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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.

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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.

T*Witches: The Witch Hunters by H.B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld

Cam and Alex are back in their hometown with new drama and new powers – just as a new enemy comes to visit.

Title: The Witch Hunters
Author: H.B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld
Series: T*Witches, Book 08
Publish Date: June 1, 2003, Scholastic
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: In the aftermath of an unsettled trip to Coventry Island, Cam and Alex cannot rest until they find out why one of the Six Pack is showing off some strange powers, and why a stranger to Marble Bay wants to deprive its people of magic.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat Mandu says…

If you were to read the original paperback summary of what this story is about, you’d probably be confused. My copy says that Cam’s BFF’s are acting way weird. But the fact is they’re really not. With the exception of one particular friend the twins discover is a “sensitive”—aka someone who is not born a real witch, but has certain abilities like ESP or heightened senses)—Cam’s friends don’t really play a particular role in the plot at all.

It does start with an assassination attempt on the warlock-turned-actor, Brice Stanley, which the girls manage to stop. Obsessed with finding this reaper-like stalker, the girls get in tune with their newly developed abilities to find out just who this mad guy is. Turns out he’s connected with Sersee, the enemy witch from the previous book. He hates all things witchy and has spent the last few years hunting down and calling out several witches in his attempt to expose them and magic in general.

Ileana and Miranda have their own adventure as well, confronting Sersee, who stole Karsh’s sacred journal, and Thantos, who gets a taste of his own medicine once Sersee exacts her revenge for cursing her into stone. But they end up retrieving the book and regaining some confidence. Plus, Miranda sees a new side to Thantos she’s been denying, so hopefully, she figures out that even if he isn’t a murderer, he’s still a dick.

This one had a nice flow to it, which is why I rated it higher. The bad guys are still goofy and there are some inevitably cheesy moments, but all in all, it’s a great addition to the series.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

You might try the Daughters of the Moon series by Lynne Ewing, the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan, and Witches’ Key To Terror by Silver RavenWolf.

Lost in Wonderland by Nicky Peacock

This is not your typical Wonderland. You have been warned.

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

Lost in WonderlandTitle: Lost in Wonderland
Author: Nicky Peacock
Series: The Twisted and the Brave 01
Publication Date: April 14, 2016, Evernight Teen
Genre: YA Paranormal Mystery
Source: Provided by author

Publisher’s DescriptionMonsters, serial killers, and imaginary friends—being a Wonderlander can be murder…

Once upon a time, Kayla was lost. Then she found Wonderland, but not the one you know. Run by ex-government agents and funded by an eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire, this Wonderland is the name of a collective of highly trained vigilantes who hunt serial killers. Now Kayla, aka Mouse, works tirelessly alongside her fellow Wonderlanders, Rabbit and Cheshire, baiting dangerous murderers. But even her extensive training hasn’t prepared her for the return of her older brother…

Shilo has spent most of his life in an insane asylum, convinced his mother was abducted by a sinister Alaskan monster who lures the lost away to feast upon their flesh. And now he’s certain that his sister is in the same monster’s crosshairs. But if Shilo is going to save what’s left of his family, he’ll have to convince his sister that maybe, just maybe, we’re all a little mad.


Luna Lovebooks says…Luna_Lovebooks_100

“You used to be much more…muchier. You’ve neglected your muchness, Mouse.”

I must admit, even after reading the synopsis, I was expecting something more akin to the fantastical Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Other Stories. While it was a little shock to discover this isn’t the case, this tale delivers the fantastical and humorous as well as being dark and thrilling!

This is undoubtedly one clever book. In its own right, the book is dark. It is chock full of murder and intrigue. I mean, a secret vigilantly group that hunts and kills serial killers? That would be awesome by itself!  But the little bits of Carrol’s Alice makes things a little lighter. Quotes and references litter the pages, adding to the characters and the tale overall, and made this reviewer love the tale all that much more.

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The characters all have their own strengths and weaknesses. This makes them seem more realistic—even the killer/monster, the Kustaka.  This also adds to the narration as the story is told from Kayla and Shilo’s point of view, as well as that of the Kustaka.

The ending to the story felt a bit rushed, and I found myself wishing that the chase was drawn out just a bit longer. But overall, this is a powerful start to a series, and I can’t wait to read the next installments. 4 teacups all around!

Other recommendations…

If you love Wonderland tales, you might try the following re-tellings: Splintered by A.G. Howard, Death of the Mad Hatter by Sarah J Pepper, Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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

Carnifex by D. P. Prior

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

CarnifexTitle: Carnifex
Author: D.P. Prior
Series: Legend of the Nameless Dwarf Book 01
Publish Date: January 15th 2016, Homunculus
Genre: High Fantasy
Source: Publisher

Publisher’s Description: For more than a thousand years, the dwarves have hidden away from the world in their ravine city of Arx Gravis. Governed by an inflexible council whose sole aim is to avoid the errors of the past, the defining virtue of their society is that nothing should ever change. 

But when the Scriptorium is broken into, and Ravine Guard Carnifex Thane sees a homunculus fleeing the scene of the crime, events are set in motion that will ensure nothing will ever be the same again.

Deception and death are coming to Arx Gravis.

The riddles that preceded Carnifex’s birth crystalize into a horrifying fate that inexorably closes in.

But it is in blood that legends are born, and redemption is sometimes seeded in the gravest of sins. For Carnifex is destined to become the Ravine Butcher, before even that grim appellation is forever lost, along with everything that once defined him.


Luna Lovebooks says…Luna_Lovebooks_100

It is rare to find a fantasy story centered around dwarves, and I enjoyed the world building. The dwarven world was captured quite well in my opinion. Their culture is an odd mix of Scottish and Viking. Masculinity is prized, but it is a matriarchal society. Outsiders are not welcome, and this has lead to a stagnation of their culture. But exciting things are about to happen whether the dwarves want to admit it or not. 

The characters were well written in my opinion, if not what we would consider traditional dwarves. Most of the dwarves I am familiar with live deep underground. These dwarves live very much like humans. I can’t decide if this adds to the story or takes away from it. But I think I am leaning more towards the non-traditional tropes adding to the dwarf mythos.

The plot was a little slow in places, but it is fun and adventurous. The battle scenes are not something to be laughed at. It can be extremely difficult to write a scene involving combat well. Prior’s are violent and gripping, however.

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I will admit that when writing this review I had to step outside myself to write it well. I, personally, did not enjoy this story as well as I thought I would. That isn’t to say that Carnifex isn’t a wonderfully written work because it is, it just wasn’t for me. I may try to go back to it at another time to see if my opinion changes. This also makes it very hard to rate. Because of my lack of enjoyment I really want to give it a three, however, I am settling on a 4 because it is well written and I may come back to it at a later date.

Other recommendations…

If you like dwarves check out these other great reads: The Dwarves by Markus Heitz, The Crystal Shard by R.A. Salvatore, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

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