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A blog about books and other things speculative

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Melanie's Week in Review - July 9, 2017


Melanie's Week in Review - July 9, 2017

Well hello summer! We have had another week of lovely summer weather. It was super scorchio on Friday which was nice despite having to go to work. To make up for it I spent most of Saturday sitting in the shade watching Glow on Netflix (which is a great show, I might add) and reading my newest book (a recipe book!). Don't worry I have read other things then cake recipes! So without further adieu......


Melanie's Week in Review - July 9, 2017
Starting my week of romance was Bec McMaster's The Mech Who Loved Me which was the second in the London Steampunk Blue Blood Conspiracy. This series centres on Company of Rogues who are the good guys trying to stop the baddies - the Sons of Gilead - from breaking the peace between the different races within this steampunk version of London. The love interests in this instalment are Ava, the virginal scientist who is tired of being treated like a glass doll by the rest of the Company, and the part mech - Kincaid. This is definitely the case of opposites attract as the lovely Ava is also a blueblood which the former blueblood killer Kincaid has learned to hate. There was a 'frisson' between the pair in book 1 and things heat up to thermo nuclear levels. Ava is determined to lose her virginity and has set her sights on Kincaid to do the honours. When a terrible poison that is targeted at bluebloods starts to take hold in London, Ava and Kincaid are teamed up to solve the mystery of who is responsible and put a stop to it. The more they work together the closer they become and despite trying to avoid Ava, the ladies men mech finds he is drawn to innocent scientist.

This instalment is pretty standard PNR. The hot and steamy starts from the very start and keeps going all the way through to the end. The plot arc of the Sons of Gilead was almost secondary to the frisson between the pair. The real action didn't really start until near the end as earlier chapters were about developing the sexual relationship between Kincaid and Ava. I think I want to like this series more than I actually do. The opposites attract plotline is wearing a bit thin as it was a similar pairing in the first book, as well as, the original London Steampunk series. I will continue with the series as the plot for book 3 sounds much more exciting.


Melanie's Week in Review - July 9, 2017
My second book 'of love' was Thea Harrison's Spellbinder which continues the Moonshadow series. This instalment tells the story of one of the baddies from book 1 - Morgan le Fae, the enforcer of Queen Isabeau's hounds. Le Fae has been enslaved by the Queen of the Light Fae for centuries and forced to do terrible things in her name. When the very human and very famous musician Sidonie Martel is kidnapped, tortured and left to rot in Isabeau's dungeon Morgan is drawn to saving the human from his cruel master. Can Morgan overcome Isabeau's spell to save Sidonie or will it be a human in a supernatural world who will be Morgan's saviour? I will leave it to you to find out.

I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I thought Harrison was quite clever in her version of the Arthurian legend - Morgan le Fae. I did think that Sidonie had a little bit Stockholm syndrome by falling for Morgan despite the fact he was the reason for the trauma she endures. She was quite a strong female character and could stick up for herself which isn't always the case in this genre. It will be interesting to see if Morgan joins the fight against 'the light side' guys in future books or whether Harrison leaves him in peace. Rather looking forward to seeing what happens next.


That is all from me this week. You will find me in the sunshine! See you next week and until then Happy Reading.





The Mech Who Loved Me
London Steampunk The Blue Blood Conspiracy 2
Lochaber Press Pty. Ltd, June 27, 2017
eBook, 396 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - July 9, 2017
Ava McLaren is tired of being both a virgin, and a mere laboratory assistant for the Company of Rogues. When a baffling mystery rears its head, it presents her with the opportunity to work a real case... and perhaps get a taste of the passion that eludes her.

Blue bloods are dying from a mysterious disease, which should be impossible. Ava suspects there's more to the case than meets the eye and wants a chance to prove herself. There’s just one catch—she’s ordered to partner with the sexy mech, Kincaid, who's a constant thorn in her side. Kincaid thinks the only good blue blood is a dead one. He's also the very last man she would ever give her heart to… which makes him the perfect candidate for an affair.

The only rule? It ends when the case does.

But when an attempt on her life proves that Ava might be onto something, the only one who can protect her is Kincaid. Suddenly the greatest risk is not to their hearts, but whether they can survive a diabolical plot that threatens to destroy every blue blood in London—including Ava.





Spellbinder
Moonshadow 2
Teddy Harrison LLC, July 18, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 512 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - July 9, 2017
From author Thea Harrison comes the latest story in the New York Times bestselling Moonshadow trilogy….

Kidnapped while on tour, musician Sidonie Martel is transported to the mystical land of Avalon. A human without magical ability, she is completely vulnerable to the deadly forces surrounding her.

When she defies her captors and refuses to share her music, an act of violent cruelty leaves her broken, her ability to play silenced, maybe forever. Her only hope is a whisper in the dark, gentle hands that offer healing, and a man who refuses to show her his face yet who offers advice she dare not ignore.

One of the most feared and powerful sorcerers in history, Morgan le Fae serves a Queen he despises, Isabeau of the Light Court. Once a famous bard and an advisor to kings, Morgan has been enslaved to Isabeau for hundreds of years, acting as enforcer and the commander of her deadly Hounds.

Sidonie’s music touches Morgan in places he had abandoned centuries ago, and her fiery spirit resurrects feelings he had believed long dead. For Sidonie, trapped in captivity, passion offers a comfort she cannot resist.

But Isabeau holds Morgan bound in magical chains that only Death can break. And in the court of a cruel, jealous Queen, the only thing that burns hotter than love is revenge…

Melanie's Week in Review - April 16, 2017


Melanie's Week in Review - April 16, 2017


Happy Easter to those who celebrate and to those who don't Happy April 16th! Apologies for missing last week. I was at home in Canada where the internet was as slow as dial-up. I couldn't have posted even if I had enough to tell you about!


Melanie's Week in Review - April 16, 2017
First up is Mira Grant's Final Girls. Esther Hoffman is a woman with a mission..a mission to debunk Dr. Jennifer Webbs invention which uses a combination of virtual reality and scenarios out of horror movie to cure psychological problems. When Esther agrees to take part in one of the scenarios in order to prove Dr. Webb is a quack she doesn't realise that she has made a life or death decision until the virtual horrors become real ones.

Grant does it again. Another great story that had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Grant manages to make a big story out of this novella with her well developed characters and atmospheric plot. As you may know I am not the biggest fan of short stories as I always feel a bit let down when they are over so quickly but not so, in the case of Final Girls. Grants takes the reader on a journey, albeit a short one, through Esther's virtual reality life. With the help of Dr. Webb, Esther discovers the value of friendship and her own inner strength despite the horror of what happens to her. This is a difficult book to review as there is a lot I could say but I don't want to drop too many spoilers. What I will say is to prepare yourself for a poignant/sad ending. It took me by surprise and I had to read it twice for it to really sink in. Great short read.


Melanie's Week in Review - April 16, 2017
I decided that I needed some airport suitable reading material and turned to my Amazon recommendations which led me to Moonshadow by Thea Harrison. This is the first in the series of the same name and introduces us to the former police consultant witch, Sophie, and Nikolas, knight of the Dark Court. When Sophie is offered the opportunity to travel to the UK to learn more about her childhood she jumps at the chance. She only just arrives in the country when she unwittingly becomes embroiled in a centuries old war between the Dark and Light Court of the Fae. Barred from his homeland Nikolas would do anything and use anyone to return home and protect those he cares about. When he discovers that Sophie holds the key to returning home he is determined that nothing will stop him from using her to get what he wants. Caught between two sides of an ancient feud Sophie tries to resist her growing attraction to the enigmatic knight of the Dark Court. Can she resist? You will have to read it to find out.

I rather liked this first instalment of Harrison's newest series. I have been reading her Elder Races series and felt that with each passing book the same plot is just re-told with new characters. I wasn't completely sure if this series is following along the Elder Races world as many of the same races are found in this series as with the original. There was just enough different to make it unique and I thought that Sophie was a more well rounded character and a bit more flawed than what I have come to expect from this author. This is the perfect read when you need a tiny bit of PNR or when you are on a long flight/commute. There is just enough happening to keep you interested and the plot isn't that complex that you are going to get lost. Hoping that Harrison avoids the same formula of the Elder Races and I will look forward to finding out what happens next.


That is it for me this week. I hope you had a great week and found your perfect read. Until next week Happy Reading.




Final Girls
Subterranean Press, April 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 112 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - April 16, 2017
What if you could fix the worst parts of yourself by confronting your worst fears?

Dr. Jennifer Webb has invented proprietary virtual reality technology that purports to heal psychological wounds by running clients through scenarios straight out of horror movies and nightmares. In a carefully controlled environment, with a medical cocktail running through their veins, sisters might develop a bond they've been missing their whole lives—while running from the bogeyman through a simulated forest. But…can real change come so easily?

Esther Hoffman doubts it. Esther has spent her entire journalism career debunking pseudoscience, after phony regression therapy ruined her father's life. She's determined to unearth the truth about Dr. Webb's budding company. Dr. Webb's willing to let her, of course, for reasons of her own. What better advertisement could she get than that of a convinced skeptic? But Esther's not the only one curious about how this technology works. Enter real-world threats just as frightening as those created in the lab. Dr. Webb and Esther are at odds, but they may also be each other's only hope of survival.

With her new novella Final Girls, bestselling, award-winning author Mira Grant has conjured a heartstopping, gut-wrenching story filled with as many twists as it is versions of reality. Grant offers a chilling exploration of how surviving horrors might define us all.




Moonshadow
Moonshadow 1
Teddy Harrison LLC, December 13, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 498 pages
Review Copy: Reviewer's Own

Melanie's Week in Review - April 16, 2017
From bestselling author Thea Harrison comes the first in an explosive new trilogy set in the Elder Races world….

Her past is a blank, her future uncertain….

Recovering from a shooting, LAPD witch consultant Sophie Ross leaves her job and travels to the U.K. to search for answers about her childhood. When she encounters a Daoine Sidhe knight of the Dark Court, she becomes entangled in an ancient hatred between two arcane forces.

He has given his body and soul to fight for his people….

Barred from his homeland along with his surviving brother knights, Nikolas Sevigny is embroiled in a conflict that threatens everything he holds dear. Only by uniting his people’s resources can they hope to prevail against Isabeau, the deadly Queen of the Light Court. He will do anything and use anyone to return home to Lyonesse.

When Nikolas encounters Sophie, he sees a tool to be used. The insouciant witch might be the key to unlocking every passageway that has been barred to the knights of the Dark Court, even as a fascination for her takes root in what’s left of his soul.

Sophie has no intention of becoming anyone’s pawn, yet the fierce Nikolas is so compelling, she can’t deny the temptation that endangers her guarded heart.

As magic threatens Lyonesse, Queen Isabeau unleashes her merciless Hounds, and Nikolas and Sophie become embroiled in a race for survival. Meanwhile, the passion that ignites between them burns too hot to be denied and quickly turns into obsession.

Thank goodness they both know better than to fall in love…

Melanie's Week in Review - July 9, 2017Melanie's Week in Review - April 16, 2017

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