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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness


Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realize that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.

Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers...

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I was a bit worried going into this one as I'd seen various reviews that voiced themselves as dissatisfied with this volume, that they felt it wasn't as good as the first. Having read it, I have to respectfully disagree with them for I found this book to be everything I'd hoped it would be and more. The romance between Diana and Matthew is definitely much more at the forefront in this book, and there are some (not very graphic) sexy times between them, so for those who don't care for such things I can see where they'd be disappointed, but I found the deepening of their relationship just added to things. Add to that the vivid descriptions of historical life and locations and the gradual revelations and broader hints about what is really going on with not just Ashmole 782 but the events they find themselves caught up in, and I found this book to be quite fascinating.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Predator's Rescue by Rosanna Leo

Tiger shifter Jani Fodor should have washed his hands of Fleur Bissette long ago. However, when she disappears from the shape shifter sanctuary on Gemini Island, he can’t forget her, and launches a fraught two-week search to find her. He thinks she’ll be grateful but the petulant she-wolf resents his intrusion in her life.

Jani recently liberated Fleur from a vicious cult of shape shifters, where she was brainwashed by the sadistic August Crane. The wolf shifter terrorized their friends at the Ursa Fishing Lodge and Resort on Gemini Island. Labeled a “bad girl” all her life, Fleur knows she’ll never fit in with the good guys at the Ursa, no matter how much Jani tries to convince her of their regard. Besides, she can’t stay with Jani. Although he’s the closest thing she’s ever had to a friend, their chemistry is explosive in the worst way.

When a new menace arises, in the form of a vicious drug dealer with a grudge, Jani is adamant Fleur accept his help to rehabilitate her addict mother and remove her from the influence of her dealer. Fleur accepts Jani’s assistance but as they work together, friendship erupts into passion. Neither can deny their lust-struck spirit animals and before long, they realize their connection runs deeper than they ever expected.

Despite the threats posed by the drug dealer, the worst danger of all dwells inside Fleur. Haunted by the spirit of August Crane, Fleur is inundated by visions that torment her. She is consumed by guilt and plagued by old hostilities. Can this bad girl make good? And is Jani’s love enough to save her from her demons?

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Leo has set the bar high for this series with her previous books, and she doesn't fail to live up to it in this one. Fleur and Jani's story has all of the suspense and high emotion that we've come to expect from the Gemini Island books, but also takes a step back from the dark intensity of the last few volumes. Dealing with at least some of the fallout left by August Crane's war on the Islanders, this book has a bit more relaxed feel to it in many ways while still maintaining some of the tension from before. The worst may be over for the residents of Gemini Island, but the storms haven't entirely passed and there are a few lesser tempests still to be weathered.