Review of The Noose of a New Moon by Helen Harper

Synopsis:
Devereau Webb is in uncharted territory. He thought he knew what he was doing when he chose to enter London’s supernatural society but he’s quickly discovering that his new status isn’t welcome to everyone.

He’s lived through hard times before and he’s no stranger to the murky underworld of city life. But when he comes across a young werewolf girl who’s not only been illegally turned but who has also committed two brutal murders, he will discover just how difficult life can be for supernaturals – and also how far his own predatory powers extend.

The Noose Of A New Moon follows on from the events in Midnight Smoke, the third book in the the Firebrand series although it can be read separately.

Review:
So, to start, clearly I read this AFTER finishing the Firebrand series. That did not make much difference, in my opinion. It actually did make things make more sense to me about why certain people were unavailable. On to the book- I did like that this took a slightly different and bit more humorous edge than the Firebrand series, but it didn’t quite draw me in as well as the Firebrand series did. I still enjoyed being in the world and getting to know the characters; perhaps I’m still team Fred and that’s why. Nonetheless this was a very interesting situation that Devereau found himself in, and not something that I think anyone would figure out before it was fully revealed. I look forward to reading the second book in this series and of course recommend Harper’s books!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Dark Whispers by Helen Harper

Synopsis:
The Supernatural Summit is about to start at the DeVane Hotel in London. Vampires and werewolves, ghouls and gremlins, and pixies and druids have all come together to find better ways to get along with the human community and address the strict laws which govern their existence. It’s a real opportunity to change the world for the better and I’m proud to be a part of it.

But there are protestors camped outside the hotel and dangerous rumours circling about one of the delegates. When a dead body is discovered, I know it’s only a matter of time before all hell breaks loose.

I have to find the murderer. And I have to find them quickly.

Dark Whispers is the fifth book in the action-packed urban fantasy Firebrand series.

Review:
This book was just perfection. There were so many twists and turns and getting to see a supernatural summit while also seeing how Lukas and Emma work to keep things separate between their personal and private lives was perfection. I didn’t expect the level of twists involved in this particular story, but I quite loved how it ended. The level of planning that went into the murder was unexpected. One thing I think we would all agree with is wanting more Lukas and Emma beyond this series! Ah!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Midnight Smoke by Helen Harper

Synopsis:
Supernatural Squad might be small, but we’re growing in power. The vampires and werewolves of London are beginning to respect me more and I feel like I know what I’m doing – even if I don’t yet understand what I truly am.

Unfortunately, there might be a few snags to deal with. I’m trying to avoid Lord Horvath, the black-eyed vampire leader who seems intent on a more intimate relationship. There’s also Devereau Webb, who runs a small criminal syndicate and has offered me a mysterious gift that I’m certain I don’t want. And across the span of one single day, supernatural hell breaks loose across the city of London.

A suicidal vampire has climbed up the London Eye.

Three werewolves have hijacked a tourist bus.

This might prove to be the longest day of my life.

Midnight Smoke is the third book in the thrilling Firebrand urban fantasy series.

Review:
Holy Hell, this book had so many amazing parts! Without giving anything away, Webb’s gift is fantastic, and the spark between Lukas and Emma finally lights in a way that it’s unable to be forgotten/ignored. This book set the scenes for connections between Supe Squad and CID as well as how well Emma interacts with the supernaturals. Cannot wait to start book 4!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Infernal Enchantment by Helen Harper

Synopsis:
A gruesome case of grave robbing lands on Detective Constable Emma Bellamy’s desk.  But is there more to it than meets the eye?

Being the sole police detective in London’s Supernatural Squad is no easy task. I have to navigate my way through a world teeming with supernatural creatures, from vampires to werewolves and everything else in between. My inexperience might count against me but my own shocking supernatural abilities will stand me in good stead – especially when I’m confronted yet again by the gruesome spectre of death…

A vampire has been mysteriously killed in the centre of the city.

Werewolf graves have been plundered for their bodies.

And I think I might be developing an ill-advised crush on a certain black eyed vampire Lord.

Infernal Enchantment is the second book in the thrilling Firebrand urban fantasy series. If you like dark twisty mysteries, smart heroines, and the faintest touch of slow burn romance, then you’ll love Helen Harper’s mystical adventure.

Review:
I love this world, and I love Emma and Lukas. That being said, I love how deeply developed the characters are, and the depth of the storylines. It’s great seeing Emma come into herself and fight with the imposter syndrome and navigation of a new job/way of life that so many of us face at one point or another. I also love how she and Lukas, despite obviously having other work obligations, try to be there for each other. It will be interesting to see how their working and personal relationship develops in the future.

I quite enjoyed the ending and am looking forward to potentially seeing a certain man and his niece again. I also wonder if Lady Sullivan will figure out exactly what Emma is.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Brimstone Bound by Helen Harper

Synopsis:
A werewolf killer. A paranormal murder. How many times can Emma Bellamy cheat death?

I’m one placement away from becoming a fully fledged London detective. It’s bad enough that my last assignment before I qualify is with Supernatural Squad. But that’s nothing compared to what happens next.

Brutally murdered by an unknown assailant, I wake up twelve hours later in the morgue – and I’m very much alive. I don’t know how or why it happened. I don’t know who killed me. All I know is that they might try again.

Werewolves are disappearing right, left and centre.

A mysterious vampire seems intent on following me everywhere I go.

And I have to solve my own vicious killing. Preferably before death comes for me again.

Brimstone Bound is the first book in the thrilling Firebrand urban fantasy series. If you like dark twisty mysteries, smart heroines, and the faintest touch of slow burn romance, then you’ll love Helen Harper’s mystical whodunnit.

Review:
I wasn’t sure how much I’d like this book when I started, as it seemed a bit too tame at the very beginning, but I quickly found myself enamoured with Emma and getting closer to the supernaturals within her world. I quite loved all the characters and the twists and turns of finding out who did such unspeakable acts. I will say I hadn’t much of a notion of whodunnit until it was more or less revealed. Seeing Emma step into herself and trust herself was glorious. I love Harper’s writing style; it very much draws you in and makes you want to know more. Very much looking forward to reading book 2!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The Fae King’s Dream by Jamie Schlosser

Synopsis:
The first time I meet Damon, he rescues me from a nightmare. Literally. I’m stuck in a coma, and my mind is forcing me to relive the horrific accident that put me in this state over and over again. The gorgeous fae king is the only one who can give me peace.

As if the dream can’t get any weirder, he tells me we’re soul mates. He says he can fix my banged-up brain. He wants to be my hero.

Little does he know, I just might end up saving him. Because once I wake up, the real challenge begins. A bunch of vengeful witches want him dead, and they’ll stop at nothing to seal his fate.

But I’ve got plans of my own. The coven has caused too much tragedy, and I’ll defend my newfound love, even if it’s the last thing I do. And it just might be, because if Damon doesn’t survive, neither will I.

The Fae King’s Dream can be read as a standalone novel, though it’s interconnected with the other books in the Between Dawn and Dusk series.

Review:
This book lost me. There was such potential, but no real development and growth for the main characters. Their instant love was very much an excuse to think all sex all the time, which might work in some cases, but this was almost like an explicit movie with very little plot. The main character cared far too little about the life she lost/her parents, and merely fell into the fae life entirely as if she’d never lived a life prior. When we did get some story building and content it was good, but having sex constantly be at the forefront of the main characters mind, with no lead up/anticipation/build up of a relationship between them was frustrating. There was specific mention of a saddle horn stimulating the heroine, which is ridiculous because even riding double you would not be against a saddle’s horn. If you’re looking for pure smut, I’d recommend A Lady of Rooksgrave Manor by Kathryn Moon instead (Amazon link to that here, and my review of that here).

Star rating: ✯✯✯

Review of A Meeting at Corvallis by S. M. Stirling

Synopsis:
In the tenth year of the Change, the survivors in western Oregon live in a world without technology. Michael Havel’s Bearkillers hold the lands west of Salem in peace and order. To the east, the Clan Mackenzie flourishes under the leadership of Juniper Mackenzie, bard and High Priestess.
           
Together, they have held Norman Arminger—the warlord of Portland—at bay. With his dark fantasies of a neofeudal empire, Arminger rules much of the Pacific Northwest, spreading fear with his knights, castles, and holy inquisition. Even more dangerous, and perhaps Arminger’s most powerful weapon of all, is his ruthlessly cunning consort, Lady Sandra.
           
These factions haven’t met in battle because Arminger’s daughter has fallen into Clan Mackenzie’s hands. But Lady Sandra has a plan to retrieve her—even if it means plunging the entire region into open warfare…

Review:
Long. Long. Long. I felt like it took forever to read this one. The war… was coming, and there was really no way around it. I did enjoy the way the war ramped up and how each side worked together to fight against Arminger. I definitely found myself enjoying this book more than the second, perhaps because I really did like Tiphane once we got to know her a bit better. It was actually really neat getting a glimpse of things from Rudi’s perspective as well. The switch in perspective of getting to see how things were for the people under Arminger’s banner, especially those that weren’t noble showed a lot about the integrity of various characters and how they consider themselves versus others. While I quite agree with the Meeting and stipulations for the truce, I am still heartbroken over a very serious casualty of the war– so for now, I will leave the Emberverse, to return later.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of The Fae King’s Curse by Jamie Schlosser

Synopsis:
Kirian and I were just twelve years old when I pulled him from the icy waters of the creek behind my house. As he looked in my direction with unseeing lavender eyes, I quickly realized our age was just about the only thing we had in common. He spoke with an accent, he had pointy ears, and he was so beautiful it made my heart ache. Oh, and he claimed to be a fae prince cursed by witches who stole his sight.

I thought he was crazy from hypothermia. Turns out, he wasn’t, and for some reason he keeps coming back. But a day in my world is a year in his. Every time I see him, he’s older. Wiser. Hotter.

Over the past six years, I’ve tried not to fall in love with him because the terms of the curse are clear: If he doesn’t wait for his fated mate in all ways, including an innocent (or not-so-innocent) kiss, he’ll be blind forever.

So when Kirian kisses me and pulls me through the portal to his realm, I make it my mission to do some damage control. It’d be a whole lot easier if he wasn’t determined to marry me… And if someone wasn’t trying to murder me every step of the way.

The Fae King’s Curse is a full-length novel with no cliffhanger.

Review:
I will say this book has a nice slow burn, though some of the major plot twists were a bit obvious. I actually really loved how Quinn wasn’t your typical heroine; she had faults, and she didn’t think being transported to a magical place was going to make everything and everyone suddenly accept her–far more realistic than what happens in most novels. I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. The other world was brilliant and well described. While I did think there were several well done intimate scenes, the mention of constantly always being in need seemed a bit much and almost like an excuse to bring up sex when there was more pressing plot points going on.

I certainly have some expectations for Damon’s story and I look forward to reading on!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of Disowned: A Cinderella and Snow White origin story by M. J. Haag

Synopsis:
Not all fairy tales are ribbons and roses.

In a world where the measure of a person rarely goes beneath the surface, Margaret Thoning refuses to play by its rules. Unwilling to compromise her ideals, she walks away from everything she’s ever known to risk her heart and her life for the people who matter most.

Welcome to the Tales of Cinder and Snow.


Review:
So I read this after the Cinder trilogy. Oops. I will say that it did not detract from how much I loved the novella, and I will say I think I actually liked it more because it answered a lot of questions that Eloise and Kellen had–answers I would have already known had I read this first. It is a sweet little tale, and it gives us a really nice background on how Margaret got involved in magic, and just what she was willing to do for the royal house, and to have the life of equality that she wanted.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Damnation: A Cinderella Retelling by M. J. Haag

Synopsis:
Abused but not beaten, I will break the curse.
With the reason behind her mother’s death revealed, it’s a race for Eloise to exact her revenge and prevent her stepsisters from marrying the prince. However, amidst the glittering jewels and colorful ball gowns, the royal court holds secrets of its own that will devastate Eloise and strike a final blow to her plans. Betrayed by the one person she thought she could trust, Eloise questions how far she’s willing to go for revenge.


After all, in the game of kingdoms, everyone is a pawn.

Review:
Ooo, we had the heat, the romance, and enough twists and turns that I wasn’t sure exactly how it might end. I absolutely loved the twist with Prince Greydon, and I had expected it since the first book so I wasn’t terribly surprised. I loved how drawn to the right thing Eloise stays, and how she has to fight with her heart to consider if the things she has had to do for survival make her bad, or if she is bad to wish the things others have done onto them. There were so many neat twists and turns, and I especially loved the part with her hair. It was never fully explained but lovely all the while.

In the end I am left with a couple of questions: I wonder if Eloise and/or Kellen end up as magic users, if Eloise kept her second promise to Rose, and when Kellen’s book is going to be out! I am impatiently awaiting the continue of this series.

All in all, while I loved this series and thought it was very different and dark but in other ways from The Beastly Tales, I wouldn’t necessarily say you’d like this one because you liked the other. I clearly tend to love fairy tales and retellings, but while these may be in the same universe, the feel, story… everything is quite different. That doesn’t make it better or worse, and I love them both quite a lot, just don’t expect you’re getting the intensity and same level of adult themed content from this series as the last. That being said, this is in no way a clean story; just not as… detailed or sexually oriented.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯