Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris
win a print copy of Diamond Conspiracy (US/Canada)
ends 4.20.15

Megan Tayte
win the Cerulean Series (INT'L)
ends 4.22.15

April 19, 2015

Liked It: Garden of Dreams & Desires by Kristen Painter

Series: Crescent City 3
Format: eGalley
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Orbit
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: New Adult | Dystopia | Paranormal
Magic and mystery collide in this thrilling conclusion to the new urban fantasy series by House of Comarre author Kristen Painter.

Tourists are disappearing at an alarming rate. While Augustine and his lieutenants attempt to find them, Harlow and the evil spirit possessing her remain Augustine's true focus. Freeing her from the spirit's grasp is all he can think about, especially with no real solution on the horizon.

Then he discovers the tourists are disappearing because the witches are stealing souls to cast a dangerous chaos spell. Before he can stop them, Harlow becomes their victim. Now he must race the clock to set her free and end the witches' machinations before the chaos spell strips every fae in New Orleans of their power and bring fae rule to an end.

Crescent City is my first tango with Kristen Painter and I was immediately absorbed by her futuristic NOLA where fae, humans, vamps, and witches exist side by side albeit a little tense. The dystopic elements of the series is fairly light, her new adult leads were a bit irritating, but tolerable. It's the paranormal side of things that truly captivated me not to mention the cover arts are so pretty to look at! I was excited to learn that Crescent City is only a trilogy, long book series can be a challenge to keep up with long terms so I figured things are going to escalate quick and wrap up nicely. 

The escalation part was true. Harlow and Augustine were thrust in the heat of things and found themselves in the middle of war with the witches, nefarious relatives, an enchanted tree that everyone wants, not to mention bigoted humans who wants the othernormals gone. KPainter built up the story really well, the character development was fantastic and by City of Eternal Light, I was very much invested in the story. 

Now GARDEN OF DREAMS & DESIRES is a fast paced, entertaining read. I didn't even notice that the novel was over 300 pages because I just flew through the chapters. Harlow and Augustine were very motivated to put things back in order, resolve minor kinks here and there, was proactive in being part of the solution instead of the problem, etc. There were a lot of antagonists here so the good guys were busy chasing them down and making them pay for their transgressions. 

My issue with GARDEN OF DREAMS & DESIRES is it lacked tension. KPainter started this mayhem so I was expecting Harlow and Augustine to have a hard time getting towards a resolution. Instead everything was so easy, as if the solutions were served on a silver platter. I mean if it were that simple, then why didn't they solve things in book 1 before it got crazy, right? And though it wasn't predictable, it was easy to figure out where the story is leading to. I wasn't surprised by the "twists", no jaw dropping monkey wrenches, and the bad guys didn't feel villainous enough.

Overall, GARDEN OF DREAMS & DESIRES was fairly an okay read. I compare it to those fun and light contemporary romances I like to cozy with on the weekend. I didn't get worked up over the resolution, it was a very relaxing story, I just didn't expect the series finale to be so...stable, if you know what I mean.

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April 18, 2015

Bought, Borrwed & Bagged #147: Orphan Black S3

BB&B (Bought, Borrowed and Bagged) is a weekly meme, inspired my The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie, where we share with you the books that we have bought, borrowed or bagged (won or gifted) plus a recap of the previous week's reviews, upcoming reviews, on going events and book movie or television news. 

BB&B is an homage Barron's Books & Baubles from Karen Marie Moning's smash hit series, Fever. 

from publishers & authors

Big & Small

I am excited for tonight's season 3 premier of ORPHAN BLACK on BBC America. Who's with me?! This is extra special because I'm covering the show for Romance@Random so check in on their site next week for updates.

Last Week's Reviews
win a print copy of Diamond Conspiracy
ends 4.20.15

Megan Tayte (Int'l)
win the Cerulean Series
ends 4.22.15

It's a new year and there's a new linky for my humble weekly recap meme. Whether you're a return participant or a new hopper, THANK YOU for joining, your participation is much appreciated. 

Also as this is a laid-back meme, please use your LABEL OR TAG LINKS and not your post links that way you don't have to update your linky every week. 

April 17, 2015

Suped Up: Edge, Panorama (Complete Season) by Jamie Magee

Series: Edge Series 1
Format: Mobi
Release Date: March 26, 2015
Publisher: Self
Source: Author
Genre: New Adult-Paranormal | MC Romance
Reveca Beauregard had long ago been dubbed the Queen of Darkness by the dead. To the living she was known as the Pentacle Daughter, the only acknowledged female member of the Pentacle Sons MC, the most lethal biker correlation known to exist. She was rumored to be a witch. That rumor, of course, was true.

New Orleans was her home, at the Beauregard Boneyard, the safe haven the Club resided within. Only those in the inner circle were as Reveca was—immortal. To be as such you had to choose the life, and the life had to choose you. For either to occur, death came first.

Those deaths came from wars the Sons fought with both the mortal and immortal worlds, as they bent the decrees of the modern lawmen and the paranormal world at large who had no hope of opposing the dark splendor of their vengeance.

Presently, the mysterious murder of a mortal coupled with the cold-blooded slaying of Reveca’s close friend has led the lawmen to place their corrupt accusations upon the Sons. A forced barter with a Lord of Death has landed the Club with a soul that is set to rock the foundation the Sons as a whole stand upon.

Maybe some of you remember when I reviewed the first four episodes of Jamie Magee's EDGE a while back. I rambled a lot and mad gushed about this novel. I mean it's NA-MC Paranormal Romance, New Adult-Motorcycle Club highlighted because I'm not the biggest fan of these, and yet JMagee managed to strip me of words, and had me expressing mad love for this serial. I'm no different now so I whipped up my trusted bullets, hoping that this breakdown will help me, and you, make sense of my experience reading the complete season of EDGE. Good luck!

  • LOVE TRIANGLE: You all know how much I ABHOR love triangles, and other romantic geometries. I'm making an exception here though because JMagee put quite the kink on this situation. Caught between two delicious hunks is Reveca Beuauregard. On one side we have Kenson, Reveca's first love and soulmate who died in battle all those centuries ago. Unbeknownst to Reveca, Kenson, now called King, survived and became this infamous warrior in the other realm, he's back to fulfill a prophecy, or the Rapture, with Reveca's help. On the other side is Talon, Reveca's partner in crime, the one who put Reveca back together, loved her, kept things together, and grounded her, and has been Reveca's most faithful and loyal servant and lover since.

  • I mean how do you even begin to sort out something like this?! It's so compelling, it's hard not to get invested. I mean, what kind of decision tree does one follow when one is face with having to choose between a soulmate and a man you also deeply love and has deep history with? I still don't know the answer, JMagee tried to resolve it in an organic way, but boy is it messy and all tangled up, I don't see the pissing contest between King and Talon ending here.

  • TENSION & CONFLICT: EDGE is rife with chaos. Remember, the story is occurs in two dimensions, our reality and another world. The Sons of Pentacost, Reveca in particular, is caught in two different wars that's happening simultaneously. There's the one involving a rival MC, dirty cops, murders, and drug dealings. Then there's this pending war with Gods, war lords, souls, gah! It's a clusterfuck and it's action-drama at its finest!

  • MYTH: I'm sure by now you can tell how complex EDGE is. Well it's the same thing with its myth. It's so complicated and yet so simple. Witchcraft and magic is at the heart of things here, but it's not your simple toil and trouble, bubbling cauldron type. It's ancient magic, elemental, deep stuff that involves Gods and claiming of souls. Reveca, in her grief, created Edge, similar to purgatory and "birthed" immortals, like Talon. It's some heavy artillery here and very unique I don't have anything to compare it with.

  • CAST: EDGE is composed of a LOT of very interesting people from witches, to Pheonixes, fallen angels, beasts, etc. Truly there's no "supporting" characters here because each one of these personalities have a purpose in terms of a bigger picture. Reveca might be at the center of it all and the story surely gravitates towards her, but the rest of the group, both the protagonists and the antagonists, have roles to play when this war goes down. It's like a game  of chess where when played right, even a lowly pawn can win the game for either team.

  • LOYALTY: I love novels that depicts virtuous loyalty. Brotherhoods, familial love, unbreakable friendships, these themes turns me to mush and instantly makes a fan of this reader when I see it in novels. The Sons are no different, they got each other's back 100%, they're fiercely possessive and protective of their MC, including their 'Ol Ladies, and blindly trusts Reveca and Talon's leadership. When these to says "jump", the Sons asks "how high", but don't get me wrong, the Sons are batting for the good guys, and despite allegations of illegal activities, the worst thing they've done (aside from killing monsters and the bad guys), are dealing prescription drugs to those who can't afford it.

I love EDGE very much, however there's some subjective stuff that I hope will be amended in the next season:
  • ITALICS: Some words have double meaning like appear, in unique cases it meant apparating in the novel. I wish these particular words were italicized to connote that the activity is propelled by magic and not some trivial action.

  • SERIAL: This part serves as an advice to you in case you're planning to give this novel a try. EDGE is originally released as a serial and very episodic. I know some of you prefers to wait for all the parts to come out so you can binge. However in this case, it might work better if you try and chop it up in pieces. Why? Because each episode not only continues the story arc, it also features the other characters, their histories, roles, and what-not in the grand scheme of things. The cast is quite sizeable so at some point, the people started running together in my head and my brain got saturated. So if you're a little slow like me, taking bite size pieces works too, unlike other serials, the cliffhangers here aren't all that painful.

  • GLOSSARY: I seriously think this novel needs one because of the myth and the number of people involved. Like I said, the world is very imaginative, unique, and complex, having a glossary of terms and characters will help keep things straight.

I've never enjoyed peeling an onion as much as EDGE. JMagee took her time in telling the story, vividly painting the panorama with colorful details and vibrant hues, it's sure to fire up your imagination and emotions. I apologize for rambling, that tends to be the case with me when I fall in love with the book hard. So thank you, Jamie Magee, for making a bumbling idiot out of me. I appreciate that very much.

IMPT NOTE: If you're curious yet not totally sold, you may take a guiltless dip because the first serial is FREE on Amazon! Put those grabby hands in action!

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