Sunday in Review

Sunday, October 2, 2016

It's finally cooling down, and you know what that means... The season of curling up by the fire with a book is almost upon us. There have been some great books released recently and even more that sound like they'll be fantastic are on my radar for this fall :)

Below are the newest reviews I’ve written here on Wit and Sin. The master list and categorical lists on the right-hand side are updated as well.

Reviews for upcoming releases:
- A Fool for You (Foolproof Love, Book 3) by Katee Robert (available 10/3/16)
- My Brown-Eyed Earl (Wayward Wallflowers, Book 1) by Anna Bennett (available 10/4/16)

All other new reviews:
- Blood Red Kiss by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, and Gena Showalter
- Playing It Cool (Sydney Smoke Rugby, Book 2) by Amy Andrews
- Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, Book 9) by Ilona Andrews
- Because I’m Watching (Virtue Falls, Book 3) by Christina Dodd
- The Governess Was Wicked (Governess, Book 1) by Julia Kelly
- The Goal (Off-Campus, Book 4) by Elle Kennedy
- The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay, Book 2) by Jill Shalvis

Upcoming reviews:
- The Conquering Dark (Crown & Key, Book 3) by Clay and Susan Griffith
- Skies of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 3) by Zoƫ Archer
- The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, Book 6) by Jennifer Ashley
- Wild Man (Dream Man, Book 2) by Kristen Ashley
- Paper and Fire (The Great Library, Book 2) by Rachel Caine
- The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library, Book 1) by Genevieve Cogman
- The Masked City (The Invisible Library, Book 2) by Genevieve Cogman
- Wicked Ever After (Blud, Book 4) by Delilah S. Dawson
- How to Ravish a Rake (How to Series, Book 3) by Vicky Dreiling
- Finding Fraser by kc dyer
- Soul Weaver by Hailey Edwards
- Fire Bound (Sea Haven, Book 5) by Christine Feehan
- At Last by Addison Fox
- His Game, Her Rules by Charlene Groome
- Base Instincts (Demonica) by Larissa Ione
- The Volatile Amazon (Alliance of the Amazons, Book 4) by Sandy James
- Breathe (In Vino Veritas, Book 2) by Lauren Jameson
- Linger (In Vino Veritas, Book 3) by Lauren Jameson
- When the Rogue Returns (The Duke’s Men, Book 2) by Sabrina Jeffries
- The Art of Sinning (Sinful Suitors, Book 1) by Sabrina Jeffries
- Archer (Hard Body, Book 1) by Debra Kayn
- The Governess was Wanton (Governess, Book 2) by Julia Kelly
- The Governess Was Wild (Governess, Book 3) by Julia Kelly
- Before You Break (Between Breaths, Book 2) by Christina Lee
- There You Stand (Between Breaths, Book 5) by Christina Lee
- Yours All Along (Loving on the Edge, Book 6.5) by Roni Loren
- Break Me Down (Loving on the Edge, Book 8.5) by Roni Loren
- Den of Wolves (Blackthorn & Grim, Book 3) by Juliet Marillier
- Marry Me on Main Street (Cricket Creek, Book 11) by LuAnn McLane
- Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, Book 1) by Bec McMaster
- Captive Prince (Captive Prince, Book 1) by C.S. Pacat
- Prince’s Gambit (Captive Prince, Book 2) by C.S. Pacat
- Kings Rising (Captive Prince, Book 3) by C.S. Pacat
- His Royal Secret (His Royal Secret, Book 1) by Lilah Pace
- His Royal Favorite (His Royal Secret, Book 2) by Lilah Pace
- Raw Desire by Kate Pearce
- Soul Sucker by Kate Pearce
- The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
- Laugh (Burnside, Book 2) by Mary Ann Rivers
- Beauty’s Kingdom (Sleeping Beauty, Book 4) by A. N. Roquelaure
- Archangel’s Heart (Rock Kiss, Book 9) by Nalini Singh
- Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, Book 1) by Nalini Singh
- Fighting the Fall (Beyond the Cage, Book 2) by Jennifer Snow
- The Angels’ Share (The Bourbon Kings, Book 2) by J.R. Ward
- A Reluctant Betrothal (The Grantham Girls, Book 3) by Amanda Weaver
- Single Player (Slices of Pi, Book 3) by Elia Winters
- Takeover by Anna Zabo

Review: My Brown-Eyed Earl by Anna Bennett

My Brown-Eyed Earl by Anna Bennett
Series: Wayward Wallflowers, Book 1
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Romance My Brown-Eyed Earl Cover
ISBN: 9781250100900
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

William Ryder, Earl of Castleton, is at the end of his noble rope. Not only has he broken ties with his longtime mistress, his mother has publicly announced her wish for him to marry a suitable young lady―if only to help him raise the twins left in his care. Hiring a governess should solve some of Will’s problems…but when he meets the candidate in question, he finds himself in an entirely new predicament.

Miss Margaret Lacey is brainy, beautiful, and, once upon a time, Will’s betrothed. But she bowed out of the engagement―and, since then, has never been the same. A tragic accident robbed her of everything, and now, at age twenty-three, her marital prospects are slim to none. Penniless but not without pride, Meg convinces the vexingly handsome Will to hire her for the job. What neither of them could have expected from this arrangement, however, is an attraction that burns stronger than ever. Are these two lost souls finally ready to be schooled in the art of love?

My Brown-Eyed Earl is a cute historical romance with potential. Anna Bennett’s debut, and the first in the Wayward Wallflowers series, has some sweet and humorous moments, but ultimately it’s a story that I wanted to like a lot more than I actually did.

Will and Meg are both lovely characters with good dispositions and generally good hearts. They’re not perfect and they make mistakes, but they’re solidly likeable and endearingly vulnerable at times, as are Will’s two charges. Will is a man who needs more purpose in life than rebuilding the family fortune and Meg is a heroine who is determined to save her family from the poorhouse by getting a job as a governess. It’s easy to see right from the beginning that Will, Meg, and the two girls would make an adorable family, but pride, class difference, and social snobbery stand in their way. Still, Will is attracted to Meg from the start. He likes her strong will and sees beyond the ugly dresses she wears, and I liked him all the more for appreciating Meg for her modern outlook. The romance moves at a quick clip, in part due to Meg and Will’s history (though there is a continuity issue in the book that made me uncertain as to how much of a foundation their relationship had before the story began).

Ms. Bennett has a lively writing style that shows a lot of promise. However, I confess I had a hard time remembering either Meg, Will, or this story a couple of days after I finished the book because it felt like I’d seen everything in this story a hundred times before in other historical romances. I actually don’t mind formulaic romances as a rule – so long as it’s a good formula, which it is – but there needs to be something about the story that stands out. All that was unique and memorable to me was one funny (if unimportant) moment involving a ruined dress. What I did remember the most about My Brown-Eyed Earl was that I was routinely drawn out of the story by the numerous historical inaccuracies. I’m more than happy to suspend disbelief and ignore convention in historical romance, but if a story almost entirely ignores the social norms of the time and the consequences of flouting them for the sake of the plot, then it’s going to lose me. There’s also a dreadful villain and a Regency “mean girl” who were so two-dimensional it pained me. Yet even with all these issues, I liked Ms. Bennett’s style and I was intrigued by both Meg’s friend, Charlotte, and her sister Beth. So while My Brown-Eyed Earl wasn’t quite my cup of tea, I am interested in reading the next Wayward Wallflowers book, I Dared the Duke.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Fool for You by Katee Robert

A Fool for You by Katee Robert
Series: Foolproof Love, Book 3
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance A Fool for You Cover
ISBN: 9781633757639
Release Date: October 3, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

It’s been thirteen years since Hope Moore left Devil’s Falls, land of sexy cowboys and bad memories. Back for the weekend, she has no intention of seeing the man she never got over…or the two of them getting down and dirty. It's just a belated goodbye, right? No harm, no foul.

Until six weeks later, when her pregnancy test comes back positive…

Daniel Rodriguez hasn’t forgiven himself for how things went down with Hope all those years ago. He knows she’s better off without him, but when she shows up on his doorstep, panicking because she’s pregnant with his baby, he can't help seeing it as a chance to make up for the past.

Too bad Hope has no intention of going along with his plans.

Is love enough to battle the demons of the past? The answer isn’t an easy one in A Fool for You. Katee Robert wraps up her fantastic Foolproof Love trilogy with the couple everyone has been waiting for: Hope and Daniel.

Hope is a heroine who has suffered devastating loss: the death of her brother, a severe injury that shattered her dreams, and the abandonment of the man she loved when she needed him the most. She has not only survived, but has become a strong, self-aware woman that I respected. Though she loves Daniel still, she doesn’t let him or the ghosts of his past trample over her, but stands up for herself and her unborn child. Ms. Robert made it easy to root for Hope; you want her to get that elusive happily ever after because she’s a great heroine. Daniel has always been the love of Hope’s life, and even after moving on in the intervening thirteen years since she’s seen him, within a few minutes of their reunion all those old feelings come rushing back. An unexpected pregnancy throws them back together and makes them face issues that are long overdue. And though Hope and Daniel have explosive sexual chemistry, passion and even love aren’t necessarily enough to win the day.

Daniel himself is the biggest obstacle in A Fool for You. He’s trapped in the past, in the accident thirteen years ago that killed his best friend and permanently injured Hope. He’s wedded to his guilt, and I questioned whether or not he’d ever make peace with his past well enough to live a full life, never mind be the man Hope deserves. I liked watching Daniel slowly come back to life, but unfortunately his journey didn’t feel quite as satisfying as it should. He’s been living in the past for so long that his fixation on it and the setbacks he suffers are understandable. But the format of the story simply wasn’t long enough for his character arc to be satisfactorily resolved. With so much of the story focused on the erotic pull between Hope and Daniel, it felt like the book should be a bit longer to deal with the weighty emotional issues because the story had the potential to be great. Added to that, the resolution to the book’s central conflict felt abrupt (to the point that I actually double-checked to make sure somehow there wasn’t a glitch that deleted a few pages) and I wish there had been a bit more either in the main story itself or even in an epilogue to make me feel like Hope and Daniel had a solid future.

Even though I had a few issues with Daniel, I cannot deny that I found A Fool for You to be an addictive read. I couldn’t put it down and I loved getting to see past Foolproof Love heroes and heroines play strong supporting roles. So while I wasn’t crazy about A Fool for You like I was for the fantastic first two books, Foolproof Love and Fool Me Once, I still enjoyed it, flaws and all.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay, Book 2
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Contemporary Romance The Trouble with Mistletoe Cover
ISBN: 9780062448040
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Source: Marketing Team
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jill Shalvis Reading Order

If she has her way…
Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her…

He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.
Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him…

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice…
Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work…

The Trouble with Mistletoe is like a great batch of Christmas cookies: sweet, satisfying, and impossible to resist. Jill Shalvis ups the charm by a thousand in this second Heartbreaker Bay novel. Keane and Willa’s romance is both naughty and nice, has scene-stealing animals, fantastic friendships, and, best of all, Ms. Shalvis’s signature blend of humor and heart.

Willa has a huge heart and loves animals, the troubled “kids” she watches over, and her friends with abandon. She also has been hurt in the past and is worried about letting a man – particularly a man like Keane – break her already bruised heart. It’s easy to adore Willa because she’s likeable, joyful, and exudes warmth. She’s the kind of character you wish were real so you could have her as a friend. As for Keane, he made me melt. He’s one hot builder, but at first glance he looks like a bad bet for Willa. He doesn’t form attachments and doesn’t look like the kind of guy who would ever settle down. But when you peel back the layers of his character, you’re in for a surprise. Keane’s heart is just as big (and bruised) as Willa’s and the more I learned about him the harder I fell. He and Willa are a great match, but their fears, beliefs about themselves, and their visions of how life and love should be threaten to get into their way. It’s easy to get caught up in their story because Willa and Keane are appealing characters with excellent chemistry. Their love story is fast-paced, vibrant, sensual, and fun, making The Trouble with Mistletoe an excellent story to curl up by the fire with.

The Trouble with Mistletoe is the second book in the Heartbreaker Bay series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. Elle, Archer, Finn, Pru, Spence, and Haley – Willa’s close-knit circle of friends – all play major supporting roles and add a wealth of humor to this book. They bring the world of the story to life and add a lot of spark to the book, but they never take the focus off Willa and Keane, which I appreciated. All in all, I absolutely adored The Trouble with Mistletoe. It’s a feel-good holiday romance that’s sure to entertain all year ’round.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author’s marketing team in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Goal by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus, Book 4
Publisher: Elle Kennedy
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance The Goal Cover
Release Date: September 26, 2016
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Elle Kennedy Reading Order

She’s good at achieving her goals…
College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.

But the game just got a whole lot more complicated
Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist.

Tucker, a sexy-as-sin college hockey player with a heart of gold, meets his match in the brilliant, determined Sabrina in The Goal. Elle Kennedy is four-for-four in the Off-Campus series. Every single story has been fun, steamy, and utterly engrossing, and this book is no exception.

I defy you to read The Goal and not fall for Tucker. He’s a hero worthy of the name: warm, funny, protective, intelligent, and has a heart as big as Texas. I can’t count the number of times Tucker made me melt over the course of the story. He’s patient and kind and has gentlemanly manners plus a spectacularly dirty side. In other words, he’s the perfect hero, made even more so by the fact that Ms. Kennedy never made him seem like a cardboard picture of perfection. With a hero as endearing as Tucker, you have to have an excellent heroine to match him and Sabrina fits the bill perfectly. I absolutely adored Sabrina because she’s got a sharp mind, works so hard my heart broke for her, and has an unwavering focus on achieving her goals. She’s also flawed, deeply vulnerable, and only a man like Tucker could break down her walls.

Since it’s in the book blurb, it’s no spoiler to say that an unexpected pregnancy changes Tucker and Sabrina’s lives forever. Sabrina grew up in a horrible situation and is single-minded in her focus to reach her goals and find the security and success she craves. Finding herself pregnant threatens to bring everything crumbling down around her. What I loved about The Goal is – even though they’re both mature for their age – Sabrina and Tucker aren’t unrealistic and the choices they make and paths they take aren’t easy. I was cheering for them every step of the way, wanting them to beat the odds. This is a story of change, and it’s an exceptional one.

The Goal has a lot of heart and that’s what really drew me to the story. Of course, I also loved the sizzling heat between Sabrina and Tucker. Nobody writes a wicked hero quite like Elle Kennedy, and you can bet Tucker has a naughty side. He and Sabrina have explosive chemistry and the emotion and eroticism were perfectly balanced in this story.

The Goal is the fourth book in Ms. Kennedy’s Off-Campus series, and if you don’t mind major spoilers for the third book, The Score, you can read Tucker and Sabrina’s story as a standalone. That being said, you’re missing out if you skip The Deal, The Mistake, and The Score, because Tucker’s roommates and the women who love them are fantastic (and luckily for fans of the series, all play supporting roles in The Goal). I cannot say enough good things about Tucker and Sabrina’s book, and I fear spoiling the story if I go into any more detail. I will say that I was so captivated by this book that I was reading it late into the night until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer, then finished it first thing when I woke up the next morning – Tucker and Sabrina are just that addictive. The Goal made me smile, sigh, and it definitely touched my heart. I highly recommend this story to any romance lover!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Blood Red Kiss by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, and Gena Showalter

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Blood Red Kiss by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, and Gena Showalter
Publisher: Pocket Books
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Sci-Fi Romance Blood Red Kiss Cover
ISBN: 9781501142581
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Kresley Cole Reading Order
Larissa Ione Reading Order

Get ready for a collection chock full of vamps, demons, aliens, and plenty of sizzle!

In Kresley Cole’s remastered story "The Warlord Wants Forever," the first in her scorching Immortals After Dark series, vampire warlord Nikolai Wroth will stop at nothing to claim his Bride, the one woman who can make his heart beat again. But can beautiful Myst the Coveted accept an enemy vampire as her own?

Tehya has spent the last twelve years as an accidental wolf, but is truly a vampire at heart. When she gets injured, Lobo sneaks her inside MoonBound’s headquarters and nurses her back to health…with potentially deadly consequences. Desire collides with danger in "Forsaken by Night," a MoonBound Clan novella from Larissa Ione!

In Gena Showalter's Otherworld Assassins novella, Dark Swan, Lilica Swan isn't quite human or otherworlder; she is the best--and worst--of both. She is willing to do whatever proves necessary to save her sister from the seductive and deadly Alien Investigation and Removal agent, Dallas Gutierrez, even bond her life to his...effectively wedding him. But without consummation, the bond will fade. Can Dallas resist his insatiable desire for the powerful beauty? Or will she lead to his ultimate downfall?

“The Warlord Wants Forever” (Immortals After Dark, Book 1) by Kresley Cole
Myst the Coveted is the most beautiful of all the Valkyries, the one her enemies have underestimated for centuries. Five years ago vampire warlord Nikolai Wroth made the mistake of doing the same and she left him in agony. Now he’s on the hunt to capture Myst and claim her. For she’s his Bride, and he won’t let the vicious woman who tempts him like no other get away from him again.

I fell in love with “The Warlord Wants Forever” a decade ago, and it remains a favorite of mine to this day! Myst and Wroth’s story is passionate, energetic, and captivating from start to finish. Not only is it the perfect introduction to Kresley Cole’s sizzling Immortals After Dark series, it’s an edgy, exciting paranormal romance all on its own. Myst and Wroth battle in bed and out and their chemistry is simply out of this world. Myst is sassy, fierce, and sometimes vulnerable, and it’s an appealing combination. Wroth is a hardened warrior who is her equal in every way, and he has his work cut out for him if he hopes to become the man – vampire – Myst deserves. Their romance is tumultuous and engaging and no matter how many times I read it, I fall in love all over again. Myst and Wroth are a dynamic pair and the world of the Loreans Ms. Cole has created is vibrant and wholly addictive.

Please note: This is a revised edition of “The Warlord Wants Forever,” but none of the changes to the story were substantive.

“Forsaken by Night” (MoonBound Clan Vampires, Book 2.5) by Larissa Ione
Vampire Lobo was exiled from the MoonBound Clan years ago for breaking the rules using his skinwalker abilities. He’s been a loner ever since, his only comfort being his wolf, Tehya, who he found twelve years ago. His not-quite-solitary existence is turned upside down when Tehya is injured. Lobo is willing to break every rule to save her, but what will he do when she transforms and the wolf he adores becomes a gorgeous, tempting vampire?

I can always count on Larissa Ione to deliver a unique story and “Forsaken by Night” definitely fits the bill. I absolutely adored this fantastic romance that has an unusual beginning. Watching Lobo and Tehya’s love go from platonic to romantic warmed my heart. Both of them have suffered and have been shaped by circumstance, but with each other they find love and acceptance. Their love story is one of risk and sacrifice, and when you add in the sizzling heat between the two vampires, a dash of humor, and the utterly fascinating world of Ms. Ione’s MoonBound Clan Vampires, and it’s easy to see why I found “Forsaken by Night” so appealing.

Readers new to the MoonBound Clan Vampires series can jump in with “Forsaken by Night” and not get lost. That being said, “Forsaken by Night” does contain spoilers for the first two books, Bound by Night and Chained by Night.

“Dark Swan” (Otherworld Assassin, Book 2.5) by Gena Showalter
Lilica was created and raised in a lab, and all that she has in life, all that she cares about, are her sisters. When she learns that Dallas Gutierrez, an Alien Investigation and Removal agent, is a threat to one of them, Lilica decides that she’ll stop him any way she can. Then something goes wrong – or incredibly right – and Lilica’s life is bonded to the tempting man who should be her enemy…

“Dark Swan” features two complex characters falling in love against their better judgment. Gena Showalter delivers an interesting pair in Lilica and Dallas. He’s an AIR agent who isn’t entirely human, and she’s a mix of numerous species with incredible abilities. Both of them have heartbreaking pasts and neither of them are quite what others believe them to be, so watching them come into their own was fantastic. Their bond is the catalyst for their change, but it also speeds up the process of them falling in love when all the odds are against them. It’s clear Dallas and Lilica are attracted to each other from the start, but throw in their sudden bonding and the sexual tension ratchets up a thousand percent. Add in some high stakes and tons of action with Lilica trying to save her sister and Dallas trying to save the world, and you have one exciting story.

“Dark Swan” is a novella from Ms. Showalter’s Otherworld Assassin series, but from my understanding Dallas is a supporting character who first appeared in her Alien Huntress series. Having not read either series, I can say you won’t feel lost jumping into “Dark Swan,” but at the same time it’s not as easy to become invested in the story when you aren’t really familiar with the world. There are also a couple of relationships outside the main romance that I felt I was missing out on the emotional impact because I wasn’t familiar with the characters. That being said, I did like the detail and was intrigued by what I saw in this story, so I’ll definitely go back to the beginning and start with Awaken Me Darkly, the first Alien Huntress book.

Blood Red Kiss features three passionate romances with wonderfully unique characters. Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, and Gena Showalter are all powerhouse authors and their talents are on clear display in this anthology. Whether you’re a fan of Mses. Cole, Ione, and Showalter or are simply looking to read some dark, seductive paranormal and otherworldly romances, Blood Red Kiss is sure to please.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

Monday, September 19, 2016

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels, Book 9
Publisher: Ace
Genre: Urban Fantasy Magic Binds Cover
ISBN: 9780425270691
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Ilona Andrews Reading Order

Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

Battle and bloodshed are nothing new to Kate Daniels, but the stakes have never been as high – or as life-changing – as they are in Magic Binds. Kate and Curran are at their best when facing impossible odds, and that’s definitely the case in this fantastic, game-changing story.

All Kate wants to do is have a low-key wedding to the former Beast Lord she loves, gain control of her rapidly growing powers, and defeat her seemingly invincible father so that she and Curran can live happily ever after, only having to go after the average homicidal shifter or megalomaniac magical being. What she gets is a zealous wedding planner, a battle with her own dark side, and, worst of all, double-edged sword of a prophecy. Faced with two horrifying paths to take that will end in unspeakable losses, Kate does what she does best: aims to forge her own path, destiny be damned.

What I love about Magic Binds is how the story focuses both on the personal moments and the overarching storyline. Kate has to do battle not just with her father’s forces, but against herself and the temptation her growing power offers. Kate’s not perfect, and her flaws are what make her the perfect heroine. I love that it’s a struggle for her to stay herself when her own magic is what’s trying to push her in a different direction. If that wasn’t making her life hard enough, she’s got to change her fate and battle her father to do so. Roland – one of the most interesting, complex villains I’ve read about in a long time – throws a hell of a lot Kate’s way. Loyalties, friendships, and even Kate and Curran’s bond are tested and there’s no such thing as waving a magic wand to make everything better. The consequences of Kate and Roland’s actions are all too real, and I loved that the stakes were high and nothing was a guarantee. It’s difficult to talk much about Magic Binds without spoiling the surprises, because there are a number of fascinating twists in the story and each one is incredibly important to the tale. Suffice it to say that Kate Daniels fans are in for one hell of a ride.

Ilona Andrews really knocks it out of the park when combining action and emotion. But even with numerous heavy threats hanging over Kate’s head, the story never feels anything less than light on its feet. And fear not: Ilona Andrews’ signature brand of humor still gets its chance to shine. Kate’s highly unorthodox wedding planner still brings a smile to my face days after finishing the novel. In this story, the light moments and the dark are huge payoffs for readers invested in this series and I love seeing how everything comes together. My only complaint is that I now have to wait to see what happens next. I don’t know how many books are left in the series, but it’s clear that the countdown to the final battle is on and it promises to be one epic ride!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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