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Ka-thunk ending and poorly realized characters

The Reader (The Immortal Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
by MK Harkins
I received a complimentary copy via NetGalley for review purposes

I mostly enjoyed this book until the ka-thunk ending. Twice we were hit with gotcha moments and then a switch of narrator as a clumsy wrap-up? No, really, 97-98% of the way through, Ms. Harkins just switched narrators with no warning, no prelude and no explanation. At the same time she cut out the entire payoff/climax with no falling action of any kind, just sort of an epilougue but an entirely different person.

This was deeply confusing and I had to keep paging back, to see if I missed something. This is the sign of either limited wordcount from a publisher, a profoundly untalented editor or a writer who just didn’t put in the effort to give the pay off.

Also, in the beginning, Archer and Devon come of physically as around 17 or 18, then we are told the “boys” are in their mid-twenties, physically. Emotionally, they appear to be in their late teens as does the narrator (of the first 96-97%), Ann, behaves like a late teen herself, her behavoir never fully explained and there is no pay off to her amnesia being wiped. We are just left to flounder and wonder about that experience.

The story isn’t all that original either, it is the fare of many paranormal romances as are the stock, immature characters. I won’t spoil it by explaining why this is a problem, considering several plot points.

I can’t, personally, recommend a read, as the actual reader (in this case me) never gets the payoff they should.

As such, where I would normally pop a 4 or a 5 stars, I can only give it 3.

Can’t wait for more!

Divergent Bloodline Kindle Edition
by T J Shaw 
I received a review copy via NetGalley for review purposes

DB is more than your average PNR or UF. TJ Shaw has created a fascinating new vampire type, world and great female character who is as powerful if not more than her hero!

I discovered Shaw from an ARC and instantly fell in love with Viviane in a way haven’t fallen in years. Honestly, not since I picked up my first Rachel Harris novel. Yes,Viviane is that great! She is strong, holds her or overcomes situations that the hero is having trouble handling. Her past is tragic but the fact she has grown so far beyond it. Her passion for justice is only rivaled by her love for Julian, the Immortal (please, vampires are so passe’!)King, the ancient leader of the failing vampire clans and her mate.

Shaw has an amazing touch at all important PNR/UF/ACTION novels. She gets the emotions down, to the point you begin screaming at the book that NO! THAT CAN’T HAPPEN! Or begging the characters to do something. She masters that. The action, wow, ending battle! Just wow! Well done, madam, well done. And of course the steamy scenes, or eroticism. Oh, yeah!

This book is a fantastic trip into what I hope is a continuing series (Wilson, anyone? I’m much about Team Wilson) and a world to play in.

5 sexy immortal stars out of 5

A new kind of CSI! Magic

Catching Echoes (Reconstructionist Book 1) Kindle Edition
by Meghan Ciana Doidge
I received a complimentary copy via NetGalley for review purposes.

Doidge’s talent of creating not only a new type of CSI, but a new kind of magic is FANTASTIC. Her lead, Wisteria Fairchild, is a multi-layered, complex and Complete Female Character with wit as well as the magic of reconstruction. I love the spine of steel or maybe adamantium that the character has, and the ever present and gently laid breadcrumbs that are given to her tragic past.

Reconstruction is the magical form of crime scene reconstruction. Absolutely, fascinating!

There is one tiny, teensy flaw that appears in this book and many Canadian writer’s novels. As someone who lives in the middle part of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon specifically, referencing Vancouver – either B.C. or WA without the modifier is confusing because, frankly, the two are close together in terms of the whole Pacific NW. Ms. Doidge goes almost a whole chapter without clarifying it. However, if you have never been to our beautiful corner of the world, Ms. Doidge has an amazing encyclopedic knowledge of the foodie situation as well as our gorgeous country.

Her characters are well done, and she establishing an interesting world without a massive data-dump at the beginning. I can’t wait to visit again soon.

Shortened from something longer?

A Vampire’s Passion: A Romance In Central City, Novella Three Kindle Edition
by Jordan K Rose
I received a complimentary copy for review purposes.
About 57% of the way through, I had to stop and ask myself, is this supposed to be funny or sexy, because it isn’t balancing both very well. I was and am deeply confused. Is this supposed to be a vingnette in which we explore two characters swift attraction to each other, a novella with a minor plot or a link story that brings orther parts together with info dumps.
The first confusing and odd thing is the lead female character. For those who have read my reveiws, you are familiar with the term I blatantly stole from a book about Black Widow, the CFC,the complete female character. Not a strong woman, hell you can can have a single level strong woman, I am talking about a woman who has a completeness to who, be it a frothy otherness that appears at times wise and a others flight as hell. Or the Alpha/A Type /color Red female who is all drive because of her own failures that slowly slip out into the story. Rachel doesn’t even scrore above the froth on the Wonder Woman/Black Widow complete female character scale. She is a ball passed about by the male character’s to keep the story going.
And what is is the story? Is this past job between 2 and 4 where we catch up on the evil scientists and the good magical vampires? Because it certainly doesn’t involve covering exactly what the struggle is, who Hank is/was, why Brandt has a male meltdown over a woman he has seen once or twice.
The singular love scene is short and disappointing. The plot? What plot? This feels as if it were a couple of chapters grabbed out of a much longer work and slammed on to kindle for money’s sake.
2 out of 5 stars

6 out of 5 for the humor

Acca – Christina Bauer
Kindle Edition

I received a complimentary copy via NetGalley for review purposes.

It has been a while since I’ve read the previous books in Ms. Bauer’s series that I’d forgotten how incredibly fun her character, the great Scalla truly is. A mix between Buffy and an millennial, her, first person narration is fun and flirty with enough sly Easter eggs for the book nerd out there, pages turn themselves.
Her world-building is excellent – her vision of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory with its royal families. Arch angels and arch-demons is nearly as eventful as the great master Dante Algeria.
However, there is a slight irritation of the constant use of first person, present tense to force a sense of tension that is unnecessary that draws away from the story. I will forgive, Ms. Bauer for that Hamiltonverse, the language usage is supreme and more of a weapon than any of the spells or ancient Angelic/Demonic weapons Ms. Bauer legacy will lie in the way her main character speaks and acts. And frankly, I want a demonbar for a nibble!
The side characters, from her future mother in law to Connor the keeper of all knowledge are interesting and half filled out but lacking in the Whedonverse in terms of fullness and completeness.
Again, her tail and it’s absolute adorableness will win forgiveness as Ms. Bauer successfully combines Gen X and it’s hispterness with Millennial’s and their disaffectation.
The plot while not complex it certainly fun. It, again reminds one of the Buffyverse and should be highly complimented for this.
I particularly approve of the soon to be mother in law. Octavia. She combines both a 60’s superheroine with and 80’s diva. Out of 5, Octavia alone scales a 5.
The male characters seem to lack the depth of Ms. Bauer’s female characters, something which I am willing to forgive her on the basis of how many male writers slim down their female characters to either pushy broads or flighty chicks.
All together, 6 out of 5 for the humor and sly wit. But since that is not allowed, 5 sly winks out of 5.https://smile.amazon.com/Acca-Angelbound-Origins-Book-3-ebook/dp/B01F6DUFOQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493973370&sr=8-1&keywords=acca

A hero reminscent of my father and Han Solo

Anders: An Auxem Novel Paperback – April 30, 2017
by Lisa Lace (Author)
I received a complimentary copy for review purposes.

Recieving a Lisa Lace Novel, especially an ARC, is a little like waking up on Christmas and realizing every present is just for you.

In Anders, within the first few pages of Anders’s own narration, I had him pegged as somewhere between a less roguish Han Solo and a my father, a WWII/Vietnam/Korea and Cold War lead flight crew bombadier. Why my father? The twice he fell out of he sky, both time landing in farms with lots of lonely farmer’s daughters. Yeah, my dad was a scoundrel.

The Auxem novels are spin-offs of the Mail-Order-Bride series, TerraMates. A quick backstory, all Auxem females have died because of a virus, leaving men who can only bond with one female for life searching the galaxy for women to breed and love. And they are running out of time. The virus will eventually wipe out the male’s fertility – eventually being a matter of months. TerraMates’s owner’s hope on start providing women not knowing that the Auxem have a secret, one that might keep human women from bearing the babies that are so desperately needed to keep the race going.

Anders is the middle child of the five Royal sons in charge of this project as their Dad has gone a little whacko and cruel. He is the wild eye pilot, the one who always falls for the woman he can’t have.

Their relationship extends past the bedroom as as co-pilots, it is nice to see the alpha-male working in tandem with anyone, particulaly, his chosen mate. The push and pull that occurs in the Class 4 ship gave an sense of equality between the characters we have rarely seen in romance novels and if there were an award for, I would put this continuing scene up for best male/female interaction without sex. Also, Gwen is as likely and often does save Anders from himself as much as he saves her.

The equality makes his take control moments in the bedroom, changing closet or whereever he can find, that much sexier, as she is not subordinate to him anywhere else.

It is also nice that we are seeing an integretion of her novels as we see in my personal favorite series, Sherrilynn Kenyon’s the League:The Rise of Nemisis. Because of this, while not necessary, one should probably kick in the full bid for a boxed set and follow them the way her ARC readers have.

Overall, Anders is her best built book. My only complaint is how short her books are becoming. The more interesting the character, the more interesing the conflict, the shorter the actualy book. Which is why the bringing together of characters from her most recent novels is nice but should allow for longer adventures and longer romance. Ms. Lace clearly has a lot of talent that needs to be unleashed soon!

4 and 7/8th’s shining flyng stars for character that remind me of my father and Han Solo, Leia and Sauscony from Catherine Asaro’s Ruby Dynasty. Rounded up, that’s a 5 out of 5.

https://smile.amazon.com/Anders-Auxem-Novel-Lisa-Lace/dp/1546417893/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1494185067&sr=8-1&keywords=anders+lisa+lace

6 out of 5 for the humor

Acca – Christina Bauer
Kindle Edition

I received a complimentary copy via NetGalley for review purposes.

It has been a while since I’ve read the previous books in Ms. Bauer’s series that I’d forgotten how incredibly fun her character, the great Scalla truly is. A mix between Buffy and an millennial, her, first person narration is fun and flirty with enough sly Easter eggs for the book nerd out there, pages turn themselves.
Her world-building is excellent – her vision of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory with its royal families. Arch angels and arch-demons is nearly as eventful as the great master Dante Algeria.
However, there is a slight irritation of the constant use of first person, present tense to force a sense of tension that is unnecessary that draws away from the story. I will forgive, Ms. Bauer for that Hamiltonverse, the language usage is supreme and more of a weapon than any of the spells or ancient Angelic/Demonic weapons Ms. Bauer legacy will lie in the way her main character speaks and acts. And frankly, I want a demonbar for a nibble!
The side characters, from her future mother in law to Connor the keeper of all knowledge are interesting and half filled out but lacking in the Whedonverse in terms of fullness and completeness.
Again, her tail and it’s absolute adorableness will win forgiveness as Ms. Bauer successfully combines Gen X and it’s hispterness with Millennial’s and their disaffectation.
The plot while not complex it certainly fun. It, again reminds one of the Buffyverse and should be highly complimented for this.
I particularly approve of the soon to be mother in law. Octavia. She combines both a 60’s superheroine with and 80’s diva. Out of 5, Octavia alone scales a 5.
The male characters seem to lack the depth of Ms. Bauer’s female characters, something which I am willing to forgive her on the basis of how many male writers slim down their female characters to either pushy broads or flighty chicks.
All together, 6 out of 5 for the humor and sly wit. But since that is not allowed, 5 sly winks out of 5.https://smile.amazon.com/Acca-Angelbound-Origins-Book-3-ebook/dp/B01F6DUFOQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493973370&sr=8-1&keywords=acca

Shortened from something longer?

A Vampire’s Passion: A Romance In Central City, Novella Three Kindle Edition
by Jordan K Rose
I received a complimentary copy for review purposes.
About 57% of the way through, I had to stop and ask myself, is this supposed to be funny or sexy, because it isn’t balancing both very well. I was and am deeply confused. Is this supposed to be a vingnette in which we explore two characters swift attraction to each other, a novella with a minor plot or a link story that brings orther parts together with info dumps.
The first confusing and odd thing is the lead female character. For those who have read my reveiws, you are familiar with the term I blatantly stole from a book about Black Widow, the CFC,the complete female character. Not a strong woman, hell you can can have a single level strong woman, I am talking about a woman who has a completeness to who, be it a frothy otherness that appears at times wise and a others flight as hell. Or the Alpha/A Type /color Red female who is all drive because of her own failures that slowly slip out into the story. Rachel doesn’t even scrore above the froth on the Wonder Woman/Black Widow complete female character scale. She is a ball passed about by the male character’s to keep the story going.
And what is is the story? Is this past job between 2 and 4 where we catch up on the evil scientists and the good magical vampires? Because it certainly doesn’t involve covering exactly what the struggle is, who Hank is/was, why Brandt has a male meltdown over a woman he has seen once or twice.
The singular love scene is short and disappointing. The plot? What plot? This feels as if it were a couple of chapters grabbed out of a much longer work and slammed on to kindle for money’s sake.
2 out of 5 stars

WEll drawn great story but Damian still kicks butt better

Superman (2016-) Vol. 2: Trials of the Super Son

I received a complimentary copy for review purposes
A great read for both Bats and Supes fans. Of course, being a Batty girl, I prefer Damian to Jon. The artwork is as always stunning. It would be wonderful to see this made into a movie the way that Son of Batman was.
The story telling was clean and the panels are done enough that they would be clear enough for story boards. This would be preferable to the path that Zack Snyder is taking the movies down at this time.
4 stars, truth, justice and the American Way out of 5

My Favorite Lisa Lace Novel So Far

Ayrie: An Auxem Novel Paperback – April 13, 2017
by Lisa Lace
I received a complimentary ARC for review purposes
There are two kinds of heroes I adore, the broken hero and the stoic hero. Lisa Lace has given us her best version of both in Ayrie.
Ayrie is the second book in the Auxem series which is an offshoot of TerraMates.
The Auxem are a dying race, all the their died from a disease and they have been searching the galaxy for a race that will allow their women to bond with and bear their children. And time is running out, the disease that killed their women, is slowly sterilizing the men. Soon, they will not be able to produce children at all.
And have a secret, one that they must keep in fear that humans will not mate with them.
Elle needs off the planet, badly. So she uses her friendship with Ashlyn, the daughter of the creator of TerraMates to get on the list and on the ship. But she too has a secret. She has no intention in bonding with any of the men. She doesn’t trust men, she has been hurt too many times, physically and emotionally.
Ayrie feels the same way, he as lost too many women in his life, he just can’t give himself to another, so they marry with understanding they will never, ever bond. Sex is out, sleeping in the same room is out.
Like all great romances, from Jane Eyre to your average soap opera, this one begins with them hating each other. He argues with her, she is snarky. Their plan to never bond seems to be going along well. Until they crash land on Vandwa (one of the first planets we have visited in TerraMates).
They spend time on a deserted island that has a tree house and a beautiful beach. But, the longer they are there, the sicker and weaker Elle seems to become and Ayrie has no choice but to reveal his race’s secret.
After their time on their own personal Fantasy Island, Elle discovers that a partial marriage is less than she deserves and she plans to divorce Ayrie and work on Vandwa as a mechanic until she has enough funds to go and do what she wants.
Neither Ayrie nor Elle can see what everyone else can see, they are desperately in love. The question is, will they discover it in time?
The writing is tight, the lovemaking – including the foreplay – is beautifully done The time on the island is everyone’s dream vacation. Where the previous book, Auxem, take place on the ship, we are on a beautiful planet with particularly nasty predators. The plot is well laid out well, with the characters changing and growing naturally. There is also a great deal of humor.
5 shiny, winged stars out of 5 – I’d give it more if I could. This is by far my favorite of her TerraMates/Auxem novels
https://smile.amazon.com/Ayrie-Science-Fiction-Romance-Auxem/dp/1545359261/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1493654932&sr=8-1&keywords=ayrie+lisa+lace