The Qwillery | category: Signet


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Melanie's Week in Review - October 18, 2015

Melanie's Week in Review - October 18, 2015

Before I start to tell you about what I read this week I would like to say happy birthday to my sister Lauranne. Why the special mention? Well she is the very reason I am here at The Qwillery telling you about all the great speculative fiction I read. Lauranne first introduced me to the urban fantasy series Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden and my all time favourite fantasy (EVER!) Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay about 8 years ago. I hadn't read very much in these genres before and hadn't like epic fantasy up until that point. So Happy Birthday Lauranne! But what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - October 18, 2015
I wasn't as productive on the reading front this week unfortunately. I only finished 1 book (gasp!) and it was the seventh book in the Cassie Palmer series Reap the Wind by Karen Chance. I received this via the publisher from NetGalley so the rest of you are going to have to wait until the 3rd of November to see if you agree with my review.

In this installment Cassie is determined to find her half incubus friend and more than potential love interest Pritkin, centuries in the past in order to remove the curse placed on him in the last book. This isn't the only thing on her super packed agenda as she also have a whole pack of young children to take care of. She rescued the young acolytes at the end of the last book by going back in time and changing the time line.  All of this is in the back drop all of the escalating war between the Circle, the vampires, the demons and the fae.   Trying to rescue Pritkin isn't as straightforward as it seems as she has to take his demon father Rosier with her into the past in order to remove Pritkin's curse. Thwarting the rescue are the other Pythias Cassie needs to avoid who are determined that she doesn't create too many paradoxes with all her time travelling.  Too much too do and too little time should be Cassie's motto.

I was disappointed with this instalment.  While I will admit I haven't enjoyed the Cassie books as much as I have the Dorina Basarab series, which is set in the same world with a few cross over characters. Cassie always seemed much less in control than Dorina and a bit more of a pushover. However, in Reap the Wind it was the story itself I had a problem with. I found the story really rambled with an excess of quirky dialogue which in the end was annoying. There was also excessive use of sentencesthatallruntogetherwhichbecametedioustoread. There didn't seem to be much of a flow in the story like there has been in other books of the series and the time travelling element made it even more difficult to follow.  One minute Cassie was in a present day Las Vegas, a sentence or two later she is in the past searching for Pritkin and then a sentence or two after that she is trying to save Casanova from being killed in a weird alien/demon gladiator ring. I found I was having to go back and re-read parts of chapters in an attempt to sort out in my head what was happening. I felt there was little in the way of explanation of events or development of either Cassie or the plot until at least halfway through. By that point the story had started to lose my interest and I found myself flipping a few pages. On the positive side there is a better insight into Cassie's relationship with Mircea and she does start to stick up for herself more towards the end. It isn't all about the sex and romance now as she sees a side to him she hasn't seen before plus there is also a good use of cross over characters with the Dorina series. Overall, this took me much longer to read than what I had expected and by the end I wasn't satisfied that it was worth the investment in time however it won't stop me from finishing the series. I just hope that book 8 brings the story back on track.

Sorry folks, that is it for me for this week. I am travelling a lot next week so more time dedicated to reading. Until next week Happy Reading.

Reap the Wind
Cassie Palmer 7
Signet, November 3, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 528 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - October 18, 2015
From the New York Times bestselling author of Tempt the Stars comes the latest in the series that’s “well worth getting hooked on”(Fresh Fiction).

You’d think that being chief seer for the supernatural world would come with a few perks. But as Cassie Palmer has learned, being Pythia doesn’t mean you don’t have to do things the hard way. That’s why she finds herself on a rescue mission skipping through time—even though she doesn’t entirely understand her dimension-bending new power.

Rescuing her friend John Pritkin should have been an in-and-out kind of deal, but with the near-immortal mage’s soul lost in time, Cassie has to hunt for it through the ages—with Pritkin’s demon dad in tow. He’s the only one who can reverse Pritkin’s curse, but with the guardians of the timeline dead set on stopping anyone from mucking about, Cassie will have to figure out how to get her friend back without ruffling too many feathers—or causing a world-ending paradox or two….

Review: A High-End Finish by Kate Carlisle

A High-End Finish
AuthorKate Carlisle
Series:  A Fixer-Upper Mystery 1
Publisher: Signet, November 4, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
List Price: $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780451469199 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review:  A High-End Finish by Kate Carlisle

In the seaside town of Lighthouse Cove in northern California, everyone knows the best man for the job is actually a woman—contractor Shannon Hammer. But while Shannon can do wonders with a power drill and a little elbow grease, she’s about to discover that some problems aren’t so easily fixed....

Shannon’s home-renovation and repair business is booming, but her love life needs work. On a blind date with real estate agent Jerry Saxton, she has to whip out a pair of pliers to keep Jerry from getting too hands on. Shannon is happy to put her rotten date behind her, but when Jerry’s found dead in a run-down Victorian home that she’s been hired to restore, the town’s attractive new police chief suspects that her threats may have laid the foundation for murder.

Determined to clear her name, Shannon conducts her own investigation—with the help of her four best friends, her eccentric father, a nosy neighbor or two, and a handsome crime writer who’s just moved to town. But as they get closer to prying out the murderer’s identity, Shannon is viciously attacked. Now she’ll have to nail down the truth—or end up in permanent foreclosure....

Jennifer's Review

This novel is the first in the new Fixer Upper Mystery series that follows home-renovator Shannon Hammer. Shannon runs a contracting business in the town she grew up in, Lighthouse Cove, a small seaside town in Northern California. Shannon’s troubles start when she goes on a disastrous blind date with real estate agent Jerry Saxton that results in her threatening to kill him when he gets too aggressive. This sets off a chain of events starting with Shannon discovering the lecherous Jerry’s murdered body in one of the houses she is renovating and progressing to Shannon fighting for her life.

Shannon is a fabulous lead character. She is strong and practical but has the soul of an artist. The real gems of this novel are the set of friends and family Shannon surrounds herself with along with two suitably hunky love interests. The friends and family are numerous, but easily kept track of. The best of the lot are Shannon’s best friends Lizzie, a local shop owner and the mother of two, and Jane, who is poised to open the town’s newest inn. Lizzie is determined that all her friends, including Shannon, find true love as she has, thus the ill-fated blind date at the beginning of the story. Jane has been Shannon’s best friend since childhood and is extremely loyal and protective of her. The aforementioned hunks are police chief Eric Jensen, who resembles a golden Norse God (think Chris Hemsworth in Thor) and Mac Sullivan, a famous crime writer reminiscent of James Bond. Both men are so dreamy it is kind of hard to decide which one Shannon should go for, but I found myself rooting for Eric. Along with looking for a murderer and trying to run her business all while trying to stay alive, Shannon is plagued by her nemesis from high school, Whitney, who happens to be married to her ex-boyfriend, and her bestie Jennifer, both of whom epitomize the stereotypical mean-girl.

This story is well paced, having just the right amount of downtime between the action scenes; even the quieter passages keep the reader’s interest with snappy dialogue. All of the characters are either completely lovable or relatable or even more fun to hate. This series is going on my must read list and I can’t wait for the next installment so I can see who Shannon ends up with. I’m still rooting for Eric.


This Old Homicide
A Fixer-Upper Mystery 2
Signet, January 27, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
(Clicking on the image will take you to the publisher's page)

Review:  A High-End Finish by Kate Carlisle
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Bibliophile Mysteries and A High-End Finish comes the second Fixer-Upper Mystery...

Contractor and part-time sleuth Shannon Hammer specializes in improving the quirks and flaws of the Victorian homes in Lighthouse Cove, California. The quirks and flaws of their residents are another story....

Valentine’s Day is approaching, and while Shannon is delighted to be friends with not one but two handsome men, not everyone in town is feeling the love. After her elderly neighbor Jesse Hennessey fails to make his daily appearance at the local diner, Shannon swings by his place to check on him. Not only does she find Jesse dead—of an apparent heart attack—but she also realizes that his home has been ransacked.

Someone suggests that a thief was searching for a priceless necklace Jesse claimed to have retrieved from a capsized sailing ship, but Shannon doesn’t believe it. Everyone knows Jesse had a penchant for constructing tall tales—like the one about him having a hot new girlfriend. But his death is soon ruled a homicide, and shady suspects begin popping out of the woodwork. When another victim turns up dead, Shannon is convinced she must find the killer before someone else gets nailed....

Spotlight and Giveaway: City of Light by Keri ArthurReview and Giveaway: Ghost of a Potion by Hearther BlakeMelanie's Week in Review - October 18, 2015Guest Blog by Amanda Carmack, author the the Elizabethan Mysteries - February 12, 2015Guest Blog by Kate Carlisle: Mystery Author Kate Carlisle Opens an Inn - Review and Giveaway of This Old Homicide - February 3, 2015Guest Blog by Juliet Blackwell - Top 10 Things I Learned While Writing Keeper of the Castle - plus a Review and Giveaway - December 8, 2014Review:  A High-End Finish by Kate CarlisleParaMysMo 2014: Victoria Laurie, author of the Ghost Hunter Mysteries and more! - October 31, 2014ParaMysMo 2014: Juliet Blackwell, author of the Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries and the Witchcraft Mysteries - October 25, 2014ParaMysMo 2014: Sofie Kelly, author of the Magical Cat Mysteries - October 22, 2014

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