Alex Hunter, the Arcadian, goes back to Antarctica, or at least, beneath it, and faces an old menace. And we, the readers, are along for the ride. ThiAlex Hunter, the Arcadian, goes back to Antarctica, or at least, beneath it, and faces an old menace. And we, the readers, are along for the ride. This book is as much horror as action. I have always thought as the polar ice caps melt, something will be revealed that we may not want unleashed in the modern world. Pathogens that could wipe out humanity. This book touches on these fears, both at a macro and micro level. The world beneath Antarctica as a whole seemed out to get to the explorers. There are moments in this book that made my skin crawl and made me wince. I didn't read this before bed, but I can imagine it might have given me some night terrors. I do admit to a phobia about infection and pathogenesis.
Alex is a complex character. As much a hero as a man on the brink of psychosis. He received a treatment that saved his life and made him a super-soldier, but has also awakened an Other inside of him that is basically a deranged psychopathic killer. It takes an incredible amount of effort to Alex to surpress that part of himself. Alex had to leave behind his loved ones, including Aimee his ex-lover and the child they made together. But he will have to come out of the dark when they are both in danger.
But a huge problem is that China and United States may start a global thermonuclear war because of the conflict arising from their altercations at the South Pole and a lost US submarine. In order to neutralize this conflict, Alex has to go find that sub. The sub search will put them in the crosshairs of an ancient and powerful beast, a creature of biblical fame, and a species that has adapted over millions of years to its sub-oceanic/sub-Antarctica environment.
This is not the second book in the series, but it's actually fine to read this after Beneath the Dark Ice. Stuff happens in the books before this, but the author does a good job of not letting that be an issue to understanding the events of this book.
The gore factor is fairly high and so is the gross out level. Some of the stuff in this place literally made my skin crawl. I'm a germaphobe, and this has plenty of triggers for folks like me. Like I said, this whole habitat is out to get the humans who trespass. To the environment and its inhabitants, humans are just prey. High body count, so be warned about that as well. I liked all the high tech gadgets. I am not a gun person in real life, but I enjoy reading about hardware in books. There is also plenty of excellent action sequences, of many kinds. Try going man to giant kraken and see how well that turns out for you. Generally not good. And don't think that you can hide from it. Oh no. There's no hiding.
Recommended to readers who like action/adventure with sci-fi horror elements....more
This was my Art History textbook. We started at prehistory and ended with 14th Century Italian art. We unfortunately skipped African and Asian historyThis was my Art History textbook. We started at prehistory and ended with 14th Century Italian art. We unfortunately skipped African and Asian history. My teacher has a soft spot for Pre-Columbian Art history, so we did discuss it. Verry interesting. I read all the chapters except the ones we didn't cover on exams. I plan to go back and read those when time allows.
I feel that taking Art History has been quite a boon for me as an artist and an observer of the world. We don't get how much what we see is informed by the works of artists of the past, even going back to Paleolithic cultures. Now I do after this class. I can't even say how much I loved of the art. I loved pretty much all of it. I admit that I am totally in love with the Greek classical art, and also Hellenic because it was so dramatic. The churches are gorgeous and are artwork in themselves. If I get to do some traveling, I will spend my time visiting all these lovely places.
Some soapbox thoughts from my Art History studies: I have to say that the Romans kind of suck for melting down all the bronze Greek statues like that. They copied it because they admired it, but news flash, why not keep it as it is? Also, the Catholic church wasn't too awesome in how they destroyed some of the non-Christian artwork. ISIS is a bunch of jerks for destroying all the early Eastern works like Nineveh. Just because you don't believe in that religion doesn't mean you should destroy it. People who don't think their beliefs can stand on their own are the cowards who destroy priceless artifacts from other cultures. *Off Soapbox*
Overall, this was well written with plenty of images that are essential with this kind of subject matter. I couldn't afford the print version so I bought the ebook. It was actually pretty user-friendly, and allowed me to be lazy and lay in my bed and read the chapters. Plus I could highlight them for my studying.
If one has an interest in art history, check this out. I am a better person for my studies. I hope I am able to take the second half, and if not, I definitely want to get a copy of volume II. ...more
I loved the different direction that Feehan took with Lissa's story. Instead of the story taking place in Sea Haven at the farm, this one is set primaI loved the different direction that Feehan took with Lissa's story. Instead of the story taking place in Sea Haven at the farm, this one is set primarily in Italy, and Lissa is not the hunted, but the huntress. I am always satisfied when Feehan introduces another Prakenskii brother. While I adore the GhostWalker men (flaws included), the Prakenskiis have a special place in my heart. Each brother gets near to my favorite. I am pretty sure that it's a bit of a four way tie between Maxim, Gavril, Ilya and Casimir now. I do dearly love Ilya, and I never thought Feehan could top him, but she has, boy howdy. I have a bizarre fondness for assassin leads, and I got two for the price of one with Lissa and Casimir. Lissa is the real deal, and I wish for more heroines like her.
Casimir is perfect for Lissa. He's her match and he respects her for the woman she is, that she's been fashioned into. It takes a strong man to acknowledge that a woman is his equal. While Casimir was protective of Lissa, he didn't try to get in the way of her mission, but is her helpmate. I like that they work together to fulfill their mutual goals, and that their passion burns hot and their love is true.
This book had more of a semi-overt BDSM tone than the other books. I am the first to admit I am not a fan of BDSM. Fortunately, it wasn't over the top, although there was one device that was definitely a little weird for my tastes. I did like that Casimir wasn't about subjugation or domination but mutual pleasure. There is a welcome contrast between their love play and what is going on unbeknownst to Lissa. I didn't like the scene in which certain men abuse a certain woman. It made me sick and I felt really bad for that poor woman. I was glad that Casimir had such a visceral and righteously angry reaction to that situation.
I felt for Lissa in that she was raised with so much betrayal. Despite that, she was incredibly strong and self-actualized. I just hate that she was used that way. When the people you trust and love do that to you, it's even worse. Even though she had her Sisters of the Heart, she had to hide that part of her from them, and that made her feel lonely and isolated. I was glad that she doesn't have to be lonely anymore.
The wedding scene was so touching, and I loved the surprise guest. those Prakenskiis are so romantic! All I have to say is that the next book is going to be something else. The pigeons are really coming home to roost. I am officially giving my seal of approval if Feehan has books for the other guys from the worst of the Russian spy schools. :)
This is my second favorite book series by Feehan for a reason. It's really hard to top the GhostWalkers for me. I freaking love that series like a house on fire. But this series is a close second . I think the Prakensii/Sisters of the Heart books have such great heroes and heroines. Strong men who aren't jerks, who appreciate their heroines for who they are and are willing to make sacrifices to be with them. I'm sad to see that it will end soon! All I can say to Ms. Feehan is, keep the Russians coming, please....more
This was an interesting exploration of what it must be like for a man to fall in love with someone who is a lot younger than him and to have to allowThis was an interesting exploration of what it must be like for a man to fall in love with someone who is a lot younger than him and to have to allow her to grow up so they can be together. There is nothing dirty here. While Leon does fall in love with Bea when she is a young teen, he doesn't act on it. In fact, he deliberately stays away from her. When he realizes she knows about his sexual escapades as a younger man, it shames him. He doesn't want her to see that side of him. When she turns eighteen, Leon is eager for them to begin their life together, but what Bea perceives as a betrayal leads to a broken engagement and a three year separation. When Bea turns 21, she is a college graduate and she's ready to take up her role in the company that Leon's father and her father forms together. Leon is back in her life, and he seems to want to have a hands on role that she isn't at all interested in. Not knowing what he did, and believing he was romancing her just to get control of the company. Leon gets kidnapped, and it has a profound effect on his psyche that leads to further problems between them, but also opens the doors to truth-telling so they can have the relationship that they both want.
I liked this book a lot. While Bea is younger, she's not callow or facile. She has a maturity despite her young age. It was interesting that the age gap is presented realistically. Leon is 35 and she's 21, and there is a huge gap in interests between those ages. Bea plays the age card to make Leon back off, but what she doesn't realize is how deeply in love with her he is and can't easily let go of her. I like that Leon does feel a bit of chagrin about the age difference. It seems as though men are cavalier about being with much younger women and it's no big deal. I think it very much is. I liked seeing the evolution in Bea's view of things. She comes to realize how much she means to him when it's almost too late, but fortunately, she listens to some good advice that makes her willing to take a chance on Leo.
This is a good HP, with plenty of passion and intensity, and the drama isn't contrived. Baird has been one of those authors that I have read plenty of, but I tend to take for granted. She's a good writer. ...more
I have to be honest. I did not like the hero William, much at all. He was a selfish prick, in my opinion. He did come around slowly. He felt betrayedI have to be honest. I did not like the hero William, much at all. He was a selfish prick, in my opinion. He did come around slowly. He felt betrayed by his wife, but for good reason, but then he becomes a bad husband, visiting brothels and getting drunk, and when he decides to focus on his marriage, his wife has fallen into a depraved lifestyle. I know he was young, but he was old enough to know better. Then he goes into hiding in a small town, Loves Bridge. He sees his old flame, Belle, and decides he deserves to start hitting that again, and says something really mean to her when she says no, before they can do the dead. She had every right to stop things with a married man. Also, I didn't like that he was perfectly okay with cheating on his wife with prostitutes, but not with a respectable woman. I think prostitution is reprehensible. I don't think prostitutes deserve any less respect than any woman (even if they're paid sex workers), and I think less of a hero who believes that. While William does apologize for what he said to Belle, it left a bad taste in my mouth. As well as his double standards about his wife's behavior. She was acting out and he couldn't be a man and love her and commit to his marriage, even if she wasn't what he thought she was.
This novella pushed my buttons in the worst way about male and female relations and societal double standards that still exist today. The woman gets into trouble, and is forced to deal with it alone, and the man skips out blissful and free from responsibility. Young William didn't deserve Young Belle, and I'm not 100% sure that Old William does. She gave him her virginity and he goes off and forgets her, and leaves her to deal with a situation he definitely contributed to. Then when he sees her, he assumes she's going accommodate his horniness despite his wife back in town. Ugh. Belle definitely loved more than he did. I like that Belle is a normal woman with normal needs. I'm so glad that her conscience kicked in and she won't go through with sleeping with him, even if he's in a bad marriage. I think it would have been a dealbreaker if she did sleep with him while he was married. Women do have sex drives, and while she was celibate for many years, she still had those feelings. I hated that she was made to be the fallen woman by her awful father (a vicar of all things) while William goes off and sows plenty of wild oats, before and after his marriage (and going to prostitutes doesn't make it better than his wife's more public, less discrete behavior).
I'm really glad this was a free read. I would have been a lot madder if I hadn't read for free. I normally like this author a lot. I couldn't get past William's behavior and the blase' attitude about prostitution, which I know she's not alone about. It's treated as a casual thing but it's a social ill and it's a terrible life for those women (and often men and children). I would like to see more heroes who realize how wrong that it. Like another reader, the high point was the cat, Poppy, who becomes not just a matchmaker but a protector of the spinsters. I'm crazy in love with cats so that worked for me.
Having said that, if a reader wants to get a prequel for this series, it's free on Kindle. I have the Kindle, but I read this as a bonus novella with How to Manage a Marquess.
"Heart of the Season" is the second book in the Loving Hearts series by a Goodreads friend of mine, full disclosure. I can honestly say that I enjoyed"Heart of the Season" is the second book in the Loving Hearts series by a Goodreads friend of mine, full disclosure. I can honestly say that I enjoyed this novella outside of being friends with the author. I can't say what I loved more, the hero, Zachary, an Afghanistan US Marine war vet or his dog, Akilah. Well honestly, their relationship is at the heart of this story. Julianna is clearly an animal lover, and she understands the power of the human animal bond. How having a pet can add so much to one's life and save one both physically and emotionally. That foundation of this story is a very strong one, and built on top of it is a believable romance. While this has somewhat of a happy for now feel, I do believe in the love between Zach and Jeannie. I think they are soulmates and they have a strong bond that is friendship, mutual respect, and a meeting of minds and hearts, on top of sexual attraction.
I love that Zachary is truly a very gentle man. While he's a soldier and a warrior, he's also a sensitive person. And it's okay for men to be sensitive. It's nice to be able to see that vulnerability in a hero without it seeming to compromise his masculinity. I could appreciate Jeannie even more that she respected the gentle man that Zach was. I loved how the narrative shows why Zach is the man he is due to his being raised by his grandmother, a sweet, caring woman who loved him deeply and raised him with strong values. Seeing male characters who have been raised by strong female figures depicted in a positive way doesn't get old.
I won't even lie. This book made me cry several times. I am so in love with both Akilah and Zach, and their deep friendship. I do have a weakness for beta heroes and Zach with his scars and his disability definitely snuck into my heart from practically the first page of my Kindle as I read it. Akilah is a precious furry baby. I wanted to give her a hug. The thought of what those poor dogs go through on the frontlines is heartbreaking.I can definitely see why the soldiers fall in love with them and want to bring them home. A relationship forged under those conditions will stand the test of time.
I haven't talked much about Jeannie. In a work, she was a great heroine. She's a principled, warm, caring young woman who is putting her principles to action. Going to work in an animal shelter in Afghanistan is not for the faint of heart, especially for a young woman who comes from a privileged environment. I like that she is a deep person and has the ability to look deep. Her love for animals and people is very obvious and made me loved her more.
This book even has some good action scenes on the frontline. They were well-written and it's obvious that Julianna did her research. Kudos to her for bringing a situation to light where people and animals could use some help.
While I personally am not a big fan of happy for now endings, I think this one works pretty well. I hope that we get to see more of Zach and Jeannie's developing relationship, and definitely more of Akilah.
This is a heartwarming Western historical Christian-themed romance. Both the H/h were likable, and I appreciated that they have a passionate sensual rThis is a heartwarming Western historical Christian-themed romance. Both the H/h were likable, and I appreciated that they have a passionate sensual relationship, something often neglected in Christian romance. The kids were cute as well.
This is a meaty little short story. It definitely has an insta-love vibe, I think most out of all the Carpathian novels. But the story has a lot to ofThis is a meaty little short story. It definitely has an insta-love vibe, I think most out of all the Carpathian novels. But the story has a lot to offer despite that. Falcon is one of the original Carpathian warriors sent out by the previous Prince Vladimir, which means he's at least a thousand years old. It's amazing that he's held onto his honor and Carpathian sense of ethics and not turned vampire. I like to think that the fact that Sara was out there in the future was one of the reasons he didn't give in, but he's very, very close to turning when he senses his Lifemate. Sara has been stalked by a vampire who killed her whole family for fifteen years. She's stayed one step ahead of him, traveling the globe and helping orphaned children. She meets Falcon and he realizes that she's his lifemate. She realizes that he's the male she's been in love with since she found his journal on one of her archaeologist parent's digs. The romance part is the easy part. The difficult part is keeping Sara safe from the vampire.
This book is full of action and some horror elements with the despicable vampire and his zombie-like human servants. While I like the romance aspects, I find the whole Carpathian culture thing very interesting. It was great to touch base with with Mikhail and Raven and Jacques and Shea. Jacques is a lot more stable than he once was. He's definitely benefited from having a lifemate in Shea. I read this after reading Dark Descent, out of the Dark Nights book. Feehan is developing the whole storyline about the Carpathians trying to find a reason for their infertility and infant mortality, and slowly but surely recruiting assets in their cause. Gary shows up briefly, and it's making me excited to read Dark Promises.
I have no issues with this book. It was a solid read....more
Finally have time to write this review. I was skeptical about Nalini Singh's re-embarkation into contemporary romance, especially since I am not intoFinally have time to write this review. I was skeptical about Nalini Singh's re-embarkation into contemporary romance, especially since I am not into the rock star sub-genre. I heard such awesome things about this book, and I admit I find office romance a guilty pleasure. I hate business, but an office background in a romance makes it seem a whole lot more interesting. I have to say this was a pleasure to read.
It's always a joy when you truly like the main characters in a book. I definitely loved both Charlotte and Gabriel. I think that they had phenomenal chemistry. I loved how patient Gabriel was in wooing Charlotte. I am ever captivated by a hero in pursuit who shows genuine love for his heroine. It was clear that Gabriel wasn't just trying to conquer Charlotte. He wanted all of her. And Charlotte is one of those heroines who I could definitely be good friends in real life. She's adorable. I think most of us women can admit crushing on someone who is downright unattainable. And to think her crush is crushing on her. Charlotte's down to earth and a lovely person. Her shyness is certainly understandable, and I understand how being hurt that way could make a person withdraw from life. I liked how pivotal Charlotte's friendship with Molly is to the book. It definitely feels authentic the way she would call Molly or Skype with her about what was going on in their lives.
Charlotte's past is definitely dark. I feel that it's handled sensitively and Charlotte's recovery is realistic. Seeing Gabriel gently work through her issues and understanding that certain things were a trigger for her just made me love him more. I was a bit disappointed with the love scenes. they didn't quite have the impact I wanted considering the long buildup. However the proposal was lovely! I found the narrative device of email memos fun and a great way to advance the plot and set the tone and the evolution of Charlotte and Gabriel's relationship. Gabriel was scrumptious. I wouldn't say I'm into hugely muscular guys typically, but this man is ultra fine! I loved the fact that he's not merely defined by his physicality. He's also fiercely intelligent.
Overall, this is a great book. I can't give it five stars because it didn't have the strong impact that I expect from a five star romance book. However, I was immersed and drawn into this story. Just the kind of book that you want to dive into, take a few hours out of your own life and enjoy. Rather like a book version of dessert. Speaking of dessert, that was a big part of this book, and I'm all for it. When Gabriel was being beastly, he would buy Charlotte sweet treats. Charlotte is a keen baker and she also baked for Gabriel. Dessert will always be my favorite meal, so it was like two for the price of one.
Not five stars, but definitely 4.5/5.0 stars!...more
I'm happily getting caught up on the Carpathians after a long break, and I'm enjoying the ride. The Carpathians have such a complex folklore foundatioI'm happily getting caught up on the Carpathians after a long break, and I'm enjoying the ride. The Carpathians have such a complex folklore foundation, and I like seeing it unfold in each book. While I wouldn't like some aspects of being a Carpathian lifemate, there is a whole lot to appeal as well. They really are delicious heroes. I think that this one might be one of my favorites. I loved Joie and Traian as characters, and Joie's siblings Gabrielle and Jubal definitely add to the appeal of this novel. Gary Sanders (who becomes a friend and ally to the Carpathians) has a cameo, and it was fun to see this adorable nerd again. Joie is a kickbutt heroine in her own right, a great match with Traian.
This book is actually quite horrific. The vampires are scary and downright disturbing and disgusting. They give an ugly visual picture to creepy crawly. While Traian is one of the most formidable Carpathian warriors and hunters, he has his hands full when he gets caught in the middle of a nest of master vampires who have formed an alliance. Joie forms a mental bond with Traian and that bond causes her to track him down to the ice caves in the Carpathian mountains. In the process, the Sanders discover a long lost familial relationship to the secretive mages.
I loved how the Carpathian universe is expanding to other species. The mage aspect of the story is fun. Like many of Feehan's works, this book reads like an exciting movie. The battles with the vampires would have me quaking in my books on a big movie screen. But at the same time, they were highly exciting.
I'm pretty into Jubal. I'm wondering if he'll have a story (fingers crossed). It looks like Dark Promises is about Gary and Gabrielle. I hoping that Jubal will have a storyline in this book. He's a character I definitely connected with.
For a short novel, this packed an exciting punch! I read this out of the Dark Nights ebook and I'll read Dark Dream next....more
I'm just now getting back into reading the Carpathians after such a long break. This was a good start. About Riordan, the youngest De La Cruz brotherI'm just now getting back into reading the Carpathians after such a long break. This was a good start. About Riordan, the youngest De La Cruz brother and Juliette a member of the jaguar shapeshifting species, this is a steamy and action-packed short read.
It has all of the Carpathian aspects that one would expect to see. The manner in which a Carpathian male is brought back to life by his destined lifemate. I have missed all that ritual and the culture of the Carpathians. It was interesting how Juliette and Riordan work out their new matehood. Juliette comes from a species that is highly sexual and Riordan has to get past his jealousy that Juliette was with other men. He isn't a jerk about it, but it's definitely part of his nature to be highly possessive. He loves Juliette, so he accepts that this is part of who she is. It turns out that Juliette is an excellent match for him. Strong and independent, and sensual. Juliette has some serious baggage, due to the dysfunctional social dynamics of the jaguar, the way they abuse their women. She lives with her younger sister, Jasmine and her cousin Solange, and none of them are overly fond of men, with good reason. My mind went to the fact that despite their dislike of men, they had to do their thing because of their species, physical needs. Perhaps in a longer book, Feehan could have delved into that whole jaguar dynamic. It was interesting, and seems to fit thematically with my last couple of Feehan reads, which were in the Leopard series.
This is full of sensuality that Feehan writes so well, and the action is very good and well-integrated into the story. I love reading about all the abilities of the Carpathians, and they're uniquely tailored to this story about a Carpathian with a jaguar shifter lifemate. Of course, it does end abruptly, as a short story. It left me wanting more of Juliette, Riordan, Jasmine and Solange, so that's a good thing.
I went ahead and got this in Darkest at Dawn, in which it's accompanied by Dark Secret, a more controversial Carpathian book, although it's one of my favorites....more
Ms. Burke gave me just what I was asking for: a great interracial spy romance. And the heroine is Grade A Certified Kickbutt Artist. She reminds me faMs. Burke gave me just what I was asking for: a great interracial spy romance. And the heroine is Grade A Certified Kickbutt Artist. She reminds me favorably of one of my all time favorite heroines, Charly Baltimore from "The Long Kiss Goodnight." There's even a line about her joining the PTA and making pretty good cookies. Happy sigh!
Seriously, Indigo is the real deal. She is hardcore. She's an ex assassin who goes off the grid to raise her son by her ex-partner, Beckett. They are reunited when he's sent to retrieve her from a Mexican jail. She cannot go back to their ex-agency. She has to save her son from the people who kidnapped him. Beckett finds out he's a papa in a very explosive way. And Beckett quickly chooses that he's going to help his ex-partner and lover get their son back. They make a killer team (literally).
I love that Burke makes the action authentic. Sometimes with romantic suspense, the action takes a backburner. The spy stuff will make a spy fan happy. Indigo and Beckett really do act like operatives. It also reminded me of "Alias", which is one of my all time favorite shows. Indigo has many of the traits I loved about Sydney Bristow, although she's more emotionally closed off. The scenes in which Indigo does what she needs to do to get her son back are well-orchestrated. I liked that even though there are plenty of steamy scenes, they are appropriate to the story. No extraneous sex breaks. And while it's clear that Indigo and Beckett love each other, they have to work through their issues and put the past into perspective. You can see that they were always good together. Their romantic relationship was built on a solid foundation of mutual respect and friendship, and despite the way things ended, that didn't change, except maybe for the better.
While this read a little slow at times (It was probably me and not it. I'm a bit short attention span right now), it ends with an explosive action sequence that will make any bonafide action lover happy. And the operations felt pretty authentic to me (not that I have a spy background!).
I gave this 4.25 well deserved stars because it's a very good story. The writing flows and it has a cinematic feel. Burke know show to bring on the sexy without being kinky or off-puttingly raunchy. The characters are three-dimensional (although I wish that Indigo's physical features were more described). Beckett is likable despite the fact that he acted like a commitment-avoiding Peter Pan in the past. I couldn't hate Indigo for her choice to disappear and have her baby without Beckett, based on their situation and the way Beckett acted in the past. It was good that she got to hear Beckett's side of things and to see that Beckett had changed. He deserved the right to know his son, and clearly he would die protecting both of them.
Burke delivers on the spy romance and with a dangerous couple to boot. Pick this up when you need your kickbutt heroine action romance fix.