Thursday 29 August 2019

Review: Grave Visions by Kalayna Price (Alex Craft #4)

Grave Visions by Kalayna Price is the much-anticipated fourth instalment in the kick-ass urban fantasy series about Alex Craft, a grave witch who can communicate with the dead. 

If you want to hear voices from the dead in Nekros City, you call Alex Craft. She's a Grave Witch with reasonable rates and extraordinary powers, who specializes in revealing the secrets of the dead. But now she's the one fighting to keep her own secret. She's not human—and her newly discovered heritage is causing havoc for her both in the human realm and in Faerie. But her status as an unaffiliated fae also makes her an ideal candidate to investigate a new street drug that has surfaced in several of the spaces between the human and fae worlds.

This glamour-infused drug causes hallucinations that turn real—at least for a while and often with deadly consequences. Searching for the source of this drug—and its purpose—lands Alex front and center in the conflict brewing in Faerie and she must find answers before she's dragged so deep she loses her freedom.


~ 340 pages

First person, single pov.

You need to have read the previous books or it wouldn't work.

Nope, the 'episode' is concluded but the series threads continue.

No, it's not really applicable... But hopefully, the series will have one.


(Said in a tone of eternal suffering!)

Peoples dreams/fears come to life and kill them.
It freaked me out.

The plot thickens!
Alex's fae heritage is fully manifesting and she's paying the price: She's beginning to fade.
Alex needs to affiliate herself with one of the fae courts by joining or being declared independent or she will die.

Naturally, the annoying Winter Queen is determined to ensure Alex belongs to her and will use everything at her disposal to ensure it happens, including emotional blackmail by holding Falin over Alex's head... The Death slide of the triangle may be where Alex is leaning at the moment but she cares enough about Falin for the Winter Queen's manipulations to have an impact!

To make matters worse, a fae drug called Glitter is wreaking havoc in the mortal world and Alex has to solve the case as a condition of getting her independent status.

I really enjoy the world-building in this series and I really like Alex as a character and where the series seems to be heading. There are so many questions I need answering especially now Alex's dad has thrown another curveball with the introduction of the Shadow Court. Plus, I really want to know what court he is affiliated with!!
The Winter Queen continues to get right on my nerves and I really hope Alex kills her and takes over her court one day... But that's probably just wishful thinking.

The investigation side of this tale was interesting and kept the plot of the series moving along nicely but it needs to be said that who was behind the drug was pretty obvious.

And onto my favourite rant about the entire series...
The love triangle element gets on my nerves for no matter how much the author tries to shove Death down my throat as a viable option for Alex it's obvious who she is going to end up with so wtf is the point? *screams into a pillow*

All in all, Grave Visions was an interesting and entertaining instalment in the series with plenty of snark, action and plot development. I just wish there was a little more resolution on some of those plot points... But it's coming! I can see it coming!

Yep, lots of love for the cover. Considering it was designed after a lengthy break between book 3 and 4 it fits beautifully!


Monday 26 August 2019

Harry Potter Book Tag!

Taken at HP Studio Tours in London back in 2013!

Tania at My Lovely Secret tagged me in this Harry Potter book tag so, obviously, I'm all in with that!
I have no idea where it originates from but thank you to the little wizard who conjured it!

Onto the questions!

(These were actually freakin' difficult to answer!!)

EXPECTO PATRONUM: A childhood book connected to good memories? 

When I was a kid (like 10/11), I used to get off the school bus in the town next to the village I lived in and go to the library. I'd spend hours in the library going through the books, reading sections, working on projects and just generally living amongst the books. The librarians were witchy bitches but I tried to ignore them as much as I could and stay hidden in the stacks until my mum came and picked me up after work - or until it was time to leave for the bus.

I found Both Sides of Time by Caroline B. Cooney on one of these visits and started reading it in the library. It was one of the first books that I couldn't put down and it was one of the first books that broke my adolescent heart it was such a bittersweet romantic tale.

I've never revisited it as an adult but one day I just might.

EXPELLIARMUS: A book that took you by surprise?

Engines of God by Jack McDevitt.
What took me most by surprise with this book is the fact that I actually read it!
It's sci-fi! I don't read sci-fi.
It isn't even sci-fi romance. It's a proper sci-fi.
It's one of the professor's books and he suggested I read it back when we were in uni. I took up the challenge and really didn't expect to enjoy it but after a super slow start, it surprised me by being interesting and enjoyable.

PRIOR INCANTATO: The last book you read?

The last book I read was a novella, Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews. It's a bridging novella in the Hidden Legacy series marking the change in narrator/pov from Nevada to her sister Catalina.

ALOHAMORA: A book that introduced you to a genre you'd never considered before?

I know people love to hate Dan Brown but his Robert Langdon books introduced me to the adventure/thriller/mystery type novels. Before reading Angels and Demons, I wouldn't have touched the genre with a 20ft pole. Now? I'll poke a toe into that pool every once in a while.
They're not my preferred reading and I've found so many of them super boring but occasionally the mood strikes and I pick one up and I'm lost, addicted, on a thrill ride of suspense-filled adventure rooted in myth or history (sometimes both) and I thoroughly enjoy it.

P.S - I know there two more Robert Langdon books but I haven't read them yet.

RIDDIKULUS: A funny book you've read?

Dummy: Parenting for the Inept and the Clueless by Matt Coyne.

Matt Coyne started posting random updates on Facebook when his son was about 3 months old. It grew into the Facebook page, Man vrs Baby and eventually into a book deal.
I actually had tears of laughter rolling down my face at various points reading this book.
His descriptions and anecdotes are relateable but written in a flamboyant and ridiculous fashion designed to entertain.

SONORUS: A book you think everyone should know about?

I really don't know... This changes depending on my mood and what I'm currently fixated on.
My current bookish obsession is The Guild Codex books.
I find them thoroughly entertaining... The perfect escape from reality.

OBLIVIATE: A book or spoiler you would like to forget you ever read?

Erm... I don't think there are any books I'd like to forget I read but there have been many that just were not memorable!

As for spoilers, I just don't care. Spoilers don't spoil things for me really. In a lot of cases, I actually find them soothing to my nerves, lol. I don't care if I know how something ends - in fact sometimes I flick ahead to deliberately find out - what I care about is how you get to that point... It's the journey, not the destination.

However, one series I have decided never to read - despite having wanted to - is Divergent as I found out the ending of the series when the final book released (because everyone was screaming over it) and I was outraged alongside everyone without ever having read a page! I don't invest myself over multiple books to have that as the ending so I was definitely not going to bother.

IMPERIO: A book you had to read for school? 

I think the most memorable books I had to read for school were To Kill A Mockingbird, Wuthering Heights and The Diary of Anne Frank. 
Wuthering Heights I like to think I'd have read anyway as I've been entranced by the story since I was a little girl and my mum would play Kate Bush but the other two I don't think I'd have ever bothered and that would have been a shame as they're wonderful thought-provoking books.

CRUCIO: A book that was painful to read?

Okay, it's not a single book but as series and they collectively wrecked me!
I'm talking about the Boudica series by Manda (MC) Scott.

How a fictional take on a culture and fictional retelling of a period of history could do so much emotional damage, I'll never know but I love these books with every fibre of my soul but I've never been brave enough to re-read them despite finishing the series 10+ years ago.

There's joy, wonder and pain! You know that a book series told from the pov of the Celts will never end well when it's based around the second Roman invasion (i.e the successful one) of the British Isles but still... Did it have to hurt so much?!

AVADA KEDAVRA: A book that could kill (interpret as you will)?

The Priory of The Orange Tree.

Have you seen the size of this hardback? 
Have ya? Have ya, have ya, have ya?!
If you've got it in your bag and get attacked just swing that bugger and the attacker will be on the ground in 2.5 seconds. (Assuming you have the muscle mass to swing it!)
Hear creepy noises in your house at night? No problem! Scoop it up and hurl it at the offending party's head! They're unconscious and you can make your escape!
For similar reasons to the above, I wouldn't recommend storing it on a high self for if it falls and you're standing under it? It's lights out!

There is seriously no need for a book to be this large...


If you want to do the Harry Potter Book Tag then consider yourself tagged!


Saturday 24 August 2019

Review: The Bar Next Door by Katia Rose

Sometimes you take the shot, and sometimes the shot takes you.

As the manager of Montreal’s most infamous dive bar, Monroe—and it’s just Monroe, thank you very much—is used to serving up her signature pearls of wisdom alongside an array of shots, pints, and pitchers. In fact, she thrives on it. Taverne Toulouse is a mighty ship, and she its fearless captain, trusted by patrons and bar staff alike to steer them through choppy waters.

If only she’d been given a little warning before a full-on tsunami swept in next door.

Julien Valois’ wining and dining empire is making waves. The next item on his agenda is opening a trendy lounge right next to Monroe’s beloved Taverne Toulouse—one that’s meant to run the dive bar out of business so he can buy up that property too.

His plans did not include falling for a five-foot-nothing brunette with an impressive vocabulary and an even more impressive ability to manhandle drunk frat boys twice her size.

They’re rivals in every sense of the word, but when Monroe and Julien are in a room together, the battle lines fade away. Their defences lower, their hearts get louder than their heads, and the burn between them goes down like just the right shot—intense, intoxicating, and able to sweep their priorities away with a single taste.

Until reality decides to slap up a big ‘For Sale’ sign and force them to remember those priorities all too clearly.

*Arc provided in exchange for an honest review*


Full-length novel

Alternating first person - Monroe & Julian



The Barflies series is a spin-off/companion of The Sherbrooke Station series so if you've read those you'll be familiar with some names and faces but you don't need to have any background knowledge to read and enjoy this.



Hell no.

Big fat nope!

I loved this book!
It was a perfect blend of sexy, sweet and fun with awesome characters and a relationship that made me swoon.

Monroe has worked at Tavern Toulouse since her student days. She loves her bar and her staff and her staff love her. However, the tavern has hit a rough patch and the owner is a dick so the threat of closure hangs over her head.
When the building next door is purchased and the new owner - Julien - begins to renovate it for his latest project - a wine bar - Monroe is under more pressure than ever.
So, naturally, Monroe does some under the radar snooping trying to ensure that the bar next door doesn't threaten Tavern Toulouse and that's where the tale of Monroe and Julien begins!

From this pov, you could say that The Bar Next Door is an enemies-to-lovers or a rivals-to-lovers but honestly? It's lacking the dislike and anger that those tropes tend to carry.
While Monroe is cautious of Julien she doesn't dislike him and Julien is smitten with Monroe from the get-go. The deceit of Monroe being the manager of Tavern Toulouse but not telling Julien doesn't go on for too long but their relationship doesn't change the fact that Julien's goals threaten everything Monroe has worked for and wants.

Monroe is such a lovable character. She's one of those people who gives and gives and gives and doesn't think to take for herself. Watching her learn to put herself first sometimes is a joy.

Julien is a wonderful, sexy, Frenchman who was born to privilege but that doesn't stop him working extremely hard to make it without resting on his family's laurels. However, this can make him extremely blinkered, especially when it comes to other people and their needs if those needs clash with those of his businesses.

Julien and Monroe are perfect for each other. Their relationship is almost effortless when the elephant in the room - aka rival bars - is ignored. When the situation inevitably implodes it's not packed with unnecessary drama or anger but resignation and sadness which made the resolution somewhat unexpected and incredibly sweet.
There was an honesty and purity to their relationship that you don't see too often and I adored every page of it.

The Bar Next Door is a perfect contemporary romance for when you're wanting low angst, good banter, and a beautiful connection.
I cannot wait to read more in this series!

My absolute favourite cover of this author's and a perfect fit for Monroe and Julian's story!

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