Mating in Flight (Dragon Erotica) by Christie Sims

I read this for science, of course. It was… entertaining. A nineteen year old sorceress virgin (of course) calls a dragon with a summoning spell and he answers her call. She wants to be his baby mama and he’s like… you’re a hot young virginal sorceress, let’s do this.

This is not a dragon shifter, we’re talking fully grown, huge-ass scaly dragon. With a three foot long dong. And somehow, he gets it in there. I guess we can call it magic.

I appreciated some of the descriptions in this. Like this gem:

“her flower released honey onto her pollinator’s malehood”

And “he throttled his member into her”. The author describes said member as “gargantuan meat.” Nice. She even calls their sex a “dance of love.”

I did find it a little gross when she went down on the dragon and his thing was so big, she could only get her mouth over the “hole.”

Overall, this was kind of funny, but I’m not sure it was supposed to be? I was entertained and that’s all I’m looking for in stuff like this. It was better than Taken by the T-Rex, I have to say. 😉

Review also found at Goodreads.

“Uprooted” by Naomi Novik

UprootedUprooted by Naomi Novik
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review also found at: Goodreads

I’ve been thinking for days now how to review this book when almost everyone has. It seems like almost everyone likes/loves it, while a few didn’t (or didn’t like the second half). When I started it, I wasn’t sure, but before I knew it, I was completely wrapped up in the story and characters. By the end, I had cried, my feels broke, and I was blown away by the imagination of the author and the story she had created. So I guess I’ll just ramble on about a few things.

Even though this book had the trope of “ancient powerful male falls for very young inexperienced woman,” it worked. There was romance, but the story did not revolve around it and it was actually a fairly minor part overall. The girl’s life did not revolve around the male character’s loving her and she was fine with or without it. She had her own things going on and was not a love-sick puppy.

There is a sort of mega alpha jerk in this, but it worked for me. We got to understand why the Dragon was the way he was. He was annoying sometimes and a bit too much “prickly” and cantankerous, but I grew to really love him. Even though he wasn’t really a dragon and that was just his wizard name.

The magic in this book is awesome. There’s spells, chants, illusions, and even magic that can literally shape and change reality. There are fantastical creatures – chimeras and forest monsters. The forest is like a dark spirit that can possess people when they go into it and make them do evil things.

Part of the book takes place at the royal castle and there are politics and intrigue. The end has a more other-worldly, mystical vibe. It really feels like a fairytale laced with mythology.

One of the things I came to truly love was the main character, Agnieszka. She was so kind and giving and had joy in her heart and soul. Her loyalty to Kasia was a foundation of the story. I love how strong she was and how content to just roam around the land and be grounded and use her magic to help the villagers in the valley. She had no interest in being a fancy, rich wizard.

I could go on and on with how much I was unexpectedly swept up by this. I think it will become a favorite for me for years to come and I can imagine re-reading it several times. I am not classifying this as Young Adult because it doesn’t seem like it to me. It just has a 17 year old as the main character. But I highly recommend!

Original post:

OMG you guys. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.

RTC.

Buddy read with Buddies Books and Baubles starting January 8, 2016.

Okay, I have to see what all the fuss is about with this book. Everyone in the world seems to have read it but me. Some people adored it, others only liked the first half? I’m curious what I will think. I hope I like it!

View all my reviews

“Wrath and Bones” (Marnie Baranuik #4) by A.J. Aalto

Wrath and Bones (The Marnie Baranuik Files Book 4)Wrath and Bones by A.J. Aalto
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review also found at: https://theparanormalpaladin.wordpres…

This was my first completed book of 2016. Yay me! And it was a really good one!
I think Wrath and Bones is my favorite since Touched. To be honest, the love triangle and Marnie’s obnoxiousness kind of ruined Death Rejoices for me, but maybe I wasn’t in the mood. I liked Last Impressions better, but this really seemed like inspired story-telling.

From the first page, I was drawn in the story, and there seemed to be very little setup before you were thrust into the action. A LOT of things happen in this book. One reason I may have liked it more is just that I love me some vampires/revenants and the whole premise surrounded them. The Houses are summoned to replace the King, who has gone mad and can’t do his job anymore.

Asmodeus, who was a total jerk, had Marnie go off with Declan (the Irishman returns and I was glad to see him) and Batten on a quest to retrieve three objects. Marnie also has to prevent Trollpocalypse. She gets to meet other Daysitters, most of whom seem like shitty people.

The world-building here is top-notch, in my view. I was fascinated by the orcs, trolls, spriggans, werefox, and mellified mummy man? Awesome stuff. The scene towards the end where they battle the trolls with the help of a massive Baltic sea wyrm was fantastic!

Also, this one had some of the best “nonsense” words that Marnie makes up and uses as swear words. So funny. Snatchgoblin, “donked in the wabbles,” twatdribble… lots of funny in this one.

No sexy Harry times, but I guess I can forgive that. TEAM HARRY forever! LOL

All in all, I think this is the best story since book one. I thought the author was really on her game with this one. Fantastic.

Review also found at Goodreads.

“Last Impressions (The Marnie Baranuik Files #3)” by A.J. Aalto

3 stars – This book was better than book two in my view. When I first started it, I was so happy to be back in this world. I was like…

post

I think what bugged me the most about book two was the love triangle. I like Batten as a character, but not with Marnie or in Marnie’s head. It drove me crazy and made me ragey. Well, Batten is hardly in this. Yay for me! (Unfortunately, it sounds like a romance with him has been set up for the future, which should make for tons of angst between Marnie and Batten, since Marnie has sex sometimes with her vampire Companion, or Revenant, Harry. Ugh. I’m TEAM HARRY all the way, but my guy never wins.)

So… I’m reading along steadily and quite enjoying the first half of this. I’m thinking, wow, I’m so glad I’m liking this one!

Marnie goes back to her hometown to help solve a mystery involving ghosts and a missing person. Of course, things get crazy from that point on. I liked Schenk and Scarrow. Schenk is the male police officer Marnie is partnered with and Scarrow is the ex-priest with a preference for skinny pants who exorcises poltergeists – and flirts with Marnie every chance he gets.

And then, Marnie started to bug me again.

post2

I just think these books are TOO long. There’s only so much of Marnie’s zany, quirky, foul-mouthed, air-headed shenanigans I can take. By the end, I get annoyed and want to throw my Kindle across the room.

Sometimes she’s SO funny and I love it, but then, it’s just overkill. And the books all start to feel the same. I’m ready for a game-changer, for something crazy to happen to her or Harry or someone. Shock me. Surprise me. It’s just the same formula, and sometimes it works brilliantly. But then, it drags on, and I get bored and annoyed with Marnie’s behavior that never really changes.

I think I can just take Marnie in small doses. Otherwise, I find her to be a bumbling, air-headed bimbo, who happened to score bigtime with inheriting a vampire/revenant from her Aunt (or is it Grandma) that can sex her up (and dang he does that well) and boost her finances and pamper her. I feel like she doesn’t deserve what she has with Harry. She seems to take him for granted. Maybe it’s just me. Probably is. But many times, I just want to say to her:

post3

Anyhow, my thoughts on this are: it started strong, lagged in the middle, got better (the scene with the farmer dude who kept disappearing to change into outfits – one was in drag- during an interview because he was “testing” Marnie and Schenk to see if he could trust them enough to divulge everything he knew was awesome. I already forgot his name, but it was over the top bizarre and funny). But then, the pacing dragged again, and I never got into it as much and started skimming from about 70% on.

Maybe I should give up on this series. I like it a lot in some respects, but then it pisses me off. Marnie is too annoying (for me) in big doses and I think the books are too long compared to the actual plot and story content.

Review also found at : Goodreads

Original post:

Yay, Netgalley approved me! I’m happy to be back in this world, mainly because of Harry, the sexy vampire (I mean, Revenant). And I picture him as Tom Hardy, which makes it even better!

tom

“Magic Shifts” (Kate Daniels #8) by Ilona Andrews

2 stars – Ok, unpopular opinion time. I know it’s blasphemy and all, but this book was just okay to me. I found it a struggle to get through.

A couple months have passed since the last book. Kate and Curran are going through the final process of full separation from the Pack. They now live in a suburban neighborhood with Julie and we see a lot of domesticity in the beginning. I don’t know why, but this is a trope in urban fantasy that really annoys me. However, it’s not like I didn’t know it was coming.

The main plot in this one was a werebison goes missing, Eduardo. To further complicate matters, we find out his girlfriend is the Alpha Bear, Mahon’s, daughter, and he is a long-standing bigot we all know and are aware of. So we get lots of family and romance angst, mixed in with the domesticity at the beginning.

The good thing to me was in the beginning (around 20%), we see that Kate seems to have hit her stride. She knows how to use her powers more, she’s in her prime. Then, she has a stroke and it feels weird. I’m not sure what that was all about, but it felt like it was just a plot device.

I felt like a lot of characters just made a token appearance. The side story of Curran taking over the Guild was okay, I guess. He had to have significance established for the future books.

None of my favorite characters really had a significant role and maybe that was part of it. Saiman has one scene you’d miss if you blinked. The conversation with Roland was nothing more than a huge info-dump, really. I felt like a lot of this book was transitional or info-dumping or just…filler.

There’s a lot of things that are repeated, like how many times have we heard Roland described something like…”if the sun had risen” or something to do with what just looking on him when we has happy with you was like the sun rising or whatnot.

I just didn’t care about Mahon or Eduardo or George or the big bad in this one. The writing is fine and for people who really get into seeing all the appearances of the various characters in the world, it is great. I hope the next one is a little darker and maybe I just like the “bad guys” in this world too much. They are much more intriguing to me.

I will re-read this in the future and probably will like it more. At least, that happened with the previous book, so I’m thinking it could just be my current mood. I just couldn’t get into this one.

Review also found at: Goodreads

“Serafina and the Black Cloak” by Robert Beatty

3 Stars

“I’ve told ya before, and I’ll tell ya again, Sera: our world is filled with many mysteries, things we don’t understand. Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, both dark and bright, and they will ensnare your soul.”

forest

Serafina is a 12 year old girl who lives in the Vanderbilt mansion, called the Biltmore Estate, with her pa. Well, they don’t exactly live there properly. They secretly live in the basement and no one knows she exists. Her pa is the maintenance man and never really told her about where she came from or who her mother was, until a man in a black cloak comes and children start disappearing.

So this is probably not exactly “Young Adult,” and more geared towards older kids/younger teens, but it’s a solid fantasy tale about an unusual girl who is more than she appears, and who ends up saving the day (of course). I liked Serafina. Even though she didn’t really know anything about herself, she was strong, and still followed her instincts. At first I was annoyed with her dad, but I ended up understanding why he did what he did (and besides, this is for a younger crowd, so you have to kind of not analyze things too much). For example, and I don’t think this a spoiler, but Serafina only wore large man-shirts tied at the waist with an old rope or belt, and for an adult, it’s like, come on, she could have gotten some hand-me-downs no matter how poor they were. But, it makes for a certain charm, and adds to who Serafina is. She cares more about catching rats than what she is wearing, and her pa is too busy fixing machines in the Vanderbilt’s basement.

I could emotionally relate to the idea that some people resonate more with animals and nature than other people, and Serafina meets a kindred spirit who is like her in that respect. This isn’t a complicated book, but it’s cute and well-written for its target audience.

Review also found at Goodreads

“Witch Hunt” (Preternatural Affairs, #1) by S.M. Reine

4 stars – Cèsar works for the Office of Preternatural Affairs. He’s a witch whose specialty is poultices and other minor potions for energy and stamina. To keep him on his toes and buff enough to outrun the bad guys. One day he wakes up and there’s a dead lady in his tub and he has no freaking idea what the heck is going on. The law (and the law the general public doesn’t know about) is after him and he has to figure out who killed this chick quick.

I have to say, I have become sketchy towards Kindle freebies, but this was totally worth spending the time to read. It’s short and the story moves along quickly with humor and entertaining pop culture references (hey, mentioning Star Trek and Indiana Jones is always a win for me).

I didn’t care for Suzy, but I liked Isobel. Maybe I’m slow, but I didn’t figure out the twists. Cèsar is a bit of a horndog and always thinking of sexual things when it comes to women, but I found it amusing, and he’s a good guy, so it wasn’t creepy or annoying, in my view at least. He did walk into some dumb situations, but you know, that’s pretty common for Urban Fantasy characters. I thought he was sexy.

I think this was a solid first book in a series and I am definitely interested in continuing the series!

yesgood

Buddy read with Supe-er Heroines Group in July.

Free on Amazon 7/18/2015

Amazon “Witch Hunt” by S.M. Reine

Review also at:

Goodreads

“Radiance (Wraith Kings, #1)” by Grace Draven

Maybe more like 3.5 stars, but I’ll round up for the reasons below.

This is an unfolding love story in a fantasy setting. Bristen is a member of the royal Kai family and heir to the throne, but far enough down the chain that he will never be king. Ildiko is the young noblewoman he is arranged to marry, whose only worth is being married off in a political alliance.

They discover they actually like each other – as friends. This is sort of a vague Beauty and the Beast re-telling, only both people view the other as the beast. To Brishen, Ildiko’s human eyes look like separate disgusting entities, parasites, moving around in her head. To Ildiko, Brishen is the stuff nightmares are made of, with his gray skin, long claws, a mouth full of sharp teeth, and glowing eyes..

But they appreciate each others honesty, humor, and intelligence, so they form a friendship and try to make the best of their marriage. Of course, since this is a romance, stuff happens, and things change.

I enjoyed the world-building in this. The Kai people were interesting to read about. I really appreciated the fact that there was no “virgin trope,” which most romances seem to have. Also, the two leads were friends first, and their platonic relationship was believable. Neither character was annoying or did stupid things. Again, that is always refreshing.

If you are looking for a more relaxed (slow-paced) intelligent fantasy romance with a slowly evolving relationship, this is for you. There is a dash of magic, although it was a bit under-developed, in my view. The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, but nothing major. I am definitely interested in seeing what happens next in this world.

Review also found at: Goodreads

Original post:

Buddy read with my MacHalo freakazoids.

I don’t do fantasy romance very often, but this one looks like my kind of thing.

bear

“Day Shift” (Midnight #2) by Charlaine Harris

Maybe 3.5 stars? This is sort of a conflicted review. I’m not exactly sure how to review this.

up-down

Review also found at Goodreads

I liked it. I enjoyed it a little more than Midnight Crossroad (my review on that one is here). However, not enough to round up to 4 stars by any means. The mystery is simple and some of the resolution occurs off-page! After all we went through, we didn’t even get a big action scene in the end to resolve the main mystery! We are just told the police find the item in question. I felt kind of cheated, personally.

The whole cast of characters from the deserted town of Midnight, Texas is back, but this time different characters have bigger roles. Mainly, Olivia and then Joe and Chuy. We found out some surprises about them, which was cool. Manfred still has a big role. He seems a bit more likeable in this one. I am not sure if it is intentional to make all the characters ambiguous. Maybe that is part of the “mystery?” I don’t really feel that any of these Midnight characters are truly nice. I don’t think I would want to be friends with any of them except maybe Fiji, Bobo, and Joe and Chuy. Manfred is kind of self-centered, although he does show loyalty to the Midnight folks in this. It’s like a weird little town where you protect your own, but no one is too chummy or social. They only get together when something is wrong and other than that, like to be left alone. Eh.

In this one, Manfred gets caught up in some legal issue and Olivia is “tasked” to help him. That’s pretty much the basic premise of the entire thing. And then, as a side story, an old motel re-opens mysteriously and everyone wonders why. Eh.

I wasn’t bored with this, but could put it down easily and do other things and read other books. This is a solid 3-star book, but nothing overly special. It was a light mystery. Don’t expect anything complicated. Things fall neatly into place and you’ll probably guess what’s coming (or at least you won’t be surprised much). Lemuel was hardly in it. Bobo hardly had a role at all. Fiji was a bit player as well. But I’ll still probably read the next one when my library gets it.

And now for the Sookie Stackhouse spoilers. Don’t read unless you intend to read this and don’t want to be spoiled.

There are some characters who show up here and if you have followed the author’s blogs and interviews, we all knew it was coming. So read on if you don’t care about being spoiled. Honestly, it’s nothing spectacular.

Barry the Bellboy (never a favorite character of mine from the Sookie books to begin with) shows up. His grandfather is staying at the motel that mysteriously opens up for no good reason. So he ends up playing a pretty significant side role in this and helps Manfred and Olivia out. It didn’t do anything for me. Barry does not seem like a very good guy. He is just helping them for money and of course is paranoid about vampires.

Incidentally, day sitters/watchers DO come looking for him due to his history in Texas and his telepathic abilities, which makes the reasoning in the last Sookie book ridiculous… that vampires would leave Sookie alone. They haven’t left Barry alone. And the excuse that Eric Northman’s deal made her safe is stupid also. Barry’s case proves that logic does not hold.

Also, Quinn shows up with his young son who is old enough to transition into his tiger form. That was another side plot, which was interesting, in that we got to see Quinn’s son, Diederik, and the Rev interact with the people in Midnight and see what happens as Diederik “hits puberty.” Quinn was hardly in it and his page time was unsatisfactory, in my view. He didn’t do anything bad-ass or heroic. In fact, he was made to look like a crappy dad. So, for you Quinn fangirls, don’t be expecting any sexy Quinn here.

Overall, the Sookie tie-ins were nothing special, but did raise the book half a star in my book just for sentimentality.

Kate Daniels re-read, “Magic Bleeds” by Ilona Andrews

Re-read with the Ilona Andrews Addicts (IAA) group.

FIRST READ: OCTOBER 2014 (4 stars)
SECOND READ: JUNE 2015 (4 stars)

New thoughts: This one was a bit tougher to get through on the second read, but I’ll keep my original rating (although the first half of the book was more of a 3 star rating for me). There was a lot of really great world-building and character development. I did enjoy reading the Kate and Curran sections more. Kate’s aunt is a real bitch, but I loved all her scenes. What a great villain. There was some great banter between her and Kate. Overall, not the strongest book in the series, especially coming off of book 3, which is my favorite.

Original review at Goodreads:

So Kate’s got a cray-cray Aunt that comes to town to bring end of the world catastrophes and diseases to humans and shape-shifters alike. Just another day in the life.

Erra

This was a good book. A lot really happens here, esp. involving Kate and Curran. Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. I know I’m reading this one after the fact and most people have already devoured it and moved on, but in my view, Ilona Andrews really knows how to do the world-building thing. Other urban fantasy authors are really gonna have to step their game up now that this formidable writing team is around and here to stay.

Loved it!

happy dance