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Archive for October 14th, 2015

Blood Diamond

I am lucky enough to be part of the Blood Diamond tour today. But I was even luckier to have had to opprtunity to review all of the books in the series. So, I’m going to start with Blood Diamond, book 3 in the With & Wolf series by R.J. Blain,

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Blood Diamond (Witch & Wolf – 3)

(Excerpt from Goodreads) The world is full of corpses, and Jackson knows them by name. When a group strives to destroy the Inquisition, his powers may be all standing between the supernaturals and extinction.

However, when he learns the truth behind the deaths of his wife and unborn daughter, Jackson may prove to be the greatest threat of all to the survival of mankind…

5 stars

Dante has the ability to sense dead people and we are introduced to him as he is waiting for a fight between his brother’s pack and another pack. He steps up and saves the only surviving enemy and starts a whole chain reaction. From there, without any spoilers, there is romance, tension (lots of), the Inquisition, revenge, and a whole range of characters that will keep you reading into the wee hours of the night.

Dante thinks he is so much less of a character than he really is. He is so gentlemanly, especially with so much tension going on. I do like how there is no sex, this is a book full of action and thrills. I really like how you have both a romance that although sudden makes sense when you think about it, and a revenge story.

The more I read of R.J. Blain’s work, the more I love it. I like how this series progress in a different direct from most books you read. The books link together but they are also done in a way that you don’t have to read the other books first. But I strongly recommend reading them, they just make the series so much better.

I received this book for free from the Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon     Goodreads     R.J. Blains Website

Excerpt

Sounds great huh? Well to help entice you, here is an excerpt:

The world was full of corpses, and I, Dante Jackson Emmett Anderson, knew them by name. Unfortunately for me, my brother knew my secret.

When my brother asked for help, it usually involved unidentified bodies or paperwork. When he had showed up at my door, I hadn’t expected an invitation to join an Inquisition field operation, one dangerous enough to warrant the use of my brother’s armored truck. He had me dead to rights when he told me I’d be driving, and judging by the way he had smirked while spinning the keys around his finger, he had known it.

I doubted the red-painted, tempting seductress of a monstrosity could be eliminated by anything other than a missile or a tank; even if someone wanted to blast their way in, they’d need a ladder to reach the door. I wasn’t small, not at six foot three, and I needed the help of the step rail and roll bar to climb in. The rest of the team needed me to give them a hand.

I drew a deep breath and let it out in a sigh. I should have refused my twin and ignored the lure of driving his absurd, stupid truck. I should have told him I would do a stint at the Inquisition headquarters shuffling papers and naming dead people instead of pretending I was trained for field operations.

Drumming my hands against the leather wheel, probably the only normal thing in the truck, I waited. The manila envelope on the dashboard mocked me, reflecting in the windshield as I watched the darkening forest for any signs of the team’s return. Once I opened it, I’d know more about the operation and its Inquisitors than I wanted. I’d know the names and faces of the dead, and if my bad luck held, I’d get a glimpse of their final moments.

The dead were vindictive like that.

I leaned forward, resting my forehead on my hands. My brother had been in enough of a hurry to get me into his truck and on the road I hadn’t had time to change out of my suit. Combat boots, fatigues, and Kevlar protected the Inquisitors. I wore a silk dress shirt and an equally thin jacket a bullet would ignore before tearing a hole through me.

Clenching my teeth, I bumped my forehead against the wheel as I cursed my idiocy.

A smart man would’ve put the idling engine into gear and left. If I did that, I’d be the target of my very own Inquisition operation. I doubted even the Red Beast could withstand a pack of angry Fenerec armed with more firepower than the military. They had missiles, and I had supplied all six warheads to them. If they launched one at the truck, they’d blow it—and me—into scrap metal and unidentifiable bits.

R.J. Blain

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

When she isn’t playing pretend, she likes to think she’s a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband, and obeys the commands of Tsu Dhi, the great warrior fish.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

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Inquisitor (Witch & Wolf – 1)

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) When Allison is asked to play Cinderella-turned-Fiancée at a Halloween ball, the last thing she expected was to be accused of murder on the same night. She has to find the killer or she’ll be put to death for the crimes she didn’t commit. To make matters worse, the victims are all werewolves.

On the short list of potential victims, Allison has to act fast, or the killer will have one more body to add to his little black book of corpses.

There’s only one problem: One of the deaths has struck too close to home, and Allison’s desire for self-preservation may transform into a quest for vengeance…

In this world there are a lot of paranormal creatures and people. Allison is a unique combination of werewolf and witch. She is invited to a Halloween party with a client but while there a young lady is murdered and Allison is the suspect. Allison goes on the hunt for the real killer. But Allison has a lot of secrets and it doesn’t help that the Inquisition is involved.

This is an interesting take on werewolves from the usual stories. Allison is close to 200 years old and has had sometime to acquire some money. She also has several different identities, one of which helps her in her escape as Allison. I like the background of Allison; it was interesting the different points of view from her human-like self to her wolf state.

There is a lot of stuff happening in this story. Things start off at a fast pace before you really know what is going on. Then when you think you might be catching on there are several side events happening that throw you off again. I was so confused that I had no idea who the killer could have been. Now normally that wouldn’t be a bad thing but when you don’t really get a description or world building before everything goes to heck it tends to leave you lost. Also, some things in the story seemed to catch and jump. I think that is the normal first book in a series feeling its way around.

Having said that, I was very interested in the story and with the cliff hanger ending I will be reading Winter Wolf to see what happens next.

I received Inquisitor for free from the Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon     Goodreads

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Winter Wolf (Witch & Wolf – 2)

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) The Hunted Wizard

When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.

The savage murder of a bookstore employee throws Nicole into the middle of Inquisition business, like it or not. Driven by her inability to save the young man’s life, she decides to hunt the killer on her own. Using forbidden magic to investigate the past, she learns that the murderer is in fact a disease that could kill the entire werewolf race.

Forced to choose between saving lives and preserving her own, Nicole embraces the magic that sent her into exile. Without werewolves, the power of the Inquisition would dwindle, and she could live without being hunted.

Nicole’s only hope for success lies in the hands of the werewolves she hates and the Inquisition she fears, but finding someone to trust is only the beginning of her problems. There are those who want to ensure that the werewolves go extinct and that the Inquisition falls.

But, if she fails to find a cure, her family—including her twin sister—will perish…

Nicole is a wizard and messed around where she should not have been. Now she is trying to stay ahead of the Inquisition but a murder puts her right in their radar. She decides to investigate on her own and learns that there is a plague on the werewolf population. Nicole is torn between doing nothing about the plague and basically disappearing from the Inquisition’s search or stepping up and saving the lives of a lot of people/werewolves.

This book takes place before Inquisitor but the way it is written it doesn’t matter if you have read Inquisitor. Nicole has done some bad things and she is wracked with guilt over those actions. I will say that Nicole has little self esteem and dwells on the negative. It just made her a more realistic character. And I just loved how although she didn’t realize it, she is a great leader.

There is not as much going on in this story as Inquisition but I think that made this one flow better. There are still a lot of questions unanswered but I could get into this story easier. I really like how this series is progressing. Now on to Blood Diamond.

I received Inquisitor for free from the Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon     Goodreads

Make sure to get your copy of this series. It is one that you don’t want to miss.

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