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Review – A Witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses – Molly Harper

witch's handbook of kisses and cursesA Witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses
Author: Molly Harper
Series: #2 in the Half Moon Hollow series (spin-off of the Jane Jameson series)

Review Copy Provided by the Publisher Via Edelweiss

Description:
Nola Leary would have been content to stay in Kilcairy, Ireland, healing villagers at her family’s clinic with a mix of magic and modern medicine. But a series of ill-timed omens and a deathbed promise to her grandmother have sent her on a quest to Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky, to secure her family’s magical potency for the next generation. Her supernatural task? To unearth four artifacts hidden by her grandfather before a rival magical family beats her to it.

Complication One: Her grandfather was Mr. Wainwright and the artifacts are lost somewhere in what is now Jane Jameson’s book shop.

Complication Two: her new neighbor, Jed Trudeau, who keeps turning up half naked at the strangest times, a distraction Nola doesn’t need. And teaming up with a real-life Adonis is as dangerous as it sounds, especially when he’s got the face of an angel and the abs of a washboard—can Nola complete her mission before falling completely under his spell?

Review:
I have come to the conclusion that one never knows what exactly they are going to get when they pick up a Molly Harper book to read and that is what makes her books so enjoyable. In this one, we were introduced to the fact that not only were there Vampires and Werewolves in her world, but also Witch’s – which as far as I know, have not been introduced before (but I haven’t read all of the Jane Jameson books, so maybe I am missing something). This book also marks the second in her spin-off series, Half-Moon Hollow (although, there is also a .5 book in the mix – so does this make it truely book 2, or maybe it should be book 3…). Anyways…she will be continuing on my auto-buy list in the future.

In this installment, we meet Nora, an Irish witch – who has come to Half-Moon Hollow to find several artifacts that will help her family seduce their magic and the power over a rival family for another generation. And as it always seems to be, this rival family and Nora’s has been in a feud for generations, but from the sounds of it, no one really remembers the who/how/why of it coming to be…

Witch’s Handbook was filled with the typical Molly Harper snark – where you about pee your pants laughing at a random comment, and then before you can stop, another one hits you and it just keeps on rolling through. Although, admittedly, I didn’t find as many quotable quotes in this one, as I have in previous ones. It was funny without being highly memorable (if that makes sense).

I loved both Nora and Jed as characters and am definately looking forward to reading more books with them in the future. It was also nice to see Jane and her cohort. Although, I will warn you, there are spoilers for later books in the Jane Jameson series (if you are like me and are pitifully behind on those)…so don’t say I didn’t warn you. But it isn’t like they are needed to enjoy the book, rather, they just add to the world-building. Overall, I’d give this a strong 3.5, but rounding up to 4. But I would warn about drinking while reading – you may cause damage to your book, kindle or other e-reader.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Book Review

 

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Review – City of a Thousand Dolls – Miriam Forster

city of a thousand dollsCity of a Thousand Dolls
Author: Miriam Forster
Series: #1 in the Bhinian Empire

Description:
An exotic treat set in an entirely original, fantastical world brimming with deadly mystery, forbidden romance, and heart-stopping adventure.

Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.

Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.

Review:
When I first started to read City of a Thousand Dolls, I was reminded in part of the Kushiel series’ by Jacqueline Carey. There was something about Nisha that reminded me of Phaedre – the idea of the abandoned girl finding her way in the world and eventually knowing where she belongs. I also liked the idea of the city being the place where the abandoned children are sent. It made me wonder, in places like China, where there is a limit on how many children families can have, what would have happened, if children couldn’t be adopted or what to do with them. So it was an interesting take on a problem that I see could easily occur in the world in the future.

I have to admit that the reveal for the ultimate mystery was a bit of a disappointment – I had the potential suspects narrowed down to three, early on in the book, so for me it was more of a confirmation rather than a reveal. This was a bit disappointing for me – I was hoping for some out of the blue antagonist – even the ultimate actions of the main characters were fairly obvious as to what was going to happen. However, the world building was intriguing, I definitely want to read more in the series when the books are released. Overall, I’d give it 3.5 stars, but rounding up to 4.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Book Review

 

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Review – Blood Brothers – Nora Roberts

Blood Brothers
Author: Nora Roberts
Series: Book 1 in the Sign of Seven Trilogy

Narrator: Phil Gigante
Run Time: 10hrs 4min

Book Description:
In the town of Hawkins Hollow, it’s called The Seven. Every seven years, on the seventh day of the seventh month, strange things happen. It began when three young boys-Caleb, Fox, and Gage-went on a camping trip to The Pagan Stone. And twenty-one years later, it will end in a showdown between evil and the boys who have become men-and the women who love them.

Review:
Nora Roberts has become a comfort read for me over the years, and with the 200+ books that she currently has available, I will have plenty of reading for a while yet. But recently, I have been going back to some of her older books and listening to them – they are a great way to kill the commute to work and Blood Brothers being no different. As with most of her other books, especially those in a trilogy, you can see who is going to be paired up with who early on in the books, so there really isn’t the surprise factor – but in return, you get to see more character development, the relationships develop over a longer period of time and the kind of conflict that you would expect to see in a long-term relationship show up.

One of the main complaints that I have with this book and the second one in the series (I haven’t listened to the 3rd was yet), is that Quinn, the main female character seems to be wayyy to focused on her weight and eating healthy and from the way she is described, it seems like she isn’t overweight…maybe it is part and parcel in the time period that the book was written – but it drove me nuts. In fact, it made me want to go out and eat a pint of ice cream just to counter-act her worrying about her weight.

When it comes to narration, no one tops Phil Gigante when it comes the narration. He is easily probably one of my top 5 narrators out there and I will definately opt to listen to a book narrated by him, than most other narrators. While at first, most listeners aren’t a fan of his female voices, I know I wasn’t, he definately grew on me. It is unfortunate that the other 2 books in the trilogy are narrated by other people. Phil is definately what I called a weak-knee’d narrator – in that when I listen to his narration, I get weak-knee’d in places because his voice just does it for me. But I think that is enough squee’ing over Phil ;)

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2012 in Book Review, Uncategorized

 

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Review: A Little Night Magic

A Little Night Magic
A Little Night Magic by Lucy March
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Review
If I hadn’t seen this book advertised on audible when I was scrolling through new releases, I would have probably never heard of it, or picked it up, which would have been unfortunately. Lucy March managed to create a contemporary paranormal romance, without using the whole “mated theme” that seems to show up in the vast majority of PNR’s nowadays (not that I don’t like that theme, it just gets a bit old at times). Anyways, the story is about Olivia, a waitress at CCB’s a diner in New York State and follows her adventures as she discovers that she is a “magical.” Without giving any more details away, I have to say that the evil individual is the book was probably one of the most compelling i’ve read about in a while. If you are a fan of Molly Harper, I would recommend you check out Lucy March, I know I will be in the future. I would give this a 4/5 for the story

Narration Review
When looking at narrators of audiobooks, there are certain people I look for. One of them is Amanda Ronconi. I originally came across her when I listed to Molly Harper’s Naked Werewolf series and enjoyed her narration, so when I saw that she was narrating this new book I was willing to give it a try and she didn’t disappoint. All the various characters were so clearly narrated with different voices that I thought I was listening to at least 2 different people. She even has the ability to do decent male voices, which isn’t always easy (and conversely, the same can be said about men doing female voices…). On a scale of 1-5, I would give the narration a solid 4 – which overall gives the book a 4/5 and i’ll def. be both reading more by Lucy March and listening to more narrations by Ronconi in the future.

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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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