A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Jack of Thorns (Inheritance #1) by Amelia Faulkner and Joel Leslie (Narrator)


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This was an interesting, fast-paced fantasy about Laurence Riley, a young man who operates a florist shop with his psychically gifted mom and pretty much coasts along through life knowing he needs to get his act together but struggling to figure out how.  He is also psychically gifted—with visions of future events that tend to come to reality. 

Desperate for a positive change, Laurence invokes his magic abilities and calls for help from a fertility god.  What he gets is Jack—green-eyed, self-possessed, egotistical Jack, who promises Laurence all will be well and he’ll meet his dream man if he has sex as often as possible so Jack can feed on the energy.

But Laurence has broken up with his boyfriend Dan, and isn’t really interested in anyone else, so Jack’s request may be a tall order.  And then he meets meets Brambury, who turns out to be Lord Brambury, actual name Quentin, and his life takes a bizarre turn.  Attracted to one another, it seems each time sex or the potential for sex arises, Quentin causes hurricane-like winds that destroy pretty much everything around him.  It’s Laurence who figures out that Quentin is afraid of sex and that his powers of telekinesis may be much stronger than he initially suspected.   Laurence can barely see the humor in the fact that he can’t very well keep Jack supplied with offerings of sex if the object of his affections is afraid of it.

Angry with Laurence about the situation, and having been the object of Quentin’s dangerous lack of control, Jack gives him one last chance.  Laurence has to grow a plant from a special seed.  And then the nightmare situation Laurence finds himself in gets worse.  As the plant grows out of control, he finds out that it’s powers are addictive and Jack will be feeding on the life energy of the people who use it.  Laurence knows about addiction.  After all, he fights his addiction and craving for heroin every day and he can’t imagine leading others to face a similar fate. Nor can he imagine giving more power to the already powerful and evil Jack. 

His nightmares and psychic predictions are getting worse and that, coupled with the irritating push-pull of his relationship with Quentin—one in which each man is attracted to the other but Quentin can’t bring himself to follow through on—is enough to make Laurence finally reach for the drug that will solve all his worries.  Thankfully, life and Quentin intervene and a very bizarre, yet exciting, confrontation occurs that ultimately leads our guys to a place where they can at least find their HFN. 

One strong word of caution here: the prologue contains graphic depictions of drug use and overdose.  And though cravings are described in multiple locations in this story, the most graphic are in that prologue.  Those in recovery from addiction may find this a trigger.

That being said, this is an enjoyable story.  It’s quite long, over twelve hours, but full of interesting events, twists and turns, and of course, a romance.  Both characters are interesting, but I must say that Quentin wins the prize for my favorite character in quite some time.  First, because Joel Leslie’s delivery is divine, and second because the author created such an endearing and humorous character. Though upper class Brit, complete with his often voiced perceptions of American ways and 21st century culture, he’s also a sweetheart wrapped in a very emotionally damaged package. 

Joel Leslie, as usual, delivers a flawless performance, providing a host of voices for the main and secondary characters, including the women.  I truly enjoy listening to an audiobook in which I can identify characters by their voice.  It makes me feel as if I’m actually “watching” the story and brings it to life.  So kudos to my favorite narrator and to the author for an interesting, creative story. 

If you enjoy fantasy and are looking for a very entertaining way to spend your time, I highly recommend trying this one—preferably in audio so you can enjoy the terrific narration.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible

Audio Details:

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 12 hours and 23 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Amelia Faulkner
Audible.com Release Date: January 9, 2018
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English, English
ASIN: B078TL42K6

A MelanieM Review: Lord of Ravens (Inheritance #3) by Amelia Faulkner


Rating: 5 stars out of 5

lord-of-ravensLover. Predator. Killer.

Laurence Riley’s inheritance comes with a price – one he’s not at all sure he can pay. When his urge to hunt grows out of control, he sends a desperate prayer to his ancestor for guidance. But he never expected that Herne the Hunter would answer.

Scion. Target. Victim.

There are horrors lurking in Quentin d’Arcy’s past, but they won’t hide there forever. Something ancient is coming to take him home: a creature of nightmare who feasts on the flesh of children. When the choice is between his own life and the lives of innocents, there is no choice at all.

Honesty is the worst policy.

A legendary horror comes to San Diego, but it’s merely an emissary. Laurence has seen the real monster, and it’s a darkness which will destroy everything he loves – especially if Quentin ever finds out what it did to him as a child.

It’s down to Laurence to prepare for war against a force which far outmatches him. The enemy has the most powerful weapon of all at his disposal, and if they’re to stand a chance, Laurence must master the same power.

He must learn magic.

Lord of Ravens is the third book in the Rainbow Award winning Inheritance series and contains mature themes and events which may be distressing to some readers. It has a moderate heat rating and an HFN ending.

Lord of Ravens (Inheritance #3) by Amelia Faulkner is another spectacular new author find for me as is her series Inheritance.  Lord of Ravens is the third book in the series and the one I read first (the other reviews for the previous books will follow soon).  It didn’t do anything but wet my appetite for the other stories.  I could follow some of the history the author provided of their pasts together but clearly I missed out on a wealth of feeling and relationship building that I will now go back and pickup.

Even having said that?  This story is still a 5 plus star rating.  Faulkner clearly loves and knows her mythology.  From Herne, the Lord of the Forest to other gods and goddesses, we travel through a myriad of plains of existence, from modern times to the magical forests and beyond in search of answers and the instruments of revenge for our couple, Quentin and Laurence.

In Lord of Ravens, Quentin and Laurence are still working on a relationship that’s very shaky.  One is prone to running, the other? Well, he has other outlets that he has used in the past and both are trying to overcome their urges to do both to stay together instead.  They are also trying to find their way to a sexual relationship.  The reasons to that slow build to sex lies in their past but we get a horrifying, gut wrenching answer in this story to one of the character’s rejection of all things sexual.  I will have to read the first books to see if there is  even a clue lurking in either of those stories to the revelation here.  But if anything, it just cemented my desire to know more about Quentin, Laurence and pulled me further into their universe and damnable journey together.

So deep did the author pull me into these characters lives, that I was sometimes shaking with fear, frustration, anger..all the emotions that they were feeling as the story moved forward.  Trust me, the glimmers of humor are scarce here.  But when Laurence goes running through the old woods, you feel the rush of the wind, and smell the leaves and rotting wood as he runs on his way, the descriptions are so vivid.   Equally, so when evil comes calling.  As it does several times in more than one form.  Then it becomes by turns chilling and surprising.

Quentin, oh poor scarred Quentin.  How your fear for him will grow.  I had no idea I would love him so.  By the end of the story I was reaching for book 4 only to realize its not there yet.  I wanted to wail in anguish!

Lord of Ravens?  Yes, there is a reason for that title and I won’t spoil the surprise for you.  Let’s just say its just the beginning of another element in this superb series, one I just loved.

There are people, a small group, mystical and otherwise, being pulled into the circle, that will help them do battle.  At least it seems that way.  But against what?  We still don’t exactly know but the vague picture that’s coming together is horrifying enough.

Amelia Faulkner has written a series that’s truly incredible.  Magical, suspenseful, frightening, richly layered, and yet still full of love.  Look for my reviews of Jack of Thorns (Inheritance, #1)  and Knight of Flames (Inheritance, #2) to follow shortly.  I can’t get enough of this author’s imagination, characters, and fantastic world building.  Please, bring on book 4 now!

Cover art is just perfect, with Herne standing outlined in the background as he is all through this story.

Sales Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2iLjlUM

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2iiZRWj

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 327 pages
Published January 5th 2017 by LoveLight Press
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series: Inheritance