I realize it’s a bit late, but we’re not that far into 2020 that a “favorite 2019 book” post is completely inappropriate, right? Besides, I’ve had some setbacks in 2020 (thank you, flu, and cold, and crap like that) so I haven’t been as productive when it comes to reading. Too busy sneezing and generally being miserable to read a lot, and I don’t have a 2020 favorite. Yet.
So, this will be my “Favorite 2019 Best Book Ever” post, the one I really advise you to read if you haven’t already. It’s actually a 2-book deal because to get to the end of the story, you have to read two. But don’t worry, by the end of the first half of the story (Bad Breed) you’ll be so taken by Gabriel and Anne that you won’t even think about ditching the second part (The Necromancer’s Bride.
Gabriel and Anne’s story comes as the third installment in a bigger story arch but I promise you, you will not feel lost.
I reviewed both, and here’s what I thought.
A Bad Breed (Gaslamp Gothic, #3) by Kat Ross
This is a work of class and beauty, a piece perfectly written and perfectly paced.
Even if you don’t like the story, even if you don’t like the people in the story, you will not have any other choice but loving the writing, and bowing to it. I did. And also loved all the rest.
Every character in this story feels real and the heroines (to me, there’s more than one) manage to be perfect for the time the book is set in, and yet very modern. Not whiners, helpless, or masculine, they are women who are strong within their femininity. So refreshing and right.
Gabriel is one hot mess. Actually, I think is one of the messiest hero/villain I’ve ever met, and that makes him absolutely intriguing. He never walks the straight and narrow, he never is downright bad. He’s, well, more human than the other humans in the story. I don’t think I need to say I loved him and he was my favorite character. He is tragic, and dramatic, and sweet, and confused. Oh, so confused. Falling for someone like Anne, a woman who doesn’t really do confusion, is at the same time his saving grace and his downfall. Again, very human.
If I must find some wrong in this book (a task that makes me work overtime because I loved it so, so much) is the feeling of in-between.
Read this book!
The Necromancer’s Bride (Gaslamp Gothic, #4)
This book is the perfect ending to a great story.
Let me be clear, it’s not an end-end, but Gabriel and Anne’s love story is resolved.
In the Bad Breed’s characters, the focus was split between Vivienne + Alec and Anne + Gabriel, and if I understand the reasons for it, I also enjoyed how Anne and Gabriel had their own book this time. There are other characters’ stories and viewpoints along the journey, but the meat is with our couple.
I liked Anne already, and the way she acted in this book only cemented my feelings. She’s no one’s fool, and she’ll decide for herself, thank you very much. She’s not afraid to ask for forgiveness and to go after what (or who) she wants. She’s unapologetically free and honest, with herself and with others.
Gabriel… Oh, Gabriel. Less messed up, but still… He’s one you have to meet and enjoy, and accept, in all his Gabriel-ness.
There’ Balthazar, a man who doesn’t think he can be good, doesn’t want to be, but begrudgingly makes the right choices for the right reasons. He doesn’t like that, not one bit.
The ending is perfect, all the way down to who gets to kill whom. You expect the heroes of the story (read, Anne and Gabriel) save everything and fix all that’s wrong, but it doesn’t go exactly this way. In this ending, there’s a poetic justice that satisfies the right characters and the reader.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it. Once again, I wish I had more stars.
Rating: All the Stars
About Viviana MacKade
Beach bum and country music addicted, Viviana lives in a small Floridian town with her husband and her son, her die-hard fans and personal cheer squad. She spends her days between typing on her beloved keyboard, playing in the pool with her boy, and eating whatever her husband puts on her plate (the guy is that good, and she really loves eating). Besides beaching, she enjoys long walks, horse-riding, hiking, and pretty much whatever she can do outside with her family.
The best way to know me is through my website (and the books I host): http://www.viviana-mackade.blog/
The best way to see what I’m up to is through my Instagram account.
Guns for Angels by Viviana MacKade
My sister was all the family I had. She was taken from me and now, someone wants me dead, too. Not sure why.
I’m sure I’m not going to give my life up, though. I’m not going to let them get away with my sister’s murder.
The new me will try, anyway.
You see, when she was alive I could live in brightness and peace. Now I have to accept the darkness within me. After all, isn’t life about balance? Ironically, the man who can teach me how to embrace the shadows is broken, hopeless, and angry. Mark is also the only one I trust to lead me through my heart’s night, and back into the light.
The one I trust to keep us alive.
A favor to a teammate: pick up two girls in trouble, take them to the Team’s safehouse. Should have been easy. It was not.
Then someone killed one of my team, one of my brothers. Now it’s personal.
They want me, too. I can deal with that. But they want Ann. The only person who cut through me, who woke me, who grabbed my hand and guided me back into life one smile at the time.
I’ll be damned if I let them have anything.
Not. One. Damned. Thing.
From NY to sunny Miami, Ann and Mark run into a maze of lie, betrayal, and death, where love is the only, terrifying certainty. And when truth unravels, they will have to risk all to survive.
They entered a narrow hall, its bare walls painted in a subdued magnolia. At their left, an old, dark wooden staircase led upstairs. The veil of dust on the handrail carried fresh scars where hands had touched not long ago. A strange smell saturated the house, one Ann didn’t have a name for. It was out of place and mean. It reminded her of the last moments in her house, when those men had broken in shooting and screaming. Could fear smell? Could death?
At the end of the corridor, a door opened into a tiny bathroom. At its side, another door was ajar. The afternoon sun filtered through the crack, as if the room strained to contain all the light in it.
Mark’s face was detached, set into a mask as he prodded the door with his fingertips. More light poured into the hall.
Her heart rate rocketed as they waited at the door’s side. Ann wanted to scream to fill the silence.
Seconds ticked away. Drenched air mingled with fear ran down her neck in rivulets of sweat. Mark gestured her to stay and took a step inside the room.
She peeked from behind him, saw it was empty. A laugh crawled through the ball of fear at the base of her chest, asking to be freed, but her elation didn’t live long.
“There’s trouble in this house,” Mark told her in a tense whisper after looking around in the empty room. He walked out, moved toward the stairs with light strides.
Lightheaded, Ann followed him holding the piece of paper he’d given her as if her life depended on it. Funny that it might just be the case.
And they say paper and ink are useless, nowadays, she mused to herself.
At the top of the staircase, Mark opened the door with his foot; when nothing happened he stepped inside. Ann stayed behind him.
The upstairs was as big as the whole house. Ann let her eyes run over the filing cabinets, all lined up like little soldiers along the low walls, dutifully closed against prying eyes. An open skylight looked up into the blue sky where a lonely cloud plodded away, but no air came in from it to ease the heat. The walls were plain white up here, amplifying the light and the room’s emptiness.
A body lay on the floor. It swam in blood.
Ann’s mind didn’t recognize it at first, didn’t understand it, but at some point her brain caught up with her eyes. Her senses floated away to the sound of her own blood withdrawing from her head, the outline of her surrounding faded into white. A commanding, familiar voice called her but it was muffled, and too far away. When the white completely closed in, she let go.
Ann. It was Mark’s first thought when he saw Mouse’s body.
When he turned to take her away, to spare her other memories she shouldn’t cash in, it was too late. He would protect her from any harm but he had no power against what she saw.
She paled, her eyes lost focus, and then she went down.