When a video goes viral of an incantation that gives a normal person telepathic abilities a surge of magic using causes uprisings across the globe. The U. S. government calls on ex CIA agent Ben Zolstra to track down and uncover the secret society. From the US to Marrakesh, Ben and his team are fighting a race against time to find an unbinding that will stop the magic before society implodes. This fast paced thriller is a mix of Jason Bourne and Robert Langdon meets a grown up and evil Harry Potter. A curious compilation that kept me reading until it’s explosive ending.
Ben Zolstra left the CIA because he became disillusioned with their tactics in fighting terror. When he finds Mack-the woman in the video seen to float a car in the air and thinks her life may become in danger because of those same tactics he spirits her away and goes rogue. The two of them make for an unlikely partnership since he wants to stop magic, but Mack feels empowered for the first time in her life. The dichotomy of their race against time and their differing opinions cause an already tense plot to become just that little bit edgier. The government needs Mack to be on their side but is she really?
Their race around the world gave American Magic a Dan Brown feel and the secret society that was unveiled only confirmed that similar feel. That commonality allowed me to enjoy the ride because I kind of felt like I knew where I would land. Some might consider that a negative but I didn’t feel that way at all. There were enough differences that made American Magic stand on it’s own and I really enjoyed the exploration of how magic could change our reality.
I received a free copy of this novel through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“American Magic is a quick read that I believe fans of Jim Butcher and Simon Green will like. Although this debut didn’t quite meet my admittedly high expectations, I think Zach Fehst has the potential to become an exciting new voice in urban fantasy, and I’m interested in seeing what he comes out with next.” By Hook or by Book
Recently I was looking at my NetGalley ARC’s trying to map out my reading schedule and realized I didn’t have any books I had to read for a July release. What?!! Immediately I wondered if I missed any and Googled Goodreads most popular list of July releases to just double check. There are some good ones on the list but surprisingly only a few that were on my radar. Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton being releases but I like certain genre’s and there are only a few that hit my sweet spot.
It’s kind of nice to know I can read for pleasure and maybe get a head start on my August ARC’s, cause you know, I over-requested for that month. Sooo many August releases this year! Anywho… here are some July releases that I’ve added to my TBR, and got in line for a few of them at my local library.
DEB’S TOP 5 RELEASES FOR JULY
5) Protect the Prince (A Crown of Shards #2) by Jennifer Estep
Release Date: 7/2/2019
Publisher: Harper Voyager (Harper Collins)
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
I loved the first novel in this series and can’t wait to dive into Protect the Prince!
Everleigh Blair might be the new gladiator queen of Bellona, but her problems are far from over.
First, Evie has to deal with a court full of arrogant, demanding nobles, all of whom want to get their greedy hands on her crown. As if that wasn’t bad enough, an assassin tries to kill Evie in her own throne room.
Despite the dangers, Evie goes ahead with a scheduled trip to the neighboring kingdom of Andvari in order to secure a desperately needed alliance. But complicating matters is the stubborn Andvarian king, who wants to punish Evie for the deaths of his countrymen during the Seven Spire massacre.
Dark forces are also at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, her immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes Evie wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen.
Evie’s magic, life, and crown aren’t the only things in danger—so is her heart, thanks to Lucas Sullivan, the Andvarian king’s bastard son and Evie’s … well, Evie isn’t quite sure what Sullivan is to her.
Only one thing is certain—protecting a prince might be even harder than killing a queen…
Nora Roberts is sometimes hit or miss, but I do like her Romantic Thriller’s, and well she is Nora Roberts and always hits my TBR.
For both Zane and Darby, their small town roots hold a terrible secret. Now, decades later, they’ve come together to build a new life. But will the past set them free or pull them under?
Zane Bigelow grew up in a beautiful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Strangers and even Zane’s own aunt across the lake see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children’s ballet recitals and baseball games. Only Zane and his sister know the truth, until one brutal night finally reveals cracks in the facade, and Zane escapes for college without a thought of looking back…
Years later, Zane returns to his hometown determined to reconnect with the place and people that mean so much to him, despite the painful memories. As he resumes life in the colorful town, he meets a gifted landscape artist named Darby, who is on the run from ghosts of her own.
Together they will have to teach each other what it means to face the past, and stand up for the ones they love.
Not sure how I missed this one because I really like this author and this looks so cute! If you like YA, you need to check this one out.
Synopsis: One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . fall in love?
Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.
Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all . . .
Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.
I actually did ask for an ARC of this novel and got rejected… BOO! I love Berkley books but for some reason I only get about 50% of the books I request. Regardless, this author wrote one of my top funniest books The Garden of Small Beginnings, and I hope for a repeat every time and so she lands on my TBR again…
Synopsis: Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own…shell.
The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.
When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?
Nina considers her options. 1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.) 2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee). 3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)
It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.
1)Sweep of the Blade (Innkeeper Series #4) by Ilona Andrews
Release Date: 7/16/19
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Romantic Fantasy
It is not a secret that I’m having a secret love affair with the writing team called Ilona Andrews. LOVE this series, and really any series they write. This date just dropped this week and I AM SO EXCITED! They release each chapter for free on their website, but I always wait for the entire book to release to read it.
Synopsis: Maud Demille is a daughter of Innkeepers—a special group who provide ‘lodging’ to other-planetary visitors—so she knows that a simple life isn’t in the cards. But even Maud could never have anticipated what Fate would throw at her.
Once a wife to a powerful vampire knight, Maud and her young daughter, Helen, were exiled with him for his treachery to the desolate, savage planet of Karhari. Karhari killed her husband, and Maud—completely abandoned by his family—has spent over a year avenging his debts. Rescued by her sister Dina, she’s sworn off all things vampire.
Except… In helping Dina save the world, she met Arland, the Marshal of House Krahr, one of the most powerful vampire houses. One thing led to another and he asked for her hand in marriage. She declined. Arland is not used to hearing the word ‘no;’ and try as she might, Maud can’t just walk away from Arland. It doesn’t help that being human is a lot harder for Maud than being a vampire.
To sort it all out, she accepts his invitation to visit his home planet. House Krahr is extremely influential and Maud knows that a woman—a human, with a very questionable past—who’s turned down a proposal from its most beloved son won’t get a warm reception. Maybe she’s not sure about marrying Arland, but House Krahr isn’t going to decide for her. Maud Demille has never run from a fight, and House Krahr will soon discover that there’s a lot more to Maud than they’re expecting.
When Aubrey Finch is running at the park she see’s what appears to be a child kidnapping, a little boy pulled into a car against his will. She reports it to the police but when no one reports a child missing they treat her like she’s delusional and ignore her report.As a mother herself, Aubrey can’t let this crime go and starts to investigate on her own. Her investigation starts to reveal pieces of her past that she’s tried desperately to keep hidden from her estranged husband and brings her to the attention of some dangerous suspects.
Wherever She Goes combines action and psychological thriller making this a very easy, gripping, read. Aubrey’s character and background is part of the mystery. How does this mom have the skills to investigate a crime that even the police think is a waste of time? Each reveal about her past makes her more fascinating and as she unravels the mystery. As a mom she often second guesses her own decisions making the contrast of diving into a dangerous investigation even more compelling. Who is this woman and why has she settled for what has become of her life? That’s an even greater mystery and one that I relished discovering the reasons why.
As I read this novel I realized there were actually a few different mysteries I was trying to unravel. 1) Aubrey’s background 2) the missing child and 3) the reason why her relationship fell apart with her husband. Kelley Armstrong does a great job of intertwining all of these mysteries so that each reveal is intertwined with a personal reflection Aubrey has about her life. I loved how all of those ties bound the novel into one cohesive, solid piece of fiction. This was a story that didn’t get bogged down in descriptions, but was told through the eyes of a woman going through some big emotional revelations. The only negative was that the ending didn’t quite give me that happy glow, but after mulling it over for a bit I realized it was pretty realistic.
Wherever She goes was easy to read and really interesting! I’d totally recommend it to anyone who loves a fast moving mystery.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher (St. Martin’s Press) for my honest review and it was honest!
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“Overall, Wherever She Goes is a nice read with good writing and great characters. The premise is intriguing and the fast pace keeps you reading, but the plot could have been a little more fleshed out. The ending is also a bit underwhelming, but it does lend a hopeful tone to Aubrey’s story that makes it a nice conclusion to the book.” Owls Reads
When Eve’s sister Maggie goes on her honeymoon, Eve is ready to house sit and enjoy the peace and quiet painting on their property. When she comes home one day to hot movie star Rhys Thomas making himself at home in their kitchen she hog ties him with a toaster cord. Seriously! When it turns out Maggie’s husband is playing matchmaker they decide to co-habitate. Their chemistry isn’t the only thing sizzling! Rhys turns out to be pretty handy in the kitchen and pitches in and plays chef at her restaurant, helping her keep it afloat while Maggie is away. When some strange things start happening to Eve, Rhys’ senses go on high alert and he turns all Alpha determined to keep Eve safe. The tension ratches up a notch when it turns out she’s come to the attention of a serial killer.
Cliff’s Edge falls into the romantic suspense genre but really feels more like a romance with a side of mystery. I really enjoyed the almost lighthearted romance between Eve and Rhys. He seems to have a really level head for a top billing movie star and she is pretty clueless as to how popular he is. There are a couple of funny scenes where the locals figure out he’s somewhere nearby. That doesn’t phase either of them at all. What does is all of the strange incidents that begins to befall Eve. When the POV switches to the killer’s it creates a stark contrast to the lighter love story building the tension very effectively.
The mystery was pretty straightforward and I’ll admit even though I wasn’t sure of the name of the stalker, I guessed his identity pretty early on. That didn’t take away from my enjoyment in reading up to the climactic ending. I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say that Eve is no fainting heart. I love a strong heroine and Cliff’s Edge does not let me down in that regard at all.
If you love romantic thriller’s then you should pick up Cliff’s Edge. It’s the second novel in the series but it stands on it’s own and can be read without having read the first novel. I did and it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the novel at all. In fact, now I’m curious about Solace Island and am going to put it on my TBR! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a free copy of this ARC through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“This book was everything that I wanted in a romantic suspense. I loved watching the development of Eve and Rhys’s relationship because both of these characters have a background filled with betrayal and heartbreak and neither one trusts easily.” The Reading Chemist
Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!
Dating-ish (Knitting in the Cityseries #6) by Penny Reid
First Sentence: “I was sweating. ‘Is this seat taken?”
Another wonderfully kooky romance with characters who get under your skin. I LOVE this series!
Blindsighted : The First Grant County Thriller by Karin Slaughter
First Sentence: “Sara Linton leaned back in her chair, mumbling a soft ‘Yes Mama’ into the telephone.
I am actually reading another book and was taking a break from company at my mom’s Easter dinner, picked up a book off the shelf and was immediately hooked in by this opening line. Now I’m halfway through. Sorry company! Lol.
I hope your book is just as good as this one! What are you reading?
She was known as Mad Maddie in her neighborhood because of her past. She was the lone survivor of a stalker/murderer in her college dorm which resulted in a nervous breakdown and internment into a mental facility. As she moves on with her life, her fiance is murdered in their home while she is upstairs. Due to her background she was a suspect. Now, living in a new neighborhood in Virtue Falls, Maddie meets her neighbor Jacob by driving her car into the living room of his home. Jacob survives the incident and continues to live in his demolished home where he can see and hear clearly the goings on across the street. Not everything is as it looks…
This novel had me hooked right from the first scene! There was something about Maddie and Jacob that drew me in. Whereas she was nicknamed Mad Maddie by her neighbors, Jacob was actually crazier than she. He was an ex-soldier with PTSD who had delusions of death. He was actually mad that Maddie had missed him with her car! Watching the two of them navigate into a friendship, or really a co-dependency, was really interesting. Seeing this mystery play out was even more so.
I have read all of the Virtue Falls novels, including the Woman Who Couldn’t Scream which follows this novel in the series. I’ve enjoyed them, liking the continuing story of the town and it’s inhabitants. There are subplots in each novel that moves the town’s story forward. Even though I read the fourth book before the third, I don’t think I messed up the story’s sequence too much. This novel was still my favorite so far. Each piece came together in the perfect package of psychosis, mystery, and romance. Well done, Ms. Dodd! May I have another? ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
It was a short month but I still managed to read 16 books. Some of them were audio books that I listened to while driving or working out and yes, I am counting those too! Not all of them were talked about on my blog in February and some of them are posts scheduled for the future release dates.
What happened on my blog in February? Here’s a recap!
GREAT FEBRUARY READS!
Fall (VIP #3) by Kristen Callihan
“This was not a lighthearted novel. Yes, I did laugh, but I also cried a bit and stopped to think about how this portrayal could parallel a lot of people’s lives that read it. Not that we’re all rock stars, well at least outside my own head, but the fact that we all have moments of darkness and that dream that being needed and loved can help us overcome despair.”
On Thin Ice (Juniper Falls #3) by Julie Cross
“On Thin Ice explores a lot of tough subjects; bullying, depression, and suicide but the novel does a great job of putting a spotlight on these problems and allowing it’s characters to work their way to a solution in a very real, unforced way. “
Circle of the Moon (Soulwood#4) by Faith Hunter
“Circle of the Moon advances Nell’s journey away from her Churchwoman background towards a “city” life. Her magic gets stronger and she has to constantly fight the urge to kill for her land, Soulwood, but she is also in a more maternal role with becoming the guardian of her younger sister Mud, who also has earth magic tendencies similar to Nell’s. Her tentative feelings for Occam resolve into want and his feelings for Nell into love.”
BLOGGER TO BLOGGER SERIES
If you missed learning a little bit more about these two book bloggers, here’s your chance! They are both wonderful and very different from each other.. Click the link to take a look.
If you know what a Mash-Up is then you probably understood my other post in this category. A Mash-up in music is when you combine two different genre’s to create an original flavor of music. What I was shooting for in this next post was to describe a book blogger using the books they had read recently on their blog. If you missed this one click the link and let me know if I missed the mark or not.
I have started to contribute to a weekly Meme called It’s Monday, What are you Reading? I’ve always liked reading what my fellow bloggers are reading because I’m nosy and curious. My taste in books varies so much that I thought you may enjoy seeing what I’m reading each week. I created this graphic, so when you see it, come visit and let me know what you think about my book choices!
ELIMINATING MY TBR
I only read one of the books I listed in this category last month. Since I’m a mood reader it’s really hard to set a list and stick with it. Here are a couple I’m looking forward to reading in March.
A Dangerous Collaboration (A Veronica Speedway novel) by Deanna Raybourn
A bride mysteriously disappears on her wedding day in the newest Veronica Speedwell adventure by the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey series.
Lured by the promise of a rare and elusive butterfly, the intrepid Veronica Speedwell is persuaded by Lord Templeton-Vane, the brother of her colleague Stoker, to pose as his fiancée at a house party on a Cornish isle owned by his oldest friend, Malcolm Romilly.
But Veronica soon learns that one question hangs over the party: What happened to Rosamund? Three years ago, Malcolm Romilly’s bride vanished on their wedding day, and no trace of her has ever been found. Now those who were closest to her have gathered, each a possible suspect in her disappearance.
From the poison garden kept by Malcolm’s sister to the high towers of the family castle, the island’s atmosphere is full of shadows, and danger lurks around every corner.
Determined to discover Rosamund’s fate, Veronica and Stoker match wits with a murderer who has already struck once and will not hesitate to kill again.…
The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets
From the national bestselling author of Breaking Wild, here is a riveting and powerful thriller about a woman whose greatest threat could be the man she loves.…
Marian Engström has found her true calling: working with rescue dogs to help protect endangered wildlife. Her first assignment takes her to northern Alberta, where she falls in love with her mentor, the daring and brilliant Tate. After they’re separated from each other on another assignment, Marian is shattered to learn of Tate’s tragic death. Worse still is the aftermath in which Marian discovers disturbing inconsistencies about Tate’s life, and begins to wonder if the man she loved could have been responsible for the unsolved murders of at least four women.
Hoping to clear Tate’s name, Marian reaches out to a retired forensic profiler who’s haunted by the open cases. But as Marian relives her relationship with Tate and circles ever closer to the truth, evil stalks her every move.…
OK, I may be cheating a bit because both of these are ARC’s so I MUST read them! LOL. We’ll see if the month gets away from me again.
The second novel in the Cape Charade series, What Doesn’t Kill Her continues the story of our heroine Kellen Adams. After finding out she’d had a daughter while in a coma, Kellen, Max and Rae are trying to ease into a family unit. Suffering from PTSD after her years in Afghanistan, Kellen is having the tougher time bonding with her new daughter. Needing a break, she takes a side job delivering an archeological find to a recluse in the wilderness with a man she doesn’t know. On the way, the man tries to kill her, Kellen evades the kill, and finds out her new seven year old daughter Rae has hidden in the back of the van in the hopes of bonding with her mother. Escaping into the wilderness, Kellen and her pink sparkly daughter find out that they are being hunted by two teams of men. One is out to collect the valuable item they are carrying, and the other is out to kill Kellen. This quick trip has suddenly turned into the run for their lives.
Kellen started off so out of her element as a mom, but as she and her daughter evaded capture Kellen found that she did in fact care deeply for this little girl. Kellen’s maternal instincts are slightly skewed from the traumatic events in her past but she does teach Rae some invaluable lessons in self defense that were dramatic and sweet at the same time. Imagine trying to relay to a seven year old girl that they were being hunted by people who were trying to hurt them without scaring the crap out of her. There were some seriously funny conversations between these two that really added a lot of maternal warmth to Kellen’s character. For Kellen, this trip was a boot camp to motherhood.
I really liked Max in Dead Girl Running and he was even more likable as a dad and love interest to Kellen in this novel. He was alpha male enough to want to sweep in and keep his girls safe, but smart enough to let Kellen use her skills and provide her own safety. That’s not to say that he didn’t want to kick ass and take prisoners, but this was a woman who took charge of her own life and didn’t wait for anyone to save her. The two of them were very well balanced and I really enjoyed watching their relationship grow into a romantic one.
What Doesn’t Kill Her was even better than Dead Girl Running, and I loved that novel! There was some great dialog between Rae and Kellen that provided comic relief to what would’ve been a non stop action novel. Those moments of warmth between mother and daughter allowed the reader to build a deeper connection with Kellen, and I cared even more when she and Max reunited as a couple. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next Cape Charade book, Stranger She knows. It can’t come soon enough for me! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
I was given a free ARC of this book for an honest review and it was honest!
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“What makes this book a fun read is, for the most part, the non-stop action and diversity of settings: As the plot progresses, readers witness lots of action, near-misses, and pursuers, and assassins in exciting locations such as vineyards, resorts, and mountain-top lodges – and the chase is always on.” Mystery Tribune
Journalist Tess Newell is being held hostage in an African cell when French Leggionaire Flynn is also taken hostage and thrown into the dark with her. In complete darkness Tess bandages his wounds waiting for the cell door to open and the terrorist Hamid to come in for another round of torture. Fortunately, Flynn isn’t going to wait around for that to happen and in a daring breakout he and Tess join together to outsmart and outwit the terrorists who want to use them as propaganda for their own agenda.
Just because they had escaped doesn’t mean that Tess and Flynn are safe. They must get to where Tess has hidden a file that will break her story wide open and end the political corruption that is fueling a war and will stop the terrorist plot. This novel started off quickly with a breakout and was running non stop until the end of the book. Did they defeat their enemies? You need to read this book to find out.
I really enjoyed this story. Tess was her own brand of hero, finding a story and not giving up even though her own life came under fire. She and Flynn were not without their problems, but they were stronger together than they were apart. I liked their mix of brains and brawn that didn’t always fall down stereotypical lines. It helped ground their characters and made it easy for the reader to root for and identify with them.
This is the second book in a series, but can be read as a stand alone novel. I didn’t read the first book, and didn’t feel like I missed out on too much back story. I am curious enough to go back and read Deception Island. I think I may have found a new author I can enjoy! ❤️❤️❤️❤️