Dec 192014
 

23 DaringDaring by Elliott James
Series: Pax Arcana #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: September 23rd, 2014
Audiobook narrated by Roger Wayne

THE WEREWOLVES HAVE A NEW LEADER…AND HE CANNOT BE STOPPED.

Something is rotten in the state of Wisconsin.

Werewolf packs are being united and absorbed into an army of super soldiers by a mysterious figure who speaks like an angel and fights like a demon. And every Knight Templar—keepers of the magical peace between mankind and magickind—who tries to get close to this big bad wolf winds up dead. No knight can infiltrate a group whose members can smell a human from a mile away…no knight except one.

John Charming. Ex knight. Current werewolf. Hunted by the men who trained him, he now might be their only salvation. But animal instincts are rising up to claim John more powerfully than ever before, and he must decide if this new leader of wolves is a madman…or a messiah.

D.G.’s Rating – 4 skulls: B+

If I were to follow this author’s penchant for naming chapters, I would call this review ‘Between a rock and a hard place”. Because that’s exactly where John Charming finds himself in this book. Daring had everything that was missing from the first book: a main character that was clearly in charge, a worthy villain with a horrible plan (which you don’t know until almost the end), lots of interesting new characters and a maelstrom of internal conflicts on John’s end. Oh and not too much of Sig (this is the love interest from the first book…I just didn’t like her that much.) Add to that the mix of humor and new mythology, and you have us a winner.

After the end of a successful vampire hunt in “Charming”, the first book in the series, John learns that his friends are a target for the Knights Templar. The whole purpose of the Knights is to protect the Pax Arcana, the spell which keeps the supernatural world a secret from humans, and they feel that John, an ex-knight and werewolf, is a threat to the Pax. They’ve been hunting him for decades and get their chance to apprehend him by threatening his friends. Through a string of events, John finds himself among werewolves for the first time ever, and confronting the tragedy of his life:

“Maybe I’m upset because I spent my whole life being raised by a brotherhood that woldn’t accept me and wouldn’t let me go, and now I’ve been kidnapped by another so-called family with the same attitude. Maybe I’m frustrated because the knights who I grew up with could never trust me because I was a werewolf, and you werewolves will never be able to really trust me because I was knight.”  

The knights and the werewolves are in a collission course against one another and as a pariah who belongs to both groups but is accepted by none, John is in a difficult position. (Rock meet Hard Place, Hard Place meet Rock.) Both leaders are charismatic men who always seem to have the right word to persuade John, either with their knowledge of John’s weaknesses or the logic of their arguments.

“Most people never question the core beliefs they grow up with,” Emil confirmed. “You can look back on any culture five hundred years later and wonder how they could have ever believed some of the contradictory or flat-out insane things they accepted as law or common sense.”

Growing up with the knights and their hatred for all things supernatural made John very distrustful of his animal nature. He has been suppressing his wolf for a very long time but being around werewolves is bringing those instincts to the forefront. At times, John is confused and afraid to let himself go because he doesn’t trust that part of himself. He has never fully accepted who he is and he doesn’t get there in this book but towards the end, you feel that he’s a bit more comfortable in his own skin.

In this book, we also get glimpses of important events that shaped John’s life: his childhood and training, his loneliness and ostrasism, his drive to be better and prove others wrong, the event that triggered his werewolf nature and meeting Allison, the woman he loved and lost. I confess I liked her a lot better than Sig and I’m sorry she’s dead.

This series has some similarities to the Iron Druid Chronicles: wise-ass male main character with a smart mouth, kick ass fighting skills plus lots of knoweledge about the supernatural world. But I’m liking John Charming a lot better because I see his vulnerable side more often. It’s not all quips.

I’m loving the narration by Roger Wayne (again, I see similarities to Luke Daniels, the narrator of IDC) . He has that mix of irreverent charm and humor that just drips from his voice. He has adequate female voices, he has decent accents and good pacing. I’m definitely adding him to my list of narrators to watch out.

Although the world building is not completely new, I’ve enjoyed how Mr. James has interwoven fairy tale elements in this story. I’m definitely looking forward to the next in this series.

 ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

Series Reading Order:
1. Charming
2. Daring

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 Posted by on December 19, 2014 at 6:47 am
Dec 182014
 
Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge: New Adult - Unteachable by Leah Raeder

The Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge was New Adult for December so we decided to take this opportunity to check out the much-hyped Unteachable by Leah Raeder. Unteachable by Leah Raeder Genres: New Adult Contemporary Romance Publication Date: March 24th 2014 ARC Provided by Atria and Forever Synopsis from Goodreads: Maise O’Malley just turned eighteen, but she’s felt like a grown-up her entire life. The summer before senior year, she has plans: get into a great film school, convince her mom to go into rehab, and absolutely do not, under any circumstances, screw up her own future. But life has a way of [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on December 18, 2014 at 11:43 am
Dec 172014
 
New Release Review + Giveaway: Wild Holiday Nights: Holiday Rush\Playing Games\All Night Long by Samantha Hunter, Meg Maguire, and Debbi Rawlins

Wild Holiday Nights: Holiday Rush\Playing Games\All Night Long by Samantha Hunter, Meg Maguire, and Debbi Rawlins Genre: Erotic Romance Publication Date: November 18, 2014 ARC Provided by Harlequin and Netgalley Badass has a giveaway! Scroll down to enter a chance to win a signed copy of this fun anthology! Synopsis from Goodreads: Satisfy your Christmas cravings with HOLIDAY RUSH by Samantha Hunter Cake guru Calla Michaels is canceling Christmas to deal with fondant, batter and an attempted robbery. Then officer Gideon Stone shows up at her door. Calla thought her kitchen was hot enough before. PLAYING GAMES by Meg Maguire With [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on December 17, 2014 at 7:00 am
Dec 162014
 
New Release Review: Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler

Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler Book #1 in The Jinni Genres: Urban Fantasy Publication Date: November 25th 2014 ARC Provided by Orbit and Netgalley Synopsis from Goodreads: Cursed to be a jinni for a thousand years, Leila nears the end of her servitude—only to be bound once again against her will. Will she risk all to be human? Born in ancient Persia, Leila turned to her house Jinni, Kouros, for help escaping an arranged marriage. Kouros did make it impossible for her to marry—by cursing Leila to live a thousand years as a Jinni herself. If she can remain unBound, Leila’s curse will [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on December 16, 2014 at 10:15 am
Dec 152014
 
Review: Love, in English by Karina Halle

Love, in English by Karina Halle Book #1 in Love, in English Genre: Contemporary Romance Publication Date: April 20, 2014 Synopsis from Goodreads: He’s thirty-eight. I’m twenty-three. He speaks Spanish. I speak English. He lives in Spain. I live in Canada. He dresses in thousand-dollar suits. I’m covered in tattoos. He’s married and has a five-year old daughter. I’m single and can’t commit to anyone or anything. Until now. Because when they say you can’t choose who you fall in love with, boy ain’t that the f*#king truth. *** To a restless dreamer like Vera Miles, it sounded like the experience [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on December 15, 2014 at 7:00 am
Dec 122014
 
Review: All She Wrote by Josh Lanyon

All She Wrote by Josh Lanyon  Book #2 in Holmes & Moriarity Series Genre: M/M Contemporary Mystery Publication Date: December 28, 2010 Publisher: Samhain Publishing   Synopsis from Goodreads: Giving screwball mystery a whole deadly new meaning. A murderous fall down icy stairs is nearly the death of Anna Hitchcock, the much-beloved American Agatha Christie and Christopher Holmes s former mentor. Anna s plea for him to host her annual winter writing retreat touches all Kit s sore spots traveling, teaching writing classes, and separation from his new lover, J.X. Moriarity. For J.X., Kit s cancellation of yet another romantic weekend is [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on December 12, 2014 at 8:42 am
Dec 112014
 
Review: Night of a Thousand Stars by Deanna Raybourn

Night of a Thousand Stars by Deanna Raybourn Genres: Historical Fiction Publication Date: September 30th 2014 ARC Provided by Harlequin MIRA and Netgalley Synopsis from Goodreads: On the verge of a stilted life as an aristocrat’s wife, Poppy Hammond does the only sensible thing—she flees the chapel in her wedding gown. Assisted by the handsome curate who calls himself Sebastian Cantrip, she spirits away to her estranged father’s quiet country village, pursued by the family she left in uproar. But when the dust of her broken engagement settles and Sebastian disappears under mysterious circumstances, Poppy discovers there is more to her hero than it seems. [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on December 11, 2014 at 7:00 am
Dec 102014
 
New Release Review: My Cowboy Homecoming by Z.A. Maxfield

My Cowboy Homecoming by Z.A. Maxfield Book #3 in The Cowboys Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance Publication Date: December 2, 2014 ARC Provided by Netgalley and Penguin Synopsis from Goodreads: Love can heal the deepest wounds… A sense of duty brings a soldier home…but a passionate cowboy makes him want to stay. After his brother’s tragic death, Tripp has to leave the army and return to New Mexico to take care of his mother while his father is in prison for arson. Seeking work at the J-Bar Ranch, Tripp is immediately drawn to injured cowboy Lucho Reyes, whose foot was accidentally crushed [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on December 10, 2014 at 7:00 am
Dec 092014
 
Badass Hidden Gems: Someone Killed his Editor by Josh Lanyon

Badass Hidden Gems   Somebody Killed his Editor by Josh Lanyon  Genre: M/M Mystery Romance Publication Date: June 16, 2009 Publisher: Samhain Publishing LTD   Synopsis from Goodreads: The road back to bestsellerdom can be deadly. Thanks to an elderly spinster sleuth and her ingenious cat, Christopher Holmes has enjoyed a celebrated career as a bestselling mystery writer. Until now. Sales are down and his new editor is allergic to geriatric gumshoes. On the advice of his agent, he reinvents his fortyish, frumpy, recently dumped self into the sleek, sexy image of a literary lion, and heads for a Northern California writers conference [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on December 9, 2014 at 8:46 am
Dec 082014
 
Blog Tour, New Release Review, + Giveaway: Walled by Anne Tibbets

  Walled by Anne Tibbets Book #2 in The Line Genre: New Adult Dystopian Publication Date: November 3, 2014 ARC Provided by Xpresso Tours and Anne Tibbets Synopsis from Goodreads: Freedom means making brutal choices. Rebel lovers Naya and Ric have survived one year in hiding, raising Naya’s twins from infants to toddlers in the shadow of the brutal Auberge dictatorship. They’re alive, and they’re together, but the city is crumbling around them and the haunting memory of Naya’s dark days on The Line have never fully left them. Living in isolation won’t be an option forever. When a mysterious revolutionary seeks [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on December 8, 2014 at 7:00 am
Dec 052014
 
New Release Review: City of Eternal Night by Kristen Painter

City of Eternal Night by Kristen Painter Book #2 in Crescent City Genres: Urban Fantasy Publication Date: December 2nd 2014 ARC Provided by Orbit and Netgalley Synopsis from Goodreads: Magic and mystery collide in this second installment of the new urban fantasy series by House of Comarre author Kristen Painter. Still coming to terms with their unexpected partnership, Augustine and Harlow have a tentative truce. With Harlow slowly working to accept being fae, Augustine still learning how to be Guardian, and feelings growing on both sides though, they do not have an easy road ahead. But when a young girl is stolen from [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on December 5, 2014 at 8:18 am
Dec 042014
 
Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge: Historical Fiction - Evernight by Kristen Callihan

The Jumble Your Genres Reading Challenge was Historical Fiction for November and we decided to use this month to catch up on one of our favorite series, Darkest London, with Evernight by Kristen Callihan. Evernight by Kristen Callihan Book #5 in Darkest London Genres: Historical Paranormal Steam Punk Publication Date: August 26th 2014 ARC Provided by Netgalley and Forever Synopsis from Goodreads: Once the night comes . . . Will Thorne is living a nightmare, his sanity slowly being drained away by a force he can’t control. His talents have made him the perfect assassin for hire. But as he loses his grip on reality, [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on December 4, 2014 at 7:33 am
Dec 032014
 
New Release Review: Revival by Stephen King

Revival by Stephen King  Genre: Horror Publication Date: November 11, 2014 Publisher: Scribner Publishing   Synopsis from Goodreads: A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life. In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on December 3, 2014 at 8:08 am
Dec 022014
 
New Release Review: Captivated by You by Sylvia Day

Captivated by You by Sylvia Day Book #4 in Crossfire Genre: Erotic Romance Publication Date: November 18, 2014 Synopsis from Goodreads: Gideon calls me his angel, but he’s the miracle in my life. My gorgeous, wounded warrior, so determined to slay my demons while refusing to face his own. The vows we’d exchanged should have bound us tighter than blood and flesh. Instead they opened old wounds, exposed pain and insecurities, and lured bitter enemies out of the shadows. I felt him slipping from my grasp, my greatest fears becoming my reality, my love tested in ways I wasn’t sure I [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on December 2, 2014 at 7:00 am
Dec 012014
 
Spotlight on December's New Releases

Welcome to our monthly feature where we take a look at the new books releasing this month and offer up our top picks and opinions. We have chosen 16 of our most anticipated new releases. The release dates are on a best known basis and are not guaranteed. Books may get delayed or sometimes even released earlier so please check with your favorite store to ensure availability. Now, on to the books!   City of Eternal Night by Kristen Painter (#2 in Crescent City) – Expected publication: December 2nd 2014 by Orbit Deadly, Calm, and Cold by Susannah Sandlin (#2 in [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on December 1, 2014 at 8:39 am
Nov 282014
 
New Release Review: The Void by J.D. Horn

The Void by J.D. Horn Book #3 in Witching Savannah Genres: Urban Fantasy Publication Date: November 18th 2014 ARC Provided by 47North and Netgalley Synopsis from Goodreads: An otherworldly energy runs through the city of Savannah, betraying its sleepy, moss-cradled charm. The old, beguiling streets look welcoming to most…but certain families know what lurks under their genteel surfaces. Families like Mercy Taylor’s, which has the most powerful lineage of witches in the South, know this all too well. Mercy and her husband, Peter, are happily preparing to welcome baby Colin into their lives. But their excitement quickly becomes overshadowed by a [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on November 28, 2014 at 7:00 am
Nov 272014
 
Should You  Read This Series: The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy

 The Monstrumologist series is indescribable.  It’s historical, it’s Gothic, it’s horror… it’s even an odd type of ‘coming of age’.  It makes me squeamish and it makes me feel uneasy.  It’s violent, bloody and cruel.  It’s also on the slower side, definitely not what one would call action packed. It sinks it’s nails into you and makes you feel like you just have to keep reading. I took my time reading this series, completing it over 2 years time, and I thought I would share my thoughts with you guys. Book #1: The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy    Synopsis from Goodreads: These are [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on November 27, 2014 at 8:03 am
Nov 262014
 
Early Review: Wickedly Wonderful by Deborah Blake

Wickedly Wonderful by Deborah Blake Book #2 in Baba Yaga Genres: Paranormal Romance Publication Date: December 2nd 2014 ARC Provided by Berkley and Netgalley Synopsis from Goodreads: Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them… Though she looks like a typical California surfer girl, Beka Yancy is in fact a powerful yet inexperienced witch who’s struggling with her duties as a Baba Yaga. Luckily she has [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on November 26, 2014 at 7:00 am
Nov 252014
 
Author Q & A, Release Day Group Review, + Giveaway: The King by Tiffany Reisz

 When we got the email telling us Tiffany Reisz would be answering questions on The King blog tour, we were thrilled! When it comes to Tiffany’s writing and her sinners, we want to know every last detail! Which sinner did she originally plan to kill off? Who is her favorite to write? And what’s in store for her readers? She fills us in on all that and more! Here’s what we wanted to know: BABR: Was there a particular arc for Original Sinners you had planned on that didn’t pan out? If there was, are you willing to share any tidbits? [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on November 25, 2014 at 7:00 am
Nov 242014
 
New Release Review: The Job by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

The Job by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg Book #3 in Fox and O’Hare Genre: Romantic Suspense Publication Date: November 18, 2014 ARC Provided by Netgalley and Random House Synopsis from Goodreads: He’s a charming con man and she’s a dedicated FBI agent, and they’re about to drive each other crazy . . . again! The FBI had one demand when they secretly teamed up Special Agent Kate O’Hare with charming con man Nicolas Fox—bring down the world’s most-wanted and untouchable felons. This time it’s the brutal leader of a global drug-smuggling empire. The FBI doesn’t know what their target looks [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on November 24, 2014 at 7:00 am