Wednesday, August 31, 2016

ARC Review and Giveaway: Unraveled by Jennifer Estep

Series:     Elemental Assassin #15
Pub. Date:August 30, 2016
Publisher:Pocket Books
Length:400 pages

I am always so happy when a new Elemental Assassin book comes out - I know what to expect from this series and author, and I am never disappointed. This series is one of the more gritty urban fantasies, with an assassin heroine and lots of death and magical destruction. And the FOOD... barbecue and baked beans and macaroni and cheese with buttery crackers crumbled on top for crunch.  Good grief - I am always so hungry after reading one of these books!

ARC Review and Author Interview: My Fair Princess by Vanessa Kelly

Series:     Improper Princesses #1
Pub. Date:August 30, 2016
Publisher:Zebra / Kensington
Length:352 pages

This is my first read from Vanessa Kelly, and I am looking forward to trying more of her books. I am particularly interested in the Royal Renegades series, which I think may feature Griffin Steele, who fascinated me in this book. The Improper Princesses series promises to be entertaining, with unconventional heroines who must overcome of the stain of illegitimacy during a time when the circumstances of one's birth were blamed as much on the child as the parent.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

ARC Review: Mad for the Plaid by Karen Hawkins

Series:     Oxenburg Princes #3
Pub. Date:August 30, 2016
Publisher:Pocket Books
Length:384 pages

This third installment of the Oxenburg Princes series has been much anticipated, as we are finally getting the story of the Crown Prince Nikolai Romanovin. This series has been a lot of fun and I'm a little sad that it's coming to an end.  I would love to see more of Tata Natasha!

Monday, August 29, 2016

ARC Review: Conquering William by Sarah Hegger

Series:     Sir Arthur's Legacy #3
Pub. Date:Aug. 30, 2016
Publisher:Lyrical Press
Length:250 pages

I have been trying to work a book by Sarah Hegger into my calendar ever since I met her at RT earlier this year. Trust me when I say that she is one cool cat! I had planned to start with Sweet Bea, but I ended starting the series out of order with Conquering William. There is some character crossover from the earlier books of the series. I believe that William is the sister of the two prior heroines in Sweet Bea and My Lady Faye. But even with the character crossover, I didn't feel lost or have any trouble following the story. So you should be fine if you are reading out of order like me.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Stackin' the Shelves #44 and Weekly Update

Welcome back bambinas!
This is Stackin' the Shelves, the weekly feature where I showcase all the books I have accepted for review, one-clicked, won or borrowed from the library. It was a slow week for the book acquisition aspect of being a reader... but a busy week reading.

Here's what went on my shelf this week. Have you read any of these - or do you plan to? Did you pick up anything exciting this week?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Series Saturday Review: Oria's Gambit by Jeffe Kennedy

Series:     Sorcerous Moons #2
Pub. Date:Aug. 18, 2016
Length:198 pages

Oria's Gambit, the second book in Jeffe Kennedy's Sorcerous Moons series, picks up right where Lonen's War left off. So I do not recommend you read these books out of order, you will need to get the majority of the world-building and character introduction from Lonen's War. As a recap, the Bara are a magical race living in a desert environment, and the males and females have a symbiotic magical relationship. The Destrye are a non-magical barbarian race who conquered the Bara in Lonen's War.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Audiobook Review: Risk by Dannika Dark

Series:     Mageri World
Pub. Date:Aug. 16, 2016
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Nicole Poole
Length:10 hrs 6 min

I remember that I really enjoyed the Mageri series by Dannika Dark. After checking Goodreads, I saw that all of the books got 4 or 5 stars from me, so I was excited to see another book in the Mageri World. Unfortunately I should have re-read the original series before reading this book. Having read the series in one swoop more than three years ago, I didn't remember anything! There was a lot of character crossover in this story that made me feel like I was missing out. I couldn't remember Silver or Sunny or Levi or Novis or Justice... or anyone! I didn't even remember our hero, Simon. Gah! 

ARC Review: Devil's Cove by R.C. Matthews

Pub. Date:Aug. 29, 2016
Publisher:Crimson Romance
Length:300 pages

I got sucked in by the cover of this book, and thoughts of a creepy gothic tale. A spooky castle, ghosts and paranormal aspects, unique characters with dark pasts, and a troubled romance sound like a recipe for success. I was most excited about Devil's Cove Manor - the spooky manse that was the site of a gruesome tragedy where a mythical monster, known as the gatekeeper to hell, murdered the attendants at a grand ball. I love haunted mansion tales where the house itself becomes a character in the story.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Audiobook Review: Highland Raven by Melanie Karsak

Series:     Celtic Blood #1
Pub. Date:Aug. 4, 2016
Publisher:Clockpunk Press
Narrator:Lesley Parkin
Length:8 hrs 6 min

[The End] 
Bambi:  Nooooooooooo! It can't be over! 
[Frantically checking Audible to see if the next book is out] 
No! Gah! ::flails::

It's been a while since I had that reaction to the end of a book, but I was utterly captivated by Highland Raven. It was just so... so... magical, for lack of a better word.  And I can't say enough good things about the narrator, Lesley Parkin. She really did a fabulous job with the accents and tenor of the story - she brought all the characters and the setting to life with a lyrical cadence.

Throwback Thursday: One Pink Rose by Julie Garwood

Series:     Clayborne Brides #1
Original Pub. Date:1997
Re-Release Date:May 9, 2016
Publisher:Pocket Star
Length:120  pages

I have read quite a few of Julie Garwood's medieval and Scottish historical romances, and loved all of them. I don't read a lot of American historical romance, so I decided to try out this series set in 19th Century Montana.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

ARC Review: Highland Temptation by Jennifer Haymore

Series:     Highland Knights #3
Pub. Date:Aug. 23, 2016
Length:220 pages

I have really been enjoying Haymore's Highland Knights series. Though it seems that with each book, I have been pleasantly surprised, having forgotten how much I enjoyed the previous story until I read the next one. I do recommend that you read the previous books in the series as there is a lot of character crossover and past couples continue to play a role in future books.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

ARC Review: American Witches by Susan Fair

Pub. Date:Aug. 23, 2016
Publisher:Skyhorse Publishing
Length:336 pages

American Witches is a light and engaging account of some of the darkest times in America's history. Susan Fair has a good voice and tells the multitude of witchy tales in a modern voice with laymen terms that will appeal to even the most casual reader and/or student. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

ARC Review: Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh

Series:     Psy-Changeling #15.5
Pub. Date:Aug. 23, 2016
Length:400 pages

Echo of Silence
I was super excited about this story because I have always been curious about Stefan, the fractured arrow working in the deep sea. Tazia was a perfect fit for Stefan, and Nalini did a great job at drawing the reader into a connection with Tazia's character. Tazia is estranged from her family, and I got caught up in the strife she felt over being an independent woman and being a dutiful daughter in her culture. We also learned why Stefan's silence has never been perfect, and why he was hidden away in the deep sea. I loved this couple so much that I really wish they would have had an entire book. I liked Tazia's family and would have loved to know more about them, and I would like to see how Stefan and Tazia are operating now that Silence has fallen.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Stackin' the Shelves #43 and Weekly Update

Welcome back bambinas!
This is Stackin' the Shelves, the weekly feature where I showcase all the books I have accepted for review, one-clicked, won or borrowed from the library. I still have nothing exciting to report. Prissy is halfway done with her obedience school, and so far she will only perform for treats. LOL. I also got my new phone (luckily before I got frustrated enough to throw my Note4 in the Mississippi). So I have been playing around with my new Samsung Galaxy Note7 this weekend. The real test will be whether its easier to blog from when I am traveling for work! Such a pain, blogging on the road.

Here's what went on my shelf this week. Have you read any of these - or do you plan to? Did you pick up anything exciting this week?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Series Saturday Audiobook Review: The Player by Kresley Cole

Series:     Game Maker #3
Pub. Date:June 22, 2016
Publisher:Valkyrie Press
Narrator:Kimberly Alexis
Length:8 hrs 11 min

I got hooked on this series when The Professional originally came out as a serial. Kresley Cole knows how to write a good broody bad boy hero. I picked up the second two books of the series in audio because I wanted to hear those delicious Russian accents... and Kimberly Alexis was able to pull those off splendidly. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Audiobook Review: Nine Lives by Dan Baum

Pub. Date:Aug. 9, 2016
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator: Jonathan Yen
Length:14 hrs 24 min

Nine Lives is the gripping tale of forty odd years of life and death in New Orleans bracketed by two hurricanes - Hurricane Betsy in September 1965 and Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. The story is told in a memoir narrative style, seeing life and death through the eyes of nine incredibly interesting New Orleanians. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

ARC Review: Chaos Rises by Pippa DaCosta

Series:     Chaos Rises #1
Pub. Date:June 29, 2016
Length:288 pages

I have been looking for some new urban fantasy series lately and thought I would give this new one from Pippa DaCosta a try. When the Veil separating the Netherworld from our world fell, hordes of demons came through and carved a wide swath of death and destruction through the world. The majority of this story took place in post-war Los Angeles, where demons and half-bloods continue to terrorize each other and humans. There are countless varieties of higher and lesser demons, some that can wear human skin, but many that cannot. There are also human-demon half-bloods which were created through genetic mutation by a government entity known as The Institute. These half-bloods were created to hunt and kill demons but, after escaping The Institute, must result to being owned by higher demons.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Indie Wednesday ARC Review: The Care and Feeding of Your Captive Earl by Kate McKinley

Series:     What Happens in Scotland #3
Pub. Date:July 18, 2016
Length:197 pages

I like the premise of this series, and the individual stories have the potential to be very cute. However, I think this is a series that you have to read in order. There is quite a bit of character crossover, and I felt like chunks of the story were happening off-page as I was reading. I have a feeling that this storyline runs parallel to So I Married a Highlander

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

ARC Review: The Sight by Chloe Neill

Series:     Devil's Isle #2
Pub. Date:Aug. 16, 2016
Publisher:Berkley NAL
Length:330 pages

The Devil's Isle series continues with the riveting second installment, The Sight. As a resident of New Orleans, I continue to be captivated by Chloe Neill's vision of the Crescent City post-magical-war. While those not as familiar with the city may not understand references to the Marigny, Royal Street, Mid-City and City Park, I can totally envision these areas painted with Chloe Neill's brush. I can't wait to meet her at Nola Storycon and pick her brain on what kind of research she did for her world-building.