My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Never ever say, “What could possibly go wrong?” because of course, it will go wrong. It is tempting fate and with Shax’s past luck, there will not be the relaxing vacation they all need.
If you are familiar with the Brimstone series, you already know that this is a fun space fantasy filled with angels, demons, fascinating creatures and lots of humor.
Shax and his crew are on a vacation at an upscale resort when Ness rescues a drowning man from the sea and then ends up inviting him to dinner. A quarrelsome event before this rescue, and knowing his jealous demon lover Shax, this really seems like a bad idea. Which it turns out, is a very bad idea. It’s just not obvious how bad, until something happens that turns Shax and Ness’s world upside down. This is war, as the title implies, and with a little help from his friend Benny and an overly large, pink talking hedge hog named Leopold, there is hope that things may turn out ok.
This book was as fun and exciting as the previous releases in the series. Shax and Verin, as the main characters in the series, have known each other a very long time and have a rich history and unique friendship. The author brings a new character and adventure into each book. The first book has antigravity cows and angels; the second has frogs, time travel and cowboys. This third installment has a little bit more of a serious feel to it and I was concerned for my guys, but the author is wonderful and I knew it would work out. Which it did and it was a thrilling adventure along the way. I enjoyed the new characters that were introduced, and there are several this time. I loved seeing a side of Shax appear that he normally keeps hidden. It was also nice to see how Verin and Corny were getting along.
Another thing that I enjoy about Angel Martinez books, is the way she subtly brings moral and ethical scenarios into the stories. It may be variants or angels and demons, but these are issues we face in the real world and we get to experience them with the characters. Even though the books are fun, adventurous and filled with humor, there is a depth to it that leaves me feeling thoughtful.
According to the author, it may be a while until we get more of the Brimstone series. Fortunately, we are left with Shax and his crew happily plotting their next adventure. Whenever Ms Martinez is ready to take us with them, I will be ready to travel along.
5 stars 3 heat
Also in the Brimstone series:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was so very excited about this book. I had just finished “Hell For The Company” the first book and absolutely loved it. This series is light, fun, humorous and sexy. A space fantasy with Angels and demons. If you have not read the first book, stop now and go do it.
Fear of Frogs picks up right where we left off in the first book. Shax is recovering from some very serious injuries. When he awakes there is no way he can know the trouble that lies in the cargo hold. Just frogs you say. Never say “just” anything, who knew frogs could wreak such havoc.
I adored the continued exploration of the relationship with Shax and Ness. I had been hoping to have more about Verin and “Yes!” I got it. Filled with the witty banter, lovely touches of emotion, and subtle references to something that we are still struggling with in our society today. Loved it. Closed my e-reader with a big smile on my face. I am so looking forward to the next book!
Also in the Brimstone series:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Angels, Demons, anti-gravity cows. Didn’t expect that did you? What a wonderfully fun read.
We meet Shax and Verin while Shax is stealing some pretties and the men they belong to are trying their best to kill him. Verin comes to his rescue and once safely away Shax realizes they have some interesting passengers in the cargo hold. Anti-gravity cows. (totally awesome) Shax and Verin are demons on the run for reasons that are explained later in the book. Shax is a demon prince of thieves – which explains his love of the pretties. Verin is his business partner and friend. When a need arrives for food for their bovine cargo – they stop on a planet and find an angel, unconscious and injured. Shax cannot leave him and besides, he has golden feathers for wings – pretties.
What follows is a fun tale of two beings that are normally enemies finding out that they have more in common than not. I enjoyed the humorous mix of space western,adventure,romance, witty banter and the subtle way the author brings in the dichotomy of good and evil, stereotypes, politics and how we are not all painted with a broad stroke. There is good, bad and in between in all people, even demons and angels. Subtle, and works well with building the relationship between Shax and Ness (the angel). I adored Shax and found his character easiest to love. Verin is the gruffer of the two and I hope he gets more page time in the next book – which I am very much looking forward to.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Rarely Pure and Never Simple is my first Angel Martinez book. I listened to her read from it at GRL and I thought it sounded interesting. I am very glad I finally picked it up!
In a futuristic world where gene therapy has had unexpected side effects, variants have been born. Some with minor talents, some with talents that are powerful. Some have super strength, others healing abilities and others that could be destructive such as Sparkers – like Blaze Emerson. He has fire at his fingertips and a bad attitude to go with it. Many of the variants end up joining the Guild. Their members work to protect humanity. Variants like Blaze, that choose to work independently, are not well thought of by the Guild members. Other variants, like Damien, have unique talents. Damien’s is for finding people, but his talent and his abuse as a child make it hard for him to be around other people. When he is contacted to track the missing children, he cannot say no. Guild director, Dr Parma, pairs Damien with Blaze for this job, much to Damien’s dismay but he reluctantly agrees and they set off in search of the children together.
I enjoyed the world building, the history of the creation of variants, the political intrigue and the way the author gradually developed her characters, giving them depth and drawing me in. I loved the way Damien and Blaze get to know one another; the nicknames Blaze gives Damien are funny and at the same time endearing. There is so much more to Blaze than what he lets the world see. Damien is not only carrying ghosts from his past, which can be triggered with deadly results, but his talent uses a lot of his strength and energy when he is tracking this many children at once,making him seem more vulnerable than he is.
While the story builds with the pursuit of the lost children, we have the relationship building between Damien and Blaze. We also have another variant enter the picture, Shudder. Shudder is an activist. He is working for variant rights but with a more disruptive approach. Blaze refers to him as a Robin Hood terrorist and does not approve of his methods. What we learn is that Shudder and Blaze had meant a lot to each other at one time and when Damien asks Shudder to help them in their search, things get a bit complicated.
Damien and Blaze complement each other well and I even grew to like Shudder for all his reckless behavior. The mystery centering on finding the lost children and determining who took them and why was well done. I enjoyed the futuristic setting and even though some of the descriptions were of a bleak broken America, there was optimism, humor and hope. This and the banter between the characters kept it from having a dystopian feel. I am very happy with the ending and I am definitely looking forward to the next book in this series.
This past Mother’s Day, my children gave me gift cards (per my heavy hinting, plus they know how much I love reading). I then went to Amazon and binged in the ebook section. I bought some stand alone and some new books in series that I read.
One is the new Rhys Ford book, The Devil’s Brew in her Sinner’s Gin series.
Blurb: Sinners Series: Book 2.5
Miki St. John’s life has been turned upside down, but it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to him.
His best friend, Damien Mitchell, is back from the dead. He has a dog named Dude. And more importantly, he and his lover, SFPD Inspector Kane Morgan, now share Miki’s converted warehouse.
For the first time ever, Miki’s living a happy and normal-ish life, but when Valentine’s Day rolls around, Miki realizes he knows next to nothing about being domestic or domesticated. Nothing about the traditional lover’s holiday makes sense to him, but Miki wants to give Kane a Valentine’s Day the man will never forget.
Can he pull off a day of wine and roses? Or will his screwed-up childhood come back and bite Miki in the ass?
Thoughts: This a contemporary m/m mystery/suspense series with rock stars, a sexy Irishmen and a thieving dog named Dude (well Dude is most prominent in Book one).
The next is the latest by Angel Martinez in her Brimstone series (Which will always be Shax’s series to me). Shax’s War: Brimestone 3.
Blurb: The boys desperately need a vacation. With the not-quite-ill-gotten gains from the Frog incident, Shax takes the Brimstone’s crew to the exclusive resort planet, Opal. What could possibly go wrong there?
This is a fun, humorous, m/m fantasy series with Demons and Angels and each installment has some creature as a center to the chaos. I still want an anti-gravity cow! This is a link to my review for the first book Hell For the Company, Brimstone #1
The next is also by Angel Martinez. It is a re-release of her Endangered Fae series, Finn – book one. This is another m/m fantasy genre that I am really looking forward to reading. Book 2, Diego, should be out this Friday, June 6, 2014.
Lost and starving, Finn wakes to a poisoned world, but a man comes to him, a white light in the darkness—can a centuries old pooka find what he needs with a heartbroken, modern man?
When Diego rescues a naked man from the rail of the Brooklyn Bridge, he just wants to get the poor man out of traffic and to social services. He gets more than he bargained for when he discovers Finn is an ailing pooka, poisoned by the city’s pollution. To help him recover, Diego takes him to New Brunswick where Finn inadvertently wakes an ancient, evil spirit: the wendigo.
While they struggle to find a way to destroy the wendigo before it can possess Diego or kill nearby innocents, Diego wrestles with his growing feelings for Finn. Kill the monster and navigate a relationship between a modern man and a centuries old pooka. Piece of cake.
It is a historical m/m romance. Love this series. Here is the first book in the series:
Provoked (Enlightenment series Book 1)
Blurb: When a man loses his heart, he has no choice but to follow…
Enlightenment, Book 1
Lowborn David Lauriston lacks the family connections needed to rise in Edinburgh’s privileged legal world. Worse, his latest case—defending weavers accused of treason—has brought him under suspicion of harbouring radical sympathies.
Troubled by his sexuality, tormented by memories of a man he once platonically loved, David lives a largely celibate life—until a rare sexual encounter with a compelling stranger turns his world on its head.
Cynical and worldly, Lord Murdo Balfour is more at home in hedonistic London than dingy, repressed Edinburgh. Unlike David, he intends to eventually marry while continuing to enjoy the company of men whenever he pleases. Yet sex with David is different. It’s personal, intimate, and instead of extinguishing his desire, it only leaves him hungry for more.
As David’s search for the man who betrayed the weavers deepens, he begins to suspect that his mysterious lover has more sinister reasons for his presence in Edinburgh. The truth could leave his heart broken…and more necks stretching on the gallows.
Warning: Contains mystery and danger set in 1822 Scotland, and a forbidden love between two men that will leave you on the edge of your seat—until the next book.
Here is a link to my Goodreads review of the first book, Provoked review
There are several more books I picked up and will try to let you know about them tomorrow.