BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, September 15, 2014

Bea Reviews Captured & Reckoning by S.J. Harper - 2 Books, 1 Review!

I am late posting my review for "Captured" which is a prequel to the first book in this series, "Cursed". When I was looking at the schedule for dates to post my review for it and for book two, "Reckoning", it occurred to me that I could combine them into one post. So I did. :D The first review is for "Captured" then directly beneath it is the review for "Reckoning". Want to check out my review of the first book, "Cursed"? Look here. I also have a Quote-Tastic post for "Reckoning" here.

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Series: Fallen Siren #0.5
Format Read: eGalley
Source: from the author in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon*  | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Join FBI Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong.
She’s a Siren. He’s a Werewolf.
Their mission is redemption.


Emma Monroe is a Fallen Siren, cursed by the gods and banished to Earth for her failure to prevent the kidnapping of Persephone. She’s had many names and many lives, but only one mission: redemption. Now she works for the FBI and is on temporary assignment in Charleston. Solving this next missing persons case could be the key to ending her ancient curse—unless the temptation that’s her new partner gets in the way.

Zack Armstrong is a Werewolf. Tall, dark, and dangerous, he currently works for one of the bureau’s elite Child Abduction Rapid Deployment teams. In many respects the man is every bit as mysterious as his secret and perilous past. But there are two things he’s certain about, that he’s going to get his man and his woman.

When Zack finds himself suddenly shy a partner and a third child goes missing in Charleston, Emma goes from consultant to CARD team member in the space of a few hours. The abductions of the first two boys ended in murder, an outcome that neither Zack nor Emma can abide. As they race against time to track down the kidnapper and rescue the latest victim, they find themselves fighting something just as treacherous—a growing attraction that can’t be ignored or denied.

Bea's Thoughts:

I was excited when one of the authors (S.J. Harper is really two people, Jeanne C. Stein and Samantha Sommersby) contacted me about reviewing this prequel novella. The first book was just so good and the second book was still months away.

Emma and Zach meet for the first time in this story. She immediately recognizes him as a werewolf but he doesn't know she's anything other than human. In reality, she's a Greek siren, banished to Earth for several thousand years now by the Goddess Demeter. Only a few people know what she is but both of them discretely use their abilities to help find the missing children and their abductors/killers.

Sometimes authors write prequels that claim to be stand-alone but when you read them, they don't work unless you've read the series. Happily, Harper avoids that pitfall. Though I had read book one, this story also works quite quite well as an introduction. If you have read book one, then you get to see Emma and Zach's initial meeting.

"Captured" is urban fantasy but it's also a mystery and a romance. I would call it a mystery first then an urban fantasy and then a romance. Harper blends them into a story that, well, captured my interest and kept me reading. I loved the mix of police procedure and mythology and Demeter, well, that is one bitchy goddess. Emma can't ever really relax, knowing that Demeter is watching, waiting to strike and punish her yet again.

A heads up: All of the Siren stories involve children, of all ages, in danger and some die. So, if that's a trigger for you, you might want to skip these books.

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Publisher: Roc
Series: Fallen Siren #2
Format Read: paperback 
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon Paperback* | Amazon Kindle* | Book Depository*Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Join Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong.
She’s sacrificed. He’s suffered. They’ve both been betrayed.
Now it’s time for a reckoning.

Special Agent Emma Monroe has a secret. She’s a Fallen Siren, cursed by the gods and banished to Earth for her failure to prevent the kidnapping of Persephone. As an FBI agent she saves the lives of others believing redemption could be one rescue away.

Her partner Zack is a werewolf and former Black Ops sniper who once carried out a string of questionable assignments. Now he’s determined to atone for his past. Ironically, there’s a portion of his past Zack doesn’t remember—an affair with Emma. Giving into their attraction for one another almost led to their undoing. Now it’s back to business as usual.

While trying to unravel the mystery behind a series of kidnappings in Southern California, Emma and Zack become entangled with political tensions in the vampire and Were worlds. Not to mention the struggles they face in their relationship with one another. With so much uncertainty, they come to realize the only thing they can really count on is one another…or can they? 


Bea's Thoughts:

Oh, that Demeter is one nasty, cruel goddess. I knew it was too good to be true and I was right. Near the end of the book she offers Emma a gift but it was really a cruel joke. Nasty, nasty spiteful goddess. Poor Emma. For thousands of years she's been punished for one mistake. I sometimes doubt if Demeter will ever forgive or allow Emma to return home. Though, with the life she's made on Earth, she might find it hard to walk away from her mortal life.

"Reckoning" is an apt title in many respects: Demeter extracts a reckoning, Zack and Emma have a reckoning, Emma and Kallistos have a reckoning, and so on. It's tightly written story that kept me up late reading. Teen girls have gone missing from a local private school. As Zack and Emma investigate, they find commonalities among the girls and slowly they uncover info, find threads, and start to piece it together. Harper briefly goes into religion, faith, and judging by appearances; l I wish it had been more in depth but at least the topics are touched on.

Mixed into all this of course is the supernatural; the majority of Emma's and Zack's cases do. In this story, Emma has to balance her needs to find the missing girls with the need to keep the supernatural off the human radar and to balance the needs of the girls against the needs and desires of Kallistos, her lover and the Regional vampire king. Ah, politics.

"Reckoning" has a tight story line, multiple threads, multi-faceted characters, and an excellent blend of mythology, magic, mystery, and romance. I really want Zack and Emma to be together but that nasty goddess Demeter is always watching. I can't wait for the next book to see the fall out from this story.


7 comments:

  1. Ahhh yes. I'm going to have to try her out at some point.

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  2. Oh boy this sounds like an awesome new UF series that I must check out.

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  3. I loved the prequel and book 1, definitely looking forward to reading this!!!

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  4. These sound like great books! I am not familiar with the author(s) or the series, but I am definitely adding them to my wish list.

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  5. Just bought captured (it was a freebie) after reading your great review, hope I'll be reading it soon :)

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    1. WOOT! I love hearing that. I hope you like it.

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  6. I got Capture when it was free on Amazon and the publisher sent me a netgalley link for Reckoning the other day. I so got to read these as I loved Cursed. :)

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Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing from my readers. Let;s talk!