Magic Strikes

This review contains spoilers.

Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

 4345498

  • Genre : Urban Fantasy
  • Date Started :  July 22, 2015
  • Date Finished : July 23, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from the author’s website. This is the 3rd book in the Kate Daniel Series.

I am in love with this series and I’m finding it incredibly hard to not read ahead of my book club. Everything about this series has me hooked and ready for more. I’m usually that person who would skim the fighting scenes but not in this book. There is so much action in this book and it flows well. This book is about Kate getting pulled into a world of underground arena/gladiator style fighting.You read that correctly, gladiator style fighting, and apparently this is not her first time in this style of fight.

Much to Kate’s frustration she finds herself caring for a lot of people. I don’t mean caring for a sickly relative, I mean friends. Kate’s always been told to trust only herself and to not make friends. This is a constant struggle for Kate, especially as her bond grows with Andrea, Derek and the pack. Kate has a big heart, she can’t help it. So when she gets a call to help with a pack death and is told they don’t need her help, she is slightly uneasy. It’s not her job and if they needed help they would ask. After one of the longest days ever, she goes home and is in fairly good spirits because she knows she has 1 slice of pie left. Kate’s super excited about the pie, it’s sort of hilarious.

Kate gets a call from Saiman, informing her that Derek broke into his house. It’s Kate to the rescue and she finds out that Derek is after tickets to the Midnight Games. Kate negotiates Derek’s release but is then pulled into going with Saiman to the games to help him evaluate a team competing. Derek uses this chance to ask Kate to give someone at the games a note, a girl someone. Kate is suspicious but thinks Derek just has a crush on some girl.

During the first night at the games, Kate learns that the girl Derek is looking for wants to leave the cult/group she joined, the same group that Saiman wanted Kate to evaluate. The girl will give the pack information if they help her escape. Kate reads the note after the girl throws it away and discovers that Derek has arranged a spot to meet. Too bad the girl turns on him and Derek is left outside one of the packs properties and is severely beaten. It’s really bad and it made me feel so strongly for this kid and so much anger to the ones who hurt him. Derek may act like a man but before this incident, he was just a teenage smart ass with lots of confidence.

Jim and his group of guards hide Derek and the other bodies from Curran. Derek is in bad shape and they think he might go loup. Kate learns that the pack has been hiding it all from Curran. Turns out that Curran’s rule number 1 is the pack is forbidden from participating in the Midnight games after what happened when he took over. Jim has been investigating and has an inside man in the games and thought Curran would not understand.

Things are super tense and Kate, because she is awesome, makes a comment to Curran telling him that her and Jim are running away together. Of course, Curran gets pissed and it’s hilarious. The tension between Kate and Curran was fantastic in this book. Curran and Kate make a bet, if he can find her and the pack members before the pack grace period is up, she has to cook him dinner, naked. So much tension! Curran does find them, of course but she traps him in a loup cage and tells Julie not to let him out before the hour is up.

The pack wants revenge on the group that has been killing pack members so Jim, a few pack members, Kate and Saiman entering the Midnight Games. Lot of great fighting scenes happen when they are at the games. We discover Saiman’s true form, get to see Jim, Derek, Kate, Andrea, Raphael and Dali (a clumsy partially blind tiger) fight together. Shit hits the fan though when Curran, Mohan and Aunt B. show up at the Games. Curran replaces Saiman on the team and they end up kicking major butt.

We end up learning that they are dealing with mythological figures from India, who somehow have tricked M-scanners to think they are human. The bad guys in this book eat the pack members they take and want to steal the prize gem from the Midnight Games. This gem can cause the shifters to not shift and they want to use it to destroy the pack. We find out a little more about Roland and how he is connected to this group of mythological creatures and how the pack is growing too large for Roland to ignore anymore. We also learn Kate’s big secret and exactly why she is so worried about her blood. She shatters a weapon that can only be destroyed by Roland himself, which basically announces who she is.

Everything that happens to Derek in this book made my heart melt and you know his character has been forever changed. Julie’s school experience and how Kate handles what the kid is going through is completely heart warming. And now we just need to wait to see how Kate and Curran’s naked dinner turns out. Oh wait, I think Curran said she could wear underwear that he picks out.

This book had me hooked. We learned so much and experienced a lot of important story building events.  It was really hard not reading ahead so I’m giving this book 5 stars. I would read it again and again and it only reinforces my love for all things Kate Daniels.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 5 Stars

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Grave Peril

This review contains spoilers. 

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher

91476

  • Genre : Urban Fantasy
  • Date Started :  July 6, 2015
  • Date Finished : July 9, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from the author’s website. This is the 3rd book in the Dresden Files.

This book in the Dresden Files series is about the spirit world crossing over into our world, Vampire politics and old enemies. This book is not as exciting as the first two but it’s still enjoyable. I did feel a little out of sorts when the book started though. I felt like I missed a few chapters and kept asking myself, who is this guy with Dresden? Were we supposed to know him or something? The whole book is based of an event that we were not there for. Little hints here and there about a case Dresden, Michael and Murphy and her agents worked. The entire book felt like I had missed out on something important. This really frustrated me.

So quick run down of the book. Susan and Dresden are apparently in a committed relationship. Bad guy breaks part of the spirit world while trying to take out people close to Dresden. Dresden frantically attempts to stop the bad guy before his friends are killed. Dresden goes into the spirit world to chase a ghost and runs into his grandmother/godmother, who wants to turn him into one of her dogs. Dresden attends the Red Courts ball with Michael to see if they can catch the person trying to kill people.  Huge big bad fight happens at the party, Susan shows up and annoys the hell out of me and we meet Thomas. Susan is bitten and then the bad guy makes a Dresden suit and wears it around to terrorize people and cause more problems for Dresden. The bad guy is defeated and Susan moves away.

Another quick and entertaining read. While the story was not the best and hard to follow at times, Butcher writes some fantastic characters and some not so great ones. Michael, a true Man of God, made me uncomfortable. I don’t do well around religious talk and it’s probably just me but his lectures to Dresden made me uncomfortable. If I met this man in real life, I would think he was nuts. Dresden handles him fantastically though. Towards the end of the book, he started to grow on me. Susan who is Dresden’s girlfriend is one of the characters that I can’t stand. I’m totally supportive of ambitious woman. I’m not supportive of woman who seem like they would do anything for a story. Every time Dresden and Susan talked I felt like she just wanted a story and not to mention what an idiot she is. I mean come on, why would you go to a Vampire’s party, uninvited and sneak in? Do you want to get yourself killed? I just don’t get what Dresden sees in her. The “love” they talk about is all talk and no substance. I’m glad she moved away. My last person I want to mention is Thomas and I loved him. Yes he is a vampire and I hope he does not become a totally asshole. I’d like to see and hear more from Thomas in later books.

I enjoyed Dresden in this one. His sense of humor makes me laugh and while his fighting style can sometimes bug me, his personality makes up for it. Attending the Vampire Custom party as a cheesy vampire, that’s pretty great. Overall the story was engaging and entertaining if not a little confusing. I don’t think I’d read this story again but I definitely look forward to reading the next book in the series. I’m giving Grave Peril by Jim Butcher a solid 3 stars.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating  Stars

What the [BLANK] happened this weekend?

I had my monthly book club meeting this weekend. It was slightly different than most of our meetings since we did some crafts during discussions. Good book discussions though. We are reading a series that 90% of the members like, so that helps. To be honest, I’m not sure why we are reading the series because most of us have already read the whole series. Oh I know why, because it’s a fantastic series. We love Kate Daniels!

I also came up with a pretty aggressive reading schedule for myself. I’m not behind on my book club books, with the exception of the Anita Blake series. In order to keep up I need to stick to the following schedule though. I have 10 books to read by October 2nd. My upcoming reading;

  • Finish the second half of Second Grave on the Left (8/10-8/12 : 62 pages a day)
  • Continue reading Kiss the Dead (8/12-8/15 : 96 pages a day)
  • Start Dark Debt (8/15-8/19 : 93 pages a day)
  • Start Night Seeker (8/19-8/23 : 85 pages a day)
  • Start Summer Knight (8/24-8/28 : 113 pages a day)
  • Start Affliction (8/29-9/4 : 82 pages a day)
  • Start Third Grave dead ahead (9/5-9/9 : 78 pages a day)
  • Start Jason (9/10-9/16 : 43 pages a day)
  • Start Magic Bleeds (9/17-9/20 : 117 pages a day)
  • Start Dead Ice (9/20-10/2: 42 pages a day)

This weekend I also took my nephew to see Ant-Man. My sister needed help this weekend and when I asked my nephew if he wanted to see it, he got super excited. He really likes superhero movies and even knew more about the movie than I did going in. The poor kid had never seen a Marvel movie in the theaters before, glad I could change that for him. After the movie we went and played mini golf. He really likes mini golf but boy does that kid need to learn how to accept the word no. Every time I told him no or not right now he would try to negotiate with me. When I would repeat myself and say no he would start to throw a fit. Luckily it was never a full blown tantrum but damn that kid tries to negotiate everything.

Other than that I was pretty lazy and didn’t do anything productive, except run the dishwasher and do 1 load of laundry.

Tiffany – The Tangled Taurus

Burned

This review contains spoilers. 

Burned by Karen Marie Moning

12444297

  • Genre : Paranormal Romance – Urban Fantasy
  • Date Started :  July 5, 2015
  • Date Finished : July 10, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from the author’s website. This is the 7th book in the Fever series.

Not a lot happens in this book and it was a let down compared to all of Moning’s other books. I still love the characters and the world and had a blast reading the dialog between characters and internal dialog but the story was just sooooooo boring. I kept reading thinking, is something going to happen and when is Dani coming back? We hear more about the story of the Unseelie King, the song of making and his concubine, but nothing worth knowing, yet.

Dani disappears into the mirror world or Shadows or whatever they call it pretty early in the book and stays gone for 75% of the book. I never realized how much I would miss Dani’s annoyingness, is that a word, until she was gone. Dani made things interesting and exciting because she was always rushing into things. Yes it was frustrating early on but it kept the story moving and me hooked. As soon as the smart ass, fast talking fast paced kid was gone, the plot slowed down to a slow crawl. I knew that Moning had to age Dani and had wondered how she would do that. I NEVER expected Moning to do it this way. I feel like the new character introduction was not surprising at all but multiple personalities, really? I miss Dani and while I’m starting to like Jada, I want a nice mix of them both and not straight Jada.

While Dani is lost in the other realm, Mac gets a huge entourage she can’t get rid of and then literally disappears. Yes she becomes invisible. I have to say, Mac becoming invisible was one of the best parts about this book. It’s Mac, you know she is going to do things she should not and see things she should not. Sneaking around Chesters and following Ryodan around, watching certain someone’s making out and getting it on. I enjoyed Mac in this book, she was fantastic. Her and Barrons bickering back and forth at the most inappropriate time. They were great. Still a little mad at Barrons for what he did to Mac and hope they make up.

Other happenings, Unseelie Princesses, who should not exist pop into town. Jada takes over the abbey when Kat disappears. Kat’s being helped by Ryodan and Kasteo. Lor pretends to be pri-ya in order to get laid. Jada doesn’t have her Sword, still have no idea what happened with that. They rescue Christian from the hag who he sacrificed himself to in ICED. In the process of rescuing Christian, one of the druids is killed. Towards the end of the book, Mac is sneaking around Chesters and discovers the druid being brought back to life and wonders if they made him like the nine.

Overall I still enjoyed Burned and Moning’s ability to bring her characters to life. I’m over the switching character point of views every chapter though. I understand it makes it easier to immediately know who the voice is of the chapter but it seemed unnecessary. I’m giving Burned by Karen Marie Moning a 3.5 stars because it was good and I might read it again, just in the distant, way off and out there future.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 3.5 Stars

Night Veil

This review contains spoilers. 

Night Veil by Yasmine Galenorn

9673866

  • Genre : Urban Fantasy – Paranormal Romance
  • Date Started :  July 2, 2015
  • Date Finished : July 8. 2015

Description: You can read the full description from the author’s website. This is the 2nd book in the Indigo Court series.

Night Veil leaves off where the first book ends. Grieve is still with the big bad, the indigo court and the vampires Cicely made a deal with constantly want her to do their bidding. Things at home are not that great, relationships mostly and things just keep getting worse. Kaylin starts off in the book in a coma and Cicely must wake him up by visiting the Bat People and deal with his demon, who decides now is the perfect time to come out and play. Cicely finds out who her father is, but that’s not really a surprise. I mean that was fairly obvious from the beginning. Cicely is betrayed, has her home blown up and forced to go on the run with a her rag tag group.

This is a tough one. Here is my dilemma with this series, I enjoy the concept of the book and story but I don’t like the execution. Night Veil was easy to read and it kept me hooked but I felt like this book could have been a novella. We do learn a lot of back story in this book and discover characters true sides. I still feel like most of this could have been added to the first book.

Some of the plot points felt forced, like Kaylin and his demon issue and pretty much every scene with the vampires. Every scene with the vampires makes me feel slimy and gross. Galenorn does a great job writing the vampires as freaky and ultra creepy. I’m still not convinced of the romance between Grieve and Cicely. I understand they have a bond and are destined to be together but it doesn’t feel real. Their emotions are not, they are not what I would expect from lovers destined to be together.

There were a few surprises, things I did not see coming, not at all. Leo snaps and in a burst of rage hits Cicely and all of a sudden he starts acting weird. This was so out of character, no build up to his switch in personality and now he has ulterior motive? All of the characters interactions with Lannan were odd. At first he is like he was in the first book and then he decides to help Cicely and her group. Lannan who apparently we can be sort of trusted now? One of the biggest shockers and out of left field was a ritual with Peyton’s mom to strip Cicely and Grieve’s bond in order to “protect” Peyton from her father. To do that sort of magic against the will of the person apparently is pretty horrible and the execution left me disliking Peyton’s mom. I think her betrayal was more of a shocker than anything else.

Like I mentioned before, this book is easy to read and has potential to be pretty good but execution is still lacking. We are reading this series for book club and at this point, I’m still entertained. I’m giving this book a 2.5 stars because it’s not bad, it’s entertaining but I probably won’t reread the series ever again.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating  2.5 Stars

What the [BLANK] happened this weekend?

This weekend was a successful weekend, well productive at least. I was SUPPOSED to post this yesterday but my NEPHEW WAS BORN! So excited to have another nephew! Okay now on to the post.

My voice came back and while I’m still coughing here and there, I sound 100% better. On Saturday I helped my friend paint her bedroom. We changed it from mocha to a pale grey. Then we moved in all her larger furniture, hung up wall decorations and shelves. and purged a lot of her makeup, clothes and items she totally forgot about. I had to tell her sorry when I left because I was really hard on her and while I’m coming to terms with purging things I NEVER use, she has not. I was rather harsh, but what are friends for right?? We also painted a few furniture pieces that she wanted to match to her new color scheme. I had planned on going to the gym Saturday but I was at her house from 9am to 8pm. I felt that while I did not get a real workout in, I did work pretty hard. Seriously. I’m short so I was in charge of painting the lower half of the wall which meant I was in a squat position most of the time. the back of my legs are sore. I miss being sore.

Sunday was sort of a lazy day but I worked out a schedule/timeline for finishing my friends scarf as well as a timeline for finishing my book for book club. I started working on clearing out my dining room and getting it ready for a battling chaos post. I have mass amounts of books that I need to purge as well but I feel like that’s going to be incredibly tough and I want to save it for last. If I do it now, it will just end up pushing back other minimalist projects that I can get done quicker. So overall a productive weekend.

I also planned out my week using my awesome Plum Paper Planner. Adore my Chris Evans Dashboard, haha.
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Tiffany – The Tangled Taurus

My voice took a vacation without me!

I’ve been under the weather lately. Last Thursday I woke up with a horrible sore throat, one where my entire head felt like I’d been beat up. I was feeling slightly better on Friday and went to the Bite of Seattle with some friends. I’m not an adventurous eater but I had some smoked salmon that was pretty delicious. The whole reason we even went to the bite was to partake in their free movie. The free movie this year was Ghostbusters, which was amazing because I LOVE that movie. I used to watch both Ghostbuster movies on repeat during finals week while I studied. Oh memories!

Saturday I woke up to discover that while my sore throat had gone away, I was not able to talk. The no voice lasted until Monday. I ended up going into work but left 30 mins later when I had coverage. I’m a receptionist so having no voice has been hell this week. Attempting to answer phones on Monday gave me a painful throat for the next day, so I stayed home. Since Tuesday my voice has slowly gotten better but Wednesday and Thursday I left work at noon so I could rest it.

I tried almost everything I could think of. I drank mass amounts of water, Lemon tea with honey, cough drops, cough drops in warm water (cough drop tea), gargled warm salt water, and even tried a teaspoon of Cider Vinegar. While I am fine and feel great, my voice just doesn’t want to come back. I have that sexy husky voice thing going on. Lol.

During this last week I’ve been able to finish reading a few books, so be on the look out for about 3 or 4 book reviews. I also was able to finish season 2 of Bitten. I still have not read the series yet but I love the TV show. This weekend I’m helping a friend paint her room, but other then that it’s another rest weekend! I also have a few ideas for blog posts to think about as well! Wish me luck with my voice!

Tiffany – The Tangled Taurus

Sins and Needles

This review contains spoilers. 

Sins & Needles by Karina Halle

16029994

  • Genre : Contemporary Romance
  • Date Started :  July 10, 2015
  • Date Finished : July 15, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from GoodReads. This is the 1st book in The Artists Trilogy.

This book is about a woman with many names…Okay she is a Con artist hence the many names. In this book she decides to move back to her home town, stop grifting and conning. Ellie wants to start fresh. She thinks everyone she used to know has probably moved away because why would anyone want to stay in a small town? Her Uncle tells her she can’t live with him and she runs into her ex Highschool best friend in a coffee shop her first day back. Starting fresh has not been as easy as she thought and when she hears that Camden, her ex best friend is rich, the con artist in her can’t resist the temptation. Things heat up between the two and we learn that Camden has always loved Ellie, even after she broke his heart back in highschool. Everything turns to shit though when Ellie breaks into Camden’s home and tries to steal his money, because he is well off, it’s ok, right?

In a twist, Camden knew this was coming. He had hoped it would not but knew he couldn’t trust Ellie and set her up to take the bait. In his mind, he wanted to move past the hurt she caused when they were in highschool and hoped that they could, if she would have not attempted to steal from him. Camden gets really angry, holds Ellie hostage and threatens her. He’s willing to let her go though if she agrees to help him. See Camden is in trouble and wants his own fresh start and thinks Ellie can get that for him. They spend a few days planning his new life and making a plan and then Ellie’s past catches up with her.

Ellie panics and convinces Camden they need to leave NOW. So they run and take the money that Camden has. This money isn’t really Camden’s though, it’s his ex-wife’s families money that he has been laundering for them. Now Ellie and Camden are going to casinos to launder money the way Ellie knows how, gambling, so they can escape both their pasts and start fresh. Ellie’s past catches up to them and eventually uses her Uncle to track her down. Camden suspects this to be a trap but Ellie just can’t leave without helping out her Uncle. Sure enough, her uncle sets her up but Camden and Ellie escape, but not for long. Javier, who is Ellie’s past lover and one major reason she has been running all this time, decides to team up with Camden’s ex’s family. Camden’s ex wife and child are then held and threatened until Ellie agrees to go with Javier.

I don’t want to say this was a bad book because it was not. It reads well and while I enjoyed the overall story, I didn’t care much for the characters. The story was going great for me until Ellie attempted to con Camden. The story went down hill from there for me. Part of that has to do with them being flawed characters who make horrible decision and sort of do bad things. I understand characters who are not perfect, who have issues and are effected by them but I’m over the sad and pointless pity parties some characters throw themselves. I was not a fan of Ellie character at all, everything, all of what she was bugged me. As for Camden, I don’t want to say I loved him or disliked him but the abrupt change in his personality multiple times though out the story threw me. I liked to see a character with so many sides and while some of the emotions were natural and flowed, some felt like they came out of left field. I got nice and sweet, confident, playful, then flashes of rage that frightened me, then docile, then more flashes of rage, back to sweet and playful, then suspicion.

I finished the book 5 days after I started it because once they, Ellie and Camden went on the run, I lost interest in the story. This is the first book in the Artist Trilogy and I’m not sure if I want to continue or not. I might push on sometime in the future but right now, I’m done with this series. I might try another series of the author though, just not this one. Overall I’m giving this book a 2.5 stars because I did enjoy the book in the beginning but I will not be reading it again.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 2.5 Stars

Riding the high

This last weekend was amazing and I’m still hyped up over it. My beloved Sounders won on Friday, after a losing streak. With Dempsey out on suspension/gold cup duty, Evans out for injury/gold cup duty, Papa out for gold cup duty and a large group of our starters injured, this win was just what we needed. Even though Tyrone Mears probably did it for the Queen, since he is English, it’s still a great way to start off July 4th weekend! Not much to say about the 4th of July except it was nice. A great time to hang with family and enjoy each other’s company. Then on Sunday, the US Women’s team defeated Japan to take home the World Cup! Seriously, if you did not watch that game then you missed out on some fantastic soccer. I’m still too emotional from that win to talk calmly about it but wow, still riding that high.

Then today, I see that my Plum Paper Planner should arrive today and I can’t wait to get home and open it up! I’m still waiting on all my planner stickers and coil clips but still excited to start using it and getting organized. I’m not sure why it took me so long to discover etsy and now that I have, I think I’m in trouble!

As for this week, I’m putting a hold on my purging. Book club is this Friday and I have read 0 of the books. Don’t worry though, well like you would waste your worry, I have a plan. I have 3 book to read and I’ve broken it down below. I just need to stick to the timeline and not skip any! Ugh I brought this on myself! Why did I wait so long again???

Night Veil – 294 pages left – read 100 pages a day – 40 pgs at lunch or at work & 60 pgs at 5pm – 6pm M-T-W

Grave Peril – 378 pages – read 80 pages a day – 80 pgs at 7pm – 8:30pm M-T-W – 40 pgs at lunch or at work TH-F & 80 pgs at 7pm – 8:30pm TH

Burned – 273 pages left – Read 91 pgs at 8:30pm – 10pm M-T-W-TH

After I get all my books read then I can get back to purging and start working on my crochet blanket for my nephew that should be here aaaaaannnny day now.

Tiffany – The Tangled Taurus

Come here often? ;)

My lack of posts would indicate that I do not, for a fact, come here often. Yes I know this is a cheesy pick up line but it’s been a while since I posted an update. Things have not been hectic or anything but I’ve had a decreased will to post or pretty much do anything productive. I like to blame it on the heat we are having. The heat always sucks all the energy I have and converts it into pure hatred for the sun. I hate sweating, the restless nights, and did I mention the sweating? I was sick last week and almost went to work just for the AC.

So updates…

I hit a snag in my minimalist purge project, battling chaos. My desk is looking great and still nice and clean. I started working on the area right of my desk, my fireplace and my TV/TV Stand. I cleaned, purged and then started decorating. Decorating has been my downfall. I have a hard time leaving space empty and void of anything. My mantle is pretty boring and I decided to try my hand at painting a picture for it and they turned out HORRIBLE and ugly! Since then I’ve had no motivation to continue, all because a little disappointment. I don’t have any plans tonight so I figured I would clean up what I do have in place and just leave the decorating until later. Then maybe once I have the whole downstairs nice and clear, I can work on decorating.

With the heat and feeling crappy, reading again has not been happening. I have so much to catch up on it’s not funny. I really need to hammer out a reading schedule and actually follow it. I even have books I need to read before my next book club that I have been waiting to read and I just have no desire. My life is being controlled by my lack of desire to do anything that involves my brain!

And my last update before I go. In an attempt to organize my life I bought a Plum Paper Planner! I’m super excited to get this in and to start using it. I’ve tried to stay organized electronically using Google Drive, Google Keep, Google Calendar, Evernote, Todolist. HabitRPG and other random android apps. While I love Google Keep for random notes, book notes and grocery lists, it just doesn’t keep me organized. I still write myself notes, I still make lists and I still go through way to many scraps of paper. I know using a paper planner is time consuming but I’m at a place where I need to crack down and just do it.

Tiffany – The Tangled Taurus