Devon Monk - Magic for a Price

When it comes to ending a series it is often difficult for everyone to get that feeling of satisfaction. Answering the unanswered questions and making everything tie up nicely is a challenge. So for the final instalment of the Allie Beckstrom series I held my breath. Allie has always been a fiery heroine whom I have a slight girl crush on and Zayvion Jones is one smoking hot, sexy, powerful man. Ahem, excuse me. The last book left us with Portland's magic poisoned, illness spreading like wildfire and Leander/Isabelle still out to destroy the world. I was interested to see how Monk would pull them both out of this alive and whether she would do it well.

Of course she didn't. Neither of them stayed alive yet they did and she didn't do well, she did better. This book and series were beautifully ended. Allie steps into the role of revolutionary leader and city defender with ease. She keeps the mismatch group of Hounds, city police and ex-Authority members glued together in a battle that is practically impossible. The beauty of Allie is, she does it both grudgingly and with a bumbling, self destructive manner that has always attracted me to her character. Zayvion is beside her every step of the way doing what needs to be done and keeping Allie safe. The relationship between Terric and Shamus (Shame) develops into something truly spectacular as they accept their Soul Complement status and make magic like bosses. Even Allie succumbs to a brief adoration of their awesomeness much to Zayvion's jealousy. 

Leander/Isabelle are in possession of the International Head of the Authority, Margaret something or other and are going to "blow Portland off the map." Allie decides to shut down and cleanse the wells of magic before L/I arrive with their cavalry. Allie, Zayvion, Shame, Ter and Eli Collins of all people, head out on their mission to save Portland and thus doing so THE WORLD. No but really, the world and magic. Allie's Father lends a helping dead hand and everything goes to custard as per usual. Allie makes a deal and her father reveals the truth about his split personality. Zayvion, Shame and Terric save Allie from death on multiple occasions, Cody becomes one Cody and everything... well I'm not going to tell you. The tying up is done with artistic grace and a twist that wasn't expected though completely needed.One character whom I had previously believed had no soul, surprised me with their humanity.

Needless to say I ended this book a satisfied customer of Allie Beckstrom novels. I will admit that this is not the best book in the series and though the ending is satisfying I was hoping for a bit more of a send off for the great Allie and Zayvion. Fireworks, kids, marriage, a happily ever after on steroids. But I know when it is time for a series to end and Allie was reaching hers. Maybe there will be a spin off of Shame and Terric though I am certain it is highly unlikely. I am sad to say goodbye to a wonderful series but this book is a solid ending to a more than solid series. If you haven't read any of the Beckstrom novels then why are you even reading this?! Go get the book and start! Jeez.
However, if you are an Allie Beckstrom lover you know what I mean when I say I wish there was one more book...



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Kit Rocha - Beyond Shame

Sex is taboo in Eden and Noelle Cunningham is highly interested in sex. This earns her banishment from her father who can no longer have a "tainted" daughter. Outside Eden, the sectors are teaming with sexual activity and illegal dealings. Noelle is picked up by Jasper McCray and I mean literally, she faints into his arms. He takes her to his gang house and she is welcomed by the gang leader Dallas and his leading lady (kind of) Lex.

Lex takes a liking to Noelle and she is given a trial period for gang membership. Noelle works at the bar and it's nothing fancy. The establishment has a bar, dancers and fight night. What more could a girl want? The fight night gets all the women rowdy and the "anything goes" dances get well, anyone and everyone fired up. The beauty Rocha's world is that gangland is similar to the 1960's crossed with punk rock. It's all about free love, tattoos, leather and orgies. Huh, maybe it's just a rock band on tour... Regardless, there are no rules when it comes to who to have sex with and when. Noelle attracts many of the leading characters and Jasper is totally in on it. One of my favourite scenes include Lex, Dallas, Jasper and Noelle.  A burning hot encounter with chains and a little bit of dominance/submission but I am going to let you read the book to find out just how hot it is.

Jasper and Noelle's love story has it's moments. He wants her to trust him and she just wants him. But Jasper can't be sure she really wants him when she hasn't had anything else. Yet after an incident with her father, Jasper lets her go/pushes her away and Noelle realises that maybe she does need to figure out who she is before becoming an "us." They have great chemistry and the man sounds HOT, of course ;). Jasper the rescuer and Noelle the damsel in distress turned independent woman, will they reunite? I'm not telling. But despite this alluring romance, I was absolutely riveted by Dallas and Lex. 

Dallas and Lex with their hugely complicated relationship and being constantly at odds. Lord, I don't even know if they have sex because we are never told. Maybe I am interested because their relationship is such a mystery. Who knows? I was definitely rooting for Jasper and Noelle's romance but the fire of Dallas and Lex was too much to ignore. Supposed King and Queen of this gang ridden outer world and yet their relationship has me spewing out questions. Dallas refuses to "mark" Lex - a tattoo that would mean essentially marriage- and she refuses to ask. They are obviously head over heels yet she sleeps with other men and he does nothing about it.  Will Dallas mark Lex? Why are they not a solid couple? How did they meet? What's going on with them!? GAH! Dallas and Lex tell me your secrets.

I look forward to the next book in the series! Fingers crossed it's D and L!




P.S. A giant thank you to NetGalley and the publisher Moira Rogers for the copy.

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