Category Archives: Both Genders

Heaven Help Us by John G. Hartness

He’s the immortal magic-wielding child of Jonathan Harker and Mina Murray from the classic novel Dracula. But to him it’s not a story, it’s family history. Quincy Harker is what you’d get if Constantine were renewed by HBO and taken to the darkest of dark sides. When things go bump in the night, he bumps right back.

TitleHeaven Help Us
Author: John G. Hartness
Series: Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter
Publish Date: October 18, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy/Horror
Source:  Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description: On the run and reeling from his bloody battle with the demon Orobas, all Harker wants to do is lie low in Lockton, Ohio for a few months and let his physical and spiritual wounds heal. But there are werewolves in the diner, and magically-talented teenagers disappearing all over town. Now Harker’s hip-deep in demons again, but this time he’s got no backup.

Meanwhile. Detective Rebecca Gayle Flynn and the rest of Harker’s team are back home in Charlotte, NC, trying to prove his innocence and figure out Orobas’ next move. But no one knows how corrupt Homeland Security or the police department are, or how high the scandal runs. And now some guy shows up claiming to be the great-great-grandson of Doctor Watson (yeah, that Dr. Watson) offering to help?

Will Harker survive a battle with Hell in a small town all on his own?

Can Flynn and Uncle Luke find the proof they need to bring Harker home?

Will they stop Orobas’ master plan before he unleashes Hell on Earth?

Who is this mysterious Shadow Council, and what do they want?

When all else fails on Earth, will Heaven Help Us?

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


 

Nervous Nellie says…

I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my life. Some of them have gotten good people hurt, even killed. Many of them have caused immense property damage, and one was responsible for the extinction of an entire species of South American monkey.

Warning to all that I never guessed who was the bad guy this time around. Serious betrayal to Becks and Quincy. The story is just warming up, so jump on the roller coaster – it’ll be a bumpy ride.

Something hinky is going on and even Dracula is losing his composure.  He’s lost his house and his friend.  Homeland Security is after Quincy Harker and Rebecca Flynn is trying to get him out of the hip deep trouble he’s in.   *SPOILER*  Quincy (I’m stunned) takes his relationship to Becks the next step which is totally uncharacteristic for the tough 100 year old plus cantankerous hero.  The trip to the small town in hiding doesn’t last for long and Quincy ends up making friends with the wolves.  We get to meet Jo Henry, the main character in Calling All Angels and she is a force to be reckoned with that makes me glad she’s on the human’s side.  She’s also practically polar opposite of Quincy.  A mom.  Does not cuss.  Is not supernaturally powerful.  She rocks.*END SPOILER*

I am a fan of this series and I’ll keep reading as long as John G. Hartness keeps rolling them out.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

…you might try

 

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Heaven’s Door by John G. Hartness

He’s the immortal magic-wielding child of Jonathan Harker and Mina Murray from the classic novel Dracula. But to him it’s not a story, it’s family history. Quincy Harker is what you’d get if Constantine were renewed by HBO and taken to the darkest of dark sides. When things go bump in the night, he bumps right back.

TitleHeaven’s Door
Author: John G. Hartness
Series: Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter
Publish Date: October 18, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy/Horror
Source:  Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s DescriptionHe’s finally found something to care about after a century of searching, but will he lose it all at the hands of his most dangerous foe yet?

Seven years ago, Quincy Harker vanquished the demon Orobas and saved the city of Charlotte, NC from his evil plans. Or so he thought. Now the half-divine Nephilim are turning up dead in the Queen City, and it looks like Orobas is back to finish the job.

Can Harker stop Orobas, or will the bloodthirsty demon unleash Hell on Earth?

Who is behind these horrible murders, and why do they seem to be calling Harker out?

Will this be the battle that finally ends the long life of Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter?

Find out when Harker, his girlfriend Detective Rebecca Flynn, his guardian angel Glory, and his uncle, the legendary Count Dracula bring the battle of the diving and demonic right to HEAVEN’S DOOR.

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


 

Nervous Nellie says…

I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my life. Some of them have gotten good people hurt, even killed. Many of them have caused immense property damage, and one was responsible for the extinction of an entire species of South American monkey.

Warning that I never guessed who was the bad guy this time around. Serious betrayal to Becks and Quincy. The story is just warming up, so jump on the roller coaster – it’ll be a bumpy ride.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

…you might try

 

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I Dared the Duke by Anna Bennett

A trip not to be missed.  Regency romance takes a ornery and damaged Duke bent on finding his own killer before himself is killed with a brilliant woman that loves to be needed.

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

Title:  I Dared The Duke
Author:  Anna Bennett
Series: The Wayward Wallflowers #2
Publish Date: April 4, 2017
Genre:  Regency Romance
Source: Publisher

Publisher’s Description: DARE TO FALL IN LOVE

Alexander Savage, the Duke of Blackshire, is known throughout the ton for three things: the burn scars on his neck, his ornery disposition, and the trail of broken hearts behind him. None of which would concern Miss Elizabeth Lacey in the least—if she weren’t living under his roof. As his grandmother’s companion, Beth is all too concerned with the moody and compelling duke. Incensed by his plans to banish the sweet dowager duchess to the country, Beth refuses to do his bidding. If Alex wants her help, he’s going to have to take her dare…and grant her three wishes.

Alex adores his grandmother, which is precisely why she must leave. A string of unfortunate incidents has him worried for the safety of everyone around him—including the dowager’s loyal and lovely companion, Beth. But the notorious wallflower isn’t as meek as she appears, and as their battle of wills heats up, so does Alex’s desire. He’s dangerously close to falling in love with her…and revealing secrets he’d rather keep hidden. How can he convince her that his darkest days are behind him—and that, for the first time in forever, his heart is true?

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


 

Nervous Nellie says…

Regency romance at it’s finest.  I started this book and could not put it down.  There is a couple of swear words, a little sex, dangerous situations and a remarkable heroine.

This story is a prime example in what happens when rumors are spread and words are spoken without thought to the feelings of the recipient.  Alex is labeled as a rake.  Rumor has it that he steals wives and beds maidens with no thought but that of himself.  Alex has got some issues, don’t think he doesn’t.  He lies by omission regarding his conquests and he was the callous, insecure person who started the smear campaign against Beth and her sisters just because he could.  How Beth fell for him, I don’t understand.

Beth is a caring, smart and maybe a little OCD heroine in this story.  She deserves the respect of all the ton, but with Alex’s slanderous attack when she was younger, she was castigated and exposed to those that have to make themselves feel better by tearing down someone else.

I like Beth but I think she deserves someone much kinder.  Actually, the suitor that was in competition for her could have been much better for Beth.  Oh, well.  Beth decided and that’s all there is to that.

The story had elements of a mystery – who was trying to kill Alex?  Beth was put in danger a couple of times but it was, in the end, Alex’s grandmother that saved the day.

I was totally into this book from beginning to end.

 

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

Stolen Songbird by Danielle Jensen

Kidnapped by trolls, Cecily must unravel a series of secrets about her captors while planning an escape. But falling in love might change all her plans…

TitleStolen Songbird 
Author: Danielle L. Jensen 
Series: The Malediction Trilogy
Publish Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Genre: YA High fantasy
Source: Purchased.

Publisher’s Description: For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realises that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time…

But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for…


Kat Mandu says…

Hello readers! We’re catching up on some reviews from our high-fantasy read-along. In Stolen Songbird, Cecily is taken by a man named Luc, who’s only interested in trading her to the trolls for some gold and other treasures. Thrown into the the dark world of Trollus, Cecily discovers that her kidnapping was no mere coincidence as she finds herself betrothed to the prince of the trolls and “bonded” through magical means. In a mix of terror, luck, and curiosity, Cecily slowly unravels the details of her captivity, the politics of Trollus, and even her strange attraction to Prince Tristan. As Trollus becomes dangerous in all sorts of ways – even for her – she knows her only hope at survival is to escape forever. But leaving Tristan, the “monster” she steadily falls for, may be harder than ever.

This has an interesting premise – for one, not many YAs have trolls. Especially good looking and intelligent ones (not that they’re “trolls” per se, a secret you read farther on in the book). I love the political games that the king, the queen, other key players, and even Tristan play and that Cecily doesn’t really have a say in any of it, though she quickly learns her role in them. She’s the one prophesied to break the witch’s curse that holds all the trolls beneath the mountain. So with a little magic, adventure, and romance mixed in, it makes for a great read.

I love that this series doesn’t have a love triangle. For me, it didn’t really even have romance at all until much later in the book when Cecily and Tristan learn they both have need of each other’s company. I mean, at the beginning, they hated each other. They were forced to marry just to fulfill the prophecy. Of course, when that doesn’t work, she becomes a prisoner. I like that Tristan realizes that she’s there against her will and wants to protect her (after all, he didn’t particularly love the arrangement either), but that doesn’t mean he insta-loves her. Hell, they spend the majority of the book pretending to hate each other (and actually doing so at times).

Cecily isn’t the bravest or strongest, but she knows how to manipulate and she does what she can to learn how to get around Trollus. She makes frenimies along the way and it’s interesting to see that after all she’s been through, she can still learn to care for the people who have about as little control as she does over her life.

I’m fascinated by the plot and eager to see where this magical story line takes Cecily and Tristan in the next book, Hidden Huntress. Until then, four stars from me! 

Other recommendations…

…you might try  Strange, Sweet Song by Adi Rule, Gates of Thread & Stone by Lori M. Lee, and ….

Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch

As the final battle of the world of Primoria versus Angra and his Decay comes to a close, can Meira risk her heart and her life to save everything and everyone she cares for?

TitleFrost Like Night
Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes, Book 3
Publish Date: September 20, 2016
Genre: YA High fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Angra is alive, his Decay is spreading—and no one is safe.

Meira will do anything to save her world. With Angra trying to break through her mental defenses, she desperately needs to learn to control her own magic—so when the leader of a mysterious Order from Paisly offers to teach her, she jumps at the chance. But the true solution to stopping the Decay lies in a labyrinth deep beneath the Season Kingdoms. To defeat Angra, Meira will have to enter the labyrinth, destroy the very magic she’s learning to control—and make the biggest sacrifice of all.

Mather will do anything to save his queen. He needs to rally the Children of the Thaw, find Meira—and finally tell her how he really feels. But with a plan of attack that leaves no kingdom unscathed and a major betrayal within their ranks, winning the war—and protecting Meira—slips farther and farther out of reach.

Ceridwen will do anything to save her people. Angra had her brother killed, stole her kingdom, and made her a prisoner. But when she’s freed by an unexpected ally who reveals a shocking truth behind Summer’s slave trade, Ceridwen must take action to save her true love and her kingdom, even if it costs her what little she has left.

As Angra unleashes the Decay on the world, Meira, Mather, and Ceridwen must bring the kingdoms of Primoria together…or lose everything.

 


Luna Lovebooks says…

Likes: The world building is still amazing! The magical system is still intriguing as well. The characters are the strong suit in this novel. I love that Meria is more confident and has found a balance between being queen and being herself. I love that she has found peace with herself and her magic. The romance between Meria and Mather is perfect! I also loved that we got Ceridwen’s POV in this novel.

Dislikes: I had a hard time making it through this book. The excitement that was present in the first two slowly waned for me. It did pick up, but I slowly lost interest. This is one of those novels that makes you fall for characters and then the author rips them away! SO. MUCH. DEATH. The ending wasn’t particularly satisfying, it wasn’t horrible but it just wasn’t satisfying for me.

Because I lost interest, I have to give this book three swords. I was able to finish, and it did pick up towards the end but it just wasn’t a satisfying read for me.

Kat Mandu says…

Frost Like Night draws out all the main good guys versus the bad guys for one final epic showdown. In this book, Meira, Mather, and Cerridwen all narrate the story, bringing all new ideas to the book while giving you new perspectives into different worlds. Meira must come to grips with the sacrifice she must make to save her world and everyone she loves within it. Mather must lead his friends into a battle and learn to protect, love, and let go of the queen he adores. And Cerridwen, the feisty princess of Summer, must garner her military forces together while fighting a battle within her heart.

Sadly, with the exception of the very beginning and close to the end, this last book is lacking a lot of action. It’s a fact I rather miss to be honest. I’m not saying that the character embracing her destiny isn’t necessary. I’m just used to the final book in a trilogy to be packed full of action and battle. Maybe it’s weird to say, but every other high fantasy I’ve read has, so I wasn’t expecting the slow down. In fact, it took me so much by surprise that it dragged it down for me and I had a hard time staying interested during certain parts.

Don’t get me wrong. The things that happened were critical to the plot line: Meira semi-learning how to control her magic, learning to let herself love Mather; even the wedding between Cerridwen and Jesse was great. But the sudden slowing of pace really threw me for a loop because I was craving that action that the first book carried so much of, that I found myself unable to really get into what was happening. 

But boy, when the action does come back around, it’s wonderful. However, because it’s the ending of a trilogy, no more spoilers here. Either way, this was a good end to a great series and I give its final installment a three.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

If you like young adult high fantasy series featuring fierce heroines…you might try Susan Dennard, Sara B Larson, Rosamund Hodge, or Jodi Meadows.