Category Archives: Urban Fantasy

Review of A Hidden Fire: Elemental Mysteries Book 1 by Elizabeth Hunter

Who knew Vampires and Librarians could be so engaging? I just finished this book, and while it took me a while to read (it’s rather long at 274 pages) it was a very good story with well drawn characters and a few moments of suspense that made it hard to shut off the light! Giovanni is a rather odd character and for the first few chapters I had my suspicions about him but I wasn’t sure where Ms. Hunter was going with some of the odd traits. B. (short for Beatrice) is one smart cookie with a quick sense of humor and a nice shot of sarcasm and she was instantly engaging as a main character. There’s a solid story that drives the action – and the supporting characters are also very well developed. There’s even a slightly psychotic villain and I have to say I love a bad guy who “giggles” – it gives him just that touch of madness that makes him completely unpredictable.
There was one section in the book where I thought “Wait, isn’t that wrong?” and I flipped back a few pages to check the continuity, but it didn’t impact the story at all. I only mention it because one glaring “oops” in a book generally makes me love the story less but it didn’t in this case. That must mean the plot was tight enough, the characters believable enough (and yes, Giovanni is as dashing as his name would lead you to believe; but he’s also adorable in that boyish way that is oh-so-attractive :)) and the action paced well enough that I couldn’t even remember the stumble once I moved beyond it.

Ms. Hunter draws her scenes with such clarity and attention to detail that the “movie in my head” plays without interruption. This story is well written and well edited and I just looked on Amazon and it’s FREE right now. Pick it up – it’s a really good read!


Review of Pocket Full of Posies by Angela Roquet

Installment two of the Lana Harvey series was almost as good as Graveyard Shift (the first one) but for some reason Lana’s hair-trigger temper got on my nerves a bit toward the middle. Lana’s a Reaper (as in one of the grim ones – an employee of he-himself – the Grim Reaper we all know and hope not to meet) and she’s planning her career path while being attacked by demons for a past transgression. Her boyfriend is a very sweet archangel named Maalik – but for some reason Lana finds him unbearable and frankly she’s a little mean to the guy. Okay, I got the reasons but they seemed a little disproportionate to the anger she displayed. Once I learned to ignore her ill temper and nasty attitude, I liked the book. Liked. Didn’t love.

This is one of those reviews where I’m carefully choosing my words because I think the book is worth a read. There’s a lot of interesting action, a few good twists and likeable characters (yes, even Lana’s usually likeable). It’s a fun piece of escapism and for some reason I think the author is heading somewhere with the “angry Lana” – maybe that’s in the next book or maybe I’m completely wrong and Lana’s really a major head-case who will eventually wind up murdering someone because they looked at her wrong – either way, I’ll read the next book to find out but if Lana’s still a bit nuttier than a Snickers Bar then I’m done.

Here’s what you need to know – Good plot, stand-alone book (you don’t need to read the first or the next), good action, slightly irrational main character but a good enough supporting cast that you can ignore it, and clear, concise world-building. Not as funny as Graveyard Shift, but entertaining none-the-less. Priced at $2.99 (for this week, at least) it’s worth a shot. I’m interested in knowing if anyone else reads it and has the same reaction. Post a reply, please.

Review of Graveyard Shift (Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc.) by Angela Roquet

At first, I thought “oh no, another book with a complicated world”; then I realized I read twenty-five pages without moving and couldn’t put the book down! It is so well crafted that I devoured this story – every moment I had to read was spent journeying into Eternity with Lana, Josie, Gabriel and Maalik. There were moments of “uh-oh, what’s coming next” and moments of laugh out loud funny scenes (the one where the dove flies in and stumbles through the landing issuing a “pained coo” was still funny the third time I read it – even my husband chuckled when I insisted on reading that scene to him).

This story is clear, concise, and thoroughly entertaining. Not only does Roquet have a decent command of most of the major religions, she manages to give voice to all of the working-stiffs who just can’t seem to get some respect. It’s a fascinating story of “what if” and a unique take on the many after-lives we all want to believe in.

If you’re an urban fantasy and paranormal fan, this is definitely a great read that will keep you interested from beginning to end. I can’t wait to read the next one!

Review of Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake

I finished this two days ago and thought it was a great book. Twists, turns, and a few funny moments are liberally sprinkled through this book and the characters are so well developed that you can’t help but love (or fear) them. Gage (the hero) is a tatoo artist with a big problem – apparently he’s way more talented than he thought he was when mixing rare ingredients into the ink he uses on clients. One wrong decision and his whole life is turned upside down – now that would be pretty traumatic if he didn’t already have problems that threatened to upend his world.

Throw in a former mentor who considers him a “blot”, a parole officer type who can haul him before the execution squad, a few agents from a foreign “government” who want something he has, and then add in the grim reaper and the poor guy is outnumbered by about ten to one! Gage’s adventures are a non-stop and entertaining ride.

I do have to point out there is one graphic love scene which didn’t really fit for me with the rest of the book it really stuck out as something that was just thrown in (maybe to make it a “paranormal romance”?) but if it’s glaringly discordant for you, don’t give up when you get to that part. It’s four pages, and then the story goes back to what it was.

I’d give this a read, though if you like Kim Harrison and Kelley Armstrong. It’s a fun book.

Moon Dance by J.R. Rain

R. Leonia Shea

I just finished this book and had to post a quick review on it.  A blend of supernatural mystery and humor makes this a great read.  Samantha Moon is smart, funny, and independent – with a bit of justifiable anger mixed in.  I liked her spirit and the fact that on more than one occasion she made me cringe.  I cringed because I knew what she was going to do and as bad as I thought the outcome might be I really wanted her to do it anyway – those situations made me root for her!  The supporting cast of this book is filled with likeable characters who provide another layer of mystery to an already well-crafted tale.  I really liked this book and look forward to reading the others in the series.

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