Review of Blood be Damned by Kel Carpenter

Blood be Damned: Magic Wars (Demons of New Chicago Book 3) by [Kel Carpenter]

Synopsis:
When the Underworld burned, I thought that was the end. Turns out it was only the beginning.

Lucifer’s death was a shot heard around the world. The sudden loss of magic turned the tides for the first time in over two decades.

The humans are rallying. Rioting.
It feels like the stirrings of war.

As if that wasn’t enough, Bree isn’t the sister I remember—and her desire to return to Hell is creating more fires than I know how to put out.

Things are changing. Lines are drawn. Everyone must choose a side.

Even me.

Sometimes the world needs a hero. In a city that’s already gone to hell in a hand basket, it might just need a demon.

Review:
This book was awesome. Piper had to really become introspective to think about what caused the strife and heartache she had in life and how to move on. There were interesting twists and turns, and seeing her further develop both herself and her relationship with Ronan was nice. It’s always good when a heroine has flaws, ones that they recognize and try to work through. Did not see the ending, but very much looking forward to continuing the story when Forged by Fury comes out February 11th.

Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The Fairy Godfather by Melanie Karsak

The Fairy Godfather: A Modern Fairy Tale Romance (The Chancellor Fairy Tales Book 3) by [Melanie Karsak]

Synopsis:
What happens when a fairy godfather falls in love?

With my excellent track record as a fairy godfather, the elders sent me to Chancellor on a mission to help Alice, the quirky owner of the local bagel shop, find her Prince Charming. No one has managed to find a match for Alice. Where they failed, I will succeed.

The only trouble? My head isn’t in the game because I’m too busy falling in love with my best friend’s sister
.
I’ll need to get my feelings in check before I blow it for Alice. The upcoming Cherry Blossom Ball should give me the perfect venue to make a little magic happen. Can I pull it off before the clock strikes midnight on both our dreams?

Join Rayne in The Fairy Godfather, book 3 of The Chancellor Fairy Tales, a modern day retelling of the classic Cinderella fairy tale.

Review:
This book was such a sweet one. Of the three in the Chancellor fairy tales series it had the most connection with a commonly known fairytale, Cinderella. That being said I loved the fairy angel, and I loved Rayne. All the characters were believable and enjoyable to watch as they worked and grew. It was great seeing Alice go from stock-best friend to fully fleshed out character during the series. It was also neat how while there might be a fairy godfather, Dorothea is also very similar to a fairy godmother, trying to keep the Hunter line well taken care of. All in all, loved this book, but of the three, I still think The Cupcake Witch may be my favourite.

Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The Cupcake Witch by Melanie Karsak

The Cupcake Witch: A Modern Fairy Tale Romance (The Chancellor Fairy Tales Book 2) by [Melanie Karsak]

Synopsis:
They say the course of true love never runs smooth. That’s nothing a magical cupcake can’t solve.

Buttercream. Vanilla. Fondant. Dark chocolate. Strawberry crème. Brown sugar. Lemon curd. Molasses. Baking has always been my true love. But it wasn’t until I unexpectedly inherited Serendipity Gardens that my bliss called me. Bittersweet.

Everything’s going to work out perfectly as long as the local land baron and his annoying but undeniably handsome son don’t bulldoze my dream first.

I’m going to need a little magic to win this battle, but in Chancellor, a pinch of enchantment is always in plenty.

Review:
This book was brilliant. While there was no real “fairy tale” attached, I think that’s why I loved it so very much; it was a magic all of Karsak’s own. Like the first book in the Chancellor Fairy Tale series, this one also deals with loss. It’s interesting how sometimes it takes losing things for you to find something worth holding on to.

I think that many people end up feeling like Julie and Horatio at some points; it can be hard to find your path when someone older that you respect has tried to lead you one particular way. I loved how this book tied in so many characters from the last, and now we have a bit more understanding why everything might be happening how it is in this town. So glad for how everything worked out, and I absolutely loved it.

Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The Glass Mermaid by Melanie Karsak

Synopsis:
I’m the last mermaid.

On the shore of Lake Erie, I spend my final days hunting beach glass, making jewelry, and waiting for my mermaid glamour to leave me. Then it will be over. I resigned myself to the fact that there’s nothing more for me. Until I saw Cooper.

He comes to the beach every day to paint the sunrise and sunset. Nothing in this vast world has sparked my attention as much as him. I have no business falling in love with a human. Not now. And Cooper seems to have secrets of his own. I should leave him alone, but the curious mermaid in me can’t let that shiny bauble go.

More than anything, I want to be part of his world…before it’s too late.

Review:
This was surprisingly deep for such a short read. This book went through grief, and how people deal with it, how scary and tragic situations can be, and how sometimes you have to be willing to give up everything to help those you love. One of my favourite parts of this novel is how the fairy tale element is clearly there, with one of our protagonists being a mermaid and all, but it isn’t just a retelling. Also the back and forth between Kate and Cooper’s point of view was perfectly executed. All in all, loved it, and think it shows a deep understanding for people going through hard times.

Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Witch for Hire by Molly Fitz

Witch for Hire (Paranormal Temp Agency Book 1) by [Molly Fitz]

Synopsis:
My name is Tawny Bigford. I’m 35, single, and I love hot showers. Seriously, all I wanted was a hot shower to start my day off right, but when I went to confront my landlady about the broken plumbing, I wound up talking to her corpse instead.

Now everyone thinks I’m to blame for her murder—not the best way to make an impression on the new neighbors, let me tell you. But how can I prove I’m innocent when I know practically nothing about the woman I supposedly killed?

Especially not the fact that she was the official Beech Grove Town Witch. Her former boss—a snarky black cat named Mr. Fluffikins—says I have to fill her vacated role until the real killer can be caught and brought to justice.

So, whether I like it or not, I’ve just been recruited to the Paranormal Temp Agency. Now I need to solve my landlady’s murder, figure out how to wield my newly granted powers, and maybe even find a way to fit in around here.

Yup. All in a day’s work for this novice witch.

Review:
This was a light, quick read and very well written. Easy to fall into, chapters were nice, concise and gripping. There wasn’t a lot of time wasted with flowery words or unimportant details. Everything flowed well and quickly, and the chapters really flew by. It seemed to take next to no time to read this book, even though it is 214 pages (though maybe that’s because I’ve been reading so many 400+ epic novels lately). There was constantly a reason for wanting to turn the page, and no time time.

Naturally I quite adored that Molly Fitz chose an author as the protagonist! How fun is that! That made it even more enjoyable for me. What made this book even more relatable is that Tawny admits to being a flawed individual with a broken relationship in the past, who is single, and 35. I suspect there are many like myself that wonder why there are no adventures or fun stories once you get to around the 30+ age and are female, except those of being a mother. It was so much fun to have a protagonist who is a bit eccentric but still living life.

Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Dark Horse by Kel Carpenter and Aurelia Jane

Dark Horse (A Demon's Guide to the Afterlife Book 1) by [Kel Carpenter, Aurelia Jane]

Synopsis:
My husband killed me.

Instead of spending my immortal Afterlife pissed off and angry, I moved on. I became someone.
Sure, that someone was a demon with the highest track record of reform, AKA punishment, in Hell. But who’s bragging?

I’m right on my way to retirement behind the pearly gates. Everything was going fine . . . until the Risk Witches saw a terrible vision.

Three men. Each scarred in their own way, born with powers that haven’t been seen in eons.
Upper Management sent the best to correct their path. Angels. Poltergeists. Nothing worked.

These men were too stubborn. Too bad. Too untamed…

So they sent me.

Roman. Ezra. Dorian.
Combined, they have enough power to end the world—and they will.
Unless I find a way to stop them first.

Breaking people is my job. But this time…my job might break me.

Author’s Note: This is an adult paranormal romance series with multiple love interests and some dark elements. If you don’t like strong but flawed women and alphahole heroes that need to learn a thing or two about boundaries–this book is not for you. If you love works by Tate James, Ivy Asher, Raven Kennedy, Joely Sue Burkhart, and CM Stunich, then dive right in to the Afterlife. It’ll be one hell of a ride.

Review:
So, clearly I love books by Kel Carpenter, and this was no exception. I will say that I found the beginning very jarring and wasn’t sure if I was going to like it if that was the tone expected, but the surprise factor was indeed there perhaps because, as Fury would say, you can’t do what people expect. I really enjoyed the differentiation of abilities for the different species, and how they had their own special skills, and how that influenced Fury’s connection to them.

While I did enjoy this story and trying to figure things out, I found that it lacked a lot of the jabs and tension that most Carpenter books seem to entail, and it certainly lacked the intimacy that most books hold. I also found that the descriptions weren’t quite right in my head, though perhaps that’s because the word amber was used to describe both eyes and skin tone.

All in all, I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of Reaper Reborn by Kel Carpenter and Meg Anne

Reaper Reborn (The Grimm Brotherhood Book 3) by [Kel Carpenter, Meg Anne]

Synopsis:
Just when I think things are finally starting to calm down, I come face-to-face with my long-lost twin.
Turns out, being a Daughter of Death is a whole lot more than just kicking ass and taking names.

There are things like rules…and responsibilities.
Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the monster that’s killed me in all my past lives. That’s a thing, too.

There’s also this teensy little problem: James may be gone but the distrust he created in the supernatural community is still very much alive. With the tensions between Council members bleeding into Farrow’s Square it’s only a matter of time until someone does something crazy.

Now I gotta figure out what my twin wants, learn about my super badass death powers, kill a monster, and stop a war. Sounds like a piece of cake. Speaking of cake…

This whole thing started over a Hostess cupcake. Do I dare hope it can end with one?
You bet your ass, I do.

Review:
What a whirlwind! While Salem is still her badass self, it seems that when someone else wears her face people are really willing to believe the worst of her, despite proving herself several times. While she’s trying to figure out what killed her previously and is going to try again, she’s stuck building a relationship with a sister who has very different goals in life.

Great ending, and with all good series, didn’t want it to end. At least, several times in this book, Salem got her Hostess cupcakes.

Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Reaping Havoc by Kel Carpenter and Meg Anne

Reaping Havoc (The Grimm Brotherhood Book 2) by [Kel Carpenter, Meg Anne]

Synopsis:
I found my brother’s murderer, by becoming his next victim.

The asshat killed me, too. But little does he know—I came back. Again.

Now he’s going down.

But before I can destroy him, I need to resolve the little issue of me not dying. That’s twice now I’ve cheated death. Something’s not right.

Graves doesn’t think I’m a reaper, and the ghosts seem to agree with him. They say that I’m different. That I’m more.

All I know is that things are getting real weird in Farrow’s Square and dying is hungry work.

Where’s a truckload of Hostess cupcakes when a girl needs them?

***THESE MUST BE READ IN ORDER***

Review:
Damn it, James! While Salem has to deal with losing her brother a second time, she still had to figure out how to make the person who has been going around killing her family members pay. Unfortunately, James is always one step in front of her, and she isn’t sure what she is, or how to cope with what she might be. Luckily, Graves is right there to help figure things out.

I absolutely loved Marla from the very beginning, and expected her to play a very large role in this trilogy. I wish we could have seen and got to know more from her, but as always, keeping one step ahead of someone intent to murder people you care about means that other questions have to be left for later.

Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Reaper’s Blood by Kel Carpenter & Meg Anne

Reaper's Blood (The Grimm Brotherhood Book 1) by [Kel Carpenter, Meg Anne]

Synopsis:
I died for Hostess cupcakes.
I know. Tragic, right?

Even worse, after I came back I still didn’t get any cupcakes.

What I did get, however, is a six-foot-something reaper with eyes like blue fire to guide me into the world of the supernatural. Which, as it turned out, wasn’t quite like the fairytales little girls are told growing up.

Not only is magic real, more importantly, so are monsters.
And apparently, I’m one of them.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

You see, four years ago I left my hometown and swore to never come back.

Now my brother is dead and I have no choice but to go searching for answers. Except finding them isn’t easy when the secret society he belonged to is covering it up.

I gotta find out who killed him while watching my own back, because if I’m not careful I might be next—and this time, there’s no do over. Luckily for me, Mr. Single and Hot as F*ck is determined to help me keep my ass alive.

I’m a lucky, lucky girl.
Some days.

***THESE MUST BE READ IN ORDER***


Review:
Salem is a relatable protagonist that you don’t see coming- swearing, sassy, perpetually hungry, and not backing down. The characters in this are absolutely amazing, detailed, well fleshed out, and I can’t get enough of them. Even when dealing with supernatural people (and ghosts) Salem still has a smart remark to make, like “Gretel” being “Not-Morticia”. Once this series was started I couldn’t put it down and couldn’t wait for the next book.

I really liked Graves from the start because he wasn’t willing to let Salem walk all over him and made her have to work and earn things, instead of just giving her whatever she wanted. While he was always there for her, he didn’t simply tell her what she wanted to hear or make things easy for her. Tamsin was also great from the start, there for her best friend even when she had no idea what her best friend is or how she ended up learning about a whole separate world.

Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Haunted by Shadows by Kel Carpenter

Haunted by Shadows: Magic Wars (Demons of New Chicago Book 2) by [Kel Carpenter]

Synopsis:
I used to hunt witches. Now I live with one.

To further complicate things, my past as a supernatural bounty hunter doesn’t exactly make me popular in these new circles I’m running in.

Shocker, I know.

Someone wants me dead.

Unfortunately for them, I’m pretty good at keeping myself alive. Not that it stops Ronan from being an alphahole.
He wants me to stay in Nathalie’s apartment and be safe while he handles the threat, all while holding Bree’s future over my head.

Not gonna happen.

To say I’m fucked is an understatement. But I’ve been in worse spots before.

Lucifer may be gone, but the corruption of magic isn’t. I have enemies everywhere.

And this time, they’re going to know what it means to burn.

Some things are worse than the devil.
To save Bree, I’ll become one of them.

Review:
Haunted by Shadows allows us to see a deeper look at Piper, who has to undergo deep introspection to learn who and what she is, and what she really wants in life. It’s interesting to see her powers and her self confidence further develop, especially while she tries to grow and maintain relationships with Nathalie and Ronan. My only issue with this book is that it leaves you on a cliffhanger where you’re left wanting the third, not yet released, book.

Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯