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30 July 2013

Review: Magic Rises

Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) 
by Ilona Andrews
Publication date: 30 July 2013 by Ace
ISBN 10/13: 1937007588 | 9781937007584
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

Category: Adult Urban Fantasy
Keywords: Urban fantasy, weres, magic
Format: Mass market paperback, eBook
Source: Purchased

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them—no matter the cost.

Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.

Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap.


The Kate Daniels series has quickly become one of my favorite urban fantasy series of all time. I can't believe that only a few short months ago, I hadn't read any of these books. A series can often get stale the longer it goes on, but that's not the case with this series. I always feel like there are new things to learn about the characters and Andrews always manages to keep things interesting.

In Magic Rises, Curran and Kate are called away to a remote European island to be impartial parties in a precarious situation that has them guarding a pregnant shapeshifter. It is most likely a trap, but Kate and Curran must go because their prize is panacea, a magical substance that will ensure that the rate of loupism in their young dramatically decreases. Navigating through the political waters of three shifter packs hoping that they fail is hard enough when an unexpected new threat reveals itself.

Magic Rises has everything you'd expect from a Kate Daniels novel - action, mystery, suspense, drama, sexy times, and Kate putting her foot in her mouth more than once.  There is a lot of political intrigue in this one as well as more insight into Kate's past. Magic Rises is also a bit of a departure for the series in that it has a lot of emotional angst in it. This might annoy some readers but I was really drawn into it and I got pretty emotional reading this book. Kate and Curran are both very strong personalities and a relationship between the two is bound to have its ups and downs. In the end though, I think they are stronger for all of their struggles.

Besides Kate and Curran, a lot of other series favorites appear in this book. We get Andrea and Raphael as well as Aunt B, Mahon, Doolittle, Derek and even Saiman. This story focuses a lot on the meaning of family and what it means to be Pack. One of the things that I also love about this series is that the characters are very real. They make mistakes and have doubts and insecurities, just like anyone else.

Magic Rises is another fantastic addition to the Kate Daniels series. It's smart, funny, emotionally intense and full of fantastic action. I don't think fans of this series will be disappointed. It feels like things are coming to a head with Kate's father as well and I can't wait to see where Andrews takes us next.

Visit the author online at www.ilona-andrews.com and follow on Twitter @ilona_andrews and Facebook.

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. For more details, please see our full disclosure policy here

29 July 2013

Manicure Monday (25): The Mistress

Hi, everyone! I hope you all had an awesome weekend. I got my X-Men on and saw Wolverine (fun and way better than the last one) and ate a lot of tasty food. Unfortunately it's Monday which means work, but it also means Manicure Monday. This week I have a fun manicure inspired by The Mistress by Tiffany Reiz.

As you can see, I don't have a physical copy of the book. I have an e-galley which doesn't have a cover. I had to pull up this cover on its own on my phone an take a pic. 

While I love this series, the cover to this one wasn't particularly inspiring. So decided to go a manicure that I think embodies The Mistress herself, Miss Nora Sutherlin. I did a black base on fingers and stamped them with Cheeky plate CH11 with a fishnet pattern in silver. I figure that Nora is the type of Dom who would wear sexy fishnets to work. On my ring finger I made a corset using some tape and a dotting tool. The red is a color by Bondi NY called Horny Mistress. How could I not use that color for this manicure?  Finally, for the thumb I used a pure white, taped off a stripe, and then overlaid it with a matte black polish called Fetish. Aren't these polish names perfect?

Colors used in this manicure:
  • Wet N Wild Black Creme
  • CND Silver Chrome (silver)
  • Bondi NY Horny Miistress (red)
  • Wet N Wild French White Creme
  • Cult Nails Fetish (matte black)

28 July 2013

Stacked (65): Comic-Con Edition

Hello again! Happy Sunday, all. Hope everyone is having an awesome weekend. This week's Stacked post is going to be focused on the books that I got at Comic-Con. Some are ARCs and others are things that I purchased. I have some e-galleys and books from an event I attended this weekend but I am going to save those for next week. On to the books!

Beautiful Bastard series by Christina Lauren - I have heard good things about this series and Christina Lauren (a writing duo) were doing a couple of signings at SDCC. Decided this was a great opportunity to try the series out and get my books signed. Simon & Schuster also had these awesome Beautiful Bastard pins available all weekend, which I got a few of. :)

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan - Got this from the Random House booth. I still haven't read the first book in this series but it was highly recommended by the RH rep. Have to say though that I am a bit bummed that the cover design for this series changed. I think Unspoken is an awesome cover while this one looks a bit more generic.

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner - New James Dashner series that was being talked about at SDCC. This story is about gamers and looks like a crazy futuristic thriller.

Tandem by Anna Jarzab - This one has a really gorgeous cover. It's about parallel worlds, which is a theme that I always find interesting. 

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black - I really wanted to get this one and was excited when I did. I like Holly Black a lot and really want to see where this new series takes her. 

Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger - You needed a secret password to get this one. I was a bit disappointed with the first book in this series, Etiquette & Espionage, but am interested to see where this goes. Gail always writes colorful characters and this series is full of them. 

The Troop by Nick Cutter - I talked about this one earlier in the week. It's a horror novel set on a mysterious island with troop of Boy Scouts. I think I might wait til it gets cooler and read this in the fall, just so I can scare myself more.

Rise Again by Ben Tripp - I mean it's a zombie thriller. What more do  I need to say? 

The Creature Department by Robert Paul Weston - This one just look really cute and I love the cover. I don't know much about it except it has cool monsters in it.

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston - This is the first book written by this husband and wife duo. Melissa, of course, is already a popular author but this is the first book she's written with her husband. I wasn't the biggest fan of Blue Bloods but I am willing to give this book a try.

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins - Received this ARC at the signing line after the panel Rachel was on. Rachel's pretty awesome and I am excited to read this paranormal story set in a Southern town.

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson - Another book I talked about earlier this week in a Comic-Con spotlight post. There are no super heroes, only super villains. This looks awesome.

Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews - Thank you, Mysterious Galaxy for putting out some early copies of this. My friend and I were ecstatic when we found them. And OMG it's so good! Fans of this series will not be disappointed. One of my faves.

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson - I always hear great things about this book and I figured I should just get it already. Was able to get it signed by Brandon, too.

White Trash Zombie Apocalypse by Diana Rowland - Diana was signing at the Mysterious Galaxy booth so I bot the third book in her series signed. I love the covers to this series and Diana is always super nice.

Bronze Gods by A.A. Aguirre - Ann was signing copies of her new steampunk book over the weekend. I don't read much steampunk but I like Ann and think this series looks fun.

Ghost Projekt by Joseph Harris - This came highly recommended at the Oni Press booth. This is set in Cold War Russia and has some paranormal aspects to it. Also, the cover glows in the dark.

Severed by Scott Snyder - This looks dark and super creepy. Perfect for me. :)

Saga by Brian K Vaughan - I am a big fan of Vaughan and have been meaning to read this series for a long time. Finally decided just to pick up the first trade and can't wait to start it.

RASL by Jeff Smith - I haven't had a chance to read Smith's newest series yet and they were selling a really nice looking special edition at SDCC so I decided to grab it.

Phew! Gold star if you made it this far. I tried not to go too crazy this year at Comic-Con though I still picked up a lot of books. I have a bunch of books I need to read first but I am really looking forward to reading some of these soon. Thanks for hanging out and happy Sunday!

*Special thanks to Random House, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Little Brown, Orbit and anyone else I am forgetting. And thanks to Mysterious Galaxy for providing so many awesome books during the panel signings.

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. For more details, please see our full disclosure policy here

26 July 2013

Uncovered (74): Best Served Cold

TGIF, everyone! This week really flew by for me. So sorry I haven't had a review up all week. I am still recovering from Comic-Con and working on those posts and I just haven't had time to write up a review. I wish I was one of those organized people who had reviews scheduled months ahead, but that's not me. Hopefully some of my non-review posts are still interesting to you and we should be back to our regular schedule next week.

This week on Uncovered I have a book that I just discovered this week. Best Served Cold is fantasy novel from Joe Abercrombie that looks like it's full of action. I saw this cover recently on She Wolf Reads (a really great blog you should check out) when She Wolf herself interviewed the cover artist Gene Mollica. It's a really great interview that I highly recommend reading if you have any interest at all in cover art and fantasy cover art in particular.  I really like this cover because you can tell right away what kind of a book it just by looking at it. The woman is attractive but not in an unbelievable way. I also like that she is holding her sword in a believable manner and isn't in some awkward pose. Her direct stare tells me that she means business and her bloody sword seconds that notion. The color palette of this cover is also really nice. It reminds me of steel and dust and battles.

The image above is the final cover with text and all that good stuff. However, if you go to She Wolf Reads, you can see the original cover art before the addition of the text. I prefer the full image but both are beautiful and this is a book I would pick up based on the cover alone.

Thanks, Lee, for introducing me to Gene and this cover. This is a great addition to my TBR pile. Happy Friday, everyone!

25 July 2013

Comic-Con 2013 Spotlight: The Comics

Hello, everyone. Welcome to another spotlight post for Comic-Con 2013. This post is focusing on the comics. It is Comic-Con after all.  I've been reading comics since I was a kid. I've always thought that they were a really wonderful medium that didn't get enough respect. But these days it seems like comic books and comic properties are everywhere. And judging but some of the films and shows coming out next year, I think this trend is going to continue. Sometimes it's easy to forget that these popular franchises are based on comic books. I don't read as many comics as I used to but I still love going to Comic-Con and seeing what's new and what looks good. Below are some of comics that I am most excited about.

Battling Boy by Paul Pope - I attended the YA Graphic Novels panel that included Paul Pope where he talked about his new graphic novel. I haven't actually read any Paul Pope before though I am familiar with his body of work. This sounds like an unconventional superhero story with monsters. Gotta love monsters. Paul was a great panelist though and I am really interested in reading this one.

Severed by Scott Snyder, Scott Tuft, illustrated by Attila Futaki - I read the first volume of Snyder's American Vampire and enjoyed it. I actually didn't know that this was by Snyder and just picked it up based on the awesomely creepy cover. I see now that the reviews on this are pretty mixed so I m curious to see what I think of it.

Revival, Vol. 1 by by Tim Seeley, Mike Norton (Illustrator), Mark Englert (Illustrator) - This one came highly recommend at the Image Comics booth. Unfortunately it was sold out. I did run into author Tim Seeley at the booth though and we had a laugh about the unavailability of his book. This seems to have zombies and a murder mystery. Definitely right up my alley.

Sandman Overture by Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams III (Illustrator) - I attended the panel with Neil Gaiman and the original creators of Sandman at SDCC. I actually haven't read a lot of Sandman. It was around when I started reading comics as a kid but it just didn't interest me at the time. Gaiman was a big name back then (obviously he's even bigger now) and I've always meant to catch up on the series. This new series looks like a prequel of sorts to the original Sandman. They showed us some of the artwork for Overture and it looks amazing. Maybe this will prompt me to finally catch up on the original Sandman before this comes out.

RASL by Jeff Smith - Ahh Jeff Smith. Jeff Smith always reminds me of my youth. Bone was one of my favorite series growing up. I still don't have the Bone collections (I used to buy monthly issues) but hope to add them to my library soon. Some of the new editions have been colored but I prefer them in B&W since that's how I originally read them. Anyway, I stopped by Jeff's booth over the weekend and picked up a the special SD ashcan edition of RASL. I haven't read this yet but it's described as a gritty, sci-fi noir thriller.  Awesome.

Those are some of my top comics picks from Comic-Con this year. Did I miss anything good? Let me know what your must-read comics are in the comments below! :)

24 July 2013

Comic-Con 2013 Spotlight: Television

Hi and welcome to my Comic-Con spotlight on television. If you missed it, I highlighted some of my most anticipated book reads from Comic-Con earlier in the week. Today I am focusing on television. 

My friends know that I am not the most avid television viewer. It'll take too long to explain but I am just really terrible at watching television in a timely manner and it's actually worse when there are a lot of episodes available on DVD or online. The idea of a hundred episodes of something is so daunting and I end up watching one episode every few months. Terrible, I know. But I do like television and am hoping to get caught up this summer on some shows. Even though I was only able to do a few TV panels this year, there were definitely some shows that caught my attention. Some are new series and some are returning. Let's see my picks.

Psych (USA) is coming back for its final season later this fall. I have been a fan of this show from the beginning. I think it's just so funny and it's the kind of show that I can watch at any time and still enjoy. My friend and I stood in line Wed night for the midnight screening of the musical episode. It was a long line but totally worth it. The cast came and said hi at each theater and they gave us popcorn, soda and candy. If you have never seen this show, do yourself a favor and give it a try. I think almost all of the seasons are on Netflix streaming and Hulu right now.

Orphan Black (BBC) is a new show from BBC America. I think it's only had one season so far. I have several friends who have been urging me to watch this sci-fi thriller about clones. I actually have the first disc in my Netflix queue right now. Orphan Black was all over Comic-Con with a big presence at the BBC booth and its own panel. I wasn't able to make the panel but I heard it was great and I am looking forward to catching up on this show. 

Intelligence (CBS) is a new show from CBS. Another spy-type show, it's about a man (Lost hottie Josh Holloway) who is the ultimate spy. A man whose mind basically has a computer in it. He can access the internet, databases, satellites, etc. all inside his head and at a second's notice. Once Upon A Time alum Meghan Ory is the badass Secret Service agent assigned to protect the US's most valuable asset. I actually did make this panel. Josh Holloway is adorable (though you knew that). There are a lot of spy shows out there right now and I don't t know if this one look particularly unique. Marg Helgenberger plays Holloway's boss and she plays things a little too seriously at times. But it wasn't bad and I could see myself tuning in when it airs this fall.

Once Upon A Time In Wonderland (ABC) is a spin-off of the popular show Once Upon A Time except it's about Alice In Wonderland. I love all things fairy tales and Alice especially and I really wanted to go this panel. However, I knew it would have taken getting in line in the middle of the night and hours of waiting to get into this one. It looks great though and I am really looking forward to it.

Bob's Burgers (Fox) is an animated show about a family that owns a burger restaurant. I've only seen a few episodes of Bob's. I am a huge fan of the show Archer and the main voice actor on Archer is the voice of Bob in Bob's Burgers. I decided to sit in on the Bob's panel since it was right before the Archer panel. I had a great time at this panel and the clips they showed were hilarious. Jeffery Tambor even showed up to ask a question. It's going to be fun catching up on this series.

Those are my Comic-Con television picks. Are there any other great shows that I need to watch? Let me know in the comments below. :)

23 July 2013

Summer of YA

Hi, LA natives. My friends at Bridge to Books are helping with a really fun event this weekend at B&N Americana in Glendale. A great roster of YA authors will be on hand for a speed dating type of event where you will get a chance to talk with all of these awesome authors. If you can make it, we'd love to have you. You should RSVP for tickets but they are FREE. See you there!

Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm
Barnes & Noble at The Americana
210 Americana Way 
Glendale, CA 91210

From Paranormal Romance to Action-Adventure join us for a "speed dating" styled event where you can sit down and meet 11 up-and-coming YA authors. 

Jessica Brody (Unremembered)
Stacey Jay (Of Beast and Beauty)
Kathy McCullough (Who Needs Magic?)
Lissa Price (Starters)
Elizabeth Ross (Belle Epoque)
Sarah Skilton (Bruised)
Andrew Smith (Winger)
Ann Stampler (Where It Began)
Carol Tanzman (Circle of Silence
Allen Zadoff (Boy Nobody)

Don't miss this chance to chat with these talented individuals and have them sign your books! All of the authors' books will be available for purchase at Barnes & Noble, Glendale. The event is ticketed but tickets are free! Click here to sign up.  Purchases from the weekend of the event benefit Book by Book; event attendees can recommend which school or library will receive a Barnes & Noble gift card from the fundraiser -- the beneficiary will be chosen randomly from all the school/library names submitted! The winning attendee will also win a gift card. You can also enter to win a gift card right now -- just for helping us promote the event locally! The only catch is you have to be able to come to the Glendale, CA store in person to pick up the prize.

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Comic-Con 2013 Spotlight: The Books

Hi, everyone. I am going to take a cue from my friend and co-blogger Alethea and am going to highlight some of the fun things I found at Comic-Con this weekend. I'll probably split it up into different media (books, movies, etc) and hope to also have a few panel recaps for you as well later in the week.

I had a really great time at Comic-Con this year. I was exhausted most evenings but, surprisingly, not as exhausted as I usually am during the con. I still walked a lot and basically subsisted on trail mix and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all weekend but I don't feel too bad. I barely went into Hall H this year and only hit Ballroom 20 once. Other that that I tried to go to the smaller book and comics panels. Let's get to the books

The Troop by Nick Cutter - Described as a cross between Lord of the Flies and The Ruins, this book is about a troupe of Boy Scouts who find themselves on an island and they are not alone. It's about the monsters out there and the monsters within. Creepy! The editor of this book said it was one of the scariest books he had read in a long time. I haven't read a good horror book in a while and this one sounds fantastic. Thanks to Simon & Schuster for giving me an ARC of this one.

Rise Again by Ben Tripp - I am not sure but it looks like this book may have been self-published previously and it now going to see a big publisher release. This is about a zombie outbreak where a war veteran turned sheriff has to fight the odds (and zombies) to find her sister, who has run away. Sounds fun and scary. Thanks to Simon & Schuster for an early copy of this one.

Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine - This one looks really cool. It's a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet from the point of view of Romeo's cousin Benvolio. Hot teens, Shakespeare and intrigue. Sounds good to me. This one will be coming out next year from Penguin.

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson - This book was a hot topic at SDCC this weekend. Random House was really pushing it and Sanderson was on several panels and had a few signings going on over the weekend. I saw Brandon on a panel on Sunday and it made me really excited to read this one. It's about a world in which super powers exist except only bad people get them. There are no super heroes, only super villains. Doesn't it sound good?

Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer - If you follow me on Instagram you will know that this was the one book that I really wanted this weekend. Macmillan was only giving away copies to the first 20 in line for Marissa's signing on Fri. I really didn't think I had a chance at this since 20 is nothing at SDCC. There are literally thousands of people there. But due to some help from a friend and nimble feet on my part, I managed to be #8 in line. I have a few books to read before I can read this one but I am sooooooo excited to start it.

Gris Grimly's Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Gris Grimly I am sad that I didn't make it to Grimly's booth to pick this one up. I am a fan of Frankenstein and Grimly's illustration work. I think the combo of these two is going to be pretty amazing. This comes out in Aug from Balzer + Bray.

If Dogs Run Free  by Bob Dylan and illustrated by Scott C. - This book is based on the lyrics to song by Bob Dylan with Scott C. illustrating. I am a big fan of Scott C.'s and was able to take a look at this at his booth. It looks super cute and I think it's going to be a really great read. Thanks to Simon & Schuster for showcasing this one. It is definitely going on my wishlist.

So there you have some of the books I am most looking forward to later this year. I did snag some other books over the weekend as well but I'll save those for my Stacked haul post. Check back later this week for spotlights on comics, television and more!

21 July 2013

Stacked (64)

Good morning! This is my last day at Comic Con but I have scheduled this nifty post for you all. So I went a little wild on Edelweiss and Netgalley again this week. I couldn't help it! So many books were available to download. I know, I know. I have problems. And no doubt I am in San Diego right now getting even more books. Sigh. Well let's see what books I got for review this week.

E-Galleys for review

Dear Killer by Katherin Ewell - This is about a girl who is a serial killer. It sounds super creepy and right up my alley.

House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalia Whipple - Love the cover to this one. Seems to be about witches which I don't usually read too nuch about but it sounds like it could be goo.

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd - I really liked The Madman's Daughter and am really excited to read the sequel. 

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge - Described as a cross between Graceling and Beauty and the Beast, which sounds awesome.

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan - The Scarlet Letter crossed with The Minority Report. Have I told you guys how much I love Minority Report? This one sounds futuristic and cool.

Charming by Elliott James - This one does not have a Goodreads pages yet but seems to be another fairytale re-telling of sorts with Charming as the main character.

Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson - This is an older title but it was on Netgalley I think because the sequel is coming out soon. I am always look for a new urban fantasy series and have heard good things about this one.

Parasite by Mira Grant - I haven't read Grant's Feed series yet but hear it's really good. This is a new series and it sounds creepy. Parasites gross me out.

The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan - I am a huge fan of Courtney Milan's and was happy to find this on Netgalley. This is the second in her Sinister Brothers series and I am really looking forward to it.

That's my e-book haul for this week. Seriously I am going to try to stay away from Edelweiss and NG for a few weeks while I read some of these. Thanks for coming by. What books did you get this week?

19 July 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge - Day 12

It's day 10 of the 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge. Once again, thanks to April at Good Books and Good Wine for thinking up this fun challenge.

Day 12: How do you fight blogger fatigue?

This is a hard question. There are definitely times when I run out of steam with blogging. Sometimes work will be crazy or life will get in the way or I just don't have any inspiration. During those times, I find it better to just take a step back. I am not the kind of person who does well when I force myself to do things so I'd rather not force a blog post when I am not feeling it. Instead, I will allow myself to take a break and not post if I don't feel like it. I will often re-read books I love that I haven't let myself re-read because I am constantly moving on to the next new book. I'll go to a bookstore and see and pet all the new releases. Seeing books in person will often get me excited about reading again. I will also talk to some of my reading friends about what they are reading and their enthusiasm will often rub off on me.

That's what I do to fight blogger fatigue. Do you have any tips?

Uncovered (73): The Inventor's Secret

Hi! I can't believe it's Friday again already. I'll be fully ensconced at Comic Con by the time you guys read this. Hopefully I will be seeing lots of cool things that I can tell you guys about when I get back. For now, let's get on to this week's Uncovered post.

So this week's cover is The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer. You might recognize Cremer's name from her popular Nightshade series. Her new series is a YA steampunk series set in an alternate nineteenth century. Check out the synopsis.
Sixteen-year-old Charlotte and her fellow refugees have scraped out an existence on the edge of Britain’s industrial empire. Though they live by the skin of their teeth they have their health (at least when they can find enough food and avoid the Imperial Labor Gatherers) and each other. When a new exile with no memory of his escape from the coastal cities or even his own name seeks shelter in their camp he brings new dangers with him and secrets about the terrible future that awaits all those who have struggled has to live free of the bonds of the empire’s Machineworks.

The Inventor’s Secret is the first book of a YA steampunk series set in an alternate nineteenth-century North America where the Revolutionary War never took place and the British Empire has expanded into a global juggernaut propelled by marvelous and horrible machinery.
I really like this cover. It's simple but very fun and creative. I don't think I've ever seen a clockwork heart before this one looks pretty darn good. It looks very three-dimensional, almost like I could just pluck it off of the cover. I like the small details like the clock set in the middle and the rivets. I also like the small clockwork details in the title font. It's just enough to make it interesting but not so ornate that it overpowers the cover image. I would definitely pick this one up based on the cover alone. 

Sadly, The Inventor's Secret is not coming out until April 2014. Yeah, they released the cover image super early. :( Anyone else excited about this new series?

18 July 2013

Reivew: The Loneliest Alpha (The MacKellan Alphas #1)

The Loneliest Alpha (The MacKellan Alphas #1)
by T.A. Grey
Publication date: 15 June 2013 by CreateSpace Publishing
ISBN 10/13: 1490405461/978-1490405469
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo 

Category: Adult Paranormal Romance
Keywords: werewolves, romance, mystery, Happy Ever After
Format:   eBook
Source: Purchased

Synopsis from GoodReads:

One look will change their lives forever.

Lingerie designer Alicia Clarkson just had to open her stupid mouth. Now thanks to trying to defend a fellow pack mate, Alicia’s been blindfolded, tied up, and carted off to the new alpha of the Oregon pack—Gavin MacKellen.

However, the blindfold doesn’t come off so soon as Gavin reveals he’s searching for a mate. But Alicia’s curiosity gets fired up when Gavin refuses to reveal his face to her. Just what happened to him? He talks to her from shadowy corners and behind closed doors. The man is as allusive as a squirrely fox. But Alicia doesn’t play games and the quiet spoken, hoarse voiced alpha doesn’t stand a chance against her. They settle on an agreement, thirty days for them to get to know each other because that’s the only way this cowboy alpha will have it.

Gavin MacKellen needs a mate. But he knows no good woman would ever want to look at his face after the incident he suffered. After one look at Alicia Clarkson all his plans fly out the window. The woman’s beauty has stunned him damn near speechless. She torments his thoughts and Gavin finds himself yearning to know everything about her. He admires her creativity and intelligence, the cool way she handles herself in stressful situations. Most of all, he aches deep in his chest to taste her lips. Those beautiful sweet lips, but in order to kiss her without showing her what a monster he was, he has to get creative.

A relationship forms and as love threatens to grow between them Gavin struggles to cope with his physical appearance in the face of the beautiful Alicia. Will she be the one to stand in the face of a monster and accept or will she turn her back on him as everyone else has?


The Loneliest Alpha is the first book in the MacKellan Alphas series, which is a spin-off of T. A. Grey's Kategan Alphas series.  Since this was my first T. A. Grey book, I am not certain whether I missed anything by not having read her previous series. For the most part, Grey provides enough information about the world where her books take place.  She has some of your usual characters found in paranormal books, but there are a few twists.  Werewolves have some special abilities such as being able to heal faster than a human and having better senses, but there doesn't appear to be any shifting or transforming, even partially.  There are also Vampires, and Humans, but I don't think the humans know about the other two (this may have been explained in the previous series), and I also don't know if Vampires are different from "traditional" vampires.

Overall, I really liked The Loneliest Alpha.  It was definitely a book that I wanted to keep reading.  As for characters, I liked Gavin (the MacKellan Alpha), his family, and Alicia. The chemistry between Gavin and Alicia was good, but there is definitely some insta-love that goes on with the story. Given that Alicia is "abducted" (sort of) by her pack and brought to the MacKellan's as a possible mate for Gavin and the majority of the book takes place in a couple of weeks, the assumption of insta-love is going to be made, and it isn't due to the typical mate imprinting that happens in other werewolf stories.

Another aspect of the story that I really liked is that both main characters have some very real flaws and relationship issues that they need to work through before things can be resolved.  Some of Alicia's flaws make some of her decisions at times seem annoying, but she was a strong female character.  Her interactions with Gavin's sisters were really funny too.

I also appreciated Grey's effort to create a story line that included an actual mystery to be solved rather than just the whole paranormal romance thing. But don't worry, the sexy scenes definitely had some heat.  One of the other concerns I had was that some of the scenes or parts of the book might have taken a little too long and could have been edited to keep the pace moving.  Regardless of the things that might have detracted from the story for me, I would definitely read another book by Grey and would recommend the series for those who want an interesting werewolf story.  

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