Category Archives: Both Genders

Tarnished Prophecy by Ann Gimpel

 

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

35027345Title: Tarnished Prophecy
Author: Ann Gimpel
Series: Soul Dance Book 03
Publish Date: April 27, 2017
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Provided by the publisher via Netgalley

Publisher’s Description: Germany, 1940

Magic runs strong in Ilona, a gypsy seer. Powerful ability isn’t valued in Romani women, so she focuses her fortunetelling on inconsequential details. Nothing that could come back to haunt her caravan if a prediction went bad. Rounded up and dumped in Dachau prison camp, she has plenty of time to rue her decision to downplay her ability. If she’d taken the time to scry her own future, she’d still be free.

A wolf shifter, Jamal made the mistake of wedding a Romani woman centuries ago. His arrogance caused both death and heartache, and he’s been alone ever since. The recent threat of vampires joining the Third Reich has provided ample reason for shifters and Rom to lay their ancient enmity aside and work together, but their détente is fragile.

Jamal and a group of shifters come across Ilona after her escape from Dachau. Vulnerable, terrified, she’s fully prepared to fight. Her courage and mettle touch places in him he’d thought were dead, but she’s Romani. His last relationship ended so badly, the last thing he needs is to fall for another gypsy woman. He wrestles his tumbling emotions into submission, but when she trains her enigmatic, gray gaze on him, his resolve first weakens and then vanishes entirely.

 


Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

Here we are back in WWII Germany with a whole new Rom/Shifter love story with some of our old favorites sprinkled in. I must say that I was still wishing for more Romani/shifter versus the Nazis and less vampire hunter Romani/shifters. But I enjoyed the story.

I was glad that Tairin’s father, Jamal, finally got his happy ending after the heartbreak in Tarnished Beginnings. Ilona is a strong woman and I love the fact that these novels are filled with men who love strong, independent women. I mean let’s face it, Ilona uses her brain and magic to  break out of a work camp and more (I’d list all of her bad-assery but I don’t want to spoil the read)! I still like the lore as well. I was kind of disappointed that they made Anubis a bad guy. I would have liked to have the first shifter in future stories.

Over all this is a quick read with a few steamy love scenes and some interesting battles. I give it 4 wing beats. badge4v5

 

 

Other recommendations…

Try these other great shifter romance reads: Taken by the Shark by Jane Rowe, The Mane Event by Shelly Laurenston, Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken

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

The Fire Ascending by Chris D’Lacey

Luna wraps up her Last Dragon Chronicles read-along with the final book, The Fire Ascending.

Title: The Fire Ascending
Author: Chris D’Lacey
Series: The Last Dragon Chronicles, Book 07
Publish Date: April 5, 2012
Genre: MG Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: The much anticipated final book in Chris d’Lacey’s NEW YORK TIMES bestselling Last Dragon Chronicles!

On Earth, at the battle of Scuffenbury Hill, time has been suspended. Dragons and their natural enemies, the Ix, are trapped in a bitter, unresolved conflict. But at the dawn of history, something is working to change the past — and the future. A mysterious force is rewriting the timelines, turning what was once legend into startling reality. But is David Rain strong enough to save himself and those he loves from being written into a deadly new destiny?

David, Zanna, Lucy, Alexa, and the Pennykettle dragons return, along with some new friends and enemies, to embark on their most dangerous, most thrilling, and most magical adventure yet. Bridging the magic of the first five books with the world and characters introduced in FIRE WORLD, this fiery and action-packed final installment of the Last Dragon Chronicles will have readers racing to the exciting conclusion.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Luna Lovebooks says…

The story line for The Last Dragon Chronicles is fairly good, especially the first three installments: The Fire Within, Icefire and Fire Star. But as the series goes on, it loses its whimsy and becomes way more metaphysical. I kept finding myself wishing for the silly mayhem and the little clay dragons that may or may not come alive that we saw in the first few books.

As for The Fire Ascending itself, it was my least favorite in the series. It started out interestingly enough but by the twists at the end I was not impressed. It does wrap events up but I feel like it was a cop-out in order to make things come full circle. The big battle between good and evil that I was waiting for never really happened.

I did like that the legend of Agawin and Guinevere goes into more detail – even if it is a different timeline. We get to see the events of the legends from the first few books playout as they would have – for the most part, again we have alternate dimensions and timelines. Upon looking at other reviews for this novel, it appears that most fans are in agreement that the first few novels of this series were the best and many became increasingly frustrated that the events took the turns they did.

While I would give the overall series a 4, I give this novel 2 dragons.

Other recommendations…

…you might try Doomraga’s Revenge by T.A. Barron, Bloodhoney by Paul Stewart, Black Dragon Codex by R.D. Henham

Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price

Alex Craft is finding herself mixed up with a case that has a necromancy connection.  She hates what this person is doing to people and will stop them if it takes all her magic to do it.

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

Title: Grave Ransom
Author:  Kalayna Price
Series:  Grave Witch #5
Publish Date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Net Galley

Publisher’s Description:  Grave witch Alex Craft is no stranger to the dead talking. She raises shades, works with ghosts, and is dating Death himself. But the dead walking? That’s not supposed to happen. And yet, reanimated corpses are committing crimes across Nekros City.

Alex’s investigation leads her deep into a web of sinister magic. When Briar Darque of the Magical Crimes Investigation Bureau gets involved, Alex finds herself with an unexpected ally of sorts. But as the dead continue to rise and wreak havoc on the living, can Alex get to the soul of the matter in time? (less)

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


Nervous Nellie says…  

This is an urban fantasy.  No sex, no cliffhanger, some violence and lots of seeing dead people.  This book was a page turner and one I could not put down.  The characters are defined and the worlds are vivid.

This is one of the best series ever.  It’s been a few years since the last release, but I swear that once I picked up book #5, Grave Ransom, and started reading it was like we were never separated.

Alex Craft is a grave witch, a fae and a plane weaver.  She is also under the watchful eye of the Winter Knight because the Winter Queen expressly ordered Falin Andrews to do so and he can’t refuse. The Winter Knight, Falin Andrews, is also the lead detective of the FIB.  Alex Craft is the lead investigator for the Tongues of the Dead agency.  Both are thrown into cases together even though they are ex-lovers.  Falin burned some bridges in books past and I was totally over him jilting Alex.  He was a jerk and broke Alex’s heart so I started rooting for the impossible relationship between Alex and Death.

Death is a soul collector.  Alex can’t contact him and he can only be with her when he’s not called to work.  Also, their relationship is totally forbidden.  He holds a lot of secrets from her so their relationship isn’t exactly much more than sex even though he claims he loves her.

In this story, someone is killing people and putting their soul into another dead person.  If that wasn’t bad enough, that someone is making those people do things for him/her, like robbing banks, with the promise of putting their souls back into their bodies.  Yeah. No, it doesn’t work that way.

Kalayna Price is a plane weaver of her own right.  She weaves the magic of Faerie and Alex’s world together with absolute genius.  She also made me like Falin again.  Dammit.  I flip flopped again.

There are very few authors that I would wait this patiently for a new book in their series, but this Grave Witch series is one of them.  I can’t tell if this is the series finale or not, so I’m hoping it’s not.  It certainly could be if Ms. Price wanted it to be, but according to Goodreads, there is a book #6 brewing.  The story was very good and the time reading was well spent.

Other reviews in the series:

Grave Visions

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

Tarnished Beginnings by Ann Gimpel

Cast out by both her mother’s people and her father’s for being a half-Romani, half-shifter, young Tairin faces the harsh reality of the world.

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

Title: Tarnished Beginnings
Author: Ann Gimpel
Series: Soul Dance #1
Publish Date: June 20, 2017
Genre: Shifter Fantasy
Source: Bewitching Book Tours

Publisher’s Description: Tairin’s wolf is more than just a dream creature. She hates it, but it’s also her only friend.

1700s Egypt is a haven for magic-wielders of all kinds. Vampires hold court, staying one step ahead of the priests and priestesses who want them dead. Gypsy caravans roam the Nile from north to south and back again, plying their wares, telling fortunes, casting Tarot cards, and stealing from the gadjos.

Tairin Jabari was born in a caravan and has always believed she’s Romani. Why wouldn’t she? Her mother and father never suggested otherwise. The Rom have harsh rules. When Tairin’s first shift catches her unaware at thirteen, her father disappears, and the elders move with deadly speed to punish her mother for mating outside the blood.

Hurt, lost, confused, and fearing for her own life, Tairin runs away, leaving her mother’s smoking funeral pyre behind. If she could only find her father, he’d welcome her. He’s always loved her, hasn’t he? Only problem is he’s in a shifter settlement. With her mixed blood, they won’t welcome her any more warmly than the Romani. It doesn’t take long before Tairin discovers how desperately unprepared she is for life outside her protected caravan. With her survival on the line every single day, she and her wolf have some hard choices to make.

Tarnished Beginnings, the prequel to the Soul Dance books is only available in the Magic After Dark Boxed set.

Amazon | BN | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Luna Lovebooks says…

Likes: I like that this is a short read. It took me two days, but only because I was super busy. It could be read in one sitting in all honesty. I like that the shifter must bond with the animal. Poor Tairin goes through hell in this short read. But it fits in with the naivety of her character. She is a young woman who has grown up sheltered from the real world by the people in her caravan.

Dislikes: I was surprised to see that Tairin was only 13 in this short. On the cover she looks much older. Even though this is technically classified as a paranormal romance, it was so tame that when a sex scene did happen, I was thrown off.

Overall, this is a good little read and I look forward to the rest of the series. I give it 4 howls.

Other recommendations…

Check out these other great books featuring gypsy characters!

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

Fire World by Chris D’Lacey

The war of good versus evil rages on in a different reality from the one we know.

Title: Fire World
Author: Chris D’Lacey
Series: The Last Dragon Chronicles #6
Publish Date: January 1, 2011
Genre: MG Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionCan a fiery creature bring the dragons to a new world?

David Rain, Lucy, Zanna, and the Pennykettle dragons disappeared after destroying a trace of dark fire.

In a world between Earth and Ki:mera, called Co: pern:ica, lives a twelve-year-old boy named David. He and his friend Rosanna spend their days in the librarium, a museum for books, with the curator, Mr. Henry, and the mysterious firebirds that roam the upper levels.

When the two friends accidentally injure one of the firebirds, David and Rosanna find themselves on a remarkable and dangerous adventure. The evil Ix have taken over a firebird, turning it to the side of darkness. The birds have a secret, though: They know about the existence of dragons.

With the help of David and Rosanna, the firebirds must reach across the universe to call on the dragons for protection. But will the dragons arrive before the Ix destroy everything?

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Luna Lovebooks says…

This installment of The Last Dragon Chronicles is set on another planet—or at least a different dimension—called Co:pern:ica. It is a tad confusing to suddenly be thrown into another world, especially one so similar. I was expecting David Rain and Zana and Lucy and got their characters… only not. It is difficult to explain, and I’m not even going to try.

I missed the dragons, but I loved the firebirds! The reminded me of phoenixes, except these were brightly jewel-colored. Dragons do not play much of a role in this book, and when they do you, are thrown into a whirlwind of confusion.

While this is an enjoyable story, it almost felt like the beginning of a new series and not the continuation of one. Fire World does not link to Dark Fire until much later in the book. For most of the novel, I felt like this was the way things were supposed to go on Earth. But there are a few surprises and a character or two that makes a reappearance (albeit as a similar character and not the actual character—again I am not doing the explanation any justice).

I have to say that this is my least favorite installment. I give it three firebirds.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

If you are a dragon lover, check out these other works!