Finn by Angel Martinez Endangered Fae #1

Finn coverTitle: Finn (Endangered Fae #1)
Author: Angel Martinez
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: M/M, Fantasy, Fae
Published: May 2nd 2014 by MLR Press (first published July 2nd 2009)
Pages/Word Count: 205 Pages
Rating: 5.0 Stars
Blurb:
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.

Review:

After discovering Angel Martinez at GRL last year and reading Rarely Pure and Never Simple, I was hooked and went searching for more books by her. I found the Endangered Fae series only to see that it was currently unavailable. I am happy to say it is once again available.

Finn is awesome – you should read this book. That should be enough, right?. No? Ok. Finn is also sweet and at times seems young and innocent, then his real age shines through in his weariness and longing for a world that is now beyond his reach. He is both powerful and vulnerable.

Although this book is titled Finn, it is also about Diego, Finn’s rescuer, his bright spot in an otherwise tarnished world. As the author takes us through the story we find out more about this attraction.

Diego is a kind soul that loves to help people. It is almost a compulsion, one that almost cost him his life and left him with seizures. It is a quality that makes Diego endearing. Diego is also an author, one who writes fantasy novels and I found it humorous that he was so reluctant to believe Finn was a Pooka, even when the evidence was being presented right before his eyes.

One of my favorite characters in the book is Tia Carmen. She is the bridge between the magical and human world in this story and I adored her. I want a Tia Carmen and I want to sit in her kitchen and smell the wonderful aromas and know the comfort she gives through her cooking. Finn is a lucky Pooka. 🙂

I would be remiss to not mention Miriam. She is Diego’s editor and friend and a force of nature herself. She is a wonderful character and ally.

This book was fun to read. The writing is vivid, there is action and romance,magic, danger, insecurities and love. Finn captured my heart. On to Diego, Endangered Fae #2. (and more Finn!)

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Thoughts on reading and reviewing…

Live your Life buy The BookLive Your Life Buy The Book, the blog that I reviewed for, closed its doors yesterday.  The blog owner had lost her joy for reading in the rigors it takes to keep up a review site while also having all the responsibilities that are part of life outside of a blog like jobs and family.  She spoke about trying to get the three “R’s” back into her life:  She wanted to “refresh, rewind, and rekindle” her need to read.   Loss of joy, burn out, feeling overwhelmed are sentiments that I have heard from others and have felt myself when I committed to review more books than I had time to read.  This is where the joy starts to fade a bit.

Reading is an escape for me, a pleasure that allows me to step outside of my life.   There are so many wonderful books out there begging to be read and enjoyed that if I were to live long enough to read them all I would be rivaling Methuselah in age before finishing them.  Maybe live forever because there are new ones to add every week. 😉

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

This led me to contemplate why I wanted to start a blog.  I wanted to see if I could.  Maybe not the best reason to do it, kind of my version of exploring the digital frontier.  I chose to start one that encompassed things I love: books, coffee and taking photos.  When I talked to friends about starting this blog, I was warned to keep in mind why I was doing this – For Fun!  Like a mantra, I repeat it to myself when I see that I am putting more time into making sure I write a blog post because I think that I need to rather than because I want to.

This brings me back to reviewing.  I want this to be a place where I share books I enjoyed reading.  I am a “feels” kind of person.  I want to tell you how a book made me feel.  I enjoy happy books, but will dip my toes into angst when I feel assured of a happy ending (waves at Amy Lane).  This is not for everyone but I am reading for me – not anyone else.  You may see a lot of the same authors as I do have ones that I tend to gravitate to.  You will also see “new to me” authors and I love recommendations from friends about what they have found.  If I read a book that just does not do it for me – you will not see it reviewed here.  Not all books are for all people and I do not like to see reviews that bash a book or author because the person that read it did not like it.  Not my cup of coffee and I will not do it. Ultimately, this is not a dedicated review site.  I share my love of the books that I read for the pure fun and joy of doing it, and I hope you find some joy in it too.

That said, I plan to get the list of M/M Historical romance titles in order and posted here that my friend Dianne put together for me. She is an awesome source for that genre of M/M romance.  I will also be moving my list of M/M holiday titles over here from my Facebook page M/M Holiday Delights.  Having everything in one place will make it easier for me and as you will see, I Love holiday themed romance.

I want to thank Barb for asking me to review for her site, allowing me to be part of her blog family and introducing me to some awesome people. Through her and her blog I had the courage to reach out and talk to other readers, reviewers and authors, and it has been a wonderful experience.

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Happy reading,
Melyna

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Wolf Bound by Theo Fenraven

Wolf Bound by Theo Fenraven Title: Wolf Bound
Author: Theo Fenraven
Publisher: Voodoo Lily Press
Genre: M/M, Paranormal, Shifter
Published: May 25th 2014
Pages/Word Count: 136 Pages
Rating: 4.0   Stars
Blurb:
A year after suffering a disastrous end to his relationship with his partner, teacher Jon Anderson trades his apartment in the city for a lake house in the country. Told there is an author living nearby, Jon, who dreams of being a writer, goes in search of him and finds the attractive older man in a small, rustic cabin on a tiny island on a neighboring lake. Harrison Kalmes shows Jon around, but makes it clear he’d rather be left alone. Jon respects that wish until the night he and his friend, Suzie, drink a little too much scotch and impulsively decide to visit the island.

What happens then is the start of an incredible journey that will eventually take Jon all the way to mysterious and seductive Transylvania in Romania, where he searches for the answers that will save someone’s life while setting him on the road to rediscovering his own.

Beware the woods. Transylvania isn’t only about vampires.
Review:
I have read some of Theo Fenravens free reads on his blog and enjoyed them.  When Wolf Bound was released, I was intrigued but hesitant. Of the paranormal sub-genres, shifters are not ones I gravitate to.  I decided to read it because of the good experience I had with his other stories.
I was not disappointed.
Jon and Harrison are wonderful characters.  Both have suffered traumatic experiences in their lives, although of very different types.  Harrison is a writer and Jon aspires to become one.  When Jon finds out that Harrison is his neighbor, he decides to introduce himself. Harrison is pleasant, but he makes it clear he prefers to be left alone.  When events occur that bring Jon back to Harrison’s home, Jon discovers that things may not be as they seem with Harrison.
This is a short story and I don’t want to give anything away.  I Can say I love the way the author built his shifter mythology.  It was refreshing.  The author’s style is crisp and uncluttered while still being beautifully vivid and laced with humor.  I was happily caught up in seeing where the author would take the characters.

4 Stars – Very enjoyable read, would recommend to a friend.

Historical Romance – Never say Never.

Thief by Ava March coverI have learned to never say never. I once said I would not read m/m  historical romance. I had read some and I did not enjoy it as much as contemporary settings.  Then I received an arc of Thief (Brook Street #1) by Ava march. Set in 1822, it had many of the elements I love in a romance within a historical setting.  Click here for Review (4 star).

I read the next two books in the series and enjoyed them but still felt that maybe historical was just not my genre of choice.

Widdershins_Cover_200x300Then a friend recommended Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin 1) by Jordan L Hawk.       I was reluctant to dip my toes into the historical pool yet again but eventually I did. Then I wondered why I had ever hesitated. This is the reaction I had:

This is a beautifully written story with so many elements in it that drew me in and kept me on the edge of my seat through the entire book. I keep saying I am not a fan of historical fiction but again, I was wrong. Set in the late 1800’s, it has an almost Indiana Jones feel to it. Museums,mummies,cults,mystery,magic,a wonderful strong female character and a beautiful romance. I cannot formulate a fitting review at the moment but I cannot wait for the next book in the series!

Here is a lovely review by my friend Dianne at Live Your Life Buy the Book. She eloquently describes what I was trying to say above. 😉

The paranormal aspect of Widdershins is wonderful. Her characters are full of life (there is a delightfully strong female character in this series too!) and mystery too.  I love them! (All 5 star reviews from me!)
There have been four more entries into this series: (covers linked to Reviews on Live Your Life Buy the Books) with a fifth one, Bloodlines, due for release in the Fall of 2014.

Eidolon cover  Threshold_Cov_200x300  Stormhaven_200x300   Necropolis_200x300

The above list is not quite accurate.  Jordan L Hawk co-authored a novella with K.J. Charles called:
Remnant coverRemnant: A Caldwell & Feximal/Whyborne & Griffin Mystery (The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal; Whyborne & Griffin, #3.5) This would be read between Stormhaven and Necropolis.

This collaboration led me to K.J. Charles – A Caldwell & Feximal series, which I felt I must read, so I would know about the characters interacting with Whyborne & Griffin.  They are very short stories centering on Journalist Robert Caldwell and Ghost Hunter Simon Feximal.  These are fun, and as with Butterflies, a bit creepy. Click the covers for links to their Goodreads pages.

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But wait, I am getting a bit ahead of myself.  Friends had already raved about the K.J. Charles book, The Magpie Lord  (A Charm of The Magpie Lord coverMagpies #1). I was told it was a must read. This time I listened, even though it took a while before I could get to it as I have this huge tbr list… but that is another story)
Here we have another m/m historical romance with a paranormal twist and mystery!  I was thoroughly taken with this series.

I read an excellent Goodreads review by author Jordan Castillio Price that sums up how I felt about historical romance and her thoughts after reading The Magpie Lord. Review.

( Jordan Castillo Price is another author my friends are always encouraging me to read. She writes m/m paranormal thrillers. I met her at GRL last year –  she was very nice :-).  You remember the huge tbr list I mentioned above. She is on it and I Will get there before the next GRL!)

There are two more books in the Charm of Magpie series available:

Interlude with Tattoos Book 1.5 and A Case of Possession Book 2

(covers linked to their Goodreads pages)

Interlude with Tattoos  A Case of Possession A Charm of Magpies 2 cover

with two more due for release later this year:

A Case of Spirits A Charm of Magpies 2.5 cover  Flight of Magpies A Charm of Magpies 3 cover

Think of England coverOn July 1, 2014, K.J. Charles released a stand alone novel titled Think of England.

I have been reading and hearing good things about this one (of course!) and I can’t wait to read it.

Here is a link to a  review by

Lisa at The Novel Approach:

Betrayal And Danger Abound In KJ Charles’ “Think of England”.

 

I have learned to keep an open mind, never say never, and take pleasure in those happy surprises that come my way.

Happy reading,

Melyna

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The Final Battle. Summoner of Storms by Jordan L. Hawk

Summoner-of-Storms_200x300Summoner of Storms, Book 6 of the Spectr series by Jordan L. Hawk, released today.  I have been a fan of Ms Hawk’s work since I read Whiddershins, Book 1 of the Whyborne & Griffin series.  Which is why when Hunter of Demons, Book 1 of the Spectr series was released, I knew it was a must buy.

Spectr is very different from her Whyborne & Griffin series. Where I would describe Whyborne & Griffin as a historical/paranormal mystery series, Spectr has a contemporary setting, very much like our world but with people that have paranormal abilities and NHE’s (Non-human Entities).

Allow me to share some background on this world from a review I wrote for the Live Your Life, Buy The Book review blog:

The setting for this series is in a world where people with paranormal abilities must register with the government and are expected to share this information as well as their registration number when asked for it. There is a fair amount of discrimination and fear of people with paranormal abilities by the non paranormal population. There are also supernatural creatures living among the humans that have the ability to inhabit the body of a human and wreak havoc. A special agency has been formed called the Strategic Paranormal Entity ConTRol or SPECTR which is comprised of individuals with varying paranormal abilities who work together to protect people and dispose of malicious non-human entities or NHE’s. In the beginning of the series we meet Caleb, an unregistered paranormal. Caleb has been living under the radar, so to speak, hoping to live a normal life. While attempting to avenge his brother’s death, Caleb ends up possessed by a drakul or more commonly known as a vampire. Normally these spirits only inhabit dead bodies but through a series of events, Gray ends up trapped in Caleb’s very much alive body. According to current belief if he is not exorcised in forty days, Gray, the drakul, will be a permanent part of Caleb, possibly even taking over Caleb completely. As a result of this possession, Caleb meets Special Agent John Starkweather, an exorcist from SPECTR. When John fails to exorcise the NHE from Caleb, he ends up taking Caleb home to stay with him until they can figure out how to remove the spirit. While working and living together they develop a friendship, their attraction for one another deepens and they fall in love. With Gray trapped in Caleb’s body, this presents an unusual situation. Not a ménage per se but think of having two spirits in one body, with Gray experiencing everything Caleb experiences. This is something Gray has never experienced before, having only had glimpses of lives from the memories of the dead he has inhabited. I love this concept. The author gives us a story where the characters trying to cope with these problems as well as their day to day lives in a world that is not always kind to people who are different, in a thought provoking manner. All the while providing us with an action packed tale filled with mystery, suspense, and romance.
Note: For those that have cliffhanger issues, and I admit I am normally one of those people. This is a serialized series. Each book has a complete mystery solved but the longer arc continues to the next book. This is an awesome series and the wait is not long between books.

To read my full review please click here: Live Your Life Buy the Book – Destroyer of Worlds review. (If you have not read any of the books in the series – stop reading after this introduction – Spoilers – and you do not want that!)

 Now on to Summoner of Storms.

Blurb:

Federal exorcist John Starkweather’s life is in tatters. His best friend Sean betrayed him. SPECTR, the agency he viewed more as a surrogate family than an employer, wants him dead. His only allies are members of the mysterious organization called the Vigilant, whose motives remain in question.

The only thing keeping John together is the presence of his lovers: Caleb Jansen, a powerful telekinetic, and Gray, the vampire spirit possessing Caleb.

Together, they must not only evade capture, but somehow stop SPECTR from building an army of demon possessed soldiers. If they are to succeed, John must question everything he’s ever believed about SPECTR and spirits. And Caleb and Gray must decide how far they’re willing to go—not just for John’s love, but for his very life.

Book 5, Destroyer of Worlds, was an intense roller coaster ride. John realized he did not really know the person that he thought was his best friend and all that he thought he knew about the Spectr agency, which had been his family when his own turned him away, seemed to be a lie. Not only has John’s world been turned upside down, but Caleb’s forty days are up and he chooses to let the possession become permanent.

In Summoner of Storms John, Caleb and Gray are back together and have managed to escape with the group that calls themselves The Vigilant.  We learn more about this group, how it was formed and some history about Gray as well.  While trying to find out what Forsyth, head of SPECTR’s Research Division,is planning on doing with his army of possessed humans, they must also figure out who they can trust and one of the people they must turn to is one who has hurt John the most.

I have to say, this book kept me on the edge of my seat.  While intense, it is also filled with humor, great one-liners, and some very tender moments as well.  One of the characters that I had not connected with in the previous books was Tiffany. She plays a major part in this book and I enjoyed seeing this side of her character.   If you have read the books up to this point,  you will love the way Ms Hawk keeps the voices of her characters true.  I have grown to love John and Caleb, but Gray has had my heart from book one.  Seeing the world through his eyes, watching him as he learns what it means to be human and fall in love, is wonderful.  There are some absolutely brilliant moments I am dying to share, but I would hate to spoil the experience.  I had  many moments while reading where I would pause to admire the way the words flowed. The writing is very vivid and drew me into the scenes. This is one of the things I love about Ms Hawk’s writing style.

I titled this review, The Final Battle, and oh, there is a gloriously epic battle.  So much is explained and brought to closure.  While I will miss this series very much, I thought Ms Hawk wrote a very satisfying ending.

Five stars!

 

You can purchase Summoner of Storms here:

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You can also  get the first book in the series,

HoD_300x200Hunter Demons for free here:

 

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