This Chick Read: High Voltage (Fever #10) by Karen Marie Moning

Dani O’Malley has always been an integral part of the Fever series. As a young girl she acts as an energized sidekick and little sister to Mac, who this series has always revolved around. We have seen her grow up, quite suddenly when she gets lost in the Silvers and returns to Dublin older and with a new identity- Jada. She is a protector of the people of Dublin, as is Mac, but for her it’s retribution for the horrible things she did as a child used at the hands of Rowena. Assassin, murderer, and innocent are all descriptors that can be used for Dani O’Malley. In High Voltage, she gets her own book. Mac has become the Queen of the Fae and is out of the picture trying to become accepted. Barrons has disappeared with her. At the beginning of the novel Ryodan and the 9 who all run Chester’s and who have become part of Dani’s group of accepted frenemies also leave Dublin. Her boyfriend Dancer died in the last novel. With the exception of her Hel-cat, she is alone for the first time. Or since she was lost in the Silvers for two years. She flounders emotionally, but puts all those insecurities in a box and moves on. Still trying to keep Dublin safe, when she see’s things change and a new enemy comes to life. The Gods are back and they seem to have her in their sights.

I admit, I like Dani as the sidekick but was not eager to read her story. This is why this one say on my shelf since it’s release. I LOVE Mac and Barrons. I like Dani and Ryodan, but was never that curious about where these two would end up. Ryodan spent too much time as an anti-hero, dating and sleeping with many and holding Dani at a distance. Dani was too busy growing up, hiding her insecurities and feelings, and well I got tired of it all. It took me finding out that the next novel was coming out next month for me to go ‘uh oh’ and decide that I needed to get past my own feelings and read this novel.

High Voltage helped me understand this character a little bit more. Unlike Mac who wanted to be good, be liked, and who was secure in herself, Dani knew that she wasn’t normal. She didn’t want to be good per se, but she wanted to do good things. She see’s herself as a protector, a superman of sorts whose role was to help the helpless, as she once was. We saw a little bit more of her back story and in this novel saw her morph into a different being. I think everyone leaving made her undergo this emotional change and the novel was better for it. When Ryodan returned, (yes he doesn’t leave her forever. shockers!) she is ready to take their relationship to the next level. But this novel isn’t just about her emotions, it’s also another novel that moves forward the evolution of Dublin and all of the beings who have made it their home. The Fae, the Sidhe-seers, and humans are all affected by the Gods return and they mystery of why and how is really interesting!

I love complex books and characters and High Voltage continued to deliver on why I like this series so much. It’s dark, magical, gross, riveting, and sexy. Who wouldn’t like all of those emotions mixed into one novel? LOL. Yes, I did add gross because honestly some of these beings are truly the big ick and are really hard to read about. These stories get your imagination going, grab you by the throat, and make you invested in the outcome. High Voltage was no different. So, even though I Dani is not my favorite character, this author still did a really good job of making me care what happens, and that is a reason enough to read this novel. It moves the story forward and I know the next novel which features Mac and Barrons again, will deliver.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* High Voltage (Fever)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chicks Audio Review: Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) by Charlaine Harris

Sookie is a waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana. Sounds pretty normal, right? Well, Sookie is not your average pretty blonde who serves customers for tips. Well, she does do that, but she also has to try really hard not to listen in to their thoughts. You see, Sookie can hear what people are thinking and she has to throw up walls in her head to keep them out of it. When a vampire comes in to her bar and sits at her table Sookie is completely captivated. You see, she doesn’t have to keep his thoughts out. He’s silent, and because of this he’s very attractive to Sookie. She’s not afraid of his vampirism, but once she gets to know him she see’s that there are many things she doesn’t like about the world of vampires. In this first novel in the series that birthed a popular HBO series called True Blood, we get to know the people of Bon Temps, as well as the others that live on the fringes of this town.

I read this series as they originally came out. This novel was published in 2001, 20 years ago. When the series True Blood came out, I was initially excited. However, I’m one of those people who believe that the series didn’t capture the tone of the original novels and although set in Bon Temps and having the same characters, can’t really claim to be the same series. I still have all of these books on my shelf, but truthfully, haven’t picked one up again because the goriness of that series is the image that my mind recalls instead of the original stories and the heart their characters portray. I am a huge fan of listening to some of the series I’ve read and when I saw the first two novels in this series on sale I decided to re-visit Sookie, Bill, and the characters I used to love and I am so happy I did! They were dark, but the humor and heart were exactly as I remembered and I really enjoyed Johanna Parker’s narration. She nailed Sookie’s character and read this novel with the naiveté and resolve that this character deserved. If, like me, the tv series turned you off and tainted your memories of these books, give these audiobooks a try. I truly was pleasantly surprised.

Dead Until Dark as the first novel in the series is an introduction to Bon Temps and the world Charlaine Harris created. We get to know Sookie, Bill the vampire, Sam her werewolf boss, and other fan favorite characters. Sookie stumbles upon some murders and is determined to help solve the mystery when her brother is implicated and is about to be charged. She knows he didn’t do it, because she hears people’s thoughts, but she has to help find proof. Her bright eyed optimism sets the stage for how Sookie lives and the reader can’t help but be charmed by her, but also by how she see’s the world. The secondary story of her relationship with Bill is also intriguing because he is her first boyfriend. These two stories intertwine and I am once again reminded why I loved these books originally and am so happy that fate decided to place them on sale in front of me. 🙂 ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Book 1)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (2/1/21)

I have my reading mojo back! I’m not sure what triggered it but I have been able to enjoy not only books I’ve read before, but new books and I’m able to concentrate on the plots. yay! Seriously, though it’s been tough these last 8 months. I read about 60 books less in 2020 than in 2019 so it’s nice to be upping my book count again. I will admit, that I’m still reaching for old favorites, but I am reading many more new to me novels as well. Here is what I’ve been reading!

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

I love the Fever series, but I had been holding back on reading High Voltage because it focused on Dani who hadn’t been one of my favorite characters. I LOVE Mackenna and Barrons and Dani and Ryodan were just ‘eh’ for me. However, having now read this novel and like them so much more. I understand them more. Are they my favorite characters now? No. I am glad I read their story and a new book in the series is coming out next month so I needed to get this one read!

JUST STARTED

You will definitely be seeing this book on my list for the books I’m looking forward to being released in March. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this novel and jumped it ahead (which I never do!) because an Urban Fantasy mystery sounded like just what I needed to round out my reading this month. Anna and Charles are fascinating and although I just started this one, it is off to a great start!

I have mixed in some romance novels with the Urban Fantasy books you see above. What am I missing? Let me know what books you’re reading that may or may not need to be added to my TBR?

Happy Monday!

Deb

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (1/25/21)

I haven’t felt well for a couple of days (bad back) so I’ve been listening to an old favorite while trying to sleep and distract myself from my aches and pains. Isn’t it interesting how you can divert your brains attention in another direction? I’m sure there are a ton of medical papers on that but I’ve found that an audiobook will help me fall asleep when my brain won’t shut down, and in this case distract me from the pain I’m feeling. Enough about that, let’s talk about the books that I’ve been reading.

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

JUST FINISHED

Mercy Thompson is one of my favorite female fantasy characters. She’s tough, but doesn’t mind having a soft side. She’s loyal to a fault, but she’s also a lot of fun. If you’re looking for an action packed fantasy series to listen to I do recommend this one.

JUST STARTED

The third book in the Central Park Pact and one I look forward to getting into. I have enjoyed the first two novels and really have gotten to like this author’s style. This is the only series of her’s I’ve read and I’m looking forward to digging into some others.

Happy Monday everyone! What book are you reading to help jump start your week?

Deb

This Chick Read: Cold Reign (Jane Yellowrock #11) by Faith Hunter

The eleventh installment in the Jane Yellowrock series finds Jane and her crew anticipating the visit from the European vampires when revenants start popping up around New Orleans killing masses of humans and providing a great distraction for Jane, Eli, and George. Investigating why these newly risen vamps have rose after having their heads cut off when buried uncovers a mystery that is centuries old and ties directly back to those soon to be visiting vamps. Cold Reign shows the evolution of Jane’s power, her growing love for her family and boyfriend, and the peace she has created with her inner beast.

I have tried to tell people why I love this series so much and I don’t think I do a very good job of it. It’s hard to describe how book 11 is so much better than book 1-3 and how the author found her groove with this character. When people see this kick butt heroine on the cover of the novel it’s easy to think that it’s all action and no plot. It is certainly a high octane story, but each plot have subtleties that tie each book together. That Jane’s every emotion has nuances that harken back to the early novels when she was a loner and lived only on surface emotions. The fact that this loner has built a family and found love, all while living in the same body as a dominant panther spirit who wants to show her and everyone else who’s in charge.

Having read Faith Hunter’s Soulwood Series first, I was always curious about what happened between Rick who is a featured character in Soulwood, and Jane. Cold Reign does delve into the past and answers a lot of questions. It also brings resolution to that story line, at least up to this point. I enjoyed how having Rick in the picture brought Jane’s emotions to the front, but not in the direction you’d think. It made her claim George and his reaction is priceless.

This novel is again a fast paced, action-adventure, emotionally driven piece of fiction. Going from my every day life to this story was like driving a Honda daily and being given the keys to a Maserati. You can’t help but hit the gas pedal and seeing how quickly you can get to 100. If you’ve not read this series, consider this me giving you the keys to the car. You need to hit that gas pedal right now. You won’t regret the ride and may enjoy the wind in your hair. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase! Cold Reign (Jane Yellowrock Book 11)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Shadow Rites (Jane Yellowrock #10) by Faith Hunter

Jane Yellowrock is the enforcer to the Master Vampire of New Orleans, Leo Pellissier. Handling vampire politics is never easy but when she is magically attacked she finds a link to the upcoming Vampire-Witch enclave. A meeting that is planned to align the American witches with Leo’s territory, and include their safety, before the European vampire meeting in a few months. Jane’s attack means someone is trying to undermine that meeting and Jane needs to find out who and destroy their chances of success.

Jane has a lot riding on finding who and what may be trying to ruin her chances of protecting the vampires and witches. Her job as enforcer is one, but more importantly the safety of what she considers her family; her partners ElI and Alex, her boyfriend George, and her best friend Molly and her children. Connections are new to Jane, and she is determined to protect them all, even if it’s from herself.

This novel again brought out something new in our hero. Frailty. Physically she’s still strong, but her feelings make her insecure. In Shadow Rites Jane pushes herself past the barriers she has put up to protect herself and allows herself to imagine that she may not be able to keep everyone safe and she may just have to let them save themselves. I think this was a big step for this character and makes her so much more interesting! In both Broken Soul and Dark Heir she allowed her emotions to overcome her inner objections, but in Shadow Rites she has to allow herself to trust. In both herself and those around her she cares about.

All of these changes should lead to a stronger heroine to protect her friends and family when the European vampires finally come to New Orleans. We may have another book or two before that happens as the author gets Jane fully prepared to handle the danger that is still to come. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click this link to purchase!* Shadow Rites (Jane Yellowrock Book 10)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chicks Audio Review: Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows #1) by Kim Harrison and Narrated by Marguerite Gavin

One of my new favorite things to do is to revisit previous favorites by listening to them as audiobooks. Kim Harrison’s Hollows series has been one of my favorite urban fantasy series and recently when she came out with a surprise novel in what was a completed series I decided to take a look back and listen to the first novel, Dead Witch Walking. Narrated by Marguerite Gavin, I was pleasantly surprised at how much the main character Rachel Morgan, still resonated with a much older me.

The Hollows series is set in a world just like ours, but where magic and paranormal beings are commonplace ever since “The Turn” when a genetically altered tomato killed a good portion of the human race. Rachel Morgan is a witch, but she’s also an investigator, and Dead Witch Walking is the start of her story and her investigative team of Ivy, a living vampire, and Jenks, a pixy. The three of them live and work out of an old church in the Hollows, the more magical part of Cincinnati. Rachel has a price on her head and in order to pay it off she tries to bring in evidence against mysterious millionaire Trent Kalamack, that shows he’s dealing in Brimstone a street drug. In Dead Witch Walking you get a lot of set up, not only to the world, but also to the characters and Marguerite Gavin does a great job at voicing all of them. My favorite voice being Jenks, who’s a small pixy (picture tinkerbell sized) and his voice somewhat matches that size. It’s too cute.

Rachel Morgan, despite her witchiness, attracts trouble. She’s somewhat of a blunderer but she has great instincts and in this case she’s taken on a bit more than she can chew in Trent Kalamack who exhibits supreme bad guy vibes in this first novel. In the end, Rachel gets what she wants by paying off her debt and getting rid of the price on her head, but it’s not exactly done in the way that she hoped. Dead Witch Walking is a mad-cap adventure story with great characters that develop into true friends and a great investigative team, and also sets the story for many of the things that happen to and for Rachel in the next 15 novels. If you love well done urban fantasy novels and have the patience to see your character grow into the kick a&$ she becomes, please pick this up, listen to it, or plug it directly into your brain in whatever means possible. This book is good, but the series is even better and I’m excited that Marguerite Gavin does such a great job with the narration because I’ll be listening to them for a while to come. (15 books! Sixteen if you count the flashback, The Turn.)

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase the audiobook!* Dead Witch Walking: Hollows, Book 1

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Dark Heir (Jane Yellowrock #9) by Faith Hunter

Dark Heir opens with Jane still trying to tighten up Leo Pelissier’s defenses in advance of the European Vampires visits. As Master Vampire of New Orleans and that region, Leo is one of the most powerful vampires in the western world. When Jane gets a call that Leo’s lair has been attacked she discovers that he’s been keeping a “monster” in the basement, and that monster has now been released upon the citizens of New Orleans. It’s Jane’s job to bring him in… dead or alive.

Dark Heir features the most powerful and dangerous thing Jane has come up against so far. As Jane investigates we see a physical evolution from monster to vampire that somewhat parallels Jane’s relationship to her own beast. A relationship that she needs to embrace if she is going to have any chance to save humanity… or at least the New Orleans general public.

The thing I loved the most about Dark Heir is that despite Jane’s own evolution into some sort of human-beast, her “family” stays loyal. I loved Alex and Eli Younger in the previous novels and when they stick by her in Dark Heir they now have my loyalty as well. The other piece to Jane’s new family is her boyfriend George, aka “Bruiser”. He is now free to pursue Jane, and I think she’s finally ready to be caught. Dark Heir was my favorite novel in the Jane Yellowrock series to date because Jane got what she always wanted. The creation of a family.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Dark Heir (Jane Yellowrock Book 9)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy #5) by Ilona Andrews

Six months have gone by since Alessandro left her and Catalina’s broken heart has mended (so she says). As a Prime and head of her family Catalina tries to cope and finally resolves to lose herself in her family’s investigative firm’s caseload. While rescuing an emotional-support pet monkey she and her team are attacked by some amphibious beasts who seem to be controlled by a plant/mechanical device. When she gets called to duty as the deputy to the Warden of Texas, Catalina dives into that investigation finding that the two are connected. When called in for a client meeting she comes face to face with, you guessed it, Alessandro Sagredo, their representative. Unsurprisingly he muscles in on her investigation and they are forced to work side by side. Catalina’s plan? To be professional and distant, but unfortunately she’s facing a new Alessandro. One who is determined to protect her and to win her heart.

Oh goodness, I love this series so much! Emerald Blaze does for Catalina what the three earlier books in the series did for her older sister Nevada. It makes you look past the superficial to see an honorable, tough young woman who’s easy to adore, in part because she doesn’t cave in to everyone’s demands. Finding her own path through grit and determination. The Hidden Legacy series, set in a Houston where magic is power shows how this smaller house (Baylor), and Catalina as its Prime, navigate the house politics while staying independent and increasing their own worth. That’s all fascinating to read, but then when you throw in a hero who is a dichotomy to his outward screen idol facade, and who is determined to protect that heroine? You are guaranteed fiery dialog and sizzling chemistry, and a fun plot that makes those pages flip by too quickly.

Ok, ok, what can I say about this plot. Well, this plot is too intricate to attempt to describe so I’ll just say that as their investigation moves forward the romance takes a back burner and the mystery becomes what I’m truly interested in seeing. Yes, their chemistry is great, but it’s this magical world that Ilona Andrews has created that holds my attention. It’s the supporting characters that give our main characters depth and emotion. Emerald Blaze is not a surface piece of fluff, despite what the cover looks like, there’s actually a lot of meat in the story, and the plot definitely holds my attention.

If you are a fan of this series and are wondering if Nevada and Conner have any part in this novel, the answer is yes. Nevada is actually around for a good portion and as with any favorite characters, it was so good to see her, but Catalina and Alessandro were the stars in Emerald Blaze and really I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Looking towards the future a third book is on the horizon. An underlying story arc was not completed in this book and I’m eager to see how they finish it out! Let’s hope they write quickly! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* Emerald Blaze: A Hidden Legacy Novel

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Broken Soul (Jane Yellowrock #8) by Faith Hunter

Leo Pelissier, the Master of the City of New Orleans hires Jane to update his security in advance of a delegation of Vampires arriving from Europe. Jane agree’s, after negotiating a very large sum. As she’s training and improving upon his defenses they come under attack by a creature of light who tries to kill both she and Leo. As Jane investigates this outside threat she undergoes a transformation that makes her even more fearsome than before.

Each Jane Yellowrock installation uncovers something new, which after eight books is a huge accomplishment. She is still fierce, but she’s allowing herself attachments that make her a little softer on the inside. Her relationship with Alex and Eli Younger, her partners in Yellowrock Investigations has really helped evolve her character, making her multi-dimensional. In Broken Soul, she also allows herself a little romance again. Her ex- Rick LaFleur is now out of the picture and George aka “Bruiser” has wooed her as only a gentleman could. (sigh.) I lived for those scenes when he’d say beautiful things to her and she’d blush. It’s so unlike her kick butt character and that contrast was so very effective.

The threat in this novel is seen only by Jane and her ‘beast’. It travels through the grey dimension that Jane traverses when she shifts and is somehow attracted to her. As the story evolves a little more is revealed about what it is, which ties to a character in PsyLED who I’ve been very curious about, the beautiful and bold Soul. Since I’m reading this series following the Soulwood series (instead of the reverse as should happen), I’ve been curious about Soul’s history and in this novel, aptly titled Broken Soul, we find out a LOT more.

Did curiosity kill the cat? Well, in almost every book Jane faces death, but somehow avoids that final death blow. So, no. BUT, she does get hurt, her character grows and evolves, and she still has to face that delegation from Europe. So it could still happen! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this book to purchase!* Broken Soul (Jane Yellowrock Book 8)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.