Sunday, April 23, 2017

Week in Review: 4/16-4/22



Books Received for Review

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Books I've Read

Double-Sided Magic by McKenzie Hunter
Obsidian Magic by McKenzie Hunter
Cormorant Run by Lilith Saintcrow

Reviews Posted


True North by L.E. Sterling
Veiled Menace by Deborah Blake
Shadow Hunted by Jasmine Walt + Rebecca Hamilton

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* New Releases for the week. Was there anything you were looking forward to reading?

* Monday- Promo + Giveaway for Saving the Space Pirate by Nina Croft

* Tuesday- Promo for Dark Alpha's Lover by Donna Grant

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* Did you know you can follow UFI on these other sites?

You can also add me (as in Stacy) to your friends on these sites if you're on them.
 

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Review: Shadow Hunted by Jasmine Walt + Rebecca Hamilton

Shadow Hunted
Release Date: March 30, 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
ASIN:  B01MS6ZFVV
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Author
The third book in the instant New York Times Bestselling Series by Jasmine Walt and Rebecca Hamilton!

Once a whip-smart detective and a powerful Shadow, Brooke Chandler has been stripped of both memories and identity. She now spends her days scrubbing floors, reduced to nothing more than a servant girl.

But even with no memory of her previous life or how she ended up a slave, Brooke won’t remain trapped for long—not with friends and enemies alike vying to find her.

Her escape attempt lands her in the deadly, beautiful land of Faerie, where nothing is as it seems—possibly including her father, The Winter King. Here, she rediscovers her past life, full of allies and foes all waiting for her return.

Faced with the opportunity to flee, Brooke must decide which fate terrifies her more: staying where her enemies wants her dead, or returning to confront the ones who want her jailed for murder.

Most of SHADOW HUNTED had a much different feel than the other two books in the Shadows of Salem series and I even thought I was reading the wrong series when I first jumped in to it, but I quickly remembered the events at the end of SHADOW MARKED and had no trouble feeling connected to the story after that.

I enjoyed the change in scenery in SHADOW HUNTED. We get to visit the land of Faerie for a nice portion of the book and I liked the characters that were introduced along with it. When Brooke finally made it back to the human world, she actually doesn't spend much time in familiar places. I enjoyed getting to know more about Brook's fae side and meeting some of the people connected to it. I thought that the world and the scenes were nicely set up and well defined.

I wasn't super crazy about the witch portion of the storyline, but I was still entertained. I wish there would have been more Brook and Maddock time, but he still has a lot of groveling to do, so I am OK with waiting until the authors can dedicate their time to making it awesome.

I gave it 4/5 stars

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Review: True North by L.E. Sterling

True North
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
ISBN:  1633755959
ISBN13: 9781633755956
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Science Fiction
Review Copy Source: Publisher
Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there's been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.

While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters' blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.??

As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.

The beginning was a little slow and hard to get into, but give it a chance because things pick up and you'll be glad you stuck with it.

I enjoyed TRUE NORTH. For a while in the beginning I thought I was going to have to put it down. The story just wasn't grabbing my attention, but when Lucy set off on her adventure it pulled me right back in. Lucy as a characters really stepped up and took the bull by the horns in regards to tracking down her kidnapped sister. She grew quite a bit as a character and really kept me interested in finding out what would happen next in the story. 

I loved the way the relationship between Lucy and Jared progressed in TRUE NORTH. I enjoyed watching Jared come out of his shell a little bit. I also enjoyed the addition of Alistair to the storyline. I thought there would be a love triangle type situation, but thankfully there wasn't. There is a ton of mystery surrounding Alistair though and I am very interested in finding out more about him and for his secrets to come out, I think they will be good.

There's only one more book left before the trilogy is complete so I will definitely be looking out for book three. 

I gave it 3.5/5 stars

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Review: Veiled Menace by Deborah Blake

Veiled Menace
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Publisher: InterMix
Veiled Magic Book #2
ASIN:  B01M8PPLCR
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Publisher via NetGalley
From the author of Veiled Magic and the Baba Yaga novels, comes an exciting new paranormal romance...

Since Witches came out of the broom-closet in the early 21st century, they have worked alongside humans as police officers, healers, stock traders, and more. But they aren’t the only paranormal entities in our world...

Witch and police officer Donata Santori is no stranger to magical mayhem, but lately her life has been unexpectedly charmed. Her job as a Ghost Yanker now includes the occasional paranormal investigation, and she’s advancing her magical abilities with the help of an ancestor’s treasured spell book. And while both of her former love interests—reclusive half-Dragon art forger Peter Casaventi and disgraced Shapechanger Magnus Torvald—are nowhere to be found, she’s not averse to being wined and dined by wealthy businessman Anton Eastman.

But Eastman isn’t what he seems, and what he wants from Donata is far more than she’s willing to give. When a mysterious relic, the Pentacle Pentimento, resurfaces, along with Peter’s Dragon father and a shocking Santori family secret, Donata must fight to save herself, her friends, and just maybe the fate of the world from a magic as old as it is dangerous…

I didn't feel like VEILED MENACE was as strong as VEILED MAGIC, but there was still some good and I had no trouble reading until the end.

I was happy with the answers that were revealed in VEILED MENACE, but the storyline wasn't as action packed and exciting as book one. One of my favorite parts of VEILED MENACE had to do with what happened between Donata and her family. There was some breakthrough with how they treat her in regards to her job and I think it brought them a bit closer. One of her brother in laws even came to her for help with a problem. Now having written that, I wish I would have been more excited about the conflict of the book instead of that. VEILED MENACE would have been better with some more suspense and tension thrown in.

Let's talk about the romance. This series is urban fantasy, so romance isn't a must, but there was a lot of stuff going on in book one that I expected more out of the romance for VEILED MENACE. I was very disappointed in both Peter and Magnus in VEILED MENACE. One wasn't even present and the other was just a jerk at every turn it seemed. Then there was Anton. Not everything is what it seems with him and he rubbed me—and others—wrong from the get-go. The romance—or lack of— in VEILED MENACE was all around disappointing.

The world of the Veiled Magic series still interests me and I am keeping my fingers crossed that things will pick up in book three.

I gave it 3/5 stars

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Promo: Dark Alpha's Lover by Donna Grant

Dark Alpha's Lover
Reaper #4
iBooks
There is no escaping a Reaper. I am an elite assassin, part of a brotherhood that only answers to Death. And when Death says your time is up, I am coming for you…

I answer to no one but Death. I am impenetrable, impervious, immortal. I exist to do Death’s bidding and no one–not Reaper nor human nor Fae–can stand in my way. Except for the bewitching half-Fae, Catriona. She swears the magic in her family passed her by, but I know better. This woman is strong. This woman is powerful. And when her abilities surge forth, no one will be able to stop the Dark Fae from coming for her. Except for me. I want to keep her close. I want to keep her safe. I want lose myself to her, again and again…
Where do you get your inspiration?
Everywhere. TV shows, music, movies, books, and real life.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?
A full length book takes me 5-6 weeks total before I turn it into my editor. A novella takes 3 weeks.
What is your writing Kryptonite? I don't really have any. ::knocks on wood::  
What books have most influenced your life?
I believe that every book I have ever read has influenced me in one form or another. They've shaped my thoughts and my actions. I'm one that believes a book comes into a person's life when they need it the most.

What is the first book that made you cry?
I can't remember the title, but it was a western where the heroine was kidnapped by Indian's and she fell in love. It wasn't a romance because there was no HEA, but I bawled.

What was your hardest scene to write?
It's different with every book. Mostly its the sex scenes because there is so much more emotion that goes into those scenes than in others, and I like to get it right.

What did you edit out of this book?
lol. I write "that" a lot. I edit most of those out. And the use of names. I don't realize when I'm writing that I do it, but when I read over it, I do.

Excerpt:

Chapter One
Nothing was ever as it seemed.
There were more than humans walking this earth. The things seen out of the corner of your eye were real, even if your mind refused to recognize—or accept—them.
But Catriona Hayes knew of their existence, even if she wished she didn’t. They were Fae. Magical creatures that were so beautiful they seemed otherworldly—because they were.
The Fae had come to this world, seamlessly integrating themselves into the lives of mortals. But then again, when it came to beings with magic, they could do such things.
Cat blew out a breath and put the day’s earnings in the pouch before placing it inside the safe and shutting the door. She straightened and looked through the windows of the café and across the street to the pub alight with merriment.
There was a bit of wistfulness within her when she spotted three women walking into the bar with bright smiles. She’d never been that carefree.


From the first moment she could remember, her family had kept her apart from others. It wasn’t until she was older that she realized what made her so different—she was a Halfling.
Part human, part Fae.
Some might rejoice at the news, but she wasn’t most people.
The first time her grandfather had told her of her heritage, she’d laughed, thinking it was a jest. But as they’d walked down the streets of Galway, he began pointing out the Fae.
That was the day her life changed. At eight years old, she’d felt the weight of the world drop upon her shoulders. The burden had nearly brought her to her knees. And it had lingered, growing heavier with each passing year.
Yet she remained standing beneath it all. Only because of her grandfather. The man who smiled in the midst of the many storms life threw his way. He was what kept her composed and mindful of the dangers of living near Fae.
While she had been fearful of her grandfather’s revelation, her older siblings had embraced it as a gift.
Cat looked down at the counter and the top that covered it. Beneath the thick glass, next to the register, was a picture of her with her brother and sister twenty years ago.
Whatever gift having Fae blood had given her siblings had been taken away in a cruel twist of Fate several months ago when they were savagely killed.
Her brother had been murdered in a crowded pub, while her sister had had her life snuffed out on a train to London. No one had seen either attack. One moment, her siblings had been alive. The next, they were dead. It was how Cat knew the Fae were responsible.
Only beings with magic and the ability to veil themselves could have committed such


crimes without a single person catching something on their mobile phones.
Ever since her family’s deaths, she’d been waiting for the Fae to come for her.
What was taking them so long? She and her grandfather—who she kept locked safely away in his cottage where no Fae could enter—were the only ones left.
A flash of lightning pulled her from her thoughts and reminded her that she needed to get home. She started toward the front, turning off the lights as she went. Flipping the sign in the café window to CLOSED, she walked out the door and locked it.
When she faced the street once more, she gripped the handle of her purse and looked around at the people. She knew the Fae could use glamour to disguise themselves, though most preferred to remain beautiful. That made it easier to pick them out, but it did nothing to lessen Cat’s dread.
She remained in the doorway as a couple walked past her. The man said something to make the woman laugh. Cat’s heart caught because she couldn’t remember the last time she’d giggled like that—never mind actually being on a date.
Cat squared her shoulders and turned to the left. Her cottage was toward the outskirts of Galway. She couldn’t wait to get home where she could relax.
“Relax,” she snorted.
There was no such thing for her. While others brushed their cares away with a pint of ale and loud music, she would eat alone at her house and sleep with one eye open.
Being half-Fae had done nothing but make her life miserable. She’d gotten nothing else from it. Her sister, Nora, had been able to move objects with her mind. Her brother, Domhnall, could grow plants.


For some strange reason, magic had passed her over altogether. No matter how hard she tried, there didn’t seem to be a smidgen of magic within her.
Countless times, she’d asked her grandfather what she’d done to not have magic. He’d never quite answered her. In his usual way, he would tell a story about all the Halflings who lived without magic.
But she always suspected that he was keeping something from her.
No amount of conniving or posing the question different ways ever gave her another answer, though. With every year that passed, she was more and more sure that her grandfather was hiding something.
Cat tensed when she walked past a Fae talking to a mortal female. His silver eyes, black hair, and sex appeal were the biggest clues to what he was—Light Fae. At least, it wasn’t a Dark.
The Dark scared her the most with their red eyes. She shuddered just thinking about them.
She turned the corner and quickened her pace. Thunder rumbled the same time lightning zigzagged across the sky. More rain was on the way, but if she were lucky, she’d make it back to her cottage before it came.
Suddenly, she stopped. She didn’t know what had caught her attention, but something told her to go no farther. Her gaze roamed down the street as people milled about.
There was something in the air that draped over everything like a wet blanket. It took her a moment to realize what it was—fear. She looked at the humans and saw that none of them appeared to be affected.


Then she heard the footsteps coming, quickly. She saw the man running toward her and looking back over his shoulder. He passed beneath a streetlamp, and she saw his eyes—red.
But it was the terror on his face that surprised her. She hadn’t thought there was anything a Dark feared, but whatever was after this particular Fae must be frightening.
Her head told her to run, but her body refused to move. She remained where she was, even as a man appeared out of thin air in front of the Dark.
The Fae slid to a halt, his eyes wide. The man before him had long, white hair that was pulled away from his face by three small braids on each side of his head.
She had little time to process that before she saw the light glint off a blade. The sword sliced through the air and cut down the Dark, turning him to dust in an instant.
Shock reverberated through her as she involuntarily took a step back. What kind of weapon did he have that could kill a Fae?
Because she wanted one.
He took two steps away before he suddenly halted, his body stiffening. Then he gradually turned his head to look right at her. She couldn’t make out his face because of the shadows, but she knew he’d seen her.
And then, he disappeared.
She took another step back and hastily looked around, but there was no other sign of the white-haired man. Yet she knew she wasn’t alone.
He was there. She was sure of it. Just as she was sure the Fae would come for her soon.
Somehow, she managed to stand her ground. If she were going to die, she would do it with courage. Even if she was shaking. She wasn’t going to run, no matter how much she


wanted to.
She felt something behind her a moment before the sound of footsteps reached her. Cat whirled around, ready to face the unknown stranger. But it was a Dark Fae who walked toward her.
“Shite,” she murmured and turned back around.
“Hiya, darlin’,” the Dark called. “What’s your hurry?”
She walked faster and said over her shoulder, “Long day.”
“Let me buy you a drink.”
“No, thanks.”
She waited for him to say more, and when he didn’t, she gave a sigh of relief. It wasn’t until she was in her cottage that she slumped against the door.
Another day gone.


Copyright © 2017 by Donna Grant and reprinted by permission of Swerve.












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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. She’s the author of more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories. The acclaimed series features a thrilling combination of dragons, the Fae, and Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.

Find Donna and her books
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New Releases: 4/16-4/22


Tue. April 18th
 Fractured Silence (Talon Pack #5) by Carrie Ann Ryan
 Legend Has It (Pax Arcana #5) by Elliott James
 Off Rock by Kieran Shea
 Veiled Menace (Veiled Magic #2) by Deborah Blake

Happy Reading!!