Cherry Mischievous

for the love of SciFi/Fantasy

WHITE HOT

White Hot by Ilona Andrews
Book 2 of the Hidden Legacy series
Read by Renee Raudman
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback, ebook, & audiobook

 

 

About White Hot:

The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hot

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill — she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime — the highest rank of magic user — and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …

Source: Info in the About White Hot was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22303684-white-hot on 09/06/2017.

 

My Thoughts:

As usual, Ilona Andrews, delivers! But then again I am an old die-hard fan of this author duo, so I am admittedly biased. But having said that, it does not belie the fact that this book is a fantastic read! Being the second book in the series, the world building and
character development has already been established in Book 1. And those masterful world building, character development, and story telling quality are carried on with this book, as expected. Safe to say that this is a 5 out of 5 read! The only down side is that I have to wait for the next book and I am not very patient! 😦   And being Book 2 in the series, I suggest that one read Book 1 first before reading this book. It’ll just make more sense. And, you wouldn’t be cheating yourself out of the wonderful reading experience of reading this series in order rather than out of order.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 4
Plot = 5
Narration = 4.5

 

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

 

Hidden Legacy Books:

BURN FOR ME   Book 2: WHITE HOT   Book 3: WILDFIRE




 


 

05/07/2017 Posted by | 5 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A GAME OF GHOSTS

 

A Game Of Ghosts by John Connolly
Read by Jeff Harding
Book 15 of the Charlie Parker series
Genre: crime fiction
Format: kindle ebook & audiobook

 

 

About A Game Of Ghosts:

It is deep winter. The darkness is unending.

The private detective named Jaycob Eklund has vanished, and Charlie Parker is dispatched to track him down. Parker’s employer, Edgar Ross, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has his own reasons for wanting Eklund found.

Eklund is no ordinary investigator. He is obsessively tracking a series of homicides and disappearances, each linked to reports of hauntings. Now Parker will be drawn into Eklund’s world, a realm in which the monstrous Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire, in which men strike bargains with angels, and in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts . . .

Source: Info in the About A Game Of Ghosts was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31351922-a-game-of-ghosts on 07/04/2017.

 

Buy Link(s):
    Audible Books

 

My Thoughts:

I was eagerly awaiting this book because I wanted to know how the media, i.e., news & entertainment, are following up on Jerome Burnel‘s media furor… unfortunately, there is nothing about Jerome Burnel in this book. The only part of the Jerome Burnel book that remained is Moxie Castin. It seems he is going to have a long-term role in the series to replace Aimee Price as Charlie‘s lawyer. Not bad for him and for the series. Another plus with this instalment in the Charlie Parker series is that we see more of cute Sam! And Angel & Louise! *yey*!! As if that is not enough goodness, Jeff Harding effected a very realistic Welsh accent for one of the characters! That made me smile! However, I don’t know why John Connolly killed one of the anti-hero, though… I hope that there would be some sort of explanation in the subsequent books. It was just too sad to just let it go like that.

The end was kind of an anti-climactic. But it was still a good read.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = (13 hrs & 9 mins)
Plot = 5
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Charlie Parker Series:

                           

 

About John Connolly
John Connolly

John Connolly was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a dogsbody at Harrods department store in London. He studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, to which he continues to contribute.

He is based in Dublin but divides his time between his native city and the United States.

This page is administered by John’s assistant, Clair, on John’s behalf. If you’d like to communicate with John directly, you can do so by writing to contact-at-johnconnollybooks.com, or by following him on Twitter at @JConnollyBooks.

 

About Jeff Harding
Jeff Harding

Jeff Harding is one of the most active American actors based in Britain. He is regularly seen in film and TV but he maintains interest in fringe theatre. He is particularly active in voice-over and radio. Having competed in rowing for many years, he still lives by the Thames and rows regularly – an appropriate sport for the reader of Ben Hur.

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
 

30/04/2017 Posted by | 5 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, kindle ebook, reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ETCHED IN BONE

 

The Others #5: ETCHED IN BONE

Etched In Bone by Anne Bishop
Book 5 of The Others series
Read by Alexandra Harris
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: hardback, ebook, & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About Etched In Bone:

After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders — a primitive and lethal form of the Others — the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders — and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end — with her standing beside a grave…

Source: Info in the About Etched In Bone was taken from http://happyeverafter.usatoday.com/2016/06/23/etched-in-bone-cover-reveal-excerpt-anne-bishop on 25/06/2016.

 

Excerpt :

Windsday, Messis 1

Eager to join his friends for an early morning run, Simon Wolfgard, leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, hurried toward the terra indigene Wolves who were using trees and shrubs for camouflage as they watched the paved road that looped the Courtyard. Actually, they were watching the man who was riding on the road at an easy pace.

[It’s Kowalski,] Blair growled. It was a soft growl, but the human suddenly scanned the area as if his little ears had caught the sound.

[On a bicycle,] Nathan added.

[We gave him permission to ride on the paved roads,] Simon said, a little concerned about their focused attention on a human they knew fairly well.

Karl Kowalski was one of the human police officers who worked directly with the terra indigene to minimize conflicts between humans and Others. Because of that, he had been labeled a Wolf lover and had had his share of conflicts with other humans. The latest incident happened last week when a car “accidentally” swerved and almost hit Kowalski while he was taking a bicycle ride before work. Because the terra indigene viewed that as a threat to a member of their human pack, Simon, Vladimir Sanguinati, and Henry Beargard—members of the Courtyard’s Business Association—decided to allow the human pack to ride on the Courtyard’s paved roads.

Simon had thought all the Wolves had been told about the Business Association’s decision—especially Nathan, who was the watch Wolf at the Liaison’s Office, and Blair, who was the Courtyard’s dominant enforcer—but this was the first time any of the humans had ventured to ride on a road that still had “Trespassers Will Be Eaten” signs posted as a warning.

[Bicycle, Simon,] Blair’s growl wasn’t as soft this time.

Must have been loud enough for human ears because Kowalski started to pedal a little faster.

Oh. Bicycle. Now Simon understood the real focus of the Wolves’ attention and excitement. Humans had ridden bicycles up to the Green Complex as well as a few other places in the Courtyard, and the Wolves had been intrigued by the two-wheeled vehicles. But those instances had been about transportation to or from a task. This could be something else.

[A game of chase?] Jane, the Wolfgard bodywalker, asked hopefully.

[Kowalski could be play-prey,] Nathan said.

[Does he know how to play chase?] Blair asked.

[He’s a police officer,] Nathan replied. [He chases other humans all the time.]

[Doesn’t mean he understands our game.] Simon thought Nathan’s opinion of police work was skewed more toward hopeful than accurate. Still, they could offer to play. If Kowalski didn’t accept, they would just enjoy a run. But…bicycle. Simon really wanted to chase one. [Let’s find out.]

The Wolves charged up the road, Simon and Blair in the lead as they swiftly closed the distance between the pack and their play-prey. But would they have a game?

Kowalski looked back. His eyes widened—and he pedaled faster.

Yes!

[We don’t catch, only chase,] Simon said.

[He’s fast!] Jane surged ahead of the males, pulling up alongside the bicycle’s back wheel in seconds.

[Don’t grab the wheels,] Nathan said. [If you catch a tooth in the spokes you could break your jaw or worse.]

[I was listening when Officer Karl told the puppies about the dangers of biting wheels,] Jane snapped, clearly offended by Nathan’s unwanted warning. She moved up a little more, now in position to play-bite Kowalski’s calf.

Kowalski glanced at Jane and pedaled faster. Instead of going over the bridge that would take them into the Hawkgard section—and commit the human to the big loop within the Courtyard’s three hundred acres—Kowalski turned onto the road that ran alongside the Elementals’ lake, heading back toward the Green Complex.

The Wolves ran, maintaining their distance even when Kowalski slowed down while going up a rise. They took turns pacing the bicycle and pushing their prey to run and run. Or pedal and pedal. As they reached the intersection with the Courtyard’s main road, Kowalski swung left toward the Green Complex instead of turning right toward the Market Square.

Most of the pack, having slowed to a trot as their prey tired, circled back toward the Wolfgard complex. Nathan headed for the Market Square and the Liaison’s Office where he would keep track of the deliverymen and guard Meg Corbyn, the Courtyard’s Human Liaison. Simon and Blair followed Kowalski until they reached the Green Complex. Then Blair continued on to the Utilities Complex while Simon dashed for the water trough in the common area that formed the open center of the Courtyard’s only multispecies complex. He lapped water, then shifted to his human form and dunked his head, flinging water as he stood up and tossed his dark hair away from his face. He splashed his arms and chest, then grinned when Kowalski parked the bicycle and approached the trough warily.

“That was a great game of chase!” Simon said happily. “You understand how to be play-prey.”

“I do?”

“Yes.” Simon cocked his head, puzzled by the human’s wariness. Hadn’t they just played, had fun? “Want some water?”

“Thanks.” Kowalski splashed water on his face and neck, then on his arms. But he didn’t drink.

Simon pondered the not drinking for a moment. Humans were clever, invasive predators who had recently shown the terra indigene once again why they could never be fully trusted—not even by each other. But physically they were so much weaker than other kinds of predators. This not drinking, for example. Nothing wrong with the water in the trough. Someone had already drained yesterday’s water, using it on the potted tree and other plants in the open area, and refilled the trough with fresh water for drinking and splashing. Humans would drink water pumped from the well if it was in a glass or a bucket or some other small container but couldn’t drink the same water from a shared outdoor container?

It made him wonder how they had survived as a species long enough to become such a problem.

“So who doesn’t understand about play-prey?” Kowalski asked, rubbing a hand over his face.

“The female pack. Every time we invited them to play, they stopped riding their bicycles and asked if they could help.” Simon spread his arms in a what’s that all about? gesture. Then he pointed at Kowalski. “But you invited us to play, and we all had a good run.”

Kowalski snorted a soft laugh. “Well, I sure had a good run.”

“Since the females can’t pedal as far or as fast as you, maybe they could play chase with the puppies.” The pups would learn how to run as a pack without the risk of being kicked by real prey.

Simon studied Kowalski, who studied him in turn.

“I’ll talk to Ruthie,” Kowalski finally said.

They both heard the clink of glassware and looked toward the screened summer room below Meg Corbyn’s apartment.

“Must be later than I realized,” Kowalski said. “I’d better go home and get cleaned up for work.”

Simon watched the man walk toward the bicycle—and the summer room. For a moment, it looked like Kowalski was going to go in and talk to Meg, and Simon felt his teeth lengthen to Wolf size as his lips pulled back in a silent snarl. But Kowalski just raised a hand in greeting, said, “Morning, Meg,” and rode away.

Simon walked around the trough, then stopped suddenly when he realized he was naked in his human form. It had never mattered until Meg came to live in the Courtyard. But humans reacted in various ways to seeing each other without clothing, even when clothing wasn’t needed for protection or warmth. Meg had adjusted pretty well to friends shifting to human form to give her a message or answer a question before shifting back to their preferred furred or feathered form, but it was different with him—maybe because their friendship was different from any other she had with humans or terra indigene.

Most nights, he slept with her in his Wolf form. They had their own apartments, but those places were connected by the summer room and a back upstairs hallway, and more and more it was becoming one den instead of two. But they weren’t mates in the same way Kowalski and Ruthie were mates. Then again, terra indigene Wolves only mated once a year when females came into season. Meg did the bleeding typical of human females but she hadn’t shown any physical interest in having a mate. Except…

She’d asked him to go skinny-dipping with her a couple of weeks ago. Both of them naked, in human form. She’d been nervous about being in the water with him, and she seemed scared after he’d kissed the scar along the right side of her jaw—a scar made by the cut that had saved the Wolfgard in Lakeside as well as many other Wolves throughout the Northeast Region and even beyond.

He’d kissed her before—on the forehead once or twice. But when he’d kissed that scar, he’d felt a flutter of change inside him, and in the days that followed he began to understand on some instinctive level that he wasn’t quite the same as the rest of the Lakeside Wolfgard. Not anymore.

Maybe it wasn’t just for Meg’s sake that, after the kiss, he’d invited her to play a Wolf game despite their both looking human. Then she wasn’t afraid anymore. And since then… Well, it wasn’t lost on him that, in summer weather like this, human males wore next to nothing in and around their own dens and no one thought anything of it.

“It’s hot upstairs,” Meg said, not raising her voice because she didn’t need to. His ears might look human, but he was still a Wolf and could hear her just fine. “I brought some food down here for breakfast.”

“I’ll take a quick shower and join you.”

He hurried inside and up the stairs to the bathroom in his apartment. Washing his hair and body didn’t take long, but he stood under the shower, enjoying the cool water falling over him as he thought about the complication that was Meg Corbyn.

He had brought her into the Courtyard, offering her the job of Human Liaison before discovering that she was a blood prophet, a cassandra sangue—a breed of human females who saw visions of the future when their skin was cut. She had escaped from the man who had owned her and used her, and Simon and the rest of the terra indigene in Lakeside had taken her in.

That sounded simple but it wasn’t. Nothing about Meg was simple. She was the pebble dropped in a pond that was the Lakeside Courtyard, and the ripples of her presence had changed so many things, including the terra indigene who had befriended her. Because of Meg, the Courtyard’s residents interacted with humans in ways that were unprecedented—or, at least, hadn’t been considered in centuries. Because of Meg, the terra indigene throughout Thaisia had tried to save the rest of the blood prophets who had been tossed out like unwanted puppies by the humans who had owned them. Because of Meg, the Lakeside Courtyard had a human pack that provided an additional learning experience for terra indigene who had a human-centric education and needed to practice those skills with humans who wouldn’t take advantage of mistakes.

Because of Meg, he had the uncomfortable feeling that a little bit of being human had become attached and inseparable from his Wolf form.

 

The Others #5: ETCHED IN BONE audio

My Thoughts:

In the world of The Others series, the names of the continents of their world sounds much like our own world, i.e., Afrikah, Brittania, Australis… but, what the heck is Felidae?! Sounds to me like a land full of cats…??

I am not quite sure why this book is titled Etched In Bone, though. A theme which is starting to plague this series lately. Titles that don’t really relate to the book! Whats that all about??! What in the world??…

I used to whinge about the narration of these books, and I still do, however this being book 5 in the series, I have already gotten used to it…. eventually. So that is probably why it is no longer as annoying as it used to be… probably…

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 5
World building = 5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 5
Plot = 5
Narration = 3.5

 

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Others Series:
 

         

 

The Author
Anne Bishop

Anne Bishop lives in upstate New York where she enjoys gardening, music, and writing dark, romantic stories. She is the author of fourteen novels, including the award-winning Black Jewels Trilogy. Her most recent novel, Twilight’s Dawn, made the New York Times bestseller list. She is currently working on a new series, which is an urban dark fantasy with a bit of a twist.

Crawford Award (2000)

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book, in all its formats, were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

14/03/2017 Posted by | 5 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, kindle ebook, review, urban fantasy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SILENCE FALLEN

 

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs
Book 10 of the Mercy Thompson series
Read by Lorelei King and George Newbern
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About Silence Fallen:

In the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy’s bond with the pack and her mate is broken, she’ll learn what it truly means to be alone…

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise..

Source: Info in the About Silence Fallen was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30687916-silence-fallen on 12/03/2016.

 

My Thoughts:

This is the first time that I have heard a book in this series where there are two narrators and it suited this book well. I guess that is why they chose to do it so. It made listening to the book very pleasant indeed! It added a little bit of a different flavour to the story than I would have had if I just read the book. I also like the fact that the author added a little twist in the end! That made the plot of this book the best yet in this series. And then there is the fact that I am an old die hard fan of these books already so I might just end up fan raving in this review… great world building…. great characters…. compelling story telling quality….

Can’t wait for next year and get my hands on the next book!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 5
Plot = 5
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Mercy Thompson Series:
Click on the cover image to go to my review or to the GoodReads page of the book for more info.
                   

 

About Patricia Briggs
Patricia Briggs

Patricia Briggs was born in Butte, Montana to a children’s librarian who passed on to her kids a love of reading and books. Patricia grew up reading fairy tales and books about horses, and later developed an interest in folklore and history. When she decided to write a book of her own, a fantasy book seemed a natural choice. Patricia graduated from Montana State University with degrees in history and German and she worked for a while as a substitute teacher. Currently, she lives in Montana with her husband, children and six horses and writes full-time, much to the delight of her fans.

www.patriciabriggs.com | facebook | twitter | goodreads | Amazon | Tumblr

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

13/03/2017 Posted by | 5 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, kindle ebook, review | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A TIME OF TORMENT

A Time Of Torment by John Connolly
Read by Jeff Harding
Book 14 of the Charlie Parker series
Genre: crime fiction
Format: kindle ebook & audiobook

 

 

About A Time Of Torment:

Jerome Burnel was once a hero. He intervened to prevent multiple killings and in doing so damned himself. His life was torn apart. He was imprisoned, brutalized.

But in his final days, with the hunters circling, he tells his story to private detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the girl who was marked for death but was saved, of the ones who tormented him, and an entity that hides in a ruined stockade.

Parker is not like other men. He died, and was reborn. He is ready to wage war.

Now he will descend upon a strange, isolated community called the Cut, and face down a force of men who rule by terror, intimidation, and murder.

All in the name of the being they serve.

All in the name of the Dead King.

Source: Info in the About A Time Of Torment was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25930352-a-time-of-torment on 31/10/2016.

 

Buy Link(s):
    Audible Books

 

My Thoughts:

Listening to this book, I got reminded again why I like to listen to Jeff Harding. I like the way he make the characters come alive with the voices he gives each character. It adds a certain flavour to the story that I wouldn’t have had, had I just read the book without the audiobook format. Kudos to the narrator!

It is also pleasing to read of Angel and Louis again. And of Jennifer and Sam too! It is like meeting long lost friends again… It gives one that fuzzy feeling! Looking forward to reading about these beloved characters again next year when the next book in the series comes out. 🙂

Of all the Charlie Parker books, this one, I believe have the most solid plot. John Connolly was firing on all cylinders when he wrote this book! Such that I am looking forward to reading the next book to see how the news media is handling the news of the bad guys’ apprehension. In particular, how the media is portraying Jerome Burnel this time. Now that the truth has been exposed. Did Jerome Burnel got what he hired Charlie Parker for, at last? A federal bust this big is sure to get cover, not only by the local papers, but also by the national ones. It would be interesting to see.

Another thing that I hope that the next book will clarify is whether Shakey lived or not! It wasn’t very clear to me whether Lucius killed him or not. And I wanted him to survive! He’s a tough old gun who had survived a lot and now that his life seems to be getting better at last, I didn’t want him to die!

Ok, so I am a die-hard fan! It is still true that this book is fantastic read!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 5
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = (13 hrs & 58 mins)
Plot = 5
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Charlie Parker Series:
                         

 

About John Connolly
John Connolly

John Connolly was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a dogsbody at Harrods department store in London. He studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, to which he continues to contribute.

He is based in Dublin but divides his time between his native city and the United States.

This page is administered by John’s assistant, Clair, on John’s behalf. If you’d like to communicate with John directly, you can do so by writing to contact-at-johnconnollybooks.com, or by following him on Twitter at @JConnollyBooks.

www.johnconnollybooks.com | twitter | facebook | google+ | goodreads | amazon

 

About Jeff Harding
Jeff Harding

Jeff Harding is one of the most active American actors based in Britain. He is regularly seen in film and TV but he maintains interest in fringe theatre. He is particularly active in voice-over and radio. Having competed in rowing for many years, he still lives by the Thames and rows regularly – an appropriate sport for the reader of Ben Hur.

naxos | audible | facebook | goodreads

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
 

06/11/2016 Posted by | 5 cherries, audiobooks, book reivew, Charlie Parker, Cherry's reviews, Jeff Harding, John Connolly, review | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MAGIC BINDS

 

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews
Book 9 of the Kate Daniels series
Genre: urban fantasy

 

 

About Magic Binds:

Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

Source: Info in the About Magic Binds was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17333174-magic-binds on 27/06/2016.

 

My Thoughts:

I like it when things nicely fall in together like pieces of a puzzle to reveal the picture. I was wondering what happened to Ana, Greg Feldman‘s ex-wife, who was first mentioned in Magic Bites. Then Kate mentioned in their dinner convention with Roland at Applebee’s [I. Andrews, Magic Shifts, (Ace, 2015), p. 290] that Ana, the clairvoyant ex-wife of Kate‘s dead guardian, no longer return her calls. Telling me that Ana is still there but just not in the picture anymore and explains why she wasn’t mentioned in so many books since Magic Bites.

However, I do not like it when the story lines contradict each other! In Magic Slays, Evdokia of the Witch Oracle told Kate that her mother, Kalina, came to attend Kalina‘s mother’s funeral. [I. Andrews, Magic Slays, (The Berkley Publishing Group, 2011), p. 120]. Then all of a sudden, Kalina‘s mother was alive again and living in Seattle in Magic Shifts. Roland tried to lure Kate out of Atlanta with the idea of visiting her grandmother (Kalina‘s mother) who was supposedly old and not long to live anymore in Seattle [I. Andrews, Magic Shifts, (Ace, 2015), p. 285]. Kate‘s other grandmother, Semiramis, is in Mishmar trapped between life and death limbo. So Kate has three grandmothers?!… *Sigh*

Speaking of unsolved issues, I am still wondering if Gene Monroe (wolf alpha who owned a silver-producing land in North Carolina) was really Roland‘s lackey or not. Or was there some other explanation? It was not very clear in Magic Breaks and I was hoping that we’d get a little clarification in this book… but no such luck…

This book… beautifully continued the complicated relationship between Kate and her father, Roland. Told in this authors’ trademark compelling story telling quality with a solid plot. What can I say? I am an old die hard fan… Can’t wait for the next book and read more about Kate and Roland‘s saga! Would the author end it with a bang??? What kind of HEA (happily ever after) would they get? Or is it an HEA?… Love, love, love, this series!!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 5
Ending = 5
World building = 5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 5
Plot = 5

 

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Kate Daniels Series:
                                     

 

Thank you!

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy received.

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was received for free from the publisher.
No money received for this review.

18/08/2016 Posted by | 5 cherries, ARC, book review, Cherry's reviews, Ilona Andrews, Kate Daniels series, review, urban fantasy | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: MARKED IN FLESH

The Others #4: MARKED IN FLESH

Marked In Flesh by Anne Bishop
Read by Alexandra Harris
Book 4 of The Others series
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobook

 

 

About Marked In Flesh:

For centuries, the Others and humans have lived side by side in uneasy peace. But when humankind oversteps its bounds, the Others will have to decide how much humanity they’re willing to tolerate—both within themselves and within their community…

Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the delicate dynamic between humans and Others changed. Some, like Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn, see the new, closer companionship as beneficial—both personally and practically.

But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don’t realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land that belongs to the Others—and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what is theirs…

Source: Info in the About Marked In Flesh was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22062202-marked-in-flesh on 12/03/2016.

 

MARKED IN FLESH by Anne Bishop audiobook

Review:

The narration still has a wonderful voice quality but also have the same non-stop-like reading style which does not take into account changes in scenes. Which makes it difficult to tell when scenes change and the conversation changed. Makes listening to it time-consuming and confusing. Therefore I abandoned the audiobook, again, in lieu of “reading” the ebook. Listening to the audiobook once I’ve read the book is easier because I already know where the scenes changes seeing I already know the story. Because I actually “read” the book instead of “listened” to it, I won’t count the narration this time around. Again.

The wonderful world building and character development has been established a long time ago with Book 1 and still carried on with this book. Also has the same compelling story telling quality which is a trademark I associated with this series. Sure, this book might also have little holes in it, but I am wilfully blind to all of it for the wonderful reading experience this book offers!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 5
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 4.5 (15 hours & 21 minutes listening time)
Plot = 4.5
(Narration = 3)

 

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Others Series:

       
 


 

FTC Disclosure:
The ebook and audiobbok formats of this book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

04/05/2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: FIRE TOUCHED

 

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs
Book 9 of the Mercy Thompson series
Read by Lorelei King
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 


About Fire Touched:

Mercy Thompson has been hailed as “a heroine who continues to grow and yet always remains true to herself.”* Now she’s back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer…

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

Source: Info in the About Fire Touched was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25776210-fire-touched on 08/03/2016.

 

My Thoughts:

I’ve been eagerly awaiting for this book for a year!! Then I had to read it slowly to savour it and make it last. Still too quick a read… The reason I was so looking forward to reading this book was because I wanted to know what happens to Joel as a member of the pack and how the pack is doing with Joel in it… And I was happy to say I got what I wanted… but… I wanted more!!! And I have to wait another year for the next book! How cruel is that?!! Good thing I have Marked In Flesh to read after this book to stave off the withdrawal symptoms I usually have after reading a good book and nothing else to read next. Or at least nothing as good to read next.

So the world building and character development were already established in book one and continues on to be fantastic in this book. Same goes with the story telling quality. Ok, so I am a die-hard fan of this series (so consider me raving already). Surprisingly, I cannot get into the offshoot seires which is the Alpha And Omega. Tried and failed to get into it… maybe I’ll try again later… Anyway, this book was a fantastic read, as usual with a Mercy Thompson book!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 5
Plot = 4.5
Narration = 4

 

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Mercy Thompson Series:
Click on the cover image to go to my review or to the GoodReads page of the book for more info.
                   
 

About Patricia Briggs
Patricia Briggs

Patricia Briggs was born in Butte, Montana to a children’s librarian who passed on to her kids a love of reading and books. Patricia grew up reading fairy tales and books about horses, and later developed an interest in folklore and history. When she decided to write a book of her own, a fantasy book seemed a natural choice. Patricia graduated from Montana State University with degrees in history and German and she worked for a while as a substitute teacher. Currently, she lives in Montana with her husband, children and six horses and writes full-time, much to the delight of her fans.

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

27/04/2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SWEEP IN PEACE Review

 

The Book

 


Sweep In Peace by Ilona Andrews
Book 2 of the Innkeeper Chronicles series
Read by Renee Raudman
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook, & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About Sweep In Peace:

Dina DeMille doesn’t run your typical Bed and Breakfast. Her inn is a living entity that defies laws of physics, her fluffy dog is secretly a monster, and the only paying guest is a former Galactic tyrant with a price on her head. But the inn needs guests to thrive, and guests have been scarce, so when an Arbitrator shows up at Dina’s door and asks her to host a peace summit between three warring species, she jumps on the chance.

Unfortunately, for Dina, keeping the peace between Space Vampires, the Hope-Crushing Horde, and the devious Merchants of Baha-char is much easier said than done. On top of keeping her guests from murdering each other, she must find a chef, remodel the inn… and risk everything, even her life, to save the man she might fall in love with. But then it’s all in the day’s work for an Innkeeper…

Source: Info in the About Sweep In Peace was taken from the author’s website at http://www.ilona-andrews.com/blog/book/sweep-in-peace on 23/10/2015.

 

Buy Link(s):
   

 

Excerpt:

Chapter One

When visitors came to the fine state of Texas, they expected a dry, rolling plain studded with longhorn cattle, oil derricks, and an occasional cowboy in a huge hat. According to them, that plain had only one type of weather: scorching. That wasn’t true at all. In fact, we had two types, drought and flood. This December, the town of Red Deer was experiencing the latter kind of weather. The rain poured and poured, turning the world gray, damp, and dreary.

I looked outside the living room window and hugged myself. The view offered a section of flooded street and, past it, the Avalon subdivision hunkering down under the cascade of cold water determined to wait it out. The inside of Gertrude Hunt’s Bed-and-Breakfast was warm and dry, but the rain was getting to me all the same. After a week of this downpour, I wanted a clear sky. Maybe it would let up tomorrow. A girl could hope.

It was a perfect evening to snuggle up with a book, play a video game, or watch TV. Except I wanted to do none of those things. I’d been snuggling up with a book, playing video games, or watching TV every night for the past six months with only my dog, my inn, and its lone guest for company, and I was a bit tired of it.

Caldenia exited the kitchen, carrying her cup of tea. She looked to be in her sixties, beautiful, elegant, and cloaked in the air of experience. If you saw her on the street in New York or London, you’d think she was a lady of high society whose days were filled with brunches with friends and charity auctions. Her Grace, Caldenia ka ret Magren, was indeed high society, except she preferred world domination to friendly brunches and mass murder to charity. Thankfully those days were behind her. Now she was just a guest at my inn, her past barely an issue aside from an occasional bounty hunter stupid enough to try to collect on the enormous price on her head.

On this evening she wore a sweeping kimono the color of rose wine, with gold accents. It flared as she walked, giving her thin figure a suitably regal air. Her silver hair, usually artfully arranged into a flattering hairdo, drooped slightly. Her makeup looked smudged and short of her typical impeccable perfection. The rain was getting to her as well.

She cleared her throat.

What now? “Your Grace?”

“Dina, I’m bored,” Caldenia announced.

Too bad. I guaranteed her safety, not entertainment. “What about your game?”

Her Grace gave me a shrug. “I’ve beaten it five times on the Deity setting. I’ve reduced Paris to ashes because Napoleon annoyed me. I’ve eradicated Gandhi. I’ve crushed George Washington. Empress Wu had potential, so I eliminated her before we even cleared Bronze Age. The Egyptians are my pawns. I dominate the planet. Oddly, I find myself mildly fascinated by Genghis Khan. A shrewd and savage warrior, possessing a certain magnetism. I left him with a single city, and I periodically make ridiculous demands that I know he can’t meet so I can watch him squirm.”

She liked him, so she was torturing him. Her Grace in a nutshell. “What civilization did you choose?”

“Rome, of course. Any title other than Empress would be unacceptable. That’s not the point. The point, my dear, is that our lives are beginning to feel dreadfully dull. The last guest we had was two months ago.”

She was preaching to the converted. Gertrude Hunt required guests, for financial and other reasons. They were the lifeblood of the inn. Caldenia helped some, but for the inn to thrive, we needed guests—if not a steady stream, then a large party. Unfortunately, I had no idea how to get those guests. Once upon a time, Gertrude Hunt had sat on a crossroads of a busy road, but decades passed, the world changed, the roads shifted, and now Red Deer, Texas, was a small town in the middle of nowhere. We didn’t get much traffic.

“Would you like me to pass out flyers on the corner, Your Grace?”

“Do you think it would help you drum up business?”

“Probably not.”

“Well then, that answers your question. Don’t get snippy, Dina. It really doesn’t become you.” She glided up the stairs, her kimono flowing behind her like a mantle.

I needed tea. Tea would make everything better.

I went to the kitchen and reached for a kettle. My left foot landed in something cold and wet. I looked down. A small yellow puddle greeted me. Well, doesn’t that just take the cake?

“Beast!”

My tiny Shih Tzu dashed into the kitchen, her black and white fur waving like a battle flag. She saw my foot in the puddle. Her brain decided it was time to beat a hasty retreat, but her body kept going. She tripped over her own paws and smacked headfirst into the island.

“What is this?” I pointed to the puddle.

Beast flipped onto her feet, slunk behind the island, and poked her head out, looking guilty.

“You have a perfectly good doggie door. I don’t care if it’s raining, you go outside.”

Beast slunk about some more and whined.

Magic chimed, a soft not-quite sound only I could hear—the inn letting me know we had guests.

Visitors!

Beast exploded into barks, zooming around the island in tight circles. I hopped on one foot to the kitchen sink, stuck my foot under the faucet, and washed my hands and my foot with soap. The floor under the puddle split, forming a narrow gap. Tile flowed, suddenly fluid, and the offending liquid disappeared. The floor resealed itself. I wiped my hands on the kitchen towel, ran to the front door, Beast bounding at my heels, and swung it open.

A white Ford Explorer was parked in the driveway. Through the screen door I saw a man in the driver seat. A woman sat next to him. Behind them, two smaller heads moved back and forth—kids in the backseat, probably stir-crazy after a long trip. A nice family. I reached forward with my magic.

Oh.

I’d thought the chime didn’t sound quite right.

The man got out and ran to the front door, shielding his glasses from the rain with his hand, and stopped under the porch roof. About thirty-five, he looked like a typical suburban dad: jeans, T-shirt, and the slightly desperate expression of someone who had been in a car with small children for several hours.

“Hi!” he said. “I’d like to rent a room.”

This was exactly why Gertrude Hunt had a private phone number and no online listing. We weren’t on any tourist brochures. How had they even found us? “I’m sorry, we have no vacancy.”

He blinked. “What do you mean, you have no vacancy? It looks like a big house, and there are no cars in the driveway.”

“I’m sorry, we have no vacancy.”

The woman got out of the car and ran over. “What’s the holdup?”

The man turned to her. “They have no vacancy.”

The woman looked at me. “We drove six hours in this rain from Little Rock. We won’t be any trouble. We just need a couple of rooms.”

“There is a very nice Holiday Inn only two miles from here,” I said.

The woman pointed at Avalon subdivision. “My sister lives in that subdivision. She said the only person who ever stays here is some old lady.”

Ah. Mystery solved. The neighbors knew I ran a bed-and-breakfast because that was the only way I could explain the occasional guests.

“Is it because we have kids?” the woman asked.

“Not at all,” I said. “Would you like the directions to the Holiday Inn?”

The man grimaced. “No, thanks. Come on, Louise.”

They turned and went to their car. The woman was mumbling something. “…outrageous.”

I watched them get into the car, reverse down the driveway, and leave. The inn chimed softly, punctuating their departure.

“I thought we had guests!” Caldenia called from the stairs.

“Not the right kind,” I said.

The inn creaked. I petted the doorframe. “Don’t worry. It will get better.”

Caldenia sighed. “Perhaps you should go on a date, dear. Men are so attentive when they think there is a chance you will let them into your bed. It does wonderful things to lift your spirits.”

A date. Right.

“What about Sean Evans?”

“He isn’t home,” I said quietly.

“Too bad. It was so much fun when he and the other fellow were around.” Caldenia shrugged and went up the stairs.

About five months ago, I watched Sean Evans open a door and step through it to the greater universe beyond. I hadn’t heard from him since. Not that he owed me anything. Sharing a single kiss could hardly be called a relationship, no matter how memorable it was. I knew from experience that the universe was very large. It was difficult for a single woman to compete with all its wonders. Besides, I was an innkeeper. Guests left to have exciting adventures and our kind stayed behind. Such was the nature of our profession.

And telling myself all those things over and over didn’t make me feel better. When I thought about Sean Evans, I felt the way business travelers from Canada might feel about an overnight trip to Miami in the middle of February. They would ride in a taxi, see the beach outside their window, knowing they wouldn’t get a chance to visit it, and wonder what it would be like to walk on the sand and feel the waves on their feet. Sean and I might have been great if only we had more time, but now we would never know if that beach would’ve turned out to be paradise, or if we would find jellyfish in the water and sand in our food.

It was for probably for the best. Werewolves were nothing but trouble anyway.

I was about to close the door when magic brushed against me like ripples from a stone cast into a calm pond. This had a completely different flavor. Someone had entered the inn’s grounds. Someone powerful and dangerous.

I reached for my broom, which was resting in the corner by the door, and stepped out onto the front porch. A figure in a gray rain poncho stood by the hedges, just on the edge of the inn’s grounds, politely waiting to be invited inside.

We had a visitor. Maybe even a guest, the right kind this time. I inclined my head, more of a very shallow bow than a nod.

The two doors behind me opened on their own. The figure approached slowly. The visitor was tall, almost a foot taller than me, which put him around six two, maybe six three. He walked into the inn. I followed him, and the door closed tight behind me.

The figure pulled the cord securing his hood and shrugged off his rain poncho. A man in his early thirties stood in front of me, muscular but lean, his shoulder-length blond hair pulled back into a haphazard ponytail at the nape of his neck. He wore a white shirt with flaring sleeves, dark gray trousers, and supple black boots that came midway up his calf. An embroidered vest hugged his frame, black accented with blue, emphasizing the contrast between his broad shoulders and flat stomach. A leather sword belt graced his narrow hips, supporting a long, slender scabbard with an elaborate basket hilt protruding from it. He probably owned a wide-brimmed hat with some fluffy white feathers and possibly a cloak or two.

His face was shocking. Masculine, well-cut but not at all brutish, with strong elegant lines people usually called aristocratic: high, broad forehead, straight nose, good cheekbones, square jaw, and a full mouth. He wasn’t at all feminine, yet most people would describe him as beautiful rather than handsome.

The man smiled at me. Quiet humor tinted his pale blue eyes, as if he found the world a perpetually amusing place. They were the kind of eyes that shone with intelligence, confidence, and calculation. He didn’t look—he watched, noticed, and evaluated—and I had a feeling that even when his mouth and his eyes smiled, his mind remained alert and razor-sharp.

I had seen him before. I remembered that face. But where?

“I’m looking for Dina Demille.” His voice suited him well: warm and confident. He had a light accent, not really British, not really Southern US, but an odd, melodious meld of both.

“You found her,” I said. “Welcome to Gertrude Hunt Inn. Your poncho?”

“Thank you.” He handed me the poncho, and I hung it on the hook by the door.

“Will you be staying with us?”

“I’m afraid not.” He offered me an apologetic smile.

Figured. “What can I do for you?”

He raised his hand and traced a pattern between us. The air in the wake of his finger glowed with pale blue. A stylized symbol of scales, two weights in the balance, flared between us, held for a second, and vanished. He was an Arbitrator. Oh crap. My heart sped up. Who could possibly be suing us? Gertrude Hunt didn’t have the finances to fight an arbitration.

I leaned on my broom. “I’ve received no notice of arbitration.”

He smiled. His face lit up. Wow.

“My apologies. I’m afraid I’ve given you the wrong impression. You’re not a party to an arbitration. I came to you to discuss a business proposition.”

Business was so much better than arbitration. I pointed at the couches in the front room. “Please sit down. May I get you something to drink, Arbitrator?”

“Hot tea would be fantastic,” he said. “And please, call me George.”

#

We sat in my comfortable chairs and sipped our tea. George frowned, obviously collecting his thoughts. He seemed so… pleasant. Cultured and genteel. But in my line of work, you quickly learned that appearances were often deceiving. I clicked my tongue, and Beast jumped on my lap and positioned herself so she could lunge off my knees in an instant. Being cautious never hurt.

“Have you heard of Nexus?” George asked.

“Yes.” I had visited Nexus. It was one of those bizarre places in the galaxy where reality bent into a pretzel. “But please continue. I would rather have all the information I need than assume I know something I don’t.”

“Very well. Nexus is a colloquial name for Onetrikvasth IV, a star system with a single habitable planet.”

He didn’t stumble over the name. That must’ve taken some practice.

“Nexus is a temporal anomaly. Time flows faster there. A month on Earth is roughly equivalent to over three months on Nexus. However, biological aging proceeds at the same pace as on the planet of origin.”

My brother, Klaus, had once explained the Nexus paradox to me, complete with formulas. We were trying to find our parents at the time, and the complex explanation had flown right over my head. I chalked it up to magic. The universe was full of wonders. Some of them would drive you insane if you thought about them too long.

“Nexus also contains large subterranean reserves of kuyo, a naturally occurring viscous liquid that, when refined, is used in production of what my background file calls ‘pharmaceutical assets of significant strategic value.’”

“It’s used to manufacture military stimulants,” I said. “They affect a wide variety of species in slightly different ways, but typically they boost strength and speed while suppressing fatigue and fear. They turn humans into berserkers, for example.”

George smiled. “I should probably speak plainly.”

I smiled back. “It would save us some time.”

“Very well.” George sipped his tea. “Kuyo occurs throughout the galaxy but only in small quantities, which makes Nexus extremely valuable. Currently there are three factions fighting for control of the planet. Each claims the rights to the entirety of Nexus’s mineral wealth, and none are willing to compromise. They’re engaged in a bloody war. It’s been going on for a little over seven Earth years and almost twenty years in Nexus’s time. The war is brutal and has cost everyone involved a great deal. Cooler minds on all sides agree it can’t continue. The matter has been referred for arbitration by one of the interested factions, the other two agreed, and here we are.”

“I’m guessing one of the factions is the Merchants?” When we landed on Nexus, we’d ended up in a Merchant spaceport. Merchants facilitated interstellar trade through the known galaxy and its many dimensions. When you needed rare goods or a large quantity of goods, you went to see a Merchant. They were motivated by profit and prestige.

George nodded. “Yes. The war is cutting into their profits.”

“Which family? The Ama?”

“The Nuan. The Ama family cut their losses and sold its holdings on Nexus to Nuan two years ago.”

Suddenly his presence here made a lot of sense. “Is Nuan Cee involved?”

“Yes. In fact, he was the one who recommended your establishment.”

Before my parents disappeared, they did a lot of business with Nuan Cee. Running an inn sometimes required exotic goods, and he procured the rarest items. Even I had done a deal with Nuan Cee. I’d bartered the world’s rarest honey for the eggs of a deadly giant spider.

“Your tea is delicious,” George said.

“Thank you. Which are the other two factions?”

“House Krahr of the Holy Cosmic Anocracy.”

Six months ago I had sheltered a vampire of House Krahr after he was injured trying to apprehend an alien assassin. His nephew had come to rescue him. The nephew’s name was Arland, he was the Marshal of his House, and he had flirted with me. At least flirted in vampire terms. He’d assured me that he would be ecstatic to be my shield, and I shouldn’t hesitate to rely upon his warrior prowess. He’d also gotten drunk on coffee and run through my orchard naked.

Good God, who could hold the vampires of Krahr off for twenty years? They were one of the most ferocious sentient species in the galaxy. They were predators who lived to war. Their entire civilization was dedicated to it.

“And the final faction?”

George set his cup down. “The Otrokars.”

I blinked.

Silence stretched.

“The Hope-Crushing Horde?”

George looked slightly uncomfortable. “That’s the official name, yes.”

The Otrokars were the scourge of the galaxy. They were huge and violent, and they lived to conquer. They’d started with one planet and grown their holdings to nine. Their name literally meant Hope-Crushing, because once you saw them, all your hopes died. The Holy Anocracy and the Horde had collided several times over the past three centuries, always with disastrous results. The two species hated each other so much their feud had become legendary. Half the jokes in the galaxy started with “a vampire and an otrokar walk into a bar….”

Having vampires and Otrokars together in close proximity was like mixing glycerin with nitric acid and then hitting it with a sledgehammer. They would explode. It would be a slaughter.

I leaned forward. “So you need a neutral venue to hold the arbitration?”

“Yes. An inn on Earth is ideal. It is defined as neutral ground, and we can rely on an innkeeper’s power to keep the participants in check.”

“Let me guess: you’ve tried other inns and everyone turned you down. Am I your last stop?”

George took a deep breath. “Yes.”

“There was an attempt to broker peace between Otrokars and the Holy Cosmic Anocracy during their Ten-Year Conflict,” I said. “About fifty years ago.”

He braided his long, elegant fingers into a single fist. “Yes, I’m familiar with it.”

“Then you also know how it ended.”

“I believe the patriarch of House Jero lunged at the Otrokar Korum, and Korum beheaded him.”

“He ripped the patriarch’s head off with his bare hands and then proceeded to beat the Marshal of House Jero to death with it.”

“Well, the venture does sound risky when you put it that way…”

“It’s not risky, it’s suicidal.”

“Should I take it as a no?” George asked.

This was a really bad idea.

“How many people do you expect?”

“At least twelve from each party.”

Thirty-six guests. My heart sped up. Thirty-six guests, each with robust magic. This would sustain the inn for years to come. Not to mention that if I managed to pull this impossible thing off, it would raise the inn’s standing.

No. What was I thinking? It would be crazy. I would have to keep the peace between thirty-six individuals, each dying to kill the other. It would be terrible. The risk… The gamble was too great.

What did I have to lose?

George reached into his pocket, produced a small tablet about the size of a playing card and just as thin, and showed it to me. Two numbers: $500,000 and $1,000,000.

“The first is your payment in the event the arbitration fails. The second is payment if we succeed.”

Five hundred thousand. We needed the money. I could finally upgrade my books. I could buy the additional building materials for the inn.

No. I might as well set Gertrude Hunt on fire.

My gaze fell on the portrait of my parents. They were looking at me. Demilles never backed down from a challenge. But then, we didn’t take unnecessary risks either.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I could simply sit here and continue to wait for a chance traveler to happen my way…

“If I do this, I would need you to meet my conditions,” I said.

“Absolutely.”

“I want agreements of reimbursement to be drawn up and signed by all parties. I want a sum of money to be set aside in escrow from each faction and placed under your control. If they damage the inn, I want them to pay for the damages.”

“I find that reasonable.”

“I need each party to review and sign Earth’s nondisclosure policy. Ordinary citizens of this planet can’t know of their existence. For example, we may experience visits from local law enforcement, and I want it expressly understood that nobody will be crushing necks or ripping off heads.”

“Also reasonable.”

“I may think of some additional restrictions. Do you have any concerns?”

“A couple.” George leaned forward. “The nature of the relationship between the inn and its guests isn’t quite clear to me. Why does the inn require guests?”

“It’s a symbiotic relationship,” I explained. “The inn provides the guests with shelter and food. It sees to their every need. In return, it feeds on the natural energy all living beings emit. The more varied and powerful that energy, the more magic the inn is able to generate and the stronger it becomes.”

George narrowed his eyes. “So is the inn empathic?”

“No, not exactly.”

“Can it influence the mood of its guests?”

“Only in as much as we are all influenced by our surroundings.”

George frowned. “I’ve read of some cases that suggested a link can be forged between an inn and its guests.”

Oh. That’s what he was getting at. “That’s not exactly accurate. It is possible for the inn to forge a mental link between an innkeeper and a guest, but the inn can’t influence the guest’s mental state. The linking ritual has been done only a handful of times in rare cases when the inn or guests were in danger. For example, when the identity of a murderer had to be confirmed. The guest has to be a willing participant in the process and try to forge the link. So if you’re asking me whether the inn can magically make the guests more agreeable and likely to sign the peace treaty, then no. I can make sure the peace delegates have the softest linens and the most tranquil of rooms, but I have no power to influence them. Even if I could, I wouldn’t. The privacy of my guests is sacred, and I am meant to remain as a neutral party. It would be a breach of ethics.”

“Oh well,” he said. “It was a thought.”

Considering the enormity of the task at hand, I could understand why he would reach for any possibility that could influence the outcome. “Anything else?”

“Yes.” George turned and glanced at the modest room. “I mean no disrespect, but your establishment is considerably smaller than I was led to believe. I don’t believe we have enough room.”

I rose. “Have you stayed at many inns?”

“No. I’ve visited several in connection with this summit, but I haven’t had the pleasure of being a guest. Yours is my first.”

I pulled the magic to me. What I was about to do would likely drain most of the inn’s resources and mine. If he walked away from our deal after I was done, it would take us a very long time to recover. But if we could get guests, it would all be worth it.

I picked up my broom. The magic vibrated within me, building and building, held so tight, like a giant spring compressed to its limit. George rose and stood next to me.

I raised the broom, bristles up, pictured the interior of the inn in my mind, and brought the broom down. Wood connected with floorboards with a dry knock.

Magic rolled through the inn like an avalanche, the wood and stone suddenly elastic and flowing. The interior of the inn opened like a blossoming flower. The walls moved apart. The ceiling soared. The magic kept streaming out of me, so fast I felt light-headed. Polished pink marble rolled over the floor, sheathed the walls, and surged up, forming stately columns.

Next to me George stood very still.

Two-story-tall windows opened in the marble. I leaned on the broom for support. Vaulted ceilings turned pure white. Crystal chandeliers sprouted like bunches of exquisite blooms. Golden flourishes spiraled and curved on the floor. Lights flared among the crystal.

I cut off the magic. The power snapped inside me like a rubber band. I reeled from the impact.

The grand ballroom spread before us, grandiose, elegant, and glowing.

The Arbitrator closed his mouth with a click. “I stand corrected.”

Source: Excerpt was taken from the author’s website at http://www.ilona-andrews.com/blog/book/sweep-in-peace on 23/10/2015.

 

Books In The Innkeeper Chronicles:

 

Review

 


My Thoughts:

I Beta Read for the first book in this series and I was in love with it! So for this second book I decided not to Beta Read when the author called for Beta Readers because I wanted to experience the full book in its finality and in it’s full glory… and I was reminded again why I love this series and this author all over again! So much so that I bought the audiobook after I read the ebook and currently re-listening to it! So I am an old die-hard fan, so this review might be nothing but fan-girling rave. Still, no one can dispute my claims to it’s masterful and compelling story telling quality! Superb world building! And well-developed characters who fells like old friends… five out of five!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 5
World building = 5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 5
Plot = 5
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

 


FTC Disclosure:
Copies of the book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

22/12/2015 Posted by | audiobook, book review, review | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: DEVOTED IN DEATH

DEVOTED IN DEATH by JD Robb ebook

Devoted In Death by JD Robb
Book 41 of the In Death series
Read by Susan Ericksen
Genre: scifi crime fiction
Format: ebook & audiobookAudible Books

 

 

About Devoted In Death:

Eve Dallas tracks a couple whose passion is fueled by cold brutalityin the newest crime thriller from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Obsession in Death and Festive in Death.

When Lieutenant Eve Dallas examines a body in a downtown Manhattan alleyway, the victim’s injuries are so extensive that she almost misses the clue. Carved into the skin is the shape of a heart—and initials inside reading E and D . . .

Ella-Loo and her boyfriend, Darryl, had been separated while Darryl was a guest of the state of Oklahoma, and now that his sentence has been served they don’t ever intend to part again. Ella-Loo’s got dreams. And Darryl believes there are better ways to achieve your dreams than working for them. So they hit the road, and when their car breaks down in Arkansas, they make plans to take someone else’s. Then things get messy and they wind up killing someone—an experience that stokes a fierce, wild desire in Ella-Loo. A desire for Darryl. And a desire to kill again.

As they cross state lines on their way to New York to find the life they think they deserve, they will leave a trail of evil behind them. But now they’ve landed in the jurisdiction of Lieutenant Dallas and her team at the New York Police and Security Department. And with her husband, Roarke, at her side, she has every intention of hunting them down and giving them what they truly deserve . . .

Source: Info in the About Devoted In Death was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22571696-obsession-in-death on 13/02/2015.

 

DEVOTED IN DEATH by JD Robb audiobook

My Thoughts:

This book showcases to us that there really are sick fucks out there! But I guess that’s what crime fiction books does. But what makes this book stands out from the million other crime fic books out there is the fact that JD Robb can spin a tired old tale into something new and exciting! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call a masterful story telling quality! As evidenced by the fact that this is now book 41 down the line and the staying power of the series is still going strong and true. As if compelling story telling quality is not enough, this book also have a substantial plot (like the rest of the books in this series), contributes to it’s magnetic pull on the reader… Okay, so I am an old die-hard fan… so I tend to “fan rave”. But that does not make what I said any less true.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 5
World building = 5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 5
Plot = 5
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

 


FTC Disclosure:
Ebook and audiobook copies of the book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.
 

12/10/2015 Posted by | 5 cherries, audiobook, Cherry's review, In Death series, JD Robb, Lt. Eve Dallas, review | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment