Book Review: The Devil You Know by Starla Huchton and S.A. Huchton

The Devil You Know by Starla Huchton and S.A. Huchton

An Urban Fantasy Romance Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (01/29/17)

Summary:

Demons live among us. They shop at the grocery store and work at the local coffee shop. Kendra has been able to see them her whole life. And she’s never told anybody. What good could come of it? She’s used to horns, decaying flesh, and blue skin but when she first meets Nick, she’s caught off guard and she almost can’t keep her secret to herself. His appeal is more than just his good looks, his demon ability makes it hard for her to stay grounded and away from him. She knows she has to stay away from him. But he keeps showing up in her life and she is one debt short of keeping all her secrets safe.

Keywords:

Paranormal, Demons, Devils Romance, Romantic Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Demon World, Affect, Abilities, Jealousy, Business Deal, Partnership, Friendship, Emotion

My Review:

I’ve almost read everything Starla and S.A. Huchton have ever published. I will continue to read everything Huchton publishes. She is an amazing storyteller and has a gift with words, plot, characters, and style. She could fictionalize the dictionary and make it intriguing.

The Devil You Know has both paranormal and urban fantasy elements, two key book characteristics I typically don’t like, but I loved this book. The characters may have been demons (not all of them), but they were alive with approachable human characteristics. The world was set in a typical city, but in a world where there were different types of demons with different characteristics. Huchton gives us just a little bit of the fantasy world in which demons live, but firmly grounds it in a contemporary and familiar world.

The two main characters: Nick and Kendra are both complex and misunderstood. Both will come to new realizations after meeting the other. They both learn and grow throughout the novel. I loved how Kendra was able to change her opinion of Nick as he opened up to her the longer they were together. I guess growing up knowing you are the only one who can see 8-foot tall demons with horns and blue skin would make you more open-minded to other things, but I was pleased with how Kendra dealt with and stood her ground with Nick and the other demons.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on 01/29/2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.0

Links for more information:

Starla Huchton’s Website

Goodreads

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Book Review: Tempered Hearts (Hearts of Valentia Book 1) by Starla Huchton and S.A. Huchton

Tempered Hearts (Hearts of Valentia Book 1) by Starla Huchton and S.A. Huchton

A Fantasy Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (08/08/16)

Summary:

Darius, the crown prince, is in an arranged marriage to Arden. Arden is kind and compassionate, but Darius has already given away his heart. In this political match, Arden tries her best to win over Darius. She has an effect on all those around her, but cannot seem to find the way to Darius’s heart.

Keywords:

Monarchy, Rulers, Power, War, Destruction, Rebuilding, Heart, Love, Family, Passion, Peace, Chemistry, Race Relations, Kingdom

My Review:

Again, Huchton nails the dialogue and the speeches. This book feels like a good quality fantasy book with realistic yet easy to understand dialogue. This is a hard fantasy book that everyone, even readers who aren’t typically fantasy readers (like me) will enjoy.

Both the story and the plot were solid. They weren’t predictable, but they made sense. Huchton writes a character driven story and since her characters are perfectly defined, realistic, and interesting the story is also well defined, realistic and interesting.

What really keeps me picking up book after book by Huchton are the characters and their relationships with each other. But mostly the characters. Huchton writes the female main character I’ve always wanted. Strong but flawed, like any good protagonist! I love how much I get into the characters’ heads.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on 08/08/2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

 

Links for more information:

Starla Huchton’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: Spark (The Chronicles of ISLE Book 1)

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Spark (The Chronicles of ISLE Book 1)

A Romance/Adventure Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (09/28/15)

Summary:

“Superheroes give up most of their right to be selfish when they become what they are” (Kindle Locations 162-163).

Candace Bristol and her water power are back… Decades later and the story isn’t about her and her romance with Jackson anymore, it’s about their daughter Phoebe. A Natural superhero with both mother and father superheroes, Phoebe is destined to be a super and grew up both sheltered from the outside world and raised within the superhero community. Feebs trained before she knew what her power was, but she always knew she would be a superhero, she never had a choice in the matter. All she wants is to be in control of something in her life, but even her gifts awakening is a scary surprise for her. But it wasn’t all that bad, she did meet the intriguing Foster at the bonfire party Sammi, her best friend, convinced her to break the rules to go to. Now that Phoebe is 18 and has been presented to the world, her life will throw her into the fast lane of being a super and she can barely keep herself together and in control. Add in a mysterious illness dropping veteran supers left and right and Feebs feels like her entire life is crashing to pieces around her. Where will she turn for support now?

Keywords:

Genetic manipulation, superheroes, tough, instability, romance, love, hormones, leader, kick-butt female, sex, training, choices, control, fire power, second generation

 

My Review:

Everything Starla Huchton writes turns to gold. I’m serious. If you like romance in your young adult adventure/sci fi/fantasy novels then you will love Huchton’s novels and Spark ((The Chronicles of ISLE Book 1) is no exception. This is the type of book you don’t want to put down and you won’t because it’s just that good.

The romance is mesmerizing and only a little cheesy, but every little romantic moment will make you go ‘awww.’ Huchton not only gives her characters reasons to love each other, she gives them a reason to fall for each other in the first place. They have heightened hormones that turn them toward each other and accelerate the process of getting intimate and falling for one another. They are put into situations where they have to trust and rely on one another and build an emotional connection. They are unique and super and that’s just attractive. Phoebe had almost no contact with boys outside of the superhero extended family she grew up with and the first boy she meets is the one she falls for and not just because he likes her back. This is a relationship built upon mutual attractive qualities.

The storyline is both familiar and exciting. ISLE is the decades later continuation of ANGEL and we get to see some of the same characters from the previous trilogy as adults. This is not their story, but there are similar elements as the last story. There are still supers and a threat that must be understood and contained. It is now up to the new generation and the Independent Superhero LEague to save the day.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on September 28th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Starla Huchton’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: The Night Bridge by S.A. Huchton

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The Night Bridge by S.A. Huchton

A Fantasy/Romance Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (08/10/15)

Summary:

The little girl who believed in magic is now in her twenties and about to let go of her childhood friend forever, but when the mysterious Light Man shows up again and in great need, she will set aside her adult prejudices and believe once more. Eran is not just a magical man and he didn’t just show up in Shari’s time and place on accident. He was sent to her not to help Shari, but to be helped by her.

Keywords:

Fantasy, Romance, Evolution, Theory, Bridge, Distance, Love, Reality, Protection, Help, Save, Menace, Fighting, Technology

 

My Review:

One thing I know for certain about S.A. Huchton (aka Starla Huchton) is that she knows how to write a great romance, no matter the genre. Her romances are the most compelling, no matter if they occur within sci-fi or fantasy.

The Night Bridge had that pull that happens in a good romance where there is an inevitability that will make your heart lurch because you love the characters so much and their romance is so sweet that to tear that apart would devastate you as much as the characters.

I felt that this book was a bit rushed and a lot of the events seemed to happen as if they were in a bubble and not within the realm of a normal (our) world. Also, Shari was dead set against getting to know or even let her romantic feelings towards Eran take over and then suddenly (mostly all of a sudden but she does think it through) she changes her mind and is head over heels in a whirlwind fast romance.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on August 10th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Starla Huchton’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: Progeny (The Endure Series Book 3) by S.A. Huchton

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Progeny (The Endure Series Book 3) by S.A. Huchton

A Sci-Fi/New Adult/Romance Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (12/07/13)

 

Summary:

“’We always have a choice, Dr. Ashley. It’s what we do with the options we’re given that’s important.’” (Kindle Location 423).
“’You can’t blame yourself for putting people into a dangerous situation you didn’t create.’” (Kindle Locations 3297-3298).

Book three picks up after a bit of time from the end of Nemesis. Lydia has been gone long enough for them to send Dr. Nick back after lack of funding for both off-Endure researchers and she is now by herself in what may became potential enemy territory. With what she has learned and how she thinks Daniel feels, Lydia feels more alone than she’s ever felt before. She continues working on the cure to the bacteria she was studying on the Endure, but is plagued by doubt about everything and everyone. Has she left Daniel for good, or will this genius power couple get back together, even after knowing what they know about each other?

 

Keywords:

Genetics, genius, underwater, tough, instability, romance, love, hormones, leader, kick-butt female, sex, fighting, training, good guys, testing, banter, skills, technology, hackers, subaquatic living, scientists, the hard way, Marine Biochemistry, Nobel Laureate, ship-shape, selective breeding

My Review:

The reveals are grandiose in this book and the lengths both Daniel and Lydia will go for love are insane. The tension has been building from book one and we get the exciting third book of all hell breaks loose! Some conflicts are resolved, but the grand plotline, the good versus evil theme is still ongoing and yet to be concluded in this third novel. THIS IS NOT A TRILOGY. Progeny is not the final book. Huchton leaves the book with her greatest cliffhanger of the Endure series.

The greater plotline that’s fully revealed in this third book of the series is quite a doozy, meandering in and out of the gray area of genetic manipulation and selective breeding. But Huchton makes it personal. She brings a hypothetical (I hope) scientific concept to life right in front of your eyes with one of her characters and you are in the midst of the emotional ride as this gray area plays out. Who will win in the end? Will there be any winners? This third book is the most apocalyptic of the series, as it delves into possibilities that Huchton might explore in book four concerning a major decrease in population! She pulls out all the stops for this book, but looking back you know she had some of these greater designs in mind from the beginning. There were hints. There were clues. Hopefully in book four we get the conclusion we’ve been looking for.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on December 25th, 2013 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

 

Links for more information:

Starla Huchton’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: Nemesis (The Endure Series, book 2) by S.A. Huchton

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Nemesis (The Endure Series, book 2) by S.A. Huchton

A Sci-Fi/New Adult/Romance Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (08/25/13)

 

Summary:

“The last thing she needed or wanted was more complications in her life. And Nicholas Miller was one big ball of drama waiting to happen.” (Kindle Locations 1214-1216).

Nemesis picks up right where Maven left off, in the middle of a great conflict between the Maven Initiative (the bad guys) and those on the Endure wishing to combat the great evil that wants to unleash a deadly disease on humanity. Only, the Maven Initiative hasn’t set off the deadly bacteria, that even though they hold a kill switch, they have to develop a cure for the disease. They enlist Lydia for her Marine Biochemistry abilities and she works as a double agent, trying to both cure the disease and take down the Initiative. It isn’t until she stumbles on a large hole to the puzzle, that Lydia finds out she has been targeted by the Initiative longer than she expected.

 

Keywords:

Genetics, genius, underwater, tough, instability, romance, love, hormones, leader, kick-butt female, sex, fighting, training, good guys, testing, banter, skills, technology, hackers, subaquatic living, scientists, the hard way, Marine Biochemistry, Nobel Laureate, ship-shape

 

My Review:

Many new complications arise in this second book in the Endure series. We see a new love interest (old flame) and competition arrives for both Lydia and Daniel. The face of evil that is known as Dr. Burkovitz and the Maven Initiative reveals some surprising developments. The places they are willing to go in their evil plan knows no bounds and Lydia is caught up in the middle of it all.

Huchton really throws on the tension in this book. There are so many new complications and plot twists, but they all fit seamlessly together. Hints from book one and the beginning of book two come alive as their own sub-plots and intricacies.

The characters get more development and depth and we are introduced to the newest complications: Dr. Gorgeous (Nick Miller) and the Mistress of Sarcasm (Anna Corvis). These two characters inflict quite a bit of damage to Lydia and Daniel’s relationship, especially as the two don’t seem to be able to communicate all their feelings to each other. The Maven Initiative’s surprise throws another wrench into Lydia and Daniel’s relationship. Really, almost everything in this book tears at their relationship, threatening to come between the greatest love ever seen on the Endure.

It is in this book in particular that any normal human being will feel lazy and stupid in comparison to the genius workaholics presented in the characters of Daniel and Lydia as well as almost every character on the Endure and beyond.

Huchton also shows us that even a genius can be normal when it comes to human emotions and trying to communicate and endure under great hardships and terrible surprises.

The end of this book is heart wrenching and gut rending and you must immediately continue on with book three of this series (Progeny).

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on August 25th, 2013 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

 

Links for more information:

Starla Huchton’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: Maven (The Endure Series Book 1) by S.A. Huchton

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Maven (The Endure Series Book 1) by S.A. Huchton

A Sci-Fi/New Adult/Romance Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (06/02/13)

 

Summary:

 

“How was she supposed to juggle saving the world and a social life?” (Page 112).

Lydia has been waiting six years to board the Deep Water Research Command Endure and to meet the famed Daniel Brewer, a fellow young genius like herself. Lydia is a Doctor of Marine Biochemistry and a Nobel Laureate in her twenties and she has longed to find someone similar to herself, another prodigy of sorts, but Daniel doesn’t even hit the radar of her expectations when they first meet. He was too busy with his newest female conquest to do his job of meeting her and this poor first impression does not immediately endear him to the Lydia the workaholic. This isn’t the only complication Lydia encounters aboard the Endure, there are greater things afoot that she concentrates on while Daniel attempts his greatest challenge yet: Lydia.

 

Keywords:

Genetics, genius, underwater, tough, instability, romance, love, hormones, leader, kick-butt female, sex, fighting, training, good guys, testing, banter, skills, technology, hackers, subaquatic living, scientists, the hard way, Marine Biochemistry, Nobel Laureate, ship-shape

 

My Review:

With her Endure Series, Huchton has written a great science fiction romance series for adults. Unlike her Evolution Series, which was more geared toward a younger adult audience, the Endure Series follows an older protagonist (albeit a twenty-something emergent adult) who just happens to be a child prodigy and genius with elevated maturity.

The Endure Series is also hyper focused on the science fiction aspect of marine biochemistry and the strict environment on board the Endure (Research Command in military style). There were quite a few unknown terms to the layman involving the environment of the Endure and the science fiction aspect of the story, but this specificity did not take away from the story Huchton writes.

The romance Huchton builds is powerful and intertwines between and amongst the science fiction aspects of the book as well as the overarching plotline and menace to the world of the protagonists. The way this romance is built and sustained is breathtaking and phenomenal. If you are a fan of romance, this book will give you that and so much more besides. Side note: There was a lot of nefarious adult activity going on in this book with medium depth level of description during these adult scenes, but it was told in a very masterful manner with a level of love involved that you can only swoon and hope for in real life.

I thought the POV switching between Lydia and Daniel was seamless and definitely added to the character and complexity of the novel. For someone who always wants to know what the other guy is thinking, this technique Huchton employs fills this need perfectly.

As this is the first in a series, the book ends on a high-tension cliff hanger on many of the plot points and I would highly suggest reading this book and immediately reading the second book (Nemesis) in the series.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on June 2nd, 2013 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

 

Links for more information:

Starla Huchton’s Website

Goodreads

Author Thursdays: My Favorite Indie Authors 7 – Starla Huchton

Starla Huchton

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Starla Huchton is amazing. She is multi-talented (like any Indie author must be) and does her own cover designing, editing, marketing, publishing, etc. Her covers are fantastic! Her writing will blow you away.

I found Starla Huchton on Jo Michael’s blog promotion event where authors submitted their books for review. Huchton submitted Shadows on Snow. I loved the stark contrast of the red apples with the grey scale background.

I read the book early in 2015 and was captured completely by Starla’s writing style. Here is my description of the book from my review in February:

“Strength comes in many forms. Beauty is but one.” (Page 28).

Raelynn is both beautiful and strong and when she overhears that the Queen is in trouble, she cannot but try to help. Rae has a magical gift that helps her remain unnoticed as she attempts to help the Queen. In the form of a lowly, simple stable boy she is still able to charm the young Prince Leopold, but when he is in danger himself, she must try to save him as well. Forever late, even in birth, can Rae protect the Prince from his evil stepfather?

Here are some snippets from my reviews that capture how great Starla Huchton is and how wonderful her books are:

Starla’s characters are the noblest and the most evil. They became larger than life for me and I loved all of them, even the evil stepfather, because they were each and every one so well described, unique, and so real you could sink your teeth into them. The character’s never break character and fit so well into the world/environment that Starla has created for them. – Flipped Fairy Tales

I used to read Princess stories and odd fairy tales and have never found another book written like those until finding Starla Huchton’s Flipped Fairy Tales. I’m so delighted by Huchton’s writing style and quaint fairy tale adaptations. She is a wonderfully talented writer with an eye for re-imagining childhood favorites. Her style will grab you and plunk you down into a world that is familiar, yet unique. – Flipped Fairy Tales

The characters and the story were so very alive and imaginable in my mind. – Lex Talonis

Starla has built a powerful, mesmerizing plot full of characters that are emotionally appealing and fascinating to watch. – The Evolution Trilogy

What Huchton does in her superhero series is give us a real kick-butt female with real superpowers. Huchton has diverse characters that look and act different and have unique personalities. – The Evolution Trilogy

With her Endure Series, Huchton has written a great science fiction romance series for adults. Unlike her Evolution Series, which was more geared toward a younger adult audience, the Endure Series follows an older protagonist (albeit a twenty-something emergent adult) who just happens to be a child prodigy and genius with elevated maturity. The romance Huchton builds is powerful and intertwines between and amongst the science fiction aspects of the book as well as the overarching plotline and menace to the world of the protagonists. The way this romance is built and sustained is breathtaking and phenomenal. If you are a fan of romance, this book will give you that and so much more besides. – The Endure Series

Starla writes the books I always wanted to read.

Check her out on my Indie Stars Page here.

 

Book Review: Lex Talonis by S.A. Huchton

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Lex Talonis by S.A. Huchton

A Contemporary/Fiction Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (04/27/15)

 

Summary:

“I’m the girl who likes her cars fast and her boys even faster.” (Page 2).

Alexandria Ross once gave a guy a bj at a party to distract him and keep him from giving a date rape drug to her best friend Miranda. That’s just the kind of girl she is. Loyal to her best friend, always trying to keep Mandy safe. But Lexi can’t always look out for Mandy, especially when they are separated by thousands of miles going to different colleges. When the worst happens and Lexi is left with the clues, she is compelled to unravel the story of how Mandy got involved with an abusive boyfriend and a manipulative married therapist, and ultimately, to exact revenge in Mandy’s stead.

 

Keywords:

 Powerful Female, strength, resiliency, victims, emotional abuse, physical abuse, gangs, academics, plots, plans, biding time, feminine wiles, cheating, murder, friendship, loyalty, revenge, love, pursuit

My Review:

This story speaks to me for so many reasons. As someone who has been in a similar situation – in an abusive relationship – it was extremely gratifying to see the cause taken up by someone in a position of power, someone who knew how to use every available resource to her to not only exact revenge, but also to protect any future victims. Lexi is the bad girl we all want to be at times. She doesn’t put up with bull crap, unless it gets her closer to her ulterior goals. She is solid and strong. She is enviable in all different ways. She grew up with means and comforts and a safety net, yet she is still motivated and extremely intelligent and stubborn. She goes for what she wants and nothing can stand in her way.

It’s amazing how endearing and life-like Mandy was in the story. She was no longer present, yet she is always a part of the action. Her story is very much Lexi’s story. Huchton makes Mandi’s story come alive even more by interspersing memories of Lexi and Mandy within the chapters of the book. Some of these memories are beautiful and poignant, showing each of the girls as they were, carefree and young and full of future promise. Then the memories show more and more the darker side of what was going on, hinting at what was to come and what already took place. Huchton was quite clever in including these various flashbacks.

The level of involvement Lexi had in Mandy’s life and Mandy in Lexi’s life was astounding. It was as if Huchton took a crazy over-the-top romantic relationship, shaved off the romance, and left us with this emotionally heartbreaking and awe-inspiring relationship between two best friends. I’m jealous of the relationship those two girls had with one another. Although Lexi’s overly emotional attachment to Mandy is mildly disturbing, it also shows how far she will go for her best friend.

The characters and the story were so very alive and imaginable in my mind.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on April 27th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.

 

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00

 

Links for more information:

Starla Huchton’s Website

Goodreads