Blood Gamble (by Melissa F. Olson)

Urban Fantasy

When vampire celebrities start performing a show in Las Vegas that puts the entire old world at risk Dashiell sends Scarlett to investigate.

What she discovers is two vampire factions at war and vampires disappearing without a trace. Someone is using the weakness of the Las Vegas vampires to hide their own sinister agenda and Scarlett with the help of a very old cowboy are the only ones who can stop them.


I struggled a little with the Scarlett Bernard books.  They were good, well written urban fantasy but for one reason or another I just didn’t connect with Scarlett in those books and it’s hard to enjoy a book when the main character leaves you feeling nothing. So when I picked up Midnight Curse I wasn’t expecting much –– and I loved it.

I’m not sure why but I’m loving Scarlett in this series.  Blood Gamble is another solid entry in the series.  It’s not perfect, I skipped through all the romance and I think the ending felt a little rushed but there are some truly spectacular urban fantasy moments in this book.

The grieving vampire cowboy –– Best. Character. Ever.

Many thanks to 47North and Netgalley for providing me with this review copy.

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

Cold Reign (by Faith Hunter)

Urban Fantasy

’twas a dark and stormy night…

…and the European Vamps have arrive.

As the Enforcer for Leo Pellisier, New Orleans’ master vampire, it’s left to Jane to plug every supernatural hole in the dike. She and her team find themselves called from one crisis to another as revenants rise and attack the people of the city while a supernatural storm beats down on New Orleans causing riots in the streets.

Jane is struggling to keep up as the European Vampires launch one attack after another and all the while they are circling ever closer to their end game.


This book is a runaway train. It crashes along at a frenetic pace and leaves you gasping for a breath by the end. It’s brash and in your face and one of the best books in the series to date. 5 Stars.

 

 

 

 

Many thanks to Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

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

 

Where the Wild Things Bite (by Molly Harper)

Paranormal Romance

Delivering a rare book to a valued customer is definitely part of mild-mannered archivist Anna Winthrop’s job description. You know what isn’t? Protecting her precious cargo from mid-flight theft by the very pilot who is flying her to Half-Moon Hollow…while trying to appear as unappetizing as possible to the only other passenger, a vampire. Undead bookstore owner Jane Jameson could be waiting a very long time for her book. Possibly forever.

Fortunately, Anna’s dashing fanged companion Finn Palmeroy helps her fend off the attack, but not before their plane crash lands in the forest hundreds of miles from civilization. Great, now she’s stranded with a priceless tome and a rakish vampire whose bedtime is fast approaching. Why does everyone want this book so badly, anyway? Anna just wants to get it to Jane before Finn decides to turn her into dinner –– or sweep her off her feet. Okay, the second option is really tempting. But they’re not out of the woods yet…


There are some very real challenges in writing a much loved series like this one.  As the series progresses more characters are added and the author needs to write their stories and still somehow find time to give fan service to the older characters.  Characters and stories need to evolve but good luck getting that past the diehard fans without blood being spilled.

For the most part Where the Wild Things Bite delivers.  All the old characters we love and get their moment in the sun…errr….moon without in anyway detracting from the story which belongs to Anna and Finn.

If I have a criticism it’s that the first act where Anna and Finn find themselves going all Bear Grylls in the wilderness took up too much of the book.  The last third however was superb and more than made up for it.

Position in Series: Book 5

molly

 

 

 

 

1 –– The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires
2 –– A Witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses
3 –– The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire
4 –– The Single Undead Mom’s Club
5 –– Where the Wild Things Bite

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

Many thanks to Pocket Books and Edelweiss for providing me with this ARC.

 

 

Boundary Born (by Melissa F. Olson)

Urban Fantasy

Something wicked is at work in Colorado’s supernatural community. Vampires are being paralyzed or killed with poison…a weapon favored by witches. This offense threatens to break apart the already-fractured alliance between witches and the undead.

The state’s cardinal vampire, Maven, summons boundary witch Allison “Lex” Luther to stop the killing before it ignites a war. Lex has barely started investigating when she gets another surprise: the biological father she’s never met arrives on her doorstep. He has answers to all of Lex’s questions about her bloodline, but getting those answers could mean betraying the life she’s already built.

Then the next vampire is poisoned—and this time it’s Maven herself. The new evil that hunts Lex is powerful and ruthless enough to stop the strongest supernatural creature in the state. In order to find such a killer, Lex will have to face down her own birthright and call on every ally—both living and dead.


With Boundary Born Melissa F. Olson has done something quite remarkable. She’s given to me a book I just can’t fault. It’s perfect in every way.  I keep expecting the wheels to fall off and this series keep surprising me.

Now I’m thinking I need to go back and give her Scarlett Bernard series a second chance.  I read book one, wasn’t impressed and walked away, but now I’m wondering how much I’m missing out on.

bound

 

Position in Series: Book 3

1 –– Boundary Crossed
2 –– Boundary Lines
3 –– Boundary Born

 

 

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

 

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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Boundary Magic (by Melissa F. Olsen)

Boundary Crossed (book 1)

While saving her niece from a kidnapping attempt Lex is stabbed multiple times. She shouldn’t be alive. Her heart stopped on the operating table. Then just as the doctor is about to call time of death, it starts beating again.

That’s Lex’s introduction into the supernatural world of vampires and witches. As a boundary witch, a witch who has power over life and death she has never received any training and the leader of the local coven wants to keep it that way. She’s just too dangerous. But she will do anything to protect her niece, even enter into a partnership with the vampires, the vampires who want to see just how powerful she is.


 

Boundary Lines (book 2)

Something is out of whack in the Old World and the vampires, werewolves and witches are all acting strangely. Someone is messing with the line and with Maven, Colorado’s ruling vampire, in a power struggle she has entrusted her most recent employee boundary witch Lex with sorting it all out.

She finds herself not just walking the line between the supernatural groups and stopping a war, but also dealing with ghosts and an ancient predator that will require the vampires, werewolves and witches to unite if they are to have any chance of killing it.


 

So much fun.  I picked up book one expecting to kill some time while I was waiting for some of my tried and true authors to release books.  This series is anything but killing time. It’s completely addictive.  Lovers of Faith Hunter and Patricia Briggs won’t be disappointed with these books.  They’re great fun and yes, Melissa F. Olsen is joining the list of authors I madly follow.

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

Fangs for the Memories (by Molly Harper)

Paranormal Romance

After being used and abused by her former lover, Andrea is shy of relationships. The last person on earth she wants to have anything to do with is Dick Cheney who reminds her more than just a little of the asshat who broke her heart.

For his part Dick knows Andrea is skittish and makes every effort to woo her without frightening her. However it remains to be seen if his redneck charm, his whacky t-shirt collection and his 1973 Chevrolet El Camino are enough to win her.


Dick Cheney and Andrea have been supporting characters throughout Molly Harper’s Jane Jameson and Half Moon Hollow series’. Finally after 8 books we get the story that everyone has been waiting for. How Andrea and Dick Cheney became a thing.

Fangs for the Memories is on the shorter side of novellas coming in at just under 90 pages. It has Molly Harper’s trademark snark and wit and is an entertaining though very quick read. With books this short I always look at the price before I recommend them. The Kindle version is available for around $1.40 which in my opinion is a fair price for a novella from an author as classy as Molly Harper. An audiobook version narrated by the truly amazing Amanda Ronconi is also available for a few dollars more.

So no complaints from me. A great little book, a fair price, and I’m tempted to buy the audiobook just because Amanda Ronconi really is that good.

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

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