Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher

Cover Image Furies of Calderon

For a thousand years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the furies – elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal. But now, Gaius Sextus, First Lord of Alera, grows old and lacks an heir. Ambitious High Lords plot and maneuver to place their Houses in positions of power, and a war of succession looms on the horizon.” “Far from city politics in the Calderon Valley, the boy Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. At fifteen, he has no wind fury to help him fly, no fire fury to light his lamps. Yet as the Alerans’ most savage enemy – the Marat – return to the Valley, he will discover that his destiny is much greater than he could ever imagine.” Caught in a storm of deadly wind furies, Tavi saves the life of a runaway slave named Amara. But she is actually a spy for Gaius Sextus, sent to the Valley to gather intelligence on traitors to the Crown, who may be in league with the barbaric Marat horde. And when the Valley erupts in chaos – when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies – Amara will find Tavi’s courage and resourcefulness to be a power greater than any fury – one that could turn the tides of war.

***Ani’s Review***

I realized that I’ve been remiss in reviewing this series by one of my favorite authors, Jim Butcher. The Codex Alera begins with the Furies of Calderon. This is a story woven around Tavi, a teen that finds himself in the middle of a potential war. This introduction to the Calderon Valley is where we meet Tavi, a typical teenager who thinks he is more capable than his elders, and who also lands in a lot of trouble. I can’t really say enough how much I enjoyed this book and this series. Jim Butcher writes as if he’s been thinking about this world for a very long time. The characters are well developed, the world is full and rich, and there are plenty of obstacles for young Tavi from the Calderon Valley to overcome. A totally engrossing and entertaining read. The other books in the Codex Alera series (all featuring a growing Tavi) are just as gripping and thorough as The Furies of Calderon. Happy Reading!

Fate Reborn by Christina Ow

FateReborn_MED

Fate Reborn (Dukkha Fate Series #1) Blurb:
Ashat is a werewolf who’s lived three centuries in sorrow and torment after his family was killed by an enemy-Baku. The only way he is able to bear his long life is drinking himself into a drunken stupor, women and hunting down Baku. His world suddenly changes when he meets Merilee and he is finally able to love and be happy again.

Merilee lost her family in a fire when she was five. However she isn’t too sure about that, her nightmares show her something very different to what her shrink has been telling her for thirteen years. She was raised by her two adoptive sisters Ann and Maria in an orphanage. She has a fear of letting people in and losing them. This fear makes her put up with an obnoxious boyfriend Steve until she’s finally gets the courage to get rid of him.
She finally meets a man who she instantly has a crush on and ultimately falls in love with after their first night together.

But Merilee and Ashat have met before in the worst of situations.

Ash

Lee

 ********************

Ani’s Review

Let me cut to the chase. I liked reading Fate Reborn. I was intrigued by and enjoyed the Native American aspect however, two things bothered me.

1. Once the story came to the present time, the Native American aspect disappeared almost entirely.

2.  I really like the name Ash for a tough male character but during the prologue, which is the only part where the author used his full name, Ashat, I could not stop seeing it as “ass hat”. I tried really hard – I did! LOL

Beyond that, Fate Reborn was engaging and interesting. I liked seeing Lee’s character develop from a needy, peace making kid to a strong willed woman who stood up for herself and her family/friends. Good character development and story writing but I’d love more details. This can be read as a stand alone novel but it does leave the reader with unanswered questions but thankfully, no cliffhanger ending (hate those!). I’m definitely interested in reading more of the Dukkha Fate series of 5.

Fate Reborn will be available January 30th.

The Beginning, the prologue to Fate Reborn, is now in a novella format and free if you sign up for author Christina Ow’s newsletter below.

thebeginning11 copy

inderxAuthor Bio
Christina OW writes suspense, thrillers, erotica, interracial and multicultural romance books. She is the author of Contemporary, Fantasy, Paranormal, Regency Romance books and a poet of currently 3 titles. She loves reading novels that take her on a ride of wild emotions. Books have always been an escape for her, for a few hours she gets to live the lives of characters she grows to cherish and admire. She’s always had an active imagination and because of it has lived in her head more than she has been in the outside world. She always imagined scenarios and wondered how they would turn out in the end, and what kind of emotions they would invoke. Thus began her writing career.

Author Links

 

September at-a-glance

September turned out to be romance month. My list, as you will see, is heavy on that subject and was a lot of fun. Historical, contemporary, fantasy. It’s all there as well as some steampunk to mix things up. Here are most of the books that I was able to fit into this very busy September (see my other September posts for the rest). And, BONUS! many of them are either free or very inexpensive! I hope you find something to your liking. Happy Reading!

The Abducted Heart by Jennifer Blake – A young woman in the catering business gets accidentally “abducted” by her client who didn’t realize she was still on board his plane when it took off. What ensued was one of those situations where neither party wanted to openly admit their attraction or love for the other and caused pain on both ends. I wasn’t able to really get into these characters because the way it was written all but screamed 70’s era but the grandmother I really enjoyed.

A Soft Place to Fall by Barbara Bretton  – Annie, a widow, is pulling herself away from the brink of bankruptcy due to her husband’s gambling debts when she meets Sam who has come to her small town to hide out from his former employer. Instant chemistry happens between the two and they easily fall in love. Neither shares their past so when the men in suits arrive, everything they didn’t know about each other becomes public knowledge. I really enjoyed this story. Bretton painted a very detailed description of the northeast and the small town characters as well as some really interesting main characters.

The Silver Pear by Michelle Diener – The second and last in this fantasy series. This story brings Soren and female sorceress Mirabelle into the story where the his brother Rane’s and Kayla’s story left off in the Golden Apple. I was glad Diener wrote this book because not only was the Golden Apple really enjoyable, I was not liking Soren in that book. This story gave him more essence and showed his character in a much better light. Mirabelle was very interesting too as the only female sorceress in this fantasy world. The copy I read was an uncorrected ARC so I am explaining any confusion away for that reason. I would highly recommend reading these books back to back if possible in order to keep the supporting characters straight. Otherwise, a great set of books.

The Marquess of Cake by Heather Hiestand - If you haven’t figured it out already, I have a thing about baking. Which is why, when I saw the title of this book, I had to get it. It is a regency romance where the father and owner of a tea and cake shop is being knighted for his delicious treats. His eldest daughter, Alys, has always been happy working at the shop baking and decorating the celebration cakes but once her father is knighted, he fires her and intends to make her marry. Thrown into the mix is the Marquess of Hatbrook, Michael Shield who has his own love affair with sweet treats and stumbles upon Alys in the shop one day. One chance encounter leads to another and suddenly they  are in love but unwilling to admit it etc. This was just a fun story to read with good writing and character development. It was interesting that Ms. Hiestand chose to afflict the Marquess with diabetes.

To Kill A Warlock by H.P. Mallory – For those of you who enjoy fun paranormal mystery stories, and haven’t read H.P. Mallory you must. This particular book is about Dulcie O’Neill, a “regulator” basically a cop for the paranormal species. The story takes place over just a few weeks of Dulcie’s life while she’s trying to solve a murder and gotten wrangled into working with their Relations Office (think Internal Affairs). The story is rife with sexy men from Elves to Vampires a new creature Dulcie didn’t know existed in the form of Knightly Vander, her temporary, new superior from the Relations Office. I really enjoyed Dulcie’s character and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Amanda Rosa by Karen Robards  – Another historical romance. Amanda Rose has been placed in ta convent by her elder half brother and he’s just written that he’s found a husband for her. She takes a midnight walk to think through her plight and stumbles across Matthew Grayson, a wanted criminal who will die if she doesn’t help him. Against her best judgement, and along with a lot of frightening threats from this criminal, she helps him recover from his injuries. They become lovers but are discovered by her brother. This story is about a couple of people with a lot of secrets. I found this tale engrossing and well written. Karen Robards is always a good bet for a nice romance.

Steel Lily by Megan Curd – This book sadly, was a bit disappointing. I really like steampunk which is how this book began but as soon as Avery left her steampunkish Dome, it became more dystopian romance. Avery thought she was leaving her Dome to have a better life but she was really walking into a prettier version of jail. Love interest Jaxon was not described as someone I would think sexy – dredlocks don’t do it for me – so whenever they were mentioned, it broke my concentration. There was a lot of potential here and I think a less mature reader would probably enjoy it much more than I did.

Saved by Lorhainne Eckhart – This story is about Abby, a woman adrift in the ocean and who gets rescued, literally saved, by a US naval Destroyer. Captain Eric, a well-known chauvinist and womanizer falls for this guileless young woman and she for him but neither admits how deep the attraction goes. The Captain comes under investigation for sexual harassment and Abby saves him by being a witness to his innocence. Thus, they save each other. I wish this story had delved into more detail regarding the girl’s plight but this story mostly dwelt on military protocol which was still very interesting. Unfortunately, I didn’t love either character much because of the lack of depth overall. This is a series and it was obviously written with that intent. Since the writing was good, I might be convinced to read the next book in order to find out if the characters develop any further depth.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – Jane EyreI saved the best for last! If you haven’t yet read about the love story between Jane and Mr. Rochester, you must! Click the link below NOW! The story begins with Jane as a young orphan living in her uncle’s home. He is deceased and her aunt has no love for her and neither do her cousins. She is sent off to an institution to be educated and at long last she becomes the governess to a child at Thornfield, home of Mr. Rochester. Over the course of several months, they fall in love but Jane feels she must part with him and runs off into the night. That is only half of Jane’s story and not close to doing it justice. The writing is amazing and very easily understood (I’m comparing to Anna Karenina and Jane Austen’s novels). Jane and Rochester are a delight to read. Their banter was witty and unique and so full of their own personalities, it was a joy to read. Once you read this classic novel, you’ll realize how many authors don’t put nearly enough personality into their characters. I loved this story and it will forever be one of my favorites. Jane Eyre