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    This is another round of books I dropped or mostly not in the mood for at the moment.

    Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

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    Sam would do anything to protect those he loves, even if it means stealing from a wealthy gentleman. But when he encounters Hartley, he soon finds himself wanting to steal more than just a painting from the lovely, lonely man—he wants to steal his heart.

    I couldn’t believe I’m saying this about a Cat Sebastian creation but I was bored. Sam is a sweetheart but I wasn’t connecting with Hartley. I just want to finish this so I could get to Will and Martin’s book. This is a struggle to finish so I’m putting it aside for now.

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    Sometimes it’s harder to teach a young dog new tricks.

    This story was cute. The world was fascinating. The characters lovable. Unfortunately it was bogged down by sudden info-dumps and too many asides. I think it was trying to cram as much world building as possible while trying to get on with the story. Still, it’s not a hopeless case. I’ll get back to this when I feel a sudden yen for adorable shifters and their supernatural friends.

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    The long-lost magic brings doom…

    As much as I love The Ellwoods, I got bored with the repetitive assurances and endearments Ailin and Sebastian were throwing around each other. I know they’re worried because the end is nigh and close calls came a little too close too many. I wish we could just get on with the story a little faster. I’ll see this through. Just not right now.

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    In a world where killers hunt under the cover of darkness, Remi must rely on the partner he’s not sure he can trust to help him drag a murderer and Remi’s life into the light.

    Can’t pinpoint exactly what’s wrong with it, maybe just lacking the oomph, but I’m not riveted. From what I had read so far, it might getting pretty dark so I’m hanging on to that thought. On hold for now.

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    Luckily for both of us, this copycat doesn’t know who he’s dealing with. Game’s on, fake Sandman. You think you can mess with me? 

    I love Jackson and Leland. I’m always up for more adventures for them. I’m not expecting the ridiculousness to tone down, this is what the author does best after all, but yeah, the jokes were getting old. I’ll go where the mood takes me on this one.

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    Lucas Daniels knows that witches and vampires are real.

    Not expecting to not be feeling this but I did. For which I am surprised because those big reveals were rocking Lucas’ world. Oh my fickle heart, let’s not abandon Lucas and Konstantin just yet.

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    Will Frost get a chance to step up and be the kind of man Seth can respect or will a madman end any chance for a happily ever after?

    I actually read book 1, Richochet, and forgot to write a review for it. It was okay though not the same calliber as other action-suspense romances like the Nothing Special series. This second book okay too but wasn’t holding my attention that much. I doubt I’ll be returning to this.

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    What happens when opposite sides of the track collide?

    A jock+musician romance that was, well, it was fine. The parts I read were mostly about them fooling around campus. I lost motivation for this after reading the blurb of book 2 where I learned they were separated at the end of book one. I have no patience for that sort of thing.

    What books have you DNFed lately? Are you a mood reader too? Not as bad as me I hope. Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

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    REVIEW: The Witch’s Blood by Michele Notaro

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    The Ellwood Chronicles: The Witch’s Blood – Michele Notaro

    I’ve been living with this burden for years, but my secret has finally been revealed and I feel like I can breathe again. I’ve wanted to ask—to beg—for help, but the spell that’s held me captive wouldn’t allow it. With it out in the open, I’m more determined than ever to break the seal from my chest so I can truly be free. 

    But what if my seal has something to do with one of the most feared prophecies of the millennium?

    “A broken seal breaks the fragile hold…” 

    What does that mean? How am I connected? And why do I find myself so deeply drawn to Julius when I know my viramore, my soulmate, is out there somewhere? It’s not fair to either of us for me to lead Jules on, but it seems that my vampire companion is fierce in his determination to help me. 

    The Witch’s Blood is the third book in The Ellwood Chronicles and is a continuation of the overall story as we follow Emrys, Julius, Sebastian, and Ailin on their journey. It contains explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 years of age and older.

    Recommended Reading Order: 
    The Enchanter’s Flame
    The Witch’s Seal
    The Enchanter’s Soul
    The Witch’s Blood

    That damn long-ass prophesy continues to haunt the Ellwoods. This time, it’s all about Emrys and the seal that cost him everything.

    Em was part of the Ellwoods coven and also Ailin’s ex-boyfriend who, for reasons unknown at that time, betrayed them. Or so, they thought. It was Sebastian who finally shed some light when he saw that there was a seal on the witch’s chest, preventing him from telling Ailin and the coven the truth.

    Reading the books in sequence is the best way to get to know the Ellwoods. I liked how each book build up on the previous one. There are a lot of things going on but it’s not as overwhelming as other urban fantasy books (*side eyes Soulbound*) and it never loses sight of the main thread.

    The series is full of magical creatures up the wazoo, either making it on page or name-dropped. Each creature has its own magic. I do wish we get more details about the magic systems or creature abilities. What we know is that witches have different magical affinities, ex. Ailin has nature magic. Enchanters have their own special magic but what makes it different from witch abilities was not explained.

    The Witch’s Blood is as riveting and magical as the first two books but with more bloodsucking. The romance takes focus but is nicely integrated with the prophesy and the overarching thread. Since this is the third book, the world is already established so there not so much info-dump.

    The book picks up on the aftermath of the ogre battle where the Ellwoods’ nearly lost Seb. Em is now with his friend/lover Julius, a vampire, in coven grounds as they try to recuperate. This is where they, Julius in particular, constantly butted heads with Ailin as they try to find a way to break the seal while trying to keep all the coven members safe.

    The story is presented through four POVs, Emrys, Julius, Ailin and Sebastian. This is very effective in showing the group dynamics and how each character developed as their world descends into chaos.

    Sage Ailin continues to take responsibility for everything because the witch just loves to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders. He is a giant asshole but we all know A’s heart is in the right place because he couldn’t resist bringing home yet another stray. Seb is forever the peacekeeper, defusing the easily triggered A everytime his viramore (soulmate) gets ticked off.

    I was already invested in Em and Jules since the previous books and I’m glad that the author gave them their own story. Emrys is a death witch. He has magical affinity for dead things. I think it’s very apt that his partner is a vampire. It adds an extra kick to their relationship because he could very easily control the undead.

    I love how Jules really shine here. You gotta love his devotion to his witch. The vampire is all about keeping Em safe. Once you read about his past, you will love him even more. Regularly drinking a witch’s blood gives him access to their powers. He could use it anytime he wishes. But would he?

    This is what’s fascinating about Em and Jules’ relationship. There are many nuances to their relationship, much more so than Ailin and Seb. Later, it turned out that they are even more deeply connected.

    A big hug goes to Tobi, Julius’ fledgling. I don’t know why everybody was threatening the guy, he was a cinnamon roll! If A didn’t make him part of his coven, I would have hexed the damn witch. Luckily, A has a soft spot for lost creatures.

    And me, I have a soft spot for the Ellwoods a mile wide. Why can’t those evil creatures leave them alone?

    We’re near the end of the prophesy. Armies gather. War is here. Another horrid monster rises out of some Goddess-forsaken hole. You can bet one of these Ellwoods is going to make the ultimate sacrifice.

    I can’t wait for the final book!!!!


    Review of The Enchanter’s Flame here.
    Review of The Enchanter’s Soul here.

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Blood Sings
    Artist: Suzanne Vega

  • book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: The Enchanter’s Soul by Michele Notaro

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    The Ellwood Chronicles: The Enchanter’s Soul – Michele Notaro

    Many fall as the last enchanter rises…

    The first line of the ancient prophecy keeps playing over and over in my head, but I’m afraid to remember the rest. I don’t want to think about what’s coming for us—what’s coming for him. I’ve been keeping Brinnswick safe for years; I’ve been keeping my coven safe my whole life; and now I was responsible for keeping Sebastian safe, too. It shouldn’t have been a problem, he was my vitmea viramore, after all, and I was used to having the weight of the world on my shoulders.

    What Seb doesn’t know is that everyone in the magical community is after him—even if they don’t realize it yet. They’ve been looking for him for centuries; not only for him, but for his soul. But they never counted on him having me. I will protect him with my every breath and take down anyone that gets in our way. His soul belongs with me, not in the arms of evil.

    The Enchanter’s Soul is the second book in The Ellwood Chronicles and is a continuation of Sebastian and Ailin’s story. It contains explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 years of age and older.

    Recommended Reading Order:

    The Enchanter’s Flame
    The Witch’s Seal
    The Enchanter’s Soul

    The Enchanter’s Soul is the second book of The Ellwood Chronicles and picks up after the events following the big revelation about Sebastian. It talks of a prophecy that warned about enchanters and what their magic could bring to the world.

    I liked this second book a little bit more than The Enchanter’s Flame. This has a lot of Ailin’s POV and it’s more compelling to see the story unfold from his perspective. We get more insights into the magical world. We also see the mighty Sage’s vulnerable side and his deep love for his soulmate, his vitmea viramore who needed a smack in the head majority of the time. The feelings ran deeper and cut more painfully because Sebastian needed a lot of convincing that what they have is real, magic bond or not and Ailin has to be the patient and understanding one. I enjoyed the push and pull between the viramores but the “I love you, I’ll protect you with everything I have” declarations did get a tad too repetitive.

    Seb’s going about this whole enchanter business the wrong way. Dude, you got magic! MAGIC!!! Embrace it.

    Sometimes he reminded me of Scooby Doo, a big guy who gets freaked out too easily by tiny critters but, still, loyal and brave where it counts. So I can’t get annoyed with him too much.

    The book has a big cast, I can’t even remember how many kids Ailin has in his coven, and you bet he’s willing to die for any of them. It’s easy to like the Ellwoods, even the little shit Basil, who’s breaking Thayer’s heart. But hands down, the best secondary characters were Emerys, Ailin’s ex, and Julius, the vampire, who stood out with so much going on between the two of them that is yet to be revealed. I can’t wait for their book to come out.

    The Enchanter’s Soul started slow then kicked into high gear at 65% when they discovered who’s responsible for the explosions. Then it erupted into all out magical battles that almost burned out their magic. And that wasn’t even it! They barely had time to breathe when Seb was captured, skinned alive and worse! What they did to that dragon… The bad guys were EVIL AF!!!

    This was quite the roller coaster. Emotional ups and downs, complicated relationships and enjoyable family dynamics all wrapped up in magic and romance.

    I am so hyped up for the next Ellwood adventure. More and more evil creatures are coming out of the woodwork, all of them after Sebastian and that prophecy. War is coming.


    Dragons on the cover (b~_^)b

    Book 1, The Enchanter’s Flame here

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: The Magic Hour Is Now
    Artist: Hellogoodbye
    Album: Everything Is Debatable

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    Many fall as the last enchanter rises
    The awakened elder commands
    He who controls ancient magic unlocks war or peace

    Blood, fire and corruption surge
    Power will flow and be supressed
    Darkness within takes hold

    A soul absorbed; consumed by evil
    Stolen magic conquers all
    The hierarchy will fall; chaos rules

    One must die as the other rises
    A broken seal breaks the fragile hold
    Death and famine
    War and blood

    The long-lost magic brings doom
    While it flows on this realm, only turmoil can endure
    Control it, rule the world
    Destroy it, peace prevails

    No hope when hope is needed
    Remember the past, look into the future
    Purging the power is the key

  • book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: The Enchanter’s Flame by Michele Notaro

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    The Ellwood Chronicles: The Enchanter’s Flame by Michelle Notaro

    Strange things are happening all around Brinnswick. Things that remind me of a piece of my past I’d rather forget. Girls are being killed, drained of blood, and left with strange markings on their bodies. When I finally connect the cases together, a specialist is called in—though, what he’s a specialist of is beyond me. 

    When the chief assigns him as my new partner for the case, I can’t help but groan on the inside. Why of all people would I be assigned to Ailin Ellwood? The man is a disaster waiting to happen and a jerk to boot. A sexy jerk, but a jerk nonetheless. 

    What will Sebastian think when he discovers Ailin’s specialty? Will he make a run for it or will he stick around and discover a world of magic hidden beneath the city’s surface? 

    ***The Enchanter’s Flame is the first book in the Ellwood Chronicles. It’s a paranormal romance that contains explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 and over.*** 

    The Enchanter’s Flame is the first book of the highly enjoyable Ellwood Chronicles, a fantasy series about witches and other magic users blended with a chockful of romance, mystery, humor and a dash of police procedural.

    Some niggles though. Ailin Ellwood, a very powerful witch, was partnered with Sebastian Fitz, a police detective, to solve a series of murders. At first, Sebastian didn’t know Ailin’s true identity. All he was told was that the man was a specialist. Seb was dragged along with only half an idea of what’s going and had to endure his partner’s assholic attitude. The witch gave cryptic non-answers and made life-altering decisions, ex. magically binding Seb for life, without even consulting him. Also, he constantly read the detective’s mind with no regard for his privacy.

    This, understandably, drove the clueless Seb crazy. The story was written from his POV and most of it was him and his hilarious WTF reactions to whatever shit Ailin came up with. The poor guy simultaneously wanted throttle the jerk and get in his pants because Ailin’s got that cool Goth boy look to match the rude ‘tude. The result was a lot of sniping and griping and USTs all over the place. The two literally crackled when they touch!

    The world-building wasn’t as immersive as I would have liked but still very intriguing. The setting was deliberately vague, going with that somewhere-in-the-US-but-not-really style. It’s set in the contemporary world where magic users live in secret and work with the government to keep that secret and keep dark forces at bay. The magical part was hinted early on and later became clear to Sebastian as his relationship with Ailin progressed.

    We learn that many kinds of magical creatures exist and there are different magical affinities. These include nature, death, light, and shadow magic. They are associated with a certain color which matches the user’s eye-color. And because I’m a sucker for stuff like this, I immediately started imagining what my affinity would be.

    We meet the Ellwood clan/coven. They’re a cocky bunch. Shipping Basil, Ailin’s lil bro, and Thayer, a coven member. Shipping them really hard.

    We learn about Ailin’s true responsibilities and his deeper connection with Sebastian. Totally loving this vitmea viramore thing they had going on.

    The backstory was also revealed. It spoke of war and how an entire specie of magic users become extinct. How these tie with their case unveiled more shocking revelations that turned Sebastian’s life and their entire world up side down.

    That epilogue!

    I had fun with this one. There’s were many good points that overcame the niggles and overall, the story was very entertaining. Recommended for those who like their urban fantasy with a lot of kissing and bickering.

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Soul Mates
    Artist: Grant Nicholas
    Album: Yorktown Heights