Saturday 28 September 2019

Mini Reviews: Bad Fae Rising & One Fae in The Grave by Jenna Wolfhart (Paranormal PI Files 3 & 4)

Both books read via Kindle Unlimited

My thoughts on book one and book two in the series.


I'm Clark Cavanaugh: mind reader, bad-ass investigator, and half-fae with questionable taste in guys.

Just when I think life at the Crimson Court is finally calming down, a cunning stranger gives me an ultimatum. If I don't find and kill a rogue vampire within three days' time, my secret will be revealed to the world. Balor, my alluring fae prince, will finally learn the dark truth about my past.

Basically, I'm being blackmailed.

As if that weren't bad enough, the fight for Balor's throne is on. He needs my help, or he could lose his Court forever. But helping him means risking everything...

Now, I face an impossible choice. Do I stand by his side? Or do I run? 

I like this book much better than the first two in the series.
The storytelling was tighter, the pacing just right, and Clarke has finally got a clue - which was nice!
Despite being blackmailed, Clarke proves herself to be a decent and moral person.
Her powers are increasing, and not just those of her fae side. Instead of being stupid Clarke, she reacts proactively in seeking out a lone-wolf shifter to help her learn to shift.
Her animal combined with past events and fae lore makes things very interesting... I think there is more to little clueless Clarke than meets the eye! More than even she knows, but I guess we'll see!

The alliance between the Fae, Vampire and Shifters was tested throughout the first two books but I feel events in this one may have stretched them just a bit too far which will be interesting considering we're only halfway through the series!

And I was super relieved that the deep dark secret hinted at throughout the first two books was finally revealed but it was predictably devastating to her relationship (non-relationship, whatever) with Balor and to her place in the Crimson Court which was disappointing.

All in all, I was left happy with this one and excited about what's to come! 


Life isn’t going exactly as planned. I’ve been kicked out of the Crimson Court and forced to move in with a grumpy and irritating (and gorgeous) shifter until I can prove to Balor that I belong with the fae.

Luckily, I have a plan. I’m going to take on Nemain, the dangerous fae who wants to steal Balor’s Court away from him. If I can stop her, maybe Balor will forgive the terrible things from my past.

But things take a turn for the worse when Nemain wields an ancient cursing stone against the entire Crimson Court. She’s cursed every fae in London to die, including Balor. If we don’t find a way to reverse it—and fast—everyone I know and love will end up in the grave

In the last instalment, Clarke's deep dark secret was revealed and resulted in her being kicked out of the Crimson Court. Tensions between the Fae, Vamps and Shifters hit record highs.
The scene was set for an epic explosion and in this instalment, we get one. Sort of. I mean, shit hits the fan but it was all a bit all over the place again.

Yes, Clarke has been kicked out of the court and she's living with the shifter who'd been helping her in the last book but she's still acting like she's a member of the Court!
I can kind of understand why as she found her home in the halls of the Crimson Court. Her friends are in the Court. Despite some distinctly non-friend behaviour with the shifter (that was obviously never going to go anywhere), she's still in love with Balor (despite them being dooooommmmed) but she just refuses to let it go!
It was infuriating and admirable in equal measure.

Anyway, lots of bad stuff happens... The Silver Princess is making her move for Balor's Court and has stopped any pretence of being sneaky. This would be okay except for the fact that the Silver Princess - Maeve - feels like an evil caricature and I just can't take her seriously and the more I'm expected to the more ridiculous I find her!
Humans are dying, shifters are dying. Members of the Crimson Court are dying... Balor loses something utterly irreplaceable (two things actually) and all seems 100% grim.
The crazy, evil, Princess is winning!
Whatever will happen next? 🤔
Considering the assumptions/revelations of Clarke's heritage, it's fairly obvious but I could be surprised!

I'm two-thirds through the series so I'm obviously going to finish it but I do wonder what over dramatised shenanigans the series has in store for us next.


Thursday 26 September 2019

Blog Tour & Review: Unearthed by Cecy Robson

Hello and welcome to my stop on the UNEARTHED tour!

Cecy Robson is not an author I'd read before reading Unearthed but I can honestly say after reading this one that I'll be reading more from her! I really enjoyed her blend of fantasy and romantic potential!

So read on... 😉

Fae was once a flourishing paradise. Until Death turned greedy and destroyed it, targeting the creatures who inhabited it. Those who survived escaped to Earth’s realm, but Death wasn’t far behind . . .

Olivia Finn is just another pixie trying to blend in among humans and hide from the death hounds who devoured her family. Clinging to the talisman that keeps her veiled from those who hunt her, she believes she is safe. . .. Until Death finds her and discovers she’s immune to its grip.

Now that Olivia’s power is unearthed, she is sought by Fae who see her as their savior and stalked by dark entities compelled to destroy her. Can she trust the King of the Dead who has sworn to train and protect her? Or should she obey her instincts that warn he desires more?

Olivia can no longer hide from Death. To survive, she must seek it.

Add it to your Goodreads!

*Review copy received as part of blog tour*

331 pages

First-person, single pov.

There are some implied threats of sexual violence against the main character but nothing I personally found triggering... Just a little uncomfortable.

No, book one in a new series.

The story wraps up nicely and it could technically end where it does despite there being so much potential for more!

Not really applicable.

There's violence and monsters that eat souls.

I've gone back and forth on what to rate this book until I almost lost my mind!

On the one hand, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It kept me hooked page after page and left me wanting more of Olivia and Ryker. I'm excited by the story and desperately looking forward to more! Which means pretty much five stars for me.
However, there was something about the way the story was executed that I found jarring and difficult. Time moved strangely, stuff would happen and I'd be confused and thinking I must've missed something when I know I didn't and that meant some things that happened just didn't make much sense... So, three stars.
In the end, I compromised and rated the book four stars for it wasn't perfect, I had my grumbles but all of that was overshadowed by how much fun I had reading it!

The world created by Robson was fascinating. Essentially, the creatures of the fae realm used to live in balance with 'death' - death being another race of various creatures - but for some unknown reason, the death creatures lost any kind of control and started indiscriminately killing the fae, destroying their world/dimension in the process.
Some fae created portals - at great cost and sacrifice - to get to our world, and they live amongst us in secret, hidden from the death creatures (who also slipped into our dimension and continue to hunt them) by magical amulets.
If they lose their amulet, one of the death creatures - in this book it was the Cu Sith - will find them and death is always hungry to devour souls...

The story is told from the pov of Olivia.
Olivia is a spunky and sweet paralegal who happens to be a pixie working at a law firm.
She's quirky and likeable but unremarkable until she does something quite remarkable and then the fun really begins!

The thing about this story is that it's mired in loss.
You feel the helplessness of the fae every time the bad guys strike.
Your heart aches for the characters and all they've been through and all they go through...
Olivia has lost everyone who ever meant anything to her but she somehow manages to radiate hope; Even when she's feeling pretty hopeless!
All the things she goes through to try and help her people when she never wanted or ever asked to be anyone's savior is astounding.
You're 100% behind her and desperately hoping for an end to the slaughter of the fae.

 Then there is Ryker... Poor damaged misunderstood, Ryker.
Ryker has suffered a century of utter torment and despite having the power and opportunity to prey on those much weaker than him he stands and fights for them instead... Hoping for it all to end.
He lives, breathes and craves death.
He doesn't know how to live and he doesn't think there is anything to live for... Until a crazy rainbow needs protecting from all who would destroy her.

I'm not going to pretend I totally understand the dynamic between Ryker and Olivia but I love it anyway! I crave more of it. They're complete opposites and yet they're the same. Their relationship was freaking awesome and the fact that it is deliciously slow burn is even more awesome... These two are what will keep me reading book after book in this series.
The world created was cool, don't get me wrong, but the dynamic between Ryker and Olivia was addictive.

Unearthed is a good solid start to a new UF series and if you're a fan of the genre, I'd recommend! 
That said, for those that like their UF low on romance I'd caution that while romance isn't front and centre in this book, the romantic potential is off the charts and pretty in your face despite being slow burn... Make of that as you will!

I can't wait to read more of this series!

I've loved the cover from the second I saw it for the cover reveal!
It's perfect! Absolutely perfect.


"Do what makes you happy. Eat good food. Enjoy a decent glass of wine. Talk for hours with someone who can't get enough of your voice and walk with him along the beach, even where you're tired. Life's too short. Just be happy."


Cecy Robson is an international and multi-award-winning author of over twenty-five character driven novels. A registered nurse of eighteen years, Cecy spends her free time creating magical worlds, heart-stopping romance, and young adult adventure. After receiving two RITA® nominations, the Maggie Award, the Award of Excellence, and a National Reader’s Choice Award nomination, you can still find Cecy laughing, crying, and cheering on her characters as she pens her next story.



Wednesday 25 September 2019

Family Adventures: Imber Ghost Village & Alton Towers!

It feels like it's been ages since the summer holidays ended and the little dude went back to school but in reality, it's only been... Okay, it's been 4 weeks. 
However, the transition back to 5 day work weeks and the back to school routine kicked my ass and I'm only now finding the time (and energy) to finish writing up our summer adventures before we embark on any autumn ones!

So, today, I'm talking Imber Ghost Village and Alton Towers theme park!


To start, let's discuss our day out to Imber, a 'ghost village' on Salisbury plains that is open to the public only on a few occasions throughout the year.

St. Giles Church - Imber
A bit of background...
Imber was a little village in the middle of Salisbury plains. I don't know how long people had lived there but the church dates back as far as the 13th century so people had been there for a really long time! Anyway, to cut a long story short, the village population was evicted by the ministry of defence back in 1943 to use it as a training ground for allied troops preparing to retake Europe. 
The land today is still used as a MOD training ground and pretty much the only building left intact is the church (St. Giles) which is cordoned off and protected from the military exercises. 

The village today...
The village buildings that remain standing are hollowed out shells and are basically just brick structures (dating from the 1930's) with tin roofs. 
You can't wander around them or explore because it's an active training ground and there are signs everywhere warning you to stick to the designated paths (which are safe).

The old manor house still stands (but is cordoned off and sealed up) and the old village inn (The Bell Inn) still stands but is again a complete ruin that you can't explore because it's not safe.

The rest of the old builds have been demolished because they were unsafe and in complete disrepair. 

Essentially, it's a derelict site that used to house a village and if it wasn't for the odd structure still standing and the church, you'd never recognise it as ever having been a village.

To be honest, I was expecting a lot more from Imber. 
It's built up quite a mystique in these parts but it was all a bit bland.
However, it was free to visit - even if it's an absolute nightmare to find! - and I'm glad that I've done it for it was interesting... The very concept that an entire village could be evicted en masse because someone said so is worth some thought! 


Onto the next adventure...
This summer, we spent three days in Staffordshire enjoying ourselves at Alton Towers theme park!

For those who don't know what Alton Towers is, it's a theme park built on an estate surrounding an old gothic-looking manor house (which is now a beautiful ruin).
There's a big lake, picturesque gardens, the manor house ruins, and loads of rides designed for thrill-seekers. Oh, and it's home of CBeebies land for those with little kiddies. 

The resort also houses golf courses, crazy golf and a water park but I've never been to any of that - Just the theme park.

The first thing I'd say to anyone visiting Alton Towers is that it's bloody expensive! 
It's great fun and very pretty but expensive. 
Make sure to book online more than 5 days in advance for the best prices and depending on how many days you are going, consider buying a season pass.
 We did and we saved a lot. 
(Plus, if we get it into our heads to drive up there again before November, they're still valid!)

The second thing would be to wear super comfy shoes as this one is particularly spaced out and you're going to walk for miles and miles and be standing in lots of queues when you're not walking.

The first two days of our trip were pretty good. 
It wasn't too hot, it wasn't too busy, it didn't rain and we got on lots of rides.
The little dude is still too small for a lot of the big rollercoasters (much to his disgust) but he made up for it by riding the ones he could go on multiple (multiple) times! 
One of his favourites was The Wicker Man which is the parks newest ride (opened in 2018). It's a wooden rollercoaster and it's insanely fast. 

The latest attraction to open at the park is The Alton Towers Dungeons which is a walkthrough/boat ride attraction designed to freak you out and tell you the horrible history of Staffordshire!
It should be noted that the Dungeon is not included in your park ticket price (although you can buy a season pass with it included) and is not recommended for kids under 10 but if you have a kid who is a bit younger (like mine) who isn't scared easily (like mine) and is determined to go on it (like mine) then they won't stop you!
It also takes about 40ish minutes as it's not a traditional ride... It's a Dungeons. If you've been to London, Edinburgh, York, or Warwick Dungeons you'll have an idea of what to expect as it's part of that franchise.

On day two, we also treated everyone (we were there with family) to a visit to the Rollercoaster Restaurant!

The Rollercoaster Restaurant is the only one in the UK. 
You basically order your food on an order pad and when it's ready it's delivered to your table in sealed pots via the rollercoaster network.
You then unload it and plate it up yourself.

The food is good, the delivery is fun and even though it's pricier than the other park food options it's worth experiencing at least once for the novelty value alone!

The third and final day of our trip was a washout. 
Literally. It rained and it rained and it rained some more! 
We went on a few favourites one last time (hello Wicked Man), had a quick lunch and then joined the mass exodus from the park around 2pm. 
We were soaked to our skin and had to do the awkward dry and change under a towel in the car before heading off on the long drive home a little earlier than planned!

All in all, I like Alton Towers but as we go pretty much every summer, I think I'm getting tired of it now. Next time we visit, I hope to go to one of their Halloween or Christmas events as it would offer something a little bit different.


Tuesday 24 September 2019

Fall TBR, Bookish Holidays and Alchemists!

I love participating in weekly bookish memes, answering questions and making lists, but sometimes the answers are not enough to make a decent post... On their own!
So, on those weeks, I'll be combining rather than skipping!

This week's topic is... Books On My Fall 2019 TBR

OMG, there are lots!
However, the ones I'm most looking forward to reading are...

The Alchemist and an Amaretto & Slaying Monsters for The Feeble by Annette Marie (releasing October and November).
Shatter The Earth by Karen Chance (supposed to release in December)
The Throne of Fire & The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan (these are part of my audio list!)
The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout (because I never finished it last year due to getting sick and my reading mood changing.)
The Cruel Prince (and the other two in the series because the trilogy will finally be complete and I can binge!)
War by Laura Thalassa (feel like I've waited forever!)
A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer (because I never finished it the first time due to reading slumpage.)

I can't wait anymore! It's been too long and I just can't... I need to catch up with my precious mages! And Tori! And... And... Needs it! 😭

Releases October 11th

As a guild bartender, I can handle pretty much anything--mages, sorcerers, witches, the occasional demon. But show me anything family-related and I'd rather run for the hills. It doesn't even have to be my family.

So I have no idea why I thought spending the holidays with Aaron's mom and pop was a good idea.

Meeting his famous parents is already terrifying enough, but I've got a bigger problem. Students of his family's renowned mage academy are being attacked on the grounds--and somehow no one has seen a single assailant? Unexplained tracks litter the nearby woods, rumors of forbidden alchemy are circulating the campus...and Ezra has been acting strangely since we arrived.

Something deadly is brewing in the shadow of Sinclair Academy, and the longer we take to uncover it, the more dangerous it becomes. But no matter the risk, we'll protect the students.

And Aaron's parents too, I suppose. If we have to.

Have you ever wished that there were official government bookish holidays, and that, by law, employers HAD to give their workers a paid day off? If so, what kind of bookish holiday would you like to have?

Erm... No. No, I can't say that I have.
You see, I like to joke that I should be paid to read and I often wish I was granted a special day 'just for reading' (aka an extra day in the week or something) but in reality, I'd hit the roof if anyone told me I had to spend a day reading. 
It's 100% acceptable if I just decide I'm reading today, but actually telling me I have a day off and I have to read? My rebellious little brain would go on strike and I'd end up watching Netflix.
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