Winter’s Guardian by G. Bailey

Winter’s Guardian by G. BaileyWinter's Guardian by G. Bailey
Pages: 242
two-flames

Series: Her Guardians #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Source: Amazon
Audible
Goodreads

When Winter started university with her best friend, Alex, she didn't expect to find herself in the middle of a supernatural war. Who knew saving a stray wolf could earn you the alliance of the pack?

To make things more complicated, the broody and very attractive Jaxson is tasked with keeping her safe from the growing vampire threat in town. It's a shame he can't stand her and enjoys irritating the hell out of her.

When she finds out her new boyfriend has his own secrets, can she trust anyone anymore?

What happens when you get yourself stuck in the middle of a war?

Winter’s Guardian kicks of a reverse harem romance between a woman, a vampire, a werewolf, an angel, and a warlock. I love the mix of various supes! Book 1 focuses mostly on the relationship between Winter and Wyatt and Winter and Jaxson. Wyatt is the vampire prince and Jaxon is the werewolf alpha’s brother. Wyatt, Jaxson, Atticus (the warlock) and Dabriel (the angel) used to be the best of friends. Now, Jaxson will not speak to any of the others. Winter saved Jaxon’s nephew from vampires so she is now ‘pack’ and he is helping her learn self defense.

The attraction between Winter and Wyatt was interesting. She was totally creeped out by him at first, but she is willing to give him another chance. He is quite charming after all. She knew nothing of supes before, but now she knows werewolves are real and her best friend has mated a vampire. Winter and Jaxson’s relationship was strange to me. Jaxson was engaged to another woman, he seemed to hate Winter, and he is not very nice to her. I could not understand why she felt such affection for him! I think the author is trying to get the reader to accept the fated mates thing, but Jaxon was just an ass.

Winter’s Guardian kicks off what I think is a promising series. I love books that combine different supernatural species. Bailey has set up a story with promise and I am curious to see where it goes.

 

Breakdown
Hero
Heroine
Chemistry
Writing/Plot
Trope
Cover
Overall:

Finding My Pack by Lane Whitt, The Veil Diaries series by BL Brunnemer, Wings of the Walker by Coralee June…then you will probably like Winter’s Guardian!

 

Winter’s Guardian

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Samantha

Blood Lust by Grace White

Blood Lust by Grace WhiteBlood lust by Grace White
Pages: 170
Length: 5 hours 44 minutes
two-flames

Series: Devil's Gate #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Setting: Devil's Gate
Source: Audible
Narrator: Sarah Puckett
Audible
Goodreads

An ancient dark power. Three species at war. A witch to unite them all.

Life in Devil's Gate is hell on earth. With no Regent to maintain order between the species, humans live in fear of what lurks in the shadows while the vampires, wolves, and fae that inhabit Devil's Gate battle for territory and power.

And 19-year-old Estelle Cotillard is caught up in the middle.

Harboring a dark secret, Estelle tries to stay out of trouble, but when vampire Gage Coreil starts showing up insisting she needs protection, she has to decide: stay in the shadows or become who she was always supposed to be.

Blood Lust is the first book in the Devil's Gate trilogy, a dark and sexy reverse harem paranormal series featuring a kick-ass heroine plus a brooding vampire, an alpha wolf, and a cunning faerie you won't have to choose between.

Blood Lust is the start of a paranormal reverse harem. However, she is only kind of building her harem in this book! There is a lot of groundwork to be laid in order to start the story. First, the world building: town is sort of divided into areas for vampires and humans and shifters. There is also Fae. Celeste has a best friend who knows she is the head witch. Celeste can’t quite make her magic work like its suppose to and therefore she is unable to take control as leader like she should. Enter Gage, the vampire, Lucas, the fae, and Laken, the shifter. All of them want to find a way to bring peace to Devil’s Gate but Celeste seriously doesn’t think she can do it.

I liked Celeste as a heroine. She is still mourning her sister’s death and dealing with her power struggles. She doesn’t know what to do or who she can turn to. She is leery of Gage in the beginning and that felt realistic. Gage is the man who takes center stage for most of this book. He is surly and kind of grumpy. Lucas was a fun foil to Gage though which I liked. The ‘harem’ aspect isn’t really solid yet; you can see where White might take it, but its in its infancy in this book. The story ends with a cliffhanger, so be prepared!

Sarah Puckett was a good narrator. She had a slight southern twang on occasion. I’m not sure if that was part of the way the story was suppose to be read or her natural speech. Because it was inconsistent, it seemed to stand out a bit more. However, aside from that, I found her narration to be a good listen.

 

Breakdown
Hero
Heroine
Chemistry
Writing/Plot
Trope
Cover
Narrator
Overall:

Charcoal Tears by Jane Washington, Power of Five by Alex Lidell…then you will probably like Blood Lust!

 

Blood Lust

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Samantha

Mistake of Magic by Alex Lidell

Mistake of Magic by Alex LidellMistake of Magic by Alex Lidell
Pages: 182
three-flames

Series: Power of Five #2
Genres: Fantasy Romance
Setting: Lumos
Source: Amazon
Also in this series: Power of Five
Also by this author: Power of Five
Audible
Goodreads

Three trials stand between Lera and exile. Unless the training kills her first.

Quint magic has never chosen a human before, and the Elders Council is convinced Lera is a mistake.

When the quint refuses to be cleaved apart, the enraged elders give them a choice: exile from Lunos or demotion to the lowest of trainees. Subject again to the humiliations and deadly trials they endured centuries ago, the males now face a new challenge—training Lera to survive.

River, Shade, Coal, and Tye will do whatever it takes to keep Lera safe. But Lera will do whatever she must to keep them together—even if it means putting herself in mortal danger.

Mistake of Magic is the continuation of Lera’s foray into Lumos. She and her guys have decided to NOT severe their bond. However, the Elders feel that forming a quint with a human is a mistake of magic. Since they can’t FORCE the quint to split, they instead require them to start their trials over again.

The trials are what all new quints must go through to prove their worth. These are dangerous events that can end in surrender or death. You can only attempt each trial two times. Obviously, the quint is at a huge disadvantage with Lera being human. However, in this story they learn a lot more about Lera’s abilities which furthers the world building. The land that Lidell has created is fascinating! You have the good and the bad, Fae, shifters, magic, kings and realms. Woven into all of the unique world building is the ever deeping bond with Lera and her guys. This book takes a step forward in the romance-she actually sleeps with one of the guys!

I’m certainly planning to continue the story. Mistake of Magic was engaging from start to finish and I am really curious about the direction the story will take. There are no shortages of potential problems and bad guys!

 

  •   POV: 1st and 3rd (1st from Lera, then a few chapters in 3rd person from the guys)
  •   Tears: no
  •   Trope: reverse harem, magic, shifters
  •   Triggers: View Spoiler »
  •   Series/Standalone: series (must be read in order)
  •   Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
  •   HEA: View Spoiler »
Breakdown
Hero
Heroine
Chemistry
Writing/Plot
Trope
Cover
Overall:

Hijinks Harem by CM Stunich and Tate James, Finding My Pack by Lane Whitt, The Four Horsemen series by LJ Swallow…then you will probably like Mistake of Magic!

 

Mistake of Magic

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Samantha

Charcoal Tears by Jane Washington

Charcoal Tears by Jane WashingtonCharcoal Tears by Jane Washington
Pages: 338
one-flame

Series: Seraph Black #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Source: Amazon
Audible
Goodreads

Seraph Black used to think that she was prepared for anything. She could last days without eating and she always walked away from the violent altercations with her father relatively unharmed. She survived working at the club and the drive to school every day in her mother’s rust-bucket of a car… but it all changed when Noah and Cabe came bulldozing into her life, careless of the precious secrets they picked apart in their quest to take over her world. She was even less prepared for the mysterious Miro and Silas, and nothing could have prepared her for the bond. The connection. The reason for it all.

Someone wanted her to stay away from her new friends, but she wasn’t willing to do that.

Everyone had secrets.

She wanted to know theirs. They wanted to own hers.

And the stalker?

He seemed to know everything already.

Charcoal Tears has been on my radar for awhile. In a FB group I am a part of, it (and its author, Jane Washington) get lots of love. All that aside, I kind of went into this book blind. I didn’t really know what it was about or even what genre it was. I think that worked in my favor in this case.

Seraph is living a tragic life for sure. Her alcoholic father beats her (and maybe worse) and she is doing everything she can to survive and protect her younger brother. Washington gives you small pieces of information throughout the story regarding the heroes, Noah, Cabe, Miro, and Silas. The story is told from Seraph’s POV which makes the men even more mysterious and intriguing. They tell her they, and her, are part of the Zevgheri and that all 4 of them are her mated pairs. Seraph has some special powers of her own, and in just being discovered, she is now in danger.

Charcoal Tears was fascinating really, but I wants quite feeling a 5 star on this one. Maybe it was the slow trickle of information that bothered me. Maybe it was only having Seraph’s POV. Something kept me from LOVING this. However, I do plan to continue the series for sure! I’m interested in where this is headed!

 

  •   POV: 1st
  •   Tears: no
  •   Trope: reverse harem, magic, fated mates
  •   Triggers: View Spoiler »
  •   Series/Standalone: series
  •   Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Breakdown
Hero
Heroine
Chemistry
Writing/Plot
Trope
Cover
Overall:

Power of Five series by Alex Liddell, The Veil Diaries by BL Brunnemer, and The Ghost Bird Series by CL Stone…then you will probably like Charcoal Tears!

 

Charcoal Tears

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Samantha

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra ClareQueen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
Pages: 880
Length: 30 hours
two-flames

Series: The Dark Artifices #3
Genres: Fantasy
Setting: Los Angeles, Thul, Alacante
Source: Audible
Narrator: James Marsters
Also in this series: Lady Midnight, Lord of Shadows
Also by this author: Lady Midnight, Lord of Shadows
Audible
Goodreads

Dark secrets and forbidden love threaten the very survival of the Shadowhunters in Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and Darkness, the final novel in the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling The Dark Artifices trilogy.

What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the blight that is destroying the race of warlocks.

Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.

Seriously, do NOT read this if you aren’t caught up on the series! I have decided to break Queen of Air and Darkness into characters. There are spoiler tags when necessary; if you are like me and need to know, check the spoilers. If you don’t want to know, then DON’T CLICK THE SPOILER. You can also check out my review of the previous books, Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadow.

Ty and Kit: These two are heartbreaking. Ty’s pain is difficult to even read. The scene with Livie’s funeral was gut wrenching! Ty’s choices are tragic too. View Spoiler »

Mark, Kieran, and Cristina: Kieran grew on me throughout the books. By this one, I loved him as much as Mark and Cristina! Clare always writes diverse characters and that includes LGBTQ characters. So, I could see where she would take these 3 coming. The choice they make to be together is unacceptable even in their world (which, lets be honest is pretty liberal). I also liked seeing them grow into their own powers. Cristina became more than just a sidekick type character. She has a few lines that harken to Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride! Kieran accepted the responsibility of his people. Mark matured a bit, accepted his feelings and accepted what he desired. View Spoiler »

Jace and Clary: Yall know I love them so freaking much so their extended presence in this book was AWESOME! You also get a good dose of Alec and Magnus, and a glimpse of Izzy and Simon. View Spoiler »

Emma and Julian: Things are getting worse for them. The curse is surely going to kill them and now no one in power will help them. They travel to Faerie and then unwillingly end up in a parallel world. This was a fascinating twist! Clare used this as a way to envision how the world would be if Sebastian had won, Clary had died, and demons roamed free. For me though, the wonder of what will happen with these two was painful. Was there a way for them to be together that didn’t require them to either be exiled or destroy all the parabatai bonds.View Spoiler »

Dru: Listen, she is kind of my hero. Her family underestimates her. She is ALWAYS the forgotten one. She is mocked for her weight, her clothes, her personality. In the previous books, while I felt sympathy for her, she was still a moody, annoying pre-teen. In QOAAD though, she matures. She begins to find ways to support her family without changing who she is. She saves Emma and Julian.

Annabelle Blackthorne: So, after she murders people in the previous book, she continues to be a dangerous character. She escapes into Faerie, then escapes to Thul. She continues to be the most dangerous person. She has a level of magic that is scary, plus, she still has the Black Volume. View Spoiler »

Woven throughout the story’s plot is some hilarious one liners (“It was made by a very powerful warlock called Office Max”) and some beautiful lines that connect all the stories (“I love you. I love you. I love you.”). Clare is a powerful writer who uses words in a way so intricately beautiful it brings tears to your eyes. Queen of Air and Darkness served to remind me why I enjoy Clare’s books-they are always stunningly well written.

Like the previous books in the series, I listened to the audio. Like the other books, the audio is one of the best things I have ever heard. James Marsters is a master. His accents are perfect-Cristina, Diego, Jaime’s latin accent, Kieran’s Irish lilt, Mark’s English accent, and each character had their own individual sound. Its quite amazing really.

 

Breakdown
Hero
Heroine
Chemistry
Writing/Plot
Trope
Cover
Narrator
Overall:

authors like Julie Kagawa, Laini Taylor, Maggie Stiefvater…then you will probably like Queen of Air and Darkness!

 

Queen of Air and Darkness

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Samantha