Review: Karma’s Brutality (Scorned Gods #4) by Mychael Black

Karmas Brutality

When word reaches Jason and his bandmates about several defectors who escaped Harlan Yates, the group realizes it’s time to act. With their allies from Abaddon — including the newly-turned demon, Daniel — the band makes their move to get rid of Yates once and for all.

Led by the demons Gabriel and Haez, the others take the fight directly to Yates, aided by the defectors. Jason and his bandmates have never been in battle, and they’re going to discover it’s not for the faint of heart. Not everyone comes out unscathed, but that’s the nature of war. For one of them, a single bite changes life forever.

 

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Karma’s Brutality (Scorned Gods #4) by Mychael Black


Review

Rating: 3 stars

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

With the final confrontation drawing near, the members of Scorned Gods and their allies get ready to face Harlan Yates in a battle that will decide the fate of all vampires.

I had mixed feelings about this last story in the series. I liked that everything came together and wrapped up nicely, so you weren’t left with any loose ends. However, I was left feeling rather disappointed that their main adversary through the entire series was killed by another character. I felt a bit cheated that it had all been working up to this moment and then there was no big confrontation with the enemy. It was a shame and a missed opportunity after so much build up.

I enjoyed the characters and the concepts explored in the series as whole, but I finished it feeling that the entire thing was somewhat rushed. This is a shame as it had some unique ideas that I would have loved to have been explored in further detail.

Review: Shackled (Scorned Gods #3) by Mychael Black

Shackled

Time is swiftly running out for the members of Scorned Gods… and the mortal, Daniel.

All hell has broken loose. A psychopathic vampire, Harlan Yates, has waged war on mortals and vampires alike, and the band Scorned Gods is caught in the middle. With help from an Abaddon ally, Jason and his bandmates will have to act quickly to stop the enemy.

But Harlan Yates has one advantage that no one can erase: his ability to find the escaped mortal, Daniel. Despite finding safety with the band, Daniel is the unwilling beacon that can bring destruction upon them all.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Shackled (Scorned Gods #3) by Mychael Black


Review

Rating: 3 stars

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

With Harlan Yate’s and his vampire cult waging war on other vampires and now mortals, the members of Scorned Gods and their allies must find a way to stop him. When infiltrating the cult, they find themselves a new ally in mortal Daniel. However, with his presence brings the danger of Yates’ ability to track him.

Shackled continues right on from the last book in the series. This time it focuses more on Daniel and his lover, Nick. Their reunion gives you some insight into Nick’s past and the secrets that he has been keeping. Although I was glad that Daniel forgave him, it did feel little rushed, and I think taking more time to redevelop the relationship would have been better. The group want to protect Daniel from Yates, but by doing so they put themselves in danger. This leads to Daniel having to make a decision that will change him forever.

Shackled builds up to the final battle that they all know is coming. I look forward to reading this and finding out what happens to all the characters involved.

Review: Delirium (Scorned Gods #2) by Mychael Black

Delirum

With his new band, Jason Summerfield and his partner Julian Kristados acquired a new lover. But just as they’re beginning to figure out how to function as a trio with Scorned Gods’ bassist, Saul, things take a dramatic turn for the worse.

A cult of vampires is hell-bent on starting a war between mortals and vampires. Its first prime targets are psychic vampires like Jason’s bandmates. But the cult may have help… from the demonic realm of Abaddon.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Delirium (Scorned Gods #2) by Mychael Black


Review

Rating: 3 stars

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

The conflict between vampires has now become an all out war. The leader of the vampire cult behind the violence is on a mission to rid the world of all impure vampire bloodlines. Jason and Julian must find a way to protect Jason’s bandmates as they learn more about the cult and that it may have help of the demonic kind.

Delirium picks up where Iconoclast left off and is a similar length story to the first book in the series. I enjoyed the second book more as it answers some of the questions that I was left with in Iconoclast and focuses more on the bigger picture. More of the plot-critical events happen on-screen, however I still feel that it has been somewhat rushed. Better pacing would have allowed for expansion of the world.

I like the main characters. They work well together and seem to really care about each other. I’m also enjoying getting to know some of the side characters better as the series progresses and have a feeling that they will play a bigger part in later books too.

Review: Iconoclast (Scorned Gods #1) by Mychael Black

Iconclast

Five years have passed since Firestarter disbanded. The former members went their separate ways, leaving lead singer, Jason Summerfield, band-less. Now he and his lover Julian Kristados are back in the United States, and Jason is itching to get back on the stage.

Nationally known melodic death metal group, Scorned Gods, needs a new singer. When Jason answers the ad, he’s welcomed with open arms. He wants to play music. What he gets, however, is far more than that — and not all of it is good.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads:  Iconoclast (Scorned Gods #1) by Mychael Black


Review

Rating: 3 stars

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

When vocalist Jason Summerfield signs up with the band Scorned Gods as their new vocalist, both he and his lover Julian are quickly drawn into an escalating conflict between different species of vampires. The two of them have to not only protect Jason’s new band mates, but find out who is behind the violence before it is too late.

Iconoclast was a mixed bag for me. Some aspects I liked and others not so much. It is a short story and is the first in a series. The idea of different species of vampires drawn into conflict with each other is one that I have not seen used too much before. Being a fan of the genre, I was excited to see where the author would take this. Unfortunately you don’t get to see too much of it in this first instalment.

The decision to focus too much on the relationships between the three leads was at times frustrating when there was a bigger picture here. Other side characters discovered much of the critical information and this happened off-screen, with information just being passed to our leads. I found this frustrating and would have preferred for them to be in the middle of this. The incident at their concert happened so quickly that I didn’t even realise what had occurred and again there was not enough description or focus on this. This is a short story but I think it would have benefitted from being slightly longer. That being said, there are some interesting characters and concepts here and I am interested in reading more to see where the author takes this in further stories.

Book Review: Mountainway Chant (Coulter and Woodard #2) by M.J. Calabrese

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Adam Coulter has returned and is coping with the horrific events of sixteen months ago as best he can, but not everyone is happy about it. His best friend and new husband, Detective Eagle Woodard, doesn’t want to speak to him and it’s starting to look like his fifth marriage isn’t going to be anymore successful than his other four.

FBI Agent Rick Kessler and Navajo Reservation Police Lieutenant Carlos Aiello, Eagle’s cousin, have pulled a reluctant Adam into another case. Five bodies discovered at the site of a planned casino, all dressed and painted up as Native American mythological characters offer confusing clues. Are they dealing with another serial killer?

Fighting to stay clean and sober, Adam’s 12 step sponsor is murdered. At first it seems unrelated to what he saw in the desert, but evidence comes to light that says otherwise. Revelations concerning Adam’s past and his father, Richard Coulter’s, connections to the local crime syndicate boss, Nelson Greybill come to light.

Can Adam repair the damage he’s done to his relationship with Eagle so he can help him solve this case? Can he win back the only man he’s ever truly loved, or will the demons of his past win the battle for his soul?

 

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Mountainway Chant (Coulter and Woodard #2) 


Review

*I received a copy of this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 3 stars

When Adam Coulter returns after 16 months he is determined to get his life back on track, however he is soon drawn into another murder investigation. Forced to work together once more with his husband, Eagle Woodard, Adam soon realises that this case is tied to him in ways that he couldn’t have realised. Can Adam and Eagle reconcile in time to solve the case and if so is there a hope for a future together after all?

I liked the second instalment in the series a little less than the first book hence the slightly lower rating. As with the first novel there were aspects I really liked and aspects I didn’t.

I do love a good murder mystery and for that Mountainway Chant does not disappoint. I enjoyed reading how the plot unfolded and how all the connections to the main characters were made. The final showdown was gripping and kept me turning the pages to find out what happened next. The writing seemed to have been tightened up in this book as well, with less confusion over the names and nicknames of the characters.

What I didn’t like was some of the reactions of the characters as they still seemed really random and emotions seemed to change at the drop of a hat and with no warning or reason. So much so I almost got whiplash. As well it seems that everyone has slept with everyone else at some point (or still is!) and I cannot keep track of who has what relationship with whom. A lot of this seems needless drama and it would have been a lot better to have been cut out of the book completely. The novel would have benefitted from less side complications that seemed to have been only put in for drama, which it didn’t need as it has plenty of that already!

I am interested to see what happens in the third instalment of the series, but I’m slightly less enthusiastic about it than I was at the end of book one.

Book Review: Dark Designs by Stefanie Spangler

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Twins Ivy and Violet Grant are opposites. Ivy, a hot-tempered redhead, couldn’t wait to get off the farm and see the world. Violet, a quiet brunette, was content to stay home and help their grandmother with the family business. The one thing they have in common is their magic.

Charlie Logan’s sinister obsession with Ivy Grant has ruled his life. When he discovers a book of dark magic during a burglary, he decides to return to Oak Hill and use his newfound power to gain control over Ivy.

Ivy and Violet, with help from their grandmother, need to practice their magic to overcome the evil seeping into their lives. A battle is coming, and Ivy’s life is not the only one at stake.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Dark Designs


Review

*I received a copy for free for an honest review*

Rating: 3 stars

After their mother abandons them, twins Ivy and Violet Grant are raised on a farm by their grandparents. When farmhand Charlie Logan makes inappropriate advances towards eight year old Ivy, luckily her grandfather is there to put a stop to it. Years later, Charlie returns and his fixation with Ivy causes him to turn to dark magic. The twins and their grandmother are gifted with their own light magic and must come together to not only protect Ivy but also their town from the monster that Charlie Logan has become.

I enjoyed reading Dark Designs. It was quite a suspenseful read with likeable protagonists and an interesting side cast. I liked the premise of magic being used in this way and how the twins learned to control their abilities and use it to protect Ivy and the town.

However I did feel that a bit more could have been explained, for example they never did find out what happened to their mother. I started the novel thinking that this was going to be a large part of it and then it just seemed to disappear. Also the ending could have been a little more drawn out. The author took a great deal of time to build her villain and then he was dealt with comparatively quickly.

Overall I did enjoy reading Dark Designs. It is a well-written paranormal/suspense novel with some great main characters and the added twist of magic too!

New Release Blitz and Review: Sorcery of the Blood by Alice G. Holmes

Title: Sorcery of the Blood

Author: Alice G. Holmes

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: May 4, 2020

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 58100

Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, Romance, paranormal, gay, interracial, vampires, vampire hunters, dystopia, dark, magic, spells, witchcraft

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Synopsis

Kingston St. Louis and Martin Von Brandt are vampire hunters of the highest caliber. That is until Kingston is made a vampire and they discover too late that the city is being taken over by vampires in a bloody coup.

Branded as outlaws, they’re forced into hiding with an unexpected ally. For their plan to stop the coup to work, Kingston will have to overcome his prejudices and train the very vampires he used to hunt, and Martin must learn magic.

All the while, they struggle with their feelings for each other. Love can be a weakness, and they can’t afford weakness when hiding from a powerful enemy.

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Review: A Summer of Smoke and Sin by T.J. Nichols

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To stop a serial killer a detective will need to explore his own vices…

Nathanial Bayard wants nothing more than to find the nobleman creating snuff pornography. If he fails, his career in the recently formed Nobility Task Force will be over and as the youngest son he’ll be forced to obey his father and join the church. But a life of celibacy doesn’t appeal. Nathanial has never even kissed another man, fearing for his soul and his reputation.

Jericho Fulbright has never lived a wholesome life. After behavior unbecoming he was discharged from the army and sent home in disgrace. His inventor and nouveau riche father refused to have anything to do with him, so Jericho turned to what he knew best: opium, gambling and sex.

As the owner of the Jericho Rose, a club for gentlemen who like men, he enjoys a certain notoriety. Some would say he has a golden tongue, but the truth is a succubus lives within him feeding on souls. Once he needed her help, now she is a burden that keeps him from getting close to anyone.

After the unfortunate death of a young noble man in Jericho’s bed, Nathanial is sent to investigate. He is scandalized and intrigued by Jericho, but soon realizes that Jericho could be exactly who he needs to help break the snuff case. Together they are drawn into a web of lies that will result in Jericho facing prison unless Nathanial can unmask the real creator of the snuff, a man with rank and privileges that reaches almost to the King.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: A Summer of Smoke and Sin


Review

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 3 stars

When Detective Nathanial Bayard is sent to investigate a death at the Jericho Rose, he finds himself drawn to the charismatic club owner Jericho Fullbright in a way that he never imagined. Desperately needing a break in a case, Nathaniel enlists Jericho’s help in tracking down the man creating snuff pornography. However, Nathaniel is unaware that Jericho’s ability of drawing the truth from others comes from the demon sharing his body. And the demon has set its sights on Nathaniel as its next host.

I was really drawn to the premise of this novel. It takes place in a regency-era setting which I love, but one that has a different attitude towards same sex relationships. The paranormal aspect was a real draw for me too and I couldn’t wait to start reading. However A Summer of Smoke and Sin was somewhat of a mixed bag for me. I really enjoyed how Nathaniel and Jericho’s relationship played out throughout the novel. The chemistry between them was undeniable and their contrasting personalities complemented the other perfectly. The demon part of the story I felt a little underwhelmed about. For me it felt like an addition rather than a main plot point and could have been expanded on more than it was. Also I felt that the ending was somewhat rushed to the point I was left feeling a bit taken aback by it. This was a shame as time had been taken to build the romance throughout the novel.

Overall A Summer of Smoke and Sin is an enjoyable and well-written read with a paranormal twist, but I would say it’s more a romance than paranormal or mystery.

Review: We Still Live by Sara Dobie Bauer

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We Still Live by Sara Dobie Bauer

Running from a scandal that ruined his life, Isaac Twain accepts a teaching position at Hambden University where, three months prior, Professor John Conlon stopped a campus nightmare by stepping in front of an active shooter.

When John and Isaac become faculty advisors for the school’s literary magazine, their professional relationship evolves. Despite the strict code of conduct forbidding faculty fraternization, they delve into a secret affair—until Simon arrives.

Isaac’s violent ex threatens not only their careers, but also John’s life. His PTSD triggered, John must come to terms with that bloody day on College Green while Isaac must accept the heartbreak his secrets have wrought.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: We Still Live


Review

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 3 stars

We Still Live is the story of two university professors who are both struggling with traumatic pasts. Isaac is fleeing his hometown and the scandal that his divorce left behind and John is suffering from PTS due to confronting an active shooter at the university. The two of them make a connection and embark on an affair that could not only cost them their jobs but their lives as well.

I was divided as how to rate this novel. There were some parts I liked and some I didn’t. I liked the premise and the issues that the novel dealt with. It was hard-hitting in places and brutally honest as it needed to be. All the characters rallied together well to support each other and even in the darkest moments there was hope for a better future for all of them.

However I do feel that the relationship between Isaac and John could have been better developed. For me it fell flat in places and it got on my nerves how many times Isaac reiterated that John was not his normal type. It only needed to be stated once, possibly twice, then it should have moved on from that point. I think a lot of people have fallen for someone who they wouldn’t normally, but the constant making of that point really was needless. Also the professional relationships they had with their students bordered on unprofessional. They acted like the students ages themselves in places and also in front of them. There needed to be further boundaries in place there to make this more realistic.

We Still Live is very well-written and touches some difficult subjects in a sensitive way but whilst being honest and not shying away from the aftermath of these events. I enjoyed reading it but for me there were a few things that could have been better so I can only rate it 3 stars.

Book Blitz and Review: Faith (Graphene #2) by Archie Hellshire

Title: Faith

Series: Graphene, Book Two

Author: Archie Hellshire

Publisher: NineStar Press, LLC

Release Date: October 15, 2018

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 30100

Genre: Contemporary, college, friends to lovers, scientist, athlete, political

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Synopsis

Tuck is switching dorms. He’s had enough of his roommate’s odd hours, strange behavior, and teasing from his football teammates, who think there’s something more between them. He’s just put the last pad into his duffel bag when the campus goes on lockdown and the police swarm in.

They say that Tuck’s roommate, Sam, is a wanted man, but Tuck knows better. Sam is no criminal; he won’t even let Tuck kill spiders. Tuck takes a risk and helps Sam escape from the clutches of the authorities, and together they try to make it off the campus. As they try to evade the search parties, it becomes clear that they’re after something more than Sam; a secret project Sam’s been working on that has billion-dollar implications.

Tuck’s not sure what’s going on. He’s not sure what the truth is or who to trust. He’s not sure they’re going to make it out of this. And as the night wears on, he’s not sure how he really feels about Sam anymore. Sam is always sure about Tuck, though, and Tuck isn’t going to let him down.

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