Dragon Sword by Susan Brassfield Cogan

DRAGO
Dragon Sword by Susan Brassfield Cogan
Black Jade Dragon Series #2
Publisher: CoganBooks
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (244 Pages)
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

Here we go again! Angie Tanaka can’t seem to stay out of trouble. She finds herself haunted by a cute little hungry ghost and a not-so-cute demon who has a special hell kept warm just for dragons.

Angie Tanaka is, as she herself admits, “the one woman crime wave.” She has a need to steal and needless to say, that gets her into trouble. She lives on Shaolong, the Land of Nine Dragons, and now the island is in real trouble. The Chinese ambassador is visiting and soon the Chinese will be taking over. This would mean the end of the dragons as well as the current culture on Shaolong. Angie’s particular skills are needed.

I like Angie. True, she is a thief, but she is a very interesting one and when the dragons are threatened her loyalties are all in the right place. The action is fast paced and there are lots of exciting scenes with dragons and some very scary demons. The suspense grows throughout the novel, coming to a very exciting conclusion.

I really liked the way the dragons are portrayed. They are always dragons, but they can, and most frequently do, assume human form. To me this makes them even more believable and who’s to say that we don’t still have dragons in this world. The descriptions of the transformations from human form to dragon form and back are very realistic and when Angie is carried with a dragon, she fully experiences some of that transformative power.

The dragons themselves are as they should be and each of them has a very different personality. Humans can’t lie to a dragon which makes for a number of complications for Angie, but the ability to detect lies would certainly be a wonderful talent to have.

Dragon Sword is the second book in the series, following immediately after Black Jade Dragon. While it can stand alone, I highly recommend reading the books in order. After all, why miss a single minute of Angie’s adventures. In fact, I have the third novel in my reading queue and plan to start it shortly.

Dragon lovers are in for a real treat with this novel. It is unique, both in its use of dragons and in the nature of its main character, and as a result it is a delight. Don’t miss the excitement!

Fairy Nuff by Jane Killick

FAIRY
Fairy Nuff by Jane Killick
Publisher: Windtree Press
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (233 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Wishing for everything…

…except what she really wants

Stuck in a fairy costume with magical powers, Julie “Nuff” Nuffield wishes for anything she wants. But when magic turns mischievous, a dishy doctor literally sweeps her off her feet — with a broom! — and a million pound coins trap her in her house, she must find a way out of the chaos. All while contemplating sleeping with her ex again. Sound unfair for a single woman battling through life? Or is it Fairy Nuff?

A fun story of one woman’s quest for love and search for the right wish to bring her happiness.

Julie can wish for anything she wants, but what does she really want?

I think that most people at one point in their lives have wished for magical powers of some sort, but no one expects it to actually happen. When Julie finds herself stuck in a fairy costume with magical powers, she’s understandably overwhelmed. At first she’s giddy with the knowledge of her newly discovered powers and is eager to test them out, but her excitement is short lived and it isn’t long before Julie simply wants to be rid of the costume and the powers. However, the costume seems to be stuck to her for a reason. Will Julie figure out the reason for her powers, or will she be a fairy forever?

I knew from the moment I read the title that Fairy Nuff was a book I had to read. I was in the mood for something funny and this tale certainly lived up to my expectations. Fairy Nuff is filled with laugh out loud moments. Ms. Killick managed to make the completely ridiculous predicaments Julie found herself in believable. While I was rolling with laughter for a good portion of the book, there were also some very touching and tender moments sprinkled throughout the story. The idea that being stuck in a magical fairy costume can teach a person some life lessons sounds outrageous, and yet it is completely true for Julie. I’m amazed at how much Julie’s life changed and how much she learned. Julie was forced to take a good look at her life and figure out what really mattered. I also think the costume protected Julie in a weird way. Before Julie became an unwilling fairy, she was headed down a path she would have ultimately regretted. Getting stuck in that costume might have been the best thing that ever happened to Julie.

I do think that the ending was a little abrupt. Throughout the book, Julie has some very promising and flirty encounters with a good looking guy. I would have liked to see even more interaction between Julie and the new man in her life. I think this would have made the ending more satisfying and left me with more hope for Julie’s romantic future.

I’m glad I was given the opportunity to read Fairy Nuff. Julie is a very likable character and her adventures provided me with a lot of laughs as I read. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well written romantic comedy.

Isla’s Inheritance by Cassandra Page

ISLAS
Isla’s Inheritance by Cassandra Page
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (207 pages)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Isla was content to let her father keep his secrets, but now she can’t stand the touch of iron and her dreams are developing a life of their own. She must discover the truth — before it’s too late.

Seventeen-year-old Isla Blackman only agrees to participate in a Halloween party séance because Dominic, an old crush, wants to. She is sure nothing will happen when they try to contact the spirit of her mother. But the séance receives a chilling reply.

SHE IS NOT DEAD.

Isla doesn’t want to upset her father by prying into the family history he never discusses. When the mysterious and unearthly Jack offers to help her discover the truth, Isla must master her new abilities to protect her loved ones from enemies she never knew existed.

Nothing can be kept secret from everyone forever.

At first I wasn’t sure what I thought of Isla. Her personality was described in great detail, but her flaws happened to be things that I find irritating. She definitely caught my attention, though, so I withheld further judgement until I got to know her better. I’m very glad I did this because Isla is the kind of protagonist who becomes more alluring the longer I spend with her. All of her flaws ended up making her a well-rounded, intriguing girl I was a little sad to say goodbye to.

Early on a section of dialogue mentioned that certain characters are much more sensitive to iron than they are to steel. This was confusing to me since steel is is made by smelting iron ore to remove impurities and make the metal stronger. I would have liked to have some sort of scientific or paranormal explanation for why this rule was the exact opposite of what I would have logically expected to be the case. It could have added a lot of depth to this part of the plot.

Isla’s close bond with Aunt Elizabeth brought warmth to this story. I’m a big fan of young adult fiction that treats adults with respect. By no means is Aunt Elizabeth perfect, but the unconditional love she has for her children and niece make me look forward to hearing more from her. She was a wonderful supporting character.

There were several instances when the pacing was uneven. The first few chapters were well paced and full of excitement, so I was surprised to find my interest flagging after that in large part because there were so many different things going simultaneously. While the subplots were interesting, some of them did have the tendency to steal the spotlight in situations when I would have rather learned more about the main plot.

The use of color in this book was interesting. Almost everyone agrees that red is an angry color and blue is a calm one. Ms. Page used these cultural assumptions in some pretty fun ways during the course of her tale. This wasn’t something I was at all expecting to occur, so seeing exactly where she went with them was even more amusing than it might have been otherwise.

Isla’s Inheritance made me smile. It’s a good choice for anyone who likes contemporary fantasy.

Given to the Savage by Natasha Knight

NIGHT
Given to the Savage by Natasha Knight
Publisher: Stormy Night Publications
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (174 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Fetish, Spanking, Bondage, Anal Sex
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Waratah

In the aftermath of a plague which brought civilization to its knees and left most of the world’s female population sterile, the few women who remain fertile have become a precious commodity. They live in relative comfort, but upon reaching adulthood they must bear children to carry on the species.

Twenty-four-year-old Rowan knows the role she will be expected to play, but when she dares to resist her fate the penalty is severe. After a public chastisement and a thorough medical examination, Rowan is given to a savage from outside the community–a huge brute of a man named Silas.

Against all expectations, Rowan finds herself drawn to Silas. Brave and ruggedly handsome, he is everything the men she has known before were not, and despite the circumstances something deep inside her begs for him to claim her. But while she soon finds herself longing to be his forever, Rowan knows that one day those who gave her to him will try to take her back. When that day comes will Silas fight to keep her at his side even if it means risking everything he loves?

Romance isn’t all flowers and candy when your value is in your ability to repopulate the world.

This book is listed as a dark read, and it is, but not too dark. A Dystopian world that is a bit warped where the natural order of things are not so natural. The upper class can’t seem to produce offspring, and they have a prevalent need for breeders.

I would think that in having the need for something, it would make someone treat it better. Not so much in this case. The breeders are treated worse than animals but yet without them… extinction of their race could be a real possibility.

In the outer rim of the colony it looks like breeding isn’t an issue, they have a decent way of life. But it’s also where the fight for food and medical supplies is constant. A leader of the village is given an offer he will be hard pressed not to accept. Rowan is a new and young breeder, something she always knew she would be. She’s horrified at the thought of being made to leave the colony to breed with a savage.

Ms. Knight sets the scene and builds the tension to the point of being harsh and extreme. Readers who don’t enjoy feeling anxious for the characters might struggle with this one. On the other hand, for readers who want to be transported into the darkness, this is spot on.

Some parts were intense… the exams were humiliating but did just what they were intended to do, keep Rowan, and some extent the reader, off balance and down. But then Rowan thinks of rebelling against what was happening to her but her body seemed to crave and respond.

Silas worked hard at trying to keep detached, his feelings in check. All that was important was the safety of his family and people. Or so he kept telling himself. Since this is romance, I wanted (needed) to like Silas and his reasons for being a part of this. Ms. Knight gives him likability and even though it’s unconventional, the romance is believable.

This was a second book I’ve had the pleasure in reading from this author and I really enjoy her writing. This book was a decent length and so far seemed a stand-alone, which I love. It is a bit dark, a bit edgy and sci-fi to a point. I’d recommend it as a good read for those who look for gritty and not so neatly wrapped romance.

Demons’ Captive by Evanne Lorraine

CAOTIVE
Demons’ Captive by Evanne Lorraine
Demons and Dragons 1
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (142 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Waratah

One dangerous warrior woman plus two rogue demon males equals a love to threaten an empire. As a d’skeku trooper, Zaynah belongs to the emperor. Duty is everything. She’s sworn to take her own life if she fails to achieve her mission. When demon brothers rescue her from the wreckage of her spacecraft, she faces a heartbreaking choice between honoring her vows or following her heart.

The rebel demons live to exact vengeance from the Emperor Prado in blood. The hated royal ordered the murder of their brothers, sparing them so they would take the blame for the heinous crime. The demons escaped by stowing away on a miner heading for Ranin Seven. The remote moon, rich in the duranium essential hyper-light travel provides the brothers with a power base to bring their enemy to his knees.

After capturing an imperial they have a new weapon–one of the emperor’s special pets, but a d’skeku assassin is a dangerous blade to wield. She might give them the vital edge they need to win or she might destroy their untested Pan-Galactic Alliance.

Zaynah is their mate and a latent dragon on the cusp of shifting and she’s about to become a whole lot more lethal.

It’s the epitome of a “do or die” situation when her Emperor sends Zaynah on a mission, and she thinks she has a better chance of dying then completing it.

The subject of warriors and demons could have been dark and deeply intense but this story came off as more cute and sweet. What’s a girl to do when she finds out she’s not what she appears to be? And what a way to find out!

Zaynah was trained from birth to be a royal guard, it’s all she knows. But she has never felt like she was part of the rest of the guard. Something was missing or different.

Gun and Diablo are fire demon brothers on a mission to bring down the tyrant responsible for killing most of the other demon kind. All their glorified plans are put a risk by one slip of a girl…seemingly a human but apparently not. An enemy… they won’t know just yet, because her not so graceful landing on the planet has left her without her memories. She doesn’t remember who she is or why she was sent. The one thing she does know, is these guys smell amazing! Readers who like the whole “fated mate” concept will enjoy this twist.

Things will get a bit hairy for all three of them. Zaynah will have to come to grips with her transition and she doesn’t have a lot of time. Will her mind stay foggy? Will she remember in time to be of help or be the one they will have to fight against?

It’s a good story when I’m anticipating the author’s next move and actively looking for answers to specific questions that weren’t wrapped up here. The story captured my attention and held it to the end.

I found this book fun and entertaining, both the story and the characters. Even the length of the story was good. It’s a nice, quick read and partly because it flows well. I’ll be looking forward to reading more from this writer.

All Things to Everyone by Aldred Chase

MEDIA KIT All Things To Everyone Cover

All Things to Everyone by Aldred Chase
Publisher: Self
Genre: Fantasy
Length: Short (141 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Snapdragon

Fifteen year old Paul Blake is not looking forward to spending quality time with his grandmother, who has never taken an interest in him. This time however, things are different because he reveals to her an ability to see the supernatural. She wants to train him but she is not the only one who is keen to help him develop his talents. He soon realizes that he can’t be all things to everyone and he will have to make some difficult decisions. His choices will lead him into a terrifying fight for survival that will test his skill and courage to the limit. All Things to Everyone is the first book in the Sinister Sydney Series: stories where the supernatural pierces the thin skin of modern life in Sydney.

Paul Blake is an unusual person – but possibly not quite as unusual as he at first believes. You see he has these abilities, and they do seem pretty singular. They set him apart, a little too much. He also is not having the easiest time of it, as his Mom uproots them and they end up living with ‘Gran.’

Gran, as it turns out, is not the boring old lady he believed her to be. It starts with her cane …

While this charming tale kicks off in a friendly, conversational tone, it does not have most gripping of openings. We can see Paul has reason to less than satisfied with life, but really, he’s a nice enough guy. Even his Mom and Gran aren’t so disagreeable. Just as you start to believe that probably nothing much is going to happen, they sit down for tea and suddenly, you realize that Aldred Chase has lured you, the reader, right in.

Paul is fast acting and circumstances are, well, reporting actual circumstances might reveal too much; but circumstances are both and strange and unpredictable all at once. No spoilers here: you have to read All Things To Everyone to find out the details. Once you reach the stage where unpredictable things start to happen, you will not be able to tear yourself away.

The story does ramble around, from hauntings to disappearances; some motivations are unclear (in fact, it isn’t always easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys) but the characters are interesting, and events unexpected!

Suffice to say All Things to Everyone is unpredictable and fun; and runs the gamut from the weird to the grotesque. This is a great fun read for anyone really, its not just for kids! Also, kudos to the cover design–it fits wonderfully!

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Black Jade Dragon by Susan Brassfield Cogan

DRAGON
Black Jade Dragon by Susan Brassfield Cogan
Publisher: CoganBooks
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (204 Pages)
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

The Way that can be traveled
is not the eternal Way.

In the South China Sea is an island that is protected by nine dragons. Angie Tanaka has made one of them really, really angry.

Angie says:
Thievery isn’t actually my vocation. It’s really more of a pursuit. It’s only my day job. I’m really an actress … just kidding.

Angie is a thief, a good thief. She’s on the run from the Hong Kong police and she pays the captain of a fishing boat to take her anywhere else. Once they are out to sea, they get caught in a storm. The captain is forced to land on Shaolong Island, the home of nine dragons. Angie’s relief at getting away from the Hong Kong police is short lived. She still has her grandfather’s sword and a cache of stolen diamonds, but soon she is involved in the affairs of dragons.

Angie is a spunky, sassy heroine. She is not out to save the world, but just to get whatever she can for herself, or so she thinks. The dragons don’t pay much attention to her and really don’t care whether she is there or not, but when a sweet old lady gets murdered as Angie watches, and the weapon is Angie’s sword, Angie just steps up to figure things out. She feels very guilty because the woman was killed in the middle of Angie’s attempt to steal a very valuable pearl. Soon, Angie is trying to avoid the Silver Dragon, the husband of the murdered woman.

The pacing is excellent, with non-stop action. There are many plot twists as well, which kept me guessing. Angie denies that she wants to help, but her actions belie her words. There is also a nice overlay of Buddhist sayings which really fit the various situations. The world on Shaolong Island seems very real and I felt as if I, too, were being chased by dragons.

Fantasy lovers, especially those who enjoy dragon tales, are in for a treat with Black Jade Dragon. The story has a completely fitting ending, but I’ve learned that there is another book in the series, Dragon Sword, and I’ve already added it to my list of must read books.

Billy and the Cloneasaurus by Stephen Kozeniewski

BILLY
Billy and the Cloneasaurus by Stephen Kozeniewski
Publisher: Severed Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (165 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Six billion identical clones make up the entire population of Earth, and William 790-6 (57th Iteration) is exactly like everybody else. In his one year of life he will toil in suburban mediocrity and spend as much cash as possible in order to please his corporate masters. When 790’s first birthday (and scheduled execution) finally rolls around, a freak accident spares his life.

Living past his expiration date changes 790 profoundly. Unlike other clones he becomes capable of questioning the futility of his own existence. Seeking answers in the wilderness, he discovers a windmill with some very strange occupants, including a freakish, dinosaur-like monstrosity. Which is especially strange since every animal on earth is supposed to be extinct…

Sometimes it takes something monstrously large to jolt you out of your daily routine. Say, for example, cheating death through a random twist of fate.

The unusual title and quirky premise caught my attention right away. As an avid science fiction reader, I was fairly certain I knew how this plot was unfold. I couldn’t have been more wrong. One of the things I appreciate the most about this author’s writing style is how skilled he is at keeping me on my toes. Mr. Kozeniewski always seems to have one more trick up his sleeve that that doesn’t reveal itself until the last possible moment.

It would have been helpful if the plot had spent more time explaining how the cloning process works in this universe and why the clones are only allowed to live a year. The explanations that were given for these things were interesting, but they stirred up far more questions in my mind than they answered. Some of the things certain characters said about this process seemed contradictory. It was never quite clear to me if this needed to be discussed in greater detail or if those passages were intentionally written that way.

I was expecting to be incredibly confused by a book filled with guys who look identical and all have the same name, but the plot did a great job differentiating among them. The author’s clever use of nicknames and telltale quirks made it easy for me to always tell exactly which William I was dealing with even when there were several of them in the same scene.The character development was subtle at first. It soon picked up speed, though, and surprised me with how much it changed 790 in particular over time.

Billy and the Cloneasaurus was a wild ride. This is a good choice for hardcore fans of this genre who are in the mood for something incredibly unique.

Krystal’s Calling by Melissa Solorzano

KRYSTAL
Krystal’s Calling by Melissa Solorzano
Publisher: Forever More Publishing
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Length: Short Story (142 pages)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Krystal enters adulthood on her eighteenth birthday, and to have her life change forever as Mother Earth marks her as her daughter. Together Krystal and Courtney leave on a calling, unsure of where they’re going or what lays ahead.

Krystal awakens on her eighteenth birthday to discover her life will change forever. Mother Earth has decided to awaken something inside her that the realm is in need of, as dark forces seek to do harm.

As a half-elf, Krystal is now an adult and can make her own choices. Her first calling comes, and she must leave her home to start a journey she hopes will have her following in her father’s footsteps. With her best friend at her side, Krystal rides away from their childhood home to an unknown destination that could shape her destiny.

It’s much easier to focus on the freedom that comes with growing up than it is to think about all of the responsibilities that come with it. How will Krystal adjust to the new rules in her life?

One of the things I look for in a protagonist is someone whose faults could actually have a negative effect on the plot. Krystal definitely fits this bill. Knowing that she isn’t perfect, and, more importantly, that there’s a chance she could make a big mistake that unravels all of the good she’s trying to do was helpful. I liked what the author did with this character’s personality and development.

There was a lot of telling instead of showing in this novella. It was especially noticeable in the dialogue. I learned almost everything I know about Krystal’s importance to her people through conversations with her mother. It felt odd for these two characters to go into so much detail about this part of their lives when no one else was around because all of it was stuff their whole family had been aware of for a very long time.

I’ve always had the impression that elves are absolutely horrified by modern human technology, so it was intriguing to see something written about their race that was set in the present day. Ms. Solorzano struck a delicate balance between portraying the quiet, nature-loving elements of their culture that I’d expect to see while also showing how they might thrive in the twenty-first century.

Figuring out the most appropriate age recommendation was really tricky. Krystal acts much younger than her chronological age for reasons that I never figured out. The writing style included playful plot twists that are much more common in middle grade fiction, yet there were also explicit sexual content that I’ve only ever seen written for mature teens. It’s quite unusual to see these kinds of things included in the same book. I even briefly wondered if Krystal had some sort of learning or developmental disorder due to certain things that happen in the first few scenes. Had the author provided even a brief explanation of what was going on here, I would have felt comfortable giving this tale a higher rating.

If there’s one thing a decent villain needs to be, it’s legitimately dangerous. I was pleasantly surprised by just how frightening the villain in this story turned out to be. The threat to Krystal’s safety is made painfully obvious as the identity of her antagonist is exposed. There is no doubt here at all that this bad guy has terrible intentions.

Krystal’s Calling is a good choice for anyone who really enjoys fantasy stories about elves.

Tales of the Djinn: The Double by Emma Holly

DOUBLE
Tales of the Djinn: The Double by Emma Holly
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (262 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Masturbation, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

What would you do if the man you loved had a double?

That’s the challenge Elyse faces when a flying carpet lands her and her new djinn lover in the glorious city he calls home. Cade’s people need help recovering from a curse, but this isn’t the only problem they’ll have to fix. Cade’s trip to Elyse’s world created a duplicate of himself, a not-quite carbon copy who firmly believes he’s Cade’s superior.

The most fascinating aspect of this second story of the Djinn is the argument of nature versus nurture, of exploring how experiences in life shape a person and change them from who they are to who they could be. I realize the focus of The Double is on the continued romance between, Elyse and Cade, and now, Arcadius, but I couldn’t stop being fascinated by the differences and similarities between the two men who used to be one man.

The crux of Elyse’s relationship with Cade is trying to resist being interested in Arcadius too. Personally, I couldn’t see how she could realistically expect to be unaffected by the man. He is as Cade was when she first met him. There was something about him then, so Arcadius is like a condensed, purer form of Cade’s former self. Sound confusing? Guess that means this isn’t a standalone read. A reader really needs to read the first book to understand not only what I’m talking about in this review but to also understand the ramifications of the guy with the black tattoos. Very cool stuff.

Joseph’s character, although secondary, is a strong and pivotal plot stirrer. He isn’t what he used to be but he’s much, much better in some aspects. That creates new problems for him that only in this book was I able to understand just what is now at stake for him. It will be very interesting to see what happens next. His sub-story is just as fascinating and complex as the primary plot. And yet, he compliments Elyse and Cade extremely well.

The problem of one or two men to the one woman notwithstanding, The Double also provides a reader with a devious villain with a suspenseful plot that is nasty in nature. In the process of the heroine and heroes trying to solve the mystery before more people die, I learned some more facts about Elyse’s childhood. That cousin of hers was a harridan in the making, a dastardly twisted and self-centered little snot even back then who only got worse as she grew up. How much of that was nature and how much was nurture? With the father she had I’m of the mind that she had the worst of both and, I’m thinking she was doomed to be a prideful, evil, depraved woman. I think she got what she deserved but only time and Ms. Holly knows for sure.

As for the sex in this book, Ms. Holly pulled out all the stops and let the lust fly. Erotic romance readers should be plenty satisfied with the scope, the titillating complexity and the amount of sexy encounters between Elyse, Cade and eventually Arcadius too. There are emotional landmines to navigate, some of which are very unique to this particular book because of the split man/men. It’s a fascinating scenario but plenty hot too.

I remember the cliff hanger from the first book with regards to Elyse’s dad. I’m glad that was explored and explained in this novel. I liked his character. I also find interesting the author’s twisting of faith and religion between a fantasy world and the contemporary world. A few sentences in this tale were a bit hard for me to swallow, but it is a fantasy and fiction so I can’t begrudge an author exploring alternative scenarios to fit her fantastical characters.

Yasmin and Balu were introduced in this tale and they added to the plot conflict on various levels. I suspect that readers will see more of them in a future story. As for this novel, the happy ever after for Elyse and her men is getting closer. There were definite steps taken to make me believe it will happen soon, but Ms. Holly is a masterful storyteller so I’ll wait and see what happens next. There are still some missing people that have to be accounted for, one of which is the insane female who caused the entire ruckus in the first place. This series is addictive.

The Double should not be missed by anyone who read the first book, The Guardian. If fans thought that one was exciting, this one bumped it up a notch. There is a pivotal scene with a special book that almost turns the tide in a different and expected direction. I was biting my nails at that part. But Ms. Holly knows her readers and I am thrilled she chose what she did as the outcome. I’m a happy reader. I would definitely recommend this novel to everyone who read The Guardian but caution new readers – there will be parts that won’t make sense unless the first book is read. It’s worth checking out so they can get the full WOW factor of this one.