Running Wild (by Linda Howard & Linda Jones)

https://i2.wp.com/d.gr-assets.com/books/1351606543l/16118704.jpgOn the run from a psychopathic stalker, Carlin never stays in one place for long. She avoids drawing attention to herself and always keeps her “run kit” at hand just in case she needs to make a quick escape. When she arrives in Battle Ridge, Wyoming, she takes a job as a housekeeper for a rancher. She is immediately attracted to Zeke but life on the run leaves little room for romance and she does everything in her power to keep him at a distance. But it’s hard to keep him at a distance when they’re living under the same roof.

Running Wild is not overly complicated. The authors deliver exactly what their readers want, good romantic fiction with a healthy dose of humor and suspense.

 

Many thanks to Random House & Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

The Coven series (by Trish Milburn)

Book 1, White Witch

Jax is no ordinary high-school girl. She’s a witch with a powerful darkness inside her. After fleeing from her coven she finds herself in the mountains of North Carolina where she can hopefully live a peaceful life. But Jax knows more than anyone what the coven will do to someone who leaves.

As she attends school she makes a couple of friends and actually starts dating. But things are never that simple especially when her boyfriend, Keller, comes from a family of supernatural hunters.  Keller and his father have dedicated their lives to killing her kind, and she is struggling to keep her burgeoning powers under control.

Book 2, Bane

 

The darkness inside her is starting to assert more control and Jax travels to Salem in search of answers. She desperately needs to find the Bane, a shadowy group of witches who might just hold the secrets to containing her powers. But they are elusive and she’s not sure what kind of welcome she will get from them even if she does find them.

While she hunts for answers, somebody is hunting her. A supernatural hunter who is seen as a zealot even by other supernatural hunters. And her coven is suspiciously quiet which can only mean storm clouds are on the horizon.

Book 3, Magick

 

The Coven Series is Young Adult Urban Fantasy at its absolute best.  It does everything I expect from books in this genre and does it superbly. The series is great fun and completely addictive.

The best urban fantasy I’ve read since Carolyn Crane’s The Disilluionists trilogy.

Checkmate (by R.L. Mathewson)

…he had to touch her, had to kiss her and he did just that.
“Ow!” he winced, stepping away from Rory as he rubbed the back of his head where it suddenly throbbed. He looked over his shoulder and found all five of her brothers watching them with innocent doe-like expressions on their faces.
“It was a squirrel,” Craig said somehow keeping a straight face.
“Vicious little bastards,” Bryce added solemnly.
“You should really be careful,” Johnny added before mouthing “bitch.”

Rory and Connor have been bitter enemies since pre-school. Over the years their many battles have become folklore and they’ve been banned from just about every establishment in town. When their building companies are awarded a joint contract to renovate a hotel the sparks immediately start flying. It’s a knock down drag out battle for the right to be called the #1 building contractor in town. But maybe their biggest problem is that they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other.


R.L. Mathewson’s A Neighbor from Hell series is whacky and completely off the wall. As an independent author she doesn’t have the same resources as other authors, but she still manages to deliver books that are polished and completely addictive. She’s the best thing since sliced bread and Checkmate is yet another fun read you won’t want to end.

Days of Blood & Starlight (by Laini Taylor)

Days of Blood & Starlight is book two of a trilogy.  This review may contain spoilers.  

For thousands of years Angels and Chimaera had fought a brutal war of attrition. In Daughter of Smoke & Bone the Chimaera’s greatest secret was discovered and the Angels pressed their advantage, defeating the Chimaera.

The war is over and the Chimaera armies have been decimated, but what follows war is not peace but genocide.  The Angels have turned their attention to the innocent civilians and are hunting them down like animals.

Bitter and broken from what Akiva has done, Karou has joined a small group of Chimaera warriors who survived the final battle. They are led by Thiago, a narcissist and sociopath whose goal is not to protect Chimaera but to exact a bloody revenge.  As the only surviving resurrectionist Thiago needs Karou to build him an army. She finds his tactics repugnant but can she stand up to him when she hasn’t got a single ally?

Akiva is crushed with guilt over what he has brought about.  As he watches the genocide unfolding he makes a decision to turn against his own and protect the innocent Chimaera. But what can a single angel do in the face of so many?

Days of Blood & Starlight is as close to perfect as it’s possible to get. In parts it’s an extremely uncomfortable book to read and I literally had to put it down because I couldn’t go on.  But before very long I just had to pick it up and continue. It’s a powerful story about  good versus evil; love versus hate; hope versus despair.

A Penny’s Worth (by Nancy DeRosa)

Penny is approaching 40, single, with no friends and a job that is sucking the life out of her. Even her family don’t think she will ever amount to much.

Desperate to turn her life around she quits her job as a school nurse and manages to find a job working in the oncology ward at her local hospital. Caring for cancer patients she is able to find the self worth that has eluded her. But every step forward she takes, her critical and overbearing mother is dragging her two steps back.

A Penny’s Worth is very much a Cinderella story, complete with the wicked step-mother and sisters. It’s a fairytale for adults which never gets overly complicated and always manages to stay positive and upbeat.

Many thanks to Fingerpress and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

Three Strong Words (by Becky S. Araujo)

I originally reviewed this book as a guest reader for The Indie Bookshelf. The Indie Bookshelf is a blog created and run by a group of frighteningly talented women that supports independent authors.   It is something like an Aladdin’s Cave for book lovers and a great place to find your next book. 

http://www.theindiebookshelf.blogspot.com

I hate you. I never actually said those words aloud to him but in the beginning I sure did think it a lot. The thought of being near him sent nausea churning through my stomach and hearing his name caused my temper to flare to the point where I could almost feel my blood boil. Aiden Parker, every time I look at you three words always run around in my head. I hate you.

Aidan’s father is widely known as the most racist man in town. A man who enjoys beating up people of color for kicks.

When Esmeralda, a young Hispanic woman, is forced to do a joint school project with Aidan there are immediate fireworks. In her opinion, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and she isn’t going to take any abuse from him. But over time she comes to realize that he is completely different to his father and their initial antagonism turns to attraction.

This book isn’t perfect. There are things which just didn’t work. There was a (thankfully) brief detour into a courtroom drama which fell flat and honestly didn’t belong in this book. But those little blips don’t add up to much and there are so many good things about this book that I can’t help but love it.