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A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn

A Murderous Relation - Deanna Raybourn

This review can also be found atCarole's Random Life in Books.

This was a fantastic installment in a much-loved series! This is the fifth book in the Veronica Speedwell Mysteries series which is a series that is best read in order. I have been with Veronica since the beginning and am finding that I like this series more and more with each installment. I read this book in just a couple of days and found it to be incredibly entertaining. I really had a great time with this book.

I have grown to love Veronica, Stoker, and some of the other recurring characters in this series. Veronica and Stoker work very well together and obviously are quite good at solving mysteries. They also have a lot of chemistry. We have been gradually watching the heat grow between these two since the beginning of the series and while I do sometimes wish things would move a bit faster, it is obvious how much they care about each other.

The mystery in this book was a bit unexpected. Veronica's heritage is a well-kept secret. Because of her connections, she is asked to look into some of the dealings of the prince. He has given a piece of jewelry that can be traced back to him to a woman who runs a scandalous club and his family wants it back before anyone can find out about it. Of course, things are never easy and Veronica and Stoker must navigate a pretty dangerous situation before everything is settled. Throw in the famous Jack the Ripper murders which are happening and you have quite an exciting story on your hands. 

This book had everything that I hoped it would have. There were some rather light-hearted moments and some pretty intense scenes. I loved the chemistry between the characters and am loving the way Veronica and Stoker are slowly working their way towards each other. There were a few surprises in this book and I really enjoyed the fact that the Jack the Ripper murders were a part of this story. I thought that the pacing of the story was very well done and I found the book hard to put down.

I would highly recommend this book to others. This is a smartly written mystery series with incredibly wonderful characters. I cannot wait to read more of Veronica and Stoker's adventures!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I loved this book! I think that this series just keeps getting better and better. The characters are so well done and I love the chemistry between Veronica and Stoker. I thought the mystery in this book was quite good and I liked that the story touched on the crimes of Jack the Ripper.

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Kingdom of Back - Marie Lu

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really enjoyed this story. Believe it or not, this was the first time that I have read any of Marie Lu's work. I love music so I was really drawn to the premise of this story. I read the bulk of this book in a single day and couldn't get enough of Wolferl and Nannerl's story. I am so glad that I decided to give this book a try.

There was a point at the start of this story that I thought that this book was going to be mostly set in the fantasy world of the Kingdom of Back. I was wrong. This book really reads like an historical fiction with short trips into fantasy. The fantasy elements were a nice addition to the story but I felt like the relationship between Nannerl and her brother, Wolferl, and their music was the main focus of the story.

Nannerl is Wolferl's older sister. The world knows Wolferl as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and he is remembered by everyone. But who remembers his sister who shared his talent? As children, they were both very gifted musicians and played for important audiences everywhere. They were not treated the same though. Nannerl is expected to help supervise her younger brother and knows that being a wife and mother is in her future. She is allowed to play her music but composition is strictly considered a man's domain.

I really enjoyed the magical elements of this story. Hyacinth was a great character and I loved that I was never quite sure of his motivations. I thought that the descriptions of the scenes within the Kingdom of Back made this world come alive. All of the things that they were faced with in this land were exciting and helped to move the story along.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a very well done story involving a historical figure from a unique point of view. I wouldn't hesitate to read more of Marie Lu's work in the future.

I received a review copy of this book from G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers via Bookish First.

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this story. At the start of the book, I thought that the story would spend most of its time in the fantasy world of the Kingdom of Back. Instead, the story read as historical fiction with moments of magic dispersed throughout the story. This is the first time that I have picked up any of Marie Lu's work and there was something about this story of Mozart's sister, Nannerl, that I could not resist. We have all heard of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart but what about his talented sister?

Damaged by Lisa Scottoline

Damaged - Lisa Scottoline

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was very good! This is the fourth book in the Rosato & DiNunzio but it reads as a stand-alone novel. This is one of those series where you can just jump in at any point. I have read a couple of the previous books in this series and consider myself a fan of Scottoline so I had a pretty good feeling that I would enjoy this one. I was pulled into this story from the start and was eager to see how things would work out. I am so glad that I decided to listen to this book.

The story opens with Mary taking on a new case. At the center of this case is a young boy named Patrick. Patrick is ten years old and lives with his grandfather, who means the world to him. Patrick has dyslexia and is not getting the services that he needs in order to be able to learn to read. He has also been accused of violence against a teacher's aide. Unfortunately, this is the beginning of the problems that Patrick will have to face.

Like Mary, I fell for Patrick pretty quickly. This little guy has not had things easy but he was still such a good attitude. He was frustrated with school but who could blame him. It was really hard not to like Patrick and his grandfather. Mary fought for them very hard and I loved her dedication to the case. I am not sure that most lawyers would go quite as far as Mary did but it did make the story interesting. This was a pretty complex case that seemed to get more involved as the story progressed. There were some pretty exciting moments and a few twists that I did not see coming.

Rebecca Lowman did a fantastic job with the narration of this book. I think that this is the first time that I have had a chance to listen to this narrator's work and I really liked her work. She has a very pleasant voice that I found easy to listen to for hours at a time. I liked the voices that she used for the various characters and thought that she did a good job adding emotion to the story. I would not hesitate to listen to more of her work in the future.

I would recommend this book to others. I really enjoyed this story and thought that it was emotional at times. I felt bad for Patrick and Mary and wanted to see good things happen for them both. I look forward to reading more of Lisa Scottoline's work!

I received a digital review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library.

Initial Thoughts
This was very good. The book captured my interest right away and held on throughout the book. I was surprised by some of the twists that popped up along the way. I found it pretty easy to root for Mary, Patrick, and the other key players because they really were just good people. I listened to the audiobook and thought that the narrator did a fantastic job with the story.

Trapped by Kevin Hearne

Trapped: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 5 - Hachette Audio UK, Kevin Hearne, Christopher Ragland

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I enjoyed this audiobook quite a bit. I have been slowly working my way through the Iron Druid Chronicles during the past couple of years and have really been enjoying myself. I did take a bit of a break in my listening which seemed to work out well since this book picks up twelve years after the previous book. I found this book to be a solid installment in the series and I had a great time with it.

Atticus, Granuaile, and Oberon are still together when this book picks up twelve years after the events of the previous installment. Atticus has been training Granuaile this whole time and she is finally ready to become a Druid. To become a Druid, they must complete a lengthy binding ceremony. Unfortunately, there is a group that would like to see them dead before the ceremony draws to a close. 

I found this to be a very exciting story. There was plenty of action dispersed throughout the book. I loved seeing how much Granuaile has learned during her training and the binding ceremony was very interesting. I loved seeing how the relationship between Atticus and Granuaile has changed during the past twelve years and I was really excited to see things really start to develop. Oberon was as awesome as ever.

Luke Daniels is the perfect narrator for this series. He handles all of the different character voices incredibly well. The voice of each character has been consistent throughout the series. I adore the way that he is able to bring Oberon to life. I think that he really takes this story to the next level and I am sure that I have enjoyed this series just a bit more because I made the decision to listen to the audio.

I would recommend this series to others. This is the fifth book in the Iron Druid Chronicles which is a series that should be read in order. I found this to be a pivotal book in the series and cannot wait to read the next book!

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this audiobook quite a bit. This book jumps ahead 12 years which worked out well since it's been a year since I listened to the previous book in the series. Granuaile is ready to be bound to the earth as a druid and is pretty kick-ass from her years of training. Her relationship with Atticus has also progressed over the years. Oberon is just as awesome as ever. I thought that the book was rather exciting and I found this to be a really easy listen. Luke Daniels did a fabulous job with the narration.

Book Source: Purchased

The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman

The Secret Chapter - Genevieve Cogman

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This book was fantastic! I remember reading the first book in this series, The Invisible Library, right around its publication date and knew that this was going to be a very special series. I have looked forward to each installment and have yet to be disappointed. One of the things that I love about the series is that the possibilities are endless. This book was my favorite in the series to date.

You would think that Irene and Kai would get a bit of a break after all of their work to secure a very important treaty but the fun never seems to stop for this pair. After a quick assassination attempt, they must face Irene's parents which proved to be an eye-opening situation. Before long, Irene is summoned to the Library and given the task to secure a very special book. Irene and Kai dealings with Mr. Nemo prove to be more difficult than expected and they find themselves being put on a team to pull off a very big heist. 

This was a very exciting book. The action started in the few pages and really never let up. Just getting to Mr. Nemo was an adventure but the fun really got started once they made it to his island. It was really interesting to see Irene and Kai work within a group. Irene has a take-charge attitude which doesn't always work with the group. The task that they have seems almost impossible and they have to do it with a group that they don't completely trust. I had no idea how they were going to make it work and I love that the story kept me guessing.

The characters in this book were very well done. I have grown to love Irene and Kai over the course of this series and I liked them even a little more by the end of this book. I was a little sad that Detective Vale only made a quick appearance but there were so many new and interesting characters introduced in this book that I didn't miss him as much as I would have thought. The crew that Irene and Kai must work with were all really unique individuals. I wasn't sure who could really be trusted but there were a couple of individuals that really proved themselves in the end. 

I would highly recommend this book to others. This is the sixth book in The Invisible Library series which is a series that really should be read in order. I loved the excitement of this story and thought that the task was incredibly unique. Once I started reading this book I did not want to put it down. I cannot wait to read more of this wonderful series!

I received a review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group.

Initial Thoughts
I loved this book! This is my favorite book in the series so far which says a lot since I have really enjoyed all of them. This is a series that is best when read in order if at all possible. This story kept me guessing and I could have never guessed some of the things that happened. Irene and Kai were amazing as always and it was great to see them in a new setting with a new group of individuals. The task was both difficult and dangerous but it was also very exciting. I can't wait to read more of this amazing series!

Golden in Death by J.D. Robb

Golden in Death - J.D. Robb

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was so good! I hate to admit that I have not read a single book in this series before picking up this one. I was a little worried that I might be a little lost jumping into a series at the fiftieth book. I am happy to report that this book does stand on its own and I didn't feel lost at any point in the story. I am sure that if I had read the previous books in the series, I might have had a deeper understanding and appreciation of the character relationships but the mystery in this book was solid and kept me glued to the pages for the entire book. I really enjoyed the time that I spent reading this book.

The story opens with Dr. Kent Abner receiving a package that would quickly end his life. The package contained a golden egg filled with a nerve gas that killed him within minutes. Lt. Eve Dallas has quite the case on her hands. It seems that everybody loved Dr. Abner and there just aren't a lot of leads. She keeps asking questions and checking everything hoping to find something. When a second murder occurs, the pieces finally start to come together.

This mystery really kept me guessing. This was a very suspenseful novel and I had a hard time piecing things together before it was revealed within the story. The story definitely took some twists and turns that I didn't expect and I loved the fact that everything seemed entirely plausible. I also really liked Eve's approach to solving the case. She doesn't seem to miss much and is very dedicated to getting justice for the victims. 

I really liked the way the book was written. I thought that there was a really great balance between the case and Eve's personal life which made her feel very real. The pacing was very well done and there was never a point where I felt the desire to set the book aside. I thought that the descriptions were very well done and I almost felt like I was seeing everything Eve was as she worked to piece the case together. 

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a very smartly written suspenseful story filled with great characters. I am very glad that I finally decided to give this series a try and now have plans to go back to the beginning and read more of Eve's adventures. 

I received a free ARC of Golden in Death by J.D. Robb from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.

The Janes by Louis Luna

The Janes - Louisa Luna

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

Wow! This book was one heck of a roller coaster ride! I was really excited to start reading this book after thoroughly enjoying the first book in the series, Two Girls Down. This book ended up being just as exciting as the first, if not more. It took me a bit to get into the story but once I did, I didn't want to put the book down. This was a really wonderful read.

Alice Vega is a private investigator and is known for solving some hard cases. She is hired to help out with a case involving two unidentified victims that were killed in a very similar manner. She knows that she is going to need backup so she calls Max Caplan, a former officer, in to help. Because Vega and Cap aren't the police they have a little more flexibility and are more than willing to step over a few lines if that is what it takes to solve a case. They are also very good at their job and will not stop until the case is solved.

I thought that this mystery was very well done. There are so many things at play that I was never quite sure where the story would go next. I don't think I was able to figure anything out until the author wanted me to. I loved the way that Vega and Cap trusted each other and supported any hunches the other might have. There were plenty of twists in the story and I was satisfied by how the mystery was wrapped up.

This book was exciting! There are times that Alice almost seems like a superhero with Max as her sidekick. I mean that woman can do anything and with Max backing her up, she seemed invincible. I will say that some of the action was a bit unbelievable. That didn't bother me though because it was a whole lot of fun. I liked how unpredictable Vega was. I never knew what she would come up with next because it would be in character for her to do just about anything.

I would recommend this book to others. This is the second book in the Alice Vega series but I think it would work as a stand-alone just fine. Although the first book is really good so you really don't want to skip it. I was completely entertained by this exciting story and cannot wait to go along with Vega and Cap on further adventures!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Doubleday Books via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
Wow! This was one heck of a roller coaster ride! It took me a bit to really get into the book but once things got going the twists and turns were almost non-stop. I love Vega and Cap and think that they make a great team. The fact that they are not police gives them the freedom to step over more than a few lines. In some ways, Vega almost seems like a superhero. This woman can do almost anything and Cap makes the perfect sidekick. The mystery was rather complex and kept me guessing. This is definitely a series that I want to read more of!

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Tweet Cute - Alice Emma Sauerwein Lord

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This has to be one of the most perfectly named books that I have come across in a long time because this book was really cute! As soon as I read the premise for this book, I knew that I would have to give it a try. It just sounded like such a good time. And it was! Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down and ended up finishing it in a single day. I really enjoyed the time I spent with this book.

Pepper hasn't been in New York all that long. She moved there with her mom and older sister when their family's burger chain started getting huge. She somehow finds the time for her schoolwork, activities, and still helps out with the company's Twitter account. Jack has lived in New York all of his life. His family owns a neighborhood deli and Jack occasionally posts something on social media for the business. 

When the big burger chain is rolling out a new grilled cheese that sounds a lot like the signature sandwich served at the small deli. It's war or a Twitter war, at least. These two are going back and forth and they don't even realize who is on the other end. Until they do. I loved this setup! It was just such a playful way of getting to see these characters get to know each other. 

I loved Pepper and Jack! They both had some family issues to deal with and really had a lot in common. I thought that they were both very smart and resourceful teens. They really were perfect for each other. They had a lot of chemistry but I really felt like they understood each other in a way no one else seemed to. 

I would recommend this book to others. I found this to be a light-hearted story filled with wonderful characters and a few laughs. I will be keeping an eye out for future books by this debut author!

I received a digital review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press - Wednesday Books via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I thought that this was cute! The twitter feud between Jack's family's small deli and the large burger chain owned by Pepper's family was fun. Pepper and Jack had a lot in common and I liked the fact that we got to see both of their points of view in the story. They really did seem like they fit together perfectly. I found this to be a really fun romance.

Secrets of the Chocolate House by Paula Brackston

Secrets of the Chocolate House (Found Things #2) - Paula Brackston

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I had a great time with this book! After enjoying the first book in this series, The Little Shop of Found Things, I was really excited to see what would happen next in Xanthe's life. I went into the book hoping that I would like it as much as I did the first book and I did. This was a story that was able to grab me from the very beginning and was enjoyable until the end. I am so glad that I made the choice to give this series a try.

Xanthe is able to move through time. She runs an antique shop with her mother in the present time and when she finds certain items, they call to her. Sometimes these items are connected with an event and Xanthe has the ability to go to that time to make things right. When she finds a chocolate pot, she has a vision of Samuel and he is in trouble. She goes back to Samuel's time, the 17th century, to try to help him and find things have become very complicated.

I loved the fact that in this book we learn more about the act of time traveling, or spinning. I have a feeling that we are only at the beginning of learning all about what Xanthe can really do. There were some great characters introduced in this installment and I enjoyed seeing Xanthe interact with the mistress of the chocolate house. I also really liked the fact that Xanthe bounces around in time a bit during the story so we get a pretty clear picture of what is going on in both time periods. She has quite a few challenges to overcome in both time periods. 

I thought that Marisa Calin did a fabulous job with the narration. I loved how consistent the voices that she uses have been throughout the series. Each character has a very distinct sound and I thought that she added a lot of life to the characters. The way she reads the story adds a lot of emotion and excitement to it. I think that I might have enjoyed this book just a bit more because of her narration.

I would recommend this book to others. I do recommend reading this series in order if at all possible since the relationships between the characters do change over time. I had a great time journey through time with Xanthe and look forward to her future adventures.

I received a digital review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library via Overdrive.

Initial Thoughts
What a wonderful story! I had such a good time with Xanthe as she traveled back and forth in time trying to set things in the past right. It was really interesting to learn more about her particular brand of time travel and I enjoyed watching her juggle the demands of the past along with those in her own time. I listened to the audiobook and thought that the narrator did a fantastic job with this story. I can't wait to see what will happen next in this series.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Red, White & Royal Blue - Casey McQuiston

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

Oh my gosh, how I loved this book! When I saw this book offered as one of the selections for Book of the Month, I immediately knew that I had to have it. I have heard great things about the book from a lot of different reviewers so I wanted to see what all of the fuss was about for myself. Well, I quickly figured out that this book was worthy of all the hype it has received. I had a great time with this book from start to finish and am so happy that I had the chance to give it a read.

Alex is the son of the President of the United States. His mom is the first woman elected into that office and his father holds a seat in Congress. He plans to run for public office himself someday and enjoys getting involved in politics. He does have a bit of a problem with one of the English princes and he has a royal wedding to attend where he is sure to run into the prince in question and maybe even share a bit of cake. When things go wrong at the wedding, those in charge decided that Alex and Henry need to spend some time together and show the press that they are actually friends. 

I loved Alex and Henry. The story is told from Alex's point of view so we do see more of what is going on in his world but I have to admit that Henry stole my heart. Henry had so many things to deal with and his life was under the control of others. He was such a caring character and I just wanted to see things work out for him. Alex was also amazing. He had a lot to figure out in this story but he wasn't afraid to take risks when necessary. I thought that the supporting cast of characters was also very well done.

I thought that the romance was very well done. I really liked how their relationship developed and enjoyed seeing them turn to each other more and more as the story progressed. Most of the time, these two had an ocean between them but I really enjoyed all of the texts, emails, and phone calls they shared. When they were together, it was special. These two had fantastic chemistry that only grew stronger throughout the book. 

I would highly recommend this book to others. I was swept away by this story and felt like I was right there with Alex and Henry cheering them towards their happily ever after. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Initial Thoughts
I loved this book! I have heard great things about it so when it was offered as a December choice at BOTM, I grabbed it right away. Once I picked it up, I couldn't read it fast enough. I loved Alex and Henry so much and thought that they had fantastic chemistry. It wasn't a perfect book. There were a few times that things happened that seemed awfully convenient or rather unlikely. It didn't matter though because I loved the story and since it is fiction convenient and unlikely works for me. The story is told in the present tense which did throw me a bit but I was so lost in the story it didn't even matter. All in all, this was just a fantastic read!

Book source: Purchased

Wicked Hour by Chloe Neill

Wicked Hour - Chloe Neill

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really enjoyed this book. This is the second book in the Heirs of Chicagoland series which is a series that is best read in order if at all possible. I had fun with this book from the very start and found it became more entertaining as I worked my way through the story. I found this to be a very solid entry into a promising series.

This book takes Connor and Elisa on a trip. Connor needs to attend an initiation in Minnesota and asks Elisa to come along. This is not the kind of event that vampires are usually allowed to attend so Elisa takes the opportunity. There is also the little issue of Connor and Elisa's budding relationship to deal with. Things get exciting just as soon as Connor and Elisa make it to the Pack's home. There are some strange things going on including a few deaths. Connor and Elisa have a lot to figure out before they can head for home.

I thought that this story was quite exciting. There was a nice combination of mystery, action, politics, and romance to really keep things moving. The overall mystery was pretty complex and I couldn't figure out who the responsible party was until it was revealed. I also really enjoyed the progress that was made in Connor and Elisa's relationship. I think that these two have a lot of chemistry and really do fit together well. 

I thought that the characters in this book were very well done. Elisa and Connor are both really strong characters and I like the fact that they seem to have each other's back at every turn. There were some really great characters that were introduced in this installment and a few from the previous book that we got to know a little better. 

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a really strong installment in the Heirs of Chicagoland series. This book was filled with wonderful characters, plenty of excitement, and a few swoony moments. I can't wait to read more from Chloe Neill!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.

Twisted Memories by Kate L. Mary

Twisted Memories - Kate L. Mary

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I enjoyed this book in the Twisted series. This book fills in all the gaps between the Broken World series and the events in the first book in this series. This is a series that would best be read in order and I do believe that this series works best when read after the Broken World series. I have been kind of obsessed with this group of characters this year so I was delighted to have all of my questions about what their lives have been like and what really happened answered in this book.

Angus James came to Atlanta to save the world. His immunity has made him a precious commodity. Even though he came willingly and wanted to help, the CDC told his family that he had died and used him for one experiment after another. 20 years of experiments. We also get a chance to check in with Axl, Vivian, Jim, Al, Lila, Josh, and Parv. A lot has happened in 20 years and not all of it was good.

This book covers a lot of time. A lot of the story happens before the events of Twisted World and I did have a moment or two when I wondered why the author chose to wait until the second book to share this information but I don't think it would have worked well any other way. I hated hearing some of the things that happened to these characters. They have been through so much and it just seems wrong that they had to deal with the kind of evil shown in this story.

I thought that Heather Firth did a great job with the narration. This book is told from a lot of different perspectives and there a lot of characters that play important roles. I thought that she did a great job keeping all of the voices consistent and I never had any difficulty recognizing the speaker. I also think that she does a great job of adding emotion to her reading. I had no problems listening to her narration for hours at a time.

I would recommend this series to others. I feel like I have been on quite the journey with these characters and was very happy to find out what happened to them over the years even though a lot of it was heartbreaking. I look forward to reading more of Kate L. Mary's work.

I received a review copy of this audiobook from the author.

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this installment in the Twisted series. This book fills in the gap between the Broken World series and the first book in this series. It was really interesting to see what had happened to certain members of the group in the years since they entered their community controlled by the CDC. This book kind of takes everything you thought you knew about the way the community is run and turns it on its side. I thought that the narrator did a great job with this story and I am eager to get started on the next book in this series.

Twisted Fate by Kate L. Mary

Twisted Fate - Kate L. Mary

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I thought that this was a wonderful wrap up to the series. I devoured Kate L. Mary's Broken World series earlier this year and after learning that this series featured the same group of characters, I couldn't wait to get started with it. It has been great to see these characters grow and survive and I enjoyed getting to meet new characters in this series. This book really did pull everything together very well and I had a great time with it.

This is the book where things really start to happen. Angus is alive and his friends know it. They also know how much danger Axl and Donaghy are in. At this point, not only do they want to rescue their friends and loved ones but they are also looking for some revenge. If anyone deserves revenge, I think Angus does. There are several points of view in this book and it worked well since the characters were not always together or looking at the situation in the same way.

This story was really exciting. There was plenty of action and I found myself worrying about the characters. There were quite a few surprises as well. I loved getting the chance to watch this group of characters working to make the world a better place even if it cost them. I was happy that this book left me with some hope for the future and I feel really satisfied with how things were wrapped up. My only complaint with the story would be that the last part of the book felt a little drawn out but nothing that lessened my overall enjoyment.

I thought that Heather Firth did a great job with the narration. There are quite a few characters in this series and a wide range of emotions that they experience. I thought that she did a great job of giving each character their voice and bringing them to life. The narrator reads the story at a really nice pace and I feel that her performance added to my overall enjoyment of the story.

I would recommend this series to others. I do feel that this is a series that is best read in order. I love the world that Kate L. Mary has created and the characters are amazing. I will definitely be reading more from this very talented author.

I received a review copy of this audiobook from the author.

Initial Thoughts
It is hard to believe that my journey with these characters is coming to an end. This is a series that really should be read in order and I think that it really works best after reading the Broken World series. This book was exciting and sometimes unexpected. There were some scenes of heartbreak and others of joy. I did think that the last part of the book was a little drawn out but nothing major. The narrator did a fine job with this story once again.

The Journals of Octavia Hollows by Stacey Rourke

The Journals of Octavia Hollows (1-6) - Stacey Rourke, Brenda Scott Wlazlo
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I liked this one! I am always on the lookout for new Urban Fantasy series to try and I just couldn't resist a story about a necromancer with a resurrected pet pig named Bacon! This book is a collection of 6 different novella-length stories that all tie into a larger story. I did like some of the stories much more than others but I had a good time with the collection overall.

I loved Octavia! She had a lot of spunk and was just a lot of fun. Every time she put her pet pig, Bacon in a baby carrier under her shirt and pretended to be pregnant, I couldn't help the smile that would work its way onto my face. She was tough and rather resourceful. I liked seeing her handle herself in such a wide variety of settings.

In this collection, we see Octavia encounter a lot of different challenges. Each story was different but sometimes things from a previous story would carry over. I liked some of the stories a lot more than others which is normal for a collection of shorter pieces. I liked the stories at the beginning and the end of the collection the best and found that the middle stories dragged a bit. This audiobook did keep the beginning and ending credits for each of the six shorter works which I found somewhat unexpected.

This was the first time that I have listened to Brenda Scott Wlazlo narrate a book. I thought that she did a marvelous job with this one. I probably enjoyed this book a bit more because of her narration. She made the story come alive and everything flowed beautifully. I loved that when Octavia sang, we got to hear it. I hope to listen to more of her narration work.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a very well done collection of stories with great characters and just the right amount of humor. I would love to see what comes next for Octavia, Bacon, and friends!

I received a review copy of this audiobook from the author via Caffeinated Services.

Initial Thoughts
Probably more of a 3.5 star read. I liked this book and had some fun with it. This is a collection of 6 novella-length stories that come together to tell a larger story. I liked some of the stories much better than others. I did like the characters and thought that the narrator did an amazing job.

 

This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

This Side of the Grave  - Tavia Gilbert, Jeaniene Frost

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I had fun with this re-read. It appears that I did like this one a little more the second time around since I only gave the book 3 stars when I read it in 2012. This isn't the best book in the series but I still found it enjoyable. I hadn't planned to listen to this book when I did but none of the audiobooks I started were working for me but everything seemed to work when I gave this one a try. I ended up listening to the entire audiobook in just a couple of days and enjoyed my time back in the Night Huntress World.

The last two books in the Night Huntress Universe focused on other couples so I was glad to see Cat and Bones back in the lead for this installment. Cat and Bones find themselves in the middle of a conflict between ghouls and vampires. They have to play their cards very carefully in order to get the outcome they hope to see. I really enjoyed seeing a little more in regards to Cat's developing powers and some of the more interesting side effects she encounters in this book. There are some other developments in this story that aren't easy for Cat to deal with.

I love the characters in this series. Cat and Bones are always awesome and together they are amazing. I love the way Bones has no problem telling Cat what he feels and doesn't hesitate to do so. I also have a lot of love for the larger group. I loved getting to see Spade, Denise, Mencheres, and Kira play a part in this installment. Vlad was amazing in this book. I love his scenes with Cat even if he tends to steal a lot of her spotlight. I cannot wait to get to his books as I re-read this series.

Tavia Gilbert does such a fantastic job with this series. I love all of the voices that she uses for the different characters but I think she might deserve some kind of award for the voice she uses for Bones. It is absolutely perfect. I think that one of the reasons that I enjoyed this book more than I did the first time I read it is her narration. She was able to bring this story to life in the most amazing way.

I would recommend this series to others. While I don't think that this is the strongest book in the series, I had a good time with it and can't wait to read more books in this wonderfully crafted universe.

Initial Thoughts
I gave this book 3 stars back in 2012 and I am going to bump it up to 4 with this reading. This is not one of the stronger books in the series though. It felt like filler in some ways. I did think that learning more about Cat's abilities was pretty interesting and it was great to see this group of characters again. Vlad really seems to take the spotlight in any scenes that he is involved in and I just am loving his character more and more. Tava Gilbert did an amazing job with the narration once again.

Book source: Audible purchase

One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost

One Grave at a Time  - Jeaniene Frost, Tavia Gilbert

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I had such a good time with this book. I first read this book almost 7 years ago and was pretty eager to revisit it. I didn't remember a lot of the details from this book so it almost felt like I was reading for the first time. I thought that this was a really fun installment in the series even if it wasn't one of my favorites. It was really great to spend a few hours with some of my favorite vampires. 

This book picks up shortly after the events in the previous books. Of course, things will not stay calm for long for Cat and Bones. Cat learns through her ghostly friends that there is a very powerful ghost that is able to commit the same crimes he did during his life but only on Halloween night. They must work to protect his targets as he proves just how strong he really is. 

My favorite thing about these books is the characters. It was great to spend time with Cat and Bones and I love the way they both continue to grow in every book. Their relationship is very strong and it is a lot of fun to watch them interact with each other. I do really enjoy the bigger cast of characters as well and it was great to see Spade, Denise, and Ian playing an important role in this book. I, of course, would have liked to see Vlad make an appearance but I guess I will just have to read his spin-off series to get more of him.

Tavia Gilbert does a phenomenal job with this series. She has been consistent with the character voices from the very beginning so everything just seems to flow easily. I think that she adds a lot to the story and is able to make everything more exciting at times. She has a very pleasant voice and reads the story at a perfect pace. Her narration only added to my enjoyment of this wonderful story.

I would recommend this book to others. This is a series that really does need to be read in order to be fully appreciated since many of the events and character relationships have been developing throughout the series. This was a fast-paced and exciting addition to a much-loved series. I cannot wait to continue my re-read of this series.

Initial Thoughts
This was fun! Not my favorite book in the series but still quite enjoyable. I didn't remember too many details in the story from the first time I read it almost 7 years ago so it was almost like reading it for the first time. The characters are great, there was plenty of intense action, and the narrator did a phenomenal job. 

Book source: Purchased