Midnight Curse by Melissa F. Olson

31352753Rating: 4 stars

Series: Disrupted Magic #1, Scarlett Bernard #4

Technically this is the first book in a new series, but I consider it to be book 4 in the Scarlett Bernard series, which is fine by me since I wasn’t happy with the way somethings ended in the last book. This was the best of the Scarlett books yet!

There was a time gap of 3 years, so the characters have matured. Scarlett was decisive and knew what she wanted out of life. Despite having relationship issues with Eli, she didn’t convince herself she wanted things she didn’t to appease him. However Eli remained the same: needy and dependent. Their relationship perfectly depicted how two people can love each other but not be compatible.

Scarlett’s life had been relatively calm and uneventful until Molly contacted her about a serious problem. Molly’s life was on the line unless Scarlett could prove her innocence in a short period of time. Knowing she couldn’t do it on her own, she contacted her old friend Jesse who was somewhat reluctant to help with the case.

Jesse had been through a lot in the last 3 years. His strict moral code didn’t mesh with the old world, and it wasn’t easy for him to come to terms with that. Other issues popped up in that time like getting a divorce and fame from writing a book. When Scarlett stumbled into his life, he was lost. Working on a case for the first time in a long time reminded him of what he wanted out of life. I always liked Jesse but preferred him even more now. He finally accepted things as they are instead of expecting them to neatly fit into the categories right and wrong.

There was not a cliffhanger at the end, but I’m really looking forward to the next one just to get more time with the characters.

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

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Boundary Crossed by Melissa F. Olson

Rating: 3.5 stars

Series: Boundary Magic #1

This didn’t bring much of anything new to the table as far as UF goes. The one thing that really makes this world stand out is the people that are magical nulls. I don’t think I’ve ever read another series where a person is capable of voiding any magic that comes near them. Aside from the nulls it is standard UF, but I liked it anyway. This series takes place in the same world as the Scarlett Bernard series. There isn’t much of an overlap as far as characters go, so this can be read without reading Scarlett Bernard first.

Lex discovered that she was special. It’s an overused unoriginal trope, but it didn’t bother me too much in this. Lex seemed very normal aside from her powers. She didn’t have low self-esteem but didn’t think highly of herself either. She struggled with emotional issues from being in the military and from the death of her sister. The issues she struggled with about the death of her sister resonated with me since my only sibling died several years ago.

The side characters need more development. So far most of them seem nice but don’t have much personality. Characters with shades of gray are always more interesting, but all of them are lacking that. Quinn is a vampire, but he’s not very bad ass. I really want to like him, but he’s too boring so far. Lex has a few men in her life. I really hope this doesn’t end up delving into the territory of love triangles.

Burned by Karen Marie Moning

Rating: 2 1/2 stars

Series: Fever #7

Burned was disappointing on many levels. The pacing was slow. The action was practically nonexistent. Too much page time was spent focused on people’s thoughts. It leaned more towards PNR than UF. It didn’t have excessive sex scenes, but the appearance of the characters was described ad nauseam. Of course in true PNR fashion, everyone was hot, sexy, or beautiful, and everyone wanted to have sex all the time because when the world is literally falling apart people’s main concern is when they can get laid next.

The gist of the plot revolved around helping/saving Dani, which meant she didn’t have considerable page time. Many of the other characters were talking or thinking about how great and special she was. I don’t get it. She was a reckless hothead with a serious ego. Her few good attributes certainly didn’t outweigh her negative ones. Dani certainly deserves friends, but the deep admiration for her does not make sense.

Something was off with Mac. She was passive and compliant. There were times when Barrons and Ryodan were ordering her around, and I wished she would have told them to get lost. The bold and daring side of her vanished. She got lost in thought often, and most of it didn’t add any value to the story. It was extremely repetitive. Also she desperately wanted to have sex and ogled every man in sight. It didn’t jibe with the Mac I recall from the first five books.

Barrons was an asshole. He’s always been cold, hard, and unforgiving. Love didn’t soften him at all. He still calls Mac Ms. Lane FFS. He did a few things, nothing despicable, but it made me think Mac deserves better than what he has to offer. It was mentioned a few times that Mac and Barrons get along great in the bedroom but clash outside of it. In reality relationships like those don’t last.

It was told through multiple POV. Some of them were unnecessary. There were changes in several other characters that didn’t feel natural. An unexpected twist did happen in the middle of the book, which spiced things up a little. It had a cliffhanger, but it wasn’t a doozy. Although this was my least favorite book in the series, I’d definitely recommend it to any Fever fans. I may have liked it better if Dani didn’t drive me nuts.

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.