Mini-Reviews: Urban Fantasies With Magic and Mayhem

I used to say Urban Fantasy books were my guilty reads, but at this point I’ve been following so many of them, might as well put it with the rest of my TBR! With kickass, strong heroines and very swoony love interests, these paranormal stories are always a blast to pick up.


Burn For Me
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #1
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TL;DR: Another great, magical series with a smoldering romance and sassy heroine from the Andrews writing team.

Synopsis:
#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire…Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I’ve been a huge fan of this author team’s Kate Daniel series, but the Hidden Legacy series is another hit for me. Set in another half-magic/half-modern world, Andrews brings in a sassy, resilient, and overall headstrong heroine that can hold her own against any magical being, no matter how manipulative they may be. She owns a detective agency that does small jobs, but circumstances (like blackmail) force her to take on a near impossible job. You can call it… mission impossible. But although Nevada doesn’t have the flashiest or most powerful magic, her subtle truth-seeking skills allow her to carefully maneuver this magical world full of cunning people.

Like in their other series, the world in this story is just A+. There’s an intricate yet exquisitely explained magic system that readers will pick up from the start, and awesome characters to be introduced. While magic is present in daily lives and creates a bit of a social hierarchy – with Primes, being the most powerful magic users, at the top – there are still modern technological devices such as phones used. And ohhh, the characters – how I adore them! There is a heavy emphasis on family in this story, as Nevada takes up the impossible job to support her family, consisting of her mother, sisters, and cousins. They’re a rowdy lot, but also full of love and support. Since Nevada is the eldest, she has a bit of an obligation to do so. Nonetheless, their encounters are so heartwarming to see. Okay and the love interest… wowzas. Called Mad Rogan throughout the book (which I thought was hilarious and yet he still oozed sexiness), Rogan and Nevada didn’t start out on the right foot, what with him kidnapping her. However, they eventually strike a business deal to work together… which develops into something more. The chemistry was smoking hot and don’t even get me started on the banter. Y’ALL, I live for these sparking romances.

I’m like, in love with Gordon and Ilona Andrews’s writing. Burn For Me’s extremely likable and headstrong heroine, super sexy love interest, superb setting, and quick-paced plot is something any reader with a taste for adventure would like. I can’t believe the next book comes out in May? Please, someone hold me while I age waiting.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-4star


Eleventh Grave in Moonlight
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #11
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TL;DR: This introduction to UF in my reading repertoire continues to feature amazing characters with witty dialogue and a clever plot. Love it!

Synopsis:
A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This will have spoilers for the previous books in the series. If you haven’t read it, you’ll probably be lost in the middle paragraph.

This was another great addition to the Charley Davidson series! There’s the usual divergence of plot lines that means multiple things are going on at once. But Charley’s got everything handled. With her witty narration and the quick pace, readers will have no trouble staying glued to the pages of this book, from beginning to end. I think what draws me to this Urban Fantasy series is just how easy it is so jump back into a new book, while remembering the same quirky characters and starting a whole new mystery plotline. Plus, the hot romance and hilarious dialogue is always present.

It’s interesting to see how far Charley has gotten through all TEN BOOKS. (And how far I’VE stuck along for the ride!) We find out she’s not only the grim reaper, but also a goddess from another dimension. And her husband Reyes isn’t just the son of Satan but also ANOTHER god aka Jehovah God’s little brother. However, in this book the evil god Eidolon is trying to find her daughter so her daughter won’t destroy him when she grows up. Fun times all around. The rest of the gang, like Cookie and Bobert and Angel, are as charming as ever as Charley embarks on yet another mystery, including the one that has to do with the couple that stole Reyes as a child. Let’s just say this book continues on with what makes the previous books so great: awesome interactions between characters, kickass action, and burning hot romance – all fueled with a whole lotta heart.

The past couple of books have been pretty conclusive, with a hint of things to come at the end. So I’ve always been pretty satisfied on that front. But this one… THAT NON-RESOLUTION. I think this is the first time I’ve been super-duper-give-it-to-me-now anticipating the next book. Ahem, well, three more months to go. I can do that… right? :’) I picked up the Charley Davidson series because the first couple books were super cheap on Book Outlet, and I can’t go back. This introduction to the UF genre was very welcome, and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying these rather mindless, yet entertaining reads.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-4star


30612698

Wanted & Wired
Author: Vivien Jackson
Series: Tether #1
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TL;DR: An intricate, dystopian world sets the backdrop to an action-filled adventure and two people drawn to each other, yet hesitant to come together.

Synopsis:
A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for the review copy!

I think the hardest part for me to get into Wanted and Wired was the world and plot. I hate to admit it, but I was actually pretty confused with the intricacies of the extremely technologically-inclined world that the author builds. There’s equal parts plot and romance, but what parts of the plot I read, I kind of sped by to get to more of the romance. The biggest part lay in the details, which Jackson expounds on to write an intricate setting. While as a reader, I really appreciated this writing, I also personally found it cumbersome at times just because a lot of new concepts, terminology, and technology made it a slower read than what I first set out to have it as.

From the beginning, readers are thrown into a convoluted plot where the two main characters are caught up in. Suddenly, a job has gone wrong and Mari finds herself on the run with Heron, who is her partner in crime and who she’s been lusting for for a while now. This fugitive plot makes for a great development in romantic relationships, as well as character introspection as well as Mari and Heron both come to accept themselves, as much as they do the other. Heron, despite his rather meh name, was a pretty cool male lead. He seemed actually quite passive, put side by side with the Alpha males out there in the Urban Fantasy genre. However, he’s still super skilled and tough – especially dealing with the people he loves. There’s a push-and-pull element to the two characters as Heron doesn’t think he deserves Mari, being a technologically enhanced man, and Mari doesn’t think that Heron is into her. It gets pretty heated up, but it was hard to really get into the book because of the cumbersome world the author set up.

“‘No, it is real. And you are. You’re the realest thing in my whole world. And the best.’”

I think the romance itself was pretty well-done, I just thought perhaps the world could have been either dimmed down a bit in terms of detail and terminology, or presented a bigger part of the plot if the author made it that big of a deal. That part really dragged for me when reading, and the whole time I was really just looking towards the parts with the main characters and their relationship development. That sucks, mostly because I usually adore scifi settings and plot! This one just didn’t stick with me, however. I’m not sure if I’ll continue the series, but it was overall rather fun and entertaining, if not a bit forgettable with all the cumbersome details. 

One-Way-Or-An-Author-3star

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14 thoughts on “Mini-Reviews: Urban Fantasies With Magic and Mayhem

  1. Nick says:

    I just finished re-reading Burn for Me last night. I love this book, and Nevada’s family is a big reason why! And of course, Mad Rogan! ❤ I'm amazed at how I'm both scared of him, but also wildly attracted to him. He's just … WOW!!! Nevada is a boss too though and I love how she doesn't let him walk all over her.

    I'm going to need to catch up on the Darynda Jones series one of these days. I hear nothing but praise for these books. Also, everyone just says the series gets better and you speak of a burning hot romance, so I don't think I'll resist for long. 😉

    I can see how that last book could be heavy and confusing. I have to be eased into a world slowly, not just thrown into it, otherwise I just end up being bored. So I understand where you're coming from. The other elements sound decent enough though, so maybe the series will continue to get better. Fingers crossed!

    • Aila @ One Way Or An Author says:

      OMG NICK you’re always rereading all these awesome books haha. 😀 I love how both Nevada and Mad Rogan are both so powerful and independent, that makes their partnership all the more fun! ❤ Nevada's family is goals.

      Haha you should just binge read all the Charley Davidson books one day – it won't take you long! It's actually the first UF series I read, and I surprisingly really liked it. (and the romance!)

      I don't think I'll follow the rest of the series for Wanted & Wired, only because I believe it focuses on different characters and I'm just not that interested, haha. Thanks for reading!

  2. Cyn @ Bookmunchies says:

    I’m so head over heels for the Hidden Legacy series !! I just finished Wildfire it was freaking amazing!! Oh man I really need to check out the Charly Davidson series, it really sounds fun!

  3. Book Swoon says:

    I thought Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews is a fantastic start to a new series. The banter is SO good and the world too. And, of course, Darynda Jones writes one of my favorite PNR series which I’m sadly behind in. Wanted & Wired is new to me so thanks for the great mini review on it as well! Happy Friday! 🙂

    • Aila @ One Way Or An Author says:

      Yess I’m so glad you liked Burn For Me as well. 😀 I would recommend to wait for book 12 to come out for Charley Davidson because it’s a SMIDGE of a cliffhanger in book 11. Glad I could bring Wanted & Wired to your attention. Happy Friday to you too!

  4. Deepika @NovelFort says:

    I read Burn for Me a while ago and it’s about time I read it for the sequel.Great review ❤ Illona Andrews books are always a hit for me

  5. nereyda1003 says:

    OMG, I used to looove Urban Fantasy so much. I read Burn For Me last year I think but haven’t read the next book in the series. I really need to start reading more of this genre again.

    • Aila @ One Way Or An Author says:

      Omg, the last book for Burn For Me comes out near the end of this year so you should totally finish the rest of the series! 😀 (Plus, it’s only 2 books haha.) I’m super picky with my Urban Fantasies but they end up being awesome!

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