Fair Game (Alpha & Omega, #3)

Fair GameFair Game
by Patricia Briggs
Rating: ★★★½
isbn: 0441020038
Series: Alpha and Omega #3
Publication Date: March 9, 2012
Pages: 293
Genre: Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Ace

While still a great read, probably my least favorite of the three (and a half) so far in the series. A crises of faith, of sorts, is visited upon Charles and the readers are the spectators as he makes every obvious, clichéd mistake on his path to enlightenment.  Fortunately, while this is a main theme in the story, it’s not constantly front and center – there’s too much of the main plot going on for Charles’ crises to feel cloying.

The plot was amongst the darkest I’ve read of Ms. Briggs books. Torture, the feeding-off of pain, misery and agony. Very distasteful themes. The ultimate villain was immediately obvious to me, but it didn’t detract much from the story, because I was reading the book for the characters: Charles and Anna. Without these characters, written as well, and as likeable as they are, I’d never have started this series.

Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, #2)

Hunting GroundHunting Ground
by Patricia Briggs
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 0425269590
Series: Alpha and Omega #2
Publication Date: September 27, 2020
Pages: 286
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Ace

A very good read. The characters are what sucked me in – I really liked reading about Charles; how his Native American heritage plays out in his daily life, how he works to balance power and morality. Anna’s struggles are less interesting, but still worth reading about. She adapts quickly, and I appreciate the minimum amount of wallowing the author allows (practically none) a character with such a dismal, black experience in her past.

Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1)

Cry WolfCry Wolf
by Patricia Briggs
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 9781440630811
Series: Alpha and Omega #1
Publication Date: September 27, 2020
Pages: 321
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Ace

I’m a fan of the Mercy Thompson series, but I really had no interest in the Alpha and Omega series, since weres aren’t my favorite paranormal species.

But I found myself unspeakably bored at work yesterday and nothing on my kindle for mac app appealed. Until I stumbled across Cry Wolf and thought reading more about Bran and Charles sounded like a great idea

.An excellent read, although I’ll still maintain that I prefer the more diverse world of Mercy’s. It was a bit tough figuring out what was going on at first, since this book takes place pretty much right after the novella ‘Alpha and Omega’ – so if you’re looking to get into this series, start with the novella – it will make the beginning of this book so much more sensical.

After figuring out what was going on though, I really liked the dynamic between Anna and Charles and I appreciated the amount of time spent on them before launching into the action. The action itself, while not gory, was hard to read at times and I’ll admit, I passed right on over anything having to do with hurting animals. It makes up a small, very small part of the story, but those few sentences were more than I could bear. Otherwise, the subjugation of one person by another (I won’t say human, as I don’t think it applies in this case) is a big theme in the story and I thought Ms. Briggs did a very good job with it – reading it made me uncomfortable, as it was meant to.

I don’t know if I’ll read the next or not, but I’ll certainly be checking it out.

Fashionably Dead (Hot Damned, #1)

A fun, somewhat amusing way to pass time when you’re stuck at work with nothing to do (not even legitimate work!).

 

The premise of the story reminds me a lot of the Undead series by MaryJanice Davidson. With Prada. The story is told to entertain, with a few sex scenes to make it a bit steamy, and eccentric characters galore. Also, chock full o’ girl power.

 

Cotton Candy comes to mind when I try to make a comparison: fun, sweet, in swirly bright colours, it gives you a rush when you first consume it, but it doesn’t stay with you long.

 

The story leaves off with a cliffhanger, so there’s definitely another book in the future. If I’m still looking for an entertaining way to kill time, I’ll definitely be looking forward to reading it.

Plainly Murder (Amish Quilt Shops Mystery #0.5)

I pre-ordered the first book in this series, Murder, Plain and Simple, so when I saw this release I grabbed it, eager for an introduction to the characters and setting.

 

This felt longer than most of the in-between novellas I’ve read and definitely a bit more involved. Was Eric pushed or did he fall from the roof during a barn raising 15 years ago? It’s a very straight forward mystery, as it needs to be in it’s shorter format. As such, the suspects are few and the outcome somewhat predictable. But you don’t really to buy a novella for the plot, so much as for more information on the characters.

 

I liked Angie and the dog sounds like a gem. I was disappointed that it seems we can count on a cantankerous old biddy who will be going out of her way to make Angie’s life miserable in future books, in the form of Martha, but I might prove to be completely wrong about that. Hopefully she’ll be offset by Anna, and possibly Rachel.

 

Overall, a good introduction if you’re interested in reading the first book of the series.

Murder and Mischief in the Hamptons (Hamptons #2)

This is a fun, fast, entertaining SPA read. 3.5 stars, but only because the murder mystery plot wasn’t truly central to the story, with 99% of it occurring in the last half of the book.

 

Still, the characters are a lot of fun; likeable, funny, with great dialogue. The ghosts are a hoot and they often steal the scenes with the best lines. I’ll be looking for the release of a third book in this series.

Living and Dying in the Hamptons (Hamptons #1)

Well, a GR friend had only good things to say about this SPA book and recommended it to me and so I picked it up.

 

A fun fast read with a great cast of characters you wish existed in real life. The ghosts all crack me up – each very unique and very much still the person they once were. I love the snark and the humour, and the dialogue is fast and easy to follow with a minimum of editing errors.

 

The plot was well developed, a very solid effort. The villain wasn’t obvious (to me) and though the ending was a bit anti-climatic, I was ok with that as I get tired of the predictability of cozies and their endings at times.

 

This book is an absolute steal, as the author is giving it away free of charge on Smashwords. I’d have happily paid 2-3 bucks for this book and another 2-3 for the sequel. If you’re looking for an entertaining story that’s lighthearted and fun, and you like free, this might be the book for you.

Much Ado About Magic (Enchanted, Inc., #5)

I remember when I finished ‘Don’t Hex with Texas’ thinking, for the first time, ‘she should self-publish the next book because the publishing houses are obviously too stupid to know a good thing when they see it’. So I was thrilled when I read earlier this year that Ms Swendson announced that she’d decided to do just that with the fifth book, Much Ado About Magic. I had it on my e-reader as soon as it was available, and finished it the same day.  The story didn’t disappoint – long held secrets revealed, lots of magical action, and the same wonderful cast of characters in a light, frothy, fun tale. My only ‘gripe’ (and it’s not really that) is the seeming distance between Merlin and Katie – in previous books she was a bit of a confidante to Merlin and I saw no evidence of that in this book. Still, an excellent read and if Ms. Swendson ever decides to physically publish, I’ll buy another copy to add to my bookshelves at home.  I’m truly looking forward to the sixth book in October.