Angel Stakes (by Mark Henwick)

Urban Fantasy

After travelling to New Mexico to rescue Diana (book 4, Cool Hand), Amber was on the brink of going rogue. With her kin’s help she managed to fight it off but there remains a sickness in her soul that is poisoning her. She needs to deal with that, she needs to recover. But without even a moment to catch her breath she is called to Los Angeles to once again walk the fine line between the warring parties of Athanate, Were and Adept.

Not only must she try to form an alliance with the Were, she has to hunt down and deal with an evil which has been 10 years in the making.

One of the weaknesses in Urban Fantasy (in my opinion) is that stories are essentially stagnant. Authors just throw bigger and badder villains into the mix while the main characters essentially remain unchanged. It’s why I start to lose patience with a series after two or three books. Not here. As the story develops, the characters develop, they become more, they mature and they learn from their mistakes.

If there is a weakness, I think it is that you can read the early books in isolation, but as the series develops that’s less the case. I’m a Mark Henwick junkie so I don’t mind, but some might. Still, you could do a lot worse than jumping into this series. Start with Raw Deal the novella that introduces Amber Farrell, if you love that, your love will only increase as you continue.

Great book, great series.

Position in Series:  Book 5

markhenwick0.5 – Raw Deal
1 – Sleight of Hand
2 – Hidden Trump
3 – Wild Card
4 – Cool Hand
5 – Angel Stakes


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The Thirteenth Earl (by Evelyn Pryce)

Historical Romance (Victorian Era)

Jonathan Vane, the 13th Earl of Thaxton and Lady Cassandra Seton first meet at a Country Party hosted by his good friend Spencer and his wife Eliza. For his part Jonathan is a reluctant attendee preferring a solitary life, while Cassandra is there to finally meet her long absent fiancé.

Miles, the fiancé is a cad and a bounder and the Earl takes it upon himself to rescue her from him. She deserves much better than Miles, and he is determined to see her set right…just not with him. A family curse makes him the worst possible prospect.

And it seems the curse is coming to fruition. Jonathan and Cassandra join forces to expose a charlatan, thwart a villainous plot and if Jonathan can survive the curse perhaps find they are meant to be together.

The Thirteenth Earl has pretty much everything you could hope for. A brooding hero, a plucky heroine and a dastardly villain ––  throw in a family curse, a duel at dawn and midnight assignations in the hedge maze and you’re left with a complete romp, all set on a country estate in the mid-Victorian era. It really is a lot of fun.

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 10.26.54 PMMany thanks to Montlake Romance and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

Orange, Red, Yellow. What it means: YOR-Guide

Shadow Rites (by Faith Hunter)

Urban Fantasy 

Witches and vampires have been at war for more than a thousand years. But with the impending visit of the European vampires to New Orleans, Leo (the Master Vampire of NOLA and the Southern U.S.) needs to shore up his territory, and an accord with the witches is one way to do that.

With so many witches from all over the U.S. landing in New Orleans it’s crucial that nothing happens to disrupt the meeting. Then a very old vampire is found chained in a submerged pit in the bayou and all the evidence points to her being put there by witches.  All of a sudden, not only is the meeting in jeopardy there is a good chance the discovery could lead to open war.

Jane is given the job of finding the guilty party and saving the peace treaty.


Shadow Rites is another entertaining instalment in the Skinwalker series. It has the welcome return of Beast who seemed to be taking a back seat for a few books as well as other favorite characters, Molly and Angie.  It’s good –– perhaps even great.

But I do have an issue.  The European Vampires impending visit was first mentioned three, maybe four books ago.  And we’re still waiting.  I kind of feel like saying ‘get on with it already’.

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(The 2 New) Jane Yellowrock Novellas

Leading up to the release of Shadow Rites Faith Hunter released two new novellas set just before the witch conclave.  Personally, I think the Jane Yellowrock novellas are hit and miss and more often than not they’re miss.  In this case, Cat Fight was great! Well worth the effort.  Bound no More … not so much. It was like she threw a couple of favorite characters at the page and that was it for story. It really felt like a waste of time to me, but perhaps the die hard fans will enjoy it.

Cat Fight

Jane travels to the bayou to sort out a   Hatfield / McCoy feud over a magical talisman.




Bound no More

Molly and Angie visit Jane in New Orleans and are attacked by a dragon.

White Trash Zombie Gone Wild (by Diana Rowland)

Urban Fantasy 

Angel returns for the 5th instalment in the White Trash Zombie series.  In this book the zombie movie that was filmed in her home town is finally ready for release and the whole town has gone zombie crazy.  Unfortunately one of the films producers has a flash drive which shows footage of actual zombies –– at least he did until he showed up dead minus his head and the flash drive.

With the rest of the zombie tribe busy it’s up to Angel to track down the murderer, find the drive and keep the existence of zombies a secret.


First of all let me say that there is a lot of back story to this series and I don’t think White Trash Zombie Gone Wild will work as a stand-alone.  So if you haven’t read My Life as a White Trash Zombie don’t let the covers put you off, the whole series is a complete hoot.

Perhaps an even better idea would be to listen to the audiobooks narrated by Allison McLemore.  She has a voice which drips Southern honey and makes an already entertaining book great.

As far as White Trash Zombie Gone Wild goes, it’s a solid return to form for Diana Rowland.  White Trash Zombie Apocalypse (book 3) honestly felt like a victory lap, and I considered walking away.  Thankfully I didn’t.  How the White Trash Zombie got Her Grrove Back (book 4) was great, and White Trash Zombie Gone Wild is even better.  It’s probably the best since the My Life as a White Trash Zombie (book 1)

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 6.44.49 PMOrange, Red, Yellow. What it means: YOR-Guide

The Jamie Quinn Novellas 1~3 (by Barbara Venkataraman)

Cozy Mystery

1. Death by Didgeridoo

When Jamie’s cousin who has Asperger’s Syndrome is accused of murder, his mother begs her to represent him.  Divorces and custody battles are a long way from criminal law but Jamie knows her cousin is innocent and is determined to protect him –– and with the police adamant that they have their man it’s up to Jamie (with the help of a womanising PI) to find the real killer.




2. The Case of the Killer Divorce

In the middle of a bitter custody battle the former husband winds up dead and the former wife is the prime suspect.  Jamie enlists the help of her friend and PI Duke to get to the bottom of the mystery.





3. Peril in the Park

Vandals have been targeting the public parks and Jamie’s boyfriend Kip is determined to find the culprits.  But when someone is murdered the harmless pranks take on a very sinister edge.  With office politics, property developers and disgruntled former employees there are plenty of suspects.  Jamie and Duke step in to help out and catch the killer.




Novellas by nature are a curse wrapped up in a blessing.  The blessing is that the shorter format doesn’t allow the story to drag.  The writer has to hit the ground running and there isn’t any room for unnecessary details.  The curse is that because of that character and story development are generally quite sparse.

So calling a spade a spade there is all of that, both the blessings and the curses but when taken as a package these three novellas manage to pack in the character development and back story quite well and the author even manages to introduce characters I want to learn more about as the series progresses.

All in all, a very enjoyable mystery series.

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 10.26.54 PMMany thanks to Barbara Venkataraman who provided me with review copies.

Orange, Red, Yellow. What it means: YOR-Guide