Spider’s Bite

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Author: Jennifer Estep

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Yes. Elemental Assassin Book 1

Reading Start Date:2/2/21

Reading End Date: 2/7/21

My name is Gin, and I kill people.

They call me the Spider. I’m the most feared assassin in the South — when I’m not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don’t use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I’m out for revenge. And I’ll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I’m still one of the bad guys. Which is why I’m in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I’m battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction… especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

Disclaimer: Synopsis and book cover by | goodreads |

This has been a truly great start to a new series. I have fallen in LOVE with Gin’s character. She is a badass assassin who has a code of honor that she upholds and lives her life by. She has a very tough shell on the outside, but a gooey inside for those who she lets into her small inner circle. For those, she will do whatever is necessary to protect or avenge any wrong done to them.

In this opener, the reader follow’s Gin as she strives to determine what to do with her life. Her mentor/adoptive father is pushing for her to retire, but she is hesitant because she is unsure of what to do with the rest of her life. Events unfold and a tragedy strikes close to home. Gin the embarks on a quest to get justice for her lost loved one.

This is a very fast paced opener. The reader hits the ground running, which I appreciated. The reader learns along with the characters as the plot unfolds. There is very few slow or down moments. I didn’t feel like it drug at all. The nonaction sequences helped the characters learn what they needed to and then plan for what actions they needed to do. This technique was done well and kept the story from stalling or stagnating.

The author did a great job of sprinkling in the magic. The fantasy elements are well crafted. This magic system is not limitless and it has definite consequences when it is used. I really enjoyed the melding of the different types of creatures in this series. There are, so far, vampires, dwarves, giants, and humans. Within these groups, some have elemental magic and other do not. Just like in our world, so people have different talents and others do not. I like this twist on magic users.

I would highly recommend this book if you are interested in urban fantasy or wanting to get into this genre. I am not as familiar with the urban fantasy genre, but can see myself seeking more out. I definitely want to continue with this series!

Star Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My Thrill Club Unboxing

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Come along with me as I unbox my October #mythrillclub box. This box came in late due to shipping issues. This is the first time that this has occurred. I’ve been receiving this box since January 2020. Their customer service was awesome and resent the box immediately.

There are different choices you can receive: horror, thriller, or mystery. You can also choose the “surprise me” option. This option will give you a mix of these genres. I pay for the #horror box each month.

Website:
| MyThrillClub |
Cost: $18.99 per month

As I unbox these books, I will be giving you my first impressions of these books based on the book covers and their synopsis. Later I will come back and give another first impression as I begin to read the first few chapters. In those posts, I will talk more about the author’s writing style and how I am initially feeling about what I have read at that point.

Leave me some comments about what you thought of these books.

Have you read them?

Have you read these authors before?

Any horror book recommendations you would like for me to read?

Moon Called

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Author: Patricia Briggs

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Yes. Mercy Thompson #1

Mercedes Thompson, aka Mercy, is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water…

Disclaimer: Synopsis and Image come from | goodreads |

I absolutely have fallen in love with this series! This series has pretty much everything I could want in a paranormal romance book. The heroine is a strong woman who pretty much doesn’t take any guff from anyone. But she is not a cold or hard character. She has a very soft and protective heart that oftentimes gets her into trouble.

In this first book of the Mercy Thompson series, you are introduced to several of the major characters that are seen throughout the series. The reader is also given a glimpse of a possible love triangle between Mercy, Adam, and Sam.

As the story unfolds, the author does a great job of engaging the reader in what is going on and getting you emotionally involved as well. There were several time that I wanted to yell at several of the characters, “why are you doing this?!” and other phrases similar to that. I also wanted to cry at several points throughout this book. Even on re-reads, I still get teary-eyed. What happened to Mac will always make me want to cry and wish that things could have been different. However, this moment in time is needed as the catalyst for everything that happens afterwards.

As each subplot is developed, each individual one helps to move the main storyline on. Mercy is caught in a power struggle between werewolves that she is ill equipped to handle. She calls on her friends and together, they solve the mystery of what happened to Mac and save the day.

I loved watching how Mercy is able to navigate in this world of werewolf dominants. As she is not a werewolf herself, she has to be careful in how she deals with them. She can’t outright get in their face and tell them like it is, but what she does is even better. Sometimes I just laugh out loud at how she handles the alpha Adam. He tries so hard to get her to “obey” him, but how she does it is absolutely hysterical! It was a joy to watch their interactions and their relationship slowly developing despite his pack’s thoughts and views on her.

If you are looking for an awesome paranormal romance series to start, I would highly recommend this series. The author doesn’t disappoint.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

King’s Cage

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Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Series: Yes, 3rd book in the series.

Come watch my video review of King’s Cage. Discover my thoughts and opinions about this book. How does it stand up to the previous two books?

Have you read it before?

If so, leave me comments on your experience reading this book or this series. I would love to hear from you!

Patricia Briggs

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I absolutely LOVE Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series! This is one of my go-to authors and series when I have nothing knew to read or I’m bored with what I have been currently reading. Mercy is such a kick butt female lead character. I love how the author has developed this character throughout this series. She is sassy and spunky and doesn’t take much from anyone. She has learned how to live among the werewolves and not be pushed around or subjugated by them. If you haven’t read this series, I would highly recommend it if you are in the market for a paranormal romance!

The Way of Kings

Come and join the fun and Saturday discussions! We will start the Stormlight Archive October 24, 2020 in the afternoon after we complete our discussion of War Storm by Victoria Aveyard. All are welcome, whether you’ve read it before or a newbie to the series like I am! Watch the announcement video to know what time to meet for future discussion and weekly chapter layouts!

Discord Group

Love at Carlyle’s

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Author: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

Genre: Romance, Menage

Series: Yes. Love on the Rocks.

Precious O’Connell is in hiding. She’s been betrayed, lied to, and used. She swears to never trust again, until she enters Carlyle’s Bar and restaurant. She is drawn to the town as well as her landlord, Cavanaugh, her training instructor at the dojo, Magnum, and her boss at the bar, Carlyle. Then she finds out they’re brothers and she isn’t exactly ready, or willing, to follow her heart or her gut and to trust them, never mind love them.

Precious is trying to keep her past a secret, but these three brothers have a way of drawing information out of her and making her want things she always feared. Living in a dream state and falling in love, she’s off her guard and her game when the men hunting her find her and take her away. She’s back on her own, fighting to survive and feeling like this time she will die, when the brothers come to her rescue and help her to end the danger once and for all.

Disclaimer: Synopsis and Image are from | goodreads |

I truly enjoy this story. You follow Precious as she tries to overcome all that life has thrown her way. She hasn’t had the easiest of lives, and tries her hardest to take care of her younger sister from an early age. Experiencing betrayl upon betrayal, she has to flee where she lives and goes into hiding from two very bad drug lords who want her dead after doing a job for them.

While in hiding, she meets each of the Mathus brothers one at a time. She has a huge chip on her shoulder and doesn’t make it easy for them to get to know her. Despite the instant attraction, she has a difficult time letting down her guard due to all that life has thrown at her. I love getting to see such a strong woman slowly letting go of her past and letting others in. She doesn’t let those experiences taint her and she is able to open her heart, not to just one individual, but to all three.

This story is so heart warming and a great reread for me. Though it is a menage style book, it doesn’t focus just on that aspect. It is just one small component to this book. None of the brothers have any intimate contact with one another. Most of the love scenes are between one of the brothers with Precious. Only occassionally do all for have an intimate scene.

If you are new to this genre, this would be a great introduction to this genre. The love story is what keeps me coming back and wanting to reread this book time and again. I hope that if you pick this book up, that you let me know your thoughts on it too!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Custom Built

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Author: Chantal Fernando
Genre: MC Romance
Series: Yes. Fast and Fury #1

After losing her job, saying goodbye to a lifelong dream and having an all-around cruddy year, Bronte Pierce needs a break. A job at Fast & Fury might be just the thing to reset her life, even though she knows nothing about custom motorcycles. But taking a job isn’t the same as keeping it, and her fresh start quickly turns into a fresh nightmare.

Starting with her boss. Crow is hardheaded, stubborn and brutally honest. He may be easy on the eyes, but he runs with an MC and he’s anything but friendly to Bronte. She suspects he has a softer side—just not for her.

Her whole life, Bronte has known that the only person she can truly count on to save the day is herself. But when a single murder turns into a conspiracy and the threat to her life is more than she can handle alone, it’s Crow who comes through—and her newfound family might just become her greatest strength.

Disclaimer: Synopsis and Image is from | goodreads |

* I requested and received a copy of Custom Built by @chantalfernando for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

This author has a unique style of writing. I’m not a huge fan of tell and not show. The author has a mix of this in her writing. She will describe things and then all of a sudden will then tell you things. It is a very weird mix in writing technique.

Outside of this mixture of writing techniques, I did want to continuously pick the book up. I believe I actually read the entire book in one day. I can’t remember the last time I have done this. I was that engaged in and interested in continuously reading this story.

This is an MC (motorcycle club) romance story. However, it had a lighter feel to it. Though the club is involved in some illegal things, the author didn’t show the violent aspects of being a club member. The story revolved around their legal ventures and helping Bronte with the different struggles that she was going through.

The romance that you follow is between Bronte and Crow. Bronte has fallen on some really hard times and has to look for another job. Through some family connections, she ends up getting a job working at a custom build motorcycle garage. This could also be considered an office romance as well, since the two involved work at the same place of business. The office tension was great to see develop and see how it progresses to them falling for each other as the work together.

The author did a great job of showing that, despite the tattoos and being a member of a motorcycle club, that they are still humans with all the human range of emotions. She does a great job with the theme of “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Though these two individuals come from very different backgrounds, Crow stands by her and shows how loyal and trustworthy he really is. I loved seeing the softer side to a very dominant alpha male.

I also really enjoyed that it touched on my emotions. I did tear up in some sections of the stories. I could identify with Bronte as she went through some of her experiences. Some of her losses and sense of guilt over them is very relatable. It was also great to see how the other characters supported her through these moments and allowed her to grieve but didn’t allow her to wallow to long by herself. They gave her the space to grieve, and then pulled her out and made her go on living in a very caring way.

The only thing that I didn’t really care for was the wishy washy way that some of her family members were. There was a huge secret that was revealed, but to be at the top of his organization, the reader would think that he would be a little more ruthless and on the ball of taking care of business, especially when bad things happened to his family. Instead, the author drug out these events and allowed for more painful things to occur to Bronte, instead of the uncle taking care of things like one would have thought he would do in his high position.

Overall, this is a great read. I gave it a 4 star rating and would consider reading more books in this series. I would also like to see the author get out of the tell phase and stick to just the show through her writing.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Glass Sword

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Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

Disclaimer: Synopsis and Image are from | goodreads |

Come check out my #review video for the Glass Sword by @VictoriaAveyard. This was a #buddyread with my discord group. Though we had differing opinions on the book, I have still enjoyed discussing this series with them.

Let me know in the comments if you have read this book and/or this series. What did you think of it? I would love to know!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

No Werewolves Allowed

About the Book

As a half-human, half-Drow private eye, Nyx is the go-to girl for tracking Demons in the night. So when several of New York City’s Werewolves go missing, Alpha Werewolf Dmitri Beketov hires Nyx for the job. But this time, she must leave the dark alleys and bright lights behind…

Nyx’s sixth sense tells her that life in the slow lane is a lot deadlier than it appears. Though she usually prefers to work solo, with this case she’s going to need all the help she can get. Enter Detective Adam Boyd: he’s watching her back, but is this human too sexy for his—and her—own good? Meanwhile, a powerful, malevolent force is exterminating paranorms and “unworthy†humans alike…and Nyx, still trying to get a foothold in her new surroundings, finds herself facing danger at every turn. | goodreads |

Keeping or Decluttering?

I will be adding this book into my docket for the month of October. I have an entire bookshelf of books that I’m not sure that I want to keep or declutter. Some are historical romance and some are a mix of genres.

I don’t like to keep books around collecting dust on my bookselves. The whole point, for me, of having and keeping books, are because I want to read them over and over. I don’t want to collect books just to “have” them. This also will allow me to make room for more books that I want to keep.

Let me know in the comments:

Do you keep books around even if you don’t intend to reread them again?