Blog Archives

Tarnished Knight by Bec McMaster

In the steam-fuelled world of Victorian London, vampires, werewolves and slasher gangs stalk the night and a man made partly of metal is about to discover just how far he’ll go to protect the woman he loves…

Title:  Tarnished Knight
Author:  Bec McMaster
Series:  London Steampunk #1.5
Publish Date:  April 5, 2013
Source: free only to those signed up for author’s newsletter

Publisher’s Description: In the steam-fuelled world of Victorian London, vampires, werewolves and slasher gangs stalk the night and a man made partly of metal is about to discover just how far he’ll go to protect the woman he loves…

After a vicious vampire attack left him struggling to leash the dark urges of the craving virus, John “Rip” Doolan thinks he’s finally starting to master the darkness within. The only thing that threatens to shatter his hard-won control is Esme, his closest friend and the only woman he’s ever wanted. If the stubborn beauty ever realized precisely what was going through his mind, their friendship would be ruined.

For six months, Esme has waited for Rip to recover and take her as his thrall, not daring to hope for more. Too afraid to put her heart on the line, she is devastated when Rip reveals that he never had any intentions of making her his.

But when a savage gang of Slashers start causing havoc in Whitechapel, Rip and Esme have no choice. They must face up to the depth of the passion that burns between them and forge a new relationship…or risk losing each other forever.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

Indeed, the dark should fear him.

 

This is a typical case of a man being blind as a bat.  John was turned blue blood by Blade to save his life.  John and Esme were very good friends but Esme wanted more.  John wanted more too, but he didn’t think Esme did even though she practically hammered the idea on his head.  Esme tried every way she could think of to tell him – directly, indirectly, actions, words, no actions, no words and nothing seemed to break through John’s thick head.

It finally took “meddlin'” as Blade called it to clear the air.  Blade and his wife, Honoria, are making a home for their “family”.  Some are blood, some are not but they are all family.  Blade can’t stand not seeing Esme happy and even though he was supposed to leave things alone, he HAD to play matchmaker – which tickled him pink.

This is a fun book (except for when the bad guys steal people to drain them and want to take over Whitechapel) and it ends with a good ending.  There is some sex, some foul language but John and Esme get their own story which was *sigh* so nice.

 

Other reviews in this series:

  • Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster

Follow One Book Two on Social Media via:

   Bloglovin_small Feedly_small RSSFeed_small

Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it’s the last safe haven. But at what price?

Title:  Kiss of Steel
Author:  Bec McMaster
Series:  London Steampunk #1
Publish Date:  September 1, 2012
Source: purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description: When Nowhere Is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it’s the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It’s been said he faced down the Echelon’s army single-handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood-craving he’s been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She’s so…innocent. He doesn’t see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he’s been seeking.

 

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


Nervous Nellie says…

“Are you decent?”

“Rarely,” he said, with an ironic drawl.

“Are you clothed?”

“Aye.”

Right off I have to tell you  that I LOVED this book.  The story starts out in a steampunk world of 1870’s London, England.  The aristocracy are all “creatures” called Blue Bloods.  They have been infected (on purpose) with a craving virus similar to vampirism except it’s not quite the same.  The vampirism doesn’t take hold until after a blue blood (called so because their blood is a purplish/blue kind of color) goes through the “Fade”.  The Fade is called so because a blue blood’s virus count tops out and the higher it gets the less color the person has.  Meaning that everything about them turns albino in coloring and then they loose their mind and become a raging, killing machine that is nearly invincible.  It’s like Vampires but a different spin!

So, there is swearing, some romantic scenes and some sex scenes.  There is a lot of blood and gore at times but a lot more mystery and intrigue.  Honoria’s father was a scientist trying to find a cure for “The Fade” – not necessarily the craving virus because the aristocracy or The Echelon WANTS that.  The virus keeps them young, strong and hardy for as long as the virus count stays low enough.  All males born into aristocracy gets a chance at the craving virus.  At 15, all boys get infected as a rite of passage.  Some that are low born are accidentally infected.  Those are made into the “secret service/F.B.I.” of the aristocracy called the Nighthawks.  The best of the best of the Nighthawks are moved into the Coldrush Guards.  Those low born or those that are accidentally infected that eschew the Nighthawks are rogues and will be killed immediately unless…they can get away.  Blade is a rogue.

I loved these characters.  They are so dimensional and clear that they could step right out of the book.  I loved this book so much, that I continued and read book 1.1 and book 1.5 immediately.  I’m now starting on book 2.  This series sucked me in quickly and I cannot put it down!!

 

Follow One Book Two on Social Media via:

   Bloglovin_small Feedly_small RSSFeed_small

Listen Up! Dark Divide, Badlands Witch, and Immortal Conquistador by Carrie Vaughn

I’m super excited to be going back into the world of Kitty Norville for these stories about Kitty’s friends — bounty hunter, Cormac, and his witch partner Amelia, and the vampire Rick, Conquistador de la Noche and Master of Denver.

Jump To Review

Dark DivideTitleDark Divide and Badlands Witch
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Series: set in the world of Kitty Norville
Publish Date: January 28, 2020, Tantor Media
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Neil Hellegers
Source
: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: In brand-new stories spun off from the New York Times Bestselling Kitty Norville series, dark mysteries push the bounds of sanity. Cormac Bennett, ex-con and former bounty hunter, is a paranormal investigator with an edge: his partner is the disembodied spirit of a Victorian wizard, Amelia Parker. Together, they solve problems no one else can.

In Dark Divide, they’re asked to investigate a mysterious death in the Sierra Nevadas: a man died of hunger —in a cabin that was fully stocked with provisions. The kicker? The cabin is located near Donner Pass, the site of the gruesomely ill-fated Donner Party, where forty men, women, and children died of exposure and starvation. The event was made famous by reports of cannibalism among the survivors. Is the Donner site haunted? Is some evil force rising again after a hundred fifty years to wreak destruction? Can Cormac and Amelia learn the truth without being caught in the web? Well, they can try…

In Badlands Witch, Cormac and Amelia travel to South Dakota, where an archeologist has hired them to examine an artifact for possible magical qualities. Cormac is skeptical, Amelia is intrigued. And it turns out – the whole thing is a trap. Cormac used to make his living killing monsters, and he made more than a few enemies back in the day. Who from his past is out for revenge, and can he and Amelia survive?

These stories are published separately as Kindle novellas but together in audio.

Immortal ConqistadorTitle: Immortal Conquistador
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Series: set in the world of Kitty Norville
Publish Date: April 28, 2020, Tantor Media
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Neil Hellegers
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: From Carrie Vaughn, author of the beloved Kitty Norville werewolf talk-show host series, comes the vampire origin story of Kitty’s famed ally, Rick-and his sudden turn to darkness in the seventeenth century.

More than 500 years before his friendship with Kitty, noble Ricardo de Avila’s life met a fate-changing twist, and his morally-complex, blood-soaked existence as an immortal began. Before being turned, Ricardo de Avila would have followed Coronado to the ends of the earth. Instead he found the end of his mortal life-and a new one, as a renegade vampire. For over five hundred years as an immortal, Ricardo has followed his own moral code, upsetting the established order in the demon world. He has protected his found family from marauding evil, joined up with a legendary gunslinger, tended bar, appointed himself the Master of Denver, and discovered a church buried under the Vatican. The life of a vampire is frequently long, but for Rick, it is never easy.

DEFINITE spoilers beyond this point.


Talk bubble for IvanaInvested Ivana says…

Story: In Dark Divide and Badlands Witch, we get to know more about Ben’s cousin, Cormac, and Cormac’s partner, the 19th-century witch, Amelia, who hitched a ride in his head while he was in prison. Since Cormac can no longer pursue his career as a bounty hunter, he and Amelia start investigating paranormal events and, of course, find lots of trouble.

I enjoy their adventures very much. The contrast in their voices and perspectives is interesting, and seeing the incredibly closed-off Cormac from inside his own head is enlightening. He’s a tough nut to crack in Kitty’s stories, and though he’s a beloved character, readers don’t really get to know him. Seeing him open up in these stories, even if it’s because he doesn’t have a choice to do otherwise, is a cool bit of character development.

I couldn’t help myself, though. Everyone once in a while as I was reading, I had to whisper to myself, “back in bowl” the way Richard Libertini says it in All of Me (1984). Yeah, I know. I’m old and that’s an old reference. But oh, so appropriate.

The Immortal Conquistador is both a flashback novel and forward character development for Rick, the reluctant vampire. He’s another interesting character in Kitty’s world—which, in all honesty, is filled with interesting characters. Readers get to follow Rick through periods in history as he contemplates his origins and how they made him the perfect agent for a secret papal army fighting the supernatural baddies of the world.

I really enjoyed this novel, but it also left me with more questions. This novel didn’t tell us how Rick came to be a part of the Denver group of vampires after he refused to do so several times over (though it’s been a while since I read the Kitty series, and if it’s told there, I forget). Also, will we see more of Rick in his new role as a Vatican-sanctioned vampire? Perhaps pursuing the new information we learned about Dux Bellorum? I’d read that for sure. Maybe the upcoming October release, Kitty’s Mix Tape, will touch on some of these.

And as long as I’m asking, how about a novel about Odessus Grant, the magician Kitty meets in Vegas with the magic box behind which I like to imagine the Old Gods lurks? I am super curious about his character and would love to learn more about him.

Narration: I am pleasantly surprised by the narration by Neil Hellegers, not having heard him before. I wasn’t sure at first if Hellegers sounded like Cormac to me, but as with any new narrator, it just took me time to align the character and the voice in my head. I see Hellegers narrates the Black Magic Outlaw series by Domino Finn, which is in my TBR list, and J.P. Sloan’s Dark Choir series, which I’ve read and reviewed but not heard, so I’ll have to pull those out soon.

badge5v5Overall: I think I would read any story set in Kitty’s world, whether it was about Kitty or her many interesting acquaintances. Vaughn has created a rich world full of magic and mayhem that could support thousands of stories. Sign me up for all of them!

Betrayals by Lili St. Crow

Dru is back, and now that the first battle for her life is over, worse is yet to come.

Title: Betrayals
Author: Lili St. Crow
Series: Strange Angels, Book 2
Publish Date: October 29, 2009
Genre: young adult paranormal
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: She’s no angel…

Poor Dru Anderson. Her parents are long gone, her best friend is a werewolf, and she’s just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn’t entirely human. (So what else is new?)

Now Dru is stuck at a secret New England Schola for other teens like her, and there’s a big problem—she’s the only girl in the place. A school full of cute boys wouldn’t be so bad, but Dru’s killer instinct says that one of them wants her dead. And with all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean a lot more than social suicide…

Can Dru survive long enough to find out who has betrayed her trust—and maybe even her heart?

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat Mandu says…

Betrayals takes place mere minutes after the events of Strange Angels. Dru, Graves, and Christophe have been relocated to a boys school for teenage werewolves and vamps. Then Christophe leaves, and Dru is left reeling, feeling out and place and fearful for her life. Graves, however, seems to find his place immediately, becoming an Alpha and respected on campus for being the rare breed of lou garou.

There’s a lot of reflection for Dru as she thinks about hunts with her dad, how he died, and her long-buried genetics that reveal she’s more than human. There’s even a scene I really enjoyed where her svetocha comes out to play. I am certain I’ll see more of that power later when she comes into it.

The descriptions of the action scenes sadly didn’t get any better, bouncing from one to the next without fluidity. I’m still not sure what really happened during the attack at the school, or the boss battle with Sergej at the end…everything just seemed so chaotic. Sometimes I wonder if the author intended for it to be that way, describing everything so awkwardly that you’re just as lost as the character and therefore are unable to predict the outcome. Then I wonder if it’s just me. I’m not sure, but I still don’t really follow the action scenes well.

Overall, a good read. The characters are great, I’m excited to see what happens next, I’m just hoping I’ll get a clearer view for future books. 3 stars.

Our reviews in this series…

The Silver Queen by Josie Jaffrey

Hi all! Sorry for the silence! I can’t remember if I updated readers that I was expecting last summer so…surprise! I had twin boys about a year ago now. I have been working on getting the mom thing down and now that my little ones are a little more independent, I have been able to pick up a book more often (not much more I am afraid).  I cannot fan girl over Ms. Jaffrey enough and so I thought I would start with her second installment of the Sovereign Series to get me back in the groove. I was not disappointed!

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

Silver queenTitle: The Silver Queen
Author: Josie Jaffrey
Series: Sovereign 02
Publish Date: October 17 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal , Fantasy

Source: Provided by author

Publisher’s DescriptionThe last city on Earth is contaminated. Now blood is the only thing that can wash it clean.

Julia is trapped inside the Blue as the Nobles fight over the few humans who are still alive. When the dust settles and she finds herself shackled to a new master, she knows she must escape or die.

Meanwhile, Cam has gathered a handful of comrades and is on his way into the Red to rescue his queen. But not all of his friends can be trusted, and not all of them will make it back alive.

The Silver Queen is the second book in Josie Jaffrey’s Sovereign trilogy, set in a dystopian Europe where vampiric Nobles control the last remnants of the human race.


Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

Josie Jaffrey has done it again with another amazing read. It is dark, gritty and filled with devious twists that once again had me wanting to throw the book across the room (trust me this is a good thing)! Ms. Jaffrey brings characters of depth, natural dialogue, expands upon her world building.

I absolutely adore Lucas and Julia! She is tough and isn’t going to let anyone or anything stop her. Even when she faces death not once but twice! He grows over the course of the novel into a powerful young man!

Once again there is a cliff hanger ending that makes you want to rush out and get the next book. Sorry this review is short and sweet but over all I love love love this book. I badge4v5hope I can get to read the last novel in this series (maybe, eventually like when the boys are in college?).

 

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

Check out these other reads!

Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, The Morganville Vampires Series by Rachel Caine, Immortal: Love Stories with Bite edited by P.C. Cast

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

%d bloggers like this: