The Source of Magic by Cate Rowan

 The Particulars:  Fantasy Romance,  indie, avaialble as e-book and in print 
The Source: Allromance
The Grade: B-
The Blurb:

When a gorgeous man clasps Jilian Stewart to his chest and yanks her from Scotland into a magical battle, she thinks it must be another of her bizarre dreams. Plagued by unnerving visions of this man, she’s sure they’re brought on by the stress of her mother’s deadly paralysis. Instead, Jilian finds herself ensnared in a world of fantasy, treachery, and family secrets, opposing the one man who can make everything right.
Prince Alvarr, her sexy abductor, offers a cure for her dying mother, but won’t send Jilian home with it until she helps him destroy the evil mage threatening his people—with mystical powers she never knew she had.

The Review:
This book has been on my wishlist since I bought Kismet’s Kiss. I never got around to buy it, until now. I am glad I bought it.
Teganne was an intriguing contrast to Kad, and it felt very believable. From the way the castle was described to the customs and traditions they had. I also liked the magic, and the fact that the Kyrra was limited. Once you burned it out, it was gone forever.
I liked Jillian and Alvarr. Jillian’s reaction to suddenly being in Teganne, and the struggle to adapt to it, and what it meant felt believable. Alvarr was honorable warrior, but I also liked that he struggled with keeping his country independent.
It was intriguing to follow Jillian’s and Alvarr’s romance. From the way they clash in the beginning, to how they gradually start to get to know each other. I liked how both of them had their own issues to work through, and how that caused additional problems between them. I also liked that they were ready to compromise with each other. The plot twists were unexpected, yet logical when they happened.
Despite all the things I liked with this novel, I never felt the desperation that Alvarr and Jillian felt.

Review: A Hint of Frost by Hailey Edwards

The particulars: Fantasy Romance, Samhain Publishing, available as e-book and in print 
The Source: review copy from the author.
The Grade: C
The blurb:

When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.

Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.

Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.

Warning: This book contains one mercenary hero with a biting fetish, one determined heroine who gets nibbled, and an answer to the age-old question, “What does dragon taste like?” Matricide and sibling rivalry are available upon request. The house special is revenge, best served cold.

The Review:

Through a pure coincidence, I requested an review copy of this book, and then shortly after it became a freebie from Samhain :).   I am glad I requested it, though.  

I fell in love  with Erania from the first page.  This world, was detailed and believeable.  From how the locations affected the living of the different clans, to the intricate relationships between the different  clans.  I also liked how the author used traits of different spiders to distinuish the clans, and how that in turn affected the relationships.  

I enjoyed followed the relationship between Rhys and Lourdes.  From the wariness the first time they meet, and how they gradually started to trust and love each other.   I also liked seeing how Lourdes and her clan struggled to adjust to the fact that she was Maven now.  It was also intresting to see how close Lourdes and her siblings were, which showed in so many different ways.

The story was told from Lourdes POV, which meant the reader found out about the events at the same time as Lourdes did. I liked  Lourdes, she had a strength to do what must be done, no matter if she liked it or not.  The plot was well crafted, and I enjoyed Lourdes and Rhys journey. It gave the reader a glimpse into the world.   But also raised the stakes by hinting of more, severe trouble coming in the future. 

While I liked the book, I missed Rhys POV.The were times when his actions baffled me, and I think if the scenes had been from his POV, it would have flowed better. Also, I wondered how he reacted when he found himself married.  

Review: Ten Ruby Trick by Julia Knight

Ten Ruby Trick by Julia Knight:

The Particulars: Fantasy Romance, Carina Press, available as e-book
The Grade: B+
The Source: Kobo.
The Blurb:
Privateer Van Gast thrills in capturing treasure; delights in pulling off elaborate scams; and has an outrageous reputation with the ladies. But there is only one woman for him: fellow privateer Josie—seductive, brave and unpredictable. He’s hoping to make their relationship permanent, until he raids the wrong ship. Now slavers are stalking him, his crew is verging on mutiny and Josie has disappeared.
When she reappears with a new mark wanting Van Gast’s help running the ten ruby trick con, he senses trouble. It seems like Josie has joined up with mage-bound slavers to turn him over to their Master. Van Gast is about to take he biggest risk of all— and find out the true meaning of trust and betrayal.

The Review:

This book languished unread, until Carina Press offered the sequel at a discount this summer. And I decided to read this one first. I am glad I read it, and yes, I snapped up the sequel as well.

 The world was detailed, and felt very believable. I loved the nuances in this book. From the Pirates, and their sense of honor, to the crystal covered mages and the harsh hands of their rule.

The characters were both strong, yet at the same time they were deliciously flawed. I loved Josie for her courage, and Van Gast for his determination to figure out what was wrong. The other pirates were charming, but they weren’t perfect. They had temper, and they showed it.
The plot was fast paced, and filled with twists. What I liked was that the twists were the result of Van Gast’s actions. And while the Mages gave me the creeps, I loved the fact that the villain’s motivation made sense.
The only thing I wished was different, was that I missed Josie’s POV. The whole story was told for Van Gast’s or Holden’s POV which was both refreshing, and felt a bit odd.