Last week, I did a review for book one of the Succubus in a Red Dress. I hope you’ve downloaded a copy, because why not it’s free and it’s awesome! I’ll wait while you get your copy…
Anyway, I’m going to try and limit spoilers here because you definitely need to read The Succubus in a Red Dress before reading Succubus and the Crown. But I’ll keep this as vague as possible. We rejoin Delilah who do to (redacted) reasons has become the Succubus Queen of New York city. As usual our reluctant heroine is not pleased with her current circumstances especially when more succubus start trickling into the city and looking for her protection. While she’s trying to handle her new kingdom, her new boyfriend Ken and her are having some domestic issues, mostly involving his mother wanting her dead. As you can imagine hilarity ensues.
This was a wonderful follow up to the sassy tone of The Succubus in a Red dress and I devoured it over a weekend. It was one of those reads you could not put down. I enjoyed it immensely! We get a lot more action in this one which had me reminiscing about all the Buffy the Vampire I watched growing up. As before, I loved this book but especially Delilah. We need more strong females in fantasy, don’t you agree?
Coming up next, the Succubus in a Black Hat
I read this book a while back and thought I had already reviewed it. And while going through my reviews trying to decide what to review next I realized my error. Well now I plan to rectify that! Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to be introducing you to the fabulous world of The Succubus in a Red Dress. To start today, we have this fabulous romp. Delilah is pretty average, she’s struggling to make ends meet in NYC working at a coffee counter for pennies when she discovers some previously unknown powers when she accidentally drains a man and almost kills a man.
Cue her new mentor, Chloe who has conveniently swept into plan and decides to take Delilah under her wing. She teaches her everything there is to no about enchanting men and sucking the life out of them. But our herione is not so keen on her new found powers and openly rejects them.
This book was a fun twist on the classic idea of a Succubus, Delilah is not your a-typical sultry seductress. She is clumsy and awkward and painfully relatable. I think we can all relate to that sense of not knowing what to do with your life and who hasn’t struggle a time or two. It was a quick read, it probably took me a day or two. It was an amazing book, and as if it couldn’t get any better it’s currently FREE on Kindle and Kobo. So Pick up your copy you won’t be disappointed.
I love supporting Indie Authors, there’s a real sense of community when we all rally together. I was lucky to have Kara as guest at my Kistune Release Party and I was really excited because just the day before I finished this fabulous book in her Ingenious Mechanical Devices series. This is the second book in the series, and as with her Earl of Brass, Ms. Jorgensen’s talent for diverse characters stole the show from the start!
I really enjoyed her first book, Earl of Brass, but fell in love with her writing in The Winter Garden. Throughout the book, there’s this sense of fear that overlays everything. Emmanuel is a German student studying anatomy at Oxford when he saves a girls life by using a family heirloom. Turns out his family deals in alchemy and using what appears to be a philosophers stone. But when he revives her their lives are linked together. Emmaline’s mysterious recovery piques the interest of of those who would use their apparent link, and the two become entangled together, in unexpected ways.
Ms. Jorgensen captures so many themes, and does it with such expertise that I could gush about how much I love this book for thousands of word. But I am sure they would all start to run together and I won’t subject you to that. I will give you the best impression I can, but honestly you should just buy the book. Her writing is beautiful and poignant. Starting with Emmanuel, he deals with a lot. He’s damaged and afraid and his feelings just jump off the page. I felt like he was a real person as if this was a story told by a friend beside me. Then there’s Adam his love interest, he’s hidden his homosexuality for his entire life and it takes a lot for him to give in to opening up his heart. You feel the danger of discovery for these two. I never thought too much about homosexuality in the Victorian age but now that I have, I want to read more about it. The romance between the two characters felt natural. There was no pomp, which was so great. I’ve read novels with homosexual relationships as a minor subplot and it always feels like the author is waving a diversity flag for the sake of diversity. These characters breathe real life! With Adam and Emmanuel they just are, and there’s something simple and special about that. I have to say it, I love this couple! Intermixed with these characters you fall in love with is this prevail sense of magic, danger and mystery. It had every element of a story that I just love. An absolute must read!
And once you finish that, pick up the Oxford Holiday. It’s a delightful glimpse into the lives of Emmanuel and Adam after The Winter Garden. It’s a quick read that will sate your craving for more of this couple, because believe me, you will fall in love with them! Not only was it great to see them being their adorable selves, it sets up future conflicts to come introducing new characters and teasing us with brief glimpses of what we can expect in future books. (Yes I’m onto you Kara!) Pick them both up at the same time, because you’ll want to read the short right after.
The Winter Garden:
An Oxford Holiday:
Steam punk is one of those genres, I thoroughly enjoy but so rarely indulge in. I had the pleasure of reading The Earl of Brass recently and absolutely fell in love with the genre all over again. I’m going to try and keep this review concise, because I want to gush about everything all at once. Let me start by saying, I adored the main characters Hadley and Eilian. Two very different characters, who broke the mold on gender sterotypes in a classically rigid time period. Hadley is everything I look for in a female lead, strong indipendent and out to change the world. Hadley is a mechanical genuis who learned about autotomics from her older, when her older brother dies from a disease, she is determined to keep her business afloat, even if it means impersonating a man. The secret feminist in me, gets a little giddy when women in the Victorian era are going against the patriarchy. And Hadley definitely fights the good fight.
While Eilian, is not classically masculine, he is the right mix of intelligent, insightful and with perhaps a dash of awkward, but that might be my imagination since that’s my weakness. He has a serious case of wander lust, and rejects the antiquated notions of earldom, which he is destined to inherit. After a derigible accident (which is tragic but also awesome, come on a derigible crash!) he loses his arms from the burns. In comes Hadley. She and her brother make prostethesis and after a humiliating dinner party, Eilian agrees to be the guinea pig for a new experimental prostetic arm, which will move and function like a real arm, but made of metal (this is freaking amazing, I cannot tell you how much I fangirled over this one concept).
I have to talk about the arm, because I can tell Jorgenson spent a lot of time researhcing biology and mechanics. But if any of you are a fan of the Manga/Anime Full Metal Alchemist, you’ll remember Edward Elrich had a metal arm, and Eilian’s puts it to shame. It was a forgone conclusion from there that I was going to love this book after that.
I wont spoil what happens from there, but lets say there’s a bit of gender bending, some interesting philosophical questions posed, bad guys with guns and the pressures of gentry. This is an absolute must read! But if you still need convincing here’s some of the book details:
When Eilian Sorrell, a promising archaeologist and the eldest son of the Earl of Dorset, loses his arm in a dirigible crash, he fears he will face a bleak future among London’s aristocracy. On a quest for normalcy, Lord Sorrell commissions a prosthetic arm but finds the craftsman is not what he seems.
After the death of her brother, Hadley Fenice takes over his prosthesis business but knows it will be an uphill battle as women are discouraged from doing man’s work. In return for building Lord Sorrell an automaton arm, he offers her a chance at freedom by following him to the Negev Desert under the guise of a man.
But what lies beneath the desert is more precious than potshards or bones. As they venture deeper, they discover a society where the path of life is not governed by gain but by passion. When imperialistic invaders come in search of a new colony to pillage, Eilian and Hadley are forced to defend their fleeting glimpse of paradise.
More about Kara Jorgensen:
Kara Jorgensen is an author and professional student from New Jersey who will probably die slumped over a Victorian novel. An anachronistic oddball from birth, she has always had an obsession with the Victorian era, especially the 1890s. Midway through a dissection in a college anatomy class, Kara realized her true passion was writing and decided to marry her love of literature and science through science fiction or, more specifically, steampunk. When she is not writing, she is watching period dramas, going to museums, or babying her beloved dogs.
I’ve been on a bit of vampire kick later. After finishing THE CASQUETTE GIRLS, I wanted something with blood and hot guys. I mean who wouldn’t? I recently discovered Lana Sky through an author friend. I was fortunate enough to help host a Book Launch for another author where I was introduced to Lana’s book. And I gotta tell you, this book, well… you’ll see.
Ellie Gray is dying from an incurable and rare blood disease. She has resigned herself to her fate until she meets Dublin Helos. He offers her a choice, live or die. She had convinced herself that she was prepared for death. She had resigned herself to being a spinster and she thought she had nothing else to live for anyway. Then she decides to live and that’s when things really get interesting.
This book, I don’t even know how to explain it. I devoured it. Let’s start there. I went into it expect your run of the mill vampire romance. Girl meets vampire sparks fly and there’s some threats of drinking girls blood. That’s where I was very wrong. This is a dark romance. I almost want to relate it to Fifty Shades of Gray but that’s not quite right either (and it would almost be an insult to Ms. Sky’s writing). There’s definitely some bondage, and a lot of blood but also this consuming passion, a tempting of fate, or playing with fire. I will warn you there is graphic sex scenes in this novel and a couple time where things get intense, almost violent. But man was it a page turner! I cannot really explain Lana’s writing style, it is beautiful , visceral, and so real it just sucks you in. I could not put this book down. So if you’re interested in the darker side of romance, and vampires. I would highly recommend this read.
Anyone who has followed the blog since the early days may remember a feature called Wattpad Wednesday. Back in the day, I used to review books that I was reading on Wattpad at the time. It was fun to do but like most things time got away from me and I had to drop the feature. I’ve decided to pick up reviewing again because lets be honest, I love to read and I love sharing my opinions on books I read because who doesn’t love a good book recommendation. So that being said, I will only review books I have enjoyed and would want others to read. No ho-hums here, I don’t have unlimited free time. For my first review, I thought it would be fun to reprise one of my old Wattpad Wednesday reviews, THE CASQUETTE GIRLS.
The CASQUETTE GIRLS is set in a post storm New Orleans, where a young girl Adele returns with her father to help rebuild. As the body count climbs, it’s obvious is wrong in the city and its not just the storm damage. Adele discovers new powers and accidentally unleashes something sinister from within the attic of an old convent. Magic and mayhem ensue.
I adore a good vampire tale, and this book does not disappoint. It reminded me of Interview with a Vampire for the lush writing style and tangible descriptions of New Orleans. But unlike Anne Rice you get a much more grittier version of the Big Easy. It’s easy to see Arden loves the city, it shines through her prose. The characters in this are unforgettable. As I mentioned, I read this story back in the early days before it was published and back then there was a fierce debate about who Adele should end up with. For me personally, I vote for the sarcastic and artistic Isaac, but some others like the mysterious Italian, Nico. Whichever team you choose, you’ll fall in love with this story. It’s the right combination of mystery and action that will leave you begging for me. I’m still waiting on the sequel, which may be a while since Arden just signed a book deal. I can be patient though –if only a little bit.
This week, I am omitting the usual weekly feature in favor of a new month long spot highlighting some great Author’s on Wattpad. My first feature is one of my Wattpad BFFs but that is not the reason she won this feature. My choice for the month of February has consistently produced amazing stories that I fall in love with over and over again no matter what the story line! And what better writer to showcase in the month of love than the goddess of romance:
Her works will be featured on the side bar and you can read a review of her story ‘Catch Curse and Release‘ that I feature previously!
Check out her stories, what are you waiting for?
Wattpad Wednesday #2:
I love a good epic fantasy, and anyone who knows me—or is familiar with my writing—knows I adore romantic fantasy, more specifically, Historical Romantic Fantasy (try saying that five times fast!) This weeks feature is the perfect combination of my favorites in fantasy.
From the Author’s Summary:
Leia Illyria, Duchess of Amareth, and her family have kept away from court since she was little, for reasons she doesn’t fully understand – in Myaengaer, where magic has been banned for two hundred years, Leia possesses extraordinary power. When a mysterious and evil threat that has lain dormant for two centuries begins to rise again, Leia learns a secret which forces her to confront her hidden self, with the help of Prince Caleth, heir to the throne of Myaengaer and leader of the Myaen Guard. Working together, they must face down the evil that threatens to destroy the kingdom, the land and their lives.
I have been following this story for a long time and it continues to keep me on my toes! I adore Onepieceoftherainbows mystical style of writing and the way she describes a scene just draws me into the action and I can imagine the action unfolding before me as if it is happening. The story is set in a pseudo European country where magic is outlawed, when evil threatens the land it’s left up to Leia and Prince Caleth to find the answers, and master her powers, in time to save the kingdom. It’s an exciting epic fantasy with a dash of romance and you should run out and read it right this moment!
I love free stuff, almost as much as I love coffee, writing and my family. (In no particular order). I practically fell all over myself when I discovered Wattpad. If you are not familiar with the site, Wattpad is a free online writing community where writers can share their works with readers all over the world. The site boasts a 100,000+ stories and I am inclined to believe them, I have been using the site for less than a year now and I have found quite a few great authors and stories, which brings me to today’s post. I often find really amazing stories that don’t have the recognition they deserve. With so much wonderful free writing available for the taking I thought I have a special feature just for the exceptional stories on Wattpad.
Feature #1 is one of my personal favorites:
The Baby and the Battle Field
From Author’s Summary:
A baby? On a battlefield?
Marcus is a clerk in the Imperial army. When he finds an abandoned baby on a battlefield, he has no idea what to do with her. His best friend is no help; he thinks Marcus is a sucker for taking the kid in. The slave who ends up babysitting the child is no better; she thinks Marcus has ulterior motives – bad ones. Not only that, but two mysterious female assassins appear on the scene. Whether they intend to harm the baby or protect her, Marcus isn’t sure. It doesn’t help that the assassins have magical cloaks that allow them to turn into birds at any time. Marcus and his friends soon find themselves caught up in things they doesn’t understand: the child has some connection to an ancient prophecy, one that could have implications for fate of the Empire itself.
I adore this story, the character are realistic and relatable It’s hard to find something where I am completely inside of the head of the characters but CarolinaC has done it! The story is still in progress, but has many available chapters to read and even better, CarolinaC is very consistent with updates posting at least twice a week. It’s an absolute must read!