Rating: 4 stars out of 5 The main characters are a college student named Andrew, who is trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life, and a mysterious man named Caius, whom he keeps dreaming about after spending the night in a haunted house. I think the blurb tells you everything […]
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 There is a free short story prequel to this book, but you don’t need to read it to enjoy this story. Alpha Varian of the Northern Pack is allied with the Shadow Clan against the allied packs of the South. I don’t really understand how this alliance works; it […]
Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5 This story features Agent Luke Bennett, aka Took, a member of the BITERs unit of the Anakim (vampire) police known as VINE. The reader is thrown into the action two years after Luke was Taken and turned. He’s been in therapy and is acting as a P.I. His case […]
I would rate this 3.75 stars.
Holden is a half-breed in a world where pure bloods rule. Even though his fae father is the Council’s current Minister for Justice, he has cut all ties with Holden. His vampire mother died in childbirth. It would be difficult for him to be more of an outcast than he already is. Holden’s only friend is his lover for the last five years, the vampire Raoul. Working as a subcontractor for the Fellowship’s Investigations Team, he is finally given a chance to take the lead in a case following a series of murders thanks to the support of his supervisor, Owens. The Fellowship maintains the treaties for and preserves the cultures of the the three supernatural communities: fae, witch, and vampire. Part of their job is to keep them secret from humans. When Holden is partnered with Valerius Blackwood, head of the Mayfair-Belgravia witches, London’s most powerful and influential coven, his life becomes more complicated than he ever imagined.
This is one of those books where it’s difficult to critique it without spoilers. Holden is an interesting character and having Raoul and Owens as supporting characters makes this more engaging. Val is more complicated. It is challenging to make an unlikable character likeable, and the author only partially succeeds, in my opinion. If you like your white and black hats pristine, this morally ambiguous take might not be for you. The plot makes perfect sense in the end and is well told, I was just surprised where it ended up. What didn’t quite work is that not once, but twice, the lower than low halfen, as Holden is called, makes the mighty pure blood, prideful, Council members bow to his will. This really doesn’t gel with the rest of the book and how Holden is treated. They could have just killed him at the end, or put him in the medieval dungeon. No one would have cared. Where this book really captured me was the world-building with the details about powers, spells, demons, and shifters. I did want to see more about witch, vampire, and fae culture. The plot is good. The characters are good. The love story is good, albeit strange. Yet, this still didn’t come together for me as much as I was hoping. If you like to root for the bad guys, give this a try and tell me what you think.
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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5 This is urban fantasy with Elementals, Beasts, Psychogenics, Necromorphs, and Terrans living alongside humans without them knowing. John Tilney is an author wanting to shadow the PI, Lowell Kanaan, for help with research for a book. Lowell is willing to have a free office assistant, but is slow to […]
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5 This is book four and you need to read these in order as it starts three years after the previous book. It took me a while to warm up to this series, but by book three I was completely sucked in. As Diego and Finn return to the world […]
I would rate this 4.25 stars.
An immortal, Wes Cooper is technically dead, but able to travel between this world and the otherplane. Lexi Aster is his best friend and a witch; it was her great grandmother’s spell to resurrect Wes after he was killed. He’s not a ghost since he has a living body, but he can make himself disappear, so that resurrection went a bit wonky. When he witnesses a murder, he is frozen and doesn’t act in time. His guilt motivates him to try and help with the investigation. Except for the first time, the killer actually sees Wes while he’s invisible. Now his ex from 33 years ago, Detective Hudson Rojas, gets assigned the case and Wes’ life gets complicated.
The author takes a huge risk giving the POV to an amoral character who is not terribly mature and so self-absorbed that he has spent no time getting to know or understand the magic that allows him his life. Over the course of the book, it becomes obvious that Wes isn’t a bad guy, that he cares for his friends. Knowing the time period and how he dies explains why he is the way he is, but he is so much more as he starts to care more for others and things outside of himself. Hudson has his own growth that needs to happen for them to get their second chance. As with most of the books I have been reading lately, most of their issues come down to lack of communication, but timing in life is everything. In the end, these guys are sweet together. Wes reads as demisexual, although that word isn’t used. The final love scene was hot and funny at the same time–quite an accomplishment and it helps to make the whole thing real.
The lovers reunited element works well in the story. Lexi and Evan (to avoid spoilers, I’ll say he’s Hudson’s friend) are fleshed out enough to care about what happens to them, but I did want a little more. The mystery and the murders are interesting with enough action to keep the suspense going. If witches, vampires, secret societies and ancient artifacts sound exciting, this is the book for you. I’d be happy to read more in this world.
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Rating: 4 stars out of 5 Book four focuses on Vance who comes from a family of law enforcement, and his new partner Samuel who left working for the DEA and ATF to join the enhanced FBI unit. One of Samuel’s informants will only speak to him, so they are actually on loan to the […]
I would rate this 4 stars.
Book two of the series starts off with Finn, who was about to get some real tactical training, instead being pulled to go undercover at a group home as a 17 year old enhanced. Enhanced kids are going missing from foster homes, some ending up murdered. Talon is being over protective of Finn and they’re having a little friction working together and being lovers.
Undercover, Finn meets the enhanced kids at the home including Liam, whose dad used to work for Alan Swann from book one. He’s talking about creating a boarding school for enhanced, but it sounds like incarceration. Liam’s situation is heartbreaking. There are several enhanced kids introduced so if we keep seeing them in future books, they could be a series of their own as the next generation. Of course, Finn being Finn mananges to find trouble several times throughout the book. I like that he wants to save people, but he doesn’t really have the training and he keeps getting his ego hurt when people point that out. It’s been eight weeks and he can barely shoot a gun; he trained as an accountant. Part of the fun in this series is Finn geeking out over trivia and facts, so that continues.
One of the main issues is the ENu, who have the authority to sedate, transport, and forcibly detain an enhanced. It doesn’t matter whether that enhanced is a child or an adult. Most ENu seem to love their job and hate enhanced. When Jake Riley doesn’t fit that mold, he starts to have problems with his co-workers. I don’t want spoilers about the plot so this continues with the main mission, which is rescuing kids. The kids being murdered seems like a different case, so I expect that will continue on in book three. Since each enhanced is supposed to be partnered with a regular human, it’s not a suprise when Jake joins the team and I expect that partnership to be the focus of next book. Here, we finally get someone trained as law enforcement as former SWAT.
Here Talon’s backstory gets filled in when his mother arrives to try and bully him into politics. The pieces of how he met Gael and Vance are added to the puzzle. Talon’s abilities are evolving and he’s taken into custody after a dangerous incident. As usual, this affects the team and the politics involved in keeping the unit going come into play. There is a bit more of Eli seen in this book but him and Sawyer are the least fleshed out at this point. A little more levity and team bonding would go a long way here.
This book advances the plot lines quite a bit, but even though the sex scenes are hot, the romance between Finn and Talon is giving me whiplash. These guys need to work on their insecurities and actually talk to each other like mature adults. There is angst on both sides as we get the alternating POVs and I want to smack them both–Talon more often than Finn. In fact, it’s Finn who really cracks himself wide open in this book so I expect Talon to step up now or I am going to get irritated. I still love these guys though.
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I would rate this 4.25 stars.
Over thirty years ago, children in the U.S. started developing scars under their left eyes; then they developed abilitites. Many of the population fear them and their families may abandon them, turning them over to the State. They are often discriminated against by private businesses. The government has made protections so they are not completely discriminated against, but enhanced humans are not trusted to do any sort of government work.
Talen Valdez, is the enhanced chosen to help form a task force for the FBI. He handpicks his team of enhanced, but is told each enhanced must partner with a human. Finn Mayer has dreamed of joining the FBI and has worked hard to make it, but undiagnosed dyslexia has stopped him. When he is picked to partner with Talon on the new task force, he has four weeks to prove this can be successful, but there are powerful people who want it to fail, including the FBI Deputy Director. Gael, Sawyer, Vance, and Eli make up the rest of the unit. So, five days into the job, the unit is official: H.E.R.O. Human Enhanced Rescue Organization. This is a chance to win hearts and minds, to show the public they aren’t monsters.
One of the main problems with this is the complete lack of training that everyone has except for Talon and Vance. There is also a series of exciting and entertaining events, that are highly coincidental and improbable. If I am willing to suspend disbelief for superpowers, why not the rest? Well, it turns out I am, because I got attached to all the characters. This book focuses on Talon and Finn, but Gael and Vance are fleshed -out enough for me to like them. There is also Drew, an FBI agent assigned to the same office and helping out. I even liked Adam, Finn’s best friend from school. I like the characters and the world building, so I am willing to just go with it and have fun.
Obviously, there are going to be inter-agency issues, as not all law enforcement is happy about enhanced being included, especially with the EnU, or Enhanced Unit, the cops’ special unit that carry tranqs in case an enhanced needs sedating quickly. There are undoubtedly still parts of the government and scientific commumity that wants them all as lab rats. Then, there are the politics. Isaac Dakota is an enhanced rights activist with his own agenda. Judge Benedict Cryer is running for office, on an anti-enhanced platform; he wants them possibly removed from their homes even against their parents’ wishes. There are people who want to exploit them and find ways to make money such as Alan Swann, the CEO of Swann Industries.
At the heart of this series is the children. Children with enhanced marks are disappearing, being mistreated, being locked up and hurt. They wake up one morning and their whole life changes, usually for the worse. They are scared and sometimes tragedies happen as they don’t know how to control their new powers. So, in between melodramatic romance and hot sex between our alpha males in tactical gear, there is their mission to show the world enhanced deserve to be treated humanely and included in society. When children are shown love, educated well, and taken care of, even when they are different, society is a much better place.
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