Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Sci-fi, series, YA

(Book Review) Blue Bloods ~ Melissa de la Cruz


Title: Blue Bloods (A Blue Bloods novel , Book #1)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, YA
Publisher: Hyperion
Date of Release: March 27, 2007
Pages: 302
Format: Paperback (Gifted by a Friend)

Earlier this year, a few friends of mine and I were having a spirited (yet hilarious) discussion about a particular author and her books. I will admit I was extremely critical of the author, the series, and anyone who thought the series was great, awesome, was in love with it… blah, blah, blah. Needless to say, when the biggest defender of said series recommended Blue Bloods, I was skeptical; praying not to be led astray. Well, I can say with full confidence… my dear friend, she was on the money!

What if vampires were among you? Could you tell? Would you be able to point them out? Would you believe your eyes if you saw something you knew to be impossible actually happen? In New York City, there’s a hip club that everyone who is anyone goes to. There we meet Schuyler, Oliver, and Dylan, three friends who go to THE prestigious private school in the city. By the night’s end, we got ourselves a murder mystery! When a popular girl is found dead outside the club, some cages get rattled. Who’s next? Is a specific group being targeted? Is anyone safe?

Jack knows something’s happening with the bodies popping up over town, but his memory is getting in the way. His twin sister, Mimi, is all about herself and her popularity. Bliss is the new girl from Texas. When she’s not with Mimi, she’s quite likable… and she really likes Dylan; which Mimi does not approve. And everyone is being secretive and cryptic. Just when you think you solved the mystery, you find out you’re not even close! Melissa de la Cruz does describe some things in great detail, which I’m sure can annoy some people, but I like it.

I do look forward to reading more in this series… especially since this book ends with a nice change of scenery. Italy, anyone?

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18+, Book reviews, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, HEA

Silver Silence ~ Nalini Singh


Title: Silver Silence (Psy-Changeling Trinity #1)
Author: Nalini Singh
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance,
Publisher: Berkeley Books
Date of Release: June 13, 2017
Pages: 464
Format: Kinde (First to Read)

As someone who gets really attached to my characters, I instantly fell in love with Silver and Valentin. When an alpha falls for someone, it is ill-advised to try and assassinate her! Valentin is a fun loving bear shifter with a heart of gold and going through strife about his broken clan. Silver is a strong and pure telepath who avoids emotions and practices “Silence”. It prevents her from hearing every mind in a certain radius. It kinda makes her an Ice Queen, but oh does she have a spark! But it’s a spark only Valentin notices. Per his usual, Valentin shows up to Silver’s apartment, unannounced… which would annoy anyone, but turns out to be a great thing! There’s an organization that wants the Trinity Accords (An agreement amongst the Psy, Humans, and Changelings to co-exists) to fail and the best way to do that would be to take out Silver. Not so fast! Valentin is there and Silver is his mate, she just doesn’t realize it yet. To protect her, she has to do the unthinkable. She has to live in the heart of Denhome, Valentin’s home.

This was my introduction to Nalini Singh and she had me captivated from the first page. Silver is a kickass, badass female lead. There were a few moments I felt myself get riled up on behalf of Valentin, but I was rooting for Silver as well. This book is close to 500 pages and I found myself practically reading this in almost one sitting. I’m not sure if this is a spin-off, but this is not a standalone story. However, it can definitely be read as one. It gives just enough information so you don’t feel lost. What I really loved was the integration of each race with each other. Silver’s interaction with other races was well detailed and showed a mutual respect between the races. Nalini Singh combats preconceived notices and biases with her writing and storytelling, so much that you can (if you choose to…) reflect on your own beliefs and biases. Ms. Singh’s storytelling is entertaining and compelling. She definitely knows how to pull on the heartstrings. When decisions are made and you have to deal with the fallout, you see where loyalties lie.

I look forward to reading more in this series, and can’t wait to go and start at the beginning!

Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, HEA, Romance, Sci-fi, YA

Daughter of Lions ~ Catherine Banks

(Click the cover to purchase the book!)


Title: Daughter of Lions
Author: Catherine Banks
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Paranormal, YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Date of Release: June 26, 2015
Pages: 276
Format: Kindle (Kristin D. Van Risseghem)

Shifters, lions, love triangle, oh my! Victoria just cannot catch a break! Being a teenager has always been tough, but try being a teenager of an alpha lion… and you’re a hybrid. Sigh… Add a mom who just can’t deal with what you are and you don’t fit in with any crowd. Throw in Brandon, the hottest werelion you have ever seen and Victoria’s world is all topsy turvy! Victoria is spending Spring Break with her dad and her life gets a little more interesting. There’s a bat-shit crazy wolf, Bob, who truly believes she belongs with him as his mate. Brandon becomes her protector. Throw in Michael, a childhood friend and Victoria has a huge decision to make. Who is to be her mate?

There is so much going on, but the part that slightly annoyed me about Victoria was the constant “No one will want me because I’m a hybrid.” I completely understand her gripe, but it felt like it was on every page. I didn’t mind the love triangle, I was fine with Victoria’s choice either way since they were both great guys. The writing wasn’t bad, but there were a few typos… nothing major. While I was satisfied with the ended, I wasn’t thrilled with how we got there. Some things could have been explained that weren’t, but it would have made the story feel like it was dragging. Overall, I enjoyed the story.

Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, HEA, Romance, Sci-fi, series

Wondering Sight ~ Melissa McShane


Title: Wondering Sight  (Extraordinaires, Book 2)
Author: Melissa McShane
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Historical Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release: January 19, 2017
Pages: 322
Format: eBook (Publisher)

This is the second book in the series, and what I like is that it’s not a sequel to Burning Bright. It’s its own story and while it’s not technically a stand alone, it gives just enough backstory for you to keep up. This didn’t have quite the same world building as the first story, but it’s still enjoyable.

The War of 1812 is over and we meet Sophia Westlake, who has been dismissed from the British Navy under questionable circumstances, one might say. Sophia is a Seer. She doesn’t have visions, per se. She has Dreams. In the Dream in question, she saw Lord Endincott, a local popular politician, embezzling funds from the Army. He was able to disprove her Dream and he’s been tormenting Sophia ever since. She is determined more than ever to restore her reputation, but she has very few allies and one very powerful enemy. In her quest to restore her stellar reputation, she stumbles across something interesting. A counterfeit ring! Enter Mr. Rutledge. He has been keeping a close eye on Sophia from a distance. Mr. Rutledge has been tasked with ending the counterfeit ring before any further damage can be done. He’s going to need some help, but Sophia is reluctant. With each encounter with Lord Endicott, Sophia is positive he’s in charge of the counterfeit ring and is obsessed with proving it. Will Sophia get her justice, or will she become the person she hates to get revenge?

It was a nice game of cat and mouse with a hint of romance. The banter between Lord Endicott and Sophia, plus Mr. Rutledge and Sophia were great. For me, it may have been the best part of the book. It had a pretty strong storyline, it just felt like something was missing. I would very much like to see where the series goes from here. (Click the cover to purchase the book.)

Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, HEA, Sci-fi, series, YA

Arrows & Angels ~ Kristin D. Van Risseghem


Title: Arrows & Angels (Enlightened Series, Book 0)
Author: Kristin D. Van Risseghem
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Kasian Publishing LLC
Date of Release: March 31, 2017
Pages: 146
Format: Kinde (Author)

My introduction to Kristin D. Van Risseghem was fantastic. This is the prequel to Swords & Stilettos (Next in line to read, thank you very much!) This is the story of Kieran, a guardian angel, who is charged with finding and protecting the special young girl who will stop a war from happening. You don’t know when the girl will be born if she isn’t already. All you know, you’re not the only one looking for her. The Devil’s minions are after her as well and they are causing a bit of mayhem. Can Kieran find her before the monsters, and will he be able to protect her?

Kristin D. Van Risseghem reminded me what it was like to get attached to characters. Kieran is an engaging character and you understand and feel all the conflict and turmoil he feels in this situation. Through Kieran, you meet some really interesting characters who you want to know more about, and hopefully are in future books. I look forward to reading the next installment! (Click the cover to purchase the book)

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

18+, Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, HEA, Romance, Sci-fi, series

Redemption ~ Laxmi Hariharan


Title: Redemption (A Many Lives Story, Book 3)
Author: Laxmi Hariharan
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Lotus and Sun
Date of Release: March 14, 2017
Pages: 221
Format: Nook (Author)

Leana is a shifter who made one mistake in her past and now she’s paying for it. She cage fights for money to help her orphanage. Mikhail has no memory of who or what he is. What he does know, he wants Leana. Rohan is Leana human cousin who has fallen in with the wrong crowd. The book starts off with Leana in a cage match. You get a glimpse into her mindset, but as the book progresses her mindset changes and she becomes stronger. I love a strong female lead.

There are so many rich characters and elements to this story that you’ll have to read this twice to appreciate it all! There are vampires, shifters, and humans. Add to that, this book can cross so many genres. There’s mystery, thriller, romance, fantasy/sci-fi. What is awesome about this story is Ms. Hariharan gives just enough backstory without retelling previous stories. It’s easy to follow along without having to read the previous stories, however it’s written in such a way that you are intrigued in other characters… so you HAVE to read the previous books. Since I am NOTORIOUS for reading series out of order, I have some catching up to do. And it will be totally worth it!

18+, Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, HEA, Romance, series

Unmasking Miss Appleby ~ Emily Larkin

Unmasking Miss Appleby


Title: Unmasking Miss Appleby (Baleful Godmother, Book 1)
Author: Emily Larkin
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Historical Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Date of Release: November 7, 2016
Pages: 393
Format: Kindle (BookReview 22)

Unmasking Miss Appleby is an extraordinary story I just couldn’t put down. Truly an enchanting book. This story had a little bit of everything; which would seem as though it’s easy to screw up. You are so wrong. There’s a faerie, shape-shifting, romance, mystery, and humor.

Marcus Cosgrove has a blossoming political career ahead of him. One of his ultimate goals is to end slavery. Well, you can’t get that far in your career without making a few enemies. And boy did he have some! On a regular basis, windows would be smashed in, and a surprise left on his doorstep. One night, he and his secretary, Lionel, are attacked and leaves Lionel badly injured. Time to place an advertisement!

Charlotte lives with her aunt and uncle who aren’t particularly kind to her. She realizes she needs to get out and make her own way through the world, but she’s a woman. Imagine her shock and excitement when a faerie is in her bedroom on her 25th birthday to grant her a wish! Let the fun begin! She becomes Christopher Albin and lands a job as Cosgrove’s secretary. They work together to solve the mystery of who is behind the attacks and vandalism. But, can they do it before Cosgrove is gravely injured?

The writing is superb. This is everything I look for in a historical romance. The playful banter between Cosgrove and Charlotte’s many personalities was delightful. When Cosgrove felt betrayed, you felt it too. You were on the emotional rollercoaster Charlotte was on as she dealt with deceit from her family to her feelings for Cosgrove. It doesn’t get any better than this! Amazing!