Book Review | Bent Corners by Kris Jacen

They say you can find just about anything in a book but who knew you could find love in a bookstore? Riley’s world is upended when he gets a call from the police that his uncle’s in the hospital. Evan’s schedule is turned upside down when he’s in charge of his yaya’s care while his parents are on vacation. Both men have their hands full but it seems fate has something else for them. Seems love in the stacks might be just what each of them needs.

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How was it? As short as this is I found myself zombie reading* parts of it, the heat was good but there were many attempts to drum up drama and sometimes it felt way to forced. It’s my first Kris Jacen read and I hope the books will be more engaging.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Bent corners is available on Amazon, Audible and other book retailers near you.

*Zombie reading: reading something without really processing any of the words on the page. One often wonders how they got a particular section, with little to no recollection of what came before, after zombie reading.

I received an advanced copy of this audiobook and this is my fair and unbiased review.

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Book Review | A Kiss to Revive Me by Michele Notaro

A prickly mage has me under his spell, and I think I kinda like it.

The first time I met him, I knew I was in trouble, but I hadn’t known just how much. I hadn’t been looking for a relationship, hadn’t wanted one, but it seems that a stubborn little mage did it for me because he’s impossible to resist.

When the NHSO goes on a manhunt for an unregistered mage, I can tell it’s upsetting for Mads and Jude. It’s upsetting for me, too, but even more so when I find out exactly why Mads is so worried about this kid. The more I find out about Madeo’s past and his world, the more I realize how special he is. No one who’s gone through what he has should come out the other side sane, let alone as kindhearted as him. I just hope he wants this thing between us to continue as badly as I do. And I want it to. Bad.

A Kiss To Revive Me is a 30K word MM urban fantasy novella and meant to be read AFTER The Scars That Bind Us (The Magi Accounts 1).

*Intended for adults only. Please read the trigger warnings at the beginning of this novella.

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How was it? Taking place between book one and two of The Magi Accounts, A kiss to Revive Me is a novella from Cosmo’s perspective, the Alpha pride shifter that Madeo falls for.

In fact while reading The Scars That Bind Us I did feel that Cosmo wasn’t as fleshed out as the Magi, meaning Madeo, Jude, and even Logan but it completely made sense given the rich and dark history regarding the Magi. Having Cosmo’s point of view adds to his character but also gives us a broader understanding of this world. Since Shifters, Magi, and Humans have been segregated it’s interesting to see how his perspective of their world is evolving by being around Mads. They’re learning about each as much as we are learning about them, and this story teases some potential changes in Cosmo’s future that I can’t wait to see happen.

This novella may start by retelling Cosmo’s pride arrival at the NHSO through the alpha’s eyes but it quickly its own thing, with an emotional case that affects all the parties involves, making it a great end-credit scene for book one and a good teaser for what’s to come in The Shackles That Hold Us (The Magi Accounts 2).

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A Kiss to Revive Me is available on Amazon and other book retailers near you.

This story continues in The Shackles That Hold Us (The Magi Accounts 2). Pre-order now!

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I received an advanced copy of this book and this is my fair and unbiased review.

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Enthralled | A. H. Lee

Trapped in a necromancer’s tower on the longest night of the year.

Merek is a pillar of his country community and a confirmed bachelor. He had his chance at love, and he let it slip away. But he’s got friends, a faithful dog, and a snug home. Holidays can be difficult, but Merek knows how to handle loneliness.

When he volunteers to house-sit for a necromancer on the day before Solstice, Merek expects to be doing the job with no companion apart from his dog. He’s displeased to be trapped in the tower overnight by a sudden snow storm. However, everything changes when his old lover shows up on the doorstep.

Ian is cold and clearly afraid of something. Merek lets him in. That was his first mistake.

The kiss was his second.

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How was it?

When I was reading The Capital I remember wondering how Sairis, the necromancer, learned about the tipsy Knave. Putting the Romance in Necromancy answered that question by introducing us to Merek, but after reading The Border and in particular The Sea I was curious to know how Merek’s life might have changed since he’s the reason Roland and Sairis met.

This short story started well, I felt for Marek, I know it’s fantasy world but it’s weird how it gaves you a sense of what it could have been like to for queers in the middle ages. Anyway no matter how many times Marek called himself less than smart, I couldn’t believe how thick he was being, oblivious to an annoying level. It’s a novella and I was tempted to skip a few parts but thank the writing god(s) – I don’t know how many there are but there must be at least one – the story picks up to end on a high note. There’s also a nice creepy atmosphere throughout that I liked, creepier most of The Knight and the Necromancer series, and despite not being the sprawling adventure the main series is story fits right into this world.

Enthralled is spooky but sweet, a good addition to the series.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Enthralled is available on Amazon and Audible.

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Putting The Romance in Necromancy | A.H. Lee

Putting The romance in Necromancy (The Knight and the Necromancer #0.5) by A.H. Lee
published 18 March 2020

Sairis is a necromancer with a price on his head. He needs to get to the capital for a conference that may change his life. But he’s never ridden a horse before. At least not a live one.

Fortunately, the local knacker is a gentle soul who has helped Sairis in the past. In addition, Sairis suspects the knacker may know things about the world of romance between men. Necromancers don’t have social lives, and Sairis doesn’t dare ask questions. But after an evening of thunderstorms, ghosts, and a narrow escape, he decides to take a risk.

How was it? I read this after reading all The Knight and the Necromancer books. Although satisfied with the series there was one big question that remained and this novella answered it.

As limited as they might have been I’m glad that Sairis had acquaintances. We have an even fuller picture of his life before going to the capital, and we get to know how he found out about the Tipsy Knave. This story is touching for several reasons, it showcases how it is when queer people meet other queers for the first time, and explores a bit that feeling of otherness when one feels like the only gay guy around.

This novella is a great start to the series, it’s intriguing. I don’t know if it would have urged me to read the first book but I recommend that you do.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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January readings | New and Old Book Series

Title: Traitor’s Blade
Series: Greatcoats #1
Author: Sebastien de Castell
Genre(s): Epic Fantasy, Adventure
Page count: 384 pages (e-book)
Published: 10 February 2014

My review (Soon) | E-book | Audiobook

Title: Out of the Ashes
Series: Metahuman Files: Classified #1
Author: Hailey Turner
Genre(s): Science-Fiction
Page count: 106 pages (e-book)
Published: 8 March 2020

My review (Soon) | E-book | Audiobook

Title: White Trash Warlock
Series: The Adam Binder Novels #1
Author: David R. Slayton
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, MM
Page count: 320 pages
Published: 13 October 2020

My review | E-book | Audiobook

Title: An Echo in the Sorrow
Series: Soulbound #6
Author: Hailey Turner
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, MM
Page count: 417 pages (e-book)
Published: 1 March 2021

My review | Pre-order here

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Shattered | Kevin Hearne

Shattered (Iron Druid Chronicles #7) by Kevin Hearne published 17 June 2014

Atticus’s apprentice Granuaile is at last a full Druid herself. What’s more, Atticus has defrosted an archdruid long ago frozen in time, a father figure (of sorts) who now goes by the modern equivalent of his old Irish name: Owen Kennedy.

And Owen has some catching up to do.

Atticus takes pleasure in the role reversal, as the student is now the teacher. Between busting Atticus’s chops and trying to fathom a cell phone, Owen must also learn English. For Atticus, the jury’s still out on whether the wily old coot will be an asset in the epic battle with Norse god Loki—or merely a pain in the arse.

But Atticus isn’t the only one with daddy issues. Granuaile faces a great challenge: to exorcise a sorcerer’s spirit that is possessing her father in India. Even with the help of the witch Laksha, Granuaile may be facing a crushing defeat.

As the trio of Druids deals with pestilence-spreading demons, bacon-loving yeti, fierce flying foxes, and frenzied Fae, they’re hoping that this time, three’s a charm.

How was it? This book is full of surprises, twists, and thought provoking plots.

The changes of P.O.V. was jarring at first, because the characters had their own thing going which made the whole book feel out of focus at first. However in the end, it made the story a lot more interesting. It took alliances we took for granted in a grey area of uncertainty and made a looming threat look more dangerous than it had.

I’d say it’s centered around Granuaile, since her storyline seems to be the one following / tieing up with Trapped and Hunted the most while also pushing the story forward.

Arc Druid Owen Kennedy is brash, funny, and full of surprises. Him adjusting to modern life was fun but seemed unnecessary until he talked about his past – hint hint – it made him more interesting, and more of a wild card.

As for the Iron Druid, Shattered might be the book in which he disappointed me the most. Just when you think that Atticus has learn his lesson and his using is accumulated knowledge wisely, he does something to create more grief for himself and the people associating with him.

Shattered was fun, frustrating and entertaining.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You can check out the book and audiobook here

Hunted | Kevin Hearne

Hunted (The Iron Druids Chronicles #6) by Kevin Hearne published 25 June 2013

For a two-thousand-year-old Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan is a pretty fast runner. Good thing, because he’s being chased by not one but two goddesses of the hunt—Artemis and Diana—for messing with one of their own. Dodging their slings and arrows, Atticus, Granuaile, and his wolfhound Oberon are making a mad dash across modern-day Europe to seek help from a friend of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His usual magical option of shifting planes is blocked, so instead of playing hide-and-seek, the game plan is . . . run like hell.
 
Crashing the pantheon marathon is the Norse god Loki. Killing Atticus is the only loose end he needs to tie up before unleashing Ragnarok—AKA the Apocalypse. Atticus and Granuaile have to outfox the Olympians and contain the god of mischief if they want to go on living—and still have a world to live in.

How was it? The weird thing about Hunted is that, in my mind it makes one big book with Trapped. I seem incapable of disassociating the two. They truly read like two halves of one book. It’s the title, Hunted, that helps me find my place in the overall story arc.

This book starts off sad, gets funny, then sad again. It’s fast-paced for most of it but then it slows to a crawl. The thrilling action-adventure ride that it is will make you renew your vows to the series. At times, the excitement is constant, and the comedy and heart-wrenching moments are sprinkled throughout. There are very cleverly dropped seeds that are used here. A kernel of a story, a foreshadowed plot point, whatever you want to call it’s . I’m thinking of one in particular that was planted so long – or many books – ago that you might have forgotten about it or not noticed it but once you make that connection it’s impressive.

There’s another impressive feat done here by Hearne, besides ramping up the danger, he made a newer character – I’m trying my best to stay vague – more palatable, likable, even badass.

Like I said, Trapped and Hunted feel like one long book. I didn’t realize that I had started another book – since I dove right into this one. So when I said that I might revisit book 5 I actually mean both stories.

P.S.: I’m so proud of myself I didn’t spent the whole thing gushing about the dog. I’m not really a dog person what is happening to me?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You can check out or get the book here: US | EU