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Hex on the Beach Kindle Edition
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From the Inside Flap
The goddess of love sets her sights on the Bennett sisters for a little Memorial Day matchmaking. The plan is to resurrect a local unsolved mystery for the sisters--and their love interests--to solve. But, of course, nothing goes according to plan.
I do not know how I became the goddess of love. Oh, I understand the "goddess" part. I am immortal, and I possess certain powers, and in ancient Greece, "deity" was the only language they had to describe us. We were lucky to be born in that world. A monotheistic culture has far different words for such a thing, as Denny--Dionysus--discovered when he over-imbibed in Inquisition-era Spain and started showing off his powers. Marius--Ares--had to ride to his big brother's rescue, roping me into it because Athene decided a little pyre-burning might teach Denny to hold his liquor. Yes, Athene still goes by Athene, and dear Lord do not spell it Athena. She once snuck a chisel into the British Museum to fix a statue.
No, I understand why the appellation of goddess. It's the "love" part I've never quite fathomed. Goddess of beauty, yes, and that is no show of ego. I know how I look, and if Fate had given me some say in the matter, I would have denied that particular gift. I suppose "love" arises from that. What else is a beautiful woman good for?
My powers have nothing to do with love. Or sex, though I am very fond of it, and rather good at it, as one might certainly hope to be after three thousand years of practice. No, I lack any powers of love or sex or fertility, and yet one can even find twenty-first- century sects that worship me in hopes of receiving those blessings.
I have no dominion there, and so after centuries of confusion, I did the only thing I could. I slammed down my banner and claimed the territory for myself. Aphrodite aka Venus aka Vanessa. Patron deity of lovers. Matchmaker extraordinaire.
And I am about to do what I do best.
DAQUIRIS AND DAGGERS by Melissa Marr:
A fun spa weekend away with friends in a city free of monsters, what could be better? Gen's necromancy had been on the fritz, so a recharge sounds perfect--until she arrives in San Diego to discover that either the spa is too steps beyond weird or there's magic afoot.
Shoes left behind, wearing the least comfortable woven footwear I'd ever put on, we hobbled through the garden toward the spa. Weirdly, this was our second time walking outside, and we still hadn't seen another soul.
"Is the spa always this empty?" I asked.
"You know, no guests. Empty."
He gave us another vacant smile. "We are at capacity, madam. Our guests are simply enjoying the benefits of a peaceful existence."
"Okaaaay." I glanced at my friends. They weren't buying it either.
We walked in silence that felt eerie now, and that creeping feeling of dread didn't relax when we stepped into a vacant spa.
"I'll leave you in the care of your personal spa guide." The man turned and left--after collecting our footwear.
"Select a pair of spa shoes," the vacant-eyed spa guide said as she approached. "They are separated into size bins."
We looked at each other as we collected our shoes. This time, we were given what appeared to be pea-soup green, tissue-paper "shoes." They would do exactly nothing to protect our feet.
"Seriously?" Christy whispered.
"They're crafted of pressed leaves," the vacant-eyed spa guide said. "They'll melt into the pools or protect your feet at the spa. When they fully vanish, it's time to step out of the steam." She gave us a wide-eyed smile. "Isn't that clever? You don't even need to watch the time. We like our guests to be freed of all responsibility."
I'd never wanted a sturdy pair of sandals as much as I did today.
"They melt?" Sera echoed.
"It opens your pores, so when you depart the spa center you can absorb the earth," the smiling woman added.
"So, we'll be naked, wet, and barefoot?" Christy prompted.
"Isn't it wonderful?" the woman said.
I think we were all too horrified to answer. This was turning into a vacation focused more on torture than relaxation.
A GRAVE GIRLS' GETAWAY by Jeaniene Frost
Vampire Cat Crawfield Russell is looking forward to a little down time with her best friend, Denise. But when witches crash the party, a fun getaway turns into a paranormal showdown.
Denise and I kept walking, chatting with an openness we hadn't managed in a while. Calls, texts, and video chats were great, but they didn't beat the joy of being together.
Soon, we reached what was left of the tide pools. I slowed my stride to avoid slipping, and then caught Denise's shoulder when she almost stumbled on the uneven rock.
"Want to head back to the street and call a Lyft?" I asked.
"Or you could fly us over these," she pointed out.
I could, but vampires had kept their existence hidden from humanity because we avoided public displays of power. Still, it was pitch dark, and the nearest hotel was a good mile away. I sent my senses outward. Nope, I didn't hear anyone else along the beach...wait. I strained my senses even more.
There. Someone was in the caves tucked into the bluffs bordering the beach and the sea. If I was human, I wouldn't have heard the low murmur of voices that almost blended with the sounds of the surf, and I really wouldn't have caught the new tang to the air before the sea spray snatched it away.
Still, that brief, sharp new scent was unmistakable, especially to a vampire.
"Earth to Cat," Denise began.
I pressed a finger to my lips in the universal gesture for silence. Then, I leaned in and whispered, "Stay here. Something's wrong," against her ear.
Maybe that blood was from a normal crime, or maybe I wasn't the only person out here with supernaturally great hearing.
I flew toward the sounds and the smell of blood.
About the Author
Jeaniene Frost is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Her works include the Night Huntress series, the Night Prince series, the Broken Destiny series, and the new Night Rebel series. Jeaniene's novels have also appeared on the Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal, ABA Indiebound, and international bestseller lists. Foreign rights for Jeaniene's novels have sold to twenty different countries. Jeaniene lives in Florida with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. In addition to being a writer, Jeaniene also enjoys reading, writing, poetry, watching movies, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking, and traveling - by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her. Visit her online: https: //www.jeanienefrost.com
Melissa Marr is a former university literature instructor who writes fiction for adults, teens, and children. Her books have been translated into twenty-eight languages and have been bestsellers internationally (Germany, France, Sweden, Australia, et. al.) as well as domestically. She is best known for the Wicked Lovely series for teens, Graveminder for adults, and Bunny Roo, I Love You. In her free time, she practices medieval swordfighting, kayaks, hikes, and raises kids and chickens in the Arizona desert. Visit her online: http: //www.melissamarrbooks.com --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B08R9683LB
- Publication date : July 1, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 1758 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 311 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #74,302 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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"Goddess of Summer Love", Cursed Luck #1.5
"Daiquiris and Daggers", Faery Bargains #2.5
"A Grave Girls' Getaway", Night Huntress #7.6
Kelley Armstrong's "Goddess of Summer Love"
Do read Cursed Luck , 1, first, as it makes this short story more enjoyable. (It has only been a couple weeks since Cursed Luck.)
This was a fun read that's really all about Vanessa, her past, her relationships with her siblings — especially Marius, and her assessment of her fellow gods as well as the multiple stories humans have concocted about them.
Never one to shirk, Armstrong includes Kennedy and Aiden's relationship starts and his relationship with his parents. Of course there's the grand opening of Kennedy's new store and the mystery of the disappearances of Dolly and Lisa Lake as well.
Armstrong uses first person protagonist point-of-view from Vanessa's perspective, and we learn all about her desire to be seen as a person. I did crack up with her comments about being seen as an "old" person. She's also keen on matchmaking, and this weekend her sights are set on just that . . . or not.
We also get a good bit of Vanessa's backstory — hoo, boy. Not in a good way. More backstory comes with Lisa and her sister's lives with their holy roller parents. Jeez.
Armstrong also does a nice job of creating a weakness for these magic workers.
The Olympians include . . .
Vanessa, a.k.a. Aphrodite or Venus, the so-called goddess of love, adores matchmaking. Marius, a.k.a. Ares, is the god of battle luck. The worst of Marius' children is Havoc, the goddess of discord who hates Vanessa.
Zeus and Hera's children include Hector, a.k.a. Hephaestus, who is a very abusive man and Vanessa's ex; Athene; Paulo, a.k.a. Apollo; Artie, a.k.a. Artemis, is Paulo's twin who loved to hunt; Denny, a.k.a. Dionysus, would swoop in with presents; Marius, who wanted to be friends; and, Mercy, a.k.a. Mercury or Hermes, the trickster goddess.
Unstable, Massachusetts, has . .
. . . welcomed the paranormal for years. Kennedy Bennett is a curse breaker — her specialty is joker jinxes and is one of a long line of curse weavers. She's recently moved home to Unstable, Massachusetts, from Boston after events in Cursed Luck . Her sisters are Ani, the oldest who loves to organize, and Hope, who loves being the exasperating, embarrassing younger sister and is interested in Rian. All three sisters are descendants of Mercy. Ani and Hope took over the family business, Unhex Me Here.
The prim and proper Aiden Connolly (based in Boston) is the scion of a wealthy family of luck workers with his own business. Rian is Aiden's younger, irresponsible brother who is the face of the family business, Connolly Enterprises, whom their disinterested parents expect Aiden to police. Both brothers are many greats-grandsons of Marius'.
Jonathan is a librarian in Unstable who spends a lot of time with Ani. Salazar is the chief of police. Old Man Cooper makes more money over the summer than when he planted crops. Mitch, the local IT guy, and Jackie Keeling, who's a medium specializing in retrocognition (and probably a very distant relative of Athene) are a couple. Jackie's aunt Ricci was the tour guide that night back in 1969. Ms Dowling will be this time's tour guide.
Lisa Lake is the teenager who disappeared in 1969 and remains an unsolved mystery. Her parents are avid churchgoers. Dolly had been a milkmaid.
Melissa Marr's "Daiquiris and Daggers"
Poor Geneviève. She had a power spike and used too much. Now she's struggling with a lack of her power in this paranormal fantasy. And her sweetie has organized a Girls' Weekend for her.
Marr uses first person protagonist point-of-view from Geneviève's perspective and raises more questions for me in this world she's created. It's actually rather confusing and makes me appreciate those authors who provide the extra information about the characters and their pasts. Yeah, it can be repetitive for readers who read through the series in one go, but for first time readers in a series . . .
Whoa, I think I love Eli too! "He understood me. He saw me as an equal. And he never tried to change me." How can you not love the guy? I do think I missed something, as the start of the story says Geneviève is freaking out about the wedding, and then she's suddenly married by the end of the book . . .?
The drink concoctions Alice comes up with are interesting. Leave out the blood, and I'd enjoy them. That spa though . . . no, I don't think so. That was so freaky!! And definitely not the place I'd go for eats, drinks, OR therapy!
Geneviève Crowe of Stonehaven, a.k.a. Bonbon and Death Maiden, a witch and necromancer based in New Orleans who freelances for the NOPD and the queen of the draugr. Her father had been a walking corpse and her Jewish mother a witch, which makes Geneviève half-dead and half-witch. She's bonded to the self-exiled Prince Eli of Stonecroft, the heir to the fae throne and freaking about marrying him.
The widowed Alice Chaddock, a.k.a. Allie, wealthy in her own right, is her assistant who tried to murder Geneviève last year. I reckon I'll have to read the Faery Bargain series, if only to understand why Alice would be working as an assistant, why she tried murder . . . Harper is Geneviève's current fight buddy. Christy Zehr is Eli's bar manager and one of Geneviève's closest friends. Sera is another friend. Tres.
Tomes and Tea is the bookstore in which Geneviève has a half-share. Jesse, Christy's boyfriend, is her partner in the shop.
Uncle Marcus is the king of Elphame who has an unexpected desire. The Fae Royal Service are security guards and include Roisin, Eli's former training mate.
Lady Beatrice, who rules the fanged monsters of New Orleans, is Geneviève's dead grandmother who, um, lives in the Outs, once known as Slidell. The fifteen-year-old-looking Eleanor is Lady B's assistant. Mama Lauren loves to garden and is Geneviève's mother.
The spa in San Diego . . .
William of Diego is the regent. Misty is a spa guide.
Millicent Johnson was 18 and dead . . . and infected with draugr venom. Her parents want her in a T-Cell House. Bill's Tavern. Iggy is a dead Hexen whom Geneviève restored to life. Draugr are blood drinkers of Icelandic folklore. Mr Woods is trying to buy a book Tea and Tomes will NOT sell. Chester is powerful and maintains balances, assassinates, and educates.
Jeaniene Frost's "A Grave Girls' Getaway"
It's a paranormal fantasy in which, between fear and guilt, Cat needs to understand her daughter, and it's gonna be a hard road to hoe. As Frost uses first person protagonist point-of-view from Cat's perspective, we know all her thoughts and emotions.
It helps explain why Bones reckons Cat needs some time away to relax, but the girl is so used to rescuing people. And falls into a nasty predicament that could kill everyone she loves. It does lead to Cat getting high, and is it ever funny! Then there's Denise as she embraces her ability to shapeshift.
Poor Cat. She and Denise discover that they're getting older and clubbing just ain't what it used to be, lol.
I love the lesson Cat's learned here:
"Just be who you are. . . . Not who you think you should be. Who you are is enough . . . It will always be enough."
Catherine "Cat" Crawfield Russell, a.k.a. Red Reaper, a vampire who doesn't drink human blood. She's married to Crispin "Bones" Russell, a master vampire, has recently acquired telekinetic abilities. They live in hiding in Mission, British Columbia, Canada. Ten-year-old Katie is their newly discovered, unique daughter, who had been trained to kill and loves to dance.
Justina is Cat's mother, and she's married to Tate. Cat's uncle, Don Williams, is a ghost and floats around.
Charles "Spade" is Bones' best friend. Denise, his wife who was branded by a shapeshifting demon, is Cat's best friend. Nathaniel is a relative of Denise's. The perverted and rebellious vampire, Ian, is Bones' sire who's been illegally practicing magic. Veritas, a half-vampire, half-demigod, is his new wife, and they're on an extended honeymoon. Ashael is Veritas' half-brother and a mostly not evil demon as well as half-demigod. He's a sneaky one . . . Demons are the walking embodiment of magic.
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, California is . . .
. . . right on the beach.
The Coven . . .
. . . worships a sea goddess. Morgana is the evil vampire/witch leader.
The Cover and Title
The cover is deep in blues with a city skyline in the background and a suspension bridge crossing from the left to the right. There's a tree on the left behind the bridge, and the lighter blue sky is reflected in the still waters of the river, waves crashing ashore in front of the woman (with her back to us) wearing blue jeans and a black tank top. She has long black hair blowing in the breeze with an empty scabbard on her back. In her left hand is a green bottle of wine and the right carries a sword pointing to the ground. At the very top is an info blurb in pale yellow with the three authors' names in white, crossing the woman's upper back. The title starts at her butt with a fancy serif font in a gradated white to yellow.
The title is those negative experiences Geneviève and Cat have with a Hex on the Beach. I don't really see Vanessa's experience as being on the beach.
It's been a while since I've read a Cat & Bones story, so I was eager to get my eyes on this one. Without giving away too much, (and readers should be aware there are spoilers from previous released books in this series in this short story) it seems like Cat and Bones have settled into their own version of domestic bliss. When Bones arranges for a girls-weekend getaway for Cat and Denise, the ladies start out agreeing that it's a great idea -- until it's not! I'd forgotten how much I like Denise's sense of humor, and Cat's laser-focus on mixing it up with other paranormals. When she smells blood while walking the beach with Denise, well-- she's just got to check it out and see what's going on.
What follows is Cat all-the-way! I was reminded how much I love this character because she gets herself into a huge mess of epic proportions when mixing it up with this group of supernaturals. It ends up taking more than Denise and her new demon friend can handle, even with their considerable talents.
I'm smiling writing this review remembering how much I loved this story. Of course there's some Bones and Spade involvement too, so fans of this vampire duo/family -- you won't be sorry grabbing a copy of this. I did feel teased a bit some with Bones new abilities, and I really hope that means Jeaniene Frost is brewing up a new Cat & Bones story for us. Finger-crossed as they say!
Run, don’t walk to read these short stories about some of your favorite characters - some you haven’t seen in quite a while!
Overall, I recommend all three novellas!
By IrishBookWorm on July 5, 2021
Top reviews from other countries
In „Goddess of Summer Love“ Vanessa aka Aphrodite, visits the Bennett sisters in Unstable, for the grand opening of Kennedy‘s new shop. And for a little match making (obviously her thing) that turns out a lot differently than planned. And everything is spiced up a little by a ghostly unresolved mystery… Vanessa is likable and her POV has a good voice, so to speak. I liked the mystery, the relationships and the spin at the end. Cool addition to the very good series.
„Daiquiris and Daggers“ (Faery Bargains 2.5) is about Gen and her girlfriends going on a allegedly relaxed weekend-trip that also turns out very differently than expected. It seems that the Death Maiden encounters death whether she wants to or not. Seeing her girlfriends gear up and get to business was hilarious. And if you like the main series, you’ll want to know what happens here, because there’ll be consequences from some stuff in the following installments.
And I loved seeing Cat and Bones again! In „A Grave Girls’ Getaway“ Cat and Denise are out on a girls weekend unexpectedly contained witches, other vampires and a goddess. And a drunk Cat that had a incredibly hilarious fight with the floor. Yes, it’s fun, yet the stakes are really high and Jeanine Frost manages to evoke a lot of feelings in just a few pages.
Each story felt complete, had the quality of its main series and added something to it. Very good anthology!