vrijdag 31 oktober 2014

Faith Hunter – Broken Soul

The eighth book in the Jane Yellowrock series, published October 7, 2014.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: kick ass, love it

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Jane Yellowrock is a vampire killer for hire—but other creatures of the night still need to watch their backs....

When the Master of the city of New Orleans asks Jane to improve security for a future visit from a delegation of European vampires, she names an exorbitant price—and Leo is willing to pay. That's because the European vamps want Leo's territory, and he knows that he needs Jane to prevent a total bloodbath. Leo, however, doesn't mention how this new job will change Jane's life or the danger it will bring her and her team.
Jane has more to worry about than some greedy vampires. There's a vicious creature stalking the streets of New Orleans, and its agenda seems to be ripping Leo and her to pieces. Now Jane just has to figure out how to kill something she can't even see….

From the first page, I was straight back in Jane Yellowrock’s dangerous world of vampires and their devious politics. And I loved every page of it.
What can I say about this book that I have written about the previous books before? Very little I am afraid. I am just totally in love with this series. So, what is new in this one ...

Jane is being courted by Bruiser (George Dumas) as he is no longer completely beholden to Leo, the Master of the City. She has no idea how to react, she is no longer grieving over her previous boyfriend Rick however, but she is so very cautious not to have her heart broken again. Beast won’t have any of that, she wants him for a mate.

Of course there is hardly any time for Jane to sleep, with working to get the Vampire Head Quarters in top shape and the highest grade of security, as there will be some European Vampires coming over for a visit. Leo really doesn’t want them to come, but he can’t say no. They are after some secrets and artifacts they believe he has, or Jane has, so neither of them will be safe. But other enemies are in town as well, and even the biggest baddest vampires are afraid of them.
Jane finds out some of Leo’s darkest secrets when she gets into the bottom cellars of the building. And it is a very scary one. She also finds out more about the history of vampires and witches, and of herself and Beast. She discovers some new power that Beast got from the Angel in one of the previous books. It is a very handy power in a fight, but it comes at a very high price as well.

A book full of action and fighting. Jane gets hurt, and Leo again tries to kill her and bind her. To no avail, luckily. But he is so not happy when Jane chooses Bruiser over him. I do love the interaction between Jane and her housemates and business partners, Alex the Kid and Eli. They look out for each other and know how to work together very well.

This time, no scene with Jane’s best friend and her little o so precocious daughter, and I did miss that. But alien creatures reveal themselves, and I can’t wait to see what will happen in the next book. Faith Hunter is an awesome author, and her writing is never predictable. I love it.

I know people have fallen out of love with this series a few books ago, but I don’t think I ever will. And I do recommend it for all lovers of urban fantasy and real kick ass heroines. Jane doesn’t need to be saved, she is the saver herself. She makes the difficult decisions and lives with the consequences, no matter how hard it is sometimes.

I just have one complaint to Miss Hunter: only in England do they serve beer (ale) at room temperature. In the rest of Europe, it is chilled, as it should be.

10 stars.

Autobuy authorLove this book

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 29 oktober 2014

Anthology – Kicking It

An anthology of stories edited by Faith Hunter and Kalayna Price, published December 3, 2013.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: awesome boots

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New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine has modern-day potions witches Holly and Andrew facing off against a firebrand politician who wears literally killer boots in a Texas-sized rodeo of trouble.
Boot-loving Cadogan vampire Lindsey must team up with off-again, on-again vampire partner Luc when a woman from her past is targeted by supernaturals in New York Times bestselling author Chloe Neill's all-new adventure.
And New York Times bestselling author Rob Thurman features Trixa Iktomi from her Trickster series dealing with magical vengeance and magical footwear.

Taking kick-ass urban fantasy literally, USA Today bestselling authors Kalayna Price and Faith Hunter bring together the best of the genre to once again prove when you're fighting supernatural forces, it helps to keep your feet on the ground.

It is a really good anthology, and I finally read some stories by authors I have been meaning to read for years now, and whose books are gathering dust on my shelves somewhere. Getting this taste for their writing style has made me determined to pick up their books soon.
All the books feature boots, often really, really gorgeous boots. If I could wear boots, I would totally buy boots like those. So if you do love boots, and you love totally kick ass characters, this is the anthology for you.

Rachel Caine – Forked Tongs

This is a Holly and Andrew story, and though I have read a few of Rachel Caine’s books, this does not ring a bell at all.

It is a story about a witch who can temporarily bring murder victims back from the dead, so they can tell who their murderer is. Her boyfriend is an old West gunslinger, and their love keeps him in the here and now. To me, this story was completely unique with a demon trying to get rid of all the witches in the city so he can rise in politics.

I liked it, and I want to read more in this series.

Shannon K. Butcher – Stolen Goods

Another series I am not familiar with, but now want to read. A man who works with leather can enchant it too, to do the most amazing things. He has to team up with the woman who stole a pair of his boots, in order to fight a bunch of aliens who use people’s life energy to power up some devices, leaving the people like a bunch of zombies and totally under their control.
I loved the interaction between this unlikely pair, and am now very curious to this world. I want to know what will happen next.

Chris Marie Green – The girl with no name

A young woman wakes up in a hotel room in New Orleans, without knowing who she is, or how she got there. And with some really strange boots on her feet she can’t get off. Boots that give her strange powers apparently. Someone is hunting her, and a strange shop owner / psychic tells her about a woman in the swamp who can probably help her. She is the one who has made the boots she is wearing, and she does not normally sell her goods.
A bit confusing story, and the girl is not really a girl I think. Her family is looking for her, and she does not want to be found. The witch is helping her, but she looses her memory every night.

Strange story, I did like it, not love it, and I want to know more. So I will probably read the first book in the series. I am really not a fan of memory loss stories.

Faith Hunter – The devil’s left boot

This is the story I wanted to read the most, as it takes place in the Jane Yellowrock series. Liz and Cia Everheart, sisters of Jane’s best friend Molly, feature in this short story. It takes place after Jane killed their evil sister on national television.

An old enemy from high school desperately needs their help as her mother has gone missing, and the police won’t do anything about it. But she knows her mother did not run off with a man, or anything like that. For a high price, the sisters agree to try to help Layla. What they find is more than they bargained for however, and they need Jane to help them fix the problem when they stumble upon an insane vampire with a passion for shoes and boots.

I really loved this story. It goes without saying that I will read whatever there is written in this series.

Chloe Neill – High Stakes

I haven’t read anything yet about the Chicago Vampires series by Chloe Neill. And I am not really sure I want to, even though I do have the books. This is a story about Luc and Lindsey. There is a small part with Merit, the heroine in the series.
But it is the communication that bothers me, it sounds totally childish to me. I did get that Merit is a young woman, and a young vampire, but Lindsey is not.

It is basically a love story, with Lindsey afraid to commit and Luc determined not to let her get away. Lindsey tries to save her grand niece from some horrors of her own pasts and blindly walks into danger on her own. To be saved by Luc in the nick of time. I would have liked her better if she had saved herself of course.

Lucienne Diver - The Parlor

This story really did intrigue me, it had the ancient Greek gods like Apollo, and the heroine is the descendant of another one. She is a gorgon, and goes against some spiderlike woman, which sounded really creepy. I want to know more about this world.

Has anyone read this series/author? Is it good?

Christine Henry – Red isn’t really my color

And yet another series I have on my shelves and haven’t started yet. The heroine is Lucifer’s grand daughter, a couple times removed of course, with the name of Madeline Black. The fun thing is she has a pet gargoyle named Beezle, who fits in her pocket. He loves to eat junk food and watch bad t.v., is a genius with google and sleeps a lot.
Lucifer wants Madeline to find the famous Red Shoes, which makes the wearer dance until she dies and longer. But she will have to go up against the courtiers of a certain Fae Queen she made really angry recently, and she does not look forward to it. Madeline is only just learning to control her powers, but mostly she just reigns down mayhem and destruction around her, and now she is to visit the most swanky hotel in town to find the shoes ...

I really liked this story, so I will probably read the first book soon. Madeline is my kind of heroine, trying to do the right thing and getting in more and more trouble. She is also an Agent of Death, and I want to know more about that.

Rob Thurman - Snakeskin

This is a 10 year prequel to the Trickster series, and it sure makes me want to read more in this world. Trixta Iktomi is the “heroine” in this story, and I so want to know more about her. I get the impression she is not only Coyote, the Trickster God, but has also been lots of other gods during the times and in all kinds of cultures. I loved this story, it was original and new to me, and very surprising. I am sorry about those boots though ...

Kalayna Price – Ruby Red

I love the Alex Craft series, and I have been looking forward to the new book for a very long time now. This story is set in that world, but with new characters. Two agents of the Magical Crimes Investigation Agency are trying to solve a difficult case, with shadow monsters who leave people in a coma. Somehow, a diner waitress is involved.

I liked it, and I did like the last few sentences even more ... they will meet up with Alex Craft ...

Conclusions: lots of good stories in this book, and only one or two I did not like as much. Lots of new series for me to discover. Thank you again Melliane, for gifting me this book. I enjoyed it very much indeed.

9 stars.

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 27 oktober 2014

Jenn McKinlay – Death of a Mad Hatter

The second book in the Hat Shop Mystery series, published May 6, 2014.
Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: beautiful

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Scarlett Parker and her British cousin, Vivian Tremont, are hard at work at Mim's Whims—their ladies' hat shop on London's chic Portobello Road—to create hats for an Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea, a fund-raiser for a local children's hospital. It seems like a wonderfully whimsical way to pass the hat, and Scarlett and Viv are delighted to outfit the Grisby family, the hosts who are hoping to raise enough money to name a new hospital wing after their patriarch.
Unfortunately, the Grisby heir will not live to see it—he's been poisoned. When traces of the poison are found on the hat Scarlett and Viv made for him, the police become curiouser and curiouser about their involvement. Now the ladies need to don their thinking caps and find the tea party crasher who's mad enough to kill at the drop of a hat…

Another review I had no inspiration for writing, and now three months have passed, and writing a good review is not going to happen anymore.

And I really did enjoy this book. I love the main characters, and their English banter. Scarlett and her cousin Vivian own a hat shop. Scarlett has only recently arrived from the States after a love affair went bad (and viral on the internet!) and she has taken over the business side of the shop, as Vivian is a wiz at making the most amazing hats.

When a rich client asks Vivian to design the hats for an Alice in Wonderland tea for herself and her family, Vivian accepts. Dotty Grisby is an old friend of their grandmother, and she keeps mistaking Vivian for her old friend. It means a lot of expensive hats in a short amount of time. Not all the family are nice though, especially the heir, George, is a nasty piece of work with the way he treats his young wife and Vivian. But there are also some younger cousins, who really seem to take a fancy to Vivian and Scarlett.

So when George is killed during the tea party, Scarlett will have to clear her name. Unfortunately, there are many suspects. And will they all just talk to her? His widow seems to want to confide in her, and other people warn her away from the case.

Like Harrison, their accountant. Or is he something more after all? Scarlett certainly is not happy when she finally finds out about his involvement in the business ...

It is a really good mystery, I could not figure it out on myself. There are some big surprises, and some really evil characters are revealed in the end. I did not see that coming at all. All the characters are really colourful and lifelike, and I enjoyed reading about them. I sure hope there will be more books in this series to come.

8 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 25 oktober 2014

Recommendations from Karin for October 2014.

In order to bring some more variety to my blog, I have asked some of my bookish friends to tell about the books they have in the past month, and to give us a recommendation. Today’s post is made by Karin from Austria.


I have read 23 new books this month. Impressive, isn’t it? But it’s all due to the fact that I was really sick and it took me a long time to recover so that I found I had a lot of reading time at hand. And admittedly quite a few of the books were very short. One would better call them novellas. Anyway the ones I would recommend most are:

1. Lindsay Buroker – Torrent

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2. Elizabeth Hunter – The Scribe

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3. Elizabeth Hunter – The Singer

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Lindsay Buroker – Torrent

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When Delia chose to major in archaeology, she imagined herself as the female Indiana Jones of the Southwest. She didn't imagine herself crawling through abandoned mine shafts, scrounging for rusty pickaxes and gold pans to sell on auction sites, but Indiana Jones didn't have to make student loan payments.
Scouring the mountains of Arizona with Simon, her best friend and computer geek extraordinaire, Delia dreams of turning their scavenging enterprise into a legitimate business. More, she longs to earn the respect of peers who shun her for turning into a treasure hunter. What she doesn't dream of is stumbling across a decapitated body in an old mine near Prescott.
Something dangerous has come to the mountains, and a pair of Harley-riding strangers are the only ones who seem to have a clue. They speak a language Delia has never heard and carry mysterious artifacts she's never seen. Investigating these strangers might lead her to discoveries that change the face of archaeology forever... or it might lead her and her best friend into a deadly monster's lair.

Linday Buroker’s book is a YA novel I’m afraid to say. But I also have to say that I greatly enjoyed this adventurous ride. There is action (some of it a little ridiculous to tell the truth) on every other page. I got caught up in the adventures around these three young people, the aliens, who may be aliens or elves – the jury is still out on the verdict – from the first page. There is a follow – up called “Thorn Falls” and it was just as enjoyable. I find I’m eagerly waiting for the next instalment.

I also would like to recommend the two books by Elizabeth Hunter. She impressed me with the “Elemental World” books which I believe I have recommended already. Now these two books offer a completely new world, a unique sight of something other. The first book ends with a terrible cliff hanger, but I was able to purchase the second book immediately. It continues this story nicely and it doesn’t end on such a cliff hanger. But I also thought it was not really as good as the first one.
I think that sometimes happens when the first book in a new series really breaks the ground. You find that you need to know how the story continues and then you find out that you know this new world already and you would like a little more action, or you want to see more of beloved characters which the author neglects in the next book.

I bought a few Kindle collections of books for € 0,89 to € 0,99. Although this time I purchased some books which I actually did not finish, I still got some winners out of them. So I would like to bring your attention to such a compilation called “Nine by Night”. I did not like all nine books but for such a price one won’t complain if not every book is freaking good. I don’t know how many of you read electronic books but I found out that I enjoy these collections as once in a while I pick out a real winner.

So this is it for this month. I wish you all a happy reading time!

Aurian: Thanks for the recommendation Karin! You sure read a lot, I hope I will manage to get back up to speed soon myself. Collections are indeed a great and cheap way to discover many new authors, but I confess I still prefer to read my paper books.

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 24 oktober 2014

Jim Butcher – Academ’s Fury

The second book in the Codex Alera series, published July 5, 2005.
Genre: fantasy
Cover: good

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In Furies of Calderon, bestselling author Jim Butcher introduced readers to a world where the forces of nature take physical form. But now, it is human nature that threatens to throw the realm into chaos...
For centuries, the people of Alera have harnessed the furies – elementals of earth, air, fire, water, wood, and metal – to protect their land from aggressors. But no fury can save them from the dangers they face within. A mysterious attack from across the sea has weakened the First Lord. Should he fall, a bloody civil war is inevitable. The responsibility of fending off assassination attempts and treachery within the First Lord’s circle of spies falls on Tavi, the one man with no fury to call ...

As soon as I finished writing my review of the first book, I stared this one. Two years have passed, and all their lives have changed. Bernard is now a Count, and the militairy leader of the region. His sister is the very first female Steadholder and a Citizen in her own right. And Tavi has gone to the Academy, to study how to be a Cursor. Amara and Bernard have fallen in love, and when duty allows it, they spend some time together.

But when Tavi and Kitai were in the Wax Forest, they awoke a big evil, and it is on the loose now, killing people and taking their bodies over, creating an army for its own purpose. It made me think of the Borg from Star Trek. They are so difficult to fight, and lots of people die.
Doroga and his tribe set out to find and kill them. They are the ancient evil that has almost killed all of their people three times before. When he does not succeed, and loses most of his tribe, he comes to Bernard to warn him and ask for his help. They will have to find and kill the Vord Queen before she spawns more Queens who will fly out in one week time.

When his aunt Isana finds out that Tavi might be in danger from one of those creatures, she leaves at once to warn the First Lord of this danger, see Tavi, and also get some help back home to fight those creatures before it is too late. But Isana herself is in danger as well. As the only female Steadholder, she has a great political importance. And with the First Lord in danger of being de-throned, being her ally or causing her death is of a great consequence to the High Lords of the Realm.
With the help of a female Cursor, who is one of the most famous Courtesans in the country, and a retired Knight, Isana tries to get a hold of the First Lord and of Tavi. Unsuccessfully. As time is short, she has no choice but to go into the lions den to seek other people’s help in gaining an audience with the First Lord.

Tavi is doing well in the Academy, as the First Lord’s protegĂ©e, and his personal page. But he has made a nasty enemy out of one of the other students. Benis hates him for being a freak, being without a fury himself. Luckily for Tavi he has some loyal friends as well, who are also studying to become a Cursor. But when the First Lord becomes comatose after overextending himself with furycrafting, it is up to Tavi to keep it all secret to avoid a civil war. The First Lord still has no heir after all.

And then there is the Ambassador of the Cane, an enemy of the Alerans. He sure tries to tell Tavi something important, not acting in character at all. And when Tavi doesn’t listen good enough, or act quickly enough, he makes sure that Tavi has no choice but to come after him.

And the biggest surprise for Tavi is Kitai. He doesn’t know it yet, but he bonded with her in the first book when he saved her life in the wax forest. And now he finds her in the city, when he tries to capture a notorious thief. This is a good thing, as he really needs her help getting his friend Max out of jail.

I loved this book. It is so full of action and danger, and then those creepy creatures, the Vord. Bernard and Amara lose so many of their people, fighting them. And Isana faces so many dangerous situations, and necessity forces her to make a deal with the devil himself to save her brother. I really felt for her, but she is such a strong woman.
My suspicions about Tavi’s heritage are stronger than ever, it is almost confirmed at this point. But he still has no magic of his own, no fury to call. So I wonder if that will ever happen.

I really enjoyed the parts with Tavi and his friends, and of course with Kitai. I love where their storyline is going. Bernard lost so many good people in the fight, some characters I really did not expect to, died. But thanks to the waterfuries, they are able to mend the most grievous of wounds, so other people miraculously survive.

The bad guy in the first book appears in this one as well, he is still dedicated to his cause, and to the Aquitaines, even though they disregard his personal safety by ordering him to the capital and the Citadel. I liked his conversation with Isana as well, after he has kidnapped her/saved her life.

I will read book 3 very soon. I do recommend this series.

9 stars.

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 22 oktober 2014

Jim Butcher – Furies of Calderon

The first book in the Codex Alera series, published October 5, 2004.
Genre: fantasy
Cover: amazing, love it

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For a thousand years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the furies – elementals of earth, air, fire, water, wood and metal. But in the remote Calderon Valley, the boy Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. At fifteen, he has no wind fury to help him fly, no fire fury to light his lamps. Yet as the Alerans’ most savage enemy – the Marat horde – returns to the Valley, Tavi’s courage and resourcefulness will be a power greater than any fury, one that could turn the tides of war...

It’s been a while since I read some epic fantasy, but I was sucked into this world immediately, and I absolutely loved it. It has everything a good fantasy needs: intrigue to dethrone the king, treason, loyalty, war, fighting, magic (furies), a touch of romance, friendship, adventure, and some amazing main characters.

It has two main characters, whose adventures we follow and whose paths cross. Amara, a young Cursor, working for the First Lord in secret. Her mentor, Fidelias, has just betrayed her and his First Lord, but he believes to be working for the greater good, the prosperity of Alera. The First Lord is old and has no longer an heir, and his new wife does not seem to be getting with child. Before the country is torn apart by civil war, he will help put a new First Lord on the throne. Associating with the Marat horde to accomplish his goal, killing thousand of innocent citizens in the process, is a small price to pay in his opinion. But Amara does not agree with him, and she will do whatever is necessary to thwart his plans and save the First Lord. Escaping her capturers, Amara flees as far as her wind fury can take her, but Fidelias will not let her escape that easily. She knows too much of his plans, and too much of how he works. Amara is the best student he has ever had, and she just might foil up his plans. So with the help of the country’s best swordfighter Aldrick, and Odiana, a waterwitch, he sets out to Calderon Valley to meet with the Horde.

Meanwhile, Tavi is trying to find the missing sheep he did not bring in last evening, as he was busy picking rare flowers for a young maiden whose kiss made him forget his duty to his uncle. So now, instead of attending to some very important Hold matters, Bernard and Tavi are searching for the sheep. Tavi is mad at himself, his future hings on those sheep, as his uncle has promised to give him some if he performs his duties without fail. Tavi is the only furyless boy in the village, and he is bullied by the other boys because of that. But if he can sell those sheep, he will have enough money to attend the Academy in town, and learn a profession that does not require him having furyhelp.

But Bernard and Tavi don’t just find the missing sheep, they find something much more dangerous: a herdbane has killed some of the sheep. And where there is one, there is usually its mate, and of course one of the Marat. Together they manage to kill the herdbane before it kills Bernard, but Bernard is severely injured. With the help of his earth fury, they manage to get away, but the Marat is faster, and to draw attention away from his uncle, Tavi lures the warrior after him.

But night is falling, and the furystorm is just waiting to break loose. Dangerous furies are in the winds, and it will become freezingly cold. After escaping the Marat, Tavi will have to find shelter, and fast. But then he hears another voice calling for help and so he finds Amara.

And then there is an other evil man to deal with. Tavi’s aunt Isana finds out firsthand what her neighbour and his depraved son have been up to all those years, tormenting and abusing his slaves. But with some help from an unsuspected corner, Isana manages to escape, taking her fellow prisoner with her. It just shows that a common enemy makes strange allies in dangerous situations.

A very exciting story follows, where they have to reach the Garrison to warn about the upcoming Marat attack. Who will believe them, and who has already been bought by the traitors?
I was really captivated by this story, and I will dive into book 2 immediately. I sure have my suspicions about who Tavi really is though... Especially as Fade is revealed as not being an idiot after all ...
I would have like a little bit more information on how a young person acquires his of her furie or furies. And I did miss the part where Amara got rid of her slave collar that she wore as a disguise ...

I do recommend this series to everyone who loves fantasy and adventures. I enjoy Jim Butcher’s writing style, and it is very different from his Dresden File series.

8 stars.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 20 oktober 2014

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

My 17th new additions post for 2014.

From Bookdepository:
Yasmine Galenorn – Priestess Dreaming
Susan Wittig Albert – The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star
Erin McCarthy – Final Lap
Thea Harrison – Night’s Honor (I have already read Maia’s copy as I had forgotten to pre-order it myself)
Laura Childs – Gilt Trip
Alexis Morgan – Honor’s Price
Karen Hawkins – The Prince who loved me
Robin D. Owens – Ghost Layer
Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison – The Final Cut
Faith Hunter – Broken Soul
Bella Andre – The way you look tonight
Bella Andre – Kissing under the mistletoe

I think this list really showcases my wide taste in books. And I can’t wait to read them all.

Secondhand books:

John Grisham – Playing for Pizza

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 19 oktober 2014

Susannah Sandlin – Lovely, Dark and Deep

The first book in the Collectors series, published June 24, 2014.
Genre: romantic suspense
Cover: good

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This book was first published as a Kindle Serial. Kindle Serials are stories published in episodes, with future episodes delivered at no additional cost.

From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes a heart-pounding romantic thriller that pits a quick-witted scientist and a scarred ex - combat diver against a ruthless billionaire treasure hunter with ties to the White House.

When biologist Gillian Campbell makes an offhand comment about a family curse during a TV interview, she has no idea what her words will set in motion. Within days, Gillian finds herself at the mercy of a member of the C7, a secretive international group of power brokers with a dangerous game: competing to find the world's most elusive treasures, no matter the cost, in money or in lives. To save her family, Gillian teams up with Shane Burke, a former elite diver who's lost his way, navigating the brutal "death coast" of the North Atlantic to find what the collector seeks: the legendary Ruby Cross of the Knights Templar, stolen by Gillian's ancestor and lost at sea four hundred years ago.

It has been three months since I read this book, and I still have not managed to write a review about it. And I am so very sorry that my addiction to Hay Day has kept me from writing a nice one, as I did enjoy this book a lot. I really look forward to reading book 2, as Susannah Sandlin has written a really bad bad guy, and I look forward to see him getting what he deserves eventually.
I really do love treasure hunt books, I used to devour Clive Cussler’s books, and I love Cherry Adair’s Cutter Cay series as well. So a new series in this genre is very welcome to me. Yes, I am also a big fan of Indiana Jones, there are many more books than movies about him and his adventures. I’ve read those in Dutch in my teens.

Gillian Campbell finds herself blackmailed into giving up her life, to go on a wild goose chase treasure hunt. What are the chances she can find the Templar’s Cross her ancestor supposedly stole 400 years ago? If she does not comply however, her little niece will be killed. As her only friend has been put in the hospital just to show her “they” mean business, she believes it. The worst part is, she has only one month to accomplish the hunt, and then she will die. And her loved ones with her.
Shane Burke is another victim of the blackmailer, and although he is promised a lot of money, turning it down is not an option. And so Shane, Gillian, and Shane’s friends embark on a treasure hunt, trying to find clues to where the ship has sunk in the North Atlantic, and getting experience in diving in those treacherous and cold waters. The pressure gets heavier and heavier when they don’t make progress fast enough to the likes of the bad guy. Friends get hurt and kidnapped, but Shane and Gillian are closing in on finding out who is behind this all. It has to be someone very high up to know so much and so fast ...

It took me a while to warm up to both Gillian and Shane. They have both had some traumatic events in their lives, and have closed down because of it. It made me understand them a bit more when it was explained. Though this book has been published as a serial novel, it is not riddled with cliffhangers at the end of each chapter. It is fast paced, a lot of things keep happening, things you really don’t see coming.

It takes a while for Gillian and Shane to trust each other with their stories. They are both closed people, but they are very much attracted to each other and living in close conditions on Shane’s boat, means they are spending a lot of time together. Of course Shane wants to leave Gillian behind if he gets the chance, but Gillian (and her dog) are smarter than that and hide away aboard. The dog doesn’t really like Shane and those scenes are fun. It is not a little dog either ...

I do like that Gillian is not a shrinking violet, she can certainly hold her own. She is a professional alligator wrestler, hunting dangerous animals, catching them, and either killing them or releasing them in the wild, far away from human villages. She is also a diver, and she is determined to help Shane with the work. She just is not accustomed to diving in the dark cold water of the North Atlantic. As a former marine diver, Shane has experience enough. He just has to deal with the ghosts of his past first.

There is of course a lot of action in this book, but there is also time for humor and some nice love scenes between Gillian and Shane. The ending was certainly surprising, I did enjoy that a lot. I look forward to book 2 in the series.

Suzanne Johnson/Susannah Sandlin is one of the very few authors whose books I buy in trade paperback, as I really do like her writing style. So far I have enjoyed three different series and some short stories by her. And of course she is a very nice and generous person who is fun to follow on Social Media and her own website / blog.

8 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 17 oktober 2014

Jocelynn Drake – Angel’s Ink

The first book in the Asylum Tales series, published October 16, 2012.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: nice, fitting the story

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Buyer beware...

Looking for a tattoo - and maybe a little something extra: a burst of good luck, a dollop of true love, or even a hex on an ex? Head to the quiet and mysterious Gage, the best skin artist in town. Using his unique potions - a blend of extraordinary ingredients and special inks - to etch the right symbol, he can fulfill any heart's desire. But in a place like Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires happily walk among humanity, everything has its price. No one knows that better than Gage. Turning his back on his own kind, he left the magical Ivory Tower where cruel witches and warlocks rule, a decision that cost him the right to practice magic. And if he disobeys, his punishment - execution - will be swift. Though he's tried to fly under the radar, Gage can't hide from powerful warlocks who want him dead-or the secrets of his own past. But with the help of his friends, Trixie, a gorgeous elf who hides her true identity, and a hulking troll named Bronx, Gage just might make it through this enchanted world alive.

I really enjoyed this book. It is a bit strange to read from a male point of view, especially during the love scene. Gage has a lot of bad luck in this book, everything he does leads to disaster, and when he tries to solve one problem, it leads to the next. Still, he keeps trying to put things to rights, and stay alive and protect his few friends. He has been in love with his assistant Trixie for a few years now, but he knows he has to keep his distance. Knowing he is a wizard will only endanger her from the Ivory Towers. His guardian Gideon will see to that. Or is Gideon having his own agenda here, and not so eager to have Gage brought before the Council to be executed for using magic other than self defense?

I love worlds inhabited by multiple species and lots of intrigue and bad guys, and the Asylum series sure has all that. It is original and fast paced and just fun to read. Using magic and magical items in tattoos to make them work is a nice concept. And it can go so very wrong ...

I like Gage, Trixie (who is Fae) and Bronx (who is a Troll) and I sure look forward to reading many more stories about them. There are a few books out now and several short stories and I will make sure to find them all.

8 stars.

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 15 oktober 2014

Recommendations from Peggy for October 2014.

In order to bring some more variety to my blog, I have asked some of my bookish friends to tell about the books they have in the past month, and to give us a recommendation. Today’s post is made by Peggy from Belgium.


I have read 10 novels in the past month, and the 3 books I enjoyed the most are:

1. The mighty storm – Samantha Towle

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2. Bad things – R.K. Lilley

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3. Ivan – Roxie Rivera

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The one I can recommend to all Aurian’s readers is:

Samantha Towle – The mighty storm

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It's been twelve years since Tru Bennett last saw Jake Wethers, her former best friend and boy she once loved.
Jake Wethers, sexy, tattooed and deliciously bad lead singer, and brains behind The Mighty Storm, one of biggest bands in the world, left Tru with a broken heart when he moved from England to America with his family when they were both fourteen.
Sent to interview Jake for her music column by the magazine she works for, they are both unprepared for the sparks that fly the instant they reconnect. Only, there's a complication to their instant feelings for one another - Will, Tru's boyfriend of two years.
Then Jake makes Tru a job offer she can't refuse - travelling the world with him and his band. But taking the job means leaving Will behind, and being on the road with the band means spending an inordinate amount of time with Jake.
Is Tru strong enough to resist the delectable bad boy who once held her heart so completely, or will she willingly risk it all for one night with the worlds most notorious womanizer?

If I have to describe the books that I have read since my last review in one sentence I would say….‘hot, tattooed bad boy/man with a sexy body that A - can sing or B - has a very sexy Russian accent’. The only problem after reading that many books about bad, sexy men is…. what do you read after that?! So I just pick another book about a hot, tattooed bad man… I just can’t seem to get enough of them.

From the first moment I read about this book, I was intrigued by the story (and I love the cover). I really wanted to read this book and I wasn’t disappointed. The only regret I have is that I left it so long on my to read pile. That I waited so long to read it!! But so many books to read and so little time.

This book is about Tru Bennett and Jake Wethers. They met when little Tru and her parents moved next door from little Jake and his parents. They became best friends and one of their passions they shared was music. They loved music, love talking about it, listening to it and even playing it. Jake played the guitar and Try the piano. But then when Jake is fourteen years old, his stepfather gets a great job offer, the only problem with this offer is, is that the job is in America. That means that Jake and his family are moving from England to America and that’s when the heartache begins. Tru and Jake lose contact with each other. Twelve years pass and Tru now lives in London, she works for a magazine as a music journalist. She lives together with her best friend Simone and has a wonderful relationship with her boyfriend Will. But then for her job she has to interview Jake. Jake, who is now the lead singer of The Mighty Storm, one of the biggest bands in the world.

After meeting her again after so many years, Jake knows that he can’t let her go a second time so he finds a way to spend time together. He does it by giving her a chance to write his biography. Something that could give her career a big boost. But that means that she has to go on tour with Jake and his band, leaving her boyfriend behind. But what are a few weeks in a lifetime, right?! The more time Tru and Jake spent together, the more they remember what they once had. But Tru has a boyfriend back home, who loves her very much. It’s a very hard time for Tru. Who does she choose? Will or Jake? One thing is for sure, if she chooses for Jake, she chooses a life that will be very hard, because how do you live a life where everything you do is public knowledge and where all the women in the world want to sleep with your ‘boyfriend’. Yet, can she say goodbye for a second time?

After finishing this book I couldn’t wait to read the next book in this series, the second book in this series continues with the story of Tru and …... and I even felt more in love with this series. I couldn’t stop reading. I loved it even more that the first one. The second book was even more emotional than the first book.

Aurian: Thanks for the recommendation Peggy! This book sure has a lickable cover. Does it have a love triangle, sort of thing, or makes Tru a decision before she sleeps with bad boy number 2?

Is there anyone intrigued enough by this recommendation to want to read the book/series?

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 12 oktober 2014

Allison Kingsley – Mind over murder

The first book in the Raven's Nest Bookstore series, published April 20, 2012
Genre: cozy mystery with just a touch of psychic power
Cover: nice

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Cousins and best friends, Clara and Stephanie Quinn run The Raven's Nest Bookstore, where people go to find their most coveted reads. But they have no idea it's the psychically-gifted Clara who's reading them...
The bookstore has made an enemy of the town crier, Ana Jordon, who claims that the store's occult collection is "poisoning" the town's youth. Meanwhile, the store's number-one employee, Molly, has made no secret of her anger over Ana's antics. So when Ana is found dead, killed by the bust of Edgar Allen Poe sculpted by Molly, the evidence is stacked against her. And Clara must rely on her gift to make sense of this senseless murder...

I have bought this series after reading a review on a blog I like. Diana and I share a very similar taste in cozies. Unfortunately, I was not blown away by this first book in the series. Clara Quinn and Stephanie Quinn grew up not only as cousins, but as best friends. In their family runs a certain psychic “power”, the Quinn sense. As young children, Stephanie dreamed of having it, but Clara was reluctant. She went along with her harebrained cousin’s schemes, and of course she is the cousin that got the Quinn Sense. And she doesn’t want it. It is unreliable and never around when she really needs it. Clara describes it as voices in her head, whispering to her. Really, I would not want that either. Stephanie really does not understand her cousins reluctance, she would have loved having it. She keeps pushing Clara to use it, to try to figure out who killed their neighbour in her bookstore’s storeroom. She just knows her assistant Molly did not kill Ana.

There are a lot of unlikable and even creepy secondary characters in this book, and every one of them could be the killer. Stephanie keeps pushing Clara to investigate and interrogate these persons, never once giving her some real help or solid ideas on how to do it. She thinks the Quinn Sense will work flawlessly and find the killer without any danger to themselves.

I did not like Stephanie very much, for not being more sensitive or understanding of her cousin’s reluctance. Stephanie is happily married with children, she owns and runs her own bookstore, but secretly she wishes for more adventure and now she thinks that she can have that by using Clara. She also keeps pushing Clara to go out on a date with one of the possible suspects, while Clara has been badly burned by a man back in New York city, and is not looking for a relationship, or ready for dating just yet. So, pushy Stephanie and Clara who gives in as she loves her cousin.

I do own the other books in this series, and will of course read them some day, but for now, this is not looking to be one of my favourite series. I like a little bit more humor in my cozies, and a heroine who wants to investigate just because she is curious/nosy/stumbles upon clues and dead bodies, and now someone who gets pushed into it reluctantly.

Of course, as a reader, I like the setting of a bookshop, and I do like paranormal cozies, but this one just did not cut it for me. Too little paranormal, and I have nothing at all with Edgar Allen Poe or horror or occult books.

6 stars.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 10 oktober 2014

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

My 16th new additions post for 2014. I’ve bought a few new books, and more shiny new ones are on their way home. I hope to post those in 10 days time. On the bright side, reading some amazing books is helping me battle my addiction to Hay Day, as reading wins out over playing.

From Bookdepository:
Erin McCarthy – Close up. From every angle
Theresa Romain – Season for Desire

Secondhand books:
Debbie Macomber – 1225 Christmas Tree Lane
Dawn Cook (= Kim Harrison) – First Truth
Liz Evans – Who killed Marilyn Monroe
Liz Evans – Don’t mess with Mrs. In-Between
Liz Evans – Barking!
Liz Evans – JFK is missing
Liz Evans – Cue the Easter bunny
Liz Evans – Sick as a parrot (is that a saying in America?)

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian