Monday, April 24, 2017

ARC Review: Blade Bound by Chloe Neill

Series:     Chicagoland #13
Pub. Date:April 25, 2017
Length:384 pages

Oh its a happy sad end of an era with Blade Bound, the last book of the Chicagoland Vampires series. It's hard to believe that all thirteen of these books have taken place in the span of a year or less... sometimes it seems longer, and sometimes it seems like just yesterday that Merit was made a vampire. It's definitely been a crazy eventful year for Merit and Cadogan House.

We begin Blade Bound with the last minute preparations for Ethan and Merit's wedding, and all the details required to make the event "fit for a Master" of the City as Helen would say. This was one of my favorite parts of the book, and I actually felt myself getting a little teary-eyed during the big event! But as history has proven for Ethan and Merit, things never quite go as planned.

Another big bad is emerging (or returning?) and the city is on the cusp, waiting for things to explode. Between crazed delusional people and wonky weather, the tensions are definitely running high. There are still humans protesting supernaturals and blaming them for the destructive and dangerous events that have happened in Chicagoland, and this big bad is not going to help ease those tensions. The resolution for this conflict saw input from the normal gang - the Cadogan vamps, the Omsbuddies and Mallory. Human law enforcement and military got in on the act, as well as the Order, with varying results. Of course there are always those who think they know better and are too arrogant to take advice from the team... so we had some back and forth between city government, The Order and Team Cadogan. I would have liked to see the shifters step in, and there was a small cameo from the fae that I wished would have been developed more. But in the end, we can always count on Merit to get things done.

While I enjoyed this final installment, I was hoping for a bigger bang. The conflict and resolution of the plot in Blade Bound didn't vary greatly from the last few books. A big bad emerges, Merit and the gang investigate and do battle to save the city. I was expecting this last book to be explosive and action-packed, but it just a nice steady story that follows the same formula that we've seen before. That being said, the formula has worked and the stories are entertaining. The wedding aspect was stellar, and I loved the epilogue (though I wished it was longer and more expansive). Overall this has been a thoroughly enjoyable series, one that I will probably re-read at some point in the future.

We've heard rumors of a spinoff for this series, and the epilogue definitely gave me ideas. If my suspicions are right, I think that would be a stellar storyline and would be excited to get my greedy lil' hands on it.

Don't miss the giveaway that Chloe Neill is hosting on her website through April 28th. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Berkley.

ARC Review: The Thing About Love by Julie James

Series:     USAO/FBI
Pub. Date:April 18, 2017
Length:400 pages

It's been a while since I have read anything by Julie James, and now that I am back on the wagon, I need to catch up on her books for the last several years. As an attorney and fed myself, I am hesitant these days to pick up some legal-themed romances because I tend to pick them apart. But Julie James' stories are well-researched and don't make me twitchy like some other legal/LEO plots.  This last book of hers I read was in the FBI/USAO series, and I'm not sure if this book is included in that series or not. It's not listed as being included on Goodreads, Amazon or iBooks... but there is some character crossover with that series and the main characters here are FBI agents. You can read it as a standalone, but it would also be enjoyable to know some of the stories of the secondary characters that pop in from the FBI angle.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Audiobook Review: Neanderthal Seeks/Marries Human by Penny Reid

This quickie review is for both Neanderthal Seeks Human and Neanderthal Marries Human, the first books of the Knitting in the City series by the delightfully quirky Penny Reid.  These two books both follow the same couple - Janie Morris and Quinn Sullivan.

Janie Morris is a unique and refreshing heroine that you can't help love despite (and maybe because of) her oddities. She is not quite on the autism spectrum, but she seems to exhibit some of the similar signs of Asperger's (or similar issue). Janie is highly intelligent and analytical with a near-eidetic memory. She reminded me of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory, but more likable. Janie is also a healthy girl at 5'9" and voluptuous, with a head full of crazy Medusa curls. I loved that she wasn't a perfect Barbie - both physically and mentally. Also - I totally identified with her hair woes! I thought that her propensity to spout random facts when nervous was endearing, and I totally felt sorry for the family issues she had to deal with.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Guest Review by Julie: Viper Game by Christine Feehan

Series:     Ghost Walkers #11
Pub. Date:Jan. 27, 2015
Publisher:Berkley Jove
Length:448 pages

Wyatt is your typical Feehan hero - an over the top alpha male but I liked him! His interactions with his grandmother showed a softer side most don't glimpse. With his teammates he showed confidence, loyalty, and humor in dangerous situations. 

A product of Dr Whitney's crazy trials, Pepper is the equivalent of a siren. Designed to lure men to their death by using her voice and body, she's classified a reject because she refuses to use her abilities. She's smart, moves with the speed of a cheetah, and is trained as a soldier, but longs for the kind of family and life Wyatt has.