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Tempt me not?!

Midnight Temptation
Ravens Hollow Coven Book 2)
Shari Nichols
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
City Owl Press
jun 30th 2020

What are the stakes for falling in love?

That’s the question tarot card reader Gillian Howe ponders when she hosts a supernatural speed dating event. Making the perfect match is her passion, too bad she can’t find one for herself. A chance encounter with a wealthy vampire provides her an opportunity to attend an exclusive after-party and prove she isn’t opposed to love. But she finds herself plunged into a secret society of trancing, blood bonds and human escort rings. The night ends in a police raid and of all the vampire detectives in Raven’s Hollow, Garrett Mulroney shows up at the scene. Even if he is scorching, hot, he accused her of a crime she didn’t commit and nearly ruined her life.

Fate has thrown them together again…

Garrett has been down this brutal road before and it didn’t end well. His sire tried to force him into a life of debauchery, but he chose to uphold the law instead. The fact    that the one woman he can’t seem to get out of his mind or out of his lust-filled dreams is at the center of his investigation doesn’t bode well. It’s a good thing she hates his guts, because it helps douse his growing desire for her and focus on the case. But when Gillian’s cousin is kidnapped into the Du Sang Brotherhood, she becomes the prime witness. Now they’re forced to put their differences aside and go undercover by pretending to be a couple. The more time Garrett spends with Gillian, the more he wants her in his life—and in his bed.

Knowing who to trust and who to love becomes a matter of survival, and possibly the only way to take down the Brotherhood.

Book Cover

As this was a series, I decided to set the scene with book 1 of the series.This was useful to understand the background if not the characters per se, as they were very minor in book 1.

I also hoped that the writing would have improved as so often happens, as the authors develops the series and setting. And it had.

But only marginally.

I didn’t feel though that this book could stand alone. It needed to be set within a series. And unlike the work of RJ Blain, these vampires were standard. Mostly blood drinkers of unwilling victims. But with our hero fighting against tis sterotype.

I found the witches rather unconvincing in the spellwork – too simplistic in the word usage – and thus too easy to be misapplied. And their potions were made too easily – lack of effort all round really. Which meant that the story line lacked drama. And I found the ending unsatisfactory.

And is it a vile or a vial? What holds a potion in US spelling? Author please let me know.

As you can’t allocate half points, I’m giving this a 4 when for me it was really 3.5.

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and the dragon plays.. rock

Kaps Book Cover Kaps
(Angelbound Offspring #5)
Christina Bauer
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
MonsterHouseBooks
Publication date: June 30th 2020

Meet Kaps: renegade, dragon shifter, and general pain in her parent’s backsides. Although born a royal, Kaps loves hunting down dragon artifacts. Too bad L’Griffe, the shifter mafia, wants the same stuff. Kaps gets in their way and ends up with a price on her head. A bounty hunter named Mack comes to collect. Although he’s human, Mack knows all about shifter ways. And what he lacks in shifting power, Mack more than makes up for with a lethal combination of looks, strength, and smarts. After luring the princess away with an epic kiss, Mack slaps some supernatural handcuffs on Kaps, tosses her in a van, and heads off to L’Griffe headquarters with his quarry. The fact that Kaps is really dragon royalty doesn’t bother Mack in the slightest. That kiss might be a problem, though…

Or she hunts down antiquities – and steals them! Which is her prime reason for the tour places I wonder?

We know something about Kaps from her sister’s book – see the list below of the books in order. She has a rock band – and seems not to turn up when expected to sing . But it seems – from this story – that she has something else going on too – something she has been doing since she was really young – treasure hunting. And being a dragon she hoards! All the old and magic and apparently lost items she finds, she hides away in a room only she knows the location of. And always has.

There’s just one small problem – the items she wants, she has to steal, and other people want to stop that from happening.

So this book concentrates on her stealing for her horde and the rock band gets little mention – which I did think was a shame, as her story was so bound up with it. But the rock band it seems is just a cover for her other activities.

Her sister Huntress, is really concerned for her though, as she is getting into deep water, with her parents who want to lock her up so she is protected and safe, and with the people she is stealing from. We learn more about huntress – the last Glass dragon, in the next book in the series.

I would have liked a longer story line and a little more complexity but then I am not really the main audience for this series – for its intended audience I think it works.

Angelbound Offspring
1. Maxon
2. Portia
3. Zinnia
4. Rhodes
5. Kaps
6. Huntress

About the Author

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/546812.Christina_Bauer
https://www.facebook.com/authorBauer/

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Starting the Burn

Ignite You: A Second Chance Mafia Romance Book Cover Ignite You: A Second Chance Mafia Romance
(Cole Brothers Series, #1)
Diana A. Hicks
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Hicks Media Group, Inc. (2 Nov. 2019)
Publication date: November 1st 2019

Dom Moretti.
Former mafia hitman.
God’s gift to women.
Brilliant lawyer.

Those were just a few reasons why I hated Dom in law school.

Tonight…

I hate his panty-melting stare, his wicked smile, and that loose-hip stride of his.
I hate the way his biceps stretch the sleeves of his tailored suit.
I hate that after two years, I can’t stop thinking about the almost kiss in the library.

So when he sits at my bar, acting like he doesn’t remember me, I do what any woman would’ve done in my position.

I agree to a midnight hookup with the great Dom Moretti.

Ignite You is a steamy, slow-burn mafia romance that can be read as a standalone. It is book one in the Cole Brothers series. Previously released as Love Over Logic

I have read this book now twice but I still found it less interesting than the rest of the series.

I think it is because of the scene setting that is done for the Cole Brothers and their backgrounds.

For me, Diana Hicks is one of those authors whose writing gets better the further into a series she goes.

And also, I guess, Mafia Doms are not in my ‘hit’ list!

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A Romeo and Juliet novel

Calypso Book Cover Calypso
(Eleri Royals, #1)
Ebony Olson
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
EbandMuse Publications
(February 14, 2020)

In my town, there are two kinds of people; those from the sophisticated Eleri, and those from the gang-run Riverside.
The natural divide is the Eleri River.

The human divide is money.

A town that doesn’t really exist but operates very much in the old medieval way where there is those with money on one side of a river, and those without on the other.  In some American towns it is also a railway line I understand. In England it would be the higher lane for the wealthy as the lower land would be marshy and prone to flooding.  And many would have the name Upper Town added.

Just for a change we have a female billionaire but we still have her falling for someone from the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ – see reference to railways here.

I was rather concerned with our heroine’s cousin – Kingsley. He was far too close to her for comfort. But what a family she has – and Kingsley too. Too much money and not enough character to be anything other than drags

A reasonably well written novel with some suspense and romance, but not exceptional.  It is a Romeo and Juliet without the  final deaths.

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No more Irish Nuns

I Won’t be a Nun Book Cover I Won’t be a Nun
Michaela Francis
Fiction
Troubador Publishing Ltd
April 28, 2020
200

Everything these days is online – including how a woman is meant to meet Mr Right. But, Sonia wonders, as she joins up to the dating app, how can someone decide simply by looking at somebody’s face that they’re the right person for her? And as she swipes with little to no matches, her confidence affected as she wonders “What’s wrong with me?”

Past history meets present as she continues on the carousel, emotions building up and tearing down, being used and discarded like an old sweet wrapper and the crushing knowledge that she’s in her late 30s and her clock is ticking. She needs to meet Mr Right right now. She turns to alcohol to mask the fear that she will never find him but refuses to recognise that her crutch is crippling her – until it’s too late. As the overall pressure of society, her addiction and her own fears weighs her down, will Sonia overcome everything that is expected of her or will she succumb to her choices and live a life half-lived?

In my considered opinion, and taking into consideration that at a conservative estimate i have read over 20,000 books in my life, ranging from fantasy and romance to Dickens, Shakeapeare, French (in the original) novels, and computer science and programming books, they can start in one of two ways if they want to attract your attention and get you to read further.

They can start with a bang, as it is said in Trampolining with Dragons, see further review, or they can start subtly and draw you into a deceptively intricate story that weaves a web of intrigue so that you want to read further to find out what happens in the storyline, or to the characters or…

Poor books do neither of these things. And if by 10% or even 25% Ii am still wondering why I am reading this book, the author has failed in their job to interest me in my super power, as it says on my mug, to read.

I read voraciously. Many different genres. Many different lengths but longer being better as a book that I can finish in an hour is too light – unless it makes me laugh. Which is why I usually dislike novellas unless they are a part of a series. I read at least a page a minute as i can speed read easily and so 300 plus pages is my preferred book.

I Won’t be a Nun only half interested me and at 7% of the way through I abandoned it to read another book and then came back to see if I felt I if for a different reader it might do well. I find that I rarely get on with Irish books but occasionally they surprise me so I keep trying.

This wasn’t one to surprise me. It lacked the humour that would have encouraged me to go further.

1 for me – maybe 3 for a reader who likes Irish stories.

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