Monthly Archives: April 2018

Raised in Fire by K.F. Breene

Got a steady job.  Got a housekeeper, a fallen angel for a dad, an understanding boss, and even a righteous sword.  Who needs more?  Reagen Sommerset, that’s who.  Less talk and a lot more action is what she’s all about.

Title:  Raised in Fire
Author: K.F. Breene
Series: Fire and Ice Triolgy #2
Publish Date: September 22, 2017
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Nicole Poole
Source: Purchased from Audible

Publisher’s DescriptionIt is a common truth in my life that when it rains, it pours.

The killings that once plagued New Orleans are cropping up again in Seattle. The local office is stumped. I’m called out to lend a fresh set of eyes, and my unique magical touch.

It’s only when I get there that I realize the Seattle office isn’t stumped at all.

They’re being silenced by the Mages’ Guild, a corrupt magical institution that doesn’t want word to get out of what is plaguing the city. Worse, news of my magic might’ve slipped down to the underworld, hitting the ears of some extremely powerful demons.

What I thought was a routine murder investigation turns into a fight for my life. With the help of Darius, my stalker elder vampire, and my dual-mage side kicks, I somehow have to dodge the Guild in order to stop one of the most powerful demons I’ve ever encountered. If I don’t? It’ll escape back down below with proof of what I really am.

My life hangs in the balance, and this time, I can’t see a way out.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This book rocked! This is #2 in the 3 book run of Fire and Ice series.  There is swearing.  There is death.  There are monsters.  There is tricks and conspiracies.  All those things, but mostly just the last 4 will give you a hint there are vampires as well.  There isn’t a cliffhanger, but a lead in to the next book.  There is some graphic stuff but not horror graphic.

 

 

I can’t say enough good about this series so far except I will be sad when I get through the last book.  Reagan is someone I’d like to hang with and see what trouble she land in next.  Her dad is Lucifer.  She’s supposed to reign in hell.  She doesn’t want to.  She’s great at the bounty hunter job she has in the brink and she doesn’t want to be noticed by the demons bent on bringing her into her daddy’s inner circle.  Well, they could also use her to their own ends too.  I mean, they are demons, you know.

And then there is the vampire stalker.  Oh, he doesn’t think he’s a stalker.  For some reason, even unknown to the elder vampire himself, he is pulled to Reagan like a magnet.  Darius doesn’t like the feelings she’s stirring up in him.  He’s a vampire for goodness sake.  He’s not supposed to have feelings, but Reagan is pulling him back to his humanity.  It’s really a fun journey.  Reagan and Darius work so well together, it would be a shame to split them.

This story is exactly as the description claims and it was an adventure full of discovery and death.

Other recommendations…

…you might try  Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock, Brad Magnarella’s Prof Croft series, and Jenn Stark’s amazing Immortal Vegas series…

 

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Nell’s Gossip and Book Hunt 4/22/2018

Welcome to my Sunday book hunt and author gossip.  Keep coming back for updates on book releases and news from favorite authors.

 

Such up to the moment news that there isn’t even a book cover yet…or a description.  Well, that’s how we roll here at One Book Two.

Anyway, you know I rave about Lisa Shearin (New York Times Best Selling Author) and her SPI Files series.  If you haven’t read them, you like monstrous bad guys and a little tiny, itty bitty romance – dig this series.  Each book is one that I have to clear an afternoon for because if I sit down, I ain’t getting back up til it’s done.

Back to the subject.  Lisa Shearin is going to release The Phoenix Illusion sometime this fall. I can’t think of a better thing to look forward to!  Author Shearin is gracious to let me post a snippet from The Phoenix Illusion.  Be careful…don’t let it suck you in because it’s only a snippet!

THE PHOENIX ILLUSION (SPI Files #6) BY LISA SHEARIN (A snippet from the author)

The mirror with its sturdy metal frame was nearly seven feet tall and three feet wide. It wasn’t a mirror to admire yourself in, though we all could see our reflections just fine. This mirror was for transport. Mirror mages could connect two specially constructed mirrors, enabling a person to step into the mirror on their end, and step out of the destination mirror, covering distances between worlds in one step.

That was the extent of my knowledge of how this thing worked, and I was pretty sure I didn’t want to receive enlightenment on what went on in between. Rake had mentioned that last year there’d been a bit of a giant spider infestation in the Void, which was what the space between mirrors was called.

Nope.

I didn’t need to know anything else, since Satan would be serving snow cones in Hell before I’d ever step through one.

Rake’s portal mage stood about five feet in front of the mirror, one arm extended, palm out, fingers spread wide, his stance one of casual readiness.

“My lord, Chancellor Nathrach’s mage has activated the mirror on their end and is ready when we are.”

Rake nodded once. “Bring him through.”

The mage straightened his stance, facing the mirror, now with both arms extended toward a surface that began to ripple, then swirl, picking up speed.

I quickly looked down at my feet. There wasn’t enough Dramamine in the world for me to be able to look at that mirror and not lose lunch. A pulsing light reflected on the polished floor, and then thankfully, the light show stopped.

I looked up at the new arrival.

Chancellor Tamnais Nathrach wore black, and he wore it well, from his leather-armored chest and arms, snug leather pants, down to the toes of his over-the-knee boots. He was also wearing blades everywhere there was room.

Yes, the view was nice; but I think what dropped my jaw was that Tam Nathrach could have been Rake’s nearly twin brother. The only big difference was that Rake’s hair was shoulder length, and Tam wore his to the middle of his back.

Rake gave his cousin a quick up-and-down glance and grinned. “Expecting trouble?”

Tam responded with a crooked grin of his own. “Forever and always.”

The two men hugged, Rake being careful to maneuver around his cousin’s portable arsenal.

No, this wasn’t gonna be awkward in any way, shape, or form.

 

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Origin by Dan Brown

Title: Origin
Author: Dan Brown
Series: Robert Langdon, #5
Publish Date: October 3, 2017 by Doubleday Books
Genre: Mystery
Source: Library

Publisher’s Description: Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.

As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.

Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself… and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery… and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Agent Annie says…

I had quite given up on Dan Brown books after not enjoying The Lost Symbol. In fact, I never even read Inferno, but for some reason, I picked up Origin, probably because the cover had a chambered nautilus on it.

It turns out that’s fitting because, in my opinion, it was the best thing about the book. Not only did the nautilus represent a specific piece of artwork in the Guggenheim museum in Barcelona, Spain, but also the golden ration and the idea of infinite love and the perfection of the universe.

I know, that’s deep, but I think that is what Dan Brown has done with this book. It didn’t feel like an action thriller in the same way that DaVinci Code and Digital Fortress did. It was more like Brown’s commentary on religion versus science. Dan Brown is obviously on the side of science, but very strongly included in that is Love. One of the beautiful quotes in the book is a prayer that the character Edmond Kirsch wrote:

May our philosophies keep pace with our technologies.
May our compassion keep pace with our powers.
And may love, not fear, be the engine of change.

I  like that Robert Langdon is starting to show his age and had a harder time keeping up with the “damsel in distress,” Ambra Vidal, who is a decade or two his junior. There were some very tender moments when Langdon feels a closeness to Vidal that is more fatherly than romantic. That’s a nice change from the typical action hero lover persona that is a part of so many thrillers today. In fact, Ambra Vidal even says to herself towards the end of the story,

“[She] suddenly understood what Edmond had been saying about the energy of love and light… blossoming outward infinitely to fill the universe. Love is not a finite emotion. We don’t have only so much to share. Our hearts create love as we need it… Love truly is not a finite emotion. It can be generated spontaneously out of nothing at all.”

I give this book 4 stars because Dan Brown found a way to use an action-packed thriller to convey the message that Love is Universal. I also really enjoyed learning more about the art and architecture in Spain. I found myself looking things up on the internet and trying to see pictures of these amazing buildings and works of art. I hope the publishers create an edition that has hyperlinks or references or color illustrations like they did with DaVinci Code.

Other recommendations…

If you liked this book, you might try any other book by Dan Brown, The Art Forger by BA Shapiro, The Lady in Gold by Anne-Marie O’Connor, or Guernica by Dave Boling.

Garden of Her Heart by Shanna Hatfield

I am normally not a romance reader. The synopsis for this novel sounded so sweet that I had to give it a try. I am so very glad I did.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

GardenTitle: Garden of Her Heart
Author: Shanna Hatfield
Series: Hearts of the War Book 01
Publish Date: December 7th, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Provided by the publisher

Publisher’s DescriptionCan forbidden love blossom amid the constraints of war? The moment the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, life shifted for Miko Nishimura. Desperate to reach the Portland Assembly Center for Japanese Americans, she’s kicked off the bus miles from town. Every tick of the clock pushes her closer to becoming a fugitive in the land of her birth. Exhausted, she stumbles to her grandparents’ abandoned farm only to find a dying soldier sprawled across the step. Unable to leave him, she forsakes all else to keep him alive. After crashing his plane in the Battle of the Atlantic, the doctors condemn Captain Rock Laroux to die. Determined to meet his maker beneath a blue sky at his family home, he sneaks out of the hospital. Weary and half out of his mind, he makes it as far as a produce stand he remembers from his youth. Rather than surrender to death, Rock fights a battle of the heart as he falls in love with the beautiful Japanese woman who saves his life. A poignant, sweet romance, Garden of Her Heart proves love can bloom in unlikely places even under the most challenging circumstances.


Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

This a touching read full of strength and courage, fear and hate of one race, love and dreams. This is a beautiful clean read that mixes the injustices done to Japanese-American’s during World War II with the hope that love can be found.

Ms. Hatfield does an incredible job of describing what life was like for many Japanese-American’s during this time. She doesn’t sugar coat it. The research that was done on the era and the confinement of a race of people is evident. You get drawn into Miko’s plight from the very first chapter. The eloquent descriptions of people, places, and situations in the book will take you back in time and make you feel like you are in the time period. 

The characters are lifelike and make you feel for them. I loved Miko an American woman who knows where she came from and likes to keep her connections to her heritage – even if it must be hidden. Rock is aptly named as he is Miko’s pillar even as she tries to fight her growing feeling for him. Petey is an adorable neighbor boy who really makes you feel like you are part of the post-Pearl Harbor bombing with his slang and all around good ol’ American boy persona.  And the villain is the most despicable character badge4v5I have read thus far.

This truly is a beautiful story filled with hope even in the midst of so much sadness. Ms. Hatfield shows that she has done her research by creating a lifelike setting and creating characters that fit so well. I have to give this novel 4 stars because it was so good. If you love period pieces or romance you should pick this up.

Other recommendations…

Try out these other historical romance reads: A Loyal Heart by Jodi Hedlund, Ashes on the Moore by Sarah Eden, A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

The Shadow: The Last Illusion by Cullen Bunn

Title: The Shadow: The Last Illusion
Author: Cullen Bunn
Series: The Shadow, Vol. 2
Publish Date: June 7th 2016 by Dynamite Entertainment
Genre: Graphic novel
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: The Shadow infiltrates the sanctum of The Society of United Magicians, an esoteric enclave of illusionists who are hellbent on escaping the ultimate trap: death itself!

Learning the secret of the so-called -Last Illusion- from the spirit of escape artist Harry Houdini himself, The Shadow becomes the next target of their murderous scheme. To thwart their plans, he must evade twisted traps and solve spellbinding puzzles, while simultaneously evading the deadly skills of Sandman, the magician assassin. A good (or evil) magician never reveals his secrets… but the Shadow knows!

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Percy Procrastinator says…

A great idea that didn’t work on me.

If I hadn’t read the previous two Shadow books, especially Shadow Year One before reading this one, I would have been more impressed. The problem I had was due to my liking the Shadow and buying into the previous background given. The idea is that the Shadow is being trained by Harry Houdini, which should make me happy as I do like Houdini. But, I think it took too much away from the Shadow’s training I had read before.

The rest of the adventure is well done. The usual suspects are there, backing up the Shadow as well as his own disguises to get information. And the conclusion of the adventure works.

I couldn’t get past that background, though, which didn’t feel like the Shadow’s background. I think if I had read this first, I might have liked it more. As it is, I give it a three. It probably deserves more, but that’s all I can give it.

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