After being saved by, and feeling up, a shadowy man in the alleyway behind her home, Miranda dreams steamy dreams of him every night. Three years later, the destitute status of her father forces her to marry The Dread Lord Archer, a darkly eccentric nobleman whose face is perpetually covered with a mask in public. He makes ladies faint in fright at the thought of what deformity he is hiding, but really he cares only for the affections of one lady in particular. The young lady he saved in that alleyway three years ago. The beauty marries the beast in an attempt to pay back her father for ruining him forever as a merchant with her dangerous gift. Can this beauty ever truly learn to love a beast?
I will begin by saying I absolutely adored this book! As a fan of historical romance and urban fantasy, I about died when I read the description for Firelight. A sassy heroine with supernatural skills forced to marry a mysterious masked man with a frightening reputation in Victorian London? Yes please! Usually, I bounce back and forth between a saucy historical romance and a gritty urban fantasy, however in this case, both of my cravings were equally and undeniable satisfied. Callihan's ability to place the reader directly in her world without getting too into the often tedious societal explanations is astonishing. I literally felt like I had jumped straight into Victorian London from page one. The world building is done flawlessly throughout the span of the novel as Miranda and Archer attempt to keep their secrets from each other. The third person perspective jumps from Archer to Miranda nicely offering readers intimate insights on each of the characters and their back stories. I ended up soaring right through this book and was left desperate for more. Not to say Miranda and Archer's story isn't wrapped up, it is, and very nicely so. Now to discuss my new favorite couple...
The chemistry between Miranda and Archer is incendiary! I can honestly say I have never been that hot and bothered over a near-kiss scene before. I mean, they don't even really kiss and I was fanning myself due to my furiously flushed face. The tone set between the two of them left my skin tingling in anticipation of the next heady moment.
“With the suddenness of a cat leaping upon its prey, he leaned forward and caught up her wrist. "Tread lightly, Miranda Fair." His thumb moved lightly over her fluttering pulse, as she stared with her mouth assuredly hanging open in shock, her heart beating furiously within her breast."You know, it's never wise to tempt the devil." His gaze lowered to her hand, still locked in his grip, her fingers glistening with pear juice. "Had I not this mask, I should be of a mind to suck that juice right off of your fingers.”
After ridiculously sexy scenes like this I was dying to get to the good stuff. The frustration Archer and Miranda felt at being so close to each other, but still kept at arms length due to their secrets was so palpable, I ended up writing this short poem to express my own longing.
Oh sweet frustration!
Oh agonizing fascination!
Oh desperately desiring delight!
Oh despair for I am doomed to die without Dread Lord Archer's dark dalliance!
And oh what dreams may come!
Archer's secret was definitely not what I was expecting, and a tad bit disappointing, however I think it is fair to say given such a wonderfully intriguing tool as a masked man, it is easy for what we imagine to be much wilder than reality. All in all, I am thoroughly impressed and delighted! Calihan has been added to my list of must have authors. I don't have too many series or authors that I will go right out and buy without seeing if the library has it first, however anything Callihan releases from now on will be sure to appear on my bookshelf!
To Be Continued? Absolutely! I will be impatiently, agonizing until book two, Moonglow, comes out in August! ...more
Henry VIII is at the height of his reign and he's hungry like the wolf...
King Henry VIII is infamous for his ability to go through wives like dirty underwear with his fickle attentions and desire for a male heir. This book tells a tale untold until now.Henry's Europe is characterized as a land balancing precariously between human and demon kind. The Vatican acknowledges the existence of demons and even promotes their existence because, "..frightened people are more likely to attend church." Seriously, that's what they're going with. The Protektorate is an organization overseen by the Vatican that attempts to keep the demons in check to an extent, but in all honesty is pretty useless. Henry contracts lycanthropy and spends most of the book loping through England at night tearing into peasants with his great big teeth and hiding random body parts in his closet.
The title says it all, really I think readers will find an enormous lack of direction and misplaced humor. There are definitely some funny parts, but there are fairly few truly laughable moments. It is easy to see where the author tries to get a twisted laugh out of his reader and fails completely leading to much head shaking and exasperated sighing. I am a huge fan of dark humor, horror, and novel ideas. However in this case I just didn't like it. I think it is mostly because I have been incredibly spoiled by Christopher Moore and his fantastic books that mix dark humor, horror, and quirkiness superbly while still offering the reader an emotionally charged plot. His stories make you question just how fucked up your sense of humor actually is one minute and then show you that no matter how dark it gets, there is always heart at the center of it. I guess what I'm trying to say is there is a method to Mr. Moore's madness, whereas Henry VIII: Wolfman is just mad.
The pages of this book are soaked with blood and guts. I can get into that for zombies and the like, but when it comes to cracking jokes during the graphic slaughtering of children, I tend to be revolted. At one point, wolfman Henry digs up the grave of a recently deceased child, pulls of its head and limbs, and buries his snout in the gaping neck hole to feast. This is all after sinking his teeth into the ample breasts of the dead child's mother and ripping them off of her while she screams in agony. I am in no way debating morals here, I have read and enjoyed many a blood fest with novels like Z.A. Recht's Plague of the Dead and darkly humorous tales like Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job. If you can write your gore and humor with a satisfying storyline I commend you, it just doesn't happen here.
I won't lie though, the reading experience wasn't entirely unenjoyable. The text is well written and for all its sillyness keeps your reading at a brisk pace. I was brought to tears laughing at two different parts because of how absolutely ridiculous they were. That was honestly the thing that kept me reading, the twisted desire to see what crazy thing the author would come up with next. After all my criticisms for this book I did have the pleasure of reading the best irreverent death scene ever. I almost feel like bearing with the rest of the book is worth it just to read the death by fat ass scene. Don't have a cushion to smother your poor suffering patient with? Have the fattest man in the room sit on his face. Genius. I honestly mean that.
So Wicked reader, are you confused? Are you wondering right now "Did she like it or not?" The only answer I can give you is this. I didn't enjoy the story so much as I enjoyed the way it fucked with my head. I'm giving it 2.5 stars because of the butt death scene and because this book made me really think about what I liked in a book and how far someone can mess with historical accuracy before I stop taking it seriously. And that brings me to my final advice about this book. Don't take it seriously, enjoy the insane, twisted ride it takes you on. If you are not into the darker side of fiction, this is probably not the book for you. However if you enjoy a good mind fuck now and then, I suggest you give Henry VIII: Wolfman a read. And then tell me what you thought because I am dying to discuss this book with someone. ...more
It's unfortunate when the first thought that comes to your mind once you've finished a book is "Thank God it's over!"
The entire experience was painful. Hold Me If You Can is a paranormal romance so coated in sugary silliness I literally think I got a cavity. There wasn't a single moment in this book I could take seriously. The fierce warrior hero uses flower shaped throwing stars... Okay... and if that wasn't weird enough the villein's power that seems to be causing all the problems is called smut and it isn't the only thing smutty about this book. Don't get me wrong, I love trashy romances especially ones with paranormal themes, but this was just over the top. Towards the end I didn't have to read entire sentences as every other word was love. It was like my annoying Aunt Marge was pinching my cheeks and reciting, "You are such a lovey wovey lovekins!" Love was crammed into this book like nobody's squishy lovey business. Did I mention the heroine is a Sweet? No, not scrumptious dessert! Her mystical race is actually called Sweet and she actually owns a dessert shop named Scrumptious. The only cool part about this situation was that she made virility balls, a magical chocolate treat that gives men nearly perpetual erections. That was pretty cute.
Although I didn't enjoy this book very much, I did feel it had a decent message squeezed to death by all the suffocating love. Throughout the book, the heroine is encouraged by her friends and her hero to love herself, no matter how scary that may be. Self-acceptance is a powerful, wonderful message no matter what the packaging.
I really wouldn't recommend this to anyone, unless they had really off the wall tastes. I'm going to have to read something really mature and serious to cleanse my pallet after this. I may just have to resort to Stephen King, and I'm really not that big of a fan. ...more
There's something wrong when your final thoughts about a book are, "Thank God it's over!" I wasn't sure if I would make it through this mess of a book, but I am very proud to say I stuck with it all the way to the craptastic end.
The author's bio at the back of the book says Ayers likes to infuse her stories with humor... If this is Ms. Ayers' idea of humor, then I am sad to say it never matured past middle school. Completely horrible and unnecessary instances of phrases like, "See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya," clutter the story with juvenile interruptions that both distracted me and lessened any chance of me actually liking the book each time one popped up. Just so you know, they pop up a lot.
The main characters are flat and boring. Serah, the heroine, is a pretty two dimensional character with a bratty streak. Every time she had one of her abrupt and uncalled for outbursts, I honestly wondered if the author was channeling a teenager rather than a grown woman. Our hero Mathias is little more than a walking, talking slab of beef cake. Literally no personality. Supporting characters are what made this bearable, though still not good enough..
Reading this book made me feel like Ayers read a lot of romance novels and decided to take a crack at it by combining all the most cliche aspects of romance writing into one massive muscle rippling fest. And I don't mean that in a good way. Mathias' personality has such a low pulse that the author tries to make up for it by making his muscles ripple and his eyes burn with desire every other sentence. The man can't breathe without a pec or a bicep popping suggestively.
Recommendation Don't waste your time with this one unless you want a good example of what not to do when writing a paranormal romance. : ...more
Callie McFay has taken a job teaching at Fairwick College that she wasn’t sure she wanted in the first place, and has bought an old Victorian house that her instincts are screaming for her to stay away from. Something has drawn her to become a part of the community that is not what it appears to be at first glance. Just when she feels she is settling in, Callie is visited by a demon lover that is determined to suck the life out of her. Night after night, the insatiable demon brings her to new heights of pleasure and ever closer to death. As time goes on, Callie becomes less and less sure she minds.
There is really only one word that describes The Demon Lover accurately and that is lush. This book is filled with deliciously ripe detail that echoes my fondest memories of classic gothic literature while utilizing the trend of today’s popular paranormal fiction. The academic atmosphere of Fairwick College and Callie’s scholarly analysis of her situation are engrossing and give this novel the intelligent edge that a great deal of today’s paranormal fiction is missing. Juliet Dark’s attention to detail is truly what makes this story so breathtakingly beautiful and heart wrenchingly real.
The writing style and Callie’s character can be a bit frustrating, at times. She is constantly changing her opinion on her present situation and for the first half of the book she is in denial, coming up with a logical explanation for everything that happens to her. This frustrated me to no end until I hit a moment of clarity the same moment Callie did in the story. The writing style and content are meant to be confusing and frustrating at points to reflect Callie’s state of mind as it has been altered through her interactions with the incubus. Once I realized this I was completely enthralled. It was like a slap in the face and I had to admit to myself that the demon lover had hypnotized not just Callie, but me as well.
It is difficult to describe the romance of this book. Callie falls in love with many things through the course of its pages. She begins to feel at home in Fairwick and finds a mish mashed sort of family in the people that she interacts with on a daily basis. The magic and mystery of the town beckon to her deeply buried roots until she finds a piece of herself she didn’t know she had to begin with. Finally there is the incubus. I easily felt the same indecision towards him as Callie did. At first she thinks him a dream, but as he becomes more and more real to her, she can no longer deny his appeal. I will not spoil any of this story for you all, but eventually you will have to ask yourself, just as Callie does, “Is it possible that he could truly love her and become flesh?”
It was pointed out to me about half-way through this book that it was the same book as Incubus by Carol Goodman published by Ebury Press on July 21st, 2011. The only real reason I could come up with in my research for why two different publishers would publish the same book, under different titles, and authors six months apart from each other would be to maximize marketing. Incubus was published in the UK and therefore the publishers probably felt that particular title and its cover art would appeal to the European audience whereas the U.S. requires a bit more of a sexualized title and mysterious author pseudonym. Whatever the reason, it was a bit confusing, but did not divert from the overall appeal of the book itself.
These days, it has become excruciatingly popular for authors to end their books on a huge cliff-hanger, forcing you to read the next just to find out what happened, even if you didn’t really like it that much. The Demon Lover wraps up its loose ends nicely and all major plot points are developed so that the reader is satisfied. This book doesn’t need any cliffhangers to get its hooks in you; it’s just that good. I look forward to a sequel, which is all but promised by the subtext of the Incubus version declaring it as Fairwick Chronicles #1. Juliet Dark, and by extension Carol Goodman, has a new loyal fan in this Wickedly Bookish reader. ...more
So many people seem to love this series, but unfortunately I just can't be said to be one of them. I very much enjoy the urban fantasy elements of Georgina's world, but everything else leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I was able to brush off most of the things that have happened in this series so far, but I can't disregard the callous infidelity in this book. Georgina is completely selfish and is a horrible friend. Sleeping with her friend's boyfriend because she conveniently loses her powers and is now capable of having sex with Seth without the succubus consequences. She even justifies it as, "It's ok because we are in love."
I have been a fan of Mead's books for a while now and I still think she is a very talented author. However, I have been completely put off by the events of this book. Why is it that Mead's books always seem to involve love triangles and infidelity? Why is it that her heroines settle when they can't have what they want, and then end up hurting people they supposedly care about in the pursuit of their selfishness? All I can say is this to you Georgina, he cheated on you, then cheated on her with you. Use some common sense here girl.
I am invested enough to want to finish up the last two books, but I am incredibly dissapointed with Richelle Mead. Not only was I not surprised by the ending of this book, but I also spent most of the book being disgusted with the choices of the characters I had just been getting used to. ...more
Georgina and I have had a real love hate relationship throughout this five book long journey. Her story has taken me on a real emotional roller coasteGeorgina and I have had a real love hate relationship throughout this five book long journey. Her story has taken me on a real emotional roller coaster and not always in a good way. In fact, the previous book in this series received one hell of a thrash review from me for it's core theme of infidelity.
What had I really expected of a series about a succubus? It's literally her job to corrupt men's souls and that quite often entails cheating. Truthfully, I think the intensity of my anger towards the subject had a lot to do with how much Mead had gotten me to care for the character. I had become so invested in her story and her happiness that this gigantic slip up of hers made me incredibly disappointed in her progress.
If Mead's story decisions earned my ire in this series' previous installment, they certainly earned back my faith and adoration in this one. Georgina and Seth make quite the turn around and Mead once again, proves why her books reel me in every single time. I may not always initially identify with her heroines. I may not always agree with their decisions and development, but something about this author's writing is so genuine and visceral that I cant deny she is a gifted story teller. Her characters, like Georgina, are imperfect, and therefore all the more real.
Very glad I didn't give up on this series after a two year long hiatus. I think I'll be jumping right into the next one. ...more
Danika is on the run from the Lords. Bloodlust crazed Aeron, keeper of Wrath, has been tasked by the gods to slay her and her family. While split up from her grandmother, mom, and sister, Danika gets into trouble and is kidnapped by hunters. Reyes, who has come to desire her, and the other Lords rescue her and take her back to their fortress in Budapest. Reyes is the keeper of Pain, yet he desires to bring Danika her pleasure....
Reyes and Danika's story is, so far, my favorite in the series. You get to see that Reyes is actually a real sweetie and as a heroine, Danika is the best so far. If you are not familiar with the series, the main premise is that each Lord is possessed by one of the demons that was trapped inside of Pandora's box. Kind of a neat little idea there. I'm enjoying seeing how each Lord overcomes his own demon in order to be with the women he loves. One thing I really like about the LOTU series is that the Lords never have to change who they are at their core, the women they are paired off with always offset them perfectly and each partner in the couple makes the other a better person. Too many women and young girls are under the impression that they can find a sexy bad boy, and fix all his problems, by molding him into what they want. I think we need more fiction like this that enforces accepting and loving our partners for who they are, faults and all.
Reyes and Danika showcase this well in that, once Danika falls for him, she doesn't try to change Reyes' pleasure from pain self, she embraces it. I enjoyed the pull of attraction here that Danika struggles with. Who doesn't love a story about resisting your sexy enemy?
We also get a good look at what's happening with Paris in the background. His side story has been an interesting one, and i can't wait to see where it goes once I get to his book! Sabin makes some cameos here in preparation for the next book The Darkest Whisper, in which he is the star.
The core plot is pushed a bit farther, revealing one of the Artifacts of the gods, making for a very nervous Cronus, and the Lords are directed to Egypt! The next book should be lots of fun! ...more
Georgina Kincaid, succubus extraordinaire, is experiencing some vivid dreams that are leaving her drained of all that sexy energy when she wakes. With her new job as manager of Emerald City Books, her more than complicated relationship with author Seth Mortensen, and an apprentice succubus in town, Georgie really has her work cut out for her.
It is no secret that this series has not been my favorite. Georgina is just not a character I relate to or sympathize with. I still really don't like Georgina, however this book has redeemed the series for me. The plot was on par with the first book. I mean a succubus being preyed on by dream demons? What irony! We get some sexy time with Seth and a few new characters are introduced. I really think what did it for me in this book, was the introduction of Dante Moriarty. I absolutely love Dante with his dark past and sexy sarcastic attitude. He has some of the funniest lines in the book and I am definitely rooting for him.
The antics with Tawny, the apprentice succubus, were really annoying and completely detracted from the main story. I understand that it was all linked to the main plot in the end, but when it was all said and done, it just felt like a bad side story jostling for attention. I have a feeling it will play a bigger part in the series overall, but it did nothing for me here. Georgina is already slutty enough without having to make out with robobabe.
That being said, the sex scenes are taken to another level in this book. Yes some of them are seriously hot, however they just made me dislike Georgina more. She reminds me so much of an ex-friend I had in high school that, once in the real world, turned into a total slut who cared nothing for others feelings and had very little respect for committed relationships. I think it's fair to say I'm never going to like Georgina, but I do enjoy reading about the crap she gets herself into and her continuing troubles with Seth.
Ah...we all knew it had to come to this. Now for the spoilers. (view spoiler)[I know a lot of you are upset about Seth cheating on Georgina with Maddie and breaking up with her. Before we pull out the flame throwers, let's be honest here. First of all, Georgina gave Seth full permission to sleep with other people due to the chaste nature of their relationship. They can't have sex or she will eventually kill him so she tells him to get it elsewhere. Therefore she has no right to be pissed off. She goes out and sleeps with other men in completely slutty situations all the time, but gets mad when her poor blue balled boy toy gets it from the cute assistant manager. Hypocritical much? Seth really could have handled the break up better, however his points were completely valid. They can have no significant future together. They can't have kids and grow old together and Seth deserves to have those things for himself if he wants. He knew what he was getting himself into when the relationship started, but his feelings changed and he couldn't handle it. I don't really blame him at all. I know a lot of you are heartbroken for Georgina, but let's face it, she constantly sets herself up for failure! Dante's palm reading only brings this into a more concrete light. The girl is going to live forever she either needs to find herself an immortal lover, who she can't slowly kill off, or she needs to realize if she's going to date mortals that there are consequences. Her shape shifting ways can't compensate for everything she doesn't have to offer. Is that mean? Maybe, but it's also true. Her friends try and tell her this every single book. (hide spoiler)]
Now that I've gotten that rant out of the way, sorry guys, I feel can say with confidence that this series is one to follow. The first two books were ok, but it really picks up here at the third installment. I'm eager to read the next one Succubus Heat to see what happens when Georgina doesn't have someone to answer to. Maybe we'll get a little more Dante? We can only hope. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more