Category Archives: 1_Ratings

Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb

Eerily similar to the Las Vegas tragedy.  In the mind of a killer.  In the mind of a cop.  The cop that takes down the killer, with prejudice.

Title: Apprentice in Death
Author: J.D. Robb
Series: In Death #43
Publish Date: September 6,2016
Genre: Mystery/Romance/Futuristic
Narrator: Susan Erickson
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionNature versus nurture…

The shots came quickly, silently, and with deadly accuracy. Within seconds, three people were dead at Central Park’s ice skating rink. The victims: a talented young skater, a doctor, and a teacher. As random as random can be.

Eve Dallas has seen a lot of killers during her time with the NYPSD, but never one like this. After reviewing security videos, it becomes clear that the victims were killed by a sniper firing a tactical laser rifle, who could have been miles away when the trigger was pulled. And though the locations where the shooter could have set up seem endless, the list of people with that particular skill set is finite: police, military, professional killer.

Eve’s husband, Roarke, has unlimited resources—and genius—at his disposal. And when his computer program leads Eve to the location of the sniper, she learns a shocking fact: There were two—one older, one younger. Someone is being trained by an expert in the science of killing, and they have an agenda. Central Park was just a warm-up. And as another sniper attack shakes the city to its core, Eve realizes that though we’re all shaped by the people around us, there are those who are just born evil…

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


Nervous Nellie says…

This book freaked me out.  As I was listening, the Las Vegas shootings became clear as day.  This story has nothing to do with that tragic event and it’s not even like the event itself, but it was eerily similar to what the killer could have been thinking in Las Vegas on that unsuspecting crowd on October 1, 2017.  This gave me chills on more than one occasion.  The callousness of a killer was brought into focus as the killer used the mentor to further their agenda as a killing machine.  The killer never even gave a thought to the pain and misery the victim’s families would go through after the death of their loved one.  I don’t think that ever crosses their minds.  They just like to be all powerful and hold someone’s life in their hands.  That kind of person exists in real life as well in pages of books, and I hope I never ever meet that kind of person.

I love the In Death series books because the format never changes.  The lives of the characters change, but the format of the investigation stays the course.  I think that sometimes authors need to “freshen up” their books or maybe “advance” their characters.  Sure, that’s fine, but I really enjoy the In Death books because I can always guarantee a win at the end.  I can always guarantee living vicariously through the pages and for a few hours be a kick ass, no nonsense Eve Dallas.  The books have all the elements that puts this series firmly in the romance genre, but it is not only romance.  It is mystery, too.  It’s a study of people.  The romance between Eve and Roarke is something to revel in because of his thoughtfulness and angelic features – fallen angelic features.  He’s rich, smart, sexy, and understanding.  He cherishes Eve and what reader doesn’t like to have that feeling while reading?

I know that I’m not talking about Apprentice in Death like I normally review other books.  That’s because if you are a fan, you already know what will happen inasmuch there will be romance that knocks our socks off and a nice juicy murder investigation too.  The scary part of the whole book is the possible insight the reader might receive from reading about a killer that strikes close to home.

Five stars, like always.

 

 

 

 

 

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Savage Prophet (audio) by James A. Hunter

To listen or not to listen – there is no question about it. The audio of Savage Prophet is definitely one to listen.

Title: Savage Prophet
Author: James A. Hunter
Series: Yancy Lazarus, Book 04
Publish Date: September 19, 2017
Genre: Urban fantasy
Narrator: Charlie Kevin
Cover: Lou Harper Designs
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Legions of murderous undead, Haitian voodoo, and a 5,000-year-old serpent god.

Yeah, ’cause that’s exactly what Yancy Lazarus needs in his life: more complications. As if being the Hand of Fate and the newly appointed guardian over one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse wasn’t headache enough.

All Yancy wants is an easy life on the open road – chock-full of ribs, beer, cigarettes, and smoky bars blaring with gritty blues music – but that just isn’t in the cards. Nope, not anymore. He’s been charged with saving the world, and now that he’s got a no-shit demon riding shotgun in his head, he’s sorta committed to the cause.

If Yancy can’t sort through this colossal heap of bullshit, he’s coffin bound. But, he’s not dead yet. In fact, he even has a lead.

Turns out one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse – the pale Rider, Death – is slumming around in one of Yancy’s old haunts. In order to corner this new threat, though, Yancy’s gonna have to face some deadly supernatural nightmares from his distant past. And, to make matters worse, he’s not the only one trailing the Pale Rider. A powerful new mage with some serious magical chops is also aiming to find the Fourth Seal and he’ll do whatever it takes to win. Even if it means hurting those closest to Yancy…like FBI Agent Nicole Ferraro.

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



Nervous_Nellie_100Nervous Nellie says…

“He could rot in that damn hole until the world imploded or mankind was finally eradicated by an army of tyrannical, laser-wielding monkeys riding cyborg dinosaurs. Or whatever. Though personally, I’ve got my money on the crazy monkey-dinosaur apocalypse thing.”

This book has graphic violence (to those who deserve it-except Yancy of course), no sex, a little bit of a cliffhanger (not bad), and a fabulous narrator.

Sometimes when I buy an audiobook I really hope that the narrator is invested in the characters enough to make the book come to life. I’ve listened to books where the accent the narrator uses to portray some characters muddies the listening experience so much that the dialogue is not understandable. This narrator does no such thing. As a matter of fact, if I listened closely (which I did) I figured out the identity of the person behind the secret brown robe. Charlie Kevin did such an amazing job of portraying Yancy Lazarus that I now hear Charlie’s voice in my head when I read Yancy’s words. That normally doesn’t happen unless the voice of the narrator and the character mesh.

James A. Hunter does an especially great job of writing…again. This series is a series that I can’t wait for the next release. Most of the time the heroes are threatened to be harmed but in the nick of time gets out of the jam. Not Yancy. Mr. Hunter, I think, enjoys putting Yancy through his paces and most of the time gets the raw end of the deal. Now, don’t get me wrong, Yancy does get his share of breaks but more often than not the danger outweighs any sort of a break he gets.

In this story, I felt like there is not one more thing that Yancy could possibly handle before he has a total breakdown. I totally understood his baser instinct of self-preservation and the idea of ‘just walking away’. Yeah, that didn’t happen. Yancy stuck with his destiny even though he knew it may be his final end. Oh – <spoiler> it’s not his final end yet. Thank goodness Brimstone Blues is released so I could move on to the next book without too much anxiety. I will really hate to see the end of this series.

Mr. Hunter is in negotiation for the audio of Brimstone Blues and it’ll possibly be released after the new year. Woot!!

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

If you like cranky urban fantasy detectives, check out the Dresden Files, Sandman Slim, or Alex Rains.

Nell’s Gossip and Book Hunt 10/22/17

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

  • I am in the middle of listening to Death Mage by Brad Magnarella.  Professor Croft is kind of half Indiana Jones, half Harry Dresden.  He’s not searching for relics, though.  He’s more about finding out who his father really is and avenging whomever killed his mother. Death Mage is working up to a major blowout.  I’m hoping that this isn’t the end of Prof Croft’s series.  I really enjoy him and his world.  I do know, however, that there will be a new series that will feature Prof Croft as a supporting character.  Author Magnarella has introduced me just recently.  Here’s what I found out.

Title: Blue Wolf
Author:  Brad Magnarella
Release date: November 2017
Publisher’s Description:  “I was leading my final mission when everything went to hell…”

Cursed by a blind witch in a remote corner of Waristan, Special Ops Captain Jason Wolfe finds himself changing into a horrid creature of local legend: a lupine referred to in fearful whispers as Blue Wolf.

Faster, stronger, and more lethal, he’s the perfect soldier – but not for the U.S. military. To break the curse, Jason must lead a war between ancient tribal foes: blue werewolves and white dragons.

In a battle spanning from the icy peaks of Central Asia to the valleys of Manhattan, and with the help of a bookish wizard named Prof Croft, Jason will push himself to the breaking point. Because with the curse now spreading to his mind, he’s running out of time – and the stakes are everything.

Win and he returns home to a fiancé to whom he’s pledged a family and future.

Lose and he dies a blood-thirsty beast.

  • Speaking about Prof Croft, the latest Prof Croft adventure is here!  Also included is Yancy Lazarus’s first adventure called Strange Magic. The short novel Croft & Wesson and full length novel of Strange Magic is part of the just-released boxed set Eight in the Chamber, which features supernatural detective stories from seven other authors in the genre (plus a bonus eighth).The more astute among you might recognize the name Wesson, as in James Wesson, from Death Mage (Prof Croft, Book 4). That said, Croft & Wesson is a standalone that can be read independently of the prior books. Sort of your odd-couple wizard sleuths in a supernatural Wild West.

Title:  Eight in the Chamber
AuthorsMaxx Abraham, Chris Underwood, Alex Berg, Brad Magnarella , M.D. Massey , W.H. Lock , Kit Hallows , James A. Hunter
Released: September 11, 2017
Publisher’s Description:  Orcs, vampires, rogue mages, and strange familiars… The night’s filled with beasts looking for kicks, who trod the urban landscape with cloven hoof or sharpened claw, keeping a yellow eye out for easy prey. But what’s a citizen to do when dark shadows lie heavy, spells become useless, and wands lose their charm?

They call on the heroes of Eight in the Chamber.

These hardboiled cops and investigators specialize in a preternatural kind of justice. They aren’t afraid to delve into dark magic or wield a cursed instrument to save the pure and innocent. They won’t quit until every dark deed is punished, and the scales of justice are balanced.

In Eight in the Chamber, a cadre of your favorite authors have banded together to bring you all the thrills of the urban supernatural, with a twist of sci-fi noir, in a collection of full length novels, spellbinding novellas, and enough short stories to choke a bag of holding. Buy your copy today, and let them take you on a thrill ride through the dark that you won’t forget!

  • I don’t have a whole lot more news this week, so I’m going to share with you my book purchases.  Normally, that would not include more than one, but I kind of went nuts this week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tarnished Journey by Ann Gimpel

This is the final book in the Soul Dance Series. Shifters, Romani, and Celtic gods do battle with demons and vampires who have signed on with Hitler in order to save Earth.

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

tarnished-journey.jpgTitle: Tarnished Journey
Author: Ann Gimpel
Series: Soul Dance 04
Publish Date: July 18, 2017, Ann Gimpel Books, LLC
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Source: Provided by Publisher

Publisher’s DescriptionLong before Germany rounded up Romani and sent them to prison camps, the Netherlands declared them undesirables. Yara’s caravan disbanded when she was fifteen to avoid being driven out of the country. Ten years have passed, and she’s been alone for most of that time hiding in caves and abandoned buildings. It’s been a lonely life, but at least she still has one.

Stewart conceals his true identity for the best of reasons. He’s not actually Romani, even though he’s been a caravan leader for many years. In a bold and desperate move, he joins a small band of shifters and Rom to fight the Reich’s chokehold on Europe. When they’re crossing the border into the Netherlands, vampires attack.

Yara senses Romani near her cave. The stench of vampire comes through loud and clear too, along with shifters. While not nearly as bad as vampires, her people have always steered clear of them. Another type of magic plucks at her. She can’t identify it, but it draws her from her hiding place. That decision tilts her world on its axis when she comes face to face with Stewart’s raw masculinity and savage presence. She could still turn tail and run. If she stays, it doesn’t require magical ability to recognize her life will change forever.


Luna Lovebooks says…Luna_Lovebooks_100

I am almost sad that this series is ending. I was not sure at first, but it became one I greatly enjoyed. For Tarnished Journey we leave behind the vampires and Nazis (for the most part) and get into another mythos, that of the Celts. I enjoyed that aspect a little more than I did the previous novels.

I love that the author features strong women in her stories. Yara is no exception. She has had to be tough and independent since her caravan disbanded and she has been alone since she was fifteen. Meeting Stewart changes everything for her. He introduces her to a new life and reveals many secrets that have been kept from her such as where her power really comes from. I really enjoyed the romance between them. Stewart is very honest with her and genuine in expressing his love. Even though Yara fights him at first, their love had me rooting for them.

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There is a lot of action in the story and many twists. Readers never know what to expect next as the characters encounter all kinds of danger. Not only do they face vampires demons and the Nazis but now god and goddesses are thrown into the mix.Every chapter the characters face a new and exciting danger.

I liked this story better than the previous installments. I give it 4 talismans!

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

Check out the Dragon Lore series by Ann Gimpel, The Hathaways series by LisaKleypas, Gypsy Lord by Kat Martin

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

Dragon’s First Rule by Silver Milan

The little warning about this book sums it up perfectly! This book contains explicit love scenes and is intended for mature readers who like their paranormal romance on the steamier side. Inside you’ll find sexy dragons, strong women, and kick-ass magic.

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

Dragons first ruleTitle: Dragon’s First Rule
Author: Silver Milan
Series: Dragons of Midnight 01
Publish Date: October 1, 2017
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Provided by Publisher

Publisher’s Description: Ariel, a newly turned lion shifter, stumbles into the subterranean City of Midnight, home of the dragon shifters. Alone and vulnerable, she catches the eye of the dangerously attractive dragon king. Jett. He charms her and promises help, but can she trust him? After all, he is the King of the Dragons. Why would such a powerful man come to the aid of a common girl?

When Jett realizes Ariel has no one, he vows to protect her, as the girl has been turned against her will in dragon territory. He plans not only to shield her, but to hunt down the very outlaw who hurt her.

But Jett soon finds himself growing attached to his quirky yet beautiful lion shifter. He begins a dangerous game with her, skirting the razor’s edge of passion. He must take care because if he surrenders to his desire, he will forfeit not only his throne, but perhaps both of their lives.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Luna Lovebooks says…Luna_Lovebooks_100

I must admit, I have read Shifter romances before but none of them involved dragons. I was pleasantly surprised by what I discovered. Often times with these types of romance novels we get the domineering alpha male – literally! But Jett is refreshing in that he wants Ariel to be herself. Sure he has his moments where you don’t touch “his” woman, but honestly, what man doesn’t have those feelings every once in awhile? I love that Ariel is a bad ass in her own right. She kicks butt and takes names and even brings down the man who forced the Shifter life on her.

The plot is fast paced and has a few twists that I did not see coming. The sex scenes were steamy and the action scenes towards the end were exciting. It is a quick little read so there isn’t much room for things to be slow. On the other hand, there were parts that I wish could have been expanded on. I wish we had more time to see the love develop between Ariel and Jett. At times they act like they have known each other for years badge4v5instead of a few days. The magic system is still a little confusing to me but it doesn’t play a big part in this novel so it is OK.

If you like Shifter romances you should give this book a try! I give it four gems for its steamy romance scenes and kick ass females!

 Other recommendations…

Try these other great Shifter reads: The Society series by Mason Sabre, The Demonica series by Larissa Ione, Leopard People series by Christine Feehan

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