Review of Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

Synopsis:
What happens when happily ever after…isn’t?

Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

A romantic and charming story, this companion novel to Off the Page will make every reader believe in the fantastical power of fairy tales.

Review:
This book is amazing. There are so many questions that so many of us go through all the time; what is real and what is imaginary? It is so easy to end up enthralled in this book, and the characters have great depth and personality. I absolutely love how there is a book within a book; I hadn’t expected such beautiful illustrations and highly recommend you buy a paper version so you can truly experience this novel. This is a beautiful story that is unique and so expertly told that it may always slightly linger in the back of the reader’s mind. There are many questions brought up but not quite answered about what people may wish or think of you and how that can affect you, positively or negatively, as well as thinking of your wants but also how getting what you want would effect others in your life. At the end, I certainly hadn’t expected what happened, but was also left with so many questions and the burning need to know more that I immediately went online and bought the sequel. I cannot wait to read more of what happens Off the Page.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The King’s Shadow: Magiford Supernatural City by K. M. Shea

Synopsis:
I just spent the last month pretending to be the pet cat of an elf king. Today, I discovered we’re enemies.

In a supernatural society filled with vampires, werewolves, and wizards, I’ve always been an outcast with my ability to turn into a housecat. No one knew what I was.

Turns out, I’m a shadow—a race of supernaturals that were wiped out by the elves centuries ago.

Who explains this to me? Noctus, the elf king I’ve been staying with while pretending to be his pet “cat,” not knowing I’m the archenemy of his people. Talk about the most awkward ancestry results ever.

Now I’m stuck staying with Noctus because he can’t let me go thanks to all of his secrets I unwillingly learned as a cat. At least he hasn’t killed me. Yet.

If that isn’t bad enough, I’m being tracked by a creep obsessed with killing me because I’m a shadow, and he doesn’t mind doling out collateral damage during the hunt.

So I’ve got a mysterious elf king holding me captive in his hidden home, a slew of new powers to learn with my revealed ancestry, and a psychopath on my tail. Wow, things are looking up.

It’s time to find out if cats really do always land on their paws.

King’s Shadow is the second book in the Gate of Myth and Power urban fantasy trilogy, and is part of the Magiford Supernatural City world. It is an adventure-filled and hilarious take on the Hades and Persephone myth, with a twist of mystery. It’s packed with humor, battles, and a sweet, slow burn romance between an outcast magic user and the deadly king of the elves.

Review:
This book was amazing. We see Chloe work through her insecurities, thinking of how she was only liked because she was a cat. I absolutely loved the Beauty and the Beast feeling of this series, and I loved that Noctus wanted Chloe to feel secure in herself and her own abilities, and not just because she was with him. I definitely see the Hades and Persephone connection, and it makes me so sad that I must wait until March to see how this ends! Oh, K. M. Shea, how you pull my heartstrings so effortlessly, time and time again!!!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The King’s Captive: Magiford Supernatural City by K. M. Shea

Synopsis:
I can turn into a housecat.

It’s a fun magic, except in a world filled with vampires and werewolves, it doesn’t exactly make me a powerhouse. Instead, the supernatural community has classified me as an outcast, which means one thing: picking on me is open season all day, every day.

The local fae are the worst of all, and it’s during one of their regular “capture the cat-girl” sessions that I shift into my cat form and meet HIM for the first time.

Noctus is so powerful his magic radiates off him like a sun, and my fae captors can barely look in his general direction. And then my life gets even more terrifying when Noctus decides to take me with him. As a pet.

Why did he pick today to “adopt don’t shop” a cat?

It gets worse when I realize he’s an elf, a ruling race of supernaturals that was supposedly killed off centuries ago.

But he’s not just any elf, no. He’s an elven king, with heaps of secrets to protect. Secrets that I am quickly learning since he includes his new pet in everything from breaking into buildings to inspect classified paperwork to tracking down sketchy supernaturals.

All this means if he gets even a hint that I’m not a real cat, I’m going to find out firsthand how elves treat their prisoners.

So, escaping Noctus is priority #1. How hard can it be? (Answer: very.)

King’s Captive is the first book in the Gate of Myth and Power urban fantasy trilogy, and is part of the Magiford Supernatural City world. It features elves, fae, werewolves, and vampires, and contains an adventure-filled and hilarious take on the Hades and Persephone myth. It’s packed with humor, battles, and a sweet, slow burn romance between an outcast magic user and the deadly king of the elves.

Review:
I wasn’t expecting I would love this book as much as I’ve loved all of K. M. Shea’s Magiford books, but this one drew me in like all of her other works, and I was hooked. I absolutely love how Chloe’s desires, fears, and misgivings stay constant throughout the novel. I love the budding tension between a pet cat and those around her. I was worried with Chloe being a free agent that it wouldn’t feel like we were in the same Magiford as the other series, but despite all of her own misgivings and anxiety, she is more than strong enough to keep the reader always wondering what happens next. I absolutely loved seeing the various sides of all of the characters, especially when they did unexpected things. I quite enjoyed seeing into Chloe’s mindset, and the obvious comical bits, and I especially love both when she has to try to communicate things while staying a cat and her “pet” French Fry! As per usual lately, I’m already most of the way through book two, so obviously I highly recommend this series, and K. M. Shea novels/series in general!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The Vintage Medium by Melanie Karsak

Synopsis:

People think being haunted is a bad thing.

That’s because they’ve never visited The Curiosity Curio.

The spirits who linger in my store dance the jitterbug, look after the plants, and gossip about long-dead relatives. Even though no one believes me about my mediumistic gifts, it’s my job to aid these lost souls. I can help them, even if I gave up hoping to find someone who understood me long ago. Call me a vintage-items peddler, but it’s my duty to match ghosts—and the objects to which they are attached—with the people who need them.

That’s where James comes in. James Herringbone, the high-end antique dealer who looks like he just stepped out of an expensive cologne ad, possesses a pocket watch I desperately need. Until I get it back, the spirit of a flapper girl who haunts my shop will let me have no rest. Talking to James isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I mean, he is perfection in glasses and a tweed jacket, even if he looks down on junk-item antiquarians like me.

But when I try to bargain with James for the pocket watch, things get…complicated.

Of course they do.

Because this is Chancellor, where magic lives on every corner.

Review:
This was a very sweet book. It was very very short, a very quick read, but incredibly sweet. I loved and truly connected with James and his connection to his grandfather. Ness and James are very cute together and it seems as if they fit together quite well. There wasn’t a lot of rising action or potential reasons for them not to work, which is nice sometimes. The ending was understandable and definitely fitting, however, I’d expected a different ending; perhaps in the future a certain small child will get a certain rocking horse. I do love James and Ness’ connection and their story is very sweet, but this isn’t a very deep read and is very heart on your sleeve. If you’re looking for something light and sweet, this is definitely up your alley! And of course it was great getting to return to the world of Chancellor.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of A Killer’s Kiss by Helen Harper

Synopsis:
A twisted killer is making his mark in London, leaving a trail of blood and devastation in his wake. It’s not only humans who are being targeted. Vampires, werewolves and pixies are in mortal danger too.

I’ve been called in to help with the investigation but I can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to the murders. Someone is playing a very sick game – and it’s up to me to put a stop to it.

Review:
This book was intense. The crimes were quite graphic and the stakes were very high. Despite that, there was also a lot of interpersonal relationships built and played upon, which was very satisfying. I quite enjoyed all of the new characters and I, for one, had only figured out a small bit of what might have been the main mastering of the sick game. It was awesome to see more between our favourites at supe squad, and I do hope that some of the newer introduced police come up again.

My one complaint, which is more just whining, to be fair, is the absolute killer cliffhanger with no idea when another book in this series is going to be released! As always, loved joining in on DC Bellamy’s case and life. Cannot wait to read another book!

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: ✯✯✯✯✯