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April Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

the cover is kind of a logo/shield emblem made up of lots of little Easter eggs from the story, white rats, a bear, a sword, vials and skulls and toads all in an orange and red and black designPaladin’s Strength by T. Kingfisher – A One of my Twitter friends who gives excellent book recommendations, recently put me onto this author and I’m so grateful (thank you Aarya!). I listened to the first book in the series, Paladin’s Grace which was also fantastic, which I reviewed for AudioGals. And then I bought the ebook of this one because I wanted more.

There is a story arc over the two books about people’s heads getting chopped off but the main characters are different and there’s a romantic HEA for a different couple in each book. Still, I do recommend reading (or listening – the narrator is wonderful) to the first book first to get the most out of this book.

Istvhan is a Paladin for the Saint of Steel (who is a god but something got lost in translation regarding the name use for him) who died some 3-4 years earlier. This obviously sent everyone who served the Saint into a tailspin and left the Paladin’s bereft – those who survived at any rate. Paladins for the Saint of Steel are berserkers and it was only the god’s influence which stopped them from killing innocents. There are only 7 Paladin’s left now and they’ve been taken in by the Temple of the White Rat – a church which is all about serving people and not so much about telling them how to live their lives and making restrictive rules.

Clara is a lay sister in the Order of St. Ursa. All of the Sisters of St. Ursa have a particular ability which leads them to the order (there’s a hint in the name and on the cover too). Her convent has been burned down and her remaining Sisters have been kidnapped. She’s on a mission to find them and rescue them if she can.

October Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

Face of a pretty dark-haired woman against a green-washed moon over a bayou pictureSelkies Are a Girl’s Best Friend by Molly Harper. Narrated by Amanda Ronconi & Jonathan Davis – B Sonja Fong has moved to Mystic Bayou to help her best friend Jillian Ramsey with running the office for the League for Interspecies Cooperation. The daughter of a Chinese diplomat-type father and a Russian particle physicist mother (I’m not entirely convinced the model on the cover is an accurate representation of her ethnicity), Sonja is scarily competent, fearfully organised and super smart. She’s also gorgeous, kind and generous.

Will Carmody is a Mystic Bayou native and selkie shifter. He’s been away from the bayou for decades but has recently returned. He’s a doctor and the town desperately needs one. Jillian is delighted to offer him a job with the League as the town’s doctor and Sonja helps Will organise his new premises and get all set up.  They don’t get off to the most auspicious start but this is quickly sorted out and they start working together and exploring their chemistry and growing attraction.

The main conflict between them is Will’s fear (born from witnessing the trainwreck that was his parent’s marriage) of being trapped by his selkie pelt.

In amongst that is the ongoing mystery of the ever-expanding Rift which is causing humans to spontaneously develop supernatural abilities and the League’s ongoing research into it and their attempts to stablise and minimise the Rift. Sonja finds herself at risk after she begins investigating some shifty financial dealings. While the mystery contained in this book wasn’t particularly hard to decipher, there were some interesting developments with the wider story arc and I’m curious as to how it’s all going to work out.

Love & Other Wild Things by Molly Harper, narrated by Amanda Ronconi & Jonathan Davis

fairly generic and not paranormal picture of a bearded guy embracing a pretty girl. It's pretty nondescript and doesn't relate much to the story.Why I read it:  I’m a fan of this author/narrator combination and I enjoyed How To Date Your Dragon recently.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Welcome to Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where shape-shifters, vampires, witches, and dragons live alongside humans. The town formed around the mysterious energy rift in the bayou, which helps keep the town’s magic in balance. But lately the rift has been widening and destabilizing – threatening to send the town’s magical population into chaos.

Energy witch Danica Teel has been sent by the League to figure out what’s going on, with the help of bear-shifter Mayor Zed. While working on the case, Zed falls head over paws for Dani, but she’s reluctant to engage in anything beyond a roll in his cave. Dani’s family is counting on her to get the job done, and she has no time for distractions. But when an ominous presence begins stalking Dani through the bayou, they’ll need to band together to make it out alive.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  I feel like all I really need to tell listeners is that instead of a rubber ducky for his bath, bear-shifter Zed has rubber fish. I mean, really, why would one not want to listen to a hero who has a bath with rubber fish toys for non-sexual fun?

But I suppose I should give more reasons for my opinion so…

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