Book Reviews, Books and Me

ARC Review: Taste the Dark by Nicola Rose

Taste the Dark by Nicola Rose 4/5

39317106Jess

I killed my parents. I didn’t mean to, I don’t think. I can’t really remember.

I can’t remember much from the years that followed either, other than an endless stream of bad decisions, generally involving alcohol, drugs and bad boys. My new job in a new town signified a turning point – time to sort myself out.

What I hadn’t anticipated was the 6ft package of brooding, inked-up perfection who started stalking me. And don’t even mention the equally hot brother crawling under my skin…

They radiate danger, it flows around them like a seductive spell; and danger is my favourite word.

Zac

I was doing a pretty good job at balancing on the fine line between light and dark, blurring the edges and living in the grey. But then dead vampires started piling up around me and the Bael gave me a ticking countdown to fix it.

Now she’s arrived. Four seconds – the moment I saw her – that’s how long it took to know that she’d simultaneously bring heaven and hell to my door. I don’t even know what she is, but I know I crave her.

Falling for a human girl has left me teetering on the verge of collapse. This could be just the ammo my brother needs to nudge me over the edge and into oblivion.

Taste the Dark is out 30-4-18! Preorder your copy here.

Review:

After reading Rose’s novella, Breaking the Gladiator, I had no fears about my liking this novel. The effortless writing style, steamy and dark scenes, and captivating narrative made this book a quick, enthralling read. The paranormal elements were handled with the right dose of darkness and believability.  Vampires have been overdone on the indie scene of late, but a fresh, exciting take on the mythical creatures is always a great find.

I can’t say I particularly liked Jess’ character at first, but her extroverted ways complimented the narrative and made her choices believeable. The love triangle was intriguing for sure. There is a Vampire Diaries vibe to this aspect of the story. It was a case of how dark is too dark in your chosen love interest. Well, I know whose team I’m on.

This is a lengthy read and a little slow moving, but the story is just as important as the romance.

Book two is out soon, so there is no need to twiddle our thumbs waiting for more from Jess and Zac.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

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Book Reviews, Books and Me

ARC Review: Raven’s Cry by Dana Fraedrich

Raven’s Cry by Dana Fraedrich 4.5/5

38323190.jpgA dark retelling of Swan Lake ~ Calandra is happiest when she’s surrounded by quiet, joined only by a book and a cup of tea, never around people and their insufferable need to make small talk. When Nicodemus, a magus with immense power, joins the royal court of Invarnis, Calandra’s life will change forever. As a terrible curse pursues her through the centuries, Calandra will have to overcome captivity, war, and loss.

In this standalone installment, set in Dana Fraedrich’s Broken Gears universe, readers will join Calandra in her battle for freedom, hope, and healing.

Raven’s Cry is out 1-5-18 !!!! Preorder your copy here.

Review:

After reading Fraedrich’s Out of the Shadows, I was keen for an ARC of Raven’s Cry. I haven’t yet read book two in the Broken Gears series, but it was easy to jump back in with this book as it is a standalone, yet still has links to Out of the Shadows for those who have read it. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the rest of the series, it won’t affect the narrative for you. Those links are only noticeable to readers of the other books.

The world building in Cali’s tale is just as thought out and imaginative. Cali’s story is tragic for centuries, but she somehow keeps her head and makes it through the torture and imprisonment at the hands of a powerful, evil magus.

Fraedrich has mastered the retelling well. I am not usually a fan of retellings, but as long as the narrative carries its weight in its own right with hints to the original, then I am a happy reader.

If you enjoy retellings, this dark retelling of Swan Lake is for you, and while you’re at it, why not get book one in the Broken Gears series?


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews, Books and Me

ARC Review: Carl by Brianna West

book review

Carl (Guardians in Love #4) by Brianna West 5/5

28280106_226883474546089_5362592180987135567_n.jpgCarl, twin of Bernie and respected Promiscus Guardian on Lucas’ notorious team, has spent over a decade in love with a man who will never return his affections. Heartbroken from his unrequited love, he assists another team in an effort to get away. However, an unexpected development with two of the Guardians leads to a love triangle he isn’t equipped to deal with. And when a Guardian he thought dead appears, Carl is dragged into a world of trouble.

Can he figure out the reason for the sudden appearance of an old companion while combatting the affections of two men? Or will the pressure be too much for him and force him to flee?

Can Carl truly love with his heart completely torn to pieces? Or will the risk of another heartbreak make it not a risk worth taking?

Review:

This is possibly the longest I have had to wait for a new release from West, but it was totally worth it. I was excited to hear that this love story would be Carl’s. Level-headed, reliable Carl. Seriously, Carl needed someone special in his life.

This is West’s first same sex relationship story. I was expecting it, as although Carl’s preference wasn’t really discussed in the Promiscus Guardians series, it was kind of obvious who he had the hots for. This spin-off was definitely another steamy hit from West.

Carl’s character development was well rounded and continued from what we knew of him in the Promiscus Guardians Series. It was great to see him come out of his shell and garner a different outlook on love. The love triangle was complicated, and put Carl totally out of his comfort zone, but without it, I doubt he’d have discovered his true feelings toward a certain someone.

The storyline focussed not only on the love triangle, but on a person from his past, and Carl’s need to help them back to the Light. The history of that relationship clearly had a profound effect on him, and mixing that with the new relationships added a depth to Carl’s story, fears, and decisions. As a reader I felt satisfied with Carl’s conclusion and growth as a character.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews, Books and Me

ARC Review: Heralding by Faith Rivens

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Heralding by Faith Rivens 5/5.

6tag_201117-052007Life was simple for Eléonore when her biggest concerns were hunting demons, stacking shelves, and pulling off the single mother gig.

But that was before the night at the Citadelle two months ago. The night when she killed an Elder sorcerer. The night she discovered her own destructive powers.

Now Eléonore’s life is defined by questions of will…

Will her dangerous powers and Iníonaofa heritage ever be explained to her?
Will her son’s father make a reappearance in her life?
Will her son discover the terrible truth of her nighttime hunts?
Will the demon who offered her protection come for her due?

With chaos brewing in Daemoniar—the demon realm—and a tyrannical group on the rise, one thing is for certain…

Eléonore’s about to stumble into a whole new hellhole of trouble.

My thanks goes to the author for sending me a free ARC copy of this book.

Review:

I always worry that I’ll be disappointed when I read the sequel to a book I really enjoyed, but those worries were unfounded in regards to Heralding. Eleonore is back with just as much sass, demon ass-kicking skills, and mothering as in book one. The story progressed beautifully from the end of book one, and yet again, Rivens’ writing is brilliant.

I found the growth of Etienne was mastered effortlessly. He is witty, humourous, and mature, but still holds that innocent, naive heart of a child. That is all thanks to Eleonore’s protection of him. As I said in my review of book one, Eleonore really speaks to me as a mother, and I found myself anxiously sitting on the edge of my seat and getting appropriately angry when anything or anyone so much as spoke of Etienne in a way I didn’t like. It is rare to find a book with a demon hunting protag who is also a fully involved parent.

The cast of sub characters are all well rounded with distinctive voices and play vital roles in the progression of the narrative whether big or small. I enjoyed the blurring of the line between good and evil as it allowed for some shock twists and relationship dynamics.

If you haven’t jumped on this series, I recommend you get your hands on book one, Eleonore, and pre-order Heralding right now.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

 

Book Reviews, Books and Me

ARC Review: Wardens of Archos by Sarina Langer

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Wardens of Archos (Relics of Ar’Zac #2)  by Sarina Langer 4.5/5

6tag_081017-065905Once a despised street rat, now the reigning queen of Rifarne, Rachael is at the centre of everyone’s attention. All she wants is a few peaceful moments to herself—

but her kingdom has other plans.

The Tramuran ambassador unnerves her.

The Krymistian lady is hiding something.

A Mist Woman brings her a gift, and a warning: Aeron’s death has released the Dark One’s shades into the world. And Rachael, as the only living seer in existence, is the only one who can stop him before he destroys everything she’s beginning to cherish. But can Rachael trust the Mist Woman, or is Kaida just another sorceress playing with her life?

There’s a chance that answers are hidden beneath the ancient Krymistian ruins of Archos.

If only she could be sure that her nightmares of Cephy are just that, and not something darker…

Rachael is running out of time. The shadows are coming, and their claws are reaching for her.

Thank you to the author for providing me with an ARC copy.

Review:

Langer is back with a bang. I have been patiently anticipating book two after devouring book one. Rachael finds herself dealing with her new role as queen, assassins, prophecy, dark magic, and awkwardness with Cale. I loved the awkwardness, it only heightened my need for them to grow and strengthen their relationship in the long run. I was a sucker for their relationship dynamic in book one, and book two played on that beautifully.

The world building is brilliant, and Langer’s writing style is incredibly visual. I could easily picture battles, the differing Kingdoms, and most importantly, those relentless Mothers. I was not left wanting in all things fantastical.

The relationship dynamics between Rachael and the sub characters were fresh and raw. Not knowing who to trust, following her gut, and developing friendships despite her self-doubt added more depth to the narrative. Kaida was a fast favourite of mine, despite Rachael’s frequent misgivings. I’m also intrigued by Reeve. More from him in book three, please.

There was a little repetition toward the start of the book, but I understand the purpose was to bring elements of book one forward to refresh the reader’s memory. The ending was brilliantly paced, and I was highly impressed with the revelation that I didn’t see coming, but upon looking back, I realised the clues were there all along.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews, Books and Me

ARC Review: Unsanctioned Eyes by Brianna Merritt

book-review

Unsanctioned Eyes by Brianna Merritt 5/5

unsanctionedeyes-ebookQuinn Rogers doesn’t exist. There are no records of her name. Her DNA has no match. She is a ghost. A phantom killer no one can trace. The perfect assassin. Or so she thinks.

At the top of her game, Quinn’s no longer looking over her shoulder. Her master will protect her, save her, like he always has. But there are forces at work neither of them suspect.

Can Quinn find the truth in a world of lies? Or will her unsanctioned past catch up to her in the end?

My thanks go to the author for giving me an ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Unsanctioned Eyes is due for release on 27th June 2017.

Review:

Quinn is not only an assassin, she is the best of the best. Being heartless helps with this. When an assignment goes wrong, and she has to go on the run, her memories and her new relationships set her on a journey of self- preservation and self-discovery. Maybe there is a beat in that swinging brick of a heart.

An action packed narrative that is led by an anti-heroine to root for. You shouldn’t like Quinn, but you do. You shouldn’t be rooting for her, but you are. The author has given Quinn enough inner monologue and backstory to help the reader associate with an otherwise deadly assassin. Her character development from start to finish is spot on and progresses at a fast, yet believable pace.

The sub characters keep the narrative moving smoothly. Their skill set, relationships with Quinn, and backstory tie in well with Quinn’s story, and add realism to world of terrorism and assassins, and give credit to Quinn’s change of heart.

Thrillers are not my usual read, but I found this novel a real page turner. This book is extremely well written and I’d highly recommend it.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

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Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Eleonore by Faith Rivens

book-review1

Eleonore (An Inionaofa Novella) by Faith Rivens 5/5

15281174_1346723905379023_1254892873_n(1).jpgEléonore Dormant’s life is a precarious balancing act: librarian by day, demon hunter by night and single mother around the clock. Each day brings its challenges and she brings her A-game. It helps that coffee and a bottle of painkillers are always in supply.
For six years, she’s protected the streets of Montreal from all manner of demons and the consequent evil that they would wreak on her city. But even a resumé like hers isn’t enough to prepare her for the unforeseen night when she becomes the hunted.
A sorcerer, an enigmatic Elder, has placed a hefty bounty on her head and the demons are eager to claim the reward for her capture. They bear down on her, disrupting her mode de vie and endangering her son’s life all in one fell swoop. But Eléonore is ready to fight whatever Hell deigns to send her way to save him. The path she pursues will lead her to new places and old faces.
One thing is certain, Eléonore’s about to get into a whole hellhole of trouble.

Thanks go to the author for giving me an ARC of this novella in exchange for my honest opinion.

Review:

Eleonore is a demon hunter; a legacy passed down by her late father. She is a heroine by night, and then goes back to her most important job by day- mother to her six year old son. When she becomes the hunted, and her son’s life is put in jeopardy, Eleonore must discover the truth behind the bounty on her head, and put an end to the evil that threatens her life.

This is Faith Rivens’ debut work, and she has burst onto the scene with a bang. From the first page, I knew I would be suckered into the great writing, the AMAZING dialogue, (seriously, that dialogue feels effortless), and the well constructed narrative. Demon hunting, urban fantasy always sits well with me, and I have read many such books, but what sticks out with this one?:

1. Eleonore is a kick-ass heroine, but also a mother protecting her child.

2. The romantic aspect has history.

3. The writing style is on point.

This is not just another urban fantasy with the usual tropes and cliches. This is a well thought out, well edited book with well developed characters and sub characters. I highly recommend this novella. As a thirty year old mother who grew up with an addiction to Buffy, this novella has satisfied my needs to read a narrative that includes a strong huntress who has a semi-normal existence and family life that I can relate to in some way. If Eleonore can do it, I can, right? Okay, maybe not, but it’s nice to follow her adventures.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review