Tag Archives: audiobook

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Book Review: Bloom in Blood & Dance in Night, by L.A. Boruff and Lainie Anderson

I accepted a free Audible Code for a copy of L.A. Boruff and Lainie Anderson‘s Dance in Night through FreeAudiobookcodes.com. However, I didn’t realize at the time that it is book two in the series. So, I then had to hunt up a copy of Bloom in Blood, which I did.
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About Bloom in Blood:

At thirty-seven, the worst possible thing happened. Now, at forty-two, Riley has nearly given up.

Five years ago, my world was turned upside down when my husband and sons disappeared without a trace. I mourned, I searched, and when I got no answers, I began to prepare.

Nobody will catch me vulnerable again.

I was wrong to think my life couldn’t get any crazier. Now there are two vampires at my door telling me my missing family wasn’t human…and neither am I. I have a chance to regain everything I’ve lost. But first, I have to find the truth about my heritage, all while fighting the overwhelming attraction I have for my missing husband’s best friends.

No matter what, my mourning is done. My life is in my control again. And I will burn the world to the ground to get my family back.

my review

This has an interesting premise and characters. But the execution…OMG, the execution is so bad. I picked this book up because I accepted an audible code for a copy of Dance in Night—book two of the series—without realizing it is a sequel. So, I had to step back and find this book to read first. If I hadn’t committed to reading and reviewing book two and therefore needed to finish book one, I would have DNFed this pretty early on.

The narrative is almost entirely dialogue, which leaves very little room for world-building that isn’t just info-dumped from one character to another for the benefit of the reader. And so much of the dialogue is painfully stilted. Worst of all, in my opinion (because it’s a pet peeve—once you notice, you can’t stop noticing), names are constantly included in the dialogue.

Authors, step back and think about a conversation you have with friends and family in real life. How often do you actually say the name of the person you’re talking to? I find the constant inclusion of names in dialogue one of the fastest ways to make writing feel amateurish.

Plus, the name of this series is An Unseen Midlife. The character is 42. It’s meant to fit in the Paranormal Women’s Fiction genre. A genre for women approaching middle age who are past the starting a family stage and are moving on to finding themselves again outside of the role of wife and mother. So, when the plotline is all about the importance of her babies (and ends with her pregnant with another), it breaches the contract of the genre, in my opinion.

Add to all of the above the fact that the plot rockets at such a pace that nothing is allowed time bloom in blood phototo grow or develop, and the result is a complete flop for me.

The writing and editing are mechanically sound, and the book has a cool cover. (The series has cool covers, rather.) And I appreciate that Riley is a full-sized woman. She’s a size 18 when her husband falls in love with her. But that’s about the most positive thing I have to say about any of it.

About Dance in Night:

Several months after the heartbreaking events in the ruins of the Isla Del Sol, all Riley wants is to resolve her complicated past and move on with life.

Pregnant, married, and safe, she never expects to be kidnapped while on vacation with her husbands.

Her kidnappers open her eyes to a dangerous threat to her baby’s entire existence. Her children’s safety is her top priority, and Riley will stop at nothing to achieve it. Is she strong enough to save her family?

my review

Meh. I liked this one a lot more than the first in the series. But I 100% stand by my previous assertion that THIS IS NOT PWF. Paranormal Women’s Fiction focuses on what women do once they have passed the stage of life of marriage and babies. And while the character here is in her forties, she is freshly married and pregnant for most of the book, then she has the baby, and the rest of dance in nightthe book focuses on baby issues. THAT IS EXPLICITLY NOT PWF, and it feels like dishonesty on the part of the authors to pretend it is.

As for the plot itself, it’s pretty shallow and predictable. It’s not bad, per se, but there’s not a lot to it. (And honestly, I skipped past the spicy times, just not invested enough to bother.) All in all, I’m not too disappointed to read it, but I am very glad to have it off my TBR.

Other Reviews:

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Book Review – Witch Myth: Wildfire, by Alexandria Clarke

I picked up an Audible code for a free copy of Witch Myth: Wildfire, by Alexandria Clarke. The cover looks Christmasy, even if the blurb doesn’t. So, I’d meant to read it over the Christmas break but never got around to it. So, I listened to it on Twelfth Night as I took the Christmas decorations down.

witch myth widfire audio cover

When a 16-year-old girl disappears from her hometown without a trace, stumping the local police force, the only person who has any hope of finding her is her older sister, Kennedy. The siblings share an otherworldly bond, which leads Kennedy to the peculiar, deserted town of Yew Hollow. Kennedy soon uncovers a coven of witches, a tragic secret, and something that she never knew about herself. When her number one priority is her little sister’s safety, Kennedy’s decision to stay in or leave Yew Hollow is the hardest one she’ll ever make.

my review

As I said, I picked this up because the cover made me think it was a Christmas story. But it isn’t. It’s set in October and ends long before December. I suspect that if I took the time to look, I’d find that this isn’t the cover the book always has, but that the author changed it to catch the seasonal readers. I feel a little manipulated by that, if I’m honest. (Of course, doing that would require figuring out the naming convention of having two books…maybe series…named Witch Myth and even Witch Myth: Wildfire, explicitly. I’m confused.)

I thought this was ok. Not fabulous, but not complete trash either. But I wouldn’t call it a cozy paranormal mystery. Paranormal, yes. Mystery, yes. But there is very little cozy to be had. So, don’t go in expecting anything the cover or subtitle leads you to expect. Yeah, still feeling a little manipulated over here.

All in all, I liked the characters, and the writing was mechanically fine. But the story feels like a spin-off, the characterization is on the simple side, and the book ends on a cliffhanger at exactly the point it feels like the actual story (as opposed to all the setup) looks to actually be starting.

witch myth photoLastly, the audio production and narration were only OK. Several words were oddly pronounced. Let me rephrase; a lot of words are mispronounced. And there is the occasional noticeable blip in the smoothness of the narrative, where you could tell it has been spliced together. Both of these yanked me out of the story when they happened.

So, all in all, not a real winner for me. But mostly, it just didn’t catch and hold my attention. I think those who like the genre will enjoy it.

Other Reviews:


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Book Review: Night in His Eyes, by Emma Alisyn

Night in His Eyes (by Alisyn Fae/Emma Alisyn) was featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight some time back. So, when I saw a chance to nab an audio code for a copy, I took it.

audio night in his eyes cover

A war of Fae Houses. A Prince waking from darkness. A woman drenched in his blood.

Prince Renaud, my mother’s killer, is waking. The Court has not felt the full weight of an Old One in centuries, and it’s my fault.

I am Aerinne Capulette, Lady of House Faronne, and I will have my vengeance against House Montague and Renaud. But despite the ground war I’ve led since I was a child, we remain locked in bloody stalemate.

If the Prince takes the field against us, he will rip from my mind the secret that will shred any hope for peace, or victory.

He will kill me if he discovers the truth. . .

. . .sweet, foolish child. Your death is not what I desire. I have not waited, watched, and planned for centuries to let something as petty as a halfling girl’s vengeance keep me from claiming what is mine.

To protect you, and to ensure my reign, I will bend you to my will. I will slake this obsession with your blood and tears, and I will yield you to no one.

Let your House protest. Let my Court look aghast. They are nothing.

And you—you are my anchor.

We may be enemies, but your hatred only seduces my darkness.

my review

I’m torn about how I feel after listening to this book. On the one hand, it sets up an interesting world with interesting characters. I especially appreciate the mixture of Europeanesque fae lore with Kenyan culture and characteristics. Plus, the writing (and the narration) are perfectly functional.

On the other hand, the events of this book don’t seem to be anchored into any identifiable, over-arcing plot. I’ve finished it now, and other than the lust between the two characters, I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE PLOT WAS OR WILL BE GOING FORWARD. And that’s a pretty big deterrent when thinking about continuing into the next book and beyond.

night in his eyes photoI also don’t particularly consider it a romance. The power imbalance prohibits it. I sense this might be addressed at some point. But as of the end of this book, one is powerless because the other holds all the power in all situations.

I am undecided if I will continue the series. Maybe if I come across a free copy of book two, I’ll read it, but I can’t see putting any effort or money into acquiring it.

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