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Review: Gray Bishop by Kelly Meade

20741176Gray Bishop
Series: Cornerstone Run Trilogy #2
Author: Kelly Meade
Publisher: InterMix
Published on: October 21, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Werewolves
Format: 313 pages, eARC

I sat back and wondered – how the hella howdy am I ever going to write this review without giving everything away? Well, here goes, and I am going to do everything I can not to toss it all out there for you and ruin the plot!

First, I didn’t read the Cornerstone Run Trilogy first book, Black Rook, but I didn’t feel too out of joint with what was going on in this second book. Bishop is a gray wolf, and Alpha – though he is the youngest of three brothers, and a weaker Gray rather than a Black Wolf like his brother Rook or a rare, endangered White like his other brother, Knight.

As another reviewer, Rabid Reads, said in her review: Meade is one cold hearted writer—I even told her so on Twitter, and she replied with an ominous cackle. And this is one cold-hearted book, as hundreds die and hundreds of others struggle to survive.

In a world where half-breeds are hated and turned away at every turn, a trio of half-breed females is wrecking a path of blood and destruction through the packs, and their quest to capture the rare White, Rook, may lead to the destruction of all the packs hold dear. Stepping up to fight them are Bishop and his love interest, the tragic and incredibly strong Jillian, whose own story is one of death and tragedy right up there with the best of all tragic heroines. Blood curdling darkness seems to be the underpinning of Meade’s writing in this trilogy, and she wrings out every drop, while keeping the reader pinned to the page.

While this is shelved with the “paranormal romance” stories, I actually take exception to that genre placement. Yes, there is romance, as Bishop and Jillian try to make an extremely unlikely relationship work, but that isn’t the heart of the story. Rather, the bonds of family, the pain of loss, and deep insanity rule the day – an odd mix of Southern Gothic and savage thriller that stands up to the best of both genres.

Yes, I will go back and read the first, and the third as well. Meade had definitely ‘gone dark’ in this series, and the depth of the story makes me anxious to get the time to read her Dreg City series, written under the name Kelly Meding. I wonder if they are as dark, bloody and luscious.

I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts, except for the quote from Rabid Reads, are my own.

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Review: Spirited Legacy by Kate Baray (Edited:Links Work Now)

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The library, with its Daedalian labyrinth, mysterious hush, and faintly ominous aroma of knowledge . . . – P. J. O’Rourke

I understood right from the start that every set of library doors were the sort of magic portals that lead to other lands. My God, right within reach there were dinosaurs and planets and presidents and girl detectives! – Deb Caletti

When I first met Lizzy in Lost Library, the first in Kate Baray’s wonderful Urban Fantasy Romance series, I was, in a word, charmed. As I said in my review, Lizzy is much like me – She works at home, rarely sees even her own clients, and has a terrific best friend, Kenna. She just never sees herself as anyone who is brave or anyone who could be spectacular in any way.

Of course, in the manner of all things, Lizzy’s comfortable little world blows up in her face when a seemingly ancient book shows up on her doorstep. Well, she supposes it could be a book. If it weren’t blank, that is. And when a hotty McHotterson of a werewolf shows up on her front porch looking for the book, well, all thoughts of safe, calm comfortable Lizzy are blasted right out of the metaphorical water.

Now, in Kate’s second book, Spirited Legacy, both Lizzy and her Alpha werewolf (Boyfriend? Mate? Pack Member? Maybe?) John are back in Prague, ensconced in the Library, drawn there once again by Harrington, Director of the Inter-Pack Policing Cooperative, or IPPC. Just as friendly as ever, if you find controlling stuffed-shirts to be amenable, Harrington has called Lizzy back to the Library to continue her work on translations of the magical books found within. But to a much more serious purpose than simple research. For at the end of LL Sarah, Lizzy’s co-kidnapped from the first book, was injured, severely, saving Lizzy’s life. And the only way to save Sarah’s life may be to find a cure within the Library itself. And the fact that Harrington, a top caster, has offered to mentor Lizzy, is yet another encouragement.

Come, come, time calls our close complots to action.
Go, Proximus, with winged speed flie hence,
Hye thee to Wales: salute great Vortiger
With these our letters; bid the king to arms,
tell him we have new friends, more forces landed
In Norfolk and Northumberland; bid him
Make haste to meet us; if he keep his word,
Wee’l part the realm between us. –
Ostorius, The Birth of Merlin, or, the Childe Hath Found His Father, ACT III SCENE V – Ascribed to William Rowley, and occasionally (most likely spuriously) to William Shakespeare

Of course, life isn’t getting any easier for Lizzy than it has been since the happenings in LL. Even the resident ghost is throwing rocks at Lizzy’s head – literally!

I *do* believe in spooks, I *do* believe in spooks. I do, I do, I do, I *do* believe in spooks, I *do* believe in spooks, I do, I do, I do, I *do*! The Cowardly Lion, The Wizard of Oz, 1939

After injuring the evil Zach Worth, soul sucker extraordinaire, at the end of the last book, Lizzy and her compatriots don’t know if he is still even alive – but all bets are on that he is – and that he has something even more evil up his sleeve than anyone ever imagined. What is a poor Caster to do? Is it not bad enough that John slipped in a, “Oh, BTW, you are my mate now and Female Alpha of my Pack and also BTW, my Pack hates you, even though they have never met you?” smack upside her head? Oy.

The previous cast of characters are all present-and-accounted-for, and we get to meet some awesome new characters, like Harry, Sarah’s healer (Yes, yes, “Harry the Healer.” Well, at least he thinks it is funny.) Oh, and did I mention the dragons?!

Kate’s writing remains crisp, her character development spot-on, and the intensity in this book keeps the reader enthralled from first page to last. There is a bit more relationship building between Lizzy and John, her Alpha boyfriend who is trying to pull his pack out of the Dark Ages in terms of their view of the world. John is one of the more interesting Alpha characters on the scene today. Much like Kate Daniels’ Curran, John comes off at first as all macho-macho man, and yet, if you look closer, there is a great deal of compassion and understanding underneath all that drool-worthy body and drive to protect. Independent Lizzy is having a heck of a time managing the transition from Totally Independent Lizzy to part of a couple, and John is having a hard time learning that sometimes being the full-time protector isn’t the right way to go. But they are getting there, and again, this is one of the more interesting couples that I have read in Urban Fantasy recently.

I highly recommend both books in the series, and would suggest that you grab a copy of Lost Library and read it now. And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway to win a copy of Spirited Legacy. If you can wait that long, that is. Once I ended LL, I couldn’t wait to start SL!!

I received an ARC of Spirited Legacy from the author, Kate Baray. This fact does not influence my reviews of either book.

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Review: Shiftless – Aimee Easterling – A Paranormal Fantasy

Sometimes, being a female werewolf can be a flat out nightmare. Especially when your father, the pack alpha, is a brutal, psychotic mess whose only interaction with you is to issue orders on your birthday every year, then walk away. And things are made even more difficult when you can’t seem to manage your shifts, making the thought of saving yourself from the situation even more impossible.

shif
A new author with a fresh perspective on the werewolf world. Worth spending a bit of your precious reading time with.

Hated by her own father and marginalized by her father’s repressive, misogynist pack, Terra struggles with her change and, when her father demands on her sixteenth birthday that she be mated and bred, Terra finally gathers her strength and flees her fathers hateful pack. Now on her own, life as the equivalent of a teenaged runaway is hard, cold, and more often hungry than not. Then, when the unthinkable happens, Terra knows that it is time to step up and bring her wolf under control – to lock her away and live solely in the human world.

Flash forward ten years, and we find Terra curled up in a chair in a bookstore, intent on a Patricia Briggs novel. If she can’t have a pack, she can at least read about them, right? But again, fate deals her a blow as a pair of werewolves, an alpha – on leash of all things – and his beta walk into the bookstore, and straight into Terra’s life. Oh, shit. Not another alpha! And the world continues to crash around her when her father reappears in her live with ultimatums and torments, threatening to force her back into the life of servitude she has worked so hard to escape.

Will the alpha known as Wolfie and his highly unusual pack be able to protect Terra and her nephew from the torments of her father? Or will she be forced to give up her life, to bend to the will of her brutal former pack in order to save her nephew and the members of Wolfie’s pack?

This is a first novel for Aimee Easterling, and for a first, it is very well written. Even more pleasant, it is well edited, which in and of itself is a positive. The book has many of the same tropes as the ubiquitous werewolf and paranormal romance novel, which in itself is not a bad thing. Ms. Easterling has put her own unique twist onto the culture, especially in regards to Wolfie and his oddball, loveable pack. They were my favorite characters, from the yahoos (you will get the reference when you read the book) to the lesbian couple, something one doesn’t often show up in the werewolf/paranormal genre, and is a pairing that I found quite refreshing.

Overall, this is a pleasant, quirky read, recommended for a lazy afternoon with tea and a quilt, curled in your favorite chair. The book does end on a tiny bit of a cliffhanger, but not unpleasantly so. I look forward to reading the next book and watching to see if wildly disparate groups can learn to function as a community.

This book was reviewed at the request of Readergiveaways.com. All remarks and thoughts are my own.

AN AUTHOR GIVEAWAY EXTENDED!!! J. K. Walker’s Salt Lake After Dark Series

THE GIVEAWAY HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO MARCH 16, SO GET YOUR ENTRIES IN!

It’s time for a BOOK GIVEAWAY!!

 J. K. Walker has been kind enough to offer copies of his wonderful books from the Salt Lake After Dark Series.

And just think – there will be MORE THAN ONE WINNER!!!

J. K. will be giving away all three novels in paperback – signed editions!

There will be THREE (yes, THREE!) copies of the current boxed set in either mobi or epub.

There are FIVE signed copies of Glacial Eyes in either mobi or epub. This is STRONG Urban Fantasy, as I have bragged on multiple occasions. You can check out the website for my reviews:

glacial eyes
Glacial Eyes (Book One of Salt Lake After Dark)
sanguine pic
Sanguine Eyes (Book Three of Salt Lake After Dark)
hollow eyes
Hollow Eyes (Book Two of the Salt Lake After Dark Series)
salt lake box set
Salt Lake After Dark: The Boxed Set – Editions 1-3

In order to win, click on the link below for the Rafflecopter page and complete. Then please comment below. I will need your information: email address and whether you would like mobi or pdf files if you win.  Please remember to include your email address!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

rafflecopter
Click here to complete the Giveaway on Rafflecopter!

CONTEST ENDS MARCH 16, 2014

AT 12 MIDNIGHT UTAH TIME!

AN AUTHOR GIVEAWAY!!! J. K. Walker’s Salt Lake After Dark Series

It’s time for a BOOK GIVEAWAY!!

 J. K. Walker has been kind enough to offer copies of his wonderful books from the Salt Lake After Dark Series.

And just think – there will be MORE THAN ONE WINNER!!!

J. K. will be giving away all three novels in paperback – signed editions!

There will be THREE (yes, THREE!) copies of the current boxed set in either mobi or epub.

There are FIVE signed copies of Glacial Eyes in either mobi or epub. This is STRONG Urban Fantasy, as I have bragged on multiple occasions. You can check out the website for my reviews:

glacial eyes
Glacial Eyes (Book One of Salt Lake After Dark)
sanguine pic
Sanguine Eyes (Book Three of Salt Lake After Dark)
hollow eyes
Hollow Eyes (Book Two of the Salt Lake After Dark Series)
salt lake box set
Salt Lake After Dark: The Boxed Set – Editions 1-3

 

 

In order to win, click on the link below for the Rafflecopter page and complete. Then please comment below. I will need your information: email address and whether you would like mobi or pdf files if you win.  Please remember to include your email address!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

rafflecopter
Click here to complete the Giveaway on Rafflecopter!

CONTEST ENDS FEBRUARY 2, 2014

AT 12 MIDNIGHT UTAH TIME!

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