Sunday, July 24, 2022

Be the Serpent by Seanan McGuire
October Daye #16


Title: Be the Serpent 
Series: October Daye #16
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: September 6th 2022

October Daye is finally something she never expected to be: married. All the trials and turmoils and terrors of a hero’s life have done very little to prepare her for the expectation that she will actually share her life with someone else, the good parts and the bad ones alike, not just allow them to dabble around the edges in the things she wants to share. But with an official break from hero duties from the Queen in the Mists, and her family wholly on board with this new version of “normal,” she’s doing her best to adjust.

It isn’t always easy, but she’s a hero, right? She’s done harder.

Until an old friend and ally turns out to have been an enemy in disguise for this entire time, and October’s brief respite turns into a battle for her life, her community, and everything she has ever believed to be true.

The debts of the Broken Ride are coming due, and whether she incurred them or not, she’s going to be the one who has to pay.

If I’m honest I was dreading reading this one. Just the title worried me. Toby was so happy in the last book so I knew it couldn’t last and it didn’t …..

Someone is targeting the Brown children.

Stacy Brown has been Toby’s very good friend since they were little and jumping in to rescue her kids is not a question. This "case" is not easy for Toby but as a Hero of the Realm, she must do what is expected of her. Yet, she is not alone. Tybalt will be with her. But can he really help?

Be the Serpent is UF at it's best. It has the Fae, shocking twists, a funny side, and drama with very sad parts. It also finishes with a cliffhanger!!! 

I can only say: Be ready, be prepared. 

One thing I will say and I never thought I would: I love Simon. He keeps on getting better. Who would have thought that was possible after reading book 1, Rosemarie and Rue? 

I can't spoil the novel for you so I will not tell you who is responsible for the chaos that Toby has to fight through. Although, I think some of us have a guess. I also think I know who is the other missing part of the equation and I'm guessing she will reveal herself in the next installment. 

The wait until These Violent Delights is going to kill me.......

Cliffhanger: Yes

4.5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by DAW via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

When Sorrows Come by Seanan McGuire
October Daye #15


Title: When Sorrows Come 
Series: October Daye #15
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: September 14, 2021

Toby's getting married!

It's hard to be a hero. There's always something needing October "Toby" Daye's attention, and her own desires tend to fall by the wayside in favor of solving the Kingdom's problems. That includes the desire to marry her long-time suitor and current fiancé, Tybalt, San Francisco's King of Cats. She doesn't mean to keep delaying the wedding, it just sort of...happens. And that's why her closest friends have taken the choice out of her hands, ambushing her with a court wedding at the High Court in Toronto. Once the High King gets involved, there's not much even Toby can do to delay things...

...except for getting involved in stopping a plot to overthrow the High Throne itself, destabilizing the Westlands entirely, and keeping her from getting married through nothing more than the sheer volume of chaos it would cause. Can Toby save the Westlands and make it to her own wedding on time? Or is she going to have to choose one over the other?

Includes an all-new bonus novella, "And with Reveling"!

Toby is getting married!!

So if you are a true fan, you know that Toby will finally marry Tybalt. We also know that she will be stabbed at least once before she gets married. Or by the end of the ceremony, her wedding gown will have blood all over it. Why? Because October Daye brings chaos wherever she goes! (Thinking about a crossover between my favorite UF's heroines, Mercy (Pat Briggs) and Toby could be a disaster together or maybe it would be a great team!!)

Toby's wedding is happening at High Court. Toby had never wanted to be involved in the details of her wedding. She has let her friend from childhood Stacy, her Fetch, May, Tybalt, and Kerry take control. It is not that she doesn't want to marry Tybalt. For her, the whole idea of a big wedding is not what she wants but she understands the importance of following protocol.

Of course, once they get to Toronto, immediately someone is murdered and Toby as the hero of the realm needs to put a stop to whatever plan is cooking. By her side, she will have the support of Quentin and Tybalt. This demonstrated how mature she has become. Toby has realized she doesn't need to be alone anymore. She can trust people close to her and she can't stop barging into situations blindly where she always gets hurt. (It only took a bunch of books but who is complaining?)

I love When Sorrows Come. It had me smiling and laughing. It also made me turn the pages fast enough to find out who was behind the attacks. I love these characters, and seeing Toby and Tybalt happy made my day!

I'm not sure if we only get two more books or if Seanan McGuire has decided to write more books in this series. I just hope that I can find out more about Stacy and Quentin's future, Raj becoming the King of Cats, Guillian sharing time with her mother, Simon becoming a true father to Toby, Luna and Sylvester apologizing for the wrongs against Toby, May getting married, The Luidaeg getting free from  the geas bindings and so many more questions I have.

Cliffhanger: No

5/5 Fangs

Short Story at the end of the book:

And With Reveling

The short story happens just after the ceremony.  It's the wedding reception. It should really be the epilogue. You can't find it in the audiobook but it is on kindle ebook. 

Toby and Tybalt get seven formal blessings as newlyweds which I'm guessing in Faerie, is a big deal. Hopefully, all those will protect them from what is yet to come. 

My favorite part is how Tybalt deals with Sylvester. As many of you know, he has not treated Toby right. 

Sylvester transferred his gaze to Tybalt. “You’ve never liked me,” he said.

“This is true. To be fair, you were once the man who stood between me and the woman I loved, and then became the man who treated the girl I found fascinating without half the respect that she deserved.”

First Born by Will Dean


Title: First Born 
Author: Will Dean
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: July 5, 2022

From the acclaimed author of The Last Thing to Burn, a psychological thriller about the dark secrets that emerge when a woman’s twin sister is murdered, with his signature “intense, gripping, taut, terrifying, moving, and brilliant” (Lisa Jewell, #1 New York Times bestselling author) prose.
Sisters. Soulmates. Strangers.

Molly Raven lives a quiet, structured life in London, finding comfort in security and routine. Her identical twin Katie, living in New York, is the exact opposite: outgoing, spontaneous, and adventurous.

But when Molly hears that Katie has died, possibly murdered, she is thrown into unfamiliar territory. As terrifying as it is, she knows she must travel across the ocean and find out what happened. But as she tracks her twin’s final movements, cracks begin to emerge, and she slowly realizes her sister was not who she thought she was and there’s a dangerous web of deceit surrounding the two of them.

Born a twin was very different for Molly Raven. She is the twin who worries about everything that happens around her and she is always trying to keep herself safe and avoid getting hurt. She is a little paranoid and plenty introverted.

Then there is the other twin, Katie. She is the polar opposite. She is easy-going and adventurous. Katie moved from Nottingham to NYC through a sponsorship without telling Molly about it until she had accepted the position.

Then, Molly gets a call that changes her life. Her parents called to tell her, that Katie is dead and that the police are treating her death as a homicide.

Molly needs answers. Despite being terrified of flying, she travels to NYC and tries to piece together the life her sister had in the city, the people involved in her sister’s circle, and if any of them could be the one behind her death. Nevermind, that a killer is on the loose and she might be his/her next victim.

First Born had a good mix of suspense and disbelief. I liked it but didn't love it. There were two big twists. One I guessed, the other one took me by surprise. 

It was interesting to learn about Molly and her anxieties. It has to be so hard living a life in fear all the time. Exhausting really!

I can’t wait for the next story by Will Dean!

Cliffhanger: No

3.5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Atria/Emily Bestler Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Guilty Husband by Stephanie DeCarolis


Title: The Guilty Husband 
Author: Stephanie DeCarolis
Publisher: Harper 360-HQ digital
Release Date: March 19, 2021

It only takes one lie to destroy a marriage.


Vince Taylor has everything he could dream of. He’s the CEO of a tech firm in New York City, owns a beautiful home, and most importantly, he is married to Nicole – the woman who stole his heart the first moment he set eyes on her. Together they have built the perfect life.


But when Layla, a stunning young intern at Vince’s company is found dead, all eyes are suddenly on him. Vince has a secret that threatens to tear their perfect world apart…

He was having an affair with Layla. And he’ll do anything to cover his tracks.


When the police discover Vince lied about their relationship, they are convinced they have found Layla’s killer.

If Vince kept quiet about the affair… what else is he guilty of?

A totally unputdownable thriller, this book will have you gripped from the very first page until the jaw-dropping final twist. Fans of The Perfect Couple, My Perfect Wife and The Undoing will love this novel!

A domestic suspense that had the right elements to attract this reviewer!

We all know the story. A man cheats. The woman he was having an affair with is found murdered. The husband becomes the main suspect. 

Did he do it?

Vince Taylor had everything. He is the CEO of Kitztech, a successful tech company responsible for famous apps. He is married to his beautiful and lovely wife, Nicole. Then a new intern, Layla begins working for his company. He becomes entangled with Layla and when he decides to break things up with her, she is found dead in Central Park. Cause of death: blunt head trauma.

The cops, Detective Allison Barnes and detective Jack Lanner come knocking asking questions and all clues point to Vince as the prime suspect. They just have to prove it. 

I did not feel any empathy toward Vince. After all, he had a good life and decided to throw it all away  by cheating. He made his bed and now he had to lay in it. I wanted detective Barnes to get him for his lies. His wife deserved better!

Stephanie DeCarolis's debut novel was told from multiple POVs and had different timelines. The Guilty Husband was a fast-paced, addicting suspense novel that had me listening whenever I could. I do have to admit that I knew the ending from the very beginning but despite guessing it, I enjoyed the deliverance. 

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Harper 360-HQ digital via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Law by Jim Butcher
The Dresden Files #17.5


Title: The Law
Series: The Dresden Files #17.5
Author: Jim Butcher
Publisher: Imaginary Empire LLC
Release Date: July 5, 2022

From the number one New York Times bestselling The Dresden Files series, a brand new novella set after Battle Ground, that thrusts Chicago’s only professional Wizard, Harry Dresden, back into battle–both a legal one… and the kind with explosions.

Not every danger comes in the form of a mega-threat like a Titan. Some predators are a lot cozier... more personal.

When one such creature threatens an independent tutor, Harry Dresden must shake off the blood and dirt of his most recent battles and rise to the occasion, even when it turns out that the new predator is far more dangerous and connected than first appearances would suggest.

I devoured this 99-page short story!

The Law is set a month after the events that happened on Battle Ground.

Dresden is still in mourning but when a woman comes asking for help, he can’t say no to her situation and agrees to help her.

The woman in question is a tutor who has opened 35 tutoring places in the last few years helping kids from low-income homes. In a past life, she was a hooker, and now that her pimp is out of prison he wants money from her.

Dresden starts investigating. This takes him to meet a new character named Winter Winter, and old characters including Marcone, paranoid Gary, Bob, and even MAB makes an appearance marking this short story a very fun read.  

I always do the Dresden audios (except for the first book). Shocking but I didn't do the audio on this one (Jim Butcher is the narrator). I ended up liking the new characters Jim butcher added to The Law. I wonder if they will make an appearance in Twelve Months. I hope they do, to help Dresden not to hurt him. 

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Fatal Witness by Robert Bryndza
Detective Erika Foster #7


Title: Fatal Witness
Series: Detective Erika Foster #7
Author: Robert Bryndza
Publisher: Raven Street Publishing
Release Date: July 7, 2022

Detective Erika Foster is back in FATAL WITNESS – with a chilling new serial killer case in Robert Bryndza's multi-million bestselling crime thriller series!

How do you find a killer who has destroyed all the evidence?

Detective Erika Foster is on a late-night walk near her new house in Blackheath when she stumbles upon the brutal murder of Vicky Clarke, a true-crime podcaster.

Erika is assigned to the case and discovers that Vicky had been working on a new podcast episode about a sexual predator who preys on young female students around South London, staking out his victims in their halls of residence before breaking in at the dead of night. When Erika discovers that Vicky's notes and sound recordings were stolen from her flat at the time of her murder, it leads her to believe that Vicky was close to unmasking the attacker, and she was killed to guarantee her silence.

The case takes on a disturbing twist when the body of a young Bulgarian student doctor is discovered in the same building, and this makes Erika question everything she thought she knew about Vicky. With very little evidence, the clock is ticking to find the killer before he strikes again.

Erika Foster's new case lands on her lap by chance. Erika has moved to her new home which is in need of many repairs and furniture but at least it is hers now. She knows she needs a new bed but more importantly she needs food. She goes out walking to find food when she hears a woman's scream coming from a house just two blocks from hers. When she runs to the scene she finds a young woman's body. The person who screamed is the sister of the deceased. She discovered the body when she came looking for her when she didn’t show up for her shift at the restaurant. 

Erika takes the case and starts looking for a killer. During the investigation, other issues will arise, including a case of mistaken identity, a podcast about a rapist from a decade earlier, an ex-con, and another dead body keeping the team quite busy.

I read only the first two books but I was happy to see that Erika is doing better in regards to her grief. She looks more stable in her position at work too. Sadly, Peterson is with someone else and has a kid with her but Erika is not alone, Igor is a nice addition to the mix. (Igor is her old boyfriend from back home).

In regards to the perpetrator and the hunt for him, I liked how Erika is able to follow the leads she discovers and her instincts are still quite admirable in guiding her to the right place but maybe not at the best time.

I was happy with the ending,  I’m glad that Erika is not having Christmas alone this year.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Raven Street Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Change by Kirsten Miller

Title: The Change
Author: Kirsten Miller
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Release Date: May 3, 2022

In the Long Island oceanfront community of Mattauk, three different women discover that midlife changes bring a whole new type of empowerment…

After Nessa James’s husband dies and her twin daughters leave for college, she’s left all alone in a trim white house not far from the ocean. In the quiet of her late forties, the former nurse begins to hear voices. It doesn’t take long for Nessa to realize that the voices calling out to her belong to the dead—a gift she’s inherited from her grandmother, which comes with special responsibilities.

On the cusp of 50, suave advertising director Harriett Osborne has just witnessed the implosion of her lucrative career and her marriage. She hasn’t left her house in months, and from the outside, it appears as if she and her garden have both gone to seed. But Harriett’s life is far from over—in fact, she’s undergone a stunning and very welcome metamorphosis.

Ambitious former executive Jo Levison has spent thirty long years at war with her body. The free-floating rage and hot flashes that arrive with the beginning of menopause feel like the very last straw—until she realizes she has the ability to channel them, and finally comes into her power.

Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio of women discover a teenage girl whose body was abandoned beside a remote beach. The police have written the victim off as a drug-addicted sex worker, but the women refuse to buy into the official narrative. Their investigation into the girl’s murder leads to more bodies, and to the town’s most exclusive and isolated enclave, a world of stupendous wealth where the rules don’t apply. With their newfound powers, Jo, Nessa, and Harriett will take matters into their own hands…

The Charge had me completely captivated!

There are 3 women going through changes in their lives:

Nessa James is a widow who used to work as a nurse and whose twin girls have left for college. She is alone now and she has started to hear voices. The voices are getting louder. Her grandmother had a gift and it seems like Nessa shares it. She can hear the dead. Specifically, young women calling for her to find them.

Second, there is Jo Levison who was an executive and now is the owner of the local gym for women. She's miserable experiencing her menopausal symptoms including rage and hot flashes. She feels like she is burning up and she feels like she could start a fire from the heat she is experiencing. 

Lastly, there is Harriett Osborne. She left her job in marketing and her husband left her and asked for a divorce. The neighborhood men and the homeowners association's president can't believe her front lawn is looking like a jungle and they want Harriett to fix it. They don't care about the rumors that say she is a witch. But Harriet is finally realizing who she is. Her power is transforming her. She knows nature can heal or kill and all the plants in her garden serve a purpose.

When Nessa discovers a female teenager's body by the beach and she can see two other dead girls close to the corpse, she understands they are all dead and with the help of Jo and Harriet hopefully, they can find the killer or killers and bring them to justice. Stopping the men who are responsible and punishing them is part of the equation.

The Change is an entertaining novel with fantastic characters and a dose of magic. These three women were a perfect team! I liked listening to their voices. Understanding where they were coming from and how their powers manifested. I was more than ready for their sweet revenge. 

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by William Morrow & Company via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Soul Taken by Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson #13


Title: Soul Taken
Series: Mercy Thompson #13
Author: Patricia Briggs
Publisher: ACE/Penguin Publishing Group
Release Date: August 23, 2022

Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, must face her greatest fears in this chilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

The vampire Wulfe is missing. Since he’s deadly, possibly insane, and his current idea of “fun” is stalking me, some may see it as no great loss. But, warned that his disappearance might bring down the carefully constructed alliances that keep our pack safe, my mate and I must find Wulfe—and hope he’s still alive. As alive as a vampire can be, anyway.

But Wulfe isn’t the only one who has disappeared. And now there are bodies, too. Has the Harvester returned to the Tri-Cities, reaping souls with his cursed sickle? Or is he just a character from a B horror movie and our enemy is someone else?

The farther I follow Wulfe’s trail, the more twisted—and darker—the path becomes. I need to figure out what’s going on before the next body on the ground is mine.

I couldn’t click fast enough to start the new Mercy book.

I love the Mercyverse and being back with familiar characters and a great story had me smiling.

Did I sweat about what was happening? You better believe it.

A Soul Taker is on the loose. It’s killing people with minimal magic. Mercy has an encounter with it and she knows that the soul taker will be coming for her. Her life is in danger and she is scared but Mercy has evolved. She doesn’t fight alone. She and Adam make a great team. They support each other. Going into battle together is now the norm. So she has a better chance at surviving it, right?

So many awesome things happen in Soul Taken. We get to know more about Wulfe and Sherwood. We learn more about Zee. Tad might be dating someone. Warren is dealing with something he doesn’t want the pack to know (but in the end I thought it was cute). Samuel and Coyote both have a cameo. I felt like it was Christmas and I was getting gifts coming from everywhere. The only thing that would have made it better was a Bran appearance or maybe Anna and Charles.

This is one book that you will enjoy if you have read the series in order. Not that someone couldn’t read it and enjoy it. But I think having the background from prior books makes this book so much sweeter to the fans.

I do wonder what repercussions will come from what happened in this book.

4.5 fangs

Cliffhanger: No

A complimentary copy was provided by ACE/Penguin Publishing Group via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Twisted Prey by John Sandford
Lucas Davenport #28


Title: Twisted Prey
Series: Lucas Davenport #28
Author: John Sandford

Lucas Davenport confronts an old nemesis, now more powerful than ever as a U.S. senator, in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling Prey series.

Lucas Davenport had crossed paths with her before.

A rich psychopath, Taryn Grant had run successfully for the U.S. Senate, where Lucas had predicted she’d fit right in. He was also convinced that she’d been responsible for three murders, though he’d never been able to prove it. Once a psychopath had gotten that kind of rush, though, he or she often needed another fix, so he figured he might be seeing her again.

He was right. A federal marshal now, with a very wide scope of investigation, he’s heard rumors that Grant has found her seat on the Senate intelligence committee, and the contacts she’s made from it, to be very…useful. Pinning those rumors down was likely to be just as difficult as before, and considerably more dangerous.

But they had unfinished business, he and Grant. One way or the other, he was going to see it through to the end.

I listened to the audiobooks of the Lucas Davenport series with my husband and we both agree that this one is probably one of the best.

If you have read the Lucas Davenport books you know that Lucas has wanted to catch Senator Taryn Grant for past crimes. He is sure she orchestrated the death of several people and she needs to be stopped. If she has killed once, she won't stop. People like her will try again.

When Senator Porter Smalls's car is hit by a truck and derailed causing the car to crash and leaving the driver dead but there is no evidence of the car being hit by another vehicle, he knows he needs to call Lucas. Someone wants him dead and his first instinct is to believe that Taryn has a hand in it. Lucas believes Smalls and he is sure that Taryn has the right connections now that she is part of the Senate intelligence committee. The hard part for Lucas is trying to prove it. He lost Taryn once, is she going to escape him again?

Twisted Prey is a nail-biting novel. I wanted Lucas to succeed in catching Taryn but I wasn't sure he was going to be able to pull it off.  

Lucas once again teams up with US Marshalls, Bob, and Rae who are great at the dry humor that this series is known for.  Also, Kidd, Virgil, Weather, and Letty all make an appearance in Twisted Prey.

As always Richard Ferrone does a magnificent job with his narration.  

"I don't know what you're talking about." 

Cliffhanger: No

5/5 Fangs