Monday, September 19, 2016

Magic Binds ~ Ilona Andrews

I've been a fan of the Kate Daniels Urban Fantasy series since it's inception and was thrilled to receive an ARC of Magic Binds from the Publisher through NetGalley!  This is the ninth book in the series, so if you are unfamiliar with it, start reading Magic Bites and escape into this unique world of action-packed magic and mahem.  It's one of the best UF series out there.....

As Kate and her lion shifter fiance, Curran, approach their wedding date, we are not surprised to see that a number of situations have occurred that may foil the event: Frost god Saiman is kidnapped and needs rescuing; the witches are having horrible visions of Kate's loved ones dying; and squabbles within the shape-shifting pack are ongoing.

When Kate realizes that she is between a rock and a hard place, she enacts a plan to save Saiman, Curran, her unborn son and all of Atlanta: no problem!  Magic Binds is great addition to the series, with more information being revealed about side characters that contribute to the plot, and plenty of surprises.  The best part, as always, is the dialogue between the characters and the evolving relationship between Kate and Curran.  These characters are well-developed and unique, and spending time with them is very satisfying, even if one has to suspend one's belief a few times as the plot develops.  I know that there are going to be many happy readers when this latest in the series is published tomorrow. Congrats to the authors, editors and publisher for continuing to deliver in this excellent Urban Fantasy Series!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Playing Dead ~ Julia Heaberlin

I so enjoyed Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin that I recently picked up her debut novel, Playing Dead¸ and finished it at 1:00 a.m. this morning! It’s a great mystery, with characters so real you’d think they lived in your neighborhood (if y’all are from Texas)!

Tommie McCloud has just moved back home to Ponder, Texas, population 1,101, to handle her recently deceased father’s business affairs and help her sister, Sadie, with their mom, who is suffering from dementia.  Unexpectedly, Tommie receives a letter from an unknown woman in Chicago who claims to be Tommie’s birth mother and states that Tommie was kidnapped as a baby 30 years before.

What follows is a suspenseful mystery as Tommie follows a trail of clues that somehow link her life with the slaughter of a family in Chicago, the murder of a beauty queen in Oklahoma and a mafia don named Anthony Marchetti.

Tommie is a great narrator, a former rodeo queen who pokes fun at southern quirkiness, yet still extols the vast beauty of the land and skies of her native state.  The reader will get caught up in the suspense of the story as Tommie comes to understand that everything she thought she knew about her childhood is suspect.  With the help of a former lover, her hippy sister, a gruff newsman and a suspicious writer, Tommie unravels her past and uncovers unexpected secrets and lies about the family she thought she knew.  This one kept me turning the pages and had some fantastic twists I didn’t see coming.  Can’t wait to see what Ms. Heaberlin comes up with next!