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Urban Fantasy Review: Destined for Shadows by Susan Illene

Destined for Shadows by Susan Illene (Dark Destiny #1)

ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
When you’re human in a supernatural world, life can have unexpected twists.

Cori has spent the last few years trying to get herself back on track after tragedy struck in the worst possible way. She’s opened a business, made new friends, and even helped save lives. Sure, she doesn’t tell anyone about the dark deeds haunting her, but she does her best to make up for them whenever she can. That includes helping her new neighbor, a half-angel who has just spent a hundred years in Purgatory, adjust to modern life.

Bartol is damaged inside and out. The torture he has suffered left him with no desire to interact with the outside world, and so far he’s pushed everyone he knows away. Cori can’t help wanting to do what she can for the traumatized immortal—even if it requires being a little pushy—because she’s drawn to him for reasons she can’t explain. And, anyway, a little crankiness has never been enough to scare her off.

But her plans are about to come crashing down when a man from her past returns with vengeance on his mind. He’s not human anymore, and he wants Cori dead. In the end, it might not be her saving Bartol, but the other way around.

Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK


* * *

As a spin off, this is off to a solid start. It sets the scene nicely, it delves into the backstory of two main characters, and it's keeping us up to date with what's happening in Fairbanks.

My only complaint is that Cori & Bartol's interactions are very muted and sparse until they aren't. I needed them to build themselves up to that spark and sexual heat slower, especially considering how damaged they both are.

Friday Mini Reviews #108: Ben Aaronovitch, Eloisa James & Tiffany Reisz

A Rare Book of Cunning Device (Peter Grant #5.6)

free on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads
Somewhere amongst the shadowy stacks and the many basements of the British library, something is very much amiss - and we're not talking late returns here. Is it a ghost, or something much worse? PC Peter Grant really isn't looking forward to finding out....
Audible US/UK
It's a tiny short story, one of Peter Grant's numerous errands, I picked up for free on audio. It's fun and it even manages to replicate a rich background of British library, among stacks of which Peter and a designated to the task librarian are hunting weird mechanical spiders. Enjoyed it.
                                                               * * *
Это повесть - малютка, описывающая одну из многочисленных ежедневных задач, стоящих перед Питером Грантом. Автору, несмотря на краткость истории, удалось передать красоту и величественность Британской библиотеки, среди полок которой Питер вместе с коллегой-библиотекарем охотится на странных механических пауков.
 The Duke is Mine by Eloisa James (Fairy Tales #3)


Synopsis from Goodreads

Destiny will be decided between the sheets in this all-new tale of The Princess and the Pea.

For Olivia Lytton, betrothal to the Duke of Canterwick—hardly a Prince Charming—feels more like a curse than a happily-ever-after. At least his noble status will help her sister, Georgiana, secure an engagement with the brooding, handsome Tarquin, Duke of Sconce, a perfect match for her in every way . . . every way but one. Tarquin has fallen in love with Olivia. Quin never puts passion before reason. And reason says that Georgiana is his ideal bride. But the sensual, fiery, strong-willed Olivia ignites an unknown longing in him—a desire they are both powerless to resist. When a scandalous affair begins, they risk losing everything—Olivia's engagement, her sister's friendship, and their own fragile love. Only one thing can save them—and it awaits in the bedroom, where a magnificent mattress holds life-changing answers to the greatest romantic riddle of all.
Audible US | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository
Okay, it started great, witty, sparkling and fun. I loved Olivia, her hapless intended, her reserved sister and of course Quinn, the main hero. But then, it turned into a hot mess. The weird seduction and especially the bizarre French adventure read like they were written by a different person. I don't know what happened but I did not like it.
                                                          * * *
Ну, началась книга весело, с задором и искорками. Мне нравились здесь все: и язвительная Оливия и ее рассудительная сестра, ее простачок-жених и конечно же главный герой, Куин. Потом произошло нелепое сооблазнение и карикатурное французское приключение в стиле Блакаддэра, и у меня было такое впечатление, что я читала двух разных авторов. Не лучшая работа автора.

Mischief by Tiffany Reisz (The Original Sinners #8.6)

kindle freebie

Synopsis from Goodreads
When Nora's young lover Nico admits he's always wanted to celebrate a real American Halloween, she summons him to Halloween Town, USA—a.k.a. Salem, Massachusetts—for two nights of nothing but candy, sex, and mischief.

If necessary, they can skip the candy.

Amazon kindle US/UK


Oooh, it was lovely! Nico, you naughty boy! I freaking adored this novella, it was snarkalicious, hot and peppery. A pure Halloween treat.
                                                       * * *
Милейшая короткая история! Нико, какой же ты хулиган! Ну жутко понравилось... язвительно, горячо и с перчиком. Настоящая конфетка на Хэллоуин.

Steampunk Mystery Audiobook Review: Firebrand by A.J. Hartley

Firebrand by A.J. Hartley (Alternative Detective #2)

audiocopy courtesy of Audible Studios

Synopsis from Goodreads
Once a steeplejack, Anglet Sutonga is used to scaling the heights of Bar-Selehm. Nowadays she assists politician Josiah Willinghouse behind the scenes of Parliament. When government plans for a secret weapon are stolen, their investigation leads right to the doorsteps of the city’s superexclusive social club, Elitus. Ang has a chance to catch the thief, but only if she can pass for a foreign princess. Her best chance to learn the ways of royalty lies in the aloof Dahria Willinghouse and the intense Madame Nahreem, a woman possessing high standards and unusual pets.

Yet Ang has other things on her mind. Refugees from the north are trickling into the city, but an ambitious politician is proposing extreme measures to get rid of them. She soon discovers that one theft could spark a conflagration of conspiracy that threatens the most vulnerable of Bar-Selehm. Unless she can stop it.

Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UKBook Depository


* * *

Firebrand gets another high rating from yours truly, because it's an exceptionally original story with a unique voice.

First, the narrator on audio, Noma Dimezweni. I adore her! She truly brought Ang and all the supporting characters to life.

Historical Romance Review: Luck Be a Lady by Meredith Duran

Luck Be a Lady by Meredith Duran (Rules for The Reckless #4)


Synopsis from Goodreads
Romance sizzles between a famous heiress and an infamous crime lord in this fourth sexy novel in the Rules for the Reckless series from the USA Today bestselling author of Fool Me Twice.

The Wallflower

They call her the “Ice Queen.” Catherine Everleigh is London’s loveliest heiress, but a bitter lesson in heartbreak has taught her to keep to herself. All she wants is her birthright—the auction house that was stolen from her. To win this war, she’ll need a powerful ally. Who better than infamous and merciless crime lord Nicholas O’Shea? A marriage of convenience will no doubt serve them both.

The Crime Lord

Having conquered the city’s underworld, Nick seeks a new challenge. Marrying Catherine will give him the appearance of legitimacy—and access to her world of the law-abiding elite. No one needs to know he’s coveted Catherine for a year now—their arrangement is strictly business, free from the troubling weaknesses of love. Seduction, however, is a different matter—an enticing game he means to ensure she enjoys, whether she wishes to or not...

Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository


* * *
While I powered through Lady Be Good, I lost some of my steam with Luck Be A Lady.

The reason? I didn't think the characters lived up to their potential.
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