Raven Cursed by Faith Hunter

Raven Cursed by Faith HunterRaven Cursed by Faith Hunter
Series: Jane Yellowrock #4
Published by Audible Frontier on January 3, 2012
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
three-half-stars

The vampires of Asheville, North Carolina, want to establish their own clan, but since they owe loyalty to the Master Vampire of New Orleans they must work out the terms with him. To come up with an equitable solution, he sends an envoy with the best bodyguard blood money can buy: Jane Yellowrock.

But when a group of local campers are attacked by something fanged, Jane goes from escort to investigator. Unless she wants to face a very angry master vampire, she will have to work overtime to find the killer. It's a good thing she's worth every penny.

The reviews of Raven Cursed by Faith Hunter didn’t have me as wary as I thought they would. Matter of fact the reviews on this series I feel have been warranted but are a little premature because with the vastness of Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series it’s going to take a few installments to work out all of the kinks, as well as the character development of some really complex characters.

Within the beginning of Raven Cursed I found myself checking out a lot, mentally. Since I was listening to this on audio, I sort of got lost in all of the dialogue and explanation that Jane had to go through with the new circumstances between Kinenbi (I think that’s how you spell his name), Rick, and Molly and her family. Sadly, I didn’t check back into Raven Cursed until about halfway through, when the action stared to make itself known.

Having read Hunter’s Soulwood series, and using that series as the persuasion to jump back into her Jane Yellowrock’s series, it’s fascinating to see how certain elements that make up the Soulwood series originated with the Jane Yellowrock series. For example, the grindalow’s (hope I’m spelling this right, it’s hard figuring out spelling when you only listen via audiobook) was a character I was curious about from the Soulwood series so it’s awesome that for Raven Cursed this species was sort of the focal point of the conflict that Jane faced.

With this installment in the Jane Yellowrock series there was another shift within the Jane, Rick, and Bruiser love triangle. In the last read I was totally team Bruiser because I actually saw the chemistry and longevity in a relationship between Jane and him, but in Raven Cursed Rick was actually more appealing. I don’t know if I like Hunter for showing the strengths and weaknesses between Rick and Bruiser so that I have more a well-rounded picture of who Jane will eventually pick and how viable a relationship could be with her, or loath her for what she’s trying to do, it’s no secret that I can’t stand Rick LaFleur – I don’t even like him in her Soulwood series lol.

My hope for the next story in this series is that things pick up with all the main characters and reappearing supporting characters. I also hope that Jane either finds out more about herself or her secret is blown wide open because her ability to cover up what she is is starting to get sloppy and it’s starting to make the other intelligent characters look dumb because they haven’t put two and two together.

Should I say again how awesome Khristine Hvam’s narration was for Raven Cursed? No, you all know that already? Awesome, lol.

About Faith Hunter

Faith Hunter, fantasy writer, was born in Louisiana and raised all over the south. She writes three Urban Fantasy series: the Skinwalker series, featuring Jane Yellowrock, a Cherokee skinwalker who hunts rogue vampires. The Soulwood series, featuring earth magic user Nell Ingram. And the Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban, post-apocalyptic, fantasy series featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage. (There is a role playing game based on the series, ROGUE MAGE.)
Under the pen name Gwen Hunter, she writes action-adventure, mysteries, and thrillers. As Faith and Gwen, she has 30+ books in print in 29 countries.
Hunter writes full-time, tries to keep house, and is a workaholic with a passion for travel, jewelry making, white-water kayaking, and writing. She and her husband love to RV, traveling with their rescued Pomeranians to whitewater rivers all over the Southeast.

Cajun Crazy by Sandra Hill

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Cajun Crazy by Sandra HillCajun Crazy by Sandra Hill
Series: Cajun #11
Published by Avon on November 28, 2017
Pages: 384 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
two-half-stars

Welcome back to New York Times bestseller Sandra Hill’s Cajun country, where love heats up the Louisiana bayou . . .
Former Chicago cop Simone LeDeux is back home in the bayou, sharing a double wide in the Pearly Gates trailer park to help her mama recover from surgery. Her one rule: no Cajun men. Loved and left by too many double-crossing Cajuns, Simone puts bad experience to good use by opening Legal Belles: an agency that uncovers cheating spouses.

Suddenly she’s confronting a two-timer about to swindle his wife out of millions and antagonizing New Orleans bigwigs over an illegal sex club. Adam Lanier learns of the dangerous game Simone is playing . . . and the sexy single dad comes to her aid. Known as a rogue in the courtroom and a player in the bedroom, the ragin’ Cajun has Simone triply on guard.

With their crazy chemistry, danger on their trail, and infamous LeDeux relative Tante Lulu working her magical matchmaking, the bayou has never been this steamy.

When I read the synopsis for Cajun Crazy by Sandra Hill I was all on board to dive into its story and be taken on a crazy southern ride, but whether it was the fact that Cajun Crazy is the eleventh installment of Hill’s Cajun series or because of the intricacies of its story was so complex, I just couldn’t connect to the overall story given.

When first meeting the heroine, Simone, I found myself loving the strength she showed that exuded from the pages. The qualities that were made known about her character further endeared me to her and her possible journey within Cajun Crazy. I was following everything she experienced until she went back home, I simply couldn’t keep up with everything that was going on. It was also because of this disconnect I couldn’t give the romance the time of day.

Our hero’s, Adam, storyline was somewhat easier to follow because it somewhat felt like he was comfortable with his place in New Orleans. Plus, the supporting characters that surrounded him really made his character more attractive to me, I’m a sucker for a single father and young minded grandpa. Adam is definitely my kind of hero, but I just didn’t find the romance between Simone and him believable.

The mystery of Cajun Crazy was also lost on me because I found myself disinterested. The positives that I found with Cajun Crazy came from the individual characters of Adam and all the supporting characters, and Simone every now and then appealed to me. There were definitely a few laughs here and there, and moments where I would melt into a pile of adorable goo – mostly because of Adam’s little girl and his dad.

If Cajun Crazy sounds interesting to you give it a try and I hope that it works more in your favor than it did mine.

Beating the Odds by Sherrod Tunstall

I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Beating the Odds by Sherrod TunstallBeating The Odds by Sherrod Tunstall
Published by Urban Books on August 29, 2017
Pages: 288 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Author
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Brad Carter is down on his luck. He loses his job, catches his woman in bed with another man, and he’s days away from being booted out of his home. Wanting to get away from his problems, Brad and his boys go to a nightclub, where they meet a wealthy stranger who offers them each $50,000 to go to Rio de Janeiro and traffic cocaine back to the U.S.

They jump at the opportunity and have the time of their lives in Rio, but when it’s time to return to the U.S. with the drugs, all hell breaks loose. Brad and his friends are caught, and being in jail is not anything they could have imagined. With the help of a fellow prisoner with powerful connections, they plan an escape.

Brad is determined to find his way back to the U.S., but not without Diamond, the beautiful woman he met before things went awry in Rio. Can he rescue her from the clutches of Armand, the sick crime boss who’s been holding her captive for years? He soon discovers that the web of criminal connections between Armand, his wife, and his associates are deep and dangerous. With the obstacles he faces, Brad’s journey to freedom may be impossible.

Beating The Odds by Sherrod Tunstall was unlike any other urban fiction story I’ve read. It’s just something about knowing that the story is literally written in a male’s perspective that just offers a new look to whatever story I’m reading, I feel this way when I’m reading a Scott Hildreth or Leo Sullivan’s story as well.

The synopsis of Beating the Odds really pulled me in because it made it appear as if there would be quite a few struggles that our main characters would have to go through, which translates to me as DRAMA lol.  Before I entered into Tunstall’s story I have to speak on the cover. I’m definitely a reader who will look at the book cover first determining if I would give the book the time of day, with the rating, synopsis, and reviews afterwards. The book cover really didn’t match how I envisioned the main male character based on how Tunstall described him so that really confused me and somewhat made it hard for me to connect to the visual that Tunstall had in mind for Brad’s character.

While reading Beating the Odds I felt like a fly on the wall during everything that was happening with the characters within this story, which I really ended up liking because it showed that Tunstall gave adequate description while speaking through the experiences and observations of Brad’s character, as well as the narrator’s voice.

The flow of Beating the Odds was what really sold me on this story. From the very beginning I found myself glued to its story, not so much because of what was happening but because of the hypnotizing and poetic flow of the words used to create each scene, page, and character’s character. Furthermore, Tunstall did an amazing job in balancing all the different character’s page time, I didn’t’ feel as if I needed to create my own chart to stay abreast of all the drama that each character was having to deal with throughout this story. Tunstall’s transitions were definitely on point.

Will I jump feet first into another Tunstall story, well that definitely depends on the story and the mood I’m in – y’all know I’m picky as heck. But if this story seems interesting to you I really do recommend it, it’s definitely a story that can be finished in one sitting.

Lure of Oblivion by Suzanne Wright

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Lure of Oblivion by Suzanne WrightLure of Oblivion by Suzanne Wright
Series: The Mercury Pack #3
Published by Montlake Romance on November 21, 2017
Pages: 333 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Gwen Miller may be a human, but she has no problem taking a stand against her own kind. She’s going to testify against the teenage boy she saw viciously assault a lone shifter female—and no amount of pressure from the boy’s wealthy family will make her back down. But when the harassment turns violent, help comes in the form of a lean, toned wolf with winter-gray eyes.

As a guest at Gwen’s inn, shifter enforcer Zander Devlin can’t help but notice that the fierce and leggy brunette is in serious trouble. Since she’s putting herself at risk for one of his kind, keeping her safe is the least he can do. That’s not the only reason Zander wants her close. He desires her, even as the wolf inside him backs away from her. But his feral instincts are hard to keep down, and as they take shape, they’re harder for Gwen to resist. Then again, embracing them could be the only thing that could save her life.

When I say that I was equally shocked and surprised by how much I liked Lure of Oblivion by Suzanne Wright, I am not kidding you. I really thought that Wright would continue on in her same formula of storytelling as she’s done with past stories in both the Phoenix Pack and Mercury Pack series, but that was not the case – well not entirely – with Lure of Oblivion.

Wright really took her time in giving ample page time to illustrating the background and present circumstances surrounding our main characters, Gwen and Zander, which I definitely appreciated. I’m not going to say that Lure of Oblivion had a complex storyline, nor was it completely action filled, but I will say that with the overall mixture between the romance, drama, and paranormal elements I was thoroughly entertained and engrossed in all that took place within this installment of the Mercury Pack series.

Gwen and Zander’s relationship really reminds me of how much I loved Harley and Derren’s relationship from an earlier story in this series. The strength of each character was something that grabbed my attention and made me pay focus on them as individuals before they became a ‘them.’ I usually have no issue with a story being romance led but it’s such a breath of fresh air when I can learn to love the individual characters instead of only recognizing their identity in their romantic relationship.

The main complaint I had about Wright’s latest release did find it’s way in Lure of Oblivion, but I’m both grateful and exasperated that she still chose to include it, even if it was in the last 5% of the story.  It may be nice to have a story where Wright either explains the significance of anal sex or just chooses to annex it altogether because this element is seriously starting to get old.

About Suzanne Wright

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing something, whether it was stories, poems, or even songs – though I can’t carry a tune. I only have one rule when I’m writing a book which is that it has to have a happy ending. Other than that, pretty much anything goes. I write stories that I would enjoy reading and then I just hope that others will enjoy them too.

I was born and raised in England where I live with my husband (a person who doesn’t judge me for hearing voices in my head – how often do you come across people like that?), and my two demanding children.

Crazy B!tch by Jamie Begley

Crazy B!tch by Jamie BegleyCrazy B!tch by Jamie Begley
Series: Biker Bitches #5
Published by Young Ink Press on September 12, 2017
Pages: 377 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
four-half-stars

My mother used to have a saying for everything.

“You can’t be pretty and lucky.”

She wasn’t pretty or lucky.

“You have to kiss a lot of toads before you find your Prince Charming.”

I kissed too many of those. Sorry, but Prince Charming isn’t in Hicktown, Kentucky.

“The good ones go to Heaven; the bad ones go to Hell.”

Guess I’m going to Hell.

“Hell is paved with good intentions.”

Surprisingly, that one is true. Why? Because ...

I intended to stay away from Calder Riggs.

I intended not to fall in love with him.

I intended to find a man who wasn’t a loser or a joker.

Oh well, I’ve never been afraid of Hell, anyway.

That’s why I’m Crazy Bitch!

I really didn’t know what to think of Crazy B!tch by Jamie Begley because Crazy Bitch and T.A. are the most unknown characters out of the Biker Bitches posse. I was intrigued though, because I wanted to see how Begley would spin the romance between Crazy Bitch and Calder.

Even though much wasn’t shared about Crazy Bitch, the few glimpses we received of her characters throughout the stories in the Last Riders and the Biker Bitches series she quickly became a favorite behind Sex Piston and Killyama. Calder on the other hand pretty much had all of his business spread throughout the main two interconnected series because of how much his former drug problem screwed up his life and almost that of his little girl’s. But with Crazy Bitch being the sister of the heart to Sex Piston, and Calder being blood and club brothers with Stud, I had a feeling that Crazy B!tch was going to be drama filled.

It was surprising – although I should’ve sort of expected it because of past stories in the Biker Bitches and Last Rider series – that Lucky played a huge part in Crazy B!tch, especially since I thought he had retired and was enjoying his new lease on life in Treepoint with Willa. It was a good surprise because wherever there is one Last Rider there’s sure to be more, so it was awesome that Begley made the entirety of Crazy B!tch a scavenger hunt-slash-competition between The Destructors, The Blue Horsemen, and the Last Riders, while encapsulating it within a mystery surrounding the Biker Bitches hometown.

The romance between Calder and Crazy Bitch was so well balanced and realistic that I really couldn’t see their dance going any other way since I now know their personalities. Calder was very patient with Crazy Bitch, but he didn’t lose his spine in the midst of winner her, which was another thing about his character I appreciated. Crazy Bitch might’ve been a ball buster to almost every other male but once Calder won her over she was so sweet and loving that you almost think she’s a totally different character except that the way Begley pens her you instinctively know that that’s just who she is; once you’re in you’re in forever.

Another thing I loved was the inclusion or continuation of Gavin’s story. I have a feeling that whenever and however his story gets told I’m going to need tissues and therapy sessions, just like with Shade he has a Navy Seal mixed in with a Marine Corp.-like obstacle course waiting for him.

About Jamie Begley

“I was born in a small town in Kentucky. My family began poor, but worked their way to owning a restaurant. My mother was one of the best cooks I have ever known, and she instilled in all her children the value of hard work, and education.

Taking after my mother, I’ve always love to cook, and became pretty good if I do say so myself. I love to experiment and my unfortunate family has suffered through many. They now have learned to steer clear of those dishes. I absolutely love the holidays and my family puts up with my zany decorations.

For now, my days are spent writing, writing, and writing. I have two children who both graduated this year from college. My daughter does my book covers, and my son just tries not to blush when someone asks him about my books.

Currently I am writing five series of books- The Last Riders, The VIP Room, Predators MC, Biker Bitches, and The Dark Souls.

All my books are written for one purpose- the enjoyment others find in them, and the expectations of my fans that inspire me to give it my best.”