Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Roar by Cora Carmack

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora's been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.
To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.
Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. 
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.
Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

Pavan and its neighboring countries are mauled by devastating storms day in and day out. A rare few have the magic to be able to contain the storms and steal the heart of the storms, to use to keep their lands safe. Aurora has been isolated for years from everyone outside of the Queen. After the death of her brother, she is the Pavan heir, but she has no powers to protect her country. Her mother devises to a plan and Aurora is betrothed to the second son of the neighboring country, someone who can use his magic to protect Pavan from the horrible storms. At first he is intimidating, but then she learns the truth of his actions. She follows him to a forbidden market and meets a crew of storm hunters who go out and protect the lands as well as trapping magic to be used to help people. She takes on the name Roar and stages her own kidnapping to run away with the hunters and learn about how they control storms. Without storm magic, she feels she can learn from them how to do it to protect her lands. 

But there is much, much more to Roar than meets the eye and when the storms start rolling by, Roar has an intense reaction to them. So a search begins to find out what is special about Roar and why she reacts the way she does. 

I loved this story! I had never heard of this author, and then I saw on a post on facebook from a book review page and thought it sounded good. I was excited when NetGalley posted it and couldn't wait to read it. This is a Young Adult book, but much more for older teens, as it does have some sexual scenes, much as the Throne of Glass series by Sarah Maas. I enjoyed Roar's character, and alternately wanted to smack Locke and hug him. The hunter crew of Duke, Bait, Jinx, Sly, and Ransom were all very interesting characters, though I am not a fan of Sly. I am interested to see where the storyline goes with her.

All in all I thought this was really a fantastic new young adult fantasy book. The cliffhanger, though. Gah!! Authors keep doing this to me!

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts June 2017

Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax's floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father's side, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who's been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards' Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana's uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead--with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart-if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . . .

Tilla has always just wanted her father's approval and to become his heir. Instead, she is a bastard daughter who is treated fairly well, but not as well as his wife and legitimate daughters. However, on the day of a visit from the monarchy, Lyriana, the princess, goes beyond convention and sits herself at the bastards table. Wary of her, but sensing her innocence, a friendship grows. Tilla, Lyriana, Jax, Miles, and Zell sneak out at night to visit the beach, but while there they witness their parents kill Lyriana's Mage uncle, betraying the throne to start a war for freedom of their lands. Now wanted, they flee to find help from Lyriana's father in the capital. As they near freedom, a betrayal from one of their own stops them in their tracks and derails their plans.

That's all I got. LOL! This really was a great book. I was leary of the title, however I thoroughly enjoyed the story and am looking forward to a sequel!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Head back to Blessings, GA with a new novel by Sharon Sala out May 2016

She's never had a home
Growing up in a troubled foster home, Mercy Dane knew she could never rely on anyone but herself. She's used to giving her all to people who don't give her a second glance, so when she races to Blessings, Georgia, to save the life of an accident victim, she's flabbergasted when the grateful town opens its arms to her. She never dreamed she'd ever find family or friends-or a man who looks at her as if she hung the stars.
Until she finds peace in his arms
Police Chief Lon Pittman is getting restless living in sleepy little Blessings. But the day Mercy Dane roars into his life on the back of a motorcycle, practically daring him to pull her over, he's lost. There's something about Mercy's tough-yet-vulnerable spirit that calls to Lon, and he will do anything in his power to make her realize that home isn't just where the heart is-home is where their heart is.

Mercy grew up in and out of foster homes until she aged out of the system. She is hardened but has learned to take care of herself. She works at a bar, with a great boss, and bakes in her spare time. Baking is her passion. On a cold Christmas night, she gets a phone call from the Blessings, Georgia hospital that her extremely rare blood type is in need at their hospital. She jumps on her motorcycle and flies to the hospital to donate. She does not expect to run into a man who she who, one night long ago, helped her after her apartment was broken into, taking care of her for the evening. She ran and never looked back. She also does not expect to find the sister who was separated from her when she was a very young child. The woman she came to help is her long lost sister.
Mercy heads to Blessings to spend time with her sister and get to know her. She doesn't expect to fall head of heels for the town sheriff, her one night stand from so long ago, Lon. When nasty, snobby women try to embarrass Mercy and run her off, she doesn't expect for the town to stand up for her. Can Mercy learn to trust so that she can have a happy ever after with Lon, her sister Hope, in this crazy little town?
As always, Ms Sala has delivered an amazing story that gives us strong women, loving men, and a town to back them up. I love reading everything by her and am so excited about this new book!

Nora Roberts offers us a new story of love and family and finding what was lost. Simply Fantastic!

The Bodine ranch and resort in western Montana is a family business, an idyllic spot for vacationers. A little over thirty thousand acres and home to four generations, it’s kept running by Bodine Longbow with the help of a large staff, including new hire Callen Skinner. There was another member of the family once: Bodine’s aunt, Alice, who ran off before Bodine was born. She never returned, and the Longbows don’t talk about her much. The younger ones, who never met her, quietly presume she’s dead. But she isn’t. She is not far away, part of a new family, one she never chose—and her mind has been shattered…
When a bartender leaves the resort late one night, and Bo and Cal discover her battered body in the snow, it’s the first sign that danger lurks in the mountains that surround them. The police suspect Cal, but Bo finds herself trusting him—and turning to him as another woman is murdered and the Longbows are stunned by Alice’s sudden reappearance. The twisted story she has to tell about the past—and the threat that follows in her wake—will test the bonds of this strong family, and thrust Bodine into a darkness she could never have imagined.

I'm really terrible at describing books. And Nora Roberts really needs to introduction. With each book we are drawn into a complex mystery but a not so complex romance. I feel as if, each year, the mystery in her romantic suspense novels gets a little deeper, but the romance gets a little less complex. They know they should be together, but they have to find the route that takes them to that place as well as figuring out who is murdering people around them. 

I thought that the murders of the two young women was interesting, because even though we knew they were caused by whoever had Alice, the main characters had no idea that they tied into their story. I do feel like I figured out some of the "who dun it" during the book, but it did not reading til the end. 

I really enjoyed the relationships between the characters and how each one interacted with the others.  Especially how Alice interacted with Cal. That one got me right in the feels. I also enjoyed the relationship between Chase and Jessica. Each character in this book was a stand out character with flaws and virtues. 

Another amazing read from Ms Roberts. Keep them coming!!