Mostly reading MM romance. Just sharing my love of books.
**** 4,5 fur and feathers stars ****
Audio edition, narrator Tristan James.
8 Hours and 36 minutes.
Cicero’s smile was brilliant as the sun coming from behind a cloud. “I knew you couldn’t resist,” he purred.
“Of course not. Who could resist you?” Tom teased.
“No one with any sense.”
What a great world building! In the prequel The 13th Hex I got just a taste of it, but in this full novel I was fully submerged. As I said in my review of The 13th Hex, the worlds feels like a mix up of the universe of Harry Potter (magic, ministry of Magic, spells etc), THIRDS series (shifters, and investigating paranormal crimes), and The Golden Compass (the shifters being the witches's familiars). All with Jordan L Hawk's own touch, though. It didn't feel copied, just inspired by, and what great inspirations!
I loved the historical setting, and the language. It's a delight read dirty talk in polite English.
“Shall I suck you? Let you fuck my arse, while we make magic together?”
Cicero is the cat shifter, Familiar, briefly seen in the prequel, who works for the MWP - Metropolitan Witch Police, but who hasn't found himself a witch to bond with yet. Bonding is for life, and can only be broken by the death of one of the two, so it's not to be taken lightly. Familiar can also be force-bonded to a witch against their will. Familiar is highly sought after since they are the magical "battery" to the witch's magic.
Cicero was an awesome character. I loved his attitude, quick wit and kohl rimmed eyes.
He had olive skin and black hair, carefully oiled and brushed until not a single strand was out of place. Kohl outlined yellow-green eyes, making their brilliant color even more startling.
Also, his used of the word "darling" was just the icing on the character cake.
“I don’t read the newspapers,” Cicero said with a sniff. “Terrible for the skin. Wrinkles, darling.”
Cicero is partnered up, unwillingly at first, with the patrolman Thomas Halloran who in recognize at once to be his mate witch. Thomas is everything Cicero don't want, at first glance, but he sees what a great man Thomas really is as time goes by.
Thomas has a big dark secret in his past. He holds another secret too, which I won't spoil since it's not in the blurb, but I enjoyed it immensely, and it's very important for the plot in the book.
The bad guys in the story was great. There was real motivation behind their actions, even though they were, you know, bad ones. I liked the political climate Hawk painted with the humans, witches and familiars, and the tensions they made with each other. She made a solid background for the story, and plot. I'm impressed!
I listened to the audio, narrated by Tristan James. He did a great job. He did a posh, and flirty English accent for Cicero, and pretty good Irish accent for Tom.
***** 5 staring the heck out of this *****
First read July 2015. Rating: barely 3 stars.
Second read October 2016. The highest of 5 stars.
Have you read lots of reviews for this book, but can't really make heads or tail of what to think of it? The ratings are high and low. In the reviews, people are either raving like crazy, or don't know what the heck the others are raving so crazily about.
The brilliance of this book AND series doesn't really hit you on the first time reading Love is a Stranger. You got to be patient, and you'll be richly rewarded by a couple and a love so strong it takes my breath away. You just have to get through this book first, hang in there, and continue the series.
When I first read this book, I didn't know what to think of it. The story line was all over the place, and included badgers, an aristocrat with ties to the (British) royal family, terrorist and a New Years Eve party gone bad, a large, shaggy dog from a shelter, a girl and her step-father, outright murder, viewing of houses to buy, Russian operatives, a burning house (oh, two burning houses actually), a three week camping "trip" at a deserted house, and one particular Russian Bad (?) guy, to name a few points in the story. This is all, amazingly, just the back drop to the real focus of the book, its main character Benjamin Rider and Nikolas Mikkelsen.
They are some of the most complex characters I ever had the pleasure to read. I just had to be patient and get know them, to get me to love them. Nik certainly didn't make it easy for me. I think he actively resents being liked as a character until you fall for him hard. Which I did.
Reading the book the second time, all my love for Ben and Nik made it easier to understand the goingons between them. Now I know why they act the way they did in Love is a Stranger. Hence the jump from 3 to 5 stars. Because I cannot in good conscience not rate this book, series and characters less.
Please give this series a try, or another try if you've only read the first book.
Love is a Stranger is like a wardrobe. A beautiful, intricately carved wardrobe, but a wardrobe just the same, on the first read through. Inside the wardrobe, is "Narnia", but you wouldn't know until you've opened it up. Looking at the wardrobe knowing what's inside (re-reading it), makes you look at it in a totally new way. That is Love is a Stranger for me.
**** 4 ghostly stars ****
Audio edition, narrated by Jack LeFleur.
10 hours and 6 minutes.
This was a re-read for me with the audio. I read this book three years ago, and I remember liking it, so I thought I'd check out the audio.
Detective Matt Bennett gets called out to a crime scene at Christmas Eve, where the murdered child appears to him as a ghost, and shows him where her body is hidden. This leads him into contact with the medium Kiernan Fitzpatrick. The very hot medium. Matt Bennett is still dealing with his loss of his partner and boyfriend over a year and a half ago, so he's thrown for a loop meeting Kiernan. They start out investigating the case of the murdered girl.
I really liked Matt and Kiernan's chemistry. I liked how they got to know each other, and Kiernan's easy going nature seem to "thaw" Matt's rigid emotional state. They were sweet and hot together. The build up was nice and slow, and very satisfying when they got together.
The case was also interesting due to the paranormal element. The bad guy wasn't that obvious, and I couldn't remember who it was since the last time I've read it, so I was guessing along with Matt and Kiernan.
I feel the narrator did a good job narrating. He's voice for Matt was deep, slow and raspy. A perfect "detective" voice. Kiernan's was lighter, and he had a slight Irish tilt or accent. I really liked that. It was easy to distinguish between the main character, and the secondary characters.
All in all, a great audio, good mystery and a sweet romance.
**** 4 hexing stars ****
"Then shall we celebrate by making a different sort of magic?"
"I thought you'd never ask."
This was great! A very promising start to this new series.
The story plot felt a bit too big fit into just this short story, but I regard this more of a taste than a stand alone story.
The world build was just fantastic. It was a mix up of the universe of Harry Potter (magic, ministry of Magic, spells etc), THIRDS (shifters, and investigsting paranormal crimes), and The Golden Compass (the shifters being the witches's familiars).
I can't wait to read more!
*** 3 literally into you stars ***
I liked it. Unfortunately, it didn't wow me as I thought it would after all the great reviews and high ratings.
I had a break from reading it halfway, and picked it up days later and finished.
It was a bit confusing to keep up with who was actually who, and I had to constantly remind myself. For instance when Scott was "talking", reading his POV, I had to continually chant for myself, "Scott in Olly's body, Scott in Olly's body" When Olly was in the scene, the chanting intensified. Scott in Olly's body, Olly in Scott's body, Olly in Scott's body, Scott in Scott's body... Wait, what, no that last one was wrong,wasn't it? See what I mean? I think it exhausted me.
It was a cute story, and a great plot. Maybe it was just me and my mood this time. I don't know. But three stars it is.
Radulf was clearly fascinated by Devon. He'd pulled his head in on the motorway, his jowls in imminent danger of detatching, but now, winding around the narrow lanes, he had his face to the wind with grinning trails of saliva streaming out and messing the rear window. Ben smiled at him in the mirror.
LOL, ahhh, Radulf. Best dog in the world. ;)