Friday, June 22, 2018

Audio Book Review: The Long Way Home by Z.A. Maxfield

Release Date: November 9, 2016
Publisher: Audible Studios
Format: Audio
Length: 8 hours 27 minutes
Narrator: JF Harding
Genre: Romance
Buy: Audible | Kindle 

Synopsis: 

Ever since the accident that cost him his job on the Seattle police force, Kevin Quinn has been living with psychic abilities he refers to as the 'gift that keeps on taking'. His attempts to use his talents to help the police have been met with limited success. Yet, when teenage boys start going missing from the beach cities of Southern California, Kevin gets on a plane. 

Connor Dougal has every reason to believe all psychics are fakes and charlatans. He's still numb from the disappearance of his first love, a boy who went missing 10 years earlier. Everything he aspires to is a direct result of that tragedy, even the acquisition of his detective shield. The irony of having to babysit Kevin Quinn is not lost on him. 

These two suspicious men must develop trust and respect for one another to solve the case and, on the way, maybe fall in love.

Review:

Connor Dougal doesn't believe in psychics but he is walking a thin line on a new case and when his sister brings him to a Kevin Quinn show he finds himself drawn to the man.  Connor found the body of a young girl at a murder scene and now seems to be haunted by her ghost.  Connor doesn't believe Kevin can honestly do what he says he can but when he starts to see things he can't explain he has no reason to doubt him.

While Kevin and Connor try to figure out who killed the girl their relationship gets closer and closer.  I love the witty banter between Connor and Kevin and Connors love of punny t-shirts. There is depth to the characters and the mystery keeps you guessing.  I was pleasantly surprised by this book.





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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Audio Book Review: The Druid Stone by Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane

Release Date: August 6, 2012
Publisher: Carina Press
Format: Audio
Length: 14 hours 12 minutes
Narrator: Ian Ruane
Genre: Romance
Buy: Audible | Kindle 

Synopsis: 

Sean never asked to be an O'Hara, and he didn't ask to be cursed by one either.

After inheriting a hexed druid stone from his great-grandfather, Sean starts reliving another man's torture and death...every single night. And only one person can help.

Cormac Kelly runs a paranormal investigation business and doesn't have time to deal with misinformed tourists like Sean. But Sean has real magic in his pocket, and even though Cormac is a descendant of legendary druids, he soon finds himself out of his depth...and not because Sean's the first man he's felt anything for in a long time.

The pair develop an unexpected and intensely sexual bond, but are threatened at every turn when Sean's case attracts the unwelcome attention of the mad sidhe lords of ancient Ireland. When Sean and Cormac are thrust backward in time to Ireland's violent history—and their own dark pasts—they must work together to escape the curse and save their fragile relationship.

Review:

Sean O'Hara travels to Ireland to try to figure out what the mystery is behind the stone he inherited from his grandfather is. He turns to Cormac Kelly who at first blows him off as an American tourist out to make fun of druid customs. But something about Sean intrigues Cormac enough to follow him where he discovers that Sean has the attention of a crazy fairy Lord. This sets the adventure on a whole new path where lost loves, and new love meet, through time travel and danger. The past and the present converge as Cormac and Sean travel back in time to try to save someone dear to Cormac and try to break the curse that is tied to Sean's stone.




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Monday, June 18, 2018

ARC Book Review: Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

Release Date: June 12, 2018
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Format: ebook
Pages: 320 pages
Genre:  Mystery/ Thriller
Buy: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback

Synopsis: 

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who's been searching for the truth all these years . . .


When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong's remains are discovered in the woods near Geo's childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he's something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo's first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.
For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela's death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it? Find out in Jennifer Hillier's Jar of Hearts.

Review:

Wow, be prepared for a fast paced can't put down ride. Geo goes to prison for her part in her best friends murder, her ex-boyfriend Calvin is a serial killer and Angie was his first kill.  Now Geo is out of jail, Calvin has escaped custody and the killings are happening again, only this time in a bizarre twist its not just women being murdered but children as well.

This is a really well written story, its not just about serial killers and murder but also about abusive relationships.  Its clever plot gives you a glimpse inside prison, what its like to try to reconnect once a prisoner has been released and tries to move on with their lives and how teenage infatuation can change the whole course of your life.






Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

ARC Book Review: Ruthless Magic (Conspiracy of Magic Book 1) by Megan Crewe

Release Date: May 31, 2018
Publisher: Another World Press
Format: ebook
Pages: 368 pages
Genre:  Sci fi/ YA
Buy: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback

Synopsis: 

In the contest to keep their magic, the only options may be die... or kill.

Each year, the North American Confederation of Mages assesses every sixteen-year-old novice. Some will be chosen. The rest must undergo a procedure to destroy their magical ability unless they prove themselves in the mysterious and brutal Mages' Exam.

Disadvantaged by her parents' low standing, Rocío Lopez has dedicated herself to expanding her considerable talent to earn a place in the Confederation. Their rejection leaves her reeling—and determined to fight to keep her magic.

Long ashamed of his mediocre abilities, Finn Lockwood knows the Confederation accepted him only because of his prominent family. Declaring for the Exam instead means a chance to confirm his true worth.

Thrown into the testing with little preparation, Rocío and Finn find themselves becoming unlikely allies—and possibly more. But the Exam holds secrets more horrifying than either could have imagined. What are the examiners really testing them for? And as the trials become increasingly vicious, how much are they willing to sacrifice to win?

Review:

Old magic mages aren't fond of new magic mages.  They aren't given the same priorities and their schools aren't even taught the same way.  When it comes to being accepted into the magical college new magic usually always has to declare for entrance while old magic mages are confirmed despite whether or not their magic is strong. This is sort of a new money/old money fight where the kids have to prove themselves in a magical Hunger Games.

The story is told in alternate chapters of either Rocio a new magic mage of great talent whose abilities seem to be feared by the confederation and Finn who is old magic and comes from a prominent family.  He was confirmed but declined feeling that it was unfair and instead declared for a place. It was interesting to view the things going on through these two very different lenses.

Brutally pitting the kids against magic and each other the confed will only declare a few champions, to take their place in the magical world the others will have their magic burned out. After a brief introduction and set up there is non-stop action and chaos.  Questions abound as to how much the magical world knows about what goes on during these trials and what the nature of magic really is.  Is it alive? Great set-up for the next book but also very good as a stand alone.






Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

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