Review: “Ravensong” by T.J. Klune

TITLE: Ravensong
AUTHOR: T.J. Klune
SERIES: Green Creek
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante
GENRE: Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 400 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jul 31, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 e-book / $17.99 paperback

BLURB:

Gordo Livingstone never forgot the lessons carved into his skin. Hardened by the betrayal of a pack who left him behind, he sought solace in the garage in his tiny mountain town, vowing never again to involve himself in the affairs of wolves.
It should have been enough.
And it was, until the wolves came back, and with them, Mark Bennett. In the end, they faced the beast together as a pack…and won.
Now, a year later, Gordo has found himself once again the witch of the Bennett pack. Green Creek has settled after the death of Richard Collins, and Gordo constantly struggles to ignore Mark and the song that howls between them.
But time is running out. Something is coming. And this time, it’s crawling from within.
Some bonds, no matter how strong, were made to be broken.


Ravensong…I was waiting so long for this book. I was anxious to read it and a bit afraid because I remember what Wolfsong was doing to me.

When it comes to TJ Klune’s universes, there is not enough words to describe his genious. He handles words to cut right into your feelings. Ravensong is no exception.

Do you remember pinecones and candy canes and epic and awesome? If you are a Klune fan of course you do…

Ravensong continues with the story of Gordon and Mark, one year later to what happened to Ox (if you read Wolfsong, you know what I’m talking about). We learned about Gordo’s childhood, him growing up with the Benetts. After an unfortunate event (no, I’m not telling you that!), he feels betrayed by those he loved. He grows angry with the Benetts but mostly with Mark.
We all know about those stone wolves and what that means when one is given, right? Gordon gives that wolf back to Mark (yes, you will cry like a baby, don’t try to fight it).
The story is from Gordon’s POV. The first part of the book, Klune gives us glances of what went down when the Bennett boys went after the man who took so much from them. But also Gordon’s memories of his childhood. I promise you it’s nothing you don’t want to read in those chapters!

Then we are in the now, where the singing of Mark getting louder and louder, and ignoring it is not an option. His raven screams for its mate.

Than…hunters…omegas…hurts…

I don’t want to spoil the book for you. But I can assure you that this is exactly what you were waiting for! This is the story that kept you anticipating.

Yes, I’m in book hangover. But that’s not new when it comes to TJ Klune is it? While Wolfsong reduced me to a crybaby, well Ravensong did it too, but in this book, the plot was more angsty…and no…this is not the end…

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Incubus Honeymoon” by August Li

TITLE: Incubus Honeymoon
AUTHOR: August Li
SERIES: Arcana Imperii
PUBLISHER: DSP Publications
COVER ARTIST: Blake Dorner
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 274 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jul 17, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 –e-book / $16.99 -paperback

BLURB:

As the so-called magical creatures go, I’m low on the hierarchy, and my powers aren’t much good to human mages. I’m a lover, not a fighter, through and through. I’m also selfish, lazy, and easily bored. But I’m damned good at what I do.
Too bad that won’t get my arse out of this sling.
Do one—granted, uncharacteristic—good deed, and now I’m held hostage to an arrogant faerie prince, trying to track down the one who summoned him while dodging gangbangers, gun runners, and Nazis. Add the powerful mage guilds scrambling to gather firepower for some doomsday event they’re sure is around the corner, and my cushy life of leisure might be nothing but a memory. On top of that, something’s compelling me to change on my most fundamental level. I’m not sure what I’ve got myself mixed up in, but nothing will ever be the same.
Bloody hell.
===
Featuring a new twist on urban fantasy combined with fast-paced action and intrigue, the Arcana Imperii series books are standalone adventures, each completely accessible to new readers.


As far Urban Fantasies go, I like them pretty much. When I read the blurb for this special book, I thought I have to read this one. My hope was that I would find some romance in it, but that is not the case.

In this universe of Li, there are guild of mages secretly controlling the world. All those guilds have their own specific powers and their own specific goals. But where there are mages, there are also beautiful creatures too.

Our Incubus, we call him Inky, is one of those creatures. His goal is to bring people pleasure, and in return, he can feasts on the energy their release makes while doing so. Inky shapes himself as the one his object desires too. He can sense the desire of everyone, including creatures like him. That gift brings him to a mage bar, and after a few difficulties, he finds the source of the desire that brought him there. It’s a fay.

Our fay, let’s call him Blossom, is trapped in this world, summoned. Fay are a rarity amongst the mages, and his life is in danger, but he didn’t seem to realize that. He’s arrogant and looks down on everybody. But he’s also easily distracted by shiny things. It takes Inky’s rigorous convincing that he follows the demon and they search the mage who summoned and kept him trapped there. But he strikes a bargain with Inky, and in doing so, he takes from the incubus.

They search, and aka thirty whispering cats, brought them to the shady part of town, where they end up following unusual clues, and to the apartment of Dante, a young thug. Dante has no magic in him, so it seems that they met a dead end, but the events it follows bring us to the middle of mafia, Nazis, mage war, and other things.

Here I need to open a parentheses and tell you that lately I’ve noticed that the current US politics, the extreme administration, is more often mentioned in the newly published books, as in this book too. Even if this scenery of urban fantasy, the extremism, the power their gain, by being supported by high ranking politics, leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I’m a globalist. I don’t believe in frontiers, I don’t believe in nationalism. Nationalism, as frontiers are dividing us humans, creating false identifications as well separatism. We are all one, we are equals, different but equals. In my utopistic, idealistic mind I wish for the world to reach its fulfillment and become what it was meant to be to become. A place of tolerance, acceptance and full of love!

***The ARC was provided by DSP Publication . My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Living Promises” by Amy Lane

TITLE: Living Promises
AUTHOR: Amy Lane
SERIES: Keeping Promise Rock Series
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 350 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jul 04, 2011
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $17.99 -paperback

BLURB:

Six years ago, Jeff Beachum comforted a frightened teenager outside an HIV treatment clinic, and Collin Waters has remembered his kindness ever since. Now, after six years of crushing on the kind, brown-eyed sweetheart of his dreams, Collin is feeling adult and together enough to make his move. Too bad fate, which has never been kind to Jeff, has something else in mind.
Jeff’s life had fallen completely apart before that long-ago day, and it isn’t much better now. Jeff has toughened up, become self-reliant, been the funny guy his friends turn to, the one who gives advice and comfort when needed. But every phantom from Jeff’s past is about to come out to haunt him, and the family Jeff has staked his future on isn’t in such great shape either. Collin is more than a starry-eyed kid, and it’s a good thing, because Jeff’s going to need all the help he can get. No one knows better than Jeff that life can be too short to turn your back on honest love, and that living happily is the best promise of all.


As you know already, with the approval of Dreamspinner Press, we’re reviewing previously published books. We continue with Amy Lane‘s, Keeping Promise Rock contemporary romance series.
I love this series but this book …

This sequel of the series was not as good as I was hoping for. I loved Jeff from the very first moment we met him as Crick’s PA. He charmed me with his outgoing behavior, sassy attitude and strong personality.
But this book turned him into a “woman”. Without disrespecting the author or the series, this story turns out to be a false-stereotyping bottom=girl-in-the-relationship type of tail. From the strong personality, he becomes a sobbing, quivering damsel in distress. Maybe the author did it unconsciously, but as I read it, it annoyed me to hell.

Collin is 13 years younger and has a bad boy attitude. He’s had a 5-year crush on Jeff and when the opportunity comes he, finally, makes a move.

Jeff can’t get past the age difference, but in the end, he leans on Collin. Right. And this…!

I don’t know, maybe its just me being a man, maybe having the man-pride myself, but that doesn’t bode well with me. An over 37-year-old leaning on a 24-year-old boy, just not ok in my book. Jeff is strong, we all know that we all need a shoulder from time to time, but for a 24-year-old to have more manliness in him than a 37-year-old grown man who takes care of all his friends…well, that is a lack in his character. This wasn’t a first time when I read a series where a personality change happens to a character. For me, it’s just kind of ruins the book, if not the whole series.

Toward the end of the book, the story was repetitive. We read again and again about previous MC’s of the series. There are a lot of health issues going around. It seems that everyone gets sick at the same time. It was a bit depressing.

As much as I loved the previous books, this felt stretched.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Keeping Promise Rock” by Amy Lane

TITLE: Keeping Promise Rock
AUTHOR: Amy Lane
SERIES: Keeping Promise Rock Series
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 344 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jan 17, 2010
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $17.99 -paperback

BLURB:

Carrick Francis has spent most of his life jumping into trouble with both feet. The only thing saving him from prison or worse is his absolute devotion to Deacon Winters. Deacon was Crick’s sanity and salvation during a miserable, abusive childhood, and Crick would do anything to stay with him forever. So when Deacon’s father dies, Crick puts his college plans on hold to help Deacon as Deacon has helped him.
Deacon’s greatest wish is to see Crick escape his memories and the town they grew up in so Crick can enjoy a shining future. But after two years of growing feelings and temptation, the painfully shy Deacon finally succumbs to Crick’s determined advances and admits he sees himself as part of Crick’s life.
It nearly destroys Deacon when he discovers Crick has been waiting for him to push him away, just like Crick’s family did in the past. When Crick’s knack for volatile decisions lands him far away from home, Deacon is left, shell-shocked and alone, struggling to reforge his heart in a world where love with Crick is a promise, but by no means a certainty.


As you know already, with the approval of Dreamspinner Press, we’re reviewing previously published books. We continue with Amy Lane‘s, Keeping Promise Rock contemporary romance series.

Oh my, what a read!

I can’t help it; when it comes to sappy romance, I’m a goner. Well, in this case, the sappy was me. I cried several times during the book. It wasn’t always a sad cry.

The only thing I didn’t like was the prologue. So if you’re like me, and you don’t like that after the prologue, in the first chapter, they go back in time, then I advise you to skip it. You won’t lose much.
The story, after the prologue, starts when Crick, our MC, at the age of 9, meets Deacon the son of Parish, the owner of The Pulpit. It was love at first sight. First the ranch, then the horses, and then Deacon. In less than 5 minutes.

Crick’s domestic situation is troubled. His alcoholic step-dad calls him the Mex-kid. He’s radical-religious white trash. But Crick wants to learn how to ride a horse. So Parish offers him a deal. He’ll come Saturday to Sunday to help out at the ranch, and in return, Deacon will teach him how to ride a horse. That is how Crick earns himself a new caring family.

Years pass by, and Crick finds himself in more trouble than necessary. Deacon is always there to help him get through the rough times. The hero worship slash idolization of Deacon during Crick’s teenage years turns into flaming desire and unconditional love.
But when Crick thinks he has it all, life has other plans.

Deacon knows, from the very first meeting that Crick is it for him. So he waits patiently for the years to pass by and finally claims what’s his, Crick. Deacon is an introvert. You may say the epitome of introversion. The only person who can penetrate his walls is Crick. Deacon knows that Crick is meant to be more than a farm boy. He keeps telling Crick to go, spread his wings and fly. But Crick is waiting on everyone to push him out of their life, so he takes it in the wrong way, and in that spare of a moment, Crick does the unthinkable and enrols into the army.

I loved both MC’s. I fall in love with Deacon’s kindness I related to his responsibility, to his character. Crick’s outgoing behaviour, and his unconditional worship for Deacon took my breath away.

I highly recommend this book to everyone! I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

Wonderful job Amy Lane!

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Bloody Love Spats” by Valentina Heart

TITLE: Bloody Love Spats
AUTHOR: Valentina Heart
SERIES: Among Wolves
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Maria Fanning
GENRE: Paranormal; Shapeshifter
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: Oct 21, 2013
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99

BLURB:

Tomislav Vugrin doesn’t think himself much of a vampire—not that others are tripping over themselves to dispute it. Despite descending from one of the most powerful vampire lines and having a coven queen for a sister, he’s far from a stuck-up royal and even farther from a force to be reckoned with.
That’s when fate puts her spiteful fingers to use and places him right in the path of Stone Marik, the new Alpha werewolf of the East Pack. Add a bit of teasing scent of a mate, and the attraction is stronger than any lack of information about bonding that might stand in their way.
But changing allegiance might be more than Tomi can handle, even if he has the best of intentions. Centuries of prejudice divide their two species, secrets and lack of time work against them, and soon even their desperate need for each other might not be enough to keep them alive.


As you know already, with the approval of Dreamspinner Press, we’re reviewing previously published books. We continue with Valentina Heart’s the Among Wolves, paranormal series
Well, I loved this book even more than the first one. This is a sequel of the first book, and you can read as a standalone too. The story is in the same universe as the first one, and we continue with Stone, the new pack Alpha of the Eastern Pack.
What I liked most about this book is the little ”introduction” of every chapter, they let you into some personal thoughts.
One year has passed since Stone took over the Eastern Pack, but the previous alpha’s cruel behavior still has his shadow in the pack. Together with his brother Tait who serves as his beta also, he tries to loosen the tension and fear that rules the pack. Tait is unsubordinated, funny and full of mischief. They are mostly at each other throats than not, but the love between the brothers is unquestionable.
Tim is a vampire prince, only 150 years old, a child in vampiric measures, and he was just cheated on by his ex-boyfriend. You will love him! I definitely did. First, he’s funny and a has a bit of a naive side, loving Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. And second, the actions of his ex makes him withdraw to the forest to have some alone time when fate decides he needs to meet his mate.
That wouldn’t be a problem, but vampires and shifters don’t mix. The old laws prohibits these two species to even socialize. But once Tim was sniffed everything else lost its meaning. For Tim it’s only just sex but after he was bitten, all hell breaks loose.
Danger awaits for them, a danger that’s bringing the whole pack to reunite to save Stone’s bloodsucker mate.
You will love our MC’s, their pack, the need for comfort and closeness. There was a special scene when I would wanted to be one of the pack members. It was when Stone decided the pack needed to trust each other again and for that they need more contact. He orders the pack to get rid of their clothes, as much as they’re comfortable with. There was nothing sexual in it. It was the intimacy of the touch, the comfort of belonging. It was beautifully described, and my heart ached to be a part of the unity.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis