Technopaladin: Clarity’s Edge by Elizabeth Corrigan

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Welcome to the tour for this exciting new YA Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Technopaladin: Clarity’s Edge by Elizabeth Corrigan! Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a $25 US Amazon E-Gift Card!

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Technopaladin: Clarity’s Edge

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Publication Date: May 17th, 2021

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/ Fantasy

Clarity’s paladin order forbids her from entering the Azure District, the one location in her high tech city that refuses paladin rule and technology. When she receives an illicit invitation to violate the prohibition, spurred on by rumors of suffering in the district, she passes through the crumbling brick entryway into no-man’s land. Within, she finds the residents lack not only the ocular implants and three dimensional computers she takes for granted, but also medicine to fight a disease infecting the children.

Clarity knows her order isn’t perfect—after all, they stole her from her parents when she was a small child to raise her with their values—but she cannot believe they know what’s going on in the Azure District. When she confronts the head of the order, he refuses to aid people who have rejected his help in the past, even the children. Unwilling to take no for an answer, Clarity enlists the help of the leader’s son Cass and takes matters into her own hands.

Desperate both to cure the children and keep her place in the order that is her only home, Clarity engages in increasingly questionable behavior—deleting official records, lying to her friends, and manipulating people who can help her. As the nefarious nature of her actions tarnishes the purity of her cause, she must determine what it truly means to be a paladin, in both name and action.

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Excerpt

“Come on, Clarity!” Hope grabbed Clarity’s hand and dragged her down Londigium’s main thoroughfare. The bright glare of the morning sun glinted off the silver skyscrapers and made some of the light-up signs in the storefronts difficult to read. Nonetheless, Clarity could make out the image of a dress on the digital placard of Hope’s destination.

Clarity dodged to avoid running into some people going in the opposite direction from her. She tried to wrench her hand free of Hope’s grasp to give herself better maneuverability, figuring she could follow her friend’s gleaming, red-gold hair through the crowd, but Hope held tight. “Remind me again why we’re doing this? I don’t care about going to the gala, and I don’t see why I can’t just wear my official paladin armor.”

“I swear, for someone so invested in her career, you can be dense about the things you need to do to advance it.” Clarity’s other friend Zeal tossed her black braids over her shoulder as she gave Clarity a scathing glance. “You have two weeks left until the gala, and Hope has convinced Steady Threads to make an exception to their usual deadlines and take an order for your dress. Try to be a little grateful.”

“I’m a warrior.” Clarity cringed at the petulant tone in her voice but continued her line of argument anyway. “My job at the moment is just conducting training for the non-warrior paladins, but if and when I get promoted, I’m going to be a Citadel guard or a peacekeeper in the city. None of this has anything to do with looking pretty at a gala.”

“Do I have to remind you why you put that ‘if’ in there?” Zeal asked. “You beat out the Grand Conductor’s son during graduation trials for a position at the Citadel.” Zeal was right. Steadfastness Hughes ran the Order of the Amethyst Star, and he hated Clarity. “You need to go to the gala and do some networking among the other warriors to make yourself popular in other circles. Or at least look appropriate so as not give him an excuse to send you off to the boondocks and install his son in your place.”

“I know, I know. You’re right.” Clarity stumbled as Hope came to a sudden stop in front of the tailor’s shop. “I just feel more comfortable in my armor. The paladins already spent a lot of money getting us high-tech, retractable armor. I don’t see why they’re bothering to pay for dresses and tuxedos as well.”

“Because it would be ridiculous to try dancing at a ball with your armor clanking everywhere, and the purple microfiber bodysuits underneath are not nearly as flattering as you all think they are,” Hope said, her voice containing an uncharacteristic tartness. “Besides, don’t you want to look amazing enough that Valor regrets breaking up with you just because you beat him in that silly contest?”

“Don’t say that so loud.” Clarity glanced up and down the street, but no one she knew was nearby. “You guys are the only ones who know we broke up. Besides, I don’t think—”

Before Clarity could finish her sentence, a man ran into her, practically shoving her into the store’s forcefield window. She and her friends turned in sync to watch a man in a fine suit run past them, knocking the crowd aside to get through. Behind him came a pair of men in armor as shiny as Clarity’s own, sufficiently far behind that the recovering throng on the street would be an impediment. By the time the paladin peacekeeper she recognized as Diligence noticed her and called, “Stop that man!” Clarity was already racing after him as best she could.

The pursuant looked behind him and noticed a much closer paladin. With a curse, he tried to pick up speed, and when that failed, he turned a corner into what looked like a small alley. He must not know the city very well, Clarity thought. There’s an open air market on the other side of that building. He’s going to be easy to spot there.

Indeed, as she chased him between the skyscrapers, she could easily see his head bobbing amid the stalls. Realizing his mistake, he pushed over a table full of crates of apples, sending the green fruit rolling across the ground. Clarity didn’t miss a beat, leaping into the air above the overturned boxes and landing on her quarry in a tackle.

The crowd had erupted into shocked gasps at the chase, but as Clarity pulled the man to his feet and twisted his arms behind his back, the crowd burst into applause. She heard the word “Azurite” murmured a few times, so she glanced down at his chest and saw that he in fact wore the telltale diamond-shaped, blue patch that marked him as a resident of the city’s Azure District. Everyone knew the Azurites hated paladins and the order they represented so much that they refused paladin technology rather than follow paladin laws. Clarity had heard rumors that people in the walled-off part of the city lived in abject poverty, but the man standing in front of her looked well-fed and clothed.

Diligence and his partner jogged up behind Clarity. “Thanks for the assist,” Diligence said as he handcuffed the criminal. “We caught him trying to buy a slew of weapons on the black market. The dealer was smart enough to try to make a deal, but this idiot ran.”

Wow. Clarity had known she was chasing down a criminal, but she’d had no idea he was such a dangerous one.

“If you want paladin tech, all you have to do is submit to the laws of the city,” Diligence said to his prisoner. Then he turned to the farmer whose apple crates remained upside down on the ground. “If you file a report with the Citadel, the order will reimburse you for your damaged merchandise. We apologize for interfering with your business.”

Available

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Continue reading “Technopaladin: Clarity’s Edge by Elizabeth Corrigan”

Between Love and Murder by Chris Bedell

BetweenLove

Today we’re celebrating the upcoming release of Between Love and Murder by Chris Bedell!

BLandM Digital cover

Between Love and Murder

Expected Publication Date: February 26th, 2021

Genre: YA Thriller/ LGBTQ+

Publisher: Between the Lines Publishing

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17-year-old Chad has a problem when he finds himself attracted to the new kid Archie. He’s over the moon when Archie flirts back. Chad’s excitement is short-lived when his best friend, Mallory pursues Archie as revenge for Chad rejecting her. Chad doesn’t want to lose his chance with Archie and decides he needs to eliminate the competition by implicating Mallory in the disappearance of her boyfriend Tommy months earlier.

Three months later, Tommy mysteriously shows up and is accidently killed by Mallory, with Chad and Archie as witnesses. Mallory convinces them they have to stay quiet or they’ll all go to jail for murder. Wanting to protect his new relationship with Archie, Chad agrees, but doubts about Mallory’s motives linger. Fear of losing Archie to Mallory plagues Chad until he decides he has to find a way to get her arrested, while keeping Archie and himself out of trouble. Will love lead to betrayal or murder?

If you like the nonlinear storytelling of ABC’s HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER and the toxic love triangle of WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT, then BETWEEN LOVE AND MURDER is the book for you.

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Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer

Rating: 0.5 out of 5.

Pages: 662

Series: The Twilight Saga, Book 5

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Vampire, Romance, Supernatural

Publication date: August 4, 2020

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Until now, readers have only experiences Bella’s side of the events that happen in Twilight. Now, Midnight Sun gives the reader a chance to read things from Edward’s point of view.

Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing thing that’s happened in Edward’s long second life. As the reader learns more about Edward’s past and his inner thoughts as he struggles with being around her, it’s apparent just how hard he fights to keep Bella safe. Even if it’s from himself.

“And yet, though her thoughts had been so clear in her odd eyes—odd because of the depth to them—I could hear only silence from the place she was sitting. Just… silence.”

Midnight Sun, Chapter 1

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Something Strange And Deadly by Susan Dennard

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Pages: 544

Series: Something Strange and Deadly, Book 1

Genres: Young Adult, Steampunk, Zombies, Paranormal, Historical Fiction, Romance, Horror, Supernatural

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Eleanor Fitt, of the Philadelphia Fitts, is heartbroken to discover her brother is missing. She’s terrified to know that his disappearance is tied together with the walking Dead in the streets, to know that the Necromancer has kidnapped him.

Doing what she can to rescue her brother, Eleanor enlists the help of the Spirit Hunters. This motley crew, hired to help protect the city from the Dead, is after the very necromancer that has Eleanor’s brother. As Eleanor spends more time with the crew, and their handsome inventor, the more dire the situation gets. Not only is her reputation at stake, but also her life.

“Don’t think I’ll look after you, though – the world would be better off with one less princess.”

“I’m not a princess,” I huffed, beating my brain for some worthy retort.

“A queen then?”

“No! That’s not what I meant – “

“Oh, an empress. I see. Pardon me, Your Majesty.” He swooped into a crouched bow, and when his torso sprang back up, a smile floated at the edge of his lips.

“N-no, not an empress either. I-I’m just…” The more I stuttered, the more pompous his smile became.

“You’re exasperating,” I finally groaned.

Susan Dennard, Something Strange and Deadly

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When Truthwitch came out, Susan Dennard hit my radar. I’d like to say that I read this book and loved it, but I have yet to actually give the series a read. The books in this series are certainly on my ridiculously long TBR, I just haven’t picked them up yet. The reason I bring this up is to show that Dennard’s books prior to Truthwitch were not on my radar. Something Strange and Deadly was even further removed from my “books to check out” radar since I hadn’t discovered my love for Steampunk yet. What brought the book to my radar – and Dennard’s amazing writing as a whole – was her amazingly perfect twitter thread about The Luminaries. As soon as I read this thread, I knew I had to get my hands on everything that Dennard had written.

I fell head over heels in love with her writing as I tuned in daily to see where The Luminaries was going to go. (Side note, I can’t wait until it’s possible to get my hands on a physical book that takes place in this amazing world. A book where the LumiNerd can’t mess with Winnie yet can still quench their thirst.) Her words while writing these twitter posts kept me engaged and waiting for more.

That’s why it came as absolutely no shock to me that I fell in love with Something Strange and Deadly from the very first line.

Since I got my car, I’ve loved listening to AudioBooks on my way to and from work on the days I need to go into the office. It took my a while to get through Something Strange and Deadly simply because I didn’t want the story to end. I found myself throwing other AudioBooks and Podcasts into the middle of my listen through because I didn’t want my time with Eleanor to end.

That is, until I remembered that I could easily grab the next book in the series and devour it just as soon as I finished Something Strange and Deadly. Suffice it to say, I listened to the second half of this story in one “sitting”. As I write this, I have A Darkness Strange and Lovely waiting for me on Audible. As soon as I’m done rambling on I’m going to jump right back into the world and see what Eleanor can get herself up to this time.


For someone who didn’t take such a roundabout route to find this book, here’s a quick breakdown as to why Something Strange and Deadly called to me:

In 2020 I discovered a love for the Steampunk genre in general. There’s something about the mixture of technology and historical fiction that calls to me. Dennard has done an amazing job at creating this Steampunk world. I found myself excited to see what the next invention was going to be, how it was going to help Eleanor find her brother, how it was going to help stop the Dead.

The world building itself – Steampunk elements aside – was done amazingly. I almost felt as if I was running around the streets with Eleanor, pretending to be a perfect High Society lady while frolicking in the darker parts of the city on a mission. I could imagine the places she went to, the opulence of her home and how it hid the truth of her family’s wealth. I could imagine in my mind’s eye the divide between the classes that was so glaringly obvious at this point in history.

But best of all, the characters Dennard was able to create were tangible personalities. I could guess how Eleanor and Daniel were going to react to something before it happened. I could see the way Eleanor’s face would contort in fury at just the right moment. I could feel the emotion coming from the story and sense the way it would impact what came next.

I’m not a huge fan of zombies in media – which could be the reason that this book wasn’t on my radar in the first place – but Dennard wrote this story in a way that it was even able to draw me into the mystery of the Dead. Necromancers have always fascinated me, but an army of the dead isn’t really my thing. And that being said, I enjoyed every second I spent in this world.

While this story continues to have less praise than her Witchlands books, Dennard has created a wonderful world that I can’t wait to jump back into. If you’re looking for a fun YA paranormal read, or even an interesting zombie story, I’d highly recommend giving this story a try. This isn’t your typical “walking dead” zombies are after you sort of story, so if this is what you’re looking for you probably won’t be please. However, I truly did enjoy the take on “zombies” that Dennard had here.

Continue reading “Something Strange And Deadly by Susan Dennard”

Sea Glass by Maria V Snyder

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Pages: 379

Series: Glass, Book 2; The Chronicles of Ixia, Book 5

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Magic, Fiction, Magic, Magicians

Publication Date: August 25, 2009

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Opal has weathered rough waters and twisting currents, yet instead of finding a tranquil eddy she’s caught in a riptide. As if the fight for controlling Opal’s glass messengers – and therefore controlling Opal – isn’t enough to deal with, it’s also up to Opal to prove that blood magic is still being used. When no one believes her, it’s up to Opal to decide what to believe in and how to prove the truth to the world.

When we reached the beach, Leif fell to his knees with a dramatic cry. “Solid ground! I’ll never take you for granted again.”

“Are you going to kiss the sand?” I asked.

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“Now I’M the one being silly?”

“Yes.”

Maria V Snyder, Sea Glass

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Over the years I’ve certainly come to enjoy my time in Snyder’s worlds. She creates characters that are fun to be in the head of. She creates worlds that seem larger than life. She even creates conflict in ways I never would have thought of.

That being said, there’s definitely certain structural patterns to her stories that she doesn’t stray from. It’s clear that Snyder has found a pattern that works for her and she rarely strays from it. While this can be done in interesting ways, it’s starting to feel like her books are “Burger Essays” in book form.

Never heard the term “Burger Essay” before? It’s the kind of essay you’re expected to write in high school: introduction paragraph; first defense and example; second defense and example; third defense and example; concluding paragraph. Your first defense is always your second strongest point, the middle defense is your weakest, and the final point is your strongest to pull the entire paper together.

While this is a decent way to write essays in high school, it’s something you quickly learn to throw in the trash in post secondary school. No professor is going to give you a good grade on a Burger Essay. It’s a quick and easy way to bang out a paper, but never an interesting or unique read. Instead, your professor is going to expect you to change things up – make the essay interesting. Maybe you throw in a paragraph that’s a single sentence, maybe you add an extra example or defense to your paper. No matter what you do to change it up, there’s no way that you’re going to write to papers that can be placed side by side for your professor to say, “Oh yes, that’s exactly what I expected from this student. They’re near identical in structure.” Besides, can you imagine having to write a ten page burger essay? I’d fall asleep before the third page.

And that, my dear reader, is my long winded way to explain how Snyder’s works are currently feeling to me. While I enjoy reading them and spending time in the world, I find that I can’t read too many of them back to back. The events in the stories start to blend together for me. The characters begin to sound alike. I forget which major plot point we’re supposed to be following if I put the book down because they all follow the same formula.

While it may seem like I’m saying I didn’t enjoy this book, that’s not the truth at all. I did enjoy seeing Opal becoming her own person in this story. I did enjoy seeing her rise above her critics and prove that she was going to do what was right even if others didn’t see her side in things. I did enjoy watching her love story start to unfold. It’s just the elements of these plots points that were done before.

That isn’t to say you wouldn’t enjoy this story of Snyder’s writing style. I quite enjoyed my time in this book. What I mean is that you should expect exactly what all Maria V Snyder books are going to give you. It’ll be a fun visit into Snyder’s mind and this world of magic, but nothing exceptional to write home about.

Continue reading “Sea Glass by Maria V Snyder”

Clay’s Hope by Melissa Haag

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pages: 266

Series: Judgement of the Six Companion Series, Book 1

Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Shapeshifter, Supernatural

Publication date: April 25, 2015

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Clay is a man with few human talents, yet as a wolf he hunts well and can fight off a grizzly twice his size. The idea of a Mate is one he never seriously entertained since he knew the chances were nearly non-existent. Then he meets Gabby, a human girl. She hates him at first sight, but everything other than her has become unimportant. Winning her over has become the only thing that matters.

“A good home, huh? I wonder if Gabby likes dogs.”

Probably not. I sighed, laid my head on my paws, and have Rachel my best woeful look.

“Aw, I’m sure she does. Look at you. What’s not to like?”

My thoughts exactly.

Chapter 4

While some authors write the same story from a different perspective in what seems to be a simple a cash grab, this is definitely not what Haag has done. (Though I will have a review coming out in a couple of days about a book that does just this in my opinion.) Instead, this story manages to give great insight into the world from a werewolf perspective. While many of the scenes are the same as those in Hope(less), they read almost as completely different scenes coming from Clay’s perspective. And I love it.

This story shows Clay transforming from a sad and lonely werewolf to a man with passion and a reason to live. I adore it as it shows a man pulling himself out of a sense of hopelessness and into the light. It shows him coming to terms with his current shortcomings and putting the work in to overcome them.

It also shows the way that he struggles to be the man that Gabby needs him to be. Of course his patience works out in the end, but that doesn’t stop him from getting frustrated at the slow progression of their relationship. He grew up knowing the rules of his world while Gabby did not, Gabby grew up knowing the rules of the human world while Clay continues to struggle with understanding them.

But my favourite part of this story has to be getting so see the way the same interaction can be interpreted from both perspectives. By reading Hope(less) and Clay’s Hope back to back, it’s clear how different a situation might seem to the people in it. More on this later. If you’re looking for a cute little romance surrounding a shapeshifter plot line, you might enjoy this story. While the first book in a series that I enjoy reading from time to time, it also holds up as its own love story. However, if you read it – or the two of them – without carrying on with the story, be prepared for some plot lines that’ll never get resolved.

That being said, there are some very serious things that happen in this story that I am in no way endorsing in real life. While it’s not explicitly written this way, there are moments that could be considered stalking or coercion. These things are not things that should ever be done in a real relationship.


Continue reading “Clay’s Hope by Melissa Haag”

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Length: 435 pages

Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper, Book 2

Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Mystery, Historical, Horror

Publication date: September 19, 2017

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We were all here to learn. He was the one who had a problem, not I. Perhaps it was time for fathers to teach their sons how to behave around young women. They were not born superior, no matter how society falsely conditioned them. We were all equals here.

(Ch 7, p. 69)

Following the revelation of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the charmingly arrogant Thomas Cresswell, Audrey journeys to Romania to join one of Europe’s best schools on forensic medicine.

When blood soaked discoveries start being made in the school’s foreboding castle, Audrey’s once again compelled to investigate. The investigation isn’t all fun and games, though, as Audrey learns she must also face her past and her fears in order to solve the case.


One of the things I love most about this series is how strong of a personality Audrey is. It couldn’t have been easy being a feminist in Victorian era Europe but that never stopped her from doing what she felt strongly about. Her father has finally seem the error of his ways in trying to lock her up and has let her attend this school for forensic medicine, but even he isn’t as progressive as Audrey needs him to be. Thankfully he’s not around to see what kind of mayhem Audrey gets herself into.

I really do enjoy the fact that Thomas is there for her whenever she’s going through things. While his attempts to be helpful are often misguided, he’s doing everything in his power to try to be there for her. Of course, he’s very out of his depths while doing so, causing his efforts to have adverse effects on his relationship with her. But of course, what’s a good YA romance without a little conflict here and there?

As with Stalking Jack the Ripper, Maniscalco does a fantastic job at pulling the reader into the world she’s created. It’s almost as if you’re there with Audrey as she explores the castle and tries to solve this latest case in Bran Castle. Who wouldn’t want to face hidden tunnels and dark secrets deep in the earth? To face their fears in the most visceral sense? No, just me? Cool.

More than anything, I really enjoyed being fully immersed in this tale with all of its twists and turns. Sure some of the twists were obvious but it was still fun to join the ride. The clues are laid out wonderfully in this story, making it that much sweeter when the truth is revealed. Reading a book with a writing style I adore always makes the read that much more enjoyable.

Overall, if you’re looking for a fun and mostly lighthearted mystery – with a touch of the gruesome thrown in there – you should check out this series. YA mysteries might not be your favourite cup of tea, but Maniscalco write this series in a way that transcends the typical YA tropes and brings light to this dark story.


*Spoilers ahead*

Thomas nearly broke my heart as he kept misunderstanding Audrey’s intentions. He kept trying to help her out since he could see how much pain she was in after the Jack the Ripper case, but instead of helping he kept hurting their relationship. Audrey was already rebelling against the idea of needing a man to help her get through life, of being this fragile little flower that should be seen and not heard. It makes sense that he was trying to help her the only way he knew how, but it was hard to watch how wrong his “help” was going.

In a similar strain to this, Thomas pretending to be dead in the castle’s morgue – and thereby playing a prank on Audrey – certainly didn’t end up the way he’d hoped it would. I’m sure that if he’d done this before Audrey found out that her brother was Jack the Ripper she would’ve reacted the same way that he expected her to. Alas, in her inability to face her grief head on or even put a name to it, she wasn’t acting the way she normally would have.

As much as their relationship was on rocky ground in this book, it truly made them a stronger couple. It proved that even through their very deepest lows they were going to be there for each other. Thomas was willing to climb the roof to get to Audrey and continue their investigation. If that doesn’t say commitment, I don’t know what does.

Their little confession session at the end of the book was a really sweet way to show their connection and how strong their bond was, too.

Moving away from their relationship, the other relationships in the story were extremely interesting as well. While I saw the major twist coming – that Anastasia was going to be the “Prince Dracula” that Audrey and Thomas were hunting – I still really enjoyed the way that this was all written. The missing girl that looked extraordinarily like her, how obviously she was keeping secrets from Audrey, and her disappearing into the night were all prime clues for the reader to suss out her identity. Yet my favourite was the clue that she was a descendant of Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed, or the Countess Dracula.

It must suck for Audrey, investigating two separate crimes that end up being committed by people she was close to. Yes, discovering her brother was Jack the Ripper had to hit harder than her new friend being a killer with a plot to take over Romania with Thomas, but neither could have been easy. Audrey was just learning to open her heart again, to let someone into her world, and then Anastasia goes ahead and hurts her. It’s amazing that Audrey decided to let Thomas get closer to her and didn’t end up freezing him out completely.

Meeting Thomas’ sister and Ileana must have helped mitigate the sorrow that Audrey felt with Anastasia’s betrayal – especially when Anastasia admitted to thinking about killing Audrey. However, Daciana and Ileana prove that it’s possible for Audrey to make real female friends – apart from her cousin, of course – and have them not end up being psychopaths. They might not have played the most prominently visible part in the story, but they certainly played a large part behind the scenes of things.

And, of course, their relationship was a great thing to witness. For Victorian era Europe it couldn’t have been easy to be in a same sex relationship – even if you worked exceptionally hard to keep it a secret from those around you. Yet neither female let the pressures of society get to them or force them apart. Being part of a secret society must also have been fun. Well, minus all the death that seems to come with the territory…


All of that being said, I look forward to continuing on with this series. Maniscalco has done a fantastic job at creating a world I’d happily visit… as long as I stay far away from the killers that Audrey seems to find herself following. Who knows what misadventures she’s going to get herself into next?


Other reviews for this series:

  1. Stalking Jack the Ripper (Book 1)

Hope(less) by Melissa Haag

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pages: 315

Series: Judgement of the Six, Book 1

Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Shapeshifter, Supernatural

Publication date: November 18, 2013

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“It won’t be safe,” Sam said, interrupting my thoughts. He looked up from his half-empty cup. “You know it won’t be safe.”

“Sam, I’ll get a dog.” I could see by his expression that he was gearing up for another round in an old debate. Why couldn’t he understand that I’d rather get a dog than be Mated to a werewolf? I hurried around him for the bathroom down the hall.

Chapter 3

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Gabby’s brain works like a human fish finder – useful when she wants to avoid people, but not without its own challenges. Like her unnaturally strong pull to men. In her search for answers as to why she’s so special, Gabby discovers a hidden community of werewolves. She immerses herself in their culture and world, until she meets Clay. Unkempt and prone to mood swings, he thinks Gabby is his. It’s up to Gabby to use every trick in her book to convince Clay to go away – and every ounce of willpower to not fall in love with the man underneath the rough exterior.

Judgement has begun…


This was most certainly not my first time reading this story, and it won’t be my last. It might be because I have a thing for werewolves, and it might be because I have an extra soft spot for werewolves named Clay – I’m looking at you, Clayton Danvers, from the mind of the amazing Kelley Armstrong – but I find myself coming back to this story every so often. While the story as a whole isn’t my favourite, I adore Gabby and Clay’s part in it. While I plan to reread the entire series to make reviews on the individual books, I oftentimes find myself just rereading this book or Clay’s companion story.

It also doesn’t hurt that parts of this series take place in Canada and I’m a sucker for stories that take place close to home. While the location of the Compound isn’t explicitly said, I like to think that it’s in Southern Ontario. Living here myself and adoring the pockets of nature that can be found, I love imagining that the compound isn’t too far away from me.

While my first thought is that werewolves can exist closely in fiction but stay away in reality, I wouldn’t mind if these werewolves were the ones that I ran into in real life. In general, these werewolves are compassionate and gentle. They understand that humans can be vicious and cruel, but that’s not all they are. But most importantly, they don’t go around terrorizing or hurting us pesky humans.

Looking at the meat of this story itself, I really enjoyed getting to know Gabby and Clay. Both can be quiet and reserved but also know how to stand their ground to get what they want. I can understand why Gabby didn’t want to Mate with a werewolf, to not want to be tied down when she finally feels free. I can also understand why Clay is willing to do anything – and I do mean anything – in order to keep the hope he sees in Gabby.

As much as I adored reading about Gabby and Clay, I really do like the way this series is written. Each novel follows a different protagonist. While the stories might feel a little disjointed at first, when they come together things fall into place. Each character is unique and stands on their own to the point where the male perspective novels – telling the same story just from a different perspective – read differently and can exist alone.

It also makes it that much more interesting to learn about the world. As the reader you get to explore the world as each person learns more about it and the unique situations going on. Gabby’s fish finder brain allows for a unique look at those around her, but can only take you so far. If you end up picking this story up, look forward to learning more about each female and their uniqueness.

If you’re looking for a cute and mostly lighthearted romance read, and don’t mind a fascinating werewolf spin to it, you might enjoy this story. Whether you feel like just picking up Gabby’s tale – which I’ve gone a couple of times since discovering it – or reading the entire series, it’s a fun read in a well developed world.

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Continue reading “Hope(less) by Melissa Haag”

October TBR

If you’ve been here for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I’m not the best at staying true to my monthly TBR goals. This doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop making these lists for myself. I find that compiling a small list of titles for the month makes reading the books on my shelves less daunting. After all, having a list of 6 or 7 books to choose from is much easier than staring at 100 unread books and trying to decide what to read in the moment. I might still find myself doing this throughout the month, as I can be a mood reader, but having a small collection of titles to look through puts my mind at ease – even if I’m not selecting books from it all the time.

Now that I’ve gotten into the swing of things with Yzma, I think I’ve gotten an appropriate sized list of books I hope to read this month. No, it’s not a long list. And yes, it’s still most of the books I had on my September TBR. But I still aim to finish these books before returning them to my friend and I have to do that sooner rather than later.

Without further ado, here’s what I hope to read in the month of October:

Total Books: 5

Continue reading “October TBR”

The Last Wolf by Maria Vale

Rating: 3.5/5 starsLast Wolf.jpg

Pages: 320

Series: The Legend of All Wolves, Book 1

Genres: Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Shapeshifters

 

There isn’t much that I have to say about this story. If you’re looking for a cute, mostly lighthearted romance novel about werewolves then I’d suggest giving this book a try. While it’s definitely a niche genre, this book is much better than the other books I’ve read about werewolf romance lately. The writing makes sense, the werewolf mechanics are well thought out and explained, and the world has been flushed out.

I will warn that there’s a smutty aspect to this novel. While it’s not the focus of this read, if you feel uncomfortable reading smutty scenes you’ve been warned. There aren’t many scenes like that, so you might be okay giving this book a read. However, only you know you comfort level about these things so decide for yourself.

While there was a plot line that didn’t make much sense to me, and felt a little rushed, this might come up more in the rest of the series. While I do feel as if this book could be a standalone, I’m interested to keep going with it to see how much the characters from this book impact the romances in the rest of the series. I’d also like to see how this rushed plot line impacts the rest of the series.

Continue reading “The Last Wolf by Maria Vale”