Wow. And whoa, Nelly! Cuz there are some whoppers here. (This review is spoiler free - I won't even name the characters ;)
Ultimately, it's a wild, ridWow. And whoa, Nelly! Cuz there are some whoppers here. (This review is spoiler free - I won't even name the characters ;)
Ultimately, it's a wild, ride with an awesome couple and definitely one of my favorites of the series (tied with Caressed by Ice and Branded by Fire).
So why 4 stars instead of 5? Well, there are issues. (Some of which are purely mine.) First, I almost doubt it's as good as I'm perceiving it to be, simply because the last two entries - three if you count the anthology - were so underwhelming, that by comparison, this story is freaking awesome!
Let's start with Kiss of Snow (my issue 'cuz I'm a diehard Sienna/Hawke shipper). The problem there was really my expectations were too high. I felt that it failed to deliver an amazing story with an awesome couple (especially now considering that THIS couple moved me way more than my S/H). So it was a huge let down especially with the secondary romance taking screen time away from the main couple.
Tangle of Need was - let's be brutally honest - a mess. It muddled the rules of the universe and gave us a couple that would have been interesting much earlier in the series, but at the point their story was told (and the length), it was at best a pointless 'filler' addition.
The anthology with only 2 new short entries was phoned in.
So why did I keep reading this series despite my recent disappointments? The universe is terrific and some past stories have been totally amazing.
Which brings me to HoO. Was I dying for it? No. And to be honest, the marketing behind this book was beyond irritating. "Can't show the cover...Can't reveal the blurb..." L.A.M.E.
So I went into this with low expectations. Well, it turns out that this hero is pretty dang awesome and, lo and behold, so is his heroine. There is plenty of action. Plenty of development. Plenty of interaction that makes this couple a 'super couple' of the series. There is also plenty of violence and death (one of the criticisms was that the low death count made the danger unrealistic - well, not anymore!).
So...4 stars. Part is my petty jealousy. Why couldn't KoS have been this awesome? It should have been! Also, there are some word repetitions that really drove me nuts after a while. Tighter editing should have caught that. I love obsidian but oh holy guacamole batman! if I read it anytime soon I might puke. Way overused, here.
There was also what I call the 'Da Da Dummmmm' moment. Fake suspense that is supposed to keep the reader hooked. It was way overused. The heroine has a power that can take down the hero (but the reader isn't told about it)...Da Da Dummmmm. The heroine can bring the hero to his knees (but we don't know how)...Da Da Dummmmm. The hero did something awful to the heroine (but not explained)...Da Da Dummmmm. The vagueness was just overused. I got to the point were I was going...Da Da Dummmmm...in my head. Mood. Killer.
Having said all that, it's still a damn fine, entertaining, 4 star read. Oh, and the hero's father!!? Yeah, didn't see that coming. ...more
Six bad-ass babes go through Special Forces training. Basically GI Jane with romantic elements.
This was an entertaining military romance hampered by tSix bad-ass babes go through Special Forces training. Basically GI Jane with romantic elements.
This was an entertaining military romance hampered by the shackles of category romance rules. This is my first Bombshell (the now defunct line of Silhouette) and if it's an example of the line, I can see why it failed.
The story is solid, the writing is engaging but I felt that the romance was misplaced. Clearly I could be wrong (it's rare but it happens - snort!) but the story felt like an editor marked it up with 'you need to add some romance earlier' or 'throw in a kiss here'. I have to say at least we weren't treated with the eye rolling sex while on the run from bad guys or on a mission (thank god!) but there is also a lack of depth in the connection between the heroine and the hero. The lack of a sex scene was also puzzling because there were places where it could have happened without being ridiculous.
The real shame is that this story had the potential of being a sexier version of Tom Clancy with a female protagonist. (I SO want to read a book like that!) The Medusa Project is well written and the military aspects are top notch but even at 300 odd pages it is too short and felt truncated in order to hit the minimum romantic rules of the category. In essence, this was a 'love story' (the hookup not necessary for the plot to happen) masquerading as a 'romance' (the plot wouldn't happen without the hookup).
I will definitely read the other Medusa series, but will keep in mind that due to category restrictions they are romances in a military environment instead of military love stories....more
In case you might have missed it (and I totally did) this is three short stories that were previously published under The Mammoth Book of Paranormal RIn case you might have missed it (and I totally did) this is three short stories that were previously published under The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance. Didn't matter for me tho, since I avoid mammoth anything. Now I have to admit that this was an impulse buy. I was on a high from Kate Daniels, saw Ilona's name and the price was right.
Unfortunately, this trio starts off with Jeaniene Frost's Pack. I consider this the weakest story. Three things bothered me: 1stPOV, annoying heroine, the "Mate", wuv, twue wuv *hurl*. Now the heroine's 'realistic' reaction to her circumstances might have worked for me if it was a longer story. Maybe. Probably not because I found her annoying even before she got all weepy and freaked out. The connection between the H/h felt forced and fake, being explained as it was the "mate" thing and he knew it because he sniffed her. *rolls eyes* The story just felt shallow and the fact that I would have preferred that the heroine had become wolf kibble in the beginning just didn't help. 2.0 stars.
I almost stopped reading at this point but I'm so glad I didn't.
Meljean Brook's In Sheep's Clothing was next and it captured me from the start. What an awesome first paragraph. In contrast, I liked Emma Cooper from the get go. The connection with the hero works simply because they have a history. Now this story is ubber short. I definitely wanted it to be more fleshed out. It has likable characters and a very intense storyline that would have been awesome if it had been longer. Definitely worth reading. 3.25 stars.
Last but not least, Ilona Andrews' Grace of Small Magic. Wow. Just. Wow. This made me feel like I was in a Miyazaki film (Loved Howl's Moving Castle). I simply looooved the imagery and it felt totally fresh. Above all, I truly wished that this universe got a full length novel. This story, alone, was worth the price of admission. 4 stars....more
Pretty close to 4.5 stars really. Can a book be better than chocolate? Well, no, but it can be great 'comfort food'. I have to confess that Kate DaniePretty close to 4.5 stars really. Can a book be better than chocolate? Well, no, but it can be great 'comfort food'. I have to confess that Kate Daniels is part of a small group of comfort food books for me. Which is kinda surprising since I have grown to DETEST 1stPOV. The thing is that Ms. Andrews creates such a great universe and totally suckers me into the story that I actually forget it's in the dreaded 1st.
Now, if you have enjoyed the previous KD books, you'll like this one. There is nothing 'new or omfg surprises'. There is a big bad (this time it's family) and Kate has to deal with it. It is really no surprise who wins. I mean come on. It's called the Kate Daniels series. So it's more of the same. Great fights. More details on the magic and universe and relationships PROGRESS. And people die.
I think that's really what I like about Ms Andrews is that though we know that Kate will come out alive in the end, we don't know what she is going to have to do in order to live. Or who she is going to have to kill.
Why not 5 stars? Well, two reasons. I would have liked some of the fights to have been a bit longer. Some of the henchmen get killed way too easy. The other BIG reason is one scene (which the inner romantic fangirl in me did SQUEE over it) came out as way awkward especially in 1st POV. It felt like...'Fine, I'll give you a smex scene but I don't have to like it. Now leave me alone while I keep telling my story.'
That's the problem with 1stPOV sex scenes. They rarely work. And here it was not horrid, but very uncomfortable. Like it didn't belong. So I'm hoping we can still get that 'romance' and tension but no more sex. Just close the door and fade to black. Please....more
Kate rocks! This series rocks! Ilona Andrews rocks! LOL. Fans of the series won't be disappointed. If you are not a fan...What are you waiting for?
KatKate rocks! This series rocks! Ilona Andrews rocks! LOL. Fans of the series won't be disappointed. If you are not a fan...What are you waiting for?
Kate now has her own investigative shop with the backing of the Pack after breaking with the Order of Merciful Aid. Unfortunately, she has no clients. Until Ghastek, Master of the Dead, calls with a job. Of course one job turns more complicated than expected and Kate is off getting to the bottom of it.
I have to admit that I was a bit worried about Kate being a 'detective' (like we've never seen a female investigator in UF before0 and that now that she is mated to yummy Curran. It could have been VERY easy for this book to have been 'phoned' in and rather blah.
It's not. Mostly because the universe is now so established that things that could have been tropey and boring, feel like real life progression instead. Things change and this a great part of what makes this series interesting to read.
The big bad in this story is, imo, way scarier than previous villains in a completely different way. I was totally creeped out. I hope we somehow see more of them in future books. LOL.
There is also big developments in terms of Kate's past and her relationship with Curran. Kudos for Ms. Andrews for going down a well worn trope route and then thumbing her nose at it.
I could give more details about the story but frankly this book is too good for that. Just read it. It works for fans of the series. I don't recommend it as a stand alone. There is just too much going on besides the main plot of the story that I think new readers will just not fully appreciate how awesome this book and overall series is if you start here....more
Classic Shelly Laurenston and she still rocks. So much so that after reading about Dee-Ann and Ric, I decided to go reread all the previous Pride bookClassic Shelly Laurenston and she still rocks. So much so that after reading about Dee-Ann and Ric, I decided to go reread all the previous Pride books again.
Dee-Ann is a tough as nails, ex-Marine, now part of a shifter security force who has stolen the heart of adorable rich boy, Ric (and also her supervisor, but NOT! her boss ;). This is also the first Pride book where both lead characters are the same species of shifters: wolf.
The plot here is about the heroine and hero trying to put a stop to a group who goes around kidnapping hybrids and putting them into fight pits where the prize is that the winner gets to live. But to be honest the plot is rather thin because instead of spending a lot of time on how the characters are searching for the villains, we instead get a ton (I think just about everyone from previous books makes an appearance) of cameos. The good thing is that here it works because about 95% of the name dropping is believable. You can see the hero and heroine always having to deal with these supporting characters. And frankly as a fan of the series, its totally awesome to see everyone.
What makes this book awesome sauce is that Laurenston takes a run of the mill plot and turns it on its ear by having the heroine in the typical alpha hero role. Dee-Ann is such a bad-ass but what is awesome is that at no time did I feel that she was just a hero with boobs. She never came across to be as being masculine even though she could probably kill just about everyone in this book without breaking a sweat.
Which leads me to the hero, Ric. Early on, I was actually worried that Ric was going to be too beta to make it a believable romance. But he works because he is just the right amount of alpha in a beta hero. He's just adorable (and OMFG the prologue is just sooo cute!). Ultimately what makes them work as a couple is that they balance each other out perfectly.
This is an awesome story but for fans of the series. If you haven't read the previous books, I definitely recommend you start there first, otherwise, this story just becomes a mess of names and relationships that will be overwhelming and make little sense. If you are a fan, you might want to brush up a little bit in case you've forgotten the Pride cast because like I said, EVERYONE is in this one. In fact, it would have been helpful to have a family tree or appendix of sorts in order to refresh my memory....more
This story is why I love historicals. Funny, interesting characters and just a fun read. If you are looking for a deep, meaningful love story that youThis story is why I love historicals. Funny, interesting characters and just a fun read. If you are looking for a deep, meaningful love story that you will shed a tear over every time you think about it...this isn't it. But if you want a fun read with non-cookie cutter H/h that you can reread... then this is the book for you....more
I have some VERY mixed feelings about this story, so I'm going to save a full review for later. Three stars isn't bad, it just means that I didn't lovI have some VERY mixed feelings about this story, so I'm going to save a full review for later. Three stars isn't bad, it just means that I didn't love it. I did absolutely, completely, truly love Sienna. Hawke? Not so much. (Blasphemy, I know.) It's a rarity for me to love the heroine to pieces and just be so so on the hero. Go figure....more