Truly Heroic PRINCE OF AIR AND DARKNESS–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a M/M fantasy romance from M. A. Grant. PRINCE OF AIR AND DARKNESS is the first book in her Darkest Court series.

About the book:
Phineas Smith has been cursed with a power no one could control.
Roark Lyne is his worst enemy and his only hope.

The only human student at Mather’s School of Magick, Phineas Smith has a target on his back. Born with the rare ability to tap into unlimited magick, he finds both Faerie Courts want his allegiance—and will do anything to get it.

They don’t realize he can’t levitate a feather, much less defend the Faerie Realm as it slips into civil war.

Unseelie Prince Roark Lyne, Phineas’s roommate—and self-proclaimed arch nemesis—is beautiful and brave and a pain in the ass. Phineas can’t begin to sort through their six years of sexual tension masquerading as mutual dislike. But Roark is also the only one able to help Finn tame his magick.

Trusting Roark’s mysterious motives may be foolish; not accepting his temporary protection would be deadly.

Caught in the middle of the impending war, Phineas and Roark forge a dangerous alliance. And as the walls between them crumble, Phineas realizes that Roark isn’t the monster he’d imagined. But their growing intimacy threatens to expose a secret that could either turn the tide of the war…or destroy them both.

My Review:
Phineas Smith is the only human at Mather’s School for Magick. He doesn’t have magick, per se, instead he can pull the magick of ley lines through the earth, a rare and dangerous talent. No one can remember the last human who could do so, and its universally acknowledged that Finn is the oldest living human to wield this power. All previous persons died young due to lack of control–not that Finn’s really controlling things. And, he has to call upon the ley lines to rescue himself time and again from beings bent on capturing him and using him as a power conduit of their own. One of these beings is the Unseelie Queen, who happens to be his roommate Roark’s mother.

Prince Roark Lyne is the Unseelie liaison on campus. He’s gruff and challenging, especially to Finn, but they share an undercurrent of sexula tension that belies all of their interactions. Roark is centuries old, and powerful but it seems that he and Finn have a bit of synergy and symbiosis that allow their powers to mend in ways that could turn the tide of the oncoming Fae war. Their partnership could dissolve if Finn can’t handle the secret that Roark is hiding from him.

The sexual dynamic seems to hover between fated mates and enemies-to-lovers, what with the longstanding animosity, the constant rescues and challenges, and the secret nature of their budding relationship. I thought the fantasy elements were fresh and interesting, and there are lots of cool chararcters to round out the fantasy. It was cool to see the parent-child dynamic here, with its inherent imbalance in power, as Roark brushes against and battles with his mother’s controlling ways to benefit Finn.

This is the first story in the series so, while there is some wrap-up and a resolution to the romance question, we still have a lot of intrigue and tension due to the impending Fae war. Pacing was a bit slow to begin, but really picked up as we approached the climax, and I found myself reading late into the night to get to the end. Finn and Roark do find their happiness, sometimes with explosive results, and their power issues seem to be settled for the moment. I liked the story and would definitely read on in the series.

Interested? You can find PRINCE OF AIR AND DARKNESS on Goodreads, Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and and Kobo.

About the Author:
M.A. Grant has always loved reading and writing, but fell in love with the romance genre when she started working at an independent bookstore in high school. After meeting her husband in college, they began a steady northward migration and are now happily living in the rugged beauty of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. When she’s not calling out to passing ravens or making a cup of tea, she’s writing dark and moving stories.

Catch up with Ms. Grant on her website, Facebook, and twitter.

CRANE is Killer–A Review

Legends Saga Book 1

Hi all! Thought I’d share with you my thoughts on a New Adult Horror/Romance from Stacey Rourke. I really liked her Gryphon series, and wanted to get her latest books so bad, I went to, perhaps, extremes.

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Yessss….that’s me donning my “Crane-face” in support of the book’s release a few weeks back and to win some swag. I’m a goof, I freely admit that.

CRANE is a modern reimagination of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Stacey Rourke is “bringing it back” and, yes, heads do roll…

CraneAbout the book:
The Horseman is unending,
his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse,
you become the legend.

Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep.

What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?

Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse.

But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides?

My Review:
Ireland Crane has just taken a job in Tarrytown. She’s a high school counselor escaping her former lover–a rich, egotistical, cheating jack wagon named Brantley. So, she’s not really keen on a new romance with her delicious landlord/neighbor Noah Van Tassel. They opt for “friendship” which is good, because life is about to get very complicated for Ireland.

Ichabod Crane is looking for a fresh start. Joined by his fellow Revolutionary War veterans, Rip Van Winkle and Washington Irving, Ichabod is set to become schoolmaster in Tarrytown. He’s totally attracted to Katrina Van Tassel, but knows he could never woo such a wealthy beautiful girl. Plus, she’s spoken for.

These two stories intersect. When Ichabod and Ireland arrive in Tarrytown so does The Headless Horseman and his fearsome sword and axe.

Weeks following Ireland’s arrival a Van Tassel is killed, the name “Crane” carved into his chest. Instant suspect, anyone? And, when Ireland finds a squatter in her home, she’s more than freaked. Yes, waking a real-live Rip Van Winkle after a 200+ year sleep would give any modern gal quite a turn.

Ichabod experiences a different horror–the woman he admires greatly seems to be the target of the Horseman’s hunt. Katrina loses her father, her stepmother and a servant, before we learn who is pulling the Horseman’s reins–but it is Ichabod’s heroism that ends the cycle of violence in his time.

For Ireland, she’s losing time. Periods of it, usually at night, seem to disappear in a haze of night terrors–until Rip finds the cause. Meanwhile, one of Ireland’s students is killed, and D-bag Brantley is attacked, too. It soon becomes clear that someone is using Ireland’s blood to call the Horseman forth and, before long, Noah’s life is on the block. Rip’s steadfast desire to save Ireland is only matched by his humor and his narcolepsy–the dude passes out cold whenever he gets spooked leading to some laugh-worthy moments. With Ichabod’s history repeating in Ireland’s present, can she gain control of the monster within, or will she replace Ichabod in a tragic horrific turn?

The story is fast-paced and chock full of quick humor–at times I felt like I was reading a Mel Brooks screenplay–all the deadpan digs just cut me up. There are lots of breadcrumbs left behind to be woven into the sequel, RAVEN, but this story ends with a satisfactory resolution. RAVEN will be a new journey, for Ireland, Rip and a love interest. All romantic interludes are conducted behind closed doors, so it’s YA-safe…

Interested? You can find CRANE on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

black&whiteimageAbout the Author:

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel.

Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012.

Stacey Rourke is the author of the YA Fantasy Gryphon Series and the nonfiction autobiographical I’m Not Crazy, I’m on Lupron; a Journey Through Infertility. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, drooly dogs. Stacey loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of the Gryphon Series as well as other literary projects.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Thanks for stopping in! And, keep reading my friends! 🙂

Juliana Haygert DOUBLE Cover Reveal

Soul Oath (Everlast #2)
Expected pub date: Nov/25/2013
Length: ~80,000 words
Summary from Goodreads:
It’s been three months since Nadine last heard from Victor, Micah or Ceris, allowing her to concentrate on her own life. But until Victor and Micah find the scepters that will restore them as true gods, their human bodies will require her healing touch and it’s only a matter of time until they wreak havoc on her life again.
 
As if to prove that, Victor shows up at the hospital dragging along with him a swarm of demons. Nadine is forced to flee to safety. Despite her attempts to keep her loved ones protected, the demons find her, and they bring her to Imha, the goddess of Chaos.


 


Now, confronted by her greatest fear, Nadine finds a new motivation. Vengeance. And when seeking revenge, no risk is too great, including her own life.

 

**New Adult Fantasy Novel**
***
Cup of Life (Everlast, #2.5)
Expected pub date: Nov/25/2013
Lenght: ~15,000 words
Summary from Goodreads:
His existence would mean nothing without her.
Book One:
(linked to Goodreads)
About the Author:
New Adult author and contributor at NA Alley blog.
While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

Author Links:
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Cover Reveal
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