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Wilde Child by Jenn Stark

Take a Wilde ride with a Wilde woman in her Wilde world.  Sara Wilde, more than what anyone anticipated.

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

TitleWilde Child
AuthorJenn Stark
SeriesImmortal Vegas #7
Publish Date:  May 17, 2017
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: From the Author

Publisher’s Description:

Come away, O human child…

No matter the job, no matter the client, Tarot-reading magical artifacts hunter Sara Wilde has only one hard-and-fast rule: protect the children. But the newest strain of technoceutical drugs–specifically designed to alter psychic children’s DNA–has thrown the arcane black market into a frenzy. As mistress of the House of Swords, Sara pits the power of her worldwide criminal syndicate against insidious enemies and even more treacherous allies to combat the threat, but it’s not enough. To destroy these drugs at their source, she must break her cardinal vow and put a child at risk.

Guided by a boy altered by technoceuticals, Sara races to derail the modernization of an ancient ritual devoted to a malevolent god. Except the children aren’t her only responsibility any longer. The Magician of the Arcana Council and her own House demand her focus as the war on magic erupts violently in several hot spots around the globe. Sara’s pretty sure things can’t get more complicated, until she discovers who is leading one of the other four fabled mortal Houses of Magic…a discovery that brings her face-to-face with the mother she’s never known.

Family skeletons just won’t stop dancing when you’re a Wilde Child.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

This is an urban fantasy about a woman who is trying to protect the gifted magic children of the world from organ traffickers.  They can make drugs out of their heart that will alter regular joe people to the magically enhanced.  There is some violence; guns, swords, magic and the heroine gets hurt a LOT.  But don’t let that put a damper on the story because she can heal at an accelerated rate.  That’s not all!  She’s in love with the Magician of the Arcane Council but won’t acknowledge it out loud.  She’s also an artifact thief.  She steals the artifacts before the bad people get them to create more mayhem.  Can it get any better?

I love this series.  Absolutely LOVE it.  Author Stark makes this world come alive and I feel like I’m one of Sara’s trusted few that are sitting right next to her and trying my best to protect her and help her save the Connected children of the world.  Don’t worry if you don’t like romance as the main story line because the story of Sara/Magician is not a huge focus.  It’s more of a “Oh, by the way…”.  Like I said, Sara is dedicated to trying to eradicate the black market for children.  I could go into all sorts of detail, but it’d be better to read the story.

I would suggest that the series be read in order.  It builds the world and the circumstances around how Sara gets to where she is in her life.  IMO, that’s very important part of the series.  She is on a journey that is simply not as easy as saving children – not that it easy by any means.  A LOT of characters are recurring so that makes the ride more fun because I got to watch them evolve right along with Sara.  Once a person is encompassed in Sara’s world, they’d better hold on for a Wilde ride.

The story is a ride that only Sara Wilde can ride.  No one else can do what she does and that’s because of who she is.  I especially like Sara because she’s not Superman.  She doesn’t have all of her power figured out and she doesn’t know what will happen next.  Everything is totally off script for her and her friends.  She takes risks, she pays for them dearly, but the risks are worth it to her.

 

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

…you might try  The Adventures of Owl series by Kristi Charish, Prof Croft series by Brad Magnarella, Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price, Jane Yellowrock and Nell Ingram series a/k/a Soulwood series by Faith Hunter, Eric Carter series by Stephen Blackmoore – you get the idea.  I could go on for days because this is my FAVORITE genre.

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

Forever Wilde by Jenn Stark

Immortal Vegas has quickly become one of Ivana and Nell’s favorite urban fantasy series. It has it all—magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, drama, and awesome characters. I really don’t know how you could ask for more.

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

forever-wildeTitleForever Wilde
AuthorJenn Stark
SeriesImmortal Vegas, Book 06
Publish Date: December 27, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Cover: Gene Mollica
Source: Provided by the author

Publisher’s DescriptionLife has never been smoother for Tarot-reading artifact hunter Sara Wilde. With a worldwide criminal organization at her beck and call, she can finally secure the safety of the youngest and most vulnerable members of the psychic community. Sure, she’s been banged up a little, and the Magician’s most recent attempts to heal her turned her temporarily immortal. But otherwise…things are coming up roses.

Then Sara discovers an enclave of psychic children whose DNA has been dangerously altered, making them the hottest targets on the planet for traffickers. A new strain of technoceutical drugs is flooding the arcane black market, and powerful Connecteds, the Arcana Council, and even Interpol are intent on discovering its source. To protect the children and her House, Sara joins the hunt. What she discovers, however, causes her to question everything she knows about the war on magic and her own deeply-buried motivations.

Still reeling from those revelations, Sara reluctantly partners with the Magician to find and retrieve the most elusive member of the Council, the Hanged Man. Working together far too closely for comfort, Sara learns a series of startling truths about the mercurial, exasperating, and manipulative Magician–including one secret that could finally give her the answers she most craves…if it doesn’t destroy her first.

The hits just keep on coming when you’re Forever Wilde.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100

Invested Ivana says…

So, my review is about a week late, but for good reason.  Forever Wilde is the sixth Immortal Vegas book, and even though they’ve all come out within a year and a half of each other, I still wanted to reread the series. So, I read all six and a half books for this review and loved every minute of it. 😉 Immortal Vegas is so much fun!

Sara continues her crusade to protect the Connected children of the world. Now she’s on the hunt for the manufacturers of “technoceuticals,” drugs that use a combination of technology and magic to enhance a person’s psychic gifts, possibly by altering their DNA. Unfortunately, it seems that the creators of the drugs may have had some help from a member of the Council, The Hanged Man, who has been absent from the Council for years.

badge5v5I’m not going to lie — at the end of Aces Wilde, I thought maybe Nikki would end up being the Hanged Man. If you read an interpretation of the Hanged Man card, it talks about upending the old order, doing an about-face, living in the moment, accepting what is, looking at something from a new perspective—all things that could relate to Nikki’s experience as a transgender female and her current personality, both. Though the Hanged Man turned out to be someone different, the reveal certainly WASN’T disappointing. In fact, I can’t wait to see where this series goes next.

Nervous Nellie says…Nervous_Nellie_100

Holy crap on a cracker.  Or maybe I should say something like Nikki would say regarding biblical people on bicycles. Seriously.  This series keeps getting better.  Ivana speaks of upending the old order and I have to tell you that this story totally upended me.

I hadn’t talked to Ivana much about this series, so I’m relieved that it wasn’t only me that suspected Nikki was the Hanged Man.  I could practically taste the victory behind my guess.  I was wrong.  Wow, though, the idea of who actually is the Hanged Man? Brilliant.  The story that Author Stark brought me had me totally at her mercy.

I know you are waiting for me to spill about Armaeus and Sara’s relationship.  Firstly, don’t think anything is resolved  their relationship. Nope. Not at all. Her position in relation to the Council? Huh-uh. What good is the book if nothing is revealed, you ask? Well, I’ve learned quite a little about our arrogant and emotionally vacant Armaeus. Some pretty interesting stuff too.  You will have to read the book for yourself for that info.  I learned who the Hanged Man is and what that’s all about.  I learned about more problems Sara has to work through regarding well…pretty much everything.  Connected children, check.  House of Swords business, check. Possible knowledge about her parentage? Check. Brody & Dixie? check and check. Yep, Sara has got a lot on her plate besides Armaeus and the Council, that is for sure.  I will say no more.

badge5v5If you haven’t read this series, please pick it up.  The writing is amazing and the stories are absolutely enthralling.  The author does her homework and the story flows along so well that I never give a second thought about the wheres and wherefores to any of it.  Author Stark weaves a tale that I can see very clearly in my head.  The characters are multi dimensional and singular. They have distinct personalities and agendas. The imagery that is painted with words shows me so much about the scenes that I don’t even notice I’m reading.  I just see the pictures. The story is complete and very well thought out.  Jenn Stark makes writing look easy – that’s how good she is.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

It’s hard to decide which awesome urban fantasies to recommend, as there are so many excellent ones. I’d suggest checking out Ivana’s list of favorite UF series on her About page.

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

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Aces Wilde by Jenn Stark

I love this series!  Sara Wilde is back and stirring up more trouble in Book 5 of the Immortal Vegas series! Only this time, she’s getting closer to playing with a full deck!

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Aces WildeTitleAces Wilde
AuthorJenn Stark
SeriesImmortal Vegas Book 05
Publish Date: August 29th, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: provided by the author

Publisher’s DescriptionNever play the game without an Ace up your sleeve.

During her years of finding and selling artifacts on the arcane black market, Tarot reader Sara Wilde has made a bona fide killing. Now, as the recently appointed head of an ancient Connected syndicate, she’s forced to take a truly deadly role in the war on magic.

Within the House of Swords, every blade cuts deep. Usurpers and claimants attack from all sides, while the Magician’s insidious pull on Sara becomes ever more twisted and beguiling. As she struggles to strengthen her position and manage her new, unwieldy abilities, Sara discovers her greatest challenge yet: a master warrior determined to deliver the syndicate and everyone it protects to its mortal enemy.
Bolstered by an unexpected Ace and a mystical sword, and faced with a round-the-world race to outmaneuver friends and foes alike, Sara’s future balances on a merciless edge.

The cards can cut both ways when you play ACES WILDE.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

The Minor Arcana is finally coming into play.  At the end of the last book, Sara discovered that there are four houses—those of swords, pents, cups, and wands—run by mortals, who are supposed to be the House of Representatives to the Major Arcana’s Senate. But they haven’t been heard of for a thousand years or more… until now.

badge4v4And of course, Sara has been made the head of one of them, the House of Swords. But Sara doesn’t fight with swords; she fights with guns and Tarot cards. How is she going to survive the inevitable challenges to her leadership when those challenges are decided by sword fight? Find a magical sword, of course. Finding magical artifacts is what Sarah does. 😉

Like all the novels in this series, I ate this one up like candy. I love the characters and the adventure and all the crazy situations Sara gets herself into. The Immortal Vegas series is fun urban fantasy at its finest! 4.5.

Nervous_Nellie_100Nervous Nellie says…

Nothing like being the new kid at school who’d somehow pissed off the Mafia.

or

He’d hung me out to dry so many times, my soul was starting to bleach out.

BOOM! Yeah! This is an urban fantasy, some violence, a little kissing, but so full of adventure I could not put it down.

I swear to you that this author writes so well that I feel like I’m living Sara Wilde’s life.  I can feel the over arc of the series building and if it doesn’t end with a huge EXPLOSION!! I will be surprised.

The characters in this series are so vivid that I had more than once stop and remind myself that Armaeus the Magician of the Arcana Council is really just a character and I cannot go and whoop his butt on behalf Sara.  Not that she can’t fight her own fights, but still…geez.  What a jerk.  I will backpedal a little here, however, because without Armaeus, there would be no one that I would love to hate.

Sara is dealt with some pretty serious self thinking issues in this book.  Is she really the one meant to do the bloody hand to hand fighting in this war to save the Connected children or would she do more good actually taking care of the Connected children like Father Jerome?  She also has the House of Swords to manage.  Is she really supposed to be the leader of this House of the minor Arcana?  The badge4v4Council tells her something, Father Jerome begs her to reconsider her place in the war and Armaeus is just aloof and seemingly uncaring.  But is he…really?

I thought that Stark had thrown just about everything at Sara and guess what?  I was so wrong.  The ending isn’t a cliffhanger, but it’s a ‘whoa’ moment all it’s own.  C’mon, Jenn, you are gonna give me a heart attack!!

Our reviews in this series…

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Wicked and Wilde by Jenn Stark

Treasure hunting on a Japanese yacht. With ninja geisha. And a Lovecraftian, tentacled sky demon. With an opening like this, a book can’t HELP but be awesome!

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Wicked and WildeTitle:  Wicked and Wilde
Author:  Jenn Stark
SeriesImmortal Vegas Book 04
Publish Date:  May 24, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: Provided by the author

Publisher’s DescriptionHell hath no fury…

Tarot reader Sara Wilde has spent her whole life finding the lost with the use of her trusty cards–from missing kids to shifty criminals to ancient, arcane artifacts. But when her newest assignment sends her straight to Hell, she discovers more than she bargained for.

The journey through Dante’s playground forces Sara to endure a client’s bitter loss, fall victim to a vicious betrayal by her own kind, and come face-to-face with the woman she might have been–a soul capable of heartless brutality. Not even Sara’s blossoming love for the darkly sensual Magician is safe in the underworld. She’s tested in ways she never fathomed, ways that could drive her mad or utterly destroy her.

But time waits for no artifact hunter. Back in Vegas, the war on magic takes a fatal turn, with the worst of the dark practitioners focusing on all Sara holds dear. If she doesn’t escape the bonds of the underworld, scores of psychics will die. To flee Hell for good, however, the final sacrifice Sara must make may be more than she can bear.

Nothing’s ever easy when you’re Wicked And Wilde.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Nervous_Nellie_100Nervous Nellie says…

He wasn’t a bad sort, this grim Imperial general who appeared to suffer great tragedy every time he spoke to me. But he was monotonous.

or

The kettle corn stand was as close as I’d ever gotten to watching someone have a religious revelation, and the Hierophant’s spontaneous surges of joy almost leveled me as I stood next to him.

This is an urban fantasy with mild violence and a little romance.  There isn’t a cliffhanger, but it does end in a place that leaves you pumped up.  There isn’t any sex, but the relationship building makes your toes curl. Sariah gets hurt more than once, but she’s a tough chick.

I love this series.  Love, Love, Love!  What do I love the most? Yeah, okay.  It’s the relationship building with Sara and The Magician.  I bookmark those pages and read them again.  The writing is so awesome that I can picture the scene and feel Sara’s panic/fear reaction just as easily as her lust…..or is it love?  The beginning stages of Sara’s trip to Hell looking for Armaeus is absolutely intoxicating.  You HAVE to read it!

badge5v4I must commend author Stark on her twists and turns.  I fought with myself time and again with some scenes because I just KNEW it was too good to be true, but yet if it was true that would be so incredibly incredible…

Sara learns more about herself and I learned more about Tarot and the Arcane Council.  The revelation made perfect sense to me and I was able to see the why and where of some things.  I think it’s remarkable that I got to meet an earlier set of the Council just to see the dynamics.  It was pretty cool. I was also stuck on Rutya’s warning and plea to Sara that happened early on in the book.  That really stuck with me through the whole book.  I cannot wait to see what happens next.  I thought the story was pumped, but now it’s a few more notches above that……whew!

 

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

What drew me to this book: I’ve been reading the Immortal Vegas series since it started, and I love it. Vegas, tarot, magic, and mayhem are all right up my alley. Plus the excellent writing, the beautiful Gene Mollica covers, and the incredibly sweet author! There were some big reveals in last book, and a powerful player planned a trip to Hell without his immortality to rely on. Commence with the nail biting!

Why I kept reading: OMG, this book is exciting! For fans of the series, the coolest part is getting some background and history about the Magician.  Sara’s trip to Hell feels like one long dream sequence, but she gets some amazing information from it.  We get introduced to yet another hidden side of the Connected community and learn more about the war against the Connecteds. Sara ends up with a whopping responsibility at the end.  And… there are geisha.  Ninja geisha.  What’s better than that?

I have to mention that if you like tarot cards (and you can like them whether or not you believe in them), you really should try this series. I absolutely love the way Sara uses her cards to guide her decisions and actions. Jenn Stark does a fascinating job of interpreting not only the traditional meanings of the cards, but using the actual, literal images themselves in the story.  And she uses the most common deck, the Rider-Waite Tarot, instead of some of the more beautiful but rarer decks, so that readers can look at images of the cards online or whip out their own tarot deck (as I’ve been known to do) to see the cards along with Sara. It’s fun looking at the cards in interesting new ways. 😉

badge4v4Why I recommend it: This series is just downright fun.  Every book is a “wilde” adventure that leaves you saying, “Next book, please!”  The author’s world building, imagination, and writing are top notch, and I always have a heck of a good time reading her stories.  4.5!

Our reviews in this series…

Other reviews…

Wicked and Wilde is just out today, so watch your favorite review sites for more reviews!

If you like this book…

…you might try the Adventures of Owl series by Kristi Charish, the White Trash Zombie series by Diana Rowland, or the Cursed series by Amy Braun.

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Born to be Wilde by Jenn Stark

Sara Wilde is back!  This time, her past is haunting her in a big way.  Can she do now what she couldn’t do back when she was “Psychic Teen Sariah,” find the missing kids and return them to their family?

Born to be WildeTitle:  Born To Be Wilde
Author:  Jenn Stark
SeriesImmortal Vegas Book 03
Publish Date:  February 23, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: Provided by the Author

Publisher’s DescriptionIf there’s one thing that Tarot-reading magical artifacts hunter Sara Wilde has never been able to track down, it’s the truth about her own past. But now a powerful new threat to the psychic community will take Sara back to where it all began: the last job she worked with Officer Brody Rooks as “Psychic Teen Sariah,” the job that destroyed her life and sent her on the run. Because the enemy she fled all those years ago has returned… with a posse of demons as his personal entourage.

Worse, Sara’s infuriating mentor, the dangerously seductive Magician, is pushing her to stretch her abilities and explore the very deepest reaches of her magic. But every demand draws her further into the spell he’s weaving around her. And every challenge tests her vow to keep him at arm’s length.

From the glittering chaos of Las Vegas to the Lost City of Atlantis, Sara must risk everything in a quest for vengeance that grows darker and more twisted with every step. To succeed she’ll have to face the truth about her past, her abilities…and the impossible, unstoppable attraction she has to the Magician. A truth that will reveal her ultimate role in the war on magic.

Life is full of surprises when you are Born to Be Wilde.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Nervous_Nellie_100Nervous Nellie says…

This is an urban fantasy.  The heroine is usually a little worse for wear.  She’s relentlessly being subjected to dangers to her personal self.  She’s learning, but the curve is steep.  There is a little tiny bit of sex.  If that puts you off, just skip over it because the story is worth it.

Sara is coming into her abilities and she has to learn everything she needs at break neck speed.  The main story arc continues with more twists than I could even imagine.  I learned more about her  and found out that she isn’t just an ordinary person with abilities.  She’s much more and it’s very, very cool.  I learned more about the arcane council and their so called “balance”.  A couple of new members of the council are introduced and one is Death.  What a character!  Actually, the whole arcane council are made up of “characters”. Like politicians, I’m not really sold that these folks ought to be in charge.

The story arc for this book closes a chapter for Sariah (Sara’s old life). It’s one of her old cases that left her raw and emotionally ripped apart.  All the standard characters are back in this episode. Nikki is a very popular character in this story, which I love.  I think she’s got to be my favorite character.  She’s so bold and no nonsense.  Brody is back.  Dixie too.  Of course the Magician…and the Devil *swoon*.

badge5v4The characters are very well developed, IMO.  I loved the vulnerability of Armaeus- it made him a deeper character.  I loved how the author manipulated the relationship between Sara and Armaeus.  It was brilliant.  The forbidden connection was the spice the story needed to keep the tension between the two.  The Devil is all up in their business too, so no fear about that.

I can’t get enough of this series.  I’m finished with this story and I’m ready for the next.  It’s almost as addicting as ice cream.  I give it a solid 5.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

Born to be Wilde reveals a bunch of secrets about Sara’s past–things she hadn’t even imagined–and hints at many more. Primarily, we learn a lot more about her days as “Psychic Teen Sariah,” working with officer Brody to find three missing children. Can Sara Wilde do now what Sariah Pelter couldn’t do then and bring those children home?

As her past comes back to haunt her, Sara is also worried about Armaeus–The Magician–since his attempts to recover from the damage received in Wilde Card have made him mortal… temporarily. Mortal Armaeus is even more tempting than immortal Armaeus, and Sara finds she doesn’t want to resist. Is this finally the tryst we’ve all been waiting for? 8^O

badge4v4There is so much more to Sara, to the Council, to the war, to… everything than we have so far been lead to believe. Born to be Wilde really blows the doors open on this world and sucks you right in.

Our reviews in this series…

Other reviews…

Born to be Wilde publishes tomorrow, February 23rd, so be sure to watch Amazon, Goodreads, and your favorite book retailer and book review blogs for reviews.

If you like this book…

…you might try The Adventures of Owl by Kristi Cherish, the SPI Files by Lisa Shearin, or the Madison Fox series by Rebecca Chastain.