Tag Archives: Urban Fantasy

New Release: 5 Star Review for Ceili by Moriah Gemel (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #Fantasy #MM @moriahgemel

Ceili 1600px COVER (RGB) - Front

Title: Ceili
Author Name & Publisher: Moriah Gemel (Interlude Press)
Publication Date & Length: March 17, 2016 – 200 pgs

Synopsis

The Los Angeles music scene has not been kind to Devon Caelin. He struggles to fit in and has a streak of bad luck the length of the Sunset Strip. One rare rainy night, he drowns his sorrows from bar-to-bar, until he stumbles into an alley club called Céilí. He discovers that it’s home to a small community of mystical people making their way in the human world, and that he found it only because he is Fae himself. With mentoring from the pub’s proprietor, Eldan—a powerful Fae Lord protecting his kind in the city—Devon unearths his past and discovers his magical abilities. His life appears to be back on track—until a member of the Faerie Court is murdered and the secret of their world is threatened to be revealed.

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Review

FiveStars

Devon Caelin is trying to make it in LA as a musician, but his life has never been right. Something’s been off. When he wanders into a Celtic bar one night, he finds out why. He’s a fae. He’s drawn into a world of magic and friendship.
Everyone’s lonely fantasy, right? This is book is so good. I know I’m going to fail at describing it’s greatness, which lies in its characters–fully formed, deep, and good-hearted–and its writing–whimsical and indulgent, in its seedy, sad LA and its too-bright Summerland.
But it is so good.
It’s just the right length. I devoured it in two nights, staying up way past my bedtime. It’s sexy, but not sexual. It’s a fantasy book, not a zipper ripper, so readers should know what they’re in for. Faeries everywhere!
I want to watch a movie of this. And I want Moriah Gemel to write more books.
Five stars
~ C. E. Case

Excerpt

“This is where we’ll do the spell,” Eldan says. “I can open the channel easily enough, but I’d like you to assist in keeping it open. Stand behind me when I tell you to, and put your hands on my shoulders. If we’re compatible, I’ll be able to take some of your energy to bolster mine, just enough to maintain a stronger connection than I would on my own, all right? You might get a little dizzy, but I promise you’ll be okay.”

“I’m not afraid, Eldan.” Devon is excited to see this magic performed, to see the Queens. What will they be like, these women that Eldan is wary to speak of?

“No. You aren’t, are you?” Eldan smiles. “Well. Best get on with it then. Stand nearby, please?”

Devon settles himself just behind Eldan, and Eldan nods. Then, he pulls a little vial from his pocket and shakes it.

“Here we go.”

He uncorks the bottle, and Devon smells something almost metallic. Eldan walks to the first corner of the table, to the right, and pours a drop of whatever’s inside the vial over the little pile of dirt.

“Cré.” His hand hovers over the bowl, and the dirt spreads and forms a flat plane under his palm.

Eldan smiles and walks on.

He walks to the back right of the table and pours a drop into the empty bowl. “Aer,” he says and his hand hovers. The bowl trembles, and the dust motes in the air within it coalesce and spin. He walks on.

The third bowl holds sticks, and Eldan pours the liquid on them before hovering his hand, causing them to burst into flames. “Tine.” Devon can’t help but push his breath out and shake his head. This is cool. All this magic, it’s really real. He thought it was a story for children, but magic is real, and he’s a part of it. He never thought much about fairytales but now he wishes he had, because it would make this moment so much better.

Finally, Eldan pours into the fourth bowl, filled with water, and his hand hovering creates little waves that splash on the sides of the bowl gently, as though upset. “Uisce,” he says and then he walks on.

He circles the table counter-clockwise three times and, when he reaches the head of the table once more, he nods to Devon. “Now.”

Devon steps up as Eldan turns away and puts his hands on Eldan’s slim, strong shoulders.

Immediately, his palms tingle, as Eldan waves a hand. The mirror in the center of the table stands up, reflecting them. Eldan presses a palm to the center of it.

“Oscailt agus a léiriú,” Eldan says. Devon wishes he knew what the hell he was saying, but it’s pretty, in any case. Celtic? Gaelic? Something. “Na Ríona I Talún Samhraidh.”

The mirror clouds, and Devon licks his lips and stands on his tiptoes to see over Eldan’s shoulder. Nothing happens, though, for long moments, in which Eldan’s breathing comes quick and loud. Devon squeezes his shoulders, and Eldan whimpers faintly. But he slows down, and Devon keeps squeezing, staring at what he can see of Eldan’s face, staring at the delicate line of his jaw, his high cheekbone, the flutter of an eyelash, the jut of his nose, which is freckled and fair.

But then the clouds part, and there they are.

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New Release: The Necromancer’s Dance (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1) by SJ Himes #MM #Dark @WriterSJHimes

The Necromancer's Dance E-Book Cover

Title: The Necromancer’s Dance (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1)
Author Name: SJ Himes
Publication Date & Length: February 25, 2016 – 212 pgs

Synopsis

In a world where magic is real and evil walks amongst humanity, a young sorcerer is beset upon by enemies, both old and new. Angelus Salvatore is the only necromancer in all of Boston, and his name is whispered warily by the undead and fellow sorcerers alike. He and his brother Isaac are the lone survivors of an attack by an army of the undead, in which Angel used a spell so powerful it forever marked his place in history. Now, years later, Angel struggles to balance his career as a teacher of the higher magical arts, his role as big brother, and a tenuous relationship with an Elder vampire from the local clan. When his brother’s boyfriend is used as a pawn in a mysterious plot to draw Angel out, Angel is once again drawn back into the old hostilities that fueled the Blood Wars and led to his family’s death.

Leaning on others for help is something Angel cannot do, and while he searches for clues into who may be targeting him and his brother, Angel finds his heart steadily growing occupied with Simeon, Elder and vampire. Dealing with death magic and vampires on a daily basis may leave Angel jaded when it comes to life and staying that way, but the more time he spends fending off the ancient vampire’s attention and affections, the more he realizes he wants to give in.

Can Angel find out who wants him dead, and keep his heart safe in the process? How can he fall for a vampire, when his whole family was torn apart by an army of the undead?

Death stalks the streets of Boston’s historic Beacon Hill….and there is no one more suited to battle against death than a necromancer.

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Excerpt

He must have passed out, too damn tired from a long day at work, interrupted sleep, and a semi-major working that consumed a huge portion of his reserves. It took power to use power, and even though Angel fueled the spell with ambient magic, he still had to control and shape the working. It was a bitch, doing magic cold like that, and he would have been better off if he hadn’t gone into it stressed out and tired. Not to mention he couldn’t remember the last time he ate anything more substantial than tea and a muffin. Isaac moving out meant Angel forgot to eat more often than not.

Angel woke wrapped up in his favorite blanket, his bed warm and welcoming. Something was tickling his face, and he worked a hand free from under the blanket to swipe at his cheek. Feeling cool skin and soft lips, Angel opened his eyes.

He was in Simeon’s arms, laying half on his clothed chest, their faces so close together the vampire’s deep green eyes were all he could see.

Angel’s hand was caught up in Simeon’s, their fingers intertwining. Angel’s eyes drifted shut as Simeon closed the tiny distance between them, his soft and cool lips ghosting over Angel’s. He pulled in a deep breath of Simeon-flavored air, the vampire’s scent filling his mouth and nose.

The scent of fresh blood was in there too—Simeon must have fed before taking Angel home, the potent tang of hot metal impossible to miss. The sensation of Simeon’s lips barely touching Angel’s did unrepeatable things to his nervous system, setting him on fire with a cool flame.

His body jerked, just a little, freezing and alternately relaxing as Simeon’s lips settled over his in a full kiss, with a hint of tongue and the nip of sharp teeth.

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5 Star Review for Ink and Shadows (Ink and Shadows #1) by Rhys Ford #MM #Paranormal

Cover

Title: Ink and Shadows (Ink and Shadows #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Rhys Ford (DSP Publications)
Publication Date & Length: July 7, 2015 – 304 pgs

Synopsis

Kismet Andreas lives in fear of the shadows.

For the young tattoo artist, the shadows hold more than darkness. He is certain of his insanity because the dark holds creatures and crawling things only he can see—monsters who hunt out the weak to eat their minds and souls, leaving behind only empty husks and despair.

And if there’s one thing Kismet fears more than being hunted—it’s the madness left in its wake.

The shadowy Veil is Mal’s home. As Pestilence, he is the youngest—and most inexperienced—of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, immortal manifestations resurrected to serve—and cull—mankind. Invisible to all but the dead and insane, the Four exist between the Veil and the mortal world, bound to their nearly eternal fate. Feared by other immortals, the Horsemen live in near solitude but Mal longs to know more than Death, War and Famine.

Mal longs to be… more human. To interact with someone other than lunatics or the deceased.

When Kismet rescues Mal from a shadowy attack, Pestilence is suddenly thrust into a vicious war—where mankind is the prize, and the only one who has faith in Mal is the human the other Horsemen believe is destined to die.

Published by DSP Publications: Reaching into a wide range of reader-favorite genres, including fantasy, historical, horror, mystery, paranormal, science fiction, and spiritual fiction.

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Review

FiveStars

Wow. It has taken at least an hour to pull myself out of Ms Ford’s new fantasy world and back to reality. This is a wild ride and I loved every moment of it.

What if the four horsemen of the Apocalypse were real? What if they lived together in a penthouse in San Diego? What if they existed with every other creature of faith and fantasy in the veiled shadows between the human world and the eternal? Just when I imagined that every Urban Fantasy possibility had been written to death, Rhys Ford offers us something new and wonderful.

First, this is not a romance story. This is an action-adventure Urban Fantasy story. This is world building on par with Patricia Briggs or Kelley Armstrong and snarky characters worthy of JR Ward without any of Ward’s self-loathing angst. This is really, really well written. Ford borrows characters from classic fantasy, Grimm’s fairy tales and the Bible, neatly sidestepping the ubiquitous vampires and shifters common to most Urban Fantasy. The result is a gripping, gritty new adventure series.

Sarah

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New Release: 3 Star Review for Rise of the Alpha Squirrel (Nutty Romances #2) by Kate Lowell #MM #UrbanFantasy @Kate_Lowell

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Title: Rise of the Alpha Squirrel (Nutty Romance #2)
Author Name: Kate Lowell
Publication Date & Length: February 25, 2016 – 24,000 Words

Synopsis

Nathan’s met Vince’s family, but Vince hasn’t met Nathan’s, and Nathan would like to keep it that way. Holy smoked almonds, what else do you do when you know how completely nuts your relatives are?

Why, you ease your man into it, by introducing him to normal shifters. Assuming you can find any.

But with a gossipy werehummingbird spreading the news, and a pair of young red pandas wreaking havoc with their fainting goat friends, Nathan’s about ready to climb into a pine cone and pull it in after him.

Then the local playboy weremoose hears about Vince, and Nathan has to find his inner alpha or the consequences will be worse than moldy hazelnuts.

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Review

ThreeStar

Nathan the squirrel shifter is back along with the love of his life; Vince. Not much time has passed since the first book, but these two are still adorably in love and freakin’ cute. The small plot deals with Vince wanting to meet Nathan’s family, but Nathan is reluctant. Of course they make things work out in the end, but Vince meets other shifters along the way.

Cute shifters, cute read, a good book for a relaxing day when you don’t wanna read much drama and just wanna be amused.

Cookie

Excerpt

“Breakfast,” Vince said and waved a hand toward the table.

It was a squirrel’s wet dream. Or it would have been, if good-enough-to-lick-all-over-then-eat Vince hadn’t been sitting on the other side of the table. Maybe he could say it was any other squirrel’s wet dream—whatever, it was the breakfast of Roman squirrel emperors.

A pile of thick, deep brown pancakes waited for him in the center of his plate. Raspberries and shaved almonds sprawled seductively over the side of the stack, glistening with sweet, sticky maple syrup. Some of the less audacious ones hid decorously beneath the edges of a heavy daub of whipped cream, but Nathan knew they were there, waiting for him to discover them. He could see them peeking diffidently out, uncertain whether they wanted to attract his attention or not.

And the best part—the most gorgeous massage therapist in the world was sitting across the table from him, watching him with eyes that were dark in more than just the usual way. He looked at Nathan like Nathan was a maple walnut ice cream with a peanut dip. Like he wanted to lick him all over and suck bits of him deep inside his mouth…

Excerpt

fake book 1 copy

Appendix C: Other People’s Property—It Doesn’t Always Belong to Everyone

While food is the most common area of contention between weres and humans, other objects can be a cause for concern as well. Clothes are a primary source of friction with the human world, though they are far from the only things that can also cause problems for the unwary were. Take, for example, Dave’s story:

I came home one day and I was really tired, so I grabbed my roommates blanket because it’s really warm and soft and feels fantastic to curl up in. But when my roommate came home, he became upset that I had his blanket, and even more upset because I had removed my clothing. But it feels so good against my skin! He yelled at me, and then again because I was eating some of his beef jerky inside the blanket. I don’t know what his problem was—he could have eaten the frozen turkey breast in the freezer if he was hungry.

In this case, it is obvious that Dave ran afoul of several human idiosyncrasies, including a certain squeamishness with respect to reproductive organs touching items in contention.

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5 Star Review for Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary by Jordan Castillo Price (AUDIOBOOK) MM #Vampires

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Title: Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary (Channeling Morpheus/Sweet Oblivion 1-5)
Author Name: Jordan Castillo Price
Publication Date & Length: June 17, 2009 – 216 pgs

Synopsis

Michael is a waif in eyeliner who’s determined to wipe vampires off the face of the earth. Wild Bill’s got the hots for Michael, and will stop at nothing to go home with him. Forget about moonlit castles and windswept moors. These bad boys haunt all-night diners and cheap motels, cut-rate department stores and long, lonely stretches of the Interstate. Ride along with Wild Bill and Michael as the twists and turns of Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary unfold in America’s Heartland.

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Review

FiveStars

**Audiobook**
Another EXCELLENT book by Jordan Castillo Price. While I have loved her Psycop series I was curious to pick up a book of hers that wasn’t from that series…. and I wasn’t surprised to find that her excellent writing skills flowed into this story as well.
This is sort of a dark and twisted story, but at the same time there is some love and other things going on. If you like dark and dirty vamp stories, you will love this story!!
Ah… and then there was Gomez Pugh. He did an excellent job.. as usual. I actually didn’t even realize it was him until near the end and was thinking that I needed to look up the narrator! So I have to say well done on not sounding exactly the same as the Psycop stories or the other stories I have heard from you.
All in all, I can’t wait to see where the second part of this series goes.
Renee

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New Release: 4 Stars for Anchored in Stone (Chronicles of an Earned #1) by Meraki P. Lyhne (AUTHOR INTERVIEW) #MM #Paranormal @MerakiPLyhne

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Title: Anchored in Stone (Chronicles of an Earned #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Meraki P. Lyhne (EXtasy Books)
Publication Date & Length: November 1, 2015 – 372 pgs

Synopsis

The easiest heist in Alex Rhoden’s career is also the most dangerous of all.

As a child, Alex Rhoden’s talent as a thief was recognized by a rich art collector. He has since then been schooled and trained to become one of the best art thieves in the world. While on the easiest heist of his career he finds himself running with the artefact in his possession, followed by an unknown adversary. But they are not the only ones interested in the artefact—so is an ancient race of demigods called Earned. Cornered and out of options, Alex has to make a difficult decision that will turn his life upside down no matter what he chooses.

The young demigod, Kaleb, is reborn into servitude, but he is a freak amongst his own kind—the forbidden unity between an Earned and a witch. Other than finding himself, learning to control his powers, and balance high school as a senior, Kaleb must earn the trust of his pack and family. But Alex is in danger and the young demigod struggles to keep up.

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Review

FourStars

I loved this book. Even though it was a fantasy book about demigods it was not so far-fetched as to be almost science fiction. It was very believable and understandable after the 25% mark.

The first 25% of the book I was easily able to understand the story about Alex. The story of the Earned, though, I had trouble understanding until after reading 25% of the book. The first 25% was very confusing.

After the 25% mark the story got so much better. Really fantastical better. I was really able to get into it and it really grabbed me. The individual stories of Kaleb and Alex we’re both awesome. The ending of each chapter was perfect and there were no cliffhangers.

The only other minor problem that I saw in this book was some of the sentences are not worded correctly. For instance, 68% into the book the sentence says:

“Okay, but watch your language, Dad’s gonna pin that in some blonde bombshell who likes Phil had lowered his voice and was in mouth of yours on me!”

Overall, I really liked the book and the story, the plot, the characters, everything. It was easy to overlook the minor problems and enjoy the book. If you like fantasy books that are not too far out there and believable then you will like this book. I do highly recommend it.

~Ariel

Excerpt

Alex made his way down the corridors, watching out for the guard. This one he found leafing through a magazine with his feet up and his back turned to the staircase. Alex stopped, breathed in deeply, and let it out slowly, reminding himself that a fat guard’s dumb luck was what caught his cat burglar mentor. No matter how carefully one builds a card house, a gust of wind can bring it all down.

So Alex took his time and focused all his expertise on getting past this guard as if he were from the agency itself. Finally in the basement, he made his way to the crate, pushed it open, and sought out the stone first. He found it and put it in a bag, which he in turn put in his thigh pocket, before stuffing another bag with whatever his pricey education had told him was worth the most on the black market.

Happy with his find, he turned, but something seemed to have a hold on the pocket with the stone in. He turned and found himself face to face with a big, mean-looking ghost. He gasped and clasped his left hand over his mouth to catch the scream he couldn’t stop, and clutched the stone with his right.

And then he ran. He didn’t even care if the guard saw him. He made it past the guard, who was nowhere in sight, and exited through the service entrance.

Alex didn’t stop until his body threatened to vomit out his heart. He stopped and by sheer exhaustion, his body chose to empty his stomach anyway. He took the stone out and stared at it. It felt almost as if fine electricity danced between it and where it touched his skin.

“What the hell did you have me steal, Mr. Henry?”

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5 Stars for Bound, Vol. 1 (Little Goddess #3 Vol. 1) by Amy Lane #M/M/F #Paranormal @amylane

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Title: Bound, Vol.1 (Little Goddess #3)
Author Name & Publisher: Amy Lane (DSP Publications)
Publication Date & Length: November 10th 2015- 300 pages

Synopsis

Humans have the option of separation, divorce, and heartbreak. For Corinne Carol-Anne Kirkpatrick, sorceress and queen of the vampires, the choices are limited to love or death. Now that she is back at Green’s Hill and assuming her duties as leader, her life is, at best, complicated. Bracken and Nicky are competing for her affections, Green is away taking care of his people, and a new supernatural enemy is threatening the sanctity of all she has come to love. Throw in a family reunion gone bad, a supernatural psychiatrist, and a killer physics class, and Cory’s life isn’t just complex, it’s psychotic.

Cory needs to get her act and her identity together, and soon, because the enemy she and her lovers are facing is a nightmare that doesn’t just kill people, it unmakes them. If she doesn’t figure out who she is and what her place is on Green’s Hill, it’s not just her life on the line. She knows from hard experience that the only thing worse than facing death is facing the death of someone she loves.

Loving people is easy-living with them is what takes the real work, and it’s even harder if you’re bound.

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Review

FiveStars

Oooh.. the Hollow Man.. We really get to see in this story that Cory
is learning her place in Green’s world and learning how to use her
powers to protect her people and herself.

There is many things that go on in this story, just like the other
volumes, but this one is aimed mostly about the presence of the hollow
man who is causing issues and appears to be sucking the life out of
the fey.

Green is away so Cory get’s to know Bracken and Nicky a little better
and once Nicky leaves she gets to have some private time truly alone
with Bracken (and the others in the hill) but without any other of her
lovers around.  Then we get the sweet and wonderful reunion when Green
finally gets home and has his love in his arms.

I can’t wait to find out where Nicky is going to end up really fitting
in since he seems to sort of float lost between everyone else so far.

While the last two books brought Bracken into the mix, I really loved
him in this book and can’t wait to find out how he helps defeat the
new enemy…. and how Grace handles the surprise in her life… as
well as what is going on with Renny and her beau.. So much I need to
know!!!

Renee

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5 Stars for Good Bones (Bones #1) by Kim Fielding (AUDIOBOOK) #MM #Paranormal @KFieldingWrites @Dreamspinners

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Title: Good Bones (Bones #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Kim Fielding (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: April 20, 2012 – 200 pgs

Synopsis

Skinny, quiet hipster Dylan Warner was the kind of guy other men barely glanced at until an evening’s indiscretion with a handsome stranger turned him into a werewolf. Now, despite a slightly hairy handicap, he just wants to live an ordinary—if lonely—life as an architect. He tries to keep his wild impulses in check, but after one too many close calls, Dylan gives up his urban life and moves to the country, where he will be less likely to harm someone else. His new home is a dilapidated but promising house that comes with a former Christmas tree farm and a solitary neighbor: sexy, rustic Chris Nock.

Dylan hires Chris to help him renovate the farmhouse and quickly discovers his assumptions about his neighbor are inaccurate—and that he’d very much like Chris to become a permanent fixture in his life as well as his home. Between proving himself to his boss, coping with the seductive lure of his dangerous ex-lover, and his limited romantic experience, Dylan finds it hard enough to express himself—how can he bring up his monthly urge to howl at the moon?

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Review

FiveStars

**AUDIOBOOK REVIEW**

This was a fun story with a bit of paranormal thrown in with it. I really liked the way we got to see the relationship being built as the two men worked on the house renovations and how they supported each other in various ways as they grew closer and closer.
Then the full moon rolls around and we are exposed to why Dylan wanted to get away from city life in the first place… and why he loves living in the woods as well….. until his nasty ex enters the picture and all Dylan’s secrets are exposed.
I liked the suspense in wondering how/when the secret would come out and wondering how it would be handled.
A very well written book.
Nick Russo did an great job narrating the book as well. I’ve listened to numerous projects of his now and he has a great voice for narrating and bringing the story to life with a good tempo and reading speed.
Renee

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5, 4 and 4.5 stars for Beauty and Cruelty by Meredith Katz #FF #Fantasy @LT3Press

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Title: Beauty and Cruelty
Author Name & Publisher: Meredith Katz (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 23, 2015 (174 pages)

Synopsis

Cruelty, once an evil fairy and now working in fast food, comes home one day to find the lazy, drooling King of Cats on her doorstep. Worse, he comes bearing news Cruelty would be happier not hearing: Sleeping Beauty has gotten tired of lying around and is trying to save the world Cruelty left long ago.

Any respectable Archetype knows it’s a waste of time; their chances of survival are much better if they can hide in the human world. But since nobody sent her an invitation to the world-saving, she’s practically obligated to interfere.

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Review

FiveStars

After reading this book the question I asked myself was, is this A very good true fairy tale being told, or, A good very true tale, being fairly told?
If you are looking for a happy magical light tale based on fairy tales this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a well written book that turns fairy tales on their heads and associates and aligns them  and then incorporates them into real life situations then this is a book you should read.
I found this quite a heavy book in many ways, it  touched on so many aspects, race, sexuality, politics, relationships, what is amiss in society to name but a few. It is the sort of book that allows you to make your own connections,  reach your own options, allows you so many insights into life while permitting you to reach your own judgements. I have no doubt that readers will each reach their own opinion  and conclusions.
There are some humorous interludes, many by the Cat and Rue herself. The author weaves a really intricate tale, I particularly liked the play on words with Cruelty’s name which was just one example.
I do recommend this book and think it’s one of those books that the more times you read it the more things you will identify. A very unique and original book.
Chris

FourStars

This was a rather interesting intermingling of several old fairy tales that kept me chuckling through to the very end. While I feel like there could have been more in the way of content and conflict (as in there was plenty of missed opportunity to cause mischief) it was pretty good overall. I can’t see it being one I’d read again simply because the underlying suspense wouldn’t be present in a second reading but I would definitely recommend it for someone looking for a fun, decent read. With visits from characters throughout the fairytale world it has a little something for everyone!

~Rhayne

FourandHalfStars

I’m not sure if this concept has been done before or not, but I found it refreshing and innovative, and it immediately grabbed my attention and dragged me into the book. The idea of these fairy tale Archetypes dying from disbelief, and deciding to do something about it just hit me the right way at the right time. Our main character, Cruelty, or Rue as she’s known in the human world, is a villain, only she’s not doing many villainous things these days. Whether that’s because she’s trying to survive or because the human world has changed her is a matter for debate, but I think it’s a little of both. And she isn’t the only one who’s changing. The heroine of her story, Sleeping Beauty, is changing as well, and it is changing their world.

The basic conflict is that since humans don’t believe in fairy tales anymore, the Archetypes of fairy tales are finding their world disappearing. The solution? Get humans to believe again. The way that they go about this goal changes them, their world, and the relationship between them. The best part of this is that Cruelty is a reluctant participant, in every way. The changes are making her seem less a villain and more of a kinder, gentler fairy. And she doesn’t like it one bit. But Change is rolling over her, and she has the choice of going with it, or getting flattened by it.

The story ends with hope, but it isn’t exactly a happy ever after, for Beauty and Cruelty, or their world. Which is exactly what Cruelty’s personality can accommodate, and a clever decision by Katz. I definitely recommend this book.

~AmyP

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Filed under 4 Star, 4.5 Stars, 5 Star, Amy P, Chris, F/F, Review, Rhayne, Uncategorized

5, 4, and 3 Star Reviews for Cardinal Sins (Hidden Gem #2) by Lissa Kasey #MM #ScienceFiction @parisbyvamp

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Title: Cardinal Sins (Hidden Gem #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Lissa Kasey (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: November 13, 2015 – 105,000 Words

Synopsis

Paris Hansworth, star whore turned senator and the most powerful man in City M, has been hiding his terminal illness for years. Searching for a way to reverse the toxic environment that’s killing him, Paris stumbles upon a lost research facility, and a merman named Rain.

Years alone has made Rain long for companionship, and the beautiful man on the other side of the glass intrigues him. But Rain speaks the wrong language, and is decades out of touch. He isn’t quite sure what to think of the new environment he’s been thrust into.

As a virus spreads through the city targeting City M’s most private residents—A-Ms—Paris realizes he’s out of time. He’s willing to sacrifice everything, even his own life, to stop it. But Rain might just be the missing DNA link to explain the mutations created in the last plague, maybe even the cure.

Watching Paris race to save his friends, Rain knows he’s found someone special and will do anything to stay by his side. But the past Paris thought he’d escaped is seeking revenge, and he’s forced to adapt yet again, possibly even becoming a monster. He only hopes Rain will still want him.

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Review

FiveStars

So I will start off this review by saying this world in this book the author created was amazing while at the same time so sad after what all the survivors have gone through! Now let me say you can read this as a stand alone because this book does feature a different couple then the first book in the series. But I would really suggest reading the first book in the series before this one because honestly I was a little lost and I regretted not reading Hidden Gem before this.
Paris is a senator and the most powerful man in the City M. Who also has been hiding the fact he is dying. He goes on a search for a missing AM when he finds Rain a Merman who has been stuck at a abandoned Lab for a long time.
He feels a instant connection to Rain and vice versa. The only real part I was not a fan of in this book honestly was I felt like they really did not get a lot of time together in this book. So everything happened so fast between them and I felt a little disappointed I did not get to read more about them.
You do get shifting POV’s between Paris, Rain, Candy and Shane along with Aki which is one of the reasons you really should read Hidden Gem first. You also get some angst, along with some steam which happens mostly off page. There was also something that happened with Paris that really surprised me.
So I will leave this review with I loved this world and characters this author created!
All together I really loved this book!
I would 100% recommend this book!

Kara

FourStars

I really enjoyed book 1 of this series and was hopeful for book 2.  It didn’t disappoint.  It was along the same lines as the first, with the A-M (Animal mutant) changes, Psi mutations and even a little mixture of them both.

This story focuses more on Paris and his debilitating disease ridden body – he is desperately trying to set things right so that when he dies, which seems to be the conclusion that he’s coming upon, that all that he cares for will be taken care of.  He knows that while his time is limited, he must figure out how to ensure that Candy and the other whores are looked after.

What he doesn’t know is that there is a snake among them.  Someone sent there to betray their trust and wipe them out forever.

Then, we are introduced to a new character, Rain.  He is gentle, curious and beautiful.  I love how he attaches to Paris – knowing that Paris needs someone to help him.  I also really like that he learns to communicate with Paris.

Overall, this was a good story.  I do wish that there was more in the section of romance and less on the outbreak and Paris’ issues.  However, I did enjoy it.

I really, really hope Jack gets his own story.

AvidReader

ThreeStar

Oh man, this book confused me. I should have read book 1, but I was lead to believe that this could be a stand alone book with some of Book 1’s characters mentioned…not the case. I feel like this had way too much characters than the main characters in the description in it. It through me off.
I’m probably not giving a fair rating cause I didn’t read book 1, but i think it should be mentioned in the description if the couple from book 1 would take almost as much scene time as the “main” characters on book 2, so reading book 1 first is recommended. Sadly, now I don’t even wanna read book 1.
I was interested in the story enough to give it a 3 though. There was a lot of emotions, plots (probably too many) and the characters had an anime-vibe to them. Rain is cute and Paris is sort-of good enough for him.  I wish I was able to bond this this couple, but I feel like there were way too many characters in one book to compete with.
Cookie

Excerpt

When the light aura faded from his sight he began to move the mobile unit again trying to find the small blip he’d seen before. Again just on the edges of the screen, so Paris turned the unit, following the movement. The snow was heavier this way, but when he looked back he could still see the copter in the distance and the people spread across the ice with different equipment.

The tires on the mobile unit spun as it hit something and was apparently stuck. Paris frowned and went to dig it from a fairly deep snow bank. It was wedged far enough that he had to chisel a bit of ice away to unhook the front from an unusual ice shelf. It probably wasn’t more than a few inches higher than the rest of the ice, but it had a lip. Paris hoped the mobile unit wasn’t damaged. He set it down and brushed the snow away from part of the shelf. The edges were shaped like water had spilled over the top and frozen—a sort of tiny waterfall. The snow was loose and light, so Paris shoved it aside, glad Candy had made him take two pairs of mittens instead of his normal driving gloves. The cold froze him to the core regardless. At least his hands weren’t numb yet.

The shelf was probably four feet long by six feet wide. Paris leaned over the cleared edge and brushed away the last bit of the snow. Maybe the facility was here and that’s why the water seemed to come up. Oddly the ice over the shelf was dark instead of white. Did that mean it wasn’t solid? He wasn’t dumb enough to try to step on it.

Paris picked up the mobile unit and set it on the shelf, moving it around for a scan. The ice was very thin. Less than a foot deep. How odd. Still there was nothing moving. Paris had hoped to find some sort of exotic fish or something so he could tease Aki relentlessly about his mermaid dream.

Something appeared on the screen just as Paris was reaching to put the mobile unit away.

What was that? He stared at the screen as the blip came closer and got larger. He peered over the edge into the dark murky depth, not expecting to see anything at all. Most people would have been blind out here anyway. Paris’ night sight was better than most. He could almost make out a shape in the darkness. Was there something down there? The scanner was thermal so did that mean whatever was down there was cold blooded—perhaps had even adapted to the cold of long brutal winters and icy water?

He set the scanner aside and crouched low beside the shelf, then brushed away a bit more snow. There it was again. Something was moving down there. Something large. It could have been a fish, maybe, but a very big fish. There was definitely a fin. Whatever the movement was it was further to the side than Paris was. He got up and brushed the snow away, walking carefully around the edge just in case the ice wasn’t as solid.

The scanner began beeping—a signal that something large was close. Paris stared through the thin sheet of ice watching for movement. Was that something right there? He leaned forward, hand on the ice to steady himself.

Suddenly a face appeared on the other side of the glass. Not that of a fish, and not quite a person. A hand reached for him. Paris stumbled backward breath caught in his throat. What the hell was that? The ice thumped like whatever was on the other side was trying to get through.

Paris took another step back. There was only a half a second warning of crackling before he was suddenly falling through the ice, though thankfully not into water. He rolled a few times, hit a few things on his way down but landed in a pile of fluffy snow surrounded by what seemed to be a frozen water fall.

“Holy fucking hell.” Paris sucked in a few heavy gasps before floundering his way out of the snow pile. Even with his good night vision everything was pitch black. The moonlight trickling through the break in the ice above gave him the impression of ice over rock, but he couldn’t be sure. He flicked on the light attached to his suit, happy it hadn’t been broken in the fall.

The ground was solid concrete here—not ice—or at least as far as he could tell it wasn’t ice. Very faintly over the far opening enclave that led off to darkness there was a number. Five.

Apparently he’d landed in the middle of the missing facility. Part of it. The Great Lakes facility had twelve aqua ducts and tanks, all containing different species of fish. There had never been an official area for APs since APs were not known by the general public. Paris wondered if any of the records were intact. Everything seemed to be under heavy sheets of ice and water.

“Senator?” Paris’ radio crackled in his ear. “Location?”

He pushed the button hoping it would work and turned on his tracker. “Aqua duct five, I believe. Down a very deep hole. Watch out that first step is a killer.” He stared up at the broken layer of ice that had formed over what appeared to be an old stairway that was now covered in several haphazard layers of ice. Had there been a building on top of all this at one time? That made sense didn’t it? It would have been washed away in the flood.

A moment later several lights peered down the hole. “Do you need a medic?” One of them asked. The others were talking about rope and equipment, not sure if they had anything long enough to get them in and out or even pull him up. If Paris hadn’t slid his way down and landed in a pile of snow he’d likely be dead. The drop was over fifty feet.

“Nothing broken,” Paris shouted back. Bruised, sore, but mobile. The giant wall of ice in front of him was actually glass with a layer of ice over the top making it somewhat murky. “Did you really see a face, Hansworth?” He asked himself. “Soon you’ll be babbling about mermaids like Aki. It was probably just your reflection. Couldn’t have seen much through ice that thick anyway.” He adjusted the cuffs of his jacket and glared at the dark space beyond. The light reflected back his own weary face. His mask had fallen off in the fall, but toxic air couldn’t do much damage to him anyway. He was already dying. No need to dwell he reminded himself. He wasn’t one to focus on the misfortune of the past. He was wealthy and powerful. No one should pity him. Not even himself.

Something was glowing on the other side of the glass. Paris clicked off his light. The men above called to him that they were coming down. He ignored them. The brightness intensified.

First in green, then blue, and finally purple. Not one or two things but hundreds lighting up to illuminate the darkness beyond the glass. Fish. Nothing Paris recognized from any file or book, but hundreds of glowing fish swirled and moved beyond the glass. A few even came close enough to brush by his outstretched hand like they knew what he was.

“Fish don’t look like people,” he told himself. These fish were beautiful. Something that might be found in the deepest ocean. Some looked deadly with large teeth and long antennae.

Most were longer than Paris’ arm, a few as small as his hand. They moved in schools circling close before moving away.

Paris found an almost boy-like joy in watching them. He’d never experienced an aquarium before. There were two left in all the united cities, one on the west coast and one on the east coast. He’d never had time to go to either. Of course he grew up with videos that showed him of such things. Virtual environments could almost simulate going to one of these places. Or at least that’s what he’d thought until now.

The fish moved aside, seeming startled but unafraid by something else moving close.

Paris watched with fascination as something swam toward him he was sure wasn’t possible. Hot damn, he owed Aki an apology. It stopped before the glass, reaching out to lay webbed fingers over where Paris rested his mitten-covered hand. A mermaid? Merman? Paris couldn’t tell as it was a swirl of fins and hair, but it did look sort of human on the top and all fish on the bottom.

Multicolored scales decorated its torso in batches and even covered a good deal of its face. How odd.

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Filed under 3 Star, 4 Star, 5 Star, AvidReader, Cookie, Kara, M/M, New Release, Review