Song of the Soul – Lisa Kessler

Welcome back everyone, I can’t believe we’re finally at the end of the series! How?! Why?!

I’ve loved this series more and more as I’ve gotten further into it. Normally this isn’t the case. Especially when each book built on the last one and none felt like the ball had been dropped.

Every character had a reason for being. Every character had a purpose at every part of the journey, and it didn’t feel like it was sticky taped together or anything.

The way Lisa was able to pivot the story from hate and revenge to forgiveness and love was amazing. Even though I’m not sure how “believable” the very ending bit was, especially given how much Lisa stressed that there was only one set of Muses born each generation.

I also would’ve liked to have known what ended up happening with the Gods. We can only assume the ended was what the Muses were trying to achieve. But how did their relationships change? Did they change their views on anything?

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing The Daugher of Victory Lights by Kerri Turner.

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Dance of the Heart – Lisa Kessler

Welcome back everyone, I loved this book, even though it felt very light on with the romance.

All the pieces are falling into place. The gods are in play, the masks are taken off, the bad guys and the good guys are redefined, and its action packed the whole time!

Although I loved the romance of the early books, I’m loving how it’s developing even more. The changes in dynamics based on the information that’s available is amazing.

I even got a surprise at the end!

The start of each book we figure out who the next Guardian and Muse couple are. Yet this time we find out at the end of this book. And the way we find out is so cool! With 2 gods, 7 Muses, 7 Guardians and some kids present it was not the discovery I expected.

And his gift! OMG!

I can’t wait to get to the final book to understand how and why he has that gift!

I feel like that final couple of chapters overrode everything else about the book that was great. It was all just so unexpected that it’s all my mind is latching onto and wanting to focus on. Especially because it’s driving me nuts trying to figure out what’s left to cover in the final book.

You know when a series feels like it’s reached its end, but you know there’s still another book, episode or movie to go? That’s how this feels!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing Daughter of Victory by Kerri Turner.

Always Been You – Lasairiona E. McMaster

Welcome back everyone, I feel like I’m kinda getting back into my groove. Having a couple of weeks not having to work 50+ hours certainly helped!

I’ve gotten to the final book in the AJ Williams trilogy, meaning I’m also at the end of both Lisa’s and AJ’s stories. In a way I’m glad it’s the end. Purely because 6 books about the same two people can be a lot. But I was also super pumped about finding out his side of that final turbulent book.

I spent a fair while wondering how much we’d see, including how he’d get divorced. I gotta say I wasn’t as emotionally invested in this book as some of the others. I think this comes more from how eager I was to know his side of the Mexico trip and his divorce than anything else.

Overall, I found myself underwhelmed by the emotional upheaval AJ went through and the way it was written. Other than the moments involving Lisa (much of which was taken directly from her books), the emotional rollercoaster that I’m used to experiencing just wasn’t there.

I got the feels in all the right moments, just as intended. Yet I found myself just waiting for all the moments with Lisa to see what AJ was thinking and feeling. When you’re reading a book, I don’t believe you should be waiting for moments to happen. Instead, I think you should be enjoying the moment you’re in and the story.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll be reviewing Dance of the Heart by Lisa Kessler. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did – with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years.

Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself ‘home’, with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation.

With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.

Battle Magic – Tamora Pierce

Welcome back everyone, although this book is set before the other two in this quartet it was published after them.

And it shows.

I had to re-read this because I’ve only read it once so couldn’t remember it well enough to write this review. Since I know Will of the Empress so well (I honestly don’t know how many times I’ve read that one) some of the phrases, scenes etc were expected. Yet it didn’t feel as dramatic or intense as Briar made it out to be in Will of the Empress.

Given how much time was spent focussing on the lead up to the war, there really wasn’t enough time left to devote to proper descriptions of the war. By the time we got to the main war we were lucky to get one chapter to a battle that raged days. And then the Emperor wasn’t even there for the war to end!

Since I’d forgotten what happened I thought we were going to miss out on finding out how the war would end. Then in the space of what felt like a few pages it was all over. It was definitely an unsatisfying ending. I felt jibbed by that ended.

When the magic and development of the people was done so well throughout the book, I can’t believe how badly it was finished. At the same time, quite a few of the magical moments were so similar to ones in the Will of the Empress that I now want to re-read that again. While also hating on the fact that Tamora so easily “copied and pasted” those aspects. I think more effort could have been put in to make them more different so each book is unique.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, tomorrow I’ll be reviewing Just Another Silly Love Song by Rich Amooi.

Holding Out for a Hero – T.E. Kessler

Welcome back everyone, I’m desperately trying to keep up with my commitments. Especially those I made with Rachel.

I love sci-fi, alien romances and romances in general. So I jumped on the opportunity to read this series, one I hadn’t heard of before. In some ways this book is amazing, and then in others I hated it and felt the writer was immature, out of touch and generally needed help writing romances.

The politics, the intrigue, the action. It all kept me engaged, interested and wanting to read more.

What fell apart for me was the romance and sex scenes. They felt weird, out of touch and unrealistic. What really made this obvious for me was when Nacifer’s kinkiness came out. I’ve nothing against that kind of sexual antics, but it felt weird to bring it out within a couple of days of properly meeting and starting to date someone.

You’ve barely begun to explore each other’s bodies. How can you be bored enough to need to move onto other exploits so soon?

I also realised at that point that the book spans less than a week. I get instant attraction, lust etc. But love to the point of willing to die for the other, break oaths, turn your back on your own species? It just felt weird to me.

I also found the language used in all of the sex scenes was clinical, rushed and generally made me think the author was a guy trying to get into the female psyche. You know when guys try to talk dirty and as a woman, you’re like “that just feels gross, no, just stop talking, that’s not sexy”. That’s how I felt reading those sex scenes.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll be reviewing Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Tina Kessler writes steamy romance for the 18+ market and is the pen name of Louise Wise.

Louise Wise is a British author from the Midlands in England. Her debut novel is the acclaimed sci-fi romance titled EDEN, which was followed by its sequel HUNTED in 2013.

Forthcoming, JELVIA: NOT HUMAN series is themed on the above Eden and Hunted books.

  • HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO book 1
  • SURVIVING HER DOMINANT book 2
  • SPIDER book 3 will be released late spring, 2020.

Wise took the decision to write under the name of T. E Kessler for her JELVIA: NOT HUMAN series to separate them from her regular novels to the mature material. Her other works include:

  • Eden (sci-fi romance) – slight sex references
  • Hunted (sci-fi romance) slight sex references
  • A Proper Charlie (romantic comedy)
  • Oh No, I’ve Fallen in Love! (dark, comedy romance)
  • Wide Awake Asleep (time travel, romance)

Wise enjoys writing comedy and finds a place for it in ALL her books. She has written numerous short stories for women’s magazines such as Take a Break and Woman’s Own.

Devoted to Destiny – Lisa Kessler

Welcome back everyone, the Muse Chronicles are back and the trend of the storyline changing has continued.

In the previous book — Light of Spirit — I noticed a trend where the Order of the Titans was included more, and their focus seemed to be shifting. In this book, it feels like it’s about 30-40% of the book. Which means the series is becoming less about the romance, and more about the action.

I’m not against this trend, but it wasn’t expected so I’m still trying to figure out if that was planned or not. It doesn’t feel like the romance is suffering because of it, so maybe it was planned.

A few pieces are also starting to fall into place that tells me why certain decisions were made by some characters in previous books. Although (thanks to me being sneaky) I know who the final guardian is, I’ve got NO IDEA who the next one will be even though we’ve been introduced to them in previous books for the last 3.

Maybe we’ve met the next guardian, but we just don’t know it yet? Which is kind of driving me crazy wanting to read the next book, but I need to wait coz I have a few other books I need to read first.

When I think about the feeling I want to be left with when I finish a book in a series, the feeling I want is an obsession to read the next book NOW! To me that says the books was great, I’m still hooked, and there’s a clear intent for the story that I want to know about.

Fingers crossed I can hold out on reading the next book so I don’t fall behind on the reviews I’ve agreed to between now and the next book!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, tomorrow I’ll be reviewing The Gin Lovers Guide to Dating by Nina Kaye.

Worth Fighting For – Lasairiona E. McMaster

Welcome back everyone, I seem to be scheduling most of the AJ Williams trilogy on Saturdays!

We continue the story by picking up with AJ midst depression crash. In Lisa’s books all we knew was that he wasn’t responding to her and that his phone was broken, and his wife took his laptop charger with her. Reading AJ’s perspective was kind of shocking.

I know down swings can be bad, but I had no idea loss of time etc could be a part of it. The was Lasairiona was able to describe his emotional state of mind, his physical reactions and his general surroundings made me feel like I was standing next to him, seeing his house and what he looked like.

One of the things I liked about his opening book Game Changer, was that we got to see his thoughts throughout everything. That gave us the difference between Lisa’s trilogy and his. Yet it felt like we didn’t get as much of his thought processes this time.

When we did, it was usually him talking to himself to try and behave better, especially in his reactions to Lisa. Yet he often ignored his own advice. At least that’s what it felt like to me.

If you know you should act a certain way, or say certain things, then why would you? That reasoning was missing and jarred me a little bit coz it just made me hate AJ a little bit. Knowing what’s coming (kind of) in the final book next month means I can’t totally hate him. But I honestly couldn’t comprehend how someone could be so selfish and self-absorbed, yet somehow have so many friends and family love him so much.

It just didn’t make sense to me. 

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did – with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years. Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself ‘home’, with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation. With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.

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!

Shatterglass – Tamora Pierce

Welcome back everyone, there’s been a lot of contemporary romances lately so it’s good to get back to a fantasy briefly.

The last book in the quartet follows Tris as she makes her mark in a new city. In so many ways this city makes me feel ashamed that I’m human. In a world where slavery is almost gone, this city essentially lives with it as it’s entire eco-system.

Tris’s ability to see past this cities ambivalence and see the people, what they’re going through and how broken the structure is, is amazing. As a teenager reading this for the first time, I was inspired to do better, be better and fight for what’s right.

I can’t say I’m as good as Tris at this. But the inspiration is there, and I’m reminded of it every time I read this book.

Tris goes even further by taking in an orphan, giving a hurt man a new lease on life, fixing a man-made drought, showing people that different is ok and changing a whole cities way of life. How could I ever measure up to that given how much ill will there is in the world? How could I possibly find my way of making a difference like Tris does?

I honestly don’t know any other book that’s touched me in the same way that this book did and continues to touch me. I think this inspiration is something that every young person should read to get, remember and take with them through all their journeys throughout the rest of their lives.

It’s such an important message that everyone needs in their heart to remind them to be better.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman.