chez_jae: (Books)
About mid-week, I read the ebook Ghost Hall, which is the fourth part of the "Ghost Files" series, written by various authors. This one was written by Michelle Wright.

In this story, Monty and Ellen are sent to Belgium by a wealthy California real estate mogul. He purchased an old city hall there that is reputedly haunted. The fact that no workers stay for more than a day lends credence to the theory.

Monty would like to treat this as a romantic, all-expenses paid vacation, but Ellen knows they're there to work, and she keeps him on track. When they investigage the building, Ellen seems to be possessed by a strong, evil spirit that almost causes her to throw herself from the balcony. Now, they know they're up against something dark and malevolent. A ghost of a young girl appears to Ellen, and the numbers on her arm provide some valuable clues as to who, or what, may be haunting the hall.

SPaG in this one was horrible. At least twice, the author used the world "variable" when she meant to use "veritable", and it was a veritable nightmare to read. Another thing that annoyed me was Monty making some crack about Ellen's "time of the month". Turns out, it was Ellen's time of the month, and that somehow became a running theme throughout the rest of the story. WTF? I think we readers are all aware that characters in books fart, poop, pee, and menstruate. We don't need to read about it, ffs.

Favorite line: ...why is it always a marathon walk to the departure gate? Is it to weaken us so we all go quietly into the plane?

After the first book in this series was so spectacular, the rest have been spectacular fails, and this was the worst of the lot. Two stars:

chez_jae: (Books)
Just finished reading Ghost Fire, which is the third installment in the eseries "Ghost Files". This one was written by Eve Paludan. Once again, this author failed to live up to the first book in the set. At least this story remained firmly in Monty's first person pov.

Monty and Ellen are in Venice, CA to celebrate their anniversary. On the trip, Ellen wants to visit the art gallery of a former professor of hers, whom she was close to as an undergrad. When they arrive at the gallery, Ellen immediately senses a foreboding presence. It's a poltergeist, and it has been setting small fires all over the gallery. Diego, Ellen's former professor, is at his wit's end. The gallery is scheduled for its grand opening in only a few days, and he asks Ellen and Monty to help. Monty can't help feeling resentful, but Ellen can't say no.

They soon learn that, in addition to the poltergeist, there is the ghost of a horse, along with an evil chupacabra spirit that is killing animals in the area. Ellen and Monty are aided in their quest by a psychic cab driver, a former nun who paints dead people, and a family who creates art from organic material, including animal bones.

The story had its moments. It was exciting, although almost too much so. The author tried to create banter between Monty and Ellen, but she fell short of the lively discourse from the first book. The writing was somewhat unsophisticated, and I actually found the mental telepathy between Ellen and Monty to be distracting.

Favorite line: I'm sure that Dr Seuss could have written a rhyming book about all of the girl stuff in a Sephora store.

This was a mix between exciting and disappointing. Average score:

chez_jae: (Books)
Spent a portion of the day reading Ghost Soldier, which is the second installment of the e-series "Ghost Files". This one was written by Evelyn Klebert.

Well. I could tell the author changed. The characters remained the same, but she didn't write them with the same panache as the previous authors. It began in first person pov again (Monty's pov), but a few chapters switched to third person pov to follow Ellen. Just, no.

While on vacation in New Orleans, Monty and Ellen are asked to come to a military base to investigate an allegedly haunted house. Ellen is taken aback at the sheer level of activity in the home, and her reticence makes Monty nervous, too. Ellen learns that there is an entity that is entrapping and feeding on the energy of other lost souls, and it's up to her and Monty to break the hold the creature has over the others.

This story was more creepy than the first one, and I missed Monty's wit. Klebert tried to keep both characters in-character, but she fell short. Still, the plot was engrossing, and I liked how Monty and Ellen worked together.

Favorite line: When I become the last hope, the odds aren't always so good.

In a word, disappointing. Three stars:

chez_jae: (Books)
Over the course of two evenings, I read the ebook Ghost College by Scott Nicholson and JR Rain. It's the first in a series, but subsequent books appear to be credited to different authors. I don't know if that means they'll follow the same characters (in a round-robin format) or if the next books will branch out in different directions.

This story was wonderful. It's told in first person pov by skeptical ghost hunter Monty. He and his wife Ellen use a two-pronged attack when conducting their investigations. Monty relies on his technology, while Ellen is "sensitive". Monty doesn't really believe in ghosts, but he does believe in his wife, whom he adores. Their banter throughout was one of the best parts of the story. Monty and Ellen are called to investigate a small, religious college, where staff and students have been hearing voices, seeing shadows, and finding objects moved.

Ellen quickly connects with a young girl named Sophia, and Monty's instruments fail when the batteries are drained. When Ellen convinces him to act as a conduit to allow Sophia to communicate with them, Monty finds himself in a battle between good and evil, as he and Ellen try to save Sophia from the man known as the Dark Master.

This was a fun, engaging story. Even though it was short, Monty and Ellen are portrayed well, and I loved that Monty had so much faith in Ellen, despite the fact that he didn't experience the things she could.

Favorite lines:
♦ But this was also Southern California, where there were only two seasons: Oscar season and everything else.
♦ Middle age is hell, old age will probably be worse, and after that...well, we'll all find out when we get there.
♦ Me, I tended to ignore higher callings, because they entailed responsibility, and all I wanted was the next round of chocolate pancakes.

A man after my own heart!

Loved this one, and I am looking forward to reading the rest! Five stars:

chez_jae: (Books)
Earlier this evening, I finished reading the ebook Deadly Intent, which is the first book in author Kate Allenton's "Linked Inc" series.

Quinn Thatcher and her sisters have formed a company called Linked Inc, which enables them to use their psychic abilities to help others. Quinn can see and communicate with spirits. The ghost of a Scotsman badgers her until she agrees to collect a precious jewel from his grave and return it to the Menzie Clan in Scotland. Quinn plans to deliver the jewel and return home. She arrives to find Collin Menzie and his friend, Ian McDougall, reenacting their clans' infamous battle over the missing gem. Quinn marches into the fray, hands the emerald off to Collin, and sweeps off again.

Collin, however, is determined to find out more about the mysterious American beauty and how she came to be in possession of the emerald. There's also the matter of an age-old curse on his family that Quinn's presence has set into motion.

When Quinn's pilot becomes deathly ill, she is forced to stay in Scotland longer than she wanted to. She reluctantly agrees to become a guest in Collin's ancestral home, where she learns that her part in events, both past, present, and future, has already been foretold. Quinn and Collin must join forces to find out who has tried to harm Quinn, as well as lay the curse to rest.

A very interesting read. I was quite taken with it. Quinn is feisty and smart, and she has no qualms about taking Collin to her bed. What she didn't count on was falling in love with him.

Favorite lines:
♦ The sound was as loud and annoying as a foghorn mating with a tornado siren.
♦ "It's dangerous to stand between a woman and dessert."

Will definitely read more in this series! Four stars:

chez_jae: (Books)
Having the day off afforded me the opportunity to read an ebook novella, Murder of a Werewolf, by April Fernsby. It's the first story in the "Brimstone Witch" mystery series.

Cassia Winter is stuck in a soul-sucking job, a boring apartment, and a manipulative relationship. Even her cat, Stanley, seems depressed and morose. Unable to see her suffer, Cassia's Gran tells Cassia that she's a witch--they both are. Cassia doesn't believe her Gran at first, but gradually, childhood memories of playing in Brimstone begin to resurface. Cassia learns that the Winter witches have long investigated crimes in Brimstone, and she learns that her Gran is involved in a murder investigation. A werewolf, who initially seemed to have committed suicide, was instead murdered. When someone attacks Gran, it's up to Cassia to accept the mantle of the Winter witches and take up the investigation.

Cassia meets some odd people and creatures in Brimstone, including werewolves, elves, and the beautiful butterflies that act as messengers. She also reconnects with Luca, her childhood friend, who is now a handsome man. Cassia isn't sure what she's doing, but she knows one thing: she's not going back to her humdrum life again.

This was a fun, lite story. The narrative was simplistic, but not in an aggravating way. Rather, it made for a nice, light, afternoon read. Cassia was a likable heroine, and I enjoyed meeting other characters. Some things, which seemed obvious at first, turned out to be a surprise, but other things were not fully resolved. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable read.

Favorite line: Did cats become morbid?

The talking cats were my favorite part! Good story, and I'll certainly read more. Four stars:

chez_jae: (Books)
I recently finished reading an ebook: Smoke by Val St Crowe. It's the first installment in the author's "Slayer Chronicles".

Clarke Gannon makes her living by slaying rogue dragons. It pays well, and she needs the money to help take care of her sister, who is an addict. When Naelen Spencer, a wealthy dragonshifter, shows up and wants to hire Clarke to help him find his sister, she turns him down at first. She kills rogues; she doesn't locate missing dragons. Naelen won't take no for an answer, and he continues upping the ante until Clarke agrees. She can use the money to get her sister into rehab.

What promises to be a tough job becomes worse when Naelen insists on accompanying Clarke in the search for his sister. He's an entitled playboy who is clueless about navigating the seamy underworld that his sister was drawn into. Aside from that, Clarke is reluctantly attracted to him, and Naelen is bent on bedding her. Complicating matters is her on-again-off-again lover, Logan, who flits in and out of the narrative. Clarke and Naelen track his sister to a vampire's lair, where she is being held under a compulsion. Dragons are supposed to be immune to magic, but this vampire has some tricks up his sleeve.

The story wasn't great. Naelen came across as juvenile in every sense of the word. Clarke at least had a good head on her shoulders, but I was disappointed in how difficult it was for her to refuse Naelen's hamhanded advances. Throughout this story, she managed the feat, but barely. I am so done with (supposedly) strong female leads who can barely think when the hunky male lead is all up in their hamster ball. The two of them bumbled from one lead to another on their quest to find Reign, including an overnight excursion with an unconventional family. I saw no reason to devote so much of the narrative to this side-venture. In short, a blah, plodding story with no world-building whatsoever, an ass of a male lead, and no real resolution at the end.

Favorite line: And when someone's relying on you, it changes something in you. Makes you braver.

Two stars:

chez_jae: (Books)
Thursday evening, I finished reading an ebook, A Haunted Murder by J A Whiting. It's the first book in the "Lin Coffin" mystery series.

Carolin (Lin) Coffin returns to Nantucket after the death of her grandfather, hoping for a new start in life. She buys a gardening/landscaping business, and she also works from home via her computer. Between her two jobs, she believes she'll be able to make ends meet. Lin's cousin Viv still lives on the island, and the two of them are excited to reconnect. Even their pets, Lin's dog and Viv's cat, seem happy to see one another again. Not long after Lin's arrival, however, a local businessman is murdered. Viv is a suspect, because she'd had words with Hammond, who was determined to buy her old, family home. To clear Viv's name, Lin begins looking into the circumstances of Hammond's life and death herself.

Since she was a child, Lin has been able to see ghosts. She thought she had suppressed the ability, but now the spirit of an 18th century gentleman keeps appearing to her. Lin figures out it's a distant relative of hers. She only wishes he could tell her who murdered Hammond.

The story was good. It wasn't exactly fast-paced, but it made for a decent, light read. SPaG was okay; I noted only minor errors. I did get annoyed at the author's insistence on referring to Lin and Viv as "the girls". They're young women, not children! She could have used their names, or simply referred to them as "they" or "the two of them".

Favorite line: For a good part of her life, she'd been all too familiar with the feeling of being alone.

I'll give it a four for now:

chez_jae: (Books)
Earlier this evening, I finished reading an ebook, A Gift of Ghosts, which is the first in author Sarah Wynde's "Tassamara" series.

Physicist Akira Malone is hiding a secret--she can see and speak to ghosts. As a scientist, however, she makes her living with things that can be measured and researched and proven. Akira has convinced herself that ghosts are merely residual energy. She avoids them when she can, but that all changes when she accepts a job in the small town of Tassamara. Here, paranormal is the norm. The town is filled with psychics, and a medium in their midst isn't unusual. Akira is utterly astounded by the laid-back atmosphere she finds herself in. Akira rents a haunted home, and the car she leases is haunted by the nephew of her new boss, Zane Latimer.

For his part, Zane isn't sure he believes in mediums, even though he has abilities of his own. However, when Akira consistently proves herself, in spite of her own instinct to keep her talent hidden, he can't help but begin to believe in her, and to find himself attracted to her feisty spirit. The two of them begin a relationship, but neither is willing to commit, until Akira's life is threatened by a dangerous ghost...who just happens to be the spirit of Zane's mother.

This was a fantastic story, much better than a lot of other ebooks I've read. The characters were likable and relatable, including the many ghosts. Point of view switched between Akira and Zane, but it added to the story, rather than detracting from it. Akira is courageous in using her gift, even when she doesn't want to, because prior experience has shown her how dangerous in can be for her.

Favorite line: They'd fallen into conversation as easily as if they were old friends, talking about astronomy and science and Harry Potter.

Finding out that the author got her start writing fanfiction was icing on the cake. Wonderful, five stars!

chez_jae: (Books)
Last night, I read the ebook Murder at the Circus, which is the second story in author Nancy McGovern's series about witch-sleuth Bluebell Knopps.

If possible, this one was even more inane than the first one. For one thing, the action jumps ahead a few years, rather than a few months. Bluebell is now comfortable being a witch, but she's still in training. One would think that after training for several years, she'd be competent at casting spells, but such is not the case.

Bluebell and her BFF Nolan go to the circus to meet up with a girl that Nolan is sweet on, and the girl's brother. Bluebell isn't looking forward to what is shaping up to be a blind, double-date, but she goes along for Nolan's sake. While at the circus, a performer runs into the Big Top, screaming that the circus owner has been murdered. It takes the police forever to arrive, giving Bluebell ample time to launch an investigation of her own. Because, you know, the police are always slow to respond to the scenes of a murder. Even after the police show up, no one discourages Bluebell, letting her take charge of finding a runaway suspect, and she is even allowed to bait the real murderer, because the police encourage civilians to help out like that all the time.

Favorite line: "Criminals never get away with their crimes for too long. One way or another, life will punish them."

Two stars, one for a nice try, and the other for a cute kitten.

chez_jae: (Books)
Last night, I read a short ebook novella, Dying to be a Star by Sarah Kelly. It's the first in a series featuring witch-in-training India Kirby.

The basic plot was that India's friend Amy got a catering gig for a C-List singer, who was trying to make a big comeback. Amy enlists India's assistance. During the course of the party, the hostess/guest of honor, Onyx, dies.

It went a bit pear-shaped from there.

Without knowing how Onyx died, the police arrested Amy on suspicion of murder, because she delivered a drink to the woman. Of course, that's when India decided she needed to get involved to clear her friend's name. Plus, India has an "in" with the local police, her "we're just friends" friend Xavier. And...the plot unraveled from there.

Spoilers, ahoy! )

So, yeah. Premise was unoriginal, execution was terrible, characters were two-dimensional, and the author lacked any concept of police procedures. Plus, the plot point of India being a witch wasn't explored in any depth. Mostly, it consisted of her communicating telepathically with her mentor, Luis.

Favorite line: ...she heard the Scooby Doo gang deliberating.

Deserves about 1 1/2 stars, but I'll give it 2 for the Scooby reference.

chez_jae: (Books)
I read an ebook novella last night, A Ghost in the Store, by Gillian Larkin. It's the first installment in her "Ruby & Nessa" ghost hunters series. It was short enough that it almost feels like a cheat to include it here, but hey, it was chaptered. Ha ha!

The story opens with Ruby dragging her younger sister Nessa along with her on an investigation in a grocery store. It's reputed to be haunted, and Ruby and Nessa do see the ghost of a young woman there. After doing some research, they learn the store was built on the site where a home for unwed mothers once stood. They go on to check church records and learn the woman's identity and her tragic story. From there, it's a matter of helping Mary cross over, but Mary has some unfinished business.

Nothing exrtaordinary about the story. It was a cute, light, fun read. Editing was good; characterizations were two-dimensional, but that may change as the series progresses. There is some friction between the sisters, which seemed to have been resolved too easily, but oh well. One thing that bothered me is that Nessa twice made a crack to Ruby about coloring her hair to get rid of the gray, and then we learn that Ruby is only 28. WTF?

Favorite line: "...she's always been two pork chops short of a barbecue."

Okay story, three hearts:

chez_jae: (Books)
Started an ebook last night and finished it this evening. It was Moon Lake Witch by Lucia Kuhl, and it's the first installment in the "Moon Lake" cozy mystery series.

Main character, Carrie, is an older woman (which I appreciate). She's an artist, who both creates and sells artwork from her three galleries, including the one in Moon Lake. Carrie has no idea she's descended from a powerful witch, until the day that her ancestor removes the "filter" on Carrie's powers, and suddenly, her casual words and thoughts are having real consequences. For instance, she calls the sheriff a pig, and he immediately turns into one. The mystery was unique, in that it involved a missing person, rather than a murder. Of course, Carrie must now use her newfound power to solve the mystery.

The writing was unsophisticated, almost painfully so. The plot was not cohesive, and the story was bizarre. In short, it was like reading something that a student wrote for a creative writing class. There was very little motive for anything that happened, and very little resolution as to the eventual culprits.

Favorite line: It had been forever since she had danced with anyone but her cat. Her cat let her lead.
Kind of chapped that we never met the cat.

In a word, blah. Two stars - one for effort, and one for NOT having the mystery be a murder.

chez_jae: (Books)
I spent Friday afternoon reading an ebook, Smoke Rising, by Craig Halloran. It's the first installment in the "Supernatural Bounty Hunter" series.

FBI Agent Sidney Shaw is tabbed to work with former Navy SEAL and current prisoner, John Smoke. Smoke was a bounty hunter, and Sid and he are asked to track down a man on the secretive Black Slate most-wanted list. Sidney is designated to be Smoke's handler, keeping an eye on him as much as fulfilling her assignment. It's not going to be easy; Sid plays by the rules, while Smoke is spontaneous and prefers a direct approach.

Despite the odds, they manage to arrest their first target, but when they leave the scene and return an hour later, the other agents have been torn apart, and their target is gone. Now, Sidney is forced to entertain the idea that perhaps their target isn't entirely human.

Hm. The story is told in Sidney's pov, even though Smoke is the titular character, which surprised me. The plot veered off into family troubles for Sid (her sister is an addict), and I saw no real reason for that unless it's setting up another story down the line. Also, Smoke did not come across as a big, bad SEAL or bounty hunter or even an ex-con. He seemed like a happy-go-lucky boy scout, having a great adventure. Weird. What I definitely didn't like was that, when they got the drop on their target again, the man transformed into a werewolf in front of them. Sidney was mesmerized to the point of 'take me now, you great, hairy man-beast!'. Gag me with a silver stake. Seriously?! I guess it's obvious the story was written by a man.

Favorite line: I try, but it never feels like enough.

The story had its moments. The premise was interesting, but it would have benefited from being a longer story than it was. Editing was clean. Eh, average score:

chez_jae: (Books)
I was able to knock back a short, ebook novella today. It was A Wicked Whack by Constance Barker. This is the prequel to the series I thought I was beginning when I read the first book in the Mad River mystery series. Reading book 1 (before the prequel) meant I already knew who the murderer was in this story, alas.

We have young Shelby Whitaker, who can see and speak to ghosts. Since she lives near an old Civil War battlefield, there are plenty of ghosts around to talk to. Shelby and her sister Harriet live in the old Victorian left to them by their mother. Each of them works in Mad River. The town is preparing for its annual Civil War reenactment. While Shelby is setting up her textiles display, she learns that Jenny, a fellow reenactor, has been murdered. When Jenny herself appears to Shelby, it's up to Shelby to tell Jenny that she's dead. Rather than be devastated, Jenny seems somewhat ho-hum about the situation. She was struck down from behind, so she has no idea who killed her; all Jenny remembers is that she was eating strawberry preserves.

Here's where the story just gets confusing. So, Shelby knows that Jenny was eating strawberry preserves, yet no strawberry preserves were found anywhere near her body. Shelby zeroes in on this as the Big Clue. Find the strawberry preserves, and you'll find the killer, right? While I don't disagree with that assessment, what I can't for the life of me understand is why the murderer would have removed the strawberry preserves from the scene of the crime. It made absolutely no sense. Jenny was killed while she was eating strawberry preserves, not because she was eating them. I mean, if you sneaked up on your enemy while she was eating a cupcake and buried an axe in her head, would you bother to take the cupcake with you? Bizarre.

Spoiler Alert: Shelby helps police officer Nick find the jar of preserves, and testing reveals whose fingerprints are on it, and voila! Mystery solved.

The story itself was light and cozy, but the clues were so ridiculous and unrealistic that it ruined my enjoyment of it.

Favorite line: "I had an axe in the back of my head numbskull. Why was he even bothering with my pulse?"

Blah. Two stars:

chez_jae: (Books)
Between yesterday and today, I read Awakened, which is the first installment in authors Shei Darksbane and Annathesa Nikola Darksbane's ebook series "Auralight Codex".

Dakota Shepherd is a fangirl by day and a security guard by night. When she interrupts what appears to be a magical ritual being performed within the museum she works at, Dakota's world changes. Now, most people appear to her in shades of gray, and what's with the green flames that erupted from her hands? A trip to a club to get her mind off of things lands Dakota in an encounter with a vampire, but she is rescued by Amorie, a beautiful woman whom Dakota is fascinated with.

Amorie explains that Dakota has been Awakened, and she refers Dakota to the local werewolf Alpha. From him, Dakota learns she is a werewolf, but something is preventing her from shifting. She eventually ends up in Calgary, where a pair of psychic twins help her break through the block that has been placed on her memories. Now, it's up to Dakota to confront the person who put that block in place.

An interesting story. Dakota is gay, which is a refreshing change of pace for an urban fantasy. I did think other characters were almost too accepting of that fact, however, which struck me as a bit naive if not unrealistic. While it was easy to see why Dakota was attracted to vampire Amorie, I don't really get why Amorie seems so fascinated with Dakota. I kept thinking that Amorie was just using her for her own gain, but nothing like that happened in this first book. There were some tense moments when Dakota and another werewolf were targeted by a faction that wants to purge all supernatural creatures, and they had to fight their way free. I enjoyed Dakota's love of Harry Potter, Sherlock, et al. Relatable!

Favorite lines:
♦ "It was viciously attacked and devoured by the washing machine and I mourned its passing with a vow of silence."
♦ If people were Awakened just by hearing the word "mage", I doubt there'd be many people still Unawakened. What with Peter Jackson and Harry Potter and all.
♦ I grinned at the thought of a big bad werewolf made festive by electric razor justice.
♦ "A vampire is stalking me and she wants to drink my blood." I could tell I was scared considering I didn't even turn that "w" into a "v".

Fun story, and I look forward to reading more. Four stars:

chez_jae: (Books)
I spent most of the afternoon reading a cozy ebook, titled A Fatal Twist of Lemon. It's the first installment in author Patrice Greenwood's "Wisteria Tearoom" mystery series. I've been to tea at a place called the Wisteria Twig Tearoom, so this delighted me!

Before the grand opening of her new Wisteria Tearoom, Ellen Rosing hosts a tea for several guests to thank them for their support and assistance. As the final guests are leaving, she returns to the dining room to check on the last guest, Sylvia Carruthers, only to find the woman dead on the floor.

From there, Ellen is subjected to intense scrutiny by policeman Tony Aragon, whom she begins referring to (mentally, at least) as Officer Arrogant. She knows the man is just doing his job, but he seems to be deliberately grating on her nerves. Determined not to let her venture fail before it's even begun, Ellen starts looking into the murder herself, questioning her staff and the other guests in an effort to learn if they saw or heard anything suspicious.

In the meantime, the light in the closed-off dining room keeps coming on, as well as the stereo system. Ellen doesn't want to attribute it to a haunting, but a woman who does ghost tours told her the building that houses the tearoom is haunted by its first owner, Captain Dusenberry. Ellen is more concerned with the recent death in the dining room, and her investigation may lead her into danger.

This was a delightful story. I enjoyed the characters, and I particularly liked the author's descriptions of the Victorian decor, the fragrant teas, and the swoon-worthy food! I did not like Officer Arrogant, and I liked it even less when Ellen became grudgingly attracted to him. Really?! Guh. *shakes head*

Favorite line: Part of me was terrified, and another part was thinking, "This is a stupid way to die."

Giving it four stars:

chez_jae: (Books)
I started reading an ebook, not realizing it was a novella, as compared to a short story. Eh, well. The story was Stepbrother Wolf, by C A Taylor.

Author Dakota spends a long weekend, surrounded by family at the annual reunion. While there, he reconnects with his stepbrother, Dalton, whom Dakota has been harboring a crush on. He tries not to let his feelings show, since they are practically related.

For Dalton's part, he's just now realizing how attractive his younger stepbrother, Dakota, is. He keeps his distance, because not only are they stepbrothers, but Dalton is a werewolf. When Dakota finds himself in danger in the woods, Dalton has to reveal himself to protect Dakota. Passions are running high, and the two share a steamy encounter in the wilderness.

Once back home, Dakota can't stop thinking about Dalton. Soon after, Dalton's job sends him to NYC, where Dakota lives. They hook up again, but there are forces at work, supernatural ones, that are conspiring to keep them apart. With both of their lives in danger, family bonds are the least of their worries.

It was a decent enough story. There were a few surprises thrown in to make it more enjoyable.

Favorite line: "Every single relationship in the world offends someone in some way."

Neither remarkably good, nor remarkably bad...3 stars:

chez_jae: (Books)
I started an ebook last night, and I finished it this evening. It was A Prickly Predicament by Constance Barker. The story is listed as the first in the author's "Mad River" mystery series, but apparently there is a prequel I haven't read yet. That didn't affect this story, but it did contain spoilers for the prequel. Oh, well.

Shelby is a young woman living in Mad River with her sister Harriet, in the home they inherited from their mother. Shelby can see and communicate with the multitude of ghosts that call Mad River home, most of them from the Civil War era. When a pair of ghost hunters come to town, Shelby's spectral friends are understandably nervous, but when one of the ghost hunters is killed in an accident, things get really tense. The other ghost hunter claims a ghost killed his friend, and now the townspeople are clamoring for an exorcism. Shelby and her ghostly friends begin searching for clues as to what really happened, and they are aided by the ghost of the ghost hunter. Ha ha!

Fun, light story. Shelby's character was portrayed well enough, although others were a bit two-dimensional. Still, this was a novella, and it's early in the series, so I have hope that we'll learn more about the other characters in future installments.

Favorite line: I was as frustrated as Lee at Appomattox...

Better than average, four stars:

chez_jae: (Books)
This weekend, I read an ebook, Worth a Shot by Lyra Evans. It's a paranormal, m/m romance, featuring wizard detective, Oliver Worth.

There is an uneasy truce between the paranormal factions of witches/wizards, Werewolves, and the Fae. When a highborn Witch, is murdered, it looks to be the work of a Werewolf. Oliver, a detective in Nimueh's Court, is assigned to the case. He questions the woman's boyfriend, then looks into her business dealings. Although Eloise Carmichael was outspoken in her view of Werewolves, her company had many contracts with the wolves of Logan's Court. Oliver has no choice but to take his investigation into the realm of the Werewolves. There, he meets handsome, captivating Alpha, Connor Pierce.

In an effort to absolve the Werewolves of any wrongdoing, Connor agrees to assist Oliver in the investigation. However, the only way to sneak Oliver past enemy lines, as it were, is to make the other Werewolves believe that Oliver is Connor's consort. Oliver is wary, but he sees no other way, and he agrees to the subterfuge. Unfortunately for him, his powerful attraction to Connor makes it difficult for Oli to concentrate on his case.

As the pair put more clues together, the trail leads them back to Nimueh's Court, and into extreme danger.

All I can say is, 'Wow!' What a remarkable story. It was exciting and sexy and riveting. The UST between Oliver and Connor is beyond delicious, and when they do resolve it? Wow! Best of all, this is the first part of a trilogy. Woot!

Favorite line: "If you give up the prize so easily, it's hardly worth the hunt, is it?"

Highly recommended, five stars!



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