Monthly Wrap-up – January 2020

Wow, today is the last day of January. Already! I know a lot of people think that January always goes by slowly, but for me, January flew by.

To say that I’ve got a good head start of my reading goal for this year would be an understatement. I’ve already read 11 volumes of manga and 9 novels, for a total of 20 books this month! For me, that’s pretty darn good. Especially considering how miserably I failed at reaching my book goal last year. So yeah, I’m pretty proud of myself.

I don’t have any concrete plans for what I want to read in February. I’m currently reading the Nikki Glass series by Jenna Black, so I will finish that and then see what I am in the mood for. I seem to be in the mood for Urban Fantasy so I might read the Kate Daniels series.

My mood is a bit unfortunate, considering I have several trilogies that are strictly fantasy and I really want to read things that are finished. My mood could change at any time though, and I kind of hope it does.

How was your January reading? Did you reach any goals you set for yourself? Plans for February?

Review – Moon’s Fury – A Tale of the Sazi #5 – C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp

moons furySynopsis (from Goodreads): Cara Salinas has been leading the small Mexican red wolf pack in Tedford County, Texas, since she was thirteen.

Adam Mueller, formerly a beat cop from the toughest part of Minneapolis, must find a way to integrate his exiled Minnesotan wolves with Cara’s red wolves.

Cara and Adam clash in the way only fated mates ever do–and both refuse to accept their destiny. But when a pack of vicious Sazi raptors start to feed on the wolf-children of both packs, Cara and Adam must learn to respect each other, and embrace their future together to save the future of the Texan wolves.

Buy Now: Amazon

I would say this is a pretty basic paranormal romance. There isn’t much surprising in the way of the “romance”. I actually wasn’t too drawn in until Tony Giambrocco showed up. Tony was the star of the first two books in the series, an attack victim who turned into a werewolf as well as a former mafia hitman.

Tony showing up was awesome and probably the best part of the book. Tony was a character I really liked. You don’t see a lot of mafia assassins in Paranormal Romance. At least not that I’ve read.

Cara and Adam were ok characters. I didn’t feel any strong connection with them but I didn’t dislike them either. I did like the little details about Texas that were inserted smoothly, as well as the Spanish that was sprinkled in their speech. It was believable that they were native Texans by the way they spoke.

One thing I really disliked was the final sex scene. When reading PR I know perfectly well that there will be at least one sex scene, but this one was a little too pornographic for me. Others might think of it as being “steamy” but not me. Reading it was just uncomfortable.

There is an underlying plot that goes across different book in the series, which I am interested in finding out more about.

Overall, I rate this book 3/5 stars. It was alright, but not great.

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Alpha – Shifters #6 – Rachel Vincent – Review

AlphaSynopsis (from Goodreads):
The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder and treason. Yeah, we’ve been busy. But now it’s time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother’s death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council.
It’s not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I’m heading for a final showdown that will change everything forever. A showdown I’m not sure I’m ready for.
But life never waits until you’re ready.

Buy now: Amazon

I very nearly stopped reading this book after about 100 pages. Why? Well, this stupid love triangle is getting on my nerves more than i can explain. The first 100 pages is all about the 3 of them. The guys want to kill each other, Faythe wants to stop them from killing each other. She also wants to have them both and that just can’t happen.

I can’t empathize with her at all in this situation. The whole time it’s being talked about I want to roll my eyes and bitch slap all of them. I could care less about Jace, Marc needs to rein in his temper and Faythe needs to grow the hell up!

I really wanted her to just walk away from both of them, especially with the things Marc keeps saying to her. I get that he’s pissed off, but some of his comments cross a serious line.

Thankfully, the actual story picks up after the first 100 pages and the love triangle-ness calms down. I wish I could say the rest of the book was amazing, but that would be a lie. Even when the actual plot is the focus, the love triangle is still there, irritating me.

There were certain things I expected to happen that did and things that I didn’t see coming, so it wasn’t completely predictable. I had a pretty solid idea of how it was going to end and  I wasn’t wrong.

Honestly, I just sort of powered through this book to know how things turned out. I enjoyed parts of it, but not the book as a whole.

I rate this book 2.5/5 stars.

*this post contains affiliate links. If you choose to click on them, I  may receive a small compensation.

Shift – Shifters #5 – Rachel Vincent – Review

ShiftSynopsis(from Goodreads): Being the first female werecat enforcer isn’t easy. Scars accumulate, but I’m stronger in so many ways.

As for my personal life? It’s complicated. Choices worth making always are. Ever since my brother’s death and my father’s impeachment, it’s all I can do to prevent more blood from spilling. Now our Pride is under attack by a flight of vicious thunderbirds. And making peace with our new enemies may be the only way to get the best of our old foe.

With the body count rising and treachery everywhere, my instincts tell me to look before I leap. But sometimes a leap of faith is the only real option…

Buy Now: Amazon

Thinking about reading these books gives me anxiety. While I’m reading the books I’m so into it that I can’t read fast enough.

While I am really enjoying the story that is going on, Faythe’s personal life is getting on my nerves. I’ve always kind of liked love triangles, but this one is ridiculous. I’m pretty confident I know how it’s all going to end, so getting through all this drama to get to the resolution is killing me.

Faythe and her love life aside, this book is really good. The Pride’s enemy, Malone, is trying new underhanded methods to weaken them before the coming war. It’s fun watching Faythe navigate her way through the situations she gets into and actually becoming a responsible adult.

The next book, Alpha, is the last in this series and I can’t wait to read it. If my pattern for these book holds, I should have it done by tomorrow night! Then maybe my anxiety will go away.

I rate this book 4/5 stars.

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Top Ten Tuesday January 21: The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s theme is Top Ten most recent additions to my Bookshelf. I allowed myself to do some boxing week shopping on books so I actually have stuff for this topic. (I’m on a self imposed book buying ban)

Monstress Volume 4

Buy Now: Amazon

Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) by Illona Andrews

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Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels #5.5) by Illona Andrews

Buy Now: Amazon

Besieged (Iron Druid Chronicles Short stories) by Kevin Hearne

Buy Now: Amazon

Scourged (Iron Druid Chronicles #9) by Kevin Hearne

Buy Now: Amazon

Starless by Jacqueline Carey

Buy Now: Amazon

Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson #11) by Patricia Briggs

Buy Now: Amazon

Magic Triumphs (kate Daniels #10)

Buy Now: Amazon

Brave the Tempest (Cassandra Palmer #9) by Karen Chance

Buy Now: Amazon

The Wolf (Under the Northern Sky #1) by Leo Carew

Buy Now: Amazon

Sorry for the late of pictures and the boringness of this post. I didn’t quite get around to properly finishing this.

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Prey – Shifters #4 – Rachel Vincent – Review

PreySynopsis: (from Goodreads): Sometimes playing cat and mouse is no game…Play? “Right.” My Pride is under fire from all sides, my father’s authority is in question and my lover is in exile. Which means I haven’t laid eyes on Marc’s gorgeous face in months. And with a new mother “and” an I-know-everything teenager under my protection, I don’t exactly have time to fantasize about ever seeing him again.

Then our long-awaited reunion is ruined by a vicious ambush by strays. Now our group is under attack, Marc is missing and I will need every bit of skill and smarts to keep my family from being torn apart. Forever.

Buy Now: Amazon

This is another book I devoured in two reading sessions. Rachel Vincent sure knows how to suck in her reader, grab hold and not let go. What starts out as a simple mission soon turns into a cluster f*** of epic proportions.

I was really starting to like Faythe and sympathize with her but then, in classic Faythe style, she does something completely stupid that is clearly going to come back and bite her in the ass. Saying what she did would be a huge spoiler so I will refrain. It’s very frustrating reading from her point of view and the whole time thinking to myself “don’t do it!” and then she does it. *facepalm*

A lot of stuff happens in this book despite being relatively short (less than 400 pages) and it is very emotional at times. I can feel the build up happening to something big, involving not just Faythe but her entire Pride.

There are things I didn’t like about this book but I can’t say what they were without spoilers.

With that in mind, I rate this book 4/5 stars and eagerly jump into the next one!


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Pride – Shifters #3 – Rachel Vincent Review

PrideSynopsis (from Goodreads): I’m on trial for my life. Falsely accused of infecting my human ex-boyfriend–and killing him to cover up the crime. Infecting a human is one of three capital offenses recognized by the Pride–along with murder and disclosure of our existence to a human.I’m two for three. A goner.

Now we’ve discovered a rogue stray terrorizing the mountainside, hunting a wild teenage tabbycat. It’s up to us to find and stop him before a human discovers us. With my lover Marc’s help, I “think” I can protect the vulnerable girl from both the ambitious rogue and the scheming of the territorial council.

“If” I survive my own trial…

Buy Now: Amazon

This book was both awesome and frustrating. Going in, I was really anxious to discover what would happen to Faythe regarding her trial. Naturally, the author wasn’t just going to put the reader of their collect misery and tell us. Nope, she drew it out as long as possible, making it really hard to put the book down.

As other events surround them, mainly the discovery of strays in the neighboring woods and missing hikers, we get a new perspective on werecat society, mainly the politics of their society. Unfortunately, their ways, especially regarding women, are archaic, to say the least. To the majority, the women are seen merely as a vessel for the next generation of werecats. Something to be protected and kept sheltered at all costs. They are not meant to have an opinion and certainly not to voice it. they should pick a tomcat and start having babies as soon as possible.

Faythe can’t possibly fill that role. She has too much fire in her. She’s a leader and a fighter. She’s willing to put herself in danger to get the job done, to the horror of every male around her.

Funny though, often Faythe is “left behind” where she will be “safe” while all the men go out to face the big bad threat. Then, it turns out the threat is coming for Faythe while all the men are gone. And guess what? She kicks ass well before any back up shows up. A weak baby maker she is not.

Despite her flaws, mainly her out of control temper, Faythe is beginning to grow on me as a character. She’s learning from her past mistakes (of which there are many) and growing up little by little. The men need to wake up and realize that she doesn’t need to do be coddled all the time or locked up for her own protection.

I rate this book 4/5 stars because, while I couldn’t put it down, I was also very frustrated with how it went.

Have you read Pride? What did you think?


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Rogue – Shifters #2 – Rachel Vincent – Review

RogueSynopsis (from Goodreads): Okay, so cats don’t always land on their feet.

I know that better than most. Since rejoining the Pride, I’ve made big decisions and even bigger mistakes: the kind paid for with innocent lives. As the first and only female enforcer, I have plenty to prove to my father, the Pride, and myself. And with murdered toms turning up in our territory, I’m working harder than ever, though I always find the energy for a little after-hours recreation with Marc, my partner both on- and off-duty.

But not all of my mistakes are behind me. We’re beginning to suspect that the dead are connected to a rash of missing human women and that they can all be laid at my feet–two or four, take your pick. And one horrible indiscretion may yet cost me more than I can bear…

Buy Now: Amazon

Three months after the events in Stray, Faythe is settling into her life as enforcer working for her father. All seems well until dead strays start turning up in their territory. An innocent mistake comes back to haunt her and threaten to destroy everything.

This book has the feel of a good old fashioned murder mystery. While I dislike the cops-chasing-the-bad-guy kind of murder mystery, I love the kind that involves anything supernatural. It’s a weird distinction and I can’t really explain it.

Faythe has done a bit of growing up in the past three years. She’s even learned to keep her mouth shut – sometimes. She’s a smart girl who never gives up. She will fight until she can’t possibly fight anymore. However, as we find out a little bit more of the events in Faythe and Marc’s past, I still can’t help feeling that she’s a selfish person. She does know when she’s made a mistake and will apologize for it, but she also seems to think she’s somehow above certain things.

The one thing I really disliked about this book was the sex scene. I don’t particularly like sex scenes to begin with, especially if they dominate the book. This didn’t dominate the book but the circumstances around it were….uncomfortable. I don’t want to say too much as it will probably be a spoiler, but the whole scene was not how I think that situation would really go. I’m not sure if Marc is really in love with Faythe or if it’s just some kind of cat possession thing he’s got going.

Other than that, i really like this book. There’s a some good fight scenes and the few female characters that exist in this world can kick ass just as well as the men.

I rate this book 4/5 stars, and as it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, I’m eager to start book 3, Pride.

*This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to click on them I may receive a small compensation.


Stray – Shifters #1 – Rachel Vincent

StraySynopsis (from Goodreads): There are only eight breeding female werecats left…

And I’m one of them.

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I’d been warned about Strays — werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back… for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I’m no meek kitty. I’ll take on whatever — and whoever — I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays — ’cause I got claws, and I’m not afraid to use them…

Buy Now: Amazon

I really liked this book. The dynamic of the family and the Pride was interesting. More often, werewolves are the subject of Urban Fantasy, so it was nice to have a switch to werecats.

However, I really did not like Faythe. She’s not a character I can relate to or even sympathize with. I found her to be immature and often childish. If she wants to be taken seriously, she should maybe start with not calling her father “daddy” because that just makes her sound like a little girl. She often goes on about wanting freedom and independence but I think, given what she is, she can never really have that. At least, not the way she wants it. With her family and Pride she at least has the  freedom to not have to hide a huge part of who she is.

As the story progresses, Faythe does get better. She is a fighter, and at a time when most people would give up or wallow in self pity, she is determined to fight and to win. Near the end, she is a much more likable character. I hope her development continues in the next book.

Other than my dislike for Faythe, I don’t think there’s much else I didn’t like. As I said before, I really liked the dynamic of the Pride and that the Pride is family. I hope the next book will expand more on the cultural aspect of werecats.

Oh, and there are some questions I want answered, but I won’t say what they are because that would be a spoiler.

Overall, I rate this book 4/5 stars.

*this post contains affiliate links. If  you choose to click the links, I may receive a small compensation.

Fantasy Book Review – Bridge of Dreams – Ephemera #3 by Anne Bishop

Bridge of DreamsSynopsis (from Goodreads): When wizards threaten Glorianna Belladonna and her work to keep Ephemera balanced, her brother, Lee, sacrifices himself in order to save her—and ends up an Asylum inmate in the city of Vision, far away from all he knows.

But a darkness is spreading through Vision, perplexing the Shamans who protect it—and Lee is the only one who can shed any light on its mysteries….

Buy Now: Amazon

Anne Bishop is one of my favorite authors So, when she comes out with a new book, I buy it. No questions asked. I don’t even need to know what the book is about. Which means, I have fairly high expectations when it comes to her work. Well, I was definitely NOT disappointed with Bridge of Dreams.

Anne Bishop has created a unique and imaginative fantasy world in her Epehmera books. The concept that, not only is the world sentient and aware, it also has a personality and looks to those who can speak to it for guidance. The world actually responds to the wishes in people’s hearts and manifests them in an effort to make the people happy. That’s where the Landscapers come in. They guide the world to keep the balance.

This book focuses on the character of Lee, though Sebastian and Glorianna Belladonna are there too. Of course, there are also new characters that Lee meets during his story. Lee is a bit of a complex character. He’s spent most of his life using his abilities as a Bridge to help and protect his mother and sister, not really having a life of his own. After Glorianna’s adventure in her own book (Belladonna), she has returned a changed person. Lee is having problems dealing with that whole situation, which leads him to stumbling on a bunch of wizards who are trying to invade Glorianna’s Landscapes. Still loving and loyal to his sister, he does what he can to get the wizards as far away as possible – taking himself with them. And as is the nature of Ephemera, he ended up where he needed to be in order to heal himself and help people in need of his particular skills.

I can’t say that there was anything I didn’t like about this book. It had my attention the whole time and there wasn’t even a character that I hated or even disliked, except for those who were evil and were clearly meant to be disliked.

So, having said that, I’m giving this book a rating of 5/5 stars!

The book Bridge of Dreams also contains a short story, The Voice, that takes place in Ephemera. I won’t say much about it because i don’t want to spoil anything, but this short story was amazing! It tugged at the heart strings and really had me rooting for the characters to succeed.

I also rate The Voice 5/5 stars!

Thanks for reading! I’d love to read any comments you may have on this book, other books in the Ephemera series or any books by Anne Bishop!


*note that this post contains affliate links. Meaning that if you choose to click on the links I may receive a small compensation.