Monday 28 February 2022

Grey Magic - Release Day Review


Grey Magic (Bonds of Magic #3)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
His Darkness, Her Brightness… Together They Defy the World

Lord Gabriel Phel at last holds his dream in his grasp—and faces losing everything. He’s finally won the love of his wife, familiar, and mother of his child, and she offers him a heartfelt commitment he can truly believe in. Together they’re building a true house, one with a growing family of friends and allies that can help them stand against their enemies. And he’s learning to master his magic, to use it as the powerful tool and weapon it should be. But old and new enemies array themselves to take it all away.

Lady Veronica, now fully of House Phel, is doing her best to embrace happiness. After all, she has her hands full managing her mercurial and powerful wizard as he navigates taking his place as the head of their house, and with learning her own extraordinary ability. But she fears whatever peace they win won’t last long. When their enemies inevitably strike—including, perhaps, her own father—they must be ready to defend all they hold precious. It doesn’t help that her idealistic husband insists on making foolishly noble decisions that put them at even greater risk, nor that she loves him all the more for it.

As Nic and Gabriel struggle to put their household in order, giving ill-advised safe harbor to Nic’s runaway sister and risking their lives to save Gabriel’s sister’s sanity, their enemies draw the noose tighter on their well laid plans. When the unthinkable occurs, it’s up to both of them to trust in the nascent, unknown magic they’ve woven together.

What did I think of it:
This is such an awesome read!

I loved the previous two books in this trilogy, so I was eager to see how Nic and Gabriel would conquer the problems thrown their way.

And what a ride!

I was hooked from the start and rooted for Nic and Gabriel to come out on top. Things aren't easy for them and there were some very tense moments, but I trusted Jeffe Kennedy to give me a satisfying story with an even more satisfying ending.

And boy, did she deliver!

It's clear Nic and Gabriel have both grown since the start of the trilogy, both individually and together. I loved seeing them join their strengths and getting things done. 

Next to Nic and Gabriel there were also other characters I could root for, and it looks like my favorite side character will get his own book(s). I can tell you I'm totally there for it! I love the possibilities this world gives for exciting and epic stories, so I hope Jeffe Kennedy will keep them coming!

All in all an amazing conclusion to an epic trilogy. If you haven't started on this trilogy yet: you really should, because it is awesome!

Why should you read it:
It's an epic and totally amazing Fantasy Romance.

Wednesday 23 February 2022

Playing with Fire - DNF


We tried to read another orphaned book, but after reading 25% of this book, which took us a week, we had to admit we were not invested in the story or characters. So it ended up a DNF.

Tuesday 22 February 2022

Currently Reading: The Prison Healer


I'm currently reading The Prison Healer. It starts out intriguing, although I have a suspicion I won't like the love interest. 

The Prison Healer (The Prison Healer #1)
by Lynette Noni

Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer.

When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.

Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.

But no one has ever survived.

With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.

Monday 21 February 2022

Shark's Teeth - Quick Book Review


Shark's Teeth (Marla Mason #5.5)
by T.A. Pratt

What is it about:
Marla, bored in her forced exile in Hawaii, goes looking for trouble (and finds it).

What did I think of it:
A fun short story.

Marla doesn't handle having free time well, so goes looking for something to do. She gets into trouble of course, and handles it in her usual no nonsense way. 

This story brought me even further back into Marla's world and mindset, and introduced me to her new normal. I'll pick up the next book soon.

Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable short story

Friday 18 February 2022

Broken Mirrors - Book Review


Broken Mirrors (Marla Mason #5)
by T.A. Pratt

What is it about:
Sorcerer Marla Mason has never been afraid of a fight, but she's about to face her greatest challenge: herself. Or, at least, an alternate-universe version of herself, a woman who succumbed to the evil power of a cursed artifact and become a monstrous villain. Now this dark doppelganger is loose in Marla's world... and she has an agenda even more terrible than Marla can imagine. 

What did I think of it:
It's been awhile since I read book 4, as from book 5 on out the books are self published, so more expensive in paperback. I didn't want to spend the money on book 5 back then and didn't want to read it online or as an ebook.

I recently came across the first four books when rearranging my bookshelves and decided to pick up the ebook of Broken Mirrors.

And what a cool read.

I soon was engrossed in the adventures of Marla and her sidekick Rondeau and was cheering them on.

Next to seeing the story through the eyes of Marla and Rondeau, you also get the viewpoint of their evil counterparts. It was cool to discover how Marla might have turned out if things had been different.

Lots of things happen, and even though Marla is a smart and stubborn heroine, she can't stop all of the mayhem that's unleashed. I was on the edge of my seat to see where things would lead.

The ending was quite the surprise, and you bet I am eager to read the next book. I even immediately picked up Shark's Teeth, a short story taking place not long after Broken Mirrors and before book 6 in the series.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool Urban Fantasy with lots of mayhem.

buy from amazon

Thursday 17 February 2022

On McPig's Wishlist - Nightrender


Nightrender (Salvation Cycle #1)
by Jodi Meadows

In the middle of nothingness is the continent of Salvation.

Reality bends easily here. Villages disappear. Forests burn forever. Pockets of inconsistent time are everywhere, their boundaries strung with yellow ribbon. And the three kingdoms of Salvation have been at war for a thousand years.

But the greatest threat is the Malice, an incursion from the demon plane slowly tearing its way through the world's weakest seams. Seams that--once split--will lead to the total unraveling of night and day, light and dark, life and death.

Not that the human world takes much interest. Of more concern is the upcoming marriage of Rune Highcrown, Prince of Caberwill, and Johanne Fortuin, Princess of Embria--the serpent bride, a girl of famous cunning--which offers a possible end to the ancient conflict. But Rune has noticed the growing darkness, and he is determined to summon mankind's only defense: Nightrender, the hammer of the gods, an immortal warrior more weapon than girl.

There is only one problem. The last time she was summoned, she slaughtered every royal in Salvation, and no one knows why. Will she save humanity from the Malice... or plunge it deeper into the fires of eternal war?

Published January 11th 2022 

Wednesday 16 February 2022

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave - Book Review


Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson #13)
by Darynda Jones

What is it about:
Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in the final installment of Darynda Jones’ New York Times bestselling paranormal series!

Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper extraordinaire, is pissed. She’s been kicked off the earthly plain for eternity – which is the appropriate amount of time to make a person starkraving mad. But someone’s looking out for her, and she’s allowed to return after a mere hundred years in exile. Is it too much to hope for that not much has changed? Apparently it is. Bummer.

She’s missed Reyes and her daughter, Beep, but now that she’s back on earth, it’s time to put to rest burning questions that need answers. What happened to her mother? How did she really die? Who killed her? And are cupcakes or coffee the best medicine? It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil in this final smart and hilarious novel.

What did I think of it:
I did it! 
One of my two challenges for this year completed. And as both books were on my TBR for over 3 months I'm also on track for my TBR Orphans Challenge.

This last book was thrilling and fun. 

I think one of my favorite characters was done wrong, and Charley and Reyes didn't do enough to make it right, but otherwise this was a great ending to the series.

There were some cool reveals, emotional  moments, and mayhem. I had a great time and I might see if I read the shorter stories in this series, but I hope they're bundled somewhere so I don't need to track down all the anthologies they appeared in.

On to continuing the Sunshine Vicram series.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun Urban Fantasy read. 

buy from amazon

Tuesday 15 February 2022

Teaser Tuesdays - Playing with Fire


"Absolutely not. We've got enough trouble without having a demon tagging along."

(page 43, Playing with Fire by Katie MacAlister)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday 14 February 2022

A Big Surprise for Valentine's Day - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


A Big Surprise for Valentine's Day (Holidays with the Wongs #4)
by Jackie Lau

What is it about:
Amber Wong has landed her dream job at the Stratford Festival, and life is looking good. Sure, she hasn’t had sex in so long that her condoms have expired, but she’ll just pick up some new ones, along with some discounted Christmas chocolate, at the grocery store.

And that’s where she runs into Dr. Sebastian Lam, the son of her parents’ close friends, whom she hasn’t seen in years. He’s moved back to Ontario, newly single, and… Oh my God. He’s really hot.

The attraction is mutual and no-strings-attached sex is the perfect arrangement for both of them, since Amber has sworn off dating after a string of terrible boyfriends.

But what if their families find out they’re spending time together and start interfering in their lives? That would be a disaster.

Even worse? If they develop feelings for each other, given a relationship is the last thing Amber wants right now…

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
It took me awhile to pick this last book in the series up as it seemed to have the 'best friend's younger sister' trope. A trope that usually doesn't work for me. 

But it turned out that trope was barely there luckily enough.

This is by far the steamiest book in the series. I had a great time with it, even though I didn't really get Amber at times. Sebastian was one hunky hero though, so I rooted for their Happily Ever After.

There were some family shenanigans again, which were funny as always. As I bought the boxed set of this series there was also a series epilogue, I'm not sure if that's included in this book if you don't buy the box.

All in all I had a wonderful time with this book and the series as a whole. I might read more by Lau.

why should you read it:
It's a delightful and steamy read.

buy from amazon

Monday 7 February 2022

Back Next Week

I had a grumpy reading mood last week, so didn't get a lot of reading done. I'll be back next week.

Friday 4 February 2022

The Dragon's Daughter and the Winter Mage - Book Review (reread/repost)


The Dragon's Daughter and the Winter Mage (Heirs of Magic #3)
by Jeffe Kennedy

What is it about:
Invisible Loner

Gendra—partblood daughter of an elite mossback soldier and the only shapeshifter to achieve the coveted dragon form—is anything but interesting. She’s actually plain and awkward and … invisible. Every guy she meets either looks right through her or—worse—thinks of her as just a friend. Fortunately Gen is far too practical to wallow in self pity. Much.

A Search for True Love

But as Gen accompanies her oldest friends on a quest for Her Majesty High Queen Ursula, she can’t help feeling bitter about her lonely fate as, two by two, they pair off with each other. As usual, everyone but odd-woman-out Gen seems to be finding the happiness in true love that has always eluded her. And Gen’s pathetic attempts to come out of her shell have only met with social disaster.

Dragon’s Daughter

Still, with magic rifts plaguing the Thirteen Kingdoms and a strange intelligence stalking them from an alter-realm, Gen has plenty to deal with—especially when she’s cut off from the group, isolated and facing a lethal danger. It just figures that Gen is on her own, once again. But with no one coming to save her, she has only herself to rely upon.

And, perhaps, the help of a mysterious, stranded magician…

What did I think of it:
I will confess I read this book as it was still being written, and I can tell you I was eagerly waiting for every update as this story is amazing!

I love Gen, she is used to being overlooked, but that says more about the men around her than about her. She is kind, levelheaded, and passionate. I loved seeing inside her head and see her hopes, dreams, and vulnerabilities. I was rooting for her to find happiness.

And then she meets Isyn. He is not your typical romantic hero, but I connected with him right away. He had a hard life, and can be gloomy at times, but at his heart he's a survivor. I loved seeing Gen and Isyn get to know each other and fall in love. I will confess I was a little worried about their future, but as always trusted in Jeffe to bring this story to a satisfying end.

And that trust was rewarded!

The problems for the Thirteen Kingdoms aren't over yet, and the last book in this series promises to be fraught with danger, but I was more than satisfied with the conclusion of Gen's and Isyn's romance.

I loved the worldbuilding and overall mood of the story, which next to having some cool new characters, had a fairytale vibe.

Voodoo Bride wants me to add that although no one can outshine Zyr, this book is her favorite in the Heirs of Magic series so far.

Why should you read it:
It's a wonderful Fantasy Romance

buy from amazon

Thursday 3 February 2022

On McPig's Radar - Not Good for Maidens


Not Good for Maidens
by Tori Bovalino

Salem’s Lot meets The Darkest Part of the Forest in this horror-fantasy retelling of Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market.”

Lou never believed in superstitions or magic--until her teenage aunt Neela is kidnapped to the goblin market.

The market is a place Lou has only read about--twisted streets, offerings of sweet fruits and incredible jewels. Everything--from the food and wares, to the goblins themselves--is a haunting temptation for any human who manages to find their way in.

Determined to save Neela, Lou learns songs and spells and tricks that will help her navigate this dangerous world and slip past a goblin's defenses--but she only has three days to find Neela before the market disappears and her aunt becomes one of them forever.

If she isn't careful, the market might just end up claiming her too.

Expected publication: May 3rd 2022

Wednesday 2 February 2022

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave - Book Review


The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (Charley Davidson #12)
by Darynda Jones

What is it about:
Ever since Reyes escaped from a hell dimension in which Charley accidently trapped him, the son of Satan has been brimstone-bent on destroying the world his heavenly Brother created. His volatile tendencies have put Charley in a bit of a pickle. But that’s not the only briny vegetable on her plate. While trying to domesticate the feral being that used to be her husband, she also has to deal with her everyday life of annoying all manner of beings—some corporeal, some not so much—as she struggles to right the wrongs of society. Only this time she’s not uncovering a murder. This time she’s covering one up.

Add to that her new occupation of keeping a startup PI venture—the indomitable mystery-solving team of Amber Kowalski and Quentin Rutherford—out of trouble and dealing with the Vatican’s inquiries into her beloved daughter, and Charley is on the brink of throwing in the towel and becoming a professional shopper. Or possibly a live mannequin. But when someone starts attacking humans who are sensitive to the supernatural world, Charley knows it’s time to let loose her razor sharp claws. Then again, her number one suspect is the dark entity she’s loved for centuries. So the question becomes, can she tame the unruly beast before it destroys everything she’s worked so hard to protect?

What did I think of it:
For some reason it took me a long time to pick up this book, I read book 11 in November 2020. But once I started on this I was soon hooked and raced through it.

With just one more book to go the stakes are high in this book. Reyes seems totally out of control, and if that isn't enough to keep Charley busy,  a friend who might be accused of murder needs her help as well.

There's one big grumble I had about something that happens to one character, that in the moment didn't bug me, but after some reveals made me seriously grumpy. Both Charley and Reyes can be total dicks at times!

Overall I loved this book though, and I'm eager to read the last book, especially after the ending of this one! Might this finally be the year I succeed in finishing this series?

Why should you read it:
It's a cool Urban Fantasy read.

buy from amazon

Tuesday 1 February 2022

Teaser Tuesdays - Sparrowhill Road


The queen of the Routewitches gives me a small, faintly amused smile, and asks, "Why would i do something like that? I'm here to answer your questions, i'm not here to lie to you."

(page 146, Sparrowhill Road by Seanan McGuire)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!