All posts by skyebjenner

Pattern Recognition by Dana Cameron

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Pattern Recognition
Author: Dana Cameron
Series: Fangborn #0.4
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy, Vampires, Werewolves
Dates read: 30th June 2021
Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: And her brother; apparently he’d taken on Cesar’s men when they broke into the apartment.

Synopsis

Siblings Claudia and Gerry are fangborn, and when one of Claudia’s patients rings her with an odd experience… they realise that things are starting to enter the mythological realms of prophecy and ruin.

Thoughts

I know I’ve read a fangborn short story before. And I know that I enjoyed it enough to add the series to my wish list. And I remember that I loved the idea of Gerry and Claudia… werewolf and vampire siblings. This story was just as enjoyable and surprising.

I wasn’t quite surprised to find a story like this in the Murder and Mayhrm in Muskego book. I wasn’t really expecting a paranormal story in here. I’m not really sure what I was expecting expecting be fair as this is only my second story of the collection… but still. I like that there is a paranormal tale in here. Its incredibly fun and left a huge smile on my face.

I really liked the mayhem throughout this story. It didn’t quite touch on murder as much as I expected. But I really enjoyed all of the mayhem. And the blood. And the fact that there was impaling of the bad guys… I’m not bloodthirsty at all!

<- Hollywood LanesSlider ->

Image source: Amazon

The Veiled Prophet by David B.

Overview
Image result for xo orpheus book cover

Title: The Veiled Prophet
Author: David B.
In: Xo Orpheus (Kate Bernheimer)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels, Mythology
Dates read: 30th June 2021
Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: It was said that Simorgh the bird strode at the head of this veiled man’s perennially victorious army.

Synopsis

A nice, short comic retelling of the Prophet of the Veil. This was dark, complex and fun.

Thoughts

This would have been a creepy and disturbing story in prose. The fact that it was illustrated just helped to drive that home. It was just… unsettling. Particularly by the end of the story.

This story made me think about all of the things and “falsities” that we trap ourselves with. It makes me seriously question the different things in life that tie and trap us.

This was dark and fun. A story that I would read again. It was surprising, and I found it a great little journey down the well hole… pun intended.

<- Friend RobinHenry and Booboo ->

Image source: Goodreads

Nothing Will Hurt You by David Morrell

Overview
Hauntings: Datlow, Ellen: 9781616960889: Amazon.com: Books

Title: Nothing Will Hurt You
Author: David Morrell
In: Hauntings (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: FamilyHorror
Dates read: 30th June 2021
Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Tachyon
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Synopsis

Parents are supposed to be able to protect their children. But what happens when they fail?

Thoughts

To start with I had some pretty amazing Edward Scissorhand vibes. I’m not entirely sure why, maybe there’s a reference I picked up subconsciously from my long ago watching of the movie. And honestly, I thought that reference was dark enough…

It got darker. It got more disturbing and I felt quite uncomfortable by the time I’d finished this short story. Which, I suppose makes sense for the fact that it’s in the Hauntings collection. It also left you with a but of a “haunting” feeling when you turned that final page…

I love the idea that a father will do anything to protect his daughter. I also loved how this story took that protective instinct WAY too far. Combined with the haunting by the daughter, a quest for revenge and just the general creepiness of this story… well, I’m still tingling.

<- Delta Sly HoneyThe Ammonite Violin (Murder Ballad No. 4) ->

Image source: Amazon

Flying by Delia Sherman

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Flying
Author: Delia Sherman
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: CircusVampires
Dates read: 30th June 2021
Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: I’m making an egg for your father.

Synopsis

Lena’s parents gave up everything to help support her through cancer. But now all she wants to do is fly… what will the cost be?

Thoughts

I really loved this mix of circus performers and vampires. It was fun and exciting. And you constantly hoped for the best where Lena was concerned. Her battle for health and happiness was beautiful, and for me, this story became less about vampires and more about finding your happily ever after.

It was kind of sad that Lena’s happily ever after really, really didn’t involve her parents. After all, they are beautifully kind and supportive. Although, I suppose that we all find a happily ever after that really doesn’t involve our parents…

I always love stories by Delia Sherman. This one was no exception and I absolutely adored this tale. I love the imagery of the circus and a trapeze artist. The cats and the bats. Everything worked so beautifully and seamlessly together. Leaving me with a huge, happy grin on my face.

<- Bloody SunriseVampire Weather ->

Image source: HarperCollins

The Sons of Ra by Helen Scott Taylor

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance 2 book cover

Title: The Sons of Ra
Author: Helen Scott Taylor
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Mythology, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 30th June 2021
Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: The highlights in his hair shone guinea gold in contrast to the black trousers and black leather jacket he’d donned for their night foray.

Synopsis

A trip for information takes Trish back to the man that broke her heart twenty years ago. But finding out that he hasn’t age is just the tip of this very confusing iceberg.

Thoughts

I thought that the concept of this story was unique and cute. It didn’t necessarily completely hook me. But I did find it enjoyable. Which, for me, is enough. It was fun and easy and just… cute.

I love the integration of Egyptian mythology into this story. It was a little surprising and very enjoyable. It was also not something I see very much. I tend to find most of the stories I read featuring mythology feature Greek, roman or norse.

Trish’s desire to choose her own destiny and not fall for the man she loves mindlessly made me incredibly happy. I mean, she has a right to be pissed (I think she didn’t quite make him work hard enough for forgiveness to be honest. But, she still kept her head high. So alls well that ends well.

<- NightDrakeEve of Warfare ->

Image source: Amazon

Be Mine Tonight by Kathryn Smith

Overview
Be Mine Tonight (Brotherhood of Blood, #1) by Kathryn Smith

Title: Be Mine Tonight
Author: Kathryn Smith
Series: Brotherhood of Blood #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceParanormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 27th – 28th June 2021
Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: Oddly enough, that realization wasn’t annoying so much as it was warming.

Synopsis

I am called Chapel…

For nearly six centuries I have roamed the night, a mortal man no longer. Would that I could undo the past – when I entered the sanctuary of the Knights Templar to wrest from them the Holy Grail, only to discover the chalice I raised to my lips was not the sacred relic but a hellish cup of damnation. Now I shun the day and all things human, driven by an ungodly thirst. And yet…

Never have I known a maiden the like of Prudence Ryland, whose beauty and spirit awaken a heart I feared long cold and dead. But her young life is slipping away, and she also seeks the deliverance of the Grail – unaware that the cost of her search could be her soul. I must help Prudence, for in six hundred years, no other woman has stirred my passions so. But dare I tender to my beloved that which she most desires – the sensuous “gift” of forever that is both rapture and a curse: my immortal kiss?

Thoughts

This was one of those books that I was like “eh, eh, eh, WOW.” It took quite a while for me to warm up to the storyline. But, once I got there… wow was I happy. It happened about a third / half the way in. Then, I really, really wanted to know what was going on. I also cried at one point.

I bought this book because I read a novella in this series which intrigued me. But, honestly? I had no idea what to expect or even what time period this would be in. I was pleasantly surprised that this read like a regency romance. Just with a much more intense paranormal spin.

Chapel is kind of a fool and a little bit too whiney for my taste in lead men. Plus, the constant need for retribution was just… seriously dude? You’re 600 years old!!! Grow the hell up! Luckily, Pru agreed and kicked his butt multiple times with her frustration at his stupidity. It made him more likeable since Pru found a reason to like him in spite of his stupidity…

All in all, this was a fun start to a series. Yes, there was this beautiful part towards the end that had me crying. But, mostly it was a good, easy read. I particularly liked how the story ended… leaving plenty of opening and intrigue for the next tale in the series.

<- More Kathryn SmithNight of the Huntress ->

Image source: Goodreads

Witch Wife by Kiki Petrosino

Overview
Amazon.com: Witch Wife (9781946448033): Petrosino, Kiki: Books

Title: Witch Wife
Author: Kiki Petrosino
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Poetry, Race
Dates read: 27th June 2021
Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast
Format: Collection, Poem
Publisher: Sarabande Books
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: Stuffed thy brain with blooms of blight:

Synopsis

In Witch Wife’s incantations, Kiki Petrosino summons history’s ghosts – the ancestors that reside in her blood and craft – and sings them vibrantly to life.

Thoughts

This collection of poems was wonderfully dark and poignant. I loved the emotions that it inspired within me throughout. I also felt like a whole heap of it went over my head, but I often feel that way with poetry until I’ve read it half a thousand times…

This poetry was wonderfully dark and engagingly written. I struggled to put it aside. And, even as I’m writing this review days after finishing it… I still get those strong emotions rushing through me.

One of my favourite things about poetry is that you can find something new with every new reading. Some of these poems I read multiple times and understood something new each and every time.

<- More Kiki PetrosinoMore Poetry ->

Image source: Amazon

Say Everything by Langley Gray

Overview
Say Everything by Langley Gray - online free at Epub

Title: Say Everything
Author: Langley Gray
Series: The Socialites #4
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Chic lit, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 26th May – 20th June 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Langley Gray
Year: 2021
5th sentence, 74th page: He’s funny, laid back, intelligent, and a great listener.

Synopsis

WILL A MISTAKEN IDENTITY LEAD TO LOVE?

Iris Mortimer, heir to a shipping empire, is a new ex-pat in Hong Kong. She agrees to a blind date only because, well, she’s bored and maybe a tiny bit lonely. When Bryan Harris arrives, she’s pleasantly surprised – he’s not the stuffy white-collar type she anticipated.

Both new to the city, the two embark on an exploration of all the best tourist spots. She’s recovering from a past relationship, he’s focused on his research, so no pressure – right?

What neither realizes is that there has been a serious mistake in identity, both were meant to meet other people with the same name. When their true selves are accidentally revealed, Bryan realizes he can’t be with Iris. But by now, she’s fallen for him.

Will their mutual love of 80’s rom coms help keep them together?

Find out as Iris Says Everything to get him back.

Thoughts

This is one of those series and authors that I only just, very recently found. And im completely hooked. Say Everything is a great finish to this quartet. And whilst Iris and Bryan aren’t my favourite couple of the series… they’re still completely adorable.

I love the whole fate / serendipity feeling of the Meet Cute in this novel. I mean, the likelihood of two people meeting up and accidentally mistaking them for one another… its honestly kind of ridiculous. Which made it THAT much more adorable and fun. Then off on a fun whirlwind… one that I really wasn’t expecting if I’m being honest.

I’m always a fan of a story that features a scientist in the lead… I spent years working in the field, so I feel a kind of kinship. The connection that this never fails to make for me just left me smiling harder and harder as the story unfolded. Particularly as Bryan shares his strong opinions on marine issues… my Facebook is filled with likeminded people, and it definitely helped me to connect even more.

I’m not going to lie, whilst this wasn’t my all time favourite of The Socialites novels (that honour falls to The Flyaway Bride), I did love the ending. That final ditch effort to make things work bought a tear or ten to my eye. And I had the pleasure of finishing this book with a gigantic smile on my face.

<- The Peak of LoveMore Langley Gray ->

Image source: epub.pub

NightDrake by Lara Adrian

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance 2 book cover

Title: NightDrake
Author: Lara Adrian
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance
Dates read: 20th June 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: I had to admit, if only to myself, I was eager to be rid of it.

Synopsis

Nisha is a mercenary cargo shifter, one who is known for being cold hearted. But her latest cargo could just about change everything.

Thoughts

This story was… alright. I enjoyed it in the end because I liked the twist and felt like it was kind of cute, but I also wasn’t incredibly head over heels for it. I mean, it was just an easy and fun short story that I enjoyed. But probably wouldn’t read again.

At first, I really didn’t enjoy this story at all – the lead character struck me as incredibly racist (against paranormal beings), and it was almost hard to feel connected to her with such prejudice. As the story unfolded, this began to make a little more sense and made me feel less uncomfortable and annoyed. But, still, starting off a story where you can’t feel connected to the lead? That is why I found this story just enjoyable, not lovely.

All in all, I did like the relationship in this story and I did, overall enjoy it. It may not have been my favourite tale of all time, but it was one that I wouldn’t throw away either. Lara Adrian may not have made it to my wishlist, but she also hasn’t made my hate list.

<- Fragile MagicThe Sons of Ra ->

Image source: Amazon

The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu

Overview
The Iron Hunt (Hunter Kiss, #1) by Marjorie M. Liu

Title: The Iron Hunt
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
Series: Hunter Kiss #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Demons, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 22nd May – 19th June 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: For the first time in my life, I did not care.

Synopsis

Silver smoke winds around my torso, peeling away from my ribs and back, stealing the dark mist covering my hands and lower extremities…tattoos dissolving into demon flesh, coalescing into small dark bodies. My boys. The only friends I have in this world. Demons.

I am a demon hunter. I am a demon. I am Hunter Kiss.

By day, her tattoos are her armor. By night, they unwind from her body to take on forms of their own–demons of the flesh, turned into flesh. This is the only family demon hunter Maxine Kiss has ever known. It’s the only way to live, and the very way she’ll die. For one day her demons will abandon her for her daughter to assure their own survival–leaving Maxine helpless against her enemies.

But such is the way of Earth’s last protector–the only one standing between humanity and the demons breaking out from behind the prison veil. It is a life lacking in love, reveling in death, until one moment–and one man– changes everything…

Thoughts

I’ve been hanging to fully get into this series since I read the first Hunter Kiss novella. But, for whatever reasons I’ve been putting it off. But, now I’m definitely going to keep diving into this series. There’s the whole intrigue of the end of the world going on. And a question of heart. A question of loyalty. There’s just a whole lot of wow going on.

I like that Maxine is the first if the hunter women to actually stop and put down roots. They’re still unconventional. But they are roots, nonetheless. It creates a wonderful, sweet and nice world that she is able to rely on. And, since this whole series seems like its going to revolve around the idea that maxine is special and last… it just adds that extra layer of mystery.

I really loved the feeling of mystery and world building that Liu was able to create. I know from some of the other works I’ve read by her that she tends towards a darker style of story. I know that my heart strings are going to be plucked drastically throughout this series.

The boys that surround marine are also adorable. I’m sure that finding demons adorable is a bit odd… but nevertheless, I still find them wonderful. And im not sure if I’m excited for Darkness Calls for the continuation of the storyline… or getting to spend more time with Maxine’s “boys”

<- Hunter KissDarkness Calls ->

Image source: Goodreads