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: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Loved by the Dragon by Vivienne Savage

Loved by the Dragon: A Dragon Shifter Paranormal Romance
Dawn of the Dragons Book 1
By Vivienne Savage

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling, Romance
Number of Pages: 335
Winter 2018

Synopsis: (From Amazon) 
Two complete stories/No cliffhanger/120,000 words/Adult content/PROFANITY
Author’s Note: Be prepared for kinky sex and bad language. Originally published as Saved by the Dragon, Mated by the Dragon, and Taming the Dragon.

Chloe’s weekend getaway doesn’t go according to plan when she’s trapped in a cave with a gorgeous, golden-eyed rescuer named Saul. His fiery secret and a hot, one-night stand will set in motion events able to change her life forever — but all dragons aren’t ready to accept mortalkind. As shadowy forces in the draconic world object to their new union, Chloe must find the strength to fight for a future with the man she holds dear.

When Marceline Vargas agrees to join her friend Chloe for an island vacation in Mexico, she’s ready for fun in the sun and an escape from her hectic career. After crossing paths with the resort’s owner, she soon discovers the billionaire dragon shifter is a charismatic enigma — sexist but kind-hearted, intimidating yet generous. Can his chauvinistic patterns be tamed? Marcy intends to find out.

Review:
Chloe and Saul’s story is so sweet and nice. You can’t help but hope that Chloe will come around. While I understand that part of the big climax was to introduce other characters for the following books, I thought it was a bit annoying/unrealistic. The language used in this book is very different from Savage’s usual language when writing romance, and I don’t particularly care for the word choice.

Marceline and her billionaire shifter friend I didn’t find as endearing because it seemed a bit too contrived and forced. Could he not have pushed forward during the time they were apart to try to explain, or is it just because time is so different for dragons?

I did like these stories, but I prefer Savage’s fairy tale romances personally.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Sign up at http://www.viviennesavage.com/newsletter to receive an exclusive, free novel.

Vivienne Savage is the pen name of two best friends who write everything together. One works as a nurse in a rural healthcare home in Texas, and the other is a U.S. Navy veteran. Both are mothers to two darling boys and two amazing girls. When they aren’t raising children, writing fantasy, or concocting ways for shapeshifters and humans to find their match, they play online RPG games to pass the time.

All works by Vivienne range from urban fantasy and sweet adult romance to spicy shifter fiction with an erotic kick. Visit her site to determine which series is best for you!

Official Site: viviennesavage.com
Facebook: facebook.com/savage.books
Twitter: twitter.com/msvsavage
Instagram: instagram.com/msvsavage
Email: vivi@viviennesavage.com

Review of Gifted Thief by Helen Harper

Gifted Thief
Highland Magic Book 1
By Helen Harper

Star Rating: 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 348

Date Started: November 22, 2017
Date Finished: November 24, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Orphan. Runaway. Thief.

Since the moment I was ripped from my mother’s womb, I’ve been an outcast amongst my own kind. The Sidhe might possess magical Gifts, unbelievable wealth and unfathomable power but I don’t want a thing to do with them. I ran away from their lands in the Highlands of Scotland when I was eleven years old and I’ve never looked back. I don’t need a Clan. I’ve got my own family of highly skilled thieves who mean more to me than any Sidhe ever could.

Unfortunately for me, the playboy heir to the Moncrieffe Clan has something I desperately need. To get it back, I’m going to have to plunge myself back into that world, no matter what the consequences may be. I suppose it’s just as well I have sense of humour. I think I’m going to need it.

Review:
Perhaps I was too lost in The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic world because I found this hard to get into. While the setup wasn’t bad, it took me quite a while to feel connected with the story.

I enjoyed Integrity’s determination and loyalty to her morals and her family. She’s a good heroine that’s easy to empathize with. I found the secondary characters equally amusing. Although some might find that they treat each other callously, I thought the way her real family interacts was realistic.

It was frustrating that at one point she gained great leverage, but then did nothing with it– it was as if it only mattered for that one chapter. While it served to bring forward other things, it was annoying to not see more happen because of it.

Towards the end I started to become more invested in the novel, but it seemed over too soon, with nothing truly resolved. A good set up for the next book, but not exactly satisfying. Although it may seem there are a decent number of pages in the book, the end of the book is a preview of the next in the series.

I plan to read the entire series, but I do not think it’s on par with The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic. Slow to start, but once I became involved, I looked forward to seeing what else might happen.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time, thanking her lucky stars every day that’s she lucky enough to do so!

Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.

She currently lives in Devon in the UK with far too many cats – not to mention the dragons, fairies, demons, wizards and vampires that seem to keep appearing from nowhere.

Review of Slouch Witch by Helen Harper

Slouch Witch
The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic Book 1
By Helen Harper

Star Rating: 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of Pages: 342

Date Started: November 14, 2017
Date Finished: November 18, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Hard Work Will Pay Off Later. Laziness Pays Off Now. 

Let’s get one thing straight – Ivy Wilde is not a heroine. In fact, she’s probably the last witch in the world who you’d call if you needed a magical helping hand. If it were down to Ivy, she’d spend all day every day on her sofa where she could watch TV, munch junk food and talk to her feline familiar to her heart’s content.

However, when a bureaucratic disaster ends up with Ivy as the victim of a case of mistaken identity, she’s yanked very unwillingly into Arcane Branch, the investigative department of the Hallowed Order of Magical Enlightenment. Her problems are quadrupled when a valuable object is stolen right from under the Order’s noses.

It doesn’t exactly help that she’s been magically bound to Adeptus Exemptus Raphael Winter. He might have piercing sapphire eyes and a body which a cover model would be proud of but, as far as Ivy’s concerned, he’s a walking advertisement for the joyless perils of too much witch-work.

And if he makes her go to the gym again, she’s definitely going to turn him into a frog.

Review:
I put off reading this book. It was recommended to me by a good friend that previously recommended a series I really didn’t care for. This time, he was on the mark, and I am in love!

Laziness can only get you so far in life, that is, unless you develop your own hacks to make life that much easier. When suddenly stuck with a workaholic, Ivy is forced to get up and move a lot more than she’s used to.

This novel has some great characters, one of which is Brutus, a cat. While I won’t spoil anything, most will find that Brutus is probably what their own cat must be like. Cats are definitely a force to be reckoned with!

Getting to explore Ivy’s past while she works with Wintry was well done without any parts that were simply thrown in–Ivy never tells Wintry what happened in the past, allowing him to either believe the lies spread, or figure it out himself.

I love one of the messages of this story– you may take a different job, but you can’t change who you are.

If you like magic with a dab of mystery, this book was made for you. I absolutely love it!

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time, thanking her lucky stars every day that’s she lucky enough to do so!

Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.

She currently lives in Devon in the UK with far too many cats – not to mention the dragons, fairies, demons, wizards and vampires that seem to keep appearing from nowhere.