Windy City Ruins (The Talisman Series: Book 3) by Brett Salter

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First Line:

Rome could feel his stomach jumping around as the plane touched down at La Guardia airport in New York City.

windy city ruins by brett salter

Windy City Ruins is the 3rd book in The Talisman Series. While the author gives a quick rundown of the previous books at the beginning of this one, I would strongly recommend reading the previous books first.

Windy City Ruins takes place immediately after the events of Riders of Fire and Ice. Rome, Julian, and Mr. Jones are in New York City to meet with Mr. Jones’s mysterious friend, Beacon. Beacon has some intel, but they are not easy to find. Beacon tasks the boys (and Mrs. Case and Mr. Jones) with a riddle and a time to meet them. Their journey takes them to the closed-off torch of The Statue of Liberty and a big surprise. But, Beacon’s identity is the least of their problems. Something dangerous is stalking them, and it will take everyone (Beacon, Camela, Krysta, Mr. Jones, Mrs. Case, and the boys) to face the danger. Will they be able to beat that threat, and what will it cost them??

I was very excited to read Windy City Ruins. Why? Well, I have become invested in the series. I need to know what will happen to Rome, Julian, and their allies/friends. Plus, I find the worldbuilding and lore fascinating in this book. The author mixes different mythologies seamlessly.

Rome and Julian are still learning about their bonding. But, since they didn’t perform the Synergy correctly, they can’t use their bond to their advantage. I found that fascinating. Seeing Camela and Krysta’s bond (as well as the mark that it left on Krysta) made me wonder how the boys would be if/when they bond correctly.

As in the other books, dragons and talismans figure hugely in the plot. Wind dragons and earth dragons are discovered. I will admit that I wasn’t sure about the wind dragons. But as the book went on, they proved just how loyal and brave they were. The earth dragon scared me. Nothing could shake that thing. It was a freaking tank!

I liked that the author gave the Darkfiends more exposure in the book. I play ESO, and while I was reading this book, I was in Blackwood. One boss fight was a minotaur with firepower (it was more of a shaman, but still). That is how I imagined the minotaur from the main battle scene. I called my SO over to show/tell him about the minotaur that came out of the portal and how it looked like the one in my game. He could have cared less….lol.

I was a little irritated with Julian’s father. Especially when certain things came out at the end of the book (with the fight between the boys and Jericho/Clay). I was very frustrated with him. He caused too much harm that has reverberated throughout the book, and I feel that it will continue into the next one.

I was shocked at the events at the end of the book. Mainly by what happened with Nocturne and the boys. I was not expecting what happened to happen. But in a way, I was also happy that it did. It meant that the boys could do things right and hopefully take down the Tyrant King.


I would recommend Windy City Ruins to anyone over the age of 13. It is a clean book (no sex, no kissing). There is mild violence and very mild language.

Temptation Trails Part 1 (Temptation Trails: Book 1) by B. Truly

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3 Stars

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

Date of publication: June 3rd, 2017

Genre: Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Number of pages: 319

Series: Temptation Trials

Temptation Trials – Book 1

Temptation Trials Part II – Book 2

Where you can find Temptation Trials Part I: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The Bachelorettes Meet Wild Things 

Part I of Temptation Trials

Will you be Tempted? Will Love save your Soul?

One nation under his reign.
Cardinal sins of man-caused humanity to pay the price. Cali Nasser grew up in a world succeeding World War III. The aftermath forced the world dictatorship that she must now live in. A new Regime arose from the ashes. They demanded obedience and cooperation from every citizen, even in matters of the heart.

One domain … One accord … One nation. In Cali’s eyes, the moral code revolves around a twisted plot for control.
It used to sicken Cali how people would allow the Regime to test their love through the Temptation Trials. That is until she met Kincade. Cali’s entire point of view changes when she falls for him. She struggles with herself, debating if she should challenge the government’s law of arranged marriage.

Cali’s childhood friend, Stefani, always kept a positive perspective about their lives until she was threatened with the same dilemma, at odds over the man she loves.

Now Cali and Stefani face a desperate choice—submit to the Regime’s will, or fight for what they value most—love. Although lust, mistaken for love, could lead to damnation. Do they give up on love or sign up for the Temptation Trials, a reality TV show where every temptation is laid before them?
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Can love save their souls?
Rated Mature 18 +
Adult, Dystopian Romance with sensuality, sexual content, and love triangles.

Trigger Warning: drug use

Creed (Fallen Angel’s MC: Book 1) by Erin Trejo

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Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

Date of publication: February 3rd, 2016

Genre: Romance

Series: Fallen Angel’s MC

Creed – Book 1

Tank – Book 2

Ryker – Book 3

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

Creed doesn’t have his life mapped out but he knows he has a family in Jason and Jada, his neighbors. They always accepted him for who he was. One fatal mistake takes his best friend Jason away from him. Leaving his sister Jada behind to pick herself up, Creed seeks solace in her. Jada gives in to her feelings for Creed to only have them crushed when he leaves. Creed moves on with his life, which isn’t the best life possible. He finds a new family with the Fallen Angel’s Motorcycle Club. They become the family he lost. Taking risks, he doesn’t care about his life anymore until Jada falls into his clubhouse one fateful night. After he learns her involvement with a rival, Creed wants her safe but he knows he can never be the man she needs. Will he save himself and Jada? Or will they both lose everything forever?

My review: 

The man on the cover of this book is good-looking. I sat at my desk for 10 mins, drooling over him. I have a thing for muscular, tat’d bad guys. I usually don’t comment on the cover of books I review but this one I had to.

What I loved about this book was that there was no InstaLove or InstaLust. Jada and Creed have been in lust/love with each other since they were teenagers. Creed didn’t exactly hide his wanting Jada from anyone. The only one holding him back was Jason, Jada’s twin brother and Creed’s best friend. Jason asked Creed not to hook up with Jada (even though they both wanted to). There is a horrible accident where Jason dies. After the funeral, Creed and Jada do hook up on the roof of her house and then left right afterward.

The author does fast forward a year, and Creed has turned into an enforcer for an MC. He doesn’t give a flying flapjack about anything or anyone. Jason’s death has affected him greatly. Then there is a fast forward four years from Jason’s death, and Creed is the same. He uses the club’s Angel chasers for sex but doesn’t have a connection with them or anyone. He is still hung up on Jada.

Then, bam, Jada is back in the picture. She is the old lady to Kenny, a member of the Shadows Heat MC (storyline #2). She is beaten daily, uses god knows what drugs, prostitutes and is forced to have sex with other brothers. She is also drugged up all the time (Kenny shoots her up). She is a hot mess. The night she meets up with Creed again, she is at the Fallen Angel’s clubhouse with her friend.

Creed about flips a lid when he sees her again, but he can’t get her to stay with him. The next time they meet up, Jada is in the hospital after ODing, and Creed is there after being shot. Creed busts both of them out and so begins their relationship again.

While the sex was hot, I read those scenes shuddering. Jada was a prostitute who had sex with many men, and she does it bareback with Creed. All the time. I am not a prude but jeez.

Jada and Creed’s relationship also moved very fast too. But, as I said above, these two have been lusting after each other since they were teenagers. So I wasn’t surprised when they started doing the dirty almost right away.

Kenny isn’t happy that Jada left him (and his club) and has taken up with Creed and his club. There was a twist that was revealed mid-book that I didn’t see coming. I also didn’t understand Sharp doing a 180 during the book after the twist was revealed. The ending of the book surprised me. I wasn’t expecting what happened to happen.

How many stars will I give Creed: 3

Why: While I really liked the book, I really couldn’t move past the violence and the swearing. Like I said above, I am not a prude at all, but when every other word out of both Jada and Creed’s mouth is “effing”, it just drags the book down. I found myself skimming some of the dialogue because of that.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes but with a warning about the explicit sex and graphic violence.

Age range: Adult

Why: Language, Sex, Violence

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Skin Trade (Jake Brogan Series: Book 2) by Michael K. Murphy

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Publisher: Michael K. Murphy

Date of publication: July 20th 2016

Where the book can be found: Amazon

Series? Jake Brogan

Deadbeat – Book 1 (review here)

Skin Trade – Book 2

Book synopsis:

Jake Brogan, retired US Army Special Forces, is hunting for his daughter’s killer. But in the course of his search, he comes across a mother whose young daughter has been kidnapped by a ring of human traffickers whose tentacles reach all the way to the corridors of power in Washington. Jake agrees to detour from his search in order to help recover the woman’s daughter. It doesn’t take long for him to realize that he is going up against a vicious cartel with seemingly limitless resources and a willingness to destroy anyone who gets in their way. The problem for the traffickers is that they don’t realize that they have messed with the wrong person.

My review:

Back in February, I reviewed Deadbeat and loved it. When I got contacted by the author to review Skintrade, I was excited about reading it.

I wasn’t disappointed.

Jake was his usual badass self and was continuing his search for Donnie. While he was in Nashville, he meets Heather. He finds out that her daughter was kidnapped by human traffickers. Jake decides to look for Kelsey after he hears that the local cops aren’t doing squat about it. That sets in motion a series of events that proves how badass he is.

I have a bit of a book crush on Jake. This guy is unflippingbelievable and in my eyes, he walks on water. He is the total package for a book crush. I mean, who else can walk away from being captured by mercenaries and turn it around on them? Jake can!!!

There was very little of Randy in the book but that’s OK. I dealt with it. I did get to meet Grey and Russ (hopefully there will be more Randy in his next book!!!).

The ending of the book was perfect. All I have to say is that everyone got what was coming to them. EVERYONE got what they deserved.

How many stars will I give Skintrade? 5

Why? This book was an action-packed, no hold bars read right from the get-go. It was a very fast read that kept me totally engrossed until the ending (and a little aggravated that Donnie is still skulking about)

Will I reread? Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes

Age Range: Adult

Why? A lot of sexual situation and a ton of violence

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat: Book 1) by Zoe Kalo

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Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

Date of publication: June 15th, 2016

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Mythology, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Demons, Egypt, Shapeshifters, Magic

Series: Cult of the Cat

Korian and Lucy: A Cult of the Cat Short Story—Book 0.5

Korian and Lucy A Cult of the Cat Short Story—Book 0.6

Daughter of the Sun—Book 1

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

Goodreads synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.

But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.

Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self and a horrifying destiny.


My review:

This was a different book but I enjoyed reading it. I don’t know if I have mentioned it before, but I enjoy reading YA books. I have read some good books from that genre. Anyways, back to the subject.

This is a different book. Egyptian mythology is used in the book. Which is great. The author did a fantastic job explaining the different gods/goddesses. I can count on one hand how many books I liked that used Egyptian mythology as a major plotline and this book is one of them.

Of course, being the first book of a series, it left more questions than answers. I didn’t like that the grandmother dies after Trinity arrives on the island. It left so many unanswered questions and I will admit, I got frustrated.

The book did lag a little for a couple of chapters but then picked up the pace for the explosive ending. There are hints in the book about who the villain was but I picked it up early and to be honest, wasn’t very surprising. Still, the ending was a shock.

Waterkill by Mark Donovan

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Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Date of publication: October 3rd, 2015

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Technothriller

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

Goodreads synopsis:

“Waterkill” Weaves Nanoscience and Cult Religious Terrorism into a Major Threat to Western Civilization

With the mysterious outbreak of a deadly disease in a Yemeni village, followed by an increase in terrorist chatter after the crash of a small airplane in eastern Alaska, CEO Dr. Dave Henson and colleague Ron Blackwell of NSurv Inc. are tapped by the Department of Homeland Security to locate the aircraft wreckage and its suspected deadly contents.

While Henson and Blackwell are in the eastern mountains of Alaska helping the U.S. Border Patrol locate the missing aircraft and its contents, Dave’s wife, internationally-known journalist Dana Cogswell, goes missing while covering another sudden and suspicious epidemic in a small town in Germany.

Dave races from Alaska to Germany to rescue Dana and ends up on a quest to the Middle East to find her. Along the way, he learns of a shocking betrayal of friendship and that the path to Dana ultimately leads to the terrorist leader behind the deadly outbreaks.


My review:

Waterkill was a fantastic book to read. It draws you in from the first chapter and keeps you turning those pages to find out what exactly is going to happen. I read this book in 2 nights, going to bed early one night to read it.

I liked that there was a ton of action. The author was straightforward with who the terrorists were and who the good guys were. I also liked the science angle of it too. Nanoscience fascinates me too.

This book scared me on so many levels too. Because it makes you think and wonder “Are the terrorists doing this same thing?” and “If so, will our country be able to stop it like in the book.”

I did like the unexpected curve that the author threw into the mix. Again, it made me think “What if.”

Deadbeat by Michael K. Murphy

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Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Date of publication: January 17th, 2016

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:


My review:

All I have to say is “Wow.” This book was fantastic. It grabs you right from the beginning and doesn’t let go of you until the end. I couldn’t put the book down. It took me two nights of reading to finish it!!

Jake Brogan’s character was well written and very developed. He comes across as a very damaged person. The book explains why he is like that. And his best friend, Randy, well everyone needs a Randy in their life. I also think everyone needs a Jake in their life.

The only issues I ever had with the book were some spelling/grammar issues. Also, the author switched from character to character in the same chapter, there was no notice. My advice put up stars (like these:*****) between the different POVs. For example, we went from Jake’s POV to Buddy’s POV in one chapter. It took me rereading the chapter to realize that.

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