The Unlucky Charms series by T.M. Cromer – Review

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Today, I am reviewing a series called The Unlucky Charms.  The first four books have been released.  I read the first book for free via Amazon’s Prime reading program.  This program is meant to be a hook and this time it pulled me, convincing me to buy books 2-4.  And probably #5 when it is released in March.

Each alliterative title is composed of an alcoholic drink and a magicky word.  They really don’t have anything to do with the plots of the books, except for the fact that the main family, the O’Malleys, are magical and own a bar. 

The Unlucky Charms is a spinoff of The Thorne Witch series.  While there are many references to events of that series, and several guest appearances, it is very possible to enjoy this series on its own.  As I continued reading, the previous series references seemed to lessen.

Each book is a combination of romance, magic and intrigue.  The O’Malleys are an Irish family, cursed so they no longer wield magic.  A prophecy indicates the curse can be broken.  Each family member has their part in the prophecy, along with their romantic love interest.  To complicate things, the family responsible for the curse is made up of heroes and villains.  Villains that will do anything to prevent the O’Malley’s from regaining their magic.  These villains want all the power and magic for themselves. 

As the series progresses, the villainy increases.  Therefore the need for heroines and heroes also rises.  The overall plot and enduring characters continue to evolve with each installment in the series.  Which means I am looking forward to book 5, Wine and Warlocks!

If you are hoping that there will be references to marshmallow filled cereal, you won’t be disappointed.  The Unlucky Charms is filled charming heroes, confident heroines, Irish eejits and magically delicious romances.

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About Pints and Potions

Sick of the unwelcome attention that comes with being a member of an extremely powerful family, Piper Thorne longs to escape her magical burden and live a mortal’s simple existence. On a whim, she adopts an alias and jets off to Ireland, where she stumbles into the path of the enticing rogue, Cian O’Malley. But she’s ill prepared to deal with the onslaught of emotions his wicked grin stirs up when he oh-so-casually turns up the charm.

A hardened, down-on-his-luck warlock, Cian O’Malley is determined to change his family’s plight and restore their stolen magic. In the midst of his half-baked plan to woo the bewitching Piper, he finds himself in a death match with an old enemy who’s carrying a monumental grudge.

Before long, Cian discovers Piper might just hold the key to reversing a two-hundred-and-fifty-year-old curse. He only has to keep them both alive long enough to solve the riddle written in the O’Malleys’ ancient grimoire and convince Piper to trust him with her heart.

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About Whiskey and Witches

Carrick O’Malley is living a double life. To shield his son, Aeden, from a horrific truth, he convinced everyone he’d lost his wife in a tragic accident. But over the last eleven months, he’s done his job too well, and everyone now despises the woman he sneaks off to visit—the dreaded Witch of the Woods.
 
Roisin O’Malley became an outcast to protect her small family from becoming collateral damage. Posing as her hated sister, Meg, should have made it easy to find whoever suppressed her magic and caused her disfiguring accident. But after months of searching, she’s no closer to the truth, and she’s finding it increasingly difficult to be away from those she loves.
 
When someone learns Roisin’s true identity, the attempts on her life resume, escalating in intensity. Roisin and Carrick must put aside the differences caused by their separation and work together. If they can discover the link between the attacks and the ancient O’Malley prophecy, perhaps they can save their family and recapture the magic they lost.

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About Beer and Broomsticks

Bridget O’Malley has a love-hate relationship with her irritating neighbor, Ruairí O’Connor. In their youth, he’d promised her the moon and stars, but in a shocking move, he betrayed her. When she finds out he’s the final piece of the puzzle she needs to restore her family’s magic, she’s fit to be tied. Bridget would rather eat nine-inch galvanized nails than have anything to do with the super-sexy, sweet-talking Ruairí ever again. And she’s sure as hell not going to fall for his devilish charm and wicked grin a second time.

Ruairí O’Connor had been taught to despise the O’Malleys from birth, but it only took a single glimpse of Bridget’s enchanting smile, and he lost his heart forever. His foolish plan to get her to run away with him and escape their feuding families backfired, and he’s been dealing with the fallout ever since. Desperate to regain Bridget’s love, he plans to return to her what was stolen, hoping she’ll forgive him for his boneheaded mistake of the past.

When power-hungry Loman O’Connor arrives on the scene determined to retrieve the magical weapon that gives him his undefeatable abilities, Bridget and Ruairí must set aside the past and come together to fulfill the final part of an ancient prophecy. They are going to need a little luck, a lot of forgiveness, a clever plan, and perhaps some divine intervention to outsmart a devious warlock like Loman and break the O’Malley curse.

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About Cocktails and Cauldrons

At the pinnacle of a successful career, reclusive artist Eoin O’Malley is forced to put his life on hold to deal with the return of his family’s ancient magic. He must learn to control his new influx of power or risk hurting those he loves. In need of someone he can trust to run his business, he rushes to hire quiet, capable Brenna when she’s disowned by her overbearing aunt.

Wallflower and art enthusiast Brenna Sullivan has always longed for the day she could escape her Cinderella-before-the-ball existence. So when her secret crush, sexy Eoin O’Malley, hands her a first-class ticket to Ireland and a job offer that turns all her dreams into reality, Brenna accepts. Really, how could she refuse?

But betrayal comes from unexpected sources, and around every corner, there’s a new evil waiting to steal the ultimate magic. Caught up in a game where no rules exist, Eoin and Brenna are finding it difficult to trust anyone. They must discover a way to neutralize Brenna’s unwelcome inner Siren or risk her turning into a demonic Succubus who will destroy the lives of everyone in her path.

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Catagenesis (Cat Ship, #3) by Jody Wallace – Review

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Review of Catagenesis

First – I love this series!  Cats that can teleport and sometimes read minds.  To be honest, I am not so sure that part is science fiction.  In the Catship series, cats have also evolved to be able to talk.  To humans.  Using human words.  So, cool!

Humans also play a large role.  In Catagenesis, we have Han-Ja Gee.  Drug / information dealer, in debt to a mobster.  “Smarmy” to quote Farah Shine Collins.  (Han-Ja was also in Catapult (book 2) in a very memorable scene involving mind altering drugs (mota), and a talking feline masquerading as a robotic cat.)

Farah is newly awakened after sleeping on a generation ship for 3,000 years.  A former law enforcement liaison, she is not nearly naïve as Han-Ja believes or as she is first presented.  Her mom is Dear Barbara (the cat’s name for her). 

After a murder on the gen ship, Farah and Han-Ja team up to figure out what the heck happened.  Dear Barbara is the prime suspect since she is the one who found the body.  Otherwise, clues are nearly non-existent.  What is not non-existent is a lack of suspects.  The non-cat loving crew members blame the cats.  There is of course, much disagreement on that, especially from the cats. 

More murders, riots and pandemonium ensue.  The author continues to throw in little mayhems to complicate the story and provide plenty of humor.  For cat lovers, you will get plenty of tail swishing, face washing, brushing against legs and sudden bolting from the room.  Plus, a gigantic superior attitude.  Yep, cats.

Romance is there too.  Farah and Han-Ja do not hit it off at first.  But as these things go, each begins to see the appeal of the other.  Kissing and heroics ensue.

This book is for anyone who enjoys sci-fi romance, cats, mystery and hilarity.  It stands alone, but the first two books are just as good and several characters cross over.  So read the entire series I say!

I received a copy of this book from the author. My review is my honest opinion.

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About Catagenesis by Jody Wallace

Han-Ja Gee has made a fine living on Trash Planet trading information and secrets with those who are willing to pay, either in money or in more secrets. He thought he knew everything…until a talking cat interrupted a business meeting. But cats can’t talk. Cats are so rare that only very wealthy people own them. If he can discover the truth about the cats, he can pay off the life-debt he owes and leave Trash Planet forever.

Farah Shine Collins is a passenger on an ancient generation ship who wakes up two thousand years late in a galaxy that barely survived a catastrophic war…and the cats on her ship have become sentient. Her struggle to adjust becomes infinitely worse when she’s asked to partner with an information broker named Han-Ja, who is clearly trouble, to solve a murder on board the ship.

A murder for which the primary suspect is Farah’s mother. A murder that not even mind-reading cats seem to know anything about. A murder that is only the first in a string of deadly attacks that threatens to tear the whole ship apart.

Han-Ja just wanted to escape a brutal racketeer. Farah just wanted a place that she and her mother could call home. Neither expected to fall in love while locked on a murder ship with three thousand terrified colonists and almost as many angry cats. But if they cannot stop the killer, the collateral damage will be a lot more than their hopes and dreams. It will be their lives.

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Another Year!

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7 years ago today, I shared my first book review on Whiskey With My Book.  To mark this occasion, I thought I’d recap last year by listing my 10 favorite 5-star books of 2022.  It is really hard to choose only 10, but for your sake and mine, I did.  It is even harder to rank them, but I managed.  Note: If I reviewed the book, I included the link. Clicking on the cover will take you to Amazon. Use of these links supports this blog and is very much appreciated. I also recommended checking with your library (if you want to save some $$$)!

10 and 9 The Bell of Belgrave Square and The Siren of Sussex.  These are the first two books in The Belles of London series by Mimi Matthews.  The historical romances are about women and men who find love outside society’s expected boundaries. 

8 – Soul Taken (Mercy Thompson, #13) by Patricia Briggs.  Between 2021 and 2022, I read (or listened to) the entire Mercy Thompson series.  Binging the urban fantasy series was a great way to soak it up. I reviewed 1-12 before I read #13.

7 – The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin.  Wartime in London is fraught with danger and heartbreak.  This was a moving story enriched by historical detail, complex characters, and books.

6 – The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd.  An absolutely fascinating bit of magical realism, secrets, maps, mapmakers, and intrigue. 

5 – Upgrade by Blake Crouch.  This was one of two Blake Crouch books I read last year.  Upgrade examines the ethics of scientific advancements.

4 and 3 – The League of Gentlewomen Witches and the Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton.  The first two books in the Dangerous Damsels series are highly entertaining.  Crammed full with humor, romance and flying battlehouses, what’s not to love?

2 – Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett.  I was completely charmed by this tale of two academics whose study of faeries becomes an adventure you will never forget.

1 – The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston.  I don’t read a lot of fiction set in current times, so I was quite surprised that this contemporary romance turned out to appeal to me so much!  I even recommended it to my library’s book club.  I hope they love it as much as I did.  I plan to share a review of this book eventually.  I might save it for Valentine’s week.

Thank you for following my blog. I hope, if you are looking for a good book to read, you will find something great here!