Thursday, August 10, 2017

Release Day Review: The Long and Winding Road

The Long and Winding Road (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #4)Author: T.J. Klune
Series: Bear, Otter and the Kid, #4
Released: August 11th, 2017
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Lenght: 346 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Dreamspinner Press

Family is not always defined by blood. It’s defined by those who make us whole—those who make us who we are.
And here, at the end, Bear and Otter will be tested like they’ve never been before.
There’s a knock at the door from a little girl who has nowhere else to go.
There’s a phone ringing, bringing news they do not expect.
There’s a brother returning home after learning how to stand on his own.
As these moments converge, all of their lives will change forever.
Beginning in Bear, Otter, and the Kid, and continuing in Who We Are and The Art of Breathing, TJ Klune has told a saga of family and brotherhood, of love and sacrifice. In this final chapter, the events of the past pave the long and winding road toward a future no one could have imagined.

The long farewell to our beloved characters from Bear, Otter and the Kid is finally here. TJ Klune made the brave and wonderful choice to give his fans a chance to say goodbye to those they’ve loved and cried with for such a long time. After seeing these guys grow up, fall in love and build a life together through pain, loss, friendships, joy, drama and unexpected word vomits, our reluctance to let go is more than understandable. But let go we must, and I can’t imagine a better way to do it than with this final book.

Monday, August 7, 2017

LGBT Monday: Red Fish, Dead Fish by Amy Lane

Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water, #2)Author: Amy Lane
Series: Fish Out of Water, #2
Released: August 4th 2017
Length: 330 pages
Source: Bought
Buy: Dreamspinner Press

They must work together to stop a psychopath—and save each other. 
Two months ago Jackson Rivers got shot while trying to save Ellery Cramer’s life. Not only is Jackson still suffering from his wounds, the triggerman remains at large—and the body count is mounting.
Jackson and Ellery have been trying to track down Tim Owens since Jackson got out of the hospital, but Owens’s time as a member of the department makes the DA reluctant to turn over any stones. When Owens starts going after people Jackson knows, Ellery’s instincts hit red alert. Hurt in a scuffle with drug-dealing squatters and trying damned hard not to grieve for a childhood spent in hell, Jackson is weak and vulnerable when Owens strikes.
Jackson gets away, but the fallout from the encounter might kill him. It’s not doing Ellery any favors either. When a police detective is abducted—and Jackson and Ellery hold the key to finding her—Ellery finds out exactly what he’s made of. He’s not the corporate shark who believes in winning at all costs; he’s the frightened lover trying to keep the man he cares for from self-destructing in his own valor.

Inspired by JD Robb and other legends of romantic suspense, the very versatile Amy Lane decided to pen her very own series of romance and action, with a pair of competent, resourceful and deeply damaged protagonists at its center. The deeply damaged, in this case, applies to one half of the couple – Jackson Rivers – the former policeman who was, years ago, betrayed and abandoned by his department, his colleagues, and everyone else that was supposed to protect him.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Talking about the perfection of White Hot by Ilona Andrews

White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy, #2
Released: May 30th 2017
Publisher: Avon
Length: 389 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hot
Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.
Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice … 

White Hot, the long awaited and breathlessly anticipated second book in Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series, was worth every second of the agonizing wait.

Nevada is once again tangled up in a case that’s far too big for her small investigative agency, but her big heart and her code of honor won’t allow her to turn away from those who have no place else to go. This time, she is hired by Cornelius Harrison from House Harrison to investigate the murder of his wife Nari and three other lawyers. Since Nari was working for a different House, the circumstances of her death are suspicious at best, and the official version of events is obviously a blatant lie.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Dwarves, orcs and mayhem in First Watch by Dale Lucas

First Watch (The Fifth Ward #1)Author: Dale Lucas
Series: The Fifth Ward, #1
Released: July 11th 2017
Publisher: Orbit
Length: 416 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

Humans, orcs, mages, elves, and dwarves all jostle for success and survival in the cramped quarters of Yenara, while understaffed Watch Wardens struggle to keep its citizens in line.
Enter Rem: new to Yenara and hungover in the city dungeons with no money for bail. When offered a position with the Watch to compensate for his crimes, Rem jumps at the chance.
His new partner is less eager. Torval, a dwarf who's handy with a maul and known for hitting first and asking questions later, is highly unimpressed with the untrained and weaponless Rem.
But when Torval's former partner goes missing, the two must consort with the usual suspects -- drug dealing orcs, mind-controlling elves, uncooperative mages, and humans being typical humans -- to uncover the truth and catch a murderer loose in their fair city.

Take your favorite cop show (Lethal Weapon is a personal favorite), place it in a filthy city with a distinct medieval feel, add dwarves, elves and other assorted creatures and you’ll get a pretty clear idea of what to expect from Fifth Ward: First Watch. Everyone has their weak spot, and buddy cop movies are mine, which means I was endlessly entertained by this book.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Forsaken Blog Tour Guest Post

Hello, nocturnal readers! It's certainly been a while. Hopefully we'll fix that in days to come. This reawakening of sorts is happening now because I want to share a very special book with you all: Forsaken Skies by D. Nolan Clark. I read Forsaken Skies at a time when it was extremely hard for me to jump into a new story, and yet somehow it grabbed me and kept me away from all the work that was waiting.

I'm not so easily dazzled by elaborate worldbuilding anymore. Having read countless space operas and fantasies, I need things to be thought through and very detailed, nuanced and subversive or I just don't see any reason to bother. Fortunately, Forsaken Skies easily meets my high demands, and while it might be better suited for hardcore sci-fi readers, it will undoubtedly find a much wider audience.

Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you a guest post by D. Nolan Clark. Enjoy!

Monday, November 28, 2016

LGBT Monday: Outside the Lines

Outside the Lines (Boundaries, #3)Author: A.R. Barley
Series: Boundaries, #3
Released: October 31st 2016
Publisher: Carina Press
Length: 172 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

Mitch Dalton can't stop fantasizing about his sexy and confident drag queen neighbor. He wants to make a move, but he's had a lot less experience with men and isn't sure Chi-Chi would be interested in a guy who's never gone all the way—let alone a widower and struggling single father. And when Mitch's child care falls through, he needs Chi-Chi's help more than he needs a boyfriend.
Chi-Chi Ramirez has his own struggles: getting his degree one class at a time, working too many jobs and performing at a nightclub to make his Broadway dreams come true. Mitch's offer of a nanny position is too good to pass up, even if seeing Mitch every day and not being able to touch him is torture. But when even a simple handshake feels like pure sex, soon touching is all either of them can think about.
A one-night stand, a quick fling—that's all Chi-Chi can give if he's going to leave town for New York City. But once they finally get a taste of each other, what if Mitch wants more?

Outside the Lines is a fairly straightforward M/M romance with plenty of the usual tropes and an unusual amount of charm. It is a fairly short, afternoon read that will satisfy your craving for warm romance that includes a whole family and their everyday trials. I myself can never resist such books, especially when one of the MCs has adorable, realistically written kids.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Choose Your Own Adventure With Romeo and/or Juliet (review)

Romeo and/or Juliet: A choosable-path adventureAuthor: Ryan North
Series: Standalone
Released: November 10th 2016
Publisher: Orbit
Length: 400 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

What if Romeo never met Juliet? What if Juliet got really buff instead of moping around the castle all day? What if they teamed up to take over Verona with robot suits?
In this New York Times bestselling version of Romeo and Juliet, you get to choose where the story goes. Packed with exciting choices, fun puzzles, secret surprises, terrible puns and more than a billion possible storylines, Romeo and/or Juliet offers a new experience every time you read it. And, as an added bonus, all the different endings feature beautiful and quirky illustrations by some of the best artists working today, including New York Times bestsellers Kate Beaton, Noelle Stevenson, Randall Munroe, and Jon Klassen.
Whatever your adventure, you're guaranteed to find lots of romance, epic fight scenes and plenty of questionable decision-making by highly emotional teens.

New York Times bestselling Romeo and/or Juliet is a choose your own adventure type of deal, a ridiculously entertaining take (or takes, since there are plenty of them) on a classic that’s pretty ridiculous in and of itself. A classic it may be, but the word timeless doesn’t apply to this particular work, and the older I get, the more annoyed I am by Romeo and Juliet both.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Jump Stations and Wormholes in Gemina by A. Kaufman and J. Kristoff

Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)Authors: Amie Kaufman
                Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files, #2
Released: October 20th 2016
Publisher: Knopf BfYR
Length: 608 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.
The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.
Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.
When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.
But relax. They've totally got this. They hope.
Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless. 

Gemina, the sequel to last year’s hugely successful Illuminae, follows in the footsteps of its predecessor well enough to satisfy even the most demanding reader. Just like Illuminae, Gemina combines texts, images, various fonts and different storytelling strategies. They all come together to form a narrative unlike any other, a constant source of surprise and awe, not to mention entertainment.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Time travel and romance in The Last Beginning by Lauren James

The Last Beginning (The Next Together, #2)Author: Lauren James
Series: The Next Together
Released: October 6th 2016
Publisher: Walker Books
Length: 352 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

The epic conclusion to Lauren James' debut The Next Together about love, destiny and time travel.
Sixteen years ago, after a scandal that rocked the world, teenagers Katherine and Matthew vanished without a trace. Now Clove Sutcliffe is determined to find her long lost relatives. But where do you start looking for a couple who seem to have been reincarnated at every key moment in history? Who were Kate and Matt? Why were they born again and again? And who is the mysterious Ella, who keeps appearing at every turn in Clove's investigation? 
For Clove, there is a mystery to solve in the past and a love to find in the future.

For me, The Next Together by Lauren James was one of those gorgeous, magical reading experiences that you just don’t see coming. As a debut, it was a dream come true, a story of one romance in four different places and four different timescapes, often centuries apart. The Last Beginning follows in its predecessor’s amazing footsteps, perhaps with a tiny bit less romance and magic, but with so much heart that it doesn’t really matter by the end.

Monday, November 21, 2016

LGBT Monday: When the Dust Settles

When the Dust Settles (Timing, #3)Author: Mary Calmes
Series: Timing, #3
Released: November 16 2016
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Length: 107 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon
        Dreamspinner Press

Glenn Holloway’s predictable life ended the day he confessed his homosexuality to his family. As if that wasn’t enough, he then poured salt in the wound by walking away from the ranch he’d grown up on, to open the restaurant he’d always dreamed of. Without support from his father and brother, and too proud to accept assistance from anyone else, he had to start from scratch. Over time things worked out: Glenn successfully built a strong business, created a new home, and forged a life he could be proud of.
Despite his success, his estrangement from the Holloways is still a sore spot he can’t quite heal, and a called-in favor becomes Glenn’s worst nightmare. Caught in a promise, Glenn returns to his roots to deal with Rand Holloway and comes face-to-face with Mac Gentry, a man far too appealing for Glenn’s own good. It could all lead to disaster—disaster for his tenuous reconnection with his family and for the desire he didn’t know he held in his heart.

By now, even the little birdies know that I’m addicted to all things Mary Calmes. Her special brand of romance – intense and uncompromising – pulls me in every single time. I must admit, in the interest of full disclosure, that I’ve already read this beauty twice, despite giving it mere 3.5 stars. With Mary, it’s not about objective opinions or reason, there’s a magnetic pull between her characters that’s just so very contagious.

Monday, November 14, 2016

LGBT Monday: Beyond Magenta (Transgender Teens Speak Out)

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak OutAuthor: Susan Kuklin
Released: August 6th 2016
Publisher: Walker UK
Length: 182 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Book Depository

A groundbreaking work of LGBT literature takes an honest look at the life, love, and struggles of transgender teens.
Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference. Portraits, family photographs, and candid images grace the pages, augmenting the emotional and physical journey each youth has taken. Each honest discussion and disclosure, whether joyful or heartbreaking, is completely different from the other because of family dynamics, living situations, gender
, and the transition these teens make in recognition of their true selves. 

Beyond Magenta is the very first non-fiction book reviewed here in the five years of The Nocturnal Library’s existence, and I couldn’t have picked a better one for the honor. It consists of six stories about six transgender, genderqueer or gender nonconforming teens, accompanied by gorgeous, honest photographs and several comments by the author. The stories are told in first person by the teens themselves, interspersed here and there by the author’s brief comments and observations.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

You Got Some Romance In My Fantasy by Rob J. Hayes

Hello, favorite people! I've missed you all like crazy while I was off conquering the world, but that's a story for some other day. Right now, I am thrilled to welcome Rob J. Hayes, author of the wonderful The Ties That Bind series. Rob is here to talk about the second book in his It Takes a Thief series and my favorite type of romance: the stable, lasting kind, built on friendship and understanding.

You Got Some Romance In My Fantasy by Rob J. Hayes

It's recently come to my attention that my fantasy/steampunk heist caper, It Takes a Thief to Catch a Sunrise, has been placed in the Romance genre by Amazon. I'm not entirely sure how it got there, but after thinking about it a bit I started to wonder if it did actually belong there.

The book follows a thieving couple, Jacques Revou and Isabel de Rosier, as they charlatan their way into high society to steal priceless treasures from the aristocracy. It's a little like Bonnie and Clyde meets Ocean's Eleven. But the reason it might actually belong in the Romance genre is that Jacques and Isabel are very much in love and I've really tried to make that fact stand out.