Read: October 22, 2013 – October 25, 2013 Read: July 19, 2010 Read: January 15, 2009 – January 17, 2009 Read: November 2008 Read: April 2007 Read: January...more
Read: October 22, 2013 – October 25, 2013 Read: July 19, 2010 Read: January 15, 2009 – January 17, 2009 Read: November 2008 Read: April 2007 Read: January 1, 2005
Love, pain, loss, blessings, death, reunion, sacrifice, torture, happiness, parenthood, responsibility, darkness, evil, honor, goodness, determination, and redemption are just an itsy-bitsy list of the themes with which Night Embrace is gonna rock your world. You're gonna laugh, you're gonna cry, you're gonna face-scream and applause pretty much throughout the entirety of this awesome behemoth. Put simply, Bilbo had it right - this book's gonna adventure you so hardcore. And, this loveliness starts, of course, with Talon of the Morrigantes.
Basically, he's the epitome of a bad-ass. A Celtic bad-ass, even. However, in my not so important opinion, while I adore Talon (because c'mon, how could you not?) I find his back-story, while heart breaking, less so in comparison to other tragic Dark-Hunter stories. Mind you, this could be my being a picky-ass, but Talon's personal tragedies were often brought about by his own choices. These choices, and while understandable, put a distance in my adoration of him. I fully admit, though, that my wanting to slap him upside the head with a crowbar, on occasion, did contribute to making him a fleshed out character.
(*Grins.*) Joking aside, Talon is unique among the DH boys for, while scrumptious and tortured, he frequently allows his emotions to get the better of him, thus making him seem more human than any other Dark-Hunter. I like Tally, but there exists an element that makes me want to throttle him right before I hug him. Still, while bodaciously adorable and likeable, it's Talon's sense of humor that wins him All Of The Loves. His dynamic with Nick, Acheron, fellow Dark-Hunters, hell, even with frenemies like Zarek, will undoubtedly leave your face muscles aching from laughter. Of course, speaking of laughter, we can't neglect Sunshine Runningwolf.
Yep. I admit it; I totally love her with much love. Of all the heroines that could be written, she is the single most memorable. Without question this girl struts on the page with bucket-loads of personality that grab you be the shirt and ask, "Who IS this chick?" A flibbertigibbet artist who is unquestionably a refugee from a hippie camp, what makes Sunny so adorable is, yes, her forgetfulness, yes, her love of life, but most importantly her heart. While Talon is her antithesis in the small things, the two share a kindness for others that is remarkable, and down right adorable.
Oh, by the way, did I mention the plot?! Holy-crap-stick, THE PLOT! This baby comes in at a whopping 408 pages, and that's a bit long for a standard mass market paperback, but trust that this sucker doesn't lag. We've got pissed off gods, renegade Dark-Hunters, an "let's-avoid-the-apocalypse" story line, not to mention a most excellent cast of supporting characters. Interestingly, while the plot does take a backseat to the romantic buildup and relationship of Talon and Sunshine (we'll get to that in a minute, friends), when this sucker arrives for the climax, it busts onto the scene with TNT. The surrounding plot threads make this book unquestionably fun, mind-blowing, and definitely worth the read. As for the actual romance between Talon and Sunshine? Well...
I know, I know! (*Ducks behind couch to avoid the rotten tomatoes.*) Sadly, I'm not really in the Fangirl Camp for these two awesome characters. Oh, don't get me wrong, I love them as characters, and while I do believe the HEA at the end, I never really felt the connectivity between them as their story was unfolding. I think this stems largely from the soul mate aspect (you'll see when you read), but because of this it made their romance difficult for me. I still heart them, I did love the book, and I enjoyed Talon and Sunshine interacting, but as for the love-story itself? Gotta say no. The book kicks copious ass, even outside the lovey-dovey element, if for no other reason than climax, the supporting cast, and the universe around Talon and Sunshine. These elements make this book so frakking good.
You request it, Night Embrace, and you damned sure get it.(less)
Read: October 16, 2013 - October 21, 2013 Read: July 7, 2011 Read: January 13, 2009 - January 15 2009 Read: Nov 26, 2008 Read: March 2007 Read: January 200...more
Read: October 16, 2013 - October 21, 2013 Read: July 7, 2011 Read: January 13, 2009 - January 15 2009 Read: Nov 26, 2008 Read: March 2007 Read: January 2005
You know that moment when you meet the best thing in your life, and your brain, body, and emotions kind of just explode all over the place? Well, that sentiment should come with a greeting card that reads, "Congratulations; you've now been introduced to author Sherrilyn Kenyon!" Said introduction comes with book-one of the Dark-Hunter series, and it is one seriously kick-ass experience. And, this mind-blowingly awesome super-duper I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Butter ride starts with Kyrian of Thrace.
Okay, to be fair, this series actually starts with a prequel novel, Fantasy Lover. But, shhh, never mind all that. What you need to know is that this wonderful joy-ride begins with Kyrian, and let's just go ahead and put it out there that he is probably one of the most adorably lovable fictional men you have ever met in your entire fictional-reading life. Kyrian's got all of the necessary requirements that invite All Of The Hugs; he's broken, he's strong, he's ancient, he's young, he's unloved, and he's smexy. Did I mention he's smexy? Suffice to say he prompts all of the fan-girling imaginable.
Yep! I'm objectifying a fictional male, and I don't even care. Why don't I care? Well, because, to be honest Kyrian of Thrace is so well written you can't help but fall in love with him, dashing looks, charming personality and all. The emotions this character brings to the page pretty much demand all of your attention. His back story is heart-wrenching, and his modern reality makes you crave his HEA, which, of course, brings us to Amanda Devereux. Amanda, frankly, can be encapsulated by just a single, solitary word.
Here is a heroine that embodies all of the awesome. She's basically the woman that I want to clone out of fiction and turn into reality because, c'mon, I need this girl as my BFF. Hell, humanity needs this girl as its BFF. Like Kyrian, Amanda is written in such an elegant contradiction, for while she is strong, her strength is quite, and as such far more believable. She knows when to fight, and when to shut the hell up because, hello, she's not an idiot. She's neither Wonder Woman, nor is she a delicate wilting flower, which rocks because such makes her realistic as a woman. Her personality and humor are subtle, and as such she's a sheer joy to read. Hell, given half the chance, would I freakin' date her? Well...
Duh. I adore Amanda, almost as much as I adore Kyrian, still almost as much as I adore the world building that takes place within this novel. As the first book in a series, Night Pleasures gets tons of I-heart-your-face-so-much from me for many reasons, but predominately because it does such a hardcore awesome-sauce job at setting up a world I totally buy into one hundred percent. I've read a shit-ton of books in my time, and very rarely do they achieve the standard of realism set by Night Pleasures.
Put simply, this book is smart; hell, this series is smart. The monsters and bad-guys, the good-guys and paranormal characters all are grounded in a believable explanation, one that impresses the hell out of me. Any author that can reinvent vampires utilizing ancient Greek mythology to create characters that are grounded in that reality, being characters from the distant past who live in the modern present that are dynamic and fascinating, is whoa. All kinds of whoa.
The emotions that Sherrilyn Kenyon is capable of taking you to in this book basically boggle the mind. I mean, in one novel we go from the unimaginable betrayal and several pages of a gruesome, I'm-gonna-vomit torture scene to the hero wearing a loin cloth made from whipped cream. Yeah. The plot and writing quality featured in this book will run the gamut and back again. Without question a reader will discover every possible emotional chord in this book, and if they fail in this endeavor, then I'm seriously questioning their well being. No judgement or anything, but OMG.
Yes, I've reread this book going on seven times now, and yes, it still kicks as much literary ass as it did when I first read it in 2004. Rarely does a book simultaneously rock both the character development and emotional interaction, as well as the action packed external conflict element. Accomplishing this is all kinds of rare, but damned if Sherrilyn Kenyon doesn't do both awesome feats extraordinarily well. Yes, I'm a fan-girl, yes this is a reread, and yes I'm biased, but even knowing all that, it is my solemn promise to you, good reader, that upon completing this novel you shall experience the following.
Read: November 1, 2013 - November 3, 2013 Read: May 3, 2010 Read: March 2007 Read: October 13 2005
DRAGONS!...Em...*Clears throat.* -DRAGONS!-
Yep! Dragons. That's, well, that's pretty much my entire review for this lovely little short story. "But, Jacquie!" as you're inevitably not screaming at me, "Is the story good? Is it bad? WHAT, DAMN IT?!" Calm down, my curious friends, for the answer is yes; yes, it's good. The characters are likable; Shannon with a C is nice, Sebastian is nice. The plot is well written, the pacing's okay, and setting is believable and gorgeous. So, no doubt you're wondering...
...My one and only problem is the length. Yes, yes, I'm well aware that this is not a full length novel, so I should stow my dander and get over myself, but I can't help it! Considering the amount of time Sherri had to work with in this story, I understand why things feel missing. Because of the limited page count, we never get a truly deep point of view of either Channon or Sebastian. Still, even wishing this weren't an issue, I loved what we got! The dynamic between our two leads was snappy, entertaining, and believable. I enjoyed their story, because it made me...
Read: October 28th, 2013 - October 30th, 2013 Read: July 20th – 24th 2010 Read: January 19th, 2009 Read: November 27th, 2008 Read: March 2007 Read: Februar...more
Read: October 28th, 2013 - October 30th, 2013 Read: July 20th – 24th 2010 Read: January 19th, 2009 Read: November 27th, 2008 Read: March 2007 Read: February 2005
You know that moment when you fall in love with an author, and every fricking book they write is your favorite? Well, applicable sentence is applicable, and while not entirely logical, it's all kinds of true for Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dance With The Devil. Oh, and that GIF up there? It's more than applicable; it's downright gospel. This novel is one hell of an epic-fun roller coaster that will figuratively rip out your heart, smile, and hand it back to you gift-wrapped with a cookie. Basically, it's one of the best books ever, and screw anyone that says otherwise!
Okay, you're right; it was. But, truly, the book is wonderful for a multitude of awesome-sauce reasons, not the first of which is how damned amazing the on-page emotion is, truly! This writing is fan-damn-tastic because it sucks you into the world, and the character. Yes, yes, this is par-for-the-epic-course with all Sherri's Dark-Hunter books, I know, but what makes Dance With The Devil so specifically full of win is how well Sherrilyn constructs Zarek. If Kyrian was the sassy devil-may-care, and Talon was the soulful poet, Zarek is the dude that rips your face off rather than shake your hand.
Yep! He's a bad-boy, but what's even better is that he's a bad boy with agency. Of all the Dark-Hunter boys up until this point in DH kick-ass universe, he's the one with the most tortured back-story. Unquestionably part of what makes this book such a joy ride is how fun, interesting, lovable, hilarious, and broken Zarek's character is, no doubt. Your heart breaks for him all while you understand him, which simply makes you love him even more.
Equally likable, though admittedly not to the same degree, is Astrid. She is her own person, no question, and she is believable, but what drives her as a character stems more from the plot than any grand characterization. It's interestingly shocking as hell to learn that Sherrilyn Kenyon wrote Dance With The Devil in two weeks. How easily this story came to her is evident by how well the writing paces itself. Granted, the plot is far more emotionally driven than by any external conflict, it reads all the better for it. The external forces affecting the reading do aid the novel, what with the "bad-guy-out-to-get-our-characters," but even that plot point comes with emotional agency, and is hella believable. Basically, it's...
(Heehee.) What's most interesting to me, though, is that Dance With The Devil works so excellently, both as an independent stand-alone, and as world building to the Dark-Hunter universe. Yes, while every DH book can be read out of order (another reason I love The Author Goddess so damn much) I find it interesting how well this book plays both roles. A person can jump right into this book with both feet, having never read a Kenyon novel before, and fall just as much in love with it and Zarek as a long-time fan.
In the context of the series, while admittedly lacking some of the larger cast that previous DH books have up until this point, the reader does learn So-Oh-My-God-Hella much more about the inter-workings of some of the major players in this universe. Lastly, I do love that, having read the entire Dark-Hunter series many times over, rereading Dance With The Devil is especially fun because not only is it here that we officially meet Simi for the first time (holy-crap-balls, I heart that demon with all of my organ!), but it's also where a lot of reader-understanding comes into play. After reading Acheron's novel (published five years after this book), knowing his backstory as I do it makes Ash's and Zarek's exchanges so much more significant and emotionally moving!
Basically, my long-ass point? Read this book! It needs you, you need it, it's basically the perfect relationship in one package. You go through happy-hell reading this emotional piece of awesomeness, but it pays off because at the end of the day the following GIF is every bit of your face.
**spoiler alert** The female character MaryAnne has traveled to South America on the assumption her role was to help one of the Carpathian women. She'...more**spoiler alert** The female character MaryAnne has traveled to South America on the assumption her role was to help one of the Carpathian women. She's human, yet knows of the Carpathian world. She has been bonded to Manolito- a Carpathian she only briefly met a few months back. Finding him in the forest, where he had been laid to rest by his brothers after supposedly being poisoned, both he and MaryAnne are somehow trapped within the forest and are partially in a nether world, of sorts. Finding the "main house," Manolito is still somehow trapped between the spirit world and the real world. Eventually he breaks free of his trapped state, only to discover soon after that MaryAnne, is lifemate, is part wolf- a society that is practically extinct and far stronger than his society. Yet the two at the end of the novel mate for life and MaryAnne turns Carpathian.
As I said before there seemed to be little to no plot with this novel. There lacked a substance to the book, and is by my mind a "cotton candy" type of novel. The only true enjoyment laid in the fact that the character play between the two main characters was intense. Still, not one of my favorites at all.
Read: November 4th, 2013 Read: May 3rd, 2010 Read: March 2007 Read: April 2005 Read: February 1st, 2004
Short, simple, and sweet! Three adjectives that are entirely apropos for this Panther tale by Sherrilyn Kenyon! While the book is a collection of short stories, I am guilty of having only read Winter Born. Shocking, I know, but considering the fact that I bought this exclusively for Sherri's stories, I figure; go figure. Read all the other short stories in this collection you say? Pfft.
(Hehe.) One day, perhaps, but I'm happy because THIS STORY WINS! Winter Born, while short because, duh, short story, it is so damn good! Dante and Pandora are really compelling and interesting characters, and though their time on page is too little (I want a full-length story, damn it!) I loved them nonetheless. And, my jokingly complaining aside, I found their story did work epic-good for a short format. The plot is entirely emotionally driven, with only one fight scene that cinches the love story between our two leads.
It was basically that! But to a very controlled, well managed degree. The tension was short but understandable, what with Pandora's and Dante's personal hang-ups about their relationship, as well as the background tension noted by our heroine's experiences, but overall it's a quick read with really likable characters. If you don't complete the reading of this nice little fated-to-be-mated story feeling book-happy, well, then...
So, I have to be honest with you, dear reader; I'm lying to you. Yes, yes, I'm a terrible human being for th...more
Read: December 21, 2014 Read: April 1, 2007
So, I have to be honest with you, dear reader; I'm lying to you. Yes, yes, I'm a terrible human being for the lie, but it's quit necessary. See, I have you believing that I've read the entire book, Love At First Bite. A collection of short stories that I'm sure is amazing in its entirety, but my tiny sin is that...umm...well...I've not exactly read the whole novel.
I know! A tragedy, one even the Ponds will mourn. But! Ignoring this terrible oversight, I'm still ranking this entire book at five stars. Why? Because Sherrilyn Kenyon. Yep. She's bad-ass enough to merit an entire not-all-hers novel being awesome. Simply put, Esperetta and Velkan are made of win. They are two characters that pretty much yank your feels all over the place. Their story is insanely fast-paced (because duh, short story) but holy crap if it isn't spectacular.
Love is all lovey between our two leads, and if you like a tale of redemption and estranged lovers, your mouth is gonna drool over this one! ... Well, maybe not drool because eww, but trust when I say that Until Death Do Us Part packs one hell of a whammy. While the writing seems to give more reader-time with Esperetta than our hero, Velkan, the two definitely share chemistry, and the plotting is damned solid. In short summation, let's let Benny clearly articulate why you need this short story...
Overall, not impressive. While the book did have it's share of enjoyable moments, it carried over its boring, dull moments, too. I enjoyed the charact...moreOverall, not impressive. While the book did have it's share of enjoyable moments, it carried over its boring, dull moments, too. I enjoyed the character interaction of Toni and Ian, the occasional historical references, and early scenes of the book. However, I found Sparks to be far too chaotic with her subplots. There were subplots in subplots, none of which tied together or given adequate attention. Toni's best friend, Sabrina, being attacked by evil vamp. Sabrina being committed. Toni working for the "good vampires." Their neighbor being a secrete Were-animal. Toni being attacked by evil vamps. Ian looking for his true, vampire love...the list is truly endless. While I do understand a book must have subplots, my irritation comes from when the mini-plots don't tie together seamlessly.
Summed up in two words, quite simply, this book? Easily forgettable. (less)
Okay, in truth the book rocked. Really rocked. In fact, up until the last two chapters, I legitimately thought the boo...more**spoiler alert** Well...uh, hm.
Okay, in truth the book rocked. Really rocked. In fact, up until the last two chapters, I legitimately thought the book would blow me away. Sadly enough, it didn't. While the characters were very interesting, with Eric Carrick and mortal Alexis Baldizzia, being two emotionally explosive and hallariously entertaining couples, the problem came at the end. Literally.
While the book had a good, steady pace that remained vigilante through most of the plot, it just felt jammed-bammed at the end. Almost like McCarthy looked at the script and was like 'damn, I need to wrap this on up.' While I do appreciate the fact that the book is part of a series- a fact confirmed by the lengthy sneak peak at the end- I still feel that, one, a basic story should remain forceful, but not fast, steady, but not slow, and two, that certain key plot issues should always- ALWAYS- be resolved.
Sadly, such was not the case for High Stakes. There was the very important matter of Eric's vampire presidential reelection that was essentially left hanging at the end, the crazy vamp opponent of Eric's that had Kesley the dull-vamp killed. Not to mention the whole deal surrounding mortal hit-man with a heart dude that seemed to be a big deal within the story.
I sigh with frustration, knowing that YES, this is series, but come ON! If you're going to have major story arcs that remain throughout a book, do it right, and don't play it into a book without at least coming around to readdress them before you close up the chapters. I don't mind if a book has some unresolved business, but at least note it as such rather than just dropping it like a hot potato.
So, nope, not very impressed. I won't say I hated it, because the "oh, my god, PLEASE just end already" feeling didn't hit until the last two chapters...but I'm so not pleased with this book. Live and learn I suppose.(less)