Review of The Wolf Gate by Hanna Sandvig

Synopsis:
My…what big teeth you have…

Have you ever wondered if something was up with your boyfriend? Distant. Moody. Never texts you back. Turns into a wolf at nightfall?

No, just me?

When a wolf chased me through a faerie portal in the forest, the last person I expected to see on the other side was my ex-boyfriend Gavin. Turns out, he’s a fae, and everything I thought I knew about him was a lie. Now we’re on the run from his Alpha, the minion of the Unseelie Queen, through the mountains and forests of Faerie.

But our deadly pursuers may be the least of my worries.

Because the longer I stay in Faerie with Gavin, the harder it is to remember why I’m so mad. I can feel my defenses crumbling, but how can I give him another chance when he’s proven he can break my heart? Am I strong enough to discover if this is true love? And will I survive long enough to find out?

**This action packed sweet romance is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and is a stand-alone novella in the Faerie Tale Romances series. If you love fae, shifters, fairy-tale magic, and believe in second chances at love, dive into The Wolf Gate now!**

Review:
I quite enjoyed this story, and find the tie together of the human world and the fae expertly done/continued by Sandvig. Audrey is relatable and so it the situation she finds herself in with a boy.

I really liked Audrey, and I’m glad that she used her skills to adjust and make a stand in a faerie tale world she didn’t know of, but I do not like, at all, the ending we are given. Perhaps there will be more to come in the following book, but after how strong and amazing the ending of The Rose Gate the end of this was lackluster seemed to just fall into the same realm of most other fairy tales; any thoughts, plans, and dreams can be put on hold for a relationship! Though the reason for her need to help is a good one, there really wasn’t any idea/plan stated on going back to what she had originally wanted/planned for.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of The Lily Gate by Hanna Sandvig

Synopsis:
One princess, twenty princes, and one…frog? The path to true love isn’t always what you might expect.

All my life I’ve been waiting for my prince charming, but you can’t just leave these things up to chance. There are plenty of princes in the Seelie kingdom, but I’m the princess of the Lily Court and someday I will rule. Just because a prince is handsome, or an excellent swordsman, it doesn’t mean he’s going to be a good co-ruler.

Obviously my fairy godmother agrees, because she gave me the christening gift of true love. If I organize a set of challenges for the potential future husbands to tackle, she’s promised that I’ll find my perfect match. 

So that’s just what I have planned, and when a talking frog offers to help me find out what the princes are really like, who am I to argue? Honestly, he’s pretty good company, even if he keeps stealing pastries from the castle kitchen.

Is there truly a prince out there that will meet all the criteria on my very comprehensive list? Or will I find that true love has been waiting for me all along? 

**This adorable sweet romance is a retelling of The Frog Prince and is a stand-alone novella (only eight chapters) in the Faerie Tale Romances series. If you love Fae, pastries, and sassy animal sidekicks, dive into The Lily Gate today!**

Review:
This was a very short but cute little story of The Frog Prince. I really enjoyed this retelling because while keeping to the theme of the original, it doesn’t feature all the bad behaviour. While I absolutely adored the aspect of the Princess’ love for the kitchen, I did get quite a bit of Disney’s The Princess and the Frog from this retelling. That being said, I think it is an adorable sweet story, mixing together a couple of different stories into one and with a sweet ending. Definitely worth a read if you have kindle unlimited.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The Sunrise Lands by S. M. Stirling

Synopsis:
Young Rudi Mackenzie has grown up knowing that he will one day assume leadership over the Western Oregon survivors of the technological disaster called the Change. But a prophecy made at his birth spoke of an even greater destiny—a destiny that is about to be fulfilled.
           
A mysterious traveler has arrived in the Willamette Valley. He brings news from the East, from Nantucket Island, long rumored to be the source of the Change. He has been sent on a mission to bring back with him the Sword of the Lady from the sunset oceans.
           
As son of the High Priestess, Rudi is the Sword of the Lady. Now, guided by the traveler, he sets out on a quest across the Changed land that was once America. But between Rudi and his destiny lies the Valley of Paradise…and the cult of a madman determined to stop him.

Review:
Honestly, I felt much more at home and enjoyment with this book than the rest of them. I do quite like Rudi, and even Matti! That being said, I really DID NOT enjoy having no idea what a shete was all this time until near the end of the 4th book in the series, when it was finally mentioned to be taken from machete!

It is quite interesting seeing Rudi from so many different angles, and seeing what people think of him. He is very self aware and tries to always think of more than the now, but is still young and learning. He has such high expectations on him given his parentage, that he finds it easy to relate to most people’s struggle to be as much as their parents have been and to overstep the shadows that cling to them from their parentage. Watching him grow and develop into a great leader has been awesome to see so far.

I also think this book has far better pacing than the previous books, in that nothing felt overly long or drawn out. Although there was quite a lot of fighting, there was a lot of plot involved and it wasn’t just a slog of reading about battle after battle in detail. I also quite loved the interplay of religion and how one acts, feels, and what one does when they believe themselves guilty. Matti’s confession with the father had me legitimately laughing.

Looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The Rose Gate by Hanna Sandvig

Synopsis:
Once upon a time, a human girl was kidnapped by a fae prince…for her own good.

I was just minding my own business in the woods. At night. As you do when your family is as messed up as mine. When I was rudely abducted to Faerie by a grizzly bear.

Okay, so he’s actually a cursed fae prince named Leith. And yes, he did technically save me from the creepily intelligent wolves that were chasing me down. But now I’m trapped at his castle until they go away, and this prince is far from charming, what with the missing eye, and the curse, and did he cut his own hair with a sword?

I suppose it could be worse. Yes, the castle and it’s inhabitants have been cursed by the Unseelie Queen, but I don’t have a fox handmaiden back home to braid my hair every day. Or dresses that shimmer like starlight. And maybe the prince isn’t so bad, when he’s not growling at me. He might even be handsome under those scars.

But that’s besides the point. I’m going to figure out the curse this castle is under, save my new friends, and get back home before I lose my heart to this beast of a prince.

Until then, I hope there’s at least a decent library somewhere in this castle.

**If you wish that The Cruel Prince was a bit less…cruel, or think that Downton Abbey could be improved by having forest creatures as staff, try The Rose Gate! This is a sweet retelling of Beauty and the Beast that kicks off the Faerie Tale Romances series.**

Review:
This book… I power read this book within two days. It was really well paced, well written, flowed well, and almost impossible to put down (alas, sleep and adult responsibilities!) This story was just perfection in both a retelling and overall story on its own– between the perfect Irish faerie tale feel to the depth of the background of both the modern story and the fae one. I loved Leith as a grizzly bear; it was far more true to the original stories while also making it a bit different from most retellings.

I didn’t see right away the connection between two characters, but I found it quite expertly done. I love how time ebbs and flows differently and how that also effects powerful magic and people’s ability to foresee. I was absolutely enchanted with this novel. The characters were well developed and stood on their own, the plot was layered and wonderful and the connections seemed solid and cleverly/slowly built.

I don’t often feel that the ending of novels, especially fairy tales, are as great as they could be, but I absolutely loved this one, and Isobel’s mentality throughout. Isobel is a strong, independent, and resourceful girl, even if she felt like she was bookish, reserved and shy regularly. Perhaps the journey allowed her to find herself, but she doesn’t give up on what is right and who she cares for– refreshing from the usual heroine.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Licence to Howl by Helen Harper

Synopsis:
Devereau Webb is riding high. He’s a powerful werewolf with a killer combination of intelligence, wits and strength and he’s learning more and more about his abilities every day. He isn’t usually the type to take orders, however, and that has to change with his new role as a supernatural spy within the British security services.

Tasked with heading to Rome to infiltrate a mysterious gang with terrorist links, Devereau has to call on all his newfound skills to prevent disaster from happening. That might be prove to be the easy part. He’s also determined to convince a certain sexy vampire that he’s the man for her.

What could possibly go wrong?

Licence To Howl is the second book in the adventurous urban fantasy Wolfbrand series.

The thrilling Wolfbrand books are linked to the Firebrand novels and occur at the same time as the fourth book, Scorched Heart, and onwards. They do not need to be read together to be enjoyed.

Review:
This book was a great mystery with some of our favourite characters. It was awesome seeing how Devereau grows as a person, both in his role as a werewolf as well as how he operates for our fun M15. I quite enjoyed all the twists and turns of this novel, and just how much Devereau doesn’t allow everyone to see of his intelligence and thoughts. I love how he has the need/drive to save everyone, even those that might not have expected/ever asked for his help. Despite what his previous job might have been, and some nefarious ways he’s had, he is a good man/wolf.

I must say, in my opinion, the end of this book was perfection. As always with a good book/series I wish we could continue on and see more, but I do think the very last bit did give a very satisfying ending.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

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 Scorched Heart by Helen Harper

Synopsis:
My parents were brutally murdered when I was five years old. Their killer has spent the last twenty five years in prison for his terrible crimes – but I still have unanswered questions. After all, I am the phoenix. When I die, I am reborn in fire and brimstone. It happens again and again and again. I have no idea where my strange ability came from and nobody to ask.

Now another shocking murder has been committed in the small village where my parents died and there is evidence which suggests the killer is supernatural. The crime gives me the perfect reason to return to my childhood home. I can offer my expertise as a Supe Squad detective – and seek the truth behind what I really am.

The trouble is that I might not like what I find.

Scorched Heart is the fourth book in the action-packed urban fantasy Firebrand series. Events occur at the same time as The Noose Of A New Moon in the Wolfbrand series, although the books do not have to be read together to be enjoyed.

Review:
This book had me enthralled! There were so many twists and turns where I thought I knew what was happening, and while I was right once, I was (thankfully) wrong a few others. I definitely hadn’t seen the twist at the end! I definitely never suspected who was revealed! Oh my goodness, this book has everything: prejudice against supes, the true feel of what being in a small town is like, more relationship depth and connections, and so many twists and turns! I’ve already started book 5!

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: ✯✯✯✯✯