Review of The Hostess with the Ghostess by E.J. Copperman

Haunted Guesthouse owner Alison Kerby thought she was done with the investigation business when ghost Paul Harrison left to see the world. But in The Hostess with the Ghostess,she finds Paul’s recently deceased brother, Richard, in her house looking for Paul to help him solve a crime and it’s obvious she won’t be getting the break she wanted. Once Paul returns, they need to find not only who killed Richard, but who killed the step father of his client, who happens to be on trial for the murder. With everyone saying the woman killed her step father, and the woman’s own mother offering to pay to stop the investigation, it’s just too obvious to Alison that they’re lying. But why would they all lie and who really committed the murders? Alison might end up finding her life in danger again before the real truth comes out.

Can I just say, I love this series? Alison is such a reluctant detective, but she keeps trying and even figures some things out on her own. Her thirteen-year-old daughter, Melissa, loves to help out with the investigations, but since she’s still in school, and can’t drive, it hinders the amount of help she can give. Then there are the other resident ghosts, Maxie and her husband Everett, who also help out when they can. Along with Alison’s living mother and deceased father, and her new husband Josh. Together, they form an interesting, if dysfunctional, group of people who are great fun to read about. It makes me want to go visit the Guesthouse and stay for the spook show!

Review of Primordia by Greig Beck

When former soldier Ben Cartwright discovers his namesake ancestor’s papers after his father passes away, he finds a connection to Arthur Conan Doyle’s story, The Lost World, in Primordia.Was Doyle’s story based the expedition that took his ancestor’s life in 1908? Could there really be a place in Venezuela where extinct creatures still walked the earth? With his closest friends joining him, Ben travels to the jungles of South America and finds out that reality is much more life threatening than he ever anticipated and they could end up trapped if they don’t find a way out before it’s too late.

I pretty much love stories that have to do with man encountering dinosaurs and this was no exception. Although I do think Ben and all his friends going into the Amazon with just one guide was pretty insane. Even if you’re not encountering dinosaurs, it’s not exactly a safe place for everyday people. The one issue I have with the story is that the bad guy of this piece knew about Ben’s ancestor and was looking for his journal, but he never approached Ben’s family about it or sent someone to break in to their house to look for it. If he had, he would have found the same clues Ben had and he had no problem trying to steal it from Ben once he knew Ben had it. I real bad guy would have looked for it in the obvious places long before now. Either way, it was a great story and I appreciate the adventure of it. But the big question is: will we see Ben Cartwright again?

Review of Block Party by Stylo Fantome

The third Twin Estates story centers around building owner Liam Edenhoff, who’s still feeling the sting of losing Katya Tocci to his former business partner, Wulfric Stone. In Block Party,Liam finds himself suddenly attracted to Ayumi Nakada, Wulf’s right hand person, who is also doing Liam’s books for him. Ayumi wasn’t looking for anything serious and Liam is more than happy to oblige her at first. But when things start to change for Liam, can he convince a very skittish Ayumi that they’re worth taking a risk she might not be ready for? Or will he lose her forever?

This is a great story, but it’s plagued by poor editing. Missing words, wrong words, too many words. The mistakes were far too many to count and it’s a shame, because it affects the overall enjoyment of the story. Otherwise, I enjoyed Liam and Ayumi’s story. Both of them are kind of damaged. Ayumi by how she was treated by her mother, being told she was never good enough. Liam by his belief that his twin brother was always the darling of the family and he was the overlooked one. While Liam’s view is distorted by his strained relationship with his brother, his family really adores him. Together, they finally find out what it means to really be loved. I’m looking forward to reading Tori’s story and see what happened to her once she left town.

Review of Emergence by C.J. Cherryh

While paidhi-aiji Bren Cameron is back home on the island of Mospheira setting up security and tutelage for the three young human children about to be sent down from the space station in Emergence,the Aiji’s young heir, Cajeiri, is in the middle of his own troubles at his great uncle’s estate of Tirnamardi, where a potential heir to the Ajuri clan is making his case to Tatiseigi. Cajeiri will find his new status as heir tested while he finds his way in his new place in life. With the house under siege from enemies and his family threatened, will he show that he has what it will take to eventually lead the Atevi people as Aiji?

It was interesting to see Cajeiri’s mind negotiate thoughts that a normal nine year old Atevi is probably a little too young to fully comprehend. He makes a lot of grown up decisions in this story and even finds new ground with his mother, who he hasn’t been close to recently. Bren, in comparison, has a more boring job to do as he gets things in place for the station children and their families. He sees a little action at the end and even saves the president in a round about way. The one person missing from this story is Great Grandmother Ilisidi, who is usually a great foil for Bren’s theories. Her no-nonsense demeanor would have been appreciated in this story, but it was still a great read.

Review of Dragon Blood by Eileen Wilks

Lily Yu has been separated from her husband, lupi Rule Turner, after battling a demon prince in Dragon Blood.Both have ended up in the original Dragonhome, but are far from each other. Lily is held captive by the Dragon Spawn with her friend Cynna Weaver, while Rule is with Lily’s grandmother, Li Lei Yu, and the former demon Gan. The five need to come together so they can rescue the missing clan children when they arrive on that plane and they go back to Dis to rescue the rest of their party. But nothing will go quite as planned and aid from a surprising source may be the only thing that saves the day.

This review is based on the ARC version of the book, which I always love getting. I will say, it’s good there was a letter form Lily at the beginning to remind you what had happened, because I didn’t remember everything. It seems like lately the books don’t really finish, the story just keeps going into the next book. This one was no exception. While there’s a part of me that understand why that is in this series, I still find it slightly annoying. It makes it hard for us mere mortals to keep track of the storyline. I did like that we learn more about the history of the dragons and why they’re willing to fight the Great Enemy along with the Lupi clans. I do look forward to reading more of this series in the future.