Echoed Defiance (by K.N. Banet)

Urban Fantasy

Rumours have been whispered for years about the brutality of the Alpha of the Russian werewolf pack and his inner circle. But they remained rumours until one submissive female werewolf plunged a knife into his chest.

Now the Russian pack are cleaning house and doing everything in their power to silence dissent and hold onto their power.

Standing against the Russian werewolves is suicide and nobody is willing to put their life on the line. But Jacky Leon is a Werecat and the number one predator in the United States and she won’t abandon those in need even at the cost of her life.


Echoed Defiance is so much fun. Jacky Leon is Wonder Woman. Honestly, all the women in this book are incredible. They don’t need to be saved, they’ll save themselves dammit!  And one of the great things is I didn’t even realise it until the slap (you’ll have to read the book if you want to know what that means).  5 runaway train stars.

Many thanks to the author who provided me with a review copy of this book.  

Cash Blackbear mysteries (by Marcie Rendon)

Murder on the Red River (book 1)

Like thousands of Native Americans, Cash was taken from her mother and entered the system as a young child. Now an adult she is a chain-smoking farm worker who hustles a pool table for drinks every night.
She lives the small life, the life of getting by, that is lived by everyone who has no money. When the body of a Native American man is found in a field she investigates his murder.

 

 

Girl Gone Missing (book 2)

Cash has enrolled in college and is struggling to balance life on campus with driving a farm truck and hustling a pool table.  When girls start to go missing, all blonde haired and blue eyed she finds herself pulled into the investigation.

 

 

 

 

There isn’t much I can say that will do justice to the Cash Blackbear series.  It’s gritty and real, like a punch in the gut. Marcie R. Rendon uses her craft to not only tell a story that drags you through the pages, she also manages to weave in lessons that every single person needs to hear.

5 Stars.

The Silence (by Kendra Elliot)

Romantic Suspense

A paranoid conspiracy nut is murdered outside Portland, and Detective Mason Callahan catches the case. While at his home he stumbles upon a plot blow up a government building but as the police race there a sniper starts shooting, killing and injuring multiple police officers.

With the killer seeming to taunt the police and leads thin on the ground, Ava and Mason find themselves in the killer’s sights.


The Silence is an entertaining book that bends under the weight of the unlikeliness of the plot.
Was it too much?
It probably depends on where you are coming from. If you want a police procedural that’s true to life, this isn’t your book. But if you want some entertaining romantic suspense you’ll probably love this book despite the few liberties the author takes.

Many thanks to Montlake and Netgalley for providing me with this review copy

Snared (by K.N. Banet)

Urban Fantasy

Kaliya deals with the very worst of the supernatural community. The killers and the politicians. And sometimes they are one and the same.

While performing a routine prison inspection, she and Raphael are attacked and find themselves battling for their lives. Not only must they stay alive, they need to find out who orchestrated the attack and who was the target. Kaliya or Raphael?


Snared is like standing in front of a speaker stack at a concert. It thumps into you from beginning to end.

 

The author’s Jacky Leon series is very much Urban Fantasy but Kaliya Sahni despite being set in the same world feels a little different. It’s a Marvel Superhero Comic. You can almost see the characters rendered in beautifully illustrated panels.

Loved this book.

A review copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Damage in an Undead Age (by A.M. Geever)

Horror / Zombie Apocalypse

Miranda, Mario and Doug left San Jose (Love in an Undead Age Book 1) with a mission. To find a vaccine for the zombie virus and make it available for all.

In Damage in an Undead Age they have managed to set themselves up in an abandoned university where Mario can work on the vaccine. But there are enemies everywhere and the price demanded of them might be too much for anyone to pay.


It’s easy to forget that zombie apocalypse books are a sub-genre of horror. Over the years they have fallen into a predictable pattern and when you pick one up you can check off all the tropes. 

Escape the city – check
Visit Walmart – check
Build a fort – check
Battle a zombie horde – check

Not so here. This series is completely original and it turns the genre on its head with a bit of a nudge back towards the horror end of the spectrum.

Honestly, it’s brutal in parts and difficult to read at times –– and it’s completely brilliant. Can’t wait for book 3!

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Bounty (by Kristen Banet)

Urban Fantasy

Returning home from attending the trial of Jacky Leon (Oath Sworn) Kaliya, one of the last nagini, stumbles into a job searching for a human on the run. She is doing it as a favour for a friend, but then Sinclair a cold blooded vampire killer joins the hunt things get personal.

Raphael has been on the run for 5 years. Moving from town to town, working for cash in hand, always staying just ahead of his pursuers. Those who want him will stop at nothing and he has never had an ally, at least not until Kaliya showed up.


Bounty is the first in a new urban fantasy series set in the same world as Jacky Leon. It’s actually a little more dense than most UF. Kaliya is a nagini and that needs a bit of explaining and Raphael is something completely new so more world building. But explanations are left intentionally sparse with the idea that things will gradually be revealed as the series progresses so it’s not too much.

I don’t think it’s for everyone, this series will take a commitment (much more so than Jacky Leon) but for those who are willing to put in the effort it’s well worth it. And if kick ass women who don’t need rescuing are what you want, look no further.

A review copy of this book was provided to me by the author.

Inside Straight (by Mark Henwick)

Urban Fantasy

Tullah is in hiding, separated from her dragon spirit guide Kaothos. She is being hunted by different factions of the community of adepts, their motives are shrouded. Amber is also separated from her spirit guides, Hana the wolf and Tara her sister.

And time is running out.

Amber needs to find Tullah and bring all the spirit guides home but to do so she will need to embrace her own adept abilities, abilities that are reviled by all the adept communities as dark and forbidden.


Inside Straight is very different to the other books in the Bite Back series. It’s the book that unites all three parts of Amber Farrell, the Athanate (vampire), the Were and the Adept (witch). It also has the feel of a requiem, like it’s the end of one phase in the story and the beginning of the next phase.

This entire series is brilliant. It’s redefining the genre. It takes the best that has come before and reinvents it. I don’t read male authors. Look at my books and you will see that 90% plus were written by women. Mark Henwick is probably the only male author I will buy without a second thought. He’s a favorite author and an author whose books I will read and reread again and again.

Is this a 5 Star book? I don’t really know. When you love a series as much as I love this series it’s not easy to be objective but it’s a 5 Star book for me.

Love in an Undead Age (by A.M. Geever)

Zombies / Dystopian

It’s not always easy to define zombie books.
At one end they are a sub-genre of Horror, but they can also be a sub-genre of Romance and even humour.
I’ve always had a basic model of what a zombie book is, based on a bunch of recurring themes and archetypes.
There are of course brain eating undead.
They usually come from the south. There is a plucky band of survivors. A Walmart. A fort. I could go on but you get the idea.
I guess those things are the rules of the genre.

Authors love breaking rules but I haven’t read a zombie book that has broken this many of them.

First of all Love in an Undead Age is set years after the zombie apocalypse. There is a vaccine and that vaccine is controlled by the City Council. Surviving infection is all about getting vaccinated but the council are anything but benevolent.

In something of a cold war with the council is the Jesuit priests. They don’t have the vaccine but control much of the food. They also have an audacious plan to make the vaccine available to all.

And there you have the basic premise.


I loved this book if for no other reason than it is so different from everything else. It’s not an easy book. It’s quite dense and the set-up was tough going but when it clicks into gear it’s a runaway train.

Many thanks to the author who provided me with this review copy.  

A Merciful Promise (by Kendra Elliot)

Romantic Suspense 

Mercy finds herself seconded to the ATF to infiltrate an anti-government militia. Intelligence suggests they have illegal firearms and explosives and plan on acting against the government.

Meanwhile her fiancé, Truman, is investigating a series of execution style murders in his town.


The Mercy Kilpatrick books are a rare pleasure for me. These are the books I wait for and when I finally get them I just want them to go on forever. A Merciful Promise is another seat of your pants adventure in a series that is yet to disappoint me.

Many thanks to Montlake Romance for providing me with this review copy.

Storm of Locusts (by Rebecca Roanhorse)

Dystopia / Urban Fantasy

When the waters rose gods and monsters were set free and once again walk amongst us. Maggie is a Navajo monster hunter, the God Killer. She killed coyote and trapped Neizghani (Book 1: Trail of Lightning), now a new threat has emerged. A cult led the elusive White Locust has kidnapped two of her friends and Maggie is determined to rescue them.


Occasionally a writer comes along who changes everything in a genre.
They make you excited again.
It’s like everything is right with the world.

Mark Henwick is one of those authors. He took an old idea and made it exciting and surprising again.
And Rebecca Roanhorse is one of those authors as well.

She takes themes I’ve read before. Things I’ve seen dozens of times. But she saturates them with authenticity and somehow makes them original. I wish I knew more about the myths and lore of the Diné –– I don’t but this book feels right, it feels respectful of the Navajo people and their traditions, and I love it for that.

But it’s much more than that.  It’s a book that will suck you in and entertain you until the very last page.