Blood Guard by Megan Erickson

Blurb:
34444705Enter a world of immortal danger and desire—and discover an incredible fate borne of blood.

Tendra: One minute, I’m a bartender in gritty Mission City; the next, I’m whisked away by a vampire named Athan who tells me that I’m the lifeblood of his clan. It sounds unbelievable, but he’s got evidence I can’t deny. Turns out, Athan belongs to an underground society of vampires who feed only on humans with their consent. Their enemies have no such qualms, and they want me dead. The only thing standing in their way is strong, sexy Athan. And the closer we get, the more tempted I am to let Athan feed. . . .

Athan: How could I have known when I snatched this snarky, beautiful human off the streets that she would change mydestiny? As a loyal soldier, I must deliver Tendra to our future king—my brother. Empowered with the blood of ten generations of the Gregorie breed, she is fated to rule as our queen. But there’s something between us that’s so intoxicating, so carnal, I can’t help wanting Tendra for myself . . . even if it’s treason.

images     scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

My Review:
4 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

OK, this book had a LOT going for it, but honestly the thing the one word that stands out for me is SEXY.  Like holy bleeping sexy.  Athan and Tendra had loads of chemistry, and the steamy scenes were super delicious (at least in my opinion).  And dude, some parts were way more risque than I was expecting (club scene anyone?).

I really enjoyed Ms. Erickson’s version of vampires.  The thing about paranormal books, and well known creatures, is that they all take on their own qualities.  For the most part the vampires in this book were pretty standard (drink blood, can be turned, no sunlight, immortal-ish), but then there are all the little details that set them apart.  In this case there was clan stuff, a prophecy, the specifics of how you’re turned into a vampire, the whole Somnus thing (I liked that), and running with the whole feeding and lust thing (holy sexytimes).

I remember reading an excerpt on this author’s newsletter, which is what drew me to requesting the book in the first place, because Tendra came across as hella snarky.  I’d expected a bit more on that front, but I thought she was still a nice little spitfire who definitely threw Athan for a loop.  And Athan was unexpected himself!  I loved his soul/humanity, and he was actually really sweet and endearing in parts (you know, mixed with the badassery).  You could really feel how important his duty was to him, even in the face of it not feeling quite right.  He was extremely loyal, but that did lead to some blindness at times.

I really appreciated that there were many opportunities for the author to fall into tropes, and the characters even sort of acknowledged the “typical” responses.  But then the characters just wouldn’t follow that path…like Athan could have held onto his standoffishness at times or continued to be a dick.  It’s kind of hard to describe, but I just really appreciated that the author didn’t choose the easy/typical path/responses.

And can I just say that I ADORED Zeb, and even Idris eventually…makes me excited about next book.  Neither character had a large role, but they still managed to endear me to them.  I also loved the kitty, Brex…though I was really hoping to learn something more concrete about him.

I will admit that sometimes all the walking got a bit boring.  And I can’t confirm in the final copy, but in the ARC copy my beta brain would occasionally notice some continuity errors or things that could be clearer.  Like why didn’t Athan carry her and run?  I know there’s a reason, but I wouldn’t have minded knowing it.

All in all it was nice being in a paranormal world again, and I’m totes looking forward to Idris’s book (which I’m assuming is next).  Definitely recommend diving in, especially if you like your paranormals a bit racier.

Lenoreo_small

Advertisements

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones

FGOTRBlurb: A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light”. But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice.
Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life… and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

overdrive

images

3 stars

I listened to this audio book free through my Overdrive app.  This book was funny to me at first.  The MC was witty, sarcastic and clairvoyant.  I laughed quite a bit.  But, then her growth started to stagnate and her sarcasm started to get annoying.

The plot started out pretty easy to understand, which was good considering the story itself was meant to be a quick read.  About halfway through the book though, the author seemed to change her mind and added a bunch of stuff that I felt was unnecessary to the story.  I got a bit confused as to the whys of some of it, thereby losing interest even more.

I hated the ending because I didn’t get any kind of closure that I felt was needed.  The minor plot was tied up but the major one was left hanging.  When I went to see how long the series was, I realized I didn’t have the stamina or the patience to get any deeper into this series so I could find out what happens.  Which is a shame.

If you want a long series to savor, this is for you. If you are like me and crave near instant gratification, I’d pass.

Curly Carla_small

The Ring (Cursed #1) by Mantissa Creed

cursed the ringBlurb: Alexandra is determined to know her true nature.
However, with the truth, comes love, intertwined with lust, infatuation and unfulfilled desires. Knowing her inescapable past, Alexandra realizes that her existence is not only uncertain, but is also bound by a curse that threatens her existence. Not only does she need The Ring to stay alive, she also must kill The Vangel. Soon she’s tangled in a love triangle if not quadrangle of which one of her close companions is The Vangel.
One lifeline. One true love. And a Curse.

 

 

 

 

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

DNF

I got about three percent in and couldn’t take the tropey-ness anymore.  Honestly, I think I strained my eye muscles.  Its a shame too because I really liked the cover and the title. Geez, I’m having some serious bad luck with my backlist of books.

This book is currently unavailable to purchase.  Darn, I was gonna ask you all to read it and compare notes.

Curly Carla_small

The Line That Breaks (The Line That Binds #2) by J.M. Miller

The Line That BreaksBlurb: While searching for answers involving Stockton Estate’s stone well, Ben Shadows and LJ Wayde discover one truth: the curse is real.

Unfortunately, that truth has LJ facing the same fate that’s been tied to her bloodline for generations. The curse has given her the ability to help others conquer their greatest weaknesses, but it comes with a torturous price. As the rush of helping people starts to outweigh the pain of the consequences, LJ moves toward acceptance. She considers it a gift, a chance to make up for the way she treated people in the past.
Ben pushes on to find an end to the curse despite LJ’s reluctance. He fears the real consequences are far worse than LJ’s current symptoms, possibly linked to her Aunt Janine’s memory loss. His love drives his need to protect her, even if it means hiding the next piece of the well’s mystery.

When LJ finds what Ben has kept secret, she may never forgive him.

Will he lose her heart before he can save her mind?

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

Favorite Quote:

The memory had me fighting tears while his arms flexed against me and his tongue caressed mine. The kiss suddenly became more powerful and expressive than any I’d ever felt. It was packed with so much emotion that I knew I could live an infinite amount of lives and never experience this raw beauty with anyone else.

images

3.5 stars

I remember liking the first one more. They kept going on about how much they love each other but they don’t really give a solid reason why except for their mutual phyisical attraction.  And that got a bit repetitive.  Although, it has been a loooong time since I read the first one so I could just be remembering it wrong.

One thing I did not like was how stubborn LJ was when she found out this ‘secret’ Ben had.  I didn’t feel the secret was that large to elicit such of a response from her. I felt she overreacted and I found her to be kinda whiny this time around.

Ben was sweet to LJ and attentive to her needs, especially when things started to go downhill for her. I can’t really go into that more without spoilers so I’ll have to just leave it at that.  But his willingness to sacrifice for her was incredibly endearing.

Great ending if a bit of info dumping. I did like how there was no tangible bad guy but a past that literally haunts them.  It was a bit of a trip to not see a big bad vanquished. The end was neat and tidy.  I’d read more from this author.

Curly Carla_small

The Faerie War (Creepy Hollow #3) by Rachel Morgan

fairy warBlurb: Violet Fairdale is in big trouble. Her home is gone, her beloved forest lies in ruins, the guy she gave her heart to has deserted her—and she doesn’t remember any of it. The powerful Lord Draven is taking over, brainwashing guardians into fighting for him. No one is safe from the evil spreading throughout the fae world.

As alliances are forged between the remaining free fae, Vi struggles to reclaim her identity and figure out where she belongs in this new world. When someone from her past shows up, life gets even more complicated. He brings with him a long-forgotten weapon and an ancient prophecy that places Vi at the center of the fight against Draven. With the future of the fae world at stake, can Vi carry out the prophecy’s instructions before it’s too late?

 

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

4 stars

I felt this was a great ending to a wonderful series. Even though it shows it is a seven books series, this is the last story with our MC’s in them.  The others go on and focus on other players in the same world.  I will probably read them in the future but not right now.

For those of you that pay attention, this is one of my all time favorite series, I have read it about three times so far and I’m sure I will read it again in the future.  Violet is just my kind of gal!  She is smart, stubborn and shows real growth throughout really making me love her all the more.  There is nothing more crappy than a stagnant MC.  It kills my enjoyment of a series.

And Ryn is my kind of love interest.  He is patient, supportive and passionate about Violet without being domineering and possessive.  He also exhibits a life outside of their relationship which is sooooo refreshing.  In fact, they aren’t really with each other for most of this book.

The ending was wholly unpredictable for me (the first time I read it)  and I really enjoyed the twists throughout the story.  Highly recommend this series for those who love YA Paranormal.

Curly Carla_small

The Faerie Prince (Creepy Hollow #2) By Rachel Morgan


17621248Blurb: 
Guardian trainee Violet Fairdale is just weeks away from one of the most important occasions of her life: graduation. After messing up big time by bringing a human into the fae realm, Vi needs to step up her game and forget about Nate if she hopes to graduate as the top guardian of her year. Everything would be fine if she wasn’t forced to partner with Ryn, her ex-friend, ex-enemy, current ‘sort of friend’. They might be trying to patch up their relationship, but does she really want to spend a week undercover with him for their final assignment? On top of that, the possibly insane Unseelie Prince is still on the loose, free to ‘collect’ as many specially talented faeries as he can find—and Vi is still at the top of his list. Add in faerie queens, enchanted storms, complicated not-just-friends feelings, and a murder within the Guild itself, and graduation is about to become the least of Vi’s problems.

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

5 stars

My favorite one in this series so far! I love how they go from enemies to friends in this book. The best part of this story is the way it happens. It happens in slow, bite sized chunks that gave me a chance to adjust to this new dynamic.  They truly hated each other in the last book and I didn’t think they were gonna be able to move past it.

Its not all easy and quick, they back-slide a few times.  I love how the struggle to make their friendship work is shown; how they manage to compromise in important situations.  It’s seems to be a big part of their characters development. And in focusing on that, we get to see how it all interconnects to the rest of their interactions with the rest of the characters.  The writing just had a great flow to it and was super easy to relate to.

The characters are very self-aware in this story and are not afraid to confront each other and argue.  I think that’s one of my favorite things.  The not being afraid to argue, it’s needed in order to deal and move past the issue.  It’s also important for closure.  The only thing I will say about the end was I was a bit disappointed in Vi and Ryn with how they handled things.    I get that it takes work to trust and be there for each other, but it was too soon to do what they did IMO.  Made for a great climax though. I can honestly say I was not expecting that.

This is my third read through and it hasn’t gotten old for me.  And bonus, I just found out that there are more books in this series!  It’s not over like I thought!

Curly Carla_small

Rabbit Bones (Redemption #2) by A.L. Tyler


24494561Blurb: 
The time for closure has finally come.

Gina Gillespie is dead. That’s what the invitation to the funeral said, tucked into an envelope next to a prepaid ticket home.

It’s been two years since the summer that screwed up Ember’s life, and the time for closure has finally come. But when she returns to the island of Tulukaruk, she finds that things aren’t exactly as she remembers them. People are acting strange, and her sister claims she didn’t send a death announcement or an invitation to the funeral. Their mother has been dead for several months, having drowned earlier that year.

What’s worse, though she won’t say how or why, her sister believes that it was murder. She’s pegged it on the person Ember would have thought the least capable of such an act: the local bartender and fashion icon that took her in when her mother threw her out–Zinnia Knox.

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

Favorite Quote

“Let me put it this way…”  Delia said, sitting down next to Ember and pushing her brunette hair out of her eyes.  “You’re a…distraction, let’s say, to Acton.  So you’re like a thorn in his butt.  Your sister Thalia doesn’t like Acton, and he’s like a thorn in her butt, so she gets to being a thorn in Zinny’s butt.  All of this is fine with me.  But the thing is that when Zinny has a thorn in her butt, she gets to being a thorn in everyone’s butt.  It’s one long chain of thorns and butts while you’re here.”

images

4 stars

Damn this series is weird. Nothing really happened except that she got her memory back. I am still unsure where this story is going. But I can’t look away!!!

Okay, so I was trying to put a dent in my series reading challenge but when I checked to see how many books are in this series my eyes just about popped right outta my head. There’s like seven fricking books in this series!

So one of the things I liked about this book was the fact that she went back to the island. She belongs there no matter how many people tell her she isn’t welcome.  The paranormal-ness of this book was incredibly subtle and didn’t really show itself till like half-way through. A fact that upset me because its the second book in the series so….its not a secret.  Let’s see more of it please.  I mean, hello? I love demons and angels, so give me more please.  Another thing I loved is how dark it is.  These people are evil and have no redeeming qualities and they don’t try to be good.  They embrace their evilness.  And I like that.

Honestly, this series makes NO sense whatsoever, there isn’t a true plot, no true climax, and no tangible antagonist.  It just kinda flows with no real rhyme or reason.  The characters are hard to follow because Ember’s mind is so fucked up we have no way of knowing what’s real and what’s fake.

And I think that’s what appeals to me.  Trying to figure out the plot and her mind is like reading one of those choose our own adventure stories but reading it straight through. WTF right?

Curly Carla_small

Bluebells (Wolf Land #1) by Fiona McShane


32797353Blurb:
 In 1652, Ireland is known as Wolf Land. Oliver Cromwell’s army have arrived. Properties will be seized. Land will be cleared. Wolves will be destroyed.

In the small village of Wolf Wood, Cromwell’s men face far worse enemies than those in the rest of the country. The wolves here are bigger, stronger, more intelligent. Could these wolves be something different? Could these wolves be forming an army of their own?

Sorcha Moore has grown up hearing stories about the unusual wolves of Wolf Wood, but her fears are more immediate. She fears what will happen to her older sister, Peggy. Peggy is to become the latest mistress of Lord Tolbert, so that the Moores can keep their farm. Sorcha is frightened, too, of her own future marriage to Sean, a farmhand. If the decision were hers she would be with Rory Farrrell, a young blacksmith.

Peter Moore has never let his daughters have their freedom. If he had, they might have turned out like their mother before them – a woman many thought was a witch.

On the night of Bealtaine, Rory Farrell is bitten. Unable to tell Sorcha that he must join the ranks of the werewolves who protect Wolf Wood, he tells her he is moving to Dublin.

No matter what his new responsibilities, Rory cannot truly abandon Sorcha. As the years pass, and Sorcha grows from girl to woman, he watches over her night after night. But when Lord Tolbert’s eyes turn to Sorcha, will Rory be able to keep her safe?

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

DNF

I couldn’t get through this one. I made it about 20% in before stopping. It was too dry for me. I didn’t feel anything for the characters and the storyline was too linear for me if that makes sense. Too bad, I love shifter books.

Curly Carla_small

Hunt (The Grizzly Brothers Chronicles #1) by Alyssa Rose Ivy


30045749Blurb: 
There’s a new Alpha in town and he just found his mate, she just doesn’t know it yet.

Welcome to Crestview, Montana. Population ~1000 and not all of those are human.

After his brother is murdered, Ian must step up to become Alpha of his bear shifter pack. At the same time law student Mara shows up in town, and Ian knows she’s destined to be his mate.

When a rival pack lays claim to Mara, Ian and his brothers will stop at nothing to protect her.

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

1.5 stars

This is my third time attempting to read a series by this author.   The first series I read by I loved, the second I DNF’f .  This one is not a keeper but I at least finished the first book. I keep trying because the one I was able to finish was fantastic and I just want to think she has others out there that I will love as much.  But alas, this one is not one of those.

I tried.  It didn’t work out.  There was too much dialogue and not enough emotion for my tastes.  I don’t really have much more to say other than the it was too fast emotionally and the heroine was not strong enough.

Curly Carla_small

Blood Warrior (The Alexa Montgomery Saga #1) by H.D. Gordon

Blood warriorBlurb: When her home is attacked by murderous vampires, 17-year-old Alexa is forced to leave her mother for dead in order to save her sister. She soon learns that she is the last known member of an elite race of supernatural Warriors, and is thrust into a world full of vampires and werewolves who all seem to regard her as some sort of savior. Meanwhile, Alexa battles a monster within herself that seeks to gain control; a monster that seeks blood.

The hidden city she finds herself in appears perfect, but Alexa’s instincts tell her that all is not right within its walls. When she is asked to attend a school of fighters, whose exams consist of gladiator-style competitions, she must decide who she can trust among the smiling faces. And, when she meets Kayden, a vampire she feels undeniably drawn to, she must decide if she can trust herself.

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

2.5 stars

This book was okay I guess.  Honestly, and I know this is gonna sounds rude but I need to let this out, I forgot the whole thing shortly after reading it. I had to re-read the blurb to jog my memory.  This is a thing that rarely happens to me so when it did I knew that I wasn’t going to have nice things to say about this story.

First off, the world building was sub-par for me.  And that’s saying a lot because I’m one of those people that doesn’t really like world building.  I like an author to give me just enough that I can fill in the blanks.  But I don’t feel I even got that. It seemed all very rushed and intuitive.  But like so intuitive an outsider (such as me) is thinking, “Okay, but how do you know that’s right?” Am I making sense?

Second, I didn’t really get why her not knowing what she was, was such a huge deal.  It was never really explained to us.  So when things don’t make sense or are never really explained, I tune out of the story. I almost DNF’d the book TBH but I was at like 75% in and I thought, might as well see if it turns around. Plus, I have had A LOT of DNF’s recently and I wanted to get out of my funk.

Third, it was unoriginal and a bit tropey.  And while I am not a hater of tropes in general,(an author can make me LOVE a trope if written well) the lack of originality just made it a run of the mill read for me.  I feel like a dick for this review but this is how I feel.  Not a fit for me.

Curly Carla_small