Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.
Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.
Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past–a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.
As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.
This was quite an interesting read. Parts of it felt like I’d fallen into a dreamscape, parts of it felt a tiny bit clichéd, but it was original enough to capture my attention at the start and keep me reading.
It was probably the characters themselves I found clichéd—the mean girl, the brainiac, the hot athlete—but several of the other characters were unique enough to make this a pleasure to read. I did not figure out the big reveal ahead of time and I definitely want to read more.
Romina Garber was born in Buenos Aires and raised in Miami. Logizona is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)
Ricardo de Avila—now called Rick—would have followed Coronado anywhere. Yes, that Coronado, the conquistador. But Coronado never found what he sought—and Rick found immortality as a turned-against-his-will vampire.
Five hundred years later, Rick has spent his life going against the immortal grain. While he at first thought he was the only self-named-demon in existence—so ignorant of the truth he didn’t even know he was called vampire—now he keeps to himself and protects his mortal family. He’s spent his days as a bartender, helped a legendary gunslinger, appointed himself Master of Santa Fe, and now discovered a church hidden under the Vatican.
Immortal life is no piece of cake.
It’s been years since I read any of the Kitty books (Looking back, it seems I stopped reading after book six). I enjoyed them, and I have no idea why I stopped reading, so this was run return to that world. I love how different Rick is from traditional or more-popular vampire tropes. He’s a loner, and he’s fine with that. He didn’t even know what he was, thinking himself a demon, but drama and trouble seem to dog his steps. A quick, fun read.
Carrie Vaughn is a bestselling author. The Immortal Conquistador is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of Tachyon Publications in exchange for an honest review.)
Chris is the funniest, sweetest boy Cosette’s ever met. Despite the trauma he’s suffered, he still manages to brighten up everyone around him—even when he’s fighting a chapel full of demons. He’s exactly what Cosette needs in her life. He’s also a werewolf—and she’s from the Lunar Court, the only fey court with control over the werewolves, so she knows they can’t be together.
But when Chris goes missing, Cosette will do anything to find him and bring him home safely. Even if they can’t be together, she wants him safe and happy. She has no safety in her own life—not with assassins trying to kill her at every step and her mother trying to force her into marrying—but she wants Chris to have it. She finds Chris in the darkest of fey courts, where the truth is twisted and she can trust no one. It will take an archon to keep the two of them safe—and even that might not be enough to make sure everyone gets out alive.
I think I read the first two Alpha Girl books a few years back and enjoyed them but got distracted by something else. I need to go back and catch up. Lunar Court was a solid read, and I love the world here, combining my favorite creatures in intriguing ways. A solid, entertaining read!
Lunar Court is Aileen Erin’s newest novel, the eighth book in the Alpha Girl series.
(Galley courtesy of the author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)
With Liam as the pack’s new Alpha, Ness thinks things will finally calm down. But August is back in town to pledge his loyalty to the new Alpha, and a mating bond manifests between August and Ness, meaning she finds everyone else unattractive—even Liam, her boyfriend. The bond will take months to fade, but Ness thinks her connection with Liam is strong enough to stand the test of time.
Until her cousin claims she helped him elude his death sentence, and Liam believes him and accuses her. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with the pack, but she can’t leave August behind while their bond is intact. When a new pack shows up in town and threatens her own pack, Ness must decide to leave them to their fate or to help the pack that has always treated her as an outsider.
I enjoyed this second book in the Boulder Wolves series, but some of the developments didn’t entirely surprise me. Liam flipping to become so controlling and accusatory—eh, not really a surprise, considering his background—although one revelation about him did surprise me. I liked August from the start of the first book, so I was happy to see him with a bigger role here. This is a solid read in an enjoyable series.
Olivia Wildenstein is a bestselling author. A Pack of Vows and Tears is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.)
Ness is almost 18 when she’s forced to return to Boulder. She intended to forget about what happened there, forget about what happened to her mom, and forget all the domineering men in the werewolf pack that had no room for a female. She was happy to think she’d escaped with only her memories.
But now she’s back in boulder and those memories are standing before her. One of them is a friend, but one of them is Liam Kolane, son of Heath, the cruelest man she’d ever imagined. Now Heath is dead, and no one dares challenge Liam for the right to rule the pack.
Except Ness, who isn’t going to let him win without a fight. A fight to the death—if she can convince her heart that’s an acceptable cost.
I found this pretty predictable in most ways, but I enjoyed the read. Lots of chauvinistic alpha males swaggering around, but there are some glimmers of redeeming qualities among them. Coming from a patriarchal society, it’s understandable, even if mildly infuriating.
Bestselling author Olivia Wildenstein lives in Switzerland. A Pack of Blood and Lies is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of Twig Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)
Meghan Ciana Doidge is a writer from Vancouver, Canada. She writes about magic and the supernatural, fantasy with a tint of romance. The newest book in her Dowser series, Cupcakes, Trinkets, and other Deadly Magic, is out now, and mixes werewolves, vampires, and cupcakes for a sweet twist on the urban fantasy genre.
Jade’s life was normal: bake cupcakes for her boutique bakery every morning, get in the occasional bit of trouble with her sister, Sienna, create art out of the magical items that seemed to find their way to her. Well, maybe not normal, but when you’re a dowser, half-witch and half…something else, “normal” is relative. Right up until the moment the vampire showed up on her doorstep.
Someone has been murdering werewolves in Vancouver. Someone with a lot of power at their disposal. Someone whose magic smells a whole lot like Jade’s.
She manages to convince the vampire investigator of her innocence, but is swept up into the search for the black magic murderer. Jade discovers that everything she has always thought she’s known is not the truth. Her family has been hiding things from her, things that will affect her life, her abilities, and her future…if she manages to stay alive at all when her barely-tested powers battle black magic for high stakes. And chocolate.
Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic is a light-hearted urban fantasy with darker shadings. The characters are unique and well-realized, and the setting does not have the traditional feel of most urban fantasies. Instead, the author offers up appealing glimpses into the quirky setting of Vancouver that will have the reader eager for more. The tasty cupcake descriptions aren’t bad, either.