Before my book review/audiobook introduction/recipe, can I just say that I RAN IN CAPRIS AND A TEE SHIRT YESTERDAY?! It felt great. Like magic. Or the caress of a lover.
Moving on…Wait, lemme just look at that .gif a moment longer. Deep breaths. INHALE…exhale. You can’t see me right now–thank fuck–but I could be baring my teeth and snapping my jaws at the picture. I’m essentially a slave to my baser nature.
Today’s post is only concatenated with the whims of my insanity. You’re welcome.
THE BOOOOOOOK!! Remember a bit ago, when my third Get Series(ous). post was about the Irin Chronicles? Well? I HAVE READ THE THIRD AND FINAL INSTALLMENT! huzzah! And…….it’s coming out early. that’s what he said.
Thursday, March 19th, shall be the date we can all take off our collective bras and DIG IN. (or the dude equivalent. Ok, there isn’t one. I guess if you’re a man who likes to wear jock straps during the day, but it’s still not the same. I mean, just the support and padding required to keep my boobs looking good under a tee shirt is insane. As soon as I complete the quotidian tasks that require me to interact with people who may look boobward, that shit comes RTFO.)
Said no woman at 6pm ever.
With the early release of the book, I am given free license to review it early as well. So avoid looking boobward, and read on.
What did I think of the The Secret, the third installment of The Irin Chronicles? Well, let me start with another gif.
I did this exact dance with this exact jacket upon opening the email containing the ARC.
I then went on social media and bragged. Because I’m thirteen.
It came at a really busy time for me, and I still read that book in under three days.
Ok, before I get too deep into my feelings on the book, of which there are many, let me give you…
Only when the darkness falls can you see the light of the stars.
For thousands of years, the scribes and singers of the Irin race have existed to protect humanity and guard the gifts of the Forgiven. They have lived in the shadows. They have kept their secrets.
But the Irin aren’t the only race with secrets.
Ava and Malachi have found each other, but wounds as deep as theirs don’t heal overnight. While the Irin world struggles to correct the power imbalance left by the Rending of the Irina, Malachi and Ava struggle to connect their past with their present.
The Fallen may scheme, but Ava has found her power and refuses to be an angel’s pawn. And while Malachi may have forgotten his history, the scribe’s relentless search for answers leads both him and his mate to the heart of the Irin power structure in Vienna, where knowledge is guarded more closely than gold and those with power will do anything to keep it.
Malachi and Ava have survived the darkness, but will they ever discover its secrets? A powerful cabal of the Fallen may hold the answers, but to surrender them, it wants the Irin race to finally face their enemies. Both those coming from the outside, and those raging within.
What I thought:
When I finished
I couldn’t get over how things were at once all-wrapped up, that’s what she said, and still there were enough pieces left untethered as to make the reader completely aware that there will be more in this world.
But what about the rest of the story?
Reading the first few pages was like someone whispering in my ear, reminding me all of the things I fell in love with in the story. Ava is still very human, in spite of having very inhuman abilities. She never loses her connection to what makes her who she is. She’s strong and independent and makes no excuses for this. She’s a part of the union between she an Malachi, but it’s not all she is. Malachi, for all his metempsychosis, is as dedicated and fierce as the day he was wrought of the blood of angels and man.
But Ava is still my favorite. Sorry *Malachites*. (a new fandom term I’m testing)
So often in PNR, we’re bombarded by women who just cease to be who they were to melt into the ideal person their paranormal love interest wants them to be. And here is Ava, an unwaivering California introvert with a spine of adamantium, and a heart of pure steel-spun gold.
Can I just take this moment to note something else that I love?
Ava is the greenjeans in this relationship.
There is some seriously disturbing imagery in this novel, but NEVER ONCE does it feel gratuitous or as though it’s there as a cheap plot device. It actually feels essential to the story, which, trust me, is HUGE.
The Secret brings together everything you loved about The Scribe and The Singer and whipped them into a maelstrom of emotion; consummated through love, tragedy, and renewal.
The storyline is never a linear map with expected plot points and invariable turns and movements. The flow of The Secret is akin to that of my three-year old daughter, you never fucking know what’s going to happen next, but you’re sure it’s going to get messy–possibly bloody–and equally sure that you’d never give up this experience.
Elizabeth Hunter has completely outdone herself on this novel, and I think this may be her best book to date. (I am so sorry Carwyn. That’s what you get for marrying the WRONG WOMAN!! I WAS RIGHT HERE!! I know he’s fictional. Really…I do.)
The recipe inspired by the book:
I’ll get to that. FIRST, I want to introduce a new series to B2B….
Auralgasm: satisfying audiobooks.
Starting maybe Sunday, maybe Monday, I’m writing a new series on B2B dedicated to audiobooks, their narrators, and all the books I’ve loved. I’ll be writing about pricing, availability, what I think makes a good audiobook, and more.
Incidentally, the first two books in The Irin Chronicles are available on audible, and they’re incredible. Really good reads.
The first narrator I’ll be featuring is the ever sexy voice of Holter Graham. His voice is panty-droppingly smooth, and so chosen because he’s the narrator on the current book on my audible, Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs.
Get to the damned recipe, Cat.
Ok. So I didn’t want to do more Turkish food, and the other main area where The Secret takes place is Vienna, and I’ve done enough phallic foods for a minute. Therefore, I went to the roots of the MC, Ava, and the author, Elizabeth Hunter: California.
I thought, “what the hell was that salad that was at Spago in the 80s that was in every-fucking tv show, ever? OH YES! Chinese chicken salad. Oh wait, I hate chicken. I also don’t really like that sticky sweet dressing they used. LET ME IMPROVE IT!”
Asian Avocado Salad with Sesame-Grapefruit DressingBraless Book Review and Asian Avocado Salad with Sesame-Grapefruit Dressing! #TheSecret #Fitfluential… Click To Tweet
Asian Avocado Salad with Sesame-Grapefruit Dressing
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: raw appetizer salad entree side snack vegan vegetarian gluten-free dairy-free kosher low-carb Chinese New Year birthday
Ingredients (one hugh jazz salad)
For the Salad
- meh. whatever you want.
- I used AVOCADO, the whole thing
- grapefruit sections
- wonton strips (broken uncooked ramen would also be good. the cheap kind)
- red pepper
- bibb lettuce
- red cabage
For the Dressing
- the juice of half of one BIG ruby red grapefruit
- 4 tbsp EVOO
- 1 tbsp dijon
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil (I used toasted)
- 1 tsp minced shallot
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- salt and pepper
- two drops sriracha
- two-four drops soy sauce (or Tamari)
whisk together the dressing ingredients
toss with salady-stuff.
shove in your face hole.