Posted in Book Reviews

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

“In a world of etiquette and polite masks, no one is who they seem to be.”

The Beautiful Ones reads like a classic novel with a paranormal twist.

beautiful onesThis beautifully written story is all about Hector Auvrey and Nina Beaulieu. Hector is out to exact revenge on the woman who broke his heart. Nina is a socially awkward young girl, who unwittingly falls in love in Hector.  She later finds out that she was being deceived.

The story is told from the perspectives of three very different characters: Hector, Nina, and Valerie. Hector is a telekinetic “talent”, previously impoverished, now a wealthy well-known stage performer. He has spent a decade pining for his first love.  Valerie, the antagonist of the novel, is a bitter, jealous woman, who was guilted into marriage to a wealthy man by her family.  Valerie resents Nina, her cousin by marriage, who has the social freedom that she never had. She is naive and somewhat impulsive.  Nina, like Hector, is telekinetic, and her uncontrolled displays have rendered her a social nuisance.

I don’t want to spoil the story for you.  What I can say is that you won’t regret reading this fascinating book.  I was enchanted by this elegantly written novel filled with vibrant, captivating characters.  I found the tension between the characters gripping and authentic.  I didn’t want this story to end!

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with this ARC.

This book deserves

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Demon Leap (The Specials #1) by Tricia Owens

I really enjoyed this paranormal thriller!  Demon Leap is a uniquely interesting and imaginative story that will have you mesmerized from page 1 right up until the end.  The characters are well written and interesting.

demon leapThe main character is Arrow and she’s driven to expose the government conspiracy of how her parents and thousands of others died in the War.  To do so, Arrow has to align herself with dangerous criminals known as the Specials.  “They are magic misfits and criminals, recruited and blackmailed to fill ordinary positions within the Sinistera Hotel.”

Arrow is a magically highly skilled person with some very important secrets. Her grandmother, one of the warriors that fought against the demons in the War, is now hidden away in a nursing home.  Her mind was broken by government methods to strengthen her magical abilities and Arrow pays for her care and medication, which isn’t cheap.

Arrow is framed for a couple of murders and finds herself in a situation where she has to take a job at ‘The Sinistera Hotel’.  This is a scary place where the majority of the inhabitants are menacing and dangerous criminals. She is given the position of head of security, a job she is not quite sure that she is capable of.  However, The hotel is the only place where she might just have the chance to survive if the residents or the other Specials (people like her) don’t take her out first.

This is an exciting and fast paced story.  Arrow is an engaging and interesting character and I enjoyed her interaction with the other characters in this book.

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I am looking forward to exploring the rest of this series as it has intrigued me. I love the author’s style of writing and I really enjoyed the excitement and intrigue of this story.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this book in return for an honest review.

This book deserves

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Firebolt (The Dragonian #1) by Adrienne Woods

I really enjoyed Firebolt and am looking forward to the next in series. What an interesting blend of medieval fantasy tempered with some urban fantasy.  I had such fun reading this book.

fireboltSo, the story…Elena is constantly on the move with her father seemingly running away from something.  On one particular night, they are attacked by dragons!  In the next minute Elena finds herself in another world without her father, who has been killed.  Apparently Elena is special and there are great expectations for her potential so she is enrolled into the School of Dragonia.  Here, she learns of magic, dragons and Dragonians amongst other things.

Now, bear in mind that Elena is just your seemingly normal run-of-the-mill average teenager, who is clumsy and only excels at one thing (which she doesn’t like), which is riddles.  She is the opposite of what you’d expect from a heroine.

Surprisingly, her new world is very similar to our world in that it has cars, museums, shopping malls, modern technology, etc., but on an advanced level.  But half of her new classmates are dragons in human form and…they have dragons in this world.  Her school reminds me a bit of Hogwarts with a mixture of regular and magical subjects.

The characters are interesting and I enjoyed their interaction, i.e. Sweet Sammy, Prince Lucian, Flirty Brian, Brave Becky and, of course, the mysterious Blake.

I read this book quickly as I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was very entertaining and well balanced.

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Adrienne Woods created a whole new world for us to explore with an interesting back story to boot.

If you enjoy fantasy books with dragons, friendship and some romance, then you will enjoy this book.

This book deserves

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Breakwater (Broken Tides Book 1) by Catherine Jones Payne

Thank you to Netgalley, Catherine Jones Payne and Fathom Ink Press for allowing me to read and review Breakwater.  This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

breakwaterI liked that this story had strong female characters, who weren’t afraid to stand up for the less fortunate and speak the truth as they saw it.  I think that this story has political parallels evident in our own society.

Jade is a seventeen year old mermaid, whose father is one of the mer-king’s trusted advisors.  Everything in her life is wonderful and she is preparing to marry her handsome fiancé, but her bubble is about to burst.

She witnesses her fiancé murder a naiad and he and his family try to stop her from reporting it.  Of course, Jade does the right thing by breaking off their engagement and reporting him at great personal cost to herself and her family.

This incident plunges the underwater city of Thessalonike into uproar and tensions flare between the mer and the naiads (the lesser water race).  Jade learns too late that the choices that she makes have far reaching effects for her family and her city.  The fragile peace is shattered and the mer guards are killing naiads to get them under control.  Jade is caught between trying to help the naiads and keeping her family safe.

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Jade, as the protagonist in this story, can come across as naïve, which could be irritating in parts as she doesn’t seem to grow in character and she foolishly thinks that she can save everyone by sacrificing herself.

There is a hint of a developing romance between Jade and a mer, who lives amongst the naiads and is a long-time friend.  I am presuming that this will be elaborated upon in Book 2.

This book offers plenty of intrigue, authentic characters and interesting plots.  It will leave you wanting to find out what happens next.

This story earns a solid 3 stars.

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The Stone Quest (Book 2 of The Middengard Sagas) by June Wilson

I love The Stone Quest even more than The Stone Keeper !  Action packed and full of twists and turns!  This book has kept me guessing from beginning to end.

stone questThe Stone Keeper (Book 1) was a riveting and enjoyable read but Book 2 has left me wanting even more.  I need to know what happens next!

In Book 2, Alice is back in Melbourne, mourning the loss of her cousin, Toby, and wondering if her friend, Jess, is okay.   Somehow, her stone was returned to her after she had thrown it away but she is unable to return to Middengard.

While out on a walk during an unexpected weekend away to Portsea with her relatives, Alice finds herself transported back to Middengard.  War is coming and it is imperative that Alice finds the other Doom Stone so that good can conquer evil.  Only the Stone Keeper can sense the stone, which has been hidden by the Aetheling (Gods).

Who can she trust?  People aren’t as they appear.  Events begin to unfold and there are some interesting character developments,  but we will have to wait for Book 3 to unveil the rest of the mysteries.

 

This book ends on a HUGE cliff hanger!  It’s a very exciting read and I can’t wait to find out what happens in Book 3.  June, please put me out of my misery soon!  I am loving your series!

This awesome book deserves

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Innkeeper Chronicles Volume 1 by Ilona Andrews

Thank you to Netgalley, Ilona Andrews and her publishers allowing me to read and review Innkeeper Chronicles Volume 1.  This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

clean sweepOn the surface, Dina Demille is the owner of a quaint Victorian bed and breakfast inn named Gertrude Hunt based in a small Texas town.  Her only permanent companions are a Shih Tzu called Beast with unexpected skills and a retired, bloodthirsty Galactic aristocrat, who may not leave the grounds for fear of being killed on sight.

In reality, Dina is a magical Innkeeper armed with a powerful magical broom and a house with mysterious powers which responds intelligently to Dina and any threats to itself or to her.  You see, the inn isn’t for human visitors, it’s really a way station for otherworldly visitors to Earth.

As an Innkeeper, Dina is supposed to keep a low profile and stay neutral and safe, but when something starts killing the local dog population and threatening humans, she can’t ignore it.  Dina tries to convince the local werewolf, an annoyingly attractive ex-military guy named Sean Evans, that he should step in and take care of the dog-killing alien.  He blows her off so she decides she has to take the matter into her own hands to protect her community.

 

To make matters worse, a severely injured cosmic vampire asks for sanctuary at the Inn.  This marks the entrance of the devastatingly handsome vampire named Arland, who is the Lord Marshall of Krahr.  He portals in to tend to the injured vampire and help with eradicating the alien predators attacking dogs and threatening humans in the local community.

And somehow it all gets very complicated from there, but it involves a semi-sentient house, a Shih Tzu with unforeseen talents, and some sexy guys, wrapped up in an intermingling of science fiction and fantasy and liberally enlivened with Ilona Andrews’ typical sarcastic humour. Who knew that werewolves and vampires are actually space aliens?

I’m a huge fan of Ilona Andrew’s’ novels.  Initially, I wasn’t sure that I liked this story but it grew on me and I got really invested in the characters.  I was sorry to come to the end of the book and can’t wait to read more.  I loved the characters and how they interacted with one another.  There is plenty of action, adventure, romance and magic.  And you will be left with wanting more…

All in all this is an enjoyable, fun read and it deserves a fantastic

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Agent of Enchantment (Dark Fae FBI #1) by C. N. Crawford and Alex Rivers

Thank you to NetGalley, Weapenry Co-Op and the authors for allowing me to read and review this book.  This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

agent of enchantmentI really enjoyed this story as it combines two of my favourite genres – fantasy and thriller.

If you like the popular FBI profiling TV shows, you will enjoy reading Agent of Enchantment.

FBI agent and profiler, Cassandra Liddell is sent on assignment to London to help with an investigation into a series of Jack the Ripper copycat killings.

Things, however, aren’t as they seem.  Cassandra starts seeing things that she can’t explain and she becomes aware that something supernatural is involved in these killings but how can she explain this to the local police without coming off as being crazy?

On her first night in London, Cassandra is attacked by two men, who definitely don’t appear to be human and is rescued by a lethally alluring fae.  She cannot decide if he is a main suspect in the murders or if he is trying to help her.  Does he have his own agenda?  What does he want from her?  Cassandra doesn’t know who to trust when the tables are turned and the police start to suspect her of being involved.

In her attempts to clear her name and find the real killer, Cassandra finds out that she isn’t all human.  Her world is turned upside down and she has to fight for her life.

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This is an exciting roller-coaster read that will hook you from the beginning and keep you enthralled until the end.

This fab writing duo of Crawford and Rivers works seamlessly to provide an entertaining and thrilling story. Agent of Enchantment is a great start to the Dark Fae FBI series and I can’t wait to read the next book. I found the characters riveting; the plot was very intriguing and left me wanting to read more. This is definitely a series I will be following as it is full of fresh ideas and interesting characters.

Agent of Enchantment deserves an entertaining

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The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol

Firstly, thank you so much to James for sending me a copy of your amazing debut novel,The Apprentice Witch, which I absolutely loved reading! This review is my honest and unbiased opinion.

This is an enapprentice witchchanting read and I couldn’t put it down.  It’s one of those books that I wish didn’t come to an end as I wanted to read more about Arianwyn’s witchy adventures.  I can’t wait for the next book!

Arianwyn Gribble is poised to undertake her evaluation to become a fully-fledged witch but something goes horribly wrong and she fails her assessment.  With intervention by her grandmother, who serves on the Witches Council of Elders, Arianwyn is granted the status of Apprentice Witch and is sent off to serve the community of a sleepy town called Lull, in disgrace.

On her bus journey to her new home, she meets Salle Bowen and they become fast friends, which Arianwyn needs as she doesn’t know anyone in Lull.  Before leaving, she chooses a book from her grandmother’s bookshop titled “The Apprentice Witch’s Handbook”, which offers Arianwyn some comfort.  She is uncertain of her future but determined to prove that she is worthy of being a witch.

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Arianwyn soon discovers that there are lots of strange and magical things lurking in the shadows of the Great Wood forest near the town.  Things aren’t going smoothly for Arianwyn.  The more she tries to help families rid themselves of magical pests like snotlings, the more trouble she seems to get into when things go horribly wrong.

Nightmares of dark and evil magic and the arrival of her old school bully and rival, Gimma, throws Arianwyn’s world into turmoil as they are assigned to work together.  Unbeknownst to everyone around her, Arianwyn is struggling to contain a mysterious magic inside her.  Will she manage to contain it or will it wreak havoc on this small town?

The Apprentice Witch is a real coming of age story, with strong themes of friendship and courage, and characters you can’t help but love!  Arianwyn will weave her magical powers over you and capture your heart.  Even the premise that there are four cardinal glyphs used by witches when they create spells is totally believable.  It is as if James is allowing us a glimpse into a world we haven’t yet discovered as all the details seem so authentic.

I love the fact that the heroine in this story, Arianwyn, is filled with human flaws but is incredibly brave and overcomes her lack of confidence in herself to save the town.

James has assembled a great cast of characters from the bumbling mayor Josiah Belcher, to the mean and spiteful Gimma and the strong matriarchal figure of her grandmother. It is a tale of friendship, bravery and the power of self-belief.  This is a delightful and entertaining story, which I’m sure that you will enjoy as much as I have.

This captivating book is worthy of 

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The Other Queen by Rebecca Jaycox (The Inheritance Series Book 2)

In the Other world, two girls, both powerful Aether Mages, are destined to join together to annihilate the Dark Mage.  He is determined to destroy them and reap their powers in his evil quest to rule their world.

Reggie is a powerful Aether Mage in the Other World but in the Real World, she was just an ordinary 17 year old girl.  She is captured by Andrius, the Dark Mage, but man
ages to escape from him and finally makes it safely to her guardian, Rhys.

Reggie makes some important allies in the Other to help her to firstly free her father, who is an extremely powerful Aether Mage and secondly to assist with rescuing all the wretched souls being experimented upon and tortured by Andrius.

Asher, an Air Mage, who was once enslaved to Andrius, falls in love with Reggie and promises revenge as his family was killed by the Dark Mage.  He joins Rhys and Reggie in their quest to destroy Andrius.

Reggie finds out that Andrius has taken hostage of her mother and her best friend, John.  Andrius is using them as leverage as he ultimately wants to get his hands on Reggie to use her blood to create an army of the dead.  He desires to rule the world and destroy all those who seek to revolt against him.

Rhys is trying desperately to free her father from his magical prison as they need him to be able to defeat Andrius, but he needs Reggie’s magical assistance even if she hasn’t fully mastered control of it yet.  Rhys, who is also the leader of the rebellion, helps Reggie learn to control her magic and together, they free her father from the magic that has kept him imprisoned inside a tree.

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Andrius is aware that her father has been freed and now they have to quickly devise a plan to defeat him before he has too much time to plan their demise.

Reggie’s dreams are invaded by a terrified, strange girl who calls herself the Black Queen.  She begs Reggie to free her from being tortured by Andrius. Reggie instinctively knows that the Black Queen could provide the key to breaking the Dark Mage’s hold on the Other.

Brywn, who is like a big brother to Reggie, uses his magical inner wolf to help her to rescue the Black Queen.  She is the missing key, who is able to nullify magic and hide her powers from Andrius.  They just need to figure out how to use this knowledge to their advantage.

Without giving it too much away, the story ends on a cliff-hanger, where Reggie hands herself over to Andrius in order to save her friends.  So now, Andrius has the two people whom he wants most in his possession to make his family complete, Reggie and her mother.

I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel!  I enjoyed the overall plot and there were a few laugh out loud moments that eased some of the tension experienced by the characters in the story.

Thank you to NetGalley for letting me read and review this book.

Rebecca’s book deserves

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