Review: The Duchess Quest

cover100012-medium.pngLove is destined to find her…

Dainy doesn’t know that she is the lost Duchess of Jordinia, believed to have been assassinated fifteen years ago. Nor does she know that her uncle has implemented an illegal contest to seek her, offering her marriage hand as the reward!

Though at odds, three clashing rivals – including a noble giant, a forest dweller and a thieving rake – voyage together by woodland, prairie and sea to recover the lost royal, notwithstanding the assassins and spies at their tail. Soon, young Dainy is swept into a comically complex romantic quadrangle as each suitor competes to capture her heart.

Charmingly romantic and bursting with political intrigue, startling twists and vivid characters, readers of romance and fantasy alike will adore this original yet timeless tale of swashbuckling adventure and unlikely love.

The Duchess Quest was a compelling story from beginning to end, combining some great political elements with well crafted characters. Dainy has no idea how deadly her history was, or what’s ahead of her, but C.K. Brooke does an incredible job of telling her story, in a book that will connect with readers of many genres.

There are a lot of characters involved in this story, and the POV switches often, so it took me a while to really feel like I knew what was going on, but once I was full involved in the story, I couldn’t put it down. This wasn’t a quick read by any stretch, but the pacing was wonderfully maintained as the story and the world continued to build on itself.

Very well done!

Review: Jubal Van Zandt & the Revenge of the Bloodslinger

cover99221-mediumNarcissist, sociopath, and shameless backstabber Jubal Van Zandt is the best damn thief in the history of the Revived Earth…and he won’t shut up about it.

But not everybody in the swampy, soggy, feudal future approves of Jubal’s vocation. The Guild—the religious fanatics who helped rebuild civilization after the collapse—in particular are waiting for their opportunity to slip the noose around his neck.

Which is why when the renowned Guild knight Carina Xiao—a.k.a. the Bloodslinger—contacts Jubal about an off-the-books job that violates Guild Law, he’s too intrigued to say no. He is the best damn thief in the history of the Revived Earth, after all.

Part bizarro ecopunk, part outworld thriller, part odd-couple roadtrip, Jubal Van Zandt & the Revenge of the Bloodslinger is a 150% futurepunk quest for blood and betrayal across the Revived Earth.

This story was really cool! Honestly, I don’t know what I was expecting based on the cover but the number of story elements combined in Jubal and the… yeah, this book is going to need an acronym, worked out into some really really interesting, and very much worth discussing.

First up, I loved Jubal’s character. He’s everything the blurb describes him as, but his character comes together in a way that will have you rooting for him from the first chapter, if only because you already know you’re going to want to read more about his adventures. He’s got quite a history, but I’m more curious to see what kind of character he could grow into if this is somehow turned into a series.

The world building was also well done with a lot of fun adventure tones merged into a cyberpunk universe. I’m curious to read any other fantasy work Hudson may already have out as this seems to be something she does really well.

All in all, a great read, and I’m very much hoping for more.

Review: Storm Watcher


Lightning Never Strikes Twice, Does It?

Luke Riley is lost. His mother’s recent death has set Luke and his family adrift. Even though his father, twin brothers, and their three Bloodhounds are search and rescue volunteers, they have been unable to rescue themselves and become a family again.

The summer after sixth grade looms in Luke’s mind as a long, lonely three months where the only thing he can look forward to is watching The Weather Channel. Luke is fascinated with the weather, but since his mother’s death in a storm, he is also terrified. Even the promised 13th birthday present of a Bloodhound puppy fails to lift Luke’s spirits. He would rather have a different breed – a petite Papillon, but his father insists he get a Bloodhound.When Luke decides to get the Bloodhound from Willajean, a dog breeder who owns Storm Watcher Kennel, he works out a deal to help at her kennel in exchange for the expensive dog. Thrilled to have a summer with a purpose, Luke befriends Willajean’s daughter, Megan and together they plan how Luke can get a Papillon puppy instead of a Bloodhound.

But nothing seems to work as they struggle with stubborn fathers, summer storms, unhelpful siblings, and hidden guilt. Can one little white dog really save both families?

How did I not know that Maria V. Snyder had a book for younger readers? I’m a huge fan of her adult fantasy work, mainly because she has such a distinct writing style and a real talent for crafting character, both of which translate through to Storm Watcher. This was a really fun story combining the main character’s struggle after his mother’s death with some really fun weather elements that I’m sure will interest middle grade readers. Of course, the dogs featured in the book will definitely help to grab some reader attention as well. There really is a little bit of everything here and I can easily see this book becoming one I recommend on a regular basis.

It looks like there’s only one book in the series so far, but there’s definitely room for more stories with these characters so I’ll be keeping an eye out for more books in the future!

Review: The Unforgettables by GL Tomas

cover97168-medium.pngNeighbors and best friends Paul and Felicia hoped they’d be friends forever. But as they change, so does their friendship.

She shouldn’t have kissed her…He shouldn’t have liked it.

Starting school changed everything…

While I would have loved more of a description on what this book was about, I ended up picking it up mainly because of the cover (which I’m in love with) and falling in love with Paul and Felicia from the first few chapters.

Paul was an especially great character to read for me, though his relationship with Felicia was ultimately brought him to life on the page. Paul is the kind of guy I’d love to see more of in YA stories. Nothing about him is cruel or unnecessarily brooding. He’s a good guy, which lets face it, in the real world are the best guys. Both Felicia and Paul were characters I would love to be BFFs with, and the supporting characters were pretty great as well. There was a lot of diversity among the cast which made the story even more dynamic.

There were a couple of spots where the book could probably use a bit of polish, but I’m not actually sure if I had an ARC version or not. And ultimately, the story was more than enough to make up for editing blips.

I’ll absolutely be recommending The Unforgettables in the future.

Review: Programmed To Please

cover97554-medium.pngVery human Tau Cetus police agent Jai Turner is sent undercover as a Beautiful Dolls sex robot to bring down the planet’s most notorious arms dealer, Marque Callex. The police have never been able to get close to Callex, and Jai’s assignment is to coax information out of Marque that will lead to his conviction.

Reclusive arms dealer Marque Callex only accepted an invitation from Beautiful Dolls because with his deadly line of work – and the dangerous secrets he’s keeping – he can’t afford to let a real woman into his life.

But neither Jai nor Marque are what they seem, and their week together has consequences neither expect.

This was a one-sitting kind of read for me. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and the cover didn’t really do it for me, but the story itself was a lot of fun. The quality of the writing was consistent from beginning to end, really drawing the reader into Jai’s journey. While there are definitely some great steamy scenes in this book. I’m not sure I would fully classify it as erotica, or even romance. There’s a lot going on between the pages of this book and it’s definitely worth reading.

I’m really excited to see that there are already two other books in this series. I will absolutely be checking them out.


cover96240-medium.pngFrom bestselling author Megan Linski comes an emotional new series that proves your past can never tame your spirit…

Flight. Hyperspeed. Clairvoyance.

These are some of the powers gifted to the Rhodi, an ancient sect of assassins who defend Crescentia, a dystopian world with a dying hope.

Dyliana Fairsson is one of them. After losing her parents to a suspicious accident, she and her twin brother, Devin, join the Rhodi to avoid starvation. Under the direction of her master, Dylan struggles to learn the strength of her magic …as well as hide the growing scars on her wrists. Can Dylan become the warrior, the hero, she’s destined to be? Or is she fated to fall from the light into the darkness?

The first installment in an epic fantasy series by young adult author Megan Linski, Rhodi’s Light is an action-packed thrill ride that will leave readers begging for more.

So glad I found Rhodi’s Light on NetGalley because I’d never heard of this series or this author before and I’m so totally in love. This was a dark and twisty story that crossed through a lot of genre’s and came together as a really fantastic story unlike anything else I can remember reading. And as a bonus, it looks like there are already two other books out in the series. I basically feel like the luckiest book nerd alive right now. So great!

I wont give too much away, but for those looking for more details, Rhodi’s Light follows Dylan and Devin after the death of their parents, when they’re swept up into the fairly epic world of the Rhodi. The Rhodi’s mantra centers around protection and the twins are lucky enough to begin training in their ways. I loved both the familial relationships at this stories core as well as the world building which I hope we’ll get to see even more of in future books.

There’s a lot of darkness in this book as well, and some very chilling scenes that will prevent me from just simply recommending this series to absolutely everyone, so reader be ware. For those who aren’t triggered by such things though, it is still very much worth the read as these scenes were an important part of the story as a whole.

Review: Random Bullets


After shooting and killing his nephew, a gunman runs amok in a London park. What drives Edward to commit such atrocities? Who will survive yet another of his moments of madness? Set in Jersey, Cornwall, London and Manchester, Random Bullets is a contemporary crime thriller with a paranormal twist.

This book was a hardcore adventure that kept me frantically turning pages right from the get go all the way to the thrilling conclusion. Edward’s character is what really propelled everything forward (though the writing from Mutter didn’t hurt things either), tying in elements from his past with the very personal mystery surrounding the book. There were also a lot of unexpected elements that were different from what I was expecting but worked together really nicely.

Review: Torn by Mary Brock Jones

cover96293-mediumTwo ecological engineers must change their world to save it.

Fee comes from the mountains of her world. She grew up with trees, rushing streams and rain. The grasslands beyond the foothills are Caleb’s home. Dry, windblown, a place of endless light and untouchable horizons. Both are ecological engineers for the Survey, the government organisation charged with protecting the planetary ecosystems on their world, Arcadia. Thrust into joint leadership of an important project, all they seem to have in common are the love both have for their home regions and the lies they must tell their profit-geared families.

Arcadia was engineered long ago to be an earth-like home for humans, but their ongoing changes have now pushed Arcadia to its limits. A proliferation of dangerously clashing, extreme ecosystems. Unless something is done, soon, the planet is going to hit back. Storms, floods, drought. Don’t bother taking your pick, says the planet, you’re going to get the lot.

Only the men and women of the Survey hear the call, working in secret for years to heal Arcadia’s wounds. Now the Survey has a plan to save their world. Fee and Caleb must make lakes where dusty grasses rule; meadows where dense forest stands, all without their corporate families finding out until it’s too late to stop them.

A plan that will cut out their hearts and change forever the lands they love. But why Fee and Caleb, and what does the Survey truly plan for them?

This was one of the most intricate and layered sci-fi romances I’ve read in a long time. Fee and Caleb were very much the heart of what drove this story, but the world building and political setup was genuinely interesting all on its own, really drawing me into every element of the story. It created for a really genuine feeling basis for the main character’s relationship, something a lot of stories could really use more of.

I do feel like this great story would have been better server by a stronger cover. This one looks a little dated, and I don’t think it will stand out as well as it could on our shelves. Still, I am now obsessed with this series and can’t wait to read more.


Review: Shrouded Secrets

cover97537-medium.pngA CIA agent in dire need of medical help…

Eric’s mission to covertly save two American doctors in Bryoal, Hethiladin, the most anti-American Middle East nation on earth, is botched. He’s wounded and will die if he doesn’t get help fast. Death, however, might be the best option compared to being caught.

A celebrated eighteen-year-old humanitarian and quintessential virgin yearning to break out of her opulence-imposed bubble…

Mumtaz Al-Ghazi is the most beautiful and best-loved woman in Hethiladin for her relentless fight for homeless children and her secret fight for young woman in abusive relationships. She is overwhelmed by the opulence, the perfectly planned-out life and power she’d been born into as the only daughter of a chronically anti-American ex-prime minister. A fresh graduate from nursing school and the owner of a prominent orphanage, Mumtaz has been dreading her upcoming eighteenth birthday when her father will announce her engagement to Jafe, the intolerable head of security services chosen for her for political reasons.

A multi-faceted danger over their love…

Mumtaz’s life gets a super jolt when Eric falls into a coma in her presence, pleading for her help. With the country on lockdown searching for him, and her fiancé heading the search to validate his new security position, what will she do? In a country where helping an American is considered traitorous and punishable by death, Mumtaz must decide whether to hand Eric over to the authorities or add him to her growing list of Shrouded Secrets.

A thrilling romantic suspense novel with endless twists, action and drama.

I almost didn’t request this book. Something about either the cover or the blurb just didn’t grab me, but I wanted something to read and took a chance, and I’m really glad I did. Shrouded Secrets ended up being a really exciting story that mixed elements from some of my favorite genres into a story that didn’t read quite like anything else.

While the more suspenseful parts of the story made for a fun read, it was the romance between Eric and Mumtaz that made this story memorable. They both felt like genuine, dynamic characters who I wanted to know more about right from when they were introduced, and as they began to interact the story only got better.

There were a few spots where the writing felt a little stilted which did pull me out of the story temporarily, but ultimately all of the pieces came together in a great finale which I’m going to be thinking about for days.

3.5 stars from me! There were some areas where this story and its presentation could be improved, but I will absolutely keep an eye out for future works from Jason Edmeyer.

Review: Shattered

cover95917-medium.pngMeet Logan McKenna … fiercely loyal, and impossibly inquisitive.

In SHATTERED, the first book in the original mystery series and stunning fiction debut with which Valerie Davisson lets us crave for more, Logan McKenna loses her husband, her illusions, the company they built together, her music, and now, probably her job. But that won’t stop her from digging into a murder investigation that keeps Southern California’s tight-knit artist community on its toes and law enforcement cluelessly guessing.

At loose ends, and running out of money after buying a fixer upper on the coast, she decides to help out her best friend from high school, Thomas, a Native American artist, and his wife Lisa at their booth at the Otter Arts Festival, in the idyllic coastal town of Jasper, where she and her police-officer brother Rick grew up. When one of the talented, young artists is found gruesomely murdered at the festival, Logan is faced with the reality that her best friend not only lied to her, but may be guilty of murder. It’s up to her to find out what really happened that night, before the murderer kills again.

There was something so engaging about the central mystery of Shattered that made for an incredibly memorable story, one I would highly recommend to both mystery and general fiction fans. Davisson did a fantastic job of crafting a dynamic main character whose identity is what pushed this story from a four star to close to a five for me. I did find the cover a little old-fashioned looking, and I’m not sure how well this book will stand out on the shelves because of it, but it is still very much worth the read.

Logan KcKenna’s life has been completely upturned. In a short period of time she looses so much of what made her happy, and she has a lot of work to do restarting her own personal journey. But when a murder disrupts the new community she has begun to forge for herself, Logan dives right in, unveiling a new side of herself as she works with a well-crafted group of characters in order to uncover “whodunit.”

And the best part is, I already have access to book two! I can’t wait to see where this series goes next.