Craven Street by E.J. Stevens

In this spellbinding novella, E.J. Stevens weaves a tale of murder, necromancy, and demonic possession.

craven street

Title:  Craven Street 
Author:  E.J. Stevens
Series:  The Whitechapel Paranormal Society #.5
Publish Date:
Source:  Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description: In this spellbinding novella, E.J. Stevens weaves a tale of murder, necromancy, and demonic possession that brings together characters from her Whitechapel Paranormal Society Victorian horror series and award-winning Ivy Granger Psychic Detective urban fantasy series on the fog-shrouded cobblestones of Craven Street.

The discovery of bricked up skeletal remains at 36 Craven Street point to something more diabolical than an illegal anatomy school. The tool marks on the bones, arcane sigils of great power, indicate more than mere butchery, more than enlightened experimentation. The signs, omens, and portents support the crown’s greatest fears. A great evil is being unleashed upon the gaslit streets of London, a blood-drenched shadow reaching skeletal fingers beyond the slums of Whitechapel.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

This story takes place in Victorian London.  The “Society” as they affectionately call themselves, are women that investigate the paranormal happenings of the city.  They have male counterparts, but those counterparts make light of their contribution to the point of butts of jokes.  The concept of this book is awesome, the story itself, was just a teaser.

This book is a novella that introduces the horrifying elements that are terrorizing London.  Each woman has a special gift to bring to the table, and while Cora (who can see the dead) and Flan (is a wiz with a knife) are starting their own romance, they have to figure out who is killing all the women they are dragging from the river.  Then there is a demon that is involved.  It is first and foremost a Demon Lord, but a Demon Lord with a conscience.  It doesn’t like how the bad guy is treating the demon “puppies” of the realm, so it helps Cora, Flan, Edith, and Anna find and lock up the human power seeker.  But that is just the beginning.

While this book doesn’t have a cliffhanger, it is definitely a lead into the series.  There is no sex, but there is a F/F hot kiss.  The story isn’t graphic in it’s description of the deceased and lets your mind do the work there.  The one thing that detracted from the story (for me) was the use of $500,000 words that I had to look up in the dictionary to find the meaning.  However, to be fair, that’s how those that lived in the Victorian era spoke, so it was my fault for not having the knowledge, not the book.

I’m not positive I will keep on with this series, but who knows?  The first book releases in October 2022.

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Back off Witch by Brad Magnarella

back off witchTitle: Back off Witch
Author:  Brad Magnarella
Series:  A Croft and Tabby Short (#2)
Publish Date: February 14, 2022
Source: Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Publisher’s Description: What’s worse than a sharp-tongued cat in a heatwave? Being stuck inside with her.

When my friend Kayla asks for my help as a wizard, I jump at the chance to escape my apartment—and Tabitha.

In New York’s inner city, a child’s closet hides a monster. At least according to my starry-eyed friend, who claims powers of intuition. But this time she might be onto something. The scariest part? The child will only confide in Tabitha.

Now I need to convince my succubus cat, who remains committed to eating, sleeping, staying cool, and, yes, devouring my soul, to help stop a supernatural threat that’s climbing faster than the city’s thermometer.

Can Tabitha and I overcome our differences in time to save an innocent life?

Or will she undermine me just to prove she’s still queen?

Croft & Tabby is a spinoff of the popular Prof Croft series, set before the main books. If you like snarky cats, fledgling mages, and supernatural investigations, you’ll love Croft & Tabby!

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


Nervous Nellie says…

Tabitha and Prof Croft work together again. Tabitha is always reluctant to help, probably because she’s once removed from a demon, but Prof Croft bribes and cajoles her into coaxing a little boy to reveal the beast he’s afraid of and that is endangering his life. Of course, with Prof Croft, nothing is easy. What sounds like a decent low involvement plan totally blows up into something much bigger. Non magic believers, gather ’round for an entertaining and well written addition to the Croft and Tabby short. By the way, these short stories are a nice way to try out Prof Croft’s world to see if you might want to engage with the full size novels, which I encourage wholeheartedly.

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Druid’s Moon by Deniz Bevan

druid's moonTitle:  Druid’s Moon
Author:  Deniz Bevan
Publish Date:  September 20, 2022
Source: from publisher

Publisher’s Description: Beauty to his Beast…

Lyne Vanlith, an archaeologist who seeks a logical explanation to any mystery, discovers an ancient Druidic curse on her first dig. When the signs foretold by the curse descend on her, Lyne can’t find a reasonable interpretation.

And that’s even before a Beast rescues her from a monstrous sea-creature. She drops a grateful kiss on the snout of the Beast, who transforms into a man, Frederick Cunnick, Baron of Lansladron. Lyne is meant to be Beauty to his Beast—and break the curse forever.

Now both spellkeeper and monster are targeting Lyne. She must take up her legendary role, to defeat the curse and save Frederick—and herself. Instead of logic, for the first time, Lyne must trust her heart

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


Nervous Nellie says…

I really can’t say I loved this book.  It’s not that I didn’t like it…it was ok, but it was only just ok.  The story wasn’t very impactful, if that’s even a word.  The writing was a little confusing at times.  The switch of scenes was a little bumpy too.  The description wording was good, but the “grab me by my collar” just wasn’t there.  It has monsters, a little romance, mysteries and curses.

I’ve never read anything by this author, so she is new to me.  The whole premise of this story is Beauty and the Beast from when we were kids.  It’s not exactly the same as the others as it has a witch that controls the family line resulting in the beast and the man inside is just under the surface.  The beast hunts and kills for it’s mistress.  It also uses an archeological dig as location for this story.  The secret room, the legend of suffering of multiple generations and clues to the mystery all lie within a translation of a manuscript and the need to find “Beauty” so she can end the curse.

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The Dead Don’t Drink at Lafitte’s by Seana Kelly

Everyone needs a good book and a stiff drink, be they vampire, wicche, demon, or fae.  Sam’s a bartender and book nerd who has hid her whole life, but Clive is bringing her into the light to help him fight for her life.  

sam quinn #2Title:  The Dead Don’t Drink at Lafitte’s
Author:  Seana Kelly
Series:  Sam Quinn #2
Publish Date: April 12, 2021
Source: Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description:I’m Sam Quinn, the werewolf book nerd owner of the Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar. Things have been busy lately. While the near-constant attempts on my life have ceased, I now have a vampire gentleman caller. I’ve been living with Clive and the rest of his vampires for a few weeks while the Slaughtered Lamb is being rebuilt. It’s going about as well as you’d expect.

My mother was a wicche and long dormant abilities are starting to make themselves known. If I’d had a choice, necromancy wouldn’t have been my top pick, but it’s starting to come in handy. A ghost warns me someone is coming to kill Clive. When I rush back to the nocturne, I find vamps from New Orleans readying an attack. One of the benefits of vampires looking down on werewolves is no one expects much of me. They don’t expect it right up until I take their heads.

Now, Clive and I are setting out for New Orleans to take the fight back to the source. Vampires are masters of the long game. Revenge plots are often decades, if not centuries, in the making. We came expecting one enemy, but quickly learn we have darker forces scheming against us. Good thing I’m the secret weapon they never see coming

 

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


Nervous Nellie says…

I love these characters. The premise of the story is familiar but I still really liked it. It did have a couple of turns, not hair-pin turns, but turns nonetheless.

Sam is a 24 year old woman. Clive is a thousand year old vampire. If you can suspend your disbelief for that, than you can totally enjoy this book.

What drew me in was that Sam owns a bar and a bookstore. What a combination! Who wouldn’t love that? She’s a werewolf – a lone one – but one developing gifts that are helpful to the vampires. Do they want her only for her gifts or is it truly love? I think in this book, it’s truly love. The book isn’t that kind of story which makes my head hurt a lot less. It’s a fun ride and like I said, I love the characters. I can’t wait for book #3.

Other reviews from this series:

 

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Love and Lavender by Josi S. Kilpack

love and lavenderTitle: Love and Lavender
Author:  Josi S. Kilpack
Series:  Mayfield Family #4
Publish Date: November 2, 2021
Source: reviewer received from publisher

Publisher’s Description:Hazel Stillman is a woman of rare independence and limited opportunities. Born with a clubbed foot, she was sent away as a child and, knowing her disability means a marriage is unlikely, she devoted herself to scholarship and education.

Now working as a teacher in an elite private girls’ school, she is content with the way her story has unfolded. When her uncle Elliott Mayfield presents her with the prospect of a substantial inheritance if she marries, Hazel is offended. What kind of decent man would marry for her money? Besides, she loves her freedom as a professional, respected woman. When she hears rumors of the school possibly being sold, however, she knows she must consider all her options.

Duncan Penhale has a brilliant mind and thrives on order and process. He does not expect to marry because he likes his solitary life, shared only with his beloved cat. When Elliott Mayfield, his guardian’s brother, presents him with an inheritance if he marries a woman of social standing, Duncan finds it intrusive. However, with the inheritance, he could purchase the building in which he works and run his own firm. It would take an impressive and intellectual woman to understand and love him, quirks and all.

Hazel and Duncan believe they have found a solution to both of their problems: marry one another, receive their inheritances, and then part ways to enjoy their individual paths. But when Uncle Mayfield stipulates that they must live together as husband and wife for one year before receiving their inheritances, Hazel and Duncan reluctantly agree. Over time, their marriage of convenience becomes much more appealing than they had anticipated. At the end of the full year, will they go their separate ways or could an unlikely marriage have found unsuspecting love?

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


Nervous Nellie says…

I always like Josi Kilpack’s books.  Proper Romances focus mostly on the emotional connection between the love interests instead of the physical one.  This is a very unique couple.  Duncan is an accountant and it appears that he has the symptoms of some sort of neurological issue kind of like Asperger’s Syndrome because he is INCREDIBLY smart, but has difficulty in social areas of his life.  I was impressed that an author would write a less than perfect main character.  Hazel is a teacher at an all girls school and her niche is advanced mathematics.  She wants to better young girls lives so they have the ability to pick and choose the rest of their lives rather than pigeonholed in an uneducated, underpaid and less satisfying life.

I enjoyed the story and I cannot imagine the research that this author had to do in order to make this book cohesive.  I have to admit that I skipped over the math parts because I am not good at it nor understand it.   I could definitely see the support each half of the couple gave to the other.  It wasn’t an extremely romantic book, but it was very interesting.

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