Slaying it by Chloe Neill

Book Review

 


Slaying It (Chicagoland Vampires, #13.5)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Novella

Book Series: Chicagoland Vampires 13.5

Released: 7/17/2018 InterMix

Pages: 79 Price: $1.99 e-book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a copy of this book. 

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Merit, Sentinel of Chicago’s Cadogan House, is pregnant. She’s ready to meet her daughter, but also very excited about the possibility of seeing her feet again. But trouble always seems to find her…

Ethan and Merit have been married for eight months, and they’re preparing for life-with-baby. Ethan’s battling his overprotectiveness, while Merit’s hoping she can figure out how to be a loving parent given her family’s chilliness.

While out on an evening walk, Merit stops to help a human in need, only to find herself under attack. A sociopath with a debt figures pregnant Merit is an easy target–and Cadogan House would pay handsomely for her return…

My Review:

This was a fun return to a finished series! Since I hadn’t made much progress in my ARC of Wild Hunger I decided to put it off a little longer and read this book before diving too far into that one.  I’m glad I did as it keeps the timeline intact being a reader that prefers to read in the order of release.

In this short visit to the world of Chicagoland Vampires, we get to witness a very pregnant Merit in all her shining, waddling glory!  Not being a kid person or interested in pregnancy at all I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading about Merit’s experience giving birth to the world’s first-born vampire.  Of course, Ethan was a hoot and it was pretty awesome to see some familiar faces around the house.  There was also this whole side story revolving around Jonah and Margot!!!  Much of the plot revolved around some chaos affecting Merit which is pretty typical for this series.  I was delighted to see Merit was her usual kick-ass self, even if her body was currently incubating a vampire miracle.

If you are a fan of the series and looking forward to Wild Hunger releasing next month I suggest picking this one up to tide you over.  It was a lot of fun and I found myself laughing out loud in several parts.  The last chapter was super sweet as well.

My Rating: 5 Stars

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The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts

Book Review

 


The Freeze-Frame RevolutionBook Genre: Science Fiction

Book Series: N/A

Released: 6/18/18 by Tachyon Publications

Pages: 192  Price: $14.95 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

She believed in the mission with all her heart.
But that was sixty million years ago.

How do you stage a mutiny when you’re only awake one day in a million? How do you conspire when your tiny handful of potential allies changes with each shift? How do you engage an enemy that never sleeps, that sees through your eyes and hears through your ears and relentlessly, honestly, only wants what best for you?

Sunday Ahzmundin is about to find out.

My Review:

I just did not get this book and struggled through most of it.  I kept wondering what was going on and so much simply didn’t make sense to me.  The last 30 pages I ended up just skimming so I most likely missed some answers to the questions I have but by the end I simply lost interest.  The only reason I finished the story was because it was so short.

My biggest issue was I never truly understood what the crew was doing out there in space.  It had something to do with gates, but gates to where?  How did they work?  Why were they being built? Oh wait I think that was explained.  Then there is the fact that they end up ‘sleeping’ for centuries at a time and mention that humanity might not even exist on Earth anymore.  So what is the point of building the gates?  This plot point struck me as unnecessary.  I think the author wanted to use it as a way to make the story interesting, but I think it would have been fine had the crew simply slept for a few years at a time.  After all we never go back to Earth or interact with any other race so there is no new technology or civilization for the crew to readjust to.

I did like Sunday and her interactions with chimp and the other crew members.  The whole mutiny plot was interesting but overshadowed by the questions I had, some mentioned above.

I wanted to like this more than I did.  I’m usually able to suspend reality while reading but this story simply brought up too many questions regarding plot and setting for me to overlook.  I’m glad I tried it and might be willing to try another title by this author.

My Rating: 2 Stars

Dearest Ivie by J.R. Ward

Book Review

 


Dearest Ivie (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #15.5)Book Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Blackdagger Botherhood #15.5

Released:  3/13/18 by Ballantine Books

Pages: 145  Price: $2.99 E-book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a copy of this book.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

The last place Ivie expects to be approached by a devastatingly handsome male is in a crowded, smoky cigar bar rarely frequented by vampires—yet here he stands. Silas is flirtatious, gallant, and, above all, mysterious. Ivie is anything but. A nurse at the healer’s clinic and the daughter of a biker, Ivie is accustomed to speaking her mind. So she does. Since aristocrats rarely pick up females of her class, Ivie asks Silas just what kind of game he thinks he’s playing.
 
Despite her guarded exterior, Ivie surrenders to the fierce desire she feels for Silas. And yet, just as their courtship is heating up, he reveals that it cannot last, for he is bound to return to the Old Country. Their bond only deepens as they make the most of their precious time together. But when she learns the truth, Ivie must find a saving grace—before all is lost. . . .

My Review:

Minor Spoiler Warning: If you, like me, find yourself about a third of the way through this book and suddenly have the fear that Ms. Ward is going to rip your heart out of your chest and grind it into the ground under her stiletto heel.  Fear not.  It does have a happy ending.

Okay, now that that is out of the way.  This book wiped the floor with me.  Majorly.  Big old ugly crying in the middle of the night as I finished this book in bed.  My body shaking with sobs as tears run down my face.  I’m truly surprised that my husband did not wake up to find out what the hell was wrong.   I managed to make it to the end, thank goodness, because I needed that happy ending to make the emotional rollercoaster I just went through worth it.

This was a bloody brilliant read.  The best that I’ve read by Ms. Ward in some time, and this is coming from the p.o.v. of a person that already fangirls over her books.  This novella simply took everything to another level for me.

So that’s great and all but why was this book so much better than the others.  First off I loved that this book focused on one couple and didn’t break away to another p.o.v. there was simply one plot to follow and when the action starts getting good we stuck with them.  This is usually my biggest annoyance with her books, especially when I’m not a fan of one of the couples in the story.  I also liked how the main problem or issue to overcome wasn’t supernatural related.  I don’t want to spoil the plot so I won’t say more.  I also loved Ivie and Silas!!!  We have a Romeo and Juliet story here with the couple coming from different social classes.  Ivie is the one with a working-class upbringing and has some insecurities to overcome in that regards when it comes to Silas.  Then there is Silas who comes from the upper crust of society.  I liked how he never apologized for it yet he didn’t seem to flaunt it either.  He was like this is who I am and I’m into you please accept me into your life.

This was a short read that felt much longer, perhaps because it wasn’t constantly being interrupted by another plot, but by the end, I was completely satisfied with how everything worked out.  I needed to recuperate from the emotional trauma I just suffered but I that’s alright who needs sleep.

This was a great story, hands down, and worth the $3 to download.  It will make you fall in love, rip your heart out, and then bring you back for a happy ending.  My advice don’t read it just before bed because it did take me a bit to come down from the drama.  Now I need to find some light and fluffy to read so I can recover in time to read The Theif when it releases in a few days.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Something to Howl About by Christine Warren

Book Review

 


Something to Howl About (Alphaville, #0.5)Book Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Shifter, Novella

Book Series: Alphaville #0.5

Released: 1/2/18 by Swerve

Pages: 86 Price: $0.99 Ebook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

WELCOME TO ALPHAVILLE, where the she-wolves and alpha-males play. . .for keeps, in a brand-new paranormal romance series from New York Times bestselling author Christine Warren.

Dr. Annie Cryer has been called many things: Genius. Child prodigy. Scientific wonder.

Wolf Shifter.

Banished from her pack years ago, Annie’s lone wolf wandering has brought her to Alpha, Washington, home to all shifters who don’t quite fit in in the “normal” shifter word. Now Annie has the chance to go back home…if only she can make good on a favor her alpha owes the mayor of “Alphaville.” But it’s not much of a favor when you’re helping the hottest shifter in town…

Grizzly shifter Jonas Browning has a clan in trouble. They haven’t had a child born in over a hundred years…and their clan faces going completely extinct. Genetic scientist Anne Cryer has been sent to help save them. But what Jonas doesn’t count on is being irresistibly drawn to the small wolf shifter, and his bear isn’t about to let her go…

My Review:

I requested and was approved for the first book in this new series by Ms. Warren, Baby, I’m Howling For You.  A week or so later I was offered a copy of the prequel novella along with an invitation to join the blog tour.  Unfortunately, health issues prevented me from being able to join in the fun… I’m still battling the flu.  Anyway, I finally found a moment and motivation in wanting to finish just one more book before 2017 ends and decided to spend the afternoon reading this title.

I’m so glad I did because I now plan to spend the first day of 2018 devouring the next book!  This was such fun read that had me laughing at so many moments.  It was simply perfect!  There was humor, science (y) plot, relationship drama, and a really good steamy scene.  We have a smart sassy strong female lead and a horny yet bumbling commitaphobe mate that really puts his foot in his mouth.  My only complaint is that it was simply too short! The dialog was great and setting up of this new society was just right no info dump here but I didn’t feel lost either.  I do understand that this is to be a spin-off from her Others series but you do not have to have read that one to dive into this world.

I’ve not read a shifter series for a while and it looks like Alphaville is going to be a fun new playground for me to spend my reading time in.  This book while short had plenty to offer and I hope you go grab a copy for yourself after all the price is quite the deal. Perfect to get you hooked.  This was a great title to end my reading year on!

My Rating: 5 Stars

A Christmas Blizzard by Garrison Keillor

Book Review

 


A Christmas Blizzard: A NovelBook Genre: Fiction, Holiday, Humor

Book Series: N/A

Released: 10/25/11 by Penguin Books 

Pages: 181 Price: $14.00 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon A Christmas Blizzard: A Novel

Source: I borrowed this book from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

The inimitable Garrison Keillor spins “a Christmas tale that makes Dickens seem unimaginative by comparison” (Charlotte Creative Loafing) Snow is falling all across the Midwest as James Sparrow, a country- bumpkin-turned-energy-drink-tycoon, and his wife awaken in their sky- rise apartment overlooking Chicago. Even down with the stomach bug, Mrs. Sparrow yearns to see The Nutcracker while James yearns only to escape-the faux-cheer, the bitter cold, the whole Christmas season. An urgent phone call from his hometown of Looseleaf, North Dakota, sends James into the midst of his lunatic relatives and a historic blizzard. As he hunkers weather the storm, the electricity goes out and James is visited by a parade of figures who deliver him an epiphany worthy of the season, just in time to receive Mrs. Sparrow’s wonderful Christmas gift. Garrison Keillor’s holiday farce is the perfect gift for the millions of fans who tune into A Prairie Home Companion every week.

My Review:

It took me a week to get through this 181-page story that should be enough to tell you what I thought of it.  This was a book that was selected for a book talk at the library where I work so please know that I did not select this title on my own.  If I had I would have DNF it after 20 pages and you would not have this review.  But I did read it and feel that has earned me the right to criticize it.

This story sucked.  Majorly.  It started off coherent and then took a nose dive into strangeville about half-way through.  The characters were all over the place and I struggled to find one that I even liked.  Lots of stereotypes that were meant to be funny but did not come off that way to me, more offensive in my opinion.  There is actually supposed to be a lot of humor in this story but I don’t think that I laughed once. There was also too much talking about politics for a Christmas story for me.  The ending fit the book in that it came totally out of left field and did not make sense.  The book is just trying too hard to be a Christmas miracle and come off as weird or stupid.

The only redeeming quality that this book held for me is that it was short but somehow I still ended up wasting a week on it.  I’m not a fan of Christmas.  I’m not a fan of folksy humor.  This is simply not a book for me and I don’t think I will be picking up anything else by this author.

My Rating: 1 Star

Relentless by D.B. Reynolds

Book Review

 


Relentless (Vampires in America, #11.5)Book Genre: Romance, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Novella

Book Series: Vampires in America 11.5

Released: 10/30/17 by ImaJinn Books

Pages: 107 Price: $2.99 E-book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon  Relentless: A Cyn and Raphael Novella (Vampires in America 11.5)

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

TREACHERY . . . Something the powerful Vampire Lord Raphael has seen far too much of lately.

RAGE . . . An emotion that, left unchecked, can burn like the fires of hell.

REVENGE . . . A dish that philosophers claim is best served cold.

It’s been months since the powerful French vampire Mathilde used Raphael’s arrogance against him and nearly succeeded in taking his life. His fury has grown stronger with every day since, fed by new bloody incursions onto North American soil by the Europeans, while vampire politicking has forced him to wait. But no longer. Someone has attacked his home, killing vampires, threatening Cyn. They’ve taken it one step too far, and Raphael’s tired of waiting. His enemies are about to discover that revenge can taste damn good when it’s hot, too.

D. B. Reynolds is the RT and EPIC Award-Winning author of the Vampires in America series of paranormal romance, and an Emmy-nominated television sound editor. She lives in a flammable canyon near Los Angeles, and when she’s not writing her own books, she can usually be found reading someone else’s. Visit her blog at www.dbreynolds.com for details on all of her books and more.

My Review:

If you’ve been following this series then you won’t want to miss this novella in the Vampires in America series.  This story gives us some Raphael and Cyn time and sets up the upcoming war in Europe and introduces us to the hero of the next full-length book.

At 100 pages it is a quick read but we get tons of action and plenty of steam.  I must confess that I struggled with this book and might be done with the series.  I love the action.  I love the chemistry between the characters.  But I am not a fan of all the weapons, however, especially after what happened in Vegas recently.    Guns have been a part of this series from the beginning.  I knew that and uncomfortably accepted them as part of the story.  Not sure I can do that anymore.   Simply put they bothered me much like excessive cursing might bother another.  I don’t want them a part of my world and that might mean giving up the series.  I’ve not made up my mind yet.

The first part of the book was great though and I was able to skim much of the violence near the end.  The writing is still top-notch and the characters complex and had great interactions with one another.  This is a family and I’ll miss them if I need to give them up.

My Rating: 3 Stars

Night’s Darkest Embrace by Jeaniene Frost

Book Review

 


Night's Darkest EmbraceBook Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Audio

Book Series: N/A

Released: 11/13/2012 by Pocket

Pages:100  Price: $1.99 E-Book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Enter the dark realm of Nocturna in Jeaniene Frost’s redhot tale, where blisteringly sexy Raphael dominates the demons of a lawless dimension and tries to help a beautiful young woman avenge her cousin’s disappearance. Originally appeared in the Haunted By Your Touch anthology.

My Review:

This was a good listen for an afternoon spent removing tar paper from a hardwood floor.  Entertaining, short, and kept one’s mind occupied while doing a tedious task.  My only complaint is that this isn’t a series!  I thought this world was quite interesting and full of potential.  Maybe Ms. Frost will decide to revisit this demon dimension in the future, finger’s crossed.

While being short there was adequate world building and I didn’t feel lost. The story is fairly typical for paranormal romance there is a sexy alpha hero and an instant romance connection between him and the heroine who has to be rescued from the bad guy.  You know what to expect but that isn’t always a bad thing.  Sometimes you are just in the mood for a certain type of book and Ms. Frost constantly delivers an exciting steamy read.

Not a lot more to say being it was so short.  I enjoyed it and if you ever need to kill three hours then this would be a great audiobook to pick for you!

My Rating: Three Stars

Talen by Rebecca Zanetti

Book Review

 


Talen: A Dark Protectors NovellaBook Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Dark Protectors #7.8

Released: 6/6/17 from Lyrical Press

Pages: 95 Price: $2.99 E-Book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon  Talen (Dark Protectors)

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

She’ll love him forever . . . but he can’t make her obey . . .

The war is over. Danger has passed. Cara Kayrs is healed after decades of illness and ready for a break.

Too bad her brooding, alpha vampire husband can’t seem to change gears. In their twenty-five years together Talen Kayrs has learned to sense every shiver of her body, to ignite her desire with a word or a look. She would think he could learn she’s not some fragile damsel in distress.

But Talen is on edge, watching their backs, treating her like she’s made of glass. Like there’s something following them, a deadly threat that somehow none of their intelligence has uncovered. It’s enough to drive a woman crazy, and Talen has plenty of those tendencies already.

But what’s even more maddening is that he seems to be right . . .

My Review:

This was a fun visit to a finished series I enjoyed.  In this book we revisit the couple from the book that started it all and get a chance to see how their H.E.A has been after the war has ended.  As in real life just because peace has been declared sometimes it takes a while for everyone to get used to the idea.

As with the other books in the series if you have a problem with dominant alpha-males that push the envelope between a healthy and abusive relationship this might not be the series for you.  If you can overlook all that then this is one sexy read for an afternoon of relaxing.  There was plenty of action to go along with the sex as well as a pretty great plot that worked out in a clever way.  I had to smile and shake my head at how things turned out for this novella. If the men in this world would only turn things over to the females then there might not have been a war to begin with…

Anyway,  I am going to keep an eye out for future novellas in this world because I enjoyed this brief visit to this world. If you’ve read the series than this is a must add to your to-read list as it will be sure to make you nostalgic for the series.

My Rating: 4 Stars

After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall by Nancy Kress

Book Review

 


After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the FallBook Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Novella, Time Travel

Book Series: N/A

Released: 4/1/2012 by Tachyon Publications

Pages: 189  Price:$14.95 paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon  After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall

Source: I borrowed this book from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

The year is 2035. After ecological disasters nearly destroyed the Earth, 26 survivors—the last of humanity—are trapped by an alien race in a sterile enclosure known as the Shell.

Fifteen-year-old Pete is one of the Six—children who were born deformed or sterile and raised in the Shell. As, one by one, the survivors grow sick and die, Pete and the Six struggle to put aside their anger at the alien Tesslies in order to find the means to rebuild the earth together. Their only hope lies within brief time-portals into the recent past, where they bring back children to replenish their disappearing gene pool.

Meanwhile, in 2013, brilliant mathematician Julie Kahn works with the FBI to solve a series of inexplicable kidnappings. Suddenly her predictive algorithms begin to reveal more than just criminal activity. As she begins to realize her role in the impending catastrophe, simultaneously affecting the Earth and the Shell, Julie closes in on the truth. She and Pete are converging in time upon the future of humanity—a future which might never unfold.

Weaving three consecutive time lines to unravel both the mystery of the Earth’s destruction and the key to its salvation, this taut post-apocalyptic thriller offers a topical plot with a satisfying twist.

My Review:

Such an interesting little book.  I recommended this to my library when I noticed we needed a fresh influx of science fiction and am so glad I did.  Upon closer inspection of my Goodreads account, I see that this is the second book I’ve read by this author.  Much of what I thought about her writing of the other story holds true for this one.  This is a smart thought-provoking science fiction story that captures your attention and keeps you turning the page.

The story unfolds in a way I don’t think I’ve encountered before.  We jump back and forth in time around a critical event in human history.  Obviously, something awful has happened to the human race and all that survive are locked inside this shell as someone or something is caring for them in an effort to save the human race from extinction.  As the story progresses we see that the survivors can jump back in time to get supplies and what is essentially new breeding stock.

Of course, it isn’t until the end where we learn what really happen to earth and humanity but the story did leave me with some questions unanswered.  The story was a race to figure out what happen and what will happen to the last timeline and the future of all of the human race.  The characters, while interesting, if not annoying from time to time, were not what kept me in this story.  The mystery and need to know why and how held me to the end.  Having finished it I’m glad I read it.  Not a terribly big surprise as to how it played out but I can see why it is an award-winning story.

My Rating: 4 Stars

ARC Phantom Kiss by Chloe Neill

Book Review

 


Phantom Kiss (Chicagoland Vampires, #12.5)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction

Book Series: Chicagoland Vampires #12.5

Released: 1/17/17 by Berkley

Pages: 83 Price: $1.99 Ebook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Phantom Kiss (Chicagoland Vampires)

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Vampires generally aren’t afraid of things that go bump in the night, but Merit and Ethan are extra jumpy after a recent attack by a dark sorcerer. So when they learn that someone is messing with graves in Chicago’s cemeteries, stealing skulls and snatching souls, they fear that their powerful foe might be back for even more magical vengeance.

But after a specter begins haunting Cadogan House—and targeting vampires—they realize that their being taunted by an altogether different sort of monster. A ghoulish villain straight out of the Windy City’s urban legends is on the prowl—and he won’t stop until he’s killed again…

My Review:

I like many fans of Chloe Neill are both sad and excited about the upcoming release that will close this long run series.  Soon it will be time to say goodbye to Merit and Ethan and let them move on to their H.E.A. They deserve the peace and quiet but I sure will miss reading about their adventures.

I didn’t realize Ms. Neill was working on a novella between the last release and the last release so this was a pleasant surprise and a fun read.  We start out with some wedding drama and I loved that first scene where Merit kicked ass, kinda…  You will see what I mean when you read it and for the awesome price of $1.99 (according to the book info page over at Net Galley) I hope you do go out and pick this one up.

I’m actually surprised that this book is coming out in January as the plot seems more fitting to Halloween.  A good old fashion ghost story seems like a better fit for that time of year.

We have the return of many of the series familiar faces as well as a fairly recent addition in the last book.  Bottom line this was a great read, a quick read and those of you who have stayed current with the series will not want to miss this novella.  It will deliver everything you love about the series.

My Rating: 4 Stars