The Awakening by Amanda Stevens

91mpjtaddjl-_ac_ul320_sr180320_Rating: 5 stars

Series: Graveyard Queen #6

A great end to the series! It wasn’t perfect. The mystery revolving around the ghost and the people she was connected to was way too easy to figure out. That’s okay because the ghost story was not my main concern. I was much more interested in what was going on with Devlin and the conge.

Devlin and Amelia spent a fair amount of time together. It was different with them this time. They still had the same chemistry as always but it was underlying. Amelia was trying to move on, and Devlin was with Claire. Regardless of what was going on the magnetic pull was there, but nothing felt as romantic as in the prior books. I was happy that Amelia didn’t have any interest in other men. In the other books when she was alone, she went out with someone else even if she wasn’t truly interested.

Devlin’s grandfather finally got some page time. He had a strong presence throughout the series without getting the chance to know him other than by reputation. The guy was a manipulative bastard, but there was more to him than that. Claire finally made herself known to Amelia. There wasn’t a damn thing I liked about her, and it wasn’t all about her being the other woman.

This wasn’t my favorite in the series, but it was definitely one of the better ones. I didn’t want to put it down despite the mystery being predictable and not being as spooky as some of the others. The danger was from the living not the dead. The general tone of it was different, but I really liked it. The end was slightly rushed. Having a brief epilogue would have been good. Not everything was completely wrapped up making me wish and hope there could be another book, but based on how things ended with Amelia it seems unlikely Amanda Stevens would ever change her mind and write another.

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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.

The Guests on South Battery by Karen White

619bct1f69l-_sy344_bo1204203200_Rating: 3.5 stars

Series: Tradd Street #5

I didn’t like this book nearly as much as the last two. Things are different now that Melanie and Jack are married with kids. Despite them finally being a couple, they still didn’t feel like a team. They didn’t work together as much as they did in the other books. Jack didn’t make as many witty comments that get Melanie all flustered. He is my favorite character in the series, and I wanted more of him. Melanie is anal retentive and obsessive compulsive about certain things, but it’s funny and endearing. It’s expected that there will be some drama since no one can live up to her lofty standards. But does there have to be a quasi love triangle in every book? The other man/woman never goes anywhere serious as a potential love interest, and it’s obvious it won’t. I’m okay with them having problems, but I want them to be sure that they are 100% committed to each other for a whole book.

Although I love the cast of characters which made the book worth reading, this wasn’t the best mystery ever. About half way through I figured out what really happened to Hasell and who Jayne really was. The clues about Jayne were numerous and obvious. There wasn’t anyone else whose child she could possibly be. I wasn’t thrilled with the plot probably because I’m not a fan of secret baby storylines. A few other minor things were easy to figure out. It got annoying after awhile that the characters weren’t figuring any of this stuff out. More things got on my nerves than normal, but I will gladly read the next book if there is one.

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

Hold My Heart by Esther M. Soto

22698577Rating: 2 stars

Series: The Heart Series #1

Too much pointless drama. Ileana and Tommy were FBI agents. Just like every other book with characters who are in law enforcement, they had bad childhoods. They were trying to catch a serial killer although this was forgotten about for large portions of the book. In the first third of the book it alternated between Ileana’s and Tommy’s POV. She was attracted to him but was in denial about it. He wanted to be with her although he mainly thought about how sexy she was. Of course neither of them would express their feelings so there was lots of drama all due to miscommunication. That alone was enough to make me want to DNF this.

Then Ileana went back in time to 1940’s. Unfortunately time travel didn’t make this book more exciting. It was even more boring in the past. All of the characters there were too similar and nice. I would have expected her to be more driven to find her way home. Most of the time her FBI case and partner Tommy were forgotten about. She did meet some relatives in the past, but none of that revealed anything interesting.

When she went back in time, she met Will. She was instantly attracted to him for no other reason than he was gorgeous. They barely knew anything about each other but had strong feelings for each other. Will was boring. I didn’t like him because he wanted her to conform to what he expected a woman to be like rather than letting her be herself. Then she was torn between wanting Will and Tommy although they weren’t in the same time period. I hate love triangles. I never would have read this if I had known there was one. It ended with a dramatic cliffhanger, which ensured I will not read the rest of this series, not that I would have anyway.

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

Scryer by Sinden West

25361744Rating: 3.5 stars

Series: Scryer #1

Ivy was a scryer, which meant she could tell people’s futures from touching them. Being close to people was complicated. Isolation was the easiest way for her to deal with her situation. Even when she did find one of the rare people whose futures she couldn’t tell, she didn’t want an emotional connection with them. Her family had a special connection with the Corin family. An old pact between the two families required scryers to spend one night a month with a member of the Corin family. Only they had the ability to force scryers to tell them what they wanted to know about the future after having sex.

Ivy was not happy about her fate. She was bitter and cold as a result. Her misery made her hard to like. Yet I did sympathize with her. She was in a difficult situation was was dealing with it the best she could.

There was a love triangle of sorts, but it wasn’t angsty and aggravating. Ivy had some interest in two men. Lake was her ex who has spurned her, but she couldn’t entirely let go of her feelings for him. The other guy was Caleb, who she mainly enjoyed using for sex. Both men were assholes. Nothing about her situation with the two guys was romantic or sweet. She didn’t let them walk all over her either. There was an unconventional HEA, but it wasn’t really about love.

The scryers were alarmed because someone was killing them. I had been surprised to discover who was behind it. Almost every character in this story was bad or just downright evil, which made it harder to figure out who was killing people. Towards the end the story took a turn in a direction I hadn’t expected. Although the ending wasn’t really pleasant, it worked for this story. A happy, perfect HEA would have been lame.

The Visitor by Amanda Stevens

17204332Rating: 5 stars

Series: Graveyard Queen #4

***There will be spoilers for the previous books***

I waited years for this book to finally be released. It was definitely a wise decision to reread the other books first since the overarching storylines were central to the plot in this. It took a while for the story to get going. The beginning explored Amelia and Devlin’s relationship since he was no longer haunted. While Devlin was off dealing with some personal issues, Amelia found an old stereoscope in her house, which eventually led to a creepy, demented mystery involving a bizarre family. That family had an old, unique cemetery on their property, and they wanted Amelia to restore it. The history surrounding the cemetery was very dark, which resulted in some evil entities. The mystery wound up being very personal to Amelia, but I won’t reveal how.

After Amelia and Devlin survived the grey at the end of the last book, things were definitely changing. Devlin was finally free from his ghosts, but was he really the same as he had been before? He was more secretive than ever. Amelia’s abilities were changing and drawing more attention from the supernatural world.

The tone was different than in the other books, and it was hard to get into at first. Amelia and Devlin were finally free to be together, but things were not as simple as they seemed. In some ways they were closer than ever, but in others they were more distant than ever before. Devlin’s ties to the Coffin and the Claw along with his denial of all things supernatural were slowly driving them apart. I still like them together, but they didn’t seem as connected as before.

The supernatural aspects were much creepier, and those were my favorite parts of the book. There was such an eerie vibe associated with everything and everyone involved in the mystery. By the end I was completely sucked in. I think this is the best book in the series so far. More was revealed about the characters, but there is a lot more to learn. I can’t wait to get the next book, and the wait won’t be long since it comes out in the fall.

Thanks so very much to Netgalley for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review!!!