Song of the Samodiva (Annika Brisby: Book 5) by Emigh Cannaday

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Publisher: Black Feather Publishing

Date of publication: March 29th, 2022

Series: Annika Brisby

The Flame and the Arrow—Book 1 (review here)

The Silver Thread—Book 2 (review here)

The Scarlet Tanager—Book 3 (review here)

The Darkest of Dreams—Book 4 (review here)

Song of the Samodiva—Book 5

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Fae

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

What do you call an assassin who’s had a change of heart?
A coward?
A hero?
Or Talvi Marinossian?

Just when Annika thought she and Talvi were headed off into the sunset of marital bliss, duty calls. Pushed to the limits of his moral code, Talvi must choose between the empire he serves and the woman he loves.

But first, a detour…straight into the half-demon heart of enemy territory, where Talvi enters into a perilous arrangement with the ruler of the largest kingdom in the Ellunian Empire—

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Fallon Blackwood

Sacred Son of Sinaryos

Admiral of the Royal Sinaryan Navy

Keeper of the Chimeras

And through his ancient bloodline, a direct descendant of the first demonborn dark elves.

In other words, he’s not someone you want to let down.

In no uncertain terms, Prince Fallon warns Talvi that if he can’t keep his end of the bargain, he won’t be the one who suffers the most. Taking her husband’s advice to “just be her charming self,” Annika must do everything she can to survive her stay at Blackwood Castle. Faced with deadly chimeras, a sadistic prince on the prowl, and a court whose opinion of her changes like the tides, it might take more than the song of a samodiva to win them over.

For Talvi and Annika, the stakes have never been higher.

* This final installment of the Annika Brisby series contains darker content than previous books.


First Line:

Talvi Marinossian felt a small swell of nausea rising and falling in harmony with the waves that lapped at the wooden dock below his feet

Song of the Samodiva by Emigh Cannaday

I was so excited when the author announced that there would be a book 5 in the Annika Brisby series. I was even more excited when I saw that Talvi and Annika would finally be together again. Then, my heart sunk because the author announced that she was ending this series. So, when the author sent out advanced reader copies to her team, there was zero hesitation on my end to read this book. I am happy that I did because this was probably the BEST book in this series.

Song of the Samodiva is the fifth book in the Annika Brisby series. You cannot read this book as a standalone. You need to start at book one to understand any relationships (except for Fallon and Novi’s) and backstories. You will be confused if you start with this book. The relationships and backstories are so intertwined that starting the series at book five will turn you off. So consider yourself warned!!

I am going to put a trigger warning up. If you have been following my blog for any time, you know that I only put trigger warnings up if I feel it needs it. Song of the Samodiva needs it. The triggers are attempted rape, rape with fingers (I wasn’t sure how to word that), kidnapping, alcohol use, drug use, and PTSD. If any of these triggers you, I strongly suggest not reading Song of the Samodiva.

Song of the Samodiva starts shortly after the events of The Darkest of Dreams. Talvi and Annika are on their way to the kingdom of Sinaryos to talk to Crown Prince Fallon. They have news that might be of interest to him. The only thing is that Fallon and Talvi are from rival kingdoms, and they DO NOT trust or like each other. The news that Talvi is so eager to tell Fallon: Dillion, the true Crown Prince, is alive and being held in the same prison that Talvi had just been released from. Fallon sends Talvi to break Dillion out of jail with a group of his subjects. To ensure that he comes back, Fallon holds Annika hostage. While Talvi is off on his mission, Annika tries her best to stay out of trouble. But trouble seems to find Annika, and it finds her in a big way. Or will she end up paying for both her and Talvi’s mistakes? And more importantly, can Talvi bring Dillion home?

It took me a minute to realize that the author brought together the characters from the Novi Navarro series and the Annika Brisby series. The way she brought them together was fantastic, and I was so happy to see Novi and Fallon together and happy. I also realized that Annika needed Novi’s perspective (along with a couple of other characters) to unravel the prophecy given at Talvi’s birth. I was super excited when it was finally revealed, and I can’t wait to see what future Novi Navarro books will do with it.

I loved how the author wrote Annika’s character for this book. She was funny, sweet, and strong when she needed to be. She walked a wire-thin line in Fallon’s court, and she did it with grace. It helped that she could sing and play the guitar like no one’s business. I did worry for her after the events at the theater. Let’s say that I thought that her and Talvi’s love story would never get the second chance that it needed.

Talvi wasn’t around for a good part of the book. After he told Fallon about Dillion, he was shipped out to rescue him with many Sinaryans’ who hated him. There was a point in the book where I wondered if he was coming back.

The plotline with Annika, Novi, and Fallon was wonderfully written. I was taken aback by how attracted Fallon was to Annika UNTIL I realized that she was part samodiva. That race of fae is inherently attractive to any/all fae. So, Fallon’s reaction to Annika (as well as the kiss/blood sharing) was very typical. What wasn’t typical was what Annika did after (not that I blamed her) or her punishment.

The plotline with Talvi and the Sinaryan Navy was just as well written when the focus was on him. I can’t say that I was surprised by what happened once the boat got to prison. I was disappointed but not surprised. Then there was nothing until the end of the book. Nothing was mentioned about any of those people with Talvi getting in trouble. I will go out on a limb and say “Maybe,” but I’m not sure.

There was a subplotline with Heron that didn’t make sense to me. I understood why the author chose to write him in, but I wonder how Heron and the other assassin will tie into the Novi Navarro series if that’s where the author is going.

The sex scenes were just as graphic as in the other books. I wasn’t expecting any less. The sexual tension that was inherent with Annika was woven into every scene.

The end of Song of the Samodiva was interesting. The author left so much open with Fallon and Novi. But she also wrapped up Annika and Talvi’s storyline (and the series) in a way that I loved!!!

I would recommend Song of the Samodiva to anyone over 21. There are the triggers I mentioned above. There is also graphic sex, language, and violence.

Desperate Tides, Desperate Measures (The Talisman Series: Volume 5) by Brett Salter

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Publisher:

Date of Publication: February 25th, 2022

Series: The Talisman Series

The Search For Synergy—Book 1 (review here)

Riders of Fire and Ice—Book 2 (review here)

Windy City Ruins—Book 3 (review here)

The Battle for Verdana—Book 4 (review here)

Desperate Tides, Desperate Measures—Book 5

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Looks like our heroes can finally put an end to the nightmare that was Scarabadon, The Juggernaut. And it seems everyone’s favorite Synergist Knight and Master Dragon have fixed their Talisman issue too. Having thwarted every attack The Tyrant King has thrown at them to this point, The Alliance believes that they can endure any challenge as long as they remain together. Now, having the upper hand seems like the perfect opportunity to seek out more allies and even more of the realm’s mystical Talismans. Could this be a “happily ever after” for our ensemble of motley heroes? Or is this peace just a fool’s hope and just as temporary as the changing tides?


First Line:

Mr. Jones smiled widely as he saw his team reappearing before his eyes.

desperate tides, desperate measures by brett salter

Desperate Tides, Desperate Measures has been on my radar for a while (well, ever since December/January). So, when the author emailed me with the request, I jumped on it and planned on reading it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, life happens. I hurt my arm, and then medical stuff started happening with my 8-year-old. So this book, along with many other books, got pushed to the backburner. Instead of reading it in March, as I planned, I ended up reading it the first week of April. But, it didn’t affect how much I enjoyed this book. This book lived up to my internal hype!!

Desperate Tides, Desperate Measures begins almost immediately after the ending of The Battle for Verdana. Julian and Rome have not only performed The Great Synergy (the right way), but they have also brought along Mander, the Fire Elemental who lived in the Fire Talisman. But they don’t have long to rest because there is a villain who wears a familiar face and wants the Water Talisman. Who is the villain? Can they be defeated? Have Rome and company met their match?

Desperate Tides, Desperate Measures is the 5th book in The Talisman Series. Readers cannot read this book as a standalone. I strongly suggest that you read the books in order.

Rome and Julian are still my favorite characters in Desperate Tides, Desperate Measures. They were not afraid to tackle anything and would defend their friends with everything they got. Plus, they were good friends (even if Julian annoyed Rome at times).

The lore that the author has created for this series is impressive. I love that he has taken different myths/legends and incorporated them into the series. It made for some great reading.

I did guess what dragon was going to be introduced in this book, and I was pretty excited to see how the author would portray them. I wasn’t disappointed!! But, what I loved was that the author introduced hybrids. I wondered if hybrids were going to make an appearance and one did in this book. I wonder what other hybrids are out there and how the author will introduce them.

I guessed what was going on with Mr. Rider. I kept saying, “No one’s father is that big of a jerk.” Whelp, when the author dropped his mini bombshell, I said, “I knew it!!” Of course, I felt terrible for Julian and his sister. I also felt that Jericho let Mr. Rider off too quickly.

The introduction of The Elementals was massive. I wasn’t expecting to like them so much. The Water Elemental had me crying with his answer to the Alliance’s question. And the Air Elemental was precisely what I thought it would be like.

The end of Desperate Tides, Desperate Measures was excellent. The author didn’t wrap up the storylines. Instead, he added to them and made me wonder what would happen next.

I would recommend Desperate Tides, Desperate Measures to anyone over 13. There is mild violence, no language, and a clean book.

Just This Once (Blackhawk Security: Book 5) by Margaret Watson

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Publisher: Dragonfly Press

Date of publication: July 31st, 2021

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense

Series: Blackhawk Security

With One Breath—Book 1

Once Removed—Book 2 (review here)

Once Burned—Book 3 (review here)

Fool Me Once—Book 4 (review here)

Just This Once—Book 5

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sierra Baker has no idea she’s in danger – until a frightening and unsettling traffic stop late one night. When Cody Parker shows up the next day and announces he’s her bodyguard, she’s even more terrified. Is Parker on the level? Or is this the shadowy stranger who stopped her car the night before?

Her partner Alex assures Sierra the danger is real – the Russian mob is after her. Parker has been sent to protect her. But she and Cody are oil and water. Complete opposites who agree on nothing. Except for their irresistible attraction to each other.


First Line:

Sierra’s shoulders relaxed as she turned her car onto the stretch of road winding through Iverson Woods Forest Preserve near Evanston.

just this once margaret watson

I have been in the mood to read contemporary romance lately. I had been reading some books with a heavy subject matter, and I needed something that was the opposite. So, when I got the invite to read/review Margaret Watson’s romances, I jumped on it. I have always enjoyed her book and figured that this book would be a perfect way to decompress. I was right!! I enjoyed reading Just This Once.

Just This Once is book 5 in the Blackhawk Security series. Readers can read this book as a standalone. But, I would highly recommend reading the previous four books to get the background behind some of the characters mentioned in the book.

Just This Once had an exciting plotline. The Russian bratva is targeting Sierra. They think she has the information that they were going after Alex (in book 4). Cody is a bodyguard for Blackhawk Security and was hired to guard Sierra until the threat was over. What they weren’t expecting was the instant attraction and heat between them. But secrets are being held, which could potentially kill Sierra and her family. Can Cody protect her from the bratva? And will he realize that what he and Sierra have is worth keeping?

I loved Sierra in this book. She was independent and knew what she wanted. She wasn’t afraid to challenge Cody on certain things. But she was also an enigma. I did get a little irritated with her past being such a secret. By the middle of the book, I was ready for her to spill the beans to Cody. But even when it was revealed, I was still left wondering what her parents did that made them targets. I am hoping that it will be shown in upcoming books. Other than that, I loved her!!

Cody was almost too alpha male for me. That was the only thing that I didn’t like about him. That and the fact that he called Sierrabae” all the time. I hate that word and think it is ridiculous for teens/early 20’s to say it, but having a character who is in his 30’s saying it made me go, “Bleh.” I will say that he was a great bodyguard, trying to keep it professional. I loved seeing his struggle to keep his feelings for Sierra at bay while trying to protect her from the Russians.

The suspense angle of the book was terrific. That part of the plotline continued from book 4 with the bratva. Alex’s ex-husband did make a small appearance at the beginning of the book, and my thought process was “Freaking Jerry.” If you have read book 4, you understand why I thought that. I also liked that the author continued the minor plotline of the police mole, and I loved how she wrapped it up.

The romance was just as good. I will warn everyone that there is InstaLove involved. Sierra and Cody were together for a very intense week. They were being chased by the mob and were holed up in a safe house (not a SAFE house but a house that was fortified and secure). I wasn’t surprised that the romance moved that fast.

The chemistry between Sierra and Cody was unbelievable. I kept waiting for them to break down and have sex. But, surprisingly, they only had sex twice. I loved that the author did that, though. It kept my attention on their romance instead of me skimming the pages just to read the sex scenes.

The end of Just This Once was interesting. I wasn’t surprised at what happened after Cody caught the mole. Police close ranks around their own. I was also surprised at Sierra telling Cody her real name. I have to say; it didn’t fit her. Of course, they get their HEA, but I wondered about that for a couple of chapters.

I would recommend Just This Once to anyone over 21. There is graphic sex, language, and violence.

Cover Reveal: Desperate Tides, Desperate Measures (The Talisman Series: Book 5) by Brett Salter

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I am so excited everyone!! I am a huge fan of The Talisman Series and I have been impatiently waiting for any sign of book 5. Well, the author contacted me and asked me to do a cover reveal!!! I seriously danced around my living room (with 4 very confused cats and one confused 8 year old) in happiness. I can’t wait to read this book!!!

So, here it is!!!

Synopsis:

Looks like our heroes can finally put an end to the nightmare that was Scarabadon, The Juggernaut.  And it seems everyone’s favorite Synergist Knight and Master Dragon have fixed their Talisman issue too.  Having thwarted every attack The Tyrant King has thrown at them to this point, The Alliance believes that they can endure any challenge as long as they remain together.  Now, having the upper hand seems like the perfect opportunity to seek out more allies and even more of the realm’s mystical Talismans.   Could this be a “happily ever after” for our ensemble of motley heroes?  Or is this peace just a fool’s hope and just as temporary as the changing tides?    

The Talisman series will reveal the clandestine workings of the dragons and their knights who embrace the role of protecting our world from The Tyrant King and his evil minions. Whichever side controls the Talismans and their magic will determine the destiny of the world. The question is, what are these Talismans, and how can they be used for the good of humanity and the dragon dens?

Rise of the Dragon (The Legend Series: Book 5) by Kylie Stewart

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4 Stars

Publisher: KCS Publishing

Date of publication: June 6th 2019

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Series: The Legend Series

Set in Stone—Book 1 (review here)

The Duke’s Curse—Book 2 (review here)

Resurrection—Book 3 (review here)

Return to Avalon—Book 4

Rise of the Dragon—Book 5

Where you can find Rise of the Dragon: Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Alexandria is now The Duchess of Avalon, Arthur’s wife and rightful queen. Love declared, promised kept, and title won. Her victory, however fleeting, will cost her dearly.

Avalon now faces the full force of what Mordred has planned for him and his knights. But what he doesn’t know is that one among them has a secret.

Will the person in hiding prove to be friend, enemy, or something else entirely?

And what happens when a ghost from the past resurfaces not as a friend, but as mortal enemy?

Rise of the Dragon is book five of The Legend Series based off of the Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.


First Line:

Cold wind sent violent shivers down my spine as I climbed the craggy rocks.

Rise of the Dragon by Kylie C. Stewart

My Review:

I was disappointed when I saw that I had missed a book in this series. The Legend series needs to be read in order. Stress needs. Even missing one book will confuse someone. And in this case, I was left wondering what the heck happened in book 4.

Even though I missed a book in the series; it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of reading Rise of the Dragon. This book was fantastic to read.

The plotline for Rise of the Dragon was fast-moving. There were times where I had to reread parts of chapters because I felt I missed something. There was also a little lag towards the end of the book. But it was nothing that took away from the story.

I loved Alexandria in this book. She was the perfect Queen for Arthur. She also didn’t put up with anything from anyone. I loved how when Arthur went missing; she took over. And her connection with Guinevere was terrific. It wasn’t what I was expecting!!

I also loved Arthur in this book. He went to battle with Mordred knowing that he could be held captive or killed. He was a husband and a father above everything else, and it showed. Even when Mordred captured Arthur and was torturing him, Arthur still tried to reach him.

I did feel bad for Mordred, which is weird because I spent much of this series not liking him. But, there was a massive twist in his story that I didn’t see coming. Looking back, it made sense. It also made me a little mad. Even thinking about it gets me angry.

There was a twist in the story that I didn’t see coming. I thought it was great because it tied another famous work to this story. I can’t wait to read the next book and see where the author is going to take it.

The end of Rise of the Dragon was exciting. There was the twist that I mentioned. There was also another twist that took me by surprise. I can’t wait to see what will happen with that.


I would give Rise of the Dragon an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Rise of the Dragon. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

Rogue Most Wanted (The Cavensham Heiresses: Book 5) by Janna MacGregor

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4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: June 25th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: The Cavensham Heiresses

The Bad Luck Bride—Book 1

The Bride Who Got Lucky—Book 2

The Luck of the Bride—Book 3 (review here)

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke—Book 4 (review here)

Rogue Most Wanted—Book 5

Wild, Wild Rake—Book 6 (expected date of publication: February 25th, 2020)

Where you can find Rogue Most Wanted: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

There’s one creed all Cavensham men subscribe to: they fall in love completely and decidedly. But what happens when the woman you fall in love with swears she’ll only marry you as a last resort? Rogue Most Wanted is the next book in the sparkling, romantic Cavensham Heiress series by Janna MacGregor.

SHE NEEDS TO MARRY SOMEONE

Lady Theodora Worth needs to marry fast in order to keep her estate. It’s been her heart and home for years, and she’ll not lose it to anyone. There’s just one problem—as a woman who was raised in isolation by her grandfather, she’s completely incapable of pouring a cup of tea, never mind wooing a man. She’ll need a little matchmaking help from her sprightly next-door neighbor in order to find a convenient husband…

IT’S JUST NOT GOING TO BE HIM

Lord William Cavensham’s heart was broken years ago, and since that day he vowed to never love again. But his spirited Great Aunt Stella is determined he’ll marry or not inherit a single penny from her. And she’s got just the woman in mind—her beautiful and completely hapless next-door neighbor, Thea…

Thea and Will agree there’s no sense in marrying each other. Will wholeheartedly believes he’s incapable of love, and Thea refuses to marry the first man she’s practically met. But Will may be the rogue Thea wants the most after all…


First Line:

“In one hour, I’m going to be a changed man.”

Rogue Most Wanted by Janna McGregor

As soon as I read the prologue for Rogue Most Wanted, I knew that I was going to be an emotional mess reading the book. My heart shattered for Will. The moment his heart broke, I burst into tears. I wanted to reach through my Kindle and hug him. I also wanted to smack Avalon for hurting him so bad.

The book continued pulling on my heartstrings when Thea was introduced. Her grandfather raised her in a small village that was far removed from London. She was never introduced to London’s ton. Instead of taking deportment/dancing lessons, she was learning how to run and manage her grandfather’s estates. While she was doing that, she was also hiding her grandfather’s condition from everyone, including his heir. Her grief was palpable. There were points in the book where I wanted to hug her too.

I also got angry while reading Rogue Most Wanted. I got upset every time I saw a quote from The Midnight Cryer. That “paper” took Thea’s grief and made a mockery of it. The insinuations and the nicknames were awful. I felt for Thea whenever she read that paper. Because who knows that they were going to print.

Thea and Will had an almost instant connection. I found it funny that Thea was the one to tell Will that she wasn’t going to marry him. Mainly because he was at her house to say the same thing. I loved seeing their friendship grow. It made the romantic connection stronger.

Speaking of their romance, I loved it. Will was instantly struck by Thea and vice versa. The world melted away when they were together. There was a point in the book where I wanted to bash my head against a wall because they wanted to be “just friends.”It drove me nuts.

The storyline about Thea and her quest to find the charter to prove that she was the rightful heir of her title was sad. And again, made me angry. She loved her people. She took care of them. Her grandfather’s heir wanted to move these people to another village and mine. I did think that it was forward thinking of the author to have Thea make a statement before the Council pleading her case. I also found it forward thinking that Thea didn’t want to marry or get engaged so that it would look good for her. She tried to win on her terms.

I was an emotional mess at the end of the book. Thea had to make a choice. No matter what she did, someone was going to get hurt. Will had to come to term with what happened to him in the past. They both needed a miracle so they could be together.


I would give Rogue Most Wanted an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Rogue Most Wanted. I would recommend it to family and friends.

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

The Night Window (Jane Hawk: Book 5) by Dean Koontz

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4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Bantam

Date of publication : May 14th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Series: Jane Hawk

The Bone Farm—Book 0.5

The Silent Corner—Book 1 (review here)

The Whispering Room—Book 2 (review here)

The Crooked Staircase—Book 3 (review here)

The Forbidden Door—Book 4 (review here)

The Night Window—Book 5

Where you can find The Night Window: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz brings Jane Hawk’s one-woman war to an explosive climax as the rogue FBI agent wages her final battle against a terrifying conspiracy–for vengeance, for justice, and for humanity’s freedom. 

Groundbreaking, wholly involving, eerily prescient and terrifyingly topical, Dean Koontz’s Jane Hawk series sets a new standard for contemporary thrillers. Since her sensational debut in The Silent Corner, readers have been riveted by Jane Hawk’s resolute quest to take down the influential architects of an accelerating operation to control every level of society via an army of mind-altered citizens. At first, only Jane stood against the “Arcadian” conspirators, but slowly others have emerged to stand with her, even as there are troubling signs that the “adjusted” people are beginning to spin viciously out of control. Now, in the thrilling, climactic showdown that will decide America’s future, Jane will require all her resources–and more–as she confronts those at the malevolent, impregnable center of power.


My review:

I was excited when I saw that The Night Window was available for review. I was waiting for this book. I needed to see how Jane Hawk’s quest to bring down the Arcadian’s would end. And I wasn’t disappointed. This book was a fast-paced ride from beginning to end.

All the storylines were fast paced and well written. I had issues putting the book down, that is how into I got. I needed to find out if Jane was going to expose the Arcadians and reunite with her son. I needed to know if Tom was going to outwit Hollister. Also, let’s not forget the secondary storylines. Instead of distracting me from the storyline, they added to it. They added that little bit of extra depth to the book that was needed.

Jane, by far, was my favorite character in The Night Window. Her determination to protect her child and to expose the Arcadian’s came off the pages. She took more risks in this book. Her near misses with the Arcadian’s were incredible and nerve- wracking. I did feel bad for her, though. She was exhausted from all the running that she had to do. She wanted to be with her son. She wanted it to be over and justice for her husband.

I wanted to shake Vikram. He took a lot of risks to help Jane. Like going to Ricky and getting the modified RV. He made me nervous. But he was brilliant. It was that brilliance that kept them ahead of the Arcadians. It was also that brilliance that had him do what he did during the last chapters.

Warwick Hollister was one of the evilest characters that I have read to date. The glimpses of him that I got in the previous books didn’t prepare me for what was in this book. I shuddered every time he appeared in the book. But, I did enjoy his descent into madness. Without giving anything away, let’s say that he got paid back tenfold.

The Night Window was a perfect fit into the thriller genre. As with any of his books, Dean Koontz knows how to deliver a thriller. I was kept on edge the entire book. The build-up of that angle was fantastic.

The mystery angle wasn’t there for me. I wasn’t feeling it. The only time I even got a tiny bit of feel for it was when the Arcadians were chasing after Jane and Vikram. But even then, it was more of a thriller.

I loved the end of The Night Window. I did not expect it to go the way it did. But, in hindsight, it was the only way. The author did what few do. The author did what few do — showing what happens after the fact. It was also a fitting ending to the series.


I would give The Night Window an Adult rating. There is no sex (but there are references to sexual situations). There is violence. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Night Window. I would recommend this book to family and friends.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


I would like to thank the publisher, the author, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Night Window.

All opinions stated in this review of The Night Window are mine.


Have you read The Night Window?

What were your thoughts on it?

Do you think that something like the Hamlet List could exist?

Let me know!!

The Lich’s Heart (The Windhaven Chronicles) by Watson Davis

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5 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: March 14th, 2019

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Series: The Windhaven Chronicles

The Devil’s Library—Book 1 (review here)

The Shepherd Girl’s Necklace—Book 2 (review here)

The Archbishop’s Amulet—Book 3 (review here)

The Snowtiger’s Trail—Book 4 (review here)

The Lich’s Heart—Book 5

Where you can find The Lich’s Heart: Amazon

Synopsis:

A rebellion rising. A land under siege. Can a conflicted priestess defeat an ancient, ruthless magic?

Hanno’s husband is dead. Filled with pain, the priestess and healer questions her faith in the almighty Eternal Council. When she unknowingly aids a wounded rebel, she’s forced to choose between returning to her old life or taking up arms against the rulers she used to worship…

Deep within the heart of the rebel ranks, Hanno witnesses the Council cut down the lives of her new and dwindling allies. But the healer knows a secret. And if she’s able to reach the enemy’s hidden, vulnerable weakness, then the rebels may just have a chance to avoid obliteration.

Can Hanno guide her people to freedom, or will vicious rulers make her pay dearly for her betrayal?

The Lich’s Heart is a thrilling dark fantasy in the sweeping Windhaven Chronicles. If you like determined heroes, mythical lands, and swords and sorcery, then you’ll love Watson Davis’s epic adventure.

Buy The Lich’s Heart to rise up against dark magic today!


My review:

Hanno is a healer in a small village. Once a priestess of Gal-nya, she retired to the village to mourn her husband. Her peaceful life comes to an end when she heals a wounded rebel. She gets caught up in a rebellion that makes her the figurehead. With the rebel forces being decimated, Hanno must go on a journey. Her mission: Find the heart of one of the Eternal Council and destroy it. But it is easier said than done. Can she do it? Can Hanno take down a Council member? Or will she die trying?


Hanno: I liked Hanno and I understood her reluctance to get involved with the rebellion. She was a healer. Her vow was to heal people whenever she could. She wasn’t going to ignore an injured person because they were a rebel. If they needed healing, she was going to do it. She was also a little naive. She kept giving people the benefit of the doubt. But, at the same time, it was refreshing.

What I also liked about Hanno was that she was conflicted. She stayed conflicted for almost the entire book. I got why she was so conflicted. She still believed in the temple and its teachings. But at the same time, she understood why the people were rebelling. Even towards the end of the book, she was still trying to pave the way for communication.


If you have been reading this blog long enough, my love for dark fantasy is well known. I have become picky about what kind of dark fantasy books that I read. When I read the blurb for The Lich’s Heart, I knew that it was going to be a great book. And it was.

The plotlines for The Lich’s Heart were well written. The author did a great job of keeping the pace of the book up for the entire book. There was no lag. There were no dropped storylines. The storylines were also wrapped up in a way that I liked too.

The secondary characters made the book. I was surprised by the appearance of Gartan. I liked seeing this different side to him. He cared for Hanno and she for him. The other characters in the book flushed it out. They added extra depth that was needed.

There is a lot of violence and violent situations in The Lich’s Heart. There were several scenes where I did wince. But I also realized that this book wouldn’t be as good as it is if there wasn’t violence. That whole culture is a violent one. The book couldn’t have been written any other way.

The end of The Lich’s Heart was interesting. While the plotlines were wrapped up, I still had some questions. Mainly after reading the final chapter.


I would give The Lich’s Heart an Adult rating. There is no sex but there are sexual situations discussed in the book. There is no language. There is explicit violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Lich’s Heart. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review The Lich’s Heart.

All opinions stated in this review of The Lich’s Heart are mine.


Have you read The Lich’s Heart?

Did you like it or not?

Have you ever been pulled into something against your wishes?

Let me know!!

Shattered Reflections (McAllister Justice: Book 5) by Reily Garrett

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4 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: February 3rd, 2019

Genre: Romance, Suspense, Thriller, Mystery

Series: McAllister Justice

Tender Echoes—Book 0.5

Digital Velocity—Book 1

Bound by Shadows—Book 2

Inconclusive Evidence—Book 3 (review here)

Carbon Replacements—Book 4 (review here)

Shattered Reflections—Book 5

Where you can find Shattered Reflections: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

Strong-willed and stubborn, Kathryn Nugle enters a man’s profession, untested, inexperienced, and determined to solve a decades-old puzzle.

Intuition flagged her client’s deception but didn’t solve the mystery of his jacket’s crimson stain, yet blood doesn’t lie. When the victim leaves damning evidence behind, fate throws Kathryn into a cascade of events that will challenge her survival skills.
Mathew McAllister is the eldest of six siblings, all current or former detectives. Practical jokes and pranks are part and parcel of his daily life. The newest addition to the family fold is a wisecracking hacker who mangles his strained equanimity and tests his patience in Morse code, security breaches, and invasion of his cherished privacy.
When a vicious murder paints a target on one of their own, the McAllisters close ranks to ferret out the twisted intentions of a serial killer. For fans of Sandra Brown and Lee Child, Shattered Reflections is an exciting thriller with a romantic twist.


My review:

Katt is a young PI who has gotten in over her head with her current case. What was supposed to be a shut and close case turns into something more. Katt turns to Matthew McAllister after she is assaulted while on the job. As the attempts on her life get more and more brazen, Katt is also forced to face her feelings for Matthew. Will Katt get the man and the bad guy?

Matthew is the eldest of the McAllister siblings. Known for his unshockable demeanor and even temperament, Matt is content in his life. That is until he met Katt. Katt turns is comfortable, boring world upside down. When Katt is targeted by the people who are looking for his client, Matthew steps in to help her. He is also forced to accept that his feelings for Katt. Can he keep Katt safe? Will Matt finally man up and tell Katt how he feels?


I loved Katt. Any lingering doubts or concerned (from Carbon Replacements) were smashed in this book. I saw a different side to Katt than what was shown in the previous book. She was softer in this book. She was more transparent with her feelings. I did think that she was a bit immature. She kept taking off whenever her feelings got hurt. That might be the only thing that I didn’t like about her.

Matt annoyed me for a majority of the book. Before I get into why I will say that I did like him. He was a great brother and he put up with a lot from his younger siblings. Now onto why he annoyed me. He kept denying his feeling for Katt. He kept throwing up excuses about her age. Even when he was confronted by Laredo at the hospital and his brothers later on in the book, he still kept denying. I got so frustrated with him. There was a point in the book where I wanted to jump in, smack him upside the head, and say “Dude, just admit that you love her.

The main storyline in Shattered Reflections was well written. I liked that I knew who the bad guys were, well for the most part. The author did a great job at keeping the suspense level high in the book. I loved not knowing what was going to happen next. It kept me glued to the book.

The secondary storylines were excellent and added depth to the storyline. The one with Katt’s parents was heartbreaking. It explained a lot. I also thought the backstory on the bad guys were interesting. I did like the turn that Denny’s storyline took. I was not expecting it to end up that way!!

The sexual tension in this book was insane. It drove me nuts. I did like that the author used some raunchy humor to offset some of it. The Bob comments were hilarious. As was Matt’s reaction to it. I was dying laughing.

When Matt and Katt finally did have sex, it intense. What I liked is that there was only one sex scene in the entire book and that it was towards the end. So, I went the entire book with them trading sexual barbs and the occasional Bob comment. It was fantastic.

I was sad at the end of Shattered Reflections. Don’t get me wrong, the ending was perfect. The author did a fantastic job at wrapping up all the storylines. What made me sad was that it seems like this is going to be the end of the series. I hope not. But, there are no more siblings. Well, there’s Abby but I think she’s married.


I would give Shattered Reflections an Adult rating. There is sex (not graphic). There is language. There is violence. There are triggers. They would be neglect. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Shattered Reflections. I would also recommend it to family and friends.


I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Shattered Reflections.

All opinions stated in this review of Shattered Reflections are mine.

America’s Sweetheart (Real Love: Book 5) by Jessica Lemmon

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3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: October 2nd, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: Real Love

Eye Candy—Book 1 (review here)

Arm Candy—Book 2 (review here)

Man Candy—Book 3 (review here)

Rumor Has It—Book 4 (review here)

America’s Sweetheart—Book 5

Where you can find America’s Sweetheart: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Old flames burn bright. When a disgraced starlet returns home to lick her wounds, she discovers that her high school sweetheart is just as tempting as ever.

“No one writes big-hearted bad boys like Jessica Lemmon!”—New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster

Allison: When I left for California, I gave myself a new name and never looked back. Now my carefully crafted good-girl image is getting torn to shreds in the press thanks to my Oscar-winning A-hole of an ex-boyfriend. So I escape to the only safe haven I know and trust—my hometown—to take a breather while I plot my triumphant Hollywood comeback. However, when I arrive at my parents’ house, Jackson Burke answers the door instead. And suddenly the past comes rushing back. . . .

Jackson: First kiss. First time. First love. Yep, Allison Murphy and I shared many firsts back in the day. When she left, she took half my heart with her. Now she’s back in town, and even though I swore I’d keep my distance, her parents hired me to remodel their house, and I’m going to finish the job. But one hot kiss later, suddenly the press is calling us the next big celebrity couple. Sure, I’ll play the part, for Allison’s sake—but I refuse to let her close enough to break my heart all over again. . . .


My review:

I was excited to read America’s Sweetheart. For the most part, I was happy with what I read. It was a sexy, original second chance romance. But, I was left feeling “meh” about the characters, how a certain character’s backstory was explained, and the romance was boring. Not the sex, the romance.

America’s Sweetheart is a second-hand romance featuring Jackson and Allison. Jackson and Allison were high school sweethearts who broke up in college when their lives went in different directions. Allison became a famous TV star and Jackson is a successful business owner. 10 years after they broke up, they are reunited. After taking the fall for something her famous ex-boyfriend did, Allison came home to figure out what her next move would be. Jackson, a successful contractor, is remodeling Allison’s parents’ house when she waltzes back into his life. Soon, Jackson and Allison are thrown together into a “faux” relationship to throw off the paparazzi. But, what is supposed to be fake soon becomes real. Can Jackson and Allison get through that without breaking their hearts again?

I am a huge fan of second chance romances. I like them because it is awesome seeing two people separated by years fall back in love. But, in the case of America’s Sweetheart, I felt that the romance was boring. There needs to be a rekindling of the romance between those people. Not walking into their lives and falling back into the same relationship. Which is what happened to Jackson and Allison. Plus, I didn’t know what Allison felt from one day to the next about Jackson. Did she want to be with him? Was she using him? In the back of my head, I was going “What the heck is going on!!!

If I thought the romance was lacking in this book, sex definitely wasn’t. The sexual attraction and chemistry that they had were intense. Which in turn made the sex scenes powerful. I did have an issue with Jackson going bareback with Allison after making sure she was clean. Sorry, but if I were having sex with someone after 10 years of not being with them, I would sure as hell make sure to have a box of condoms there. I know it is nitpicking and weird but I get skeeved out over that. Other than that, the sex was insane.

I thought that the storyline was different. I liked that the author had Allison’s ex-boyfriend steal the Oscar and then frame Allison for it. But what I didn’t like, and what confused the heck out of me, was that Allison’s POV about the Oscar theft was brought up in the middle of the book. Put it this way. I ended one chapter and began the next one with Allison at that party. I was like “What the heck. Shouldn’t that have been at the beginning of the book? Maybe as a prologue????” It made zero sense to have it added in the middle of the book. While it helped me with understanding Allison better, it interrupted the flow of the story.

I couldn’t connect with Allison. It’s not that I didn’t like her, I didn’t understand where her character was going from one chapter to the next. I was also bothered that I couldn’t tell what she felt for Jackson. I couldn’t figure out if it was for sex or if she loved Jackson. She also came across as a little spoiled. Which I expected because she had spent 10 years on a successful show. But still. I wish that I had seen more of the Allison that Jackson knew.

I did like Jackson. I could understand why he was wary of getting involved in any way with Allison. She destroyed him when they broke up. I got it. I even understood why he got involved with Allison’s dating scheme. Unlike Allison, he was pretty good to read. I could tell that he was falling for Allison. Everyone could. Because I couldn’t get a hold on her feelings for him, I was hoping that she wouldn’t stomp all over his feelings again.

The end of the book fell flat for me also. The author did a great job of wrapping up all the storylines. She also did a great job at giving Allison and Jackson their happy ending. It didn’t do it for me. I didn’t think that the ending scene and what Jackson did was romantic. If anything, it stoked Allison’s ego. Call me unromantic, but “eh“.

What I liked about America’s Sweetheart:

  1. Original storyline
  2. Second chance romance
  3. The sex

What I disliked about America’s Sweetheart:

  1. Couldn’t tell how Allison felt about Jackson for 90% of the book
  2. Allison’s side of the story thrown in the middle of the book.
  3. End of the book

I gave America’s Sweetheart a 3-star rating. I did like the storyline. I also liked that it was a second chance romance. Plus, the sex was hot. But, I didn’t like how Allison’s side of why she went home was put in the middle of the book. Which factored in my rating. Everything else that I didn’t like was just me. I couldn’t tell how Allison felt about Jackson. Also, the end of the book fell flat for me.

I would give America’s Sweetheart an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence about rereading America’s Sweetheart. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Loveswept, NetGalley, and Random House Publishing Group for allowing me to read and review America’s Sweetheart.

All opinions stated in this review of America’s Sweetheart are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

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