Tuesday 28 August 2018

Review& Giveaway: Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) by Ilona Andrews
Publication date: August 28th 2018
Publisher: Ace
My rating:  4.5 Stars
Pages: 336
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo

Mercenary Kate Daniels must risk all to protect everything she holds dear in this epic, can't-miss entry in the thrilling #1 New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series.

Kate has come a long way from her origins as a loner taking care of paranormal problems in post-Shift Atlanta. She's made friends and enemies. She's found love and started a family with Curran Lennart, the former Beast Lord. But her magic is too strong for the power players of the world to let her be.

Kate and her father, Roland, currently have an uneasy truce, but when he starts testing her defenses again, she knows that sooner or later, a confrontation is inevitable. The Witch Oracle has begun seeing visions of blood, fire, and human bones. And when a mysterious box is delivered to Kate's doorstep, a threat of war from the ancient enemy who nearly destroyed her family, she knows their time is up.

Kate Daniels sees no other choice but to combine forces with the unlikeliest of allies. She knows betrayal is inevitable. She knows she may not survive the coming battle. But she has to try.

For her child.

For Atlanta.

For the world.

My Thoughts:
Magic Triumphs!  Wow! I closed the book thinking wow, I can’t believe this is the last book! But after being disappointed by the ending of another favorite series (I’m looking at you Iron Druid!) I was soooo happy Magic Triumphs does not disappoint!  So much to love here!  Conlan!  Too cute!!!  Hugh, Julie, Derek, and of course, Curran! That’s not to say that I’m not sad that the series is over, but I do have hopes of spin-offs with Hugh, Julie, Derek and though I thought I’d never say this, Kate’s morally ambiguous Aunt Erra!  

As with the previous books Magic Triumphs has its own mystery/conflict, along with the continuing story arc of Roland (Kate’s father) and his mission to kill or subject Kate to his will.  Kate must put aside all her other investigations when a whole neighborhood just disappears, 200 residents just gone.  What’s left over is sickening and extremely disturbing and you know things will only get worse. As if that wasn’t bad enough word comes in that Roland is gathering his troops, getting ready to invade.  Is Kate and her allies ready for this final battle?

Kate is the star of the show, always facing insurmountable odds and coming out on top with crafty thinking, sheer determination, and a shit-ton of power! I love that she always finds humor and snark even in the most desperate situations.  Her friends defend and stick with her because she inspires love and loyalty.  Curran comes a close second, as Kate’s husband and mate, he’s fierce in his devotion and love for her, and he is one sexy-beast!  Curran is a scary power in his own right, not a force to be reckoned with.  These two together have taken on sooo much over the course of the series, but in this book everything has come to a head. 

If you haven’t read the Kate Daniels series this is seriously the time to pick it up! All the books are out now, and this is one of my all-time favorite series out there! Epic battles, a wealth of amazing secondary characters, snarky, fun humor, and bizarre but cute animals!  Start at the beginning and hang on.  Each book only gets better!

Connect with Ilona Andrews:

The lovely people of Ace have generously provided a copy of Magic Bites (the first book of the Kate Daniels series) to one lucky reader.  The giveaway is open to US Residents only.  Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win.  Good luck!

Sunday 26 August 2018

Weekly Wrap Up #35 & A Seventeen Book Giveaway!

Hi everyone, it's just me, Rachel, as Jasprit is on vacation.  I read two books this last week and didn't watch anything so I thought I'd post a giveaway (17 Books!) with my Weekly Wrap Up.

We link our weekly wrap ups with The Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer

(Click on title for Goodreads link)

Defending Allye was a disappointment, but Pieces of Her was wonderful! I read Pieces of Her in 24 hours! Karin Slaughter is such an excellent writer!

 (Click on title for Goodreads link)

I didn't request this one it was sent to me in the mail, but it sounds like my kind of read so I'm crossing my fingers that I'll love it! 


So not much exciting happening other than remolding, working, and planning for my three week vacation coming up in September. My husband and I are traveling along the coast from Northern California to Oregon and ending in Washington visiting lighthouses along the way and relaxing by the seaside. I've been mapping out sights and looking up restaurants/wineries to stop at along the way.  Any one make that trip? Any recommendations if you have?

17 Books to one lucky reader! The giveaway is open to US Residents only (the shipping would kill me otherwise).  Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win. Good luck! 

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare-Hardcover
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare-Hardcover
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare-Hardcover
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare-Hardcover
 The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis-Hardcover
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton-Hardcover (signed by author to me: Rachel)
Glass Houses by Rachel Caine-Paperback
The Dead Girls Dance by Rachel Caine-Paperback
Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine-Paperback
Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine-Paperback
Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine-Paperback
Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine-Paperback
Fade Out by Rachel Caine-Paperback
Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine-Paperback
Ghost Town by Rachel Caine-Hardcover
Last Breath by Rachel Caine-Hardcover
Bite Club by Rachel Caine-Hardcover

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Review: Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

Pieces of Her by Karen Slaughter
Publication date: August 21st 2018
Publisher: William Morrow
My rating:  4 Stars
Pages: 480
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo

What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all . . . ?

Andrea knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows she’s spent her whole life in the small beachside town of Belle Isle; she knows she’s never wanted anything more than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life. Because we all know our mothers, don’t we?

But all that changes when a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly thirty years she’s been hiding from her previous identity, lying low in the hope that no one would ever find her. But now she’s been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.

The police want answers and Laura’s innocence is on the line, but she won’t speak to anyone, including her own daughter. Andrea is on a desperate journey following the breadcrumb trail of her mother’s past. And if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either one of them. . . .

My Thoughts:
Andrea, just turning thirty-one has been living a kind of pathetic, stagnant life, but things get very interesting on her birthday lunch! Out with her mother, Laura, they’re caught up in a dangerous situation and the predictable, reliable mother she thought she knew turns into a cool-as-a-cucumber woman handling the deadly situation like she’s a trained professional.  

The details of the situation are splashed all over the media, and with the public attention details of Andrea’s mother begin to surface.  Soon it becomes clear that they’re both in extreme danger.  Andrea’s forced on the run trying to reconcile the past of her mother she thought she knew with the reality that she’s now piecing together. 

Mystery, deception, and danger make Pieces of Her a riveting read!  The story flips back and forth from Laura’s past to Andrea’s present, slowly revealing why Andrea and Laura are in such danger now. I have to say my first impression of Andrea was not great, in fact I really wanted to shake her a time or two!  But she stepped up her game when the pressure cranked up!  Andrea still had a couple of bouts of stupidity here and there, but I can’t say I’d do any better in the situation with the lack of sleep.  I really liked Andrea by the end.

Some of Laura’s life choices in the past were shocking, and I had mixed feelings about her, but Karin Slaughter has a way of making you empathize with her characters even when they’re life decisions are morally questionable or downright wrong.

I love Karin Slaughter’s addictive brand of story-telling!  She writes imperfect characters that you can relate to even when their lives are so far out of your normal perspective. I LOVE her Will Trent series to death, but her stand-alones, like The Good Daughter and now Pieces of Her are impressive!  I read all 480 pages within a 24-hour period because it was hard to put down!


Sunday 19 August 2018

Weekly Recap #34

Hi everyone, it's just me, Rachel, as Jasprit is on vacation.  It's been forever since I've done one of these so I guess I can't really call it a "Weekly Recap" and I won't share everything. That would be just too much. We link our weekly wrap ups with The Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer.


(Click on title for Goodreads link)

I'm just going to narrow down what I've read to my three favorites so far this summer.  Each are very different. I've got a thriller/mystery/crime-procedural: Girl in the Moss which was the series ender for the Angie Pallorino series.  If you haven't read it you should! You can binge read all three books at once. Love doing that!  You can't go wrong with any Ilona Andrews book, but I was a little nervous when I found out Hugh would be getting his own book. To be honest he was quite the despicable character and I wondered if/how he would be redeemed.  Ilona Andrews not only redeemed Hugh, but they made me root for him! Beard Science was an Audible sale purchase from like a year ago.  I finally got around to listening and I loved it! Cleetus and Jen were unique and quirky and made me laugh so many times! Joy Nash's performance as Jennifer was so amazing! I loved her Southern accent and her comedic timing! 


 (Click on title for Goodreads link)

I really enjoyed Don't Call Me Cupcake and the teaser for Don't Touch My Petunia made me wish for the book immediately. Finally got a copy.  I can't believe Magic Triumphs is supposed to be the last book in the Kate Daniels series! I'm excited to read but hoping to have more KD maybe through spinoffs? I'm going to listen to the audio as well next month while on a road-trip vacation.  I've never read P.J. Tracy but her Monkeewrench mystery series has great ratings, so when I was offered a copy of The Guilty Dead I accepted. I love mystery/thrillers/crime-procedurals.  So we'll see what happens.



A scary and atmospheric movie! I was on the edge of my seat clutching at my heart at times! I was a little disappointed by the ending events in regards to a particular character, but I've heard there's going to be a sequel and so I hope my disappointment changes. Still, I totally recommend the movie!


So many things... I've just been so busy lately. Between work, renovating my house, and traveling back and forth from the SF Bay area I'm just beat. I did get in little vacation by the beach last weekend with a glorious massage! And I've been lounging in the pool this weekend in between renovations, so I can't complain too much.

As for exercise, my running has been put on hold for the most part until we get some reasonable temperatures out here. It's been highs of 100+ for like two months now.  Did I mention I'm so done with Summer? Anyhow, I've been doing a bunch of strength training and I'm doing this: 28-day Squat, Plank, Lunge Challenge so I'm not a complete vegetable, lol!

How was your week?

Friday 17 August 2018

Review & Giveaway: Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins

Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins
Publication date: August 7th 2018
Publisher: Berkley
My rating:  4 Stars
Pages: 480
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo


New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins is beloved for her heartfelt novels filled with humor and wisdom. Now, in her newest novel, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT, she tackles an issue every woman deals with: body image and self-acceptance.

Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults.

For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it’s coming to terms with the survivor’s guilt she’s carried around since her twin sister’s death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life. For Georgia, it’s about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother’s and brother’s ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her.

But as Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson’s dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves.

A novel of compassion and insight, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT tells the story of two women who learn to embrace themselves just the way they are.

My Thoughts:
Good Luck With That was an emotional story of three women, Emerson, Georgia and Marley, who’ve dealt with body image and weight issues all their lives. The death of Emerson shakes Georgia and Marley up and brings their issues into sharp focus. It forces them to take a hard look who they are, how they view themselves and how their perception of self has impacted their relationships.  Their story was emotional but interspersed with humor that balanced some of the hard realities featured. 

Most women, this woman included, have had to deal with self-image issues. Doesn’t matter your size, it seems like even if your somewhat average or even on the skinny side of average, there’s always some amount of weight you’d like to lose.  I remember over the years always thinking I needed to lose weight and I’ll look back at photos from that time now and think, “Wow, I was super skinny!”. Crazy, right?

Kristan Higgins captured the real feelings that women deal with on a daily basis when it comes to body image.  Good Luck With That was open and honest, a story that will suck you in.  And, yes, there’s a romance for both women which of course made me happy!  Marley and Georgia’s journeys were at times painful, but overall it was a feel-good story filled with love. 

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Review: Abandoned by Allison Brennan

Abandoned (Max Revere #5)  by Allison Brennan
Publication date: August 14th 2018
Publisher: Minotaur Books
My rating:  4.5 Stars
Pages: 352
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo

Investigative reporter Max Revere has cracked many cases, but the one investigation she's never attempted is the mystery from her own past. Her mother abandoned her when she was nine, sending her periodic postcards, but never returning to reclaim her daughter. Seven years after the postcards stop coming, Martha Revere is declared legally dead, with no sign of what may have happened to her. Until now.

With a single clue―that her mother’s car disappeared sixteen years ago in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay―Max drops everything to finally seek the truth. As Max investigates, and her mother's story unfolds, she realizes that Martha teamed up with a con man. They traveled the world living off Martha’s trust and money they conned from others.

Though no one claims to know anything about Martha or her disappearance, Max suspects more than one person is lying. When she learns the FBI has an active investigation into the con man, Max knows she’s on the right path. But as Max digs into the dark secrets of this idyllic community, the only thing she might find is the same violent end as her mother.

New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan weaves the intimate, unputdownable story of an investigator confronting the most important--and most dangerous--mystery of her career.

My Thoughts:
As an investigative reporter for Maximum Exposure it’s Maxine’s job and passion to investigate cold cases and get answers.  Not only for justice, but for the family left behind without closure. But this case is personal.  Maxine’s mother, Martha, disappeared sixteen years ago and was finally declared dead, but they never found out what happened to her. 

After getting to know Max through the previous books it’s apparent her mother’s abandonment and then disappearance has cast a shadow over her life. We get glimpses of Martha Revere in the past and let me tell you she was a piece of work!  Self-absorbed without a care for anyone else, least of all her daughter.  She dumped Max off with her mother (Max’s grandmother) when Max was just nine and never looked back.  My heart hurt for Max.

After so many years of not knowing what exactly happened she gets a break in the case when Sean Rogan finds a clue leading back to the seaside town of Cape Haven.  Could Martha Revere have spent her last days there? And if so what was she doing there that led to her death?  Max is determined to find out exactly what happened.  Not surprisingly, Max’s digging around and asking questions ruffles a few feathers, but even more than that, it puts her in danger.  Abandoned had me on a knife edge with all the tension swirling, and things got very desperate by the end!

I’ve become very fond of Maxine through this series.  Yes, she can be hyper-focused on her mission to the point of stepping on toes or just bulldozing right over whoever gets in her way, but she does it out of the sincere belief that she’s doing what’s right. She’s honest and doesn’t play games, and I was glad that after Nick’s behavior in the last few books it seems Max might’ve finally found someone worthy of her.  I really love how far she’s has come as a person, and I’m interested to see how some of the new developments in Abandoned will affect Max’s life in the future.

Each book of the Max Revere series tackles and solves a mystery, but I can’t really recommend this as a standalone.  Max’s personal life and history are built upon with each new installment and that’s a huge part of what makes the series so addictive.  It is a series that I love and whole-heartedly recommend! 

Connect with Allison Brennan:

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