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
This is by far the darkest book in the series so far, which is saying something. I think it might also be my favorite. I loved the magic and the superThis is by far the darkest book in the series so far, which is saying something. I think it might also be my favorite. I loved the magic and the supernatural entities in the book, and Nate when he's peeved is something to watch out for. This would make a great action movie, although I'd cringe on some parts. Nate is the man!!
I'm really glad I signed up to review this for Bitten by Books. It was very good. I love shifter romance and I like that this is on the clean side. EvI'm really glad I signed up to review this for Bitten by Books. It was very good. I love shifter romance and I like that this is on the clean side. Even without love scenes, I felt the bond between Kess and Cormac and this was really intense. The shifting aspect was very well done. I look forward to reading the rest of this series.
Leopard's Prey is Remy Boudreaux's story and he lives up to the anticipation he built when he entered the scene the first time in Savage Nature. It'sLeopard's Prey is Remy Boudreaux's story and he lives up to the anticipation he built when he entered the scene the first time in Savage Nature. It's been a year since I read a Feehan book, so Remy's book is a great way to break my fast. I knew Remy would be 'something else,' the kind of hero only Feehan can write. With Bijou, he gets the story and the heroine that I wished for.
I will freely admit that the GhostWalkers is my favorite series by Feehan, and the others pale in comparison, so I make sure my expectations reflect the fact that all the redoubtable Ms. Feehan's writing gets measured against this series, because of my inestimable love for it. However, I am always very happy to get my hands on another book by her, since I just plain enjoy her writing. She has some interesting stories with characters I fall for and burning hot and emotional love stories. That's what this romance fan loves.
Anyway, Leopard's Prey is steeped in Louisiana bayou atmosphere. The characters are almost all natives of this region, and based on my short visits to this part of the United States, I felt like I was taking another trip down there and enjoying it, taking in the sights and sounds. Additionally, the feel of family is strong in this novel. The Boudreaux clan of brothers and sister, along with the larger Leopard Clan, are tightly bonded to each other, loving and teasing each other, sometimes in mean ways (but it's all in fun). Bijou, who had just about the most dysfunctional childhood ever, needs a family like this, full of people who watch out for each other, even as they give each other a hard time.
Bijou is the daughter of a notorious, yet beloved rock star. This is very important to the story because it affects everything in Bijou's adult life and all her relationships. He failed her beyond measure as a parent, scarring her self-esteem and sense of confidence, despite her incredibly beautiful looks and formidable musical talent of her own. I really liked her character. Despite her awful start in life, she's grown into a wonderful woman with a generous heart and a strong core, despite her insecurities. Remy and Bijou have a long-standing and deep bond from an event a long time ago, when he saves her life as an eight-year-old, but their lives go in different directions. Remy is quite older than Bijou, but in some ways, she has as much to teach him and he does her. Remy needs to learn the language of love that Bijou speaks. He takes it for granted that she night not understand how special she is, when she doesn't have that frame of reference at all. Growing up the way she did, how could she? Remy knows intellectually that Bijou is clueless on their shared leopard heritage. However, he doesn't get that she might interpret the strong sexual attraction they share as merely a function of the Leopards' sexual needs and not any higher bond between them, or that she is special to Remy. So a good chunk of the book is about them exploring their relationship and coming to understand just what it means on both sides to be together (paired to the murder mystery).
Bijou and Remy had great chemistry. The love scenes are quite scorching. Feehan makes a big deal about the leopard's need for rough sex, and it does veer in that direction, but nothing too out there or tasteless, in my mind. I do roll my eyes a bit at the whole 'dominating' aspect of the love scenes, 'cause that's not my thing at all. There is no question that Remy is a sexy beast though! I like how Feehan uses the love scenes to show the different aspects of their relationship: primal, affectionate, deeply emotional and fiercely intimate, and even playful. I also appreciated how Feehan presents the leopard nature. She gets the aspect of this big cat right, and it fits in with this story of human leopard shapeshifters. In some ways, this story reminded me of the film Cat People, but with a much happier ending that I always wished for.
I can only give this in the four stars region because I feel like this story could have been longer. I felt like I missed something when it ended. Maybe I am just very rapacious when it comes to books by this author. She gets me hooked and I hate when the ride is over too soon. The story moves along at an expansive pace, and before I knew it, things were wrapping up. For those who are following the Leopard storyline, this doesn't add a whole lot to the overall Leopard shapeshifter species arc from the beginning. It focuses on the Boudreaux family and the specific group in the Louisiana bayou. Some of the original guys show up in cameos, which was cool. As far as the storyline, it was more of a murder mystery/romantic suspense with paranormal romance, and lacks as much action as some of Feehan's books. I did think the mystery was quite suspenseful and the aspects of the murder was kind of gruesome and disturbing. The killer was not the person I expected at all (Well, I got this sick suspicion later on in the story and was hoping I was wrong). The reasons were very chilling for that person's actions, although there could be no palatable reason for what the murderer was doing.
Although not a five star book, it was higher in the four star range, because I enjoyed reading it immensely, and I tried to savor reading it. I could have done with more book, as I said earlier, so that takes off from my rating. I couldn't subtract too much because of the high enjoyment factor. I have so much fun visiting with Feehan's characters in the various series, and I admit the Leopard series did sneak up on me. I loved Bijou as much if not more than Remy, which is saying something. She's a sweet woman, and you just want her to have her happy ever after. I'm glad that her prince is Remy and she's going to be a part of the Boudreaux clan and will get the family she missed out on. I'm curious to see what Feehan comes up with next in this series.
The terribly unlikable heroine killed this book for me. The Greek Mythology is interesting, but otherwise, this didn't have much of an original feel tThe terribly unlikable heroine killed this book for me. The Greek Mythology is interesting, but otherwise, this didn't have much of an original feel to me, and wasn't groundbreaking as far as female-lead urban fantasy.
I am torn about this one. I almost gave it four stars, but it seems a bit too much like the story arc of one of my favorite paranormal couples, and II am torn about this one. I almost gave it four stars, but it seems a bit too much like the story arc of one of my favorite paranormal couples, and I had a hard time getting past that. I did like the relationship dynamic between Gray and Dillon. How her jaguar nature is drawn to him and sees him as her mate, but she continually fights it. I liked them both, although Dillon was annoying at times. The sexual language is too raunchy for my tastes, another drawback. Overall, a pretty good installment in this series.
Royal Street is a very refreshing and enjoyable urban fantasy read. I was captivated by the sights and scenery of New Orleans, and the honest and enliRoyal Street is a very refreshing and enjoyable urban fantasy read. I was captivated by the sights and scenery of New Orleans, and the honest and enlightening perspective of the city during and after the Hurricane Katrina devastation. We did get refugees (both human and animal) from New Orleans around that time in the Austin, and also the poisoned air drifted our way, causing a lot of allergy and respiratory issues. Seeing the aftermath from a more distant perspective was painful enough. I can't imagine having experienced it firsthand. Ms. Johnson allowed me to do this in reading this book. New Orleans has such a personality, that it continually establishes itself as a important character in her own right in books. This reader is not jaded at meeting this beautiful ancient dame yet again.
Drusilla Jaco doesn't cede all the attention to New Orleans. She establishes herself as a likable character whose story you want to learn. She's neither too strong, nor too weak. Her strengths and weaknesses balance themselves out, making her a character I want to accompany on an adventure. Drusilla is a wizard, which is fun. Usually the tendency is to make a female UF protagonist a witch, which I feel can be a bit sexist. It could also be that I am not a big fan of witch storylines and witchcraft. I can and do like the idea of wizards a little more, and why can't a woman be a wizard? In this case, she is not just a wizard, but one with a special heritage which comes into play. That was fun to see Drusilla, or DJ, as she is called, come into herself and her genetic inheritance.
As far as other characters, I definitely liked Alex and Jake. Boy howdy, I do not care for love triangles, but this one feels credible. Both guys have a lot to offer, and you do feel torn. I have made up my mind who I want Drusilla to end up with, but we'll see what the series has to say about that. Either way, so long as it doesn't turn into bed-switching (which has become almost an UF staple lately), I'm okay with going along for the ride. Now that Jean Lafitte, he's a character. I find him sexy, but it's in a "I'm so wrong to think he's sexy" kind of way. I mean, he's ruthless and amoral, and he is physically abusive. I'm not feeling that at all. At the same time, he is a cutthroat pirate, so I can't really ascribe 21st century values to him, can I? Yeah, I'm feeling conflicted. At any rate, he's an interesting character. I can't really tell you about one of my favorite characters, who is in fact an inanimate object that DJ calls Charlie. Let me just say that Lord of the Rings fans will find it very cool indeed!
As far as the urban fantasy action, this book is pretty good on that score although it could have used more showing and more description. I did feel that the final confrontation wasn't as exciting and as well-executed as I would have liked. Admittedly, I am a stickler for well-written action scenes, so I tend to grade harder in that area. I did like that Drusilla does get to save the day. It was important for her to be able to do so, even though she did get a bit of help along the way.
Royal Street is a great start to a series that has me excited to read more. I liked the concept and the characters are appealing and have me interested in reading more, including the Grande Dame of New Orleans.
Urban fantasy readers looking for a book that would appeal to both male and female readers should find something to like in this book. I know I did!...more
This was a very thrilling read that I didn't want to put down. I was gnashing my teeth and shaking my fists at the cliffhanger ending, and I will be eThis was a very thrilling read that I didn't want to put down. I was gnashing my teeth and shaking my fists at the cliffhanger ending, and I will be eagerly awaiting the next installment.
Dragon Bound was an extremely hard act to follow, but I think Thea Harrison did a good job with her second book in the Elder Races series. I wonderedDragon Bound was an extremely hard act to follow, but I think Thea Harrison did a good job with her second book in the Elder Races series. I wondered how she could top Dragos, because he is so VERY! I am glad she didn't try to do that. She gave us a distinct hero with Tiago, and I like his differences, although he had the crazy/dangerous/possessive/jealous/fierce vibe of Dragos. Honestly, I would have missed that part...a lot. Tiago held his own as a hero, but not quite as compelling as Dragos. Having said that, how many heroes would be? Overall, I felt that he had some nice layers to his character. Lethal but also very caring and loving. The best kind of PNR hero! He reminded me of a mix of a Mack truck and a Golden Retriever.
Niniane, I liked her a lot. She was sort of the anti-urban fantasy heroine in all the best ways. She was soft and needy and vulnerable in a realistic way. But she was also very strong-minded, determined, in her force of will, which speaks to me more. Considering what happened with her family and her exile from the world of the Dark Fae, she definitely put on her big girl panties to go back to reclaim her throne. And that took some serious chutzpah. I liked that along the way, I was able to see an organic reaction to this process. Who wouldn't be scared to death, uncertain, and conflicted? I know I've felt that way even in much less dangerous situations. I could identify with her insecurities in that way, and it made her more lovable and admirable to me. I loved her warm, friendly way with people. I was glad that the betrayal she faced early in her life didn't destroy her capacity for that. I can see her being a very effective, beloved ruler.
Niniane and Tiago as a couple was something I couldn't quite get my mind around after I read Dragon Bound and knew they were next. But they worked together very well. Tiago is at heart a male who needs someone to fight for, someone to protect. Niniane has that softness to her personality that is a very good contrast to Tiago, and they complement each other very well. I would have enjoyed a bit longer book for their courtship in all honesty. But what I got was very enjoyable. Definitely some hot, sexy loving times for this couple! Talking about lightning striking, the earth moving, and seeing stars! I loved that they worked past the issues in their relationship and faced some serious obstacles as a united front.
The storyline was interesting, focused on Niniane's process of assuming the throne of the Dark Fae. A mix of fae politics, but a focus on the main characters and a few intriguing secondary characters. So far, I love me Aryal, the harpy sentinel. I know I said it in my Dragon Bound review, but she reminds me of Xhex from the Black Dagger Brotherhood books by JR Ward in the best ways. Looking forward to more of her. Some interesting chemistry between Rune and Carling, the Queen of the Vampyres.
Ms. Harrison is a very good writer. She provides a compelling story that kept me reading, with some sexy, swoonworthy romance that keeps a PNR fan more than happy. I feel her world-building is a star element in this series, so along with the aspects of PNR I can't resist, it makes her a safe bet for this fan. I do have to say I was a little disappointed at the very rapid climax and denouement, and not too happy about the fate of a character I liked and hoped to see more of. I wasn't as satisfied with the ending because of those issues. That's why I couldn't quite give this five stars, although it is very close.
Overall, a very satisfying follow up to Dragon Bound, and more validation that Thea Harrison is a PNR author to follow. 4.5/5.0 stars...more
3.5/5.0 stars. Considering this was the first book I've read by KM, and this is not the first dragon book, I think I did pretty well, although I was c3.5/5.0 stars. Considering this was the first book I've read by KM, and this is not the first dragon book, I think I did pretty well, although I was confused initially. It was a fun read, but it didn't blow me away. I think I would have enjoyed this more if the narrative didn't seem so disjointed. I'm not sure that 1st person POV lends itself well to this sort of story.
Dragon Bound was an awesome book. I loved just about everything about it. I'm not even going to pretend that my favorite element wasn't Dragos, 'causeDragon Bound was an awesome book. I loved just about everything about it. I'm not even going to pretend that my favorite element wasn't Dragos, 'cause it was! I have an unnatural attraction to possessive, jealous, stalkerific heroes who are scary as heck, and Dragos is going on my list of favorite heroes of this type. I liked that although Pia started out as a thief who dared to steal from him, she became his own personal hoard. He acted like a dragon of old, used to having his way in all things. Even though he came on kind of strong, it was clear that he wouldn't do anything to hurt Pia. He cared enough to make sure that Pia was happy! He brushed her hair all the time! He was actually a softie underneath all that hard scaly dragon armor! Ms. Harrison knows how to write this kind of hero very well!
Dragos is like a Harlequin Presents hero done well (with an intensity times one hundred). He is unbelievably wealthy, prominent and gorgeous. He is also immensely powerful. And he was done so well, there was never that incredulity factor where I have this sarcastic cheerleader moment in my head: "Yay, he is so awesome!" (rolls eyes). Dragos truly was awesome! Sick girl that I was, I liked that even though Pia found him hot and fell in love with him, she could still see he was a scary guy. Who doesn't like a guy who would give you the world, but he could also slaughter a whole army of enemies for you? Who's so jealous, he doesn't even like his crew touching you? (PSA awareness moment: Not okay in real life, but I like it in books. So shoot me!)
I thought the world-building was really good. I loved the fact that this book has a strong fantasy element, equal to the romance. It wasn't just a backdrop for paranormal loving (which was verra nice, mind you). There was a lot of thought put into creating this world in which humans live alongside Wyr (shapeshifters) and Faerie folk of all kinds, and old magic is alive and well in this world, and into the adjacent magic realms. It seemed eminently plausible that one of the most powerful economic figures could be an ancient dragon. Don't I wish?
Dragos is an awesome hero, and Pia is an equally awesome heroine. She is gutsy, intelligent, funny, and sweet. She never gave me the urge to ignore her and focus on the hero because I didn't like her. I loved her a lot. I could see myself having similar reactions to the strange circumstances she faces. I loved how utterly fearless (although inwardly quaking) she was when faced with the very scary Dragos, and especially at the end when she finds herself in a very rough situation. I loved her self-deprecating, humorous way of looking at the world, very down to earth and resourceful. I loved her secret heritage, and how Dragos cherished that part of her, and all parts of her. I felt tears brimming when she discovers what she truly is. (You have to understand that I was the little girl who was in love with Pegasus, Unicorns, and all mythical creatures. It was a sweet moment for this little girl who has never truly grown up inside).
I loved Dragos' crew, especially Graydon (who reminded me of Butch from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward), and Tricks (a very hip elf who works as Dragos' PR rep and happens to be the true heir to Throne of the Dark Fae). How cool was it that his sentinels consisted of four gryphons and a tough female Harpy (she reminded me of my girl Xhex from the Black Dagger books). It was funny how Dragos came to life when Pia came around, and seeing how his crew reacted to the new Dragos.
I don't think my review can really add anything because there are some great reviews out there of this book. I really did love everything about it. It was just hip enough (but not annoyingly so), the story and the fantasy elements were fantastic, there were many laugh out loud moments (this book was really funny), and some poignant moments. I loved the relationship between Pia and Dragos, and how they had to work at some things, but they weren't going to give up on being together. (view spoiler)[ And my being a romance reader who likes babies, I was so happy that she even had that element. Not enough PNR books have pregnancy and babies in them for me (I know some readers hate that, but not me!) So I was glad she did have that in this book, and it was so cool how she did it. Definitely some 'aww' moments there. (hide spoiler)]
I know I want to hug this book tight to my book-loving heart. I will put this out on my favorites shelf for a frequent reread. I can't wait to see what Ms. Harrison does in the next Elder Races books. She has a fan in me!
My friends who said I would love this were right. High five!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This was a breath of fresh air book. I've read some disappointing books lately, and I needed a good one. Plus I was pining for a good UF read. I lovedThis was a breath of fresh air book. I've read some disappointing books lately, and I needed a good one. Plus I was pining for a good UF read. I loved the easy writing flow, the funny dialogue, and the wonderful, self-deprecating hero, Sam. Although this was released as a YA book, I think it easily could have been marketed as an adult UF novel. I believe the older readers will enjoy it as much as teen readers because there is a lot to like in this book.
McBride keeps her world-building simple, but simple doesn't mean lacking. She has an interesting reality here, with people born with magical abilities, specifically necromancers. Sam is one, but he doesn't know it, because being one is quite dangerous for him. His normal, rather boring, letdown life explodes into one of extreme danger and dread as he becomes exposed to a very dangerous, cruel, and evil enemy. Along the way, he becomes aware of a supernatural world with its own rules. He finds out that there are a lot of creatures out there that he didn't even know existed. That is one thing I love about UF--the normal is really far from normal when you take a close look around you.
Sam is the everyman that you like and feel protective of. He has a rough journey in this book, but he weathers it all with grace and takes a lot of crazy stuff in stride. I respected him for that. I also liked his friends, specifically Ramon and Brooke. I liked Brid too. She is pretty darn kickbutt. Sam's mom is a sweet lady, and I would like to learn more about Sam's longlost uncle. He seems cool.
I think McBride has all the right ingredients in this story, but it doesn't add up to 'formula', but instead a fun, enthralling, sometimes scary and thrilling, and very enjoyable read. The quote on the cover by Sherman Alexie is so true. This book is both scary and funny, and a good balance of both. I am a big fan of snarky dialogue in books, and she does it well. I loved all the pop culture jokes. They were hilarious! I was quite impressed with how McBride reveals the menace of the villain and his heinous acts without going overboard. Poor Sam and his friends are truly in jeopardy, but you manage to catch your breath with some good laughs along the way.
I was very satisfied with this book, and even if it's a one-shot, I am still happy. If she continues the series, I'd be even happier, because I do see some threads that I would love to be explored further. Although McBride does a good job of making this a self-contained read that stands on its own (cliffhangers are a freaking enormous pet peeve of mine), I could easily see her going back and writing more in this world.
I do recommend Hold Me Closer, Necromancer to UF fans of all ages. I think they'll enjoy it.
This was easily a four star book, because I really liked it. Ms. Thompson is a very good writer. The story was interesting, and the characters likeablThis was easily a four star book, because I really liked it. Ms. Thompson is a very good writer. The story was interesting, and the characters likeable. The mystery/suspense was good. I liked the world she created with her Atrox shifters (extinct Cave lions). I think she was true to the cat nature in crafting her characters. I think it was interesting how many of the Atrox were in this story, even though they were supposedly rare (and Ms. Thompson even had a character make a comment about this). I liked that Ms. Thompson didn't have any loose ends or implausibility in her world-building. I have come to realize that although I am a huge cat-fancier, I love werewolf PNR more than cat paranormal. But a fan of cat shifters will be very happy with this book.
I found the characters to be well developed, although this is a shorter novel. I liked that Ethan was a good mix of alpha and beta, possessive and strong, vital and masculine; but he was cool with a strong woman, and he could handle her independent nature, and trust her to do what she did well, without taking it as an assult against his masculinity. Edge was a capable heroine, very intelligent, tough and confident, but not annoying in her kick-butt nature. It's not easy to bring an alpha heroine to life, and Ms. Thompson did it well.
The sensual parts were tres sexy, and the attraction between Edge and Ethan rich and natural. I liked that they didn't jump right into bed. Any sex breaks they took were appropriately timed. Although Edge wanted to look on their relationship as more casual than it was, Ethan definitely wanted to stake his claim. I could see Edge's reasons, but I don't like the casual sex thing, so I was bummed at her attitude about their relationship. But all that ends well.
One thing I must mention is there were some editing oopsies. I hate to harp on that, but I think it's important to state for anyone who has a serious issue with editing errors who might read this review. They were pretty minor, just a lack of commas were I felt there needed to be, and just a couple of homonym errors. I am no grammar expert, and I won't pretend to be. I can overlook minor editing problems very well, but I just wish the epublishers were better about not letting stories get by without fixing those things. Ms. Thompson is a very good writer, and her story has a polish that shines through, and I hate that poor editing might cause readers to look down on her work. In all fairness, I have seen major publishing houses and books by best-selling authors with errors, so I tend to try to shrug that off for the most part. (Danielle steps off her soapbox)
I must say, I am very picky about paranormal romance. It's one of my favorite genres, and I've read enough that I know what I like and I don't, and my standards are probably unfairly high, and I have found I am tougher about my rating of PNRs as I read more and more of them. I really need the zing factor with a paranormal romance to give it five stars. This one is up there for me, although not a five star read. Having said that, I want to thank Ms. Thompson for the opportunity to read her novel. It's clear she knows what PNR fans want, and she has a feel for writing a very good romance that shows in Living on the Edge. I will definitely read more of her books!