The King is Dead in “Theft of Swords”

s-typeopts13
Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
Orbit: November 23, 2011
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Free From Library

Beach Vacation
suitcasesuitcasesuitcase

Theft of Swords is a pretty traditional fantasy read. There’s adventures and sword fights and a dash of magic thrown in for good measure. If you enjoy more descriptive works in the fantasy genre Theft of Swords is likely to appeal. For those who appreciate a greater depth of characterization, you may want to approach with caution.

Royce Melborn, a mysterious master thief, and his equally enigmatic mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, have been contracted to steal a sword. Unfortunately the theft does not go as planned and the duo are implicated in the murder of the king. So, naturally, they kidnap the new king, with the help of the new king’s sister. Politics, they just got more exciting. (more…)

The Problematic, Yet Entertaining “A Promise of Fire”

27015399
A Promise of Fire by Amanada Bouchet
Sourcebooks Casablanca: August 2, 2016
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
suitcasesuitcasesuitcasesuitcase

A Promise of Fire is one of those books that’s a bit tricky to review. On the one hand, it’s a bit of a problematic read considering that it’s a romance and the so-called hero kidnaps the heroine. On the other hand, I found it an entertaining read that I couldn’t peel my eyes away from. So keep in mind that you too may be frustrated by some character’s actions in A Promise of Fire but you will ultimately enjoy this one for being a breath of fresh air in the romance genre.

Catalia “Cat” Fisa is a psychic who works in a circus. Cat is also in hiding from the powerful Fisa family. Cat’s powers make her unique; she can sense when a person is lying, which makes her valuable as a political tool. Due to her ability to sense a lie (just one of many fantastical abilities) Cat is known as a Kingmaker. Since escaping the Fisa family Cat has successfully hidden her abilities and carved out a life for herself in the circus. Naturally, that life is not mean to be and Cat is kidnapped by the Sintan warlord Griffin who wants to use Cat’s ability to solidify his sister’s leadership after overthrowing the previous leaders of the Sinta and bringing in a non-magical leader. Enter magic and mayhem and things get complicated very quickly. (more…)

English Miss Meets “The Highlander”

26114184
The Highlander by Kerrigan Byrne
St. Martin’s Paperbacks: August 2, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

Beach Vacation
suitcasesuitcasesuitcase

Kerrigan Byrne has become immensely popular due to her Victorian Rebels series; The Highwayman was a huge hit when it came out and I was seeing it everywhere I read about new books. While I had mixed feelings about the first book, I thought The Hunter was brilliant. If you’re a fan of romances that focus on folks with a darker past, there’s no question that you are reader that will enjoy all of the books in Byrne’s series and this latest is no different.

Colonel Liam MacKenzie is in need of a governess for his two children. After years away from home, Liam has returned home and is determined to do right by his family, something that he finds difficult considering the demons of his past. As a start, Liam hires a governess, Philomena, to get his daughter and son back on track. What Liam doesn’t count on is his mysterious governess and his desire to unravel her secrets. For her part, Mena is essentially in hiding. After being rescued from the “hospital” her husband put her in, Mena has been instructed to hide her true identity, which becomes difficult as she finds herself growing closer to Liam. (more…)

Ghostly Echoes

28110857Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter
Algonquin Young Reader: August 23, 2016
Genre: Young Adult; Historical Mystery
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
suitcasesuitcasesuitcasesuitcase

Ghostly Echoes is the third historical mystery featuring Abigail Rook and Mr. Jackaby, a private investigator with an unusual specialty of the unexplained.

Abigail is a transplant from England who fell into employment with the eccentric Jackaby and with this third book it’s clear that Abigail has embraced her investigations into the paranormal and has no intention of going back:

It seemed like only yesterday I had been back home in England, packing for my first term at university. Had someone told me that I would throw it all away and run off to America to commune with ghost and answer to ducks and help mad detectives solve impossible murders, I would have said they were either lying or insane. I would have sorted them on the same shelf in my mental library as those who believe in Ouija boards or sea serpents or honest politicians. That sort of foolishness was not for me. I adhered to facts and science; the impossible was for other people.

A lot can change in a few short months (p. 20).

Indeed they can. (more…)

Who’s the Winner in “The Hating Game”

27213238The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
William Morrow: August 9, 2016
Genre: Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

Outstanding Adventure!
suitcasesuitcasesuitcasesuitcasesuitcase

The Hating Game is an absolutely delightful contemporary romance, which is an unusual pick for me, but one I do not regret since it is one of the best contemporary romance novels that I’ve read in a long time. If you’re in the mood for something light yet smart and sassy, The Hatting Game is a must read.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman work together. Both are assistants to two CEOs of a publishing house that has merged and it was not an amicable amalgamation. For Lucy and Josh it was pretty much hate at first sight. Lucy tried to befriend Josh and when that didn’t work, the hating game was born. When you sit across from your mortal enemy each and every day it’s quite natural to turn your mutual animosity into a childish game. However, things start to change when both Lucy and Josh are considered for a new position within the company. The best person might win, but it just might be at the expense of a newfound romance.
(more…)

More from Nalini Singh in “Wild Embrace”

28008158
Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh
Berkley: August 23, 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
suitcasesuitcasesuitcasesuitcase

After reading the fantastic Allegiance of Honor, I was ecstatic to get my hands on Singh’s new novella collection. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to revisit some of my favourite characters from the Psy-Changeling series in Allegiance, but I did miss the emphasis on romance. Happily, Wild Embrace addressed exactly what I was missing from the novel. Each novella included in this collection offers readers a peak into the world, as well as answers to some questions that have been plaguing fans throughout the series. While all of the novellas are great, my favouite ended up being Flirtation of Fate. (more…)

The Battle Ends in “The Autumn Republic”

20883847.jpgThe Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan
Orbit: February 10, 2015
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Free From Library

I’d go there again!
suitcasesuitcasesuitcasesuitcase

The Autumn Republic is the final book in McClellan’s Powder Mage trilogy. Having enjoyed both The Promise of Blood and The Crimson Campaign, I was pretty confident that I would also enjoy The Autumn Republic. In the final book of the trilogy the author ties up loose ends and satisfactorily concludes the trilogy. However, I have since learned that there will be a new trilogy set in the same world with Vlora as one of it’s main characters. Yay! So, I can also say that The Autumn Republic leaves enough room for this upcoming trilogy. (more…)

Non-Traditional Romances in “Gambled Away”

29726166Gambled Away by Joanna Bourne, Isabel Cooper, Rose Lerner, Jeannie Lin, & Molly O’Keefe
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Author

The view was nice, but the food was bad
suitcasesuitcase

Gambled Away is a novella collection that I find difficult to review. Objectively, this collection is well written and I enjoyed how all of the authors played with the historical romance genre, offering readers something different in a genre that is often slammed for its sameness. While intellectually I appreciate how unique all of the novellas were, I confess to feeling that none were to my personal taste. Perhaps it was the constraints of the novella format, perhaps it was just me, but I will admit to feeling that none of the novellas were particularly romantic. Now, I’m not saying that everything must be hearts and flowers, but I did personally feel that there was a lack of emotional depth to the majority of the novellas in this collection, at least for this reader. (more…)

Campy Fun in “Sweet”

22718736Sweet by Emmy Laybourne
Feiwel & Friends: June 2, 2015
Genre: Horror; Young Adult
Source: Free From Library

I’d go there again!
suitcasesuitcasesuitcasesuitcase

Sweet is a weirdly awesome horror tale. It’s both funny and unrealistic, and the author owns that campy tone, making for an all around enjoyable read.

Over the course of six days a celebrity-filled cruise will embark on a televised experiment. Passengers on the cruise ship have been invited to try Solu, a new dietary supplement that results in dramatic weight loss. With Solu you can eat whatever you want and still lose those persistent pounds. Naturally, this drug is not quite what it claims to be, and soon the addicted passengers are ready to do anything for their next fix. (more…)

Monstress: Awakening

29396738
Monstress, Vol. 1: The Awakening by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
Image Comics: July 19, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
suitcasesuitcasesuitcasesuitcase

Monstress is the first volume in a a historical fantasy graphic novel series, and it’s amazing. Like, really amazing. The artwork is gorgeous and the storyline is compelling and mysterious. Fantasy fans out there will rejoice at the sheer level of complexity of the world that has been created in this graphic novel.

Maika is a teenage girl who’s out for revenge. She orchestrates her own capture in order to infiltrate those she believes to have the information that she needs. Something has happened to Maika and she finds herself changing, becoming more violent as she’s influenced by an unknown force. Maika struggles to control the monster that is living inside her, but it’s a constant struggle and at this point Maika doesn’t have much control over the mysterious creature the compels her to do things she wouldn’t otherwise. (more…)