Monday, September 30, 2019

"Arthur Rex: Dux Bellorum"
by J.A. Cummings

Arthur Pendragon has been acknowledged by many as the High King. But not everyone is ready to accept him as such, and he must fight to subdue those who oppose him. War is here, and there is no avoiding it. He has much to do if he is to win and retain his kingdom. Arthur inspires loyalty and respect in many, but not everyone is ready to consider him a friend, let alone their king. He is still young, and while he is very inspiring, he also still has much to learn before he can become the man he is destined to be.

When looking at the page count, one might be hesitant at first to pick it up, but don’t let the length of this one scare you away from reading it. Once you start reading, it doesn’t feel like it is anywhere near as long as it claims to be. The story really grabs you and sucks you in, making this a very difficult book to put down.

This was the third book in this series and upon finishing it, my first thought was “Wow!” Most folks know by now that I really enjoy reading a good King Arthur story. Well, this one was probably one of the best I’ve read in quite a while. This author has definitely put her own spin on the myths and legends that surround Merlin, Arthur, Guinivere, and all of the Knights of the Round Table, while at the same time retaining the familiar aspects that we would expect to see in any Arthurian tale.

I do need to warn anyone reading this book that there are some rather graphically detailed sex scenes as well as a rape contained within these pages. (It is definitely not a book meant for younger readers.) But the more adult scenes were all very necessary parts of the story and not something that could have been left out or ignored. (There is more that I would like to say about this, but doing so would give away too much that you really do need to read for yourself. You’ll just have to trust me on this one.)

Ms. Cummings clearly has a talent for teasing us throughout her story with hints of what is likely to come in the future without really giving away any specific details. The characters are extremely well written and will make you want to laugh and cry with them, and the ending of this book will leave you waiting impatiently for book 4. Highly recommended, especially for those who enjoy a good King Arthur tale.

Monday, September 23, 2019

"The Blacksmith Queen" by G.A. Aiken

"When the Old King dies, his sons immediately begin killing each other as well as anyone else who could possibly challenge them for the throne. Then they learn of a prophecy which claims that one of the Smythe sisters will be confirmed as the next queen by the Witches of Amhuinn. Everyone assumes that daughter is Beatrix, as she appears the one best suited to someday becoming a queen. And suddenly, the Smythe family is in danger from the brothers who want to kill the girl who might claim what they see as their throne as well as from the one who might marry her instead of killing her. But what happens when the Witches declare that both Beatrix and her sister Keeley will be queen?

I received this book as a prize from contest. I do not believe that I had ever read any of the other books written by this author and started reading it to pass some time and found myself so drawn into this story that I just couldn’t put it down until I finished it. (With so many wonderful books available, that doesn’t happen too often for me these days.)

I found the book to be both entertaining and amusing, It made me laugh and want to cry for the main characters equally. I loved the interactions between the various siblings and their parents. It was obvious that this author was quite familiar with family squabbles and arguments between siblings of all ages. Every time I thought I had pretty much figured out where the story was going, the author threw in a new twist that made the story even more enjoyable.

I realize that this book may not be for everyone, and the reader should be aware that there is one somewhat descriptive sex scene that might not be appropriate for younger readers. But this book made me smile quite a bit as I read. I think that others will also find it just as entertaining as I did. It had everything, conflict, romance, humor, betrayal, and the closeness of family. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series. Recommended.

Friday, September 20, 2019

"Phases of Change: A Shifter Anthology"

This anthology contains a collection of shifter tales ranging from Felines and Wolves to Sharks and Squirrels, as well as everything in between. The stories were very unique and were fantastic teasers into the beginnings of many different series. I found them all to be extremely entertaining and enjoyable.

As expected, some of the stories involving the many different types of shifters tended a bit towards the more adult aspects of the stories, making some of them rather inappropriate for younger readers. But both the more adult and those stories that were appropriate for younger audiences were something that I greatly enjoyed reading. I would recommend this anthology for anyone who wants a taste of several different types of shifter stories to enjoy.

I’d say to give this one a try, you might find a few authors you both recognize from other stories as well as some that are new to you that I believe are worth taking the time to try some of their other tales.

Monday, September 16, 2019

"The Marilians" by Beth Worsdell

As they continued to save the Earth from nearly being destroyed by humanity, you would think that things would start to calm down, at least a little bit. Unfortunately, a race of beings known as the Marilians have decided to attack the Earth and make it their own. Their usual pattern involves invading and taking over other planets, draining them of all life and resources, then moving on to start again with yet another planet. Neither the humans nor the Angels currently on Earth approve of this behavior and are determined to work together to stop the Marilians this time and save Earth once and for all.

But even with advance warning, can the two races working together manage to save the planet and those who reside on it? Can any amount of preparation and weapons practice really be enough for what they will face once the Marilians arrive and the fight to save Earth and those residing there begins?

I read the adult version of this book (which is not appropriate for younger readers, though there is also a YA version for those who prefer reading something without the rather detailed sex scenes that are included in the adult version). It could have used another round with an editor/proofreader, but the story itself was very compelling.

I found the beginning to be somewhat calmer than the second half of the book. Once the Marilians arrive on Earth, things almost immediately reach a point where the reader just won’t want to put the book down! And the ending of this book will likely have you wishing you didn’t have to wait for the author to release part 3! I know I’m still sitting here thinking about the way it ended and am dying to know what happens for the people of Earth next. (Trust me, there is so much more that I really want to say about the ending, but I do not want to spoil it for anyone!)

If you enjoyed reading book 1 in this series, you really won’t want to miss reading this one, and I expect that we will all be waiting impatiently for book 3 in the series to be released.

Monday, September 9, 2019

"Hitched: The Bachelorette (Book 1)"
by G.K. DeRosa

Aspiring actress Kimmie-Jayne Starr has an audition for the leading role on a new reality show called “Hitched.” If she gets the part, she will be playing the role of a woman seeking to fall in love and marry one of 25 young men seeking to win her hand. As with most reality shows of this type, she expects it is all faked and merely entertainment. But the 25 men who will be competing for her hand in marriage are all extremely handsome, and any one of them could easily be any woman’s idea of male perfection.

There is also something very strange going on with the show, and someone clearly doesn’t want Kimmie-Jayne to survive to the end. She begins receiving threats, and when that doesn’t scare her off, “accidents” that would easily kill her begin happening during the group dates with her suitors. And that still isn’t the strangest thing about the show or the secret “twist” that she’s not supposed to know about yet.

This was a very fun little story that was well written and well edited. I enjoyed seeing the interactions between characters and watching the attempts to keep the show’s secrets from Kimmie-Jayne until it was time for the big reveal. I am more than a little curious about where the story is going, as well as about what will happen at the end of the show when it is time for her to pick one of the bachelors to marry.

As I said earlier, it is a fun idea that captured my interest and I am looking forward to finding out who is seeking to sabotage the show as well as to who the “winner” will be. I will definitely be continuing on with this series in the future as I enjoyed reading book one. If you’re looking for something lighthearted and fun to read, I recommend giving this book a try.

Monday, September 2, 2019

"Urban Magic: Hungry, Young & Clever"
An Urban Fantasy Anthology

This collection of urban fantasy stories has been put together with the intent to support the American Library Disaster Relief Fund. All sales of this book will help to support libraries to recover after natural disasters. In my opinion, that fact alone makes this book a must have for anyone who loves reading and appreciates all that a local library may have offered them over the years. I do not know if this book is a limited release only or one that will be permanently available for purchase on Amazon, but I would recommend not waiting to find out.

I found the 11 stories within this book to all be very well written and fun to read. Some of the stories I might have enjoyed more than others, but each one was very entertaining. Each story was an original and complete story, as well as being an introduction into a series written by one of the authors involved in this project.

I enjoyed seeing these new works from a variety of authors, many of whom I had not previously had a chance to read before. They were fun and exciting, and I am glad I had the opportunity to read each of them. I will be very interested in seeing more of these authors in the future, and will enjoy looking up some of the other books in the various series that were selected for this anthology.

I do recommend this book, and not solely because the purchase of this book will support a very good cause. I believe that those who enjoy fantasy and urban fantasy stories will enjoy reading these stories as well.

Firefax by A. M. Vergara

During the Revolutionary War, there are rumors of a city of gold that is hidden on an island whose location is known only to the Firefax fam...