Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, NetGalley, Sci-fi, Suspense, YA

Book Review: Smoke and Key ~ Kelsey Sutton

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Title: Smoke and Key
Author: Kelsey Sutton
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Date of Release: April 2, 2019
Pages: 304
Format: Kindle (NetGalley)

Imagine waking up as you were falling, but you’re different than you remember. The difference… you’re dead. You don’t know how you died, you have no memories. Now, those who were with you are slowly disappearing, and you have to find out why before you’re next.

While this was a bit of a slow start for me, it was still an interesting story.  The characters and the plot kept you guessing. It was interesting to meet some of the characters, such as Smoke, Journal and Ribbon. The story is told from Key’s perspective and the details of the world created was great. There was a romance aspect but it’s wasn’t a main factor. Kelsey Sutton’s writing is stunning. It’s engaging and she tells quite the story. The pace was just a bit slow, which kept this from being a 5-star review. I’m interested to read more of her work.

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18+, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Free, Romance, series, Suspense

Bargain Tuesday: Soho Dead, The Edinburgh Seer, Secrets of Redemption

Soho Dead
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Title: Soho Dead(The Soho Series, Book 1)
Author: Greg Keen
Genre: Mystery
Date of Release: July 1, 2017
Pages: 334

¸¸.•¨•★ $1.99! ★•¨•.¸¸

Kenny Gabriel is three years away from turning sixty, has forty-three quid in the bank and is occasionally employed to find people who would rather not be found. Broke, clientless and depressed, he knows things can’t get much worse. Then he’s summoned to the office of London media magnate Frank Parr, whose daughter, Harry, is missing—and there’s ten grand on the table to get her back.

It’s a lot of money, and God knows Kenny needs the cash. But he and Frank have a history he’d rather not revisit. Kenny worked for him in the seventies, when Frank was the head of a Soho magazine empire and owner of an infamous nightclub. And Kenny might still be working for Frank now—if he hadn’t witnessed his boss brutally torturing another employee.

Kenny suspects taking this job is a mistake, and he’s probably right. Because while he may be done with the past, the past is far from done with him.

For Prime members: Read and listen for free!

 

The Edinburgh Seer Series
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Title: The Edinburgh Seer (The Complete Trilogy)
Author: Alisha Klapheke
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Date of Release: March 23, 2018
Pages: Unknown

¸¸.•¨•★ $0.99! ★•¨•.¸¸

She thought hiding her sixth sense would solve everything. She was very, very wrong.

In a land divided by corruption and rebellion, Aini successfully manages her father’s altered candy lab alongside an apprentice—the mysterious, sexy Thane.

But life goes from sweet to sour when the most nefarious clan in Scotland abducts her father.

And the only way to rescue him is to risk using her sixth sense and stop fighting Fate.

Leap into USA Today bestselling author Alisha Klapheke’s unique, action-packed adventure, an urban fantasy series that fans of Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander will love!

Free with Kindle Unlimited

 

Secrets of Redemption
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Title: Secrets of Redemption
Author: L.K. Shaw
Genre: Suspense
Date of Release: March 24, 2017
Pages: 280

¸¸.•¨•★ Free! ★•¨•.¸¸

I killed a man.

He deserved to die, but guilt threatens to consume me. Every time I close my eyes, all I see is blood. His face haunts me, and I don’t know how much more I can take. My life is out of control. Then, there is Josie. I’ve wanted her for years, and now, I can never have her. Darkness surrounds me. I’m damaged goods. A murderer.

I killed a man.

He deserved to die, and never once have I regretted my actions. Then, there is Miles, who walks around as if ghosts are chasing him. I know what he did, and I know it’s eating him alive. I’ve loved him for years, and now, it’s time for action. Time for him to learn that submission will give him back his control. I only hope my Domination can light his way out of the darkness.

 

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Book Review, Books, Fiction, NetGalley, Romance, series, Suspense, YA

Book Review: Lies that Bind ~ Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Lies that Bind
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Title: Lies that Bind (Anastasia Phoenix, Book 2)
Author: Diana Rodriguez Wallach
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: YA, Mystery, Suspense
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Date of Release: March 6, 2018
Pages: 322
Format: Kindle (NetGalley)

I’m going to be honest with you… I don’t even know where to start with this one. Lies that Bind picks up where we left off. With the heroics of Anastasia and Marcus, Keira is with them and safe. Only now, the person in danger is Marcus’s brother, Antonio, or is he? Marcus and Anastasia are off to save him. There’s something about Antonio you can’t quite put your finger on, but when he’s around Marcus, he’s different. Can you trust him? Should you trust him? Just when Anastasia thought she could see an end to this all, the group gets plunged deeper into the world of espionage. Can no one be trusted?

I truly enjoyed this sequel. I enjoyed catching up with Charlotte and Julian, slowly getting glimpses of their relationship developing. I would be lying if I said Keira didn’t frustrate me at times, but I understood she was trying to get some type of normalcy back in her life after her ordeal. I got my wish! We got know Marcus a little more… not as much as I liked, but it was enough for now. With this story, the plot thickens. Everyone you thought you could trust, you couldn’t… not even your own information. excitedly clapping hands I can’t wait to get the next book! And as always, I love the last few pages of pure information on events which really happened. I love when books can take a true event and incorporate it, flawlessly, into a fictional story. This grabbed me and I finished it in one sitting. It was nice to be back at Anastasia’s and Marcus’s side jet-setting across the globe, from Italy to London, back to Boston, to Rio… it was exciting and I can’t wait until the next installment!

Book Review, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, HEA, series, Suspense, YA

(Book Review) Opposition ~ Jennifer L. Armentrout

Opposition
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Title: Opposition, A Lux Novel (Book 5)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Suspense, YA
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Date of Release: August 5, 2014
Pages: 300
Format: Kindle (Amazon)

Oh, the feels! I don’t know where to begin with this action-packed book! Opposition picks up where Origin leaves off… Katy and friends trying to save the world, and they have to do so without knowing who they can trust. The world is upside down for them… the people they thought would never betray them, do and the people they always thought were enemies become their strongest allies. Every page was a page turner for me. The only way I can describe this series is “Epic”. I never thought this series would get to be this when I picked up Obsidian. While I am pleasantly surprised, I’m gobsmacked and thrilled to have read this and had the privilege of having the feeling of reading it for the first time.

Daemon, Katy, Archer… these characters and more were amazing! The twists and turns and plot-twists they experienced will have you feeling like you were on a rollercoaster. Some revelations have you thinking, “I did not see that coming!” I love the dual POVs and would love a book from Archer’s perspective. I think that would be fascinating! So much happens and brings everything full circle. I never thought I would fall in love with a story about a young girl with a blog, who falls in love with the hot alien next door! This was absolutely perfect, and I’m so glad I read this!

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

(Book Review) Origin ~ Jennifer L. Armentrout

Origins
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Title: Origin, A Lux Novel (Book 4)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Suspense, YA
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Date of Release: August 27, 2013
Pages: 400
Format: Kindle (Amazon)

Wow! Just wow! After one hell of a cliffhanger, things get real very quickly! Katy is with the DOD, and Daemon will do anything to get her back… ANYTHING! This is quite possibly my favorite book in the series. You get dual POV, meet a slew of awesome characters, and one hell of a story! Hold on tight, this one’s gonna be a nail-biter!

As everything is happening, you find out some really disturbing things about what the government is capable of doing. Just when you thought there were only four species inhabiting the planet: Arum, Human, Hybrid, and Luxen, you find out there’s a fifth, Origin. Most disturbing is how they were created. But what makes it interesting is reading the previous three books and realizing where certain characters fall into place. As events unfold, triumphs and betrayals are revealed, can the gang prove they are up to the challenge of what happens next?

As always, the writing is impeccable. Every series has that one book where the tides have changed and in the next book, everything gets serious. Twilight had New Moon and Eclipse. Percy Jackson had Titan’s Curse and Battle of the Labyrinth. Harry Potter had Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix. For the Lux series, the tide changed in Opal and everything is getting very real now! Getting Daemon’s perspective was absolutely awesome! He is hilarious. His interactions with the additional characters were priceless! I am on to the finale of this series! 

While reading Origins: 745058

When it’s over: 745947

This series is amazingly awesome!

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

(Book Review) Opal ~ Jennifer L. Armentrout

 

Opal.jpg
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Title: Opal, A Lux Novel (Book 3)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Suspense, YA
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Date of Release: August 14, 2012
Pages: 416
Format: Kindle (Amazon)

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When I tell you, I was not fully prepared for this… no joke! I. Was. Not. Prepared! So… unfortunately, Blake lives. (I despise him!) In book 2, you meet Dawson and your heart is aching. However, at the start of this book, you will crack up! Dawson is back and he is trying to get Bethany! Daemon and Katy are in full swing and the interactions between them can provide enough electricity to power a city! Just one problem… Blake. He’s come back for their help in exchange for his help with rescuing Bethany. As a result of a few things that happened in OnyxKaty’s relationship with Dee is heavily strained. It frustrated me to no end the way Dee treated Katy, but at the same time, I completely understood why.

With a chance to get Bethany back, the gang can’t afford to miss their shot. Unfortunately, the gang learns the hard way… Luxens do have a kryptonite and the Department of Defense knows exactly what it is! BUT… if you can get your hand on opal, you can enhance your powers, except they’re really hard to come by… unless you know a guy! The gang gets an in, but things go south quickly. With an opportunity for a second chance to rescue Bethany, a warning is issued to both Daemon and Katy, “You really shouldn’t trust a soul in this game. Not when everyone has something to gain or lose.” This comes from a kid you’re not really sure if you should trust either, but the warning should be heeded. Just when you thought the gang can get on with their lives and live a “normal” life… bombshell… there’s a traitor amongst the group. 

Now I know I’m late to the party, but come on Jennifer! How you gonna end the book like that?! Jenny… COME ON JENNY?! That ending was everything! This was probably the one time I didn’t immediately do a review after reading the book. I went straight into the next book. I couldn’t put this book down. I read it in one sitting, and I found myself gasping and laughing and fearing the safety of Daemon and Katy. Now that Katy’s and Daemon’s relationship is out in the open, you see a completely different side of Daemon. He’s sweet and he’s tender, but he’s still a complete badass! Armentrout has a way making you care about what happens to the characters and you get completely caught up in everything they are going through and completely invested in their outcomes! Bring on book 4!

 

Book Review, Books, Fiction, HEA, Romance, series, Suspense

(Book Review) Last Stop in Brooklyn ~ Lawrence H. Levy

 

Last Stop in Brooklyn
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Title: Last Stop in Brooklyn: A Mary Handley Mystery (Book 3)
Author: Lawrence H. Levy
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Literary Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
Publisher: Random House, LLC
Date of Release: January 9, 2018
Pages: 322
Format: Kindle (First to Read)

It was such a pleasure to read this book! Mary Handley is one hell of a private detective… and in the 19th century, no less! The book starts with an explosion, but ends with fireworks! In a time when Andrew Carnegie, Russell Sage, Jay Gould, and John Rockefeller, people were angry and frustrated and anarchy was on the rise. So was corruption in the New York Police force. Inspector Thomas Byrne joins the force and proclaims he will have Jack the Ripper apprehended in 36 hours. Well, Inspector Byrnes did apprehend someone… but was it indeed Jack the Ripper?

Mary’s first case came from a family friend who suspects his wife of cheating. Little did she know it would lead to a much bigger case that speaks to what’s going on in the country. Did I mention Jack the Ripper?! This leads to Mary’s next case. Yes, she’s working two cases. While the characters are intertwined in the two cases, the cases aren’t related, but they are intriguing. Brian Murphy thinks his wife is having an affair. He hires Mary to find out if that is true. What she stumbles upon is much bigger! A key witness to the assassination attempt of Russell Sage. The witness, Brian’s wife. This leads her to meet Harper Lloyd, who becomes extremely helpful in her second case, Ameer Ben Ali.

She’s hired by his brother, Basem Ben Ali to prove he is innocent of killing prostitute, Carrie Brown. Ameer is Algerian and occasionally live across the hall from Carrie. When she is murdered, Ameer is arrested, tried, and found guilty by a “jury of his peers”. Mary’s investigation takes her to Coney Island, a huge tourist attraction in a country of immigrants. While there you will meet characters who are not that intricate to the case but help you understand the time period. The opinions of immigrants were not very high, but not just for African-Americans, but for the Irish, Eastern Europeans… anyone who was different. Mary holds a different world view and was not afraid to voice those opinions. Her retorts to some of the comments will having you in stitches. Can she save Ameer from certain death or will he fall victim to a severely corrupt judicial system?

The pacing was a bit slow at times, but it was full of information that helped you understand what it was like to live in Brooklyn during the 1890’s. It also gave you, as the reader, an idea of what you would have experienced during this time period. Mary’s reasoning and deduction skills are modern and amazing. So is the constant banter she has with Harper. They have really great scenes together. What really fascinated me about this book is the research that went into telling this story, as most of the characters are actual people. Some of the chapters do fly by. The writing keeps you engaged. You find yourself wanting to know what will happen to the characters in this chapter and what will happen next. This was a great book and I’m so glad I was picked to read it.