Monday, October 15, 2018

Early Review: City of Everdark by Debbie Cassidy (@amoscassidy)

City of Everdark
Release Date: October 16, 2018
Publisher: Self Published
ASIN:   B07FR7B815
Genre: Urban Fantasy/ 
Reverse Harem
Review Copy Source: Author

Fate can't hold all the cards, not if she doesn't have any fingers.

Mission objective, to kick the dragon leige’s ass and take back what she’s stolen. Or maybe take back what she’s stolen, and then kick her ass? Either way, they’ll be some ass kicking.

Getting answers means recon and lies, coercion and revelations. It means jumping through several hoops, like infiltrating a maximum-security government quarantine facility to break out the inmates.

Wila will do whatever it takes to get her Kindred and her draconi prince back, even if it means venturing into a place of nightmares, a place of everdark and monsters with not a pot of tea in sight.

The darkness awaits, and Wila better hope it doesn’t swallow her whole.

A kick-ass Urban Fantasy with a slow burn Reverse Harem Romance.

After finishing book two, all I wanted was answers about Wila and the guy in the basement and by the end of CITY OF EVERDARK we get them.

It can get a tad bit frustrating when things drag on, but CITY OF EVERDARK ends our suffering on a few fronts. Let's start with the guy behind the door in the basement. WOW what a doozy. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I have to say I'm not totally sure how I feel about the sexual tension between the two, it's a little weird considering who he is to Wila. I will explain more with my review of book four when it comes out. A lot is revealed about Wila's mysterious past. It was kinda weird to get so much info in just a few chapters after so much mystery, but a lot makes sense now and I'm happy to be out of the dark.

I'm still highly frustrated—and I'm sure Wila is too *wink—with the fact that the harem doesn't seem to be settled and complete. There is so much sexual tension and not enough release going on. Who is part of the harem? Will there be another one added in the next chapter? COME ON, I need some answers! This series is much more UF than RH, but I still want some romance!

How can I not want to read the final book after the revelations in CITY OF EVERDARK? Hopefully book four ends this series with a bang.

I gave it 3.5/5 stars

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

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Week in Review: 10/7-10/13

Books Received for Review

Unbreakable Bond by Jess Bryant

Books I've Read

Imposter by Tate James
Trial of Three by Alex Lidell
City of Broken Magic by Mirah Bolender
The Queen's Wing by Jessica Thorne
Unbreakable Bond by Jess Bryant

Reviews Posted

Heart of Ice by Lisa Edmonds (@Edmonds411, @CityOwlPress)
Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep (@ Jennifer_Estep, @HarperVoyagerUS)


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

* Monday- Promo + Giveaway: Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep (@Jennifer_Estep, @HarperVoyagerUS)

* Thursday- Haunted Halloween Spooktacular: Warlock Holmes Books 1-3 by G.S. Denning (@GS_Denning, @TitanBooks, @RoxanneRhoads)


* 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.

 * I love comments so if you see something you like (or not) please comment away and let me know.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Review: Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep (@ Jennifer_Estep, @HarperVoyagerUS)

Kill the Queen
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Publisher: Harper Voyager
ISBN:  006279762X
ISBN13: 9780062797629
Genre: Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Edelweiss

Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin series—an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance.

In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.

Jennifer Estep dives into a brand new fantasy world with KILL THE QUEEN. 

Both the main character and the secondary characters in KILL THE QUEEN held my interest. Everleigh is often overlooked an underestimated which serves her well and helps her stay alive. I liked her survival spirit and it was easy to stay connected to her throughout the story. The gladiator troupe was full of interesting people. Some I liked more than others, but I enjoyed learning about all of the different parts and players that made up the troupe.

There is a bit of a romance blooming with book one, but lots of obstacles that need to be navigated. I WANT them to navigate.

The action is fierce in KILL THE QUEEN. Estep packed it in wherever she could and totally pulled it off.  With the action came danger and it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat as the characters got themselves out of sticky situations. I did have a favorite part in the book, but I can't reveal it without giving away spoilers. I will say that I loved that something that seemed so trivial and felt like a waste of time became something that saved a lot of lives.

KILL THE QUEEN was a fabulous start to the Crown of Shards series. I look forward to reading more of Evie's journey in PROTECT THE PRINCE.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Haunted Halloween Spooktacular: Warlock Holmes Books 1-3 by G.S. Denning (@GS_Denning, @TitanBooks, @RoxanneRhoads)

UFI welcomes Author G.S. Denning . Thanks for Joining us!!

 What do you think of when someone mentions Sherlock Holmes? The epitome of fictional detectives? A series of stories so timely and so visionary that they revolutionized police-work, the world over? A deerstalker? A pipe? Benedict Cumberbatch’s perfect cheek-bones?

You wouldn’t be wrong.

But in this season of fun-filled frights, let’s take a moment to reflect on one oft-overlooked aspect of the world’s favorite detective:

He’s really creepy.

No. Seriously. Just pleasantly-but-sometimes-right-to-the-edge-of-discomfortingly creepy.

Do you know where the modern tradition of Halloween takes its roots? Dartmoor. Arthur Conan Doyle repeatedly set his adventures out upon the moor in abandoned hallows filled with lethal peat-bogs, fog, reeds and wisp-light. Want to see Holmes and Watson chasing a seemingly-demonic hound across moonlit moor? Well then, it’s no wonder Hound of the Baskervilles is amongst the most popular of Doyle’s original 60 stories.

Now, if you want to see them chasing an actually-demonic hound across a moonlit moor, you’ll have to check out my second book: Hell-hound of the Baskervilles. And for those of you who just rolled their eyes at how easy it must have been for me to come up with that angle: yeah, that’s sort of my point. You don’t have to work hard to make Sherlock Holmes macabre. It’s there already.

One of the less-known stories is called The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire; it features a mother who’s been caught sucking blood out of the neck of her own infant. Even in 1898, not great parenting.

Or how about The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb? It features not just the aforementioned disembodied thumb, but also its owner, trapped in a room-sized hydraulic press, debating if he should stand up, or sit down or lie face up or… Well, just what exactly is the least-painful way to be slowly crushed to death? It’s ironic that the modern detective story is attributed to Edgar Alan Poe, because in moments such as these, Doyle absolutely equals Poe’s famous brand of dark introspection.

Or maybe you’d just like to see Sherlock murder a dog. Would that be nice? Dog murder, anyone?

Because that’s how he unravels his very first case, A Study in Scarlet. Yep. No lie. To figure out if the pills he’s recovered are poisonous, he steals his neighbor-girl’s dog and feeds it half of each pill.

Guess what? (1887 spoilers follow…) Totally poison. There is something uniquely Halloween-ish about a character who thinks that is acceptable behavior. Oh yeah, and half the people he meets seem to think the only way he could possibly know the things he knows is dark magic. They’re wrong.

He’s not magical. But he is probably sociopathic. And he’s definitely not on the ASPA’s top 10 list of great guys.

So if Halloween makes you think about goblins, vampires, demonic possession and soul-binding magic… Well, pick up a copy of my first book, A Study in Brimstone. It’s all in there.
But if you’ve got a little time to kill before All-Hallow’s Eve, and if you’ve got a mind for the classics, here’s what you do:

You pull your favorite chair up to next to a window on a rainy night. You get some fleece pants and a comfy blanket. You brew up a nice cup of tea. Light a couple candles. Then snuggle down and spend a little cozy murder time with the undisputed-number-one-original-king-of-creepy-daddy-detectives, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

G.S. Denning furiously studied reading and math until he could play Dungeons and Dragons. His love of DandD expanded to a passion for all things in the sci-fi and fantasy realm, particularly when spliced with comedy - Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Monty Python, Red Dwarf, Black Adder, Whose Line is it Anyway, Dr. Who, and the holiest of holies: The Princess Bride.

He learned his story-telling skills on the improv stage as a member of Orlando Theatersports, Seattle Theatersports, Jet City Improv, and as a Disney Performer at Epcot. G.S. also worked for Nintendo and Wizards of the Coast.

Finally, after realizing that humanity had not used the pun Warlock Holmes yet, he sat down to begin his first novel series: a dark-comic retelling of Arthur Conan Doyle's classic Sherlock Holmes stories. G.S. Lives in Las Vegas with The Best Wife and The Best Children.

Find G.S. Denning  and his books

A Study in Brimstone
Warlock Holmes #1
Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius. Warlock Holmes is an idiot. A font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim.

Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart companion.

Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety… and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.

The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles
Warlock Holmes #2

The game’s afoot once more as Holmes and Watson face off against Moriarty’s gang, the Pinkertons, flesh-eating horses, a parliament of imps, boredom, Surrey, a disappointing butler demon, a succubus, a wicked lord, an overly-Canadian lord, a tricycle-fight to the death and the dreaded Pumpcrow. Oh, and a hell hound, one assumes.

My Grave Ritual
Warlock Holmes #3
Sherlock Holmes is a genius … Warlock Holmes is something else …
As they blunder towards doom, Warlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson find themselves inconvenienced by a variety of eldritch beings. Christmas brings a goose that doesn't let being cooked slow it down; they meet an electricity demon, discover why being a redhead is even tricker than one might imagine, and Holmes attempts an Irish accent. And, naturally, Moriarty is hanging around... in some form or other.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Review: Heart of Ice by Lisa Edmonds (@Edmonds411, @CityOwlPress)

Heart of Ice
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Publisher: City Owl Press
Alice Worth Book #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Author

Even the coldest hearts can burn...

After closing a big case for the Vampire Court, mage private investigator Alice Worth is relieved to be back solving magical mysteries with her ghost sidekick Malcolm and spending quality time with sexy alpha werewolf Sean. Her latest case puts her on the trail of a burglary ring targeting wealthy collectors of magical objects. Meanwhile, Alice’s grandfather, crime lord Moses Murphy, fights a local boss for control of the city. Soon a new danger emerges: Moses’s new lieutenant is someone Alice knows and this is one family reunion she wants to avoid at all costs.

When Sean is injured as a result of her investigation, Alice faces the wrath of his pack and finds herself in a carefully laid trap. To save the city from Moses and his lieutenant, she risks capture by her grandfather and unimaginable torture at his hands. To save Sean, she risks losing everything she's fought so hard to gain. But Alice has never backed down from anything in her life and she’s not about to start now...

The Alice Worth series has quickly become one of my must read series.

The characters really shine in this series. Alice gets more and more likable with each book. She is still a little closed off, but she has really grown from the loner of book one. I really enjoy learning about her past and watching her slide into a future with friends and allies at her side. Malcolm has really grown into an essential character. I have a feeling there is a lot more to his involvement with Alice, but he has grown on my heart, so I hope it doesn't turn out to be bad. 

There is a nice amount of romance for an urban fantasy series. I sometimes think there might be a love triangle, but Sean continuously proves he's the one for Alice. He has his moments where I might want to smack him, but him and Alice work really well together. Charles really wants something to happen with Alice and I do get the vibes between them, but something major would have to happen to make me feel like they would be good together.

I continue to love this series and it's characters. With each book comes more answers, but there is still so much for us to learn about the world and its characters. I really enjoy Lisa's writing style and the progression of the overall story line. I'm looking forward to book four.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Monday, October 8, 2018

Promo + Giveaway: Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep (@Jennifer_Estep, @HarperVoyagerUS)

Kill the Queen
Crown of Shards #1
Amazon  Kobo  BN  iBooks
Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin series—an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance.

In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.

I hadn’t cried myself to sleep since my parents had been murdered and Vasilia had betrayed me as a child, but that’s what happened. I thought I might dream about the massacre, but I fell down into the blackness, and I didn’t see or hear anything for the rest of the night.
The sharp point of a sword kissing my throat woke me the next morning.
At first, I thought some spider was crawling on me and tickling my skin with its tiny legs. I tried to flick it away, but it kept coming back. Slowly, I realized that a spider wasn’t that hard and sharp, and that someone else was in here. Someone who smelled cold, crisp, and clean, just like the magic that had coated the front door, along with a strong undercurrent of hot, peppery anger.
I opened my eyes and looked up to find the magier of the house looming over me.
He wore a tailored black shirt that stretched across his firm, muscled chest, along with black leggings and boots. A long dark gray coat with silver buttons hung off his broad shoulders. It reminded me of the uniform that Lord Hans had worn to the luncheon.
The magier looked to be in his early thirties, with sharp cheekbones, a straight nose, and a strong jaw. His short dark brown hair gleamed under the fluorestones, and his eyes were a light, bright, piercing blue—the same blue as the magic that had shocked me last night. He was quite handsome, with a powerful, authoritative air that made him even more attractive. A natural-born leader, and not just because of his magier power. I drew in another breath, tasting his scent again. He even smelled good, like crushed ice mixed with vanilla and a hint of spice.
“And a good morning to you too,” I drawled. “Do you greet all your guests this way?”
“You are not a guest,” he growled. “In case you missed it, this is the part where you start begging for your life.”
I laughed.
After everything that had happened yesterday, the threat of this man running me through with his sword didn’t bother me at all.
“Well, go ahead then,” I said. “Although it would be a shame to ruin this jacket with my blood. Is this Andvarian silkfleece? It’s exquisite. Not to mention the pillow. Floresian down, right?”
I wasn’t sure why I said that. Maybe yesterday’s horrors had addled my brain. Or maybe I was simply tired of biting my tongue. Of always having to do and say the polite thing, the nice thing, instead of what I really thought and felt. And what had all that politeness and nicety gotten me? Nothing—absolutely nothing but memories of death in my mind, screams echoing in my ears, and the stench of blood in my nose.
So, no, I wasn’t going to cower, and I certainly wasn’t going to beg for anything, not even my own miserable life. No, from now on, I was going to do and say exactly what I wanted, when I wanted, and damn the consequences. It was the first step in keeping that promise I had made to myself to never be weak and helpless again.
“Who are you?” he growled again. “How did you get in here?”
“The door was open.”
It wasn’t a total lie. The door had been open . . . after I had snuffed out all his lightning.
The magier’s eyes narrowed, and he dug the point of his sword a little deeper into my throat. Not enough to break the skin, but almost. I resisted the urge to retreat and sink deeper into the pillow propped up behind my head.
“That door is never, ever open,” he said in a soft, deadly voice. “So how did you get in here? What do you want?”
“Well, I, for one, would like to have a civilized conversation instead of all these vague threats that you keep spewing.”
He turned the sword point the tiniest bit, like it was a nail he was about to hammer into my throat. “My threats are anything but vague.”
“Perhaps vague was the wrong word. How about nonexistent?”
He blinked in surprise. “Nonexistent?”
I shrugged. Well, as much as I could with his sword still at my throat. “If you really wanted to kill me, you would have done it while I was sleeping. Not woken me up in such dramatic fashion.”
He didn’t say anything. He couldn’t argue with my logic.
“So, why don’t you let me up, and we can have a normal conversation like two adults.”
My gaze locked with his, and I carefully reached out and touched my finger to his sword. He tensed, but he let me slowly push the blade away from my throat. After a moment, he stepped back, although he kept his weapon raised, ready to stab me if I did anything he didn’t like.


Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. 

Jennifer writes the Crown of Shards epic fantasy series. Kill the Queen, book #1, was released on Oct. 2.

The Crown of Shards series focuses on Everleigh Blair, a member of the royal family who is distantly in line for the throne of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. But when the unthinkable happens, Evie finds herself fighting for her life—both inside and outside the gladiator arena.  

Jennifer is also the author of the Elemental Assassin, Mythos Academy, Bigtime, and Black Blade fantasy series.  

Find Jennifer and her books
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Sunday, October 7, 2018

Week in Review: 9/30-10/6

Books Received for Review

Evermore by Sara Holland

Books I've Read

Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead (Re-Read)
Blood Promise by Richelle Mead (Re-Read)
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead (Re-Read)
Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead (Re-Read)

Reviews Posted

Touch the Sky by Kari Cole (@KariColeAuthor, @CarinaPress)
Seventh Born by Monica Sanz (@MonicaBSanz, @entangledteen)


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

* Wednesday- Promo + Giveaway: Craved by her Cougar by Felicity Heaton (@felicityheaton)

* Friday- Guest Blog + Giveaway: Half-Blood Descendant by Natasha Brown (@writersd3sk, @RoxanneRhoads)


* 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.

 * I love comments so if you see something you like (or not) please comment away and let me know.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Half-Blood Descendant by Natasha Brown (@writersd3sk, @RoxanneRhoads)

UFI welcomes Author Natasha Brown. Thanks for Joining us!!

Moab, Utah
Have you ever looked at a picture of a landscape and gotten thirsty? Moab, Utah is one such place. Whenever I drive through, I worry about breaking down at the side of the road without something to drink, and I imagine the settlers taking their wagons across the inhospitable terrain. Despite that, the breathtaking arches and ancient red rocks are breathtaking. History is literally preserved in stone, be it dinosaur fossils or rock art.

Some travel to beautiful tropical places, which I have also done, but the U.S. is a vast and varied landscape with a fascinating history. I enjoy learning about the people who came before us and how they lived. A few years ago, my family visited Moab in July, which I wouldn’t recommend. It was scorching hot, and if you have any interest in hiking Arches National Park, it’s best to leave for a cooler month unless you’re resistant to heat, which I am not. Nevertheless, it was truly breathtaking.
I would be remiss not to mention the quesadilla truck parked on the street corner of the main drag. I love food, good food especially. With many delicious choices at hand, I believe we stopped more than once to get our fill for lunch.

I barely left with my life after we stopped by the dinosaur safari. Not pictured are my children, husband and parents posing with one of the friendlier plant eaters which didn’t try having a meal of them, unlike the T-rex or Carnosaur who tried swallowing me whole. Don’t ask me which it was, I didn’t stop long enough to get its genus.

So, if you like taking your life into your hands getting up close and personal with dinosaurs, eating delicious food from a truck and seeing sights that will make you empty your water bottle in dehydration, Moab might just be the place for you. Or you may prefer the safe route—going to the drive-in on a summer’s night to see a popular blockbuster movie with a taco in hand. I know which I’d prefer.

USA Today bestselling author Natasha Brown's imagination has always been a distraction. The books she read in the dark past bedtime fed her excitement for fantasy worlds. Once she started writing, there was no stopping her. By day, Natasha’s an assistant teacher at an elementary school, and by night she’s a book cover designer. Her weekends are spent writing and spending time with family.

Find Natasha and her books

Half-Blood Descendant 
Half-Bloods #1
USA TODAY bestselling author Natasha Brown blends urban fantasy, paranormal romance and supernatural suspense in the Half-Bloods, an adventure for lovers of shifters, vampires... and more.

Jax never stays anywhere long enough to put down roots. He’s a shapeshifter—the only one of his kind, or so he thinks. While prowling on his landlady’s property, he is stunned to find a man feeding on her neck. Although he frightens away the blood-sucker, Jax leaves behind a paralyzed woman and a trail of blood in his wake.

Aerilyn teaches high school and doubles as a guardian for the Genus Society, an ancient underground shifter organization. After learning of a cougar attack in her own mountain neighborhood, she suspects a rogue shifter is to blame.

When the Society accuses Jax of the “animal attack,” he is ordered to stick around until he can clear his name. Desperate to regain his freedom, he must put his trust in his beautiful guardian. Their forbidden attraction leads Aerilyn to wonder if the blue-eyed drifter is innocent. And if he is, the Society has an even bigger problem on its hands—one that feeds on blood.

Aerilyn pulled off her jacket and set it on the ground. Next, she slipped off her shoes and unbuttoned her jeans. A cold breeze whistled through the valley, raising goosebumps on her arms as she pulled her V-neck off. She held the fabric to her chest and hunched away from the wind.

When it died down, she dropped her shirt onto her growing pile of clothes. She rested her hand against one of the aspens to brace herself while she took off her socks and happened to glance back at her companion. Jax was down to his underwear, standing in the moonlight. Dark lines adorned his back, forming what appeared to be an intricate tattoo, one she couldn’t see well enough from her vantage point. She could, however, see how muscular he was. As he tugged at the waistband of his boxers, she blushed and looked away, reminding herself he would be gone as soon as her father allowed him to leave town.

She didn’t waste any time removing the last of her clothing and stood among the pale aspen trunks, calling to the energy at her core. It surged through her pores, chasing away all visible marking of her humanity until none was left. Aerilyn took a deep breath and stepped out from behind the trees.

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Review: Seventh Born by Monica Sanz (@MonicaBSanz, @entangledteen)

Seventh Born
Author: Monica Sanz
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
ISBN:  1640631925
ISBN13: 9781640631922
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Review Copy Source: NetGalley

Abomination. Curse. Murderer. All names hurled at eighteen-year-old Seraphina Dovetail. As the seventh-born daughter to a witch, she's the cause of her mother losing her powers and, in turn, her life.

Abandoned as a child, Sera dreams of becoming an inspector and finding her family. To do that, she must be referred into the Advanced Studies Program at the Aetherium's Witchling Academy. Her birth order, quick temper, and tendency to set things on fire, however, have left her an outcast with failing marks…and just what Professor Nikolai Barrington is looking for.

The tall, brooding, yet exceedingly handsome young professor makes her a proposition: become his assistant and he'll give her the referral she needs. Sera is quickly thrust into a world where witches are being kidnapped, bodies are raised from the dead, and someone is burning seventhborns alive. As Sera and Barrington grow ever closer, she'll discover that some secrets are best left buried…and fire isn't the only thing that makes a witch burn.

I enjoyed learning about the world and the characters in SEVENTH BORN.

Seventh born's are treated like the scum of the earth. As a seventh born, Sera is used to being bullied and treated like a nuisance by both the students and staff of the Aetherium Witchling Academy. It was easy to like Sera and feel for her circumstances. We learn that her current troubles aren't even the worse things she has gone through in her life and we still have a lot to learn about her that wasn't revealed in SEVENTH BORN.

I wasn't sure how I felt about Professor Barrington when he was first introduced. I didn't immediately like him, but he grew on me as the story unfolded. There is still a ton of mystery to his character, but his bond with Sera grew a lot in SEVENTH BORN and I have some hopes for them in future books.

I had no trouble getting into the story. I felt that the characters were well rounded and I enjoyed watching their personalities and growth unfold. The world was interesting and well built. The mysteries involved in SEVENTH BORN were gripping. I'm not sure where the author plans to take everything, but I'm adding this series to my watch list.

I gave it 4/5 stars

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

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Promo + Giveaway: Craved by her Cougar by Felicity Heaton (@felicityheaton)

New York Times best-selling paranormal romance author Felicity Heaton is here today for the book tour of her new shifter romance release, Craved by her Cougar, the fourth and final book in her brand new Cougar Creek Mates Series. Set in her popular Eternal Mates world, Cougar Creek Mates takes you into the deep Canadian wilderness to a secret place that’s home to a cougar shifter pride led by four sexy brothers, each guaranteed to steal your heart and set it racing!

All four books in the series are out now, meaning it’s complete and ready for a good binge-read! Who doesn’t love a series binge-read? Every book has a happily forever after and there are no cliff-hangers, because there’s nothing worse than a cliff-hanger!

Check out the book, download it with your Kindle Unlimited subscription if you have one, and be sure to enter the awesome grand giveaway happening at her website!

Craved by Her Cougar
Cougar Greek Mates #4
 For the last twenty years, Cobalt has burned with a need of one female, a beautiful raven-haired cougar who captured his heart the moment he set eyes on her. His position as pride protector has been a blessing at past mating gatherings, keeping females away, but this time it feels like the worst of curses, because the female who has bewitched him so thoroughly is taking part for the first time and all he can do is watch as males battle for her.

As much as she hates the way her mother controls everything in her life, Ember is thankful for it as she constantly turns away suitors, unaware of the pain she’s sparing Ember from with every male she rejects. Every male who isn’t the gorgeous blond with darkness in his eyes and an easy smile she burns for with an intensity that scares her, awakens feelings in her that have her verging on doing something reckless. Damaged goods he might be, dangerous and unpredictable, but with every contest over her that pulls her closer to her doom, she grows more determined to follow her heart, no matter the consequences.

With every fight over the right to Ember, the tethers on Cobalt’s feelings twist and threaten to snap, a torment he cannot bear and one that has him willing to risk it all, because a single kiss would make even the harshest punishment worth it. He would die for one moment with her… his fated mate.

As her mother started talking about the males currently residing at the creek, Ember pushed the door open and peered out, and relief washed through her when she saw the male who had been ogling her was gone now.
She carried her mug of coffee to her favourite recliner on the deck that wrapped around her family’s large cabin and eased into it, loosing a deep sigh as she let all the tension drain from her limbs and savoured the silence of morning.
She loved this time, when the creek was quiet, the babbling river and the movement of animals in the distance the only sound.
The quiet before the storm.
It wouldn’t be long before the rest of the creek woke and the first fights of the day happened.
Although, she wasn’t the only one who was up and out early today.
She glanced off to her right, up the two hundred metre clearing to the cabin that stood proud at the top of it, sheltered by deep green pines, and the two males on the deck.
Rath raked a hand over his thick dark brown hair and said something she couldn’t hear to his brother.
The towering platinum-blond had his back to her, his fine backside pressed to the railing around the deck and his hands planted beside his lean hips, bracing himself upright. His shoulders were tense beneath his black t-shirt, his hair mussed in a way that made him look as if he had come straight from his bed to see his brother.
Or from a female.
Ember hadn’t failed to notice the way a lot of the females at the creek looked at him, blatant desire in their eyes as they tracked his movements. She had never attended a gathering before, but she knew that as a member of Rath’s family, he was responsible for overseeing everything and wasn’t allowed to participate in the fights or see to the females.
So it had shocked her when she had seen the way they eyed him, hungry gazes raking over him, and how they flirted with him whenever he happened to stop near them. A few of them used any excuse to touch him, laying a hand on his arm as they spoke about something innocent like the fight schedule, or brushing their bodies against his.
He never reacted, other than to move away and place some distance between them, but he was male and that meant he wasn’t immune to the instincts the spring gathering roused in him. The mating heat affected him too. His brothers, Storm and Flint, had eyed the females in return, had even flirted with a couple.
Did Cobalt ever flirt in return?
Did he ever secretly sleep with the females?
Gods, the thought he might twisted her stomach and heart in knots.
Partly because she didn’t want him to secretly bed the females, and partly because she wanted him.
Always had.
Always would.
If she approached him, if she flirted with him as the other females did, would he turn her away? Would he draw back from her and distance himself as he did with them? Or would he give her what she needed?
What she needed from only him.
She had agreed to come to the creek for the gathering because she had wanted to see him, had needed to see him. For over thirty years, she had watched him, had seen him grow and mature, had witnessed him come into his own, becoming more alluring to her as he had found his feet and his confidence.
For three decades, she had harboured what she had thought of as a ridiculous crush on him, watching him from afar, secretly yearning for him to even glance at her whenever they were at the creek at the same time.
Aching for him to notice her.
Whenever he had taken the time to speak with her, she had been assaulted by nerves, convinced she would say or do something stupid that would tarnish his opinion of her, whatever that was.
It had taken maturing for her to discover her own confidence, to settle into her skin and be comfortable in it, to realise that she was beautiful enough to contend with the other females at the creek, to vie for his attention and maybe even steal his heart if she set her mind to it.
Her mother had rattled that confidence when she had asked Rath to tend to her, and had been chipping away at it ever since, with every male who fought for her and every time she was paraded in front of them.
It didn’t help that Cobalt seemed determined to avoid her, barely looked at her now when he had let his eyes linger on her at times in the past, before she had matured.
Ember looked down at herself.
She had put a little more weight on her bones, her hips curvier than before, belly rounded and breasts fuller. Maybe he didn’t like the changes she had made to herself, but this was who she was, and she liked it. She loved her curves, didn’t want to be a stick thin female.
Her curves made her feel sexy, empowered.
Movement off to her right drew her attention back to Cobalt.
He pushed away from the railing, heaved a long sigh that lifted his broad shoulders, and said something to his brother.
Rath nodded, stood and clapped a hand down on his shoulder as Cobalt scrubbed a hand over his mouth and rubbed it across his straight jaw. His brother smiled at him, but Cobalt’s handsome face remained sober as he nodded in return, twisted and stepped off the deck.
He strode down the green, long black-jeans-clad legs making easy work of the distance between her and him, and she couldn’t take her eyes off him, watched him over the rim of her mug as he approached.
Damn, he was fine.
He radiated an alluring sort of danger and temptation, roused her instincts and brought them to the fore, until she was restless with a need to stand and move around the deck, to let him get a good look at her and what he was missing out on, all in an effort to lure him to her.
Ember kept her backside planted to her recliner instead.
Not because she didn’t want Cobalt to look at her, or because she would have been ashamed at herself for trying to lure his gaze to her by parading herself in front of him when her mother insisted on her showing off her curves to every male who fought for her, but because her confidence was low today, the last few weeks battering it.
Every fight she had to watch, and every suitor who stood before her stole a piece of it.
Every horrible moment where she had to wait, praying her mother would refuse that suitor, shook it.
Every day when Cobalt ignored her tore it down a little more.
But every day when she set eyes on him, he gave back that fragment he ripped from her. Just looking at him started a fire within her, one that burned so hot it had her forgetting that she was tired of males, tired of fights.
And whenever he did look at her?
When his stunning pale grey-gold eyes landed on her, that fire exploded into an inferno that had a shot of adrenaline blazing through her, filled her to the brim with confidence again.
Ember tracked him across the green, silently willing him to look at her. She needed his eyes on her today, needed that boost so she could finally tell her mother she was done with letting her control her life, that it was time for some changes and she was going to make her own decisions from now on.
But he didn’t even glance her way as he neared her.
His grey eyes remained locked on the grass, a troubled edge to them that echoed the emotions she could sense in him as he grew closer.
Emotions that had her wanting to rise onto her feet for a different reason, not to lure his eyes to her but to ask him what was wrong.
The sight of him troubled roused her deepest instincts, ones that had come into sharp focus over the past few weeks and had hit her with a revelation that had rocked her, but gods, it had explained so much at the same time.
She had always believed the attraction she felt towards Cobalt was based solely on his charisma, looks, and personality, all the sorts of things that falling in love with someone normally involved.
But this was the first time she had seen him since she had matured, and the attraction she had felt towards him when she had set eyes on him again had burned so fiercely it had left her shaking.
Over the weeks, that attraction had only grown stronger, seemed to multiply one hundredfold every damned day, and now it was becoming a struggle to restrain herself when he was near, to deny her instincts to approach him and push him, to initiate something by attempting to dominate him.
To provoke a reaction.
It hadn’t taken her long to realise the reason why.
He was her fated male.
Was he aware that she was his fated one?
He was older than her, matured three decades ago now, and as far as she knew, males were meant to be more aware of their true mate, found it easier to tell who it was than the females of her species. Males were driven by instincts that females also possessed when it came to a mate, but hers weren’t as fierce or as controlling.
She felt an ache for him, soul-deep and consuming, one that demanded she provoke him, push and cajole him, rub against him and make him notice her. Her instincts wanted her to tease him into dominating her and staking a claim on her.
His instincts should have been pressing him to do just that, to seize her and bite her nape, and bind them as mates. They should have been riding him as hard as hers were, demanding he take care of her, and drive any unmated males away from her.
If he was feeling any of that, he was hiding it well, because he was more distant than ever, had barely said three words to her over the past few weeks and showed no sign of desire when he did look at her.
He watched the fights over her without a trace of emotion on his face, in complete and utter control as he oversaw them, and didn’t even seem bothered when her mother mulled over whether to give the winner permission to ease her needs.
Didn’t he want her?
The thought that he might not left her cold and aching inside, scraped out and hollow.
Was it possible she was wrong about him and he wasn’t her fated one?
If she wasn’t mistaken, was it possible for a male to not want his true mate?
Rath had gone crazy over Ivy when she had come to the creek, and Ember had witnessed both Storm and Flint driven to extremes to protect and win their fated ones.
Was it really possible that Cobalt didn’t desire her as his mate?
He finally lifted his head and a shiver bolted through her when his eyes slid her way and his gaze settled on her, some of the shadows lifting from his face as he looked at her.
Ember opened her mouth to greet him.
Her mother stepped out onto the deck and Cobalt’s grey gaze shifted to her.
“Two more fights today.” Her mother sighed. “Neither of them containing any males really worthy of you. If only Rath had accepted our offer.”
Ember’s eyes widened as Cobalt’s narrowed, her heart hitching in her throat and pounding there as she fought to find her voice to say she didn’t want Rath and it hadn’t been her idea to approach his brother.
She swore Cobalt’s face darkened before he looked away and lowered it, and his pace picked up, long legs carrying him swiftly past her. She watched him go, feeling the faintest echo of his emotions and trying to decipher them, because she needed to know what he was feeling.
She needed to know whether he felt anything at all for her.
She just needed a sign.
One sign.
A look. A smile. Anything to make his feelings clear.
Because then she was sure she would find the courage to follow her heart.
And it would lead her straight to him.

Binge-read the complete series now…
Book 1: Claimed by her Cougar – Available in Kindle Unlimited!
Book 2: Captured by her Cougar – Available in Kindle Unlimited!
Book 3: Courted by her Cougar – Available in Kindle Unlimited!
Book 4: Craved by her Cougar – Available in Kindle Unlimited!

Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you’re a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.

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