Saturday, December 28, 2013

Review: Chain of Shadows by Steven Montano

The barrier between worlds has been broken, and the invasion is about to begin.

Eric Cross, burdened by the loss of those who’ve died under his command, must lead his recently reunited mercenary team against the shadow wolf sorcerers known as the Maloj. Bound to dire artifact blades and charged with protecting the Kindred, Cross seeks help from the enigmatic White Mother, leader of the Southern Claw.

But sinister forces bring his vessel down in a strange and distant land, and soon Cross and his allies are beset by undead armies vying for control of the deadly region called the Chain of Shadows. Trapped in a desert waste where wielding magic is dangerous and nothing is as it seems, Cross’s team will pay the ultimate price in their battle to finally get home...

Return to the world After the Black in this pivotal 6th book of the BLOOD SKIES saga!

Helpful Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Website

My Review

Chain of Shadows starts with a bang as we are thrown right into the thick of it with Cross and his team running for their lives! Something dark has definitely landed and it is hunting Cross and his team, only they don't realize it until it is much too late. 

The road for Cross and his team of mercenaries has definitely been a hard one with members of the team dropping like flies it is hard to tell just who is going to make it out of this hellacious war alive. Every time I picked up Chain of Shadows I would turn into a huge ball of nerves and anxiety as I waited for the doom, death and destruction that I knew would come. After all it is war. And as Steven Montano reminds us war is not pretty and even the good guys have to die. But that didn't stop my fears. That didn't stop me from hoping and praying that my favorite characters Cross, Danica, Ronan, Maur, Shiv and Flint would make it. 

I know these are irrational fears, but if you read the Blood Skies series at all then you know that anything can happen in this world and that it usually does. And it of course will find Cross and his team. It never seems to fail. These guys just can't catch their breath. I think these characters are in serious need of a nice relaxing vacation on the beach, but alas I know it is not in the cards for these fearless mercenaries. Someone has to stop the darkness from consuming the world. And there is absolutely no one better than Cross and his team. I know that but it doesn't hurt any less when they get hurt, which in Chain of Shadows is a lot I'm afraid. 

I am so hooked to these characters. I feel like I have known them forever and in a sense I have known them quite a long time. When the series just started Cross was new and still learning, I was just learning the ropes of the series as well, but by Chain of Shadows Cross is an experienced warrior who looks death in the eye on a regular basis and lives to tell the tale. He is scarred physically and mentally and is the glue that holds the team together and now I am a pro at the series too. And like Cross I can't bear anything bad happening to this crew of misfit mercenaries. 

When Steven Montano develops characters he makes it into an art form. Making them real with flaws, fears, and limits. His characters though they are the hero's aren't perfect and that's what makes them so easy to connect with they are just as likely to die as any supporting character. And that is just not something you find in a lot of books now days. 

There were so many close calls, uncertainties and almosts in Chain of Shadows I thought I was going to die of a heart attack before it was all said and done. The danger in Chain of Shadows is unlike anything they have faced before and that ups my level of anxiety to nuclear levels. Now they face a vicious dark being called the Maloj, shadow wolf sorcerers that are determined to destroy the world as they know it. But they aren't the only danger lurking in the shadows, but they are a very real threat. A threat that another group of evil baddies wants to use. And it is because of these groups that they end up fighting for their lives and the world in a strange land. They are tested like never before and each of them begins to question whether or not it's all worth it. 

But there is a glimmer of happiness in their desolate and dark world a small one, but it was enough to almost make me leap off my couch and shout with glee! In what is sure to be an historical moment between Cross and Danica my heart soared and I smiled from ear to ear, finally the moment we all have been waiting for, one that was so well deserved and a long time coming. But now I sit waiting for the other shoe to drop, biting my nails as I have even more to lose. (Funny, those are the the exact same thoughts Danica had after this awesome moment)

This team is absolutely amazing. They are a solid well oiled machine that act as a part of each other, almost like they are all pieces of a puzzle. As individual pieces they are all strong, durable, unique, and powerful; but when you put them together they can be unstoppable. And with the addition of Shiv to their team I can only imagine the things they will conquer in the future. You want to talk about kick butt characters, Shiv takes the cake. She is almost stronger than all the team together, but she is young and needs the help and guidance of the team to carry her through. Shiv grew exponentially in Chain of Shadows growing from that young uncertain girl to a confidant Kindred in the blink of an eye. Of course we are still learning just what a Kindred is, but from what we have seen I know it is something awesome!

As with all the Blood Skies books there were twists and turns and completely unexpected things happening around every corner and just when you thought you knew what was going to happen, Steven Montano would pull the rug out from under you and remind you that absolutely anything can happen. 

Chain of Shadows was dark, twisted, and so full of nail biting moments I don't have any nails left. Steven Montano really knows how to take you to the brink and let you hang. The holy crapballs moment at the end of Chain of Shadows solidifies his stance as the king of the unexpected. There is no way I saw that ending coming and I can't even begin to imagine what it all means or where this story is going now.

Chain of Shadows is exhilarating, action packed, dark, and as twisted as a pretzel. It will give you heart palpitations, make you shout for joy, and quiver in a corner. It is darkness as only Steven Montano can write and it will make you cry for more. This has now taken reign as my favorite in the series! You all seriously need to jump on this dark bandwagon and find out what this is all about!

"You always come back. And you always will." (Kindle, loc 375). 

I couldn't have said it better myself! I think this sums up Cross quite nicely. He does always come back. Of course this is not my only favorite moment. The one I really want to share with you I can't because it would totally ruin it. But I can tell you that my favorite moments starts on location 5217 in the kindle edition. Trust me you'll know it when you read it :)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Top 10 of 2013: The 2014 Book I'm Looking Forward to! *edited*

Well today is the last day of this year's Top 10 of 2013 and as usual I had a total blast! Thank you to  Rachel @ FiktshunJaime @ Two Chicks On BooksLisa @ A Life Bound By Books, and Mindy @ Magical Urban Fantasy Reads for hosting such an awesome event! I look forward to this one every year!

Of course there are a ton of books coming out in 2014 so many that I want to get my hands on, some that I know about and a ton, and I do mean a ton that I don't even know of yet. But that's what these awesome lists are for, for me to discover other books I need to read. So allow me to show you some books that I think you should pick up next year. Books that I will definitely be picking up!

1. Path of Bones (The Skullborn Trilogy #2) by Steven Montano

I most definitely will be purchasing this amazing book. And if you are a fan of fantasy, and if you haven't already started this series then you need to. Go on check out City of Scars (The Skullborn #1) why don't you!

2. Sweet Requiem (Sweet #3) by Bailey Ardisone

I can't wait to get more of this series! Seriously this series is amazing! You need to start it if you haven't. Plus I get more Mycah and Rydan (two of my book boyfriends for 2013) hehehe.

3. Never Let You Go (The Prophecy of Tyalbrook #2) by Michelle G. Miller

Xander, Xander, Xander! Seriously it is all about Xander. No it's not, but he is definitely a nice bonus package. This series has it all and is an awesome fantasy tale for everyone! Start it....NOW!

4. Wings of Lomay (Solus #4) by Devri Walls

Finally, I will get my hands on this book! I feel like I have been waiting forever. But I will say that finally getting my hands on this book is bitter sweet. On one hand I will finally get all my answers, but on the other hand I will have to say goodbye to characters that I have grown deeply attached to. I know there will be tears. I'm a sucker like that! 

5. Vampire Down (Blood Skies #7) by Steven Montano

Unfortunately there is no promise of this books release being in 2014, but if I know Steven Montano I will have book 7 of this highly addicting fantasy series in my hand by the end of the year. And I do so want it! I love this series and can't get enough of the darkness that Steven writes so well.

6. Misunderstandings (Woodfalls Girls #2) by Tiffany King

No one plays with my emotions like Tiffany King. She makes me mad, happy, hot and bothered, frustrated, pissed and sad! All in one book and she does it every single freaking time! But I wouldn't trade it for the world and after No Attachments I know I have to read this one!

7. Bad Blood (Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter #3) by Nikki Jefford

Nikki Jefford killed me with the ending of Northern Bites so it is only natural that I am biting my nails waiting for this one to come out. I need to know what happened! Do you hear me Nikki, I need to know!!! 

8. Illusion (Chronicles of Nick #5) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I am a huge fan of Nick and absolutely can't wait to get more of his amazing laugh out loud story. READ IT!

Well there you have it, my top...8 books I am definitely going to be buying in 2014. But before I go I want to leave you with a few hopes for 2014...some books I want to have in my hands.

First I would love to have a new book from my favorite author, M.R. Merrick and I mean anything. I don't care what kind of story or what kind of characters. I just miss his amazing talent. And I need more of that in my book world.

Second, I hope to get the next book in the Psion Series (book 5 to be exact) by Jacob Gowans because let's face it we all need a little more Sammy in our lives! (If you don't know who Sammy is then I suggest you run out and buy this series).

And of course I can't wait for the next installment in The Midnight Society by Logan Patricks. Book 1 Semblance blew me away! Seriously out of the freaking water! I need book 2...NOW!

Though I want another installment in the Mythology series (oh I really do, I really, really do. *Begs Helen for more*) I am also looking forward to Helen Boswell's upcoming NA Dark Romance. We all know how well Helen does darkness so of course I can't wait!

And finally I hope to get more amazing books, from authors I know and love like the ones mentioned above, but also from new authors I have yet to meet. But I am pretty sure that's all of our hopes!

So do any of my upcoming books make your list?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Top 10 of 2013: Book Boyfriends

Hello, hello, hello! I see you all survived the holidays! Congratulations! Today is my favorite topic for the years top 10.....Book Boyfriends. *sigh* That's right ladies, the topic we all love to discuss. The topic that both unites us and puts on opposite sides; but in a strictly fun way, the topic to end all topics. Yes, book boyfriends are that serious.

As you can tell I take the topic of book boyfriends very seriously, what girl doesn't and there is no shortage of good ones this year. Which makes this list incredibly difficult, but I am willing to agonize over hundreds and hundreds of hot guys in order to narrow the list down to ten. I promise I will leave no detail untouched ;)

So shall we?! Prepare your napkins ladies, because it's drool time......

1.  Chase Williams from Endure (The Protector #4) by M.R. Merrick

I know what you're thinking...and yes Endure is that freaking good, this series is that freaking good and Chase is that freaking good. And it saddens me to say that this will be the last year that this series will grace my Top 10 lists of the year as this series is now over. So I am sending this series out with a bang! 

So why do I love Chase? There about a hundred reasons really but I am going to put it like this. Chase is a fierce fighter even when the odds are stacked against him and fights for what he truly believes is right. He is loyal to a fault, and once he calls you friend, family or innocent he will do anything to protect you, even if it means paying the ultimate price. He is the guy you want fighting beside you, the guy you yell at, laugh with, cheer for and even cry for; he is Chase, the Protector and I will miss him deeply. Good thing I can read this series again and again!

2. Dean from Defiance (Affliction #3) by Raven

Dean is the ultimate vampire hunter. He was built to kill, trained to be lethal and all vampires know his name and fear him more than they fear sunlight. Because seeing Dean means certain death. He is the most dangerous thing out at night, fast as lightning, lethal as a bullet, and can melt your heart with one simple look. He has looks that rival any God. Dean is definitely hard to resist.

3. Mycah Nightly from Sweet Escape (Sweet #2) by Bailey Ardisone


Mycah is dangerous, sly as a fox, and sexy as hell. He can both break and melt your heart with just one look (okay not really, but it seems that way). He is passionate, powerful, strong and incredibly relentless. He will stop at nothing to avenge the wrong in his world and no one better stand in his way! He is definitely not the person you want to cross and is the hottest thing in elves since Legolas from Lord of the Rings. Legolas, who needs Legolas when Mycah's around?!

4. Rydan from Sweet Escape (Sweet #2) by Bailey Ardisone

And when you mention Mycah you have to include his incredibly sexy other half, Rydan. Rydan and Mycah are exact opposites. Well except for the fact that they are both lethal and hot. But that is where the similarities end. Rydan is sweet, gentle, warm and kind hearted. He is loyal, strong, and incredibly talented. He plays the guitar and can rival any concert pianist on stage, music fills his soul and his soul is sweet. I know he can warm my soul any time he wants :)

5. Emane from Wings of Nestor (Solus #3) by Devri Walls

First let me say that Emane is a Prince, so he is cocky, self assured, and stubborn as hell, but he is also loyal, fierce, dedicated, and a prince at heart. He would give anything for his kingdom and the one he loves. He will fight no matter who his enemies are, even when he is seriously out numbered. Emane is kind hearted and is a true romantic. I know if Kiora doesn't want him, she can always throw him my way!

6. Finn from Hearken (Daughters of the Sea #4) by Kristen Day

Finn is the leader of the Sons of Daimon which basically means that if you mess with him, you die. It's that simple. Finn is protective of what and who he loves, unyielding, and mysterious in that drive you crazy, leave you up all night way. He controls the coolest elements and has a connection with freaking sharks! Now how cool is that? He is a warrior, but he also knows how to love.

7. Kale from Immortal Heart (Few Are Angels 0.5) by Inger Iversen

Kale is a Chory, on his way to becoming a full fledged vampire. But Kale doesn't let that stop him from seeking the one thing that has eluded him his entire immortal life, Helene, or Ella as she is known in this lifetime. Kale is one of those absolute hopeless romantics. He has been searching for his love his entire immortal life. Doesn't that melt the heart?! But don't let that romanticism fool you. Kale is also an incredible fighter. He is dark, mysterious and dangerous, but he would give anything to be with the one he loves.

8. Shadow Tremaine from Semblance (The Midnight Society #1)  by Logan Patricks

Shadow is a God in his world and as such is quite arrogant and even a bit rude. Shadow is brash and cheeky and he always get's what he wants. He is a man out for revenge. But underneath all that money and power lies a huge heart. He is romantic, sweet and gentle. Well to those he loves. But don't let his God like looks fool you because Shadow is not afraid to get dirty and when it comes to protecting the ones he loves there is no getting dirty enough. And hello, have you seen him?

9. Nathan Lockton from No Attachments (Woodfalls Girls #1) by Tiffany King

Nathan Lockton is sexy. He is dedicated, loyal, mysterious, and deeply romantic and he is willing to risk everything for the chance at love. And once he loves you, he will always love you.

9. Hunter from Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Hunter is one hell of a drop dead gorgeous Alien and he knows it. He is arrogant, ruthless and likes control. But one look at him and what he is capable of and you won't mind bending to his will. He is as fierce as any warrior and will do anything to protect what is his, anything.

10. Zeke from The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa

Zeke is fiercely loyal. He is a hunter, is protective, lethal, kind, and would give anything for the one he loves. He is survivor in a world where humans life expectancy is very low. He can definitely stand on his own and fight as a team, plus it helps that he is good to look at. ;)

Honorable Mention

This last one I am doing as an honorable mention only because I can't count it. Unfortunately I did not read this book in 2013, I own it, but have not had the chance to read it, but this character definitely deserves to be on here. I did read Mythology (Mythology #1) this year and that is where I fell in love with one Micah Condie. 

Micah Condie from Mythology: The Wicked (Mythology #2) by Helen Boswell

Micah makes being a demon look so very very good. He is unbelievably loyal, sweet, kind, gentle, and really wouldn't hurt a fly. Well unless he had to. He walks a fine line between light and dark, but his heart is full of light. He is fiercely loyal and strong and would do anything for the ones he loves. All I can say is that Micah makes being bad wickedly delicious! 

So there they are, the boys that have kept me entertained all year. The one's that I will go into the New Year thinking about. And some of them are the ones all future book boyfriends will be measured up against.

So who made your list this year? Want any of mine to keep you warm? I share, promise.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Top 10 of 2013: Best Covers of 2013

Welcome to day 2 of the Top 10 of 2013, hosted by Rachel @ FiktshunJaime @ Two Chicks On BooksLisa @ A Life Bound By Books, and Mindy @ Magical Urban Fantasy Reads! Join this event and share all the bookish awesomeness from 2013.

Today is one of my favorite covers and today I get to share my favorite from the year 2013! Yes I am one of those people that judges a book by its cover. Let's be honest here, we all know that we eat with our eyes first! Ha! Okay, cheesy I know, but after all I do call myself the devourer. Ready to see what covers made the cut? I know I am....

Just a note all the covers featured on my list are also books I have read in 2013 except for one (I will tell you about it when I get there). 

1. Endure (The Protector #4) by M.R. Merrick 

I know no one is surprised this one made the list. 
But just look at that cover! It is absolutely gorgeous and fits perfectly with the story. I just love all the covers for this series. M.R. Merrick has some of my favorite all time covers.

2. Wings of Nestor (Solus #3) by Devri Walls

Do I really need to explain why this one made my list? I mean come on just look at that cover!
It's magical, breathtaking and gives the appearance of movement. And who wouldn't want
to get to know the guy on the cover?!

3. Sweet Escape (Sweet #2) by Bailey Ardisone

Gorgeous right?! Breathtaking, elegant and serene!

4. The Witch's Eye (Blood Skies #5) by Steven Montano

I love this cover. Smokey, gorgeous and mesmerizing. The eye draws you in and doesn't
let you go. Absolutely fitting of the story within!

5. In the Blood by Sara Hantz

The cover is very haunting and full of emotion. The minute I saw it
I knew I had to know the story and it didn't
disappoint either.

6. Defiance (Affliction #3) by Raven 

*sigh* I was so happy when I saw this cover, finally Dean (the hot guy on the cover, 
who is also the best vampire hunter around) was getting a cover
dedicated to him!!! *le sigh* 
Look at him? I wouldn't mess with him, not if I were a vampire anyway! ;)

7. Psion Alpha (Psion #4) by Jacob Gowans

I love this cover. It's edgy, dark and screams danger, like a warning sign. 
I have not read this book yet, but I have read and 
loved every other book in the series. I will read this one very, very soon!

8. Semblance (The Midnight Society #1) by Logan Patricks

I really don't know what to say about this one other than wow! It is so different.
How many other people put a woman as a diamond?
I love the symbolism that she represents, just beautiful, like the story within.

9. Immortal Heart (Few Are Angels 0.5) by Inger Iversen

Heart-stirring, dark, sort of creepy, stunning!

10. Death of the Mad Hatter by Sarah J Pepper

This one is quirky and fun. It is totally different and is Wonderland!

There you have it my Top 10 Book Covers of 2013. What covers made your list?

Top 10 of 2013: Best Books I've Read in 2013

So today is day 1 of the Top 10 of 2013 hosted by Rachel @ FiktshunJaime @ Two Chicks On BooksLisa @ A Life Bound By Books, and Mindy @ Magical Urban Fantasy Reads! Join this event and share all the bookish awesomeness from 2013.

It is always hard to pick my favorite things and when people ask me to do it I experience a brief moment of panic so imagine my panic when I found out the topic for the 1st day of the event? Oh that's right I haven't told you the topic yet. Well then allow me to share my panic with you. Today we have to pick the Best Books we've Read in 2013. I know impossible right?! Exactly what I said, especially when you have read as many amazing books as I have!

But alas, I had to do it. I had to reduce my list of blow my mind books to 10! Of course there are a few honorable mentions because I couldn't bear to leave them out!

Drum roll.......

1. Endure (Protector Series #4) by M.R. Merrick my all time favorite book of the year!!! Yea no surprise I know :)

2. Inferno (Chronicles of Nick #4) by Sherrilyn Kenyon was yet again an absolute blast to read! Great laugh and great fun!

3. Semblance (The Midnight Society #1) by Logan Patricks. I only just finished reading this book a couple of days ago, but I can't stop thinking about this freaking book and how amazing it was! Seriously need to read this!

4. City of Scars (The Skullborn Trilogy #1) by Steven Montano. Amazing worlds, amazing action, amazing fantasy. Need I say more?

5. Sweet Escape (Sweet Series #2) by Bailey Ardisone. Great fantasy story about elves and magic! Yummy, hot elves! Hello, this book gave my Mycah and Rydan!!!

6. Mythology (Mythology #1) by Helen Boswell the beginning of the series that gave me a demon that makes being dark so delicious in the form of Micah! 

7. Wings of Arian (Solus #1) by Devri Walls. Actually this is more like the entire series. Magic, shape shifters, book boyfriends, Oh my!

8. Songs from the Phenomenal Nothing by Steven Luna was gut wrenching and yes, phenomenal! 

9. Never Let You Fall (The Prophecy of Tyalbrook #1) by Michelle G. Miller even though I read this book in June I still think about Xander and the world of Tyalbrook. I need the next one!!!!

10. Option to Kill (Nathan McBride #3) by Andrew Peterson....BOOM! Um, can I you say non-stop action, suspense, and thrills??

And just a few honorable mentions.....

Inborn  (The Sagas of Di'Ghon #1) by J. Lawrence great fantasy, great world building and dragons!

Miss Me Not by Tiffany King this book left me an emotional mess and is an absolute must read! But really this applies to everything that Tiffany King writes, she can rip your heart out with just a few words!

Well there you have it, my top 10....or 12 Best reads of 2013. Technically there are way more than that, but I had to stop myself before my list turned into 50 or more :)

So, what books make your list this year? Do we have any in common?