Light of the Spirit – Lisa Kessler

Welcome back everyone, we’ve reached the tipping point in the series. We’re over halfway!

If you’re familiar with the Greek Muses you’re probably wondering how I’m halfway through the series with four books down and three to go when there are 9 Muses. Well I’m not going to spoil it for you!

The previous three books were pretty action packed, yet this one felt like it had something else to it that I just loved. I’m not sure if it’s the introduction of more mythology and deities or not. Yet it’s becoming increasingly more like the Dark Hunter series.

There’s another character we’ve met previously becoming a central figure. There are unknown immortal beings wreaking havoc. Both sides of the battle are slowly having more and more information revealed to them.

There’s even that crucial input from the bad guys to keep it interesting. Unlike previous books, this one has more input from the bad guys including more people’s points of view rather than just Ted’s.  Between this and me reading the blurbs for future books I’m starting to map out my ideas of who’s who, who’s going to do what and why.

Let the conspiracies fly!

I have no idea how right or wrong I’ll be but I’m loving the drama, the additional input without lacking on the story of the two characters we’re meant to be focusing on. The balance still works even with more input from the bad guys.

Come back in another month to find out how the story develops in the fifth book!

4

Breath of Passion – Lisa Kessler

Welcome back everyone, we’re into week 2 (second month) of the Muse Chronicles and the third book.

To recap, by the time this book recap’s we’re probably a yr on from the start of the first book, 2-3 months on from the previous books main timeframe, one Muse down with two paired up with their Guardians.

I was confused for a little bit about how Reed’s talents were going to be useful as Erica’s Guardian. But as the story developed, showing us more of each of their lives, the shift in the Order of the Titans etc it made sense.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I liked the shift that was going on. Yet, as I got further into the story, I found myself enjoying that the series had more to it than the predictable. By changing up the pace, the enemy and the focus of the book (slightly) it felt like I got a deeper sense of their overall story in a way that’s much more relatable.

I don’t expect every aspect of a paranormal romance to be relatable, yet I love it when elements are brought in that are super relatable. Or at the very least, more normal, more human. However, an element that I found similar to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s style is introducing future characters in each book.

At least, I’m guessing that this is the case. It seems odd to give side characters names that the main characters then focus in on if that’s not going to be the case. So, I’m guessing the girls have found two more Guardian’s by the end of this book. And I will add, I haven’t started the next book yet so I have no idea if this prediction will come true!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, the next couple of months will follow a similar flow to this past month as there’s still a few books to go in each of these series. Once they are done, I’ll just flow into a new series to replace it. Maybe one day I’ll be done? Who knows!

Legend of Love – Lisa Kessler

Welcome back everyone, this week we’re back into the Muse Chronicles series that Rach Random Resources introduced me to last yr with a Blog Tour. I’ll be reviewing one of these books each month, with two Tamora Pierce reviews and a Time for Alexander review in between them.

Legend of Love is the second book in the series and I’m starting to get the feeling that each Guardian will have unique skills that JUST HAPPEN to align with the specific danger scenario’s the Muse ends up in. I’m getting this feeling since Nate is a detective and Mel needed a detective. This time, Callie needed a strong protective force that comes in the form of a Navy SEAL.

One of the best things about this story was that even though Hunter pursued Callie and kept asking her out, she didn’t just give in. She stuck to her guns and focused on talking to Hunter about their feelings and what was going on. While at the same time it didn’t feel like Hunter changed who he was, other than the natural progression of someone making hard decisions about their careers.

We also learn more about the Order of the Titans, what they are trying to achieve and the lengths they will go through to achieve them. I get the feeling that as I progress through each book we will learn more and more while also growing the little army against them in the form of Guardians who can work together to shut them down.

The one thing that kind of bugged me about this Callie’s Muse is that I couldn’t really see the relevance of her in this story. With Mel we could see her use her Muse’s powers throughout her story. However, with Callie we only get hints at it and more warnings and memories of her Muse’s impact to her life.

Thank you for reading and I hope you’ll come back next week for the Tamora Peirce’s next review.

Lure of Obsession – Lisa Kessler

Welcome back everyone, today I have two special reviews for you so please look out for the other one as well! One is a bit of a romcom while the other is a fantasy romance.

This one is the fantasy romance, yay!

I do love a good mixture of gods, myths, legends and the modern world and this one has that. This is the first book in the Muse Chronicles series which follows modern day women who have the power of one of the nine ancient Greek Muses woken in them. That means they are driven to inspire the current generation to create, develop and progress.

But we also find out that they had guardians to protect them from the forces that would harm them. And those forces would be those dedicated to freeing the old Titans, including Kronos. Those followers trying to kill Mel, the personification of the Muse of Tragic Poetry, is what draws her guardian Nate to her.

We’re then gripped up in the crimes being committed by the followers of Kronos as they try to eliminate all the Muses for their own gains. I’m not quite sure how Lisa managed to get such a great balance between romance, comedy, mystery and a crime story but she did.

The whole way through I found myself totally falling in love with each of the characters more and more and loving the banter. I’m not sure if the humour was intended to be such a big part of the book but I found myself laughing at the sarcastic comments, overtures and the regular jokes being bandied about. I’m hoping I can keep reading this series because I found myself really enjoying it.

Don’t forget to check out Willow by Grace Parks which I also reviewed today.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing Sunshine over Bluebell Castle by Sarah Bennett. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Lisa Kessler is a Best Selling author of dark paranormal fiction. She’s a two-time San Diego Book Award winner for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror and Best Published Romance. Her books have also won the PRISM award, the Award of Excellence, the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award, the Award of Merit from the Holt Medallion, and an International Digital Award for Best Paranormal. 

Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award. 

When she’s not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, and has performed with San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.

Stay up-to-date on new releases and giveaways by subscribing to Lisa’s newsletter. You can check out Lisa on her social media and on Pinterest.

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Son of the Moon – Jennifer Macaire

Welcome back everyone, I hope you enjoyed my review of One?. I found it difficult at times as an Aussie but still enjoyed it, but time to get back to a series I’m really enjoying, the Time for Alexander series!

Writing Style

The first thing I want to say is that it seems Jennifer has either gotten over those overly direct sentences, or she got a new editor for this book that managed to get rid of almost all of those annoying, jarring sentences. YAY!

That left me being able to focus more on the story rather than feeling like I was thrown out of it because of a string of short sentences that just felt weird to read.

Overall, I feel like there’s a maturity to Jennifer’s writing that hasn’t quite been there with the first two books. And I’m loving it. It feels like the story is more cohesive and purposeful rather than a string of great ideas and plot points strung together.

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the first two books. It means that I found this book much easier to engage with which meant I could enjoy it much easier and quicker.

Initial Thoughts

I’m struggling to remember what exactly happened at the start, but I remember that I was a little on edge wondering if Ashley and Alexander would find their son. Given there are 7 books in the series I wasn’t sure if this quest was meant to span all those books or whether there’d be more to their story if they found him.

After a harsh climb up a mountain pass, they were met by an old man who welcomed them but seemed to be delaying and delaying them seeing their sun. Which of course made me wonder if their son was even still there or had yet again been stolen away from them.

What they discovered was certainly not what they, or me, were expecting which brought about another question. What were they going to do now?

And that’s what drove the rest of the books story.

Final Thoughts

As usual, I finished this book dying for the next book. Which makes me think, if anyone wants to know what they should ever gift me (in case you were wondering), get me this series with matching covers in paperback. Coz this is a series I will come back to again in the future (I can already tell) which mean’s I want it in my burgeoning library for proud display.

I’ve mentioned already that I really engaged with this book better than the first book. I loved the battles, I loved that Ashley sacrificed for love and I love that she’s willing to ask for what she really wants. A full life with Alexander where they can live in peace without the people from the future killing them and erasing them from history.

This really brought me back to the start of the first book which made me wonder if this was a clue as to what was happening then. Maybe, maybe not. I’ll have to wait to find out.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Probably the Best Kiss in the World by Pernille Hughes. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Jennifer Macaire lives with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

Giveaway – $10 Amazon gift certificate and mug (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

#27 Stygian – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Welcome back all, I thought we’d close out the year with a Sherrilyn Kenyon review. In reading this book I felt like I’ve missed a few of her books from the Dark Hunter world. If you’re interested in me reading these and reviewing them comment below with the title’s I haven’t reviewed and I will try and get to them to read and review them.

This book is following Urian right from before he was even born (from the time of Acheron’s death when Apollymi went nuts on the world) right up to the end of 2017. I wasn’t too sure how this was going to play out since Phoebe had died way back when. But I was really interested to see where this was going to go.

I felt like the first kinda part of this book was a bit repetitive since it was taken pretty much directly from Acheron’s book from just after his death. And there were a few other sections that felt like this as well. Which can’t really be helped given how long Urian has been alive, and how much he’s been involved in other books. But what I didn’t like about how Sherrilyn did it is that she didn’t even try to re-write the scenes that Urian was in from his perspective. It felt more like a copy and paste from previous books.

However we did spend quite some time with the first few (thousand) years of his life mostly stuck in Kalosis. On his few forays into the human world we see him cross paths with a few different Dark Hunters, Were Hunters and even Acheron and Savitar. Because of this we see a different side to Urian than we’ve seen in the past. Which was pretty cool.

We also got to know his brothers and one sister. We learnt about the various relationships and I really felt like I got a sense of Urian and why he was like he was like. To find out how close he was to Apollymi was strange. We knew from a previous book that he’s actually Bethany and Styxx’s child. And we know that Apollymi hated Styxx with a massive passion. So why would she be close to their son? Why train him to be amazing? Why be ok with him having Styxx’s emblem on his shield? Her love of him just felt so strange to me but at the same time so nice.

The biggest thing that was strange to me was Urian’s first love. And that it was to a dragon. From everything we knew about Urian until this point in time he has never ONCE mentioned loving anyone other than Phoebe. So to hear that he loved Xyn, and had a relationship with her over a span of hundreds of years. He loved her so much that he was devastated when she didn’t meet him and went back to her cave to check on her and found it abandoned and her long gone.

So my problem then became a matter of. Was Phoebe or Xyn his true love? Or is there someone new who has entered his life? Well after a whole lot of drama, adventure and tension it turns out Xyn was alive and locked as a statue all this time. Cue a bit more drama coz turns out Phoebe is alive as well and he ends up going back to Xyn and leaving Phoebe to try and enjoy what remains of her life.

Just like with Styxx’s book I was grabbed in, sucked in emotionally and really felt like I was there with Urian. The loneliness he’s experienced his whole life, as if he’s not like everyone else? It’s a feeling I’ve felt most of my life and its something that can isolate someone further than they already feel.

I hope everyone has a great end of the year and welcomes in 2019 safely, but with a lot of fun!

PS. I will be welcoming in the new year with a new look, fingers crossed I will have finished it (you may have already noticed some changes…) by the time the first review of the new year is released!

#23 Son of No One – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Welcome back all, this week’s Dark Hunter novel is actually one of the spin off series “Lord of Avalon” books. I’m not sure which one in that series it is, but I have a feeling it’d be the first one. I will also warn you now, my memory of this one isn’t that great so if I get a few details wrong and you’ve read the book feel free to correct me in the comments!

Now when I read this one it had just come out and I had just found a new job after staying in a job I hated for like a yr while I tried to find another one. Coz just like Jo I had bills to pay and so needed an income. So in terms of feeling pretty bad about your life, I was right there with Jo at this point in time. Also at this point in time I was in the process of moving in with my boyfriend (sounds romantic yea?) as a way to try and save money and pay of my ridiculous debts quickly so I could afford a new car since mine was lucky to start some days. Again, another way I felt like I understood Jo and the disasters that kept happening to her.

So for her to unluckily fall through a mirror into Avalon I almost wished I was in her place as my life felt like it was wildly spinning out of my control. At least that was until we released that Avalon was a hell realm and that she probably wouldn’t be able to escape back to the normal world.

Luckily Cadegan appears and saves her and tries to explain some things about Avalon to her since she has no idea where she is or how she got here. Cadegan being the old school gentleman that he is looks after her and decides to help her try and find a way to escape Avalon since she didn’t belong there in the first place.

This is where my memory get’s a little hazy on what happen’s, but I’m pretty sure they seek help from the an evil king who agrees to help them so long as they can get a list of things by a set deadline. Except during that first night he swaps the souls of Jo and Cadegan so that Jo is in Cadegan’s body and vice versa. Some of the ingredients were ok to get however other’s take a fair bit of work and riddle solving to figure out.

I remember feeling excited because Sherrilyn’s writing style always sucks me in. But I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the others. When reading it I loved it. Once it was finished I just didn’t feel the “awwwww it’s finished already?” feeling that I get when I really love a book. It was gripping throughout and of course Jo and Cadegan find a way out. And if memory serves me correctly it was a genius way out that couldn’t have been achieved without the help of Jo’s family.

Since Cadegan hadn’t been in the human realm for so long Acheron even makes an appearance to help them with a place to stay to help Cadegan transition into living in the human realm full time with Jo. Which is super sweet, but it always gives me a pang how nice Acheron is to those who aren’t Styxx, yet is so awful to him. If you read last weeks review you will understand why I say this.

Anyway, that’s it for another week! I hope you’ve enjoyed this weeks post. I will see you back here next week for the next instalment.

#22 Styxx – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Hi all, welcome back to this weeks review. I’ve been looking forward to writing this one up since this is my favourite book in the whole series. Like, wholly and completely, this is my favourite book that I could come back to at any time and read as a stand alone book. And I think that’s because I relate to Styxx more than I have any other character in the series. I am going to apologise ahead of time for a long post. This book just packs so much into it that you can’t help but write a longer review to ensure you get the gist of it.

We start off with Archon killing as many baby boys as possible who may be his son and Apollymi taunting him because yet again he’s failed on his quest. And this is going way back to 9548 BC, back before even Acheron was born! We then experience a number or events from Styxx and Acheron’s childhood from Styxx’s point of view. Previously we’ve seen Acheron’s point of view and Styxx was always painted as a selfish brat.

However, now we see it from Styxx’s point of view where he is trying to connect to his family and the only one who seems to like him is his twin. Acheron. His sister Ryssa hates him because she thinks he gets everything from their parents, and Acheron get’s nothing. However his mum screams and throws things at him if he goes near her and his father is always cold. Because his father doesn’t believe Acheron is his son, he’s doubtful about Styxx’s paternity as well. So although he’s grooming Styxx to take over as king he doesn’t truly trust that he deserves to be king. Especially when he’s constantly distracted or sick, while he conveniently forgets that this happens because Acheron isn’t being treated fairly.

This is the first thing that made me feel like I connected with Styxx. Growing up my own family treated me differently just because they perceived that I had a better life than they did. In some ways I did have a better childhood, but in other’s they had it way better and they never bothered to ask me or talk to me to find out if we had anything in common. Which just drove us further and further apart, and over time that bred resentment which is what we see between Styxx and his siblings as they grow older.

After Acheron had been taken away and had his tongue pierced Styxx dropped in pain because his life force was linked to Acheron’s. Rather than remember that this had happened however, his father treated him as if he was insane and had him committed to the priests of Dionysus. He was left to their “kind” treatment for some time, during which he was beaten by the priests of Dionysus by day and gang raped by Dionysus and Apollo by night. And all because he was a prince that they all hated. However for Styxx this was just the start of Apollo’s obsession with him that would slowly but surely ruin his life.

Over the years Styxx gained the respect of his training master while he lost the respect and even “cordial” treatment from his family. The treatment he got from his uncle was what really opened his eyes. So he sneaked off to Atlantis to find Acheron and free him from what he suspected his brother was being forced to do. Unfortunately Acheron had been so brain washed and broken by their uncle that he refused to go which resulted in Styxx being caught. Which made things even worse for both of them. I really felt for Styxx at this time. Having already read Acheron’s book I knew that Acheron never remembered this later. A lot of Acheron’s hatred of Styxx came from the fact that he thought Styxx had everything he was meant to have. Without realising that his cage was just as tortuous as his own, even if it was gilded in gold rather than cold iron and drugs. Given the powers Acheron has as a god I don’t understand how he can’t be aware of this or what Styxx had had to put up with during his human lifetime.

Eventually Styxx grew so tired off all the abuse that he thew himself off a cliff. Does that really sound like the actions of someone who is selfish, spoiled and gets the best of everything handed to them on a silver platter? To me it doesn’t. While slowly dragging himself home he comes across Bethany in her human form (blind and fishing) and pretended to be just a common child of 16 years old. They quickly build a friendship and whenever they can they sneak off to meet each other by the stream to chill out and escape from the craziness of their lives. Some time later Styxx is sent to war, but he managed to slip out to see Bethany one last time before leaving at which point she gave him a necklace to “remind him of her” but in reality was bewitched to protect him from all damage.

It was a super sweet notion but quite funny when Bethany kept trying to kill the “arrogant prince” while searching for her Hector and finding that none of her weapons could touch him. He always seems to turn at the last second, or something would get in the way etc. Possibly the necklace played a part of his success and managed to overthrow and take control of many Atlantean controlled towns. But the one thing he made sure of was that not one of the women they came across were harmed or raped. They provided medical aid to all those injured regardless of their nationality. At some point along the way Bethany realised this prince was her Hector and she ended up pretty conflicted. I can understand where she’s coming from. The guy she trusted her heart to lied to her about who he was. But on the other hand, a prince who wouldn’t abuse his power to make her love him or at  least let him use her body, who cared for Atlantean’s alongside his own people definitely wasn’t what she was expecting of this “arrogant prince child”. So does she trust her heart, or those around her?

The next thing to happen sucks badly. Styxx was then kidnapped by Apollo and hand gifted to the Atlantean god’s all because he wouldn’t submit to Apollo like he wanted. Instead he was then physically abused and raped over and over for something like a year. During the course of that yr he was replaced by another god to make sure he wasn’t missed. While he was replaced the god turned everyone against him and went along with his father setting him up with an Egyptian bride. Luckily Bethany found him and released him in time to discover that he’d become engaged and ended it before it could be fulfilled.

Luckily Styxx and Bethany find some happiness and decide to get married to welcome their baby into the world. Except while Bethany is with her mother to turn herself into a human for Styxx Apollymi come’s calling because Acheron was killed and turns all the gods to stone. Meanwhile Styxx is sent to Hades realm away from Bethany and all he can think about is making sure she’s ok and thankful that she was visiting family rather than with him. At this point we only know a few bits and pieces about what Styxx gets up to in the future so it feels like this will be the first book in the series where there isn’t a happily ever after for our main characters.

The next few things we hear about Styxx is him trying to find ways to die. Like actually die. Properly die to end his never ending suffering. He’s already experienced starvation among many other torments and he just wants it all to end. After his first attempt to die in the modern world fails, Acheron plonks him on his own island in the Atlantean god’s realm where he doesn’t need to see him anymore. Some time later Urian comes across Styxx and like a fangirl meeting her fav movie/ pop star is immediately overwhelmed by meeting him and just wants to do whatever he can to help him out. Then the next person to come across him is Acheron’s wife. Which doesn’t bode well for Styxx. Whenever anyone who likes Acheron came across him in the past it meant pain and torment for him. But will she prove herself to be different? Too bad Simi wasn’t anywhere near as accepting when she came across Styxx. I guess having all the others accept Styxx meant someone had to hate him given his previous track record.

When Acheron finds out that Styxx is out again he goes into a rage. Since he’s so patient with everyone else it’s kinda surprising that he is so heartless and hostile to his brother for no reason. But on the other hand I kind of get it since I’m kind of like that as well. Those closest to you inevitably push your buttons more and because they just keep pushing and pushing you can’t help but snap and lose it sometimes. I’m not saying it’s the best behaviour. It’s definitely something those around Acheron are trying to help him get over. But it happens more often than not anyway.

In Acheron’s way he then sets Styxx up in an apartment in the real world. But doesn’t help him adjust to the change in the world. Lucky for him Urian visits and he is kept sane. Until the day Acheron needs him. At which point in time it feels like Acheron is trying to guilt trip him into helping him when Acheron has done nothing but abuse Styxx in every way possible for pretty much the entire history of the world. Anyway, Styxx does it in the hopes that it will help mend the problems in their relationship. Too bad it doesn’t. So he escapes to Egypt where Urian is the only person to bother checking up on him.

Eventually Styxx finds out about his previous lives and the role he has to play to save Bethany. And lucky for him it’s possible to save her and get the love of his life back. So even though he’s had to live through unimaginable pain, suffering, abuse, torture and betrayal maybe he will find peace. And even a family of his own. Luckily for him Acheron grows up just in time to help him get all this back.  Personally I can’t say I really trust Acheron yet. Coz it just feels like he’s being nice in the end because he’s been woken up to what a dick he was to his twin brother who had done nothing but try and help him all their human lives while trying to find his own little slice of happiness. But then again I’m not the most trusting of people. Hopefully it works out for them!

Of any book in this series this is the one I believe you should definitely read! Although to get the best impact from it you should probably read Acheron’s book first. Then it’ll make more sense. And there is SOOOOO much I haven’t touched on in this review because Sherrilyn has just absolutely jam packed this book full of things! So go and read it! Writing this review is making me want to re-read it as well. I feel like there’s a few spots where my memory is failing me which is a shame coz I really do love this one!

Until next time! See you next week and if you haven’t already read this one. Go and read it!

#21 Time Untime – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Hi all, welcome back to another Dark Hunter novel. This week’s “Time Untime” is a little different to the previous ones. Or at least that’s how it felt to me. This time it seemed that the human (Dr Kateri) was the one targeted and Ren just happened upon her at the right time therefore making this a Dark Hunter novel.

To give you a big of background knowledge, we met Ren with Sundown a few books ago and in that one he was the quiet, yet knowledgeable one that seemed to always find a way to survive… So to then have him as the centre focus of this book and turns out he’s trying to kidnap Dr Kateri is really bloody weird. To my knowledge no Dark Hunter has kidnapped a woman before. So what the hell is going on?!

Dr Kateri on the other hand is being plagued by nightmares that feature Ren. Her grandmother seems to think Ren is a good guy, but then why does he freak her out so much? And when she meets him in real life why is he trying to kidnap her?

And given that the focus for this series has been on ancient Greece, Rome, the Celts and Amazons with the occasional deviation. This one felt way off the beaten track and I didn’t know where we were going. Right up until the end of the book when Ren’s existence is explained I was completely confused and didn’t know what to think or who to trust. Like he seemed like a nice guy in Sundown’s book but the Ren in this book was completely different!

Purely because it is so different to the other’s I’m not a massive fan of the story as part of the series. However as a stand alone book this is really well written. It has adventure, suspense, some romance and good old fashioned betrayal. So it’s a good read, just not one of my favs in the series.

And that’s a wrap for another week. I look forward to sharing my all time favourite with you next week!