Saturday, September 19, 2020

Book Review: Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews

Emerald Blaze

Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy (Book 5)
Publication: Avon (August 25, 2020)

Description: Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author, continues her spellbinding series set in the Hidden Legacy world where magic controls everything…except the hearts of those who wield it.

As Prime magic users, Catalina Baylor and her sisters have extraordinary powers—powers their ruthless grandmother would love to control. Catalina can earn her family some protection working as deputy to the Warden of Texas, overseeing breaches of magic law in the state, but that has risks as well. When House Baylor is under attack and monsters haunt her every step, Catalina is forced to rely on handsome, dangerous Alessandro Sagredo, the Prime who crushed her heart. 

The nightmare that Alessandro has fought since childhood has come roaring back to life, but now Catalina is under threat. Not even his lifelong quest for revenge will stop him from keeping her safe, even if every battle could be his last. Because Catalina won't rest until she stops the use of the illicit, power-granting serum that's tearing their world apart. 


My Thoughts: Catalina Baylor has gotten over her broken heart from when Alessandro Sagredo left after their case together. Or, at least, she has managed to convincer her family that she is over it. But when a Prime is murdered and his father hires Alessandro to kill the one who killed his son and Catalina has to find the murderer as a part of her job as Deputy Warden of Texas, the two of them need to work together.

Alessandro knows that the man who murdered his father when he was a young boy has added Catalina to his hit list. Alessandro has been tracking him for years; that's why he left Catalina after their case together. Now he is determined to protect Catalina from that man no matter what the difficulties might be.

The man who has added Catalina to his list isn't opposed to targeting her family to get to her. When an attempt to out her sister Arabella fails and an attempt to get her cousin Leon arrested for murder, Catalina knows she has to solve her case and find him to keep her family safe.

The murder victim was part of a group who were trying to reclaim an area in Houston that is called the Pit and, besides being a swamp, is contaminated with all sorts of magical residue. Catalina is attacked by residents of the Pit on a few occasions and barely manages to escape. It becomes even worse when she learns that the Pit itself is an entity that was dosed with an illicit serum that was the original cause of the magic and psychic talents that some people have. The serum was declared illegal and should all have been destroyed but a few samples are still around and the Wardens need to collect and destroy all of them before some idiots create chaos again.

I liked the story and love the worldbuilding. Catalina is a great character who is smart, talented, and driven to take care of her family. I liked her growing relationship with Alessandro despite the legions of reasons why a relationship could never work. I also really like Catalina's relationship with her family and the respect and caring they all have for each other. 

Fans of this series won't want to miss this latest episode.

Favorite Quote:
If I closed my eyes, I could conjure him right here next to me. I remembered his voice, his face, his scent...He was engraved in my memory. The relationship might have meant nothing to him, but it was my first. I hadn't known it was necessary to guard myself against committing completely. I didn't realize it was doomed from the start. I just fell in love.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Friday Memes: Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews

 Happy Friday everybody!

Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City ReaderThe Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Beginning:
"House Baylor Investigative Agency," I shouted. "Holster your weapons and step away from the monkey."

Friday 56: 
Leon closed the case and moved on. Audrey didn't. Leon was attractive and dangerous, and she decided he should belong to her. She was used to being adored for things like curling her hair and she couldn't understand why he wasn't falling at her feet and promising her the world.


This week I am spotlighting Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews. It is a new arrival on my TBR mountain. Here is the description from Amazon:

Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author, continues her spellbinding series set in the Hidden Legacy world where magic controls everything…except the hearts of those who wield it.

As Prime magic users, Catalina Baylor and her sisters have extraordinary powers—powers their ruthless grandmother would love to control. Catalina can earn her family some protection working as deputy to the Warden of Texas, overseeing breaches of magic law in the state, but that has risks as well. When House Baylor is under attack and monsters haunt her every step, Catalina is forced to rely on handsome, dangerous Alessandro Sagredo, the Prime who crushed her heart. 

The nightmare that Alessandro has fought since childhood has come roaring back to life, but now Catalina is under threat. Not even his lifelong quest for revenge will stop him from keeping her safe, even if every battle could be his last. Because Catalina won't rest until she stops the use of the illicit, power-granting serum that's tearing their world apart. 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Audiobook: A Call to Arms by David Weber, Timothy Zahn & Thomas Pope

A Call to Arms
Author: David Weber, Timothy Zahn, Thomas Pope
Narrator: Eric Michael Summerer
Publication: Audible Studios (Oct. 6, 2015)
Length: 12 hours and 21 minutes

Description: Lieutenant Travis Long of the Royal Manticoran Navy is the sort of person who likes an orderly universe. One where people follow the rules. Unfortunately he lives in the real universe. The good news is that Travis is one of those rare people who may like rules but has a talent for thinking outside them when everything starts coming apart. That talent has stood him - and the Star Kingdom - in good stead in the past, and it's one reason he's now a "mustang" - an ex-enlisted man who's been given a commission as a king's officer. The bad news is that two of the best ways of making enemies ever invented are insisting on enforcing the rules...and thinking outside them when other people don't. Travis learned that lesson the hard way as a young volunteer in basic training, and he knows that if he could just keep his head down, turn a blind eye to violations of the rules, and avoid stepping on senior officers' toes, he'd do just fine.

But the one rule Travis Long absolutely can't break is the one that says an officer in the Royal Navy does his duty, whatever the consequences. At the moment,there are powerful forces in the young Star Kingdom of Manticore's Parliament that don't think they need him. For that matter they're pretty sure they don't need the Royal Manticoran Navy, either. After all, what does a sleepy little single-system star nation on the outer edge of the explored galaxy need with a navy? Unhappily for them, the edge of the explored galaxy can be a far more dangerous place than they think it is. They're about to find out why they need the navy...and how very, very fortunate they are that Travis Long is in it.

My Thoughts: This is the second book in the Manticore Ascendant series and follows the further adventures of Travis Uriah Long. Travis has been sent to further schooling and is now a Lieutenant JG in the Navy. He goes through various problems on a couple of ships when he insists that people under his command follow the rules no matter who their relatives are. Travis hasn't learned to balance rigid rule following with people skills.

Meanwhile, a large Solarian corporation is eyeing Manticore because of the potential wormhole that might exist in the system. They have sent out their spy Jeremiah Llyn to manipulate events to learn about the possible wormhole and plan for a conquest of the Manticore system which must definitely leave their name out of it while still letting them ultimately take control.

From the murder of one of the captured pirates held in Havenite prison to the murder of a dictator is exile and his supporters to hiring a mercenary space fleet, the spy is busy trying to acquire Manticore for his masters. Most of his activities are well below the radar of anyone on Manticore except for a few people in the Navy who just gets a quick look at his activities but can't find him.

But on Manticore politics is proceeding as usual with a faction wanting to stop what they see as the financial drain of the Royal Navy from eating the budget. Of course, Earl Breakwater wants to divert assets from the Navy to MPARS (Manticore Patrol and Rescue Service) which is under his control and which he and his supporters feel are certainly enough to protect Manticore. Among his strongest supporters is Baron Winterfall who happens to be Travis Long's half-brother.

The book is filled with complicated political maneuvering and space battles which brings a lot of action to the story. It was an entertaining story to listen to even though some of the transitions were a bit jarring as locations and characters changed from one sentence to the next.

I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Audiobook: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Burn Bright
Author: Patricia Briggs
Narrator: Holter Graham
Publication: Penguin Audio (March 6, 2018)
Length: 9 hours and 47 minutes

Description: In her bestselling Alpha and Omega series, Patricia Briggs "spins tales of werewolves, coyote shifters, and magic and, my, does she do it well" (USA Today Online). Now mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham face a threat like no other--one that lurks too close to home...

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok's pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf--but can't stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills--his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker--to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn...

My Thoughts: With Bran away, Charles is in charge of the Marrok's pack. Anna is running interference with Bran's mate Leah since she is a troublemaker who doesn't like either Charles or Anna.

When a call comes in from a fae mate of one of the wildings - werewolves too damaged or broken to live in the pack or anywhere near humans - Charles and Anna head into the wild country to see what is happening.

They find that one of the wildlings has been kidnapped leaving Charles and Anna to try to recover her. She is the only one who can keep her very powerful fae mate under control. They find her and find that she has been captured by other werewolves who want her for some reason. In the rescue attempt, she is killed and shortly thereafter her fae mate commits suicide.

When Charles and Anna along with some of the others of the pack including Asil, Leah, and Sage go to do a cleanup of their cabin and burn it down to make a proper burial for the old werewolf, they discover all sorts of technological devices that have been planted around that isolated cabin to spy on them. Also, a suicide note from the fae tells them that there is a traitor in the pack but doesn't name the traitor.

As Charles and Anna search for the traitor, they also realize that they have to let the other wildlings know about this new danger. In order to alert them all quickly, Leah suggests that they divide into three groups - Charles with Sage, Anna with Asil, and Leah with Juste - to go give their warnings.

Asil and Anna go to warn Wellesley who is a wonderful artist. They find that Anna's talent as an Omega makes her very popular with the wildlings since her power lets her calm their wolves. But Anna learns that Wellesley's problem is not a wolf going crazy by a black witch's curse when she is pulled into his mind and finds the wolf covered in a thicket of bramble vines. She calls on Charles for help since she doesn't know anything about breaking a magic spell and pulls him away from a fight with a trio of Viking werewolves.

Freeing Wellesley from the spell makes them believe that the problem has something to do with the black witches since Wellesley knows a secret for making a device to control werewolves and black witches really want to know this long-forgotten magic.

Some clues lead Anna and Charles to the conclusion that Leah is the traitor and help explain why Bran is staying away from his pack. He also believes that Leah is the traitor but he can't kill his own mate. And if Charles does, the odds are good that Charles will also have to fight and kill his own father.

This story also gives some more insight on Mercy Thompson's childhood and Bran's relationship with her. It was an exciting tale and helped identify the "money man" who has been instrumental in causing trouble for the Marrok and for Mercy's pack too. I really like the relationship between Charles and Anna and like that Anna is getting some idea of what she wants to do with her life now that it looks like it will be a very long one.

I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Audiobook: Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs

Storm Cursed
Author: Patricia Briggs
Narrator: Lorelei King
Publication: Penguin Audio (March 7, 2019)
Length: 10 hours and 15 minutes

Description: In this powerful entry in the number-one  New York Times best-selling series, Mercy Thompson must face a deadly enemy to defend all she loves....

My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.

And a coyote shape-shifter.

And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.

Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn’t stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who live in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and interact with the fae.

The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming, and her name is Death.

But we are pack, and we have given our word.

We will die to keep it.

My Thoughts: Plans are underway for a meeting of officials from the US government and the Grey Lords in the territory of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack. There are so many things that can go wrong that Mercy would be hard-pressed to even make a guess as to how many.

What she hadn't factored in were a group of witches - a horribly powerful group of witches - who definitely don't want that meeting to take place. Interference from Coyote is also making things more difficult for Mercy because, as always, Coyote has his own agenda.

With Adam busy trying to remain neutral while being under contract to provide security for the meeting due to a bad contract lawyer and an almost forgotten line in an old contract, Mercy has to call in some old friends and some old enemies and some new friends to deal with the witches.

This episode brings in threads from earlier books in the series but stands alone quite well. I love Mercy's relationship with Adam and her growing bonds with the werewolf pack. I liked seeing Zee and Tad and even Uncle Mike again. I enjoyed meeting the Goblin King and, like Mercy, wonder about his cryptic comments about the future.

The book is filled with action and packed with magic. It was an exciting story that kept me up late because I couldn't go to sleep until I knew what happened.

I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Monday, September 14, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 14, 2020)

 

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

I will be combining my YA and adult reading and purchases on this one weekly roundup.

Other Than Reading... 

Letting everyone know what my week was like, let me say that the highlight of the week was my semi-annual dentist appointment to have my teeth cleaned. After that excitement, life went back to what is my new normal - staying home, reading and playing on my computer.

The baseball season which just began is in the final stretch before playoffs. So I have been spending some time watching my Atlanta Braves play ball. It does look like they will make the playoffs unless the go on a long losing streak. The will mean that I will have interesting baseball to watch for a couple of weeks longer.

The football season begins tomorrow and I do intend to watch my Minnesota Vikings play. Their first opponent is their rival Green Bay Packers. I haven't been reading anything about the team composition and so it will all be new to me when I watch on Sunday.

I am reading a lot of books from my review stack these days and also listening to old favorites from my Audible library.
Read Last Week

If you can't wait until the review shows up on my blog, reviews are posted to LibraryThing and Goodreads as soon as I write them (usually right after I finish reading a book.)
  • Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews (Mine) - The latest in the Hidden Legacy was an entertaining urban fantasy. My review will be posted on September 19.
  • Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop (Mine; Audiobook) - Reread
  • A Highlander Is Coming to Town by Laura Trentham (Review; September 29) - Nice contemporary romance. My review will be posted on September 23.
  • Sucker Punch by Laurell K. Hamilton (Mine) - The latest in the Anita Blake series was an entertaining mystery. My review will be published on September 24.
  • Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop (Mine; Audiobook) - Reread
  • The Unspoken by Ian K. Smith (Review; October 1, 2020) - This mystery is the first in a new series that I got from Kindle First. My review will be posted on September 26.
  • Pretty Funny for a Girl by Rebecca Elliott (YA Review; Oct. 1) - I read about 10% of this one and felt that it was just too YA for me.
Currently
Next Week
Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?

Bought:
Review:
  • Tie Die by Max Tomlinson (June 16, 2020)
What was your week like?





Saturday, September 12, 2020

Book Review: A Trace of Deceit by Karen Odden

A Trace of Deceit
Author: Karen Odden
Series: Victorian Mystery Series (Book 2)
Publication: William Morrow Paperbacks (December 17, 2019)

Description: A young painter digs beneath the veneer of Victorian London’s art world to learn the truth behind her brother’s murder...

Edwin is dead. That’s what Inspector Matthew Hallam of Scotland Yard tells Annabel Rowe when she discovers him searching her brother’s flat for clues. While the news is shocking, Annabel can’t say it’s wholly unexpected, given Edwin’s past as a dissolute risk-taker and art forger, although he swore he’d reformed. After years spent blaming his reckless behavior for their parents’ deaths, Annabel is now faced with the question of who murdered him—because Edwin’s death was both violent and deliberate. A valuable French painting he’d been restoring for an auction house is missing from his studio: find the painting, find the murderer. But the owner of the artwork claims it was destroyed in a warehouse fire years ago.

As a painter at the prestigious Slade School of Art and as Edwin’s closest relative, Annabel makes the case that she is crucial to Matthew’s investigation. But in their search for the painting, Matthew and Annabel trace a path of deceit and viciousness that reaches far beyond the elegant rooms of the auction house, into an underworld of politics, corruption, and secrets someone will kill to keep. 


My Thoughts: This entertaining historical mystery begins with a young art student named Annabel Rowe walking in to her brother's flat to find the police searching it. Her brother has been murdered.

Annabel had a difficult relationship with her brother which began in childhood. Her mother adored Edwin and was his constant support while her father was a much harder taskmaster who demanded Edwin live up to his impossibly high standards and used Annabel as an example to goad his son.

Though they had been close as children, things changed when his father decided to send Edwin away to a boarding school that focused on developing his artistic talent which was great. However, Edwin hated the school and ran away from it ending up living with a school friend and his mother.

Edwin used his artistic talent to clean paintings and to copy them not realizing that he was being used to forge and defraud. He also used drugs and often disappeared. He was caught for the forgery and spent a year in prison which changed his life for the better. He got out determined to put his troubled past behind him but Annabel wasn't quite ready to trust and forgive him. She blamed him for bringing home the illness that killed her parents.

However, she is determined to find out who murdered her brother and is even more determined when she learns that a valuable painting he was cleaning had disappeared. What is most strange is that the painting had been believed lost in a fire in a storage facility that acted as a warehouse for many collectors surplus art.

Annabel convinces Inspector Matthew Hallam that she is necessary to his investigation into her brother's death since she has an in-depth knowledge of the art world which he does not and since it looks like the theft of the painting was key to her brother's death. I liked the way Matthew and Annabel become close as they pursue their investigation. She quickly comes to see all of his various virtues and strengths. She also comes to realize how little she knew her brother and how much she regretted not forgiving him for his faults.

The setting and time period were intriguing. The many characters were distinct and distinctive. This was a thoroughly enjoyable mystery.

Favorite Quote:
And in that moment, I began to trace some of the deepest curves of Matthew's character -- his willingness to observe before judging, his ability to step inside the minds of others, and his desire to shore up the hearts in those who needed it most.
I was gifted with this one by the author. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Friday Memes: A Trace of Deceit by Karen Odden

 Happy Friday everybody!

Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City ReaderThe Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Beginning:
The day I lost Edwin, I think my paintbrush knew before I did.
Friday 56: 
I shook my head.Indeed, I hadn't taken anything substantial since yesterday morning, but the news about the note of guaranty had shaken me. Even as the thought of it returned, the knot beneath my rib cage twisted. 
This week I am spotlighting A Trace of Deceit by Karen Odden. The author gifted me with this title. Here is the description from Amazon:

A young painter digs beneath the veneer of Victorian London’s art world to learn the truth behind her brother’s murder...

Edwin is dead. That’s what Inspector Matthew Hallam of Scotland Yard tells Annabel Rowe when she discovers him searching her brother’s flat for clues. While the news is shocking, Annabel can’t say it’s wholly unexpected, given Edwin’s past as a dissolute risk-taker and art forger, although he swore he’d reformed. After years spent blaming his reckless behavior for their parents’ deaths, Annabel is now faced with the question of who murdered him—because Edwin’s death was both violent and deliberate. A valuable French painting he’d been restoring for an auction house is missing from his studio: find the painting, find the murderer. But the owner of the artwork claims it was destroyed in a warehouse fire years ago.

As a painter at the prestigious Slade School of Art and as Edwin’s closest relative, Annabel makes the case that she is crucial to Matthew’s investigation. But in their search for the painting, Matthew and Annabel trace a path of deceit and viciousness that reaches far beyond the elegant rooms of the auction house, into an underworld of politics, corruption, and secrets someone will kill to keep.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Audiobook: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

Dead Heat
Author: Patricia Briggs
Narrator: Holter Graham
Publication: Brilliance Audio (March 3, 2015)
Length: 11 hours and 25 minutes

Description: Praised as "the perfect blend of action, romance, suspense and paranormal" Rex Robot Reviews, the Alpha and Omega novels transport listeners into the realm of the werewolf, where Charles Cornick and Anna Latham embody opposite sides of the shifter personality. Now a pleasure trip drops the couple into the middle of some bad supernatural business....

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles' role as his father's enforcer. This time their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way....

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae's cold war with humanity is about to heat up - and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

My Thoughts: This was another excellent addition to the Alpha and Omega series. Charles and Anna travel to Arizona which allows Charles to see an old friend and buy Anna an Arabian horse for her 26th birthday. For once, they are not traveling on Bran's business which makes Charles the executioner who eliminates werewolves who are out of control and a danger to werewolves everywhere.

Things go sideways immediately after their arrival. First of all, Charles's old friend Joseph Sani is dying of lung cancer. Even though Charles is willing to turn Joseph to a werewolf and Joseph's father who is the head of the Arizona pack is putting pressure on him to make his son a werewolf, Joseph is adamant about not becoming a werewolf. Charles needs to deal with his grief at the idea of losing one of his few friends.

Second, Joseph's daughter-in-law Chelsea has been placed under a geas to kill her children and then kill herself. Because Chelsea is witchborn, she is able to resist the geas but only by injuring herself with the knife she was supposed to use to murder her children. She is injured so badly that Charles offers her - through her husband Cage - the option of becoming a werewolf which he takes for her.

Third, Charles and Anna need to find the fae who placed the geas and who has been hunting and killing children for hundreds of years in the Phoenix area. They have the help of the FBI in the person of their friend Leslie Fisher who was reassigned to Arizona to be near the fae reservation there after her previous case in Boston. They also have the help of two CNTRP agents who are actually useful.

As they investigate, the fae is still on the hunt for Joseph's five-year-old granddaughter Mackie and Charles and Anna will do anything to keep her safe. The hunt for the fae known as the Doll Collector brings up a lot of issues for Charles and lets Anna know why he has been so reluctant to have children with her.

This was a powerful story. I loved the relationship between Charles and Anna. The emotional intensity of Charles dealing with the grief at the up-coming death of his friend Joseph was strong and brought me to tears more than once as I listened to this story. I loved the message that love is what matters even if the end result is loss and grief and sorrow.

I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

ARC Review: See Her Die by Melinda Leigh

See Her Die

Author: Melinda Leigh
Series: Bree Taggert (Book 2)
Publication: Montlake (September 15, 2020)

Description: Sheriff Bree Taggert is both hunter and hunted in #1 Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh’s blood-freezing thriller of murder, rage, and revenge. 

New sheriff Bree Taggert is called to a shooting in a campground shuttered for the winter. But she arrives to find a perplexing crime. There is no shooter, no victim, and no blood. No one but Bree believes the sole witness, Alyssa, a homeless teenager who insists she saw her friend shot.


Bree calls in former deputy Matt Flynn and his K-9 to track the killer and search for Alyssa’s friend. They discover the battered corpse of a missing university student under the ice in Grey Lake—but it’s not the victim they were looking for.

When two more students go missing and additional bodies turn up, Bree must find the link between the victims. She knows only one thing for certain: the murders are fueled by rage. When Alyssa disappears, Bree must race against time to find her before her witness becomes another victim.


My Thoughts: Bree Taggert is still trying to get a handle on her new job as county sheriff. She inherited a force in disorder after the corrupt former sheriff left office. She had a number of deputies quit and she isn't sure she can trust all the ones that remain. Bree is also dealing with being the parent to her orphaned niece and nephew after her sister's murder.

When a call comes in from a young woman who is squatting in some "closed for the winter" cabins, Bree is the closest to respond. Alyssa claims that she saw her friend Harper shot. There is no evidence to be found but Bree thinks Alyssa's claim needs more investigation. Alyssa's story is so close to Bree's own that she is inclined to believe her.

Meanwhile, Matt Flynn has an investigation of his own. One of elderly people who does pet rescues hasn't heard from her grandson and is very worried about him. The two investigations soon become one when a body of one of the grandson's roommates is found dead. 

It is discovered that both the grandson and the dead roommate dated the same woman - a woman who is identified as Alyssa's missing friend. 

I enjoyed this story. I like that the murderer has chapters from his point of view. I liked learning more about Bree and Matt and have high hopes for their growing relationship. I thought the story had a nice amount of action and was quite tension-filled. 

Favorite Quote:
"She's really attached to you." Dana got to her feet.

"But why?" Two months after Bree had been masterfully manipulated into adopting the rescue, she was still disconcerted by the dog's presence. But she was pleased that the panic had ebbed. Ladybug was nothing like Bree's father's dogs. The chubby rescue would never maul a child. The scars on Bree's ankle and should achedwith the thirty-year-old memory.

I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Audiobook: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Silence Fallen
Author: Patricia Briggs
Narrator: Lorelei KingGeorge Newbern
Publication: Penguin Audio (March 7, 2017)
Length: 11 hours and 13 minutes

Description: In the New York Times best-selling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy's bond with the pack - and her mate - is broken, she'll learn what it truly means to be alone....

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form Mercy escapes - only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe.

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise....

My Thoughts: The 10th Mercy Thompson novel finds Mercy kidnapped by vampires, taken to Italy, and dropped right in the middle of a bunch of twisted plots. She is alone, cut off from her mate bond by magic, and at the mercy of a very old vampire. She manages to escape and then finds herself alone in Italy without clothing or her passport. And a coyote doesn't blend in very well in Europe!

Meanwhile, once Adam knows where she is, he assembles a team to go to Italy to get her back - no matter what it takes.

I loved catching up with a lot of the characters I have come to love in the earlier books in this series. I love the strong relationship between Mercy and Adam. I also love the strong relationships that Mercy has with a number of her friends from all the various supernatural groups. This episode had a lot of vampire politics woven into it and explained a lot more about the politics that has turned the Tri-Cities and the Columbia Basin Pack into a safe zone for supernaturals.

This was a fast-paced, action-filled novel that kept me listening late into the night.

I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Monday, September 7, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 7, 2020)

 

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

I will be combining my YA and adult reading and purchases on this one weekly roundup.

Other Than Reading... 

Happy Labor Day weekend! The official end of summer came in with cooler weather here in Duluth. I even turned the furnace on. I'm still hoping that I'll be able to turn the setting to air conditioning a few more times before Fall really arrives. 

I had a very productive reading week and began listening to The Others series by Anne Bishop again for my audiobooks. Hopefully, I'll be able to get a little further ahead on my review stack again now that my epic re-reading of the whole Honor Harrington series is over. Of course, I couldn't resist buying the six books of stories set in the Honorverse to read later. Since these are anthologies, I can read a story in between other books. I might be tempted to get the audiobooks for these but for now the Kindle books are fine.

Next week I need to schedule an oil change for my car which is sort of silly since I only have about 500 miles on it but the dealership said I should get the oil changed every six months. Otherwise my calendar for next week is empty.

Read Last Week

If you can't wait until the review shows up on my blog, reviews are posted to LibraryThing and Goodreads as soon as I write them (usually right after I finish reading a book.)
  • Second Chance Angel by Griffin Barber & Kacey Ezell (September 8) - Entertaining science fiction story with great worldbuilding. My review was posted September 3 and is linked below.
  • Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop (Mine; Audiobook) - This is a relisten of a favorite title.
  • Nightshade by M. L. Huie (September 8) - A post-WWII mystery with an engaging main character and intriguing plot. My review was posted on September 5 and is linked below.
  • See Her Die by Melinda Leigh (September 15) - Entertaining contemporary thriller. My review will be posted on September 9.
  • Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop (Mine; Audiobook) - Another re-listen.
  • Trader's Leap by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller (December 1) - I couldn't wait to read this eARC and started it as soon as I downloaded it from Baen Books. 23rd in the Liaden Universe and excellent! My review will be posted on December 1.
  • A Trace of Deceit by Karen Odden (Dec. 17, 2019) - Intriguing Victorian mystery featuring murder, stolen art, and all sorts of drama. My review will be posted on September 12.
Currently
Next Week

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Saturday, September 5, 2020

ARC Review: Nightshade by M. L. Huie

Nightshade

Author: M. L. Huie
Series: A Livy Nash Mystery
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (September 8, 2020)

Description: How far would you go to rescue a friend?

British spy Livy Nash has never had many friends. But fellow agent Margot Dupont was the exception to the rule. At least, until she disappeared during one of their missions in World War Two, never to be heard from again. Since then, Livy's made do. Some people, you just can't replace.

But when the British pick up Margot's call sign--NIGHTSHADE--years after the war, Livy can't help the glimmer of hope that she might see her old friend again. But Livy has her doubts: what their enemies are using it to lure out Livy and her team? What if it's all a trick?

Despite her unease, Livy dives headlong into finding Margot, aided by her boss, the charming Ian Fleming. When evidence arises that a handsome Russian spy might have information about Margot, Livy agrees to her most dangerous mission yet: going undercover as a double agent to spy on the infamous "Red Devil".

As Livy is pulled deeper into the shadows of treachery, the possibility of finding Margot alive diminishes as the danger grows. How much will she have to sacrifice to find a friend she thought she'd lost forever?

My Thoughts: Livy Nash is just about to resign from her position with the Kemsley News Service run by Ian Fleming. She has been running a double agent and has gotten enough of a scare that she thinks she might prefer an ordinary life. But when a coded message is received by an old friend thought lost during the war, Livy is willing to do anything to find her friend.

But the "anything" that needs to be done is to become a double agent working with the Russians who might have an idea where to find Livy's missing friend. It so happens that the Russian she needs to convince of her change of heart happens to be a man who was once her lover. That makes it both harder and easier to play the part. 

Yuri Kostin is in line for the head of the office in Berlin but he is facing internal difficulties and the FBI really wants Livy to find a way to discredit him. But Livy needs him to find the information on her friend for her and parts ways with the FBI. 

This was a twisted and tangled story of post-war spying filled with agents from a number of countries and Livy still pretty much on her own. Fleming has an unofficial relationship with Britain's MI6. MI6 isn't giving Fleming all the available information which puts Livy into even more danger. The Russians seem to have at least two different factions of spies operating. And Livy needs to find a way to maneuver around them all to complete her mission of locating her friend.

The story was action-packed and filled with tension. I really liked Livy and could understand how hard it was for her to do her job. The story didn't stint on the difficulties of being a spy. I really hope that this is the middle book in a trilogy about Livy because the ending demands another story. Talk about a cliffhanger!

Favorite Quote:
"The fact is, Olivia, we are the watchers," he said, his voice soft and clipped. "We keep the wolves at bay, so the people who lead the quiet lives never have to know. Once you've been in our line of work, it's more than a little difficult to be satisfied with what passes for a normal life."

I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.