Teresaelectro’s #CBR5 Reviews 13-16: Sabina Kane books 2-5

#CBR5 Review #13: The Mage in Black by Jaye Wells (3 stars):

The Mage in Black is the second book in the Sabina Kane series by Jaye Wells. Sabina Kane is a half-vampire, half-mage (witch) assassin for the Vampire council. At least, she was until she learned her grandmother who rules the vamps betrays her in book 1 and tries to kill her. Those two never really got along since Sabina isn’t a pureblood and has been corrupted by icky mage blood. Sabina joins forces with a sexy mage agent named Adam working for the Hekate Council. They flee to NYC to meet Sabina’s long lost twin sister. Together with the countcil, they must plan the next move against the vampires who are hellbent on mage genocide.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between the sisters. They are twins but with opposite upbringings (vamp vs. mage). Sabina also has an undeniable attraction to Adam even though it’s forbidden for mages and vampires to get together. Good thing she’s half-mage. Sabina, Gilguhl and Adam become an even more formidable trio by the end of this book.

#CBR5 Review #14: Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells (4 stars):

enjoyed this third book much more than its predecessors. Sabina finally embraces both parts of her vamp/mage heritage. And damn does she kick some ass. Unfortunately, for them the vamps are playing dirty and weilding some mage magic of their own. Her relationship with Adam has progressed faster than expected, which has her worried he may become a distraction from the mission. I absolutely loved all of the colorful new characters they dig up in NOLA. Sabina once a lone assassin now has a host of allies willing to help her foil her grandmother’s plans. And with each book, we uncover more about Sabina’s past and whether this prophecy is worth its salt.

#CBR5 Review #15: Silver-Tongued Devil by Jaye Wells (5 stars):

This was my favorite book of the series because it starts out with the supernatural war relatively wrapped up and descends into chaos with each oncoming chapter. I suspected the villain, but was pleasantly surprised by the final twist. The ending was so gut-wrenching because the characters grew so much only to be knocked on their asses. It really sets up the final entry where the stakes could not be higher in this supernatural war.

#CBR5 Review #16: Blue-Blooded Vamp by Jaye Wells (4 stars):

Sabina has come full-circle from the first book where she lived a lone vampire assassin existence. All the characters from past books re-appear and show the part they had to play in her journey. Wells kept her black humor and didn’t forget to keep the action going until the very end. All in all a great ending for a this urban fantasy series.

I would recommend this series for fans of no-nonsense female characters and age old wars between supernatural races.

Read the full reviews for books 2-5 on my blog.

Teresaelectro’s #CBR5 Review #12: Assassins in Love by Kris DeLake

Assassins in Love is the first in a new series of books written by Kris DeLake.

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This was obviously another vaginal fantasy pick. I was pretty skeptical based on the title. I had some time to kill before Thanksgiving dinner, so decided to read a few pages. Surprisingly, I was hooked by the second chapter, which made my 82 year old grandmother quite curious to know what the heck I was doing in my room and not helping in the kitchen! The book is told from both assassins’ POV with alternating chapters.

The setup reminded me alot of Mr. and Mrs Smith with Brangelina. Rikki is an independent assassin on job on a cruise spaceship. She’s already done the deed but having trouble desposing of the body through an airlock. Out of nowhere this mysterious and surreally attractive guy, Misha, comes to her rescue. He opens airlock two seconds before guards descend upon them. They pretend to be a drunk couple trying to get it on who hit the button by mistake. Since Misha is a VIP guest, they stroll back to the bar with only a warning. Rikki is speechless (maybe by his beauty) and has to go along with everything until she can escape. But maybe she doesn’t want to escape? Misha too can’t concentrate around her. He’s blown away by her – smart, somehow manages to work freelance when the Guild is a much safer bet, beautiful and suspicious of him. He tells her he wants to recruit her for the Guild. He also mentions they met before. Rikki doesn’t remember him and hates organized groups (too many rules). First chance she gets, she steals an escape pod and runs away from those beautiful ice blue eyes.

I know what you’re thinking, this has cheesy romance written all over it. But actually, there’s a deeper story from when they met originally. It was rather cool following Rikki’s past as her memories slowly return while simultaneously Misha who is completely omniscient about those events dropping clues for her. I also loved this future where assassin work is totally legit if the person has broken the law or wronged someone. Corporations have to stay in line lest a ninja assassin comes out the shadows and wastes them. The attraction between Misha and Rikki started off a bit cheesy since they had to be all over each immediately to save their skins. Even still, they remain suspicous of each other since assassins aren’t supposed to drop their guards. But there’s something they can’t seem to deny in the end. Yes, an attraction, but also a subtle curiousity to learn more about each other.

I would recommend this book for fans of futuristic urban fantasy and action oriented romance novels. The Assassins Guild series continues with completely new characters in the same setting.

Read my other reviews on my tumblr.

Teresaelectro’s #CBR5 Review #11: Dark Currents by Jaqueline Carey

Daisy Johanssen on paper is a clerk for the police chief, but behind the scenes she keeps the peace between the eldritch (supernatural) and human communities in the local resort town of Pemkowet. Her father is an incubus laughing it up in hell after he tricked and impregnated her mother. Daisy has lived her life hiding her demon tail and keeping her 7 deady sins in check as much as possible. If she ever embraces her paternal demon powers, it could bring on an apocalypse (which her dear old pop would totally get behind). Her half-human, half-demon parentage makes her the perfect liaison to the police and enforcer for the Norse goddess, Hel who rules these parts.

All things are relatively quiet in Pemkowet until a local college kid drowns in the lake. Tourists come into town for cheap thrills and to gawk at the supernatural community, but certainly not to die! In short order, Daisy is paired up with a her high school crush, Cody Fairfax, police detective and secret werewolf. They must solve the murder before the conservative community riot and disrupt the uneasy alliance between humans and eldritch. Also, a sexy ghoul has strolled into town and caught Daisy’s eye. Even though he lives off human emotions, he seems on the level and offers his assistance. Unsure who to trust, Daisy & Cody question all the other local supernaturals starting with the naiads who are water creatures known to cause trouble.

I would recommend this book for fans of the Sookie Stackhouse series who yearn for less romantic melodrama, paranormal mystery lovers & those sick of stories with the vamps vs. werewolves dynamic.

Read the rest of my book review here.

Teresaelectro’s #CBR5 Review #10: The Angel Stone by Juliet Dark

The Angel Stone is the final chapter of the Fairwick Chronicles trilogy See my previous reviews here and here. Beware small spoilers to follow!

Callie McFay is a literature professor (at only 27, mind you) at a small liberal arts college in New England. In the previous books, she discovers her father was fey and her mother a powerful witch, their frowned upon union giving birth to her. On top of her mixed supernatural heritage, she is a doorkeeper – born with the power to open the door between Faerie and the human realm. She fell in love with not one (an irish professor named Liam) but two! (a handyman named Bill) incarnations of an incubus. Apparently, it was true love which restored the demon lover to his former human form. Shame it was two seconds before his throat was cut by a nasty fallen angel. Book 2 ends with Callie losing her true love and the door to Faerie closed forever…or is it?

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And so begins book 3 with things looking very bleak for the sleepy town of Fairwick. All the supernatural professors including the former dean were forced to return to Faerie leaving the school open for a fallen angel aka nephilim takeover. Duncan Laird is the big bad from book 2 and now has become dean, formed a fraternity full of bastard nephilim boys. It reminded me of the fifth Harry Potter novel, everything becomes more and more unbearable for the characters with each turning page.  In similar fashion, Callie and the remaining supernaturals in town form a secret resistance and vow to find a door to Faerie to uncover the angel stone, the only weapon again the nephilim.

I would recommend this novel for fans of scottish fairy tales, nephilim myths and novels about true love that doesn’t involve abstinence.

Read the full book review on my blog.

Teresaelectro’s #CBR5 Review #9: Thorn Queen by Richelle Mead

I voraciously consumed the Georgina Kincaid series by Richelle Mead. Meaning when I came across the Dark Swan books, I was instantly intrigued. Storm Born was an easy read with another kick-ass female protagonist – a shaman named Eugenie Markham. However, the tone of this series seemed far more serious than a succubus demon with romance problems. Nevertheless, I delved into the second book, Thorn Queen with no expectations.

In the first book, Eugenie discovers her father was the brutal, all powerful Storm King. A prophecy foretells she will deliver a male heir who will rule both the human dimension and the Otherworld. Thus, she must continually fight off creatures trying to impregnate her by any means necessary (i.e. rape). None of the supernaturals seem to have heard of birth control, which could totally throw a wrench in the works. Eugenie simply decides to never have kids and stay vigilant with her pill. Voila. Apocalypse averted. [small spoiler] At the climax of this first book, when Eugenie defeats an evil king, she inherits a kingdom in the Otherworld that is physically and emotionally tied to her, even when she’s crossed over by to the human world. This means she immediately and at no warning from her sexy OtherWorld tutor/ally King Dorian transforms the lush land into a desert. Almost a near replica of her Tuczon, AZ home in the human world.

 

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At the start of Thorn Queen Eugenie doesn’t want to be Queen of anything. She is afraid of the strong storm magic from her evil father who liked to murder people with lightening for fun. She rather keep her that part of her locked away, content with her semi-uneventful shamanistic existence. But she can’t give up her kingdom that easy. If she’s in the human world too long, the land literally suffers without her – a fierce drought has taken hold of the land and the fae have no irrigation systems. She takes pity on them and is eventually talked into harnessing some power to call rain for crops. Too bad, she’s pretty shit at it. Raw storms with killing lightening come natural, but seasonal rain not so much.

She calls again upon Dorian for help, who says in not so many worlds he still wants to bang her, but only willingly. And she’ll thank him for it. Talk about sure of yourself. In the end, since he likes her and is such a nice guy, he agrees to help her with no strings attached. Eugenie still suspicious demands a female teacher this time around since things got a little hot and heavy last time. So Dorian offers to lend his number 1 mistress to teach her magic. And let me tell ya, that lady is NOT pleased. Eugenie is offended but decides to get in a few quickie sessions. The plan is to learn air and water magic, call some rain, abdicate that throne and get the hell out of dodge. Leaving behind the temptation for power (and sex from Dorian) in the Otherworld. In the human world, she lives with her veterinarian/shapeshifting fox boyfriend who just moved in with her. However, even that situation is a bit of a pickle. His ex-girlfriend Faery queen is having his baby back in the Otherworld. These fae don’t get pregnant often and consider babymaking a dying art.

In summary, this Eugenie gal has to contend with a new kingdom, powerful seductive magic, hot Dorian, also hot boyfriend, potential supernatural rapists and figuring how to give up said kingdom. Throw in a mystery of disappearing girls and we got shitload of subplots going on in this book. Mead surprisingly juggles all these stakes quite well. I was way more engaged than with the first book. Instead of being afraid of the Otherworld, Eugenie feels a motherly allegiance for her kingdom especially when she learns innocent girls are being kidnapped. And with the prophecy, there is this undercurrent of anxiety with her every move. She could be seduced by her own power and embrace that dark prophecy at any moment. We do see a glimpse of her power, but of course we must wait until book 3 to see how it all unfolds.

A few spoiler-free reviews on goodreads have me quite apprehensive about the last book saying it took a horrible near offensive turn. So naturally, I’m curious for Iron Crowned but not sure I’m up for a character sabotage. Definitely at the bottom of my library wishlist.

Read my other reviews and musings on my blog.

Teresaelectro’s #CBR5 Review #8: The Water Witch by Carol Goodman

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The Water Witch is the second book in The Fairwick Chronicles trilogy. Its predecessor Incubus (see my previous #CBR5 review) was a random library pick and turned out to be more enjoyable than expected. Thus, I was quite keen to see what was to unfold in the next book.

In chapter 1, Callie is reeling from banishing her super hot, scotch drinking demon lover Liam to the Borderlands (aka some fairy purgatory). She’s tempted to bring him back to the human world, but unless she truly loves him, he will remain an incubus and will most likely kill her. Death by a super hot lover might not be so bad, but probably isn’t worth the risk. Talk about a stress on a new relationship.

Callie throws herself into her professor duties during the day while attempting to harness her inner magic skills by night. Being half-fey and half-witch she has awesome power within her. And to boot, she is a rare doorkeeper, one who can open the door to Faery. Unfortunately, pretty much most of her spells blow up in her face. The dean of the school recruits a mysterious wizard tutor to give her private lessons like shapeshifting into a deer. Kinda neat, but running around the forest naked is all fun and games until the spell wears off.

Despite not liking it as much as the first book, the world of this book like Callie’s magic skills have a lot of potential. I’ll be hanging in for the conclusion in The Angel Stone.

Full review along with a varied selection of puppy and cloud pictures on my blog.

CBR Gift Exchange: Thanks Caitlin!

I’ve been working from home, which means shopping online has been my jam. All the Amazon and ASOS deliveries have been really driving my mother mad. She shoved this box at me in exasperation at another box sitting on the porch me.

Much to my surprise, it was from Caitlin for the CBR Gift Exchange. I didn’t expect my gift to arrive so soon.

BEFORE:

Gift wrapped books!

Gift wrapped books!

AFTER:

Yay for Sandman Vol. 1!

Yay for Sandman Vol. 1!

I felt like Christmas/Birthday come early with 3 books and lots of fun stuff. I’ve always been meaning to read the Sandman comics, so now I have no excuses. And I love Ray Bradbury, so excited to have a shiny new copy for my personal library.

Thanks Caitlin for the awesome stuff!