Monday, July 4, 2016

Xoe (The Xoe Meyers Serise Book 1) by Sara Roethle

Synopsis via Amazon:
Xoe never thought she’d be the type of girl to contemplate murder. Of course, she never thought she’d be dealing with werewolves on top of her own strange, budding powers. She’d also never considered the possibility of her long lost father being a demon. Everything comes crashing down at once when her best friend’s life is put in peril, and Xoe will do whatever it takes to save her. On top of it all, there’s Jason. He might be tall and handsome, but she doesn’t trust him as far as she can throw him. Given that he’s a vampire, she’ll have to be able to catch him first. 

Have I ever said that Urban Fantasy is one of my favorite genres? Well it is, but it isn't always easy to find a good story that doesn't focus on shifters and vampires in a cookie cutter story.
XOE is one of those stories that has its own voice. This is a story that kept me engrossed from word to word, page to page, and twist by twist. Should I feel guilty that I stayed up too long one night to finish the book in one day? Should I feel guilty that I was really tired the next day at work and it was all my fault? Well, I did feel guilty, but it was so worth the guilt and fatigue.
 Xoe is a strong female character. She doesn't shy away from the unknown. She tackles it head on.
One of the things I liked about this story is that it defines true friendship. Three very different high school girls stick together during good times, hard times and strange times. 
I have to say, I am having a difficult time trying to put my opinion into words. I don't want to give away the story line. I was impressed with the way Miss Roethle depicted the relationship each girl had with their parents. It was realistic. They weren't left to their own devices, they were actually given rules to follow and they did. For me, the storyline with its twists and turns are what makes this story so great.
I will say that this story holds its own without sex. It is classified as YA/Urban Fantasy. I can't wait to read book two.

15 Minutes to Live by Phoef Sutton (Spoiler Alert)a

Synopsis via Amazon:
Carl moved into his childhood home after his parents died. It’s a house filled with fond memories…like when he was a teenager and his girlfriend Jesse would throw pebbles at his window at night to lure him outside for frantic sex. So he thinks he’s dreaming when late one night, he hears those pebbles hitting his window again…and there she is outside, aching for his touch. It’s only as they are ravaging each other again that he realizes it’s too good to be a dream. 

It’s her. She’s back as if nothing has changed. But it has. For one thing, it’s been twenty years since high school. And she died three weeks ago. 

Is she an imposter? A ghost? Or is the answer even more chilling? It’s just the beginning of a dangerous, unpredictable, and bizarre odyssey for them both…where nothing is what it seems… and every minute counts. 

This was not one of my favorite reads. I have to say that is was a unique read. I have never read anything quite like it. My intellectual side wants to know if you take it at face value or is there a deeper meaning?
Let's look at it from the face value side. Here is a man, Carl, who is well into his prime and he still has not, in essence, moved on with his life. He has not married, he bought his childhood home, and he wallows in the past. Okay, so this isn't very far from the everyday norm for some people. But then, all of a sudden, one night his high school sweetheart shows up, throwing pebbles at his window, acting just like she did during their high school years and they pick up where they left off. They have sex just like they did during high school, but she seems to "reset" every 15 minutes. She can't remember anything past the last 15 minutes. Oh, did I mention she was declared dead?
OK, so there are so many things wrong with this. First, she is supposed to be dead, second, she is acting just like she did in high school, third, she is supposed to have married someone else, and fourth, she can't remember more than 15 minutes of her current life.
Carl just jumps right into having sex with this woman who is clearly confused. He doesn't stop and think there is something seriously wrong with her when she can only seem to remember the past and 15 minutes at a time. This totally reeks of rape to me.
Now the deeper meaning possibility. Is the author saying that everyone lives at most 15 minutes of their life over and over? Is he intent on showing that most people are, at their core, selfish and will take what gives them pleasure without any thought?
All I know is that this was a difficult and strange read, but like a train wreck, I just couldn't quit reading in the hopes that it would get better. Well, it never did get better.

Shadow's Passion (Shadow Warder Series #0.5) by Molle McGregor

Shadow’s Passion

Synopsis via Amazon Kindle
He lived for vengeance, until he met her. Now he has to choose—revenge or love?Exiled by her people after an accidental death, Celeste’s power is so unstable the elegant Shadow healer is considered a deadly menace. Fifty years of isolation have left her a little lonely. And more than a little bored. When a nearby family falls victim to demon infection, she decides to go hunting. Without backup, it won’t be long before the demons are hunting her.

A dangerous assassin, Gabe has better things to do than save a Shadow from her own reckless behavior. Like find the demon who killed his brother. Sure, the Shadow is gorgeous, alluring, and she needs his help. But he can’t afford to get distracted. Everything changes the second he spies his brother’s killer among the demons after Celeste. Now, nothing will tear him from her side.

Gabe is dangerous and secretive. He’s also a skilled fighter and sexy as hell. Celeste knows better than to team up with a Warder, but she’s not sure she cares. It’s been a long dry spell since her exile. Neither of them expects their fling to turn into something more. But when Gabe’s past catches up with him, he learns that his brother’s murder was just the beginning. A new evil is rising, and its sights are set on Celeste. Now Gabe has to make a choice: revenge or love?
This is paranormal romance/urban fantasy at it's best! I was hooked from page one and could not wait to find out what was next!
While Shadow's Passion is part of the Warder Series, it is a stand alone. There is never any confusion about what is going on, who the characters are, etc. Miss McGregor is a wonderful story teller. Her words float like a breeze through the leaves of a tree. I felt like I was teleported into the book and was an invisible observer. Voyeurism at it's best in some scenes.
This story has it all-solid story-line, angst, conflict, love, and sex.

This is on my list of MUST READS!!