Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Series: Hidden Legacy #1

Burn for Me is the first novel in the Hidden Legacy series. It’s being touted as a paranormal romance. It definitely has elements of that, but it’s actually urban fantasy. Based on the cover and the blurb, I expected this to be a standard paranormal romance where the characters have their issues but jump into bed quickly anyway. That was certainly not what happens in this. There is insta attraction but luckily no insta love. The romance was the slow building type. This felt more like urban fantasy. It had a strong storyline that still would have made a good book even without the romance subplot.

Ilona Andrews has managed to create another interesting magical world. Magic was introduced to the world roughly 150 years ago. Not everyone is adept with the same types of powers. Everyone has magic, but they have varying levels of ability i.e. some are weak and some are strong. The most powerful families are rich and have family Houses much like something in Romeo and Juliet.

Of course Nevada is a nobody, but she has a rare power that she keeps hidden. She was forced to take a case that impossible for her to do. While trying to bring in her target, she has an unfortunate encounter with Mad Rogan. For her to get the job done, working with him is a necessary evil. Rogan is charming and has sex appeal in spades, but he’s a bit of sociopath. He was too heartless sometimes, but I still find myself shipping him and Nevada.

All in all this book was great! It was a fun read. It was easy to get sucked in. The side characters were likable and had personality although they didn’t get nearly as much page time. I just wish the next one was out already.

Hunter’s Trail by Melissa F. Olson

Rating: 4 stars

Series: Scarlett Bernard #3

According to the author’s website, this is a trilogy, which I hadn’t been aware of until finishing this book. This picks up shortly after where the second one, Trail of Dead, left off. Scarlett inadvertently caused some serious trouble for the local werewolf pack. The pack is now is a state of disarray and some of them are after her. The vampires are aware of Scarlett’s troubles and they enlist her friend Jesse Cruz who she has strong feelings for to help protect her. Also a werewolf that isn’t associated with the pack is trying to create new weres. Scarlett and Jesse have been called in to solve the case.

The mystery was entertaining. After a certain point in the book, I didn’t want to put it down. Jesse and Scarlett definitely have their issues since they have different perspectives on the supernatural world, which is called the Old World in this series, but they make a great team. Most of the book is from Scarlett’s POV, but some parts are from Jesse’s.

I really liked this book, which is why I gave it 4 stars. Being a trilogy there are some things that I wish had been done differently. To me this did not feel like an end but like another part of the story. Scarlett is a null, which means that magic doesn’t work when people are within a certain distance around her. How her powers work and exactly what she can do with them wasn’t completely explored.

Also the HEA was extremely disappointing. This series did involve a love triangle. After reading other reviews, it appears that most people were happy with the HEA. One love interest was the werewolf, Eli. He was the suitor that was more easy going. He did help Scarlett out of some binds, but she also had concerns that most of his attraction was because of her magical powers or because of a magical bond. Jesse was the other suitor. They clashed over how to deal with the Old World, which caused more tension between them. The romance was a subplot, so it did not ruin the story. Being a trilogy, I wish the HEA had felt more solid.

*****This is getting into spoiler territory. I won’t name the HEA, but it may not be hard to figure it out. You’ve been warned.*****

One of the suitors was practically nonexistent in this book. IMO the chemistry had always been lacking between them at least from Scarlett. He didn’t connect with her on an intellectual level either. She and the other suitor finally were getting to a point where they were in agreement about more of their issues. This was the suitor that clicked emotionally with Scarlett and urged her to improve her life and stand up for herself. They had much more page time, but by the end I guess I was supposed to have figured out that their time together was meant to show why they weren’t meant to be. I prefer to have more time spent on the people that will make it in the end. The guy she chose made a grand gesture at the end, and suddenly she loved him. It felt off to me. Her feelings for the other guy weren’t resolved either. It felt like the guy she chose was the easy choice instead of the right one.

Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

Series: Charley Davidson #7

*WARNING* If you have not read Sixth Grave on the Edge, there will be spoilers ahead.

It’s getting to the point where something big needs to be revealed. Little clues keep being dropped about the twelve and Mr. Wong amongst other things. There is no way to know where it is all going yet. This series is damn good, but some issues need to be resolved to spice things up. All of this needs to lead up to a jaw dropping moment. That is what I’m waiting for. Unfortunately I had expect it would have happened in this book.

The plot was weak. The synopsis definitely made the book sound more action packed and full of mystery than it was. Most of the book focused on Charley, Reyes and the baby. A good portion of it was about the twelve that are after Charley. She’s barely investigating anything for her PI business. She was “working” on an investigation, but it was shoved way into the background to the point where I nearly forgot about it until the end where it was resolved. Charley didn’t do the work anyway. She constantly asked Cookie to do everything for her.

Slowly but surely the circumstances have changed for most of the characters. The biggest thing has been the change in the characters themselves except for Charley. She hasn’t changed a bit as far as her personality goes, but she is gaining strength with her powers. For the first time ever I actually liked Swopes! He didn’t give off his usual dickhead vibe. There was an unexpected change with Amber (Cookie’s daughter) that will change her life. Reyes has changed the most. He’s still an adorable bad ass, but he’s lost his edge somewhat now that he’s with Charley. I miss the brazen, daring side of him although it’s for the best that he has settled down considering the direction his life is going. One of the biggest changes with all of the characters in general is that they are more congenial with each other. It’s good for Charley that everyone is presenting a united front, but it was more fun to read about when there was animosity. Charley may trust people like Swopes, the Daeva, and Mr. Wong, but I don’t, at least, not yet.

Charley does as she pleases and doesn’t seem to care much who she puts at risk. She justifies it all by saying she is helping others. Yeah, well… it’s getting old. She has no interest in growing up. She’s ditzy and flakey at times; it’s part of her charm and humor, but sometimes it’s too much. She is pregnant now. She has got to live another 8 months if she has any hopes of this baby being born. She threw herself into one dangerous situation after another and got mad at Reyes for being concerned as if he were the asshole. I don’t want Charley to stop being Charley, but I wish she would at least take being a mom seriously. I think this bothers me so much because I’m a mom. I know that good parents can do the best they can and still screw things up. With Charley’s haphazard behavior, it’s hard to believe the baby will be born let alone reach adulthood.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. There was some good humor. Although the story lacked cohesion in the middle, it was really good at the end. There were some nail biting moments while I was wondering if some characters were going to die. Charley managed to bring more unexpected trouble upon herself, which will be a problem later on. Something sad did happen at the end. Charley will be hurt and probably looking for revenge.

Gone to Her Grave by Melinda Leigh

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

Series: Rogue River Novellas #2

Gone to Her Grave is the second novella in the Rogue River series, but is the first installment by Melinda Leigh. This one had a slightly different feel from the first one, but it also had a new main character, Carly. She is the sister of the main character in On Her Father’s Grave.

Carly is a social worker. She has to work on some cases that are connected to the drug problem in her hometown. Her cases required that she works with her husband, who she is separated from. Although the drug problem was an issue, there wasn’t any new info about it that truly furthered the storyline. It was more like seeing the drug problem from a different perspective than getting a true continuation of the overall plot. I can’t wait for the next one!

I received a copy of this from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Rating: 4 stars

Series: The Paper Magician Trilogy #2

Only a few months had elapsed since the end of The Paper Magician. Not much had changed in that time. Ceony still longed to be with Emory, but she was unsure of his feelings for her. Although her feelings for him developed quickly in the first book, the development of their relationship is a slow, ongoing process. It is complicated since Ceony is still Emory’s apprentice.

The best way to describe this book is action packed. This one wasn’t as heavy on the romance. Some people in the magical community were not happy with Ceony for what she did when saving Emory. They desperately wanted something from her and were willing to hurt anybody that got in their way.

One of the best things about this series is how unique the magical world is. I’ve read a lot of fantasy novels but nothing quite like this. Being a paper magician sounded rather dull at first. Even in this book, Ceony was still learning more fascinating ways to use paper. Glass magicians were capable of some interesting things. Items can be used in surprising ways for those who are bound to them.

At the end there was a twist. This has the potential to really shake things up if Ceony decides to act on it. I’m eagerly awaiting the next book, which unfortunately doesn’t even have a release date yet.

I received a copy of this from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

On Her Father’s Grave by Kendra Elliot

Rating: 4 stars

Series: Rogue River Novellas #1

Great start to the Rogue River series! The mystery aspect is good. There will be a lot more to learn about what is going on in the town because too many long time residents, including some of Stevie’s own family, were acting oddly and there have been some bizarre deaths. In this, she only started to piece together what is going on.

In the small town of Solitude, there aren’t many outsiders. Most of the people have been there for generations. Zane had taken over as the new police chief since the previous one, Stevie’s father, had died. After moving back to town, Stevie accepted a job as a police officer. Since Zane isn’t a local, he is one of the few people she doesn’t know anything about.

The attraction between Stevie and Zane develops quickly, but they’re both hesitant to start a relationship. They seem to want to get to know each other, which is how I prefer relationships to develop. There are other potential love interests for Stevie, so things could go in another direction entirely.

The concept behind this series is interesting. The series is 4 novellas, but Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh alternate writing them. I’m curious to see how the story will tie together with parts of it written by different people. On Her Father’s Grave definitely left me wanting to read more!

I received a copy of this from netgalley to review. That did not in any way influence my opinion of this book.