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Harbinger of Books

We all have different hobbies in life but my absolute favorite thing to do is pick up a book. This blog is dedicated to all of my ramblings. 

Dawn's 2013-books book montage

Deadly Desire
Mark of the Demon
The Hour of Dust and Ashes
Fate's Edge
Changeling Moon
A Kingdom of Dreams
Kiss of Pride
Thief of Shadows
Grave Memory
Archangel's Storm
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
A Kiss Before the Apocalypse
Frost Burned
Touch of the Demon
Summoning the Night
The End of the Affair
A Blood Seduction
A Werewolf in Manhattan
Last Kiss Goodnight
The Chief

Dawn's favorite books »

Review for The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire

The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire - Molly Harper

Gigi, Iris’s younger sister is finally all grown up. For her summer break from college she is living with Cal and Iris while working for the Vampire Council. From the start things are a bit rocky for Gigi: Ophelia is jealous and does all kinds of petty things, Iris does not want Gigi near any vamps – except her and Cal of course, then she keeps getting attacked by a vamp she has a crush on.


This is the third book in Molly Harpers Half Moon Hollow’s series and I still enjoy them. I liked Gigi it is good to see her growing up and Nik was just funny and sweet. All the mayhem be it from family, over protective friends, magic and the mystery kept the story interesting. The plot is a little thin but in the end it still comes together and it is funny.

I always listen to these books on audio because I just love Molly Harper and Amanda Ronconi. If you are new to this series I am not sure this book is really a stand-alone for maximum enjoyment I would suggest starting off with the Jane Jameson series.  

Review for You Only Love Twice by Elizabeth Thornton

You Only Love Twice - Elizabeth Thornton

Sister Martha is living in a convent where she is a postulant. Her Mother Superior thinks Sister Martha is one of the hardest working nuns she has ever met but there is a small complication of Sister Martha having no idea of who she is or where she came from. Then one night Sister Martha gets an image of someone planning a murder and this one event seems to set off a series of dominos. Soon after this vision Sister Martha finds out she is not so perfect, shortly after that a patient in the clinic recognizes Sister Martha as Jessica Hayward. Now Jessica is off to learn about her past, but what she learns is a man she used to love may or may not love her, the murder of her father no one wants to unearth and Jessica is not universally loved. In short life is tough for Jessica.


This book was odd. It kind of reminded me of an Alfred Hitchcock story with the suspense and the voices in her head. In this regard I loved the story. It was different than things I had read before and I like how events in the story kept me guessing. The romance however left a lot to be desired I could not quite feel them out. For two people to love each other so much it felt a little forced. For a Regency period book it seemed out of place – they talk about the battle of Waterloo so that is early 1800’s and honestly it had not been for that little tidbit I would have thought the book took place after WWI. Then there were a lot of little things that did not quite make sense. For example the convent was described as one working with children so why is there an adult patient? Then our hero loves this woman but yet he never believes what she says and when he does there is really no reason for the 180.


In the end I liked the book and I thought it was good – sad part is with a few additional details I think this book would have been fantastic.  

Review of Red Shirts by John Scalzi

Redshirts - John Scalzi

This is a funny quick read with some interesting philosophical questions.

I am not sure how to tell talk about the book without giving it away so here is what is I think is safe. Ensign Andrew Dahl is a new crew member onboard the Intrepid. At first there is excitement over being on a star class spaceship but then things turn weird very fast. Things like the crew disappearing at odd times, officers surviving the most horrific injuries while other crew members seems to die. When Dahl finds out why this is happening it is a bit of a shock.


The book is clearly a nod to Star Trek, hence the red shirts, and since I am a fan it made the book even more delightful. It is often very funny and at times rather thought provoking. I thought it was rather impressive that the book does not make fun of sci-fi tv but has more of a what if feel.


The challenge with the book is about midway through it gets a little weird and the book kind of shifts. For me it was not in a good way. After finishing the book I think part of the problem is while the initial characters are interesting they don’t have enough depth so when the plot shifts it is kind of hard to keep them straight and to really care about them. Which makes the second half less enjoyable then the first half. Now to confuse things even more is at the end of the book we get three short stories or codas which are the best part of the second half.


I listened to the book on audio with Wil Wheaton who I simply adore. In the end I really enjoyed the book especially while I was listening to it but then the end came and it fell flat, there were still a few loose ends for me.


Still a decent read and I would encourage you to try the audio version of this book.

Review for Half-Off Rangarok

Half-Off Ragnarok - Seanan McGuire

Half-Off Rangarok is the third book in the InCryptid series and has a change in narrators and locations no longer are we in New York with Verity but with her brother Alex, in Ohio.

The story line picks up maybe a month or two after book two. Alex Price is living with his grandparents and Sarah trying to have some semblance of a life while overseeing a secret basilisk breeding program. For Alex somethings are going well Sarah is getting better other things are challenging like keeping secrets from his girlfriend Shelby about who he really is. Then it all kind of goes downhill when Alex is faced with dead bodies that are turning to stone and the realization someone is trying to kill him too.


This book is interesting with a band of characters Shelby and the grandparents are total hits. We learn about new cryptids which were kind of fascinating.  Things that I missed were the mice I liked all of their crazy holidays while they are in the book it is more like a passing thing. I also preferred the New York setting this was supposed to be in Ohio but I think the setting could have been anywhere for me I had trouble relating.


I listened to the book on audio and the narrator made it feel like to book was evenly paced. His voice was interesting enough to keep me interested without losing me.  I am not sure if it was because I listened to the book on audio verses reading but this book has a different kind of feel. Perhaps this is due to the change in narrator ...I cannot really say.


My biggest overall challenge of the book was despite how good the writing is for me there is something missing between characters for some reason I was just not as vested in the outcome.


Still a good read 3 ½ stars

Review for Wild Things

Wild Things - Chloe Neill

Wild Things, book 9 in the Chicagoland Vampire series seems to start off right after Biting Bad. The Mayor is pissed off with all things super natural so she is targeting Ethan. This time Ethan does the weird thing and hides out hoping things will calm down. Unfortunately he has to stay with the shifters who are none too happy to host the vampires. Then there is a magical incident and the Ethan and Merit are blamed.


Chicagoland Vampires has always been this kind of weird series for me. I like it but I am not really in love with it. So what I liked in this book is watching Ethan finally decide he wants Merit and does not care who knows. I enjoyed all of the public displays of affection. I really enjoyed this side of Gabe we saw in this book he has a lot of stresses as a leader and it was cool to see some of the sacrifices


Now what is getting a little old – why is Ethan and Merit always in the midst of things. This go round Merit is frequently called a good detective and that puzzles me because it seems like she is actually the slowest in the bunch. The other thing that is getting a little old is the prophecy and it seemed a little illogical.  Other things that did not make sense to me was the whole domestic terrorists with no FBI involvement?? Um ok and then the event at the Lupercalia – yeah that still never quite made sense.


But let’s face it I don’t read these books for the mystery J The simple way these things get solved is always a bit like REALLY???


All in all not a bad book just not awesome.

Review for Tempest Reborn

Tempest Reborn - Nicole Peeler

Tempest Reborn is the final book in the Jane True series.


And FINALLY Jane has control of her libido YAY!!!


Jane has a lot of challenges in the book. The book starts off about a week after Tempest Fury. Jane is feeling sad and alone – if you have not read the other books you may want to stop reading here.


So Anyan has been taken over by the white dragon, Blondie is dead, Jane has been double crossed and she still has to deal with Morrigan/the Red.


Jane has finally come into her own and is acting like the champion, never turning her back on her friends. It was great going back to Rockbill and watching Jane do it her way this time. I am glad the cat is out of the bag and now all the humans know Jane’s secret. After so many books with the hostility between the Alfar, half-human/alfar and the humans I liked seeing everyone work together. Jane really did what needed to be done and she had to make some really big sacrifices. I enjoyed the epilogue and I am sad to see the series go at the end I can say it was a good ride.

Review for Tempest Fury

Tempest’s Fury - Nicole Peeler

This is the 5th book in the Jane True series. It starts out with Jane on a mission to the UK. She is off to do battle with a supernatural threat. Jane think they will be off Blondie will deal with the problem and it will be like a mini vacation. Easy peasy! Well that would not make a very good story. Turns out Jane is up against the Red and White these ancient elementals who just want to wreak chaos and take over the world. Also turns out this is not Blondie’s fight but Jane’s.


It has been awhile since I read this series and some of the challenges I have with this story came right back. Most of them surround Jane’s libido in a way I want to see how many times the word is in the book but I think that would really annoy me. The other thing that annoys me is the ridiculous number is near sex scenes between Anyan and Jane – really do it or don’t but move on.


The good thing about the book is the unexpected twists which brings about some past characters and we get a few new odd ones to the crew which was cool. What I liked most was Jane’s growth like I said it has been a while so perhaps my memory is faulty but she felt more secure in her role. Add to all of her new powers and the fact she is a champion who has to learn how to wield the ax it made it fun to read. It was also nice that Anyan wanted to woo Jane slowly, to bad Jane’s libido kept popping up.

While I enjoyed the book there was a lot of running around and some of it seemed pointless. I will also say the book ends with a cliff hanger so I am glad I had the next one in my stack.

Creepy but totally fun

The Secret Language of Relationships: Your Complete Personology Guide to Any Relationship with Anyone - Gary Goldschneider, Joost Elffers

Astrology is this interesting concept. One one hand there are things that make you who you are based on when you are born and then experience and genetics which make up the rest.


Generally speaking I think astrology is just a fun thing but I am not sure it could ever be my belief system. Anyways a friend of mine had this book and I found myself looking at it thinking this is creepy and true.


The book is really simple to use you simply look at your birthday and someone else birthday (actually birth sign or birth week) and you get a page that describes a profile about the relationship. What I really appreciated it is not all of the relationships are love based but friendship, romance, family and business. It is really easy to read and while it is general but still specific if that makes sense.



Not sure I am a believer in astrology but I can say I think the book has made me more compassionate and in my opinion that is never a bad thing. 


Review for Lonely Alpha

Lonely Alpha - Ranae Rose

This is a super short book - in short woman goes on vacation meets man he turns out to be a shifter, she also turns out to be a shifter (who knew?) they are being hunted and they are mates.


Yep that is the story - sorry I spoiled it for you. Here is the thing what I read I liked the problem was to much was left unexplained. Really you had no idea shifters exist and you turn into on and you are good with it. Then the guy is the alpha pack of one? I totally skimmed the smexy bits so maybe I missed something. 


Anyway the book has potential - I do not think it is worth $2.99 though.


Review of Ironskin (Jane Eyre meets the Fae)

Ironskin - Tina Connolly

Ironskin by Tina Connolly is a story taking place in maybe the 1920’s after the Great War. In this book the Great War was an awful war – decades before the Fae had come and given their technology to humans in exchange for stopping the industrial revolution and the pollution that came along with it. But people are people and the Fae are the Fae so it should come as no surprise when the Fae begin to terrorize the people. Jane Eliot our leading heroine has been greatly affected by the war, during the war she was greatly scarred and left with this never ending rage. To protect herself and others she now wears an iron mask which covers half her face. Jane is living in a challenging time where beauty is everything and the men are returning from the Great War which means Jane is having trouble keeping employment and not being a burden. These circumstances takes Jane to the country and the house of Edward Rochert who seeks a governess for his daughter who has also been touched by the Fae. However this job is far more than Jane initially bargained for.


I am not really sure what I think of this book - while I enjoyed it there were parts for me that were left lacking. I loved the concepts – Jane Eyre meets The Man in the Iron Mask. People are not what they seem, combined with a coming of age story – not so much coming into adulthood but coming into ones self. I read Jane Eyre years ago and that was a book I loved – and while I never read The Man with the Iron Mask I did watch the movie and this I think was part of the challenge of why I felt something was missing. Watching Jane Eyre fall in love was both heartbreaking and touching – watching Jane Eliot fall in love well I kind of missed it as in I am not sure why she loved him.

Ok so for the purposes of this review I am going to push these two classics aside and try to just focus on the story. The things I loved was the world building – Connolly did an awesome job creating this alterative universe where humans depended on the fae for the technology and how that dependence came back to bite them with vengeance – never trust the Fae! I also loved the writing or they style of writing. I think when I go on to the next book I may switch to an audiobook as I loved the choice of words and flow of her writing if that makes sense. I also really liked that beauty was a theme – there is also a mystery around women, who enter Rochert’s closed studio and why was Dorie (the young child) so taken with pretty ladies – is this a sign of the Fae?  Finally I liked the characters Jane is a bit of a cold fish but she has this inner fire which made her a complex and interesting heroine. I also liked the side characters like crazy Dorie and Poe.


Some of the challenges of this story was the actual pacing and plot twists, often it felt unfinished ad awkward. For example we get flashbacks but these flashbacks are not all that different instead it is a retelling of the same event with deeper meaning each time written in different ways – which for me makes they story drag. I did not feel like I gained any additional insight. Then there were other parts when I desperately wanted to know more and I think many of those sections could have had more detail. My final grip is really a comparison between this book and Jane Eyre – in Jane Eyre there is this kind of twisted magic between Jane and Mr. Rochester  but in this version it fell short I never understood why Jane and Mr. Rochart were even attracted to each other.



Review for Romancing the Duke

Romancing the Duke - Tessa Dare

Oh I loved this truly cheesy fairytale romance!!


Isolde ‘Izzy’ Goodnight has dreamed of a fairytale life most of her life but as she grows older and reality sets in she lets go of her fantasies one by one. Then one day she finds herself barely surviving after the death of her father only to receive a letter from her recently deceased godfather’s estate. Izzy is so excited and hoping it is 100 or maybe even 200 pounds, quick she finds out it is not and more importantly she gets a crumbling castle with a rather obstinate Duke who believes he is the owner of the castle. Now these two must decide who gets the castle.


Now I liked a great many things about this book beginning with our lovely heroine and hero. I loved the whimsical life of Izzy. I loved watching the Duke try to stay cold and isolated after a lifetime of feeling left on the outside. Is this story over the top, totally but it works it is funny and heartwarming. I planned to read a few chapters before I went about my day and found myself giggling and having a wonderful afternoon. The only downside to this book that kind of bummed me out is that while we called this a period piece it felt as though it could have happened today.

Review for The Witch and The Englishman

The Witch and the Englishman (The Witches Trilogy: Book 2) - J.R. Rain

The Witch and the Englishman is the second book in the series. Allison is both a witch and a psychic, she has a coach who is also a witch but a ghost and a good friend who is a vampire. In this story Allison has met a man, the Englishman, in deep trouble and she finds herself in the midst of a murder mystery.


This book was meh at best. There was no real character development and the mystery really did not require any skills to solve it. Just have a chat with Mother Earth, meditate and Allison is all set. The over use of the word “child” was annoying, why she loves Beverly Hills was not interesting, and generally speaking it was just not that interesting. I kept thinking it would get better sadly it did not and me and this series are done.

Review for Forsaken

Forsaken (The Otherworld Series) - Kelley Armstrong

Forsaken is a novella from Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series featuring Clay and Elena. Elena has been the alpha for a few years now but it seems she still has a lot of trouble with other werewolf packs. In this story the British are giving her a bit of trouble and now it seems that someone is planning to harm the twins, who are now 8.


I have always loved the Otherworld series and Clay and Elena have always been one of my favorite couples. So I am always happy to read a novella or a book featuring them. This book is clearly focused on Elena but I found myself missing Clay and it seemed like Logan was at times filling in the practical role – which sometimes was funny but other times I was like ugg where the heck is Clay?? Having said that I did really enjoy the times when they are together.


The reason for the lower rating is in part due to some parts being a little overly predictable and at times it felt slow then there is the end – why do we have unfinished business at the end – isn’t this series completed? Last but not least why did I pay $5.99 for a novella??


Regardless it is still a nice addition.

Not bad just not awesome

How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back - Diana Rowland

How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back by Diane Rowland is the third in the series. Angel has really grown – she is off the drugs, making and keeping friends, managing her past and making goals. However Angel cannot quite settle down, The Saberton Corporation is still playing games but this time kidnapping is involved. Angel finds herself front and center of  the chaos.


This book was a bit off for me. I was not a fan of the breakup and I really wanted them to figure it out – then the break up was so cordial – oh its not working out, well your ok I am ok we will still be friends – UGG come on a little hesitancy and angst would have been nice. Moving on to the actual plot the big reveal with Pietro made no sense to me, it came off as silly. Also this time Angel was a lot more needy and that was annoying because while I got it – it seemed out of character for her.


I listened to this on audio and while I love the narrator Allison McLemore who is a perfect fit for this series. The book never really sucked me in and I was not pleased about Angels actions at the end of the book. The book was not bad but it really was not great.

This is romance!

The Arrangement - Mary Balogh

The Arrangement by Mary Balogh is a most unusual romance in historical romance. Vincent Hunt grew up with a regular life where he was cunning and playful, then he went off to war to make something of himself only to be wounded and was left permanently blind before he can begin to manage his disability he also becomes titled. Vincent has a loving family who is loving him right out of his mind they want to marry him off and “help’ him the problem is Vincent wants to find his own way and be independent. Sophia Fry on the other hand was born into the gentry but she had an oh so charming father who would rather live life on the edge and when he passed away Sophia gets passed around like an unwanted bag of potatoes. Sophia quickly learned it was better for her to stay quiet and out of everyone’s way. Quiet does not equal stupid but Sophia did loose her nerve and sense of self worth.


This is a love story where two people figure out how to be friends which grows into love. No one rescues anyone in this book – but there is this small bond that grows and the figure out how to be independent and to find their self worth. All and all it was quite lovely!

Review of The Junkie Quatrain

The Junkie Quatrain - Peter Clines, Christian Rummel, Thérèse Plummer

I picked up The Junkie Quatrain on an audible daily deal. It is not one book but four short stories which occur at the same time in the same area by four unique characters with differing points of view.


The first story is about a woman who prefers to travel alone then she encounters a woman who needs help and of course there is trouble. The next story is about a a doctor or researcher (sorry I forget which) and the cause of the Junkie infection who is trying to find the cure and things are not what they seem. Next up is a story about outsiders who cross paths with something a little more deadly than the junkie. Last is story about a lone survivor.


The book  is narrated by Christian Rummel and Theresa Plummer and I thought they were both good Theresa Plummer was a little better.


I liked the book quite a bit but often I felt like there was still more story to tell at the end of each short story so all in all it felt a little unfinished.