Friday, June 29, 2018

The Breaker Series - (The Breaker 1 - 10) by Jeon Geuk-Jin, Park Jin-Hwan

Title: The Breaker (Volumes 1 - 10)
Author: Jeon Geuk-Jin - Illustrator Park Jin-Hwan
Publication Date(s): August 2007

About the Series
The new English teacher, Chun-Woo, is not your ordinary teacher. Shioon, a victim of constant bullying, unexpectedly witnesses Chun-Woo's fighting power, and begs him to make him his disciple. Chun-Woo claims he can teach Shioon only if he is truly determined, and Shioon must jump off a bridge into a deep river in order to prove it!

It turns out, however, that Chun-Woo and his powers are more than meets the eye. Shioon makes a grand entrance into the hidden world of martial arts, and he is about to be taught by the best there is ...

The Review

If this reader was to express that the series was an absolutely thrilling read, then that would be an understatement.  The reader of the series is treated to absolutely fabulous artwork and one heck of a storyline.  

As a reader, it is always good if the author can make the audience relate to the characters and this poor kid Shioon ... the reader's heart just breaks for him.  Not just break but righteous anger on this characters behalf because there is the thought that someone's kid may be actually experiencing something similar to Shioon.  Then there is the anti-hero, Chun-Woo and all of the baggage he drags with him.  Chun-Woo is the good guy that can't really afford to be nice but it is really nice to see the relationship development between the two main characters and it lures the reader to believe that this Chun-Woo guy isn't really that bad.

With the combination of artwork, action sequences and good storytelling The Breaker is a very good candidate for enjoyable binge reading.  Readers must be aware that in some volumes that there seemed to be some translation/wording issues but this shouldn't hinder the readers enjoyment of the story.  

Monday, June 18, 2018

Southern Discomfort (A Southern B&B Mystery #1) by Caroline Fardig

Southern Discomfort (A Southern B&B Mystery #1)Southern Discomfort by Caroline Fardig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Book
Southern hospitality meets deadly deception in the start of a charming new mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of the Java Jive novels.

Quinn Bellandini loves her life in Savannah, Georgia, where she runs her grandfather’s B&B with her sister, Delilah. From baking fresh scones and serving up grits every morning to ensuring the guests see the best of their historic city, Quinn can’t imagine doing anything else—even if it means dealing with nuisances like the occasional malfunctioning commode. But when Quinn drops by the local restaurant owned by her friend Drew Green, and stumbles upon a murder, her whole world comes crashing down.

Drew’s brother was always a little surly, but Quinn can’t imagine that someone disliked the prickly chef enough to kill him. The police, on the other hand, don’t believe that Quinn was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Before her guests can even digest the next morning’s gourmet breakfast, Quinn learns that she and Drew are suspects.

Drew thinks they should do some investigating of their own. Quinn is pretty sure she’s better suited to playing hostess than amateur sleuth. But with Delilah as her cynical sidekick, Quinn starts looking for the real killer—before she gets put away faster than you can say “sugar.”

Don’t miss Caroline Fardig’s thrilling Java Jive mysteries, which can be read together or separately:

“I was hooked from the first page. I loved it!”—Dorothy Cannell, award-winning author of the Ellie Haskell mysteries, on Death Before Decaf

“This series is delightful, well written, and wildly entertaining.”—Suspense Magazine

The Review
Quinn Bellandini leads a pretty average life and her days are filled with running her families B&B with her sister (Delilah), grandfather and her dead great-uncle Frank. Set in the beautiful backdrop of Savannah, GA, as readers we get to stumble along with Quinn as she tries to figure out who stabbed her friend's (Drew) ill-tempered brother in the back. The author (Caroline Fardig) skillfully weaves an who-done-it where the reader, along with the heroine carefully fit together the pieces that tragically lead up to the victim's death. Like any good murder mystery, the cast of secondary characters included in this first entry could all be possible suspects and it was enjoyable to guess ahead (trying to zero in on the suspect). The author added some mild romantic elements with very little drama associated with it. The conflict that revolved around the romantic entanglements were too easily resolved and this element could have added another juicy layer to the mystery. Overall, a good read.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing this Arc in exchange for an honest review

About the Author

CAROLINE FARDIG is the USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR of the Java Jive Mysteries series and the Lizzie Hart Mysteries series. Fardig's BAD MEDICINE was named one of the "Best Books of 2015" by Suspense Magazine. She worked as a schoolteacher, church organist, insurance agent, funeral parlor associate, and stay-at-home mom before she realized that she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Born and raised in a small town in Indiana, Fardig still lives in that same town with an understanding husband, two sweet kids, two energetic dogs, and one malevolent cat.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Friending the Devil by Debby Rice

Friending the DevilFriending the Devil by Debby Rice
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Friending the Devil is the story of Kelsey James’ seduction into a world of magic, murder, and corruption. The novel unfolds in a dark urban forest—a place where evil hides in plain sight and a bite of chocolate gives the power to soar over skyscrapers or make a gun jump to an unwitting assassin’s hand. 

Kelsey enters this fairytale laid low by fate. Orphaned overnight and dismissed from her advertising job like so much clichéd copy, compulsive shoplifting has become a shameful refuge from those life-shattering experiences. 

When Kelsey lands a job at Lively Enterprises, her luck seems to be changing. Her employment package includes a luxury condo, a limited edition car, and an intriguing male supervisor. But the deal is tied with the devil’s strings. Far from being an outsider to a family business dedicated to promoting chaos and lining pockets, Kelsey discovers that Lively Enterprises is her frightening inheritance. 

As curiosity and fear drive her deeper into her new family’s dangerous embrace, Kelsey uncovers the truth about her past and learns that her real job has nothing to do with work. The supernatural mafia that runs the company has been searching for her to release a fresh breath of evil into the world. Kelsey’s fate threatens to ruin her closest friends, transform her identity and compromise her soul.

The Review

Friending the Devil is an interesting take on long-existing religious myths and the influence of wealth and greed. In this entry, the reader is introduced to the lovely Ms. Kelsey James who is down on her luck. With a chance encounter with a bench, a well-placed ad and a handshake with Mr. Lively, Kelsey is swept into a world that was best left hidden. The story is written well but as a reader (like Kelsey) it was hard to follow what was going on, hard to figure out what the characters actually were and what the heroine's actual abilities were. In short, while reading I was just as confused as the heroine. There was a lively bunch of secondary characters and animals that should have had more focus. Though the stories focus was Kelsey and her transformation from one existence to another - it took too long to get there and the reader doesn't fully get to appreciate the characters transition. Overall this was a fluid read.

This ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

About the Author

Debby Rice is a freelance writer who lives in Chicago. She has spent time in Mexico City, San Miguel Allende, New Orleans and San Francisco, and her experiences in those cities color her work. Debby’s books inhabit that foggy space where magic obscures reason and paints a universe that makes the impossible irresistibly real.

Debby is the author of Friending the Devil and Chihuahua Karma. Both novels are available on Amazon.

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Big Alpha in Town by Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden, and Kate Baxter

The Big Alpha in TownThe Big Alpha in Town
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Novellas & Authors:

Meeting his mate should have been cause for celebration. There’s just one teeny tiny problem. Jade thinks Ark might have impregnated her sister. He didn’t, but convincing Jade is going to take a bit of honey.

EVE LANGLAIS is a New York Times bestselling Canadian author who loves to write hot romance. She enjoys strong alpha male heroes, shifters, and a happily ever after. Eve's novellas include Legal Wolf's Mate, Catch a Tiger by the Tail, and The Alpha's Mate.

Keir’s been told to stop playing the field and settle down—difficult advice for a hard and hot man with a lion’s heart to follow. But his sights have always been set on Ally. She’s his mate, plain and simple. With her sweet and delicious curves, she’s nothing but sugar and trouble all rolled into one. But he’s known her and sparred with her for years. She’s his best friend’s little sister, and it’s going to take a whole new level of convincing that he’s the mate for her. 

MILLY TAIDEN is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the renowned Paranormal Dating Agency (Kiss My Asteroid), the Sassy Mates books (Scent of a Mate), and the Federal Paranormal Unit novels (Wolf Protector).

Moving with his pack to the tiny town of Stanley, Idaho has Owen Courtney a little on edge. With literally no women in sight, Owen will be lucky to find a date, let alone his true mate. But you know the saying about a werewolf walking into a bar…

Gorgeous wood nymph Mia Oliver is on a mission: Find a suitable male to get her good ‘n pregnant and provide her with an heir. But when Mia decides to pick up a gorgeous and oh-so willing werewolf at the bar, she realizes she might be in over her head.

KATE BAXTER is a die-hard romantic with a thing for Shakespeare. She lives in the great northwest and writes about all things fanged, furry, and undead, including The Last True Vampire series (The Warrior Vampire).

The Review
The authors included in this collection of novellas have a talent for producing mouth-watering tales that keep their audience(s) glued to every page.  The stories included in The Big Alpha in Town don't fail to disappoint as a collection.  Overall rating for this collection is 3.5.

Bearing His Name by Eve Langlais
The ever caring Jade has a problem – she has a very pregnant sister living with her and baby sister doesn't have a clue which Zeus knocked her up. Besides, looking after baby sis becomes very difficult after the appearance of a very determined Greek bear at her door. Bear shifter Ark believes he is after the possible mother of his child but on the other side of the door is fate.

There is definite chemistry between the hero and the heroine but it isn’t as fiery as it could be. With a heroine who’s preoccupied with everyone’s well-being, it is hard for this couple to focus on the romance that a reader may be looking for. The male and female leads are the standard good looking couple with the hero being the territorial 6'5" overly possessive wealthy shifter. The heroine has her own set of issues besides the pregnant sister but due to the condensed story, full exploration of her issues wasn't possible. A noteworthy mention would be the second male lead (Stavros) who appears to be a bit edgier.

This novella is well constructed with a clear separation between the beginning middle and end (with some clumsy action sequences thrown in for good measure) but there are some issues with holding the reader's attention for an extended period. Due to the length of the story, there was a rush to close the story as neatly as possible. Though the story is shortened it remains a good read.

Owned by the Lion Millie Taiden
Ally is the curvy heroine of this Tale who is full of SASS and spunk. Keri the male lead who is has the full package and has used it all to his advantage. His character isn't the shallow but life and circumstances have influenced have behaviors. There is definite smoke between the leading characters but also the reader will be able to feel the connection between the characters.

This novella also hits another aspect that I love in these types of stories. It always spices a story up when jealous exes appear within the tale. Not just the average jealous ex but a crazy jealous EX. Now, there were some jealous female characters and some overly inquisitive ones that the leads had to dodge but they were not at the level of crazy needed to make this a true page-turner. Though the story is entertaining and the parade of women gives the reader hope that one will move fully to the dark-side, this just never happens. In the end, the story is neatly wrapped up and concluded without a cliffhanger.

No Need Fur Love by Kate Baxter
So, a Wood Nymph and a Wolf meet in a bar ... this is not the start of a dirty joke but the start of the best of the three novellas. I've never come across a paranormal romance with the heroine being a wood nymph but would have liked for this story be expanded. No Need Fur Love has a lot of great elements besides the attractive leads with insane chemistry. There is the Wood Nymph leader who would name an awesome villain in an expanded story and I hope that the author would write more using his character. I see a very wicked good time with Nymph Daddy if he happens to appear again. Overall, this was a fun read.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.