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Listen Up! Three Light-Hearted UF/PNR Series

Since it’s been a while since I’ve posted, I thought I would play catch-up with a multi-book review. My goal lately has been to listen to audiobooks I’ve already purchased instead of buying something new. I have over a thousand audiobooks in three accounts, after all. I should be able to find SOMETHING entertaining, right? I landed on three light-hearted urban fantasy/paranormal romance series that had good mysteries and fit my mood perfectly.

I’m not going to include the story descriptions in this review to save space, but I’ll include a link to the series’ Goodreads page for descriptions. I highly recommend all three of these series if you’re in the mood for belly laughs, mysteries, relatable problems, gorgeous men, and a touch of romance.

Ordinary Magic series by Devon Monk

I decided to listen to Devon Monk‘s Ordinary Magic series again. I like this series a lot. It’s quirky and fun, and Khristine Hvam, who also voices the Jane Yellowrock and Soulwood series, does a fantastic job. I’ve liked Devon Monk’s writing since her Ally Beckstrom series. Ordinary Magic is lighter-hearted than Ally, but the mystery is good and I’m eager to see where it goes.

While the first three books in this series are published in the unabridged, single-narrator format, Graphic Audio has the first five books available. Graphic Audio produces full-scale dramatizations, though somewhat abridged. I like both types of productions, but I’d like to stay consistent within a series, so I hope the rest of Ordinary Magic gets made with Hvam narrating. Please, Audible? Pretty please?

Betwixt and Between series by Darynda Jones

After Ordinary Magic, I tried several different audiobooks. Either the story or the narrator wasn’t fitting my mood until I landed on Darynda Jones‘s Betwixt, and I realized I was wanting some light-hearted brain candy rather than my typical serious UF. The signature humor from Jones’s Charley Davidson series is all over Betwixt, and I laughed out loud several times, which was exactly what I needed. Traci Odom does a great job as narrator, ensuring the humor lands just right. My only frustration is that the second and third books aren’t out yet in audio! Bewitched releases on March 30 (a week from now) and Beguiled releases on May 5. All three books are available now in eBook, though, so I might have to switch formats to get more of this delightful series.

Madison Fox series by Rebecca Chastain

I wanted to stick with this lighthearted theme, so I decided to listen to Rebecca Chastain‘s Madison Fox series in audio. Before the audio was released, I had previously read and enjoyed this series in ebook format. So I knew I’d like the story. I just hoped the narrator did it justice. And she did! Elise Arsenault does a beautiful job voicing the characters and bringing the story to life. There are a few shorts and novellas in this series not in audio, and I’d love to see an anthology narrated by Arsenault, along with more Madison Fox adventures. In the meantime, however, I get to reread Chastain’s Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles and catch up on her Terra Haven series, which is starting to appear in audio as well. Thank you, Tantor!

Haunted be the Holidays by Heather Graham

When you’re looking for the victim of a mysterious murder in a theater, there is nothing like calling on a dead diva for help!

Title: Haunted be the Holidays
Author:  Heather Graham
Series:  Krewe of Hunters #26.5
Publish Date: October 30, 2018
Source: purchased by reviewer
Publisher’s Description: From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham comes a new story in her Krewe of Hunters series…

When you’re looking for the victim of a mysterious murder in a theater, there is nothing like calling on a dead diva for help! Krewe members must find the victim if they’re to discover the identity of a murderer at large, one more than willing to kill the performers when he doesn’t like the show.

It’s Halloween at the Global Tower Theatre, a fantastic and historic theater owned by Adam Harrison and run by spouses of Krewe members. During a special performance, a strange actor makes an appearance in the middle of the show, warning of dire events if his murder is not solved before another holiday rolls around.

Dakota McCoy and Brodie McFadden dive into the mystery. Both have a
special talent for dealing with ghosts, but this one is proving elusive. With the help of Brodie’s diva mother and his ever-patient father – who were killed together when a stage chandelier fell upon them – Dakota and Brodie set out to solve the case.

If they can’t solve the murder quickly, there will be no Thanksgiving for the Krewe . . .

Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series.

 

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


Nervous Nellie says…

 

I found this as a part as my Audible Escape package.  I’d never tried Heather Graham, so I figured to give her a shot.  I realize this is #26.5 in the series, but according to the description it is a stand alone.

I wouldn’t exactly believe the stand alone part.  There are plenty of references that I didn’t get.  It wasn’t an impactful book probably because I jumped into the middle of the series.

With that being said, it was a good book.  I got the drift mostly, although characters were a puzzle.  I got confused once or twice but I’m not the sharpest tack in the box either.  Anyway, this series obviously deals with the paranormal.  There were ghosts in this story so I imagine there are other paranormal things in the other books.  This story was a murder mystery.  No sex, no graphic gore but some really good writing.  That shouldn’t be a surprise since this is no indie author.  Heather Graham is well known and prolific author.

I think I’ll give the series a chance.  I feel like I’d be lying if I even rated this book because since it’s part of a series that sort of was a standalone but really not, I can’t really judge.  I thought it was good.  I’ll let you know more after I read more of the series.

 

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Demon Bewitched by Jenn Stark

Witches.  They are not nice.  They have their covens and they summon demons to play with them like a cat plays with a mouse.  Now, a witch has to marry a demon.  How’s that going to go for them?

Title:  Demon Bewitched
Author: Jenn Stark
Series: Demon Enforcers #3
Publish Date:  March 19, 2019
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source:  purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description:  You say witch like it’s a bad thing…

Former fallen angel, current smokin’ hot enforcer, and all-around demon most likely to get the girl, Stefan of the Syx knows women better than they know themselves. He should, because once upon a time, one of them caused his brutal damnation.

All these millennia later, however, Stefan still can’t resist a pretty smile. So when he learns his chance at redemption entails pairing up with a gorgeous redheaded spitfire, he’s ready to rock—until the other pitchfork drops. Because the bold, impulsive Cressida Frain’s not only a woman, she’s a witch. And a hookup between witches and demons is one of the few hard stops in Stefan’s book of Go.

Unfortunately, this is one offer Stefan can’t refuse. To keep her new position as high priestess for her coven, Cressida must lead her people in an ultimate showdown against evil. To help her succeed, Stefan must allow Cressida to take him, break him and bind him to her—body and soul. But neither of them are prepared for what happens next…

It’s out of the cauldron and into the fire when you’re a Demon Bewitched.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

Demon Enforcers are spread pretty thin in this world built by Jenn Stark.  They have to keep the demons in line or destroy them.  The Demon Enforcers are those that agree to become an enforcer for a chance to be redeemed.  The redemption is held in Archangel Michael’s hands and he makes them work thousands of years to get it.

The heroine in this story was stupid.  Okay, she gets a break because she’s young and has no experience, but she was played, man.  Stefan is ordered to deal with Cressida’s situation and he does his best.  The plot was fairly obvious right out of the chute, but the plot wasn’t supposed to be secret from us readers, it was supposed to be secret to the female heroine protagonist.  She fell hook, line and sinker.

There was one brief cameo from the world famous Sara Wilde, which made me all giddy.  How Stefan and Cressida made it through to the end, I have no idea.  It was all pretty touch and go.  Demons with big plans, witches with big plans and Michael with the biggest plan of them all.

 

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Love and Other Wild Things by Molly Harper

Another visit to Mystic Bayou that can’t be missed.  This time Zed will be the one that’s on the hunt instead of Bael.  Can the easy teddy bear be broke to lead?  Also, some mysteries about the rift.  Can they fix it?

Title:  Love and Other Wild Things
Author:  Molly Harper
Series:  Mystic Bayou #2
Publish Date: September 4, 2018
Narrators: Jonathan Davis, Amanda Ronconi 
Source: purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description:  Available in audio first, this hot, hilarious stand-alone will keep you wildly entertained!
Welcome to Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where shape-shifters, vampires, witches, and dragons live alongside humans. The town formed around the mysterious energy rift in the bayou, which helps keep the town’s magic in balance. But lately the rift has been widening and destabilizing – threatening to send the town’s magical population into chaos.

Energy witch Danica Teel has been sent by the League to figure out what’s going on, with the help of bear-shifter Mayor Zed. While working on the case, Zed falls head over paws for Dani, but she’s reluctant to engage in anything beyond a roll in his cave. Dani’s family is counting on her to get the job done, and she has no time for distractions. But when an ominous presence begins stalking Dani through the bayou, they’ll need to band together to make it out alive.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

This book does have sex, but not a lot.  It also has a murder mystery running rampant in Mystic Bayou…again!  There is cussing and pie.  Can’t forget the pie.

The best part of this whole book was listening to Zed’s voice.  Jonathan Davis was spot on.  The easy going cadence that is Zed fit perfectly.  Bael and Jillian make appearances as well as a lot of the rest of the town.

The research on the rift is necessary though a lot of the townsfolk aren’t sure they like the intrusion.  Unknown people everywhere all up in their business doesn’t sit well with creatures that have kept secrets for centuries.  Of course, Bael is still disowned, but who cares.  He’s happy.  Jillian’s happy.  Now, let’s make Zed happy.  And then there is Zed’s mama bear.  Yep, there is someone for her too.  It’s all very exciting!!

Our reviews in this series…

 

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The Alchemist’s Son by Athena Daniels

The Beyond the Grave series by Athena Daniels returns with Book 2, The Alchemist’s Son.

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

AlchemistTitle: The Alchemist’s Son
Author: Athena Daniels
Series: Beyond the Grave 02
Publish Date: August 16, Sunset Coast Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Source: Provided by publisher

Publisher’s DescriptionA town with a dark secret.
A detective digging for the truth.
A discovery that leads to an unthinkable sacrifice…

For one hundred years, a demon has been watching, waiting, plotting…

White witch Sage Matthews has inherited a gift that makes her both integral to an ancient prophecy and a target for a demon-possessed serial killer. Assigned to catch the killer, Detective Sergeant Ethan Blade falls wildly, and inconveniently, in love with the one woman he doesn’t know how to protect.

Together Sage and Ethan delve into the prophecy, and the more they learn, the more deadly their situation becomes. At midnight on the night of the blood moon, an ancient doorway will open, and a master demon and his horde will pour through and unleash hell on earth. Only Sage can stop their onslaught—but not if the demon kills her first.

With the blood moon looming, Sage discovers she can join forces with “the alchemist’s son” to destroy the demon. But who is the alchemist’s son? And will he be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice required to end this struggle between light and dark forever?

The Alchemist’s Son is the much-anticipated conclusion to Sage and Ethan’s journey of supernatural suspense and romance, which began in The Seer’s Daughter.


Luna Lovebooks says…Luna_Lovebooks_100

I must admit I was a little disappointed in this one. The title promises more of Ethan’s background but we get more of Sage trying to figure out what to do. Readers don’t learn more about Ethan until the story is almost over. Most of this installment is Sage still running around trying to figure out how to defeat the demon.

The setting is even darker in this book as the demon is closer to walking on this plane of existence. but readers get comedic breaks between the doom and gloom when they are introduced to the new characters of Ethan’s team. Ethan and Sage have their romance beautifully wrapped up.

badge3v4I did enjoy this novel but I think it could have taken a different direction that would have made me love it.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

Check out these other Romance reads!

His Darkest Craving by Tiffany Roberts, Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, Real by Katie Evans

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

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