Book Review: VanHelsing vs. Dracula’s Daughter #graphicnovel #bookreview #VanHelsingvsDraculasDaughte #NetGalley

Release Date: July 13, 2021

Author: Raven Gregory

Introducing Helsing’s deadliest villain yet! Liesel Van Helsing returns in a brand new series set to turn the inventive huntress’ world on fire. A mysterious being rises from Helsing’s long forgotten past hell bent on revenge. A being whose secrets could very well destroy Helsing…and all she holds dear. Don’t miss this exciting new series written by fan favorite Wonderland writer Raven Gregory and artist extraordinaire Allan Otero!

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MY REVIEW – 4 stars

Van Helsing vs Dracula’s Daughter has amazing artwork and a storyline with enough twists to keep you entertained. While I enjoyed the unique additions to the Dracula/Van Helsing story, there were times I felt like I was missing something. I hadn’t read the other comics in this universe, so if you’re trying to read this as a stand-alone, be advised there are bits and pieces that are further explained elsewhere. All in all, it was a great graphic novel and I definitely want to read more.

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: They by G. Allen Wilbanks #horror #bookreview @gallenwilbanks

I do not know what They are. I don’t know where They came from.

All I know for certain is They appeared in the house about six weeks after Amy and I moved in.

They may have always been in the house, but I don’t believe that’s true. I believe they found something compelling about the old building that drew them to it. My wife and I were merely the unfortunate souls who resided there when They arrived.

Lock your doors, close the drapes, turn on all the lights…Supernatural horror from G. Allen Wilbanks at its best.

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BOOK REVIEW – 5 stars

They is a spine-tingling, hair-raising, chilling tale that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Do you love things that go bump in the night? Enjoy tales of spooky things stalking you in the dark? If you answered yes to both of those questions, They is a must-rest you won’t be able to put down! Mr. Willbands packs quite a punch in so few pages that will leave you wanting more. Be prepared for a dark tale with an even darker ending… buckle up because it will be quite the ride!

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

BOOK REVIEW: Hit It and Quit It by Melynda Price #contemporaryromance #bookreview #NetGalley

“Hey, Mom and Dad, I’m engaged!”

It was one little white lie. What could possibly go wrong?

With my brother’s destination wedding on the horizon and no plus-one at my side, desperate times call for desperate measures. My mother has made it her personal mission in life to get me back together with my ex, who also happens to be the best man and my partner down the aisle. Nobody knows why I abruptly broke off our engagement and fled to Montana two-years ago, and I intend to keep it that way. Wyatt is determined to win me back, and the thought of dealing with him and my mother for a week in Maui would drive any woman to drink. Which is exactly what I did, and five shots of Tequila later, I’ve got the perfect solution to my problem. All I need is a fake fiancé…

I’ve had one goal that’s kept me alive when it would have been easier to give up—recuperate and get back to Afghanistan to complete my mission. What I wasn’t expecting was a petite, sexy-as-hell blonde to crawl through my bedroom window and turn my life upside-down. After a rocky start that involved me pulling a gun on her, we coincidentally find ourselves in need of the same thing—a fiancée.

To be fair, I warned her not to fall in love with me—that I was only going to break her heart. Guess I should have taken my own advice…

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MY REVIEW – 4 stars

What happens when you mix a quirky woman, an alpha Marine, and a fake engagement? Lots of laughter, heat, and a bit of heartbreak,

While the fake fiancé trope always offers the same ingredients, I really loved that Cullen was not only active military, but Summer accepted him scars and all. His PTSD and flashbacks made his character more realistic. Watching him reluctantly fall for his “Smalls” made for a delightful read.

Summer is sassy and so much fun. I loved her character. The way she handled her ex made me want to cheer her on, especially during their last scene together.

Hit It and Quit It is a beautifully written romance full of heat, heart, and two broken souls who can only be whole if they’re together. The ending seemed rushed compared to the pacing of the rest of the book, but overall, it was a very enjoyable read.

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

Book Tour: Catnapped by R.J. Blain #UrbanFantasy @RJ_Blain

Catnapped
R.J. Blain
(Magical Romantic Comedies, #14)
Publication date: May 11th 2021
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Urban Fantasy

When someone steals Diana’s cat, a former lab animal rescued from death’s door, she calls on one of the most dangerous beings in the universe for help. Cutting a deal with the devil isn’t the smartest move, but there’s no way in hell she’ll abandon Mr. Flooferson the Magnificent to his fate.

Teaming up with the son of a demon, an angel, and one hell of a woman might push Diana to the limits of her courage and sanity. Unless she wants to sell her soul to the devil, she must cope with her new partner, make the most of a bad situation, and find out who stole her cat and why.

What she learns will forever change humanity–and lead to a battle destined to forever change the heavens and the devil’s many hells.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

MY REVIEW – 4 stars!

What would you do for your beloved kitty? Diana is willing to do anything, even if it means making a deal with the devil. The story builds with one earth shattering revelation after another. By the end, Diana—and the world— will never be the same. The characters were colorful and well-written. Even though I haven’t been reading this series, I didn’t feel lost. Overall, it was an entertaining read and I enjoyed every minute of it.

*Dislcaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Author Bio:

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.

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Book Review: Dark Secret by Danielle Rose #YoungAdult #paranormal

There’s no wrath like that of a witch scorned.

Seventeen-year-old spirit witch Ava Lopez is the self-appointed guardian of the witches and humans of Darkhaven, an idyllic village nestled between the forest and the sea. Her watch: vicious and bloodthirsty vampires.

Ava is a novice in the eyes of her coven. If she expects to protect them and the secrecy of their powers, she must gain better control of her own. When a full moon ritual goes awry, control may be lost forever, and Ava is exiled from her coven. Forced to seek refuge among the beings she had always sworn herself to hunt, she vows revenge on those who have upended her life.

But the more time Ava spends away from her coven, the more she discovers a startling truth: the witches haven’t been honest with her. Ava’s quest to strip the truth from everything she’s ever known begins with the toughest realization of all—coming to terms with who she has become.

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MY REVIEW – 3 stars

While I typically love paranormal books, I struggled a bit with this one. It took me a few chapters to get into the story, but once I did I enjoyed it. Despite the fact Ava is a witch, she’s your typical teen — she does what she wants despite what the adults tell her. Unfortunately for Ava, her actions have severe consequences. She’s plunged into a world she both fears and hates. The story was good enough to keep me engaged, but I wouldn’t say it really wowed me. It dragged in sections and had chunks where things were over-described. But all in all, it wasn’t a bad story.

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: Shadow Trials by Isla Frost #youngadult #fantasy

HARRY POTTER MEETS THE HUNGER GAMES
Ever since magic stormed the world, the price for human survival is surrendering your firstborn to the monsters.

But this year it’s Nova’s turn, and the monsters better watch their backs.

I am the firstborn in my family. The first of three. And today I will pay the price for my siblings’ lives by surrendering control of my own. I will step through the runegate, and I will never see my family again.

What the others do with the firstborn is shrouded in mystery. All anyone knows is they are never heard from again.

I will step through the runegate willingly.

But I can keep secrets too. And I’ll do whatever it takes to bring the others to their knees…

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MY REVIEW – 5 stars!

I’m not quite sure I’d compare this book to Harry Potter, like the tagline in the book description suggestions, but it did have a slight Hunger Games feel to it — but with a paranormal twist. There’s a ton of mystery to this one and a lot of asking “why” as I read from beginning to end. The book does end on a cliffhanger, but that’s not at all unusual for a fantasy YA book. That being said, the characters at times act extremely immature so if you’re expecting a YA with more “adult” characters, this probably won’t be a good selection for you.

I enjoyed the main characters, and while there was a lot of angst, drama, and quite a bit of violence, I needed to know why everything was happening. What was the grand plan for the first borns? While book one doesn’t answer many questions, and in fact makes you ask a ton more, I found it to be intriguing enough I needed to keep reading. There were times I wanted to smack the characters for being idiots, but they’re teenagers and act accordingly.

While there’s a romantic thread that slowly builds in book one, it’s not the main focus of the story. It’s very much a fantasy worldbuilding, and we’re plunged headfirst into the mayhem. Even with magic, different factions of supernaturals, and the “classroom” lessons, this is in no way a Harry Potter type of tale. However, I enjoyed it a great deal. From the beginning, the students are warned they may not make it through training, but it has an ominous tone making you wonder — what happens to them?

Having never read this author before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m certainly glad I picked up Shadow Trials, and I will definitely check out her other books. It’s fast-paced, action-packed, and full of drama and teen angst… a definite page-turner!

*Disclaimer: The author did not request a review. I purchased/borrowed this title from Amazon. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: Elfin by Quinn Loftis #YAfantasy #bookreview

Before tonight Cassie Tate’s biggest concerns were whether she could pass Algebra and how she was going to keep Elora, her best friend, from dressing her in a skimpy fairy costume for Halloween. Her feet were firmly planted in suburban reality and she had no reason to believe her life would be anything but that of a typical teenager. That is until tonight, when Cassie saw something that no human was ever supposed to see; in the blink of an eye she was thrown into the world of the Light and Dark Elves.

He comes from a realm where light and dark have fought for millennia. He is of a race known to humans only in myths and legends. The darkness that lives inside him is a part of both who and what he is and it makes him the most gifted spy and assassin in the history of his time. His life is not his own; he lives in the service of the Dark Elf King. He slays who he must, has mercy on no one, is relentless in his hunt, and never tires of seeing his prey fall. He is Triktapic, assassin, spy, most feared of the Dark Elves.

Now, in the midst of his King’s complicated plans to expand the Dark Elves’ holdings into the mortal realm, for the first time, Trik finds his loyalties divided. For no Elf, Dark or Light, can turn away from their Chosen.

Unbeknownst to the mortal realm, the battle between Light and Dark is being brought to their doorstep. The only one who can keep it at bay holds darkness in his heart like a lover, and the one who can sway that heart must decide if she can look beyond his black past, beyond his evil nature and see the man he is destined to be.

The question must be asked, does love really cover a multitude of sins? Can true love actually conquer all or will his darkness consume those around him until all that stands is an assassin with the blood of the mortal realm on his hands? 

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MY REVIEW – 2 stars

In a YA Fantasy involving elves, I have certain expectations. This one fell a bit short. Honestly, the biggest issue I had were the elves. An elf assassin who’s centuries old is not going to roll his eyes all the time or speak and act like a teenager. If the book had been a paperback, I may have thrown it across the room by the tenth time he acted like an immature brat. The next issue I had was the outdated slang the high school students used. They came across more like a fifty year old attempting to be seventeen. While I understand slang changes all the time, the terms in this book were decades out of date. If those two issues were resolved, the book would be immensely better.

There were other issues, but for the most part, I could have overlooked them. The one that stood out the most were the heroine’s parents who hardly ever appear in the story. I found it a bit odd, and I honestly wasn’t sure why they were even in the book to begin with. It would have been better to make her an orphan. She supposedly loves her parents, and yet, we hardly see them. It was just a little strange to me. Almost like the author forgot about them and just randomly tossed in a mention of them here and there.

Overall, the storyline was good. It intrigued me enough I picked up book two, since it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. As annoying as I found most of the characters, I can’t stand not knowing how the story ends. Hopefully, I’ll have the answers to my questions. If not, I don’t think I can last through a third book of eye-rolling elves.

*Disclaimer: The author did not request a review of this title. I purchased/borrowed through Amazon. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: Cranky Pants by Kayt Miller #contemporaryromance #bookreview

Maggy Fitzgerald is happy. She works at her best friend’s flower shop with the full knowledge that this is probably as good as its going to get. That is until that same friend talks her into going out to a biker bar so they can “live on the wild side” for a night.

Nate Black is cranky. He has a right to be. At least that’s what he thinks. Spending an evening now and then drinking a beer with the guys EasyRiders, is one of the only things that he enjoys, sort of.

Then, he meets her.
A sexy, curvy woman who makes him smile… and laugh.
A dangerous woman.

Good thing he’s an a**hole because getting rid of her the next morning is easy.
The hard part?
Forgetting her.

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MY REVIEW – 3 stars

New to me author. I discovered this book through BookBub and grabbed a copy because it sounded intriguing. However, it came across as a biker romance and that’s not what I got. So if you’re looking for an MC romance, move along. This isn’t it. Seriously, there are two short scenes in a biker bar, but not a single thing that makes this a biker romance. I honestly felt the EasyRiders and biker bar tossed into the book description were highly misleading.

Cranky Pants is a romance about a rich guy who’s lost what’s most important in his life, so naturally when he spends a night with Maggy and realizes he likes her, he acts like an assh*le and pushes her away. Nate ran so hot and cold at times he gave me a headache. While I could understand he was hurting, the fact Maggy kept letting him back in annoyed me. I enjoyed Maggy’s character, for the most part, and by the last third of the book the relationship between the two of them seemed to flow better.

The book wasn’t horrible, but it’s definitely not something I’d re-read. It was okay and a decent diversion from life for a few hours.

*Disclaimer: I purchased/borrowed this book through Amazon. The author did not request a review. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: Late as a Rabbit by Kendra Moreno #fairytales #horrorromance

Tick.
Jupiter only ever wanted an adventure, but she never should have gone searching for one. It finds her in the form of a white rabbit with silver eyes.
Tock.
When that same white rabbit turns out to be the White Rabbit from the story books, she can’t contain her curiosity. She follows him down the rabbit hole and drops right into Wonderland. But this isn’t the Wonderland she hoped for. The world is filled with danger, horrifying creatures, and a prophecy that speaks of her role.
Tick.
Jupiter never thought her adventure would include blood-thirty Bandersnatch, a Vengeful Red Queen, or a sexy White Rabbit. Nor did she ever think she was an important part of saving such nightmares, but a certain Rabbit drew her into this gruesome world, and she’s determined to stay by his side.
Tock.
Jupiter has to act quickly. The Red Queen is growing more desperate to stop the prophecy from coming true. Jupiter is only the second . . .
. . . and Wonderland is running out of time.
Tick.

***This is a horror romance retelling of Alice in Wonderland. It includes descritions of gore, violence, and a sexy Rabbit. Please be advised, there is a trigger warning for this novel for the above mentioned violence and gore, as well, as brief mentions of sexual assualt.***

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MY REVIEW – 5 stars!

I would gladly fall down the rabbit hole, especially while chasing a sexy rabbit, and Juniper does exactly that…

The fated mate to the White Rabbit is a geeky scientist who will do whatever it takes to save Wonderland, even if it means losing her own life. Juniper is strong, courageous, and sees the good in people. She compliments the White Rabbit perfectly.

Late as a Rabbit is a fast paced, Insta-love story full of danger, steamy scenes, and more than a little madness. It was an absolute delight! 

*Disclaimer: I purchased/borrowed this book from Amazon. The author did not request a review. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: John Carpenter Presents Storm Kids – Sacred Hearts by Steve Niles #graphicnovels #horror #NetGalley

For Chris, Dirk and Shelley, life in their small town has always been quiet. But they have all heard about the Franklin Farm… a place they should never go near. When the three best friends decide to build a tree fort in the woods, they dare each other to go to there in search of wood, and find themselves in a strange world they never expected, setting off a terrible chain of events. In this place, monsters are created, and an ancient evil from an old family curse is rising within their little town. But in all the chaos, they come to learn that not all monsters are bad. Some are special… some are born with a Sacred Heart… From his horrific beginnings, this special Monster was born from a broken pact with evil, and somehow a door to a dark world had been opened. With the help of their new Monstrous friend, the kids try to stop the destructive forces happening all around them, and end the curse once and for all.

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MY REVIEW

5 stars!

I admit I wanted to read this because I’m a John Carpenter fan. I loved the artwork and the storyline held my attention from beginning to end. While the story was mostly predictable, there were some unexpected twists that kept me entertained. The artwork alone is enough reason to add this one to my collection. If you’re looking for horror that’s not overly gory, you can’t go wrong with Sacred Hearts. Great for young adults, and adults who are young at heart.

A gripping, fast-paced read with gritty artwork, Sacred Hearts is a must-have for horror fans!