Staff Reviews

Tessa’s Paranormal Romance Review: Burn for Me: A Hidden Legacy Novel by Ilona Andrews

Ilona Andrews is a husband-wife team known for urban fantasy. They already have two great series going: Kate Daniels and The Edge. Both these series start off with some great world-building and entertaining characters. Now the Andrews have another new series which veers more towards romance than the others, although the first two series have elements of romance as well.

Readers have already commented on the cover—it’s misleading. The half-naked man and sexy outfit on the woman would make you think this was a bodice ripper or steamy romance. Instead this book has enough plotting, substance and character that my husband is enjoying it.


This series is set in Houston, where the main character, Nevada, runs a detective agency with her family’s help. But the Houston in the book is way different from our reality: superpowers have appeared, result of a serum created in the 1800’s, and most power and influence resides in the Houses (families) of those who have the greatest powers.

Two catastrophically powerful men are on a collision course as one uses the other’s teenaged nephew to rob a bank. Nevada is employed by the huge detective business that holds her loan—but it’s all for show, since the firm knows she doesn’t have the magic to bring in this incredible fire mage. If she refuses, she loses her home and business, putting her family out on the street. But if she contacts him, he will probably kill her. Nevada must be skilled and wily to get herself out of this situation.

All the books by this team are recommended! Give them a try. ~ Tessa July 2015 3.75 out of 5 stars

Rollicking Fun Series Review: Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding

What a fun series—these would make excellent action adventure movies! Having read books one and two—Retribution Falls and The Black Lung Captain—I recommend this series to anyone who wants a light-hearted romp through a fantastic world populated with flawed, funny characters. Frequently throwing readers reminders of Star Wars mixed with Indiana Jones and, especially, Firefly, the entertainment factor of these books is A+. If you loved any of these movies, don’t miss the Ketty Jay series.


The Ketty Jay is an airship captained by Darian Frey, a man too handsome to die. Darian’s crew knows their secrets are safe on this ship, although it means they might not get paid. Often. Maybe ever. They take the occasional pirate treasure deal, smuggle, and, of course, rescue those in distress no matter the cost.












By the end of the first book, you know their secrets, too—the doctor’s drinking, the daemonist’s horrible crime and his huge metal companion, the new navigator’s strange lack of a heartbeat, the two fighter pilots—Pinn the lovelorn and Harkins the traumatized, a silent engineer, the captain’s love ‘em and leave ‘em disasters. Even a feral ship cat named Slag. Slag has a major role in the second book, look for him and the Cowardly Fighter Pilot Harkins to stalk one another into hysteria. I read the first chapter of the second book and started laughing…I didn’t stop laughing often, either. Hmm, might even have to buy these. ~ Tessa 4.5 stars out of 5 June 2015

Note: These aren’t true steampunk books, but there are a lot of things that feel that way…

Book Review: At the Waters Edge by Sara Gruen

At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

Set in the time frwaters edgeame of WWII, three friends, Ellis, his wife Maddie and best friend Hank make fools of themselves and disgrace Ellis’s parents at a ”high society” New Year’s Eve Party.   Ellis has already embarrassed his father, a Colonel, during WWI, by being classified 4F for color blindness, and unable to serve. He decides the only way to redeem himself is to go to Scotland to complete the search the Colonel botched several years earlier, for the Lock Ness Monster.  At this point, I found all of these characters immature, condescending, irresponsible, and thoughtless.

The three of them find themselves in a small remote village Inn on the shore of the lake. The two men become even more disrespectful, arrogant and supercilious. Maddie becomes, more meek and timid. Predictably, as the passage on the book cover says; “Maddie makes friends with two young women who help her see a larger world she never knew existed….and begins to see that nothing is as if first appears and …and monsters lurk where they are least expected.”

Although I did not like this book as much as Water for Elephants, I liked it better than The Ape House, There was one passage, descriptions of domestic violence, that was a bit graphic.

I listened to the Audio version of this book and found myself at times, not wanting to stop listening when I reached my destination.

If I measure this book on my usual criteria, how much do I like these people, will I miss them when I am finished, do I want to know what happens to them next, I would give this a 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

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