before Dawn - πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•
Date Finished  - 31st October 2019

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Raised by Wolves - Jennifer Lynn Barnes


Book: Raised by Wolves
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: Raised by Wolves, #1
Genres: Paranormal, Shape Shifters, Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: 30th September 2010

Date Finished: 22nd October 2019
My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•

Description:

At the age of four, Bryn watched a rogue werewolf brutally murder her parents. Alone in the world, she was rescued and taken in by the mysterious Callum, the alpha of his werewolf pack. Now fifteen, Bryn’s been raised as a human among werewolves, adhering to pack rule (mostly). Little fazes her.

But the pack’s been keeping a secret, and when Bryn goes exploring against Callum’s direct orders, she finds Chase, a newly turned teen Were locked in a cage. Terrifying memories of the attack on her mom and dad come flooding back. Bryn needs answers, and she needs Chase to get them. Suddenly, all allegiances to the pack no longer matter. It’s Bryn and Chase against the werewolf world, whatever the consequences.


Review:

I'll be honest. Out of all the paranormal creatures out there, shape shifters are not high on my list of favourites. I find them hard to connect to but I obviously like something about some of them as I have two werewolf series in paperback--Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and Shifters by Rachel Vincent.

This one took a little getting into. It had a very slow start, taking 50+ pages for Bryn to meet Chase, the boy who got bit by the rabid, and then another 50 or so for them to meet again under supervision this time and not without going through a lot of training to make sure she can outwit/fight Chase if things go south. Strangely, though, Bryn and Chase have a connection - a bond - something that keeps them coming together and they somehow mark each other, causing chaos in the Pack. There's also the little issue that the rabid that bit Chase is also the one that killed Bryn's parents when she was four. And that is what the rest of the book is about. Finding and killing the rabid werewolf.

It didn't really hold my attention. It was quite a lot of book for hardly anything happening. The final showdown with the rabid shifter took all of about 25 pages and seemed over far too easily.

I liked some of the secondary characters, for instance Devon. He's great; witty, protective and good in any situation. Lake was fun, if a little crazy with her guns. Chase, I haven't decided about yet. And then there's Callum. I liked him, he always had a plan.

That being said, I don't think I'll be continuing the series.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Shades of Wicked - Jeaniene Frost


Book: Shades of Wicked
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Rebel, #1
Genres: Paranormal, Vampires, Urban Fantasy
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: 30th October 2018

Date Finished: 19th October 2019
My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•

Description:

The Rule BreakerMaster vampire Ian is unrepentant, shameless…and every shade of wicked. He’s made one too many enemies in his two centuries of existence, including Dagon, a demon who now lays claim to his soul. Ian’s only chance to escape Dagon is to join forces with a Law Guardian, but he’s never been able to abide by the rules for long.

The Law Maker

Veritas’ normal role is police, judge and jury to reprobates like Ian. But she has her own ax to grind with Dagon, so if she can use Ian as bait…well, all’s fair in law and war. As they scour supernatural hotspots to perfect their trap, Veritas soon realizes Ian’s devil-may-care, roguish image hides something much more powerful. And Ian discovers that Veritas has shocking secrets of her own. As they’re drawn to each other with a passion as intense as their peril, either love or justice will prevail. But each will have devastating consequences…

Review:

I've read some of the authors other works - several of her Night Huntress and the first of her Night Prince series' - and really enjoyed them, so when this popped up at 99p the other day I couldn't resist buying it.

So we meet Veritas as she hunts out Ian at one of his well known orgies. She's after him to help kill a demon from both of their pasts but as a Law Guardian they don't exactly see eye to eye for a long time as Ian's a bit of a rebel. They continually prod at each other until irritation turns to admiration and then attraction.

I was very intrigued by how the story of these two was going to play out, how the romance would evolve and it was quite sweet actually. Ian has a way of getting under peoples defences when he drops his tough guy act and I grew to really like him, as did Veritas who ended up revealing several secrets about herself that made Ian notice her as more than a Law Guardian. It was kind of subtle but not at the same time. They were pretty good for each other.

Then we have our showdown and my heart was in my mouth for that 15% or so. I wanted them to kill him and both survive and for a time I was almost in tears thinking they might not. And then that Epilogue?! What a way to end it! I cannot wait to read the next one to see what happens next with this couple.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Immortal In Death - J. D. Robb


Book: Immortal In Death
Author: J. D Robb
Series: In Death, #3
Genres: Mystery, Crime, Romantic Suspense
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: 11th May 2010 (Originally 1996)

Date Finished: 14th October 2019
My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•

Description:

'She'd come to New York to be a cop, because she believed in order. Needed it to survive. She had taken control, had made herself into the person some anonymous social worker had named Eve Dallas'

But in a few weeks she won't just be Eve Dallas, lieutenant, homicide. She'll be Roarke's wife. But Eve's wedding plans may have to be put on hold as her private and professional lives collide...
The victim in her latest murder investigation is one of the most sought-after women in the world. A top model who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted - even another woman's man. And Eve's chief suspect is the other woman in this fatal love triangle - her best friend Mavis. Putting her job on the line to head the investigation, Eve discovers that the world of high fashion thrives on an all-consuming passion for youth and fame. One that leads from the runway to the dark underworld of New York City where drugs can fulfil any desire - for a price . . .

Review:

I read the first two books in this series quite a while ago now and the only thing I remember is Eve and Roarke's relationship progressing quite quickly.

This has taken me a long time to finish and I think that's due to its length. I'm not the biggest fan of long books and the fact the writing in the kindle app for PC is so tiny tells me it's a long one. I've been reading it in spurts between other books but as the investigation into Pandora's death got going I decided to just concentrate on this one and finally get it finished.

So Pandora is a successful model, loved the world over for her style and flair but also loathed for being vicious and cruel. When she's murdered and the prime suspect is Mavis, Eve's long time friend, Eve is determined to help solve the mystery and get her friend off the charge of murder and find the real killer.

I loved the twists and turns in this. I, like Eve, thought that they'd found the killers at about the 66% mark but then like how did they go about proving it? And then it turns out it wasn't those people?! I was like, WHAT?!

Of course, this one also contains Eve and Roarke's wedding and the stuff that leads up to it, including dress shopping, hen and stag nights and picking flowers. Admittedly, we don't get the wedding in this as such, just Eve getting dressed and walking out to make her promise to Roarke.

Although I didn't enjoy this as much as previous books, I think that was down to me not being in the mood for a mystery/crime/romantic suspense book as well as it's long length. Nevertheless I will be reading more books in the series at a later date.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Beauty From Pain - Georgia Cates


Book: Beauty From Pain
Author: Georgia Cates
Series: Beauty #1
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Erotica
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: 4th January 2014

Date Finished: 11th October 2019
My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•

Description:

They agreed on three months...but their love knew no boundaries.

Jack McLachlan is a winemaking magnate and easily one of Australia’s most eligible bachelors. His success and wealth make him no stranger to the complications of romantic relationships and that’s why he goes to extreme measures to avoid the hassle. He prefers simplicity in the form of a beautiful female companion with no strings attached. He arranges relationships like business deals and they’re always the same. No long term relationships. No real names.

It’s his game and his rules. He’s content to play as usual, but when Laurelyn Prescott enters his life, his strategy must change because this player is like none he's ever encountered. His world is turned on its head after he begins a three month affair with the beautiful American musician. Nothing goes according to plan and as he breaks more and more of his own rules for her, she’s exceptionally close to becoming something he never thought possible. His ultimate game changer.


Review:

Work has still been kicking my reading time in the arse this week but I now have the weekend off so hopefully I can catch up on some reading.

Well this is a backburner book (#1 on my to-read on Goodreads), having been on my Kindle since some time in January 2014 when it was released. I think I've put off reading it simply because of the "erotica" label it had on Goodreads. It wasn't exactly erotica, though. Yeah, they had quite a lot of sex but there was a romance to it, too.

So this starts with Laurelyn arriving in Australia with her best friend to spend time with her best friends brother for three months as he studies wine making there. On the first night they head out to a bar and take part in an...open mic night? Laurelyn sings and plays the guitar (I think) and attracts the attention of Jack, a man looking for his next lover. Instead of the usual week/month, he plans to spend three months with his next bed fellow, giving her whatever she wishes for and making her feel special. Laurelyn catches his attention and he plans to seduce her into agreeing to his arrangement.

I guess if I was on the receiving end of an attractive rich guy wanting to spend three months with me, getting to know me and spending a lot of that time in bed, I'd enjoy it, too, but I have to admit I got a little bored with this. It was taking a little too long to get where it was going and I skipped entire sex scenes. The books 271 pages felt more like 500.

It had a rather promising start, apart from the slightly stalkerish behaviour of Jack as he tried to meet Laurelyn again, and I enjoyed the slow seduction and how he treated her. But then I didn't really see the relationship grow as such. It didn't work for me, personally.

By the end, I wasn't all that bothered about what was going to happen next with the characters so I won't be continuing the series.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Aced - Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine


Book: Aced
Authors: Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine
Series: PresLocke, #1
Genres: MM Romance, Contemporary
Format: Kindle e-Book
Date Published: 10th July 2016

Date Finished: 7th October 2019
My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•

Description:

Ace Locke is Hollywood’s hottest action hero. Women across the globe fling their panties in his direction, but Ace isn’t interested in those—he’s more of a boxer briefs kind of guy. Specifically, those of the nearly naked male model on a billboard he drives past every day.

Though he recently made headlines for his public coming out, Ace is wary about pursuing a relationship, fearing what the court of public opinion will do to his career. But there’s something in the model’s expression that intrigues him and has him wondering what if?

Dylan Prescott just scored his biggest modeling campaign yet. One that has him plastered all over L.A. in not much more than what he was born with. And when he’s cast in Ace’s latest blockbuster, it puts him in close proximity to his ultimate fantasy.

Outwardly confident, Dylan has no problem with his sexuality or his pretty-boy looks, and uses both to his advantage to get what he wants. And what he wants is the impossible—Ace Locke.


What happens when these two worlds collide?


Review:

Note: I'm sorry to say that work has been cutting into my reading time this week. I keep getting the odd chapter read here and there but it's not been enough time to get really stuck in with this one.

It's been a good few months since I last read a MM Romance, so I have my fingers crossed that I really enjoy this one.

This one starts with Ace admiring a billboard for what must be the hundredth time of a guy he fantasises about every night, stopping traffic in the process as he heads off to the reading of his new film. It just so happens that the guy from the billboard is sitting in on the reading and is going to have a part in the film. There is an instant attraction between the two and though Ace tries to fight it, he can't help but be drawn to the confident Dylan.

What follows is some hot man on man action and a cute romance between the recently out-of-the-closet-but-too-afraid-to-find-anyone actor and the confident model who's trying his hand at acting. They are pretty perfect for each other.

But Ace is wary of trying to find someone when he's so publically in the spotlight as he knows they'll be hounded by the press and every dirty secret they may have will be aired to the world. And since this is a series, of course that very thing happens right before the book ends, so I'm intrigued about future books but I'm not in a hurry to go and buy it.

We get alternating viewpoints in this, which admittedly gets a little confusing at times with them both being men and trying to remember whose VP you've just read.

I did like that Tate and Logan--characters out of one of the authors (Ella Franks) other books--made a little cameo in this. I haven't read any of Brooke Blaine's other works but this is a crossover series featuring characters from L.A. Liaisons.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

The Shadow Reader - Sandy Williams


Book: The Shadow Reader
Author: Sandy Williams
Series: The Shadow Reader, #1
Genres: Fae, Urban Fantasy, Romance
Format: Kindle e-Book
Publication Date: 25th October 2011

Date Finished: 1st October 2019
My Rating: πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒœ

Description:

Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.

A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn't her only secret. For just as long, she's been in love with Kyol, the king's sword-master--and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.

Any hope for a normal life is shattered when she's captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has to decide once and for all whom to trust--and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.


Review:

This starts with McKenzie doing in a test in a lecture hall at Uni, only she's interrupted mid test by her friend and love interest, Kyol--sword-master of the current Fae King. The rebels have found her and she's in danger. They run from the room but get attacked by the rebels as they try to escape. In the end, McKenzie fall into the rebels trap and ends up their captive. McKenzie keeps attempting to escape and though half of the rebels want her dead, the leader, Aren, wants her kept alive.

What follows is a complicated twisty tale of right and wrong, of realising that what you thought was the truth for so long has been twisted and put in a new light so you'll go along with it. Truths are revealed that you agree with.

There is an element of love-triangle going on in this. She's had a "thing" with Kyol for ten years: touches and kisses that are prohibited under the King's ruling of no relationships between humans and Fae. And then there's Aren. The rebel leader who steals her away and tries to convince her that the Court is using her for their own gains and not for the good of the people.

In truth I think I was more Team Aren. We got to see more of his relationship progression with McKenzie. They go from not trusting or liking each other particularly to that tender, sweet touches, stage of falling for each other. Don't get me wrong, I like Kyol. But I think because we missed the start of their relationship growth all those years ago that I don't feel as strong of a connection between them.

By the end of this I was urging our group to win the fight. And now I'm very interested in what's going to happen next with this ragtag group.

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