When I received my copy of Desire Unchained in the mail, I literally stopped, right on my doorstep, and did a dance. Yes, a dance! I know, that sounds...moreWhen I received my copy of Desire Unchained in the mail, I literally stopped, right on my doorstep, and did a dance. Yes, a dance! I know, that sounds so odd and childish, but ever since I read the first novel, Desire Unbound, last year, I've been hungry for more! And believe me when I say that DU delivered on all accounts!
In the first book, we were dropped straight into Ione's world, modern Earth, except for we're not alone. Shapeshifters, Witches, Demons, Vampires, and all sorts of other fantastical characters live in our world. For the most part, humans know about them, but they still don't flaunt themselves. Instead, they stick to the "Underworld's" of the area, tunnels and such below the city or hidden from the humans. The hospital that Shade and his two other brothers founded exist in one such area, hidden from the prying eyes of humans.
While the plot line, the intriguing characters, and the complex story development are a great part of the book, it's not the only part that made my fall in love with the series. It's also the very intense, sometimes graphic, but always satisfying *no pun intended, of course!*, sex. Along with the equally tender romance. Don't get the wrong impression-- it's not ALL about the sex in their relationship, though that part is definitely a big part of it. Personally, I enjoy the more erotic touches like this in my romances, but I know that some do not. If you fall into the later category, I'm sure that you could still enjoy this book, even if you have to flip through a few scenes.
The romance is fantastic, but it's not the only element that sticks out. There's a plot to it, a point besides just watching the H/Hr have hot sex 24/7. The suspense and action makes the reading interesting, not just sexy. I'm anxious for the next book, not only to find out Wraith's fate and story, but also to see what more could happen in this compelling paranormal world that Ione has created. I promise you-- just when you think that you have the story 100% figured out, nothing could possibly surprise you, a new twist in the story pops out, keeping you on the edge of your seat until the very end. And even then, it will only let you go, but it won't leave you entirely. You'll still find yourself thinking about the story, the characters and the world, anxious to return to it, but upset that you have to wait until the next book to do so.
4.5/5 stars! I can't stop raving about this amazing book! Heck, not just this book, but Ione's entire series! They're sexy, passionate, mysterious, action packed, humorous... I could go on and on! In short, they have everything you could possible ask for in a romance! I can't wait for her future books-- Ione is definitely an automatic author in my book!(less)
From book one, I've been hooked. Completely and totally hooked. Really, from page one, I was hooked-- I'm not even joking. Cassandra Clare's fantasy w...moreFrom book one, I've been hooked. Completely and totally hooked. Really, from page one, I was hooked-- I'm not even joking. Cassandra Clare's fantasy world captivated me from the very beginning, and that hold hasn't lessened in the two books since. Like I've said before-- it has everything in it: romance, action, suspense, wit, et cetera. And the characters vary too-- from werewolves to faeries, vampires to humans, demons to angels. With a cast list like that, how can you not find something in the book that interests you? Uh huh, that's what I thought! Clare has a way of constantly twisting the story plot, keeping the readers on their toes, without confusing us. Not always an easy thing to do, but Clare does it wonderfully! Just when you think that you know where the story is going, which side a particular character is on, Clare throws you a curve ball that sets you back (almost) to square one. Its one of the reasons why the books are so engaging--- the reader has to think about it, and try to keep up, unless of course they'd rather just enjoy the ride until the end when everything is resolved. I prefer trying to figure things out as the book goes, but with Clare's novels, it is sometimes a bit of a challenge. All the more reasons to enjoy it!
Of course, the one thing I knew from book one, no matter how many curve balls she threw our way, was that Jace and Clary are not siblings. There, I said it. If it comes as a surprise to any readers out there, then I'm sorry for 'spoiling' that, but I think most readers have known all along, and strongly believed it in our hearts, that the two of them could never be siblings-- they belong together, they connect in a way couldn't be because of 'shared' blood. Plus, there were too many little clues and twists along the way that always made me realize that Jace wasn't really Johnathan. But I'm not going to go into too many details about this, one, because it's long and complicated if you haven't read all the books yet, and second, because I don't want to spoil anything else! Just trust me, and after you read COG, you too will probably think back to all the little things from the previous books that helped to point it out.
Besides the amazing story, I loved City of Glass because of the wit and sarcasm that I have come to expect and adore in the series, especially from Jace. It's so much a part of not only the characters, but the story, and it makes what would otherwise be a very dark and rich book (in a good way!) into one that has it's moments of lightness. I laughed at more than a few quotes in the book, in all of the books, actually, and some of them are where you least expect it. As much as I love a good strong fantasy book, heavy in plot and development, I want to have a few laughs along the way, too, and City of Glass delivers on both accounts.
Clary is a very strong character, and I enjoyed following her story through the series. Sometimes I find the heroine in books to be weak or annoying, but Clary was perfect-- as were most of the other interesting characters we are introduced to. From the flamboyant Magnus Bane (a gay warlock that falls for Alec) to the timid-turned-strong Simon, I enjoyed learning more about them all. They all added their own thing to the books, like layers on a cake-- without the one beneath it, the next one wouldn't be possible. I would love to hear more about them, especially some of the minor characters.... Its one of the reasons why it is so hard to see a good series end!
But what an end it was! I wasn't at all disappointed, and I doubt that you will be either. It was everything I expected, not only the action scenes, but seeing Jace and Clary finally fall for each other. Jace, for all his tough, bad-ass shell, proves again and again that he has a tender side in City of Glass. No wonder I love him so much! Seriously, why can't more men/boys in the real world have personalities and characteristics like those of the heroes from our favorite books?!
5/5 STARS! A dazzling ending to a brilliant series, City of Glass is everything the fans could possibly want, and more. The only disappointment will be at the end-- when the story is over, and there's no more to look forward to. (However, Clare does have a new series, a sort of prequel to this one, with different Shadowhunters from the 1800's or so, planned. Sadly, the first one won't be out until next year at the earliest.) A perfect example of fantasy and romance, humor and action, City of Glass (and the other two books) belong on any die-hard fantasy/romance fan's shelf, no matter the age. I would highly recommend Clare's work-- possibly even above Twilight---which is a very high compliment to give, if you know me and my love of Meyer's books... :D
Anyone who's ever read an anthology knows that there's almost always one problem with the book-- the stories are too short. And though that is the poi...moreAnyone who's ever read an anthology knows that there's almost always one problem with the book-- the stories are too short. And though that is the point of having an anthology, it's still hard to tell a story, develop it, and end it well. This one flaw is most of the reason behind my over all rating for this book.
The Healing Spell and Other Stories is a collection of Kiki Howell's short stories and novellas that have been published before in other anthologies. The nice thing about this anthology is you get to see what her writing it like (wonderful, but more on that later). The only down fall is that the romance story itself doesn't get to develop and pull through as strongly as in a full length novel. But, despite the page constraints, Howell does do a good job at telling a story... especially the sex, since this is an erotic novel!
Howell has a wonderful way of blending the words together, weaving them into a story, and really, she can easily 'paint a picture' in your mind, as they say. I had no problem with the writing style, the word choices, etc. In fact, I thought this was very well done, and it did grab my attention and help pull me into the stories....
...Only until the story was suddenly over, and it was time for the next one. But again, this is a problem you'll always find in an anthology. You want the story to keep going, but in reality, it's time for it to end and the next one to begin. Because of the shortness of the stories, I'm even more interesting in reading more from Howell-- I want to know if a full length novel from her will be just as amazing as I picture after reading this.
The story lines were interesting enough, and I wish we could have learned more about the characters, their stories and world-- especially the Wicca theme in the stories. I would have loved to hear more about the culture in the stories themselves.
3.5 STARS! Over all, a great introduction to a new to me author, and one that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a good erotica novel. The Healing Spell and Other Stories is quick, but fairly satisfying, and leaves you wanting to read more! Always a good thing in a book, right? Fantastic, flowing writing, Howell has a gift for describing the scene to viewers-- I only hope that we'll get to see more of the description in her future novels, hopefully a full length one? (less)
Usually, I don't rate anthologies very high-- average rating, about a 3.5 or so is common for me. But with Highlander Christmas, there was no doubt in...moreUsually, I don't rate anthologies very high-- average rating, about a 3.5 or so is common for me. But with Highlander Christmas, there was no doubt in my mind that it would receive a 5 Star rating when I finished the last page!
When you get three very talented, very popular authors together, and have their stories all published in one book, you're sure to get one spectacular novel out of the deal! And with Highlander Christmas, that's what happened!
I don't even know where to begin-- all three stories were great, and I so loved reading each and every one!
Dawn's story, the first in the novel, could quite possibly be my all-time favorite of the three, if I had to choose. I almost forgot that her story was supposed to be a novella, part of an anthology, and therefore shorter in pages than usual-- you can't even tell! Why? Because the characters came alive in the pages, flourished and developed, and the connection, the love, between hero and heroine was clearly there, and very well done. Something that, usually, can be a bit challenging to accomplish in a shortened novel.
But Dawn, well, I already knew from her previous work that she could do it, and once again she managed to grab me from page one, and wrap the magic of her story-telling around me until the very end. Touching, passionate, and witty, I loved her "Winter Heat", which will definitely help to keep a reader warm during the upcoming winter evenings, snuggled up by the fire with this book!
Next up was Sophie's "Yuletide Enchantment". Now, I've not yet read any of Sophie's contemporary romances, but I've been anxiously awaiting her upcoming paranormal series-- and this short novel is a bit of a prequel, I guess you could call it, for said series.
After reading this one, my mind was still a bit numb-- wow! I thought the plot/theme alone was very unique, not the usual ones filling the shelves today, and the story flowed nicely-- again, I almost couldn't tell it was a novella instead of a full length! The only problem, if you could call it that, is that the story teased me, leaving off at the end, and torturing me until the first novel, Velvet Haven, comes out this next year! *Cries* Otherwise, the characters were well done (and the hero, by the way, is very yummy!), there was plenty of romance, action, and a good dash of magic to captivate the reader!
The last story was Cindy's "A Christmas Spirit". I've read one of her books before, and I did enjoy it, so I had a fairly good idea of what to expect in this one-- and again, I wasn't disappointed. Although, to be honest, out of the three I would have to say this one would receive my lowest rating on it's own (but no lower than 4 stars, if that!), it was only because I didn't quiet feel the pull between the hero and heroine in her story. It was there, but it felt like it was a bit, well, rushed, like most novellas, and it only came in stronger at the very end. But I do enjoy her writing still, I always find a few witty areas and more than a few "Aw!" ones as well.
5 STARS! Over all, these three well-known authors worked their magic over the reader, pulling them in, and holding them in thrall until the very end. Wonderful, enchanting, and passionately written, these three paranormal Christmas novellas will leave you wanting only one thing: the hero to have as your own! Move over, fated heroines, you're going to have competition soon! (less)