Book Review: Time and Fate by TG Ayer

Time & Fate (Hand of Kali, #3)Time & Fate by T.G. Ayer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book.

Maya’s abilities continue to grow – as does her budding relationship with Nick – in the third installment of the series.

The goddess Kali has granted Maya the ability to bend time, but when she makes use of her new ability after a mission goes wrong, she discovers that it confers with a price.

Quite a bit happens in the book, moving the overall story along at a nice pace. There are several surprises in store and it was nice to see her parents and Claudia being more involved in the action.

I liked that they was more than one mission in the book and that we learn more about some of the key players. It was also interesting to see Maya having to deal with the repercussions of using her expanded powers, and I really enjoy her gentle romance with Nick.

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Book Review: London Calling – A Quill and Ink Anthology

London Calling: A Quill & Ink AnthologyLondon Calling: A Quill & Ink Anthology by Sarah Buhrman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book.

This is a nIfty collection of novellas set in London and covering a range of genres. Because of this, how much any reader will enjoy any given story will depend on how well the reader likes that particular genre. Personally, I tend to like Urban Fantasy and Paranormal stories best, so I was impressed with how much I liked some of the others

My favorite novella was the first one – “Sticks and Stones” by Sarah Buhrman, which happens to be set in the same world as a series of hers I’ve been reading called “The Runespells” – and which I whole-heartedly recommend if you enjoy urban fantasy. (The first book is “Too Wyrd” if you’re interested.) While the story in this collection is set in that world, however, the urban fantasy elements are almost negligible and you don’t really need to know anything from the other books to understand and enjoy what’s happening here. The characters are well developed and the heroes are relatable. The action is tense and written clearly enough to follow what’s happening.

I also really liked the sweet BBW romance, “Postcards From London” which is the next story. It’s short, but I liked the characters and how well we got to know them and see them grow even in such a compact tale.

“Rippling the Sheets” is a bit of a thriller. I found the story interesting, but a bit confusing at times. Because all of the stories are set in London, there are a lot of “Britishisms” in the writing, so I’m not sure if the mild confusion was from the use of unfamiliar idioms or if the writer just writes oddly, but I still enjoyed reading it.

In all honesty, I’m not really sure what I thought of the next story, “Mistaken Identity.” It’s hard to explain my ambivalence towards it without spoiling it, but the interaction between some of the characters under the given circumstances was rather uncomfortable to me. That said, it’s well written, and the author managed to surprise me by taking the story in a different direction than I’d expected.

The only real clunker I found in the collection was “The Life and Death of George Weeks” which, while certainty topical, was heavy-handed and obvious. It is also the shortest offering in the collection so I don’t feel it diminishes the overall value of quality of the book.

I’m not a fan of explicit sex scenes, so I ended up skipping both the next story “My Partner, The Brit” and the last one, “Destination Wedding.”

The remaining tale, “The Cave” also has some sexually explicit scenes, but I was far enough into the story and so captivated by what I was reading that I just skimmed over them so I could enjoy the rest of it – and enjoy it I did. It’s a sweet paranormal romance and full of feels. Interestingly, the author chose to include an alternate ending which I personally liked much better, though the actual ending she used is quite touching.

Taken as a whole, I found a lot to like in the anthology and a couple new authors to check out. I recommend checking it out.

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Quill and Ink’s “London Calling” Release Blitz Info

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RELEASE BLITZ

London Calling: A Quill & Ink Charity Anthology

Hosted by Quill & Ink PR

Available now on Amazon ➞ http://amzn.to/2jKQUHw

Add to your TBR ➞ https://goo.gl/9ETk1b

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Join Quill & Ink in a multi-genre exploration of London. Within these pages, we fall in love, go back in time, sit on the edge of our seats with sweaty palms and racing hearts, and even solve some mysteries—all in support of LitWorld, a charity tackling worldwide illiteracy.

Please note that some of these stories contain adult content.

Featuring

Slings & Arrows by Sarah Buhrman
Ring Me by C.L. Cannon
Postcards from London by Rebekah Dodson
Ripping the Sheets by Shakyra Dunn
Mistaken Identity by Stacey Johnston
My Partner, The Brit by Jessika Klide
The Life and Death of George Weeks by Debbie Manber Kupfer
The Cave by Claire Lalique
Destination Wedding by Lily Ryan

TEASERS

For more information about #LitWorld check out their website

http://www.litworld.org/

Book Review: Blood Promise by TG Ayer

Blood Promise (A SkinWalker Novel #4)Blood Promise by T.G. Ayer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book.

Kai is called on to fulfill her blood promise to Lady Kira, High Priestess of the DeathTalkers. She needs her to investigate a shocking crime that Kira has learned may have echoes worldwide, and could hold dire ramifications for Kai herself.

A lot happens in this story, and it’s probably the darkest installment yet. It runs you through a gamut of emotions – even to the point of tears. I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the way the case was ultimately resolved. I can’t explain much without risking spoiling things, but for me it felt like the foundation for it hasn’t really been properly laid so things just didn’t hang quite right. Still, it’s a really good book overall and I definitely plan to keep going with both this series and the Soul Tracker one which is also set in the Dark World. (And if you’re reading both, be sure to read this before reading the 3rd ST book, Blood Curse to avoid spoilers.)

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Book Review: Blood and Ink by Holly Evans

Blood & Ink (Ink Born #2)Blood & Ink by Holly Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book.

This is the second book in Holly Evans “Ink Born” series and picks up right where “Stolen Ink” left off, with Dacian and friends moving to a new city in hopes of staying ahead of those who’d like to use his special skills for their own ends.

One result of the move is that he is no longer able to be his own boss, and getting used to working for someone else isn’t easy. Plus there are, of course, the emotional ramifications of such a sudden move and the stress it can put on any relationship, and new relationships to be forged. Worse, Kieran is faced with a family tragedy and needs the support of his friend. With all that already on his plate, when Dacian is drawn into a new mystery and the ink network tries to force an even tighter bond, he finds himself struggling to keep it all together.

The only complaint I had with the book is that the author had a few phases that, to me, were overused, and on a couple of occasions, it seemed like a brief passage of dialog was repeated almost word for word. Still, the story, characters and the world they exist in are compelling and quite enjoyable

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Book Review: Fluffy Bunny by Sarah Buhrman

Fluffy Bunny (Runespells, #2)Fluffy Bunny by Sarah Buhrman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book.

Oh so good!

The “Runespells” series knocks its second volume outside the park just like it did its first! When I first read in the description that Nicola was going to have to handle this mission without her friends Mercy and Joseph from the first book, I was worried it might end up being too “flat” of a story because they’d added so much texture to Nicola’s adventures, but I honestly found I didn’t really notice their absence as much as I thought I might, and the new friends she makes are welcome company.

In “Fluffy Bunny” Nicola is called upon to investigate a healing cult that is messing with the natural order of things by saving the lives of people who’s time has come, and the death goddess Hel is *not* pleased. To find out what is going on, Nicola must go undercover as someone hoping to join the cult. Her mission becomes more complicated when she finds the cult atmosphere almost too seductive.

Much of the story takes place more-or-less in Nicola’s head as she finds herself taking refuge in the Astral. I found those to be some of the most interesting parts of the book as I got to know Nicola in ways its often hard to get to know a character and because her adventures there helped me not only see but get a real feel for how the physical and ethereal relate to each other. But don’t think that this is mainly a big noodley mind-trip – there’s plenty of action, suspense and things that hit right in the feels.

This series as a lot going for it. For me, one of the best things is it avoids a number of Urban Fantasy tropes. We learned in the first book “Too Wyrd” that Nicola isn’t some chosen one who was born to solve a problem, nor was she someone who suddenly learned her life is a lie, there’s magic in the world, all the myths about the Old Gods are true and that because she’s reached a certain birthday or a little known relative has died she now has a bunch of powers and has to save the world. She’s known about magic and the Old Gods because they’re part of her faith. She ends up being given her task because of choices she made when she was faced with various challenges – and while she may not have known that making the choices she did would result in her taking on this responsibility, her nature is such that it’s hard to imagine she’d make different choices even if she knew what the result would be. While I do love the more “normal” (for lack of a much better term) UF, reading something that looks at the concept from such a different starting point is just a real nice treat.

I really can’t wait for more in this series!

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Book Review: Blood Curse by TG Ayer

Blood Curse (DarkWorld: Soul Tracker, #3)Blood Curse by T.G. Ayer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book.

Mel certainly keeps herself busy! This time out she not only has a demanding new client, but the problems brought about by the poltergeist she’s been cursed with are becoming increasingly more dangerous making it even more critical that she find out who’s behind it, and she’s worried for both her gargoyle companion, Drake, and her boyfriend, Saleem, who are dealing with family matters that may take them from her side.

Clearly, there’s a lot of action here, but it’s well paced. As always with this series, there’s nice character growth and it’s interesting to try and figure out what all this is leading up to. While I missed seeing more of Drake and Saleem, there are some new characters introduced that I suspect will become more important as the story progresses, and sending them off on personal matters made room to get to know these new ones better. I just hope both will be back by the next installment.

If you’re reading both this series and the Skinwalker series, be sure to read the fourth Skinwalker book “Blood Promise” before this one as there are spoilers here for what happens in that story.

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