Odd and True by Cat Winters

28078791Rating: 3 stars

Clearly I’m in the minority, but I didn’t love this. It’s a well written story that’s highly character driven. It wasn’t what I was expecting. I thought it would have a stronger fantasy element to it and a bit more action. The magic was so slight I wouldn’t even call it paranormal. Most of the book was spent revealing whether Od knows magic is real or is delusional and thinks it’s real.

It alternated between Od and Tru’s POV. Although they were sisters, there was a lot Tru didn’t know about her family. Tru’s POV was necessary but very boring. Practicality does not make an exciting character trait in a main character. The problem with Tru was that I didn’t care about her one way or the other. Od’s POV was better. What she experienced in life was difficult. It was the magical element she brought to everything that annoyed me, and yes I know that is the point of the book. It was clear early on about what was really going on with Od.

Most of the side characters weren’t interesting. I liked Uncle Magnus. He was the only side character who really seemed to care about Od and Tru. In the end he disappointed me a little. I flat out didn’t like any of the other characters. They were self absorbed or more concerned with propriety than being descent people.

I liked this book enough that I wouldn’t mind reading another book by Cat Winters. I’ve had some on my TBR list for a while. This story isn’t something that will stick with me for a while. Honestly it’s surprising I even bothered to finish it. To be fair I’ve been in a book funk and have had a hard time getting into almost any book.

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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The Sinner by Amanda Stevens

28507382-250x375Rating: 3.5 stars

Series: Graveyard Queen #5

So this is officially my least favorite book in the series. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t bad, but the last book was amazing. This paled in comparison. It wasn’t creepy enough, and I hate it when Amelia leaves Charleston. It’s not the same when she is away from the people there. I wouldn’t mind it as much if there wasn’t a potential romance with a new guy every time she leaves town. Can’t she nurse her broken heart without having feelings for another guy? Just like in The Kingdom the lust was there but not much else. Everything between Amelia and Kendrick felt too manufactured.

Now that Amelia’s powers are strengthening and she is in contact frequently with powerful beings, it’s hard to gauge what is genuine and what is manipulative magic. Amelia constantly questioned if things she saw, heard, or felt were real. It’s not bad if magic is used to confuse her every once and awhile, but I don’t like it when it happens often.

The mystery started out interesting enough with the discovery of some unusual graves and the appearance of Darius Goodwine. Everything was too straightforward in regards to the bad guy. I had them pegged early on in the book. There were two unexpected things that happened along the way to revealing the bad guy. Not much directly had to do with the overarching storyline. It hinted at what Devlin is really up to. This book is a victim of my high expectations. I had assumed the penultimate book would have gotten me more amped up about the final one.

Blood Gamble by Melissa F. Olson

34181876Rating: 3 stars

Series: Disrupted Magic #2

I loved the first book in this series but was terribly disappointed with this. All of the growth and maturity Scarlett gained in the last book up and disappeared in a flash about halfway through. She has the shittiest taste in men. Does she have something against mature responsible men? Why does she keep going for these douchebags when it’s clear it’ll never work in the long run?

This took place in Las Vegas. It had a different vibe since none of the regular side characters were around frequently. Frankly the new characters in Vegas weren’t interesting except for Wyatt. Jameson the null from New York was around. I didn’t care about him one way or the other, but as the book went on I liked him less and less.

The mystery was okay. I strongly suspected one of the main people involved. The whole thing was more complex than I originally thought. It didn’t grip me though. I will read the next one but I am not looking forward to it. The drama from this will greatly affect the rest of the series. It was bad enough to have to suffer through it in this. Now there’s no chance of it ending soon.

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Born in Fire by K.F. Breene

51i-dmp630l-_sy346_Rating: 3 stars

Series: Fire and Ice Trilogy #1

I felt like this book tried to be more than it was. It had a little of all the classic UF stuff i.e. snarky heroine, heroine with special powers, unexpected sidekicks, hidden background. None of it melded into anything unique. 

Reagan had too much attitude. It was practically impossible for her to be serious no matter how dire the consequences. Sometimes it worked to her advantage because her behavior surprised others. Other times she seemed immature. Maybe it was just me but for about the first half of the book I had to remind myself that she was a woman. Her behaviors and actions made me think of a man.

Vampires are awesome, but these were fairly average vampires. Darius was the only one with considerable page time. I liked him but didn’t love him. He was the only potential love interest not that it was much of a romance.

Something about the writing style didn’t work well for me. I could follow the plot easily enough, but certain minor things didn’t flow well at times. Reagan’s secret was revealed at the end. I hadn’t figured out what she was but didn’t find it particularly shocking either.

Secrets of Skin and Stone by Wendy Laine

cover114035-mediumRating: 2.5 stars

This had too strong of a YA vibe to really enjoy it. The focus of it was more on the romance than the paranormal plot. The first time Piper and Gris kissed it specifically mentioned they did not use tongues. They were 17 and 18. Most teens that age would do far more than an innocent kiss like that. The romance wasn’t exciting when the best thing I could hope was for them to hold hands or maybe a french kiss. From the start it was mentioned that Gris would not be staying in town, so there wasn’t much hope for an epic HEA.

The world building was simplistic. The gist of it was revealed early on, and there wasn’t anything exciting to learn after that. There was a mystery to it. Gris was trying to figure out why so many fiends were gathering in the town. It was too boring, and the most obvious solution was the answer. Piper was dealing with some mental issues. Gris was dealing with issues but his were completely different. Their issues made each of them outcasts. More depth to the characters would have been better considering what they were dealing with. I’m sure plenty of people will like this. It just wasn’t for me.

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Nightshades by Melissa F. Olson

28765742Rating: 3 stars

Series: Nightshades #1

The nightshades a.k.a. vampires weren’t like the average vamp in two ways. One is the way they were made. Their saliva was the potent ingredient not blood. It had to be placed directly into the heart. That would have been some sick shit before needles were invented. It definitely would have prevented accidentally turning someone. The other way they were different is their looks. They weren’t described as exceptionally beautiful. Their beauty wasn’t what made them special.

It was a good start to the series. I can’t pinpoint why but I didn’t get sucked into the story. The focus was on the vampires and the murders. I would have liked to have gotten to know the characters better. Alex was okay but now that I think about it I don’t know much about him personally. Lindy was cool and wasn’t living the standard vampire lifestyle. It was odd when she easily acquiesced to Alex’s demands. Their goals were in alignment, but I expected her to put up a better fight for her freedom and independence. It was good enough that I’ll read the next one when it comes out.