Stormhaven by Jordan L. Hawk

20170906_170743

“I wasn’t strong, or brave, or anything really. But he made me want to be.”

Title: Stormhaven
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin #3
Number of pages: 177 (paperback)
Good things about this book: More love and more magic, what’s not to love?
Bad things about this book: Too short? But maybe not.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it is very short and the story is more and more interesting.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Whyborne can’t catch a break. Now he has one more reason to scowl: electricity. Why is it so weird for a guy to want a poor lit house with a library with books to read almost in the dark causing permanent damage to his eyes? Whyborne can’t understand progress but he can understand magic: he’s a better sorcerer now and every book has a new spell he will use to fight and win whatever will come between him and Griffin.

Not only electricity has come to put a bad taste into Whyborne’s mouth, but a case involving a coworker accused of murder will put the two men in an unstable state: the suspect resides now in an asylum which is bad news to Griffin. I’m furious after learning what happened to him, unfairly and unnecessarily just because people are disgusting and completely selfish. Poor Griffin: his nightmares keep him up at night but he has Whyborne who will be by his side no matter what.

You’d think there’s nothing worse than the devilish electricity, the asylum, the mysterious cult worshipping a sea monster, and the possible end of the world, right? What about Griffin’s parents coming to visit with a surprise and the two of them have to pretend they are merely friends? It is worse because it will put Whyborne back into his pessimistic habits. His mind will weaken and weird thoughts will crawl in there. There’s nothing worse than a weak mind when there’s the menace of the evil rising!

“I wish to be with you until the breath leaves my body, until the last stars burn out, and the earth falls into the dying sun.”

There was so much love in this book besides the main evil plot: that’s a mystery you have to read or else it will spoil the fun. Griffin and Whyborne has come to a turning point in their relationship and maybe things are going to get better or they may easily get worse. Whyborne loves Griffin so much he doesn’t want him to suffer even if avoiding the pain will put him into a pit of despair. He’d sacrifice his own happiness to see the man he loves be his very best. I was heartbroken at Whyborne’s thoughts because he wasn’t being selfish; he was being realistic in a world that considers him a criminal only because he loves a man. Living hidden from society is taking its toll on them but love wins, right? I sure hope it’ll be the case until the very last book.

“You’re really choosing him over your family?”
“Whyborne is my family.”

I love how short these books are and how fast I can read them without putting them down. I have to pace myself, though. I don’t want to get to the last one published and have to wait who the hell knows how long for the next one. I can be very patient, but sometimes I’m not.

firmablog

Advertisements

[ARC] Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

20170825_154316

4stars

“Are you a bad person? Of course not. Does that mean you’ll always do the right thing? Of course not. No one’s perfect.”

Title: Nyxia
Author: Scott Reintgen
Series: The Nyxia Triad #1
Number of pages: 384 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Nyxia is a pretty amazing element.
Bad things about this book: Forced romance plotline, unnecessary.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC from Netgalley*

Besides one forced and gratuitous flaw, I enjoyed this more than anticipated. I still like Longwei, a side character that spoke almost never, more than I liked Emmett, the main character. We’ll see in the next book if I change my mind.

There’s always this problem with YA sci-fi in which the author thinks it’s a must to insert a romance plotline even if it’s stretched and we can very much live on without it. I was afraid it was going to happen here and it happened unfortunately but not like I expected; it was worse. I’m not going to say more about it but luckily it didn’t spoil the book altogether. I just hope it’s not going to happen again. I’m not a teenager, I haven’t been one for over a decade, but I know for sure that if there is not romance in a YA sci-fi, it’s not a big deal if the book delivers what it promises. This was doing just that and then, it fell into the void of things unnecessary.

Letting that slip because I’m a nice and patient person, I found myself liking a lot of the elements of this book and loving so many more. The twists, the mysterious nyxia, the characters, and space. I love space so much! The whole book is about the journey of these teenagers from Earth to a faraway planet called Eden where they are going to mine nyxia while earning a ton of money.

“But they don’t tell you the pain comes with you. They don’t tell you that hurt travels at light-speed too.”

These teenagers weren’t chosen randomly; there are 10 of them, all poor and broken. They are the perfect candidates for this mission because they are desperate and willing to sacrifice their time and strength to give a better tomorrow to their beloved ones at home. They are forced to compete against each other to gain passage to Eden, the planet with Nyxia mines, an element that is going to change life as they know it.

These boys and girls are all from different parts of the world so they don’t speak the same language. After all the mission is run by Babel Corporation so it seemed right. They all have a mask that translates everything they say; they speak and the voice translated reaches the ears of all the others wearing identical masks. It’s an incredible idea! I loved it!

I loved it almost as much as I loved nyxia. This element was given to each of them in the form of a ring and, through mind communication, they could transform it into what they wanted. The limit, you guessed right, is your imagination. Nyxia consumes your energy because in a way it is a part of you and you have to be careful because, being an element that has a mind of its own, it can take over and destroy you from inside out.

“Well, the first guy on the ground isn’t always the one who loses the fight, Doc.”

I loved their challenges, their friendship, also the twists, and I loved how the characters were all so different. As I said, I loved Longwei: he speaks little to nothing, he doesn’t socialize, he is smart and strong, but he sometimes lets his mask slip and shows a little vulnerability, he looks his age. He’s been chosen so he has to have a hard past and maybe also a hard present, and I can’t wait to see what’s beneath the walls he’s built.

This book isn’t without flaws but it’s a nice one. This is a promising beginning to a series that I know will deliver what I’m expecting. It has what it takes to be great.

firmablog

The Druid Next Door by E.J. Russell

20170823_151142

4stars

Never underestimate the power of kindness.

Title: The Druid Next Door
Author: E.J. Russell
Series: Fae Out of Water #2
Number of pages: 328 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: I loved the welsh references even if I don’t think I could pronounce any of the words and I loved hearing in my head the way Mal spoke.
Bad things about this book: It has its flaws but nothing that spoils the book.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

You know how much I like stories about magic and mythical creatures so there was no way I wasn’t going to like this book. I enjoyed a lot the first one in this series and I was very glad to see the main characters appear and have a significant role in the events occurring here. David is adorable and I’m happy he is embracing his nature and his powers: he helps the boys a lot and when he talked about Alun there was so much love in every single word and it made me very happy.

“I only eat phallic food in front of Alun. Otherwise, it’s just a wasted opportunity.”

This book’s main character is Alun’s brother, Mal Kendrick, and an ovo-pescatarian environmental professor, Bryce MacLeod, who is Mal’s neighbor in the new super energy friendly house David bought him. Saving Alun’s life has cost Mal the use of his sword hand, the right, and has gained him the exile from Faerie, a curse he doesn’t know how to break and a severe case of brooding. Oh boy, does he brood. He broods with intensity, with passion. Lord Broody Kendrick.

Mal and Bryce meet in circumstances that make Mal thinks Bryce is an annoying but hot tree hugger, and makes Bryce think Mal is only a pretty face (read: the hottest face he’s ever seen with the body of a marble statue) with a terrible attitude. Little they know they will be forced to join forces to save the world. Yes, the world, I’m not exaggerating, the world is in danger.

Bryce is a druid but didn’t know he was one until Mal came into his life turning it upside down. He is powerful and needs a tutor and Cassie, David’s druid aunt, puts a leash on Mal and Bryce, a magical leash that doesn’t allow them to separate, to force Mal to teach the new druid everything there is to know about the supernatural world. There’s so much to know and Bryce is not once scared; he is interested and he thinks his newly found talents to be the greatest thing that’s ever happened to him. That and Mal, of course.

“If I’m all that bloody, maybe you should call me Macbeth.”

The attraction between the two of them is almost immediate. Mal is gorgeous and, even if Bryce doesn’t think much of himself, Mal thinks he is just beautiful even with his terrible fashion sense and his tactical vests and pants. If you are attractive to a sex god even in tactical clothes, you are not allowed to feel unworthy of his attention. Mal pretty much falls at Bryce’s feet, but that’s something you need to read about to fully understand.

You were almost feeling up a druid—reason has clearly abandoned ship already.

Mal is being offered a chance to break the curse by a giant cloaked figure and he accepts without asking details because he was drunk. Now he has to lie and ask Bryce to join forces to complete a series of tasks that will unveil secrets that will change the Faerie world and will put them in serious danger. In addition to all of that they are also trying to understand if the magical attraction for each other is real or just another one of the druid magic catches. After all, Mal feels the need to submit and that’s something that’s never happened in all the years he’s being alive. Things are going to get hot hot hot. HOT HOT HOT!

Mal and Bryce were great together, steamy, but sometimes they were very insufferable for two grown men; you can’t expect someone to act like you’d do and then if that doesn’t happen being mad. Still I found their story intriguing and entertaining. Now I can’t wait for the last book that comes out in less than a month and find out everything about Gareth.

firmablog

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

20170816_110659

5stars

“Ready for this?” asked Jean.
“Ready and sweating heavily,” said Locke.

Title: Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard #2)
Author: Scott Lynch
Good things about this book: Well-written, interesting beyond compare and an extraordinary adventure!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, Yes, YES!!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

How do I review a book in which everything that can go wrong, does go wrong, sending our main characters into a series of rollercoaster’s rides that make you fear for their lives even knowing that there are still a few books left in the series so somehow they’re going to make it out alive? The answer is: you don’t. I can’t review this book without spoiling it and if I spoil it then I take away from you half the fun of reading it. I can’t do that.

“You’re ten pints of crazy in a one-pint glass.”

Locke Lamora is a book crush of mine. One of many, I know that, but one nonetheless. Locke is far from perfect; he is one flawed tiny human being. Tiny besides Jean, archangel Jean Tannen, responsible of keeping Locke alive. How can a single man find himself in so much trouble in such little time is a mystery! He comes out with the craziest plans and you don’t think they can work. Then he goes and explains the details and, maybe, they can make it work and come out of it richer. But TWISTS!!! Freaking plot twists around every single corner! I may have a few new white hairs on my head. Worth it.

“He is extraordinary,” Locke whispered. “He continues to save my life, time and time again, even when I don’t deserve it. Which is always, more or less.”

I have always thought that Jean was too good to be true and he is. He isn’t without flaws but he is such an honest human being; they lie all the time but he stays true to his feelings even when he is given a hard time. He doesn’t give up on Locke even when he doesn’t deserve a good friend like Jean. I was so happy seeing other sides of him, one in particular, and every page I turned had me anxious because there just isn’t a happily ever after for these guys, right?

“Wise in the ways of all such things is Jean Tannen,” said Jean. “Wiser by far than most; especially most named Lamora.”

I hope by the end of the series they are all happy and rich and surrounded by the people they love. Even if I have to wait until I’m 85 years old, I want to read the final book that ends with an epilogue of them eating roast chicken and laughing sipping wine in their gigantic villa! I won’t settle for anything less than that.

“I want to hug you. And I want to tear your gods-damned head off. Both at once.”

After the disasters of the first book, Locke is a living corpse and Jean is there to put him together once again. They fight, they make up; they live up to the title of brotp that suits them so well. Their new plan takes years of organization and every single detail is important for the outcome. Luck is not on their side, as usual, and their plan takes them to unusual places. Like on a pirate ship! Pirate ship with cats! Pirate ship with cats sleeping on Locke! Locke-cat-boy! Pirates!! I love stories with pirates and if the captain of the ship is a woman, then I love it even more.

“Mew,” the kitten retorted, locking gazes with him. It had the expression common to all kittens, that of a tyrant in the becoming. I was comfortable, and you dared to move, those jaded eyes said. For that you must die.”

There are lots of new characters and that didn’t sit well in my stomach. In the first book I learnt the hard way that it was unwise to get attached to side characters because, for example, they wouldn’t be around for the sequels or, worse and more probable, they could die. I can enjoy a book only to a certain point if I know that death is lurking in the shadows. I don’t like being surprised by the departure of characters I come to like. Who does? Nevertheless I loved this book and I loved the new characters, the good ones, of course.

“Maxilan, darling.” Locke raised one eyebrow and smiled. “I knew you were driven, but I had no idea you could smoulder. Come, take me now! Jean won’t mind; he’ll avert his eyes like a gentleman.”

The villains had their charm but they were bad guys putting in danger my Locke and his bff so they weren’t lovable villains. They weren’t villains you love to hate. You just hate them. Come on, I have been with my boys for half the book planning a thing and then you come around and twist everything for your benefit and send them to their almost certain deaths? And you want me to see the bigger picture? No, sir, you can go live with those weird sea creatures that glow. You can live INSIDE the glowing monsters, for all I care!

All the naval terms had me confused a little but it was so much fun being with them on the Poison Orchid. Pirate life suited Locke and Jean; they are thieves after all. Pirate life gave Locke a tan, a beard and his natural hair color back: what’s not to love about that?

“We may need to ready ourselves to repel boarders.”
“With what? One stiletto ad hurtful insinuations about their mothers?”

This book was funny and I noticed, going through the highlighted quotes, that I needed to thank Locke for almost all of the laughs and giggles. This book was also super long and I had a hard time reading it at first. I know now that reading a 400+ pages ebook is frustrating: it seems that you aren’t doing any progress and it caused me to put this marvel on hold since November! I bought the physical copies of the three books that are published and I read easily. If I knew that was the problem, I would’ve bought the books sooner. Better late than never, right?

Locke Lamora was small, but the Thorn of Camorr was larger than any of this.

So….pirates, sea creatures, crazy plans, steamy scenes, CATS, bad guys, assassins, and a not very sane dose of little heart attacks. This book was one hell of a ride, worth every single scream and tear.

firmablog

Spectred Isle by K.J. Charles

20170807_092643

5stars

“People create poetry and mustard gas. We invent gods and monsters and gods that might as well be monsters. We act with extraordinary grace and unfathomable cruelty. We’re so terribly intelligent, and dreadfully easy to fool.”

Title: Spectred Isle (Green Men #1)
Author: K.J. Charles
Good things about this book: Paranormal and wonderful romance written perfectly.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

If there’s something I like to read more than books with happy endings, are fantasy books with happy endings. Spectred Isle has that and I loved all of it: mystery, ghosts, spirits, magic, great characters, and great chemistry between said characters. I can reconfirm that K.J. Charles can and will steal my heart with every book she writes. The story flows flawlessly with the need to know more about everything, the need to know these characters you’ve loved, possibly from page 1, are going to be happy and okay in the end.

Saul, an archaeologist dishonourably discharged from the war, is now working for the only man that doesn’t mind what he did in the past. This man is a paranormal fanatic and is looking for everything out of the ordinary in London and surroundings. Saul helps him going to the places he points out to see if he sees something strange that can’t be explained. Saul doesn’t believe in the paranormal but he needs money so he refrains himself from criticizing his boss’ hobby. I would love going to a ghost/treasure hunt but maybe I’m not that brave, or for that matter, that adventurous.

“You were a pawn in a damned complex game, and you were played and sacrificed as such. I’m glad you weren’t taken off the board altogether.”

During a weird episode of a tree catching fire without apparent reason, Saul stumbles upon Randolph, the last occultist of the Glyde family. After that peculiar event, Saul runs into Randolph everywhere he goes. Saul wonders why he is always meeting this fascinating and handsome man in the weirdest places. Randolph wonders why this seemingly normal man is always involved in strange paranormal events. Something is happening, the veil that separates the worlds is thinner every day, things are looking bad. To answer Randolph perplexities comes a vague prophecy and maybe it can explain why Saul is always where he isn’t supposed to be.

Saul realised, the painful prospect of hoping again was better than the dull knowledge he never would.

The prophecy may explain why they run into each other more often than not, but it doesn’t explain the feelings they are both experiencing. Feelings they are both afraid of but are hoping for them to be reciprocated. Saul and Randolph have great chemistry; from the very first time they meet they can’t get the other out their minds. They have both had difficult love lives or none at all, only casual encounters in a world that sees their sexuality as a crime. I love that they are straightforward; they don’t leave things to unnecessary misunderstandings. They say what they have to say, what they hope: they open themselves, exposing vulnerability because what they may have seems worth it.

“I have a sinking feeling, based on no prior experience whatsoever, that I love you.”

Randolph is a wonderful character and I loved him from the beginning. You notice him changing because of Saul, talking more about what he wants and what he feels, being sassy and clever, and fighting for what he treasures. The book has a little bit of an open ending because there’s going to be more than one book, so I hope there’s going to be more of Randolph and Saul in the future.

“My shoulders ache in wet weather. Unfortunately, I live in England.”

I was left happy and wanting more. There’s nothing better than that to confirm how much you enjoyed a book, right?

firmablog

[ARC] The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic by F.T. Lukens

20170724_173049

5stars

He walked out of the bathroom not at all ready to face whatever was waiting for him, but totally ready to fake it.

Title: The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic
Author: F.T. Lukens
Release date: September 7th 2017
Good things about this book: Myths, magic and great characters.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, this book is precious.
Do I recommend it? Yes, wait for its release and read it.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

I’m so happy I found this book. This book, THIS BOOK, made me so happy; it filled me with lots of giggles. Never underestimate a spontaneous giggle. I laughed so much out loud I freaked out my dog a little bit: he got worried about my safeness and came by my side to see if I was okay. I had so much fun reading it I want everyone to enjoy it as much as I did.

Bridger is a very sexually confused teenage boy looking for a job to pay for college. He is funny, very brave but as I said he is going through many difficulties that are going to put not few obstacles in our poor boy’s road to happiness. He found out he is bisexual and has a very obvious crush on his neighbor and high school football star, Leo. He is scared to come out, to be hated, left alone, so he plans to escape, to go far away for college. Oh boy, that idea was destined to failed from the beginning!

“I’m going to go be bisexual in my room. If that’s okay with you? Great? Great.”

Money for college means a job and Bridger lands the weirdest job he could find. He works for Pavel, the intermediary for myths of the state they live in. His job will be to assist Pavel in order to maintain the mythical world hidden from the human world. It seems something is disrupting the balance of things and Bridger’s job is going to be harder than anticipated. Pavel, who has a family made of pixies, a gorgeous werewolf and seemingly apathetic secretary, is a wonderful boss; he listens to Bridger, helps him out and gives useful advice right when he needed it. I think Pavel is magical and not only because he has magic; when he understands a pop reference he is so proud of himself and the most adorable man ever. You gotta love Pavel, he’s one of a kind!

“You have no idea the amount of research I have put into keeping up with the things you say.” Bridger smiled, despite everything.

Bridger finds himself dealing with feelings he can’t fully express and mythical creatures that need to be convinced to be elsewhere because they’re in places they shouldn’t be.

The Leo problem is only known to his best friend, Astrid; she tries to help him but if one is stubborn and more than a little afraid then there’s little she can do to make a difference. Leo (full name freaking LEONIDAS, as in this-is-Sparta Leonidas!) is adorable and he clearly flirts with Bridger every time he can; he has a crush on our boy but our boy is not ready and my heart hurt a little. I was so glad there wasn’t the dreaded misunderstanding or unnecessary love triangles but still, I was scared for them because they were so cute together and I wanted only good things for them like cuddles and many many kisses. It was the perfect romance, sweet, with a twist of mythical magic. I loved it!

“Well, if you’re going to go gay over someone, not a bad choice.”
“Astrid!” he whispered hotly. “For one, I still like girls. And two, keep your voice down!”
“Fine. If you are going to go bi, not a bad choice.”

For a moment I was genuinely scared because there were many things that could go wrong but I trusted the author to not break my heart. I was on edge until the very end and I loved loved loved how the story unfolded. It was a magnificent book and, I repeat myself, I am so happy I found it.

Go read it as soon as it comes out. It’s worth it!

firmablog

My Lady Jane: The Not Entirely True Story by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

20170719_160809

5stars

“Armies aren’t very good about carrying libraries with them. I can’t imagine why. We’d fight so much less if everyone would just sit down and read.”

Title: My Lady Jane: The Not Entirely True Story
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Good things about this book: It has different chapters from different points of views.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I wanted something fun and fast to read and I couldn’t have chosen a better book that included all the elements I didn’t know I was looking for. Royals, a magical touch, history, and swords! Oh, I love swords! Give me a sword and you’ll make this lady warrior very happy!

I have to admit that I didn’t know all the events that happened in British history. What I know comes from TV shows and movies. Until I was 12 I lived in Ecuador so I studied a little bit of South American history, but afterwards I moved to Italy so I studied mainly Italian history and the parts involving the British royals were only a few pages. I did know about Bloody Mary and Mary Queen of Scots but no much else. It was fun getting to know more about King Edward VI and Lady Jane even with all the not very truthful facts.

He thought he finally understood the Meaning of Life now, the Great Secret, which he’d boiled down to this:
Life is short, and then you die.

Edward is sick, poisoned by evil people in the palace plotting to take the throne of England from him, and on his deathbed (but not really) he appointed Jane as his successor. Jane, all books and flaming red hair, is unmarried and that needs to change. He gets engaged to Gifford (call him G, please), son of his majesty’s loyal advisor. There’s just one little thing they didn’t tell Jane about his husband to be; he is an edian and he turns into a horse!

I loved the edian twist of the story. People who could turn into animals? Oh yeah! I wonder what kind of animal I’d be; I’m thinking a dragon or a beautiful swan but maybe I’d turned into a turtle or, better, a sloth. At least I don’t think I’d turned into an ass or a skunk like someone I read about.

“Wow, Father. Fertile and well-vetted? You make it sound so very romantic.”

Gifford and Jane started their married life in a very weird way but they get close through misadventures and love was in the air and stays in the air until the obvious happily ever after. Not spoilers here, it says from the very beginning that this story will give poor Jane (and her luckily still attached head) the happy ending she clearly deserved. Young love, the misunderstandings, the stares, the little touches; I’m a romantic at heart and I loved that nothing was too cheesy. The perfect amount of cheese was involved.

Edward, King of England, and spoiled virgin boy, is kind of a star in this book. You may think he is weak but instead he turns out to be everything you probably didn’t think about him at first. Long live King Edward! Edward’s chapters with his inner monologues about how he fancied Gracie were adorable. I think Edward deserves all the love he can get. All the love! Long live King Edward!

All the characters are great and funny but the real hero of the book is our dear Jane. Jane with her books, her synonyms, her determination to not be the woman of the situation, her courage, and her big heart. I love Jane, and no, her red hair was in no way weird.

The poor book. It didn’t deserve to be hurt just because Jane had to get married.

A fun book for history lovers and fantasy lovers; a book that has a little bit of everything and will make you smile. How can someone refuse a book that brings you joy? You can’t.

firmablog