A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on May 3, 2016
Pages: 624 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
five-stars

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas was huge step up from A Court of Thorns and Roses, first in series. I’m not going to nitpick at all that I loved so much more about this installment than the first because I was very detailed in my review of A Court of Thorns and Roses, but A Court of Mist and Fury was the perfect improvement on details, character development, and further world building for a sequel.

In hindsight, I think the major issue I had with the series main character was her maturity level, which I can now see that she didn’t have a chance to experience a lot that would help flesh out the immature responses and desires while she providing for her family and trying to survive. To be honest it wasn’t until Maas provided the striking comparison between the Feyre we knew before Under the Mountain and the one who came out new and improved yet baring seeming unhealable scars. Feyre might not have experienced a lot to prepare her for the ups and downs she would encounter in the lands of Prythian, but a growth in her maturity was sorely needed and oddly Rhysand was the perfect villain/hero to help her become the best version of herself she could be.

Speaking of Rhysand, there happened to be some drastic changes to his archenemy’s character as well throughout A Court of Mist and Fury. The transition of Tamlin’s character wasn’t all that shocking. I always thought something was missing about his character in A Court of Thorns and Roses, especially when it came to his relationship with Feyre. Maybe I’m jaded or am always a lover of the underdog and misunderstood, and while Tamlin fits into both characteristics he chose to be both because he didn’t choose to fight against the being(s) who oppressed him, which left his land and people to suffer. To be honest I felt that Lucien and Feyre had more of a connection because of the give and take between them, but as you’ll find out by the end of A Court of Mist and Fury neither Tamlin or Lucien were what Feyre needed to become the freaking awesome person that she learns herself to be. 

The world building of all things Prythian was superb in A Court of Thorns and Roses, but the further expansion of the world with which Maas created for A Court of Mist and Fury was amazing, and seriously one of my favorite. Entering into the Court of Nightmares, Velaris, the Autumn Court, and Hybren was like a description orgasm lol, I could see place Feyre, Rhysand, and co. went to so clearly in my minds eye that at no point did I feel overwhelmed or irritated by how in-depth Maas went to paint each scene.

Just off this series alone I now need to read Maas’ Throne of Glass series, there’s no way around it now. Seriously though, the ending of A Court of Mist and Fury has me so hype for A Court of Wings and Ruin!

About Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).
Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she’s not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.

Spoonful of Magic by Irene Radford

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.

Spoonful of Magic by Irene RadfordSpoonful of Magic by Irene Radford
Published by Berkley, DAW on November 7, 2017
Pages: 352 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
three-stars

A delightful new urban fantasy about a kitchen witch and her magical family

Daphne "Daffy" Rose Wallace Deschants has an ideal suburban life--three wonderful and talented children; a coffee shop and bakery, owned and run with her best friend; a nearly perfect husband, Gabriel, or "G" to his friends and family. Life could hardly be better.

But G's perfection hides dangerous secrets. When Daffy uncovers evidence of his infidelity, her perfect life seems to be in ruins. On their wedding anniversary, Daffy prepares to confront him, only to be stopped in her tracks when he foils a mugging attempt using wizard-level magic.

Suddenly, Daphne is part of a world she never imagined--where her husband is not a traveling troubleshooter for a software company, but the sheriff of the International Guild of Wizards, and her brilliant children are also budding magicians. Even she herself is not just a great baker and barista--she's actually a kitchen witch. And her discovery of her powers is only just beginnning.

But even the midst of her chaotic new life, another problem is brewing. G's ex-wife, a dangerous witch, has escaped from her magical prison. Revenge-bent and blind, she needs the eyes of her son to restore her sight--the son Daffy has raised as her own since he was a year old. Now Daphne must find a way to harness her new powers and protect her family--or risk losing everything she holds dear.

Spoonful of Magic by Irene Radford had great potential. The elements that the author created to make up this story were so unique and entertaining, but I felt that not everything that the author wanted to include was fleshed out as much as it should’ve been, which left a lot for the reader to wonder about.

A little ways into Spoonful of Magic I found myself confused about the relational dynamic between G and Daffy, before the blow up and after. I will say that I would’ve rather read about how their marriage was before it imploded so I could’ve understood where exactly Daffy was coming from because her anger towards G’s betrayal didn’t feel authentic and realistic. Also, G being so nonchalant about cheating on his wife and still playing the role or provider and protector had question marks popping up left and right and all over.

Not only was G and Daffy’s relationship weird, I needed a better explanation of the magical world, or its current setting within Spoonful of Magic. If you’ve followed me on this blog for a while you were there when my love for fantasy and urban fantasy stories were birthed, and you would know that since this love conception I have dived face first into its world. Saying that, I understand that first stories in a series have a tough job of setting up the world that an entire series is going to be based off of, as well as setting up character storylines and conflict, but Spoonful of Magic felt like I was thrown into the middle of a first in a series instead of the very beginning. With Daffy explaining how the existence of magic was somewhat normal or something that people tolerated but then couldn’t seem to grasp certain elements that surrounded G and what was going with him was another inconsistency that left me puzzled.

Now with the main issues I had with Spoonful of Magic discussed and out of the way I can now speak on the things that made this story a fascinating read. The individual characters were very entertaining and unique from other characters I’ve read about before in other fantasy series. Maybe it’s because they’re a married couple with unique kids but something about their banter and aggression towards each other made the pages easily breeze past as I read. It also didn’t hurt that the flow of Radford’s writing style was addictive and made Spoonful of Magic hard to put down.

Between the sarcastic dialogue fitting so well with the characters and story, how the mystery surrounding G, Daffy, their kids and the magical world grabbed my attention, and the badass vibe emanating from G alone Spoonful of Magic could’ve contended for un-put-down-able read status, but the execution of all this potential soured its success for me.

Fat Louise by Jamie Begley

Fat Louise by Jamie BegleyFat Louise by Jamie Begley
Series: Biker Bitches #2
Published by Young Ink Press on January 22, 2015
Pages: 186 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
five-stars

She needed a hero; instead, she got Cade.

Cade was no hero. He was a nomad, a wanderer with no ties and he liked it that way. Hired out to save Fat Louise and her spoiled sister from a cartel run Mexican city was a risk he was willing to take, for the right price. With a certain gray eyed woman on his mind, he set's out to find her, fuck her and forget her. No harm, no foul. But it's all easier said than done when it comes to this plain Jane.

He expected a biker bitch who knew the rules; instead, he got Fat Louise.

Fat Louise wasn’t about to put her crew in danger. She had to learn to handle problems on her own, even if they included a six-foot biker she was forced to rely on, if she was going to rescue her sister. She never expected to see Cade again after she'd left Mexico, but all it takes is one night with him to prove that even a bitch’s heart can be broken.

Fat Louise by Jamie Begley was both a surprise and a treat for many reasons, I’ll try to detail them all in this review but if I can’t try to add this story – heck this entire series – to your never ending TBR and experience it for yourself.

With the way things ended in both Sex Piston – all we learned about Fat Louise, and (I believe) Shade, the entire world that Jamie Begley created within these two interconnected series went around a bend that I am completely blind to. I don’t know what storylines will come from what characters, nor who will be paired with who, and I absolutely love it! Almost all the characters that are the main focus in Fat Louise, beside Fat Louise, are new the Biker Bitches series and it was refreshing to have some new blood swimming amongst all the characters that we’ve read about for approximately 10 books; both between the Biker Bitches series and The Last Riders. With that being said, new characters definitely equaled new problems for this rag tag crew.

Fat Louise, we find out, has a half-sister who is definitely a spoiled brat and finds herself in some trouble that she’s too dumb to realize she’s in (I’m going to be super harsh on the sister because she really couldn’t see past her nose throughout Fat Louise). Being the person that Fat Louise is she attempts to rescue her and winds up in a hostile country that doesn’t look favorably upon Americans entering and sticking their nose in business that doesn’t concern them, but with this turn of events we are introduced to Cade.

Cade is somewhat of an unfinished hero and definitely needs some polishing, but Fat Louise’s dad is desperate to get either both daughters back or at least the one he knows won’t survive on her own – you take a guess to which one he’s speaking about (*severe eye-roll*). Knowing what the mission is and satisfied with the payout Cade sets out to do what he does best, retrieve and live the nomadic lifestyle, but he seriously wasn’t expecting the backbone, sheer will, and beauty that is Fat Louise.

There were so many ups and downs and raw moments within Fat Louise that you find yourself getting lost in what’s going on not only with Fat Louise, Cade, and the sister, but with all the characters and situations they find themselves in. This installment in the Biker Bitches series also sets up the stage for Killyama’s story and Begley let’s the cat out of the bag about who the knight will be that will try to slay that dragon.

Fat Louise contained suspense, mystery, romance, comedy, and realistic moments that I begrudgingly want to yell from the rooftops that this installment might be my favorite out of this series so far. Fat Louise is such a meek characters that I’m still baffled by how much liked reading about her story.

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.”

Sex Piston by Jamie Begley

Sex Piston by Jamie BegleySex Piston by Jamie Begley
Series: Biker Bitches #1
Published by Young Ink Press on December 22, 2013
Pages: 157 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
four-stars

Sex Piston wasn’t about to apologize to anyone for her bitch attitude and certainly not the President of The Blue Horsemen, Stud. If he thinks he’s going to be able to control her and her crew then he has another thing coming. A lapse in judgment has him thinking that he’s won this battle of the sexes but a one-night stand isn’t about to bring this woman to heel.

Stud has to prove himself as the new President of the Destructors, and Sex Piston and her crew’s attitude isn’t helping. If he has to sacrifice his body to tame the bitch then that’s exactly what he’s going to do even if it means losing his heart in the battle.

I don’t know how many I’ve read Sex Piston by Jamie Begley, but each time I’ve read it I’ve learned something new about the characters, its connection with The Last Riders, and the overall storyline of the Biker Bitches series.

From previous Last Riders stories, particularly Beth, Diamond, and Lily’s stories, we saw glimpses of the Biker Bitches but only enough to have Begley’s readers clawing at their hair to finally get the full story of one or all of the Biker Bitches. For me personally the two characters I wanted to know most about were Killyama and Sex Piston, I didn’t start to want to know more about Fat Louise, Crazy Bitch, or T.A. until after we received Killyama and Sex Piston’s story. Wait, I think that I actually put my desire to read about Killyama on the back burner because Fat Louise’s story was so intriguing that I was all for her story being the second in the Biker Bitches series.

Sorry, I’ve gotten off track, Sex Piston is about the leader of the Biker Bitches. The friendship between these ladies was seriously unorthodox but its made these women tighter than cement could ever make them. In this first installment Begley really was meticulous in fleshing out the strength and flaws that make up Sex Piston and her sisters by choice, it didn’t hurt that she threw in the Destructors and Blue Horsemen to shake things up for them.

Right off the bat you can tell that Sex Piston and her crew pretty much run undisciplined within her father’s former motorcycle club, not that they are being rebellious for the kicks and giggles it’s just that the men that make up the club aren’t worth their respect and these ladies have no issue letting them know this, especially Sex Piston. Well, the Blue Horsemen aren’t putting up with it, and Stud knows that in order for the switch over of leadership of the Destructors to go smoothly he’ll need to cut the head off of the snake and the rest of the body will follow, basically he needed to make Sex Piston submit in order for the rest of the brothers to have some semblance of peace within the club. Stud soon finds out that the job is easier said than done, and plus he wasn’t expecting to find his perfect woman in Sex Piston while he was attempting to tame her, cue the melting and fanning.

The main thing that I loved about Sex Piston was how family oriented the entire book turned out to be. Every time you saw Sex Piston and the other Biker Bitches in parts of the Last Riders series nothing really personal is made known about them, but within Sex Piston it easy to see that family and sanctity of it was what kept these ladies going forward and standing strong.

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.”

Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster

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.

Kiss of Steel by Bec McMasterKiss of Steel by Bec McMaster
Series: London Steampunk #1
Published by Tantor Audio on May 13, 2013
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it's the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It's been said he faced down the Echelon's army single–handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood–craving he's been quicker, stronger, almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She's so…innocent. He doesn't see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he's been seeking.

In my earlier days as a book blogger I remember Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster being one of the first steampunk stories I’d ever read, the other being Kate Locke’s series – Immortal Empire. I seriously fell in love with the world that McMaster created and the paranormal elements she molded to fit in with everything. When I saw the opportunity to listen to the audio version on McMaster’s entire London Steampunk series with Alison Larkin narrating, I knew that I had to experience this series in this format – the sample I listened to hooked me as well.

As always whenever you are revisiting a series in another format you are going to experience some inconsistencies simply because when you read it for yourself you imagine how certain characters sound, look, and the way they carry themselves. In listening to Kiss of Steel with Larkin’s narration behind it I did find myself not really liking her portrayal of Blade’s voice. Now the interpretation could be completely wrong on my part because I have no idea how his English accent was supposed to sound, but I envisioned him with a deeper voice. I digress, Larkin did an amazing job with everything and everyone except for Blade’s character.

The story of Kiss of Steel was also something that drew me in immediately. Yeah there are vampires within Kiss of Steel, which have been included in paranormal stories for decades upon decades, but the way that McMaster penned the challenges, hierarchy, and world elements within Kiss of Steel sets it apart from other paranormal/steampunk stories you will ever read.

Since I never did get pass Kiss of Steel when I was going through this series the first time I’m super excited to see how the world McMaster created expands and changes as the series goes on, plus I want to see how the series transitions into the spin-off series The Blue Blood Conspiracy.